Family P: Christmas Newsletter 2016


Maybe the rate at which we experience time is a function of age and number of children.  This year, we increased on both of those inputs.. 2016 brought the longest days and months as we waited, wondered, and prayed for our baby Fern. As a result, our year was full of amazing adventures and the building of the most wonderfully supportive village in the Pacific Northwest. That said, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that we were mostly, and frankly are still, in survival mode. No doubt, there were lots of exciting moments in 2016 – but none as amazing as the addition of our sweet miracle, Fern.

Last year, an easy theme emerged as I recapped our year: The seasons seemed to mirror our experiences during our first year in Portland. The flow of words came unimpeded… Effort or not, this year has been about embracing chaos with happy hearts and positive attitudes. So here goes.

[Note: this was written of the course of 8 hours, mostly with an infant wrapped to my chest, while I served 3 meals, no less than 7 snacks, changed numerous diapers, mediated lots of toddler conflict, explained where babies come from and why we have to cover our mouths when we cough. I hung some garland, helped the kids with a less-than pinterest worthy craft and *almost* swept the floors and got the laundry put away.]

Long gone is the appeal of a wild night out on New Year’s Eve. Maybe our desire to be hip and feel young will return one day when the kids actually sleep through the night, but for now a celebration in “the Tiki Basement” complete with tamales, guacamole and an epic ping pong tournament seemed ideal. This sentiment yielded a new tradition with the bringing in of 2016.. Family Gorham traded SoCal sunshine for a New Year’s celebration in the cold and rainy Pacific Northwest. Luckily, we enjoyed a few crisp, dry days that allowed for a trip to the Gorge and wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.

As we approached the anniversary of our move to Portland, we began to feel settled in our new home. Finally feeling like true Oregonians ourselves, we learned that we were expecting our first (and only!) native. In February we celebrated Olivia’s 4th birthday with a party of Olivia’s own creation: The Rainbow Party — rainbow cake, playdoh and decorations.

In March, at around 11 weeks pregnant, our adventures with Fern really began. During what would become an emotional few months, we were fortunate to have the support of our families and an amazing village of friends. We waited anxiously, week after week, for a miracle. You can read more here, here and here about our journey with Fern.

In April, we celebrated Townes’s 2nd birthday, camp style, complete with a campfire cake and e springtime creek play. As I entered my second trimester, we shared the news of our sweet new addition with friends and family. We celebrated Easter with the first of many epic egg hunts in our front yard. We ventured to Woodburn for the Oregon Tulip festival and made multiple trips out to the Gorge to hike Olivia, now officially ambulatory on her own accord,, conquered 3+ mile treks. She has become quite the little hiker!

May brought gradual improvements in Fern’s sonograms, and by 16 weeks were very close to “normal.” Now on summer’s cusp, we welcomed the longer, warmer days. Again, we u-picked our way through the summer, trying our best to stock the chest freezer for the winter months: Strawberries and cherries in June, blueberries and raspberries in July and peaches in August. Dan made a trip in June to CA to help “Uncle Chip” move North. It was perfect timing.e needed a landing spot in PDX while he got settled, and I was in desperate need of an extra set of hands. I honestly don’t know how I would have survived this summer without his help.

We celebrated my 30th birthday,and the beginning of my third trimester, with a trip to Bend. We adventured in the Santiam State Forest at Three Pools in Opal Creek, had our first family hot springs experience at Paulina [pronunciation: PAUL-EYE-NAH] Lake, and enjoyed some amazing meals. With August came the return of weekly doctors visits  for fetal monitoring. This, of course, on top of acupuncture and chiropractor visits and our schedule seemed packed. The kiddos were lucky enough to see all three grandparents for summer visits this year. We shared concerts at Kruger Farms, picked berries at Smith Berry Barn, and hiked the Gorge.

September’s arrival also meant Fern’s arrival, and we started making plans. We were almost certain that I would need to be induced a few weeks early due to the general “high risk” nature of my pregnancy. With induction scheduled for 9/21, I was thrilled to be the parent helper for Olivia’s first day in the “Sunflower” class at her Waldorf-inspired preschool. The following day at my fetal monitoring appointment, with concern about my blood pressure, my doctor and I made the decision that induction that night was the safest call. Our perfect Fern Opal was born the next day, September 8th, at 5:05pm, 7lbs 4.4oz. I’d love to provide you a link where you could read Fern’s whole birth story, but alas,  that has yet to be documented (#thirdbabyproblems). The most uncomplicated part of my pregnancy with Fern was labor and delivery. It was remarkably fast and easy; I had a short, active labor and successfully avoided any unnecessary intervention. Townes and Olivia were over the moon to meet their new baby sister and we were anxious to get home and start settling in as a family of FIVE. Fern’s post-birth echocardiogram revealed a still-present muscular VSD (something we’d identified somewhere around the 19th week of pregnancy), resulting in a grade 2 murmur. Thankfully, this is not cause for immediate concern, and will only require a follow-up with a pediatric cardiologist at 6 months. We were blown away with the outflowing of support and love from our friends and family,especially our Woodhaven community. Through delicious meals (and wine!), rides to school for Olivia, and entertainment for Townes, we survived those first few months.

