Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Kids Say The Darndest Things

This post is mostly for the memory book to record 2 cute exchanges we recently had with Olivia.

1.  Bedtime antics -- So....while we initially were so pleased with Olivia's easy transition into a "big girl bed" it seems like she was just getting our hopes just high enough to crush them!  For several weeks now we have been really struggling with keeping her in her room at night.  One of our many different efforts to keep her in there, was to take away her baby dolls.  Olivia sleeps with approximately 10 dolls so we told her that each time she came out, we were going to take 1 of them away.  The first night, this worked like a charm.  She started to come out one time, we saw her on the monitor and warned her that if she opened the door, Baby Pax would be sleeping with us and she immediately ran back into bed and went to sleep.  The next night she got a little bolder and came out.  We took away Pax.  But, like the suckers we are, we gave it back after about 20 minutes of the most sad little cries you ever did hear!  But, she did stay in her room that night.  Well, flash forward a few nights and instead of her crying when we took away the doll, she helped us by handing us everything in her bed!  This is the conversation I heard/saw over the monitor:

Matt -- Okay Olivia you came out of your room.  Give me Pax please.
Olivia -- Okay daddy.  Here.  Oh and take this baby too (as she proceeds to name each baby and hands it to Matt).  And you forgot my blankies daddy.  And you forgot my pillow daddy.  Okay daddy?

Matt walked out of the room with a confused look and full hands.  Huh.  At that point, we decided to admit defeat. 

Note: the situation has currently been resolved by way of a child-proof lock on her side of the door.  I said I wouldn't do it.  I judged those who did (I'm looking at you dad!).  But at the end of the day, I gave in and did it.  Don't judge me.  Or at least wait until you have your own little night owl!  And...don't worry....we unlock it the minute we see her fall asleep on the monitor, so as to not have any safety issues at night!  And frankly, she now assumes it is locked so we actually don't have to lock it anymore really.

2.  Body image -- I guess body image is all relative.  I came home the other morning after an early workout and Matt was asking me about the new instructor.  I said she was good and that she had "awesome arms."  Olivia looked at me incredulously and said "She had purple arms?!" 

3.  Sucka!  Forgive my statement of the obvious, but Matt has what some might call a "competitive" side.  And, this tendency seems to have rubbed off on Olivia.  The other day she and I met some friends at the park.  She and her friend were both sliding on 2 slides next to each other and the other mom suggested they go down at the same time.  Challenge accepted.  Olivia sprinted to the slide, flew down as fast as she could, jumped off and looked at her friend and said "I beat you!"  Super awkward.  She has also taken to repeating a phrase that Matt apparently says a lot: "see ya sucka!"  She calls Matt "sucka" a lot.  Sometime in the right context (I ate all your quesadilla, you sucka!).  Sometimes not (Goodbye daddy sucka.  I love you!).  Its half weird/half cute to hear that phrase come out of a little 2 year old mouth.....I'm still not sure what to think. 

And....because you sat through those stories, a few recent pictures.

We recently went out to support Aunt Naz at an event she was working with MD Anderson where about 200 bike riders did a spin class on the lawn to raise money.  Olivia was SO happy to see Aunt Naz and meet her "friends" (co-workers) and "teacher" (boss); and she loved the music and watching the spin class.

We also converted her toddler bed into a full size bed.  I can't get over how tiny she looks in that big bed. 

It was delivered last Saturday while she and I were at ballet.  When we got home, Matt had put all the sheets on it and she was thrilled.  She immediately jumped into bed and got under the covers.  I jokingly asked her if she liked her new bed or wanted to go back to the toddler bed.  She whispered "I LOVE it!" 

But that night she got a little hesitant and cried before bed that she was afraid she was going to fall out.  Luckily, my friend Lisa tipped me off to a secret of putting pool noodles under the fitted sheet.  They work like a charm and kept her safe all night!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Olivia's Half Day

Our sweet little girl turned TWO AND A HALF today – her “half-day” as we called it.  In my continuing efforts to spoil her rotten, we did a little half-day celebration.

Matt was out of town for a few days earlier this week and all of a sudden, Olivia started coming into my bed in the middle of the night and sleeping with me. She has NEVER done this before.  Obviously, we have to break this little habit now that daddy is back in town, but I’d be lying if I said that having my sweet little girl snuggle up to me in the middle of the night wasn’t the cutest thing ever!

