Monday, January 31, 2011

Oliver has Learned how to Work the DVD Player

Ahh, Date Night

Andrew and I got to enjoy a date night yesterday. His parents watched Oliver for a couple of hours while we spent some time together downtown. Our original plan had been to picnic at Daniel's Park, but the 50 degree weather just didn't scream, "Picnic!"

After enjoying a quiet drive to Denver, we decided to hit up a vegetarian restaurant called the Watercourse. We arrived only to discover that they were closed for their annual holiday party. Boo! I suggested Steve's Snappin' Dogs (down on Colfax), which has always been a favorite of mine (and they're cheap!).

I got a vegetarian Chicago-style dog (a vegetarian dog on a bun with mustard, relish, red onion and a pickle) with a Bud Light, and Andrew got a vegetarian Chicago-style dog with a side of onion rings & fries. It cost $8! The conversation was light and fun. I don't even remember what we talked about, but the time flew by. They started to clean for closing, so we hopped back in the car and went downtown. I've always wanted to try Pinkberry frozen yogurt (everyone has raved about it), so we decided to give it a go. The people were so friendly and insisted we try all their flavors (I'm not usually a sample person, but it was fun!), and I settled on an original/blood orange swirl. I topped it with tiny scoops of mixed nuts, dark chocolate, and chocolate shavings. Andrew chose chocolate with raspberries and a praline topping. We wasted no time devouring our yogurt. It was so good that the $10 we spent seemed worth every penny!

I enjoy spending time with my family so much, but getting time alone with my husband really makes everything worth while. He's the sweetest, nicest, most patient, funny man in the world. I feel so lucky and happy that he's my husband! Thanks for the great night out, Sweet Heart!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oliver = 15 Months

For Oliver's 15-month "birthday," he decided to start walking! He's not walking very far, but he's repeatedly walked about 3 feet or so before going back to a crawl. He's doing this over and over, and I'm so excited to see him starting to walk!
It was a bit chillier today (55 degrees), but since tomorrow is supposed to snow, we decided to hit up the park anyway.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hiking Through Lair of the Bear

It was another "scorching" January day in Denver--62 degrees! Andrew and I grabbed the hiking backpack and Oliver and headed to a nearby trail called Lair of the Bear. It's an easy hike along Bear Creek that leads to a castle. The castle is private property, but you can view it from a distance.

The hike was enjoyable, and Oliver was happy to be carried around, eating Goldfish crackers. We'd occasionally pull him out to let him enjoy nature and the scenery. His favorite parts were the dirt and the dogs that walked by!

Another nice day out! Yesterday reached 68 degrees, so Oliver and I went for a stroll and took two trips to the park. This time, he couldn't get enough of the slide. He wanted to go down it over and over again and wasn't even patient enough for me to walk him to the top (I had to lift him and set him on the top). I held is armpits as he slid, and he thought it was the greatest thing ever!

One older little boy came by and handed Oliver wood chips. I told the boy, "Thank you very much!" and Oliver picked up a handful of chips to give to the boy. Unfortunately, the boy didn't see them to take them, but I told Oliver, "That's so nice! Sharing wood chips!" What a sweet little interaction between two kiddos.

Oliver the Crawler

I never walked until fifteen months old. My sister never walked until fifteen months old. So, when Oliver took his first steps two months ago, I was surprised and delighted.

...but he still won't walk around! Every night before bed, we have "walking practice." Andrew and I start out sitting about six feet apart from each other, and Oliver walks back and forth between us. We slowly scoot farther and father from each other until we're about twelve feet apart. Oliver smiles with pride as he walks, and we cheer him when he makes it.

He's very cautious, though. The moment he starts to teeter, he sits down. He has yet to fall! What baby walks for two months and doesn't fall? A very cautious one.

Apart from his walking practice, he rarely takes steps throughout the day without holding onto something. If he's standing at a chair, I'll say, "Hey, Oliver, can you walk to me?" He'll turn, think about it, and then crawl to me. Every once in a while, he'll take a few shuffled steps, but that's it.

