Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bee sting

Today Oliver was playing by the climbing tree in the back yard.  He had his batman costume on and saw a bee that, "needed some savin'".  The bee wasn't aware that it needed saving, and stung Oliver on his sucking thumb when he grabbed it.  Oliver cried in a fury for about 2.4 minutes, then insisted on a Dora the Explorer band aid.  The kid is tough.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Oliver's new favorite thing? Rollercoasters. Mine too.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Claire laughing, 6 months

Tomorrow's Claire's 6 month birthday. She's such a happy baby.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Close to crawling!

Claire can now move around with a combo of rolling over and pivoting 360 degrees.  I like this first video because it shows what a good communicator she is.  She tells me, "Mom, I want to go in my bedroom! Help me now!"

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Photos from the last 4 months

5 new things

5 new things about Claire:
1. She passes things from one hand to the other.
2. She's old enough to eat rice cereal, but won't.  You put it in her mouth and she looks at you like you are crazy.
3. She can roll over.  Multiple times.  I often set her on her blanket to get something done and come back to her wedged beneath a piece of furniture.
4. She loves grabbing her feet.
5. She's ticklish.

5 new things about Oliver:
1. Obsession with Cars 2 has given way to obsession with Starwars.  It's amazing to me that after 2 years of nothing but lightning McQueen the tides have turned.
2. This weekend he told me I was his best friend, and then later said that he wants to, "Do like me when he grows up."  I wasn't able to get specifics on that.
3. When you compliment Oliver he often tells you that you are wrong.  I'm not sure why.  He's generally a confident guy but if you say something like, "Oliver I think you are very smart."  He'll say, "No mama."
4. In the beginning of the school year Oliver didn't play with other kids, he played next to them.  Then he met a classmate named Peter that he was obsessed with.  He would copy him and follow him around.  Now he's got a new best friend name Johnathan, an African American boy who shares Oliver's love for the swings.  Sometimes Johnathan is too clingy and Oliver is rude to him, but most of the time when we arrive in the classroom Oliver is pleased to hear Johnathan call out, HI OLIVER!!!"
5. When we go out on family walks he'll ask me to stop the stroller and shout, "It's smellin' time!" Then he'll go over to a rose bush and point out the flower I'm going to smell and the one he's going to smell.  We'll repeat the process 7-8 times on the way to Starbucks.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Learning the hard way

It's been absolutely gorgeous lately, so this morning we packed the car and headed for the beach. Oli stripped to his underwear and was having the time of his life, cruising around on the sand, splashing in the cold water, racing away from oncoming waves. I was with him as he inched further and further out on the wet sand toward the receding surf. I could see the tide gathering itself and knew he was in for an unpleasant surprise - likely two or three waves on top of one another. He turned to run just as I took off for him. The surf knocked him off his balance and "rolled him," as he later recounted. There was a moment, just before I picked him up, of sheer terror in his eye. The guy's usually fearless, and Amanda and I have said it'd be good for him to know that certain things should be feared - he learned this one the hard way.

The rest of the day was pleasant, until he started crying out around 10pm. He didn't nap today and was exhausted, so we were surprised to hear him. It was probably the heat making him uncomfortable - last night, despite my urging to wear the short-sleeved octopus pajamas, Oli chose the winter-themed flannel (of course). Amanda went in to find he'd thrown up ALL OVER the place. The boy was pretty shaken up. We bathed him and his room reeks, so we set him up in the guest room tonight and introduced the concept of "the bucket."

Tough day for the kid. I hope he gets some good sleep tonight.

Rolling Rolling

Claire is getting ready to roll over!  She's now engaging with toys passing them between her hands.  Every once in a while one will make it to her mouth but she's not at that stage yet where she chews everything in sight.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quiet Time

When we nap, we nap hard at the Linden household. Recently, Oli's been weaning his nap, so we're offering him Quiet Time as an alternative - where he basically stays in his end of the house for about an hour without disturbing us. It's lovely. Today, with about 3 minutes left of QT, Oli passed out. Check out his choice of sleeping position...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Groundskeeper Oliver

Today Oliver went to the park with us and he noticed that the baseball diamond was being groomed. He began to run toward the tractor leaving us in the dust. By the time we had caught up to him he had convinced the groundskeeper to let him ride on the tractor. The man was literally pushing our son like a slave. So funny. I love too that the guy didn't bother to ask us whether we wanted our son on a major piece of machinery. Ha!

