Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Teenaged 19 Week Old

I think Iyla has turned into a teenager. Case in point:

1. She has several adult like pimples on her face- and while BC and I would like to blame his genes (he had acne as a teen) baby acne is usually due to the mother's hormones (sorry Iyla!).

Thanks Mom

2. She has begun wearing ultra hip jeans (courtesy of a fabulous box of hand-me-down clothes from my dear friend Jenny):

Do you think someone knows she's cute?

3. She has developed a fondness for motorcycles:

Hanging on the Harley with our friend Dustin

4. She is very unpredictable with her sleep. We are now a week into the transition to the Pack n Play, and her first stretch of evening sleep has gotten slowly but surely longer, from 4 hours to a 7 hour stretch two nights ago. Last night? Down at 8pm, then up at 1, 3, 5, & 6:30. I am one tired Mama this morning.

I've also begun swaddling & doing a routine for Iyla's nap times. She doesn't have set naps quite yet, but we are a couple days into getting a pretty consistent 30-60 minute morning nap starting around 9. I'm hoping that one lengthens a bit and a more defined afternoon nap starts to take place. She still likes to snooze 4-5x/day.

Think she's on to me?

Iyla's been loving this red ball toy and is working hard on perfecting her iron clad grasp on it:

I'd like to note how straight her head looks in those pictures! We've been to the chiropractor every week, and last week he said the rotation in her neck had definitely eased up. Her head is still sitting just slightly off to the right, but I'm hopeful that continued care & stretches will help straighten her out! Iyla is also going to get some cranial sacral work done today as well... I'm curious what that will look like for an infant.

She's getting stronger in the Bumbo! Still a little floppy, but better.

Perfecting the Aunt Jemima Bumbo look

Ha- taken literally minutes after the last shot. 
She always sleeps with her legs Spread Eagle!

One thing that isn't so teen like? Her love for BC and I. Last night she would NOT let me put her down at dinner time, so I very clumsily ate left handed as we cuddled. BC noticed she was staring right up at me the entire time and snapped this sweet shot:

Iyla says: who needs to eat when you can stare at my adorable face?

 Happy girl with her Papa. Apparently he doesn't need to eat either...

Rockin' the sassy Flashdance leggings

That sweet love is something I am going to cherish every.single.day. She'll be a real teen soon enough, so for now we'll take the pimples, motorcycles, fashion, & erratic sleep!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Big Girl Updates- 18 Weeks

Iyla Grace was 18 weeks old yesterday (on the 18th! A 'golden' week milestone) and has been making some amazing 'big girl' strides lately.

Over the weekend she worked on napping flat on her back:

On the studio kitchen carpet, no less....

Attended her first SXSW music festival:

She was clearly impressed by the bands 

Dressed in a little green to celebrate her 1st St. Patty's Day:

Irish Jig!

A little River Dancing on the new quilt that my friend Jen made for her. 
We love it!

She also made a very successful transition to sleeping flat on her back in her Pack n Play! We have 2 nights under our belts now... and so far, so good. I've been keeping her swaddled, as I don't think that inhibits her ability to move her neck and don't want to spring too many changes on her at once. She's been going to sleep around 7:30 and is up to nurse around 12:30, 4, & 6, then up for the day by 7:30. She has been falling back asleep pretty quickly, and I think enjoying this change!

Yesterday in celebration of her 18 weeks, Iyla mastered a new skill: grabbing her feet! And it is all.she.does now:

 Wahoo! Connecting the dots. I'm wondering how long it will be before she figures out how to get those toes in her mouth!

She has to concentrate SO hard while she does this- she grabs, fusses, concentrates, then grabs again.

When she wasn't catching her feet yesterday, she was either crying or sleeping. The day went like this: nap, wake up crying, nurse, grab toes, nap, repeat. She was definitely having a growing day!

She spent a lot of time passed out in my arms

She's been working on more neck strengthening exercises like sitting in her Bumbo:

And right now- as we speak- she is trying out a big girl nap in her crib:

Aaaaaand- she's up!. Till next time....

