Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Evan!

How is it possible that our sweet, amazing little boy is already one year old?!? Wasn't it just yesterday that he was just a little 10 pound baby?

Ed and I are so thankful that we get to be Evan's parents. It has been the best year of my life learning how to be a mom, and I feel, more than anything, thankful and excited for what's to come. Our family feels just perfect in this moment. Later this week (hopefully I can take a packing break), I'm looking forward to sharing more details about what Evan's been up to. He's been progressing by leaps and bounds, and is a joy to watch every day. 

Happy Birthday sweet boy - we love you so much!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Grand Visit

We've just returned for a perfectly wonderful visit in the Grand Canyon. While everything is incredibly crazy, it was a wonderful respite in nature.

I'll hopefully post all the pictures sooner rather than later. But, we had a wonderful trip. Ed ran to the river and back in only 4 hours, which is insane, and Evan and I hiked 3 miles on the Bright Angel trail, which was harder, but more amazing than I'd ever imagined. Hiking in and out of a canyon is a whole lot harder with 40 lbs of baby and gear on your back! We have one more adventure and less than 3 weeks between now and the big move to CA, and and we can't wait. 

Wish us luck!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The "Before We Move" List

Updated! We're making progress....

Before Evan was born, Ed and I made a list on here of everything we had to get done before the big day, and I was realizing that it would be super helpful to do the same thing as we gear up for our move. It's amazing how quickly it's approaching!

Activities (Places to Go)

From my last visit to the Grand Canyon, back in 2008! 
Still Left:
  • Grand Canyon
  • Heard Museum
  • Williams (?)
  • Taliesin West
  • Sedona
  • Big League Dreams (replica famous baseball fields) (off the list - Ed realized he wasn't as excited as he thought!)
  • Superstition Mountains
  • Desert Botanical Gardens
  • Relatives in New Mexico  off the list - they came to us instead!
  • Tucson - off the list - not a priority
  • Camelback Mtn. - Ed had a great run there
  • Evan's picture, and lunch, at ASU


Still Left:
  • Olive and Ivy
  • Farm House
  • Rock Springs Cafe (pies)
  • Blue Adobe
  • Postinos
  • Gertrudes
  • Farm at South Mountain
  • Pizza Biancos skipping - not enough time
  • Oreganos 


Redwood National Park
Still Left:
  • Moving Company
  • Storage Facility and logistics
  • Germany Trip
  • Realtor
  • Camry Car Value
  • Santa Cruz lodging
  • summer plans
  • Alabama visit - delayed :(
  • Chicago visit
  • Grand Canyon visit
  • cleaners
  • Townhouse square footage and layout
  • Redwood Natl. park lodging and visit
  • 5th Anniversary ideas - Ed says not to worry, he's got it covered :)


Charming Cottage Very Near Beach

Still Left:
  • Nothing!

  • Chicago lodging
  • Redwood lodging
  • Santa Cruz lodging

Still Left:
  • Make 3 lists of stuff: summer, storage, townhouse
  • Craigslist items
  • Pack
  • Home inspection repairs
  • list of stuff to sell
  • clean out closets
  • donate clothes
  • minor repairs
  • clean grout
  • landscaping (hire)
  • refill gravel
  • share news
  • recycle electronics
  • put house on market
  • sell house
From my website:

Still Left:
  • Nothing!
  • Finalize Resume (Ad)
  • Update Edjoin (Ad)
  • Finalize Websites (Ad)
  • Share website with SSU (Ed)
  • Apply for jobs (Ad)
  • Attend jobfair  Not needed!
  • Sonoma lodging for jobfair Not needed!

(picture of what Evan could be doing in daycare next year!)

Still Left:
  • Contact friends/relatives re: summer visits
  • Confirm daycare enrollment for Evan
  • Celebrate Evan's Birthday!
  • make blurb books (Year 4, Running, College) -delayed for summer project
  • Buy new camry hubcaps
  • Cancel Stroller Strides (when house sells)

Whew! It's a full list, but it'll be completed before we know it :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Big News!

Life has been insanely crazy lately, but we finally have some great news to share!

First, the sale is pending on our home! After only 3 days on the market, we received a full price offer for our home. We've made it through the appraisal and inspection, so now we just need to make all the fixes (and there are, unfortunately, quite a lot), and we'll be home free. Closing is April 30th, less than 4 weeks from now. We'll so miss this home, but we can't wait to move onto our next adventure.

