Monday, July 29, 2013

Fort Worth

After Iyla woke from her nap Saturday (a 2 HOUR nap- woot!) we packed up and headed out to the Fort Worth Zoo. The weather was idyllic- a high of 91. That is a serious cool front here in the Texas summer, where typical highs have been in the 100+ range lately.

Iyla did awesome. Her very favorite species to watch were Homo sapiens. Without fail, we'd be in front of a beautiful giraffe or elephant, and Iyla would be looking to her side- smiling away at the nearest person whose gaze she could catch.

Watching the humans. If she caught their eye they would be rewarded with a beaming smile and a dramatic bow.

After the zoo, we took a family nap before heading out to one of the most highly rated steakhouses here in town- Del Frisco's. Iyla tried out a restaurant high chair while I fed her a jar of sweet potatoes. She also happily noshed on pieces of bread and stayed content for our entire meal!

After dinner we headed to an Irish Pub for a nightcap, where Iyla took to doing some Irish jigs on top of the bar. She was happily entertaining everyone for a good 10 minutes before the manager requested that we please remove the baby from atop the bar.

Dancing on the bar

Iyla did so much better sleeping our 2nd night- she woke at 1:30 to nurse, then I heard her wake 2 more times throughout the night, putting herself quickly back to bed both times. She was ready to roll at 5:45am, so I nursed her and happily handed her off to BC for morning duty.

All this sightseeing is exhausting

We all made it safely home yesterday, and it felt luxurious to be in our own space & beds again. It was cute to see how excited Iyla was to see all of her old familiar toys!

BC and I agreed that we really enjoyed taking the train on our little getaway. Fort Worth is a quaint little town with so much history and so much to see and do. We will definitely return!

Modeling Papa's hat on the train ride home

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weekend Getaway

BC, Iyla and I set off by train yesterday for a little weekend getaway to Ft. Worth:

We got our own sleeper train car, so we'd have a bit more room to spread out. If you've ever seen the Sex and the City episode where Carrie and Samantha take the train to California, well- it was pretty much exactly like that. Super small quarters with a teeny toilet room that doubled as a shower. We were happy to have the privacy, and overall Iyla did great. She needed more constant entertainment (I didn't blame her- our 4.5 hour trip turned into 6.5 with delays!) and took a couple short snoozes in her car seat.

We arrived to the Ft. Worth station with a plan to walk the estimated 6 or so blocks to our hotel. Pretty much immediately after we set off with stroller, car seat, & luggage in tow the skies turned black and we were hit with a torrential downpour. We also got lost and walked about 10 soaking blocks out of our way. Iyla thought is was all quite a grand adventure, and managed to still have smiles for us once we finally arrived at our hotel:

She was way overtired, and eventually fell asleep in my arms from 4:45-5:30. She hasn't napped in my arms in SO long... I couldn't stop staring at her sweet, peaceful little face:

I wondered how that late nap might affect her nighttime sleeping. We had JUST come off a week of her sleeping through the night consistently, and I was nervous about how she'd do in a hotel room Pack n Play.

I was right to be nervous.

Apparently Iyla is boycotting vacation sleep, and was up last night at 9, 12, from 3-4 (she was ready to play and I finally had to bring her into bed with me), 5:30, then ready for the day at 6:30. There is no way I could let her "cry it out" at a hotel, so with each wake I had to scoop her up and nurse her back to sleep.

BC had gleefully announced before bed last night that he was soooo looking forward to sleeping in as long as he needed to in the morning (I was to have morning duty). However, after that long night, I woke him at 6:30 asking him to take first duties so I could sleep a bit more. I am not someone who is able to go back to sleep after getting up, and knew that without the extra sleep my whole day would be pretty much shot (and our only full day of vacation!). BC luckily agreed to the last minute change of plans and I was able to sleep until 8.

Iyla also fought her morning nap big time today. It took 45 minutes, 2 diaper changes, & countless paci reinsertions/back patting to get that little bird to sleep. I bring you her sleep boycott in pictures:

She has also taken to an interesting vacation poop schedule, which may see us running out of diapers. She has been going just a over and over and over again, such that each time I change her and think we are good to go, within 30-45 minutes she has made another little present for me.

