Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Saoirse

On August 30, my baby turned 1. She's a toddler more than a baby now, really.

And I'm not really okay with that.

But I digress.

We had a pool party at Mills Park, with their awesome, renovated-this-summer pool. It was the last weekend it was open for pool parties, and it was a wonderfully mild day. Overcast, with a chance of rain that held off. Upper 80s, warm enough for swimming to be fun, but not so hot as to make being outside miserable for those who opted not to swim.

It was a Hello Kitty party, so I put Saoirse in the Hello Kitty swimsuit I bought her before we went to San Diego.

Reese (my sister) and Saoirse 

At first, she was a little confused about what to do with the cupcake. And definitely curious about that fire stick on top of it. We'd fed her little bits of cake during the cake pop practice so once we got some of it in her mouth, she realized what exactly this thing was and was up for it. She never did do the whole cake smash thing quite as much as many babies do. She ended up with an ear infection just days before her birthday, so she wasn't feeling her best, but 4 days of antibiotics had helped quite a bit.

Feeding Daddy some cupcake

Fistful of cupcake and the Hello Kitty cake pops

My sweet baby is getting bigger and bigger all the time. She has 4 teeth now (3 were through on her birthday, with a 4th just visible in the gum line). She loves food, but she also still loves breastfeeding. She's gotten confident in her crawling skills and will now track you down into the kitchen from the living room, probably a good 20 feet or so all told. She doesn't do a typical crawl, it's more of a crab walk or a gorilla walk or something. We have hardwood floors, so I don't entirely blame her for not wanting her knees on it.

She cruises and has started working on getting down off of things. She does okay with assistance on that front, and will walk around the house while holding on to someone's fingers, although being carried offers a great vantage point and ease of access to places otherwise blocked by doors.

Saoirse with her sword her daddy made her
She shows us how very not child-proofed our living situation is. She will fight you for some grapes and cherries. Bananas can also result in fingers in your mouth to retrieve the food she wants. That Cookie Monster toy was picked out for her specially by her Papa. It's a favorite toy now. She grabs it and hugs it tight, and it is the cutest thing.

You can barely see it, but Saoirse had her own rainbow for her birthday.
She's about 21 and a half lbs now, according to her appointment just before she was one. Due to the ear infection, her 1 year old check up had to be postponed. I wasn't about to give her shots when she wasn't feeling her best.

I can't believe it's been more than a year now since I went through the life-altering experience of giving birth, mostly naturally, and becoming a mother. It has made such a change in my life, and Saoirse is just so...Saoirse. She's bubbly, and happy, and snuggly, and loving, and just has such a love for life and it's offerings. She helps me see all the wonder in the world and in just chilling out with the people you care about. Giving birth to her both showed me how strong I can be, and just how vulnerable we are as humans. I live my life both so incredibly thrilled to have her and innately terrified of forces outside my control. It's a strange balance. But you learn to embrace the wonder and push out the fear, because you can't live life scared of what could happen. You miss out on so much when you do that. Being a parent is really wearing your heart on your sleeve, sending a chunk of your soul out into the world where it will do what it will. I love her so much, it's just crazy.

Happy 1st birthday, Saoirse Flynn. The first of many to come.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sorry to be AWOL

I got a job in early June, and it's taken until now for me to really get used to this 8-5 business. 

Also the blogger app is a bitch cause it ate my post. 

But, having little else to do while pumping, we trudge on. 

Saoirse still only has 2 teeth, though it wouldn't shock me much if she had some on the top by her birthday. But I can't really tell because she is none too fond of people checking her mouth. I foresee issues when we do that whole dentist thing. Not particularly surprising considered Mama, Daddy, and Papa all hate the dentist with a vivid passion. 

We will shortly be discovering just how vastly not baby proof our house is. She can stand up independently for a few seconds. All instances of that being seen where from a sitting position in the middle of a bed. I can only imagine a real floor would be easier if she ever tried it. Her standing and cruising with support is great. She's still a fairly slow cruiser, but I'm pretty sure our days of not being followed every where are in the downward count. 

She's never been much for crawling, just like she never really was in to rolling from her back to her stomach until probably like 1-2 months ago. She gets into position and sometimes goes backwards but forwards is a rarity. Her forward crawl of choice is a strange bastardization of the lowest army crawl that involves dragging her face and torso along the ground with her feet being pushed under her hips to propel her forward. 

It's awkward. 

But, to calm down all of you occupational therapists out there, she does go backwards properly and forwards seems to occur only when no one is watching and the edge of the bed is nearby. And then she gets pissed cause you kept her from trying that levitation skill she's so certain she possesses. 

