Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"I'm going to be TWO!"

We had Olivia's doctor's appointment yesterday.

Her weight is 31 pounds, which is the 92%.
Her height is 35 inches, which is the 87%.
I guess they don't measure head circumference anymore.

The doctor was pleased with her health, growth and all our answers to the normal checklist.

We spent the rest of the appointment answering my list of questions.

*Pigeon toed-she is slightly pigeon toed.  This is normal for most toddlers, so I wasn't too concerned.  However, Michael wanted to know if she would grow out of it.  Through inspection of her legs and ankles it was found that she does not have any issues in her ankles--so she should grow out of it as normal toddlers do.  BUT, she still sits in a "W" despite our best efforts.  This is very bad and can actually cause her to be pigeon toed and cause permanent damage.  So now we have to be even more diligent about making sure she does not sit like that, but rather train her how to sit criss cross applesauce.  We could also take her to a chiropractor if needed.  It can release something in the hips and then allow the rest of her leg to follow.  At this point, it's not too serious.  Also, most hips move from inward to outward around between the age of 3 and 4.  So we have some time to fix this.

*Double jointed-Miss Christi talks all the time about how Olivia must be double jointed.  Michael is double jointed in his fingers, so it's not surprising that Olivia would be.  We've noticed a few things that showed she is probably double jointed--like still sitting in a "W" and even a "T".  Our doctor looked and she is MOST definitely double jointed.  Not just in her hands, either.  The doctor literally bent her thumbs all the way back to her wrist.  I mentioned that when her Little Gym teacher tries to turn her on the bars, her arms just stay and her body turns.  So she tried to turn her arm.  Sure enough, her entire arm turned but her hands were still facing forward.  I think even the doctor was a little shocked.  She said that it is hereditary and it's not really something to worry about.  The only problem it could be is if she ends up being an athlete.  She could be more prone to injury or her injury could be a little worse.  Miss Christi has been saying for a year and a half that she is SO flexible.  I guess gymnastics is the right sport for our little elastigirl!

*Gifted? Well, it's no secret that Olivia is a little bit above the curve.  When it was mentioned at her 15 month appointment that she may be gifted based on her early vocabulary, I brushed it off.  As time went on though, it became more apparent that it was more than just the fact that she comes from a long line of talkers.  I have chosen not to use the word "gifted" on here, because I know at this point it's just a label.  Recently, a retired teacher with her doctorate in education told us that Olivia was definitely gifted and one of the brightest kids she has ever seen for her age.  That almost seems unbelievable.  It also feels like a lot of pressure.  But I did feel like I needed to discuss it with the doctor.  She said based on her vocabulary and attention span, she likely is on the gifted side.  She said to keep taking her to places like the zoo and museums and exposing her to culture.  She also said to keep doing art projects with her and be mindful of her social experiences.  So basically, keep doing what we're doing.  She did say that she may be one of those kids that really thrives in a preschool environment because of the structure and new experiences.

*She zones out sometimes.  It seems like she's just thinking, but it tends to be more than average.  The doctor said she didn't know what that was about and maybe we can ask Olivia soon.  She said it's something to note and watch for later, but likely not an issue.  It seems to happen more when others around around or during new experiences, so my guess is she is just trying to process everything.  Or maybe she's a little overwhelmed?

Other things:

*She is still in size 24 months/2T clothing.

*We just moved her to size 6 diapers.

*She is wearing size 8 shoes!!

*She sleeps about 11 hours at night and still naps 1 1/2 to 3 hours a day.

*She's still picky about what she eats.  She's currently on a meat strike.  Her doctor said that it's OK.  We'd like her to eat meat, but she gets plenty of other protein and vitamins.  But that I need to make sure her multi-vitamin has B12 in it.

*She eats 3 meals a day and one afternoon snack.

*She still drinks (almond) milk in the morning when she wakes up and milk with dinner. She would live on orange juice or lemonade if we let her, but we try to keep those as special treats and encourage water.

*She knows her letters, sounds, colors and shapes pretty well.  She can also count to 13, but still isn't great on number recognition.  Her pedi said those are all things she should know by 3.  The only thing on the list that she is suppose to know by 3 but doesn't yet know is how to count to 20.

*She loves to sing songs.  She has quite the repertoire.  But she will also just bust out into song about whatever she is doing and make up words as she goes!  She loves to dance and twirl to her signing as well.

*She enjoys reading.  She finds her favorites and then wants them read over and over and over again.

*Her absolute favorite thing to do is to play with her Little People.  There is a corner in the living room that is all LP things.  Her all time favorite is the house.  It sits on a shelf right at her standing height.  She will stand there forever and play.  She makes up little stories.  She interchanges her animals and people into the stories.  She also uses the barn and the zoo.  People go down the zoo's slide and everyone gets shoved in the barn's silo.  She plays with these toys EVERY SINGLE DAY.

