Birthday Bash

Happy Sunday friends! I  hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. Our weekend has been filled with sunshine, walks, yard work and a little girl who is fighting two naps with everything she’s got. We’re off to a birthday party but I figured I’d leave you all with some cute pictures from Emerson’s first birthday party. 
Without further ado:

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Summertime and the living’s easy

It’s no secret that summer is my favorite time of year. The long hours of sunlight, the sudden downpours that leaves everything drenched, and the heat that makes a cold glass of water unbeatable. Yes, summer is indeed my favorite season. Perhaps one reason summer lends itself so well to me, is that I am able to enjoy being outdoors. I can breathe easy, soak up some sun, and not worry about feeling cold. Simply put; it’s summertime and the living’s easy.

With August quickly approaching and the days slowly starting to get shorter, I’m taking advantage of all the sunshine we get. Our Zoo membership is getting quite the workout already. We’ve brought friends, picnics and treated ourselves to some dip-n-dots.

My little observer is quite content at the zoo. We can count the animals, talk about color, and giggle as the cheetah opens her mouth every time she makes a loop around her favorite tree. Emmie can run free down the boardwalk stopping to check out the elk and antelope as she see’s fit.

When we’re looking at the animals together, she studies my face first. Then she holds out her hand towards the looming beasts and quietly declares, “ooooh.” She’ll study them a little while longer, then turn back to me to make sure I’m looking too.

At our last zoo encounter we witnessed an elephant nudge a big green ball into his pool, and we watched as he trudged in after. Have you ever seen an elephant wade down the steps into a pool? Neither had we, until that day. While they may be intelligent animals, their sheer size doesn’t lend it’self to gracefulness.

Our short window of time whizzes past, until we’re racing against the clock to make it home for our second nap. The house is quiet as we snuggle our sweaty heads, quietly whispering about how fun our adventure was. We read our Jolly Jungle book as a tribute to the zoo animals we watched, and we nap to store up energy for more outdoor fun.

I know I’ll miss you summer, but for now, I’m soaking up every moment of goodness you send.

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My Little Love Bug,

It is so hard for me to believe that you are already one year old. Where did the time go? Wasn’t it just yesterday you were rolling around kicking my bladder?

Some days it’s hard for me to remember just how small you were. Even some of your newborn things were big for you. Now you’re this running, laughing, independent little monkey and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

At one year old you can:

  • give Oliver hugs
  • climb the couch & get down
  • drink from a straw
  • run
  • follow simple directions “put the lid on please”

At one year old you love to:

  • be chased
  • play with the big neighborhood kids
  • open the drawer to the stove
  • play in the tub/baby pool
  • wrestle & rough house
At one year old your favorite foods are:
  • cheese
  • fruit, specifically berries & watermelon
  • pasta
  • rice & beans
  • broccoli, kale, and vegetable medley where you hunt down all the lima beans first
At one year old you can say:
  • “ooo,” 
  • “ah”
  • You can sort of sign “all done,”

At one year old you hate:   
  • holding anyone’s hand while walking
  • laying still for a diaper change
  • going down for a second nap
  • being told you can’t get down and walk
  • when we can’t hold you
At one year you are:

  • 17 lbs and 6 oz
  • 29.5 inches long
  • blue eyed and blonde hair (that’s starting to curl!)
  • adventurous
  • independent
  • busy. so so busy!
  • smiling with 4 bottom teeth, and 4 top teeth

Oh Emerson, you make us smile everyday. You are a lovable, sweet, thoughtful person and it has been a joy watching you grow over this past year. Your giggle lights up a room, and your goofy grin always makes me smile. You find wonder in everything we do. You love to carefully observe the world and process information in a quiet manor.You continue to inspire me to be the best person I can, and I continue to love you so much it hurts. Let’s see what this next year brings, shall we?!
Love, Love, LOVE-

Your Momma

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Little Things

Oh the little things. I’m so glad I take a moment to jot these things down. These posts might be my favorites to go back and re-read.

At 4-days shy of 11 months old, here are the little things you do that I’m enjoying.

1. Snuggling:
All right, so I may have had to “teach” you how to snuggle, but now that you’ve learned it may be my favorite thing ever! When you get tired and we’re on our way up to nap-time, or bed-time, you rest your little head on my shoulder. You feel so small, so secure, so loving when you do this that it just melts my heart into a puddle of gooey mommy love. I also love seeing you snuggle other people and things. You’ll snuggle Big Bunny, you’ll snuggle Daddy and once in a while you’ll try your darnedest to snuggle Oliver. Keep on snugglin’ little buggie, keep on snugglin’.

