Emerson is 6! It's really hard to believe for many reasons. Am I old enough to have a 6 year old?!? She's already excited about being 7. Ha! Emerson is what I like to call a birthday diva. She loves to celebrate and is very specific in what she wants. The week before she gave a long list of her demands requests for her birthday. I tried to accommodate as much as I could. But, nothing could account for the snow that hit. Upon seeing the forecast for the end of the week I realized we would have to do our birthday prep on Wednesday instead of the day before like I had planned. Of course since it was snowpocalypse everyone in Raleigh was out shopping as well. None the less we got everything we needed and thanks to amazon prime I finished some last minute shopping. In recent months Emerson had gotten very into dolphins thanks to Dolphin Tale. So she wanted a dolphin party. I wasn't really sure what that was but I was able to find dolphin necklaces for her friends and do an aqua theme. When I found this cute little pink dolphin at the store I knew it was the perfect gift for our dolphin lover.
We decided to just have a few girls from school over that Friday to celebrate since they were tracked out. Thursday our power was out but thankfully it cut back on in time for us to make cupcakes. I think everyone was so glad to come over and play to get out of the house! Since she was out of school she made her own birthday crown since the the teacher usually has one if your birthday is a school day. Of course she didn't cut any corners and it was glitzy with jewels and glitter. Since she is a birthday diva we sang to her a total of four times for her birthday. Her birthday dinner request was tacos so I was happy to oblige. We ended the day with a dolphin cookie cake that Haven ate her weight in. The next day she got to go roller skating and had dinner at Chick-Fil-A. Really a 6 year olds dream come true. In true Emerson fashion she's already planning next year.
We had pretty heavy snow at the tail end of Winter. Emerson was tracked out so we didn't have to make up any days. It almost interfered with her birthday but everything turned out ok. But, we definitely had a lot of time at home. This is what Haven thought about the beautiful flurries. Ha!
Happier snow bunnies
Squinty eyes again. Ha!
Emerson is getting so big and mature looking in her pictures.
This isn't from the snow but seriously so sweet. They rarely have a picture together so I had to add it.
Haven would not crack a smile in the freezing temps!
We enjoyed a neighborhood walk to play at a friends when it was really too icy for any fun outside
One smile during the cold.
Sledding! I think the dog had more fun than anyone. It was beautiful but we were all ready when it melted. Next up birthday update on Miss Emerson!
Hello again! Even though it's finally spring I haven't blogged in so long our updates go back to winter.
After Christmas we had an oddly warm day so we headed to the park while Emerson was still on break. I actually brought my real camera to snap some updated pictures of the kids. Ezra now has chronic squinty eyes. Exhibit A.
Exhibit B. Cannot capture those baby blues anymore.
Emerson is always ready for her picture to be taken.
I snapped a few of this cutie playing on a playground for one of the first times. She had a ball climbing the stairs and going down the slide.
Her shirt says it all.
Emerson took every opportunity to take her down the slide. I love how they adore one another. So sweet. Our next update will be snow as we creep our way toward present day.
I kept postponing writing Haven's birth story and before I knew it she was one! Unbelievable. So let's go back and time and revisit the birth of our sweet Haven. First, I honestly thought I would have a baby around Thanksgiving. According to my pregnancy history I would not go past 38 weeks. This was reaffirmed many times by my midwives. As I came near to being full-term I began to have a lot of pressure and contractions. At my weekly visit at 37 weeks the midwife felt confident that I would have a baby within a week based on symptoms and position. Each day I became more and more uncomfortable. Something I had never experienced with the first two. Well, the week rolled by and no baby. I was already feeling quite anxious about doing the the whole childbirth again and the anticipation of not knowing when was not helping at all. Since I had assumed I would have a baby any second I tried not to buy a lot of groceries thinking they would go to waste. Poor kids lived off frozen pizza. They seemed to love it though. When, I went to 39 weeks we were right at Mark's birthday. I hadn't planned anything assuming again I would have a newborn so in a quick effort I pulled together a birthday dinner. It really was a miracle considering I could barely walk through the grocery store. By the time I got to my next appointment the midwife looks down and says, "Well, you've never been this pregnant before." No, I hadn't and it was no walk in the park. My due date rolls around on Thursday and I begin to accept I'm going to be pregnant forever. So logical. We had told Emerson months ago the baby would be there for her Dad's birthday so she was totally confused. I was at a loss too and decided to try some Evening Primrose Oil. I had known for awhile that the baby was posterior. So, I had been doing some ball exercises Friday evening to try to persuade the baby to turn. While on my knees with my arms on the ball I began to feel crampy. Nothing really out of the ordinary since I had false labor many times in the past few weeks. It started to be pretty regular and I waited about an hour to conclude something could be happening. The cramps were 3 minutes apart. I decided to give the midwives a call since that was pretty close despite the fairly low intensity. The midwife who answered was Sarah, who had delivered Ezra. I was immediately comforted that she could possibly be there for this baby. She suggested it was false labor and to take a warm bath to calm things down if it was. You can imagine how thrilled I was. So around midnight I took a bath and the cramps spaced out to 6 minutes a part. I was instructed to try to sleep and see what happened. I put my hypnobabies track on and tried to rest. In reality I was laying down wondering if things would kick it into high gear. Ezra's birth was a whirlwind and I had reason to think things could move quickly. Around 5:30 or so I began to feel very sick and threw up a little bit. Cramps were still spread out but combined with other symptoms Sarah wanted me to meet her there at the birth center based on my previous births. We began to get things together around 6:30 to go to Chapel Hill. Once I started walking around the "waves" did intensify. I arrived at the birth center and was checked. My birth plan stated I didn't want to know how far along I was. Sarah confirmed the baby was still posterior so she tied up my belly very tightly and I sat on a ball with my head on the bed to try to get the baby to turn before labor progressed.
Time went by very slowly and after an hour I laid down to nap since I didn't really sleep all night. Around 9 I woke to labor pretty much at a standstill. In my mind I should have had a baby already so I was pretty discouraged. Mark and I were pretty hungry so the new midwife for the shift suggested we get out and get some breakfast. So, we head to Southern Season. We walked around looking at different goodies. The walking started to move things along and I was nauseous again. I felt like things were progressing so somewhere in the mix we also got Starbucks and headed back to the birth center. Once we got back I did a variety of things to work through the waves. I walked around and spent some time in the shower with hot water on my back. I was thankful for hip squeezes to counteract the pressure I was feeling. Labor seemed to be moving along but waves were still 6 minutes apart. Somewhere in the afternoon I was ready to get in the tub. I had remembered with Ezra's birth being so annoyed with the water getting cold, so I made sure that it was nice and hot. I was able to listen to hypnobabies and really be in the moment. The hot water was very therapeutic and made the whole process manageable. I spent a lot of time with my arms on the side resting my head with a cold cloth. For some reason I had a terrible headache and the cold helped to keep my mind off of it.
About 3:30 I was checked for progress and she said I was getting close. Around 4 the pressure was very intense. I had tried to avoid my water breaking prematurely by eating foods high in vitamin c the last few months. That happened with Ezra and it was not an experience I wanted to relive as far as speed and intensity. Well, I had succeeded and now the the baby was almost here causing incredible pressure with the amniotic sac still in tact. We debated breaking it, but I resisted since I knew it might increase the waves more than I could handle. Within 20 minutes my water finally broke and I felt a huge relief! Things started to move forward but of course me being cynical thought this kid is never coming. My midwife assured me they would not be hanging out in the room if a birth wasn't imminent. The sensation started to shift and I felt I wanted to push. Much to my surprise nothing happened and I had a feeling this baby is the wrong way. Allison told me she thought it was a hand and she would turn around soon. Well, with how intense my labor became I felt like jumping out of my skin. I was no longer able to hang out in the tub so she suggested we get out and try to get the baby to turn. I was on my hands and knees and I was certain that this baby was not going to ever come. After really what seemed like eternity of trying to push but having incredible pain that I couldn't get past I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. At 6:49 Haven arrived sunny side up after nearly two hours of trying to push. I have never been so relieved in my life. She was screaming so incredibly loud and all I could say to her was, "I feel like screaming too." Haha. She was immediately on my chest and I was staring at this little person, and turned to Mark. "Well, what is it?!?" All the waiting and not knowing if it was a boy or girl, then we didn't check right away. We of course were thrilled to have a sweet girl added to our family.
The midwife informed us she is the loudest newborn she has ever heard.
We quickly learned she doesn't like being cold, having her diaper changed, or clothes.
All still ring true today. :)
We could easily see she was bigger than the rest. The only one to have little rolls on her arms. She was 6lb 11oz. Small in terms of the norm, but big for us. After she stopped crying we could see that she looked so much like Emerson as a baby!
Sweet time with Dad
The next morning we were all ready to go home. Thankfully we stayed the night she was born and rested before heading home. That also gave us time to think of a middle name. :)
Here is our midwife Allsion, and also Sarah who delivered Ezra. She was there the next morning to meet our new baby.
We were thankful for a healthy deliver even though it took a little while. I was especially thankful for several answered prayers. To say I was dreading delivery was an understatement. I was extremely anxious and weary. Every time false labor would start I would think, "I'm not ready for this, I do not want to do this." In God's grace I was given time to prepare myself. The uncomfortable weeks I endured allowed me to set my mind towards the birth and be eager for labor to come by week 40. I had prayed for peace as I felt like I had anything but that when Ezra was born. I can honestly say I was able to let go and be in the moment to cope with my waves. So even though it was much longer, it was much gentler on me. How gracious God was to us during the arrival of our sweet Haven. I'm especially thankful to my husband for capturing this moments on camera. I will treasure them always.
