Thursday, November 21

Olive: 21 Months and 13 Days

I love 21-month-olds. They are so fun. So smart. So talkative. And so NOT terrible. Not yet, not for a few more months (years? Can you tell we're dealing with a slightly different breed of child in the older spectrum?).

Olive is becoming a funny little person. She does things that she is intending to be jokes, like opening her mouth as wide as she can while there's food in it. Or making funny faces while shaking her head back and forth. Lots of little things. She loves making us laugh.

She puts 5-6 words together. "Dere it is, righ dere!" is a frequently heard phrase. She actually said her full name the other day. We were quizzing them (Milo mainly) on his name and address, and Olive said "Olive Lanefurrr." Pretty good.

She loves books. Favorites are Brown Bear Brown Bear, Farmer in the Dell ("Farmer Dell!"), Moo Baa La La La, and Cat Skidoo.

Olive likes to dance, especially to spin around and get dizzy. Mostly just dancing to the Dora clean-up song. After we play it 3 or 4 times to clean up, we play it one more time to just have a dance party. Both kids love this part of the routine.

Lately, Olive has gotten into her babies. She has a couple of dolls that she will carry around. She doesn't do a lot of nurturing or pretend play with them, with the exception of grabbing dishtowels and tucking them in. She does ask me to give them hugs and kisses sometimes. This is the one instance of a toy that Olive led the way on, and Milo picked it up from her. He's into the babies right now too.

Speaking of toys, Olive loves trains and puzzles, both of which came from Milo's interests. They also both love watching Dinosaur Train, and not much else in the way of TV. (Actually, Milo likes other things, but Olive has no interest in Thomas.)

She is a decent eater. Finally has 4 molars, though still missing a few teeth back near the back. She often asks for us to "cuddit" meaning cut up her food. And then she only eats the part that hasn't been cut. She's big on bread and always eats the bread portion of her meal first. Then fruit. Then maybe the rest of it. Or not, you just never know.

She is still a cuddler, though she is often too busy for it. She gives excellent hugs and kisses. Wonderful smiles, adorable dimples. Her hair is getting long-ish, still has bangs. She still refuses to keep hair clips or bands in.

She has gone pee in the potty once. I am considering using Thanksgiving weekend for potty training, but we have a lot planned (away from our house, and I just don't know how the grandparents feel about a bunch of pee on their floor). I guess we could do it the pull-ups way instead of the panties way.

Olive has a husky little voice, and also a high shrieky voice. Whatever she's in the mood for, I guess. I've caught her singing to herself a few times, mostly the ABCs I think. Hard to say.

I don't have any official stats for her, but I think she's tall. She weighs 29 pounds according to our bathroom scale. She wears size 6.5 W shoes. She's super picky about shoes, too.

What more can I say? Olive is adorable and fun and sweet and kind (she says "sorry sorry sorreee" to Milo if she hurts him. Sometimes tries to hug him (which he usually shrugs off). Super cute.). I'm just so glad she's mine.

Wednesday, November 13

Notes and Things I Wanted to Tell You

  • Milo got hand, foot, and mouth disease. Another kid at daycare has it. Olive probably has it too. Thankfully, Milo's case is about the mildest possible. Just a few blisters on his hands, and basically not other symptoms. We'll see what happens with Olive.
  • Olive peed in the potty for the very first time last week! Her diaper was dry in the morning, so I asked her if she wanted to sit on the potty. She said uh-huh like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Then a few minutes later, she peed. She earned two M&Ms for her efforts. She has gone in the toilet once more since then. Perhaps we're on our way to a diaper-free house...
  • I ran a 10K a few weeks ago. This was perhaps the biggest accomplishment of my life to date. Or at least the thing I least expected to do. I ran the whole way and finished in 1:08. Since then I have only ran about 4 times. Oh well, I'll get back into it one of these days, when things are less crazy. (Ha!)
  • The Gender Reveal is going like gangbusters. We're gonna be rich! (Ha!)
  • I missed writing Olive's 20-month update. There's still a chance for me to get to her 21-month update, though, so stay posted for that.

Tuesday, November 5

His first pun?

