Many of you already know this, but today is my birthday. Another year older. I started the day by going to the DMV to get my drivers license renewed. I spent a good amount of time making sure I had the right shirt on and would be making the right smile/face for my photograph. However, it was all for naught. Yes, the face that will appear on my drivers license for the next six years resembles that of a swollen, burnt marshmallow. Really nice.
This afternoon, we were looking to do something as a family so I chose ice skating. We went to Frontier Park in St. Charles, along the Missouri River, where they have a temporary ice rink set up. I wanted to take Oliver out for his first skate.
Well, it could have been worse, I guess. He was really, really crabby. We only made it around the rink one time with his rented ice skates on. Here’s the only proof I have (look close at his feet) that he did “lace them up” before his second birthday:
He really wanted to walk around, so we put his shoes back on and he calmed for a bit. Then, he wanted to go back out on the ice with me. I held his hands and he would either walk or drag his feet as I pushed him around the rink. On some occasions, he’d lean way back and make eye contact with me, saying, “Upside down,” and smiling ear to ear. It was really cute, and I’ll always remember that look he gave me.
But then other times, his face would curl up into “pouty” mode and he’d be inconsolable. You can see that in some of the pictures, like this one:
A few times, I’d hug him and he’d just want to watch the skaters whiz by, like in this picture:
Other times, he just wanted his mother. He even coaxed her into taking him over to look at one of the nearby train cars. However, once he got over there, he still was cranky:
He finally relaxed after we got some food in his tiny stomach. He had to eat his hot dog with a spoon, but he sure enjoyed it:
The rest of my birthday went well. We’re relaxing now, after putting Oliver to bed. Plus, it’s been a long week and I have to work tomorrow. I do owe you all a blog post about the second part of our Christmas adventure. Hopefully, I can get something posted this weekend. Hope you all had a great holiday and will be safe on New Year’s Eve.
The first part of our Christmas journey ended about an hour ago, when we got back from Sarah’s brother’s house. Oliver has had a blast during his second Christmas. He’s really come into his own, and he just loves opening presents, as seen here:
He got some really cool gifts, including lots of fun toys and this little shirt and tie combo he’s holding, courtesy of his Great-Grandma Frieda:
Our crazy goldendoodle Molly had a pretty exciting Christmas, too. She got a stocking full of treats and this cool little sqeaky toy:
Santa delivered quite a bounty, and Sarah tried to pose in front of our tree and the gifts with Oliver and Molly. The boy struggled to get away and do something else, while the dog showed her excitement with a yawn:
One of my favorite gifts was a calendar that my sweet wife put together with pictures of our family. Here I am showing the pictures to Oliver:
What a Christmas. I’ll have some great memories for years to come, that’s for sure. But our Christmas journey isn’t over yet – it continues over the next few days, which we will be spending with my parents, my sisters and my Grandma Carol. Should be fun.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everybody out there.
We’ve been bad this year. About that holiday card of ours … no, it didn’t get stuck in the mail. In fact, we didn’t send any out this year. For one thing, it’s been a really busy month for us. I hate offering excuses, but I’ve been working quite a bit (at my day job and doing the UMSL thing). Add that to everything else that comes with raising a toddler, and time just flies by. The next thing you know it’s Dec. 23 and you’re blogging for just the second time in weeks.
So to those of us who sent us a holiday card this year, we say “thank you.” And to those of you who normally would have received a card from us (and for those who just like my blog or me), we offer a picture of our boy after eating a “holiday” Oreo. It had green and red filing, and the boy went crazy on it. He was pretty darn cute. Below’s a picture. Have a great holiday season!
We have a bird that lives in the Christmas wreath on our front door. It’s a cute bird. Not sure what type it is, but it has a red head and greenish body. Anyway, we didn’t know he was living in our wreath until the other day.
I was taking out the trash, opened the door and walked outside. On the way back in, I heard Sarah shriek. The bird was in our house!
