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Happy 1st Birthday Ollie!

Happy 1st Birthday Ollie!

Wow!  This past month and a bit has been a roller-coaster ride for us. Between the bustle of the Christmas season, the hope for the New Year and the return to normal, everyday life, our little man, or should I say, big man, celebrated one of the hugest milestones ever. His first birthday! I will never be able to understand how this year, out of all the other years of my life, seemed to pass by so quickly without me ever feeling like I could catch up. Days passed by without notice, weekends appeared out of nowhere and  months changed before I even had time to register it was a new month, and suddenly my baby, my little Ollie, turned into a toddler. How is that even possible? I can still remember how tiny his hand looked in Daddy’s hand, still remember having to support him because he couldn’t sit on his own, still remember the fuzzy look of awe he had in his eyes, every time he looked around, and yet, before the blink of an eye, he’s changed and will never be that little baby again. It’s a very bittersweet moment. Of course I will forever cherish the memories I have of him when he was “brand new”, and mourn the loss of “what was”, but at the same time celebrate and delight in the new wonders of my child. Everyday we grow together, learn new things together and discover the world around us. I feel so lucky to be along for the ride, to relive wonders long forgotten and to see our little Ollie grow into the man I know he will become. He has helped shape me into a better person, taught me patience, love and understanding. He has shown me how to listen and observe all the things in my world that are often overlooked and encouraged me to take time just to live in the moment, not to wallow in the past or be focused just on the future. Together we take one day at a time, even though, more often than not, we have no idea what day it even is. :)

For Christmas and Ollie’s birthday, we decided to do a photoshoot with our favourite photographer, Yvonne. She has been a part of so many milestones in our life, so it seemed only right to have her photograph another huge event for us. We were a little worried going into the shoot, as Ollie had not been himself the last couple days and was a bit fussy, but we figured we might as well capture the truth, and accept things for what they were. If Ollie was going to cry through the photos, then that was what was going to happen. No sense worrying about it. Oliver started off a little grouchy, but eventually warmed up and began laughing as Daddy danced in the background wearing a Santa hat that “magically” kept falling off in a comical way. Ollie remained in pretty good spirits until the last photos of the morning, the birthday “smash the cake” photos. I don’t know if it was due to him missing his nap, or if he was chilly sitting in only his diaper, but he began to cry, and nothing we did could remedy the situation. Luckily, we made the pictures work for us, using the theme “It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To!” The photos turned out great, and we used many of them for Christmas cards and Birthday invites. One of our big challenges for the shoot was fingding a vegan cupcake, because I wanted to avoid any possible allergens or irritants, so we wouldn’t have rash-y photos. Luckily we found a place at a local market that made vegan goodies, so we were able to order some banana cupcakes. In the end, Ollie didn’t even eat them anyways, so I guess it didn’t matter, but it’s good to know for the future. :)

This year, Ollie was actually around for the annual GT Christmas Tree Hunt, and though there was no snow, we all bundled up and headed out into the Christmas Tree forest to find the perfect Christmas Tree, though, we went with a fake one this year, as I wasn’t ready for the extra hassle of a real tree. We did find one for my mom though, and it was a beauty! Next year we will bring a real one home, as we had so much fun looking for one with the family. :) Plus, you can’t beat that “new tree” smell. ;)

Ollie met Santa for the first time at a family get-together, and was not impressed. We had arrived a little late, so before Ollie even had a chance to adjust to his surroundings, he was thrust upon Santa’s lap and he began to howl. He wouldn’t stop crying until Daddy moved him away from the jolly, bearded man. 

Ollie later wrote a letter to Santa with Mommy and Daddy, and mailed it to the North Pole. It seems like Santa didn’t take the crying fit too personally, as he promptly wrote back to Oliver and told him he’d see him on Christmas Eve. :)

Ollie had a wonderful, but busy Christmas. Some say it was his first Christmas, but Chris and I think of last Christmas as his official first Christmas, because we spent the whole day focused on meeting him. This year was truly his first Christmas with the rest of the world though. :) On Christmas Eve, we spent the day with Chris’ family and enjoyed a lovely dinner and an evening of gift sharing. Ollie was overtired as he had not slept, and of course, would not nap as he was not in his own crib, in his own house. Stubborn monkey! He received lots of cool gifts, like his blue bike, magnetic wood Tegu Blocks, LeapFrog toys (a puppy that calls Oliver by his name and knows all is favourite things and Tag books), and cute Blabla things! :D What a lucky boy!

