Saturday, December 21, 2013

Emerson: 11 months

Emerson,

You are 11 months old today! How did this happen?! How on earth do I only have you as my little baby for one more month before you are all grown up and a toddler?! I have loved spending my days watching you learn and grow. You are definitely no longer my squish little cuddle bug, though at bed time you usually let me sneak in a few cuddles and oh, how my heart loves and cherishes those moments. 


You have such personality and really are your own little person, I love it! This past month you really started crusing. You love to pull yourself up onto anything that you can: the couch, coffee table, the ottoman and rocker in your room. Sometimes you will even let go and stand all by yourself for a few seconds! 


Playing hide and seek/peek a boo is one of your favorite games. I crawl over and "hide" behind the ottoman in your room and you giggle and squeal and dart over, crawl on top of me, and pat my back all while giggling your adorable laugh. 

Helping me fix dinner has become another favorite thing for you. You love playing in the pantry while I fix dinner. Measuring cups, spatulas, teaspoons, cookie sheets... anything and everything you can get your hands on you love to play with and, of course, eat. Though, you do keep me on my toes as you are quick and sometimes make your way to a side of the room that's not altogether a good place for you to play. 


The other night you saw an empty chair in the kitchen that wasn't pushed into the table and you decided  to move it, so you pushed the chair all across the kitchen floor! You have started moving the laundry baskets around too, you just got behind one, stood up, and started pushing it around. Don't start walking too soon, ok? Though, I'm sure you're not far from it! 

You have been doing a pretty good job of sleeping through the night, thank you! Typically you will go to bed around 7-7:30 and sleep until 6:30 (though this week you have decided to start waking up even earlier, 5:38 is a little too early for my liking, and for you for that matter. On the bright side you are sleeping through the night...). So, yay for you, keep it up, buddy! 


You have six teeth, two on bottom and four on top. I feel like you might be starting to cut another tooth, you have been drooling a lot lately and pulling at your ears (we thought it might be an ear infection, thankfully it's not, but we took you to the doctor just to make sure) the doctor said that could be a sign of teething... or it could just be nothing.

Your days are spent with your buddy M, you absolutely love playing with her and she loves you just as much. You guys just smile and giggle at each other. You really like trying to snatch her paci from her and try to get it in your mouth before I catch you. You know it's not yours and that you aren't supposed to, and you make sure that I see you. You'll have her paci dangerously close to your mouth and I'll say, "No! That's not your paci!" and you go into fits of laughter, like that is the funniest thing ever. Silly boy. Sometimes (unfortunately) you are successful and actually get her paci in your mouth before I can stop you. She has started retaliating though, so you better watch out!


Meal time is quite the event around these parts. You enjoy eating and let me know if you want/need something else or more of something. You have started doing a pretty good job of drinking from your sippy cup by yourself, it's easier if it's really full so I try and keep it full for you so you don't have to tip it so much. But you are getting better! For the most part you eat fruits and veggies with some whole grin bread, Cherrios, and a few other things (like Mum Mums, Lil' Crunchies, Puffs...) here and there. Cheese is by far your favorite food! You can't seem to get enough of it and you get so excited (and a little impatient) when you see me get it out of the fridge.


The other day you tried spaghetti with tomato sauce for the first time and seemed to enjoy it just fine, however shortly after lunch I noticed your face started to swell and get a little puffy. I called the doctor right away and gave you some Benadryl, which helped a lot, thank the Lord! What a scare! Needless to say, you won't be having tomatoes again any time soon. Sorry.

Changing your diaper has become a battle. You do not like to lay down and be still for very long at all. As soon as I get your diaper off of you, you start to roll over/sit up/stand up, anything really but be still long enough for me to change you.


You are starting to throw little fits occasionally, and I have to say, I'm not a fan. Though, I try and see things from your perspective. I'm sure it would be very upsetting if I had to play all day and occasionally nap and have my diaper changed. I guess this is when we really are going to have to start disciplining you, not something I am looking forward to.