Outings were sparse., Fern’s first was a trip to the u-pick apple orchard where we collected almost 20 pounds of apples and pears.  Dan’s 6 week paternity leave allowed for him to volunteer as the parent helper in Olivia’s class several times. It was an experience he would say was  transformative, validating our choice for more gentle and peaceful parenting approach. After the first day, he came home saying that it was one of the highlights of his year!  The big kids loved having Dan home and enjoyed numerous “Dayda Dates” to the OMSI, Powell’s, “The Coffee Store” and of course, Hopworks. Qhen Dan returned to work, we welcomed more family help, and I started practicing our new normal tackling daunting tasks like the grocery store with more kids than hands and getting three kids in and out of car seats and gear in the rain.

Halloween in the PNW is challenging for small trick-or-treaters. Not only is it likely to be raining, but by October, “the darkness” has started to set in. Shorter days with earlier sunsets, coupled with the lack of sidewalks or light pollution in our quadrant of Portland bring a different Halloween experience. Still, set on trick-or-treating this year, we braved our neighborhood streets with a forest fairy, a knight, and a colicky baby.

Some of our first big storms came in the first weeks of November, turning our creek into a rushing stream (sometimes flooding into a lake) and the promise of a very wet rainy season became apparent. Since this isn’t a political statement, we’ll just casually move right into the next (fittingly dark) season.

We enjoyed the lantern walk at Olivia’s school, and despite the pouring rain, we welcomed the darker days with a celebration of light and giving. After hosting for 27 last year, our Thanksgiving was wonderfully casual and intimate this year with just the five of us. I stayed in PJs, cooking all day, Olivia handled the decorations and “turkey games” and Townes (my biggest helper in the kitchen) cut all the green beans by himself with his “kid knife.”

For Dan’s favorite of our family’s Christmas mores, we selected our very first Nordman Fir, Hillary Nordman,  retiring Juan Noble in favor of the healthiest and happiest of the u-cut trees, while also maybe paying homage to our first almost lady president. After cutting and carrying our 6.5 ft beauty through the forest, we enjoyed a late lunch (and good beer) at cozy spot in the country. Kicking off the advent season, we gathered with our Woodhaven community to participate in a spiral walk. The children walk to the center of a spiral of evergreen branches where they light a candle, then retrace their steps back to their families. Singing and watching the light in the room grow was such a wonderful reminder of the light we carry within, and the importance of sharing it with others during this season.

We’re looking forward to some fun Christmas outings including: The festival of lights at the Grotto, watching the Christmas Ships from the bank of the Willamette, and visiting hipster Santa downtown. In a year with basically zero travel, we’ve been super lucky to have our families all here to visit. Plans for next year include a 2+ week “triangle trip” to both Texas and California over spring break, and hopefully our first family camping trip over the summer! We sincerely hope that your Christmas season to be filled with love, light and peace!


Olivia: Four and a half and will tell you her life story if you so much as glance in her direction. She loves chatting up adults and telling them all about her age, siblings ages, and her school. She still has very strong opinions about “soft pants” and what gets packed in her lunch. She loves “dragon tears,” playing doctor, and dogs. Chickens & a coop are on the top of her birthday wishlist (we told her that Santa doesn’t bring live animals and we’re on board with chickens, in fact they’re already in the works for Family P: Spring/Summer 2017). She has become quite the artist, practicing drawing pictures of her friends, family and school. You can often find her sitting at the kitchen table, listening to “Magic Treehouse” books on tape, doodling cards for her friends. She’s mastered writing most of her letters and loves to help me write “to-do” lists.

Favorite Colors: Red and Pink.

Favorite Foods: “Flat Cheese Sandwiches” (not-grilled, American cheese sandwiches). “Bongo beans and Rice” (Garbanzo Beans, Brown Rice and Aminos) and “Noodle Soup” AKA Pho from TuTus (Our favorite neighborhood food truck).


