Sunday, August 31, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Now Olivia is not alone at Mama Kay's house. There are four other children keeping her busy. Olivia's closest pal is Jordan, who is only four months younger than her. Jordan has an older brother Justin, who is five. There is an 8 month old little boy, Bryce and his older sister Madison, who is 5 as well. So Mama Kay definitely has her hands full, but the older kids help with the younger ones and she seems to manage just fine. Over the summer I had Kay's granddaughter take some pictures of Olivia during the day so that I could see "a day in the life of Olivia".As you can imagine her days are full of playing, playing and playing some more. After breakfast each day starts with time outdoors. Kay has a wonderful backyard full of exciting things for the kids. She also has more toys, books and kid equipment than you could imagine. You need a lot of stuff to keep kids occupied for an entire day! A little imagination doesn't hurt either!
After a nice long afternoon nap there is usually an hour or so before I pick Olivia up. Just enough time to tackle a few more toys. What's a day without coloring?...one of Olivia's favorite activities right now. She has created many pieces of wonderful artwork for us to enjoy. It is even more fun for her now that she is learning her colors. She likes to announce what color she is using before she starts to draw.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Olivia is thrilled with any activity that involves water so we had a feeling she would enjoy this too. After a nice long afternoon nap and a good hearty lunch we headed downtown. It was late afternoon so we were hoping that the fountains would not be very busy. It is a very popular place for children in the summer because it is public and a great place to cool off! We were excited when we arrived and saw that there was only one other family there. At first Olivia was very hesitant to approach the shooting waters. I lead by example and got right in myself! Hey, having a little one is a great excuse for acting like a kid again! After showing her that there was no reason to be scared she started making her way a little closer.
There is nothing better than watching your child enjoy something to it's fullest. It really was a delightful afternoon! Why didn't I think of this earlier in the summer? As you can imagine all of that running around made Olivia quite tired and hungry, so we had to stop for a quick snack before finishing up our water play. Have I ever mentioned before how much this child LOVES bananas? When she was first starting to talk she called them "badas" and within the past couple of months she started saying "bananas". It is one of her favorite words to say and probably her favorite fruit to eat!
But on most hot days you can find us running through this sprinkler in the backyard. This has been Olivia's favorite thing to do this summer. No matter how many times we do this activity she still cannot contain her excitement! The perfect afternoon for Olivia is a little sprinkler action followed up by a refreshing popsicle. Life can't get much better than that!
One week from today Olivia starts Montessori school! Today we went to meet Olivia's teacher and let Olivia take a look around her classroom. After spending a few short minutes in the room I have no doubt that she is going to LOVE going to school! Is my baby really heading off to school next week? How is this possible!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Although Olivia has been giving us some resistance lately she has also been cuter than ever lately! Her vocabulary continues to grow. She now says many short sentences. They usually contain two-three words but I can clearly understand what she is trying to say. What is amazing to me is how she figures out what words go with one another. The other day we were riding in the car and I started sneezing. As soon as I finished I heard a little voice from the backseat say, "bless you, mommy". How sweet is that? Not only is she super smart to have caught on to what you say after someone sneezes, but she is also very polite! The best thing about having such a big talker is that she can always tell me what she needs and wants. It can also be a bit annoying at times too...especially when she is begging for something she is not allowed to have. I am sure I will be at the receiving end of some back talking before long too!
We have been having some really nice weather this summer. And what better way to enjoy that weather than to spend a ton of time in Uncle VJ's pool! We bought Olivia a spiffy swim vest and we love it! It is comfortable for her and it is an excellent safety device. It has allowed her to become much more independent and comfortable in the water, which has given her much more confidence in the pool. She loves nothing more than to jump off the side, into my arms and swim to the other side of the pool. Her newest trick is to float. She says "foat" and dips her head back while I hold onto her. She only stays there for a split second, but will do it over and over. I am proud of how far she has come since we started swimming lessons in the spring and I think she is proud of herself too! We have had a great time swimming and hope to squeeze in a little more before the summer is over.
