Sunday, July 25, 2010


Discovering your feet

Miss Layla Rose discovered her feet this week! This was a HUGE excitement. Of course since she is experiencing everything through taste these days that means she puts her feet in her mouth, and this is something easiest done without the diaper. So, during diaper changes, Layla usually has her feet in her mouth now.

AND we actually caught it on video!! This was the second time she put her feet in her mouth - she has socks on, so she technically put her sock in her mouth, but I assure you she is also quite happy to put bare feet in her mouth.

Some new videos!!

Here are some new videos of Layla! You may or may not care to watch ALL of them...

LAYLA VS. EEYORE (Eyore was a gift from Grandpa M, thanks Grandpa M!)

Layla in her new Monkey Jungle Gym!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A note on sleep deprivation

One of my worst nightmares is to not get enough sleep - prior to having a baby I tested all my limits and found that I have a HARD limit of 7.5 hours per night (anything less and I am dysfunctional) and a critical limit of 3 nights of less than adequate sleep before my health is compromised.

It seems that having a baby changes something, because I've found I'm able to survive on much less now. Thank goodness, because I need to! After 2 months of great sleeping, Layla suddenly turned into a nocturnal sleepless monster at about 3 months. She wakes constantly, sleeps loudly (it sounds like she's fighting bears), is always hungry, and is often ready to party at 2 am. The Studly Hubby and I worked out a system so that we each would at least get 4 hours of sleep (split shifts, I stay up until 2 am and he takes over at 2 am). Even with this plan, we could only get about 4-5 hours each per night and it went on for almost three weeks. I don't have any idea how I managed to work a full day after all that. Thank goodness the Studly Hubby was on paternity leave, so he could take care of the house stuff and other things that came up. Otherwise our house would have totally fallen apart.

We looked into 'sleep training' (where you let the baby cry it out) but haven't started that yet because Layla's still pretty young. We talked to the doctor who gave us little more than sympathy. We talked to the doula who was encouraging that it wouldn't last long but told us this doesn't sound abnormal so there's not much that can be done (blah!). We were looking into paying someone to spend the night every once in a while so we could just get some sleep (the Studly Hubby goes back to work next week!) and then finally on Thursday night she mysteriously turned around and slept 10 hrs straight. Aaaaaaahhhhhhh, sweet sleep..!!! Fingers crossed the phase is over..!

Four month photos

The Studly Hubby as usual is taking some great pictures of Layla. She makes a good subject! She hasn't gotten sick of the camera yet, but I'm sure she will someday.

Carseat photo! She's getting HUGE. The sweatshirt she's wearing is from her aunt W, and is a size 12 months!!

Sometimes after a bath Layla decides she wants a punk rock 'do (before her hair gets greasy from all of our baby kisses and pats). She wanted to show it off here while sitting in the rocking chair her aunt M got for her.
We are constantly on the lookout for cute hats, because we have no sun tolerance here in Seattle. Also, you aren't supposed to put sunscreen on baby's faces until they are a little older so we need to protect Layla, who unfortunately seems to have gotten her mommy's sun-shy skin. Fortunately there is no shortage of cute hats in Seattle!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

4 months!

Today is Layla's 4 month birthday! I'm going to post some new pictures later, but I just wanted to highlight her new 4-month developments:

- she's GIGGLING!! and she always snorts at the end of the giggle, it's so cute. Since she discovered she can do this she does it for just about anything.

- she's HUGE!! She's been constantly growth spurting for about 3 weeks and just shot right through her 3 month clothes into 6- and 12-month sizes!! Good thing we have so many fun new things to put on her..! She's also stretching across the changing table - I'm going to have to move some stuff on the end to make more room for her.

- Her blue eyes got even bluer over the past week, and lighter. They are so pretty! Her face is also changing, and people are saying she looks even more like me!

- She is SO READY to start crawling. The Studly Hubby tortures her by putting her on her belly with a favorite toy a few feet away and she kicks and pushes and tries to get to it but hasn't quite got the muscle yet... but nearly! We are starting to think about baby-proofing the house.

New purse!!

I LOST my purse last weekend on the flight back from the motherland - it really sucked but the upside is that I get to buy a new purse. I've fallen in love with a 'purse lady' at Pike's Place Market but make myself look but not buy since I already have two of her purses. The purse lady is Sandra from Sandra's Satchels (you can buy her stuff through Etsy if you are not a Seattle resident). She lives in my neighborhood! and she makes the most AMAZING purses - the pictures on Etsy do not do them justice. They are really high quality fabric and sewing and super cute designs.

This is my old purse (that I lost):
And this is my new purse! I asked her to put the elephant button on it if she could, I was particularly attached to that.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Paternity Leave!!

My husband works for a great company that recognizes that men need to contribute to their family as well as women - and so they give a one-month paid paternity leave. He is now on his paternity leave. AND we have childcare! So he can spend time with the kid and then drop the kid off and spend some time at home catching up on all the stuff we've gotten behind on in the past two months.

