Monday, February 21, 2011

Clever girl

Another anecdote I just felt I needed to pass on/archive:

On Valentine's day, as I was getting ready for work up in the bedroom, Olivia joined me there. Unbeknownst to me she had been instructed to stall me up there while Suzanne arranged some Valentine's day things downstairs. Also part of the set-up to this story is that a few days before I had moved some boxes that had been in the middle of the bedroom for a long time onto a closet, resulting in some clear floor space.

Olivia came to the door and said "I really like what you've done with this space." I thanked her of course, and said something about having those boxes out of the way.

"and where did you get that shirt?"

I was wearing a t-shirt from the Scott's Hut race, in Antarctica- I was again all too happy to talk about that. As I was getting ready to leave the bedroom, she put her hands on each side of the doorframe and called to Suzanne to see if all was ready, at which point I realized she had been sent to stall me. Note that all of these lines were completely uncoached.

I tell you she's going to be an actress. I guess an alternative is con artist...

Monday, January 03, 2011

Broccoli coming out of her ears

A little anecdote I thought I needed to share.

Olivia has broccoli at dinner very frequently. Now, we don't require her to clean her plate always, but we want her to at least eat her broccoli. There have been many ways we have used to cajole her into eating it all, and one that has been especially successful has been for me to palm a piece of broccoli while she's not looking, and then pretend to pull it out of her ear, or Suzanne's ear, or my ear.

Though I'm no magician, she bought this for quite a long time, and then the other night she asked me how I do it. Wanting to be honest with her, I showed her how I could hold the broccoli in my palm without using my fingers, and showed her how I could pick it up off her plate.

Having palmed the broccoli and showed it to her, I then reached to Suzanne's ear and pretended to pull it out. Looking slightly perplexed, she said:

"But what happened to the piece of broccoli you already had in your hand?"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Visiting the Maryland Cousins

Olivia and I(mama) found time for a short visit to Maryland in July to visit my sister's family, while Olivia's Grandma was visiting. We had a very enjoyable, if short, visit with Olivia's aunt and uncle, cousins and grandma. Olivia really enjoyed spending time with everyone. She was particularly lonely for her cousins when we got home.
We even made a trip to the D.C. zoo, but I forgot my camera, so am waiting to have photos some passed on to me.

All the ladies hanging out on a warm day, (except me behind the camera!)

Olivia gave the hula hoop a try.

Even Grandma got in on the act!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer's First Camping Trip

We finally got ourselves out camping this summer. We went to Moosalamoo Campground in VT's Green Mtn Nat'l Forest. It rained itself out before we got to our campsite, and the weather was wonderful the rest of the weekend. We went for walks in the woods, paddles in the creek, and had time to roast marshmallows around the campfire (which Olivia clearly enjoyed!).
We saw moose tracks as big as Olivia's feet, but alas, no moose.

Olivia visits a Monarch Butterfly caterpillar on a milkweed leaf. Our first of the season.

Olivia the camp-chair monster!

Just after a messy s'more.

Happy camping family!

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Joke's On Me

I just happened to look back at a post from 2 years ago which reads "Knock on wood, but she has been sleeping the night through! Tonight, after breastmilk and a song, she rolled off my lap and crawled to her spot on the bed and virtually collapsed. Her first time putting herself to sleep! Quite a surprise and very exciting. Although it can leave one feeling just a little redundant."
No worries. Two years later and we are still not redundant. Since that post, she has probably slept the night through fewer times than you can count on your fingers(yes, I am taking into account the possibility that someone reading this might be missing a couple)... and that was probably also the only time she has put herself to sleep so far...

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Next Michelle Kwan or Frido Kahlo?

Family photo. Olivia drew this picture of Mama, on the left, and of Olivia and Papa on the right

Olivia in her new figure skates after watching a video of Michelle Kwan.

Olivia's 4th Birthday Party

Olivia had a nice group of friends over and chose the same castle cake that I remember my mom making for one of my birthday parties. The main difference being that Olivia really wanted princess figurines on hers... although now she's saying that next year, she wants a pirate castle!

It was a very warm October day, so we played outside in our shirtsleeves.

The first thing Olivia did with these two dolls was to straighten out who wears the pants...

Our First Family Noodle, - er um, Cat

After going to the fair, Olivia came up with the idea of wanting a rabbit, but given time, worked around to wanting a cat, which we could all agree on. We took a couple trips to the local humane society and had a hard time choosing among all the wonderful cats there, but finally decided on a black, shorthaired, extremely friendly and floppy kitten with an incessant purr. We call him Timothy.

Olivia became comfortable with Timothy quite quickly, though she still doesn't like him to bother her at bedtime. Her comfort with him seems to have been generalized to other pets - she is even alot more comfortable around dogs than she used to be. Timothy is a very happy addition to our family. Olivia has recently started saying she wants a dog... we'll see...

