Monday, August 26, 2013

9 1/2 Months and Grow Grow Growing!

But before I get to the growing updates, I bring you this:


Yup. THIS happened Saturday night. First pizza in 7+ months. It was every bit as heavenly tasting as it looks. I *may* have eaten the entire thing in one sitting. Had to make up for lost time!

Now on to Iyla Grace, who had a BIG growing weekend! It absolutely amazes me when I can literally SEE her changing before my eyes.

Growing more and more every single day!

This past weekend she definitely entered a new developmental stage with so many new skills, to include:

*Realizing she has CHOICES and can ask for what she wants. This is closely followed by realizing disappointment when not given exactly what she wants fast enough- resulting in a mini meltdown/tantrum. These are hilarious to BC and I... she will stick her lip out and wail, stomping her little feet... doesn't last long, but definitely gets the point across!

Despite her look of apprehension on this wagon ride, she had a full out fit when I stopped pulling her! And so we went again... and again... and again....

*"Dancing" and asking for music. She just started bobbing her head along when I sing- it's the cutest thing! Then today I noticed her do the head bob without music, and realized she was asking for it. I then started singing and her little head bobbed happily along.

*Choosing her books! I have started putting 3 books in front of her and saying "show Mama which one you want to read." She will then reach forward and touch or grab a selected book. One time she even rejected all of the selections: she looked at them all, then wanted me to help her "walk" to the bookshelf to pick a different book!

*Waving hello and goodbye! Not consistently, but she gets it. She enjoys studying herself in the mirror as that little arm flaps up and down.

*Realizing that the little baby in the mirror is HER. She is totally entertained watching herself do different face expressions, arm movements, etc.

Why hello, beautiful!

Playtime with the baby in the mirror

*Yesterday while reading a book, there was a part with a 'kitty' in it. She then turned to look at Sam (our cat), and looked back and forth several times between the kitty in the book and Sam. I could see her little brain "getting" that these two things were the same!

This girl loves her kitties!

*Initiating games, most often "peek-a-boo!" So cute.

Peek-a-boo with the wagon

Peek-a-boo with a little shoe

*Learning to put things BACK inside baskets, instead of just taking things out.

She also likes me to help her  'step' into baskets to sit

Putting kitty in for a ride

*Working hard to pull to stand and testing out the physics of different items to pull up on. She pulled herself to stand from sitting in her new wagon, and almost stood up while pulling on a kitchen stool. She is also getting really good at moving from a seated position to up on her knees.

From this seated position she grabbed the wagon bar & pulled to stand!

From bottom to knees

*She finally got chewing & swallowing down to a comfortable level! Previously when I put small finger foods like puffs on her high chair she would just push them around. Now they go straight to her mouth, where she 'chews' them in her gums and swallows with no more choking. It is a new eating era over here! Time to reduce the purees and increase the solids.

Proud face of a bona fide eater! And we really need to lower the high chair foot rest- she thinks it is lots of fun to stand up tall while in that seat.

*She is getting masterful at controlling her body. I watched yesterday as she started to fall backwards from a seated position on our wood floors. Before my reflexes could reach out and 'save' her (telling myself she was about to knock her head)- that little one's OWN amazing reflexes kicked in. She caught herself with one arm outstretched behind her, and in a split second flipped to belly and ended up safely propped up by both arms, totally unscathed.

In conclusion, a few outtakes from our weekend. I was solo parenting all weekend long while BC played in a golf tournament. Iyla and I survived, but are oh so happy to have Papa back home again (with the coveted Lambert Cup in possession to boot!)

Friday Play date with Isla

Bedtime boo-boo, who thought waking at 5:45am all weekend was the way to go.

Sunday morning brunch. I was brave and took her out to my fav coffee shop! She did awesome.

Like mother, like child... this little lady did NOT want to have her back to the restaurant and let me know it.

I changed seats with her and she was much happier (and safer!)

These little jelly packets blew her mind. I may have stashed the entire bowl full one or two in my purse for future use....

