Wednesday, December 31, 2014

See ya later 2014

On Monday I took Olivia to the aquarium, we met up with my sister and nephews. She loved it at first (especially the sharks and seals). After about an hour, she started to get antsy. It's an hour away and I think she was getting tired, she skipped her nap which is always a bad idea. It was still fun though, next time we will take a nap before we go.


Yesterday I took her to the doctor, she's had a cough for almost two weeks now and it just wont go away. She hasn't had a fever and she's been eating/acting okay so I wasn't too concerned but I figured I should get her checked out just to be on the safe side. There were so many kids in the waiting room, it was packed. I've never seen that many kids there, I know it's cold season but I was still surprised. The doctor said her chest sounded fine and her ears/throat looked good. Apparently there is a nasty cold/cough going around that is lasting around three weeks. I was told to give her another week to show some improvement and if she's still sick then I have to bring her back. I'm pretty sure she will get over it soon or at least I'm hoping she will. She also gave me her cough which I've had for about a week now. I'm really surprised that I've been catching everything she has, I never got sick before so I thought my immune system was strong but that's obviously not true.

Left: Happy to be wearing Mommy's Uggs.
Right: Not happy while waiting for the doctor.
Well, it's the last day of 2014 and like I always say, this year once again flew by. I thought time went by fast before, it's gone by even faster after having Olivia. It was a great year and I hope that 2015 is even better. Maybe Olivia will become a big sister, I guess we'll see! ;) I hope you all have a very Happy New Year! (I'll be working through it.)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Stensland family Christmas

I can't believe that Christmas came and went so fast. We spent Christmas Eve at my aunts house, we ate dinner, played games and opened presents. We didn't get home until after 11pm and I stayed up playing Santa. I couldn't even sleep because I was so excited to see Olivia's reaction in the morning. She was pretty excited but a little overwhelmed, I think Santa I may have gone a bit overboard this year. Every time she opened a present, she just wanted to play with it and she wasn't too interested in opening the next one. Next year I am going to try my best to keep it a bit more simple but it's very hard to control myself. After presents, we ate breakfast and went over my sisters house to spend the day. It was a lot of fun but it all went by so quick. I hope everyone had a great holiday and I'll leave you with some pictures.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Keeping a toddler entertained

It's getting harder and harder to keep Olivia entertained, especially now that it's cold outside. I get bored being stuck in the house too so I can understand. I had to finish my Christmas shopping yesterday so I brought her along (I'm finally done by the way). After that, I decided we needed to do something fun so I took her to Monkey Joe's. I knew she would like it but she was much more excited than I anticipated, she was running around like a crazy person. I could barely keep up with her, I wasn't prepared for that. They had a huge slide but she is still a little young to climb all the way up by herself so I took her on it and I hoped that she wouldn't be scared. I couldn't have been more wrong, she absolutely loved it! Of course she made me take her on it another ten times. I know I'm not that old but I was huffing and puffing after the third time, I need to exercise more often! It was really funny to watch her in the bouncy houses because half the time she was running around and the other half, she was falling over and couldn't get back up. I'm glad we went early because there was only a few other kids there so we didn't have to wait to use anything and there weren't any big kids to knock her down. They have an area specifically for toddlers but Olivia liked going around to everything. The best part was when we got home and she ate a ton of food (an entire sandwich, half a banana, yogurt and a cookie). That's a new record I think, then she took an epic nap. I guess she worked up an appetite and wore herself out. Anyway, It was a really fun place and I'm glad we went, I can't wait to bring her again!



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas tag

1. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
I have so many so I'll just narrow it down to my top three. A Christmas Story, The Santa Clause and Home Alone. Although, I recently just saw Arthur Christmas and I'm now obsessed with it.

2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?
Yes, I think I was around eight or nine but I remember my mom recording it with our huge camcorder. I also remember two years ago when it snowed on Christmas Eve, it took forever to drive home.

3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
We spend Christmas Eve at my aunts house and Christmas Day at my sisters.