Second, I officially have a job for next year! I will be teaching either 4th or 5th grade at Healdsburg Charter School. It was such a whirlwind experience. I interviewed via skype on a Wednesday and was told almost immediately afterwards they wanted me for the demo lesson. So, Evan and I hopped in the car and drove the 7.5 hours to my parents. The following day, my dad drove Evan and I the 10.5 hours up to Sonoma county. We stayed with a family friend and early on Friday morning, I taught a demo lesson to 26 bright faced 4th graders. It went great, and right after the lesson, my new principal brought me back to her office and offered me the job. I am so excited to work at a school that focuses on science and social studies, and active learning via projects. 

And finally, just this evening, we sold the Camry! It's been with me since 2005, back when I was in college. It sold after just an hour or two on Craigslist, and we're really happy with the family we sold it to. They seemed really deserving, and we're very happy they got a car that will hopefully last them a very long time. Now, of course, we are a one car family, which will certainly give its own unique challenges. Wish us luck!

So, lots going on in the Lyon house. We are so fortunate that most everything has worked out for us better than we could even imagine. Less than 4 weeks left!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Love Them!

We're hitting our final visits to some of our favorite places, including the Riparian Preserve. We've had many, many wonderful walks here, and will definitely miss it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

11 Months

(Okay, it's 2 weeks late, but I finally found my camera!)

Weight - We'll find out at his 1 year appointment (how are we almost there?!?). Hoping for around 23 lbs, but we'll see. 

Height - Not sure, though he seems taller. 

Head circumference - Again, not sure. But, his head is certainly looking fantastic!

Still in mostly 18 month clothes, though we can still make use of the 12 month ones when needed.


Enjoying our impromptu bib at the ball park!

Food continues to be going really well. Berries are a huge hit and Evan can polish off a box of blueberries or raspberries in a couple days if we let him. He also will eat an entire banana any time we let him. Taco bowls are also a huge favorite, with ground beef, salsa, onion, bell pepper, cauliflower cilantro lime rice, and sour cream. He also sometimes eats half an avocado in one sitting. When he wants more food, he makes a "huh, huh, huh" noise, which is helpful. 

He continues to love being active. He climbs anything we'll let him climb, and is much faster with things like going up the stairs. His new favorite place to climb is onto the fireplace mantle, but is thankfully good about going back down correctly anytime I say "careful." He cruises at lightening speed now, too, and is standing independently a bit more purposefully now, but still not very often. 

He still loves playing with the car wheel, and has also figured out how to play with the radio, air, windshield wipers, and anything else he can get his hands on up there. 

One of our new favorites is that Evan is now tall enough to reach up to the piano with both hands. He gets such a kick out of playing on it, and sometimes even manages to hit octaves, which is a much more pleasant sound for all of us. 

Books are also probably one of his favorite "toys" right now. He loves taking them off his shelves and turning the pages. We have these little baby sized books that we got at my shower that are perfect when we're on the go. 

And, while last night was pretty horrible, in general we seem to have made new progress with sleep!! Hallelujah. A few weeks ago, around when he got his helmet off (more on that below), we decided since he was sleeping longer stretches for the first chunk of sleep, that it was time to switch back to the crib. And? He's been doing so, so much better. It was a rough first night, but he consistently almost always goes at least 3 hours, and often between 4-6! I think it's because he's eating so much more food during the day and, honestly, because he's finally ready to do that. All this sleep craziness has taught me that babies are all different and that you can't make a baby do something they aren't ready to do. Hopefully we can keep improving here this month.


Happiest in mom or dad's arms

Evan still hates lying on his back with a fiery passion, so diaper changes are still insanely difficult. I really thought we'd be done with this phase, but it is still going. On the plus side, we're now okay with the carseat, unless he's exhausted or really sick of driving.

He's been a bit clingier this month, which has been hard since we've had to do so much "extra" stuff that doesn't involve him. We put our house on the market this month, which meant lots of time-sensitive cleaning, which Evan didn't like. I also had to do a job interview, and for it I had to prepare a lesson, which was more time with a distracted mommy.

