Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hippity Hoppity

Easter's on its way!  This is the first real holiday that Olivia has sort of gotten and we are loving it!  Last weekend Matt was out of town and it was terrible weather outside, so I decided it was the perfect time for a pretend Easter egg hunt.  She L-O-V-E-D it!  She now knows that E. Bunny is making an appearance at our house, will hide some eggs, and she's going to find them.  I think it will blow her little mind when she finds "num nahs" (M&Ms) inside them!

We have had a lot of "egg drills" in anticipation of the big day.  (Apparently Matt didn't realize how extensive the training has been until he was alone with her early one morning while I was working out and she proceeded to have her own hunt, hiding and finding eggs at 5:30 in the morning!)

On Thursday her school had an Easter Hat Parade, followed by an egg hunt.  Unfortunately Matt and I couldn't go, but some of our sweet friends took these pictures of Olivia.  I'm not sure why she looks so mad but her sad little faces caused one of my friends to comment that with her obvious disdain for the inanities of toddlerhood plus her cartoon-drawing abilities (check out that hat!), she may have a future with the New Yorker.  Ha!

She also had no interest in sharing any of the eggs/candy she collected during the hunt.

Yesterday was certainly a Good Friday!  Matt had the day off too and we had such a fun day playing with Olivia.  I'm pretty sure we could not have squeezed any more of her favorites into this day -- "lah-chees" (kolaches), "nastics" (gymnastics), park, hitting up a neighborhood lemonade stand (complete with Easter cookies!), and we ended the day with a egg hunt outside.

I found these great cascarones (confetti eggs) and I knew she'd get a kick out of them.  The forecast calls for rain on Easter, so I decided to take advantage of the great weather on Friday and use them (clearly we aren't doing confetti eggs in my house!). The box says you are supposed to smash the eggs over someone's head to break the confetti.  She did not like that however (neither did I frankly).  Although from the looks of these pics, daddy may have smashed them over our heads a little too hard.

Instead she would peel the paper off and then ask us to bend down so she could pour the confetti on our head!

Definitely a success -- I think this may become a Dean Good Friday tradition!

Today is our neighborhood Easter hunt and then tomorrow is the big day, including the whole family  coming over for brunch.  We can't wait!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Secret to Happiness

As Olivia gets older, I love to see the ways in which she is similar to Matt and I.  Whether physically (obviously a complete mini-Matt) or through personality.  It makes me so happy when I tell my parents something Olivia did and they comment that I did that too! 

Well, until yesterday, I thought that Olivia’s deep and undying love for cheese came from her mama.  Maybe not…

We were driving home from school and talking.  (Side note: Olivia recently hates the radio/CD/iPod/etc.  She either wants us to talk, to sing, or to be quiet (I’m not kidding – this morning we were driving and I was talking.  She started crying.  I asked her if she wanted to sing?  No.  I then rattled off her 10 favorite songs.  No to them all.  I then asked if she wanted to talk.  No.  Never thinking she’d say yes, I asked her if she just wanted me to be quiet.  A resounding yes.  I say that’s just plain rude...) 

Anyways, yesterday Olivia wanted to talk.  So I was telling her about what we were doing that evening and I asked her if it would make her happy.  She said “Yes.  Happy.”  I said “Good, because I want Olivia to be happy!”  We then started discussing different things that make her happy.  Then we had this conversation:

Olivia: Daddy?
Me:  Yes I want daddy to be happy.  Daddy is happy when you give him lots of kisses.
Olivia:  (Makes a kissing sound)
Olivia: Mama?
Me:  Yes, Mama is happy.  It makes Mama happy when you give me lots of kisses.
Olivia:  (Makes a kissing sound)
Olivia: Pop-O?
Me: (assuming she was catching on to the kissing trend)  Yeah, we want Pop-O to be happy.  What makes Pop-O happy?
Olivia:  Cheese!!

So apparently the love of cheese is not just from her Mehta roots!

Monday, March 25, 2013

18 Months

Olivia is one-and-a-half! Matt and I have the same reaction to this news as we did when we were counting weekly and monthly milestones when she was a baby – we cannot believe how fast time flies!

Matt was out of town on her 1.5 year birthday, but my parents came over, I got some cupcakes, Mimi brought a hat, and we had a little celebration for her.  She loved it!

She was so funny with her cupcake.  For her one year birthday smash cake, she literally put her entire face into the cake.  But, what a difference 6 months makes!  This time she carefully picked out each individual sprinkle and ate them one-by-one.  When her hands did get messy with frosting, she became very upset and asked me to wipe them, despite Mimi's best efforts to get her to just lick it off!  Unfortunately for Mimi (who teased me endlessly that her poor grandchildren were goign to be reduced to a life of cleanliness and order, never getting the opportunity to be dirty) it looks like Olivia does not like to be dirty, even getting upset at the park if her hands get mud on them!

Mimi & GrandDad also helped me take Olivia to her 18-month well visit at the doctor.  As it turns out, I was very glad to have my parents there to take care of me!  The whole thing was a little traumatic!  The visit started with the disappointing news that both Olivia's tubes have fallen out and she is now on Round 2 of antibiotics for another marathon ear infection.  (We have an appointment with our Pediatric ENT next Friday so stay tuned for that update.)  Then, despite my best efforts to prepare Olivia for seeing the doctor, she did not do well with the actual check-up either.  It basically took all 3 of us to hold her down so that the doctor could examine her.  But luckily, apart from her poor little ears, everything else was good and healthy.  And finally, the visit ended with a shot which was no fun at all!  I think we were all very glad to leave the doctor's office!

Her stats:
Height - 32" (62%)
Weight - 24 pounds, 3 ounces (49%)

Good think we had the phone + "ba ba" (ring around the rosy) to entertain her!

At 1 1/2, our little Olivia is quickly developing her own not-so-little personality! She’s fiercely independent and rarely will let us help her with anything. We were recently at a birthday party and the hostess set out those small bags of Goldfish for the kids. Olivia took a bag, sat down, and went to work on opening it. It was a sealed plastic container – short of biting her way through it, I’m not sure she ever would have opened it. Nevertheless, she continued to reject, with a strong “No!”, our offers of help. A couple of women were standing next to us watching the entire thing unfold and couldn’t contain their laughter. They remarked to Matt that he was in trouble! (We know!!) She worked on that bag for a good 10 minutes until I couldn’t take it anymore and went over to rip it open. She was slightly perturbed with me, but it’s hard to stay mad when there are delicious Goldfish to be eaten. She got me back by refusing to hold the bag still or put them in the cup I offered her such that the Goldfish kept falling into the grass…where she would pick them up and put them straight in her mouth! At least she is focused?

She also knows exactly what she wants and who she wants to do it with/for her. Pop-O and Tutu babysat her recently and learned that Olivia has assigned seating for dinner, but only she knows where everyone is supposed to sit. But don’t worry – if you sit in the wrong seat, she will let you know in a very decisive manner!

Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds. There are still plenty of times where we can’t understand exactly what she wants, but we’re getting better. We’ve learned that “abu” is open; “tau” is couch; and “pa-pa” is backpack. Cheese, keys, and teeth all sound the same, so we are basically forced into context clues there.

She is pretty strong willed and surprisingly, she doesn't respond well to our calm explanations of reason and logic as to why she should/shouldn't do a certain thing.  So Matt and I have learned we have to get creative in order to bring her to our side. To combat her most recent ear infection, she had to be on a strong round of antibiotics. The pediatrician stressed to us how important it was to make sure Olivia drank all the medicine . . . . .we have had a few unfortunate incidents where we just can’t get her to drink it all, and consequently the ear infection doesn’t go away! So, we decided to give in to the technique that Mimi has been preaching for a year – bribery. I bought a small bag of M&Ms and offered her 1 in exchange for drinking her medicine and letting us do her ear drops. Turns out bribery is quite an effective tool! Amazingly, the same medicine which made her gag and that she literally spit at me the day before, now she drinks with no fuss in exchange for a precious “em nem.”

