Saturday, April 30, 2011

First Easter with baby girl.

I know that it's already been almost a week since Easter but with all the sleep I have been lacking and the quality time I've been spending with my family away from the computer, I am finally finding the time to post about it.

I love Easter. I can't believe it's already come and gone. I would love waking up on Sunday mornings to a full Easter basket and hunting down those easter eggs as if it were my job. Being hopped up on marshmallow peeps, chocolate bunnies, and jelly bellies was even better. Obviously I don't do that anymore, but that is what is so great about having a kid. You get to experience those childhood memories all over again, in the eyes of your child.

I still have another year or two for one of those Easters, but I can't wait. Our Easter this year was spent with family and friends. No hunting. No candy. And yet perfectly wonderful.

We went to our friends' family gathering and of course as soon as we get there Payton starts crying hysterically and screaming in ranges only dogs can hear. There were people everywhere and everyone was coming up to greet us. Poor thing was so frightened and overwhelmed. She finally settled down in our arms and carefully watched the kids play and adults converse. We enjoyed company in the midst of some perfect spring weather and basked in the sun while we took Payton to play amongst the other kids.

Layne's best friend, "Uncle Peter"

My little loves kids and babies. She will intently watch their every move, cooing and laughing to herself...completely enamored with them.

And for the cherry on top to the evening - a nice Easter dinner with my family, and me even throwing a frisbee with Layne outside. Good 'ol family fun. Couldn't have asked for a better first Easter with my sweet baby girl. My sister, who is an aspiring photographer took our Easter family portraits so I don't have those yet.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

9 month stats.

We took P to the doctor for her 9 month well baby check-up and all is good! She is right on track developmentally. She is still going through some stranger anxiety though, you would have thought the nurse and doctor were ripping her arm off the way she was screaming. If you even look at her the wrong way she freaks. Drama!

Height: 27 and 1/2" - 58th percentile
Weight: 17 lbs. 15 oz. - Between 25th-50th percentile.

She had to get 4 shots on Monday because we had some catching up to do. Ever since then sleeping has been a nightmare, I'm not sure if that is just a coincidence or not.  I have read up a lot on baby sleep patterns and it looks like Payton is going through the dreaded 37 week, or 9 month sleep regression. It usually occurs when they go through some big developmental spurts that you can't see...on top of teething, and some possible separation anxiety that all negatively affect sleep. {Understatement of the century!}

Normally, she goes to sleep around 7:30 PM and wakes up at 6:30-7 AM, with 1-2 night-wakings. The past few days though she has kept mommy up for hours in the middle of the night. The worst was 2 nights ago when I was up until midnight getting her to try and sleep longer than 10 minutes, and then up from 3:50-5:30 AM. Fun right? She doesn't believe me when I tell her I need sleep.

I can't be up partying with you all night little girl.

Oy, Bring on the coffee!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy 9 months!

My little girl is 9 months old today! Wow. 9 months old. So much has changed in that short amount of time. With her, with us, with our lives. Everyday our hearts grow with love even more, if that is even possible. When she was a newborn it was hard to picture 9 months, now I can't picture anything but my laughing, smiling, crawling -but wants to run - sweetheart of a child. She is not a little baby, nor a toddler. She is in-between. She is the best part of each. And the best part of our life. 

She is standing tall, crawling fast, and walking if she can hold on to something. She can stand on her own for a short period of time because she has balance and strength. And when she falls, she gets right back up again because she is determined. We are a little behind in the teeth department and still don't have any, but that's okay because I don't particularly like teeth marks on my skin. 

The girl is a born to be foodie. I was blessed with a non-picky eater and I pray it stays that way. She currently eats 3 meals a day of solids, and loves to snack on cheerios, fruit, and whole wheat bread. She is just now starting to sleep good at night and I probably just jinxed it. She has only been waking 1-2 times and will sleep the rest of the night through. Yes, I still rock her to sleep at night and in the middle of the night feedings, but she can put herself back to sleep with her paci if she wakes up. She takes a morning nap and an afternoon nap, both usually over an hour long. 

