Thursday, April 30, 2009

Emma meets Kaiden

Sunday afternoon we went down to Smyrna for a party for Nicole, Anthony, and their baby, Kaiden. Nicole and I worked together in the 2's room at TLK, and Kaiden was born just a few weeks after Emma!


It was great to see them and get to meet Kaiden. He is so cute! We'll be stopping by TLK again to see you guys again soon!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Congratulations, Becca!

Drinking my coffee from this beautiful (not to mention gigantic) ECU Pirates mug this morning to celebrate Becca's acceptance into East Carolina University's photography program in the College of Art & Design!!!

(Emma says "yay Aunt Becca!"...sort of...mostly just drool)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

House Projects

A few weeks ago I painted our powder room a rich, dark brown:


We really like the way it turned out! I'm hoping to add a few pictures soon. Becca - we have a photo shoot request for you when you get home from school!


We also added a beautiful clock that was Martin's grandfathers. Martin would help him wind it up when he went to visit, so it is really special that we have this now. It fits in great with the rest of our living space too.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Training

We played catch with Emma yesterday!

Actually, she started really grabbing the ball when we put it on her belly. This is the first we've seen her have that much control over her hands!


She really likes baseball!

Emma was so excited!


Lums Pond

Saturday we went up to Lums Pond with Emma for some hiking and a picnic lunch. The day ended up hotter than we expected, so we only stayed for a few hours.

On the ride up, Emma slept:


We watched a little cricket:


Martin carried Emma in the Baby bjorn:


And Emma fell asleep while we hiked:



What a cutie!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I mowed the lawn today!

With one of these...


It was hard work, but fun too. I think I have officially recovered from having a baby! I'm feeling good right now, likely because its so nice out, but I will probably be very sore tomorrow!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

back to normal

Last week Emma started waking up at 4:30 in the morning, and would get really fussy around time to eat. She's been back to her normal routine of sleeping for 10 hours almost every night this week, so we think that last week must have been a growth spurt!

We don't go back to the doctor until her 4 month check-up, so its hard to know exactly how much she has grown. She weighed 9 lbs. 13 oz at her 2 month check up, and last week my wii fit weighed her at 11 lbs. 3 oz. She also looks a lot taller now.

Emma loves to stand (as many of the pictures can attest), but now she enjoys her tummy time too...holding her head high, though no more rolling over since Tuesday.



Emma found her voice this past week too. She talks all the time, babbling even to herself while in her crib before and after naps. She seems to be a shy one so far, though; not so talkative when we are out and around other people, and she takes after this frog during pictures sometimes:




Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Roll over, roll over

And so she did:



I didn't get a picture of the actual roll over moment. I was too surprised at first, even though I watched her plop over onto her back. I had to think to remember if I really had put her on her belly! So I rolled Emma back onto her tummy, and she rolled back onto her back (still no pictures). She ended up rolling over 4 or 5 times, all in the same direction. These pictures are from when Martin got home. She almost made it, trying to roll to the other side, but she kept getting stuck at the top of her roll!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Driving and talking and eating and lots of new pictures!

Thats the short version of the last few days for us!

The driving part was to Baltimore Friday night (tired late night!), short trip to White Marsh for me, mom, and Sarah on Saturday before the trip to and from Hagerstown on Saturday, then back to Middletown on Sunday.

The talking part was everyone -- including Emma! No real words (though my dad claims she said ma ma), but she has turned into quite the noise-maker with tons of adorable babbling, cooing, and other fun noises.

The eating was out of necessity, but we did have a really nice cookout in Hagerstown at Oma's, which was the main reason for our travels this weekend!

And lots of new pictures as follows, with a little more detail...
While I packed on Friday, Emma slept:
I also listened to the Westing Game on (book on cd), one of my favorite children's stories recommended by Trish!
We went to Caregroup on Friday night, then left for Ellicott City. Sarah was flying in from Miami late that night, and we arrived about 5 minutes before my parents got home from the airport with her. Sisters reunited! (sadly minus one) It was a really late night for us, especially for Martin, who had been up since 5:30!
Saturday I went with Mom and Sarah to David's bridal for Sarah's dress fitting and to get bridesmaids dresses for me for Sarah's wedding and Jen's wedding. We also made a quick trip to Ikea in White Marsh for lunch (delish) and to look at options for the centerpieces for the wedding. Martin and Emma had some daddy-daughter time which included both of them sleeping in!
We drove up to Hagerstown to Oma's for our cookout. Jen and Joel were there!
Emma wore her adorable sundress that Aunt Sarah got for her.



Oma hadn't seen her great-granddaughter in over a month! She had lots of cuddle time. Emma talked up a storm and ate her fingers most of the afternoon.

She also spit up all over Aunt Sarah...twice.

A family picture!
We even got one of the two of us! usually hard to get when your photographer is 3 months old...
Emma was so tired that she fell asleep about 15 seconds after being put in her car seat to go home. We hadn't even picked her up to go out to the car yet!
For church Sunday we went to Grace. Saw Laura and Alison! and many other friends. Emma went to the nursery for the service and they said she did great - sat in a swing most of the time. It will be very exciting when Emma is old enough to go to the nursery at our church in a few months.
We headed home in the early afternoon, so we were able to take our dinner outside and eat in the yard for a little picnic before the cold front came through.
Our favorite picture of Emma from the weekend:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Free V8 juice at Acme!

Go here to print a coupon for $2 off V8 V-Fusion Juice. This week take the coupon to Acme and you'll get it for free because of the sale they are running. Learn more about it at Moms Need to Know.

I was able to print 2 coupons out - try it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

3 months old

Yesterday was Emma's 3 month "birthday", so this evening we celebrated!

Before everyone starts thinking that we've gone completely nuts, the cake leftovers from the one I made for Sunday. Since we already had the cake, we figured we might as well add some candles and take a few pictures!

She's getting so big!

And really good at getting her fingers in her mouth now

The little munchkin

Daddy was having fun taking pictures of Emma sitting on the counter by herself

Doing what she does best - bubbles and drooling

And after cake this evening Daddy got a present from Emma - spit-up in his hair (you can see Martin's face in the mirror)

Home Ec

I had a homemade day yesterday: laundry detergent, banana bread, and deep dish pizza.


The laundry detergent had been on my list to try for a while, especially now that we are cloth diapering. You can't use "free and clear" detergent on CDs because it leaves some sort of residue...and a few weeks before we started with the cloth I had just bought free and clear detergent. I had researched making detergent at home several months ago, but never got around to doing it. I bought the ingredients on Friday: a bar of soap, Borax, and washing soda.


It was really simple, and the cost is less than a nickel per load! First, I chopped up the bar of soap:

I had read that many people used Fels-Naptha soap, so that's what I bought. I've heard that any kind works, even those small bars you get in hotels...now that would be some cheap laundry detergent! My bar of soap was $1.19.

Then I put the chopped up soap, 1/2 cup of Borax, and 1/2 cup of washing soda in my food processor. I have a mini one, but it was the perfect size for one batch of detergent. I also read that putting a damp tea towel over the food processor keeps dust from poofing into the room. That worked well.
Volia! My laundry detergent. It only took about 5 minutes to make!

I bought the Borax and washing soda at the grocery store, right in the laundry section. You only need a tablespoon of this powder per load (or 2 T. if the clothes are especially dirty). I have a HE washer, and this homemade stuff is actually really good for those types of washers because it doesn't bubble up as much as store-bought.

Pretty slick and pretty easy.

The banana bread turned out better than usual, and unfortunately I'm not quite sure why. I use a recipe from a church cookbook that Oma gave me. The amount of sugar is not given in the ingredients, so I guesstimate when I make it. Apparently I guessed well yesterday because Martin paid me the Supreme Compliment (and not a bases loaded intentional walk). He said my banana bread was better than the banana bread from the Dining Hall at Washington College. Normally, telling someone their cooking is better than the DH is NOT AT ALL a compliment...but the one things WAC could make was banana bread. They would always give us loaves to take for away games for softball, and teammates would hide banana bread from each other - no joke! So wow, better than WAC banana bread...that's a big deal!

For dinner we had homemade deep dish pizza recommended by The Frugal Girl. It is a-maz-ing! (like better than you can buy in a restaurant amazing) And the secret ingredient: potatoes! I've also had it made with tater tots :-) This is some good pizza. I doubled the recipe, so we have dough for 2 more pizzas in the freezer. It took me a while to make this time since it was new, but I think next time I will be able to do it without looking back at the recipe every 5 minutes! The recipe is here, complete with instructional pictures!


(his and hers pizzas!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

The weekend

Friday morning Emma and I hung out with Emily. We chatted, played with Emma, and ran some errands. I bought the ingredients to make laundry detergent (more on that very soon!) and we tried to go to the Farmer's Market in town...only to find out that it was closed because of Good Friday.

Friday afternoon when Martin got home we headed down 301 to Chestertown to meet up with Michelle and Trish, my fellow HFGs and watch the softball team play Gettysburg. They lost the first and tied (because of darkness) the second game. We got to throw again together, which was so much fun. And Martin and I took Emma to see the Vickers plot in the Chester cemetery (right next to the softball field) which is the place we got engaged. The rain held off for the games, and it was a great evening.

Saturday we relaxed most of the morning. I made a cake for Sunday and we did a few things around the house. We met our parents in Kent Island for dinner at Harris' Crab House - yum yum. After a lovely dinner we headed home, along with Martin's mom, who stayed the night with us.

Early morning Easter Sunday - Martin was on set-up at church and I was playing the drums. We played the song "Happy Day" - the lyrics are perfect for Easter:

The greatest day in history,
Death is beaten
You have rescued me
Sing it out Jesus is alive
The empty cross, the empty grave
Life eternal You have won the day
Shout it out Jesus is alive
He's alive
Oh happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed

Emma looked cute in her sundress (thanks Aunt Sarah!). After church we headed up to PA to have dinner with Martin's side of the family. Emma was smiley as usual, and Martin and I were able to play some Kubb outside. On our way home I called Lindsay Bell. She and her fiance, Ryan, were driving to Baltimore from New Jersey and passing through the same stretch of 95 that we were at the same time! So we ended up stopping at a rest stop to meet up for a few minutes:



It was late, so that's why Emma looks a little rough in the pictures. It was such a busy day that these were the only pictures that I got! It was great to see Ryan and Lindsay and we can't wait to see each other more often (hopefully) when they move into their house near my parents' house!
Happy Easter - He is risen indeed!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Some really good books

I just finished two great books this past week.




Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card is a science fiction book, which I listened to on cd. More well known by Card is Ender's Game, a book that I read (or rather listened to) last year. In the author's introduction to ES he calls this book a "paradoxical" to EG in that it is a stand-alone book that is also a sequel. It tells the same story as EG, but from the point of view of a different character. The story is about children who go to Battle School to learn the art and techniques of intergalactic warfare in order to defend Earth from invasion by the Buggers. You get to see into the minds of the children in the story, which helps to make this interesting even for those who are not usually fans of science fiction (or so I have been told). I highly recommend both Ender books (and from some research I have found that there are many others which I will be looking into reading in the coming months!). These books are really good to listen to because they have such vivid images and characters. Card talks about a possible film adaptation for these books in his comments following the story, but adds that he thinks the best way to enjoy the Ender story is an audio performance.

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller is a short (130 pages) book written by a pastor in New York city about the parable of the Prodigal Son (which he says should really be the Two Lost Sons). Since this was such a short book, I knew I would be inclined to breeze through it quickly, so I forced myself to read a chapter at a time, then re-read and digest what was being said.
In seven concise chapters Keller explains the message of the gospel in easy to understand language through the characters in Jesus's parable. He calls God "prodigal" because the definition of prodigal is "recklessly extravagant"; God is recklessly extravagant in showing His love, mercy, and forgiveness to sinful people. Keller redefines sin by pointing out that there is obvious sin (like that of the wayward younger son) and less obvious sin (like that of the proud and arrogant older son). He redefines lostness by contrasting those who know that they are lost (and perhaps believe that God will not forgive them) and those who do not know that they are lost (and often believe that they have no need for God's forgiveness because of their good works). He redefines the elder brother in the story to show that Jesus Christ is our perfect brother (since Christians are co-heirs with Christ) and that He did what the older brother in this story would not -- He came to seek and save the lost. Keller also redefines hope; our hope in home will always disappoint here on earth because our ultimate home is heaven. Only there will our hope be made complete.
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Update

Sorry for the absence of posting...multiple reason for the absence as follows.

Emma has been a lot more fussy of late, including a few days last week where she would not fall asleep, despite looking quite beat. There are a few possibilities for the change in her behavior.

1) We started giving her vitamins.

They taste and smell awful (because they've got vitamins!...for those who know Mark Lowery) and they seemed to make her fussy, potentially from gas. We tried giving them to her directly out of the dropper first, which she hated. The nurse suggested putting them in some milk for her, which we also did, but she still seemed fussy. So we have not given them to her for a few days, and she has been sleeping better and overall less fussy, so it could have been the vitamins.

2) She may be teething.

Emma has started drooling like a drool factory! She also gets her fingers, clothes, etc in her mouth as often as possible. This could be because her hand-mouth coordination is improving, but it could also be soothing if her gums are hurting. Its hard to tell for sure if she is actually teething, especially since it is on the early side still, but we'll keep an eye on it!

3) She is a baby. Sometimes they cry and we don't know why! She is mostly a very pleasant baby, so we really can't complain if she has a fussy spell now and then.

In other news, Emma holds her head up really well now. She is looking so much older!


And the other day we saw the most brilliant rainbow ever! It was a double rainbow and you could see the whole thing of BOTH of them. Sadly, by the time we loaded up the kiddie and grabbed the camera this was all that was left.


Other highlights of the last few days:
My parents came to visit for a few hours on Saturday and brought along my garage door opener (which will be installed tomorrow!!).
We had a lovely cookout and dinner outside with some neighbors on Sunday evening.
We bought paint and I have been working on our powder room. It only needs one more coat and it will be done!
We've been watching JAG on dvd
Thats all for now! Hopefully we'll be back with some more pictures soon!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Emma's walking!

well, sort of...

she needs a little bit of help


but she locks her knees and stands on her own when we hold her hands
She is also sporting her new Babylegs - they're really just leg warmers, but they are made by bumgenius, our cloth diapers, and the design on them matches the colors of her diapers!