Archive for September, 2008

All about Olivia

At 10 months…

I usually find Olivia playing in her crib around 7 am most mornings, though sometimes she likes to wake up as early as 5:30 or 6 am (especially on the weekends). She’s happy from the start, and sits up on the counter by me as I get ready. I hand her all of my accoutrements, one by one, and she dutifully returns them covered with slobber.

The absolute hardest part of my day is dressing Olivia, which is saying a lot considering my workload lately. She puts up a huge fight and is darn near impossible to immobilize. If snaps are involved, you might as well call in sick.

Olivia squeals when she sees Diane’s door in the morning, and she practically leaps out of my arms to get down on the floor and play with the other babies. She waves goodbye, actually says, “Buh-bye,” and on occasion, she’s sad enough to see me go that she’ll shed a tear or two. Fortunately, this is pretty rare at this point. Still, I am regularly late to work in order to stay just a minute or two (or 20) to play.

I have finally cut out the noon visits, but when I arrive to pick her up at 5 pm, Olivia bounces up and down…and says, “Buh-bye.” We need to work on hello, I guess.

She eats more than Ava does at dinner, and is ready for bed by 7:30 or 7:45 pm. She snuggles up and lets me rock her for a bit. Nothing makes her happier than a song, and as such, I believe she may be a tad tone deaf. As long as she has her little blanket and pacifier, she’ll roll over and go to sleep without much of a fuss at all. Speaking of that pacifier, the doctor mentioned something about that at her nine month well-baby check, but I just can’t recall what it was…

All in all (night wakings and everything), Olivia is a very sweet baby, who really isn’t going to be a baby much longer. So, here’s Olivia now, in a nutshell:

Likes: Stair climbing, eating cat food, biting Ava and other innocent passersby, bath time, “The Wheels on the Bus,” midnight feedings, being outside, lunchtime, napping, grandparents, yogurt.

Dislikes: The cage (which is usually a result of stair climbing), face washing, cutting one-year molars, bibs, sleeping through the night.

I’m a pretty lucky mom.

Ten months!

I’m a few days late, so I’m celebrating Olivia’s 10-month mark with a huge fix. Enjoy!

Completely frivolous

Every now and then, I come across something that gives me more pleasure than any material object should.

My pink mittens, for instance, make me absolutely gleeful. Same goes for a glass jar of bubble bath or my pearl-topped ink pen. I can’t really put my finger on what exactly makes something go from functional to favored, but every so often, something just…fits.

This is my new object of desire–a cupcake-shaped trinket box I’ve had my eye on at our local florist for a number of months. When I returned some vases today, I saw that it was one of two left from the set of eight. A sign, right?

Now it’s perched on my windowsill. It’s pretty, but relatively pointless. And yet, I couldn’t be happier.

What’s the latest object of your affection?

Sunday surprise

Bry spotted this hot air balloon outside yesterday afternoon. Ava was thrilled, and she watched it until we lost it behind the trees. As we were walking in, Olivia dropped a toy. In response to the noise, Ava exclaimed, “Oh, the balloon popped!”

Bird watching

No love lost

Olivia LOVES Dagny. Can’t get enough of her. Dagny will tolerate Ava, but she is just not on board when it comes to this new (and very mobile) baby.

Liv doesn’t seem to mind, and shares her affections with abandon.

It’s a good lesson in cause and effect.

So painful

And I don’t just mean the shards of glass lodged in my ear.

Locks of Love

Ava has been grousing about getting her hair cut lately, “just like Ginger’s,” a playmate from preschool. I’ve been dragging my feet on the matter for roughly two and half years, but I finally relented and agreed to take her to a walk-in shop this afternoon.

Here’s the before:

One of the reasons I finally decided to allow this is that Ava’s hair is long enough to donate to Locks of Love.  The stylist measured it to ensure it was at least 10 inches–it was 11.5.

I told Ava we’d be sharing it with a child who doesn’t have hair. Ava thought about this for a very long time, then said, “I think we should give it to Liv; she doesn’t have enough.”

Ava was nonplussed by all of this, but I admit to being a tad teary-eyed.

Once the length was gone, the stylist shaped it to look like a photo Ava had selected during our wait. She wanted to be sure that I had the book open to the correct page the entire time the stylist worked.

By the end of the afternoon, Ava was done being photographed, but here’s the final result. She is quite pleased, and even I’ll say it’s pretty darn cute.

I really wonder what Ava’s going to do with the time she usually spends pitching a fit about having her hair fixed in the morning. We’ll see!

Tooth tales

I took Ava to the dentist for the first time last week. It used to be that you could wait until kids were five to have their first dental appointment; now, it’s three. Of course, they want to see Olivia at one. I see how this works.

Anyway, we’ve been following a very rigorous routine of dental care the last few years. Our plan includes allowing Ava to suck hot pink princess toothpaste off a Hello Kitty brush twice a day, then assuring our doctor that we hold her down and tend to each tooth individually with a power toothbrush while she screams and flails about. Needless to say, I was a little concerned about what her first X-Rays would belie, but somehow she was cavity free.

This butterfly-themed dentist office caters to kids, so flat screen TVs are mounted to the ceiling above reclining chairs. Pop in a Dora DVD, add headphones, and the jaw automatically slackens just enough to allow for a thorough exam.

Ava was surprisingly well behaved throughout the entire exam…

Though she refused to sit in the special butterfly chair to have her photo taken by the hygienist. Everyone has their limits.

You can’t believe the loot they send home. Play dough, tattoos, balloons, a t-shirt, gum, stickers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, princess-themed floss…

She can’t wait to go back.

Excellent news

My sister Katie is the dean of administration at Excel Academy, a charter school in East Boston. The school is small, but it’s mighty.

State test scores show her 8th graders were second in the state in math. Her 7th graders were first in the state in English and second in the state in math. This is quite amazing, considering there are more than 250 schools in the Boston area included in this ranking.