It's hard to believe we are TWO weeks away from meeting our sweet baby girl! I went back and read old blog posts when I was pregnant with Ethan and Emerson and it's the exact same feelings - emotional and excited! I really got into "baby mode" after I was in Annie's wedding at 36 weeks. I just needed to get through the wedding and our trip to Chicago before I could focus on anything baby related. That following week I hit the ground running - made a to-do list and literally knocked everything out in a matter of days. The biggest task was going through Emerson's baby clothes, separating them into sizes, and getting baby girl's closet organized. Eric put together the crib and her room finally looks complete. The only thing I "need" to do is pack a hospital bag - how long can it take to throw some stuff together right? =) I've been in FULL nesting mode the last two weeks. I hit an all time low when I was washing our shower curtains. Because that's important right??? =) I had all these mindless things I felt "had to be done" before baby came and, by golly, I got them done!
I haven't quite let myself think about our time winding down as a family of four. Because I know when I do it'll be instant tears. Our life is awesome right now and the kids are at such great stages - so of course it's a little nerve-wrecking thinking about adding a newborn into the mix! However, I will say this time around feels a little different because at least Ethan and Emerson have each other. Their little sister has no idea how loved she will be by these two. I feel like Ethan is going to be very proud of his continued big brother role. I can already envision him being protective of baby and telling Emerson what we can and cannot do with baby...he's a seasoned pro. Emerson - my sweet girl - she will want to be mommy's helper. She will want to be right by baby at ALL times. Touching her, kissing her, giving her a paci, making sure she has a blankie, etc. My heart is already melting thinking about the first time they come visit us at the hospital.
37 Weeks w/Emerson & Baby #3
I definitely hit the mental pregnancy wall last week at 37 weeks. I thought after my whirlwind weekend in Chicago, being on my feet, the baby dropping, and the movements getting so much more intense that I would at least be told I'm making some progress at my weekly appointment. But of course Dr. Stowell checked me and said there was no change from last week. Tears immediately start shooting out of my eyes as he nervously starts fumbling around trying to find tissues in the exam room. This poor man, I cannot imagine how many pregnant people he has to console...and he's not a warm and fuzzy kind of guy! He gave me a good pep talk though and it's exactly what I needed to hear. He just said the next couple weeks are going to be HARD...all the movements are just going to continue to get more intense...but that baby is right where she needs to be! I left, got more tears out in the car, and then felt so much better. One minute I'm yearning for her to be here so I can have baby snuggles on my chest - the next I'm freaking out that she's actually going to be here...like SOON! I'm going to have a NEWBORN again. The emotions are all over the map.
35 Weeks w/Emerson & Baby #3
Despite being nervous about all the change again, I can't wait to see her sweet face. To see if her little nose looks just like her brother's and sister's. To hear how much she weighs. To have lots of one-on-one time with her in the hospital. To be so proud of having another baby we get to call our own. We're totally ready whenever she is. In the meantime, it's time for Eric and I to soak up quality family time with Ethan and Emerson - which probably means treating them to lots of ice cream =)
We had an absolute blast celebrating Emerson last weekend for a fun-filled, 4th of July themed birthday party! We were so lucky that on top of our Indiana family being here, Aunt Laura, Uncle John, Aidan and Sydney were here for the festivities as well. It had been raining most of the day, but thankfully got a break long enough for the kids to play outside for awhile and to get some great pictures!
We always know it'll be a rowdy time when all the cousins get together, but this time was like an actual WWF wrestling match! Poor Aidan, he was such an amazing sport as he had four toddlers body slamming him, running and jumping on him, and basically using him as a trampoline!
I was excited to see what Emerson would do with her cupcake this year because she wanted nothing to do with it when she turned one. My little sweet pea...she never even made it to the actual cupcake part, just loved the icing. All the kids had a field day with the cupcakes because the icing was making their tongues and teeth turn either red or blue. Ginka, Aunt Arynn, and Aunt Laura did a great job as the clean up crew with all the little smurfs running around! =)
July 4th is one of Eric and I's favorite holidays so it was super fun to have Emerson's party all decked out in red, white, and blue...plus, I can't even handle how cute she looked in her dress! Everyone was so festive and had such a great time - very thankful to have celebrated with our big, and ever growing family!
It's hard to put into words the joy and light this little girl has brought into our lives the last two years. I have said before I believe we have such an incredible bond with Emerson because of the way the first nine months went with her. I once read that colic is a true joy stealer...and we certainly lived that truth. But, it has made the last year and a half feel nothing short of such an incredible blessing. She is one of the funniest people we know and there isn't a day (or hour!) that goes by where she isn't making us laugh. She is 1/3 sass, 2/3 sweet as pie. She is brave and quite the daredevil. She blows us away with her language and realm of understanding. She's determined and independent. She's our little free spirit and our hearts just explode for her. In a perfect world, I would be able to capture every thing she's doing right now in this awesome stage - but, for now here's a peek inside our life with sweet Emerson:
She is talking in full sentences. A couple weeks ago, we started picking up on her improvement in speech and it's just incredible! "Mommy, I have water please?" "I sit down next to you."
Manners are her thing and she's really good at using please and thank you when asking for stuff.
She can count to 11! This blows me away. We've literally never taught her numbers before - she has just picked up on it from Ethan...and let's be serious, Mickey.
We've had a great time in the pool with her so far this year. Last summer, she was barely walking so she's loving the pool - especially swimming with daddy!
Emerson is obsessed with shoes. Not just hers. Anyone's. We will be over at someone's house and she will always, without fail, put their shoes on if left out. The bigger the size the better =) She can successfully put on her own sandals which does save a second or two while we are trying to get out the door! As much as she loves putting shoes on, she loves taking them off even more. The second we get in the car, off.
Instead of saying hi when she meets people, her standard greeting (to family or strangers) is to say, "RRRRROOOOAAAARRRRR" - channeling her inner dinosaur.
Speaking of taking stuff off, this girl LOVES to be naked. Hey, I said she was a free spirit! She would be 100% happy if she did not have to worry about clothes.
Having said that, when she's not naked her favorite thing to do right now is dress herself in other people's clothes. Not a day goes by where she doesn't grab a shirt out of my drawer and put it on. Or she'll wear Ethan's clothes if they are left on the floor (she'll put the pants/shorts on by herself and then can get the shirt around her neck which seems to satisfy her). Hilarious.
She loves to rip up books. Poor Ethan has had to part with several books lately because of Emerson. Only hard board books for her!
She is becoming quite the singer and it is nothing short of adorable. I have a small rotation of songs I sing at bedtime - her favorite right now being "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." In the softest, sweetest voice she will sing about every third word - "row...boat...gently...stream...merrily...dream." =)
Sitting down with Emerson for a meal is next to impossible right now because she will flat out steal your food. Even if it's the EXACT SAME THING on her plate, she'll say "I want bite, please," "I want some, I want some, I want some..." begs like a dog! She's a persistent little thing and won't back down unless you give her a bite. Or if you hold your ground then she'll throw a fit and go to bed hungry. She's usually the clean up eater as well and whenever Ethan's done with his plate, she'll go and polish it off.
Which is exactly why she weighs 26 1/2 lbs. and is in the 95th percentile for height!
Emerson has always loved babies and has shown an interest in them from the very beginning. We got to babysit our friend's baby, Parker, for a couple days and Emerson was such a big help. Always giving Parker his paci and blankie, helping me feed him, and apparently even checking his diaper...!
She also likes babies because babies mean car seats. And car seats make a great place to sit - no matter how big you are.
Emerson will be a breeze to potty train. For awhile now, she has been front and center when Ethan goes to the bathroom. She recognizes when she's in a dirty diaper and will either take off her pee diaper and throw it in the trashcan or she will say "change me" if she's pooped. She likes to go into the bathroom all by herself, put the potty seat on, and "go potty" even though nothing happens while she's actually sitting there. It certainly hasn't been all fun - she's pooped on our floor twice (thank goodness on the hardwood) and if you aren't keeping a good eye on her without a diaper then she'll sneak away and pee on the carpet. Good grief.
Most people would agree if Emerson is quiet then it means she's up to no good. Do I agree? Eh...most of it is harmless =) Like the time she snuck away to her room and had a field day with baby powder. Or the time she emptied out the bottom cabinet so she could stand on it and reach the sink. Or the time she went into my bathroom and proceeded to use shampoo like body lotion. Or the time she chewed off all the tips of the markers. Or the time at Target where I turn my back for two seconds and find she has opened a bottle of nail polish and painted herself and her dress. Bright blue nail polish nonetheless.
Bedtime for her means "time to turn it up a notch and run around like a mad woman." She has no interest in joining us on the couch as we read books to Ethan. Instead, her usual entertainment includes running around in circles over and over and over again or wrestling with daddy. The minute we even elude to the fact that we are going to turn out lights, she'll immediately drop to the floor and say "no, I sleep." We turn out the lights and she's up and at it again running. =)
This little lady can be all girl one minute and all boy the next. One minute she's dressed in pearls and bows. The next she throws on a football jersey and construction goggles.
The relationship between Ethan and Emerson has been one of the greatest joys for me to watch. They are truly each other's best friends and they cannot do anything without the other right there by their side. I swear I still remember the day where I was like, "wait, they are in the other room by themselves...and they don't need me. They aren't at my feet. They are playing." Is that what freedom feels like?! =) Since then, every day is filled with these two laughing together, eating together, hiding together, dancing together, fighting together, annoying each other, giving kisses and hugs, and everything else in between.
I could probably list a hundred more great things about this little girl, but these were just a couple highlights. People say she's "payback" or "she's going to give us a run for our money" - and I'm quite alright with that because of the amount of joy and happiness she brings us. We will definitely be in for an adventure during the next year! We love you pumpkin!