Friday, March 15, 2013



It's confirmed that Iyla has Torticollis- which literally means "twisted neck." Not that this is any surprise. We've noticed from the beginning that Iyla preferred looking to her left. At her 2 month appointment I brought it up with the Pediatrician filling in for our regular one, who didn't seem to think it was a big deal (in retrospect I am a little annoyed by that- obviously we thought there was a concern, and interventions should probably have begun then). Since that appointment her tilt has become more pronounced, and when I visited our chiropractor this week he confirmed that indeed she had toriticollis, and that he wanted to now see her weekly for treatments.

So just what causes this pasta sounding ailment? With babies it can either develop in utero from being a bit cramped and having the neck tilted in one direction, or during the birth process if the neck gets strained. In both instances one side of the neck can become restricted and tight. As far as treatment goes, our Pediatrician said that one school of thought would refer her at this stage for a corrective helmet (NOOO- not the helmet!) while another school of thought opts to do daily stretching to hopefully correct the tightness. She is in the vein of following a stretching regime- and I will also continue our weekly visits to the chiropractor. I am hopeful that is all it will take!

You can see in this shot how her head shape is flat on the bottom and elongated on the top... which should hopefully normalize with sleeping flat & stretching. 
More importantly- how cute is this picture?

When we move back into our house Sunday (we have renters there now during Austin's SXSW Music Festival) another shift we'll have to make is to go cold turkey on the bed routine with no more swaddling and no more Rock n Play inclined sleeping. I expect to be a walking zombie for awhile as Iyla gets adjusted to sleeping flat on her back with occasional flailing arms waking her (this is a girl who LOVES her swaddle!). I was a big weenie when I tried to transition her to her flat Pack n Play last month- after 2 nights of poor sleep I resigned and put her back in the Rock n Play. Apparently the Rock n Play sleeper doesn't encourage her to be moving her neck around as much as she should be (first time mom FAIL) -so sadly it will be a thing of the past.

We are also supposed to have her doing tummy time a LOT more (avoiding lying her flat on her back as much as possible save for sleeping). Good thing this little one loves standing strong on her feet (which is acceptable); bad thing that she screams after about 1 minute of tummy time. We have a lot of adjusting to do!

Limiting the play time on her back will definitely be a challenge! 
She and Sam love laying on the play mat together.

This is how tummy time begins.....

And this is what happens after about one minute

I hate tummy time!

Iyla's stats, as I suspected, are still long and lean! At her 4 month appointment today she was 24 inches tall (25-50%), 10 pounds 12.2 ounces (5-10%) and her head's circumference was 15 1/4 (5-10%). And that girl was charming our Pediatrician! She was smiling, cooing and squawking away while being examined. She cried hard when her shots were administered but settled quickly once I nursed her. She was in great spirits for the first couple of hours after we got home- but had a bit of a meltdown at bedtime, prompting me to give her a very low dose of Tylenol.

A brief conversation about her doctor appointment

In other news, Iyla is rockin' some seriously ADORABLE new headbands I found on Etsy. I haven't been a fan of any head bows or head gear on her save for cute hats- but these headbands are a whole different story. I am a bit obsessed!

Melt my heart! 
And this was taken post shots- what a trooper! You can tell her eyes are a bit glazed, but she was doing everything she could to remain in good spirits. 
Can you say DROOL!?!

Yes, I am cute. Even with my drool neck.

We've been enjoying our time staying in our sweet little garage apartment. Iyla is back to bathing in her baby bathtub (there is only a shower up here)... and BC has been spearheading the bath time. She loves it!

Absolute delight for her Papa

Tomorrow we are hoping to make it out to enjoy some of the SXSW Festival action. I've purchased baby headphones, and we will make the most of the ONE baby wearing item Iyla will tolerate- my Maya Ring Sling:

Here's hoping our little one gets a good night's sleep tonight so she can be back to her joyful spirits tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

4 Months Old!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are 4 months old. Your Papa and I agree it feels like you've been with us much longer (in a good way!). You just spent 3 nights with us out in a Wimberley country cabin and did so well. You slept soundly (your nightly routine was down for 8 hours/nurse, then 3/nurse, then 1/nurse though the night) and were in good spirits. It appears you just may be a country gal.

 This was a short walk from where we stayed

 In the upper left corner you can see our cabin, which overlooked this creek

Your Papa and I had big plans Saturday night for an early celebration dinner with you in San Marcos at our favorite spot from last year- Palmers. You had other ideas! Namely, you decided you did NOT want to sit with us to eat, so Papa and I had to take turns eating alone while the other one walked with you outside by the fountain. I also nursed you standing up in a tiny bathroom stall which was quite difficult & in retrospect, comedic (though in the moment quite stressful!).