She has also discovered the joy of the “i-Pa” (iPad) and apps. Her favorites are Peek-A-Boo Barn and Elmo Calls. It’s pretty impressive to watch her quickly figure out the game and technology.

But mostly, our Olivia is a sweet, happy little girl who adores her family.  She is constantly curious about everyone's whereabouts.  When we drive home from school, the first part of the car ride is spent with her asking about each person and me telling her what they are doing.  (Mama?   Mama is driving.  Da-ee?  Daddy is at work.  Yas?, etc. etc.)  Over and over again.  Then we spend the last part of the car ride signing songs, usually incorporating the members of the family....(Old McDonald had a farm and on that farm he had a NAZREEN..)

We are more in love with her than ever and we can’t wait to see what new adventure or lesson she has in store for us!
Here are a few recent pics:

She sat on the floor crying and refused to get up at B&N until I agreed to buy this phone.  Not sure that giving in and buying it was the "correct" parenting decision...but she sure was happy with me! ;)

Rocking her baby at Mimi and GrandDad's house

Park with Mimi and Granddad

Best 18  months of our lives! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Baby Ed

Matt and I are proud to think of ourselves as very liberal.  Apparently Olivia is already expressing her open-mindedness.  Last week she began calling her favorite baby "Ed."  We all laughed about "baby girl Ed" and encouraged her.

Then today, this happened.

I guess this is the first step in Ed's transition process? Uncle Drew said, Deans love bald people! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Social Cues

As Olivia gets older and more verbal, one interesting development is seeing her learn social cues and norms. A few Fridays ago, I had the opportunity to experience complete social awkwardness and awesomeness within about 20 minutes of each other.

I decided to enroll Olivia in a mommy-and-me gymnastics class on Friday mornings since I have the day off now. On the morning of our first class, she was pretty hesitant and timid. The previously mentioned "mommy phase" is still holding strong and I think she was terrified I was going to leave her there. So she wouldn't leave my side the entire class! At the very beginning of class all the kids basically have 10 minutes of free-for-all in the gym area. Kids are everywhere, jumping and playing on all the equipment. During that time, the teacher came over to ask how we heard about the gym and explain to us a little how the class worked. The entire time that she was talking, Olivia had a very worried expression on her face and repeatedly yelled "No! No! Bye-bye! Mama! Mama!" (i.e. Miss need to go bye-bye and leave me alone with my mama and just so everyone is clear my mama is not leaving me here!) Fortunately, Miss Ellen speaks 18-month old and quickly took the cue to stop talking and leave us alone. Not Olivia's sweetest moment by far.

But then, not 20 minutes later it was the end of class and we were all sitting in a circle doing some activities. Olivia was standing behind me as one of the girls on the other side of the room started to cry. Olivia immediately noticed and started staring at her. I was terrified that Olivia would do what she usually does when she sees a kid crying....point to them and yell repeatedly "baby! baby!" Fortunately for me, she did not do that. Instead, she walked across the circle to this little girl, got right in her face, and said in the sweetest and most enthusiastic tone "hiiiiiiiiiii!" The girl immediately stopped crying and looked at Olivia. The little girl's mom introduced herself and her daughter, Avery, and asked Olivia what her name was. Olivia pointed to herself and said "Me!" and then pointed across the room to me and said "Mama!" It was absolutely adorable if I do say so myself. Now that everyone was properly introduced, Miss Ellen continued with circle time and Avery and Olivia sat next to each other for the rest of class. It is really heart-warming to see glimpses into the future personality of our sweet girl. Seeing her recognize that Avery was sad and show empathy towards her was such a wonderful thing to watch and made me so happy for my Fridays off so that I can witness moments like that, instead of hearing about them from others!