She totally stole these straws from te straw holder while her daddy was gone for like a minute. 

I can't believe she's nearly a year old. We're planning her 1st birthday party, and I'm totally not okay with her growing up so fast. I'm told I have to get over it. I both rejoice in her triumphs when she gets a skill down and grieve a little that tiny baby she was just a few months ago. 

1 day old and ~11 months. 

She's totally gonna rock the Hello Kitty themed pool party. 

We've both come a long way in 1 year. Becoming a parent changes so much about how you see the world and your decisions. She's a little miracle, even though babies are born every minute. Even though we didn't have to fight to have her. She's a miracle. This amazing little person I somehow made. She has such joy for life, and I love being around her. So happy. Being with her makes me happy. 

Dream, baby girl. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

San Diego Zoo

I promised more information about San Diego and here it is!

Before we left for San Diego, I analyzed the options for seeing the big things we wanted to see: the Zoo, the Safari Park, SeaWorld, and I wanted to go to the Museum of Man and the Nat. But what was the best way to do this economically? Individual tickets are pricey (thank goodness for Saoirse being little). I think SeaWorld ran around $60-80 per person, with the Zoo being in the same area. I get what these tickets costs go to, but geez, that's a lot. I looked into the San Diego city pass and ultimately decided it wasn't the best fit for us. I finally settled on the 3-4-1 pass, which is a pass that gets you in the Zoo, the Safari Park, and SeaWorld on one ticket. It cost about $150 per adult for a week long pass, which meant for a week (ours ended up being Wednesday-Tuesday), we could go to those 3 places as many times as we wanted. We only went to each place once, but it was still a savings. Also, at the Zoo, that pass gets you as many free rides as you want on the Skyfari Aerial tram, which is a great way to make it from the backside of the zoo back to the front where a lot of the food is. It's also just a great experience in general. We also invested in the souvenir cups at both the Zoo (we got the panda cup) and the Safari park (tiger cup). They cost $10, but you get free refills the entire rest of the day with a receipt. If you go back, you can get refills for $.0.99 not on the day you bought it. I think refills otherwise are like $1.49 a piece. It's a great way to stay hydrated. We basically filled it up every time we passed by a drink station. SeaWorld has a similar thing where if you buy a souvenir cup/water bottle you can get $0.99 refills. Not as good of a deal, but we were buying a bottle anyway. But I digress. The Zoo also had some movies going that I believe were included in the ticket price, but we didn't check them out. Saoirse isn't much for sitting through movies yet. 

All of the profits from admission tickets to the Zoo and Safari Park go to conservation efforts made by the San Diego Zoological Society. They breed pandas, among other animals. I believe I saw an announcement of a new baby gorilla at the Park. So it's a great cause for that expensive ticket price to go to. If you live in the area, they have a pretty decent "season pass" I would suggest for people in  certain zip codes. 

The Safari Park has a brand new "Tiger Trail" that just opened May 24. We visited it on the 27th. They have 3 absolutely gorgeous Sumatran Tigers, the smallest of the tiger species. There's only about 400 of them left, as they have a very small native habitat (the island of Sumatra). The Trail is really pretty, the enclosures are nice, and there's a pretty area with a waterfall that is somewhat cooler due to being behind the falling water under an overhang. It's a nice resting spot. The Park also has an area where you can walk into an enclosure of Lemurs. There's nothing between you and them but a walkway rail. Sadly, it was hot and the lemurs weren't interested in moving the day I was there. But it's a really cool idea, and I definitely suggest you check it out. They also have a Lorikeet feeding enclosure. You can buy nectar to feed them and go in what is essentially a giant bird cage (with or without purchased nectar). We didn't do that (even though it was free without nectar), but it's interesting. 

We were fortunate to not be affected in anyway by the wildfires that burned a lot of San Diego county just the week before we arrived, including not too far away from the Safari Park in Escondido. But the. Park wasn't damaged at all, and our vacation wasn't affected. Honestly, I never saw evidence that the fires happened except in news reports and our cab driver's comments. I just wasn't in the right areas I guess. 

We used public transit for almost all of our traveling in San Diego. Joseph's aunt let us borrow her car to head up to Escondido and La Jolla, which was far more convenient than public transit, though doable. 

Pictures to be added...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

San Diego Fun

MyI was pretty sure I posted another post, but apparently Blogger ate it. I'll deal with that later. 

We had a great time in San Diego. We did many of the major tourist stops: San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park, and SeaWorld. We also frequented Balboa Park, where we visited the Museum of Man, the Natural History Museum, and the United Nations Store and a group of places we called the "house ofs". I can't remember the full name, but there's a House of Ireland, House of China, House of Israel, and more. There happened to be an ethnic food festival there while we were there, so we went and checked that out. I'll go more in depth to what all we did as I go along. 

