Thursday, March 23, 2017

March Madness

Since marrying Boomer, there is one thing that I have learned: the official holiday in March is the NCAA basketball tournament! Aside from perhaps Thanksgiving, his favorite time of the year is March Madness. He loves watching the selection show, listening to all the commentary, filling out his bracket[s], following along with each round, and talking trash to anyone who will listen. The tv in the Kennedy household stays on any channel broadcasting basketball, as he flips back and forth to watch as many of the games as possible. iPad, laptop, phone -- he has numerous ways to watch the games simultaneously. Between work and evening events, he probably doesn't get to watch as much as he would like, but he still manages to keep up with his brackets in various different pools (none that require any money, thank goodness!) In honor of March Madness, Grammy dressed Em in her college gear so she was ready to watch the games with her Daddy. Take a look at the newest member of Gator Nation! Em is also a big Wake Forest fan. Unfortunately, Wake lost in the opening round games, so we'll be cheering for Florida in the rest of the tournament. Go Gators!
Photo courtesy of: Daddy (when Mommy was out of town!)
While I wouldn't call it 'madness', March has brought with it a fair share of general busyness. Spring sports are underway at Boomer's school, and at my work, we are gearing up for our open house programs, which take place on two separate Saturdays in the next three weeks. Throw in a Bachelorette Weekend, a 8-5 job, a few high school evening programs, a doctor's appointment, and training for a half-marathon, the days are flying by. I am so thankful for the opportunities we have had to see family. My dad's cousin, Karen, stopped through Kernersville earlier this month, and then she and her daughter Kayce came back again to see my grandparents. Em was all smiles throughout our lunch. You can see how happy she is in these pictures with Great Gma Nancy. Then, while I was away in Boone for the Bachelorette Weekend, Boomer took Em to Star to spend some time with Granny and PawPaw. It was a win-win, because Em got some cuddles from her grandparents, while Boomer had extra help for the day! I had a lot of fun with my girlfriends celebrating Emily and Daniel's upcoming wedding. Of course I missed Em, but I think the first night away was a success. It certainly eased my mind knowing she was in such great hands with Boomer; he did an excellent job flying solo for the weekend. While I was away, he sent me a lot of pictures (like the one pictured above), and I loved seeing what they were up to during their daddy-daughter time. I got a laugh out of the many outfit changes she had throughout the weekend! It seemed she was wearing something different in every picture -- apparently there were several blowouts! It didn't keep her from smiling though, and she is such a ham for the camera. 
This past week has been very special as Em had the opportunity to meet her great-grandparents, my mom's parents Great Gma Harriet and Great Gpa Bill. They made the trip up from Florida and spent a few days at my parent's house. We had dinner together several nights, and it was so special to have four generations together. Em loved pulling on Great Gpa Bill's beard, and she loved being fed and falling asleep with Great Gma Harriet. Since I was at work during the day, Em got to spend more time with them than I did....but let's be honest, she was the real reason for their trip :)  
Em had her 4-month appointment this past Monday. Going into each appointment, I have been nervous to see the number on the scale. Since Em's 2-week appointment when her weight was down, I just haven't gotten over worrying about her weight. In the last few weeks, she has felt heavier and she is certainly growing out of her clothes, but I wanted the scale to confirm that. After Monday's appointment, I am happy to report that our girl is growing right on schedule! She is on a healthy growth curve, weighing in at 13 lbs 2.5 oz (21st percentile) and measuring 26 inches in length (94th percentile). The doctor was very pleased with her development. He commented on her alertness and on her hip movement, as she tried to roll over several times while being examined. She had to have a few vaccinations, so that part was no fun for Mommy or for baby, but we got through it. Our next appointment will be at six months, assuming we don't have to go in before that. We have been lucky to skate through the winter months with only one minor cold; I pray that sickness continues to stay away as we move into spring!
Here are a few other pictures from early March: Daddy playing ninja during bathtime, Em getting oh-so-close to rolling over, Em being held by her cousin Zander, and a photo of Em and her friend, Laurel, dressed alike at church. (Thank you, Katie, for the adorable monogrammed dresses!) Both girls are growing so much.
Oh, and one more big thing, Em laughed for the first time! A real, throw-the-head-back, fullblown giggle fit! We have been trying to coax a laugh out of her for quite some time, and perhaps I should say, specifically BOOMER has been trying. He has tried all means of tickling, singing, and dancing, but it wasn't until Wednesday night that she finally did. And it was MOMMY who got her to do it! I made this ridiculous sound, saying "hey, hey" like a seal, and she just threw her head back and laughed. Luckily we captured it on video. It was the best sound :)

