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This year was Olive’s second fourth of July but first that we did anything special. If you know us well you’re probably aware that we don’t seem to be “holiday people”. We’re not anti holiday but we don’t go out of our way to celebrate anything too much. We’re almost certain that we’re not going to do things like santa or the Easter bunny.

So.. like I said.. we’re not anti holiday.. If an opportunity to celebrate something were to present itself we would likely be accepting and excited.

Tyler’s friend, Luke, invited us over to his parent’s house to go swimming and have dinner. We thought we would play it by ear and see what would be best for Olive. After her nap the weather seemed a bit more tolerable so we packed up our swimming stuff and headed to Brooklyn Center.

I was already wearing a blue dress so I grabbed some red shoes. I decided my legs would play the part of “white”. ha.

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I threw together a somewhat festive looking outfit for Olive but she wasn’t very impressed.

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I didn’t take many photos at Luke’s because I was in the pool. Olive did a little floating around in this orange thing and on a big floating raft but she preferred to be right in the water. Luke’s family has a lot of dogs and Olive seemed both amused at and confused by the dogs in, around, and on rafts in the pool. After we went inside to eat Olive and I went back to the pool. She did a great job at putting her head under water and also trying to swim. :)

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After our last time in the pool we went into a bathroom to dry off and get ready to head downtown for the fireworks show. Olive immediately pointed the toilet so I put her on it and, honestly, she peed more than I have ever seen her go ever before, which was both interesting and shocking but also rather exciting… I’m pretty sure that means she didn’t pee in the pool. I think it’s just assumed that it happens…

We drove to downtown Minneapolis with our windows open – letting our hair dry in the breeze. :) At this point it was a little after Olive’s typically bedtime.

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After finding a parking spot in a ramp and walking past the Guthrie Theatre we climbed our way through some praire grass where we found Luke and our blanket.  Our spot was great – on a hill, praire grass all around, far above the river and the Stone Arch Bridge.

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Tyler explained to Olive that there were going to be big lights in the sky just over the river and the bridges.

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Olive was understandably getting a little antsy.  We pointed out the interesting things around us while waiting for the show to begin.

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Olive was engrossed.  I expected her to be interested and impressed.. and she was.

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Eventually she wanted to get closer to us so she climbed around the blanket instead of being stuck in her stroller.  For the grand finale she was sitting with Tyler – her eyes glued the sky.  Immediately after it was over and people began cheering Olive starting signing “more”.  :)

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We got sleepy head ready to go and made our way through the crowd.

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Here is a view of some of the crowd dispersing back to where they came from.  We had to sit in the parking ramp for an extremely long time.  We drove Luke back to Brooklyn Center and Olive fell asleep in the car.

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I assumed Olive would love fireworks but it was great to see her so interested and happy.  :)

I hope you had a great 4th of July too!

Olive turned ten months old last month. Well, last year I suppose! Christmas, editing for frost on flower, friends in town, and our holiday travel slowed me down a bit and I’ve only gotten to editing these photos and sorting out my thoughts now. Forgive me? :)

Here are Olive’s ten month photos (as usual.. there are a lot!!)… She’s wearing an old dress and pair of shoes of mine. :) She’s also reading one of my books in a few of the photos. There are a few “classic” Olive shots that I had to include with her arm outstretched reaching for something or pointing at something.

