Monday, January 24, 2011

Caspar BabyPants

Layla's new favorite rock band is Caspar BabyPants.

Caspar BabyPants is a local band that sprung from another local band you may have heard of, The Presidents of the United States of America... the lead singer, Chris Ballew, created Caspar Babypants. They have good music and lots of local shows. Layla and I are going to try to go to a show but I hear they are often sold out and the baby mosh pits can get really scary, so we are going to proceed with caution. Meanwhile Layla listens to their CD all the time and boogies down every time she hears it.

She also likes her FisherPrice singing table (which sings the Number Song, her number one favorite song in the world).

Layla's new favorite food is Kiwi.

At first she thought it was kind of weird, but after a few tries she started to really dig it and now if she sees some on the table she throws a fit until she can have it.

And Layla's new favorite second cousin is...


Layla and I agree that Lydia is the cutest second cousin she could ever have imagined, and Layla can't wait to meet her and steal her binki. She has been practicing on the other babies at daycare. Lydia is probably so sweet she won't even mind when Layla steals her binki, because sharing binkis is what second cousins are supposed to do!!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

'Christmas' Newsletter

This is the first time in 8 years that I haven't written and mailed out our famous Onion-style newsletter at Christmas-time. Well, thanks to these two awful colds and all the chaos that comes with a 9-month old baby I completely missed the boat. But I don't give up! After everything finally calmed down and I felt better I finally wrote up that newsletter. But I've decided not to mail it out - I prefer that, but it's so far past Christmas, and I've got so much other stuff to do, that I thought I'd let it go this year. So I'm posting it here and on Facebook, where hopefully most of our friends and family will see, and electronically wishing you all the best New Year you have ever had.

So here it is, the 8th annual J&D (&L) Christmas Newsletter.


Found out today from a pediatrician at my work that what Layla and I had at the beginning of December was most likely parainfluenza (shown above in an electron micrograph), which is like the flu but not quite as bad (so our vaccine didn't cover it). Apparently, it's nastier than most colds, often causes croup, and sent a lot of kids packing off to the Seattle children's hospital in December. So, we fared through it pretty well but it made me feel better to know that we got taken out by something more nasty than your average cold. Ugh.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


What happened to December?

This is what happened - Layla and I were sick with TWO HORRIBLE COLDS!! Just as we were recovering from the first one (on Christmas - we were both sick for about two weeks) we came down with the second one, which knocked us out over New Years. Thankfully we weren't sick on Christmas Day but we were very tired.

Being sick as a parent is a whole new ball game. First, you get sick all the time (this is the 10th cold for me and the 15th for Layla). Under normal circumstances, it's tough to be sick. But when you have a baby in the house it's a whole new deal. When Layla is sick she wakes up a lot at night, needs to come home early from daycare (or gets sent home, as she did for both of these colds), and is generally fussy (although also cuddly). Add to that one parent down who also got sick, and suddenly it is an overwhelming amount of work for the other parent. Thankfully we haven't both been sick at the same time. If that happens, we may need to call in backup. I was way too sick to take care of a baby during both of these rounds.

Big Kudos to the Studly Hubby who managed to take care of both of his sick ladies AND keep the house pretty orderly AND host guests for Christmas AND deal with a flooded basement AND keep working for the past 3 weeks... unbelievable!!


Christmas was low-key this year, partly because Layla and I were still getting over bad colds and partly because we stayed in Seattle (and our family is in the midwest). My mom and brother came out to visit and we had small piles of presents for everybody to open on Christmas morning, then the Studly Hubby made an amazing Christmas Day dinner of a roast chicken and mashed potatoes with some yummy deserts.

From her Grandma, Layla got some fuzzy bunny slippers that we all adored.

Layla actually really enjoyed Christmas and all her presents (I was surprised by this - I was also surprised at how much fun I had buying presents for her, what a good excuse to get a bunch of stuff you want but don't need!). Her favorite presents were all the books she got (a big pile!), a drum from her daddy, and a Winnie the Pooh from her Grandpa M, which she bonded with immediately.
My favorite present for Layla was a pair of musical notes Baby Legwarmers for Layla from her Grandpa L. My favorite present for me was a SERGER, which is so complicated I can't even plug it in... but hopefully I will figure it out.

After we opened presents we had Christmas dinner. Layla was exhausted from playing with all her new presents so took a nap for the first half which was nice for the Studly Hubby and I, then she joined us for the second half and got to try some of the delicious food the Studly Hubby had made. Her favorite was a quinoa salad side dish. Everyone else's favorite was the mashed potatoes (from America's Test Kitchen). The windows are all steamed up from cooking all day!

We got to use some fancy new china our neighbors gave us, which has tiny roses on it. It was really nice to have some fancy china, although the Studly Hubby thought my excitement over fancy china was rather girly.

Our neighbors also graciously let my mom and brother stay at their place, since they were gone the entire time. It worked out great for all parties involved. They have a spectacular house and are incredibly nice people.

Cupcake skirt!

9 months!

layla was 9 months in December. Stats:

18 lbs, 15.6 oz (slowing down, finally!)

Food progress:
She eats EVERYTHING, except meat. She LOVES just about everything too, which makes things easy on us, especially bananas, eggs, spaghetti, oatmeal, and cheerios. She still drinks mommy's milk, especially when she's sick, but is becoming less interested as more food gets put in front of her.

Mobility progress:
She can crawl like a speed-demon, 'cruises' around furniture and 'hops' from one piece to another (not without letting go), and loves to use her walker (one you push while walking).

Playing progress:
She's recently started to really enjoy 'reading books', and going through all of our books too.
She is also very happy to entertain herself, which has been a dramatic change in our house. She will play with her own toys, or with the pots and pans, or 'cruise' around the kitchen, or do 'inventory' on the bottom drawers of her dresser (pull everything out and examine it all) - all while one of us is nearby but not necessarily involved. It gives us a chance to get housework done WHILE watching her, which has been great.

Picking favorites:
Although she continues to be a momma's girl, her momma has been sick a lot in December which means her daddy has been almost exclusively taking care of her - and she is starting to get used to, and like, all the stuff she does with him. Now when she sees her daddy get ready to give her a bath, or get the high chair out, she gets excited and heads over to him, and she is starting to let him know as much as me when she's ready for a nap.

As always, Layla is an excellent communicator and has been telling us quite clearly (sometimes with sign language!) when she's hungry, all done, ready for bed, wants to be cuddled, and wants something she's not supposed to have (which is often the best thing to have). Her newest thing is to clap - when she's happy (because you give her something she wants or someone she's excited about just came in the room), when you sing a good song (and she dances too!), or just to indicate 'yes!' (like when offer a banana).

Layla's excellent communication skills have earned her top marks at daycare.

Layla especially loves to get into the cabinet under the sink, and be NAUGHTY