Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Big Girl

Olivia crawls now.


It's really cute. Especially when she sees something new to explore across the room and she squeals with delight and then takes off after it.

We've been working on her fall/winter wardrobe a little bit. Marian was at Kohl's the other week and asked what size to get O for pants. We decided she would need 24-months. When I hung the new pants up in her closet next to her summer capris, the pants looked ENORMOUS. Super long. I was a little disappointed because I wanted her to start wearing the cute striped pants now instead of late in the winter. But then, all of a sudden, she shot up like a beanstalk, and those 24-month pants weren't so big anymore!

Then I tried putting the 18-month capris on her and they're waaay too short. Seriously, that happened in like a 1-2 week span!

And she also got her first pair of shoes. We got them a week ago. At the store, her feet were swimming in the shoes, even with socks on. But we finally went with the bigger size, because I want these to last forever. Or at least through the winter. I swear her feet grew, too, because now the shoes stay on her feet, instead of falling off.

She saw Dr. Hofman for her 10-month checkup on Thursday. At her 6-month she was 29 inches. I had been measuring her since then, and the longest she got was 29.5. Well, on Thursday, she was

31.5 inches!!!

And here's her in her 24-month pants to prove it!

(Please don't mind the blurriness.)

I looked at JB's baby book and he was about that height when he was her age, so don't worry, folks, it looks like she won't get any taller than 6'3"!

Monday, August 17, 2009

2.) The Magical Life Jacket

Before we left Grand Rapids for our U.P. vacation, Mark pulled the boy’s old baby life jacket out of the attic. It had “JB Hunt” written in black marker on it. Mark said that Austin used it too. But what he failed to mention was that it is magical.

On the day JB and I went to the Soo, Mark and Marian put the life jacket on Olivia and took her for a ride to Hessel on Grandpa’s boat, Pooh Bear. As soon as she got on the boat, Olivia was out like a light, and slept the entire one-hour ride.

The Sunday before we left JB, Austin, Lauren, Chris, O, and I rode Pooh Bear to Cedar Campus to catch the morning sermon. We didn’t have much time to get there, so when Uncle Austin took the helm we got a choppy 45-mile-an-hour ride to Cedar. As soon as we got into the boat, Olivia was lethargic. I mean, it was like she had taken a tranquilizer or something. No normal human could have slept a wink on that choppy, windy, cold ride, but it was as though the life jacket made Olivia oblivious to the elements. Her eyes sometimes fluttered a little, but she pretty much was out the whole time.

She didn’t cry or fuss at all about being jostled about on the boat. But then during the service JB noticed a bright orange substance on his shirt and Olivia’s. We think she got a little seasick and barfed a while after we had landed.

After church we boarded the boat again, and took a calmer trip back to the cabin. No sooner than I sat down with her, she was fast asleep. I thought that perhaps it was the hum of the engine, though she doesn’t quickly fall asleep in cars all the time. Not only did she sleep for the whole boat ride, but also as she was handed off the boat onto the dock, was walked through the marshy grasses to the car, rode the short distance in the car back to the cabin, and came inside and was laid on the living room floor. Fast asleep.

Those who know Olivia know that this is STRANGE behavior for her. She does not sleep. She especially does not asleep when she’s away from home and is surrounded by people. But apparently none can resist the drowsy power of the life jacket!

I lay her down on the floor, with the life jacket securely around her, and there she slept, with cabin activities going on all around her, for some time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bird Update III

Tonight I was trying to give Olivia dinner while making my own, and the casserole I was making needed a little more attention than I had bargained for. As a result, I kept giving Olivia more and more food in order to keep her at bay while I cooked. I was also curious just how much she would eat as I am always wondering if I feed her enough.

When I put her in the bathtub I realized that she indeed got enough to eat. I really wanted to get a photo of it, but I couldn't convince Lucy to spot Olivia in the tub while I ran downstairs to fetch my camera. Laying in the tub, she looked just like the Saggy Baggy Elephant did when he floated in the water. My baby had a big belly!

Today the Bird is 10 months old and is changing right before my eyes.

She is way more curious, and has discovered the treasures lying behind cupboard doors and in boxes, bins, etc. While her curiosity is strong, it is not intense enough to warrant crawling to such things. She will occasionally do the "wounded soldier" crawl, but mostly just does her precision rolling.

Her first word is "dog." She says Mama and Dada, but not to us. She will point at a dog though and say, "dah!" She jabbers more, especially while "reading" her books. Watching her read her books is one of my favorite things. She points her chubby fingers at a picture on a page and talks to it.

Lucy and Olivia can play together more now. Favorite games: lick the baby on the face and watch the baby laugh; tug-of war; laying near baby to get pets; and one of their favorites: before the Mom yells at the baby, eating baby snacks that baby offers to dog.

The Bird has also gone swimming! The first time was with Daddy, and she wasn't very excited about it. Annie and I took her in the Hunts' pool again on Monday, and she liked it much better. I let her slowly dip into the water, and to get used to it before letting her go down farther. We also let her sit on a floating board and play with some bath toys. She was happy in there for an hour! She even floated on her belly and her back. Here is a shot of her first dip:

Olivia has also started to have baby nightmares. I had nightmares when I was little too, and so did some of JB's family. Last night JB heard her cry out and he went to her. She was still frantic as he held her, but eventually he rocked her back to sleep. Maybe she was having dreams about having to wear this shirt again:

Sorry, guys, I just had to go there! You all should know that I'm not really anti-Michigan, but as a Spartan, I feel it is my duty to put this photo into cyberspace. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gender Bender

Dear Reader,

If you were to see this little baby on the street, what gender do you think the baby is? (I had to include the reading picture because it cracks me up. "Just sittin' back with my legs crossed, learnin' my numbers!")

