Thursday, September 28, 2006

We've had a few rough days... After months of anticipation, Emmylou has finally gotten her first tooth! As a result, I've only gotten about 3 or 4 hours of sleep for the past three nights, so I'm surprised I can even put a sentence together about it here. I've been trying to get a picture of the elusive tooth (the lower center one on the left), but no such luck. I was tickling her in these pictures, trying to get her to open wide to show it off. I can tell you that it is very sharp!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ladies, don't you just feel a little bit sassier when you're wearing a pair of red shoes? Lulu was rocking these Chinese silk Mary Janes from our friend Kristi today. Thanks, Kristi!

Friday, September 22, 2006

I know all babies do this, but I find it inconceivable that I was EVER this flexible. Yesterday Emmylou went to the pediatrician for her 6 month check-up and here are her stats: weight (15 lbs, 15 oz.) and head circumference (16 3/4") are at the 50th %ile and her height (26 3/4") is at the 75th %ile. Sadly, she had to get 4 more shots but I think she's doing okay now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A celeb-baby sighting? No, it's not Violet Affleck, it's Emmylou Stephens! Our friend Alex and her brother Andrew picked out this adorable ensemble for Lulu. They sent a note along with it saying that Violet had the same thing, but that really wasn't necessary. Before I saw the note, the first thing I said when I pulled the hat out of the bag was, "Oh my God, Violet has that hat!" (like I'm on a first-name basis with her). Thanks, Alex and Andrew! I know my (slight) obsession with all things celebrity is kind of ridiculous, but it did help my fantasy celebrity team win first place in our recent Fafarazzi league (thank you, Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise-- I hate you and love you at the same time!)!

Violet (with mom, Jennifer Garner, of course) in Emmylou's outfit:

In other news (and because sometimes I just can't help but comment on pop culture), Emmylou and I can't wait to see what will happen with Pam and Jim on The Office tonight! Are you watching? In case you need a recap, here's a short video you can watch:

There are more entertaining versions on YouTube, created by people with way too much time on their hands, but they were a lot longer than this one. But if you're interested or border-line obsessed like me, click here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And... we're back! Back from another fun trip to San Antonio and Austin! Here are a few of the things we enjoyed doing:
Emmylou and Grammie feeding the ducks at Grammie's lakehouse...

Lulu gnawing on the horsey Grammie gave her that she loves...

Hanging out with Pawpaw...

Laughing with Nana...

Poking Steve in the eye at lunch...

Playing in the Jump-a-Roo at Nana and Pawpaw's house...

Among the 35,000+ at the Austin City Limits Music Festival with Lizzie...

Listening to the joyful noises of the New Orleans Social Club (through earplugs, of course)...

How many licks does it take to get to the center? Trying her first candy, a momentous event.

And getting (a little) better at sitting up by herself...
(another riveting video)

Big apologies to Mimi and Emily, who we somehow managed to not get pictures with on this trip. I guess that means we'll just have to go back again soon!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dear Emmylou,

Half a year! Despite a few mishaps, we've managed to keep you alive for half a year! Yay! You turned six months old today and I can hardly believe it. It feels almost like when you get a new car-- like it doesn't feel like you've had the new car for that long but it seems like forever since you were in the old one. I guess one day you'll know what I mean, but I suppose I'm just trying to say that I can hardly remember what life was like before we had you and I'm happy that I feel this way.

We've been really busy lately because you are celebrating this milestone in Austin. This is our third night in Texas and we're spending the night at Lizzie's, the third place we've stayed so far (and I think Aunt Emmy's place is next on the list!). We came for the Austin City Limits Music Festival and you'll get to go at least one day this weekend. Because we've been so busy lately, I haven't had a chance to post some of our latest adventures, so here's what you were doing before we left:
Sitting in the Harris' pumpkin patch...

Playing with John at his house...

Reading "Goodnight Lulu" with me before bedtime...

This past month you have fallen in love with your feet. You love them so completely and wholeheartedly that it makes me smile. I don't think you could possibly be any happier to find that they are still connected to your ankles each time you play with them. You love them so much you have even fallen asleep twice still holding on to at least one of them:

Oh, and when you're not chewing on your toes, you're sucking your thumb. You are starting a love affair with that, too, and it is too cute when you are so sleepy but manage to find your thumb just before nodding off.

As I say every month, you are getting so big! At six months your eyes are still grayish blue like your daddy's and always bright. You can hardly stay still when I lay you down to change your diaper because you want to roll all over the place and see what's going on. You can sit up and play with toys now like a big girl as long as I put a pillow behind you in case you get a little wobbly. You are sleeping all night long (usually 10-12 hours straight!) but you like to go to bed pretty early, usually around 7pm-- so we're not real sure where you got that from. I think you're finally getting your first tooth! I can see a tiny speck of white on your lower gums that I think will be sprouting up soon. Your favorite foods are sweet potatoes and bananas but you pretty much like anything we give you now that your aversion to peaches is over. You laugh all the time and people are always telling us you're a "smiley baby." I really don't think you could be more wonderful!

Thanks for the most incredible six months of our lives, Emmylou! We know this time when you are so small is fleeting, so we are cherishing every single moment. We can't wait to see how you change and grow in the next six months (but feel free to take your time doing it)...

Love you with all of my heart.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Emmylou is always chewing on her fingers, so we decided to get her one that will last a while:

Baseball? Who's interested in baseball? We're here for the beer.

The O's are now 2-0 when Lulu's at the game (and this time it was the Yankees!), so she must be their good luck charm. Her daddy got into a little bit of trouble, though, when the guy working our section of the stadium made him turn his "YANKEES SUCK" t-shirt inside-out because it was a "family oriented" event. Hmmmm, next time we'll have to pretend that we're one of those nice families who are offended by those kinds of things.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We went to the zoo today with Hope and John! Hope and I had a great time seeing the animals while Lulu and John had some quality napping time. Here are some photos:

Sleeping with the giraffes:

Sleeping with the chimpanzee:

Sleeping with the elephants:

Sleeping with the Rock Hyrax (the closest living relative of the elephant!):

And, of course, wide awake back at the house:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I think I've decided what Emmylou will be for Halloween...

All I need to do is buy her a baby toupee! What could be easier? But maybe she'd be a better Lil' Kim or Sam Jack?

In other news, we have totally won the war against the mice! Not to say we haven't suffered a couple more painful losses, including Gary's beloved chocolate Pop-Tarts and my salad-topper roasted almonds. I hardly want to admit it, but we have zapped 7 mice! We really only thought we had a couple. As part of my gratitude to the RatZapper, I composed this testimonial [entitled " I (heart) the RatZapper"] and sent it to them:
We have had our RatZapper for 7 days now and we could
not love it more! When we first realized we had a
couple of mice it took us a while to decide that
getting rid of them was worth the guilt we would feel
decapitating them or seeing their body parts
hopelessly glued to plastic trays. Imagine our
disappointment when after a week of using these
traditional methods we had not caught a single
violator! To make matters worse, they seemed to
multiply in the face of our traps and we were almost
resigned to throwing down cedar chips on our pantry
floor, buying them an exercise wheel, and calling them
our new 'pets.' But not since we got the RatZapper! In
7 days we have (humanely) zapped 7 mice and I am no
longer afraid to open my pantry door. Seeing the
tell-tale flashing red light makes my day, and it's
nice to know that our Pop-Tarts will still be there in
the morning. Thanks, RatZapper!
Gary and Becca Stephens
Baltimore, MD

I think I have a future in infomercials!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What a nice, long, relaxing weekend we had! Since it rained most of the time, we spent much of it staying inside and watching the US Open, both Emmylou and I boo-hooing quite a bit, me because of Andre's emotional final match, and Lulu because she was still a bit under the weather. But that didn't stop us from spending a fun Sunday night with the Barnes family and then enjoying a visit from Lauren, one of my oldest friends (since first grade!), and her boyfriend, Sam, who live in New York. They stopped by Baltimore for the afternoon on their way home from a wedding in DC so they could meet Emmylou. We had a yummy lunch at a restaurant in Canton Square and then took a lovely walk around the park-- Lauren was very excited about bugaboo-ing, and I must say, she handled it like a pro. Thanks for coming to see us, guys!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The eyes of Texas are upon you... even in Baltimore! We introduced Lulu to College Gameday this morning and put her in her finest UT gear: Longhorn cap, pacifier, onesie and socks. I'm pretty sure this means one day we'll hear from her: "I wanna go to A&M."