Lounging in her wagon

BC and his brother in Oklahoma City. 
The Lambert Cup has finally come home to Austin!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Farewell, Salty Sow

Oh Salty Sow.

It started as a crush. Your Blanche margaritas (with salt), delicious brussels sprouts, and pork belly taco- each only $4 during happy hour- lured me in.

From there we entered into a full blown love affair. BC and I deemed Mondays "Sow Monday" and would arrive weekly to enjoy your spoils (pun intended as you read on).

Sadly, I think those Mondays are a thing of the past.

Last night on the ride home from your happy hour delights, I started feeling extremely nauseous. That nausea progressed into my spending 7pm-2am crouched over our bathroom toilet, expelling everything in my being roughly every 20-30 minutes. It was BRUTAL to say the least. I literally lost 3 pounds of fluids over night.

When I called your manager to report that had happened and what I had eaten, he had the gall to tell me that food poisoning usually takes 10-12 hours to manifest after eating spoiled food. Uh... nope. That has NEVER been the case with me, and I didn't appreciate the inference that I was in the wrong.

Today my body is absolutely wrecked. I am oh so grateful to our amazing nanny Veronica for stepping in for a long, full day to help- complete with running to the grocery store for me to stock up on saltines & fluids. There is no way I could care for our sweet energetic Iyla while in this state.

So, Salty Sow- I'd love to say it wasn't you, it was me... but in this case... it was totally you.

It is time for me to move on. The end of our Sow Monday Era.

I wish you well.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Steroids! Cheese! Poop!

These are the things that have brought me much joy this week.

Steroids! My Mommy Thumb is CURED, folks. Like completely back to its non-mommy state. If that shizzy ever acts up again I will promptly march myself right back to the doc for another injection.

Cheese! We are back on dairy in this house- woot! I have no doubt that I'll be padding back on the pounds I lost on the no-dairy diet. HAPPILY!

Poop! Iyla has been rockin' the Elimination Communication again. The last 5 mornings she has gone #2 on her potty (and often #1 too)- and several days we've caught a few more #2's as well!

Here's what we've been up to in the past week:

We've been reading many, MANY books. It is Iyla's favorite activity in the world right now. This morning alone I read through a stack of ELEVEN books before she got restless. She studies every picture in great detail and then helps turn the page when ready:

This morning's stash

Reading to her sock monkey

We booked a fall family trip to Colorado! I am beyond excited to see proper fall colors again for the first time in over a decade. And because the weather there will be much cooler than here in Austin, Iyla and I had a little fashion show to see which of her winter hats still fit:

Adorable but cutting it close on fit... 


Ok, that isn't a hat. But it sure was cute and fit just fine.

On Saturday we went on a family mission to find East Austin's Secret Beach. We ended up parking in the wrong lot and walking WAY farther than we needed to, but once we finally found the beach it was well worth it:

First ride on Papa's shoulders! She had a permagrin on her face the entire time.


Post-beach boo-boo

After the beach we met some friends out for a birthday celebration, then took Iyla to our beloved East Side Showroom for dinner:

Always a flair for the dramatic

Iyla has been hinting that it may be time to move her up to a big girl convertible car seat:

She has miles and miles of little legs- all Papa!

And has also come up with a dramatic new way to say she is "all done!" eating:

Ta-da! Now get me out of this chair.

She has mastered the art of playing peek-a-boo with herself:

And in closing, I leave you with a concert- compliments of Iyla and her new piano. She is clearly a prodigy:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Just Like Lance Armstrong

I'm on steroids.

Well, ONE steroid injection, to be specific.

I finally went to a hand specialist yesterday for my "Mommy Thumb," which has been flaring up again for the past couple of weeks. The most highly recommended course of treatment was a steroid injection directly to the inflamed tendon (OUCH!). The doc said that in many cases this 'cures' the problem, as the steroid causes the inflammation to pretty immediately shrink back to its normal state. I did a quick call to my Pediatrician to check for safety with breastfeeding and got the green light.

