Monday, December 5, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: It's almost like having a puppy...

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Olivia is in what I call the "Puppy Dog" phase. Let me explain.

She's been into picking anything up off the floor, carpet lint, dog hair... questionable crumbs.... and sticking it into her mouth to eat. Sometimes she will look around for me to see if I'm watching her before frantically shoveling whatever disgusting thing she found into her mouth. Bonus points if she succeeds in actually swallowing it since, well, have you ever tried to pry open the mouth out of an unwilling baby to remove something? Do you realize how many nooks and crevices are in there?

I swear I can't walk away from her for a second without coming back to find her chewing thoughtfully like a cow chews cud. It's gross.

Every day I discover more and more things to baby proof and prevent, but every day she bests me.

Keep her away from the dog food so she can't choke? No problem.
Keep device cords up out of her reach so she doesn't electrocute herself? Check.
Break food up into little pieces so they are easier to chew, and to throw on the floor? Double Check.

You get where I'm coming from. But seriously. I thought I kept relatively clean floors. At least since Olivia started crawling. Before that I have let slide all the dust bunnies on the floor. Ok fine, maybe they were more like dust German Shepherds, but still, I'm so much more conscious of that now and make sure to fully sweep and vacuum at least once a week. Apparently that's not good enough. In my defense, I can't quite figure out the mode on our vacuum that will make the bristles dig deeper into the carpet to pick up more crap Olivia can stick in her mouth. 
(I could read the instructions on the vacuum, but I can't find them. Perhaps Olivia ate them? Like she tries to eat everything else, I'm sure she could shove an entire owners manual into her mouth.)

In related news, her crib has also been feeling her puppy tenancies. After making a shocking discovery that she has been not just gnawing, but literally chewing pieces off her crib (and probably swallowing them) when she's in there for naps and early mornings, Chris and I looked into crib rail protectors. After refusing to spend the $70 for the gummy ones, we ordered these cloth ones that tie off Amazon. Now maybe the gummy ones wouldn't have stretched the length of the crib either, but it was looking like a giant waste of money. She learned to push them back, exposing the tasty underbelly of the crib, and proceeded to gnaw her way into blissful oblivion. Gross. All those swallowed splinters couldn't be good for her.

Mama, can I haz some more tasty crib splinters?
It was Chris who had the bright idea to tie flour sack cloths to both corners, making it virtually impossible to untie with tiny baby fingers. Even when they are attached to an increasingly smart baby.

Since then, we've had no more issues. She tries though. I'll watch her on the monitor, her face smashed into the crib rail, desperately gnawing on the four sacks. To no avail.

And boom goes the dynamite.
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts by clicking here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

I hope Olivia brought her Thanksgiving pants

Last Thanksgiving, Olivia was a bit too young to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, she was just 8 days old. I was overly-hormonal, exhausted, and in pain from my C-section. But so happy. So very, very happy.

Ironically, I have no pictures of Chris and I with Olivia... must have been the sleep deprivation that prevented me from going, "Oh hey! Can you take one of the three of us??"

But of course in my (probable) sleep deprivation this year, I didn't get a four-generation picture either.

I look forward to this meal every year. My mom makes incredible carrots, mashed potatoes and stuffing. The turkey is heavenly. Olivia had no idea what she was missing last year.

Until now.

The stuffing and mashed potatoes were her favorite. Figures. In fact, she had seconds on stuffing. She loved it. LOVED. IT. I didn't get more pictures of her eating, because, well, Thanksgiving dinner. But trust me, Girlfriend was satisfied.

Olivia's cousin joined her this year, and he probably was a bit jealous that he didn't get any.


The next day (Mama chose sleep over Black Friday shopping), we went with my parents and my sister, her boyfriend and their baby to the Macy's 8th floor Christmas show.

I used to go every year when they changed the show yearly, but the last... six years? or so, it's been the same generic Christmas show, so we stopped going. It was good timing because we just found out Macy's in Minneapolis will be closing next year. So looks like Olivia got in one show. Ironic, because this was another experience I wanted to have with my child.

Ignore my weird smile. This was literally the only picture she was looking at the camera in.

Olivia was fascinated with the lights and movements. She just stared the whole time, turning her head this way and that at everything going on.

After the show, we bought gingerbread cookies and Olivia tried one for the first time.

She was a trooper. Afterward, we all went to Acapulco and Olivia got in a 40 minute nap in the car. She got her very first kids meal: a quesadilla and Mexican rice, which kept her from screaming for a good 25 minutes. (Another sentimental moment I wish I would have taken a picture of.)

