Saturday, September 29, 2007

Homegroup & Birthdays

As many of you know, our church family means a lot to us. Our church has a thing called home groups which is a smaller, more close-knit version of our church. Our group meets once a week at my cousin's house and the people in this group have become very close friends of ours. Here is the hospitality committee... Abby. Abby also happens to be Emily's cousin. The two girls are only a month apart in age and love playing together while the rest of us are chatting. Abby was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule for a photo-op.

Last weekend, we went to visit with Tom's parents. His dad was having a birthday party and most of the family was able to get together for a fun celebration. This is my niece, Rachel, playing with Emily. Rachel is the president of Emily's fan club. She goes into withdraw if she hasn't seen "Baby Emmy" and "Baby Emmy's mommy" in a while. It is so fun watching them play together. After Emily's nap the two girls followed each other from one room to another.

Eventually, Emily discovered the mirror on Mamaw's door... and Rachel was right there to help her enjoy it!

End of September

Ahhhh... it's my favorite time of year. The temperature is starting to drop with just a slight chill to the air. It's getting to be time to start pulling out the jackets in the evening and will soon be time to start raking the leaves out of our yard. I LOVE this time of year. And, to make it even better, Tom and I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary tomorrow. It's amazing to think we've been married that long and to reflect on all the things we've done together with our family in that time.

Two of the best things to come from our marriage are our kids... Ryan and Emily. Believe it or not, Ryan is beginning his sophomore year in high school! He was just 7 years old when I first met him and he's still a very sweet, thoughtful and caring young man. We've had so much fun over the past 8 years and I can't wait to see where the future takes us all.

And then, there's Emily. I drove into my parents' driveway a week or so ago to pick her up after work and found all 3 of them outside "playing". My dad was working on hooking up their camper for a weekend trip they were taking and my mom... well, here's what I saw when I drove in.

We love our hand-me-downs! This awesome car came from my cousin. Emily loves it. As she gets older we can take a panel out of the floor and she can push it along herself. Until then, she loves bumping along on the driveway as Grandma or I slave away pushing or pulling her. Here she is again... and yes, she put the teether necklace thing-a-ma-bob on her head all by herself and still loves to wear it. Maybe by kindergarten she'll find something else to wear on her head.

Here's Emily playing in her mountain of toys. Spencer (the cat) was previously laying in the box in the background between the two of them. He's so good with Emily and allows her to pet him and occasionally hug him. His eyes look a little creepy in this picture... but he reminds us of a regal lion on the prowl. He's walking with that cocky air that cats have and either looks really ticked off or like he's on a bigtime mission! I believe he was on a mission... maybe to get away from Emily as quickly as possible?

The kid loves the camera. She will stop whatever she's doing to look at me while I'm snapping a picture. Sometimes it's hard to get a picture snapped fast enough though because she's a super speedy crawler now and a lot of times starts heading straight for the camera as soon as she sees it.

And, this one... well, I don't know. You can try to figure out what's going on here... we'll enjoy reading your comments! Heheh

Our language skills are getting a little better. She will still answer "Baa" to the question "What does a XXX say?" but now she can tell you what a mower does. (Movie clip to follow soon.) She is starting to try mimicking different sounds that we make. Grandma and I have confirmed that we "think" we've heard her say the following so far... hi, Dadad, RahRah (for RyRy), Yesh (for yes), oh sheesh, and baa.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

She's a genius!

If you ask Emily what a lambie says, she will promptly respond with "Baa".

However, if you ask her what a cow, dog, pig, kitty, Daddy or the couch says... she will promptly respond with "Baa".

This, too, shall pass. But until then, it cracks me up.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

This, too, shall pass...

Supposedly, there is a story relating to King Solomon which stated the famous phrase "This, too, shall pass". According to a little internet research I did, my good friend Abe Lincoln also made this statement as well as Darwin and probably everyone else at some point in their life. But, for some reason the Wikipedia sites don't mention all of our names.

Anyway, I got to thinking about this today when I heard Emily say "Hiiii". For her, it's a 2-syllable word. She starts it off with a fairly high pitch and then it drops lower as she gets to the end. You can't say "Hiiii" without having a smile on your face and I can't hear it without smiling either. So, what does this have to do with the previous paragraph? I got all reminiscent this afternoon when she said it and immediately thought, "Wow.. I've missed that. I haven't heard that in a while!" At the moment I kind of wished I had my camera or video camera so I could have caught it on video. She's changing so fast you never know when she's going to stop doing one of her tricks. Today might have been the last time I get to hear that before it's tucked away in her vault for good.

Emily loves to music. She knows where all the buttons are on her toys that play music and she will push a button, dance to the music and push the button again when the music stops. Savor the moment. This, too, shall pass.

We are still working on teaching Em some basic sign language. I remember a previous entry I wrote where I described how she signed "more" by looking like she was begging for food. This, too, shall pass... and it did. If you ask her to show you "more" now, she claps her hands lightly together. This, too, shall pass... and someday she will understand how to lightly tap her fingertips together to show the sign for "more". Or, she will look at me like I'm a moron and will actually say the word.

A week or so ago, Emily started doing her "Godfather" impersonation. She still does this on occasion, especially early in the morning right after I get her out of her crib. However, this, too, shall pass... and I need to catch it on videotape before it does!

Emily is a wee bit cranky and clingy this week while she's working on her 4th molar. This, too, shall pass and eventually she will be back to her normal cheery self. At least that's what I'm praying for!

Em is not impressed with TV, videos, movies... not even Elmo, Dora, The Wiggles or even The Doodlebops! We've played with an assortment of shows to see if there's anything that triggers her interest. So far, nothing. I'm sure this, too, shall pass. I imagine it won't be too long before we will be limiting how much and what she watches. I'm pretty glad she doesn't like TV. She would rather look at books or play with blocks.

Emily's heros and most favorite people in the whole-wide world right now are Mom, Dad, and RyRy... ahhhhhh, savor the moment, for yes, this, too, shall pass. (How many commas can a person fit in one sentence???)

Hodge Podge

This is Emily.

This is Emily taking delight in Dad's Droopy tattoo.
(She giggles and pats it when you ask her where Droopy is.)

These are the senior members of Emily's Fan Club. From left to right are: Aunt Janet (Great-Grandma's Sister), Aunt Evelyn (Great Grandma's Sister-in-law), Aunt Creta (Great Grandma's Sister-in-law), Great Grandma and Doris Harraman (Great Grandma's Cousin(?)).

Hula Girl!

Today's posting is especially for Laura's mom, Joyce! Emily owes her new fabulous swim attire to her! Thank you, Joyce! Emily loves it!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hello again!

I've drawn the brilliant conclusion yet again that it's been a while since I've posted some updates and/or pictures so I hope to treat you today.

I'm sitting here at lunch today with a smile on my face as I think back over our progress and all the fun we've had the last couple of weeks. Here are a few more pictures from our playday at Aunt Michelle and Aunt Laura's.....

Here's a picture of Emily snuggling with one of her favorite toys. This ball came from Jack and Amanda Albert as a shower gift. It flashes lights and plays music when you move it. When she first got this toy, she liked it when it was across the room. ;-) Now, she loves to touch it whenever she gets a chance because she loves to dance to the music it plays. She likes to look up at us as soon as it starts playing music to see if we're smiling and dancing with her.

I don't think I got this picture included on the last post... if so, too bad. It's too cute not to include again.

Miss Hollywood and Mom before she tested the waters. Thanks to the staff at Liberty Elementary for her swimsuit. She's made good use of it this summer!

Here's Emily with lifeguards, Papa and Grandma Gaston.

Here we are in Aunt Shell's pool... Emily loves the water and loves making big splashes.

In other news...

Emily and I went for a walk around town last week and who did we run across in the final stretch but our friends Dave and Mary as they were driving through. Mary stopped by and met Emily for the first time shortly after we came home from Kazakhstan but this was Dave's first introduction and he made a big impression on Emily.... they both did. I'm so glad we got to see you guys! (I know you're reading our blog regularly!)

After catching up with Dave and Mary we continued around the block and ran across our neighbor and friend, Amy. Amy watched Emily for several days before I was done with school last "year" and she always clicks with Emily. They had a deep "conversation" for a few minutes and Amy taught her to talk with her hands. The funny part is that now Emily sounds like The Godfather when she's "talking". She still doesn't say many real words but she sure thinks she's talking! She tips her head down and looks at you with a very serious face as she "talks" away. And, to top it off, when she gets real serious she starts throwing in a bit of the Italian hand gestures. She cracks me up!

Speaking of talking, Emily is still working on verbal skills. She has gone through phases of saying some words and then not using them again. Words that she says now (usually with a little prompting)include: hi, RaRa (for RyRy... Ryan), and DaDad. She uses "mmmm" for food or time to eat or anything else along the lines of putting stuff in your mouth. ;-) She also says something that sounds like "oh, sheesh" although I'm not sure if it's intentional or whether she's still playing with putting sounds together. Oh, and for kicks... Tom and I were in the living room last week as Emily was cruising along the furniture and we heard an "oh, sh@$". I looked up with a puzzled look on my face at the same time that Tom looked up and we both wondered if we heard the same thing. We're pretty sure we did, but thankfully we haven't heard it since and we're really not sure where she would have picked that up.

Emily is doing very well with physical therapy but the PT would still like to continue with at least 4 more weeks (or more if we can get it paid for somehow). She has made amazing progress but there's still a good shot that whenever Em has a big growth spurt that we'll have to work on stretching those muscles out again. She's still tight in the pelvic area but nowhere near as tight as she was when we brought her home. We also probably won't know if or how this tightness will effect her until she starts reaching some more physical milestones like jumping, skipping, etc. If other kids her age are easily doing those skills but she has difficulty we may need to hop into PT again. We just don't know for sure.

In the world of walking, Emily is so very close to taking off on her own. She's still crawling at turbo speed and has managed to cruise around the furniture everywhere at pretty rapid speed. I've positioned her between Dad and I several times and she will teeter a few steps back and forth between us in Baby Frankenstein fashion. She thinks it's great fun, but hasn't initiated those steps on her own yet.

Not sure where to fit this one in, but Emily now has a total of 4 molars coming in. She's been avoiding nap times like the plague and has been chewing on everything she can get into her mouth... including my elbow, my knee, my finger when I was looking and every toy and baby gate in the house!

And, the sweetest update of them all - I got my first real baby kiss this morning when I dropped her off at Grandma and Papa's house. I kissed her on the temple and she spun around and kissed me on the cheek. Ahhhh, motherhood. (It makes up for agony of the crying she did when she pulled the screen door closed on her finger this morning!) I love my little snickerdoodle.
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