Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pinterest Recipes--Olivia's Edition

This isn't actually from Pinterest, but I'm sure it could be found there. :)  This baby food making site has been around for YEARS.  I heard about it long before getting pregnant.  I used it often when making food for Olivia when she first started on solids.  I have seen the actual website linked on Pinterest though, so I'm counting it.  Sorry, there are no pictures, but I've been making this apple turkey loaf for Olivia for over a year now.  She loves it. I like that it's pretty healthy.  Sometimes we eat things that aren't that healthy or or too spicy, so I like to have an option for her.  I don't want to always make two different meals, but sometimes it's necessary.  I make this loaf up, cut it into slices and then freeze it for easy use.

I saw mini quiches on a list of "easy lunches for toddlers".  That sent me on a Pinterest search for a good one.  I know quiches aren't rocket science.  It's eggs and whatever veggies you want.  But I didn't grow up eating them, so I wanted some recipe back up.  I found this muffin tin quiches recipe.  I adapted it to my liking--used real eggs, used veggies I thought would taste good, etc.  I gave it to Olivia and she said, "Oh, eggs" but then wanted nothing to do with it.  I'm not sure if this was due to the actual quiche or because she was having a fickle toddler moment.  Either way, I don't think I'll be making this particular pin again.

When this muffin recipe came across my Pinterest page, I knew that I needed to try it for Olivia.  I wasn't sure if she would like the mini chocolate chips.  I tried them in a granola bar recipe once and she wasn't a fan.  So I made half the batch with a few mini chocolate chips and half the batch with blueberries.  She has had one of each so far and has liked them both.  I love things like (healthy) muffins because I can give them for breakfast or a snack.  I will  be making these again!  Maybe I'll even get crazy and add apple or something. :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Riding in Style

A cozy coupe has been on my list of things to get since before I was even pregnant.  I just wanted to wait until the right time.  Most of our other June friends got their cars last year for their first birthday.  I knew that with our living situation at the time it a)wouldn't get much use and b) would be just one more thing we'd have to move.  It's been on my mental birthday list for this year.  I've seen a lot of them for sale on the consignment pages.  Most were either selling for too much or had sat outside in the elements.  I'm all for a deal, but I didn't want someone else's rusty car.

This week the stars aligned and I happened to be checking one of the kids Facebook pages when a lady listed a cozy coupe.  It had only been used and stored inside and looked brand new.  She was only selling it for $15.  Since it's a $50 toy, I thought $15 was doable.  I hopped right on it!  (and there were about a dozen "next"s right after me!)

We waited until last night when we were both home to be able to show it to her.  She got SO excited.  She started dancing around saying "big car!".  She knew right what to do and tried to hop right in.
Pure joy!

Luckily we live at a dead end, so we'll be able to drive around in the parking lot behind our garage.

It took her a little bit to figure out how to go forward, but she ended up figuring it out.

It didn't come with the floorboard, but you can buy the replacement part for under $5.  I think we are going to get it so that we can take her on walks too.

It's so fun having a kid. :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013


We happen to be celebrating over here in the Sellers house.  No.  I'm not pregnant.  That's what you were thinking, huh?!? :)

No baby, but it's still pretty exciting news nonetheless.

As many of you know, Michael works for a fairly new company.  He started a year ago (March 11th to be exact) and was the 15th employee.  They now have close to 60 employees and FIFTEEN new people will be starting on Monday.  As you can imagine, the company is taking off and doing really well for themselves.

We pretty much knew this was going to happen, which is why we've been sticking it out under some not so great conditions (mainly pay and insurance).  Not only is it a great opportunity for Michael to be with a company at its start, but it is the first job he has ever had where he truly loves it.  He enjoys the work he does and he loves the people he works with and for.  That's huge!

They have been talking for months about making a new position for him.  They are basically creating an entire department and making him the head over it.  But there isn't anyone else out there who does what they do, so they honestly don't even know what to call his position or his department. :)  They are still working on that.  The good news is... he didn't have to wait for the title to get the raise.

He got another $2 an hour raise. That's a total of $6 an hour raise in one years time.  NOT BAD!  On top of the hourly raise, they have said that he can work 5 hours of overtime a week at time and a half.  The great thing about this is he can do it whenever he wants.  It  can also be done at home, so he can do it long after Olivia goes to bed at night.

The raise and the overtime will make up for what he's making at Kroger.  He will be able to quit and be home at night with Olivia (and me!).  He will also be eligible to earn a bonus each month.  Starting out it will be between $200 and $400 and as they grow and develop his department the value will go up.

This is the exact reason why we chose to stick it out here in Texas.  This is a great opportunity for Michael.  We are so happy for what this means for our family and the possibilities to come in the future!

The raise goes into effect April 1st, so he only has to put a few more weeks in at Kroger.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

(Not quite) Wordless Wednesday--Toddler Open Gym

Overwhelmed at arrival!

