Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring was here.

Spring is here!! Or was here, it's rather confusing because it got nice out. Then over the course of like three days everything in Grand Rapids bloomed. Then it got hot out (granted it was hot on my San Diego temperature scale... so like mid-80's. It's going to take some readjusting when the 90+ degree whether gets here).

But then, out of the blue (or gray, rather) Fall decided that it wanted a piece of the action. Temperatures dropped to the 50's, then the 40's, then the 30's. Rain fell. Snow threatened. Until we finally succumbed and turned the heat back on in our house. Fortunately, I think it's temporary. And soon we'll be back outside enjoying the verdant beauty of Grand Rapids. I'm sure you all remember what the outside looked like in February. This is the view out our front door now. Beautiful.

One benefit of the nice weather (while we had it) was that we got to spend a lot of time outside. It seemed like Lyla and Katherine were taking walks outside everyday. Their number one "going for walks" buddies are our new neighbors (Mandy and their one-year-old Ian). But Katherine has managed to invite practically everyone she knows to go on a walk with her. Part of the reason is that we got passes for the season to Meijer Gardens. Instead of getting the second pass in my name, we got a general guest pass so Katherine can invite anyone she wants. I think if you average it out, she's gone every other day for the past two weeks.

Here are Katherine and Lyla standing in front of some tulips in the Gaslight Village.

Here's Lyla laying out at a nearby park.

Here's Lyla all tuckered out after a long day of getting pushed around in the stroller. Rough life that kid has.

So as you can see the nice weather has been fantastic and after being cooped up all winter, we've fully embraced spending time outdoors. It's also been nice just to be able to explore our community. The first 4 or so months of Lyla's life were pretty much spent in our apartment. So we're really grateful to get out and explore with her.

But, like I mentioned, it's gotten cold again. Hopefully it won't last too long. We hadn't packed away winter stuff yet, so it hasn't been too hard for Katherine and I to go back to putting on jackets and long sleeves.

It's been a little more difficult for us to dress Lyla because it seems like in the past month, the warm weather came and we no longer needed to dress Lyla in a onesie, a jumper, and an outer-layer. But over that period of time she's grown like an inch or two longer. So she doesn't fit into a lot of the jumpers we have. And we don't have that many long-sleeve onesies that are in the 3 to 6 month size. Fortunately, we have enough to get by; but if the weather stays cold, Lyla's not going to be exhibiting too much variety in her outfits.

I wanted to show this one that she wore on Saturday. It was a gift from her cousin (not sure if either Emily or Allison wore it because you don't really need long sleeves all that much in Texas and Georgia). Anyway, it's girl camouflage. Girly because it has a pink ribbon on the shoulder and says "Cutie" in pink on the front; yet practical... for when you take your baby hunting... which I can't imagine we'll do. But after all, this is Michigan. Anything can happen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lyla's quite the squirmer.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Who wears short shorts? and eats bananas? and is super cute?

Ah, summer. Technically it's spring but the 70+ degree weather has us thinking otherwise. We made summer preparations in order to go to Meijer Sculpture Gardens this weekend, namely Katherine and I wore sunscreen and Lyla wore shorts. I must say, baby-short: utterly pointless, totally cute. -->

Lyla has had quite a week. Many many milestones for the little girl including, well, first time wearing shorts, the first time rolling over (back to front and then back) by herself, the first time stepping on grass, and the first time eating solid food.

Katherine had noticed that Lyla had been eyeing her food lately and had read that that's one of the signs that babies are ready to try solid food. I pointed out that Lyla eyed everything as if she wanted to eat it (a point I demonstrated by holding a credit card in Lyla's reach only to have her grab it and put it in her mouth). Undeterred (or determined to make sure it's real food that Lyla puts in her mouth), Katherine mushed up some banana and fed it to Lyla. Lyla loved it. She even cried when Katherine stopped feeding her.

So on Friday we fed her again (this time with daddy present). Lyla wasn't as excited but she sure did enjoy it. And with two people it was easier to catch it on film:

So, yeah, Lyla's totally cute.

