Friday, November 10, 2017

To Our Birthday Girl

Dear Emmy -

A year ago today, you became a part of our family and forever changed our world. It is hard to believe that 365 days have passed since you were first placed in my arms. There were so many things that I didn't know about being a mother, but you have been the most patient teacher. Your fun personality and contagious smile brighten my days, and I can hardly believe that you are mine. Your Daddy and I love you so much!

Now that you are a year old, you are showing us more and more of who you are. You love to play with any toy that makes a noise, and you bounce and bob along to the music. You especially like carrying around the remote control, so we have several old clickers that we let you play with. You often like to crawl around the house with one of these clickers or another toy in your hand. Sometimes you even crawl like a bear, with your legs straight and your knees off the floor. It will probably only be a matter of weeks until you are walking. When you are sitting on your bottom, you like to reach up high to make yourself tall. You continue to pull up on furniture, and you like to open anything with a door. You especially like opening the cabinet in your nursery and taking all of the books off of the shelf. You show such concentration when you are playing with your toys or books. I hope that one day you will be interested in actually reading -- right now, you don't often like to sit still. You smile the biggest for Daddy, and you get upset when he leaves the room. He gets the best laughs from you when he makes silly noises and funny faces. You both enjoy the time together in the mornings when he takes you to school. I think it will be even more special when we turn your car seat around and you can 'talk' more. Right now, you say "mama" and "dada", but perhaps your favorite word is "Hi!" You love greeting people and also making faces (and staring) at strangers in restaurants or at the store. Your newest trick is giving high-five. You picked up on it so quickly; you are just a little sponge, so smart and observant. You also like when we cheer for you; you like clapping and hearing "yay". You certainly don't like hearing "no." We have to be careful when we are scolding Sox, Grammy and Grandpa's dog. You have such a tender heart, and when we shout at him, your face will scrunch up and big tears will fall down your cheeks. It certainly makes it hard to think of disciplining you, which I am sure will come in the months ahead. In addition to the word 'no', you also don't like napping at daycare or bath time. During baths, you hold on to the side of the tub, standing up and crying almost the whole time. I hope that changes soon! I think you would like bathtime if you gave it a chance.

You are wearing size 12-month clothes and size 3 diapers. We go to the doctor on Monday to see just how much you have grown in the last few months. We just introduced whole milk, so we are cutting down on the amount of breastmilk you are getting. I love the time that we have in the morning, just you and me in your nursery. I am only nursing now in the morning, and soon I will stop doing that, too. Just another sign that you are getting bigger. You are getting more adventurous with foods, trying chicken, peanut butter, eggs, and cake!

It has been a fun but fast year! The highs have greatly outweighed the lows. What an adventure it was to travel with you this summer; how hard it was to take you to daycare; it was so special to have you dedicated at church; the highlight of each day is when we are together. We hope you continue to grow to be big and healthy. We thank God for the blessing that you are to our lives and the rest of your family. We look forward to more adventures and memories with you in the year ahead.

We love you, girl girl! 
Mommy & Daddy

The difference a year makes!
I couldn't help but pull out this momento from November 8th of last year. With the election results on the tv in the background, Boomer and I were recording my contractions. It would still be another day before our little blessing arrived -- November 10th at 1:57AM. 
Since Emmy's birthday is so close to Veteran's Day, Boomer and I both had the day off to celebrate with the birthday girl! Our morning started with breakfast at Fitz on Main and then a stop at Cake & All Things Yummy. We visited the teachers at Emmy's school and also stopped by Arbor Ridge to see Great Gma and Great Gpa. We ended the evening with dinner at The Loop with Grammy, Uncle Zack, Aunt Megan, Zander, and Maddox.

Practicing high-fives!

Update: At our doctor's appointment, Emmy weighed in at 19 lbs 4 oz (41st percentile) and measured 29.75 inches long (71st percentile). She is starting to follow a more average growth curve -- she may not be as tall as we originally suspected. It's still possible that she could be taller than me though! She was a good sport to be poked and prodded. She received the flu vaccine and three other shots, plus a finger stick to draw blood. We've noticed that Emmy has been tugging on her ears, and the doctor said that some of that could be because of teething (her molars are coming in!) He did see some 'old fluid' in one of her ears, which suggests that she had an ear infection at some point in the last few weeks but that her body has been fighting it off. He said that that was a good sign and that it helps to build up immunity without the need for prescription drugs. Even so, I feel bad that we left it untreated! Overall, he was very reassuring about her development at this stage. Emmy loved crawling around on the examination tab and playing with the crinkly paper. I was very thankful that Grammy came along to keep our busy little bee entertained! We resorted to puffs at the very end to keep her still. We will go back again at 15 months. Hopefully we can make it through the winter with no major sickness!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Our Little Pumpkin turns One!