Remembering she loves this thing

Loving the ride on toys!

obstacle course   

She LOVED the bounce house. She probably would have stayed in there all day, but there were bigger boys who were being crazy.  Of course, no parent to be found.  I truly do not understand people. 

Ready to go

Monday, March 25, 2013


So here is a secret for you all--Olivia's intelligence is causing me quite a bit of anxiety.  I actually wrote a whole post about it, but then decided not to publish it.  I'm just not ready to put it out there into the universe yet. :)  BUT, I will say that I have been doing lots of research on ways to help her out.  My anxiety doesn't come from labeling her this or that.  It also doesn't come from does she know (fill in the blank) or what should I teach next.  Really, it's just that I want to make sure that I am doing what is appropriate and best for her.  I absolutely do not want to push her in any way, shape, or form and have her end up hating learning/school.  But on the other hand, I don't want to sit back and not feed into her gifts and abilities and love of knowledge.  It's such a tricky balance.

In my quest to find appropriate toys and activities, I saw listed that a great toy is one of those cubed blocks that have the bead mazes on top.  As I looked at it further, I realized that we basically had that cubed block... just not in a cube.  We have a similar toy to each side of the cube.  The only thing we didn't have was a toy that resembled gears.  That sent me to Amazon to try to find something that would work.  After looking around and doing a little research, I found this Melissa and Doug one that I thought would be perfect.

The box said it "Helps teach colors, shapes, counting, and simple mechanics; promotes fine motor skills, problem solving and creative play."

So I sat Olivia down to introduce her to this toy.
To my knowledge, she had never seen a gear type toy before.

She got right to work taking all of the gears off.

She would put them back to the correct matching colored magnet, but she had a hard time getting the right hole to go on the little peg.  Hence, the motor skill work!

I tried to show her how the gears worked, but she wanted nothing to do with it! :)

Proud of herself :)

This is a great toy, because it can grow with her.
There are ten different picture scenes to choose from.  Plus, right now she's just interested in matching up the colors.  Eventually being able to move all of the gears will be part of the fun.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Alright, I know that I said after this post I'd be done talking about improper car seat usage....  and then one of my friends posted THIS on Facebook.  


I fully admit to being a (partial) helicopter parent.  I have no issues with this.  I was a helicopter nanny, too. :)  But this writer eloquently put into words exactly how I feel about this issue.  If you aren't one of my Facebook friends and/or didn't already read the article... go now!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

21 Months

Olivia is 21 months today!  I wasn't planning on writing another monthly post until she turned 2, but so much is happening so fast around here.  I was reminded yet again that I will want to be able to look back and know exactly what happened when.  So here I am, writing what has happened in the last month or so.
I don't know any measurements, but I did weight her a few days ago and she's still hanging out at around 28 pounds.  Hopefully she is gaining height so she can start thinning out like most toddlers do around this age.

She is mostly in 24 month stuff, although I did buy a lot of 2T stuff for the summer.  She is wearing a size 7 shoe, and they are big on her.  I wish more kids shoes came in half sizes.  I think a 6 1/2 is really what she needs.

She is still in a size 5 diaper.  I think we'll be in this size for a while.  We ran out of nighttime diapers a few weeks ago and I just decided to give it a test and see how she does with normal diapers at night.  She is definitely wetting less, so I figured we could get away with it.  We've been doing it for almost two weeks now with no leaks.

She has no interest in potty training at the moment.  She will sit on her potty with clothes on, no problem.  She also likes to play with the actual potty (it's never been used, so still clean!) and has figured out how to make it sing without making any deposits--which sort of defeats the purpose of a singing toilet.  If I try to take her pants and diaper off and sit her on it, she hops right up and wants nothing to do with it.  I'm not in any hurry.

(Making faces at herself in the mirror)

She has become considerably more picky about the foods she will and won't eat.  We are trying to stick with the "this is what you get" deal, but she's perfectly happy to go to bed with little dinner and wait until breakfast for something she likes. :/  She would live on plum organic food pouches and applesauce if I let her.

Her sleep has been rough for the past three weeks, but seems to be getting back on track.  She goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 and wakes up between 7 and 8 most days.  She naps one and a half to two hours.  I am good with this.  It's the middle of the night screaming wake up calls that I don't love.  She is just like her father, in that if she wakes up in the middle of the night then she is up for at least an hour--usually more.

Her knowledge and memory continue to impress us on a daily basis.  We are aware that she is advanced in some areas.  We are trying to give her as many learning opportunities as possible, while still maintaining a fun and worry free toddler-hood.  We are taking it as it comes.