Bath time is an absolute favorite of yours. You will crawl into the bathroom and go straight for the tub. Then you like to stand up and pat the top of the tub, when I turn the water on you kind of jump/dance a little bit. And your clothes can't come off fast enough, you have even started helping me undress you for your bath.
 

Just a week ago you moved into size 3 diapers, you are still wearing size 6 month clothes for the most part. The 9 month sleepers are just still too big on you, but you wear a few 9 month clothes every once in a while. You weigh about 18 pounds. I just can't believe how big you are getting!

You take two naps a day, your first one is usually in the mornings between 9 and 10 and then you usually go down for your afternoon nap between 2 and 2:30. You'll sleep anywhere from 35 minutes to two hours. Though typically your naps are a little over one hour long. I love your longer naps!


Reading/eating books is one of your favorite things (and I'm noticing you have a lot of favorites, though you do LOVE books!). You love to pull them (all) off of your shelf and then pick through and find which ones you want to read.

We are still nursing, right now it is three times a day: in the morning when you wake up, after you wake up from your afternoon nap, and before you go to bed. My goal has been to make it to 12 months with you nursing, we are so close. Though, I know I will need to wean you off of your afternoon feeding soon, I should try to this weekend, but with Christmas coming up and being so busy around family I want to continue to have and cherish those alone times with you as much as possible, so we might just wait until after Christmas.


Every day with you is new and exciting and brings so much joy. You are the light of my life and I love you more than you can know. Seeing you grow and learn, explore and play brings me so much pleasure. You are a treasure and a perfect gift from God. Everyday I thank God for blessing us with you and I pray that you will grow up knowing, loving, and severing our glorious Lord.

You are my sugar pie, my sweet little gooseberry. I love you to the stars and beyond. Thanks for making me your momma.

Love,
Momma












Monday, December 16, 2013

a snowy weekend

It snowed, a lot, this past weekend. I loved it. There is something so calming and cozy about looking out your window and watching the white flakes silently flutter to the ground. I was so excited to look out the window and see a blanket of white snow and see even more falling. It was also so nice because I knew I could stay inside and enjoy my warm home and smile at the cold outside.

At least, that was the plan. But then on Friday night the hubs called me and told me the bus was late/not coming/he missed it and needed me to come pick him up. So I bundled up the baby (and myself) and out we went. It may have taken me double the time it usually does to go pick him up, but I had precious cargo and was in no hurry.

Apart for that one little adventure in the snow (which by the way, why is it that snow is less enjoyable if you have to drive in it? or is that just me?) I stayed in and enjoyed the weekend with my boys.


However, because of the snow my baking day with my friend had to be postponed. 

On the bright side, I cleaned my house up (a bit) and I got to of make a few little gifts for some friends (but I can't really share more on that right now, because some of you might be one of the friends getting said gift :). Maybe after Christmas I'll share more about those gifts. 

All in all it was quite lovely and I loved spending the days with my little family. 

Christmas ornaments

Growing up we would always get a new ornament for Christmas. Sometimes we would even make one (or five) to decorate our tree with. My mom saved all of these ornaments in boxes for us. Every Christmas we each had our own box with these ornaments in it and we would decorate the tree with our ornaments. It was a very big deal, especially as a seven year old to have your own box of ornaments. When I graduated from high school and moved away from home my mom gave me my box of ornaments. They were mine to use on my future Christmas trees. With every move I have made over the years I have toted this box around with me. I love pulling out each ornament and hanging in on the tree. Or not, some I just admire and smile at as I look at my handiwork from years gone by... I don't necessarily want all of my childhood crafts of poorly cut reindeer on the tree. But I have them and love them just the same.

