Friday, February 29, 2008

A Glimpse of Spring

After coming home from running errands today, we decided to talk a walk around our neighborhood. The temperature was in the 40's and it was still fairly sunny...was that a small taste of spring? I can't wait to get the kids out of the house on a daily basis again to enjoy the warmer weather that should just be right around the corner. But then again, this is Ohio, and I heard that we might get snow again on Monday or Tuesday. Guess we'll really have to take advantage of Sunday when it is supposed to get up to 50!

2 out of 3 isn't bad

Here are some random pictures taken of the kids today. Jacob and Emmaline were quite willing to get their pictures taken...Ellie, not so much. Her photo was taken by surprise when she wasn't looking because she kept running from the camera (have I mentioned how moody she can be?!).

Jacob made this dinosaur out of duplo blocks (He loves to build!). Notice that he even gave it a mouth!

My sister, Katie, bought Emmaline this shirt for her birthday. It has my favorite sunflowers on it and I love the phrase, "Made You Smile" because you can't help but smile when you look at Emmy.

Gabrielle was so excited to put on this shirt that my mom bought her because it had a skating monkey with a banana split sundae on it. She was not so excited about getting her picture taken, however!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Look What Emmaline Can Do! and a Trip to the Audiologist

I woke up this morning to the sound of Emmaline babbling in her bed (she still sleeps in the pack 'n play in our room). I looked over the end of the bed and found this:

This might not look like a big deal, but this is the first time that she has sat herself up by herself. I was so proud of her!

So, our day goes on, and we go to the audiologist for a hearing test. Emmaline's left ear is testing the same with mild to moderate loss. Her right ear tested a little worse than last time due to some congestion (she's got a runny nose and is teething on that side), but it wasn't bad enough to cause concern on anyone's part. Our audiologist, Sarah, said that it is really hard to get accurate hearing tests in the winter because of all the illnesses going around. We go back in May to see the ENT dr. and have another hearing test done. Please continue to pray that Emmy will regain complete hearing in her left ear...God worked a miracle in her right one (Sarah still talks about it) and we know He can do the same in the left if He chooses to.

When we got home from the audiologist, I put Emmaline down on the floor in the living room so I could go make lunch. No sooner was she on the floor than she started doing this:

It may be hard to tell from the picture, but she is pushing up on her hands and knees! Seems that she decided to save a lot of "firsts" for today. What a big girl!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Emmaline's First Birthday Party

Today we had a big party for Emmaline's birthday at our church. It was a nice day (no snow!) and lots of friends and family came. I found a really cute farm theme online and we had lots of farm toys and books for the kids to play with. Take a look at some of the highlights:

Getting some cuddles from Daddy

The Craft Table

Reading books with Mrs. Glenda

Emmaline's Barn Cake
***all cakes and cupcakes were made by my Mom, a.k.a. Mimi

Some of the cupcakes

Emmy's personal cake

Digging in

Typical First Birthday Party Meltdown

Snuggling with Mommy

Opening presents

"Are we done yet?"

Emmy's new ride

Jacob and Ellie racing chairs

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Party at LaRosa's

In honor of Emmaline's 1st birthday, we met our families at LaRosa's for pizza. Although the weather was awful outside (more snow!), we were able to enjoy a nice time with everyone inside. After pizza, we munched on cookies while Emmaline opened a few presents. Then we headed home to open a few more presents. Now that the actual day is over, we begin preparing for the big party!

Jacob, Uncle David, and Emmaline

Jacob, Gabrielle, and Cousin Colton

The Two Andys:
The one on the left is my brother and the one on the right is my nephew

Emmaline enjoys a birthday cookie...her first taste of sugar!

Emmy loved this gift looks just like the old Fisher-Price farm set, complete with door that "moos" when you open it. She cried when I took the bag away from her!

Playing with her shapes boxes from Auntie Angel and Uncle Gary

Emmy and her first set of dishes

First Birthday Check-up

In my infinite wisdom, I planned Emmaline's one-year check-up today. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend their birthday at the dr. getting 3 shots? So, it probably wasn't the best planning on my part, but we survived. Here are Emmy's stats:

Height: 28 1/4 inches (25%)
Weight: 17 pounds (3%)
She is still being measured on a typical growth scale instead of the T21 chart.

Overall, her pediatrician is happy with how she is doing. Her weight gain has slowed some (she only gained 8 ozs. in the past 3 months), so we are starting her on whole milk and Carnation Instant Breakfast (the poor man version of Pediasure). Considering she doesn't drink well from a cup yet, we'll see how successful this is. We are also starting private physical therapy. Emmy already has PT once/month through a government program, but we've decided that we want to be more proactive. She is probably on the low end of typical development at this stage and we don't want her to be any more delayed if we can help it.

A bonus of going to the dr. today...I discovered Emmaline's first tooth! She has been pretty crabby lately, so I assumed she was teething, but couldn't see or feel anything in the front of her mouth. While at the dr. today, she tore off some of the paper liner on the table and put it in her mouth. I put one of my fingers in to retreive it and lo and behold, she has a one-year molar poking through on the top right side. It never occured to me to look that far back, but there it is. If I have learned anything from Emmy's first year, it is that she will do things in her own time and order. Teething is apparently another example of that!

Happy 1st Birthday, Emmaline!!

As of 9:13 this morning, our baby is one! Where did the time go? This past year has flown by and was nothing like we expected. When we first received Emmaline's Down syndrome diagnosis an hour after her birth, we greived the loss of the healthy child we had expected and the "end" of our perfect family. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that there was nothing to be afraid of and that life would return to a sense of normalcy after those first few hectic months. Emmaline has been such a blessing to us and to everyone that she meets. She is just like a typical baby (with a few more dr. appointments) and has been the easiest of all three of our children. Emmy loves to read, patty cake, snuggle, and dance. She melts your heart with her big smile. She has exceeded all of our expectations and filled our family with more love than we could have imagined. What a year this has been! We love you Emmaline and can't wait to see what this next year holds for you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland

We woke up this morning to several inches of snow on the ground and more still falling. It was the perfect weather for playing outside, as it wasn't too chilly, so we bundled up and headed outdoors. My sister, Angel, sent us a snowsuit for Emmaline last week that came in especially handy today. It is two sizes too big for her, but kept her plenty warm as she watched us from her stroller. After sledding, we headed inside for lunch and hot chocolate. We intended to play outside more afterwards, but the wind had really picked up and the temperature had dropped, so we didn't stay outside long. Instead we opted to snuggle on the couch and watch movies. Although the kids would probably disagree, I think that I am ready to be done with the white stuff until next winter. Bring on spring!

Gabrielle, Emmaline, and Jacob
This was Emmy's first sled ride

Down the driveway with Papaw

Sledding with Mimi

Emmaline was nice and toasty in her much so that she was even able to take a nap while the rest of us played in the snow!

Ellie's favorite part of sledding was eating the snow.

Jacob liked making snow angels

Nathan joined us for a few rides down the driveway after lunch.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

That's My King

This video was shown in church last Sunday and I thought it was so good that I would post it here. S. M. Lockridge provides such a wonderful description of our Savior. Hope it blesses you like it did me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Heart Day!

It is nice to have a special day set aside to show those closest to us how much we love them. Today, I made a yummy lunch complete with dessert for us to enjoy so that Nathan and I could go out for dinner later that evening. After eating, the kids got to open their presents. They were excited for their new jammies and small toy. That evening, Nathan's mom came over to watch the kids so that Nathan and I could go out to eat. Emmaline is dealing with some separation anxiety, so we took her with us. We went to LaRosa's for pizza and salad. They hadn't planned on a big crowd this evening, so they were terribly under-staffed. We waited 50 minutes to be seated and by then Emmaline was really grumpy. Thankfully, our waiter was really good, but Emmy had already reached her limit. I ended up bringing my pizza home to eat after she went to bed. Other than that, it was a good day.

Pizza Casserole, Salad, and Garlic Bread

Caramel-drizzled Heart-shaped Brownies

Jacob with his new TMNT figures

His new "Cars" jammies

Gabrielle and her new doggies

Her new "Little Mermaid" jammies

Emmaline with her new onesies and elephant toy

Nathan and I
(Jacob took this picture and did a really good job!)

My Presents
I got to pick them out this year...I had a B2G1 coupon at Yankee Candle so I got three new jar candles. Then, I got 50 sweetheart roses for $2.99 from Aldi. Each bunch had 25 in it and they were B1G1.

Presents from Grandma and Papaw

Nathan's Mom came bearing gifts this evening when she came to watch the kids. Unfortunately, Nathan's Dad was sick and couldn't make it. The kids were very excited about their heart buckets filled with a Valentine's book and various treats.




"If only my arms were a tad bit longer!"