Sunday, October 6, 2013


We had a great weekend last week.

Almost our entire family, Mom and Ray, Dad and Jen, Karen and Bob all made a huge effort to be here and celebrate Layla's baptism.

To say that we were thankful is an understatement. They made a lot of effort to get here and they were all here to help us start Layla's spiritual life. We ate, drank and everyone loved on Layla.

In the Lutheran service, there's a part that the congregation has to respond that they will help us as parents, and that they commit to helping Layla on her spiritual journey. Its my favorite part of the baptism service. I like it because it's truly about community. It's about being responsible for each other. It's about being strong when others are weak and having strength to count on when you are weak. To me, it's about love. There's a similar part in most wedding services- the community is asked if they will do everything they can to help and support the couple. The link is clear- we are told at these critical points in our lives that we can not do it alone. We need others. We need each other.

Our daughter needs more than just her parents to be her best self. She needs her grandparents, her community, and anyone else who will love her and bring her joy. It was very evident to me this weekend how much Layla will be raised by a village, and how very much she will benefit from that. I've said it many times, but she truly does have so many people that already love her.

Dad baptized Layla. After he carried her around the congregation.  He said to the congregation that they had a responsibility to Layla. He said that, in light of the fact that they would see Layla more than any of the grandparents, they were deputized in grandparenthood and caregiving, not just for Layla, but for Mike and I.

We need each other to be our best and to be our strongest. I deeply believe this sentiment. It was driven home this weekend by the fact that our family, which has at times been broken, at times been angry and hurt, at times been selfish and determined to "go it alone," came together to form our own little community. Warts and all, it's ours. And I am so proud to be part of such a strong, loving and unconventional family.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

6 months old

Our beautiful Layla Ruth is 6 months old. She is a beautiful, happy little girl. She giggles, she blows raspberries, she has realized that she can move her hands in her mouth and it makes weird noises. She reaches for things she wants and for food that Mike and I are eating. She recognizes Mike and I. She loves Opie, her jumparoo, eating. She gets upset when I sneeze or have hiccups. She goes to the doctor on Friday for height and weight and hopefully permission to try solids.  Her little world is growing.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Our week

This week was pretty low key for the Parker family. On Saturday of last week we got the chance to go out to lunch with our friends, Susanna and Craig. I met Susanna through work, and she happened to have her daughter Annette or Annie just a few weeks after Layla. They happen to live in the next neighborhood over, so she and I walk together with the girls in the evenings and most weekends, if she's not on call. We decided to do a back to back comparison for Annie and Layla...

Also this week, Layla has started noticing Opie more. She now laughs when he kisses her and she reaches for him when he walks past. She likes to grab his hair, which both Mike and I worry about a bit since Opie sheds like it's no body's business... Layla gets a big handful and then of course tries to put it in her mouth. Disgusting.

Layla also enjoys riding on Daddy's shoulders or on the top of his head. She digs her little fingers into his hair and hangs on. There's a lot of drool involved, but it's pretty cute. :)

the glee in her face. 
Mike caught this beautiful picture of Layla when she was playing after her nap. I am not sure why, but I can't stop looking at it. I think it's her eyelashes and her little peaceful lips. Or her eyes. Or the fact that she's my baby. I don't know. Could be anything :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Big girl reading

Layla loves her books. She tries to put them all in her mouth. We let her try to turn the pages, which she seems to have figured out.

Layla recognizes bottles and that it means she gets to eat soon. She is sleeping on her tummy these days. She really likes playing with her rings that Grandma got her. She also enjoys playing in her jumparoo, which gives Mama and Daddy some time to rest their backs. She makes lots of noise- mostly squeals, babbles and lots of humming. She giggles very infrequently, so it feels like a super achievement when you get her to laugh. Mike is the champion at getting her to laugh. She notices Opie and watches him walk around. Opie still does not really care about her. She continues to love rice cereal and we're looking forward to trying solids soon. She is trying to sit up, but still falls over pretty regularly, which is really funny. She goes to bed pretty easily, but fights naps. It is so hard to leave her in the mornings, but knowing she is safe with Mike makes it easier. We are tentatively settling into a rhythm. We love this little baby. We get into bed and get out our phones and compare pictures we took over her through the day. 

Nana K visits, Uncle Matt visits, Daddy's birthday and a Labor Day Hike

We had a very busy weekend over August 31. First, Nana K came for the fastest visit ever, and I know it was the fastest visit ever because I didn't get any pictures! Layla had a great time. Every evening when I got home from work, the house was full of baby squeals and Nana K laughs. It was really wonderful.