So when Christmas came around this year I just figured I would start this tradition with Emerson as well. In every store we have been in I have looked for the perfect first ornament for him. Lots of stores, hundreds of ornaments, no luck. Until the other day when E and I were out getting a few last gifts. I found a few ornaments that I loved and thought would be perfect for his first Christmas. I laid them on the floor and sat down with E to look at them and asked him which one he liked the best. Obviously we got the one he choose. It was light blue and white jingle bells. He loved it and we walked around the store while he clutched his new treasure tightly in his tiny pudgy fist.

Then not minutes later I saw another one, and I couldn't resist. Usually I don't get half of the things I pick up in the store (saves a lot of money when you shop that way :), but not this day. This ornament was so fitting for him and I was excited to find the ornament I had been looking for even though I didn't know what it was (you know: you go shopping for that 'something' you don't know what it is, but you know the moment you see it that it is exactly what you were looking for).


Anyhow, I'm pretty excited to have two little ornaments for E. I know he loves the one and I think he will enjoy the other just as much one when he is older. 

Did you get a new ornament each Christmas? Do you get new ones each year? Are your decorations usually the same or do you like to mix it up? Do tell!

Friday, December 13, 2013

cookies, babies, and Christmas

one. 
Two days this week I had three babies in my care.Three babies. Thankfully, the days went fairly smoothly and somehow I survived - as did the babies. Next week I'll have three babies for three days... and after Christmas, it's full time. Oh, dear! Having two babies seems like nothing now and makes me more thankful for the days with just two... ai ai. I just might be a little crazy.

two. 
Tomorrow I get to teach a new friend of mine how to bake cookies! I am so excited because: 1. I get to bake and I love baking and 2. A grown up person friend of mine is coming over to my house. I'm pretty sure it has been forever since that has happened. On the menu: white chocolate dried cranberry cookies and red velvet cookies. It will be yum!


three. 
Remember earlier this week when I talked about stockings? Well, I was out and about getting the last few things on my Christmas list and stumbled across some pretty stockings. The best part about it? They were 60% off and I got an additional 20% off. So that's basically free, right? I quite like them, and I did get an extra stocking this time...


four. 
I have some big plans for the babies next week. We will be crafting it up up in here. I'm pretty excited about these craft, the babies seem like they could care less, but I know they will have so much fun once we get started. Don't worry, I will be sharing more about these baby crafts soon.

five. 
Christmas is almost here! It is so exciting to think that in a week from today we will be starting to get ready for our first Christmas as a family of three. There is still a whole week to go, but I'm sure it will pass quickly! I have a few things to finish up before then, but they are all fun and make me more excited for Christmas!

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Stockings

There are so many things I love about Christmas: twinkle lights, sparkling trees, cozy homes, warm blankets, toasty sweaters, family, exchanging gifts, stockings, celebrating the birth of our Savior... With most of these things comes a tradition or two: decorating the Christmas tree and house, pulling out the blankets and watching Christmas movies with family while snug on the couch, making or getting the perfect gift for your loved ones, reading about the birth of Christ, celebrating the Advent Season and sharing in family devotions... While I love everything about Christmas and all of the traditions it brings, it is difficult to pick a favorite, though one of them is Christmas stockings.

Growing up I always looked forward to opening my stocking. It was the one thing we were allowed to open before every one else was awake. Usually it always contained a toothbrush (exciting, right?) and an orange. There were other little things in there that would vary from year to year: hair ties, nail polish, a CD, a book, an ornament, chapstick, candies, a small toy... just a few age appropriate goodies. I'm not really sure why I loved opening my stocking each year, but it was always s much fun.

Since we have been married I have made an effort to do Christmas right... i.e. have a nice little stocking full of goodies. I can do this for my hubby with no problem, and now that we have a baby it will be super fun to have one for him. But I always feel guilty or bad when it comes to making a stocking for myself. So I don't. Or if I do I just put things in it that I need anyway, like mascara or chapstick or something like that. I have tried to encourage my hubs to get into the spirit of stockings but it hasn't really worked yet. And his family doesn't do stockings so when we visit them each year for Christmas there are no stockings to wake up to, which s fine... it's just not one of their traditions. So our stockings are pitifully empty. 


