Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Our Sweet Carmen

Dear Olive,

I want to tell you just a little bit here, about your Godmother Carmen. You probably won't remember her, but you enjoyed being with her during the time you got to spend with her.

I loved Carmen, and her whole family, from the moment I met them. Some years later, she moved to Hawaii. She always wanted to be a Hawaiian princess, so why not? I would visit whenever I could, but I was so jealous of all the good times she was having out there without me, and I would of course tell her so, and she'd always remind me that she loved me. That's just how she was, you didn't need to pry love out of Carmen like you need to pry it out of some people.

Recently, she wanted a change of pace, and to get out of Hawaii for a bit. She asked if she could live with us, and it was a no brainer. I set her up in your room with you because it's the larger room, and I told her I just couldn't deal with bringing you in my room because you'd never go back to yours once she left. You got to sleep on an air mattress and you generously gave up your bed for Carmen, I was actually so happy you did not mind, you know you are quite the feisty one at times when your routine is interrupted. But you're also 3, so it's not like I was going to let you lounge around in a double bed when Carmen was here.

Pic Carmen took of you sleeping
Haha I want to write these funny things down while I remember them- Once, in the middle of the night a couple weeks after Carmen arrived, you came in my room and said very sleepily and very cautiously, "Something's making noise in my room!!!" I said, "Oh it's just Carmen, Olive, she's just snoring." And I put you back to bed. Sometimes you would even get up in the night and go in bed with her. Carmen said it was because she didn't want you to come wake me up all night, and I told her I felt bad and I was sorry you were doing that... but you know what? She said she liked it, and you reminded her of her baby Huggy Bear, her most beloved pup when you cuddled with her.

She'd help you into your frilly fancy princess dresses and even let you out of the house in them, lucky girl. I have a funny video she took of you in Soup Plantation while you were eating sprinkles off your fingers. She was cracking up and she said, "You have to look at the end." It's nothing thrilling, but I just wanted to save it. I have a few other funny videos, one where she was showing you Disney Princess songs on YouTube.

Every time you heard keys in the hallway you'd leap up and exclaim, "Carmen's back!! Is that Carmen??" and you just frankly adored her. Haha I was also laughing to myself that she had no issues telling you when you were being ridiculous, or to stop whining, right from the start. True family.

Carmen was one of those people who didn't have to pass away for you to suddenly remember all the good things about her. In fact, I don't think there is a person out there who knew her who didn't have the exact same loving things to say about her when she was with us here on earth, as they would after she left us.

She was joyful to be around, and she loved (almost) everyone. She always called me out when I was being mean to someone... If I didn't like what some girl was wearing she would inevitably say, "Awww, I think she's cute..." and so it would go- all. the. time.

Carmen said that I was a part of her. I knew it was true, I knew it was always there. But I didn't fully grasp that until recently...until it stops my breath short and my chest closes up. The person I am today, and have been for the past 15 years is directly correlated with her. I hope I can become a better person going forward in my life, when I think about the way she treated me, and others, so lovingly. I hope we can talk and tell stories about her love throughout your life, because the impression Carmen left on the world and the people in it is the way I should hope we leave it too, which will be hard to do. The world was a better place because she was in it. There really just is nobody else like her.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

3 months 'til 3

Dear Olive,

Tonight I was going through your clothes, packing away the things that have gotten too small. I do this a lot, it's nothing new. But for some reason tonight it felt so sad. There were all these clothes that used to look so huge, and now they look tiny. When did THAT happen?

There was a little pink fleece jacket we bought you once when we went out to SeaPort Village when you were a baby. We forgot to bring you a jacket and it was so cold, so of course I was grumbling that I had to buy an expensive San Diego touristy zip up for you. I bought it extra big so you'd get good use out of it. I tried it on you tonight, thinking it would still fit... hoping maybe. The sleeves did not even come close to reaching your wrists. Well, I guess that was quite a long time ago anyway. Away it went in the box.

There's so many other "baby" things you don't need anymore that I've been packing away too. The piano we were so exited to buy you that you don't play with now (until I put it in the closet of course.) Wasn't that just yesterday we stood in line on black friday for that thing? Tonight I turned your changing table into a normal dresser. I mean, it was always a dresser anyway, with a pad on top, but I thought to myself, "We really don't need this anymore, might as well put it away." The dresser looked so bare.

