Is it just me, or does the end of the year fly by faster than any other time? It seems like Emma just turned 6 months yesterday, and we were celebrating her half birthday. We love to extend birthday celebrations, so the following weekend we took cake, ice cream, and party hats over to Dave, Cynthia, Olivia, and Kailey's house and partied some more! It's always fun to spend time with them, and Emma loves watching the older girls play.
Each weekend, we've gone to Dan's school's football games to cheer on the team. They had a great season, and won their division's championship for the second year in a row! Emma enjoyed the lights and action, but she liked watching the cheerleaders much more than the football players. She's been practicing her high kicks, so maybe she'll be a mini cheerleader someday. She always gets lots of attention from Dan's high school students and staff. When we're at one of his school functions, everyone says "Oh my gosh, she looks exactly like you, Mr. Jester!" I took her to work on Halloween so she could dress up with my department, and everyone asked "Is that your baby?" Ha! Clearly, Dan wins the gene battle.
The biggest news for Emma this month is her awesome new bed! She was starting to look pretty cramped and uncomfortable in the mini pack n' play she was sleeping in. We were going to wait for Christmastime, but Nana and Papa (my parents) offered to buy a crib as an early Christmas gift for her. We did some price and customer review comparisons and decided to go with an IKEA crib. It's simple, but perfect for the small amount of space we have in our rental house. Plus, the price was right! Since we had purchased her dresser at IKEA, we were able to match the colors exactly.
Dan and I had another date day on Veteran's Day, which was a holiday at both our workplaces. We dropped Emma off at Sue's that morning and then went to the movies for the first time since she was born! We watched "Ender's Game," which was good, but the book is so much better. I'd highly recommend it if you like young adult fantasy novels. We went to a local movie theater we'd heard about that has big leather recliners instead of typical seats. It was relaxing to kick your feet up like you were at home while enjoying the big screen and surround sound.
In other news, we ran our first race as a family at the Shelter Island 5K. My coworker, Janeece, and I have run it almost every year, because it's a flat, scenic course along the water, and there's a huge breakfast buffet at the end of it. If that's not a good reason to run a race, I don't know what is! Dan pushed Emma in the jogging stroller and I tried my best to keep up with them. I'm pretty sure she won the 0-1 year old category! :)
Some fun facts about Emma at 7 months:
- She's sitting up really well now, which we're all enjoying! She can entertain herself for pretty long periods of time without us supporting her to stay upright, but she hasn't learned how to scoot or crawl yet, so she stays where we place her. It's the best of both worlds, in my opinion.
- She has two bottom teeth now, which makes her smile even cuter.
- Her favorite song is "Old MacDonald," which I sing at the top of my lungs in the car when I'm trying to keep her awake. Over time, our farm has moved beyond the typical sheep, chickens, and cows to include snakes, seagulls, lions, bees, and monkeys.
- She's exploring her world in new ways. She continues to put all objects in her mouth primarily, but she's also begun to whack them with her hand, talk to them, pass them from one hand to another, and when she's done with them, throw them out of her stroller or high chair.
- She loves seeing herself in the mirror, and I'm pretty sure she knows who she's looking at.
- She flinches and closes her eyes when she anticipates a loud noise, like when we're about to shut the car door. It's really cute.
- She is finally sleeping through the night occasionally! Praise the Lord!! She's so much better at soothing herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night. It doesn't happen all the time yet, but when it does, it feels amazing to get 6-7 hours of continuous sleep!
- Some of her favorite things are when you animate her stuffed animals, hearing and making funny sound effects, swinging in the bucket swing at the park, and being tossed in the air.
Here are some pictures from our fun times this month:
Partying it up for Emma's half birthday with Kailey and Olivia!
The princesses :) It'll be fun when Emma can dress up and dance around the house with the older girls.
With hard work and dedication, we managed to make our way through half of this amazing chocolate cake. Then we packed up the rest for Sue and her family.
Now that Emma is sitting up well, we just surround her with toys and let her play!
This is how we end every bath time - squirting water from the bottle directly into her mouth. She gets so excited every single time! It's the cutest thing!
She still hates tummy time. Personal Trainer Daddy makes her push through it, though.
She's been very helpful lately with the laundry
And cooking dinner
She's graduated to sitting in the shopping cart, and she loves that she can see everything going on around her. Before, we'd keep her in the car seat and put it in the cart, so her only views were up our noses and whatever was hanging from the ceiling.
We went to many CCA football games this season, which kept us all up past our bedtimes.
But we taught Emma the family secret for staying awake!
Here's a video of Emma and Dan cheering on the team at their last game of the year.
She was definitely outgrowing her mini pack n' play bed. One strong kick, and her head would end up crammed in the corner.
We went shopping for a new crib for her, and took naps on the mattresses to test them out.
Buying Emma's brand-new bed at IKEA
And the finished product!
(She is nowhere near pulling herself up, by the way. I propped her and she was able to hold the pose for a quick picture)
We've had beautiful weather for jogging and enjoying our neighborhood park
And we make sure to pick up our favorite lunch date at least once a week!
At the Shelter Island 5K with my coworker, Janeece
Emma and Ellie are still getting into mischief together!
They are playing with light sabers here. These little Jedis are growing up way too fast!
Oh, and Emma apparently had a young admirer who stayed at Sue's house one day. She looks appropriately shocked by the kiss, so Dan decided to let him live! :)