28 October 2011


I was in Home Depot this week, and the guy behind the paint counter asked me if I styled the curls on Lyla's head.
I could barely contain my laughter (why yes, I get up at 4am every morning to curl my daughter's hair, and she somehow sits still for that). He was complimenting her and clearly not very knowledgeable about life with a baby.
No I do not "do" Lyla's hair. This is exactly what comes out of her head, all I do is shampoo it and brush out some sleep snarls in the back from time to time.

24 October 2011

Exercising with a Mobile Baby

Before my pregnancy I was dedicated to working out every single morning, unless I was sick or injured, and while I carried Lyla it was about the same. Workout junkie I call it. Yes I'm a bit of a nerd.

Because of my c-section I had a longer recovery period than I'd anticipated, and doctor's orders to stay away from exercise for a full six weeks. I was too busy and tired to fully acknowledge the lack of workouts in my life, but I actually enjoyed the forced time off more than I thought I would. But when I got the green light to begin my old routine again, I was very happy since I feel so much better throughout the day after some good exercise.

When Lyla was tiny, we'd wake up and I'd nurse her before getting dressed and heading out to the living room. I would lay her beneath the toys on her playmat and I could get in a good 20-minutes before she'd need attention. Then I'd make and eat breakfast before some playing followed by her nap. I'd finish my routine and shower while she slept.

We've managed to keep this morning routine throughout her development- from playmat to sitting with support and now to crawling and pulling up. When Lyla started playing with toys I'd lay a few out for her, in greater quantities as she got bigger to keep her occupied. Now I just give her one or two since she likes to go retrieve more herself. :)

Even though she's bigger, the situation works better for me now. On the one hand she is mobile (i.e. crawling beneath my feet) so I have to dodge her and keep an eye out if she goes behind me. But more importantly, she has a longer attention span and can entertain herself better, so I'm able to get my whole workout in in one piece rather than breaking it up. My body much prefers this and so does my schedule.

My workout space is our living room (it used to be Lyla's room). It's not a huge space so my weights do have to sit in plain view. (This annoys me for aesthetic reasons but being able to exercise at home trumps the look, so I got over it. Moving on...) Before she could move they just sat in the corner, not bothering anyone. But now she could slip and fall on them and hurt herself, so I've placed them in these plastic containers. I remove the lids when it's time to exercise, and they make great items to pull up on and cruise.

It's not always easy and there are days when I miss being able to focus 100%, but it's a pretty good system. This is one of those things that I need to keep doing for me, and I like that I'm modeling good habits for Lyla from the very beginning.

22 October 2011

Our Trip to Atlanta and 11 Months!

Another busy month under our belts.
The days are getting shorter as the holiday season approaches and Lyla's first birthday gets closer and closer. I can hardly believe it! It will be a joy to celebrate her turning one, but it will also be a day of reflection for me as I remember the day she was born. But first things first~

exploring the upstairs (with new slippers!)

Last week Lyla and I flew to visit my parents who have recently (and temporarily!) relocated to Atlanta, GA. I miss them more than words can say so it was really nice to have several days with them. I know they miss Lyla and like to see her, but honestly we made the trip because I wanted to see them.

soup and pizza at Baraonda restaurant in Atlanta, a few blocks from the apartment

I was very nervous about navigating the 5+ hour flight with her on my own, but we got through it both times with less pain than I had anticipated. Lyla handled the confinement of the plane as best she could, and so did I! (I get a little claustrophobic as it is without a baby hogging half my space.)

Once there we had a wonderful time- walking around the city, having lunch with my Dad near his office, visiting the George Aquarium, going out to dinner, hanging around their beautiful apartment, and having apple pie for tea.


The Georgia Aquarium trip was especially fun. She's just entering the age where she can see and be interested. Lots of movement and colors!

The penguins were her favorite, we were able to get up really close in these glass viewing domes that take you up in the middle of the habitat.

On Sunday we had a picnic in Piedmont Park after church (people in Georgia actually go to church! who whoulda thought it?) It's a beautiful city park just a few blocks from where Mom and Dad live. An AIDS walk was taking place that afternoon, and we could hear the (bad) karaoke music coming from the podium somewhere across the pond.

sandwich and (her first) chips!

Lots of doggie viewing, lots of swings

We also drove through the neighborhood we used to live in (my family lived in Marietta, a suburb, for 4 years when I was in elementary school). I haven't been back there since then, but I was overwhelmed by how enticing the whole area seemed. I was conscious of how much slower the traffic is- a little annoying for someone used to zooming through California, but also pleasant in that life is slower too.

Lyla had a fantastic time attempting to chase down Mom and Dad's two cats Smokey and Cindy. She did manage to touch/grab Smokey twice, but he learned that she is slow and could easily keep away from her with little effort.

Her comprehension has exploded in the past couple weeks. When I ask her (even now that we're home) what the kitties say she responds with "ooowwww" in her little high-pitched tone. She understands what I'm saying and she links the sound with the animals she met.
Top ten cutest, and coolest, things. :)


Miss Bunny is crawling all over the place and pulls up on everything- practice practice practice.

emptying her toy shelf

the beginning: this is what I found one day after her nap!

She still loves to nurse, but she also loves food! Lyla enjoyed her first bit of Mom's apple pie, much to my delight. She'll have anything off of my plate or from my fork, and has sampled such exotic fare as vegetable lasagna, pizza with mushrooms and olives, lentil soup, whole roasted trout and pappardelle with pork ragu.
Chunks of bread and pizza crusts are favorite items, and she likes a good waffle and banana for breakfast, hummus for lunch (messy!) or pasta for dinner. She likes spicy tomato sauce which is very pleasing, as Ray and I favor a nice arrabiatta sauce from Trader Joe's that has a wee bit of a kick.

mmm spaghetti squash!!

She also drinks extremely well from a straw, and can hold the cup by herself

She's a big fan of Star and Chicca on the Sprout Network, which we turn on sometimes when she's not feeling great or I need a few minutes to do something.

she's laughing at me in this picture though!

I'm very happy to report that bedtimes have ceased to be a nightmare, and she goes to sleep quietly and happily 98% of the time. Afternoon naptimes have become a bit of a struggle, but it's a work in progress. Travel and the time difference has a hand in it, and she's approaching the age of transitioning to one nap. I don't think she's ready yet, but it may be coming soon.

So helpful, emptying the cupboard of all my workout DVDs ;)

We took her to a pumpkin patch a few weeks ago, but it wasn't a huge hit. Lesson learned, pumpkin patches aren't interesting at this age. It's just a photo shoot.

My girl is still very attached to Mommy, but she's become less shy recently and smiles and waves at almost everyone she sees. Her charms did help out while we were traveling!

Speaking of which, she now says "hello" and "bye bye", with lots of enthusiastic waving. Kitties say "oooowww" and doggies say "uff uff." Birds say "uff uff" too. When I say "where's Lyla?" she usually responds with something that sounds like "iztit!" I don't know what she's trying to say, but as it becomes more defined I'll figure it out.