Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Colorado...with a baby

Tommy's sister had a great suggestion of us all meeting in Colorado for a family vacation. The trip came together really quickly, so I didn't have too much time to think about what we were getting ourselves into - traveling with a mobile infant. This was a lot different than our trip to Charleston when she was 4 months old because then she was barely moving.

I thought I would recap our trip and give a few things that worked for us on traveling with a baby.

Flight time. When we went to Charleston we scheduled a flight at 6:30 in the morning. That was seriously a WTH was I thinking moment. I was obviously in a new mom fog when I made those plane reservations because I wasn't thinking that the plane taking off at 6:30 meant that we needed to get up at about 4:30. I was a much smarter traveler this time and booked our flight for 8:45.

We gate checked her car seat and were lucky enough to send her stroller with Tommy's parents who were driving. We checked all of our other bags so that we would have more freedom and I wore her in the Bjorn through the airport and security. They are really liberal with parents flying with children, so I was able to sail through and bring on milk and water.

Oh, another thing - we booked a direct flight.  From Tulsa to Denver it is only about an hour and a half, so it wasn't that bad. She was pretty good on the plane and we had lots of books, toys, puree pouches, and milk to entertain her.  Our trump card, though:
Baby girl loves her some yogurt melts, so she got one every time she fussed. Smart girl. She napped a little, too, but overall did pretty good on the flight. 

We somehow planned our return flight for her nap time, so that was perfect.

When we landed, we went to the Denver Zoo. Emmy loved seeing the animals, people watching and seeing her cousins.

These two little ones were beat by the end of the zoo:

Later that day we headed up to Estes Park where we stayed the rest of the week. The older kids went fishing:
and made cookies:
Emmy even had her first gondola ride. I am not particularly fond of heights, but am trying not to put my anxieties on to her :).
Tommy's sister Tori's family:

My sweet niece Bella turned one while we were in CO. She and Emmy had so much fun "playing" together!

Our little family on Emmy's first hike. She really did love it. I think it was the combination of seeing the kids and the scenery!

My mother-in-law and father-in-law:

Tommy's sister Kristen and her family:

We also went bike riding. I wouldn't recommend this with an 8-month old. Ha! She looks so peaceful before the activity began:
The bike ride was all down hill and we stopped in a cute little town. The baby stayed in the car for that part.  The next section of the ride we got her in her little helmet and here is where it literally went all down hill for her:
Shortly after she was strapped in, she started wailing and we had to pull over and wait for the van that was following us to arrive to pick the two of us up. Everyone else had a blast, though! We stopped and had snacks at a little river and it was fun! Emmy also ate her first piece of orange, which she loved. And she obviously wasn't scarred too badly from her brief bike trip:

Now these two cuties were perfect for the bike trailer. They loved it!

We also went to the top of the mountain and there was still some snow!
We had a really great trip and Emmy was awesome at sleeping and getting adjusted. Of course these are things I mulled over for weeks, but worked out great. However, I am in no rush to travel again any time soon. The amount of stuff required for an infant is mind-boggling - car seat, stroller, high chair, bath tub, bottles, baby food, etc. I needed a vacation from my vacation!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Emmy 9 months

The ninth month with sweet Emmy was a good one. She is a happy girl and loves to learn. I just love seeing the world through her eyes.  She does some of the funniest things and it just cracks me up – for example, last night we were reading her a touch and feel book. She has finally gotten the idea of touching the animals in the book and would pat her hand gently over them and then grab the book and lick them all. Ha! So we are not quite there on the reading thing yet. This month (actually just the past week or so), she has started to take a mild interest in books as something to look at rather than eat. 

Another funny thing is that she loves to put her finger in any hole she can find – the screws in her bed, her hole in her puree pouches, my belly button. Now all of the light switches are covered :).
Also, she has been resting her head on things and it cracks me up. Is this not hilarious?  
 Her hair is getting so long. Here it is in a pony tail.  

