Thursday, December 16, 2010

I wasn't going to do this, but.....

The stars were aligned. I happened to pick a cute little Christmas outfit for Isla to wear on this day. We stopped into Borders, and what do you know- primo parking spot! The one next to the handicapped spots. Then, what do I see next to Borders but Santa's little hut. And- NO LINE! After we waited for the 1 family in front of us to visit with Santa it was our turn. And, boy was he good. He got my clingy 9 month old baby to warm up to him in 2 minutes flat, and then snap take the picture with no tears! On the way out, as I was smiling and clutching my goody bag of 'baby with Santa photos' he said "HO, HO, HO."

So, technically this is the 100th blog. Jason's guest blogpost will just have to be 101. I needed to share that Santa picture. Stay tuned for Jason's Guest Blogpost- #101! Jason- you're up!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Isla Rose, 9 months old

Motor Baby Over the past month Isla has gotten much smoother with her sit to stand and stand to sit transitions. She has a much better grasp of the spatial dimensions of our coffee table, and so it is no longer a head-bonking machine. She has been taking greater risks and can stand up with the help of a wall, pant legs, leg of a chair. Just as we approached the 9 month mark, Isla started cruising the furniture. Isla also improved with her pincer grasping, and can even get small slippery slimy pieces of banana into her mouth.

Toofers Ilsa is now the proud owner of 2 little chompers. She has two shark teeth sticking up from the bottom.
Bop! Jason and I don't know what to count as Isla's first word. We had a couple of weeks of "Bop!" The "mamama" started just as babble (usually forlorn babble), but there seemed to have been some purposeful use of the "mama" lately. Like, calling from the crib after naps and when she approaches me for a mommy snuggle. Sometimes she brings up the "dad" when she hears his voice from the other room. Twice she has mentioned "duck" to me as she lunged towards the book on the night stand that has a picture of a duck that she finds humorous. We get lots of other nonsense words like "rop" and "durft" and "pap" and "bith."

Miscellaneous Now that Isla is pointing, we have really been enjoying our weekly trips to the zoo. She really gets a kick out of seeing and pointing at the animals with me (above pic: checking out the prairie dogs, and below: pointing out the hippo) We've been working on sign-language with Isla and she has started to use the sign for drink. But, she sort of does it all day long, and sometimes for other things she wan
ts, because she hasn't yet gotten any of the other ones down. My favorite thing of right now is the shoulder snuggle. You know, when baby lays her little head on your shoulder when she's tired, or maybe because of a loud noise, or someone new getting a little too close. Isla can clap and wave. She also can give kisses. But beware, they are open-mouthed and often involve tongue, slobber, and sometimes a full on 'grap you by the ears' head butt. But, I love them anyway.

Likes Isla continues to be a big fan of string (cat toys, the tape measure). But a funny thing she loves right now are wet wash cloths. I bought these little cotton wiping clothes to cut down on paper towel use for post-feeding face clean-up. After I wipe her I let her loose from the high chair. Isla will take this wet mopper all around the house with her (see pic below: "Happy with my wet mop"). Once she even managed to take it all the way up the stairs with her. As usual, Isla likes her mom and dad. This has been a clingy month for Isla. Maybe because of the teeth.

Swing Isla still loves her swing. Friends back in the Midwest, I don't mean to make you jealous. But, this has been a beautiful Texas winter, with many days of highs between 65-75 degrees. I'm not going to lie, it is easy to get used to. So, since we can swing outside in the month of December, we do. Usually 3 times a day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Difference a Year Makes

Last year at this time:

This year at this time:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Thanksgiving Lasagna

My family gathered in San Antonio last week for an early holiday/ Thanksgiving celebration. Joe (my brother) and Jason signed up to run San Antonio Rock and Roll half-marathon together. Like always, when my dad visits us, we assign him some "jobs." This time around we asked him to install a tree swing for Isla. Three trips to the Home Depot later- Isla was happily giggling and enjoying her new tree swing.

My mom came a few days ahead of the rest of the bunch so that we could have some time to pre-cook for the crowd. We decided to save Turkey for the real Thanksgiving and made Lasagnas instead.
Joe and Jason were running so fast, we did not catch a photo of them. But they came in under 2 hours- way to go!

