28 February 2011

Oh Go Fly a Kite

It's a good thing God invented Dads because who else would crawl inside the tubes at Chuck E. Cheese, let kids play around in mud, spend countless hours playing in the cold and take them on fun adventures that involve flying kites?  It certainly wouldn't be most moms I know - and yeah, that includes me.

Even though Olivia can have her phases where she just wants Mommy, once she gets to having fun with her daddy it's like I don't even exist.

While I attended a baby shower on Sunday morning, David took Olivia to a park and let her roll around in some dirt and attempted to fly a kite with her.  Apparently, he underestimated how hard it would be to control a kite and a nearly 2 year old toddler.  So, later that afternoon I played the role of Toddler Watcher and we all went to watch the kites fly.

He is loving this right now!

And, so is she.

And, if you haven't had enough cuteness for the day....

Oh Olivia, I would fly a kite with you any day.

Happy Monday from the Central Coast!

22 February 2011

Smooches Gracias!

I have to give a big Thank You to my mom for coming out and spending the week with us.  Time literally flew by while she was out here.  We all enjoyed spending time with her and it is always nice to have an extra set of hands to pick up the place after Olivia a cyclone comes through.  And, another huge thanks to her for taking over my job of blogger yesterday.  I think she now realizes why there are sometimes DAYS in between posts.  It is very time-consuming.

I have to add on a few things to Nana's post about Olivia's "smartness."  And, trust me when I say, the last thing I want to do is brag.  This blog {which gets turned into a book each year} is honestly the best way for me to keep track of her growth and accomplishments.  I spent several days while my mom was here working on her digital photo albums for her second year of life.  And, I kept consoling each picture that didn't make the cut with a It's okay, you made it on the blog.  I have her "baby album" still unfinished in a cabinet above my desk.  {Note to self:  Finish it!}  My point is, this little blog is the most accurate measure she'll have of what was going on when she was a baby toddler {sniff sniff}.  So, I'm going to brag a bit.

Last night before dinner, we asked Olivia to say the blessing.  Without any kind of prompting, she was able to say, "God is great. And we thank him for the food. By his hands must be fed. Give us (mumble mumble mumble) bread."  After I wiped the huge smile from my face, I had to pick my chin up off the floor.  This isn't something we've been practicing or working on.  It's just something we do before dinner each night {and sometimes before breakfast or lunch}.  It is amazing how quickly she has picked that up.

Tonight while giving her a bath, she pretty much sang all the lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  She is able to fill in the words of so many things...from stories to songs to phrases.  Another one of her favorite books is No, David by David Shannon.  Yesterday, she was flipping through the book and pretty much said what was on each of the pages.  Now, it's not like she recited an entire book or anything.  Most of the pages say something like, "No, David.  That's too loud," or "Come back here, David," and "Go to your room, David!"  But, the point is, she knows what storyline is going on with each page.  

In addition to her amazing memory is her ability to entertain herself for long periods of time.  With just a few of her toys {mainly the Little People or her play food} laid out, she will play uninterrupted for at least 20 minutes.  She knows all the names of the Little People and is always talking about what they are doing.

Each day I am amazed at the something new that she knows or retains.  Today, on her own, she counted to 12.  And, as she counted, she pointed to a different picture of Olivia in her book.  {One of the Olivia books we have has Olivia in different outfits or doing different things on the inside cover.  This is what she was pointing to.}  While taking a bath the other night, she pointed to the diamond shaped tiles and said, Diamonds.  Lots of them.  And, take my word for it, she knows what real diamonds are as well.

Even if she didn't know all of these things, I would still be so incredibly proud of her for being such a sweet little girl.  Yes, she can be a stinkpot with the best of them, but for the most part she is an incredibly loving girl, and I am so blessed to be her Mama.

I just wish she would SMILE at the camera more!!!

Happy Tuesday from the Central Coast!

21 February 2011

Nana: The Blog Goddess

Forgive me for being such a horrible blogger the last few days.  My mom has been in town and we have spent some much needed time enjoying each other's company.  I missed blogging about Olivia's 22 month birthday {which happened a few days ago} and my mom graciously offered to do it for me!  Without further ado, here's Nana!

