Life through the eyes of a diabetic, first-time mom.
Today Ellie and I took Lyla for her first dental appointment.
I filled out some paperwork then we were called back.
The dentist started out with some questions about pacifier use and bottles and some other stuff I actually don’t remember because I was trying to take pictures. This was a FIRST! I can’t believe it, but, I became that parent.
In any case, my wonderful dentist wants us to try and wean Lyla off the pacifier (fine by me) and the bottle (also fine by me).
Now, I have tried to get Lyla to drink out of sippy cups. Seven different kinds of sippy cups in fact. Sigh. So, the dentist suggests giving the bottle only at bedtime and sippy cups at meals and snack times. That’s with milk. She can have a sippy cup with water whenever she wants. This all sounds good to me. She also suggested against giving Lyla juice. This is, again, fine by me. I don’t drink juice anymore. It’s too sweet. So, if I think it’s too sweet then it’s got too much sugar for my kiddo.
Then the dentist looked over Lyla’s teeth — she has about eight at this point — and did some things with a wipe that I apologize and feel horrible for not paying more attention to what she was doing. I do know that she got a fluoride treatment and can’t get her teeth brushed today.
We were also informed that Lyla needs to have her teeth brushed at night, as well.
I admit, my dental education was not good, so I really don’t know what is the right thing to do for Lyla. Thank goodness we have a great dentist. Anyway, I had no idea little miss eight teeth needed to be brushing at night, as well. You learn something new every day.
Ellie held Lyla while the dentist had Lyla’s head in her lap.
Lyla did not like being restrained. She cried and squirmed. But, we were informed no kid likes it and Lyla was quite mellow compared to other kids. OK. Well Lyla is pretty mellow so any grumpiness is a lot for her.
The whole thing was over in oh, 10 minutes, including the questions and information.
Here is Lyla trying to get a grip on what just happened.
After we were done, Ellie let Lyla walk around in the waiting room, I handed over some paperwork that I had filled out and signed a form I didn’t see on the clip board then we made another appointment for the kiddo for August.
Overall, I feel pretty good about it. I’m not sure how getting Lyla to drink from a sippy cup is going to go because my girl is stubborn. Ellie said it may take a few days, but, Lyla will take to it once she realizes she doesn’t have any other choice. Ellie thinks Lyla is the smartest kid on earth and who am I to ever disagree with her. Not that I’m biased or anything.
Next up is another doctor’s appointment for Lyla in a couple weeks. I am hoping she is up to 20 pounds so we can turn her car seat around to forward facing. I’ll keep you posted.
People ask me often, almost daily in fact, if we’re planning on adding to our little family.
When we were in Portland, we visited Rob Kugler, a former professor of mine from Gonzaga who is now at Lewis and Clark College. Toward the end of our visit — he officiated our wedding and we hadn’t seen him since our wedding day so we had quite a bit to catch up on — asked us if we were thinking about having more kids, saying something about how it may be too soon to ask.
Oh, gosh, no. Ha!
I don’t remember when people started asking me if we want more kids but it really wasn’t long after Lyla was born. I’d say when she was about two months old.
Now, I tell people I decided while I was pregnant I would be willing and able to do pregnancy one more time, and I would love for our little girl to have a sibling.
Jason has taken a wait and see approach. I believe his exact words have been, “Let’s see how this one goes first.”
He has a younger brother, David, and they are six and a half years apart.
I have an older sister, Elizabeth, who is nearly 12 years older than me. We are half sisters.
My thinking has been that if we do have another one it would be good for Lyla to have a sibling closer in age than either of ours.
I have, believe it or not, actually researched what is the ideal amount of time between kids that is most beneficial for the children, their adjustment to one another, as well as for the family.
According to this article “a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that parents should wait 18 to 23 months after a full-term birth before conceiving again. The average age gap between siblings in America is about two and a half years – which means that the average parent has been following this advice.”
That’s about the spacing my friends with more than one kiddo have gone with and I think it makes sense. And like the article goes on to state, the study is talking more about health of the kids than anything else, but parents have other factors to consider when they are looking to expand their families.
For me, I would like to be done with pregnancy before I turn 35. I am 32 today. I will be 33 in September. Because I am already high risk due to my type 2 diabetes, it seems wise to not push it more by entering the “advanced maternal age” category, as well.
