Monday, May 30, 2011

Olivia's first beach trip!

Throughout my dad's childhood, his parents took him to Panama City Beach for vacation. Throughout my childhood, Dad took us kids to Panama City Beach, often with his parents, sister, and my cousins, for vacation. This weekend was the first time Olivia was part of the bunch--this time with my parents, my older brother, Wilson, his wife Beki, their four kids, my older sister Stephanie, her husband Brandon, and their two kids. We had so much fun! Honestly, I don't have a lot of pictures because we were too busy doing fun things! Nicholas went deep sea fishing for the first time. Wilson and his son Chris went, too, and they caught quite a bit--enough for us to bring home a cooler full of fresh fish. The kids went riding on a banana boat (a float behind a jet ski), and Stephanie, Brandon, and I went kayaking. We went out to eat together each night, and beached it during the day. It was such a good visit! I miss getting to see my siblings and I hate missing my nieces and nephews grow up. This was a great trip! Here are some pictures that I took (hopefully, Mom, Steph, and Beki will have more to share with me later):


Craig and Abby on their first morning on the beach.





Steph holding Olivia and Abby striking a pose for the picture.



Abby did not mind the sand! Olivia ended up loving the ocean when I took her in swimming with me. She also loved the baby pool where she could walk around in her float, using it like a walker. (I'm hoping Mom has a picture of that!)



Olivia's cousin Christopher held her while her other cousin Madeline held her brother Jackson. So cute! (Olivia used her pac quite a bit on this trip since we were off her napping and sleeping schedule quite a bit.)



On the last night, Olivia tried and LOVED sauted crab claws. She ate twelve of them! I was impressed!



The first dip!



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We want Daddy!

I am SO excited for Nicholas to come home! I miss him, Olivia misses him, and the dogs miss him. He's already on the plane, but we won't see him until tomorrow. I wish I would have gotten this uploaded in time for Nicholas to see it before he boarded, but it's cute, so here is a little video where it sounds like Olivia says, "I want Dada."



Olivia is continuing on the road to recovery, but she still isn't there. She only ate carbs today--crackers and Cheerios. My guess is that anything with any acidity hurts the rash on her throat. I am hoping my giving in to her carb desires isn't going to be a problem after she gets better, and that she starts eating meat, fruit, and veggies again soon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 4: Feeling better

Olivia slept through the night last night. She made some noises and I went into check at 12 and 3, but she didn't wake up and didn't take a bottle during the night. That's amazing when she feels good, but even more amazing when she is sick. She is feeling quite a lot better today. Not 100%, but better. It helps if I keep giving her Motrin every 6 hours, per the advice from her pediatrician today.

I didn't take Olivia for a walk this morning because I wanted to give her a day off to rest since the past two days have been so hard for her. The walks are hot even at 6:30, and I didn't think it would be comfortable with her rash, which was worse today. She was not as active as usual, but not as lethargic as Saturday and Sunday. She wouldn't eat (and still hasn't all day, except for about 10 blueberries and 3 animal crackers), but she is taking milk, water, and juice. At 8:30 this morning, Olivia's pediatrician's office called and wanted to see her today for a follow-up. I scheduled for 2 o'clock. In the mean time Olivia took an hour and a half nap from 9:30-11, which gave me time to cook for our friends' surprise 30th anniversary party. (I made this mac and cheese, and it was great! Plus fruit and veggie trays, which you see in the background of the next picture where Olivia is playing in her wagon while I am finishing up.) Olivia was mostly happy today, still a little more clingly than usual, and was using her pacifier quite a bit more than usual. She uses it for comfort, so I knew she wasn't feeling great. Even though her rash was worse today, she was fever free since yesterday.



After Dr. Roberts looked Olivia over, Dr. Roberts said she was confident this was a viral rash and she had seen three kids with the same thing today. The treatment: push fluids, give Motrin for pain (and it is painful since the rash extends to the inside of Olivia's throat, which makes it difficult to swallow--thus the drooling and not eating), and allow her to eat anything she will take. Dr. Roberts said when Olivia is fever free 24 hours, she is not contagious, so she can be around other people. Dr. Roberts also said to stop the oral antibiotics since I had only given her one dose so far and since they were totally unnecessary. The rash may last a week, but sunscreen is still okay to apply. (My question since we are outside a lot, and since we are going to Panama City over Memorial Day weekend.)