*She also likes to play with her dolls and stuffed animals.  She pushes them around in her stroller or grocery cart, she feeds and has tea parties with them, and she puts them to bed.  She also cooks for them in her kitchen.

*She goes through phases of which show she chooses to watch.  Her favorites at the moment are Super Why, Word World, Veggie Tales and BOZ (which is the movie/curriculum used at MOPS--we have 2 DVD's).

*She has no interest in dressing or undressing herself.  She also doesn't even give a second thought to the outfit I choose.  (I know some kids are very opinionated at this age.)  I have started trying to give her choices.  She thinks this is great.  Only she just sits there and says, "Do you want this one, or this one?" over and over.  I still have to "help" her choose sometimes. :)

*We have half attempted the potty thing a few times.  She is interested in sitting on the potty.  She likes to read all the potty books.  But she isn't comfortable actually peeing in the potty.  She'll hold it and then has an accident.  So I'm not pushing it yet.

*We need to take her to the dentist. I'm scared! Brushing her teeth is a nightmare.  It takes both of us and even then I can't get to her teeth half the time.  The doctor tried to look in her mouth and Olivia would not cooperate.  The doctor tried everything.  Then she said, "Um, good luck at the dentist!" Awesome!

*We've tried teaching her how to drink out of a cup.  This isn't going well.  She puts her tongue out for some reason.  We just like to joke that she can't be gifted at everything. :)

*She is still rear facing in the car.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Olivia's Birthday

We continued the birthday celebration on Sunday, which was Olivia's actual birthday.

If you know me personally, or have been around here for long enough, then you know that I don't have the best of birthday memories.  So I swore a long time ago that my kid's birthdays would be SPECIAL.  Special doesn't have to be extravagant.  I just wanted to make sure the day was all about her and was fun.

If we were having a party, I probably wouldn't have gone with a character theme.  It's not my thing.  In fact, months and months ago (before we decided to not have a party) I was planning a barnyard theme.  But since it was just for us, I went with a Sesame Street/Elmo theme.  She's not in love or obsessed with it, but she likes it and it was easily available.

We hung up a banner
And hung streamers from her door.
We can't open her door when she sleeps or she would pop right up.  So instead we just put the balloons in front of her door.  When we walked in in the morning we kicked them all in with us.

All her presents were waiting for her.
(Those are from us and from 2 different grandma's)

When she woke up we went in and sang Happy Birthday to her.
She actually had on "special" pajamas too.  She has been in the same size forever, so she is still wearing pajamas that she she wore last fall!  Some of them are light enough weight and we keep it cool at night, so they work. But some are fleece.  So I've just been picking up a pair here and a pair there that can work for summer.  These Elmo pajamas came from Wal-mart.  Once I noticed they had cupcakes on them, I just waited 2 weeks to let her wear them. :)

She ran out and said, "It's a bicycle!!!!"  We aren't sure where she learned that, but she was thrilled with it.  It was actually a $20 buy off of a Facebook buy/sell page. :)

We spent the next half hour opening and playing with gifts.
They most consisted of lots of educational toys, puzzles and games.

For a special treat she got a donut for breakfast.  She ate it on the "You are Special" plate that I made at a mom's night out.

We got her dressed and she got to Skype with her grandma while I got ready.
I bought that skirt a LONG time ago on clearance and she has never worn it.  I had my friend make her a shirt to match it. She also had monogrammed bloomers! So cute! :)

Next up, we headed to Chuck E Cheese.  I was slightly disappointed.  I use to take Little Man all the time and it seems like the one in Ohio had more things for the little ones.  But she still had fun.

We didn't eat there.  Instead we went to Chili's and got her some pasta.  The waiters sang to her and brought her a dessert.  Her face was priceless.  She was both shocked and amused.

We headed home and it was right to nap for our little birthday girl.

Our friends came over shortly after she woke up.  She has one friend that she knows the best and talks about the most, so that is who we invited over.  The girls just played and we all chatted.  Then we had dinner.

Of course, it's not a birthday without cake!
She was enjoying everyone singing to her!

She's still working on blowing out candles, so Boppa had to help her.

After our friends left, we watched Finding Nemo, which they had brought her as a gift.

All in all, I think she had a pretty fun birthday weekend! :)
We can't believe our girl is 2!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Olivia is TWO!

Dear Olivia Grace,

My sweet, sweet girl... how is it that you are already two?!  Your Boppa and I both would like to bottle you up and keep you this age forever.  You are so fun!  We just love everything about you.  You are an amazing little girl and we are SO proud to be your parents.

