Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Five Months!

Olivia Grace, you are five months old!
(Ok, so I'm a week late.  Forgive me!)
What have you been up to?

*Well, for starters, you were totally in to this months photo shoot.  It went so fast, you cooperated, and I got some great pictures.  I swear, you even posed yourself for a few.  I was thrilled!  Finally! :)

*You are still wearing size 3 to 6 month clothing.  I don't quite understand it since you are in the 98th percentile.  It seems you should be in bigger clothes, but not yet.  I think you'll be making the switch to the next size in about a month.  You have such a great wardrobe for this size.  I hope you stay in it a while longer! :)

*You have moved to size 6 to 9 months for pajamas though.  You are too long for the smaller size.

*You moved to size 3 diapers right before our trip.  We probably should have moved you a week or two sooner, but we were trying to use up the rest of the 2's.

*You are using your hands MUCH more now.  You will grab for toys and hold items for good lengths of time.

*You haven't rolled from your back to your belly on your own yet, but you are *this* close.  Your one arm always seems to get in the way.

*You've decreased your formula intake.  You now take anywhere from 4 to 6 ounces per bottle.  Your norm is 6 bottles, but every once in a while a small seventh bottle is thrown in.  Either way you take between 30 and 34 ounces a day.

*Apparently you are a fast eater (like your mommy!).  We sort of already knew this, but it was confirmed by the large number of people who commented on it during our trip to Indiana.  You average about an ounce a minute.

(This picture cracks me up!)

*As seen above, you have personality! :)

*You have started to giggle and laugh more regularly, which makes me happy!

*You are still the little talker.  You've added some squeals and throat gurgles to the mix.

*You have a constant fountain coming from your mouth.  A bib is generally soaked (and I do mean soaked) within a half hour.  You are constantly shoving everything in your mouth as well.  There are still no signs of teeth coming through though yet.

*I'm happy to announce that your cradle cap is gone--with the help of some olive oil and a baby brush!

*Unfortunately, you started losing your hair.  You've been losing large amounts of it for the past 3 to 4 weeks. Thankfully it's starting to grow back in quickly.

*Despite losing a lot of hair, you still have a ton and it's super long in parts.  It's to the bottom of your ears on the sides.  Its also pretty long in the back when straightened out.  If you were a boy, you would have already had your first hair cut!

*We officially made the switch from the car seat carrier to the convertible car seat.  We figured the more room you had for the trip, the better.

*You are not sitting up on your own yet, but we are working on it.  It would be oh so helpful now that you are in a convertible car seat instead of the carrier.  (Sitting in the chair does help her sit up some, so it does appear that she can do it.  She can't without support and even then she topples over a lot.)

*You have gotten much better at lifting your head when on your tummy.  Yay!

*Your sleeping is a MESS.  I have tried everything I can think of.  I have read and read and done what the books said.  Nothing seems to be working.  You fight sleep like it's your job!  You hardly nap and since our trip, you have begun waking up more often in the night.  Ugh!

*I'm not sure how it is, but I think you are getting cuter by the day!

*We adjusted some things at bath time and it seems to be getting better.  (Except at my grandma's house where you had to take a bath in the big tub and you screamed bloody murder the entire time!)

(Yep, the swing is still around.)

*Your favorite things right now are: your jumperoo, Olivia the owl plush, your fingers in your mouth, watching daddy move about the kitchen doing dishes, mommy holding you, and anything music related.

*Your least favorite things right now are: SLEEP!,  NAPS!, and getting buckled into your car seat.


A few more... for the grandparents, of course.
Ok, so I like them too. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Week of Thankful

Our trip to Indiana was wonderful.  It was just what the doctor ordered!  I'm so glad we went.

We got a little later start that we wanted.  We hit the road around 4:30 on Friday night.  Unfortunately, we hit some rush hour traffic that slowed us down some.  We stopped for dinner after a few hours. That lasted way longer that it should of.  After getting back on the road, Olivia fell asleep quickly.  She woke up whenever we stopped for gas, but she did great otherwise.  We also stopped for a sit down breakfast.  We all needed to stretch our legs some.  We ended up getting to my grandma's at 12:30 eastern time, which is 11:30 our time. (Yep.  19 straight hours in the car with a 5 month old.  Where is our gold stars?)

