Monday, November 25, 2013

What's in a name?

In terms of names for our babies, we are planners.  In previous pregnancies, we have had names picked out for each baby early on- sometimes before we even knew the gender!  We knew Chloe and Mitch were a girl and boy, respectively and had their names ready by the 20 week ultrasound and they became official when we found out for sure what their gender was.  With the twins, as soon as we knew they were both girls, we started the name process and had Leah secured almost right away.  Alexis took a little bit longer, but was still official well before she was born.  I like to plan ahead and also like being able to call the baby their name in utero, mostly just so I can get used to the name.  I don't think any baby comes out looking like a Tim or a Sally.  I think all names, no matter how cute, sound strange because they are new and that baby is new.  It takes some time getting used to a new name and face, especially a new face with a brand new name.

This time around, we only had discussed boy names because we were just sure it was going to be a boy.  When we found out it was a girl, it really threw us off.  We had no girls names picked out and we really had to start from square one.  We threw out a few names here and there as we thought of them, but nothing was coming together has quickly as the other kids' names had.  Olivia was one of the first names that was mentioned, actually- I can't remember who said it first.  We both loved the name instantly, but I took it off the list almost as quickly as it was put on the list.  We are BIG time nick name people and I knew Olivia would be shortened to Liv or Livy and then we'd have a Leah, Lexi and Livy.  3 "L" names all in a row.  That bothered me. 

As the weeks went on, the planner in my and my OCDness started to kick in.  I wanted and needed for this baby to have a name.  One day I sat Ben down and said "We need to get serious and pick a name!"  First we needed a solid list.  We made a list of the names that had been randomly thrown out- 4 or 5 tops.  They were good names, but I didn't LOVE any of them.  Ben mentioned Olivia again and I told him that we just couldn't have 3 "L" names.  It didn't bother him very much.  I took to asking around- everyone could see the "L" delima, but didn't think it would be that big of a deal.  My sis-in-law pointed out that we could give her other nicknames that didn't start with "L"- Olive, Vee, etc.  Talking about it with others helped and made me realize, as is the advice I have given others- "If you love the name, not much else matters.  Go for it!" So I took my own advice (with the loving help of others) and went with our first impression and favorite name- Olivia.  It was so perfect, yet tricky all at the same time.  We both loved the name equally, which I loved, and that was all that mattered.

So not that much time had passed, really.  We had that name solidified probably around 26 weeks gestation or something.  Plenty of time left, I know, but I was getting worried!

One Sunday afternoon in mid June (June 16th to be exact), Chloe, along with help from the other kids, made this cutest book for their soon-to-be sissy.  The name had only been solidified for a few weeks at the most, but Chloe must have been paying attention enough to know.

Here is the cover of the book, simply titled "Olivia."
By: Chloe Andros
Picuers (sp) By Mitchell Andros, Alexis Andros & Leah Andros

This page made me laugh out loud when I first read it (it still does): "Olivia- here are some picuers from your family.  We love you!  Your named after a pig on TV!"

I got a good chuckle out of that as I let Chloe know that her sister was not being named after a pig, but that they both just happened to have the same name.  My mom gave Chloe her first Olivia book when she was probably two, as Olivia the pig's character reminded my mom of Chloe.  Chloe loved that book and we collected a few more of the Olivia books over the years.  It was a very cute comparison.

The pages that followed were drawings by each of the kids.  Chloe was first.

"Your sweet like a cupcake and you smell like one to."

Lexi's handi work


I think Leah snuck another drawing on the back of her original.

Mitch- (a self portrait I think)

Another one from Mitch- me holding Olivia, he says.

The ending: "Olivia we hope you liked you book! Love your family!"

It was such a sweet little book that they all were so excited to help make for her, months before her arrival.  It hung around the kitchen all summer and it was so fun to see the name we had chosen written out nice and big.  It made it seem more real.

The middle name took much longer.  We didn't finalize on that until maybe a month before she was born, possibly later.  We finally decided on Morgan.  Ben's maternal grandfather's middle name is Morgan.  He was named after his grandmother, whose maiden name was Morgan.

Olivia Morgan with Great Grandpa Dave Morgan Forsythe and Great Grandma Forsythe

We sure love his grandparents.  They are truly some of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. 

Olivia with Grandma and the quilt she made for her.

While this little sweetie has her own unique name, she has been dubbed "an Andros baby!"  We have never thought any of our kids have ever looked very much alike- not even really like siblings.  You know those families where all the siblings look alike?  I've had friends where I've only known them and then will either see a picture of their family or meet some of their family later and think "Wow!  They look just like all of their siblings!"  The whole family just has a "look."  My siblings and I do not fit into this category and neither do Ben's.  So to have a baby that everyone says "Yep, that's an Andros baby!" is very new to us.  But kind of fun.   People can see a number of different people in her- Chloe, Mitch, Lexi on some days, me, and on and on.

