Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Card Time!

Thanksgiving isn’t here yet, but it’s time to start thinking about Christmas cards. The past few years I’ve designed and printed my own cards. I was planning on doing the same for 2010, until I learned about Shutterfly’s great promotion – bloggers get 50 Christmas card FREE! I’ve never used Shutterfly for cards, but I have printed tons of pictures from them.

I started searching through their website and found a lot of great designs that I just love! Seriously, check them out, http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards. I’m sure you’ll find at least one (or two) cards that you really like. I’m partial to their photo cards. Seriously, what’s a Christmas card without a picture? I’ve already picked out the one I’m going to use – it’s a secret for now Winking smile Now, I’ve got to figure out which picture of Emily I want to use. Here a few of my other favorites:

All Wrapped Up
Merry Blossoms
Snowflake Sprinkles


Something else that I’m very excited about – Shutterfly can address and mail the cards for you! Really, how much easier can sending Christmas cards get?


I’m sure you know this, but Shutterfly does other things besides Christmas cards. From mugs to birthday cards to calendars – Shutterfly can hook you up. And I’m sure you’ll be able to find a great Christmas present for someone in your family. And they even have photo books (I love me some photo books!).

 

So, check out Shutterfly for your Christmas cards this year!

Shutterfly is running a promotion – bloggers can get 50 free cards when they blog about this promotion. If you would like to participate, visit their website, http://bit.ly/sfly2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Joy of Crashing Your Computer

There are some good things and bad things about getting a virus and crashing your computer.

Yes, I managed to crash our computer. I was just looking for a cute little Christmas outfit for Emily. One that has the adorable little ruffles on the pants. But, I can’t justify paying $50 for an outfit she’ll wear once (maybe twice). So off to the internets (yes, I said internets) I went. I was searching away one night and some how, some way, I managed to get a nasty virus on our computer. As soon as I thought there was a problem I just shut the computer down. Brad got on the next morning, and started to question what I was up to. Ummm….let’s just say there were some new icons on our desktop and they were a little graphic.

Brad tried, and tried, and tried to rescue our computer. But he finally gave up when we got a “physical memory dump” and “blue screen” error. We were able to get the most important files off of the old computer (thanks to an external hard drive). However, I know if  we didn’t get it all.

The good things about crashing your computer beyond repair (ok, it could have been repaired, but the computer was five years old, the monitor was coming apart, and keys were missing) – is that you get a new computer!

The bad thing is that it’s expensive!

The good thing is that this new computer is super fast and fun to play with.

The bad thing is that it’s expensive and we still aren’t sure if we were able to save everything.

The bad thing is that shopping for a new computer is a pain in the butt! Sure, we could have built a Dell online, but we didn’t want to wait that long. We went to six different stores searching for the best deal. We found what we wanted at store #5 but the sales guy was a idiot and we walked out of that store without a computer.

The good thing is – I have some new software that makes it easier to blog and edit pictures.

The bad thing is that it’s expensive!

In some ways it was nice not having a computer at home for a little while. It was amazing how much more I got done around the house! This new computer will spend more time in the office and less time in the den.

Now that we are back in the computer business around here – maybe I’ll be better about updating the blog. Smile

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fun Day Friday!

Fridays are my day with Emily. The director at Emily's daycare calls them our "Friday Fun Day!" I try not to put pressure on myself to get stuff done, but to really spend my time with Emily. We spend time playing outside - either at the park or our back yard. We spend time making a mess around the house. We spend time just hanging out.Now that she's starting to get a little older (tear) there are more and more activites for us to do.

The past couple of weeks we've gone to the zoo and the children's museum. The zoo was wonderful because Emily loves animals. She would get as close as she could and wave to each animal. She was so excited to pet the goat and the horse. Roaring at the lion was big-time fun. And trying to pet the white tiger might have made her day. Oh, making monkey noises at the monkies was pretty cute.

The children's museum was fun, too. It was so nice to just let her walk around and explore the different areas on her own. She loved pushing the grocery cart around, pressing the button to make noise in the ambulance, and playing with the bubble machine.

And then there's the park. Emily loves being outside and going to the park. She's perfectly happy if I just let her wander around the big, open field and explore. But she loves going down the slide, too. The bigger the slide, the better.

I'm going to have to find some fun, indoor activites for winter. I can only handle talking her to the mall playground so many times.

And yes, she wears that TCU shirt a lot on Friday. Fridays are TCU purple day around here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween Crafts!

Eighteen25, one of the blogs I follow, did a month of Halloween crafts all of September. I'm not really much of a Halloween fan (I'm really looking forward to Christmas on their blog), but there were quite a few crafts that I just fell in love with! There are so many creative people out there - I love copying their ideas :)

My favorite idea was the trick-or-treat bags posted on September 15. They idea simple enough for me, didn't require any sewing, and it's something that I could use year after year. So, Emily and I headed out to Joann's to pick up some supplies - fabric, wonder under, bags, and ribbon. As much as I love Joann's, their ribbon selection is NOT good. So, we made another trip to Michael's for cute Halloween ribbon.