She is the happiest baby I've ever seen. She is ALWAYS smiling, laughing, and talking in her secret baby language; And my day is complete when I can get a big 'ol belly laugh out of her. 

Now that she is mobile and exploring her environment, we are experiencing lots of bumps and bruises. No fun! She can say "mama", "dada", and I swear she says "kitty." And speaking of kitties...she's obsessed. She is definitely our child.  

She loves to wave at everybody. Even the wall.

 I secretely love when she's tired because that is our snuggle time. After naps she likes to just lay on our chests, and those are the moments I love. She gets into every. little. thing. because that's her job now. I have recently just discovered that she likes to 'sway' back and forth to music, her form of dancing. Girlfriend can move to a beat. And she has the brightest, sweetest personality. However, she is very impatient (gets it from her dad) and very sensitive (gets it from her mom). Her hair is a golden light auburn brown, and her eyes are a grayish blue with specks of green and brown. As you can tell I'm still guessing on the eye color. 

Happy 9 months Paytie Pie! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Layne's Celebrity Look-Alike

Is it me or does my husband have a close resemblance to Hugh Jackman? I think this automatically gives me permission to declare him as my pretend celebrity boyfriend.

Hugh               vs.                 Layne

But seriously, I think it may be the hair, face shape, scruffiness, and eyes.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You know your a mom when...

  • You don't get dressed until 2 PM. Heck, your lucky if you even get dressed at all. Sweatpants and tank tops become a wardrobe staple. (For us SAHMs!)
  • Your house is in shambles but you feel accomplished because the baby is fed, changed, and happy. Plus, it adds character. 
  • You no longer feel the need for a purse when your diaper bag fits everything you ever need. 
  • You stay up late at night just to get "me" time. Even if it means you get little sleep. Yes, my baby STILL wakes up at night.
  •  You crawl under the crib at 2 AM searching for their pacifier as if your life depended on it.
  • You call a pacifier anything but "pacifier". 
  • Hearing any kind of news of a child in pain brings tears to your eyes.
  • You can get dressed, put make-up on, do your hair, and entertain the baby...all in under 20 minutes. 
  • Baby magazines have replaced fashion magazines.
  •  You never arrive anywhere on time. You are always doing "one last thing" before you actually leave the house.
  • You actually laugh out loud when someone with a newborn asks if it gets easier. 
  • Bodily fluids don't gross you out anymore. Sorta.
  • You have considered trading anything for just one night of good sleep.
  • You consider parenting to be the best job in the world. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Little Things

You know when there are those people who are too smart for their own good and you hate them for it? Lo and behold, that's my dear daughter. Of course I love her though. Girlfriend has tricks up her sleeves and sometimes I ponder how a 9 month old baby can know so much. I have worked with babies and kids for years; I've seen milestones after milestones, but when it comes to my own I am left bewildered, like I have just discovered some ancient wonder.

You always know your baby is going to grow up and do all sorts of amazing things. I'm sure to the next person hearing about what she ate or that she clapped is not really thrilling or amazing, like somebody winning American Idol would be. But it's all foundation. And like my husband says, "You're watching intelligence being born. What's more amazing than that?" Who knows, maybe I am holding a musical prodigy in my possession. It's the little things she picks up from us though (or doesn't) that make me a proud mama. One of my favorite things is seeing her wave. She moves her little fist sideways back and forth like a princess and I think it's so funny. I sure as hell don't wave like that, and I certainly don't think my husband does either.

It's things like pulling her arms out of the car seat straps when she knows she's getting out of the car, or putting her head down and pushing when she wants daddy to flip her upside down, or being able to open the door by a handle if we're holding her up. I am certainly not bragging by any means but I am proud, and I am proud to share. Babies should be praised for all they do because they grow and learn so much during that first year. And ehem, how cute are they?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Walking with Walker

This is my little girl, on the move. Not even 9 months old yet. I'm in trouble.

I got these Size 3 shoes at Once Upon a Child for $3.50. Steal.

