Joe was able to move out to Colorado permanently the day before the kids birthday. It was such a huge relief to finally have him out here after three months of seeing him every couple of weeks. The kids have loved having daddy around all the time again, and Ezra quickly got back into being a daddy's boy. It's funny how things work out... Livi has been a total mama's girl since as far back as I can remember, and Ezra has been a daddy's boy.
Day to day, you never can guess what the twin tornadoes will do next. They learn so quickly, it's such an amazing thing to watch. For a while, they're verbal skills seem to plateau and even drop backward. This happened around the time they started walking. I have always heard that once babies start walking their language accelerates, so this was intriguing. However, I think they were so focused on mastering walking, followed by running and climbing. They are now much chattier again, though they still don't use too many words. Ezra is still famous for his ridiculously high pitched scream. It's the most impressive scream I have ever heard. Amazing that all the windows haven't shattered yet! He screams with excitement, pleasure, frustration, anger, you name it. Any sort of emotion can trigger the scream... so beware! ;-) Olivia has learned to copy him, but thankfully she isn't quite as persistent.
They now climb up on the ottoman and use it like a stage to dance and scream at each other. It's hilarious. They have both become such avid dancers that they stop whatever they are doing to start boogying when music comes on. Ezra tends to bob up and down and Olivia sways side to side. Their favorite songs for US to sing are: "Bringing home a baby bumblebee," "Little cabin in the woods," "Itsy, bitsy spider." All with the hands motions, of course. When they want us to sing one, they put their hands they way you do for the start of that song and start singing it. Their singing is still just jabbering in a way that sounds a little like the song itself, but it's adorable.
Olivia has become a master of body parts, practically overnight. Ezra is doing well too, but much less interested in anything relating to detail (like pointing out body parts). Olivia can identify her eyes, ears, hair, nose, teeth, belly button and toes. She LOVES to walk around poking people in the nose and saying "Nee." She ALSO enjoys lifting up shirts to point to belly buttons... whether hers or someone else's. She's gotten big into giving a cheesy grin to people, which is absolutely goofy and precious. She also LOVES to "give love" to her stuffed animals, MAMA, and daddy. She has started giving kisses, too. One of the worst, but cutest, things she just started doing is after she does something naughty (like smacking mommy on the head), she comes over and gently hugs your head (or other "injured" body part) and gently pats you. Ezra has started to copy her, so I've had the extreme pleasure of having two cuties fighting for time to give love and hugs. It's so cool!
Ezra is such a B-O-Y! He really and truly is a stereotypical boy. He still doesn't use his finger to point (which Livi has been doing for ages), as whatever HE cares enough about to point at is big enough to gesture with his entire hand! He does this cute arm extension with a downward sort of flick of the wrist to "point." He stomps, runs, throws, crushes and clobbers things. If I ever doubted how much NATURE has to do with who we are, those doubts are 100% resolved. These two have shown me that despite identical parenting, age range, etc... they are DEFINITELY two very different people! It's really fun to watch all the changes and differences surface. Ezra has been really enjoying swings when we go to parks and will laugh with his perfect, deep, giggly, belly laugh. That boy could melt the heart of the meanest, nastiest person alive with his laugh.
Every night before bed we have a tickle time. Ezra and Olivia LOVE to be tickled and will even sign for "more!" They run around the room and when they're ready they tackle me so they can get tickled. By the time we carry them upstairs to go to bed they are both breathless and smily as can be. I don't know how they can stand getting tickled so much, but they seem to love it and we LOVE hearing all the laughter around here! What good is life without laughter???
So, that's a quick recap of how Ezra and Olivia are these days. Now, on to a recap of events over the last month and a half!
Christmas was a blast. E&O didn't know what to make of all the presents and hardly napped on Christmas day... to much excitement in the air, I guess. They played with new toys all day long and enjoyed their first Christmas dinner. They loved playing with everyone that visited... and had a long list of adult playmates all day long. Family is the main reason we chose to move back to Colorado... and the holidays are a perfect example of how that can really make life special. Sharing everyone's joy in seeing Ezra and Olivia enjoying their first Christmas with us was really a treat. Olivia and Ezra give us so much more than I think we will ever be able to give them. We are so fortunate to have the honor and pleasure of being their mommy and daddy.