As I was going through the motions, I felt like you were gone, but you were right on the ground next to me playing. I guess in a way, all of what I remember you as so far, as a baby, is gone. What remains is something new, someone new, with new thoughts and words and expressions. I've always sort of felt that way about myself too. I look at baby pictures of me, and even many childhood ones, and I think, "Who was that person?" I don't remember her, I was never her... it's hard to imagine that little one year old toddling around was me. When I see baby pictures of myself I feel no connection to them at all, other than thinking how cute I looked of course. I mean, who doesn't think that way about their baby pictures? ;) But when I see them, I feel no closer to that person than I do any other stranger. I guess that's what happens to us all. You've left behind the baby you once were, in fact there's hardly any sign of her left.

There's less than three months left until you are three. Technically you won't even be considered a toddler anymore. I guess this is why I still enjoy that time at the end of the day that I've enjoyed since you were a tiny baby. Right before I put you to bed, you let me hold you as long as I want. You don't care about wriggling around, you don't even care about talking or making noise. You just be. You let me just hold you and just be. And it reminds me of the baby who used to do the same. I wonder how long you'll let me do this for. No matter how much I have to do once I leave your room, I try to stay in that moment, being with you.

Me as a flower girl. Me?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

You Is...

Dear Olive,

I just finished reading The Help, and finally realized what your Grandma Shelly was saying at night to you when she'd see you.

"You is smart... You is Beautiful... You is important."

 (UPDATE as I was laying around tonight thinking, I realized that's not even how it goes.... it's Kind, Smart, and Important. Oops)

It's from that book (now movie) and I thought it was really sweet how the nanny used to tell it to the girl every day until she repeated it back.

Lately at night we've been saying it after all our other rituals. First we read a book or two, depending on  how tired I am. Then you like to sing your songs, including You've Got A Friend in Me, Twinkle Twinkle, My Brown Eyed Girl, Reach for the Moon, and sometimes a few others. It's quite a routine we've gotten ourselves into.

Now you like to do the You is Smart.

However, I feel conflicted since You Is, is not the right grammar. I can't really explain that to you right now, and you are learning a lot, so I just decided to say "Olive is" or "You are" just to make myself feel better.

After we do Olive, we move on to LuLu.

"LuLu is smart... LuLu is beautiful... LuLu is important."

You like to move on to Mimi, Aunty Paz, Aunty Nay Nay, Aunty La La, Grandma Shelly, Uncle Brian, Poppykin, and so forth. Phew! Tonight you even went so far as to say The Purple Lady is smart, beautiful, and important. (She is the mean witch from The Little Mermaid.)

But I like it, and I hope it makes a difference someday. After ALL that is said and done, you like to do additional cuddling and then finally I put you in your bed. Sweet Dreams!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What Will You See?

Dear Olive,

I have so many drafts, so many blog posts for you I haven't published. They are all just starts, incomplete... but they are there all the same.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the state of the world. I mean, it's something I have grappled with for years, but there are even more things opening my eyes outside of the devastation that usually brings me down. I think about our future, what kind of security we will have to offer you, and most of all, what kind of world you will live to see.

I don't know how to deal with my feelings, they suffocate me from time to time, and I get overwhelmed and start to drown in the idea that we just blink an eye, and leave this earth behind. What am I contributing? What will be left for you?

But it never fails, that year after year, I come back to the same message that always re-grounds me. I put it up on my different blogs all the time, a reminder to myself and now to you.

It has come to me from different sources, but started with one college professor, Gary Oddou.

Technically, the class was about global business, but more so than that, it was about how to be open minded, look at problems from more than one angle, and how to see our own strengths and weaknesses. We were required to write journals every week, and in one of them I said:

"I want to make a difference in the world, but I just don't know how."

This was his response, scribbled in the margins-

"A difference in the world can happen quietly. A right word spoken here or there. A good example at the right time. These kinds of things aren't as visible as some but can be as or more impactful. Quiet exchanges between 2 people. That's where most of the good is done in the world."

And even though this was years ago, while I was trudging along in school, discouraged at how I was ever going to contribute anything to the world, I still come back to his advice, now almost a decade later.

