Friday, September 30, 2011

Emma Claire

I've been meaning to do a post just about my sweet EC, but I just haven't sat down and done it.  I want to make sure to remember all of the hysterical things she says, and know that she she says so many that I'll end up forgetting some.  This girl talks a mile a minute these days and she never fails to crack me up.  So here goes.

The other day, Abby stayed with Mimi while we went "chopping" at Target.  :)

She LOVES to cook in her pretend kitchen.  She'll bring me a cup and say "here, lemonade."  She'll take a pretend drink of hers and say "deeeeee-licious."

She was in time-out in the hallway the other day.  She was crying and fussing (mostly pretending) and then I heard her instantly stop crying and say "heeeeere Sissy!  Come here, Sissy.  Whatcha doin, Sissy?  Wanna play?"  Sissy is the cat, in case you don't know.

When we pass Citgo she says "Look mom!  Triangle!"

She adores Chick-Fil-A.  Only she doesn't call it Chick-Fil-A.  She calls it "pillow chicken."  We're not exactly sure why, but she can spot the sign a mile away.  

She loves eating shabeggy (spaghetti), blockly (broccoli), and hummus (thomas).  She also likes spigots......biscuits!  She also recently had boiled okra (YUCK!) for the first time with Mimi and loved it.

Mom and Bailey were over the other day and Bailey was sitting in such a way that Emma couldn't get between he and I to walk through.  She started shouting "OPEN!"  You know, like it was a door.

She loves bathtime and watching the "vortex" after the tub drains.

She adores watching kids shows on Netflix during breakfast.  She makes sure to tell me "it's loading" and "it's thinking" if it takes a second to start.

If she hears an airplane she says "leeeeeesten!  Hear it?"

Just before she goes to bed she says "I stay in bed?"  She's heard it enough!

Sometimes after she is supposed to be asleep, Brad or I will hear her pushing the grilling buttons on her kitchen.  I'll ask him what he wants to order since she's apparently up late working her second job as a fry cook.

She still adores Yo Gabba Gabba and can do a lot of the dances on the show.  She particularly loves the "Twirly Lurly" (Twirly Whirly) and the "Chomp, Chomp, Chippy, Chippy, Chomp"  (an alligator dance).

She has started to sing along with me when I sing, instead of finishing lines.  She loves to sing "I love Jesus" (Jesus Loves Me), and "This little light of mine."  She also knows most of the words to Copa Cabana (I know, I'm strange).  If I sing "Her name was Emma," she follows up with "she was a showgirl" and continues from there.  She can sing every single word of "Daisy, Daisy, Give me your answer do."

She's a huge climber these days.  She climbs on the side table in the living room on a daily basis and the other day she disappeared from her bedroom where all 4 of us had been playing.  Brad found her sitting in the center of our kitchen table, eating goldfish.

She mostly calls Brad "Dad."  If he's not answering her when she calls him the first time, she changes it up.  He's called "Pappy", "Papps", "Chacho", and "Brad" most everyday.

She has an awesome sense of humor.  She calls Lucy "Loose Goose" and Abby is "Abbs Abbs", "Abby Gwail" or "Abby the Gwail."  I can't blame her, I rarely call either one of them by their actual names.

Speaking of nicknames, Emma has several.  Emmanems, Nemmers, Nem, Eeema Neeema, Neem.  She will answer to any of them. 

She often refers to herself as Emma Claire.  She'll be climbing on the table to get my attention.  When I ignore her, she says "What are you DOING Emma Claire?!"

She loves to watch "Mickey Mouse Cluh-house."

Instead of saying "can I help you?" she says "you help me?"  And instead of "I want some" she says "You want some?"

She can count to 14.  After that, it just gets funny!

I'm sure there are a million more, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

3 Months

I can hardly believe that my littlest monkey will be 4 months old so soon.  I guess it's time that I did her 3 month update, huh?  I'm such a bad blogger now that Abby is here.  I have NO spare time these days, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I spend my "spare time" kissing and loving on the 2 sweetest girls in the world.

All About Abby:
She's somewhere around 11-12 lbs the best I can tell.  I scheduled her 4 month appointment today, so I'll know her stats soon enough.  I'm dreading that appointment - more shots.  

Speaking of shots, I'm pretty much following the same vaccine schedule that I did with Emma.  I'm delaying the chicken pox vaccine, and waiting to do the MMR until she's 2.  It works for us, and I'm comfortable with it, as is my doctor.  
Abby is growing SO fast!  She loves to stand up, but only wants to be in a sitting position for limited amounts of time.  She still loves her swing and sits in it while we eat.

She is learning to reach and grab toys.  She has reached for her beads on her changing table for a LONG time, but we're working on grabbing toys.  She's TERRIFIED of rattles.  No clue why!
She loves to just lay on a blanket and play and be talked to.  It's her favorite thing.

She tolerates tummy time, but doesn't have much patience for it.  She rolled over from tummy to back this month, but hasn't done it again.  She sort of scared herself when she did it!