Early Christmas morning, Ollie awoke to see that Santa had indeed come to visit while he was (finally) sleeping! He loved playing with his stocking stuffers, and he especially loved his gift from Santa- a red Schoenhut piano! He looked a lot like Schroeder from “Peanuts” as his little fingers twinkled across the keys. :)

That afternoon, after a long nap (weehoo!), we headed over to my parent’s house for more Christmas celebrations. We were greeted by the whole family, and then bombarded with a zillion gifts to open! Ollie got so many nice things- warm, cozy blankets, adorable clothing, fun bath toys, a singing mailbox and a handmade sign featuring his favourite literary goose, Ollie, from his Pepe. It is so cute! Ollie also got a refurbished rocking chair that my siblings and I used to use when we were small. He loves that chair so much, and when he rocks, he rocks with so much gusto, that I’m in the market for a seatbelt for it. ;) 

We then had another yummy dinner, and afterwards, headed home to ready ourselves for Ollie’s birthday party we were hosting the next morning. Whew!

 

Ollie’s birthday was a lot of fun, but being on the tail end of Christmas, leaves you exhausted and ready for a nap. So much celebration in such a short time span! Realizing he was a year old that morning really put me in a reflective mood that day, but since we had a party to set up, I didn’t have time to sit and revel in it as much as I wanted to. I feel like Ollie has been a part of me forever, like he’s always been there, yet at the same time, he’s still so new to the world around him. He is so special to both me and his father, and we feel a love and a bond stronger than anything we’ve felt before, and the weird thing is, he didn’t have to earn it, he didn’t have to get to know us first. We felt it as soon as we knew he existed, and even more as soon as he was born. The connection between us is something you can’t explain, only feel with your own children, so now I can finally say, “Mom, I understand.” He is my whole heart and soul, and the love I feel for him and my little family scares me sometimes, as it is so strong. Now, back to the party! 

Ollie’s birthday was great, as he was surrounded by friends and family who so lovingly and generously came to celebrate with him. He received many more wonderful gifts, including another sign made by his Pepe. When it came time for Ollie to eat his cake, we had to wait and wait for what felt like years. He barely even touched the cake. Finally, he began eating it, and he ate it until it was completely gone! He seemed to love it! And sadly, that was when things turned sour, literally. Ollie’s face began to rash up, bumps began to appear and he started to scratch. His mood turned foul, and after everyone left, he threw up his delicious cake, all over Daddy. Poor little guy! :( I guess this is what we get for not going vegan. I was lucky though, because once he was cleaned up and feeling a little better, he leaned over and gave me my first baby kiss, cuddling into me, wanting some Mommy and Ollie time. I just melted on the spot. Thank goodness it didn’t happen earlier when he was sick though! I dodged a bullet on that one! ;)

I would like to give a shout out to two super talented, creative and generous ladies though, who helped make Ollie’s day super-duper special: Lesley Wellington from The Cat’s Pajamas  and Annie Matheson-Allen from dick&jane. Both ladies run their own shops on Etsy, and I encourage everyone to pick up something for yourself, or a gift for someone you love from them, as their work is super unique and you can see the love behind everything they create. 

This goose is the Cat's Pajamas! ;)

Lesley, you may recall, made Ollie’s bumble bee Christmas ornament last Christmas, and this year, she gifted us with an adorable cake topper that fit right into our “Ollie the Goose” theme. I had the cupcake baker come up with some cupcake toppers to match the cake topper, and I think the overall look turned out really cute. :) I truly can’t wait to find another project for her to work on, as I just love everything she does! :) She and her husband are wonderful people, and we really cherish their friendship. We are so happy to say congrats to them both, as they are expecting their first little one this summer! We are so excited for them! :D

Who Needs Clothes When You've Got dick&jane?

Annie and her son Sylvan, have both become pals to both Ollie and I, as Annie and I both had our sons in December of the same year. Her little guy is only 10 days older than Ollie! We met through our blogs, and during her adventure into Motherhood, Annie turned to her creative side and began sewing up a storm. She had decided to use cloth diapers when her son was born, and after using a diaper service, she wondered why she couldn’t just wash them at home, and then suddenly, she began sewing her own diapers too! What a handy Mama!! Her diapers are too cute for words. She creates the cutest diapers I’ve ever seen, using super funky fabric or really vintage fabric, and most importantly, the diapers work! :D No leaks! I have been eyeing them on her site for awhile, and one day when checking the mail, we noticed a parcel from her shop! Needless to say, I was dancing around the house with the diaper as soon as I opened the package. :) I now have to buy another, because it’s like they say, cloth diapers are addictive!