My darling son picks his nose. A lot. As you can imagine, this is a habit we would like to break. Which led to this little gem of a conversation:

Milo: (picking nose)
Me: Milo, stop picking your nose; that's gross.
Milo: (still picking nose) Mommy, I'm just a picky guy.

Friday, November 1

Spooky, Spooky, Spooky!

Halloween 2013 will go down as the first highly successful Halloween for the Langford kids. Let me give a quick recap of the previous years:

2012: Milo was terribly sick, which actually turned out to be a good thing because he was so scared by the entire holiday he didn't want to wear a costume. I don't even recall what he had planned to be before he a) changed his mind, b) got too scared to dress up, and c) got sick so it didn't matter anymore anyway. And Olive was so young she wasn't walking yet, she couldn't eat any of the candy, and she just didn't give a shit about any of it. She did look pretty cute in the chicken costume I forced upon her though. When she wasn't crying, that is.

2011: Milo was a bumblebee. The costume was fleece, and it was HOT that day. He roasted. I was pregnant, and I roasted. Milo didn't get the trick-or-treating thing at that point, and he got so bored. He sort of played along during the daycare party, but then we made the mistake of taking his costume off to eat dinner. He did NOT want to put it back on to go real trick-or-treating. I think we made it to one, maybe two houses before giving up.

2010: Milo's first Halloween. Too little to get it/eat candy/care. My first Halloween as a mom, so of course I put way too much pressure on the whole thing. He wore both a kangaroo costume for some early photos in the leaves, and a pumpkin costume for trick-or-treating. We went with some friends who had older kids, and we had to basically carry Milo up to the doors each time. Not so fun, really.

So! That brings everybody up to speed. This year was fantastic. Milo was Captain Hook. He had been requesting this costume since August, so I bought it for him in late September. In early October, he decided that Captain Hook was "too scary" and he wanted to be a pumpkin "with a smile and happy eyes, not a frown or mean eyes." Thankfully, he returned back to Captain Hook. Our neighbors gave us a little girl pirate costume. My mom gave us a watermelon costume for Olive. We let her pick. For weeks she refused to wear either. Well, frankly, she didn't try either of them on. On Halloween we sent the pirate costume to daycare and hoped that Ms. Kristin could get her into it.

We showed up for the daycare Halloween extravaganza at 4:30. Lo and behold, both Milo and Olive were in their costumes, and they looked awesome. Milo even had his hat and his hook on. Olive wasn't wearing the head scarf that came with hers, but no surprise there--she does not like stuff on her head (except for hoods...and some hats... OK, she just doesn't like having her hair done. But either way, I wasn't surprised about the lack of scarf.).

They sort of let me take their picture. Awfully wiggly and not very patient, those two

They did the daycare trick-or-treating. For awhile Milo didn't seem too into it. They were handing out little toys and stickers and such at the "houses" and I think Milo just wanted candy. As soon as they did get a piece of candy, they wanted to eat it right then. It was hard to explain that no, you can get MORE candy if you keep following the other kids. But overall, they both had a good time.

We came home, had dinner. This time I was smart enough not to take Olive out of her costume. I hadn't planned to take Milo out of his costume either, but he really wanted to take it off. I figured that was probably for the best, since his costume had these dangly sleeves. Anyway. Dinner. Then everybody get excited because it's trick-or-treating time!!

We set out with no expectations of how many houses we'd hit. We started with our cul-de-sac. Then a couple houses up the street. Then Ms. Kristin's cul-de-sac. Then down the hill to that cul-de-sac. Total of 10 houses, I think. Then the kids were getting worn out and started to be less happy about the whole thing. Back up the hill to home. One piece of candy to eat, then off to bed.

I was so stinking proud of these kids. Especially Milo. He rang the doorbells, said "trick or treat" every time, said "thank you," waved goodbye, and was just generally very agreeable. He kept his hat and hook on. Just such a nice guy. He did try to open doors and even walk into people's homes at first, but he got the hang of it before too long. Olive was so cute too. She started out just holding out her basket and saying "my candy!" as they dropped a piece in her bag. She did say "thank you" and "bye!" while enthusiastically waving. About 2/3 of the way through the evening, she started saying "chickee cheet!" So so cute.

