Family Time!

15 Oct

Our trip to Pensacola only took an extra 1.5 hours thanks to two blowouts (involving carseat cleaning!) and multiple diaper / nursing stops. We are so glad to see the Meekers and let them spend time loving Miss Olivia! She tried pomelo (giant Vietnamese grapefruit) and LOVED it! ❤ family time…







Nine Months Old

15 Oct

Dear Olivia,

You are nine months old. How is this possible?!


I am amazed at how much you have grown this past month. We just got you a walker…


and you figured out how to use it right away.


For awhile now, you have been walking (with a little assistance!), but you seem to have skipped crawling. You crawl a few steps here and there (mostly to get mama’s flip flops and eat them… no!), but for the most part, you would rather be up on 2 feet!


You still have mama’s blue eyes (and ears!) but you look quite a bit like dada. You babble all the time and “mama” and “walk” are your two favorite words.


You love to be outside. We started running a little more regularly now that it is getting cooler outside. You LOVE the jogging stroller! This makes me happy because I get to exercise and do something I love while spending time with you.



Just this past week, you started clapping. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. You are getting to a stage where you are more and more aware of the world around you and are learning so many new things every day, it is hard to keep up.


You smile when you see people you recognize, and you usually smile at strangers also. You love sitting in the basket when we are out (Target and Publix are favorites!) and watching everything. You are so observant and HAPPY – big smiles all around when we are out! I am still convinced you get bored easily.


You have such a special relationship with your Grandpa Rich. We are so blessed and lucky that he watches you three days a week while I work. He sings and dances for you and can always make you laugh big belly laughs.


I love all your cute little girl clothes, but this was my favorite… baby jeggings. I am in love!


You are, by far, the most amazing, wonderful gift and blessing I could ever hope for. Your big blue eyes, your big gummy smile, your laugh… it is all magic and unicorns and perfection.


Bunny is still a favorite toy. His feet are hard from you spending so much time munching on them! He is soft and cuddly and your constant companion.


You seem to recognize when I am taking a picture of you and you ham it up for the camera.


You are so beautiful, and I get so many compliments on you everywhere I go. Between your gorgeous looks and stellar personality, people are definitely drawn to you! You make so many people so happy just by being you.





You pull up on everything and have really started cruising. You roll around and crawl a bit and try to hold on with just one hand. You are a daredevil and make the most intricate facial expressions. You love being out and about or walking around our house. You are not a fan of diaper changes or having your face and hands washed. You are a great eater and even love your greens (spinach and kale!) just like mama. You are sunshine and roses and everything wonderful, and I am a changed-for-the-better person because of you. Every day with you is better than the last and, even though time is passing far too quickly, I love that you are becoming more engaging with me as you grow older. I can’t say it enough… I am so lucky to be your mother! I love you more than anything and there is nothing I won’t do for you.

All My Love,




Day at the Park (and gelato too!)

11 Oct


Last Sunday we went downtown and introduced Olivia to the joy that is (dairy-free!) gelato… she was a big fan of Strawberry Balsamic. and Mango!



























Baa Baa Black Sheep

30 Sep

I was at Marshall’s the other day perusing the Halloween costumes (since we still can’t decide what Olivia should be… it’s hard with the Florida heat as so many costumes are furry and it cools off to 90 degrees in the evenings…) with Liv sitting in the cart and suddenly… she reached out, grabbed this costume and grinned:

How could I say no??? She was so smily and clearly loving the sheep. Although maybe she just wanted to eat it.

Even in the car on the way home, she was a little fussy, so I pulled Mr. Sheep costume out of the bag and…

smiles all around!

It is, sadly, way too big on her (even though it’s a 9-month size…), so it’s getting returned.

But we got some amazing pictures! Love this little lamb so much.


Eight Months Old

19 Sep

Dear Olivia,

How are you eight months old already?! Yesterday (um… the 10th. I am a little late getting this post up!) was my 29th birthday, and your grandfather told me “I was 29 yesterday.” So true that time just goes faster and faster as you get older.

You become more and more beautiful every day. and funny. and fun. and smart. And every day, I love you more than the day before. We have had such an exciting month! We went to the zoo (and bought annual passes! which is great because it was SUPER hot that day and I want to take you back when “fall” comes, aka just barely cooler weather in November).

