A Very Olive Christmas 🎄

Olive’s first Christmas was very memorable. I was able to get super cute family Christmas pictures taken a few weeks before Christmas at JC Penny. They turned out great and we gave them to our family as Christmas presents.

We were also able to take her to get her picture taken with Santa. We got really lucky because we went to a nearby farm on a rainy day and there was hardly anyone there. Plus it was free!

Christmas Eve was celebrated with my family. When we got home we left out cookies and almond milk for Santa. I got Olive ready for bed and put on her Christmas pajamas and put her to bed. The next morning we opened our presents and then got ready for Kevin’s family to come over.

I made my first Christmas Ham along with mashed potatoes and salad. Kevin’s family brought over a lot of food too. Dinner was delicious!

Everyone got Olive so many presents! She was such a lucky little girl!:)

overall is was a great Christmas and I can’t wait for the new year!:)

Gobble, Gobble Olive’s First Thanksgiving🦃

We spent Thanksgiving over my mom and Step-Dads house. It was nice to see my pop-pop and great aunt since I don’t get to see them that often.

Olive was dressed up in a super cute Turkey outfit. Her cousins loved the playing with her and holding her.  She was too young to eat any of the turkey dinner, but she did enjoy sitting down and eating her baby butternut squash.

When we got home I got her ready for bed and then read them of our favorite Thanksgiving books to her including “Corduroys Thanksgiving”,  “Turkey Time”,  “Where is Baby’s Turkey?” And more.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m really big on reading to her. In fact, I have more Children’s books than I know what to do with. That doesn’t stop me from buying more though. I would love to write my own children’s books. That would be a dream come true. I have so many ideas, but just not enough time.

I am very thankful for everything I do have though. There was a time when I was depressed and bitter. A time when Kevin and I didn’t know each other and May 10th (Olive’s birthday) was just another original day. And I used to dream about a life where I felt happy and complete. I dreamed of being a wife and a mother and living in a nice house, having a good job and being surrounded by wonderful, uplifting people. I used to dream about the life I have now. And I’m very grateful and blessed. I’m not saying things are always perfect, but things are a lot better than they used to be. I believe in the power of positive thinking. If you think good thoughts, good things will happen to you!

Olive’s first Halloween 🎃

The last week of October was a super busy week at our house, not just because Halloween was right in the middle on a Wednesday this year, but also because Kevin and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary on Monday the 29th.

My mom watched Olive so Kevin and I could go  out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. It was nice to go out on a real date. I miss going on dates with my husband. Hopefully we can go on more dates in the future.

We spent Halloween at the daycare center. It was pretty much like any other day until the kids woke up from nap and we changed them into their costumes and got them ready for the parade. I was able to walk with Olive and take pictures of her. I was “Peanut Butter” and she was “Jelly”. My mom was there too. After the parade we just hung out in my classroom as the kids enjoyed eating yummy treats.

When we got home, I gave Olive her Halloween bucket that I made up for her. Inside her bucket I put 2 Halloween baby books, a big bubble wand with a ghost handle, a pink monster toy and a stuffed Frankenstein head.

I spent the rest of the night handing out candy to all of the trick or treaters.

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Big Changes:

I know I  have been M-I-A for the last few weeks. There have been a lot of new changes in my life. I started back at work on the 4th of September and Olive started school on the same day.

The first few weeks for very hard for me, a lot harder than I thought they would be. I mean I knew coming back from maternity leave wasn’t going to be easy, but I didn’t realize just how difficult it would be. I don’t know if it’s because I was out for so long and I just needed more time to get back into the swing of things, or it’s just harder now that I have a child when before it was just me but either way it was a rough start and the third week was the worst.  I just felt really overwhelmed, like no matter how hard I tried to make things better, more things would just keep going wrong.

I knew a lot of this was just temporary and it would get better. I just needed to get through the next few weeks. I had to just keep my head up, stay positive, find some humor even in the most  difficult situations, and everything would be okay. Every job is like this. You have ups and downs. You have super easy days and super hard days. Some days go by really smoothly, others not so much, but you make it through. You get stronger and you learn more and more.

