Saturday, December 29, 2012

5 months

emmie collins is 5 months old.  the oldest baby on the block.  well fine, she's the only babe on our street.  but she is getting old.  this month, like all the others, has marked all kinds of special things for our family & precious milestones for baby emmie - here are a few.
you had croup earlier this month which was rough but when we took you to the doctor you were a champ and we got to find out how big you are [or at least how big you were a few weeks ago].  you were 16 pounds and 5.5 ounces.  if i had to guess i'd say you're at least 17 pounds now; just one pound away from size 3 diapers.  you're so big and strong, little one.  your little thighs have to be one of the world's most wonderful gifts.  there are more rolls hidden in that onesie - ugh i die.
i already announced it to the world but you started rolling this month!  momma and poppa are so proud of you.  i think the whole time i thought you were trying to sit up you were actually just practicing crunches to swing yourself over.  those were your 'rolling' crunches, not your 'sit-ups'. 
the sprinkler
it was almost like you became a pro after your first roll.  now you do it with such ease.  you can roll all over the place and get almost anywhere you want to go.  anytime i check on you in your crib you're in a different corner than where i left you last.  i can hardly take my eyes off you if you're on the floor.  you're also perfecting the art of grabbing for toys and playing.  hand-eye-coordination here we come!  let's pray you take after your poppa in that department.
notice scissors right off of the mat as i say she rolls and grabs things :)
along with all your fantastic toys that you've learned how to use and your christmas goodies that you're breaking in, you've also been getting all kinds of use out of your jumperoo.  the two sweetest things about the jumperoo, besides watching you discovering new things, is to see you kick your legs up and down in delight and hearing you 'sing' along with the music in it.
after your two week sabbatical of non-cuddling you are now the sweetest little snuggle-monster there ever was.  after you eat or when you're tired you nuzzle right into my shoulder.  just makes my heart melt.  i'm savoring it; i hope it never ends.  i always give you a two arm hug when you cuddle, it's one of my favorite things.
new things that you can do also include holding onto people's fingers and waving their arms back and forth, in and out, in and out.  it's a cross between aerobics and dancing.  baby jazzercise?  you can also play peek-a-boo.  you can pull the blankets up over your head and after i say "wheeeeere's emmie?" you pull them down and grin so hard.  sometimes you forget how to get out of the covers which is equally hilarious.  there have been about three times where we think you might have reached for one of us.  we can't wait until you reach out with your little arms for us to pick you up.  precious.

a big adjustment this month is that you've transitioned out of a swaddle.  after you learned to roll on your belly we decided that it was safest to leave you unswaddled to sleep.  the first night you cried on and off from 8 to 10 pm.  it was breaking momma's heart and i was prepared for hell week of 'crying it out'.  it was christmas week, which included lots of travel and sleeping away from home. i imagined sleepless nights and full days.  i imagined the stress of knowing our kid was keeping everyone up at all hours but a christmas miracle happened.  you learned to suck your thumb in a day and after that two hour bout of crying on night 1, it's never happened again.  you sleep harder and longer than ever before.  it's even better than when she was in the swaddle because even then she was wiggling her way out and smacking herself in the face until she woke up.  it has been such a blessing.
i feel like she is so big now that she can soothe herself and sleep so long. you go to bed between 7:30 and 8:30p and wake up between 7 and 8a.  a good solid 12 hours.  your naps have actually gotten better since you are unswaddled and sleeping on your belly too.  it basically has been like the best!  you still sleep in between each feeding [which i feel like is a little abnormal] but two of those naps are generally about 2+ hours while the others only 45 minutes or so.
you are super alert, attentive and curious.  i don't think this is new but it is definitely true of you [still].  you always want to be in the action.  if someone is talking you want to know who.  a new sound?  we better check it out.  i feel excited about that being part of your personality, although i'd be lying if i said i wasn't fearful of you becoming the kid who asks "why?" after every statement.
we think you may be teething but we haven't seen any little teethers in there yet.  i'll keep the updates coming.
you're also very talkative.  it's funny how your voices, noises and 'words' have changed over time.  you have as much to say as ever.  you now have ma's, ga's, goo's, ba's and da's, along with some awesomely spitty airplane noises.  you squeal and grunt much less than you used to but you still get a few in from time to time.
this is mid-airplane noise
one of my favorite things that happened this month was during christmas break while poppa was home from work.  i brought you into our bedroom to feed you in the morning, as usual.  normally, if pop is home he makes you smile and giggle while momma burps you but this morning he was tired and was still snuggled into his pillow.  i watched as em stared and stared at her dad inquisitively.  after he was unresponsive to her laser-like gaze she grunted as loud and hard as she could to get his attention.  when his eyes opened his little lady was grinning ear to ear.
this month was your first to wear shoes [little leopard boots to be exact], your first to wear tights [with faux ballet flats at the feet] & your first time in a jacket [an over-the-top diva number].  clothing milestones if you will.

