Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Can I start by saying that I am so glad that Christmas is over?!? It was a fairly uneventful day, but tiring nonetheless. By Christmas day my cold had crossed over into probably sinus infection and I felt like someone had whacked me upside the head with a brick. Emma was wide awake crying/screaming by 4am and would not go back to sleep, even when we brought her back to our bed. We've been chalking it up to teething, but I finally got a good look inside her mouth tonight and there is not even a hint of red or swollen gums. After a week of crappy sleeping and increased fussiness, I honestly expected to see something poking through. I'm pretty sure incisors come next. Perhaps she's getting a 2nd molar instead and I'm just not looking in the right place. Unfortunately today, her nasal drainage picked up again and her cough has really swung into high gear again. We managed about 30 minutes of a nap today total. I'm not looking forward to tonight since I know she is going to be awake most of the time coughing like crazy.

As for the presents, we finally gave up with trying to get her back to sleep by 5 and went out to show her the big unwrapped gift (a kitchen set) and open stockings. I'm not calling it a "Santa" gift because I think we're still leaning towards no Santa. Then we ate breakfast and opened some gifts. Took a nap break and then went back to finish the presents. By the final round, Emma was completely over it and just ran around playing with things she'd already seen while we finished opening things. I really can't say which gift was her favorite because she seems to be playing with things pretty equally.

Around the house things are feeling somewhat normal. The decorations have been removed and put away. Thank you cards have been written and mailed. We went to the bank and opened a savings account for Emma with her birthday and Christmas money. (We already have a separate savings investment for college.) I went to the doctor today and got an antibiotic. Decided that this was as good a time as any to go ahead and drop that morning nursing today (I wouldn't have been able to nurse her on the antibiotic anyway). I figure if I did it now, I still have that extra time home with her during the day rather than jump right back into the daycare schedule after 10 days home AND wean on top of it. She seemed fine taking a bottle today and hasn't indicated any desire to nurse. I'm hoping that since I was down to just one time a day and have weaned gradually that it won't be a jolt on my body.

Even though she's majorly cranky and I'm sick and cranky too, I've really been enjoying being home with Emma. She is so silly! She has this new facial expression that can either break into a big smile or a scream - either way, it's adorable. She is really saying 2 words recently - "noooooooooooooooooo" usually in a yell as she is running away from me and 'mama' which has nothing to do with Mommy and everything to do with yummy snacks! She has been signing a lot lately (glad those classes finally are paying off). She signs milk, more, bath, eat, sleepy. She blows kisses if you say kiss or love. Once she signed want and another time she signed diaper. We are working on water and help next. We also sign mommy and daddy frequently, but she hasn't used those yet. She's still nodding yes and no. And knows nose, eye brow (that one is thanks to one of her favorite songs on Sesame Street), toes, and belly. She seems to be figuring out head, cheeks, and hair but isn't as consistent with those ones yet.

Friday, December 24, 2010

9th Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas, my loving family gave to me --
a giant monkey jammie suit from cousin Robbie;
a jumbo floor puzzle from Grandpa and Granny;
My Pal Violet from a friend;
a pink, butterfly purse from Grandpa and Granny;
Baby Einstein book and a Laugh & Learn camera from a friend;
Crayola Tadoodles Markers from Mommy;
a Christmas bear from cousin Meg;
a book about Little Girls from Grandpa and Granny;
and a Hokey Pokey Elmo from cousin Robbie.
Dan made his delicious homemade spaghetti & meatballs for dinner tonight. Emma didn't care much for the noodles, but enjoyed the meatballs! You can also tell that Dan made pizzelles the other day. Emma likes to take a few bites, but then seems to bury it under a towel or shove it in a shoe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

8th Day of Christmas

On the eighth day of Christmas, my loving family gave to me --
a jumbo floor puzzle from Grandpa and Granny;
My Pal Violet from another friend;
a pink, butterfly purse from Grandpa and Granny;
Baby Einstein book and a Laugh & Learn camera from a friend;
Crayola Tadoodles Markers from Mommy;
a Christmas bear from cousin Meg;
a book from Grandpa and Granny;
and a Hokey Pokey Elmo from cousin Robbie.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

7th Day of Christmas

On the seventh day of Christmas, my loving family gave to me --
My Pal Violet from another friend; a pink, butterfly purse from Grandpa and Granny; a Baby Einstein book and a Laugh & Learn camera from a friend;
Crayola Tadoodles Markers from Mommy;
a Christmas bear from cousin Meg;
a book from my Grandpa and Granny;
and a Hokey Pokey Elmo from cousin Robbie.

Emmaline picked out the present she wanted to open and actually started ripping into it. She got distracted by the cat part way through and by the cracker she was eating. (Crackers are her snack after daycare while Dan's getting dinner ready.)

She was very excited about this purple dog! While she was taking a bath, I uploaded the program that comes with it and downloaded the personalization (had to put Emma because it didn't recognize Emmaline although it had 4 different variants of Emmalynn and even an Emmaleen). It is a pretty cute too. Like the other gifts she has received, I think it will get a lot of use over the next couple years.

5th & 6th Days of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas, my loving family gave to me --
a pink, butterfly purse from my Grandpa and Granny;
a Baby Einstein Book and a Laugh & Learn camera from a friend;
Crayola Tadoodles Markers from Mommy;
a Christmas bear from cousin Meg;
a book from my Grandpa and Granny;
and a Hokey Pokey Elmo from cousin Robbie.

On the 5th night, Emma picked out her own gift (partially on accident). She was eating a cracker and decided to drop it in a gift bag. When she went to get the cracker out, she discovered a book and was very excited! She immediately forgot about the cracker (not a small feat) and ran over to me with the book so I could read it to hear half a dozen times. After that, she went back to find the cracker and found the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn camera. If you press one of the buttons, it occasionally sings "If you're happy and you know it", a song we've discovered Emma is quite familiar with and she knows to clap at the right part! It is pretty adorable.

The 6th night was when she finally seemed to understand to rip open the wrapping paper. However, once she got to the point where she could see the gift, she froze. We still had to take the gift (a fuzzy, pink butterfly purse) out of the paper and give it to her. At that point, she was very excited about it.

Obviously, I missed a few nights posting. The 5th night I came down with the stomach bug Dan had earlier. I guess he wasn't just being a baby about it - it was pretty horrible. I ended up going to bed at like 6:30. Luckily, it passed within about 24 hours for me instead of 72 like his and I was able to deal with work on Tuesday. Last night I was still worn out and decided to finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows instead of posting. After watching Pt 1 at the theater last week I realized that I'd only read the book once and did that very quickly just to get to the end. I couldn't believe how much I'd forgotten/missed the first time. It just may have pushed it back to the #1 spot on my Favorite Series list. Percy Jackson had crept up there, but it just doesn't have the same magic (for lack of better word) that Harry Potter does.

I think that Emmaline is starting to cut another tooth (although I haven't been able to inspect her mouth recently). She's getting a bit more cranky, drooling more -- luckily she has never been a super drooley baby, and keeps her finger in her mouth constantly. A big part of me wants to just give her the pacifier back because I know it gives her some relief, but we've gone almost 2 weeks without it. If only she would give up needing to be rocked to sleep as easily! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

4th Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, my loving family gave to me --
Crayola Tadoodles Markers from Mommy;
a Christmas bear from cousin Meg;
a book from my Grandpa and Granny;
and a Hokey Pokey Elmo from cousin Robbie.

I've already realized that the markers were a mistake! The ink is very runny (reminds me more of paint). They will definitely be used when she's up at a covered table or in her high chair and NOT when she's sitting on the carpet again. Luckily, they are washable and so the ink was quickly removed from her hands and the bookshelf. We also quickly swapped the marker for a pen and she was equally happy to play with that after just a little fuss. Should have gone with the round crayons and not the markers. :) Live and learn, right?

