Oh-love rascal

We have just come back from a family weekend on Waiheke with nyna. Grandad, aunty and yaya are in Napier because great-grandad has been having nose bleeds and in hospital. He’s home and much better now though…

Olive had a great time. Olive loves her nyna so much, she was happy to have nyna cuddle her in the night and nyna took her off for an adventure to Allison’s so mummy and daddy could sleep in. Bliss. Olive ate pancake and didn’t look back for mummy for a moment. She loves the beach, running away from the waves and chasing the seagulls in her “streamline” position (arms out the back). She found a German tourist drawing pictures in the sand with a stick, made friends with him and scored her own drawing stick. Lots of digging in the sand. Koka is good at digging too, what a team.

The other thing the team got up to involved playdough. Green playdough. Olive was playing kinda reasonably with it, when Koka ate the lot. Then spewed it all back up – everywhere. Yuk! Daddy had to clean it up – eeewwww.

Olive found the metal corkscrew at one stage and came walking towards mummy holding it, point upwards, right beside her eye saying “eye eye eye” mummy didn’t fright, just quietly took it away and put it up high. Trouble!

Back home trouble comes in the form of an open freezer and large hunks of butter for a little girl and her bad dog. Koka loves the baby, well little girl now really.

We’ve been practising our “mahunga, pakuhiwi, puku, hope, waewae (x3), taringa, whatu, ihu, waha e. More she says.

This weeks biggest milestone, however, was sleeping for 8 hours! yes – 8 hours! Olive, not mummy, who lay awake for an hour waiting… waiting… Olive was in her cot in the other room for the first time. A light flicked on. The anticipation for the next night was palpable, but wore out at 10.30 with the first wakeup. Ah well. Tonight she is in the little bed beside mummy and daddy’s bed, so we’ll see how that goes.

It all began with mama calling time on the twilight (and beyond) feeds. We had a talk, mummy and Olive, and mummy told her that she couldn’t have bebe until 5am (after 2 weeks of every hour). Olive woke up at 9.30pm and cried in mummy’s heartbroken but resolute arms, for half an hour. Then nothing but sleep until 3am! Cracked!

Olive (“Oryo”) has 65 words now! She is on fire, and learns a new word pretty much every day. This week she cracked the three word sentence “Oryo big poo”. She was right too. Enormous and stinky.

She can identify blue (and sometimes red) and has fed herself her whole dinner. She is growing up so fast.

Cluck cluck cluck mummy.

I love you sweet Olive xxx

A photo history of a young eater

A slip in time

We do have a good excuse for the long absence… Mama is not just a mama anymore. She’s an official got a job, self-employed, money-earning mama. And how the house has changed. Dada has also joined the ranks of the wage earners, and suddenly we have transformed from a no-income family to a two-income family with deadlines and alarm clocks and reasons to get dressed in the morning!

Mama is working three days a week from home ESW LAW Ltd. Oh yeah! And Dada is working as a real-life, bona fide, product designer, five days a week. Astounding! Olive is in the safe hands of Alicia while mama works and after a tough start with quite a few tears she is now in a fully-fledged love affair with Alicia’s, two-year old girl Aia.

We are trooping on with Playcentre two days a week, which Olive and mama both love. The kids are great, the centre is choice and Olive is learning and climbing and developing into a talking, running, dancing lovebaby.

The tumultuous times took their toll on the littlest Stenhouse, with about a month of crazytime in the nights – 2 or 3 hours of grizzling and wizzling and driving mama and dada up against the wall, over the roof and jumping for our lives. This has calmed down (to save us all) with the emergence of two glistening molars through her 14 month old gums. And Jesus were they are hard time coming!

Olive is the light of our lives. She is so amazing, her personality is shining now. With talking and listening and doing so much. This last week her new trick is to do all the actions to “if you’re happy and you know it” we do clapping our hands, stomping our feet and patting our heads.

Olive has so many words, many of the most well-used show her personality!

Dog, mama (mummy), daddy (dada), duck, uh-oh, turtle, nyna, granddad, nana, poppa, yaya (Xavier), no, up more, more more (milk), beebee, Aia, Koka, Ta (Taaaaaaa!), date, peas, bottle, hot (+blowing), baby, ball, boat, bath and probably more. She is so talented!