Oh my goodness where does a Nana begin?! But, I can brag with the best of them so sit back and take it all in.  First of all let me say I am so glad to spend time with Olivia -- she doesn't have to do anything spectacular in order for me to be impressed.   However, she does so many things that do impress me that I will just mention a few.

Her vocabulary is by far the most advanced I have seen in any other 22 month old.  She far exceeds her Nana when it comes to using phrases in French.  I have been reading her some "Fancy Nancy" books and her ability to repeat those fancy words is amazing.  How many 22 month old babies do you know that say, "It's iridescent, Nana."

A few days ago, we went to Target where I happened to see a "Little People" car with a Mom and baby in it.  I knew how much she liked those toys because she has been playing non-stop with the house and people that Amanda got her. So being the good Nana that I am, I got her the car.  Needless to say it was  a hit.  Now to get to my point.... She goes around the house saying, "Nana bought it.  Thanks Nana."  Even two days later she will be playing with it and out of the blue she will thank me again.

Snacking on popcorn at Target

Today, as I was taking a break from reading my Amazon Kindle, Olivia saw the screensaver of an historical author and asked me who it was.  Not knowing the name, I told her it was "some scholar," to which she replied, "Scum Scholar doin'?"  Now when she sees it, she says, "Nana's Scum Scholar."

I could go on and on about how smart, adorable, and stinkin cute she is but I have to devote just a few lines to just how strong-willed she is.  Amanda has told me before that at times when she is getting her dressed it can turn into a battle of epic proportions.  (I thought she was exaggerating a bit.) However, I have seen in person just what  an ordeal getting her dressed can be.  Can I say, if she already knows what she wants to wear - or not wear- at not quite two, what do we have to look forward to when it comes time to get ready for school?!

Helping me make buttermilk pancakes

All that being said, I would never turn down a chance to spend time with her (David and Amanda too).  Olivia and I had two nights together while her Mommy and Daddy went to the movie and out to eat.  I still love the fact that she lets me read stories, sing songs and snuggle with her before putting her down for a nap or at night.

The weather hasn't been the best on this trip - it rained most days - however, that didn't stop us from going to Boo Boo Records and seeing her in action singing songs with all of her friends.  A day without Target is like a day without sunshine (oh wait we had those), so we did make a trip to Target and Panera Bread for lunch.  Remember the Little People car Nana bought her? Well she played with it the whole time we ate lunch.  And yes she was still asking in her loudest voice "Baby Jesus doin?"  The four of us even went to Chuck E. Cheese for a fun game night minus the pizza.  We did so well on all the games Olivia was able to get THREE of their best plastic bracelets.  We even managed to find a little bit of sunshine and headed down for a morning in Pismo Beach.  A fun time was had by all.

Olivia on the big screen at C.E.C.

It's hard to believe I have been here almost a week and it is time to return home tomorrow to Poppy, but all good things must come to an end.  Never fear, we are already planning our next time together.

Thanks for taking the time to read the ramblings of a Nana who loves spending time with her family.

Happy Monday from the Central Coast!

13 February 2011

Another Weekend Wrap-Up

I know I have said this about a trillion times, but I am really so blessed to have such a wonderful family!  My brother made a special trip out to visit us this weekend and we had such a great time just hanging out and relaxing!  We had some grand plans to visit Hearst Castle and see the elephant seals in San Simeon, but my brother wasn't feeling 100% so we spent most of Saturday relaxing!  {He actually went to the Urgent Care and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection - poor guy.}

Have I mentioned how much Olivia is in love with her Hello Kitty suitcase?
Thanks Grandma Irma and Poppa Peter!

On Thursday afternoon, Olivia and I trekked down to Santa Barbara and met up with Ryan at the gorgeous Fess Parker hotel.  After getting checked into our rooms, we walked around downtown Santa Barbara for a bit and grabbed a quick dinner.

We woke up bright and early on Friday and headed back downtown for breakfast, a second trip into Rite-Aid, and then went to check out the Santa Barbara Stearns Wharf.  I have never been a big fan of taffy, but after Olivia helped herself to a couple of pieces in the candy shop, I felt obligated to buy some.  Who knew Key Lime Pie taffy would be so delicious? 

Dressed in her Fancy Nancy Frenchy dog outfit.