I talked to a mom at the park yesterday, and she suggested that Oliver just needs to be around other kids his age who start to walk. It's true that he's rarely around other kids, much less kids who are just starting to walk. At the park, there were a few toddlers shuffling about, and Oliver enjoyed watching them. I was amazed when he pulled to a stand and tried to take a step (he sat back down after a step because he was unsteady on the wood chips). Maybe she's right! She told me to take Oliver to the Cherry Creek Mall when it's cold out because there are tons of kids at the free play area there. What a great idea!

In the meantime, I feel a little left out when kids who are a lot younger than Oliver start walking around. When Oliver was nine months and just starting to crawl, our friend Murphy (two weeks older than Oliver) started to walk. Once she took her first steps, she was walking around all the time! Then, just before Oliver took his first steps, our friend Isabella (two months younger than Oliver) started to walk. A few weeks ago, our neighbor Owen (Nearly four months younger than Oliver) started to walk short distances. Now, our friend Logan (over four months younger than Oliver) is walking around!

I know I shouldn't compare kids, but it's so hard not to. I have my Ollie Bear who I adore, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him walk around the house. Of course, he'll walk at some point, but I'm really anxious for that moment to arrive. Meanwhile, parents keep telling me, "Be careful what you wish for! Life changes so much when they start walking!" Well, I'm ready for that change!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Trip to the Park

I almost feel guilty about our warm weather. The east coast just got their sixth blizzard of the season! Meanwhile, we keep getting 50 and 60 degree days. Today in the Denver area, we had yet another 60 degree day. Oliver and I couldn't stay cooped up, so I took him to the park.

We drive to the park, as it's about a mile and a half away. As I pulled him out of the car, he screeched, "DJEEJ!" It surprised me, and I jumped. After a moment passed, I realized he was pointing to a little dog! He was so excited about it. He usually calls dogs, "JEESH," so I was delighted that his word is starting to become more coherent. The ladies with the dog laughed and said, "Oh! He wants to see the dog!" They let the dog get just close enough to lick Oliver's fingers. Oliver was thrilled!

The park was bustling with kids and parents. There seriously had to be forty people. Thankfully, the park is split in two; there's an area for bigger kids and a shorter area for toddlers. Oliver liked to watch the big kids run around, but his favorite thing was the wood chips (again). He wanted to pick them up and watch them fall, and he wanted to put them on the slide to watch them slide down. He also gave a few handfuls of wood chips to me and other moms. He thought the playground equipment was OK. He asked me to put him on the slide a couple of times, but he only tolerated the swing for about a minute before whining for me to pull him out.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oliver Loves Pudding


Oliver has officially gone two full days without nursing. I'm going to tentatively say he's weaned, but tomorrow will be the true test, as Andrew will be at work and unavailable to distract him when need be.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oliver Dresses Daddy

Oliver enjoys bringing his daddy his clothes in the morning. He crawls to the drawers, removes random items, and brings them back to his dad. If Andrew doesn't put them on, Oliver gets upset. As a result, Andrew has been known to put on pajamas and my socks and such. Today, Oliver (coincidentally) got it right and brought Andrew a shirt and jeans. Here's Andrew dressed for the day in clothes picked out by our son:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Long Flights

My parents treated us and my siblings to a trip to Saint Thomas! It was fun and relaxing, and I loved getting to spend time with my family. The trip is for another blog, though (specifically, this one:

On Thursday and Monday, Oliver had to deal with twelve hours of travel each. I was nervous and stressed about it, but he was such a pro traveler. I mean it. I think he let out a total of three whines during all of the travel.

Mostly, we did well because we pushed all of his naps until we were on the plane. We also had a lot of snacks available for him, and we brought tons of little toys in his diaper bag. As a hallelujah, we brought along a DVD. We only had to break the DVD out once!

