Monday, January 30, 2006

Great Weekend

The highlights:

Two of my childhood friends came to visit this weekend. They specifically wanted to meet Jayla so, seeing me was just an added bonus. It was great for the three of us to get together again. The last time we were all three together was at my wedding 4.5 years ago. We didn’t do much but hang around the house and places right around my house. Jayla was great all weekend. She warmed up to my friends very quickly, which was nice because they wanted to play with her all weekend. She, in turn, managed to take the equivalent of ¾ of a nap all weekend. But, she slept through the entire night on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (about 8 hours each night) so, I can’t complain. I honestly think last night was the first time that I have had 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep since we brought her home from the hospital! (I have got to learn to go to bed when she does instead of hanging out another 2-3 hours.)

I’ve noticed that Jayla has been making chewing motions with her mouth. I’m thinking she may be catching on to this eating thing that everyone around her seems to be doing. We got her high chair and assembled it yesterday so she sat in it while we ate dinner last night. She wasn’t particularly pleased with it – probably because she was exhausted from the weekend. Anyway, I guess we’ll start cereal soon enough. I’m in no particular hurry.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Every night this week I have been subjected to watching 13-year-old boys playing 8th grade basketball. The games were video-taped in 1991 and include my husband and all his childhood friends. Sadly, he remembers every play and every game score as if it happened yesterday. What’s worse – my baby girl can’t peel her eyes away from the television when it’s on! She has always been mesmerized by sports on TV but, she has been even more intrigued with the video tapes this week.

Last night we went to a live basketball game. My husband plays in a church league and Jayla and I have to be his biggest supporters every Thursday night. She LOVES to watch him play! It is adorable. She watches the ball and players go back and forth up and down the court as if she knows what’s going on. My husband is thrilled. He can’t wait to video tape her 8th grade basketball games!

Now, I was never a sports player. I was always in various choirs, bands, dance teams, a cheerleader – you know the type. And since Jayla is a girl, I obviously want her to love my extra-curricular activities so that I can be one of those ridiculous stage mothers. We play music a lot for her so, hopefully, she is developing a love for music. I’m determined to put her in dance by the time she is 2. And just for good measure, I think I’ll throw in some of my middle school show choir tapes from 1990-93 this weekend and make her watch them. Yes, my husband will kill me…

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Five Months

5 Months ago today:

  • I was laying in a hospital bed, waiting on a consistent contraction pattern that would ultimately never come.
  • I would give birth to my first baby by c-section in about 12 hours.
  • I had no idea that the first time I’d see my baby, she’d be hooked up to an IV machine and have a large tube down her throat, emptying the contents of her distended belly.
  • I had no idea that I wouldn’t get to hold my baby for another 2 days.
  • I had no idea the physical pain that I would feel the first time I got out of bed the next day.
  • I had no idea how much emotional pain that I would feel as I continued to visit my baby in the hospital for the next 27 days.
  • I wasn’t sure if I would be a good mother.
  • I had no idea how to take care of a baby.
  • I had no idea how much more deeply I would fall in love with this person whom I already loved so much, even in the womb.
  • I had no idea how unselfish I would become.

I couldn’t picture the baby that she is today. At 5 months old, being with Jayla is absolutely the highlight of my every day. She reminds me so much of her father and her mother – a perfect blend. She smiles every time that she sees or hears either one of us. She is learning to play with toys, her favorites being her hands and her feet. She is learning to sit up on her own and can do it for several minutes at a time. She puts weight on her legs when held in a standing position. She still hates being on her tummy but, has perfected the ability to roll over to her back without expending a lot of energy in the process. She loves to squeal and make laughing motions. Although, she doesn’t quite now how to produce sound when it is appropriate to laugh. Her sleep is still somewhat erratic but, more often than not, she will sleep through most of the night and take 3 naps of varying length during the day. She has not yet had any solid foods but, still seems to be thriving on 100% breastmilk.

It is amazing how quickly she has developed a very distinct personality. I am very excited about watching her continue to develop and grow. I am excited about what the next month, weeks, and years will bring. How ironic that I still don’t think I’m “ready” for kids but, I can’t imagine not being Jayla’s mommy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Daily Guilty Pleasures

After work/day care, before Daddy gets home:

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Put it in your mouth...