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At ten months Olive is very mobile. I’m surprised she’s not walking yet but she’s not yet comfortable with letting go of things which is just fine – she’ll do it when she’s ready.
At ten months she had six teeth, she now has seven.
Olive gives me kisses. :)
She won’t stop pointing at things! She points where she wants us to take her, she points at things she wants, she points to ask what things are. Point point point!
Olive can point to or look at things when you ask such as a light, her nose, a window, Honey, the ceiling, a wall, a penguin, etc.
She is still incredibly interested in food. Baby Led Weaning was definitely the right choice for our family.
A few days ago Olive signed potty and went right away when I put her on. Elimination Communication is going alright but we still miss a lot. Olive seems to go potty frequently and will go nearly every time she’s on the potty but doesn’t seem to feel the need to hold it in between potty trips.
We got a new baby carrier in December and we’ve both enjoyed using it.
Olive’s sock fell off (as they often do) and Tyler asked her to get it.. so she crawled to it and picked it up. He then asked her to bring it to him so he could put it on her.. and she did!
She had her first needle poke since her newborn screen done at birth. She needed a lead test as we’ve found that we have a large amount of lead dust in our home. We’re still waiting for the results.
Olive said “all done” while signing it once.
It’s possible that she tried to say “I love you” after giving me a kiss tonight.
Speaking of kisses.. Olive never used to enjoy getting kisses and certainly didn’t enjoy giving them. More recently she has become quite kissy when sleepy in the morning, before naps, and before bed. Because I often give her a kiss after saying “I love you” she now crawls over to me to and kisses me when I say “I love you Olive”. It’s pretty adorable.
Her sign vocabulary continues to grow although it’s rather slow going. Tyler and I aren’t introducing her to new signs or using signs as consistently as I’d like to. She picked up on “please” very quickly last week though. I signed “please” with her hand over hand and she was able to do it independently on my next verbal prompt. That was pretty cool. However since then please seems to come and go. If she wants something too badly she can’t seem to find the sign. Which is fine!
Olive is really great at matching pitch and I think she has a decent sense of rhythm so far.
She is becoming more purposeful in her play by the day.
She is very social – she waves and smiles and points at everyone.
Olive is very curious – she loves to crawl around the house and look at things that aren’t toys and climb into small spaces in which I cannot fit. Which also means that she’s quite independent. She will get upset occasionally when I leave her (especially if I leave her with a person). But if I leaver her to play or explore she’s generally fine with that. She will also leave me to explore other rooms. I only wish our house was safer so she could do this more easily and more often. We have stairs that are difficult to block and radient baseboard heaters that are not safe. As well as other nooks and crannies that aren’t safe.
She’s also getting bigger and gaining weight though I still feel like she’s so small – especially when she’s nursing!

As always I probably missed a bunch of things but that’s an overview of where Olive is at ten months old.

And here is a fun side by side of me and Olive. :)

Last week Olive turned seven months old.

Her army crawl has become pretty quick and she sometimes morphs into an inchworm.. briefly getting up on her hands and knees.
Recently she’s been getting onto all fours and rocking back and forth which causes me to giggle every single time.
Olive has become much more consistent when waving. She waves at mirrors in the house when we pass them and today she waved at a lady walking on the sidewalk who was quite far away from us. And not even looking at us. She also often accompanies a wave with a “hhhhhhhhha”. Today she waved when Tyler left for work but he had already closed the door. :(
Olive’s pincer grasp blows me away. I guess I’m not sure how precise it should be at this age but I don’t think it could get any better. She pick up the smallest things with such precision! I think I have baby led weaning to thank for that.
Speaking of baby led weaning – We’ve been feeding Olive the same food that we have been eating for a couple of months now. Just a few of the things she has tried and enjoy include steak, curry chicken, lots of homemade bread, apple pieces, plum, various stir frys, sauerkraut soup, eggs, pancakes, pizza, Moroccan vegetable stew, Ramadan soup, brats, and so many more things. I don’t think there has been anything that she hasn’t been willing to eat though I think there is a clear preference for meat! She is so entertaining to watch eat. :)
We have recently shaken up the nap and bed time routines as Olive was previously falling asleep only during yoga ball bounces, in the car, or rarely while nursing. It’s only been a few days thus far but she seems to be doing well!
Olive has two teeth – she has had the middle right bottom one for about a month and a couple of days ago the other middle bottom tooth poked through. Thankfully she has had little to no teething pain! I think I have to thank her Baltic amber teething necklace for some of that.
Olive occasionally signs milk but when she’s really hungry I don’t think she has the ability to do much of anything besides nearly hyperventilate!
Unfortunately it is hard to tell the difference between waving and milk as Olive’s waving is occasionally facing her and is just her hand opening and closing. Much like milk.
Olive really likes to hug Honey, our pup. It’s cute. :) Until she tears out fistfuls of hair.. yuck.
Olive is playing with all of her toys much more accurately now (not that I think any toy really has a right or wrong – I encourage creativity!). She turns pages, shakes rattles and maracas very well, a and knocks down block towers.
She laughs a lot and plays back and forth with sounds much more than before.
Elimination Communication is still going well. Olive has many wet diapers throughout the day – neither of us are good at catching all of those. She goes weeks without a dirty diaper though, which is great. Every other day or so she has a big big deal poop in her bedroom potty. She usually hugs me while pooping.. which is strange yet adorable.

Overall she’s pretty great. :)

Here are some photos of our seven month old Olive bug!

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Waving:

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Suddenly excited:

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She has a small booger:

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I apologize to those of you who follow this blog, my Facebook photo page, and my photo blog – you’re probably tired of seeing the same thing.

Today Olive turned 2 months old. She also had her two month pediatrician appointment today which meant we had to get up a little early and take Tyler to work. To fill the time between dropping Tyler off and going to the appointment we went to Kohls to use a gift card and to Target in hopes of using up a gift card.

