12 Months of Olivia


This past week our Olivia turned one year old!


I wrote a special birthday post for her earlier in the week. Today I’m sharing my regular monthly update.

Olivia’s not scheduled for her one-year doctor’s appointment for a few more weeks. I’ll have new stats for her in the next update.

Olivia’s newest thing is that she started clapping. She loves clapping on her own and of course, when people clap with her, too. Olivia has also started kissing the baby in the mirror when she sees her own reflection, which is about the cutest thing ever. Olivia says “hi” all the time. She doesn’t have other words yet besides “mama” and “dada.” But she talks all the time and is just so interactive.


It should be noted that thanks to Tommy, Olivia is becoming quite a sword fighter. She gets a huge smile on her face whenever she grabs a sword or someone hands her a sword, and she’s game to sword fight pretty regularly. Tommy is wearing just underwear in all of their sword fighting pictures, so I’m sharing a picture of Olivia by herself with one of their many swords.


When we’re at home, we go back and forth between keeping Olivia in the pack ‘n play and her jumpers/standers and giving her free rein to go where she wants. You have to watch her all the time when she’s out and about. Olivia frequently beelines it for the stairs and wants to get into everything – the cat bowls, the pantry, a drawer of towels in the kitchen, etc. Thankfully, she does still like the pack ‘n play and jumpers/standers for stretches at a time. When she gets playing in the pack ‘n play, she’s happy to do so all by herself for quite a while, as long as someone is still close by and engaging with her regularly.

Olivia has just started to let go and stand for two or three seconds on her own. She does this most often when she’s in the pack ‘n play. She hasn’t started to take steps yet.


While we were in Florida, while Genevieve was in the NICU, Jake and I would each spend about an hour with her in the mornings. Then every other day or so, we’d take the kids out and do something fun in the afternoons. We went to the zoo, once during the day to see the animals and once at night for their holiday lights display. We went to the beach in Jacksonville Beach a couple of times. We went to St. Augustine two different times and visited the fort, pirate museum, and colonial village and walked through a lot of the downtown. Most mornings at least one of us would take the kids to a park during the other one’s hospital time. Jake and Tommy also went to a couple of other parks on their own.

Our final couple of days in Florida, Genevieve was out of the NICU, and we stuck closer to home. Now that we’re back in Wisconsin where it’s much colder and the numbers are much worse, we’re sticking close to home for a lot of the winter.


This was Olivia’s first Christmas. She’s old enough that she was awake for all of it (minus her usual nap) and watching what was happening but not old enough that she understood. Tommy helped Olivia open her presents. She was just as excited about the wrapping paper, boxes, etc. as what was inside the presents. We always take Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for our immediate family. Between having a preemie newborn and the current numbers in our area, we had very few other holiday plans this year.


We celebrated Olivia’s birthday at home with just our immediate family and my parents. Tommy helped me pick out balloons for her, and I made cupcakes. Olivia is in no way ready to eat cake/cupcakes yet, but she tried the whipped cream frosting. It was a nice low-key celebration. I’m still in shock that it’s already been a year since we were traveling to Florida for her birth. She’s made every single day of this last year better.


For the most part, Olivia is unphased by Genevieve. She’s curious about her, but for the most part, isn’t jealous, even when Jake and I are holding her and feeding her. As Genevieve still sleeps so much, Olivia continues to get a lot of one on one time with me and Jake. Being the second child, she’s already very used to waiting while we get Tommy a snack, help him get dressed, etc. She’s not at all phased by us helping Genevieve now as well.


Olivia has done so well with eating pureed baby food this past month. She’s tried a bunch of different ones and liked all of them. I’ve been sticking to stage 1 and stage 2 pureed fruits and fruit/veggie blends. At first, I was mixing in a little formula. Now I’m not, and she still does so well. I tried a soft regular food (mashed potatoes), and ultimately, she still got sick. We’ll try again in a week or two. I’m also going to see how Olivia does with stage 3 pureed baby foods this coming month. Olivia did eat some Dole Whip while we were in St. Augustine, which is what’s pictured above, and enjoyed it, which was definitely a plus.


Thankfully, Olivia is at a stage where she loves baths because feeding herself pureed baby food is so messy. I give it to her when we eat lunch or dinner. Then she gets a bath before her nap or bedtime. She’ll easily spend 15-20 minutes splashing and playing with the toys before she’s ready to be done, usually because she’s tired.

Since we left home for Genevieve’s birth, Olivia has been taking one nap per day. She’ll sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Olivia is ready for bed around 8 and goes down so easily. The kids and I have been sleeping a little later in the mornings as Tommy doesn’t have school or classes right now. So she’ll sleep until 8 or 9 and is almost always happy to play in her crib for a bit before we get her up. Tommy also likes to go into her room and play with her when they’re first up in the morning.


Olivia had a few rougher nights of sleep while we were traveling, which is completely understandable. Otherwise, her sleep has gotten so much better the past couple of months. Olivia still wakes up once a night wanting a bottle. She goes right down again after she’s done eating. Sometimes she does wake up one other time during the night. It’s almost always very easy to settle her again. She still has occasional nights that she wakes up more, but it’s rare.

Olivia is holding steady with 12-18 month clothes and size 3 diapers and size 3 overnight diapers with a liner. When she finishes out the current stash of size 3 diapers, most likely we’ll transition up to size 4.


Olivia spent almost the entire three weeks we were in Florida working on cutting her top two middle teeth. Thankfully, her teething symptoms were much less severe than they were over the summer when she cut her bottom two middle teeth.

Olivia is not flipping over repeatedly while you change her nearly as often as she had been previously. But lately, she likes to fight you while you pull clothing over her head. There are a few pieces of art above her changing table. When she’s sitting up while you button buttons or put on a hair bow or something, she likes to try to grab the art.

Jake and Olivia

You can find all of my baby/toddler updates for all three kids as well as general family updates and other family-related posts in the family section of the blog.

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