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:
My little girl is almost old enough to drink… wait… that’s not right.
Here is Olivia’s 20th month shot.
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.
See how she grows!
Party pictures and stories to follow from our wonderful weekend celebration.
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.
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 the 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 see 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
Summer is upon us and we are long overdue for an update – has it really been over 5 months since a post?
Olivia is growing by leaps and bounds, her character showing more each day. She is curious about everything and loves to stare at people and her surroundings. You can see the wheels turning behind her gorgeous blue eyes as she studies and absorbs what she sees, hears, smells, feels and tastes (her hands are on everything, and everything must be put in her mouth – including hair, glasses, noses etc … so don’t get too close if you don’t want to be slobbered on!)
Formula free since 3 months old (we made it!), we are not in a rush to risk the nursing relationship by forcing solids. Even if we were, Miss Olivia might not be up for it based on the minimal progress of our baby-led weaning:
- Carrots: Fail (with the exception of her chunk of peeled carrot as a teether which she loves!)
- Avocado: somewhat successful
- Peas: somewhat successful
- Green beans: started out successful, now spit out
- Rice cereal: Making progress (especially if sweetened by her Vitamin D).
- Butternut Squash: Fail
- Baked Potato: Fail
- Sweet Potato: Fail
- Banana: maybe successful, too soon to tell
We continue to manage work and parenting relationship through significant help from the nannies and grandparents, while forgoing sleep and any life of our own as we once knew it. Gone are the days of lazing around watching our TV shows on DVR, leisurely dinners out, gardening, exercising, winning tennis tournaments and more. What little time we are able to carve out for ourselves is usually taken in shifts, or in place of sleep. “Time for ourselves” is now defined as catching up on work, laundry and other household chores. Sorry to all our friends and family who we never see or talk to anymore.
Sleeping rituals have become much more pleasant since we decided to co-sleep around 3 months old or so. We already were for the most part so when we finally decided to consciously share our bed it was a relief to no longer be questioning “do we dare put her in the bassinet or just keep her here?”. Though it doesn’t necessarily mean no tears or fighting bedtime, overall life is better. Finally around 7 months or so naps have gotten a little better in the bassinet as well vs constantly being held. Sleep is still a work in progress…
Pictures continue to be posted in Olivia’s folder for those who like to stay current on her latest smiles. Don’t be fooled, she has quite the set of lungs but we try to spare you shots of crocodile tears.
Stay tuned for more adventures with Olivia.