Seventeen Months with Olive

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Dear Olive,

That thing that I have been holding off for, hoping and praying that that day will never come, has happened. It’s like a light has turned on and a whole new world has appeared. I knew this day would come eventually. The day that I realize my little 8 pound 4 oz. baby is no longer a baby, but a real little girl. So many emotions are swirling around in my head. I am sad that you are growing up so quickly, excited to see what each new day will now bring, and eager to watch you learn and play with us in new ways. I am one proud Momma. You have been learning words by the day and are (briskly) walking around the house. You seem so much more cheerful than you have ever been, I think because you are learning to communicate with us in a different way. You are pointing to things and saying their name – ‘Car, Popa, Da-Da’ – and you are making the cutest sounds when you see and do things – ‘woof woof, beep beep (when you back up!), wow! whoa!’. You official first official two-syllable word was ‘Danger’. Not Mommy… Danger! The surprises just keep coming with new words every day! I just want to jump inside your brain to see what you are thinking. Putting names and words to physical things that you see is so exciting for all of us.

17 Right now, your favourite thing to play with (by far), is anything that have wheels. You love sitting on Daddy’s tractor, Popa’s lawn mower, Sara’s Fisher Price cars, Momma’s new Tiguan. You head straight for Uncle Kenney’s wood trucks, Sara’s box of cars, and your little toy car that Rubie gave you for your birthday. If you are sad, sitting in Daddy’s big truck behind the big wheel instantly cheers you up. Every single car you see, whether sitting in Granny’s porch or strolling around Westport, you point and say “Car” (which sounds more like “Cah”) with a huge smile on your face. I have no idea where this obsession with vehicles came from, maybe Uncle Kenney has secretly been talking to you about them, but I love it! It really is amazing to see you connect words to physical objects!

2 I know its kind of odd to say, but I think I already miss your cute bum scoot. It was so unique to you. Thankfully I have tons of videos to remind me, but they just aren’t the same. You are barely on your bum-bum anymore, opting to pop up as fast as you can and take off like you are starting the 100m dash. You started out the month pushing the stroller as we walked down the street, and now you just stand and take off! You are so much stronger, and way more steady on your feet than you were a month ago. Lumpy grass is no problem for you now. You’ve found your balance and are now taking risks! Lately we’ve been eating dinner outside at our new table. After dinner we let you down to play in the grass. This is the first time that we have sat and watched you wonder around the yard, adventuring on your own. It is such an unusual feeling. For your entire life, you have never ventured further than 5 feet from us, but now you throw caution to the wind and run away. I cannot bring to words the feeling both Daddy and I feel as we watch you explore. Everything is “WOOOOOWWWW!” and “WHOOOOAAA!!!” You run to the fence, then to the hammock, then to the pretty flowers (which you now sniff!), and then to the gravel driveway. You often opt for the gravel over the comfort of the grass. You love digging up the rocks and throwing them behind you. You would do this for hours if we let you. When I come over to play with you, you take my hands and make a cup, dumping rocks into my hands. Then, just as soon as they are in my hands, you pull my fingers down, dumping everything. You giggle, and we do it all over again. Outside is a whole new world now that you venture on your own!

IMG_2291 You have really started loving your stuffed animals. To this point, you haven’t taken a huge interest in them, but you are so in love now. It started with your soft pillows – hugging them to sleep, lying your head on them on the kitchen floor, cuddling up on K9’s big pillow while at Granny’s – and now you do the same with your animals. We no longer wake up in the mornings to your “get-me-out-of-this-crib-now” cry. No! We now are softly wakened by your gentle voice discussing your sweet dreams and plans for your day with your cuddly animals. On the weekends, Daddy and I just lay in bed listening to your conversation. It is the sweetest thing! We eventually go in (Daddy sings his good-morning song… or tries to anyway!), and line up all your animals so you can hug each one before we go down for breakfast. I love this new morning routine. It is so relaxing. So soothing.

IMG_5015 Momma has been debating on hiring someone to come in to clean the floors and bathrooms every few weeks. Between work and everything else I do, it is hard to find time to actually sit down and get some cleaning finished. That is, until I discovered that you inherited Granny’s cleaning genes!! Give you a swiffer and a wet washcloth and we are set! You do laps and laps around the house pushing the Swiffer. Last night you were even down on your knees cleaning way behind the couch! I mean legitimately cleaning back and forth. You are the greatest little helper, let me tell you! You love to dust too. We give you a washcloth and you go around the house wiping all the surfaces clean… and you actually enjoy it! Granny is pretty darn excited that someone in her family likes to clean like her (apparently Uncle Kenney and I didn’t get that gene)! I really hope you keep up this passion. It could really come in handy in the future!

IMG_4931 Dancing. You love dancing! You hear one little tune and your head starts to bop. You wiggle your little bum and clap your hands. Your smile is so contagious. We have started singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Patty Cake, Patty Cake” on a regular basis. You now have the “roll it” action down. Your musical puppy also sings patty cake. You like to take him along for rides in the car and one day when I peeked back at you, you were rolllllling and rollllling and rolllllling the dough while you puppy sang to you. I couldn’t believe it!

IMG_4913 You have been going to an overnight at Granny and Popa’s once a week. They are loving every moment of it. Every week when we pick you up, you have learned something new… Once week it was “car” whenever a car drove past, the next you were walking non-stop, the next you had found the cookie jar (and won’t leave its side until you get one)! You stayed over night during a huge thunderstorm. You didn’t enjoy it very much, so Granny cuddled you all night long, keeping you safe. Olive, you are bringing so much joy to their lives. They just cannot get enough. They have been telling me some funny stories. Granny was in the kitchen making dinner one night so she said to Popa “you are babysitting Olive”. You two went out to the sun porch and started playing. I think you must have tired poor Popa out because the next thing you knew, Granny heard Popa snoring and you were at the top of the stairs! Boy, was Popa in trouble!! You are so quick!

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IMG_1923 You have spent some days with Grandma Blair while Momma and Da-Da were at work. You have so much fun baking and playing and walking with Grandma! One day you made jam and another day you learned how to play the recorder! I got a video while I was working and I had to watch it over and over and over again! You also love to play their piano when you visit. Your songs are a little to be desired, but if you keep it up, I’m sure you will be playing like Auntie Jamie some day! One night after work, Momma and Da-Da went down for supper. After dinner we all laced up our shoes and went for a walk along the road. It walked the entire way zig-zagging from one pothole to the next! I just can’t get over how far you can go now. To think that one short month ago you could only take 4 or 5 steps! You are growing so quickly!

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1 Some other notable things from this month:

  • Food. More food: You love blue cheese on your steak, cherry pie, lavender ice cream, mussels (still!), corn on the cob, pears, peppers, beans, granny’s chocolate chip cookies, milkshakes… Pretty much everything except tomatoes (still!)

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  • You are saying – Da-Da, Ma-Ma, Popa, car, woof-woof, Hi!, Ray, Joe (we will have to discuss this! You aren’t going to be calling Popa Joe – but right now it’s cute!!), beep-beep, wow, whoa, danger, yoga, ball, boat, more. Every day a new word!
  • You have 11 teeth (that we now of). You still have yet to fuss, even now when your molars are coming in!
  • We think you are about 23lbs. With all this moving, you aren’t gaining weight, but you are stretching up. Those (big) creasing are slowly stretching out. Another sad sign that you aren’t my little baby anymore.
  • You made a trip to the Delta Fair, although you were big enough to go on the rides. Daddy walked you around the midway while Momma worked the gate for the skating club!
  • Momma finally got her new car. You are now cruising in the back seat of a Volkswagen Tiguan. It is way roomier than my poor little Mazda 3. You are getting way better views now!
  • You are just so cheerful and smiley. You say “HI” and give a big wave to everyone in the grocery store.
  • Daddy installed a brand new big girl swing between the trees in the front yard. I must admit, I was a little nervous when we first put you on, but you knew to hang on tight. You love your nightly swings… Smiling beaming from ear to ear as Daddy pushes you higher and higher (sometimes too high for my liking)!
  • You love wearing you hair in piggies!

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  • Daddy found his old motorized Jeep, so of course he had to get it out for you… but first he thought he had better soup it up a bit because apparently you now have the ‘need for speed’. Your little Jeep now has a full sized car battery inside. You are a little afraid of it (because, lets face it, you don’t really need to be doing burn outs at 17 months), so Daddy makes sure he drives it around the yard just to keep it warmed up. I don’t really know how he manages to squeeze his entire body into that little seat, but he does, just to make sure he can show you how it works! Priceless!

