January and February 2014

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For more pictures, go to the HAWAII 2014 album

On January 7, 2014 we headed to the Bellingham airport at 530am. We thought it would be a quick and easy drive at that hour, but managed to get stuck at the border for a bit in a line-up and stuck behind a school bus picking up kids every 2 seconds. As we turned onto the road where we were going to keep the car, we saw the shuttle leaving… but it fortunately turned around to pick us up!

Once on the plane, everything was good. Olivia does really well! We had 3 seats for the 3 of us which made it nice. There was some turbulence on the plane which thankfully put Olivia to sleep for about an hour and half! The one time I like turbulence! Once we arrived in Maui, we picked up our rental car, stopped at Costco, and then met up with Nana and Grandpa at their condo. We stayed in their condo with them for 4 nights until our condo, right next door, became available.

Our first day there was quiet as Jeremy woke up sick. He said it felt like he had a hangover – nauseous and achy all over. Seemed sort of like a flu without the fever. The next day Jeremy was still not feeling well, so Nana, Grandpa, Olivia, and I took a car trip to Iao Valley. We also stopped at a pineapple plantation and walked around a bit.

Livi had her first pool experience too! She loved it! She was splashing around and was as happy as a clam!

Finally by January 10th, Jeremy was feeling a bit better. So we drove up to Ka’anapali and walked the boardwalk there. On the Saturday, we went to a swap meet (open air market) and wondered around there for a bit. We also stopped at Costco again and stocked up as we were moving into our condo.

On Sunday, January 12th, we drove to Pa’ia –  cute little town with nice shops and Makawao – a “western” town that didn’t have much as it was Sunday and most things in this town were closed. Then we grabbed a bite to eat at Fat Burger and made our way up to Haleakala to the sunset. It was gorgeous! Such a neat experience being up about the clouds at 10,000 feet!

The next day was spent at the beach! We went to Wailea first  and walked the boardwalk and then had a picnic lunch at Makena beach. All around a nice relaxing day.

On the 14th, Jeremy, Olivia, and I packed up the car and left at 630am to do the Drive the Hana. That morning it was pouring rain! And by pouring, I mean absolute downpour! By the time we got to the north side of the island, away from Kehei where our condo is, the rain stopped and the sun was rising! Livi slept for most of the drive! We had several stops looking at waterfalls and the scenery. We stopped at a nice place for warm banana bread too! Around noon we made it the “Seven sacred pools” which weren’t that impressive. We had noticed along the drive that some of the waterfalls were dried up and so, the pools weren’t flowing very well. They kind of brown looking. Not what I remembered from when I was 13 years old.

On the 15th, we had another beach day. Nana, Jeremy, Livi, and I went to a nude beach (not on purpose though!) where Olivia learned to roll over!, went in the ocean for the first time, and sucked on a cucumber.

The next day we went whale watching. Spectacular! It was pretty cool seeing the humpback whales breaching and tail slapping.

The 17th was spent at the beach again at Makena big beach… while on the beach, we kept noticing people, mainly men, walking past us. We discovered that if you kept walking towards the rocks and then up and over them, that you’d find Little beach, the most famous nude beach there! We stayed on the covered beach! Didn’t exactly want to be surrounded by a bunch of naked men! LOL

Saturday, January 18th we drove the west maui loop. We stopped in Lahaina and walked around there and through the banyon tree market. Then we continued around the island stopping at various sites such as dragon’s teeth lava formation and a blowhole. So, now we have driven around the entire island! Such a diverse island with beautiful landscapes.

The 19th was our last day on Maui before we flew home on the 20th. We spent it relaxing around the condo, enjoying the beautiful weather. On the 20th we flew home. Olivia was great on the plane again, even though now she was a bit more mobile having recently learned how to roll over! We got home around midnight.

Once home, we put Olivia to bed in her crib in HER room for the very first time! She’s been sleeping in there ever since. It was a pretty easy transition from the pack n’ play in our room, to her crib in her room. Needless to say, we get a better sleep! Olivia now sleeps for longer periods of time as well. She will sleep anywhere from 5-10 hours straight! Most of the time she wakes up after 6 hours because she’s hungry. So she quickly feeds and then if back to sleep for another 6 hours.

When we got home from Maui we started to get Olivia into a bit of a nighttime routine as well. She used to go to bed around 10 or 11pm at night… which we knew wasn’t the best for a baby. So we started a routine of bath, nursing, books, and a song between 7 and 730pm. So now she’s asleep no later than 8pm every night! And she can fall asleep on her own!

