Thursday, June 28, 2012

13 months

sorry if the partial nudity offends anyone, the halter on her top was driving her nuts and this little shoot was super impromptu.

13 month info:

Height/weight: 31"/ 27lbs
Clothing size: 2T
Shoe size: 4
Favorite food: watermelon, cottage cheese, fish
Favorite toys: dolly with the plastic head, Duplo Legos, Little People Noah's Ark
Sleep schedule: 8pm-7:30am (we cut out the last nighttime feeding! More on that later) Nap at 10am-noon and 3pm-4:30pm
Words: Call's to "dada" when she wants him or when he enters a room, "Tucker," "dog," "duck," "deedee" (dolly).
Nursing: 8am, 10am, 2:30pm, 8pm
Favorite show: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins

Today, on her 13-month mark, Olivia cut her bottom two teeth!  Finally!! These two tiny teeth have been causing her distress for what seems like forever.  I will miss my girl's gummy little smile, but I have to admit she already looks so cute with some pearly white showing through.

Olivia has her very own little pink kiddie pool in the backyard.  Whenever we go out to play in it though, she'll climb out and go play with Tucker's kennel instead, putting her pool toys inside and shutting the door then opening it and taking them out again.

The other day she got into her bag of hairbows and flowers and I watched discreetly from the other room as she took each one out and tried to set it on top of her head.  Later that day, she found one in the car and tried to put it on Jack's head.

She loves other kids and babies, she loved being at the reunion last weekend and spending so much time with her cousins.

She's a tough cookie and doesn't get phased when other kids push her down or when her dad uses his booming voice jokingly.  She just smiles.

She quite the speed crawler, can stand for long periods of time by herself, pick things up off the floor while standing, walk while holding onto something, and even take a few steps on her very own.

Liv likes when she can find two of the same thing to hold, one for each hand, and will crawl around on the objects (two balls, two toilet paper rolls, two shoes, etc.) this is why she loves her LP Noah's ark so much. Two of each animal.  The other day she came across the salt and pepper shakers and was thrilled.

She loves dogs and will make friends with any passing dog when we go out in public.  It's very scary for a cautious mama, but usually by the time I'm able to get around the stroller she's already stroking the dog's face.  People are always surprised at how fearless she is, but I'm afraid this bravery may result in a mangled hand one day.

She definitely has her own language and speaks it as though we can understand.  When she wants something she will point and chatter about it.  If I don't understand right away, she speaks louder and louder.

Olivia is awful in church.  I think it's hard for her to see all of the other kids and not be able to go play with them.  I dread taking her every week.  Last week when I tried to placate her with one of those squeeze pouches of fruit puree, she managed to cover all three of us in it in one quick squeeze.

She can drink out of a sippy, cup, or straw and loves cold water.  She hasn't mastered a spoon or fork yet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Things we've done lately. Via iphone pics.

My mom graduated with her Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy as VALEDICTORIAN OF HER CLASS!!  Her kids couldn't be more proud of her.  She hasn't eaten or slept in about 4 years, and definitely earned the honor.
Jack and I left Liv with his sister and saw this little number. We got there during the previews and, at first glance thought we could have our pick of seats.  We soon came to realize that what appeared to be a vast number of empty seats were actually occupied by small children.  We, in fact, had our choice of first, second, or third row. I really liked the movie, despite the permanent damage to my neck.  I'll admit, part of the fun was hearing the sobs of small children echo throughout the theatre every time someone got chased by a bear *snicker snicker*.  Is it evil that I thought it was cute?
 Olivia was visited by the Chick-fil-a cow on a visit through the drive-thru.  He tried to give her five and she shoved his hand hoof away :/  what a sweet girl. I think she just lumped Mr. Cow into the same category as an overexcited Tucker (our French Bulldog) who needs a firm hand when he gets too close to her.
 We walked around Temple Square with some of Jack's siblings and their kids.
(ps. don't let your kids climb on the Christus statue like this mom...who even saw it as a photo op. I've got proof, lady!)

 of course I'm probably not much better. I let my kid cool her feet in one of the fountains.
 mine is the delicious little stroller-monkey with the chunky legs
 We toured the Taffy Town factory and ate our fill of incredibly fresh, soft taffy.  Nothin' cuter than a baby in a hairnet :) wish I could say the same for myself.  Avert your eyes...
 Every year my SIL Jenny's family spends a few days in Park City, and every year we crash it.  They pretend not to mind.  
The Marriott Mountainside is by far our favorite place to stay.  They just installed fire pits near the hot tubs so you can sit in big, wooden rocking chairs and roast marshmallows in the cool mountain air at night.  It was magical.  Jack spent most of the time handing out our goods, trying to convince our fellow s'mores makers that the mallows taste much better between two Keebler fudgestripe cookies rather than chocolate and grahams (a trick I learned from my friend, Tasha.  Try it, you'll never go back.)
 Little One loved the kiddie hot tub 
 ...and eating wood chips in front of the hotel. Yum.

