Friday, August 13, 2010

True Love

Warning: Cheezy Mom Love content featured.

So I'm taking Oliver to school this morning, a beautiful day and had just talked to the contractors who are putting together my kitchen today, so I was feeling very pleased and caffeinated. I look back in my Eddie Bauer see-your-kid clip-on rearview mirror. And distorted as he was, the boy was so cute just eating his raisins and pointing out the Cherry Pickers that seem to live in a school lot we pass every day.

With a deep breath and sigh, I decide to give the boy a sincere: "Oliver, I love you so much."

His response: "Look! A digger truck *on* a flatbed truck!"

Yep. True Love.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Kindness of Toddlers

This morning, Oliver's kindnesses abounded.

First, he was standing on my ankle/shin in tennis shoes:
  • Me: Ouch, that hurts.
  • Oliver: Need a bandaid? (eyebrows raised).
  • Me: Sure.
... and off he trots to retrieve the Curious George bandages, struggles with the wrapper and sticker backing, and promptly applies it to a random spot on the wrong leg.

Then later, as I lay on my made bed tired and unwilling to admit morning is really here:
  • Me: I feel like poo.
  • Oliver: You feel like that? You feel like poo?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Oliver: You need a diaper?
... and Daddy laughs from the nearby vanity, about which:
  • Oliver inquires: Why you laughing, Daddy?
  • Eric: Because you're funny.
  • Oliver: Ohhhhhh (in his new, ohhhhh-i-see-now-what-a-revelation tone he's been using lately).
The kid does make me laugh, that's for sure.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


It's been ages since I've blogged, but I couldn't resist giving this photo proper play.

I can't believe how big Oliver has become. Seems like just yesterday he would lie on this same blanket making googly eyes at the fan above. Now he lays all cross-legged and smug like the big boy that he is.

Next week "Baby Sage" will turn 5 months and Oliver 2 years and 5 months and ornery as all get out. I mean, what do you do with a kid who says "I want a time out"?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

High Standards

"Aahnt fahn-see un. Aahnt fahn-see un."

The first time I heard this utterance just a few weeks ago, I was very confused. What was Oliver trying to tell me? "Aahnt" I knew well as his own personal conjunction for "I want," but what was this mysterious "fahn-see un"? And, of course, my confusion didn't take long to escalate his frustration. I really had no idea what he was demanding, only that he was definitely demanding it.

I don't even know how I made the connection, really. I was opening the cupboard to get out his sippy cup for some milk and he got increasingly louder with this demand. A la game of hot and cold, I was getting warmer, warmer, HOT. Something was HOT in the cupboard. I could only conclude that I was in very close proximity to the "fahn-see un." As I grabbed his sippy cup, he was fairly frantic. Then, my 'ah-ha' moment: He did not want his everyday animal sippy cup, he wanted a "Fancy One". When I grabbed one of the non-stackable, non-conforming sippy cups from our stash, his relief was palpable, as was mine. Sure, you can have your milk in this BPA-free yuppie-inspired mug of rubber-hugged stainless steel in the colors of gumby and pokey. Whatever floats your boat, kid.

Floating boats is a funny thing, though. It can sometimes take hold of your every decision. Now he will hardly ever drink out of our ol' tried and true Gerbers. And it's not even that it has to be truly "fancy" (and he does say it with that extra elitist air: "fahn-sy.") It just has to be not run-of-the-mill. The Future-Chico-State-Wildcat sports bottle works fine. The mixed-and-matched of the old Born Free toddler bottles, lids, and nipples work. Even a plastic solo cup with a straw seems to fill the bill. It's really quite funny – until, of course, all the fancy cups are dirty. Oy.

There are a few other odd demands in servingwear, like when he can't let go of the need for the Orange fork. Purple just won't do. Or when he insists on the smallest bowl in the set for a serving of Cheerios. But this fancy cup fascination is much less fleeting. The only surprise at milk time these days is that his pinky isn't in the air as he's drinking from his "fahn-see un."

Standard Cups:
Fahn-See Un:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Assumptive Close

Oliver and I have this pattern of communicating that gets me every time. It goes like this:

"Oliver do you want some fruit?"
"I want graaaapes!"
"You want grapes?" (for clarification)

"OK." (as if it was all my suggestion in the first place)

Really, tone is everything in this exchange, but seriously, he throws that "OK" in there after every clarifying question I ask these days. It's especially vexxing when he suggests something he shouldn't have or that I'd otherwise say no to, say "scissors," for example, and it's such a habit for me to restate what he's saying to make sure I have it right: "You want scissors?" -- always met with a quick and assumptive: "OK" and the unstated "Thanks for offering."

Sunday, January 17, 2010


As of 12/30/09, Oliver is:
  • 27.5 pounds (50th percentile)
  • 35.75 inches (75-90th percentile)
  • 19 inches around his head (25-50th percentile)
That's all I have to say about that. Oh, other than 27.5 pounds is HEAVY!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Morning

Oliver woke up as usual asking for his Daddy ("My Daddy! My Daddy! My Daddy!"), but instead got a Happy Birthday duet from both of his loving parents, which did put a smile on his face (not easy, as he can be a bit of a crabby pants first thing in the morning). Daddy had to sneak out for an early appointment, so Mommy threw the rules out the window and:

  1. Provided a lollipop for breakfast per the Prince's request.
  2. Played a whole round of Fun Factory Playdough – mixing the blue and the orange dough and everything.
  3. Dressed him as a Chicago Bear for school – complete with skin-tight airplane underoo's showing through the thin white football pants.
  4. Allowed knee-deep romping in snow outside. (We got 12" in the last 24 hours.)