In the past couple of weeks, Olivia has started to ear solids! She likes quite flavourful food like dahl (spicy lentils) and thai chicken soup. She’s also had roasted vegetables (carrot, potato, sweet potato, yellow beet, onion, mushroom, garlic) and guacamole! We’ve tried oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon, but she doesn’t seem to like it much. I’ve tried it twice and she turns her nose up to it every time. She definitely enjoys her food though. Now if we’re eating, she gets upset if she doesn’t get any and she’ll smack her lips together and stick out her tongue to try and get a taste!

She can also now sit up and play with toys on the floor! She’s starting to become a little bit independent! Which is good for Jeremy since he is now on paternity leave and I am back to work.

On Olivia’s 6 month birthday, her firs tooth finally started to come in! Lucky for us, she only had one bad day and night. It was very odd for her to cry during her feedings, but I guess getting teeth is painful! I can’t remember 🙂 So now she has a partial tooth sticking out. We have to be careful what she bites now!

At her 6 months shot appointment, they weighed and measured her… 15.5 lbs and 25.5 inches long! She’s getting big! And she’s such a little mover. Constantly doing the army crawl across the floor and climbing over my legs… trying to reach for things above head, trying to crawl, and trying to pull herself up. I can’t believe she’s already 6 months! Time sure does fly.

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btw… I did put the WRONG date for her 6 month photo… January flew by so quickly, that I forgot it was February! oh well! I’ll blame it on baby brain!

November and December…

Well, it seems like forever since I last posted. Livi is now four and half months old and smiley as ever. She even likes bath time!

And her new jumperoo:

In late November, Olivia’s Grandy and friend Brenda came over to visit for the weekend. We had a lovely walk by the river and enjoyed each other’s company.

at the river with grandy

Then her pappy and Mimi came to visit to attend my masters graduation ceremony and US Thanksgiving of course. Mimi watched Liv during the ceremony, and said that she was great. It was the longest I had been away from Livi since she was born… About three hours! After the ceremony, we picked up Jeremy from work and then went out to dinner with Jena, who also graduated, to celebrate.

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For Thanksgiving dinner, we had my parents, Jena, James & Mateja, Josh & Becky, and their friends from Winnipeg. It was a great evening!

My Thanksgiving dress!

My Thanksgiving dress!

During the time that my parents were visiting, Olivia accidentally rolled over from her belly to her back, but she has not done it since. We also went to go see Catching Fire with Jena and my mom babysat! It was very nice to get out and do something without the baby… She slept like an angel for her Mimi!

Here’s some pics on the past couple months…

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happy baby bath towel
bubbles naked baby

After my parents left, we had a few days to ourselves and went to Jeremy’s staff Christmas party. She did pretty well, but we eventually had to leave because Olivia refused to go to sleep even though she was exhausted. She doesn’t want to missed out on anything!

About a week after Pappy and Mimi’s visit, Olivia and I hopped on a train in Bellingham, WA to Portland, OR to visit my parents again and a bunch of other people who had not yet met Olivia. The train ride was great. It allowed me to walk around with Olivia, feed her, change her diaper, play with her, etc., which I could not do had we driven. Not to mention the car seat for 7 hours would not have been good for her. During our visit in Oregon we saw Livi’s Tia again, Susan Reimer (my Rotary counsellor when I was in high school), Jon Broderick (my high school French teacher), my friends from high school Britney Drumheller, Jeff Sturgeon, and Molly Dueber and her husband Chris and new son Max who is a month older than Olivia. It was quite a busy week!

Max and Olivia

The day after we returned home, Olivia got her four-month shots. Again, she was a little trooper! After each prick, she cried for about 30-60 seconds and then was all smiles like nothing had happened! However, she was cranky for the next two days while I had to do some Christmas baking… I think I was a little over ambitious this year with a baby – I had to have her in the carrier the whole time! However, I got all my baking done – four different types of cookies plus an appetizer for my staff Christmas party! I also had two previous students, Patrick Bowie and Shelby Moore stop by to meet little miss Olivia too!

For Christmas, we were in Victoria visiting all of Jeremy’s family and friends! Here’s some photos of Olivia’s first Christmas:

ugly christmas sweater opening her first christmas present
into the mouth christmas
christmas baby chillin with grandpa mac

family christmas

 

October

Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post! Over a month, man how time flies! The month of October started out with Olivia meeting our family doctor and getting her 2-month old shots…, which went surprisingly well. The nurses said that she’d probably cry like we’ve never heard her cry before, but her cry wasn’t that bad. It really wasn’t any different from when we put her in the car! She only cried for about 20 minutes and then settled down quickly after a feeding, which led to a very long nap!

