Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Week in Photos

Last week BC was away on business (to Europe- what a whirlwind!), and as such, Iyla and I spent lots of quality time together.

She helped me cook meals:

Attended swim lessons followed by a musical story time (complete with a baby & bubbles mosh pit!):

Supervised my assembly of her new dress up/bookcase center:

Discovered an old truck in our alley:

Stripped yet another dolly (one she never played with)- and VOILA! Literally within moments of being undressed, this dolly became a new favorite. We have two almost identical naked dolls Iyla now calls the"twins," and she had a blast posing them all over the house:

We had her 18 month check up, where she shot up to 50% for weight and 75% for height (and rocked her shots with so much bravery!):

Played in our backyard beach:

Took selfies:

And flung her baby doll all.over.the.airport while waiting for BC to arrive home. She had a BLAST, and allowing her to have a blast was exhausting. That kid can cover some ground! Here, Iyla found a solitary square of sunshine to place her baby (over and over and over again):

Also? We have a 6th tooth poking through! Iyla's upper right tooth, next to her right front tooth, has made an appearance! We now have 4 teeth on top and 2 on the bottom. Perhaps that is why her appetite suddenly went down the past couple of days?

We had such a fun week together, but are oh so glad to have our beloved BC back home safe and sound again!

Monday, May 12, 2014

18 Months Old!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are 18 months old- officially a year and a half. A big milestone!

At 18 months old, your intrinsic nature is so sweet, giving, affectionate, independent & silly. You are SO smart, and are picking up new words, games, & interests every single day.

Here are your 18 month updates!

How old? 18 months today

How big? Here you are at your 18 month appointment (which was May 16th, 2014):

You were 22 pounds, 1 oz (50%), 32 1/2 inches tall (75%), and your head was 18 inches in circumference (50%). You went up in percents on all measurements! Such a big girl. You also rocked your shots like a champ, crying hard as they went in then instantly calming when I picked you up- and going right back to business as usual.

Getting photos of you with Sam is SO HARD to do these days. However, you both cooperated momentarily this morning:

Words? You have so, so, SO many words! I can no longer keep track, as I will name something new (to you) and you will repeat it and remember it. When having your bottles (yes, yes, still bottles!) you love to grunt and point at different parts of my face and chest, requesting that I name things. This month you got to learn the word "pimple' and you greatly enjoyed pointing that out repeatedly! Awesome. You are also stringing two word thoughts together more and more: "Mama, play"…."kick, baby"…."baba, iyla."

Food? Your current favorites are watermelon (you call this 'me-me'), shrimp, eggs, & these delicious vegan muffins I get from our local coffee shop. You have 3 bottles/day and have been clearing 8 ounces of milk with each bottle! This past week you seemed voracious, and could not eat or drink enough (growth spurt)! You are very clear about your tastes when trying new things. If you do NOT like it, you'll immediately spit it out and say "no, no!" If you DO like it you will say "more" before you've even swallowed the current bite.

Sleep? You take your one nap around 12:30-12:45, and thank the heavens- now sleep closer to 1.5 to sometimes a glorious 2 hours! Bedtime is 7:30, and you usually pop up awake in the 6:50-7:10 window, rolling around quietly in your crib until we come to get you. This past week you have begun fighting sleep time… having a MAJOR meltdown the second we walk into your room. Not fun for either of us, and I hope it is short lived! Otherwise I am going to have to come up with some creative new pre sleep routines.

Potty time? I haven't updated on this one for awhile! The intent with the Elimination Communication was never to potty train you early. And as such, it definitely does not appear that it DID train you any earlier than other babes. You *usually* will go #1 and #2 every morning on your potty, and sometimes after a nap- but that's it for now. However, in the past month you have taken to announcing when you are going ('pee! poop!'), and I know that your awareness of this is a key step in eventually getting you diaper free!

Teeth? Those first 5 you have came in fast and furious… but no more since last month. They are growing and showing up more and more in your sweet little smile!


*Announcing when you are going to the bathroom

*Learning how to climb down stairs and climb down off a bed or couch

*Taking books and turning the pages by yourself, often 'telling' me the story by saying a word relating to each page. I SWEAR you can sight read the word "baby" and the letter "K" already- you point those out on a couple books and say them.

*Walking on your tiptoes. Further evidence of a future ballerina?

*Walking backwards. You are getting better at remembering to peek behind you at where you are going (learned after a couple unfortunate tumbles)!

Favorite things:

*Your baby dolls! All day every day.

*Books! You continue to LOVE reading and can go through 20 or more books in one sitting. A favorite these days are your Ladybug Girl books (we have the doll too- of course).

*Going down slides (you are so proud of this skill!)

*Going for walks

*Baths! You now let me lay you on your back to rinse your hair, as long as I sing the London Bridge song like we do in swim lessons! You call it "lee lee."

*Swim lessons! You fearlessly just jump in the water and go under with ease.

*Naked time (still)! You adore streaking through the house in the buff exclaiming "nakey nakey!"

