Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Since we've moved to Connecticut, our families back in the Midwest have been just slightly annoyed that we're now so far away from them. Or, more specifically, that we've taken Oliver so far away from them (let's be real here!). What else but an amazing grandson would cause a grown woman who is afraid of flying to get on a train for a 20 hour trip across America? Marty's mom came last Saturday for a week long visit and a dose of Oliver. It was a fun week that included a return trip to Boston, which she had never seen. The weather was amazing and the leaves were gorgeous. Here are some highlights!

At the Public Gardens in Boston

Make Way for Ducklings (by artist Nancy Schon, 1987) at the Public Gardens in Boston

Holding hands with Grandma while walking the Freedom Trail

Walking at Minute Man National Historical Park, between Lexington and Concord

Organizing his acorns

The town green at Lexington

Another visit to the Pumpkin Patch

 Going on a hayride

My mom (Grandee) arrives tomorrow for her visit, so the blog might be a bit slow for another week, but I have a good Photo Friday ready for you! Anyone else want to come visit? Oliver loves having company, and so does mommy!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nap Boycott

One of these days I'll be able to write another blog post. But not today. We are on day 3 of no napping. Sunday was maybe 20 minutes. Monday was 5 minutes. Today was 30 minutes. Mommy is not happy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This Blog has been temporarily interrupted . . .

because Grandma (my mother-in-law) has come to visit! We have been very busy, Oliver is loving being spoiled, and we've even taken a 2nd trip to Boston. I promise to have lots of pictures to post soon. Patience!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oliver's first ER visit

I hate to ruin the suspense, but before all the grandmas freak out, let me start off by saying that Oliver is perfectly fine.

I had a hair appointment Wednesday at 4:00, so Marty came home in time to be with Oliver. I thought I'd be home by 5:00, in time to make dinner, but after talking to my stylist, we decided to do a color glaze to erase the line of demarcation and give me my fall boring brown color (no highlights=less $), so the appointment would take longer. I called Marty to let him know I would be home by 6:00, and to fend for themselves for dinner. My hair looks great, by the way, not as short, good color with less maintenance, but I digress.

So apparently what happened was that while Marty was looking in the pantry for ideas, Oliver started playing with the cans. He likes to take them in and out, move them around, and sort them (are you noticing a theme with him and organization? What do you think, architect or engineer?). We had to put a safety lock on the pantry so he doesn't do this because I was afraid of him dropping something on his foot. Still, it's very hard to get anything in or out of the pantry without him running wildly towards it. So, I think Marty was looking in the pantry for dinner ideas, and guess what happened? Oliver was playing with the cans and dropped a can of Chunky soup on the big toe of his left foot. Marty said it bled some, he soothed him, put him in the highchair with milk, and continued to make dinner.

I returned home with Marty in the kitchen frantically cooking a chicken casserole, and Oliver sitting in his highchair with a sippy of milk, and looking very quiet and sad. Marty told me to look at his big toe, which was red and bleeding a little. I washed it, put some neosporin and an Elmo bandaid on it. We ate dinner. When we got him out of his highchair, he did not want to walk at all. He’d start screaming. Or he’d favor it and try walking on his heel (amazing how they can figure out to do this at this age!). He was obviously in pain. I looked at it again and noticed the toenail was cracked to about halfway down and it was bleeding underneath. So I called the pediatrician for advice, and they said take him to the ER for x-rays based on the fact that it was the big toe, had a broken nail, and he didn't want to walk at all, which could be a sign it was broken.

We got to the ER at about 7:00, and it was packed. We tried to stay as far away as possible from all the sick people...I really hope we don't all have the flu in 10 days. It took about an hour before they x-rayed him, then another hour back in the waiting room until we got put into an exam room. Oliver did great most of the time, happy as a clam, getting shoulder rides from daddy, hanging out in his stroller. He was so good for the x-ray, not a peep out of him! Turns out there was a picture of Big Bird on the machine over his head, lol! But by the time we got to the exam room, he was getting cranky because it was getting late. He was walking fine in his shoes at this point, and the toe was actually looking a little better. We were totally questioning the decision to go to the ER at all, and really tired of waiting. But when the pediatrician says go to the ER, you go to the ER.

Then about 30 minutes later the doctor came in, looked at his toe for 2 seconds, and said he’s fine, no broken bones on the x-ray, sorry for the long wait. Ugh. Then the nurse chimed in, "Sorry it was such a long wait! Tonight was weird, last night you would have been in and out in 10 minutes!" Great, next time we'll tell Oliver not to get hurt on a busy night. ::insert eye roll here:: They did tell us we did the right thing bringing him in, because a broken bone in the big toe is automatically given antibiotics because infections there are so common. I guess that made us feel like we did the right thing, but I still can't help thinking we took Oliver to the ER for stubbing his toe.