4. What is your favorite Christmas song?
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (It always reminds me of Home Alone).

5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
Yeah, we open most of our presents on Christmas Eve, On Christmas morning Olivia opens her presents from Santa and just a few from us.

6. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yup! Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen. Also, Rudolph. I'm pretty proud of myself for not even using Google for that.

7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
We already did some of them. Going to visit Santa, baking cookies, cutting down and decorating our tree. I'm looking forward to spending time with family and giving everyone presents.

8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Real, always!

9. What is your all-time favorite holiday food/sweet treat?
I don't have just one favorite, I love pretty much everything. This year I made some awesome coconut macaroon kiss cookies and I wish I didn't eat them all so quick because now I want more.

10. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
I honestly like both and maybe even giving gifts a little bit more. It's a great feeling to get the perfect gift for someone and see the surprise and happiness on their face, I love it.

11. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
I'm not even sure, I've gotten some awesome gifts over the years and I appreciate all of them.

12. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
There are a ton of places that I would love to visit but during the holidays, being right here with my family and friends is the only place I want to be.

13. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
I try my best, I wouldn't say I'm a pro but I do pretty good.

14. What made you realize the truth about Santa?
In first grade, a boy in my class told me the truth but I didn't really believe him. So I waited up and heard my parents, I wrote Santa a letter and asked him to please write something back. I knew it was all a lie when it was written in my mothers handwriting.

15.  Have you ever built a Gingerbread house?
Yeah, well.. I tried. It fell apart, I'm going to try again next year.

16. Candy Canes or Gingerbread Men?
Candy canes.. wait no, both!

17. Have you ever made a snowman?
Of course! I can't wait until Olivia is old enough to help me. She hated the snow last year.

18. White lights, or colored lights?

White lights, it just looks prettier to me.

 19. Any Christmas wishes?
Health and happiness for my family and friends, of course.

20. Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them?
No. I used to but I never stuck to them so I just stopped.

Our tree before half the ornaments were ripped off by Olivia & the cats.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas cookie fail

I know I've been lacking with the posts but it's December and things have been crazy busy. Between Christmas shopping, decorating, wrapping presents and doing all the other little errands I have to do, I've been exhausted. I mentioned in my last post how I was up till 2am the other night putting together Olivia's play kitchen, I seriously can't wait until she opens it on Christmas! I also made her a playhouse out of the box that it came in. She loved it but it only last about five days, she ripped apart the roof and all the wrapping paper. I knew it wouldn't take long for that to happen but it's okay because it took up half the living room.

I'm not very crafty but I tried my best.

We've been doing some fun Christmas stuff lately. We took Olivia to a park that had a ton of light displays but she wasn't too interested. I also tried making Christmas cookies but it was a total fail, they taste good but they look horrible. Next year will be more fun because Olivia will understand a lot more and she can even help me decorate cookies, she will probably do a better job than me.
At least Olivia liked them.
I finally sent out our Christmas cards, I swear I'm so behind on everything this year. I usually have everything done by this point but I still need to get a few more gifts. Anyway, after Monday then I'll be done and I can just sit back and enjoy Christmas. I am so excited to see how Olivia reacts to everything this year!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Citrus Lane review - December 2014

Liv got her Citrus Lane box today. Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription box for babies/toddlers. You pay a certain price per month depending on how long you want to subscribe (it’s cheaper for the longer subscriptions). Every month you receive four to five items for your child and sometimes something for you as well. The boxes are age and gender appropriate (or you can pick neutral). This box is for a 22 month old girl.

