Olivia and I went to a little party on Saturday, and Olivia wore the dress Grandma Dorothy bought her. She looked so cute, but, of course, I couldn't get a picture of her holding still...there is none of that anymore. For Grandma's curiosity, here is as close as I could get. I'm hoping to get my neighbor to take some Easter pictures of Olivia with her in this dress outside.
Play date on Monday, working in the garden and visiting Mom and Christopher on Tuesday, and Kindermusik on Wednesday make for a tired Mama and Baby. Here are some pictures of each:
Play date--about ten moms and babies from the library at one mom's house for lunch and "swimming": Olivia was splashing so sweetly with the other kids, I decided to take a picture. Of course, she dove in with all her clothes on. Fortunately I had a change for her. I'm going to have to get her this pool.
Garden--I unloaded soil from the truck that had been there since June, weeded the rest of the garden (Nicholas did half the other night), got a yard of good garden soil and unloaded it onto the garden, then went back for two yards of mulch and some ferns for the front beds. It was an action packed two and a half hours while Olivia was at MMO. No pictures yet.
Visiting--Olivia and I ran up to Birmingham to visit with Christopher and Mom before they left today. We had an early dinner at Panera, and Olivia had fun with Grandma drinking apple juice and eating turkey from my sandwich. Olivia's eyes looked so pretty in the light, I tried to capture them.
Kindermusik--Today was the last day of "Sing and Sign". In the picture, we are singing, "There are bubbles in the air, in the air..." Next week we start "Cowboy Baby."
Walker--Olivia is starting to understand how to use the walker. So cute! She isn't really into it, though. She never wants to be in there longer than about a minute.
Mom, Dad, Christopher, Stephanie, Craig and Abby made the trek down to Birmingham on Friday for another event. On Saturday, Stephanie and her two kids, Olivia, and I went to the Birmingham zoo. It was packed, but otherwise a perfect day. Craig took some pictures to document the start of the trip:
We started at Lorikeet Landing, where we bought nectar for Craig and Abby to feed the birds. They did great holding still and letting the birds land on them and eat from the little cups. Olivia wasn't sure what to make of the birds, and held on pretty tightly to me. One bird landed on my head, and I just hoped he wouldn't do anything up there. He didn't, but he left a present on my pants before he left.
Next we took in the sea lion show. We parked the stroller and I forgot the camera, so we don't have any pictures.
Then, we rode the train around the zoo. Craig, although he is now more into basketball and Star Wars, still loves trains and wanted his picture with the engine:
After seeing the lion and other predators, Craig and Abby rode a camel! The wait was 15 minutes, but I think it was worth it. They had so much fun!
After the zoo, we had a late lunch with my parents and Christopher at an Italian place that Dad found. Olivia drank from a straw for the first time! I had been trying to teach her how. A friend of mine told me to fill up a straw, hold the end with my finger, put the other end in Olivia's mouth, and release. She said that as I continued to wait until Olivia sucked on it. After some practice, Olivia got it! And we tried to get it on video.
Olivia loved Craig. Here she is eating my spaghetti and trying to get Craig's attention. Craig also loved Olivia!
Olivia can say "Dada" and "Daddy" now. She has been following Nicholas out of the room and just loving him when he is here. Here she is trying to go on his trip to Pasadena:
I swear Olivia said apple yesterday when we were eating apples and singing about apples. I know that sounds implausible, but I swear I heard it...twice.
We had a fun play date with some friends of our's yesterday. Leslie has two boys, Archer who is 17 months and Will, who is four, I think. The both were super great with Olivia and are both super cute. Leslie has a great deck with lots of fun toys--play house, cars, dinosaurs...I know Olivia will want to go back for more!
Leslie, Will, Olivia, and I went to CHOM today for St. Patrick's day. They had green coins hidden all over the museum to cash in for prizes. Will did great finding them, and Olivia did great putting them in her mouth. Will got a green hat, a necklace, and a pencil. Olivia got a green necklace, and Will got her a green flower bow for her hair! He is SO sweet! No pictures at the museum, but I will take one of Olivia with her hair bow and post later.
