Eight sweet months

blog1blog2

On June 17th, Emmy turned 8 months old.  It is so hard to believe our little girl is getting close to turning 1 year!  I have loved this past month so much and enjoyed watching Emmy grow.  Emmy had a wonderful month while mommy completed her OB/GYN rotation in Smithfield.  It was such an amazing experience to deliver 15 babies into the world, and each one of them reminded me of the day Emmy was born.  It was such a sacred day, and one filled with so much joy.  I have her birth story written, but just don’t know if I will ever have the courage to post it.  Some intimate details, like how Emmy was born, are just too precious.  I feel the need to guard and protect their perfect memories, saved for me and my little family alone to enjoy.  And, I feel the same protective nature for the perfect memories I have of each of those sweet babies I was honored to delivered. They brought me SO MUCH joy over the course of five weeks!

So yes, I’m searching for a job in women’s health.  But, that search and all it entails is for another blog post altogether. Back to Emmy.  :) She had a HUGE MILESTONE this month!  Our precious Emerson Mae started CRAWLING!!!!!  Just days after turning 8 months, she was off to the races!  It was a bit of a slow start to begin with, but with each attempt she got faster and faster until now she is a crawling MACHINE.  It was so fun to watch the evolution of learning to crawl to crawling, because she would get so frustrated by knowing she was SO CLOSE and then she was so happy once she figured it out!  She would smile and giggle and dart across the room in seconds.

Because she started crawling, she also started losing some of her little baby fat. :(  I am disappointed by this, but I know she is growing into a little girl and I am ok with that.  I know she is going to be a handful in the coming months, but she hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk this whole time!  She is a determined, some what stubborn, but very loving little girl.  So I am excited to see her personality growing every single day!

This month we celebrated Father’s day and Emmy’s first fourth of July.  We headed to the beach for July 4th and came back just in time for me to start a rotation in the Emergency Department.  She loved her time at the beach as always.  We also took Emmy to one of our favorite restaurants, Southern Exposure, for the first time.  She lovvvvveeeeeeed the mashed potatoes!  We went in celebration of my parent’s 42nd wedding anniversary!  I can’t wait for me and Dustin to celebrate 42 years. :)  We are well on our way seeing as how we met 10 years ago today! ;)

Emmy still hasn’t got anymore teeth yet but we expect some to peek through any day. She has become a pro at waving hello and goodbye and she has conquered the words “dada” and “baba” though we are still working on “mama.”  She does this hilarious motorboating noise with her mouth and anytime you do the same to her she will repeat it back to you.  She is starting to develop a little shyness around new people or people she has not seen in a while and can get some stranger anxiety as well.  I don’t mind this so much since she clings to me and hugs my neck for all she is worth when she gets nervous. :) I gladly take the hugs, but know we have to encourage her to not be afraid of others when she is with us.

Since she started crawling, she is exploring more than ever.  And she is SO smart.  In the first three or four days that she started crawling, I probably said the word “No no” more than I have ever in my entire life.  She is definitely learning the meaning of this word.  She is learning so much about how to manipulate objects and loves mundane things like wooden spoons, tupperware, and plastic cups much more than her toys.  She also recently started protesting diaper changes. Like screeching cries, turning over and refusing to roll back over, to allow us to finish changing her while basically being very uncooperative.  My mom asked one of the daycare teachers if she had begun acting out like this for them, and they said “Oh, yes, she did that couple times.” So my mom asked how they managed to deal with it, and Ms. Eula said very simply “Well, you tell her NO.”  My mom and I laughed because that seemed very obvious and we felt silly we had put up with her shenanigans for several days.  The next diaper change when she started rolling over, we very sternly put her on her back and said “NO Emmy” and she started up at us with the most puzzled look on her face, as if to say, “How do YOU know that word, too?!?!”.  We thought it was so funny!  She quit acting out immediately and we proceeded to change her diaper in peace…  Gotta love those daycare ladies! :)

IMG_8084

EM @ 8 Months

Weight: 21 lbs (down 1.5 lbs since crawling!) :(

Firsts: Crawling!  She also enjoyed eating at Southern Exposure for the first time, and she tried lots of new foods including fresh corn, fresh figs, macaroni and cheese, and watermelon.

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

Likes: Her new found freedom in crawling!  She also loves her new pink swing her granddaddy got for her.  They could spend hours and hours swinging together.  She loves being outdoors in general and will crawl to her stroller when she is ready for her evening stroll.  She has us all wrapped around her tiny little finger.

Dislikes: Diaper changes (still), hearing the word NO, and peaches.  She is NOT a peach fan!

 

gurleygirls

 

Glimpses

IMG_7089Melissa DeLorme Photography

This fall marks five years since Dustin and I began dating. Shortly after we started dating, Dustin asked me to go with him to his grandparent’s beach house in Surf City one weekend. He was so eager for me to go, I finally agreed to take some time off from work and we drove down one weekend in October when the weather was just starting to turn cool and well past the beach going season. I’ll never forget that first trip to the beach house.

As we walked up the steps to the house, he stopped just outside the door and said “Oh, by the way, you may want to know who you’re about to meet. My grandparents Mema and Papa, Mrs. Snow who is like another grandparent. Also, my mom Kay, cousin Jerri-Rae, her husband Robbie, my aunt Brenda, uncle Jerry, and my niece Karis. And my sister Lindsey and her husband Jarred. And maybe my other cousin Luke and his wife Jamie.”

OH BY THE WAY?! I thought. He couldn’t have mentioned I was about to meet his ENTIRE family on the two hour drive there? We had only been seeing each other for about two months at that point, so this was kind of a big deal. I stammered out a weak “O…K…” as we stepped inside. Lucky for me, they were all there! Literally, right there. Sitting at the kitchen table eating dinner as we walked through the door. Mema and Papa jumped up to greet me. I went to shake Papa’s hand and instead, he hugged me. He told me “Sorry if you don’t like hugs, but we hug people around here.” I instantly settled in for one of many delicious meals made by Mema and completely forgot how nervous I was just moments before.

I’ve always said that weekend was one of the weekends that changed everything for me. I loved seeing Dustin interact with his family, and it was evident he was in his element at the beach house. We had a great time fishing, eating, and enjoying each other’s company that weekend. More importantly, though, I caught glimpses of what my future might be like with this amazing man. And I fell for him hook, line and sinker. I couldn’t get enough of the love this family shared, and seeing Dustin so happy there was the best part. His kindness and genuine concern for his grandparents melted my heart. He was so sweet and so thoughtful. And let’s be honest – he was always sweet and thoughtful to me, but we were dating at the time. I was supposed to be treated sweetly and thoughtfully! How he acted towards his family showed me that his kind and thoughtful nature was truly sincere.

I also vividly remember how well he loved his beautiful niece Karis. She was just six years old at the time, and her wavy blond hair and constant smile was contagious. He acted like he was just smitten with her, and her with him. He picked her up and gently tossed her tiny little body in the air above his head over and over again. Hearing her giggle float through the air was the sweetest sound. Again, I was weak in the knees from glimpses of all that could be with his great man. That weekend was just the beginning of our story and I knew it was going to be a good one.

Fast forward to this Memorial Day weekend when I made the two hour drive to that same beach house once more with my sweet Dustin, now my husband of three years. This time, however, was even more special than our first trip. This time we had our own darling baby girl in tow, visiting the beach house for her very first time.

Yet again, that beautiful home on Sea Manor Lane gifted me with glimpses of an amazing life ahead with my sweet Dustin. Dustin was just as excited to introduce our sweet Emmy Mae to the easy going, love-filled life at the beach house as he was to share it with me that weekend five years ago. I was amazed that even though Dustin and I have been married for three years and we welcomed our sweet girl over seven months ago, I was able to see him in a new light at the beach house. And it was glorious. He was just so elated to share the memories he loved and cherished so dearly growing up with a little girl of his own, and it filled me with joy. He was so excited for her first boat ride. Her first sips of Mema’s lemonade. Her first bites of Papa’s homemade peach ice cream. Her first time visiting the Point, and her first swim in the ocean.  Her first visit to Sear’s Landing. Her first nap under Aunt Brenda’s tree. Her first walk around Atkinson Point. Her first night sleeping with the windows open and an ocean breeze so heavenly no restless baby could resist falling fast to sleep.

I always knew the beach house was a special place for my husband, but I had no idea how special he would make it for our daughter. He was so proud to show her off and to give her the experience he loved so much growing up.

On this Father’s day, I am reminded of these moments and all the ups and downs we’ve encountered in the past that brought us to today. I am beyond grateful to be married to someone who is so present, so loving, and so meant to be a husband and father. He is more than I could ever ask for – not just for me, but for my daughter as well. There are SO many more examples I could give of all the wonderful, sacrificial acts of love that my husband shows to me and our baby on a daily basis.  I can remember so many times shortly after giving birth that I was in awe of the man I married and how strong he was for the both of us.  I give all the glory and praise to my Heavenly Father for bringing Dustin into my life, and also for weekends at the beach house filled with glimpses of all that HE has in store for us. Happy Father’s Day to my love! Emmy and I cannot thank you enough and we do not deserve you, but we are so glad you are ours.

12345

With love from your gurleygirls

 

 

Six Months

EmmyEaster_6

Emmy turned 7 months old yesterday! Let’s take a look back at her BIG sixth month of life. Happy Half birthday baby girl!

Emerson Mae had a big month full of firsts. Just a few days after turning six months old, she started attending daycare. We were so blessed to have Dustin’s mom keep Emmy during the day and my mom in the evening for several months before starting daycare. I cannot thank them enough for making my transition back to rotations in January much easier knowing she was in the hands of a loved one, and delaying our start to daycare until six months. I wanted to wait until six months when her little immune system was stronger and she had mastered holding her head up on tummy time. I am so grateful the timing worked out where a spot opened up at the daycare just before she turned 6 months after being on the waiting list for almost one year! Coincidentally, her first day at daycare was also my first day of rotation at WakeMed in Raleigh. It was a big day for us all! Fortunately, we both had great experiences and we continue to love her daycare so much! As it turns out, one of her morning caregivers is the same lady who took care of me at my daycare 20-“something” years ago! ;) I turned out pretty good so we’re happy with that!

_DSC7627 (2)

_DSC7712 (2)

We had two more big milestones in Emmy’s life at six months. First, Emmy was baptized on Easter Sunday! Emmy was a little angel that day. It was so special to have her baptized in the same church where I was baptized as an infant and in the presence of our family and friends. We had a beautiful service and my sweet cousin, Beth, sang a gorgeous acoustic rendition of Lead Me to the Cross.  She also sang at our wedding, and we were so happy she agreed to sing during this special event in our lives as well.  Emmy wore a new Christening gown, but had on my Christening gown slip and wore the same cross I wore during my baptism.  She also had the flower I wore on our wedding day on her headband.  I can’t believe that three years ago this March when we got married, we didn’t know what our baby would be like or when we would even have a baby. But the Lord already knew her, already loved her, and planned her just for us.   We pray over our roles as parents daily, and we pray Emmy will develop a deep and meaningful relationship with Christ one day as well. Her baptism is an outward symbol of our hope and commitment to raising her in a Christian home. And let’s be honest: Raising a baby is hard. We cannot do this alone, and we are so grateful for all the support we receive from our family and friends daily and especially on that day. We are so thankful for their prayers over our little family. It was such a special day to watch our beautiful little girl being baptized and made me so proud to be her mommy, and Dustin’s wife. He is an amazing spiritual leader and challenges me to deepen my relationship with Christ on a regular basis. He is setting a wonderful example for our daughter, and I cannot thank God enough for bringing us together to share this journey.

_DSC7826 (2)

Emmy and her daddy certainly have a special relationship. I don’t think this was any more evident than the day she said her first word, “DaDa”! We were able to get it on video and it is the cutest thing ever, and I have probably watched it 50+ times. She is the BEST!

EmmyEaster_14

Emmy had another first this month, although this is one we weren’t so happy about. She got a very bad stomach bug and we ended up taking her to WakeMed after she had gone several hours without eating and was vomiting and had diarrhea. I was worried things could take a turn for the worst very quickly, especially at her young age, so we went to the children’s ED and she stayed there for several hours until she was able to keep milk down after 2 doses of Zofran. Bless her little heart. It was so hard seeing her so weak and lethargic. I’m so thankful everything turned out ok and her body was able to fight it. I am blessed to be able to give her breast milk which helps her fight viruses and bacterial infections like this one. She bounced back after a few days and was her sweet, adorable little self before we knew it.

EM @ Six Months

Weight: 21lbs, 24inches.  95th percentile for head, 96th percentile for weight, 25th percentile for length (she’s chunky, in a good baby way!)

Firsts: Baptism on Easter Sunday, First word: “dada”, first time in the hospital :(, first Easter.  First time trying squash, garden peas, and bananas.  The bananas were a hit. The squash and garden peas were NOT!

Sizes: Still wearing size 9-12 months in clothes and size 5 diapers.

Likes: Rolling, almost crawling/pseudocrawling, and WATER! This girl is a bit of a hazard risk around water. She LOVES it. I am TERRIFIED for taking her to the beach this summer. I am going to be a nervous wreck watching her around the OCEAN!!! This girl is getting swimming lessons, STAT.

Dislikes: Squash, garden peas. The faces she makes when we try to give them to her are priceless, though!! J

gurleygirls

 

Five Months

1961801_1432483350323207_1422382435_o

Ohhh this is all happening too fast! I can barely keep up with my sweet girl.

Emmy turned five months old on St. Patrick’s Day. And, just days after she turned five months old, she finally started rolling over! Once she got the hang of it, she really loved it!  We could lay her down on the floor and she would go from one end of the room to the next within seconds, or so it seemed.  We knew then our world was changing a little bit with this new skill!  Emmy also started another big milestone in her fifth month of life.  Two weeks before she turned six months old, she stopped sleeping through the night and suddenly wanted to wake up 1-2x each night to eat.  Our little girl has always been a healthy eater, but she has been an ever better sleeper than we could have ever hoped for. SO, when this new hunger pain started hitting in the middle of the night we decided to call our pediatrician for the green light on solids.  She suggested Emmy was no longer completely satisfied on breast milk and that we could go ahead and start supplementing with rice cereal.  Emmy had been intently watching us eat and mimicking chewing for several weeks, and so the first time I brought the bowl of rice cereal to her, she got VERY excited! It was as if to say “Finally, MY turn!” It was so sweet to watch her trying to figure out what this new “substance” was that we were feeding her. Fortunately, it was an easy transition as we soon found out we couldn’t feed the rice cereal to her fast enough!

10003840_10201566150621632_842906077_o

EM @ Five Months

Weight: ~19lbs, ~22.5inches

Firsts: Solid foods (rice cereal, carrots) and we are officially rolling over! Emmy also went to her first tee ball game to see her cousin Dane and cousin Wilder play in their first game. She was a trooper! I think she loved their brightly colored t-shirts. J Emmy also got to meet her newest cousin, baby Bradley, born March 24th.

Sizes: Still wearing size 9-12 months in clothes and size 4 diapers.

Likes: Rolling, rolling, rolling!!  And her jumpy.  We officially packed away the mamaroo as her sweetness can no longer fit inside comfortably and the motor sounds like it is dying under her weight! hah.  She also loves walking outside with Grandma in the evenings.

Dislikes: Diaper changes are getting tricky since she prefers  to roll over than sit still for them :) She also isn’t a fan of squash! Love learning her likes and dislikes as she grows!!

gurleygirls

Two Sweet Months

2monthsMiss Emmy Mae is already two months old!  I can’t believe how fast time is flying by.  She had her two months visit today and we suffered through two more shots.  That was harder for me than her, I’m sure. Something about seeing her chubby little thighs being injected and her tiny little face all tear-filled and crying… breaks my heart!  BUT, evidence based medicine wins out on this one.

The past month has been one of fun and learning for this little one.  Her personality is shining through and getting brighter every single day!  She makes me laugh so much.  I am loving being her mom a little more every second.  This month she learned how to cry and get her way (already!).  She also has been doing great with tummy time and holding her head up a little longer on her own.  The BEST thing that happened this month…. her bright smile every time she sees me enter a room!  The Lord really knew what he was doing with that one.  There’s nothing like seeing your baby so happy to see you!  I have also enjoyed seeing her fascination with watching me talk.  She stares at my mouth as I talk to her about any and everything… and then she tries to get a little response out. It is adorable! She twists her tongue and contorts her mouth like she is trying so hard to say something back.  She can usually muster up a little “ahh” in response.

Also this month Miss Emmy went to college for the first time!  Well, in person, anyway.  She finally met all of my classmates at our clinical seminar day.  It was so exciting!  She stared at several of them as if to say, “something seems familiar about you…”  and I really believe she recognized their voices.  It was such an exciting day for the both of us. Everyone seemed so happy to meet her and just doted on her all day long.  It was so sweet :)

EM @ Two Months

Weight:     11lbs, 11oz (WAhoooo!!!)

Firsts: First full day away from mommy (stayed home with super dad!), met Santa, first responsive smiles, first visit to Campbell, and first college sporting event (Duke @ UNC football game – Pope Box tix!)

Sizes: Officially out of newborn, and in 3 months, though 3-6 month size is a little less snug than 3 months! Wearing Size 2 diapers (omg!).

Likes: Her PACI! Being held (always), baby einstein pandora station, mommy’s milk (drinking 4-6oz at each feeding now) and cuddling with mommy.

Dislikes: We aren’t a huge fan of tummy time, but it’s getting better every day!

collageClockwise from top left: Our bar sink is now “stocked” with breastfeeding supplies instead of alcohol, my adorable Gerber baby with her dried milk chin and ridiculously beautiful eyes, Emmy waving hello in her sweet cupcake sleeper, and finally the pouty lip of all pouty lips…this girl is going to be spoiled ROTTEN!

collage2Clockwise from top left: Getting ready to go to cousin Dane’s birthday party, Emmy sound asleep on her favorite spot: Granddaddy, Emmy at her first church service watching cousin Wilder sing Silent Night, and finally.. mommy and daddy got to get all dressed up for a night out at the Law Ball!

collage3

Clockwise from top left: An outtake with Granddaddy trying to make her smile, getting SO good at holding her head up!, at today’s visit just before her shots (:(), and finally…my girl has a big head. And that’s not surprising given how big her daddy’s head is. ;)

Merry Christmas! Love,

gurleygirls