Monday, January 29, 2007

We have a new routine on Monday mornings. First, Emmylou plays with the nice ladies and other babies at the gym child care center while Emily and I workout (we both joined a team weight loss class that meets 3 times a week at 8 am), and then afterwards Lulu and I head to the Children's Museum for Baby Bloomers. Here's what she did at the museum this morning:

Chased and popped bubbles with some big kids (one did accidentally tackle her but she seemed fine)...

Checked out how her fish friends were doing...

Gnawed on a few choice objects (she has 4 teeth coming in right now) while saying hi to Lizzie...

And played in my favorite stress-free spot: a completely padded corner with nice cushy blocks. Think I could get one built in our house?

By the way, today is Mimi's birthday and Emmylou sends her a big hug and kiss!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Wheeeee! We finally put up the swing Grammie gave Emmylou for Christmas and she LOVES it! Today after several minutes of swinging and smiling out in the sunshine, she almost fell asleep in it. Um, can I be a baby again, just for maybe an hour or so?

In other news, in case you're interested in the mystery of Gladys Hardy (see Wednesday's post), there was another article about "her" in the Statesman this week that you can read here. The word around town is that she is actually one of the Greater Tuna guys (not to be confused with "Big Tuna" from The Office).

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Okay, sorry these are late. A couple more with "Lah-luh" and one with Emmylou playing PlayStation with Daddy:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Have y'all seen this? There's a twist to it which you can read about here, but no matter what, it is hilarious. Just thought I'd share... photos of Emmylou to follow this evening!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Emmylou's second word seems to be "Lola," but it actually sounds a little more like lah-luh. Nevertheless, it was unmistakable that she was talking about her tonight. Here's a photo of her petting Lola we took a couple of days ago.

Also, more evidence that our baby Lulu is growing up: her hair is lying flat on her head! No more baby chick-fuzzball hair. Awww.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I know, I know, this is, like, my fourth post in only a couple of days, but with all of this ice it's either I find things to do around here, like type on my computer, or hibernate (tempting). But I have something very important to tell all of you! This afternoon Emmylou said her first word! She was carrying around her tube of Balmex like she likes to do after I've changed her and while we were walking down the hall she threw it down and then said "uh-oh." Now I know a lot of people wouldn't consider "uh-oh" a real word, but it is (and as a speech pathologist I should know)! Up until now she's always just imitated us in saying "mama" or "dada" or, of course, jibberish. Another thing she's also getting really good at is shaking her head to say "no" whenever we offer her something she doesn't want, most recently in reply to the question "Emmylou, can I wipe your nose?" Now that she's talking, Gary says he's going to make her next word "Kobe" or "Lakers," something all of you Spurs fans out there should really appreciate, especially after the game tonight.

Somebody loves The Wiggles! They were on The View this morning (which I usually try to avoid because of one especially irritating host-- incredibly, not Rosie O'Donnell). But Emmylou was mesmerized, clapping and waving her hands while they played. I thought I had a little longer before all of this started up! Thank God they found a new yellow Wiggle!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Like most of the south, we've been snowed-in (or, rather, iced-in) for the past 48 hours. Besides an emerging case of cabin fever and a complete lack of meat in the house to cook any meals, we're doing fine. I might have said we brought the weather down here from Baltimore with us when we moved, but when I talked to my friend Hope there yesterday, she said it was 70 degrees in the Inner Harbor! Gary was supposed to travel to New York yesterday and Dallas today but both of his flights were cancelled, so he's been here with us, hanging out in his jammies and slippers within 5 feet of his PlayStation at all times. We only took Emmylou outside for about 5 minutes today because she still has a stuffy nose and cough, but we did manage to get a couple of pictures of her in her first Texas snow.

With Daddy under the icicles...

Brrrr-- it's cold!

And sitting in our snow-covered cactus garden!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Here's some video I took of Emmylou today. She's a little wobblier than usual in it and not too sure of where she's going, but for those of you who haven't seen her in a while, you'll get the idea. If it's not available, check back later-- it seems that YouTube is a little slow today.

Dear Emmylou,

Yesterday you turned 10 months old, and last night, just as I was about to write your letter and take some video of you walking around the furniture, you fell and bonked your head on your Busy Zoo play cube. You managed to fall on the corner of it, right between your eyes, which is probably the worst injury you've had so far. Really, it wasn't that bad, but afterwards all you wanted to do was bury your head in my shoulder and then go to sleep. I thought you might have a black eye this morning but it's just a faint red line. Anyway, today we're having a big ice storm in Austin and staying home, so we'll have plenty of time to get some video later.

It always amazes me how much you change from month to month and this month was no exception. You finally figured out that to crawl you have to keep your knees down and not try to push up onto your feet, so you are really cruising around and a whole lot less frustrated when trying to get to all of your toys. Of course, you still prefer trying to walk and can now make an entire lap around our living room holding onto the furniture. Your little brain has been working overtime too, as you are picking up on so much more these days-- you are so responsive and expressive and getting much more independent in many little ways-- there are lots of things you already want to do all by yourself. On Friday we started Music Together and you LOVED it. I, in turn, LOVED watching you love it. Don't take this the wrong way, my love, but I'm a little surprised by how much fun we have together these days. I mean, I've always thoroughly enjoyed our time together, but this is legitimate fun! In fact, we had the best time together at the DMV, a place I thought was incapable of being pleasant, for two hours on Friday while I renewed my driver's license. What other baby would not only stay happy and quiet for two hours at the DMV but also charm everyone there in the meantime? You are truly special. That was a great day.

What else happened this month? You were sick for the first time which was terrible and I hope it never happens again (wouldn't that be nice). You enjoyed your first Christmas and celebrated the New Year in Austin, your new hometown with all of your family and friends (Yay! A regular occurrence now!). You are eating all kinds of new foods and you do love avocados now. I think your favorite new food this month is blueberry yogurt. You still love taking a bath and when I pour the water over your head you actually try to move around so it falls on your face. Oh, and you also put your face in the water and blew bubbles a couple of days ago and then again last night. How did you know how to do that? I have a sneaky suspicion that you'll be quite a little swimmer so I'll be signing us up for lessons pronto.

I never imagined you'd be such a great companion, Emmylou! I know this coming month we'll be doing many more fun things (sorry, no more DMV for a while). We'll definitely be going to see Aunt Lizzie a bunch at the Children's Museum and going for walks at Town Lake as soon as the weather gets a little better. I'm finally starting to feel more settled and excited as I see what our life looks like here. I've never been happier.

Love you,

Friday, January 12, 2007

Here's a shout-out to Lulu's daddy, who's been in Vegas all week but coming home tonight. We miss you and can't wait to see you!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In what I wouldn't consider my finest moment this morning, I turned around from cleaning the kitchen and caught Lulu with a piece of dog food in her mouth. Actually, I only found a few crumbs left in her mouth, so she must have eaten the majority of the rather large nugget. I can't wait to see how soft and shiny her coat gets!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Our friend Eric was in town from Maryland this weekend so Emmylou and I decided to give him and Gary the run of the house last night. We stayed at Emily's so they could do boy things like scream and yell at the people on TV and play PlayStation games as loudly as they wanted, without worrying about waking up a baby (or a wife, for that matter). Aside from it taking about 4 hours for Em and I to make it through Little Miss Sunshine because Emmylou would not shut up, and then me getting a full-on nose bleed in the middle of the night because she stuck her finger up my nose, things went pretty smoothly. See? Here she is enjoying a leftover bottle of Malibu rum from Emily's cruise:

...and trying to get into Cricket's crate:

Overall, Emmylou has been a real handful this past week*-- I didn't know she was capable of such fussiness, but now I know for sure what I have to be thankful for: that she's not normally like this 24/7! I spent the last week trying to do whatever I could to make her happy while she was sick, so this week I'll focus on getting her back on a schedule. I would never describe myself as a very structured or self-disciplined person (Gary, stop laughing), but having spent so many years working in the Early Childhood classrooms, I know that if there is one thing kids thrive on, it's having a schedule!

*For this and future posts, "...has been a real handful" can also be read as "...has had her mother in tears several times".

Friday, January 05, 2007

Emmylou seemed to be feeling better today so we (finally!) got to go on our first neighborhood walk. We found the park/playground by our house which happens to be next door to the school where Emmylou will eventually be going!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I took Emmylou to the pediatrician today and just as I suspected, she is not on her deathbed but in the throes of recovery from a rather bad case of the common cold. I did hear that there is a nasty outbreak of RSV in Austin and I was a little worried that she might have strep throat because every time she coughs she cries like her throat is killing her, so I'm glad that both have been ruled out and we can resume normal lives soon. Thank God, because if I watch another episode of the week-long America's Next Top Model mega-marathon on VH-1, I'm going to permanently alter my IQ to that of the mostly brain-dead contestants (excluding smarty-pants Elyse, my favorite contestant from season 1 who is the girlfriend of Marty from The Shins).

Anyway, I'm definitely eager to get on with what will be our normal life here in Austin or at least get a feel for what it will be like living here minus unpacking from a move, preparing for the holidays, or getting over Lulu's and my colds. In one last hurrah for Christmas, we got a package from Auntie Lauren yesterday filled to the brim with presents for Lulu, Gary and me. One for Lulu was even called 'Lulu the Letter-Spinning Spider!' She thoroughly enjoyed and inspected each toy and has played with each of them today. Here are some pics of her opening them... Thanks, Lauren!

Oooh, gotta go-- Top Chef is on! (Yes, I know, I'm pathetic.)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Here's Emmylou with her new little friend, her adorable frog humidifier.

How do I know it's adorable? Because it says so on the box:

Yes, she's still sick and I couldn't be feeling more guilty for dragging her downtown New Year's Eve when I thought she was on the mend. I guess I was trying to not be that mom who freaks out when her kid is sick, so I've learned my lesson now. Poor baby. As you can see, I've gone out and purchased every available medication for her in the hope that she'll be able to breathe through her nose and quit coughing in the near future...

Monday, January 01, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Last night Gary and I went downtown with Emmylou, Grammie, Keith, Ashley and Cole to see Lizzie's performance in the First Night arts festival. Since Grammie came up to Austin to see Lizzie, she volunteered to babysit Emmylou and Cole back at our house afterwards so we could all go out and celebrate. We hit a few obstacles that were probably expected when you don't make plans for New Year's Eve until an hour or two before going out, but our night ended up fun at a party at Keith's sister's house, fireworks included. Emmylou was asleep when we got home so I wasn't able to see the new PJ's Grammie put her in until I went to get her this morning-- so cute (can you see the '2007' on them?)!

We had a lazy day around the house and after having no fever at all yesterday, Lulu seems to be feeling worse today. I'm sick, too, so we are a pretty pathetic bunch. Gary was able to buy a PlayStation 3 this morning, his Christmas gift from Mimi and me, so he's been spending the day alternating between salivating over his new Tiger Woods game and taking care of the babe.