Sunday, May 19


There are a lot of things I was completely unprepared for when I became a parent. Everyone had said there was no real way to explain what being a parent was like, and I always scoffed at it. How hard to explain could it be? And then I had a baby, and thought, oh. I get it now.

But of all the things I was unprepared for, there is one that really surprised me. I had no idea how much guilt I would feel. Almost every day there is something to feel guilty about. Maybe it's just society and marketers and etc. etc. making me feel inadequate and blah-dee-blah. But for the few people who still follow this blog, you know how rarely I post anymore. And I feel awfully guilty about that.

This blog is it in terms of memories. I keep no baby book. I don't organize our photos (though I do take some). I have a terrible memory, so if I don't write things down, I know the details of this time of our lives will fade away. It kills me that Milo and Olive aren't going to remember anything from this stage of their lives. We have such good times and share such sweet moments, but the memories will melt away like an ice cube in summer.

Here's my plan. The list of occasions and moments I want to remember has become staggeringly long, and therefore I have been avoiding trying to tackle it--because where does one even begin?--but all that will begin to change. I have been spending a lot of time lately on an entrepreneurial adventure, but in a week or so I will hand most of that off to my business partner. I found time to work on that business when I would have said before that my schedule was full. Now I need to turn those hours into blogging hours (at least partially). No excuses, right?

To make myself even more accountable, here is the list of things I want to blog about:
Halloween (I know, I know, it was over six months ago. Yikes.)
Olive's first birthday (How can I have missed documenting my daughter's first birthday?!)
The Gender Reveal
My sweet Milo
Our trip to Branson
And probably hundreds more will come to me over time.

It's crazy to think how much I've missed. But I'm going to try to do better. I can't promise the writing will be stellar, but at least my kids will have some clue about what their early childhoods were like. I love those two more than I can even explain, and I hope that someday they'll read all these entries and maybe begin to understand that just a little. Here we go...

Sunday, May 12

Olive's 15-Month Update: She's Not a Baby Anymore

First, I just want to congratulate myself by saying that I wrote this on the 8th, but chose not to post until after Olive's 15-month check-up so I could include her official height and weight statistics. See? I haven't completely given up on being timely.

  • Height: 30.5" (50th percentile)
  • Weight: 23 lbs., 2 oz. (75th percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 18" (70th percentile)

Olive is fifteen months old, which is one of the most awesome ages for a toddler. She's all fists of fury one minute, cuddles and kisses the next. She's amazing, and so much fun to hang out with. It's wonderful to see her figure out new things every other minute.

This girl has no fear whatsoever. She climbs, she explores, she pushes the limits and tests boundaries. She falls, she picks herself back up.

She fell down the stairs a few days ago. Terrifying. She has this new game, where the instant you turn your back, she runs toward the stairs and heads up. She climbs up maybe five or six steps and sits down and waits for you to find her. When you come looking, she grins at you and continues to climb up. So the other day, we were in the midst of this "game" and she was two-thirds of the way up. Milo had tagged along and was sitting on the bottom step, playing with his pizza truck. I was standing at the bottom, watching Olive and trying to coax her back down. She grinned, obviously still messing with me. Then turned and stood, facing the bottom. Then she just tried to step down. She lost her balance or tripped or who knows what and fell. Face first, literally flipping entirely over, then going for another round when her head bonked into Milo's. She was sort of flung backward into a sitting position. Her eyes got wide, and then the screaming began. Already on my way to try to get to her, I grabbed her and held her. Milo was also crying because he had been bonked in the head. I tried to give him a hug while also holding Olive. When Olive calmed down a little, I started crying. My knees were shaking. It was awful, watching her falling and feeling like there was nothing I could do. And I thought that being right there at the bottom was enough, that I would get to her if she slipped. Nope, not even close. It all happens so fast. Later we made a big deal out of how Milo saved her and stopped her from falling all the way down. He was pretty proud of that. (She was fine, for the record, and continues to play the stairs game. The fall obviously has had no impact on her whatsoever.)

Olive's hair is long enough to always be in her eyes but her barrettes or hair ties always fall (or are pulled) out.

She likes baths, books, story time, eating, running, being silly, snuggling, and Milo. She doesn't like teething, having her nails clipped, losing her paci, or not getting what she wants.

She knows what she wants and is very vocal when she doesn't get it. Or thinks she isn't getting it. For instance, when Andrew puts his shoes on in the morning, she starts screaming her head off because she thinks he's about to leave and isn't going to take her with him. It doesn't matter that four days out of five he does take her with him down the street when he drops Milo off at Miss Kristin's. Maybe Olive just really likes screaming.

She loves her paci and we have unwittingly walked into the nighttime paci retrieval trap. She cries; we don't want Milo to be woken up; we go in and find the paci. Once I walked in and found Olive with both legs stuck in her crib slats all the way up to her thighs. So part of me worries that she's stuck again when I hear her crying in the night. She plays us like a fiddle, I swear.

Olive has six teeth with more on the way. Four on top and two on the bottom.

She knows lots of words. Meow, paci, now, done, cheerio, bike, fork, book, brrr, truck, outside. All the words I mentioned last month. Girl knows a lot of words. "Paci" is definitely the one I heard the most in the last month. That and "up." She also learned how to say "cheese" when someone is taking her picture. How did she learn that one? Too bad, now she'll have a weird smile in all the photos I try to take of her. At least the ones in which she knows her picture is being taken.

Olive has been on her first camping(ish) trip. We went to Branson with my in-laws and stayed in a cabin (with a full bathroom and two bedrooms, but it had cheap linoleum so I call it rustic). We cooked our meals on the fire, and I was terrified that one or both my kids would end up in the ER with burns. But it was all fine. Olive also had her first trip to Silver Dollar City, which was great fun.

We had to get her new shoes recently, and I bought these summery sandal-like tennies. And then it was in the 40s and snowed and rained for two weeks. So Olive rocked the sandals-with-socks look. But now the weather seems to have warmed up finally so her fashion choices are better. She wears a size 4.5 wide, I think. But I also bought her size 5 sandals because they were cute.

A lot of Olive's clothes are hand-me-downs, which is nice for money-saving, but sometimes I'm bummed that I haven't picked out all kinds of cute outfits for her. But then when I do shop for her, I can't get myself to spend $50 for an outfit that I know she'll outgrow in a matter of months. Practicality wins again.

Olive is a little ball of fire. When she wants something but can't yet express what, she waves her arms or claps really emphatically and grunts. Or screams. Or throws her head back while screaming. It's maddening, but also impressive. I like how much enthusiasm and passion she shows for the smallest things, like wanting another grape or not wanting to share her space on Mommy's lap with her brother. OK, I don't really like the fits over those things, but I think it is showing me a part of her personality, and I hope she keeps that fiery spirit as she grows.

I adore her so much. I savor her snuggles and soak up her kisses. I just like watching her do her thing, from digging in the dirt (she loves dirt. and rocks. and mulch.) to flipping through a book to inexplicably bending over and resting her forehead on the ground. She fascinates me every day. Love her.
The photos in Olive's room are officially a thing of the past. She won't sit still long enough for me to capture anything in her tiny room. So monthly photos will be random from here on. Enjoy.

No fear.