Townes: Two and a half and becoming quite the chatty little guy. He managed to inch his way on to the growth chart this year. He’s still very reserved in new situations and environments; it takes him a tick to warm up. He officially weaned around 22 months but  is nonetheless still quite attached to his Mama. He’s always practicing all things “big kid”, following Olivia’s lead, and likes to “do it myself.”  He’s perfectly content being sandwiched in between a big “tita” and a little “Fernita” as long as he still gets adequate snuggle time from Mommy and Dayda. Some of his favorite things include: binoculars, flashlights and anything with a button, cord or plug. Loves to paint and get creative at art class at the Multnomah Art Center. Starting to get the hang of sitting on the big potty and fingers crossed will “potty train” without much assistance. Wakes up hungry and although picky, is a great little eater. Loves to help himself and knows exactly where to find the “Damn Crackers” (Perfectly endearing pronunciation of Graham). He’s a big helper in the kitchen and has become the expert potato scrubber, carrot peeler and chopper of all things. We never imagined it possible after Olivia, but Townes really is an even goofier kid. One of his favorite phrases is “oh! a joke!” followed by forced laughter. Refers to himself as “Tao Tao” or “Tao Bamboo”  and is constantly keeping us in stitches. He’s a little risk taker, not afraid to climb up on stools, counters, and chairs, resulting in the most adorable little chipped front tooth earlier in the year.

Favorite Foods: Seaweed, Any kind of pasta, Crock Pot Chicken tacos, “Ah-Wos” (Olives), muffins and all kinds of fruit.

Favorite Color: “I really want a flashlight”


Fern: A “chunker-monker” with many nicknames. Depending on who you ask… she’s Fernie, Fernita, Tenacious Fernacious, Ferniture, the list goes on. A challenging temperament, she’s certainly the completion of our family. Colicky as she may be, her presence is such an amazing miracle and we’re reminded of it frequently. Hard as it is, we’re rejoicing in every difficult moment in this newborn stage. My best nurser, with the biggest tummy issues, we’ve at least (at LAST!) been blessed with a good sleeper! This girl sleeps a pretty predictable 6 hour stretch almost every night for which we are super grateful! Loves her paci, keeping a watchful eye on her big brother and sister, and being worn. THis snuggle bug, loves tub time with Mama and watching Dayda play his guitar. She’s already scared us with more ER/ Urgent care visits than her siblings combined. We’re all absolutely and completely in love with our little Fern and are enjoying every moment of the fleeting infant stage. The longest, shortest time.


Meg – How many pair of yoga pants do I own? At least one pair for every day of the week. How long has it been since I last hit the mat? Let’s just say, I’m grateful that athleisure is officially a trend. Between the dusty, dirty days on the u-pick farm and the wet and muddy preschool pick-ups, I very rarely find myself motivated to really “get dressed.” This year has left me incredible thankful for lots of things,even more than spandex pants and baseball caps: some of the greatest friends – far and near, who have really come together to support our family during a really tough year. Survival mode has me saying “yes” to the big kids a little more often and indulging in take out, grocery delivery services and  coming 2017: a housekeeper!? I’m practicing choosing joy among the piles of laundry and crusty floors.

Hobbies include: breastfeeding, calendaring, pinteresting, and meal-planning.

Favorite Foods: Vanilla Hemp Latte, Coconut LaCroix, Pinot Noir, and anything I can eat easily without spilling on Fern’s head.  


Dan – Between lots of doctor’s visits, sonograms, and fetal monitoring in the first half of the year and a generous paternity leave, Dan was actually home a lot! He successfully escaped for a weekend camping in Big Sur en route CA to OR in June and made some time to enjoy some of his favorite bands as they came through Portland. This was a year of cooking for him.  He’s learning the basics, now, but has generally assumed responsibility for breakfast every weekend morning.. Monday through Friday you can still find this dude at Intel, computing about computer stuff. He’s professionally into category theory, compilers, and hacking on distributed consensus problems,all while listening to lots of bones music and occasionally brushing up on his ping pong skills.

Hobbies include: Telling dad jokes, reading books, hiking on trails, camping in tents, listening to tunes, and the constant mission to grow as an empathetic human being.

I say it every year, this annual recap is really for us, but I really hope you enjoyed catching up with us too and would love to hear from you 🙂

Catch up with us Here: and Here:

More Pictures Here:  @large_arborist and Here:  @MMOGUU




Family P: Pittman Family Christmas Newsletter 2015


Well, looks like I missed the deadline… Sorry if we had any disappointed readers who checked in to see…. last year’s Christmas Newsletter. This post is OVERDUE and I’m finally, day-after Christmas, sitting down to dot i’s and cross t’s and hit [PUBLISH].

