Sunday, December 30, 2012

Do-A-Dot Christmas Art

Olivia is at the age where she is really starting to like to do creative things.  She is also at the age where we need to break something new out every once in a while to take a break from the same old toys, books, and routine.

I know I've shared my love of the Do-A-Dot dabbers before. I used them often with Little Man when he was younger.  They are a great easy way to do some "painting".

Michael's mom bought O some art supplies and these were part of the deal.  I decided that the weekend before Christmas was a good time for us to do them.  We did get a book of ABC's, but I decided to print off some Christmas themed Do-A-Dot art. There are lots of free printables out there!

I told Michael that people are going to think I am torturing Olivia with the crafts.  This is the 3rd crafting post in the last month and she isn't smiling in ANY of them.  It's not because she doesn't like them.  She actually loves doing them.  It's just that she's concentrating.  Poor girl.  I can totally relate.  When I was teaching, people use to ask me all the time "What's wrong?".  It wasn't that anything was wrong.  My normal "thinking face" just makes it look like I'm mad or something?!  So.... she really is having fun.  I promise! :)

She was more interested in putting the paint on her fingers than she was the paper.
Michael and I helped some with the tree picture.  Mostly just to get the paints "started".

But then we gave her a mitten and she did it all herself.
She would raise it up really high and then smash it down.

Yep, she's got some Gjertson in her!!! :)
I'm pretty sure I can find at least one picture of every single one of my FIVE siblings sticking out their tongues.  Oh, and my dad too.

Crafting takes concentration!

Both the Christmas tree and mitten are proudly being displayed on the fridge. 

There will be many more Do-A-Dot art projects in the future!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Project 366: Week 51

351. Michael thought that Olivia needed to be introduced to Star Wars.  She lasted about 5 minutes and then was over it. That's my girl! ;)

352. Poor girl was not feeling well at all, but we HAD to run to the store.  She was resting her head on my hand while we waited in the check out line.

353. We went on a MOPS playdate to the mall. Olivia loved that some of the things to climb on were animals.  She would go from the cow to the horse to the buffalo huggin them and making their sounds.  I have a running joke with Michael that when I see a buffalo I say "My people!" (because I'm from SD).  So I was trying my best to get a picture of Olivia hugging the buffalo. This is the best I could do.  But I sent it to Michael saying "my people" anyway! :)

354. She loves to hang all of the sudden.  She tries to hang off of our kitchen table.  So it was no surprise that at the Little Gym she was trying to hang from the bars.

355. She screams bloody murder when I try to use the aspirator on her, but if you leave it lying around she tries to use it on herself.

356. Boppa was at Little Man's house playing video games, so it was a special treat to get a bath from Mommy.

357. I got a box from 31 and Olivia decided to climb on it.  She raised her hands up and said "ta-da".  I guess she thought she was at The Little Gym. :)  Of course, my phone was too slow in getting that part of the picture. :/

Friday, December 28, 2012

18 Months Pt 2

 (This picture just makes me laugh!)

 We had Olivia's 18 month check up yesterday.  This post is going to be a mix of that information along with things I forgot to put in the last 18 month post. :)

(Catching the "snow" when we went to see Santa)

Her Stats:
Height: 32.5 inches, 75th % --she gained half an inch from her 15 month appointment, but went from 89th percentile down to 75th percentile.
Weight: 27.10 pounds, 88th % --she gained a little less than 3 pounds and went from 79th percentile to 88th.  You may remember that at her 15 month appointment the doctor said we could be feeding her more, and that she had hardly gained anything in those previous 3 months.  She made up for it this time, I guess.
Head circumference: 19.75, 100% --her head gained a half of an inch from the last visit.  She had been a solid 99th percentile from 6 months until now, but she has moved into the 100 percentile now.


