Monday, December 13, 2010

Scared of the dark and the Light

Lyla has entered a new stage in our sleep battle that has now waged for two and a half years. She now tries, through various methods, to claim our attention even for just a few minutes whenever she is supposed to be sleeping. The most recent strategic attacks include asking for water, saying she needs cream (Vaseline) on her hands, wanting her socks to be taken off and claiming that she is scared. Having figured out that all of the above warrant reactions from her parents, she now employs her tactics several times a night.

Most recently, I was putting Lyla to bed on a Sunday night while Garth was at work. She fell asleep so I left the room only to hear her wake up a few minutes later crying "I scared! I Scared" through the monitor. I went back into her room and explained to her that she didn't need to be scared because not only was I right here in the house, but I also explained to her that Jesus was always with her and so she never needed to be scared because she can always talk to him. Appeased by the attention and our conversation, Lyla fell back asleep and I once again left the room. A few minutes later Garth arrived home and our yapping guard dog toy poodle Ruby alerted the house to his presence. Lyla woke up again crying, so this time Garth went in to say goodnight and soothe her. As I am sitting in the living room with the monitor on in the background I hear him ask Lyla what is wrong, again she claimed she was scared.

"What are you scared of?" Garth asked.

Immediate reply: "I scared of Jesus."

So that lesson didn't quite pan out, but Garth was able to get her to fall asleep for the night, so I suppose we won the battle, although the victor of this sleep war is yet to be determined. At least we know God is apparently on our side.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And she's two.

Just like that.

Two years with our little Lyla Bean has flown by at a rate that makes Lyla look slow. When she was born countless numbers of parents would warn me how quickly it goes by, which I assumed was just their way of dealing with the fact they were old. However, in the last two years I have either gotten much older (I am certain I look it — around the corners of my sleep deprived eyes I have little wrinkles setting into my skin that spell "Lyla" if you look closely enough), or I have become much cheesier, because I find myself telling this cliched adage to many of my friends with newborns.

The truth of the matter is that kids put your life, your age — and the stunning rate at which both move forward — in sharp perspective. The amazing little girl Lyla has become over the past two years is a process that truly has flown by. I was just looking back at pictures of her as a little baby and sat in shock realizing how much she has changed and how much she has always been the same over the past two years. The same little smirk and mischievous twinkle in her eye. The most expressively non-verbal lips. And the giggle. Her laugh pops like a champagne bottle that then continues to bubble over, getting all over everyone, creating a stickily sweet mess. She is still the same little cuddle bug she was since her very first days outside of her mommy. She still nuzzles her head into our necks to feel safe — and hides there when she knows she is in trouble. She still sleeps with her arms straight over her head and probably will for the rest of her life. She lights up the room with her energy, sense of humor and love for life and everyone in it — besides Ruby. I think she hates Ruby.

Now she's two, and she's going to school and she's learning more and more each day. She is polite with her "Peeeasse" and "Tank Tu"s. She drinks copious amounts of "nuke" and eats far too many "nummies" (raisins). Her favorite toys are mom and dad's keys and when someone comes to the front door she makes an "O" with her mouth and then turn and sprints toward the visitor. She climbs up on everything she can, stands tall and spreads her arms as she proclaims "Lyla!"

More years will pass, probably more quickly as they come, and as sad as it makes me in some moments, I am moved to a different kind of tears when I imagine the young woman I am going to get to watch this little bean become. Look out world. Here comes "Lyla!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

At-chi, At-chi, cupcake.

Lyla is turning two in a couple weeks and I am starting to realize how many things I haven't been writing down about her first two years! Furthermore, in teaching my vocations class to my students, I have been talking about the ways in which we are born with personality traits and proclivities, implanted in us by God, that are clues to what our intended vocation may be. That said, Lyla shares a love of reading that I hold dear to my heart because it is one of her traits through which I most see myself.

For months now Garth and I will suddenly realize it is quiet in our house and quickly go to check on what trouble our apparently busy little girl is into. More and more often, we would find her sitting in the chair in her room reading a book to herself. Turning the pages while saying "At-chi, at-chi, at-chi," Lyla will read book after book for almost a half an hour sometimes (which is the one-year-old equivalent of an entire novel in one sitting).

This habit just undertook a new development that sadly proves Lyla is getting older, and brighter. She now will take a book, "The Bernstein Bears" for instance, and flip through the pages reading, "At-chi, At-chi, bear. At-chi, At-chi, bear." For the book "When You Give a Cat a Cupcake" it is "At-chi, At-chi, cupcake. At-chi, At-chi, cupcake." It is so fun to listen to her voice go from being quiet on one page to a barely controlled scream on the next. Last night Garth and I sat with her on the bed and had an entire conversation while she was reading "When You Give a Cat a Cupcake" to herself next to us. The best part is when she'll laugh at certain pages, or stop to point something out to herself.