We had the most fun weekend celebrating our sweet Emerson Leigh! Just like the whole rest of the year, Saturday passed all too quickly. I had started planning Emmy's party about a little over a month ago. With some help from Meg and Mom, I came up with a pumpkin theme, fitting with her fall birthday and the fact that last year, I looked like I was smuggling a pumpkin under my shirt! The party went by in a blink, and I am so thankful for the photos to remember it all. 
We had family and friends from near and far come to celebrate our little girl: Charlotte, Morganton, Winston-Salem, Star, Asheboro, and even Florida. It seemed our house was overflowing with babies, toddlers, and grown-ups, too! Emmy didn't quite know what to think about all these people in her house, but she didn't mind being passed around and posing for photos. 
Coley (a.k.a. Aunt CoCo) made the most beautiful two-tiered vanilla cake, plus a special smaller cake just for Emmy. Both cakes were absolutely perfect for the occasion. Aunt CoCo is so talented, and we are so thankful that she shares this talent with us. Her cakes are certainly made with a lot of love. In addition to the cake, we had other brunch foods. I also decorated with a banner that had each of Emmy's monthly photos. I love how her personality comes out more and more with each passing month. 
All of Emmy's cousins joined in when it was time to open presents. They showed her how to rip open the packages and pull out the tissue paper. One very special present was a handmade dress from Grammy with a tiny rose pattern and a matching set of undies. My mom used to sew dresses for Meg and me when we were younger. The last thing I remember her making was the long red dress we each wore for concert band in high school -- that was quite a few years ago! I know that Emmy's dress will be something I keep forever and pass on to her when she has children of her own. 
When it was time for cake, Emmy's cousins helped again and showed her how to blow out (and not grab!) the candles. We sang twice -- naturally, since there were two cakes and lots of willing helpers.
Emmy was all tuckered out from being the life of the party. Granny put her down for a nap, while the last of the party-goers headed home.

All too soon, I'll be saying Emmy's age in years instead of months; I'll have a 'toddler' instead of a 'baby.' It is bittersweet to celebrate these special moments, without feeling sad for the moments that have already passed by. I plan to cherish these last few days with my 11-month-old before she officially turns 1 on Friday.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Colds and Costumes

Over the past week, Emmy has been a little under the weather. It started last Friday when I got a call from the daycare around 1PM saying that she had a runny nose and a congested cough. They said that she had also spit up after her last bottle, which is pretty rare these days. Her teacher said that it wasn't necessary to pick her up, so I stayed at school until the last bell. Luckily the workday ended just a couple of hours later, but I still felt mom-guilt throughout the afternoon and even the weekend. Shoot, I still feel it! :( It's so hard to juggle the demands of work with the needs of your family. We tried to give Emmy some extra rest during the weekend, but it wasn't so easy to do in between a cross-country meet, birthday parties, and general fall festivities. Even though she wasn't feeling well, she was still our pleasant little Emmy, grinning for Daddy during breakfast on Saturday. 
Perhaps the only plus side of a sick baby is enjoying some extra snuggles, which I did on Saturday when Emmy fell asleep during the meet. I even managed to sneak in to her room during her afternoon nap to capture this sweet picture of her sleeping. She didn't even wake up from the squeak of the door! As you can see, her favorite sleeping position right now is with her little hiney up in the air. 
On Saturday evening, with sick baby in tow, we finally made it to the pumpkin patch at the local Methodist church. It's just down the street from Emmy's daycare, and we drive past it every day. Even so, we were those procrastinators that went on one of the last days of October. The pumpkins were pretty picked over, but we bought three and also posed for pictures. Note to self: go to the pumpkin patch earlier in October next year! 
We closed out October with what else...Halloween! On Sunday, our church had its annual Fall Festival. It was pretty chilly, in the low 50s and windy. We decided to pass on the festival and instead meet up with the cousins at Grammy and Grandpa's. Both Grammy & Grandpa and Great Grandma & Great Grandpa loved seeing the kiddos in their costumes. Emmy was a little duckling, and Maddox and Zander were part of the Fantastic 4. Emmy became so stoic when we put her costume on her; we couldn't coax a single smile out of her. Maddox and Zander were more cooperative!

On the actual evening of Halloween, we stayed home for the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. Usually, Boomer and I order a pizza and pass out the candy until it is gone. This year, I actually made dinner (pizza again, but homemade!) Since Emmy is still getting healthy, we did not want to keep her up too late. Just after dinner, we attempted the costume one more time to get a few smiles and then it was bathtime and off to bed. Emmy was asleep before the first trick-or-treaters arrived. Boomer and I sat outside on the porch so that the doorbell wouldn't wake her. It's hard to believe that it is now November and Emmy's birth month!