Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A time before Olivia...

I don't think Olivia realizes yet that the world existed before her presense. Last night at dinner we were talking about eating things, and don't ask me why, she asked "Have you ever eaten a snail?" Without thinking much I said, "No, I don't think I've ever eaten a snail." Then Travis reminded me, "we ate snails on our honeymoon." (Escargo in Tahiti, wow, how life has changed...)

Of course, Olivia asked, "what is a honeymoon?" To which we explained that it was a vacation mommy and daddy took right after we got married.

Then Olivia asked where she was, "was I with a babysitter?" This was amazing to me, not only that she knows what a babysitter is since she's only had one once over a year ago; but that she doesn't realize yet that there was a time that mommy and daddy were together and used to do stuff, together, alone, before she entered into this world.

In fact, I don't remember it too well myself. ;->

My blog cloud

I finally did my own blog cloud, a disply of common words found on my blog. Surprise, surprise, the word "poop" did appear, and while I could have editted it out, I didn't.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Back to School

After having last week off of pre-school, I don't know who was happier today, Olivia or I, to head back to school.

It was pouring rain all day, Olivia's nose was runny and she had a slight cough, but nothing would stop us. I made her blow her nose as well as possible so she didn't appear contagious, drilled her on covering her mouth when she coughed, and made her pee in the potty and we were off.

Noah was kind enough to nap for 45 minutes while Olivia was in school, and I celebrated by mopping the kitchen floor. Man, did it need it.

There was 15 minutes left before we had to leave to get Olivia from school, Noah was still asleep, the floor was clean, and I was starving. I heated myself up a frozen burrito, got a Diet Dr. Pepper, and something to look at, and was all prepared to relax and enjoy my 15 minutes of free time I'm lucky to get in a day. Just then the rain picked up, waking Noah. Drat!

I tried to eat a bite here and there while holding Noah on my hip and getting us ready to go and ended up spilling cold burrito fluid down my sweater sleeve. Double Drat. My best laid plans were ruined, but at least I did get the floors, laundry, and dishes done.

All-in-all, we were still happy to see school back in session as Olivia was showing off her Humpty Dumpty craft to Noah and I. :-)

Special mommy daughter moment

I painted Olivia and my nails today for the first time. :-) We have matching pinkish/purplish sparkly fingernails!

I can't remember the last time I painted my nails. I was never a painted fingernail type of girl; but I have to admit, it was definately a fun thing to do with Olivia. Seeing her try to hold her fingers still and not touch anything and then wave them around and blow on them to get them to dry. Very cute.

And maybe it will motivate her to stop sucking her fingers. I can hope.

One thing I forgot was fingernail polish remover. Uh oh. I see chipped, half-painted sparkly nails in our future. Oh well, a small price to pay!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Woohoo! Our camera broke!

I am happy to announce that our camera is no longer working. It's been a slow decline. The zoom feature hasn't been working in ages. Just recently the display screen stopped working. And now it won't take pictures altogther.

I'm thrilled because this means we can justify buying a new one! Our old one was 4.5 years old. (Probably not a surprise we bought our first digital camera when I was pg with Olivia, is it?)

The bad news is, there will not be any new pictures for awhile. :-< Maybe I'll post some of my favorite old one periodcially.

So, everyone, give me your new camera recommendations. Nothing fancy, I won't use tons of features, but lots of resolution/pixels! The one that broke is a Cannon, so I'm wondering if it would be easier to buy the same kind as far as learning it and downloading pictures with the same software and such? Thanks!

The bleachers

Noah's new obsession is playing on our brand new, expensive, still unstained bay window seat despite out best efforts to keep him away from it. We barracaded the thing with the couches, blocking off every path to it, we thought. He learned to climb up on the arms of the couches and slide himself over to the back. Then he can't get out until I come and get him, but he is happy.

Perfect view to watch TV with Olivia, and on the other side watch daddy mowing the yard while banging on the window yelling "hi dada!" As Jen(K) says, "Oy."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Be wary, plastic kitchen owners

For those of you that own plastic kitchens, please be careful and do not go down the road I did...

