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!

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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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Life Lately…

24 Jul

Life lately: teething (?), lots of drool, laughing with Dada, living in diapers (too hot for clothes!), family time, clingy baby, finally napping for Mama, sweet potatoes and rice cereal, water in a sippy cupImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage… my girl is growing up SO fast and changing SO much each and every day… love my little Oliv so very much. 

Baptized

13 Jul

Olivia was baptized this past Saturday, July 7, 2012 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Our entire immediate family plus the Geigers (Jay is her godfather) were in town to celebrate! Naturally, my little girl had a party dress for the day:

and a baptismal gown for the evening. It was made by my grandmother and worn by all my cousins, so it made the day extra-special.

During the day, we hung out at the house with family and friends. Bonding time with Jay:

The ceremony went great and Olivia didn’t cry for about the first half of mass (until after the baptism).

Then she got a little squirmy, so Rich took her back to the nursery. We did have a small incident earlier in the day where she fell off the couch (my fault…. they move SO quickly! one roll and boom. not my finest mommy moment), but she had more than recovered by the time of the baptism. She was so smily and happy and truly the life of the party. Father Bob Gangalou performed the baptism, and Olivia was more than happy to be near him.

The people of St. Paul’s are really so kind and interested and lovely.

We are so blessed to have family that are friends and friends that are family.

So blessed that Olivia will grow up swimming in the love of so many people…

Six Months Old

12 Jul

Dear Olivia,

HOW is this possible that you are already six months old? Where is the time going? You already look so different from the day you were born. Less of a baby and more of a little person.

I was going to wait until this weekend to start you on solids, but you have been so ready for weeks now, grabbing at my plate, grabbing at my hand when it holds food, staring at everyone eating and moving your own little mouth. We were sitting at the table tonight with your grandparents and aunt, and I had you in your high chair with a toy. But you wanted food! SO I gave you some of my sweet potato to try and… YOU LOVED IT!

It was awesome. More definitely made it IN you than on you, surprisingly, but you really really enjoyed it.

Your expression said “Finally! This is what I’ve been waiting for.” I am so excited to experience all the “firsts” we have coming up. We are still exclusively breast-feeding and I am pumping at work. It is a lot of work, but seeing how well you are growing and those chunky little thighs makes it all worth it.

You are ready to crawl any day now, constantly moving your arms and knees on the floor, but not quite in unison yet. You’ll get there little bunny and before we know it, you’ll be walking and running and dancing.

You are such a beautiful baby and I can’t go anywhere without people coming up to me and commenting on what a gorgeous child you are. Your eyes get bluer and bluer everyday and we are still hoping they stay that way. Your hair is growing in but not quite long enough for bows and barrettes yet. We’ll get there soon!

I still cloth diaper you at home and I think your fluffy cloth diaper butt is the cutest thing ever.

You are dressed in long sleeves and pants (despite the Florida heat) because your nursery is tiny and gets freezing cold and it makes me sad for you to wake up with cold feet.

You still LOVE to eat your hands…

and bathtime is always a favorite. We still take baths together and have such a good time, especially as you are now almost able to sit up on your own.

With just a little help, you can do it!

I feel like you are changing and growing so much every day. I am still only working 3 days a week, but those days seem longer and longer… it breaks my heart to be away from you at all, even when you are sleeping. So many times your daddy and I are downstairs with the monitor, watching you sleep, and we want to go wake you up to play because you are just so cute and so much fun. You are truly a gift from God and I am so grateful He has allowed me to be your mama.

You love music and singing and have started blowing raspberries. You have still only giggled a handful of times, but every time it is the most amazing sound. These past few days have been full of a few epic blowouts, but your sweet smile and happiness takes the frustration out of those incidents. You were sleeping through the night (about 7pm – 7am) for well over a month and then the past few weeks you have been up every night, usually several times a night, HUNGRY. Last night, you slept through again, so I am hoping we are back in the swing of things.

Each day with you is such a blessing, Olivia. I really feel like my life is complete now that I have you. My heart and soul overflow with joy just being in the same room as you. Now that you are getting older, I have so much fun playing with you and taking you places. Your smile brings such joy to so many people. You and I are becoming so attached to each other, and if I leave the room, you look around for me. This is amazing in the sense that I feel we are so connected, but it also saddens me because we cannot be together every second of the day. You are the light of my life and my love for you will only grow stronger as time goes on.

I love you,

Mama

5 Months

14 Jun

Dear Olivia,

How are you five months old already? Time is FLYING by… They aren’t lying when they say kids grow up in the blink of an eye.

Likes: singing songs (“This Old Man” is your favorite!), playtime, being out and about (I still think you get bored easily when we’re at home), toys (DeDe the dragon, your tiger, Sophie), chewing (on your hands, my hands, your toys… anything really), being naked, the water (bath, pool, ocean!), walks, being held

Dislikes: having your face washed, stopping at red lights (you HATE this!!!)

Since I read “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby” and we’ve been putting you to bed early (by 7pm!) and just like the book said, there is no crying, no fussing… just you, sleeping peacefully. This is really hard on days I work and I only get an hour of playtime with you before we begin our nightly routine (bath, diaper and nightgown, nursing), but you are SO HAPPY when you wake up, and I know it is best for you.

We drove to Spartanburg, SC, last weekend for Dave & Pam’s wedding and you were SO GOOD in the car. There was a little fussing towards the end of both the trip there and the trip home, but I was impressed! Daddy and I even mastered diaper changes in the car as it was pouring rain most of the trip. We even dealt with a few blowouts 🙂

You have now laughed at 3 separate occasions (once in South Carolina when I was tickling you) and you rolled over AGAIN today (that makes 4 times!). Every day you surprise and amaze me and I am so very blessed that God has allowed me to be your mother. What can I say except I LOVE YOU and that love just grows and grows and grows every day.

Love, Mama