Oliver has mastered crawling and babbling. His latest thing is standing. He crawls over to something he can grab onto and pulls himself up. He’s quite good at it.
He stands in his crib:
He stands in the hallway:
And he stands next to Molly’s crate (his favorite spot):
Molly, our crazy goldendoodle, has been front and center the past couple of days. We took her in to get her haircut on Saturday. The next couple of days, she was acting really strange and obsessively scratching herself and biting her fur. Plus, her skin was pink — everywhere. Then, a couple nights ago, she puked several times and had some loose …. well, you know.
We took her to the vet yesterday and they think she had an allergic reaction to something (possibly the shampoo at the hair place). Anyway, she’s on doggy ‘roids now and looking much better.
Anyway, with thinking about Molly, it’s hard to not think about how much Oliver adores her. His face just lights up and he squeals with glee when she’s around. Here’s a video of the two of them interacting:
And here’s a still version:
Finally, this is Molly with her latest short-hair ‘do:
It seems as if all of my friends, or at least the ones with young children, have been going to pumpkin farms over the past few weeks (for a couple examples, check the blogs of Cara and Valerie). We joined the fun yesterday, heading out to Rombach Farm in Chesterfield Valley along with my mom, who was in town for the weekend, and a family friend.
The crowd was huge. It felt like we were at the local Barack Obama rally held that same day (though that would have been cooler). While there, we got all of the obligatory “Oliver with pumpkins” pictures. Afterward, we hooked Oliver up into our Baby Bjorn and went for a hike at nearby Howell Island. It was fun … for about 10 minutes. Then we realized our arms and backs were covered with mosquitoes so we booked it back to the car and headed home.
Below are a sampling of photos we took during our outing. Enjoy!
We bought Oliver a Halloween costume at Target the other day. The size was 12 months, but it was too small. Would have been funny to see him scampering around in this little getup. Oh yeah, the costume? He was going to be Molly (our goldendoodle) for Halloween. Here he is with the costume’s ear part pulled over his head (that’s about all that we could wedge onto him):
What do you think of the resemblance?
Oliver’s 6 month birthday (that counts, right?) is today, so we put together a short video to capture some of our favorite moments. Enjoy:
Oliver has been laughing for several weeks, but only in the past couple days has he unloaded some really loud belly laughs. It was hard to catch, but I got him laughing last night at Molly. He really got a kick out of watching her wagging tail while she ate. Anyway, thought you all would enjoy hearing Oliver at his finest:
We took Oliver to the beach for the first time on Saturday. Well, sort of — it was the beach at Creve Coeur Park in Maryland Heights, Mo. So nothing too special.
It was a nice day, with a temperature in the low 80s and low humidity. So we packed up a picnic lunch and headed up there. OK, so it wasn’t quite that easy. Did you know that it now takes us about 10 times as long to get out of the house as it did before we had Oliver? Seriously, we thought of a million things while getting ready and even had to run back in the house a couple times before backing down the driveway. Yeesh!
So where was I? Oh yeah, so we headed to the park. We brought Molly along as well. Once there, we put Oliver in his stroller and found a nice table to make our own. Doesn’t this look pleasant:
After eating, we took the dog over to the beach area and let her swim. Sarah and I always get a kick out of watching Molly excitedly and awkwardly swim, but Oliver didn’t seem as amused. Here’s a short video of Molly and Oliver from the beach:
We then took a short walk. After packing back into the car, we decided to stop by this little farm on the way home to pick up some fresh peaches and other goodies. However, as I picked Oliver out of his car seat to carry him into the stand, Sarah noticed gobs of brown stuff (yes, poop) oozing out of Oliver’s outfit. So we had to change him. And man, was it disgusting. Let’s just say that we have been giving him a couple different foods lately and the colored mess he left looked like one of those side-by-side shakes from Steak n Shake. Yuck. But we did make it in, and the peaches are delicious.
What a fun, but tiring day.
Yesterday, we HAD to get out of the house. With nothing special in mind and a temperature pushing 100 degrees outside, we decided to go push Oliver around Chesterfield Mall. Fun, right?
Well, it was OK. And after we finished walking all over the dang place (and discovering the various elevator locations throughout the facility), we decided to grab dinner. There was the Cheesecake Factory (with a major wait to get a table), the food court (Panda Express anyone?), Auntie Anne’s (pretzels for dinner?) and Houlihans. We chose Houlihans.
