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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Christmas 2014 in Pictures

I have so many drafts of posts in process (including Emmy’s 11 months and 12 months posts) but I wanted to get this special post up. We have enjoyed Christmas 2014 so very much, and we are SO thankful for everything that has transpired this season and every day in 2014. It has been an incredibly challenging, but also very rewarding and wonderful year. So I wanted to do a quick “post in pictures” of all our happenings from December 9 through to the New Year!

December 9, 2014 – I completed and passed my final summative piece of PA school, confirming my ability to walk with my class during graduation and long white coat ceremonies, despite having one rotation left. THIS was a very big deal to me – I started with my class in August 2012, and I was determined to walk with them at graduation, even though I had to take some time off for maternity leave. And it worked out that way, Praise God! Before the official ceremonies, we celebrated as a class at Raleigh Brewing Co. complete with pizza and a slideshow!
1December 12-13, 2014 – Long White Coat Ceremony & PA Program Graduation
The long awaited day had finally arrived when I would receive my Long white coat.  I’ve come a long way since getting my Short white coat in August 2012!  I had no idea I would be graduating with a 14-month-old when I started this program but I am so thankful for HIS plans for me! :)

2December 14, 2014 – We played at Carter’s Playce for my nephew Dane’s 5th birthday party! Emmy insisted on sitting at the table with the big kids. She is so growny! The next day, we picked out a tree from the Country fruit stand and then had major toddler meltdowns with the strands of lights during the decorating process.  We also had some fun with them, too. :)

3December 18. 2014 – We had a family fun day! We started out the day in Bass Pro Shops to get our picture taken with Santa.  This was our third attempt at meeting/sitting with Santa, and it was the third time Emmy hated it!  Bless her heart. She loved the shopping though, and tried to pick up a little electric four wheeler all by herself. Tough Girl!

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After Bass Pro shops, we headed to Marbles Kids Museum!  It was Emmy’s first trip to Marbles, and she loved it!  She especially loved the little mini corvette, the bassinets with the babies and blankets (she kept taking wrapping them up) and the painting area!

5Since this was my first time to marbles, I had no idea that Keith Norval painted the stools in the creative arts area! I LOVE him and even own one of his pieces!

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The following days were filled with more shopping, taking home our sweet crafts from daycare, our first Christmas celebration at the Pearson Open House and mommy practicing some of her clinical skills on Emmy.

6December 21, 2014 – Emmy was an angel in the church Christmas play.  Last year she was Baby Jesus.  We were even more proud of this year’s performance!

IMG_0656December 24, 2014 – We celebrated Christmas Eve with Gigi, Aunt Lindsey, Scott, cousins Karis and Brannon, Aunt Joanna and Uncle Drake and then Christmas Eve night we celebrated with the Sullivan clan!  It was such a fun day/night and Emmy loved all the attention, food, and time with family.  I loved seeing Dustin’s face as he opened a new lens from his mom!  He got so excited and was completely surprised.  The best :)

7December 25, 2014 – Merry Christmas!  We celebrated with our little family by opening gifts and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, then we went to my parent’s for lunch and dinner.  Emmy had so much fun playing with her cousin Dane!

8December 26-28, 2014 – We went to the Valley Creek Lights show in Clayton and Emmy was mesmerized! We also spent the days after Christmas lounging, spending time with family, and celebrating cousin North’s baby dedication! We even got a chance to cook some of the ribeye steaks we won in Dirty Santa :)

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We have loved these last few days together before going back to my FINAL rotation and back to work for Dustin.  I’ve had two additional job interviews during my time off so I’m praying for that situation as well!  We spent New Years Eve riding around on our new golf cart (so fun) and went to dinner at Kobe where Emmy devoured her hibachi chicken and shrimp.  She is a good little eater!  I also cherish the time we spent with friends over the holidays, including my dear friends Matt and Amy who live in Baltimore but were in town for the holidays, and my sweet friend Averi and her almost one-year-old Georgia Mac!

1011In many ways I am sad to see this year go.  I loved watching Emmy grow up from a baby to a little toddler over the last few months and I am going to miss these milestones, for sure.  But we also look forward to what 2015 will bring and pray for health, happiness and a peace that can only come from Jesus!

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Nine Months

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Fotor0901225522I can’t believe it.  Emmy has officially been outside of my belly longer than she was inside!  And, much like my pregnancy did, these months have flown by.  Here’s what’s happened during Emmy’s ninth month!

Our precious girl is becoming more and more independent each day, and I am blessed to watch her grow.  She is crawling so well, and has started pulling up and standing up on her own or by balancing with someone (or something).  I can’t believe how much she changed from a “young baby” to an “older baby” over night. She lost those extremely chubby cheeks and now has only “somewhat” chubby cheeks. ;) She has learned how to wave and say ByeBye like a pro!

Emmy thoroughly enjoyed her nine month photo session with the amazing Amanda of Millie Holloman Photography.  Millie was there to help and make funny faces/silly noises, too.  It was AWESOME to finally meet them!  We traveled all the way to Wilmington for the shoot, which was the PERFECT excuse to enjoy one of our favorite cities!  We stayed with Dustin’s sweet brother and sister-in-law, which is always a treat.  After the shoot, we headed to Elijah’s on the water, where Dustin and I had our wedding reception three years ago.  It was wonderful to take our beautiful little girl to the place where we enjoyed our first few hours as husband and wife, now as a family of three. :)

The majority of Emmy’s ninth month, I was on rotation in the emergency department.  I was working crazy hours (2pm-12am, five days a week) and I missed my girl so much. We managed to get through it, though.  She had her first awful cold just a few days into my rotation, and two nights in a row she was still up with her daddy when I got home around 12:30am. So I stayed up with her those nights and walked the halls until she drifted to sleep, several hours later.  It reminded me of her days as a newborn, when I would stare at the clock and think “I HATE YOU, 4AM.”  It seems to me, no one should be awake at 4am. And I was awake every morning at 4am until Emmy was about 10 weeks old.  Then, like a light switch, she started sleeping through the night and I was able to sleep through the 4:00am hour once more. :)

I was off one full week this month and so Emmy and I got to spend a lot of time making up our moments apart during my ER rotation. We even went to Wilmington again, this time with Gigi and cousin Karis to have a girl’s trip with Aunt Joanna.  It was such a great time and I loved seeing my little girl interacting with her big cousin and Aunt and Gigi.  She loves them all so much!

Emmy also went with me to Campbell University on the last day of my week off for my very last Convocation, EVER!!!  ALL of my classmates and faculty members gushed over how precious little Emmy was and she lovvvveeed the attention.  She waved ByeBye to everyone, and it was so sweet! I was so proud of my darling little girl, and loved showing her off to everyone.  She is such a blessing to me, and I can’t imagine my life without this girl!  She is everything I could ever hope for and more.  I had no idea I could love someone so much… :)

 

EM @ 9 Months

Weight: 22.5 lbs

Firsts: Emmy saw Elijah’s for the first time, and she enjoyed their famous crab dip. She loved it!  She also got to see Uncle Drake and Aunt Joanna’s house for the first time.  She loved eating yogurt for the first time, and we discovered she is quite the fun little shopping buddy. Emmy MOVED UP to the N2 nursery room (6months-1year), which was a BIG deal in our house! It was definitely a harder transition on mommy than Emmy… She is the youngest in her class now, but she is doing very well and keeping up with the big kids according to her teachers! This month we also organized her closet, which is a huge first for us!  We have officially packed away all of her under 12months clothes!! :(  But, it was necessary to finally get her room organized. Now she loves opening and closing her closet door and pulling her shoes out of their cubby.  She is a SHOE GIRL for sure!

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

Likes: Shopping, trying new foods, and spending time in her bob strolling around outside. She could stroll and be content for HOURS.  Emmy also really liked visiting Campbell. She was friendly, content, and enjoyed seeing everyone while mommy was in convocation. She was the best behaved 9 month old around!

Dislikes: Again, she is learning what she can and cannot do/have.  She doesn’t like hearing NO!

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Eight sweet months

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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! :)

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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!

 

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All In

I survived my first day of my very first clinical rotation.  Praise the Lord!  My preceptor, the physician of the practice, had no idea I am expecting but is (thankfully) incredibly understanding.  Actually, she had her first child during her fourth year of medical school and told me she remembers well being on a neurosurgery rotation when she began having contractions.  Talk about understanding what I am going through! I could not have been placed any better.  THAT was a God thing, I’m sure!

Mr. Bear modeling my first DIY tutu for our baby bee!
Mr. Bear modeling my first DIY tutu for our baby bee!

I am on a family medicine rotation and it is a small practice in a relatively small, rural town.  It has been the ideal environment to me. I have loved every person I’ve met so far and I look forward to going in each day, despite the fact that my feet have swollen to seemingly twice their size over the last two days. Yikes!  It is so good to finally be seeing patients and back in a clinical setting again. I miss seeing my classmates, but I am excited to finally be at this point. And every patient is so different. I am finding that I love the variety family medicine offers.

Headed to the White Coat Ceremony for our new PA students and to celebrate Baby Gurley at our first shower afterwards! :)
Headed to the White Coat Ceremony for our new PA students and to celebrate Baby Gurley at our first shower afterwards! :)

Last weekend was an exhausting, but oh-so-fun one.  We had our first baby showers. Friday evening, my PA classmates held a shower for us and it was a great final gathering before we all went our separate ways for rotations. I am still blown away by how much they gave us and how thoughtful they are for having a shower for our sweet girl. One of my classmates actually sewed her a blanket. A BLANKET!! My first thought was “You know you’re in PA school. right?!”  I cannot believe she found time to do something so sweet for our little girl. We are so blessed.

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Love this program!

 

Some of the sweet things given to our little girl from my sweet PA friends!
Some of the sweet gifts given to our little girl from my amazing PA friends!

We then had our second shower, hosted by my mom, Dustin’s step mom, and several other sweet family and friends at the church where I grew up. It was so much fun. I got to pick out some of the decorations and linens, etc. and it all turned out so cute. It was a LOT of Pink, just like I wanted!! :)

Dustin said our practice doll is excited for a touchdown.  Yep. We took this very serious....
Dustin said our practice doll is excited for a touchdown. Yep. We took this very serious….

Two weeks ago we attended childbirth class at the hospital where we plan to deliver. It was an 8-hour session on a Saturday and was kind of exhausting.  It was an informative refresher (I just had an entire didactic unit on obstetrics back in June) and I was glad we attended.  However, Dustin and I could NOT get through the breathing technique practice without laughing. We were the youngest couple there (and we aren’t that young!) and I felt like we were the immature “kids” when everyone else managed to get through the “middle school dance” pose and multiple hee-hee-hee-hoo’s without even cracking a smile to their husbands/wives. It was ALL BUSINESS to everyone in the room — except us!  Oh well.  So much for seriously preparing for our child’s arrival…. ;)

Dustin putting together our changing table!!
Dustin putting together our changing table!!

Dustin has been hard at work to get the furniture together for baby girl. I am getting more excited by the day. We have a 32-week visit tomorrow.  TOMORROW!  So hard to believe.  We are really in the short rows with this pregnancy. Not only am I a full-fledged, on-rotation PA student, but I am also a full-fledged, third trimester preggo woman. We are all in now like never before!

 

And finally, our crib :)
And finally, our crib :)

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