Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Reflection

We all know what happened in CT last week and I think it has affected everyone I know, especially those of us with young children in our lives. My Facebook status Monday, the first day of school after  the shooting:
I know today is a hard day for a lot of people. I know I gave Donovan a big hug and an "I love you to the moon and back" when I dropped him off today. I also know we can't live our lives in fear that some crazy person is going to ruin our lives today. All we can do is love our children (and make sure we tell them daily) and hope and pray we never have to know what it feels like to suffer unimaginable loss. I continue to trust that Donovan is safe at school and know that no matter what happens in his life, he knows how much I love him.
I believe that, I really do. I also still cry when I see the news. I cry for the parents of those 20 children and I cry because when I see the photos of the children and think about what happened to them my mind immediately goes to Donovan since he is not much younger than the victims. How would I even be able to cope with that kind of loss? I have no idea and all I can do is hope and pray I never have to find out.

Donovan was in a 3 hour art class on Friday when I heard the news. It's one of his most favorite things to do every week aside from preschool. I wanted to run and pick him up early but I stopped myself. I didn't want him to miss out on all the fun I knew he was having. I pulled into that parking lot 30 minutes early and just sat there listening to the news and reading updates on my phone. I was anxious to get to my baby, hug him and tell him how much I love him. Suddenly all the little things that had been annoying me recently seemed silly - all I could think about was giving my little man the biggest hug of his life. When I did go in to get him, he got such a huge hug that it prompted him to ask me if I was OK (perceptive kid)

I've noticed a change in myself since Friday. Before Friday's events The "truly terrible 3's" were driving me nuts. I had very little patience with Donovan and found myself yelling at him more than I'd like to admit. I was struggling with dealing with the talking back, the whining, the tantrums - and there were many. Friday made me take a step back and remember that he's 3, and acting like every other 3 year old on the planet. I've been telling him "I love you to the moon and back" so often that he's no longer responding when I say it. I have been hugging him, kissing him and playing with him more. I am reminded how lucky I am that he is in our lives: happy, healthy and alive.

I know I can not shield Donovan or Iris from all the bad things and people in this world. I also don't want them going to schools that are behind bars because we all suddenly fear this kind of tragedy will happen again. I want them to be kids, to be innocent as long as possible and enjoy their childhoods. All I can do is show them and tell them how much I love them and have faith that they will have long, happy, healthy lives. I'll worry about them until the day I leave this world and I will love them with all my heart - it's all I can do and it will have to be enough. I refuse to live my life in fear; that's no way to live and not the way I want my children to live their lives.

Hug your children tight, be thankful for all the good things you have and go on with life. Sadly bad things will happen and we won't always be there to protect or shield our children. Show them all the love you can and have faith they'll be OK.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Time for an Update Perhaps?!

Our last update was over a year ago and a LOT has happened since then! First, we moved from DC to Lovettsville, VA. We live in a great neighborhood with tons of children - Donovan has a blast playing with all the neighborhood kids. Steve left Fannie Mae and is now working for the Treasury Department. However... our biggest news is the addition of a new member to our family, Iris Aileen!

Donovan is loving his new school and all his new friends. He comes home talking a mile a minute about his teachers Ms. Barbara and Ms. Terri. Below are a few photos from his first day. The last one was when I asked him if he had a good day and liked school. He yelled "YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!"

Iris is already 3 months old and has the same calm personality Donovan did as a baby. She is already full of sass though so we may be in trouble when she gets older! We are loving every minute of her growing up and she is just a joy to be around. Donovan LOVES his little sister and is always asking to hold her, hug her and kiss her. She will be the last little Olden from our clan so we are truly cherishing every minute of it (although sleep would be nice!)

Donovan turned 3 in September, how is time going so fast? He is turning into quite a smart, sweet boy and we are so proud to watch him grow. He knows all his letters (upper and lower case) and can count to 13. He talks constantly and loves to get us laughing. He is quite the little dare devil and nothing at the playground scares him - he climbs everything scaring Mommy half to death. He loves trains, cars and his scooter. We are excited to see what the next year brings as he grows in school and thrives with all the new friends he's making. This move has been fantastic for Donovan. He went from having one friend he saw once in a while to many friends he sees every day. We love that we can go outside in the backyard and there are just kids everywhere. He has best friends living on either side of us now which is simply amazing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

4th of July and a Petting Zoo

July has started off with a bang and we can't believe Donovan is already 22 months old! How did he get to be almost 2 already!? He is growing by leaps and bounds every day and just keeps amazing us with his smarts. He can bring us his letter magnets and for almost every one knows either the letter or the sound it makes. He also knows a lot of his numbers. He knows a lot of animal sounds and has a lot of fun mooing with his little play cow. One of his favorite "games" right now is to point to everything until we tell him what it is. His vocabulary is growing by the day, although he does not let us hear all the words he knows - we hear him practice them in his room. Perhaps he's a little perfectionist?