The one thing that helps me get through a hard day is visiting Olive in the infant room during my lunch break. It’s my favorite time of the day. I’m very lucky that I have a job where I can see my daughter during the day. I feel bad for the moms that have to drop their babies off and then drive in to work somewhere else.

I’m also grateful that Olive is doing so well in the infant room. Every time I visit her, she’s very happy and smiling. That makes things much easier for me. If she was crying or seemed unhappy, I don’t think I’d ever want to leave her, but thankfully she’s doing great in there! She is enjoying stories, and music class, and buggy rides outside. I even got pictures of her finger painting last week. It makes me happy to see her having a good time in her class room.

The first weekend after my first week back to work, I was so exhausted that I just laid around as much as I could plus I wasn’t feeling that great either.  Thankfully I felt better during the second week. The second weekend, I had a little bit more energy and was able to take Olive to a nearby farm where we just walked around and looked at farm animals. They did have events there that day, but Olive was too young to participate.

The third weekend Kevin and I took Olive to Peddlers Village to see the scarecrows and the spot where we got married almost two years ago. It was such a nice Fall day. It was the first time in a while that I was able to stand outside and not feel uncomfortable in any way.

We have been super busy with school events too. We had our back to school night a few weeks ago, and last week we had picture day. Olive did such a great job, smiling for the camera. I cannot even believe how great her pictures came out! We also have our Halloween party and Parade to look forward to too! As crazy and busy as things are, I must say that it is nice to be involved in a community and to have help and support from other teachers and parents.

And yes, things have gotten much better at work. Just like I knew they would.  I honestly think it’s a struggle every working mom goes through. Wondering if you are doing the right thing, Is it wrong to go back to work after having a baby? Is your child happy? Are you doing enough for them? Are they getting enough attention from you? And even when you do a really good job, you still think it’s not good enough.

So far my daughter seems very happy in her little life. She’s always smiling and in a good mood. She hardly ever seems upset unless she’s hungry or super tired. She lights up when she sees people. So I must be doing something right.

I hope so anyway…

Why I will Never let my daughter watch The Little Mermaid:

Hello fellow readers and parents,

Tonight I want to bring up a subject that I’ve been wanting to write about for a very long time now. I’ve been putting it off though, out of fear that other people may argue with me or think I’m just being crazy. A disclaimer before you read this:

This is my own silly opinion and beliefs based on what I’ve been through in my life. I’m not in any way, shape or form blaming my parents or calling anyone else a “bad parent” for letting their children watch the Disney movie “The Little Mermaid”. I just personally do not want my daughter watching it for the following reasons below….

  1. The entire movie is pretty much based around looks. Throughout the whole movie, every character talks about how important looks are. At the beginning of the movie, Ariel falls in love with Prince Eric, because he’s handsome. Not because he’s kind, or has a great personality, or is super funny, NO! She basically sees him, thinks he’s hot and is obsessed with him from then on.
  2. She pursues him. From the first time she sees Eric, Ariel goes out of her way to see him again. She constantly thinks about him and soon her entire world starts to revolve around him, meanwhile he’s going about his life not even aware that she exist.
  3. She completely disobeys her father, to “follow her heart”. In the movie, they make her father look like a monster for destroying her statue of Prince Eric and telling her not to go up to the surface, when really he’s just trying to be a good dad and protect her.
  4. Everything goes her way and she ends up marrying him and living Happily ever after, which is extremely unrealistic.

 

Ok, you may be sitting there thinking to yourself that I’m being way too harsh and judgemental. Afterall it is a Disney movie and everyone is supposed to live happily ever after by the end. I will even admit that I loved this movie as a little kid. In fact, it was one of my all time favorite Disney movies right up there with “Beauty and The Beast” and “Aladdin”. However, later on in life it got me into trouble.