We have this big fancy one that makes all kinds of noises and talks to you. "Make sure you clean up and put everything away." "What do you want to eat today." Popcorn popping noises, coffee brewing noises, everything. It was a wondeful gift to Olivia when she turned 2 from Grandma L., and we keep it in Olivia's room.

That is why I've felt bad the past several months when I decided that the best way to get it clean in all the crooks and nannies was to take it outside and hose it off. Bad idea. Hello? Jessica? Water and electronics? Needless to say, it hasn't made any noises or done any talking since then.

Up until yesterday anyway, when Olivia was playing in her room and we hear someone saying, "Wha-wha-what do you want to eat today?" She comes out crying and scared of the thing. I don't think she remembered that it was supposed to talk. I kinda gave up hope that it would dry out and start working again MONTHS ago.

Travis took the batteries out last night when she was sleeping, because it kept randomly talking. Hopefully someday it be back to it's original functionality, but I've learned my lesson about water and electronic toys.

Come on ride that train...

Olivia was watching Berstein Bears yesterday morning and they had this whole episode about making the most out of the day, like when it snowed when they were supposed to have a hay ride, they sledded instead. When it was over she turned off the TV and wanted to make trains out of boxes instead of watch TV all morning. So I had to be a good mom and get some Costco-sized diaper boxes out of the garage for them to decorate and "ride." I didn't get much done all morning, but it was worth it.

She's also been begging to make gingerbread cookies since then, an idea I'm sure is from that episode. I'm probably not going that far any time soon. Don't push it, Berstein Bears!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Nothing like a good cup of Joe

It's scary how Noah knows exactly what to do with a coffee mug. Guess what Travis and I are modeling a lot of around here? I found his expertise at handling a mug particularly surprising since he will barely drink any milk, water, or juice out of his cups. A lot more throwing than drinking usually occurs. Of course, Olivia's cups and water bottles are a completely other story. Those are in high demand with Noah too. Ok, I guess the common theme is that he wants anything that is NOT his and that he is supposed to have.

Obviously there was nothing in the mug. It was my empty mug of Chai which I was enjoying while Noah was taking a nap. (Shhh, don't tell Travis, he thinks I'm running around doing household chores while Noah naps, not realaxing with my Chai.) I forgot to move it out of Noah's reach before he woke up and of course he spotted it with his eagle eyes.

Cute aside: Olivia knows all about Chai. It's really cute to hear her ask if I am drinking coffee or Chai. It's amazing to me the diversity of things kids know about nowadays! Thanks to Starbucks, I guess. :->

Why I love having a blog

I'm getting a new stone! A friend of the family is giving me an extra one she got as a gift and does not need. See? If I never had a blog in which I share the mundane happenings from my life as well as the adorable pictures of my kids, she never would have known I broke mine and needed a new one. :-)

This is also the family friend who gave me the recipe for fig preserves, which I had never even heard of before, much less knew how delicious they are. I don't even know if she is aware that my California fig preserves that I made with her recipe have traveled to my friends in southern CA, Texas, and Ohio!

So, I just want to give a big ol' shout out to Aunt S., for the recipe and for the stone! XXXOOOXXX

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Emotional attachment

Olivia and her band-aid. As weird as it was to see, Olivia got extremely emotionally attached to a band-aid. To the point that if I offered to take it off she ran off in hysterics begging me not to.

Two weeks ago she got her her MMR immunization and received a small, green, circular band-aid to cover the spot on her upper arm. It FINALLY fell off yesteray, thank goodness!

The funny thing was, she wasn't upset at all when it fell off, she just wanted nothing to do with us speeding up the process. So the stupid thing stuck on her for 13 days.

And, my fears were realized, it fell off at someone else's house. Luckily, I saw it on the ground and picked it up before anyone else had to touch that nasty thing.

I have NO idea how I'm going to get her to give up sucking her fingers like the dentist recommended if this is how she gets about a band-aid!