So, that means I have a fairly narrow window in which to get pregnant with a second child. I have promised Jason that we don’t have to make a decision until Lyla turns 2. I feel like that’s a reasonable point at which we can discuss it and go from there.
There are days where I look at my family room and think that Babies R Us exploded in it. Those are the times I think, “You know, Lyla is plenty.”
But there are other times I look at her sweet smile and ponder how she would do with a little brother or sister, what would it be like to have one more amazing kiddo to make my life that much brighter, that much more amazing.
I feel so lucky to be Lyla’s mom I’m not even sure I deserve to have another gift like her.
Still, I do think that’s something I want to do.
A long time ago, when Jason and I were first married, we had agreed than when we did have kids we would have two at the most. Surprisingly, I still feel like that was the right decision for us as a couple, and for our family.
Also, given the fact that another pregnancy would mean all of the trials and tribulations of high risk, I don’t think I could put my body through that again or my mental health. It was worth it for Lyla.
That’s the choice we’ve made and I am totally cool with it.
I am never offended when people ask if we plan to have more children though I think sometimes people worry if it’s an appropriate question to ask.
I promise, it would take so much more than that to offend me, so feel free to ask that or about anything else. If I’m not comfortable answering a question, I’ll tell you, but generally speaking there’s only two subject areas I won’t talk about and kids or families aren’t in there.
And don’t worry, if I do get pregnant again, I promise my dear readers you will all be among the first to know. After, of course, we tell our families and immediate friends. And that’s assuming I know I’m even pregnant before the first trimester ends. Heh.
I’ll keep you posted. Promise.
We already knew Lyla did well on road trips thanks to the drive we took to Portland over Labor Day weekend.
When I found out I’d be going to Las Vegas Jan. 6-9 for the Consumer Electronics Show (hi, my name is Kris, I’m a technoholic) to do some blogging for a cell phone website I’ve been involved with for more than seven years, I figured I might as well take Jason and Lyla along with me, after all we did live there for two and a half years while Jason finished his business degree at UNLV.
We still have friends there, including Mike and Emmily, who have an eight month old cutie named Kate. Emmily and I used to work for competing weekly papers and endured marathon city council and planning commission sessions at the same table at Henderson City Hall. Now that we both have kiddos who are just six months apart, we have had a whole different area of life to bond over, which is pretty awesome. We got to meet Kate in Portland (our friends were up there at the same time we were) so Emmily was a great resource in planning our trip to Vegas since she had flown with a little one younger than Lyla.
I took her advice and bought tickets on Southwest Airlines. It was spot on. We had a good experience both ways.
But, I am a little nuts. For financial reasons, I chose to fly out at 6 a.m. for our outbound trip to Vegas. For Lyla, this worked out fine, she slept most of the plane ride there. We didn’t buy her a ticket because it would’ve cost a whole lot more (I set this all up last minute) for her to have a seat than for her to be in my lap, which was free. And since she slept all but half an hour of the plane ride it worked out fine for her to not have her own seat.
We did bring our own car seat on the recommendation of my good friend Bambee, who has traveled extensively with her kiddo, McKailen. It was good advice because though we could have rented a seat from the company we rented a car from, Bambee pointed out that we would have no idea of the history of the seat, where it had been or what kind of shape it was in. Bambee knows car seat safety inside and out so I trust her expert opinion on the topic.
The first night Lyla struggled a bit with sleeping in a strange place. We stayed with an old friend of Jason’s, a woman named Julie whom he has known for 15 years, going back to when he started college at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. Julie had a pack and play, which was handy, and a nice sized guest room.
Lyla slept fine the rest of the trip but that first night she had a hard time settling down. I’m not sure what it was about it but I can only guess it was due to a long day traveling, a new place, and so on.
I was super nervous about this whole trip with Lyla. I didn’t know how she’d handle the plane, how she’d handle being somewhere else, how she’d do being around completely other new people, but she was a rock star.
While we were in Vegas Lyla and I had an awesome play date with Emmily and Kate. Yes, I flew 1,600 miles to Sin City on vacation to attend a convention and scheduled a play date for the time we were there. That’s how you know you’re a parent.
Lyla and Kate played really well together. Thanks to Emmily for the photos.
The other cool thing about the play date, aside from giving me a break from the insanity of CES (more than 100,000 attend the show), was it allowed Jason to have some grown up time with Julie. They went bowling. He got a chance to hang out and be an adult. It’s good to have that balance as a newish parent.
One thing I learned not to do is rent a small sedan when you have a car seat. A Chevy Cobalt just isn’t big enough! Next time I’ll rent an SUV. It made me appreciate our Jeep that much more — as did driving in the snow the night we got back after going to a basketball game at Kentlake — as a family car. It’s just so roomy.
On the other hand, I also realized that from here on out, I’m going to rent cars from Enterprise. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them. That’s a free plug, by the way, I was not compensated in any way for that endorsement.
The plane ride back was great, too, Lyla slept most of the way and as we came into SeaTac she looked out the window enthralled with the scene unfolding below. I really could not have asked for a better experience.
In any case, I think our next family vacation that includes travel will be a road trip to Yellowstone National Park, most likely in September. I like to take time off the week of my birthday. That should be fun. I’ve never been to Yellowstone so I’m looking forward to it.
All my friends who told me on Facebook months ago that traveling with your little ones early on helps them get used to it and makes it easier as they get older were absolutely right. It’s good to know Lyla handles it so well because I want to travel with her as much as possible as it provides invaluable life experiences that will broaden her world view and hopefully help her become a well-rounded person.
Yeah, everything’s a teachable moment, even walking through the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
As Lyla approached her first birthday, she began experimenting with a little skill we all call walking.
Within a month, she had definitely moved into the ‘toddler’ category, as she was toddling all around the house choosing to walk more often than not.
On Christmas Day she was walking all over my in-law’s house. One of her favorite activities was to remove all the fake votive candles from the candelabra on the coffee table in their living room, then remove the votive jars, then put the candles back on the candelabra. Or on the table. Or the floor.
During the holiday celebration, Lyla sat with Jason’s mom, Gale while we opened gifts. She kind of got the idea of unwrapping but she wasn’t totally sure. By next year she’ll probably unwrap just like I do… as if her hair is on fire and inside the paper is a jug of water.
And that’s probably about the longest she’s stayed in one place since.
We’ve baby proofed our family room and living room, but, not the entire house because we gated the family room. Lyla, however, doesn’t always want to in the gated community so she’ll grab my fingers and get very annoyed if I don’t walk with her out of the family room to the freedom of the rest of our house.
I was excited for her to start walking. I envisioned it happening in one fell swoop. One day she would just stand up and walk across the room.
Instead, it happened over the course of a month, as she took three steps, then five steps and then would go from the living room to our bedroom in short order.
Now that she’s walking Lyla is more like a tornado than a toddler.
In fact, while we were in Las Vegas at the beginning of January, our friend Julie started calling our darling daughter “Hurricane Lyla” because she would do laps around the house, grab anything within reach (like business cards, ID badges, coasters, remotes, just to name a few) and either put it in her mouth, throw it or scatter it to the four corners of the Earth.
And remember when I was pregnant with her? I would go to the OB for the non-stress tests and little missy was not one to cooperate?
Well, she can be stubborn and uncooperative now with her new found powers of walking. A few weeks ago I decided to forgo the stroller while shopping in Old Navy to get a few more items to wear while in Vegas.
Oh, that was a mistake. If I had Jason with me, it would have been fine, but trying to shop and allow Lyla to have a little freedom as a burgeoning walker at the same time without help was not wise. Not wise at all. For a few moments she would hold on to my finger with her surprisingly strong little death grip but then when she had gathered up enough confidence she would take off on her own.
I was so not ready for this early claim of independence. Thankfully she did not protest if I picked her up and carried her around the store.
So, even though she’s a capable and confident walker, my little toddler will be in a stroller or store cart or our Kelty backpack carrier more often than not.
It’s just crazy to see her getting bigger, becoming more independent, using her creativity and acting on her curiosity. It wasn’t that long ago she started crawling. It wasn’t that long ago she started sitting up on her own, eating solid foods, smiling, laughing.
It wasn’t that freaking long ago that I was pregnant with her!
Oh. No. It’s been 14 months since she was born. It’s hard to believe.
And now she’s my little hurricane. But, in truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you want to see videos of Lyla’s early attempts at walking, go here.
I’ll try and get some newer videos up soon.
I need to start exercising again. I was doing pretty well before the pregnancy and up to the third trimester. But, eating right and exercising has gotten increasingly harder.
In all honesty, I have not really made much of an effort to exercise at all. I have investigated my options (Stroller Strides, gyms, local personal trainers) but found that trying to squeeze something into my schedule is tough or more money than I can justify spending.
