Monday, April 30, 2012

Potty training

People keep asking me about potty training. Well, we are aware this is the eventual goal, but we are not making much progress towards this goal. We got a little potty, and a seat for the big potty, and we read the potty books, and talk about it, and encourage it plenty, but I don't think Layla is quite there yet. She seems to be getting the idea of 'potty' but not getting the idea that she could go potty.

As a good example of this, I was changing Layla's diaper tonight, and she asked if she could go potty. I said ok, and took off her diaper, and instructed her to go in the bathroom and sit on the potty. Instead, she took a detour to the kitchen, where she screamed at her daddy "LAYLA NAKED!!!" and then squatted suspiciously... and pooped on the floor. Not quite what we were hoping for. But, there was the idea of going potty in there, so we weren't totally discouraged either.

Studly Hubby, with a boa

My husband is a pretty good guy. He puts up with a lot. I mean, a LOT. And he will still make killer enchiladas at the end of a long day. I love you Studly Hubby!!

Tornado Toddler

When Layla turned 2, we took her back to our favorite photographer in Seattle, Jennifer Tai, who has been taking regular pictures for us since I was pregnant. Every time is a new experience, and this was was quite the experience. We went to her studio in the SoDo district (old warehouses, lots of trains) which had a bed, a chair, lots of space, lots of light, and not much else. Layla had a blast there and ripped all around the place, mostly naked (good thing I didn't spend a lot of time and money on clothes for this!). We had no chance of any kind of posed shot, although we tried for a little while. We had to just follow her around, creating shots wherever she was.

Somehow we actually got a lot of good shots out of it - amazing! Now for the hard part: picking out just 12 of our favorites. Ugh!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Budding photographers

Both my Studly Hubby and my Tornado Toddler are budding photographers. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that they both have this leaning. The toddler got a camera for Christmas and she takes it everywhere and makes everyone (and everything) in her path "SAY CHEESE!!!" She clicks the camera only at select and often unexpected times so the pictures that end up on its little memory card are often more like a surreal dream than formal portraits.

Where my daughter is becoming an enthusiast of abstract photography, the Studly Hubby is focusing on his amazing talent at photographing wily toddlers and fussy babies (remind anyone of a certain someone, who may or may not be pictured above??). He has actually created a little business for himself through our baby group and other friends. As with other skills he has picked up, the Studly Hubby is self-taught through an online photography resource (Kelby Training), photography magazines, and now his growing experience shooting his family and friends. It helped that he was already intimately familiar with Photoshop (his former day job was a web designer). He is even carrying photography equipment and catalogs around with him everywhere, like a little boy obsessed with dinosaurs. Last weekend was when I knew it had gotten serious - or at least really expensive - he actually rented a $2,000 lens to play around with (rental fee was only $60, but boy, we were careful with it!). If he's going to buy a $2,000 lens, he's going to have to set up a few more photography shoots!

I'm very proud of my Studly Hubby - it takes a rare talent to take a new hobby to a professional level without any formal training (he also did this with his current career). I am inspired!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Moving into the second year

Layla is now TWO YEARS OLD, as I may have mentioned, and here are her stats from our recent doctor's visit:

She is 29.5 lbs
She is ornery
She doesn't like having her ears looked at, her hips checked, or her diaper taken off.
She doesn't like having her diaper put back on after it's taken off.
She is in the 95th percentile for both height and weight (!!!)
She doesn't like shots, but if you give her an Elmo sticker when you give her the shot, she won't notice the shot.

The doctor told us we could bring her back in 6 months, if we felt like her verbal development was slow and we were concerned. After Layla loudly shared some of her opinions with the doctor on that, it was mutually agreed we probably wouldn't need to bring her back for another year.

Layla has learned a lot of new words, and routinely asks "What's that?", but she also often resorts to screaming as an effective means of communication. We are rapidly learning to ignore her, but this has made it hard to go out in public again. And I think our neighbors are considering extra soundproofing for their houses. She also likes to dress herself (she can get her shoes on, sometimes her socks, sometimes her pants, definitely a skirt, and loose shirts almost make it). This, combined with all the nerve-rattling screaming she's been doing, means she often ends up at daycare wearing outfits we didn't exactly approve of. But, it helps us think outside of the box. For example, who ever made the rule that you can't wear tights over pants, and your mommy's sports bra for a hat?

We are also amazed at Layla's ability to listen and remember what she hears and sees. At the Sunday Market about a month ago, we bought a dinosaur with some money. This morning, she found $10 and immediately took it to her dinosaur (the same one), although I'm not sure what she thought the money was supposed to be for. When we tell her a friend is coming over, she remembers and asks about it. If we promise something, she expects us to follow through. What a new kind of stress we face!!

Meanwhile spring has sprung and we can finally go outside again... thank goodness! It was a long, rainy, cold winter. We have busted out into the wild and Layla is spending most of her time at her favorite place... the playground. Or, as below, examining the wildlife on our own block.