Family P: First Edition – Pittman Family Christmas Newsletter

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The reality is… we’ve had a relatively (and wonderfully) quiet year. But here goes… The Pittman Family Christmas Newsletter: First Edition

 [JANUARY] Kicked off the new year in Orange County with Family Gorham with a fun new tradition… BINGO + BEER – Not the most glamorous of celebrations but certainly the most fun you can have while your almost 1-year old is snoozing in the next room. Celebrated Daniel’s Great Grandpa’s life in DeLeon, Texas with family at the end of the month. [FEBRUARY] Olivia turned 1! We celebrated our little Valentine’s first birthday at our home, complete with family and friends, a plethora of pretty pink hearts and a “smash” cake. [MARCH] Spring brought the beginning of toddler-hood as Olivia started walking at around 13 months old. We found a new appreciation for the beginning of park season and lots of time spent at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. [APRIL] Showers and storms had us spending lots of indoor time at the Dallas World Aquarium. Officially kicked Dan out of his home office, freeing up some space for Olivia’s new playroom. Freshly painted and spruced-up, this multi-functional room also serves as our music room and landing spot for junk mail, catalogs and coupons.  [MAY] Olivia’s Baby Dedication at our Church (Fellowship White Rock) fell on Mother’s Day weekend allowing us to spend the special day with our parents. Good friends, Justin and Cassie came to visit, indulging us in showing off Big D. [JUNE] Enjoyed all kinds of wonderful nature-centric activities during an early summer vacation with Family Gorham in Sedona, AZ. Our littlest fish started her first session of swim lessons at Emler Swim School. [JULY] Kicked-off summer with a 4th of July Bash at home welcoming the Texas heat. Rising temps found us frequenting the splash pad at Klyde Warren Park, enjoying popsicles in the backyard and dining al fresco at Chicken Scratch. [AUGUST] was HOT. HOT. HOT. We became the proud owners of a brand new A/C unit. Also, charter members of the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science, officially the best place to entertain a toddler indoors in Dallas. Ended the summer with an escape from the heat to beautiful sunny southern California to visit Gramma G and Papa. Olivia enjoyed her first trip to Disneyland and we shared some BIG news with the family. [SEPTEMBER] Announced to family and friends that we’re expecting Baby P #2 in April. First look sonograms and doctors appointments reveal a healthy and wiggly little nugget. Welcomed the opening of the Rory Meyer’s Children’s garden with frequent visits.[OCTOBER] Celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary and Daniel turned the big 3-0. Dressed as Ladybug girl, Olivia enjoyed trick-or-treating on Swiss Ave for the first time. [NOVEMBER] Enjoyed the cooling temps and change of seasons with frequent trips to the Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum. Revealed the gender of our newest little Pittman with friends and family – It’s a BOY! Then finally reclaiming energy lost during my first trimester, we hosted Thanksgiving for 9. [DECEMBER] Preparing our hearts and home for Christmas. Thanking God for a wonderful, mostly-calm year. Feeling blessed with a happy healthy and growing family.

Stone Brewery, Escondido, CA - January 2013

Stone Brewery, Escondido, CA – January 2013

Olivia's First Birthday Party - February 2013

Olivia’s First Birthday Party – February 2013

Walking - March 2013

Walking – March 2013

New Playroom - April 2013

New Playroom – April 2013

Klyde Warren Park - May 2013

Klyde Warren Park – May 2013

Sedona, AZ - June 2013

Sedona, AZ – June 2013

4th of July - July 2013

4th of July – July 2013

Dana Point, CA - August 2013

Dana Point, CA – August 2013

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Rory Meyer’s Children’s Garden – September 2013

Halloween - October 2013

Halloween – October 2013

Dallas Arboretum - November 2013

Dallas Arboretum – November 2013

White Rock Lake - December 2013

White Rock Lake – December 2013

Dan – Computerist computering computer code at a computer company. Loves being ‘dayda’, collecting (but never actually reading) reading material, and consuming a healthy amount of beer and coffee.  Also tacos. Contact: danielscottt@gmail.com // dpitt.me

Meg – Toddler chaser. Bun in the oven. Serial Membership Addict: Dallas Zoo, Arboretum, Perot Museum, State Parks, etc. Mastered the art of salsa and taco preparation. Relies heavily on Dry Shampoo, yoga pants and nap time. Contact: megan.gorham@gmail.com // megsmileu.com

Via – Goof ball. Chatter-Box. Mac & Cheese connoisseur. Car-napper. Calliou lover. Enjoys playing dress-up, being outside and trolling “the durch” (our 12-year old black lab – not pictured,) Pending Big Sister!

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

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Family P: Give Thanks

A few Thanksgivings from the Jar:

Today I am thankful forA supportive husband who will wake up with the baby when I have a migraine. Feed her Bananas. Change her poopy diaper and keep her happy until I roll out of bed.

Today I am thankful forthe happiest, most easy-going baby in the world. Who is easily entertained and independent but still loves to snuggle.

Today I am thankful formy sisters – who are truly my best friends – who accept and love me for who I am and will always be there when I need them.

Today I (Daniel) am Thankful for… Family Lunches at Home

Today We are thankful for… Baby Liv Kisses, sloppy and wet, Love Bites included. Because they are the best.

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Family P: Halloween Happenings

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I guess, I get that from my Dad. He always made sure that Halloween was extra special for us growing up. We ALWAYS carved pumpkins together as a family in the garage, usually with Jimmy Buffet or George Straight tunes playing in the background. When our carved masterpieces were complete, we’d line up our pumpkins, have a grand lighting ceremony then admire our work from the street. Even through college, my siblings and I all continued to participate in this tradition – sometimes with friends or love interests in tow. When we were little(er), on Halloween night, my Dad would set up “Jack,” the giant (actually larger than life) stuffed gorilla, in the study window and playa creepy tunes through the intercom system to spook the trick-or-treaters. My family has definitely always been big on traditions so Dan and I are having a blast creating some new ones with Olivia’s firsts.

Needless to say… October is definitely my favorite month of the year. Maybe it’s the predictably beautiful weather (both here in Dallas and in SoCal)… or Pumpkin Spice Lattes, boots + sweaters… carving pumpkins, the texas state fair… Dan’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, halloween… it’s always a pretty eventful month in our house.

This year we celebrated our 2nd Anniversary (10/10/10) with a celebratory dinner at Sissy’s Southern Kitchen – followed by a night at the Texas State Fair. Even got to see Big Tex before tragedy struck. We’ve made several trips to the arboretum, a trip to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch, and enjoyed the gorgeous October weather – granted it’s been ALL over the place this year… 80s one day, 50s the next.

This past weekend, we had a bunch of friends over (for a VERY last-minute-non-party) to carve a few pumpkins, enjoy some festive food and watch a scary movie. I don’t know how it happens, but it seems that WAY too much time goes between getting our big(ger) group of friends together. (Thank You Brian Kress for pointing that out!) It got me thinking, I always blame our anti-social tendencies on the baby &/or tight budget – but in reality it’s just plain difficult to get everyone’s schedules and availability aligned. Dan and I debated for weeks on wether or not to throw a Halloween “party.” Then, just a few days prior – feeling slightly bummed that I STILL hadn’t organized anything… We decided, What the Heck! – NOBODY CARES if our yard is a mess, or our house isn’t totally spotless clean… What really matters is just getting together with good people… catching up, sharing a meal… and having a little fun!

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Unfortunately, Daniel had to travel for work again this week and he won’t be home in time for trick-or-treating. Liv and I may make a spin around the block (Swiss Ave. is a pretty happenin’ place on Halloween) or we may call it an early night… just thankful that Halloween becomes a 2 week ordeal when you have kiddos… and we’ve already celebrated in lots of festive ways!