In mid-January, Joe and I drove to Palm Springs for a 5-day business conference followed by a quick trip to our condo in O.C. to check on things. E&O spent the duration at home with their grandma and grandpa and did just great. I, on the other hand, had a bit of a hard time missing them like CRAZY, but it was nice to allow myself to trust them to have fun and do well in the excellent care of my parents and enjoy some adult time getting my brain cranking again. The weather in Palm Springs was incredible and we had a lovely trip. My only complaint was getting sick the evening the conference ended (good timing though!) and running a really high fever for the next 4 days or so. That made for a very unpleasant road trip home and MORE time away from Ezi & Livi once we were back! Ugh!
The week we returned from Palm Springs I went under the knife. Let's just say it was LONG overdue, but much dreaded. I have had serious issues with my tonsils since I was very little, but was completely terrified about surgery and wouldn't agree to having them taken out when I was younger (and the surgery would have been SOOO much easier on me then, I'm told). Last year (2008) in late January I was dealing with ANOTHER bout of strep throat when I developed a peritonsillar abscess. Let's just say it was one of those pains you hope to never relive. This occurred just before we received our referral for Olivia and Ezra, so the renewed need to get my tonsils dealt with was put on hold with baby preparations. After I began having issues with them AGAIN in December 2008 I decided this was as good a time as any to go to an ENT and have them looked at.
The ENT I saw took one look at my tonsils and heard my history before telling me they needed to come out. Apparently since they didn't shrink and atrophy after puberty, they will always be a problem for me, and were creating tonsilliths. Yuck. Those suckers had lived past their prime and were just begging to get yanked out. The surgeon told me it would be much harder for me as an adult than it is for children, but that I'd do great. Huh. Let's just say I did not come close to mentally preparing myself for what I felt post-surgery. That was BRUTAL. When I was in recovery, they kept asking my pain level and giving me more pain killers through my IV to try and lower it. However, that kept causing me to stop breathing, which isn't exactly a good thing, I guess. So... they stopped giving me drugs through the IV and tried the oral painkillers that I'd be sent home with. I spent a good bit of the day in recovery and then was sent home to wallow in my pain. I was starving, but sipping broth didn't begin to weaken my hunger and was ridiculously painful.
I'm now ALMOST two weeks post-op and still hurting. I can eat most things again, but am still taking 4 Aleeve every 8 or so hours. I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics I was given in surgery (and sent home with to take 4x per day). That was a real drag. I itched like crazy and my tongue got so swollen I couldn't really talk. My tongue is still damaged (from the reaction, apparently) and hurts a TON when I have anything very cold. No ice cream or ice tea for me. :-(
Oh, and eating ice cream wasn't really a part of recovery! It was too hard to "chew" and the cold was too much for my tongue! Oh, and the ear aches I got were so strong that I couldn't have cool water for a few days (I drank WARM water... ick!), so anything from the freezer was OUT! Isn't that a bummer?! That was the part of recovery I looked forward to the most! Anyway, enough whining. I'll be back to feeling good again in another couple of days and undoubtedly much healthier. During my first post-op visit with the surgeon last Wednesday I learned that my tonsils were filled with.... drum roll please.... FUNGUS! Ewwwwwww!!!!! Those suckers definitely needed to come out, as each illness and resulting round of antibiotics just allowed the fungus to rage further out of control. Let's just say that's NASTY. It's ok, I know. I was growing fungus in my throat and I think that's is downright DISGUSTING! Yuck.
Sooooo, that about sums it up for now. I have some really exciting news I'm hoping to post in the next couple of weeks, but not just yet. Hopefully you will all be just as excited as I am! ;-) To those of you still out there and reading this, thanks for sticking around! I'll be back soon with photos of the kids!