Monday, January 25, 2010

Pajama Day

We have yet again had a pretty laid-back week. We've been to the grandparents' (both sides) house for dinners, played a lot, and tried to catch up on sleep. Tomorrow we are going to my friend, Rachel's house for dinner and another play-date for Juliette and Emma. The boys sort of have fun too (Juan has LOTS of videogames!), and the Mamas enjoy adult conversation while the girls play. It's so nice to have someone with a daughter so close in age. It is also great that we seem to be pretty similar in our ideas on parenting. I think I may have mentioned before, we both graduated from St. Pius (she was the year after me) and we both teach/taught severe and profoundly disabled students in Dekalb County. However, we didn't actually "meet" until last year when I realized from her facebook page that we were both due, with little girls, one day apart from each other! It's a small world.

Unfortunately, Juliette's an even worse sleeper than Emma, so we brought our co-sleeper over for them to try out a few days ago. Brad mistakenly left a piece at home, so we have to bring it to them tomorrow as well. I'm hoping that they enjoy it as much as we did. It's so much easier to get up in the middle of the night when you don't actually have to get "up." I could reach right over, grab Emma, feed her, put her back down, and lay back down without actually waking up. It was great while it lasted.

Tonight started out pretty rough. For starters, we had a "pajama day." It was the first day since Emma was born that I honestly didn't change her clothes from morning until bedtime. Luckily, she kept them clean. We didn't have a good night last night and I just wasn't very motivated to do much, as we didn't have any plans for the day. Emma took a late nap that ran even later while I cooked dinner (more on that in a second). She got fussy around her regular bedtime, so we bathed her and put her down then. I should have known better. Unfortunately, she wasn't really sleepy. She fussed every 5 minutes for a good hour. After both of us tried our patented tricks to get her to sleep (Brad has this "arm thing" that he does that knocks her out everytime - but not tonight) I finally gave up. I told Brad that I'd rather get her up and enjoy her for awhile rather than fight her. So we did. And I'm glad we did, or we would have missed this.....

She LOVES it when you scare her! I think that shows a little bit of what kind of a girl she is. She's fun-loving and loves to be where the action is. After playing for awhile, she went right down in her crib and is asleep as I type this. I'm watching her on the video monitor, which is the coolest thing EVER. Highly recommend it. It's nice because I can check in the middle of the night when she fusses and see if her passy is out, and we need to go in, or if she's just tossing and turning. So great.

So dinner tonight was FABULOUS! I saw a recipe on Rachel Ray for White Chicken Chili. I can't stand Rachel, but happened to catch it when she was showing the top 10 requested recipes off of her show - most of them weren't her recipes! We changed it just a touch and made it even better. The best thing was that it was SOOO easy. It was literally ready in 20 minutes. Here's the recipe - you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you don't try it. Trust me.

Combine all ingredients in a pot over high heat:

32 oz. chicken stock (one of the boxes)
3 cans of white beans, undrained (we used 2 cans white beans, 1 can black beans)
1, 16-oz jar of salsa (we used hot because it will be so diluted, it wasn't hot at ALL)
5 cups of cooked chicken (I baked 3 chicken breasts at 400 degrees for 40 minutes with seasoned salt and garlic powder, and then shredded them)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz of pepper jack cheese (I used a bag of Monterrey jack)
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream, to garnish

You literally throw the ingredients in a pot, bring them to a boil, and simmer for as long as you want to. I think we let it cook for 15 minutes or so. Everything's already cooked, so you're just cooking to combine the flavors. We served it with tortilla chips and it was SOOO good - it will be a regular in our house. You can also cook it in a crock pot - put the raw chicken in with the other ingredients, cook on high 6-8 hours, remove and shred chicken, add it back in, and simmer. Yum. Let me know if you try it!

I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow if I remember to bring my camera. Can't wait to see the girls play again!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

7 Months!

I know that I say it all the time, but my baby girl really is growing up. Let's see......She turns 7 months old in 2 days, she's eating 2, sometimes 3 meals of real food a day, most of which I make. She LOVES pears, peaches, and prunes. She tolerates green beans, peas, applesauce, bananas, and pumpkin. The only thing that she CANNOT get down is squash, though she didn't realize I snuck some in with some pears once and she was able to tolerate them. She is finally starting to make some babbling sounds. She wears 9 month clothes. We are still doing cloth, but if we weren't, she'd be in a size 3 diaper. She's quite the hair puller lately - my hair, Brad's beard, the cats.......we're working on the word "no!" She's pulled hair for awhile, but it's recently gotten pretty painful and has turned into a game - she loves it when I scream! We'll fix that. Her sleep is still not great. It really varies from one day to the next. One day she takes 2, 3 hour naps and sleeps like a champ, waking up once to eat. The next, she takes 30 minute naps at the most, and wakes up 4 times to eat at night. Still working on it. She's sitting up!! Have I already mentioned that she's sitting up??? Cuz she is. And I'm proud. Can you tell??? She rarely falls over, and when she does it's no big deal. No traumatic brain injuries yet!