Olive, when you don't feel like you are getting anywhere, just remember you can always grow where you are planted.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Dear Olive

I have so many things I want to write about, I was going to do a "fall" post to just talk about the last few weeks. But I did want to take a second and write this milestone that happened yesterday!

For the first time, you said "Thank you mommy" just on your own accord. It was so sweet <3

You were sitting in your learning tower and you wanted me to hand you a book. When I got it for you, I started to turn around when I heard you say it! I am glad you are learning what times warrant a please and thank you. Good girl!

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Big Girl, Or A Baby?

Dear Olive, Are you a big girl, or a baby? I ask you this all the time. Not because I'm trying to trick you, but because I can't tell.

It's so cliche, but until you are a mom you won't understand the saying, "You'll always be my baby."

You are really on the brink of being too big for your crib, because remember, we have a mini crib. Sometimes I go check on you and your legs are sticking out of the side. SO, we put up a mesh side rail and showed you your new big girl bed!

You loved it and you wouldn't even let me in there. I was wondering what you were going to do in the morning once you realized you could get up on your own. It was so cute, you stood with the door opened just a tiny crack, and you peeked out for a really long time. Finally I called you, and you were so happy and came running out. The same thing happened the next morning too, but you waited even longer.

Then out of nowhere, you decided the bed scared you and you wanted back to your crib. For a few nights I was able to lay with you and get you to comply, but now if I get up you freak out and point to your crib. I'm not sure if I got rid of the crib if you'd be more ok with the bed since you wouldn't see it, but I'm also afraid that I'd regret moving it if you really wouldn't settle down.

So, for now, you're back in your crib. For now.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sweet Little Things

Dear Olive,

I don't write as much anymore because everything I want to write seems like it will be so cheesy. But then I remember why I am doing this, for you to read someday, and for my horrible memory, and I don't care.

Honestly you are so, so sweet and I love you much. Sometimes you are absolutely crazy and you throw some intense tantrums too. But those aren't anything compared to your cuteness.

I remember a blog I wrote last year, about how at night when I put you to bed, you put your head on my shoulder the second the lights go out and we stand by the crib. I remember I said that even though I'm exhausted and looking forward to the down time, I still try to stand there in the moment and remember how it feels to have you as a baby and allowing me to hold you like that. I said it won't always be that way, but you know what? You still do that, and I still pause and enjoy it for a brief second before I lay you down.

Lately you've been whispering right before bed. I'll be holding you by the bed and say, "Ok Olive, ready for night night?" And you whisper back, "Yes."  I will ask you a few a questions and you always whisper back.  I think it's the sweetest thing, especially because nobody has taught you that move.

I put you in bed and I put a blankey over you and I like to give you a little animal to hug. You don't seem to care if I put a blankey on you, and you don't ask for any animals, but I do it anyway and your little arm wraps around it. You aren't particular as to what stuffed animal you have, you just love them all equally.

Tonight the funniest thing happened. We went to chucky cheese for Kai's birthday, just Nicole and me and you two kids. We were early and just waited around, and you stuck by me pretty close asking for Kai. When they finally arrived you were so thrilled, I've never seen it before. When I set you down on the ground and you literally took of RUNNING all around Chucky Cheese, not even noticing if Kai was following you. You were just sooooo ecstatic at life when he showed up. I know that's a pretty boring story, but the way it went down was hilarious, and I Just wanted to make sure I never forget that mental image.

You kiss your dollies gently on the forehead, you rub my back when I'm laying down, and you whisper when I put you to bed. Can you stay this sweet forever?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lucky in Life

Dear Olive,

Today we rode our bike to the beach. I wanted to let you run around and see the dogs and get some fresh air. I felt so good when we were there. It was so beautiful, the sand was warm, and everyone was happy.

I was just watching you stand in the water thinking about how it doesn't scare you when the waves come up across your feet. The seaweed was moving around your legs and you were playing and laughing and it hit me just how lucky we are to live here. I hope you realize it one day too.

Sometimes we talk about the idea of moving. The idea of living somewhere that isn't so hard to keep up with and get by in. I don't know if you'll ever remember the things we do while you're young, especially if we do move. And I don't know if you'll ever be able to appreciate where we live if we don't.