So, after all that, a nap, and a short dog walk, Olivia and I went to our neighbor's surprise anniversary party. She was in her element. She crawled after the little boys, pointed at the footballs the big boys were playing with, and squealed at the little girls and women. One little boy, Joe, particularly liked Olivia since every time he rolled or threw something to her, she gave it right back. She likes to share. I said to Joe, "You're a good sharer." He said, "She is, too. Her's cute." Haha! Here is a little video (staged) of them playing. It was even more cute when they were spontaneously playing!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 3 of Daddy being away

Today was a little rough. Olivia woke up several times during the night after I had gone to bed late. She was again pretty clingly, grumpy, tired, feverish, and didn't want to eat. She took two 35 minute naps before noon. Both the number and the length are unusual for her. She's taking one to two longer naps these days. After her second nap, I changed her shirt because of all the drool she was having today. She was broken out in a rash all over her body--chest, back, arms, legs, and diaper area. I called a nurse I know down the road, and she said it could probably wait on a doctor's visit until tomorrow. Olivia grew more listless, and I called Mom. She thought I should give Olivia's doctor's office a call and see what the nurse on call says. That nurse said get to the ER or urgent care center. I went to the urgent care center, even though I knew they didn't have a pediatrician there. I figured there would be less of a wait. We were in in less than 30 minutes. After seeing the rash and Olivia's swollen, puss-filled throat, the doctor thought it was strep. (No wonder she was drooling; it hurts to swallow.) It wasn't, fortunately, but it they treated it with an antibiotic shot and more antibiotics. That was about 2:30 in the afternoon. By about six o'clock, Olivia acted like she had had a vitamin B12 shot and wanted to play, scream, walk (with me holding her hands), and crawl. I put her to bed with a little protest at seven and she is sleeping now. I'm exhausted. I am going to try to get my house work and work work done by 10. That is probably impossible.

Here are some pictures of my sick girl and her rash. Poor little thing...



Saturday, May 21, 2011

For Daddy

Since Nicholas is in Hawaii, I am trying to post everyday so that he doesn't miss his girl too much. (His girl being Olivia, of course!)

Today, Olivia woke up not feeling too well. I knew she wasn't feeling well because she was pretty clingy to me and didn't want to do the things she normally likes to do--play, walk, and babble. We went for our normal walk at about seven with our friend Sylvia. Here is Olivia eating the peaches Sylvia gave us from Chilton County along with her cereal, which she now insists on eating like I do--with a spoon, by herself, with milk on her Cheerios.




A VERY short video, since I apparently didn't know I was filming:



Turned out Olivia had a fever (not high--101) and took three, count 'em, three naps today. She went to bed tonight at 5:30 and I followed suit. She woke up two hours later hungry since she wouldn't take her milk before bed. I'm hoping she sleeps okay for the rest of the night.

I wasn't feeling too well today, either, and I went to sleep around six. I felt quite a bit better after that little nap, and am working now. Oh, a mother's work is never done...and neither is my work for my boss!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A day in the sun

Olivia and I have been going up to the pool in our neighborhood, the park with the fountains, and today, to our front yard baby pool! Olivia loved it! Steph, I think this is Abby's old bathing suit! It's so cute!







On Thursday, when I picked Olivia up from MMO, she was crying and very upset. They said she just didn't have a good day and would not take a nap. She didn't eat much, either. So, on our way home, for the first time ever, I got Olivia a happy meal. She LOVED the chicken nuggets and thought the fries were okay. She ate that and then took a two hour nap and woke up much happier!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fun days at home

Some people might wonder how Olivia and I fill our days. Honestly, it's not very hard. There is always something to clean or cook. There is always some errand to run. There is always a nap or a walk to be taken. There are books to read and music to dance to. But, my favorite is just getting to play with Olivia. Today, I was folding up our outdoor blanket when Olivia jumped on and Ringo started pulling. We had so much fun!

The long awaited back yard post

I am finally doing a post on the back yard improvements that Grandpa Bill helped with while he was down in April. Just to refresh everyone's memory, this is what the backyard beds looked like when they were a year old in October of 2009:



Since I did nothing last summer due to having a newborn, the beds were overgrown in spots and bare in spots where the dogs had dug up or peed on the plants. Nicholas suggested putting in landscape timbers to make a raised bed, and Nicholas's dad, Bill, actually did most of the work. When they were finished, the beds looked like this:





I already posted that I put three yards of garden soil on my garden and the raised beds. Then I planted everything, transplanting some plants from other beds in our yard, and planting my garden from seed, except for the tomatoes, which I got in four packs of seedlings. Then I put four yards of mulch on the front and back beds. Here is the result of the raised beds, which will be perennial gardens. The only plants I re-used in these beds were the three hostas. The small plants on the far ends are yellow sweet broom bushes. Everything will get bigger as they get established, so even though the beds don't look full now, give them a year or two and they will.




That straggly looking plant in each bed is a purple lily bush that I transplanted from behind the river birches in our side bed. This is what the other two that remain in that bed look like and what those straggly looking plants should look like next year, I hope. They were extremely difficult to dig up and move. I really hope they make it. I am also concerned about them because Puck and Ringo seem to mark there since they are the tallest right now.