She is the cutest little bookworm and I hope her love for reading continues past story books to Harry Potter and then onto Hemingway - at least by the time she is seven. Obviously.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jumping into Toddlerdome: pee pee & molars

I just noticed how many of my posts have bodily functions in the title. Sorry about that. However, that is what we are really dealing with so I guess it must be shared. Lyla hit two major milestones in the last two days. Both of which were totally unexpected and one that I didn't even know existed (hint: that is not the pee pee part, I knew about that).

That said, Lyla went pee pee in her potty for the first time yesterday. It was very anti-climatic because although we bought her a potty weeks ago, we have done very little to really acquaint her with her potty - that came with it's own toilet paper holder by the way. I am such a sucker for that kind of dumb stuff that only costs $23 more dollars than the toilet where, God forbid, Lyla would have to reach across the tile for paper she doesn't know how to use in a place I am not entirely sure she knows exists. That said, Lyla's little friend Lily came over on Monday, sat on the potty three different times and went pee once. So as Garth was heading into the bathroom yesterday and asked Lyla if she needed to go pee pee as well, you can imagine his surprise when she said yes, took of her own diaper, sat down and went pee pee in her potty. She has not done it since and honestly, who knows if she will ever do it again, but she did it once - and in true Lyla form she did it on her own terms and when she decided it was time to start. She now is running around with Pull-ups featuring Disney Princesses, which is hilarious. She is peeing all over Cinderella's face, which is ironic considering she is the princess who is the best at cleaning, but it is pretty cute to watch her try to pull them up and down.

Today we had another big milestone when I arrived home from work to be told by Allison, Lyla's best friend and old nanny, that Lyla was teething. Thinking she already had all of her teeth, I thought, "Well that is impossible but I wouldn't put it past her." Turns out there is a reason I should have kept Allison as a nanny, because she was right. There is a thing called two-year molars and they are definitely coming in on Lyla's bottom jaw. However, this story ends in an undramatic fashion as well. All three of us happily gave Lyla our favorite thing - medicine. Lyla likes the taste, Garth and I enjoy the lethargic effect.

As a final note I feel it is important to add, so that I don't later forget, that as Lyla is jumping into advanced toddler-hood with her teeth and potty pursuits, after watching the highlights of "Free Willy" last night, she is also jumping all over our house. We fast forwarded through "Free Willy" on Netflix and just watched the parts where the whale jumps out of the water and then the end when he clears the rock wall with Michael Jackson cheering him on (or at least it goes something like that). During the last scene I got Lyla to cheer for Willy with me, yelling "Jump! Jump Willy! Jump!" at the TV. She now throws our couch cushions on the ground, yells "JUMP! Jump Lyla!" and jumps from the couch to the cushion that rests about six inches below. She is also now jumping from our bed onto her mattress on the ground and from the ottoman in her room to the carpet. Every time she jumps she is sure to announce her action and cheer for her self upon completion. It's just the way she rolls. Although we should probably stop encouraging her to scream Pee Pee when she urinates. That could get awkward in high school.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A summer of fun to catch up on

Lyla has been busy and keeping me busy this crazy summer. We had an amazing trip to New York City and then to San Diego and Los Angeles. Here is a video that shows highlights from our trip.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Last night I made blackened catfish for dinner. This being my first experience into the "blackened" culinary genre, I was surprised to find out that that blackened does not just refer to the food but also the smoke that billows out of the hot pan used to create the desired black effect. Lyla thought this experience was terrific as she made Garth pick her up so she could swat at the clouds of smoke billowing across our kitchen ceiling. It looked like a scene from "Backdraft" in our kitchen.

After some ventilation (which is not an energy efficient exercise in Arizona in June) we eventually enjoyed dinner and then started to get Lyla ready for bed. Every night I read several stories to Lyla and one we read every night is "Love You Forever." This sweetly odd book was a favorite of my husband's family while he was growing up (in fact we got two copies from his family when Lyla was born) and so I thought it would be a nice one to read every night. It is the story of a mother who sings a song about loving her son forever to him throughout his life. She gets sick, can't finish singing the song and then the adult son sings it to his baby daughter. Sounds sweet enough? It is. If you don't get choked up the first few times you read it you might not have a soul. However, there is this one issue with the book, which I came across the first time I read the book to Lyla when she was just an infant. I remember sitting and reading and my mouth just dropping in shock as the book talked about how once the son was an adult and had his own house, sometimes his mother would drive across town, "and if that big man was asleep" would put a ladder up to his window, sneak into his bedroom and cradle him whiling singing her song about love. This is a book that my mother-in-law (who is one hip grandma and not at all crazy) had given me and for just a second I was like, "This isn't normal right? She doesn't want to do this? Right? Right?" That said, you get used to the obsessive behavior of the mother and the book is very sweet. And thus far no mother-in-law crawling through my window. But if that does ever happen I just hope she rocks me too.