Food-wise, his dislikes are mostly whims. When he's decided he doesn't want or is done with a certain food, he simply drops it over his tray onto the floor. I'm finding blander foods are often the ones that don't make the cut, and rarely do berries not make it into his mouth. But, more often than not, that food later in the day is perfectly wonderful. We still have stayed away from much in the way of processed foods and bread products which I think has been a good call. The one day we let him munch on a bunch of stuff (cheerios, tortilla, etc), he was fussier than he's ever been. Probably a coincidence, but we may not be in a rush to have any more of those foods.

Final dislike is those darn teeth. Luckily, we are just about there with this set, I hope! One has popped through, and the other three on top should be here any day. 

Important Events:

This month was crazy, if the lack of blog posts was any indication. The biggest thing for Evan was that he finally graduated from his helmet after a long 6.5 months!!!

We are so proud of him for making it through this therapy with no complaints or issues. He's taken a few painful thumps as he's gotten used to losing that extra protection, but otherwise has adjusted to helmet-less life with just as little drama as he adjusted to wearing it in the first place. Ed and I are thrilled to be able to rub is soft, blond hair covered head all day long and give it lots of kisses.

Our cute stocking headed boy. You can see that his ears are more symmetrical and the stop of his head is a bit more even. 

You can see how much higher his left ear used to be from his right! Still not perfect, but so much better
And here's what we were most worried about. You can see how pointed his head was on that right side. Now it looks like a normally shaped head!!

I am just so proud of his changes. As you can see, he's now in the mild range for all the measurements. I am so glad we decided to go ahead with the second helmet. He actually made a lot more growth in that helmet than in the first and went from high moderate in asymmetry to mild. And now, it's hard to even remember  him wearing it. I am just relieved that he now has a "normal" head. I would so recommend helmet therapy to any parent going through this, whose baby is at least 4 months old. I remember that sick feeling in my stomach I used to get looking at that flat spot when we was little, and just feeling so helpless. While there's a chance it could have fixed itself, I would have felt so guilt if it didn't (and I've had more than one person approach me during this whole thing, telling me how they wished they'd gotten a helmet for their child when he was little, since now it was too late and their child's flat spot was still quite bad). So thankful that insurance made this a free process for us and that it was so successful!


The most exciting milestone, that Evan's about 9 months "late" in hitting is that he finally found his toes!! This is so exciting because it means he's finally flexible enough to easily reach them. He found them during a diaper change partway through the month and now seems like he's almost always grabbing them when he's sitting or lying down. This was huge for me because it was something I really worried about, but that Evan needed to hit when he was ready, not when I wanted him to or even when other babies normally hit it. I'm remembering this for any other milestones that he's "late" on. 

Quiet, but oh so cute :)

Speaking of which, he's almost seemed less vocal this month, but I'm not going to worry about that until a year. He's still very communicative with us, so we'll just focus on that. Occasionally he makes word sounding sounds (like uh-oh or egg) but definitely just a coincidence. In general, Evan is a very contemplative baby. His personality sort of reminds us of Ed and me. We often just like to sit quietly, so maybe it makes sense that Evan does, too. We're still doing lots of reading and talking and singing, and someday I'm sure he'll start talking back :).  


The biggest challenge this month was getting Evan to be more independent so that we could take care of house and work things. 

Breakfast with Papa in Healdsburg

Also, though, we had to go on a huge road trip! I did well at a skype interview and so had to drive up to Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, to do a demo lesson. Since Evan is still nursing, he obviously had to come with me. To make things complicated, Ed was actually flying to the bay area the same day as my second interview, but I had to be there at 9am that morning, so he couldn't be around to help. After some stressful problem solving, we found a way to make it work. Evan and I drove the 7.5 hour (with stops) drive to my parents after the interview Wednesday. I was nervous about such a long drive with the two of us, but he did awesome. Then, the next day my dad came with us and we made the 10.5 hour drive up to Sonoma. It was intense, to say the least, and I'm so impressed by how well Evan did! Makes me feel better about all the traveling coming up this summer. 

Mommy Successes:

Running has unfortunately been on the back burner with getting sick and then house and work stuff. However, getting back into working has been a huge success. It's made me excited to go back to work. Hopefully, I'll have some very good news to share on the job front soon!

Daddy Successes:

Ed was thrilled to finally get his family day at work. Evan and I joined him for a morning in the office (I had a few teaching things to work on). Then we all went out of lunch and a walk around campus! 