The experience was still a bit stressful because Andrew and I were so focused on keeping Oliver constantly entertained and happy. Therefore, we really needed a mental break from all the travel. It helped that we traveled with family who all wanted to spend time with Oliver, as Andrew and I could take a little time for ourselves and each other.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Let's Play "Pretend"

Oliver loves pretend. He enjoys watching me dress up his stuffed monkey and loves when I have the monkey jump on the bed (and fall off and bump his head). Earlier today, at Oliver's nap time, I watched him lay on his mattress and play with his stuffed monkey. He grabbed the monkeys arms and made them wave, and then he had the monkey jump. It's so cute to watch him play! I can't believe how smart he is.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Potty Training Milestone?

While eating his breakfast of chopped bananas this morning, Oliver started pointing down and waving to his potty, saying, "More!" I asked him if he'd like to sit on his potty. Then, I got him undressed and put on the potty. I went to get him his "choco chips," and when I came back, he'd piddled! I was so excited. I told him what a good boy he is, gave him "three!" choco chips, and then let him watch me as I flushed it down the toilet.

Of course, who knows, he could have been pointing to the potty because he wanted videos or choco chips. It'll take another time or two to know if he understands the concept, but it's so exciting that he might! Now I wonder if I ought to figure out a way to bring his pot with us on vacation... that might be too much of a challenge, but I'd hate to take a big step backward.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oliver's First Time on the Sled

We took this video yesterday. It was fun to have family time out in the snow. Oliver loved the sled, especially when it went fast, but he hated stopping. He also really hated it when I took him out of the sled and plopped him on the snow!

Oliver Has a Belly!

Although not every day is a success, our Ollie Bear has started eating a lot more over these last two months, and he's finally starting to develop a little baby belly. We love it! Yesterday, he discovered three new favorite foods. They are egg salad, blueberries, and chocolate chips. He couldn't get enough!

As a snack before bed, I then made him toast with peanut butter and a few chocolate chips on top. He wasn't interested in any of it except for the chocolate. I thought it made a cute photo op!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Night Out with Andrew

Andrew and I are so lucky to both have parents who want to help us and want to spend time with Oliver. Last night, we stayed at the Grand Hyatt, and even had our valet parking paid for, all courtesy of my dad. Andrew's mom, Colleen, stayed at our house to watch Oliver (he doesn't sleep well at other people's homes). It was our first night away from Oliver, and he did well. He didn't sleep his usual 7pm - 5am. Instead, he slept 7:30pm - 4am, but then he went back down to bed from 5am -7:30am.

Andrew and I went and saw Little Fockers with a movie gift card Andrew earned from work. While not as good as the first movie in the series, or even the second, it was funny, and we laughed a lot. After Little Fockers, we went out to eat at the Olive Garden. It was nice to eat a meal without having my hands in it (I always have my hands in my food as I break off little pieces to give to Oliver)! It was also nice to have a good, uninterrupted conversation with my husband. I swear, every time we get the chance to go out together, I think, "We need to do this more often!" And we do.

The Grand Hyatt was beautiful. We stayed on the Club Level, and the rooms were newly renovated and gorgeous. Andrew especially enjoyed the shower, which had two shower heads (one where you'd expect as well as one on the ceiling. They converged, leaving you feeling like you're standing in a warm rain storm). We were too late to enjoy the evening snacks, but in the morning, we got to eat in the Club for breakfast. They had numerous types of delicious, fresh fruit. I was delighted that their fruit didn't include cantelope and melon. Instead, it was fresh pineapple, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, bananas, pears, and dried fruits and granola for cereal and oatmeal, including apricots, cranberries and blueberries. I'm a fruit lover, so I was in heaven. I ate mostly fruit while Andrew enjoyed a bagel that came complete with one of those miniature glass jars of preserves. Oh, I forgot to mention that they also had a latte machine! I stuck to the coffee, though.

I planned on taking photos of our night out, but, unfortunately, my camera batteries died after about two photos. Oh, well! It's a night I'll always remember.