Friday, April 18, 2008

First Trip Wrap-Up

The first big event of our trip to Dallas was Easter Service on Sunday morning. Here's a picture of Lyla and her Grandpa all ready to go (notice Lyla's cute flowered dress, aka Easter Outfit Number 1):

And here's an Easter picture of Grandma and Lyla just a few minutes later (notice Easter Outfit Number 2):

In the interim there was a spectacular poop-splosion that thankfully missed everyone else, but caused a quick outfit change and tardiness to church.

The next few days were full of family time and enjoying the warm weather. We took long walks around my parents neighborhood. Lyla and I went to Grandma's school and met lots of her friends there. Kevin had to work most of the week, so we saw him mostly in the evenings. Lyla had her first (and possibly) last series of baths in the sink:

The rest of my family came into town on Wednesday. It was so fun to see them all! The cousins seemed to enjoy meeting each other, and we embarked on a fun-filled schedule of eating, sleeping and changing diapers of three little girls under three.

Kevin's family arrived on Friday afternoon, and came over to enjoy delicious barbeque and a few Shiner's. Here's Uncle Matthew with Lyla:

And Aunt Anna and Lyla:

We were supposed to go to the Dallas Arboretum on Saturday, but the weather did not cooperate, so we all gathered at my parents house again for lunch. One of the highlights of the morning was a photo shoot -- Grandma had found matching dresses for all of the little girls. Here's a series of pictures of the little cuties! I don't think anyone got all five of them to look in the same direction at the same time.

Then we took family pictures. We've increased in numbers since the last time we did this!

We spent the rest of the time there hanging out with family, catching up with friends and prepping for the trip back. The flight back to Detroit on Monday was not as smooth as the trip down -- Lyla was awake for most of it, and fussy for most of that. When we arrived in Detroit we discovered they had left our stroller and carseat in Dallas. After an extra 90 minutes in the airport figuring that out, the airline lent us a carseat so we could drive home. We had a quick dinner with Laura and Andy and then made our way back to the GR!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The trip to Dallas

We left on Saturday after a day with Laura and Andy and a rushed lunch and headed to the Detroit airport. Getting through the airport with 5 bags, 1 stroller/carseat and 1 3.5 month old was not as difficult as we feared that it would be. Laura and Andy dropped us off and we toted everything up to the ticket counter, got checked in and headed off to the gate. The security check was also pleasantly easy to get through other than having to put everything through the x-ray machine. They even made Lyla take her shoes off!!! Picture to the right is of Lyla looking very excited to have made it through security with being "randomly" selected for a bag check.

Safely through the security check we headed off to our gate and to get some much needed coffee. Lyla was very good as we sat at the gate. She and I sat there while Katherine got coffee and then figured out the procedure for gate-checking our stroller/carseat. Here we are waiting for them to board our plane:
After a short-ish wait, they called our flight. We thought we would be able to preboard but they never announced any preboarding for "families with small children that may need a little extra time." So I was disappointed about not getting to take advantage of that. Not that boarding was difficult, Katherine and I were able to handle it pretty well. We went down the ramp, left our stroller/carseat at the end of the ramp, headed to our seats, and got settled in no problemo. Lyla was good the whole time, looking around at all the new things:

We were a little apprehensive about the take-off disturbing Lyla because of the change in pressure. Katherine was all set to start feeding her in order to force her to swallow and relieve the pressure build-up. As you can see, our concerns were unfounded:

The flight was very uneventful, the highlights included 6 foot 6 inch Kevin changing diapers in the lavatory and Lyla reading Sky Mall magazine. -->

We were a little anxious for that Lyla would get upset as we were landing but again our concerns were unfounded and she fell asleep as we were making our approach to DFW. I think Katherine and I were both pleasantly surprised at how easy the trip had been. We were both expecting any of the travelling with small children nightmares you hear about: inconsolable crying, massive spit up, out of control dirty diapers... but Lyla was perfect. She set the gold standard for air travel (a standard that would prove very difficult to live up to... tune in for the post about our flight back for a polar-opposite version of this story).
We arrived, de-planed, picked up our stroller/carseat and headed to the baggage claim. Katherine's parents (who came to pick us up) decided to park and come meet us so we had a nice visit while waiting for the luggage (I also appreciated the help carrying bags). Katherine's Dad had never met Lyla so that was neat (since the main purpose for the trip was to have Lyla meet 77% of our immediate family, it was great to have that start as soon as we arrived). Grandpa was super excited to see Lyla (so was Grandma) and Lyla was super excited to see them (though this kicked off a week of Lyla having to deal with people unfamiliar to her). After a long day of travel, we were glad to have arrived safely and without incident and were super glad to be in a familiar home with a bed to crash into.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Which President are you?