She cracks up when we jiggle her around.  She likes to be messed with!

She gives her Daddy the biggest smiles when he gets home from work.

She's a mama's girl.  Big time.  She will let most people hold her for a minute, but not much longer.  My mom is just about the only exception to that rule.  And she usually only calms down for Mama.

She wears 3 month or 0-3 month clothes.  3-6 are too big still.  I had to buy several outfits recently for her to wear when it gets cold.  All of Emma's winter clothes are 9 months.  My guess is that Abby MIGHT be into 6 month clothes by then!  She's such a peanut!
She is still spitting up, but not nearly as much.  

She's a great sleeper, with only a few weird occasions of waking up.  She takes 3 naps a day and sleeps from 8:00 until 8-9:00 AM.  She only wakes up once to eat during that span.  It's awesome!
She's addicted to her nap schedule - big time.  If she misses a nap, we all hear about it.  It makes traveling or getting out and about a bit tough.  She screams like a wild child and has a hard time settling to nap unless she's in her bed.  Reminds me of someone......Emma!

She has started to hate the car, just like her sister.  She's significantly better than Emma was at this age though.  She only cries if she's sleepy.  Unfortunately, that means that if we stay anywhere past about 6:30, she's going to scream all the way home.  We've even tried driving with me sitting in the back, squeezed between the 2 carseats.  She still screams.
2 Months - 3 Months
She has the tiniest ankles ever.  I still can't get socks to stay on the poor thing.  Check out the picture of her ankles vs. Emma's at the same age.  Explains a lot!

I still can't believe what a chunk Emma was compared to Abby.  Or how different they look!  Abby is all mama, while Emma was mostly Brad.  Right now, Emma's more me when I was her age.  It's so funny how they change back and forth!

She fits into our little family so well!  She's just perfect.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Since my Dad died, I have had some serious internal questioning going on.  I've always believed in heaven, God, life eternal.  I still do believe in all of those things.  I always assumed that if someone as close to me as my Dad passed away, I'd feel some sort of presence.  Shortly after he died I searched everywhere for him.  I found him in the red cardinal that suddenly decided that the best place to be while Emma and I were eating breakfast was right outside our kitchen window, staring in at us through the whole meal.  I saw him in the bluebird that perched on my mom's fence, sitting there while we talked about Dad, day after day.  

Since a little time has passed, I'm still looking, but finding nothing.  I don't feel his presence anywhere.  I see him in Abby.  GOD, do I ever.  Sometimes it's as though he's the one looking back at me from behind her eyes.  That's truly the only place.  It's pretty devastating.  

I said all of that, to tell you about this.  I think he may come visit Emma.  And no, I'm not crazy.  There have been SO many times that she's said things about him out of the blue.  At the exact moment he died, my sister-in-law told me that Emma started saying "Papa?  Papa?"  At the time, that was what she called him.  Since then, I've referred to him as "Grandpa."  Each night we pray for our family members by name.  We always pray for "Grandpa, in heaven with Jesus" (or "Stegis" as Emma used to say!).  She calls Brad's Dad "Grandpops," so it's not him that she's talking about.  

A few weeks ago we were eating dinner at my mom's house.  Emma reached up and grabbed  her head and scrunched her hair, just like Dad used to do to her.  She stared off into space while she did it and said "Grandpa!"  It was like she was seeing him.  

A couple of weeks ago I decided, out of the blue, to get Emma her first big ice cream cone.  I wanted to do something my Dad loved to do - give a toddler a huge ice cream cone and let them make a huge mess.  It's SO not my style, but I knew it was something my Dad would have already seen to that we do.  So we did.  On the way to the ice cream place, Emma looked out the window and said, "Hi Grandpa.  I see you Grandpa.  Whatcha doin, Grandpa?"  She speaks very clearly, and those were her exact words.  It took my breath away and I didn't even know what to say.  I've since thought that I should have asked her questions, and I WILL next time.  

I know that she remembers my Dad, even though it's been several months since she last saw him.  I've got a few pictures on the fridge, and have a necklace with his picture on it.  She always says "Grandpa!" when she sees them.  She also says "grandpa" when she sees pictures of men with gray hair and glasses that resemble my Dad.  I wish I could find the words that her little mind could wrap her head around to explain.  I just can't.  I want to take her with me to the cemetery, but don't think it's the time.  I know she'll ask questions that I don't know how to answer.  I'm sure I'll know when the time is right.  

I wish more than anything that he could see my girls right now.  He loved Emma more than anything in this world and would be so thrilled with how smart she is.  He would adore snuggling with Abby's sweet self.  I guess he IS seeing them right now, even though I struggle with the faith that he's still somewhere watching.  I hope and pray that I'll find him somewhere again, and that my faith will be restored.  I just wish I didn't have to wait until I make it to heaven for that to happen.  It's hard to accept the finality of death, and that I have no control over what God has planned.  This grasping for his presence won't make it happen.  I guess that's what faith is, huh?