Ollie loves eating. He especially loves feeding himself. His favourite foods are bananas (he eats at least 1 a day!), chicken, broccoli, potato, carrots, cauliflower, crackers, cheerios, noodles, and bread. If he eats oatmeal or rice cereal, it must be made with green beans added to it, otherwise he’ll act like he’s choking and sputter to spit it out of his mouth. What an oddball! He really loves my roast chicken, and he also loves boiled dinner! Yippee!! :D I love making “poor man’s dinner”, and am so happy that someone else in my house will eat it. It’s one of my favourite meals from my childhood, and it’s neat to pass on the tradition to a new generation. 

 

 

Ollie loves drinking water from his cups, especially cups with straws. His favourite cup is his lollacup. This cup is awesome! Ollie wasn’t understanding how to use the cups with the leak proof valves in them, and would get easily frustrated and give up trying to drink on his own until we found this cup. It is a valve free straw sippy cup, so while it may leak a little if you lay it on it’s side, it also gave him the ability and confidence to drink on his own, and now he has been able to master any of the other valve style cups too! The lollacup is super adorable, and the company has the most amazing customer service ever. When Ollie dropped his cup, the lid broke, and after one email to them, they mailed out a replacement lid and new straws too! :D This is a great cup to buy for your little ones who are just learning to drink unassisted, and a staple even after they master the technique. Heck, I’d drink from one myself! :)

We have discovered on our food adventures, that Ollie is either allergic or intolerant to dairy, eggs, nuts, and certain oils. After eating eggs, he developed a facial rash with itchy bumps and then threw up and was lethargic for most of the day. He also developed a warm, red flush to his belly and groin area too. It looks like we need to keep taking things slow, which is too bad, as he’s quite adventurous and open to new foods. 

Another thing that affected Oliver’s mood and temperament was during teething. Oliver seemed to be teething forever, but finally, right after his birthday, his two bottom teeth cut through! :D I think that brought a lot of relief to him, though his top ones look like they are getting ready to come out soon too.   

Ollie has many favourite things, and it is getting easier and easier to recognize what he loves. He loves playing the guitar with Daddy. He strums the strings happily while Daddy tries to play a song. He also love dancing to music, especially the theme songs to his favourite shows like Roll Play, The Backyardigans, and Wonder Pets. When he hears the music play, he scoots over to the TV as fast as his little body can go. He loves clapping, and will even clap with the people on TV if they are happy and celebrating something. He enjoys playing his musical instruments with Mommy and Daddy, crawling after the kitties (“Keeh”) tirelessly, playing with computers or anything with buttons and watching the toilet flush.

Here is a little video of him dancing to the theme song to Roll Play. :)

Ollie crawls like the wind now, and is so fast that I have to almost run to get ahead of him to make sure doors and gates are shut. One time, the door to the basement wasn’t shut, though I was so positive it was, that I didn’t go to double check and all of a sudden I heard this horrible, heart stopping thudding going down the stairs. My whole body froze for a split second and then I bolted over, already tears were streaming down my face, and my heart was stuck in my throat. There sat Ollie, still at the top of the stairs, with a giant smile on his face. He had thrown Sawyer’s heavy treat ball down the stairs. I scooped into my arms and cried and cried. Poor kid was so confused. Needless to say, we installed a cat door soon after and now keep that door closed all the time. 
 
Ollie can stand if you set him up and give him something to hold onto, but still doesn’t get into the standing position on his own. He will get onto his knees and strain to get onto his feet, but he’s still not there. I think he’ll be standing soon though. 

Ollie hasn’t been sleeping all that well, he’s been fighting naps, and getting up a couple times through the night. I have read that during times of development, baby’s brains are so busy learning, that the baby actually sleeps less due to their active brain and body. I wonder if that’s why he’s having trouble sleeping. Milestones are a beotch on sleep apparently. ;) He did fall asleep before the countdown on New Year’s Eve though! 

 

 

Ollie had his 1 year appointment and was deemed to be healthy, but on the smaller side. He isn’t growing much in length, is is gaining weight slowly, but the doctor wasn’t too worried. Ollie seemed to boom in size right at the beginning, and has now leveled off at the moment, so on the chart it looks like he’s dropped like crazy, which of course, makes you feel a little nervous. I take comfort in the fact he’s happy, healthy and eats like a horse. He also got his 1 year shots, and he cried up a storm. Luckily, he didn’t get sick from them like last time.