Fall Day at Billings Farm with Hope and Hannah

A curious new rare species of bird...

Olivia takes a turn helping to make pumpkin ice-cream whilst Hannah looks on.

Enjoying the fruits of her labor, looking out over a beautiful vermont fall landscape.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

June in Cambridge, England

Can I possibly say enough about this visit, or post enough pics? For more pics, you'll have to visit our flickr site, but here is a taster. There's something about the place and people you grow up with. Olivia, and we, felt right at home with Cambridge and our good friends. What a wonderful way to spend 3 weeks. More Text Soon.

More Visitors and Visits

While Bob was away in early September, Olivia and I visited my sister, Olivia's Aunt Kristen, and Uncle Jeff and cousins Rachel and Sarah in Maryland for a really enjoyable 5 days. We got to see their new house, and Olivia got to know her cousins and played lots of "Monster Tag" in the garden. She got to go swimming, learned how to be a puppy, got used to the cats, watched Pocahontas, and picked milkweed for a monarch butterfly. Then we had to come home, but much refreshed.

We also had fun visits from Bob's sisters (excuse me, Olivia's Aunts) Regan, and Betsey and Uncle Michael with cousins William and Robert - blog soon, with pics.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer Visitors

We had a stream of visitors to Hanover this summer - unfortunately, we didn't get pictures of all of them, such as Lisa, because we were too busy just doing stuff!

Grandma came to Hanover for 10 days in May after a trip to Hawaii and brought the Hawaiian Hula to Olivia. Olivia was comfortable with Grandma right away and kept her busy reading and playing.

Olivia also loves visits from the Camera family. Here is Olivia with Sam and Julian at the Montshire Children's Museum of Science across the river, in Vermont.

Here is Olivia enjoying a (rainy) visit on the beach with Grandad and GrandMary at Rockport, where we spent an enjoyable couple of days when Bob went down to give a talk at the Yacht Club.

We had a great weekend with Lisa Stuebing visiting, and the rain stopped (just) long enough for us to go to the fair.
Olivia had a ball watching these miniature stallions perform - and sucking on her first lollipop that she collected during the parade at the fair. All in all a nice little fair. She came away having decided that she would like a rabbit.

Olivia's Summer Fun

Well, it's August and we're finally beginning to act like summer. We have just discovered the wonderful pastime of swimming in lakes in NH and VT. It took Olivia about 10 minutes to decide that she really DID want to be -and stay!- in the water. She loves to bob around in mama's arms or ride on papa's back, jump from a dock into our arms or walk between us in water up to her armpits. And this has been only her second day of it! There's a place near us on Lake Fairlee where they've even set up an old slide going into the water. Scary, but Olivia kept coming back for more!

A couple of weekends ago, we went on our first camping trip with Olivia in the states. We went to Chittenden State Park in VT, which was just lovely, if different (a deciduous instead of a pine forest/ moose poop instead of mountain goat). Here, Olivia is enjoying her first S'more by the campfire, which she was extremely wary of. She doesn't like that "smoke follows beauty".

We hiked from the campground along a series of clear and rippling connected streams towards the Long Trail, and to a nearby "beaver pond" filled with fun-to-watch salamanders. Toads abound.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Olivia in her new home!

Olivia's got a new home- so to do her parents of course, but this is her blog! Here she's found a cozy spot to sit inside a rolled-up futon while said futon awaits a final positioning. She's really done well with all the moving we've been doing for the last year, and living among boxes (actually making some great forts out of them!).

This easter Olivia had a great time decorating eggs, then leaving them for the easter bunny to hide. In the morning she gleefully tromped about the yard, collecting all that she'd decorated and a few more besides- never mind that it was definitely not spring weather!

This is around behind the house- you can see the neighbor's house in the foreground, and the swing (which Olivia likes!) is just on the edge of our property.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Here is Olivia playing in her new home.
She really likes forts and is beginning to be interested in board games.
Olivia also gets very creative with her make-believe and likes to direct the action.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tidbits & Trivia

Olivia has been in only nighttime nappies for basically the last year, but a few days ago, we ran out of nappies and so had to put her to bed without, so she's on her 6th night without nappies and it seems to be going fine. We didn't get her up to pee before we went to bed on the second night, so had a wet bed, but every other night so far has been dry, with nighttime potty breaks.

She hasn't shown much interest in drawing, but the other day we played a game where we had to guess what the other was drawing. She basically just drew whatever I had drawn before, but she _drew_ them! A tree, a snake, a boat, and more that I can't remember.

