Monday, October 30, 2017

Fall Fun

We have been having lots of fun this month.  

Olivia went on her first Field Trip - to see the play Click Clack Moo.  She was super excited and had a GREAT TIME!

Many years ago when the McGuires moved back to Texas we vowed to try and see each other monthly.  It hasn't always worked out, but we try our best.  For our October get together, Aunt Jennie suggested the State Fair - something we have never been to, but always wanted to check out.  It was a HOT day, but the kids all had fun.  I think we will definitely be back!



And, I couldn't resist matching jams for the group.  These 5 hold such a special place in my heart and this picture just fills me up with joy!  I love the babies' faces - they have no idea what they've gotten themselves into!

We felt our first taste of Fall weather, which was really just an excuse for Olivia to sport her new fleece!

And...probably the most exciting development....our FIRST LOST TOOTH!   We discovered it was loose on our way home from Dallas.  And she lost it exactly 1 week later.  She was really curious all week about it and kept asking me to feel it and predict when it would come out.  She was VERY nervous it would fall out at school, such that I had to write her teacher a note to let her know about the loose tooth!  My favorite line however was when I picked her up on Monday afternoon and she told me her tooth was "18% wigglier than it was yesterday."  If you know Matt Dean, you know this is exactly something that he would say.  I just loved that her little brain seems to think the same way as his!

It came out one Sunday evening during dinner.  Matt happened to be out of town, so Olivia was sleeping with me.  She was VERY concerned that the toothfairy wouldn't know where to find her, so she dictated a note for me to write.  And then she FaceTime'd with our entire family to show them the hole in her mouth!




The next morning she woke up to find 5 golden coins.  She wasn't super excited about them at first (she later told me she thought they were pennies!).  But once I explained it was the same as $5, she got pretty excited.

 The 2-5 hours are a little harried for us some days.  Olivia is pretty wiped when she gets home from school and I'm trying to cook dinner and of course it's the witching hour for Eric.  So, given the nice weather, we have been heading up to the local elementary school nightly for some playtime.  To date, Olivia has never been a kid that needed/wanted to get outside and run around.  That just wasn't part of our play.  But, all of a sudden it has really become a life saver for us.  She is really into the monkey bars and seeing how far she can get across.  So, she gets out some of her energy and Eric/I get to enjoy the nice weather.  Its a good win that I hope we can continue.

And...her school got a sports spirit dress day to celebrate our WORLD SERIES BOUND Astros!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

5 months with Eric

This month has been an interesting one - sleep has been scarce, he basically refuses the bottle, he got his first ear infection and a little bit of stranger anxiety has started to creep in (though not as bad as my poor Olivia).  But luckily, he remains a mostly smiley sweet guy!

This is the position Eric would like to sleep in - on his side.  Unfortunately, gravity takes over and at some point he falls on his belly.  Most of this month was spent saving him and flipping him back to his back, or patting him/soothing him to try and get him comfortable on his belly.  We have many nights where every hour he would cry because he was stuck on his belly.  

Luckily, I think we are past that and he now prefers sleeping on his stomach.  I just love these pictures -- the fact that he scooted to sleep perpendicular in the crib, the little feet hanging out and his bottom monogram.  Love!!!!



We are (STILL) trying to sell our old house, so we made a few updates on it.  As a result, Eric and I spent A LOT of time at West Elm.  Luckily he was a happy trooper!

 He got some hand-me-downs from Olivia..

And we have spent a lot of time outside enjoying the nice Fall weather.  Probably my favorite thing to do is drop Olivia off at school and head to Starbucks early in the morning.  We sit outside, drink coffee and he loves it!


This little boy LOVES a jumperoo!  Also, notice the hand in the mouth -- that is the norm these days!  And lots of drool.

Poor little baby got his first ear infection.  Everyone in the house was sick with a cold but he's the only one who got an infection.  We learned that, like solid foods, Eric also has no interest in medicine.  We have tried every trick in the book but I'm pretty sure most of the medicine ends up on Matt/I/the floor/the blanket/his clothes.
He was pretty miserable the first 2 days, so I was glad to spend those days tucked in his nursery, holding him.  For me, the worst part about being a working mamma is not being able to be there when the kids are sick.  I do the best I can to manage and luckily we have family that can help, but it is something that really gets to me.  So I soaked up every baby snuggle I could these 2 days.

At five months, Eric is really vocal.  He loves to yell, squeal and scream.  Sometimes after a night-time feeding, he will lay back in his crib and just scream or squeal.  Its not a cry, so I don't go pick him up.  We just let him do it until he falls asleep.  Most nights, I get a kick out of it actually and think its pretty funny.  However when Matt was out of town and Olivia was sleeping in my room, she was NOT amused and poor E got a dressing down in the middle of the night!

He is also becoming more forceful with the toys.  We had a bouncy vibrating seat that Olivia loved.  I couldn't wait for Eric to be old enough to sit in it and reach for the toys.  But, we got about 2 days use of out it before he started to throw his body weight to one side and roll out of it!  Similar experience with another one of Olivia's toys she used to love at this age.  Its a little arch with various pulls/levers on it.  The baby is supposed to kick them with their feet.  Not Eric.  He scoots his body down until he can touch it and then tries to pull the entire toy over on top of himself.

This month's photo shoot was cut short because he was more interested in eating the fox than picture taking!




But despite the sickness and sleepless nights, he is genuinely a happy baby.  As soon as we pick him up the middle of the night, he greets us with a huge smile, he wakes up from every nap happy and as soon as he sees us, he breaks out into a huge grin.  We just feel so blessed to have such a smiley guy!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pumpkins

I couldn't wait to take Olivia and Eric to a pumpkin patch this year.  In year's past we always visited the Cathedral House pumpkin patch - which is about the easiest thing in the world.  The awesome PTO fills the playground with pumpkins in the afternoon.  So when you come to pick up your children, you stop by, take some photos, pick out a pumpkin and you're DONE.

Since Olivia left CHES and Eric hasn't started yet, I had to venture out to find a patch.  My first try was a local nursery's Fall Festival.  I pitched this as a fun fall event (face painting, popcorn, games, etc).  Because that is how it will billed online.  But when we got there, it was not as we thought.  Basically it was just a plant nursery with lots of pumpkins.  There were stickers to decorate a pumpkin.


But it wasn't really a "festival" so Olivia was kind of bummed.  And it was hot so neither of my children (nor my husband) was very supportive of my photographic endeavors.  I had great visions of adorable pumpkin pictures.  And this is about the best I got.
Its cute.  I mean...Eric's face and eyebrows kill me!  But it wasn't perfect.

So since Olivia had Columbus Day holiday and since I am on maternity leave, we tried it again.  This time with bribes of cookies for Olivia and a better plan for pictures in the evening when the sun wasn't too hot.  (And leaving daddy at home since his patience for the "perfect shot" isn't as high as mine!).  We went to a local church literally 5 minutes from our house.  On the way there we had to stop by the pediatrician's office and all the wonderful doctors/nurses kept telling Olivia how cute her dress was.  That was all she needed - she was in full on model mode by the time we arrived.  She sat down, I handed her Eric, she lifted him up and made him laugh and then brought him down just as I snapped a picture.  Most of the times, these picture opportunities are better in my mind than in reality.  BUT, not this time.  These shots of my chubby cheeked little pumpkin and his proud big sister is currently being printed and will be framed in my living room.


Even though its still 10000 degrees in Houston, we are getting excited about Fall around here!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Parent's Night, Ava, Daddy

And a final hodgepodge blog of the happenings at the end of September.

The 26th was Matt's birthday.  Per usual, by the time we got to this date I was pooped and have since admitted to Matt that I know his day wasn't that special but have promised to make it up to him once we aren't so knee-deep in little babes.

We had Parents' Night at Olivia's school on his actual birthday but we still managed to do a cookie cake to celebrate.


Parents' Night was great.  We got to see Olivia's class, learn about the curriculum for this year, chat with a few parents and talk with her teachers.

Her job that week was "Technologist" which means she gets to help with computers/iPads.


She did a self-portrait which she was VERY excited about

About a week after her birthday, I got a shipment notification that her AG Doll would be delivered on Saturday.  To say she was anxious and excited would be the understatement of the century.  Literally at 1:45 I was calling the post office as she was in tears because she knew post office closed at 2:00 and it still had not been delivered.  Just before I yelled at some poor postal worker, the door bell rang and she shrieked with joy.

