Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grandma came to town, and we went to the Ballard Market

On Friday Layla's Grandma L came to town to visit again, her first time back since her helpful visit last March when Layla was a little-little brand-new baby.


We have been having so much fun!! On Saturday we had pancakes at home and then walked around the neighborhood, up to the lake, to a garage sale (where we bought a pile of things) and then went to lunch in Fremont and Yellow Leaf Cupcakes. On the way to get the cupcakes we convinced ourselves to buy their famous Pancakes N Bacon cupcakes but when we got there they were out! So we settled for Orange Cake, Boston Cream, Snowball, and Chocolate-Toffee, which were all delicious.

Today we needed to let the Studly Hubby get some work done so Layla and Grandma L and I drove out to Ballard to go to the Farmer's Market, which I love but haven't been to in about a year.


I have made some really awesome discoveries at the Ballard Farmer's Market, including the Best Soap, Pie and Cheese in the World, and Layla discovered her favorite new band, That Family That Plays the Most Awesome Bluegrass at the Market. Even when she's tired and cranky she's still happy to watch bluegrass at the market.

Afterwards we went to Kerry Park in Queen Anne where you can take the most scenic pictures of Seattle, although we all three forgot our cameras. So, my mom and Layla slept in the car for a while and I played on my iPhone, then when they woke up we all checked out the view and headed back home.

At home, Layla worked on her mobility. She has really made progress this week. Last week, she was getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth and crying with the frustration of not being mobile. This week, she learned how to get from that position into a sitting-up position and then this weekend she learned how to combine sitting-up, rolling, and wiggling on all fours to actually get around the living room. So, I'm going to call it:

LAYLA IS MOBILE

So now we're chasing her around our living room keeping her from getting into all the stuff she can't wait to get into, like all the cords by the phone, the cabinets under the TV, the stuff on our shelves, and that intriguing space under the coffee table. Unfortunately, she bonked herself on the noggin a few times and we are learning how much dust we've been collecting behind the couch, but for the most part it's really exciting.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

deals and steals

I've become a huge fan of online shopping since I had a baby. You can do it late at night, there's no rush to figure out what you need, and everything gets delivered to your door. Also, I've found some AMAZING websites that have great deals or just a nice layout with everything you'd ever need. Here are some of them:

1. Diapers.com. Someone told me about this months ago and I ignored them until recently, when I realized they had 20% off of the carseats we were looking into buying (and then I found a lot of other stuff that was way cheaper than the other sources we were using). They deliver in 2 days too! If you use it let me know and I can give you my 'referral' code and get $10.

2. albeebaby.com I think this is like diapers.com but with different stuff on sale.

3. babysteals.com This is like 'groupon' but for babies, and laid out fancier so it makes you really want to buy the stuff.

4. zulily.com Just found out about this so haven't had time to check it out but it's basically like babysteals only for designer items.

Did I miss any good ones? Let me know!

Also Old Navy is having an awesome sale on baby stuff right now!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby group!

Here are all the babies from our parent support group! Layla is in the middle, grabbing at the pacifier strap of the baby next to her. I can now say that lining up 8 6-month olds and taking a picture is not easy, but very entertaining.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wallyhood blog

Our neighborhood has a blog! I love to check in every once in a while and read about garage sales, weird stuff people have on their lawns, church fundraisers, etc. This week the blog suddenly became useful, however, when we got a letter in the mail that a church near us is planning to be a site for an organized homeless group. What! There was a very heated discussion about this that we had to miss, and tomorrow is 'opening day'. So we both checked out all the details on the wallyhood blog, and found out that a lot of our neighbors were doing the same (the first blog post on this topic had 116 comments!). It turns out that for the most part, it should be ok - it's not a huge group (like the famous Seattle Tent City and Nickelsville groups). There will only be 15 people/night, they have to sign in and out, they will be supervised, and they have to be in by 9 pm and out by 7 am. But, unfortunately, an unregistered sex offender was hanging out in the last one for a while before he got caught (they don't have time to do background checks on everyone). And, weirdly, the church that is hosting this shelter happens to also host a daycare (not OUR daycare, thank goodness, but you can see why this is controversial).

But, what can we do? We have to try to help the homeless, right? And how can you help them if you don't let them sleep anywhere? This program keeps SO MANY people from sleeping outside. And problems in the nearby neighborhood are VERY RARE. So, I don't see any good solid reason to shut it down (other than the daycare issue, which as I said is very weird). But, I have to admit, I'll be a little nervous for a while as the neighborhood adjusts to its new neighbors.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

6 month photos!!

We have been looking forward to getting 6-month photos ever since we got our totally awesome newborn photos (when Layla was 5 days old!). In anticipation, we went on a shopping spree at Once Upon A Time in Queen Anne, a kids store with lots of fancy-pants locally handmade items. You can spend a lot of money fast at that store! But, it's good to get a couple of really really nice things every once in a while.

But one of the best things for our pictures - the 30-year quilt! We spread this out in the grass and took a bunch of photos on it, and it was really comfy AND beautiful!! And the photographer couldn't BELIEVE my dad made it.

Our photographer is really amazing, and as we expected she took some awesome shots of us, even though Miss Layla put on her crabby pants after only about 40 min.



These are just a few - I'll try to post more once we get the entire set.

Crawling!


