Wednesday, June 25, 2014


This is the first year I've really been excited about our garden. Alan starts our garden every year, and every year I tell him I don't want one. (Because of the work involved!) This year though, the boys are really old enough to learn and understand the purpose of the garden, and (more importantly) to weed and water it. We make it an activity several times a week, sometimes during Olivia's nap time, and sometimes she crawls around and we have to stop her from picking the green tomatoes.

We have: (in bold are the plants producing the most)

1st Square Foot Garden
  • 2 HUGE tomato plants 
  • 5 Zucchini plants
  • Green Ontions
  • 2 small watermelon plants
2nd Square Foot Garden
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Green lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers (I think - they grew from the compost and we kept a few)
  • Cilantro
  • Strawberries
  • Corn
  • 2 Peach Trees
  • 1 Apple Tree
  • 2 Blackberry bushes

The tomato plants are our stars right now. For the past week we have had 1 to 2 tomatoes getting ripe daily, and the boys are loving them:

The Zucchini plants are finally producing some good sized veggies for us! We have picked one big one so far, and cooked it for dinner.

The lettuce we planted later in the season, but it's coming along!

We've gotten around 15 strawberries, and our plants keep growing!

There's 1 to 2 corn on every stalk. I am not very good about knowing when to pick these. I've picked 3 and they have seemed just not quite ripe enough, so I'm letting these hang out longer. They are starting to blow around from the storms we've been having.

These 2 peach trees are pretty new and came with peaches on them. One tree is growing nicely, the other seems to be dying :(

We have been having fun with our gardening hobby. It gives me something to work on while the kiddos play outside. (They play really well when I am out there too, even if I am working on something else.)  Lately I have pruned the apple tree and the tomato plants, and trimmed the zucchini plants so they grow up instead of sideways (taking up less space!) We have had TONS of rain lately, helping out our garden a lot!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What a Difference a Year Makes (Olivia is 1!)

Our sweet, precious, wild Olivia Ruth turned 1 this month. We have been BUSY in the BEST way, and her first year is not as well documented as the boys' first year. Also her first year was so much less stressful for me as a second time parent of a good natured singleton, and so the anxiety that can inspire blog writing was not as much of a factor!

But there is SO much beauty in Olivia's life that needs to be remembered. She is the happiest baby I have ever known. She will smile at you just for looking at her, and if you play any little "peek a boo" or "hide and seek" game, it's over. She will laugh like you are the funniest, most entertaining person ever. She is very social, friendly and smiley. She has been very alert and perceptive from a young age, and she will pay close attention to anyone that is interacting with her. She absolutely LOVES to eat. She is still nursing 3-5 times a day, but I truly think she likes solid food better. She snatches it and shoves it in her tiny mouth with a "grunt."
Enjoying her birthday cupcake.

She is an awesome sleeper. She is sleeping through the night now (it's been off and on since 10 months.) But she has always fallen asleep fast, on her own in her own bassinet/pack and play/crib. So thankful for that! Sleep was the ONE thing I was hoping would be easy, since with the boys it was very stressful. She also sleeps in until around 9am (I didn't know babies did that??!), takes 1 or 2 naps, and is asleep for the night between 7-8:30, depending on nap time/wake time.

Olivia is a very outdoors-y girl and does not mind getting dirty AT ALL. It is common for her to be caked from hair to toe in mud and food when we get her to a bath tub. I'm pretty sure she doesn't realize she's a girl, but thinks she's a 3 year old boy like her brothers. She wants to do everything they do!
Notice the mud!!
 She started standing on her own just before her first birthday, and by her birthday could take about 8 steps in a row. She can turn mid way through and get back up again easily after she falls, but she still prefers crawling. She also walks with her hands straight above her head, like we are still holding on to them, it is adorable!

Photos from her 12 Day and 1 Year Photo Shoots. What a difference a year makes!!

She is "talking"up a storm now. She says a lot of "Da da, ga ga, ma ma," but it's really the vocal inflections and the non vocal communication make her seem so smart to me. She understands (and mostly follows) commands such as, "Stand up and walk to Daddy" and "Hand me that toy."

Adam and Matthew are very affectionate two towards Olivia. They call her "sweet girl,"beautiful, "princess" and tell her she's amazing when they see her walking. They kiss and hug her constantly. They can be slightly overbearing at times (2 almost 4 year olds vs one 1 year old..) It is hard/sad to discipline them for being "violently affectionate." For example, kissing her so roughly that she falls over. To them, they are just showing her love, but Olivia is still on the floor, crying. However, she is warming up to her brothers, and I often hear her laughing at their shenanigans and attention.

34 Weeks Pregnant

Instead of her thumb, she sucks on her ring & middle finger together. It is comforting to her when her teeth hurt, when she's sleepy and as she's falling asleep in her crib. I love when she lays her head down on my chest and sucks on those two fingers. Just melts my heart.

We just love our little Olivia Ruth. I tell Alan all the time I am SO glad we decided to have one more child. She is the perfect addition to our family, and we really feel like our family is complete now. And I enjoyed having the "singleton experience." We love you, Olivia. Happy Birthday!!