Before Bed

What is the most talked about thing when it comes to babies? Sleep. When you meet someone new, that’s almost always brought up. “How’s she sleeping for you?” Haha. Well, I want to talk about what happens BEFORE bedtime.
Gene and I spend almost every night chasing Emma back and forth on the couch, getting her to push her walker, or doll stroller around the house, practicing walking (to perfect the art), and much more. Why? Not because it’s fun (although it is), but because we want to wear her out!
On the days my parents watch Emma we are almost guaranteed to have a worn out baby by 7pm. But bedtime is at 8pm so we still have time to keep on wearing because she WILL get a second wind if given the chance. So regardless of her daily activities, we are go-go-go at night.
Every other night is bath night, so those nights are a little easier to get Emma to fall asleep since she gets all warm in the bath, and then with the lavender smell of her shampoo and all. :-) We also lotion her every night too which I think feels good for her unless she gets too hot from it – you ever notice that? How lotion can make you feel hot?
Everything is the same routine as it always has been. The one and only change getting in our way is Emma’s height.
See, Gene and I don’t put Emma down awake. It never works. She’s too old now. It’s my fault… I should have gotten into that routine when she was just an itty bitty babe. But, alas, it is what it is and she falls asleep in my arms every night. Hey, if that’s the worst thing then so be it.
But, now that Emma is getting taller, the issue at hand is that I can’t hold her snug and now while she’s trying to fall asleep she starts kicking her legs and then since that wakes her up more, she will start feeling around with her hands. It’s frustrating because after just a few minutes I’ve got a baby who is wide awake again.
What do I do then? I can’t put her in bed awake bc all she does is chew on her bed. She cries and cries if I continue to hold her. Ugh. Gene’s solution is to give her another 2oz of formula to fill her up more, and it works like a charm actually, but I feel like I’m doing something bad when we do that. I normally just hold her really tight and let her cry off and on for a few minutes before she gives in. But, as she gets even bigger, and stronger, I feel like I’m in dire need of a change-up.
What do you do?


11 Months and Going Strong

Emma is 11 months old!
She turned 11 months yesterday actually, and just this week alone she has taken her first steps unaided, and shown us that she can throw a ball, chase it down, and throw it again. I’m amazed at how much she is learning!
It’s funny how you can sit down with a child and repeat something over and over again with no immediate signs that they understood until they wake up the next morning and can do it like a pro. It happens all the time with Emma. For instance, we spent about 30 minutes one night showing Emma the “fish face” thinking she’d be able to do it easily. Well after that amount of time I stopped us by saying that she’s still too small to make her lips do that. Well low and behold it wasn’t even 10:00 am the next morning and she was doing it like crazy! My Mom was holding her and said “where did you learn that?” Haha.
So yeah, Emma started walking two days before she turned 11 months. She still isn’t doing it all the time, but she’s getting there. It seems like she is still very cautious and wobbly so she takes her time with it for the most part. It’s so cute to watch though! Everyone always tells me that once they start walking they get into everything, but Emma gets into everything already and let’s face it, I’m looking forward to hand-holding. All-in-all she probably walks the length of the livingroom about 5 or 6 times a day. The rest of the time she holds onto something to walk around or she will crawl as a last resort.
We’ve visited the park a couple times now and she absolutely loves it. We normally start with the swings so that she can look around and take it all in, and then we move to the little kids’ play area so she can walk around and interact with other kids. This last time she even climbed up on things! She doesn’t even do that at home where there’s cushioning! It makes me want to look into helmets. I plan to make as many trips to the park as possible once it quits raining each and every weekend.
I’ve got party-planning going on in full force now. We’ve got one month from today to get a lot of stuff done around the house. And I mean A LOT. I wanted to even paint the inside and outside of the house, but I don’t see that happening now. Oh well. I’m still going to power wash, and move furniture around. I’m making some decorations by hand, and using lots of Pinterest ideas. While I will probably go too far over the top, I’m having fun planning it all.
Oh! Emma’s eating has improved some. I’ve been focusing a lot on dinner time and her options of what to eat that she can feed herself. Feeding herself is key now because she spits out almost anything we try to feed her. Sample dinner menus:
-          Chicken strip (peel the breading off) cubed, canned carrots rinsed and quartered, french fries cubed.
-          Turkey lunch meat in little pieces, canned carrots rinsed and quartered, frozen peas.
-          Hot dog sliced and quartered, cheese chunks (string cheese cut in half length-wise and then cut into little cubes), frozen peas.
Then for dessert we will do blueberries, fruit cocktail, applesauce or canned mandarin oranges. Speaking of canned oranges, I just read today that they shouldn’t have those until they are over one year old. I have no idea why and I haven’t even tried to look it up yet. Anyone have any ideas?
I also noticed that she will eat one thing at a time and save the worst for last. She’s so funny. But, if she sits there long enough she will eat it all. I’m also trying to get her used to the concept that she doesn’t get dessert until she has finished all of her meal (or the majority of it since she squishes a lot of it).
Emma and I met up with my friend Colleen and her daughter Aven. Oh my goodness Aven is so cute! She has a ton of teeth already (which runs in Colleen’s family) and it makes her even cuter! Anyway, Colleen had little Tupperware bowls filled with little peanut butter crackers (those little Ritz ones) and mini graham cracker squares. Now, her daughter I want to say is 15 months old so she can have honey now – if you were questioning the graham crackers. Back to the point, when Colleen gave Aven a peanut butter cracker, she stuck the whole thing in her mouth. I about had a panic attack. But, Colleen said that she handles it well and they haven’t had any issues yet. Alyssa’s daughter Autumn goes to town too. So why am I so paranoid? Honestly, I think I would have handled it all so much better if I didn’t have my parents filling me with fear as usual – “A blueberry is round and if she ever swallows one whole you’ll never get it out of there!”
Well, that’s about it. I’m sure I’ve missed a few new things that Emma had learned since she learns something new just about every day. While it’s breaking my heart that my baby girl is growing up so fast, I can’t wait for our new adventures together.


