Friday, September 12, 2014

22 Months!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are 22 months old! You've had a fun-filled month with lots of adventures & family visits. Words I would currently use to describe you include: generous, affectionate, determined, easily frustrated (if you can't do something the way you know it is supposed to be done, like putting a book back on the shelf), creative, & so smart. This month you have started to really have opinions on how things are done, and started experimenting with what happens when you decide NOT to do something requested (like putting on shoes, taking a bath, etc). Your favorite phrase with this new development is "no like that."

Adorable feist

Here are your 22 month updates!

How old? 22 months today

How big? I put you on our home scale the other day, and it read 23 lbs, 8 ounces. It usually measures lower than an actual doctor scale, so my guess is you are now in the 24 pound range. Here you are next to Sam:

Teeth? Lo and behold- right after I completed your 21 month updates, I spied something very white and very large on the back of your gums. Sure enough- this month you have had THREE molars come in! Two on top and one on the bottom. And still no sleep disturbances or big to-do about them. From what I hear we are very lucky there. Ten teeth total now!

Sleep? No changes there- though I am trying to do a MUCH better job at brushing your teeth AFTER you have milk. This was prompted by my observing there is seemingly permanent gunk between your bottom 2 teeth (tartar?), which prompted a strong flood of Mama Guilt.

This picture is hilarious- you almost always wake happy and cheerful from your naps, but occasionally I get a sleepy grump who needs some time to acclimate to the world again.

Food? You continue to be a great eater! You are always willing to try new things, and consistently respond by either spitting the new item out with a "no like that" or immediately requesting MORE! You are still getting your milk in bottles. Three a day. I'm at peace with it, especially with our amped up oral hygiene routine.

Potty Time? This was a BIG month for that… as just this week I pulled out your BIG GIRL UNDERWEAR (Tinkerbell, of course) to give them a whirl. You have been doing so well wearing them! We've already ventured out on many excursions, and I make a point to frequently sit you on any nearby toilet in regular increments. If you have to go, you'll go. Definitely not night trained- that is something I'll start researching and learning about in the next few months. No rush! I am just so proud of you. You seem to like wearing the underwear much better than diapers.

Words? Your memory just astounds us. When we visited your Mimi and Grampy 2 weeks ago, you were slowly reintroduced to each of their 5 kitties. You memorized and knew each kitty by name almost immediately. I still don't know them all! Just yesterday you said you wanted to go to Mimi and Grampy's house to see their kitties. I named 3 of them and you proceeded to name the remaining 2. Amazing.

I love hearing you playing make believe scenes from movie clips you've watched, recalling things I had no idea you noticed. You'll say things like "go to the Mainland!" or "meet at the border, get pixie dust."

You also can recite every single animal in your Animal Alphabet deck of cards (A-Z), and have memorized counting to 5.

Favorite things:

Tinker Bell! We have several little fairy dolls and you love watching the movies (we watch them over several days in 10-20 minute increments).

Coloring! I waited a long time to officially introduce coloring, as previous attempts inevitably led to crayon eating. However- insert one Tinkerbell coloring book and a pack of toddler friendly triangular crayons, and voila! We have a little artist. You love to color, and interestingly enough- your very favorite crayon color right now is brown. I am planning to get you a little art table and chairs for your 2nd birthday, so you can have a separate designated space to create things at.

Swimming. You have really turned a corner in swim lessons! It is your confident, capable space, and you will often shriek with delight as you kick about in the water. During lessons I stand about 4-5 feet back from you in the water and you'll jump off the steps to me, swimming underwater and kicking until you reach me. You can hold your breath for 10 seconds consistently, which is the maximum amount of time they train you to hold it. You are such a little fish!

Swimming at Mimi and Grampy's

Breakfast out with Mama. Once a week I take you out to my favorite coffee shop for breakfast. In the car you immediately start asking"maybe eat muffins? eat eggs?" and wondering if we'll "see Laura or John?" two of the regulars who work there.

