Thursday, March 17, 2011

Change is in the Air...Part 4

Wow.  I can't believe the eventful week we've had since Monday!  I'm kind of hoping for a rather low-key weekend after all the changes that have transpired in such a short amount of time. 

You see this little cutie pie...

She learned how to spit this week.  After weeks of Zach fake spitting close to her (I know, I know...we've been telling Zach to stop, but he insists that Olivia loves it...and it is difficult to argue with him when Olivia is laughing like crazy!) she just began spitting herself during dinner last night!  She was mighty proud of herself. 

On Monday she also successfully mastered the art of rolling from her tummy to her back.  So, there has been a lot of rolling around lately!  The kids are pretty proud of Olivia's beginning stage of mobility. 

And, that pretty much completes the changes we've gone through this week!  I guess life is never dull with these three around...

Change is in the Air...Part3

At the beginning of this week Allie had a mouth full of baby teeth.  This morning she woke up crying because her tooth was "GOING TO FALL OUT!"  (woops...I guess we didn't quite prepare her adequately enough for this childhood right of passage). 

After wiggling her tooth all day long, complaining about how annoying her loose tooth was, fretting about whether or not it would ever fall out, and worrying that it wouldn't fall out in enough time for the tooth fairy to make it (because fairies have really small wings and it takes them a long time to fly), I finally asked her if she needed help pulling it out.  She told me she wanted me to yank it out.  So, I did.  After two pulls, Allie was missing her first tooth. 

Allie has declared that she doesn't really want money from the tooth fairy and is hoping she instead brings chocolate coins.  Thankfully, the grocery store sells chocolate coins, so Grandma made a quick trip tonight during bath time to gather the loot.  I also informed her that the tooth fairy only comes if you sleep all the way through the night. 

Ben commented to me tonight that he can't believe we're old enough to have a kid that is losing her teeth already!  I feel like it really wasn't that long ago that we were eagerly anticipating her losing that gummy baby grin and cutting her first tooth.  It is truly amazing how fast the past 5 years have flown by!   

Change is in the Air...Part 2

At the beginning of this week Zach had two working arms.  By Monday night, I was sitting in Urgent Care with my boy who no longer had use of his left arm.  At first I thought he dislocated his elbow after a minor trip-and-fall in my parents' living room while playing, but after an hour and a half wait and a five minute doctor's visit, I was told he was absolutely fine (and led to believe that my son was "faking it").  Seeing as I was exhausted, hungry, and now dealing with an also overtired, famished, in-pain, melting down three-year-old, I didn't question the doctor's diagnosis (although I was extremely irritated) and we went home where Zach had the worst night's sleep ever.  He was up every hour, screaming in pain, and rarely slept. 

By the next morning it was evident that there was something extremely wrong with his arm.  He refused to move it or even use his left hand.  In fact, he informed me, rather matter-of-factly, that he was just going to have to use one arm and hand from now on because the other one was "just broken and wasn't working." 

I was able to get him in to see our clinic's doctor, whereupon she agreed there was definitely something not right with his arm.  Zach, bless his little heart, was trying to be "brave" and insisted to the doctor that he was all better and not in pain even though his facial expressions completely gave him away every time the doctor manipulated his elbow.  After a short wait, the doctor referred us to an orthopaedic specialist clinic that took walk-ins until 4:00 in the afternoon.  At that point, it was 3:20.  So, we raced as fast as we could and made it to the front desk of the orthopaedic clinic with a mere 7 minutes to spare. 

After a consult with the doctor and several x-rays (Zach even smiled for his "arm pictures of his bones"), the doctor determined Zach had a hair line fracture in his elbow.  He picked out a color for his cast and within 15 minutes his little arm was immobilized. 

He affectionately refers to his cast as his "bone band-aid."  He is doing MUCH better now that his arm cannot be moved.  Because the break wasn't that severe, he only has to have the cast on for 10 days.  So far, the cast doesn't seem to keep him from doing anything and he is actually pretty proud of it! 

Change is in the Air...Part 1

It's amazing the changes that can occur in just four short days.  For instance, on Monday morning our bathroom looked like this: 
 (oooo...don't you just love the green counter top and tile on the WALLS?!)
 (Hello beautiful wall-papered soffit.)
 (What a nice looking tub surround...and MORE tile on the WALLS?!)

By Monday afternoon...
 (GOODBYE TILE!  Hello sub-flooring!)
 (Hello studs behind the shower surround.)

Today, when I stopped by the house...
 (Why...we actually have REAL walls in our bathroom...and awesome tile on the floor!)
(Oooo...look at that beautiful shower!)

I think that is quite a lot of change in a mere four days' time!  Hopefully by next week at this time, our bathroom transformation will be almost complete...and my type A self can begin cleaning the white dust adorning every surface of our first floor.   