The doctor said she was happy with all of the stats and the way the growth chart looked.  She said that Olivia has been consistant with her growth all along and that is what we want.  I saw the nurse practitioner this time (whom I really like) and was telling her that our normal pedi said that her big head was just genetics.  Then I mentioned that Michael had a big head. (Not that it looks big, but normal hats don't fit him, so it has to be sort of big.)  She looked at Olivia and said, "Well, someone has to be that statistic on the charts.  I guess it's just going to be you."


She was pleased with the fact that Olivia was still rear facing in the car seat, using untensils to feed herself, that she has a good appetite and regular bathroom habits.

She mentioned a couple of times that Olivia had "a lot of chompers".  I didn't think she had any more teeth than normal.  She made mention of having all of her first year molars...maybe that's early to have them all in?  She encouraged brushing her teeth, which we do.  She said we should go for our first dentist visit between ages 2 and 3.


Olivia was chatting away and looking at a book and talking about the things she saw.  The doctor made a comment about Olivia having "a lot to say".  She asked how many words I would guess she had, and I said well over 100. I told her that at 15 months she had 52 words, so I just decided to stop counting.  She knows 25+ animals and 15+ body parts and she has a ton of other words she uses on a daily basis. She said that she could tell she was advanced in her speech. She didn't make much more fuss about it.  She just said, "Good for her".


She asked if we had started potty training. I said I've introduced the potty, but haven't pushed it.  She said that since she's "super verbal" she might be one to potty train early.  She said she wouldn't be surprised if she was potty trained by 2.  I said that she does tell me when she goes poopy and even asked her doll the other day "you go poopy?".  She said that once she is showing signs and talking about it, that it could be time for us to give it a go. We'll see.

(Sitting in a "W")

My one question was about her sitting in a "W".  I had read it wasn't good for the hip joints, but didn't know how bad it was.  Olivia sits like that ALL THE TIME.  I read that by even moving one leg out, it can take the pressure off of the hips, so that is what I've been trying to do.  I just wanted to know her take on it.  She said that it is bad, and that we should try to train her as best we can not to sit like that. Great.


The other thing was her cold.  She got sick about two weeks ago.  It was bad for a week, but not bad enough to take her in.  I felt like they were just going to tell me it had to run it's course.  Well, most everything has subsided except when she goes to bed.  She coughs and hacks all night.  I know that's because of the post nasal drip, but I wasn't sure (besides using the aspirator) what to do.  She asked me what I had been doing at home.  Over the course of the two weeks, we had used the humidifier, nasal spray/aspirator, Vicks on the feet and chest, Zarbees (natural honey cough "syrup"), vitamin D3 drops, liquid vitamin C, and a multi vitamin.  She said that we were doing all of the homeopathic things that we could, and that it definitely helped.  However, whatever is going around is having a post nasal drip that is lasting a really long time.  She said that since we are on two weeks of the night time cough that it was time for more "traditional" medicine.  She said we should just go ahead and give her some Zyrtec.  She said it should clear it up in a few days.


When we took Olivia in that time she had strep, they took her blood to see if it was viral. (The strep test had come back negative at that point.) Well, when testing her blood they found out her iron levels were border line, so they recommended a multi vitamin.  So we talked a little about her iron levels and what type of vitamin I should be giving her, etc.  They'll check her iron again the next time we go in to see how her levels are.  On one hand I was surprised by this, because she eats a lot of iron rich food (beans, spinach/kale etc).  On the other hand, my iron levels have always been low.  I get denied to give blood often because of low iron.  So it could just be hereditary.


We talked about being proactive for the cold and flu season. She is already taking the influenza pellets, and the vitamin D3 drops.  She loves those.  They are stored in the fridge, and every time I open the fridge she goes to the door, grabs the bottle and says "Medicine!".  We needed to add Elderberry to the mix.  Last year she was taking Briar Rose (does the same thing as the Elderberry).  When we moved it got left in the garage too long and we hadn't picked any new stuff up.  Hopefully those will help to keep her healthy.


The doctor also said it wouldn't be a bad idea to give her some probiotics.  It isn't necessary, but couldn't hurt.  She really only gets probiotics when she eats yogurt (which is more rare than the norm because it's so expensive), so I picked up some in the powder form that can be added to food.

