Wednesday, February 27, 2013

7 months

Layla is 7 months old today. I can't believe how quickly these last 7 months have gone but I've enjoyed them so much! Life is much more exciting and eventful and stressful and fun with a baby around and I'm so excited to continue to watch her group up!

At 7 months old Layla can/loves to:

*Sit up very well on her own - her balance is amazing because she kicks her legs constantly, even while sitting, and she doesn't (always) fall over
*Clap! She loves it when we clap and loves to clap our hands more than her own
*Smile, smile, smile! She is such a happy girl and she smiles all the time!
*Be sung to
*Read books
*Stand with help or while leaning against something. She's not pulling up yet but I have a feeling she's getting close
*Roll over both ways - this is a new accomplishment for her because she has never been one to like being on her tummy so never was able to practice rolling over much
*Swim! ha - she is a natural. Obviously she can't swim by herself but she kicks her feet constantly while in the water and has gone under twice!
*Has learned object permanence - she's very smart and knows that if we take something away (like our cell phone, for example) its not gone. She will look for it after we take it away.

Layla is a sweet little girl and a big time Mommy's girl. She loves to play with Daddy and gets excited when he comes home from work. She's slightly attached to me and will hold her hands out for me to pick her up. She still will not take a bottle but has tried some food for fun and likes to play with a sippy cup. I think she likes banana but doesn't seem to like avocado or carrots. Still figuring that out :)

Here are some pictures from this week at Grandma and Grandpa's. We got snowed in there this week so we didn't go crazy being stuck in the city with no yard to play in :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Discovering Your Love Language

    For some reason I've been thinking a lot about love languages these last few days so I decided to take the test. I've always known that quality time was my biggest thing (to receive) but since being married I hadn't taken a test so I wanted to see if it had changed. This test Discover Your Love Language is very simple and would be very beneficial for everyone to take. It is specific to married couples but I'm sure you there is a version for those of you who are single as well.

   Unfortunately, my top love language is one of the hardest to have met. Quality time is very important to me and it is hard to get that time from my husband sometimes. Not because he doesn't care or doesn't try but just because he is usually busy designing, helping around the house, helping with Layla working, etc and I'm busy taking care of Layla and other things around the house.

    Fortunately, I tied with another top love language and acts of service is almost as important to me. Antony is very good at meeting this love language of mine. He helps with so much around the house without complaining and even does many things without me having to ask. That's a huge plus! He was especially helpful with things when Layla was first born and I was unable to do things like cook dinner or clean up. I'm very, very thankful for him!

  I highly recommend that everyone take this test and have your friends/family take the test as well. Its very common to show love to others in the way that we prefer to receive it but that may not be the way that your spouse (or friends) feel loved. For example, I like to show others that I love them by giving them my time but that may not mean as much to them as it does to me. Antony is a very physical person and needs physical touch and that's something that I've had to learn to give him because it doesn't mean as much to me as it does to him. Learning these things about your spouse can really change your relationship. Thankfully this was something we established before we got married :)

  Below is the description of each love language, if you're interested:

Quality Time

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.

Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.

Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.

Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.

Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Teething Remedies

Did you know that celery was a natural pain killer? I wonder who figured that one out! This website has some great tips for helping your teething baby. One thing she mentions is the Amber teething necklace. Layla's just came in the mail yesterday! I'm hoping it helps.

I took Layla to the chiropractor on Friday and it has helped her sleep so much better! When we got home that afternoon she slept for 2 1/2 hours! That never happens. Well, it hasn't happened in a really, really long time anyway. Yesterday she took at least two good naps, too, and I link that to her visit to the chiropractor. I consider 45 minutes a good nap for her but these were both at least an hour (with help from me to stay asleep). I don't know how normal this is, but she wakes up after 30 minutes of sleep, always. So most of her naps only last for 30 minutes. Sometimes we can get her back to sleep but not always.