Turns out that Houlihans employees are not exactly sure how to treat families with small kids. First example? As we were greeted at the entrance, we were asked, “Do you need a kids menu?” I’m like, “Ha. Well, he’s only 4 months old.” The
kid waiter gave a blank stare. I said, “No. We don’t need a kids menu.”
Next, we were lead to a room at the very back of the restaurant. It was like a zoo back there, as they seated every family with a small child in this room. It was the “with-kids-only” section. I liked the fact that they felt we could not be integrated with the other diners. Heaven forbid a small child sit with the rest of the customers.
The final funny folly from this dinner experience came when we were feeding Oliver a bottle at the table. Our waiter, all of maybe 17 years old, said, “Do you want me to bring her some carrot sticks?”
“Her? He’s a boy,” I said, curious as to how this young man could have missed the blue outfit with construction equipment on it.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Do you want me to bring HIM some carrot sticks?”
“Umm, no. He’s not quite ready for carrot sticks [SIGH],” I replied, trying not to laugh as I glanced over at Sarah.
I’m amazed at how idiotic these people at Houlihans were, but maybe I was that way a year ago before we had Oliver. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m glad the Houlihans crew works at the restaurant and not as babysitters.
Sarah’s maternity leave comes to an official end tomorrow, with her return to work. She’ll be working Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for a few weeks while we resolve our childcare situation and work out details with Sarah’s mom regarding watching the boy.
We have decided to split overnight “Oliver duties” on the nights before Sarah works. We did a test run last night, and my end of the deal was quite raw. If it’s like this every night, I could return to my “zombified” and cranky employee status of a few weeks ago.
To start, Oliver is not sleeping through the night yet. We had a breakthrough a few weeks ago, but it was short lived. He’s been eating every three or four hours, 24-7.
Last night, we set up his new FisherPrice monitoring deviced (the Sony ones we had been using made terribly hissing and popping noises) and put him to bed around 10 p.m. Around 2 p.m., we could hear him crying and the receiver for the monitor was flashing red lights (the louder Oliver is, the more lights that flash). Our room lit up like a police crime scene. It was obnoxious.
I agreed to take the first shift, so I went down stairs, warmed some milk for a bottle and went to Oliver’s room. It took about 30 minutes to feed him, burp him a few times and rock him back to sleep. I hit our king-size bed around 2:30 a.m. I had a million thoughts in my head and my heart rate was up pretty good due to walking around and flipping lights on and off. I must have been in bed a full hour before I decided to get up. I went into the computer room and played an old Nintendo game for over an hour. Then I went downstairs and had a bowl of cereal and played with the dog. Molly wanted none of me, giving me a “please just let me sleep” look.
Finally tired, I went upstairs around 5:30 a.m. I heard Oliver screaming as I turned to enter our room. Sarah was getting out of bed for her feeding shift. I threw my Springfield Cardinals baseball cap over the monitor receiver to block the flashing lights and went to sleep. Was up for good around 8 a.m. What a night.
I’m sure it was equally rough for Sarah, who’s really upset that her three-month maternity leave is coming to an end. I told her I could return to my roots (as Jen and Kristine suggested a while back) and move to a more affordable house in Florissant so she could stay home full time, but Sarah wants nothing to do with my old ‘hood. Guess we’ll just see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll post something in a few days to let you all know. In the meantime, keep Sarah in your thoughts.
We’re back at the abode in St. Charles, enjoying the last few hours of our three-day weekend. We had a great trip to visit my parents in Springfield, Mo. On Saturday, we went to the Branson Landing. It’s an outdoor shopping area along the lake. The weather was fantastic. I’d say about 75 degrees, but with a nice breeze. We ate dinner there at some bar and restaurant that had outdoor seating overlooking the water. It was pretty cool.
Today we kept it easy prior to our long drive home. We’re all tired now. Oliver has crashed, the dog won’t move unless I drag her across the carpet by her feet (but why would I do that?!!?), and Sarah and I are ready to go to bed (and ignore the 15 or so bags, boxes and piles of stuff from the trip that are piled up in our kitchen).
Below are a few pictures of the boy and the rest of the gang from our first out-of-town adventure. Enjoy.
Oliver’s face says a lot about what he thinks of Bass Pro:
This is what the next generation of Lopinots looks like after a day of shopping in Branson (woo-hoo!):
Here’s the obligatory grandparent-with-sleeping-grandson photo:
Grandpa feeding Oliver a bottle at the restaurant:
Me taking over for senior Lopinot:
Oliver a few minutes ago, ready for bed:
Molly, our spastic goldendoodle, is even tired tonight, so of course I had to take a picture: