Monday, December 21, 2009
Post Edit - I did employ the Wisdom of the Internet (oooh, aaah) to determine the proper spelling of the short form of Chewbacca. I guessed it was spelled more like Chuy's, and I was wrong. Now, I am thinking about Tex-Mex yumminess again. Drat!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Please do put a penny in the old man's cap.
I have recently discovered that many of the songs I remember from my childhood are not actually, well, correct. The monkey did NOT stop running 'round the mulberry bush to tie his shoe. Which is neither here nor there, really ... but may someday explain why Olive sings some of the words that she does, er, will.
Things are going well around here. We all had a busy, but pretty good, week. A matter I've been working on settled, favorably for my client. (Woo Hoo!!!) Kyle's building continues to come into physical being, and his trips to TN are suspended until after the New Year, which has been really nice. The city even got a lovely dusting of snow last night!
We are almost ready for Christmas. Most of our gifts are purchased, but none of them are wrapped. We'll get it done sooner or later! Our travel plans are set, and Zoe is appropriately cared for. We'll spend Christmas first with family and friends in Texas. Over New Year, we'll celebrate with family and friends in Kansas. Then, we'll settle back here for some travel-free and shopping-free weekends. I'm really looking forward to visiting family, but I am also looking forward to the calm, well, after the travel storm.
Today is a typical Saturday - errands, chores, a bit of work for Kyle (tomorrow promises a bit of work for me), and a bit more cooking than we get to do on weekday evenings. We're having pork steaks and turnip gratin for dinner tonight. Maybe, we'll have a salad for some green vegetables. This fall/winter we've gotten quite a few turnips from our CSA. I am not a turnip fan. They do nothing for me - no matter what cooking method I employ. If the cheesy, gratin-y goodness doesn't change my mind, I don't know what will!
This week will be another busy one. Kyle and I both have things to finish up at work before our offices close for the Christmas holiday. And there's packing and wrapping and cleaning ... and sleeping and eating and breathing ... whew!
Have a great week ..
Thursday, December 10, 2009
No matter how much I would love to be the smooth, collected, well-dressed (and well-coiffed!) career girl *slash* wonderful, attentive, loving mom, there are mornings when I feel like a rumpled, tag-a-long little girl—straddling both worlds, barely, and not doing either very well. More often than not, I am the bumbled sidekick and NOT the superhero I aspire to be.
Last night, the cats (we strongly suspect) unplugged our alarm clock. We woke this morning to Olive’s murmurings and realized that it was one hour past our standard alarm ringing time. On any other morning this would be mildly annoying but fine—completely manageable. However, THIS morning I had a conference call scheduled and had planned to be at work bright and early to finish prepping for it. (Bright and Early. Like not too far off from the time Olive woke us up. Fab.)
So, we scurried. Kyle popped in the shower, I fed Olive (who decided she only wanted half of her meal), Kyle took Olive, I popped in the shower … there was more frantic scurrying. My hair was rumpled, my make-up slap-dash, my pants have three safety pins holding them up … and Olive decided she wanted the rest of her meal as we were bundling her up to get out the door. Fab. Fab. Fab.u.lous.
Everything poured out at once. Olive lost it. I lost it. Getting our gear to the car and us out the door just seemed impossible. Thankfully, Zoe and Kyle sprang into action. They wagged and helped and staunched the flow of tears.
And I found myself sitting in the car. Surrounded by people I love and who love me. My tears were no longer flowing, but were not yet dry either. And, while frustrated and embarrassed, I knew that we would make it through the day ... that we may not individually be more than disheveled, well-meaning sidekicks, but together we make a pretty super family … we survived the morning and will go on to fight crime (and morning discombobulation) another day.
P.S. – I got to the office and was able to find the info I needed in plenty of time for my call (that went quite well, thank you very much!).
P.P.S. – I cannot imagine doing this with more than our little Olive in tow or without Kyle. (Some days I CAN imagine it without Zoe, but then I come to my senses.) Whew!
