Townes Randall Pittman

Townes Randall Pittman


Born April 17th, 2014 10:29AM

7 lbs 4 oz 19 3/4 inches

 Birth Story

Someone… actually, everyone told me that because my first baby was early, my second would likely arrive before my due date. Olivia was born at 39 weeks and you’d better believe that when 39 weeks rolled around  this time I was READY to meet our precious baby boy! Little did I know… there’s absolutely NO truth in the length of gestation being the same with subsequent pregnancies.  On top of that expectation, I experienced  at least 3 weeks of prodromal labor, a term I wasn’t at all familiar with from my pregnancy with Olivia. These weren’t the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d become familiar with at around 20 weeks… these were REAL, painful (sometimes just uncomfortable) contractions lasting 30-90 seconds, at 5-30 min intervals… just uncomfortable enough to make me wonder if “this” was the real deal.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

40 Weeks

Gramma G flew in on April 1st (my self-declared 8-day preterm due-date) to surprise me . She knew how much I wanted her to be here for “Baby Brother’s” big arrival! Her plan was to be here through April 6th… feeling positive that would overlap with our new addition. April 6th came and went… and G extended her trip, not once… not twice.. but 3 times, adding an extra day, feeling certain he’d be here “tomorrow.” After walking countless miles around the neighborhood, morning, noon and night… G finally went home… for 5 days to repack for her next scheduled trip. Meanwhile, my due date came and went… G flew back in. And finally at 40 weeks + 6 days I suspected something really was about to get started. Maybe it was the walking… or the Raspberry Leaf Tea.. Maybe it was the Clary Sage… and pressure points, or the Black and Blue Cohosh… who knows…  More likely that it was the impending Induction at 42 weeks (which I felt strongly against!).


Hiking at Harry Moss Nature Preserve – 39 Weeks

Wednesday, early afternoon, April 16th, Olivia, G and I were on our way to Cafe of Life for my bi-weekly chiropractic adjustment. When we arrived and realized that there was an hour wait we decided to have a quick lunch at Stackhouse. Towards the end of lunch I started to suspect that my water may be leaking… (funny story… the cushions at Stackhouse had apparently been rained on – I DID NOT pee myself!) I waddled over to COL for my adjustment and between Dr. Autumn and my WONDERFUL doula Nikki we decided that I probably needed to head to the hospital to get checked out (I’d had low fluid levels earlier in the pregnancy and a decline in fetal movement.) Called Daniel at work at told him to grab our bags and meet me at the hospital. Got checked in and confirmed that baby was doing great, fluid levels were still good… amniotic bag… still in tact. HOWEVER. at 41 weeks, my doctor’s orders were “you’re not leaving this hospital until you’ve had that baby!” Determined to get labor started naturally, I got me checked in to an L&D room (at about 1pm) and the nurses agreed to let me walk. And we walked… and we walked… and we walked. upstairs and downstairs… literally, miles around the hospital. My wonderful doula and friend, who was recovering from a barre class, and my not-so-athletic husband by my side… until 10:30pm.. when  we finally decided to call it a night. At that point, my contractions were 5-10 min apart but not regular or strong enough to jump start active labor. So we slept… from 10:30 until about 6AM…  My contractions had slowed overnight so by around 6 we agreed that I should get up and back at trying to get labor started. And again, we tried EVERYTHING to get things going… By 8AM Dr. Crites arrived and insisted on breaking my water… she did agree to give me 45 min to see if that would kickstart things… at 8:45 AM I agreed to a small dose of piton… within 30 min my contractions were regular and intense enough that they agreed to back off the meds. Nikki, with perfect timing, arrived and walked me through everything. Positions, breathing (Especially breathing… breathing is SO important… who would have thought?!) By 10:00 I was sure I was ready to push… in fact, I remember telling Dr. Crites (who I had just overheard say to a nurse that she was going to upstairs to see a few patients) that I wasn’t going to be able to wait for her… that this baby was coming quickly. (I was dilated to 9cm)… I started pushing at around 10:15, maybe 4-5x?… The pain was like nothing I’ve ever experienced (obviously)… and to be honest, I’m not sure I can really totally accurately recall… I know at one point I lost focus and started hyperventilating… got dizzy and tingly fingers… Nikki talked me down and helped me remember to breathe through the contractions. Seriously… this woman was MY ROCK. I think I really may have not remembered to breathe without her!  Daniel never once suggested that I reconsider the epidural or pain management… He says, “(I) made it look easy” … I’d rather believe he just had 100% confidence that I could do it!

“Baby Boy Pittman” was born at 10:29AM. I felt as I pushed the last time and could reach out for him, Dr. Crites even let us wait a few minutes to cut the cord. From there… everything gets a little fuzzy… The endorphins rushed through me like nothing I’d ever felt. Natural childbirth… pretty exhilarating. It was the most amazing feeling of satisfaction… like I really got to experience the miracle of life. I’m still in awe that God made my body to do something as incredible and awesome.




After I’d delivered the placenta and Crites stitched up a small tear ( 2 stitches… with lidocaine,) we enjoyed almost an hour of skin to skin time, nursing and bonding. Townes had the most amazing, intoxicating scent… He snuggled up so warm and perfect on my chest. He didn’t nurse right away like Olivia wanted to, instead he stared into my eyes, more alert than I’d ever imagined he would be, only seconds old.


We were only in the hospital 2 days.. 18 hours or pre-labor, 2 hours of labor, 30 min of delivery and just over 24 hours of recovery. Although this wasn’t exactly the scenario I had envisioned, it was the most amazing birth experience and even better than I imagined. I am so beyond thankful for both Daniel and Nikki, who were exactly the support I needed… for Dr. Autumn Gore at COL, who helped prepare my body physically… for my mama, for giving me complete peace of mind that Olivia was safe and happy and Mawmaw for coming to the rescue with play dough and big girl toys!