Milo still got pretty nervous about Halloween this year, so I am especially proud of the way he didn't let his fears stop him from having fun. From the costumes to the trick-or-treating to the excitement of the whole thing, he participated--and he can often be the kid that hangs back and does his own thing.

Last night, sometime in the middle of the night, he came into our room upset, saying "Is Halloween over yet?" So even after having lots of fun, getting to eat lots of candy, he still worried about Halloween. I'm hoping next year he remembers all the fun and doesn't let the worries slow him down. And I hope Olive tries on her costume before the day of the holiday. Milo has already informed me that next year he wants to be a rubber duckie for Halloween. We'll see, kid. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 29

He can't stop being AWESOME

Milo continues to say hilarious, clever things. Case in point:

"Have you ever heard of a waffelo? It's a buffalo made out of waffles!"

No idea if he heard that somewhere or if he made it up. But he knew he was being funny when he told us. Love it.

Tuesday, October 22

Nice try

I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner. Milo said "Tacos!" Unexpected, but okay. Also, not going to happen due to the lack of one or all of the ingredients, but okay.

Then I asked again: "Olive, what do you think I should make for dinner?"

"Gokket!" she said very matter of factly.

"What? Gokket?" I said.

She nodded and repeated herself. "Gokket!"

"Ohhh," I said. "Chocolate? You want chocolate for dinner?"

"Ya," she said in that quick, clipped way of hers. She went back to playing. Her job there was done.

Chocolate for dinner... Ya, that's my girl.

Monday, October 21


Milo: We live in South America.
Me: Actually, we live in North America.
Milo: Well, it's a little southy.

Thursday, October 17

What the what?

The other day, Milo said, "What the hake is THAT all about?" Totally imitating some adult, or some other kid imitating an adult. I had to ask him to clarify, because, seriously, what did you just say, child? He repeated it, again saying "hake" instead of "heck."

Andrew started to correct him, but I stopped him. I mean, if my kid is going to start saying something that is just a step away from "what the hell," I at least want him to say it wrong and have it be hilarious for awhile.

I'm just glad he isn't saying "What the fake."

Wednesday, October 9

So impressed

See there, in the top right corner of the picture? That says Milo. And Milo wrote it entirely by himself. Isn't he amazing? And here all I thought he could write was Q.

Milo is three and a half

My first child is three and a half. I actually think he's been three for about forever, and I'm a little surprised he isn't closer to four. There is so much to say about Milo. The ups, the downs, the ins and outs. He is a complicated, simple kid. Let me see if I can begin to tell you about him. (Bear with me; this is gonna be a long one. I don't give Milo nearly enough blog space these days, and he deserves a full update.)

He's so kind. Milo hugs Olive if she is upset about something. He brings her toys to try to make her feel better. He apologizes to me immediately if he accidentally steps on my foot or something. "Oh, sorry, Mommy," he'll say, patting me on the knee. He gives wonderful hugs and knows that hugs make people feel better. He freely gives compliments. Just the other day I heard Milo musing over how he and Daddy were boys, and Mommy and Olive were girls. Daddy said, "Mommy and Olive are cool girls." Milo replied, "Yep, Mommy and Olive are cool, PRETTY girls, Daddy."

He's so smart and so creative. Milo has a huge vocabulary and makes connections that seem to be beyond his years. We were eating a pizza, and half the slices were gone. He looked at the pizza there in the box, and said "That looks like a semi-circle." Why yes, yes it does. He loves books and remembers so much of what has been read to him. He enjoys easy-reader sort of nonfiction books, and he can tell you all sorts of things about penguin colonies, gazelles ("Kazelles," as he calls them), raccoons, badgers, and trains. Milo is getting better at writing. He can write the letter Q and probably a few others. He can control his pencil enough to make a decent circle. He is getting better with scissors. I can see how his interest in drawing has changed over the last few months—he is attempting to color inside/near the lines of coloring books, and his art is looking more like something recognizable and less like scribbles (yet he still rarely chooses to color outside of the art projects at daycare).

