Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oliver's First Day of School

Oliver had his first full day at Apple Blossom Beginning's on Monday. We've warmed up with three one-hour playdates while I hung out. Then two half-days where I left, and one of which I put him down for a nap during. Finally, Monday was his first full day. He cried when I left, of course, as he cried every time we've gone. But he lasted the whole day, and even took an hour nap. The "aunties" are really quite loving, and the other kids are sweet, so I think soon enough he will love going. He'll be going three days/week - Mon, Weds, Fri. I pack two snacks and a lunch for him every day, which is some stress, especially after observing a few days and hearing a lot of "I'm sorry, your mommy didn't pack such and such today..." But for now, it's just fine. They also take a nap together in cribs all in two rooms. I think sleeping with others will take some getting used to, so his naps are more like an hour instead of two, but I think being flexible about sleeping in the room with others will be a benefit in the future. The cabin kid's room comes to mind.

It's a bit sad to be changing up our routines, like not going to Stroller Strides as often, and not being as flexible for drop-in visits from grandparents. But, Oliver is really going to enjoy the extra social and activity outlet. And I know I will find plenty of activities to fill my time! He has gotten so active and restless that it's hard to fill the day with enough, so this will be good for everyone. We had to move our Monday swim class to Wednesday at 4:30. I'm sad to leave our friends in that class, but the Wednesday class is more advanced and pretty cool to push his skills to the next level. It's a transition class, which means at the end, I won't be going in the water with him anymore! There are a couple kids that are 2-2 1/2, so he's younger than most of them, but he seemed to be keeping up with the more advanced kids. They were already doing a lot of listening to the teacher at the last class. It was amazing. Oliver was being a bit rebellious at first (jumping in the water when it was someone else's turn), but I was strict with him (after being told to be :) ) and the teacher gave him a talking-to, and he listened well after that. It was a bit inspirational for the rest of his life, and he's starting to actually swim on his own now.

Obligatory First Day of School photo. Empty paper bag has no explanation. 

Sadly, then I have to confess how Monday ended after we got home from Apple Blossom. Oliver was excited to go outside to play, and when I went to grab my water and his snack inside, he managed to fall over while trying to get onto his riding truck. Unfortunately, he landed his poor little forehead on the cement step. Ugh, a trip next door to the neighbor with two little boys who have a history of injuries, and a call to the doctor, and it was determined that he would be just fine, but what a nasty bump on his head! Today the swelling went into his eye more and it looks pretty terrible. But, so glad he will be fine. And fearful that this is just the beginning of it all! 

War Wound! No boogers, just oatmeal.
Hopefully Apple Blossom is going well today and he'll have a good time. And no more injuries this week! Now, I must actually get some work done. Off to perfect my business plan!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Personal Online Shopper

Kerry pulled my weak strings and introduced me to this website, Stitch Fix. And I will have to admit, it's pretty awesome. Here's how it works.

  • Click on your friend's link, so they get the $25 credit if you sign up. It's in Beta, so not sure if you can just go directly or not. 
  • Fill out an e-harmony style questionnaire, but in this case you tell them about your sizes, proportions, lifestyle, price tolerences and style tastes. They even present you with Polyvore style collections to see what appeals to you and what doesn't. (And if you've never experience Polyvore, which often finds itself on Pinterest, you should!)
  • Then you're put on the waitlist. Which didn't take too long, but makes it extra exclusive. 
  • They tell you once you're in, and you can schedule your first "fix". You can schedule monthly, or select a date. You can also give specific instructions for the fix, like if you're going to a wedding and want a couple of outfit options. 
  • They will mail you a box with 5 items selected for you. Kerry and I compared, and we were sent totally different items. I opened mine and totally loved the overall look. They send you an invoice and you have 3 days to send the items back, or confirm the order and pay. (They have your credit card info, so obviously you will pay regardless). The "styling fee" is $20, so if you don't keep anything, that's what you owe. But if you keep anything, the $20 is applied to the purchase. Also, if you keep all 5 items that they send you, you get 25% off everything. In my situation, they sent a more expensive necklace that I really liked, but there were two shirts I was on the fence with. However, with the 25% off when buying all five, the difference in keeping or returning the two shirts was $20. So I kept them, and am wearing one as I type. They sent a pair of pants, 3 shirts and a necklace. All were under $100, except for the necklace, which was closer to $200. 
  • You sign online and tell them what you're keeping and what you're sending back. You also fill out a survey reviewing the items they sent so that they can use that for future shipments. If you send anything back, they include a pre-labeled envelope to make that easy. I hate having to print things out to return them, so that is nice. 
I'm pretty sure I've thought the shoe version of this that I've seen TV commercials for was hokey, but I'm not the target audience for that, and have never tried it. I will say that the cool things about Stitch Fix include: trying things that you wouldn't pick out yourself. The studded blouse they sent wouldn't have been something I would pick out myself, but it was the most comfortable and flattering thing of the bunch. They also include a little card showing a couple of outfit suggestions with how to wear the item. The brands are also not brands I have heard of before, which I might be sad about if it were a purse or watch, but with clothes, it just reduces the chances that anyone else you know will have the same thing. Also, with the exception of the jewelry so far, the items are affordable. Oh, and who doesn't love getting gifts in the mail??

