Thursday, July 31, 2014

Words

This post is just a random one for the memory book......

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." Peggy O'Mara

I have seen this quote many times and it has always struck me as powerful.  Matt and I constantly marvel at the power that parents have over their childrens' lives and, frankly, we are often overwhelmed and intimidated by it.  Well, we recently received 3 separate confirmations that demonstrate the enormous influence parents have - my father-in-law, my best friend, and Olivia’s teacher all made the same comment to me – “when Olivia speaks, she sounds exactly like you.” ( I actually love the way her teacher phrased it - “Olivia looks so much like her daddy that we wondered where you were. And then we got to know both you and Olivia, and we realized that she speaks with your voice.”)

Which brings me back to my original reaction to the quote – powerful.  While hearing that Olivia speaks like me is probably one of the nicest compliments I have ever received, it also reaffirms my feelings that parenthood is this awesome responsibility that must be treated with care.  EEK!

Along with this realization came another lesson - watch what you tell Olivia.  One of Olivia's friends is having a birthday party this weekend and her mom mentioned to me that she wasn't going to invite the entire class.  I didn't really think anything about that (in fact, I was already planning on doing the same thing in Sept. for Olivia's birthday!).  Well, I told Olivia about the party but forgot to mention the discreet guest list.  Earlier this week when I was picking up my talkative little 2 year old, she ran up to a dad was also picking up his daughter and said, clear as day, "Is [your daughter] going to [friend's] birthday party?"  Dad answers "Oh, I don't know.  I'm sure she is."  To which Olivia responds "Don't forget, you have to dress up like Frozen!"  I was so shocked by this entire encounter that I could barely even react.  I quickly whisked Olivia out of the room and sped home to see if this family was included on the Evite!  (Thankfully they were!).

Nevertheless, lesson learned! 

And now on to a few pictures!  

My mom organized it so that all the sisters + her were matching for a recent dinner.  So fun!  (Princess Olivia was thrilled to join in the picture)

Speaking of matching, Olivia thought it was the best thing ever when "Baby Pax" bought matching PJs for them

And, of course, the obsession with dress-up and princesses continues...


I know I've said it before, but isn't it just amazing to see how dads interact with their daughters?!  It makes my heart happy to see how Matt continues to shine with each new phase of our extremely girly-girl.  One of my favorite quotes from Matt was when Olivia was about 1 and he mentioned that he found he now spent a lot of time dressing and undressing baby dolls and putting them to sleep!

Those days have now turned to dress-up and all things princess, but he continues to be interested in the things that she is interested in and jump right in to her play.  Although, he did find a bizarre video on You Tube that has real women dressed up as the various Disney princesses singing a song questioning the traditional "Disney" notions of handsome princes and true love.  Much to his delight, Olivia is now obsessed with the video and can often be heard singing a phrase from the song -- “I'm who I am. I don't need a man!"  I love it!

 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Priorities

Every Monday all the kids in Olivia's class have to go around and talk about what they did over the weekend.  Clearly Olivia is able to prioritize the really important things we do!




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Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Fun

We have been packing a LOT of fun into this summer!

Olivia’s 2 best friends at school are Cate and Emma. Recently, we moms decided to surprise the kids after school with an evening trip to the Aquarium and dinner. THEY. LOVED. IT.






We also ventured out to Brenham to tour the Blue Bell Factory with my best friend Kate and her precious girls. I pray that Olivia has a life-long friend like I have had in Kate…makes the journey so much better to travel with a friend!




And, we went to a Frozen-themed costume party at Wonderwild. I found out about the party at the last minute and changed some scheduled plans (sorry mom and dad!) so that I could take Olivia. I am SO glad that I did – she was in Heaven! I didn’t realize that “Elsa and Anna” would be there, so initially we just enjoyed the Frozen decor, all the other little princesses and the fun at Wonderwild.






But all of a sudden we heard a big commotion and turned around to see Anna and Elsa - and  I got to see pure joy on Olivia’s face. She was not scared of them AT ALL. Immediately a line formed to take pictures with them. We waited patiently for our turn and then she seized the moment – hugging them and asking if they liked her dress and painted nails. She took a picture and then turned around and got back in line! We probably stood in line 5 times! 






They had lots of Frozen merchandise available (of course!) so we bought this Elsa bow, which Elsa seemed to be pretty fascinated with!



