Wednesday, February 25, 2009

oooh-la-la

I can't believe that it has been two weeks since my last post! Things have been hectic as of late. Well part hectic and part laziness. We are in that slow part of the winter where things just seem to drag on and Spring, although just a few months away, still seems so far off. We have been dealing with some family issues as well. Todd was recently laid off from his job which was totally unexpected. It has caused us to change gears and tighten the budget for the time being. Todd has been busy sharpening his resume and scheduling interviews. Luckily he is the one with the positive outlook on the situation. I tend to be a bit of a Debbie Downer, thinking primarily negative thoughts about the current state of things. He sees it as a reason to find a better, more rewarding job. I think that together we balance each other out and we are dealing with the situation as realistically as we can. The obvious bright spot in all of this is Miss Olivia. She is capable of changing your bad mood with one simple smile. Or in this case, one silly dance. Oh, what would we do without her?

Things are going very well for Olivia. She is loving school tremendously. We just had a parent/teacher conference with Olivia's teacher this week. It sounds as if Olivia is doing quite well in her development. She is progressing in all areas and her social skills are improving by leaps and bounds. She wakes up each morning with a smile on her face asking, "Where are we going today?" It makes me very happy that she is enjoying school and learning new skills. I hope that her love for learning only gets stronger as she gets older.

She enjoyed Valentine's Day too. We celebrated the day by making heart-shaped pancakes for brunch and surprising her with some jelly beans (currently her favorite treat). She wore her "love" shirt to school many times leading up to the holiday. I am not quite sure why the shirt is tucked into her pants here, which are pulled up above her belly button. She does strange things at times. Regardless she looks cute! Oh, and the hair! Olivia's hair! I am not quite sure how to explain her hair at this stage, except to say it is a mop top. We are trying to grow it longer and it is in that stage where it is hard to manage. It looks quite nice in the morning when we comb it and accessorize with a barrette, but by the end of the day she is left with a afro of curls that can only be explained as, out of control! Again...still cute!

The biggest news in Olivia's life right now is the transformation of her bedroom. As I have explained we are in the process of turning Olivia's bedroom into more of a "big girl" room. She has new furniture (well, my furniture from my old room as a kid), and a pretty pink color on her walls. The next step in the transformation was to have my pseudo-sister, Korrie, begin the murals that would decorate Olivia's grown-up room. Well a few weeks ago Korrie came over on a Sunday and spent the entire day making Olivia's room feel like a day in the park in Paris! Her pink walls are now decorated with a larger than life version of the Eiffel Tower and tons of beautiful flowers.

Korrie still has more that she wants to do in Livie's room. I am sure whatever she comes up with next will be as amazing as the work she has already done. I thought that nothing could top the beautiful designs she painted in Olivia's nursery at our first house. This is by far cooler than I could have ever imagined. It makes me smile knowing that Olivia has a bedroom that allows her to escape to another place anytime she wishes. I now that she will enjoy many, many years in that room. Thank you, Korrie for putting so much time and effort into this project, and you aren't even done yet! I think it is safe to say that Olivia LOVES her newly designed, "big girl" room!

So that more or less sums up what has been going on with us over the past few weeks. I hope to try and do better about posting and not let so much time go by before I share again. Olivia continues to be a very busy girl who is growing more and more each day. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. She is so special and we are so impressed by how much she knows at such a young age. She lifts our spirits every day and makes us smile through the good and difficult times. Now if I could just keep her at this age forever!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

where are you spring?

Oh, how ready for Spring we are! Enough of this cold, windy weather. All I am asking for is light jacket weather so we can start spending more time outdoors. We got a little taste of that this week with temps reaching near 60, but I think winter is going to be sticking around for a little while longer. It has been hard finding things to keep Olivia occupied since we are stuck indoors most of the time. But with all of the snow we have gotten this season we have had a few fun outdoor adventures. Spending about 15 minutes getting her all bundled up exerts more energy than what we do once we get outside. She has realized that she enjoys shoveling. She saw Todd and I shoveling after our first snow storm and decided that she wanted to join in. We eventually went out and got her a snow shovel that was her size and she loves using it. I wonder if her enthusiasm for shoveling will stick around as she gets older. My guess is...no.

She also likes to ride in her sled. We have a nice size hill in our backyard which is great for sledding. After toppling over a few times she got over her fear and requested that we run down the hill so many times I thought my legs were going to fall off. Some of the snow was great for packing and making snowballs. Olivia was super excited about this and insisted that Todd keep making them so she could collect as many as possible. Our adventures in the snow would always end with hot chocolate...the perfect way to warm up!

We found another activity to occupy a cold winter day recently. We took Olivia to It's Playtime inside of Mitchell Books (a cute local bookstore in town). "It's Playtime" is an indoor play area for kids with all sorts of toys and equipment. It is a great way to kill a few hours and allow the kids to burn off some energy. After getting over her initial fear she enjoyed going down the slides and was proud to say that she did it all by herself by the end of our time there. She really enjoyed herself but I wish they had a little more equipment and not so many toys. We have enough of that stuff at home. Olivia loves going to the playground so much and we thought this would be the closest we could get in the winter. I try to let Olivia enjoy herself and not think about all of the crazy germs floating around a place like that. You can bet I wiped her down once we left. Yes, I am a bit of a germaphobe when it comes to my girl.

In other news...Olivia has been potty trained for over three weeks now. Diapers already feel like a distant memory. For a few nights she was even waking up and calling for me to come get her so she could use the potty. I thought briefly that maybe she was night-training herself. That phase was short lived and for now we are sticking to being day-trained only. Hey, no complaints here! What blows my mind the most about Olivia's newest development is that I am now folding little girl underwear as part of our laundry. It makes me realize just how quickly she is growing up! And believe me, she knows just how quickly she growing up too. She insists on doing most things on her own, telling us loud and clear, "I do it by myself". It can be difficult considering there are some things that she simply cannot do by herself quite yet. We do try and let her do as much as she is capable of doing which has helped her independence tremendously.

She is especially proud of the fact that she can finally tell us her how old she is using her fingers. For the longest time she has tried to hold up her two fingers (like a peace sign) to inform others that she is two, but she did not have the coordination to show anything other than all five fingers. As many of you know Olivia takes a tap class and at the beginning of the dance they are learning they follow the words of the song and show their two fingers. So by practicing at dance class and with Todd and I showing her how to do it, she finally mastered it. Now she shows us all of the time that she is "two". The smallest things make her so proud.

Finally, we are in the process of changing Olivia's bedroom into more of a "big girl" room. This has involved moving out her nursery furniture and replacing it with the white wicker furniture I had in my room as I was growing up. We painted Olivia's bedroom at our new house a very pale pink and the white furniture looks so cute in the room. The next step is to have our good friend Korrie, Olivia's Godmother, come over and paint some murals on the walls. Korrie did Olivia's nursery in our last house and it was amazing. I begged her to design Olivia's new room once we moved and she kindly obliged. She is crazy talented and I cannot wait to see what she does with Livie's room this time around. I have no doubt it will be amazing, once again! Check back, as I will be sure to post some pictures of the finished product. Until then, keep hoping that Spring arrives soon!