Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Last week wrap-up: RANDOM CUTENESS!!!!

For no other reason than to include you all in the smiles that Lyla creates daily for Katherine and me:

Like mother, like daughter.

You've seen sitting expression-lessly; smiling; and sleeping. Here it is, finally: Lyla waking up!!!

Last week wrap-up: CUTE OUTFITS!!!

Lyla has continued to grow and as a result, does not fit into most of her NB and 0-3 mo. clothes anymore. Fortunately, we had received a couple 3-6 mo. things that are super cute. Exhibit A (photo on left) cute pink with white flower jumper that wraps across the front and snaps down the side. The result: a kimono-esque look that is equally appropriate on the go and in the crib. Super cute!!!

Exhibit B (photo on the right) a two piece onesie/overalls combination from the Classic Winnie the Pooh line. The pink onesie has ruffled lace along the neck line and sleeves. And the purple overalls are a nice soft, material for all-day comfort.

Wow, I think Katherine's been making watch too much Project Runway!

The outfit on the right was a gift from Lyla's aunt Julie. The first time Lyla wore it, someone peed on it before we had a chance to take a picture of her in it. So this time we made sure to snap a bunch of pictures as soon as she got dressed. (side note: Lyla is becoming quite adept at standing, as long as she is supported for stability purposes).

Final picture: Lyla sitting upright on the couch in the Winnie the Pooh outfit, along with her first teddy bear (also a classic
pooh product).

Last week wrap-up: SHOTS!!!

We got way behind on posting last week so prepare yourself for some machine gun posts!!

First up, Lyla finally had her 2 month immunizations last Wednesday. Last Wednesday she was 11 weeks old, so why did they wait that long to give her the shots? Well, the state of Michigan uses months instead of weeks as its unit of measure for spacing out the immunization schedule. Originally, Lyla was scheduled to have on Jan. 29th (or so), well into her 8th week of life. We found out when we got to the doctor that Michigan would not recognize the immunizations if they were given before the 2 month mark (Feb. 4th). Craziness!!! So we had to reschedule and they pushed it way out just to be safe.

So we went in and they gave her six vaccinations (1 oral and 5 injections). Baby drank the oral quite well, then we pinned her down for the shots. Neither Katherine nor I really enjoyed this process but understand the necessity of limiting her movement in order to gain access to the legs (where the injections are given) and to minimize her thrashing (once the injections are given). The two nurses lined up, one with three shots for the left leg and the other with two shot for the right leg (shots are given simultaneously in each leg to minimize the duration of discomfort).

We get ready for the first shot, the nurse counts down: 3... 2... 1... INJECTION. Baby starts, yells, pulls a leg free and starts to cry. In the process of pulling the leg free, the right leg needle came out before the nurse finished injecting, so now it's three shots in the right leg as well as the left. The great (or one of the great) things about Lyla is she's pretty mellow. After the shot, she cried for about 10 seconds, then calmed right down, even smiling at mommy and daddy (high tolerance for pain!!! yes!!! woo-hoo!!! every parents' dream!!!)

Daddy repositions so he's now in charge of holding the legs down, mommy is holding both hands. The count down: 3... 2... 1... INJECTION. Baby starts, yells, cries, shots are given no problem, baby calms down after about 10 seconds. Smiles again.

Injection sequence number 3 - The count down: 3... 2... 1... INJECTION. Baby starts, yells, cries, shots are given no problem, baby calms down, but it takes a little bit longer, about 20 seconds. this time. Smiles again. All done. Good baby.

As you can see, they gave her nifty Snoopy band-aids. After the injects, daddy, er I mean, I got my blood drawn (one of the benefits of going to a family practice is being able to coordinate medical visits). I neither cried not wrenched my arm free, I also have a lot of practice getting blood work (one of the benefits of having chronic illnesses). I got a Looney Tunes band-aid (sorry, no picture).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Smiles and sleep.

I realized last week that the majority of pictures we'd taken of Lyla were of her awake and looking kind of emotionless. For the past couple of weeks we've been really enjoying the period between when Lyla eats and when she starts to get sleepy again. It lasts about 20 minutes and she's always really happy, smiling and talking to us.

I usually sit and hold her and ask her what noises different animals make (gorilla : ooh ooh ooh; monkey : aah aah aah; tiger : raaawwrrr; kitty cat : meow; doggie : ruff ruff; mouse : squeak squeak; froggy : ribbit ribbit; mommy : la la la la laa) or I ask her is she can say different things ("daddy;" "mommy;" "I love mommy;" "Stephen is the best!!!"). Every time I ask her a question she smiles and sometime she even answers me. It's great. These are a couple different pictures of her smiling. I love every one of these.