2. Stuffed animal lugging
You’re in a stuffed animal phase. I believe it started with Pink Bunny (can you tell we’re creative with our stuff animal names around this joint?). Pink Bunny was an easter gift from G.Auntie Kathy. Pink Bunny was so soft, and since you had just started taking steps/learned to snuggle, it was an instant attraction for many reasons. Then it moved onto Big Bunny. I grabbed him out of desperation for a particularly difficult diaper change, and it was love at first squeeze. We’ve been letting you nap with him since you just love to cuddle him. He’s also so super soft, that I like to snuggle him too! Then, you discovered an oldie but goodie! Winston! The first stuffed animal/present your Father ever gave to me. (Back when we were 14!!) You love poking his plastic nose, and tugging on his heart. All these animals combined with your new found love of walking has led to stuffed animal lugging. You scoop a stuffed animal up in your tiny arms and waddle forward with them. They’re the size of your tiny body, but you’re determination sees you through and off you go lugging around big stuffed, cuddly animals.

3. Excited dance:
You have a special excited dance, although I’m not sure dance is the right term. Usually this happens when Daddy is threatening to rough house with you on the couch. If he’s “coming to get you,” you squeal with delight and get all giddy and do a little jig! Your feet go, your little arms wave around, you don’t know which way to look. It looks hysterical and tiring all in one!

4. Standing up from squatting
When you first started taking steps, and those steps became more and more frequent I knew as soon as you learned to stand up without holding onto anything you’d be off like a rocket. I was right. But what I didn’t anticipate was just how darn cute your standing up would be. We’re talking wide stance, for balance, flat palms ready to push up, and the fluffy diaper butt high in the air. While I probably should feel badly when you fall down, in reality I get a little excited since it means you have to stand back up, and it’s just so darn cute!

5. Running instead of falling down
This one gets me every time. You’ve been honing your walking skills and with that comes the risk of walking faster. A little quicker stepping, a little longer stride, and a lot more attitude. But what happens when the rush from the thrill of walking faster starts to turn against you? There’s no way you want to stop since that means you’ll end up falling. When pushing your limits of speed seem to get away from you, you embrace the adventure and you end up running. Your little legs going faster and faster until you inevitably fall down with a little thud. I think it’s only a  short matter of time until you’re running on purpose.

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11 Months

Hi Emerson,

You’re 11 months old this week. Excuse me while I go find a box of tissues. Where did my baby go? You’re this walking, opinionated, sassy little monkey.

I think this month has been exceptionally hard for us. For you and me at least, we all know Daddy usually handles everything in stride. We’ve had some tough, long days. You’ve been testing limits, boundaries, and even your own body to see just how much you can do.

There have been some days where I needed a time out. Between napping purgatory, teething hell, and setting a world record for falling down and getting up… this month has been exhausting. While we may have had some really low lows, we’ve had some amazingly high highs to balance it all out. And isn’t that just what growing up really is? Dips and peaks, highs and lows, disappointments and surprises. But no matter what our day was like, every night as you went to bed with that blonde hair tickling your eyes, I thought, “I love her so much it hurts.”

We’ve enjoyed countless morning walks, afternoon park dates, evening impromptu block parties. And it’s been good. It’s been really good. You’ve gone from wobbly steps to practically running. You love to be outside and your favorite activity is to pull up fistfuls of grass.

You love eating, and at this time I’d say your favorite foods are: cheese sticks, crackers, kale, Greek yogurt, vegetarian sausage, and pasta. Oh wait, can’t forget the frozen veggie medley of peas, carrots, corn and lima beans! And blueberries, you love those too. Anything we’re eating, you love to steal it from us. Hmm, maybe I should amend my stance and say you basically love anything we’ll let you have!

You’ve also mastered drinking from your straw sippy cup this month. Talk about looking like a toddler. And speaking of toddler, you’ve begun tantrums when you’re unhappy. You’ve learned to sign “all done,” albeit you do it infrequently, and only at the table.

Now that I’m writing all these accomplishments down, it’s no wonder this month has been a time paradox. It’s been so incredibly long, but at the same time so incredibly short. Look at all the amazing feats you’ve mastered in just a few short weeks. Oh little Lady Bug, you are inspiring.

I can’t wait to see what these last few weeks of your first year of life hold.

Your Momma

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Phone Life

Life is moving so quickly with all this warm, lovely sunshine we’ve been having! Here is our life according to my phone. Pictures include: blueberry face, Oliver pretending to be Emmie, fooling Mom so you can really climb on her, running with objects, lots of walks and parks, lunch on the porch and more!

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On the Horizon

An alternate titles to this post were:

A. Help! My ten month old thinks she’s a toddler!!
B. Toilet paper, tantrums and sippy cup meltdowns

Any idea where this post is headed yet? Oh that’s right, we’ve got a baby diva on our hands this week. A top tooth is right there. A big ‘ole top tooth is on our horizon. The gum is starting to part and another day or two and that sucker will be O.U.T… phew. We are in full blown teething hell.

