Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I don't have pictures, but wanted to announce that miss Layla popped her two front bottom teeth this weekend!!

It was a big weekend! It was the 6 month anniversary of her due date (Feb 28 2010) so we had Yellow Leaf cupcakes (the best in town), and went on a shopping spree for her 6-month photo shoot coming up in two weeks. Boy, you can spend a lot of money fast on cute baby clothes!! She also ate her first solid food (see below) and popped her first teeth, all at once. What a big girl!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Layla gets some avacado

Layla has been ready for her first solid food for a while now, but the doctor recommended we wait until 6 months and we've been awful busy (first solid food requires lots of media attention) so we put it off until now.

We decided to start with avocado, because it's one of the first foods recommended on the helpful website www.wholesomebabyfood.com and by lots of other resources (FYI rice cereal, the first baby food of choice for many years, is now disputed and under review by the APA- it's bland and not very nutritious).

We blended up a super-ripe avocado with some fresh breastmilk to make a yummy-looking (sarcasm) 'avocado milkshake.' Then we stripped Layla down to her diaper, stuck her in her bumbo chair, and spooned some up. We were not surprised when she grabbed the spoon and stuck it in her mouth, and then grabbed a handful and stuck that in her mouth. What a smart girl! Then she grabbed the spoon and waved it all around, and took a handful and smeared it all over her chest, and very quickly there was avocado milkshake all over the place.

We're not sure which she liked more - the avocado milkshake or the big mess she got to make - but she had a blast! She was so worn out afterwards she couldn't wait for bed.

Layla helps herself!

Layla has always been a good communicator. When she's hungry, she opens her mouth and reaches for what she wants. Lately, that has been everything from a burrito to a flower. As her parents, we feel obligated to make sure what goes in her mouth is (mostly) good for her, so we have been following doctor's orders to keep her on breastmilk only until 6 months. But while we were in New Mexico, she decided she was done with that and helped herself to some water. We weren't surprised, since it was 100F every day we were there.

This was during her bath, which was in the kitchen sink since the place we were staying didn't have a bathtub. She also decided she was ready to drink out of a cup, and told us by reaching for the cup we were using to dump water on her and drinking from it. She had a hard time with it though, so we'll probably get her a sippy cup.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Now that Layla is being left alone in her crib more, and she can roll over and scoot herself all around, we've stopped using her swaddle so she doesn't get stuck somewhere she doesn't want to be. This means she gets to hang around in really cute sleepers and sleep sacks all the time.

In case you're wondering, what in the world is a sleep sack? I assure you we wondered the same thing, and now I can share our new knowledge. They are blankets for babies that have arm-holes and zip up so the babies can't get all tangled up in them. This is the cutest sleep sack we could find in town, it's by Aiden and Anais which is apparently all the rage in Hollywood. Also it is made out of a really lightweight material for summer.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The epic diaper journey comes to an end

It seems like we are making so many big changes these days I hardly have time to document all of them. But the diaper journey is important.

We started out using ALL cloth diapers (with a service), because we thought it was the best for the environment (who knows if it really is, one can argue all over this one). Cloth diapers are easy in that you can blow through 10 without feeling too guilty about it (at 10 cents each) and use them for other stuff like burp cloths, wipes, etc. Which we did. The first few months we were getting 150 diapers PER WEEK and we used them all! They are hard, however, when you are out on the town (you always need a plastic bag to bring home the used ones) or if your kid pees 8 gallons at a time which happened to us frequently (mostly at night). So it may generate some extra laundry. Also something to consider is that diaper covers cost about $10 each and you have to buy new ones every time your kid growth spurts which in our case was way too often.

So after a while we started to modify, and used disposable diapers at night and sometimes when we went out, cloth diapers that fit larger size ranges (Thirsties are nice), and things got a lot easier. But then the kid started sleeping all the time, and is in daycare most of the rest of the time (they have their own cloth diapers), and on weekends we are partying down and using mostly disposables, so this week we decided to finally cancel the diaper service. What a change! I am reeling.

So that's our diaper journey. I am proud we made it almost to 6 months using mostly cloth diapers. And I am happy to report that we will continue to use cloth diapers at the daycare, and environmentally friendly disposables at home (whatever that means), so we aren't all bad. But the era of the cloth diaper service has come to an end.

Layla visits the Desert

Traveling to the Motherland wasn't hard enough, so we thought we'd challenge ourselves again with a trip out to New Mexico to visit another wing of our family (my dad's side).

We had a whole different set of challenges this time (1 month later). Since we went through sleep training, Layla's 'nap' and 'bedtime' routines are really different now. Essentially what used to work doesn't, and the thing that now works is to let her cry a bit and we really can't do that when we're on a plane or in a hotel (or senior community as the case may be). So we had a lot of struggle especially with naps which are always her big challenge these days (she HATES napping when interesting things are going on..!).
The easier parts this time were going through security, hanging out in the airport, packing, and take off and landing (no problem).

As before, Layla debuted in her super-cute mommy-made dress with the orange Etsy flower headband (didn't have time to put together another outfit, but she's almost outgrown this one so I will have to next time).
She saw LOTS of family and got lots of hugs and squeezes. She has a whole pile of uncles that couldn't wait to meet her, and my Dad had waited on pins and needles to finally get to hold her.

She was excited to meet him and by the end of the weekend definitely recognized he has that special 'grandpa' status. Notice that my dad is sporting a Seattle Sounders (soccer) hat... yay Sounders!

And my dad finally gave us the THIRTY YEAR QUILT!! I will post some pictures of that later.

Unfortunately it was 100F every day we were there and we didn't get out much (the mild Seattle climate has made us weak), but we did get a LOT of good visiting done.