Milo loves to make jokes. Like any kid his age, he is trying to figure out humor and how to make people laugh. He'll say something unexpected just to see if it makes us laugh. If I were to say something like "Who wants pizza?" Milo might say, "Who wants . . ." then he pauses and looks around. "Trees!" he exclaims triumphantly.

Half the time (or more than half, if I'm being honest) Milo drives me completely bonkers. He throws fits over Every. Little. Thing. And usually he changes his mind at some point during the fit to take an opposite position. For instance, the other day, he wanted cereal with milk for breakfast. Unfortunately, we had run out of milk. I offered him dry cereal, a bagel, oatmeal, a waffle, and even cinnamon toast. He cried on the stairs for about 15 minutes, whining about how he only wanted cereal with milk, so he didn't want breakfast at all. Fine, we said. No breakfast. When we were all done eating and on our way upstairs to brush his teeth, he whined that he wanted to eat breakfast. We told him that he had missed breakfast and would have to eat at Ms. Kristin's house (where he is fed every day upon walking in the door). He screamed. "But I wanted to eat breakfast heeeeeere!" It goes on and on. The reasons change, but there is always something that is bringing him to the end of the world. Sometimes I just don't even know how to handle the fits. I feel like an awful mom when all I want to do is yell at him. And I do find myself raising my voice, and I hate it. I hate that he can bring me to that. "He's three, he's three, he's three," I have to remind myself.

I think three is a really tough age, because so much of the time, Milo can be so fun and so smart and so sweet. And occasionally even reasonable. He tricks me into thinking that he should be reasonable all the time, or even most of the time. And that simply isn't the case. And I find myself trying to reason with him and use logic. You may be surprised to find that it gets me absolutely nowhere. It's a phase, and blah-de-blah. I know that underneath all the crazy is a really sweet kid who craves attention from his mommy and daddy.

Milo has gained some large motor skills in the last few months. He can ride a bike with training wheels. When he started learning, he was pretty timid about going too fast or how to stop or slow down. But he has slowly gained confidence, and he tears around the cul-de-sac. He still can be very cautious on hills and if he feels out of control, he forgets how to brake and starts dragging his feet along the ground. But he improves every time he rides. He is a pretty fast runner. At least he looks fast to me (but I am only really comparing him to Olive, who is decidedly not fast, though adorable, when running). He also is pretty good at riding his scooter, another skill that he wasn't too confident at for quite awhile.

Milo is a cautious kid. He is leery of trying new things. He definitely does not like doing things that are hard for him or that he doesn't fully understand. He struggles to find bravery. Nothing makes me more proud of him than when I see him giving it his all and experimenting and trying something that I know is freaking him out.

Milo is a picky eater. He's still a breakfast eater--oatmeal, eggs, ham, waffles, bagels-without-cream-cheese, bacon, sausage, cereal, yogurt, granola--he'll gladly eat all of that. Dinner is a different story. Rarely does he eat more than a few bites of his dinner. One night he pretended he was the carrot monster and stuffed a bunch of carrots into his mouth, hardly even chewing before grabbing another. Andrew and I just sat there, holding our breath and hoping the carrot monster would stick around for awhile (spoiler alert: it didn't).

Speaking of pretending, he is way into that. He had a nice long phase where he'd pretend the Big Bad Bear was coming and we all needed to hide. That morphed into "Boulder Bear" where Andrew would drop pillows on Milo's head while he his under the covers. He runs from room to room and is "Super____(fill in the blank)." Super Milo, Super Robot, Super Train. He holds a doll while running and the doll is Super Baby. That was a good one. Olive got in on that action, grabbing her own doll and calling out "Soooper Baybeee" as she ran around.

Those two are great friends, except when they don't feel like being friendly. They laugh together, play games together, pretend together, run around together, read together. It's so cool to watch them. Sometimes Olive drives Milo crazy. He shouts at her, "Leave me alone, Olive!" But I am glad to see that he doesn't smack her or anything. Sometimes he doesn't know how rough his playing can be, but he doesn't intentionally try to hurt her.

Milo likes dancing, but he's not really into music. He is really into trains. Loves his train table, loves books about trains, loves Thomas (or the other inhabitants of Sodor. Gordon pulls the Express, you know.). He still enjoys a good machine or fire truck, though everything takes a backseat to trains.