Of course, being The Wife, I have a long honey-do list for the Studly Hubby during his paternity leave in July. On the top of my list is getting his help working out a better morning routine for Layla and I (the Studly Hubby usually leaves for work before we get up - but not in July!). Our mornings currently go like this: wake up, chaos, chaos, chaos, change diaper (x3), more chaos, and then run out the door and up to the daycare with a screaming baby and only half the things I need for the day. I want to change this to: wake up, feed the baby and myself, get the baby ready, get myself ready, and then walk out the door when I intend to with everyone happy and all the things we both need for the day and the neighbors impressed with what an awesome mother I am instead of horrified by the blur of chaos and screaming that normally flies past.

My goal has two parts. First, I hope that during July, Layla will get older (which she will, since she always does) and because of this she will be better and more predictable by the time the Studly Hubby goes back to work. Second, I hope to work out a better system so that I can just get everything together and leave no matter what is going on with the baby. This is much harder than it sounds. But, if I am successful, it will be a big step towards a new routine at work that I can be happy with - modified from the old routine, but hopefully good enough.

My ship has come in!

I realized today that MY SHIP HAS COME IN.


I read in 'O the Oprah Magazine' about two years ago that a lot of people wait their whole lives for their ship to come in, only to realize that it had already happened many years ago. Ever since, I've been on the lookout. But ships don't just come in when you want them to. I realized that there was no way my ship could come in when I was still in my 20s because there's just too much 20s angst going on. And it would never come in during bad weather, that's just a no-brainer (and there's a lot of bad weather in Seattle). So I had to just hang back and wait for a bit.

The surprising thing, to me, was that having a kid was what put it all into motion.

I really love having a kid, she's so cute, and new and interesting, and satisfying somehow - so of course, that helped. But there's more. First, being pregnant put a fire under my rear at work and I finally got somewhere after many years of struggle. Second, having a kid helped me enter the secret parent club that I never even knew existed - and we now have a million new friends and interesting things to do. And third, this kid thing really takes your marriage to a whole new level (which in our case was good).

So now, I can say that my ship has come in. I have a great life, and I love it. AND I remembered to notice, yay me! But, my life isn't ever just rainbows and unicorns - and as proof, below is a picture also taken today of the Studly Hubby crashed on the couch due to sleep deprivation (the li'l missus kept us up all night again last night). It's worth it though!!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Mommy-baby matching outfits!!

I always wanted a matching mommy-baby outfit, because that seems like an over-the-top kind of must-do experience.

And I seem to have gotten on this strange sewing kick since Layla was born.

So I thought I would combine the two and sew us a matching mommy-baby outfit. I used fabric left over from my mother's day skirt, and bought some more fabric to make a baby dress, and then put it with a flower headband from Etsy, cute shoes from the Studly Hubby's Studly parents, and it was exactly what I wanted - an over-the-top amazing-obnoxious mommy-baby outfit!!

Big success!! Layla liked it too, she loves the bright colors in the fabric. After I handed her off and got to a take a good look at my handiwork, I was really proud of myself! The dress turned out great, and was a really unique mix of patterns. I had a lot of fun with this project, hopefully I will have time to make more!!

Big trip to the Motherland

We decided to take Layla back to the 'Motherland' (where our mothers are!) over the 4th of July holiday. Like me, Layla has a lot of grandparents - SIX (including some step-grandparents), and she has EIGHT more great-grandparents!! She also has SIX uncles and THREE aunts, FOUR cousins and an army of great aunts and uncles that were all dying to meet her. She told me before she left she couldn't WAIT!!!

So we put her in some appropriate attire and hopped on a plane.

And she's a good traveler!! She liked the airport, enjoyed all the lights on the plane (and then fell asleep for a while), didn't seem to mind the pressure changes (she even slept through one of the landings!), and was generally a pretty good sport. She was even kind of sick when we left - but didn't complain.

When we got to Iowa, we had a LOT of people to meet. She LOVED meeting everyone, and told many of them about her awesome trip from Seattle.

Below she is telling the Studly Hubby's Studly Mommy all about her wild trip through airports and on airplanes all the way from Seattle to Iowa.

Her relatives made a good audience, and she soaked up all the new sights. One of the things that really blew her mind was the dogs at my mom's house, she stared at them with her mouth wide open (unfortunately we didn't have the camera out yet).

She also had a wonderful time playing with everyone, below she and my mom are goofing around on the floor of my mom's living room.

We were hosted very well by our mommies in the Motherland - both mommies got play things for us to use, including swings and vibrating chairs and toys. Below Layla is having fun in one of the swings and she is holding a stuffed dog her Grandpa M gave her.

Big kudos to my mom especially for clearing out the bottom floor of her house for us, running the air conditioning all weekend at our request, keeping quiet in the mornings so we could sleep in (since we are lazy West Coasters), and organizing a large-scale rental of all of her neighbor's baby things.

Also many thanks to those who brought toys and gifts for Layla, she really loves the toys and WE love the outfits! My mom was an especially big contributor, and filled up her entire kitchen table with bags of stuff she got for Layla. What an excited Grandma!!

Even though everything went well and we were glad Layla could meet a lot of her family, it was a really exhausting trip. The Studly Hubby and I both got sick, and poor Layla didn't shake her cold, so all three of us got home on Sunday night exhausted and sick, 30 minutes before the fireworks show started in our neighborhood. We all went to bed while the fireworks were going off less than a mile away from us, and slept through the fireworks, the traffic and loud partying afterwards. Then Monday we had a lot of long naps during the day to try to recover. What a trip!!