You are an observer and a thinker.  You have been this way since you were itty bitty.  I can't even begin to count the number of strangers who have commented on this trait.  It amazes me that they can meet you for two minutes and see so deeply into the core of who you are.  But it's true.  You are always taking everything in.  You watch.  You process.  You interpret and read the situations around you like no other toddler I've ever seen.  You are aware of your surroundings and are conscious of your play mates.  While others push by on their mission (normal to toddler hood), you watch, wait, and move only when others are out of the way.

You are cautious by nature.  This probably goes along with being a thinker.  You think of the consequences before taking action.  You act with purpose.  You are sometimes slow in your movements/decisions, but they are almost always thought out.  Every once in a while you surprise us and act on impulse.  However, your risk taking is few and far between.

You have an amazing memory.  We got our first taste of this at 13 months old and it has just exploded this year.  I thought I had a "freak of nature" memory, but yours even shocks me at times.  It allows you to memorize books, songs, and educational things like your letters and sounds at a rapid pace.  You also remember conversations, where items are placed, and who people are.

Not only can you memorize, but you can process and apply things you learn with incredible accuracy.  You are so intelligent and have a love for learning.  We are constantly taken back by the way you can connect information in that little head of yours and then use it appropriately at a later time.

You are a talker.  You tend to be shy when new people are around, but at home you talk our ears off.  You consistently talk in 4 to 8 word sentences.  You started talking early and kept at it with a rapid pace.  Your vocabulary is incredible.  Not only do you have lots to say, but you say it rather clearly.  People are always commenting to us at how clear you speak for your age.

You are funny!  Most people perceive you as being "stoic", and you do have a very serious side.  But at home, or around people where you are comfortable, you are HILARIOUS.  You make us laugh every. single. day.  You know you are funny too, and try to make us laugh.  You even laugh at yourself and say things like, "I'm so funny".  (I have no idea where you got this trait from!)

You are compassionate.  You are concerned about anyone who is sad.  If you hear a baby crying in a store, you always comment on it.  You ask me "What's the matter, Mommy" if you think something looks off.  You even kiss objects in a book if they are "sad".  You want to make sure everyone is OK.

You enjoy order.  While others throw handfuls of bells into the bucket at The Little Gym, you place yours in the bucket one at a time.  While others are throwing balls all over the place, you realize that the hoop has two places for balls to go in the base and you fill the spots immediately.  You notice if a toy is put away on the wrong shelf and fix it.  You aren't a "neat" freak.  Nor are you obsessed with lining items up.  You just know that every item has a place and a purpose and you like them to be used in the proper manner.

You have a go with the flow spirit.  I'm pretty sure you got that from your Boppa. :)  You can adapt and adjust to situations quite easily.  Change or transitioning from one task to the next is no problem for you.  Unless, of course, you know that it is for a diaper change or nap.  Then, you are not so much a fan of my interrupting.

You have a longer than normal attention span.  You can play and entertain yourself for a very long time.  You can also focus on a task for a very long time.  This has also been noticed by others.  In fact, at one play date recently, a mom said, "Bethany, I want your toddler.  She has just stood  there and played for the last twenty minutes.  She's so focused and we haven't heard a peep out of her."  It's true.  I say it all the time, but as far as toddlers come, you are the EASIEST child I have ever encountered.  We are blessed!

You have changed our lives!  We are so thankful that God has entrusted us to be your parents.  You challenge us to be better people.  You keep us young.  You make us proud.  You are an amazing little person and we are overwhelmingly blessed to be your parents!!  We love you Olivia Grace.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Perot Museum

We decided a few months back that we weren't going to have a birthday party for Olivia.  We'd have to rent a space, and then by the time we paid for food and decorations and all the other things we would need... it would add up quick.  She's only turning 2 and we don't have any family here.  She doesn't know any different at this point.  We decided that we'd take the money we would spend on a party and hopefully take her to Sea World in the fall (when it's not so blazing hot out!).  So instead of having a party, we are just having a "fun" birthday weekend.

We decided to spend today at the new Perot Science Museum.  It's the last day Olivia can get in for free! :)
We walked in and Olivia said right away, "Look at the big dinosaur!"

We arrived a little after 10:30, but quickly found out that they only sell so many tickets at a time.  So we had to purchase tickets to enter at 12:30.  Not ideal.  But we adapted.  We watched some dancers in the lobby, checked out the gift shop, watched a movie they were showing, ate lunch and then they let us in a little early.

We headed straight to the kids section.
She headed right to the water table! :)

Next up, she had fun playing with this very simple flower exhibit.

They had a cute farmer's market set up.

Then there was a truck you could climb up and put the food down the chute.
She did this until others started waiting and then we had to give others a turn.

 There was also a little camping section.  There was a tent, lots of little puppet type animals and a log to crawl through.

Peeking through the top of the log at Mommy and Boppa.

There was a little mini-Dallas skyline that doubled as a playscape.