But in the mean time, even though life can be kind of fast paced and sometimes a little hard to keep up with, we have to take a moment and just sit on the beach and breathe. Just try to remember that Olive.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Dear Olive,

We had our first camping trip as a family. I wanted to go for mother's day, especially because we are going on a long camping trip at the end of summer and I wanted to do a test run. You slept great, all night in the tent in the pack n play, and of course you loved the outdoors.

Nicole, Dane, and Kai came and it was Nicole's first time ever camping. (Those New Yorkers). Unfortunately you lost my phone when you took it out of the tent to play with it, and I lost a lot of our pictures, but here are a couple!

Kai wearing your pants
Hardly can see you through all the stuff!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Dear Olive,

I felt I just HAD to take a few minutes to write about your first pee on the potty. Total baby book material right here! Although I'm sure most people won't care about this entry except a few mommy friends!

We just got out of the bath and so you didn't have a diaper on. I decided to go pee pee and so you copied me on your little ducky potty. Voila! Just like that. You even took a little toilet paper and took care of that biz.

Olive I'm so proud of you! I guess we just need to give you more opportunity to do what nature calls you to do without a diaper on.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The ER Experience

Dear Olive,

You had your first visit to the emergency room last night.  Let it be known that I am not an over protective crazy mom, but at the same time, when you act this weird even I question what is going on.

You are a solid sleeper. You sleep 12 hours every night, even when you're sick. The only time you have not slept good was when you had an ear infection. However you were able to sleep soundly as long as you were propped up on our chests during the night.

We are staying in Fallbrook this week and last night you would not sleep. Around three in the morning I could not even calm you down, and after a couple hours I grew tired. Grandmakin suggested I take you down to the ER so you could get some meds for your ear infection, because we assumed that's what was going on. You had been walking really funny and off balanced all day, which is what you did last time too.

When I got there, they did some tests to see if it was indeed an ear infection. The Dr. seemed very awkward around you and didn't do a good job examining you in my opinion. After determining you did not have an ear infection, nor the same cough/cold that I have, the nurse came back in wheeling a cart of tools with her. She explained that you might have some sort of infection but they needed to do a blood and urine test to find out what. They said your heart rate was 200 which is really, really high, even for a crying baby. The Dr. said since you were not pulling on your ears, it must not be an ear infection. He even checked your ears and said nothing looked bad. They just stood there staring at you puzzled, it was so awkward.

They were going to put a catheter in you and also draw blood, plus hook up an IV because she said if your white blood cell count came back high you would have to go Children's hospital down in San Diego.

WOAH WOAH WOAH. Let's slow down here. Put a little baby through all that trauma because you want to get to the bottom of her crankiness? He said, "She's obviously upset, and we have to find out why."

Of course you were upset! You had not slept and you were being poked at by total strangers in the middle of the night! My mother intuition kicked in right away and I told them to just hold on and let me think. We live in San Diego, so if they are going to do a bunch of uncomfortable testing, I'd rather do it down there and once, not twice. I'd rather Luke be with me, and I'd rather not rush something so extreme.

They gave me a huge guilt trip for denying their care and made me sign a release, which I did as I bolted out of there. They don't know you at all, and they stared at you like they had never seen a baby before. I know, I know, they are emergency room doctors, not pediatricians, but even more reason I didn't trust them.

They seemed sure you had something very wrong with you, and it really scared me. But I know you best, and I had a feeling they were mistaken. Of course I'm not going to take a risk and not investigate further, so I just drove back down to San Diego and we took you to your regular Dr. What does he find out? Lo and behold, you have a double ear infection after all.

The exam was quick and easy, plus the Dr. removed some ear wax that was blocking his ability to tell if you had an ear infection or not. We got you some medicine and you are on your way to good health I hope. He informed us if there was not an ear infection he'd probably have proceeded with some urine tests too, but all we'd have to do was put a baggy diaper thing on you to collect it, not jam a catheter up your poor little baby bladder.

They agreed 200 is not a good heart rate, and that yes, it's high. But a really dangerous one is more like 240 and I feel like the ER had really been trying to scare me into submission.

It just maddens and sickens me how rash some health "professionals" are. I am so grateful they are here for when we need them, but this was an instance when I am glad I used some good common sense and intuition.