Happy Hallow

On monday (yes, I'm behind on my blog already) Travis and I packed up the kids for a day at Happy Hallow. I thought since it was on the chilly side it wouldn't be very crowded, but I was wrong. Actually, the parking lot seemed more crowded than the park, so it turned out perfectly.

Let me just say that I LOVE Happy Hallow. It's part small zoo, part small amusement park, with a bit of playground thrown in. They have nice animals: monkeys, turtles, birds, a feeding zoo, and even a leopard! They have rides: a merry-go-round, a train, and various moving vehicles that spin around in circles. And they have tons of places to play: a maze, a fire engine, a pirate ship, a tree-house slide, the list goes on and on. (And all this for a grand total of $24 for parking and admission, great deal!) Needless to say, by the end of the day, all 4 of us were worn out, Travis and I were anyway!

Unfortunatley my camera ran out of batteries on the trip, but here a few shots before it did. (Click on the pictures for larger versions.)

Olivia and Noah in the tunnel to look at the monkeys at their own level.

Noah on the Merry-Go-Round: (Little cutie girl he sat next to, huh?)

Olivia on the Merry-Go-Round:

Daddy and Noah looking at the animals (I couldn't get the animals to pose for the camera):

Olivia feeding the animals:

Olivia pumping water:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pancake Store of Panckes

That is what Olivia calls IHOP. We went there for breakfast this morning. YUM! I got the special, french toast with cinnamon and frosting. Noah really liked it. And Olivia's chocolate chips from her pancakes too. That boy has a serious sweet tooth. I have no idea where that could be from.

Between all the sugar and the unlimited coffee, we're all off to Happy Hallow, as soon as Noah gets up from his nap. His early nap, I can't believe he was conked out at 9:45. He is on a much eariler schedule now he is in his own bed.

Pictures will follow later...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Watch out Monet

One of Olivia's birthday presents this year was a set of wooden dollhouse furniture that came with paint and other decorations. What a wonderful gift for Olivia! Of course, also a LOT of work for mommy and daddy. A 4-year-old, paint, and something you want nice enough to be able to use takes a LOT of supervision. Add little brother who wants to be a part of everything into the mix, and you had one hectic morning for two parents.

First, daddy painted with Olivia for a few hours while mommy took Noah on errands. The furniture was coming along very nicely. White, red, blue, and yellow paint became all kinds of shades inbetween. The chairs focused on the primary colors, while mommy's favorite was the table that had a pink top and purple base. When daddy's energy was fully depleted, mommy took over and finished up the painting for awhile while daddy took Noah-duty. The last remaining color was made, green, which did not look at all purposeful.

Finally all the furniture was painted by Olivia and then made to look presentable as much as possible by daddy or mommy. All-in-all a great morning.

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Here's the final product. I bet you can guess which pieces were done first and which were done last. :-)

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Tonight is the night

Noah moves to a big boy bed. It's a little sad, like I'm losing my little baby. On the other hand, I would love if this would help him sleep through the night, which he hasn't done once since he's been born. That's right, I haven't gotten one single uninterupted night's sleep in over 16 months. But enough about me.

Long story short, he hates his crib. (The long story would include things about how I probably instigated this situation.) He sleeps much better anywhere but in his crib. Here is the evidence, him sleeping soundly on the futon and on our bed. If only I had a picture of him sleeping in the car we'd have the trifecta of preferred sleeping arrangements for Noah.

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So tonight is the night I'm hoping to start making his new bed one of those places where he can sleep soundly. Maybe the combination of not feeling confined and us taking it slowly with me staying in there while he adjusts will do the trick. A mommy can dream. It certainly wouldn't be any worse than how it's going now.

Today, daddy set up the bed, and Noah and Olivia had a grand ol' time breaking it in.

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Here's to sweet dreams, for Noah and mommy!

My little helper

The other day Noah and Olivia were practically fighting over who got to use the dust-buster. I had to moderate turns. It was on, sucking up crumbs and all. My little helpers!

