Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Emerson: 16 Months & 17 Months

November 1, 2013 & December 1, 2013

  • You are wearing primarily 12-18 month shirts and 18-24 month pants. (2T is just ahead and that seems unreal.)
  • You have an increased interest in "dada"! He's a fun guy to be around, you're discovering, and you regularly enjoy playing with the Legos, coloring, wrestling, chasing Royal, or reading together.
  • Coloring is an activity you really enjoy, and we spend lots of time standing at your little table in the playroom doing so. You're learning that we use crayons "only on paper", and have tested the boundaries a little by seeing what happens when the crayons go on your little car or the bathroom door.
  • Your vocabulary grows daily, it seems, and you have several words that we've learned to recognize, including: "dih-dih" (cheesestick), "nuh, nuh" (milk), "dackt" (jacket), "di-di" (t.v.), "ah-gah" (outside), "Doh" (George, as in "Curious George") and "Da-da" (for "Daniel Tiger", not to be confused with "dada" as in "Daddy". It's all about context.) It's so very fun understanding you and feeling more and more as though we're conversing. 
  • Eating is becoming less and less interesting to you, particularly at dinner time, but when you are hungry though the day, you often lead Mommy to the fridge for a snack, clearly pointing out your preferences and what you (or, more often, don't) want to eat.
  • We've taken lots of afternoon walks with Grandpa ("Bah-bah!"), seeing dogs, looking for squirrels, struggling to keep your hat on (Mommy wants you to wear it; you usually would prefer not), and learning to look both ways before crossing the street ("are there any cars coming that way"..."nooooo".)
  • You are becoming good at brushing your teeth! You usually suck most of the toothpaste off before the brush touches a single tooth, but you enjoy the process, and usually request it by pointing to your toothbrush as you get out of the bathtub. When it's time to spit, you make the cutest spitting noise, but nothing comes out. I suppose one day it will; we should be prepared for that!
  • You've started napping in your crib! Your naps have been quite consistent (around 10:30 each morning), and although it takes a while for you to wind down (usually requesting a few books in your bed), you usually take a nap for an hour or so.
  • We've developed a new nighttime routine over the past couple of months, and the consistency seems to help you prepare for bed. We watch half of an episode of "Daniel Tiger" (where Daniel gets ready for bed, obviously...yes, the same one every night), and you brush your teeth when Daniel does. Then, we change your diaper and put on your pajamas while Daddy reads a story or two. You nurse again and then to your crib you go. You almost never fuss when going to bed and you're usually asleep quickly.
  • Bouncing on the big exercise ball is a new game. Someone (usually Daddy or Grandpa) holds you, and bounces you nice and high. You get such a big smile on your face, and when the bouncing stops, you exclaim "geh! geh!" (again!). 
  • "Nooo" is a very clear word of yours, and it's (usually) precious to hear you say it, because it is so very obvious that you know exactly what it means. It hasn't begun to manifest itself it a defiant kind of way, yet. Rather it's just been a way for you to show your understanding of things. ("Is the bear under the blanket?"..."Nooooo.")
  • You continue to be so social at the store, waving to other children or grown-ups who show an interest. You enjoy people and are happy to show affection. I love that about you.
  • Baths are becoming fun for you again.  You're content to play with a few toys and pour water out of the empty shampoo bottles. You recently discovered that you can lay on your tummy with most of your body submerged, and you think that's pretty great. Our little fish!
  • You have begun to really play with Royal! ("Rah-rah!") You enjoy petting him and being around him. When he's close by, and you know you're at risk of being swiped by his wagging tail, you put your head down a little and prepare for impact. It doesn't bother you a bit, though, most of the time. Sometimes, however, it's as if you're "telling" on him, if he's somehow made you upset. Sometimes big brothers can do that.
  • No one elicits the same kind of excitement from you as Grandma does. When she comes to the door, you smile so big and usually reach for her immediately. It makes her so incredibly happy, and I don't blame you a bit for loving her so much.
  • You are running! Your little legs have become so much sturdier and when you want to move quickly, you can. 
  • You have this little mischievous look, with your chin down, and eyes looking up. It's a playful smirk that we see quite often. You love to play and tease and your expressions are really showing your personality lately.
  • We borrowed the book Creature ABC from the library that we read countless times together. There was a photo of a wild animal of every page, for each letter of the alphabet. You loved it and requested that it be read "geh, geh!" (Again, again!) It was fun to see you recognizing each animals, making their sounds or imitating their movements. You were able to pick out many of the animals from a chart in the back of the book. What a smart girl you are!
  • "Hmmm" is one of your latest new sounds. You often put a finger up to your mouth to, as if trying to decide something. "What would you like to eat from the fridge?" ... "Hmmm." You know when there are choices and decisions to make, and you almost always have an opinion about them!
  • You still like to "go sneak up on them" and slowly creep toward whoever is around. You bend your knees, walk slowly, and get a sweet smile that says, "I'm coming to get you!" Tickling is the usual goal once you've snuck up on someone. 
  • You've had a couple of successful potty efforts, usually right before your morning bath. You are definitely aware of the sensations of needing to "go potty", but don't seem in any hurry to master the potty chair...though you do seem so proud when you've been able to make something happen. Baby steps!

