Vianne Rose: Three Point Five

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Saturday, October 17, 2015 1:51 PM

It's already been six months since Vianne's Minnie Mouse birthday (which it will be referred to for all of time, I think).  Time flies when you're riding the wild roller coaster that is life and/or parenting!  And as much as we butt heads sometimes, this girl brings more beauty to my life than anything, with her sweet, stubborn ways and her random "I love you, Mom"s and her innocent delights at the smallest of gifts or surprises and her fascination with everything and everyone around her.  

One wouldn't know she was only 3.5 based on her above average height (everyone we meet at the park is surprised to hear she's only 3) and her advanced vocabulary.  Her favorite word of late is "actually", which she works into nearly every sentence, sometimes twice, and mostly correctly.

She also asks when we're talking about anything naughty or silly or crazy she's doing, "What will the police say?" as if they are going to show up at our door or pull us over for the slightest bit of tomfoolery.

She has an amazing grasp of the English language, but still has her own cute pronunciations of certain words.  For some reason, "b" words are tripping her up lately, believe = ablieve, balloon = abloon, and below = ablow.  A hospital is a hopsabull, a carousel is still a carouswell, a remote is a 'mote.  If she wants you to pause a show or movie, she asks you "cord" it.

When scrolling on the computer or TV or flipping through pages of a book and she wants to go back or up or down, she has this adorable phrase: "Go a little backer" or "upper" or "downer".

She loves both princesses and super heroes.  With the absence of cable (since moving) and her favorites from Disney Jr., she's gotten into Super Hero Squad and My Little Pony and Care Bears on Netflix/Amazon Fire, so a lot of the time when she's playing, it's about Super Heroes, although they're often having weddings ;-).

Some days she loves our new house & Sacramento, and some days she still longs for our house in "Cannifornia" as she calls it (which means San Dimas/Southern California).  And though she's a little confused on cities & states, she knows that Oregon is "on top of" California, Washington is on top of Oregon, Canada is on top of Washington, and the ocean is on the side! 

One of her favorite things to do at the new house is to go shopping in the pantry cupboard.  She fills up her shopping cart with cans and boxes and bags and brings it to me.  I slide each item over my laptop keyboard and make a beeping sound then hand it back to her.  Then I give her the total and she pays in either cash or by credit card.  We do this multiple times daily.

She loves to dance whenever there is music and I really need to find this girl a class to attend.  She is so brave and determined when it comes to physical challenges, like improving on playground feats, scooting, riding her bike, etc.  We look forward to getting her into soccer in a few months!

She often tells us stories about "when I was younger" and sometimes they're true, but often they're entirely made up, like about what she did at school.  Sometimes she also tells us stories about "when I was older" and that's when it truly gets silly.

It continues to be fascinating to watch her interact with the world and be exposed to new concepts, trying to grapple with things like God and angels and death and sickness and missing people back in San Dimas.  She approaches any and all other kids at the park by saying, "My name's Vianne!" and rarely gets the response she's looking for, but almost always ends up playing with them anyway.  

She loves all her family with a great passion and devotion and is enjoying Oliver's ever-growing ability to play with her.  They are often caught making each other giggle deliriously, driving the riding toys in circles around the kitchen island or dancing around the family room.  Though they certainly have their fights, they are very fond of each other's company.

Her innocent little world is such a lovely place, it's a privilege to live alongside her and remember what that's like.

Oliver Patrick: Fourteen Months Old

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Friday, October 16, 2015 1:01 PM

This has been a big month of change for little Oliver!  After over a year of very rough nights, we decided that now that he has his own room, it's time for some serious sleep training.  These tired parents went for a, shall we say, cold turkey approach...and we are thrilled to say he now sleeps from roughly 7 pm to 7 am with minor interruptions that he seems to resolve on his own!  

Oliver has also figured out how to climb up on things like chairs and couches, adding another constant challenge to his mother's day.  He also quickly figured out that if he was up on the chair, he could climb onto the table, which is one of his new favorite things to do and coincidentally my least favorite new thing.

He also has recently adopted the adorable practice of walking around holding a real or toy phone up to his ear and babbling into it.  This always amuses me since both Patrick & I spend as little time talking on phones as we can possibly manage.

He now also loves to dance and has his own move which I have dubbed "The Oliver" and desperately need to capture on video.

He's also decided that his need for daytime naps has lessened from two daily to one after lunch.  Happily, these often last at least an hour if not two.  Which is really great considering his older sister thinks five minutes of quiet time in her room per day is sufficient.  The days where he decides he doesn't need this nap, though, Mama thinks the world is ending.

He's really taken off with walking and tolerates the stroller much less now, always wanting to be on foot & on the go!  It's so much cuteness how he walks around happily most of the day, babbling and exploring.

September 2015

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Monday, October 5, 2015 8:17 PM

September is Slowly Settling In Month.  I've been trying to bring some order to the house while the kids are bringing constant disorder...and they are currently winning.  Patrick has been hard at work juggling the end of summer classes, gearing up for fall classes, and doing his share of order-bringing to the house as well.

We love our new house and our new neighborhood and so far our new city.  I love being somewhere with no commitments or obligations other than to Patrick, Vianne, & Oliver - and am going to see how long I can make this last ;-D.  For now, it's enough for the four of us to quietly assimilate to Sacramento culture.

We continue to frequent the park across the street and Vianne continually gets more brave on the various ladders and slides and things.  Usually she's the one conquering the climbing wall, but one evening, the climbing wall got her.  She slid down & smacked her cheek on one of the handholds, huge bruise & swollen cheek (a month later, there's still a knot!).  Mostly she was upset because it meant we had to leave the park.  This girl & her high pain tolerance!

The kids are enjoying the slow-move-in process much more than their Mama.  Empty bookshelves are fun!
The arrival of new furniture was very exciting!

The kids seem to love having their own rooms, but sometimes I catch a quiet moment & spy them playing together in one or the other.
One of O's favorite places to hang out.  It's so cute I hardly even mind he usually dumps all the books from the shelf to the floor from this position.
Granma made her first trip up to our new place with Grandpa
Taking the kids over to the park & leaving Patrick & I with a blessedly quiet house for a bit
One in a long list of things O has to do because V does it: eating whole apples
After only three weeks away, we made a whirlwind trip to SoCal because Patrick had a Fuller faculty retreat and we figured we'd all tag along.  The first night we got to see Rachelle's new house...

We stayed at the Losies' while they were out of town and the first full day we spent in Lake Arrowhead.  A couple of shots with flair on our way out the door...
...and found perfect weather awaiting us up on the mountain.
Our little Charlie Brown boy loved the him-sized playground

Granma & Grandpa have been talking to Vianne about this boat & its tour around the lake for awhile and it was finally the day for it!  It was a wonderful, relaxing ride around and the kids thought it was really fun!

Captain Curls!
Back at home in Sacramento, Oliver practices for his male modeling career

Sister joins in for some snuggles

Another of O's favorite pastimes is talking on phones & other similarly shaped objects as if he's carrying on urgent business
Fun in the backyard

Mama thinks, "When will we be rid of the pile of boxes with the tarp over it?"
The kids think, "Let's jump and climb on it!!!!!!!"
We have a bit of a burgeoning fall-on-the-floor tantrummer - heaven help us!

Super Hero Snuggles
And we ended the month with a visit from Grandpa!