IMG_4971 You still look like my little baby when you sleep. I stare at you, so peaceful. I hold your little hand as if it were the first time, because I know once you wake up, you will want to explore on your own. When you wake, I see you as you are every day, in each moment, changing and growing and developing into your own individual personality. You’re such a sweet person. I’m so lucky to know you.

IMG_2732 I love you the most, Olive.

 Momma
xoxoxox

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Sixteen Months with Olive

IMG_1687 Dear Olive, 

Every month when I write my letters to you, I tend to return to the theme of promises – things I vow to give to you, or teach you. These promises are things that will help you learn about and love the magic in the world, develop your confidence and self-respect, and hopefully show you a glimpse of who your mother is and how the many experiences I have had growing up have contributed to the Momma you know. Right now I’m writing this letter as 29-year-old Momma, a young woman with a new toddler, a messy house and big dreams. You are becoming very strawberry blonde, a little stubborn, and you love books and toy trucks. You are a really quiet girl, only saying Da-Da, Ma-Ma, Ba-Ba, Pa-Pa and hilarious little sounds, but you understand everything. Everything. Watching you makes me realize that your little brain is turning constantly. You understand how to brush your teeth and brush your hair. You try really hard to put your own shoes and socks on, and your arms immediately go up when we are getting you dressed for the day. You know that your little red phone goes to your ear when it rings and can always find the thermos in the cupboard (they are incredibly fun to play with)! Your hand-eye coordination blows me away. You stack your blocks taller than you, insert straws into their very tiny holes, and clap for yourself every single time! You know your nose, Momma’s nose, and Da-Da’s nose. You can find your ears and give us the “home alone” face. Time with you is priceless. You continue to keep me humbled. You continue to teach me to see the world through your eyes. You continue to love your blueberries.

Olive 16 months - large For better or for worse, you’ve reached the inevitable point where you want to copy every action and emulate the behavior of your Daddy and I. Not only emotionally – when I am happy, you are happy, when things aren’t so glorious you become upset and a little vociferous – but also with routines and behaviours. You need to brush your teeth when I do, have a spoon in your hand at every meal, and even “dust” with a cloth with I am cleaning up the kitchen. You are starting to let us know when you want something, and won’t give up until we figure it out. We were visiting Granny at work last week and you were getting very fussy, pointing towards the door. You were tired of her office and wanted to stand out in the hall. You were not happy until we stepped just outside the room. I must say, sometimes it is incredibly difficult to figure out what you are eying up. Your outstretched, pointed finger and loud squeals have me realizing that you are going to be a very independent, self-sufficient young lady. It makes me proud to think you are developing a strong self. I will never ask you to accept what someone else says is best for you. Whether it’s how boys and girls are supposed to act, what you’re supposed to study in school, who you’re supposed to love, where you’re supposed to live–29-year-old Momma is telling you now that all I want for you, all I want you to learn from me, is that your life is your own experience to make sense of. You only get one and your only purpose on Earth is to be happy. It is that simple.

IMG_4783 This month I want to tell you how important it is to avoid preconceived notions about how things are supposed to be. When we are young, we are such blank, impressionable canvases, and we learn how to make judgments about people, places, and ideas from our parents. The opinions and views of your Daddy and I will help shape your fears, your dreams, and your beliefs about what kind of person you want to become. Your Da-Da and I promise to carefully examine ourselves as we interact with each other, as we react to situations, and as we behave toward each other and consider the power we have to influence your mind. It’s a big deal to be responsible for the upbringing of a human being – you could live a hundred years and be such a gift to the world, such a light of hope and good will for others. Long after your dad and I are gone, and long after we are finished raising you, you will be making your own decisions as an adult, formed from the foundations of your experiences in our home.

IMG_1370 I sit here thinking about the last month packed full of adventures, triumphs and lessons learned. It was an amazing month. You continue to grow and learn and shine just like every other month. You are slowly throwing fear aside and using those little legs to carry you across the room. You are still pretty wobbly, but every day you add more and more steps to your routine. You are becoming more interested in letting go and trying to walk on your own. You stand up in the middle of the room without help. First you clap with a huge smile on your face, take a deep breath, and make that first step. The first step has turned into 2 and 3 and 4. You can walk! You are doing it all on your own, and you are so darn proud – just like Daddy and I. We are so amazed that 16 short months ago you were so helpless in our arms. Sure, many babies learn to walk well before they are 16 months, but I think it just shows your priorities! You are so far ahead of other babies on many other levels. You knew you could get around the house just fine on your bum – it wasn’t a priority to you. That is just another thing that makes you stand out among the crowd.

IMG_4738 We celebrated Da-Da’s second Fathers Day. He didn’t want to do a lot – just hang out with his two favourite girls. You let him sleep in until 7:00 (which was a huge step for you). We got dressed and headed in to town to go for breakfast at the Tea Room followed up with a walk around town. It was such a beautiful day. We visited Grandpa Blair at the lake in the afternoon and then headed to Popa’s for dinner. It’s the simple days that are the best. No plans, just fun with family. You truly make Da-Da proud. I love watching you two together. You play off each other so well. Daddy is the only one who can make the true Olive giggles come out – and they are amazing. I yearn to hear those giggles. You look at Da-Da like he is a superhero (and guess what? He really is)! It makes my heart melt. I never imagined how good he would be with a little girl. Every day he surprises me. Although I am missing out on many morning breakfasts now that I’m back to work, I am incredibly grateful that you get that time alone with Daddy. You both need that time. It is a true gift. Cherish it every day.

IMG_4744 You have started having some overnights at Granny’s! She has been waiting a long 16 months for her chance to have you all to herself. She was incredibly patient and is so excited to wake up with you in her house. You go on walks, and eat fishies, and play in the grass. You love Uncle Kenney’s wooden trucks and his big boat. You go up and down her sunroom steps 10 times in a row, and then do it 10 more times. You keep Granny on her toes! This is exactly what she has wanted for such a long time. You love her so much, I can see it in your eyes whenever you see her. Thank you for loving her as much as I do.

IMG_0387_1 You spent the full day with Grandma and Auntie Kara and Hilary just a few days ago! You made strawberry jam and played with Misty the kitty cat. You love anything to do with the kitchen and food – Grandma knows your sweet spot! In the afternoon you made a trip to Kingston to watch Aunt Kara at her Track practice! You walked around town and went grocery shopping. I didn’t see you until 9:00 that night! I think you had so much fun hanging out with the girls. I’m so happy you are having so much time with your Aunties and Grandmas. Your relationships are growing so strong every day. Family is so important to me. Seeing you head out on adventures without us is very bittersweet, but I’m glad you enjoy your time with family. You love it.

IMG_4797 Other notable things from the past month:

  • You are about 22 pounds, 32 inches long and have just popped through 2 molars (making a total of 10 teeth – that we know of)!
  • You love squishing blueberries onto the end of your finger before eating them
  • You eat shredded wheat with blueberries and milk for breakfast – by yourself. You are getting so much better with a spoon (although there still is a fair bit of a mess to clean up)! You slurp that milk off your spoon like it’s nobodies business.
  • You can stand up all on your own in the middle of the room. You clap every time you stand up completely!
  • You have discovered the stairs. Every stair you see, whether it be one step or an entire staircase, you must go up it. You figured out how to do the stairs before you figured out how to walk!
  • You love drawing – on yourself. You can thank Da-Da for that one! You drew a nice maple leaf on your cheek for Canada Day! I think we are in trouble!
  • You dance. ALL. THE. TIME. Music is in your soul. Great Grandma Murray would be so proud. You move and shake you little body every time you hear a song. Sometimes you even throw in a little head-banging!
  • We FaceTime every morning! I eat my breakfast while watching you eat yours. It is my favourite time of day. Everytime you see my face on the screen you point and giggle and point again… and again.. Thankfully no one else is in the office – they would get a good laugh I think!
  • You are obsessed with the dryer. Saturday’s are laundry days. You help me put the clothes in, you close the door and wait for me to start it up so you can watch the clothes go around and around.
  • You’ve decided you would rather push the stroller than ride in it. Just the other day you walked from the rink to the bank, which is no small feat for little girl! I was so proud of you!
  • Momma hit a deer a few weeks ago. Luckily you were not in the car (you would have been fine, but I would have felt so bad)! We are still playing the waiting game to see what is going to happen with our car. We may have to get a new one… So you may be getting an upgraded back seat with a little more room! What do you think?
  • We were in bed LONG before the fireworks for Canada Day! Maybe next year! (I think they would have scared you this year)!

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We are so proud of you, Olive. You are smart. You are brave. You are independent and you are beautiful. Never let anyone change who you are.

