Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mardi Gras

We had our last Mardi Gras parade for Olivia at CHES this week.  She came home the night before informing me she needed to wear purple, green and yellow.  After a small fit that we didn't have any dresses with all these colors, we agreed on a purple dress with yellow and green bows in her hair.

We also picked up a few King Cakes for the teachers and her class.

All the kids looked so cute in their masks and Mardi Gras outfits.  (Though the second time she came around she yelled to me "Mommy!  Come here and walk with me!" -- Not sure she fully understands exactly what a parade is and exactly who can/cannot be in this particular parade)

And, the bizarre tradition of letting the big kids go on the balcony to throw beads and coins at the little kids continued..

And, she was thrilled to see Cate who came back to see her little sister and brother in the parade.  We also found out Cate will be back at CHES for the summer, so I'm hoping that will make this summer a little easier....

Love this sweet school and this fun/bizarre tradition!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Poor Matt has been traveling a TON recently and caught a nasty bug on his last trip, so he came home super sick.  Which means Olivia and I have been spending a LOT of mommy/daughter time solo recently.  I am really trying to soak in all the time I can get alone with her before baby comes, so I've loved it!

Matt was in town for actual Valentines Day, so we celebrated with a fajita dinner and chocolate fondue for dessert.

We had a sleepover with Annabelle because both the daddies were out of town, which included some hot tub time + matching pjs

We have been soaking up some unusually nice Houston weather with lots of park time and eating outside

Olivia and I worked on a little art project to hang in brother's room for him.

We are in full on "nesting" mode over at Casa Dean, so most of the free time these days is spent getting ready for brother.  We have some trips coming up in March and I'm guessing before I know it, so things will only get busier this Spring!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Practically Perfect

We recently joined Cate and Emma to see Memorial High School's production of Mary Poppins.  Olivia was not excited at all to go! ;)

The cast hosted a tea party before the show that was absolutely precious and all the girls loved it.  They had "tea", colored pictures and got autographs from all the characters.

At the end of the tea party, Mary Poppins came for a quick photo op.  Holly, Patrice and I all marveled at what a good picture this is with EVERYONE looking and smiling?!  How often does that happen?!

The show was amazing!  We were so impressed with these kids and Olivia instructed me to "sign her up for plays like this" when she gets into high school!  After the show, the sweet cast stood outside taking more pictures.  It was a great afternoon.

And completely unrelated but wanted to document for posterity, today (2.9.2017) Olivia felt baby brother kick for the first time!  I have been feeling little flutters for a while now and yesterday while we were laying in bed, Matt felt him moving around.  I have been waiting for Olivia to be able to feel him and I guess a little breakfast smoothie woke him up and got him kicking this morning because the entire drive to school, he was very active.  When we pulled into the parking lot, she put her hands on my belly and waited patiently.  All of a sudden a little kick happened and she got a huge smile on her face and said "Okay, I am going to tell EVERYONE I felt him kick."  (then my mommy heart swelled even more...)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Flies By!

As always, January rushed by in a huff of catching up at work and work related travels.

We continued our New Years’ tradition with a weekend in Dallas with the McGuires. It was especially sweet this year because baby Grady was there. As you may suspect, someone hogged the baby while Matt and I waited patiently for our turn.

 Per usual, there was lots of laughing, a kitchen dance party, and plenty of snuggles to go around.

It was the perfect way to begin the hustle and bustle of a new year.

We have been having plenty of checks on baby brother, who is growing perfectly!

Enjoying Olivia's new science experiment kit from Popo and Tutu.

After 4 years of refusing to wear jeans, Olivia asked for me to buy her a pair of "skinny jeans" - and, shockingly, she LOVED them!

And we also enjoyed Pajama Day at her school!

Two quick stories for the memory book:  First, Olivia's latest thing after nap/bed is to call for me by singing "Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my mommy to me, to me."  So cute.  Second, she has been very curious about jobs and working and stay-at-home mommies v. working mommies.  She told us one day she is going to be a working mommy and she is going to be an IVF doctor like Dr. McKnight.  Well, then a few days later, she told that she was worried about being an IVF doctor "doesn't so much know how to do that." We assured her if she went to school, she could learn.

It was a busy and productive month!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Big Sister Takes on the Big Apple!

Now that Olivia is 5, she is pretty easy to travel with - she is good on a plane, fairly good if she misses a nap or stays up a little late, and is interested/exciting in seeing the world.  Given that new baby will probably put a damper on our travel for the next few years, we decided a Big Sister trip to NY for Christmas was a great idea.