I think she may have had nightmares last night. She woke up screaming/crying and I went in and rocked her for about an hour. At one point (while she was asleep in my arms) she started swinging her arms, mumbled something, and then her eyes popped open and she started to cry again. A little later she started clapping in her sleep. Another time, she put her hand up and felt my face, then felt hers - I thought she was awake but her eyes never opened and her breathing pattern hadn't changed. I had tried to pass her off to Dan at some point before we had taken her to our bed and she completely freaked out. I really can't remember her screaming like that before. She just wouldn't let me put her down so she ended up in bed with us.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

3rd Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas, my loving family gave to me --
a Christmas bear from cousin Meg;
a book from my Grandpa and Granny;
and a Hokey Pokey Elmo from cousin Robbie.

Emmaline opened her gift in the afternoon today because my work Christmas party is at 6 this evening. We still aren't sure if everyone is going or if I'm going alone since Dan continues to feel horrible. I took Emma to the gym alone this morning and then we went to WalMart to buy some stocking stuffers for Dan. That gave him about 3 quiet hours home resting in bed. Emma also took a nice long nap this afternoon (about 90 minutes) and that allowed him to sit on the couch and read. He finally ate lunch (soup again), but that was the first time he'd eaten in 24 hours. I am trying to bite my tongue and not point out that maybe if he took some Dayquil, he wouldn't feel quite so bad.

Back to the gift. I pulled three or four gifts from under the tree and let her pick which one to open. She tore a little paper, but still left most of the unwrapping to Dan. Once we took the bear out she held it and then went and got her bear from last Christmas (Jingles). She set the new bear down next to Jingles and covered them both with a washcloth -- which is pretty much her favorite thing to do with stuffed animals lately. She takes it very seriously and concentrates hard while opening the washcloth and laying it flat on the animals (usually covering their faces which I find odd). I should also note that she was a good girl and made sure all of the scraps of wrapping paper were placed in the trashcan.

You may notice in the picture that she is eating something. I will admit that I gave her a snickerdoodle. What are the holidays without all the holiday junk food?

Friday, December 17, 2010

2nd Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas, my loving family gave to me --
a book from my Grandpa and Granny;
and a Hokey Pokey Elmo from cousin Robbie.

Tonight, Dan picked out the present (one from his parents). It was a book "What Little Girls are Made of." It's a cute book with quotes and story excerpts about little girls. The illustrations are beautiful paintings of girls in fancy, old-fashioned dresses. Right away Emma noticed that there is a cat on most pages!

As for the unwrapping process, she took about 3 swipes at the wrapping paper and then went over to the pillow and sat down. She waited there until I unwrapped the rest of the present for her. Dan is worried that teaching her to open presents is going to translate into disaster for all the other wrapped presents under the tree. I still believe that she's just not that into it.

Emma has been refusing her milk during the day. The last two days, they've been lucky to get her to drink 4 oz at daycare. She's also barely nursing in the morning (pretty sure we're going to drop that in the next week). She will take 4 oz at bedtime though. She drinks water from a sippy cup, but probably only 3-5 oz a day. Part of me feels like I should be worried, but she still has plenty of wet diapers. Tomorrow I'm going to use her old bottle (with the slow nipple) for her morning one and then try to give her milk in a sippy for the afternoon. Not sure if that will help at all, but I feel like if she's going to refuse milk - it might as well be from a sippy. Our goal is to get rid of daytime bottles over the holiday break. She stopped using a pacifier on Monday, except for naps at daycare. We're also planning to get rid of nap time pacifiers while she's home over break.

I'll admit that I still feel totally clueless when it comes to feeding this child. I miss the days of just nursing her and knowing that was enough! Now I'm constantly worried about what to feed her and if she's getting enough food and enough of the right kinds of food and how much she drank and what she drank and how she drank it.

As for the rest of the household, I seem to be getting over my cold (still a bit stuffy and the cough is lingering). Unfortunately, it hit Dan hard today. He just took some Nyquil and headed off to bed at 7pm! He's really trying not to act like a big baby, and in return I'm trying not to get upset that he's feeling horrible and not helping as much.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1st Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my loving family gave to me --
a Hokey Pokey Elmo from cousin Robbie!

Dan and I have been putting presents under the tree as boxes arrive from grandmas, grandpas, godparents, aunts, and uncles. And this kid is spoiled! All I've been able to think of is spending hours Christmas day unwrapping her gifts for her while she runs around the house or throws a fit when we try to get her to sit still. Last year she was too little and just slept. At her birthday, she just wasn't into it (we did manage to get a couple pics with her "playing" with tissue paper, but that was kinda faked). So to try to avoid this, we (and by "we", I just mean "I") decided to adapt one of my family traditions - opening 1 present on Christmas Eve - and turn it into open 1 present each night, starting tonight.
I chose the weirdest shaped gift (mostly because I was curious about what it was) and we kinda got Emma to open it. She liked pulling the ribbon off of it and then smacked it a few times which ripped a bit of the paper. Eventually her curiosity got the best and she tore a little more paper until she could see that it was Elmo. Then she got excited and squawked until we took it the rest of the way out. This was about a 5 minute process. That made me feel like we're making the right decision because I can't handle 5 minutes per gift with like 50 gifts all on Christmas day!
My goal is to post each night with her latest gift.

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010

We seemed to have survived croup, but Emma still has a cough and a LOT of nasal drainage. The last few nights, her left ear started draining a lot too. We attempted to take her to Urgent Care on Sunday but we're denied. Apparently here on Sundays they just offer "Quick Care" services by a nurse practitioner. Although the website included the symptoms that we wanted to take her in to be seen for (ear ache, cough/cold) they only see patients 18 months and up. That fact is not listed anywhere on the website. So we waited it out -- and luckily she slept last night -- and took her to the doctor today. We were told that her ears are waxy, but otherwise fine. The drainage was actually a good sign that the tubes are doing their job. We did get some recommendations on treating her super red, dry cheeks (cortisone with aquaphor over that for a week). It's starting to get really bad around here mouth from all the snot/drool and the pacifier. Yet another reason to get rid of the pacifier. Unfortunately it's still the only thing she wants when teething and she has molar #3 and #4 that have cut, but are still working their way down.

This weekend was a bit of a flop. We went to the Picture People on Saturday morning to do some Christmas pictures. That was a disaster. The photographer sucked, to put it nicely. She was determined to just take pictures of Emma sitting or standing perfectly still and looking directly at the camera. I don't think she snapped more than 30 photos in all and only uploaded 13 for us to choose from. That's a huge difference from the 275 choices we had at her last pictures with Portrait Innovations. Granted, she wasn't mobile at that shoot. It was very frustrating and I think we'll travel the extra hour next time and go back to Portrait Innovations. Their staff was much friendlier and seemed to work better with babies.

Sunday, I had plans to go out of town with a friend and then a friend's daughter was going to come watch Emma so Dan and I could finally go see Harry Potter in the theaters. Friend cancelled (not a huge problem cause Emma had been up most of Saturday night and I was exhausted). And the girl who was supposed to babysit never called back to confirm -- even though SHE was the one who asked to babysit. So Dan and I didn't get to go to the movies.

I never realized how hard it would be to get a babysitter! When I was pregnant, tons of people told me "oh, I can't wait to babysit!" And then when I tried to set a day and time - they flaked. Let's see if I can list the number of times Emma has stayed with someone (other than daycare) so that Dan and I could go do something -- his parents watched her once last November and we went to the movies. Robin watched her once last December and we went out to dinner. Dawn watched her once last November while we finished Christmas shopping. Jess watched her in June while we went to get our eyes checked. Our moms watched her (sleep) at the hotel room in Vegas while we went to see a Cirque du Soleil show with family. That's it. Five times in 14 months. It's not like Dan and I are real social people or anything. We are definitely home-bodies, but it would be nice to get out occasionally with just the two of us.

Pictures this week are a blog exclusive - they won't be posted on Facebook until after Christmas cards have been sent out. These are the 3 decent pics from this weekend. They aren't horrible - but Emma never would smile (probably didn't help that I wasn't smiling much either because the photographer was frustrating me so bad). Next year we won't bother with professional ones.
As for milestones - she's been nodding her head yes and no. That's absolutely adorable! The other day I found her standing in the living room, pointing at the cat, yelling "no, no, no". We've been trying to teach her to say "No, no Jo-Jo" to Jonah because he likes to try to run outside. (We also try to get her to say "bad kitty" to Britney when she's on the kitchen table.) She has started using a fork when she feels like it. She has figured out how to put her knit hat on all by herself. And she is getting very familiar with daily routines. When she knows it's time to leave the house, she puts her hat on and brings her coat to Dan. As soon as she gets inside (school or home) she takes her hat off and fusses until you take her coat off. After dinner tonight, I took her out of the high chair and hoped that she would play for a few minutes so I could clean up. Nope, she went straight to the bathroom and banged on the door. She's holding a crayon and actually drawing lines now inside of just making dots. For now, she seems to be over the separation anxiety at school and waves bye-bye from the breakfast table inside of screaming and clinging to me. (That only lasted a few weeks, but was still difficult.) Her latest toy obsession has been the Glo-Worm. She doesn't necessarily like the glowing part or the music - she likes to take a washcloth and cover it up. We dug out Jingles (her Christmas bear from last year) and now she carries both Glo-Worm and Jingles around with 2 separate washcloths and sets them down places to cover them up. Then she'll pick them up and move them somewhere else and cover them up. She is also obsessed with Elmo. We started watching some video clips on SesameStreet.org and she is a bit addicted. Our favorites include the Imagination song, Elmo's song, Song about Elmo with Adam Sandler, What I am by Will.I.Am., Elmo's Ducks, Elmo Loves You, and this one with a duck that moos and a cow that quacks. We watch each of these (and a few others) 2-3 times a day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28

Emmaline is sick.... again! We just finished a 3 week course of antibiotics to deal with a (possible) sinus infection that caused nasal drainage and a bad cough from August - October. And less than a week later, she started coughing again on Thanksgiving day. By Friday night it was a barking cough and she had spiked a fever. She didn't sleep at all that night and refused to take her morning nap on Saturday. (Barely got a tiny nap that afternoon.) She seemed better during the day Saturday, but by 5pm the fever was back and she was very pathetic. *The picture is from Saturday evening. She just moped around and would lay her head down on the futon or the black box and whimper. Saturday night was rough, but not as bad as Friday. She actually slept off and on. She woke up at 4 and screamed and cried for 30 minutes. Just when Dan was ready to put her in the car and go to the ER, I was finally able to calm her down and she slept for another hour or so. Same thing today - seemed fine most of the day and then around 5pm her temp was up to 101.8. She laid down on the floor for about 20 minutes - not really moving, not talking, just laid there. I finally got her to crawl up in my lap and she sat there for another 20-30 minutes. At that point we called the on-call doctor for some advice. (We did try to take her to the doctor Saturday morning, but they were all booked so we have an appointment tomorrow afternoon.) The doctor agreed with my home diagnosis of croup and called in a prescription for a steriod to help with her breathing. So far she has been sleeping for a couple hours. We'll see how the rest of the night goes. We're still not sure whether or not to send her to daycare in the morning. I think she should be past any infectious time frame and she seems fine during the day.
On a much more positive note. She has been such a joy lately. She started nodding her head 'yes' and 'no'. She has been dancing all over the place, and not just bending her knees. She does a little shuffle and throws her hands in the air. She almost falls down just about every time. It's so precious! We've been letting her play with utensils during meals again lately and she started using the fork on her own. She can identify her toes, belly, and nose when we ask. She knows the difference between the 2 cats and can point at the right one in a picture when we say its name. Britney actually lets Emma pet her now and Emma has really learned to be gentle (although sometimes she just gets too excited and shrieks, which scares the cat off). She is still waving and blowing kisses and playing peek-a-boo. She is also very good at following directions (I've asked her to go to her room and bring me a book, put her clothes in the hamper, put her toys away, etc). At daycare, they said she's the only baby who actually helps pick toys up when they're done playing. She also does a little sign when we say "bath" and instead of doing the correct sign for "more" - she claps her hands together.

We had a good Thanksgiving (despite coming down with the cough). We went to a friend's house in West Virginia. Their daughter is a few weeks older than Emma. We met them through the Baby Signs class this summer and now they also go to the Little Gym on the weekends with us. It was very relaxing and fun to watch the girls play together. *I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that we didn't pass the germs onto their daughter.
I also gave her another hair cut this weekend. It's pretty jagged, but at least I didn't cut the bangs as short as the last time. It looks a little boyish, but I was going nuts because her hair was constantly sticking out in every possible direction. She has a lot of hair, but it's very thin (like mine) and there is just no way to tame it at awkward lengths. I would eventually like her to have longer hair, but for now we will continue sporting a bowl cut. Thankfully, she's pretty darn adorable regardless of what her hair looks like!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November 13

It was so much easier to title my posts when I was just putting week numbers. Now I spend like 5 minutes trying to think of something clever to put as a title and get frustrated because everything I think of sounds stupid. Instead, I'm just going to put the date from now on.

I think we may be near the end of nursing. I stopped pumping during the day after her birthday and she's been taking 2 bottles (1/2 thawed breast milk, 1/2 whole milk) instead. But I've still been nursing at bedtime and in the morning. Tonight she refused to nurse. She would start, but then bite me and roll off my lap. We've gone through biting phases before and it was always related to ear infections or teething (usually a combination of both). I pushed through those times because she still needed to nurse and I was determined not to have to use formula. Part of me thinks this is probably teething related since she has been a complete crab for the last week or so. She has one molar (took about 6 weeks to come in) and I'm wondering if another one is coming in. I have tried to reach in and feel, but that always ends painfully. Last time I thought I might have felt a little point before I was chomped. The dilemma comes from knowing that she doesn't have to nurse anymore. Tonight we just went ahead and gave her a bottle with a couple ounces of whole milk. (I hate giving whole milk in a bottle, but she still refuses to drink it from a sippy cup even though she will drink water from a sippy.) I'm going to try to nurse her in the morning and again tomorrow at bed. I hate that I feel so guilty even thinking about dropping those feedings. I've nursed her for over 13 months. I should feel proud, but instead I feel like I'm being selfish for giving it up just because I don't want to be bit.

On other notes - Emmaline's cough is FINALLY gone! She still has 1 more week to go on her antibiotic, but it definitely seems to be doing the trick. She spiked a fever about 10 days after her 12 month vaccinations and had the injection site was red and swollen for several days. We called the doctor and she said to keep an eye on it, but not to worry unless it got worse. Luckily, that passed quickly. Separation anxiety has arrived. Over the past week she has started clinging to me and crying whenever I try to drop her off at daycare. She was doing so well in the Wobbler room in the beginning and she still seems to enjoy it during the day, but mornings have been tough. I think she really misses Miss Lisa from the nursery. She was filling in for the Wobbler room for a few mornings and then when she disappeared the fits started. It may be a coincidence, but I think it's connected.

Not sure if I mentioned it in a previous post, but Emmaline has started blowing kisses. It's awesome! The other morning I went in to change her diaper before nursing her when she woke up and she laid there blowing kisses the whole time. What a way to start a day! I am anxious to be able to start blogging about all the things she is saying. I worry that her speech is already delayed. She still says 'dada' and occasionally says 'mama' (usually just when she is really sleepy or doesn't feel well), but that's about it and even those aren't really consistent. She jabbers a lot, but no real words. Most of the development charts that I've seen say that by 12 months they should have 2 words in addition to mama and dada.

Pictures for the week are her laughing during dinner the other night (covered in black beans) and her crying about something yesterday morning.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

No rest for the weary!

I missed another blog post last weekend. It's getting harder and harder to find time for anything that isn't directly related to taking care of Emma and work. I find myself really looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not for any reason actually related to the holiday - just the days off!

This weekend we went to Roanoke for another MACK reunion. I still don't like traveling with Emma. It was so hard to keep her on schedule when there were so many other people around and so we ended up with a very cranky baby! Luckily, she has gotten over the pink eye and the ringworm is almost gone (we'll continue with the Lamisil cream for another week though). She still has her runny nose and cough. That's going on about 9 weeks now so we went to an allergist last Friday because we were getting worried that she might be allergic to the cats. The allergist said that she is too young to develop allergies (other than food allergies). He suspects that she has a nasty sinus infection and recommended a 3 week dose of antibiotic. I don't like the idea of having her on medicine that long, but my mom had a similar theory when she came down with the pink eye. I found it a bit frustrating that my physican couldn't have just said she was too young for allergies, but we're crossing our fingers and hoping this will help her out. (I hear her up in her crib hacking away right now.)

