Sunday, May 30, 2010

Helen, Part 1

We just got back from the BEST impromptu vacation! A few weeks ago I got an email from the cabin rental company that we always use when we go to Helen, GA. They were having a great Memorial Day special, so I went ahead and booked a cabin without even telling Brad. That's a first. But I figured that Emma and I both outnumbered him, so he'd have to come with us. ;) He was actually very excited, so I wasn't in trouble.

We spent 3 nights and took well over 300 pictures, so I have lots to share. Figured it made more sense to break it up into days, so here's how day 1 went.

We got up and had a leisurely morning at home because check-in time was 3:00 and Helen is only a little over an hour from home. Brad had packed most of the car the night before, so he finished packing and we left. We dropped by my parents' house to drop Lucy off. The cabins are pet-friendly, but we figured it was a bit ambitious to have 2 babies to take care of on our first vacation ever, so she stayed with Bailey and he puppy-sat.

We hit the road running and only stopped once - at Jaemor's Apple Orchard. It's actually more of a country store/farmer's market than just an orchard, but they have that too. It's not apple season, so we got a pint of fresh strawberries that were grown right there. They were SO good! We also got some boiled peanuts that were fabulous too. Emma was fawned over by everyone in the place. She's gotten into waving at strangers, so she made lots of friends!

We got to the cabin around 4:00 and it was awesome. Huge screened in porch with a jacuzzi and a gas grill, nice living room with hardwood floors. It's funny, when you have a baby, the first thing you do when you walk in the door is push the coffee table out of the way! We brought a big quilt, so we put that down for Emma to play on. We unpacked while she played with her toys. She then took a NICE nap in her pack n play. I was amazed - the last time she was in it, she was up every single hour in Carrollton. After she woke up from nap, Brad grilled out some hotdogs. They were nitrate free (from Oscar Mayer's, surprisingly) so Emma had some for dinner too. She LOVED them!

After dinner we headed to Helen to go to Betty's Country Store. It's literally the ONLY store in about 10 miles that sells groceries of any sort. We had to get paper towels (we go THROUGH them with Emma!) and had to get some of Betty's world famous "boiled" cookies. They're not really boiled, but they are REALLY good. We drove around a bit on the way home, being adventurous. Turned out all we saw were cows, fields, and mountains. Very pretty scenery.

After we got back, Emma had her very first bath in a jacuzzi tub. Let's just say, the girl's spoiled. She loved it! After we put her to bed we got in the hot tub to relax. I wish we had one - it was fabulous.

Emma slept really well. She woke up twice, but that had been her norm at home too. We had a great first day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grandpa's Birthday

We spent yesterday evening (5/18) at my parents' house to celebrate my Dad's 64th birthday! He's been through an awful lot this past year and it was nothing short of a miracle that we were all there, healthy, and happy to celebrate. Emma wore her best birthday dress and her big bow that Mama reserves for special occasions. (Though SHE was happy to wear it, I took pity on her and took it right off after the photo.)

Emma also got to spend some time with her Grammy swinging outside. You'll notice that not only did she have to have a swing for our house for Easter, she had to have one for their house too. ;) Can we say, spoiled??

Thought these were too precious not to share. I had her sun bonnet custom made from this etsy store. I LOVE it! You can fold the brim back as well and it is adjustable and should fit her until she's several years old. It does a great job of keeping the sun out of her face. I call it her "Little House on the Prairie" hat.

I also remembered that I forgot a few precious things that she does lately when I was writing my last post. Her favorite game in the world is "peekaboo." Actually, we say "where's Emma?......there she is!" She holds whatever fabric that she has in front of her face and then throws it down with a huge smile on her face - probably the cutest thing I've ever seen! She even tried to do it with a sock yesterday. Precious.

She also waves "hi." She doesn't really get "bye bye" but it's really only because we never say it to her. Whenever I leave her anywhere (which is almost never) I try to make it as quick of a slip-out-the-door as I can. She DOES, however, like to wave "hi" to all of the animals, her Daddy, her toys, you name it. It's SO cute!!

Did you notice that in the first picture she looks JUST like Brad?? However, I think my Mama will agree, she looks just like ME in the last one! She's somethin.

Can I just freeze her????

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lots of little things.

We've had a nice, relaxing week and weekend, and don't have much to update this week. It's Brad's last week with his students, so we're looking forward to having him home with us very soon. We're also looking forward to spending next weekend in Carrollton for my best friend, Amber's, sister's baby shower. Although the shower will be fun, we're mostly looking forward to spending time with our best friends. It's so nice to be back in Carrollton. Amber and I were co-workers many moons ago, and Jason and Brad quickly became best buds. Amber and I have a blast together and when you throw Emma and their son, Seth, into the mix, we just love being together!