Anyway, I'm hoping she's got a tooth about to poke through soon! Soon as in within the next day or two. 1. because I'm excited to see her with teeth in her mouth :) and 2. because having an extra needy/fussy child is tiring and stressful. I just have to accept that I'm not going to get much done during the day.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Another Valentine Post

I know I already posted something today but there were a few other things I wanted to mention. As I was putting Layla down for a nap earlier I began to think about what today is and what the future holds for her. As I mentioned in my previous post, this day was never a super exciting day for me and I always hated seeing couples together. Rarely did I have a date on this day and that was always depressing to me.

 Remembering all of that, I began to pray that this day would be different for Layla as she grows up. I don't want this day to be one that she dreads and I want the focus to be more on the love that God has for her and not about having a boyfriend or not. I also want it to be a day that Antony and I can really shower her with love (of course, I want every other day to be that way, too, but you know what I mean). My parents have always tried to make this day special and to this day I still get something from them. But my dad would always get my sister and I flowers and I loved that. I pray that Antony and I can make Layla feel special the same way that my parents did for me.

  Alright, enough sappy, serious stuff. Here are some pictures from today! We didn't take any pictures during Layla's play date (it was more for us Mom, anyway, ha); but we had a great time!

Layla made a special card for Daddy. We greeted him with the card when he got home this morning. 

 This afternoon Layla got to play with colored, heart-shaped ice cubes, Valentine's Day cookie cutters and a muffin crumbs. 

Happy Valentine's Day! May you feel the love of God today :) 

Happy Valentine's Day!

   Like most singles, I used to hate this day. Now that I'm married I like it a little better but I still think its a bit of over kill. Do we really need a day to remind us to shower each other in love?

    But anyway, now that we have Layla I think I'll have fun with the day. I want to carry over the tradition of making a Valentine themed breakfast like my mom used to do. Today I made heart shaped chocolate chip muffins (muffin pan courtesy of my mom) and scrambled eggs. Of course, Layla isn't old enough to enjoy food like that yet but I didn't want her to miss out! So I let her play with Valentine cookie cutters and gave her a little bit of soggy muffin (yum!) and some steamed blueberries which ended up just being juice. I let her play around in it for some texture play. She didn't really eat much of it which is probably for the best, haha.

   Layla also has a Valentine play date this afternoon! Lucky girl. Its her first Valentine's Day and she already has a date, haha. I met a girl at church this past Sunday and we ended up having a lot in common and only live a few minutes away. She's also a first time mom, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and her little guy wakes up frequently to eat so we have a lot to talk about. Her little boy is 5 1/2 months old, so very close to Layla's age. I'm very excited and love how God worked to let me and Stephanie meet. We haven't hung out except for the few minutes in the mother's room at church, but I feel like we could be good friends.

Pictures will come soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Just today the thought hit me - 'I wonder if I would enjoy being a doula.' 'Could I handle being in the room when another woman is in labor?'

I relive the moment Layla was born almost every day. It was the most incredible, painful, amazing, wonderful experience I've ever had and it would be great to be able to help other women have the same great experience. It would also be a very tense and possibly stressful thing.

I just started doing a little bit of research this afternoon and there is a lot that goes into becoming a birth doula (good thing!). Before I make any decisions, I'd like to talk to some other doulas to see how much it costs, how long it takes, if I have the right personality, etc, to be a doula. I know it would be a very rewarding thing but I know how serious it is, as well, and I would have to be 100% committed.

Who knows if I'll still be interested in this in a week, ha. This may just be an idea that comes and goes but your thoughts are welcome! I'm going to do a little more research and probably talk to the doula we hired when Layla was born.

Enjoy this adorable picture of Layla from our trip to Babies R Us today :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

More on Cloth Diapers

I'm really liking this girls blog. She has all kinds of information on cloth diapering. Our current issue right now is dealing with stinky diapers. They need stripped desperately and I've tried a few things that haven't worked but just ordered some RLR. If that doesn't help the stink, this blog has some other things for me to try.

This post is really for me so I can save this link :) Its on one of my pinterest boards but things get lots on there sometimes, ha.