It’s first landing spot was our tree. I took a quick picture before we made a move to get it out of the house. Here’s that pic:
At first, we tried trapping him in the living room, but he quickly flew over our heads and into the dining room. After cornering him there, he flew up the stairs into the hallway. We closed all the bedroom doors and got out towels. All the while, he let out these little quiet, cute chirps.
While chasing him around, I was a bit freaked out. You see, I don’t like wild animals and especially don’t like touching birds. Eventually, my brave wife knocked him to the ground, threw her towel over him and took him outside to safety.
Was pretty funny in retrospect.
Yesterday, after chopping down our Christmas tree at Pumpkin & Pines in Warrenton, Mo., we walked around the food and gift area while waiting for our tree to be bagged. They had a Santa area and you could get a picture taken for $5. After lots of pressure from people to get a picture of Oliver with Santa over the past few weeks, I thought this would be a good opportunity.
Sarah just knew he’d throw a fit, so she waited at the doorway as I entered with Oliver. He immediately started kicking and yelling out, “No. No. Noooo!” But I persisted and put him on Santa’s knee. Then, Oliver made his classic “pouty face” and I told the woman to take the picture – quickly. She did, and it was pretty bad. She asked if we still wanted it. We almost passed, but I said to go ahead and print it for us. I’m glad I did. We can now laugh about it, and I’m sure we will for years to come.
And with that, here’s Oliver’s first picture with Santa (among the skinniest, youngest and least Santa-like I’ve ever seen, by the way):
Growing up, my family had a tradition of driving way out into the country to a tree farm to chop down our own Christmas tree. Sarah’s family had the same tradition … sooooo, we have started our own. Last year (see my post about it), Oliver was itty-bitty. This year, he’s still small but he was walking and talking the entire time. We think he had fun, except for when we put him on Santa’s lap (more about that later, assuming I can get my photo scanner working). Special thanks to Sarah’s parents for meeting us out there, like last year, and sharing in the day.
It was chilly, but not terribly cold. We got a nice tree, and it’s warming up in the corner of our living room awaiting decorating tomorrow. Below are a few pictures from the day. Enjoy.
The family on the tractor ride out to the field:
Oliver, who just made up his mind that he was going to walk WHEREVER HE WANTED, being helped by his Grandpa across the grassy field to another set of trees:
Oliver was fussing a bunch trying to get his hands on the saw, so I helped him “cut” the end of our tree:
Like last year, Oliver and Sarah put their heads into these wooden snowmen for a family portrait:
Sarah had another ultrasound today, and our little boy-to-be was looking really cute. He’s right on track size-wise, running maybe about two weeks ahead of schedule so not too big. He’s currently about 2 pounds, 5 ounces.
We got a whole bunch of photos, including some showing his little hands and his dimpled chin. We also got our first great profile picture. Of course, I have to share it. Enjoy:
It seems as if Oliver does something every day that amazes us. Occasionally, his feats of toddler intelligence rise up to a level that leaves us fairly speechless. We had one of those moments over the weekend, while visiting my parents in Springfield, Mo.
The afternoon we arrived, we took a walk up to the local school to burn off some energy and let the boy run rampant on the playground equipment. We started on the “baby” playground, but Oliver got bored pretty quick. So we headed across the soccer fields toward the bigger swings and slides. As we approached, we had to cross a couple basketball courts. On the ground were colorful maps of all the states and all the continents.
Oliver’s eyes lit up and he ran toward the middle of the map. He plopped down on his knees, pounded his two open hands onto Kansas and yelled out “Blue!” He popped up and sprinted over to Europe, again plopped down and this time called out “Green!” He did this over and over for several minutes, showing us red, yellow, blue and orange states, as well as yellow and purple continents.
We have been working with Oliver on his colors, and he does pretty well with him, but we found this instance to be remarkable because it was unprompted, he showed such glee in blurting out his answers and he was right with his colors 100 percent of the time. It was pretty cool. Here are a few pictures of Oliver on the map:
And, for good measure, below are a couple pictures of my parents with Oliver. He had such a great time and was really sweet with his “gerr-ma” and “gi-paw.”