Last night we were looking through pictures from K's wedding last June and couldn't believe how different Emma looks. She looked like a baby and now she looks like a little kid! I was thinking that it was just because she can walk now, but even the pictures of just her face still look so different. She really is growing up! She has started saying "ma-ma" more. Usually just when she feels super sleepy or her mouth seems to be hurting (I think she's getting a couple molars now). It's not the excited "hi dad-dad" that Dan gets when she sees him, but it is nice to know that she trusts me to comfort her.

I'm not sure what milestones to post now. She seems to be learning new things daily, but they're not major things (like crawling or walking) and it's hard to even list foods because she pretty much eats whatever we're eating unless it's junk and then we find something healthier for her. She has been rejecting a lot of food lately, but I think that's due to the teething and I'm hoping it will go away soon.

That reminds me: Am I the only person in the world who thinks it is ridiculous to take a 12 month old trick-or-treating????? I can't believe how many people asked if we were taking her out this year and they were shocked when I said no! Other people kept asking if it was okay for her to have candy and daycare even had a party Friday with a sign up list for things like cookies, cheese puffs, chips, candy, etc. Seriously? My kid doesn't eat any of that stuff and I have no plans on allowing her to eat those things for quite a while. Apparently, I am the Halloween grinch! At least I have another year before I start getting harrassed about it again (and no, I don't plan on taking her trick-or-treating when she is 2 either).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What a week!

(Left: Birthday party; Below: pink eye)

I wasn't prepared for this week to be such a whirlwind! Last weekend was insanely busy trying to get ready for the birthday party, but we still tried to have fun. I think her party was a success, but honestly I was so stressed out that I can't really be the judge of that! We've gotten great reviews from Emma's guests and Emma seemed to have a blast, so I guess that's what matters.

Monday morning I woke up with a sore back and within a few hours it hurt every time I took a breath (any breath, not just a deep one). I tried to call my chiropractor, but no one answered so I called a different place (Dan used to work with this guy's wife). I managed to do quite a number on it and so I had to go back 2 more times during the week and will need to go twice a week for a month or so. As if I actually have time for all these appointments!

By Tuesday, Emma's cough had come back with a vengeance and she had icky green snot. She was scheduled for her shots, but the doctor had called in sick and we had to reschedule for later in the month. On a positive note - my friend at work had her BABY Tuesday evening! Little Lauren arrived weighing 7lb 9 1/2 oz.

Dan went ahead and took Wednesday off to stay home with her. They went to the doctor (not our normal doctor) who informed us that the spot on her cheek is not eczema, but ringworm (opps!). So we've started putting an anti-fungal on it twice a day. By this weekend it looks like she's getting one or two more spots on her face. Figures that she wouldn't get any new spots for over a month and then it would spread as soon as we actually start treating it!

Thursday it seemed like things were improving. The snot was clear instead of green so we were pleased about that. Oh yeah, the doctor said the cough may be asthma and prescribed Singulair. Not sure how the green snot fit into that diagnosis, but whatever. It was pretty fitting that the pharmacy was out of this particular prescription until Friday. I think it was around Thursday night that we discovered her first molar is poking through!

We made it until my lunch time on Friday and then I received a call from daycare that Emma woke up from her nap with her eye all gooked up and her eyelid was swollen. I managed to find a sub and throw some stuff together. We went back to the doctor (another doctor, still not our usual doctor) who confirmed that she had pink eye and prescribed an antibiotic eye drop. We had to rush from that appointment up to Winchester to the ear specialist for the follow-up appointment from her tubes. Her ears look great (thank God)! We follow-up again in 6 months.

We started the drops Friday night and were amazed at how much better she seemed Saturday morning! She was in a great mood, the swelling was down, and there was hardly any gunk throughout the day. The only down side was that the other eye started to gunk up a little too so we started treating both. After she went to bed that night we started Operation: Disinfect. We have wiped down every surface and toy that she possibly comes in contact with. Washed her bedding, clothes, and all our bedding and clothes that she's touched in the past week.

During the second set of eye drops Sunday morning, things seemed to go downhill again. When she started tearing after the drops, there was a pink tinge to the tears. I totally freaked out and called the on-call doctor. He said to keep an eye on it, but if she was acting normal and not running a fever that we could wait it out until tomorrow and then take her back for a follow-up at the office. I wasn't very reassured by that so I called my mom. She thinks that Emma has some infection going on more than just the eye thing and needs an oral antibiotic too. She tried to comfort Dan, who was feeling like it was something he'd done wrong because we really do have to pin her down and pry her eyes open to get the drops in. (It's a completely miserable situation for all of us and I really hate the baby who gave this to her!) At that point she was still in her normal, cheerful mood. She took a good morning nap and another long one in the afternoon. She did not wake up well from the afternoon nap though - the redness in her eyelid was worse, the swelling around her eye was worse and she was super cranky. She kept laying back down and whimpering. We are trying to decide if Dan is going to take tomorrow off or if we'll go ahead and drop her off at daycare and be prepared to get a call to pick her up. He's still going to try to get a doctor's appointment in the afternoon to get her checked out (hopefully we can see our normal doctor). She's scheduled for her shots next Saturday, so I'd like to have her feeling better by then!

This week doesn't look like it's going to be any easier. There are multiple things that we have to do each evening. Wednesday I leave for Richmond for work. It will be my first night away from Emma. I know Dan will take good care of her, but I'm still really anxious about being away!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I totally missed blogging last weekend and now Emmaline's birthday has come and gone! I think she had a good day. She went to daycare since it was a workday. We felt a little guilty not being with her the whole day, but felt like it was too weird to take a day off. The good thing about it is that she loves daycare! We baked some of our delicious pumpkin cupcakes and took them in with her. Several of the older babies (already 1 or close to it) got to have cupcakes together. They took some pictures so we're hoping to get copies of those soon. We went out to dinner that evening (3 Brothers Burgers) and she had a little bit of hamburger meat, but mostly shoved that aside so she could eat sweet potato fries. Unlike the ones we cook at home, these ones were covered in cinnamon and sugar. I wasn't too thrilled about giving her more sugar, but it's her birthday so we caved. When we got home there was a box from my parents so she got to open that. My friend (who is due with a baby girl any day now) came by and brought presents. Emmaline received a HUGE box from her other grandparents the day before. The downside - she isn't that excited about opening presents. We've gotten a few cute pictures of her playing with the box or tissue paper. Honestly though, she's really not into those things either. A few of the things she's received have been big hits so far - a fork and spoon from her auntie, monster squirt bath toys from her godparents, doll and play bottle from my aunt, and puzzles from a co-worker.

Today (the day after her birthday) was a fun day too. We went to the Little Gym for our regular class. Emmaline was way more outgoing than she usually is. I think she's getting very comfortable with the setting. We also went to the Festival of Leaves and walked around for a bit. It's an annual event and vendor set up booths and whatnot. They also open the historic museums near Main Street for free. The only thing we really got out of it (other than exercise) was talking to a couple different people about gutter cleaning and guards. I guess that was fitting since it was the Festival of Leaves and we're trying to get the freaking leaves out of our gutters. Since the house is 2 stories tall on 1 side b/c we're built on a hill, Dan can't get up on that side to clean them out. We don't actually have any trees on our property, but the neighbor has some huge ones that drop a ton of leaves. (We raked 20 bags one year!)

Tomorrow is her party. We are having that at the Little Gym as well. We're very excited about it and can't wait to see people. Most of the guests are co-workers and their kids. A couple friends from college are coming from out of town and bringing their kids (or in 1 case, just coming since they don't have kids). Emmaline's friend from Sign Language class is also coming from out of town. We invited the other babies that she's been going to daycare with for a while, but never heard back from them so I'm not expecting them to show up. Don't blame them, I'm not really sure if we would have shown up if we'd been invited to their parties since we don't know them outside of daycare. For one of the babies, I've never even met the parents. But I know Emmaline adores these kids and I would actually like to meet the families so maybe they could get together occasionally "after hours".

