Sunday, January 27, 2008

a couple of firsts

Olivia had quite an eventful weekend! It all started on Saturday morning, with her very first haircut. I have been wanting her to get a trim for awhile now that her hair has started hanging in her eyes. My mom and I have had opposing opinions on what should be done. She thought I should leave the front alone. (She is dying to pull her hair to the side and stick a cute little barrette in there!). I thought it needed to be trimmed so that it wouldn't hang in her eyes any longer. We both agreed that the back needed to be trimmed before she started sporting a full grown mullet!

Now I knew that this may be another "Santa moment" so I came prepared. I brought along my portable DVD player so that Olivia could be distracted by Elmo while the haircut took place. Of course we arrived with a full entourage...all ready to capture this moment on film. My Mom, Todd and I all had to be there to witness this "first". Olivia was fascinated with the hair salon. She walked around in amazement at all of the chairs and fancy equipment. When it was time to get started she was more than happy to sit on my lap in the big chair! My hairdresser, April, who has been cutting my hair since I was 10 years old was great with Olivia. She quickly snipped here and there and we were done before Olivia even noticed what was going on. Bringing the DVD player was a great distraction! Although a very small amount of hair was actually cut off we could definitely tell a difference and Olivia no longer had any hair hanging in her eyes. My mom was also pleased, as it was still long enough in the front for a barrette. Although she does not look too thrilled in these pictures she did not mind getting her hair cut.

It was a very successful first haircut and virtually painless for Olivia...thank goodness! Livie was rewarded with a special certificate for her courage. The certificate was so cute that I took a picture of it to be able to share with you. You must read is so cute!

So with that event behind us we got on with our weekend. Next on the agenda was a 60th birthday party for one of my Mom's close friends. We were invited to bring Olivia along. We dressed her up in some party clothes and off we went! Here she is in her adorable Janie & Jack outfit her Nana got her for Christmas! I just love it!

We usually prefer to leave Livie at home for parties, as it is the only way Mommy & Daddy can truly enjoy themselves, but she was amazing! She was very social, as always and behaved wonderfully...until bed time of course! That is when I had to excuse myself and head home. It was a good time, while it lasted!

The next day we took it easy. It was a beautiful sunny day outside and decided it was the perfect opportunity to let Olivia play in the snow. Until now it has been too darn cold to let her play outside. I have been wanting to get her in the snow ever since she started walking but today was our first chance, and what a perfect day for it too! We bundled her up and put her in the sled. She was thrilled as we started running back and forth in the backyard. I think she would have sat in her sled all day as long as one of us was pulling her around.

As we would glide across the snow she would say "weeeeeee", just like she did on the carousel last weekend. Here is a quick little video of Olivia enjoying her ride in the sled...

After Todd and I exhausted ourselves we let Livie just sit and play for a few minutes. She was fascinated by the snow. Although she has seen it many times, this was the first time she actually was able to touch it. It is so awesome watching her experience things for the first time!

It was a weekend full of "firsts", and another weekend of enjoying our time with Olivia. Now that she is a part of our lives I have a hard time remembering what we used to do without her. She sure does keep things exciting!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Livie Legs

Not too long ago I talked about one of my newest obsessions...BabyLegs! They are leg warmers for babies and they are so stinkin' cute! You are probably asking, "Why would babies need legwarmers?" Well they are more than just a fashion statement! They are great to put on under pants when it is super cold. They are great for around the house and they make diaper changes a breeze! When I was first introduced to them I immediately hopped on the BabyLegs website and bought a couple of pairs. Since then I have found a few more pairs cheaper on Ebay, but I have stopped buying them because they are a bit pricey.

So since I have a very talented aunt who happens to be super crafty I called on her to try and make some BabyLegs for Olivia. My Aunt Delia specializes in crochet. She has crocheted some really wonderful things for Olivia including Stuffy Bear, a beautiful blanket with her name on it and some really cute little clothes. Here are some pictures of Olivia with some of Aunt Delia's past creations...