Xoxoxox

Momma

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Fifteen Months With Olive

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Dear Olive,

I am the luckiest Momma in the world. I am finding much joy watching you grow and develop every day. The amount of information your little brain can take in astounds me. Your little smile warms my heart. I yearn to hear your belly-laughs. I thank my stars every day for giving me such a precious little girl who fits so nicely into our little country lives!

Olive 1 IMG_9844 We celebrated both Mothers Day and my 29th (!) birthday this month! I felt so lucky to be showered with so much love. For Mothers Day we woke early and drove up to Wheelers Pancake House for a yummy breakfast. Your eyes lit up as soon as that syrup landed on your tongue. You let out one big, loud “MMMMMMMMM” followed by a wide-open mouth asking for more. You are just like a little bird when it comes to eating! We hiked around the 5km trail before we headed back towards Perth. You love hikes in the backpack – although you are getting pretty heavy for long walks. It was still a great hike (because you were on Daddy’s back, not min)! On our way home from Wheelers we decided to stop to see Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Poole. We brought Grandma a really nice little hibiscus flower. Of course we arrived around lunchtime, so we weren’t allowed to leave before eating. You gobbled up all their Old cheese, much to Grandma’s surprise. We giggled and said “Yes, she eats e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g”! We had a great chat with them both. I can tell that Great Grandpa is pretty darn proud of you and your Daddy. They are such amazing people, Olive. That’s why you are named after them! Before leaving, a car drove up the driveway with a delivery for Great Grandma. Out of the car came a GIGANTIC Olive 1 hibiscus flower – triple the size of the one we brought – from your Great Aunt Sandra. We all had a big laugh over that. At least we both got the same colour flower. Ours just has a lot of growing to do to catch up to Sandra’s!

1 I took the day off for my birthday. I wanted to spend my day at home with you. We went for walks, had a picnic at the harbour and went out to dinner, just the two of us. Daddy was in a meeting all night so he couldn’t come. It was the perfect day spent with my perfect little girl. My birthday gift was one of the two kayaks we got earlier in the month. I cannot tell you how excited I am about them. Daddy and I have been out a fair bit since we got them – and so have you!! I was a little nervous taking you out at first. I didn’t know if we could keep you sitting still long enough, but of course, you loved it. I shouldn’t be surprised. You sat on Daddy’s lap the whole time, smiling ear to ear. Eventually you tucked your head down and had a nice long nap. It was so peaceful. Yet another fun adventure we had.

IMG_4319 4 Olive, you make our lives so easy. I hear so many stories about how hard life can be with a baby. You fit so easily into ours. We did not have to change our routines and our favourite pastimes to accommodate you. You are so easy going, cheerful, and adventurous. Many people think we are crazy for attempting to do some of the things we have done, but I am proud that you don’t stop us from doing things as a family. We don’t enjoy leaving you behind. If we want to do something, we figure out how we can bring you along. You were meant to be our baby from day one.

2 One weekend morning I came out of the bathroom and had no idea where you disappeared. I walked around the house twice looking for you, puzzled. I finally heard a quiet laugh coming from the stairs. I thought in my head “no… she can’t be up there”, but sure enough, there you were sitting 4 stairs up, proud as a peacock. Since when did you learn to climb stairs? You have officially climbed all the way to the top a handful of times (with me walking closely behind). I just can’t get over how strong you are! The door is now always closed at the bottom of the stairs because that is the first place you scoot to!

5 You have two new favourite games. Your version of Peek-A-Book (just “Peek!”) and “Ticka-Ticka”! Whenever you are standing by something, you crouch down low; just enough to hide yourself, and then you jump up with smiles and giggles when we yell PEEK! This never gets old for either of us. You are just too cute when you slowly duck your head. Ticka-ticka is a suppertime game (usually). Lately you’ve been enjoying pulling your shirt up to show off your well fed belly. Every time you did that I’d tickle your tummy and say Tickle Tickle! You’ve now started pulling your shirt up and tickling yourself saying “Ticka-Ticka-Ticka”! Oh my gosh, Olive, it is so cute. Words just don’t do it justice.

IMG_9450 IMG_9506 You officially left the country for the first time in your life. We made the short drive to Alexandria Bay, just across the border, to visit Boldt Castle. We took a short ferry ride across to Heart Island and explored the castle an boat house for a fun Sunday getaway. It was nice just to get away and be with the love of my life. You didn’t really know what we were doing, but you loved seeing all the birdies. I don’t think the ladies in A-Bay have seen a baby before! They all went nuts over you and your shoes! I guess people in Westport have gotten used to your cuteness because we haven’t had that many people make a fuss over you in a long time!

IMG_4523 IMG_4529 Some things from this month:

  • You have started giving the best hugs!
  • You love making bracelets out of everything – painters tape rolls, your stackable rings, mason jar lids…
  • You stand by the tub every time I have a shower when Daddy isn’t home.
  • You have almost figured out how to stand up without any help from anything… You only stand for a second before you are on your bum again, but that doesn’t stop you from trying again. You are so determined to conquer it.
  • You haven’t started walking on your own, but you are literally running around the house with our help. I can’t get over how fast you run around the island, the whole time with a huge smile and cute giggles. You did take a few steps on your own down at Davis Lock, but you are still thinking about the whole situation before trying again!
  • You are getting busier and busier! You are always on the move, even when sitting still!
  • You are still eating everything in sight. Everything we eat, you eat. You now insist on feeding yourself with a spoon, Miss. Independent… But half the time you either miss your mouth, or use your other hand to put food on the spoon and then into your mouth!
  • When we say “Whats in your mouth” you open your mouth as wide as it can go, no matter if it is full of food or not!
  • When we say “Where’s your nose” you point to it (or in the general area that may involve your eyes, your cheeks, or your hair)!
  • We are working on finding you ears!
  • Now that the weather is much nicer, we have been spending lots of time on the lawn. You love picking dandelions and playing “he loves, he loves me now”. I just have to figure out which daycare boy you are thinking about!

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  • You love going on rides in Daddy’s big truck… It doesn’t matter where you are going, although I think you like the ice cream runs the best.
  • You have a new cousin! Cousin Avery has a little brother named Dawson! He was born a few days before Momma’s birthday! We went to visit him in the hospital – I DO NOT remember you being that small!!

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  • You love Uncle Kenney’s Fisher Price Boat. I think he is having separation issues seeing you playing with his toy!
  • You love to swing. We have been making lots of trips to the park so you can swing for hours!

3 This month has been one of the best. You are so sweet and make me feel so loved every day. Your little hugs brighten my day, and your hilarious facial expressions make me forget about upsetting things. You simply are my pride and joy. The one thing I live for and could never live without. I can’t wait to see what this next month will bring, what words you will be saying, how many steps you will take, how many smiles you will give. Thank you sweetheart. Sleep tight.

I love you to the moon and back!

Xoxoxox
Momma

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Fourteen Months With Olive

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Dear Olive,

I can’t believe I have been back to work for two months already! Time is just flying by so quickly. We have settled into a really great routine that is working well for all three of us. I am now getting to work around 6am and am home in time to pick you up at Sara’s. The best part of my day is sneaking in the door and watching you play until you notice that I am there. You smile so big, and scoot over to me as fast as your little legs can take you. You give a few kisses and then go right back to playing with the kitchen set. You take right after your Momma and her love of a good kitchen… You love Sara’s kitchen set… Even if it is just for the drawers you continuously open and close! Olive 14 IMG_3860 You are becoming quite the little monkey! You are getting so much stronger and are able to pull yourself up on just about everything now – including the bathtub. Still, every time you stand up, you giggle and smile so big before plopping down on your bum and doing it all over again. You figured out how to get from your back to standing in the crib one night, so that meant a late night mattress lowering project. You were so proud of yourself. You would pull yourself up to standing, and then let your little bum bounce off the mattress. You laughed as hard as I ever heard laugh and then you did it again… and again… and again! You are just about as proud as I am. You have started to walk around the edge of the coffee table and couch with much more confidence. Sometimes you even take a huge risk and let go of one hand. You love walking (sometimes even running) when you hang on to Momma and Daddy’s hands and your birthday walker is taking you on tours of the kitchen daily. It won’t be long until you decide it’s time to head off on your own, but right now I’m cherishing how you make a little fuss that means “Come over here Ma! I want to walk!” It is the cutest!
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Your new favourite game involves any couch or bed. You have figured out that beds and couches are soft and bouncy. When we set you on one, you look up at us with a little mischievous smile, you do a little bounce on your bum, pause, and then throw yourself backwards so your whole body can bounce. I tell you every time “Olive, ONLY on the bed…” Somehow, I think you understand the difference because you have never tired to do this on the hard floor (knock on wood)! I hear from Daddy that this is your favourite game to play in the mornings before going to Sara’s. What a girl. This makes us both laugh everytime you do it. It never gets old!

