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.