SO proud!

Love this bald little head!

Playing with her busy ball from her Aunt Elaine and Uncle George.

"I see Lucy!" - she's REALLY wanting to play with Lucy these days!

Playing on the floor with Grandmother, showing off!

We've been jet-setting lately. We went to see my Grandpa and Aunt Claire, Uncle David, and Jamie and Jack in Thomson on Saturday. The trip went SO well. Emma was pretty good in the car. She only napped for 20 minutes on the trip up there in her "fortress of solitude," - Brad's clever little invention. When she can see out of the windows of the car she gets all keyed up and stares out the window, keeping her awake. So he decided to cover her up like a bird in a cage. It works! Put her in her fortress, play a little Dixie Chicks "Lullaby," and she's usually out.

"The Fortress of Solitude"

Smilin at my Great-Grandpa!

Aunt Claire loving on Emma after a LONG nap!

She took a good 2 hour nap at Claire's and was a perfect angel the rest of the time. She visited with her Great-Grandpa and her Aunt Claire. She did ok on the ride home. Ok, but not great.

We got an exciting package last week! Do you remember her snowman hat?? Brad's Aunt Gerri made it for her. She and her sisters and Brad's mom also made Emma a gorgeous baby quilt when she was born. As soon as I realized that I actually knew someone who was that creative and artistic, I BEGGED her to make Emma another one. Well, we got them in the mail - not one, but 2! They are SOOO cute! What I really love is that their sized so that they will fit her forever. I can roll them up now and can unroll them when she gets older. How cute are they???

Seriously, does it GET any cuter???? She looks like a little Fraggle!

LOVE this one!

One last picture. The other day we went to Brad's parents house for dinner. He sat in the back with Emma and I drove. When we got there I went around to get Emma out while Brad got the "stuff." This is what I saw.

So stinkin cute!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010


I haven't updated in a little while because, well.....there's not much to say! We enjoyed our snow-day-created 3 day weekend with Brad, and mostly stuck around the house. It's such a hassle to bundle us ALL up these days when it's so cold that we don't usually go far. We DO go to my parents' house several times a week. We're blessed to have them living so close to us and to have them love on us all so much. Not only is it a home-cooked meal that I don't have to cook, but it's a little breathing time for me too when I'm not on full-time duty.

My Dad is so precious with Emma. He often meets me at the car to get her because he just can't wait to see her. She LOVES him too. She puts her hands on either side of his face and just stares at him and smiles so big. It's SO precious. He tells her that he has to get all of his squeezing time in before her Grammy gets home and takes her. And he's right! Her Grammy loves her to pieces and she loves her Grammy.

As much as I love and adore being at home with Emma all day, every day, it's exhausting. By the end of the day I'm so worn out that I've had it. It's great when Brad can take her and play when he gets home, but that doesn't last long because she seems to want her Mama to take her from Dad sometimes. But when she's with her Grammy and Grandpa, she's good to go!

I took these pictures with my mom's camera a few days ago. Emma and Lucy were on my parents' bed playing. Lucy is terrified of children and, though she likes Emma so far, whenever Emma looks mobile, Lucy freaks out. As you can tell, it all started out well and good, until Emma looked like she MIGHT be able to get her hands on Lucy!

What are we gonna play now, Grammy??

Gettin a little wild!!

"Mama, I'm not so sure about this baby stuff!"

Heading for the hills - JUST out of reach.

This picture cracked me up. As soon as I took it I screamed - Emma looks EXACTLY like Brad! Not Brad as a baby, Brad now. Wow.

I'll be the first to tell you that Emma is a high-maintenance little girl. She doesn't like to be put down, gets bored VERY easily, and has quite the temper. I wouldn't have her any other way! My mom recently pointed out to me that, as a teacher, I didn't want the 'easy' kids. I loved the biters, the aggressive kids, the autistic kids, the ones that were so rough and tumble that the other teachers just stared with an expression of 'thank GOD I don't have THAT class!' And she's right. I like kids with personality, and Emma's NOTHING if not full of that.