Even still, I love stockings and plan to make them a tradition with our children (we only have one right now). A few years ago I bought stockings for us, but lacked the foresight of buying a few extras in the same design for our future children. And because I like things to match and look like they belong together it is proving difficult finding a stocking for E this year. So I have been looking in all of the stores for some matching ones (there are none) and now new ones. This time I will get an extra for our hopeful future baby. My trouble is finding nice stockings at a reasonable price an/or ones that don't have to be personalized.

my favorite stocking find! 


Did you have stockings growing up? Do you do stockings now, if so tell me about it! I'd love to hear your stocking story!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

how to take pictures of your squirmy little pookie

Since it is Christmas time and we have a little munchkin in our lives this year, we thought it would be nice to send a little Christmas card to family and friends. This sounds like no big task, and to some it might not be. But, when you are on a budget (i.e. don't have money to pay for a fancy professional photographer) or you don't have a photographer as your bff or you don't have a fancy shmancy DSLR camera of your own it can prove to be quite tricky to take good pictures of a baby on the move with a five year old sub par camera that takes about a year to take one picture and five years before you can take a second picture, thus causing you to miss all of the adorable smiles and poses of your pookie.

If you find one or all of the above listed to be true for you, I am here to help. Here is what you need to do: 
  
1. Pick a location you want your pictures to be taken. Take a few practice shots, just to make sure the lighting is what you want and your camera is on the right setting. And be sure to have your pookie dressed up and ready to go.


2. Set pookie down in your desired spot, be sure to have your camera on, ready, and in your hand or right next to you. Take a step back and expect that your pookie will be in a different spot than where you set him (or her) down.


3. Quickly take as many pictures as your camera will allow, all the while trying to get your pookie to smile/laugh/look at the camera. 


4.  Get a bunch of blurry pictures of your pookie on your camera, but continue on.


5. Move pookie back to 'the spot' and repeat steps 2-4 five hundred times. Or until you have one non blurry photo that is somewhat useable.


6. When you are tired of moving pookie back to 'the spot' follow him (or her) as they army crawl/crawl/toddle/walk/scoot/roll/cruise around the room and snap pictures like crazy.


7. Try to be creative with the angles. Or not. Just keep taking pictures.


8. Be patient and have fun with your little pookie. Don't stress! 


9. By the end of the photo session you will have burned off approximately 5471 calories. This is true.


10. When you feel pooped tired from chasing pookie as though you have one or even two non blurry pictures of your little pookie the photo shoot can be over.


11. When little pookie is in bed or eating or when you have a few free minutes, look back through all of the pictures you just took and delete 70 of the 77 you just took, because well, at least 70 of them will be your pookie on the move and a complete blur.


12. Look through the 7 okay pictures you managed to get and smile about how cute your pookie is and be grateful for the few good ones you have, even if the quality isn't the greatest. 


13. If you are feeling very adventurous and full of energy, you can have another little photo shoot with pookie.

14. Use the best one or two pictures you managed to take and make a little Christmas card. No one will know just how much work, time, and energy it took you to get those two stinkin' pictures. But, they will be so worth it that you will be willing to do it over and over... 

or

you could just ask Santa for a fancy shmancy DSLR camera for Christmas and hope that you get it so you don't have to go through this painful wonderful process ever again. 

but

in the mean time, (if) while you just have your little camera that takes a decade to take one picture (which obviously means you can only get one picture of your pookie every ten years...) I hope you have found this little tutorial helpful. Good luck taking those pictures! 

and

if you are one of those people with a professional photographer, who has a photographer BFF, or a fancy DSLR camera, well then, enjoy your easy photo shoot and count your blessings! :)

it's the little things people. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

sweet little surprises

Oh, man. It's been too long for my liking since I shared a little ol' post. I don't know what happened this week. Where did the days go? How were my days filled? Oh, um. hanging out with babies, doing the house chores stuff. You know, the usual. Oh, and also working on a top secret gift for a special someone, so maybe that's what took up some of the 'extra' time I usually have in the evenings. But, oh well. I am here now, and it is nice.