In past years, I’ve documented our year by month, curated our memories by relying on my trusty google calendar and Instagram to jog my memory… but if I’m totally honest, this year has been even more of blur than the last. I’d be hard pressed to REALLY remember if it was June or July… October or November? Luckily, Portland seems to have made the seasons easy to distinguish – which is a pretty easy theme to run with… so here goes:


Our year kicked off with a bang! Big changes for Family P… we packed-up 6 bags, 2 carseats, a couple of backpacks and a stroller and moved cross-country to Portland, Oregon. Thankfully, the rest was handled by a relocation company furnished by Intel. In the heart of winter, we experienced our first Pacific Northwest “rainy season.” Our Dallas home up for sale, we got cozy in our corporate apartment in Hillsboro (about 25 min west of downtown). Hindsight – the seemingly endless “waiting” period we felt was oh-so characteristic of Winter. Our house on the market longer than expected, house-hunting EVERY weekend, and getting VERY creative entertaining two toddlers with the handful of small toys we traveled with. I became an expert at cooking in a very minimally stocked kitchen and splurged on a new crockpot. As we started to accumulate adequate gear, we started exploring the city and nearby forests, our weekends split in half – one day solely dedicated to finding our forever home, one day to donuts, beer and hiking. We ate Salt & Straw [ice cream] once a week, sampled lots of Portland’s food trucks, and started to familiarize ourselves with the city. [See Note: 1] Since we really had NO idea where we were wanting to live, we explored a little bit of everything, ultimately trading in some hipster points to narrow the hunt to SW Portland. While Dan was at work, the kids and I did plenty of exploring in the rain (and fog!). We became proud, card-carrying members of the Oregon Zoo and Children’s Museum, learned valuable lessons about rain pants and playgrounds, took advantage of the library and quickly learned that one of Olivia’s new favorite foods is Pho. (Only second to donuts). Valentine’s day, we celebrated Olivia’s 3rd birthday (with G and Papa G in town!) as best we knew how, with Donuts and a hike to “The Witches Castle” – one of our favorite, kid-friendly hikes in Forest Park.


We were lucky enough to see the cherry blossoms bloom at our apartment complex which signaled the coming of Spring. I’m not sure which we were more anxious for, longer and warmer days or getting out of the apartment. The mornings became less foggy, the days less dark and cold and things started to look promising as we closed in on our dream house. Newness all around us, we started seeing how much greener everything was (I didn’t even understand that was possible!)  We made 3 offers on 3 different house, over the course of 3 months… We looked at 50+ homes with the most patient of realtors (if you need a recommendation, we have a truly great one!).  We fell in love with a little community called Multnomah Village, nestled in the heart of SWPortland, fairly close-in, that features it’s own indie bookstore, fro-yo establishment, Toy Shoppe and 3 great food trucks. AND it kept Daniel’s commute to Hillsboro manageable. In April, we finally closed on our house, an almost 90-year old tin-roof cabin on the most spectacular .66 acre piece of Urban forest. We love the feel of the ‘hood, the perks of being able to walk to one of the best beer stores in Portland, great brunch spots and BONUS a park, right across the street. [Note: 2] We started to get settled and unpacked, with the help of lots of family visitors, although I will admit… there are still those boxes in the basement. Made a few minor improvements, painted a few rooms and started to feel settled. Almost a month late, we finally celebrated Townes 1st birthday in our front yard with several new friends. For Father’s Day, we made our first attempt at front-yard camping. Proud to say that Dan and Via made it all night; Townes and I — not so much. At the end of June, we traveled to Santa Cruz, CA for some dear friends’ wedding in the mountains and then the kids and I ventured South to the OC for some playtime with Family Gorham.


Summer days in the Pacific Northwest and notoriously long. We’re talking… sunset at 9:42PM and not really totally dark until 10:30. Talk about making it difficult to get toddlers to bed! Throw an old house with no AC along with uncharacteristically long HEAT WAVES and it definitely started feel like summer! Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for… the TIKI BASEMENT. The house we bought has LOTS of awesome features, cool sunroom breakfast nook, great cozy wood-paneled “ballroom”, HUGE windows…. none as awesome as the TIKI BASEMENT. I’ve realized now that I have not a single photo to share… so consider this a huge teaser. You’ll have to rely on my descriptive words and your imagination to take you to Margaritaville for the next 28 seconds. Our new house came with a fully equipped thatched-roof bar, beer fridge, tiki glassware and the BEST part? a hand-painted mural of 3 gratuitously proportioned, scantily-clad (nude, they’re nude -ed.) hula dancers. THIS is where we retreated most nights when the main level of our house was still 82 degrees and MUCH too warm for sleeping. Long summer days found us shifting our schedule, kids stayed up late and enjoyed every waking hour of sunlight – We dined on patios, and took full advantage of the Portland great-outdoors. During the week, the kids and I spent at least 1-2 days picking produce at one of several favorite U-pick farms, exploring various fountains to splash in downtown, and doing toddler-led hikes with friends. Most weekends, we explored a new state park or hike, our favorite – Wilson Falls in the Tillamook State Forest. We hiked in Tevas and Shorts, swam in waterholes, wore LOTS of sunscreen and pushed the ‘Pause’ button on any home improvement projects. August took us to Southern California for my youngest sister’s wedding to the most awesome dude (Welcome to the family, Holden!) and family vacation. Olivia even had an extended stay to spend some “special alone time” with G and Papa G… Undivided attention, swimming, desserts and DISNEYLAND guaranteed that she came back with a huge smile! Also aided by her chaperone – Uncle Chip! Who came for a summer visit – in addition to Auntie B to experience the glory of Portland summer! Indian Summer – in my book, should probably have it’s very own paragraph, but since we’re trying to keep this shortish… The end of summer had us collecting the last of the summer tomatoes at Smith Berry Barn, making big batches of Spaghetti Sauce and Jam to freeze. Hard to believe, but we made it through most of Summer before we made our first trek to the [Columbia River] GORGE. One trip and we were hooked, 4 straight weekends and we checked one waterfall hike off after the next… [Note: 3] taking us right into Fall.


Autumn brought lots of change – Olivia started school at a wonderful Waldorf-inspired preschool where she goes 3 days a week 9-12PM. The school backs up to a private forest where, rain or shine, the most kind and gentle teachers lead the play-based class outside all day on Wednesday and half days on Monday/Friday. Via’s favorite parts of school are: “Forest Day, Baking Bread Day, and Playing with silks in the classroom.” Since it’s a co-op, Dan and I get to volunteer quite a bit both in the classroom and taking on other various tasks to help the school run. Townes is also throughly enjoying the alone time with mama at home! We made our first trip back to Dallas in October spanning our 5 year wedding anniversary and Dan’s birthday – spent lots of time with friends, cousins and family, filled our bellies with BBQ and Tex-Mex and revisited our old stomping grounds. When we returned to Portland, fall was in full swing… the leaves changing to the most glorious shades of gold and crimson. The kids and I spent lots of time enjoying the last rain-free days, visiting u-cut pumpkin patches and Fall festivals and perfecting our costumes: [Olivia: Puff the Magic Dragon, Townes: Knight, Or if you ask Olivia, “The Autumn Mist”]. As the rain returned, our weekends shifted back to productivity. Yard work and Thanksgiving prep filled our weekends… maybe a little bit of ping pong! We were subjects for a “documentary style” photo shoot with a good friend and amazing photographer Lauren Allen. She captured “a day in our life” in the most artistically shot portrayal of the mundanity of a typical Saturday in the Pittman family. If you have an extra 16 minutes and love art and… US – watch it! It brings tears to my eyes every.single.time. and is truly something I will treasure forever.  [Note:4] Find link to the video and images on her blog below! Gramma G made a Portland trip and got to see the “rainy season” in full swing. We hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for almost every single one of our Portland friends! 27 total : 13 kids, 14 adults and 1 dog! Truly a wonderful party; we felt super blessed to celebrate the holiday with SO many great people. Olivia and Townes are lucky to have lots of new friends who are all very close in age and I’m so lucky to call their mamas “my tribe.”


As long as are the Summer days, are the Winter nights. Y’all, I am not kidding you when I say that some “days” it is quite literally DARK at 4:00PM. Although the rumors are true, there are very long stretches of time when we don’t see the Sun, we LOVE the expression of seasons and the rhythm they provide. We spend lots of our “home days” in front of the fire crafting, reading books, playing blocks, or trucks or trains. Both kids love to help me cook and we get adventurous with our lunches: Attempting things like coconut curry shrimp and “ZOODLES” with Spaghetti Sauce My lumberjack of a husband chopped down his first Christmas tree and lugged it through the forest. This sparked a wonderful family tradition and kicked off the Advent season. Only in Portland can you take your kids to visit Hipster Santa: man bun, thick rimmed glasses, and tattoos. Totally legit Santa. Olivia throughly enjoyed the experience, asking “Santa in regular clothes” for the following 3 things: 1) a dog 2) a clothesline and clothespins and 3) “silks”. Can you tell she’s at a Waldorf preschool? Proud parent moment when your kid asks Santa for a homesteading supplies… let me tell you. Other fun winter activities included a chilly walk and train ride through the Oregon Zoo’s “Zoo lights” display and watching the “Christmas Ships” on the Willamette (That’s will-LAM-ette -ed.). We have loved having Mamaw in town for Christmas as well as lots of Family Gorham for New Years Eve!