And here is the result of the side garden. In the fence is zuccinni, yellow squash, and cucumbers, with pole beans climbing the fence. Then we have two different types of tomatoes (six plants total), with herbs in the negative space in the zig-zag pattern. Not all of those came up because we had a big storm (not the tornado one) in mid-April that washed seeds away the night after I planted them. Then there are some hot peppers starting, bush beans, and zinnias for Olivia to pick. I am going to re-plant some of the herbs with seedlings from Lowes and I am going to add more flowers--maybe dahlias.








Olivia helped me pull weeds in the garden over the weekend and she had such a good time. She got SO dirty! I'm excited that she is able to be outside more and more--crawling around and playing with the leaves and the dogs. I'm looking forward to a great summer with my girl!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Olivia's busy life

Olivia's vocabulary is expanding as she tries out new words. She really tries to say a lot! She's been working on "yellow", "bad dog", "bubble", "water", and "balloon". She says "mama", "dada", "dog", "ball", and "apple". Here are couple of videos where I don't capture her saying "bubble", but she is certainly trying.





This Saturday, Olivia went to her friend, Anna's birthday party. (She's the daughter of my friend Amanda, from work.) It was awesome! Better than Olivia's by far because they had a music theme and made little drums from plastic food storage containers and sticks with weather stripping on the end. They also had hats, which Olivia decided she liked after I tried to take her picture! Here are some pictures from the event:




Olivia's walking is really developing, too. We went to the library the other day and she only wanted me to hold on to her hands and have her walk. She could even do it with only holding onto one of my hands, which I thought was especially sweet since it looked like I was just holding her hand. I expect steps in the next month at the latest. (That's a prediction, not a threat! It's okay with me if she doesn't walk for longer than that!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Olivia's first week as a one-year old

Monday, Olivia had her one-year check-up. Here are the stats: 23 lbs, 6 ounces (75 percentile), 31.5 inches long (95 percentile), 19 inch head (I don't know about the percentile on that one.). Dr. Roberts did not hear a heart murmur, so that is positive. We are to wean totally from a bottle in the next month or so. Right now, Olivia takes a bottle (of whole milk) before bed and one during the night. She takes cups during the day. Dr. Roberts said to start trying water for that early morning feeding to see if Olivia is actually hungry or if she is just using it for comfort. I'm hoping we can get rid of that feeding, as I am ready to sleep through the night even if Olivia's not!

My girl gets more adventurous every day. And she is hard to get a picture of because she is always on the move....


In her pretty green dress from Amanda, Luis, and Lucas



Sorting her blocks in the bathroom



Getting into a drawer she knows she shouldn't (baby-proofing continues...)



Standing up and getting into another drawer she shouldn't. She reminds me of Lucy from Charlie Brown in this picture.



She won't hold still for a surfer girl picture before our swim playdate with two sweet girls down the street.




And because she is always trying to get out of her big inflatable duck tub, we tried the big tub today.



It was okay...



But change is hard, even on a girl changing so much! (She was climbing into my lap to get out of the tub. She had had enough even though I hadn't rinsed her hair yet.)



Saturday, May 7, 2011

Olivia's first birthday party!

It was a big week getting everything ready for this party...and then 21 people canceled at the last minute. That's okay! We had 15 people in and out, LOTS of food, a beautiful cake, and the sweetest baby in the world!


A birthday mantel



More decorating!



The beautiful and delicious cake, which we will be eating for a long time!



Daddy holding Olivia watching the bubble machine:



Max, Claire, and Lilly playing with the bubbles:



A look at the bubbles:



Cake time was hectic, so this is the only video:



Olivia's 1-year old today!


Happy Birthday, Olivia!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My adjusted baby, learning, and the Daddy-daughter dance

A church in town is doing free child care if you volunteer to serve the victims of the tornado. Today, I took Olivia for a few hours while I worked at the Temporary Emergency Services building helping to sort the plethora of donated clothes. I was worried about Olivia the whole time I was gone. Olivia, however, didn't seem to mind getting to play with other kids and enjoy a new setting. They said she didn't cry at all, and just talked, crawled, and endeared herself to everyone. My baby is becoming so adjusted! Love that! This is the picture of her with the sticker identifying her as mine (I promise there were not 419 kids there. I checked it out first, and she was in an infant room with maybe five others and two caregivers.):



Olivia is learning SO much everyday. She understands a lot! When I say, "Put the block in the tub," she does, usually. She also understands "out"--as in "take the block out of the tub", "bounce", "music", and "clap", as seen in the next video:



She loves to give people things and have them say, "Thank you." She tries to hide and surprise me when I say, "Where is Olivia?" And, in the past few days, "Mama" is back in her vocabulary, as is "dog". We think we hear other words, too, but don't want to count them until they stay for about a week.

This weekend when Nicholas was working on putting drawers in the bookcases, he and Olivia danced around the room. It was so cute!!