Today I took Emma on an impromptu visit to my school. We visited with my old co-workers and had a good time. I brought Emma to Midvale when she was about 6 weeks old on a teacher workday, so this was her first visit when she was aware of what was really going on. I think she's a future special ed teacher in the making - she seemed to love staring at the kids! She was a real trooper.

She's napping now, which is the only reason I'm able to type this. She's had a tough time sleeping the last week or so. She's been waking a couple of times at night, which is her norm, but has had a BAD time napping. She wakes up several times during the nap and often "thinks" she only needs to sleep 30 minutes. I know better, so it's a big fight. By the end of those nights, she's a hot mess. When she gets in "that" mood, I call her TeeTee. I'm not sure why, but it's her alter ego. Whenever she has missed some sleep, she turns into TeeTee....not sure WHERE she gets that from (HER DADDY!!!!)

I'm not sure why, but Blogger won't let me make these pictures any bigger. Sorry if they're hard to see! I tried over and over.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day

We're snowed in! Ok, well, maybe not quite. We have what I would call a heavy dusting, though our driveway is solid ice. It was enough to get a snow day for Brad from school, which is all that counts! We've had a laid back day so far. We got up and got Emma dressed for a blizzard. She had on thick, fleece, footy pj's, a thick zip-up bear suit, mittens, a hat, and the hood of her bear suit.

We played in it a little, walked around the yard surveying the frozen stuff, and Emma even tasted a little snow - not her thing! Check out the video below.

Snow Day! from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

Yesterday was Emma's 6 month check up. She did SOOOO well! She weighs in at 16 lbs 10 oz. and is 26 inches long. She's still right between the 50-75th percentile for both height and weight, which is perfect! She should start drinking a little water now from a sippy cup, which we had already started a little. She can start finger foods (cheerios and puffs) around 7-9 months. The doctor said she looks perfect and couldn't get over how happy she is! Her shots were SO much better than last time. She barely even cried! She had 3 shots, cried a little, but stopped as soon as I picked her up. Awesome! She hasn't had a fever so far either, which she did last time. We're doing the tylenol thing anyway, just in case.

Hope everyone has fun in the snow today! Stay safe!

Little Snow Angel!

Daddy kisses - she's SOOO sleepy!

Mama's girl

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ch, ch, changes!

My little girl is getting too big for her britches these days! She's growing so much and so fast that I can barely keep track of her. This week alone she's decided that she's going to go from a "laying back" kind of girl to a "sitting up" kind of girl. She's working hard at it, but can already sit for SEVERAL seconds by herself, and can right herself if she starts to "tump over," as we say.

Tonight she decided that she would feed herSELF..........feet. Brad had just gotten her out of the tub and they were in the middle of her lotion routine, the one that I posted the video of earlier. When I got out of the shower, she was laying, completely nekkid (yes I KNOW how to spell 'naked.' However, 'naked' means you have no clothes on, 'nekkid' means you have no clothes on and you're up to something!). She had both feet in her mouth and he was taking her picture! She's been playing with her feet for a while, even trying to pull socks off within the last week or so, but putting them in her mouth was new. I think maybe having the diaper off helped - it IS a little cumbersome around the belly.

One foot......

Two foot......
(thank GOD there's no 'red foot, blue foot!')

I'm trying to think of what else she's been doing........I can no longer sit her in the bouncy seat without a seat belt on and walk away. She refuses to lay back anymore and yesterday I found her sitting straight up in it, staring at me. She had apparently dropped her cow toy and was trying to reach it. Well EXCUUUUUUSE me! She is also getting a little.....pardon the expression, pissy in the car again. When I go to put her in the carseat, she doesn't want to lay back - because she's a 'sittin up' kind of girl these days, you know. I have to push her back in the seat to strap her in, which pisses her off to no end.

Tomorrow is her 6 month check-up and I'm DREADING it. I think I'd rather have a root canal, though I've never had one before. I'm pretty sure I'd rather deal with the pain than have a cranky, feverish, unhappy, miserable, whiny, fuss-butt of a little girl for days on end. I'm hoping and praying that it isn't as bad as last time. Yes, it's the hardest thing ever to see her in pain with the shots, but the last experience taught me that the repercussions of the shots are much, much worse than the shots themselves. She was SO miserable. Ick.

