Saturday, February 27, 2010

Zoo Atlanta

Today we got a great opportunity to go to the zoo! My mom's organization (Lekotek) was having an event there and we were able to go and take Emma. I even got to see one of my favorite kids from my class a few years ago! It was SO fun! We nearly froze to death, but it was a great time. It was 37 degrees when we got there, so we were very bundled up. Emma wore a footy-fleece set of jammies, a hat, and some mittens. I also had her bear suit (*see Snow Day post) in case it got that cold, but it didn't. She rode in her stroller for most of the trip, but got in the fleece sling when I felt like her face was getting too cold. She warmed right up and fell asleep! I think she enjoyed what she saw of the zoo.

I've got to say, while we had a great time, it was a bit of a disappointment because so many of the animals were inside because it was so cold. There were no monkeys, gorillas, rhinos, or tigers. We DID see the pandas, warthogs, a zebra, the flamingos, an elephant being trained (SO neat), lots of birds, the reptile house, naked mole rats (NASTY), and some meerkats. The best part was the elephant - the trainer was working with him. He would stretch his ears out, lift his feet one at a time, and run around in circles for treats. We also saw 2 really cool birds. I have NO recollection of what they were called, but they were so funny. They had several dead mice in their enclosure for lunch. They were SO proud of them! They each grabbed one and brought them right over to show off for us. It was SO cute! When we circled back around an hour or so later, they were STILL holding those mice and sitting near the fence to show off. Cuteness.

Here is a collage that I made. I found a new program and thought I'd try it. It was really easy, but not sure how well you can see the photos. It's worth a try! If you click on the picture, you can see it larger.
Tonight we went to my parents' house and they watched Emma while Brad and I went to have some Mexican food and a trip to Starbucks. We had a nice little date night. :) Tomorrow is off to Brad's parents' house for lunch. His mother offers to make lunch on the weekends, but between you and I, I know that it's really so that she can get her hands on my girl. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

8 Months Old

My angel is 8 months old today. Where has the time gone? Today I put my ipod in her room (she has a really cool, retro-looking ipod dock in there) and we were dancing to some music. She kept looking down at a framed set of ultrasound photos that I have of her on her bookshelf - the ones where she had her finger up to her lips. I showed it to her and told her that they were pictures of her. I don't think she believed me. I can barely believe it myself! I remember tearing up in the ultrasound studio when we had those done - it feels like yesterday. She's the light of my life.

She's got SUCH a personality to her. She's as stubborn as an ox. If we're seeing that already, we're in for it when she hits 2! I can already tell. Heck, I knew that time that I asked the OB why she kicked like CRAZY whenever I'd lay on my left side and keep me up all night. I was thinking I was crushing the cord. Nah, he said it was because she just flat out didn't like it! I should have known! She definitely makes her wants and needs known. If those Gerber puffs aren't coming fast enough, you'd better watch out! If you aren't feeding her fast enough, she'll scream (not cry, scream!) to complain in between every bite!!

Now that I've gotten the bad traits out of the way, she has some pretty sweet moments too. This past week we were at my parents' house. I was sitting in their rocking recliner holding Emma and patting her on the butt while I talked to my mom. The next thing I knew, she laid her head down on my shoulder! She NEVER does that anymore! She just kept it there, and would push herself back to look into my face, smile, and lay her head back down. It was honestly the sweetest thing she's ever done. It was the first time she really showed affection intentionally. Be still my heart!!

I hate to say it, but I've been battling a nasty cold ever since last Thursday. Brad took Friday off to help with Emma so that I could rest. It may sound like a fun thing to do, but he HATES to miss work, and it was a big thing for him! He was an incredible help and I'm finally starting to feel better after resting all weekend.

With that said, we didn't do much this week! We DID venture out on Sunday to JCPenneys to have some portraits done of Emma. We take a LOT of photos of her (I have thousands, literally), but haven't had professional ones done since she was one month old. It went pretty well. She wouldn't smile for ANYTHING! We finally got a few cute smiles out of her in the end, but she wasn't sure she was really happy in the smocked dress with the strange lady and the camera!

I ordered several 8x10s and 5x7s, thinking that none of them were SO awesome that I wanted a bigger one to frame and hang. And then they sent me the proofs. The girl worked some photoshopping magic and made 2 collages that I love. I can't decide between the 2, so I thought I'd post them and ask your opinions - you'd better not leave me hanging!!! They are NOT my photos to distribute, as I don't have the copyright. They are the property of JCPenney portrait studios. However, the website did have a "download" option, which is what I did, so I'm assuming that it's legal that I share them?? They're really low resolution, so they don't look great anyway. Oh well. You've been warned. Don't copy them!

They're exactly the same, except for the bottom picture. I'm not going to tell you which way I'm leaning, but give me your honest opinion. Are they good enough to get a large print of, or should I wait until next time??? And, if I should, which one?? Please click on "post a comment" below, or just email me your choice. Thank you blog readers!!