As for developments, she has some weird spot on her face. I'm thinking that it's an eczema kind of thing. It's gotten bigger over the past month, but looks like it might be fading now. She goes to the doctor on Tuesday for her 12 month check up and vaccinations so we're hoping to figure out what the doctor thinks about it. About a week ago, Emma got ahold of an apple out of the cupboard. She started chomping away on it and before we knew it had eaten it to the core (we got it away long enough to cut the core away, but she'd already eaten the stem)! I was worried that she would gag once she got down to the smaller bits, but she did great. Today she grabbed a nectarine as I was putting away some groceries and did the same thing (we took it in plenty of time to cut the pit out).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marathon Week

I feel like I've been running a marathon all week! There really hasn't been a moment to stop and even catch my breath until this evening, and that was only because we were driving back from a b-day party in West Virginia and I forgot to bring my school bag to work on lessons.

Somehow almost all of our big appointments/meetings/etc. landed on the same week and so it was running from one thing to another every day. We really tried to keep Emmaline on a schedule, but it was very difficult. We are really hoping that this week is easier. As of now, we only have things on Wednesday. I have a staff meeting after school and then Dan has Bible study at 7 so we probably won't get to see each other, but we will be able to get Emma home at a decent hour and keep her on schedule.

Adding lunch seems to be helping with her weight. We took her to the doctor on Friday because she'd been running a fever for 3 days. She was 20 lb, ? oz (Dan can't remember if it was 3 oz or 9 oz). Either way, it's up from 19 lb so may we're back on track. We'll see where she is in 2 weeks when we have her 12 month check up and shots.

We are still convinced that she's teething, but the doctor didn't feel anything new in her mouth. Luckily, she stopped waking up screaming in the middle of the night. She's still clingy and chewing everything. She won't let us touch her mouth and she's starting to reject certain foods.

I can't think of any new developments, other than a rash that appeared this afternoon. I think it's just a heat rash. We were in the car a lot yesterday and it was in the upper 90s. She was a sweaty mess everytime we took her out. Not sure why it would wait until today to show up, but she was wearing long sleeves (it dropped to the low 70s). She only said ma-ma one more time and we can't get her to do it any more. It's almost more disappointing now that I know she can do it!

Cutest thing tonight: I was packing the diaper bag for daycare tomorrow and she took her shoes out of the bag. She walked over to me and plopped down in my lap, pulled the velcro open on her shoe and held up her foot! I went ahead and put her shoes on (because, how can you resist that?) and let her wander around in just her shoes & diaper for a while.

I had lots of lap time with her today. We went to a birthday party for the baby we had Baby Signs class with. They had a guy there singing children's songs which was a lot of fun. Emma decided to park in my lap and just watch all the activities 99% of the time. She does this at the Little Gym sometimes too. I think she's just going to be the type of kid who enjoys sitting back and taking it all in. At daycare, she definitely jumps right into the middle of things. I figure it's because she's so familiar with the place and with those babies. Anywhere else she prefers to be an observer. Part of me wished that she'd gotten up and played, but a bigger part of me enjoyed the snuggly time -- especially since I've been so busy and don't feel like I got to see her much this week or Saturday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 24

SHE DID IT! Emmaline finally said "ma-ma". Granted, she only said it once, but we both heard it and therefore it counts! I doubt think it had any meaning, she was just mumbling it as we were in the car leaving for church this morning. She was also having fun just making the 'mmmm' sound. She also signed 'milk' before nursing this morning. And she slept through the night twice this week! Developments that I'm not thrilled about include discovering the litter box (and trying to eat the litter), throwing Dan's keys in the litter box, opening the lid of the new trashcan and throwing misc. things inside that. More positive developments: she is learning to follow directions. The other day I told her to come give me a kiss. She stopped what she was doing, stood up, walked over to me and gave me a kiss! She has been pulling books off her bookshelf for a while, but now she'll pick one and bring it to me. After I read it to her I can hand it back and tell her to put it away. And she does! (She takes it off again after she puts it up - but I'm still amazed.) Yesterday evening we were in the computer room which is right next to her bedroom. She walked out and came back with a book. She gave that to Dan and turned around and left. Then she came back with another book and gave that to me. After a couple minutes we gave her the books back and told her to put them away so she went back to her room and shoved them on the shelf. She has also become pretty helpful when it comes time to get her dressed or undressed. She will put her arm in if we hold the sleeve open. She sticks her legs out to put them in her pants/shorts/leggings/etc. She tries to pull the shirt/dress over her head if we have the arms out. And she loves putting on her shoes. She has been trying to put them on herself, but hasn't quite figured it out. It has made mornings much less frustrating!

If you can't tell, things have been pretty busy around here. All the things going on at home pales in comparison to the things at work! It was quite a week. I think I'm going to enjoy my class this year, but it's going to take a while to get them to stop talking! Right now it feels impossible, but I have to stick with it because I'm tired of coming home with headaches. This week is going to be even crazier! We have appointments or meetings pretty much every day. It is going to make it very difficult to stick to Emmaline's routine.

Things have been going well with just having 1 car now. I think it helping us communicate better since we have to make sure the other person knows exactly what we've got going on so we can figure out who should drive that day (basically, whoever can get to Emma the soonest after work is the one who drives). Most days I've been driving since Dan has bus duty after school until November, but on days when I have meetings he takes it. It's a pretty fun car to drive, especially because you always have the challenge of keeping the car on battery as much as possible. We compete to see who can do little things like make it up certain hills or accelerate the quickest without kicking it over to fuel.

With everything that's been going on, I haven't had much time to worry about Emma's weight. We started giving her lunch everyday at daycare in addition to the bottles/nursing. That seems to be going well, but she is a picky eater. It's not that she doesn't like foods, it's just that she only likes them in certain orders. We're discovering a hierarchy of foods and you have to work your way up. If she sees the 'better' food, she will refuse to eat what you've already given her. For example, tonight she was happy with mango.... until she saw the hamburger. Then she was happy with the hamburger (although she kept picking out the mushroom).... until she saw us eating corn. We hadn't planned on giving her corn tonight because she had it like 5 times this week, but of course we gave in to her whining. Usually we would just let her whine, but she was extremely cranky today and we just wanted to enjoy dinner.

The craziest thing is that it is less than 3 weeks until her 1st birthday! I've been trying to think about what I was doing 1 year ago. I know I was exhausted, my feet were ridiculously swollen, and my blood pressure was too high. I was miserable. A friend at work has the same due date that I had (Oct. 14). I watch her and I don't miss it one bit! I'm definitely NOT one of those women who say "I loved being pregnant". Heck no, it sucked! I am excited for her to have her baby though - Emma's instant BFF. I'm already planning to buy the girls matching outfits :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week 23

So tonight I had to try to remember what the weeks in the post titles were actually counting. It is the weeks since I've started this blog, which correspond to the weeks since Emmaline started solids.

Up until this week, I had felt pretty confident about the route we took with solids. My approach was to make sure that breastmilk was her primary source of nutrition and that all other food was secondary. Solids were to be more of a fun activity than a requirement. We took things pretty slowly. Started with just 1 meal every couple days, waited a while before making it a daily event, waited a while longer before introducing the 2nd meal, and we were holding off until close to a year to begin a 3rd meal. She's still nursing 5-7x/day (depending on how often she wakes at night to nurse). Her bottles at daycare still have 5 ounces each and of course, I can't tell exactly how much she is getting when she nurses, but it takes just as much time as it has for quite a while. Anyway, my bubble was burst when we went to the doctor this week (her cough has not gone away and now is waking her up throughout the night). She has lost weight. She's back to the weight she was at the beginning of May. The doctor wasn't terribly worried because she's still around the 50th percentile, but did want us to start giving her 3 meals a day in addition to breastmilk. She has her one year appointment in a month and we'll see what to do at that point. I know there are a couple factors that could be responsible for the weight loss: being sick all summer with colds and ear infections; starting to crawl and then walk. But I still feel like I'm responsible and that I should have been feeding her more or something. I started spacing her bottles out every four hours this summer, maybe I should have kept it every three.