But, I recently went back to my endocrinologist and told her about the struggle I’ve had with doing things right in the health department. I knew my blood sugar levels haven’t been as good as they were the first six months after Lyla was born. I was right. Throw in the holidays and a recent vacation to Las Vegas (which I’ll tackle in another post, traveling on a plane with the baby for the first time) and I am just glad I didn’t gain more than a few pounds since last May.
So, now that I’ve had my wake up call, I have to figure out what to do.
First, I need to find something that fits in my schedule and preferably something I can do with Lyla.
My doctor suggested putting Lyla in her stroller and walking after work. I think that’s what I’ll have to do to start. My awesome friend, Emmily, who was running and doing all kinds of amazing fitness related things before her daughter, Kate, was born last May, has started the Couch to 5K program again recently.
I’ve looked it over and maybe that’s what I should do.
I would LOVE to be part of the local Stroller Strides class Kristy Fassio runs as an instructor and franchise owner, but, for now it’s too late in the morning. I need to be exercising between 7 and 8:30 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Morning would be better for me. By the time I get home from work I don’t have the energy.
Another option I am looking at is using my Wii Fit balance board and software to exercise. I was doing that and walking leading up to getting pregnant. Between those I lost a significant amount of weight.
Weight loss will help with blood sugar management which prolongs my life and puts off those nasty complications of diabetes.
I just need to develop a strategy of when to exercise, what activity will I be doing, then do it. It would be nice if Jason, my wonderful husband, could exercise with me but his schedule as a retail manager is even more insane than mine.
If anyone wants to give me a treadmill or stationary bike, though, that would be handy.
I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, so, though I have known for a while I would have to tackle this issue I won’t set myself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. So, I’m going to get started one way or another. I think. Soon. Yes.
During this past summer I was at the Maple Valley Farmers Market on a lovely Saturday morning with Lyla. I believe it was Kids Day in July. There were booths for groups like Kinderswimmer and a local stay at home mom’s group, among others, but those were definitely not catered toward working moms.
And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
I did feel like I needed to find some kind of group that had play dates and programs for working moms.
To Google search I went!
And I found the Maple Valley-Covington Area Moms on Meetup.com which I immediately applied for approval so I could get involved.
A couple of the mom organizers on the site knew of me because of my columns in the paper during my pregnancy. I even ran into Amy Shadd while working on a story about a martial arts instructor and the programs he offers through the city of Maple Valley. Her son was in the class.
Turns out the MVCA Moms had a booth at Kids Day and I just didn’t see them. Figures.
So, I was approved and perused the calendar. There are two events I try to get to regularly each month: coffee and conversation at Cutter’s Point by Home Depot in Covington and a recipe swap play date hosted by a mom in Black Diamond.
I went to my first play date/meet up in late August. It was great to just meet moms with kids of all ages and talk about mom stuff with a group. There’s something about talking with other women, whether one-on-one or in smaller groups, about pregnancy, the challenges of parenting and the wonder of having kids.
I love the recipe swap play date because Lyla gets to play with other kids and we get to try new food. Since she is down to try anything once it’s a great way to encourage her adventurousness while also allowing her the opportunity to work on her social skills with other children.
I have mom friends whom I talk to regularly on Facebook, via e-mail and text messages, but the meetup group has been nice because it makes it easy for me to find activities for Lyla and I to go to together all in one place. And these moms are local, too, whereas my mom friends on Facebook are scattered all over the region and even the country.
Sometimes you just need to get together in person with other women and their youngsters and have fun.
They also have dad’s night out, mom’s night out or in, and other activities that are kid-free as well as stuff for the whole family.
I just have so much appreciation for this group and what it has added to our life.
Are there are other opportunities out there for activities with Lyla on weekends or weeknight evenings that I’m missing out on in the area? Let me know!
It is mind boggling to me that Lyla is a year old now. I was keenly aware of the day’s approach from the time she hit six months of age… back in May.
We scheduled her 12 month well child check on her birthday because it happened to fall on a Thursday. Because of my work schedule, Thursday is the best day of the week for doctor’s appointments, but a friend of mine reminded me that it would be wise not to schedule such appointments on her birthday in the future because then she’ll associate it with getting shots. Good point, Stephanie.
I was excited, like always, to find out just how much she’d grown since her last appointment as well as to find out what new things we could introduce to her diet and make sure she was progressing nicely.
