Emily At (Almost) 15 Months

*I'm not going to be writing monthly letters to Emily anymore, but I do want to write about things she is currently doing. I don't want to forget about any of it!

Emily is just non-stop action all. day. long. She's like the Energizer Bunny, she just keeps going and going and I don't know where she gets all of her energy but every night when I put her to bed I go straight to my room and crawl into bed too. I am so exhausted from keeping up with her!

And really, I don't know how she has so much energy. She has the food issues that I already wrote about and her non-eating means that she doesn't sleep as long as she should at night because she wakes up hungry after no more than 9 hours. In the last few days she has been making some improvements with her eating. We have started eating at the table as a family and this has helped Emily tremendously. She likes that we are sitting and eating with her and she will usually sit in her chair the entire time that Denny and I are eating without fussing or wanting to get down. Plus, she is actually eating while she is in her chair and that is just awesome. 

Emily is still a very picky eater and will not touch fresh fruit. The only way she gets fruit is through juice (and she gets a very limited amount of that every day), fruit and grain breakfast bars and smoothies. I have offered her so many different things so many times and she always just turns her nose up at it. I did leave a grape sitting on the table yesterday and she did pick it up after a few minutes and gnawed on it for a bit. She never got it down but at least she got it into her mouth. 

Dinner time has become an added part to our bedtime routine. Emily now knows that as soon as dinner is over it is bath time. As soon as we put her down from her high chair she goes running to the bathroom, trying to strip off all of her clothes as she goes!
Emily is still very, very skinny, but she seems to be starting to catch up just a bit. At her 12 month check-up she weighed 17 pounds and was 29 1/2 inches long. Then a few weeks later she was weighed again and was up to 18 pounds, so she gained 1 pound in 1 month. I weighed her again yesterday and she is just under 19 pounds! 

Emily still loves to take a bath as much as always, but she also still hates to get her hair washed. She just cries the whole time and she wants to get out as soon as it's over. Sometimes we wash her at the beginning of her bath and she will stay in the tub and play until the water is cold. And sometimes she will stay in the tub even after all of the water has been drained out. She doesn't care, she just wants to play!

Emily has got to be the sweetest girl in the whole entire world. She has recently learned how to make a smacking sound when she gives kisses and so of course she loves to give kisses just so she can smack! She kisses anybody and anything that she can and it is so cute to watch. The other day after she finished nursing, we were sitting on the couch together and she leaned over and kissed my tummy. So sweet! She also is blowing kisses now and will always blow a kiss whenever she tells someone "bye-bye".

But when she isn't being sweet, she is BAD. I thought that things would be easy until we got closer to two years old, but no. The ones are certainly not always wonderful. She throws food off of her tray onto the floor. She empties drawers and cabinets before I even know what is going on. She rips my glasses off of my face and she hits and scratches. She pulls the dog's ears and she picks the cat up by her tail. Thankfully she only acts this way when she is tired and there is an easy fix to that problem!

She had been taking two naps a day - one in the morning and one in the late afternoon - but we are transitioning to one mid-afternoon nap every day. So far we have done this for two days and she is sleeping a little bit longer at night. My biggest dream is to sleep past 8:00 every day (she usually goes to bed between 9:00 and 10:00).

She likes to share her food with others. Since we are having such nice weather here we have been going outside a lot during the day. Magnum usually hangs out on our porch and as soon as Emily sees him she will run over to him with whatever food she is snacking on. She loves to feed people too. She is constantly trying to feed me, her Daddy, and anyone else that might be around. I hope she always has such a giving, sharing spirit. 

As always, she loves to be outside, and she would stay outside all day long if we would let her. If Denny or I go anywhere near the door and she isn't in our arms, she will get so mad and pitch a fit until we pick her up and take her with us - even if we're just taking out the trash. Her favorite thing to do outside is ride the golf cart and the four-wheeler. She also will climb into her car or into her wagon and "ask" for a ride. A few weeks ago Denny got a shiny new four-wheeler and Emily is obsessed with it. If it is out in the yard (and not under the shelter) she will run over to it and reach up as high as she can, trying to get on. When Denny takes her for rides she will put her hands on the handlebars and "drive" and she tries to move the gear shift. She thinks it is just the coolest thing ever.

A few nights ago I asked Emily if she was ready to go "night-night" and she shook her head no. It was so hilarious that she knew what I was asking her and how to respond. Denny and I just cracked up at her!

She recently learned how to climb on top of our coffee table. She will just get up there and sit like it is a big chair. She can also climb into almost any chair, but she can't get on the couch by herself yet. She also knows how to walk backwards and how to kick a ball.

When Emily doesn't get her way, she gets PISSED. She will fall on the floor and scream and squeal. She kicks and hits and then before you know it, she forgets all about what has made her so mad and she is completely fine. She is going to be such a drama queen, help me Lord.  

I think she is going to be a girly-girl. She seems to like dressing up. She will get my clothes out of the clean laundry pile (that is always in a heap on our couch these days) and wrap them around herself and put her head through the holes. She puts on mine and Denny's shoes too, and tries to walk around in them. She never gets very far though. I think we are going to have to get her a dress-up set soon. 

She has two new teeth in the top of her mouth, but they really haven't bothered her very much. She has been gnawing on her toys and she's been using pretzels as teethers lately, but she really hasn't had a lot of pain this time around. 

She can now say apple, thank you, baby, Pop, baa (the sound that the deer makes - we have a deer in our backyard) and boobies. Thank goodness that her saying the word boobies sounds a lot like her word for baby otherwise that might get kinda awkward sometimes. 

Speaking of boobies, Emily still nurses two times a day. Once in the morning as soon as she wakes up, and once at night, just before she goes to bed. It makes it so much easier to get out of the house and do things now, both with her and without her, but I am glad that she does still breastfeed. I am going to miss it when she stops. 

And now, some pictures!


We don't live in the middle of nowhere, but we do live pretty close to it. Our house is on a dirt road which is about two miles long. Within those two miles, there are four houses besides ours. Needless to say, it is really quiet around here. Not much goes on besides farming and four-wheeler riding. I don't love where I live, but it is safe and that is the main reason why I am ok with living here. 

Where we live is so safe, that until yesterday, all of our vehicles (including our golf cart, tractor and four-wheelers) sat unlocked with the keys in the ignition. We don't even lock the doors to our house when we are away from home. Denny doesn't have a house key on his key chain and I didn't until we went on vacation last year and we actually locked up since Denny's parents (who live across the road - and when I say across the road, I mean 1/4 mile away) were on vacation with us. 

But yesterday, all of that changed. As I was turning onto our dirt road yesterday afternoon, I saw several police cars a few hundred feet down the highway, parked on the side of the road. Strange, I thought. Really strange. I didn't think much of it until Denny got home and his dad called to let him know what was going on. The police were surrounding the woods all around our house because they were looking for a man who was apparently hiding in there. As soon as Denny got off the phone he was ready to go looking for the guy. We have a lot of big, enclosed deer stands all around our property which would have made excellent hiding spots and Denny just knew that he'd be in one of them. That would have been ok if Denny had taken a gun with him. We didn't know anything about this guy. He probably wasn't armed or dangerous, only really, really dumb, but you just never know.

To say that I was freaked out would be a huge understatement. I was terrified. He could have stolen Denny's truck and gotten away. He could have been hiding in our camper until he thought it was safe to try and get away. He could have been hiding IN OUR HOUSE. We have guns in our house. Lots of them. And the gun safe isn't usually locked. It makes me sick to think of what could have happened. Thank God, nothing did.

As it turned out, the man wasn't dangerous. All he did was steal one of our neighbor's four-wheelers. Then he was stupid enough to ride it around the day after he stole it and since word gets around quickly around here and other people knew it had been stolen, they called the police. Another neighbor saw the guy riding and followed him, scaring him into abandoning the four-wheeler on the side of the road - just past our house. We haven't heard whether or not he was caught, but the police were gone after a few hours so either they caught him or, most likely, they gave up.

We are so totally locking our doors from now on.

Mother's Day 2010

Yesterday was only my second Mother's Day, so since Emily is only 14 months old I am letting her off the hook for not making me breakfast in bed and doing all of the laundry that needed to be done.

Denny though? Is not off the hook.

Ok, so yesterday morning he did a wonderful thing and took care of Emily while I slept in until 9:30. (Also: Who ever thought it was a good idea to celebrate Mother's Day on a Sunday, a day when a most people get up early to go to church? Why not Saturday when I could have slept as long as I wanted to? Because believe me, 9:30 was not nearly late enough.)

But after that, he was kinda like, ok, I let you sleep late, Happy Mother's Day to you and don't expect anything else because that's all I got. (I did however get a movie and a super awesome card).

All I wanted to do yesterday was work on a (super secret) project of mine that I started on Friday. I am so close to finishing and I only needed one little thing to finish but Denny didn't want to stop at Walmart after church because people were waiting on us. And oh my goodness we can not let people wait for 5 minutes because that would just be terrible.

What were they waiting on? My food. Yes, I had to cook for 14 people on Mother's Day. Because my husband didn't get the memo that it was MOTHER'S DAY and I was not supposed to be cooking. HE was supposed to be cooking, duh. But I am pretty sure that his family did not care to eat burnt grilled cheese sandwiches or boiled hot dogs and so I am the one who did the cooking.

We then preceeded to stay at his parents' house almost all day long so I didn't get a chance to hang out with my mom (sorry mom, maybe next year you will be celebrated properly) and my argument that I am not the most important mother in my husband's life was further proven correct.

When we finally got home, I asked Denny to help me cut a piece of wood. One piece of wood. Two cuts. It would have taken 5 minutes, tops. He responded by basically ignoring me and falling asleep on the couch a few minutes later. I shut myself up in the office while Emily napped and looked at fabric on Etsy which gave me baby fever even worse because OMG it is all so cute. When I finally came out, Denny was outside washing his truck and not cutting my piece of wood and I was not amused.

To top it all off, he was in a less than pleasant mood all day long and at that point I had had enough and I told him exactly what I thought of himself. He didn't cut the wood after that, but he did cut some plexiglass for me. Making Denny feel like crap gets things done for me, so I don't really feel bad for making him feel bad.

It was hopefully the worst Mother's Day that I will ever have. It can't get worse, can it?

On a related note, I cannot wait for Father's Day.

Show Us Your Life: Baby Names

*Today is the first day since I started substitute teaching that I don't have any work to do during my planning period. Grades are due today and I am early for something for the first time in my life and mine are all done! Finally I have time to do something that I want to do!

Emily Willow - So far, Emily is our only child. I was just a few weeks away from my due date and Denny and I just had no idea what we wanted to name our baby. We both had names that we liked but we just couldn't agree on any of them. We knew that we wanted something traditional, nothing that would be hard to spell, hard to pronounce, or easy to be made fun of once she got older.So one day we went shopping with Denny's mom and sister and we were talking about names and his sister suggested Emily. We both loved that name but it still took us a few more days to make a decision.

I knew before I ever got pregnant that when I had a girl I wanted to honor my grandmama by using her name, Willodean, in some way. So we went with Willow for her middle name. I would have used Willow as her first name since it is so pretty and feminine but I am all about children having their own names that are all theirs and don't have to be shared with anyone else (I especially don't like it when boys are juniors and named after their fathers - so unoriginal!).

Emily's name has a beautiful meaning too. Emily means hardworking and Willow just means willow, so I think the two names balance each other out.

Future Children: I hope to have several more children, and I really hope to have another one really soon (I have baby fever, and I have it bad). We want to give all of our children strong, traditional names. For a boy, I really like the names Levi, Elliot (my mom's little brother's middle name was Eliot and he passed away a few years ago so this would be to honor him since I was closer to him that I am to any of my other aunts and uncles), Elijah, (and I like Eli which could be used for both Elliot and Elijah), Silas, Oliver, and Kellan (which really doesn't fit in with the rest, but I still like it).

For girl names, I don't have a clue! I really like Charlotte but I don't know if I like it enough to use it. Maybe for a middle name? I love the name Cora and hopefully Denny will too. Cora Charlotte, that sounds good to me!


Sorry I haven't been updating much lately. I've been substitute teaching for a girl on maternity leave and I just haven't had time. When I am here, there is no time for me to do anything because these children, let me tell you, are ridiculous. When I get home in the afternoons the only thing that matters to me is Emily. I don't care that my blog isn't updated. I don't care that the laundry is piled 4 feet high. I don't care that my sink is full of dishes. I just want to spend every minute with her.

Except for the minutes when she is napping. And then I'm napping too.

Working? And being a mother? It's hard. And it's not for me. I thought I had figured that out last year when I did this same thing, but I must have forgotten. I can't do this. I just can't be away from my baby.

I'll admit it; I'm lucky. Blessed. Whichever way you want to look at it, in the end I am very fortunate. I don't have to work. We can make it on one salary. I might not be able to buy everything that I want when I'm not working, but I certainly have everything that I need.

And what I need right now is to be home with Emily. I miss her so much and it just breaks my heart to leave her every morning. I've been working for 5 1/2 weeks. I only have 7 days to go and most days I honestly don't know if I'm going to make it until the end. Yesterday when I left here I was ready to never come back, but I can't go burning any bridges so here I am again today. I just cannot wait to be a stay at home mommy again. Emily needs me. I need Emily.

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