Cloth Diapering
This makes me so glad we use cloth diapers! This is not to harp on those of you who use disposables because I would be using them, too if my sister hadn't introduced me to cloth. Even then I almost said 'forget it. This is too complicated and frustrating.' But now that I've figured out what diapers work best for us I love it! It saves so much money and is so much safer for Layla. Its ridiculous the chemicals and toxins that are in disposable diapers and most people aren't aware of it! Layla can't even wear them anymore...I've put her in a disposable a couple of different times recently and after just an hour of wearing it, her little bum breaks out in a horrible rash. I know it could just be the brand, but even so, there's so many different things in those diapers that can cause a rash. And then we go and slather on butt cream (IDK what all is in that stuff but I'm sure there's plenty of controversy with that as well) to make the rash go away. 

Anyway, this blog I found on pinterest talks about cloth vs. disposable and she mentions the harmful toxins that are in disposable diapers. Dioxin is one of those ingredients and it has been found to be linked to"cause damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver."  I know that's probably a rare thing but still, why risk it? 

The blog goes on to talk about other things about disposable diapers, of course they're all negative. But I just found it interesting. 

I think cloth diapering is becoming more common and more talked about but its still a 'disgusting' thing for a lot of people. So far it hasn't been gross but Layla is still exclusively breastfed so those dirty diapers are pretty runny still! We'll see how I feel when that changes, ha. 

I love my fluff. Especially having a girl, there are SO many cute options for diapers and I think that'll become even more fun in the summer when we can show them off! 

You can't take adorable pictures like this with a disposable diaper! :)  (sorry for the blurry-ness)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Layla's First Swimming Experience

Our Water Babies instructor was sick today so we didn't get to start the class but we still got to go swimming! It was so fun to play in the water with Layla. We decided she's going to be a natural swimmer because she was kicking her legs (of course) and splashing her arms in the water so much! It was so cute. I'm excited for next week so we can actually start the class (hopefully) and meet some other babies and toddlers. 


So, I've been trying to come up with some different meals for dinner, other than our most common chicken and rice-a-roni meals. One of my moms friends from high school has a blog with tons of bean pot recipes so I've been looking through that and I talked to her today to learn more about using my bean pot. It was a wedding gift and I haven't used it until today because I just didn't know anything about it! I'm excited to try some new things and maybe it'll make mealtime a little easier. Tonight I made Cheesy Mexican Chicken Casserole. It was really simple and turned out good, the only thing I didn't like was that I had to cook the chicken beforehand. Other than that, it was super quick and easy! 
Check out her blog for the recipe! Teresa's bean pot creations

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Water Baby

Tomorrow is our first Water Babies class and I'm so excited! If Layla knew what was going on I think she'd be really excited, too, haha. Normally she showers with us but recently I gave her a bath in her little tub and she loved splashing and playing in the water so I have no doubt that she'll love swimming!

Today was Layla's 6 month check up and she's right on schedule. She's in the 75th percentile for height and weight at 17.6 lbs and 26.5 inches. She was her ornery self when the nurse was checking her, too. She wouldn't relax and lay down...she always keeps her head up and does 'crunches.' And she sneezed and then did her fake cough, which the nurse thought was pretty funny. She said her son does the same thing. Then after the nurse finished checking her over she started jabbering. I think she's finally getting comfortable being herself around other people.

She's finally opening up more around my family, too. We spent a lot of time at my parents house this past weekend. Typically, Layla is pretty quiet and shy but this time she finally came out and was talking and smiling so much! I was so glad that she let them see her happy, fun side :) My parents have seen her like that a little bit but Kourtney, my sister, hadn't really ever seen her so excitable. Her and Macey (my niece who is 11 days older than her) were so funny together. They kept stealing each other's toys and were much more aware of each other! I'm so excited to watch those two grow up together!

Tonight is Life Group (any minute now, actually) so I better wrap this up! We'll try to get some pictures of Layla's first time swimming and I'll share them soon :)