Sunday, March 30, 2014

2 (Naps) is the Loneliest Number….

Almost every baby book I've read states that somewhere between 15-18 months, many toddlers transition from 2 naps to 1. By two years old over 90% of little ones are on the one nap/day schedule.

I've watched as one by one, our favorite toddler friends make the leap. Some very early on because of daycare schedules, some in their own natural transitions. This pretty much equates to us not getting to see these friends anymore, because their one nap/day time is usually during Iyla's awake and ready-to-play time.

It also seems that every single fun toddler activity in town happens in the 10-11am hour. There are oh so many story times and train rides and play dates that we end up missing because up until last week, we were still on the two nap/day schedule.

Then Iyla decided to shake things up.

This past week, Iyla started playing & partying in her crib more often than sleeping for her 2nd nap. I wondered if THIS WAS IT. The transition was upon us! And promptly began experimenting with pushing her first nap back later, thinking it would get longer in duration to make up the difference in total daytime sleeping hours.

Not so much.

Iyla appears to be a one hour nap wonder. No matter what time we try putting her down, no matter how we tweak the pre-nap routine (lunch first? No sleep sack? Wearing her out with a long walk?) she wakes up exactly 60 minutes after nodding off.

'Just go ahead and TRY to wear me out, Mama!"

One 1 hour nap/day = a very cranky toddler (and- let's be honest. A very cranky Mama).

Which had me wondering if maybe Iyla wasn't quite yet ready to join the ranks of the one nap crowd.

Yesterday I decided to try going back to our two nap schedule, putting her down early for her first snooze.

She slept from 10:30-11:30, and when put down again at 3:30, partied it up - running back and forth across the crib, throwing pacifiers out, chatting to the pictures on the walls- basically anything but sleeping. Letting me know quite definitively that she was a BIG GIRL now and didn't need that 2nd nap. *Sigh*

She did sleep in a lot later today, which I guess I could get on board with. Perhaps in lieu of the 2+ daytime sleeping hours she will continue to be a one hour wonder and make up the other hours at night?

This transition may see us finally reconnecting with long lost toddler friends. And needing to reschedule Iyla's swim lessons AGAIN.

'Two naps is SO for babies. Let's party! And read books!'


Now if only there were some way to let Iyla know that BIG GIRLS no longer need to drink from bottles…. 

One step at a time, right?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

First Haircut

Tonight, we said goodbye to Iyla's mullet. In one swift cut, that little curly tail was evicted to its memorial Ziploc bag:


Iyla actually looks really cute post cut. Admittedly I had a cocktail before doing the chop (it doesn't have to be totally even, does it?) and BC said it looked like she was now rocking the Posh Spice do.

So here you have it: photo evidence of Iyla's first haircut, March 25th 2014, at 16 months old:


I'm going to try to hold out on the bangs, opting for the swoop look and defaulting to barrettes when needed. 

Our baby girl is growing up!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Kid Has a Mullet

Iyla Grace's hair has been growing a lot lately, leaving her with a big curly party in the back and bang wisps in her eyes.

Basically the quintessential baby mullet.

It seems to be all the rage with the toddler crowd these days, and a necessary rite of passage.

This recent development has seen me googling "when to cut your baby's mullet." And surprisingly, I am not the first parent to have this dilemma. There were endless threads for me to peruse, complete with photo documentation of all sorts of creative mullet formations.

BC is all in- saying to me "I'd cut it today if you'd let me!" Upon pressing further, his reasoning was for 'aesthetics.'

I myself am on the fence. On some days the mullet curl spreads out into a glorious little fluff. On other days it resembles more of a bad a** rock n roll Mohawk. It gives character, uniqueness, flair.

I now bring you a day in the life of Iyla's mullet:

Mullet on the potty

Mullet by the tub

Mullet shining in the sunlight

It truly has become a part of the family.

One thing I DO know? If I decide to make the chop, that mullet curl will be placed in a Ziploc bag and affixed to Iyla's baby book for historical record keeping. Cause that's how I roll.

Stay tuned…

I have no idea where she gets her style from

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vegas, Baby!

I am now in the less than two week countdown to my first official baby free vacation. It was a trip that fell into place quickly- then almost didn't happen.

BC was promoted earlier this year and with that promotion came a lot more travel. While in Wimberely he found out he needed to attend a week long conference in Vegas, and mentioned that maybe Iyla and I could join him. He thought we could enjoy the hotel, the pools, the sights, etc.

I was initially very excited and intrigued about this option, but something just didn't.feel.right. I googled the heck out of "things to do with a baby in Vegas" and realized that being there with Iyla would be a lot of work. BC would be in the conference all day every day and would also have to attend work dinners several nights. That would mean I'd be caring for Iyla all day every day on my own, in a city I've never been to that is known for its adult spoils.

I then surprised myself by wondering: "what if I joined BC by myself for a few nights?"

And was immediately terrified when BC responded with an enthusiastic 'YES!'

Wait- what?

Three nights away from my sweet baby who has never been without her Mama? Who would care for her? Would she be OK? Would I be OK? My Mommy Brain went into serious overdrive thinking through all the possible scenarios.