All of that explanation leads into our "Love You Forever" reading experience last night. In almost every picture of the book the family cat is in the scene in some way. It is an odd proportioned gray stripes on gray fur cat and Lyla LOVES finding it. In EVERY picture. Lyla still doesn't say much in the way of animal names unless we really prompt her and then she'll repeats it. She is very into the sounds that animals make though. So a cat, instead of being called a cat, gets pointed to while Lyla says "Meow, meow". As we read "Love You Forever" we have gone through and pointed at items and I ask what that is or Lyla asks me "What that!?!" (Which is her current favorite phrase. Apparently if she doesn't say it at least 277 times a day she will explode. She is very careful to not only hit her maximum but exceed it. ) So last night I pointed to the cat and asked Lyla, who was trying to wrestle her way out of my arms and off the bed, "What's that?" She responded, "Fish."

Now I am all for creativity and inventive thinking, but that cat is not a fish, so I corrected Lyla and said, "No, it's a cat."

Lyla's response, "Fish."

Me: "It's a cat."
Lyla: "Fish."
Me: "It's a cat."
Lyla: "It's a fish."

This continued on for a few more minutes, which I considered a success because although I never did convince Lyla that it was a cat, she learned how to say "It's a..." before her incorrect answer so I think that deserves at least partial credit. Lyla figured out that I thought she was pretty funny and really launched into her fish defense — well it wasn't much of a defense as much as a commitment to one statement — but it was generally pretty amazing to have my 22-month-old screaming "It's a fish!" at me and my proposition that the picture was a cat.

As I was retelling this story to Garth I realized where Lyla's confusion between the cat and fish species had stemmed. Dinner! No more catfish for the Bostics, the compound name must have confused Lyla. Unfortunately I had a dinner of hot dogs and eggplant planned for tonight...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Poop and pacifiers

Today marked the fourth time that my dear Lyla Bean decided that her poop should no longer be constrained to her diaper, but should be exposed to the certainly less humid climate that exists outside of her diaper. Now, I'll be honest, the first time it happened was funny. Lyla shut herself in our master bathroom and by the time I had given her a couple minutes of privacy, I opened the door to find her taking handfuls of poop and throwing them into the toilet - which to be fair, is one way of getting them in there. When she smeared poop all over the frame of the bathroom door that afternoon I was less entertained. It looked like a twisted "South Park" take on the first Passover.

That said, when today she was wiping poop all over a cloth in our office, marking her fourth poopies-for-freedom event, I found that I was officially over this mess - seriously, it is a disgusting mess.

Now for the less graphic and gross part of my title: the pacifier issue. On Sunday I took Lyla to church with me and my dad up in Scottsdale for Father's Day. Childcare is cancelled, but no big deal, I have Lyla's pacifier — which my doctor told me I should have gotten rid of when she turned one, and we are now approaching two — and she sits through most of Mass without noise or issue. However, right around the "Our Father," I stand up and notice that my pacifier cautioning pediatrician is sitting three rows in front of us. This is not a big deal until I realize that at communion he is going to walk right by our pew, unavoidably making eye contact and then seeing her pacifier. Why the thought of this confrontation made me so terrified I can't say, but as Lyla was quietly sitting in Papa's arms I ripped her pacifier out of her mouth, ignored my dad's look that said "Why the hell did you do that?" - first of all because we were in church and he really shouldn't be visually communicating that language and secondly because I was embarrassed and couldn't explain — and sat and waited for the recognition. Lyla's pediatrician came up the aisle, saw Lyla, smiled at us and went on his way. It was at that point that I realized how ridiculous it was that I was living in a state of shame and fear regarding a piece of plastic my daughter sucks on. That and her front bottom teeth are seriously starting to bend inwards.

SO... how do these two incidents (well five if you count each poop incident separately, which, after having cleaned up each of them I think is the only fair thing to do) relate. It is a huge parenting tip/commandment/demand that if you are trying to get a child to make a big transition, only do one thing at a time. For instance, potty training and getting rid of the pacifier in the same week would be considered a suicide mission by Dr. Sears, the Baby Whisperer and Cesar Milan. So my thought is, if I take away the pacifier, will she stop messing with her poop? I can only pray the baby experts are right because she is not ready to be potty trained with any consistency yet and I don't want her to be the "poop girl" when she goes to preschool in the fall.

So today at her nap I took away her pacifier. I cut off the end and told her Ruby (our poodle) chewed it and that was that. She sobbed for over an hour. It was so sad because she was just so depressed. Normally Lyla is an angry crier, prone to fits of fury, but this was different. She just seemed so heartbroken every time she put the little stubby piece of plastic that was left of her pacifier in her mouth. That said in the end, she slept, next to me - I thought I had earned it - and tonight she only cried for 20 minutes (the "only" there is obviously relative).

Tomorrow's battles are sure to include crying over the plastic lifeline I have wrenched from my daughter, but hopefully no poop. And if there is poop, hopefully it is contained in a diaper or a potty and anywhere but Lyla's fingernails (and you thought this blog couldn't get grosser...).