Emily absolutely hates to ride in the car. Ok, so she doesn't so much mind the riding, it's being in her carseat that she cannot stand. That girl doesn't wanna sit still for one second. 

To make the ride a little less stressful for me, I sing to Emily. Singing calms her down, especially when it is a song that she recognizes. Her favorite song these days is "Jingle Bells", which is the song that the stuffed snowman on our coffee table sings to her about 4 dozen times every day. If I never hear that song again, I assure you, I will be just delighted.

So last week as Emily and I were on the way home from town, she was being her usual ornery self, and so I began to sing to her. Of course I sang Jingle Bells, and also Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

And then it hit me. It hit me hard. Where were all of the songs about Jesus? I found it so easy to sing songs about people and animals that are not even real, but I hadn't thought to sing a song about the one Man for who this holiday even exists: Christ. 

Where was my Nativity scene? I hadn't even brought it out of the box to put on display. And the wrapping paper adorned with mentions of the true reason for the season? It was not to be found in our house, but yet we had wrapping paper with reindeer, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus.

I felt so guilty, so ashamed. And I began to, literally, sing a different tune. Our car was then filled with Silent Night, Away in a Manger, and my favorite, O Holy Night. At bedtime that night, I read to Emily the Christmas story from the Bible, a story that I had neglected to read to her before. I had been so busy rushing around buying presents and getting them wrapped and placed under the tree, that I forgot to share with Emily the story of how Christmas came to be. 

I hope that I never again forget. Let us never, ever forget..........

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" Luke 2:11

All I Will Say

I am a VERY opinionated person. I guess you could also say that I am very judgmental, too. But what sets me apart from others is that most of the time, I keep those opinions to myself. If you read any other blogs besides this one, you have probably seen some not-so-nice comments, usually left by an anonymous person who doesn't want to leave their name for others to see. There have been so many times that I wanted to leave a comment, to tell someone exactly what I think, but I haven't. Oh, if only everyone could do that, this blogging community would be so, so much better.

Recently there has been a lot of drama concerning "mommy" blogs and whether or not many mommy bloggers are qualified to raise their children. Let me say this: nobody is perfect. Not you, and certainly not me. We all make mistakes. We all have our own ways of doing things and we all raise our children in the way that we think is best. What is right for your family might not necessarily be right for mine, and vice-versa. And that's ok.

If you know me, then you know that I fully believe that everything that happens, happens for a reason. If it was meant to be, it will be. I know this sounds harsh, but if a child dies, he died because he was supposed to. Whether he fell into a pool and drowned or whether he was breech and his parents decided to go ahead with a homebirth that eventually led to his death, it does not matter. If those things hadn't killed those children, something else would have. There are a million questions buzzing around in my head for those parents.Why wasn't there a gate around the pool or a cover on it? Did he know how to swim? Why couldn't you just go to the hospital just in case there was a complication? And none of the answers matter. Doing things differently wouldn't bring those children back and it wouldn't have saved them in the first place. Would I have done things differently? Heck yes! But my point is, we can't judge those parents for the decisions that they made. Their children are in Heaven not because of any fault of theirs, but because it was simply their time to go.

Accidents do happen, and many times they could have been avoided, but does this mean that we should leave our children unsupervised and leave their safety up to fate? No! We should still keep our children as safe as we possibly can, but we need to realize that we can't protect them from every. little. thing.  We need to support each other and stop pointing fingers and pretending that we are perfect parents because our child is still alive and somebody else's child is not. We have to stop leaving rude comments especially at these times when parents are going through their worst nightmares. Let's all just raise our own children, mind our own business, and keep our opinions to ourselves, ok?

Mama Called The Doctor & The Doctor Said......

I have never been more happy to see a doctor in my whole entire life than I was this past Friday. On the verge of having self-diagnosed postpartum depression because of an ornery baby who would not sleep, I dragged Emily and myself into Dr. Z's office at the bright and early hour of 10:30 in the a.m., a time when we are usually still snoozing under the covers. But I would give up anything to get more sleep, and in this case, I actually gave up sleep to get it. Kinda weird how it worked out, but let me assure you that it did. 

But before I get into that, here are Emily's stats. She is 28 inches long, up 3 3/4 inches from 3 months ago, and she weighs 15 pounds, 8.5 ounces. She only gained 1 1/2 pounds in the last 3 months, which has something to do with her sleep issues. But she's not underweight or too skinny. She grew in those 3 months, she just grew longer instead of heavier. 

Apparently, I am starving my child. There is no reason why a 9 month old should not be able to sleep through the night, for at least 10 straight hours. Except that Emily does have a reason to wake up every 3 hours at night, and that's because she is hungry. I thought she was just being a pain in my rear. She doesn't eat very much solid food during the day and I assumed it was because she just wasn't hungry. But no, she is very much hungry and she just doesn't like baby food. She is now on a strict diet of table food and the yogurt and oatmeal that she will eat and does eat well. And since she wasn't getting enough food during the day to sustain her at night, she was waking up to nurse. 

Another reason she was waking up (on days when she did eat a lot and wasn't hungry) was because she knew I would come running the moment I heard her cries. Oh, she had me trained. She had me trained good. Dr. Z said that I had to break her from that or she would just continue to do it and I really don't want to be up every 3 hours at night with a 5 year old. It had to stop at some point and that time is NOW. She suggested that I let her Cry It Out (CIO) and that she might cry for 2 hours before giving up and going to sleep on the first night we did it. And even though we have tried that before with no chance of it working, we tried again. We made sure that she ate just as much as her little tummy could hold yesterday, and at midnight (yes, midnight. We are night owls around here) I put her in her crib. She did not cry for 2 hours. Nope, not even close to that. She cried for 25 minutes. And do you wanna know how long she slept before waking up?

10 hours. She slept for 10 hours! 10 straight hours without so much as a peep out of her. And now that I have bragged on her she will probably not do that again for a month or two. But all joking aside, I did it again today at naptime. I put her in her crib for a nap and she began crying instantly. I took a shower so that I wouldn't have to hear her crying (it kills me. That's why she is so spoiled because I NEVER let her cry.) and she was asleep when I got out. She cried for less than 10 minutes this time and she's been asleep for over an hour already. It's working! 

I am also going to start a bedtime routine so that Emily will recognize that every night before bed, Emily will recognize what we are doing and she can settle down and mentally prepare for bed. I have read a lot about that and I am hoping that it helps her to cry for shorter periods of time, or even better, maybe she will eventually not cry at all.

I also talked to Dr. Z about giving Emily formula so that I could get a break from her (and give her a break from me) for a few hours, a few times a week, and she could not believe that I never leave this child for more than 3 hours at a time. I really can't believe it either, but it's true. She not only encouraged me to take a break, she also gave me 2 cans of formula to use. I am sure that 1 will be plenty enough but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth so I gladly took it and now I am struggling with the guilt that I am actually considering giving Emily powdered, fake, disgusting-tasting milk. Oh well. We are going to give it a shot. 

And so now we will all live happily ever after. I will not be depressed and sleep-deprived, Emily will get to stay at other people's houses (possibly overnight for the first time!) and she will also not be spoiled anymore, and everything is just going to be fabulous and perfect and wonderful forever and ever!

And no, I'm not at all delusional. I just have faith.

Month 9

My Emily,

It is 12 days after your 9 month "birthday" and I am just now finding the time to write this letter to you. November was the hardest, most trying month for me as a mother. It's not your fault that you are so difficult; the blame is entirely mine. You are completely spoiled rotten and it is I who has spoiled you. But the good news is that we are changing things and we are going to get along so, so much better from now on.

When you sleep in the big bed with Daddy and I, you will scoot all the way to the top of the bed until your head is touching the headboard. You do NOT want to be covered up and you try to get as far away from the covers as you possibly can. You also love to snuggle with Daddy because he sleeps without a shirt on and his skin in so warm and cuddly. 

I know I've talked about your sleep issues before so I'm not going to go into detail again this month. But I will say that the napping in my arms and the not sleeping through the night are things that have caused my patience to wear extremely thin most days, and by the time I write next month's letter, you will be as good of a sleeper as any 10 month old should be!

Aside from your dislike of sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time, your only other complaint is baby food. You just will not eat the stuff, and I can't say that I blame you. I had been making all of your food but we switched to jarred food and you hate it. However, you do like your yogurt and oatmeal and you love to eat the food on mine and Daddy's plates. You are such a little beggar every time you see either of us with food! And so far, we haven't found any table food that you don't like.

And instead of turning your head away from the spoon or just simply keeping your mouth closed to let me know that you are finished eating, you fling your arms wildly and get food EVERYWHERE. Like this.

Your favorite thing to do (and mine too) is to give hugs and kisses. You are such a loving soul and you give Daddy and I squeezes and tons of kisses every day. Every afternoon when Daddy walks in the door from work, he picks you up and you wrap your arms around his neck as tight as you can - it is the most precious thing I have ever seen! You also love to give kisses to your Glow Worm, your baby doll that your Granny gave to you, and any other toy of yours that has a mouth! I hope you stay this cuddly and sweet forever.

In November you celebrated your first Thanksgiving and you loved eating all of the yummy food. You met a few relatives that you had never seen before and although you slept through most of it, you had a great time with your Pop's family. 

At this point, you say mama, dada, bye-bye, dog, and uh-oh, even though most of the time it is just "uh". You wave bye-bye when nobody is going anywhere and most of the time when someone actually is leaving, you won't wave or say bye-bye at all. You crack Daddy and I up since you are such a silly girl all of the time. You blow bubbles with your mouth when you are sleepy and you play peek-a-boo with Daddy's belly. We have "screaming" matches with each other to see who can be the loudest and who can hold out for the longest time. You dance to the snowman on our coffee table that sings "Jingle Bells" and you love music. You won't be still long enough to watch tv at all anymore unless Yo Gabba Gabba is on.

You continue to cruise along the furniture and pull up on everything that you can get a grip on. You are a great crawler and you can crawl faster than I can. You always crawl away in the middle of diaper changes and I have to chase you down to get your diaper on. You follow Daddy and I everywhere we go and you are very curious about everything. You love to explore and check things out and you are into everything. I cannot take a shower unless you are taking a nap because you either crawl right into the shower with me or you get into something that you shouldn't every. single. time.

You are growing up so fast and I know that you will be walking so very, very soon. You will be a toddler, a big girl, and as much as I will miss these days when you are still my baby, in a way I will be glad to welcome a new stage in your life. I love you baby girl, even on the bad days when I am not the best mommy that I can be. I hope that someday you will get the chance to love someone as much as I love you.


Barely Hanging On

If there is anyone out there who still reads this pitiful blog, I'm sure that you have noticed that I am not blogging much anymore. I am almost a week late in getting Emily's monthly letter posted (again) and to be honest, I'm really not concerned about it. It will get typed someday, but not today. I'm just not feeling it.

I can't blog when Denny is at work unless Emily is asleep. The second I sit down at the computer she wants to be in my lap, punching at the keys with me and grabbing every. single. thing. that is on top of the desk. When Emily is asleep, there are so many things that I need and want to do, and blogging is just not on top of that list. I'd rather just nap right along with her or hang out on the couch doing absolutely nothing. Plus, she is such a light sleeper that tapping the keys would wake her up, even though she is in another room. And believe me when I say that I do not do anything to sabotage her naps.

Sleep is very precious and hard to come by these days. Emily insists on staying up past midnight every night and it is in the wee hours of the morning that I get time to myself. Once I am finally in the bed I find it hard to fall asleep and I toss and turn for what feels like hours. I can't settle myself down because I am constantly thinking that as soon as I fall asleep, she will wake up and cry for me to come and get her. Even though she is 9 months old and fully capable of sleeping through the night, she doesn't. And she hasn't since she was 2 months old. She wakes at least twice every night to eat and once she wakes the first time, it is impossible to get her to sleep in her crib any longer. I try to put her down but she wakes up as soon as her body touches the mattress.

These sleep issues are a major problem for me right now. This morning she got up at 9:00 a.m. (not by her choice, I woke her up) which is several hours earlier than normal. I thought that since she got up so early that she would go to bed early, but that is not happening. Actually, she went to sleep around 10:00 and she woke up when I put her in her crib. It is after midnight and she is currently playing on the living room floor. I cannot even begin to describe how distraught I was when she woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep. I cried. I thought things I should not be thinking. I wanted to hit something (not her). I wanted to go outside and scream. I wanted to leave and not come back until I got the call that she was asleep in her bed. I wanted the responsibility of putting her to bed to be lifted from my shoulders for just one night. I just wanted her to go to sleep.

That distraught feeling has been creeping up so regularly lately that it is becoming normal for me. I feel like I am barely hanging on for most hours of the day and I don't know how to make it better. I constantly struggle with guilt - I feel like it is my fault that she is the way she is, but in the back of my mind, I know that she is just a baby and her sleep issues and separation anxiety are normal and not nearly as bad as they could be. All of those feelings piled on top of one another, along with the sleep deprivation, are slowly pushing me over the edge.

I thought that postpartum depression was something that happened in the weeks after having a baby, but I googled it tonight and I am feeling a little relieved that only about half of the symptoms describe the way I have been feeling. I am also scared to death because half of the symptoms describe me precisely. I am not happy. I do not find joy in being a mother at this point in Emily's life. I have been joyful in the past, but right now, I feel more burdened by her than I feel blessed by her. It is so hard to admit that last sentence, but it is the truth. And it's not just the sleep issues. It is so much more.

It's the being with her 24/7 and rarely getting a break. It's the help that I rarely receive from my husband. It's the pooping right after she has had a bath and is in her "bedtime" diaper. It is the whining. It's the wanting to be held all of the time, especially when she is sleeping, which leaves me with NO free time some days. It's the lack of a social life. It's the struggling to make ends meet because I no longer bring in a paycheck. It's just so many things that make me dread tomorrow instead of looking forward to another day.

I never, ever thought I would do this, but I am going to give Emily formula. Shocking, huh? This does not mean that I am weaning her, which is good, because she is so attached to these bosoms that it would be stupid and pointless to even try. What it does mean, is that even if it's only for one day a week, I am going to have some time to myself without having to rush back before her next feeding. I am no longer able to get any milk out with my breast pump and because of that I can never be away from her for more than three hours at a time. I don't want to have to do that, but a few bottles a week is not going to kill her. I have breastfed for a lot longer than many women breastfeed their babies and I am proud that I have gotten this far without having to supplement. It's for my sanity's sake. It is better to give her formula than to *literally* lose my mind and have to take medication to feel better. It is better to give her formula than to risk losing my cool and hitting her instead of hitting the wall (or the door or my head).

I might spend my free time going back to work as a substitute teacher to give myself something to do and to also feel less worthless. Or I might hang out in the library and read books and magazines. I might window shop and look at pretty things. Or I might try to fix the sewing machine and make some pretty things. Whatever I do, I must do it for me, and also for Emily. I could not ever imagine my life without her, but by no means do I need to be right beside her every second of every day. It's just not working out.

Emily Meets Santa

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were at a local antique store this evening, so we ventured out to take Emily to meet them for the first time. I was so afraid that Emily would be scared of Santa, because he is a man, and Emily generally does not like any unfamiliar men. But she surprised the heck out of me and did a fabulous job! She wasn't exactly excited about Santa Claus, and she really wasn't even all that interested in him, but she loved playing with Mrs. Claus' bracelet!





Maybe next year she will look at the camera!

Show Us Your Life: Christmas Trees

After taking a break for a few weeks, I'm finally doing Kelly's "Show Us Your Life" again! This week is one of my favorites - it is all about Christmas trees! We've had our big tree up since before Thanksgiving, but I just got Emily's tree up last night and it's not even finished. I want to get some pink and green ornaments to go on it to match her room but I will probably wait until after Christmas to get some. She will never know the difference! Here is what Emily's tree looks like................

I tried to get a picture of it with the lights off but it is a fiber optic tree and it's not very bright. This is as good of a picture as I could get.

And here is the big tree in our living room. We usually have a real tree but we decided it would be much cheaper to get a fake one, so I got this one last year after Christmas for 75% off!

I'm still not 100% finished with it yet, and I never will be. I am constantly adding ornaments to it when I see a bare spot, and I am always changing things around to try and make it look perfect. I am just too OCD to leave it alone! I can't wait to sit around this tree on Christmas morning and watch Emily open her first Christmas presents!

A Christmas Craft

I want so badly to be crafty, I really do. I wish that I was creative and could come up with things to make on my own, and have the talent to actually make them, but I just don't possess either of those qualities. I do, however, know how to use a computer and a pair of scissors. So I made this:

Using frames that I already had and some Christmas scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby, I made this cute little decoration! It only took about 5 minutes to make and it only cost me 63 cents! These look good staggered like I have them, but I think they would look better side by side on top of a shelf. Too bad I don't have a shelf to put them on.

So I guess I can be crafty, as long as I stick to things that just cannot be ruined. Next, I'm going to attempt to make one of those ornament wreaths that have been all over the craft blogs this Christmas season. Just as soon as I can get my hands on a wire hanger..... 

Catching Up

We have been so busy it seems, busy doing nothing at all.

Every day is the same for me. I take care of Emily all day, I try to keep the house looking somewhat clean, and I usually manage to take a shower at some point. Having a baby who is mobile is a lot of work. And it's my job.

I haven't felt like blogging lately. I don't feel like I have anything that is interesting to write. Emily is now letting go of the furniture in an attempt to stand up all on her own. She is getting better every day, standing for more and more seconds each time. She even took a step from the coffee table to the couch without holding on to either one. Walking is getting closer each day.

She is also becoming very, very funny. Last night she played peek-a-boo with her Pop by squatting down and then popping up between his knees as he sat in his recliner and she stood at his feet. The top of our coffee table lifts up to dining table height, and this is where Denny and I eat our dinner. A few nights ago, Emily reached up to hold on to the edge of the table, lifted her feet off the ground and began swinging. She won't keep her socks on for more than a minute, so unless we are leaving the house I don't even bother with putting them on. Her favorite thing to with her socks is to put them in her mouth and bite down while trying to pull them out. She sometimes pulls so hard that she pulls herself over.

She's very vocal too. She talks and squeals all the time. She can say mama and dada and bye-bye and dog. She waves bye-bye and hides her face when someone says hello. She tries to act like she's shy but it's just a bluff. She flirts with everyone, especially her daddy. Oh, how she loves her daddy.

Right now we are dealing with some separation anxiety. She wants mama and daddy and very few other people. Nobody else if Denny or myself are around. She falls asleep in my arms at night and I put her in her crib. She stays there for a few hours and then she sleeps between us for the rest of the night. She is a better bed mate than she used to be. Instead of sleeping sideways and forcing me to sleep on the edge of the bed, she now snuggles up right next to Denny, who sleeps with no shirt and is incredibly warm and cozy.

We took Emily to get her Christmas pictures taken. It's her first Christmas. It's my first Christmas as a mother and it is so much different than it has ever been before. I want for nothing, because I already have all that I need.

Thanksgiving was very low-key for us this year. We went to Denny's parents' house to spend the day with his Dad's side of the family. Emily fell asleep 20 minutes before we needed to be there and she and I stayed home so she could get her nap and by the time we got there we missed seeing half of the family. I would have gone when Denny went but it's just right across the street and naps are very important to be had.

The 3 of us went shopping on Black Friday but we didn't head out as early as we had in the past. We didn't camp out in the car and we didn't set any alarm clocks. We woke up on our own and although we missed a few of the sales, we also missed a lot of the crowds. Denny got a gun and some pants. Emily got more clothes that she didn't need but I couldn't resist the cuteness. Like I've said before, she might be the only baby that I ever have, or she might be the only daughter that I ever have, so I might as well live it up. Have you seen the clothes that are made for boys? The majority of them are NOT CUTE. I must get all of the cuteness I can while it lasts.

We got some throw pillows for the living room that we had been eyeing for a few years. We first saw them at Target for $20 each. We waited for the price to drop but it never did. Then we found pillows made of the same fabric at Walmart for $15 a piece. We still refused to pay that much and our thriftiness paid off. We finally got the pillows we wanted at Stein Mart for $5 each. That's 4 for the price of 1.

Right now Emily is napping on the couch. She has a low grade fever and she is feeling bad today. I don't know if it's her third tooth coming in or if she's getting the cold that Denny has had for the past few days. I hope it's just a tooth.

The Lord Works In Mysterious Ways

We've been praying for months that Emily would be healed and not need surgery to remove the branchial cleft cyst in her neck. We were under the impression that she would need surgery shortly after her 1st birthday, since then she would be big enough to be anesthetized. The cyst isn't harmful to her at all, but it does have to be removed eventually since it will be problematic if and when Emily gets any kind of infection.

We had a follow-up appointment with her ENT yesterday (whom I love, by the way. He spent most of the time playing peek-a-boo with her. If you are in the Savannah area and ever need an ENT (but I hope you don't!) go see Dr. Poole) and the news I got was great, but not exactly what I expected to hear. He told us that he didn't need to see Emily again until she is 2 years old! So she will NOT be having surgery in a few months! I am thrilled about this since it gives me a lot more time to pray for healing. Maybe God doesn't like to be rushed. Who knows?

All I know is that I am so glad that my baby will not be having surgery just yet. Thank the Lord!

I Miss It

I miss being pregnant. (Ok, so I don't miss being 9 months pregnant and miserable and the aching back and the constant peeing. I don't miss being told how stupid I was for not having Emily at the hospital and I don't miss being told that I couldn't give birth without an epidural.)

But I miss feeling the little flutters and kicks inside of me. I miss the big belly and the glow and the miracle of it all. I miss my midwives and my birth center group and the check-ups. I miss hearing her heartbeat while she was floating safely inside of me. I miss the excitement and the planning and the nesting and the weekly fruit-size comparisons in my inbox.

I miss those first few days when Emily was a newborn and we would lay in bed together all day long. I miss those tiny newborn outfits and that cuddly baby all swaddled in blankets and nestled in my arms. I miss the 45 minute feedings and wish sometimes that Emily would nurse for more than 10 minutes so that I could hold her just a little bit longer.

I miss the meals that were brought to us. I miss Denny being home with Emily and I for those first few days. I miss how helpful he was with changing diapers back then. I miss it all.

I was sitting in Emily's closet last night with all of those thoughts running through my head. I was putting away her summer clothes - something that I have been dreading and putting off for weeks - and my mind totally got lost in the sadness of it all. She will never wear those clothes again. By next summer, she will not be my baby anymore. She will be my toddler. She might not be nursing then. She will be eating big girl food and she will be walking and talking.

And if I never have another baby girl, I will never get to dress another baby in those clothes.

But for right now, Emily is my baby girl. My teething baby girl who will not sleep in her crib but will only sleep in between Mommy and Daddy. She's my shadow who follows me everywhere I go (even into the shower).

And that's ok. I can sleep when she's a teenager. And I can change her clothes if they get wet. Because one day, she will be a teenager, and I won't be able to hold her or sleep with her or take baths with her anymore.

Makeshift Baby Gate

I finally finished painting the kitchen after putting it off for 3 months and when you paint a kitchen, there is a lot of stuff that has to be moved. Like canisters and toasters and every. single. thing. that lives on the counter tops. Then there are all of the appliances that have to be moved and painted behind, and I don't know how it is in your house, but at our house, we don't move our appliances very often ever to clean the floor underneath them. So you can just imagine what the floor looked like underneath our fridge. There were oodles of dust bunnies plus a huge sticky spot from the Rotten Watermelon Accident of '09. We had to come up with a way to keep Emily from crawling into the kitchen (this wouldn't have been a problem if we'd painted, um, 3 months ago) and since we do not have in our possession a baby gate, Denny rigged up this little contraption.

We like to keep it classy, y'all.

What I Really Want To Know


I feel like a zombie this morning. Literally, like I am dead on my feet. I don't know why, but for the last week or so you just refuse to sleep. Every night after I put you to bed I stay up for a few hours so I can have some time for myself, and you are already awake before I go to bed. I know you're not waking up because you are hungry because most nights it's only been an hour or two since you've eaten. So what is it? What is keeping you up all night?

Last night was the worst of all. I put you to bed at 11:00, your normal time, and you were up at 12:00. Thirty minutes later you were asleep again, but you woke up again at 1:30, just as I had finally drifted off. I am having so much trouble falling asleep because I know that as soon as I do, your cries will come through the monitor and wake me.

I got so frustrated with you last night that I let you cry it out in your room for 30 minutes, which is very unusual for me, but I was beyond tired. Needless to say, it didn't work and you stayed awake for almost an hour after Daddy and I went in to get you. You finally went to sleep around 4:00.

So how are you awake right now? How? Only after having 7 hours of sleep, and they weren't even continuous? Plus, you had only one short nap yesterday. I just don't get it. Why won't you go to sleep?

Last night as I laid there in the bed with you beside me, crawling all over me and pulling my hair, I seriously contemplated driving to Walmart to buy some Benadryl to knock you out with (please don't be calling DFCS over here, I didn't do it, I never really would anyway, but it was 3:30 in the am and I was desperate and if I didn't get some sleep I was going to kill myself and then who would take care of her?).

I seriously don't know how much more of this I can take, and Daddy is pretty frustrated too, being he had to get up and go to work this morning. I need some answers. And some sleep. Is this just a phase? Do all babies go through this at some point? Because you are capable of sleeping through the night and you used to do that and I just want to know why you won't sleep.

I'm emailing Dr. Z about this. And I'm sending you to stay with somebody else today so at least one of us can get some sleep. You non-sleeper you.

Month 8


October has come and gone and I'm so sad to see it go. It was one of the best months we've had together so far. We did so many fun things this past month and as you are getting older it's so amazing for me just to see how you react to the different things that we see and do.

Your little personality is really starting to show. You have always been impatient and now you are starting to have an attitude, so you have temper tantrums and fits several times a day now. Most often this is when I am dressing you and/or changing your diaper. You are a busy girl and you don't want to be still, not even for a minute, so I have to hold you down to get your diaper back on and chase you around the house to get you dressed. You know exactly what you want and you are not afraid to let anybody know. I don't know ow you learned to act that way, but it sure is hilarious to see you squeal and kick and swing your arms when you are mad.

This past month we have stayed home most days because you really do not like to be away from home and you really, really do not like to be in the car unless someone is in the backseat with you. It is just way too stressful for me to take you anywhere so most of the times that we went out it was because somebody else went with us. However, you still love to be outside and on days like today when the weather is nice we sit outside and play with the dogs and we go for very long rides on the golf cart.   

There were a few places that we did go last month, like the Savannah Civic Center to see Playhouse Disney Live, the Statesboro fair, the pumpkin patch, and to the Halloween street festival. There we saw lots of people dancing in the street to Michael Jackson's song "Thriller" and we saw your cousins Haley, Beatrice and Whitaker. 

In all of our time spent at home you have mostly played all by yourself. You are a very independent little girl and you can keep yourself entertained for hours when you are in a good mood. I try to play with you but when I get down on the floor with you, you just ignore me and crawl away. You crawl all over the place and pull up on everything and play with all of your toys, and your favorite "toy" is paper. You love to look at magazines and rip the pages out and crinkle them in your hands. This month you learned how to go from crawling back to sitting, and you learned how to cruise along the couches and around the coffee table. I think you have made more laps around that table than Richard Petty made in his entire career. 

My favorite part of this month was that you didn't use a pacifier at all! You will NOT under any circumstances take a pacifier. If I put one in your mouth you spit it right out and you won't open your mouth for me to put it back in. At times it would be really helpful if you would still take it, but I am so glad that you weaned yourself off of it so early. I did not want you to be 3 years old and still taking a paci!

This month you are still eating three solid meals a day, but you still prefer to have your milk. I have a feeling that you are going to nurse for a long time, but that's ok with me. I love those times and I wish that it took you longer than 10 minutes to eat. Sometimes I miss the early days when you would nurse for 45 minutes each time. Breastfeeding you is the only time I get to hold you and cuddle with you and I know that it will all be over too soon.

You love being a big girl and I love to watch you grow. I am so proud of you and all of the accomplishments that you have made so far. It's just getting better and better each day. I love you higher than the mountain tops, baby girl!




The Bright Side

If you read my blog on Wednesday or if you follow my tweets, you might already know that Emily is having a bad week. She had two awful days in which she just whined and wanted to be held all of the time. She has also had a few terrible nights and has had a lot of trouble sleeping, which in turn has caused me to have a lot of trouble sleeping.

And then today, when once again she wanted nothing but for me to hold her, I realized something. It could be so, so much worse than it is. So I tweeted this:


I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few days about just how good I have it. And then there was this post by my Aunt Becky and this post by the Thrifty Decor Chick that made me realize that I'm right: I have it good. Really, really good. 

I might not have had a chance to eat lunch until 4:00, but at least I have food to eat. I might not be able to afford to buy a miniature white Christmas tree and all the bells and whistles to put in Emily's room (keep in mind that we already have 2 other trees going up) but at least I can afford to buy her Christmas presents. I might not be able to decorate my house for Halloween and Thanksgiving this year, but at least I have a somewhere to live. Emily might have a branchial cleft cyst in her neck which will have to be surgically removed shortly after her first birthday, but at least it is not life-threatening. And I might be up all night with a crying baby but at least I have a baby.

I know several people, both in real life and through blogs that I read, who want nothing more than a baby of their own. A healthy, normal baby. Some of them have had babies that have passed away, and some people are not able to even get pregnant. So I should quit complaining and be thankful for my daughter, and be glad that it's only a benign tumor.

Because it could be so, so much worse.

Have you looked at the bright side lately?

*Also, please go vote for Aunt Becky, from the blog Mommy Wants Vodka. It will only take a minute of your time and if when she wins she will be donating the money to the March of Dimes in honor of her daughter Amelia who, like Emily, also was born with a birth defect that had to be removed. (And by the way, she kicked her surgery's butt.) If she can go through brain surgery, then surely you can go vote!

You Capture: Autumn

In my opinion, this week's challenge wasn't challenging at all. When I think of Autumn, many things come to mind. For a lot of people, autumn probably means leaves changing from vibrant green to blazing oranges and reds. But not here; we won't see those beautiful colors for another month or two. But what we do see is this:

Pecans that have fallen from the trees and are ready to be eaten - either straight out of the shell or straight out of a pie shell.

Fields full of cotton that is ready to be picked. This is the closest we will get to having anything white on the ground.

Acorns falling from the oak trees, just in time for squirrels to stock up for the winter and the bucks to bulk up in preparation for the rut.

And speaking of deer, autumn is the time to hunt.

And my favorite Autumn sight of all - beautiful mums.

What does Autumn mean to you? Go dust off your camera, snap some pictures and link up to Beth's blog. And don't forget to check out all of the other entries!

A Bad Mother

I can't do this. Not right now, not today. I can't be a good mother today.

I tried and I failed. Same story as yesterday. I feel helpless. There is nothing I can do to make her happy, and unfortunately, the only one she wants is me. She wants to be in my arms and nowhere else.

If I put her down, she cries. If Denny holds her, she cries. Up next to me is all that will do.

If I pull my nipple out of her mouth, she wakes. If I lay her down, she wakes. And cries.