Having me sing to you. You LOVE to request songs- especially from Tangled or Frozen- and will often say "not that one, want different one" when I start singing. Last week you attempted to sing by yourself for the first time! As in- instead of just reciting and saying the words, you experimented with singsongy vocalizations that sounded darn close to what I was singing. Your personality is such that you seem to wait to break out a new skill until you are completely confident you can do it (like crawling and walking)- so I wouldn't be surprised if one day soon you just started singing full songs back to me completely in key. We'll see!

Singing with Cousin Heather

Books: You have started to read "by self" a lot more lately, and it melts my heart every time I find you quietly turning pages of beloved books.

You also still love to be read to

The Children's Museum. We go every Monday morning for their "Baby Bloomers" program- which only allows children under the age of 3. We start by finding the ducks & geese at the lake, proceed to play at the park, and then take the museum by storm- complete with their story and music times.

Not so favorite things:

Your first shiner. While playing with your nanny, you took a tumble trying to climb onto a chair and got your first significant boo-boo! It looked bad but didn't seem to bother you much at all, and thankfully healed quickly.

Being told what to do. Inevitably if we ask you to count, name something, or perform an activity for someone you are not yet comfortable with, you will remain silent and stoic. Then you will do the thing requested several minutes later when you are good and ready to do it!

Baths. It has become more of a struggle to get you INTO the bath lately ("no like bath")- but once you are finally in you have a great time and have to be coaxed out.

I think a lot of what is going on lately is your exploration of SELF, and of having control over your own ideas, opinions, and actions. You are just starting to test boundaries, and my instinct is that in the following month we are going to have to come up with some gentle discipline techniques surrounding non-negotiable routines & rules (like sitting down for meals, putting on shoes, putting on underwear, etc). It's a new era of independence for our already independent little girl! One of the funniest things (to me) is when you are feeling frustrated you will spill out a string of unintelligible consonants- like "ninininini!" or "picapicapica!"

One thing I admire so much about you is your intrinsic generosity. For example, this week we visited a little friend of yours named Sabine whom we haven't seen in a long time. You brought your beloved Tinker Bell doll with you, and Sabine was equally enthralled by it. You had absolutely NO problem handing the doll to her and letting her run off and play with it. It seems to enchant you more when others love your toys as much as you do and never elicits a sense of possessiveness or jealousy. Very unusual for your age! Sabine had a very 'normal' toddler reaction with Tinker Bell- in that, once it was in her possession she did not want to return it, resulting in a meltdown when it was time to go.

Iyla and Sabine

Here are a few more photos from your last month:

Happy 22 months sweet girl- we love you so much!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Day Busted Tinker Bell Wings Broke Me

Today was one of those days where nothing seemed to go right. Nothing was catastrophic, mind you, but it was a day in which busted Tinker Bell wings were the thing that finally broke me.

First, a little background.

Last Sunday I got a migraine that has lingered in pulsating temple pain all.week.long. Add to that our nanny having an adverse reaction to dental anesthesia and having to take the first 3 days of the week off. When you count on having that help to work and take care of home chores, responsibilities start to pile up quickly.

BC and I have also both been sleeping poorly. I am an insanely light sleeper by nature, habitually sleeping with a fan turned up to turbo speed. For some reason this week BC has been snoring & tossing a lot more than normal (allergies?), which causes me to continually wake & shift, and my shifting then causes him to wake. And so on and so forth. I was really in need of a good night's sleep.

Back to today.

Today started at 3am with flashing lights and another migraine. Any hope of a restful night quickly flew out the window.

Our nanny was back (thank goodness!) after her dental hiatus, and just as I was opening the front door to greet her, there was a knock at our back door. The contractors had arrived. They have been here every day for the last 2 weeks, working on a series of odd jobs for BC. Today was the day they'd be working on the laundry room remodel- a project that was entirely my idea.

