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: 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.


Family P: Weekend REcap

Even as a stay-at-home Momma, I look forward to the weekends. Everything just seems better when Daddy is home; Liv and I are both happier. We’re really very lucky that Daniel + I enjoy our work as much as we do. Dan is finally enjoying the type of work he’s doing – most days his job is equally fulfilling as it is challenging. I obviously LOVE staying home and can’t imagine what life would be like if I’d returned to work after Olivia was born. Still, sometimes M-F seems like an eternity in comparison to the weekend blur.

This past weekend we actually got to sleep in a little bit. And by “both” I mean… He slept in on Saturday and I got up with the baby and on Sunday we swapped. Also – by “slept-in” I mean… 8:30AM. Mostly, I’m a morning person and my little 5AM alarm clock (A tiny kicking and giggling, co-sleeper) usually   doesn’t bother me at all… HOWEVER, lately, with the pitch black mornings… I’ve not been as happy to hop out of bed that early. On Saturday we started the day with Beer Biscuits + Bacon… always a good way to kick off the weekend. Olivia took a good long nap. Momma got an uninterrupted shower! We enjoyed a late lunch with Uncle Dallas at Stackhouse Burgers (Mentioned Here) If you live in the East Dallas area, I highly recommend giving it a try. Wonderful burgers (in my opinion, much better than Twisted Root), great salads, specials and sides. Definitely our go-to neighborhood joint. We enjoy the shaded patio, friendly staff and delicious food at least 2-3x a month. (Liv enjoyed the Avocado!)

Saturday afternoon Liv and I played on the floor of Daniel’s new office while he worked for a few hours then we spent a quiet night at home.

Sunday after church we made the trek out to Flower Mound to play at the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch – Definitely glad we checked it out but will probably stick to a quiet(er) day at the arboretum next year. Closer, less crowded and 100% FREE for us as pass holders.


As uneventful as they are, our weekends lately are pretty much perfect.

Momma Meg Loves: The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

At about 6 months 6 Weeks pregnant, Daniel and I decided that I would NOT be returning to work after Olivia was born . We weren’t really sure how we were going to make it work… just that we both agreed that it was a) important for me to stay home with our new babe and b) that my measly little salary would barely cover quality childcare and therefore be no more practical than staying home and cutting costs. So here I am… full-time, stay-at-home momma… lookin’ for cheap… or better yet, FREE, things to do.

I’m considering starting a summer series on baby-friendly adventures under $10/day. Consider this the first edition.

Image from Here

When my mom was here after Olivia was born (around 5 weeks) she bought me an annual pass to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens – Become a Member Here. Our family pass  was $109 and includes admission for 6 individuals, not living under the same roof, for one year, free parking, discounted concert tickets for Chihuly Nights concert series, various discounts at the gift shops, restaurants, and local nurseries. Liv and I have easily been two dozen times in the past 4 months. She LOVES being outside (mentioned here) so most of the time we just pack a picnic and park ourselves on a blanket next to the Koi pond or water walls and just relax. (I’m that lucky one that has the baby who will happily lay still and thoughtfully gaze up at the trees or sky #naturebaby) Tickets for adults are $15.00, so after 8 visits, the family pass has paid for itself. With the exception of the past month (it’s been unbearably hot to go during the day) the arboretum has been my go-to, get-out-of-the-house, activity. At an average of 3 visits a month, each trip would cost $3.02.

At The Arboretum with Uncle Chippy + Gramma G at 7 Weeks Old

Watching the Koi Fish at the Arboretum at 3 months old

This year, May through October, the Dallas Arboretum is hosting the Chihuly exhibit: a collection of large hand-blown glass installations. Like nothing I’ve ever seen, Chihuly is definitely worth checking out…. And, since it’s been SO hot during the day, I recommend checking out the exhibit during Chihuly Nights (Either during one of the summer concerts Tues/Thurs nights or on Wednesday nights when the exhibit is beautifully lit and the heat isn’t quite as intense)

Image from Here

There are also 50+ affiliated gardens all over the country to which we can visit for FREE! Hopefully planning to check out the Los Angeles Arboretum or the South Coast Botanic Garden in Long Beach while we’re in California next month!