P.P.P.S. – Kyle wanted me to clarify that Zoe was the one wagging (primarily) and he was the one helping. Zoe, much as we love her, is not very good at the helping. She IS a champion wag-er.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
One of these stores is the store from which we buy Olive's diapers--Cotton Babies. We were there yesterday to feed Olive, and they were having a special event. We received raffle tickets when we arrived to put in boxes for different prizes. As we were preparing to leave, the designer of our diapers (and owner of the store) drew one of our tickets from a box! We won a package of their new diaper system (Bum Genius 'Flip' - Their promo shirts say "Bum Flipin' Genius.' Cracks me up.) ... We have plenty of diapers already but were excited to win and are excited to try out these new diapers! Maybe we won't be doing diaper laundry quite so frequently ...
And today we did normal things: went to church, went to lunch, did some Christmas shopping ... and some not so normal things: we played with Olive on a highway! The highway near us has been closed for construction for the past *almost* year. Tomorrow it will open again. So, today the road was open for St. Louisans to ride bikes, jog, walk, roller blade, and skateboard. We strapped Olive into her stroller and outfitted Zoe with her leash and walked through the neighborhood to the highway. It was fun and funny to be walking along the paved road and see only people rather than cars.
Also, Olive has finally outgrown the bassinet stage of her crib. So, we Rubix-Cubed the bassinet into the crib and outfitted it with the great bedding Rae made for us. Here's hoping that Olive adjusts well to the change!
Friday, December 4, 2009
After the turkey festivities, we pointed the car back to St. Louis. Our first task upon return was dropping Kyle off at the airport. He spent a few days in Tennessee before joining Olive, Zoe and me back at home.
Olive had her four month check up on Tuesday. She weighed in at 12 lbs 3 oz and measured 23.75 in long. Her head circumference is still in the 75th percentile! Her pediatrician is pleased with her development, especially after watching Olive put on her very best wiggling and kicking demonstration. Olive got two more shots and another oral immunization, all of which she took like a champ (a crying, unhappy champ, but my champ nonetheless).
Now we're enjoying the first snap of downright cold weather, finally admitting that December is actually upon us and gearing up for Christmas celebrations with family and friends.
Have a great weekend!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
We are thankful for our little Olive--a true blessing. She is a wonderful, inquisitive little girl. We sometimes find ourselves marveling at our fortune in her arrival.
We are thankful for all of the lessons we have learned in becoming parents - and for the many more that are sure to come. The lesson isn't always fun in the middle - but the results are priceless!
We are thankful for all of our wonderful family and friends. You are an amazing support network for us - whether you are near or far you are much appreciated.
We are thankful to sometimes see life through our puppy's eyes. She is eager to wag her tail and lick our faces. Her joy is contagious and reminds us to wag our own tails too.
We are thankful to sometimes see life through the eyes of our cats - hiding under the bed for a bit, but venturing out when the 'danger' is gone.
We are thankful to be working and thinking and playing and praying and cleaning and cooking and living.
We are thankful to see a rainbow form, to watch the leaves turn colors and to wait for the first snowfall with anticipation and a bit of sadness.
We are thankful also to see the sun after many grey days and to know that tulips and daffodils will decorate the city after the winter is past.
We are thankful.
Monday, November 16, 2009
BUT - we survived our brief foray into single parenthood - or life without a helpful husband like Kyle. We are both very happy to have him back home. Life is much sweeter with him around!
Because we were on our own, Olive and I had a very busy - but relatively boring - week. We made it to work or daycare every day and then made it home safe and sound. Bottles and diapers were washed - although Olive went without a bath for several days in a row. Wrestling a slippery baby single handed seemed a bit dangerous ...
