Oh, it is SO good to be home this Sunday. I was supposed to work all weekend, but I ended up only having to work yesterday. I love being with my family on Sundays for church, for rest, and for play! Also, today we will be watching our beloved CATS play in the NCAA tournament Elite 8! (I have to quit blogging and go wash our UK clothes!) This means Emmy gets to wear her UK cheerleading outfit again! Woohoo!
Jeremy started a new job this week with LeapFrog Interactive (a digital advertising agency, NOT the toy company.) We are excited and proud of him! It was one of those things where his local contacts paid off in a big way because he wasn't even really looking for a job when this opportunity came up. He has been self-employed for about a year and a half. Last year was the first complete year of being self-employed. We have learned a lot. For one, paying taxes isn't fun. We paid estimated quarterly taxes throughout the year, but still owed Uncle Sam a significant amount! I have been so proud that Jeremy has been able to provide for us well during these difficult economic times. Even when Jeremy was laid off, I never worried that we could pay our bills because he had freelance clients outside of his Red7e job and I was still working part-time. I have been thankful for friends and family that were able to throw work his way (e.g. Jeff and Kelli Miller with VO2, Will with projects for Living Hope, Dan Simon with work for minor league baseball and Louisville Slugger, Scott Fitzpatrick and a Lexington client, Jennifer with Baylor work, etc.) We are thankful for the opportunities. He enjoyed being an entrepreneur and getting new accounts. He really enjoyed being his own boss and the flexibility of his schedule. However, there is a stress that comes from frequently thinking about future business accounts and where those would come from. Also, there was always the question of where did we see the business going? Would he like to expand? Find an office outside of the home? Join forces with a colleague and mentor? Hire additional people? What was the ultimate goal? Did we have one?
When I look back at the last year and a half, I really see God's timing. Jeremy lost his job when Emily was barely 3 months old. This would seem in the world's eyes to be terrible timing! But, in losing that job, he was home more to witness Emily's first year and a half. He was able to take her to his Mom and Dad's on days I worked and not have to worry about making it to the office on time. On my days off from work, Emily and I could visit him in his home office, eat lunch together, or make him take off early if we couldn't wait any longer for him to come and play. I was able to run errands while she napped and he would be home to listen for her. I didn't realize how special it was for him to get these little glimpses of his baby girl until the thought of not seeing her as much caused tears in his eyes. I have promised him that we will try to do lunch with him at least once a month. Hopefully, the adjustment will go well. I pray we have made the right decision.
Today I am thankful:
81) that God provided for our family while Jeremy was self-employed.
82) that we have sufficient funds saved in the business account to pay for taxes
83) that Jeremy has a new, exciting job!
84) that Jeremy really likes his co-workers and boss
85) that the McLean family continue to be a blessing with Emily's childcare on Mondays/Fridays.
86) that the McLean's children adore Emily.
87) that in just a few weeks, we will be meeting our niece, Elizabeth!
88) for a wonderful worship time with family this morning
89) that this March snow has already melted!
90) that the Cats will provide entertainment and excitement for us tonight!
Today the weather has been perfect! Thank you, Jesus! Sunny and 70's all day and we didn't even need a jacket this afternoon. Emily's little Easter basket liner arrived this week and I thought I would give her a head start in the Easter egg hunting department! (Watch out Hunter and Cooper!!! haha) We "hid" eggs all over the backyard and then watched her run after them and get so excited to put them in her basket. The eggs were empty of any goodies and she still loved it (not like she knows that they are supposed to be full.) She must have played this little game for almost an hour with us re-hiding the eggs. This little game goes perfectly with what she loves to do--take stuff out of containers and put them back in. I don't know why this is so fun for a little one, but she never seems to tire of it! I can keep her entertained for 20 minutes in the bathroom with an old Clinique bag filled with random stuff. She especially likes little pink panty liner packages (Bless her heart, I hate to think of her growing up and needing those!) This is how I usually manage to get my make-up on while I'm getting ready for work and Jeremy is still in the shower.
Sleepy little girl. Springing forward in time is not easy!
We are officially parents of a little toddler girl instead of a baby. That transition happens so quickly yet so gradually that you look back and think, "When did she get so tall?" She still felt like a baby at 12 months. I had just weaned from bottles and breastfeeding and she only had a few words she knew how to say. Now, she is a little parrot and will repeat pretty much anything we ask her to say. She still has trouble with two syllable words with the exception of Da-Dee and MaMa and maybe a few others.
At 19 months
--She is a total love bug. Loves to squeeze our necks, plant REAL kisses with a "pop" on our cheeks, and hug us. We get lots of love and we love her right back. I am addicted to her super soft chubby cheeks.
--She likes to test us. We ask her to come to us and she looks at us like, "What are you going to do if I don't? Will you chase me?" This is difficult because she LOVES to be chased, but sometimes it isn't a game and it is annoying when she disobeys. She doesn't seem to be able to distinguish when we are being for real and when it is a game of chase.
--She is getting much better with a spoon and fork, but finger eating is still the most efficient. Using utensils also turns into a game and a bit more mess. Patience is needed for sure!
--She responds to 1-2 step commands very consistently. It is awesome to be able to describe and/or point at what I need her to do and then she does it! Love it!
--She can say her name (kind of). A month or so ago, we asked "Where's Emily?" and she pointed to her chest. Now when I ask her, "What is your name?" She says, "E" or "Emmy."
--Potty training is getting closer. Emily now will tell us (sometimes) if she has had a poo poo. However, if we are having fun outside, we could care less if we have poo in our diaper and we will not tell mom and dad! We have bought a couple of toddler pottys for the house and she likes to sit on them (it is another chair to climb on so what's not fun about that?) She will tell us that she has to pee pee or poo poo and go to the potty, but she will have already done it. Still, I think this is a sign that she knows what the bathroom and potty are for. I don't think we will try potty training until this summer because I really don't think she is ready yet, but she is getting closer.
--Emily knows how to sing! I have noticed little sing-song melodies in the past, but now I can very specifically hear her sing the tune to "Twinkle, twinkle Little Star" or "ABC's"--never really thought about it before, but the tune is basically the same. Also, I hear her say some of the words such as "star" and "up" and "high." The rest is made up jargon and it is so cute to hear her voice singing to me as we drive home from places.
--She started doing the motions and sounds to the song, "Wheels on the Bus." She especially loves the horn, the "baby", and the "mommy." It cracks me up! It is so cute. The best part is at the end of each verse when you say, "all through the town" she says "TOWN" VERY LOUD. I need a video and it would be much cuter than describing it!
We are so blessed to have this little bundle of toddler energy in our house and I have to admit that as we see more and more glimpses of the person she is, we fall more in love all the time.
Luckily, we had a few warmer days in February where we were able to get to the playground. We have a playground at a local church that is two blocks from our house. There is also a nicer playground a half mile from our house at George Rogers Clark Park. Sometimes, Emily and I take the stroller to the park further away, but usually, we just hold hands and walk to the closest one. Emily mostly likes to climb the stairs and run around. She likes the slide, but still does NOT like to swing. Here's a few photos of our day.
February and March are birthday months for Don and Jeremy. We celebrated Don's birthday at Don and Nancy's home along with some friends of theirs from England that just happened to be in town. Here's a few photos of the birthday boy on February 2nd with Miss Emily.
The last month has flown by! Emily turned 19 months on Jeremy's birthday, March 8th. This year, we treated Dad to a yummy cherry chocolate pie from the Homemade Pie Kitchen. It is sinfully delicious and temporarily wrecked my spring weightloss plan since I had a slice a day until it was all gone!
We didn't get around to taking cute photos for Valentine's Day, but we had a fun evening. Jeremy and I got Emmy some books, special snacks, and a BIG bear for Valentine's Day. She loves it. She kisses him good night in the evenings, leans on him when she "reads" her books, and sometimes gets in knock-down-drag-out wrestling matches with him. (He's bigger than she is.) It is pretty hilarious. Maybe I can get a video of that, soon! I got Jeremy some replacement lenses for his Oakley sunglasses and he got me pink tulips and a massage! (I was badly needing a massage and it was perfect.) Valentine's Day fell on a Monday this year which was kind of a bummer because by the time we all got home from work and ate dinner, it was about time to put Emmy to bed. Jeremy and I had an evening out the Saturday before V-Day and had a nice dinner/movie at the Pittman's house.