Jayla has finally figured out that the things that she can now hold in her hands are also suitable for sticking into her mouth. Among the things that Jayla has learned to put in her mouth this week:

Thursday - An empty granola bar wrapper. I eat about about 4-5 granola bars a day (seriously, it's that bad!) and I was having one with her sitting on my lap. She was eyeing the empty wrapper when I finished so, I gave it to her. First she crumpled it up a few times to hear the sounds that it made. Then she wadded it up and stuck it in her mouth! I was excited because it's the first thing she'd ever really stuck in her mouth. But, now I'm worried that if she forms a granola bar habit that's anywhere close to mine, we might as well buy the Quaker Oats company and put it in our backyard - it'd be cheaper!

Saturday - I was buying some new underwear at Gap Body. Jayla likes to be included in purchasing decisions. So, I asked her what she thought of them. She asked for a closer look so I put them on her lap in the stroller. She picked them up and crammed them in her mouth. I took that as a "yes, mommy, I like these!"

Tonight - Her feet. She discovered her feet about 2 weeks ago and has been staring at them and reaching for them ever since. (The funniest thing was last week when she was trying to figure out why her toe was wiggling.) Her daddy is so excited about this one. He sees it as a developmental milestone and since she was about 5 weeks old, he has been worried that her belly was too fat and she was too inflexible to accomplish this trick. He didn't believe me when I told him she did it. But, then I showed him the saliva on her feet! And here she is shortly afterwards:

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Remember in high school and/or college when you used to have to do science "experiments" in class? (They were "experiments" because the teacher already knew what the outcome should be). Well, in science class you learned to keep all your variables constant and only change one thing at a time. Even though my husband and I have degrees in chemical engineering, the whole "change one variable at a time" thing didn't really sink in for us. See the following scenarios:

1. At the beginning of last week, Jayla was very fussy at the day care and at home. We thought it could be from coming off vacation for 10 days...maybe she needed more milk in her bottles for the day care...maybe she was constipated...maybe her gas was painful...maybe she was teething. So, last Wednesday, I added another 1/2 ounce to each of her day care bottles, she had two massive poops, I gave her Mylicon and Orajel and she finally stopped fussing. Do we have any idea which one was actually wrong with her? No - because we changed all the variables at the same time.

2. Over the weekend, Jayla let us get precisely 0 hours of sleep per night. So, last night after observing her in her crib for a few minutes, we decided to take off the bumper and everything soft in her crib. She was rolling around a bit much and specifically grabbing the bumper and pulling it into her face. So, we emptied her crib (for some reason there was alot of soft stuff in there - isn't that like against the new parenting laws or something?), turned on a night light where she usually sleeps in the pitch dark, and lowered the thermastat by one degree (to 73). She slept the entire night. Woke up at the exact time that she needed to get her morning nursing in. Again, have no clue which of those things did it for her...but, we're shooting for an exact duplication tonight!

Monday, January 09, 2006


Yesterday, my little family and I participated in the Parent Commitment service at our church. The service is designed to be a time where parents can publicly commit to raising their children in a Godly home and teaching them about Christ. It turned out to be a really nice evening. The following was read by our Pastor when my family was introduced to everyone:

Jayla Tamia, meaning Ascending Spirit, born August 24, 2005

Her verse:
Isaiah 40:13 - but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

The verse was actually chosen for Jayla by the church. We were given an option to change it but, I really, really like that one for her, especially in light of her initial hospital stay.

So, in leiu of a baptism for babies, our church has this service. My husband is still very adamant about getting Jayla baptized soon. He hasn't figured out when or where or what in the world we will tell Jayla when our church basically teaches against baptizing babies that "cannot make a choice for themselves".

In other news, my parents were here this weekend to attend the service with us. We also went to Fogo de Chao to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday, which is coming up on Thursday. We had an AWESOME time!! Jayla slept through the entire dinner - has no idea that we ever even went.