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Today daddy was doing some plumbing work and Noah was very interested in it. We can't wait until you can help out either, Noah!

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Conversations with Olivia

Today in the car during the rain:

Olivia: What are those things that get the water off the car
Me: Windshield wipers
Olivia: Why are they called windshield wipers?
Me: Because they wipe the windshield.
Olivia: Why is it called a windshield?
Me: Because it shields us from the wind.

Silence, sweet silence. I didn't think that one would stump her, I thought that next I would be explaining what a shield was. But don't worry, on the way home from pre-school the conversation continued and she asked me how the windshield wipers knew when to go and I had to explain to her how I make the windshield wipers go fast or slow depending on the rain.


Tonight at dinner:

Olivia: Why is it called "chris cross?"
Me: Why is what called "chris cross?"
Olivia: The food.
Me: It's called "cous cous."


Yesterday when I was at my wits end from answering so many questions:

Me: Olivia, I'm really worried.
Olivia: Why are you really worried?
Me: I'm worried you are going to run out of words.
Olivia (giggling): Why are you worried I am going to run out of words?
Me: Because you talk SO much! I'm afraid you are going to run out of words and when you grow up and get married you won't have any words left and you won't be able to win all the arguements with your husband.
Olivia: Don't worry, I have HUNDREDS of questions!

Yes you do, girl, yes you do. Dare I say, thousands?

My love bugs

It really amazes me how much Olivia and Noah love each other.

I mean, sometimes Noah is such a... toddler, into everything, unrespectful of other people's feelings and possessions, you know, he's 1; and still, Olivia adores him to pieces. She tells me how much she loves him and tells everyone she sees his name and that he's her little brother with such pride.

And Noah, who I never would have thought would have such deep emotions at such a young age; when Olivia is crying, he'll go up to her and rub her head and give her a hug. And he looks at her with such adoration, and wants to do everything she does (which sometimes can be a problem) and sometimes only she can make him giggle uncontrollably.

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I really hope they can love each other this way for a long time. Ok, I'm sure they'll fight as teenagers, but hopefully they can be close for their lives despite it!

Nothing is safe in this house

I broke my stone today. :(

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I was reaching in the cabinet above the stove and the stone was sitting one the range and I dropped a glass jar of loose tea on it and it broke. I couldn't believe it, the thing is like a half inch thick and heavy as all get out. I use it all the time, for cookies, biscuits, calzones, garlic bread, everything. The thing cost over $25, not too bad, for something I thought would last forever. Not in this house. See, I can't really blame my kids for tearing stuff up with a mom like this, huh?

Man, I really don't want to shell out another $25 to Pampered Chef right now, but I really need to replace this thing. So, I was thinking I might have to host a Pampered Chef party to earn some benefits. Is anyone interested in buying some high quality kitchen products, doesn't the above picture make it so enticing?

Trader Joes Greek Style Yogurt

  • 13 grams of fat, great for brain development
  • no added sugars, only sweetened with fruit juices
  • lots of fun!

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

What ifs

Today we had a friend over to play who is 2-years-old, will be 3 this summer. That puts her almost right between Olivia's and Noah's ages. While she was here I was thinking to myself that this is what it would be like if I had had 3 kids more closely in age like I sometimes wish I had.

They had a great time and they amazingly all got along swimmingly, even Noah did great! (I think this is partly because Amelia comes from a family of 3 herself.) But I'm still happy about the size and spacing of our little family!

Housebound afternoon

We're stuck in the house all afternoon. Why? Because I haven't showered in two days and I'm not showing my face in public. Noah has already taken a nap today, so I'm not getting a chance until Travis comes home. I would love an outing to the library, especially since we have books due today, but even I have my limits.

Instead, we spent a good chunk of time playing Jack and the Beanstalk. First I was Jack and Olivia was the man in the bushes. The beans were being played by the white marbles that are hippo food in the Hungry Hippo game. Noah is in a throwing phase, so he played the mom that threw the beans out the window and called Jack a fool and sent him to bed without dinner. Then the beans/marbles morphed into golden eggs laid by the golden goose and we spent some time digging them out of Noah's mouth.