Probably deserving of a separate post completely… The first 2 weeks were a roller coaster. When we left the hospital Townes weighed 7 pounds 1 oz. My milk came in just 2 days later and by our first pediatrician appointment the following Monday he was up to 7 pounds 5 oz.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

3 days old

At 8 days old, Daniel left town for the weekend to play drums in Abilene, TX. My mom had also returned to California, leaving me solo with 2 for the first time… As if that wasn’t scary enough. Townes, who has a little bit of a reflux problem, had a particularly bad episode where he emptied the contents of his stomach, vomited up 4-5 ounces (obviously lots more than his tiny stomach could hold) Unfortunately, he got so choked up that i couldn’t get him to clear his air passages and it was obvious that he was really struggling to breathe. I stood on the front porch (performing what I knew of infant CPR) for the longest 12 minutes of my life until the ambulance arrived.  The EMTs were able to suction out his nose and throat and get him breathing normally again  before we even arrived at the hospital . A rather traumatic experience, I felt so lucky to have our good friend Laura over at the time to stay home with Olivia and wonderful new neighbors for their help!

By his 2 week appointment, Townes had gained another pound! up to 8 pounds, 5 ounces… evidence that his reflux was really not affecting his ability to nurse! Definitely a good thing because big sister came down with an awful tummy bug and 105 degree fever and mama’s antibodies proved to be great protection!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

5 days old


Olivia: 2 Years


Weight: 22 lbs 15 oz, 5th Percentile

Height: 33 Inches, 25th Percentile

Size: 18 months, 24 months

Nicknames: Via, O’ia (as she refers to herself)

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset


Wrapping anything/ everything (toy animals, cars, play food) in napkins, blankets, towels, etc. to make “a burrito”

Going to the “jump, jump” (Palaestra Toddler Open Gym) and “Another One Jump, Jump” (The Galleria indoor play place)


Going to the Perot “Moo-seum” for Sribbles & Dribbles Art Class

Playing in the sand (@ the Perot, the Lot, and the Arboretum Children’s Garden) rocks, dirt and mud. Loves getting dirty!

Playing with Friends and Cousins – Asks for her friends by name, followed by “today?”

FaceTime with G, Papa, Chip, Em and B

“Snuggling” with Mommy and Dayda in the early mornings

Playing in the Snow!

Playing dress-up

Likes to use her “special stool” to stand on to help cook, brush her own teeth, reach things”

Watching Disney’s Frozen

Chalk, Painting, Playdough, Crayons, any type of art project

“Play the kitchen”

Swim Lessons – can swim 10 seconds under water and approx 3.5 feet!

Her new pottery barn “Everywhere” Chair

Her “Baby Brother” doll

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset



Favorite Books: Teddy Bear Picnic, Forever Young, Jesus Loves Me, All things Bright and Beautiful, Ladybug Book (from Aunt B)

Favorite Songs: Teddy Bear Picnic, Wheels on the Bus, “This is the Way we Drive the Car,” Itsy Bitsy Spider, “Fox Song” (What does the Fox Say?) “Snowman Song” (Do You want to Build a Snowman? From Frozen) and “Let it Go” (Also Frozen)

Favorite Toys: Small Plastic Animals, Her Kitchen, Play Dough, Coloring with Crayons/Markers, Painting, Baby Brother Doll, Hot Wheels,

Favorite TV Shows/Movies: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Caillou, Frozen, Monsters Inc, Monsters University, Toy Story 1, 2, and 3

Favorite Foods: “Hot Cheese” (Macaroni and Cheese), Hot Dogs, Peas, Carrots, Oranges, Cantaloupe, Strawberries, Yogurt, Spaghetti & Meatballs, “I-meem” (Ice cream), Kiefer, any kind of  granola or breakfast “bar”  Tacos, Hypnotic Donuts




Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

House hunting

Hotel Rooms

Brushing her teeth and hair

Pigtails, Pony Tails, clips, headbands and bows



Being a Flower Girl @ Ashley & Clay’s wedding in Sandy, UT

Talking in full sentences

Can say/sing ABCs

Can Tell you her name and her home address!

Understands and recognizes emotions in herself and others, Happy, Sad, Frustrated, Mad. If other kids are crying she frequently asks if they’re “OK”

Is happy to go play with friends in her class at church

Understands sharing (Thanks to Daniel Tiger who says, “You can Take a Turn, and then I get it back”)

Moving to a new house

Sleeping through the night in her OWN BIG GIRL BED….!!!

Going down at nap time and bed time alone!


Conversations with Via

*Puts on Hat and Backpack* – “I go to school now!”

Walks in to the kitchen on her birthday and asks, “Where’s my birthday party?”

Has an extensive vocabulary…


Insists that the sprinkles on her donut are “sparkles.”

Playing with Uncle Chip in the Atrium – Looking in the window to Mommy/Dadyda’s bedroom, “Look! It’s Mommy/Dayda’s Room! It’s Chicka Boom Boom inside!” (Referring to her Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book)

When Dayda lets her swing on his lap on the big girl swing at the park “It’s a little bit dangerous”

Sitting on the front porch at the Sycamore House “But… I’m going to miss my house… it’s SO… Sad”

“Mommy, I’m singing… It’s Happy Birthday Chip!”

Pretending to nurse her “baby brother” doll – “It’s baby brother! he wants to drink my milk, let’s drink my milk (baby brother)” * makes sucking noise and pretends to nurse her doll*

Miss Laura, talking about how the girls are best friends… Olivia proudly puts her hand on her chest as exclaims “I’m A BEST FRIEND!”

