This past week our Olivia turned 19 months old!
We turned such a great corner with Olivia’s independence this past month. The couple of months prior, she had been really over her gated play area, which had made it hard to do anything like washing dishes while she was awake. Olivia still requires constant supervision and doesn’t ever give me long stretches to get things done. However, I have started getting short stretches. There are a few activities like pushing a baby doll in the doll stroller and playing with Tommy and his cars, dinosaurs, etc. that she’ll do independently for short periods of time. I love seeing her imaginative play develop at this age. It’s a huge lifesaver getting those little bits of time to do a few things around the house.
One of the Olivia’s favorite things this summer has been getting pulled around in a red wagon. It took a little convincing to get her to try it. Now every time the wagon is out in the backyard, she wants lots of wagon rides. We had the wagon out during Tommy’s birthday party and several times that we had family over during the past month. So I have tons of pictures of Olivia and Tommy in the wagon with their cousins.
Olivia has also been all about the playground this summer. She is fearless and wants to climb everything and go down all of the slides. Olivia is also ready to do everything else that Tommy does outside like ride his bike and scooter and play baseball. We do have a few things like a push car and tricycle with an adult push handle that she can do outside and does love. But she wants to do so much more, especially when we take walks as a family and Tommy brings his bike or scooter.
Olivia is a big climber. She insisted on learning how to climb the stairs the normal way as soon as she was able to walk. So we taught her, and she does such a good job. Olivia always holds onto the railing and takes her time. Whenever possible, we still have someone holding onto her hand the whole time. But she can go up and down independently. Olivia will climb pretty much anything else as well and is big on getting onto full-size chairs, benches, etc.
This past month it finally got warm enough that we could do a splash pad. Olivia was eight months old when we did splash pads last summer. I took her into a wading pool splash pad a couple of times at that age, which she enjoyed. But I hadn’t done the fountain with her before. Tommy didn’t enjoy this particular fountain until he was about three years old. As always, Olivia is fearless and absolutely loved it both times that we went in July.
Olivia really loves animals. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before that Olivia is so good with our cats. Hobbes is the only cat who lets the kids pet him. Olivia always approaches him slowly and holds her hand out before petting him. Sometimes Hobbes gets overwhelmed by her hugging him or getting in his face. But Olivia never tries to pull his tail or chase him or do anything rough. We have been multiple places this summer with petting areas for animals, and she always enjoys it. Olivia isn’t afraid to get close to the animals, even when they’re big or unfamiliar. Most recently, we went to Bear Den Zoo & Petting Farm for the first time. Olivia especially enjoyed the baby goat petting area.
We had lots of family time this past month and did a ton of outings, including the previously mentioned splash pad and Bear Den Zoo & Petting Farm as well as Chicago to see family, both of our local zoos, the children’s museum in Milwaukee, and a couple of visits to the Domes. I will share more pictures from July in our family update next week.
Olivia also got to have her first ride in Tommy’s Jeep. She loved it.
I wasn’t planning to start Olivia in gymnastics until Genevieve turned 18 months old and I could put the two of them in a class together. But I just restarted Tommy in gymnastics for the first time since everything shut down in 2020. The gym has a class at Olivia’s age level that runs the exact same time as Tommy’s class. So I went ahead and enrolled her. If you have little kids in these types of classes, you know that there are often not great waiting areas for younger siblings. It’s so much more fun to have Olivia in her own class.
Having just turned 18 months old in June, Olivia’s one of the youngest kids in the class. Unlike music where she’s been going to the studio and participating as the younger sibling for months, everything about gymnastics is very new. I’m so impressed with how well Olivia has done. She’s only had a couple of classes so far. Olivia is willing to try almost everything and work with the teacher. Even when she’s way out of her comfort zone, she doesn’t get too upset. Olivia loves anything that involves jumping and has enjoyed working on forward rolls.
Olivia’s music class is also going really well and is truly one of my favorite parts of the week. I love seeing how kids at this age interact with each other and how much personality they display, even through the simplest activities.
This past month Olivia had a week where she slept through the night four out of the seven nights, which is a new record. A lot of the time, Olivia wakes up once or twice during the first few hours that she’s sleeping while I’m still awake. Then she does pretty well the rest of the night. But on occasion, Olivia still has nights that she wakes up two or three times. She wants more water or just needing to be re-settled. Thankfully, Genevieve is sleeping through the night now. But it’s still wearing on me having so many nights that I get up at least once or twice.
You can find all of my baby/toddler updates for all three kids as well as general family updates and other family-related posts in the family section of the blog.