My Little Girl

My Little Girl

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Besides my sisters, some of my best friends early on growing up were my cousins. I have a TON!! On my mom's side, I have like 15; I have 2 on my dad's side. Then my mom remarried and I got another 13 cousins!

I was especially close with my cousin Charlie and my other "cousin" Megan. (Megan is "technically" not my cousin, but try telling us that!) They were the girls closest to my age. They only lived 3 hours from me, so my mom would constantly drive my sisters and me up to see the family and I would get to play with Charlie and Megan. Or my Uncle would drive the 3 hours down to see us. At one point, my uncle moved his family to my hometown--so I lived 2 minutes from Charlie! Even now we are close. I am one of Jammers' godmothers (Me and Megs).... Jammers is Charlie's son. I was really close to my cousins Alex & Erik, but they are boys as well as 4 years & 8 years younger than me so it's a little different. They were closer to my youngest sister; she's only 15 days older than Alex.

The thing is, when I got pregnant, no one else in my family or my boyfriend's family was pregnant. I wasn't sure how close Emma would get to be to any of her future cousins, age-wise. Right now she has a cousin who is 3 and a cousin who is 8. Her 3-year old cousin ADORES her! It is so fun to see him run around trying to make sure Emma is comfortable. If she starts crying around her, he says "Her cry" and will try to find ways to get her to stop crying. He'll get right in my diaper bag and take things out and show them to her, hoping that makes her stop. Her 8-year old cousin wants to hold her and see her when we get together.

Things changed PRETTY QUICK recently. Emma is going to have FOUR cousins by the time she is 7 months old! My stepsister and her fiance (husband as of Sept 6th!!!) are pregnant with twins and due to deliver around Christmas time; she's technically due mid-January, but twins are usually at least 3 weeks early. My stepbrother and his wife are due on Valentine's Day. And my boyfriend's cousin is due Feb 10th.

I cannot wait for holidays next year. When all the babies start to get interactive. I can't wait to see them play with each other and grow up together. That was the best part: Growing up with my cousins and having people besides my sisters to play with! haha

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Letter To Emma

Dear Emma,
   Today you are 53 days old. I'm sitting here holding you while you sleep. You are so perfect to me. You are looking less & less like the baby I gave birth to and more & more like your own little person. I am so excited to watch you grow into this person you will become! But I also want to remember everything about the baby you were.

Your hair: You were born with a head *FULL* of blonde hair! Everyone who sees you thinks you have to be older than I tell them just because of all your hair! And it is the exact same shade as your Daddy's. Trust me. I had him hold you up so your heads were side by side; I couldn't tell which hair belonged to whom!

Your eyes: Now *those* you got from me! I have to say, that might be the only thing, but honey they look good on you! They are dark blue/grey like mine are and they are shaped just like my dad's-your Poppy's. You didn't like to show them off when you were born, which is why people were always saying "Show me your eyes." And why they always "Awww'd" when you would open them. It was just so rare. Now-a-days though, you are alert. You actually fight sleep sometimes just to see what's going on. I love looking at your eyes because I see someone who is so inquisitive.

Your mouth & tongue: You and your tongue!! Honey, from the FIRST MINUTE you were born, you were playing with that tongue. You stick it out at people. You have it "stuck" to the roof of your mouth. When you sleep, you have a little bit sticking out, every time. It is adorable! Now-a-days you smile the biggest smile I have EVER seen on a baby. You laugh and talk all the time. Except when I put the camera on you. Then you clam up some. I have a few videos of you talking away, but not as many as I could. Because you'll be chattering away and I'll think it's so cute and get my camera out; the second I hit "RECORD" you stop! haha

Your hands & arms: Baby girl, those things have been your comfort since you were in my belly. Every time we would go to get an ultrasound and try to get a picture of you, you would have your hands either in front of your face or right by it. It was the same once you were born. I actually had to tell the nurse when she swaddled you to leave your hands out, or you would actually fuss more! When we brought you home, we noticed you would do this little "praying" thing with them. I made sure the photographer at your 1week session got a shot of it. You still have at least one hand up by your face when you sleep, but now you are reaching out for things more. You also have such a STRONG grip! From the minute you were born, everyone commented on how strong you were. You could pull yourself up by wrapping your hand around someone's finger. You have the LONGEST fingers too! But they are still so delicate. And you have perfect fingernails. You could be a hand model with how perfectly shaped your fingers and fingernails are. :)

Your legs & feet: Baby girl, from the day you were born you had some BIG feet! But it was your legs that everyone noticed. See baby, you had the strongest legs I have ever seen on a baby. Even when you were in the hospital, you would use those legs and push off of people. The day we brought you home, we put you on your play mat. Within a minute or so, you had scooched up all on your own. You Daddy was right beside you on the floor and he kept saying he had never seen that before. He was so proud of his strong baby girl. He still is. You rolled over from your belly to your back at 3weeks, just using your legs!