Brad spent most of the day Saturday doing a few outdoor projects. He drained, cleaned out, and refilled our pond. He also hung the swing that my parents got Emma for Easter. She LOVES to swing!!

The finished product.

One happy girl!

Here's a project I've been working on. I broke down and bought a Topsy Turvy hanging tomato planter. I think it looks pretty happy so far. Hoping for tons of tomatoes!

So I thought I'd just use this post to tell you a little bit about what Emma's up to lately. It's mostly for myself and for Emma to be able to look back and remember. She changes SO much SO fast that it just blows my mind. It's hard to think that just a couple of months ago she was not crawling, not pulling up. She's growing up too fast for me!

Emma's sleeping through the night. She goes to sleep between 8:30 and 9:00 and wakes up at 6:15 AM to eat and then is back down until around 8:00-8:30. It's SO nice!

She naps 2-3 times a day. She goes down for her first nap 1 hour and 15 minutes after she wakes up in the morning, and then her second nap starts 2 hours after she wakes up from her first. If, for some reason, she wakes up early or takes short naps (they vary in length from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours!) she will take a 3rd nap, which is usually only around 30 minutes but is ESSENTIAL to making it through the evening.

She is pulling up on EVERYTHING! She is also starting to cruise. She has even started to stand on her own for a few seconds!!

I STILL cannot eat chocolate. She's always had a sensitivity of some sort to my breastmilk whenever I eat chocolate. She stays up half the night screaming. Not sure exactly why, but we've tried it again every few months and she STILL has issues.

She says "more" consistently when she's eating and her tray is empty.

She loves finger foods, but is back to letting us spoon-feed her some healthy foods. She doesn't like meat very much, but will taste just about anything.

Her favorite finger foods are American cheese, cheerios, yogurt melts, and GOLDFISH!

Her favorite "spoon foods" are YOGURT, sweet potato, pears, avocado, and anything off of our plates (banana pudding, Italian ice from Rita's, anything she's not 'supposed' to have).

She still refuses juice of any kind, but is a sweet tea girl!

She wears 12 month clothes, though anything (like onesies) that have to snap at the crotch or include shorts, have to be 18 months (cloth diapers cause big booties!).

She's STILL swaddled to sleep. We've recently tried to unswaddle that notorious one arm again and it was a HUGE fail. Still waiting for her to let us know she doesn't need it anymore. I promise, she won't be swaddled in preschool!

She LOVES Lucy and our cats. If she's eating and one walks into the room she must immediately stop eating to stare and smile at them until they leave.

She makes the funniest throat clearing sound before she gets in trouble. She does it mainly when she's really close to grabbing one of the animals, but also when she's about to get into something she's not supposed to. SO funny!

She thinks it's hysterical when Lucy sneezes or hacks. She BELLYLAUGHS!

She hates having her diaper changed/holding still on the changing table, and screams through most changes. You'd think that she'd get the picture that it's not optional, but she just doesn't care. She's a little hard-headed. Ok, a lot.

She LOVES her Daddy. She busts into a huge grin when he gets home from work.

She's a big snuggle bug. She likes to give hugs when she wakes up from naps and has recently started to bury her head in my shoulder just to be sweet. I eat up every second of it.

She is still nursing really well, though for shorter amounts of time. A lot of people have asked when I plan to wean her. It's not likely to be any time soon. I'm going to wait until we're both ready. My initial plan was to nurse for one year. We'll see.

She loves water! We've recently set up her baby pool and she loves to splash around. She also still loves her bath and fusses when she has to get out.

She still is my little toothless wonder. She has days where she drools and we think "she's GOT to be teething!" but no teeth yet!

She's got her Daddy's gorgeous green eyes. They go back and forth between looking green and hazel.

She looks a LOT like her Daddy when you compare her to his baby pictures. She also looks a LOT like ME when you compare her to MY baby pictures. It's uncanny that she doesn't favor one of us more than the other, but just about everyone agrees that she's a perfect mix of the 2.

She has a surprise. Can you see it??

The strange look on her face is because she can't stand the feeling of grass. She takes after her mama. Do you see her surprise? Look closer.

She held very still and let mama paint her toenails! Is that not just the cutest thing you've ever seen?? I think it is. And that's what matters!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tucker Day and Mother's Day

We had SUCH a fun weekend! We met a good friend of mine and her little boy, Jack, for the Tucker Day parade. Tucker Day is a fairly small little celebration with a parade and lots of arts and crafts booths, live music, and food. We got there in time for the parade for the first time ever! Emma had a blast. She waited patiently and watched the entire parade without making a peep - and it was LONG. She particularly liked the fire truck and the Tucker High marching band. Jack watched the parade from Brad's shoulders which I think both of them enjoyed :) I also found a really great lady that makes handmade jumpers/dresses and I bought Emma a dress for her first birthday party! Can't believe she's almost one......

