Thursday, March 29, 2012

10 months old/Easter Photos

My mom got Olivia this darling dress for Christmas, and it turned out to be the perfect Easter dress.  I thought for her 10-month photos, we'd kill two birds and do some outdoor Easter pics. (these are super low-res so they'd load faster.  So Grandmas and Grandpas, if you want a pic let me know so I can get you a high quality one).  She wasn't in the mood to look at me and/or smile.  Too many tasty sticks and dead leaves around.

Babygirl feels more and more like 'toddlergirl.' 

She finally mastered crawling a few weeks ago and has been on the move ever since.  She travels from room to room, putting anything she sees in her mouth, and pulling things of movie and bookshelves.

She wears size 2t.  Yes, I know, she wears the same size as your kid/nephew/friend's kid who is 2 or 3 and you are shocked.  We love our chunky girl.  All of her 2t clothes fit her girth, but not her length so I have to roll up the sleeves and pants 3-4 times.

She wears size 4 shoes and 4 diapers.

Olivia still has her bright blue eyes that get so many comments and her strawberry blonde hair, which is getting thicker and longer. I now have to pin the front back so she doesn't have little wispies in her eyes!

She can stand against furniture and cruise along on her feet or walk while we are holding her hands.

She loves doors of any kind and will detect one anywhere in the room, then sit in front of it and open and close it.  If it is a cabinet door she will find something to put inside, shut the door, then open it and take the thing out.

She loves Tucker and will follow him around the room.  She is a tough little bruiser though and if he gets closer than she'd like or tries to lick her, she will shove him.  I think she says 'dog'.  It sounds so close to 'duck' though that I can't be sure. 

Livs loves any kind of food now.  She eats all kinds of fruits, vegetables, whole wheats, and yogurt and I have yet to find something she is picky about.  Hopefully she stays this way because feeding her has been super easy and fun.  Her favorite food is still graham crackers, and also green beans, strawberries, and fresh pears.

She has never taken a bottle, but can drink out of a sippy, water bottle, straw, or cup like a pro.

She loves reading books.  Her favorite is Time for Bed and she makes me read it three times every night before she is satisfied enough not to scream when I put it down.

She loves music.  Whenever a fast song or beat comes on the TV or player, she'll stop what she is doing to dance, or she'll beat out her own rhythm on anything hard.

Olivia doesn't like things to be stacked, organized, in a row, or inside a box.  She likes them out and scattered.  Her colorful stacking rings drive her crazy when they are all on the pole.

Still no teeth.

She is very brave and adventurous.  She loves to try new things and hardly ever gets scared.  She likes going to the pool, feeling strong wind/rain/snow outside, touching the cows and horses by our house, attempting stairs, and jump-up-and-scare-you games.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Field

 We have an amazing field in our neighborhood where soccer games and practices are held all spring and summer.  It has a paved track running through it, forest trails on two sides, and a path that leads up to a duck pond and benches.  If we ever move I will have the best memories around this field.  Jack and I have had so many conversations on this trail.  When I was very pregnant, I would stroll around the track and think about my new baby, and then at the end this is where I went to try to walk her right out of my body.  When she was a colicky newborn I'd leave her with Jack and put on my running shoes and earphones and go pound pavement to get out of the house and into my head.  Also, it helped with those 40 pregnancy pounds I'd gained. 
     Nowadays, Jack and I love to take our little girl out into the fresh air.  She loves watching Tucker run around and seeing the other dogs and kids, and when 'duck' became her first word, we were excited to show her the real thing at the pond.  Yesterday we spend a gorgeous evening out there, passing friends from the ward and enjoying the warmer weather.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Olivia's First Braid

In a family full of cosmetologists we mark this kind of milestone

ps. we've been using our point-and-shoot camera lately, thus the lower quality of photos.  As far as point and shoots go though, we are big fans of the Canon cybershot.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

25 by 25

I have:
1.    Loved and been loved unconditionally
2.    Gotten married to my best friend in the temple for time and eternity
3.    Given birth to a perfect baby girl
4.    Played on basketball, volleyball, and softball teams and a cheer squad
5.    Taken ballet, jazz, swimming, cooking, and sewing classes
6.    Walked to the top of St Peter’s Basilica
7.    Run a 5k
8.    Grown my hair to the top of my jeans
9.    Been on a rockstar’s tour bus
10. Para-glided off the Swiss Alps
11. Waded barefoot in the Aegean Sea
12. Overcome heartbreak
13. Kept the same best friend for 19 years (and the other for 9)
14. Learned how to be in a committed, adult relationship that will last
15. Cut into and studied a cadaver
16. Played and won a college Powderpuff game
17. Earned a crown in a city pageant
18. Explored centuries-old ruins and catacombs
19. Been in a nude, European spa
20. Survived a long-distance relationship
21. Eaten the world’s best ice cream
22. Found the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe
23. Kissed a stranger
24. Kissed a girl
25. Had blonde, brown, black, auburn, and purple hair

Bonus: learned that the best life is a simple one.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Squares

Apparently peanut butter squares were all the rage in Jack's house growing up.  I had never heard of them, so the other night when he asked me to make them for him I had no idea what he was talking about.  He had his sister email him the recipe and I teased him the whole time I was making them.  "Really?  2 cubes of butter? sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, peanut butter, chocolate?  I'm going to have to buy you a bigger pair of pants after you eat these.  I'm only going to have a smidge cause they don't sound like they are worth it."