It reminds me so much of one of my favorite Jars of Clay songs.  

"Like A Child"

Dear God, surround me as I speak,
the bridges that I walk across are weak
Frustrations fill the void that I can't solely bear
Dear God, don't let me fall apart,
you've held me close to you
I have turned away and searched for answers I can't understand


They say that I can move the mountains
And send them crashing into the sea
They say that I can walk on water
If I would follow and believe
with faith like a child

Sometimes, when I feel miles away
and my eyes can't see your face
I wonder if I've grown to lose the recklessness
I walked in light of you


[Little girl:]
"I've got joy like a fountain!"
"Be kind one to others"
"In Jesus Christ Your son"

They say that love can heal the broken
They say that hope can make you see
They say that faith can find a Savior
If you would follow and believe
with faith like a child 

The Cemetery

Many of you probably don't know about the runaround that my mom and I have been given at the cemetery.  They purchased their mausoleum plots many years back, and all of the things involved with internment were paid for.  That includes the grave marker.  My mom and I had to go to the cemetery office 2 days after my Dad's funeral to design the marker.  It was really painful, and the last place we wanted to be, both physically and emotionally.  But we did it.  The creepy guy in charge of working with us was, well.....creepy.  And not in a "I work at a cemetery and only wear black suits" kind of creepy.  In a "I like to play with the bodies when no one is looking" kind of creepy.  I don't know of any other way to describe it!   

Anyway, fast forward at least 2 months.  We still hadn't heard from him regarding when the marker would be placed.  I had been to the cemetery to check a couple of times.  It was hideously painful.  Not only was the wound on my heart very fresh, but to see him buried in an unmarked grave was just gut wrenching.  I burst into tears every time I went.  I had finally had enough.  I wrote a letter, describing the experience we had had with the creepy dude and emailed it to their office. The manager called me the following day and I put him in contact with my mom.  A new guy (much less creepy) was assigned to us and the marker was designed, proofs sent to my mom for approval, ordered, and installed.  And here it is.  

I think it's perfect.  Dad would be so proud.  The only thing missing was flowers.  I took care of that this Sunday while my girls and their Daddy napped.  

What do you think?  I was going for "Fall, pretty, yet masculine."

Do you know what?  In the few times that I've been back since it was installed, I feel such a sense of peace.  It's no longer a painful place that I dread going to.  It's a place where I can talk to my Dad, be alone, and feel a little bit of closeness.  It's amazing the difference that a grave marker and some flowers can do.

Abby's Baptism

This past Saturday we had the honor of having Abigail Marie baptized in our church.  It was a wonderful day full of family and friends and we were so blessed to have them all there with us.  Abby was an absolute angel.  She didn't mind the big, uncomfy dress too much.  She wore Brad's christening gown, my grandmother's cross necklace, and on the necklace, she wore a baby ring that Brad's mother had made from one of her rings.  My mom also gave her a special bib that was blessed by Pope Benedict.  It was so special to have all sides of her family represented.  

It was a very emotional day for me.  The last time that we attended a baptism at Holy Cross, it was Emma's.  My Dad was there with us, as was Brad's Grandaddy.  My Dad's absence was so painful for me.  It was never more obvious that when the deacon traced the sign of the cross on Abby's forehead, and invited all who felt compelled to do the same.  My Dad should have been right there.  It hurt more than words can possibly express.  I miss him daily, but there are certain moments when it sneaks up on me and hits me like a bus.  That whole day was filled with those moments.  He would have ADORED Abby, just as he adored Em.  He would love to hear all of the crazy things Emma says these days.  He would have cracked up when, as the Deacon was about to pour water over Abby's head, Emma shouted "Abby takin a bath!"  He would have thought it was hysterical when she completed the sign of the cross with the Deacon.  "Father, Son, and Holy Spiwit."  Precious.

We were so blessed that Brad's Aunt Elaine and Uncle George honored us by becoming Abby's godparents.  She adores them already!  They drove all the way from the southern tip of Florida to be with us, and it meant the world.  

After the baptism we headed home to celebrate with cake and punch.  There's a funny story behind the cake.  I have bad luck at Publix with baptism cakes.  Emma's had to be completely remade on the morning of her baptism because they made it orange instead of pink.  It was SO ugly!  Well, I went to pick up Abby's and noticed that it read "God Bless AbiGALI Marie."  I just about died.  Had it said Emma's nickname for her, "Abigwail," I would have let it go.  But Abigali had to go.  They were able to remove the wrong letters and fix it, but you could still tell.  I think I've learned my lesson with Publix.  It sure did taste good though!

After most of our guests had left, Amber, Jason, and their daughter, Quinn, stayed and we got to visit.  We don't see them nearly often enough.  We had Mexican for dinner and they left just before the girls went to bed.  It was an awesome day that we will never forget.