While March has been busy, 'busy' just means 'making memories'!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Squirmy, Smiley, and 4 Months Old

Every day is something new with our squirmy, smiley 4-month old! Our little Em likes chewing on her hand, blowing bubbles, and finding the television, wherever it may be in the room. She also loves kicking around on her changing table and sleeping in the car. The rainforest is still one of her favorite activities, and she especially likes grabbing the toucan. She is pretty strong when she is sitting in her Bumbo or rolling over from her tummy to her back. She has not yet done the reverse, but she is so close! Our curious little girl almost rolls over when she is trying to see something over her shoulder. I don't think it will be much longer until she figures it out. Her hair is still sparse, with the most being on the very top of her head. We are a long ways away from pigtails! She likes spending the day with Grammy; walking around the neighborhood, reading books, or running errands around town. When Grammy comes over in the morning, she loves calling out to her and saying 'hello.' Em sure has a thing for the men in her life, because she loves to smile at Grandpa and laugh at Daddy. She also doesn't make a fuss around her cousins, whether it's letting Zander hold her or allowing Maddox to rock her in her car seat. She continues to be a great sleeper. Em's bedtime is around 7:30PM...and sometimes it is hard to keep her awake even that late! Usually around 6:45PM or 7:00PM, she will make her displeasure known if Mommy isn't moving fast enough with the bedtime routine. We will bounce around or sing songs to at least make it until 7:15PM, when we will do a last feeding. She is eating around 30 ounces a day, and sometimes as much as 9 ounces at the nighttime feeding. She is in between sizes right now: her 0-3 month clothes are too small, but some of the 3-6 month clothes are too big. Luckily we have a lot of clothes, because she tends to have one big blow-out a day. It is a rare surprise for me to see her in the same outfit in the evening as the one she had on that morning. 

Up ahead in the next few days, we have Em's 4-month
appointment, which will include a few more vaccines and the usual measurements. By our own judgement, she is a happy, healthy little girl, but I am anxious to have the doctor confirm that. We also have a big 'first', as I spend my first night away from Em. Next weekend, we are celebrating Emily's Bachelorette Weekend in Boone, so I am turning things over to Daddy for Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully it will be a fun weekend for everyone! Speaking of weekend, happy Friday! Em is already asleep, and I hope to make it up until Boomer gets home. We met him earlier for dinner at the River Grill in Yadkinville, but he went back to school for baseball. Yep, it's baseball season! They are calling for some winter weather on Saturday night, so spring seems like it is taking its time. We will set the clocks forward this weekend and hope for longer days and warmer weather...Or maybe one more snow day!

Happy 4 Months, Emerson! We've loved every single day with you!

I couldn't help including this may be one of my favorites! <3

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Date Nights

We had two special occasions this past week -- our 8th dating anniversary and the Forbush JROTC Military Ball. Initially, Boomer thought it was silly to celebrate our dating anniversary -- "we have a wedding anniversary, why do we need to celebrate our dating anniversary??" Pssh silly guy! Girls like to celebrate everything! He changed his tune when I suggested that we always return to the place of our very first date. So on Tuesday night (February 28th), we went back to where our story began! Eight years ago, we went out to dinner at Mellow Mushroom in Winston-Salem and then had our first kiss later that night. It was that evening that we mark as the start of our dating relationship. There were a few coffee dates before that and one late night dinner at McDonald's after an intramural game, but it was the night at Mellow Mushroom that seemed most significant. So here we are again, ordering the same pepperoni and bacon pizza, but this time as a party of 3. 

Completely candid <3
 Then, on Saturday, we had another date night, but this time as the original Kennedy Party of 2. Grammy come over to babysit (yes, after already watching Em all week!), and Boomer and I went to his school's JROTC Military Ball. It was a very formal event, with all of the cadets dressed in their uniforms and their dates in gowns. There was a plated meal, a guest speaker, and special recognitions for the graduating seniors. Being in the room with the cadets reminded me again of the freedoms we have in our country and the young men and women who fight to protect those freedoms. It was an honor to be invited and be among this next generation of heroes. After the program portion ended, the dancing began. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get Boomer on the dance floor, but I will try again next month when we go to Forbush's Prom!
Em continues to surprise us with new tricks each week! This week, Grammy tried out the Bumbo, and Em was strong enough to sit up on her own. She slumps just a bit, but overall she seems to enjoy this new contraption. As she gets even stronger, it will be great to have an alternative to laying her down under the rainforest or putting her in the monkey chair.
Em is growing fast! I'm looking forward to next week's 4-month appointment to see what her new weight and length are. Just based off of her clothes, I know that she is getting bigger. Her 0-3 month onesies were starting to pull at the neck and the sleepers were making it hard for her to stretch out her legs! My project yesterday was once again packing up the smaller clothes and swapping them for the next size. Didn't I just do this?? Gosh, the time is flying by!
Here are a few other snapshots from the week: napping after church, breaking out in a smile, cousin-bonding with Adelynn while at Trivett and Kessley's birthday party, hanging out with Uncle Goosie, and just generally looking cute! 