Ten MORE Things I love about October (And Fall in general)

1. Finally feeling legitimate about wearing sweaters + boots

2. Pumpkin Spiced Lattes + Pumpkin Bread

3. Wearing Daniel’s Flannels

4. Carving Pumpkins

5. Using the seat warmer in my car

6. Slippers, Sweatpants + Hoodies

7. Soup + Cornbread

8. Enjoying the crisp cool air outside.

9. Reminiscing while looking through our wedding “album”

10. Darker, earlier evenings… makes me feel like I’m staying up REALLY late.

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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.

Shout Out: Deena Riley Photography

A few months ago, we met up with Deena Riley to have some quick pictures done at sunset. She met us at The Filter Building at White Rock Lake – the perfect backdrop for this shoot. Deena photographed our sweet baby when she was just 12 days old in our home. We considered a few different options when we were looking for someone to take Olivia’s newborn portraits. Honestly, price was a huge consideration for us. I found packages ranging from $125 to $1500. Working with a tight budget – we wanted a package to include prints + digital negatives and didn’t want to compromise on talent! Overall, we were hugely satisfied with her friendliness and professionalism as well as the amazing quality of her work. She ran a contest earlier in the spring that allowed us to purchase a sunset shoot at an awesome discounted rate! We were thrilled to have the opportunity to take advantage of this package – Below are some of my favorite shots.

* Note: Olivia (at 4 months) was being a little stinker and WOULD NOT smile. Probably confused as to why she wasn’t in the bath at sunset.

Definitely check out Deena’s website next time you’re looking for a family photographer! 

Reflections: Live the Life You’ve Imagined

We all have things we say we’re going to do but know we’ll never get around to. When I was pregnant, I had high hopes for having more time to “DO” once I was a full-time stay at home momma. I even dreamed up a list of “Post Peanut Projects” that I hoped to accomplish in the first year. Who knew it would be so difficult balancing fun + entertaining activities for the baby with productivity + projects. No longer can I clean the entire house in one day. Liv will not allow it. She’ll sit patiently or hang in the exersaucer while I clean one room… maybe two. Never the entire house. I’m slowly figuring out how to “stay on top of it” and wiggle in one project at a time. I’m reminded of a quote that I first came across when reading, Mark Albion’s “Making a Life, Making a Living” in college.

The first step is to stop doing what is making (you) unhappy. Next (you) have to act on (your) desire for change. – Mark Albion

In no way am I unhappy. In fact, mommy-hood is the most amazing and wonderful experience of my life. I can truthfully say; I enjoy it more and more each day, even on the bad ones (and there are bad ones). That being said, I need to make a better effort (<—See, that’s me taking responsibility) at planning less and doing more. 

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I’ve mentioned before that I come from a long line of planners + calendar-a-holics. Most influentially, my mom. This past week left me with a whole new appreciation for her. Daniel was out of town for the better half of the week/weekend at a Microsoft conference in Seattle (Actually, Redmond, WA). To say I’m excited for him to be home this afternoon is an understatement. Just in case you don’t really know me or my family…. I’m the oldest of 4 – my brother Christopher (24) and sisters Bethany (21) Emily (19) and I are all between 18 mo. and 2 years apart. Growing up, I had NO idea what this meant for my mom. My dad is a top executive with a major retailer and has always traveled a lot (we’re talking 3 to 4 out of 5 nights a week) but still managed to coach little league on the weekends. My mom juggled 4 under 8 years old… multiple car seats… diapers…all of that laundry and grocery shopping. I just can’t fathom. And we were always doing fun + educational stuff (especially during the summer) – going to the beach, zoo, library, etc. She’s also one of the most creative do-ers I know. I could write an entire post about how amazing a mother my mom is but I’ll save that for Mother’s Day 2013 and just say “I don’t know how you did it mom – You’re my hero.”