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Monthly Highlights


Gramma G visit

Purchase of Juan Noble Tree IV

Christmas celebrations

Dallas “Ice-Mageddon”


Trip to California to visit Family Gorham

Scribbles & Dribbles Art Class at the Perot Museum


Listed our House for Sale only to have it sell within 36 hours with multiple offers.

Lots of last minute home improvements including repainting interior and deck, handy-man fixes and sprucing up… lots of time spent out on the town… car naps and early bedtimes!

Spent countless hours, days, weekends frantically house hunting… made 3 offers on 3 houses before one stuck!

Purchased our second home (Closed, Moved and Settled in beginning of March)


Letters to Via  –

Although the inbox may still be a little bit empty… i opened a gmail account in Olivia’s name to have a place to send and share messages, pictures, letters and funny things… a sort of scrapbook. If you would like to contribute, feel MORE than welcome… just send an email to the address above!

Note: Obviously Moving at 9 months pregnant slightly delayed this post… better late than never!

Olivia: 21 Months



Weight: 21 lbs 7 oz

Size: 18 months, 24 months

Tooth Count: 16

Hair: Growing… slowly but surely. Reddish blonde and slightly curly

Nicknames: Via, Doodle (Bug), Love Bug

Nov 2013

Nov 2013

Loves: Palestra Open Gym, Playing outside, going to the park, the Dallas Arboretum Children’s Garden, Doing Art the the Perot, Sandboxes, Calliou (TV Show on PBSKids), Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (TV Show on PBSKids), “Moo-sik”, Lotion, Reading Books before bed, Taco Joint Date Nights with Dayda, Swim Lessons w/ Miss. Amber, Playing in the Dirt/Mud/Sand


Open Gym – Sept 2013

Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum - Sept 2013

Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum – Sept 2013

Playing Dress Up - Sept 2013

Playing Dress Up – Sept 2013

Playing Dress-Up with Dayda - Oct 2013

Playing Dress-Up with Dayda – Oct 2013

Park Time - Oct 2013

Park Time – Oct 2013

Cranks: going to sleep alone, the grocery store, shopping, brushing her teeth

Best Friends: Bayo (Paden), Cami, Cousins Rylie & Remie

Moon Watching with Bayo - Oct 2013

Moon Watching with Bayo – Oct 2013

Best Friends, Cami + Via - Oct 2013

Best Friends, Cami + Via – Oct 2013

Favorite Foods: “Hot Cheese” (Macaroni & Cheese), “Maymos” (Tomatoes), Cheese, “Moo” (Milk), Ham, “O-E’s” (Oranges), Breakfast Sausage, Goldfish/Ducks/Bunnies Crackers, O’s, Muffins, Strawberries, Tacos, Hot Dogs, Pie (From Emporium Pie’s, a la mode, of course!), Apples, “Dipping”, Smoothies “Moo-mies”

G2G Taco with Dayda - October 2013

G2G Taco with Dayda – October 2013


Snacking at Klyde Warren Park

Snacking at Klyde Warren Park – Sept 2013

Enjoying a slice of Pie with Dayda

Enjoying a slice of Pie with Dayda – Sept 2013

Favorite Books: Llama Llama Red Pajama, Jesus Loves Me, Daddy Hugs, I Love You So, Goodnight Moon, Any of our Potty Books


Talking in short sentences – These are a few of my favorites… “Where’s Mommy’s Car?” “Is Dayda home?” “It’s Nigh-No Time” “Where’s the Moon, Mommy?”

Gaining independence and getting more comfortable with other adults (in nursery at church, etc.)

Sleeping through the night in her own bed (fairly consistently 7/8pm – 6/7am)

Completely weaned just after 18 months

Drinking Cow’s milk “MOO”

First Time Trick Or Treating

Swimming 8-10 seconds under water in Swim Class

Funny Via Stuff

While at Lunch at the Olive Garden, an elderly gentleman at a nearby table belches loudly to which Via responds, “NICE!”

Loves to wait at the back door for Dayda to come home from work – squeels “Dayda’s Home!” when she sees the back gate open.

Refers to her fur-collared denim vest as her “fuzzy” and begs to put “Fuzzy on”

Refers to the humidifier as “Fog” or “Foggy”- reminds us to “Fog Off”

While shopping, will look at clothing, find the tag then say, “Cute!”

Comments, “Mommy, Milk Ah-gone”

Says “Help You” instead of “Help Me” and “Hold You” instead of “Hold Me”

Likes to crawl between Mommy’s legs or underneath the dog AKA “Tunnel”


CA trip to visit Family Gorham

Big Bear Lake - Sept 2013

Big Bear Lake – Sept 2013

Pool Time - Sept 2013

Pool Time – Sept 2013

Dana Point - Sept 2013

Dana Point – Sept 2013

First Trip to Disneyland

First Trip to Disneyland - Sept 2013

First Trip to Disneyland – Sept 2013

First (real) trip to the beach

Gramma G in town

Arboretum / Children’s Garden / Perot Museum / Zoo / Palestra Open Gym

Rory Meyers Children's Garden - Oct 2013

Rory Meyers Children’s Garden – Oct 2013


Mommy & Dayda’s 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Dayda’s 30th Birthday

Paden’s 2nd Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

Pumpkin Carving

First nasty cough/cold/ear infection of the season  🙁

First time Trick or Treating (with Shugarts on Swiss Ave)  Costumed as “Lady Bug Girl”