I remember at a very young age, having crushes on boys. I’m not sure if I was just born with that type of personality or it was a learned behavior from watching “The Little Mermaid”, but now looking back on it, there are a lot of similarities between how Ariel acted in the movie and how I acted in real life.

I started chasing after boys that I liked and of course they never liked me back because after many frustrating years I learned that if you really like someone, you have to play it cool. Chasing after them is the worst thing you can do if you want them to like you back.

I just feel like it sends the wrong messages to young girls. It tells them that it’s more important to look good then to have a good personality. It teaches them that it’s ok to disobey your parents for love. It gives false hope that everything will work out, when life doesn’t really work that way.

When I was a teenager, I was also really depressed because I didn’t think I was a “pretty girl”. Being a teenage girl is hard! And it sucks! It’s around that time that you really start to be concerned with the way you look. You compare yourself to other girls who you think look pretty and if you don’t look exactly like them, suddenly you assume you must be ugly. It doesn’t help that you grew up watching Disney movies where every “beautiful princess” had a tiny nose and perfect hair, when you have a bigger nose and fizzy hair.

I just remember being really unhappy as a teenager, partly because I didn’t feel good about myself and partly because I got my heart broken a lot.

As a parent, I never want my daughter to ever feel that way. I pray for her every night. I mostly pray for her to be happy and to live a very happy life. That’s my biggest wish for her and I hope it comes true.

I wish Disney would have followed the actual Little Mermaid story by Hans Christian Andersen. In the real story, the prince never sees her as a love interest. He sees her as more of a pet. At the end, the prince ends up marrying someone else despite everything that the little mermaid sacrificed to be with him. She sacrificed a lot more in the book than in the Disney fairytale version. In the book instead of just taking away her voice, the sea witch cuts off her tongue, leaving her mute forever. She also tells her that in exchange for legs she will also have to suffer a great deal of pain with every step she takes. In the end she doesn’t get what she wants, or lives happily ever after. The movie is cute and has some really catchy songs, but I find the book so much more interesting and relatable.

I want my daughter to grow up strong. I want her to know that she doesn’t need a guy to make her feel special. She is already special and wonderful just the way she is. I think we will just stick to movies like “Frozen” and “Brave”.

 

 

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The Mean Vaccines and The No Breast Milk Blues:

Ever since people found out I was pregnant, they have been asking me the two most dreaded questions known to parenthood. Question one: Are you going to vaccinate your child? And question two: Are you going to breastfeed?

I HATE when people ask me those questions, because I feel like no matter what I say, someone is judging my parenting choices. I honestly don’t judge other parents based on whether or not they vaccinate or breastfeed. I believe every parents does what they think is best for their child/ern. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, doesn’t mean that they are wrong.

I feel like these are two very touchy subjects with people, especially with vaccines. I have a family member who is very strongly against vaccines. Then on the other side of the family, my husband has a family member who is very strongly for vaccines. So when it came time to make a decision, we weren’t really sure what to do. I did some research and talked to our pediatrician about it and my husband and I decided to vaccinate our daughter.

I’m not saying everyone should vaccinate their children, it was just the best choice for us. I work at a daycare where all the children have to be updated with their vaccines. I’m going back to work in September and Olive is coming with me. To me and my husband, the pros of vaccines outweigh the cons by a landslide. I’ve personally have had really good experiences with vaccines. I’ve always been pretty healthy all my life and I did get vaccines as a child and an adult.

I understand that everyone is different, and maybe some people didn’t have such great experiences with vaccines. So now they are not crazy about giving them to their child.

I will admit that whether you are pro vaccine or not, it is still really hard to watch your child get them done. I had to take Olive to the pediatrician the other day by myself. She had to get three shots and it was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I was so upset about it, that I cried on the way home.

She was smiling at me,( like she always does) right before the shots. As soon as she got the first one her face turned bright red and she cried more than I have ever seen her cry in her whole 2 months of life. It took me a few minutes to calm her down, but she did calm down. The doctor said that she may get a fever. She never got a fever. After taking a long afternoon nap, she was back to being her same smiley self.