Post-Marathon note: It has taken me so long to get this post up that I wanted to add a post-marathon update. After completing the 60 day "Insanity Workout" program, and then training for and running the half-marathon, Jason has completely ceased working out.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Isla Rose, 8 months old

This has been another huge motor month for Isla. She mastered crawling during the 1st week of her 7th month, and was following me from room to room. Then by 7 and 1/2 she was pulling herself up to stand in the crib. One week later, she was climbing the stairs! Isla thinks she is a big girl, and sometimes she lets go with both hands and thinks she can stand independently. Isla needs lots of supervision these days to avoid what we termed "head konks." Oh, the inevitable head konk. You think it's okay to refill your coffee cup and return in a jiffy, but no. You will return 20 seconds later to a crying baby who konked her head in your brief absence.

Enduring months of putting tired Isla to sleep in her crib and often letting her cry to sleep has paid off. She finally knows her crib means sleepy time, and is actually happy go into her crib for sleep. Sometimes she'll play around for a while, but the crying has ceased (for the most part). We followed the advice "If you put your baby down while she is sleepy, but not yet asleep, she will learn to fall asleep on her own." So, we enacted what we called the "10 minute rule," and let her cry for up to 10 minutes before going in. She usually fell asleep in less than 10, but it still wasn't fun.
8 month old Isla has gotten out her little pointer finger to point at things. I just marvel at the fact that one day she just understood that she could draw an imaginary line form the tip of that chubby little finger and pointed, but the day before she did not. Isla has her pincer grasp going on and has mastered the art of eating "puffs." Puffs are like pre-Cheerio baby food, they dissolve quickly in the mouth. Puffs almost always make Isla happy, and can distract her during those crabby times. Isla loves music and bounces up and down on her bottom when we play a song she really likes.
Also, Isla is doing this: That video was taken at 8 and 1/2 months. It was hard to capture the bubbly sounds. Isla got a little camera shy. Clapping is a more recent development... more on that later.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Halloween

Check out this spooky flower:

Friday, October 22, 2010

St. Louis for a week

Just before the 7 month mark, we spent a week in St. Louis. The main objective of the trip was to give Grandma D and Grandpa D some much needed grand-baby time.
And Isla finally got to meet her Uncle Dan!
We also had time to see some friends, and visit our old stomping grounds. We made it to lunch at Everest (Nepalese Food), dinner at Bon Me So (Vietnamese), and Ted Drews. Also we made it to one of my favorite places in the whole world- Eckert's!- for some apple-picking. Again, the Kappels met us for some apples. Two years in a row- it's a tradition! Here's me with my family amongst the apple trees. Except we're standing in from of a cherry tree. We weren't sure why there were cherry trees in the apple orchard. And here are the kids- Sam, Emma, and Isla- cooling off after picking apples in 90 degrees.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Isla Rose, 7 months old

6 to 7 has been another huge month for Isla. 1st off- the most exciting milestone- CRAWLING! On October 12th we returned home from our trip to St. Louis, and placed Isla on the living room rug. Well, I think she was so happy to be home and not in her carseat or being held on our laps, she progressed forward 2 feet on all 4's across the rug! For the past month, Isla has been frustrated at not being able to crawl. She'd move her hands forward, but couldn't coordinate the legs, and end up on her tummy. I thought she would be so pleased once she could get to what she wanted all on her own... but no. Now, she's frustrated at not being able to pull up to stand. She loves to hold onto low furniture and stand (but, she always needs a spotter). Also, she started taking steps when being held by the hands. This is the beginning of several months of back-breaking stooping-over "baby walking."

One big change for Jason and I has been that Isla started to be a happier baby. She stopping continuously complaining for seemingly no reason. She entertains herself a little bit better. Her eating and sleeping has been on a predictable schedule, and things finally got easier (as long as she takes those naps).

Isla loves to eat! When we got back from the trip, I increased Isla's solids to 3 meals a day. She opens up wide for each bite and exclaims "num!" after each bite. I finally figured out how to get her to eat green vegetables- mix them with Ricotta cheese.

Isla has been a lot of fun to play with because she has started to be able to anticipate. She gives a little knowing smile when I start the "This Little Piggy" rhyme knowing that a little tickling piggy hand is going to run up to her nose at the end. She has been babbling up a storm with "abababa" and "ananana" and raspberry blowing, and lots of other sounds I can't convey in type. She learned that if she says a long "aaaaaaaaah" as we bounce up the stairs or pat her back it will chop the sound.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On the subject of Breastfeeding

So, I have to rescind my harsh commentary about "Psycho Breastfeeding Moms." The truth is, breastfeeding does kind of make you crazy. First of all, it's a lot of work. Well, in some ways it's easier, but it puts all the work on the mom. Second of all, it is truly a wonderful experience. Isla never has been one to fall asleep in our arms (it rarely happens), but if I can nurse her to sleep, voila- baby sleeping in my arms. Just like I imagined motherhood would be- holding my sleeping baby in the rocking chair. I want all the other new moms I know to try and succeed at breastfeeding. If you do, it will become your new "happy place."

So, I wasn't planning on going all the way (to the 1 year mark when cow's milk can be introduced). But, here's what happened. Back in June I experimentally got out one of our free-sample cans of formula, just to see what would happen. Would Isla drink this stuff? Maybe she'd like it more. I shook up the bottle, and gave it a whiff. The smell of the stuff made me gag. Then I tried a tini-tiny bit. Awful. Well, I thought there must be something wrong. Maybe this is the yucky brand. Offered it to Isla- rejected. The smell of the formula gave me "smell flashbacks." I felt like I still smelled it in the bottle after several cleanings.

So, I trucked on... at 6 months I decided to open up free-sample can #2, a different brand. It smelled and tasted equally as gross. Oh no! I didn't sign up for a whole year of this. Formula does not smell or taste like anything anyone should ever consume. Why did I not know this?! Is this just something people don't talk about? If I can't handle tasting it- I can't give it to my baby. Why isn't there a middle ground of some kind of semi-good tasting formula out there? But, the truth is all the brands are pretty much the same, and gross. Breast milk tasks like really sweet cow's milk- it is nummy. Isla's used to the good stuff, and she's a picky little baby. There's no way I'm going to be able to ever get her to drink that stuff. Plus, I'd rather stick my head in her diaper pail for 10 minutes than make a bottle of formula. And if she drinks that smelly stuff, she'll spit up, and then I'll have to smell it on her clothes, and her, and me, not to mention the diapers. Then, I'd lose my sweet-smelling baby. NOT WORTH IT!

Insert disclaimer: I think formula is a wonderful invention to any and all mothers who need to use it for whatever the reason- sleep, sanity, etc. There can occur many complications when attempting to breastfeed, and formula is a great back-up. Especially for moms who go back to work.

But, I am a stay-at-homer. And it's working for us. And as we add solids, it gets to be less and less "all on me."

The thing that makes you a little bit crazy, is that breastfeeding your baby is one of those things you do, but nobody really rewards you for it, or really even acknowledges it. Nobody really cares whether or not you give your baby breastmilk or formula. Nobody tells me "good job," and every day I work hard at it- pumping 2x, feeding the baby, sanitizing all the equipment. Well, Isla thanks me in a way. Jason thanked me a couple times, but only because I asked him to. I thought at her 6 month doctor's appointment, maybe the Doctor would burst into the room and exclaim, "Wow! That's the healthiest baby I've ever seen." If I had a boss for this job I call "mom," I imagine my semi-annual review would go something like this: "Amanda, I know you had some rough times there in the beginning, but you toughed it out. Now you've really gone above and beyond- Breastfeeding your daughter for more than 6 months! Impressive! You get a 10% raise!"

Sometimes I feel like a need a breastfeeding cheerleader. So, here's what I like to do when I need a cheer, and a smile. I imagine all my breastfeeding mommy friends- Maria, Molly, Jen, Liz, Heather. But, I picture them Thumbalina size- about 3 inches tall, and in cheerleading uniforms. They're all standing on the side table next to me cheering me on. They wave their pom poms. They do high kicks. One of them will do that weird cheerleader thing where she quickly straightens her arm above her head while taking a step forward. Thanks for cheering me on my tiny imaginary friends. See, I told you breastfeeding makes you crazy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Isla's Room

I just wanted to finally share a few photos of Isla's nursery. I was really into getting this room together and perfect for the arrival of Isla, and very excited to show it off to everyone. Somehow, the baby made the baby-room seem less important.

But, I still want to share. The furniture is the Stokke line. I chose it because I just love that oval crib. The crib had limited bedding choices, and I liked the "green tails" fabric the best. So, I picked the rest of the decor based on those bright greens and oranges from the fabric. Can you spot the cute baby in the photos?

The Great Canning Project

After I pestered my Dad a few times to bring me some jars of Lecho (Lecho: A Hungariam stew base used to make Goulash, Chicken Paprikash, and other traditional Hungarian dishes) and peaches from Peoria, IL (my hometown), he suggested we can some of my very own jars when they were in San Antonio.

So, I made sure we had lots of jars ready by the time my parents touched ground in Texas. Then began the great quest for a deep pot. It needed to be deeper than the quart size mason jars to seal the lids and preserve the contents. We narrowly avoided day-long wild-goose chase by borrowing our neighbor Hugh's big Gumbo pot.

Next was the gathering of produce. Dad deamed the peaches at Central Market too expensive. So we tried the Pearl Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, but there were no peaches nor acceptable tomatoes. While Jason ran home from the Market, Isla and I were dropped off at home for nap time. Then mom and dad continued their hunt- next stop, the Olmos Farmer's Market. They had peaches, but they were too small. Luckily as Jason was running home, he spotted a peach-stand 1 mile from our house, called my parents, and they were hot on the trail-peaches from Virginia! They were so sweet we halved the amount of sugar in the recipe! After a quick stop by the HEB for the tomatoes, mom and dad returned home and began to stew.

After all their hard work and effort- I have my very own stash of peaches, Lecho, and pasta sauce. They're so lovely, I just like looking at them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Isla Rose, 6 months old

Okay, so I am overdue for a blog post. I'll give you 3 new ones in a row.

I can't believe Isla is a 1/2 year old already. That's ridiculous. Grandma and Grandpa L. came to San Antonio to celebrate the 1/2 birthday with us. They brought Isla a gift- her very own dump truck!

Isla is getting to be such a silly bug right now. The funniest thing she does is sniffing. She breathes in and out rapidly through her nose with the funniest little scrunched up face. She realized she can both sniff and cough at will. But she thinks it's really funny if you sniff back at her and can have a 3-4 turn sniffy sniff exchange with you. Isla has found her squeal and does cute girly squeals as means of "talking."

Isla can sit up better now, but if you leave her be, she topples forward and conks her head. We had one of the most successful post-baby dinners out with Isla sitting in the restaurant high chair. She enjoys sitting in her Ikea high chair with us at home too. She's much happier now that she can see what's going on, and be a part of the dinner conversation. Since Isla got good at rolling over, she started working towards crawling. She can rotate around on her belly. And she does a few reps of baby push-ups and butt lifts several times a day in hopes of one day taking off.

We had a rough couple of weeks as we headed towards the 1/2 year mark, and realized that Isla was dropping her third daily nap- the 3:30/ 4 o'clock nap that kept her going until bedtime. But,
it's officially gone now, and I hate to say it so soon and jinx myself- but I think we have a 10 and 2 nap schedule- yeh! We've had a couple of good days on the 10 and 2 plan, with a much less cranky Isla. It's so much easier to determine whether she's hungry or tired when we're on a schedule. But, no matter how cranky Isla gets, I have to count my lucky stars we have a baby who sleeps 12 hours a night at 6 months.

Oh, I was wrong about the 15 lbs at 5 months. At her 6 month check-up she was 14lbs 13 oz and 24 3/4 inches long. That's right, this little 2 foot tall person with a tuft of chick fluff for hair bosses me around all day.

The best toys are non-toys. Now I realize why all plastic bags must have the warning "This is not a toy." Babies love plastic bags. High- interest items include plastic lids, Iphones, the remote, my eye-glasses, and all packaging. It's crazy to see that spark in her eye when she spots an item within arms reach that she's not supposed to have.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Isla Rose, 5 months old

And growing right before my eyes. 4 to 5 has been a huge month for Isla, I have so much to report.

Big Baby We estimate Isla weights about 15 lbs now. She gets heavy in my arms fast. There has been a big growth spurt, and it happened on August 9th. Isla was hungry all day. She started to ask for more milk almost right after she was done eating. She ate and slept all day. The next day she was bigger. Can you see the increase in Isla's chunk factor from the 1st photo, taken on the 6th, to the 2nd photo, taken on the 11th?

"Boof" Isla has added new sounds to her vocal repertoire. This includes what I would describe as the sound a baby Pterodactyl would make. But my current favorite is "Boof." She often does this one with fingers in her mouth. I like to think "boof" is a probably synonymous "goof." To mess up, or completely miss.

Rolling At the end of July, Isla figured out how to roll from back to front, but just towards her right. One day she kept trying so hard- turning and turning her head to the left, but just couldn't get over. The next day she rested. The 3rd day she did it, and kept doing it over and over, and acted like it was no big deal. She sometimes does composite rolling now. But more often she likes to roll onto her her tummy, get stuck, and complain.

New foods Isla tried rice cereal, and she likes it. I don't blame her, when you mix it with breastmilk it tastes like icing. She makes yummy sounds the whole time, and tries to grab the spoon away from me. You can see Isla's first bite video on Flickr. She has also tried and approves of sweet potatoes.