I left Iyla and the nanny at the front door and ran back through the house to let the contractors in.  I was anxious with the news I had to deliver - that the custom built bottom shelf unit they'd made and installed in the laundry room the day prior was just…. too small. It needed to be about 6 inches longer. This was not their fault, but rather an issue with my leaving the design process in their trust without knowing much about what final dimensions would look like. I felt like a jerk having to ask them to rebuild it, but also knew it had to be done.

In the middle of this awkward conversation, with Iyla now fussing at my feet in the tiny laundry room (where was the nanny?), I hear BC shouting to me from upstairs- asking why I'd let the stray outdoor cat in the house? Apparently when the nanny and Iyla were at the front door the cat had run in and raced upstairs. Awesome.

Thirty minutes later I finally got out of the house and had my one nice reprise of the day, catching up on a week's worth of loose ends with work, bills, home studio AC research, etc.

I then headed out to visit my chiropractor in the hope of relieving these persistent migraines. I was met with a line out the door, as this chiropractor doesn't take appointments and operates on a first come, first serve basis. Apparently I wasn't the only one coming for a visit today, and didn't have the time or energy to wait over an hour to be seen.

I was grateful to have had an acupuncture session scheduled for the afternoon, I told my practitioner she needn't check in on me during the session, as I intended to have a much needed rest. Within minutes of her leaving- captive to the needles pricking every few inches of my skin- I began to feel like I was on fire. I quickly realized the heat lamp had been placed way too close to my feet, and I started to sweat profusely. There was nothing I could do save oh so carefully inch my toes away from the heat, feeling every single needle pinch as I moved.

When I was finally free of that uncomfortable session I headed straight out into Austin's 100 degree heat and gridlocked rush hour traffic.

Did I mention I am also feeling a lot of pressure to rescue/help that stray abandoned kitty that ran into our house? The renters next door were evicted 2 weeks ago, and for some reason took their 2 dogs and ONE of the sweet kitty siblings that lived with them, leaving the other one behind. She has been actively petitioning me at our front door- weaving in and out of my legs, chirping sweet kitty meows, and basically trying to sweet talk her way into our family. I am at a loss as to what to do. I really don't want the responsibility of taking in an animal I don't know. Will she be destructive? House broken? Carry diseases? How will our kitty Sam react? But then my thoughts just as quickly spin the other direction. She is a seemingly awesome, sweet, smart cat. Sam always LOVED having cat siblings. We have the room and means to adopt her. And so it goes… another emotional weight sitting on top of already full shoulders, meowing at me every time I open the front door.

Back to this afternoon.

I stopped to check in on the laundry room progress, and the bottom shelves looked SO much better with the extra length- my instinct there was spot on. However, the newly installed upper cabinets?

I couldn't even reach them.

The entire point of the laundry room remodel was to make more usable storage space for ME, the one who primarily uses it. I was beyond frustrated and disappointed, but was NOT going to ask the contractor to take down and remake those as well after this morning's debacle. I'm just going to have to suck it up and be extra creative with that space (add another shelf below the way too tall cabinets?)


The cherry on top? I was looking for Iyla's beloved new Tinker Bell doll, and finally found her in the caddy of the stroller. She must have gone on a walk with Iyla and the nanny today. Noticing her wings were missing, I dug further into the caddy- to excavate 2 pieces of cracked, broken wings.

I started to bawl.

Yep- it was that kind of a day. I do see the humor and ridiculousness of it all, as these are absolutely First World Problems. Regardless, I cannot WAIT to go to sleep and start fresh again tomorrow.

I'll be taking a sleeping pill.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

To Drew Barrymore and Kristen Bell

I so want to hate you girls. You represent the fantastical celebrity version of exactly what I want more than anything else in the world right now- to have a sweet toddler baby and be quickly pregnant with another on the way. Seemingly effortlessly.

And so I go back to the fact that family planning & spacing is an elusive beast that unfortunately cannot be controlled. At least by those struggling with TTC. At least by me.

