Monday, December 30, 2013

Got Milk?

There have been big changes going on with Iyla Grace in the nursing department.

Admittedly, I am not someone who does things halfway when it comes to big baby transitions. Case in point, moving Iyla into her own room & crib coupled with de-swaddling AND some mild "cry it out" all at once when she was 5 months old.

Now? We are simultaneously weaning AND moving to whole cow's milk (WCM). And of course, Iyla is like 'whatever.'

At her 12 month appointment, the Pediatrician asked about weaning and let me know that developmentally it was much easier to wean before 15 months. I was a little miffed by her saying that, as I did not feel ready to wean at all. I wondered if there would be a day when I did feel ready, and hoped it would be clear to me. We were still nursing 3-4x/day- in the morning, before each nap, and sometimes in the late afternoon.

I was also told at this appointment that we should start replacing Iyla's nightly bottle of formula with WCM. So of course, in my typical 'black and white, all or nothing' way I tried replacing that bottle cold turkey with warmed milk.  Iyla took one sip, smiled, spit it out, and then waited not-so-patiently as I quickly made her bottle of formula. I immediately came to the conclusion that she didn't like whole milk, and that we'd have to try goat's milk or almond milk or something else.

Then I spoke to another mama friend of mine who told me that she had very gradually starting mixing WCM with her babies' formula. The first week she did 25% WCM, 2nd week 50%, 3rd week 75%, and finally all milk.

Um…. yeah. It made TOTAL sense and I couldn't believe that this hadn't even occurred to me.

And so we began the more gentle transition, and Iyla did great. We are now up to all WCM in her bottles, though I am still putting in 1/2 a scoop of formula for the 'taste,' and will wean that out in the next couple of days.

Also? I suddenly felt ready to start weaning around the same time we started folding in WCM. I was often gone for the nursing session before her first nap due to the nanny or BC helping out, so decided to eliminate that session first. The following week I cut out the 2nd nap's nursing and let my body adjust to nursing only in the mornings. This week the plan is to cut mornings out too.

Admittedly there is a little bit of sadness with this transition, as it officially signals the end of 13.5 months of the special connection that nursing brings. But it also signals the beginning of increased independence for both Iyla and I, and…. it is time. She takes her bottles like a champ, and I think actually prefers the instant gratification. I still get to snuggle her and hold her close while she takes them, and definitely luxuriate in that time together.

The next step is to wean off of bottles completely, transitioning to drinking out of cups. Of course, just when we get in a great new groove it is time to adjust again! I am in no immediate rush to move on to cups… and trust a time will come when we feel intuitively ready for that step.

Until then, I am going to keep snuggling this little lady and celebrating her daily steps toward greater independence!

'Just don't you try to take away my bedtime paci!'

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Walker

For almost 1 1/2 months now Iyla has been a 'secret walker,' where she will take anywhere from 2-5 steps at a time from a couch to me, BC, or our nanny. Some babies go straight into full on walking after those first couple of independent steps- not our Iyla. She has consistently shown us she is a little one who does things in her own careful time. She won't break out a new skill until she feels absolutely confident in doing so.

And today, Iyla Grace decided it was time to walk- at 13.5 months old.

It was the most amazing thing to see her GET IT, and to see the immense joy and pride she obviously felt when things clicked. She could not be stopped! Here is video footage of our sweet girl on the move:

Needless to say, it is the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER. She would choose to accomplish this milestone on such a monumental day. If there is one thing for sure, this little lady has panache. So proud of her!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This Week in Photos

I absolutely love the Holiday season, but lately have felt like every spare moment I have (which are few and far between!) is spent planning travel, gifts, recipes, decorations, etc. Not much time for writing blog entries!

As such, I bring you our week in photos (I know, shocking right? Photos?). The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here in Austin (mid 60's and sunny), and we have definitely been soaking it up.


Over the weekend we headed out to our friend Lily's 4th grade Christmas performance, where Iyla made some new friends and also met Santa:

Iyla couldn't contain her excitement

She had a couple of play dates with her buddy Henley, who lives in the neighborhood and is only 1 day younger than her:

He was giggling the entire time he pushed the wagon

She greeted me daily post-nap with an offering of a pacifier:

Had fun cruising the couch looking at Christmas decorations:

Had some feline spies watching over her shoulder as she ate:

Reconnected with her new friend, Shadow:

Spent time snuggling with me while watching all of her favorite Super Simple Songs music videos:

Figured out how to open the kitchen cabinets, found a container of bubbles, and promptly requested we play with them by handing them to me and making blowing sounds:

Played in the backyard leaves:

She was definitely humoring me and quickly started requesting to get up and "gauk!" again

Watched the outdoor kitties while soaking in some sun:

Played at the park:

And modeled some Holiday wear:


We head to Houston this weekend for Christmas celebration #1, then begin celebration #2 back home in Austin next week. We're all looking forward to a wonderful Holiday whirlwind!