After about 20 minutes she gets tired and starts to yell/cry. Then we usually swaddle her up (using these awesome blankets that our friends J and D got us; they're big enough to swaddle an 11 week old) and if she's really fussy we'll jostle her to sleep. But sometimes she just sits and stares and ultimately falls asleep. I decided to take some pictures of her sleeping because she does look so peaceful when she sleeps.
Usually when she wakes up she smiles when she recognizes me and Katherine. That's another fun period which will last awhile unless she's hungry; then things usually deteriorate pretty quickly. Overall, she's such a good baby. We're really fortunate.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Babies Are Full of...Surprises

So just when we think that Lyla is getting on some sort of "schedule" or "routine" she changes it all up. She was on a sort of four hour schedule -- eating, then awake for about an hour, then sleeping for 2.5 to 3 hours. She would sleep for a little longer during the night, and skipped the awake period. Until...Valentine's Day. She was fine during the day, but we put her to bed around 10:30, and she was awake at 11:30. And 12. And 12:30. And 1:15. And 1:30. And 2:30. And 3:30. And several times after that, but I couldn't read the clock anymore. Needless to say, she and I had a very quiet Friday around the house, and she took a couple of good naps. Unfortunately, I was too paranoid about her waking up to be able to sleep.

She started last night the same way, but after a 1 am feeding she slept until 4. Hurray!!! After feeding her then, I realized I felt like a million bucks. Three hours of uninterrupted sleep! That was awesome. I could have stayed up the rest of the night! I was cracking jokes to Kevin (which I don't think he appreciated) before we fell back asleep. Good times.

And then Lyla woke up again at 7:30, so we got up and came downstairs. I turned on the TV, but discovered there is NOTHING on on Saturday mornings. Thankfully she fell back asleep within an hour, so I made myself a bed on the couch and went back to sleep. She's been pretty much back on schedule today. We'll see what the night holds.

Oh, also, in the past 11 weeks I've magically transformed into someone who gets really excited about burps and poop and catches someone else's sneezes in their hand.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Baby bumbo

Lyla sure is developing. We put her in the Bumbo seat today for the first time and she did great. Now before you all freak out and tell us that Bumbo seats were recalled last year, we know. The seats weren't recalled, just the safety warnings. Some parents were leaving their children in the seats unattended on top of tall surfaces like tables and counters and well, bad things happened. You'll notice that Lyla was seated firmly on the floor. Anyway, she's a champ. She holds her head up very strongly (probably because she's had to develop neck muscles because dad swings her around so much). Here are a couple pictures of her in the seat. Katherine's seated in a chair in front of her. Also, you'll notice that she's smiling. I was showing pictures of Lyla to a friend and realized that we don't have that many of her smiling. I realized it's probably because whenever she is smiling we're so attentive because she such a joy to interact with at those times. Please enjoy the pictures.

And finally something different from what you've seen on this blog before. A video of Lyla being cute and making noises while Katherine and I talk to her in funny voices. I hope you don't mind that I'm shaking it up a bit. Enjoy!!

Snow, snow and more snow.

Katherine and I noticing a tendency whenever we move to a new place for the weather to swing pretty extreme for whatever season it is. When we arrived in San Diego in January of 2005 it was cold (like 40 degrees) and rained for five days straight. Now we're in Michigan and this is one of the worst winters in history (I don't really have any qualifiers for that hyperbole).

The funny thing about it is that every time, the locals apologize profusely to us for the weather (like they have anything to do with it.) When we were in San Diego, we had just come from New York and DC, so 40 degrees and rainy was nice. This time (having come from San Diego), minus 9 degrees that feels like minus 23 degrees is the nuts. Katherine looked at the 10 day forecast and starting Friday, it's supposed to snow everyday through the next weekend. Tomorrow's supposed to be a sunny 32 degrees out.

Since some of our readership is not from the northern climate (and there are those among you who have never seen snow), I thought I'd put up some more pictures of the snow. The picture above is an icicle that I broke off of the railing that is outside our backdoor. As you can see from the picture, it is almost as long as Lyla is (two feet!!!).

To the left is a picture of our rental taken from the driveway a couple nights ago. It's not too telling until you look at the picture of the pathway that leads from the front door down to the driveway. That's a single shovel-width path through snow that's about 10 inches deep. Since that picture was taken, about 6 more inches of snow has fallen.

And finally, this is a video I took by placing the camera on the dashboard as I drove back from the D&W (grocery store that's about three blocks from our house). Be sure to take a look at the snow piles at the end of our driveway that you can see 9 seconds. Those are the build up of months and months of snow plows cleaning up the streets of East Grand Rapids. The video gets boring after about 1 minute in because it's basically me backing into our parking space and bringing the groceries into the house. Watch at your own risk.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More Aunt Timmie!!!

So far it's been a good weekend with Kim, if you ignore the fact that it feels like minus 23 degrees outside and that both Katherine and Lyla caught my cold (Lyla's been a trooper; she's only a little snuffly and is fine as long as she's upright or on her side - when she's on her back, she snorts when she breathes and sounds like a little piggy. It's cute/sad.) Because of the weather and illness it's been a very low key weekend, a lot of sitting around. We watched the season premieres of Survivor and LOST. We watched Live Free or Die Hard which was good, not to complicated, required us to suspend our disbelief a few times but the action scenes were, uh, action packed. Katherine and Kim went to Babies'R'Us and the East Grand Rapids Library on Friday. On Saturday, Katherine and I went down to the mall to look for some clothes for Katherine. Good times.