I made Emily's bag and then I kept going. I made four bags and the only reason I stopped is because I'm out of bags. Here are a few pictures of the finished products:




Be sure to visit eighteen25 and see all of the wonderful Halloween stuff!





Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Only Temporary

When Emily was three or four weeks old she would get really fussy and cranky around 4 p.m. We would calm her down only to get a screaming, crying, very unhappy baby around 8 p.m. Brad and / or I would be up for hours trying to figure out what was wrong and how to help. Many, many times I sat on the couch holding a screaming baby telling myself, "This is only temporary. This is only temporary. This isn't going to last forever."

When Emily was seven weeks old we finally figured out she had reflux, got her on some meds and the crying, screaming fits ended. That was only temporary.

Emily started sleeping through the night when she was about 11 weeks old - right before I went back to work (awesome!). That all changed once she was five months old. All of sudden Emily wanted to be awake in the middle of the night. Sleep was only optional. Again, I sat on the couch, in the middle of the night, with a crying baby telling myself, "This is only temporary. This is only temporary. This isn't going to last forever."

And yes, with a little (modified) sleep training, Emily started sleeping through the night again. That was only temporary.

Then there were those times I would excuse myself from whatever was going on at that moment (work, hanging out with friends, running errands, playing with Emily, sleep, etc) and lock myself in a room (or bathroom) with the pump. When Emily was ten months old I was very ready to be done pumping. I was sick and tired of being hooked up to the pump several times a day. But, there were many times when I remember thinking, "This is only temporary. This is only temporary. This isn't going to last forever."

And of course, it didn't last forever. It was a "sacrifice" I was more than happy to make for a year for my sweet girl. It was only temporary.

Last weekend when Emily was sick, we had a lot of downtime at the hospital. We sat there with our sweet little girl, who just felt like crap, wishing the doctor would move just a little bit faster. She was so sick and we were very worried. I remember thinking, "This is only temporary. This is only temporary. She's going to get better and this isn't going to last forever."

All of a sudden it dawned on me - sure, the tough times are only temporary, but so are the good times. Emily isn't always going to want me to snuggle with her before she goes to bed. She isn't going sit in her highchair, sign "all done" and continue to eat with a smile on her face. She isn't going to pull her little doggy around the living room and laugh everyday. She isn't going to run to me and smile everytime I pick her up from school. She isn't always going to blow kisses to her daddy before she goes to bed. All of those things are only temporary.

It may take a rough night or a sick little baby to remind me that good and bad - it's all temporary. I need to cherish each moment I'm given with my sweet little girl.

This is only temporary . . .

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our Trip to the ER

We had to take Emily to the ER Sunday morning - it was not a fun experience.

Emily woke up for her nap around noon on Friday with a fever and trouble breathing. I gave her some Mortin and breathing treatment and she seemed to be doing much better! Well, she woke up from her second nap and her fever was even higher. Awesome. We cancelled our Friday night plans and spent the evening at home with Emily. She woke up around 11 p.m. - fever of 102ish. I gave her some Tylenol and she went back to sleep. I wasn't too concerned because she had no other symptoms and has done this kind of thing before.

Saturday - Emily woke up and wasn't great. Fever would go down with Mortin or Tylenol, but right back up when the meds wore off. One minute she was happy playing, the next she was screaming and not happy. Saturday night she woke up around 10 p.m. very unhappy. I took her to bed with us. A few minutes later I was covered in puke. Brad got everything into the wash and we all went to bed. About a hour later - same thing, Emily was throwing up. Got cleaned up and back to sleep.

Around 5 a.m. I woke up and put my hand on Emily's forehead - BURNING up. We took her temperature and it was 105. I looked at Brad and said, "Emergency Room! Now!" We grabbed a few things and got to the hospital as fast as we could.

The ER staff did a great job getting us to a room and making Emily as comfortable as they could. Her sweet nurse gave her a good dose of Tylenol and the fever started to come down. A shift change and an hour later, the doctor came in. He had zero personality, but he checked out Emily and ordered some tests. Emily's new nurse came in (he was awesome) and got the process going. Poor Emily had blood drawn, a flu test, and catheter. She was not a happy camper.

Two hours later, we learn Emily has a urinary tract infection. She gets a shot of antibiotics, a prescription for antibiotics at home, and we are out of there! We were there about 7 hours - but it really was a quick 7 hours (if that's possible).

She slept great last night but woke up this morning with a fever again. It's going to take a few days for her to be back to normal - but I think we are on the right track (hopefully).