 Your favorite things: You love fans. I mean love LOVE fans! If there is a ceiling fan nearby, you will find it. And stare. And laugh. We don't know why, but they crack you up! I have so many videos of you looking up & laughing at the ceiling fan. Your daddy & I have even taken to calling every fan "Your Fan." Ha ha

You also like to swing. You didn't at first but now it makes you happy. Your big swing puts you right to sleep. It has a mobile and lights which you stare at.

You can't wait for bath time. I don't know how, but you seem to know when it is almost 9pm because you start to fuss. The second I turn on the bath water, you calm down. If I leave the bathroom with you to set up for bed, you get fussy again. But baby, once I put you in the tub you are in HEAVEN!! You kick and splash and laugh and coo. You love having your hair washed. But you also know when it's been about 15minutes. You know after your bath you get a "baby massage" where I massage the Johnson's Lavender bath time lotion into your legs and arms and hands and feet. You laugh the most when it tickles your feet. You also love to eat right after your bath and massage. I think you inherited my love of routines because if this gets messed up you get fussy.

You love spending time with Daddy. Even early on you knew when he left and would get upset. Sometimes I had to call him and put him on speakerphone so that you could hear his voice. It was the only thing that would calm you down. Baby girl, you are so much like your Daddy. I can't wait to see how your personality develops. If you grow more like him, or adopt some of my traits.

So here you go: my letter to you so you always know the amazing baby you were. Happy Day 53!

Love, Mommy & Daddy

53 Days Old!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bedtime Routine

We are constantly getting to experience new things with Emma. Before, when my boyfriend would try to read to her, she would get really fussy after about 3 minutes. Tonight though, he was able to get through most of a Dr. Seuss book before she got bored. He said she was looking at the pictures now and really starting to get interested.

That let me know she is ready for me to add a bedtime story to our nighttime routine. I had wanted to do this all along, but didn't want to overwhelm her. We were getting really good about the bath. She will stay in there for almost 15 minutes now. Playing. "Swimming"--aka: kicking her legs like a little frog. Talking to me... she loves her bath.

Recently she started to enjoy getting her pajamas on too. Before she would fight me because she wanted to go straight to the nighttime snack before bed. But now she talks to me throughout me getting her dressed. She laughs at the fan. She laughs at me. It's so funny to watch her. She's never had an issue with a diaper change, but even that seems a little better now.

So tonight, after what my guy told me about him reading to her, I decided to add in storytime. We took a 15 minute bath. Put on some warm jammies. I brushed her soft blonde hair. I gave her half a bottle of breastmilk. Then I read The Lorax to her. She loved the colors. She paid a lot of attention on the pages where there was bright reds and oranges, bold blues and greens, and whatnot. The dark pages she wasn't too interested in though. I gave her the other half of the bottle and then read one of my favorit childhood books to her. The Velveteen Rabbit. I read the whole thing to her, even though she fell asleep about halfway through.

This was one of the best moments as her mommy. Sharing one of my favorite things with her.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

7 weeks!

Yesterday Emma turned 7 weeks. I cannot believe that much time has already gone by. It means I only have 2 more weeks at home with her before I go back to work. Every night, I look down at her as she eats and mentally tick off one more day on the calendar that I have with her. She's so peaceful when she eats too, that it becomes harder and harder each day.

Her reflux is getting more under control. She gets colic drops once a day, about midday. We finally got her reflux meds, so she gets those twice a day: morning and evening. We aren't using the gas drops *near* as much either. I don't know if this is temporary or not but I will take this reprieve! I love spending time with my happy-go-lucky baby girl!! Thing is... she is JUST LIKE HER FATHER!! LOL

She looks like him. Still. I swear, you hold her head up next to his and you can't tell which hair belongs to whom! Her ears are his. Her lips are his. And those feet are monsters!! She does have my eyes though. They are dark blue/grey like mine and they have my dad's shape which is nice to see.

