Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Six Things

File under random:

I've been a little online shopping click-happy lately, so to prove I don't only blog about Ayla, here are six things delivered this week about which I am very excited.

1) Ayla's birthday present from her PaPa (John's dad). He sent a check, I picked it out! It's a P'kolino Little Sofa-Sleeper. Right now she mostly uses it to climb as high as she can and look out the window, but I'm sure many hours of story-time and sleepovers are ahead.
2) An Ergo carrier! I have used the Baby Bjorn, a few different slings and wraps and ties, but I needed something that was better for her and my back and easy to get in and out of. It was a steal on BabySteals.com.
3) Inspired by Finn Baltic amber necklace. I don't know why this brand is the only one I've seen with these necklaces, but my sister swears by them and I think it's really cute! So far, Ayla likes wearing it, but I don't know if it's helping with the teething pain yet. Another great steal from BabySteals.
4) Much needed replacement lens cover for my camera. I lost the original in California this summer and have been recklessly tossing the Rebel into bags with no protection to take hundreds of pictures I don't edit or upload. Call me a, I don't know, a rebel?
5) Hand-made honey pot from Etsy. Look, it was just getting messy getting the honey out of the giant jar.
6) Sublime Imprint Anti-Fatigue comfort mats for my kitchen floor. I finally found the right color, size and comfort combo, and Amazon had them for half price. Winner!

Since it's now officially Tuesday here, I can tell you about something else I'm getting today. Want to guess?
Here's a hint: He once took me for a ride, then gave me a beautiful shiny thing. His name is John and he's my husband.
Got it?
I am a little more excited about this delivery than the other ones!

Have a great rest of your week, my dear readers!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Every Day Ayla - One Whole Year!

For the last two weeks as I've been alternating between procrastination and frustration at getting this video done, I've also been pondering what to tell you about my one-year-old daughter.

I usually tell you what she's doing now, her new tricks and skills. But the days are just whipping by and she keeps changing and I honestly can't keep up. By now I can't remember what she was doing or saying two weeks ago, so I'm just going to do the update as of now.

The word for her current phase is spongexplosion. I had to make up a word since she is soaking everything in and then exhibiting growth in huge bursts.

She has four teeth, all on top. I think the bottom ones are working their way up. At least I hope what all this night-time fussing has been about.

She's not walking independently yet, but she loves to finger walk, push toys around and cruise on the furniture. I think she might be waiting for her daddy to come for his next visit (next week!!) to take her first steps, so we'll see. I'm still in no hurry! She's great at climbing up the stairs and going down backwards.

She likes putting things in and taking them out. She has discovered the magic of putting things behind her to make them disappear. She has also discovered the spatial relationship between her finger and nostril. I'm sure this will also be used to make things "disappear." She hugs everything and makes a sweet "oooh" sound when she does it.
She's as friendly as ever, a bit clingier, a whole lot moodier, and quite the little entertainer. I think she's pretty advanced in that she's already throwing herself on the floor in tantrums with big ol' tears and everything. The ramp between happy and not-happy is gone, so I'm trying to learn how to predict and react to the sudden changes. I'm sure much of this has to do with her frustration at not being able to communicate as much as she wants to. 

She is selective in what she says and signs, but she understands SO much. She even makes up words and signs when she's in the mood.

Here's what she says, in the order in which I can remember them: daddy, mama, doggy, ball, puff, pul (apple), tatuh (water), hugy/eggy (hungry), ity (kitty), mungy (monkey), Teta (Greta, the girl who lives with us), aaaht (hat), Aaah (Abigail, her best friend), touch, shhh (shoes), caka (cracker).

Here's what she signs: more, finished, please, dog, banana, eat/water (her sign for these looks the same), fish, baby, and milk. She's getting close on frog and cat.

She knows where her/my head, hair, ears, nose, eyes, mouth and bellybutton are. She makes the animal sounds for cows and monkeys, pants for a dog, makes a fishy face for fish, and hops for bunnies and frogs.