I just feel so helpless. There's not really anything I can do to help to her feel better. I'm trying to get her to drink as much water as possible and anything she needs to be comfortable, but that's it. I really hope she's able to get past this soon. Poor baby.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chores

Emily has her first chore around the house. She gets to feed Banjo in the evenings.

And it's really cute to watch her.

It all started the other day when Emily opened the dog food container, grabbed a handful of  food, and put it in Banjo's bowl. (yes, I realize we probably shouldn't leave the dog food container so easily accessible, but oh well). It was so sweet. After that we decided she was old enough to feed the dog.

She's still asleep when Brad feeds Banjo in the morning. And I don't need to anything else on our to-do list in the morning, so Emily just gets to help at night. I'll tell her, "Let's feed Banjo!" And she walks over to the dog food container and opens the top. I'll scoop the food into the cup and hand it Emily. Then she walks about four feet over to Banjo's bowl and pours in the food. Some days, I have to help her carry the cup - she hasn't quite mastered holding it up-right all of the time. But she really understands the concept and the directions.

Now, if I can just get her to put the laundry away.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A {little} Rant

The local Christian radio station I listen to is running an ad that is about to drive me up the wall. This may be worse than the time another station played the song Over and Over Again, over and over and over and over and over....again. This ad runs at least two times every hour and I've had enough. Enough, that I'm climbing up on a little soap-box.

Apparently, running (very annoying) ads on a Christian radio station is the way to convince mother's to breastfeed their babies. And it's the best way to spend some non-profit, pro-breastfeeding organization's money. Lovely.

Y'all know I'm very pro-breastfeeding. I really think it's the best thing for a baby and it saves your family a TON of money, among many other things. BUT I also think it's a very personal decision and not a decision someone should make because of a (very) cheezy ad on the radio. Sure, if the horrible ad gets moms to talk about it - maybe it will lead to more people breastfeeding. And that's a great thing....blah, blah, blah.

All these "you-must-breastfeed" organizations love to tell you the positives (and there are a lot): how wonderful it is, how much money you'll save, how it will help moms lose their baby weight so much faster, how easy is it to feed in public, how natural it is, etc. However, I also think all of these organizations, should be honest about how hard breastfeeding can be. They don't tell new mothers (especailly first time mothers) how much it's going to hurt and how clueless you are going to feel. They don't share that you will constantly worry if your child is eating enough or if you are producing enough. And if you don't produce enough milk - just pump (cause that's not akward and painful enough). They don't tell you that all of that weight you lost, you'll gain 10-15 pounds back once you are done breastfeeding. They don't tell you that there will be moments you will feel like a cow and a dairy farmer all at the same time. And feeding in public - seriously?!?! Just cause the law say you can, doesn't mean it's easy or comfortable.

I'm not trying to be a negative-nelly, I'm just trying to be honest. Breastfeeding is hard.

Yes, breastfeeding was hard and I was VERY happy to be done. However, it was the right decision for me and for Emily. I always told myself, if it didn't work, it didn't work. But I wanted to give it a good, honest try. And I did. And it worked, for a year. There were a lot of moments I really doubted what I was doing. I wondered if I was doing everything right. And all along I kept thinking, "this isn't as easy as everyone (and the ads) made it seem." It was hard and a lot of work. But it was worth it.

.....climbing down for my soap-box.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Milk

We gave Emily cow's milk right before her first birthday. She did okay with it for the first few days and then refused to drink it. We warmed it up, gave it to her in a bottle, got a new "fun" cup....etc. Nothing seemed to work. The little girl is too smart for her own good. We just kept offering it to her and she kept turning us down. I can't really blame the child, I can't stand cow's milk either.

This week we tried soy milk. The first day she did great - drank it up! However, every day since then, it's been a little bit worse. The other night she threw a trantrum  - screaming, crying, pouting, sobbing, pushing her cup away, throwing her cup down - trantrum. All because we wouldn't give her water. She did a little better with it today (aka - no tatrum), but she isn't drinking nearly as much as she should be. I must say, I've always been scared to try soy milk (no idea why) but it's pretty good. I might start drinking it myself.

Emily loves her cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. But isn't a fan of milk. I've finally decided, it's not worth the fight. We'll keep offering her the soy milk with all her meals. But I'm not going to force it on her. She'll give in one day soon.

On a totally different note - we got Emily's 1-Year pictures from the photographer today. They are so adorable! Here are just a few for you to enjoy :)



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Bowl of Water

So what do you do with a toddler who has been sick and is now teething? A wonderful little sleeper who has been sleeping like crap the past few nights? A sweet little girl who was so upset and screaming so much at school that Brad had to go pick her up early?

Right now, I'm willing to let her do (almost) anything that will make her happy. Thankfully, playing with water is all it took. She found Brad's water cup and enjoyed playing with that so much, that we filled a bowl of water and took her out side to let her slash around. She wasn't really sure what was going on at first, but it didn't take long for her have some fun. 



