Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A New Friend

Drumroll please.....

Announcing the arrival of Olivia Marion Rylander!
Congrats to proud daddy & mama, Stephen & Alisha!

Elynor's no longer the youngest baby on the block. We can't wait to meet her newest friend.

We're baaacckkkk....


In my haste to wrap up work, pack, and prepare for Elynor to spend a fun weekend with Grandpa Kev and Grandma V, I failed to share that Rye & I were taking a quick trip to Texas. That's right, we spent a few baby- and snow-free days down south last Fri - Mon. The original excuse to jet was our dear friend Katy's wedding. Once we "roped in" our willing babysitters (over their spring break), we decided to add a few days for a San Antonio visit. All in all, it was an awesome time. The Grandparents loved their special time with Elynor and we loved ours without. Okay, to be fair, I was missing her quite a bit by Monday, but it was still awesome to lie in bed as long as I wanted to, not change any diapers, and not schedule our meals around hers.

Elynor and I are now staying with my parents in southern IL through the weekend. A little more spoiling never hurt anyone, right? I forgot the cord to load our photos, so it will be a little while longer before I post any pics.

Hope y'all had an awesome Easter. Praise God for His risen Son!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Still Breastfeeding

So, I'm still breastfeeding. Those who saw or talked to me in the early days/months of Elynor's life know what a feat, and really a praise this is. To say I hated it at first is really an understatement. There were many moments (usually in the middle of the night in our room at the hospital) that I just cried (literally), "WHY!?" to Ryan. But like so many things, we stuck with it, got the hang of it, and now really have no reason to stop (though I still don't LOVE it).

In fact, many people have recently asked just how long I plan to stick with it. This question has really caught me off guard. In all honestly, I was happy to make it to a month, then 3, and now 6?! A plan? My response is usually just, "By one year?" or "I don't know - until I have a good reason to stop (having to wear 2 sports bras when exercising doesn't seem quite good enough) ?!".

Well, last week my MD diagnosed a very annoying side effect of breastfeeding that I suppose could now qualify as a decent reason to stop. For the sake of my mixed-gender readership (and those girls who just don't want that much information), I'll spare you the details. It suffices to say it's medical and annoying and something I wish I'd been warned about. And by taking meds for the remainder of breastfeeding it's treatable.

So, I think we'll continue with our "until we have a better reason to stop" approach. And just see what happens.

1. If you do want the gory details, give me a call or shoot me an email. Especially if you are or plan to breastfeed, might be a good thing to just know about. If I had known, I would have gone to the MD much sooner.
2. This post is not intended to be a breastfeeding soapbox. I realize this topic can sometimes be divisive. While it's worked for us, I realize it doesn't work for everyone, and there's no judgment! I just encourage anyone who really wants to try to stick with it as best you can, while also recognizing it's not worth sacrificing your own sanity or your's/your baby's health.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Half a Year

Our little munchkin celebrated her 1/2 year birthday on Thursday - how time flies! This time last year we were just starting to announce her pregnancy to the world and I was celebrating any minute that I was not nauseous. As usual, we celebrated this milestone with the big trip to the pediatrician and a special Sunday brunch. Instead of sleeping on my lap at brunch, she now sat in a high chair and "played" with the paper tablecloth, napkins, and silverware. All in all she appears to be quite healthy - praise God! Here are her stats:
Weight: 17 lbs. 4 oz. - 75th %tile (the MD said she's slimming down because she's so "active".. though I don't think anyone getting a glimpse of her precious rolls would use the word slim to describe her!)
Length: 26 3/4" - 90th %tile
All in all, I continue to be blown away by how babies just remind us about the simple thrills of life. Elynor loves to dance or watch her mama dance. "Flying", tickling, and peek-a-boo are guaranteed giggle inducers. Post-bath massages or daddy rubbing her head are guaranteed relaxation inducers.

6 months: Chewing on spatulas. Eating pureed pears. Loving it all.

Tuckered out after her MD apt.

"Feeding" herself (thanks for the cute bib GG Jean!)

Several people have recently asked what her latest developments include, so I'll do my best to capture the highlights below. But be warned, this turned into a very long account that reads much like a babybook recollection. I'm guessing only grandmas/grandpas and maybe an aunt or uncle will really be interested in all this. So read on at your own risk!

- Still rolling, rolling, rolling everywhere! I'll put her down in one spot and come back and she's on the other side of the living room floor. Usually she's chasing down a toy.
- She's also sitting up on her own. We are still careful to sit her on soft surfaces, as there's the inevitable topple over. But there's more sitting than toppling.
- Sometimes she also throws in some scooting. While pushed up on her arms and attempting to move forward (also usually after a toy), she'll instead scoot herself backwards. This typically takes place on the wood floor. A few times she's scooted all the way from one end of the couch to the other.
- And a few times she's also pushed up onto her knees - YIKES! We know what that means. Fortunately Grandma & Grandpa Cochrane are coming next weekend to babysit & help with some babyproofing.
- And about those toys. What are her faves? Well as you can probably tell from some pics, everything goes into her mouth, so those most conducive to chewing are best. This includes the beloved linking rings (what are they called?), a few teething toys (cold or room temp), and her dragonfly with crinkly wings. She also likes this phone rattle. It's funny because it's a hand-me-down toy so the phone is very old school. When she gets it she often starts waving her arm and banging it like a hammer. There's also this plastic Dairy Queen ice cream cone (yikes!). It's funny because it's a little big for her hands so she drops it a lot and then it rolls across the room. This is usually the toy she's rolling around in pursuit of. She's just starting to get into board books - mostly for chewing. But much to her daddy's delight, she will sit through 1 or 2 books now.
- In addition to real toys, she's taken an interest in many unofficial toys. This includes the spoons I give her to occupy her while I'm preparing her meals, any kind of paper, plastic bowls, the headbands, belts, and scarves I give her to enjoy while I get dressed or do my hair, and our cell phones. Above all these things, however, are my spatulas. Really, one of these can occupy her for at least 30 minutes. The combo of plastic end and wood handle are great for chewing, banging, gripping, etc. Add a plastic bowl to bat around and this could last for 40 minutes.
- So about that chewing.. yes, she does have 2 teeth now! The middle, bottom. The left one came in first and it's now about 1/4 of the way to full size. The right one just broke through in the past few days. This meant some fussing and lots of drool. But all in all, not too bad.
- And it's a good thing she's got those teeth now, because she's LOVING solid foods. Right now her menu includes (in order of introduction): rice cereal, peas, sweet potato, pears, apple, and banana. Her fave appears to be pears, but there's really nothing she dislikes. We plan to start some acorn squash tonight and peaches later this week. We're feeding her 3 "solid" meals a day, in addition to still breastfeeding. I'm mostly making our own food too (which means steaming, pureeing, and freezing). Though this is really pretty easy and definitely more economical, some days it does feel like all we do is prepare & eat food between 7:30 & 7:30.
- Speaking of time, she's roughly sleeping from 7/7:30pm to 7:30am. She would do that every night if we weren't out and about so many evenings. But generally she goes to bed between 7 & 9 and then we hear her babbling in her room between 7 & 7:30, at which time we get her up. In the morning she greets us with her biggest smiles of the day , giggling, and some combo of leg/arm flailing. She then takes 2 or 3 naps/day. In the past few days she hasn't wanted her 3rd nap, so I'm trying to decide if we should just drop it. She has really become an adaptable baby, usually sleeping just about anywhere we lay her (including friend's bedroom floors, the middle of friend's beds, etc.)
- On the subject of temperment, Elynor appears to be a baby of extremes - at least compared to her baby friends. When she's awake and well fed, she's usually very happy and quite the charmer. She's incredibly attentive to all that's happening around her, which means lots of smiles and "talking" for mom, dad, friends, and complete strangers. You can't sneak much past this little girl. If dad's in front of her and mom's behind (or vice versa), she tries to turn her head all the way around to see who's behind. She also gets very distracted from eating if mom's talking, the TV is on, or if there's much other activity. She just doesn't want to miss a thing.
- But I said she's a baby of extremes, right? That means when she does get tired, hungry, or just bored with her current activity, she'll let you know. And letting you know means crying or screaming. And boy, can she scream. Sorry if you've ever been on the phone with me when she decided to let it go.
- She does share plenty of more positive sounds, though. She is quite the "talker" with lots of baby cooing. Evidently the MD heard a few consonants (which I guess is a big deal)... but it all sounds like the same gobbledy gook to me. No discernible words.
- She recognizes mom and dad and appears to have a mom preference... but she's generally happy with anyone loving her. She's been spending much time with such fave babysitters as Natalie, Melissa, Evan, and JJ and loves them all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Splish Splash The Sequel