Each day, I snapped a photo of our little one and sent it out to my sweetie. They aren't fancy, but here are few of them:
Post publish edit - OK, she looks very serious in all of these photos. She can smile, but she currently looks intently at my iphone/camera when I hold it in front of her. And - without Kyle - there is no one to distract her from this gaze while I snap the photos! So, it is kind of fun to know that she is concentrating on the strange mechanical device dangled above her, but also it is kind of sad not to catch so many of her smiles!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Olive seems to change every time we blink! She has recently started showing much more interest in toys (or any brightly colored object, really). You can see her fascination (ok, fascination might be strong, but she IS interested) with the butterfly on her play mat in the video. And it is really fun see her reach for and bat at toys. Another new skill!
Today in church she was fascinated by a rattle. This was distracting to us, but also helpful--we spent significantly less time walking with her in the foyer during the service and more time in our seats! (I think we will still choose aisle seats near the back for awhile yet.)
This week we noticed a negative impact of daycare. Olive and I both fought colds! (Booo!) And, suspiciously, many of the other small people in her class were also very snotty. I am hopeful that we are both on the mending side of it, but only time will tell. For a little thing, Olive sure does make a lot of snot! And, oh my, has the drool begun! Our stash of drool bibs is coming in very handy.
That is it for now. All in all, we are getting along quite well. We hope that things are going well with all of you too!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
To be frank, this will probably be composed in several sittings, but NOW I am sitting at our table enjoying my morning coffee while Olive is telling Misters Snail and Turtle about her week. What a busy few weeks it has been!
After Jen, Ben, Sophia, and my Dad left, we had a weekend here in St. Louis by ourselves. We enjoyed temperate fall weather and caught up on errands and housework. Mundane chores to be sure, but necessary and oddly comforting.
Then we boarded another rollercoaster!
We left St. Louis on Wednesday, October 14 and made our way to Kansas City. This was our first road trip with Miss Olive, and she behaved wonderfully! (OK, by Saturday evening she was over-stimulated and ready to go home, but it was a very busy weekend, especially for a 12-week old.) Kyle and I packed our car to the gills. I naturally over pack (I come by it honestly), but Kyle was pretty easy to convince that just one more thing might become necessary on our journey.
We arrived in Kansas City mid-afternoon and spent the day with Liz, her mom, Charlie and Will. That evening, Liz and Char took care of Olive so that Kyle and I could enjoy our first meal out without baby. The food was great (fancy burgers, beer and fries!), and we had a lovely time. It was not nearly as traumatic as I'd anticipated.
Thursday morning we enjoyed a yummy pancake breakfast (thank you, Liz!) before heading out for central Kansas. We visited Kyle's Uncle Mart and Grandma Thiel. Olive's Great-Grandma Thiel will be 103 this January!!
We left Gypsum and headed south for Wichita, where we spent the night at Kyle's parents house. Friday morning we pointed the car back to Kansas City. There, we enjoyed a chilly pumpkin patch and a great visit with Olive's Great-Grandparents Swenson.
Later Friday, we had some fan.tab.u.lous barbeque. I love that good BBQ reminds both Kyle and I of home, despite our different hometowns!
Saturday we hung out with the fam. We accidentally missed Will's soccer game (uh, we did get out of the car once to investigate a similarly attired yellow team only to watch the game break up and find none of our family or friends). Also, we celebrated my birthday, introduced our friends Andy and Krista to Olive, and enjoyed a great spaghetti dinner.
Sunday we celebrated Charlie's baptism and headed back to St. Louis to prepare for my first week back at work! Yup, this past Monday was my first day back in the office. Preparing to go back was stressful and emotional, but my tears diminished over the week. Olive seems happy at day care. Her caregivers are wonderful, which makes us very comfortable. Also, my desk is full enough to keep me mentally engaged, which feels good and makes the days fly by. (Um, I didn't call to check on Olive at all, not one single time ... right)
We are getting the hang of daycare and work. The first five days weren't too painful, and I hear that it gets better with time. I sure hope so!
Today Olive and I are doing chores and running errands, while Kyle is swinging a hammer at Habitat for Humanity. Its a chilly but sunny day, and I know he was looking forward to lending a hand.
