Sunday, October 31, 2010

Layla's enthusiasm

Layla likes a lot of weird things. She LOVES her sippy cup like it's the long-lost friend she just discovered.



She also loves her monkey chair and now that she's mobile she doesn't even need to be in it - she just wants to go over and shake it a bunch.



Other things she finds fascinating:

Shoelaces
Furniture hardware (particularly the coffee table drawer knobs)
Remote controls
Computer keyboards (early evidence she is leaning towards geekdom)
Cups (not just sippy cups - any kind of cup)
Zippers and buttons and straps
Strings and cords
Coasters - especially our bamboo ones (although we let her have those so she is quickly losing interest)

As you can see in the video, we have one enthusiastic kid on our hands. It's fun to rediscover the joy of things like shoelaces as you watch her delight in them.

Waving!

Layla is waving! She is also, as I mentioned before, using sign language to tell us 'more' and 'milk'. Unfortunately she still gets all these confused (and sometimes just generically smacks her hand on something), but we've been able to pick out some definite intentional gestures in between all the others. Below she turns a generic hand-smacking into a wave, and waves at me, then her dad, then at me some more, then decides she's done and exits.



You may notice at the end of the video I say 'you're so cute' - I say this a lot in videos and I suspect I might say this a lot in general. I guess it's good positive reinforcement for Layla but I didn't even realize I was doing it so often until i was going through all these videos tonight. Well I guess at least it's clear to you all how I feel about her!!

A day in the life

This is our little Layla, cruising all around the place and working on her motor development skills. They say that the reason babies start to get more lean as they pass the 6-month mark is because they become so active - if that is true then Layla will become as skinny as a string bean soon!



Two notes: 1. Her extreme drive to play is very clear in this video - she doesn't stop just to cry about a little old bump! 2. In the background you can see the consequence of her new mobility - stuff is everywhere! She pulls things down from anywhere she can and it all ends up on the floor. Usually she doesn't pay any attention to it after she pulls it down but every once in a while she finds something so interesting she lets go of whatever she is holding onto and falls on her butt. Poor Layla!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stroller coma

Whenever we take Layla out in her fancy-pants new stroller she immediately goes into 'stroller coma' - she gets a glazed look, gets really quiet, and stays totally still for however long you are out. I take this to mean she likes the stroller. The Studly Hubby claims she has stayed in 'stroller coma' for over an hour while he was out running, on several occasions!!

Now that it's getting cold we have to make sure we get a hat on her (the knit hat my friend B made is now too small! But we liked it so much we went out and got another knit hat). We are also looking for some baby-mittens to buy and we put little socks and soft-soled shoes on her. Here we were only out for a bit so we just tucked a warm blanket around her.

She is getting very big for the Moby wrap (front-carrier) but I still use it a lot especially to take her to daycare while I walk my bike with all of our bags of stuff for the day. We both love the Moby, and Layla will cheer up every time she is in it even when she's super mad at me for not getting her to the daycare fast enough in the morning. I think one of the things she likes best is being right in front and center so she can say hello to all the patrons of the coffee shop that is on our way. They all think she is super cute and often stop to tell her that. It's very fun for her - and it's pretty fun for me too!!

More 6 month photos!

Here are the rest of Layla's 6-month photos!!






First pony ride!!


Layla sat on a pony for the first time last weekend at Biringer Pumpkin Farm near Edmonds WA. We were extremely excited about it; she was indifferent. For the record, the pony was also indifferent (he was eating grass the entire time).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Layla video!

We finally caught the elusive Layla crawling on video - which actually took a while.\



While we had the video camera out we also caught her 'crazy happy' mood, which seems to be induced by nothing in particular. Here she is extremely excited about the couch.



And here she is watching her crazy daddy (the one and only Studly Hubby) tearing back and forth down the hallway. I'm not sure what he was trying to do but it was pretty funny watching her while he did it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

COMMUNICATING with Layla...!

Layla 'spoke' to me yesterday for the first time! She used baby sign language for 'milk' when I came to pick her up. It was amazing! I realized this was our 'first contact' from Layla... in fact, it was the first time she has responded to us in general other than earlier this week when I think she was trying to clap her hands while I sang "if you're happy and you know it" - another thing I think she learned at daycare. Thank goodness for daycare! it would never have occurred to me that we could teach her sign language and that she would USE it.