I just signed up for monthly fixes. I probably don't need that many clothes, and will likely put it on hold (you can cancel at any time), but it will avoid my itchy trigger finger that knows I can request a "Fix" at any time - I might have found myself with more than monthly shipments that way!! 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up!! :) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

18 Months

Oliver is a year and a half old today. 

He's a tall boy. Running around pretty swiftly now. He speaks a lot - the cutest word he says is "avocado," which I will attribute to Oliver's staying a week with Grandma and her Paleo diet. 

Swimming is going after a two-month hiatus and Oliver is doing well. He finally has been given permission to come to class in clothes and shoes next week so that he can start practicing for his 5 minute float (the next big test). This I will give credit for to Nana and PopPop's new pool in Palm Springs and the 2 solid hours we spent practicing in it last weekend. He did great at his last two classes after that. There are seriously two-year-olds at swim classes without their parents in the water because they can swim. Could be us! 

Watching himself chew food in the camera

Oliver is into trains, airplanes, monkeys, cats, busses and pointing them out every time he sees one, fish, big trucks, singing Itsy Bitsy Spider...  We still do music class and are excited to start "Balls! Balls! Bonanza!" at the community center in a couple of weeks. If nothing else, I love the name. He needs to burn off his energy or he gets really annoying. And then he crashes hard for one or two naps a day. He's been sleeping a lot. 

I've started doing some Barre3 classes, which are make-you-sweat-and-shake hard and they have a small daycare area. Oliver survived 2 sessions of daycare successfully, but I've tried 2 more times and he cried so much I was pulled out of class. Oh well, I can still go when Mitchell watches Oliver, and I'm sure he'll grow out of getting so upset. 

Doc appt in a couple of weeks and we'll get the physical stats. 

The Stone

I am extremely proud and equally embarrassed by the fact that I just completed my first lesson of Rosetta Stone Spanish. It was kind of fun, and I think I may have learned a few things! I made it through part of lesson two before Oliver woke up. However, I have actually lost count of how many Christmases have passed since Mitchell gave me the software. I just pray that he unsubscribed from the frequent emails he received asking "how it was going?" with the program, as it sat in a box on my shelf. 

Will I open the program more frequently now that this fear of the unknown is gone? Who knows! But I'm excited. Hopefully I can learn enough to keep up with Oliver in school someday, through, say, first grade?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

16 Months

As we approach the 16 Month mark, there's lots going on for Oliver.

The biggie is that he learned to walk over Christmas. He was teetering so close for awhile. And I didn't push it, since I saw the efforts at Thanksgiving and knew the relatives would make it happen. And indeed they pulled through! Official first steps we're counting December 26, 2012. He's definitely into more things, but it's also nice for him to be able to move better on his own. Mixed blessing! No running yet.

Oliver is also talking like crazy. Granted, many of the words require some interpretation, but he's quite verbose for his age. The doctor said he was probably working on his words instead of walking - as 15 months is a bit late. Words include; Mom, Daddy, PopPop, Nana, Grandma, Grandpa, Reggie, Louie, Doggie, Woof-Woof, Meow, Owl, Who-Who, Duck, Quack-Quack, Apple, Snack, Banana, Cheese, No, Night-Night, Choo-Choo, On, Hot, Thank You, Go Ducks... the list goes on, and he pretty much copies whatever you work with him on. Cute.

He continues to hold rank as a big boy. His latest 15 Month stats were: 28.3 lbs (95%), 34.5" (99%). Babies slow their grow in weight, so I keep thinking he's got to be at least 30 lbs, but not so. He is also growing a mouthful of teeth. He has all 8 teeth up front (4 top, 4 bottom) and then 3 molars, with a 4th coming soon. Next up: a haircut this month. The sides are tickling his ears, and the back definitely turns into a mullet when it's not curly. Just got to pick the place to get it done.

He still loves music, now the Baby Songs videos he gets to watch sometimes on TV, animals, fish, cars, trucks and trains. Lots of fun! And still taking 2 naps a day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Limited Edition

Cool! I love limited edition/can't buy it/one-of-a-kind. Crate&Barrel has created these 50th Anniversary Teapots.

12 artists have added their design to a classic teapot, a new one to be available each month until the 200 are sold out. $200 is a lot, as it doesn't seem to be going to a charity of any kind. But still, cool.

Happy New Year 2013

Resolutions. Sigh. The guilt of January 1.

Most of my resolutions are short-term, but then, most follow-through tends to be the same! 2013 missions as follow:

  • 10 lbs down by the end of January - for Andie's 30th birthday in Vegas. Followed shortly by Mitchell and my trip to Hawaii. I was considering aiming for the full 20 I have to go, but why set myself up for failure? 
  • Launch my Etsy site. It's been started, but not ready for promotion. Just going to try my hand at listing some antiques that I already have and am willing to part with. For the right price. It's my low commitment entrance into the world of "picking." 
  • Reconnecting with friends. No reason I can't visit my good friends around town for lunch. Or drinks. Or pedis. I've slacked off and been a bad friend. So this is my month to get back out there. Reading this and haven't seen me in awhile? Speak up - I'm yours! :) 
Other immediate 2013 missions include cutting Oliver's hair for the first time and getting Louie groomed for the first time. Things are getting shaggy around here.