Friday, November 27, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like.....

Christmas! We're decorating as I type! Well, not AS I type. I took a break. Let me play catch up.

Yesterday was Emma's first Thanksgiving. It was the best day we could have possibly asked for. Emma did GREAT on the car trip to my Aunt Claire's house in Thomson, GA. She slept for quite a while and was happy the rest of the trip. We ate great food, visited with family, and Emma got to meet her Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jim for the first time, in addition to her Great-Great Aunt Jean and Great-Great Uncle J.J. (my grandfather's brother and his wife). It was wonderful. Emma was an angel and even took a 2.5 hour nap! We brought her pack and play (which she's never actually slept in) and her miracle blanket. Let me tell you, it really IS a miracle! She was such an angel - I can't get over it.

Barbara, Mom, Grandpa, Claire, and Nancy

Brad and I - Emma was asleep!

Getting some sugar from Aunt Claire

Watching the game with the boys.

Sitting like a big girl!

She had a great trip back home and we had turkey sandwiches at Mom and Dads for dinner before heading home.

It's always been a family tradition to put up the Christmas tree and decorate on the day after Thanksgiving. As a child we always went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down a tree, a tradition that we plan to start with Emma next year when she's old enough to enjoy running around the tree farm. This year we are planning to get one more use out of the fake tree. Brad's putting it up as I speak.

I can't wait to see what Emma thinks of it once it's decorated. She loves things that light up, so I'm sure she will be fascinated. It's so amazing how differently you look at everyday things once she sees them for the first time. She's so amazing.

Nothing too exciting has gone on around here other than decorating. We're just enjoying some time with Brad home as a family.

We've got so much to be thankful for this year. As my Uncle Jim said the blessing yesterday he thanked God for the blessing of Emma. It brought me back to last Thanksgiving. I had just decided to tell the family that I was pregnant with Emma. I had my miscarriage 3 months before. I stood there last year, cautiously excited. I was thrilled to be pregnant, and terrified that I would lose her, as I did my first baby. You just never know, as I have painfully found out in the past. It's amazing to see how things can come full circle. This year has truly been a YEAR of Thanksgiving - so much more than just a day. There is no greater blessing than the blessing of a child.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quick Update

Emma's had a great week this week! She turned 5 months old happened so fast! She started off the week with a bang by deciding to FINALLY master flipping over! She's doing it very intentionally now. She's so funny. There's no more "putting her down on her tummy" anymore - she THROWS herself over onto her back - with a little dramatic effect. She's so smart.

We also started rice cereal a few days ago. I'm not sure that she likes it, but she's getting there. Most of it ended up on her chin, but there were lots of smiles in between bites, so I think she was excited at how big she's getting!

NOT quite sure what she thinks about this cereal stuff....

Today we braved the cold, rainy, Atlanta weather to go meet MckMama! If anyone's not sure who I'm talking about, her blog link is to the right of the page. She is a mom of 4 gorgeous kids. The youngest, Stellan, had a heart defect in utero. He wasn't expected to live. He was born and it appeared that he was completely cured. 5 months later, he showed signs of the defect (SVT) again. He's been hospitalized more times than I can count, has had countless procedures, surgeries, and even flat-lined on the table 2 weeks ago during surgery. Thankfully, the surgery also completely cured him - only a 1% chance that he'll ever have another heart issue. Anyway, his mom, Jennifer, is just an awesome woman and blogger. She's the one that turned us on to the miracle blanket and to babywearing (the baby sling that I carry Emma in). It was so nice to be able to give her a hug in real life! The pictures turned out terrible because it was rainy and there was almost no light out. Oh well, we have the memories!

Stellan and his Daddy

Mom talking to Stellan - SO cute!

MckMama, Emma, and I

We also had a delicious pre-Thanksgiving meal with Brad's family. Some of the best turkey that I've ever had!! We'll be spending Emma's first Thanksgiving in Thomson, GA with my family, so we decided to celebrate a little early with Brad's. It was fun, but Miss Emma sure did miss a nap and decided to tell us ALL about it in the end. She was a trooper though. Can't wait for Thanksgiving to introduce her to some of her family that she's never met. We're also excited to have Emma's Daddy home with us for longer than a weekend! Happy Thanksgiving all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

It really feels like we've been running and running this week, but when I really look back at it, we haven't! Emma's pretty much over her cold. Luckily it was just a runny nose and some congestion. We've been very lucky on that front.

We spent most of last week at home so that she could recover and feel better. It worked! We went to Helen, GA on Saturday to spend a little time away from home. We had a blast as a little family! We got up and got ready leisurely. After Emma's morning nap we headed to Helen. We put her in the stroller and walked around for a long time. There was some sort of biker parade, complete with police escorts. We stopped to cross the street and had to wait for them. It was SO loud that I was sure Emma was freaked out. But, as you can see by the picture, she was too sleepy to care! Something about the stroller just really relaxes her.

After we were done shopping we walked back to the car to drop off the stroller and exchange it for the sling so that a sleepy Miss Em could take a nap while we had lunch. We had our hearts set on the Troll Tavern for some good German food, but the wait was 1/2 an hour and we knew that Emma wouldn't nap long. We decided on a Mexican restaurant with a cool patio and a guy playing the guitar and singing. BAD choice. The music was terrible and the food was worse. Oh well.

We've had better luck on the sleeping front. I gave in and decided that I'd let her "cry it out." Bad idea. She cried nonstop for an hour and a half. She never let up. I finally decided that enough was enough and gave in. She slept better after that, most likely because she was worn out. The following night she only woke up twice! Brad had me go check on her because he wasn't sure she was still breathing! The following night she woke up three times, and three last night as well. We're getting there!