Wherever I go with my baby, people think she is a boy. Today she was wearing the pictured outfit, which if you'll notice has a BOW on it.
I took her to an estate sale where the people there all thought he was sooo cute. Some were wise, and just said, "What a cute baby you have!" "Your baby is so nice!", avoiding the gender assignment. Other, more confident folks, said, "He's so cute!" or "You are SUCH a good boy! You are SUCH a good boy!" One man said, "He's so cute. How old is he? 7 1/2 months?" (try nearly 10, guy!)

I don't really care what people guess about my baby because Lord knows that I'm not a good judge of gender or age, either. But everybody thinks she's a boy! Do YOU think this baby looks like a boy? And if so, is it because she has no hair? I mean, a man at McDonald's last week saw her in all her pink glory, and asked how old he was. Yes, it was at a McDonald's out in hicktown Middleville, but still. She can be wearing a dress and will still be considered a boy.

When the lady at the estate sale raved about what a good boy Olivia was being (we were waiting in a long line and O was content to ride in the Bjorn and play with my keys), I considered telling the woman that her name was Oliver if she asked.

I'm getting sick of correcting people, so why not have some fun pretending to have a
son? Ladies and gentleman, meet Oliver, my cross-dressing baby boy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

3.) Bats!

JB and I are big fans of This American Life. We’ve listened to almost all of its shows, including a segment titled “The Hills Have Eyes.” It is a true story about a woman who was attacked by a rabid raccoon and her near-disaster experience with trying to get a rabies vaccine (which costs thousands of dollars, by the way). At one part of the show (14:35 minutes in), the interviewer took an aside with the audience and said that rabies is REAL and DANGEROUS and if you ever find a bat in a room where someone was sleeping, you need to have that bat and/or person checked for rabies, as they may not have known that they were bitten.

That, coupled with Michael Scott's Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run for the Cure, has made me very serious about rabies.

So when I learned that the squeaking I heard in my bedroom in the cabin was a bat and not a mouse, I was a little unnerved.

But just a little, as it was apparently in the walls, and not actually in my room.

We heard them for two nights, scratching and squeaking in the walls, and in what sounded like the heat ducts, right by my side of the bed. Marian said she’s heard them in the cabin for years.

The next day, as Mark fetched something from the cubby hole/attic space right next to Olivia’s bed, he discovered a dead bat and showed it to us.

Aha! Mischief managed, I thought. I didn’t know that bats live in droves.

A few hours later I take Olivia to our room to nurse her and take a nap. I grabbed the blanket out of her bed (it was chilly the whole time we were up there!) and threw it on my bed and sat down next to it. As soon as I got situated with her, I reached out to grab the blanket to pull it over us. Then I noticed that my hand wasn’t about to grab the off-white blanket, but something black and sinister instead.

A bat! In the blanket, 7 inches from Olivia’s head!


Then it started squeaking.


I actually wasn’t as frightened as I would have been if it was a mouse or, God forbid, a snake. I probably would have cried if it had been one of those. The bat didn’t disturb me, but the idea of rabies did.

So I summoned Mark and JB for help, and they removed the bat, which was fortunately stuck in the blanket, and not able to fly around and get stuck in my hair. Or bite Olivia.

That night Marian and Austin counted 38 bats flying out of the roof, on a hunting expedition. Mark speculated that there were probably 100 in there in total.

Eee again!

Grandma and Grandpa found one flying around in their bedroom the next morning. They opened a window and it flew out. Grandma commented that she didn’t know what all the fuss was about over these bats. I should have pointed out my rabies concern to her, but I did not. I was trying to be brave, I guess.

Mark and Marian found a guy who took care of the problem. This man rigged a sort of tube and flap in the hole that the bats flew in and out of. They could fly out at night to hunt, but upon return, could not go back in past the flap.

The in-laws said they counted over 100 bats leaving the joint.

Good riddance, you blind creatures of the night! Christian Bale may make bats seem sexy, but I know better. You can’t fool me, and you can’t come back into the family cabin and give us rabies!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

4.) Narnia

On Tuesday of our vacation a group of us took a hike to Narnia. Narnia is a magical place near Cedar Campus that makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of the wardrobe and into C.S. Lewis’ imagination. After a quiet and picturesque journey through the woods you find yourself walking in between massive moss-covered boulders and in and out of more trees. Keep walking and you’ll eventually come to the turquoise waters of Lake Huron. Narnia was discovered by Cedar Campus (perhaps even Grandma and Grandpa Hunt, though I’m not sure), on part of protected state lands next to its property. They have since received permission for their campers to enjoy the place, as long as no one wrecks anything.

I have always loved walking to Narnia (well, hiking in the woods IS one of my favorite things) and enjoyed taking Olivia to one of my favorite places.

I wish I had taken photos of the paths between the boulders. Another time…

They recently replaced the old Narnia lamp and sign with this. Tacky. I checked eBay for a better one. No dice. Someone may have to go to England and get a real one to bring back.

Austin jumping off of a boulder into the shallow bay. Very safe. Correction: very safe if you’re crazy like Austin.

A pair of swans visited us in a little inlet. The one in front was hissing at us a lot. Probably because three of us were pointing cameras at them and trying to get close. But still. We were there first! They just floated on up to us and then copped an attitude. Rude swans. But still pretty. Someone pointed out how perfectly clean their bodies are, but how their necks are dirty because they can’t reach them to clean them. Interesting.