Friday, November 23, 2012


Once again, we have a LOT to be thankful for this year!  This little turkey is such a blessing in our lives and brings us untold joy.  One day a year is not enough to show our gratitude for all we have, but we were certainly happy to have the opportunity!

On Wednesday, Olivia made these cute little turkey cookies for her teachers.  Her day care is one of the many things we are thankful for this year.  She really loves her class and her teachers and its such a blessing to Matt and I knowing that she is happy and learning everyday while we are at work.

On Thanksgiving morning, we started the day with a chocolate chip pancake breakfast.
Olivia is pretty hit and miss on foods - even foods that I know she will love (e.g. grilled cheese sandwiches).  If she's in a funky mood or the food looks weird, she won't even try it.  So, I was a little hesitant to get up early to make pancakes.  But luckily she obliged me and tried the pancake....and of course LOVED it!

After breakfast and a little family playtime, we headed to the Woodlands to have brunch with Pop-O and Tutu.  We had such a nice time.

Olivia and Pop-O have a special bond and he wins her over every time by letting her escape the high chair and walk around outside.  Thanksgiving was no exception.  So, while we finished up eating, Pop-O and Olivia walked around outside and apparently found a very cool water fountain.

Back at the Dean's house, Olivia continued to follow Pop-O around and even started calling him "Pop."  So cute!

Later that afternoon, we headed to Humble to my Aunty Minda's house for an early dinner.  Uncle Ed and my dad fried up a delicious turkey and we sat down to another incredible - and this year gluten free - spread.  Aunty Minda tops herself every single year.  This one was no exception.  And my mom made a strong finish with 2 amazing desserts.

Luckily, we had a lot of help to entertain Olivia while we waited for dinner.

Olivia and Aunt Nazreen played with Aunt Naz's purse, read books, and emptied the contents of Olivia's toy bag.


Olivia loves doing puzzles and showed Mimi how good she is at putting the pieces in....and dumping them out!

Olivia, GrandDad and Aunt Naz enjoyed several rounds of ring-around-the-rosy.

And....when dinner was almost ready and sweet Olivia was about at the end of her rope, her Mimi snuck her a few pieces of turkey early.

We had such a great time and I was so happy to spend time with my family who I'm so thankful for.

Finally, my amazing parents helped Olivia make this adorable turkey handprint for Matt and I last weekend when we were out of town.  We both absolutely adore it & I am SO thankful I have such a crafty mom!

The only bad part of Thanksgiving was that we did not get to see Yasmin.  She had to work all day, so by the time she got out to Humble, Olivia had already melted down and we left.  Even though we missed her, we got to talk to her on the phone and hopefully she knows how very thankful we are for her too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Something to Talk About

Sorry for the long post without many pictures - this one is mainly for the memory book!  I added 2 videos to make it more interesting.

Much to our delight, Olivia’s speech has really exploded over the past few weeks.

She now says hi & bye regularly.  In fact, getting her to leave daycare is a 10 minute ordeal and she runs to every teacher and tells each one “buh bye” and hugs them at least 5 times!  Here’s a video of her going “buh bye” in our kitchen.

She is still saying “mama” and I think she knows that I’m mama, but she doesn’t ever call out for me.  But the other night I asked who mamma was and she pointed to me.  (She also pointed to me when I asked her who Olivia was, so who knows?)  Unfortunately, she still refers to Matt as “gaga” but if you ask her where daddy is, she will look at/point to him.  The other morning I heard Matt talking to her on the monitor:

Matt: Can you say mama?
Olivia: Mama
Matt:  Yes good girl!
Olivia: Mamamamamama
Matt:  Good girl!  Can you say dada?
Olivia:  Gaga
Matt:  Yep. 

Poor Matt! But despite not being able to say his name, this little girl LOVES her daddy.  Here she is freaking out once she sees Matt is outside.

I also realized that Olivia doesn’t know any of the names of the people in our family.  She is around them all the time, but when I told her to give something to Yasmin, she looked around at all the people there and had no idea where to go.  So, I made her the cutest little board book with pictures of all the family members in it.  She L-O-V-E-S it!  We read it at least 10 times every day.  Literally.  So she now says some form of GrandDad, Yasmin, and Pop-O.  (Sorry everyone else!)

And, although she stopped for a few months, she is back to saying “no” as well, except it comes out “nah” but she adds a head shake to make sure you understand!  Matt was out of town this week and she answered “nah” to everything I asked her!  (Despite her opinion, she did in fact eat dinner, take a bath, and go to bed!)

Surprisingly, the word “cat” is another one of her favorites.  Which is weird because we don’t have a cat and don’t really ever talk about cats.  But apparently when Matt and I were in New Orleans last week, she saw a cat with Mimi & GrandDad that must have scarred/amazed her because she now thinks she sees cats wherever we go.

Another random/surprising word that she says is “purple.”  I don’t think she understands what purple is and if you point to something that’s purple, she won’t identify it as such.  But she can say the word.  And “tickle.”  This one she will randomly start saying when no one is tickling her at all.  Again, not sure she knows what it means – but she can say it.  I tried to teach her to say "gobble gobble gobble" when asked what a turkey says.  Unfortunately, I think she got it confused with "tickle" because according to Olivia, turkeys say "tickoo tickoo tickoo." 

And finally, she says “wa wa” for water.  She will also do the sign language sign for water as she says “wa wa” which Matt and I think qualifies her for genius status ;)

It is really incredible to see the little wheels turning in her head as she tries to communicate and understand what things are.  We are also now understanding how frustrating it is (on both ends) to try and guess what she wants when she can’t express it.  But we are getting better at figuring it out and she is getting better at pointing!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dancing Queen

Much like her sweet looks, Olivia got her sweet moves from her daddy too.  (My favorite part is the head shake!)  Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Random Monday

Here's a cute picture of Matt + mini-Matt and a video of spilling & naming body parts (excuse my scratchy voice - hope we're not getting sick!) 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Away

This weekend, Matt and I took our first vacation without Olivia.  We have both traveled for work in the past, but never at the same time - Olivia has always spent the night with at least one of us.  So....this was kind of a big deal. But we knew Olivia would be in good hands with Mimi & GrandDad.
It was nice to have a little away time, but once we got home, we both quickly agreed that we probably won't go out of town again for a while....we missed our girl way too much!  I think of the 30 hours we were gone, we probably spent 25 of them talking about her or looking at picture of her on our phone!

Matt and I spent the weekend in New Orleans.  Here's the weekend in pictures (the pictures really do speak for themselves - the only thing we did other than eat and drink was sleep!)

Olivia had fun playing with Mimi and GrandDad.  Here are the iPhone pictures my mom sent me during the weekend:


A HUGE thanks to Mimi and GrandDad for taking such good care of Olivia.  She was happy as can be when we got back and we have now talked about the cat she saw about as many times as we've played "ring around the rosy" (which is about a million!).