You better bet I'll be going to bed super duper early tonight. I have no false illusions that she will sleep any better on night #2, and while I am excited to be in a new city exploring, I am already looking forward to returning to our routine (and sleep) back home in Austin!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Out with the Old.....

I am happy to report that my "Mommy Thumb" is doing considerably better! I intercepted another mama I see on occasion at the neighborhood pool, and she'd asked about the bandage on my hand. She then told me she too had experienced the same ailment from months 2-4 with her little guy before it got better. For whatever reason that afternoon I decided to take off my bandage & start stretching my hand out more. Miraculously (and knocking on wood here)- it seems to be doing MUCH better!

Then yesterday this happened:

That would be what I am almost 99% sure is a broken toe. I stubbed it HARD on a counter stool, and as the day went on it got more and more black and blue. Luckily it doesn't hurt too much on its own- but if something bumps it, OwwwwEeeeee! Not much one can do for a broken toe save tape it to another toe... so here's hoping it heals quickly.

I am happy to report that Iyla decided she was OUT with the old way of waking nightly, and IN with sleeping through the night! We got 4 nights in a row of 11-12 hour stretches. Then last night she decided she was OUT with the sleeping through the night, and back IN with waking for a 3am feed. And so it goes.

Here's what Iyla has been up to lately:

Visits from friends (our friend Sarah is in from Ireland to visit her brother and our good friend Andy, and her niece Lily):

Iyla ADORES Lily

The Procter family

Auntie Sarah 

Perfecting the fine art of nose bubble blowing:

Catching flies:

Going on almost daily swims:

Sharing new toys with Sam:

Admiring herself in the mirror:

Practicing her musical skills:

Modeling new headbands from Little Hip Squeaks:

And just generally being cute:

Tomorrow we board the Amtrak train for a family weekend getaway to Fort Worth! BC and I have had house guests ever since we returned from our road trip, so are looking forward to a little family R&R. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Baby Allergies

I have a strong suspicion that our Iyla Grace has allergies.

I've noticed since she was a bitty thing that the minute we walk out the back door she sneezes several times. Austin is known to be a city full of allergy producing pollens, molds, & grasses.... and it seems she is definitely sensitive to something in the air.

The ONE time Iyla was 'sick' followed a visit we had with my friend Carey & her sweet pup Dudley. Dudley had lots of kisses for Iyla, and Carey herself had a bit of a sniffle. The next day Iyla had a low grade fever, was super fussy, & had a very runny nose. I thought maybe she'd caught something from Carey and left it at that (even though I acknowledged a next-day contagion was unlikely).

Then this Friday Iyla and I visited Carey and Dudley for the first time since that initial visit. Dudley- a doxen mix- was again full of kisses for Iyla. She delighted in watching him frolic about but wasn't so sure about all the licking.

That night after I put Iyla to bed, she awoke an hour later crying. She often wakes wanting more to eat at this time, so I went up to feed her. She absolutely refused to nurse, refused a bottle, and was crying as if in pain, inconsolable. This went on for a good 30 minutes before the poor girl finally settled down to a whimpery sleep.

The next day Iyla had a temp of 100.2 and was a serious snot factory. I couldn't help but notice that the only two times she has ever had a temp & seemed sick were immediately following visits to Carey & her pup. Iyla wasn't as hungry as usual, was super sleepy, but was still mostly her sweet smiley self despite the constant stream from her nose.

She slept through the night last night (from 8:15- 6:30am- woot!) and awoke today with a normal temp and much less snot. It seems clear to me she was/is NOT sick, but had some sort of reaction going on. This never happened with my brothers' little dog Paco (a chihuahua)- but I know that some dogs have more allergy producing dander than others.

I've heard some people say that young babies can't have allergies- that they typically need to 'build up' the allergens before those show & manifest. I beg to differ based on our empirical evidence to the contrary. And while I could conduct a grass roots experiment to see if another visit with Dudley produces the same effect, I won't put Iyla through that.