i have a whole post for your first christmas but it can't go without mentioning that you just experienced your first christmas season. it has been so fun for me and your poppa to think intentionally about how we're going to talk to you about Jesus [all the time] and especially when there's so much competing for our attention during the holidays.
the last little thing i should mention is that you are starting to look a lot like your poppa.  your momma's eyeballs may be the only thing i've given you in the looks department.  you have some mannerisms like momma.  my favorite being that you scrunch your nose when you smile really hard.  it is adorable.  whenever you put your head upside down your poppa says "you look just like your mother" which is funny because i almost never hang my head upside down.

my sweet little bean, you are so fun.  you bring all kinds of joy into our lives.  each day we can't wait to play with you and see what new thing you'll learn or do.  your poppa can't wait until he can dance with you and he thinks you're awfully pretty.  i especially like your cheerful disposition and your tiny little chin.  i showed you snow through the window a few times but i can't wait until we can bundle you up and take you outside to play in it.  snowmen here we come!  being a momma has made me more prayerful.  i pray moment by moment that God will help me to become a woman that reflects Jesus to you.  i pray that He would be at work in your heart, mold it to look like His.  love you little bit!

here are some extra fun pics from the month:
em covered in cats
trying to get a 4.5 month pic but couldn't do a very good job.  look how big though!
having girl time
baby feet :: sitting in momma's lap

squishing her squish - i see a pattern

momma's little helper
just being a doll baby

Thursday, December 20, 2012

somebody's rolling!

for months i've been waiting for this day!  the day when emmie would be able to roll from her back to her belly.  she mastered rolling from belly to back around 5 weeks but it's taken nearly 5 months to get to this point.  i know a baby rolling isn't earth shattering to most but i was so excited.  literally squealing with delight.  i actually missed her first 'roll'.  i was in the kitchen making smores for benny's coworkers [which are delicious by the way], but i captured her second roll for her poppa - right here.  i just came around the corner and there she was propped up on her elbows.  what a doll.
getting in some more practice.  after every roll she looks up and cheeses as hard as she can.  she must be pretty thrilled too! what a big girl!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I thee wed... [chris & morgan tie the knot] + life

this past weekend was such a joy for ben and i.  benny's little brother chris married his sweetheart, morgan.  i am so excited for them to start their lives together and couldn't be more thankful for the way that God has knit this little family together, drawing each person to Himself and to each other.  His plans are so good.  i am also thrilled to have morgan as a sister!  treat!! 
adorable yes?  photo stolen, roselle photography