For Thanksgiving, we drove down to Seattle to catch Olivia’s very first plane ride to see her Tía and Aunty Renée in Troy, Idaho. Since she doesn’t like the car very much, but know that she’s happiest in the morning when she first wakes up, we made sure that we left the house as soon as she woke up. Usually this is around 6am, but of course, she had to sleep in the morning we wanted to leave early. Luckily, we set an alarm so that we could get ready ourselves. I think we left the house around 730am, got to the border in Abbotsford/Sumas around 8am only to be stuck in an hours long line up! So, I took Olivia out of her car seat and walked around so that she’d not have to be in the car for that much longer since we needed to get to Seattle – a 2.5 hour drive. Jeremy also decided to pull into the duty free to dodge the line a bit which worked out pretty well! It cut our wait time in half! Once in the Seattle area, we stopped at Costco and then IKEA to pick up some bedroom furniture – a great way for Olivia to be fed and get some walking in!

Once we were on the plane, Olivia did pretty well except for the fact that the plane was sitting in the sun on the tarmac before takeoff, which of course made the plane hot – and Olivia does not like to be too warm, so she fussed a bit. But once we were up in the air, she was great. However, as soon as we landed and were picked up by Aunty Renée and in a CAR… Olivia really got mad. She cried for pretty much the entire car ride to their house (about 45 minutes). When we got to their house, she cried some more from exhaustion. Unfortunately, she tends to fight sleep when she is really tired. Once she’d had a good night’s rest she was as happy as a clam for the rest of the weekend! We enjoyed some lovely walks on my sister’s property and had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

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The plane ride back to Seattle was very smooth and Olivia did very well. Once in Seattle we met up with an old friend that we had met in Belgium, Jessica, and her daughter Zina for dinner. After dinner, around 830pm Olivia fell asleep. So we put her in her car seat and drove home. She slept the whole way!

The rest of the month, we were busy with company. Jeremy’s host brother from Belgium came out to visit for about two weeks the day after we returned from Idaho. During Thomas’ stay we showed him around the Chilliwack and Vancouver areas and took him to Manning park in hope to see some bears… however, we did not see any – only whiskey jack birds which would land on you and eat from your hand.

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For Olivia’s first Halloween, she was a pink kitten. We took her around to our neighbours houses to show her off and then had a quiet evening together. We expected to have many trick-o-treaters, but only had 9! There are not that many kids on our street and we don’t live in the condensed housing areas. In fact, our new neighbours across the street from us took their girls to one of the condensed neighbourhoods for trick-o-treating. Needless to say, we have a lot of candy left! I guess we won’t have to buy much for future Halloweens.

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Now it’s already November and she’s almost 3 months old already. She saw the doctor again the other day for her 3-month old check-up, which went well. She’s now 12lbs 6oz and 23.2in (59cm) long. She’s growing so fast! Now that she is just about 3-months old, I am trying to get her into a schedule. She now goes down for about an hour-long nap around 11am and again about 2-3 hours later, followed by a third nap 2-3 hours after that. She’s still sleeping pretty much through the night, with 1-2 feedings. She will sleep for 3-6 hours straight at night, and tends to sleep for 10-12 hours, starting at 9pm. We are so thankful to have such an easy baby! She is really only fussy around 6pm every evening for 30-minutes to an hour and then is happy again. Although now she tends to be sleepy around that time and takes a nap, which has been great since it’s right around dinner time.

Olivia is such a happy baby and love to talk. She’ll talk to us, with quite a loud little voice, for about 30 minutes straight sometimes! And she’s constantly smiling and laughing. When she wakes up in the morning, she’s full of smiles. I can’t even get her to eat for the first hour she’s awake because she smiles too much! She’s started to “play” with things too! She has some letters that connect together to make a necklace that she grabs and sucks/gnaws on every day now. I can put her in her bumbo seat and leave her there for quite a while just sitting there playing with her letters. She especially likes it if you put her in front of a mirror! She’s very interactive and alert! And when she’s talking to you, you better be looking at her in the eye and talking back!

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New video to come soon of Olivia in action!

And here are two pictures for you to compare:

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6 weeks old!

