Monday, February 26, 2007

Easy as ABC...

Okay, I am warning you now that this post may come off like a mother bragging about her child and, well, in all honesty, I guess it is in a way. But as you know, I am really documenting all of this for Emma, and I can't leave this stuff out because of what you all may think. So, take it as you will.

I will start off by saying that Emma's evil twin seems to have left us for now. And boy did she overstay her welcome. Even Daddy got to meet her this weekend and let's just say that by about 11am on Saturday, he was calling me a saint. Thanks for all of your support -- I needed every inch of it!

All of that aside, our busy bee has been busy learning like crazy. Her vocabulary is amazing -- she points and says words that I forget I ever told her. Granted, not all words are clear as a bell, but if you pay attention, you can pretty much figure them out. And if you ask me, some of her words sound better wrong -- they're just so much cuter her way.

She is combining a few words like "hat on," but still gets confused once in a while with the concepts of off/on, out/in, etc. And I know she understands everything I tell her, which is where the frustration sets in for both of us. I have been more creative on the whole "no" thing, and it seems to be helping. I just need to remind myself to relax and remain patient, and most of the time, it works. Okay -- some of the time it works.

And here's the part where I know I sound like I'm bragging: Emma knows at least 10 letters of the alphabet. She can pick them out and say them when I hold them up. She also hands them to me and says them on her own. Of course, it isn't perfect, but I'd say 85% of the time, she gets at least 10 right. The whole idea of this sounded crazy to me like a month ago when I had a mom tell me about her 19-month old doing it. But then I figured, why not see what happens? And here we are. In fact, Jeff has really been the champion of this little skill since he's often in charge of bath time and that's where one of her letter stashes is located. He honestly deserves the credit for this one.

She also can count to four. Now, I am loosely defining this, as she picks and chooses HOW she does it on a daily basis. It started out with me saying "one", her saying "two," me saying, "three", and her saying, "four". Lately, I'm the one saying, "one, two," and she finishes with "three, four." BUT there have been a few occasions when I hold up my fingers and she does it all by herself. Crazy, eh?

Maybe you all think this is normal, and it probably is. I mean, what do I know? I'm just some first-time mom who thinks the world begins and ends with her daughter. But I am amazed at what these little minds can soak up!

In the end, I know none of this matters. Every child develops differently and at their own pace. For now, I am just thoroughly enjoying Emma's zest for life and learning.

There's a lot an 18-month old can teach you, ya know.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Patience, patience, patience...

Maybe if I say it 100 more times, I might actually gather enough to get through today.

Yes, I am having one of those days. A day when nothing seems to make Miss Emma happy. She is so out of sorts, it's making me out of sorts. I sure hope it's teeth because it's too early for those terrible twos to be hitting, isn't it?

Case in point: We MUST read the same book ("boop") a hundred times over and over again. Don't even THINK about another book or Emma's evil twin will roll around the floor as if her life has completely ended.

And what? You want to put food INSIDE her plastic bowl at lunchtime? Oh no, you must let her turn it over so that you put the food ON TOP of her now upside-down bowl. Refuse and the fork will end up in your eye.

Basically, it's her way or the cryway today.

Now I know all about picking your battles and distraction, but oh my word, this is nuts. Yes, she has an ear infection and a cold, but she's been on meds since last Friday and does not have a fever. The boogies have been clear the whole time, so maybe it really is teeth.

Yes, that must be it.

Say it with me now: It's the teeth; it's the teeth; it's the teeth...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Who Knew?

That with a little determination, a powder room can easily be transformed into a play room?

And, no, that isn't a mini potty Emma is sitting on; it's her booster seat -- her recent toy of choice. If I would have known how much she enjoys playing with it, I would have taken it out MONTHS ago!!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Fashion Friday: Our Funny Little Valentine

Can you tell we like the layered look and jeans??!!

*UPDATE: I was just told by my husband that Fridays haven't been very "fashion-y" lately, so I promise to step it up a bit next week. It's just I'm starting to run out of clothes -- it's been 5 months!



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

18 months ago…

A little girl named Emma entered our lives about a week and a half earlier than expected. Although my actual labor was pretty darn short, I have to be annoying here and give every last detail. If you want to get to the "good stuff," skip to the paragraph with the *. If this stuff bores you, don't feel like you have to read this. I really just did it for me and Emma.

