My Bout with Harry Potter Withdrawal:

HP1-ed-sz The Harry Potter series. Most people read these books years ago. I didn't. For many reasons I didn't. But recently (well, last year) several friends encouraged me to try them. I asked for the first book for Christmas and received it from a friend (thanks, Mary!). After reading the first few chapters I promptly returned book 1 (what?!?!? I didn't read the whole thing!) and put the $$ towards an order of the whole set instead:


I then read the first couple books in the short span of 6 months. Haha. I really did enjoy the first few books, but they didn't "grab" me in a I-have-to-read-until-I'm-done way. Plus, I was pregnant and distracted by many things (including tons of mommy and pregnancy and birth books). I read book 1, book 2, and part of book 3 and then I gave birth to Skylar.

Fast forward 5 months. We had moved to a different state, Skylar was 5 months old and able to nurse without as much "help" from my hands and I was relaxing into being a Mom. PLUS, as part of my New Years Resolutions for 2013 I decided I wanted to READ more. I finished book 3 and moved on to book 4 in January. less than 2 months later? I've finished the series and I'm craving MORE MORE MORE!

This isn't really a review... it's more of a general discussion of the books and why I now wish I could just keep reading them forever (ok, not really, but they were pretty epic!). There are a few things about them I loved most... and here they are (in no particular order):

It's fantasy. I typically love other-wordly books. Plot lines that are completely outside of where we are today (ex: Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings) or that sit along side our current society but present some separate part of our world that is completely different or hidden (ex: Twilight). Harry Potter is more the latter than the former, but has some ties to both types of fantasy.

The characters! Fun, like-able protagonists... with flaws. They were human. They fought and had issues just like we do, but they also had character development and enough goodness that I WANTED to like them. Evil, awful villains... who, typically, also had a humanness -- and their fall from goodness to evil could be traced and understood. AND everyone in between: All the people who were caught between these worlds... uncertain of their allegiance... but never losing sight of some sort of hope or love or something more than the evil that desired to consume them.

The storytelling. On that front I think I've been spoiled badly. It's so cool to learn something in book 1 and then have it reference in book 7. I love the "ohhhhh" moments when everything clicks and you start to understand what's been going on the whole time -- right out of view -- but hinted at for the whole book (or, sometimes, the whole series).

Good writing. While not perfect, it was some really good writing. I did chuckle a few times at words that would make an appearance over and over for just one book (usually in the speaking style of a few characters). The most notable is the use of the word "mate" in one of the books. ;)

Nuggets of wisdom. While the worldview of the books is not the same as my own completely, there was an underlying theme of doing good, thwarting evil, and, above all: LOVE. Additionally, there were themes about the dangers of power and how easily a lust for power can consume a person. One of my favorite quotes in all of the books is pictured here:


Finally, the ending. It was all I could have hoped for. And for that I'm extremely thankful.

The best way to describe my "reading mood" since Harry Potter is: In withdrawal. No story seems "right" to be reading... or quite as interesting or rich. I miss the world of Harry and Ron and Hermione and Dumbledore... and Snape, and the Weasleys and Hogwarts and all the rest. Yes, I know I still have the movies to watch.. .and I will. But for now I want to enjoy the pictures in my head..


Ps: My attempt to assuage the withdrawal symptoms is to read this book (thanks for recommending it, Jill).


It's entirely too short, but should help calm the withdrawal shakes for a bit. ;)

A Long Time Ago... We used to be friends...

(& maybe we can be again?) Veronica Mars. You may or may not have seen this incredibly smart and interesting TV show, but if you haven't you should. It is witty, intelligent, and, frankly, one of the best shows I've ever watched. It's easily in my top ten favorite TV shows of all time... and really, it's in my top 5 -- at least.

If you HAVE seen Veronica Mars, then you know that it was cancelled way before it's time. Since the show ended there have been rumors and discussions online and tweets, and, well, you get the idea... about a MOVIE to give Mars-ers some closure and to enjoy the characters and the richness that is the Veronica Mars universe for a bit longer. Since the show ended in 2007, I had pretty much given up hope that a movie would actually happen. Then today I hopped on Facebook for a bit while Skylar was napping and what do I see? THIS AMAZING VIDEO:


And this website... with $800,000+ ALREADY RAISED as a "kick start" for the project: The Veronica Mars Movie Project. To say I'm impressed with our fans is an understatement... but I'm not SURPRISED. This is exactly what I would expect from the die-hard fans that loved Veronica Mars. The very same fans who paid for a blimp to fly by the CW offices (in an attempt to keep the show on the air) and who paid to have half a ton of Mars Bars sent to the offices as well. THEY LOVE THE SHOW because it's AWESOME.

So, will you jump on board? Will you help fund this truly ground-breaking project??!?! I will be ... I hope you will be too!

xx, A Marshmellower

On a quest... for sleep

Sleep is one of those things you tend to take for granted -- until you don't get enough of it. Then it's something that will consume a person until, well, you can get enough sleep. It's important. It helps the body function correctly... and not getting enough sleep for any given time, frankly, sucks. Big time. When Skylar was born I was prepared for the lack of sleep. Sort of. It was still hard, but I guess I kinda thought it "came with the territory" and I would just power through and deal with it. I was rapidly falling in love with our little daughter and the sleep thing kinda fell by the wayside in the grand scheme of what was "important". I remember functioning pretty well on 3-5 hours of sleep a night. Looking back I realize my hormones must have been helping out -- A LOT. Plus, I was probably still running on reserves from all the sleep I got pre-baby. I was also better about sleeping when Skylar slept (I'm actually writing this as she naps -- so as you can see I no longer really sleep when she sleeps... at least not every time).

Fast forward to the last month or so... My baby, the one that slept 7+ hours 2 nights in a row at 5 weeks & eventually started sleeping 8, 9, sometimes even 10 hours a night around 4 months no longer sleeps more than 4 hours at a time at night. Actually, she's sleeping more like 2-3 hours at a time and sometimes even less than that. I'm pulling my hair out. This has been going on for a month or so? I have to admit that I really have not been handling this sleep regression well... and, with my parent's visit, I started to become desperate for things to get better... especially at my 3rd wake up of the night around 4AM. (btw, it wasn't my parents that made this worse -- in fact they're the ones that have helped me gain some perspective and took care of Skylar to let me sleep during the day few times. It's really just the realization that the sleep thing was STILL going on by the time they visited that kinda gave me a kick and made me feel lousy -- well, that and the complete change of our typical routine.).

So. What will we do? Neither Jimmy nor I are really sure yet. Skylar actually seems to be functioning fairly well. It may be a teething thing (she's still chewing on things most days), or a growth spurt (or some wacky-fun combination of the two). Regardless of the "reason" our 7 month old daughter (who all the websites and books say "is capable physically of sleeping through the night") is not sleeping at night -- at least not without 3 or more wake-ups. We have, from what I can tell, a couple options. One of them is "sleep training" or "cry-it-out"... And we're not at that point yet.. This is in no way a judgement of those who use this method, but I don't think Jimmy or I are ready for this solution. Other solutions include constancy and "rules" as well as just living with not getting sleep (something ELSE we're not quite ready to accept). So, for now, I'm trying to be consistent about when and if I get her and when and if we nurse to sleep. I'm also trying to help Skylar get used to more food during the day -- hoping that upping her calories during the day will help her sleep more at night. And, finally, we're working on a nap "schedule" during the day so that she's used to sleeping at certain times -- and trying to be equally consistent at night.

I'm definitely still figuring things out... and I'm actually mostly okay with Skylar having to nurse to sleep. I figure eventually she won't need me so much... and being needed feels pretty good -- except at 2 am, 4 am and 6 am. BUT I digress. I got some clarity on all this lately. And it's something I've always known... but needed to be reminded of: THIS TOO WILL PASS. And yes, it will. And the crazy/wacky part? I'll probably miss some of this stuff when it does pass... at least the closeness of late night feedings and the knowledge that I have EXACTLY what Skylar needs in those moments. I am her comfort, I am her Momma.. I am the one she wants above all else.

So. I'm resting in the knowledge that yes, this will pass... as well as trying to soak up the goodness of it. Trying to enjoy what I can and love through the stuff that's difficult. Tonight, I'm sure I'll see it a bit differently when I'm TIRED and just want to sleep... but really, I know in my heart that this is a turning point for me. Sacrifice is sometimes "easy" when it's a point in time and then it's done. THIS, to me, is the real hard part. The being a mom -- ALWAYS. No breaks, no times when it's not my job... just constant responsibility... and it's amazing as much as it's difficult -- even more so. It's beautiful and I'm thankful for it.

So, I'll continue to pray for patience in the night... for love and caring and understanding. To give my daughter what she needs... regardless of the sacrifice of sleep for a time. And with the ever present hope and knowledge that this too, shall pass.


6 Months Old!

Dear Skylar Joy, Happy half a year birthday, baby girl! How did you get to be 6 months old!??!?!?! Half a year is a long time! It's so very strange to be excited about how much you're growing and sad about it at the same time! I love all the things you're learning to do... but I hate that you're growing up so quickly!

SO, baby girl... there's lots to write this month (as usual), but first I wanted to talk about the last 6 months. 6 months ago my life (and your dad's) was irreversibly changed when you entered the world at 1:46 on a Wednesday. I saw you and I fell in love. I cried and held you close and loved on you for as long as I could. As I told you way back at the beginning you had to leave my arms for some medical care, but I longed to just hold you and gaze at you forever. A week and a half later we were home with you. Things weren't "perfect" and "sunshinny" all the time (your momma had quite a bit of adjustment to make emotionally, mentally, and healing she needed physically), but every day was beautiful in it's own way. I'm so thankful for the time I've gotten to spend with you -- getting to know you and learning about your likes and dislikes. You keep growing and changing, though, so sometimes I feel like I can barely keep up! You're so amazing to me, baby girl!

This month seems to be all about communication. You're not talking yet (at least not really), but you seem to be communicating better and better (which I suppose is to be expected, but is rather fun for your Dad & I to experience). You consistently "ask" to feed by making a face -- especially with your dad. You also now get excited, grin and sometimes giggle when mommy makes the "eat" face to you. When I'm not sure if you're hungry I make the face and you make it pretty obvious if you're interested in eating. I also know that once I make the face you will be expecting to eat SOON. You do not do well with delays, baby girl... I wonder who you take after with that??!!? (your dear mom, of course!)

You are now including "da-da-da-da-da" in the sounds you make. This is in addition to the continued "ma-ma-ma" and "ba-ba-ba" sounds you were previously making. Daddy LOVES that you're saying "Da-Da" and encourages you to say it! It's so cute listening to you repeat after him!

Other ways you now interact with us include: Loving for us to put your feet on our faces. I know it sounds odd, and we discovered it by accident, but it typically cracks you up! The first time we did it you laughed the most (1/12), but most of the time it still makes you laugh when we plant your feet on our faces. You also totally get "peek-a-boo" now and love it. You laugh so much when Daddy or I play peek-a-boo with you!

You are very interested in food that we're eating. You now tend to ask to be fed more frequently when WE are eating. It makes us think that you understand that WE are getting to eat and you are upset that you are not eating too. This fascination will hopefully come in handy as you start eating "big people foods". Speaking of "big people food" you have enjoyed your first "meal" that's not breastmilk this month! Momma steamed some veggies for you to try and we started with purple potatoes (1/31). Your Dad and I enjoyed watching you try to suck and "chew" at the food... You also get this really peculiar look on your face when trying a new texture (or when drinking cold water). It's so funny... It almost looks like you don't want to eat it, but you plow ahead through the uncertainty and keep making it obvious to us that you want more. So far so good! Next month's update will probably be more about food!

Okay, back to communication: you have started talking to your stuffed animals and toys. Your Daddy noticed this first one day while you were in your crib (you don't sleep there yet, but we do put you in there from time to time while doing something -- just to keep you out of trouble). Your crib is filled with stuffed animals and toys -- including a giant stuffed bear your Gram Gram & Pop Pop gave you when you were born. Your dad found you one day pulling your bear's head down to your level and talking to him (2/3). You were having a conversation with him just like you do with your Daddy when he comes home from work at night. It was so cute! You have since started talking with the bunny rattle you have attached to your carseat and your Mommy has heard you talking with your bear and other stuffed animals on a few other occasions too.

Other firsts:

You sat up from lounging in the Boppy all on your own! You stayed that way for a while before falling over (1/11). Later in the month you were able to sit up without using your hands to steady you and stayed sitting up for at least a minute (2/1).

You had your first "ride" on your daddy's shoulders this month. You also rode on my shoulders later that day, but you were most excited by being way up high on Daddy's. You tend to have a great time with your Daddy and that makes me so very happy, baby girl!

This month you have chosen to stop sleeping on your back. I say "chosen" because as soon as I put you down on your back you flip onto your stomach to sleep. Usually it's within a minute and even if I put you back onto your back you will just flip onto your stomach again. This makes Mommy really happy that we've already discontinued swaddling completely and you now sleep in a sleep "sack" that keeps your arms completely free. So, while things still say "back is best" you have a little mind of your own -- as per usual -- and I guess it's tummy sleeping from now on.

Your favorite toys this month are: REMOTES. All of them, but especially the remote that lights up. We bought you a toy remote for Christmas (we had Christmas as a family on your 6 month birthday, baby girl) and you like that toy alright, but you still prefer the ones that Mommy & Daddy use (go figure).

You are beautiful and growing every day, my darling daughter! I cannot wait to see what you discover tomorrow!

I love you always & forever, Mommy

Ps. You attended your first Super Bowl party this month as well... and here are a few pictures Aunt Mary took while we were there (2/3):

photo 13-ed-sz

photo 11-ed-sz

photo 12-ed-sz

(You were so very interested in your brand-new-socks that you were playing with them and trying to get them off and into your mouth while on Aunt Mary's lap... Silly bean, you're so cute!)

Valentine's Day (pictures, and recipes, and presents, oh! my!)

As I mentioned in my previous post: I love Valentine's Day. I've had lots of good ones in the past... and this one was no exception! In fact, I think it was one of the best! I got to share it with my two loves: Jimmy & my precious daughter Skylar! Jimmy and I had alone time at night AND Skylar and I had plenty of great times together earlier in the day! It was pretty near perfect. So, here are a few highlights of the day: Woke up around 6 to feed Skylar and wrote a note to my hubby in lipstick on the mirror... along with a sassy card that I left on the sink counter for him to discover when he got up to take a shower. (muhahah - I can be sexy as well as sweet!) I then went back to sleep... woke when Jimmy kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me! (including his appreciation for the mirror/card). Slept in for a while.... & got up to send a dear friend her Valentine's Day surprise!!! :)

I spent the morning sending various surprises via e-mail, text, facebook... It was so much fun! I love stuff like that! Skylar woke up and "helped" me with some of my projects on the computer and then we had a mini-photo session with my iphone:





Then we dropped off some v-day bags to a couple neighbor girls... and packages and FLOWERS arrived!:

Roses (Jimmy, you did good! I love them!)

The rest of Valentine's Day involved hanging with Skylar, loving on her and... you guessed it... more pictures! This time she was more dressed up with headbands and such and I used my fancy Cannon SLR:


(more pictures will be uploaded from that "photo-shoot" sometime in the near future -- hopefully this weekend!)

Finally around 4 I figured dinner should be started... ANd here's where I was nervous: I decided to make something new... & something reasonably HEALTHY for Valentine's Day. I've been really wanting to try a healthy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe I found on Pinterest (resolutions! Ding-ding!). Yes, you read that right... HEALTHY Fettuccine Alfredo. I started making it... prepping everything... and put Skylar down for her "late in the afternoon/evening" nap right when Jimmy sent me an ETA for being home (perfect timing - yay!). I was hopeful that it would be good... but, i have to admit, a bit skeptical. Well, half-way through the process I started raving about the sauce to my friend through text. You guys, I wanted to DRINK the sauce. Seriously. And that was BEFORE adding cream. In fact, in the future, I'm pretty sure I could skip the 1/4 cup of cream and not notice in the slightest. I finished the recipe soon after Jimmy got home (adding chicken -- because we needed some PROTEIN with all those carbs from the noodles) and plated it!:

Fettuccine Alfredo-sz (plated... but not well... Hey! I'm not a chef!)

We both LOVED this meal, ya'll (so becoming a southerner... wow). It was so... YUMMY and flavorful! I will be using what I am dubbing the: "cauliflower creamy method" to make this and lots of other things in the future! I'm so excited to be experimenting with it... because it truly adds so much smooth, creamy, goodness to a sauce (or a soup, or a pasta dish, or ... well, you get the idea).

The pasta, well, that part is another story... I'm really not sure how to omit that part... Except by using spaghetti squash... which I am only reminded of because a friend mentioned it recently (thanks, Liz!) I'll have to try out the sauce on spaghetti squash sometime in the near future!

After dinner we moved on to opening presents (Skylar was still sleeping -- good timing, little babe, good timing!). His & Hers:


Inside Jimmys: JellyBelly's (and a promise to buy more from the "menu" that he likes -- I couldn't find a place with all of the specific flavors in time for Valentine's Day, but I will get more in the near future to fill his Jellybelly candy dispenser!), A Hacker Book & another copy of Archer (he can't find his at the moment)... and finally another "I Owe You" for body wash that's coming! :)

Inside Mine: FILM for my Fuji Instant Camera!! (Jimmy got me the camera for Christmas -- we celebrated as a family here in NC only recently --but it didn't come with film. Both he & I were surprised... so he got me a pack of "50 shots" for Valentine's Day!), Chocolates... seriously, a very sexy box of chocolates! (with lace on the front -- so pretty), Roses (already pictured), and an Alex & Ani bracelet!!!!!:

Bracelets-sz (The "E" was a Christmas present! & J gave me the Key for Valentine's Day. I'm so excited to have more than 1 now!!)

First picture taken with the instant camera:


We had a few more minutes together before little miss Skylar woke up... and then she was awake and ready to hang with family! We spent the rest of the evening relaxing together and having fun! It was pretty near perfect! And Skylar (who was sick and getting over having shots earlier this week) enjoyed the evening and seemed to be getting better! yay!

After Skylar went down for the night we had some more grown-up-time and then it was time for bed for us too!! All-in-all it was a pretty wonderful Valentine's Day!

So, readers, how was your day!?!?!?!!? I wanna hear about your adventures into this day of love! How did you show love to those in your life???

xo, Emmie

Love Day:

Valentine's Day gets a pretty bad rap (seriously... many people HATE the holiday). I've always considered it a great day to let people in your life know that you LOVE them and that they matter to you. I've enjoyed sending little "love notes" to people in the past telling them how much they matter to me and how much I love them. This year is no exception. It took me a little while to get back in the V-day-spirit (most likely because we did Christmas as a family SO LATE this year), but I'm there -- full force! And I can't wait for tomorrow. I have several surprises on their way to people and that makes me giddy!

Valentine's Day is an excuse for me to be fun, play with heart pictures, post quirky things, and generally espouse love. That's it in a nutshell. I love loving and showing others love.

So, this year I'm firmly embracing that and trying to shower love on those in my life! I'm doing better in some areas than on others... And honestly, I'm getting "into the game" way too late to truly send out lots of Valentine's, but I'll be sending a lot virtually... and that counts! (WHAT??? IT DOES!)

I sooooo look forward to being able to spend this day with Skylar in the future. Teaching her about showing people love... and expressing it in ways that will make others feel warm, gooey and oh-so-cared-for!

So, for now... here's to love and all it's happy properties... here's to tomorrow! & the surprises that lie in store for some of you!


♥, Emmie

Learning Balance (and other tales)

SO. One of my "goals/resolutions" for 2013 is posting more frequently/regularly. You may have noticed that I haven't really been making much progress with that resolution. And there's got to be some irony to the fact that part of why I haven't been posting much is because I've been spending every free second I have lately READING Harry Potter (irony because, if you remember, one of my other resolutions was to read more). What I've found is that I need to work on balance. I kinda already knew that... but I need to think about and pursue it more. I want to have balance in lots of areas of my life: my leisure time, my "working on the house time", my eating habits, and so many other areas. I also want to be able to truly RELAX and enjoy just "being" sometimes.

One time I do usually relax and chill out completely is while feeding Skylar right before bedtime. It's one of the most calm, balanced, sweet, times we have during the day. She snuggles up against me... and nurses... really well. I watch her and usually hold one (or both) of her hands. And I sigh in contentment, I smile at her with wonder at how much I love her. And then I get sleepy (what can I say, apparently oxytocin and prolactin make me sleepy -- who knew?) It's one of the few times in my day when I'm not trying to multitask and I'm just sitting, still, taking everything in. It's often when I take pictures of Skylar nursing, too... mostly because those are some of the moments when I feel most connected, and crazy in-love with my little baby girl.

So, I guess this is what I'm seeking elsewhere... balance, the ability to enjoy whatever I'm doing in that moment and not feel like I "should be" doing something else... (because when I'm nursing Skylar I truly feel like that's EXACTLY what I should be doing in that moment):



(Not sure how or why this became a post about breastfeeding, but oh, well, sometimes posts have a mind of their own).

Until next time, Emily

P.s. I'm still working on Skylar's 6 month entry! It's coming! Promise!

Resolutions {2013}

Throughout the month of January I posted several resolutions with a corresponding picture to inspire me on my Instagram. My goal is to truly work on all of these things throughout the year and post progress reports every so often. I'm thinking that I'll post the progress reports (PRs for short) every 2-3 months, but to kick things off I'll post the resolution and an initial PR for the month of January. So, in no particular order, here are my Resolutions for 2013: Resolution #1 Read More. I have so many books on my "to read" list. I want to start working my way through them finally. At this point reading at all would be an improvement to the last few months. So, my "goal" is to read at least 2 books a month in 2013!


Progress Report: In the month of January I read two books. So, YAY for meeting my goal. It was an underwhelming goal on purpose because I wanted to keep from being discouraged -- but I do feel like I should be able to read more than 2 books a month... so, I'm mentally shooting for more (hence my slight disappointment at literally reading only 2 books my first month working on this resolution). BUT I should keep in mind that they were long books (Harry Potter books to be exact). They were both 600 pages or more, so I wasn't skimping on the 2 books I read. Additionally, I'm only 5 days into February and I'm already 476 pages into the 5th Harry Potter book (and loving it). It feels good to read and get excited by the literary world again. I think I'll enjoy keeping up with this resolution!

Resolution #2 Make/do something off my Pinterest at least 4x a month. I'd like to do something once a week, but until Skylar is a bit bigger its hard to do crafts a lot. Really, I just want to start DOING the things I see as "good ideas" regularly... Instead if just "pinning" them and forgetting them. This resolution could include recipes, dress style, hair & makeup ideas, & polish inspiration.


Progress Report: I am rocking this one! In January in just the baking blogs I posted on here were 5 pinterest recipes! I actually referred to it more than that! But I'm definitely trying to use the ideas and things I've posted to Pinterest with intention! Yay!

Resolution #3 Exercise! (this one is explained BY the picture)


Progress Report:This resolution has been a pretty major failure during the month of January. I have gone out walking with Skylar a few times, but between her being sick for a week+ and the weather being SUPER cold at times (though the nice days we have tried to go out), I have not exercised much. I really want to find a gym... and that needs to be a priority in February/March/April.

Resolution #4 Cook Dinner more often. For a while I used the excuse that we were unpacking & the kitchen wasn't put together to avoid cooking dinner every night. The funny part is, I LIKE cooking! It gives me a sense of accomplishment to cook and/or bake food for Jimmy and I (& eventually Skylar). This is a meal I made recently... Mashed Potato soup with Pumpernickel toast (no that's NOT burnt toast).


Progress Report: I succeeded in making some pretty yummy dinners in the month of January -- but I also "dialed in" some by serving left-overs or using frozen stuff. If I were to grade myself I'd probably give myself a C+ or maybe a B- if I was being generous. I think I can do MUCH better and keep branching out with cooking... so here's to more good, healthy, and inventive food in the coming months!

Resolution #5 Drink more wine! (Especially before buying more!) and loooook I'm working on this one right now!


Progress Report: With the exception of a few very inexpensive bottles of wine purchased at Trader Joe's, I avoided buying wine in January. I also shared several "old" bottles with Jimmy and friends. So, I've delved into the "stash" and will continue to enjoy a glass of wine a few times a week. I must say this might be my favorite of my resolutions... ;)

Resolution #6 Blog more. Specifically I want to blog at least once a week (I'd really like to work up to once a day or every-other day, but baby steps!). I also have a "back-log" of subjects to post about... & I want to work on those. Briefly they are: Skylar's Birth (including labor), Online Community, Super Secret One (I know what this means), Re-post and re-formate the "in the NICU" Skylar posts (for posterity) & Nailpolish (this may be a series of posts).


Progress Report: I blogged 4 times in the month of January. It wasn't *quite* once a week since all 4 posts were during one week, but I'll still count that as progress. I think the "issue" is that I don't have blog time worked into my day (or week). I don't really have a specific time that I do it, so it's not as likely that I'll get around to posting even when I fully intend to do so. This is something I'll work in for the next couple months.

Resolution #7 Finally learn to crochet! I can knit, but I really want to master crocheting this year!


Progress Report: I have not actually worked on this resolution much at all yet and I'm okay with that. I do fully intend to LEARN to crochet this year, though... I just need everything to settle down a bit (hah ... in other words my house needs to be in order and the rest of the unpacking needs to happen and organization, etc) and then I'll get to this one. So, check back with me in a few months! ;)

Resolution #8 Clean up after myself. This is embarrassing to admit (especially as an almost 30-year-old), but I have a bad habit of using something & not putting it back when I'm done; completing a project & not putting away the things I used right away; eating breakfast or lunch & not even clearing my dishes to the sink area consistently; of... well you get the idea! So in 2013 I want to work on breaking that habit. I want to learn to put things away as soon as I'm done with them! & if that's not possible at times (re: Skylar needs me or something) I want to work on taking care of it as soon as I can -- before leisure time. (This is a picture of my clean & organized nightstand to inspire me to keep it that way by putting things away & not letting them get stuck randomly on that surface!)


Progress Report: I actually only posted this resolution a week and a half ago (or so), and my nightstand still looks like that! Considering how consistantly cluttered it usually is, that's some major progress! So, I think I'm making progress on this resolution. I've been paying more attention to when I'm leaving things un-done and seeking to finish, clean up, and work on being less cluttered in general. I still have a long way to go when it comes to general organization -- but at least I'm not making many more messes as I go anymore. :)

And there ya have it! Those are my resolutions, for 2013!

Do you have any resolutions for this year? What are some of your resolutions???

Xo, Emmie

Lets Talk About Polish

I've fully been intending to post about nail polish. It's a passion of mine that pretty much everyone who has spent any time with me in real life knows about. I enjoy painting my nails (and my toes sometimes -- but not as much). I also enjoy paining other people's nails. I think I'm decent at it... and if you know me let me know if you want me to paint your nails sometime! :) Anyway... I digress. Nail polish. I like all types and brands (for the most part -- though I am getting pickier), and I enjoy discovering new types, textures, finishes, colors, etc. One newish (in the last few months) discovery I've made is INDIE POLISH. I say that in all caps because, well, it's awesome. It's polish made by people personally -- polish that isn't mixed by a big machine and shipped out automatically, but rather polish that is crafted from the ground up by thoughtful, interesting people (or sometimes groups of people). I find the whole "scene" fascinating. Instagram has helped me really get my feet wet about brands and seeing them "swatched" and getting information directly from the Indie Polish creators. I've loved being able to interact with them so simply! It's definitely very cool.

One polish I don't actually have yet, but am fully interested in trying is Pretty & Polished. Another place to view (and purchase) their polishes is etsy. Their shop is here: Pretty & Polished's Etsy.

I'm actually writing today because there is a give-away from these lovely polish makers. The giveaway is to help market their upcoming spring line (which looks just fabulous if you ask me). Here's the flier:


I will definitely be checking out this seller and their polish very soon and I'm so excited for the giveaways (there are several on Instagram too). Who doesn't love a chance to try something new for free!?!?!? *smiles*

Until next time... (and there will be another nail-polish-post-next-time very soon),


Homemade Mayo (Instructions, Review & more!)

A while back a friend of a friend posted on Instagram and FB about making her own Mayo in order to make an Avacado dressing. I was instantly intrigued. I've never made anything like that... and was curious about what was involved. Recently I decided to try it to work on one of my resolutions and actually make the mayo myself! (remember a post about all of them will be up sometime near the end of January/beginning of February)! So, here's the video I used to make my very own Olive Oil Mayo at home: 


And here are a few pictures of the process:


It was actually pretty simple and took me around 10 minutes (after the egg and lemon juice got to room temp for about an hour). The thing I did find interesting was how warm the mayo was when I scraped it into the container. I guess that makes sense considering the friction involved in this process & the fact that it started out at room-temp, but I wasn't expecting it. :)

Soon after I made the mayo I realized that I could just use the "dirty blender" to go ahead and make the "Dreamy Avocado Dressing". Since I obtained the recipe for that directly from the friend of a friend I will post it here for you:

Dreamy Avocado Dressing

• 1/2 large avocado • 1 tbsp lime juice • 1/4 cup olive oil mayo • 1 small garlic clove • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro (optional) • 2 tbsp water (optional -- I used it, but use or omit it depending on desired thickness) • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place all ingredients into blender and or food processor and puree to desired consistency. Add water 1 tbsp at a time if necessary. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.  Store covered in the fridge! Like the Mayo the egg's expiration date is your dressing expiration date. :)


I like both the mayo and the avocado dressing. I especially love the dressing for eating cut veggies. It's a healthy-er version of a regular dressing. I think both the mayo and dressing are better after sitting in the frig for a while. It helps add a bit of depth of flavor for all the ingredients to "mellow" together. Also, I didn't use fresh cilantro for the dressing (only because I didn't have any). I used some dry cilantro  but I *know* it would be better with fresh herbs. I'll try it again with fresh and update once I do!

If you try these recipes please let me know what you think and if you discover any new or interesting ways to update them!



Farewell Virginia, It's Official

map_of_lynchburg_va It's odd. I really expected to be happy to be free of the tiny town where we once lived in Virginia. But when we were driving out of town for the final time (in separate cars) on the way to our new home in North Carolina I found myself crying. True, I was only around 4 weeks postpartum and I happened to have a crying baby in the back of my car at the time, but really, I was truly sad to be losing Lynchburg as our home.

VA House-ed-sz

A couple days ago our house officially sold. Yesterday the funds were transferred to our account. And today Jimmy confirmed that the "money is in the bank". So. It's official. Our house is sold and gone and we are no longer tied to the small town of Lynchburg in Virginia. Except that we are. Never-mind the good friends we still have there (and there are many!), but Lynchburg will always be the place where I grew up. The place where I moved after leaving my parent's house. The place where Jimmy and I started a life together as a married couple (heck, it's the place where I MET Jimmy -- truly the love of my life). It's where I had my first "grown up" job working full time hours for "the man" (heheheh). It's the town where we put down some roots (albeit small ones) and bought our first house.


And Lynchburg will always be where we first found out I was pregnant and where we welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world. Because of that huge change in our world: It will also always be where I learned about pregnancy, labor, and delivery and where I felt incredible connection with other mothers at "The Motherhood Collective". It's where I met an amazing Doula named Laurie Flower (seriously, if you're having a baby in Lynchburg -- look her up!) who became a friend as well. And in early August I experienced what it meant to become a Mom.

There was something simple about living in a place where I knew how to get (virtually) everywhere and could drive there within about 30 minutes (end to end). And there was something comforting about having friends throughout the area -- including those we had known for, literally, 10 years. But every chapter of life has it's end... and Lynchburg was not destined to be our final home. I'm not not sure that Raleigh is either, but we'll see.

For now I've enjoyed getting to know some neighbors... and am slowly figuring out how to get places (even some without the GPS! Gasp!). Driving back to NC after a trip finally does feel like we're coming "home" -- though it's a home where we're maybe not quite as comfortable yet... but have so many plans and hopes and dreams.

Newness has it's place...  It's exciting to start anew! But today I'm just a bit melancholy and memory-ridden as I think about the "could have beens" and "used to bes". As I remember the "snowed in" parties of old and all the past fun we had in our previous home.... And I miss people and relationships and all that support and love... but those memories will always be with me, locked in my heart -- forever the first place I truly called "home" that was ours and ours alone.

So here's to the future. And all that it has to hold in this new home (always remembering and loving, but looking forward -- ever hopeful).



We will visit. We DO visit and often. So, while we've said "goodbye" officially to Lynchburg as a "home" it will always be a destination that we love.... and that will be true as long as it holds those we care for and care for us. ♥

5 Months Old!

Dear Skylar, It's been quite a month! Many highs and a few lows, but ultimately it was a good month with you, my love. It's hard to know where to start, but here goes...

You have learned to love the bouncy seat this month. You don't always want to be in it for super long, but you've figured it out and can now jump as much as you want! You also have learned to turn the bouncer around to see one way or the other and can do it quickly at will! Since you're pretty savvy with the bouncer now Mommy sometimes puts you in there when she's taking a shower or trying to get chores done. Your Dad likes to sit on the ground when you're in the bouncer. He talks with you and plays with you while you jump. One thing you don't like is being in the bouncer for a long time by yourself. You are very social and much happier when someone is interacting with you -- even when you are playing. You remind me of myself very strongly sometimes, baby girl.

Speaking of jumping, it's still one of your favorite ways to interact and play with your Daddy. He holds you and you jump on his lap. You've gotten really strong and can jump for a very long time without getting tired! You also don't like to jump slowly and usually jump at a very quick pace! It's so fun to watch you jump!

You're not eating foods yet, but often show interest in our food and what we're drinking. You sometimes drink water out of our glasses -- especially out at restaurants. You also suck water from my Nathan water bottle and we were able to get you to drink from a straw (12/17)! Lately we think you're wanting the water because it's cold and feels good on your teething gums, but in general you seem curious about what Mommy & Daddy are doing when we eat and drink. Food is probably coming in the next month or so. We'll see... it's a big step, but one you seem increasingly ready for!

You are turning over all the time now, baby girl... and you use it to help you get around and see things in your world. If you want to move from one toy to another on your playyard you "roll to it". You also have used this to roll around the living room/kitchen nook area. You're sooooo close to crawling, but rolling helps you get around for now.

Speaking of crawling: You may not be doing much with forward motion yet, but you can turn in circles. You turned all the way around several times on the office floor with Mommy & Daddy cheering you on! You still do this to a lesser degree to "get around" downstairs when left to your own devices. Mommy is having to watch you much closer to make sure you don't get into anything that you shouldn't. When you're really crawling we're going to have to keep a much closer eye on you -- at least until we can get some gated areas for you to play in.

Some of your other "firsts" this month are:

You experienced your very first Christmas, sweet girl!! You are still too little to really grasp much of what is going on, but you did enjoy the attention you got while opening presents. You're not quite old enough to really "open" them yourself, but you did try. You have enjoyed the lights and colors of the season. I have loved watching your eyes sparkle as you take it all in.

Your first tooth has peeked out of your gums. It's still not all the way up, but you "cut" your first tooth a few days after Christmas. You actually seem to deal with the pain pretty well, but do get somewhat whiny and needy when your mouth hurts. You also have the typical "symptoms" of drooling and chewing on everything when teething.

Crying when something is taken away from you! Before this month you didn't seem to care if we took a toy away or put something down that you were playing with, but now you whine or cry when we take something away that you're not finished enjoying. The first time you complained was when we put away the iPad.

You now grab for toys and other items with purpose. You can control your hands so much better and tend to grasp toys instead of just flinging your arms out to try and "catch" something with your hands. You also lean towards toys that you want. You seem to understand that you have choices and can pick which toy you would like to play with at that specific moment. You can definitely see better and understand objects better this month.

On Dec 18th you shook a rattle for the first time. You shook it after Daddy showed you how -- it is so neat watching him teach you things. I know this is just the beginning! You continued to shake rattles and other toys throughout the month as you learned that you could make noises yourself!

You first enjoyed looking at the world upside-down this month. You were on your daddy's lap on the stairs by the office. You leaned all the way back in his lap and were so excited to see the world in a whole new way! (I need to add pictures of this at some point!). You have continued to do this out throughout this month. It's a whole new perspective that excites you!

On Christmas Eve you cried and yelled because you were being left out of what was going on in the room next to you. You are very social and you continue to show us that as you grow!

A big first for you this month was seeing (and touching) snow! While in NY around Christmastime it snowed! You were quite interested in the cold white stuff and while you won't remember it, we enjoyed introducing you to snow for the first time! :)

At the end of this month you got sick. You actually were having trouble breathing and because of that we ended up at a pediatric ER with you. A few days before your "5 month birthday" you were being treated for Croup. Watching you struggle to breathe was super hard for me, but I do have to tell you how proud I am of you! You continue to be my little fighter! Even when it was difficult you worked hard to breathe and get all the oxygen you needed! Your oxygen levels never dipped below 97% and because of that you were never in danger of any lasting negative effects from being sick. You also still greeted people who came in the room and tried to smile at times -- even when you were obviously miserable.

While sick (especially in the hospital) you never wanted to be out of my arms. Your constant need for me was tough sometimes, but at the same time I was so glad to be able to offer you comfort and give you a safe place in my arms. I will never forget some of those sweet cuddle moments in the hospital when I knew I was giving you everything you needed and sleeping on me was helping you feel better.

You are much better now! And your Mom & Dad are both super thankful for that! I could go the rest of my life without seeing you in pain again and it would be just fine with me! (I know that's not realistic, but I'm your Momma -- so I will try to make it so!)

Favorite Toys this month: You still love your taggie and hanging rattle while traveling. In addition to these you've started loving your playyard a lot lately. You also are fascinated by your crinkly winged ladybug toy! Another fave for you right now is playing with the "Little Gems" game on Mommy's iPad. You love that you can "throw" the shapes on the screen. You are enjoying toys that make noise a lot. One favorite is a musical toy that your Aunt Lynne gave you for Christmas! It's a great distraction for you when you're upset about your mouth hurting.

I can't wait to see what you learn and are excited about next month, baby girl! Keep growing, keep learning, keep becoming you!

Love Always & Forever,


Snowy Day Pictures (featuring photos by this momma):

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Healthy Snacks: Balls and more balls!

At the end of January I plan on posting my resolutions for 2013 along with info about how I'm doing with each of them.... One of my resolutions involves cooking and another involves my pinterest. I'm hinting because I can't wait to share about this past weekend of cooking! On Saturday Jimmy, Skylar and I headed to a Whole Foods for the first time:


Talk about food-mecca! It was incredible in there! It took Jimmy & I a while to get our bearings, but we were able to get some amazing food! I also was able to purchase a ton of raw ingredients I planned to use for making healthy (but tasty) snacks:


On Sunday after making a ridiculously bad for us (but super yummy) breakfast of french toast, bacon & fried eggs I settled into making snacks for the upcoming week! I made three types of "balls" (apparently that's the form many "snack foods" come in -- who knew?) and here's a picture of all three:


Now for the reviews! First the top left: Clean-Eating Cookie Dough (click for the recipe). These are the ones I was the most excited about and are probably my least favorite. Not only do they take the most work, but the recipe yielded the fewest "balls". I do like them -- just not as much as I had hoped. I may make them again and tweak the ingredients some to come up with something I like better. I will say that probably only about half of the almonds called for are needed to "coat" the balls. So, "food process" a 1/4 cup instead of half a cup.

Moving on to the bottom left type of "ball":  Power Truffles. I like these. They are actually similar to the next recipe, but with more actual nuts in them. Because of that I will likely make these again and will play with the types of nuts I use. This time I used cashews, almonds and walnuts. I would like to see what this is like with other nut combos. I also would probably add a few more cranberries and possibly raisins and a bit less sweetener (I used 3 T of honey). Overall, though, these are pretty satisfying.

Finally, my favorites (saving the best for last) on the right in the above picture: No-Bake Energy Bites. These are my "go to" snack balls at the moment. They are yummy and there's something about the oat texture in these that just reminds me of oatmeal cookie dough (with chocolate chips). I think if I made these with raisins I would enjoy them as well and they would truly be "oatmeal cookie dough bites". I may try that next. Or maybe I'll make half the batch with chocolate chips and half with raisins. Either way, these are awesome.

Along with these snacks I also cut up a bunch of veggies and separated them out into baggies for "easy snacking". Here's what I ended up with:

Veggies (Carrots, Zucchini, & Celery)

There ya have it friends! Here's me dipping my toe into the "healthy snack" arena. I will be experimenting with this a lot more in the coming year and I can't wait!

Love & Kisses,


PS: Last night I made home-made olive oil mayo and an avocado dressing out of the mayo. I'll write up a post about that in the next day or so -- after I try it with my veggies! :)



The Merriest of Christmases!

Today has been a wonderful day already... different, but wonderful! (lots of changes this year -- but we still have the important traditions and family time).

My daughter is napping next to me and I can hear Christmas dinner prep going on in the other room. I really don't have much time to post, but I wanted to say:


With Love, Emily, Jimmy & Skylar

4 Months!

Dear Skylar Joy, You are 4 months old today! You're growing rapidly, little one. We're not sure how much you weigh yet (your 4 month check-up is next week), but I'm willing to bet it's 15 pounds or more. You're already in 6 month clothes and will probably be in 6-9 and 9 month clothes pretty soon!

It seems like every day you are learning something new, trying to touch a new item, or getting better at a motion you learned yesterday. My precocious little girl, you are always curious, and always touching and exploring your world. Mommy & Daddy have loved introducing you to many new toys this month.

The firsts for this month are very broad! Momma will try to list them all, but they are many! You are learning so quickly, baby girl!

Okay... This month Mommy noticed (while stopped at a McDonalds on the way to Virginia) that you smiled when I kissed you! Previous to this you didn't seem to understand (or know what it meant) when I kissed you. But in that McDonalds you first seemed to realize that it's a good thing! And something to smile about! This warmed my heart and made me so very happy. Ever since kissing you usually elicits a smile or a giggle.

This month you had your first looooong road trip (the first of many I'm sure). We drove from our old place in Virginia to Ohio for the week of Thanksgiving (and then all the way back to NC the Sunday after Thanksgiving). You rocked the trip, little one! We stopped 3 times on the way there and twice on the way back! Impressive! You were easily entertained in the car and slept most of the way there and back. Thank you for being such a good little traveler!

This month you started wanting to pull yourself up with your stomach muscles. When you do this it looks sort of like "baby crunches" and you can't get all the way up to a sitting position without help. Daddy has loved helping you do this, though, and you guys often practice this move. You started doing this the most while at Pop Pop & Gram Gram's in Ohio for the week of Thanksgiving. As part of the "crunches" you're learning more about your feet & I'm pretty sure you know they're yours. You grab your feet often and pull your socks off a lot. You also hold your legs or feet back for me when I'm changing you! You do this fairly consistently. It's so cute. It makes me laugh. Thank you for being so helpful, little one!

I mentioned we've been trying out new toys and items with you... well, one of them is your play-yard. It's basically a mat with hanging toys. You actually used it for the first time right before we flew to NY, but it's been used quite a bit this month and you've really gotten the hang of playing in it. A new item you started using this month is a bouncy swing that hangs in a doorway. You tried this out for the first time while in Ohio. You're still getting the hang of it, but you can bounce pretty well and seem to enjoy it! You don't like to stay in the bouncer seat for very long right now, but Mommy & Daddy are hoping that will change as your legs get stronger. :)

While in Ohio you also started teething for the first time. You still don't have any teeth, but we can see (and feel) some under the surface and you were chewing on anything and everything (including fingers) while we were visiting family in Ohio. You also were having trouble sleeping -- we think from the pain -- and we found creative ways to give you some Tylenol at bedtime. That seemed to help. Your teething has backed off some since we got home, but you still have some incredibly drooly days paired with lots of chewing. No teeth yet, but we're guessing you'll probably have some soon.

A lot of new things happened while we were in Ohio! You also drank from a tiny little cup while Mommy and Daddy were visiting friends. It was just a bit of water, but we tried it out after you were interested in Mommy's cup. You definitely drank water and swallowed it from the cup. It was so very cute. You started getting more interested in toys and interacting with us and the toys. You're still not really into being by yourself with toys -- but this isn't surprising considering how much you like attention. One of your favorite "games" while in Ohio was pulling magnets off the refrigerator with Pop Pop. It was neat to see how quickly you figured out how to "play" and you learned to grab just the right way to knock off the smiley magnets -- often in one swipe.

Another first was turning onto your side. But you didn't stop there! You turned all the way over several times in one day while in your "play-yard" on the living room floor. You also turned over a week or so later upstairs on your changing mat. I missed seeing you actually turning over each time because you did it right after I started to work on something. Silly girl! You're not turning over all the time, but you definitely can do it on purpose when you want to.

You are pretty social, baby girl, and seem happier when out and about with people. You still love being held and interacting with people. Being in Ohio with tons of family was a huge treat for you. It's been interesting getting back to "normal" with just Mommy & Daddy, but not too terrible... you just like a lot of attention!

One of Mommy & Daddy's joys this month was watching you work to "figure things out". You get this very serious look on your face and use your hands to try and grasp/touch things. Playing is very serious business and we love watching you! It's incredibly cute to see you care so much about what you're doing and we both love seeing you figure things out and explore.

You seem to have gotten over being easily startled and scared by things. At least you don't scream much anymore if you do get scared. It still happens -- but really rarely. This is a relief for both of your parents! When you scream in fear or pain it's hard on both of us! Fortunately you've never been too terrible about it anyway -- but it being more rare is definitely a good thing!

Your speech is getting almost like real words. One thing you say over and over is the sound "ma." You say "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma...." Over and over! We're thinking maybe "momma" or "mommy" will be your first word, but who knows if we'll even know you're saying it for real!?! ;-)

Another special moment I have tucked in my heart is the first time you put your elbows up on my chest while I was wearing you and stared at me until I looked down at you. It was *so* cute for you to do that and your expression was adorable! You do this from time to time in the Mei Tai (a loaner from the baby wearing group -- but we like it so much we'll likely get one of our own sometime soon!) and I love it every time. Speaking of the Mei Tai carrier, we did a successful "back carry" a couple days ago and 2 other times since then! You don't really seem to know what to think, but will sleep and chill in that carry for a while. Usually until you're ready for more interaction or until you want to be fed. It's really useful for me because I can get more done when I'm wearing you like that! & I'm so proud of my big girl being able to be on my back and relax there!

The final "Mei Tai" memory for this letter happened just a couple nights ago. We were out with the neighbors and I started nursing you at the table (you were hungry and letting me KNOW it!). Well, I was talking particularly loudly at one point and you stopped eating, pulled back, and waited for me to look down at you. You GLARED at me with the angriest look I've seen yet because I was being loud while you were eating. You kept this expression for a good 20-30 seconds until your parents laughing (Daddy had joined me by then) finally made you smile and then giggle. You definitely wear your emotions on your face, Skylar Joy. Just like your Momma.

As I typed the last half of this note you've been sitting in my lap. This is yet another new thing for you! You sit and watch TV with daddy & sit with me while I'm on the computer. The very first show you ever watched was a MythBuster's episode with your Dad. You loved the movements and all the colors. You also have started to love on the kitteh! You pet Harley for the first time this month. I love you two becoming friends! It's so cute & Harley is patient with your tugging -- to a point. We'll keep working on being gentle with the kitteh!

Some of your favorite toys this month were: your pink taggie made by Lora of Tater Tots! The soft penguin your Gram Gram got you while in Ohio, Your "first doll" who has very yummy feet, and the rattle attached to your car seat (it is the ONLY thing that will keep you from crying when you've become impatient with being in your carseat). I can't wait to see what your favorites will be next month!

Well, little girl, this letter is long enough! I'm sure I could go on for several more paragraphs about all the things changing, but I won't. These are the big things -- the things I will forever remember about this time in your life.

I love you, baby girl. Always & Forever!


Some of my favorite pictures from this month:


2 Months Old (10/9/2012)

[Originally Posted on Facebook 10/19/ 2012] Skylar Joy,

This month has been filled with changes and growth. Your 2 month check-up at the doctor showed you are 12 pounds and 7 ounces. You're 23 inches long. You're in the 87th percentile for weight and the 75th for length! You're such a big girl! And so very strong. The doctor and nurses were surprised by how well you hold your head up and move your head around. Mommy wasn't surprised since I've watched you do that for a long time, but it was cool to hear others oooh and ahhh over you!

Here are your first this month, baby girl:

This month you started showing Daddy and Mommy that you are hungry by moving your mouth and tongue -- instead of just crying to eat. You still cry if we wait too long to feed you, but you've definitely started communicating more with us.

You slept longer than 5 hours for the first time this month! You actually slept for 7 hours two nights in a row while we were in a hotel room for our house closing. You surprised both Mommy and Daddy by sleeping for so long.

You smile consistently now and always smile "hello" to your Daddy when he gets home at night. You have little cooing conversations with your Dad to tell him what's going on. I love watching you two interact. It warms my heart so much. You talk to Mommy now too! It's usually while you are breastfeeding.

You laughed in your sleep a few times during this past month. You also have giggled a couple times when interacting with Mommy and Daddy. You're not consistently laughing yet, but so very close to it! The first time you giggled Daddy was around and you giggled at Mommy first and then Daddy when he came over to see you. Your timing was pretty perfect, little girl! Good job!

This month has had some ups and downs, but you've relaxed a lot, sweet girl. I think The stress of moving and everything that was going on took a toll on you. You were pretty fussy for a while, but have settled into a much more calm pattern.

Recently I noticed that you seem to be able to see much better. You watch the world from the safety of the Moby carrier. You also seem to be seeing much more from the carseat in the car. You look outside and watch the lights and everything passing by and are entertained by it. This is a huge relief to me because hearing and watching you cry in the car was really rough for me!

Another "first" for this month is you learning to fall asleep without having to be nursed or rocked soundly to sleep. When Mommy puts you down for a nap or at night you usually open your eyes and wake up some, but consistently you have fallen back asleep on your own without having to be picked up. I'm so very proud of you!

One new change that's very hard for your Mommy is that you are crying tears now. When you cry your eyes fill up and tears spill down your little chubby cheeks. It breaks my heart to see your tears, but I know this is just another way that you are growing and changing. Another thing that was tough for me was that you had your first cold this month, baby girl! You were very needy along with your cold symptoms. For several days the only way you would nap during the day was in the Moby. Mommy held you close and helped you feel better using the Kangaroo technique of skin-to-skin contact in the Moby. You're all the way better now and I'm so glad!

Recently you have found your lips and tongue. You smack your lips and brush them against my arm, my shoulder, my chest and you blow bubbles with your drool. (Oh, yeah, lots drool is another new thing. But that could be partially from your cold.) You play with your tongue and try pushing it against things. You often lick Mommy's shirt or chest (depending on how you're in the Moby) and pretty much lick anything that comes close to your mouth. It's cute and gross at the same time. But we love that you're growing and learning about your environment, baby girl.

Keep growing little bean -- but not too fast. Mommy wants you to be little and in her arms for a long time!

I love you. Always. Forever.


1 Month Old Already! (9/8/2012)

[Originally Posted on Facebook 9/21/2012] Skylar Joy,

You are one month old, baby girl. And what a month it's been! From the first time I laid eyes on you I loved you, but this month has taught me so much about what the word "love" really means. My heart is full and my eyes teary as I type this. I already cannot imagine my life without you in it. I cannot really describe how much I love you, but I will try: It's a whole lot, a bunch, a bushel, to the moon and back a bazillion times. It's a lot, little jellybean. More than a lot... and more than I can say -- but I know it's just the beginning!

I can hardly believe that you're one month old! So much has happened and you have grown so much! At your last check-up you were in the 75th percentile for height and weight. You weighed 9 pounds and 11 ounces. Breast-milk is doing your body good, little girl! I'm so glad you're growing, but my heart also longs for you to stay little as long as possible.

Since my last note you had a lot of firsts... You slept overnight somewhere other than your home for the very first time. The next day you had your first shopping trip with Mommy! And you did really well! Everyone loved peeking at you in the Moby carrier and thought you were so cute and sweet! I loved showing you off!

You now grab things consistently and really strongly. A good example of this is: my hair. You grab and do not want to let go and it usually takes me a while to get my hair out of your grasp. Even though it hurts some, I love seeing this example of how strong you are!

Daddy built your swing for you this week and you love it. You watch the Betty Boop poster on the wall while you swing and seem oh-so-entertained by it. I think it's her eyes that make you so enthralled. When you're somewhat fussy you tend to fall asleep in the swing and Daddy and I are really thankful for that!

Some of your newborn clothes officially stopped fitting this week. And that makes me a bit sad! Some of them were so very cute! But I guess 9 pounds is pushing the newborn baby clothing limit! I'm so glad you're growing -- but don't grow too fast, okay!?!?!

You met your uncle Luke this week and were really good when he held you. You also started talking and smiling at Grandma B this week! We are quite certain you are smiling for REAL now and it has made us all really happy (your mom, your dad, your grandparents... people on the facebook, all of us!) Daddy and Mommy now do things to try to make you smile and what a fun game that has become!

You slept in bed with Daddy and Mommy for the first time this month. It was while Mommy was dosing and Daddy was sleeping. You were so cute and cuddly that I couldn't resist letting you join us. We both got up and you stayed asleep for quite a while in the bed by yourself.

During a dinner out with friends I discovered that I could calm you by singing to you while you were in the Moby. This discovery made my heart warm and I loved that my voice could do such a thing. So I sang to you over and over and over the same tones and you calmed and eventually slept.

You also had your first all-day-event out of the house for a movie marathon. You slept on me for a lot of it, but really, I was surprised by how well you did. You had your fussy moments, but even the explosions from the many superhero movies didn't wake you typically. And I enjoyed the snuggle time we had during the movies.

Thinking back over this last month it's really hard to believe that not that long ago I was struggling to bring you into this world. Those moments of pain were so difficult, baby girl, but I would do them all again to have you in my life... to hold you close and smell your head and to have the chance to love you. I am so thankful that you are healthy and growing. After all we've been through that gift is amazing in it's simplicity.

I love you, little one, more than I could have ever imagined. Keep growing, keep learning, keep becoming you! I can't wait to know you better. You are beautiful and special already, my lovely little girl!

Loving you Always, Your Momma

Three Weeks & Growing (8/29)

[Originally Posted on Facebook 8/31/2012] Dear Skylar,

You are 3 weeks old today! It's been a big week in your life, little girl... lots of firsts and new things. You had your newborn photoshoot. It was the day after a tough day for your Mommy and we weren't sure how you would do. You were absolutely perfect! Mommy & Daddy were so proud of you and loved spending time with you while Liz (photographer & friend) captured fun moments for us! We will cherish those photos forever! You went out to your first dinner with mommy and daddy and friends this week! And you rocked it! You also attended your first Mommy-baby function by going to the Motherhood Cafe with mommy on Monday. Speaking of Monday you had your weight checked on Monday and you're still gaining -- just like you should be! You were 8 pounds, 11 ounces! I am so proud of you!

You had your first bath this week. At first you didn't seem to know what to think of it, but you seemed to generally be fine with the water and even maybe enjoy it a little. I had fun splashing in the water with you & we certainly confused the kitteh with our adventure (she could not figure out why you were in the special tub in the regular tub). :)

You also went on you very first road trip. You slept and were a happy baby for the whole trip... (excluding the very very end -- the lights and stopping/going weren't a happy thing for you). We loved having you with us traveling and can't wait to go on more road trips with you, baby girl.

Another first for this week: You attended trivia with us on Wednesday night! You were so good and everyone loved seeing you and your "I was born awesome" onsie (it's barely fitting you -- so I'm trying to use it often since it's so true! *smiles*). I wasn't sure how you would be that late at night, but we both think you were great at trivia and it didn''t seem to have disrupted you much!

You continue to get annoyed by the car seat when you're first strapped in (you don't like it when we tighten the straps properly , but you LOVE being in the Moby carrier on Mommy! It makes me so happy when you snuggle against me and go to sleep. Some of my favorite moments with you this week were while I was wearing you. You are so cute sleeping and cuddling with me & you always seem to want to have your hand peeking out of the carrier and this makes others smile (me included). I love how much others love you and enjoy seeing you and holding you!

Your little arms and legs are filling out and you have some chubby rolls happening. I love seeing your chubby cheeks every morning and your inadvertent smiles from time to time. Your accidental expressions are great -- I can't wait to see you smile on purpose! You are so cute!

I am slowly learning what your cries mean, little girl... and we're figuring each other out. Daddy learned this week that if he cries at you -- interrupting your crying -- you stop and look at him perplexed and uncertain. We also discovered that making a "shushing" noise right in your ear makes you stop your crying or fussing almost instantly. It's short-lived, but works! Lots of learning and loving has been happening and we both cannot wait to see what happens next, baby girl!

Mommy loves you so very much. I love our times together and am thankful for our moments -- the sweet ones and the difficult ones. You are beautiful and perfect just the way you are!

Love Always, Your Momma


Photos by Liz Cook of Sincerely, Liz: Photography

Two Weeks Old! (8/22)

[Originally Posted on Facebook 8/23/2012] Dear Skylar,

This is your momma... the one that's been up at all hours with you and trying to figure out what you want and need all the time. The one that's tired.... but still loves you so very much.

These last two weeks have been amazing, challenging, incredible, and, at times, exhausting. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world... I'm getting to know you, baby girl... and that is special and incredible -- even when it's difficult.

This week we had quite a few firsts: First car ride, first nght at home, first major throw-up (only one though, thankfully), first major diaper blow-out (ewww!), first time being "worn" by Mommy in the Moby carrier (and you love it), first time out and about in the carrier, first doctor's visit (all is well -- you're growing so fast!), first professional picture taken (at the hospital), first "family photo" in our kitchen, and first meeting with the kitteh (Harley Quinn is still trying to figure out what to do with you & if you're safe to be around).

I love it when you smile in your sleep, sweet girl. It's so cute. And I love your smell, your touch, your pretty face. I love being close to you. Wearing you on me has been some of the sweetest moments this week (I'm wearing you as I type this). I'm so thankful that I have the wrap and I plan to wear you often. I love your big dark gray-blue eyes. I love your little hands and your little feet and your little toes. I love all of you more and more every day.

The tender moments... I lock them away in my heart to hold them forever with me. I love you, baby girl. More than I could have ever imagined.

From the first time I saw you I knew that you’d be mine And from the first glance you gave My world it slowed, you stopped the time

And in that moment I could see all of the things that we would be You were the girl I was waiting for...

Like the beauty of the sun you light my life so I can see You make me laugh and show me how, just how good this life can be And in our moments filled with joy, is where I live, where I am free Lay in my arms, I’ll hold you tight, just like you like, continually

And I am, over-whelmed, by you Am, over come with joy You’ve, taken me higher, and shown me what love can do Where would I go, or be, without you

There’s something in your smile that gives me strength to carry on And there something in your words that lingers even when your gone Oh I’ve dreamt, that a time like this would come, fulfill my life...

I could sing a thousand songs about you still that would not do There’s a million tiny things that make the things that you do, you I wouldn’t trade our time together, wouldn’t trade for anything Cause nothing else here in the world can bring the happiness you bring

And I am, over-whelmed, by you Am, over come with joy You’ve, taken me higher, and shown me what love can do Where would I go, or be, without you...

I can only imagine what we have in store for the coming week! I can't wait to enjoy it with you.

Much love always, Your Momma

Dear Skylar Joy,

[1 Week Letter, Originally Posted on Facebook 8/16] Somehow yesterday came and went without me realizing you were one week old, little girl! It's okay... we spent some special moments together & I'll hold them forever in my heart just like the other moments we've had this week.

This week with you is one I will never forget. You scared your mommy & daddy a few times, but ultimately this week I fell in love... I fell in love with your smile... I fell in love with your crazy hand and arm movements (and I thought back to how you felt safe in my womb making those same movements & our connection was even more complete)... I fell in love with your soft skin & tender hair... Fell in love with your crazy expressions and your milk-drunk face after nursing. I fell deeply and irreversibly in love with you, baby girl... and I'm so thankful I've had the time to spend with you. I wouldn't change or give up one second of it for anything in the world.

This week you showed us over and over how stubborn you are. From your demands to eat as soon as possible when you're hungry to your strong grip and your intense desire to have your arms free... you are stubborn and strong. And you are beautiful, little Skylar... So very beautiful. I love you, baby. I don't wanna miss one moment of you and discovering you! I cannot wait to bring you home.

I could stay awake just to hear you breathing Watch you smile while you are sleeping While you're far away and dreaming I could spend my life in this sweet surrender I could stay lost in this moment forever Where every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

Don't wanna close my eyes, I don't wanna fall asleep 'Cause I'd miss you baby and I don't wanna miss a thing 'Cause even when I dream of you the sweetest dream would never do I'd still miss you baby and I don't want to miss a thing

Lying close to you feeling your heart beating And I'm wondering what you're dreaming Wondering if it's me you're seeing Then I kiss your eyes and thank God we're together I just wanna stay with you in this moment forever, forever and ever

I don't wanna miss one smile, I don't wanna miss one kiss I just wanna be with you, right here with you, just like this I just want to hold you close, feel your heart so close to mine And just stay here in this moment for all the rest of time

Don't wanna close my eyes, don't wanna fall asleep 'Cause I'd miss you baby and I don't wanna miss a thing 'Cause even when I dream of you the sweetest dream would never do I'd still miss you baby and I don't want to miss a thing. Love Aways & Forever, Your Momma