Lyla was 17 pounds, 15 ounces on her birthday, having put on a little more than two pounds since her nine month well child check. She was 28 1/2 inches long, meaning we really ought to get her out of the infant car seat and into the larger convertible car seat, since the Graco SnugRide is officially too small when a baby is 29 inches tall.
She is in the 7th percentile for weight and the 32nd for height.
Her small stature does not prevent her from being a fearless adventurer, however, which along with giggles of joy when discovering new things, climbing cat towers or walking farther and farther also brings quite a few bonks on the head. But, that’s another blog post for another time.
Lyla is healthy, progressing nicely and the doctor told us again that everything is going well and we’re doing a good job. Yay, parenting gold star! After he left, a nurse came in and gave Lyla four shots, including a flu vaccine. She was not a fan and it took a little bit longer to calm her down but this time it was a stuffed animal, a bunny, that did the trick. We’ve moved into that phase, it seems, where stuffed animals are comfort items. The bunny, by the way, is already getting dragged about the house by its ear or leg.
We then loaded up the Jeep (oh, I forgot to mention, we finally bought a “family car” in August, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, makes getting around much easier) and headed to Bellevue to visit our friend Stephanie and purchase a Kelty frame backpack carrier. There are places where the backpack carrier is more convenient than a stroller.
Next up was a trip to the waterfront. We had lunch at Elliot’s Oyster House and the nice server brought us a creme brulee for Lyla’s birthday dessert. Very sweet. We gave her some, too, and given her completely love of yogurt (I’m going to start calling her Michael Weston since, like the character from the USA show “Burn Notice,” she could likely live on yogurt alone) it is not surprising she likes the sweet custard. We don’t often give her sweets but it was her birthday. Why not?
So, with Lyla in the backpack, the three of us walked to the Seattle Aquarium. We were sent passes after an employee of the aquarium read my Father’s Day column and thanked me for the mention of our visit back in June. I never did properly thank her … but we used the passes to take Lyla back because she really enjoys the experience. I hope as she gets older we can encourage her adventurous nature with future trips to the aquarium because I think the tide pools with all the cool sea creatures you can gently touch would be right up her alley.
And that was how we spent her birthday. It was nice that Jason and I could take the day to spend with our daughter.
The following Saturday we celebrated with our immediate family and friends with dinner, gifts and cake at Jason’s parents’ house. My friend Libby had signed up to make cupcakes and a smash cake, but, got snowed in up in Bellingham so we went with plan B. I got a smash cake at CJ’s Bakery in Black Diamond (it was called ‘Pretty in Pink’… oh, the irony) then we picked up an assortment of cupcakes at New York Cupcakes in Crossroads, my former stomping grounds, and we all had fun trying the different flavors. I’m sure Libby’s cupcakes would have been at least as awesome but sometimes Mother Nature wins.
Here is Lyla before she made a mess:
What pleased me most about Lyla’s birthday was she got a whole bunch of books. She loves books. Jason’s grandmother began reading to her immediately upon taking over childcare for us while we’re at work. From seven weeks old, Lyla has been read to on a daily basis, and that has truly fostered a love of books that I hope we can continue to cultivate. As a writer and bookworm, it makes me happy to see her enjoy books so much, so it can only get better as she gets older.
A week later, to the day in fact, was Thanksgiving. We loaded up Lyla, the two beagles, food, books, supplies, then picked up Ellie on the way up to my brother-in-law’s house in Gold Bar. Jason’s parents brought a baby gate, so we blocked off the stairs, then closed the doors on the upper level of Dave and Mel’s house. Lyla crawled around, cruised on the furniture, walked all over while grasping fingers of family members and generally enjoyed exploring.
At 4 p.m. she finally passed out for a nap, just in time for dinner to be served, so we all ate then she woke up an hour later and we offered her all the goodies from the table. She wasn’t too keen on turkey but she liked the dressing my husband made and adored the yams my mother-in-law made. That’s my favorite dish, too, so my girl has good taste.
Last year, Lyla was barely a week old and slept through the entire holiday, so it was fun to see her take it all in this year.
And now with Christmas just two weeks away and Lyla on the verge of walking full-time, well, things are just going to get more interesting.
I’ll tell you about the professional first birthday photos we had done in a day or two to round out the information on the birthday activities because I should have those pictures tomorrow at the latest.