You and your Papa have a definite family resemblance

Here are your 4 month updates!

How old? 4 months today

How big? We see your Pediatrician for your 4 month appointment on Friday so will update stats in another post then. I suspect you will still be measuring long & lean.

Milestones? So many this month! To include:

*Becoming SO aware & tracking movement with your eyes. If something changes or moves in your peripheral vision, you turn your head to see what is going on.

*Rolling side to side, and when doing tummy time on a pillow, sometimes you flip yourself over (always to your left). You've also managed to flip yourself back from flat on your tummy a couple of times, but usually you just get really mad & cry until we turn you back around.

*Vocalizing! You have been experimenting with the volume of your voice, and have added squawking sounds to your cooing. You are blowing lots of spit bubbles & drooling like crazy. You also love to 'sing' with me, which is the cutest thing ever. When I sing your nighttime songs or sing while sitting with you in the backseat of the car, you'll look directly in my eyes and squawk sing along.

Like this!

*Wanting to stand on your feet- you are so strong! You LOVE when we hold your hands & help pull you up to standing. I wonder if- like your Papa- you will be an early walker (he apparently started at 7 months).

*I can tell you have a silly spirit in you- this is something I wished for you in my nightly prayers while pregnant. You have a mischievous sparkle in your eyes- and when nursing will 'play' with me- going on and off the boob, smiling, eyes twinkling all the while.

Sleep? We are usually up at least 2x/night, sometimes 3. You have been giving me an initial 7-8 hour stretch, then 2-3 hours, then a final 1 hour before you are up for the day. You catnap during the daytime every 2 hours or so for 15-60 minutes.

So happy in the morning

Current likes:
*Standing up straight and tall
*Being outside! You love going for walks
*Baths in the big tub
*"Talking" and practicing all your vocalizations
*Music! If you are fussy in the car turning the radio up always does the trick. You also seem to enjoy the Bluegrass Pandora station I play every morning while getting ready

One of my absolute favorite things? When you nurse, you twist your top arm and nuzzle your little fist into the warmth of my cleavage. Then you knead like a little kitten. It is the sweetest thing ever and always melts my heart.

*Diaper changes- you fuss a lot more during these now. Speaking of diapers, your current MO for your baby potty is peeing on it first thing in the morning, then usually you will do your #2 on it as well at some point during the day. You haven't been wanting to pee on it after the morning. But you do enjoy peeing all over just AFTER getting off the potty! I've learned to have several layers of padding under you at all times.
*Being patient. If it is time to nurse and I am taking too long getting ready, you definitely let me know you aren't happy! When we return home from an outing you also have to be out of that car seat almost immediately or you will be quite mad.
*Red lights (this feeds into the "patient" part- you love to keep moving).
*Any type of baby carrier. You tolerate the Maya ring sling, but really hate the Moby & the Beco I just bought.

The Beco lasted literally 3 minutes before you were over it. 
I think you're still too small!

Postpartum body? Our almost daily walks are helping with the last of my baby weight- when I weighed myself last week I was only 1.5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Carrying you around is making my arms very strong, and I'm still trying to get in an Ashtanga yoga practice a few times a week.

Taken from our studio garage apartment, where we'll be living until next Monday.
You photo bombed me!

What do I miss? I miss being able to take my time at dinner and have solo dates with your Papa. I think you are *just* about ready for a babysitter, now that your witching hours seem to be a thing of the past (yay!). You are such a happy, joyful little spirit...  but still a bit weary of strangers holding you.

Most looking forward to? I'm excited for you to be able to sit up on your own (even if just in the Bumbo)- as I can tell you are really wanting to master that! I am also looking forward to our first Easter celebration with you. We host this holiday at our home, and it will be extra special having you there with us this year (although I guess technically you were there last year!).

Your personality & spirit have really started to shine through this past month, and we continue to be absolutely smitten with you! We think you are the most beautiful, most intelligent, most entertaining baby in the world. Obviously!

Here are the excerpts from your photo shoot today- Happy 4 Months, sweet girl!