I love seeing Milo's interests and personality continue to develop. I love hearing him recall a memory from something several months ago and knowing that his memory is increasing all the time. He is such fun to hang out with (tantrums exempted). I hope he knows how much I adore and love him. Milo, you have my heart forever.

Tuesday, October 8

It's a cycle

A few weeks ago, I bought some amazing shoes. They are a beautiful light brown color, leather, with the perfect heel-height. And not uncomfortable.

Then I realized that other than jeans, I didn't have any pants to wear with them. My nice pants were black. Or a blue/black color. So I bought some nice brown pants. Almost a brown-gray, really, but they would work with the shoes.

Except the pants are only long enough to be worn with flats. And I don't have any brown flats.

So now I need both brown flats and brown pants that are long enough to wear with heels. Shopping FTW!

Wednesday, October 2

Milo says...

I have the most awesome kid. He says these things that are so funny, so clever, so silly. And he knows he's being silly. I wish you could see his face as he says some of this stuff. He has this half smile, twinkling eyes. Like he's just waiting to see us laugh, and then laugh with us. I love it. Love him.

Some quotes from Milo from the last couple weeks:

"If your chin goes bouncing away, you should probably get a robot chin."

While eating dinner (including some apple slices): "Look, the apple dog is laying on my plate. He will eat your hair."

"I can't wear a construction hat right now. I'm playing, not working."

Completely randomly, also during dinner (where all the best conversations are had, really): "Guys, do you know who Mr. Shower is? Mr. Shower is a shower. You can take a shower in him. You climb into his belly and take a shower there."

Monday, September 23

Olive: 19 Months

This lady has me wrapped around her little fingers, over and over and over. She's wonderful.

First, the physical changes. She has gotten more teeth in the last month. Now she has three (four?) clearly visible on the bottom, and when her mouth is wide open you can see all the bumps and ridges where more are coming. Two molars in the back now, so real, proper chewing is on its way. It's amazing how much she can eat without molars, but I guess you learn to make do with what you've got.

She is clearly getting taller. Size 18-month clothing is getting too small, and pants that were once way too long are just skimming her ankles.

Her bangs are growing out, and they're almost in her eyes again. I will soon be forced to make the call on whether to trim the bangs or try to grow them out. I'd like to grow them, but not if it means her hair will always be in her eyes and face. So I'll hold off on deciding anything as long as I can. Unfortunately, she is also starting to get a little mullet, and that's all we need to say about that.

She is far more aware of her body and the things that are bothering her than I remember Milo being at this age. For instance, she picks at hangnails and is bothered by messes on her hands or face. She knows when she has gone potty and waddles around with a pained expression saying "pooooop" until her diaper is changed.

Her language skills continue to impress. She regularly strings words together to form mini-sentences. "My room!" "Mommy pillow." "Milo train." "Again, Daddy." "More grape please!" "My punkin." She's getting more possessive too. Lots of "my."

She still has the poutiest pout in the world, with the lower lip sticking out. Adorbs.

She always wants to be where Milo is, doing what Milo is doing. My mother-in-law asked me the other day if Olive ever played with girl toys. The question kind of stopped me in my tracks. I looked down at Olive, who had been playing with a train. Huh. No. She really doesn't ever play with "girl toys." She loves trains and cars and trucks and diggers. I thought, I was so worried about pigeonholing her into this little "girl" box of princesses and pink and tutus—did I inadvertently push her toward only "boy" things? But no, I don't think I did. She just adores her brother so much, she has come to enjoy the toys he likes. We have the stereotypical girly toys, too—the strollers, stuffed animals, baby dolls, dress-up clothes, doll bottles, a dollhouse—but Olive just doesn't show much interest in that stuff. I wonder how her interests will change as she gets older.

She likes books, and has begun quoting bits of them. She loves the "goodnight nobody" page in Goodnight Moon and will gleefully shout "nobody" when you get to that page.

Olive is a decent eater, though she does randomly refuse to eat sometimes. Probably when Milo is also refusing, though not always.