Austin Reunion 2012

Jack has 6 siblings.  5 of them are married.  He has 19 nieces and nephews.  Once a year his very large family gets together under a theme and makes and eats good food, has crazy activities,  films random movies, and stays up until all hours playing board games.  They then file off into different rooms of his mom's house and sleep for a few hours before starting over the next day.  It is loud, messy, crazy, and so much fun.  Jack's oldest sister, Jenny, was in charge this year and the theme was...well.... eggs. :)  The point being that eggs were the symbol of Easter and....stuff.  We had many activities involving eggs.

My favorite part of these get-togethers is spending time with all of the girls.  I especially feel part of the club now that Olivia is here and I can exchange stories, tips, and frustrations about the joy of being a mom. A typical scene at the reunion would be: the women sitting around the table or in the kitchen talking, the four baby girls napping in different rooms in the basement, the kids running around the backyard, and the men inventing some random game involving throwing a ball back and forth over the house.

I'm an extremely light sleeper and have passed this annoying trait onto my little girl, so when it got dark I'd tote her home and put her in her own bed then prepare things for the next day and have some nice alone time.  Jack would stay at his mom's until all hours and then sneak quietly into our house.

Now that it's over, I miss everyone.  I can't wait until next year!

Olivia's favorite part was being able to walk around naked and eat as much watermelon as her little belly could hold.

Monday, June 25, 2012

just to watch

Any excitement that overtakes me, any awe or happiness I could feel for myself upon seeing and doing something new or amazing pales in comparison to to the feeling of watching my daughter experience new or amazing things.

There is nothing more exciting than seeing her experience something great for the first time

no feeling as content as observing her playing quietly in her room and talking to herself or her toys

nothing that makes my heart swell more than when I see her master something for the first time and beam triumphantly.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the learning curve

Several months ago the General Relief Society president, Sister Beck, came and spoke to the women in my ward (her daughter lives on my street. Quite the hookup ;)  It was at a time when I was having a really hard time getting used to my role as mom.  Olivia was still pretty tiny and I always felt overwhelmed.  Someone asked Sister Beck what she could tell us about being a mother.  She said having a child puts you on the fast track of learning.

Understatement of the year.

I feel like I have learned more in the last year than I have in all of my previous years and every day I feel like I make mistakes that I must learn from.  Olivia fell on her head 3 times this week: once off the side of our low armchair as I was getting up to put a pillow right there, once down our bottom two stairs, once when I tried to pick her up during a tantrum.  I'm hoping babies are pretty durable, otherwise mine may have some knocked some things loose recently.

Last week we had to take Olivia to the ER for an x-ray because Jack though she had swallowed something and that it  was stuck in her throat.  It turned out there was nothing there, but the doctor told us that metal things, when stuck in a throat or esophagus, can eat through the baby's tissue, causing damage.

The other day we had had a loooong, hot day of work and errands and such.  I put Livs in her high chair for dinner and she was not having it.  She cried and threw everything I tried to give her on the floor.  She wouldn't watch her favorite show, she wouldn't play with her toys, she just wanted to cry and scream.  I was so frustrated and angry that I wanted to get in the car and drive away (Jack was out mowing the lawn, oblivious to the ruckus inside).  I sat Olivia down (none too gently), screaming on the living room floor, put in my earphones and turned my music up on my ipod so I didn't have to hear her while I did the dishes.

And then something made me stop.  I turned and looked at her.  She was getting so worked up that her face was bright red.  Tears were dripping off her chin and she was staring at me through slitted eyes while she cried.  I turned off my music and picked her up, felt her gums to see they were a little swollen and rubbed some baby orajel on them.  I turned her favorite show back on the TV and sat down to hold her.  Olivia laid down on my shoulder, her cries subsided to sniffles and she wrapped her little arms around my body.  I get emotional remembering how mad I was at her and how I almost just ignored her while she sat on the floor and cried.

I hate when I do things wrong.  I hate ever hurting her or making her sad.  But the truth is, sometimes that is how we learn.  I will make sure to always put pillows down when she wants to crawl and play on things, I will put the baby gate lower on the stairs, I will pick up pennies and small objects before she does, and I will understand when she has had just as long of a day as I have and respond with affection instead of anger.

I will treat my faults as a way of learning instead of small failures as a mother and use them to become better.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I'm lucky enough to be able to say that my father and my husband are the two best men I know.  
Happy Father's Day you two.

Dear Jack

It is your very SECOND Father’s Day!!! :)  I don’t know what I could write that I haven’t already said to you but I don’t mind saying it over, and you will probably hear very similar things from me in the next 70 years as long as you keep up the good work.