We quickly unwrapped the box to find Ava.  On the AG website, you can customize EVERYTHING about your doll - hair, skin, earrings, clothes, etc.  Olivia agonized over what to do.   FOR WEEKS.  EVERY DAY.  She was constantly on the iPad asking Matt and which face/hair/nails/clothes etc we thought were good.

But she finally decided to make a girl that looked like her and name her Ava (to coordinate with the other AG dolls - Ella and Willa).  Ava is super cute and Olivia LOVES her.  At 6, I think Olivia knows the dolls are not real but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.  There are several times when she will get mad if I lay down a doll the wrong way or something like that.  And earlier this summer she got FURIOUS at me when I asked her which was her favorite doll in front of all the dolls.

I would say that her Bitty Baby Ella has been her favorite so far.  Ella comes everywhere with us and she can't sleep without Ella.  But since Ava arrived there is a new fave in town.  Now Ava sleeps in the bed with Olivia and Olivia moved one of the baby doll cribs into her room next to her bed and Ella sleeps there (apparently just like Eric sleeps next to me).  Another interesting thing about the babies is that in her mind they are not her kids - they are her sisters.  And Matt and I are the parents.  Once Ava was ordered Olivia told me one day that she finally worked up the courage to tell the other babies that a new AG doll was coming and that some of them were jealous.  So...yeah...not sure she fully agrees that they are just dolls.

Needless to say, watching her unwrap Ava was similar to watching her meet Elsa at Disney.  All the money and planning in the world was worth it to watch her have that moment of joy.  I taped it because Matt wasn't home (and there was no chance she was going to wait any longer to open it) but then I started crying so its not a great video.  But she kept squealing and saying "She's perfect!" and "She's beautiful!"

And the following day, Olivia and daddy (and Ava) went on a special daddy-daughter date to see a play since Matt missed her actual birthday.

And that's a WRAP on August and September.  Doing those blogs was reminiscent of me doing my time some months at work when I wait till the last minute and have to rush to do it.  Like those months at work, I am going to try not to get behind on blogging anymore!  

Monday, September 25, 2017

3 and 4 months with Eric

Months 3 and 4 were just as sweet and snuggly as the previous 2.



Eric has a similar disposition to Olivia - he is sweet and cuddly and smiley.




He is enjoying tummy time a little more and can roll from his stomach to his back.


He outgrew the bassinet and moved from a full swaddle to one armed swaddle to a ridiculous Magic Merlin sleepsuit and finally to a sleepsack.  This was a very hard transition for Olivia so we were a little paranoid about it, but luckily this wasn't a big hurdle for E.



I couldn't bear to move him upstairs just yet, so he is taking naps in his crib but we pulled out the travel crib and he is still sleeping close to mamma each night.   I LOVE IT!  Long stretches of sleep still proves to be a bit elusive (similar to big sissy!).  But we are working on it.  And luckily, we know that this is just a phase and at some point, he will sleep!

We have been venturing out more and he continues to hate his carseat.  Olivia is forever leaning over to try and give him his pacifier (which he usually promptly spits out!).  I've been wearing him a lot in the Ergo and unfortunately this summer, many of his naps were taken in the carrier.

He is a little chunk - with fat little cheeks and rolls of baby cuteness on his arms and legs.


He has started reaching for toys and EVERYTHING goes in his mouth.

We have tried oatmeal and sweet potatoes.  Neither of which are huge hits.  But milk on the other hand - he can't get enough of.  Matt likes to say his favorite thing would be to stay in bed all day and nurse and then fall asleep on me.  And I can't say that I wouldn't love that either!


One of my favorite days was taking him to meet our beloved Dr. McKnight, who walked with us during some of our saddest days. She called on holidays to check on us; patiently answered hundreds of questions; repeated statistics to us; sought second, third, and fourth opinions for us; and listened empathetically as we agonized over each decision during multiple rounds of IVF. Without her skill, know-how, and kind manner I'm certain we would not have this little guy with us today. And for that, we are forever indebted. It's amazing what a lot of science and a little luck can create!


This little guy never gets any attention at home.  Nope.  No one will ever hold him.







We are just so in love with our favorite little brother!