The poor little thing has had a rough few days. She had a little stomach bug (that she shared with mom), we think she's starting to get her 1-year molars, and may be having night terrors. Between throwing-up, diarrhea, fevers up to 103.1, waking up screaming so hard it causes her to throw-up, mood swings like crazy, and eating habits that are crap... we are all tired and ready to be done with this! 

But we had a great time playing with a bowl of cold water.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

12 Months (just a week late)

In typical fashion, I'm late getting Emily's monthly check-in post up. Sorry about that.

Emily is now 12 months old. That's 1-year. That's 365 days. She's no longer a baby - we've entered into toddlerhood. We have a very sweet and independent little girl on our hands. She knows what she wants and is bound and determined to get it.


This month's highlights include:
- walking backwards
- still wears mostly 12-month clothes, but can wear some 18-month dresses
- got moved up to the next room at daycare
- understands more words and instructions
- has 7 teeth and we are working on several more
- loves brushing her teeth
- started whole milk (she's not a huge fan)
- has started throwing "fits" when we tell her "no" or don't let her do want she wants. We've learned the best way to get past the fit is to ignore her.
- has developed a little crush on Diego. Dora and Diego are on the cups on yogurt she has every morning. Silly Emily LOVES Diego. She's always pointing to him and smiling. And will pick a Diego cup over Dora any day. 
- had her first popsicle
- her birthday party was a huge success, minus the smash cake ~ more on that in another post
- We've moved her to a front-facing car seat in Brad's car. We are still doing research on car seats and trying to find the right one for my car. We need to figure it out quick cause she's about to outgrown her seat in my car (length wise, weight is not a problem). 
- at her 12-month check up she was 30.5 " long (90%), 20 lbs, 1 oz (30%) and her head was in the 70% (don't remember the measurement). She grew 10 inches and gained 12 lbs in her first year.

Happy Birthday, Emily Kate! We love you!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

1 Year Pictures

Yesterday we traveled across town to meet our favorite photographer. Jennifer took Emily's newborn and 6-month pictures, and we love her so much we booked Emily's 1-year session about six months ago.

It was hot, really hot, during the pictures, but Emily was a trooper and so was Banjo. Jennifer posted a little sneak peak of the pictures on her blog this morning. Click here to check them out.

And many thanks to Jennifer for putting up with a toddler who wanted nothing to do with posing for pictures :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Silly Baby

So happy and hard at work!
Emily is getting a new tooth and has been rather cranky. Meals times have been an adventure and extreme mood swings are become more and more common. The other night, after a rather difficult dinner, we took Emily out of her highchair and let her run around the kitchen while we were cleaning up. 15 minutes later, we were all laughing.

Emily discovered the refrigerator magnets and the papers hanging from them. There were three papers that she could grab (two she "made" at school and the other is her Aunt's wedding invitation). She first learned how to pull each of the magnets and pages off of the fridge. Then discovered the art of sticking them back on. Once that was mastered, she would rearrange them - she had a real purpose and reason for putting certain ones in certain places. Next, she walked around the kitchen trying to make the magnets stick on other surfaces - the dishwasher was quickly discovered. So, she began moving the papers and magnets from the fridge to the dishwasher and back. Then, she would switch their places and rearrange them all over again.  And again. And again. And again...

hmmm...where should it go?
Brad and I just sat, there for 15-20 minutes, watching her. We were trying so hard not to laugh, cause she was working so hard. It was so cute and amazing to watch her little brain work so hard. She had a reason for putting her magnet and paper in a certain place. Every now and then she would look at us, smile, and giggle. Eventually, she got tired and just walked into the living room.

It was a happy ending to a cranky day.




Week by Week

Each Sunday we took a picture of Emily wearing a diaper, sitting in the same spot. Here's a little video of all of those pictures (starting when she was 5 weeks old, until last Sunday, Aug 8). The song is Father and Daughter by Paul Simon.

video

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

She's Not a Baby Anymore...

... at least according to daycare. Emily has been moved out of the Baby Room.

Monday morning, I walked into daycare and Emily's teacher, Ms. Jessica, gave me a sad look and said, "She's not in my class anymore. She's been moved up to the next classroom."  As soon as she said that, I was sad. I gave Emily a few extra hugs and sent her off to her new class. I knew it was coming, but I really wasn't prepared for it Monday morning. And I really wasn't expecting to be sad.

Emily walked into her new classroom and then turned around, put her arms up, and walked back to her old teacher. She just wanted Ms. Jessica to pick her up and give her a hug. It was so sweet. She loves Ms. Jessica and is very attached to her. I was really happy with the teachers in the baby room. They were so sweet and Emily loved them. From what I know about her new teacher, Miss Lynelle, she is going to be great, too. Emily has come home smiling and happy every day this week. There are only four kids in Emily's new class. Three of the four are girls and only one attends Monday-Friday. Emily will get a lot of individual attention.