Everything Olivia got in her December Citrus Lane box.
Melissa & Doug alphabet nesting and stacking blocks: I was disappointed to see these at first because Liv already has tons of stacking toys but these are pretty nice. Melissa and Doug is an awesome brand, the quality is great. You can stack or nest them and the colors are so bright, I love them! There are letters and pictures on all the sides so that will be great when it's time for Liv to learn the alphabet. I'm glad we got these and I think Livy will really like them. Retails for: $11.99
Green Toys stockpot and utensils: We got this at the perfect time! I was up till 2am the other night putting together Olivia's play kitchen. I wont be giving it to her until Christmas but I wanted it to be assembled before I wrapped it, that way she can enjoy it right after she opens it. Anyway, this will go great with her kitchen, I know she will love it! The pots and pans that actually came with her kitchen are kind of cheap looking, these are much more sturdy. She loves playing with stuff like this at the library so it will be a big hit. Retails for: $8.00 (estimate)
Chronicle - Little Pea book: I love this book, it's adorable! It's about a little pea that only likes to eat vegetables but his parents want him to eat more candy. The illustrations are great and the story is super cute. This is actually the item that I got to pick so I knew we were getting it. I'm going to save it until I think Olivia is ready to handle paperback books, I don't want her to rip it apart. Retails for: $7.99

Juice Beauty green apple age defy moisturizer: More lotion, sigh. This smells great but I really don't need anymore and I still have the Juice Beauty moisturizer we got last time. It's not a total waste though, I gave it to my mom, she likes it.  Retails for: $12.00
Even though there were only three items for Liv this month, I still like this box because everything is high quality. The total value of this box is about $40. That is a great value (my prices might be slightly off). I got a six moth subscription and with coupons, I paid about $15 per month so it's definitely worth it to me. If you're interested in getting a Citrus Lane subscription for your child, you can use my referral link to get 50% off your first box - Melissa's CL referral. It's a subscription so make sure you cancel after your receive your boxes or you will be charged again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Longest day ever

I seriously felt like yesterday would never end. Olivia's language development therapist was supposed to come over at 9:15 so I set my alarm for 8:15. When I woke up, I saw a text from her asking if it was icy out (it was raining and freezing all night) and I told her I wasn't sure because I hadn't left the house. I also asked her if she wanted to reschedule (I was hoping she would say yes so I could go back to sleep). She said she was still coming but running a little late so I woke up Olivia (she wasn't happy about that) and fed her breakfast. Ten minutes before she was supposed to be here, I got a text from her saying we should reschedule (ugh). It's not that big of a deal but I could have gotten a little extra sleep, that would have been nice. I had a ton of stuff to do and on top of everything else, I had to unexpectedly bring Peyton to the vet. The last few days he's been throwing up all over the place and one of the times, there was a little bit of blood in it. So gross, I know but seeing that scared me. I was practically in tears thinking about Peyton passing away. He is the only cat that lets Olivia pet him and play with him. We have had him since he was a kitten and I hate to say it but he's my favorite. He's just so sweet and loveable, I would be very sad if he was gone. So I had to bring him, lugging a twenty pound cat around in a crate is not an easy task. Luckily my mom was able to watch Olivia because there was no way I could have brought her too so that was a huge help. The vet gave Peyton an injection to stop the vomiting and also some medicine for us to give him over the next ten days. She said he didn't seem like he was in any pain and the fact that he still has an appetite is a good sign. However, if he gets any worse then we have to bring him back and they will take an x-ray of his stomach. He seems to be doing okay today, fingers crossed. After the vet, I had a ton of laundry to do. Paul and my mom helped with that so I was very thankful because I forgot to mention how much pain I was in. I had to work for over eleven hours on Sunday and my body is still recovering, I've never been so sore in my life. My entire back was hurting, so bad that it was difficult to breathe. I couldn't stand for very long either, I felt dizzy so I kept having to lay down every so often. Of course when you have a toddler, you don't get any breaks. Plus, my long to do list made it even harder. Olivia also woke up not feeling great, she had a runny nose and cough. She seems a little better today but I might bring her to the doctor tomorrow if she's still sick. Yesterday I just really wanted to sleep all day and forget about everything I had to do. I'm glad I got stuff done though because I have such a busy schedule this week/weekend. I can't remember a time when I had absolutely nothing to do. I would love just one day where I could lay in bed and not have a care in the world, obviously that's not going to happen anytime soon but it would be so amazing. Today I felt much better and by some kind of miracle, Olivia slept until 11am! That means that I got almost twelve hours of sleep which I'm sure contributed to my body feeling much less sore today. Thank goodness because I have to work tonight, I'm hoping to feel back to normal by tomorrow!