We have started calling her "Ollie" some. I didn't really think we'd go the nickname route with her, but since "Buddy" is already taken, I guess we had to have something else to call her. Sometimes I call her "Sweetie," more often than I probably realize.

It's so cool to see her start to develop her interests and personality. She and Milo are so similar in some ways, and so obviously different in others. She already knows how to push Milo's buttons. Ah, siblings.

Friday, August 30

A Contest

Andrew: Who can make the best owl sound?
Me: Whoooo, whooooo.
Andrew: Whoooo, whoooo.
Milo: Quack, quack.

Then Milo laughed. So did we.

Saturday, August 17

Olive at 18 Months (only 9 days late this time)

First, the official doctor-sanctioned statistics:

Weight: 24 lbs., 8.5 oz. (75th percentile)
Height: 33 1/4" (90th percentile)
Head Circumference: 19" (95th percentile)

Since her 15-month check-up, Olive shot back up on the growth charts. She's definitely a tall lady. I wonder if she'll have the same memories I do of being literally a head taller than everyone else in her first grade class. I guess we have quite a few years for that one, though.

My daughter is utterly charming. There is so much personality packed into those 33 1/4 inches. When she pouts, she pouts big time. Lower lip stuck so far out, arms crossed, glaring eyes. When she laughs, she shrieks and guffaws and throws her body around recklessly. When she loves, she snuggles in close, practically climbing up your body, and she holds on so tight you think her fingers must be hurting from that grip. Nothing is halfway with her.

She is quite a mimic. When I say something, she repeats it and it's like she instantly learns the word. The one word she can't seem to get is "water." She calls it "nuk" which is, we think, her word for milk (maaaaybe "drink"). She knows juice, and coffee, even. But she can't seem to get water. Except when it is a lake or creek. Then she calls it water. Just not the stuff she drinks. That is nuk.

She's gotten into "my" as of late. Especially "my paci." Which I think is funny, because that is the one thing that no one else in the house wants.

I gave her bangs a few weeks ago. Totally a good idea. The bangs are keeping the hair out of her eyes and I haven't lost any hair ties in weeks.

Olive has started calling our cat (who is named Zadie) Lily. Lily is the name of our daycare provider's dog. (A very large dog, I might add.) Olive used to say Zadie, but somehow she decided that all pets are named Lily, or something.

She has an awesome dance. She spreads her legs apart like she's waiting for someone to crawl between them, then she nods in a very exaggerated way. Sometimes twisting back and forth too. She also has begun to sing. I caught her humming the Dora clean-up song at dinner. She started nodding in her dancing way, then quietly said "keen-up, keen-up." Ohmygosh, freaking adorable.

(By the way, that clean-up song has changed our lives. We were...not great at asking the kids to clean up their toys. We were inconsistent so of course they never wanted to clean up. But I was pretty sure they were singing that song at daycare, so we started playing it. And it was suddenly all Pavlov's dogs in here. They just started cleaning up. Racing to clean up, even. And they wanted to play the song over and over, and then one more time after the toys had been picked up just so we could have a little dance party. It has been nothing but good for us. And I'm not even complaining about how that song is stuck in my head Every Single Day because I will take it if it means no more toys all over the freaking place.)

She still sticks to Milo like glue and does everything he does. She adores him.

She knows the names of at least 20 people and loves to tell them bye. She's big on saying bye to things. An airplane goes by overhead, and she says "airpane! in da sky! airpane!" Then, "Byebye, airpane, byebye. Bye, airpane." Once is never enough.

She adores all her grandparents, and I'm sure they adore her right back.

Likes: doing what Milo does, going fast, watching airplanes and trains, swinging, eating ice, eating popsicles, getting tickled by Daddy, taking her sandals off, fruit, her paci, Fancy Nancy, drinking out of a regular cup.
Dislikes: getting too dirty/sandy/sticky, being poopy, eating tomatoes, getting water in her eyes in the bath, having to sit at the table when she's "ah dunn, ah dunn!", paying attention to TV for very long, drinking out of a sippy cup.

She is growing up so fast, but you know what? I like it. I like that she says more all the time and knows more. I like that she is getting more independent and can do more things for herself. I like that she and her brother can have conversations and their own jokes and play together. It's amazing. She's amazing.