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 ūüôā

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

Family P: Give Thanks

A few more Thanksgivings from the Jar:

Today I am Thankful for… Being able to stay-at-home with Olivia

Today I am Thankful for…Being able to breastfeed with no complications

Today I am Thankful for… Clean Sheets and our BIG comfortable bed.

Today I am Thankful for… Hot Coffee.

Today I (Daniel) am thankful for…¬†My Tiny Pliny

Featured Image Here‘p0

Mom Life: Baby Led Weaning

I first came across the concept of Baby Led Weaning when I was about 17 weeks pregnant… initially REALLY loved the idea of integrating normal healthy adult foods (modified in texture/spice content) around 6 months instead of using purees. I pulled the following blurb on Baby Led Weaning from Wiki:

Baby Led Weaning

Baby-led weaning¬†(often also referred to as¬†BLW) is a method of adding complementary foods to a baby’s diet of breast milk. Baby-led weaning allows babies to control their solid food consumption by “self-feeding” from the very beginning of their experiences with food. The term¬†weaning¬†should not be taken to imply giving up breast milk, but simply the introduction of foods other than breastmilk.

Infants¬†are offered a range of foods to provide a¬†balanced diet¬†from around 6 months. They often begin by picking up and¬†licking¬†the food, before progressing to eating. Babies typically begin self feeding around 6 months, although some will reach for food as early as 5 months and some will wait until 7 or 8. The intention of this process is that it is tailored to suit each particular baby and their personal development. The 6 month guideline provided by the¬†World Health Organization¬†is based on research indicating the¬†internal digestive system¬†matures over the period 4‚Äď6 months. It seems reasonable to posit that the¬†gut¬†matures in tandem with the baby’s external faculties to self feed.”¬†

We first attempted oat + rice cereal about 2.5 weeks ago, progressed to pureed veggies when Olivia seemed uninterested in the taste/texture, still uninterested… even irritated when we try and get a spoonful anywhere near her mouth, we decided to call our pediatrician for advice. She suggested giving solids a rest and making another attempt after a a few days/week. I think I’ve mentioned that my initial instinct told me that Olivia wasn’t ready even 2 weeks ago but I caved to the pressure to adhere to the 4-6 month standard and we gave it ago. After hearing that our pediatrician had no real concerns about waiting until 9 months or even a year I’m feeling more comfortable and confident in our delayed start.¬†

Considering our recent failed attempts to feed Olivia solid foods – we’ve decided to take a few weeks off from purees + cereals in favor of a modified BLW method. Allowing her to gnaw on small pieces of food in her high chair while we’re eating breakfast/lunch/dinner. Still adhering to the 3-5 day rule and avoiding all highly allergenic foods.

My only concern with BLW was the likelyhood of Olivia having difficulty swallowing or even choking while feeding herself. Although I’ll still watch her like a hawk while she’s eating¬† exploring, everything I’ve read says that BLW’d babies actually choke LESS than babies who are fed purees with a spoon. I really love the idea of letting Olivia control how much she eats – at what pace, etc.¬†


Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food

Rapley Weaning

Featured Image Here


Mom Life: My Breast Feeding Story

In celebration of World Breast Feeding Week¬†¬†I thought I would share my story here. I hope you find it encouraging and uplifting…¬†

I was determined to breast feed from the moment I got pregnant. In fact, at my first prenatal appointment, my OB-GYN said something along the lines of “Are you planning on breast feeding? Because your body definitely is!” I was even more than determined. I was downright excited. I never considered any alternative. It was the one thing I didn’t need to do any research on… I didn’t need statistics to tell me what I already instinctively knew. So I’m going to completely skip the preachy part that these stories always tend to include and skip right to the personal stuff.¬†