We then headed back downtown for a little more shopping and sight seeing....and let's not forget eating.  We hit up Wetzel Pretzel and Silvergreens and if I had my way, we would have made a trip to Pinkberry as well.  As it was,  I had to unbutton my pants on the drive home!

This one passed out on the way home!

Saturday was a fairly lazy day.  After Ryan returned from the doctor, we all met up at In-N-Out for a quick lunch and came back for family nap time.  Ahhh, that was nice!  After another dinner out, the three of us watched The Social Network -- such a good movie.  I did manage to get a little crafting done yesterday afternoon.

I can't wait to see how my little love muffin looks wearing it!  And, I can't wait to smother her with a zillion hugs and kisses!

Today has been much of the same - we are pretty much laying low this weekend - and I like it!  David got up with Olivia yesterday and today and let me sleep in.  That was marvelous!!  I can't remember the last time I slept in!  There are Valentine cookies cooling, Olivia is napping and I'm about to watch the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy {online} while David continues to shoot things on the PS3.  And, then we'll see how far we get into the Grammy's.  Such a lovely Sunday.

Hope you all have enjoyed your weekend!
Happy Sunday from the Central Coast!


08 February 2011

Grumpy Mornings and Fill in the Blanks

Yesterday morning pretty much looked like this.

With a little bit of this thrown in.
{Still fashionable while throwing a fit.}

It all started when I tried to pull her out of her Nagel onesie {that she always points out is 80s} and get her dressed for a playdate.  She DID NOT want me to take that onesie off.  Normally, I would have been fine with her wearing whatever, but this particular onesie has been moved to her pajama drawer because the screen printing job is now faded and worn and, more importantly, it's a size 12 months.  Let's just say it's a weeeee bit too small for her to be sporting it around town.  I tried to put a pair of pants on over it and then cover the onesie up with a dress, but she wasn't having it.  I finally pried it off of her and put the cute little romper on and HOLY MOLY the tiny tantrum that had been brewing turned into a full blown FIT.  Needless to say, we didn't make it to our playdate on the off chance that foul mood of hers was contagious.  {Pretty sure it was because it put me in a bad mood for awhile.}  

The romper was a definite no and I was able to convince her to put on the trusty old Panama Jack t-shirt {that was mine when I was a youngin'} that is usually reserved for sick days.  She finally got calmed down when I enticed her with some outside play time.  

Pinto beans

Swinging with her baby

Playing fetch....look at those skills!  She's collecting TWO balls!

Move over, Dolly!  You got nothin' on my baby girl!

The thing is, I think she gets so into the crying stage that she can't pull herself out of it no matter how hard we both try.  She just woke up from her nap in the same kind of mood and after throwing out a hundred things for us to go do, the 101st was the one that snapped her out of it.

So, as I sit here finishing up this blog post, she's having a fruit bar and watching a Fancy Nancy video.  I know I have mentioned her love of all things Fancy Nancy before, but it amazes me how much of the books she has already absorbed.  The video she is watching now is of Jane O'Connor, the author, reading aloud one of her books Bonjour, Butterfly.  We have that book {it came with the Fancy Nancy doll she was gifted by our neighbors} and I've probably already read it over 50 times.  When Jane reads it for the video, she says, "Written by Jane O'Connor.  C'est moi."  And now when I read the story and say, "Written by Jane O'Connor," Olivia chimes in with, "C'est moi."  She fills in a lot of the other parts to books.  If intentionally I leave out part of a sentence in the book, she'll fill it in for me.  Her favorite book right now is Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy and she calls it "Posh Puppy."  In the story, Nancy uses different French words and Olivia knows them all -- bonjour, merci, papillon, oui, and au revoir.  Sometimes, she will just say it when it's appropriate in a real-life context.  In one of the books, Nancy trips while carrying a tray of sundaes.  She says, "I trip.  I slip.  The tray does a double flip!"  Today, Olivia fell and said, "I trip.  I slip."

While it is hard for her to say an entire sentence, she's so great about filling in the missing words on songs and phrases.  She knows all of the actions for the Wheels on the Bus and fills in a lot of the song on Itsy Bitsy Spider.  Last night, I fed her dinner while David was at the gym and the two of us held hands to say the blessing.  I had her repeat "God is great. God is good," and then she said, "And we thank Him for food."  I couldn't believe it!  I screamed and clapped and she got so excited.  I immediately had to get on Skype with my parents so they could hear her do it.  Every day she amazes me with the things she is learning.