We celebrated your second Easter this month! It was a busy, busy weekend. We did a ton of baking (pies, hot cross buns, cakes) and lots of visiting. We spent Good Friday at home and then went to church for 3pm. After church we went and had a lovely dinner with the Lynn’s. You love playing with Rubie. She was so nice to show you around her bedroom and let you play with all her toys! You loved it. Saturday we went to Granny and Grandpa’s for an early turkey dinner. The Easter Bunny had stopped by their house early. He brought you some clothes, Mum-Mums (big smiles for that one), and your own little summer fedora! You had fun letting Grandpa wear your hat most of the day! You looked so cute in your little white dress and moccasins! You were the star of the show again as you ate all your turkey dinner and then moved on to the carrot cake. On Sunday we headed downstairs to see if the Easter Bunny paid you a visit! Guess what? HE DID! You got markers and crayons and paper and bubbles and a little gel sketch pad (and some of Daddy’s chocolate)! You wanted to colour more on yourself than on the paper, but you loved it all the same. Sara has been teaching you how to colour lately (we had some great Easter pictures hanging up)! I love watching you explore colours and discovering that you can leave a mark (on anything!) when you have a marker in your hand. You hold on to it at the very top, almost like you are holding a music directors baton and then you lightly sway it back and forth until you decided it’s time to make dots – then it isn’t so light!
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IMG_4193 PicMonkey Collage15 After we emptied your basket and gave the markers a test drive, we went to Easter Sunday church in Elgin and then headed to Great Aunt Angie’s house for a big ham dinner! Everyone was so excited to see you in your pink and green polka dot dress! I barely saw you all afternoon! You spent lots of time on Grandma’s lap, and walked around with Auntie Hilary and Auntie Kara. You chatted it up with Auntie Jamie and Great-Great Aunt and Uncle Brenda and David and you made fun of Great Uncle Ben (because that’s easy to do)! You had a blast, and were stuffed as full as you could be with all the yummy food. You slept until 7am the next morning – that’s how tired you were! On Monday we went to visit Cousin Jessica and Great Aunt Suzette. You had a lunch snack there before heading downstairs to get your hair cut – front and back! I find it crazy how just a little trim can make you look so much older. ( Later that night Daddy said you “look more mature” while your face was entirely covered in pasta sauce)! We made a quick trip in to Brockville with Jess to visit Great Uncle Mike and to have some sushi before we headed home to recover from the crazy weekend! You officially celebrated your second holiday. You were only a few weeks old last year for Easter!

 

IMG_4029 You have become quite the little helper. Daddy has been doing a lot of work on the yard now that the snow has finally disappeared. A few weekends ago he dressed you up in your snowsuit and sunglasses and headed out to do some raking. You were trying to scoot and climb up on everything in sight. You must have been out there for few hours just playing and having a ball. Eventually Daddy brought you back to the house because you decided you were hungry and the dirt looked REALLY good. Let’s just say Daddy did some digging in your mouth and Momma gave you bath! Mmmm Mmmm Good!
IMG_3983 Momma and Daddy bought two kayaks last weekend! We are so excited to get out on the lake. Just about a month ago we were walking across the lake… Now the ice is all out and ready for some summer fun (when it warms up)! We went to Frontenac Outfitters and tested out a few kayak models before settling on two Tempest 170’s. Daddy, of course, wanted red. We brought them home on a Saturday evening and waiting all day Sunday for it to stop raining. Finally around 7pm we were able to bring you down to Grandma and Grandpas to hang out with your Aunties while Daddy and I went for our inaugural paddle. They were fantastic. I used to kayak everywhere, but I outgrew the model I had a few years ago. It felt so great to get out on the lake again. We went across to the north shore to check out the waterfall coming down the mountain, then into Westport, and back to the Blair’s. Daddy can’t wait to get you out with us – we just have to figure out how to strap you down so you don’t try to stand up!
IMG_3879 Other notable things from this month:

  • You are clapping and waving and blowing kisses like crazy!
  • You are eating: cake, ice cream, brussel sprouts, pasta and pasta sauce WITH ONIONS (Uncle Kenney wouldn’t even eat it!) – actually, anything we eat, you eat – spice and all –but you really really don’t like tomatoes (even with Daddy’s persistent effort to show you how good they are).

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  • You have started doing yoga in your sleep!

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  • You (still) have 8 teeth (that we know of)!
  • Stacking blocks is one of your favourite things to do… Sometimes you stack them even higher than you.. and then you push them over with a laugh!

  • You say “Ta-Ta” and actually mean it!
  • We have started walking a lot more now. The streets of Westport missed us! We walk every night at 5pm with Granny. We see the same people every lap around the block and they always stop to see Little Miss. Olive. It’s so nice to go outside without a coat and see everyone around town.
  • Once upon a time you loved emptying every box you could find. Now, you love putting things away! You are a great help when it comes to cleaning. All your toys, books, bath duckies, and shoes are all put in something… Daddy keeps finding your ABC fridge magnets in his boots in the morning and I have had to a few frantic early morning searches before hitting the road trying to find where you hid my shoes the night before!
  • You and Momma reached 1000 (and beyond) followers on Instagram with all our baking we’ve been doing together!! Everyone loves our photos! (your cute little fingers make them even better)!

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    • You love to flop around on Momma and Daddy’s bed! I lie you down and you start kicking your legs and hitting the mattress with your hands – smiles as big as anything. You are so funny!
    • You love to make tidal waves in the bath. SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH! The waves just keep getting bigger and bigger! You also love kissing yourself in the mirror before you get into the bath. You probably kiss yourself at least 8 times before I tare you away from the mirror. Oh silly girl!
    • You have started to pass the ball with us. Sara and the daycare kids taught you this!

  • Your DaDa continues to love putting you in random small things:

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  • Everytime music is playing, whether in church, at home, or in the car, you dance. You bop your head up and down while smiling, and wiggle your little body until you cannot wiggle anymore.
  • You spent a morning with Auntie Hilary while Momma went to the dentist. I think you had a blast because there were little shreds of paper all over the floor when I came to pick you up. You discovered that Grandma’s low window sills were the best thing to walk along! You were almost sprinting from one side to the other.
  • As part of your birthday present, Auntie Roacher took you to get your Easter photos taken by her friend in Smiths Falls. You weren’t too forth coming with the smiles… but they still turned out as cute as can be!
  • Grandpa celebrated his 60th birthday this week! You celebrated by eating the big German Soft pretzel that we made for HIM! (he was nice and shared)!

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As I lay you down to sleep every night I find myself thanking God for giving us such a special gift. You and Daddy are the only two things I will ever say that I need in my life. I can live without everything else. As long as we are here together, my heart is so full of love, of joy, and of happiness. Looking in your eyes, I wonder what you are thinking. Your little mind must be going a mile a minute, trying to keep up with all these new things you are experiencing every day. I cannot begin to even express how much I love you, my sweet garlic girl. You are my world!

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Xoxoxox

-Momma

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Thirteen Months with Olive

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­­­­­Dear Olive,

Our lives, from how you have only known it, officially changed the day after your first birthday. Celebrating your first year was so bitter sweet for me. I was so excited to shower you with love and reminisce about the last year of our lives, but I was also reluctant to let myself fully understand what one year meant. One year meant it was time for me to go back to work… No more breakfast dates, no more day-time cuddles and Mommy-Olive naps… No more unplanned road trips into town… No more baby groups to attend. Celebrating a year was so special, but so hard.

PicMonkey Collage Before you were here I had no problem thinking that going back to work was going to be okay. I like my job. I just didn’t understand the connection I would have with you, the love I would have for you, and the incredible amount of daily joy you would have for me. As the day charged toward us, I often found myself wondering if I took my time with you for granted. Many people asked me how I had time to bake and create flowers and sew dresses when I had a little baby to look after. They made me feel like I wasn’t devoting every single second of my life to you… But then I realized that those people don’t understand you. They don’t understand our relationship. They didn’t understand that you were not like a “normal” baby who needed my attention during all waking hours of the day. They didn’t understand that we didn’t sit in front of the TV all day watching baby shows and playing with every single toy under the moon (you have yet to really watch a TV show and you are quite content with the few toys and gazillion books you have)! You are independent. You like to explore and discover things on your own. I can see that you have made my likes and interests your likes and interests. You already love to bake. I cannot put one cup of flour into the mixer without you demanding to sit on the counter to watch. You love to get creative – you painted your first painting the week before your birthday and now I proudly display it in my office at work. At first, you didn’t quite know what the paint was, but when I put your hand through it, that was the end of your wondering!  Over this past year I have really noticed how babies and their surroundings really influence each other. We are more of a hands on, go for walks, and spend time with each other without the TV on kind of people. I love that you are learning through books and not the TV. I love that your mood suddenly changes as soon as we walk outside. I love that every new thing you see or play with brings a cute little twinkle to your eye!