I'm jealous that Peyton gets to nap all day.

Not a fan of the mall

Okay, so the last time I went to the mall was in April (to get a picture of Livy with the Easter bunny). I try to avoid that place at all costs but I really wanted a picture of her with Santa. We decided to take her last Saturday, it was pouring out but it was the only day that I had time to take her. The line was so long, I had to pull out all stops to keep Liv entertained while we were waiting. She did okay but she was a little hesitant about sitting on his lap and she didn't want to smile this year (like she did last year). I'm just glad she wasn't screaming and she still looks adorable in the picture. Santa must have been having a bad day though because when Olivia started to fuss and tried getting off his lap, he rolled his eyes. I just laughed it off. I also got to do some more Christmas shopping, I'm still not done though and it seems like it's never ending. I love Christmas but it's a lot of work, running around to tons of different stores gets exhausting. Before we left, we stopped at the little play area and Livy had a blast! She got a huge burst of energy, she was running around and screaming in excitement. Someone had a little dog with them, she kept playing with it and calling it a cat of course. She doesn't say "dog" yet but when I ask her what a dog says, she barks (the best she can). All in all, it was a successful mall trip but I will not be going back until April.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cardiology appointment

Olivia had her cardiology appointment today, when we got there she was running around the waiting room. I couldn't even sit down because I had to chase her around the whole time. She was not happy about getting her blood pressure taken, that put her in a cranky mood. Too bad that was only the beginning, during her echocardiogram she was crying on and off for the entire half hour. Luckily they had the same Dora DVD from last time we were there so that distracted her just enough to get it done. Right as Dora was ending, the echo was finished. The technician who did it was the same one who did it when we brought her to the ER at five days old. She has seen Olivia a few times since then and we talked about how tiny she was and how far she has come. I was surprised at how much she remembered, she even knew which room we stayed in. After the echo, she had to have an EKG done, the lady who did it was really nice, she was great with Liv and basically played with her the entire time she was doing it so Olivia barely noticed what was going on. After she was done, she gave Liv a cute little princess sticker and Liv didn't want to put it down, she walked around with it while we waited for the doctor. She was also messing with everything in the office, mainly the computer keyboard and mouse. Her last appointment was six months ago and not much has changed since then. That's not a bad thing, her VSD is still small and her ASD is as well, her coarc is still open like it should be. She's still on her own curve for weight and height. I asked a few questions, I wanted to know if she would have any physical limitations and they said no, besides being a body builder (I doubt that will ever be an issue). We wont know if she will need her ASD closed until she is between three and five. Her next appointment is next December, she will be almost three at that point so I will be extra nervous at that visit. The doctor was confident that even if they do need to close the hole, it can be done by a cath procedure and not open heart surgery. When we walked back out into the waiting room, there were some clowns (part of the children's hospital, not some random crazy people) blowing bubbles, playing a guitar and singing songs. Olivia ran right over and started popping the bubbles and dancing to the music, it was so cute. I guess the clowns didn't see me because they asked Olivia where her adult was so I had to yell across the room. There were some older kids watching the clowns too and one of them almost knocked Liv over but she didn't care at all, she just kept playing. It was a pretty long visit (over three hours) so she fell asleep on the way home. I wasn't happy about that because I knew she wasn't going to nap once we got home. I was right, it's only a twenty minute ride home so obviously it wasn't long enough to get the rest she needed. She had a meltdown around 7 so I ended up putting her to bed earlier than normal. I'm happy that we don't have to go back for a whole year. I'm hoping that next year she will be able to understand better, she was scared today because she obviously didn't know what was going on. It was a long day and I'm exhausted so it's off to bed for me!