We started the day by waking up to snow! Starting a few days ago we were expecting a significant amount of snow. Absurd, right?! The forecast changed a few times and last I heard we were barely going to get any snow. I snapped this shot as I let honey out. I would have preferred to take more photos of the snow as it was heavy and clinging to the branches so beautifully! But we had to pile in the car to get Tyler to work..

I also snapped a few photos while driving…

Olive slept through Kohls. I bought her a couple of summer dresses and managed to get myself a new pair of jeans. I have never purchased such a large pair of pants for myself. But I’m not fat… I just had a baby. But really.. I was a little freaked out when the 5 didn’t fit and I had to get a 7. That’s a new one for me. Eh.

Olive did not sleep through Target. She got fussy as I was waiting at Starbucks for a mocha. We went to the family bathroom to find a wet diaper. She then peed on the big person toilet. I fed her and she decided to have a dirty diaper. So I changed her and she used the big person toilet again. :) I tried to shop a little bit but Olive protested so we slowly drove to the doctor’s office as I drank my quickly cooling mocha.

At the dr…

Olive was great at the doctor! She wasn’t fussy despite being naked, getting weighed, and prodded a bit. She has been such a wonderful baby that I had to scrounge for questions to ask the pediatrician. The only question I could come up with was this – can I clean her nose too often? Apparently yes I can… if it bleeds I’m cleaning it too often. Oh!

I described Elimination Communication to the pediatrician as she had never heard of it. She wasn’t against it but she was definitely surprised by it and somewhat skeptical (based on her facial expressions). I’m almost certain she thinks I’m weird. Especially since I followed that interaction with a somewhat awkward chat about immunizations. I have had an incredibly rough time deciding what to do about vaccines for Olive. Tyler is trusting my research and we’re talking about what I find and how I feel. Today Olive did not receive any vaccinations though she was supposed to have quite a few. For various reasons she is not getting vaccinated for hepatitis b, chicken pox, or rotavirus. At this point we’re planning to delay the others but we’re not yet sure how long. What a complicated topic.. it’s frustrating.. but also makes for some interesting research.

Olive’s two month stats:
10 lbs
22 1/4 inches

When Olive finally woke up after getting home we had a little two month photo shoot. And I had a lot of fun editing. :) Enjoy!

And some nap time in her new wrap!

Oh my goodness… let me tell you…

Going into the whole having a baby thing I had a bit of background knowledge about the process and had some expectations. Much of this was taken from seeing The Business of Being Born a couple of years earlier and negative stories I had heard about other people’s experiences. In general I like to think I’m a healthy person and try to make natural, logical, and somewhat educated choices. After becoming pregnant I did more “research” on the whole birth process thing which solidified much of what I had previously thought and gave me a lot more information on topics that I had previously known nothing about.

I’m a big natural birth fan, if you didn’t know. I totally understand that it’s not for everyone and doesn’t work in every situation but when it’s possible I think it should be done! I think that women really really really… really need to be encouraged that their bodies are capable of so so so so much!

I think that most women should be more educated and informed about the birthing process. So many women seem to both feel and act like they have so little to do with it. That’s not right! Regardless of wanting a natural birth, scheduled c-section, or whatever – I at least think women owe it to themselves to be more educated.

I think there are quite a few changes that need to take place in the US in the maternity world. I see it going in the right direction right now and hopefully it continues. Can I help?

While pregnant I ate up any story I could find about other women’s birth experiences. I loved reading all about it and watching it on television or in movies. I was able to squeeze in a few episodes of One Born Every Minute before Olive was born and loved it! Tyler… not so much. He thought we shouldn’t be watching it but I couldn’t help myself!

I expected that eagerness to hear birth stories to subside after having Olive but I recently realized that it has not! I am less often seeking out those stories as I’m seeking out stories that are more relevant to us right now (when babies sit up, how babies play, elimination communication, baby led weaning, and more!). BUT! When I stumble upon a birth story I get sucked right in. Good stories, bad stories, happy stories, sad stories… I want them all!

Today that has led me to wonder… should I invest in this interest further? Blog about it? Teach birthing classes? Become a doula? Or even further.. a midwife? Those are four very different things, I know. Would it be too much to say I’m passionate about the subject? Hmm.

So what do you think? Any tips? Ideas? Are you as oddly interested in birth as I am?

And here’s an elimination communication update: We caught 6 pees & 2 poos today (so far)! woah! Lots of dry diapers but lots of wet/dirty ones, too! Aaannnd.. that’s okay!

We had our best day so far doing elimination communication today. I wrote about it at the end of March when we first started and when I had just started learning about it. Check it out if you want a little more background.