So, we woke up in bed together, around the same time and I told her happy birthday and sang to her. HUGE smiles! I asked what she wanted for breakfast. She, of course, responded “Laches!!” (kolaches). Much like her father, Olivia hates getting food to-go. For some reason, she (and her daddy) think it tastes better if you eat at the restaurant. We usually never eat at Kolache Factory since our house is practically across the street, but given that it was her half-day, I indulged and we ate there. She was thrilled! As I watched her eat, I couldn’t help get a little emotional thinking about how big she was getting. As if that wasn’t enough to make this mama teary, she stopped eating and gave me an unprompted “I love you mommy!” Oh…this girl!!

That night, we celebrated with a half-cake

Now, Matt likes to pretend like he's the "tough one" and he initially was skeptical of the whole "half-birthday" thing, pointing out that a half-birthday celebration may be #1 on the list of "Your Kid Might Be Spoiled If..."  However, as I was rushing out of work today and heading to pick up Olivia, I got a text from dear ol' dad telling me that he was going to stop by the toy store on the way home from work.  Yep.  WRAPPED. AROUND. HER. FINGER.  Needless to say, she was pretty happy with his pick.

What's that you say?  We are ruining and spoiling our daughter?  Yes.  We would agree.  We understand that admitting you have a problem is the first step ;)

And, even though it is just a silly milestone, I couldn't help but get emotional this morning when I dropped her off at school.  She jumped out of the car, baby in hand. She then turned to give her daily greeting to her police-men buddies and she yelled to them (in her typical “Texas twang”): “Good morning! I have a baby. Her name is Carol!” And then she ran to the front door. She proudly told the Director of the school that she was “two and a half” and that mommy had gotten her a kolache this morning. Then she ran to her room (she does a lot of running in case you haven’t noticed!) and as I put away her lunch, I listened to her tell her teachers about the maracas she brought for Show & Tell. I then kissed her good-bye and left. She was waiting by the window, but was not facing me when I got to the parking lot. I knocked on the window and she turned around with a huge smile on her face. I screamed “Happy Birthday!” Another huge smile and “thank you!” I said “I love you and I will pick you up later!” She nodded, blew me a kiss and ran off to play.

As I walked away, I was thinking about the fact that almost 2 years ago to the day (March 23, 2012), Matt and I were driving to this school to drop off a 6-month old baby Olivia for her first day of school.  I remember that pit in my stomach that I’m pretty sure formed the day she was born and I realized that I’d have to leave this little one at school one day. And as I thought about how different she is today than that little crying baby that we took to school 2 years ago, I also had to think about how different Matt and I are. Although it’s only been 2 ½ years, I feel like we have “grown up” too. For me, although I loved those snuggly baby days, I also found them to be incredibly unnerving because she couldn't talk and tell us what was going on. I felt so much guilt back then and spent countless hours worrying about her being sick, whether she liked school, whether she was mad at us for leaving her, etc. It is very reassuring for me now to be able to talk to her about her day, hear her say how much she loves her teachers and friends, and listen to her verbalize how she is feeling.

At two and a half, Olivia is brave and strong, but also sweet, silly and funny. She is social and out-going, but most comfortable with her family. She is smart and curious, confident and fearless. She has moments of “terrible” and can be dramatic, moody, and unreasonable. But, so can Matt and I!! And at the end of the day, I now have confidence that we can look each other in the eye, apologize for any missteps that happened during the day, smile about the silly and fun things that we did and know, without a doubt, that there is an incredible, unconditional bond between us that runs deeper than I could have ever imagined. This little girl has completely changed our lives and we were thrilled to celebrate her "half-day" and all that we have to be thankful for.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This and That

Olivia and I are just finishing up a month of being on our own while Matt traveled.  It was kind of hectic, especially with my work schedule being so busy but luckily she informed Matt the other night that I was a "good mommy."

Last week we lucked out with some GORGEOUS weather in Houston, so we went to the park almost every night after school.

I have mentioned Olivia's love for fashion and accessories.  I went to Target one day at lunch and found this adorable dress and sweater.  I showed it to her when she got home from school and she audibly gasped, declared it to be "so cute!" and demanded to wear it to school the next day.  So...a late night load of laundry later, I had a very happy girl.  I love this picture because I think she looks so pretty and grown-up!

We had fun painting a "Welcome Home" sign for him

When Matt finally got home for the weekend, he and Olivia had fun playing her new favorite game -- lining up all the babies and stuffed animals for music class.

And we also celebrated St. Patrick's Day.  Unsurprisingly, she was thrilled with her new green dress.
She got Lucky Charms for breakfast, a real treat because I'm a mean mommy and usually make her eat Cheerios or Raisin Bran!  Then I made her lunch all green.  Her teachers told me she liked the green pasta and chips, but was turned off by the green yogurt.  Can't say I actually blame her on that one...