She also has to be moving, just like her daddy. Me? I could sit for hours and read a book or watch movies...just relaxing. Now I couldn't do this all the time, but yeah... I could definitely do that every once in a while. Emma though...She can't stay still. She's so inquisitive. She wants to know what is going on all the time. I think that's why she fights sleep sometimes. She doesn't want to miss anything. Sometimes she makes her daddy and I walk around the house or yard with her. She can't be still. Some people call her a diva because she doesn't want to be put down, but I think it's more that she can't get-up-and-go on her own yet. When she can, I have a feeling she is going to be getting into everything.

First night in the cradle. Such a big girl!
We tried her in her handmade cradle this week too. The jury's still out on this one. See, if I can get her into a sound sleep after her bath and bedtime feeding, then she does fine in there. However, in the middle of the night (or 3am) when she wakes up to eat again, she really doesn't want to be in the cradle. I've tried taking her to her room and rocking her until she sleeps, but she won't do it. I'll try feeding her and rocking her until she's asleep. Once she's *really* asleep, I'll lay her back in her cradle. This might work or it might not. It might take several attempts. Or I might be up ALL NIGHT with her. Because I refuse to go to sleep with her in the bed. It's so hard some nights, when she is just fighting sleep, but I know the best thing to do is let her know Mommy is right there when she needs me, but she will not sleep in my bed. Not now, not ever. That sounds harsh, but it's how I was raised. My mom would come to my room, my bed and comfort me after bad dreams or whatnot. I was taught that a person's room, a person's bed is sort of sacred. You show it respect. You take haven in your own room and bed. I know she's only 7 weeks, but I think it's better to show her those things now.

Last night we started off with her in the cradle, it worked for about 2 hours and then she wanted to "eat" again. More like, she just wanted me again. I put her in the swing downstairs in the living room and she went right to sleep. I slept on the couch for about 2 hours so I could be near her if she cried (we don't have a monitor in the living room for obvious reasons--we didn't think we needed one there! I tried again around 3am, but it was a no-go. So...I put her in the Rock N Play, which she had been fighting recently, acting like she wanted more room to spread out. The second I put her in it, she was A-SLEEP! I moved the cradle back into my closet and brought the RNP upstairs. We both slept a lot better after that. lol

She's smiling all the time now too. Ceiling fans and box fans are her favorite things. She will stare up at them and just LAUGH and LAUGH!

So that's about it. Here is a picture taken of her on her 7week birthday:
Happy 7weeks Princess!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Milestones and Hoop Jumping

I know it's been a while since I posted, but there's a lot going on. At the same time there's nothing "really" new going on. Every day is sort of the same.

Emma gets up around 3 or 4am to eat. If it's a good night, then she'll eat and go right to sleep after a little rocking. Then she'll wake up again about 7:30 to eat again. We'll stay up in bed for a while: her watching fan and me watching Good Morning America. Around 9, we head downstairs to watch Windy City Live and The View. She'll sit in her Rock N Play (our current Godsend) while I run around the house doing come clean up. Bed made. Dishes unloaded and/or reloaded. Laundry switched over. Sometimes some vacuuming. I don't really like the 11am news so I usually feed Emma around that time. Also if I can get to it or if there is work I can do, then usually I work on stuff for my mom starting around then. The Chew comes on around 12noon, so that plays in the background while I work. My boyfriend comes home from work around 3pm. He'll play with Emma for a bit before he goes to the gym with his brother. I start to get dinner ready around 4:30 or so. Sometimes I'll plan ahead and have a dinner that cooks all day. Then her Daddy gets home. We eat dinner, watch TV or a movie... Then we start getting Emma ready for bed. She gets a bath around 9:15. She *LOVES* her bath! She likes it really warm. But she knows what comes after the bath, so towards the end (right around 9:30) she gets fussy and is just done with the bath. I take her to our room, towel her dry and give her a "baby massage" - I rub Johnson's Nighttime Lavender lotion on her. I massage her feet, stretch her arms and legs, make sure she's comfortable. Then she gets her bedtime "snack." I rock her in our bed until she falls asleep; usually about 10:30pm. Then it's quiet until she gets up at 3am. Pretty standard!

So that's our typical day. Of course, we sometimes have doctor appointments. Sometimes we have a party to go to. Sometimes I have one of her grandmas watch her so they get time with her.

Then there are the recent milestones. On July 23rd, Emma rolled from her belly to her back. I didn't get video of it though. And she didn't do it again... Until last week. On Tuesday, August 6th she again rolled from her belly to her back! Here's the video. (Sorry about her crying. She doesn't like to be on her belly, but she was so close to doing it and I knew she could so I let her.