Our bathroom, although undergoing a radical transformation, is not the only thing experiencing changes this week...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life Update

Since we've had a rather uneventful, but somehow busy past couple weeks, I have kind of abandoned the ole' blog.  So...I'll do a quick rundown of what we've been up to (because I'm still not feeling that inspired to write much of anything). 

In T-minus 3 days our bathroom will be no more.  That's right...we went ahead and hired a general contractor for a complete remodel.  Although we're extremely excited about the redo, we are most looking forward to having a working shower again.  The past couple weeks we've spent looking at countless other bathroom remodels for design ideas, picking out lighting, picking out cabinetry, picking out name it, we've done it.  For some reason the whole process seems stressful to me...and we're not even doing the actual work (although Ben and I think it would be quite gratifying to participate in the demolition part of the project...I said something about wanting to use a sledge hammer and Ben just looked at me like I was a lunatic!).  It should take 2 weeks from start to finish.  I'll make sure to take before, in process, and after photos for all to see.

Allie has been keeping busy with preschool and her art projects.  I love that she likes to create, but wish there was some way to convince her that we do not need to keep every scrap of paper she makes a mark on.  About a week ago I went into her room while she was at preschool and did a major purging.  Ben said he is definitely not going to be the one to deal with her when she discovers there are missing art projects.  So far, no such discovery has been made.  But, since she does have an impeccable memory, I don't think I'm in the clear for at least another year or so.

I think over the past two weeks Zach just might have out-talked Allie.  Usually we refer to Allie as our most vocal child, but lately Zach has been the one who has been making noise from sun up to well after sun down.  Notice I said noise, not necessarily words.  There has been a surge in roars (dinosaur and lion), fart noises, spit-type noises, and general indecipherable vocals coming from his mouth.  However, he did manage to say his first real 'L' sound as opposed to the 'W' that usually replaces all of his L's.  It is hilarious because he has to concentrate so hard to make the L sound and his little tongue always goes in between his lips and teeth so that the L is very long and drawn out.  Oh...and he also informed his ECFE teacher that his mom likes "treadling"  (meaning, apparently, I like running on the treadmill). 

Olivia just realized this evening that she can roll from her back to her tummy!  She has been practicing and the kids have been cheering her on.  She still hasn't mastered tummy to back, so she gets stuck on her tummy, eventually gets frustrated, and still needs rescuing.  Unfortunately she seems congested from her cold a couple weeks ago and I noticed tonight that she has been grabbing her head and right ear an awful lot.  Hmmm...ear infection?  She had a rough night last night so we'll see how tonight goes.  But, I'm thinking we might be making a visit to the doc tomorrow.

Ben has stayed extremely busy with work and, as always, the kids keep me busy enough. 

I guess I've completely abandoned my weight-loss posts.  Thankfully, I have not abandoned the effort, I just haven't had much time to write about it.  I'm still running 3 miles a day and eating mostly within my plan (I say 'mostly' because I've had some moments of weakness involving chocolate).  Sadly, I think I've only lost about 5-8 pounds since the beginning of January.  I can't believe how much my weight fluctuates from day to day...maybe hormones, nursing, salt?  I don't know.  Blech.  The whole thing is just pretty much an irritant to me at this point.

Well, I think that about covers it.  Time to attend to my crabby baby (she flipped over on her tummy again!).   

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy 4 Months, Olivia!

That's right, baby are now 4 months old!  Here are your official 4-month stats, straight from the doctor's office:
Weight:  16 pounds (93%)
Length:  25.25" (87%)
Head Circumference:  16.5" (78%)

I was curious to see if you were going to pass your brother up on the scale (you've already far surpassed Allie's weight at 4 months), but he was 13 ounces ahead of you at 4 months! 
I love all your baby chub, though.  Just like the doctor said, I also think you are "...absolutely perfect in every way."

You've definitely had a busy month.  You started sleeping through the night (from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am).  Unfortunately, vacation and your first nasty cold upset those glorious full nights of sleep and you went back to your old ways of getting up at 4:30 am.  I'm glad you are finally feeling better and am happy to report that you slept until 7:00 this morning!  Naps are still a little hairy.  If we are at home, you are able to take a morning nap from about 9:00-10:30 and an afternoon nap from about 1:30-4:00.  Otherwise, you are forced to go with the flow and catch your zzz's in the car seat between errands and toting around your big brother and big sister.  

I am pretty sure your favorite thing to do is drool all over yourself and poop so much it blows out your diaper.  We usually have to change you several times a day because you drool so much your bib and shirt are soaked through!  You have so many blow-outs it is unbelievable.  I'm thinking it might be a good idea to buy stock in Oxi-Clean.  

You still eat about every 3 hours during the day and are an expert when it comes to nursing.  Thankfully, you don't spit up nearly as much as your brother and sister!

You are starting to use your hands more and more everyday.  You love to grab at anything within your reach.  When you get a hold of it, you automatically want it in your mouth.  I had to be quick taking your 4 month pictures because as soon as you realized you could get a hold of that paper sign, you wanted it in your mouth!   