In other fun news, my ten month old thinks she’s a toddler. Who can blame her, she just wants to keep up with the big kids. Now that she’s walking, she feels her attitude should match her swagger. And boy, oh boy,  does she have a lot of swagger.
Two minutes setting up lunch? Two minutes of Baby-Destructor! Emerson discovered the toilet paper roll. (Also, note to self, clean the bathroom WAY more frequently now that these chubby hands touch everything. *shudder*) I came back from the dining room to half the roll of TP on the floor. She didn’t notice me at first, so naturally I grabbed the camera, snapped a few pictures and said, “Emerson? What have you discovered?” Lens focused, zoomed in, face centered and in 3,2,1. SNAP. Guilty as charged.

Other moments of hilarity that have ensued due to our teething hell this week include:

  • Rolling around on the floor in a sippy cup tantrum. 
  • Getting mad that you can’t walk over the dog. It causes you to fall and cry. 
  • Getting mad that you can’t push over the gate so you fall down and cry. 
  • Getting told not to throw food off your table, so you get mad and cry. 
  • Being a baby? Get mad and cry. 
  • Having to wear a diaper? Get mad and cry. 
  • Nap-time? Get furious and scream. 

Oh yes, oh yes, this momma needs more coffee. And a nap.

As her guardian, care-giver, and loving mother, I try to keep my calm. Yet, some days by the time 6 o’ clock rolls around I am watching the seconds tick away just waiting, waiting for Kyle to come home and hand off the demon-teether to Daddy. Wine is usually involved after the hand-off process. It’s like the glorious prize of surviving another day with a teething-ten-month-wanna-be-toddler.

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As an adult, I feel we all have a tendency to get wrapped up in the mundane day to day tasks. Having a child is such a jarring life event. All of a sudden day to day becomes monumental. Such intuitive movements need to be learned; such inherent ideas need to be discovered. Sure, I see dandelions all the time, but you know what? I never stopped to really discover them. 

Emerson teaches me time and time again, that it’s okay to slow down.  That it’s quite alright to sit and examine dandelions to our hearts content. Taking time in our busy days to appreciate something so seemingly simple as sunshine, dandelions and the breeze. We’re surrounded by complexities every where we turn. All these hidden gems have just been around us so frequently that they start to lose their brilliance with our climbing years. Why is the sun not so fascinating after all these years? 
It should be.  
It is. 
There’s nothing I love more than being reminded of how remarkable the world we live in truly is. Emmie certainly has a way of bringing wonderment back to the lackluster phenomenons that engulf our day to day lives. 
For this, I am forever grateful. 
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Ah, the blissful quiet of nap-time. Nap time with a newborn was way different than what our nap-time currently looks like. With a newborn it was a slow, methodological process of shushing, swaddling, swaying… or sometimes the quirky, “that can’t be comfortable,” car-seat nap.  I mean naps happened in arms, on chests, in wraps and cars, in strollers, stores and restaurants… gosh, now that I’m remembering tiny babies can nap freakin’ any where! 
I miss those days. Now, naps have a certain schedule. A 20 minute window of perfect timing where bottles are had, books are read and eyes close not too soon after. Come anytime before or after that magical 20 minute window and naps are solitary playtime with you and 5 pacifiers- for an hour. But don’t worry by 30 minutes in, you’ll have tossed everything out and when you scream long enough and loud enough, Mom will come to the rescue and put all your Paci’s back in. And eventually after some more howling, rolling, standing and falling down you’ll drift off to sleep with one lone paci.
* * * * * * * * * 
Yes, I think it’s safe to say this is one of my favorite things about naptime: my coffee. More specifically my morning, I can’t believe I wake up this early every day now, coffee. 3 ice cubes, a smidge of milk and cool straw. Cool straw is not optional. 

Yup. Definitely a favorite part of nap-time because once this coffee is gone it’s onto the mad-dash. Blogging, brainstorming and researching for my new business ideas (I am certainly my Father’s daughter. ) dishes, laundry, snacking, lunch prep, oh and can’t forget those pesky meds! …And is my hair too greasy that it’ll look awful if I just braid it? Nope! Braid it is…thank goodness because I’m not even sure there was time to showe—*monitor blinks on.* 
And just like that, naptime is over. Okay okay, this is probably my second favorite part of naptime. I mean, how could it not be? 

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Phone Life

I take so many pictures on my phone. And while they may not be the best quality, there are some of my favorite moments captured. From tiny pig-tails, muddy socks and park outings; here is our life lately, according to my phone:

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