Elynor has become more curious and "helpful" in the kitchen. Today she pitched in while I baked some banana bread.


Saturday night Elynor hosted her first sleepover... well, kind of. Her friend Charlie joined us while her mama & daddy celebrated her mama's 30th b'day. This meant some playtime (pictured below) and then bedtime for the girls. Probably the most calm sleepover we'll ever host!

And yes, she's officially sitting up... new in the past week.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Elynor's Aunt Katie gave us some new tunes during her recent visit. They're mostly of the lots-o-base, shake-your-booty variety. Here are a few pics of Elynor shakin' it, and her excitement watching me do the same (sorry, no pics of me:).

To the tune of Timbaland, Way I Are...

Prepping for a bath to the tune of Sean Kingston, Beautiful Girls

And drying off to the tune of Rihanna Ft. Chris Brown, Cinderella Under the Umbrella

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sick & Tired

Dear friends,

We've all been thinking it... some have been whispering it... I now give you permission to just come out and say it - What's up with Sarah's recent post slow down? Is she slipping into that black hole that eventually eats so many once-faithful bloggers?

Now that we've got that out in the open, I assure you.... NO! I'm still here, still excited about posting. We've just had a few weeks of craziness. I've got yet ANOTHER cold - a brutal reminder that winter is still grinding on here in Chicago. Fortunately it hasn't hit Elynor or Ryan too badly. On top of this, I've also started working some. You may recall from a previous post that I'm now working as an independent contractor. In many ways this means I'm running my own business where I'm the only employee. Right now I'm working on a few writing and research projects. I'm loving the flexibility this arrangement affords, but in the past 2 weeks the amount of work has been a little more than I'd prefer. Going from zero work (on top of my CEM role) to approx. 3 days/week has been a bit of a shock to the system. I think it's manageable (especially if I wasn't sick), but just requires a shift in management approaches. I now have a new respect for single mamas and full-time working mamas. I am so thankful that having this discussion is even an option.

Here's a quick run-down of what Elynor's been up to during these events:
- LOVING solid foods - now up to 3 solid meals/day, including peas, sweet potatoes, rice cereal and/or pears. Squash, apples & bananas will be next.
- Hanging out with Auntie Katie during her visit this weekend.
- Cutting a tooth - A little point has broken through her bottom gum and it looks like a second one won't be far behind. I didn't even realize it until my friend who watched her yesterday pointed it out (proof that I've been a little out of it?). She's been drooling and somewhat fussy - but nothing far more than the norm, or so I thought.
- Receiving her birth certificate in the mail! She's officially alive now.
- Hanging out with lots of great babysitters. Last week she was with 4 girls in 4 days. Praise God for answering this prayer!

So with all this out in the open, I publicly promise to not fall into that posting black hole. Though the frequency of posts may slow down in this new phase of mamahood, I vow to continue the updates for you, for me, and for Elynor.

Spring, oh spring, where are you? Off to sneak in a quick nap -