Her cheeks were so red from crying during the echo, my brave little girl.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving and tree picking

Happy Thanksgiving! It came and went already but I hope everyone had a great time and ate a ton of yummy food, I know I did. We spent the day at my aunts house, Olivia skipped her nap that day so she was a little cranky but not as bad as I expected. She wasn't too interested in eating for some reason, she only had olives, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes (nice combo). She doesn't take after me when it comes to her appetite, Thanksgiving food is the best! After Livy went to bed, me and Paul went to the movies to see Horrible Bosses 2, it was hilarious! We hadn't been to the movies in over a year so it was pretty fun. Friday morning we went to get our Christmas tree, it's a tradition for us. We meet up with my sister and some of her friends and my brother in laws family. They cook food on the grill, the kids run around and we usually go on a hayride (we skipped that part this year because it was so cold). After all that, we look for our tree. I know it sounds simple but it's a challenge to find a tree that is the right size, color, shape and isn't too bare. It also snowed two days before we went so all the trees were covered with ice and snow. This year we found it fairly quick though and I even helped saw it down for the first time. I was doing okay but then it felt like the saw was stuck on something so Paul finished the job. Olivia kept running up to every dog she saw but once they got too close, she would run in the other direction, it was so cute and funny. 
 Left: My adorable nephews with Olivia.
(It's impossible to get a picture of all three kids looking and smiling.)
Right: The Stensland fam.
When we got home, we decorated the tree. Olivia wasn't much of a help, she had more fun taking ornaments off the tree rather than putting them on. The cats are worse though, they play with the ornaments, drink the tree water and rip our stockings down.

 The picture on the right was taken on Thanksgiving.
On Saturday morning, we went to my friends house for a playdate. She has a daughter who is three months younger than Liv. It was adorable to see them play together, they even ate a snack together at her little table. After that, I did some more Christmas shopping with my mom but I'm still not even close to being done. I have to work today so I'm not getting anything else done but it was a fun weekend and I'm glad we did everything we had planned.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weight check

Yesterday I took Olivia to the pediatrician for a weight check, since there is six months between her 18 month and 24 month visit, we thought it would be a good idea. She didn't gain that much but I'm not surprised because while she was sick, she barely ate. She's been eating much better the past five days though so hopefully she will make up for it. She is now 20lbs 2oz, at her 18 month visit she was 19lbs 11oz, I'm just glad she gained and didn't lose. The doctor isn't concerned since she is still on her curve so I'm not going to stress about it. Her speech therapist came today, well actually.. I thought she was a speech therapist but apparently she is a teacher who helps with language development. She mentioned today that a speech therapist will start coming for Liv in January. I feel like it's been kind of pointless, I thought we were working on speech this whole time. I know language development is a stepping stone to speech though so it hasn't been a complete waste but I was a bit confused at first. When she left, I put Livy down for a nap and ended up taking one with her. After our long (lovely) nap, I decided to stop at a few stores and get a jump start on my Christmas shopping. I have a whole list of presents I need to buy but it wasn't a very successful trip. I only found a few things I needed. I also wanted new curtains for our bedroom, last week I got a new bedspread and it bothers me when they don't match. I found a similar color for only $10 but when I got home, I realized it was only one curtain, I need two obviously. My mom checked the store for me but there weren't any left so now I have to go to a different store tomorrow morning which is a pain. The rest of the week we are going to be really busy and I don't want to wait all the way until next week. Not the end of the world but just an annoyance, I felt stupid for not actually reading that there was only one in the package. Speaking of annoyance, my phone has absolutely zero space left. It wont even let me take a picture, which is what I use my phone for the most (after texting). I guess I need to start carrying my actual camera around everywhere now because I can't afford a new phone or more space. I deleted pretty much every single app, picture and video too but it has been pointless. It's supposed to snow tomorrow but I've been hearing all different amounts, anywhere from 1-12 inches. As usual, I'm hoping for zero!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Children's museum