And then something surprising happened. My terror began to melt into genuine excitement. The prospect of joining BC just felt so right. We had been hoping to take our first solo trip this spring but weren't sure our budget would allow it. Then here came an opportunity where BC's airfare and hotel were already paid for, and all we'd have to take care of was my flight. Vegas isn't a place I would intrinsically choose to visit, but heck- how could we pass this up?

Feeling invigorated and hopeful, I started investigating care for Iyla.

We called BC's mom, who has always let us know how much she would LOVE to come stay with Iyla if we ever needed her. We were calling three weeks before the trip was set to happen, so I knew her being available with that short notice would be a huge stroke of luck. And indeed, she was already scheduled for Grandma duty that week in Colorado.

Then we called my parents- who live 2 hours away- to see if they'd be able to help out. I had expected hoped that would be a no-brainer, but unfortunately they too had a conflict that week. Now what?

Starting to feel a bit desperate, we reached out to our sweet nanny, only to learn she'd just started with another family on MWF. She did say she could help & stay nights and care for Iyla on two of the days we were away. Which still left us needing help for the other two days.

It was all starting to feel way too complicated and I allowed myself to mourn the fact that this trip I was SO READY FOR just might not happen. It was a huge "you're a parent now" slap in the face- that things no longer come as easily and spontaneously and require a lot of advance planning. Indeed, the old adage "It Takes a Village" had never felt more appropriate.

But what happens when your Village is already booked?

We had one last hope. I have an aunt and uncle here in town, who happened to be away on vacation while we were actively seeking Iyla care options. I had sent my aunt an email, not thinking there was a chance in H*** she'd be able to take time off and help since she is a high up at a local company and had just taken a week off for her trip.

When my aunt returned to town our MIRACLE of miracles happened. She expressed how genuinely EXCITED she was to have the opportunity to take Iyla. Her daughters (my cousins who are 19 and 26) would help out and they would all welcome her with open arms for the entire time we were away!

My Mommy Brain went crazy again as I thought through the change of sending Iyla somewhere else to stay vs. someone caring for her in her comforting, familiar home. The weight of wondering if Iyla would be scared staying somewhere new with people she doesn't actively know in her day to day life (but who will admittedly spoil and adore her).

And then I got over it.

The fact is that Iyla will grow and learn from this experience. She will be safe and loved. It will be an adventuresome vacation for her too (complete with 3 dogs!), and she might actually do better being outside of her own home while we are away, vs. wondering where we are in her regular environment.

Plus there is the modern miracle of FaceTime, which we plan to fully partake in.

The freak in me has already started compiling a gazillion lists about Iyla's food, schedule, language, games, etc. I've ordered a photo book of family pictures she can look through and be comforted by. Worrying and planning as only a Mama can do.

Then the belly tickles set in as I start thinking about the trip itself….how I will have 2 luxurious days ALL BY MYSELF while BC is at the conference. I can go to the pools, shop, blog, and work as needed. I can sleep in and take naps. Glam myself up nightly for consecutive date nights with BC, and fully appreciate the precious couple time we'll have to reconnect and relax.

So here's to new adventures for the entire family- and extreme gratitude to my aunt for making this possible!

Viva Las Vegas!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

BUSY

I have observed that as bloggers' kids get older, their blog entries tend to decrease in a direct correlation to the age of the child. I too am now falling into this category, as the last two months I've only managed to squeak out entries about Iyla's monthly milestones. And writing those was like pulling teeth.

My excuse?

LIFE.

A very full, busy life. In all good ways.

Work has picked up a lot, and I am feeling totally ready to embrace it. It makes me feel like me again- the ME I was pre-baby. I feel productive, inspired, challenged, rewarded. I am slowly chipping away at the debt that has accrued in the past year, and am ready to fully manifest my 2014 mantra: Balanced, Inspiring/Inspired Abundance. The entry I wrote back in October about missing ME was definitely a tough time (possibly my lowest point post baby thus far), and I am oh so grateful to be coming up on the sunny side of things now!

My current challenge is finding more hours of care for Iyla in order to effectively increase my work. So far I am managing with my 15 or so nanny hours/week, but I am very seriously considering- come Iyla's 18 month marker- looking into a 5 day 1/2 day school option for her. There is a local Montessori school that has an 8:30-12:30 Monday through Friday program that I think Iyla would really enjoy. The catch is I need to have her transitioned to one nap/day before she will be able to survive it!

In addition to work picking up, I've been studying for my Broker's license every spare moment I have in order to take over as the Managing Broker for my company. My current Brokers approached me about this a couple of months ago, offering to pay for my broker classes, test, & license- and it was too sweet of a deal to pass up. There is an ethical clause where -as the Managing Broker -you cannot do transactions with another agent from your company. Due to the fact that I have cut back on the business I'm taking on I have the least likely possibility for this to be an issue, hence my current Brokers asking me to step up into this position.