You are taking steps (when I hold your hands). I think you may just bypass crawling altogether. But that’s okay, Bunny – you can get where you need to go, and that’s all that is important. You get into crawling position, rock back and forth a few times, then drop to the ground and roll around – it’s hilarious – and get into everything.

I still cannot take you anywhere without multiple people coming over to fawn at your beauty and cuteness. Your big blue eyes and smile are so endearing!

I miss you more and more every day that I work (really, the only time I am ever away from you). I am afraid that there is separation anxiety developing… for me. You are happy around other people – especially your daddy. I have never heard such big belly laughs! You also love animals. Our dog Maki makes you crack up laughing big laughs until you have hiccups. My soul rejoices at the sound of your laughter – never have I heard something more beautiful.

I don’t have any great words of wisdom or specific funny stories this month… just know that I treasure our time together, and I thoroughly enjoy each and every day watching you grow and learn. Nothing makes me happier than being with you and seeing your beautiful smile. Some days I want to just freeze time as you are so small and portable right now. But I am also loving watching you grow into a little girl. I can’t wait to have conversations with you! I truly believe that my purpose on this earth is to be your mother. You are the light of my life Olivia.

Love Mommy


16 Sep


10 Sep

Celery = baby magic. We were out at dinner one night and my genius hubby said “Let’s see if Olivia will gnaw on some celery.” So he ordered some as a side with his wings (usually the celery is my snack!) and…. she loved it! It’s tough enough to make a good teether (we find softer veggies like cucumbers can come apart when she’s gumming them), and interesting enough to keep her occupied for a LONG time! Hooray for celery!

Cranky Pants

13 Aug

This morning, Olivia had a major case of the Mondays… she was definitely in her finest cranky pants. Not quite sure why… she was very fussy when she went to bed last night (gas I think as she burped and spit up several times, and she was fine when my mom got her up to play a little while longer…), and then slept through the night (until about 5:30am) but then… major crying. with tears. real tears. It broke my heart. Of course, she was fine when she was being held or walked around… Sigh. I am torn – I want so badly to call and check on her… but what if she’s still uber-fussy? It will just make the rest of the work day draaaag on. 😦 Hopefully her mood brightens and she’s happy when I get home!

Seven Months Old

13 Aug

Dear Olivia,

How is it possible that my baby girl is already over half a year old? Where did all that time go??? Just this past week your daddy and I went through all your baby clothes. SO TINY! It seems like a lifetime ago that we brought you home from the hospital weighing only 4lb 13 oz, swimming in your preemie clothes. And look at you now:

You are leaning out, for sure – your legs are getting longer (but still nice and chunky thighs!) and your face is getting thinner. Where is all of your baby chub??? You have mastered sitting up


and are trying to pull up, although you usually pick things that aren’t so sturdy (like your farm) and topple over. But that’s okay munchkin – you are learning! You haven’t started crawling quite yet, although I think sometimes you crawl in reverse. (I have yet to catch you in action!). However, you are a champ at getting where you want to go – you roll roll roll, you rock, you move! You are already into everything and not even crawling. Gone are the days when I can set you on the bed or leave the room for a quick second. This delights me as I love watching you grow and learn about the world around you, but it saddens me as my little newborn is growing into a baby that will soon be walking and then in college. sniff, sniff

Your grandpa still baby-sits you three days a week while I work, and I miss your squishy face every second I am away from you. He gets a little frustrated on the days you want to be held all day, but I try to enjoy these moments as everyone says before I know it, you won’t want to be held at all – you will want to be running around, exploring the world on your own.

You give kisses now – sometimes by sucking on my chin or nose (hilarious!), sometimes by slobbering on my cheek. Either way, you seem to understand when I kiss you and say “now kiss mommy!” because you reward me with your slobbery lips and it is the best. thing. ever.

Your daddy still travels a lot for work, but we skype with him when we can and I send him pictures of you every day. He works so hard for our family and is such a great provider, both financially and with his big bear hugs and love. You and him have such fun together – he makes you laugh big belly laughs and my heart melts. There is no greater feeling than spending time with my two favorite people and experiencing the love we have together – it humbles me and fulfills me so much to know that our love made you. You are real, physical proof of love. I want you to know how much you are loved Olivia. Every day I tell you so often, but it never feels like it’s enough. Our family loves you, our friends love you, GOD LOVES YOU… and all this love will never be taken from you. You can never do anything that will make us not love you. You will make mistakes as you grow, of course, and we will help you learn from them. Always with love.