What fun months these have been with you, Emerson. 
You are becoming more and more of a companion for Mommy, as we play and visit and explore together. 
I cannot imagine a day without you...what incredible joy you bring!
Your sweet spirit and sense of humor and tender heart are becoming so clear, and I'm thrilled to keep watching you grow. I am so proud to have you as my daughter.
I love you, precious!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Welcome, Isaac Walker!

On Saturday, my sister welcomed her son, Isaac Walker, into the world. Our family got to meet him about six hours after he was born (on his due date, no less!), and we all fell in love. 

Emerson watched her new cousin with wonder...& a smidgen of jealousy, what with having to share Grandma and all. But, seeing Emerson and Isaac together melted my heart. What fun they are going to have!

I have a nephew! And, I'm so excited to get know him more. 
Congratulations, sister. He is just perfect.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Baby F"

If I don't post this quickly, I'll be too late.... My sister, Rachel, is due with her first baby on Saturday!

Rachel and her husband, Brice, chose not to learn Baby's gender until delivery...which, although it will make for a most special surprise on Baby's birth day, has made for one incredibly anxious aunt-to-be. (Obviously, we're talking about me here. But, this isn't about me, so I'll move on.) The entire family has been so very, very excited to meet "Baby F" for months...whatever he or she may be! 

I don't know whether "Baby F" is a boy or a girl. And, I don't know what he or she will be named. But, I do know this....

"Baby F" is going to be one dearly loved child, with two incredible people for parents, who I know will work hard to make sure their baby has everything he or she needs, who will teach their child to know & love the Lord, and who will provide a home full of love & laughter for their son or daughter. 

I know my sister is going to be a wonderful mom. (And, I know that I'm going to make a pretty great aunt!)

Rachel, you've made for one beautiful pregnant lady! I'm so proud of you, I love you so much, and I just can't wait to meet my niece or nephew...& see Emerson with her new cousin! 

Now, let's (and, by "let's", I most definitely mean "you") get this show on the road!
You've got this, sis.

Decking the Halls

I must admit, I pictured decorating the house for Christmas going a little differently this year. I'm not entirely sure what, exactly, I had imagined, but I was certainly a little naive about the experience with a toddler.

The truth is, one-year-olds don't care much about holiday tradition or sentiment. Not to mention having a short attention span and the ability to move constantly...and with startling speed.

Decking the halls is usually a bit more relaxing and sentimental than it was this year. Still, we made some precious memories. Sweet Emerson helped her daddy put a couple of ornaments on the tree (and then took a few off, as well, but that's neither here nor there), and we decorated Emerson's small tree in the playroom with ornaments she was given for her first Christmas last year.

I hope to post more soon, and backtrack a bit to document all the fun we've had in the past couple of months. But, I don't want to forget these little details of the past week, as we've enjoyed being cozy at home as the first (big!) snow fell outside.
  • Unpacking the Christmas ornaments, enjoying the memories from the newest ones (from our Colorado vacation this summer) and tearing up as I unwrapped last year's "Baby's First Christmas" ornament, and the ball with the tiny pink-painted footprint we made with our baby girl.
  • Emerson standing at the window with excited exclamations about the "no" (snow) outside. 
  • Listening to Amy Grant's "Tennessee Christmas" and remembering listening to the cassette tape with that song as I fell asleep as a little girl...and then seeing my own daughter happily dancing down the hall as she heard the song herself.
  • Peeking around the corner of the living room to see Emerson curiously fidgeting with the ornaments at the bottom of the tree. (The non-breakable ones, that is. The fragile ornaments are at the top, making the entire thing a bit top-heavy. If the thing falls over, it probably won't even be Emerson's fault.)

We have much to look forward to in the next couple of weeks as we continue to celebrate our Savior's birth, enjoying the magic of Christmas with newfound wonder as we experience it this year through the eyes of a child...ours. What joy!