Iyla Grace is also keeping me completely busy every minute I am with her. She is NOT a kiddo who allows me to be on my computer while she plays nearby. Our cottage in Wimberley was a nice exception to this; it had a TV in the living room, and I took home the Mother of the Year award as I allowed Iyla to watch a LOT of vacation cartoons while I work work worked (I got 2 buyers under contract while we were away that week, it was a bit crazy!). I did appreciate having that crutch option while there, but here in the real world our TV rests in the off position up on our 3rd floor and I feverishly cram my non-nanny day work into Iyla's nap times. I have to be super conscious about how much work I take on- making sure I can absolutely take full care of each client I handle. Hence my desire to increase Iyla's care to be able to take on more business.

I am really loving the creative, productive pulse running through my veins these days. I am feeling more and more whole unto myself post baby and appreciating that Iyla is now at an independent age where I am OK with her being away from me for longer stretches of time. She is learning and growing so much from being with others, just as I am learning and growing through rediscovering who I am apart from her. It is definitely a sweet spot to be in.

This face! My sweet independent love.

And? I've booked my first vacation sans baby, joining BC on his Vegas business trip in TWO WEEKS! Admittedly I was a bit terrified at first at the prospect of leaving Iyla, but now I am mostly just over the top GIDDY. Three whole days and nights not having to cook or clean or change diapers? Breakfast in bed and pools and quiet and dinners with my love? Yes PLEASE.

 More to come on that in a future post (I hope… !)


****On a lovely side note, it was 2 years ago TODAY that we found out we were expecting our precious miracle baby! What an incredible day that was.*****

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

16 Months!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are 16 months old! You seem to get smarter and more verbal every single day, and we are so enjoying watching the wonder that is YOU unfold.

This past week we've been in Wimberley for your 3rd year! The first year we didn't realize you were with us and got the surprise of our lives upon our return. You've been doing so well on this trip- sleeping soundly, playing happily, and up for our daily adventures in the car.

Our 2014 cottage behind you

The beautiful scene right behind the cottage


Here are your 16 month updates!

How big? Don't have official stats….so here you are perched next to Sam on our Wimberley cottage's ottoman:


Sleep? I toyed with the idea of using daylight savings as an excuse to transition you to one nap, since everything was pushed an hour later. I've been putting you down for your first nap around 10:45-11 these past few days- but you are definitely ready again around 4 for a 2nd little snooze!

Eating? You devoured the pasta marinara, shrimp, and green beans we ordered you at dinner tonight- likely because my cooking here in our tiny Wimberley cottage has much to be desired. ; ) You are still having bottles in the morning, before each nap, and at night- and I am in no immediate rush to wean those anytime soon.

Words? So many! You are starting to link 2 words together a lot more. "Get. Baby." - when you throw your dolly down a stair. "Sit. baby." "Little girl." You have also suddenly started signing "more" correctly and frequently, and are saying/signing "please" a lot upon request (usually after you whine for something or request "get!" or "more!" we ask you say please, and you smile and say/sign it).

Teeth? They are coming in fast and furious! I have confirmed the upper left and bottom right having fully broken through, and am pretty sure the tooth next to the new front tooth is going to pop out any day, as well as your other front tooth. I haven't noticed any more fussiness than usual from you- you appear to take teething totally in stride, thank goodness (so far!)

You can see your front tooth in this picture!

Potty time? Still the same per your norm (going when we sit you there in the morning & after naps)- though in the past month you have TOLD me you had to go a couple times by looking intently in my eyes and fussing, then leading me to your potty when I asked if you had to go. It's exciting to see you starting to connect the dots….

Current likes: 

*All babies all the time! You LOVE every.single.baby doll you have. You have what you call your "babies," your "dollies," and your "little girls." You also adore the books we have that pertain to babies & little children.

                                A couple of your little buddies                                       

*You still adore your books. You know them by title now, and will make the sounds or say one word of the title of whatever it is you want to read. If you really love the book, you will exclaim "agin!' when we finish it.

*Bringing me shoes to put on. You will find a matching pair and put them down by my feet, fussing until I finally put them on!

"Pull yourself together, Mama."

*Going for walks outside, preferably with a baby doll in each hand.

You love walking with your hands behind your back. Kills me every time!


*"Talking" about your favorite people. Without fail when we are having a bottle, you will suddenly start naming folks- then proceed through your entire list of loves!

video
Naming some of your friends


*Playing with friends

Neighbor Henley. You loved his water cup so much we got you one of your own!

You also met twins Harper & Tatum who live in Wimberley, and are having lots of fun spending afternoons at their beautiful property (with horses! And dollies!)


*Accessorizing. You love putting on a tiara or a hat, and also discovered the joys of 'wearing' my belt.


*"Hiding" your baby dolls and then finding them. This usually equates to you dropping the doll somewhere or placing it on a table or shelf- walking away with your hands behind your back saying "baby baby!" then walking back to the doll and screeching your excitement upon finding it again!

The poor Papa doll was dropped in the garbage

Found it!

Current dislikes:

*Being strapped into your car seat

*Getting clothes put on

*Being confined too long in any manner (through holding, a high chair, car seat, etc.)


Here are some more photos from your past month. We love you so much sweet girl- happy 16 months to you!


You climbed in this basket all by yourself and were very pleased about it