She recently began to speak in complete sentences on a pretty regular basis.  She's been speaking in 2 to 4 words phrases for a while, but now she makes almost everything into a sentence.  Last week I sent Michael and email saying, "I just had a legitimate conversation with Olivia."  She also likes to use adjectives.  She asks a lot of questions and uses the appropriate voice inflections.  She cracks us up on a regular basis.  She likes being funny and getting a reaction out of us. :)

Shapes she can recognize on a consistent basis are--circle, square, diamond, rectangle, star, oval, triangle, heart, octagon and crescent.

An example of her memory related to shapes: She got some shape flashcards and Michael was introducing them to her.  He taught her octagon.  That was on Saturday morning.  We went about her day and about 8 hours passed before she wanted to play with the flashcards again. She immediately picked up the flashcard and said, "octagon".  The next day she still recognized the flashcard.  Fast forward two days and we met Michael for lunch.  We were standing in line at a fast food restaurant.  Michael was holding Olivia.  She looked out the window and said, "It's an octagon.".  There stood a stop sign.  She also picked up a hanger one day and all on her own said, "It's a triangle".  It took me a second to realize it was indeed a triangle.

Colors she knows are--white, black, pink, brown, red, orange, green, blue, and purple.  She did recognize yellow yesterday while playing, but I haven't asked her again since then.  I'm not sure if she's got it or if it was a fluke.

She can pretty much sing her ABC's--including "Now I know my ABC's, next time won't you sing with me."  She does better if she's not asked to do it or if she doesn't think anyone is paying attention.  I've attempted to get it on video a couple of times now, but she starts getting crazy.  She likes to sing it while dancing in a circle.  That's not the best way to capture it. :)

I've already mentioned this, but she can look at any letter of the alphabet and tell you an animal that begins with that letter.  For some letters, she can tell you two or three things that begin with that letter.

I was finally able to see how many letters she actually recognizes.  Shockingly, it's 21.  I thought it was going to be about 5.  She also knows some of the letter sounds, but I didn't try to figure that out yet.  The one I know she knows for sure is "P", because she says it often when point to the letter P. 

 She can count to 12.  She recognizes about 3 or 4 numbers consistently.  She also has the beginning steps of matching the counting to objects.  She doesn't always want to do this though.

She has mastered all of the puzzles she has.  This includes ones where there is no picture to match the piece up to.  I don't know that she is matching the puzzle piece shape to the empty shape on the board.  I think she has the puzzle memorized, so she knows where it goes.  I recently bought a beginner jigsaw type puzzle from the dollar store.  I'm going to see how she does on that.

She is as sweet as they come.  She hands out hugs and kisses and pats on the back as often as she can.  She is full of compassion and has a tender spirit.  She is funny and full of energy, yet she is thoughtful and focused when she wants to be.  She has a cautious personality.  She is extremely observant.  So much so that even strangers comment on how she is paying attention to everything.  She is so much fun and brings us so much joy! :)

Funny things she's said this week...

I was talking to myself the other day and she looked at me with this funny look and said, "Are you alright, mommy?"

She wouldn't eat a Lara Bar I bought her.  I didn't want it to go to waste, so I threw it in her smoothie.  She did not like this.  She'd be drinking and then come across a little piece of nut.  She'd stick her tongue out for me to get it off.  Then she'd say, "You like this smoothie?"  Ha ha!

Friday, March 22, 2013

An Easter Egg Hunt Playdate

Our March play date for the pink table (MOPS) was an Easter egg hunt.  Olivia hadn't been to one yet, so this was her first!  We each are assigned a month to plan a play date.  My friend Erin planned this one, but it was held at our friend Shaye's house.  She has a beautiful home.

There are ten moms at our table, but it ended up being a small group.  Some were fighting illnesses and one was going to the hospital to have a baby!  We all brought a little treat to share and then everyone brought a dozen eggs filled with goodies for the hunt.
 Who spots a 31 bag?  Oh yes. I put a little tupperware in the bottom of my carry all caddy, covered the sides with some tissue and put mini muffins down there.  Super cute, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, the kids played for a bit inside (Olivia chased the dog asking for hugs), and then we headed on out.

It's a little blurry because she was on the move--but how cute is she?!?! :)

The grass inside the basket was of great interest to her.

Her basket ended up being a little too big for her to carry around, so I carried it and followed her.

She started catching on after a bit.

Although, truth be told... she was just as happy to have the freedom to run, chase the dog, and find random balls in the yard.

 The best one of the group

"Are we done yet?"  All the mom's oooh'ed and aahh'ed over her Easter basket.  They all asked if I had made it.  I wish!  Of course, Olivia just liked the cheap little duck basket that one of the boys had. :/

We headed in and had a snack.  I put Annie's Cheddar Bunnies in my eggs.  This was Olivia's first time having them and she couldn't get enough. :)

All in all it was a fun day.  We are hoping to be able to take her to a local Easter egg hunt, but so far the ones that have taken place have all been during nap.  We'll see.