Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back Home Again... Indiana. So Indiana is no California, but it does feel good to be home. We got back from our vacation on Thursday morning, after taking the red-eye flight. That was rough! Not for baby, but for everyone else. Since we left California at 11 pm Olivia was already exhausted before we even boarded the plane. She fell asleep as soon as we took off and didn't even wake up when the plane landed! She did so well and I did all of that worrying for nothing! The rest of us did not do as well. It is difficult to sleep on a airplane and even harder when you have a baby on your lap. So the three of us got little or no sleep at all. But it was worth it because we had such a great time.

The second half of our trip was just as fun as the first half. On Monday will drove to Gilroy, which just happens to be the garlic capitol of the world! Yes, the town does smell of garlic too! It is crazy. We first stopped for lunch at the famous In-N-Out Burger. Then we shopped at a very large outlet mall. We could have spent many more hours shopping but baby was tired so we headed back for a rest.

That night the grown-ups went out for a nice dinner and we left the baby with my cousin Justin and his girlfriend. I put Livie to bed before we even left so I figured it was going to be a pretty easy babysitting job. Well about halfway through dinner Justin called to tell us that Olivia had woken up crying and wouldn't stop! What are the odds? I gave him some suggestions and said to call back if they had any more trouble. We didn't hear from them again so we assumed that she finally went back to sleep. It is rare for her to wake up crying so soon after going to bed. We concluded that Olivia knew that Justin was home alone with his girlfriend and no parental supervision. So to make sure there was no hanky-panky going on she threw a huge fit! Way to go, Olivia! Needless to say it made my Aunt and Uncle feel much better knowing the kids were too busy looking after the baby to have time to make-out!

Olivia with Cousin Justin & Delana
Tuesday we went to a small seaside town called Capitola. It is this very cute little village on the water with great restaurants and shops. We had a nice lunch and then walked around for awhile. They had these cute little cottages right on the beach that you could rent. It was a cute little town, but a very chilly day!
After that we headed to downtown Santa Cruz and did even more shopping. I think Olivia was bored out of her mind, but the rest of us had fun. All of the shopping made Todd hungry again so he stopped for a slice at Pizza My Heart. I just love the name of the place...too cute!

On our last day we sort of took it easy. We took a long walk on the beach in the town of Aptos, where my Aunt and Uncle live. It was a warmer day so we decided to let Olivia put her little toes in the sand for the very first time. She seemed to love how the sand felt between her toes. We had a nice lunch and then went back to the house to pack up and relax before heading home on the late night flight.

We had so much fun on our first official vacation with Olivia! Thank you to Aunt Sue Sue and Uncle Ron for showing us all a good time. It was so great seeing where they live and spending time with them. We did a lot of things that Olivia will never remember, but thanks to this blog she can look back one day and see for herself. Next up, our trip to New York in July! At the age of 8 months Olivia will have been coast to coast!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

You Stole My Heart - A Father's Day Note From Daddy

Since I first learned that Jessica was pregnant I had mixed emotions. Of course I was excited, but was also scared at the same time. I heard all the traditional things about being a it was going to change my life, how I would love this person more than anything in the world. But I had no idea how much it would change me!

I immediately wondered what the gender of this baby would be. Knowing the family history I thought I was destined to have a little boy, but deep down I knew I would be the one to have a little girl. The nine months of the pregnancy were torture. I wanted to know so badly, but had no choice in the matter. When Jessica woke me up that Saturday morning, to head to the hospital, the excitement became unbearable! Having just been in Michigan for Jessica's Grandfathers funeral, the week had been an emotional roller coaster. Those few short hours were worth it when my beautiful little girl came into this world and instantly stole my heart.

The very first moment I saw this little girl I was in love. I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined loving anyone as much as I love Olivia. Since her birth, I have become more and more in love with her and now she has me wrapped around her little finger. There is nothing I would not do for this little girl. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me...(besides meeting Jessica, of course!). And now I cannot imagine my life without Olivia in it. So in celebrating the first of many father's days I just want to say that I am blessed to have the best little girl a father could ask for. I am the luckiest man in the world to have two of the greatest women that God has created. Olivia...I promise to be the best Daddy I can and love you until the end of time.

I Love You,

Your Daddy!

Greetings from Cali

Greetings from sunny California! We survived our first plane ride with the baby and are enjoying ourselves in Northern California with Aunt Sue Sue, Uncle Ron and Cousin Justin. I can't say that the plane ride was smooth sailing. You can tell how thrilled Olivia was to be getting on a plane by the look on her face! It was a little challenging at first but once we were in the air Olivia fell asleep and stayed asleep for the majority of the trip. She really did quite well. I think traveling during her normal bed time was a good idea! But four hours on a plane with a baby on your lap was not what I would describe as comfortable. In other words, we will not be traveling cross country with Olivia for quite some time!

The time change has also been a bit challenging. We have been here for three days now and she is just starting to fall into a routine. It is amazing how a three hour time difference can throw you off so much! But we have been having a lot of fun, regardless of being a little tired. The first day we drove to Monterey and walked around The Fisherman's Wharf. We stopped and had lunch at a cute little restaurant over looking the water. The clam chowder was to die for! Here are a few pictures from our day...

Livie & Aunt Sue Sue
Yesterday we decided to check out some of the wineries in the area. Wow...was that fun! I could have toured and tasted all day if I wasn't toting around a small child who could have cared less about what we were doing. The scenery was amazing and the wine was even better!

In the evening we packed up a small picnic and drove to the beach to enjoy some appetizers and wine. It gets quite cool on the coast in the evenings so we bundled up. It ended up being quite chilly so we did not stay long. It was Olivia's first time at the beach. We were hoping to put her little toes in the sand but it was just to cold. She did enjoy watching the waves crash on the shore. Once again the scenery was beautiful!

Today we went to the Redwood Forrest. The trees were absolutely astounding! We walked a trail and saw some of the tallest, most amazing trees. It is hard to believe that a tree can grow to be so big and tall. Nature can be so fascinating! The picture opportunities were endless...

We still have three days left here. We have had such fun so far and I know we will be doing some more neat things before we have to leave. Why do vacations have to go by so quickly?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Nothing Cuter...

...than a baby's bare butt! How precious is this picture? We have had some pretty warm days these past few weeks, with the temps reaching into the mid 90's! Olivia is a sweaty baby and she prefers to be in the buff when it gets that warm. So I thought I would let her play in her Birthday Suit for a little while. That is when I captured this moment...sitting up so tall!

With the warm weather we have been spending a great deal of time outdoors. That is by far Olivia's favorite place to be. Recently Olivia's daddy attached a swing to the big tree in our backyard. Needless to say she loves to be pushed while the wind hits her in the face. It causes her to burst into big smiles and giggles every time! This is also a great activity for the times when Olivia is little fussy and hard to entertain!

With the rising temps we have also been able to start swimming. She hasn't been in the big pool yet, but she has been in her baby pool many times. She prefers to do this activity naked as well. We put her in her pool with some bath toys and the splashing begins. It is such a great way for her to cool off when it gets so hot. It is also a lot of fun for her and a great way for her to get used to being in the water. Click on the link below to see how much Livie loves her pool..

This past week Todd's father flew in from Hawaii. He is going to be here for a little over a month and he is looking forward to spending time with his only Granddaughter. Olivia was only a few weeks old when he was here last. Needless to say he was quite shocked by how much she has changed in just a little more than six months. We are leaving later this week for California. Olivia is going to visit her Auntie Sue Sue and Todd, my Mom and myself are all going as well. This will be Olivia's first plane ride...please keep your fingers crossed for me that it goes well! But once we return from our long overdue vacation Olivia will get to spend lots of time with her G.P. (That is the grandchildren's nickname for Grandpa).

So check back soon for some fun pictures from our trip! California here we come! I think she is excited...what do you think???

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Binky Bandit

Our baby girl is a thief! Baby O has been caught snatching the binky from another baby recently while at the babysitters!

It is a cute story really. Our babysitter watches three other children aside from Olivia. There are two three year olds...Justin and Madison. A few months ago Justin's mother had another baby and his name is Jordan. Jordan is close to three months old now. He is still quite tiny and not able to interact with Olivia yet, whereas Olivia is starting to get to the stage where she likes to play with other babies. One of the kids favorite things to do is to go for walks. Everyday the sitter loads the two babies into her side-by-side double stroller, the kids hop on their bikes...and off they go. On a recent walk the sitter noticed that Jordan started crying pretty hard, out of the blue. Not sure why, she stopped and walked around to the front of the stroller to find that Olivia had Jordan's binky in her mouth. It is a mystery how she managed to snatch the poor child's bink, but somehow she reached around and got it! And she has done it a few times since then. She has her own binky but I guess stealing one from another baby is much more exciting! I just love that story and had to share it with all of you. Here is a picture of Olivia with her friends...

The binky is a blessing and a curse at the same time. I tried to postpone giving one to Olivia as long as possible after she was born. But after a few long nights I gave it a try and she has been obsessed with it since then. She really only needs it when she is fussy. It helps to soothe her like nothing else. I try not to give it to her unless she absolutely needs it. Well now she has gotten to the stage where she is able to put it into her mouth on her own with no problem. And since we keep it attached to her bibs most of the time I find that she pops it in even when she really does not need to. But there are limits to the binky. I will give it to her at bedtime. But if she wakes up crying for no apparent reason she must learn to fall back asleep without it. In the beginning this was a challenge but after a few nights she learned to survive without it. I know we may face a huge obstacle when we decide to take it away from her for good, but until that day I am going to let her enjoy the comfort she gets from having it. Not to mention, it gives us a little bit of peace every now and then to know that it works like magic!

Well today is Olivia's 7 month Birthday! I cannot believe that we were just meeting this little person just 7 short months ago. And look how much she has changed since then! But we do not have much new to report right now. I think she is getting very close to attempting the crawling task. She pushes up very high on her hands when she is on her tummy but she hasn't gotten onto all fours yet. We are looking forward to watching her reach this milestone, but we need to prepare ourselves for what is to come when she becomes mobile. In the meantime I think we better watch those sticky fingers on Miss Olivia, as we now know how much she likes to snatch things from others! Is this the face of a thief?