Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easter, etc.

Holidays are so much fun with Olivia right now. She is at the age where she is starting to get it. She understood Santa at Christmas and the fact that he comes down the chimney to leave presents. She knew that hearts were a part of Valentine's Day and she quickly learned that Easter egg hunts were a major part of Easter. We practiced hunting for eggs in the weeks leading up to the holiday. It quickly became one of her favorite things to do. Needless to say that when Easter finally arrived she was a seasoned pro at finding eggs.

Easter weekend was a lot of fun. My Grandma Cleo and Uncle John came down from Michigan to spend a few days with us. Olivia loves them both so much and spends the entire time trying to show them all of her talents and tricks. Olivia also attended a birthday party for her cousin Brendan. This was no regular birthday party. It was held at Gymnastics in Motion!

Although most of the kids at the party were 8 and older, Olivia was still allowed to participate and test out all of the fun gymnastics equipment. She immediately eyed a pit full of soft, foam blocks. She spent most of her time throwing herself into this pit, squealing with delight each time.

She was a bit small to do some of the activities but the instructors did help her try out the rings and the uneven bars. She was a little unsure about the rings, but took a liking to the bars. I was very impressed with the amount of upper body strength she seemed to have. She was able to pull her legs up while holding on all by herself. There was also a trampoline and a huge spring floor that the kids could play on. She mainly ran around like a crazy girl, going from one activity to the next. One thing is for sure...she had a blast.

Next it was time for presents and cake. I am so impressed with the way Olivia handles herself at birthday parties. You would think it would be impossible for a two year old to sit still and watch someone else open presents, or wait for everyone to get cake before being able to dig in yourself, but she does great. She watched with enthusiasm as Brendan tore through his gifts. In fact I think she was as excited as he was and they weren't even her gifts. And as far as cake goes, I think that Olivia would wait forever if it meant she would eventually be able to enjoy a piece of cake.

Before the party was over the kids got to participate in an Easter egg hunt. This would be the first of three egg hunts Olivia would do during the weekend. The birthday party was beyond fun. That was evident in constant smile Olivia had on her face. Having it at Gymnastics in Motion was a great idea. I will have to put that one in my back pocket for the future.

That night we headed to my Mom's for some dinner and for Olivia's second Easter egg hunt. Here she is in action...

Easter Sunday turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny day. The weather tends to be iffy this time of year, so we were thrilled to see the sun shining. Olivia got all dolled up in her adorable little Easter dress and we headed off to church. Just look at her in this dress...what a doll.

She had a beautiful pink coat to go over her dress, which made her look entirely too grown up! We asked her to model for us so we could take a few pictures. Here are some of her poses...

Every Easter we have dinner at the home of our close family friends. They are kind enough to include us and include Olivia in the festivities. The first order of business...another Easter egg hunt in their huge backyard. Olivia was searching for the purple eggs and she needed very little help to locate them.

Her favorite part of the egg hunt? Finding out what is in the eggs. Well this year she was thrilled to find cold hard cash. After opening all of her eggs she walked away $6 richer. Not bad for a two year old! She also entertained us with her beautiful piano playing. She just can't resist...every time she sees a piano she get super excited.

After a very long day we headed home and took a nice relaxing walk outdoors with my family. It was much needed, considering the amount of food we consumed at dinner. I had to struggle with Olivia to get her to change out of her Easter dress into something more suitable for a walk outdoors. I never thought I would be arguing with my daughter about taking off a dress. I always thought that I would have to fight with Olivia to get her to willingly wear a dress. I guess I was wrong! She did end up taking it off, but only after I promised that she could wear it again soon.

We ended the day by giving Olivia her Easter basket from us. After the craziness of the day, and the fact that she had already received three other Easter baskets, I almost forgot that we had one for her. I am not a huge fan of giving candy so we opted for little toys instead. When I asked her what she wanted in her Easter basket this year she, "Just M&M's Mommy!". So I did break down and buy her two little eggs filled with M&M's...what Olivia calls her "favorite special treat". Nothing wrong with a little chocolate once in awhile, right?

It was a great weekend. We were able to celebrate the holiday with friends and family, attend a really fun birthday party and enjoy some great weather! Now that it is starting to warm up we have been spending more time outdoors. We took our first trip to the zoo last weekend. It was opening day and Olivia's school was having a picnic. We were brave and decided to walk around the zoo for a bit. Olivia was brave and decided she was ready to ride a horse. Words cannot explain just how much she enjoyed that! Of course the memory on my camera was full so I was not able to take any pictures. But since we have a zoo pass (thank you, Aunt Sue Sue), we will be going back countless times, I'm sure. I will wrap up this post with a few more pictures from our Easter weekend. I think it is safe to say, Spring has Sprung!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

we've got spirit...yes we do!