Her animals sounds are a hoot

She can also now do lizard, farfalla, tractor, fire engine, car, giraffe and pussycat. Proud? Never!

Our new cousin / nephew

And we have a cousin! Xavier Anthony Fitness born on the winter solstice, 21 June 2010 at 8lb 2oz (not to be outdone by Olive, he chose to equal her) but so long – 56cm – he’s off the chart.

We love him so much. We wouldn’t mind squishing him up and eating him.

Our BIG trip

It seems so long ago now, but I am making a concerted effort to remember, through the sleep-deprived haze of my brain, what we did on Olive’s big trip…

First stop was Dubai, a beautifully behaved and charming Olive tottered about the airport and found a glass wall to play with. Her mama and nini were completely soaked in rejected pumpkin from the time we left Auckland. The second leg dragged but before we knew it we were in London having a big hug with Great-Aunty Ruth. Off we then went to Huw and Suzie’s where Daisy and Maya had crafted a gorgeous and welcoming Olive-themed feast.

Tired but excited we started our adventure with a big kip and some nighttime wandering in the hallway. It was so amazing to see all of our cousins and (great) aunties and uncles, who had all come over to meet the sweet Olive. Nini was so happy to see all her siblings and show off her Olive. We hung about with Ruth and the Burgess-Ahwais for a few days and then off to John and Jayne’s where we ate delicious Vietnamese and got the Oxford update and Olive charmed Menna. Then we hopped on the plane again and off to France we flew.

Dodo had feathered a nest fit for a Queen Olive, with custom made rompers and all the trimmings. David loved having the four generations of Burgess women all together. Nini basked in her element.

We ate the most delicious food, visited the beach and Nime and made lots of little party crowns for Olive’s birthday. We went to the markets in Sommieres and imagined a continental life. The village is something else, it is like a step into another world. So ancient, beautiful and solid. We loved the whole shebang. Olive had a great time trying to get up the stairs and pushing Dodo’s vegetable basket around. Dodo got up in the middle of the night with a jet-lagged Olive and danced and sung and who knows what else. What a treat for them both.

Then we returned to London for the briefest stop and mama and Olive took a 48 hour whirlwind viaggio to visit la nostra famiglia Italiana. Olive charmed them all, our birbante nipote they called and by the time we came to leave Maurizio was claiming Olive should stay!  As soon as we arrived Olive was eating spaghetti and impressing everyone. We went to Tolentino town and mama reminisced in a weird kind of déjà vu feeling 15 years old again, but with my baby. We saw my old school friends and ate gelato. Tolentino is like a time warp, except that Camilla is a young woman and Francesca is nearly a doctor. Olive seemed to know that the language was different and mama was told that I am no longer understood, it was frustrating to not be able to communicate, but such is life.

Back to London a swim at London fields, watching Eamonn’s band perform (Olive in the Ergo), down to London eye and up the Tate before a Greek lunch somewhere fancy and mama is definitely coming back, this time for good (well a few years good) just got to get daddy on board.  Lebanese with Ruth and some shop-shop-shop-shop-shopping to break the bank. Olive kept on trying to get up those stairs at Huw and Suzie’s but Erik Roberts put paid to that – she was terrified!

Before we knew it, it was time to leave and we had to say a goodbye laced with promises to return soon. Ruth is on the hunt for houses for mama and dada to buy and plans for Olive’s activities next time. We can’t wait to go back, it was the greatest trip and it was so special to reconnect with our family, and of course introduce (and show off) the star of the show, Olive.

Olive was less tolerant on the trip home, but we made it, if only in one piece. Our ears on the other hand…

Olive the Monkey

In four hours Mama and Olive are going to jet off with Nini to the UK for three weeks, we haven’t packed but if the blogging doesn’t get done the blogging doesn’t get done. We are so excited about going to meet all Olive’s great-aunties and great-uncles and Great-Dodo and Great-David. Mama is slightly less enthusiastic about the 30 hour plane trip its going to take to get there (and back). Dada is going to miss Olive so much (and Mama to a lesser extent), he is excited about the three weeks of sleep he is going to get though! Unheard of! Olive likes the night-times, she likes to wake up and see what’s going on frequently. And this week she cut her big top tooth. And it hurt. A lot. In the night.