Wow! How time flies! Last time I posted Olivia was just ten days old. Since then, a lot has happened…

On the weekend of August 25th we went to Victoria for her cousin Everett’s first birthday! There she was introduced to her uncle Hayden and aunty Amanda, and of course their son Everett – the birthday boy! She also got to meet her great grandparents Nana and Grandad! It was a great party and Everett was so big and walking… crazy to think that Olivia will be in his shoes next summer.

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Two weeks later, on September 7th we had Olivia’s sip and see baby shower. That weekend was absolutely amazing! My parents managed to surprise me with a visit from my sister! I didn’t think she was going to be able to come to the shower as she lives in Idaho. But, they made a quick trip to Bellingham the Friday morning to pick her up from the airport and bring her to Chilliwack. I was so surprised and incredibly happy! The shower/open house was a great success as most all of our friends and family were there. Unfortunately, a couple days prior to the shower Olivia started to get baby acne… which of course peaked on the day of the shower… so her poor face and scalp was covered in little red bumps. Now the acne is pretty much gone, but it caused her scalp to get dry and flaky… oh the joys of parenthood – there’s always something new to learn about.

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On Tuesday the 17th Olivia and I had our last midwife appointment L We saw Cheryl, the one who delivered her… she hadn’t seen her since the day she was born. I am sad to be leaving the midwives and transferring to our family doctor as they are a wonderful group of women and thoroughly enjoyed their care. At this final visit, they re-measured and weighed her: 22 inches and 9.5 pounds! I also discovered that what we thought was diaper rash, was actually a yeast infection… not so much fun, but we are working on getting that all cleared up!

Then, yesterday, Olivia managed to get pink eye! We were on a lovely walk with Mateja along the river when after about an hour of walking I noticed her left eye secreting yellowy goo that was starting to crust over. I felt horrible for her and wanted to get her to see someone as soon as possible. So we walked to Garrison Crossing and spoke with the pharmacist there who told us that she had pink eye and that we needed to see a doctor to get a prescription for her. Unfortunately there aren’t too many walk-in clinics and they have horrible hours. So, I called Josh and Becky for their help as I don’t have a car. Josh came and got Olivia and I, and took us to a clinic (the one nearby didn’t open until 5pm and it was 330pm at the time)… but the doctor wasn’t there and we were number 27 or so in line to see the doc. We waited for a bit, but since the doctor still had not showed up, we went back to the one that opened at 5pm and we waited outside the office until they were open. Finally, we were able to see a doc and get her a prescription! So that was our first visit to a clinic and Olivia’s first prescription. At least the antibiotic eye drops are working like a charm and have already started to improve the look of her eye. And as you can see, she is such a happy girl!

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She is also a very hungry little girl and will attempt to latch on to whatever she can latch on to. The other day when Jeremy was holding her, she started to root a bit looking for some milk. Next thing Jere knew she had found his collar bone and started sucking. Needless to say, she gave her daddy a nice hicky!

Since I have been on mat leave, I have joined the Chilliwack Active Moms group (which just launched about 2 weeks ago) and have met many other moms and babies. So Olivia and I went on a walk this morning with the group and might have even made it into the newspaper as there was a reporter there doing a story on the group and took some pictures. I also hope to get a gym membership soon and start working off the pregnancy pounds so that I can get back into my old jeans… but I need to get a proper bra first! I never thought boobs could get so big! Holy milk lady! And, since I have so much milk, Olivia can’t even drain out one boob during a feeding, I plan to donate it to the local breast milk bank.

Here is some auditory entertainment for you as well… we just had to record the various sounds that Olivia produces!

Olivia’s first night home…

Olivia hiccupping, so friggin’ cute!

Olivia is going to be a talker!

She’s finally here!!!

Baby feet

At 1230am, just after going to bed, I began to get cramps. They soon progressed to minor contractions that were about 15 minutes apart. During this time I had to frequently get up and go to the bathroom… This lasted until about 6am when the contractions were about every 4-6 minutes, but lasting only about 30 seconds. So, Jeremy got ready for work and I went downstairs to get his lunch ready. While making his lunch I had a few contractions and they seemed to be getting a bit more intense. At 7am, we ate breakfast, which took me awhile as I had a few contractions during the meal. During this time, we decided, with the advice of both my parents and his that he not go to work!

Thank goodness he didn’t go to work… by 9am my contractions were about a minute or so apart and last for about a minute each… so we finally called the midwife. After listening to me go through a contraction over the phone, the midwife, Cheryl, told us to head to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital just before 10am. Once there, Cheryl quickly checked my progress in between contractions and told us that I was already 9.5cm dilated! I did the entire first stage of labour at home!