Choice #1

Choice #2

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Super Quick Post!

I don't think I've EVER been as proud of my little girl as I have been today! Just yesterday I was mentioning to my mom that Emma still doesn't really babble using consonant sounds (a developmental milestone) and I was getting a little concerned. The special ed teacher in me sometimes takes over and sees things that aren't there and worries about anything that's not exactly on the "written in stone" timetable. I know I shouldn't be that way, but I can't help it.

Anyway, today she blew me away. I was feeding her Gerber Puffs - her favorite thing in the world, and I kept saying "do you want more?" I've been trying to teach her some baby signs, but never expected what came next. She said "more!" I thought, 'no way, I must be making more out of it than it is.' And then she did it again, and again! Appropriately!!!! She had been making the 'mmmmmm' sound all day, which was also a first. Later, she did it for Brad and my mom got to hear it over the phone two times - they can verify it - she said 'more'! And she ONLY says it when she wants another bite of food!!! Yea!!

As if that wasn't enough, she had another first tonight. We've been working on trying to get her to pick up some finger foods from her tray and put them in her mouth. Until today, she could occasionally get one in her hand from the tray, but it never made it into her mouth because she would get it stuck in her fist and not know how to open it to feed herself. Tonight Brad put some puffs on her tray after she ate her dinner and she picked one up in her fist, using a raking motion! It went straight to her mouth, she opened that little fist, and ate the puff!! She did it again and again - it was awesome!!!

Can you tell we're proud??

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010

Well, ok, so maybe it wasn't a blizzard. But it was a lot of snow for Atlanta! This was Emma's second snow - who would have guessed that it would snow twice here in the span of a couple of months? We have had a great time spending time indoors and staying warm and bundled. I made sure to go on Friday morning to the grocery store and get plenty of food. Last night we had fish with indoor "grilled" asparagus and mashed potatoes. Tonight is pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches from the crock pot (3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 cup BBQ sauce, 1 cup crushed pineapple - cook on low for 4-6 hours, pull/shred, and return to the sauce). We've been eating like kings! :)

So it snowed yesterday late afternoon and into the night. We went out just as it started falling so that Emma could see the snow fall and feel it. She wasn't sure what to think!

We came back in and Brad made a fire in the fireplace - Emma's first! She loved watching it!

Today we went out to play. Brad made Emma her first snowman. She loved watching!

Brad's mom got Emma a snowman kit that has really nice painted, wooden snowman parts - it was so cool!!

So proud of his new friend.

Lucy has been enjoying the snow a bit TOO much. As you can see, the snow makes snowballs on her feet and she has to get in the bathtub or sink whenever we come back in the house. She hates it!

Our little snow angel! Unfortunately, there was snow on the lense.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Week

I'm going to start off with a confession - we haven't taken any pictures to update. We usually bring the camera when we are going somewhere new or exciting, and this week we've really just been around the house. However, I thought I'd post a picture from almost exactly one year ago.

I can hardly believe that this was a year ago. It seems like just yesterday! Emma's getting so big these days. She's got such an incredible personality! She's a stubborn as can be and as impatient as they come - wonder where she gets it........ :)

We DID have an exciting day this week. Brad and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day a little early and went to dinner on Saturday, leaving Emma with Brad's parents for the first time. They came over to our house and we gave them the run down. Emma laid down for a short nap and then we left. We called to get an update and she was being an angel. She had just woken up from a nap and was in the floor playing and giggling. We went to Provino's and had the best dinner. We dropped by Krispy Kreme afterwards to pick up some doughnuts for his parents as a "thank you" gift. When we came home, we weren't expecting what we saw. Apparently, Emma and her Grandmother had been playing in her room with some of Emma's sunglasses. Unfortunately, Emma ended up stabbing herself in the eye with them. When we got home her eye was bright red and tearing and she had what looked to be a rash going up the side of her head near her eye. Brad's mother thought that we should go to the emergency room. I decided to call the 24-hour nurseline at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta before spending all night in the waiting room. Thank GOD the nurse put me at ease. She said to keep our eyes out for any vomiting or discomfort that lasted more than an hour, otherwise, she should be fine. Luckily, within less than an hour she was fine and back to normal. I must say, the worst part of it for me was that I wasn't there to comfort her when she got hurt. I know that her Grandmother did a great job at that, but I still wish I were there. I'm her mama! She DID get a few extra squeezes from her Grandmother and her Mama though! She scared the hell out of us!! So our first major crisis has be averted.

So that was Emma's first 'boo boo,' but I'm sure it won't be the last. She's getting more and more mobile these days. She's scooting a ton and rolling over, and over, and over, and over. But no crawling. She HAS gotten up on all fours once by herself though, so it's right around the corner. To be honest, I'm really not pushing it. I'm just enjoying what I know are the last few weeks of my 'stay remotely where I put her' daughter.