No, I don't blame Marty for it happening. It could have happened to me just as easily. Oliver has recently discovered that if he stands on his tiptoes he can reach the first inch or two of the kitchen counters. That same morning while I was making breakfast, he reached up and grabbed a plate with a steak knife on it (I was cutting strawberries), which landed on his foot, but on the flat side, thank god. So yeah, things happen in an instant. Toddlers are hard.

So we got home at about 10:45, got Oliver bathed and in bed by 11:00. You’d think he would have slept in the next morning, right? Give momma a break? He normally sleeps 8:20ish-7:15ish. Yeah, he got up at 7:00, and only took a short nap. Momma is very very tired! But hey, at least my hair looks good.

Photo Friday

We have a good little routine going with our days, which "they" say toddlers really need. After lunch, I always put the aquarium video on youtube for Oliver to watch while I wash dishes. It's 4 minutes, 34 seconds long. Sometimes I'll repeat if necessary. Then we watch Elmo on Sesame Street for 15-20 minutes, then he goes down easily for his nap.

Today I only had a few dishes, so I finished up about the same time as the video. I walked over to get Oliver out of his highchair to go watch Elmo, and this is what I found:

Asleep in under 4 minutes! I'm hoping there's no food stored in those cheeks! He barely even woke up when I unstrapped him to carry him upstairs. Maybe this means a long nap? If so, I may write another post! We'll see . . .

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, as officially designated by Congress in 2006. The movement that organized this invites everyone to light a candle at 7:00 tonight so there is "a continuous wave of light over the world." Each year, over half a million dreams are shattered. Out of 3.3 million born alive, some 30,000 die during the first 28 days. Another 39,000 babies are still born. Miscarriage occurs in fifteen to twenty percent of pregnancies, though many doctors estimate that number could be higher because so many losses occur before a women even knows she was pregnant. For more information, statistics, and help, also go here.

Part of the purpose of this day is to raise awareness of how common these types of losses are, and to help people understand that the loss of a child is devastating, no matter when it happens. For so long women were ashamed and silent, blaming themselves, and getting no support. Not enough research has been done on the causes. The answer most women get from their doctors is it was "just a fluke," just some messed up chromosomes, something that quite literally wasn't meant to be. Many doctors won't even run tests on their patients until they've suffered 3 or 4 miscarriages. 3 or 4 babies gone before they'll even check to see if something is wrong. By raising awareness, perhaps women can feel more support, doctors can become more compassionate, and science can figure out the causes.

I will be lighting a candle tonight for the child we lost to miscarriage in February 2007, as well as for all those who have lost babies. I am blessed to be part of an online community of women who have lost babies and supported each other through the grief, through subsequent pregnancies, some more losses, and beautiful babies. These are among the strongest women I know, so tonight I light a candle for them all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oliver for President!!

Ok, so maybe he's a little young for that. Plus, I don't think he's ready for the bullies that will beat up on him if he wins the Nobel Peace Prize. The playground bullies are bad enough (have I told you that story yet? I'll check, maybe later)! So, if you can't vote for him for president, vote for something far more shallow....the Gap Casting Call Beautiful Baby Contest!!!You can vote for all 5 entries, vote every day! Who knows, maybe I'll find my calling as a stage mother. Ha!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photo Friday

Earlier this week, Oliver & I went to the pumpkin patch with our friend Linsey and her daughter Annabelle. I'm really glad we went during the week because it wasn't crowded at all, so we could run around and take lots of pictures. The kids loved it, and I'm sure we'll be going back again soon. Oliver didn't get a hayride, and he kept watching the tractor go by, so we'll at least have to do that. Maybe when Grandma Charlene comes to visit! And again when Grandee comes to visit, lol!





 Oliver making friends. "Hey dude, did you know they have pigs over there?"

Blowing kisses



Annabelle (she's 8 months old) & Oliver

Thursday, October 8, 2009

18 Month Stats

Today was Oliver's 18 month wellness check up with the pediatrician. Overall it was a very good check up; she confirmed that Oliver is short and smart!Oliver did much better at this visit than the last. He was very interested in the frog wallpaper chair rail border, which helped distract him. This time he only screamed as she was examining him, instead of the entire time, including while we were talking to her, as he did the last visit. And of course he screamed during the shots, but he did recover very quickly. Boy did he fight that nurse, he was kicking like crazy (they give them the shots in the thigh). She said he was very strong. No wonder diaper changes are like wrestling matches some days!

The stats:
25 pounds, 11 ounces (50th percentile)
30-3/4 inches (10th percentile)
His weight is very much on track for his growth; he's always been around the 50th percentile. His height is lower than typical for him, which was usually around 25-30the percentile. The doctor wasn't worried, she said especially with boys, they tend to plateau and then have big growth spurts. It's just that I'd always heard to double their 18 month height to get their adult height, which means he'd be especially short. She said that's an old wives tale, but it was true for me (we looked in my baby book). I'm 5'3" and Marty is 5'7" so we're short anyway, but I don't want him to be only 5'2"!! I know, it's a stupid superficial thing to worry about when there are so many more serious problems, and I'm not totally freaked out about it. I just want him to be....normal, ya know?

Anyway, it was all made better after she told us how brilliant he was! ;) We talked a lot about his verbal skills and communication because Marty's brother is autistic and we worry about the genetics. She said we should stop worrying! He has more words than average at his age and communicates very well. In the last few weeks he has started showing a lot of interest in the alphabet and numbers, like, almost obsessed (remember, he stops at manhole covers to ask about the letters), and she said that is very advanced for his age! Once again, we have proof of his genius! I'm so proud! lol! The letter/number thing is so cute though, he loves the alphabet song right now, but all the letters are "a," so when we sing it, he chimes in every 5th letter or so with "a", and yesterday I also got a "b." He does something similar with the numbers, but all the numbers are "1." So when we're counting in his book, he points at each of say, 5 things, and says "1, 1, 1, 1, 1."

I've quit counting how many words he has, though we left off around 15, he has much more than that now, some used more than others. We've been working on naming body parts, so some of his new words include: elbow, belly button (buh-buh), eye (which references both his eye and his ear), and yes, penis (peez). He knows how to point to most of his body parts if you ask, but these are the ones he actually says as well. Have I mentioned that he now says "no" a lot? We think he thinks that's the name of the remote and the bathroom cabinets. Mostly he was just repeating it when we said it, but recently, he has started to say it when I ask him a question, "Would you like to get dressed now?" "No!" I guess I better learn to quit asking and start telling, huh? He does also say yes (yeah), but far less, lol! His other favorite word now is, sigh, "Elmo." Since his YouTube obsession, I have succumbed and allow him to watch about 15 minutes of Sesame Street after lunch just before naptime. After only 2 episodes, he knew how to say Elmo. As our doctor said, they must put subliminal messages in there or something! So now, after every meal (even though he only gets to watch it after lunch) as he gets out of his high chair, he asks for "Elmo!" When we went down the halloween costume aisle in Target, he saw the furry red costume and yelled "Elmo!" No, I did not buy it! I got him something much cuter, you'll see!! So yeah, as much as we were trying to avoid commercialized toys/programs, I see some Elmo toys in his future. At least Sesame Street is mostly educational. I do think it has something to do with his new interest in the alphabet. There are more words than that, but those are all I can remember at the moment. Needless to say, we are very happy he's a healthy boy, and very proud that he's so smart. Yes, we tease all the time that he's "very advanced for his age," but I have to say, it's nice to have a little confirmation that I'm doing something right, especially when it's my job to teach him these things!

Parting gift....a few shots from our walk in the park on a beautiful fall day earlier this week:


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tired of apple picking photos yet?

Tough, 'cause I have some more! This weekend our friends Mark & Betsy came for a visit. Mark is Marty's long time friend, and was his Best Man at our wedding. They live in Washington D.C. and were taking a vacation driving up to Maine, so they stopped to see us on the way. So we had a great weekend and ate a lot of food, watched a lot of football, went to the park, and went apple picking! You know Marty wants pie! I couldn't resist posting more photos because as usual, Oliver was just too cute! Like the first time we went to an orchard last month, Oliver was quite possessive of the apple that he picked. After giving it a few test throws, to check it's worth I guess, he held on tight to it. This time he was actually able to bite into it and then went to town. Nevermind that he's been refusing apples when I cut them up and put them on his tray. I guess I should be giving him whole apples! He was very focused and serious about eating his apple, never cracked a smile the whole time he was so into it. There was juice all down his shirt and apple pieces all over Marty's head. I love this time of year! Now, I'm off to make applesauce!








Friday, October 2, 2009

Photo Friday

More apple picking! We went again last weekend, this time to a really cute orchard nearby. We got Honeycrisp apples, our favorites! Oliver loved picking up the rotton ones off the ground most. He's such a boy! I had forgotten my camera, so these are from Marty's cell phone...not bad!