Vacation 2013

Well, I took a vacation. I haven’t had a full week off in as long as I can remember; I always took a day or two here and there. This year I vowed to take a break.
When I turned in my request for time off to my boss I mentioned how I haven’t had a real vacation in so long. She countered by mentioning that I had 8 weeks off just last year. Well, folks, I did, but until you have a newborn baby yourself you will never understand how that is 100% no-where-near a vacation. Her daughter is 12 so she must not remember. :-\
Anyhoo, I took off the entire week of Memorial Day. So did Gene. So did my Mom. We are a close-knit family who likes to take time off to spend it together.
We had originally planned to head to Panama City, FL for a week of beach lounging. That flew out the window at the realization that Emma hates being in the car for even 30 minutes. We then changed our plan to Denver, CO with many stops in route. That was a no go for the same reason (who were we kidding?). So then it was going to be a 2 day trip to KC followed by a few days at the Four Seasons at the Lake of the Ozarks. Nope, nobody to keep the dogs. One night in KC for the Cards/Royals game then back home right away. No. Staycation? Yes.
Saturday – Unofficial Day 1
Gene had to work so me, my Mom, my Dad and Emma went to a BBQ in Pacific (Ralph’s house). It was a lot of fun! I ate too much and we played some poker. Gene showed up late and it was officially vacation! Yay!
Sunday – Day 1
Gene and I started our day late. Emma slept until about 7am! Wow. We headed out for lunch after showers, playtime and Emma’s first nap. We decided to kick of vacation at Applebee’s. Isnt funny how men seem to let the women feed the baby when they’re out? Needless to say that Emma ate a ton of my food so I wasn’t very full at all. After lunch we did some shopping at Target and then I took Emma to baby Desmond’s 1st birthday party. It was lots of fun (and exhausting). Also, Day 1 of vacation was our date night of the month. We went to dinner at Cugino’s on Lindbergh (eh, it’s just okay) and then went to see Hangover III (great!). We ended the night with a drink at Tony’s on Top and headed home to get some shut-eye.
Monday – Memorial Day – Day 2
We slept in until 9am. That was the first in a long time as my internal alarm normally goes off by 7. We showered, and then headed out to get some breakfast before picking Emma up. Waffle House. Yum. I hope everyone had been to Waffle House before, but if not, get the hashbrowns [at least] scattered-smothered-covered and a waffle, of course. Afer we ate we picked up Em and headed out for some serious shopping. We went lots of places and eventually bought a new couch too. We made it home around 4pm. We had lots of playtime and dinner and I konked out just a bit after Emma did (8:45pm maybe). FYI – Emma had her first hot dog at the furniture store. She LOVES them.
Tuesday – Day 3
Emma woke around 4:30, but Gene got up with her. This means that he leaves the lights out and gives her a bottle so she falls back asleep, so he can sleep more. Grrrr. She slept until around 8am! We watched some tv and pondered what we would do for the day. We did a little shopping again. Not realy buying anything really, and then we decided to BBQ that afternoon. So we bought some stuff to cook and invited my parents over. We all sat outside and had a great time until it rained. They headed home and we just lounged around the house playing with Emma the rest of the night.
Wednesday – Day 4
This is our work day. The big to-do for our vacation as to go through our “basement” to donate any clothing we don’t wear. For those of you unaware of our “basement,” our entire laundry/storage room was covered with clothes. Huge piles of clothes. Everywhere. It was awful and embarrassing. So, we dropped Em off at my Parents’ house, put together her water table so she could play with it, and we got to work (after a quick stop at the donut shop). It took us from 10am until 5pm but we went through each item of clothing. By the end of it, we had 18 trash bags (30-gallon) stuffed with clothes to donate. It took 3 trips to the clothing drop box. I hope the Make-a-wish foundation gets some good money out of them. I still need to buy some more storage and shelving to hold the clothes we kept, but it is so much better now.
Thursday – Day 5