Now if I could just find time to begin all the baking I need to do….

Thursday, December 12, 2013

13 Months!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are 13 months old. And lately it seems every day you are coming up with something new- saying new words, performing new physical feats…. growing, growing growing. Here are your 13 month updates!

How old? 13 months today

How big? I was so excited that we might have actual 'stats' for this post from a doc visit earlier this week- but alas, we showed up to get the 2nd 1/2 of your flu booster & were turned away because it hadn't been a full 28 days since you got the 1st 1/2. Good news for you, not so happy news for me- since now we'll have to pack you up and make the trip again next week!

So I bring you some shots from this morning of you and your buddy Sam:

Sleep? You have become an awesome sleeper! You go down nightly around 7:45 and sleep straight through until just around 7am. You wake slowly & quietly and will lay in your bed for a good 10-15 minutes just rolling & playing with your Pacis. You are still taking two naps a day, both anywhere from 1-2 hours. The first nap usually starts between 10-10:30, the 2nd around 2:30-3.


*You LOVE your eggs. I'm convinced you would eat scrambled eggs for every meal if you could. You also still love fish, broccoli, chicken, & Chinese food (with chicken & broccoli and eggs- ha).

*You have become so good with your fork! You concentrate really hard while using it, and are quite patient as you attempt to spear whatever morsel you are going for. When the attempt is unsuccessful or takes too long, you will quickly stuff a piece of food in your mouth and then start working the fork again.

*You like to touch each piece of food with your thumb, and have a new game when served peas- basically slowly & methodically smashing every.single.pea. Not many make it into your mouth. With blueberries, you put then into your mouth for a quick crush, then spit them out again.

*You have started looking me earnestly in the eye and shaking your head 'no' right after dropping food on the ground to Sam. You know you are not supposed to do this, and I have to keep a very straight face as you shake your head- it is so cute & hilarious!

*We are supposed to be starting whole cow's milk with you now that you are over a year old. You've tried it several times- and will smile when it first hits your lips, then smile as you let it all run out your  mouth again. I did warm some up in a bottle before a feeding last weekend and you had several sucks before you stopped and looked at me with a "what are you DOING Mama?" look on your face. We nursed. Then at that nap you woke up in wrenching gas pains that continued on and off until we gave you some gas drops- poor girl! Not sure cow's milk agrees with your little system (I did cut it out for 9 months of breastfeeding due to your sensitivities)… so for now we will supplement with formula, and I may try some other forms of milk as well.

*Speaking of nursing & milk, just this week I have felt ready to slowly start the weaning process. Right now you nurse usually 2-3x/day- when you wake and before each nap. Often I miss the first nap nursing because you are with BC or your nanny- so I am going to start giving you a bottle for that feeding. You seem to prefer/enjoy the bottle due to the instant gratification, as waiting for my milk to let down while nursing brings out your impatient grumbles. Next week I will begin to give a bottle for both naps, so we are just nursing in the morning.

Words? You are starting to talk so much more! None of the words are absolutely clear, but you are definitely getting more sounds in your repertoire. You are really good with hard consonant sounds that have 'k' in them- saying kitty, keys, duck, truck, quack, snack (said as 'ack'), 'suck suck' for your pouches (said as 'uck uck')… and love asking us to 'walk' with you, which sounds like "guck!" I've also heard "mama" a lot more, and am *pretty sure* you know what it means.

Potty time? You love your potty time! Every morning you sit there happily, playing with your little pink play potty and your dolly & kitty. Pretty much 6/7 mornings you do #1 and #2 on there. If the #2 doesn't happen, it will almost always happen after your 2nd nap. Right now we sit you on the potty when you wake and after each nap.

Post nap hair on the potty

Teeth? Still absolutely NONE in sight!


I could definitely tell you went through a big "Wonder Weeks" transition this month. We had a couple weeks where you were much more fussy than usual… and then suddenly the sun came out again and we had our sweet, super smiley, loving, affectionate girl back- complete with many new skills!

I finally caught your 'concentration face' on film- you purse your little lips and it is the cutest thing. Here you are trying to work a calculator.