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about this and have finally figured it out. Jenny Weddel is Millard Fillmore. There, I said it. Can't take it back now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Genetics... or, Lyla's 4 month doctor's appointment

Pausing quickly from our Dallas Trip series, I wanted to let everyone know that Lyla had her 4 month doctor's visit yesterday. Once again she was very good through the whole appointment. She got four shots this time with out any incidents (mainly because I suggested up front that they let me hold her legs instead of the nurse trying to hold them while administering the shots). Once again she cried and then calmed down quickly. We really are fortunate.

Unfortunately for you readers out there in the interweb, we didn't take any pictures of this visit. Maybe it's because she's getting older, or maybe it's because these experiences aren't "new," or maybe it's because I'm taking on average 400 photos a month and don't know how I'm going to keep track of them all (as an aside for those readers who are interested in technology, I went to upload the newest photos into a Facebook album and was surprised to discover that the FB application only recognizes the first 1000 files in a folder. I couldn't access Lyla Katherine Ring 1001.jpg through Lyla Katherine Ring 1536.jpg or what ever it is. To upload the new photos I would have had to move them to a new folder, so I abandoned the project for now. Sorry Facebook friends! I'll figure it out soon, I promise. Anyway, I how quickly we reach the limitations of new technology. End aside.)

What I do have for you is a replica of the charts the doctor showed us of Lyla's measurements compared to national averages. First her weight: 14 lbs 10 oz. Which is in the 75th percentile. Slightly above average, she's developing normally as you can see from this chart of percentile ranges and her weights at birth, 2 mos., and 4 mos. (a special thanks to the internet for its plethora of baby-related websites):

Now, the reason I titled this post "Genetics" is you can very clearly see from the length chart which parent Lyla gets her height from (as well as her complexion, hair, explosive bowels, and eye color -- thank goodness that Katherine's cute face is genetically dominant). Measuring in at 27 inches at four months old, from Grand Rapids, Michigan... as you can see she's off the charts. There isn't even a percentile for her to be in. It's her first 100%; my tall daughter. Place your bets now for what height she ends up at...

Good work baby.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More Detroit photo shoot pictures

The trip to Detroit

Our trip to Dallas started out rocky as Michigan was hit by a Spring snow storm on March 21st. We had planned on driving over to the Detroit area on that Friday in order to spend the night with my cousin and then leave from DTW the following afternoon. And despite getting 4 inches of snow, we carried through with that plan. What normally is a ~2 hour drive took us 4 hours and the highway was strewn with accidents and slide-offs. Needless to say it was quite stressful. It was also the first time we've ever changed Lyla's diaper in the car... parked in the parking lot of a Target... funsies.

Our evening with Laura and Andy (the cousin) was wiped out by the trip but we still had a good time talking and enjoying Lyla's cuteness. They hadn't seen Lyla since January so were quite impressed with how much she's grown. Here are the pictures of them being quite impressed:

We had hoped to spend some quality time together Saturday but (seeing as it was our first trip with Lyla) we weren't able to relax as much as we wanted. We spent a lot of the next day getting ready for our flight but did get to hang out a bit. One of the things we had hoped to do was have Andy take some photos of Lyla. Andy's quite the photographer and Lyla's quite photogenic so it seemed like a natural thing to do. Unfortunately Lyla was too tired to smile for the camera and we only got one photo of her against the stylized backdrop (we didn't even have time to put her in front of something billowy).

BTW, those are overalls, I know they look like mom-jeans... but they're not. Anyway, after a delicious lunch prepared by Katherine we headed of to the airport... which is where will pick up next time. Until then... er, bye?