every little detail was beautiful and if my phone hadn't died you better believe i would have been snapping all kinds of pics.  the church had beautiful wooden beams in the rafters and was decorated with twinkle lights for christmas.  the reception was full of people c + m love, and people who love them along with all kinds of little wooden, rustic touches, handmade by poppa tony & morgan's dad.  so sweet, [angie poston, you would have died].  i was obsessed with the hot chocolate bar and may have eaten three cupcakes.
i love that they will build a home that glorifies the Lord and invites people in.  it will be a joy to witness that.
perfectly grainy iphone shot - wish i brought my real camera!
you know if there's a wedding then there was also a rehearsal.  family fun for all.  benny was the best man so he got to practice his "supportive, standing up" skills and i was honored to read scripture for the big day.  emmie, well, emmie mainly pulled my hair, but she was really happy to be there.
if you're thinking i look cute.  you're right!  beautiful princess on her way to rehearse!
sunday morning we were dragging but we were able to make it late to brunch with ben's immediate & extended family.  emmie especially loved getting to meet all of her great aunts, uncles and cousins!
since then we've been passing the time blabbering all kinds of words [this is new], spewing airplane blurs, practicing our singing skills in the jumperoo and giggling as poppa kisses baby neck rolls.  after a week of the sickies, this little bit is back to her spunky, awesome self.
oh, and i've been turning my family into cats.  you're welcome.
christmas is creeping up on us.  i'm so thankful for all the family that we get to visit in the next two weeks and for the reason to celebrate at all.  i pray that our eyes would be fixed on Jesus!  merry christmas friends!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

11th annual girl christmas

oh thank goodness it is once again the sweetest day...girl christmas!  maybe we start talking and planning it a year in advance.  maybe we try and cram all of our favorite things into 24 hours.  maybe it's a glorious jumble of all things joyful and cheery and...plaid.  it is a gift.  we say this every year but this was the best girl christmas ever.  now that we all live in different cities [and states] it is all the more special to be together, celebrate Jesus and pamper each other.
rachel, me & jenna [in plaid]
holly, shan & cory
this year we switched things up again.  that's become a habit for us nowadays.  always finding new ways to keep things interesting, fresh and awesome.  this year we decided to draw names and our gift for that person could be thrifted or crafted or both.  thrafting will definitely be staying in the girl christmas rotation.

holly drew my name and thrifted me all things precious.
i got these vintage shakers that are going to look perfect on our counter as i start our kitchen evolution [which is in the my head anyway].  she also gave me a wooden crate with a chalkboard front.   i can only think of about 500 things i'd like to do with it.  i'd really really really like to have potted succulents in there but i don't know if that's possible without getting the crate wet?  i don't want to ruin's too sweet.
what would you do with this little guy?
i had rach which was scary for me because she is a fantastic thrifter and crafter and i wanted to give her something she would actually love and use.  something that she would choose for herself [which means that it's awesome].  i wasn't sure if i would go the thrifting or crafting route so my sweet mom babysat emmie one day so i could devote myself to exploring, shopping & deciding.  while thrifting i found this date slate which i thought was absolutely perfect.  you could do a million different things with it, keep the kids schedules, make notes about ministry, meal planning & due dates for business.  it is pretty large so i think it could make a sweet statement in any kitchen, craft room or office.  i hope she enjoys.  and the frame would be really simple to paint if you were 'over' the wood at any time.
here's all the loot!  cory was the only crafter and lets be honest, i wanted to steal everything that she made.  i tried to tell jenna that all the crafts were ugly in hopes that she'd leave them at the house but she took them anyway.  drat.
from there we were off on a mission...lunch and thrifting.  our plan was basically to make our own mini 'craft weekend' but it turned out that we weren't so good at following through on the 'crafting' part, but we'll get to that ha!  my sweet parents offered to watch emmie for a few hours and it was amazing to be a free woman!  we ate at the soup kitchen which is kind of like a little hole in the wall, full of soup.  i don't love soup so mid-grill cheese i realized i didn't pump before we left home.  so turns out, i'm not as "free" as i thought.  just as free as my pump will take me!  i made it back to the girls before too long and we were off again.