As much as I'm not thrilled that Emily has to be in daycare, there are a lot of positives. A big one - it's helped me realize what Emily is really capable of doing. I have give daycare some credit for teaching Emily to fall asleep on her own (she REFUSED to be rocked to sleep at daycare). In her new class they eat their lunch and snacks at a little table - no highchairs. Apparently Emily has done really well during lunch. They also take naps on a nap mat. She also plays well with other kids - of various ages. And it's been nice for me to have people around who spend all day with kids that are Emily's age.

In just 10 days Emily will be 1. I guess she's really not a baby anymore.


She's even decided she needs to eat her food with a fork.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Simplify

I can't seem to get that word out of my brain. I've tried to ignore it. I've tried to keep things just the way they are. But, I feel this constant tugging and nagging to make a change and simply things. To simplify my life. So, instead of ignoring that tugging any longer, I'm trying to listen (for a change).

What do I need to simplify?

Is it our house. Do I need to clean out closets, clean out draws and get ride of the clutter? I really want to find a weekend and do this. I don't want to become a pack rat and I really don't want to keep things, just to keep them.

It it our finances? Do we need to simplify our spending? Do we need to stop buying things, just to buy them? Do we need to stop going out to eat just cause we are too lazy to make something at home? YES! It's time to really learn to difference between a need and a want. I don't need 85% of the things I buy, I want them. We are in a good place, financially, but we could be in an even better place.

Our could it be relationships? Do I just need to forgive, forget and move on? Yes. But that's a different story, for a different day.

It is something else? I'm sure there are plenty of changes I could make. I just need to figure out what they are. I need to listen.


So now is the time to change. Time to simplify our life. I really think, that even though change can be hard, it will make me happier and our family stronger. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rough Weekend

Emily had a rough weekend. Stupid teething.

It all started Thursday night. She couldn't get comfortable and wouldn't stay asleep. I went into her room about 1 a.m. and noticed she spit-up / threw-up a little bit in her bed. I take her out and start changing her sheets. Brad comes in and asks how he can help, so I give him Emily. Not 15 seconds later, Emily thew-up, several times, all over him. We got everything cleaned up and went back to bed.

Friday morning Emily woke up with fever, 101. She took about half of her bottle, ate her breakfast, and couldn't seem to get enough water or juice. So her stomach seemed better. But she was not acting liking herself. About 9:15 a.m. she climbed into my lap and went to sleep until almost noon. She woke up and felt worse. Her fever was up over 102. All she did the rest of the day was sit in my lap and cry / whine. So sad.

We put her to bed earlier than normal, but she woke up SCREAMING around 10 p.m. Around 1 a.m. - she finally went back to sleep. I tried everything I could think of to get her to calm down - holding her, letting her run around, rocking, just sitting with her, watching TV, not watching TV, music, any stuffed animal I could find, a dose of her Zantac, teething tablets, teething ring (which she thought was funny), another bottle....finally, I changed her diaper and her PJs. When I picked her up, she crashed on my shoulder. She finally gave up.

Emily woke up around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday (pretty early considering she didn't go to sleep until 1 a.m.) and her fever was gone! Woohoo! I had plans to attend a baby shower at 3 p.m. and I figured a change of scenery do Emily some good. She took a short nap on the way - but she was so good at the shower. The rest of the day, she was a cranky baby. We made a mistake and went out to dinner - we couldn't get out of there fast enough. She slept pretty good Saturday night.

Today - she was happier, but not back to normal. She took two naps today (yay!) and went swimming with Daddy. But I'm very ready for my happy baby to be back. I'm ready for her tooth to come in and her not to be in pain. Hopefully she sleeps good tonight and is feeling even better tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

11 Months!

Happy 11th Month Birthday, Emily Kate!



Our little girl is quickly growing out of the baby stage and into toddler-hood. So what has Emily been up to this month?

- She is on all table food - no more baby food. She has 3 meals and 2 snacks everyday. She loves graham crackers, beans, cheese, waffles
- She's a full time walker (has been for a while). Once she figured out how that she could walk, she was done with crawling.
- She "runs" around the room with Brad (video to come)
- She's figured out how to open cabinets.
- I can say, "Go to bed" or "let's take a nap" and she'll go to her room. If I say, "Let's brush your teeth", she goes to the bathroom door.
- Has enjoyed many adventures in our little backyard pool.
- Wears mostly 12m clothing
- On daycare days she only takes 1 nap (I'm not really thrilled with this) but on the days I'm home with here - she still takes 2 good naps.
- She's drolling like crazy - I think another tooth is on it's way.
- Has had several injuries this month: fell at my mom's house and hit her cheek pretty bad, scratched up her lip with her cup, bit her lip at daycare (they thought she bit all the way through, but it wasn't that bad).
- She loves to "dance". It's so cute.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Emily Walking

Emily is a full-time walker now. A couple weeks ago I videoed her walking around the house. Here's a little bit of it.