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IMG_4230 You had so much fun at your birthday party! Because you love books so much, we decided to have a book themed party and asked your guests to bring books instead of toys. You have such a big library for a little girl! It makes me smile every time I walk by the pile (which, as of this past weekend was organized on your new bookshelf that Daddy made you). Your party started at 10:29am on March 9 – the exact time you were born! You wore a pink confetti dress that I made for you complete with pearls and a cute party crown. Once everyone started to arrive, you slowly forgot about the awesome balloons and started making your rounds saying “hi” to everyone. You absolutely loved playing with cousin Avery and sitting on Great-Great-Aunt Shelia’s lap! You two make a good pair! After a little while, Daddy fired up the Barbeque and cooked some hamburgers and hot dogs to go with the yummy salads that both Granny and Grandma brought – everyone loves Grandma’s Caesar Salad! We all ate until we couldn’t eat anymore… and then we had dessert! Cake and French Macarons… A pairing you love just as much as Mommy. After putting off trying to make macarons all year, I decided to go full force and make a few dozen for your party. It really wasn’t as hard as every article or recipe says it was… And now I am kind of addicted to creating them in different flavours! I baked you a tiny cake just for you – but again, you didn’t want to smash it! I think you can appreciate beauty (haha)! We sang happy birthday, we all ate cake, and then it was on to your presents! Cousin Avery helped you open your gifts because you get distracted pretty easily! So many books!! Books everywhere! I cannot begin to describe how much you love flipping through the pages. You still haven’t quite let us finish reading a book – we must read too slow – you just keep flipping! You flip a page, your eyes light up, and your tiny mouth forms an “O” as you say “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”. This is one of my favourite sounds. Granny and Grandpa gave you a very special gift – Mommy’s rocking horse – Bobby. Granny and Grandpa gave it to Momma when she turned one and now he is all shiny and new for you! Granny also gave you Momma’s all time favourite book. Your Great Grandma Murray gave it to Momma, and now Granny gave it to you. I am so looking forward to reading it to you every night!

After things started calming down and people started giving their goodbye kisses, you zonked! You were so pooped! It was probably about 2:30 when you went down to sleep, and I’m sure if I didn’t wake you up, you would have slept the entire night! You were such a good birthday girl! Mommy and Daddy are so proud. We cannot remember life without little Miss. Olive.  You are the one thing in my life that I am not ashamed to brag about!

IMG_4038-copy IMG_3995-copy IMG_3926-copy IMG_3932-copy IMG_3935-copy IMG_4069-copy Now that I am a month into commuting and working full time, I have realized that it isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think the anticipation of not knowing what was going to happen was worse than actually going back. We have fallen into a nice new routine — and I think you love it the most. It’s up to Mr. Mom in the mornings now. My mornings start around 4:30. Some days I get to see you, some days I don’t. For the most part you are still waking up between 5 and 5:30, therefore if you do wake up while I am still home I nurse you, and  then you go back to sleep with Daddy. Those days I love. I love seeing you two sound asleep together… Your arms and legs are sprawled out, taking up three quarters of the entire bed leaving Daddy is right on the edge (but I don’t think he minds)! I want to keep that imagine in my mind for as long as I can. It’s so comforting and peaceful knowing that you get to spend more time with Daddy now. I think he loves it too. (I love how you always cup your cheek when you sleep. ALWAYS!)

IMG_3753 Around 7:30 you are off to Daycare at Sara’s. The first three drop-offs that Daddy did, you cried… but you haven’t cried since! You LOVE going to Daycare to play with all the kids. Sara is so amazing with you. She really puts my mind at ease knowing you are in such good hands when I am so far away from you. You play, and sing songs, and eat, and nap, and play some more. All the kids are just crazy about you, and you them! One multiple occasions Sara has told me that she has found you in the corner kissing all the boys… Are you going to cause us a ton of problems in the future, Little Missy?? You officially had your first runny nose this past weekend so I think you may have learned your lesson! I have noticed such a huge change in you over the last month. You have learned so many new things at Sara’s – clapping, blowing kisses, a different style wave… Every day it seems like you come home with something new you learned. I am amazed! My favourite part of the day is when I get to pick you up (if I am home in time)! I sneak inside and watch you play until you notice that I am there. You sprint-bum-scoot over to me with the biggest smile and sometimes a kiss (but not always… You need to work on that). Sometimes you just kind of say “Hi Mom” and then go back to playing. Sometimes I don’t think you want to leave! You just love being with people your size! I am convinced you are bored at home now when you don’t have anyone to play with. You are so good. You have made this transition for me so much easier than I ever expected. How did we get so lucky to have such an amazing baby?

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Some notable things from this past month:

  • You are eating an even bigger variety: Madras soup, wiener schnitzel, hamburgers, chicken pasta enchiladas, homogenized milk, blueberry yogurt… the list just gets bigger and bigger!
  • You have started to dance (on your bum)! You have a few toys that make music when you press buttons. As soon as the music begins, you start to wiggle on your bum. Sometimes you get a good head banging action going! It is the cutest!
  • You got a little toy trumpet for your birthday. When I took it out of the package I quickly thought “thank goodness she will not know how to blow into this for a while”. Boy was I wrong! You scoot around the house with the trumpet hanging out of your mouth, blowing in it as hard as you can. I can’t believe how loud you can get it going!!
  • You went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for an evening while Momma and Daddy went to see a movie! You had so much fun playing and eating with Auntie Kara! You had a bath and then got your first official french braid – piggy tail style!! Unreal! I can’t believe you hair is long enough for french braids! We just skipped the pony tail entirely!

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  • Your favourite words: Da-Da, Ma-Ma, Uh-Oh (thanks Great Uncle Ben!), Babababa, and something that sounds like Puppy (but more like Bah-Pay)! — Candice, Uncle Kenney’s girlfriend said she thought you needed a Puppy for Easter… You looked right at her and said “Bah-Pay?” It was SO cute! You also still say “Mmmmmm” every time you eat something and you have started to say Bay-Bay (which sounds like Baby)! I love when you have full on conversations with yourself. It is one of the cutest things ever!
  • You have pulled yourself up a total of four times… All four times I didn’t see it! You have been trying for a while, but just haven’t been able to get up off your knees. You pulled yourself up in your crib while you were sitting playing (while Daddy was building your bookshelf) and then again at Granny’s house on her steps (2 times!) while Daddy and Mommy were test driving Granny’s new car! Just yesterday Sara sent me a picture of you standing at her house too! I think I have to start getting used to not seeing you do things for the first time.
  • You still aren’t walking… But I am still not concerned in the least. You are quite content and can get around the house far too easy on your bum. You can easily carry anything you want from room to room. With that said, you LOVE walking when you can hold on to our fingers – and your are getting pretty fast at it. Sometimes you get a little fussy – thats our cue that you want to walk… But still, you have no intent to do it alone. I love your little stomp. You bring your knees nice and high and then stomp your foot to the floor. Melts my heart!

  • The ice is still on the lake, and still pretty thick too! Daddy has started a new house on the other side of the lake, just at the bottom of the mountain. We decided to walk all the way across a few weeks ago to pick up his truck. You were sound asleep in your stroller, which was probably a good thing because it was fairly windy. I never thought I would be able to say that we walked to Westport, across the ice, at the end of March!

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  • You surprised me this past weekend when you stacked your MixMates Blocks almost higher than your head! I honestly didn’t think babies your size knew how to gentle stack a tower of blocks. You were so proud of yourself (and so was I). You had to chose which block was next. If I handed you one, you shook your head and grabbed the farthest block from you. Silly girl! Maybe you are going to be a builder like Daddy!

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  • You love wearing a painters tape roll as a bracelet. You found a roll on the floor the other day and you promptly put in on your wrist and scooted around the house with your arm held high as if saying “look at my diamonds… Aren’t they beautiful”. You were pretty proud!
  • We started up our nightly walks again now that the sidewalks in Westport are finally clear. Thank goodness. This past winter has been one of the longest I can ever remember… and I don’t think Westport was ready for it (in terms of snow removal). The sidewalks have been a disaster for months.
  • We were at Granny and Grandpa’s last week – you were hanging out on the counter with Grandpa with Granny’s jar of chocolate bars. You stuck your little hands in the jar, pulled out a “Crunch” bar and spent 15 minutes (at least!) playing with it until you OPENED IT! It decided to share some with Grandpa and then you played with the rest for a while… Putting it back in the jar, grabbing it back in your hands… and finally you decided to give it a try. Its safe to say that you officially had your first chocolate bar!
  • This past weekend we went up to Joey and Lyndsey’s cottage to see how their Maple Syrup season was going this year! You officially witness your first batch of syrup being made

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  • You have carried around your birthday balloons all month!! They JUST started to deflate! We may have to have a balloon in the house at all times!