She's doing SOOO much better in the car as well. We set her up with her Baby Einstein da Vinci video and she's good to go. She's great on short trips, and even did well on the hour and 15 minute trip to Helen. Only a little crying on the way back, mostly because she was so sleepy.

Tonight we had a first. Brad had parent-teacher conferences and isn't even home yet as I write this. I have had Emma all day, and even bathed her and put her down by myself! I'm so proud. It wasn't easy, but we made it! I'm sad for him that he won't get to see her, but he DID get lots of good snuggles in this morning.

Walking in Helen with Daddy

Watching the motorcycles - SLEEPY girl! (the marks on her cheek are from her fingers which are CONSTANTLY in her mouth!)

Ready for a stroll with mama.

WHY are you keeping me from my nap?? - LOVE this picture!

Walking near the river in Helen.
Walking in her umbrella stroller tonight - my littlest pumpkin!

Happy girl!

Bouncing in our bouncy thingy (does it have a name?) right before bed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

20 Weeks

I THINK Emma's 20 weeks this week, but don't hold me to it. I'm losing track! I get emailed newsletters for every week of her life that details what her developmental milestones should be and tips and such, and I THINK that this last week was week 20! This week's been pretty uneventful, but not the best one in the record books.

Emma's sleep is still crappy. There's no better word for it without using ugly words that I'd rather not use. I'm gradually trying to make her bedtime a little earlier. I've learned a lot about her over the last couple of weeks. Each night around 6:30 starts what I call the "witching hour." She is SO tired and starts to get fussy. There's just no pleasing her with anything except for bath and bedtime. I'm starting to think that she may need to be down by 6:30, but it's really going to mess with OUR schedule if we do that. Right now she's down somewhere between 7:30-8:30. She's been sleeping until about midnight and then is up about once an hour. Most of those times I put the passy back in and we go back to sleep, but we're up again in an hour. It really takes a lot out of you when you go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 and then are up in an hour. There's something to be said for long stretches of sleep!

I've done a lot of internet research over the last few days about what could possibly be going on with my little princess. There's something that I had never heard of before called the "4 month wakeful period." Basically, because babies are developing so much cognitively around their 4 month birthday, they are more frequent wakers at night. I'm not sure whether or not it's true, but it seems to be. She doesn't really "wake up" when she fusses at night. Her eyes stay closed but she cries. If you get her up, she screams hysterically because she wasn't actually awake. This afternoon I posted a message about our sleep mess on one of my mothering message boards. A mom wrote right back and said that her son did the EXACT same thing - down to the waking times, for 2 weeks straight. I'm hoping that that's what this is and that she'll snap out of it soon. It's taking a toll on mama!

We've tried a few things to get over this sleep hurdle, but nothing has worked so far. We are letting her try to soothe herself back to sleep when she fusses. We've stopped getting her out of the crib when she does it. We just talk to her or put her passy back in. Tonight I'm going to try something different. A doctor wrote on a website about the "4 month wakeful period." Her theory is that it's a growth spurt and that the baby is actually hungry when they wake up in the night. Emma's never turned down her "boops" so I'm going to try feeding her tonight. I usually feed her once or twice when she wakes during the night, but I'm going to try to feed her whenever she cries and see if she at least sleeps longer. We'll see. Something's gotta give!

Emma also has a cold that is making her a little miserable. So far it's just a sneezy, runny nose, kind of cold. Her Daddy also came down with a cold 2 days ago. Not sure where she got it - we haven't been anywhere! It's amazing how little you want to get out and do when you haven't gotten any sleep in 2 or 3 weeks :) We're praying that it isn't a bad cold and that she's not down for long. Keep your fingers crossed!

How Emma likes to sleep - COMPLETELY smooshed into the matress! She CAN breathe under there though.

I asked Brad to watch Emma while he put away his laundry and I took a shower. This is what I came back to. I think they were watching The Family Guy. How can I complain though?? :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wild Week

Wow. I'm glad that last week was over, but we're showing no signs of calming down! Emma had a tough time with the after effects of her shots last week. She ran a low-grade fever on and off for 2 days. She has also been VERY crabby. Today is the first day that that seems to have gone away. In addition, her great sleeping habits have gone out the window.

The night after her shots she was up at least once an hour all....night....long. Since then, she hasn't had longer than a 2 hour stretch at night. I'm not sure what the heck the issue is, but it's got to stop - and fast. Sometimes she wakes up and seems to want to eat. Others she just needs her passy put back in. It was tough over the weekend when Brad was here to help, but last night I had double duty so that he could sleep. It was a nightmare. We're going to go back to the sleep training that worked initially. Something HAS to work! She's still falling asleep on her own in her crib, but wakes up off and on all night. No fun for either of us!

Needless to say, Halloween was a wash. We had plans to get together with friends so that Brad could dress up and terrify the kids with this old man mask that scares the "you know what" out of nearly everyone, including me. Unfortunately, the only one who got to see the mask was Emma. She was fussing on Halloween night so I put the mask on, not sure of what her reaction would be. She looked me right in the face and busted out in a huge gummy smile. I swear, it's not a natural reaction! I'll have to get a picture of Brad in this mask to give you the full impression. Scary. To top it off, we only had one lonely trick or treater.

Here are some Halloween pictures of Emma. Actually, they were taken last night (the night after Halloween) and this morning. You can see how happy she was about the situation!

Before bed - not feeling good, and letting us know about it!

In the morning - much happier!

We've had some fun times too. We decided that she was finally ready for her exersaucer, so my Mom and I put it together for her. As you can see, she LOVES it! Particularly the star toy on it - she LOVES things with faces! She's so stinkin cute!

Wish us luck on this sleep thing. I don't think I can physically take another night of less than 3 hours of sleep total.

Playing with Mr. Star - her best new buddy!