A baby girl's best friend Isla is very entertained by Angel. She gets excited and giggles at the dog when Angel comes around, which is a lot. She seems to like to cats too, but Angel is usually much more exciting. She sometimes calls out "aa aa" to get Angel to reappear.

People preference Unfortunately, Isla is getting picky about who holds her. When I hand her over to someone new- she often sticks out her lower lip, and cries. Our regular babysitter reports it takes her about 15 minutes to come around. Isla seems to know that her daddy is her own personal comedian. Now when he enters the room, she looks up at him with this expectant smile that says, "Make me laugh, Daddy." He always obliges. Sometimes I hear baby giggle fits emanating throughout the house when Jason is hanging out with Isla.

Hands and Feet Isla does this cute little squeezey-pat gesture. She pats me, soft toys, blankets, the crib bumper. She seems to do it more when she's tired. She can also grab a nice fistful of my hair and pull. Then I have to pry myself loose from her little damp fist. She can transfer toys from hand to hand. Isla has found her feet! Now she does the "happy baby" yoga pose and plays with her toes, and sometimes snacks on them.

Teeth? We're not sure. But lots of drool, and mouthing of everything. Sometimes when she's especially cranky, we blame it on teething.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Not so well, actually. Back in St. Louis, I was into gardening. I could tell you the names of all the plants in my front and back yard. I had put most of them in myself. I was a little bit addicted to gardening. So much fun to see your little plants grow and grow. And if it was a perennial- the joy of seeing it come back the next Spring. As far as edible plants go- I had an herb garden and I had much success with tomatoes.

Well, here in Texas things have been different. First of all, the landscaping at our home was completely done, and not really in need of much more. When I did put some plants in the ground back in 2009, none of them made it, ever. I don't really want to dig in the ground in 100 degree and humid weather. The ground is not good for vegetables. You have to build an above ground container for top soil, then plant. So, I did this. Above-ground garden built. Last February/ March (when I was quite
round and uncomfortable), I went out and bought some veggie plants and at a rate of about 2-3 plants/ day, I stuck them in the ground. After several weeks of snail-paced planting, I had a nice crop of future hot peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, chives, strawberries and leafy greens. And of course, my herb garden. Then Isla came, and my garden strategy turned to survival of the fittest (with the help of a sprinkler system). Whatever grew, grew. Whatever couldn't survive on it's own, died.

Carrots and Chives- never came up. Leafy greens- buggies eat small holes upon sprouting. Strawberries- fruit eaten before they could turn pink. Now, the pepper and tomato plants grew big and leafy- and I had high hopes for them. Just as some nice tomatoes and peppers appear- some nasty bug comes a long and sucks bruises on the surface of them, and they eventually wilt away to pathetic looking dingle berries (see red bell pepper photo). The only saving grace of my garden has been the herbs- most of them are doing well. I had enough basil to make some pesto. Rosemary grows into large bushes in Texas, so I don't have to worry about her. Oh yeah, and I got to this one jalapeno before the bugs did.

I'm sure I made a ton of mistakes in my gardening- planting things at the wrong time, putting my garden in the shadiest place in the yard. But these bugs!!! Fortunately you can take down and start over 3 times in the growing season here in Texas. I'm going to wait for it to cool off, and start over again soon. I think the plants were getting enough sun- because I saw many of the veggies come and start to ripen before the bugs got to them. My friend Maria who flaunts her gardening success on her blog, tipped me off to what this fruit-sucking bug might be- STINK BUGS! But a brief internet search reveals very little in the way of stink bug deterrents. One suggestion was to smush the stink bugs individually.

Needless to say my complete failure at Texas gardening has been disheartening. Not to mention a waste of time and money. I mean, I put those plants in the ground when I was 9 months pregnant!!!! All that for 1 lousy jalapeno! Here's a photo of Jason and Isla- they are not stink bugs.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Angel the Dog

I feel that a blog post on one member of our family is long overdue. We have a dog, her name is Angel.

Here are the facts:
*Jason adopted Angel when she was a puppy, before we were married, and before we lived together. When my college boyfriend brought this puppy back to his college apartment, I never imagined that I would have to put up with her for so long. I thought Jason was just a fling.
* Angel was originally co-owned by Jason's college roommate, Steve. However Steve bailed, and left Jason to be the sole owner.
*Jason and Steve failed to train Angel, and she was actually borderline neglected until she moved in with me.
* Angel is a mixed breed, we don't know what she is. Everyone likes to guess.
* Angel is white, with a big black spot on her back, and black freckles on her ears.
* Angel is about 10 years old.
* Angel has developed a limp, due to arthritis in her front left elbow.
* Angel can do 'sit' and 'shake' very well. She's not so great with 'lay down' and 'roll-over.'