Trick or Treating on Swiss Ave - Oct 2013

Trick or Treating on Swiss Ave – Oct 2013

Sweet, Sweet Via –

I can’t believe that the next time I update this blog, you’ll be turning 2 years old! My heart hurts just a tiny bit when I think about you not really being my baby anymore but I love watching you grow and learn every day. Your dad and I talk all the time about getting occasional glimpses into the “big-girl” version of you. You are such a sweet and gentle kid. You are learning to share, especially with your food, but also with toys and understanding what it means to take turns. I know you will make a fantastic big sister – I can’t wait to see you with your baby brother. You’re beginign to understand your dad and I when we talk about the baby in mommy’s tummy. You like to pull up my shirt and “pat, pat, pat” or kiss the baby. You also like to show us where the baby will get milk and very tell me all the time, “baby’s milk!” For the last few months, you’ve made such huge progress with sleeping through the night in your own big girl bed. Very rarely do you wake up in the middle of the night. Occasionally, you’ll be awake in the morning before your dad and I and you’ll just come stand at the side of our bed and say “mommy!” until I let you join us for some snuggles and a few more Zzz’s. You love to sing, especially when you’re getting sleepy in the car. You sing “Bye, Bye Olivia” and “This is the way we Drive the Car” and “Jesus Loves Me” from memory. It’s just amazing at how much you are absorbing. Your dad and I love you so much more than you will ever know. We are so proud of the little girl you are and feel truly blessed to be your parents.



Family P: Oh, Boy!

 A quick update…

oh boy!

oh boy!

oh boy!

oh boy!

16 Weeks / 17 Weeks – Finally the nausea has started waning! Reclaiming some energy. Looking more pregnant, less chubby!

18 Weeks

18 Weeks

18 Weeks – 18 Week Appointment and Sonogram, revealed a healthy, squirmy, growing baby. Celebrated with a gender reveal (It’s a Boy!) gathering with Family and Friends at Chicken Scratch. Complete with Sprinkles cupcakes filled with blue icing.

Gender Reveal - It's a boy!

Gender Reveal – It’s a boy!

Gender Reveal - It's a boy!

Gender Reveal – It’s a boy!

19 Weeks / 20 Weeks – Lots of Christmas shopping (not the most fun when pregnant with a toddler), swim lessons (I fear it’s almost time to invest in a maternity suit) and running around town.

21 Weeks / 22 Weeks – 22 Week Visit with Dr. Crites, baby boy has a strong heartbeat and is already kicking like a little mad man. Thanksgiving prep, Hosted Thanksgiving Dinner, Bethany’s visit

Food cravings: Anything Sweet! Pie, Pie Pie! Especially Emporium’s Apple AKA Lord of the Pies and Drop Dead Gourdous (Pumpkin), Carbs (Bagels, Muffins, Bread), Macaroni and Cheese, Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Hot Chocolate

Food Aversions: Meat is still iffy at the moment, especially chicken.

Family P: Pumpkin Doodle


Yep! Finally getting around to making an announcement, at almost 16 weeks pregnant, I’m sure some of you were starting to wonder about my growing midsection. Daniel and I’s hearts are overwhelmed with joy! Becoming parents less than 2 years ago was the most wonderful gift and we couldn’t feel more blessed to be expecting another sweet baby on or around April 1st.


Picture 2

So you may remember… (hopefully not too well) that I blogged through my pregnancy with Via at Prego Mego … not likely that I’ll be able to capture as many details as I did when I was toddler-free, but my hope is that I’ll be able to document some of the major milestones with sweet baby #2 for the baby book! (Seeing as this post is happening 4 out of 10 months in to my pregnancy, don’t hold out too much hope!)

First Trimester ( and then some)

Week 5 – Despite being absolutely positive that I was NOT pregnant, and sure that my body was still trying to figure out how to ovulate & nurse a toddler… We took a home pregnancy test. And it was OH, SO POSITIVE. Ecstatic, Terrified, Shocked… I’m not sure I can accurately recall my exact emotion. Ready, or not…  Here we go… AGAIN!

Week 6 – Nursing & Pregnancy… did you know that in order to successfully continue nursing through pregnancy, Mom needs to consume an additional 500-800 calories a day? Not a joke. In some ways, I was starving… and in others, I’ve had no appetite what-so-ever. I won’t even get in to the other challenges that come with nursing a toddler while pregnant…  At this point, I was just PRAYING that my supply would remain decent and that Via will nurse happily as long as she wanted. Very mild nausea, slight fatigue, but easily distracted by chasing a toddler.

Week 7 – Nausea and fatigue settled in… Trying to nap with Liv during the day so I could keep up with her in the mornings / late afternoons. Nausea infinitely worse between 2AM – 8AM.

Week 8 – Family trip to California definitely came with a few awkward puking moments, huge dip in milk supply, awful summer cold… Still a wonderful two weeks of fun in the sun and of course, shared the happy news with Family Gorham.

Week 9 – Our First Sono revealed a wiggly little nugget with a strong heartbeat and revised Due Date (April 9th). Crazy hormones. Crying at the wonder of airplanes and Zillow commercials. Lots of Sonic Cherry Limeades to ease the pain of playing in the late afternoon Texas heat.

Week 10 – the roughest, by far. First half of the week spent in bed with the “Labor Day Stomach Bug” that just about wiped out my milk supply then an A/C that decided to quit… Dropped down to 2x nursing a day, once in the morning, once before bed.

Week 11 – Nausea, Nausea Nausea…. Finally gave in to a prescription for Zofran. Trying to snack often, drink lots of water. Snacking on Peppermint and Ginger candies. Expensive A/C and Foundation Fixes, decisions to be made about selling / moving / repairing our 100year old home. Dropped morning nursing session.

Week 12 – Second Sonogram and all good news 🙂 Mama’s belly is growing (already)… managing to keep weight gain under control this time! (If you don’t remember, I gained 62 pounds with Liv – about 40 pounds more than I probably should have! All of which it took me a year to lose!) Ready for the nausea and exhaustion to ease up. Realizing that chasing a toddler all-day, every-day is infinitely more difficult while trying not to puke. Also – hot dogs are the most foul smelling toddler lunch of all time.