Monday, August 16, 2010


While we were in New Mexico (more on that later) I found DIRT soap!! It smelled like dirt!! If you are super jealous and wish you had some you can get it at www.newmexicosoap.com.

Also while we are discussing soap I need to mention my all-time favorite soap, CAT POOP soap. Surprisingly, it smells like cappuccino. When I saw this I immediately thought of three of my favorite people: my Grandpa S., who is always up for a good poop joke, my great friend from grad school K, who is also always up for a good poop joke, and my brother J, who was in college and seemed like he just needed some poop soap. If you wish you had some you can get it here.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Layla's sleepy pants

When Layla gets cranky, the Studly Hubby says she 'put her cranky-pants on.' And when she gets sleepy, she 'puts her sleepy-pants on.' The Studly Hubby picks her up from daycare and then gives me a report when I get home, and it usually goes something like this:

'She jumped in her monkey chair for a while, and then she put her cranky pants on, and I fed her, and then she put her sleepy pants on, and now she's ready for bed.'

The big thing Layla learned when she got sleeped trained was how to go to sleep on her own when she puts her sleepy pants on. Now, she likes sleeping so much that she is putting her sleepy pants on VERY EARLY - 6:30 pm!!! It is too early! I am working on shifting my work schedule earlier so I can get home before she is in bed. Amazingly, she is sleeping straight through until 6:30 am.

I have to admit, this complete turnaround in Layla's sleep pattern made us a little bit nervous at first. After she started sleeping through the night, we would wake up and then worry about her. One time the Studly Hubby went into her room to check on her and accidentally woke her up - and she made sure he was very VERY sorry he did that.

So we decided to get a video baby monitor. I can't believe I'm one of THOSE people that wants to spy on my kid while she sleeps. But I have to admit it's ridiculously fun. She's not super interesting but it IS really really nice to see what's going on in there. The video camera can see in the dark really well too (better than me)!

If you look on the screen you can see the live video of Layla sleeping in her crib. This was taken at about 8 pm, and she had already been asleep for an hour and a half!!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Kid's triathlon

Kids can do triathlons too!!

Layla told me about this. She can't wait until she can walk so she can do one.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Jumping Bean!

The Studly Hubby taught Miss Layla how to jump in her monkey chair!!

Now we're in BIG trouble - she wants to jump ALL THE TIME!!

Garden progress

We haven't been getting much done lately, but one thing we kind of had to do was clean up our garden. In Seattle, gardens really only require two things: 1) lots and lots of weeding Sept-June and 2) lots and lots of watering in July and August (yes, it actually gets dry here in the summer).
Our garden hadn't gotten much weeding since March, and we had let all the plants in the planters die from drought, and the neighbor's dog had pooped all over our backyard and we hadn't even noticed, and there was some need to mow. Since we have a new baby and have been looking pretty exhausted lately, the neighbors decided to step in and help out. We were SO grateful. Our neighbor with the dog came over to clean up all the poop and mow the yard because she felt bad about the poop, and our other neighbor politely asked for permission to 'lend a hand' with the garden and then tore out all the weeds for us and bought a bunch of plants to put in the planters - it must have taken her two or three whole days. I barely managed to get out and buy her some chocolate and a bottle of wine as a thank-you when she continued helping out by watering all the new plants for us too. Last weekend at the tail end of all the work the Studly Hubby and I traded off watching the girl and went out to help out, but most of it was already done (plus we didn't really know what we were doing).

So, viola! Freshly beautified garden!

This is one of the four quadrants of our garden, the one we spent the most time on.

Layla approves of all the flowers!
Look at these hollyhocks! Aren't they huge??

Thursday, August 05, 2010

We do some other things too!

Even though we don't sleep much, every once in a while we get out and do something. To prove it, here is a picture of the Studly Hubby in a road race he ran last weekend with some friends.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A second note on sleep deprivation

We're still sleep deprived!

So we decided it's time for a change.

I packed Layla up in the Moby and we went to Kids on 45th, a used kid store in our neighborhood, to look for some books on sleeping. Fortunately, sleep is a BIG issue so there were lots of books. I bought, "Healthy sleep habits, happy child" by Dr. Weissbluth, on a recommendation, but the book I really wanted, 'Solve your child's sleep problems' by Richard Ferber, was not there, which I've been told has the same general ideas but is better written.

I read 'Healthy sleep habits' and it was really informative.

Apparently babies make a big shift in their sleep patterns around 3-4 months (which we had noticed) and go from a random sleep pattern to one that is more routine and adult-like. Little babies like rocking and swaddling (outlined in the 'Happiest Baby on the Block' video, which any new parent MUST WATCH), but when they transition into an adult sleep pattern they need consistent bedtimes, a consistent sleeping 'nest' (isn't your bed the best place to sleep?) and some help making sure they get enough sleep (since life is exciting now, and sleep isn't).

I also learned that staying up late really screws you. You release nasty stress hormones that make you sleep poorly and wake up too early. So, it's much better if you want your baby to sleep well to make them go to bed early and be well rested in general (sleep begets sleep).

So, we made some changes. We also hired a 'sleep doula' to have a chat with us about our plans.

We decided to shift over to the new routine cold turkey. We set up a different bedtime ritual where we put Layla down awake instead of asleep so she could learn how to fall asleep by herself. When she cried at night we didn't go to her unless it was at one of the times that she's usually actually hungry.

It was a really hard transition, for her and for us. None of us got any sleep the first night, and not much more the second night. But the THIRD night, she slept ELEVEN hours..!! STRAIGHT!!!! We were relieved (and a little destroyed). I think she was relieved too. She is clearly learning how to sleep better, which is a very useful skill to have.

Now to get our lives back on track - and emerge from the fog of sleep deprivation..!