It’s been two days since the shots and she’s totally fine. She’s still smiling at me and as happy as ever.

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Now on to the breastfeeding issue… I tried so hard to breastfeed. I originally wanted to just breastfeed with little to no formula. Not because I thought formula was bad, there is nothing wrong with formula. It’s just that, I really wanted to have that closeness with her. I would see other women breastfeeding and think that it was just such a beautiful way to bond with your child.  I wanted to have that too.

In the hospital, I tried so hard, even had a specialist come in to help me, but she just was not taking to it. She was also very tiny when she was born, so we were worried about her and wanted her to eat. So we started giving her formula.

Over the last two months, I still tried to breastfeed her. I tried all the different tricks and positions. It was so frustrating, because she would start to suck and I would get really excited, thinking that she was finally doing it. Then she would stop and turn her head away.

In between all this, I would be pumping. Even though I couldn’t get her to breastfeed, I was still giving her whatever breast milk that I could pump out. Which was not a lot. It was like an ounce a day, then became half an ounce a day. In the last two weeks, it;s been even less than that. I tried everything to get my milk supply up. I tried eating a lot of oatmeal, because that’s suppose to help with breast milk. I tried drinking a lot of water. All that did, was make to have to pee every 10 minutes. I felt like I was pregnant again. I tried pumping every two hours, which is very unrealistic to do. No matter what I did, my supply just kept getting less and less. So now she is just on formula, which it fine. She is growing and gaining weight and really at the end of the day, that’s what’s most important.

To me, as long as my daughter is healthy and happy, I know I’m doing a good job. 🙂

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

 

Olive’s First Fourth of July!

Yesterday was my 31st fourth of July and Olive’s 1st. Olive is only 2 months old now, so she is limited to what she can do, but we had a lot of fun anyway. Here’s how we celebrated…

The day before, we were still stuck inside because of the heat so we did a fun art project using Olive’s footprints. I didn’t have any paint so I made some using 1 cup of cornstarch, 1 cup of water and food coloring. It turned out to be a little bit watery, so I just kept adding flour until I got the right consistency. I painted her heels red, the middle of her foot white (I just didn’t add any food coloring to that part), and her toes blue to make little Fourth of July Fire Crackers! 🙂

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I also found an easy science experiment on Pinterest called “Fireworks in a jar.” I filled a jar up with warm water, then I mixed together 4 TBSP of veggie oil and 4 drops of each food coloring with a fork. Then I poured it into the jar and showed Olive. She seemed very interested and watched as the different colors started to expand in the jar to resemble fireworks. Problem was, it did not last very long. It was only about 20 seconds before the whole jar turned into black water.

 

 

The next day was the Fourth of July. I dressed Olive up in a cute onesie that said “Hooray for the USA!” I made cup cakes that when put together looked like the american flag. I got vanilla cake mix with vanilla frosting and star shaped sprinkles. I made the cup cakes as usually then divided the frosting into three parts. One part I left white, the second part I added red food coloring and the third part, I added blue food coloring. Using a decorating icing tip and pipping bags I decorated 9 white cup cakes, 9 red cup cakes and 6 blue cup cakes. Then I dug through the many colored star sprinkles and picked out all the white ones and sprinkled them on top of the blue cup cakes. I was very pleased with the end result…

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We spend the day at my mom’s house for a BBQ picnic. My mom has a pool, so all of Olive’s cousins were playing in it. Olive is too little for the pool this year, but she will be able to go in next year. I went in for a little bit, while Kevin stayed inside to take care of her. We of course had all the traditional Fourth of July picnic food, like hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta salad, chips, watermelon etc.

Everyone kept saying how cute Olive was and everyone wanted to hold her.

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 When we got back home, we read some Fourth of July books. The two I have in my collection are: “Corduroy’s 4th of July”, and “Curious George Parade Day.”

