My sweet neighbor Jeana is a budding photographer! She offered to take pictures of Olivia to practice with light and color. She took some great photos! We are shooting again next week!
I love that last one! By the way, Olivia weighed 14 lbs 11.5 ounces as of Thursday! Hooray! More than a pound in less than two weeks (after the two ounces in two weeks fiasco at the beginning of the month).
Nicholas's mom, lovingly called Mutti, is visiting through Wednesday. Olivia LOVES her! I don't know if it is her voice or her scent or her wheels, but Olivia is smitten. Here are some pictures of the adventure so far!
Mutti leaning in for a kiss. Notice Olivia's closed eyes! So cute!
So, we are trying to get and stay on a budget. Here's a meal I made after seeing Rachel Ray cook it. (I didn't use onion as Nicholas doesn't like them.) It was super yummy! (Rachel Ray annoys me, but 30 minutes for a meal is great!)
After a setback...I stacked the primed wood for the drawers in the garage...the 110 degree, humid garage...and they stuck together in two huge chunks, Nicholas decided to build a stand for his stereo equipment before finishing the bookcases. So, now the stereo stand is done and looks great:
And in order to make room for the stereo stand, we had to get the old bookcases out of the office. So, we moved the books onto the shelves, even though they aren't done. But, we are promising each other that as soon as the weather cools, we will take a weekend and paint and finish. Here's the update:
My boss created a new position for me such that I can work from home ten hours a week, and he can still replace me at the office. Hooray! It is harder than I thought to find two hours to work during the day, however, so I often do my work after Olivia goes to sleep. Nicholas blocked off one afternoon a week so that I can go in to ask and take questions. I think this will be good for me, too, to have a little adult conversation other than Nicholas once a week.
In the mean time, Olivia grows. Here she is right before a swim: (Thanks for the bonnet, Stephanie!)
Here she is in her Bumbo...I think she is still a little too small for it, though.
Here she asleep with her rings. She is getting attached to her toys and didn't want to go to sleep without them...so they went to sleep with her.
And this is Olivia in her swing while I am ironing. Ringo wanted to take her toys:
Our friend Juliet stopped by on Saturday with her two kids John and Christopher. They were on their way to Dallas from Clemson. (I say Juliet is amazing for attempting this with a four-year-old and a nine-month-old!) Since we didn't get pictures of their visit in May, I had to get some this time. It was WONDERFUL to see them! I can hardly wait until Olivia and Christopher can play!
I don't know that they knew they were getting their picture taken here, because Nicholas had just been videotaping them...
John was dutifully eating his fruit and bread for dinner, and looking quite cute doing it!
I know I should have taken pictures at another time, but Christopher looked so cute in the high chair!
This past week was an emotional one. Olivia got sick for the first time, so we had several sleepless nights pulling snot and listening to her breath since she was having trouble due to all the drainage. She is rolling over in her sleep now, too, so I was waking up a lot to check on her. On Monday, I stopped at the doctor's office to weigh her so that I could have a weight for her baby book for three months, and she had only gained two ounces in ten days (13 lbs 11 oz). The nurse said this was concerning, so make an appointment. I did for Friday. You see, Olivia had been eating even worse at daycare and not napping like she did at home.
On Wednesday morning, Nicholas and I were playing with Olivia on her play mat before school, and we both confessed that we hated leaving Olivia at daycare and we both feel like we are missing her best parts of the day. When we analyzed how much time we were getting with her (even me), by the time you exclude naps and driving, it was horrible. Not to mention that Olivia wasn't babbling as much and the nature of the beast of daycare is that Olivia cries more and is left alone more than if I am watching her. Of course, we know everyone would have gotten used to it and the routine would have become just that. But we didn't want to get used to it. Every day when I dropped Olivia off, I would stay until the last possible minute. I hated leaving.
Nicholas suggested that if I didn't want to stay home with her, perhaps I should look for a better job so that he could. I do want to stay home with her, I told him. We talked about it, and decided that the current arrangement wasn't working and it was time to change it. I went to my boss that morning and told him I wanted to quit. He was VERY nice. He told me to get Olivia, take her home, think about it through the weekend, and let him know on Monday (today). His wife even offered to babysit Olivia at our home if I wanted to work even less and didn't want to take Olivia back to daycare. That was SO sweet. But, I want to be with Olivia, so I did let my boss know today that I do want to stay home. I am hoping (and so is he) that I could work from home about ten hours a week, but we will see if that is possible according to university rules and employment positions. I love my job, but I know this time is going to fly by and I want to take in every moment I can. I know not everyone gets this opportunity, so I am going to take it and be grateful. I know it will be hard, but I know it will be wonderful! I am home with my girl, and I am thrilled about it!
In other news, Olivia keeps getting cuter! This is the last time she could sleep in this little outfit as it is now too short:
This is Olivia looking out the window in the guest bedroom after rolling over on her own:
This is me trying to catch Olivia smiling in her little sweatsuit:
And after Olivia rolls over about three times in a row, I try to catch it on video. She doesn't roll over in this, but she talks a lot. This is two minutes long, FYI.
We read lots of other books that do not have to do with horses. We are reading the real version of Little Women while Olivia plays on her playmat. We read Clifford and The Very Hungry Caterpillar regularly. I also bought Puppies.
The week started out well, got worse, and then finished okay. Tuesday, Olivia hardly slept or ate at school, and because I was exhausted, the evening was rocky since Olivia was very fussy and upset. I thought, "This is Olivia telling me she hates day care. How can I make her go back?" Wednesday went better for both of us. Olivia napped there and was smiling and happy when I came to pick her up. Every day that I have come to pick her up, she is in one of the teacher's arms, which I like. They told me on Friday that the wished all the babies were like her, as she never cries and is always looking around and taking things in. I still get good play time with her in each morning and night, so I am feeling pretty good. Friday, I ran a little late (30 minutes) because I had to get a parking tag, and I almost cried when I walked in the room. One of the teachers was holding her, and I said, "Give me my baby" with teary eyes. She probably thought I was nuts!
In other news, Olivia is three months old now! And, I think she is going through a growth spurt. For the past two days, she has gone to sleep for the night at 6 PM and has eaten almost four ounces at a sitting almost every time without fighting me. That hasn't happened since pre-Nutramigen days. She was 13 lbs 9 ounces two Fridays ago. I think I'll stop on Monday and find out what she weighs now.
Nicholas has been working on the book cases:
And Olivia and Ringo have been playing...in fact, Olivia laughed out loud at Ringo. She doesn't laugh out loud much, so this was particularly cute:
It actually wasn't as horrible as I expected. I'm glad that Nicholas came with me to drop Olivia off because I did cry...and I did call twice during the six hours I was away. But, it felt normal to be at work. And I forgot how much I like working. Of course, I like being with Olivia more, but we had a walk and play time before work, and hours of playtime after work. So, I feel good about things. Here is Olivia's first day of "school" outfit: (Look how long her hair is getting! It's going to be in her eyes soon!)
And here is Nicholas playing with her in part of the play area at the daycare:
This one's for Bill. I just wanted you to know that we have been taking pictures and videos all along with the new camera. I just learned this weekend how to use them. (The software is confusing and the MAC software didn't come with it, so Nicholas didn't want to do it.)
Warning: I still look swollen and I talk incessantly.
And to really show how far we've come, here is a video of Olivia dancing in utero:
So, today is the last day of my maternity leave. I can't even talk about it. Instead, I'll note that I FINALLY figured out (enough of) the camera that Bill (Nicholas's dad) bought for us for Olivia's birth. It takes HD quality video and high resolution pictures. Check it out!