Even though this is just a couple weeks ago - her balance has improved a lot. 

Emily's Birthday

In just over a month Emily Kate will be 1. And I'm so excited about her birthday party.

I always told myself that I wouldn't go crazy for her first birthday, and I'm really trying not to, but I'm having so much fun planning it. I made the invitations and had them printed (they should be here Tuesday), I've found a ton of different decorating ideas, and I've ordered the cakes (3 to exact - 1 for everyone to eat, 1 for Emily to smash at her party and another for her to smash at her 1 year pictures). And If I'm not careful my house will be covered in purple with supplies for her party very soon. I know that Emily isn't going to remember this party. She wouldn't care if we didn't celebrate her birthday at all. But, I'm having fun!  

We are teaching Emily to hold up 1 finger when asked, "How old are you?" Hopefully after a month of practice she'll be able to "perform" the trick at her party. 

Any party tips or suggestions? Anything I need stay away from? Any entertaining ideas?

And here's the soon-to-be-birthday girl in her little robe after swimming one afternoon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Stupid Pump.

I'm sick and tired of pumping.

I stopped nursing Emily when she was about 4 months old. It was hard to nurse, pump at work, find a schedule that worked for both and keep up my supply. So I made the decision to stop nursing and just pump. It didn't bother Emily at all. She didn't care if she nursed or got her milk from a bottle - all that mattered to her was that it wasn't formula (she REFUSED formula).

So I've been pumping 4-6 times per day since then and I'm sick of it. I'm tired of the machine. I'm tired of trying to plan my day around it. I'm sick of having to stop what I'm doing at work or at home. I'm just tired of it.

It takes me 20-30 minutes to pump each time. When I was pumping 6 times a day, I could spend up to 3 hours a day (or 21 hours a week) hooked up to that stupid machine. That's A LOT of time each day. A lot of time I can't do much else.

(Yes, I know this is selfish. But I don't care. I'm allowed to be annoyed with pumping. And I know the machine isn't stupid - it's saved us a TON of money, allowed Emily not to have to take formula, and for that, I'm grateful And I'm proud of myself for keeping it up for so long).

I'm counting down the weeks until Emily's first birthday (7 weeks) and she can have cow milk. I'm doing research and trying out to figure out the best and most healthy way to stop pumping. I have no desire to stop, cold turkey. I'm glad that I have a freezer full of breast milk to help in the weaning process.

Any tips for weaning? Any thing that has worked or not worked when switching your kids to cow milk? I'm open to all suggestions.

 And because a picture of Emily should be in every post. Here's my most favorite picture of Emily and me (it's about a month old) (and yes, I said most favorite).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Brad! Hope you have a wonderful day.

Love,
Carrie and Emily

Monday, June 14, 2010

10 Months!

10 Months Old!


So what has little Emily been up to this month:
  • Walking! Emily took her first steps earlier this month. She walks more and more everyday. Before long she'll be a full time walker. She can even step up and down the step in our house.
  • Swimming. Each time she's in the pool it's a better experience. We hung out in our pool Sunday and she LOVED it.
  • Got sick. Poor little thing had pink eye and strep throat. She's all better now!
  • Eating more solids. She's doing better with her food - but it's still a challenge. For breakfast she has yogurt and a blueberry waffle, lunch is a sandwich and fruit and dinner is always different. She's picky about what she eats - but it's getting better. If she doesn't want something, she just throws it off of her tray.
  • Wearing size 9-12 months clothes. Now that she's walking it's so much easier to put her in some of the dresses she has.
  • Loves her swing and can point it out. Emily LOVES her swing. We bring it in everyday and Emily knows where we keep it. When she wants to swing, she points it to. She would stay in that swing for hours if we would let her.
  • Waves bye-bye, hello and night-night. It's really cute.
  • Can sign all done, more, eat. We aren't really pushing much sign language - but she has picked up on a few words. 

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Quick Update

    Emily has been sick. I've been sick. And the blog, along with a lot of other things, went to the bottom of the priority list. I think we are all finally getting better.

    Emily had pink eye, strep throat and nasty congestion. I had strep throat, a double ear infection, pink eye and nasty congestion. Sounds like fun around our house, huh? But, like I said, I think we are all getting better. I know I feel human again.

    Emily has been walking more and everyday. She's getting better and more sure of herself. It's cute. However, her eating habits are going down the tube. All the child wants to eat is Cheerios. She'll just sit in her highchair, cry and point to the cabinet with the Cheerios. It's kinda funny.

    Now - I've gotta get back to work. I'll have a better update and more pictures soon.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010

    She Walked!