Nickie's 90th

On St. Patrick’s Day this year, Nickie Meek turned 90. The next day, we threw her a party that will be remembered in Yreka for years to come. I found an offshoot of the Southern Oregon Symphony who call themselves the Rogue Valley Sauerkrauts, a 17-piece German polka band, who insist on playing dressed to the nines in full lederhosen, and basically played the party for gas money and a free meal. They played for hours, delighting people from age 3-94, and when they were at their peak, there were at least 22 musicians, with a few extra sitting on the sidelines. I guess since the average age of the band was about 85, they needed a few backup in case a trombone player went down mid-song. Horn down! The polka must go on!

Nickie’s German roots run deep (unfortunately all the way to limburger cheese) and we managed to keep the band a secret until a few hours before the party started. She was surprised, elated, and had such a fun time. Half the fun was watching Nickie during the party, having a grand old time. Amanda put out cards for guests to write letters to Nickie and Connie put together a slideshow that left few dry eyes in the house. The musicians (who also opened a few beers along with the party guests) let Oliver and his cousins Lucas and Ella play the drums, the party was an absolute riot, and the birthday girl did the polka – at age 90.

A big highlight of the weekend for me was watching Oliver really connect with his cousins for the first time. They all at the age where they’re play-compatible and they played for hours on end, blissed out on each other’s presence. On Nickie’s birthday, at Brian and Connie’s house, Ella was holding Claire in a chair, looking all the portrait of beauty. Oli and Lucas came rambling up, babbling silliness and laughing with each other. They left almost immediately, and left a smile on my face. “Ella,” I said, “Someday you and Claire are going to play like Oliver and Lucas.” Ella looked at me with disapproval, and replied, deadpan, “I am never going to play like Oliver and Lucas.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Being three

Being a three and a half year old boy means that you:

1. Feel comfortable dragging your baby potty into the dining room in the early morning while your parents are sleeping so that you can poop while playing with cars and looking out the french window.

2. Say things like, "Hey mom, let's get that the next time we are at 'our local Target store'." He hears catch phrases from TV and radio like "at your local..." and they stick.

3. Bring internet and technology into your everyday language, confusing the virtual world with the tangible world. Today Oliver said to me, "Mama, click here if you would like to play cars 2 with me." Um. What?

4. Get mad when you have to go to swimming lessons arguing that you don't want to take swimming lessons, you want to take super hero lessons to fly and have powers.

5. Eat a ton at every meal and are hungry all the time. Typical lunch is noodles, chicken, broccoli all in portions that are the same as what I would eat. Breakfast is 4 pancakes. Not uncommon to say at 11am, "Before we go mama I want you to make me a bagel and also a peanut butter jelly sandwich."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hard to believe...

A week ago Matthew and I read the "Baby 411" book section for 3 month olds. The book told us that Claire should now be getting a night routine going. Our main complaint with her is that she goes to bed at 11:30 to 2am and we'd be in heaven if we could adjust that to a 9 or 10pm go down. She sleeps 8-9 hours straight with no wake ups which is just so hard for us to believe.

Anyway the book said that we should start putting Claire down when she yawns or fusses but before she falls asleep. I have to say that it's working like a charm. She's just so easy! We had one day of grumbling when we transitioned her from the bassinet to the crib, but she's fine if you just stick her in her crib awake. Ten minutes later you walk in and she's asleep. Miracle!

We haven't had as much luck with moving the long sleep at night, but we are hopeful. I go back to work on Monday and am very nervous about staying up until 2am with her. Crossing fingers.

There are a few other ways that Claire is really different from Oliver. She is super smiley and will flat out laugh at times. She is a real talker, and will join a conversation in progress by contributing her own coos. She's not as physical as Oliver was and shows no real desire to figure out how to move herself around at this point. She isn't colicy so far and is a great communicator. If she is hungry she will suck her hand. I can imagine that she will be a thumb sucker as well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Super swimmer

Check out this video:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Oliver spends most of his free time playing with cars. Not really racing the cars as much as setting up scenes for his cars, organizing them in proper ways, lining them up, setting up scenes. He's not much for drawing unless it's on these cars pages he has. One thing I keep waiting for is a clear sense of left or right handedness. He still tends to hold a crayon in each hand and is just as likely to write with one hand as another. If I ask him to sign his name he will write O L I.