Best Moments:

Being back in the bay area, knowing we were going to be moving our family here in just a few short months, was incredibly special. We are so excited for Evan to be growing up in such a wonderful place.

We also got to spend a weekend with Evan's Aunt Irma and Uncle Thomas. It was a fantastic getaway to Sedona and we're so glad they came out. Uncle Thomas even wore Evan for part of the hike in the Ergo - the first time that someone besides Ed or I has carried Evan in one of the carriers! It was pretty cute.

We also made it out for a Giants Spring Training game. Evan had a blast, and I decided that baseball games are very much improved by bringing a baby and getting to relax on the grass.

Can't believe only one month left until we hit a year!!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 Months

(Lie down for a picture?!? I'm much too much of  a big kid for that!)

Weight - Evan should be just about 22 lbs now. We've changed some things up, and he's gaining weight a lot better now! He was 21lb 15 oz at 9.5 months. 

Height - Maybe around 29 inches? He definitely seems to be growing. 

Head circumference - 18 inches (9 months)

We're starting to use more of the 18 month clothes (in part because someone may have been slacking a bit with putting away laundry this month...) but they are starting to fit pretty well and some of the 12 month are now definitely too small. We're now back to onsies only for sleeping, though - hopefully we'll use our 18 month pjs this summer when we're in a cooler place.


Evan is starting to show some real food preferences, which is fun (though less fun when he chooses the less filling foods that his mama wants him to eat!). He loves fruits, especially bananas, blackberries, and blueberries. He also seems to really love chicken cooked in salsa, though it might have bothered his tummy a bit, so he's only had it twice. Grated carrots cooked in olive oil is still a hit, and I've been adding cumin and coriander, since those are favorite spices in this house! He's also starting to enjoy his sippy cups and actually drinking water, instead of just spitting it out. Protein wise, he likes his salmon burgers and any meat cooked in a slow cooker. 

Climbing is still a huge favorite - he likes to go up the stairs at least once a day, and often will take off and I have to run and catch him before he gets up too far. He also loves to take off and have me "chase" him. 

I say "I'm going to get you!!" and he just giggles and speeds up his crawling. Usually he heads for the kitchen or the stairs. 

He also loves standing at the banister in the loft when someone is downstairs. This is hilarious to him :).

We've been spending a good amount of time nursing in the front seat of the car before and after activities, and that's become a new favorite spot for Evan. He loves to put his hands on the wheel and even play with the gear shift. Luckily you need your foot on the break to do anything :). He's accidentally set off the horn a few time, to all of our surprise!

Hiking is another favorite (well, he doesn't complain too much at least, and often gets in a good nap). I've been hiking with a friend from Stroller Strides, which has been really nice, as well as hikes with Ed and with my parents when they were visiting. He seems to like the Ergo a bit better than the hiking backpack, since he likes to cuddle in. 


Sleeping in mom's arms

So, we've come to a bit of a crossroads this month with sleep. As you all know, we've been "struggling" with this for months now. He hasn't slept consistently longer than 3 hours since he was 3 months old, and it's been almost 2 months now with waking every 2 hours. When we found out he gained almost no weight between 6 and 9 months, I just knew that sleep training needed to take a break. What really hit me was when I tried to move his last feeding 30 minutes earlier (per the advice of a sleep coach), he just woke 30 minutes sooner. That showed me he really was hungry, not just "waking for comfort".

We met with a lactation consultant who told us, "waking every 2 hours is normal, and have we considered bedsharing?" And, even though it wasn't something I used to be open to, that's exactly what we're doing now. Evan goes to sleep beautifully up in his crib (awake and relatively content, if you're interested) and when he wakes 2.5-3.5 hours later, we all go to bed together after he eats. He's still waking every 2 hours, but now I don't have to get up 5 times and force myself to stay awake. It's generally less stressful and Evan gained more weight in the first two weeks of doing this than he had in the 3 months prior, so I'd say it's been really good for him.

I'm just a hungry baby!