The doc said it could take a few days to fully take effect.... but this morning I already feel a HUGE difference! The tenderness and swelling have drastically reduced and I am not having pain while typing this. It is a small miracle to say the least, and I'm kicking myself for not having done it sooner.

So, Mr. Armstrong.... I feel 'ya. These steroids are good stuff.

Feeling grateful.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Experiments in Food & Fashion

Today was a big day in our house.

I decided to face my fears and finally test out feeding diary directly to Iyla. I have been dreading this, to say the least. When Iyla was 2 months old and in the throws of nightly colic witching hours, I proactively cut all dairy out of my diet to see if that would help mitigate the fussiness. She did become MUCH more content around 3 months old, but it was hard to say if that change was due to eliminating diary or to her maturing past that stage.

Since then, I've tried folding in dairy to my diet a couple times to see how she did, and told myself she did seem fussier in the days following it. So I continued a strict diary free diet.

I didn't want to unnecessarily sentence Iyla to a life devoid of the joys of cheese and ice cream, so I knew at some point I'd need to ease her into eating dairy and carefully observe how she did.

If you know anything about Iyla Grace from reading this blog, it won't surprise you that after all this stressing and build up on my part, she did JUST FINE. Like, no big deal at all (though admittedly she just had the greek yogurt mix for today's breakfast and lunch- but so far, so great!) I am so relieved, and plan to incorporate a little diary into each of her meals going forward.

This looks interesting....

I like it, Mama! But next time try getting more in my mouth and less on my face

Then, on a whim during her morning play time, I decided to slip a pair of shoes on Iyla's feet. I had purchased several pairs of adorable baby shoes when pregnant, but once Iyla was here those shoes never made it on her feet. I just couldn't see the point. So, in the vein of "dressing up" I donned her in her tutu and a pair of the shoes: 
Cuteness overload!

Yay Mama! I like wearing shoes. (clap clap clap)

Most hilarious? When I took the shoes off after a very brief time (telling myself they probably weren't comfortable)- she tried to put her little feet back in them! 

Just look at how cute I am in these!

Iyla kept those little shoes on until I finally pulled them off 30 minutes into our play time. They were so cute but were SUPER slippery on the wood floors. Not very practical! *Sigh*- get used to it little one... girls' shoes are often made more for fashion than comfort.

Demonstrating her early mastery of the Herkie. Future cheerleader?

All in all, today's experiments with food & fashion went quite well. I'm lucky to have such a sweet, adorable trooper as my apprentice!

Monday, August 12, 2013

9 Months Old!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are 9 months old! It is truly hard to believe. You have done so much growing up in the past month, and every day is a fun new adventure.

9 months in, 9 months out!

Play time with your new teething necklaces

I tried this sunhat on you to see if it fit, and you started playing peek-a-boo with me!

Here are your 9 month updates!

How old? 9 months old today

How big? We had your 9 month appointment this afternoon (right during what should have been your 2nd nap of the day! You still did SO well and had plenty of smiles for everyone). You are still measuring long and lean and staying on your growth curve.... 28 inches tall (75%), 14 lbs 12 oz (5%), and your head was in the 25th percentile.

Here you are in your monthly comparisons to Sam. You two were SO hard to get photos of today- he wasn't too thrilled with all your kicking and grabbing maneuvers!

Sleep? You have been doing AWESOME. This month you finally started consistently sleeping through the night! You go to bed between 7-7:15, and 6/7 days will sleep straight through until 7-7:15am. I am so proud of you! You also have very consistent naps- one around 9-9:30 for anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours, then another 3 hours after you wake from the first for about the same amount of time. You go down so sweetly & easily- after you nurse and we sing a couple songs I put you in your crib. You either roll right over and go straight to sleep, or you happily chat and play until you get tired and fall asleep.

You love your play time in the crib once you wake up- I will often watch you on the monitor happily scooting around, talking & playing with your 3 Wannanub pacifiers:

All the pacis! Your Grampy reminded me that like mother, like daughter... I used to gather and 'wear' all of my pacis around the house- one for each finger.

