Tuesday, August 24, 2010

With Bells On...

Aunt Laura found these adorable shoes for Emily while she was in
Thailand last year. They looked huge when she brought them home
to Emily and I can remember thinking, "she probably won't be able
to wear these until she is 3 or 4." Well, I was off by a few years!
Emily is one now, and they fit her perfectly. We tried them on and
she immediately started dancing around to listen to the bells on her
feet. Thanks Aunt Lala!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Emily understands!

We've really noticed a big improvement in Emily's receptive language skills in the past few weeks. You can tell that while she has limited words to communicate verbally, she is understanding more and more all the time. Don reports that when he says, "Let's go change your diaper" that she walks down the hallway to their diaper changing station. When we ask her "Where's your bear? or ball? or baby?" she starts looking around for whatever we've asked her to find and often brings it to us. When Emily picks up something and starts to bring it to her mouth, I'll tell her "No, bring that to me" and amazingly sometimes she obeys! (She also likes to run in the opposite direction and laugh because she knows I will chase her!) We ask her to blow kisses and she blows those kisses very enthusiastically often hitting herself upside the head! (Somehow, she has forgotten to say good-bye as she now prefers to blow kisses.) She is starting to learn her body parts and usually points at the belly (or chest) when we ask her "Where's your belly?"

Emily's fine motor coordination and problem solving is improving! She is now able to do her shape sorter and rings. Sometimes she needs some guidance, but she has done all of the shapes at one time or another on her own with encouragement. It is amazing to see all the learning that takes place and how she is making new connections all the time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Emily the Model

Today, we got our 12 mon. photos of Emily and a few of the family. We had planned to do this a few days after her party, but the weather has been seriously miserable. I've lost count of how many days the weather has been in the high 90's and 100's and the humidity unbearable. We cancelled last week's appointment, and today we had mild weather at 8:30 am and no rain. The ground was still dewy and it was overcast, but that kind of weather is great for photos. The only problem? Getting Emily to smile. It is maddening that this sweet baby girl that laughs and giggles at us all day long becomes so serious when the camera is in front of her. Also, she is very inquisitive of new places. She was very intent on checking out the situation and getting her lay of the land. Being a smiley, silly, baby wasn't her plan this morning. I think we will have to bring in reinforcement for her 18 mon. photos.

Anyway, we headed to Locust Grove for our outdoor photos. Locust Grove is an old historic home and venue for various events. I LOVE outdoor photography and I can only hope that we somehow captured a little of the beauty and innocence of our 12 mon. old baby. I was very proud of the Reiss family for being on-time and dressed-up for our photos at 8:30 am. This is no small task when you have a baby and you're married to a Reiss (haha! Love you sweetie. I know I'm almost just as bad...)

12 Mon. Check-up

As of Aug. 12th, Emily weighs 20 lbs. 8oz and is 29 1/4 in. long. Emily is right around 50th percentile for both height and weight. She's a little below average for weight. Her 12 mon. check-up went well. We only got two shots this time. I remembered to take off the little round band-aids soon after they were placed on her. (Last time we had a little incident with Emily peeling off the band-aids, eating them, and later passing them in the poo.)

Emily the strawberry thief

Emily loves to run and get in front of the refrigerator whenever the door is opened. Tonight I happened to place the carton of strawberries right at her eye level in the fridge. When she had her chance, by golly, she took it! She grabbed the whole carton and made off like a bandit carrying the berries out of the kitchen, down the hallway, and over to the stairs. I couldn't help but laugh at her determination to make off with not one or two, but the WHOLE carton.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Birthday Girl

Wow, a year goes by so quickly! I can't believe we just celebrated Emily's first birthday. Jeremy and I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed to have a beautiful, healthy baby. She has been a joy to take care of this year. As she has grows, we get more and more glimpses of her personality and the precious creation God has made her to me. As I reflect on Emily's first year, I am filled with a few thoughts. Mainly, I can't believe how fast it has gone. EVERYONE says that, but when you are in the midst of not sleeping well or worrying about naps or adjusting to going back to work, it doesn't feel like it is going fast. As a new mother, EVERYONE gives you advice and opinions and while some it is helpful and welcomed, some of it is neither! I have been thankful to be able to turn to my sister this past year. It is so helpful to have a sister that has a baby just a little older than yours so you can talk about whatever you are dealing with at the time. Each baby stage is unique and only lasts a short time.

Emily's birthday was Sunday Aug. 8th, but we celebrated with the big party on Sat. Aug. 7th. We chose this day so that we could recover and unwind on Sunday after all the work that a party entails and also so that it would work out better for the B.G. family to come up on Saturday. Early on, I chose a watermelon themed birthday party because frankly, I love pink and green color combination, but also because Emily loves watermelon! Really, a one year old doesn't need a "theme", but it did make shopping for the party a little more fun. At first, I had all of these grand ideas, but then I realized how much time it was going to take to execute them, so we kept it pretty, but simple. I had an old college friend make a "Happy 1st Birthday" banner and "Emily" highchair banner. I made a pretty decoration from the chandelier with Emily's photos placed in the middle of pink or green cardstock and hung them with pretty polka-dot ribbons. Jeremy's birthday invitation set the theme with a cute photo of Emily outside posing with her head cocked sideways on a watermelon. We totally lucked out with her impromptu pose which was just adorable. A few pretty tablecloths, balloons, crepe paper and pink roses finished up the decorations.

Jeremy and I decided to have Mark's Feed Store BBQ and potato salad for the main lunch meal so that he wouldn't have to slave away on a hot grill. I made a 2 layer 9" round "watermelon" cake. It was actually strawberry cake and I decorated the sides with green icing and the top with pink icing and then placed chocolate chips in it for "seeds." Mom had a friend make chocolate cupcakes decorated with pink and green "watermelon" icing" and she also made a small smash cake for Emily. We also served watermelon balls and a yummy fruit salad that Nancy put together for us. We had plenty of food.

The party went well! Emily was in good spirits and well rested from her morning nap. Both sets of grandparents were there as well as Stephen and Laura's families, Mary Dennison and Holly, George and Janice Dunn, and Bryan Dennison and kiddos. When it came time to do Emily's cake and sing "Happy Birthday" she was a good sport, but her photos showed her looking a little scared by all the attention. Emily had never had any cake before so I don't think she even recognized the birthday cake as "food." She was VERY slow and timid about diving into the cake. She didn't really get very messy although we did encourage her. She showed way more enthusiasm about eating her watermelon and strawberries than birthday cake (hence the theme.) Emily showed interest in most of her presents (or the boxes) and toddled around as I opened them and she "helped" me from time to time. Jeremy and I were glad to have new toys and clothes for our little babe and very thankful for everyone's generosity. It was a sweet day and I pray we will have many more wonderful birthday celebrations.

Emily on her 1st birthday: 8-8-10

Little Miss Manners didn't get very messy as you can see.

Eskimo kisses with Mama

Am I supposed to eat this???

Looking a little scared.

Grancy, Poppy and Em

The proud parents

Mom, Dad, and all the grandbabies