Early Signs
While Emma was born early Sunday morning, I believe the whole labor "process" began that previous Thursday. I woke up that morning extremely tired and had horrible stomach pains. Knowing I had deadlines to meet at work, I forced myself to take a shower and get dressed. One my way out the door, though, I started feeling awful and proceeded to, well, go to the bathroom—A LOT. I was sure I had a stomach virus. I called into work and said I needed to rest, but would be in around lunchtime. I never went in.

However, the next day I woke up feeling fine and happily went in for casual Friday. I was getting Braxton hicks all day, but not the "menstrual-type" contractions everyone told me would be the signal. Still, Jeff and I decided not to go to small group that night and instead went for a million walks around the block (to Jeff's dismay!).

I went to bed Friday night feeling very frustrated. My last OB appointment showed that I was 2-cm dilated and 75-percent effaced, so I had been on pins and needles for days. I had no idea when I would "know" when it was the real deal. My biggest pregnancy fear wasn't my water breaking in public or giving birth on the way to the hospital, it was showing up for the hospital to only have them send me home.

Almost There…
I woke up early Saturday morning with what felt like menstrual cramps. I remember laying in bed thinking, "Is this it?" I knew I was going to drive myself crazy thinking about it, so I got up and made a lasagna—at 5:30am. Hello, sign number one?! I wasn't a big cooker then, but I had bought the ingredients so I could make a pan to freeze for after the baby was born.

Jeff woke up around 7am and asked me what I was doing. Making red sauce, of course! Soon after that, the contractions started, and we began timing. They were sporadic at first, but then got fairly regular as the morning went on. Jeff went upstairs around 10am to take a shower, and then we were going to call the doctor, assuming we were going to the hospital. But I'm not kidding you, the second he walked down the stairs, the contractions stopped.

I was so frustrated. With contractions on and off all afternoon, the day seemed to drag on. Jeff and I decided to go to my cousin's graduation party, even though he lives about 50 minutes away. We were both sick of hearing me complain.

After we all ate dinner, I started getting contractions again. I was trying to casually time them so no one would notice. I had told my mom of the earlier contractions, and she was watching me like a hawk (although I could have just been paranoid!). About an hour went by, and my contractions were still about every 8-10 minutes. I told Jeff we should probably head home.

Of course, on the way home, they stopped AGAIN! I told Jeff we were definitely going for a walk when we got home. This baby WAS coming if I had to jump and down to make it happen.

*Once we got home from my aunt's house, I was too pooped for the walk, so I laid down on the couch while Jeff played Playstation. All of the sudden I heard this popping noise. I asked Jeff if he heard it too. He hadn't.

And then I heard—and felt—the second pop, and the tidal wave began. There was so much water! I told Jeff that I thought my water broke and I stood up, and gush!—a second title wave. I quickly ran to the bathroom to analyze the color and odor of the water (love those pregnancy books!), while Jeff was asking what we do now. I told him to hand me the phone so I could call the doctor while he ran and got me a new pair of pants and my hospital bag.

The Hospital
Once we go the okay from my OB, we were on our way to the hospital. And then the REAL contractions began. They were strong, they were in my back, and they were every 2 minutes. Meanwhile, Jeff is calling everyone he knows to tell them the news. (Okay, so just our parents and a few siblings, but I felt like he was on the phone F.O.R.E.V.E.R.—I was in pain people!)

When we finally arrived at the hospital around 11pm, we had a hard time getting in. The entrance they told us to use in our labor/pregnancy class was closed because it was the weekend. The main entrance was closed because it was after 10pm. Finally, we went to emergency and a guy rolled out a wheelchair. As soon as I got out of the car, the third tidal wave decided to come. Just how much water is in there?!!!

Jeff parks the car, and I wait in the waiting room for him to come back, all the while trying to remember that breathing stuff they taught me. My very excited husband quickly returns but has forgotten my purse with my ID and my insurance card. So I wait again. I must have been quite a sight. Breathing like a dog, wincing in pain, and looking like I just peed my pants.

Once all the paperwork was finished (WHY did we pre-register again?), a nurse wheeled me down to the labor and delivery room. I remember her condescending tone as she told me to relax my breathing because I had a LONG way to go. (Ha…little did she know!)

Once we got to my room, I stood up and lost my plug. I was so sick of being wet. I couldn't wait to get into a bed. By that time, my back contractions were very intense and were about 1 minute apart. And my legs were shaking like crazy. The nurse who checked me said I was about 4cm dilated. Once I found that out, I agreed to have an epidural. I couldn't fathom 14 hours of this pain.

Funny Story
In the meantime, my sister arrived at the hospital. She was downtown with her friends when we called her. The funny thing is she called me BEFORE she went out to make sure I wasn't going to go into labor. I told her not to worry and go have fun. Oops!