Bad Mommy. But, Happy Birthday, Monk! More fun to come…

Oh, and this conversation from the distinguished palette of a lollipop connoisseur:

"Oliver, is it good?"
"I like it. I like it."
"What flavor is it?..."
Is it Grape?..."
"What does it taste like?"


As per usual routine, we then used each of Oliver's FOUR toothbrushes to scrub the purple from his teeth. He insists on using each differently colored toothbrush at every brushing session. It's really not a bad technique to cover the odds of actually getting them brushed, but it can take more time than one might want to spend assisting. Pink and yellow and blue and orange. Of late, each one also requires its own serving of toothpaste. Have you tasted that fruity crap they give to kids? Gross.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Guess Who’s Turning Two!?

Oliver is turning TWO tomorrow! We've had him in training for some time now. Here's how the practice sessions go:

"Oliver, how old are you going to be?"
"When is your birthday?"
"No. When is your birthday? Januaryyyy?"

So cute. More later.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Stretch Denim

You may have noticed that I changed the look and feel of The Oliver Chronicles blog earlier in the week. I did this for three main reasons:

  1. I've noticed that I'm rather verbose in my posts and the old layout just made me seem verboser (intentional misuse) because the real estate allocated to the post itself was so narrow. This new layout stretches out to the width of your browser, thus making the post seem shorter and easier to digest. I like this stretch feature. Plus, the template's name is Stretch Denim. Cute.
  2. I wanted an excuse to get you email notification / RSS subscribers to hit the site itself. Figured curiosity over what the heck I'm talking about with this new/old layout business would get you there. There is lots of other content (photos and slide shows and archives) that may interest you on the full site, plus I frequently edit posts after they are published to fix errors or to add a note that didn't occur to me when I originally posted. If you subscribe, you only get the original. C'mon, click on thru: Bookmark it. Make it your home page. Or at least, visit often. And LEAVE COMMENTS. A blogger lives for comments and so many of you are spoiled by the email notifications and feeds that you don't bother to remark or just hit reply instead of commenting for posterity. C'mon, humor me. You can even go back and comment on old posts -- just use the archive links at the right or click OLDER POSTS at the bottom of each set of entries.
  3. As always, change is good. Just mixin' it up over here.

Would love to hear what you think of this new look. Hope you like it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thank Goodness for Bedtimes

Dear Gods of Toddlers, please don't jinx me for saying so, but "Oliver is a good sleeper." Since he has been sleeping through the night, it is a fairly rare incident that he wakes up (short of a nightmare or a tooth coming in or being overtired for some circumstantial reason). And he goes down with such ease.

I pray this ease continues, as it makes our lives so much more predictable. Oliver's bedtime is 7:30 sharp. It goes: milk, books (as time permits), kisses, woosher, bink, woobie, bed. Like clockwork. Tonight I let him stay up until 7:45 but only because Daddy was unavailable for kisses until then and I'm hoping it pays off a bit on the other end because he's been waking up earlier than we'd like. But typically he goes from "crazy monkey jumping on couch and throwing plastic food items around the room," through the sequence above, to sleeping baby in like 3 minutes flat. It's such a blessing – again, one that I hope I'm not jinxing with this post.

It means:

  • He gets ample sleep according to the Pediatric Association guidelines: 13 hours total – 11-11.5 overnight and 1.5-2 at naptime (more or less).
  • The countdown to bedtime is pretty predictable and is used as a guide to fit in play, dinner, bath, books, and milk accordingly.
  • Either of us parents can go out without much guilt after the bell tolls. Oliver knows no different. (Eric is at the Hopleaf now with Boris and Ryan, in fact. And I look forward to my regular "Club of the Month Club" meetings).
  • Evening conference calls with the offshore teams in China and India are uninterrupted and guilt-free.
  • Babysitters can rely on a set schedule without much ambiguity at all and enjoy a relative freedom post-7:30.
  • The routine feeds routine which combats any combat about going to bed. (Yes, I know the day will come where he will fight back, but for now we're loving the routine and lack of combat.)

I wouldn't go so far as to call us bedtime Nazis or anything like that, but we are pretty regimented about the whole thing – because it serves us, and it serves him. Lots of parents value their kid's flexibility and willingness to adapt. For us, our given level of predictability is a fair trade for those qualities. I mean, he'll roll with the punches if we bend the rules a little bit, but we really try to honor them overall.

I find this pattern of predictability worth commenting on tonight, especially, as I am able to pen this post (in advance; I'm post-dating it) without interruption, as Eric is able to enjoy a night out with the boys, and as I remember the crazy days of infant irregularity. Is it really time to go for #2, where bedtime as bedtime simply doesn't exist?