You are amazing.  There is no way I could have found a better husband, and a better father for my little girl.  You have given so much to Olivia and I love seeing you play with her every day.  I love that I don’t have to worry when you are with her, because I know that not only is she in good, safe hands, but that you usually drop what you are doing to play with her and make her laugh and help her learn (even when you should be working!)

 She loves you so much.  I never hear so much excitement in her voice as when she is screaming ‘Dada!!’ at the top of her lungs upon seeing you come into the room.  She definitely loves playing toys with you more than she does with me (maybe because I play Legos like Grandpa Larry and make the tigers growl and such). 

Since the moment we stood in the bathroom, staring at those two little pink lines, you have been nothing but attentive, sweet, and steady in your role as father.  Olivia is the luckiest baby on earth.  Her daddy loves her more than any other dad loves their baby.  He can see her any time of the day or night, he buys her anything her little heart desires.  Seeing how much you love her makes me love you even more. 

You are also very thoughtful and caring to me when it comes to Olivia.  I know that I can share anything I feel about being a mom and you will listen and help and not judge.  You are always so willing to help with anything I need, whether it be watching her while I go out or waking up with her so I can sleep in. 

I love you so so so much.  You are an amazing husband and father and Livs and I are so lucky to have you.

Happy Father’s Day


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The eczema support group.

My name is McCall and my baby has eczema.  If you don't have a child with eczema you are thinking "wow what a weird, dramatic girl" and if you do have a child with eczema you are nodding and thinking "amen, sister" because guess what?  Eczema sucks.

Olivia started getting rough patches on her legs when she was only a couple of months old.  Her pediatrician said she just had sensitive skin and the dryness would sort itself out the older she got.  I used baby lotion, but the patches got worse and by the time she was 11 months old, I was at my wit's end.  She had a really bad spot on her shoulder that looked like blisters, and some mornings I would get her undressed to find that she had been scratching her back and sides so bad that she was bleeding, the red criss-crosses her tiny nails had made in her soft white skin made me cry as I gently washed her off in the bathtub.  I was ready to take action despite the instructions of her pediatrician.

I took her to a dermatologist.  He was a quirky, kind man who looked like he had stepped out of the 1970s.  He confirmed that it was eczema, wrote up a prescription for her really bad spots, and joked that eczema is harder to get rid of than cancer.....great.  As per his instructions, I slathered her up with baby oil before bed every night.  She broke out in a rash.  I switched to the oil without vitamin e or aloe.  Better.  I bought Eucerin.  A little better.  Her prescription made her shoulder patch go away within two days

but her eczema still isn't gone, no matter how much I hydrate her after baths and before bed :/ I have to put her in one-piece pajamas every night to make sure she can't scratch, make sure she doesn't get too warm or sweaty, and that nothing irritates or rubs on her skin.  It's so frustrating not being able to make it go away and I feel so bad for her.

I found this article yesterday about eczema...


..did you read it? Did you read the part about putting bleach in her bath?  Sounds weird because it seems counterintuitive (doesn't bleach usually dry your skin out?) but I'll try anything.

I always wonder about trying new things like that.  Who actually thought, "I think I'll try putting bleach in my kid's bath and see if it helps her eczema."  Okay, so maybe this isn't that crazy because I'm sure it has something to do with the bleach killing the bacteria, but I always wonder about the first person to try new things.  Like milk.  I was drinking a glass of milk yesterday and imagined some lady back in the day, sitting on her porch breast feeding her baby.  I wonder if she looked down and thought you sure seem to be enjoying that milk, little one.  I wonder if us adults are missing out on something great.  And then she looked out into her field and saw her cow.

Anywho...if you have any tips, suggestions, things that have worked for you, or simply want a listening ear to curse about eczema to; I'd love to hear it.  My email inbox is always open.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Brunch at Sundance

I love Utah.  I love that we can drive only 25 minutes and end up at a mountainside ski resort where we can eat rustic food in a cabin setting, stroll along riverside paths, and ride a chair lift up the mountain :)

Friday, June 8, 2012


I saw this on Pinterest the other day and every time I think about it I laugh out loud :) For some reason, anything Harry Potter really gets me.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

a day at the splash pad

We had lunch the other day with some of the girls in Jack's family and their kids.  Olivia's cousins wanted to go to the splash pad after and I wasn't sure if Livs would be down for crawling around and getting sprayed in the face, but she was quite the little champ.  She'd sit in front of a squirter and wait for the water to come out, then stick her hands and feet in it.  She loved watching the other kids run around screaming.  We topped off the trip with Dole whips from Provo Beach Resort, and it turned out to be a fantastic summer day.  I love having a child to experience summer with.  There was nothing better than looking into the backseat and seeing our happy little girl, greasy with sunscreen, sticky with Dole whip, colored and tired from the sun :)

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