We’re doing EC part time. Some days I nearly forget about it all together. Other days I’m really on the ball. Today was one of those “on the ball” days and I have a feeling that Olive prefers those days.

I don’t think that Olive has many, if any, signs telling me that she is going to go potty. Typically it helps to learn the signs so you can be ready to take the baby to use the bathroom when they need to. Instead I take Olive as soon as she wakes up as well as when she fusses for a reason other than being hungry or wanting to be held. I haven’t yet let Olive go diaper free to look for the signs though, so there could be something I’m missing.

Last I checked in about this I was only taking Olive when she woke up but today I realized that she cries when she has to go! She can’t yet talk, obviously, and she is still too young to start using signs so what does she do? She cries! Brilliant! Although crying also tells me that she’s hungry, that she’s tired, that she wants to be picked up, that she wants to move around, that her diaper is dirty, that she’s bored.. and probably a lot more.

So far today she has peed in her toilet seven times! And she went poo once with Tyler. That’s the first time she’s done that! We’re still using a little orange bowl until we get a potty.

After first reading about EC I thought that it made complete sense and was excited to try. Now, after gaining some experience, I am even more convinced that this is the right thing to do. :)

Can you believe it’s snowing right now? Here are some photos from today…

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Olive tried out her Bumbo for the first time today. She can hold her head up really well and enjoys sitting up because she loves to look around at everything. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could get something done that’s tough to do when she’s in the sling if she were in her Bumbo. It worked! I was able to cut fabric on the living room floor while she sat and watched. I snapped some good photos that I’ll add here later but for now here’s a little peek with photo booth.

I have also recently discovered that Olive loves to bounce with me on my yoga ball. Big shout out to that yoga ball while I’m on the topic – I’m pretty sure that ball had a big hand in getting Olive into position and made her birth go so well and so quickly! I owe Tyler a giant thank you for giving that to me as a random gift a while ago.

Hey – it’s the weekend! :)

I was going to wait a while before posting about Elimination Communication (EC) as I wanted to learn more before simply reciting little bits of what I’ve read on the internet. BUT.. we tried it today and were already successful so I feel the need to share.

Anyone that has come to visit and seen Olive and I for any length of time has probably heard me comment on her readiness to potty train (totally a joke) because she would typically go multiple times while having her diaper changed. It seemed as though she would take the cue of her diaper being off and enjoyed the feeling more of going without her diaper. In joking about her readiness to potty train a few times the idea became less of a joke to me and more of a “what if?!”

I didn’t explore the idea any further until a couple of days ago when I stumbled upon one of the many mom blog out there in internet land. It’s easy to get lost amongst the stay at home mommies blogging about their diaper woes, crafty ideas, and recipes. While it’s easy to get lost and over (and sometimes inaccurately) informed I have found many diamonds in the rough. I stumbled upon Emily at Joyful Abode when looking for some gDiaper washing tips. Her short bio interested me as she’s a breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering new mommy (much like myself) but with a few months of a head start and a much better blog! I don’t recall how exactly but I got to a post about EC and was so pleased with the little that I read. Her 7 month old uses the potty… sometimes. Wow!

And shouldn’t it be that way? Why do we have two and three year old kids sitting in their yucky diapers? And maybe that’s necessary sometimes but it really does seem logical and natural to me to address the act of elimination immediately with a baby and work on communication in that area and encourage them to use the toilet as soon as possible. That means less diaper rash, less dirty diapers to buy or wash, and being more in tune with your little one. Why wouldn’t I want to try that? Especially considering my thoughts of the past month or so on Olive’s elimination habits.

Today I tried it. Babies often go while or after breastfeeding and after waking up from a nap. After she ate a couple of hours ago she dozed off. Upon waking I checked her diaper, after I grabbed a little bowl from the kitchen (her baby toilet!), and it was already wet and dirty. She did go again while I was changing her though and I made a “pssssst” sound and commented that she was going potty. Soon she fell asleep again in my arms for a short bit. Immediately after waking I took her upstairs and her diaper was still dry. I commented on her dry diaper and how nice it feels. She then went potty a little bit so I held her over the bowl but the sudden movement caused her to stop. I told her it was okay. Again she started and I picked her up over the bowl and she went for quite a while! I set her back down and told her that she went potty in the toilet and I was going to put her diaper that was still nice and dry back on and that she did a good job.

To some this may sound silly… she’s 5 weeks old (today!) but I’m really interested in this topic especially because it’s actually a method and I was already trying to put the pieces together of how to go about this myself. If you’re interested in learning more visit Diaper Free Baby.

Also, in the internet world of mommies I am:
A brand new, exclusively breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, (now) ECing, and future baby food making, momma.

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