[one]
Today started out quite delightfully. I woke up before the babe and had a little quiet time by the light of the Christmas tree. I was even able to get ready for the day while E was snoozing away. I quite liked the 'me time' in the quiet and stillness of this morning. Maybe I can make it a daily thing. And for whatever it is always so much easier to wake up early in the morning if I know I get to enjoy the twinkling lights of my tree.


[two] 
E slept through the night! Thank you, Jesus! He has slept through the night a few other times, but it is not a regular thing. I would quite like it if it was a regular thing. So, yeah. We'll hope and pray for the best :) I figure now that he is 10 months he should be starting to sleep through the night...


[three]
Last night the lady I babysit for texted me with the news that her mom was coming to visit them earlier than they initially thought, so Baby Girl would spend the day with her grandma. I would have the day off. It was kind of a nice little surprise. It was also kind of nice because the next day I would start watching baby number 3! It would be a nice way to ease into watching another little squirt.

[four] 
This morning baby number 3's mama called and told me he wasn't feeling well and they were going to the doctor. So, no babies for me to watch today except for my own. What a sweet little surprise! [As much as I enjoy the babysitting gig, it is nice when I can just hang out with my own babe and not have to care for another  :]

[five]
We got Christmas cards this year. True story. Never before have we sent out cards [unless you count that one year we made five cards to give to two people -five was the smallest number of cards I could order, which I don't]. But with us having a cute lil' mini in our lives this year and our family being far away we thought it would be nice to send a little card to them. Though the card is primarily for our family, a few special friends will be getting one too ... Next week I will be sharing tips on how to make your own lil' Christmas cards.




Anyhow. I hope you all had a lovely week! Happy weekend to you, stay cozy and warm!


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Monday, December 2, 2013

A Happy Turkey Day

Our Thanksgiving holiday was spent at my sister's house up in Minnesota. We left on Tuesday afternoon and drove the seven turned eight and a half hour drive with a baby in hopes that Emerson would sleep most of the way. And he did. Thank you, Jesus. Our trip up was pretty smooth going and we were both so thankful for that. We made two stops, one for dinner and the other a few hours later so E could nurse and we could fill up on gas. 

 
this picture just makes me smile. 

 my baby is getting so big! 

Wednesday we hung out around the house with my sister and her kids. It was pretty chill and E loved seeing big kids and having new people and toys to play with. They kept discovering baby toys and books that they no longer needed and giving them to E. He had a lot to keep him busy, that's for sure! 

Thursday morning I woke up and ran the Turkey Trot with my sister and two of her kids. The Turkey Trot is a 5k. So, it's not too bad, but I hadn't run that much in about a month or so, so yeah... But I decided to go for it. It would make a good memory and get my booty out in the cold. Speaking of cold, it was 10 degrees when we ran. And it was snowing when we started. Freezing. 


But I ran and survived and now have found memories of running in the Turkey Trot with my sister. Plus, I got to wear some of her really sweet, awesome, and warm running clothes. I'm pretty sure it was the clothes that made me run.


 The rest of the day was spent getting the Thanksgiving meal ready with my sister and helping her youngest clear off and set the "Thanksgiving Table". It is named the Thanksgiving Table because that is the one day of the year they eat a meal there. ha. I love it. It was so cute hearing my nephew talking about the Thanksgiving Table... cutie. 

I loved spending Thanksgiving with this adorable little turkey butt :)


Even Boady got some of the good fixings ... he knows where to hang out in the kitchen. 