She had driven down there with a friend, who apparently wasn't willing to leave yet, so she took a cab ALL THE WAY TO THE HOSPITAL. Um, yes, $105 later, my sister arrived at my bedside.

It's Time!
There was a little confusion after that. My sister was popping in and out with water; Jeff went to greet my parents in the waiting room, and I was eagerly awaiting the anesthesiologist's arrival. My OB had stopped in somewhere in there to say hello. I think I waved.

I was so happy when the man with drugs finally arrived. I remember telling him, "You must be the most loved man in this whole place." I don't remember him laughing.

Anyway, Jeff and my sister were asked to leave the room during the epidural. As I tried desperately to hold still as my legs continued to shake and my contractions continued to intensify, the anesthesiologist asked me why I was still breathing so hard. I told him I was still feeling contractions. He said, "You are?" Um, yeah, why? He then asked the nurse to check me again. She told him I was just at 4cm about 20 minutes ago, but he insisted she check again.

So she did. Her eyes got real big and the two of them exchanged glances. She told him I was complete. Hello, am I not sitting right here people? I asked what was going on. The nurse flipped some switch and said I was ready to push. Uh, okay… where's my husband??!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, Jeff was outside the room and saw a light go off above my door and nurses starting scampering. He came in and asked what was going on, and I told him it was time.

The nurse then asked if she should get my sister. I hadn't planned on having anyone but Jeff in the room, but she then said, "She paid over a $100 to be here, and you're not letting her in?" I looked at Jeff and he said he was fine with it. I told him to go get her… fast!

My OB hurried in, and we began pushing. The epidural had finally kicked in, so I couldn't feel anything. I remembered my girlfriend telling me to push like I was taking "the biggest poop of my life," so I hung on to that as my strategy. Of course the time I needed to feel the contractions, I couldn't feel a darn thing.

Although I have to say I was in the best mood ever. I remember chatting with the doctor about my wedding day and the weather. I also remember laughing about how I was sitting there with my legs spread and having casual conversation with around five people like it was totally normal. My sister said I said that out loud, but I don't quite recall that.

The pushing went on for about 40 minutes until I saw Jeff's eyes practically pop out of his head. He looked at me as if I had just won an Olympic medal. He was so happy and proud. He didn't need to say a thing.

Then were the three words I DIDN'T expect to hear: "It's a girl!"

What? I thought all along this baby was a boy. We didn't find out, but I WAS SURE OF IT. Looking back, I think I secretly wanted a girl, so I said boy so I would be happy either way. I just wanted a baby.

Emma Kay
Our baby girl was born at 1:42am on Sunday, August 14. She was 7 lb, 2 oz and 21 inches long. She was absolutely perfect.


My mom, dad, mom-in-law, father-in-law and sister were all there to hold her for the first time, and Jeff was in total awe. It was so late by the time everyone left that I told Jeff to go home, get some rest and come back in the morning.

On his way home, he said the song "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me came on the radio, and he sobbed. What an overwhelming, awesome day it had been.

So there you have it: the story of our little peanut. She came into this world just as hard as she plays in it now. We've had some struggles along the way, but she sure did make labor easy! And she has certainly made life more enjoyable than we could have ever imagined.

Happy 18 months, baby girl. We love you!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Fashion Friday: TGIF!


After a week of the crabbies (Mommy and Daddy included), we are pretty excited about the weekend around here. After a playdate at the mall this morning, and takeout and a movie scheduled for tonight, we are off to a great start!

Have a fun weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Be Prepared

Apparently, this motto not only pertains to boy scouts -- it also pertains to 17-month old girls.

Lately, Emma has found it necessary to bring things with us if we change floors. At first, it was only her baby. But then she started disappearing into her play area, returning with all sorts of random goodies.

Today, our quick trip down to the basement required:
  • baby
  • doggie
  • the letters "t" and "e"
  • Daddy's shoes
  • a plastic red apple

    Who knows what else may have made its way down with us had I not put a stop to the madness.

    Actually, now that I think about it, she had all the necessities down -- food, clothes, someone to love (x2) and something to learn from. Oh, to be inside that little mind of hers....
  • Friday, February 02, 2007

    Fashion Friday: Go Bears!

    We've got the snacks, the TV, and the spirit, now we just need another Superbowl title!



    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    Is it a medical emergency...

    ...when your toddler eats 1/2 of the tip off of a yellow highlighter and then sucks the rest of it dry?

    Hypothetically speaking, of course.