Thursday, March 8, 2012

November through January

The Update Continues...


The fall continued to be busy and we loved being able to see so much more of Olivia's personality come out. We started out the month with a trip to Waco for Homecoming. It was a little on the stressful side because we were having trouble with breastfeeding at the time, but we tried to make the most of it and made some good memories. Brian got back into running a little bit with a 30K trail race in Grapevine, and we had fun cheering him on even though it was pretty windy and chilly. Livi got a great report at her 4 month checkup, and the pediatrician said we could start her on oatmeal cereal. Later on, we were able to spend lots of time with family over the Thanksgiving holiday and loved every minute of it. Olivia also rolled over from her back to her tummy... and oh, and I turned 27.. woohoo! :)

All bundled up for the Homecoming parade

Family pic on Burleson Quad

Four month checkup stats:
12 lbs. 11 oz (17th%)
24 1/2 inches (86th%)

So BIG!!

A fun little photo shoot with the cute onesie and boots
Uncle Luke gave her when she was born

She was still such a good little sleeper

Olivia's first race to cheer her daddy on!

She got really good at sitting up in her Bumbo

And we spent lots of time on our tummy during playtime

We tried oatmeal cereal for the first time...

And weren't so sure about it at first

Mommy and Livi with Aunt Al and Michael

Olivia and Kinley

One morning, Brian and I were both trying to get ready at the same time,
so he rigged up a little "entertainment center" for Olivia...
We love Baby Einstein videos at our house!


This month was filled with more fun time with family and some big developmental steps for Olivia... She sat up all by herself the day after Christmas while we were in Texarkana with Brian's extended family. We decorated our house for Christmas, went to a few parties throughout the month, watched Mimi and Papa perform in Prestonwood's Christmas program, and watched Baylor win the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Christmas was so special now that we have a baby and it made the story of Jesus' birth even more meaningful.

Her first picture with Santa went great...
It's next year that I'm worried about :)

Caylin got engaged! Cannot wait until September!

We went to see Mimi and Papa perform in "The Gift of Christmas".
Olivia was obviously really impressed!

Our Christmas card picture

(Great!) Aunt Donna helped Olivia explore the Christmas tree

Uncle Luke loving on Livi

Nana and Papa with the LaMar grandkids plus their first great-grand

Family pic

Olivia's gifts from Santa

Big Girl sitting up in her Baylor tailgating chair!

Our family of 4 on Christmas morning

We love our Granny Ballard

Not too excited about being a reindeer

She sat up for the first time by herself the day after Christmas

Just thought we needed a pic of Livi with Aunt Aubs :)

Mommies love baby sugars... even messy carrot-face ones.

Valero Alamo Bowl 2011

The whole crew... Sic 'Em Bears!


2012 began a little different than in years past. We typically go to III Forks with all the Ballards for our family Christmas party, but this year we decided to split up the two activities. We always have fun getting dressed up and eating lobster bisque and filet mignon, and this year was no different. Ava was so generous and bought coordinating outfits for all the cousins. They looked soo cute! It was kinda crazy having them at dinner, considering their ages, so I think I might be pulling for getting babysitters next year :) We did stay up until midnight, but barely.. We also got to watch Olivia start to become mobile. She got really good at scooting and rolling around, but mostly backward. She would try to move toward an object and end up going in the opposite direction, which proved to be fairly frustrating to her. Ha :) We had a playdate at the mall with Wyatt and Graham, but didn't take pictures to prove it. Olivia also cut her first two teeth this month. I wasn't expecting them so soon... that little gummy smile is gone forever! Every developmental milestone that she meets is so bittersweet to me... it means she's capable of doing so much more but getting further and further away from being that sweet tiny newborn we brought home from the hospital in July. It's just another reminder to me to enjoy every single season, every single moment... cuz it goes by so fast.

Our little family

All of the Ballard (and Alecu) clan

We are currently a one-car family...
so this was Brian's "outfit"on his commute one morning.

I started trying to consistently workout again,
and both of these girls were happy to keep me company!

Evidence of Little Bit's new-found mobility.
She wiggled herself backwards until she got herself stuck under the dresser in her room.

Sweet Girl loved being able to sit up and play with her toys

Six-month check up stats:
14 lbs. 7 oz. (18th%)
26 1/2 in. (74th%)

She got a perfect bill of health at the well-check

She always looks like such a big girl when she sits in her highchair...

Her constant scooting around started affecting her sleep...
We put the bumpers back on and things got better.

A few days after she turned 6 months old, she cut her first tooth...
about a week later, she cut the second one.
All the constant drooling suddenly made a little more sense :)

Uncle Luke sent us a buck-tooth pacifier for our 6-month birthday gift...
Gotta love him! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Catching up... July through October!

Photo disclaimer: We do have better pictures that we took with our real camera, but they're on Brian's part of the computer. So, to make it easier I just used the file of my iPhone pictures.


Oh ya know, we had a baby...

At 9:30pm on July 10th I started having what I later discovered were contractions. Almost exactly 24 hrs later, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. Olivia Lynn Ballard was born on July 11th at 9:23pm, weighed 6 lbs. 5 oz and was 19 1/4 inches long. Even though it was crazy hard, I'm proud to say I delivered her naturally... mostly just because I was too stubborn to officially ask for the epidural. Will I do it again next time? Brian hopes not. :) We had so many friends and family members there over the course of our stay in the hospital. We were so thankful and blessed by everyone who came to show their support and love on our Livi Girl.

Sunday, July 10

Monday, July 11
(smiling between contractions didn't last much longer after this!)

Proud daddy

Baylor Proud

My sister made this hospital door sign. So cute!

Friends (and babies!) visiting in the hospital

On our way home

First time in the bassinet

Week 1

Newborn Photo Session @ 3 Weeks

First play date with Tucker...
They both slept through most of it!


We were obviously still trying to figure things out at this point, but Olivia was a great newborn, in my opinion. She was relaxed, nursed quickly, and slept as good as could be expected. She loved to sleep on her tummy on our chests during the day and loved being swaddled in her bassinet during the night. We struggled a little bit at the beginning trying to get her weight up, she had mild jaundice, and we also had to deal with having thrush. Our families, especially my mom, were a huge help during the first month. Also, our Sunday School class organized meals for us every few days and that was greatly appreciated. On her one-month birthday, her daddy fed her her first bottle, and she loved it!

One month check-up stats:
8 lbs. 9 0z
No length measurements taken
Est. 21 1/4 inches

First bikini

One of our first times "out"

First time at church...
she always seemed to have a blow out during our Sunday School class!

Spending time at Mimi and Papa's with cousins

She slept like this, with her hands raised, all the time

Daddy giving Livi her very first bottle

First time using our awesome stroller

This is just proof that she doesn't smile and look cute ALL the time :)


This month I felt like we were starting to get a good routine down. As with most routines with babies, though, it seems like they change as soon as you've got it down. This month was filled with several trips to Waco to witness an awesome season of Baylor football. Olivia rolled over for the first time, from her tummy to her back, and we met two more of Olivia's future boyfriends, Kade and Case! We also had baby dedication at our church and were so thankful for family that was able to come support. Oh, and I got my hair chopped off...

Two month check-up stats:
10 lbs. 7 oz.
23 1/2 inches

We always had our handy-dandy wubba close by..
I might have added a little bow to the bear's head so it looked more feminine :)

With Uncle Jake, taking the game very seriously...

Love all our little Baylor gear

Welcome to the world, Casen!

First time out of newborn clothes! Mommy cried...

Olivia loves her playmat and her furry big sister

Short and sassy

All dressed up for baby dedication!


This month was filled with more trips to Waco for football games, meeting Baby Graham for the first time, and a lot more "firsts". She was a great traveler (and still is!), and we loved getting to know her little personality this month. We started getting lots of smiles and coos! Our big event this month was our trip to Boston to visit our cousin Michael and Aunt Al and Uncle John. Mimi and Papa and Granny Ballard were going and we decided to tag along for the second half of the week! The trip went great and it was so good to see them and be in Boston again.

3-month photo shoot

Visiting G-Mama and Aunt Sissy at Covenant.

Brian called her our Halloween Ballerina or our "Hallerina"

Our Aunt Sissy turned 15!

We got our wood floors replaced after some water damage from our A/C vent in the attic.
We had to move out of our house for a week but it all looks great now!

First time in Mimi and Papa's swing.. She loves being outdoors!

She loves bath time!
She hasn't cried since the very first one.

Olivia and Daddy before church one Sunday

Welcome to the world, Graham!

In Massachusetts, on the Old North Bridge