IMG_3428 This has been one crazy month of changes, but it is all sliding into place, just as I had expected. I shouldn’t have ever doubted that you were going to love Daycare immediately. You just make everything so much easier. I keep wondering how we were so lucky to get the most perfect baby girl to slide right in to our lives without any troubles or any big life changes. It honestly feels like you have been a part of our lives forever. You take everything by stride, and nothing seems to upset you (for longer than 30 seconds)! Your rosy cheeks are still as big as ever, and your hair is growing by the inch! You are the cutest!!! Thank you for all that you are, and for all the joy you bring on a daily basis!

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Love you to the moon and back!

xoxoxox
-Momma

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One Year with Olive

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Dear my sweet one year old Olive,

I have such a surreal feeling as I write you this letter while watching you scoot around the living room on your bum, throwing everything out of your path. I won’t deny that I have tears rolling down my face as I look at you right now and think that just one short year ago you were so helpless… so tiny… so beautiful. You still are beautiful, but you have grown by leaps and bounds, and you are such an independent little girl. I never imagine how much our lives would change for the better once you arrived one year ago today. You have brought an overwhelming amount of joy and love to our family, Olive. I truly feel so incredibly lucky to have been given the chance to stay at home and watch you experience every new thing with each passing day. The things I used to think were so small and the things I took for granted are now at the forefront of my life because you have made me appreciate the small things. I cannot tell you how many times in the last week that I have let you fall asleep in my arms instead of putting you in your crib because I just wanted to watch you sleep. I just want to remember you fitting into my arms so perfectly. It is so peaceful. I never understood why Granny always said “I love you most when you are sleeping”, until now. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to play with us, or because she was tired of us running around the house, or because she didn’t want more toys strewn across the house, or because we were driving her crazy. No. It was because we were transformed back into that helpless, tiny and beautiful baby we once were. When you sleep in my arms, I am taken back to the day you were born. To the first moment Daddy and I finally got to see you. Olive, it feels like yesterday. It truly does. I have no idea where the time has gone!

IMG_3330 Just one year ago, at exactly 10:29am Daddy and Momma met their brand new little girl. You were no longer “Fernando” (Daddy’s nickname for you while you were in my tummy), but Miss. Olive Poole Blair, weighing in at a healthy 8 pounds, 4 ounces. Word got out fast that you had arrived. Not long after, we had a room full of new grandparents, new aunties, new uncles, new great aunts and new great uncles who were swooning over your beautiful locks and chubby cheeks. Since that oh-so-special day, you have taken the world by storm. You went from baby who slept 18 hours a day to a busy bum scooting floor cleaner. It is absolutely incredible how far we, as a family, have come. Because of you, our love is stronger than ever. I have seen a new side to Daddy that has made me fall in love with him all over again. You two have your own language. You bounce off of each other as soon as he walks in the door. The way you look at him, and the way he looks at you… It fills my heart as full as it can be. 

Olive-(6-days-old)-87-copy IMG_0782-copy Olive-(6-days-old)-10-copy Before you were here, Daddy only wanted a boy. He even had me convinced that we had a little mister on the way. He even went so far as to start painting your room blue one day while I was out. I came home to a big blue surprise and Daddy trying to convince me that blue was a “neutral” colour. Needless to say, another trip to Herlehy’s Home Hardware was needed, however we ran out of yellow and grey, so I caved and agreed to keep your ceiling blue. You have completely changed Daddy’s opinion of little girls. You are so good to humour him when he dresses you in boy clothes, or when he takes you out to the garage to do ” boy work” or when he straps you to his chest to go plow the driveway with the tractor. You love it. You will do anything as long as it is with Daddy.  You didn’t hear this from me, but he told me he would be happy with a few more girls! If I was told one year and one day ago that he would think that, I would have thought you were crazy! You have changed him, not in a bad way, but in an amazing way. 

IMG_3268 This month as been a whirlwind. You are now 29.5″ long and 19.5lbs. You safe still fighting that darn bladder infection, but that hasn’t stopped you from being mobile. Very mobile! Last month you figured out your bum scooting technique, and this month you perfected it. You are gone in a flash (or faster)! You LOVE opening doors, especially the TV cabinet. One swoosh of the arm and out comes all my (used to be) organized DVDs, and then in the next breath you are out the door and in the kitchen playing with you ABC fridge magnets. You love emptying your suitcase of toys. Grandpa cannot believe how fast you can mess up a room! I’m starting to get used to it, but I’m afraid I’ve inherited some Granny’s neat-freak traits so as soon as you leave the room, all your toys are back in the suitcase waiting for you to realize its time to scatter them again. You are keeping us on our toes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love watching you learn. Everything excites you… most of all – finding cheerios on the floor. Oh Cheerios! I don’t think our house will ever be the same! I found cheerios in a pair of shoes that I haven’t worn since the summer… They just show up everywhere!

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Now lets talk about Necklaces. I don’t know where your fascination with necklaces comes from because I’ve been wearing the same necklace and earrings since our honeymoon in 2011, but as soon as Granny walks in the door, you are grabbing at her neck to see which necklace she is sporting that day. Granny now has a special necklace at her house just for you to wear when you visit. You love necklaces, and have since the day you were born. You just can’t get enough. I just hope that your future husband is reading this so he can prepare himself!

IMG_3374-2 For the past few weeks you have been going to daycare at Sara’s a few days so you can get used to the new change that is happening tomorrow. After a year of morning cuddles, breakfast dates, playtime, road trips, naps, baking adventures, movie outings and daily walks, Momma is heading back to work. I was given the most amazing gift I could ever have asked for. Being able to stay home with you for a year is something I will forever cherish. Because of this, I was able to be there every morning to get you dressed and fed. I was there to read you stories when you wanted. I was there to help you feel better when you were sick. I was there when you just wanted to sit on my lap and talk. Because I was able to spend this past year at home with you, I was able to nurse you for a full year. I am so proud of myself for being able to do this. I was determined to give you the best start to your life as I could, and I truly believe that being able to nurse you (bottle free!) for 365 days did just that. We are starting a new Chapter tomorrow, and I really hope you will fall nicely into the new routine. No longer will I be here when you get up. Our breakfast dates will be saved for weekends only. I hope you will still want to nap with me during the day when I am home. I hope you won’t mind that I will not be here near as much as I have been. I know you will do just fine. You are already starting to spread your little wings. As excited as I am for you, my heart strings are feeling a little tug. It’s going to be hard these next few weeks, but I know you will be in good hands. I know this is what you need. I know you LOVE watching all the little girls and boys run circles around you. I just hope I don’t miss any firsts – walking, talking… I know you will always know that I am your Momma and that I love you so much, but it is just hard knowing that I am not going to be the one there for you 100% of the time. Just keep your smiles coming and kisses just as sloppy. That’s what Momma will need when she comes home at night.

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Some things from this month:

  • I have come to the conclusion that you will eat anything: mussels, omelettes, beets, cheese… If I let you, you would eat 24 hours a day!

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  • You caught on to daycare very fast – in the sense that you knew when we walked in the door at Sara’s that I was going to leave you. Immediate tears, but they went away 5 minutes after I left. Sara says you are doing amazing! Playing with the kids, eating, sleeping… A natural!
  • You have started walking with our help! You can’t stand up on your own yet, but if we hold on to your hands, you will walk everywhere! Watching you learn how to move you feet has been the cutest thing. You picked your knees up so high and then stomp your foot down. I love it. I don’t want it to change!
  • You have a pretty smile and a goofy smile. Your goofy smile makes me laugh every time. You scrunch your nose, squint your eyes, and raise your top lip so we see your two front teeth. Olive, it is priceless!
  • Just last night you started playing Peek-A-Boo on your own. I was putting you in your crib and you pulled the blanket over your eyes, then you quickly pulled it down and started laughing. I don’t know why, but this brought tears to my eyes. You are starting to understand how to play games.
  • You went to your first skating birthday party for Rubie this month! You loved being on the ice! We cannot wait to get a pair of skates on your, but I guess you have to learn how to walk first!! You might just be the youngest CanSkater Westport has ever seen. You are 2 for 2 for the end of the year ice show! Last year you made your debut appearance while you were in Mommy’s tummy (you arrived a week later), and this year you strolled out on during the finale (although you were sound asleep)!