we went thrifting at feather your nest; it was the first time there for most of us.  we loved it there!  it's much smaller than the peddlers mall and each booth was worthy of a thorough look through.  we each left with at least a couple treasures.  if money wasn't an issue we could have bought out the place!  i bought this [below], the most wonderful blanket you've ever seen.  it screams WINTER in my face.  and my couch says "please slap some winter on me momma!"
along with treasures i'd die to have there were also gems like this giant wooden gnome [complete with ken doll repelling down pointed hat] and deer feet as wall hooks.  something for everyone...ha ha!
post-thrift, we came back to home base, aka my house, so i could relieve my parents from the little monster bean and the girls could get organized and run to the store to prepare for din din.  before the store a lil photo shoot was in order - duh.
cory, rach, shan, holly, me & jenna - bootfest
and because i don't think either of them would post this awesomely awkward picture of themselves i'm obliged to take that responsibility on.  who could deprive the world of this?
this is why we're friends.
i can almost guarantee that jenna is silent laughing in this picture.  i was hitting people with my arms. it's hard to dance in a small space.  this pretty well captures us.

then... din din!  i should have taken a picture of all the yum yums.  jenna made red lobster rolls and rachel made us shrimp linguini.  everything was delicious and the company of course was top-notch.  this is something we've never done before.  we've made apps and desserts before, or gone out for a nice meal but we've never had a homemade, table-set, extravaganza like this.  it was nice to stay in and so yummy to eat but i don't know if this will become a 'yearly' or not.  maybe a rotation?  personally, i just think there's something nice about not cooking and cleaning when we go out.  story of my life right?  since i don't get many meals with the ladies anything that makes it more relaxing for everyone is something i'm for!  also, i bet most restaurants would have a corkscrew.  sorry ladies.  but in all - i'm craving those rolls right now!
by far my favorite addition to girl christmas this year was a slumber party!  with everyone living out of town: me & rach in lexington, shan in sc, jenna in indiana, holly in louisville and cory in nky it was kind of a necessity but the best necessity ever!  i loved having the girls over for an extended amount of time.  it's kind of my dream.  the only small stressor was a small person.  a tiny reindeer elf named emmie.
don't worry, she got loads of love and snuggles and kisses from her aunties and didn't cry too much in the middle of the night.  hopefully by next year she'll either be ready for her own slumber party over at the grandparents or be sleeping so soundly throughout the night that she doesn't wake up the neighborhood.
we watched every chrismukkah episode of the o.c. while we were 'supposed' to be crafting but most of us pooped out.  i want every reindeer sweater seth cohen has to wear in real life.  i really really think they're cool.  someone, anyone?  buy me one?  the determined ones were rach who made 5 wool felt balls for a garland-to-come and cory made a fourth of a gorgeous scarf.  the rest of us lounged, ate cookies and made hair trains.  duh.  we decided that we either need to have a very specific craft pre-planned [instead of all of our crafting baskets, pinterst, and no plans] or just take another opportunity to craft together.  we've got big dreams.

girl christmas is such a highlight of my year.  my friends are so dear to me and the fact that we share so many of the same interests makes our time together all the more fun.  we'd love to have all of our girl friends join us in this celebration but having it little really lends itself to intentional conversation & fun where everyone there can be included, i love that.  the older i get, the more small group situations are my jam. [yes, i said that].  thank you girls for all the joy you bring into my life, and emmie's too.  i treasure your friendships, your creativity & gifts [talents, not presents].  i'm blessed to be surrounded by so many strong, hilarious & generous women of the Lord.

long-live girl christmas.  my favorite tradition.

a trip down memory lane here & here.  and i just realized i never posted about 2011 girl christmas!  i just found it in my drafts!  i'm such a spaz.  i'll see if i can wrap that up for ya!

merry christmas friends and fam, i hope all your days are merry & bright.  besides my screaming kid, it certainly feels pretty sparkly and wonderful here.  now, if we could just get a crying mute button & a couple snowflakes...

ps all images are stolen from jenna