Olivia nursed on the delivery table just moments after being born. She latched on with no trouble whatsoever. In fact, she was quite literally attached to my breast for 24 hours. I’m sure this is true with most infants in the first few days of life. Looking back, I’m not sure how I blocked out the searing pain of nursing a baby for 24 hours STRAIGHT. I mean… she literally wanted to nurse every 15-30 min. I guess I was too high on a more intense love than I’d ever felt… Finally, on the second night, with nipples that were cracked and bleeding, I called the nurse desperate for suggestions. Since obviously Olivia wasn’t actually getting anything other than¬†colostrum, she suggested that¬†I let her suck on my pinkie finger for comfort. I HAD NO IDEA HOW STRONG AN INFANT COULD SUCK! I was so shocked that I woke Daniel up and made him stick his pinkie in her mouth just so he could understand. I scheduled time with the lactation consultant the next day to make sure that a poor latch wasn’t causing the pain. Nope. Her latch was great. And the pain – totally normal. And it makes sense that your nipples would need an adjustment period. More than painful, it’s frustrating. And the first few weeks definitely didn’t get much better in our case. I winced when Olivia would start crying in the middle of the night for a feeding… When you’re deliriously tired and incredibly sore down there… there’s nothing wonderful about rolling over (we were co sleeping at the time) and letting a little monster latch on with the strength of a pirana.¬†Enough about the pain, I don’t think anyone can adequately express it.

Around 3 weeks, the pain tapered and my milk supply began to adjust to Olivia’s demand. ¬†Like a light switched, I started to really enjoy nursing. More than enjoy it… I loved it. Just as much as I thought I would. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and emotion every time I nursed. Even the middle-of-the-night feedings, I enjoyed. Nursing was, and still is, our most special bonding time. I make a point to try and keep the TV and other distractions off – which was more difficult during the first few weeks when nursing was basically ALL we did – but I really cherish the time now. I’m already trying to emotionally prepare myself for the day when Olivia doesn’t want to nurse anymore.

I read a few different books while I was pregnant about what to expect when nursing a newborn. Most sources said to expect about 10-15 minutes on each side. Quickly I learned that Olivia was a remarkably fast eater! I obsessively timed each feeding (Using the Total Baby iPhone App – Mentioned Here) for the first 5 WEEKS! Olivia never ate for longer than 10 minutes on a side – More often 6-7 min on the first side, then 3-4 min on the second side. By 3 months, she was eating in under 10 minutes total – usually only on one side. And thus started my obsession with my milk supply. When Olivia began eating on only one side, I began pumping (after almost every feeding) on the opposite side. Obviously this created an over supply problem leaving me with 100+ ounces of frozen breast milk. As you can imagine, pumping after every feeding got old REALLY quick. And… being totally lopsided was especially inconvenient when we were out and about. So I stopped pumping as frequently… then pretty much stopped pumping all together (With the exception of 1x in the morning to empty overnight excess). Naturally, my body adjusted to what it was sensing was a lower demand level. Psychologically, I knew that this would happen… but I still panicked that my supply would “dry up.” And when I say panicked… I mean stressed day and night, EVERY DAY for almost 2 months. Was she getting enough? Was she really a fast eater or was I not producing enough for her to nurse as long as other babies? So a friend, after listening patiently for so many hours, shared an article on things I could do to boost my supply. And I tried them ALL. Mother’s Milk Tea, Fenugreek, Oatmeal, Beer…. you name it, I tried it. All of which had some small effect. Almost 6 months of successful nursing and I STILL worry about my supply.

It makes me incredibly sad to think about the number of women who are equally committed to nursing but have REAL issues – supply, latching, jobs with unaccommodating bosses etc. I feel like women should be encouraged.. more than that…. supported (financial and emotional) with breast feeding. It isn’t easy at first, but there are several completely FREE resources available. ¬†Online forums and message boards as well as local branches of LLL make finding support and information easy.¬†In a culture that has become obsessed with convenience – I’ve found breast feeding to be a wonderful reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment.¬†I hadn’t given much thought to my opinions on extended breast feeding pre-baby. I’ve come to feel very strongly about letting Olivia decide when she’s ready to wean. I have no qualms with the appropriateness of nursing a “toddler” ¬†and plan to nurse as long as possible.¬†

That being said… our breast feeding journey is nowhere close to over.¬†


Some of my nursing must-haves

Mother’s Milk Tea

Coupon Here

Aiden + Anais Muslin Blankets

I found that these are just as easy and lighter weight to cover-up while nursing in public.

Buy Here $49.95


Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads

These are an awesome, more eco-friendly alternative to disposable nursing pads.

Buy Here $29.99 Multi Pack     GIVEAWAY Here

GlamourMom Nursing Tank

By far, the best nursing tanks out there, pricey, but worth it.

Buy Here $59.00

 Some other great breast feeding stories over here:

world breastfeeding week blog round-up

Featured Image Here