I also feel horrible that she is still sick! I can't remember the last time when she was healthy for any decent period of time. The doctor couldn't determine if it's the tail end of a cold or environmental allergy (ragweed). If it's a cold, it should disappear in another day or so. If it's ragweed, it'll last a while. Either way, there's nothing to do. The one positive thing was that her ears look great! (Her lungs were very clear and that was a relief too.) And to top it off, whatever she has - Dan and I are starting to come down with it too. Good thing we have a ton of kleenex in this house with all the runny noses and sneezing going on!

We successfully completed the first week back to school with students. It was long and exhausting. I'm praying that we won't still be putting in 10 hour days this week. I miss Emma so much! It seems like we get home with just enough time to feed her, bathe her, and put her to bed. Even the weekend flew by and it doesn't seem like we got much play time (partly because I had to go into the school to get some things ready). I know I wouldn't be a good stay-at-home-mom, but I wish there was some kind of balance in between that and being at work allllll the time.

No major accomplishments or developments. She has started wearing shoes occasionally. She's learning how to run. And I also caught her trying to climb up her bookshelf today. We really need to get around to baby-proofing the house!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weeks 21 and 22

Once again, I missed a week! Beginning of the school year = crazy busy and stressed parents. Kids start this Tuesday and with the new middle school opening (and totally not ready), I'm the more prepared one this year.... which doesn't say much. I think that last Monday I realized I'd forgotten to blog, but didn't have any new pictures to post along with it and so I didn't bother. This week, I made sure to take a couple pictures of Emmaline so I wouldn't have any excuses.

Emmaline's 8th tooth finally broke through and we've managed to have a week of good sleep! Unfortunately, I can see the gums swelling around her lower right molar and I'm expecting the cranky baby to return very soon. Keeping my fingers cross though that we can make it through the first 2 days of school before it happens. She is also officially walking! She's been taking steps since the beginning of August, but now she seems to be much more confident about letting go of tables and just heading off. She gets so proud of herself, it's adorable! Today we bought her a pair of shoes and she loves them. You can tell it's a different feeling and she stumbles more, but she gets pretty mad when you take them off. (I'm going to enjoy that while it lasts, because I'm sure that by next week she'll be yanking them off every five seconds.) She's also consistently waving hello and bye!

We had kept her in daycare this summer on half-time hours (9-2) to try to keep her in a routine and allow us to get things done during the day. Because of that, I didn't think it would be difficult to 'leave her' once school started up again. I was totally wrong! Going back to 7-4 (closer to 5 this week) hours has been really tough. I do fine for a good portion of the day, but as the afternoon wears on, I really start to miss her (and Dan). Coming home and barely having time for dinner, bath, and bed stinks. I miss our afternoon play time and trips to the pool or park.

I am going to start cutting out pumping sessions so that I can be done with the pump by mid-October. I'm hoping that will give me back my planning time at school and allow me to leave work at a decent time (and maybe even go in closer to 8 instead of 7). Last year I pumped at 8, 11, and 3. Now I'll just be pumping at 11 and eliminate that one in about 6 weeks. I still have a decent freezer stash so she'll be getting 1 fresh bottle and 1 thawed bottle. After her birthday we will continue with BM until the stash runs out and then switch to organic cow's milk (in a sippy cup). By that point, the goal is to give her 3 solid meals and a snack. The thought of switching to a solid diet is freaking me out. I really liked breastfeeding because I was able to trust my body to provide all the nutrients she needed. Then I really liked BLW because the focus with solids has been to just provide her the experience of flavors and textures, but the nutritional emphasis remained on breastmilk. I just don't feel ready to trust solids to provide for her and even though I'm still planning on nursing her in the evening/morning, I'm still nervous about it. I think part of the issue is that I feel like she already eats so much when we give her solids. I can't imagine how much this kid will scarf down when it's her main thing every day.
Pic this week comes from The Little Gym. We started taking Emma there 2 weekends ago. She loves it and we enjoy having a fun family activity on the weekends. We decided to go ahead and have her birthday party there. It's a little pricey, but it takes the planning and managing off our hands and therefore seems worth it! Basically, we provided the guest list (addresses) and the cake - they do the rest.
In other news, tomorrow (God willing) we will be trading in both our cars and buying a 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid. We have already talked with the dealer and made arrangements. They are going to NoVa to pick it up in the morning and it should be ready in the afternoon! Hopefully, the pic next week will be of us with our new eco-friendly suv!
*Apparently, I have too many tags this week so here's a list of (most of) the foods she had in the last two weeks: avocado, apple, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, pasta, corn, kiwi, green beans, peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, tomato, chicken, english muffin, flax/bran flakes, puffs, yellow squash, blueberry, broccoli, cauliflower, button mushroom, pears, peaches, plum, pumpkin pie. I'll just put tags for new foods!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Week 20

Another busy week! Emmaline had surgery to insert ear tubes on Tuesday. After the surgery, the doctor told us the left ear was infected which was the 4th infection this summer. She seemed to recover quickly. She was a super happy baby for about 2 days after the surgery and slept great. Then the sleep issues returned. She woke up 6 times last night that required us to go in and put her back to sleep and a couple times where we heard her, but she put herself back out. We're trying to convince ourselves that it's a teething issue. I've been able to see her bottom tooth (#8) for a week or so, but don't feel anything yet. I'm also wondering if she's working on a molar. Unfortunately, I also have a fear that it's something with her ears still. I've been holding off on taking her to the doctor b/c I don't like taking her in all the time (she's gone at least every other week the entire summer). Of course, if something is wrong and I don't take her I will feel horrible. Her follow-up with the specialist isn't until mid-October (a few days after her 12 month well-baby appointment).

The lack of sleep has pretty much consumed our week and I can't think of much else. We had swim lessons and went to the pool one other time. The weather was grey and rainy most of the week. We also went to Olive Garden with a friend from back home. I allowed Emma to eat a bunch of stuff that I normally wouldn't. I wouldn't feel horrible about giving her parts from the salad, but I know they are doused in dressing. We also gave her about 1/3 of a breadstick. She definitely enjoyed it. I am very happy to report that her tummy handled it fine! Perhaps we will allow more breads. I think I might start giving her some toast with puree on it so I can use up what we have left of purees.

Emmaline got her first haircut (I did it). I'm not happy about her bangs, but the rest turned out okay. She's been standing on her own for longer periods of time and is taking a lot of steps! I think I'm willing to officially say that she is walking (although she still crawls most of the time). A new development that I'm enjoying is that she can now put things away! She loves putting her blocks and toys back in the box and tennis balls back in the container. She has also become a complete chatterbox since her surgery! It's adorable. The only problem is that the little stinker still does not say ma-ma.

We go back to work Thursday and daycare hours will be back to normal. I'm really going to miss the extra time during the day with her. I know we'll really have to take advantage of weekends and holidays.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weeks 18 and 19

I had every intention of posting a blog after we returned from Vegas, unfortunately we were too exhausted. It has been a long 2 weeks to say the least.

Last weekend, before the trip, Emmaline starting taking a few steps on her own! We've counted up to 6 before she falls or sits down. We didn't mention it to family, because we didn't want pressure for her to "perform" there. That was a good thing since she was pretty overwhelmed by the whole experience anyway (although her cousins got to watch her take 2 steps).

We woke up about 3:30am on Thursday morning. Got Emma out of her crib by 4 and hit the road. Our flight didn't leave until 7am so we thought we'd have plenty of time. We didn't. We had to run to get to our plane before they closed the gate and we didn't have a chance to get breakfast. Luckily, Emma slept on the flight to Dallas and then she was able to crawl/cruise around during our layover. She slept a little bit more on the connecting flight to Las Vegas. Once we landed, we called Dan's parents to see if they could come pick us up. They said sure, but then had trouble finding the arrival pick-up so we were standing outside in a sweltering parking garage for about 45 minutes. I thought I was going to pass out and can only imagine how miserable Emma was! We had no problem checking in early and then it was time to sit around and wait... wait for my family to arrive and wait for the hotel to actually bring us the pack'n'play. By the time both of those arrived, it was way past bedtime and we were all very cranky.