We left the kids section and visited the rest of the museum.  Since it was our first time, we wanted check out all that was available.  Olivia loved the dinosaur exhibit and the areas that showcased animals.  But for the most part there wasn't much for her to do.

So after a bit we headed back to the kids section and let her stay at each station for as long as she wanted.  Again, she chose to go to the water section first.
She also played with the flowers again for a long time and climbed up and down bridges and obstacles.

We left around 3, which means she missed nap.  This is only the second time this has happened.  She does pretty good though.  Like with everything, she just rolls with the punches.

We made a few stops on the way home (her and Boppa stayed in the car), so she did eventually fall asleep for a short nap in the car.

Another way we celebrated birthday weekend was by taking a crazy bath!
I saw a similar idea on pinterest and logged it away until it was her birthday.
Michael's has tubes of 12 bracelet glow sticks for a $1.  We bought 5 tubes and then also one large star glow wand from the Target dollar section.  I filled the tub with water and then added all 60 glow sticks.  (I decided not to turn them into bracelets, but just left them as the wands.

She took a bath in the dark.  She had more fun handing them to us one by one.
She played with the glow sticks for a while after bath too.
I don't think she quite gets that it's her birthday weekend yet.  She has been going around saying "I'm going to be TWO!" for a few weeks now.  But I'm not sure she's relating museum and glow in the dark tub with her birthday.  Tomorrow should be fun! :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Water Fun!

Despite the fact that we are under an "Stage 3 water restriction" we have been having some fun in the water already this summer.

About a month ago we were out shopping at a local outdoor type mall.  Olivia had been doing really good, but we hate to keep her in the stroller too much.  Unfortunately, when she's not in the stroller she likes to run.  So after sitting for about an hour or two of shopping we thought we should let her run.  On a whim we changed her out of her nice dress and into her "extra" cloths from the diaper bag. Then we let her run through the mall's fountains.
She got a surprise hit to the face with some jumping water within minutes of being out there.  It didn't phase her too much, but her hair and shirt were instantly soaked.

She loved it.  She just fluttered from one water spout to the next.

We were there on a Saturday evening around dinner time, so it was pretty crowded.  But it was the perfect way for her to move around and explore after sitting in the stroller for a bit.

Then a few weeks ago we met our friends at a local splash pad.  Some of the area ones are going to be shut down all summer because of the water restrictions.  That stinks.  Luckily, the one we went to isn't that "great" and well known, so we were the only ones there.  Our almost-two-year-olds didn't know the difference. Water is water!
I don't have any pictures with her friend, because she didn't stay in the water too much.  She was more interested in picking up sticks and garbage and running in the mud. :)

There was a really nice playground there, so after we played in the water we pushed the girls in the swings for a bit.

We finally made it to our pool last week.
We went in the evening after dinner and it was perfect.  It was certainly hot enough outside, but it wasn't crowded at all.  There were just a few other people there and they were in the other pool section, so it was nice.  I hope to take Olivia during the mornings too, but it was a fun family evening activity as well.  She still fits in her floaty device from last year, and she did enjoy using it.  Although, I'm sure she's close to the weight limit.  We just ordered her some puddle jumpers, so I'm hoping those will be fun and helpful for her.  She seems to enjoy the water.  (Which is good, since she screamed her way through swimming lessons until we gave up.  It may be time to start them back up again!)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day

Father's Day also happened to be our sixth anniversary.  We did exchange gifts, but mostly we kept it to Michael's day.  I asked him what he wanted to do and he chose to go to Ghatti Town.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it's sort of like a mix between Chuck E Cheese and Dave and Busters but also has elements of it's own.  You have to pay for a buffet to get in.  Then you can eat your lunch while watching a kids movie in the "theater".  After that, it's all fun and games.

Some of the things were still too big for Olivia, but she still had a great time!
The first thing they did was ride a pirate ship ride--you know the kind that swings back and forth.
I wish I would have gotten a picture of her face when it started moving.  It was priceless!

Next up was a ride on a motorcycle.  Their identical faces make me smile.

She really liked this bowling game.  She would throw the ball and then Michael would give it a little help.  She got so excited!  She played this twice the first time and then later we came back to it and she played it again before leaving.

A little blurry from whacking so fast, but they are enjoying hitting the shark heads.

You can pay a one time fee and then go through a blow up obstacle course/giant slide as many times as you want.  Michael ended up taking Olivia through 3 times in a row before other kids wanted a turn.

It was back for another ride on the pirate's ship.
Love her face! They have a carousel too, but it was out of order.

We played a few more games and then it was time to head home for nap.  Most of the games are meant for older kids, so I was worried she wouldn't have anything to do. Overall, she enjoyed and there were plenty of things to keep her busy.  We had already planned on taking her to Chuck E Cheese for her birthday, and now we know she'll LOVE it.