She didn't get any shots since she's not 100% healthy. We'll be going back in a month to get the 4th DTap and to start the Polio series.  When we were talking about our shot options, the doctor asked me "So are you one of those that is following the recommendations but just spreading them out, or are you one that is picking and choosing what you'd like to give her?"  Ummm.... LOVE.  Every time I go to the pediatrician's office, I leave SO happy to have a holistic approach.  Thank you for giving me the choice in what I do with MY child.  I have so many friends who don't like their pediatricians, or get guilted into shots, methods and medications that they aren't comfortable with.


On to the things I wanted to mention in the last post, but forgot....

Olivia is still wearing 18 month and 24 month clothes.  She's slowly growing into the 24 month things, but some are still a bit big.  Like with all clothes, it depends on the brand/style.  We're set on clothes and pajamas for the rest of winter though.  I don't think I want to buy ahead for spring and summer.  I am terrible at guessing what size she'll be in.  It's just so hard to pass up all of the good deals at the big consignment sales!!


She is wearing the size 18 to 24 month pedipeds, which I believe translates into a size 5 1/2.  They are starting to get tight though. :(  Her boots are a size 6.  She has a high instep (as do my mother and I), so it was hard to get a boot on her.  I bought them a size bigger for this reason. They fit her well.  I'm guessing we'll be buying some other size 6 shoes soon.

She wears size 5 diapers, but we do size 6 for the nighttime ones.  Once she started leaking and we started buying special nighttime diapers, we've always just gone up a size.  I'm not sure if this is still necessary or not, but we don't have any leaking issues.


It's no surprise, but we are pretty sure that Olivia's love language is words of affirmation.  Both Michael and I score the highest for that, so she is just following in those same footsteps.  It's helpful to know.  At this point, she doesn't respond to negative punishments. In fact, she thinks they are funny.  Last week, she did something she knew she wasn't suppose to and then literally held her hand out to me to slap.  Yeah, that's working!  But she will respond to praise, clapping/cheering for good choices, or talking about being a "good girl".  I'm not one who thinks that you can cure all with positive reinforcement.  Nor do I believe that you can cure all with negative reinforcement/punishment.  I think there needs to be a good balance of both, and then knowing your child and which is going to work best.  We are just starting this journey, but I am happy to give out the positive reinforcement if that is what is going to work for now.


We are always asking Olivia "what's that" when it comes to animals or pictures of things she knows.  I think she enjoys being quizzed.  However, she has now turned the quizzing on us.  She will bring us something, and even if she knows what it is, she'll say, "What's that?".  It's hilarious.  She won't go on until you give her an answer either.  She'll just keep asking.  Every once in a while she'll give us a "good job!" afterwards.  I guess she wants to give us a little positive reinforcement as well. :)


A little while ago she started whining when she couldn't do something she wanted.  For example, if she couldn't get a puzzle out of the shelf or open up a toy.  So I would tell her, "Instead of whining we say 'help please'."  Then if she would whine I would say, "Do you need help?".  Now, when she wants something she says, "You need help?".  Cracks me up.  Every once in a while she'll throw out the "help please" or just "please".  Man, I love that she can use words instead of whines!!!!!


I think I already mentioned this, but we are officially down to one nap a day.  She did one nap most days of our Thanksgiving trip (which was right when she turned 17 months), but then went back to 2 naps when we got home.  She did a week of fighting the 2 naps, but then got sick and did 2 naps every day for a week. We've officially been down to 1 nap for about a week now.  It's not nearly as long as I was thinking.  I'm hoping it's just because she has to get use to no paci, get past being sick, and get in the swing of things.  She had some rough nights when she was sick, but she is back to sleeping 11 to 12 hours at night.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....

