11 Unforgettable Months

I’m officially done with PA school and trying to get caught up with Emmy’s “month-by-month” first year posts.  This is the final monthly post and the next will be her first birthday party post. These next two posts are long overdue, but Emmy is still cute as ever in the pictures! :)

Emmy turned 11 months old on September 17th. Here’s what happened during her last month as a “baby”!

Emmy had a fun month living it up as a sweet little baby. I know she will always be my “baby” but she sure did do some growing during her 11th month! I spent her 11th month on surgery rotation, which made the month go by even more quickly! We had a ton of fun planning her first birthday party and Emmy had a wonderful time celebrating!

Before her first birthday, Emmy and I attended a sweet baby shower for the fourth (yes, FOUR!) baby to be born in my PA school program! Yes, we have been a fertile group (some might even argue “crazy” would be a better descriptor)! There are 40 people in my class, and Emmy was the second baby born out of our group. If you include our two faculty members (one of which is my adviser who had her baby 6 short weeks before I gave birth to Emmy) who had babies during school, we have had SIX PA babies with one more due in MARCH!! And of all seven babies, only TWO have been girls! (And we ALL went to the same OB/GYN office, too!) So Emmy and I were very excited to attend Elise’s shower for Baby M who also happens to be a little girl :) Baby M is joining a very special group and we are so excited to meet her soon!

At the shower, Emmy loved playing with little Timothy, who is six months older than her. I have relied on his mommy so much for help/guidance when I found out I was pregnant with her during school, and she has been my first resource for basically everything “baby” ever since. It was so sweet to watch our now toddlers playing together. :) We have prayed fervently over these babies and I love seeing them thriving and seeing us near the END of PA school, finally!

Also of note, Emmy had her first little temper tantrum during this month. I remember being so startled when I saw her sitting on the floor playing nicely then all of a sudden, she threw her head down to the floor in front of her and sobbed uncontrollably when I said “no, no” as she put a piece of dirt in her mouth. I wasn’t sure what the heck to do and as I was still considering my options, she picked herself up and walked away as if nothing had happened. Yep. That was fun. We had further discipline issues when Emmy realized she could bang her blocks on our glass screen door and make a very loud noise. She did it a couple times, I told her no, and she stopped. For about 5 seconds. Then she watched for my reaction as she banged the blocks again. So I took the two blocks from her. Cue: 2nd temper tantrum. What happened next was a bit of a surprise – she stopped crying, stood up, and walked over to her toy box and proceeded to remove two more blocks and went right back to banging on the glass. I was torn between being proud of her problem-solving skills and dismayed because she clearly defied my directions. Something tells me I may be feeling that same paradox of emotion for the next 18 years….

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EM @ 11 Months

Weight: 24.5 lbs

Firsts: Temper tantrums, first trip to the Wayne County Regional Fair, FIRST STEPS! We had been watching this girl pulling up on the couch and taking baby steps all along the length of the couch for several weeks now. She decided to take her first steps at daycare, but we were so lucky to have such wonderful teachers with a cell phone video always nearby. They sent us a quick video of her first steps at daycare. I am so grateful for the attention and love she receives at WCS when I can’t be there myself. LOVE that daycare!

Sizes: Still in 12-18 months clothes. Diapers: Size 5

Likes: Emmy started eating lots of new things this month and basically eats whatever we eat. She does (somehow) already know what dessert is and looks like, though. She gets excited and kicks her little feet when she sees something with pretty icing or anything gooey. She also loves big white marshmallows. She loves marshmallows so much, that one day she found a bag of cotton balls and got so excited… She eagerly shoved the bag in my direction and made grunting noises (translated means: OPEN! OPEN!) and so I did. She quickly stuffed one inside her mouth and I will never forget the LOOK of disappointment she had when she realized this particular big white ball was NOT the edible kind and she spit it back out!! LOL :)

Dislikes: Being told “no” and cold baby wipes! She is a picky wee one. :)

 

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Letter to Emmy

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My darling Emerson Mae,

We celebrated your first birthday as a family this weekend and it was so much fun! I know your favorite part was having all your little cousins and friends to run and play with on your “new and improved” jungle gym set that your Granddaddy made for you. You laughed and walked as fast as your newly walking legs could take you.

I can’t believe you were born one year ago today. It was so vivid, and a little bit of a blur all at the same time. I will never forget the morning you were born. You were born by an elective cesarean section, as recommended by our obstetrician. We arrived at the hospital the morning of my surgery and I could tell your daddy was scared as we parked the car. I was ready to meet you, but he was so worried about what could happen if something went wrong. We cried as your daddy covered us all with prayer, right there in the parking lot of the hospital. But I wasn’t scared, little one. God gave me such a beautiful peace that morning. So I prayed that He would give that to your daddy, too.

As we went through registration and made our way to the pre-op holding area, I changed into my hospital gown and had IV fluids started. I think my prayers were answered, as your daddy started getting very goofy and giddy with excitement while we were in holding. He started taking pictures of EVERYTHING! He didn’t want to miss a thing. I just wanted it all to hurry up so I could meet you… :)

Eventually, I said goodbye to your daddy and he was taken to the room next to the OR where he waited for you to be delivered. As soon as your daddy had to leave me, I started to panic. I was terrified. I started shaking and crying on the table. I knew what to expect as our doctors and nurses had explained everything, multiple times. But the fear was overwhelming. We had an angel of a CRNA that helped to keep me as calm as possible and explained everything that was happening as it occurred. Soon your daddy came back into the OR and my tears would not stop, even with him by my side. When the surgeon asked me if I was ready to see you, I excitedly said “yes!!” and he lifted you out of my tummy. Every bit of my fear was washed away the moment I saw you.

You came into this world screaming!  Your cries were so loud, but so, so beautiful to us. I remember one of the nurses commented that you had a “powerful” set of lungs! You screamed the entire time the nurses washed you, weighed you, and checked your vitals. You screamed so much, until finally they placed you near my face while the surgeon closed my incision, and I finally got to say “hello.” When you heard me speaking to you for the first time, you stopped crying completely! It was the most amazing moment for me. I knew you knew exactly who I was. You knew I was your mommy, and I knew you were going to change my life completely.

You were born on the first day of the NC state fair last year, and so each night we were in the hospital, we excitedly watched the amazing fireworks show from our hospital room window. Your daddy and I have watched the NC state fair fireworks show together every year since 2009. It was like the Lord was giving us our own mini celebration each night! You had so many visitors in the hospital – so many family members that drove over an hour to meet you in all your precious, new baby glory.  You had us all wrapped around your sweet finger from day one!

Once we finally brought you home, I was kind of a mess the first few weeks you were in our life. I was terrified I couldn’t take care of you as well as you needed me too. I felt overwhelmed, nervous, anxious, emotional, and exhausted 24/7. Your daddy stayed home with us for the first week. When he went back to work, your GiGi came over our first day alone together and she helped me so much. I cried when your daddy left, cried when GiGi got there, cried when GiGi left, and cried with your daddy got home. There were lots of tears from you AND me in the beginning. Eventually, though, we got into a beautiful routine. You knew I would always be there for you no matter what you needed, and I learned to take care of you as best I could. You started wanting only me around, and I felt needed and loved by you. That made me happier and more confident that I could take care of you! We had a wonderful 11 weeks together on maternity leave before I went back to school and I will never forget that special time with you.

This past year has been an absolute whirlwind! It has been so wonderful to watch you grow and develop your own little personality. I felt like we both met milestone after milestone because you were growing with me through clinical rotations. Every one of my preceptors have been impressed by you being in my life during school, and they all grew to know and love you through all the hundreds of pictures I share of you each day. You were also a huge hit when you were still in my belly when I was on rotation, and you were given so many gifts from patients! The Lord knew just what He was doing by sending you to your daddy and me when He did. You have given me so much determination, focus, and drive to get through PA school. Not to mention that because of you, I could truly empathize with my OB patients, and in being a patient in general. You are my very best motivator and have pushed mommy to get through some very difficult times! I couldn’t have made it through school without you, your daddy, and the favor of the Lord, and I thank you for that sweet girl.

My little Emmy, I love you so much and look forward to all of the “next steps” with you. Yes, your first birthday has made me miss all of our time together when you were a tiny baby. But this life is so fleeting, that we should dare not spend more time in the past than the precious gift we have been given to live life in the present. You are such a light in our world and a joy in our home. You are the most amazing little girl, and a most precious child of GOD!  Your daddy and I are so blessed to have you in our lives. We cannot wait to watch you learn and grow, and pray you will grow through this life being friends with Jesus and teaching others about that friendship, too. We have so many things we want to teach you, yet you teach us something new every single day.  I pray you always keep your “powerful set of lungs” by speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves, and showing the love of Christ to all those around you. Above all, I hope you always feel how much you are LOVED. Happy FIRST birthday, beautiful girl. We can’t wait to celebrate every day with you!

I love you little Goosey.

Mommy

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Fall Break

Can’t believe it is already Oct. 26th (the eve of my 27th birthday). Where did this semester go?

Yesterday we had an anatomy test at 8am and 2 hours/100 questions on Endocrine, Digestion, Reproduction and the Urinary system later,  my brain is STILL trying to recover.  So here goes my post on Fall Break…two weeks later. What can I say, It is what it is, people!

Thursday, aka Fall Break Day 1:

  • Early morning manicure with my sweet PA friend, Alex, where we chatted all about her engagement shoot that was happening that weekend in Asheville (which turned out AMAZING by the way!)
  • Lunch with my BFF Erin at Cafe Cattura and dessert at Sugarland in Cameron Village, aka my Happy Place!
  • Farm Worker’s Clinic with one of my PA school instructors.  This was an awesome experience for me. I got to do my first breast exam on a patient, saw a gentleman who decided to remove his own cast after breaking his ankle because he wanted to make sure his “meat was growing back with the bone” along with some other fairly awesome cases…all in SPANISH! I left the clinic with a renewed hope of becoming fluent in Spanish AND a bit of an obsession with the idea of doing a Spanish medical immersion program. But, I have to get my degree first so no carts before the horse.

Friday, aka Fall Break Day 2:

  • The Tar Heel took the day off so we got to spend an entire weekday together!! It was amazing!  I cannot tell you how much I have missed him during this little “venture” into PA school. We’ve had to do a lot of adjusting and sacrificing of time for each other so it was nice to just “be” for one day. We had no agenda, no plans and total relaxation. We ended up relaxing the whole day and rounding out the evening with seeing Old Habits play downtown at 42nd Street Oyster Bar.  My lil Ave and her husband, Grant, made an appearance and so did Erin and her beau, Sammy.  It was a LOT of fun. So much fun I forgot how long it has been since I was able to enjoy a glass of wine and boy did I make up for lost time that night.  But I had the BEST time with my girls. True friends are really priceless.

Saturday, aka Fall Break Day 3:

  • Recovered from Fall Break Day (night) 2.
  • Made a spontaneous decision to go to Naylor Family Farms with Riley and the Tar Heel where we experienced the Corn Maze, picked a couple of pumpkins and went on a hay ride. The Tar Heel also insisted on taking Riley down two giant slides and he actually LOVED it. Me on the other hand — I was a basket case thinking Riley was going to try and jump off or get hurt.  I am already nervous thinking about our kids and their destiny of shenanigans given their father’s adventurous childhood… eeek!! Glad that’s far away :)

Sunday, aka Fall Break Day 4:

  • Went to an awesome church service at Hope Community Church – Holly Springs campus!!
  • Relaxed a bit more….
  • ….and finally said goodbye to Fall Break and wound up studying for my Pharmacotherapeutics test the following Tuesday. All good things must come to an end!

We let Riley Roo lead the way.  He got us lost. A lot…

Had to throw in the last few pictures from our State Fair trip… oh my goodness we had so much fun. Even though it didn’t happen over Fall Break I just had to include these pics :)

Happy Fall Y’all

Fall is upon us and while I wish I had time to write all about our wonderful Fall Break adventures, tomorrow brings a new school day and thus a new day of too much to do and too little time.  So for now, I’ll post a few pictures displaying my apparent obsession with scarecrows.  I had NO IDEA how many scarecrow-related fall decor items I own until I started to take these pics and realized there were a few too many straw faces and flannel shirts.  I haven’t decided if I should break this up a bit or keep on going with my quirky little scarecrow fetish. Either way they are sticking around unless the Tar Heel decides he isn’t a fan.  So far, though, no complaints from my sweet husby…:)

Riley is not a scarecrow but he is clearly not a fan of his mommy’s attention being anywhere else!

YAY for Fall! :)

Fall Family Tradition

I’m in Raleigh again this week training and am missing my Tar Heel some kind of fierce.  I know I signed up for this when I accepted a traveling position, but I guess I thought it would be easier to spend five days and four nights apart.  It really is anything but easy.  I am a worrier, too, and so when I can’t reach the Tar Heel during my breaks, I immediately assume the absolute worst and my mind spirals out of control imagining my life without him.  It is AWFUL!.  Fortunately, these weeks in Raleigh are insanely busy and I rarely have time to let my mind wander to such horrible thoughts.  I am lucky if my mind gets to wander at all, actually. But these intense work conditions are my strong suit.  I thrive on challenges and staying busy, so it all works out in the end. 

But no matter how busy I am, I always make time for the important stuff.  I may have mentioned a few hundred times here on the blog that my favorite time of year is the fall.  I love everything about it.  The weather, the colors, the fair, college football season,  the smell of apple cider (even if it’s coming from a candle) hanging in the air.  And there is one more big, round, and orange reason I love the fall.  PuMpKiNs!  Naturally, with such a heightened affinity for all things Autumnal, I am hosting Pumpkin Fest 2011 at our home in Georgia this year.

The Tar Heel and I  will partake in some of the best Pumpkin Goodness and Fall Fun this glorious season has to offer.  Pumpkin Fest 2011 will include Pumpkin Pickin, Carve-Off, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, and featuring a fall music lineup consisting of “Autumn Leaves,” “September Song,” and probably a little James Taylor just because. I can’t think of another artist that reminds me more of glorious fall in my home state, the lovely Land of the Pines.  And since I decided to decorate our home September 1st this year, I think we may have to add a few hundred more mini pumpkins for the occasion. I am getting excited just thinking about it.  I decided to build this little gem for fun to send to the Tar Heel.  I think he may have thought I was kidding , but I was being oh-so-serious.

Bring on the PUMPKINS!  -PF 2011