I think the best part was that the Princesses took pics for a while, but then they interacted with the kids – I have not seen Olivia sit as quietly or attentively for as long as she did listening to them tell the Frozen story.

And then it was time to "become a Princess"


And have a Princess Makeover


I was bursting with joy just seeing how happy she was. And, the best part for this softie mom was putting her in the car-seat afterwards and hearing her say so matter-of-fact “Oh mommy. I am so glad we met Anna and Elsa.  I never met them before!”

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love & Marriage

We spent the 4th of July weekend in Nashville for Uncle Drew's wedding.  Given all my travel recently, I was worried about my ability to prepare for Olivia's first flight + being the flower girl, but thanks to some horrible jet-lag, I was able to prepare lists and notes to my heart's content and left the house feeling a little nervous but well-prepared!

And, per usual, all my worrying was for not.  She.  Did.  Great.  Never cried, sat in her seat the whole time, and no ear/stomach issues.  Pretty much a dream trip.  I'm guessing all our travel won't be as smooth, but this definitely calmed our nerves for future trips with Olivia!

We got to the airport pretty early and ate dinner there.  Matt and I had some "grown up juice" and said a silent prayer that we would be sitting next to patient passengers.

A few stories for the memory book:  While we were sitting waiting for our flight, a little girl kept staring at Olivia.  She finally came over and said "Do you want to be my friend?"  Olivia immediately responded with an enthusiastic "YES!" and then the 2 of them engaged in a reciprocal conversation exchanging the most superficial, girly compliments possible -- I like your bow, Your dress is pretty, I like your sparkly shoes...you get the idea.  Adorable!  They then held hands and walked to the window to look at the airplanes.  I followed and heard the following conversation:
Olivia:  Who is your mommy?
New friend:  says her name and points
Olivia:  This is my mommy (points at me).
New friend:  How old you?
Olivia:  I'm 2 and a half.  How old are you?
New friend:  I'm 6.
Olivia:  Oh.  Well I am almost 6.

Then Olivia turned to me and instructed me to go sit back down next to daddy.  Apparently having your mommy hang around is a damper.  So she sat with her new friend until the plane boarded.  When it was time to go, I kid you not, they hugged each other good-bye at least 4 times.   Those 15-minute airport friendships are the best! ;)

Olivia did great on the plane.  She was pretty excited about it and sat there anxiously asking "are we in the sky yet?" despite the fact that she could clearly see out the window that we were not.  When the plane finally took off, she sucked on her lollipop and just sat silently, taking it all in.  After she settled in, she was anxious to see the goodie bag I packed for her and opened a few presents and played for a bit.  But pretty soon, I saw her eyes growing tired so I pulled out her blankie and book, and snuggled up to sleep.




We woke up the next morning to a gorgeous Nashville day and headed to Centennial Park.





Then we went to meet Uncle Drew and Aunt Jenny for lunch

After a good nap at the hotel, we headed to the Rehearsal Dinner.  This sweet dress is one I got for her from London.  I just love it.  She did great at the dinner- talking to all the family like she was a big girl and showing off for everyone.



With the beautiful bride-to-be
The hit of the night was when she got her Flower Girl present --- a Princess dress and crown.  As if being the Flower Girl was not enough of an honor, Drew and Jenny really know how to top her list!  She immediately demanded to change!


The morning of the wedding, I took Olivia for her first real manicure/pedicure.  She thought she was such a big girl and was so happy.

And then she got dressed with the big girls.  PS - if you're looking for a way to keep your toddler busy, apparently counting rose petals is very interesting.  I swear she sat perfectly still for 15 minutes counting them!



Finally it was show-time!  As soon as it started she told me to leave and that she would be okay.  So I did -- and she was!





After she walked down the aisle, she sat her bucket down and ran to stand by the bridesmaids.  I quickly ran over to sweep up the bucket and her and lured her over to sit with me and Popo/Tutu with some smarties.  I was a little nervous, but she sat quietly for the entire ceremony -- furiously waiving at her daddy the entire time.

And, after the ceremony was over, she went back for one more moment while daddy invited the crowd to enjoy some refreshments while the family took pictures.



And then, she stayed up way past her bedtime, eating cake, dancing like a crazy person, and generally being adorable.


We headed back the next day with another easy flight, a happy toddler and 2 very tired parents.





Congratulations Uncle Drew and Aunt Jenny.  We love you both so much and can't wait to see you again!