He is growing into a very sweet and sensitive little guy and loves to give BIG hugs and kisses. He also likes to push mommy and daddy together until we kiss each other. He has a good sense of humor and also a little streak of the "terrible two's" shining through. He will throw mini tantrums when he can't get toys to do what he wants and is very methodical about playing and building with his blocks. He can build a lego tower taller than himself!

For the 4th of July, we spent the day at a cookout with the Malpasses... Donovan loves his girlfriend Remy and is very curious about her new little sister Maeve. the kids had fun playing together, as always.

After the cookout we went home to watch the fireworks the neighbors set off - it was a little too loud for Donovan and he was scared. He did, however, love the fireworks the night before as we were not close so they were not loud.

This past weekend, Mommy and Donovan took a little trip to a local petting zoo. He had a BLAST and thought the goats were hilarious. He fed, and petted, the goats, clucked at the chickens and even got to pet a kangaroo! We saw all sorts of animals and he really did have a great time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Imagination Movers

So, last month we took Donovan to his first concert, The Imagination Movers. For those who don't know, they are a group of 4 men with a show on Disney Junior. The show is all about using your imagination, and most importantly your BRAIN, to solve problems. They sing and dance and have general fun. The songs are pretty good too. The concert was a blast and even Steve had fun!

This past Friday, Donovan and I went to Tyson's Mall and waited a long time for a 5 minute meet and greet with the guys. They were appreciative, so sweet, super nice to Donovan and most important, patient with us (Donovan was overwhelmed to say the least). They not only took the time to talk to me and thank me for coming but took the time to make sure Donovan felt comfortable. We joked, laughed and took a few photos.

I'll admit, I have a MAJOR "mommy crush" on these guys. They are cute, nice and terrific role models for young children. Meeting them totally perpetuated my "mommy crush" and lucky for us all - Steve is cool with it! LOL

Anyway, that's our big news of the moment. Donovan got to meet "my moobers" and I got to hug Mover Rich. All in all, a good day.

Friday, January 14, 2011

He took a bath!!!

While the above statement may seem a tad ridiculous when referring to a one year old - it made us ecstatic last night. After almost 2 weeks of screaming, tears and a refusal to sit (or even go into the bathroom) last night we had a breakthrough. I filled the tub, undressed Donovan and let him walk in there on his own. We got to the tub and I let him look in and I splashed the water a bit. He grabbed onto me at first but became interested in the splashing. When I thought he would be OK I picked him up and put him, standing, into the tub. He cried and clung to me for a few minutes but after Stephen and I splashed a bit he calmed down. I did not force him to try to sit or even really wash him. No water over the head or soap on the face. Last night was just about getting over the sudden fear of the water. We let him play. He went from watching us splash to joining in... each time getting lower and lower to the water. After a good 15 minutes, he forgot where he was and sat down! He looked shocked at first but once he realized it wasn't so bad.... he played some more. When asked if he was ready to get out... he said no.

While we're not sure if this fear is over, or what even started it in the first place, it was a step in the right direction. We'll do another free time bath again this weekend and every other day until he gets in and sits right away. Here's hoping we are returning to the happy fun bath time Donovan use to love!

Monday, January 10, 2011

15 Month Dr Appointment...

Well, really, 16 month. Donovan was a trooper with his FOUR shots! I felt horrible when he screamed and I literally had to hold the upper half of him down by gently laying on him to keep him still - poor little guy!

To backtrack a bit, he did excellent with the doctor. Showed him that he knew how to hi-five, say hi and showed his knowledge of where his toes are. Was all smiles and his normal busy self. He is on track with his speech, the doctor thinks his teeth will pop through at any moment and is showing all the signs of being a normal happy toddler. He weighed in at 23.4 pounds (about the same as last time) and has grown a whopping 1.5 inches and now stands 29.5 inches tall!

So, when the doctor was done, we had to wait for the nurse to come in and give him his shots. She came in and Donovan gave me a worried look. He then ran over to where his shoes and socks were, took them down, sat down and placed them on top of his feet! He then looked at me as if to say - time to go Mom! It was even funnier since he was only in a diaper. And, it is SO CUTE that he literally places the shoes and socks on TOP of his feet. He knows where they go but has no clue how to get them on :)

He cried loudly during his shots and for about 5 minutes after. After that, he was all smiles again and flirting with the staff. I decided to treat him to a Happy Meal for being such a brave boy.

His next appointment is March 14th! Hopefully we won't need FOUR shots again on that visit!

Friday, January 7, 2011