We had a great Christmas! Olivia woke us up at 7:30 and we started the day off with some coffee and a yummy cinnamon roll breakfast.  Even Olivia got to have a cinnamon roll!! Hey--it was Christmas. :)


After that was finished up, we moved into present opening.  Olivia's one big gift from us was a doll, so that was the first gift she opened.  She was sort of meticulous about the ripping of the paper, so she had some help with most of them.
Do you know how hard it was to find a brown haired baby?  And this one still looks pretty dark skinned.  Ay yi yi.  Olivia wasn't born bald, and she doesn't have blond hair.  This doll finding business was challenging.

Next, she opened a doll stroller from my mom.

She put her baby in and took her right for a ride.

We got her one of those disappearing bottles.  She has used the nose aspirator and nail clippers on her stuffed animals, so I figured a bottle for her doll was a necessity.

One of our "traditions" is to get her a Disney movie each year, so that we are slowly building a library.  Michael only wants blu rays and you know those can be pricey.  Target had Cinderella on sale for $15 around Thanksgiving, so that is this year's selection. :)

She just kept wanting to play after every gift, so we kept having to try to coax her into opening the next gift.

I bought a "lot" of books off of a facebook consignment sale about two months ago.  She really didn't need any more books, but these were in excellent condition and were really good priced.  There were quite a few Elmo books in the bunch and they were the kind of books that taught shapes, colors, animals, opposites, etc.  So I bought them and put them away for a gift. Of course, she loves them.

Besides the Disney movie and Christmas pajamas, we are getting her an ornament each year.  I ended up waiting a little too long to order, but she is getting this one.
We are wanting to get ones that will be classy enough that she will want to hang on her tree when she moves out, but hopefully still sort of represent her age for that year.  (Yes, I know. Totally overthinking it.  That's what I do! :)

But then we are also getting her snow globes, and these will be more "fun" and what she's into.  I found one last year after Christmas that was on clearance and said "babies first Christmas".  I picked it up.  I figured if we did it every year, then she's have a cool collection.  If we just do it a few times, it's still something fun.  This year's came (50% off) from Hobby Lobby, and is Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

She opened 3 gifts from my sister.  Some play food, an outfit, and a Mr. Potato Head.

Then she opened 3 gifts from my mom.  An outfit, a Scentsy sheep, and a tea set.

At one point I said that she was lucky she was an only child.  This present opening business took forever.  We had all morning though, so we just took our time and let her play as she wanted.

After we had opened all of the gifts, we brought out the two gifts that Michael had assembled.  A doll high chair from his mom and a doll bed from my mom.  Olivia knew JUST what to do!

 Next up was her stocking.  She got some stickers, plastic necklaces and bracelets, 2 animals for her talking zoo, a Mickey Mouse bathtub toy, and 2 pairs of socks.

She also got a lot of other stuff from Michael's mom, including a play kitchen.  Thankfully she had already opened it at Thanksgiving time.  Otherwise we would have been here all day! :)

After all the gifts were opened, she went on to play.

It wasn't long before it was lunchtime and then time for a nap.  We haven't been getting great sleep here the past few weeks, so Michael and I decided to take a nap too.  

It had been raining all morning, but we woke up from our nap to find that it was SNOWING!  Not just a little Texas flurry here and there, but actual snow!  We would have taken Olivia out to play in it, but we were getting ready to head to a friend's house for dinner.  Instead, Michael opened the patio door and showed her.  She started saying "Snowman!".  We have no idea where or how she learned this, since this is technically the first time she's seen snow.  So funny.

One of the girls from my MOPS table invited us over for dinner. It turned out two other girls from our table didn't have any family in town either, so they came as well.  Luckily they live literally 3 minutes from us.
It was really nice.  I am already friends with the 3 girls, and the guys have a lot in common with Michael.  There were 6 kids ranging in age from 12 months old to 6 years.  Olivia had a great time too!

We came home and Olivia went right back to playing with her doll!

It really was the perfect day--special time with our little family, watching Olivia have so much fun, rest and relaxation, SNOW!, friends, and yummy food.  My heart is full.  I hope you had a great Christmas as well!