Layla has also started communicating affection towards me. First she crawled to me when I came home after work (and today she asked to be picked up for the first time by reaching up towards me). Then she HUGGED me after I picked her up - how neat is that! Unfortunately, this is all very new and she hasn't crawled to or hugged her daddy yet, and I think he's excitedly waiting for that. But he gets a different kind of affection - Layla laughs whenever he comes in the room!! I wonder why she does that... I'm starting to feel like Layla is my special buddy. Not only does she willingly go with me wherever I want to go (the Farmer's Market, the fabric store, my friend's house, etc), but she LOVES me too!! I'm such a lucky mom.

Layla's Progress

It seems like as soon as Layla masters something new, she starts working on the next thing. It's dizzying! Also petrifying - last week, she kept falling as she tried to pull herself up onto furniture, and were convinced it would land us in the ER. This week, she can pull herself up and stand without falling, but she falls when she tried to move from one piece of furniture to the next. We are going to have to cover the house in foam!

Here is what she has mastered:
-crawling: she is off! she can crawl all over the place now!
-pulling herself up to standing


This is what she is working on:
-Pulling herself up from lying down to sitting (especially during diaper changes)
-Sitting back down after standing
-Letting go while she's standing - hopefully Mom or Dad is nearby to catch her!
-COMMUNICATION!!! See above

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Daddy plays!

I think all daddies can't wait until their baby is old enough to play. So it was no surprise that the Studly Hubby was pretty excited when Layla started responded to things and giggling delightedly at things that make her happy. The Studly Hubby has been finding all sorts of great ways to play with Layla. Sometimes they just sit together and work on a toy or book, or one of her many new developments (she's standing now!). But other times they roll around on the floor together or Layla gets to fly through the air like an airplane... how much fun is that! Good thing for daddies!!



New baby dress masterpiece!!

A brave friend of mine just had baby #3, a baby girl. I was so inspired I ventured out of my monkey-pants routine and made her a baby dress. Then midstream through the dress I thought I should take it up a notch from the last one and try to make it reversible. Reversible dresses are so much better because they are lined with clean seams AND you get to pick out TWO sets of fabric.

So this is the finished masterpiece. I am proud of the result but felt like I could have made some of the seams straighter - and I've already bought fabric to try again for a fall baby dress for Layla.

But most important, hopefully my friend's baby #3 likes it and can wear it to the Baby Grand Ball this winter when it finally fits her!! I can't wait to see what she looks like in it!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Skirt update!

Bought fabric for the skirt I'm making in sewing class!



is it the sky? or a flower? hmmm...

Friday, October 08, 2010

ZomBCon

Apparently Seattle is the Zombie Capital of the World. And as such, we are going to be hosting ZomBCon in October. Excellent!

If you are a big Zombie fan you really should check out this article on mathematical modeling of a zombie outbreak. A sentence from the abstract: 'Mathematical models were created to establish the speed of zombie infection and evaluate potential scenarios for intervention, mainly because mathematicians don't have anything better to do with their time.' Clearly! I hope the authors are at ZomBCon so I can hear an update on their progress!

The Studly Hubby tells me he is getting a little sick of zombies. He is NOT planning to go to ZomBCon. Oh well, I will just have to take Layla!!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sewing class!

I signed up for a sewing class, and it starts next week!! We are going to sew a skirt (below). I need to go pick out fabric this weekend. I will of course make a matching baby dress for my daughter Miss Layla.


Even though I have been on a sewing kick recently, I realized I really don't know much about sewing. I can barely follow a pattern (which makes the range of possibilities very limited), I can't cut a straight line of fabric, and the things I make keep having problems that I don't know how to solve. So, hopefully this class will be a big step forward. And I will be able to make a really neat-o skirt in it!!

The class is in the early evening in our neighborhood. It starts just before Miss Layla goes to bed, so that means the Studly Hubby will have to put her to bed at night. He normally doesn't do this, since I have the Power of the Boob which is very effective at bedtime. But on the rare occasion that he has to step in he doesn't seem to have much of a problem, so hopefully all will go smoothly. It is a 3-week class (one evening a week).

In addition to picking out fabric, I have to buy a page-long list of supplies (like going back to school) and take my own sewing machine. So this weekend I am going to get myself into Sewing Mode. Maybe I'll make another baby dress in the process!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Cute little-little babies

We have been subjected to a few little-little babies lately, and it's really taking a toll on my Baby Resistance Mechanisms. They get you in all sorts of weird ways, and now that I have an almost-7 month old I find I am having even more trouble than ever.

First, little-little babies have a very weak-sounding cry that reminds me of a cat meow. When Layla was a little-little baby, I wasn't used to her cry so when she cried, I thought the world was going to end. But, now that she's a little older and cries all the time, and LOUDLY, the cries of a little-little baby are NOTHING to me. In fact, I am astonished to find myself actually saying, 'oh, how CUTE...'