Also? I don't feel totally safe in this blog anymore. When I started it I was an anonymous blogger free to vent all the anger, frustration, & sadness that came with this difficult road. Once the blog evolved into a pregnancy, I told many, many more people about it… including family… who are probably my main readers at this point (a big reason almost every post is mostly Iyla updates). Talking in detail about interventions, cervical mucus, the state of my breasts… just- doesn't feel right. So I feel a bit stifled, as I have so much to express but no real forum to express it in.

That's why I've largely gone quiet lately, because I am back in the throws of walking the tightrope between desire and heartache. I have very, very blue days. Especially this cycle, when we did our first post-Iyla full on Follistim/Ovidril/double IUI intervention. With all the hot flashes, twinges, expenses, & hope that a cycle like that produces.

And no pregnancy.

It's a fresh, familiar pain that encircles me. I was SO sure I'd have a May baby.


Admittedly, there IS a different perspective overall this TTC round. I have a gorgeous little girl who is an absolute DREAM come true. She is here, and real, and beautiful. She melts my heart I have a loving, supportive husband who went along with last months' crazies in a show of solidarity. I have amazing real estate angels who keep my business clipping along at a lovely, non overwhelming pace that is fully supporting our financial needs. We've been taking lovely trips (Vegas! NYC! And next up: San Diego!) I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to be blue, given all this abundance in my life.

My heart says (knows?) there is another babe coming. My psychic (who saw Iyla clearly) said there was DEFINITELY another babe coming- she felt within 2-4 months, to arrive by the end of 2015. A boy (well, she actually saw THREE total kids- a boy and another girl. They would absolutely have to come as a package deal as BC is adamant about getting snipped after another pregnancy!). Yep. I've gone full circle and am back to finding hope in psychic predictions. I get to.

And so I soldier on… staying mostly quiet in this forum, but weathering the battle of emotions fully on a day to day basis.

How could I NOT want another of these?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

21 Months Old!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are 21 months old, and today is officially my 300th blog entry! This past month has been a fun-filled and busy one for our family. You have started talking in pretty much full sentences, and we are loving hearing everything you have to say.

Here are your 21 month updates!

How old? 21 months

How big? We had a doc visit a few weeks ago, where you STOOD on a scale for the first time! You weighed in at 23 lbs and some change. Here you are in your monthly photo shoot with Sam:

Teeth? Holding steady at 7!

Food? Not a whole lot new here. You did try cookie batter for the first time and thought that was pretty great! You also really really loved having roasted asparagus this past week- you enjoyed holding an entire stalk and telling me which end was 'easy' or 'hard' to bite.

Cookie dough!

A favorite new spot to have water

You love kale chips! They always leave a trail of crumbs on your face.

I adore how you cross your little legs while you eat

Sleep? We are so grateful for what a good, easy sleeper you are! You go down for the night between 7:15-7:30 and sleep through to 6:45-7. Then you take anywhere from a 1.5-3 hour nap from 12:30-3. Our routine is still a bottle of milk before sleep- we snuggle and rock, and then you say goodnight to whatever dolly you are holding and happily snuggle down into bed.

Potty time? You are amazing us here. I would say you are 80% potty trained, and you have not had an accident all month! We leave you diaper free whenever we are home, and you will say "poo poo pee pee" when you have to go, or sometimes if its been awhile we encourage you to go sit on the potty. Your grandma and nanny also kept/keep you diaper free- and absolutely no accidents!

The 20% still remaining is learning that even if you have a diaper or other covering on you can still tell us you have to go, and then go on the potty. Right now if you have a diaper on you will happily go in it. I also tried a pair of plain little underwear covers one day, and you peed in those- feeling the safety of the cover. You wear a diaper at night and wake up with that soaking wet, so night time 'training' is still a ways off. All in all you are doing SO well!!

Words? You are talking so, so much! Full sentences. Repeating words and phrases we say while also telling us your opinions and preferences on things. A favorite example of this is when I ask you- when we are about to see someone for the first time (your nanny, the chiropractor, etc)- if you are 'going to be OK or going to cry." And you will pretty accurately tell me how you suspect you'll react, either way.