Then my brother came- he surprised me by arriving a day early, which was great. Somehow he managed to get my entire family to keep a secret. Kid could show the NSA a thing or two.

We went out for drinks one evening, and Layla enjoyed sitting outside and making faces at everyone.

And it was Mike's birthday! We just had a low key cook out and Mike and Matt enjoyed every football game ever, while Layla and I sometimes watched and sometimes napped. Layla loves her Daddy. She absolutely lights up whenever he walks into the room or she hears him talking. We are so thankful for Mike. 

She has discovered his beard and really likes grabbing it. 

We went on a hike on Labor Day, which is becoming a tradition. Layla did great in the Bjorn for a good while on a pretty warm day. 

sleeping and waking up

In the evenings, Layla seems to only want to eat and go back and forth between elation and fussing. But she's so stinking cute and smells like a baby so it's all ok.

I snapped a few pics of her while she was passed out in a brief reprieve after a long day for Mike followed by a long evening of fussing.

She is still super into sucking on her toes. I think she's smizing in this picture. 

Here she is just waking up- she was just chatting and I went up to check on her after her nap and got a few wake up pics.

Justin and Leigh get married

Our dear friends, Justin and Leigh Presseau got married in Canada in August. What a beautiful day it was. So much joy and love. Unfortunately, I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to, but the bride and groom were incredible and generous, the friends were good and plenty, the wedding was beautiful, and the food was amazing.

We learned a lot about traveling with a baby this trip. Layla handled the travel well- she was a trooper on the airplane, nursing during take off and landing, and then was pretty happy otherwise. Like geniuses, we forgot the base of her car seat, so we had to rent a car seat from the car rental place. We realized that we can no longer rent the "economy" size car- we have too much stuff with a baby.

It was great to see some of our Aberdeen friends- and they were so kind and gracious and amazing with Layla. She had all the boys wrapped around her baby fingers.

Unfortunately, I am a goon and didn't remember to take very many pictures. The photographer was wonderful and got a beautiful pic of sweet Layla. She was very tired at this point, and had been pretty upset for a while. 

Mike was an amazing daddy during this trip- I mean, he's an amazing daddy all the time, but he was especially amazing taking the lead on caring for the little girl. 

thicker-than-milk-so-they-call-it-solid foods!

Layla turned 4 months while Grandma was visiting, so since the pediatrician gave us the go ahead, we tried some rice cereal. It was HIIIII-larious.

Before we get to that though, Layla's stats: On July 24, she was 25.75inches (92%ile), 14lbs 11oz (59%ile), 42cm head circumference (85%ile). She is continuing on her same trajectory as she has been all along. She has glorious baby thunder thighs, which we love. You can kinda see them in the picture below... there are little almost-donut rolls. 

We mixed up some really thin cereal and milk, and I held Layla while Mike fed her with the spoon. She really wasn't sure about the spoon at first, but since we've fed her a few more times, she seems to like the spoon- she gums it/sucks on it like a bottle. She started grabbing the spoon with both hands and shoving it in her mouth. Since her 4 month birthday, we have been making thicker and thicker rice cereal and have been continuing to add cereal to her bottles. 

At tis point, Layla was having some trouble sleeping through the night- she was getting up around 1 or 2 am and again around 4. Not sure if it was a phase, but she stopped the 1 or 2 am hang out sesh, and has moved on to getting up once, but around 3:30. By Friday, I run out of energy, but I am glad for a few minutes with her in the morning. Even if I am pretty much sleeping. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Grandma Visits!

My mom came to visit in July (might've been August?) and Layla absolutely LOVES her. Layla talked and talked to her, lots of squealing and humming and raspberry blowing. It helped Mike and I out so much to have an extra pair of hands around the house. Grams brought a couple new books too, which Layla loved!

Grams taught Layla to purse her lips and blow raspberries, which was so cute. It was amazing to literally watch Layla learn something new. Speaking of learning new things, Layla also found her toes!

blue eyes

Layla has hypnotizing blue eyes. I love that her eyes have stayed blue. We were just playing one Saturday morning, and the light was just right, and she was so cute in her little onesie.

At this point (again, still catching up and writing retrospectively), Layla started humming a lot. She would just lay on her belly and humm or blow bubbles or raspberries and hummmmmmm some more. it's so precious.

ladies that brunch

We went out to brunch with my wonderful friend Lindsey one Saturday. I like to do this because it gets both Layla and I out of the house and gives Mike a few hours to himself. Layla was lookin pretty snazzy in her dress from Nana K.

 I so deeply look forward to the weekend. I love the time I get with Layla and I feel so blessed that our family gets to be together.