And lastly I must tell everyone that Olivia went to her very first tap class this week! Be still my heart! I have never seen anything so cute in my life! It is a pre-dance class held at the dance studio which was my second home while I was a kid...Northeast School of Dance. Every since I had my baby girl I have been itching to get a pair of tap shoes on her little feet. She is a bit young to take a class but we thought we would give it a try. If she likes it...great! If not, then we will stop and try again next year. Well after a little hesitation at first she warmed right up and had a great time! I hope to take some pictures one of these weeks, but I want her to get comfortable in the class first before I freak her out by taking pictures. I hope she continues to enjoy the class. It is a great activity for our little bundle of energy and it makes me proud to see those little toes a tappin'.
So our little girl has been changing, big time! I love watching her change! Yes, some of the changes have been challenging, but no one ever said that parenting was going to be easy. Plus, I think dealing with the challenges only makes the sweet moments more rewarding!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
First we stopped for some lunch. Monterey is known for their clam chowder. Just about every restaurant in the area features theirs as "The Best Clam Chowder". I think they all taste about the same but we knew we had to have some. So we stopped at a cute little restaurant before heading to the aquarium. It is such a beautiful area!
The aquarium was unbelievable! There were so many unique and fascinating fish there. Olivia just wanted to run wild but it was quite crowded so we tried to keep her in her stroller as much as possible. There were many different petting stations were you could touch different things like starfish and sea urchins. She enjoyed that. One of Olivia's favorite things was the wave wall. Every 15 seconds or so a huge wave of water would rush over this glass wall. When you are standing underneath the glass you feel as if a huge wave was crashing over your head. Each time the water would come Olivia would scream with delight. It was pretty cool!
I think our favorite exhibit was the jellyfish. I have never seen anything like it. I had no idea there were so many different types of jellyfish...from teeny-tiny ones to big huge ones! Some of the glow in the dark, others have what look like little lights that move up and down their tentacles. It is indescribable. I am glad we were able to see the jellyfish on our visit because the exhibit will soon be leaving the aquarium for good.
I think Olivia would have enjoyed herself even more if she were just one year older. There were splash stations for toddlers but the activities were just a little too grown up for her. Regardless, it was a very fun day and one of the highlights of our trip. The following day brought gorgeous weather so we decided to make it a beach day! I wanted Olivia to have one day where she could go to the beach, play in the sand and not worry one bit about getting messy. She was in heaven! Pouring sand in her lap, filling her bucket and dumping it out...she was more than entertained!
Once we returned to the beach we decided to feed the sea gulls. Olivia was very excited about this activity and was not scared at all once those birds started getting close to us. She was however unhappy once we ran out of snacks for the birds. It was fun while it lasted!I was surprised by how long we stayed at the beach. I thought Olivia would tire of it quickly, but no way...she was content to just sit in the sand. It was fun watching her play and enjoy something new for the first time. I think we could all get used to living near the beach! We took so many fun family pictures at the beach that I just have to share them.
That evening we had one last family dinner before we had to head to the airport. Although we did lots of fun things during our trip, Olivia's favorite part of each day were the evenings spent at my aunt's house. She just loved being around everyone while playing and showing off. From wrestling with Uncle Ron, to swinging on the balcony, to just relaxing at the end of the day and watching a little bit of Elmo...Olivia always has and always will be most comfortable when she is home with family.
My aunt has a beautiful grand piano and Olivia became obsessed with it. She loved nothing more than playing the piano whether it was with others or by herself. You must watch the video of "Olivia the Pianist". While watching the video listen for her rendition of the "Elmo's World" theme song, and her version of "Head, Shoulder, Knees & Toes" with some actions to go along with her words...very funny!
And I must not forget Rusty, my aunt's very sweet little dog...Olivia's best friend while visiting. She spent most of the week telling Rusty what to do and walking around asking, "Rusty...where are you?". After seeing how much Olivia loved playing with Rusty it made me realize that one day we will have to get this child a dog!
Olivia had such fun getting to know her Aunt Sue Sue, Uncle Ron and Cousin Justin better. We were sad our time in California had to come to an end. It was an amazing trip and we look forward to going back next year...expect next year we will have to pay for a ticket for Miss Olivia! Oh well...it will be worth it! Thanks to Sue, Ron and Justin for being such great hosts and for putting up with us for a whole week! We had a great vacation!