I'm so happy the weather is outdoors worthy now. It looks like walks and trips to the park and lake are calling our names for more frequent visits, and I'm more than happy to oblige. I'm pretty sure Payton is getting bored here exploring the same old territory, when I find her playing with everything but her toys and just looking for trouble.

Her absolute favorite thing to play with is my laptop. I can't even get on it when I'm around her or she B-Lines straight for it and puts up quite a determined fight until she gets to pound away on the keys. I only let her do this due to the fact that my laptop is on its last leg anyways. Lately our days with her are filled with a lot of playful laughter and fun, amongst chase downs and some skillful hawk eye action on my part. Which she also participates in...

Happy Sunday! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's never too late

Exciting news! Layne and I are both going back to school to finish our degrees. I'm going to be starting the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, Fall 2011. I'm majoring in Fashion Merchandising and I'll be doing the classes online so I don't have to commute over there. I am so excited to finally start toward a career path that I'm passionate and excited about. I actually have enough credits to classify me as a junior in college but only a few of my core classes will transfer over.

Their Fashion program is one of the most prestigious majors at the Academy; partly because they are the only school invited to NYC Fashion Week to have their students present their upcoming clothing line collections. The first two classes I have to take are Intro to Fashion Business and Fashion Illustration. Although my focus is in Fashion Merchandising, they expose you to all areas of fashion so your portfolio is much more versatile and appealing. The next steps for me are just registering and filling out financial aid forms.

In the next few months our lives our going to become much more hectic. It makes me sad to think I won't see my husband and daughter as much, but I am welcoming the changes for our future. It will just make us treasure the time we spend with each other even more. I don't like the thought of putting Payton in daycare, but at least she will be over a year old. Hopefully we can find a way to only put her in 3 days a week. I will just need time to do school since classes are very intense, and I may be working part-time also.

It goes to show it's never too late to do anything you want to do! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Daddy's Little Girl

There is nothing sweeter than seeing this daddy/daughter duo together; The way they look at each other, cling to each other, and play together. She gets so upset when she knows her daddy is about to leave to go somewhere or do something. Sorta sad, a lot sweet. I secretly love it. I've heard a lot of people say a dad starts interacting more and attaching more when the baby is after a year old, when they can really start playing and talking to them. That is not the case here though. Layne fell in love Payton the moment he saw her. She has had us both wrapped around her little finger since day one. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A healthy, balanced life

Last night I sat writing as my baby slept and wondering what the heck I should've been doing. Well...I know what I SHOULD'VE been doing but as the room lied in shambles I was still not finding much motivation to do anything but relax after 12 hours of hardcore playing.

Seriously though, I have such a hard time finding a balance. I watched Eat. Pray. Love. today for the first time and it really resonated with me. Julia Roberts was having a hard time balancing between finding herself and losing herself to love. For me it's trying to find the right balance of work, play, love. I need it though. I'm trying to adjust accordingly to achieve it because I'm tired of getting overwhelmed. 

My daughter is at that age where she wants my constant attention. She has like a 2 second attention-span and gets into everything so it's not easy to do much else. I more or less just feel bad for my husband because I'm sure he misses his clean shirts and matching socks.

But I have vowed to set some changes, get motivated, and get things done in order to be super mom worthy and achieve the art of balance. I am going to be working soon again (I guess I should be applying for jobs first) and going back to school in the fall for Fashion Merchandising. If I'm going to be doing all these things plus being a mom and wife, I am either going to need to be hopped up on some dangerous amounts of caramel frapps and Coca-cola all day, or finding that right balance and energy I need to accomplish everything. If not for my family, for my sanity. I have found it's not the quantity of time you spend on something, it's the quality of time. When I have balance and equilibrium in my life...things fall into place. Things are easier. Lately, everything has been so scattered and it sends me into disarray not knowing what to tackle.

So. I have a devised a master plan. Obviously since my countless attempts of wishing and dreaming things away wasn't working, I am just going to have to find a place for everything to fit into my crazy life.