Unfortunately Olivia had a bit of a rough morning.  For those of you who know her well, you can attest to the fact that this is one tough girl.  She will fall down or walk into a wall (why do toddlers do that?!) and not even cry.  Usually we get a cringe or even an ouch, but it is a rare occasion when getting hurt will actually deter her from wherever she was going/trying to do.  So....when I heard a blood-shrieking scream and her crying from her room on Monday morning, I figured something bad had happened.  I walked into the room to find her sobbing and blood gushing from her hand.  I guess she slammed her fingers in the drawer and it took a pretty big chunk out of them.  The poor little girl was so sad. We got her all cleaned up, with a Sesame Street "ban-ban" but I think it must have been hurting her because she was pretty cranky all day and complained to me the minute I walked in the door to pick her up from school. 

She cried most of the way home from school and I guess her nerves were shot after sitting in traffic for about 20 minutes.  We were at the light about to turn into our neighborhood, when this happened:

She kept repeating it over and over again.  I may or may not be known to utter this exact same phrase on apparently a fairly regular basis.  Guess I need to watch what I say!

And finally, speaking of Olivia mimicking me, we had a recent funny experience at Starbucks.  Usually on Saturday mornings, Matt and Olivia will go pick up breakfast for us and stop by Starbucks to get me a coffee.  I guess she really pays attention to us because Matt said the other day as he started to order my coffee, he heard Olivia in the backseat saying the order in unison with him!  I don't know how he managed to get through the order without laughing.  But, if there is ever an emergency, at least Olivia will know what kind of coffee I like (tall, nonfat, upside down caramel macchiato!)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

My birthday snuck up on us this year!  But luckily, I had great friends and family who took care of me and made it wonderful!

We started off the celebration on Friday night.  I had been out with Olivia and came home to find Matt home early with a cookie cake!

Then we continued the celebration with a babysitter for Olivia and a night out for Matt and I!

We had reservations for Uchi but got there a little early and decided to check out the bar next door.  What a gem!  It was this great little place where the bar tender immediately asked us "Do you trust me?"  I decided to live in the moment and said "YES!"  He took away our menus and brought us 2 of the most amazing drinks we have ever had.  I'm not sure what exactly they were, what was in them, and I will never be able to re-create them.  But, they were DELICIOUS!
Then we met up with the Williams' for a BFF birthday double-date at Uchi.  SO.  GOOD.  In every way possible -- good food, good friends, good conversation.  Love that 27 years have gone by and Kate and I still text all day, in the same silly way we exchanged notes in class all day!

The next morning (my actual birthday) we got up early and headed to Austin for a birthday weekend with our dear friends, the McGuire family.  We made a quick stop in Georgetown to have lunch with an old teacher and then had to stop by SU to show Olivia around!

We met up for a late lunch with the McGuires and Olivia began her obsession with Harris, specifically kissing him....her father was less than pleased! ;)  Unfortunately I got no kissing pictures but this one is evidence enough of the love fest.  And, I'm happy to report that I think the feeling was mutual -- sweet little Harris didn't seem to mind the love!
Then went to the Thinkery -- the awesome new children's museum in Austin.

By the time we left, we had two very un-napped babies who were ready to crash!  This ended up being very good fate for us, as we had a babysitter coming to the hotel so we could enjoy a nice dinner out. Unfortunately, we forgot to take a picture of the grown-ups at dinner but it was a usual fun and funny night with some of our best friends!

We were scheduled to go to the Zilker Park Kite Festival on Sunday, but bad weather forced them to cancel the festivities.  Luckily the promise of a brunch (with BACON of course!) was enough to cheer up the group...

The next weekend, I got my annual Mehta birthday party at my parents' house.  It was the usual delicious, fun evening filled with good food, good family, and lots of laughing.

Delicious menu and decorations:

Per usual, Olivia stole the show, especially demonstrating the newest trick her aunts taught her -- arm wrestling!

I'm pretty sure Olivia is WAY more excited about this delicious cake than I was!

But, luckily these presents are ALL MINE!

Matt's parents also took me out for a delicious dinner and got me some wonderful presents, including a MUCH LOVED Starbucks gift card!  We didn't manage to get any pictures, but I was so lucky to have such a nice evening with them and so happy by the sweet touches/surprises they planned for me!

34 is shaping up to be a good year and I'm excited for what the rest of it will hold!