The silver lining? This may just win my case with BC about getting a dog. He often talks wistfully about adding a pup to our family, but given Iyla's seemingly allergic reaction- not to mention the fact that her first word was "kitty"- I think it is clear that we should & will be sticking with cats!

Iyla and her buddy sharing a new toy

We love you Sam!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Naptime Pooper

Iyla has been taking pretty consistent naps for awhile now. In the past week I decided that instead of going to get her immediately when I saw her wake, I'd let her have some independent play time up there. She will happily babble & roll & kick for a long time after she wakes up. It's a blast watching her antics on the monitor, and I usually cave and go fetch her well before she fusses for me.

One thing she's taken to enjoying during this alone time?

Private pooping.

Every.single.time I get her up from her post nap playtime she has a full diaper. I guess in the Elimination Communication world this is clear communicating: "I poop after naps, and I like pooping in the privacy of my crib."

And so it goes...

Hi Mama! I have something special for you.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sophie Photobomb

One of the ladies from my November Mamas Facebook group posted this photo today, and I just about died laughing. It's especially hilarious if you are familiar with this popular children's teether, Sophie!


Thanks Pam Dawson for taking & sharing this!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Baby Carnivore

Our friends Andy & Julie (who have been staying with us since the beginning of June) cooked up a delicious flank steak dinner last night. The steaks were sliced in oh-so-perfect Baby Led Weaning sizes, so I thought we'd give it a shot with Iyla (who thus far hasn't really gotten into solid foods, save for bread). Iyla had been having a fussy evening and had refused her pureed sweet potato dinner, so I wasn't sure how this would fly.

The kid LOVED it!

She went to town on the steak pieces, sucking out every little drop of juice. She was like a little voracious beast and could not be stopped. It was awesome.

The beginning of the evening- Ms. Fussypants was temporarily calmed in the Becco (I LOVE when she lets me wear her!)

Hmmm.... this is quite delicious

Success! Who knew all it would take to make Iyla happy again was steak.

8 month birthday dinner!

So now we know that Iyla is officially a baby carnivore! A girl after my own heart.

Friday, July 12, 2013

8 Months Old!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are 8 months old! You are learning so much every single day, and are such a happy, smiley, delightful little girl. Here are your 8 month updates:

How old? 8 months today!

How big? We visited your pediatrician to check out the rash on your neck when you were 7.5 months old (consensus was a normal drooling rash) and at that appointment you had jumped up to 13 lbs, 11ounces (5%) and 27 1/4 inches tall (50-75%). Papa and I have noticed some additional rolls on those little legs of yours, likely from the addition of solid foods this month.

Here you are in comparison to Sam:

Sleep? You have a pretty consistent sleep routine. You typically nap around 9am for 40 minutes, then again around 12pm for 1-1.5 hours. Sometimes you take a short afternoon nap as well. Bedtime is between 7-7:30, and you wake one hour later wanting more to eat- then are usually up one time during the night before rising for your day around 7am. You have slept through the night a couple times in the past week! That seems to be the exception more than the norm, but it is always exciting when it happens. You have some adorable sleeping poses:

Food? This month you started solid foods! You are not a voracious eater like some babies- sometimes I think you are just humoring me when you eat. You really like pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, and loved the blend of apple/butternut squash I just tried out. You are not too hip on peas- one of the only things you flat out spit at. You also do not really love finger foods, due to getting larger, more firm pieces in your mouth. These typically make you gag and throw up! You've tried watermelon, bananas, avocado, apple, & bread. Bread was the definite favorite in the group- that was one item you didn't regurgitate.

I also introduced soy based formula to you this month. My supply seemed to be down in the evenings, and you would wake 1-2x within an hour after nursing wanting more. I also wasn't producing enough to pump and have bottles for when others watched you. You've done AWESOME with the formula- no problems at all! At bedtime, I nurse you and then give you a bottle after. You love having your bedtime bottle so much that often you barely nurse and will crane your head to look at the waiting bottle on the ottoman! You still nurse extremely well throughout the rest of the day.