But the person that she is most often compared to is Chloe.  What a compliment!  I love my two red headed beauties!

Chloe often will watch Olivia for us while we are putting the other kids to bed.  One evening I came down stairs to find her reading Olivia an Olivia book.  It was so cute.

Any resemblance here?

She is having more awake time these days, which we just love.

But there really is nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby.

She pledges her allegiance to milk in her sleep a lot. :)

Lexi is our baby whisperer.  She loves to hold Livy whenever she can and can often get her to go to sleep with her signature "tummy pat and one hand on the binky" move.  I have been absolutely amazed at how calm Lexi is when she's holding a fussy Olivia.  One day Olivia had pooped through all her clothes.  I changed her and was running upstairs to get clean clothes.  Lexi had a screaming Olivia on the couch and tried to pacify her for a good 5 minutes or more while I cleaned up the mess and found clothes.  It took me longer than expected.  I came downstairs almost positive that I would find a frazzled Lexi, begging to be done holding her.  Instead, I found a sweet big girl holding her screaming sister.  She was as calm and cool as a cucumber, not the least bit frazzled. 

Livy has been a bit stingy with her smiles.  This was one of the first real smiles she had and I caught it on camera!  She was 8 weeks old.  Since then, she has been much more smiley and we have all been in love with her and her sweet grin.

She turned 2 months last week.  She is such a joy.  What a blessing babies are.

Ben captured some newborn pics of her at 5 days old. 

Like I said, I LOVE nicknames.  I give all my babies about 20 nicknames- some relating to their name, some completely random.  The number of nicknames dies down as they get older, but a good nickname is always fun.  Here are some of Olivia's current nicknames:

Livs (the twins call her this and I love it)
Miss O
Livy Lu
Lu or Lu Lu
Lu Lu Belle
Twitter bug
Google munch 
Baby cakes 

I told you some of them were totally random. 

She has wonderful siblings who adore her.  She has brought our family so much happiness in the past 10 weeks.  We can't imagine life without our Olivia Morgan.

We love you beautiful girl with a beautiful name (even if you are named after a pig)!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Halloween Twenty-Thirteen

Halloween was much anticipated this year- as it is every year at our house.  Our kids LOVE Halloween.  I put up our Halloween decorations in late September, and every day after that someone would ask me when Halloween day was.

These two Bat Girls rocked their costumes this year.  And they loved being in them.  They had multiple opportunities to wear them this year.  They were invited to a Halloween party the day before Halloween by a cute friend in the ward.  They wore their costumes for hours that day.

On Halloween Day, they got to wear their costumes to preschool.

Upon arriving, we discovered Batman was also in attendance that day and had to get a picture of the three of them.  It was so cute.

The girls stayed in their costumes for the rest of the day.  It was so fun to watch them run around the house in their costumes and play.  The only bad part was the skirts on their outfits were heavily glittered and the glitter stuck to everything in the house.  The couches glistened with it, my carpets were like a sparkling ocean at sunset, and I swept up glitter off the hard wood for days.

To the bat cave!

The masks were so, so cute.  And they were faithful in keeping those on for hours at a time, Lexi especially.  Every time they took them off, there was a large dent in their foreheads from where the mask pressed into their face.

Someone asked me if I had made their costumes.  I can only wish I was that crafty.

I should have been thinking ahead and had this sweet girl be a bat or something.  But instead I just recycled an orange sleeper and pumpkin hat that Mitch wore as a tiny newborn.

Chloe and Mitch- Halloween 2007

Mitch, 2007

Her outfit said "I want my Mummy."  Who doesn't?

This is her "I've just seen a rat" look.  Or "Oh no, we're out of milk."

I got the opportunity to dress up this year for mutual, the night before Halloween. 

The toughest mechanic you've ever seen.

At mutual, one of the girls saw me and said, "Oh cool!  You're like one of those clubber people!"  Hmmm... If I ever went to a club, I definitely wouldn't be wearing that.

Chloe was Spider Girl

Mitch- Spiderman! 

The Spider people

Our "Super" kids

All 5!

We love our neighborhood- it is the best to go trick or treating in.

Ben got in the Halloween spirit with this BRIGHT orange hat.  We never lost sight of him all night.

I put Livy in the front pack and she slept the entire time we trick or treated.

I love watching my kids trick or treat. 

Our favorite place to trick or treat every year is Grandma Cynde's place.

She always has a fun treat for the kids.  This year, she had 4 HUGE treats for each of them.  Spoiled little kids.

It was a fun night.  The weather forecast had called for rain, but it stopped right before we went out and didn't start up again until we were done.  

Next year, little Liv.

Another successful year!