Week 13 – Gramma G in town for 2.5 weeks to visit! Lots of meals out, trips to the arboretum, Perot, Swim Lessons, fun at Gramma B’s House! Less nausea, More food aversion/cravings. Broke the news to my dearest childhood friend, Ashley, whose wedding I’ll be 32 weeks pregnant in 🙂 Purchased my first pair of designer maternity denim… worth every penny.

HUGE WIN! *** Liv FINALLY started sleeping through the night!!! (At 19 months!) 8:00PM-6:00AM (give or take 30 min or so!) ***

Week 14 – Papa G in town for the weekend to visit with lots of fun fall treats! Fun meals out… and Pie… Spent lots of time outside in the gorgeous October weather! Finally completely weaned Liv. Finding it difficult to get dressed in the mornings. Most of my clothes are pretty snug, and my maternity goods from round 1 are just slightly too stretched out.

Week 15 – Finally reclaiming some energy! Still having 2-3 pretty bad headaches/migraines a month (something I was lucky enough to have completely escaped last pregnancy). Still holding out hope that they’ll fade once my hormones finally find some balance. The weather is finally wonderful making it easier to get out and play outside!

Food cravings: Honeycrisp Apples, Bagels, Macaroni and Cheese, Yogurt, Trader Joes Sweet & Spicy Pecans, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Twizzlers (thanks, Tammy!), Tortilla Soup, Chili, Sweet Tea, Peppermint Candies, Grapefruit Juice

Food Aversions: meat, especially chicken / steak

Thankful for a toddler who is finally learning to sleep, loves to give nose kisses and will surely be the best big sister in the world. Couldn’t do pregnancy round 2 without the bestest of friends and supportive family. Grateful for this crazy wonderful life we have. Can’t wait to meet the newest member of our little family this spring!

Olivia: 18 Months


22 lbs, 15th Percentile

31.5 inches 50th Percentile

Size: 18 months

Tooth Count: 12 (including 4 molars!)

Hair: Still so wispy and thin but getting longer every day! Still strawberry-blonde and beautiful… almost enough for a pony… OK, not really.

Nicknames: Via, Doodle (Bug)

Loves: Chairs, Swimming, Sand, Vehicles (Cars, Busses, Trains, Motorcycles), Playing outside, playing dress-up, building with blocks, helping sweep the floor with her pint-sized “Moon”, Bubbles, giving kisses, going to the Zoo, Pop-Pops (Popsicles), her Bestie Bayo, Running / Playing Ready, Set, Go!, Slides, hats, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Calliou, Jumping, “Riding”



Swimming With Bayo

Cranks: Sitting in a highchair for longer than about 15 minutes, making dinners out pretty darn frustrating for mom and dad. Dinners at family-friendly / outdoor restaurants like Chicken Scratch & The Lot are frequent. Not being able to go outside. Going to bed.

Favorite Foods: “Hot Cheese” (Macaroni & Cheese), Beans, Peas, Cheese Sticks, Strawberries (“AwBeeBees”), Hot Dogs, Tomatoes (“MayMos”), Ice Cream “I-Meam”, Chicken Stir Fry,

Favorite Books: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “Things that GO”, “I love you so”, “Daddy Hugs”, “Llama, Llama, Red Pajama”, “Beep, Beep” … we read close to 10 books a night before bed.

Milestones and other things…

Understands when she’s made a poop, tinkle, or toot in her diaper, promptly announces “Doodie!”, “Tinkle!”, or “TOOTS” – When she burps… instead of saying “Excuse me” like her Mama would like her to… she says, “Nice!”

Can accurately complete some of her puzzles alone (Melissa & Doug, Chunky pieces)

Can identify several animals and tell you what sound they make.

Can put multiple words together to make short phrases (“Hi, Dog!” or “Big Ball” or “Car Go”)

Can sort of say “I Love you” although is sort of sounds like “I wub wub”

Can climb up on most anything… which we are learning is quite dangerous.

Understands the possessive, likes to identify who things belong to… “Mommy’s… Car” “Dayda’s Pillow”

Converted Crib to Toddler Bed

First tinkle in big girl potty!!

Identifying people and objects around her *Points* “Car, and, mommy, annnnd, chaulk, annnd plane”

Summer 2013 Highlights


Sedona trip with Family Gorham



Swim Lessons @ Emler Swim School

Weekend in Fort Worth for Townsend Engagement Party

Rakowska Family moves to Texas!


Fourth of July Party

Gramma G Visit


These first few weeks of August have been REALLY  hot making it really difficult to be outside much. (Huge bummer for a toddler who loves the outdoors). Most of our days filled with play dates, early morning zoo and park trips, swim lessons.