Our first full day there, we ventured out with Joseph's aunt Sherrie. She took us grocery shopping, showed us around and bit, and took us to the sungrubbies.com show room, where we all got sun hats. Let me say, it was wonderful experience, and I definitely recommend sungrubbies.com. They were so kind and helpful. Beyond that, they gave Saoirse a "cool by the pool" book that we plan to read to her at some point. All of our hats are Sunday Afternoons brand. I really recommend them, as we all managed to pretty much avoid facial sunburns and back of the neck sunburns with these hats. 

And come on, if sun protection is this cute, why not be sun safe? (Saoirse modeling the Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat, bought from sungrubbies.com- http://www.sungrubbies.com/product_index_html/product_detail_html/SunhatsAdventureK.htm )
I adore these products at this point and fully attribute our relatively small amount of sunburns directly to the products we bought from sungrubbies.com, because we were spending nearly all of our time outside. The sunburns we did get were courtesy of bad clothing choices (read: putting the baby in short sleeves, thinking you wouldn't be outside that much-oops). 

I only have experience with the baby version of this hat, but the adjustable sizing (on the back of the head) means it will fit a wide variety of baby head sizes and the chin strap will snap loose with 10 lbs of pressure, so no worries about strangulation by neck strap (the bigger kids version has a toggle strap and less like a helmet as I understand). It comes in blue and pink. 

You can see Joseph's hat choice in this picture; I took mine off for the picture. 
I'm pretty sure it's this one (http://www.sungrubbies.com/product_index_html/product_detail_html/Cloudburst-RainSun-Hat.htm), the Cloudburst hat. I know his is good in rain as well. He tried on many, and ultimately settled on this one. If you can stop by a store, such as the sungrubbies.com showroom, and try on a variety of hats, I really suggest you do so. You never know what you might find that you like. We also bought the swim shirts we're wearing in this picture at sungrubbies. They did a wonderful job of keeping us from getting sun burned in and out of water. 

My hat is seen here. It's the Sundancer Hat (http://www.sungrubbies.com/product_index_html/product_detail_html/Sundancer-UV-Protective-Hats.htm). I never got sunburned on my face in San Diego. That is 98% because of this hat. I burn so fast it's freakish, so this is a testament to its effectiveness. I even discovered I have a sun allergy while in San Diego, but that rash never occurred in the areas safely protected by my hat. Buying these hats was easily the best decision we made during our trip to San Diego. 

More San Diego experiences to come...

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for posting my opinions here. We just went and bought these items, and I liked them so much I had to share. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Life has been nuts and now I'm on vacation is sunny San Diego! Joseph (the husband) is a San Diego native so we came here to visit his aunt as well as have some fun. But here's a general pre-SD update. 

Saoirse's first tooth broke through good on April 30, the day she turned 8 months old. She pulls up on my shirt and has figured out that that is where the boobs are and pulling down on my cami exposes them. She could roll over onto her stomach if she didn't hate being on her tummy. She figured out how to roll over from stomach to back at about 2 months old to avoid tummy time. We've been putting her on her tummy (she can get in a crawling position fine), but she screams the whole time. She hates it. I figure she'll either go straight to walking or be a butt-scooter. 

That's the general update pre-SD. Here's some pics. 

Hanging out at Easter

Random May cold snap
In Papa's hat
She loves swings. 

We love Little People. 
With Daddy, playing with Ana-Cherie's doll's sippy cup. 
Playing at the hospital with Ana-Cherie (A-C had a seizure and between getting the meds right and rehab, she was there about 18 days.)

Passed out the morning of her daddy's graduation from college
At her daddy's graduation 
Also at graduation. Selfie with mama (me). 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Saoirse's First Easter

It was bright. Both of us look like a pair of shades would be a good idea.

 "I'm sitting like big stuff. Hi, Mama!"
 "What's this stuff tickling my feet?"
 "Wait, why is that truck moving?"
 "Anyway, back to this green stuff..."
"If I reach forward..."
 "I bet I can get some and analyze it closer."
 "Retrieval complete. This stuff feels weird."
 "Appears overall harmless, if not slightly itchy..."
 "Mama and Cheerio are busy over there so I bet I can..."
 "Cram some in my mouth just to give it a thorough check!"

Happy Easter/Passover/Spring, everyone.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pictures in her fancy dress

Saoirse got this fancy dress from her daddy's parents at Christmas. I hadn't gotten around to putting her in it and taking pictures until now. Fortunately it was a 6 months and it fit just fine. :)