As far as mobility – baby is full on mobile! She can crawl, but prefers to scoot, scoot, scoot everywhere. She is fast as can be.  She pulls up on everything and can walk along the furniture and “walk” behind her walker.  
I forgot to mention this in my post yesterday, but this ball popper is a hit. Ha! She was trying to eat the air!
One of my most favorite things in the whole world is to hear her sweet giggle. She loves for me to “chase” her and then tickle her. She laughs and laughs and laughs. It is the absolute sweetest. My other favorite is when she sees me across the room and breaks into a huge grin. She will sometimes accompany that with crawling to me as fast as she can.  Emmy is a total mama’s girl! (A close second is her dad, grandmothers and Miss Julie!)
Emmy is a huge fan of Carter (our dog).  We have been trying to work with her on “gentle.”  She has gotten that concept surprisingly quickly, but sometimes will grab at him.  We try to keep the two of them away from each other if we aren’t around. Luckily, Carter is an unusual dog and will keep his distance from most everyone unless Tommy and I are around.
This month we went to Colorado and Emmy had so much fun with her cousins. She went on her second plane ride and did great. (The thought of traveling ten hours in a car with her sounded like torture since about ten minutes with her in the car seat is pretty bad.)  
Speaking of car seats, that is one huge dislike in her world. HATES it. I avoid going places with her (and especially anywhere by myself that is more than 5 miles away) as there is an all-out scream fest in my car. I am pretty sure she doesn’t like being restrained in any way. Shocker. Baby is on the go. If Tommy and I are together, one of us will usually sit in the back to entertain her. I would say someone is spoiled J.
Emmy is also not a fan of diaper changes. See above on being restrained. Sigh.
There are still no words coming from her. Lots of laughs, screams (happy ones, usually) and ahhs and hiiis, but nothing that can be made out as a true word. She loves when I sing to her. Some of her favorite songs are I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes, the Itsy Bitsy Spider and E-M-M-Y sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O.  She also blows lots of raspberries and will make noises and smile huge if I make the same ones back to her.
On the tooth front, we went from her first one on her 8-month birthday to four on her 9-month.  Wow! There has been lots of drooling and a little bit of whining, but nothing too bad. I did give her Tylenol for the first time this past weekend when she cried out in pain several times. I gave her the smallest dose possible, so I am not sure if it even helped. Ha!
Other firsts this month was her first trip to the pool and we broke out her splash pad. She seems to like the water for about 30 or so minutes, but I call that a success for a baby with a short attention span. Megan took this picture and I think she looks like such a big girl. I just love the look on her face!
We have also gotten to where she likes to open the cabinet doors and drawers. I now have a whole Tupperware shelf for her to play with.  Emmy has also started to climb in the dishwasher when I am unloading it. I knew this was coming, especially since about 80% of my time at home is spent around something that will need to go in the dishwasher at any given time.
As far as food goes, Emmy has really started to eat real food and seems to prefer it over the puree pouches (which she will quickly throw on the floor once real food is put on her tray). For breakfast she usually has a puree smoothie, puffs fresh fruit and/or yogurt melts. Lunch she has some chopped turkey or chicken, cheese (she LOVES cheese – even sharp!), tomatoes or we try to give her some veggie and a piece of fruit. For dinner we usually give her what we have - deconstructed. This month she tried tomatoes, pineapples, oranges, grapes (with no skin), strawberries, blueberries, veggie corn dogs, olives, nectarines, apricots, baked beans and I am sure some other things. She loved all of these with the exception of the olives. In the past she has loved cauliflower, but I gave her some the other night and she was sort of “meh” on it.  She does still love squash and zucchini. 
We had her 9-month appointment this past week and Emmy weighs 16.2 pounds and is 26.5 inches long. She is in the 11th and 21st percentile respectively.  She is in size three diapers and in clothes she is in a range from 3-6 month shorts to 12 month dresses.  I sometimes am shocked by sizing! It is hard for me to order online because some 12-month things are so big she will probably fit in them when she is two and others are perfect for her now. Also, mommy has a shopping problem. Oops.
As for her schedule, she is like an alarm clock every morning at 6:15. (Why can’t we hit snooze until 7???) She will play a bit and eat around 7. Then she has “second breakfast” around 8:30 and will take a bottle and go down for a nap around 10.  She usually will sleep for 2 hours then get up and play and have lunch and a bottle and will go down for her second nap between 2 and 4.  If we are lucky, we will get another two hour nap out of her.  She will get another bottle when she wakes up. We eat dinner together around 6:30, then it is bath, prayers, book, bottle/nursing and bed between 7:30 – 8:30.  
Addie took some great pictures of Emmy around her 8 month birthday. She did such a great job!
In this picture she is her daddy's mini me. 
 Another mommy and me:

 This is her "mommy,' pick me up' face." Adorable, of course!

Baby girl also got some watermelon. How cute are these?

If nine months was this fun, I can only imagine what the next month has in store for us! We just love our little sweet girl. I think all the time that I hope she has a baby some day so she will know how much her mom and dad love her (and see how much {good/happy} work she is ;).  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dusting off the old blog (for today anyway)

Oh, hi. I do exist. And I am so glad I have at least kept up  on the blog enough to document what Emmy is up to each month. Especially since I cracked open her baby book this week only to realize that I haven’t written in it since she was three months old. Le sigh.
We have been busy around these parts…not with anything in particular, but hanging out with an extremely active baby, going on summer vacation and trying to fit some very important tv watching into the mix. Because the blog may go by the wayside, but I still need to Keep up with the Kardashians.
I have no idea what the point of this post is, but I guess it will be just a bunch of random things and maybe at the end I can find the common denominator.
First thought – how in the world are there mommy bloggers? When do they find time to write? Or the brain power? 
Things I am loving:
I will say one of the baby gifts I use most often is this one line a day journal and I have actually been able to take two minutes a day to write out Emmy’s milestones or what we did that day. I think this is going to be one of my go-to gifts for new moms. My sister gave it to me in the hospital and I love being able to look back and see what we were doing six months ago. And it is nice to reference when she got her 2nd tooth….(because I will always remember her first one, but who knows when the second one came in :)).
Things Emmy loves:
My mom and Tommy’s parents got Emmy this Little Tikes Discovery Garden and baby girl LOVES it.  She spends a lot of her time crawling in and out and it is awesome because it can keep her contained without restraining her in anyway (which she hates…but more on that later in tomorrow’s 9 month post)!

For the pool we are loving our sunshade float:

And the Avon Skin-so-Soft bug spray/sunscreen combo. Love how easily it goes on. I originally bought the Babyganics sunscreen, but it goes on kind of rough and I am not crazy about the odor. This one does not have a smell to me and goes on so easily.

I have already gotten a head-start on planning Emmy’s first birthday party. Because that is totally normal.  I will give you a sneak peek at the theme. (Shocker, right?)
We have been cooking more regularly since I am not brave enough to go out to eat as often.  We have had a few hits in the kitchen. Recipes can all be viewed on my “Dinner Sometime” Pinterest board, but here are some recent favorites (ah the days when I had time to post my weekly menu!):
Greek Quesadillas – My substitution was to use naan instead of regular tortillas. Points to me for being extremely clever.
Iowa Girl Eats Pan-Asian Glazed Shrimp – I love the Bonefish and I always get their shrimp and scallops pan-asian style with a side of scalloped potatoes (much better than the garlic mashed. Trust me on this one.)
Iowa Girl Eats Lazy Girl’s Lasagna – This is really a great one for the crowds and so super easy. 
Creamy Chicken Pockets – Tommy has asked for this one again. He is easy to please, but it required very little effort (read – rotisserie chicken and crescent roll dough and some other ingredients that are already “done.”)
I also used to post my favorite things from around the web and do still collect great ideas, but here is my favorite idea for kids for the 4th:

Okay, so I hope to be back tomorrow (or soon, whichever comes first) with an update on Emmy at 9 whole months.  My baby is growing so fast! I hate it and love it at the same time. It is so fun to see the world through her eyes, but I want to cuddle her for so much longer!
Also, now that Google Reader is officially over, how are you getting your blog feeds? I have been using Feedly on my phone, which I like, but I hate that if you click out you lose your place and have to scroll back through to get back to the blogs you wanted to read from a few days prior. Make sense? Can't wait to hear what you are using! XO!
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