This is another work day. Gene and I dropped Emma off around 9am this time and headed to U-haul. We rented a big truck and drove back home to load up the old couch. It was so heavy. Then we tore up the old carpet and got it ready for bulk pick-up, dropped the old couch off at Goodwill, and then headed to Menards (after some Chinese Buffet). We bought our new carpet and padding and then headed to the furniture store to pick up the new couch. We made a pit stop on the way home at Sonic for a shake and once we got home (around 2pm) it was easy work from there. Or so we thought. It was one thing after another and it took us until 6:30pm to get the carpet down! We then unloaded the couch, took the U-haul back, went home and arranged the couch, put things back in place, and at 8pm we picked up Emma. FYI – I sliced my leg open with a razor blade, pulled up part of my left thumb nail to where it bled, hammered my left index finger (it bled under the nail), sliced open the top of my left thumb and stubbed both big toes multiple times.
Friday – Day 6
This day was a mess. I couldn’t even tell you what I did really. We played at the house, washed some clothes, went out shopping, ate at Dave & Buster’s, and then at 5pm we dropped off Emma so that Gene and I could go to the Cardinals game baby-free. Well, as you all know, the game was cancelled and the storms moved in. When the game was called we had every intention of going to see a movie. Little did we know that we’d be racing home to get inside before the brunt of the storm hit. We were home less than two minutes when it reached us and we headed for the basement. It really didn’t sound that bad, but we lost power and once we left to go get Emma we saw just how bad it was. Our neighborhood was hit hard. Trees down, power lines down, pools collapsed, windows shattered. It was chaos trying to get to Emma and just as bad going back home. We were without power all night.
Saturday – Day 7
I had intended on having my eyes checked on Thursday, but with the lengthy carpet installation it didn’t happen. Instead I went at 9am to have them looked at (yes, I have an Rx again and I’m looking into a lasik enhancement). My parents met us all at the eye doctor so my Dad could look at some new glasses. After we were all said and done we decided to get some breakfast. After we drove to 2 different places and both were extremely packed, we decided to do an early lunch at Culvers. We were the first ones there. Haha. Gene and I didn’t do the make-up game that day. Instead we decided to go see another movie. Well, low and behold, we got to the theater (the Mills) and it was without power. And the Cardinals had a great game. Ugh. We drove to the mall to go to JCPenney again (I wanted some baby-free time to really look through the clearance racks) and then we went home to salvage any food that we could from our powerless fridge. We dropped off the food and picked up Emma and decided to stay at Mom and Dad’s house to BBQ while they went to the Casino with some of Mom’s work friends. We got home right before Emma’s bedtime and I had just enough time to find some things that light up to give us enough light to see. Luckily the weather was pretty cool so we didn’t overheat. Oh, and the power came back on at 11:06pm!
Sunday – Day 8 – Last Day
Sunday was a very good day. We started it off at a book fair at 10am (you know, after showers and such). It was the last day of the event so we could fill up a bag of any size for $5. We left with 2. One just of books and MOVIES for Emma. Yay! After that we headed to Kimmswick to see my 96 year-old Great Aunt Tiny and attend the Strawberry Festival. Just so you know, the festival is a wash and I wouldn’t waste your time. But, they did have some good fair food! On the way home we stopped by Target on the Rock Road to get Emma some prunes and they were still out of power – first time I ever shopped in the dark. When we got to Mom and Dad’s we loaded up our car with the books and all the bags of food we took there and headed home to get ready to go back to normal life.
All in all it was some great, much-needed, well-deserved time off for our family to spend together. The only problem now is that I miss my Emma even more. I’m actually contemplating taking some unpaid time off later on in the fall maybe. Why not? She’s only this little once.