Happy with your gang of buddies. You love gathering them all together. So cute!

This is how I found you on the monitor after we returned from last week's date night. Happy exhausted girl after a night playing with Veronica!

*You still primarily eat purees. Your favorites are sweet potatoes, a mango/pear blend, carrots, and a blueberry/apple blend. You still turn your nose up at peas and don't seem to like anything mixed with apricot.
*For finger foods, you love when we give you a strip of meat to gnaw on. Your favorites are steak & lamb. You also will nibble happily on pieces of bread. Everything else becomes a toy to smear & smash & spread all around!

Morning toast

Sampling the water while out to eat. It's getting harder and harder to take you out with us- I think the more active you get, the more you get bored being out with Mama and Papa!

*Sleeping through the night!
*Learning to clap
*Pulling to stand! You constantly are reaching for Papa's and my hands to pull up on your feet.
*Scooting backwards on your bottom from a sitting position. I've also seen you turn around in a complete circle!
*Holding as many objects as possible in one hand
*Knocking toys together- you love seeing how one object interacts with another
*Turning the pages of books- you love to help!
*When on your belly, you prop WAY up and can actually slowly but surely scoot backwards

My friend Amy had been showing you how to clap earlier in the day... then within 30 minutes of being with your nanny Veronica- who was also showing you how to clap- you GOT it! It's amazing how much these small new skills delight Papa and I almost as much as they delight you. : )

Playing peek-a-boo with me in the car

Potty Time? You are so busy and interested in everything around you it is extremely hard for you to sit still on it! You'll pee on the potty if we put you there right after waking, and you continue to prefer to do your #2's in the privacy of your post-nap crib. When I come up to get you there is almost always a little gift there for me.

Current likes:
*You LOVE love LOVE your books! They are definitely your favorite toys right now, and you are content to sit in my lap and read book after book, helping me turn the pages. You kick your little legs in excitement as we read together.

Choosing your morning reading material

Helping Mimi turn pages in your book

*Play dates with friends. You are so social and really love to interact and connect with other kids & their parents.

Play date with twins Grayson & Coleson. It's a baby fantasy land there and you always have so much fun!

Minutes after the first shot the twins made a break for it while you smiled away

We have started meeting some other little ladies your age! Here you and your friends are playing dress up with your headbands. Future girl 'band?' Left to right Abbie (5 months), you, Sabine (8 months), and Isla (another Isla! 11 months). 

*Playing outside. You love sitting on our porch and eating collecting all of the leaves around you. Even in this heat, you never tire or fuss while playing outdoors.
Mama, let me make you a salad!

*You love performing. You will dance a little jig anytime, anywhere- best with an audience!

Dancing at friend Sabine's house

A post nap performance in your nursery

Postpartum body:
*My "Mommy Thumb" has been acting up again. I finally scheduled a doctor's appointment for next week with a hand specialist to see if they can help speed up the healing.
*I haven't had nearly enough time for yoga, and it is still too hot for walks- so I am feeling just as wiggly-jiggly as you look when you stand on your little legs!
*I can actively see the patches where my new hair is returning after all those months of hair loss. The loss has now stopped, and I have about an inch of new growth coming in:

New little bangs 

*I've had 3 postpartum cycles now... the first was 46 days, 2nd was 39 days... and the most recent cycle saw the return of my dreaded cramps. Not fun... but at least it indicates my body is getting back to its norm.

Scenes from play time in the guest room

Most looking forward to?
*It seems like you are mastering something new on a daily basis! I am excited to watch you become more mobile, though admittedly there is NO rush (I know when that happens it will be GAME ON watching you!).
*I am also wondering when your first tooth will come in. Apparently I was one before I got my 1st tooth, so you may be a late bloomer if you take after me.

Always 'tasting' your toys... possibly working on your first tooth?

Here are your official 9 month photos. They are getting harder and harder to take with each passing month as you are more and more active!

We love you so much Iyla Grace! Happy 9 months to you, darling girl.