Unfortunately, once we got to the hospital and it was time for me to push, my contractions became less frequent and were only lasting for about 45 seconds – not long enough or frequent enough for pushing. After about an hour, they decided to give me oxytocin to get my contractions back up to where they needed to be. Finally, the pushing was getting somewhere! We were first able to see her hair, but her head just wouldn’t come out. It was decided that a minor episiotomy would be necessary to get her out to not risk a 3rd degree tear! As soon as the cut was made, Olivia came out with the next two contractions and Jeremy caught her, placed her upon me, and cut her umbilical cord. As Olivia came out, at 2:07pm, she decided to take a poop and pee on me (she takes after her daddy who came into this world in a similar fashion). Within the next 15 minutes or so, she decided to poop a couple more times! We were both covered in poop, but had to wait to be cleaned up because the placenta had not yet been delivered.

An hour had passed and my placenta still had not come out, so the on-call OB was called in to remove the placenta. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was Dr. Dewaal Smith, my gynecologist! Within seconds, he was able to get my placenta out without having to do a manual removal – it just needed a bit of a tug. Then he numbed me up and stitched me up from the episiotomy. According to the nurses, I was lucky it was Dr. Smith who stitched me up, because he is supposedly the best!

Finally by 4pm, I was able to get cleaned up and Olivia was weighed – 6lbs 13oz. Had she not had three bowel movements immediately after being delivered, she probably would have weighed just over 7lbs. Then we were moved from the delivery room to our own room where our family and friends were finally able to meet her. While I enjoyed my first beer since November – a Belgian beer that I had picked out in January when we had visited our host families, Olivia was finally cleaned up by the nurse. We stayed 1-night at the hospital and were home by noon the next day.

weight first family pic
first bath first beer after delivery

Fast facts:

  • Birth date: August 8, 2013
  • Baby’s name: Olivia Claire Earle
  • Weight: 6lbs 13oz
  • Length: 19.3 inches
  • Time of birth: 2:07pm
  • Who came to the hospital: Bob and Darlene Harbison, Diane McBeath, Tony and Hilary Clark-Earle, James Seaton, Mateja Peterlin, and Jena Wiebe

Once home…

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With all the grandparents here, the day was quite busy. They were busily getting dinner prepared and making sure that Olivia and I were comfortable. That evening, Olivia’s aunty Minnie (Amanda Clark) joined us for dinner. After dinner, Olivia was passed around to all the family members and I took a nap! When the evening was over and it was time to go to bed, we soon discovered that Olivia did not like to sleep on her own. She wanted be right next to her mama…, which we were quite wary about at first.

The next day, August 10th, we had our first home visit from the midwife (Haley – there are three!). During this visit Olivia was weighed again (now 6lbs 7.5oz) and any questions we had were answered. Since Olivia did not want to sleep on her own, we asked about co-sleeping and were assured that this was fine as long as she was not in between the two of us, was placed on her back, and was safe from falling off the edge. Still, we kept trying each night to get her to sleep on her own… with no luck. So I finally said that we should try to train her during the day to sleep on her own rather than at night so that we could still get a decent nights rest.

Two days later, the midwife visited again (Joy). This visit involved weighing her again (back to her birth weight!!!) and the heel prick. Olivia was quite the trooper and did not fuss too much. By the third visit, on August 14th, Olivia exceeded her birth weight at 7lbs 3oz! Sometime between visit 2 and 3, Olivia’s umbilical cord came off, which means she could finally get a real bath (so far she’s only have sponge baths).

Our first outing was with Jena to Costco on August 15th. The car ride there went quite smoothly as Olivia slept the whole way there. Once there, she slept in the shopping cart and was content up until just before we were ready to leave… so I had to feed her quickly in the bathroom to calm her down. Unfortunately, she cried the whole way home and worked herself up into a sweat. Her hair was soaked! However, as soon as we took her out of the car, the crying stopped, but she was still clearly upset and stressed, as she wouldn’t feed until she had calmed herself down.

Later that evening, Olivia got her first bath at home… she didn’t like it!

The next day, August 16th was her second outing… all the way to Surrey – about an hour’s drive, to attend my Canadian Citizenship Ceremony. Olivia was perfect! She didn’t cry on the way there and once we arrived, she continued to sleep until the ceremony was over and we woke her up to change her dirty diaper. Once she was cleaned up, we got a family photo with the presiding judge.

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