Here's a list of Angel's pro's and con's:

1. And this is the #1 Con in my book. Angel sheds copious
amounts of white hair all over the house. Fur tumble weed develops about 3 days after the house has been thoroughly cleaned. Since we moved to Texas, we've have a cleaning lady clean the house once a week. The cleaning lady has saved my marriage. Angel doesn't have fuzzy fur, only hair. I have actually gotten Angel Hair slivers in my feet more than once.

2. Angel is stubborn and naughty and ungrateful. She wants to get on the furniture, despite the fact that there are 3 expensive and cozy dog beds located throughout the house. I bought "Scat Mats" that deliver a small (and perfectly harmless) electrical shock if she gets on the furniture. Angel will take a shock in order to knock the scat mats off the couch, or knock a pillow down on top of them, and get on the couch anyway. She'll get up on the couch, and then get down when she hears me coming down the stairs. After about 2 minutes on the couch, it is covered in hundreds of white hairs.

3. Angel barks ferociously at anyone who dares approach our property. The squeak of the front gate sends her into a barking fit. I shudder when I hear the door bell ring, as I know a barking fury will ensue. She runs back and forth barking at anyone who walks in front of our sidewalk until they are out of view. She gets even angrier about dogs approaching the property, or coming close to her on dog walks. Barking fits have been known to wake the baby.

4. Angel has a bad licking habit. She doesn't lick me anymore, because I have bopped her on the head a few times for it. People usually don't like to be licked by slobbery dog tongue. She also licks her dog beds over and over and makes yucky spots on them.

5. Angel makes gross salivary snorty licky sounds.

1. Angel is the perfect size for a dog, not too big, not too small.

2. As far as dogs go she's pretty cute. I like the way her ears flop over. She's the quintessential dog. Cartoon drawings of dogs look like Angel.

3. For the most part people seem to like Angel. She makes friends with about 90% of people she meets, once they are on the inside side of the fence or the door.

4. Angel makes cleaning up dropped food in the kitchen a cinch.

5. This Pro is the plus-side to Con #3, Angel barks at anyone who comes near the house, even Jehovah Witnesses. She makes me feel safe when I'm at home alone. She keeps the boogey-men away.

6. She's good when she's asleep, and she sleeps a lot now that she's a senior dog.

Wow! There are more pro's. I guess we'll keep her.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Isla Rose, 4 months old

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it turns out this baby is a little high maintenance. When everything is just right she is happy, talkative, silly, and lots of fun. But, if she's too tired, a tiny bit hungry, or bored, she gets to be complainy. When she gets complainy, she bosses me around like a tiny elfkin dictator. I go around trying different things to make her happy, until I land on the right answer. I see other moms with their laid-back babies. "Oh, so you just put the binky in her mouth, and she stops fussing and falls asleep?" Isla spits that binky back out at us with force and says "How dare you put that fake, non-functioning plastic nipple in my mouth!" Isla doesn't like it if you aren't paying her enough attention, you can't leave her to entertain herself with toys on a blanket for more than 3 minutes. She requires frequent position changes, and changes in scenery. If I want to be hands-free in a sling or baby-carring device, Isla will only cooperate if she can face out, and she'll give me 15 minutes tops. Oh, and the stroller fan is not working. So, I ordered a special back-cooling insert for her to lay on in the stroller so I can do my stroller exercise group. Isla is just a little bit particular, and likes things 'just so'. And before you beat me to the punch line.... "I wonder where she gets that from?"

Isla has gotten really good with her hands. She reaches right to the toy she wants and grabs it. Then she puts it in her mouth, and eventually gets mad that she can't actually eat it. Rolling is still not consistent, but when it happens, its always from tummy to back. She has a whole repertoire of sounds and squeaks, and she sometimes gives us a taste of her little girl squeal to
come. She does her baby dinosaur talk "arararar" and B- bubble sounds. Some
times she does these little soliloquies with changes in tone and facial expression. Isla has started to notice the dog. At 4 months she weighs 12 lbs 14 ounces and is 23 inches long. She is very snuggle-able. We're going to wait a little bit longer to try solids.