Monday, October 31, 2011


After dinner, we put Oliver in his costume. Aunt Julie had asked if she could send another costume this year, and we said yes. We reserved it until today. Oliver went trick-or-treating as a dragon! At first, he was really ticked about getting dressed up.

Outside, our crabby dragon refused to walk anywhere. Andrew carried him to the end of the block, and then he had a discussion with our little man. The promise of ringing doorbells finally convinced Oliver to give the whole trick-or-treat thing a chance.

It was a smashing success! The woman at the first house put some prizes in Oliver's pumpkin, and he was sold. From that moment on, nothing could get between him and all of the doors on the block. He just wanted to ring doorbells and hold out his bucket. He wasn't able to say, "Trick or treat," but he was very willing to say, "Please!" Twice, the homeowner took too long to give Oliver his treats, so he just reached in and helped himself. Slightly embarrassing, yes?

Here are a whole mess of photos of Oliver in all of his trick-or-treat glory:

We got to the end of the block, where we'd planned on stopping. Oliver was eager to push forward. Andrew and I decided to enjoy going to a few more houses with our little dragon.

We told Oliver when we were going up to the last house. A middle-aged woman burst out of her home and ran up to us. She explained that she heard us tell him it was the last house, but she just had to see the adorable "dinosaur." She then dropped a whole handful of candy into Oliver's pumpkin.

Oliver knew we were done for the night. He didn't throw a tantrum or even fuss, but he refused to walk home himself. Andrew carried him the block and a half home.

I took a picture of Oliver's loot. This was actually taken after I picked through it and removed all of the unappealing candy (like Smarties and Sour Patch Kids), which, I admit, I put in our bowl to give out to other trick-or-treaters. Can you believe Oliver got all of this candy in a block and a half?! These people were just dumping their candy into his pumpkin. Insane.

Oliver never actually knew what he got from each house. He just loved the receiving of the mystery items. Once we were home and had Oliver changed into more comfortable clothes, I gave him a single Kit Kat to enjoy. As if the kid needed any more thrills. He thought it was the greatest thing ever, and, unlike last year, there were no vomiting episodes after the candy indulgence. Here I am with my favorite toddler as he enjoys his special Halloween treat:

We ended up with so many trick-or-treaters this year that we actually ended up giving out all of the candy Oliver had acquired on top of all the candy we'd purchased for tonight (Reese's, Butterfingers, Crunch bars, and Hershey's). Andrew had to make an emergency run to Walgreen's, and I had to turn off the porch light for about fifteen minutes because I just didn't have anything to give the kids. He came back with a boatload of goodies. It's the end of the night, trick-or-treating hours are over, and we're now sitting on two bags of Reese's. Can you guess what I'm eating right now?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oliver Turns Two

I can't believe Oliver is two today. His second birthday! Where has the time gone? At two years old, he's full of laughter and mischief. He's goofy and snuggly and just a whirlwind of joy. It's amazing how much these little ones grow and change in two years. Two years ago today, we brought him into this world as a newborn! Amazing.

Here's Oliver's two year update:

Oliver's language has been developing a great deal over the last few weeks. He speaks over 100 words, but he's just started pronouncing many of them properly (or, at least, more properly). Instead of only saying the first syllable of words, Oliver's beginning to emphasize entire words. For example, he's started saying "water" instead of just "wah." I don't think his language has reached a level yet where strangers would be able to understand most of what he says.

Oliver has also just started using two-word phrases. He's not using them all the time, but he's recently started saying some things like, "Flush potty," and, "Push button." He knows all of his capital letters, but he can't say, "K," or "Q." Oliver doesn't sing well yet, but he tries to sing the alphabet song. Unless you're listening for it, you wouldn't be able to discern it from babble. When we play Sesame Street videos for him, he'll try to sing along with some of them, especially "One Fine Face." Oliver excels at understanding language. Andrew and I have to constantly spell words because Oliver picks up on everything we say. He can understand multi-step directions, such as, "Oliver, can you go use the potty, and then we'll get your shoes on and head to the store."

Speaking of using the potty, Oliver is fully potty trained. When he's wearing loose clothing, like sweats, he can take them off himself to sit on his little potty. Otherwise, he comes up to me and tugs at them to indicate to me that I should remove them. Sometimes, he'll say, "Pah," (his current word for potty), and other times he'll say, "Boop" (his current word for poop). Accidents are few and far between during waking hours. I'd estimate he has an accident one to two times a month. He still wears a diaper overnight, and he pees during his naps about 1/4 of the time.