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Olivia: 5 Months

5 Months

15.2 Pounds

25 Inches

Size: “6 month”, Size 2 Diapers

Nicknames: Sneekle Freetzie (AKA Snickle Fritz), Liv, LiverDude, Peanut, OKP

Loves…

The Skip Hop Tree Top Play Mat

The Baby Einstein Exersaucer (AKA “The Disc”)

Sophie the Giraffe and Sophie “Chewie”

The “Liv, Liv, Liv” Song

The Belly Button Song

Reading before bedtime, especially “Where’s Spot?”

Going to the Aquarium

Swimming

“Longtime Sunshine” Song

Bath Time, Baby Massage, Bed Time

Putting fingers, hands, and feet in her mouth.

Interested in food and drinks, wants to put everything in her mouth

The flying baby game

any type of baby wearing: Bjorn, peanut sling (finally!)

Pulling mom’s hair

Cranks…

getting in the carseat

being in the stroller for long enough for mom to shop

watching mom blog

watching dad study

staying up past 9:00pm

watching mom + dad eat dinner

Milestones:

Almost sitting up alone

Meeting cousins Rylie + Remie for the first time

First trip to the Lake with Bilbo/McElyea/Darley fam

Sleeping 5+ hour stretch at night, occasionally 8+

First Fourth of July

First Bubble Bath

Swim Diapers Size S/P finally fit!

Wore Vans tennies for the first time

Stuck tongue out and made a funny face

Getting a little furrier! More blondish red hair coming in…

Went to the nursery at Church for the first time

Daily Routine:

7:30 Wake Up, Nurse

10:00 Nurse

11:00 Nap (30 min – 1hr)

1:00 Nurse

3:00 Nap (1hr-2hrs)

4:00 Nurse

7:00 Nurse

8:00 Read books in bed with Mom + Dad

8:30  Bathtime, Lotion and Massage, “Jammies”

9:00 Nurse, Songs, Prayers*

*In the process of pushing the whole night-time routine up to 7:00 pm… slowly shaving a few minutes off every night

Family P Celebrates the 4th: Fried Chicken NO Fireworks

We have failed miserably for the past 4 years at finding the perfect spot to watch Fireworks. Growing up in hill-y Southern California, we were always able to see Fireworks from the backyard deck. There were are few years that we made the trek to the park or beach, but most of my memories of Fourth of July were at home. Living downtown is great for a lot of things… not Fourth of July. Next year, I think we’ll make more of an effort to be lake-side or better yet… maybe plan a family trip to CALIFORNIA!

My mom “Gramma G” was in town with my youngest sister Emily  for the 4th (and to celebrate my… gulp… 26th birthday!). A whirlwind of a trip, we started with a quickie dinner at Tampopo Japanese Cafe on Greenville (delicious… and cheap! tempura and bento boxes!) before escorting my darling gandaddy and his date to a summer concert at the Dallas Arboretum.

 

Chihuly Nights Concert @ The Dallas Arboretum

Such a bummer when this holiday falls midweek.. at least for my sweet hardworking husband who has to go straight back to work the next day. We attended my mom’s childhood neighborhood parade first thing in the morning, followed by a wonderful afternoon by the pool. Post-swimming naps and snacks and a wonderful meal at our new favorite place Chicken Scratch (read more here). Great food (Free Range Fried Chicken + traditional southern sides) Good beer selection, and AMAZING outdoor atmosphere… very kid friendly!

Swimming with Gramma G

Swimming on the Fourth of July

Liv Loves Chicken Scratch

@ Chicken Scratch

Full of Fried Chicken our plans to go and see fireworks at Fair Park were quickly abandoned… instead we ate Peach Cobbler (Recipe Here) on the front porch, bathed the baby and called it a night. The rest of  Gramma G/Auntie Em’s trip included a trip to the Dallas World Aquarium, a weekend at Lake Cypress Springs, a birthday celebration and delicious brunch at Oddfellows  in the Bishop Arts District.

Swimming with Cousins @ The Bilbo Lake House

Gramma G @ Oddfellow’s with Liv

And in one short month… WE’RE GOING TO CALIFORNIA!