Thursday, May 07, 2009

work hard, play hard

I am so happy to say that Spring is here! We have been enjoying the change in temperature and spending as much time outside as possible. This is the first Spring we have had since moving into our new house. We moved in last October so we never really had a chance to do any work on the outside of the house. Once we started working outdoors we realized just how much needs to be done. So we decided to tackle one project at a time. First up...our deck. What a chore that turned out to be! After one full day of power washing by Todd and an entire weekend of staining it was finally completed. I only wish I had thought to take a before picture. Since I didn't all I can show you is the finished product. Believe me when I say that it looks one million times better. It is so nice to have a nice place to relax now. I cannot even tell you how nice it is to sit on the patio and look out at our pond...such a great view! One project down, now onto the next one.

Our entire yard needs to be landscaped. We are taking it one step at a time and have realized that it is probably going to take us a few years before things are the way we want them. The one thing we did want to do right away was lay out the plans for the garden Olivia wanted to grow. Ever since we mentioned the idea of growing vegetables to Olivia she has been on board. I think she was a little confused on the purpose of a garden at first because when we asked her what she would like to grow she told us, "bumble bees!". We explained how a garden works and she decided which vegetables she would like to grow. So after laying out the plans, buying the supplies and getting some instruction from my Mom we got started. I have never grown a garden before and I don't have much of a green thumb.

It was a beautiful day last Saturday so we all headed into the backyard to plant our seeds and starter plants. The only problem? Olivia seems to have developed a severe fear of all yard machinery. She is terrified of the following...lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, edgers and anything else that makes a loud, motorized sound. Not sure why this developed but if it continues it could make for a very long summer. Each time we are outside and she hears a loud noise she immediately decides that she wants to go in. We are working to teach her that she has nothing to be scared of, but it does not seem to be sinking in quite yet. Todd and I planted everything she sat in my Mom's lap with her head buried in Nana's chest. She did manage to put her fears aside for a few seconds to throw a few seeds in the ground. After awhile it got to be too much so she and Nana headed indoors while Todd and I finished up.

After everyone in the neighborhood seemed to be done with their yard work for the day Olivia decided that she would come outside to see her garden. She is super excited and seems to understand that in order for her vegetables to grow she must water them. The one thing she does not understand is how long it is going to take before we will be able to eat anything. I think she asks me every day if it is time to eat our vegetables. I can't wait until later in the summer when we will all able to enjoy the fresh veggies we have planted. Now hopefully she will get used to the everyday outdoor sounds. I have a feeling it may take awhile. As a child, and even to this day loud noises bother me. I think I just have very sensitive ears. So I cannot blame her for being scared. She obviously inherited that trait from me...bummer! And yes, as you can see from the pictures below her hair is still crazier than ever! As the weather gets warmer the curls just get bigger and bigger. There is no stopping the incredible force that is Olivia's Hair!

Even with all of our hard work outdoors we have still found time to play. We have been to the zoo twice already and plan on making many more trips. Olivia can hardly contain her excitement when we announce that we are headed to the zoo. She talks about all of the animals that she wants to see, but the second she gets there she cares about nothing other than riding the carousel. Monkeys...seen 'em, tiger...great, carousel...yipppeeeee! I am hoping that she will start to develop a little more of an interest in the animals. I think we may have to avoid the carousel next time around. She did get to pet a very fluffy rabbit on our last visit and she proceed to tell the zookeeper, "conejo". In case you are wondering, that is the Spanish word for rabbit. She tends to blurt out the Spanish names of words when she knows them. It kills me! She has been learning quite a bit of Spanish at school and we have a couple of Spanish books that we read at home. I think she has about 25 words that she knows in Spanish. I am so proud of how well she is learning the language. It just goes to show how much their little brains can absorb!

We have also been taking many trips to the various ponds in our neighborhood to feed the fish, ducks and geese. Olivia loves nothing more than throwing bread or cheerios to the fish. The ducks and geese aren't too interested but she sure tries hard to entice them to come over. All of the ducks and geese have recently had their babies so we have lots of families hanging around. There is nothing cuter than little duck sweet! Olivia loves seeing them and usually reacts by saying, "Awwwww...they are sooooo cute!".

So the nice weather has been keeping us busy. We have been working very hard on our house but we always find time to play hard too. It should be a fun summer. If only people did not have to do yard work. In a few short weeks Olivia will be done with her first year of school (mind blowing!). In one month Olivia will perform in her very first dance recital. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for that! She is growing more and more into a big girl. I am watching as she learns to express her emotions to us. She can tell us when she is unhappy, sick or excited about something. She still has more energy than any one I know, but she sure knows how to enjoy life. She also knows how to throw quite a fit when she is frustrated or unhappy about something. There has been a lot of whining lately, which drives me crazy! I usually ask her to not whine and talk in her normal voice. That is the only way I will listen to what she is trying to say. When she is upset about something she usually does this fake cry thing to show her displeasure. I ask her to please not cry and she responds by saying, "I like to cry!". What do you say to that? I think what it comes down to is that it is hard to reason with an upset 2 year old. We usually just let her blow off steam until she announces to us, "I am happy now!". Kids...what strange creatures. It's a good thing they are so darn cute!


Anonymous said...

Ah! The many moods of Olivia... I love them all, but can understand how she can wear people out. She sure has a mind of her own!

Tiffany Leininger said...

I am glad someone else is experiencing the annoying toddler attitude/whining. I thought it might only be me that was ready to pull my hair out. Haha! It sounds like you are having a nice time enjoying the weather. I know we are loving the warmer temps. Your garden is a great idea! I think that would be fun to do with Elise, but the only vegetable she knows is french fry. :)

Anonymous said...

I just love Olivia's wild hair, it makes me smile each time I see it...I know she will have a very fun summer, she sure loves the outdoors...I am so happy she loves the zoo...that makes me smile too
Love Aunt Sue Sue