Yesterday we took Olivia to a children's museum, I think I was more excited than she was. It was a bad idea to skip her nap because after about an hour she just wanted me to hold her and she was being really clingy. She had fun though, they had these "toddler caves" on one of the floors for 1-2 year olds. It was an under the sea theme, there were some tunnels and caves to run through, there was also a few slides. Paul put Liv on the slide and I was waiting at the bottom but she wasn't too excited about that, she was trying to grab the wall on the way down. The other floors were cool but they were for older kids. I think she was a little intimidated by the big kids because there was so many of them and they were running around and bumping into each other. Each room had a different theme, there was a room for music, cars, trains, boats, farm animals, dinosaurs and more that I can't think of right now. By the time we got home Olivia was exhausted and more than ready for a nap. I went out to lunch with my mom and we got some Christmas shopping done. I also got a ton of errands done that I've been meaning to do lately. I got in the mood to organize things and that doesn't happen often so I had to take advantage. The bad news is that today my whole entire body is sore and I have to work all afternoon/evening. Olivia has a runny nose again but I'm hoping it's just allergies and not a cold, she just got over a cold last week so if she's sick again that will be a bummer.

Liv was relentlessly trying to pop the water bubbles.

 Of course she's closing her eyes in all of the pictures that she took with me.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Citrus Lane review - November 2014

It took a while this month but Liv finally got her Citrus Lane box today. Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription box for babies/toddlers. You pay a certain price per month depending on how long you want to subscribe (it’s cheaper for the longer subscriptions). Every month you receive four to five items for your child and sometimes something for you as well. The boxes are age and gender appropriate (or you can pick neutral). This box is for a 21 month old girl.

Everything Olivia got in her November Citrus Lane box.
Melissa & Doug chunky puzzle:  This is the item we got to pick this month. All the choices were really cute, I almost picked the ballerina but I liked the mermaid a little better. The flash wasn't working on my camera when I took this picture so you can't tell but the colors are so bright and pretty! I really like Melissa & Doug toys, they are great quality. Even though Olivia has a lot of puzzles, I'm still glad we got this. I'm going to stash it away for her birthday, it's for ages 2+ anyway so it will be a nice little gift for her. Retails for: $9.99
Plan Toys veggie play set:  I love these, they are adorable and I can't wait to give them to Liv (another toy I'm saving for Christmas). It will be fun to see her pretend to cut veggies and cook them. We got her a play kitchen for Christmas and I wanted to buy some play food to go along with it anyway so it's perfect timing. Retails for: $10.00 (Just an estimate, the whole set comes with five veggies and a cutting board.) 
Barefoot Books - Bear Takes A Trip:  This is a really nice book but I feel like we have so many right now. Olivia has only been letting me read her certain books lately so I decided that I'm gifting this one. I definitely don't mind getting them though. Retails for: $6.99
Annie's snack mix These are yummy. Livy likes the cheddar bunnies and I like the pretzels. I don't mind getting snacks in the boxes but I don't think they should count as an item (it's more like a sample). In my eyes, we only got three things this month but they are a little more expensive so I guess it evens out. Retails for: <$1
Add ons: I got both of my add ons practically for free this month (thanks to credits and coupon codes). The Boon fleet bath boats are a little young for Liv but I got them as a gift for a friends baby, they are really cute and sturdy. We already have the Zoli bot cup in pink but the straw is starting to fall apart so I was very excited to see the purple one. Sippy cups were a challenge for us so we went right to straw cups and this one is awesome because no matter how Olivia tilts the cup, she is still able to drink from it. Even though it leaks from time to time and the straw only lasted for 6 months, I would still recommend it. I'm pretty sure you can buy replacement straws too.
I loved the box this month and I can't wait to give Olivia the toys! The total value of this box is about $28. Not a great value this month (but maybe my prices are a bit off). I also think the items we got are really cute and good quality, enough to overlook the value (for this month at least). I got a six month subscription and with coupons, I paid about $15 per month so it's still worth it to me. If you're interested in getting a Citrus Lane subscription for your child, you can use my referral link to get 50% off your first box - Melissa's CL referral. It's a subscription so make sure you cancel after your receive your boxes or you will be charged again.