Another thing: She is now aware of her mommy and daddy. She recognizes us. When she wakes up now, she will smile and coo at me. It's so much fun watching her in the mornings just be so happy. She is also obsessed with ceiling fans. Well it appears she likes all types of fans because she recently discovered the box fan by our bed and couldn't take her eyes off it either. She will sit there and watch the fan. It doesn't matter if it's on spinning or not. Here's a video of her watching the ceiling fan in the living room.

So those are some of the fun things we get to experience with her. Now some of the not so fun things. It appears Emma has refulx, colic, and constipation. The constipation is because of the formula from before. It makes her really gassy. That's the colic. The gas then pushes her food back up. That's the reflux. And because she's not getting all her food, it starts to build up--hence the constipation. Poor baby is just so uncomfortable. :( We also noticed a rash starting on Wednesday last week. Turns out that's called "prickly heat."

Poor baby. She is such a good baby but she is just uncomfortable. You can see it too in her face. Usually she can give us some heads up. She'll wimper and grunt for a while before she goes ballistic. But then there are those times when she can't give us any warning. It'll just hit her. She'll be fine one minute then BAM! Her face will scrunch up, contort almost as if she's in pain. It's pitiful. I feel so bad because we can't make it go away.

Which leads me to my next point. The hoops we recently had to jump through. Like I said, we took Emma to the doctor on Friday. She told us to try these colic drops and Prevacid. She even wrote us a prescription for it. We took it to the pharmacy by our house to get it filled. When we went back, they told us Emma wasn't on the insurance yet and it was going to cost us $370 for one month's supply!! SERIOUSLY?!? No way. We have the colic drops and decided to make that work--along with the gas drops I bought earlier in the week--until she was added.

Fast forward to yesterday. Her daddy handled the insurance issue in yesterday morning. At the end of the day, before her bath, she started getting REALLY fussy. I called the pharmacy and asked them to check to see if Emma was on the insurance yet. They told me she was, but now the issue is the insurance wants a "prior authorization." WHAT?!? Isn't that what a prescription order is? The doctor authorized this medication prior to us having it filled. I told Emma's daddy and he got on the phone with insurance. I was still on the phone with the pharmacy and they told me the doctor has to tell the insurance why Emma needs this medication. Really? It's an acid reflux medication. Why do you THINK she needs it?!?!? The pharmacy also ended up telling me it's because the insurance says there is a cheaper alternative they want us to try first. Emma's daddy told the insurance copy to call Emma's doctor today and have her tell them why Emma needs the meds. Hopefully this all gets settled today and we can go get her medication. I don't like seeing her like this.

It's so frustrating as a mom to not be able to make my baby feel better. And then to have to jump through all these hoops... you just want to reach through the phone and beat some sense into these people who won't help you make your baby feel better!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Emma's visit with her Poppy

Emma turned a month old on Friday. Not 4 weeks, but a month old. And we celebrated in a big way: She took her first road trip! haha

That's right, I took Emma down to my hometown. It's typically about a 6, 6 and a half hour car ride. So we were a little nervous, but she did great! The trip down there took a little longer than we planned. We left about an hour later than we planned. Hit storms and rush hour traffic right away. We had to make 2 stops to feed her; not sure why but those took about an hour each! And right as we were about to be at my dad's we hit construction! But we made it there safe and sound. She only started to fuss about the last hour or so, which is not bad.

My dad was enamored of her! It was so cute to see them together. She was fascinated with him. Every time he held her, she would stare and stare at him. I was a little worried about the late night feedings since she can be pretty fussy if I don't feed her right when she wants. And with my younger brothers just down the hall, I was afraid of bothering them. She was really good though. She fed right on schedule and didn't take too long to put to bed... Considering. LOL

We got to have "drinks" with two of my good friends. By drinks, I mean we had iced tea and water, snacked on fried onions and asparagus. Man, we are OLD! lol I also got to spend a few hours with another good friend. Just chit chatting about the little things going on.

No big events. No major meltdowns. Just a fun visit with my dad and girlfriends. Here are a few pics.
Emma & her Poppy

Emma & Her Poppy

I think there's a pic of my dad holding me and I made this SAME FACE!

Emma with her Aunt Billie

She's a sneaky little sucker! lol

1 month pics

Just a few pics of Emma on her 1 month birthday!

Emmaleigh Grace

Emmaleigh Grace