Other notes: Olivia is sleeping from 7 PM to 6 AM now, waking once or twice per night. On a great night she sleeps until 4 AM, takes a bottle and then sleeps until 6. On a typical night, she sleeps until 1 or 2, needs comforting, sleeps until 4 or 5, takes a bottle, and sleeps until 6. Her morning nap is around 9 AM and is about 45 minutes. Her afternoon is lengthening. Yesterday she slept for 1.5 hours. Today, she is asleep after 1 hour and 35 minutes. Shocking. She usually wakes up after the first sleep cycle of 45 minutes and needs comforting to go back to sleep.
I said that I was going to pull up the raspberries and put in blueberry bushes, but now that spring has arrived, I long for my garden from 2008.
Doesn't it look nice? Right now that space is over run with weeds, raspberry plants, and herbs that have multiplied. Olivia and I started pulling weeds today. Here she is in her gardener outfit:
It didn't work out really well because the backyard is soaked from the recent rain. So, she mostly had to stay in the wheelbarrow, on my hip, or in the bed of weeds. The rain made pulling weeds easy, but didn't allow Olivia to crawl around. Hmm.... Since Olivia is going to sleep around 7 PM, I think I am going to try to start getting out into the garden after that until dark on the nights I don't work. There is SO much to do in the back yard. I still need to mulch all the beds in the front yard and edge them, but the back yard is in need of major work--the beds by the house are barely discernable because grass has eaten into them, the dogs have peed on the plants and killed them, and there are weeds, weeds, weeds. The beds on the hill look terrible because the guys who edged and mulched didn't put down black fabric everywhere, just in some places and didn't even tack that down.
Nicholas has been traveling A LOT and will continue to do so for the next month. Olivia and I miss him when he is gone and LOVE it when he is here. Here is a little tribute to the few days of spring break that we get him:
This is Daddy and Olivia fixing the sink in the bathroom. Nicholas said, "You wear flannel and jeans to fix the sink." I concur.
This is Daddy and Olivia in the yard sorting mail. I wish I could have got some of the next 15 minutes on film. Olivia, Nicholas, and I played with the big ball swinging Olivia so that she kicked it. She laughed and laughed. Then she loved it when Nicholas threw the ball on the roof several times just to see it come rolling back down. Alas, it is hard to get much of the cuteness of film.
My friend Sylvia, who is from Germany, had her mom back in Germany make these sweet booties for Olivia. Love them!
And my sweet girl got her first shiner. She tripped on some toys and hit the windowsill. She was pretty stoic about it all, though.
Olivia eating apples and peanut butter. I am trying for us to set a good example, so we are switching to whole wheat pasta (we still have some of the other left, which we will use and not throw out) and to natural peanut butter, which is why it looks runny on her tray.
One more cute little crawling video:
Other things I want to get on film:
Playing Peek-a-boo over the couch.
Kissing herself in the mirror.
Biting the soap. (Yes, Olivia loves soap! Gross! I try to keep it away from her, but there are tiny little bite marks in it.).
Drinking bath water from her play cups. (Gross, again, but it is hilarious. The cups have holes in the bottom, but the water doesn't drain fast enough for her.)
Giggling at the dinner table.
We stopped by the doctor's office today, even though Olivia is a little past ten months now. She weighed 22 lbs 2 ounces, and measured 30 inches. My girl is getting big, and my back knows it!!
I don't think that I ever posted about how much I love not being pregnant. I complained a lot about being pregnant, but I didn't follow up with some reasons it's nice not to be pregnant.
First, and foremost, of course is that now I am not waiting on my baby, I have my sweet girl!
I can sleep on my stomach! Hooray!
I can drink Coke Zero with no guilt, eat popcorn for dinner with little guilt, and only get four or five fruits and veggies a day instead of trying to get nine!!
Regular clothes! Maternity wear is crap.
Not being tired all the time...well, I kind of am that since I am spread a little thin with work and baby, but, you get the idea.
I baked bread using Mom's recipe today. It turned out well! I gave those two loaves away as "Thank you" gifts with honey. Tonight I have a batch mixed up with oatmeal in it. I am hoping it turns out as well.
I am working on a smaller shadowbox with Olivia's sunglasses in them. This is the picture I am going to use.
I received the Boden catalog in the mail today for the first time. I am in love! Actually, I am lusting after this swimsuit in brown and this dress in blue. Honey, those would make VERY good mother's day gifts! Hint, hint!
Everyday, literally everyday, Olivia is growing up and learning something new. Miss Erin, the Kindermusik teacher, commented on how social Olivia has become and how she has "come out of her shell." She has. She is crawling all around the Kindermusik room, getting into other moms' laps, touching other babies, grabbing toys and offering them up in hopes of a "Thank you." That is one of her favorite things to do now. She loves to give you something and have you say "Thank you" for it. She smiles every time.