We spent the entire trip there at the hotel (luckily there was a Denny's on the property that we frequented). The only time Emma left the hotel was when we went across the street to wander the outlet mall and took her on the carousel. Dan and I did sneak out one night to go to the Mystere (Cirque du Soleil) at Treasure Island. We put Emma down for bed and our moms came over and stayed in the room to keep an eye on her. She woke up once and they had to spend about 45 minutes getting her back down. Other than that, we spent the day at the lazy river or the pool and going to/from the grandparents rooms. Emma is definitely experiencing separation & stranger anxiety. She did not want to be held by anyone else and didn't even want people getting close to her if she wasn't right there with mommy or daddy. I think it made for some disappointed family members. By the last day, she did warm up a little. The trip back was a bit disastrous. We made it out of Vegas fine, but the stop in Denver sucked. Out of the 4 airports we were at during the trip, Denver was the one where we didn't feel comfortable letting her crawl around. The floor was absolutely filthy! We got down and picked up the bigger things we could find before letting her out of the stroller, but within 10 minutes she still found a variety of nuts, raisins, fingernails, etc. We finally boarded the plane and then sat there for over an hour! There was bad weather and we had to be re-routed before takeoff. Emmaline slept for that hour, but then refused to sleep for most of the flight. It was an evening flight and we were counting on her sleeping since it was bedtime. She finally feel asleep around 11:30 (bedtime is 7) and slept for the last 45 minutes of the flight. She woke up after the flight but zonked out once we got to the car. The icing on the cake was hitting a deer at 2:30 in the morning when we were finally about 10 minutes from home! We were fortunate that it only damaged the driver's side door and no one was injured (Emma didn't even wake up).

On another note, we took Emma to the ear specialist Wednesday morning for a consultation. We decided to go ahead with tubes since she has been on 3 different antibiotics this summer alone and still has fluid in her ear. We are scheduled for surgery Tuesday morning. Dan and I are very nervous, but hoping that it really helps her!

Yesterday morning we took Emmaline to the Little Gym for a free-trial class. She absolutely loved it! We were nervous that she would just sit and stare the whole time while clinging to me, but she took off and tried things out. She didn't throw a fit when we took things away to transition to the next activity and she didn't cry when the instructor helped hold her to do different things (like the front roll and flipping on the bars). We went ahead and signed up for the fall semester which starts in 2 weeks and runs through January. With her being so close to walking, I think it's the perfect time.

After the class, I decided it was time to start letting her crawl up the stairs. I didn't think she'd be ready for it because our stairs are pretty narrow, but she took off! She's also been doing a lot of cute things that are new: giving kisses, starting to "share" things (actually letting go and not just holding it in our direction), taking naps in her crib instead of the swing, playing chase (we crawl after her down the hall and she laughs the whole way), and she also started taking her toy cellphone (Christmas gift from grandparents) and holding it up to her ear making a "hello" kind of sound. Yesterday I was also able to see tooth #8, but it hasn't broke through yet. I'm thinking that (along with the ears and still adjusting from vacation) is probably the reason for her waking up constantly throughout the night and not wanting to go back to sleep.

Emma had her first meal at daycare this week. We were running late, so we took her cereal in and let her have it at lunch time. She did very well and didn't make a huge mess. That was good to hear since she'll be having breakfast there everyday once we start back to school. In about a month we will also start sending lunch. (Right now she still just has breakfast and dinner.) I need to start looking up info about transitioning to cow's milk since we will begin that process in just under 2 months! My plan is to phase out the daytime nursings first so I can eliminate the need to pump at work. If we can continue the nighttime/morning nursings we will for at least a few months beyond her birthday.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week 17

It's been a busy week and I can only imagine what next week will be like!

Monday night, Emmaline slept horribly so we figured something was up. Took her back to the doctor on Tuesday and sure enough, ear infection had flared up in the right ear again. She's now on her 3rd different antibiotic in 2 months (amoxicillan, zithromax, and now omnicef). She started taking the Omnicef Tuesday night and still doesn't seem to be feeling much better (although sleep has improved some). She started pulling on the left ear last night too. Diarrhea started Friday and seems to be okay for now but only because we completely changed her diet. We're taking advantage of this side-effect and letting her eat all the foods that were previously banned because of the constipation. She even got to try pancakes yesterday morning. I found an egg-free recipe and replaced the milk with breastmilk. They were very fluffy and she ate an entire one for breakfast (the leftovers are in the freezer now). We are scheduled to go to a specialist on Aug. 11th to discuss tubes. I'm terrified of this process, but if it helps than I guess it'd be worth it. I narrowly avoided tubes as a toddler when mom finally weaned me from the bottle, but Dan had tubes. We've known from the beginning that she could have a lot of problems with her ears, but we were hopeful that breastfeeding would help. I don't feel like it has helped any, but whose to say that it wouldn't be a lot worse if she was a formula baby.Oh yeah, she had a fever this morning so we'll probably be calling the doctor in the morning.

Tuesday was her first night of swim lessons. She did fantastic! (And no, swimming is not related to her ear problems. People keep implying this and it's starting to irritate me. There's a difference between swimmer's ear and a middle ear infection. Plus, we don't even put her ears underwater in the bathtub!) She dunked her face in the water a couple times and didn't seem to mind too much. The class is in the evening, so she was getting cold by the end and then it pushed bedtime back by 30 minutes which made for a cranky baby.

We had the final Baby Signs class Saturday. We've enjoyed going to that even though it was an hour drive in each direction. (This week's picture is with Beebo the Baby Signs bear holding a flower - which was one of the signs we learned.) I realized that I've never really been with her around another baby so it was good to get that experience. She is so outgoing at daycare, but we've discovered that in other settings she is very shy and stays close to me. When we take her to the nursery at church, she cries for a minute but then does fine as long as the ladies hold her constantly. A coworker told us about The Little Gym and so we checked that out this week. We're going to try to take her to a free class when we get back from Vegas. I like that it works on developing motor skills and cooperative learning. This would be on Saturdays again, but only 25 minutes each way! (In a way that seems like a lot to travel for these activities, but if we hadn't moved out here it would have been 2-3 hours each way to have any opportunities for her.)

Dan and I have decided that before we leave for Vegas on Thursday we need to actually get some sleep. Here's the plan: I am going to sleep in the downstairs guest room tonight and let Dan get up with Emma on his own. I'll leave a couple bottles ready since she's been nursing twice during the night this week (growth spurt?!?). I'll keep the pump downstairs if I need it, but the goal is for me to actually get a full, uninterrupted night's sleep for the first time in about 18 months! Then tomorrow night, Dan will sleep in the guest room and I will get up with Emma on my own (currently we take turns going in there and since she has been sick that is anywhere between 3 and 7 times a night).

I'm going to start packing for our trip this afternoon. Have to go in to work for a bit on Monday and will be at a conference all day Tuesday. That will leave Wednesday for last minute stuff and Thursday morning we head to the airport. We will get back late Monday night. I'm definitely nervous about this trip b/c I don't know how she's going to be feeling. And there's a 3 hour time difference. Not sure how that will work out. We would love to keep her on her schedule, but that would mean putting her town at 4pm and getting up at 3am. Dan is working hard to stay positive. Perhaps it will rub off on me at some point.

Looks like I get to wake a sleeping baby now since it's time to leave for church.

Almost forgot our horrible eating experience this week! I think this happened because we had just commented about how it had been forever since she even gagged on her food. Dan was eating some apple slices downstairs and gave her a peeled slice. She was doing fine until she leaned over and started crawling towards him to get more (still having a piece in her mouth). She started choking. :( Dan responded quickly and calmly. We were able to clear it, but it involved a lot of vomiting. She puked up a ton of mucus along with the apple bits. She cried for a while, but once we calmed her down she was off to playing like nothing had ever happened. Lesson learned: eating will only be done in her high chair where she can sit up straight! *We don't normally feed her anywhere else, Dan just wanted to share with her and felt absolutely guilty.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Week 16

Emmaline is a super eater! This kid has been chowing down. It's almost ridiculous how much she eats (although I am proud to say that she is still nursing just as frequently and so breastmilk continues to be the primary source of nutrition). We have overcome the work-hour nursing strike and I'm even considering leaving the pump at home when we go on vacation in August. It would mean a lot less packing if I can ditch the pump, parts, bottles, nipples, cleaning brushes, soap, etc. I know Dan's parents are pretty uncomfortable with me breast-feeding, but my relatives should be fine with it -- and if they're not the can scram for 15 minutes 6x/day! (3 of those are before, during, and after bed so it's not like we'll be around people for those ones anyway.) With the Baby-led weaning she is comfortable with table foods and so all we will pack is her favorite spoon.