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  • We watched the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. I couldn’t help but wonder if someday Momma and Daddy will be sitting in the stands cheering you on (no pressure)! I love playing the “I wonder” game about your future! I hope you don’t mind. You loved Patrick Chan! You watched him while eating breakfast. You would laugh and get so excited when he did a jump or a spin!

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  • We went for your first birthday photo shoot with Ruth a few days ago. You were so darn cute. Momma made you a smash cake, but you absolutely did not want to smash it. You used your tiny, dainty little fingers to pick little pieces of icing off the top. We had to cut into it, and you still were so neat. I guess Momma’s neat feeding habits are rubbing off on you!

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  • You still let Daddy put you in random objects. This month – the Crock Pot. I thought you’d hate it, but you lounged in there like it was a hot tub! You loved it! (Thanks for humouring your silly Daddy)!

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  • You absolutely love sharing your food. You prefer to feed yourself, but when you get full, you reach your hands up in the air to put whatever you are eating in our mouth. You are not satisfied until we finish the rest of your food. Silly girl. 

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  • You are in love with balloons! Ever since our photoshoot, you will not move unless you have a balloon in your hand. You eat with them, scoot with them, bath with them… and would sleep with them if I let you. It is so funny to watch you go behind the island while you are carrying one. The balloon goes bounce, bounce, bounce, as you slid across the floor. I’ve come to realize it is a great tracking device. Luckily they have not popped yet!

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Today we are having a little family birthday party for you. I am so excited to celebrate! We have cake, and french macarons, and hamburgers, and salads… You will be in seventh heaven! We decided to go with a “book” theme because that is what you are all about. Instead of toys, we asked our family to add to your book collection! You are going to be soooooooo happy!!!

I know I keep saying it, but Olive, you have no idea how much joy you have brought to our family. You are our little ray of sunshine in a world that wasn’t as bright as it should have been. A day does not go by without me wishing that your Great Popa could have met you. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel that I was able to tell him you were on your way. I keep remembering how he threw his head back in happy laughter, and I keep picturing him holding you on his lap trying to sneak you a little piece of chocolate. He was a proud man. A great man. A precious man. I know you two have already met. I can feel it. I can feel him here all the time. I believe that he picked you to be ours. He made you a little extra special. He gave you that little extra twinkle in your eye. I know he loves you and I know he is always watching over you. I say a little prayer to him every day asking him to keep you happy, healthy and safe. You have an amazing angel with you always, Olive. Please know that he is there whenever you need him.

You have opened my eyes to a whole new world, and I really cannot wait for our future. We cannot remember life without you. I have no idea what Daddy and I ever talked about before you were here. I am proud. I look at you in amazement. You truly are a miracle who has made our little family whole. Thank you Olive. Thank you for being a perfect baby… For making my job so easy… For loving me unconditionally… For making me a Momma. Thank you for the memories… Thank you for showing me this new kind of love that I never knew existed. 

We love you to the moon and back, Olive.  Happy First Birthday, my sweet Little Garlic Girl! 

xoxoxox
-Momma

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Roasted Red Beets with Quinoa and Feta

Now that Olive is eating more and more, I am having so much fun coming up with meal ideas that are fitting for her and I both. I love watching her face every time she gets to try something new. She will literally eat anything you give her, which is a great attribute to have in our family because we are pretty adventurous eaters. Today I made this very simple, but very delicious quinoa salad. I think it is definitely a make-again meal… and so does Olive!

Roasted Beets with Quinoa and Feta for Baby and Momma Ingredients

  • 3 medium red beets, scrubbed
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 oz. fresh spinach, stems removed, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

What’s next?

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Arrange the beets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Roast the beets until they are tender when pierced with a fork (25-30 minutes). Let the beets stand until cool enough to handle, then use wet hands to slip the skins from the beets. Cut the beets into quarters.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan, bring 2 cups of salted water to boil. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed (20 minutes). Fold in spinach and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, fold together the quinoa mixture, beets, raisins, and feta together and drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and the lemon juice.
  5. Divide the entire recipe into both adult and child-friendly portions. For adults, serve as is. For baby, transfer to a food processor and puree or fork mash to desired consistency. 
  6. Recipe makes approximately 4 adult portions or 6 baby portions.

Roasted Beets with Quinoa and Feta for Baby and Momma Olive says “I LOVE WHEN MY SKIN TURNS RED!”

stacy

Eleven Months With Olive

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Dear Olive,

This has been a doozy of a month. Your little body has been through so much. A few weeks in to January your fever spiked. We assumed you were just teething because, lets face it, you had just popped through 4 teeth at the same time, but after 4 days of fevers, not eating, and vomiting, I decided it was time to get you checked. With out really even examining you, Dr. Laforty knew you had a bladder infection. What? This wasn’t even on my radar. We spent the next few days trying to get a urine sample while we prayed for you to eat something. You were in so much pain. Every scream was heartbreaking. Every time you turned your head when we tried to feed you made me worry. You were lethargic, hot, and all you wanted to do was sit in the window, naked, watching your birdies.

IMG_3081 Your entire attitude and demeanour was so different than what I was used to and I remember thinking “is my Olive ever going to come back?”. Dr. Laforty put you on antibiotics for 7 days. He said you should feel 100% better after 2 days… but you weren’t. In my opinion you were worse than ever. 72 hours after starting the medicine, your screaming was louder, you were only sleeping an hour at a time (if we were lucky), and you still weren’t eating. I made the call that it was time to go to the hospital. I thought that they would be able to settle my fears and help take some pain away… But I was wrong. We found ourselves sitting in a empty emergency room at 9:30 pm. Your fever was down and your heart rate was normal. These vitals made the doctor-on-call think that we were just wasting her time. She didn’t look at you at all, let alone examine you. She just came in, looked me in the eye and said “MOM, you need to give it time”. After listening to you scream at the top of your lungs in pain for the past 5 hours, and hearing the doctor talk down to me this way made me lose it emotionally. The doctor made us put a urine bag in your diaper and had us sit in the waiting room until you went pee. You screamed for at least 30 minutes while you tried, and no one came out to check on you. At this point I realized it was useless. The doctor wasn’t going to do anything for you. I took you to the bathroom, took the bag out of your diaper, and I cried. I cried because all I wanted was someone to tell me we were doing everything we were supposed to be doing. I wanted some reassurance that my sweet Olive, the incredibly happy, very independent baby that I know, was going to come back to us. I wanted the doctor to make me feel better about you feeling better. I cried. I cried and I cried and I cried. I was in the bathroom with you for so long that Daddy came to check on us. I handed him the pretty-much-empty bag and I told him to go tell the doctor that we were leaving. I wanted to get out of there as fast I could. I didn’t appreciate being treated like an idiot. No one would. I don’t consider us parents who run to the doctor after one sniffle. I knew something was wrong, and it wasn’t getting better, and the doctor just made me feel worse. I cried all night as I tried to comfort you. 

IMG_3104 The days went by. We kept giving your medicine and slowly you started to eat a little more, but you were still in pain that I couldn’t take away. Every day slowly got better, but not as fast as Dr. Laforty said. After a week, we went for a checkup. You had lost 4 pounds. You now weigh the same you did in September. 19lbs, and 28.5 inches long. By this time, you stopped screaming when you tried to pee. Your diapers were finally filling up more, and your appetite was back in full force. We thought you were all in the clear. Your smiles came back. Your giggles came back. Your curiosity came back. Miss Olive was back. We went for another week, assuming all infection was gone. We were to bring in another sample this past week just to make sure our assumptions were right. I had no doubt you were better… And then we received a call from Dr. Laforty himself. The infection is still there. Back on antibiotics for 10 more days this time. A different kind. A yucky kind. Now we fight 2 times a day for the next 10 days to get that medicine in your tummy. This morning you didn’t want to eat. I pray that it isn’t coming back. I hope we caught it early enough and that the yucky medicine will work this time. You are such a strong little girl. When Momma was melting you knew enough to give me a little smile or make your eyes sparkle just long enough for me to see you in there. It really is amazing how much you have changed me. Going through this past month has really made me realize just how much I love you and how much I will do to make sure you are happy and healthy. 

IMG_3114 As stressful as this month has been, it has also been an incredible growing month for you – but not in weight, you’ve gone backwards in that category! Remember how I said you weren’t going to crawl? Well, you still aren’t crawling… But you are butt scooting, and doing it with lots of strength! You are moving… and moving FAST! I cannot get over how fast you can disappear when we put you on the floor. Your scoot is so unique! I love watching it! I have no idea how you can move so fast with this “technique”, but you have certainly perfected it. It is a little complicated to describe, but I will give it my best go: You bend your right knee upwards so your foot is flat on the floor (as if trying to stand up), then place both hands in front of your body. You slide your left leg forward, in-between your hands and PUUULLLL!!!! All those warnings I have received up to this date are now all making sense! Soon Daddy will have to build a gate for the top of the stairs and the baby proofing will begin. You are also trying, with all your might, to pull yourself up. Right now you can get your little bum off the floor and all your weight on your outward facing knees, but you can’t pull yourself up fully just yet. I imagine you will be standing, and maybe even walking by this time next month. You are a very determined little girl, Olive. 