Update: The theme of Olivia "introducing" people continues in a cute way.  Last night we were in the front yard playing with her little car when our neighbor came outside.  Matt went over to talk to them and a few minutes later, so did Olivia and I.  As we walked up our neighbor said hi to Olivia and asked how she was doing.  She pointed to her car and said "ca!" and then pointed at me and said "Mama!"  My dad often tells a story about me being around Olivia's age, in a diaper in our front yard introducing all the neighbors to each other.  We think its cute that Olivia is doing the same thing.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Olivia Meets Harris

Our dear friends Lloyd & Jennie were in town last weekend and we finally got to meet baby Harris.  He is so deliciously sweet and precious!  We were all completely in love with him.  Olivia was obsessed with the "bebe"..... until he tried to sit in the Bumbo or bouncy seat.  (We are working on sharing but I'm not sure how effective it has been!) 

I was a little paranoid that Olivia was going to accidentally hurt him, but I have a hunch that within a year or so Harris will be able to hold his own with this little Texas tornado.  I hope these 2 grow up to have a lifelong friendship!  We cannot wait for our McGuire/Dean family vacation this summer!  (Guessing this one will be a little different than the ones in the past....)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

My birthday was at the beginning of this month and it was awesome.  It was my first Friday off (per my new part-time schedule) and I took full advantage.  Olivia and I played all morning; met Matt, my dad and sister at this amazing crepe restaurant for lunch; did a little shopping; got a massage and a manicure; and then had a delicious sushi dinner.  Pretty much my perfect day! 

Matt taught Olivia to sing Happy Birthday….or more precisely to say “Mama” at the right moment in the song and she LOVED it.  So did I!  All day she ran up to me and asked to sing “Hap.”
On Saturday, we headed to Humble for my family birthday celebration. I may have mentioned before, but my mom instituted a new tradition recently. When it is your birthday, the whole family gathers at my parents’ house and my mom makes your favorite meal. Mine was green sauce for appetizer, Mulligatawny soup for dinner, and mocha shortbread for dessert. (Yes, I know the menu doesn’t fit together perfectly as I’ve been chastised for endlessly, but it’s my party and I get to have whatever I want!) And I loved it!

My sweet mom decorated the house so pretty and festive!

At Matt's birthday my mom bought the "big birthday hat" and it now comes out at all birthdays. Olivia loves it and made everyone take a turn wearing it.

I had 2 favorite moments from the night and, shockingly, they both involved Olivia. First, I was opening my presents from Yasmin and Nazreen and as I pulled bracelets and a sweater from the bag, I hear my little Olivia say in a very excited voice “Oh wow!” We all died laughing. I now officially cannot wait for her birthday!

My parents got me a beautiful bracelet and a standing mixer which Olivia and I were both very happy about!

Yasmin and Olivia had a little turf war over the rights to the little rocker. Unfortunately for Aunt Yasmin, Olivia won that battle. I suspect the war will wage on...

Olivia is in a big "dog" phase right now and was obsessed with Diiiieeee (Dixie). She constantly asked anyone who would listen to take her outside.

She also made poor GrandDad spend a significant amount of time by the front door. I'm not sure exactly what was going on, but I think a lot of looking at cars and opening and closing the door!

A little while later we were all in the kitchen and my dad was de-seeding a pomegranate for me. By way of background, Olivia is not a big fan of fruit – she really will only eat it if I disguise it in some way (e.g. I let her dip apples in almond butter sometimes) - she’s more of a veggie kind of girl. So when she asked for some pomegranate I expected her to try it, gag, and then spit it out. She did not. She LOVED it! She kept eating so much that finally my dad looked at me with a worried expression and suggested I cut her off. I took it away and she started to cry, so my dad asked if she wanted to ride on his shoulders. She immediately perked up and said “yeah!” I don’t know if she was deliriously tired or on a sugar rush, but this was the result of the shoulder ride! (Note: We did take the “pohm” home and she ate it for the next 2 days. Unfortunately for Olivia, I’m pretty sure it’s the end of the season.)
It was really a fantastic evening and I felt so lucky to be so loved on by my sweet parents!

The following weekend Matt's parents came over to celebrate and we had a great time playing with Olivia and then had a delicious dinner from a new pizza restaurant that just opened by our house. Tutu made Olivia laugh a LOT and Pop-O helped her feed the baby and read her book.

33 is shaping up to be great so far!