Thursday, December 30, 2010

Exibit 1: Why Mothers Worry

While I was cooking dinner Oliver listened to music. I peeked in and saw him doing his dare devil tactics...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Big Boy Bed

This weekend we are going to get a Christmas tree, and Oliver is going to transition to a big boy bed. I'm so ready. Can't wait to be able to lay next to him for our nightly books, and not to have to lift a 36 pound boy into a crib each day. Matthew has been more hesitant. It's a final confirmation that our son is no longer a baby.
Oliver is able to climb out of his crib and to climb in it as well. So for safety reasons its really time to make the shift. Today Matthew came home with a home made book called "big boy" about a kid who gets a new bed, sleeps in it all night long, and doesn't come to visit his parents in the middle of the night. Oliver loved it and asked to read it 7 times today. Hopefully the message is sinking in!

Oliver's language is developing in a parabolic manner. Just weeks ago it was three word sentences. Now common phrases are:
"I ate it all up"
"I like armored plates" (on dinosaurs)
"warm it up" (milk before bed)

His first story was about the traumatic experience of stepping on cat poop in the yard barefoot. When guests arrived at our house for the next few days he would do his best to reenact the horror by pointing to his toes and saying "poop cat".

Oliver is also going through an insane eating phase. The other day he woke up from a nap in a terrible mood, went to the fridge and asked for an egg. I made him a scrambled egg and he horked it down, then asked for another. I made him another and he ate it and asked for a third. I offered a banana, milk, juice. "No. I want more egg mama." So I made him the third egg and he ate it all. He eats two dinners on a regular basis.

The whole family has been battling a nasty cold for the last two weeks. We all need a relaxing weekend with tea and tree decorating.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cars Cars Cars

Oliver is insane for cars these days. He will line them up, roll them around, and carry them with him. He's always got at least two in one hand, clutched between a couple of fingers. Even in bed. Oliver's vocabulary is expanding and he's able to put together simple sentences. Some common one's are:

"I need mama"
"More presents" (after someone gives him a gift)
"More cars"

He used to say "aye" instead of "yes", but is now very clearly saying "yes". He's pretty close to knowing all his letters and numbers, and is able to count to ten easily. He can pick find his name tag from the set at preschool, so he is able to recognize the letters in his name.

Oliver is looking to be right handed. He's doing a lot of painting and drawing. His favorite is finger paints, which often turn into body paints or foot paints.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Proud Dad

Oliver went pee pee in the potty tonight. The big potty. It was a pretty amazing moment for all of us. He's never really warmed to the potty chair we got him - he's been aware of it, but has always politely declined when we asked him if, by chance, he'd like to use it. We've only encouraged, never really pushed. He probably wonders why we expect him to go potty in there when we don't use it ourselves.

Oliver's typical post-bath ceremony these days is to throw off his towel and run and jump on the bed or sofa and roughhouse with me a little before bed. Tonight he did a little dance, then made a funny face and awkwardly squeezed his knees together. Speaking from a geeky developmental perspective, this suggested to me that perhaps he heard his brain this time when it said, "I'm about to pee," and physically reacted (woo-hoo!). I jumped up and walked him into the bathroom, where his little potty occasionally lives - but it wasn't there. So we propped his stool in front of the big potty and I helped him up. After 5 or 10 seconds, he peed. The little stinker!

We applauded and hoorayed, and he literally walked out of the bathroom with his arms raised above his head in victory (coincidentally, as I'm writing this, SportsCenter is on mute, and I just caught a glimpse of Brett Favre, arms raised after a touchdown pass - he looked like that). He had another joyous flop on the bed and then went back to the potty with us to flush. As Amanda said, he was so excited that he forgot to flush.

Another big change that is around the corner is that he's about to start school this week. He'll be in the program I ran the last three years I was at Bing - the MWF AM 2's program. Mark and Colin, who he knows, will be his teachers and we feel like he's just going to love it. He'll be the youngest in his class, which is fine by us, because lord knows that boy loves hanging around older and bigger kids. He's speaking a lot these days, and is stringing together 3-word sentences at times (his favorite phrase still being "root beer float" - and yes, Mom, we credit you for the root beer introduction. It's at the point where it's still called a root beer float without the ice cream. The boy just loves his root beer!). Point being, I think he'll benefit from being exposed to so much more language. He'll be there for an hour on Wednesday and then for the full 2 1/2 hours on Friday. Grandma Connie sent him a monkey backpack for his birthday that he wore happily on our trip to Ikea today. We'll let you all know how it goes!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A list of Oliver's favorites (as of Sept.2010)

Favorite animal: whale, then dinosaurs, then sea turtles, then sharks. He has some plastic dinos that he likes to run around with and then scare mama by yelling "roar!" with them as I'm cooking or doing chores.
Favorite toy: cars cars cars. Matchbox cars are #1 with a large garbage truck being #2. He will line up the cars, then count them (not totally correct on the numbers 1-10 yet, but getting there) and then one by one put them in the garbage truck, which is his brief case of sorts.
Favorite color: purple
Favorite food: gnocchi
Favorite drink: root beer, then pear juice
Favorite book: Zin Zin Zin the Violin

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oliver turns 2!

DSC_4363, originally uploaded by Zzack.

For more photos:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oliver and Matthew sing Baby Beluga

If you have the time to be entertained for 3 1/2 minutes, I played Baby Beluga on the guitar a week ago while Oliver banged away on the ukulele in our garage. As you can see, he's very fond of picks these days, as they are quite the captivating little musical accessory. Here's the link - enjoy:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Almost Two

Oliver will be having his second birthday in not too long. It's been a while since I've posted and don't even ask how his baby book is going. The irony of the digital age is that it gets harder and harder to make prints, and organize them in a lasting way. In some ways I miss film...