Funny faces

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hey! I have that one!

Oliver has become an avid collector of Cars 2 Cars. He has all except 2 or 3. He's such a fan that he likes going onto YouTube and searching for homemade videos of children playing with the toys he has and doesn't have, so that he can learn more about them. There is a guy online who is a big Disney/Pixar collector that Oliver has begun following. His handle is "Blucollection" and Oliver loves to mimic the demonstrations he does. He brings his toys to watch and follow along. Here he is watching a Sidley the jet video from the Vlogger while holding his own Sidley. It's funny that in a world where Oliver doesn't see commercials (we have Tivo and we use Netflix, HBOgo, Amazon, etc. for television content) he has found a way to consume commercial content. He definitely uses it as a way to learn about the toys he doesn't have, and to nag mom and dad about them!

Claire: 1-2 months old

Claire is doing so much better after her big cold. That was a huge stresser for us but she pulled through with antibiotics. The greatest thing we can say about Claire is that she is a good sleeper. Much different than her older brother was. She usually goes to bed between 11pm and 1am, and sleeps in until 6am. So that's HUGE.
She spits up a ton like Oliver did and is getting a bit fussy due to acid reflux and gas. She's smiling already and loves to look into the eyes of the person holding her, smiling and cooing. She's a good eater now and is chunking up nicely.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

4 weeks

Matthew and I are getting used to the 2 kid household. Claire slept through the night for the first time last night which was a lot sooner than her older brother did. I'm not holding my breath that it will happen regularly though.

Claire is similar to Oliver in that she's super fussy at night. It would have been nice to have one child that didn't scream from 6-8pm each day for months on end. I'm getting used to the numbness of just sitting with a baby that cries and not taking it personally. I can tell this time around that I'm a little older, and that I don't have as much energy to please.

Claire is a great eater and very strong. She is already lifting her head up and about half way to rolling over. She loves music with a strong beat and is starting to get interested in lights. We've been reading her the books we have that are black and white and she's responding to the high contrast of the images.

Oliver is in a lot of classes these days. He goes to Bing each week on MWF and he's enrolled in both swimming lessons and also soccer. He's a little scared of the swimming lessons. I felt bad when he asked me if he could get out and be done, and his instructor is a little bit of a rough guy. But... a little fear is a good thing. I totally hated swimming lessons and I love to swim now.

Soccer class is a little silly, but he likes it. I had hoped it would be a little more real than it is. It's more of a, "kick the ball to the frisbee and you get a stamp," kind of a thing. Still, it's good at getting him to follow directions as he moves his body.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 15

Claire is now waking up and looking alive now and then. She still primarily wakes to feed but the feeding time is longer, and then there is an hour of restless colic before she goes down. She seems to have gas, so we got some colic ease drops for her. I wish she would rest on a blanket and just chill, but I don't think her eyesight is good enough yet to let her just lay and stare.

Oliver is in a bedtime story rut. The same three books for the last week or so at bed. All about trucks. One is a library book, one a picture book and the last one is the Richard Scary Things that Go book. We just turn each page looking for Goldbug.

We've had lots of visitors over the long weekend and are very thankful for all the great food and gifts folks have received.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Claire is born!

I induced labor on Jan.2, 2012 after having 12 hours of contractions that weren't gaining in momentum. Claire was almost 9 pounds so I'm so glad I didn't wait any longer! The delivery was super smooth. I barely felt any pain and the delivery was much faster than doctors expected.

We are now settled at home and getting used to the new baby with existing baby routine. Which basically means you have that same vampire lifestyle of being up all night but now need to be taking your toddler to preschool, swim lessons and other activities. Some people say having a second child is more than twice the work. I'm not sure about that but I'm definitely exhausted. Exhausted to the bone. Thankfully the recovery from pregnancy has been faster (though more painful) this time around.

Baby Claire is just beautiful, and so far has a great disposition. She's a big eater and sleeps for relatively long stretches at a time (3 hours). She doesn't cry much (so far). She looks a lot like Oliver did at this age and it's such a thrill to have a little girl this time around.

Oliver is a great big brother. He's been very understanding and has seemed to mature drastically in the last week to help us out. I'm very proud of the way he has responded to this huge change in life.