Oliver still sleeps in his crib. We're slowly working on getting him more comfortable with the big boy bed. We now do the nighttime routine (reading books) on his big boy bed. I hope he'll be sleeping on it in a few months or so, and then we can start setting a potty next to it at night for him, too. Unfortunately, he still wakes up a lot around 5am, which makes us hesitate to move him out of the crib. We have to go in to his room, offer him water, and let him know that it's still bed time. Oliver then goes back to bed for another hour or two. I worry he'd just get up and start playing with his toys if he slept in a bed instead of his crib.

As far as fine motor skills go, Oliver has always amazed us. That still continues. He now takes screwdrivers and puts them to screws and tries to unscrew covers on his toys. He's gotten close a couple of times. Oliver is basically obsessed with figuring out how everything works, and he gets very upset if we don't let him do something himself. When I bake with him, Oliver gets to do basically all of the steps, including breaking eggs and spooning in flour to dough. Of course, he doesn't understand risks and dangers yet. If it was up to him, he'd be opening the oven door and turning on the stove top and adding ingredients to pots on the stove. I have to be very observant whenever I'm cooking or baking.

Oliver's gross motor skills are OK. He runs a lot in the house, but he falls a lot when he runs outside on unstable ground. He doesn't jump yet, and he's still not very interested in climbing. He goes down some slides on his butt, but he usually prefers the more stable method of sliding down on his belly. Although he likes sitting on his tricycle, he hasn't figured out how the pedals work yet. He has shown some interest in going up and down the stairs like adults do, but, for the most part, he still climbs up and down on all fours. That's OK by me!

Happily, Oliver's starting to become a little more social with other children. He loves to run up to all the neighborhood kids and watch them play. He watches and laughs and claps for them. At music class, he likes to pick up toys that other kids drop and hand the toys back to them. He doesn't really understand boundaries, though, and he gets confused when other children act possessive over things. For example, one boy had a truck at the park yesterday. Oliver walked up to it. He didn't touch it, but he leaned in to examine it. The truck's owner ran up to it and yelled at Oliver. Oliver seemed confused and upset, which made my heart ache for him. Today at the zoo, there was a button to push at one of the exhibits. Oliver loved pushing the button, but one older child (maybe 7?) yelled at him because he didn't want any other kids pushing the button. This type of behavior makes me sad because Oliver isn't exposed to it very much. He doesn't understand, and all he knows is that someone is yelling at him! Of course, I know Oliver will go through the "mine!" phase, too, so I try to be understanding.

Finally, I want to say that Oliver's favorite thing to do is still help people. He wants to help everyone with everything. He wants to do the laundry. He starts the machine himself (same with the dish machine). When a load is done, he goes upstairs and collects more clothes to wash. He's in charge of doing things like brewing coffee and making smoothies. At Grandpa Larry's and Grandma Judy's, he enjoys cleaning out the lint trap and loading and unloading the dish machine. He likes throwing away everyone's garbage, and he wants to flush the toilet for everyone. He wants to be the one to unlock the cars. Oliver wants to help Daddy get dressed every day and gets his clothes out of the drawers. He also hands him his lunch and closes the door after he leaves for work.

In all, we have an amazing toddler. I really love how active and fun he is, and how he still loves lots of cuddles and affection. Oliver's going to be a great (and very helpful) big brother soon.

Oliver's Birthday at Boo at the Zoo

Oliver turns two today! My mother-in-law, Colleen, had gotten Oliver a zoo pass for his birthday, so we decided to take him to Boo at the Zoo. We met both sets of grandparents at Starbucks, one of Oliver's favorite places. He got milk, we got coffee, and my mom brought homemade monkey cupcakes!

We arrived at the Denver Zoo, where a clown greeted Oliver with bubbles.

Oliver discovered the peacocks wandering the zoo almost immediately. He loved them! He giggled and laughed when they jumped down a stairwell, and he asked them to do it "more."

Oliver discovered the art of trick-or-treating. He doesn't recognize candy and didn't know what he got in his bag, but he enjoyed holding it out and trying to say, "Trick or treat." I'm glad he got practice in for tomorrow. Here he is with his first trick-or-treat goody of the year:

We found an owl demonstration. Oliver loved the owl, too!

Grandma Colleen carried Oliver for a while. She showed him the lights that were strung in preparation for Zoo Lights.

Here's my happy, little birthday monkey:

We discovered a train that ran through the zoo! It wasn't free for those of us three and older, but we sprung for the $1.50 to ride, anyway. Oliver did a great job waiting in line for the 20 minutes. After the train ride, he didn't want to leave, but he didn't protest too much. I was proud of him for not throwing a tantrum.

I'm pretty sure Oliver enjoyed his birthday. There were moments when he was a little overwhelmed, but the smiles and laughter far outweighed the tears. Happy second birthday to my amazing son, Oliver!