The pictures are Lyla and Kim (of course). Lyla is wearing the purple, giraffe/"I love mommy." jumper that Kim gave her for Christmas. She was wearing it on Thursday in anticipation of Kim's arrival, but then she had a (what we call) "poop-splosion" and had to change outfits. Kim's really good with Lyla (she's gotten a lot of practice with her own younger brother and sister and with her two nephews and niece). Lyla likes to bounce on Kim's knees, or at least it distracts her enough from her fussing.

Take note of Lyla's awesome mohawk. The combination of the dry winter air (static electricity), Lyla's soft hair, the fact that her hair usually stays in the same shape it's in when it dries, and they way it naturally lays (forward and to the right) make for a good mohawk. After bathtime, Lyla and my ritual is to dry her off, put on a diaper, apply lotion, put on her onesie, put on her socks, put on her jumper, and finally comb her hair. Depending on how tired she is, her tolerance for this process does not always extend through the combing of hair, so I'm luck if I can get it all going in one direction before she starts yelling (she doesn't really cry, she mainly starts yelling and those yells sometimes morph into a loud crying, but it's hard to tell if her yells are happy yells or sad yells at first).

Anyway, after bathtime on Thursday I combed all the hair on the left side of her head over to the right and all the hair on the right side of her head over to the left. The result: a pretty cool mohawk. So we put her to bed and when we woke up Friday morning, there was our little angel with an awesome little mohawk. I mean, it puts that Brangelina kid to shame. So cute. So, anyway, that's why she has a mohawk in the pictures.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Another video of Lyla. (I know, I'm shocked)

A special message for Lyla's Aunt Julie, taped last Sunday after church. (don't worry if you're not Aunt Julie, you can still watch the video and enjoy the Lyla cuteness):

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Aunt Timmie's here!!!

Our good friend Kim has arrived for a weekend visit. She flew in from Nebraska earlier today and Lyla took to her immediately. Kim is one of our Fun Timer friends from San Diego. She moved back to Nebraska not to long after we left for Grand Rapids (she claims that her decision to move had nothing to do with our departure). We're super excited that she's here; for one, she only the second San Diego friend to meet Lyla; for two, she's a lot of fun; for three, she's a foodie so we'll be enjoying some Good Eats.

Unfortunately, it snowed like a bazillion inches yesterday so that limits the amount of outdoors time we'll be spending. That's okay, we're glad she's here. Lyla is too, check out her pulling out all her best emotions to show off to Kimmer:

Lyla's 2 month doctor's appointment.

We took Lyla for her two month doctor's appointment last Friday (as she had turned eight weeks old the previous Tuesday). It snowed three to five inches during the day so it wasn't the easiest trip out; we even witnessed a car spin out on the ice in front of us on the way there. The appointment went well, Lyla is developing normally and is a healthy little baby. She got officially measured and was 23.75 inches long and weighed 11 lbs 8 oz. The also measured the circumference of her head but I forget what it was. Again the height and head size were 90th+ percentile and weight was ~50th percentile. Tall and skinny; all the nurses said that she'll be grateful for inheriting Dad's build when she's older.

She was supposed to get six vaccinations this visit but apparently there was a mix up with the scheduling. In Michigan, the 2-month visit only "counts" if it happens after the two month mark, not the eight week mark (Lyla was born Dec. 4th, so the appointment had to be Feb 4th or later to be state recognized). Any shots before the 4th wouldn't have counted as far as state records are concerned. So we didn't get any shots this visit (Lyla said she was ready for them whenever, bring it on), and the shots are now scheduled for Feb 18th (60 days after her two week visit, go figure).

Overall, Lyla was very good. She isn't shy about stripping down to her diaper and likes looking at the lights and colors of the examination room. Here's the pictures:

In the waiting room:

Mom and baby before the doctor came in:

Happy times:
Sad times:

Picture and video dump

We've gotten behind in posting so here's a bunch of recent pictures and videos:

Family portrait:Mommy and Lyla looking soooooo cute:Baby not wanting to smile for pictures:
Dad and Lyla check out the ceiling:
Mom and baby:
Squirmy baby video:

We've discovered that Lyla likes American Idol (boooooooo):

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Paczki are Here! (Explained)

Last week when I opened the circular for our local market (D&W Foods), I saw this ad:

Apparently paczki's are a traditional Polish treat that come to Grand Rapids once every year to celebrate Fat Tuesday. It seems like they're a type of filled donut, and according to our local evening news, the big ones (?) can be up to 800 calories.

We're learning all about different (meaning Northern and Eastern European) foods now that we're living in Grand Rapids. Along with the peanut-and-candy-corn mix that came at Halloween, and the extensive foreign foods section at Meijer (see below), paczki's are expanding my horizons right now.

Also, this is what Lyla looks like right before she falls asleep for naps: