Friday, September 19, 2014


It wasn't my best parenting moment. In fact, I was losing patience. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary for us; my exchange with Emerson wasn't unlike our conversations that take place all day long. But, as I worked to get her into her carseat in the library parking lot, I was, evidently, being watched.

She may have been a young high school student. She was wearing braces, riding in a vehicle driven by someone else. I didn't realize she was there, but as she waited (for me to move out of her way) to get into her van, she saw, and heard, my interaction with my little girl.

And then, "Is that your daughter? You sound like you're a really good mom."

She didn't have to say that. And, I suspect she has no idea about the weight of her encouraging words.

As often as I hear compliments on my mothering from my parents or my husband (and that is truly meaningful), there's something powerful about the words from a stranger that give such affirmation to the job that I'm doing. Those that know me, know me. I would hope that when they see my love for my daughter, it doesn't come as a big surprise. But, for strangers who know nothing about me, to witness love displayed through my words and actions in the brief time we cross paths, and to know something about me through that experience is uniquely special.

I don't know the girl's story, or what led her to comment. Did I remind her of her loving mom? Or, was she struck by the difference of my behavior compared to the example in her life? I know there are so many loving parents...but is harsh, hateful parenting what she is used to seeing in public? Based on my experiences as I watch other children and their parents at the park or at the store, I worry that that's perhaps the case.

I was caught off guard by her simple comment. I smiled and thanked her as she got into her car, but I wish I would've had my thoughts put together enough to explain that I'm only doing my best to try to show my daughter God's love, or at the very least, let her know how sweet that was of her to say and how much it meant to hear.

I didn't know that that young lady was watching, but I know Emerson is. I think often about the lessons she's learning about motherhood as she watches me. I know those lessons will only become more evident and pronounced in the years ahead. But, this encounter was a reminder that the way I parent is visible to more people than I may realize, and on the days that it seems that I'm not having a significant impact on making the world a better place...well, perhaps maybe I am.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Emerson: 26 Months

September 1, 2014

Pretend play
Playing and talking to self
Knowing songs
Re-telling books
Nightime doorway sleeping for mom
So verbal, multiple word sentences
Talking about baby, acting like baby, taking care of baby doll
Enjoying food again
Diaper change requests
"I just want to...."
"Okay? Okay!"
Quick reminders to not fuss and use good manners
Donut Man songs
"Take me out to the ballgame...."
"What... Why?"
Self-correcting fussing
Staying with grandma
Tooth brushing
Long hair

Worth Repeating



Noticing a dead baby bird that fell out of nest onto driveway:
Mommy: "It is sad. But, it's okay. God has a plan."
Emerson: (Enthusiastically, without skipping a beat) "What! Tell me!"



While kicking the back of the seat in the truck:
"I've got the moves, Mommy."


Looking at new iPad app:
"That's cool. That's cool. ... Cool, dude!"


"Bless you, mommy!"

Mommy: "This mattress is for the new baby. She'll need a place to sleep, don't you think?" ...
Emerson: "How bout there?"


Mommy: "Daddy wants to come to the zoo but he has to go to work."
Emerson: "Whomp, whomp, whomp...."

Handing Mommy an 'Oscar the Grouch' sticker: "You a good mommy."


Watching a little girl learn to ride a bike: 
Daddy: "You'll ride a bike like that!"
Mommy: "Someday!"
Emerson: (less confidently) "Somehow...."


Right after naptime, crawling out of bed:
"I got out. I'm so glad!"


Watching Mommy eat a baked potato:
"Big potato! When I'm bigger. I dink (drink) coffee and potato...when I bigger."

Came to living room to find Mommy after nap:
"I want to cuddle wiff you."

Looking out window:
Emerson: "I love trees...."
Mommy: "What do you love about the trees?"
Emerson: "Squirrels. They live in trees. And birds. ... (Big hug) Cuddle wiff my baby girl!"


Emerson: "Mommy, more pizza now!"
Daddy: "Emerson, how do you say it nicely?"
Emerson: "Yes, ma'am. ... Pizza, please."


Waking up at dark gas station on drive to Colorado:
"La-la rado?"

Mommy: "Emerson, look at the mountains!"
Emerson: "They're bigggg enough! Like, play dough!"


Grandpa: "Is that squirrel sleeping?"
Emerson: "No. Hibernating."

Getting out of bed in CO:
"Let's do this."

Finding bedroom door locked:
"Bummer, dude."



Mommy: "Say 'bye' to the mountains! Didn't God make some beautiful creation for us to enjoy? Mountains...and oceans...."

"And water
And cars
And houses
And trees
And baseball games
And cheese
And fish
And baseball games
And houses
And bath water
And dog's water
And stars
And clouds
And flags
And garbage
And dirt
And horses
And a horse
And Daddy...
How about...?
And Pooh
And Eeyore
And Piglet
And Christopher Robin
And Owl
And Rabbit
And Clifford
And pickles
And a movie
And Mommy
Ooh.... That's a lot of things....
I want a movie, please. I said please."


Looking in empty crib:
"No baby yet!"


Talking to Mommy/delaying naptime:
"I love my house. I love my big girl bed. I sleep there alllll night, and never ever get out. And never call Mommy. I love you so, so, so much...your knees, and your arms, and your hair, and your sunglasses, and your eyes...whew."


Mommy: "Look up at the leaves. Aren't they beautiful?"
Emerson: "Yes. God make."

Driving her Little Tikes car in the driveway, with hand to ear as if holding a phone:
"I on my way, I on my way."


Mommy: "I'm going to have some watermelon for a snack. Do you want watermelon?"
Emerson: "No...."
Mommy: "Do you have something else in mind for a snack?"
Emerson: "Yes. Power."


Mommy: "The title of this book is 'Pumpkin, Pumpkin'. Pumpkin starts with the letter P. The 'puh' sound. Like, p-umpkin, p-opcorn, p-laydough."
Emerson: "And, p-lease!"


Daddy on his iPad:
Emerson: "I love you so, so, so much, Daddy."
Daddy: "I love you, too, Emerson!"
Emerson: "Now he talks...!"


Mommy: "Should I go get more paper towels from the garage?"
Emerson: "No. You're still washing dishes."


Emerson: "I want to wash dishes with you."
(Mommy pauses, thinking.)
Emerson: "'Welllll...okay!' ... Do you want to say yes? 'Ummm...okay!'"


Mommy: "What do you want to eat?"
Emerson: "Gees."
Mommy: "Cheese?"
Emerson: "No, gees."
Mommy: "What's that?"
Emerson: "It's another word."


Emerson: "Daddy poops, Mommy poops, Emerson poops...."
Mommy: "Yes, everybody poops."
Emerson: "Royal poops, and God poops. (thoughtful pause) ... God poops?"
Mommy: "Maybe."
Emerson: "God poops...just a lil bit."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pregnancy Ponderings

I am well-aware that there will, of course, be many things unique to our experience with baby #2. (Though I can't possibly pretend to know all of the ways in which they will be!) One of the first lessons in understanding that fact, I suppose, is the difference between my documentation of this pregnancy vs. the last. Aside from a few sporadic posts, my documentation via blogging & journaling & photography of my progress has been quite limited. I'm not happy with myself about that, but it is what it is.

There is the factor of time. I have less of it now than I did before Emerson was born. (Actually, I suppose I have precisely the same amount...just less of it to call my own. You get it.)

There is the factor of energy. I just don't have much of it by the time bedtime (blogging-time) comes around.

But, the largest factor is, perhaps, that that novelty of pregnancy has worn off, and this pregnancy has been so very normal and unremarkable, leaving little that seems "documentation worthy". And by "unremarkable", I don't at all intend to imply that it hasn't been incredible. By its very nature, pregnancy is nothing less than remarkable and I'm quite aware and in awe of the miracle occurring within me. But, in terms of normalcy, this pregnancy has been exactly that, with not a great deal of "newsworthiness".

I suppose I have come to expect that, now having had two incredibly healthy pregnancies. I am overwhelmingly grateful for that blessing, and don't want to take it for granted as a given. It is not.

There are certainly things to note about this pregnancy, however...things that set it apart and things I want to remember.
  • I definitely felt sick in the early months...but, not as sick as my first pregnancy. There was plenty of daily nausea, but far less actual vomiting. No complaints here.
  • I had a notable sweet tooth this time around. Whereas I remember craving (and I do use that term loosely) saltier food (pickles for days....) with Emerson, I have definitely preferred and enjoyed sugar during this pregnancy. Yes, I recognize the irony in my having to take a glucose tolerance test this time. 
  • The changes in my body happened far more quickly this time around, specifically in that my belly grew and I "showed" much earlier in the pregnancy. I enjoyed that, really. 
  • I've definitely had low energy, and frankly, less patience with that side effect than last time. It's been discouraging to force myself to slow down when I want to be playing and keeping up with Emerson. 
  • Feeling this baby move is incredible. I looked forward to that milestone, and it has not disappointed as being my favorite part of pregnancy. This little girl is quite active, and I can't recall Emerson's movements well-enough to know how they compare, except that Bobby and I neither one remember the movements being quite so forceful or as lengthy. When this little lady gets going, she really moves and grooves for a long time. I am very able to identify body parts this time around (or, at least I think I am) and can almost always find what is surely a fist or a foot directly underneath my belly button. 
  • My nerves related to labor and delivery this time aren't so much related to the uncertainty of the experience; I largely know to expect as far as that goes having done it once before. (Not pleasant to look forward to, except for knowing the joy that comes as a fruit of my labor!) This time, though, I'm fearful (and largely irrationally so) for the remote possibility that something goes wrong, and scared for Emerson and what that would mean for her. Like I said...irrational...unlikely...but the lingering fear is present. And, I know that that fearfulness isn't from the Lord, so I'm leaning on the spirit of power and courage that He has given. 
  • Without question, the discussion and growth and demonstrations of love on Emerson's part as she increasingly understands what's happening has been the most memorable part of this experience. She understands more now than she did 6 months ago about what having a baby join our family means, and the moments that she rubs my tummy and talks about her baby sister are so very precious. She carries around her bear or her doll, rocking and cuddling them and giving them "milk". All practice.... She knows that there is "a baby in Mommy's tummy", that "she's not ready yet, she's still growing"...and, that "she'll come out your bum". She is ready to be a big sister, and if the affection she shows to this little one now is any indication of what is to come after she is born, then I should just prepare for my heart to burst. 
  • It is becoming increasingly apparent that someone is missing in our family. Whereas it was once difficult to imagine another member joining the three of us, now we are more than ready for her to be here. She is, in so many ways, with us already...a part of so many thoughts and conversations and preparations. It's time for the fourth Phillips to join the family, and we are so anxious to finally meet her.

My due date is one month from today. Let the countdown begin continue!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Emerson: 25 Months

August 1, 2014

  • At your two-year check-up, you weighed 26 lbs. (40th percentile) and were 2'11'' (85th percentile). You are a healthy, strong, growing girl! You didn't cry at all during this appointment while Dr. J examined you, though you were certainly apprehensive of the new situation. (Dr. J "couldn't find" your ears, which you thought was quite entertaining. You had to show him where they were!) You got a little misty-eyed when you had to lay down for your tummy to be checked, but you were so brave. I was very proud of you, big girl.
  • You are primarily wearing 2T clothes. 
  • We turned your carseat around on your birthday, and you love it. I was quite adamant that we stick with waiting until you were two years old before switching your seat (for safety reasons), and we made it, which makes me happy. You really seem to enjoy riding in the new van, taking in all of the forward-facing sights and visiting with Mommy as we drive. 
  • We took the rails off of your bed. You feel like such a big girl in your "new bed", as you should!
  • When we're driving, you almost always request that we "listen to moogah" (music). We've begun playing a Mickey Mouse CD instead of country radio, because you are so very perceptive and don't miss much. So help me, little one, we are going to protect your innocence as long as we possibly can.... So, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "The Green Grass Grows All Around and Around" it is...over, and over, and over.... You love it! (Except for the ones that you don't. "I don't like 'dat song." At least I don't have to guess!)
  • Your imagination continues to develop, and it's a fascinating thing to watch. No one has "taught" you how to pretend, but you know how to play and imagine. One of your latest favorite things to do is pretending to be puppy, often panting or begging or carrying around Royal's leash.
  • Grandpa has enjoyed teaching you a few phrases lately, including "da nabba" ("dag nabbit"), and "that's all folks". "What's up, doc?" was a natural progression which Daddy taught you.
  • Occasionally, you'll want to have a conversation, and you'll say "talk about....". You will frequently have something in mind that you want to expand upon, or this open-ended sentence serves as an invitation to the other person to come up with a topic to discuss. 
  • "And, wha-telse?" ("What else?"), you say, as you add to and continue a conversation.
  • "Whomp, whomp, whomp...." It always surprises and impresses us when you use it completely accurately after hearing something that is, in fact, a bummer. 
  • "How about...."
  • "I want (fill in the blank). Right nowwwww."
  • "Hold you me, Mommy!"
  • "Bless you!"
  • "Wha choo doin'?"
  • "Hey! Where Daddy go?"
  • "That's a good plan!"
  • "I don't know!"

Emerson, you are conversational, playful, thoughtful, and fun. 
It is a joy to be around you, and I cherish these precious days that we get to spend together.
I love you so deeply, baby girl. What a treasure you are!