Yesterday while I cleaned the spare bedroom in preparation for Uncle Rhino's visit, she sat on the floor flipping through a Vogue magazine with her baby doll on her lap.  She found a few pages with a model walking with a horse and said, "See baby.  Big horse.  See it?  There it is."  

It is getting to the point where it is not so much about documenting what we are doing throughout the day, but more about all the things she is learning and doing and saying.  She is growing and changing way too fast - I almost can't keep up.

Where, oh where, has my little baby gone?!

Happy Tuesday from the Central Coast!

06 February 2011

I Wish I Could Think of a Clever Title

A busy weekend has prevented me from posting these pictures on Friday like I had originally planned.  Our wonderful neighbors came over for dinner on Friday night and we stayed up until 11:30.  Seriously, I don't think I have stayed up that late in AGES!  {Did I ever tell you how I was in bed by 8:30 almost every nigh when we were in Hawaii on the cruise ship.  I think it was the rocking of the boat that did it because I'm not that bad at home.}  How awesome are our neighbors that they even brought the food to our house?!  All I had to do was whip up a salad!  Leslie loves to cook and wanted to do dinner at her house, but knew that ours was probably better for Olivia.  We had a fun night catching up and I finally won a game of Buzz Quiz World - against three smarty pants, no less.

We ran a ton of errands in SLO on Saturday.  We were up there by 8:10 which NEVER happens.  Not surprisingly, the three of us were worn out by noon and snoozed until 3.

While up in SLO, we stopped by one of my favorite little antique shops, Ruby Rose.  They have a really eclectic collection of stuff and I scored the cutest little outfit for Olivia.  Thank goodness I had it on hand because on our way to the SLO Donut Company {YUMMMMMMY}, Olivia poured water all over herself and not surprisingly, I didn't have a change of clothes with me.  

I got the top and leggings for $5.  I looked up the brand online (Luna Luna Copenhagen) and their stuff isn't cheap.  She looks adorable in it too, so I'm thrilled with our purchase and am so glad we decided to stop there.

Yikes - I moved forward and skipped Friday!  Our class went on a field trip to the Children's Museum and I got some really cute shots of some of the kiddos playing.

Olivia and Macy

Isla, Olivia and Macy
Clearly, Isla is a girly girl too with her adorable bracelets, hair band and her baby doll.

The two lovebirds

Sarah and Tessa going for a ride

The museum has a cute little diner with tons of play food and pots and pans.

Mean Mommy over here limited the amount of time Olivia got to play in the water outside because we didn't have a change of clothes!

Tessa and Olivia

After the field trip, two of the other moms and I walked our kiddos down to Chipotle to grab some lunch to go.  I miss Qdoba like crazy, but the Chipotle burrito sure did hit the spot.

Does it get any cuter than this??

My brother called us yesterday wanting to Skype with Olivia, but put about a zillion stipulations on it.  She had to be well-rested, in a good mood and talkative, couldn't be distracted by having snacks available, etcetera etcetera.  Well, we never were able to meet all of those demands yesterday and what I thought would have been a good time today turned into this:

That was a fun 20 minutes.

And, speaking of family...  I am really blessed to have some really wonderful people in my life that I get to call family.  On Friday, I got the SWEETEST card from my sister-in-law, Marissa.  As if she doesn't have enough on her plate with two kids and a newborn baby at home.  Thanks, Marissa.  You truly are a sweetheart.  And, last night, my brother texted me to let me know that he was booking Olivia and I a room at the Fess Parker in Santa Barbara on Thursday night so we can meet up with him after he flies into LAX on Wednesday night!  We are going to spend the day in SB on Friday and then he's spending the weekend with us!  And, as if it couldn't get any better...my mom is coming to visit that Tuesday and is going to stay for a week!  Olivia can't stop talking about taking Nana to Boo Boo Records with her on Wednesday!  I love my family.

I hope you all have had a fabulous weekend.  The weather here has been gorgeous.  David just got in from a nice long motorcycle ride and I'm ready to take a book outside and enjoy the sunshine for awhile while Olivia naps.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday from the Central Coast!
She LOVES going to the post office now!