We love all of your baby smiles and laughs.  You are the best medicine for anyone having a crabby day around our house.  Just yesterday, Zach woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but as soon as he saw you and you greeted him with a big gummy smile, his attitude completely changed and he sat and talked with you as you both smiled and laughed together! 

You aren't quite rolling over yet...just lots of side to side rolls...which is fine with me.  I think your neck muscles must be getting stronger every day because you are able to look both directions freely now and tummy time is a lot more bearable for you. 

You are "talking" more and more too.  Allie insists that she is teaching you words...and sometimes I wonder if you may be trying to copy what she is saying to you. 

Between last month and this month, you seem to have lost a lot of your hair.  You only have a little baby fuzz left up on top now, but I'm sure you'll get some more hair back soon!

Happy 4 months, Olivia!  We love you, little bug-a-boo!

Kalahari Vacation

Our 3-night, 4-day getaway last week to Kalahari in WI Dells was a blast!  Granted, taking a 4-month old, a 5-year old, and a 3-year old on vacation means there isn't much of a vacation for the adults...but, that is why we made sure to build in some "recovery" time from vacation after we returned home (Ben had off work on Friday and we also had the whole weekend before life resumed back to normal). 
The absolute best part of Kalahari was watching the kids have so much fun.  We loved seeing their eyes widen when they first saw the indoor water slides and swimming areas and it was even more entertaining to watch them splash around like they were in a swimming pool just yesterday (when in fact it has been at least 6 months!).
A jungle-themed indoor water park/amusement park/bowling alley/game arcade/hotel definitely helped cure our February cabin fever. 
Although Olivia came down with a pretty nasty cold, she still looked darn cute (and chubby) in her swim suit. 
She didn't spend as much time in the water park as her big brother and sister, but Olivia seemed to enjoy the warm air and water.
Allie was soooo excited to go down all of the water slides.  Showing absolutely no fear, she climbed up and zoomed down almost every slide her height would allow...including the Master Blaster (a water slide that actually shoots you down and UP!). 
Zach was a little more hesitant at first, but once he mustered up enough courage to go down that first slide, there was no stopping him!
Not only did Olivia have a nasty cold, but Ben was pretty sick too.  Despite feeling like his head was going to explode, he still managed to keep smiling!
I even went down my fair share of water slides with the two big kids...
...that is, until the kids and I actually got stuck on a water slide while inside our tube.  Allie started screaming in sheer panic and Zach vowed that he would never EVER ride in the front of the tube again.  After they shut off the water, the lifeguard came down to escort us back up the slide.  By that point, I had convinced the kids that we were super special and this was very exciting because not everyone gets stuck on a water slide!  They half-heartily believed me and proceeded up the slide.  Allie's favorite part about the whole ordeal was watching me climb up the slide and then slip and fall flat on my butt, sliding back down to the point where our tube was lodged.  Fortunately, I did make it back up the slide and we did make it back down again later.   
While Allie and I went down some of the bigger kid slides, Zach had fun playing in the kid area. 
Ben, although still not feeling up to par, did go down his fair share of water slides with the kids.

Being at the water park definitely tired our poor baby O out...and she spent a lot of her time looking just about like this:
In addition to the water park, there were lots of other fun things to do at Kalahari.  Allie was most excited to paint her own pottery.   She picked out a small heart jewelry box, picked out all of her own colors, and spent over a half hour making sure it was absolutely perfect. 
Since Zach had absolutely no desire to paint pottery, Ben took him over to the amusement park where they rode the go-karts over...and over...and over again.  Zach still insists that the go-karts were his absolute favorite part of our Kalahari vacation.   
After the girls finished up with the pottery painting, we met back up with the boys.  Ben decided to take Allie on the indoor ropes course.  After they were all suited up in their harnesses, Ben claimed that he no longer felt like he was on vacation, but back at work!
Allie was very brave in the beginning, but by the end of the course, she was definitely ready to be done. 

We watched the two of them from the safety of the ground for a while...
...and then we decided we needed a slushy.
There were also some other kiddie rides that we rode on in addition to an indoor playground where the kids had tons of fun.  Most of our meals were eaten at the resort and one night we even had pizza delivered to our room while we watched "Tangled."  Because Olivia doesn't really sit up at all, we opted to give her a bath in the hotel sink. 
We spent one afternoon bowling.  The kids used the bumpers and those cool little metal ramps so they could bowl on their own. 

Oooo...look at that awesome bowling form:
However, despite appearances, our family has not been gifted with the talent of bowling (but...if you notice...I somehow managed the only strike!).
This was our second winter visit to Kalahari and we think it may become an annual tradition!
Because...if your kids are going to live on a sugar-high for 3 days straight, it might as well be at a place where there are more things to keep them occupied than you could ever dream of on your own!