21 Months, August 8

To avoid going a full year between official posts, here’s a quick 3/4 year mark from her 21 month photo shoot Friday. So much growth has occurred these past few months both mental and physical, it’s amazing. We have a walking, talking, opinionated toddler with a mouth full (sort of) of teeth. All those claims that sleep is required to properly develop a child surely were mistaken with this one. Here are a few shots to show her budding personality:

 

Olivia’s First Birthday!

Olivia’s first birthday was a whole weekend affair, as it should be. Family came for the weekend and a couple friends came for cake on Saturday. Her actual birthday (Friday, Nov 8) started out with gorgeous blue skies and crisp fall air. Unfortunately by the time we got to the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens high level clouds had rolled in dampening the birthday girl’s mood (or could be lack of sleep that did that!) Luckily we were still able to get a few cute pictures (visit the album link below to see more).

Saturday afternoon was the actual birthday party celebrated with family, Olivia’s sitter who’s like family, and her closest friend who’s just 2 weeks older. We made home made whole wheat apple-spice cake with plum tinted cream cheese frosting for a smash cake, optimistic that she would dig in and try it out. From the facial expressions when presenting the cake, we could’ve put poison in there for all that it mattered. At least the guests enjoyed a sampling of the cake!

Hours spent on Pinterest for decoration ideas were well received.

The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying Mormor and GrandPooBah on their visit from MA, and Aunt Ingrid and Cousin Nils who came to celebrate from AL. Olivia loved spending time with Nils, who loved spending time with Ben (who wouldn’t?).

 

Full album of birthday weekend photos available here.

 

Olivia’s First Year

See how she grows!

Newborn:

1 Month:

2 Months:

3 Months:

4 Months:

5 Months:

6 Months:

7 Months:

8 Months:

9 Months:

10 Months:

11 Months:

12 Months:

Party pictures and stories to follow from our wonderful weekend celebration.

Colorado 2013

Trip #2 as a family of 3 is under our belt, each trip bringing a new kind of adventure. We ventured to the Rocky Mountain National Park to celebrate my birthday (30 – eek!). Though we didn’t get as much hiking in as we would have pre-baby, nor any kayaking this time around, we had a great time. We did manage a few short hikes including a longer one at the Continental Divide reaching over 11,000 ft. This hike was probably the favorite considering it resulted in a 50-minute nap for Olivia.

The highlight of the trip is a tie between the beautiful scenery with its cool temps (lows in the 40s) and the delicious chocolate birthday cake. The worst part of the trip is easy to identify: altitude sickness for Olivia the first night at Shadow Mountain Lake. After the first full day in Colorado with minimal sleep the night of arrival, a long drive over the mountains including a trip up to Echo Lake before reaching our final destination we had one exhausted, queasy little baby on our hands. Luckily she recovered quickly after taking it easy the next couple days and shared more of her smiles and giggles with the family.

Pictures from the trip can be enjoyed here. A few favorites are below.

Our First Family Trip

Traveling with an infant seems like it should be easy aside from all the gear to pack – just stick them on your lap with a free ticket, nurse them when they get hungry, and hope they sleep most of the way with the motion. However, this only works if your infant actually sleeps with motion (aka: you have found yourself driving around aimlessly during nap time or in the middle of the night for them to sleep.) Olivia has never been a car sleeper, so we should’ve known better than to hope she’d sleep on the plane. We survived her first flight with only a bit of fussiness and about 20 minutes of sustained screaming toward the end. She does not like being stuck in one place whether she’s awake or asleep, even more so now that she’s discovered the joys of walking around.

All things considered, it could have been worse. The return flight seemed slightly better – perhaps because we knew what to expect, or because there were more children on the plane taking the heat off of us. We’ve come to a new phase in life where we hope there are other fussy babies on the plane. Here’s a shot of Olivia on her first flight, then gearing up to board the return plane home.

The plane was the least of the problems for our travel. The hardest problem was being off schedule, which is ironic since we don’t have much of a set schedule to begin with. Being away from home with all the commotion and so many new people to meet was great for entertaining and for a change of scenery but wreaked havoc on sleeping patterns. As a result, screams greeted us in the car without fail: “You’re putting me in my carseat again?? Enough of this! I’m so tired!”

Despite the sleeping issues, we managed to have a great trip to Minnesota. It wasn’t as cool as we had hoped, but there were a few nice evenings to escape July heat in Texas. Andrew & Martha’s wedding doubled as theĀ Jacob annual family reunion. Olivia loved studying all the new faces. In addition to visiting with family, we enjoyed a beautiful day at the free zoo, and took advantage of being able to walk to town and the lake from the hotel. The last time we were here we walked on the lake with -14 degree temps. This year we saw lily pads and 90+ degree temps.

With one trip under our belt would we do it again? Absolutely (though maybe not too often).

A few pictures from the trip are below, but for the full experience, click here to seeĀ all pictures from the trip.

 

Tips for traveling with an infant:

  • Baby-wear through the airport: no need to hassle with a stroller and you can wear baby through security
  • Nurse or provide bottle during take-off and landing to minimize ear pressure (if they’ll cooperate)
  • Use lots of blankets on the plane to screen some of the stimulation
  • Use burp cloths to cover arm rests (which turn out to be very intriguing to a little one!)
  • Bring a bottle of water for you to avoid hassling with the airplane cups (prime spilling opportunity)
  • Overnight diapers for the plane to minimize need for in-flight changing
  • Be prepared to be “that person” while baby cries :-/
  • Check your carseat for free to try and have something familiar in the new environment for baby