Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A little perspective and a lot of fun!

This past weekend I spent my first night (actually an entire weekend) away from Emily since she's been born.  I had a reunion with some old college friends in Pittsburgh (which, ironically, is nowhere near where I went to college but convenient for me because I could catch up with friends and family all at once) and it was so much fun!  There have been so many long days at home alone with Em where all I wanted was to escape for a bit and yet as this weekend neared, I was consumed with fear and worry.  Would Emily think that I had abondoned her for good?  Would she forget me entirely?  I had no doubts about Eric's ability to take care of our baby girl, but I maybe have a wee bit of a problem giving complete control over her schedule to my - how can I put this nicely - more laid back husband.  (Case in point, Emily slept in until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, which is about two hours later than she has EVER slept in before).  Still, I was excited to go, to reminisce with friends, and have a good time.

Interestingly, I found that I wasn't worrying about Emily (or Eric) much at all while I was gone.  I was able to enjoy the weekend, and barely paused to think about what I would normally be doing.  I was completely schedule free, not worrying about naptimes, snack times, or bed times.  I found it a lot easier than expected to slip back into a version of myself before having a kid.  Still, there were differences.  Having a child has changed my perspective, the way I see the world, the way I experience things.  In the end I learned that I can still have fun when it's just me, that I can appreciate the opportunity to take a well deserved break, but that I love my little family with all my heart and most days, there is just nowhere else I'd rather be.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Picky, Picky

I don't know how I ended up with a daughter that is such a picky eater.  Emily wasn't overly enthusiastic about rice cereal the first time it was offered, but she came around to the idea of solids pretty quickly.  She embraced baby foods, both fruits and vegetables, with a healthy degree of interest.  Real food though, as in food that doesn't come from a spoon, is highly inspected by our picky eater.  Take today's lunch, for example.  I was eating grapes, and that generated some interest from Emily, so I bit off half and offered the other half to her.  She took it, looked at it from every angle, smelled it (I swear!), licked it, put it in her mouth for a good five seconds only to finally spit it out and try to give it back to me a little later.

The only fruit that she'll eat, unless it's pureed and mixed in with oatmeal or yogurt, are bananas.  And frequently the only vegetable that I can't get past her lips are sweet potatoes.  And Emily, let's be honest, that barely counts as a vegetable.  I feel like I'm failing miserably when it comes to teaching healthy eating habits despite my best attempts.

And then there's the frequent changes of heart that are so typical for toddlers.  She loved a homemade soup I made one day and completely rejected it the next.  She gobbles up pasta here at home but our caregiver, Julie, insists she won't touch it at her home.  The only food group that is never rejected is the cracker and bread food group.  Bring on the carbs!  I keep trying to tell her those foods will straight to her thighs but so far, she seems unconcerned.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Under the Weather

Emily was running a fever and feeling a bit under the weather yesterday.  I should have clued in right away when she wanted to cuddle when she woke up, but we went to church and came home and she did okay.  Later in the afternoon though, all she wanted was to be held, for hours on end, preferably by me.   I hate it when she's sick, but I have to admit, I sure relished being able to hold my normally squirmy baby.  Have no worries though - today she was off and running from the moment her eyes fluttered open.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fourteen Months Old!

Dear Emily,

This has been another huge month of learning for you!  If only I could gain knowledge at the rate that you do, I'd surely be on my third Ph.D. by now.  You are understanding so much more of what we say to you.  You know to run to your high chair when I say it's time to eat, to toddle to the closet for your shoes and coat when I say it's time to go bye-bye, and if we so much as utter the word "bath" you are off and crawling up the stairs, tugging at your socks and shirt as you go.  You are also saying a few more things with consistency: "uh-oh" when something is dropped, "baby" for your doll (this one is more sporadic), and "ju" when you want milk or juice in your sippy cup.  I'm sure your vocabulary will expand like crazy in the coming months, which we will both like, because you are getting pretty frustrated when I can't understand what you want these days.

You're getting into EVERYTHING.  You will pick up a toy from your play area, run into the dining room and find a sock in daddy's gym bag, drop your toy in the bag and take the sock into the kitchen, find the magnets on the fridge, drop the sock on the kitchen floor, and take the magnet to the shoe closet, and on it goes.  This is how you fill much of your day, be re-arranging the clutter in our house.  And I wonder why I can't find things sometimes...

You're also a one nap girl now.  There's no denying it, and I have totally given up the fight.  But you're doing great with it, and though I often plan outings in the morning to keep you occupied until lunchtime, you go down pretty easily and sleep for two to two and a half hours.  Also, you tend to sleep later in the mornings, and we're not going to argue with that!

You have always been such a busy, busy baby and you are growing into an even busier little girl.  It's fun for your dad and I to imagine what you'll be like as a kindergartener, a third grader, or (gasp) a teenager.  I think you're going to be outgoing, funloving, athletic, and smart.  Those expectations aren't too high, are they?! But Emily, no matter what you do I will always, always love you like crazy.