Emma and I went to my friend, Mary's house on Monday to visit with she and her little boy, Jack. Jack is 18 months old and into EVERYTHING - Emma LOVED it! He's so stinkin cute! She just stared and watched him - she couldn't take her eyes off of him. I personally think she was flirting a little bit for the first time. We might be in trouble! I can say though, Mary and Jeremy would make awesome in-laws!!!

Brad has this Friday and Monday off for a long President's Day weekend and we're looking forward to spending some quality time at home doing nothing. Our friends Amber, Jason, and their little boy, Seth, are coming over on Saturday to visit before they go to the circus. We haven't seen them since Emma's baptism and are really looking forward to it. We sure do wish that they lived closer than Carrollton though. When we lived there, we were inseparable. Now that we're farther away, the visits are much more infrequent. :(

Hope everyone has a good Valentine's Day! We'll be spending it at home loving on our little girl this year!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, NEARLY Wordless.....Thank you Aunt Gerri!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Party girl!

We've had SUCH a good week this week! Emma's sleeping habits had gotten horrible - she was waking up as many as 5-6 times a night wanting to eat. I KNEW that she didn't really need to nurse that much, but it seemed to be the only thing that got her back to sleep. Well, after a trip to the pediatrician's office to make sure nothing was wrong (she was starting to scream everytime we laid her down and even sometimes when I nursed her, which was VERY unlike her), we decided to do some sleep training.

We did the "No Cry Sleep Solution" a few months ago, which helped somewhat. However, we needed something much quicker or NONE of us were ever going to get any sleep. I talked to the pediatrician for a LONG time and finally decided that she was ready for a version of the "Cry It Out" method called the "Ferber Method." It involves waiting when she wakes up and letting her cry for short, scheduled amounts of time to learn to soothe herself back to sleep before going in to comfort her. When we do go in, we are only to stay for 2-3 minutes and cannot get her out of the crib. If she didn't calm down, we set the timer for a little bit longer and wait.

I hesitate to even say it for fear of jinxing it, but I thinks she's been officially "ferberized!" She never cried for more than 10 minutes at a time, and now is able to soothe herself back to sleep all on her own - even without the passy! Brad has this awesome technique where he puts his arm on her back and rocks her back and forth in the crib. She goes to sleep within seconds. THAT was the only reason that she cried for so little time because he was always able to get her back to sleep. I did discover that she really IS hungry at least once a night. So we have decided that, until she's no longer needing it, we'll wake her up before she would naturally wake up hungry so that she's not associating crying with getting out of the crib. With that one feeding, she slept from 8:30PM last night until 9:00AM!!! Well, Brad put the passy back in around 7:00AM so that I could get a little extra sleep ;) I'm so proud of her. Now if I can just get in the habit of going to bed a little earlier I might feel rested for once.

We ventured out to the Dekalb County Farmer's market last weekend and tried out a new carrier/sling. I'll try to get the picture off of my phone later. It was AWESOME! She fell asleep and we did our shopping. I love that place.

Emma attended her first birthday party on Saturday. It was baby Kaitlyn's first birthday. We had a great time, but Emma was VERY sleepy and wasn't on her best behavior for the second half. Hard to believe we'll be planning her 1st birthday party in a few months. The time flies so fast. I remember when we went to see Kaitlyn in the hospital when she was born and I was pregnant with Emma - seems like yesterday.

Ready for the party, hairbow and all!

Sleepy girl really liked Kaitlyn's rocking chair!

Pretty birthday girl!

A few tidbits about Emma:

She LOVES Gerber puffs - they melt in her mouth.
She is drinking water from a sippy cup now - one with a straw like a big girl!
Her favorite foods are sweet potato, carrots, pears, peaches, and prunes. Still hates green beans and doesn't really like peas much either.
She's sitting up SO well - she rarely topples over.
She loves sitting in her Baby Einstein exersaucer and working in what Brad calls her "office" while he plays the Wii - she watches his every move.
She finally likes tummy time, now that she's more mobile.
She's quite the little climber on the bed or the floor, though no crawling yet.
She's starting to try to wiggle and turn over while I change her diapers these days - she's also learning the meaning of the word "no!"
She immediately stops what she's doing if Lucy or one of the cats walks in the room - she LOVES them!
She's learning to pet "gently" with Lucy and my parents' dog, Bailey. Slowly but surely. Lucy's gotten very patient.
One of her favorite things to do when it's warm enough is to play on a cool waterproof picnic blanket in the backyard with some toys.

She's such a sweetheart. Her personality is really precious and we see her do something new every single day. She's the love of our lives....well, aside from one another :)

Here are a few more pictures...

Playing at her Grandmother and Grandpop's (Brad's parents)

Gotta love those thigh rolls!! She DID have pants on, but had just had a diaper change and I left them off.