Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First time Swimming!!

We went to Nana's to let Emslee swim for the first time.  Nana had a nice floatie for her and a chair with umbrella.  Emslee loved it and we had a good time visiting.  Here are some pics:

Grandpa came for a Visit!!

The week of Easter my dad came to visit.  Emslee just adored him!!  Here are some pics of their time together!

First Easter!

9 Months Old (April 23rd)

My little Emslee Grace is growing up so fast (I say this a lot don't I)!  Here are some interesting facts about my little girl at 9 months:

*She LOVES to take baths...yep hasn't changed.  She loves having water poured over her and kicking and splashing while laying flat on her back.  Emslee will try to drink the water and catch it in her hands.  I love how she gets this grin on her face when I'm about it rub soap on her and as soon as I touch her with the soap she immediately starts kicking her legs with excitement! 
*She has gone swimming a few times and I think she secretly wants to be a fish lol.  I think she'd live in water if she could.  I'm looking into getting her swim lessons soon.
*Emslee can crawl (as of 8 months and 1 day) and is into EVERYTHING!!!!  I caved and got a gate to keep her locked up in her room so that I can actually get things done and not have to keep her out of things.  She is also pulling herself up to a standing position all the time and will take steps if we hold her hands.  I bet she'll be walking in another month or so.
*Emslee still loves milk, sweet potatoes, squash, all fruits, and mixed veggie dinners.  She LOVES To eat and eats 6-8 jars of baby food a day on top of nursing 4-5 times a day and snacking on puffs. 
*She weighs 19lbs 8 oz and is 28 1/4 inches long.  She grew 2 inches in length since February!
*Emslee can say mom, dada, and bath (well she's said it a few times).  She babbles all the time and yes she squeals loudly still!  She is giving me back what I'm sure I gave my parents growing up!  She's a motor mouth.
*She sleeps from 7pm-6am everyday!  Hallelujah!! She also takes 2-3 one hour naps as well. 
*Emslee is very strong-willed and stubborn. She will literally kick and scream if she doesn't get what she wants...though not all the time.  Hence the introduction of the wooden spoon.  She now knows that if she is doing something she shouldn't that I will calmly explain to her not to do it and give her a warning, then if she does it again she gets spanked.  This has made a HUGE difference and now just seeing the spoon helps her overcome the temptation to disobey. 
*She can clap her hands and wave!  She tends to mix up the two (like clap when daddy leaves for work), but she is able to do them well. 
*Emslee LOVES (sorry to overuse the word) music and dancing.  She dances to any sound that happens in a rhythm or when just happy.  Her dancing consists of rocking back and forth (front to back, not side to side).  She looks adorable doing it.
*Emslee is also in love with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  She watches it every morning and dances along with the music and grunts at the characters.  It's cute!
*She is giggling more than she used to, but still not as much as I'd like.  Oh well...
*Emslee still has NO TEETH....I have no more to say about this....
*Her favorite toys are her nesting cups, teething rings, musical toys....and now....anything that's not a "toy" that she can pick up and chew on.
*She is wearing clothes from 6 months-18 months.  It depends on the brand, but the majority of clothes she wears now are 9-12 months.  The 6-9 month clothes fit better in her belly (width) and the 12-18 month clothes fit better in her length. 

Emslee Grace, I am so proud to call you my daughter!  You have made me a mommy!  Everyday I love you more and I can't believe that you are mine!  Daddy and I are so blessed that God gave you to us and we pray we train you up in a godly way!  Our lives are so much better with you in them and we can't wait to see how you grow in the years to come!!! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

8 Months Old!

Today my baby girl turned 8 months old!!!  Didn't I tell you she's growing like a weed and time has flown?!?!?!?!?!  Here are some facts about my baby girl at 8 months:
-Emslee still cannot crawl forwards.  She can however crawl backwards like a pro!  It is very frustrating to her that she can't get to the toy she wants and moves farther away from it.  She is pulling herself up on furniture and mommy and daddy and can stand for a minute at a time while holding onto something!  This is why I think she'll be walking soon!  Lord help me!!!
-Emslee is sleeping 11-12 hours a night!  This is SO nice for her and mommy! 
-Emslee's hair is really starting to grow!  It's getting thicker and and so far staying blonde!
-She is babbling all the time now and can say "momma", however I'm not fully convinced that it means me lol.  She also loves to fake cough for attention and will mimic you if you do it back to her.  She loves the "b" sound and still squeals when excited! 
-Emslee is wearing clothes anywhere from 6 months up to 12 months!  She wears mostly 9-12 months, but can still squeeze into a few select 6 month outfits.  It's crazy to me that she is growing so fast! 
-Emslee LOVES to dance now (if you call bouncing up and down dancing)!!  Anytime she hears music she likes she will start bouncing to the beat!  Mommy and daddy are SO glad she loves music as much as we do!
-Her favorite foods are squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, mixed berries, milk, and turkey.  She is slightly orange due to her vitamin A intake lol!
-Emslee still has no teeth and is teething like crazy!  I hope for her sake, and mine, that she gets them in soon! 
-Emslee's favorite toys are her keys, nesting cups, leapfrog dog, and musical bird.  Although she really enjoys playing with the tags on anything she finds! 
-Emslee loves to watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune (though now she can't because she goes to bed at 7).  Seriously, though, she will stop whatever she's doing to watch and so we think she's a brilliant baby ha ha!