Me, Mary, Jack, and Emma

Ready for the festivities!

Waiting......very patiently!

We ended the day with dinner at Brad's parents house for Mother's Day. It was a great little celebration and Emma really enjoyed eating meatloaf, stuffed zucchini, and SWEET TEA! Have I mentioned that we have a little southern girl on our hands? The child will NOT drink juice of any kind - she gags and heaves. She drinks water like it's going out of style and has now added tea to her list of favorite things. She's a sucker for a straw with Chick-Fil-A tea at the other end ;) Wonder where she gets that from??

The following day was Mother's Day. I told Brad that I just wanted a relaxing day at home to enjoy my little family. And that's exactly what we did. Brad let me sleep extra late and then, after Emma woke up from her morning nap, we went to this really cool International Farmers Market just down the street that we've been meaning to go to. We went home and I took a nice long shower and then met my mom for a little shopping. When we got back, Brad and Emma gave me my gift - a beautiful picture frame that says "Our Family" on it. He is also having a ring of mine fixed, which has been on my to-do list forever. We picked up takeout from Provino's for dinner and headed to my parents' house so that my mom could play with her girl while we ate. It was a nice, relaxing first Mother's Day. I look forward to many more to come!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fun Times!

We had a great weekend, as you could see by some of the pictures in the last post. Here are a few more that I just took off of my camera. I bought Emma a "splash pad" last summer when it was on clearance and couldn't wait to pull it out this year! She LOVED it! We only played for about 5 minutes because it was really sunny outside and the hose water was cold, but fun was had by all. This was Emma's first time in a bathing suit! Is it not the cutest thing you've ever seen?? Her Grammy bought it for her - we think she did good.

This weekend I also got Brad to put together this stroller that his mom got her for Christmas. She's at the point right now where she loves to walk and hold onto your fingers. She thinks she's grown. She honestly thinks that she can take off sometimes - she pushes away from you like she can just go!
Here she is acting like she's a grown up - one handed!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

10 Months Old

Wow! Only 2 months until Emma's first birthday. Where did the time go? I can honestly say that it feels like yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital. The time has flown by way too fast. We've lived every single minute to the fullest, and tried to squeeze every ounce of fun and excitement and love and snuggles out of every second of it. It's still too fast. I'd like to freeze her at this exact moment. She's so perfect. She's doing SO many new things.....

She's pulling up on anything and everything she can find.
She's chasing the dogs and cats and has even gotten her hands on them a few times!
She says "mah" for "more" when she's eating and her tray is empty.
She doesn't really want to have much to do with food on a spoon - she'd rather feed herself!
She's got a hot temper and knows how to arch her back and scream already.....we're in for it.
She figured out just 2 days ago how to hold her own sippy cup. I can count on one hand the amount of times she's had a bottle, so she's never had much to practice with!

She's got some serious stranger anxiety, but warms up fast to people.
She's got the best laugh in the whole world.
She smiles literally almost all day long.
She's the happiest baby I've ever seen - and she makes us just as happy!

We've had a great week. We had our friends Rachel and Juan and their precious baby, Juliette, over for a cookout on Thursday. If you'll remember, she's Emma's little friend that is just 2 weeks younger. We love spending time with them! We hope that Emma and Juli grow up to be great friends. It would be so neat to have a friend that's known her for her whole life. In fact, Rachel and I would meet for ice cream and coffee when we were pregnant, so they've known each other even longer!

Pretty Juliette!

Flying babies!! Emma was trying to hold Juli's hand!

Today we packed up and went to Aunt Claire's for the day. We got to spend some time with my Grandpa (Emma's Great-Grandpa) in Thomson, GA. We had a blast! Claire took us on a ride on their gas-powered golf cart. Emma rode it once before when she was about 4 months old. She fell asleep as soon as we got on it then, and she did the same this time! She was well overdue for a nap, so she took one!

I LOVE this picture! Guess what she was so enthralled with??

Their dog, Chip! She LOVES dogs!

This is just a tiny part of their property - we drove all over through the pasture and around lots of ponds.

Here we go!

All tuckered out.

Emma figured out how to get her OWN Cheerios from her snack holder! Such a big girl. She looks JUST like her Daddy here - mouth open, hand in the snacks, watching her video. Don't tell him I said that!

Brad only has 3 more weeks of school until summer break and we can't wait! We're planning some short overnight trips to visit Amber and Jason and Seth in Carrollton and we're really looking forward to it!