Sunday, September 7, 2014

What's in a name

I've had this post pending for nearly a year. Since I'm doing my best to catch up I thought this would be a good starting point. Believe it or not we received some grief regarding the name Olive. However, we don't take naming a child lightly and popular names don't appeal to me. Back when Maddie was just 9 months old we took a small trip to Maine during Labor Day weekend to visit the Metcalf Home. It was there that I saw a tombstone for the wife of the man who built the home. Olive Metcalf. It was a powerful experience and I knew if we ever had an opportunity to have another girl- her name would be Olive. Fast forward five months to when we found out we were indeed having another girl (a total shock!) it took me nearly 24 hours to remember this experience in Maine. My mother quickly reminded me that was Grandma Hanks name (my mothers favorite grandma who I just remember as "Grandma Hanks").  Olive's middle name Cora came from my dads grandma- who died when my Daddy Jimmy was just two or three years old. So no, we did not name her after Downtown Abbey's character. We did consider naming her Cora Olive but my experience seeing the tombstone was too powerful to push to the side and we didn't want her initials to me COM. 

Fast forward a few more months after OC was born and I finally had the energy to make her room livable, the painting I had planned to use her in her room (one that my mom has had my entire life and she gave to me when we moved to CT) was painted by Grandma Hanks. The painting has her signature on the back and I never paid much attention to it. Although I can't articulate exactly what my train of thought is- the painting sealed the deal that we had made the right choice. Names are powerful and important. Maddie may not be named after anyone in particular we had just as a spiritual experience naming her as Olive. Her story is here. 

Below are just pictures I had saved in this post from 10 months ago. She has changed so much since....

Olive's First Birthday

I should be ashamed it's taken me over two months to document Olive's birthday... and I am. This girl of ours is perfectly fierce, sweet, squeezable and smart. We are so lucky to have her in our family. We celebrated with our closest friends (minus a few) with a backyard party including sprinklers, baby pools, sand box and ice cream! Although we don't make a huge deal about birthdays we still treasure the opportunity to reflect and celebrate a sacred day. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Documenting and saving

My trusty iPhone has died thanks to a little Maddie throwing it in a bucket of water. This has been devastating to me because it's how I get 40% of my work done and because of all the memories that were on it. Tonight I finally found the courage to see if iCloud actually saved these said memories and it's looking good. Reason #176 I love Apple products. This has jump started a new desire to blog more  for the sake of keeping our memories alive somewhere before they are forgotten. Also to practice what I preach- print your dang photos! 

So much has happened since I last wrote, I'll need to go back and document each event. But for now... the girls have changed so much since summer. Madelyn is still as active as ever and very little slows her down. If I didn't cope with stress by eating fun foods, I'd look much healthier because of her alone! Olive is walking and climbing on everything. She talks with her tongue and she sounds like a little chipmunk. If I could freeze time, I would. I could eat them up, I love them so.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

11 Month Olive and 2 1/2 Madelyn

It's been a little heartbreaking to me that I don't find more reason to write in this blog. I feel like we were always making awesome memories while in Connecticut and we simply just don't have those moments often now. Work, eat, sleep and repeat seem to be our life. This season we are in can be a tad daunting but more fulfilling than thought possible.

Olive turned 11 months old on the 27th and Maddie turned 2 1/2 on the 28th. Both girls are feisty, strong and stubborn. Asking Maddie to do something can be like talking to a brick wall. It seems like she became defiant overnight and it's really frustrating to the point I brought it up with her pediatrician. I really like her because she just said "Only defiant woman have made history". Bam! Just what I needed to hear. Will Maddie make history? It's unlikely but she will make her own history and as her parents we need to give her healthy boundaries-- which is reallllly hard.

Madelyn is talking so much she's like a broken record. She's potty trained and still loves to hide! Swimming has become her new favorite thing she asked to go 100 times a day. She'll close her nose like she's gonna go under the water and only her chin will. When we're home and sister is running around with no diaper on (we are naked 90% of the time-- who has time for clothes!?) she'll say "stinky booty! stinky booty!".  Yes, we have taught her well. Speaking of teaching her well... whenever we drive by Publix she yells "cookie mama, cookie!" or drive by Chick Fil A it's "I hungry mama, I hungry!". But when she says "thank you mama!" without being told to I have hope she's not learning all bad things from us.

Olive is so close to walking! She takes on step and stops. Unfortunately the screech she came out screaming with has returned when she's about to be fed and I can't get the food on her tray fast enough. Taking baths and pounding her chest are a few of her favorite things. Biting me has taken the cake for favorite things whether it be my knee, shoulder or just after breastfeeding, she gets a BIG kick out of it. Her smile and "stink face" kill me and I can't stay upset about it for to long. 

The girls together love to communicate and laugh at one another by spitting (air raspberries more like it) and it too kills me. We feel tremendously blessed to be able to call these little humans ours.

Monday, May 19, 2014


We've been in survival mode for a long time. I'm kinda over it. I'm attempting to get all my photos organized and while sorting through some today, I could see how much our life has taken a toll on both myself and Cony physically. Sorting through these photos also made me ache for Connecticut fiercely but reminded myself to just be thankful we had such a wonderful experience there... To survive the time of day after nap and before dinner, we spend a lot of time in the girls rooms if we aren't outside. In another attempt to keep a commitment to myself that I would pick up my "real" camera more instead of the trusty iPhone... I decided to start documenting the everyday happy and not so happy moments. These are the days I know I'll ache for when my babies have left me. The moments when Maddie steals my phone and runs to hide, or find her reading a book to her babies or watching Olive crawl and climb on sister- what seems like to purposely annoy her.