Emslee Grace, your mommy and daddy love you very much!  We are so proud to be your parents and we thank God for blessing us with you!  You are a sweet, loving, and fun little girl!!!!!  We love you!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Water Baby!

If you know Emslee, you know that she doesn't giggle very often.  It takes something extra special to elicit a giggle.  If you remember the "ripping paper" post you heard her giggle, but she no longer finds that funny.  Likewise, while she is giggling over water splashing on her belly, alas it is no longer funny anymore :(  At least we have it on camera!  I've watched this video at least 10 times and it's the best!  I hope one day she'll giggle more frequently so I can stop watching the video and see it live ha ha!

Sleep Training

Emslee has never really been on a sleep routine.  It is fully my fault, but I have some "good" reasons why I never started.  I nurse Emslee and I have become her "pacifier" (which I said I would never allow to happen).  Whenever she would wake up in the middle of the night I would make excuses for her that she must be hungry (breastmilk does digest quicker than formula), having gas pains, teething, etc.  The same goes for napping.  If she wasn't sleeping it was because she was hungry, not feeling well, etc.  Emslee does not take a pacifier.  She only took one while we were at the hospital and for whatever reason would not take it once we got her home.  I have tried so many times to get her to take one, but it doesn't work.  Most people would say enjoy it, because you won't have to break the habit later.  I say it sure would make getting her to sleep through the night much easier.  Emslee has always made her nap schedule and bed time.  We just figured she liked to be up late (10-11 pm).  It was always "nurse her to sleep and then HOPE that she doesn't wake up when you lay her down".  If she did wake up then I'd have to nurse her to sleep again and try it once more.  This is exhausting and most nights led to me sleeping with her on the couch when she'd wake in the middle of the night. 

Our trip to North Carolina was a wake up call for me and Joshua (though he never gets up with her at night).  Emslee was up a minimum of 4-6 times a night and ended up sleeping with us in our bed every evening.  Part of that was she was out of her environment, but most of it was she was taught (inadvertently by me) that when she wakes at night I will nurse her back to sleep.  When we visited our friends Brent and Kaylyn for a few days we were amazed that their daughters (one 3, the other a month older than Emslee) went to bed at 7 and slept until 7.  Nap times were scheduled and the girls understood that when they were laid down it was time for bed.  They fussed a little initially, but gave in quickly, knowing that they weren't getting up.  So we asked Kaylyn and Brent what the "secret" was and decided right then and there that as soon as we got home we were changing everything we had been doing!  Emslee would no longer be in control of sleep times, we would.

Here is what we do:  Emslee goes to bed at 7 and take naps at 9-10 am, 1-2 pm, and 4 (give or take on the times). We have created a bedtime routine where we read her a couple stories, change her diaper, put her in her pjs and then I nurse her. As she's falling asleep while nursing I take her off and lay her in her crib. I have started giving her a little blanket with a lamb attached to it to give her a new sleep association, other than me. Then I kiss her, tell her it's night night time, turn on soft music and leave the room. She cries....and this is very hard for me, but I let her cry.We've done this for 9 nights now and the longest she's cried is 40 minutes. Then she drifts off to sleep. If she wakes up in the middle of the night (which has only happened a few nights), I go in give her her lamb blanket, turn on her music, tell her it's night night time, kiss her and leave. She cries for about 15 minutes, but goes back to sleep. It's all about changing yourself as her sleep association and replacing it with something else (like a blanket, paci, etc.).  She is now sleeping 11-12 hours a night and did it from the first day we started!  It was like she was waiting for us to just put her to bed and let her sleep.

This has given Josh and I alone time every evening for a few hours before we go to bed and it's been so good for us!   Emslee is also a much happier baby!  Here is a link to site I read before I started.  It was a huge help in addition Bren and Kaylyn!

Oh, and now I can say I am SO happy she doesn't take a pacifier, because that's one habit I won't have to break lol!