Monday, December 30, 2013

Emma: 15 Months!

Dear Lou Lou,

This month has been a big one for your vocabulary!  You are definitely starting to say a lot more words, including your newest one, orange juice.  Ha ha!  You don't even like orange juice, but I think you just like saying it.  And this month came the dreaded favorite toddler word, no.  For now it's still very cute when you say it, the way you pucker up your little lips :)  But I'm sure in a matter of weeks it'll be all you want to say.  You also have started to say Holly (which sounds more like Ha-EE).  You run around calling her name and trying to give her her toy.  Other new words are baby, hat (you LOVE hats), purple (for your beloved purple blanket), and cheese (for the camera!).

You would wear this hat all day (and become a sweaty mess!)  if we let you :)

Here you are cheesin'!

You are really starting to understand a lot more and this month you started shaking your head for yes when you want something.  It's wonderful to see glimpses of you being able to really communicate with us.  I would say that by far your favorite word is Addy.  You say it all the time, and if she isn't around you are always looking for her :)  One of my biggest hopes if for you two to grow up to be the best of friends!

This computer toy is one of your recent favorites, which is so unfortunate because I do believe that it is the MOST annoying toy that we own.  But you tote it along with you everywhere.  While the rest of us were decorating for Christmas, you had important work to do on that laptop ;)

Another favorite "toy" is my phone.  You love toy phones too, but you nab mine whenever you can reach it.  You can even swipe to unlock it and scroll though apps already!  You often hold it up to your ear in this backwards kind of way and it's so cute. 

Busy busy :)

We went and saw Santa and you were skeptical at best.  You are in a mommy only kind of phase and were NOT happy when I put you in Santa's lap.  But you managed to hold it together for a few photos :)

(Yes I know that Santa looks miserable.  They really need to work on a better Santa for next year.)

So, what else is new?  You have started going down the steps by yourself, although I now realize that I don't give you a whole lot of opportunity to do that because I'm usually carrying you.  You and Addy are in a battle for Mommy's attention these days, and though it can get exhausting, I'm not complaining.  I know it'll just be a blink of an eye before neither of you will let me hold you anymore.  So now when it's "Hold me!"  "No, hold me!!", I just try to divide up my time equally and enjoy the snuggles.

One random, funny thing that you have decided to take up is sucking on a pacifier.  It's just here and there, but we have one floating around in the basement somewhere, and if you find it you pop it in your mouth like you've been doing it since day one.  It's so funny!

You love Christmas balls, and while we thought this was such a cute photo op, it ended in shattered ornaments.  Oops ;)

Speaking of ornaments, somehow you and your sister did not bother with the ornaments on the tree.  I hear of so many people having to keep ornaments on the top half of the tree or even putting a baby gate around the tree to keep their kids out.  I thought for sure we would fall into one of those categories, but we didn't.  And even after Tina wrapped all of her gifts and put them under the tree WEEKS before Christmas, you two didn't mess those up either!  It was a Christmas miracle!

We had our first snow of the season and you and Addy got to play in the snow for the first time ever!
You had a bit of difficulty moving at first, ha ha!

But you figured it out fast!

And if I'm holding you...

...or if we place you on the sled or in the snow, you love it!  You even get excited when you see your snowsuit coming out of the closet!

I love, love, love this new coat and hat from Aunt Sue and Uncle Lee:
Cutest little thing EVER!

Cruisin' :)

We went to Hershey Park for Candylane and you LOVED the carousel!  Addy was terrified at your age, but you had no fear.  I think you will be a bit more willing to try new things than your cautious sister is ;)

On the carousel in your beloved are in heaven!

And of course, to finish off this letter, what would December with a "baby" be without tons of Christmas outfits.  Many (most) are hand-me-downs from Addy, but some are yours too:

And I'll finish off with one of my recent favorites of you:

Chillin' at the Cracker Barrel with your Cindy Lou Who shirt and your giant hat :)  I love it!

Emmy, my sweet, sweet lady, these times with you are so very precious to me.  I thank God everyday for blessing me with you, and I know how lucky I am to be able to stay at home with you and Addy during these fleeting years.  I'm sure I'll turn my head and you'll be all grown up.  Even though I am with you all day every day, I still can't get enough of you!  I could smooch those little cheeks and hands all day long!!  Happy 15 months Lou Lou!  Mommy loves you so very much!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

November Self Portrait

Oops, time got away from me and I realized that I never posted a November self portrait.  Well, by far the thing that sticks out in my mind about November is that we bought a house!  So I have two pics that I am posting for November:

Mike and I after we found out that our offer was accepted!
We're about to be PA Homeowners!!

And then I had to include this one of me and my sis/best friend.  After all, our lifelong dream of living within 5 minutes of each other (OK it will be a 6 minute drive, but close enough) is finally going to be a reality!  We are beyond excited!

We aren't closing on the new house until mid-January because we didn't want to deal with moving around the holidays.  And now we will be able to spend Christmas with Tina and Jay, and bombard their lives for just a little bit longer..... :)  

Happy holidays everyone!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Emma: 14 Months!

Dear Louie,

Happy 14 Months Bug!  I am actually writing you this letter ON your monthly birthday, which might be a first since you were born!

Big News! Big News! Big News! You are walking now!  You took your first real steps on November 4th and now you are a full fledged walking machine...working your way towards running!  It's amazing how fast it all happened.  One day you were toddling around, very unsteady, falling every few steps.  Just a few days later you gave up crawling all together.  Bittersweet moment for this mama, that's for sure.  Once your "baby" starts walking, it really opens your eyes to the fact that they are no longer a baby.

First few steps:

A few hours later:

And less than a week later:

See what I mean about fast changes?!  Wow!  It's like you waited to walk until you knew you would be an expert at it.

You love your big sister and I am really starting to see you two "play" together, which warms my heart.  Addy will yell, "Follow me Emmy!" and you toddle around after her with a huge grin on your face.  I just love it!

Watching some cartoons with your big sis... and Pinky, a new favorite friend of yours.  You love to carry that thing around by the ear :)

This month one of your favorite games is putting things in and then dumping them out of something.  Like putting the cards for the Memory game in the box and then dumping them out.  It drives Addy crazy, but you love it :)

You have eight teeth, four top and four bottom, but I feel like even more are coming.  You have been gnawing on your hands a lot lately and have been slightly, dare I say, cranky.  You have definitely become more me.  That is a fact.  When I am around you will have me do nothing but hold you.  You aren't that way with Daddy or anyone else, but if Mommy is in the room and isn't holding you, it's meltdown central.  I am starting to see the emergence of a toddler in you.

Speaking of toddler, you have also learned to throw your food on the floor, which means that now not one, but both of my children try my patience at meal times.  Addy because she will. not. eat.  And you because you think it's hilarious to toss your food on the floor or blow it out of your mouth.  Good times ;)

You have also decided that you hate to have your diaper changed.  Hate it.  You scream every time I lay you down to change you.  And come to think of it, you cry most times I lay you down for bed now too...until you see your purple blanket.  Thank goodness for our pal Purple.  That thing still soothes you like no other.

Your new favorite saying is "Uh oh!"  You say that all of the time and it's adorable.  You say mama, dada, Addy, and we're trying to teach you to say "T" for Tina.  You get it sometimes ;)  We are also trying to teach you your body parts, like head, nose, eyes, etc. but we are getting nowhere fast with that one.

You love the sound of your voice and if Addy screams, you think it's hilarious to follow suit.  Poor Tina and Jay.  Their once quiet, peaceful house is full of chaos.  But it's also full of love.  Lots of laughter and love.  I know that these next few years of life with two toddlers will be loud and constant and exhausting.  But I find that I am smiling more often than I'm not, and that's always a good thing.

Here are a few recent pics of you:

Go Penn State!

Bringing Daddy his Crocs :)

On a hike through the woods with Pop

Having fun at a birthday party at My Gym

Park time!

All in all, you are still a very happy lady.  It doesn't take much to make you smile...but it doesn't take much to make you meltdown either.  Hello toddler hood!  But Emma, no matter how old or how ornery you get, you will always be my precious baby girl.  I love you to pieces sweet, sweet lady!



Halloween 2013!

Better late than never, right?  This year, I knew that Mike would be working a sixteen hour shift on Halloween, so I'd be alone with the ladies for Trick-or-Treat.  My plan was to come up with a costume for Emma that she could wear in our Baby Bjorn, so that I could have my hands free for Addy.  I looked online and found a cute little spider costume that I could make out of men's dress socks, so that's what I did.... and then I saw a picture of a Mom as the spider web, and I thought, "Perfect!".  Emma was going to be a spider and I was going to be a web.  But what about Addy?  Thinking about webs made me think of Charlotte's Web, so I decided that Addy would go as Wilbur the Pig :)

Here we are in all of our glory :)
And we were the hit of the neighborhood, if I do say so myself ;)

I ordered Addy's costume online, but Emma's and mine were handmade by yours truly.  (And if you know me at all, you know that crafty is something that I am not, so the costumes were very easy to make.  No sewing required, thank goodness, since I have no idea how to sew!)

I put Emma in our black Baby Bjorn carrier and she was wearing an all black onesie and back pants and socks (black socks over her hands too).  So those were four of the spider legs right there.  The other four I made out of two pairs of men's black dress socks.  I simply stuffed them with polyester fiberfill and pinned them to the Baby Bjorn and then to my shirt.

For me, I wore a plan white shirt and a white maxi skirt.  Under the skirt I put my white puffy skirt that I wore under my wedding gown.  (That's what gave it the puffy look.)  Then I simply pinned and tied pieces of black yarn to look like a web.  And I glued little black spiders that I found at the Halloween store onto the web.  And that's that.  All in all it actually wasn't that much work, but this non-creative girl was pretty proud of herself this Halloween :)

In the morning we had Addy's preschool Halloween party, but I did not dress up for that because my costume was not made for sitting down, ha ha.  Therefore I threw Emma in Addy's old Lion costume and Addy wore her pig costume.

Emma was so good at the party even though she missed her morning nap (which usually equals cranky mess).  She just hung out in the stroller and watched the kids play :)

Here's the crew.  Just missing Nicholas, who was dressed as Scooby Doo, because he was having a two-year-old moment.  

Onto Trick-or-Treating.  Addy didn't really get it last year.  Mike took her to two or three houses and that was enough for her.  This year, she definitely got it.  Trick-or-Treating = candy, and there is nothing that my girl likes more than candy.  She was all about it this year and I think she would have kept going all night if I let her.  As it was, we just went up and down Tina's street and hit about 15 houses.  

Addy had no problem running up to the door all by herself, knocking, and saying "Trick-or-Treat!"

Addy was very polite, and said "Thank you", but Tina and I couldn't stop laughing because before the door was even closed she would come flying down the lawn yelling, "NEXT HOUSE!!"  She was so intent and focused, and watching those little toddler legs flailing out to the side as she ran, pig costume and all....well, we couldn't contain ourselves.  It was hilarious!  I instructed her to say "Happy Halloween" instead.  So she did that.... and then followed it up with an all out sprint while yelling "NEXT HOUSE!"

All in all, it was a very successful day, and I know that the girls (especially Addy) had lots of fun.  After Trick-or-Treating we came back to the house to help Uncle Jay hand out candy to the other Trick-or-Treaters.  (The great thing about toddlers is that they have no sense of time, so I told Addy it was all done after approximately 20 minutes, and she was fine with it.)  She was more than happy to see the other kids and get a head start on eating some of her loot.  Which ended in perhaps the biggest sugar high I've ever seen her on...She was wild!  But hey, it's Halloween!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fall Fun!

From pumpkin patches to fall festivals to park play dates, this season was full of fun for our little ladies!

We went to a fall festival with Julie and there was a guy carving things out of wood, which was cool to see.... but of course, it was too loud for Addy's sensitive ears ;)

Julie taking over the creative reins and helping Addy make a clay necklace :)

One of my favorite family photos!

Addy got her face painted for the first time!  Here she is admiring herself in the mirror :)

I love this sassy pic of her!  I actually made it the wallpaper on my phone :)

The firemen with their firetruck came to Addy's school and gave all of the kiddos these plastic fire hats.  Addy was loving life, and here she is holding hands with her sweet friend Charley :)

A sweet shot of our precious little Lou Sue:

Tina and I took the girls to the pumpkin patch, which was lots of fun!

It was unusually hot that day, so poor Addy was sweating to death.

 Despite the heat, Addy took her job seriously, and pulled around the wagon full of our "perfect" pumpkins :)

 After we got our pumpkins we headed over to the apple orchard to pick our own apples!

It was our first time doing this and we all loved it...

...even Emmy!

We spent lots of time at the park this fall, before it got too cold.  We would often head over after preschool with some of Addy's new friends.  The little girl to Addy's right is in her class.  The one on her left and the one on the bottom are siblings of her preschool classmates and they are both 5 and in kindergarten.  AKA, Addy's "best friends".  My daughter seriously thinks she's five years old, and she loves nothing more than playing with older children.  (The girl on the far right was just a random little girl at the park that day.) I love Addy's face in this pic!  She is so genuinely happy :) 

Speaking of older girls, here is Addy with her other "best friend" Maggie from next door:

I'm telling you, all you have to do is stick Addy next to an older child for her real smiles to come out :)  Love this photo!

One rainy day Tina and I took Addy to Wegmans for a special treat.  She was in heaven!

In other big news, Addy had her first real ponytail a few days ago!  It doesn't all fit, but we're finally getting there!

Running through the park chasing bubbles without a care in the world :) I love it!

When we moved in, several people told us that the Camp Hill Library is an excellent place to take little kids. They were right.  This library is awesome!  The whole bottom floor is the children's library, and along with books they have lots of fun toys for the kids to play with.  Both of my girls love it there :)

We often head up to Addy's friend Ben's house for play dates.  Here is Emmy in her own little ride, watching the big kids play:

Tina and I took the ladies to the park and I snagged this cute pic of Emmy and Tina:

...Then I thought I'd try to get a pic of Tina with Addy too.  Um, yeah:

After many, many attempts, I got one!

So this is what our autumn has looked like :)  The weather has been truly gorgeous since we moved here, so we took advantage of being outside as much as possible.  I know that the cold weather will be here to stay any day now... In fact, we got our first snow flurries of the year this morning!  Time to get re-acclimated to the PA winters!