I'll do the eating and sleeping update in another post, because this has gotten so long and you've still got to watch the video, which is a whopping 6:24. I couldn't figure out a way to go through the stills any faster, and just wanted to get it out there while she was still a baby. 


(link to video on YouTube, let me know if you can't view it)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nothing like I'd planned

I had planned to do a whole week of Ayla's-turning-one related posts leading up to a big reveal of her 365 Every Day pictures and a snazzy video and fireworks and pizza for everyone. Ok, maybe not the fireworks.

(Coincidentally (?) my post from this date last year was also about "plans" and our intentions for letting people know about when the baby "Blueberry" (awww... remember Blueberry?) came.)

Point being, her birthday is actually the day after tomorrow and this is it.

Tomorrow is the last day of her first year.

And since it's 11:33 (awww... the exact time she was born), that's in less than 30 minutes.

So, here's a little teaser photo from the birthday celebration we had for her today at the moms' group we are blessed to be a part of. My friend's son, Micah, turned 1 on Sunday, so we brought snacks and balloons and let the kiddos go at it.

Ok, just one more...

I have a feeling this is the start of a long
and beautiful relationship with chocolate!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ayla is going to be a big sister

Someday. I'm not pregnant. I promise.

Even as my heart tightens around every little baby thing my growing daughter does, because I know the days are getting faster and it hasn't even been a year yet, I feel this space in my heart growing for our next child.

It's a bit conflicting, this feeling. A desire, really. Verging on a hope.

Dare I?
Dare I ask for another?

I have this amazing, perfect little girl who looks like her daddy and has my stubborn streak and a smile straight from heaven and I am definitely not bored raising her. It is one thing to be content and just "see what happens," but it's another thing (for me, at least) to step into the hope zone again.

People have asked me how many kids I want to have and how far apart I want them to be. I tell them, "We've gone through too much to suppose our wants have anything to do with it." Seriously, if it had been completely up to me, I would've been married at 20 and finished having/adopting 8 kids by 30 (math and science weren't my strongest subjects)!

Thank GOD that was not His plan for me! I look at my Ayla Jewel and am so grateful. SO Grateful for the very day my first child was born and every day of her life that has been when it is. Do you know what I mean? And if she's all we get, then we will be full and grateful.

I mean, look at her:

I have friends with different kinds of stories of how their families grew. They have decided to get pregnant and have done so. They have decided to have kids so many months apart and have done so. I'm so very happy for them.

I have friends who, like us, who walked the infertility road for some time, got pregnant, then their bodies "figured it out," and it never was a problem again. I know others who experience miscarriages between every full-term pregnancy, or just have long, unexplained waits every time. I know others who are "one and done."

Of course, there's no way for me to know what my body is going to do or how long the wait for Ayla's sibling will be. I don't know if said sibling will be birthed or adopted. I don't even know what's going to happen tomorrow!

I'm okay with not knowing the when, the who, the how. I hope I learned something in the 3 1/2 years we waited for Ayla.

What I don't know if I'm okay not knowing (follow me?) is the if. If we will in fact have a who somehow somewhen.

I'm pretty sure our family isn't complete yet. I may not want 8 kids anymore, but how can I not want to see if luck would hit us again with another angel baby? I see how much Ayla loves people, how great she is around other kids and I know she would be a fantastic big sister. I think of how much I love being a big sister (and a little sister, too) (had to put that in because my older brothers are two of the 10 people who read my blog), and I want that for her.

These are my thoughts as we speed down the track to complete this first-year lap. What did I learn during the pre-Ayla season? What lessons about hoping and waiting stuck and which will I have to learn all over again? I know I didn't write about my One Word very much in 2011, but it was ask and I did learn to be a better asker. So, am I ready to ask for this? For Ayla to be a big sister?

Gratefully, simply, humbly, in whispers and with a longing I don’t quite understand,

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