Tomorrow is Lyla’s first birthday. I have been wondering to myself where this past year went.
I remember so clearly the early morning drive to Valley Medical Center, parking, walking nervously to the Birth Center under damp, overcast skies, excited and scared all at the same time.
On Nov. 17, I was induced, and I remember the first nurse we met told me it was going to be at least 24 hours before our baby would be born.
Family members were coming and going, phone calls were being made to provide updates, the phrase “No baby yet” was uttered often.
When Lyla arrived it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I even cried.
This first year with her has been amazing.
Before she was even born, I knew she would be stubborn, but I’ve discovered she’s also persistent and determined. She will try and try and try until she works something out, gets where she wants to go or gets what she wants.
Lyla is funny. She likes to make me laugh. She is goofy. She smiles so much. And her laugh is infectious.
My baby girl is adventurous. I have a sneaking suspicion she will like roller coasters and fast cars. It would not surprise me if she wanted to go skydiving someday.
She’s curious about everything. And Lyla enjoys people watching. If she’s in the kitchen, she’s opening the cabinets, pulling out all the items and crawling into a cabinet. When we’re out at a restaurant, she is constantly twisting and turning in the high chair as people walk by, wanting to try whatever I’m eating, drumming her hands on the table or playing with a menu, a utensil, a straw or whatever she can get her hands on. We play a lot of peek-a-boo with restaurant napkins.
She enjoys it when we read to her.
And she loves music. Lyla smiles so big and bops along when she hears music. She particularly likes it when I sing to her which I do often.
Her current goal is to walk on her own and so Lyla will grab your fingers with her tiny death grip so you will walk around the house with her. She needs to practice, of course, and she knows it.
Everywhere we go people fawn over her and think she’s much younger than she is because Lyla is still little. We take her in for her one year well child check tomorrow and I’m curious to see if she’s hit 20 pounds yet. I think she’s finally tall enough to graduate from the infant car seat but if she’s not 20 pounds we’ll have to keep her rear facing for a while longer.
But, she’s so cute people love her. And Lyla is so laid back, she seems well behaved, but she just rolls with the punches.
For example, Jason, Lyla and I went to dinner on Saturday at Mizu in Covington. I love that place. Mmm. Anyway, we had Lyla in this cute little pink wintery knit hat with a puff ball on the top, and she was just charming the heck out of the folks sitting at the table with us. There was a couple, grandparents I think, with three of their older grandchildren at our table. The couple was visiting from California. After we finished our meal, the waitress brought Jason his check card back and said the gentleman who was visiting from out of town had already paid for our dinner. We were floored. That is how cute and awesome Lyla is… nobody would have ever done that if it were just the two of us.
Every day I look at her and I just shake my head at how lucky I am to be her mommy. There are days I can’t believe that beautiful little girl is mine.
She is and I couldn’t be more thankful. I hope to give her all the things I didn’t have growing up, to encourage her to be strong, independent and hard working, to cultivate her curiosity and intellect, to nurture her sense of adventure and her humor so that someday she can make a difference in the world.
On the eve of her first birthday, I look forward to the next year, all the new things I will learn about my daughter and the continued joy she will bring to my life.
Happy birthday baby girl! I love you Lyla!
Last summer while I was wandering around at the Maple Valley Farmers Market one Saturday morning I came across Jennifer Orchard’s booth. She had all these great items she could personalize for baby and kiddos. As an expectant mom, I loved all the different items she had, but I wanted to wait until Lyla was born before I got anything like that. I guess I’m a little superstitious.
So, this summer, one of the first things I did when the Farmers Market opened for its second season was to find Jennifer. One thing I really wanted her to do was a personalized piggy bank. I had spied those last summer and it never left my mind.
I asked Jennifer to do this for me and the next Saturday it was ready.
After a while, I saw that she had bracelets, so for my mother-in-law’s birthday I had her make one for Lyla and one for Gale that said “Grandma” on it. I didn’t snap a pic of the one for Gale but here is Lyla’s.
While we talked over the details for the bracelets via Facebook, I mentioned I wanted a bracelet like that for myself, but I couldn’t order it myself. I mentioned to Jennifer that I had a birthday coming up, so, she contacted my husband on Facebook and set it all up. I was none the wiser until shortly before I got the bracelet. What impressed me the most was that she delivered it to our house just a week after giving birth to her third child, a sweet little girl named Kali, but she also remembered the details I had mentioned wanting on the bracelet.