I'm glad that our appointment is in the morning though because we're going to get snow tomorrow!!!! We're praying for a snow day for Brad on Friday so he can stay home with us. Between you and me, I'm pretty sure he'll be here. He refuses to jinx it though :)

My sweetest angel in the world.

Can you tell by this look how much she adores her Daddy??

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas, and other things.

I have been a very bad blogger lately. In actuality, a lot has been going on and we've been so busy that I haven't wanted to spend the little free time I have blogging. I'm officially ending my Christmas "blogging break" so I'll post more often! I'll try to make up for it with LOTS of pictures in this post.

A ton has gone on since I last posted. We had a great Christmas. On Christmas eve we went to the Children's mass at Holy Cross. Emma was an angel. She fussed for a second and then I was able to stand up and sway with her to the music until she fell asleep. She didn't wake up again until we were on the way to the car! It was great. Here are some pictures we took after mass at my parents house.

Mama and Emma
My FAVORITE picture - really shows my girl's personality!

After mass Emma continued a tradition in my family. Every Christmas eve I would get to open one present. Emma opened her new Learn and Groove music table from Leapfrog. I think her Grammy and Grandpa bought every single toy that Leapfrog made this year! We have one spoiled little girl!

On Christmas morning we woke up and Santa had visited our house! Emma LOVED helping us unwrap our presents to each other - Santa's gifts come unwrapped at our house.

After we played with our new toys we went to my parents' house for presents and lunch. Emma had a blast playing with her new toys! I think her Grammy and Grandpa enjoyed it even more than she did!

After lunch, we went home for a BIG nap. After naptime, we headed to Brad's parents house for dinner. Emma was pretty exhausted and wasn't on her best "visiting" behavior. She DID save a few smiles for her Aunt Fylicia though!

Don't you love her tights?? They have built in "mary jane shoes!" It was a great Christmas. We left the following morning for a trip to Gatlinburg, TN that wasn't meant to be. We rented the cabin online, judging the place by the gorgeous pictures we had seen. Unfortunately, the cabin had not been cleaned since the previous renters and there was trash everywhere. On top of that, our bedroom was actually a loft - with no door. Emma NEVER would have been able to even take a nap while she could hear everything going on in the house. Unfortunately, everything else was booked because of the season. We eventually decided to make the long trek home. 13 hours in the car total. I never want to think about it again. So I won't.

We've been staying pretty low-key lately, sleeping in and napping lots. We've done some visiting with family and friends, and I even got to go out shopping and meet a girlfriend for lunch BY MYSELF!! Since Emma has started to eat solids, I know that Brad can feed her if she gets hungry. It's so nice! Unfortunately, she decided on this particular day that she wouldn't eat for anyone but Mama. She was crying when I got back, but it was a trip I desperately needed.

Speaking of eating, Emma's loving some of her homemade baby food. Her favorites are pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, and prunes. She tolerates green beans, peas, applesauce, and bananas. She's quite the little eater these days!

Here are some pictures from a Santa visit I think I mentioned in a previous post. We went with Brad's family to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa. Emma and her cousin, Luke, sat on Santa's lap.

Emma's just fascinated by the big guy. Here's a precious picture of us waiting before seeing Santa. Bass Pro has a HUGE fish tank with all sorts of native fish in it. They swim right up to you and it seems like you could almost touch them. Emma's wearing the precious hat that her Aunt Gerri made her! It's SOOOO cute!!

Tonight we had a fun night. We went to a friend's house for a play date. Rachel and I went to St. Pius together (one year apart) but never knew each other. I saw her at Special Olympics a few years ago with my students and knew that I had seen her at Pius before, but didn't know her. Come to find out, she is also a special education teacher that teaches severe and profoundly intellectually disabled students too! Even weirder, she and I were pregnant at the same time - Emma was due July 5th, and Juliette was due July 4th. She came on her due date, and Emma was 2 weeks early. What's really funny is that Juli weighed around 7 lbs, and Emma was 9 at birth. We weighed them tonight - they're both 17 lbs!! Emma had a 1/2 pound on her, though I think it was likely the diaper.

They loved playing with each other tonight! They were precious. I hope they grow up to be good friends. I think we both plan on sending them to St. Pius, though elementary school is still undecided for us. It's so fun that they're only 2 weeks apart! Brad and Rachel's hubby, Juan, also got along really well - they're both lovers of video games. It was a great night!

Promise I'll update again soon!!