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Meg –  trying to keep a healthy, home-cooked, Pinterest-worthy meals on the table, the laundry put away before it’s time to do it again and the floors from getting too crusty. Enjoying exploring a new city, planning fun, family-friendly adventures and making home-improvement to-do lists. Washing my hair WAY less than ideal, practicing peaceful parenting, trying to live in the moment. Frequently finding myself getting dirty with the kids – hands in the mud, face in the rain and feet stomping the puddles. Favorite activities lately: crafting and “doing projects” with Olivia, DIY home improvements and hiking.


Dan – [Written by Dan] Computers: I spent most of the year exposing Intel’s  CPU features in higher-level languages in the context of my expertise: The data center.  What does this mean?  Computing is an endless pile of abstractions, and my job is to bump some of the stuff up a few levels. Home: Lots of yard work and home improvement odds-and-ends.  I bought my first lawnmower, a reel mower, and spent many weekends trying to maintain the natural beauty of the little piece of PNW forest we’ve taken responsibility for.  Family: It’s been a year.  We moved, changed jobs, experienced summer with no A/C, and hiked a cumulative of probably 100 miles of Oregon forest.  The highlights would have to be: The inspiring 5 miles we did on the PCT, an afternoon spent in a hammock with Olivia on a cool summer day, and late summer nights in the back yard with new friends.


Olivia – “Via” to her friends, has become the expert puddle hunter. You can find her on the forest floor making fairy houses, baking a birthday cake in her play kitchen, “making a party” or putting on a ballet. Loves her new Portland besties and playdates at the Berry Picking Farm, splashing in the creek during the Summer months, and exploring downtown Portland via the streetcar. Looks forwards to “Dayda dates,” and adventures to “THE GORGE!” Blossoming at school, she has mastered the “balancing log,” writing her name, and baking bread. Will talk to anyone who will listen and tells the best stories! Has an opinion about what she wants to wear and as long as it’s “soft pants” and the tags aren’t too scratchy, she’s pretty happy. Favorite Color: Red. Favorite Food: “Hot Cheese” and “Noodle Soup” (AKA Pho from Tutu’s Food Truck AKA Noy Viet Lao)


Townes – Snuggle master, milk-man of few words, loves his mama and Dayda. Copies everything his big sister does, climbing, jumping and running with no fear! Loves chicken tacos, yogurt and popcorn. Favorite daytime activities include: taking his vitamins, chasing his sister, dancing to music (basically turning in a circle like a ballerinO, head turn and everything) . At 19 months, still not a huge fan of the car seat, sleeping in his bed or dropping big sis off at school. Loves to be worn in the carrier, snuggled close to mama, observing the world as it goes by. Still REALLY working on growing some hair but we secretly love that he still looks so much like our baby boy. Makes the sweetest little scrunch face when he smiles and knows exactly what to do when mom wants to snap a picture

That pretty much wraps it up, and since I’m being pressured to just finish the darn thing… We wish you all a very [belated] Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Much Love and Peace,

Megan (And Dan, ed., Olivia and Townes)


More Pictures Here:  @danielscottt_ and Here:  @MMOGUU

Catch up with us Here: and Here:


[Note: 1] The city of Portland is divided into 4 quadrants (an additional 5th if you count NoPo)… NorthWest, NorthEast, SouthEast, SouthWest.

[Note: 2] The “future park site” across the street from our new house is what the City of Portland is referring to as a “natural playground” – a combination of logs, trees, sand pit (with “the Diggers” as our kids have dubbed it) and will-be traditional play equipment.

[Note: 3] Bridal Veil Falls, Wachlella Falls, Eagle Creek to Punch Bowl falls, Dry Creek Falls via the PCT

[Note: 4] Video , Lauren Allen Photography Blog Post PART 1, PART 2, PART 3


Family P: Pittman Family Christmas Newsletter 2014

Here we go again! Time to reflect on the last year… a year that flew by in the blink of an eye.  Admittedly crazier than the last, we have lots to update y’all on this year.  Before I launch in to the annual Family P recap, I’d like to thank YOU.  Simply, for loving us.  We are so very thankful for all of our friends and family who have supported us, celebrated with us, cared for us and been part of our journey through life.  Although this “newsletter” is mostly for us – for our records and memories – We’d like to invite you to share in our reflection, celebration and thanks for the last year!