First, I need to get healthier. I've always been anemic or borderline so my energy levels are always dropping. I don't get much sleep (I still love you Payton) so I just try to get through the day with as much grace as I possibly can without falling over and going into some kind of sleep coma state. I am going to drink more water and start taking vitamins again because for me at least, it really gives me that boost in energy.

Second, I am going to start a weekly routine of things to get done each day. Such as, laundry on Mon, Wed, Fri. Also, making a weekly meal plan menu. This will allow me to stay organized and on track.

Third, I want to try to start getting ready earlier in the morning. I like to rock the PJs most of the day if I'm not planning on going out. This might be a hard one to give up...Hey, one of the perks of being a stay-at-home mom.

Okay. So it's not really rocket science, but it's taken me awhile to realize this is what I need to do. Being a mom is hard work and it can be all-consuming, draining, the most fun and biggest blessing in your entire life.


Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. 
Robert Fulgham

The calm and balanced mind is the strong and great mind; the hurried and agitated mind is the weak one. Wallace D. Wattles

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Monterey & San Diego

We made it back after a week in beautiful, mostly sunny San Diego. To this day, it is still one of my favorite places to be.

The time away to relax and just have fun was much needed. San Diego welcomed us with open arms and we settled quite comfortably. In fact, probably too much so...we didn't want to leave!

On the way down, we stopped at Monterey Bay and went to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. We thought it would be fun to show Payton all of the sea animals and give her a new scene to enjoy and look curiously around at. She did so good. We wore her out to the point of pure exhaustion, she passed out right in dad's arms at the last stretch.

We saw the ocean. And tons of dolphins swimming in it!

There were some Oh-so-cute penguins.

And lots of intriguing looking jellies. 

Then there was this creepy guy who wanted to come out and play...

There was SO much to see and we enjoyed every little bit of it. It's not often you get a chance to see these things up close and personal. And I would've never been able to see them otherwise.

Three story Kelp Forest. Even had sharks in it.

The next day we drove down part of the coastline, but mostly along the coastal hills to reach SD and the views were TO DIE FOR. We probably tacked on an extra hour or two going this way but it was so worth it.

We are lucky enough to have family that live in San Diego so we stayed with my aunt and had a few days to visit with her and my brother-in-law Shaun. We rarely get to see them so it was a nice treat to spend all this time with them. I really enjoyed having them get to see Payton since she is getting so big so fast!

Payton with my aunt and her baby.
Shaun lives right on Mission Beach and he took us to some of the most fabulous restaurants right there. The thing I loved most was the amazing food in a comfortable, laid back atmosphere. Everyone is super nice and nothing is over the top. And what could beat having this as your backyard...

Sunset on Mission Beach.
In between our visits we planned our days around exploring San Diego, going to La Jolla, and then finishing off at the San Diego Zoo and staying a night in Los Angeles with friends. It was the perfect way to spend quality time with my husband and daughter without any kind of stress or distractions that everyday life provides. Sometimes we lose sight of beauty, wonder, moments, and just taking life in with every breath. Getting away is a chance to recapture and doesn't matter where you go.

And boy it did not disappoint in providing just that...

While walking down to the ocean in La Jolla we discovered this beautiful park. The blue skies, ocean breezes, crashing waves, green grass, and families playing only added to what could only be described as natural beauty at it's finest.  

Then we really discovered this hidden gem. 

A small beach along the cliffs where you could watch the sea otters play and swim. Unfortunately, Payton freaked when I put her feet in the sand. She better get used to it or she's going to have trouble being a California girl! So I sat there with her in my lap as we all just watched the super cute sea otters. They are really quite the entertaining bunch.

And then Layne went exploring into the cave. 

And found a new friend...

I think it's safe to say that we had no problems getting Payton to sleep during our trip.


My poor baby was such a trooper through dragging her along everywhere, dealing with horrible eye issues the whole week, and sleeping and being in a completely unfamiliar place. We are so lucky for such an easygoing, happy-go-lucky baby!