The thing is: they are.  Peanut butter squares are incredible.  And incredibly worth it.  Jack had to fight me off just to get a taste.

Peanut Butter Squares
3/4 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c peanut butter
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c flour
2 eggs
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c quick oatmeal

Cream together eggs, sugars, margarine, and peanut butter. Add other ingredients and Spread onto a cookie pan (it doesn't need to fill up the whole pan, just spread it out flat). Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. At this point you can spread a layer of peanut butter over the top, but I didn't.  I'm healthy like that.  Then top with chocolate frosting.  This I did. It's not optional.

Chocolate frosting
1/4 c butter
6 Tbsp milk
2 c powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla

Bring butter, milk, and cocoa to a boil and add sugar and vanilla. Blend until creamy and frost over peanut butter layer.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Her Spirit

I complained a lot when I was pregnant, because I didn't know.  I didn't know how it would be to have a child, and so I couldn't fathom how it would be not to have that child.

I didn't bond to Olivia right away.  I loved her, of course, and thought she was incredibly beautiful; but the first few weeks were hard because, to me, she was a job and a lifestyle change.

Slowly things changed, after a few weeks I was attached, and after nine months with her I can't live without her.  She's the air in my lungs and the sun on my face.  Olivia's generous, bright spirit permeates our entire house with her goodness and light.  I can't even think about her too much without getting emotional.  I'm hesitant to have another baby because I'm sure it would reduce me to a weepy puddle of emotional jello if I had to have two Olivias in the house, both with this kind of grasp on my heart and senses :)

I can't imagine the kind of pain a person goes through when losing a child, whether at 3 months pregnant, or 5 years old.  We are blessed.  And I won't complain so much next time, because now I know.

excuse the crappy photo I took with my crappy phone while hanging over the back of my seat in the car.  It makes me happy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

9 months

Little Miss is 9 months old.  

9 months brings:
-Crawling...backwards.  She can scoot backwards across the room on hands and knees, sometimes bumping into things because she can't see where she's going
-Two teeth 'bumps'.  Her bottom two pearly whites have been slowly making their way up for three weeksnow.  I'm so frustrated and wish they'd cut through already so that the low-grade fevers, trouble sleeping, ear tugging, etc. can stop bothering my girl.
-Eating all kinds of finger foods.  I'm pretty strict with what goes in her mouth and try to stick to fruits, veggies, whole wheats, and organic baby snacks and foods.  She can eat anything without choking and when trying something new will stick out her tongue and give it a few tentative 'tastes' before fully committing to the bite.  The only thing she hasn't been a fan of is peas.  She threw the plate across the kitchen, shattering it into a million pieces (yes, I'm the mom who gave her lunch on a ceramic plate).
-Her first illness.  She got a stuffy nose last week.
-Nonstop babbling in her own language.  She sounds like one of the Avatars.  She still says 'duck' and 'dada' or 'dad', and now calls me 'ah'
-An interest in cartoons.  I'll usually put a show on for her in the morning when I'm getting ready.  Some of our favorites are Octonauts, Little Einstein, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
-Dancing.  When we put music on she gets a very determined, serious look on her face and starts bouncing up and down and waving her hands.
-Small tantrums.  She has suddenly decided she will not put up with diaper changes, getting dressed, or being made to sit down in the tub and will arch her back and scream.
-18-month clothes.  Babygirl is 23 pounds and 29" tall.  She wears size 4 diapers.  She's super smart for a 9-month-old, but sometimes I have to laugh when she gets stuck laying on her arm or in the corner of the crib because she looks like a very slow 2-year-old.

Every time I take off her clothes or change her, I kiss her tummy.  It makes her smile.  The other day after she nursed, she was studying my belly-button and putting her finger in it.  I lifted up her shirt and showed her her own belly-button.  She looked from her tummy to mine and then bent over and kissed mine. 

Olivia likes to eat small things off the carpet, especially paper.  She won't swallow them, just mull them around forever.  I swear she has a secret compartment inside her cheek or something because whenever I fish around in her mouth, I can't find whatever it is she put in there.  When I pull my finger out, she'll smile at me and start chewing on the object again.

She thinks she is a big kid and loves other kids and babies.  Whenever we see kids running around, she'll try to leap out of my lap and follow them.  The other night when she was sitting by Clar's baby, Taft, she kept trying to "hold" him.  She settled for just holding his hand.

She is still a mama's girl, but loves to go her Dada too.  She knows she can usually get a game out of him.  She is also doing better for babysitters and will go to other people better, and let them put her down for naps or bed.

Olivia loves books, or anything resembling a book: magazines, menus, pamphlets, manuals, DVDs...

She recently has taken to a small blanket with a teddy bear head on a corner (it's not as creepy as it sounds) and will go to bed with it, snuggling and kissing it until she falls asleep.

Liv and Jack recently formed a band.  J will sing a song about tucker, while Olivia shakes a tic-tac box to make music.  She takes it very seriously and can start and stop on cue.

Most skills have come quickly and easily to her (reasoning, memory, using her hands...), while others (mostly motor) are a little late in showing up.  While she can't crawl yet, gets stuck on her back sometimes, and doesn't have teeth, Olivia is extremely focused and can perform certain advanced tasks with her hands, mimic our actions,  read our emotions, and communicate pretty effectively with her gestures and noises.  We are happy and excited to celebrate each milestone with her and grow ever more in love with our girl.
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