So milestones... Oliver speaks in two word sentences now. "No home." means that he would like to keep driving in the car. Even after a five hour car ride Oliver will say "No home!" He also says "More water, More trucks, and "Bye bye Nana" (when he wants me to hold his monkey).

Oliver is slowly working on potty training. We aren't pushing it but we are introducing it when the moment arises. Yesterday we had some success in the back yard with it.

Oliver knows many of his letters and some numbers. He is starting one-to-one association when playing with blocks, cars etc. He will stack blocks and count as he goes but not really say each number clearly or in order.

Oliver is still extremely physical. Batting with a tee isn't a challenge for him. He'll hit the ball every time, then run around the yard yelling "run Oli run!" until he gets back to home base. He's got some success with regular pitching and hitting the ball. He might get a hit 25% of the time or so. Oliver can run, jump, kick a ball very well, and is beginning to dance to music. We've been going to the pool periodically. Oliver is nervous in the pool, and needs to be in control of what we do there at all times. If he says "bye bye pool" we need to get out right away.

Oliver is still very courageous and exploratory, and would go off on his own in a store without worry if we didn't guide him not to. That said, there are odd moments when something catches him off guard and scares him. He is afraid of the spa feature in grandma and grandpa's bathroom and would walk new guests over to the bathroom on arrival to let them know that they shouldn't turn it on. He likes lawn mowers but is terrified of a toy lawn mower at the nanny's house for some reason. At times he will get very frustrated and turn to whining as a reflex and we'll have to remind him to use words to tell us what is wrong.

Personality wise, Oliver is extremely outgoing and friendly. He'll wave to cars driving by, chat up the tellers at banks and supermarkets, and run over to a man with a dog. His general expectation is that anyone he smiles at or says hi to will shower him with affection. He is stunned when a new person doesn't stop what they are doing to chat him up. Most of the time they do.

Oliver is also 100% mommy oriented. He's enamored with me and would prefer me to Matthew at any point. I'll take it while I can, as I know soon the daddy phase will come.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oliver's 20 months old now, and quite a guy. He's a whiz at puzzles and has recently mastered the vehicle puzzle Grandma and Grandpa gave him for Easter. It's one of those puzzles you have to put batteries in, and the lights flash when you complete the police car, fire engine, or ambulance. He then likes putting his face right up to the lights as they flash for a bit of a strobe effect. He'll also spin in place until he becomes dizzy and falls down.

His language is coming along as well. He's getting better at initial sounds, and for words like, "helicopter," "handlebars," and "llama," that are longer and have something of a rhythm to them, he's inventing sounds that mimic the words, and are very cute. He's also picking up, "Help, Dad," (pronounced, 'Up-ah') which is a bit of a godsend. Now he doesn't just point at the doorknob and whine when he can't open it....not all the time, at least. He's getting some hand motions going with songs like, "The Eensy Weensy Spider," "Patty Cake," and "Ten Little Boys and Girls."

Tonight, Mom invented a game called, "Kayaking Down the River Nile," in which Oli sits between my legs and I kayak him along, bouncing my legs and moving them side to side. We've got to watch out for the crocodile before kayaking again for awhile, and I enjoyed making rapids. "Kayaking Down the River Nile" is rivaling "Handlebars," in which Oli sits on my stomach, holds my thumbs, and I bounce him up and down.

He's learned to give zerberts, as well, which is hilarious for all involved. It started with tickling when we would stretch our arms up over our heads, revealing bare bellies. He's practiced and now gets a pretty good sound out of his lips on our bellies.

Amanda and I are hanging in there. Keeping busy and doing the best we can to get by in this world. Take care - I'll post some photos soon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


IMG_0254, originally uploaded by amandalinden.

I love birthday cake!


IMG_0205, originally uploaded by amandalinden.


IMG_0210, originally uploaded by amandalinden.


IMG_0263, originally uploaded by amandalinden.


IMG_0235, originally uploaded by amandalinden.

Oliver at Stella's 2nd birthday party.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


It is hard to talk about milestones, because the thing about children is that when one thing happens, everything happens. Oliver is becoming a little boy. He talks now. He went from no talking to saying and repeating lots of things. From not doing any puzzles to being able to do all the puzzles we have. He can put shapes in holes, and can put objects in their home (dog goes in dog house, cookie goes in cookie jar). This morning I said "I love you" while I was changing his diaper and he tried to repeat it. We practiced saying "I love you" to one another about 10 times and I could tell he knew what it meant and was close to figuring out how to make his mouth make the noises.
His most common phrase is "oh no!" which he uses whenever he drops something or makes a mistake or spills. He's starting to act like a virgo wanting things to be clean and ordered. If a bit of yogurt spills he points it out and we need to wipe it up asap.
Oliver is aware of the patterns and images on his clothes now and has certain shirts that are favorites. He wants to wear things with planes and trucks on them.
Oliver is starting to manipulate us. He knows when he is doing something wrong and is quick to look back with a sneaky grin to see if I'm noticing. He wants to skip back to the middle of a book if I've said it's the last one before bed.
Oliver is becoming a picky eater and his favorite food is now apples. Each day he eats a peeled apple little by little like a beaver. He carries it around with him for an hour working on it little by little.
Oliver is becoming impatient. If he can't figure out how to push something in the yard because the ground is uneven, he will get frustrated and have a tantrum. If he's unable to make a toy work correctly or if we don't understand him, he'll have a tantrum.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In the yard

DSC05446, originally uploaded by amandalinden.

Eating Waffles

DSC05616, originally uploaded by amandalinden.

What 'chu talkin' 'bout Willis?


DSC05428, originally uploaded by amandalinden.

Oliver happily reading during "nap time".