Nobody wants to hear that their baby has a double ear infection. But I can't tell you in this case how relieving it was to find out that's all you had.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shoe Girl

Dear Olive,

I think you have a shoe fetish. Already. Your dad and I are both sick right now, so we have been taking turns taking you into the other room while one of us sleeps. While we were stuck in the little room together I decided to dig out a bin of stuff I had been storing for you. It was stuff that was too big for you and I was keeping aside for "one day". Well, one day came quick and some of the stuff is already too small! I found an array of shoes, and I needed to try them on you to see which would fit you and which needed to be stored.

You were having a ball! You were obsessed with these brown moccasins that are just a hair too big. You wanted them on your feet so badly! Then there were the little shiny patent leather mary janes you insisted on putting on for the rest of the day. While you were having a blast trying on shoes I thought to myself,  "Uh Oh. . . this could be bad down the road."

In other news, I keep calling you baby Olive but you are so NOT a baby anymore. You play all kinds of games and you want to use the utensils by yourself and you don't use a bottle. It's actually really enjoyable but I still see you as a tiny little baby girl.

We just got home from visiting your God parents in Hawaii. The plane flight was AWFUL. We thought we'd be clever by taking overnight flights so you would sleep the whole time. That was a mistake, you just fidgeted and cried and were grumpy most the time. On the way home I told your dad it was his turn to take you and he went on ahead of me so you wouldn't see me. He even sat in a different row, and all was well. I started watching the movie and getting settled when all of the sudden I feel a tap on my shoulder. You dad wanted me to open something for him, but what was worse, you poked your little head over and saw me. That was that, it was all over for me. I had to take you the way home too. No offense little Olive, but don't take a toddler on an overnight flight, just opt for the day time one when they will be bright eyed and bushy tailed. We are unsure if we want to fly again anytime soon with you, but it was worth it to see such good friends and family.

You learned how to say Kitty Cat because the Hollingsworths have so many cats, and everyone else on the island has a ridiculous amount of dogs. Of course that made you very happy though. You loved Hawaiian sand even more than San Diego sand! You literally would roll around in it, even get it all over your face and in your eyes. Silly sand monster. I have some great pictures of you running around naked in the water but those will definitely not be put on this blog! Maybe to embarrass you I will blow them up big and put them in your room someday. :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

You'll Do As You Want

Dear Olive,

It doesn't matter what time I put you to bed, after a month of trying a later bed time, you will still wake at 7. Ironically it is 7:45a right now and you are still asleep, but it's a fluke. At least it's given me a unexpected minute to write a post to you.

I have been slightly envious of my friends whose babies are not in full walking swing yet, and I wish I'd taken the advice of everyone who told me, "Enjoy it while she doesn't walk!" You don't just walk. . . you toddle, run, do circles around the house, and are constantly moving from the moment you wake up until you (maybe a take a nap) or go to bed. You have so much energy it's amazing, and exhausting!

I watched a friend's baby sit on a pillow on her first birthday and open presents. I thought aloud, "Wow, Olive would never sit like that" and I was envious as I kept having to get up to make sure you didn't run out of the building and into the street.

Her father replied, "I trained her in Daddy Day Care."

It made me think, am I a bad mother? Do people look at me and think, "Oh there goes that rebellious Olive and her nonchalant mother!"

I'm pretty sure he was kidding, plus the baby isn't quite running around yet. But it made me think, at what age do you start forcing a baby to sit still or "behave" a certain way? I asked my pediatrician the same thing a while back, when you would not sit in your high chair in restaurants. He said it was best to just avoid places like that since you don't understand.

But at what point do we move from you not understanding to you just not listening? I'm sure it's coming. . . the day you try to squiggle out of my arms and run around and I have to force you to sit in my lap. What will happen? Will you scream and make a scene? Will you give up and be ok?

I don't take you to formal things, you're a toddler. But if I have to, what will happen?

You've always been different than your baby friends we know. And they are different than their baby friends. You're all very unique and it's so cute to witness the differences. But you've always had a lot of spirit and spunk, and I'm beginning to wonder when it's going to catch up with me!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Picky, Picky

Dear Olive,

You've become quite the picky eater. How did this happen? When you were first starting out you seemed to gobble down everything so happily. You just want to nibble all day long and it's driving me crazy! I think the worst thing I did was teach you the "more" sign.

Yesterday we went to the beach and for the first time you bolted down to the water. You absolutely loved it! You got all muddy and ridiculously wet, next time I'm going to need to bring better clothes for you. Now I get it when you see naked babies running around the beach.