Friday, January 06, 2006


To get home from work, I take one of the major Houston freeways out of downtown. When I exit the freeway, I turn left to get to my house. Since I've been back to work, I've had to turn right after exiting the freeway to go pick up Jayla. Every afternoon when I leave work, I think of nothing but her until I get to her. Well, yesterday was slightly different. For the first time since I've been back, I exited the freeway and turned left to go straight home. Of course, as I was actually making the turn through a yellow light, it dawned on me that I had forgotten by baby for the first time. I immediately turned around to go get her. I think that must mean that I am finally comfortable back at work and getting back into the groove. So much so that for that brief moment while I was turning left, I had forgotten how drastically my life has changed in the past 4.5 months. I don't feel bad about it, rather excited that I do have the ability to have a life that is separate from my child. As a special treat, when I walked into the room to pick up Jayla, she looked up and made eye contact with me and broke into the absolutely biggest grin I've ever seen:

Speaking of routines, Ms. Jayla woke up last night at 3:19am. That made about the 5th night in a row that she has woken betwen 3:00am and 3:30am. The routine goes something like this:

1. Jayla screams
2. Mommy kicks Daddy to wake him up
3. Daddy goes to Jayla's room, shoves a pacifier in her mouth, holds her head down (because otherwise she flings the pacifier out so that she can continue to scream), and she immediately falls asleep within 30 seconds.
4. Daddy comes back to bed
5. Jayla awakes at 6:00am (as she is supposed to) for breakfast

Well, last night I decided to help Daddy out because he is noticably more tired than I am this week. So, I did the routine this morning. She woke up at 3:19am and I was back in bed with her fully asleep by 3:25am.

But, I'm thinking that we are going to have to break her of this. I don't know why she feels the need to do that. I'm wondering if we should let her cry through it a little bit to see if she can put herself back to sleep. We haven't done it on a weekday just because it's easier to go to her room for 6 minutes then go back to sleep. But, maybe tonight. We haven't had to make her cry for anything yet in her life but, this is obviously an issue because she does it like clockwork...hmmm...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Lifesaver...

Thank you Orajel!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Just for Lucy

Today I returned to work after being off since December 22 for the holidays. After my morning pumping session, my friend/co-worker, Lucy, gave me a hard time about not doing a better job of updating my blog. So, since I'm back at work, I guess I have no excuse. I promise to do a better job of updating.

Now, where were we? Yes - we left for Christmas in Mississippi on Friday, December 23. We drove (~7.5 hours) and I must say that Jayla did a good job in the car. I wasn't really too worried about it because I knew there was no way that the trip could be any worse than our attempts to escape Houston and Hurricane Rita back in September. We stopped to change Jayla's diaper and let her look around at different scenery twice. When we got to my parents house, we saw Jayla's first gift. My mom bought Jayla a swing and repainted the ancient (circa 1950's) bars in her yard and hung it on there. My mom was raised in that house and the swing has always been there. But, the bars had been empty since my parents moved there back in 1998. I loved seeing a new swing there - brought back so many memories of when we used to go to Mississippi when I was growing up (we lived in North Carolina then and would just go to MS on holidays). We would hang all over the bars and the existing swing and now Jayla's going to get to do the same thing!...eventually...

Jayla had a huge Christmas. Gifts galore.

She also finally rolled over on Christmas day. We put her on her tummy (which, by the way, she does not scream bloody murder anymore when we do it) and she just rolled over as if she had been doing it all of her life. She also discovered her thumb while we were at my parents house. It has not yet replaced the pacifier but, it did help her go to sleep on her own at least 3 times over the holidays.

The day after Christmas, we headed to Hot Springs, Arkansas for the rest of the week. It was another long car ride for Jayla but, she handled it well again. Hot Springs really is a cute little place.

We generally just hung out. But, my mom and I did go get a bath on Wednesday morning. It was an awesome experience. We headed back to MS on Friday and then back to TX on Saturday. That was the limit to Jayla's patience in the car. I think she would have gone crazy had there been another road trip in her future.

We brought in the New Year with a bunch of friends from our Sunday School class. Jayla was a doll at the party.

Around 11:00pm, we shut her in a room by herself and kept listening for her to scream - she never did. After staring around at the strange room for about 45 minutes, she put herself to sleep with no fuss. That was a welcome event as Jayla had some difficulty sleeping while we were in Arkansas last week. I'm pretty sure it was just because she was in a strange place - oh, and had her grandparents spoiling her 24 hours a day. So, everytime she woke up, she screamed for someone to pick her up instead of trying to put herself back to sleep.

Okay, I think that brings us to the present. I have made several goals for this year. But, I don't think I'll post them here yet. This post is already long enough!