First trip to the Perot Museum of Nature & Science

Dearest Via,

I love how you say, “Help Me!” and “Up Please” … and how sometimes you get “Up” and “Down” (AKA “Noun”) confused… Your recent obsession with “Noise,” anything you can hear but not see. How you say, “Here you go” when you’re giving or sharing. How you love to hold my hand when we are walking together. How you’ve learned to ask for “Milk!” and how you still want to nurse like a newborn some days. You’ve definitely found your voice but you’re still such a sweet and gentle kid. Although your Dayda and I worry that you’ll be co-sleeping until you’re 10, we secretly love going to bed as a family. Sometimes you roll over reach out to hold Daddy’s hand while you sleep… and it melts his heart every time. Last Saturday, Daddy and I were working in the kitchen, cleaning out cabinets while you were napping in your room. We were trying our best to keep quiet but you must have heard us because suddenly (I was pretty startled) I heard your little footsteps walking through the kitchen. You’d gotten up and out of bed and walked in to find us without making a peep. Although it may not sound like much, it hit us like a ton of bricks… you’ve gotten SO big. You’re really not a baby any more. Every day you act more and more like a big kid. You’re talking more and more and really communicating what you want and need most of the time. You get frustrated easily when we try to stop you from doing things yourself… this independence means lots of clean-up for mommy but watching you experiment is totally worth it. You love playing outside and the heat doesn’t seem to get to you in the slightest. When I’m cooking dinner in the evenings, you sometimes stand at the back door and repeat “OUTside… Ball.. annnnnd Car… and Chaulk… and Plane… and DAYDA!” Almost every night after dinner, you and daddy play the “Ready, Set Go!” game in the hallway. Daddy sits on one end and you stand at the other while he says, Ready… Set…. Then you squeal “GO” and run down the hallway full speed ahead into his arms. This is solid entertainment long enough for mommy to finish cleaning the kitchen and helps get wiggles out before bath and bedtime. Speaking of bedtime, you’re still no where near sleeping through the night… but we plan on working on that over the next 6 months. You really are a sweet kid and we’re so proud of how smart and gentle you are. It’s so rewarding and wonderful watching you grow. You are the most wonderful gift I’ve ever been given. I love you, so. 



Olivia: 15 Months


20 lbs 12 oz (25th percentile)

29.75 inches (50th percentile)

Size: 18 months

Tooth Count: 4.5 top, 3.5 bottom (cutting first molar!)

Nicknames: Via, ViaVia, Doodle, Liv, Luvbug

*disclaimer: this post is now OVER a month late… but still mostly relevant 🙂

Loves: Being Outside in the backyard or at the park, Water “Agua” (Drinking, Splashing at Klyde Warren, Playing, Swimming) , Balloons, Balls, Babies, The Swings, Popsicles, crushed ice, animals, cars/trains/ things with wheels, the Durch, reading books before bedtime, plants, dirt, music, blocks.

Favorite Foods: Tomatoes, Oranges, Grapefruit, Peas, Strawberries, Kiwi, Generally anything “Ball” shaped, Mac n Cheese, Hot Dogs, beans, broccoli, Cheerios, Bunnies, Chicken Stir Fry, Spaghetti, Ham. Occasional Treats: French Fries, Ice Cream, Popsicles

Favorite Books: Baby Bodies, Where’s Spot?, Daddy Hugs, peek-a-who, Duck & Goose 123, Beep, Beep Car Book, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Head to Toe

Favorite TV shows: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Calliou, Dinosaur Train

Cranks: seeing mommy at the chiropractor, going to the nursery at church, having her face wiped, Balloon Envy, long meals out, being contained, leaving the park before she’s ready, sleeping in her own bed.


  1. Baby
  2. Ball
  3. Dog (sometimes “hi dog”)
  4. Agua (Water)
  5. milk (“miilll”)
  6. Cheese
  7. Peas
  8. Please
  9. Giraffe (“gee”)
  10. Bird (“Bees”)
  11. Belly Button (“Debbie”)
  12. uh-oh
  13. Taco
  14. Avocado (cag-oh)
  15. beans
  16. car
  17. goodnight (“nigh-no”)
  18. bunny (“mummy”)
  19. banana (“nanny”)
  20. NO
  21. Zoo
  22. plane (“lain”)
  23. bug
  24. flower (“bah-lor”)
  25. choo-choo
  26. diaper (“biper” or “bumpah”)
  27. hat
  28. nose
  29. shoe
  30. elbow
  31. eyeball
  32. cherrio (“ohs”)
  33. tomato (“maymo”)
  34. blankie (“Beebee”)
  35. All Done
  36. Berry
  37. Blues (AKA BlueBerries)
  38. Open (“oh-pee”)
  39. Teeth
  40. Hot
  41. Hotdog
  42. Leaf
  43. Toes
  44. Goose
  45. Ice
  46. Ice Cream
  47. Bus
  48. Chicken (“Chicky”)
  49. Coffee (“Cah-Cah” – Actually refers to any adult beverage… coffee, beer, or soda)
  50. Blocks


  • Mama, mommy, maaahmee
  • Dada, Dayda
  • “Bayo” BFF Paden
  • “B” Bethany
  • “G” Gramma G
  • “Papa” Papa G
  • “MAW-MAW”
  • “EEEM” Auntie Em
  • “Pip” Uncle Chippy
  • “Hold Me” Holden


  • Snake (“ssssss”)
  • Horse (“nay”)
  • Duck and the duck says “Ka-Co”
  • Cow (“boooo” or “moooyah”)
  • Cat “Me-ow”
  • Bird (bees) says “tee tee or beep beep”
  • Fish (“blub blub blub”)
  • Lion (“ahhhhh”)
  • Tiger (“OWWW”)
  • Sheep (“baah”)
  • Pig ( Actually, no sound, just an “oink” face… and it’s the cutest darn thing in the world)
  • Elephant
  • Squirrel

Can find:

  • nose
  • eyes
  • tongue
  • hair
  • belly button
  • ears
  • hands/fingers
  • feet/toes
  • elbow
  • mouth
  • teeth

Still not sleeping through the night… much less in her own bed. Quite attached to mommy and daddy. Slowly warming to friends/family and gaining some independence. Nursing 2-3x a day and usually once in the middle of the night.

Spring 2013 Highlights:


Walking! (At around 2 weeks after her first birthday!)