I am still breast-feeding you / pumping at work, and it has been such a great bonding experience for us. I am happy to give you the nurturing and nutritious milk, and you are more than happy to drink it! The oxytocin must be powerful, because every time I nurse you, I feel a new surge of love and dedication to you. Even though you love your milk… we have started solids! Usually I feed you once a day, in the evening around dinner time, but sometimes we will have a snack together earlier in the day. So far you have sampled:

  • sweet potato
  • banana
  • avocado
  • rice cereal (you are not really a fan of this and it makes you spit up)
  • green peas
  • green smoothie (that you greedily snatched from mama!)
  • carrot
  • applesauce (homemade by Nonna!)

Next up… maybe mango? or nectarine? or plum? Something sweet and delicious! You are a good eater and always want to hold the spoon yourself :). So independent! You like the high chair okay but are not really a fan of the tray. You look so small in your high chair:

You are also not really a fan of the bib. That’s okay – we always need a bath after meal time anyway!

Speaking of bath time… you LOVE bath time and now that you can sit up on your own, you have a great time splashing and grabbing for toys. We still have bath time together and it is one of my favorite activities with you. You are super cute in your hooded towels:


(Daddy especially loves this look on you!)

You are getting more patient as you get older and will allow me to read you books. You also like to play on your computer and Mama’s kindle. Playing with your farm always makes you smile – and you know how to make all the sounds on your own! You LOVE animals and they make you laugh big belly laughs – especially your grandparent’s dog Lucy and our dog Maki.

Maki does tricks and it makes you crack up laughing!

I am trying to be so conscious of my every action and word, so that I can influence you with the best parts of me. You are inspiring me to be a better person and focus on the present moment. We pray together every day and I hope this is a habit you will come to love as you understand it’s meaning.

Olivia, we are blessed beyond words to have you as our daughter. I am so lucky to be your mother, and every day I love you more and more.

Love Mama

Growing up

1 Aug

Olivia is growing up SO FAST…. everyone says they change so much every day and this is so very true. Each day brings so many new skills and the baby in her seems to fade a little every day. It makes me sad to think that my BABY is growing up, but it is also the most amazing thing to watch her learn about the world around her. Today when I got home from work she was KISSING ME! big, slobbery, sucking-on-my-face-and-chin kisses (at least that is what I think they were). A few times in the past, Olivia has given me the open-mouth kiss on the cheek, but these were the real deal (I am hoping). Cutest thing ever. She also has been enjoying her doorway jumper and rainforest jumperoo SO MUCH. I got in a 30-minute legs and abs workout while she jumped in the Jumperoo yesterday! And the doorway jumper will keep her occupied for an hour. Just a month ago, barely 10 minutes in either and she was done. Oliv’s eyes are still blue blue blue and she has been LAUGHING lately – big belly laughs. Especially at Maki running around. It makes my heart swell with joy to hear that magical sound. SO AWESOME. I love the new face she makes where she hides her pouty lower lip (see below). so funny! Last night my girl slept from 7pm – 8:30am without waking up. This was epic. I slept in until 7:30 am (!?!) and got up, did yoga, drank coffee… relaxed. It was fabulous except I had hardly any time to play with Olivia. When I got home from work, I nursed her around 6:05pm (hungry monkey!) and she fell asleep. I put her down in the pack-and-play and haven’t heard a peep since (over 3 hours ago). Lots of sleep. Lots of eating (milk). Lots of growing! Solids are going okay. So far we have tried: sweet potato, rice cereal, banana, peas, carrot. She tends to like something the first time, then isn’t really interested in it. We use the mesh feeder which keeps her occupied for a long time, but they are a pain to clean. Spoon-feeding doesn’t really work as she wants to feed herself, either with the spoon or with her hand. So, we are working on it. It is hilarious to watch her try new food… lots of great faces. My girl just amazes me more and more with each passing day. She has such a defined personality already. I think she is always trying to dance – in the jumper, in the carseat, when she is on the floor. Always moving. She can sit up completely unassisted now (just a development in the past few weeks!). Every day is so new and different and exciting and I am loving every minute (even the messy ones 🙂