24 April 2011

5 Months

Each month brings so many changes and new challenges, but I think each one is more and more exciting as I watch my tiny baby grow more into her own little person. Lyla turned 5 months old last week, and it's amazing to think about what has happened in these four weeks.

The number of smiles in a day has grown exponentially, from a few for just me and Ray, to constant for whomever is around. They can be hard to catch because she's distracted by cameras, but all these grins show us what a happy little girl she is.

In the last two weeks we swapped the carseat adapter for the real seat in the stroller, and she loves it! Lyla much prefers to sit upright and look out of the stroller during walks, and she now spends very minimal time in the carseat.

I also spend a lot more time wearing her in a carrier or sling, especially when shopping. While awkward at first, the transfer from carseat to carrier has become pretty seamless.

The biggest change this month is that Lyla has begun sitting on her own. She can last up to several minutes, but still requires cushions on all sides because she will eventually topple over. The Boppy pillow is perfect for this function; I've very glad to be getting more use out of it since I haven't used it to nurse in a pretty long time.

Unfortunately she cannot right herself yet so a faceplant on a soft surface is preferable.

She plays in her crib more; I set her up in the corner with some toys and she is very happy- until she topples over and I hear a cry for help!

She has discovered that Mommy's keys are a very fun toy. . .

And enjoys holding a wooden spoon while I'm cooking. The days when she can sit in the Bumbo on the counter are numbered; she's getting too big and likes to arch her back and almost lift herself out! It will no longer be safe up here pretty quick!

We started sleep training at bedtime, and she still sleeps well through the night starting at 7pm. She wakes up at different times- sometimes 7am, most often 6:30am, and 5:30am on the worst days. Naps have been irregular for some time and continue to be a bit variable. A doze on the breast in the morning is typical, followed by a long nap in the middle of the day from 11am to 1:30pm or 2. Sometimes she inexplicably wakes up early, and I do what I can to encourage a nap later in the afternoon. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. While our pediatrician feels that 2-3 shorter naps throughout the day would be beneficial, I'm not sure I can make this happen since Lyla has always favored that long nap in the middle of the day. We will start sleep training for naps soon and see if we can give it a try.

Right now our bedtime routine consists of nursing, pajamas, stories, songs, and good nights. The only remaining sleep aid we use is the Sleep Sheep, mostly to muffle household noises while she falls asleep.

Lyla chatters and smiles for me all day long. She sleeps pretty well and enjoys baths and diaper changes. Lots of drool and finger sucking, but no hints of teeth yet. She prefers her right thumb and forefinger, but noisily sucking just the thumb has started to make an appearance.

Ray took this picture on a recent evening out to dinner. We had a nice time, Lyla was very good and the food was excellent. Lyla was complimented by a woman seating at a table next to us, saying she'd never seen such a tiny and beautiful little girl be so well behaved in a restaurant. I swelled with pride that my daughter was eye catching for being pretty AND well-behaved. :-)

10 April 2011


I have to say that travel is one of the biggest changes that happens when children enter the picture. We went on our first vacation with Lyla this past week, and while it was a lot of fun, I now need a vacation from my vacation :)

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai on Poipu Beach on the south shore, and our six days and five nights were pretty enjoyable. It's a beautiful resort that's romantic as well as baby-friendly.
Of course I was stressed about traveling with Lyla for the first time, and my packing began several days in advance of our trip. The amount of gear you have to bring is pretty daunting! Luckily Hyatt hotels have a service where you can order diapers, wipes, baby food, etc to be delivered to your hotel for you, and I totally took advantage of this. We would have had to bring an extra suitcase just for diapers! We also had access to coin laundry on the premesis which was was a big help.

The flight from San Francisco to Kauai is about 5 1/2 hours, and we didn't know how Lyla would react. We held her on our laps and I nursed her during takeoff and landing to help with the ear pressure. I even gave her some infant Tylenol on the trip there, although that seemed to be unnecessary. The pressure didn't seem to bother her; she was sleeping during takeoff coming home and it didn't phase her a bit. Though I'm not going to lie, she nursed for a lot of both flights.

This trip came courtesy of Ray's company, the event for the high achievers and Purple Label Society for 2010. Besides two dinners and a sponsored activity (read: spa!!) we did as we pleased.

Last year we went to Napa on the PLS trip, and just like before we got some great swag including Tshirts, cookies, backpacks, and an iPod nano.

My brother Chris joined us for a little of his own vacation, making it much more fun for me. It was great to spend some time with him, and for him to get quality time with Lyla, his niece and goddaughter.

Lyla dipped her toes in sand for the first time, and spent a little time in the pool.

The majority of our time was spent in a cabana by the pool. I was so paranoid about protecting her skin that I neglected my own sunscreen the first day and got a little pink. Her skin was unscathed, and we had some good times listening to Laurie Berkner Band on my iPhone and changing diapers every time she went in the water.

Dinnertime was after she went to bed. Two out of three nights she slept right through, but this one dinner on a balcony was a problem because she howled periodically through the meal. My arm is dragging her stroller back and forth in these pictures!

The time change was the biggest hurdle we faced with Lyla. Hawaii is 3 hours behind California so by the time we arrived at our hotel she was exhausted and a massive meltdown ensued. She went to bed at a decent time for Hawaii but very late for home.

(this is the face of a super tired baby who is sweetly trying to put on a good show)

She was up twice that first night but it could have been a lot worse. She did manage to nap by the pool several times during our trip, in the stroller and on a lounge chair.

I tented the stroller with my nursing cover- more use than it's ever gotten. It was good for naps and for playing, when she was overstimulated by all the sights and sounds.

We could have requested a crib in our room but in the interest of space and practicality Lyla slept in a big arm chair with the cushions removed and her own cushion that we brought from home.

When she woke in the early hours I'd bring her in our bed to nurse and a few times she did fall back to sleep. The turtle floaty we bought was maybe more of a hit with us than we with Lyla, but we'll get some good use out of it in the next two years.

It didn't occur to me in advance that she'd need to be changed after every pool dip, but she did! Not because she was dirty (she actually only had one dirty change after the pool and it was all contained thank you very much) but because they get waterlogged! Oh man, you can see the capacity those things can hold after you put a baby in a pool.

Thank you Grandma Carroll for the sun hat! She wore it every day.

Little piggy toes peeping out during a nap.

We had a great time, but it was certainly different from taking vacations just the two of us! We're rethinking our plans to travel this summer, and may just do a long weekend locally in the Monterey/Carmel area to give ourselves a break!