    Yep, Emily has taken her first steps.

    Wednesday night Emily was standing up in the living room, crying, ready for her bottle and bed. Instead of getting her bottle and putting her to bed, I encouraged her to take a few steps towards me - and she did. She cried the whole way - but she made it. Then she did it again.

    Everyday we try and get her to walk on her own a little bit more. Today she tried a few times on her own, without our encouragement. I think the most steps she's taken at one time is five or six. But she did it! She's not a walker yet - but she's on her way!

    We tried to get it on video tonight, but Emily wasn't really into showing off for the camera. Soon - very soon - I'll get it on video.

    (Don't ya just love the cheesy, generic photo I added?)

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Swimming!

    Emily had her first experience in a swimming pool this weekend. It wasn't a complete success, but it wasn't a failure either.

    Emily used to LOVE bath time but lately it has been a challenge, so I wasn't sure how she would react to the pool. Emily HATED the pool at first. She made some of the worst faces I've ever seen when she first got in. Then, after a few minutes, Brad blew on her face and dunked her all the way in. When she came up she smiled and then cried. Silly girl.

    We spent a few minutes just walking around, holding her in the pool. She got used to the cold water and started to have a little more fun. She had a great time sitting and standing on the steps, playing with the water. I think she had more fun playing with the dogs.

    Hopefully, she'll enjoy the water more the more we take her in this summer. I'm thinking about signing her up for Learn to Swim classes at our local rec center.

    Doesn't she look cute in her swim suit?


    Emily and Daddy playing in the pool



    Mama and Emily drying off

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    All Done!

    Emily's eye procedure is over. She did great! She's sitting in her highchair eating a late lunch/snack right now. There is no bruising or redness. We have to put eye drops in twice a day for the next three days - but that's it. She has no restrictions on her at all. And you can already tell a big difference in her eye.

    Thanks for the prayers!

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Friday Morning

    Emily has her eye procedure Friday morning. I'm not sure what I'm dreading more - the procedure itself or waiting in the doctor's stupid office. Joy.

    The procedure is about 30 seconds long and is uncomfortable. I don't really know many more details than that. Hopefully it's really as easy as the doctor made it sound at the last appointment. I'm not sure what her recovery will be like - but I hope it's not bad. If all goes as planned, we shouldn't have to go back to the eye doctor for several years.

    Please keep our little red head in your prayers tomorrow morning.

    And because I can't post without a picture - here's our sweet girl getting down the step from the hallway to the living room.

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    A New Language

    Once a baby (or child) enters your home, learning a second language is a must. There isn't a work book, video, or Rosetta Stone for this language. No one can really teach you this language, it's just something you'll pick up, even create on your own. You'll start speaking it without even realizing it. There's just something very easy and normal about it.

    Baby Talk.

    The other day I paid extra attention to how we talk with Emily. Brad and I each have our own version of Baby Talk. I add an "ie" or "y" to the end of words or repeat them:
    poop = poopie
    nap = nappy nap
    bye = bye bye
    Pelican = Pellie (Emily has a stuffed pelican that she sleeps with)
    Emily = Emi
    Banjo = Banji Banj
    Frog = froggy
    Sleep = night nights or sleepy time

    Brad's version of Baby Talk is to sing everything. He's always "writing" a song about what we are doing. He's got 2-3 tunes that all of his songs go to. Some are funny, some are inappropriate, and some are really good. I think the sweetest song he's written is the Baby Emily song. I've only heard it a couple of times - but I think he sings it to Emily every day.

    There is also a third version of Baby Talk around our house. It's how Brad and I talk about all things baby, without talking to the baby. This was the hardest version of Baby Talk to figure out. It's really more or a code word system. When I say, "I'm going to the back" and there are people around. It means, "I've gotta go pump".

    Yes, I know it's all silly. But it's part of having a baby. And now it's time for me to go night, nights.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    9 Months Old!


    Sweet baby Emily is now 9 months old. That's 39 weeks. I was pregnant with her for 39 weeks. Crazyness.


    Once again, she was a little devil when it came to taking her picture. But she was having big fun trying to avoid me and the camera.


    So what has Emily been up to this month:

    • She had her 9 month check up today. She is 28" long (75%) and is 18 lbs (30%)

    • Standing up more and more. She loves to stand up and can stand, unassisted for longer periods of time.

    • Walking with her push toy. She loves her little push toy. She doesn't need help from Mom or Dad to go from one end of the room and back again.

    • So Big! Grandma taught her this little "trick". All you have to say is, "So Big!" and Emily will put her hands above her head. It's adorable.

    • Drinking from a cup! Yep, Emily is drinking from a cup with a straw. The other night we were at dinner and she kept reaching for my water. I gave her the straw and she started drinking. We went and got her a straw cup right after that. She loves her little cup.