Weekly Wednesday play-dates with Paden

NIce Weather means lots of afternoons at the Park (Favorites: Exall, Scottish Rite, Abbott/Coffee)

 Haley’s Wedding // weekend trip to the Omni

Rakowska Family visit

Easter at White Rock Fellowship

Easter Egg Hunt at Great Paw Paw’s House

GG visits for Great Grandaddy’s 90th Birthday

Arboretum Visits


The Dallas Zoo Membership

Lots of chiropractor visits

New pediatrician – Dr. Agrawal

Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease


SCG Sundays with the Shus



B’s graduation from TCU

Mother’s Day

Gramma G / Papa visit Dallas

Baby Dedication @ WRF

Justin and Cass visit Dallas

Patio Lunches // Dinners: Chicken Scratch, Stack house, Good 2 Go Taco

Splashing at Klyde Warren Park

Sweet Via Via, 

In the past few months, your dad and I have really started to feel like we’re getting to know you. You are starting to grow into your big personality. You are so gentle and kind, just like your dad. I’m starting to see so much of his temperament in you. You don’t like to be rushed or hurried. You do things in your own time. Sometimes I wonder if you’ll be introverted like your dad or extroverted like me. You are frequently happy in your own little world, talking to yourself, imagining, and learning. You’re very inquisitive. You like to figure out how things work… you’ll stay captivated by mechanical things for several minutes – wheels, water, whatever. You love animals… and can identify too many to count. You make the most adorable sound when we talk about fishies “Blub, Blub, Blub…” And you witnessed first hand what sound a tiger makes… not “RAWR”… “OOOOWWW.” And you say it with such confidence. You love your Dad more than anything and he adores that you wake up asking for him every morning, “Dayda?” “Dayda?” You’re still nursing like a champ… 2-3… sometimes 4 or even 5 times a day… and several times at night… Your pediatrician has advised me against continued nighttime nursing and cosleeping… but your Dad and I are confident that we’re doing what is best for you. In fact, I love nursing as much as you do. I cherish our quiet alone time more and more each day. You’re a pistol when it comes to eating… sometimes you shovel so much food in your mouth that I wonder if you’re actually a gerbil… more often than not though, you feed most of your meals to “The Durch” – speaking of – you love the Durch… you’re learning to be gentle with her, but you’ve got a ways to come before you’re ready for a little brother or sister (#notanannouncement). Paden Shugart, “Bayo” is your bestie… and you ask for him EVERY.DAY. Going to the grocery store with you is almost impossible, you love to holler out the names of all of the fruits and veggies as we roll past… You’re getting more and more confident on your feet. You love to play in the backyard, at the park, in the fountains at Klyde Warren Park but you’re still somewhat timid when bigger kids are around.

You’re quite attached to me… and for the moment, that’s wonderful.

You are such a special little soul and I can’t imagine life without you.

I love you.


Olivia: 12 Months


18 lbs 5 oz (10th percentile)

28.5 inches (30th percentile)

Size: 12 months

Tooth Count: 4 top, 2 bottom

Nicknames: LoveBug, Liv, Little Bit


Park play dates! Our favorite parks right now: Lake Cliff Park in Oak Cliff, The Children’s Park at Scottish Rite Hospital, A recent fav – Exall Park in East Dallas and of course, Klyde Warren Park downtown. Doesn’t matter if it’s 20 minutes or an hour… this lil gal LOVES to be outside.

Music: Especially loves listening to Dad play guitar and piano. Loves to dance and/or head-bang when she hears music.  Likes to wiggle along with the dancing giraffes that Poppa G gave her for Valentine’s Day! Loves her new musical instruments (especially the drum and shakers!) – a special birthday gift from her Great God Mother Peri. Even though it’s hard to admit…  because it means admitting that we’ve been re watching the series… I’ll say it, she LOVES the Theme song  from “The OC”

Books: Loves to read more and more everyday! (I’ll take a little bit of credit here… we’ve been reading nightly since she was 4 months old) Favorite Books right now are: “Let’s Look Baby Einstein” – she loves to point out the “BAHHHH” (Balls). Also loves to imitate the “Reach Up high”  and “Peek-a-boo” babies in “My First Body Book”. Still in rotation: Where’s Spot?, Rainforest Discoveries and all of the touch and feel animal books.

Baby Dolls: ever since Christmas (Mamaw gave Olivia her first baby baby)  she’s been obsessed with “Bay-Bos”… we’re totally confident she knows what she’s talking about when she refers to “Bay-Bo” or “Bay-Bah”… even if it includes anything/everything with a face.

Balls: Another recent obsession… (Also stemming from a Mamaw Christmas gift!) This girl loves her Balls. Perhaps just another object she can identify “BAAAAAAH” (Very rarely we get the LL’s at the end.. but usually the first syllable). I think we’re up to 6 Balls ranging in color, size and elasticity. The best part? Her favorite (green with a strobe light in it) cost $.99 from Target.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: We try to limit the amount of TV we watch but occasionally when I desperately need a distraction so I can get a 3 min shower… or on Saturday morning when Liv decides to wake up at 5:15AM and we are just not quite ready to really focus… we’ll put on an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS. She loves it. The music is catchy and honestly not half as terrible as YO GABBA GABBA…. and I generally approve of the message, etc. I’m also guilty of downloading the PBS Video App on my iphone.

Loves to practice walking

Getting Mail!

Wednesdays with Paden

Favorites Foods: Blueberries, Peas, Black Beans, Tomatoes.

Water: A new obsession with sippy cups (as long as it’s not breast milk… she only wants that from the source.) or from mommy’s glass, from a straw like a baby birdie.

Sleeping with Mom and Dad. We have completely embraced co-sleeping and I can honestly say… Once I stopped expecting something “normal” from my baby… I felt much better, even if sometimes it means sharing my bed space.

Nursing. This. Girl. Loves. To. Nurse. How will I even wean her? she ever wean herself? Still nursing every 4 hours or so during the day. More often/predictable when we’re at home. Less often/predictable when we’re out and distracted.

Eating whatever is on Mommy/Daddy’s plate (Especially if it’s french fries –  Yes, I have, on occasion, shared a fry or two. No judgement please.)