Delia is always looking for a challenge so I knew she would be excited to attempt to crochet some BabyLegs for Livie. I thought that some heavier ones would be great for the colder days around the house. Olivia is not a fan of wearing lots of clothes. If it were up to her she would run around the house naked no matter what the temperature was outside. BabyLegs have been a great solution to keeping her little legs warm without her having to wear much else. But I could go broke buying all of the cute styles and designs. Delia played around with the design for awhile and sent us a few pairs to try. Since she designed the pattern on her own she gave it her own name so she could share it with her fellow crochet buddies...Livie Legs! Here is Olivia sporting her super soft and cozy crocheted Livie Legs...

After mastering that task she decided to try to make them out of socks, which is similar to what original BabyLegs are made out of. According to her it was a "breeze". She sent us two pairs of Livie Legs in festive Valentine's Day colors! How fun!

Aren't they cute? I am so grateful to Aunt Delia for making some Livie Legs for us! I am sure you will be seeing more pictures of Olivia sporting her Legs throughout the winter. For anyone out there who is crafty I hear that it very easy to make these out of ladies knee-high socks. I know there are some tutorials online with step-by-step directions. I, myself am not one of those crafty types so I will just have to rely on Delia's expertise!

OK, so we have a big weekend ahead of us. Olivia will be getting her first haircut on Saturday! I am not sure exactly what will be done with her hair, but it definitely needs a little trim. Now my Mother and I disagree on what exactly should be done with Olivia's hair. But I am hoping my hairdresser can offer some suggestions. Also, Todd's parents arrived today from Hawaii! It is his Dad's third time home but it is his Mom's first time back since moving in 2004. We are looking forward to spending lots of time with them in the month that they are home. That gives Olivia lots of time to get to know her G.P. & Gangy! Check back for pics of Olivia's newly trimmed do!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

how time flies...

My brother-in-law recently sent me some older pictures he had on his digital camera. The pictures were so old that I almost didn't recognize the baby in them! I am glad he sent them because he had captured some moments that I was not able to. I tend to forget my camera at important times and end up missing some fun and cute moments. Seeing the photos made me realize how quickly time flies. The baby in the photos has changed so much! I am so glad that I blog because I can look back at moments that already seem like a lifetime ago!

OK, to start off we have a few pictures from this past summer. Todd's Dad was in town from Hawaii for a long visit and before he left the whole family went out to dinner at Takaoka. Olivia had just started sitting in a high chair and eating next to us at restaurants. We had a feeling that she would enjoy Takaoka because of all the action...and she did! She was mesmerized by the guy cooking in front of us and she just stared in amazement as the steam rose from the grill. It was a fun dining experience, which does not happen very often when going out to eat with a baby! Here are a few photos from our family dinner...

For those of your familiar with Takaoka you know that as you go up the stairs to the restaurant you see a big statue of Buddha. Miss Olivia has always been a big baby and she has just recently started growing out of her chub. At that time we saw a slight resemblance between Olivia and Buddha, so we could not resist this photo op! Look at those thighs...

We miss the summer days...always taking Olivia outdoors to do fun things. I am counting the days until Spring arrives and we can start exploring and having fun outside again. We took Olivia to her first high school football game in the fall while it was still warm. She had a good time sitting in the front row on her daddy's lap, rooting for her cousin Eric...

Now I know Olivia only turned one a few months ago, but it already seems like ages! I have a million pictures of Olivia with cake on her face from her 1st Birthday but my brother-in-law took this one and I just love it. The joy on her face is priceless and just makes me so happy!

Well thank you for allowing me to reminisce a little. As my baby girl gets bigger every day I find myself missing the days that have passed. Looking back at all of our photos helps me remember just how wonderful each day has been with her. Thanks, VJ for sending me those photos. You take great pictures and I count on you for those times when I have forgotten my camera! By the way, isn't this a nice picture of the three of us?

OK, well back to present day. This past weekend has been bitter cold. So cold in fact, that we really did not want to leave the house. But we knew we would get cabin fever if we did not. So on Saturday we decided to venture out to the mall to just walk around and take Olivia on a carousel ride. There were a ton of great sales going on and I could have shopped for hours. Of course Olivia had a different plan, and it did not involve allowing Mommy to leisurely look through sale racks. So after some quick shopping and a quick bite to eat we took turns taking Olivia on the carousel.