*Just this week while playing with BC on the floor, you stood up from a crouched position 3x in a row all by yourself! You love playing "down, UP"- crouching down while holding onto something then popping UP! You can take a couple of steps on your own when asked & prompted, but greatly prefer to have anyone willing take your hands and walk you around the house. You also ove pushing your baby stroller and wagon around the house. We haven't put you in your walker in over a week, and I think it may be time to retire it altogether.



*This isn't a super fun milestone, but a normal developmental stage… the TANTRUMS! They are hilarious more than anything else. Most likely to occur during a transition from one activity to the next. You are always SO in the moment that switching things up is not a happy time, and causes us to have to get really creative. You also get VERY mad when you want us to "walk" with you and we need to tell you to sit and crawl. Oh lordy!

*You discovered your shadow last week:

*Some of your cute new tricks involve:
-Doing "ojitos" (I probably butchered that spelling!) It is a Spanish term Veronica taught you, meaning 'little eyes.' When we say this you blink your eyes very slowly. It's adorable!
-Speaking of adorable, when we ask you to be 'cute' you cock your head to one side, then the other.

-You like to hold your hair clips up to your hair then hand them to me to put in. We've been rocking the pigtails lately:

Ridiculously cute.

Your nanny sent me this video of you 'doing your hair' in the mirror

-You like to hand your shoes to me to help put them on
-You make the cutest little sing songy noises when playing with your dolls! You dance them around your play room and sing little 'la la la' sounds, rolling your tongue as you sing

-You can imitate and help brush your hair, wash your face, & feed your babies

Your current favorite things:

*Your little people. You have 2, and love to carry them around and make them 'dance' anywhere and everywhere.

This little buddy came out to breakfast with us

*Your ducks! You have several you'll line up along the tub, then toss to the ground & line up again.

You thought it was super fun to play with your ducks in the tub WITHOUT water!

*Your books

*Meal time. You get so excited when it is time to start eating and LOVE using your fork

*Kitties- especially looking for the outdoor kitties

We set up a make shift bed for our adopted outdoor kitty family- Mama, Papa, & 2 kittens

*Playing in front of the mirror

*Walking while holding someones hands

*Playing the piano. Every time you get near it you reach up to play!

Note the Little Person dolly 'playing the piano' in this shot

*Watching videos on our phones or computer. I've found the most darling "Super Simple Songs" videos on YouTube- you love Twinkle Twinkle, Little Snowflake, Row Row Row Your Boat, Old MacDonald, and Open Shut.

*Playing in our dishwasher! The second it opens you crawl over and climb right on in.

'Hi Mama! Nothing to worry about here. Look- one hand!'

So helpful with unloading the silverware

Not so favorite things:

*Getting diapers or clothes changed
*Transitioning from one activity to another
*Getting into your car seat
*Not having full attention placed on you
*Music video time ending

Postpartum body?

*I got another steroid shot for my Mommy Thumb last week. The physical therapy has definitely improved my wrist strength, but the pain was still there. After the shot my pain is pretty much gone- here's hoping this lasts longer than the first round (which lasted all of one month!). The next step for me is surgery- which is a pretty simple outpatient procedure where they cut the sheath restricting the thumb tendon and causing it to rub & be sore. Doc says this would be a permanent cure.

*I've been slacking in exercise lately. It has been wicked cold in Austin so walks have been out (and even when it is nice out, you don't dig being in the stroller for more than 20 minutes at a time). I finally did some yoga yesterday which felt great- but typically during my precious 1-2 hour nap periods I have so many other things to frantically whip out and get done that exercise falls by the wayside.

*My last cycle was extremely short for me- 27 days! My OPKs have been showing an ovulation surge the last several months, but that doesn't necessarily mean I am actually ovulating. Cue Operation Time to Wean…. we definitely would love another little one and would love for you to have a sibling close to your age, so we'll see!

Here is more of what we've all been up to the last month:

Christmas has arrived to our home! You love the Christmas Village just as much as I do.

We braved freezing temperatures to attend the Holiday Singalong at the Capitol. We didn't stay long due to the cold!

Post Singalong snuggle with Lily at the Driskill Hotel Lounge

You and Lily ADORE each other. Definitely like sisters!

Family photo at The Driskill tree

Awesome gingerbread rendering of the hotel! What I wouldn't give to add this to my Christmas Village….

We went out for ice cream one chilly night… because, why not?

You spent time organizing your Post-it notes

And we braved the weather for some back porch play time

Happy 13 months sweet girl! We love you so much.