Then I remembered I had laundry to do so I made my escape to the garage. Whew. One can only take so much Jack and the Beanstalk. Of course, the kids followed me, so I asked them what in the world they were going to do in the garage. Olivia said, "playing with stuff we shouldn't." That girl is too smart! Then she spilled all the marbles in the garage, well, those that didn't already make their way under the refridgerator, so we will probably never be playing Hungry Hippo ever again.

Showers really aren't over-rated at all!

ETA: Olivia wan't lying about the playing with things they shouldn't. After updating my blog I found two plungers in the house and half the spices on the garage floor and Noah carrying a ziplock bag full of my spicy homemade taco seasoning in to me in our bedroom. That is one close-call. Our dust-buster already smells like pepper, I don't want to add taco seasoning to it.

I sure am glad I got a xylophone for each kid

I came in my bedroom this morning to see Noah holding onto the desk dancing with one foot on each upside down xylophone. The xylophones weren't in our bedroom this morning, so apparently he brought them in there for this specific purpose.

Of course as I ran to grab the camera to take a picture, by the time I returned Olivia had somehow hogged the spotlight with her feet on each xylophone. That girl! I convinced her to share the spotlight for the picture taking.

And when I recieved the 2nd xylophone from a friend I had lovely images in my head of them each sitting nicely playing music together, maybe even teaching them to read sheet music.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Opening Valentines Gifts from Gram

Olivia recieved a Groovy Girl wearing a scarf identical to the one Gram knitted for her for Christmas! Very chic! She also has a dog on a leash and a heart-shaped pillow. Adorable!

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Noah recieved something very adorable and stuffed too, but he was a little more interested in the box that he found very intrigingly similar to the ones that Olivia brought home from pre-school and shared the contents of with him. You can see the wheels turning in his head. He decided to just bite through the box, and almost had the goods when it was taken away. Foiled!

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Daddy was a little upset that the box didn't contain any presents for him.

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How many years of bad luck do they get for this?

The full view to see the extent of the ridiculousness of my kids standing on the step stool in the house under an umbrella. (I think Noah had originally climbed up there to get Olivia's markers where we try to keep them out of his reach.)

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The close-up to see how completely cute they are. Please ignore their grubbiness. Olivia had lots of Valentines snacks today (as well as she did monday) when I picked her up from pre-school, and of course there is that LONG drive home. It was really cute to see her sharing it with Noah across the back seat on the way home.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Valentines Day!

I tried and tried to get either Olivia or Noah looking somewhat happy and/or looking at the camera at this obvious photo opportuity, but to no avail. Still, pretty cute, huh? We've gotten into the habit of goofing off at Olivia's pre-school for awhile after picking her up from school, and it's been lots of fun. As long as we make it home by 5:30 for Dragon Tales and for me to make dinner occasionally, everyone is happy.

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Welcome to my blog!

Just a quick hello and welcome to my blog. Don't expect anything fancy. This is just a place to share the happenings and images of my two little characters. And maybe a picture here and there of how our humble abode is coming along as we slowly but surely put our blood, sweat, and tears into it.

And anyone wondering about the title... Just a reference to perhaps the most unique characteristic of our usually everyday family, our very well established avacado tree in our backyard. Can you believe we actually entertained the idea of getting rid of it when we first bought the place and it was only the huge tree that dropped so many ugly leaves? But now that we've made it through a summer here I realize we need it to have a shady spot to spend the few hot hours in the late afternoon when our westward-facing bedrooms are too uncomfortable those few weeks in July when the weather is less than perfect in the bay area. And more importantly, our guacamole habit we've established this winter. Every few days Travis picks a few avacados from the tree, and in a few days mushes them up with some salsa, and we have a pre-dinner snack. Yum!

Ok, well, you might see the real purpose of my blog now, an outlet for my relentless rambling! Enjoy!