    • Eating is still a challenge. I think she wants to be done with the purees but she hasn't quite figured out table food yet. We do a little of both at each meal. We've tried grilled cheese, potatoes, french fries and a few other things. Little girl still loves her veggies.

    • Breathing treatments. Stupid RSV. Emily started breathing treatments, a long lasting affect of RSV in November.

    • Went to the eye doctor. Emily had her first appointment with an eye doctor. She has a partially blocked tear duct. We are giving her eye drops to see if that clears it up - if not, she'll have a minor "procedure" to clear it out.
    • Teeth! She's got six teeth and I'm pretty sure we are working on #7.

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    I Should Be in Bed...

    Emily and Brad went to bed early tonight. I've had the house to myself since about 8 p.m. I told myself that I would get a few things done and then go to bed early, too. I got some stuff done - packed the bags for tomorrow, made my lunch, cleaned the living room and kitchen floors, and cleaned Emily's toys.

    And now, I should be in bed, but I'm not. I'm up, typing away, watching a TV show I don't care about, and getting freaked out by the tree outside our backdoor. But most of all, I'm enjoying a few quiet, moments to myself.

    My life has changed a lot in the last 3 years since Brad and I got married. But it's really changed in the last, almost 9 months. Relationships have changed and priorities have shifted. Just recently all of this "change" has had me in a funk.

    Since getting married and having a baby every relationship I have has been affected - our marriage, friends, family, co-workers, etc.

    Our marriage is always going to be changing. And it will always require work. Brad and I are learning how to communicate and love each other with a little girl around. We are learning to talk to each other in a new way, learning how to best help each other and how to take time for just us.

    The relationship I once had with some friends is fading. It's hard to hang out with single people when a husband and baby are part of the package. And people I once had nothing in common with - I'm turning to for advice, on an almost daily basis. I'm learning to form new friendships.

    Relationships with family members has changed - I'm becoming more of an equal and less of a "child" in their eyes. Such a strange dynamic.

    The relationship I have with work and co-workers is different, too. I go to work to work, but it's also a good outlet and way for some adult interaction. Before Emily it seemed like my life revolved around work. Now, my life revolves around a sweet little girl and her daddy. And as much as I LOVE that - it takes some adjusting.

    I miss being able to stay out until 1 a.m. just talking with friends. I miss having something to talk about other than diapers, pumping or baby food. I miss being invited places. I miss being able to pick up and go.

    However, I wouldn't trade hugs from Emily, laughing at her laugh, or watching Brad play with our little girl for anything in the world.

    Don't get my wrong - I LOVE my life. I love my husband and baby girl more than I ever thought possible. And I'm not complaining, I'm just learning to adjust to my new and different life.

    How could I not love my life when I get to wake up to these two every day?



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    And now, I'm going to bed.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    My Patience is Being Tested

    I'm usually a pretty patient person. When dealing with customer service reps or front line office staff, I try to be as kind and understanding as possible. But after going to more doctor appointments than I can count in the last 18 months, my patience is quickly running thin. I've had my fill of doctor's that don't run an efficient office and an incompetent insurance company this week.

    Tuesday we took Emily to an eye specialist due to a blocked tear duct. She had the first appointment of the day, 7:30 am. We arrived at 7:20 am, had all of our paper work filled out by 7:30. We didn't see the doctor until about 9:00 am.

    Why? Problems with insurance, waiting in waiting room #1, waiting in exam room #1, waiting in waiting room #2, and waiting in exam room #2. We maybe spent 5 minutes with the nurse (exam #1) and 4 minutes with the doctor (exam #2).

    Yep, we were there for about 100 minutes. Less than 10 of those minutes were productive. The doctor was nice enough, he was good with Emily, explained things and gave us our options. But really, did he have to waste 90 minutes of our time?

    My OB was never on time. It didn't matter what time my appointment was, 8am or 4:00pm, I knew I'd be there for at least 90 minutes (for a 5 minute exam). I was a little more forgiving with her for several reasons: I like her, she's always given excellent care, and I know that she can get called away to deliver a baby at any moment. But it's still annoying and wasting my time.

    It seems that specialists are the worst. My primary care doctor is wonderful about being on time. I've never waited more than 5 minutes to see him. Emily's pediatrician is great. I feel like we still get excellent care and I don't walk out of their offices annoyed with the whole experience. Why can't these other doctor's figure it out?

    And then top it off with an incompetent insurance company. That's another story, for another day.

    Don't even get Brad started on all of this. Maybe, if we are all lucky enough, he'll rant about it on his blog.

    The good news - Emily is fine. She has a partially blocked tear duct. We are going to try some eye drops over the next week (if the insurance mess ever gets figured out) to clear it up. If it doesn't, she will have a little procedure (about 30 seconds) in the doctor's office to clear it up.

    Wordless Wednesday - She Loves Her Walker

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