Excited to go and happy to carry her own bag!

She watched about half a movie on her iPad...
 And then she was OUT

We landed to considerably chillier weather than we had left in Houston!

On the advice of some of my friends at work, we stayed at the Lotte Palace hotel in midtown.  I loved this hotel - everyone was SO nice, it was a great location, and the rooms were huge.  Highly highly recommend.

And Miss O got the royal treatment when we arrived.  They presented her with a light-up princess tiarra and a this teddy bear (Note - I am not sure why, but she's obsessed with taking clothes off dolls/stuffed animals.  This bear was naked by the time we got in the elevator!)

We went and settled into our room and ordered some room service for dinner.

We headed out bright and early the next morning to see Times Square

On our way, we happened upon the American Girl Doll store.  The THREE story American Girl Doll store.  So of course she had to go in and check it out.  

We finally pulled her out of it, to head to Times Square.  First stop - the M&M store.

Olivia was able to make some custom (purple of course!) M&Ms with her name on them.

We happened upon these crazy characters


After a few more stores, we worked up an appetite so we headed to Shake Shak.

Someone was "hangry" at this point and not happy about the line around the block...

But luckily it moved fairly quickly and she had some custard before too long.

We headed back to the hotel for a little nap/rest time and Olivia got a chance to play with her  new Ariel doll from the Disney Store (What's that you say?  No, I've never heard of the word spoiled.  Have no idea what you mean...)

After a nap, we headed to Rockefeller Square to check out the tree.  Miss O found the cookies at Bouchon Bakery and was thrilled that they were almost as big as her face!

The lovely tree...

And then we headed to Radio City Music Hall for the Rockette's show.  This was definitely one of the highlights for Olivia!

Modeling our 3D glasses...

Um I don't know if he's making that face because he knows I'm taking a picture or I caught him in a genuine moment of happiness but this picture makes me laugh.  (PS.  Allow me a slight moment to brag on my husband - this guy went to the American Girl Doll store, the Disney store, saw a Rockettes show, had tea at the Plaza, and listened to a 2 hour meltdown from Olivia about how her boots were not fancy enough for the Plaza.  I know he loves his girls, but I'm guessing he will be happy to add a little more boy to the mix!)

By the time we got out of the show, it was dark and the whole city seemed just a bit more magical.


The next day we headed to Central Park for a little play time

 And then we went to see The Three Bears Holiday show at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater

Only kids were allowed to sit in the front row, so Olivia quickly found a friend and settled in.  It was pretty cute and classic Olivia - even though we were literally 10 feet away from her a few rows back, she turned around every minute to wave, blow a kiss and make sure we were still there.  Towards the end of the play, I was getting pretty hot (this baby makes a mamma hot!), so I stepped outside.  Matt said the door wasn't even shut yet when Olivia scurried back to him to find out what was going on and I came back in to find her sitting on his lap.

One of Olivia's greatest joys in NY was the discovery of taxi's and Ubers.  I got a little blow-up booster for her that made car-traveling pretty easy.  As soon as she discovered that a taxi or Uber were available with the click of a phone or the wave of her hand, she got pretty high maintenance about walking.  At one point she told Matt and I "Fine.  You guys can walk.  That's fine with me.  But I am taking an Uber!"

After that, we went to try some NY pizza  (this blog post is making me realize that the trip was apparently mainly about food!)

One night we convinced Olivia to go to Nobu with us for sushi and then we walked to the shops at the Plaza for a nutella crepe for dessert.  


We shared a nutella/berry smoothie and a nutella/banana crepe for dessert!

The next day Olivia says was her favorite - tea at the Plaza!

Posing like Eloise!


 Her cup even had a picture of Eloise on it!

She didn't like the "kids tea" they brought her, and instead had 2 cups of mine!

Pinkies up!

And she loved sampling everything from the tray of desserts

Including the cotton candy (which was delicious and I'm pretty sure I ate most of it back at the hotel while Olivia napped!)

We also went to Serendipity and decided that the frozen hot chocolate was worth the THREE hour wait!

We also stopped by Ess-a-Bagel for some NY bagels and breakfast sandwiches.  Again - worth the wait!

And we finished the trip with a trip to Central Park to ice skate.  Olivia was SO excited about this.  I figured she would be on the ice for 10 minutes, fall and get cold and want to go.  But no, she and Matt skated for about 30 minutes.

Then they took a break for a donut and some hot chocolate.

And went straight back out!



 It was such a great trip and we were so sad to leave!