[JANUARY] Another new year rang in sunny Southern California. Where, somewhere along the way, we got the crazy idea to list our house for sale (thanks “Zestimate”!) So, upon arriving home, we met with a realtor, made some minor repairs and fixes, patched and painted, and put our “little yellow house” on the market. Not entirely sure what we were thinking (I was 6 months pregnant at the time!)  but had complete confidence that everything would work out. Within 48 hours, we had 6 offers… in less than two weeks we were under contract and in need of a plan! Luckily, we negotiated a 30 day rental agreement with the buyer, allowing us a few weeks to house hunt… and hunt we did. Packing and house hunting.  Two things that are NOT particularly fun for a toddler… or a pregnant gal, for that matter. [FEBRUARY] What is fun for a toddler?  Scribbles and Dribbles!  A Christmas gift from Papa G – Olivia and I joined a  weekly toddler art class  at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.  With a move on the horizon, we decided to host a very low-key 2nd birthday party for Olivia at The Palaestra (toddler open gym). We also made the trek to Salt Lake City, UT to celebrate one of my childhood best friend’s marriage.  Luckily Baby Pittman traveled safely tucked in mama’s belly and Olivia got to enjoy some snow play. {MARCH} Our rental term ended, we collected keys to our new home, and in the same weekend we packed up and moved across town. We traded our urban, somewhat hip, somewhat ‘hood, for an excellent elementary school, great neighbors, and more square footage. Uncle Chip came for a long visit and to help a very pregnant mama unpack and entertain our terrific toddler. [APRIL] Surprisingly still pregnant, Gramma G’s “baby P #2 arrival trip” came and went… at 40 weeks we were all anxious for the little guy to make his big arrival. Townes Randall Pittman was born, just one week late, April 17th 10:29AM, 7 pounds 4 ounces 19 3/4 inches.  More  about his big arrival earth side Here  [MAY]  Settling in as a family of four, we spent most weekends close to home. working on the house and adventuring in our new neighborhood. I gained confidence in my new role as “mom of two” and braved the park, zoo, and museum. (Thanks to many baby wearing devices, Daniel Tiger on the iPad, and lots of coffee.) Memaw and Pa made the trip out to Dallas to meet their newest great grand baby.  [JUNE] The beginning of summer brought lots of time spent outdoors. Weekend adventures in Moss Park, patio-dining at our fav local spots, and neighborhood walks. Olivia continued at Emler Swim School – graduating to Advanced Water Babies, swimming 7 feet and holding her breath for 10 seconds! [JULY] One of the highlights of Olivia’s summer – seeing “the Booms” on Fourth of July! Close seconds, weekly swim dates at Gramma B’s with cousins and story-time at Church of the Incarnation. Lots of time spent staying cool – splash pads, sprinklers, and play dates. [AUGUST] The warmest month of the year took us on vacation with Family Gorham. Hipster San Antonio hot spots, river-walkin’ wearing babies, floating the river, IPAs in hand, we had a blast! Uncle Chip moved in for the month and quickly became Olivia’s BFF.  [SEPTEMBER] Emerging from the 6-month fog, Townes graduated  from newborn “blob” to “bouncing” baby – sitting up, smiling, and giggling. Olivia started at Ascension Day School, two days a week, giving Townes and I some one-on-one time. Gramma G made her annual “Fall” trip, complete with trek to Canton, the state fair and visit to the pumpkin village at the Dallas Arboretum. [OCTOBER] Welcomed Fall with a family weekend spent hiking in Beaver’s Creek, Oklahoma with Mawaw, The Rakowska & Kudrna Families. Papa G made a weekend “triangle trip” to Dallas to visit and indulged us in lots of kid-friendly dining and adventure. Adamant about her costume this year, Olivia trick or treated as a doctor, complete with little brother in tow – “Mr. Bones” AKA The X-Ray.  [NOVEMBER] Spent a few weeks in CA for the Thanksgiving holiday, Enjoyed the wonderful So Cal weather, slack-lining at the beach,  cruising the harbor, and of course a few days at Disneyland! We said adios to Townes precious gummy smile when he cut his first tooth. With lots of coaching, Townes officially mastered the art of crawling! [DECEMBER]  Daniel left his job at VMware to pursue a new opportunity in the Pacific Northwest. MEANING…In the first few weeks of the new year, Family P will be relocating to Portland, Oregon!  We couldn’t be more excited for new adventures in Stumptown… in fact, we heard Santa’s elves mention that some new camping gear might be making it’s way down our chimney.  We’re incredibly thankful for the friends we’ve done life with here in Dallas, and will be sad to move away from our support system but excited to start the next chapter.

And what you’ve really been waiting for…. photo recap.


Jan 2014 Disneyland

Disneyland Jan 2014

Jan 2014 Disneyland

Olivia's Second Birthday Party Feb 2014

Feb 2014 Olivia’s 2nd  Birthday Party

Packing Up the Sycamore House March 2014

March 2014 Packing Up the Sycamore House

March 2014 Moss Haven House

March 2014 Moss Haven House

April 2014 Welcome Baby Townes!

April 2014 Welcome Baby Townes!