We have taken her before but she was quite young. This time she enjoyed it immensely! I took her first. She held on so well and yelled "weeeeeeeee" the entire time! She had a huge smile on her face as her horse went up and down. As the ride came to a stop I took her off and she became instantly upset. She was not pleased at all! Luckily she was able to get right back on...this time with her Daddy. She enjoyed herself just as much the second time around. But she was just as upset when her second ride was done. I quickly plopped her in the stroller and distracted her with a snack. So that was what we did to pass a cold, wintry afternoon. We will probably turn to this activity again before winter is over.

Now that I see just how quickly time flies by I am reminded to cherish every single second with Olivia. Our chubby little baby has started turning into a not so chubby toddler. She still has those great thighs and the cutest little belly! I will be sad when those are gone! But she has become this smart little person who makes me so happy to be a Mom!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

front page news...again

Our Olivia is becoming a local celebrity! Last week we were surprised to find not one, but two pictures of our cutie in the Features section of the News Sentinel! This is Olivia's second time having her picture show up in the paper. She also adorned the Features section in early fall last year. If you don't recall that post check out...Front Page News - Part 1.

Each Saturday the News Sentinel shows pictures that people in the community have sent in. They are not always of children, but that is what shows up the most because little kids are so darn cute! At the end of the summer I sent in an adorable picture of Olivia in her sun hat by the pool. I was hoping that it would be published...and it was! So for the heck of it, after Christmas, I sent in two more pictures...hoping they may pick one to publish again. Last weekend Todd was flipping through the paper when he noticed Olivia on the front page again...twice this time! Here are close-ups of the pictures. Hopefully you can read the captions...

I just had to send in the "Crying baby on Santa's lap" picture. It truly is priceless! And my most recent fav is the picture I took of her on Christmas Eve, just before we were heading out the door, on our way to church. I sent both of the pictures in with the hope that they would maybe pick one to publish. I am so happy that they decided to publish them both. Just another keepsake to show Olivia when she is older!

Well this past week was a little rough. Olivia had her first official illness. Not bad for 14 months! We think she had a little stomach virus. She was not herself most of the week and on Wednesday she threw up. Luckily it was only once, but I still took her to the doctor. Yes, I am a paranoid first time Mom! But considering she had never been sick before I thought I better get her checked out. Of course she was fine and the doctor said it would run it course. She was back to her happy-bubbly self the next day! It may have been the first time she has been sick and I know it is definitely not the last! We have spent four straight days together since she was sick. She has become very clingy and I am ready to get her back to the sitter tomorrow morning! I need a break!

Tonight we are off to visit the newest addition to the Menor family. Olivia gets to meet her new cousin Ella for the first time! I hope to snap some cute pictures...if Olivia shows any interest in the baby. Babies seem to be only a nuisance these days, so I won't hold my breath! I thought I would leave you with a cute shot of Olivia in the bath robe Nana gave her at Christmas time. She just loves running off in it after we get out of the bath! She is a princess in training!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Welcome Ella!

We are excited to announce the arrival of Olivia's very first girl cousin in the Menor family! Ella Elizabeth-Noelani Menor was born Thursday, January 10th at 1:09 am. She weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. and was 20 inches long.

Many of you know that Olivia broke the male Menor streak by becoming the very first granddaughter in the family. Well Barry and Kris soon followed with their news of a new baby girl that would be joining us in early 2008. How excited we were to find out that Olivia would have a little girl playmate. Not that having 8 boy cousins is a bad thing. In fact, it is quite nice. I see it as Olivia having 8 very protective bodyguards! But knowing that she will have someone to play dolls with made us happy! Although it may be awhile before they will be playing dolls or dress-up together, we can say that we are thrilled to welcome Ella into the family! Ella & Mom says it sounds like two little old ladies going to play canasta together. I have a feeling they are going to be lifelong friends!