When Oliver is feeling affectionate, he will put his forehead against the cat’s or people’s heads, and rub them together. It is one of my favourite things ever. I think he learned it while watching Nobi come up to greet us. It’s such a cute, little cuddly move. Ollie waves at people now, even before they wave to him, because he’s getting his coat on and knows it’s time to go. Sometimes the waves are delayed until the person is out the door. He cries when Daddy goes to work, but will wave to him on the phone when he hears his voice, and loves doing FaceTime on my iPhone with Daddy as he works at the office.

Ollie is a thinker. He’s very bright and quite curious. He’s gentle and loves watching everything around him, absorbing every little detail. He can be cautious and slow to try new things, but he eventually makes the attempt and once he gets his footing, he gains confidence and happily motors on. He has a wild temper, and reacts in an overly dramatic way when he’s told no. He will bang his head against whatever is behind him, kick his legs and holler, while throwing whatever was in his hand, away.  He loves chatting with his pets, the TV and his toys. He engrosses himself in all technology, and tries to understand how everything works. When he’s tired or nursing, he rhythmically hits his head with his hand or with his blankie in order to fall asleep. Another odd habit, is his love of putting his finger up people’s noses! Sometimes he even puts his finger in poor Sawyer’s nose! Oliver loves to laugh, loves to chase us or be chased around the living room, and has become a little parrot by mimicking the things we do, or sounds we make. The other day I showed him how to brush his teddy bear’s hair, and he quickly grabbed the brush and began to do it all by himself. He is a quick study, that one. :)

Everyday he changes just a little bit more, and grows into an even more amazing person than I could have imagined. I love our little family more and more, and appreciate what our parents must have felt for us when we were young. Everyday has some new challenge to deal with, and while it can be tiring, this job of being a parent is definitely the most amazing and rewarding job I could have ever gotten. I am so thankful to be Oliver’s Mum, and to be a part of his life. Even when he’s cranky, or I’m without sleep, all I have to do is remember his smile or the sound of his laugh, and all that stress starts to melt away until all I’m left with is a blessing. 

 

Enjoy this little slideshow video of Ollie’s  first year! We love you Goose! xo

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. This post is epic! LOVE all the pictures, especially one of the last family ones! ;) It turned out great! You have so many amazing photos of little Ollie, and he truly melts everyone’s heart! Love you and the family and wonderful post!

    Love Auntie Elle
    xoxo

    • mandiemoon says:

      Haha! Yes, it took a bit to write as there was so much to remember. :) I am so glad you love the pictures, and yes, our totem pole picture turned out awesome! Thank you for you paparazzi skills. *wink*
      Love you too!!
      xo
      =^..^=

  2. Annie says:

    Ollie is SUCH a lucky boy to have you as a momma! Just look at all those incredible pictures… what a sweet little family you have. Thanks for the photos of my diaper! Love it!! Can I share those photos on my dick&jane page? Ollie looks so cute in his diaper :)

    • mandiemoon says:

      Aw, thank you Annie! :D Also, thank you again so much for the diaper. It is the cutest thing ever! I loved all your photos of Sylvan too! He looks like he had the birthday of the year. It truly looked epic! Of course you can share the pics! Let me know if you  need higher resolution photos! :D

  3. Annie says:

    Okay, I have to comment again, because I actually looked through each photo individually after posting last time… you have the most gorgeous, photogenic little boy EVER! Those eyes! Also, where did you get that retro kids blankie? I LOVE that fabric… I have a diaper for Sylvan (from another company) in that fabric and it’s one of my favourites!

    • mandiemoon says:

      Aw, thanks Annie. :) He is pretty cute, if I do say so myself. ;) Your little man is also adorable! I can’t help but smile every time I see a new picture of him. I’m in love with his chubby cheeks. :) 

      I got the blanket from Etsy, of course. ;) I wanted to get Ollie a blankie for Christmas, and I took so long deciding, that I eventually ran out of time. So as a last resort, I went into my favourites I had saved and checked to see if any of them were local sellers, and oddly enough, one was right in London! I was able to go and pick it up Christmas Eve! I love the pattern too, as I’m a huge vintage fabric fan, and it’s the perfect size for Ollie to tote around with him. :) The seller’s shop is DandelionBabyblanket. 

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