And then, came Black Friday shopping time. oh. my. dear. Every year my sister and I go shopping and we have tried several different shopping times. This year we left around nine to go shop (since you know, the stores opened at 6 pm on Thursday!). The only reason I agreed to shop at this horrific hour was because I know Emerson can go through the night without nursing and I had forgotten to bring my pump. So I knew I had to be back to nurse him around 6 in the morning and my sister didn't want to wait that long to shop. And I couldn't leave before I fed him, so nine-ish at night it was. I look forward to next year when we can hopefully go at a "reasonable" hour :)

 
As crazy as it may have been, and as tired as I was (cause the night before I got about three hours of sleep... little mister E would not sleep! He kept waking up and crying and it was just horrible), shopping with my sister is always fun and something I look forward to and enjoy each year. I know I wouldn't go without her, so it's a fun thing we do together.


And since we were under an hour away from the Twin Cities, we did all our shopping at the Mall of America. Of course. 
  
Apparently my sister has the magic touch because just about every time she held E he fell asleep in her arms. He was just so worn out he couldn't stay awake to play any longer. Lil' turkey.


Our doggies finally got along. Last year, it was not so much. They had to take turns being out of their kennels. Thankfully this year they became buddies and were able to co-habitate.


It was pretty tricky getting a decent picture of the little cousins together, but we got one. They are just all so squirmy!


We always enjoy visiting my sister and her family so much at Thanksgiving. It has become our little tradition and we enjoy the few short days we are able to share together.

And I just had to share this little picture of the frozen Mississippi River. Yikes! It was cold!


I hope you all had very happy Thanksgivings! Now on to Christmas!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Craft

When it comes to the holidays I like to try and do a little craft with my little Gooseberry and the baby girl. For Halloween we made cute little ghosts and M's mama loved it! I still have Emerson's hanging on the fridge.


I was naturally very excited about Thanksgiving so I could make little turkeys with my baby and the baby girl. This morning we did just that. I love this little turkey because it is so simple and you get a hand and foot print! 


I just used some scrapbook paper I already had, cut it in half (one half for each babe) and folded it in half to make a card, and an ink pad I had with my craft stuff. I only had to buy a brown ink pad for this little craft. Not too shabby. 

If you should try this little craft out, just make sure you have a very firm grip on baby's foot/hand and plenty of wipes so you can quickly wipe the ink off before baby decides to eat the inked hand or foot or  pat their tummy or rub their eye or ... you get the idea. Just make sure to have everything within hands reach so you don't create a bigger mess than necessary :) 

Happy Turkey Week! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

an addition and a big change

So, I have so big news to share. I am going to start watching another baby. A tiny baby to be more specific. His mama is going to be going back to work from her maternity leave in the next few weeks and he is going to be spending his days with me - and E and M. Three babies. One me. Yikes!


However, the spacing between the babies couldn't be more perfect, I think. With Emerson being ten months old, M five months, and now the new little guy, L, just a month and a half or so, there is about 4-5 months between each baby so I think that will make things a little easier, at least, I'm hoping it will.



I think the first days weeks month will be a bit of an adjustment, but I'm hoping that we will be able to get a good routine established sooner rather than later. Naturally I would take on another baby just as soon as I have a great routine established with the two babies...
One thing that I am grateful for with this baby is that he is also a teacher's baby, so he will have the same breaks as M and pretty much the same day to day schedule as well as far as drop off and pick up time goes. So that is something I'm very thankful for. It will be so nice that both babies will have the same schedule as Landon does, being on the school calendar and all.

 

It was an unexpected surprise to get another baby, but a blessing at the same time. M's mama told me the wife of another teacher at her school had just had a baby and they were looking for a sitter. She recommend me for the job with flying colors (or however that phrase goes), which is extremely flattering.



God has provided for us in more ways than we can count, so even though there will be a time of transition around these parts, I know He will give me the strength, energy, and patience with these sweet little babies.