Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A year in review

I am sure that many of you thought I had given up blogging. The truth is that things got pretty busy this spring and then I just never really caught up. With Doug's work schedule, it can be hard to have time plus last spring was just a busy one and I got behind with many things and never caught up. I was lucky enough to have a very uneventful but wonderful Christmas break and got some things organized and hopefully have been able to set my priorities straight again.

I really regret not blogging for the last year. I know I missed recording so many moments and stages that I have now forgotten. This blog was started so that I could record all those little things and I feel like I've missed so many. My new goal is to blog once a week even if I don't have a picture, even if it is just a quick entry about something Oliver said or did that I want to remember.

This post will be just a summary of some of the things that happened in 2011. More details coming with 2012.
Tractors from Uncle Ron and Aunt Bonnie. Oliver loves anything with wheels that go. We did notice that he loved to line them up. This is also his "airplane shirt" that was a hand me down from a dear friend who also has a little boy born in December (so the sizes line up just right). Oliver loved this shirt.
This is in February of 2011. By this time, Oliver's language had really begun to take off. This is him reading to Pooh Bear. He did this a lot-put Pooh or Elmo in a chair and read to him. I loved it! Notice the Parenting magazine on the floor. He loved to look through these and see the pictures of the babies and Elmo. He also would read these to me or Pooh Bear. I kept them around for the longest time because he enjoyed them so much.
These pictures are a little out of order but I have never figured out an easy way to reorder them in Blogger. The above is a picture of how Oliver arranged his sidewalk chalk (June). Again, more ordering. And you can't stop him or hurry him while he is doing it. He went through a stage during the summer where he had to take something with him in the car whenever we went somewhere. One day he insisted on taking a steel pot that I had let him use for "cooking" filled with Duplo Blocks that he had make into "noodles". When he got home, he dropped it on the garage floor by accident. He had to set every one in the pot right side up.
By this spring, Oliver had developed a real love for trains and Thomas the Tank Engine. We took him to Frisco Station Park in Rogers where he could climb in the caboose. He just went in and out of the caboose for almost an hour.

I went crazy one morning taking pictures of Oliver playing in this puddle in the back yard. He just had so much fun. I will spare you the other 30 pictures.

It was a busy spring and summer. I accepted a new job at a new elementary school as an ESL instructional facilitator which meant I was changing schools for the first time in nine years and out of the classroom for the first time in my professional life. Little scary. In April, Oliver started having sleep issues with nightmares and a fear of the dark and thunderstorms which resulted in many many nights of interrupted sleep and a cranky toddler. Due to the snow days, school went until June 9 which meant a short summer. Addie came to visit so Oliver got to have a good visit with his sister before school started again.
Oliver wasn't sure about the pool for the longest time. He didn't like to be splashed but loved splashing when he controlled it. We didn't get in the pool as much as I would have liked because it got so hot this summer with temperatures in the 100s that it was too hot to go outside.
Oliver at Granna and Grandpa's. He got a big stick there that he loved so much that Grandpa let him take it home. He played with that stick in the backyard all summer.
Oliver is a very active kid. He always has been but he has always loved to read and be read to. It is about the only thing that he will sit still for. It warms his mommy's heart to see him reading books and asking to be read to. We continued going to the library this summer and Oliver loved it. The only problems we had was getting him to leave. I actually had to carry him out screaming because he wanted to stay and get more books. Embarrassing but a good problem to have.
Feeding the ducks with Daddy. Our tradition would be ducks, playground and library. I am not sure what Oliver loved the most. Since I hope that Oliver will read this in some form one day, I will try not to embarrass him (much) but the other major event of the summer was Oliver accomplished potty training which was a huge deal to Mommy and Daddy. He was great-got the idea in a couple of days, had a few setbacks when he went back to daycare and was off and running (save the occasional accident). He is such a cool kid.

There is a major absence of pictures during September-new job. I am a terrible, exhausted Mommy.

So that brings us to Pumpkin Patch.

About this time, Oliver developed a love of cooking. He was always using my pots, pans, cooking utensils. Oliver is the only kid I know who knew what a whisk was and how to use it. He used his Duplo Blocks for food and made everything: noodles, spaghetti, birthday cake, cookies, you name it. He also was always inviting Dora, Diego, Elmo and Pooh Bear over for dinner or a birthday party. There were also lots of trips to the grocery store and he would make a list with tortillas and cereal bars.

In November, we got the great news that Oliver's allergies had dramatically improved. His numbers for egg, milk and peanut all dropped significantly. We were given the ok to introduce milk into diet which opened up so many more possibilities for dinner and birthday cakes.

The birthday theme was Thomas the Tank Engine, of course. We had lots of fun with Grams and Granna and ate lots of cake! I have too many pictures that I could post so I am limiting it to just three.

And then there was Christmas:

It was a wonderful Christmas. We even got a phone call from Santa on Christmas Eve! Santa brought a train table and tracks. Video to come later. Grams and Grandmother came over and we opened presents. It was so much fun because Oliver was really into passing out presents and opening presents-even if it wasn't his. I kept hearing, "How about you open this?". We had ham and cheesy potatoes for Christmas lunch and just enjoyed the day. Oliver must have had a good time because he took a three hour nap that afternoon!

This is a picture I took over Christmas break of Oliver watching the chicken noodle casserole cook that he helped make.
If you have read this long, congratulations. I am planning to do much better this year with my blogging. Too many special moments to miss.

We had a wonderful year and are hopeful and excited about 2012. Wishing you a late happy New Year.

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