The Dallas World Aquarium

“Popsicles” – diluted (70/30 water/juice) organic apple or orange juice… great for teething.


sleeping in footed jammies (these are our current favs – footless by Carters)


In general, the 5-6pm hour… but 6-8…. she’s golden

Diaper Changes

Not being allowed to have/hold something she wants. (Basically, if it’s round… it’s a ball. and if it’s a ball.. she wants to hold it – especially it it’s a pile of oranges balls at the grocery store)

Long, lingering meals out. Gone are the days when we make it through 3 courses.

Being in the car for longer than about 20 minutes… unless it’s nap time.


Words: Mama, Dada, Baby (Bay-Bo or Bay-Bah), Dog (Duh), Ball (Bah)

Walking with her push cart thing, standing alone.

Kisses (not so much the BLOWING of kisses… but definitely lip-smacking)

Plays Peek-A-Boo

Can tell you what sound a Snake makes and identify it in a book.

Can identify babies/balls in real life and pictures/books.

Putting things in a cup, taking them out, repeat. (This mostly happens with food – especially peas)

Tried Meat/Cheese for the first time. Not really a fan…but hey… girlfriend loves her veggies so I can’t complain.

More effective at expressing her desire to nurse… read: undressing me when she’s ready.

First trip to DeLeon to visit Great Memaw & Pa and Great Great Granny and to say goodbye to Great Great Grandpa

First Birthday! (But… that’s an entire post on its own.)

First Kiss

Some Cute new sounds…

Growing… Growing…

Olivia: 11 Months | Olivia: 10 Months | Olivia: 9 Months

Olivia: 11 Months


17.8 lbs

27.5 inches

Size: 12 Months

Size 3 Disposable diapers (on the rare occasion that we use them!)

Tooth Count: 4 on Top, 2 on Bottom

Nicknames: Liv, Liver Dude, Sneekle Freetzie, Chickadee

Finally growing some hair… still our little strawberry blonde, with the longest (dark) lashes I’ve ever seen.


The Christmas Tree

Lights, lamps and fans.

Snowmen (not sure what it is about them… the stuffed or picture variety seem to really tickle her…maybe it’s something about that carrot nose?)

Her new Baby-Baby (from Mamaw)

Her new piano just like Daddy’s (from Gramma and Poppa G)


Big Gee (Giant Giraffe from Auntie Maggie!)

Eating Dirt, Grass and Sticks

Klyde Warren Children’s Park

All stuffed animals, blankets and soft things. Even those that don’t belong to her

Favorite Books: Where’s Spot? (Especially loves it when Mommy/Daddy make animal sounds), Baby Einstein Christmas Books, Mommies are for Counting Stars, Baby Animals Touch and Feel

Favorite Toys: Music table, toy drums, lady bug instruments, Melissa & Doug Puzzles

Little People Nativity Set

Any “toys” that are NOT “toys

Foods: Avocados are now OUT (Who would have thought?) Blueberries always a fav. Peas. Anything pinch-able or swallow whole-able. Also a huge fan of “Cherrios

Girlfriend LOVES her wubbanub… not ready to give up that Paci….



Sick on Vacation

Diaper Changes


Long drives in the car

Not being allowed to crawl around on the ground at the airport

The Snowsuit


Olivia’s First Christmas Highlights

Christmas at Mamaw’s

1st Cousins Bath at Mamaw’s House with Rylie (5) & Remie (7 mo)

Christmas Party and  Christmas Play at Great Papaw’s House

1st Christmas in CA

Christmas Eve Service @ St. Margaret’s in San Juan Capistrano

 Christmas Morning Presents and traditional Christmas Breakfast

Opening Presents

1st trip to the beach on Christmas Day Tide-Pooling & Exploring

1st trip to Big Bear (Also first time in the snow!)

1st brewery tour (@ Stone Brewery in Escondido, CA)

First real word: “Baby” … except sometimes it sounds more like “BAY-BO”

Other “Words” : Mama, Dada, Geee, Durg Durg Durg (maybe Dog? maybe Durch?)

Patting her tummy, Patting Mommy and Daddy’s back

Pointing at everything and making sounds that sort of sound like “dis” and “dat”

Reaching up high (WEEEEEE!)

Giving Kisses… big, open-mouthed, wet ones.

Olivia: 10 Months | Olivia: 9 Months | Olivia: 8 Months

Mom Life: Sleep Diaries

I do truly look forward to the day when this “series” concludes… until then. An update… the continuation of our sleep diaries… Started Here… Progressed Here

A friend recently posted a link to this article, Sleep: A Misguided and Unhealthy Obsession that really resonated with the way I’ve been feeling about our family sleep situation lately.

After almost 2 weeks in California, and the obvious de-railers that come with traveling, getting back into a routine has been a difficult transition. In addition, we were all sick on vacation for at least 3-4 days each… overlapping to span basically the entire trip. Basically… our California Christmas was spent snuggling co-sleeping in a full-sized guest bed. Actually… most nights Daniel ended up on the couch… I guess Liv and I take up too much room.

So… where are we now? Co-sleeping? … Only Co-sleeping the half of the night that Olivia refuses to sleep in her crib. Nursing only once… Nursing as much and as frequent as Olivia wants… I can’t say that I really know. All I can say is… I’ve definitely started this series with the “If Momma Ain’t Happy” argument… and I’ve made it 180 degrees. My happiness or ability to be a good mother has little to do with the # of hours or consecutive hours of sleep I get. If I’m totally truthful… I’ve actually gotten pretty used to getting up in the middle of the night… nursing in the middle of the night. Going to bed early… waking up late. Occasionally I’ll even indulge in an afternoon nap with Olivia.

NOW… If we could just figure out how to get Olivia to stop being such a sleeping squirm worm… I think we’d all do just fine.

 Featured Image Here