And here it is… I haven’t taken it off yet.
She also personalized a clock for Lyla’s room over the summer. Keep in mind she did all but the bracelet for me WHILE pregnant. Amazing to me. I love this clock. I think the tick-tock white noise helps Lyla sleep better.
Jennifer, who is an accountant by trade as well as a mom of three cute kiddos, tells me she got into this while she was pregnant with her daughter four years ago.
“I went to a baby boutique and they had these adorable baby bracelets selling for $65 and up,” she said in a Facebook message. “Well they are exactly the same as the ones I make now and I had to have one so I bought it and realized that there are a ton of moms out there that would love to have this unique gift but can’t afford to pay that kind of money. So I bought materials, made up a bunch and opened my Etsy page selling them for half the price.”
Then she started looking for other ideas to add to her Etsy store so she began looking up wholesale companies.
“I came across blank piggy banks and thought ‘Hey I could paint them!,’” she said. “So, I added that to my website and so far my piggy banks are my top sellers but take me the longest to make! Since then I have just kept my eyes and mind open and added things here and there to my inventory.”
Click here if you want to check out what she has as she won’t be at the Farmers Market for the rest of the season now that she’s got her new kiddo to take care of.
I just can’t begin to tell you how much I love these great personalized items Jennifer has made for me this summer. These are great practical items that will later become keepsakes for our daughter. This is one of the things that really makes being a new mom fun.
On Aug. 20, I came home from work and in the nine or so hours I was gone, she had started to crawl.
Since she was born people have been cruelly stating things like, “I can’t wait until she’s crawling.”
Even before she could crawl I didn’t want that. I have friends with kids. I know what happens once the freedom of movement occurs. I was enjoying that period where Lyla could sit up and play on the floor or roll around a bit but I knew I could put her down without worrying about her getting into much trouble.
Now, nope, I have to watch her every movement.
Here is a video of her in the early phase of crawling, before she got really good at it, before she could move quickly and before she started pulling herself up with ease.
After two weeks, Lyla was crawling like a pro, but she hadn’t quite mastered pulling herself up yet. Jason and his dad, Art, did some baby proofing around the house, bumpers on corners, covered up electrical outlets, etc.
So, we took the week of Labor Day off, and on Saturday, Sept. 4, we drove down for a few days in Portland. We had just purchased a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo after nine months of cramming into my Ford Mustang. It was so nice to take a road trip in something comfortable. Plus, it was fun to go on our first little family trip.
We stayed at a Days Inn hotel and we got a great rate thanks to my sister-in-law, Melanie, who works for Wyndham. It wasn’t a very big room. In fact, I told Jason this is what it would be like to live in a tiny studio apartment somewhere.
Since it wasn’t a very big room we let Lyla crawl around on the floor. One of the side effects of this new found mobility is that she doesn’t want to be held anymore unless she’s sleepy. It’s weird. You get used to hold your kiddo all the time and she seems to like it then all of a sudden she wants nothing to do with it. I wasn’t particularly prepared for so much independence at nine months old.
By the time we left Portland on Tuesday, Sept. 7, Lyla had totally mastered pulling herself up. She could grab onto the bed, a chair, my knee, anything she could get a grip on.
Here’s a picture of her from last week after she had pulled herself up on a Rubbermaid storage bin.
And just in the past couple of days Lyla has started to “cruise” along the furniture in the family room. In other words, she is using whatever she has pulled herself up on to hold herself up while she takes steps.
I know we are now on our way to walking.
Yeah, another thing people have said to me in the past is, ‘I really can’t wait until she’s walking.’
Note that these are ALWAYS people who are related to me somehow but don’t actually live with me.
When she starts walking I can bet that the desire to get out with Jason and have grown up time away from her will increase. And then all the people who couldn’t wait for Lyla to crawl or walk are first on the list of people I’ll be calling in search of a baby sitter.
The time is moving by too quickly. Lyla will be 10 months old on Saturday. Before we know it she’ll be walking, she’ll be a year old, she’ll be getting her driver’s license, getting married, having her own kids…
And here’s one more cute photo from our trip to Oregon … this is Lyla meeting Kate, who born May 23 to our friends Emmily and Mike. On a side note, Kate shares a birthday with my best friend Mike Wilson, someone I’ve known since I was 11 years old. I’ll never forget Kate’s birthday.