Olivia has been a busy bee the past few weeks. Last week gave us a bit of a break from all normal activities since it was Spring Break. She did not have school, tap class or swimming class. She spent most of her days at Mama Kay's house (her babysitter) and got to spend one special day with Daddy. They went out to breakfast, the library, the mall (to ride the carousel) and finished with some play time at an indoor playground. She had a great time on her "special day" and has been talking about it ever since.

The week before Spring Break was "spirit week" at school. Since Olivia only attends school three mornings a week she did not get to participate in all of the days, but she did get to participate in "crazy hair day", "pajama day" and "hat day". Crazy hair day was not a stretch for us at all. As you have seen in my past posts, Olivia's hair is out of control lately. I knew that all we would have to do is just wake up and go that morning. I did spend a few minutes teasing it even more so that her frizzy afro would be especially crazy that day. She thought it was hilarious and she spent the day walking around telling people, "I have CRAZY hair!". Problem was she more or less looked the same as she does every day!

Pajama day was fun too. She did not understand why she was wearing her jammies to school but she did not mind. She loves these Elmo jammies and was super excited to show them off to her friends. Look how cute she is in her jammies and piggies!

Hat day finished off the week. Olivia is not a huge fan of hats. She will wear them, but not for long periods of time. I had no problem getting her Elmo hat on her in the morning, especially since she knew she would be able to show it off to all of her friends at school.

We also recently attended our Goddaughter's 4th birthday party at Science Central. Emily is Todd's best friend, Jason's daughter. Even though Emily is 4 years old Olivia is still totally enthralled with her. So when we told her we were going to Emily's birthday party and that the party was going to be at a really fun place she had never been before, she was pretty stoked!

She was by far the youngest child at the party, but that did not matter. Olivia enjoyed every second of being around those kids. They had some time to run around before the party started and that gave Olivia some time to explore with us. Most of the exhibits at Science Central are too complex for her to understand at this age, but she sure had fun pushing all of the buttons and checking things out.

Once it was time for the party to officially start they took us to a private room where the kids could make some artwork with bubbles and enjoy some cupcakes and homemade ice cream (YUM!). Olivia was happy just chasing after the older kids and doing whatever they were doing.

The parents took a moment to get all the kids together for a picture. These pictures crack me up because it shows just how silly kids are at this age. Olivia looks like a deer in headlights in most of these pictures. Don't ask why she has her hands down her pants in the last picture...I have no idea! I do know that it is not very ladylike and I made sure to let her know!

After cupcakes, ice cream, artwork and presents the kids were free to explore the museum. We immediately took Olivia to the toddler area because we knew she would enjoy it the most. She loved the water table. Things were going great until she attempted to climb onto the table. She proceeded to get one pant leg completely drenched, which resulted in her demanding to be changed right away. Thank goodness I brought along an extra pair of pants!

She was also pretty excited about the twisting slide. The fact that she could go down the slide all by herself made her pretty proud. It took some coaxing on my part, but once I convinced her to do it she could not get enough. Finally it was time for us to go. Nap time was quickly approaching and I knew that she would only have so much steam left before she crashed, resulting in a gigantic meltdown. She had a wonderful time at the party and has been talking about it ever since. No time to rest as we have another birthday party today. Olivia's cousin Brendan is turning 8 and his party is going to be at Gymnastics in Motion! Olivia loves nothing more than a birthday party. And when the party is held at a fun place it makes it even more exciting for her.

Olivia's spirit continues to shine through everything she does. Each experience she has seems to be the best thing she has ever done. She even attended the dentist this past Monday and left saying, "Mommy, that was fabulous!". What 2 year old goes to the dentist and leaves saying that it was fabulous? I was just proud of her for not crying for the first time. She actually let the dentist look in her mouth without freaking out. I think that knowing she was going to be getting a new toothbrush was her main incentive. All of her baby teeth are in, for the most part. The fused tooth she has on the bottom is just fine and now we just have to wait for it to fall out around the age of 5. At that time we will know what we are dealing with regarding the permanent tooth. Hopefully they will all come in just fine.

Hope everyone was a wonderful and blessed Easter. I know Olivia is looking forward to a visit from the Easter Bunny. She has requested one thing only...M&Ms. We have family visiting and each year we attend Easter dinner at the home of our close family friends. Between family, Easter egg hunts and M&Ms I know Olivia will have a wonderful time.