No major milestones that I can think of. We do officially have 7 teeth now, can't remember if I posted that last week and she has been drooling a lot this weekend + a runny nose so we're pretty sure something else is approaching. There have been a couple developments that I'm loving: 1) she has started playing peek-a-boo. It always takes me a few seconds to realize what she's doing, but once I start saying "peek-a-boo" when she pulls the blanket (or toy) down from her face she cracks up! I think part of why I love it is because it's so darn cute, but the other part is because she actually laughs. She has always been very stingy with the laughs and so we really cherish the times when we hear it. We've also discovered that when Dan chases her (crawling after her) she will laugh and if I take my hair and rub it on her forehead she laughs. 2) she has started interacting with the cats! She likes to take the jingle stick and point it in the direction of the cats to get their attention and then she shakes it around or taps it on the ground until they pounce it. She also grabbed one of their mouse toys and was dangling it in front of Jonah's face so he would paw at it. She gets super excited when they play along with her and when she can actually pet them (we are working on the concept of 'gentle').

*Note for Kate: Emmaline LOVES the music table! She has been playing with it off and on since you brought it over. I keep meaning to get some pictures to send you. Today she kept playing the alphabet song and danced around. It was precious. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 15

Sleep troubles are gone! We finally caved in Tuesday morning and took her back to the doctor. I had been hesitant to go because we had just been there Thursday and she was fine. Thank goodness we went because she had another ear infection! By that point a top center tooth and a bottom side tooth had finally cut through. We can see the other top center and it looks like it's cut through, but I don't really feel it yet. By Tuesday night she only woke up a few times and then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday she slept through the night! Last night she woke up at 3:30 so I nursed her and she went right back out. I think it also helped that we put up some black-out curtains in her bedroom. She's slept until 6:30 or 7 a few times instead of 5:30 like most days this summer. We definitely weren't happy that she had another ear infection, but it was a relief to know that there was a specific (curable) cause for the sleep problems we'd had. They gave her zithromax this round and she has already completed it. We go back Tuesday morning for a follow-up.

It has been so nice to have our happy baby back. I know we have more teeth on the way, but I am enjoying the days until then. This week has been a bit of a roller coaster so it was good to be sleeping. My sister's tumor is back. We don't have many answers right now, mostly questions. We do know that she will need to start chemo soon. I spent most of the week doing work stuff (meeting Monday, Wednesday and Thursday doing professional development). We took Emma to the town pool on Friday and again this evening because temps were in the 90s (Friday had a heat index of 100). Friday we also had an earthquake! Being my usual nerdy self I even marked it on Emma's calendar: "baby's 1st earthquake". They don't make a sticker for that one - so I had to write it in. :) It was a 3.7 around Rockville, MD. The largest on record for the area. I didn't feel anything, but Emma woke up right around the time it happened!

We've tried a lot of new foods this week. We thought we discovered a food she didn't like (cottage cheese) but she was interested in it tonight. She didn't like the yogurt this morning either, but I'll keep my fingers crossed and keep offering it. I'd been looking for a yogurt for a while, but needed whole milk yogurt and everything in the store was low-fat. Finally found the Yo-Baby brand! Her tummy was doing really well this week, but I'm afraid she's starting to have problems again. I think we'll start back with the daily prune juice for now. I'd really like to make her pancakes soon, but the recipe requires banana and I don't want to go down that path until I think she can handle it.

We got her a Playskool Walk 'n' Ride (shown in the picture). I've been trying to get a video of her with it because she pretty much takes of running, but every time I try she gets distracted either by the cats or by the camera and stops. She is getting really good at cruising. It is hilarious to watch her weave in and out and all around the kitchen tables, chairs & high chair while we eat dinner. It's nice that she is entertained and we can actually eat a meal though!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 14

Didn't get around to my usual Sunday update (at least Monday morning isn't too much after the fact). We had company over to watch the World Cup Championship game, so that was nice.

Our sleep woes have continued. Actually, they've gotten a lot worse. The last 3 nights have been absolutely miserable. She is waking up every 20-40 minutes and she's not falling right back asleep every time. She just cries. We are at a complete loss and have tried just about everything we can think of to get her to sleep (except driving her around in the car because Dan refuses to do that and even when I'm completely desperate for something he turns into a complete jerk when I suggest it). I think I'm averaging 2-3 hours of sleep a night and she's barely napping in the day so I can't even catch up then. She'll be back at daycare during the weekdays, but this week is so packed for me that I can't take advantage of that time either.

I really don't know what her issue is. One of the top teeth finally cut through, but she doesn't respond to anything if we try to treat the teething. I've also read that if the sleep troubles last more than 3 days it's probably not related to teething and this has been going on a lot longer than that. It's so frustrating because I've always considered her a good sleeper.

Don't really feel like blogging about food, but will note that her tummy issues seem to be improving.

Had her 9 month check-up. She stayed at the same weight (19 lb, 4 oz) but jumped up to 29 inches long. Ear infections were all gone. Doctor was pleased with her growth and developments.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Week 13

This week started with the return part of our vacation. We did the same routine on the ride back (drive for several hours, stop and play for an hour or so). She continued getting a bottle of prune juice daily even though we didn't see any results for an entire week. Since then she has become very regular and doesn't seem to be in pain.

New foods this week include mushrooms (portobello) and plums. She ate 2 entire plums by herself this afternoon! We have stopped giving any kind of grain/cereal until her digestive system is ready. Other foods we have lined up for her this next week include - chicken, peach, kiwi, mango, more plums, green beans, and orange/red/green bell peppers. Not sure if each colored bell pepper is supposed to be introduced separately, but oh well. It's not like we've ever followed that 3-5 day wait rule too well anyway.

Recent developments include crawling over things, climbing up things, walking holding on to the edge of something (or holding on to 1 finger), she can stand on her own for a couple seconds before she plops onto her rear, she loves giving high-fives, and started waving today!

I thought she would have like 4 new teeth by this point, but she still just has her bottom 2 and the vampire fangs up top. The bottom side teeth are visible, but just under the gum and haven't cut through yet. The top center have been felt on two separate occasions, but seem to disappear after we feel it. Not sure what's up with that. She has been fussy lately at home and her sleep pattern is all messed up. She is waking between 5 and 9 times a night!!!! Needless to say, Dan & I are exhausted.

I woke up this morning feeling horrible, my entire body ached, I was getting hot/cold flashes, and was throwing up. I stayed in bed most of the morning and then took a hot bath. Felt better after that and was finally able to get moving. I know some of the upper body stiffness was from the gym yesterday. Dan and I are really trying to get back on track. We went 3 times last week! We're trying to take advantage of the time when Emma is at daycare during the week (we're on part time during the summer; 9-2) and use it to run errands, clean the house, go to the gym, and have some time to just hang out with each other. The gym also offers a kid center and will watch her for $1 while we work out. The only problem is that I don't trust them very much. Their swing is broken (understandable after I saw a 9 year old sitting in it!) and their pack'n'play has a giant hole in it. When we went in to pick her up after our work out yesterday, the girl was holding her in her lap while texting. Granted, I do that all the time, but she's my child. It just seems a little sketch, so we only use that as a last resort. Anyway, I'm still feeling okay this afternoon and have a massage scheduled tomorrow morning. Definitely looking forward to that, although it means that Dan will be watching Emma on his own since daycare is closed for the holiday weekend.

We had planned on taking her to the town pool today, but that got cancelled after I woke up feeling so awful. We are hoping to go tomorrow. (And we're sending in our registration for swim lessons that start at the end of the month.) I'm not a fan of wearing a bathing suit - especially in a public area where I know I'll see students, and I really don't like the sun/outdoors but I will suck it up since Emma loves the water so much! Who knows, maybe I'll even get a little color on my legs this year.