Layla is trying so hard to be mobile. She is getting up on her hands and knees and working really hard on moving around but still can't, and then gets really frustrated over it. We spent the entire weekend working with her on the floor because we really wanted to see her crawl for the first time (instead of the daycare workers getting to see it!). We each got down there and showed her how it's done, and we moved her knees for her, and we encouraged her by cheering her on and putting toys she wanted just out of reach. But, the end of the weekend came and she still isn't crawling yet. She is, however, scooting backwards (much to her irritation - she moves AWAY from the toy she wants instead of towards it), and she can also turn 180 degrees around now. So, we made some progress. We'll see what the week holds!

Crawling!

Two good quotes

Quotes are changed slightly for clear context

"It's the beginning of mobility; the beginning of the long haul into adulthood where they will get a car and struggle to keep it running" - my dad, on Layla's recent first signs of crawling

"Wow, if my dad called to tell me he was sewing a quilt I would panic and board the next flight out to make sure he was ok" - our photographer, after hearing about the quilt my dad made for Layla

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Silly Hospitals!

The hospital where Layla was born was mostly good to us, but had a little trouble with the bill. First, they called me in the birthing suite to ask what insurance we had for Layla. Who is coherent enough to know anything about insurance at that point? Not me. Then, instead of asking again at a later time when I might actually know, they just billed the wrong insurance and charged us when insurance didn't pay. I was quite surprised that the part we owed for Layla was only about $50. The rest of the bill, for the birth and the recovery and all, was something like three million dollars. They charged $15,000 alone just to stay in the room I was in. What an expensive room! Note that I was only there for 36 hours total, and had no problems at all. Thank goodness I have good insurance! And thank goodness I have good backup insurance (my husband's insurance)! I am very lucky and didn't have to pay anything at all, except that $50 for Layla. Since I am a busy new mom, when I got the bill for $50 I thought it would be sufficient to write in the correct insurance info on the bill and send it back to the hospital. It turns out, that takes a few weeks to process, and meanwhile they started freaking out about their $50. Considering they just hawked three million dollars off my insurance company, I thought maybe they would let the $50 go for a little while until I got Layla's insurance information straightened out. But, no. So, after they called us and made some evil threats, I finally wrote them a check for $50. Then today, I came home to find... surprise! a reimbursement check from the hospital for $50. Yay!

Oh my goodness. I'm glad I don't have to deal with hospitals very often.

Teeth!!

Our baby girl has teeth!!! Can you believe it?


I'd like to point out a few other things about this picture. First, Layla's hair is CHANGING COLOR - it used to be a very very dark brown (and quite wispy) and now the same hair is turning into a cute reddish color... much like mine!! It's also filling in and growing..! It's so pretty! Second, she STILL LOVES EYORE!! She has loved Eyore since she was a little tiny baby and it still holds. Luckily she has THREE Eyores, including one GIANT one waiting for her at Grandma's house in Iowa.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Camping Trip!

We must be really crazy, and maybe a little delusional, because we took our 6-month baby on a camping trip this weekend. But, we survived to tell the tale, and even had a little fun (I got to eat TEN s'mores).

We weren't sure if Layla would like it, or at least like it more than playing with her toys on the kitchen floor, but it turns out she LOVED it. Especially the tents. Our friends had a giant tent and two little girls that were playing inside - and Layla fussed and fussed until I finally figured out she wanted to go IN the tent to play with everyone, which we did. She was SO HAPPY to get in there and be part of all the action. Tents are cool! And she was so motivated to crawl this weekend that she finally did! Although she is crawling backwards only, so far.

We also went on some neat hikes, which Layla really enjoyed, and ate a lot of bad camp food, which Layla did not seem to enjoy (good thing we brought a lot of diapers!), and we did some swimming in a cold lake and some hanging around the beach and some wandering around tide pools during low tide. Layla got to see a lot of neat stuff!! And the weather was perfect, as long as you weren't hoping for a long swim in the lake.

We came back a little early, to a quiet drizzly holiday in Seattle, and Layla and I napped all afternoon together to work on recovering from the big camping trip.

Some great headlines around Washington

While we were on the ferry on the way back from our camping trip in the San Juan Islands, I saw a local newspaper with an awesome headline:

3 Local Orcas Missing

Do they really KNOW when orcas are missing? And where could they possibly go? Aren't they pretty big? I tried to dig out 75 cents to find out more but didn't have it, so when I got home I looked up the paper to read the article. It turns out they are presumed DEAD!! And the salmon are doing well this year, so it's not from a shortage of food. What a mystery.

While I was reading news headlines online, I found out there are a whole bunch of other good headlines out there, in the San Juan Islands and beyond. Here are a few more:

'EMT Response Time Hindered by Poor Cell Service' (proof that we really WERE roughing it where we were camping)

'Investigators track foot found in Green Bank' (it turns out there is a long history of feet washing up on shore in Western Washington - and nobody knows where they are coming from... good thing WE didn't find one! That would be so gross!)

'Public Masturbator Caught on Camera in Denny Park' (and there's a picture... but just of his face, I had to check. Again, glad none of us got to see this)

So it was really too bad I couldn't find 75 cents to buy that paper! That'll teach me to carry some change around next time!!

Sippy Cup!


We got Layla a sippy cup, because she told us a while ago that she really wanted to drink out of a cup like a grown-up. She loves to play with it but hasn't quite gotten the hang of tipping it all the way up so she can actually drink what's in it. But it has nice big handles and doesn't spill or break so she can take her time.