Chris was off for six days so we got in some good quality family time (and got some much needed projects done, including hanging up the canvases for the photo wall in our bedroom). Olivia loved the quality time with her daddy. The only thing we didn't do was--GASP-- put up the Christmas tree. We are promising ourselves this coming weekend we will do it. It's just going to be massively child-proofed.

Because of, well, you know. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Miss November (Olivia's first birthday party)

She's one, you guys. I blinked and she's one. And we celebrated her first birthday and she did so GREAT.

(Sorry about the photo dump. Just kidding. I regret nothing.)

If you haven't seen it, here is my letter I wrote to her via that I am keeping for her: To My Daughter, On The Eve Of Her First Birthday

I have to preface this with the evening before when my friend Meagan came over with her two girls to drop off her birthday present. Since I like to be all gushy with her "firsts" I had to include her very first birthday card and present.

It was a Little Peoples tractor, which she loved. I wasn't sure how interested she would be in opening presents, but she totally understood the concept. It's so amazing to see her now old enough to be excited about opening gifts.

Chris took her birthday off and the plan was to get out and do something fun, the three of us. But the weather had other plans in that we had a raging blizzard all that day so we hung out at home.

I bought cinnamon rolls for breakfast, but Birthday Girl had to make do with some peanut butter toast. ;)

Perfecting her stink eye
She perked up a bit when she got her first piece of mail that wasn't insurance related. :) A birthday card from her great grandparents.

After her morning nap, she opened her presents from us. I can't get enough of her enthusiasm for gift-opening.

She got her very first baby doll from her Daddy. She loves playing with the dolls in ECFE, so we knew she'd love her own. It's been one of her favorite presents.

She tried her first crock pot roast for dinner, and then her grandparents came over briefly Saturday night to give her their gift: A rocking giraffe.

After playing with all her toys (frantically) all day Saturday, she passed out for the night. Chris and I continued our mad prepping for her birthday party the next day.

We were all up at 7:30 a.m. Sunday (someone decided she wanted to spend the early morning hours in bed with us) and then chopped lettuce and mixed fruit and packed up the car while she got in an hour nap. I didn't even have time for some pictures at home of her since we dashed out of the house to get to the party room by noon, since we were only allowed to get in the building a half hour before the party started.

Olivia waited around with her auntie for her party guests to arrive while the rest of us (Chris's parents and siblings, my parents and best friend) raced around setting up.

Mass chaos. Will. Never. Do. This. Again.

On the drive over, I prayed not to let my anxiety get in the way of being present for her party. To celebrate her. Because that is the most important thing. But... it was still crazy. I felt like I was running around with my head cut off directing people on set up and trying to get everything good to go before the guests arrived.

Once people started arriving, I calmed down some.  Some. :) I'm not a natural host and even though it was 90% family, hosting a party for 65 people is.. a lot for me.

We served tacos in a bag, a pasta salad and fruit. It was definitely the way to go and every one liked it. :)

My friend Amanda decorated her cakes, which turned out fabulous.

Her little outfit was made by non other than her Texas auntie Celina.

We sang "Happy Birthday" to her after everyone was served cake. I had gotten her a little vanilla cupcake with pink whipped icing from this little local shop the night before and it was just perfect for her.

We lit up her little candle and everyone started singing and I looked at her looking around in confusion at them all and I just had to hold back tears.

Oh the feels! I say this all the time, but I'm so thankful. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to experience that day after so much loss and heartache. So very thankful to be standing in that room next to my daughter, with my husband holding the candle, singing a song that I never thought I would sing to my baby.

She loved her cupcake. She was so dainty eating it, delicately licking the frosting off her fingers.

After that we had a photo shoot with her family and friends.

Finally... it was present time. She was overly tired. She was over-stimulated. But dang it if that baby didn't suck it up to open her gifts.

She got kind of snarly toward the end so I took her into an empty room to nurse and she seemed to do better after that. I was immensely grateful to our families and my friend Mel for staying after and cleaning everything up. We hauled everything back to the house and tried to get her to nap, but that didn't work out so well (read: she screamed in her crib for 40 min before we gave up and brought her back out to play with her toys again). She did actually go down for the night better than we thought, because it was such a stimulating day for her.

And we made it. We pulled it off and we're eating tacos in a bag as leftovers for awhile. She loves her toys. She got two more baby dolls, books, clothes, stuffed animals and, well, of course, toys. Lots of toys. 

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