I didn't get nearly as many pictures as I should have. 
We went to a birthday party for my cousin's twin boys.  We went out to eat with other family.  We played cards.  We talked.  We relaxed.  We played with kids.  We shopped.  We ate.  It was delightful.
Four Generations
For whatever reason, my grandma wasn't looking at the  camera for 2 out of the 4 pictures taken. (And we did ONE CAMERA AT A TIME!?!)  One was blurry, so this is what we get.

Olivia with my grandma

My cousin Sonja had a baby a few months after me, so my grandma wanted a picture of the babies together.
We took quite a few trying to get a good one.  
We didn't pose them like this.  Somehow Olivia put her hand on Emersyn's knee.

Then by the end of the photo shoot, Emersyn had her hand on Olivia!

A cute one of Olivia

Olivia played her first card game.  She grabbed for the cards right away.
Olivia and my cousin Sonja

My mom bought Olivia this rattle teether.  
Since Olivia is all about putting everything in her mouth right now--she was pretty happy with it.

Thanksgiving day
Thankfully Olivia went to pretty much anyone who wanted to hold her.
The only time she had a problem was if she was really tired.
I think the whole "stranger danger" phase is suppose to set in around 6 months, so we just missed it!

 I mean really, can you get any cuter?  I think not! :)

And because she's so cute... her are a million more pictures of the same thing! ha ha

My cousin Erica's kids were in love with her. 
They kept wanting to touch her and kiss her.  It was so sweet.

My little turkey
You can see how sleepy she was.  
She fights sleep normally, but she was all out of sorts on this trip.
She was worse than normal when it came to sleeping.
Thankfully, about 5 minutes after this was taken, she was asleep in my sister's arms.

After a nap...
This picture just cracks me up!

Olivia was great for the drive back too.  
She gave us a little bit of a hard time at Jenny's house with sleep, but it's to be expected.
(All the pictures of her with Jenny are on Michael's phone. :( )

Over all, I'd do it again.  Although, I hope next year we are flying!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Are we crazy?

Maybe just a little!  We are actually going to drive to Indiana for Thanksgiving....with a five month old BABY!  Yep.  It's happening.  Today, in fact.  Google says it will take 17 hours. That is not factoring in any food stops, gas stops, bathroom/diaper change stops, bottle feeding stops, or baby-is-having-a-meltdown stops.  I'm scared and excited all in one! :)

It's super important to me, so that is why we are doing it.  Thanksgiving isn't just about a meal to me.  It's not even about the day.  It's about so much more.  First, it's about tradition.  I have been traveling to my aunt and uncles house for Thanksgiving since I was around 10 years old.  I have gone every year since then.  When Michael and I got together I told him I wasn't interested in this year we go here for this holiday and this year we go here for that holiday business.  All I cared about was that Thanksgiving was still at my aunt and uncles house.

The day of Thanksgiving is in and of itself worth the trip.  A lot of my extended family gathers--aunts, uncles, my mom, my grandma, some of my siblings, in laws and nieces and nephews, my cousins (who are like my siblings) and their kids.  We usually have around 30 people.  Some years it has been more.  A few years it's probably been a little less.  Either way, it's big and loud and fun.  We eat our Thanksgiving meal at lunch.  Then we sit around and play games, talk, watch football, and do a craft.  People don't just leave after a little while.  We stay until it's time to break out the leftovers for dinner.  Last year I was at my aunt and uncles house playing games with my cousins until about ten o'clock when we lost electricity.

The fun doesn't stop there.  My usual trips were the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after.  Those days are filled with lunch dates with my cousins, hanging out at my grandma's house with any and all random relatives that stop by, shopping, playing more games, and much more.

When I was younger and we actually spent the night at my aunt and uncles, the tradition included: a blueberry pancake breakfast the Friday after, watching home videos, homemade pizza the Friday night after, playing hide and seek with the cousins, and lots and lots of card playing.

I am just meant to be in Indiana for Thanksgiving.  This year I am super excited to introduce Olivia to lots of her family.  She'll get to meet some of her own aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as my aunts, uncles and cousins.  My grandma is super excited to meet her, and of course my mom can't wait to see her again.