Where is the baby from last week? The independent baby who played alone while I got things done. The sweet baby who would let her Daddy, her Granny, her Nana hold her while I got some time to myself - what happened to her?

Something isn't right. I think she must be teething. How long will this last? I don't think I can take much more.

The Great CoRnundrum of '09

If you know either me or my mom IRL then you will know that when we get together, hilarity (and a few wrong turns) ensues. What I'm trying to say is, WE GET LOST. Denny was along for the ride too, but he put me in charge of the driving and he took the opportunity to get to know his BlackBerry a bit better.

Before I go any further, let me give you Exhibit A: A map of Georgia with our starting location and our pumpkin patch destination marked in red. 

You can see that we are starting in Statesboro and plan to end up at the dot just to the Northeast of there in a town named Louisville which is not large enough or significant enough to be pointed out to us on this map. 

So, do you think that either of us bothered to look at this map (or any other map) before we left the house? Nope. Did my mom think to ask her husband if he knew how to get where we were going (and let me just say that he actually does know exactly how to get there)? Noooo. That would have been way too easy. All we had with us was the directions from the pumpkin patch's website, which in our defense, they made it seem like their farm was right outside of Augusta. Let me go ahead and make this crystal clear for you. The pumpkin patch is most definitely NOT right outside of Augusta. The pumpkin patch is about 50 MILES from Augusta. Now here is a pop quiz for you: Take one more look at that map. Which way do you think we went? If you guessed that we took Highway 25 all the way to Augusta, you'd be right! (Sorry, there are no prizes being awarded at this time.)  

Their site also said NOT to use a GPS or Mapquest or any other map besides theirs because we would end up on another farm about 10 miles from there. In hindsight, I could have looked up the town on Mapquest to find the shortest way there and then followed their directions. Oh well, just another lesson learned.

We were having a hard time finding the road we were supposed to take and we almost went the right way, but I wasn't sure about it so we kept going straight ahead. We just kept going and going and the next thing we knew, we were being welcomed into South Carolina! At that point, we were about 65 miles from where we were supposed to be and it was almost 4:00. My whole reason for ever wanting to go to this God-forsaken pumpkin patch was so I could take Halloween pictures of Emily, and I could not take pictures in the dark!

There was one thing that made all of that driving a little bit better. I found my own Redundancy FAIL!

Please tell me that you get what is wrong with this sign.

So finally after stopping and asking for directions, we were on the right road to Kackleberry farm and we finally got there around 5:00. There were lots of things to do at the farm, like.......

jumping on the World's Largest Pillow, which was not in fact, full of feathers or cotton, but instead full of air. 

We saw how tall Emily is this fall, and I found out that it takes more to be a photographer than being able to press a button because Denny could not get the entire sign in the picture. (Psst. Back up honey!) 

We swung on a sewer pipe swing, and we had to beg not to be swung off by the big kids.


We played in a "corn"box.

We took pictures with some teeny-tiny, Emily-sized pumpkins. 

And we rode on the Cow Train!


We walked through the corn "maize" and I realized that Denny is just as good at looking at the camera as Emily is. By the way, if you've never walked through a corn maze, you haven't missed anything. 


Emily drove a tractor,


posed as a chicken, 


and was a sweet little flower with Makayla and I.

I also went down a slide made out of none other than another sewer pipe, and the warning sign about how fast the slide was, was a HUGE understatement. People were getting hurt coming off of that slide. I almost fell down! See?

It really was a lot of fun. My sister rode a zip-line and I wanted to too, but it was getting darker by the minute and we still hadn't taken pumpkin patch pictures!

But where were all of the pumpkins? The patch had run out and they had to buy more pumpkins, and they almost ran out of those too! We had to round up pumpkins from all over to be able to take pictures.

Now normally, Emily would be excited about taking pictures and would smile her cheesiest smile for the camera. But not this time. She was just not having it. 

She wasn't even happy when we presented her with a pumpkin of her very own. I knew I didn't have much longer so we quickly changed her into her costume for some ghost pictures. Are you ready to see one of her meltdowns?


So I picked her up and took a few pictures with her, and it was clear that she just wanted to be held.


 See how happy she is in Mama's lap? I assumed she was settled down enough to give solo pictures one more try.....

....but I was wrong. She just looked up at all of us like, "Why? What did I ever do to you?" It was so sad! Picture time was officially over, and after a hayride, so was our trip to Kackleberry Farm. 

IF we had known the shortest way to get there, and IF we had gotten there earlier in the day, it would have been so much better. But now we know what it's all about and we can make better some plans the next time we go. 

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