April 2014 - Dallas Arboretum

April 2014 – Dallas Arboretum

May 2014 Brunch with Gramma G

May 2014 Brunch with Gramma G

May 2014 Olivia & Townes

May 2014 Olivia & Townes

May 2014 Olivia & Townes

May 2014 Olivia & Townes

June 2014 Father's Day

June 2014 Father’s Day

June 2014 - Olivia & Townes

June 2014 – Olivia & Townes

July 2014 Lake Highlands Fourth of July Parade

July 2014 Lake Highlands Fourth of July Parade

July 2014 Olivia & Dan

July 2014 Olivia & Dan

July 2014 - Post Dallas Zoo Naps

July 2014 Blueberry Picking

July 2014 Blueberry Picking

August 2014 San Antonio

August 2014 San Antonio

August 2014

August 2014

September 2014 Townes

September 2014 Townes

Sept 2014 Olivia's First Day of School

Sept 2014 Olivia’s First Day of School

Oct 2014 Hiking in Beaver's Creek Nat'l Park

Oct 2014 Hiking in Beaver’s Creek Nat’l Park

Oct 2014

Oct 2014

Oct 2014 Townes

Oct 2014 Townes

Oct 2014 Dr. Olivia

Oct 2014 Dr. Olivia

November Thanksgiving in CA

November Thanksgiving in CA

Nov 2014

Nov 2014

Dec 2014 Polar Express Grapevine

Dec 2014 Polar Express Grapevine

Townes – Sweetest little fella. Snuggle-master. Loves being worn. Squawks like a parrot. Has the most precious “slow-build” cry face you’ve ever seen, although it’s rare we get to see it. Nothing makes him giggle like his big sister can. Captivated by his “dayda’s” piano and guitar playing skills. Definitely learning to hold his own with his big sister who he is incredibly patient with.  Not a fan of riding in his carseat and in the early stages of “I just want to get down!” Favorite things to play with include: keys, faces, leaves and sticks (definitely not toys.) The bathtub can turn any amount of crankiness around so sometimes we spend the bulk of “the witching hour” there.


Olivia – Terrific Two. Olivia is our little string bean skinny mini with a bigger personality than any toddler I know. She’s as sassy as she is smart making some days quite challenging. She’s incredibly perceptive and understands so much more than we give her credit for.  Imaginary play frequently finds us coaching swimming lessons in the bathtub, feeding pretend babies or baking a “birthday (cake)”. Loves to get messy, wether it’s dirt, sand, or “hot cheese” (AKA Mac n Cheese).  Favorite activities include: riding her trike to the “chickens” at the elementary school, going to the “jump jump” open gym and Dayda dates to Taco Joint and “the music store” (AKA Guitar Center). Contact:


Dan –  Tacos, Beer and computer-ing. Pretty much still accurately describes this guy. One of our favorite pasttimes is enjoying dining out at one of the few kid-friendly spots in Dallas, The Lot or Chicken Scratch.  Nothing better than enjoying local craft beer and watching kiddos play in a giant sandbox! Bought his first pair of Chacos – specifically for spring adventures in the nature preserve across the street from our house.  Adopted “Brother Gorham’s” team (Chelsea), and took up an interest in British Premiere League soccer. Spends the little free time that he has digging deeper into computer science and perfecting his slow brewed cup of coffee. Contact: // Twitter @danielscottt


Meg – Chasing toddler, wearing baby. Most mornings are spent out of the house – even if it takes 3+ hours to get everyone out of PJs and in to the car. Surviving on  “good” coffee (thanks to Dan who ensures that I’m caffeinated) and dry shampoo. Managing the family calendar, weekly meal planing and never ending piles of laundry. Escaping once in a blue moon for yoga,  pinterest and blogging. Planning playdates and kid crafts and practicing the art of the “bento box”.  Co sleeping, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, natural remedies… Gone back to my CA roots and become just a little bit of a hippie. Trying to live in the moment and enjoy staying home with my kiddos while they’re small. Contact: // Instagram @mmoguu


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)

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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

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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




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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!”

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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.



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: First Birthday Party

When you’re born on Valentine’s Day – it’s only natural to have your first birthday party themed to match. I’ll admit – between my mom and mother-in-law we went a little overboard with the decorations (Especially the balloons – or “BAHHHs” as Olivia likes to call them).

Here are a few of my favorite shots (captured by the very talented Zach Freeman, a friend of Auntie B’s from TCU. Link to his website below)

Olivia and a “BAHHHH”

Great Grandparents and Great Great Granny

Enjoying Some Blueberries


Opening Presents


“All Done”

Friends and Family

Zach Freeman Photography 

We feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to celebrate with such amazing Friends and Family! So thankful that Olivia will be able to look back as see that all of her Grandparents, Great-Grandparents AND Great-Great Granny were able to come and celebrate with her. Thank you all so much for helping us celebrate her first year (and our first as parents!)

Much Love,

Momma Meg

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