You can count up to 6 and love naming colors (you usually get blue and green correct and know the names for all other colors).

Your banter while you play with your dolls is hilarious too- we'll often hear you having one doll tell another "be right back" or telling a dolly to "wash hands, cook eggs, go potty" etc.

You have started correctly using the words "too" and "maybe." Examples include: "Tinkerbell wants dress too." "Maybe Rapunzel downstairs." And when asked about what you'd like to eat, you'll say "maybe….(insert what you want here)."

Some things we've been up to this past month:

Spending a week with Grandma! Your Papa and I took 3 nights in NYC (it was supposed to be 4 but our initial flight was cancelled- a whole other story/blog entry!) and your sweet Grandma came to stay and play with you. You two were instant friends, which was no surprise!

Your Aunt Julie, Uncle Ricco, and Cousin Miles also came up for a night while Grandma was here to see you. Everyone adored you, and you had a lot of fun spending time with Miles.

View from our NYC bathroom- you would have LOVED this tub! Fun fact: we had an accidental, serendipitous run-in with Belle from the Scrambled Eggs blog while visiting Washington Square Park! What a small, small world.

We brought you back a teddy bear from our Bowery Hotel that was an instant hit.

Mornings at my coffee shop! We've started having Mama/Iyla breakfast dates one morning a week, and you are such a good buddy while there. You love their muffins and eggs, and always bring a couple little dolls to enjoy breakfast with.

People watching at Bouldin Creek Cafe

Outdoor adventures: We are in the middle of our HOT season here, so mornings are the time to get out and explore. We often go to a local park or splash pad.

Stopping to smell the flowers

Picnic on a lovely evening

You also enjoy outdoor streaking 

This is usually the extent of your splash pad adventures- you like to stand back from the water and hold one of your dolls in it- but not get in/jump in yourself!

Morning at the splash pad and all you wanted to do was sit in this puddle

Climbing! You have started getting braver with your physical exploration and now enjoy climbing up on things around the house.

Playing with Papa: Weekend mornings are Papa time, where you two ride bikes, get breakfast tacos and juice, and play at the playground.

Reading: Your very favorite books these days are the "Laura" books- which you all know by title (Little House on the Prairie books), your Frozen books, and of course- your Tangled books.

Going to the Austin Zoo: It your first time there and you loved it.

You also made sure to feed your Sofia doll

Playing at the Driskill Hotel: This is the whole family's happy place! It is pretty much a fanciful indoor playground given all the stairs, elevators, empty banquet halls, & toddler-adoring visitors.

You always sit in the elevator!

Getting your bangs trimmed: I wasn't planning on giving you bangs, but your fine wisps were constantly in your eyes, so a teeny tiny trim was all that was needed to clean things up. I think you look adorable!

Taking Selfies: You actually let me take a couple shots of us together without having a meltdown! Lately when you see yourself in the camera you start to fuss because you want to LOOK at the pictures, not take them.

The typical reaction

The annoyed 'I'm putting up with this' look

And lo and behold, actually hamming it up with smiles!

Watching Tangled: This continues to be one of your favorite things ever. You are known to ask "watch Tangled?" no less than a gazillion times a day. On weekends you and Papa watch a condensed version, and we also play you a few of the music videos before bed.

One not so fun thing from the last month was your waking up with a pulled neck muscle. You were in a lot of pain and telling me "neck hurt!" We went to your doctor to rule out any ear infection, and tried to keep you still and comfortable with sporadic heat on your neck & Motrin. We were able to get you to our chiropractor who helped expedite your feeling better. I suspect this may have been a result of the torticollis you had as a baby, and hope this kind of thing never happens again! Poor buddy. 

Here are a few more photos from your past month. There were a LOT to catch up on, given it has been a month since my last update!

We love you SO much Iyla Grace, and are grateful that you chose us as your family! Happy 21 months, sweet girl.