Is this a permanent solution? I don't think so. I love the baby cuddles, and seeing him asleep in my arms in the sweetest thing in the world, but I do like my space and I do like getting to be "off" for part of my 24 hour mom duty. But, for now, it's the best option. We just have a very, very hungry little boy, and this is what he needs right now. If I've learned anything, it's that every baby is different. The sleep training to reduce night feedings we did for 3 months probably works with most babies because most babies are okay only eating once or twice and just nurse to go back to sleep. Evan is genuinely hungry. He eats every 2 hours day and night, for at least 10 minutes at a time. Plus solids. So, nothing we can do about it but accept that this is how our little boy is, and hope that he'll eventually get more satisfied by his solids.

(Why is he crying? He couldn't have the camera...)

Okay...that's off my chest! What else. Well, diaper changes are still akin to torture, though he's started to learn he can't flip onto his back and just cries like he may not ever be happy again. He's also decided being put in the carseat is similarly horrific. Cannot wait for these phases to be over.

Otherwise, he is started to get frustrated (and express it) when he can't have what he wants. He's starting to learn the meaning of "no" which is definitely a good thing. Sometimes he can be very patient and methodical (like when he practices climbing up and down stairs) but when he really wants something, he generally wants it *now* and is unhappy about waiting.

Loving his lentil curry and steak

Food wise, he's not wild about Trader Joes hummus (Habra is the preferred brand, if you're wondering). Otherwise, it's all been fair game! He's even like thai curries, indian curries, fajita chicken, etc. We're really hoping that lots of flavor heavy food now will make it more palatable when he's older, though that could be wishful thinking on our part. 

Important Events:

A sleepy baby waits for mom to cross the finish line!

This was a pretty quiet month for us. We took another family trip to Sedona (for my 10k!) and really enjoyed sharing one of our favorite places with Evan. 

My parents also came to visit over Valentine's weekend, which was wonderful. Evan got to spend a lot of quality time with his Grandma and Papa (and Ed and I got to go on a date!). 

Another super important event is that we got a check from Cranial Tech - that means that Evan's second helmet got covered by insurance! We are so relieved. While we could have afforded the $2200 (and did actually have to pay it up front), it is so wonderful to get to save that money for other purposes. 

(haven't caught independent standing on camera yet, but I bet I will this month!)

Evan has started playing around with standing by himself! He'll let go of things for a few seconds and then hold on again, and had been increasing, up to 5 seconds or so. He's very careful and methodical, and Ed and I have a feeling that when he does move to walking, he'll be very stable. We're in no rush though. His physical therapist is happy to see that he won't be an early walker. 

Evan being "social" with a group of little girls when we went out for a happy hour. 

He's also been vocalizing (dare I say babbling?) a lot more lately. He's much more communicative - giving certain sounds when he wants more food for instance. He also likes to have "conversations" with us, and sometimes even sounds like he's talking gibberish to himself while he plays. No consonant strings yet, but seeing his vocalizations progress makes me feel less stressed about that. He's developing in his own pace, and that's just fine. 


Evan had to head back to physical therapy this month after I started noticing him only using his left hand for eating. He'll use his right fine for playing (even when he starts playing with his food, he'll use it), but when he wants to eat, only the left will do. Since his torticollis was on the left, this was obviously concerning. His PT didn't have a good answer, but doesn't think it's indicative of his tort issues, since he uses that hand otherwise and still has full range of motion. We're experimenting with deep tissue massage 3 times a day, to see if that makes a difference, with extra massage of just the right hand/arm before he eats. Fingers crossed!

(playing during a break in his helmet appointment, while the helmet gets adjusted)

The other challenge (which is really not a huge one) is that Evan's head growth has been fairly slow, so we are looking at him wearing the helmet, most likely, for the whole 4 months. Less than 6 weeks left, but it's been a long journey and we are ready to be done. 

Mommy Successes:

I had a fantastic race in Sedona for my 10k! It was a much hillier course than I was expecting, but the rain held off and I got some spectacular views. Despite traveling with our little one, timing for everything worked perfectly. I made my goal, which was sub 11 minute mile pace, and did a 9:40 pace for the last full mile! I've been taking a bit of a break with my running schedule since then, but will start gearing up for my half marathon soon (at the beginning of August). 

Daddy Successes:

Ed has had a super busy month, work wise, yet always makes time to take care of Evan when I need a mommy break. He is fantastic!

Best Moments:
Getting to go on a date with Ed definitely tops the list! 

(exploring Taliesin West with my parents)

And, of course, seeing Evan with my parents always makes my heart so happy.