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Day in the Life of Emerson (Part 2)

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post on what a typical day looked like for Emerson. I wrote about the routine (or lack thereof!) that we had during my maternity leave. Now that I am back at work, Emerson's days are a bit different and a bit more structured. We are all adjusting to the 'new normal' that comes with me being a working mom. Our mornings now start a little before 6AM. I will get myself ready and then either Boomer or I will go in to get Em around 6:30AM (depending on if Boomer has left for work yet). The hour or so I spend with her after that is very precious, and it goes by quickly with changing her diaper, feeding her, and pumping. Grammy arrives around 7AM to provide an extra set of hands. When I leave for work around 7:30AM, Grammy Daycare begins. Grammy may spend a little more time at the house, perhaps feeding Em or changing her out of her pajamas. Most days, they then go to Grammy and Grandpa's house, when Em will fall asleep for her morning nap. 
Sometimes this nap may last for just the 10-minute car ride, or sometimes, it is much longer (1 to 2 hours!) At first, my mom worried about keeping Em in her car seat, but as you can see, she doesn't seem to mind! After napping, Grammy plans a lot of fun activities for the day. They may visit Great Gma and Great Gpa... 
...or they may visit Mommy at work!

This picture was from this past Tuesday. Grammy and Grandpa had an errand to run in Greensboro, so they stopped by my office. It definitely brightened my day, and I enjoyed showing off my little girl. My coworkers loved seeing Emerson. Most of them had met her at our office Christmas party in December, and they all remarked how much she has grown since then. Grammy and Grandpa said that they would be back again and we would go out to lunch!

In the afternoons, if the weather is nice, Grammy may take Em on a walk around the neighborhood. All that fresh air means Em gets sleepy again, so she may have her afternoon nap in the stroller. 
Grammy has a double stroller, and on one day this past week, Maddox filled the front seat. He wasn't feeling too well and had to stay home from daycare. Maddox and Em got in some cousin time, while still maintaining a healthy distance. Grammy was extra careful to make sure they didn't share germs! If the weather doesn't cooperate for an afternoon walk, Em may take her nap indoors in the Pack 'n Play.
Throughout the day (and when she is not sleeping!), Em plays with all the different toys at Grammy and Grandpa's house. She loves kicking around on her boppy, pulling (and chewing) on the rings that hang down on the arch activity gym, and just generally being spoiled by her grandparents!

When the workday is over, Boomer and I rush home as soon as we can. Most days, Grammy will bring Em back to our house, but sometimes I pick her up there. On the best days, I'm reunited with my little girl around 5:30PM. On the days when traffic is heavy or work goes a little long, it's closer to 6PM. I haven't quite figured out making dinner yet. In the ten days of work so far, I've only cooked once (yikes!) Grammy has cooked dinner a couple of times (have I said how thankful I am for her??), and we have also gone out to eat, done take-out, or had leftovers. Since Emerson is not very mobile and is agreeable to being in her car seat, we've continued to eat out like we did pre-baby. Let's be honest, I didn't cook much then either! 

After dinner, we play with Em for a little bit until it nears bedtime. If it is a bath night, play time is in the bath. Barring major spit-ups or blowouts, we give Em a bath 2-3 times a week.

Around 8PM or 8:30PM, Em will start showing signs that she is sleepy. I've gotten pretty good at reading these signals: yawning, sucking on her hand, becoming squirmy when we are holding her but then also does not want to be put down. I'll take her into her nursery for the last feeding and a few bedtime songs. Even if she falls asleep in my arms, she generally wakes when I am putting her in her crib. I haven't mastered the smoothest transition yet, but she seems to like her crib and doesn't fuss. I'll watch her from the monitor in our room, and she is usually out within 10 minutes. Boomer and I stay up a little longer, watching The Bachelor tv and unwinding from the day. During this time, I find myself looking at my phone at the pictures and videos of Em. Although I am tired and dread the sound of the alarm clock, I look forward to when I will see her again in the morning!