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3 You have also started doing some fun tricks like clicking your tongue. I have no idea how you figured out how to do this, but it is the cutest thing. I click my tongue, you look at me intrigued, slowly smile and then you slow motion click your tongue. Some mornings we have a tongue clicking competition and you ALWAYS win! You have also started clapping your hands – not often – but you still do it when you are incredibly excited. You have a new smile you’ve been trying out as well. You scrunch your eyes and nose and lift your top lip to show off your two big top teeth. Most often this smile appears while you are eating and it is following by “mum, mum, mum, mum” which I and starting to think you are actually saying “mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm”. A Momma can wish, can’t she? You now prefer to feed yourself. You sit in your Stokke highchair and quickly shovel the food in. You look at Momma with your scrunched smile and then promptly squish all the food into the table. You are quite proud of this! Lets just say the broom is out and the table is washed A LOT more than it used to be!

IMG_3122 1 You’ve graduated into the big girl bathtub and are loving it. So much more room for all your toys. You aren’t quite sure about floating on your back (with Momma’s help) just yet, but we are working on getting you more comfortable with it. You are a doll, Olive. You love to splash, and squeal, and pop bubbles!

IMG_3189 After a Thursday night skate, I came out of the rink and received a text message from Daddy. He decided to take you to Kingston to pick up supplies at Home Depot. Daddy then surprised you with your first official Daddy-Daughter date to Boston Pizza afterwards! I was so excited that he took you out for dinner. You both had big plates of spaghetti and you didn’t forget to ask Momma if she wanted anything. Daddy loves taking you places. You’ve gone on a lot of job meetings and supply runs. I think you like riding in Daddy’s big truck. You can easily see out the window as you watch everything fly by. Do you know your absolutely favourite place that Daddy takes you? You get all bundled up, get into Daddy’s truck and you drive out onto the ice to the ice shack! Daddy LOVES taking you ice fishing! You are such good girl when you are there. You sit there and play with the toys Daddy brings, or you munch down on a mum mum. Every so often you will hold on the rod and smile, not really knowing what you are doing. I don’t think Daddy has caught anything while you have been with him, but I can only imagine your face if he were to pull a big fish through the hole! Uncle Jordan has been fishing with you a fair bit too over the past month. I think he really enjoys when you are there. You provide some great entertainment when the fish aren’t biting!

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IMG_2144 Mommy finally got out for an afternoon girls day with Whitney last week. We went for manicures and hair cuts – My first hair cut since May! You and daddy spent the day together, playing in the snow and going for a walk in your sleigh. When I got home, I found an awesome surprise upstairs! You and Daddy went and bought Mommy a new dryer! Now one of your favourite things to do while I fold laundry is watching the clothes going around and around and around in circles!

IMG_3161 We are having so much fun in the snow now that the temperature isn’t as cold. We went for a family snowshoe back in the bush and lots of walks with granny. We walked around town in your sleigh and you loved trying to grab the snow from the tall snowbanks! You make me so happy. Every morning you greet me with a smile and at least 5 kisses. These past 11 months have been the best of my life. I know I keep saying it, but I never thought a baby could bring both Daddy and I so much joy. You have changed your Daddy in so many good ways. He has so much fun playing with you and coming up with hilarious photo ops while Momma isn’t home. I look forward to those photo texts while I’m away!

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IMG_3204 Some other things from this month:

  • You have 6 teeth
  • We made grandpa some cinnamon buns after a long day of plowing. The first thing he did when he saw the fresh buns was grab a piece and give it to you. He was quite excited to see your eyes light up! I think you probably ate an entire one by the end of the night. 
  • You are eating: blueberries, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, broccoli, carrots, barley, bananas, pasta, yogurt, chicken, venison, beef, baby mum-mums, cheerios, rice crispies, cinnamon buns (when Momma isn’t looking)!
  • You still cannot get enough birdie-watching!
  • You love the snow and our sleigh rides
  • You have learned how to sit up on your own (from lying on your back) while on the bed, but you haven’t been able to do it from the floor yet
  • Momma was asked to be a bridesmaid for her best friend Amy from Acadia! We made sugar cookies to send them in the mail and after two attempts, they finally got them!
  • You watched some of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in Sochi. I couldn’t help but wonder if some day you might be there watching the torch light!

IMG_2852 We love you Miss Olive. Keep smiling and fighting that darn infection!

xoxoxox
Momma

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5 copy PicMonkey Collage

 

 

Tuesday Ten: Favourite Baby Instagrammers

It’s no secret that I am an avid Instagrammer. I didn’t really get this social media before Olive arrived, but after she was here I discovered all these awesome Momma’s doing awesome Momma things and sharing their world through pictures on this highly addictive social media network! I feel like I’ve gone on a real ride with some of these inspirational ladies without ever meeting them. I find myself getting excited for them as their due dates approaches, or if they celebrate another baby birthday!nToday I’m sharing my top ten favourites (which was very hard to narrow down)!

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  1. Freshly Picked - Susan is an entrepreneur’s inspiration! She built her baby moccasin business from the ground up and recently accepted a partnership deal with Daymond John on Shark Tank! Go Susan! Olive has a few pairs of her moccasins and she loves them!
  2. Kristin Rogers - Kristin is an awesome photographer based out of California and is also a home schoolin’ momma to her two beautiful girls!
  3. Ivie Baby - Elizabeth is a very talented seamstress who recently started working on her business full time! She makes amazing sheets and quilts for babies!
  4. Melanie Burk - Melanie is a huge inspiration to me. I took many (MANY) of her classes over at Nicoles Classes and have since had a chance to talk with her about a future collaboration! She is a momma to three beautiful girls!
  5. Candy Kirby Designs - Erin is amazing seamstress. She creates leggings, hats, dolls, blankets… you name it! She also has one of the cutest families I have ever seen! 
  6. Faas Design - Melanie broke into the Instagram world around the same time I really started obsessing with it. She has done so well over the last year selling her moccasins! It’s amazing to watch this beautiful Momma grow!
  7. Nicole Gerulat - Another Photographer Momma that taught me over at Nicoles Classes! Her instagram feed is drool-worthy! Her photos are so inspiring!
  8. The Rural Roost - Maggie is a rural momma to (almost) three beautiful babes. Her son was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Watching her family go through the diagnosis was heart-wrenching and beautiful all at the same time. 
  9. Little Hip Squeaks - Another amazing seamstress whose business has has blossomed this last year! I think Olive has a mini-crush on her son Eli! Who can resist a blond haired-blue eyed handsome young fella?
  10. The Alison Show - An incredibly hilarious and wildly creative Momma! What more can I say? Every single photo she posts makes me literally laugh out loud! I love her!

Olive says “Ma is so addicted”!

stacy

My List for 2014

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Every year in January I like to make a list of goals for the year. Things that I hope to do, to continue doing, and things that I hope will happen. A few years ago Scott encouraged me to start setting goals for myself. He showed me that if you don’t write them down, you won’t hold yourself to them… So here I go – My list for 2014!

1. Spend more time with cake.

2. Shower more often than I did in 2013.

3. Go less insane when people say “melk” in stead of milk, and pronounce caramel “carmle.”

4. Eat more macaroni and cheese at midnight.

5. Not leave one square of toilet paper on the roll and then blame Scott for not changing the it.

6. Eat all the vegetables in the fridge before they spoil.

7. Be a good birdie momma to Olive’s birdies.

8. Read and try recipes in ALL my recipe books.

9. Splurge on stone ground chocolate, deep dish pie plates, and the good bacon.

10. Not splurge on silly, dumb or trendy things. 

11. Go to the library instead of Chapters.

12. Check my instagram less when I’m around other humans.

13. Read the chocolate chip cookie thing in its entirety and memorize it. There isn’t anything better than a perfect chocolate chip cookie.

14. Invite friends over for high tea, midnight supper, and snow picnics.

15. Be a vendor at Renegade Craft Fair and the One of a Kind Show with my new secret project.

16. I guess I better launch my secret project if I’m going to vend it!

17. Eat more chickpeas.

18. Expand my egg repertoire.

19. Travel overseas with the fan.

20. Teach Olive how to integrate (calculus, people! It’s important). 

Okay, so some won’t happen, but I’m sure Olive will pick up integrals really fast!

Olive says “I don’t even know how to count”!
stacy

 

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