That is about it!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Saturday we enjoyed a picnic in Forest Park. It was very cloudy, but we were spared the rain. We all enjoyed yummy picnic fare, even Sophia who tried to smuggle whole grapes and cherry tomatoes into her cheeks! Our little spread was cast on a slight incline which was most noticeable to Sophia who, as a relatively new walker, struggled with gravity.
We caught up with Aunt Jen, Uncle Ben, and Cousin Sophia again on Monday. We intended to take the train downtown to visit Kyle at work and see the new sculpture park. However, our babies had other plans. Olive decided to have a marathon eating session, and Sophia was able to catch a few much needed ZZZ's on the soft rug in Olive's room. The adults chatted and relaxed and enjoyed a tasty roast chicken dinner, which in the end was a perfect way to spend the afternoon and evening!
Also this weekend, my Dad came through St. Louis after a business trip in Chicago. We picked him up at the airport on Saturday evening, spent a lazy Sunday morning at the house, and enjoyed an afternoon at the St. Louis Wine Festival before Dad returned to Houston that evening. Sunday was beautiful - temperate and sunny - and the festival was held at the base of Art Hill in Forest Park. It was a real treat. We even attended a food pairing demonstration/tasting put on by the new owners of AB. They poured generous tastes of Hoegarden, Stella Artois, and Leffe. Yum. Yum. Very Yum.
Why was there beer at the wine festival? We still aren't sure, but the beer was our favorite part!
Olive weighed in at 10 lbs 6 ozs, and measured 21.75 inches long. The doctor was very pleased with her progress. Her weight is in the 50th percentile, her height is in the 30th percentile, and her head circumference is in the 75th percentile.
She also had several immunizations today - two shots and one oral medication. The oral dose was OK, although Olive clearly did not enjoy the flavor and was becoming wary of the whole thing by the end of her dose. The shots were another story entirely. They are very hard to take (for me and Olive). She screams and her face gets really red, really fast. (I generally get weepy for a bit.) Per her doctor's advice, I gave her some Tylenol, and she has been snoozing the afternoon away. (Olive apparently does enjoy the 'grape' flavor of Tylenol. She smacked her lips and licked and licked and licked the dropper.)
Kyle is headed to Tennessee again this week. So, Olive and I will be single ladies for a couple of days. Olive is far too young for chips and margaritas, but it sure sounds good to me!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
It was a weekend full of animals. Saturday we enjoyed the zoo even though we got caught in a rainstorm and were soaked through and through! Sunday we went out to Grant's Farm to feed the goats and take in more animals. Kate enjoyed her first snowcone, and Olive spent most of the time snuggled in her carrier.
Our little one reminded me of Forest Gump the other day ... He and Jenny were "like peas and carrots"
There was a great double rainbow in St. Louis last weekend (OK, so in the photo you have to look CAREFULLY for the second rainbow. In person it was spectacular. People were coming out of their homes to get a better view.)
Olive is getting better at holding her head up and sitting up (a little bit - with the help of this 'fancy' green chair).
Olive loves her Daddy. She loves her Mommy too, but as gifts and in stores the Daddy outfits prevail!
We'll post more as we have free moments at the computer!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Olive rode on an airplane for the first time. We were concerned that she would be unhappy (and fussy!), especially during take-off and landing, but she behaved like a champ! And, for the return trip, she slept all. the. way. home. As we were exiting the plane in St. Louis, one gentleman in the row behind us commented to his traveling partner, "That child did not make a peep!" Which was true - and we dearly hope she will perform equally well for future travel outings!
A few photos to document other firsts:
Olive met my Gramma, her great grandmother on my stepfather's side.
She met my stepmother, Julie.
She met my Mimi and Papa, her great grandparents on my dad's side, and quite a few of my dad's 'clan' because we were in town for my cousin Diane's wedding in Galveston.