It also seems you have an affinity for beer:

Milestones? So many this month!

*You are pretty much sitting unassisted now. If the Boppy is behind you to cushion you KNOW it, and use it like a crutch. No Boppy? You can sit steadily for a long time- though I still hover very close! We put a large carpet in the office/play room to help cushion you as you learn to sit and move.

*You have a regular nanny now who you love. Veronica comes Tuesday mornings & Thursday afternoons to play with you while I run errands, work, & have a date night with your Papa.

*You are now rolling onto your tummy and propping up all the time. I think you are prepping toward crawling. Many mornings when I come greet you you are already up on your belly peeking out of your crib.

*You are also still rolling, and get some good distance slowly but surely when you want to. In the photo below you had been seated at the Boppy pillow, then made your way closer to the toy baskets:

*You are still doing very well with your baby potty. I always know if you have to go because you will sit for a bit until something comes out. If you don't have to go, you immediately try to stand up after being sat down.

*You LOVE swimming. You are a little fish and are doing great at your swim lessons & playing in the pool. In the bathtub you kick and splash up a storm.

*You said your first word! In the past week I could have sworn I heard you say "kitty," but second guessed myself because I didn't think kiddos your age could purposefully say words yet. Then your nanny said that she had heard you say kitty a couple of times, and a quick post to my November Mamas group agreed that babes can and do start having their first words around this time. I actually caught you saying it on video by accident! You are your mothers' child (and your Mimi's granddaughter- Mimi and Grampy have 5 cats!)... love that 'kitty' is your first word.

You definitely adore Sam- unfortunately you mostly love pulling his hair, paws, & tail. He is still mostly patient and gentle with you!

*Yesterday when we were leaving the neighborhood pool we were saying bye to another little girl, and you waved your arm up and down while opening & closing your fist! I do believe that was your first purposeful 'bye-bye,' but will have to see it again to believe it.

Current Likes:
*Your stacking blocks: you never seem to get tired of playing with these.
*Our "Moo, Ba, La-La-La" book. You get a huge kick out of it!
*Your little rubber bath toys. You love to play with these & chew on them.
*Cruising around in your walker & exploring the house
*Smiling at any and every person you encounter
*Anything with water! Baths, swimming, swim lessons....

Sam loves your toys, too!

 You are so social and love entertaining when we go out. On this night you kept taking a deep bow while holding up your napkin for dramatic flair! Your Papa and I thought it was hilarious.

Current Dislikes:
*I can't think of any! You have been such a happy, happy girl lately.

Postpartum body:
*The brace on my wrist is really helping with my 'mommy thumb,' though it is still tender without it.
*My hair loss has definitely slowed WAY down, finally!
*I am trying to do yoga at home when able, since it is usually too hot for walks. My weight hovers around 105 these days, which is 3 pounds less than what I weighed before I got pregnant with you.  I think breastfeeding + no dairy (and genetics) has been the magic combination.
*I've had 2 postpartum cycles, both wonderfully cramp free. Can't confirm that I've ovulated yet - I'm currently on day 24 of this cycle with no ovulation in sight!
*My migraines have picked up in the past week, and I think stress has a lot to do with that. My work has gotten busier, and we also hosted 9 family members at our house for 5 days! Lots of busy fun.

 Papa caught you asking to nurse while out. You are not shy about asking for what you want, that's for sure.

A recent shot from my cousin's wedding. I was happy to still fit into one of my favorite formal dresses!

Most looking forward to?
*We booked a trip at the end of the month for a weekend in Fort Worth. We are going to take a train there, complete with a private carriage compartment! We may visit the zoo and a few museums, and also plan to just relax a lot at our hotel, which has an indoor pool. Can't wait.

Here are the photos from your official 8 month photo shoot, which took place over 2 days (and 2 outfits!)

You are so active now, this month's shoot was a creative challenge! You much preferred playing with the 8 month sticker than posing with it.

We love you so much, sweet girl! Here's to another month filled with lots of playing, growing, & wonderment.