October 31, 2008

Learning Fast!

Olivia is learning new things everyday and very fast. Now, she is able to sign "sippy cup" and tell us "hi". When I took my toe nail polish off to redo it for the USMC Birthday Ball tomorrow, Olivia immediately sat down, took off her socks and started to rub her toes with a cotton ball. She takes tissues and rubs her nose like Daddy does when he must blow his nose. Climbing onto the couch to snuggle is no longer a challange anymore, she can do it with easy. Need less to say, we're going to have to watch what we do and say because her little ears pick up everything. It's fun and exciting watching her learn something new and then have the ability to show us these new things. We are amazed at her and love her with all our being.

October 20, 2008

Lesson's Learned!!!

Here's the scoop of the disaster that is the airline industry. Granted I owe a lot to the airline industry...my father works for one...but I'm a bit peeved as a paying customer. Instead of purchasing a cheap umbrella stroller to help me get Olivia through the terminals on my own, I took our expensive Maclaren, thinking it would be safe since I'd gate check the thing instead of putting it down in the belly of the beast. Well, was I ever wrong.

The stroller made it safely from Lawton to Dallas but not onward to Minneapolis/St.Paul. Instead, it sat at the Dallas gate by the ticket counter flashing itself to the world and saying, "I'm here for the taking!!" The Dallas gate agent told me I'd have to leave the stroller with her to put under the plane. To my resistance, she would not let me take it to the end of the jetway, which is a secured area not open to the public. She assured me it would be at the top of the stairs in the jetway when I exit the plane...oh, no it wasn't!!! Even the Captain went outside into the cold and down the stairs looking for it in Minnaoplis...our only hope was it had made it's way to baggage claim.

By the time we got down the claim our bags, I knew it was lost forever, for it was no where to be seen. I politely filed a claim, waited days for a phone call and nothing.

However, the clouds lifted today...one day prior to flying home again...for as I return from flying a little 1940s military observation Cub with my Dad, the glorious stroller was in my parents entryway!!! The airline delivered the stroller on their dime...as it should be. I call the stroller glorious because I've never been so happy to see one. I felt horrible that the first phone call to my Grandmother in months was to ask for the recipet because she bought the glorious storller for us as her baby gift for Olivia.

So....lessson learned....spend the extra $20 on a cheap stroller to fly with in the chance it might get lost along the way instead of taking the expensive stroller that will cost 10 times as much to replace. By the way, it was American Airlines who both lost and found the stroller again. Do what you wish with this information...book with another airline or buy a stroller....in any case, please don't take the expensive baby gear with you unless you can't afford to replace it!!!!

October 11, 2008

Such a Helper

After getting new carpeting throughout the entire house, it was time to put all the furniture back into our master bedroom. Olivia saw me pick up a drawer and decided to help. Ryan noticed the drawer was just a bit to heavy and helped Olivia. She was so proud of herself for helping like a big girl...oh my, she's growing up way to fast.

Spoons...for dinner?

So, I forgot this picture was on the camera...a bad thing to forget such cute pictures. But Olivia was given a spoon to eat her green beans with one night at dinner and this was the outcome. Needless to say, she was given a prompt bath that night.

October 10, 2008

Our Little Toddler

It's official, Olivia is not longer a baby but a growing toddler. Ok, technically, I think she became a toddler the day she turned One, but we're now seeing her act like a toddler. Her first word, other than Dada and Mama, was Kitty and then came baby, doggy, and birdy. At nursery school this past Sunday the volunteer told me she pointed to a dove in a poster and said "birdy," we're so proud of her. This morning we heard her practicing saying Daddy, first by going Da Da Da then adding the 'ddy' for the full Daddy. It's just amazing how her little brain works and absorbs everything...must remember to keep pottymouth words in my head the next time I stub my toe.

Like most toddlers, Olivia likes to test our reactions. For instance, she'll slowly get down off the chair she's not supposed to be climbing then smile afterwards waiting for our praise. We do say "thank you for listening," but she does get put in time out quite a few times a day still. Yes, she might not exactly understand why she's there (we do get down to her level and give a short explaination)...she's only in timeout for less than a minute...but she is slowly, very slowly, understanding there are consequences to her actions. I need to call Robin and ask how she got her boys to listen to her without raising her voice...her boys, now 9, 7 and 4, are very well behaved.

Olivia also goes completely limp if she knows we're mad at her for something, or she doesn't want to do what we want her to do. When ever one of us is cooking dinner, and the other is doing nothing in the living room, she'll ultimately want to be with the one cooking dinner. To keep her safe we try to keep her out of the kitchen, so when we turn her around and she wants to stay, she'll go limp. Also, and here's the funny part, we try not to laugh at this but it's just so darn cute. She'll lay herself down on the ground, head and all, to throw a tantrum and will either find a soft spot for her head and lay down or slowly put her head down as to not hurt herself on the tile floor. We chuckle at that even though we shouldn't.

It's just funny to watch her learn how to try and get away with things, to figure out how to get what she wants and to show us she's mad. Just thought this would be something fun to share as she is our first born and this is all new to us...

October 5, 2008

Renaissance Festival and Traveling Home

Our week long vacation up in the great north ended with a trip to the Renaissance Festival held every year just south of the Twin Cities. It has been a tradition for years for the Collins women to go and this year Olivia and I were invited. We spent the day walking around an authentic village with employees, vendors and patrons all dressed in period attire. The weather was nice and pleasant making the day just that more enjoyable. We saw jousting and ate spinach pie. Before leaving we stopped by to get our picture taken in period attire, yet another festival tradition. Olivia really enjoyed pointing and saying 'doggie' to the very large, non-neutered, 1 yr old dog.

On our travels home, Olivia found the baby bouncy seat in the Armed Services Center (similar to a USO) at the MSP Airport. Then while waiting for the flight from Dallas to Lawton, she enjoyed her raisins and sat still for a cute photo op. All in all, she did very well traveling with little or no sleep for that day. I love her to death but I'm looking very forward to traveling back north with the help of Daddy.

Flying High

While visiting back home in WI, Olivia finally got her first small airplane ride. We took her up in an Apache, a four person airplane so Nana got to come along and take pictures. The first picture in this blog is of myself as an infant taking my first plane ride in a Cessna 140. I was so excited to take Olivia up since flying has been such a huge part of my life. We only went up for about 20 mins, just long enough for her to see the world around her and to fall asleep. I was looking out the window and did not even notice she had fallen asleep with her head on my arm until Nana pointed it out to me. It was an enjoyable flight and I look forward to taking her flying again.