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We ended the night watching fireworks on TV. Olive actually fell asleep in the middle of it. We live near a huge park and every year we can  hear and sometimes see fireworks from our house. After Olive fell asleep, Kevin and I watched a movie and we could hear fireworks going off the whole time.

 

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Happy Fourth of July!

 

How to Beat the Heat:

This last week has been brutal! There has been a heat wave outside and as a result, Olive and I have been home bound. I haven’t left my house other than to walk outside to get the mail or take out the trash. The few times I have been outside was extremely uncomfortable! Not only is it unbearably hot out, but the air is so thick and gross that it’s hard to breathe.  Needless to say, Olive hasn’t left our house in over a week.

I usually spend my Summer days on the beach, walking on the boardwalk, swimming in the pool and getting ice cream. I haven’t been able to do any of that this year. I look forward to next Summer, when Olive is older and I can take her to the beach and the pool and get her an ice cream cone to enjoy.

Even though we are stuck inside, I’m still enjoying my time with her and making the best of it.  Everyday we do tummy time and story time. Yesterday I painted her little feet to make an art project with homemade paint. We also did a little science experiment that she was very intrigued with. She takes a few naps throughout the day and while she is sleeping I’ve been cleaning, exercising, and window shopping on Amazon. I probably have at least close to 100 items on my wish list. I also made a first year bucket list of all the places I want to take Olive and all the fun things I want to do with her before her first birthday.

The list includes things like: a hayride to the pumpkin patch, picture with Santa, ride on a carousel, children’s museum, ride on a train etc.

I always look forward to all the upcoming Holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas, but this year I’m REALLY looking forward to them. I know she is still going to be too young to understand what is going on, but I’m really excited about celebrating the Holidays with her.

I feel so lucky to have such a good and easy going baby. She is honestly the most pleasant and happy baby I have ever seen. She smiles all the time and hardly ever cries. She makes everything so much easier for me. I just love her so much! I hope she is always happy for her whole life. That’s my biggest wish for her, that she has a very happy and wonderful life.

Adventures with Olive:

The last six weeks of my life have been very different than how things were before. Becoming a mother is so much more than just changing diapers, making bottles and getting up during the night. Everything is different! Waking up in the morning is different. Getting ready for bed is different, and going out anywhere is VERY different.

Everything takes me twice as long to do. I am still getting used to being a mommy. I learn something new everyday, like how to make things easier for myself. Instead of carrying Olive around in her car seat, bring her stroller along so I don’t end up breaking my back.

Olive and I have had a very eventful week. On Monday we went to a nearby church because I am interested in getting Olive baptized there. I used to go to church with my family when I was little. We didn’t go every week, but when we would go I really did enjoyed Sunday school. My husband and I usually do not go to church. We believe in God, We are just not big church- goers. Now that we have Olive though, I really want to start going again. I think it’s really important for her to learn about God and to have a relationship with him. I’ll be completely honest, we probably won’t go every single week because life happens and some times you just need to sleep in on a Sunday. I would like to go every now and then though.

There is a cute, little church right around the corner from us. We went there Monday morning. I carried Olive in her car seat to the back door of the church. The door was locked but there was a buzzer and an intercom right next to it. I rang the buzzer and an older woman answered through the intercom asking how she could help me. I told her I was interested in having a baptism for my daughter. She buzzed me in and I met her in the down stairs hallway where she told me the pastor wasn’t in that day and to come back on Sunday to talk to him so he can set it all up. I thanked her and then headed off to the library.

We weren’t there very long. We walked around the kids section and I picked out a few books to take home to read to her. I read to Olive every night. Afterwards I signed us up for a free baby music class, that they were having later on in the week.

On Tuesday I had my six week check-up with my doctor. My mom came over and I drove her and Olive to my doctor’s office. My mom stayed in the waiting room with Olive, while I went back to talk to the doctor. Everyone in the office told me how cute and little my daughter was and how good I looked for just having a baby six weeks ago. That made me feel really good.

After the doctor’s, we went through the Chick-Fil-A drive-through to get lunch.

On Wednesday my mom and I were going to take Olive to Grounds for Sculpture for the first time. Grounds for Sculpture is a huge garden place right by my house. They have a ton of different sculpture’s all throughout the gardens where you can walk around and take pictures. I have been there a few times before, but now in a while. Unfortunately the weather was really hot that day, so we decided to walk around the mall instead.

 

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Olive was very intrigued by all the different sights and sounds in the mall. we went into a few stores and looked around. We didn’t buy anything, just did some window shopping then headed home.

On Thursday we went back to the library to attend the free baby music class. There were a few toddlers there and a few other babies, but Olive was the youngest one. She slept pretty much the whole time. It was a cute class. The woman played her guitar and sang for the kids. She gave them scarves, shakers and other musical instruments for them to play with. She even played happy, upbeat music for them to dance around. It was nice, but I think Olive would enjoy it more if she was a little bit older and could participate with the other children.

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Today is Friday. Olive and I went to Walmart to buy birthday gifts for Olive’s two cousins. Their birthday party is this weekend.  After that we decided to just stay at home for the rest of the day. It had been a very busy week for us.

Looking forward to more adventures with my little sidekick. 🙂

DIY Father’s Day Gifts

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Father’s Day is right around the corner and I am so excited because this is my husband’s first time celebrating it as a father. Olive and I wanted to make it extra special for him, so we came up with a few easy and super cute gift ideas for him and all three of Olive’s grandfathers. (By “we” I really mean me.)  Olive is only five weeks old, but I’m sure that if she was old enough to know what was going on, she would be totally into it.

Of course I had to make the classic shirt and tie, Father’s Day cards. I remember being in elementary school and making a card just like this for my dad when I was a kid. It’s super simple to make. I could write down step by step how to make it, but if you are anything like me, you will need someone to demonstrate in a video.

I just went to Youtube and looked up “How to make a Father’s Day card” and about 12,000 videos popped up on how to make this particular card. I just clicked on the first video and went from there.

The inside of the card, I added my own special touch. I typed up “From the bottom of my…” then I stamped a heart shape right underneath. I didn’t have a heart stamp big enough, so I ended up taking a sponge and cutting a heart shape out of that. Then I pushed it down onto my red ink pad and stamped it on the card. On the other side I typed up “To the tips of my…” Then I simply stamped Olive’s little footprints using my purple ink pad and stamped them onto the other side of the card. It’s supposed to say: “From the bottom of my heart, to the tips of my toes, I love you!” I tend to type things out because I don’t really like my hand writing. If you have really nice hand writing and just want to write it out by hand, more power to you.

 

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The next gift I actually saw on Pinterest, but again I added my own special touch to it. first I typed up “Happy Father’s Day! Love your little peanut.” Then glued that to my blue stock paper. I was going to use my hole puncher, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to reach to the middle of the paper. So instead I used my scissors to poke two holes in the back, one on top of the other. Then I pulled my ribbon through both of the holes. I placed a bag of peanut M&Ms in between, then tied the ribbon in the middle to make a bowtie.

Here’s where I added my own touch. I took a piece of beige colored paper and my brown ink pad and stamped Olive’s footprints onto the paper. Then I drew a peanut shape around them along with lines through her feet to make them look like peanuts. Then I cut them out and glued them onto the stock paper.

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The next gift I made was super easy. I just took a couple of cans of mixed nuts along with some plastic bags. I scooped the nuts into the bags the added a tag on the front saying: “We are nuts about Daddy!”

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The last gift idea was also super easy. I took lottery tickets and chocolate gold coins and put them into plastic bags with a tag on the front saying: “Lucky to have a Daddy like you!”

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To top it off, I put all the gifts into boxes that way I don’t have to worry about the paper getting bent in a bag beforehand. I am very pleased with the way these gifts turned out and I can not wait to give them out!

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I hope you guys all have a great Father’s Day weekend and have a great time celebrating with your Dad/husband/father-in-law/grandfather/step-father etc. 🙂