Olivia will count or say the alphabet in all sorts of silly ways if you ask her to, but I've just started to notice that when I'm not really paying attention she'll show what she knows - she sang most of the alphabet with me the other day, and today when I was in the kitchen I heard "ABCDEFG..." being sung in the living room. The same with counting. I've heard her say the numbers between 1 and 10, even going into the teens, but she loves the sound of "1-2-3-5-8!" Her favorite letter is 'O' (big surprise), and she'll look at you slyly with a little smile whilst saying that every letter you're pointing at is "O".

Olivia enjoys her dance class and likes to dance at home, and has just learned to wiggle her hips.

We have just bought our first house and Olivia will have a room that is all hers. She really likes the idea of having her own room and wants to paint it pink, red and blue.

We have slowly been making new friends with some very nice people. Here Olivia is, after a bit of sledding, with one of her more familiar playmates, Lyra - yes, another Lyra; one of at least 3 just in this area. Popular little heroine! Olivia goes to a cozy playgroup with Lyra every week and we get together at each other's houses when schedules permit. What's more, Olivia will let Lyra's mom, Kristin, look after her - wow! She also likes to stay with Hope & Jonathan, and has just said she will also visit with another new friend, Joy. This sort of scheme is really unprecedented for us, and very welcome.

Some things don't change. Lots of time spent on our little couch reading.

Some things do change. Trains and babies are still loved, but have taken a backseat to Princesses and Princes. Oh my, do we spend alot of time playing with this theme. Olivia is developing a mean curtsey, though!
Olivia is delightful and friendly with everyone and seems to gather admirers wherever she goes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A brief vignette...

So, I know we've hardly posted at all lately, but better short, snappy posts than none at all...

Our little girl has been growing, physically and personality-wise. A few weeks ago she _really_ wanted a cookie, and I was surprised to find that she knew how to, and was physically able to, drag a chair from the dining room into the living room, get up on it, open one of the _upper_ kitchen cabinets, and point to the high, high shelves where the cookies are (fortunately she hadn't figured out about climbing up onto the counter, or at least she hasn't let on...).

Here's a brief exchange which shows perhaps quite a bit:

Bob: "Olivia, it's time to get your pants on."
Olivia: "uh-uh me want to get pants on" (her syntax for "I don't want")
Bob: "hmm. what does this mean?"
Olivia: "We at Impasse."
Bob: "well, we really need to get going" (picks Olivia up)
Olivia: "Unhand me!!"

I kid you not these are her exact words...

anyway, it continues to be a wonderful adventure, even if we've been less prolific about posting!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Okay - It has been a LONG time since our last blog

The past 6 months have felt extremely unsettled for us with our drawn-out move from England to the U.S.A and then our house-search with trying to figure out how to be in this place. Olivia has been a star, however, and weathers it all with resiliency and certainly often more grace than either of her parents. For a quick pictorial glance at our past 6 months, take a look at our flickr photo site,
We intend to write a real blog soon.
Here are a few snapshots of our wintry life in Hanover.

Monday, September 22, 2008

American Girl!

Ok, so although Olivia's been away from her web audience for the last 5 months(!!!!), she's been living life pretty fully. We moved out of our house in Cambridge at the end of April, traveled around England for about a month, then went to the West coast of the US for a month, then stayed in temporary digs on the East coast (MA) for a month, before finally landing here in Hanover, NH at our slightly-less-temporary home here. It's a rental house owned by Dartmouth College where we'll stay until we find a house to buy.

Through all of this upheaval, Olivia's been sailing with flying colors. Oh yeah, and in the midst of all this Papa's spent 2 weeks in Greenland and 2 1/2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies teaching a field course.

More pictures are on our Flickr photo page, but here are a couple from our life here:

On the back lawn. Our house is set back in the woods off the road, a short walk from Dartmouth. Not a lot of lawn but it's been fun!

Suzanne and Olivia getting to read on the couch (which came from FreeCycle) in our living room. Olivia continues to devour books , and it's always fun to have some reading time after dinner and before bed.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Beautiful pretender

Long time no post! We've been extrordinarily busy lately, what with various travels, travel planning, _move_ planning, getting horrible flu/colds (all three of us), and everything else... you know how it goes.

But I wanted to put in another post about Olivia's pretend play. It's gotten very elaborate! Here, she had set her 2 chairs up to be a bicycle, and brought Suzanne over to help once she's set it up. She explained that they needed to get on the bicycle to go and visit papa at work! so they got on their helmets and went for a ride.

Another moment to share: often, when we see bollards in the sidewalk with Olivia, we'll help her vault over them while saying the nursery rhyme "Jack be nimble, jack be quick...". Today as we walked along, she saw a row of bollards, and went up to each one of them and blew at the top of it. It took just a moment for Suzanne to realize she was blowing out the candlestick!

These, I just wanted to include because she's so beautiful. Sure I'm biased, but then I'm allowed, and heck- this is her blog anyway!