I've been trying to train you to go to bed later so that you will sleep later. So far it has not been the outcome I've hoped for. Up until now, you've slept at 6:30 or 7pm until about 6:45am. Great twelve hour sleeper! But I work at night and I'm so exhausted by then, it's hard to think straight. I was hoping that by slowly getting you to bed later you'd sleep in a little more and I could wake up early and focus before the day starts.

So for the past couple weeks you've been going to bed closer to 8:30 but you're still waking up in the early seven oclock hour. I'm not giving up yet, but if it doesn't start getting later, I'm hoping I can still get you back to bed early again.

Ugh I'm bored just writing about this sleep stuff. Moving on. More to write soon my dear!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Real Santa

Dear Olive,

I'm pretty sure you are going to be reading this much older than the age in which you sit on Santa's lap. Lets just hope so.

Today I made a blooper. We were trying to scope out the Santa for Luthien's first Santa Pic and he was all closed up in his own little house. I asked a family in line if Santa was in there. She said, "Yes he is" and I said, "Is he a good looking Santa?"

She gave me the EVIL eye and very slowly and pointedly said, "YES" and all of the sudden I was like Oh crap. I saw the little girls looking up at me and I replied, "Cause Santa is such a good looking guy!" and ran away.

What was I thinking? This is going to be tricky. But it gets better. Grandmakins was making a joke from our youth about Santa and practically SHOUTED, "Well the REAL Santa is at South Coast Plaza" while like 15 kids stood by, luckily not paying attention.

We're just not there yet. . .

Monday, December 12, 2011

From Baby to Toddler

Dear Olive,

You are now a toddler. I know this because you just had your one year birthday and check up. The paper I took home says, "Your toddler" this, and "Your toddler now" that. What? Toddler? Does that mean I can't call you baby Olive anymore?

You STILL weigh 17 lbs, I feel like you'll be in that baby car seat forever! You love berries- especially raspberries and blackberries. You walk now. Your favorite toy in the whole world is a ball, and you get super excited whenever you see one. I guess technically that was your first real word too. You love to put things in your mouth and toddle around with them hanging out. Think big things, like tupper ware lids. . . You just bite on and go about your business playing or moving around the room while it hangs. You actually stack your stacker now, as well as stacking up toys to climb up onto more dangerous territory. You still love swinging. I can't walk you past a park without you getting all worked up if we don't stop on the swings.

You're really difficult to feed as well. But I do have to say how proud I am of your self weaning abilities. You weaned off the breast when you were done with that, then you weaned yourself off the pacifier, now you're weaning off the bottle. . . all on your own!

I think it's harder for me to stop giving you the bottle than for you. I rely on the routine of it. The other morning I didn't give you one and you didn't even notice, but I love getting you from your crib and laying with you in the morning while you drink it.

I guess this is why people end up having more babies. Everything changes so quickly.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I called 9-1-1

Dear Olive,

I think last night is the first time I've ever called 9-1-1. You were playing near our kitchen cart, pulling the tupperwares out. I was busy cleaning up the kitchen and I am guessing you tried to climb up in the cart. I heard you start whining and lo and behold, you had gotten your leg stuck in between the little wooden slats.

At first I laughed at you, silly girl! Then I realized I couldn't get your foot through. It was really scary because I started thinking, "What if your circulation gets cut off?" What if I ruin your leg forever and it was all because of this moment?

I was trying to test the strength of the wood to see if I could pull the slat off, but there was no way I could have broken it, so then I started thinking about what I had to use to break it. I was thinking I needed to try lotion too maybe. It was really wedged, it would not budge, and you were crying. I was freaking out (on the inside) so I called 9-1-1 because I didn't want to waste a second if you were going to risk losing your foot. I was imagining me trying everything and your foot turning blue and losing feeling.

They were transferring me and telling me that they couldn't hear me because my baby was crying and I was like, no duh! They were pretty rude sounding, but luckily I got your foot out while I was on hold. I just had to get it at the right angle and pull harder than I was comfortable doing.

You were pretty upset for a few minutes but then we played and you seemed fine. I moved your ankle around, pressed on your foot, and tried to see if anything was hurting you. We are safe! No pain.