I'm not ignorant enough to think that it's going to be a piece of cake trip.  Traveling any length of time with a 5 month old can be tricky.  That is why we are driving through the night.  Olivia sleeps about 12 hours a night (with one wake up around 5 AM to eat, but she goes right  back to sleep).  If we can have her sleeping 12 of the 17+ hours that it is going to take, then I am game.  We also have a portable DVD player just in case.  Don't judge.  I'm no fool! :)

We've stocked up on "on the go" cans of formula for the car ride, diapers, snacks for mommy and daddy, the only caffeinated soda we agree upon, and books on tape/DVD's from the library.  We are rolling out as soon as I get home from work, which will hopefully be around 3:30/4.  We aren't sure how many times we'll need to stop or how long the stops will be.  We are hoping to get in to Ft. Wayne by noon.

We will spend the week with my family and then start the journey for home bright and early on Friday morning.  We are driving to Michael's sister's house which is about half way for us.  We will spend Friday evening with her, as well as most of Saturday.  We are going to leave soon after dinner on Saturday night--in hopes that once again we can cash in on Olivia sleeping.  Then we will spend Sunday resting and recuperating.

Needless to say, I won't be on here this coming week.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I'll try to take lots of pictures and fill you in on our trip!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bountiful Brunch Pizza

When I was meal planning for Amanda and Hieu's visit, I asked Amanda what kind of things they liked and didn't like.  She kept telling me they'd eat anything.  I wanted to make sure they would eat and like what I made, so I kept pestering her. :)  Finally I got a small list of dislikes and an even smaller list of likes.  On the list of likes was eggs.  She said Hieu loved eggs.  What can you do with eggs?  I'm not a huge egg maker.  If I do make them it's either scrambled or an omelet.  Neither of which are too exciting in my book.

I remembered a recipe my mom use to make when we had company.  It was a Pampered Chef recipe and I happened to have the cookbook containing said recipe.  I figured I'd give it a go.  It had eggs!

What you'll need

1 package (24 oz) frozen shredded hash brown patties, thawed and broken apart
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Egg topping:
7 eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped ham
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup green onion slices (I used regular onions)
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cu (6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cover a baking stone with parchment paper.  I didn't have parchment paper, so I used wax paper.  I thought they were interchangeable.  They are not!

 In a bowl, combine potatoes, egg, salt and pepper.  Mix well.
Spread potato mix into a 14 inch circle on prepared stone.  
Pat down with back of spoon
Since I knew that Amanda, Hieu and Michael would like it to have salt and pepper.  I added what I thought was a fair amount.  I also sprinkled some garlic powder on the top.  Because who doesn't love garlic.  I'm not sure I did enough though.  I don't think you could taste it.

Bake 20 minutes. 

While the crust was cooking, I cut up the veggies.  
I sort of measured, but since it was just a pizza topping I was a little generous.
I also used 2 cups of cheese verses 1 1/2 called for and a little more ham.

Remove crust from the oven.
(This is when I found out that parchment paper and wax paper are not interchangeable.  Needless to say, my smoke detectors went off.)

To make the egg topping, whisk eggs and milk in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper. 
Again, I felt I added a fair amount.

I know this is going to sound weird, but it's the directions...
Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes; stir
Microwave an additional 3 minutes; stir.

Spread cooked egg mixture evenly over potato crust.

Top with ham, mushroom, onions and peppers

Sprinkle with cheese
Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes

 Cut into wedges and serve.

It was a hit!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Check up

We had Olivia's 4 month check up yesterday.  Yes--one week before she turns 5 months! :)

This is her new party trick! She found her bottom lip and keeps making ridiculously funny faces.

She is 18 pounds, 5. 5 ounces which is the 98th percentile

She is 27 inches long which is also the 98th percentile

They measured her head at 17 inches.  I must have measured the wrong spot.  
Her head is 88th percentile instead of the 97% I said it was.

She got two shots and took them like a CHAMP!
I had heard the 4 month shots were worse than the 2 month shots, so once again I was scared.

She didn't even flinch for the first shot!
She started to whimper a little for the second shot. Then she cried for a split second, but had already stopped when I went to pick her up.

I don't know if it's because we are doing a delayed schedule and she got less than what is normal....
OR if it's because she's a chunky monkey and thick thighs helped...
OR if she's just that good. :)

Everything looked good with Olivia.  The nurse practitioner was pleased.
We got some questions answered concerning solids, naps, and cradle cap.

Her six month appointment will be on December 27th.

NOTE: All these pictures were taken right after we got home from the doctor.  You can see that she was doing just fine.  She got a little crabby in the afternoon and ended up taking a 3 hour nap.  Other than that, she did great.