Olivia has had two different teachers this week at school, and has done really well with each. Kalynn wasn't there Tuesday morning for the first hour, and missed today due to a funeral. So, Olivia's social network is expanding, and she is adjusting beautifully. On Tuesday evening we went to my friend's house, and Olivia really took to Susan and her daughter Claire. Of course, she needed Mama's reassurance every now and then, but she did great for the hour plus that we were there and ended up crawling after Claire when she walked out of the room.
Other things Olivia is doing:
Standing on her own for a few seconds at a time. This is so exciting since it is the first step to walking even more than all the cruising on furniture that she does.
Olivia gets the giggles almost every day around dinner time. It is so funny and cute, and fortunate that it is close to bath time since all that laughing while I am trying to feed her often leads to a messy Olivia--oatmeal in her hair, her clothes, and behind her ears!
I've given up on the no-TV-until-2 idea. (Mostly because the baby we had over on Sunday, who is talking, watches TV. So, I can't believe that it hinders language development.) We had been watching a few minutes of Sesame Street a couple of times a week while I cut Olivia's finger nails, but now I am allowing up to 30 minutes of TV a day. I hate the new Sesame Streets, so we are now watching some shows on NickJr --Wonder Pets and Backyardigans. Today we didn't watch any, but I'm finding that it helps for me to turn on the TV and let Olivia play by herself for a few minutes while I put away dishes or fold clothes. I can still see her, but it is teaching her that playing alone is not a punishment. Sometimes she crawls over to me in the kitchen, sometimes she watches the TV (but not for long, she is kind of intermittent with it), sometimes she plays peek-a-boo with me by ducking where I can't see her over the couch, and sometimes she just sits and plays with her toys.
She has discovered taking things out of and putting things back into containers. She does this with her blocks and their tub, the coasters and their wooden holder, and today with her peas and the little snack container I had them in. She is always proud of herself to put them back in.
She really likes music. When I turn the music on in the living room, or wherever, she makes the sign for music, which kind of looks like you are pretending to play the violin.
Olivia is really trying to sign. I think that I can see the sign for music, clean-up, and sometimes more.
Olivia is eating finger foods really well--ham, bread, cheese, spaghetti, all kinds of fruit and veggies. And she is getting better and better at her sippy cup:
She is also playing with Ringo in new ways. They play tug-of-war, and Ringo is impressively gentle with her, but I haven't been able to get it on tape. Here is the closest so far:
I love to dress up my girl. Here is our latest escapade:
We had a play date with someone I met at book club and her daughter who was born a few days before Olivia. Although Olivia is more mobile, that sweet girl is talking!! She can say "banana" and "dog." I heard her say "dog" when her mom prompted her as they were looking at Ringo and Puck. Pretty amazing!
Today when I picked Olivia up, Kaylynn had another story. She and Olivia were playing on the playground with the big kids. Kaylynn had to run and get something, so she handed Olivia to Riley, who was out with her class. This was fine with Olivia. But, when Kaylynn came back and picked up another kid to help her off the slide, Olivia burst into tears. Oh my, oh my.
Tuesday, I ran into the program director on the way out of the church. Kim told me that Olivia had lead her out of the room because Olivia didn't want Kim in there, "in Olivia's domain", were Kim's exact words.
Seriously, this isn't good. I'm not really sure if this is separation anxiety or what. I'm not sure what action to take, though. Am I overreacting? She's just a baby, but should I be doing something to make her not be so jealous and to like more people? Really, taking her to MMO was my fix for her being so clingy to me, but that hasn't really helped. Is this something she grows out of?
The picture is of Olivia playing today. She's my little doll!
Today when I walked into the hall next to Olivia's room at the MMO program, I heard Olivia crying. I picked up my pace. I found her in Kaylynn's arm next to another baby girl. When I asked Kaylynn what was wrong as I picked up Olivia, Kaylynn said that Olivia was just having a little problem sharing attention. The new baby girl, a five-month-old, was just there for today; usually it is just Olivia and the boy her age Hall. Olivia, Kaylynn told me, did not like it when Kaylynn picked up the other baby and would cry to be picked up, too. Kaylynn said, "It's okay. Olivia is just a little diva." Whoops. How did that happen?