And what did you do today? Went right back over there and started playing again.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Steps

Dear Olive,

It's not like it is in the movies. There is no, "You took your first steps!" There seems to be a total grey area with the whole first steps thing, for you anyway.

You are an excellent cruiser. In today's world, they define cruising as walking around holding onto things. Your dad and I have also named what you do as "transferring"- when you let go completely and then transfer to another object. It's close to walking.

Yesterday and today you kind of took your first steps? You were holding on to dad's knee and you transferred to the couch but it was too far for one reach. You stood by yourself and walked two whole steps. Does that count? You are fast at cruising and transferring, but you don't like to stand up without holding something. So now we will wait until you do it like the movies, stand up, and walk across the room.

So we are still confused. Have you taken your first steps, or not?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hi and Bye Bye

Dear Olive,

I cried tonight because you're growing up so fast. It's hard to even remember some of the most precious moments of when you were a few months younger, what other things might I forget? I feel so bad because there's this constant battle in our life for time. Time to work, time to spend with you, time to spend with your dad, time to spend with myself, time to spend with family and friends, time to do the dishes. We are sometimes so quick to just pass you around between each other to get the time we need to just get by in life. And while that's going on, you're changing every day.

At night it's my favorite time. Right before I put you to bed, all I have to do is turn off the light and you know what to do. You put your head down on my shoulder and you just relax and I stand by your crib holding you and swaying for a while. Sometimes I get a nagging feeling that I need to put you down and get on with all the things demanding of my time that I didn't get to yet. But I ALWAYS just hold you and make the effort to be in the moment because I feel you growing up so fast and I think about how you will not always be so small that I can hold you while you sleep. Things will never be as they are right now, again.

I tried to take a video of you tonight playing in your bath. You were having a grand ol' time in the kitchen sink at your Grandma Shelly's house, with tons of family around, laughing and waving and trying to say, "uh oh" and I tried to capture the moment. For some reason the camera didn't save it, and I was sad that those little moments will be forgotten with the hectic way life is and the fast pace we are moving.

Today was a great day Olive. You started getting really good at waving hi and bye bye, and when we dropped your toy and said "Uh Oh!" you said it back. It was absolutely adorable and everyone crowded around trying to get you to do it again.

You are soooo close to walking, you transfer from thing to thing and get around pretty good, but I can tell you are just ever so ready to let go and move around on your own. I'm in no rush for you to walk, I realized today it's just one more thing that makes you 'not a baby anymore' when you start walking!

You're starting to really love figuring out things. You sat playing with a tupperware the other day until you could get the lid off and back on again. Luckily I did get that on film. I was proud of you! I never showed you how to do that, good girl!

I stood extra long tonight with you by your crib. I held you and treasured the moment. It's all about enjoying every moment. Easier said than done, but easy when it's you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spendy Little Sucker

Dear Olive,

We can't take you out to eat anymore! And FYI eating out with you alone is A BIG mistake. Tonight I made that mistake.

This past week was definitely different when we'd go out to eat. It was a turning point. You no longer sit in your high chair, you stand up in it. Yeah whoever thinks those straps work is absolutely demented. You want to eat standing up, or not eat at all, and just mosey around the booth from person to person.

Tonight there was horrible traffic so I thought I'd just try to kick it in the local Applebees and wait it out. This is where I made the big mistake. First of all it was close to your bedtime, and I wanted to hurry you home and get you to bed without a bath. But I know you needed dinner, and I needed to avoid this traffic.

You wouldn't sit in the high chair (not a shock) so I let you sit on my lap. You were intent on playing with my ice water, dipping your little hands in and stirring around the ice. But then you tipped the whole giant thing over and got me soaking wet. After cleaning THAT up, the food came and you sat for a little bit, but you wanted to pick it up yourself and got food ALL OVER the place. As soon as you were bored with that, I had to pick you up again, and you were so fussy I didn't even get to eat my food.

What a waste of money! And time! I still had to come home and give you a bath since you were totally covered in mashed potatoes. Plus the traffic wasn't even cleared up when we left. It's not your fault, I knew that you were becoming too hard to take out to eat. And why I thought I'd try it by myself is beyond me. But this was the experience I needed, to know for sure that I'm over restaurants with you for a while!

You, Olive Grace, are a wild one.

Here's a pic of you at Chipotle yesterday, once again squirming out of your high chair and spilling the food dish all over the place.