They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Psalm 107:30
So Haven turned one! I really dropped the ball on the birthday update and now she is 13 months. I wanted to write down her stats now before it all changes again. First I'll say that at 12 months she was crawling around and that's it. Then about a week later she started pulling up and she was so thrilled with herself. Within a week she was climbing on top of things and booking it for the stairs. Thank goodness we finally got a gate! Now a month later she is slowly cruising and trying to stand up on her own. I don't see walking in her near future but I guess you never know. Right now she is really into trying to impersonating us such as brushing hair, putting on shoes, and rocking her baby. She even loves the play kitchen. Haven is full of life. She grins about 90% of the time and is a giggle machine. But, when she's mad it's not subtle. Girl, has a temper and a set of lungs. She makes it clear to me she does not like her carseat or a diaper change. She is saying Mama and Da, bye and dog. Babbling a lot of gibberish as well. She adores her siblings and gets big belly laughs when she plays with them. When I am about to put her to bed she makes pucker up kissing noises and loves to hug on them. She loves to eat. Her favorites are blueberries, pears, and oranges at the moment. She also loves a big girl peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Haven was about 16lbs 6oz in December. We just love her to pieces. If I could describe her in one word it would be joyful. Such a sweet addition to our family. Can't wait to see her grow over the next year into a toddler!
Chocolate cake was a success.
ps: It was not her first taste of cake. Shhh! :)
The three amigos. Happy. Everyone looking? Well, you can't have it all.
A couple months ago Emerson started asking to get her hair cut. I kept brushing it off because last time she got it cut she asked to have it cut long like Rapunzel. So I didn't think she had a good grasp on the consequences. But, she was persistent that she wanted it short. We have had it short before but honestly I was a worried that this desire for short hair would only last two days. Then she would be pretty upset she had chopped her locks. Well, Emerson isn't one to give up. After some timely advice from a friend that this was a way I could let my strong willed child make a decision we went for it. I made an appointment with our trusty gal. She gave Emerson her first bob 2 years ago and is good with her. I was thinking we would do shoulder length to have enough for a pony tail. In fact Emerson tried to persuade me to cut it by telling me she could still wear it up. Yes, she thought of everything. She hops in the chair and points her chin in the front and the nap of her neck. Big difference! I almost had a tiny heart attack. She knows what she wants that's for sure. 15 minutes later we had an adorable bob and a giddy little girl. It definitely fits her. She was very glad to look like Nannie!
Here is a long overdue update on Haven. Moments to sit down to blog are rare. But, as she approaches one I wanted to jot down what this little girl is like. I tried to capture a few pictures of her. I would really just call it snapshots. When you have a baby that rarely gets her picture taken, they could care less to smile at the camera. The grass was more appealing. So while I don't feel this captures her sweet grin it'll do. After a little drop in weight she is finally up to almost 16 lbs! Small, yes. But, still a big jump from where she was. She is super active now crawling on all fours. She just maneuvers through the whole house exploring and pulling things down. It makes me tired! Her favorite is unrolling the toilet paper. Haven has started dancing when she hears music. I had forgotten how sweet a baby dancing is. She gets up on her knees and bounces. Reminds me of a certain other little dancer we all know.
"What is on my head?"
"Wait, that's cute. I'll put it back on."
Haven is a happy girl. She has the most infectious and joyous smile. Paired with an adorable giggle she lights up the room. She really loves people and smiles at everyone. Including animals. One of her quirks is eating everything. I've never had a baby so determined to put anything not nailed down in her mouth. Definitely keeps me on my toes.
Leaf in the mouth. Case and point.
She's definitely starting to make more jesters such as waving and clapping. As well as babbling a lot. She just started saying Mama and Da. But, most of the time she just says ba to everything and look at you like, "You know what I mean?" I have tried baby signing with her because she gets a little temperamental when she runs out of food. But, when I sign "more" she just giggles instead of repeating the sign. Ha. Can we talk about how much she eats. It is a mystery how she is so tiny because she can put down some food. In one sitting she could eat a whole banana, a half a pear, and cheerios! I could list all the foods she likes but really she likes everything. I'm very thankful to have a non-picky eater. It makes life just a little easier.
Her model pose. When has she ever looked this serious in real life?! Her hair is growing like crazy and now sticks up like a little duckling.
Now, that's the funny girl I know.
I hope to have her birth story put together before she turns one. Better late than never, right?
This is a way overdue post but summer got away from me. Here are pictures from Emerson's recital. She was sugar in Mary Poppins! We are so very proud of her.
She totally rocked it this year and was really excited for the show.
She was a smitten with Jane who danced with her class. See the ear to ear grin. Emerson really had an amazing time. When we picked her up she was bouncing off the walls and asked to go get a pizza. It was almost 10pm! I guess the adrenaline was running high.