Olive has emerged from her chrysalis and is a big, walking, talking, laughing, dancing, banging,climbing, pointing, flapping three-toothed spaz monkey.

This is Olive at the SPACE course we were going to at Playcentre, it was for babies so we quickly upgraded to real Playcentre which is a feast of amazement for wee Olive. It is just so cool. She goes from the sandpit to the easel to the playdough to the dress-ups to the music to watching all the big kids in a morning. Then she crashes into a lovely slumber to recover.

A masterpiece. Olive’s first painting. Taking bids.

Olive’s favourite pastimes are climbing, bebe and reading books. Climbing can take many forms – chairs, nappy bucket, dog, stairs – anything that gets me higher is her motto. Lovely Koka puts up with it all:

In this case it was to get to the dresser drawers. The other thing the dresser is good for is standing on top of the cupboards to get to the shelves. How you do this is to climb onto the armchair, then onto the little round table then onto the dresser. It’s awesome and dangerous.

The bebe, well the love affair continues. The funny thing about bebes is that Dada has them too. His are so silly and useless, Olive knows this – she has tried to suck on them but nothing comes out. So now she gives them a wee scrunch and then just points and laughs.

She can read too, our Olive. She points out the dogs, cats, ducks and mice in the books and she can turn the pages. Angry turning is how it goes.

The other thing Olive loves is the pools. Loves the pools. She can go under and kick and splash big splashes. It’s great.

Eating, is low on the list of favourite activities. There are preferred styles to eating – in the bath is still number one. Standing on the Olive Chair is a pretty cool way to eat, or standing in the little wooden trolley. Sitting in the highchair. Phh. No. I. Will. Not. Eat. In. The. Highchair. Take. Me. Out. Right. Now. Ok, I’ll eat, I’m happy. I win.

A quick learner is our Queen. In one proud hour she conquered the freezer (Koka was on hand to provide moral support), the nappy bucket – unpacked and then the rubbish bin. Wow it opens and there are so many treasures inside. Yikes! This can add to my repertoire of climb, climb, unpack bookshelves, unpack washing line and washing basket, try to climb into the paddling pool, eat some stuff I find on the floor. Up the step, down the step, eat some dirt. Where’s the dog water bowl? I want to climb in there. Go inside my house Dada made. Smile, laugh, find Mama or Dada. Pick me up I’m ready to start again.

Since our last blog we’ve been on some more holidays. We had grannies week in Whangapoua with the Bunby sisters and their progeny. It was beautiful and hot and Olive swam in the sea and played in the sand with her cousins and more cousins. Then we went back to the Coromandel for Niki and Duncan’s wedding, which was glorious and Olive learnt about card sharks. We went to Dada’s cousin Justin and Chianti’s Cambodian wedding. We went to the zoo and saw some cool animals like elephants, giraffes and orang-utans. Olive’s favourite was getting out of the pushchair and hooning about. And we went to Waiheke to see Nini and Grandad. They took Olive for a swim.

Olive can say lots of words – Mama, Dada, Ka (as in Koka), Nehnehnehnehnehneh, Ta (give me, take from me, I want it) and Dog. She can point to her teeth and Mama’s teeth and can strum her bottom lip.

We are so close to our holiday and when we come back Mama is going to working for herself as a barrister (www.eswlaw.co.nz) and big, fat pregnant Aunty Yani is going to be looking after Olive (if Dada is working). Then Olive will get another cousin. She can’t wait. Stefanie gave her a second cousin this week – Fletcher – who unexpectedly popped out at home! Go Stef!

Well, we’re about to go. So better back. One last meal for the air for little Olive, then its bebe bebe and more bebe. I’m sure she won’t complain!

Mama’s loves.

The Monkey.

A big surprise

Olive and Mama found this big box in the garage. We inspected it closely to discover it contained an amazing and addictive climbing chair from Dodo! Olive loves the chair, although has no intention or interest in sitting on it…Its for me!

Having a good explore

And a peep.

This is my throne.

I am cheeky and victorious.

I love my Olive Chair.