She met my Granny and Granddaddy, her great grandparents on my mom's side as well as my mom's sister Bonnie, her husband Bob, and cousins Jonathan and Nyjah!
[photos to come]
Whew! It was a great weekend even though we all came back exhausted!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Olive has monkeys living above her pack-n-play and a turtle, a snail, and a frog who live above her bouncy seat. It was fun recently to see Olive notice and become interested in these creatures. However, it was especially fun this week to find her sitting in her bouncy seat, waving her arms and legs for emphasis, and having a heart-to-heart chat with Mr. Turtle.
We spent last weekend in Houston for a family wedding as well as great-grandparent and family visits in abundance. It was a great time, if quite the whirlwind trip. We'll post photos soon!
Monday, September 7, 2009
And now for a few other photos of things that make us smile and hopefully will make you smile too:
Bubbles and a grin from our cutie.
Greek Fest this weekend. (Kyle and I enjoyed the Gyros with friends. Olive just enjoyed the company!)
Car seat shots. Olive was happy to go shopping with me on Friday ...
... and not so thrilled to run errands with me and Kyle on Saturday!
Happiness on a plate. Juevos Rancheros after church on Sunday. Yum.
In August, Kyle and Tim destroyed our back deck. The feral cats making residence under the deck and taunting our precious puppy were among the many things we did not like about that deck. Last week, I noticed small droppings out back. Neither Kyle nor I could readily "Name That Poop!"
However, the 'mystery' was solved this weekend. On Saturday evening, I headed to the basement to do some laundry before bed. I opened the door, turned on the lights and started to head down the stairs when, on a step near the floor, I noticed a mouse (!) scurrying away.
So, now we are suffering the unintended consequences of evicting the feral cats from our backyard.
This morning before I carried another load of laundry down into the basement, I stomped through the kitchen, flipped the basement lights on and off (and on and off and on and off), and knocked on the walls. Kyle asked what on earth I was doing.
Um, I was scaring away the mice ...
Monday, August 31, 2009
We started out with two blue/turquoise pacifiers (a shower gift from Erik and Sarah) and came home from the hospital with another blue one. After Olive was born, my Mom picked up two pink pacifiers because ... well, I think they jumped in her cart. Not too long ago, we discovered shards of blue pacifier all over the rug in Olive's room one morning. Now, Olive does not have teeth - or the mobility to snatch and transport a pacifier. Our dear puppy Zoe does - and apparently really loves those pacifiers! (They do last a bit longer than some of the dog toys we have paid more for ...)
Currently, we have lost two blue and two pink pacifiers to our dear furry friend. We did rescue the one that our nephew Will fed to Zoe, but only temporarily, it seems, as it has now gone MIA! Because Olive is sometimes, er, pacified by a pacifier, we recently purchased another two-pack of pink pacifiers. We are trying to be vigilant about keeping them out of puppy range ... I'm not sure how successful we will be!
Today Kyle went to work in a sweater, a light sweater, but a sweater. It is still August, right!?! I know, just barely, but still. It is lovely cool weather so I shouldn't complain, but I have doubts about the tomatoes on our plant (almost a bush now!) out back if fall is here to stay.
We will post more photos soon ...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
However, Kyle is worried that these stories, songs, and rhymes will be forever stuck in our brains (which will probably happen) and will push out other vital pieces of information such as how to tie his shoes. So, if you notice that Kyle has suddenly developed a propensity for slip-on (or even velcro!!) shoes, you might want to teach him that shoe-tying rhyme so that he can redevelop those skills!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Also, we've had the wonderful gift of guests galore! My mom and Tim, my dad, and Kyle's parents all were able to be here the day Olive arrived - despite some pretty short notice. Mom and Tim stayed for a bit, and Russ and Rae came back later for a long weekend. Matt and Liz (and Will and new Baby Charlie) came to visit this past weekend. We are also looking forward to more guests - Chad, Jen and Ben, and Mom and Tim (for a second lap)!