Of course Todd & I rushed up to the hospital this evening to meet Miss Ella. Olivia was not able to come with us as she is recovering from her first little illness. (She is doing much better...more on that later). Both Ella and her Mommy were doing great! I immediately made a bee line for that baby! How good it felt to hold that sweet, little baby in my arms. Can we say baby fever? it was nice, but I am so not ready! Not quite yet anyway. Miss Olivia is keeping me very busy and I am not quite ready to share my love with anyone else.

Big congratulations go out to Barry & Kris! We love you guys! How great it is to have another Menor girl in this family! I am sure Ella & Olivia will give me many good reasons to blog in the future!

P.S. Ella...Olivia is very excited to meet you! :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

walking, talking and signing

First of all...Happy New Year to one and all! I cannot believe it took me 5 days to make my first blog posting of 2008. I am a little slow because we have been so busy! Well Olivia is the one who has been the busiest with all of the walking, talking and signing! It is amazing how much this child has developed in the last month.

The Wednesday before Christmas Olivia decided to become a full time walker. This is after about one month of taking a step here and a step there. One day she just decided she had done enough of her goofy scoot/crawl and just took off. She is so over crawling! Now she is a girl on a mission! In fact she has mastered walking so well that I have even noticed a little bit of running happening. Oh goodness...what's next? Hey, I'm not complaining! To me there is nothing better than for her to come toddling from across the room to give me a hug! She may have been a late walker but we are so proud of her for having to courage to finally stand on her own two feet! Go Olivia!

I think this is her Jazz hands pose...

See Olivia in action...

Now that she is fully mobile she is more active than ever before! For a change of scenery we like to take her to the downtown library. They have this wonderful play room for young children. There is every kind of toy you could imagine from blocks, puzzles, play houses and books. This is a great place to take Olivia as she can explore and make a mess and we don't have to clean it up! The picture at the top is of her enjoying a few of the many puzzles they have. Such a fun place. Not to mention she is always worn out when we leave and ready for a very long nap! Bonus!

With her newest skill Olivia has now become a walking chatterbox. She has so many words that I cannot list them all. Some of her newest include...jacket, snack, bath, book, and Dorothy (the name of Elmo's fish). Did I mentioned that she is still beyond obsessed with Elmo? Although she has many words most of the time she talks gibberish. She says the same things over and over so it must mean something. I just wish I knew what she was saying. Thank goodness for the baby signs. We have done baby sign language with her from the beginning. She has just recently started using her signs to tell us when she wants something. It is absolutely amazing how quickly babies catch on to these skills. Now when she wants something she tells me by doing a particular sign. It is very helpful to us because she can tell us something even if she can't say it yet. Funny thing is that she usually says the word while doing the sign. I was told that using baby sign language can actually help them learn to speak sooner. So far it has been very helpful and it has helped to avoid tantrums (most of the time). Here is Olivia showing off some of her favorite signs...

So speaking of tantrums we have been experiencing a few. She has perfected the skill actually. Todd and I usually just ignore her when she throws a fit and she tends to get over it pretty quickly. It is quite funny but I try not to laugh. I will try to catch one of her fits on video soon. Another thing she has learned recently is how to climb into her little wooden rocking chair. She loves to take a book and sit in her chair, rocking back and forth. She also loves to bring books to me while we are sitting on the floor. She turns around and plops down in to my lap waiting for me to read to her. I just love that!

She also likes to play computer games with Todd. She just walks up to his laptop and pushes the keys indicating that it is time to visit the Sesame Street website and play "Elmo Limbo". A few rounds of that and your head is ready to explode. But she loves it! Check out these cute trap-door jammies!

Olivia continues to be an absolute joy! She is such a happy baby. Her days are filled with fun times at Mama Kay's house (her babysitter), and her nights are filled with fun advertures with Mom and Dad. I have no doubt that she will continue to bring Todd and I tons of happy and exciting moments in 2008! There is just so much to look forward to. Watching her learn, grow and change is more rewarding than I ever thought it could be. This Mom thing is the best!