*Playing piano with your Papa! You sit on his lap and very dramatically bow your head while plunking the keys.

Not so favorite things:

*You are not a kid who falls and gets right back up. You HATE bumping yourself or tripping, and unfortunately do both quite a bit, leading to a lot of fussing and tears. I am guessing this is why you aren't very physically adventuresome! Not your nature.

*Car rides: you tolerate shorter distances OK, but I have to time them strategically and also have a huge arsenal of toys that I continually throw back at you when the fussing begins.

*Spicy food- anything with the slightest amount of spice gets immediately spit out with tears!

*Nap/Bedtime. This is the new fun one this week, and the ONLY thing I've found that soothes you, funny enough, is singing "Maybe" from Annie. You stare right into my eyes and listen to every.single.word. Cue my heart melting!

Post Partem Body:

*I haven't written about my lovely Mommy Thumb in awhile, but it sadly appears to be a permanent injury, kind of like a constantly sprained wrist. I've had it on my to-do list for 2 weeks now to call into the hand doctor about costs for surgery, and am ready to get this thing resolved for good!

*Another interesting and not so fun thing that has developed in the past two months is that the very top of my left shoulder- right on the tip of the bone- is constantly in a lot of pain, almost as if a nerve has moved over the bone. I think it is entirely due to my always carrying you on the left side (since I am right handed)- and as you grow, the strain is being felt. So now I have a bum left shoulder and bum right wrist!

Most looking forward to?

*Continuing to get better and better at balancing time with you, time with BC, time for me, and time for work. I feel like we are getting into a pretty darn good stride, and I look forward to our 2014 Year of Abundance continuing.

*July! First for our annual family reunion here in Austin and Houston, where most of our Midwestern family comes up for a week to stay (including your cousin Liam, who is only 2 months older than you).

Also? BC and I booked a trip to NYC for mid July!!! We are flying your Grandma (Papa's mom) in to stay with you, and I just know you are both going to luxuriate in that time together, while BC and I luxuriate in our very favorite city for some R&R.

Here are a few more pictures from the past month. Happy 18 months, my darling Iyla Grace! I am so grateful to be your Mama!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Iyla's Baby Stations

Last month BC and I attended an open house at a local Montessori school. The more I read about the Montessori philosophy, the more I feel I am inherently a Montessori kind of mom. In Montessori, children's toys and activities are all made from beautiful, natural materials and each has a designated location, displayed in deliberate aesthetic fashion. I learned at this talk that each day after school the instructors spend 1-2 solid hours resetting up the classroom for the children, lovingly planning toward the following day.

A typical Montessori classroom 
(photo credit

I have always preferred natural toys to bright plastic ones for Iyla. Having said that, we are also realistic about things, knowing that some plastic is going to make its way into our homes. Case in point: Iyla's beloved baby dolls. She has a huge array of dollies now- including little barbies that were mine as a child as well as new dolls from friends and family. Some made of natural materials, many made of plastic.

Iyla spends each and every day choosing several dolls to carry around with her. She will carefully place them on top of different things- the garbage can, the pickles in the fridge, the slide - telling them to "sit, sit" and then running up to us with an expectant look, wanting us to share in the excitement of their most recent location!

Strolling with the day's chosen ones

Every night after Iyla goes to bed, I go on a dolly scavenger hunt. The variety of places I find them amazes me…those dollies sure do get around! Then in true Montessori fashion, I go about setting up organized stations for her to 'rediscover' in the morning.

Station #1: Iyla's bathroom. After waking in the morning (or after a nap) she starts talking about "babies and lala's" (her word for dollies) as we near the bathroom. She'll let out a squeal of delight when she sees the baby arrangement, holding and hugging and throwing the babies over and over as she does her business.

The bathroom baby gang

Station #2: our bedroom closet. Every morning after potty time Iyla comes running into our room, where she'll spend the next 20-30 minutes playing while we get ready. She immediately darts into the closet, where an arsenal of her very favorite little babies await her. She has to carry at the same time, and gets very frustrated if any are dropped.

Babies in the closet

When it is time to head down for breakfast, she will throw these babies down the stairs and exclaim "kick! kick!"- demanding that we kick the babies as we walk down the stairs.

The daily kicking of the babies.
Iyla is going to be such an amazing mother one day, I just know it.

Station #3: Iyla's dollhouse. Once downstairs, Iyla will run to her playroom (aka my office) to see what the other dollies have been up to overnight. I try to mix it up as best I can, and adore seeing her expression as she discovers them:

It was a wild night for these girls

You may have noticed that the majority of her dolls are naked. This is all Iyla. Occasionally I'll try to sneak some clothes back on one, and inevitably she will bring the doll to me saying "a-wah, a-wah," which is her way of saying "I want it off." She is very persistent and particular about it!

This kid. Hilarious, unique, and totally worth the nightly scavenger hunts and dolly station set ups. But oh do I dread the day where she finds out Montessori schools don't have ANY baby dolls in their classrooms!

"You WILL kick my babies."