Our guests have helped with chores, helped with projects, and generally encouraged us in this process and helped get us out of the house. (It is daunting to get out with Olive - although not as daunting, I'm sure, as venturing out with infant twins like some of our friends and family!!) Thank you very much to all!
Olive is a wonderful baby. We're starting to get into a schedule, more or less. She is a good eater and a very good little night-time sleeper. (Right now all bets are off for her afternoons and evenings. Please know that we'll pick up the phone if we can!) We have had some pretty frustrating bouts of crying, but we don't think it is anything out of the ordinary. And we are becoming more skilled at soothing our little one. A few nights with a seemingly inconsolable infant have helped us think outside the box!
A few more details:
Today was also Olive's one-month appointment with her pediatrician. She weighed in at 8 lbs and 7 ozs and is now 21 inches tall/long. Her doc thinks that she is growing well and that her eating and sleeping patterns are not out of the ordinary. (A big relief for me and Kyle. We were worried that she was a bit slow in her weight gain.) Olive received the second shot in her Hep-B series today which just about broke my heart. Suffice it to say, her prior inconsolable crying was nothing compared to watching her actually wail in pain!
A photo of Olive all bundled up in her Sleepy Wrap carrier for a walk with Mommy, Daddy and Zoe.
A photo of Olive and her daddy celebrating cousin Will's birthday at the Magic House (the St. Louis Children's Museum).
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Our alphabet wall ... We are still accumulating letters and numbers. It will be finished before too long!!:
Another view of Olive's room:
This is the quilt that Kyle's mom made-see earlier posts-and Kyle and his dad installed the new shelves.
We won't wait so long before our next post!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Kyle is in Tennessee for work. He left Tuesday and returns tonight late. The big pit has been calling his name, and he finally answered the call. Thus, little Olive and I have been fending for ourselves the past few days.
Things are pretty uneventful - Olive and I hang out a lot at home. Olive loves a car ride, but they get fit it in between her requested meals and naps (for both the little one and her mom!).
I finally met with a lactation consultant. Her advice and encouragement were very helpful because breast feeding is not as easy and intuitive as one might expect.
Also - I was recently reminded that a good bra makes a huge difference. No need to share the gory details, but worth every penny!
We all are missing Kyle, but poor Zoe is particularly longing for his return ... I am currently neither talented nor confident enough to take both Olive and Zoe out for a proper walk. Not to worry, although its a bit rough, Zoe has been able to get some of her frolic out by romping around our back garden, and I will make sure she gets in a good walk very soon!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Olive was born weighing 6 lbs 10 ozs, left the hospital at 6 lbs 3 ozs and weighed in today at 7 lbs 5 ozs.
Olive at birth measured 19.5 inches, and today measured 20.5 inches.
All in all she is on track, her growth pleases the doctor, and we head back later this month for her one-month appointment, barring any unfavorable developments.
Great news which pleased both Kyle and me.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
The next day - hark! - they remembered, a gift they received twice, once from a young mom and once from an experienced grandmother ... the Sleep Sheep.
(Note - the new parents received no compensation in exchange for this post.) This amazing device emits a variety of sounds, including rain, heartbeat, whale sounds and a white noise setting. The new parents attached it to Olive's bassinet and turned on the rain noises (as they did not enjoy the sensation of sleeping with the fishes) ... and almost immediately, Olive's distress was relieved. She relaxed, sighed and slept.
What a miraculous little device, providing the proper environment for all to dream sweet. (Note 2 - This miracle may not continue, but the new parents are happy to celebrate while it lasts.)
Sunday, July 26, 2009
We would like to share the exciting news of the arrival of our daugher Olive Suzanne Thiel. She was born on July 25, 2009 at 12:17 in the afternoon (just in time for lunch – that's my girl). Mother and baby are doing well and we will be staying at the hospital until mid day on Monday. We thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes as we went through the labor and delivery process and a special shout out to Erik, Sarah, and Bailey for watching our other - 4-legged furry baby.
and the stats: