Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two Years Old!

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are TWO years old! I can't believe all the changes that two short years bring- from a snugly, sleepy newborn to a vibrant, expressive toddler filled with personality! Your Papa and I delight in watching you grow, and as always, are ever so grateful you joined our family two years ago today.

At two years old, you are an extremely affectionate little girl. You love to "snuggle Mama a little bit" and will breathe "hi Papa, hi Mama, hi Lucka" (to Veronica- your nanny) in the the most darling affectionate tone. You are so gentle, careful, & deliberate- a keen observer of the world!

You are also very sensitive. You do NOT like when I laugh or when Papa and I hug or kiss! You also do NOT like when I am out with you and engage other children or adults. You want Mama's attention all for yourself and definitely let that be known.

I think you have amazing compassion & your understanding of feelings & emotions is growing more complex every day. For example, a couple days ago while having lunch you purposefully dropped some food on the floor. I firmly told you "food only goes on your tray or in your mouth" (a rule you definitely know). You then looked at me and dropped another piece. My voice was VERY firm now, saying "NO Iyla, do NOT drop food." You started to immediately cry as you processed I really wasn't happy about this. You let me snuggle you and tell you I loved you, then you quoted a line from your Tinkerbell movie, saying "It's all my fault. Tinkerbell sad." I was amazed at your connection to that sentiment in the moment!

Your very favorite things in the world right now are your Sofia dolls (Big Sofia and Little Sofia), who go everywhere with you. You also love to color, and want to "play crayons" all day every day. If I get you a new coloring book it is usually completely filled in within several days! You also play with bath crayons every morning, decorating the sides of the tub and your Sofias. You love watching videos- your favorites being videos of yourself, Tinkerbell movies, Sofia the First episodes, & Super Why. You love your weekly swim lessons, and completely exhaust yourself swimming 6-10 feet underwater to me over and over and over again.

A clip from your birthday swim class! 

You love going on adventures with us out and about in town. Some of your current favorite spots to go include: the Thinkery Children's Museum, The Little Yoga House for story time, the Driskill Hotel, The Weatherup, Jacoby's, & Bouldin Creek Cafe.

Museum Fun

Dining at Weatherup

Bouldin Creek Cafe

Gardening at The Little Yoga House 

"Cupcakes" (cornbread) at Jacoby's

Dancing with the Sofias on stage at The Driskill

At two years old you are long and lean, and fitting pretty well into 2T clothes- though 18-24 month pants tend to fit you better in the waist. You LOVE picking out your underwear every morning, and will pull out every.single.pair before carefully choosing what beloved pair will be worn for the day. You also love carrying a pair around the house in addition to wearing them!

You are daytime potty trained and continue to be an excellent sleeper- going down sweetly and quietly for naps and bedtime. Your preferred falling asleep position is on your belly with your bottom in the air, feet tucked under you. Once you fall into a sound sleep you usually end up on your back or side.

You also rock some amazing post-nap hair

You are a very good eater, and current hits with you include: strawberries, steak, asparagus, mac-in-cheese, eggs, fish, chicken, blueberries, juice smoothies, Cliff Bars, & your pouches (which we call "suck-sucks").

Here are a few more photos from your past month of adventures. Happy Birthday sweet girl! Here's to many, MANY more healthy, happy, & fun years ahead!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

I learned a lot about my child this Halloween. Namely that we have a sensitive and opinionated little lady who does NOT enjoy the process of changing her own looks or the looks of those she knows and loves.

Let's start at the beginning.

I'd gotten Iyla a fairy costume awhile back- tutu, wings, & a flower garland headband. She happily played with it the day it arrived- for about 5 minutes.

Scenes from last month's dress up session

The night before Halloween I pulled it out again for a trial run, and she was absolutely NOT going to wear the wings or anything on her head. Hmmm. I thought maybe we'd just rock a tutu and say she was a ballerina?

Halloween attempt #1: FAIL

I had also purchased a Sofia the First costume (it's no secret that Iyla is mildly OBSESSED with her Sofia dolls), intending it as a birthday present. After the fairy costume debacle, I pulled out the Sofia dress- thinking this might be it!


Iyla was definitely enchanted by the dress, but did NOT want to wear it. Rather, she preferred to look at it and carry it around.

Halloween attempt #2: FAIL

I started thinking that maybe I had this costume thing completely wrong. What we needed was a sneaky, comfortable costume for my sensitive, opinionated toddler. Something that she didn't realize really was a costume.

After Iyla went to bed I started scheming, and somehow stumbled upon "clip on" kitty ear barrettes that were available at a local party store.

YES! An idea was hatched.

I made a mad dash to the party store at 8:30pm on Halloween Eve- along with what appeared to be half of the city. I was not to be deterred, and $25 later, I came home with an array of kitty costume accessories and hoped for the best.

Halloween morning BC put on his work costume first- a Hazmat suit with the tag "Data Recovery" (he is an IT Manager, after all). Iyla took one look at him and broke down in choking sobs, pausing only long enough to ask "Papa OK? Papa OK?" He quickly removed the helmet and much comforting ensued.

Scary Papa. It was admittedly a little disturbing.

Then it was time to get Iyla dressed.

Black dress, check. Tinkerbell underwear (always!) and black leggings, check. Pony tails and clip on cat ears, check. Then for the final touch, I carefully drew a little black nose and whiskers on Iyla's face. And as soon as she saw her reflection in the mirror, she started sobbing and trying to wipe it all away.

So I did what any good mother would do. I scooted her away from the mirror, started a phone video, and covertly re-drew everything. What she can't see can't hurt her, right?

Behold the cuteness:

Iyla and I then headed out to our weekly Little Yoga House story time, where they were having a special Halloween celebration. I have to say a room full of toddlers in costumes has got to be the most precious thing ever!

Pulling her infamous "Sofia in the face" move on the teacher

Peek a…..


I was dying over the pilot costume on little Shiloh. This was our best attempt at getting a picture of these 3 girls together! Like herding cats (badum-bum).

Watch out for the lamb!

Later that day, BC and I planned to don our own costumes and take Iyla out to her beloved Driskill Hotel to run around & people watch. I came downstairs like this….

And Iyla absolutely FLIPPED OUT. Complete choking sobs for a solid 10-15 minutes. BC had to hold and soothe her, continually telling her "Mama's OK! Mama's being silly!" Thank goodness I didn't go for a Zombie look. Geez.

'What is wrong with my Mother?!'

Once Iyla was finally soothed we sat her down for a snack. She had warmed up to the idea of my kitty face, now cautiously touching my whiskers, nose, and ears, all the while studying me intently. 

Mama's OK!

Thinking we had weathered the storm, we asked Iyla "should we draw whiskers on Papa?" (we had intended to be a kitty family). And that poor little lady broke into 10 more minutes of choking hysterics at just the THOUGHT of it. Poor buddy. Needless to say, BC went as himself this year for the family portion of our Halloween celebration.

'No whiskers for you, Papa!'

 Here are a few more photos of our evening together:

In closing, I found this photo circa Halloween 1978 of myself as Sylvester the Cat. I seemed a little happier about it than our sweet Iyla Grace…

Happy Halloween Dear Readers!