Beautiful Summer, beautiful Olive

Mama, Dada, Olive and Koka are having the most wonderful Summer altogether watching our delicious Olive grow into a little girl. She has changed so much and her personality is starting to shine. She is happy and determined, and so smiley. Busy. Oh boy she has some busy to do. We have all been so busy with holidays and activities and swimming and seeing friends, it is such a luxury for us all to not be working.

So, December, we went to our two Christmas parties at vineyards – one in Kumeu with Women’s Health Action (Mama is on the Trust Board) and the other with LawWorks at Te Whau. Doing pretty well for a girl out of work! Olive was a star and loved all the attention. We then went to Olive’s first dress-up party where she got to strut her stuff as a pirate! Unfortunately she wasn’t allowed to eat any of the party food.

Then the festive season began and we all went over to Waiheke for a holiday with Nini and Grandad (who were still working). Most of Grandad’s family came for Christmas and loved, loved, heaped the LOVE on Olive. She was the star attraction and became accustomed to have a cheering, enthusiastic audience at all times.

Olive had her first Christmas, which started with a stocking in Nini’s bed, trying to get what she could from Grandad’s bebes. Not much really. In true baby style, Olive was more impressed by the puppies, wrapping paper and tree than the phenomenal stack of loot she received. She does like the nose of Basil Brush and the stacking rainbow blocks and pegs, which are chewy and yum (and hopefully painted with lead-free paint). Olive chowed down on some yummy mangoes, strawberries (absolute favourite) and still didn’t get any of the good stuff like pudding.

Olive loved the beach, the sand was yum and the sea was fun. The sea added a salty note to the bebe, which was popular with Olive the bebe critic. Dada did a lot of fishing and somewhat less catching, he did come home with a blue cod which we made into a scrummy breakfast. Olive had Leyla, then Holly, then Arlo and Toby to visit, which was choice because Olive loves kids. She watches them like a hawk. She must be figuring out how she’s going to play that big kid game. Impatiently she waits to grow up.

To bring in the New Year Mama and Dada went with Aunty Yani, Uncle Nick and Jesse down to Onetangi for some fireworks and to gawk at the drunk teenagers. Olive stayed with Nini sound asleep well before midnight. For her own celebration the next day Olive decided to eat a little bit of her own poo, which made her throw up several times. No matter, it all looked the same as the silverbeet and apple puree she was eating at the time!

We came home for two nights and then headed down to Aotea for the Stenhouse clan holiday. We went via the greyhound dog races where Mama had a punt on the geegees and pineapple pie. Yum. Olive took her debut in the Judge’s seat specially for Grandad.

Aunty Amanda and Uncle Andy have bought a house on seaside in the sleepy little village. Mama and Dada floated down the current and Olive paddled in the paddling pool with all her cousins. Koka was in heaven, having gotten rid of the puppies and then arriving at a free-for-all-dogs beach across the road from the house and where she could chase whoever she pleased and take a dip when it suited her. Dada did lots more fishing and a little more catching, this time a big snapper and some flounder. We all got tans and Olive had her first growling when she kept on pulling Emma’s hair until she cried. Olive the Brute. The last few nights were sleepless with Olive teething and battling a cold she picked up in cuzzie-land. The drive home was less harrowing than the drive down due to Mama and Dada’s plan to leave at 4am to beat the daytime backseat car blues/ tears/ screams of thunder that we had on the way down.

Home again for a few days and then up to Tawharanui to stay at Tom Cotter’s farm, where the little family all slept peacefully on a mattress in the back of the car. Olive ate some sand and charmed Mama and Dada’s friends who all commented on how much hair she has now! On the way back we stopped in for a visit with Felix, Linda and Otto (Olive’s betrothed) and ended up staying in Coatesville for the night with them. Then we spent a day with the Rabbits who were up from Wanganui and we went to Parnell Pools with Rach and Molly while Dada went to see Avatar at the Imax with Pete. Such a life of lush leisure we are leading.

A wedding on the weekend where Olive was a charmer and a trip to the Whatipu caves before Olive the Brute struck again frightening wee Maia into the corner with her hair pulling. Olive the Brute also left a lovely poo on the deck for Maia who had invited her in for dip in the paddling pool (which the babies plotted and executed a joint escape from).

Now we are home and Olive is sleeping. Mama has learnt that too much chocolate for pudding means a bright-eyed crawler chatting away at 3am. Mama has also learnt that Olive doesn’t need all the bebe she has been getting in the night and with a few pats on the bum sleep soon returns. All those sleepless nights sucking may have been in vain, probably not though. Happy baby, happy Mama. The grand plan of Dada settling Olive in the night had a troublesome first night with a sad baby calling for her Mama, and Mama saying persist, she’ll get used to it, only to discover the little toothy peg had popped through in the night. And so continues the guilty and endless conveyer belt of motherhood. The tooth has come though and what a sweet tooth it is, all of the pain and the grumbles and the gnawing and the homeopathic spray (oooh yum yum says Olive) was worth the shiny gleamer (we hope it is anyway, not much to see yet, just can feel the tip of it). Why don’t we just cut all the gums open and be done with it? Maybe someone knows, but Mama doesn’t. Ouchy might be the reason.

Our little Indian. Sometimes its an angry Indian…

Koka is learning her lot is a new lot which includes a grabby handed Olive pulling at her eyes, her ears and claiming fistfuls of fur. She tolerates it like a true labrador, even the patting in the water bowl and the kibble stealing mid meal is going by without a second glance. Lovely and soon to be long-suffering Koka-dog.

The busy little butternut is eating now, as she pleases, where she pleases – in the bath, naked. On the swing outside. In the pool, Ok. In the highchair. Um. No. No way. Standing on the bench? Sometimes. I can open the drawer. Yeah. Chase me Mama and I’ll eat. Maybe. The sweet tooth may have arrived but we are still managing to sneak in some lentils and silverbeet. Tonight she had apple, almond butter and rice milk for pudding. In the bath. Yum. The best thing about eating in the bath, from Mama’s perspective, is that all the spitting out of water, food and general mouth contents that Olive is rehearsing and loving (and Mama and Dada can’t help laughing at) is contained!

And also the big girl does poos on the toilet. Just like the big kids!

Mama and Dada are the luckiest people in the world to have our beautiful little peahen.