Second, they are light as a feather. I could carry one around all day long.

Third, they have such cute little heads. I don't know why this gets me, but it does.

I have to remind myself that having a little-little baby is not all sliding down rainbows and eating ice cream (although I did eat a lot of ice cream). They wake you up at night, they demand food and bouncing and swaddling and all kinds of maintenance that you can't predict, and they can't hold up their heads so you have to be extra-careful (this was particularly stressful for me). Plus they grow out of their cute little clothes in less than a day, which requires constant wardrobe upgrades, and they can't play fun games with you like 'peek-a-boo.' But they are so CUTE!!! The Studly Hubby and I will need another one someday. But not too soon, as the slightly-older little baby we have now is still quite the handful.

Monday, October 04, 2010

My new friend Farro


I've got a new addiction - Farro. It's a grain. I guess there is some debate about what farro is, so I'm talking about the kind that is also called Emmer. It's an old-world grain that is low in gluten and DELICIOUS.

I discovered farro at the Ballard Market. I am a big fan of hot cereal, especially in the fall when it starts to get chilly outside. When I was a kid, my mom used to make 'Little Bear' hot cereal on the weekends and it was delicious. So now that I have a kid, I guess I'm trying to find my way back into that tradition. Except I have no idea what 'Little Bear' cereal actually was (a special blend made by our local coop). I bought some hot cereal from Red Mill a while ago that was just not right. Then I stopped by a booth at the Farmer's Market and got talked into trying their farro.

The farro is grown by Blue Bird Grain Farms in WA. It's fresh and organic, and a family-run farm, so it's a feel-good food. But most important, it's delicious. It's nutty and high in protein and has a nice chewy texture and is just what I was looking for. Unfortunately, after I discovered it, I also discovered that Blue Bird Grain Farms seems to have a monopoly on farro. Other than them, you can only buy expensive imported stuff from Italy. And it seems to also be a yuppie food. A bunch of fancy-pants restaurants in Seattle have started buying farro from Blue Bird Grain Farms and using it in their fancy-pants dishes to impress their fancy-pants clientele. Somehow I am always attracted to the fancy-pants variety of products. So now I am addicted and I am stuck. I will have to be a yuppie. But at least I can buy it at the Farmer's Market (is this also a yuppie thing to do? I can't decide).

Also we have started eating quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) and we really love it. It's also high in protein, totally gluten-free (so good for babies) and cooks super fast. Thanks Aunt Margot for getting us hooked!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Layla is on the move

We tried to videotape Layla's new crawling habit this weekend but missed it again and again. But we did get some cute video of her sort-of crawling and then distracting herself.




Saturday, October 02, 2010

6-month stats and 6-month developments

Layla was 6 months old almost 3 weeks ago and I've been so preoccupied I didn't get a chance to post about it - and since then she's made some serious progress on her mobility.

First, I have to report that at her 6-month checkup she was a whopping 17.5 lbs and 26.5 inches tall, which is the 75th percentile for both (down from 90th percentile at her last checkup - I guess it is common for breast-fed babies to be big in their first 6 months and slow down in the second 6 months). She also took the vaccinations very well this time, only cried for a minute, and tore up the paper on the doctor's table in record speed.


But the really big news around our house is that as of this morning LAYLA IS CRAWLING!!! She succeeded in putting one knee forward, then the other, over and over, for about 5 steps (up from 2 on Wednesday). Unfortunately her balance is still very bad and she face-plants often, but usually doesn't mind. We got a video of it and I'll try to post it tomorrow.

Another big new development is that she is pulling herself up to standing, although she usually falls over immediately so we have been keeping a very close eye on her. In the picture above she is about to pull herself up in her crib, which is her favorite place to do this (and the best padded). She got her first 'incident report' at the daycare this week from a big face-plant that led to a bump on her noggin and some ice treatment. We were proud parents when we saw that first incident report in our mailbox.

As a first-time parent, it is FASCINATING to watch our baby develop. Over the past 2 weeks she has gone from totally immobile to totally mobile. She worked very hard to learn how to coordinate her knees, balance herself on all fours, and build the muscle strength in her arms and torso. Usually she was so frustrated at how hard it was she was actually crying while she was practicing. Then she got it! and now she is SO HAPPY. She was giggling and screeching all day today while she explored our living room for the first time. It was amazing to watch!!

This month, Octoboer, is NaBloPoMo, which I may or may not participate in. I guess I won't, since it's already Oct 2 and I didn't post yesterday. But, I will try to post more often this month in honor of it, which I think is worth something.