Friday, March 31, 2017

Seven Months!

Hallie is developing new skills almost daily now!  She wants to play with everything she sees, so you have to watch what is within her reach. Emma keeps forgetting and has to be rescued at least once a day when Hallie gets a good grip on her hair. Hallie is still babbling away, but she's adding inflections like she's having a real conversation with us. She wants to be right in the middle of the action and gets fussy quickly when she's not.  She's still sleeping through the night, with very few exceptions (Hallelujah!!).

We've been passing colds around the household this month, and she had her first fever that lasted a couple of days. It amazes us how healthy she's been, and I know we have my parents to thank for that since they are watching her at their house 3 days a week while I work.  I'm sure she'd be sick more often if she was in daycare with other kids. 

Her success in grabbing things has made her braver. Unfortunately, that bravery resulted in her falling off the couch one day.  We had propped her into a sitting position in the corner of the couch, and she fell over and rolled towards the edge.  Emma saw that she was about to fall off and called me, but I was upstairs and couldn't make it down fast enough.  Hallie was traumatized by the fall, of course, but seemed no worse for wear after she stopped crying.

Her eczema on her head has finally gone away! We still lotion her head after a bath, but it's not getting a rash like it used to. She still scratches her head every time she drinks a bottle, but I think it's just a habit, and not because it itches.  She can drink certain types of regular formula without spitting half of it up anymore, so we're trying to wean her off of the formula with added rice starch since it constipates her.

Guess who can sit up on her own for a few minutes at a time?  We still prop pillows around her if we're not sitting nearby, since she dives for toys and ends up on her face.

Case in point.

She gets to sit up and see everything at the stores now! It's so exciting (and exhausting) for her!

She's really into her feet!

I can't blame her. I've tried them, too, and they are delicious.

It's a full-time job keeping socks on her feet since it's her mission in life to remove them.

She proved to be a great traveler when we drive 8 hours round-trip to Washington DC for my cousin, Rachel's, wedding. Emma has always been a great traveler, too. I see many more road trips in our family's future!

She still gets pureed foods every day, but she absolutely loves finger foods. She can now grab her Cheerios, although she usually gets too excited and drops them on the floor before getting them into her mouth.

She tolerates tummy time a lot better when she flips herself onto her belly. She can roll over from front to back, and sometimes from back to front, but hasn't scooted or crawled yet.

She's not generally a big crier unless we leave her in bed for too long after she wakes up. When she's all done with something or wants you to pick her up, this is her fussy face. Help. me. She is so cute.

Emma has been trying to teach Hallie to say "Emma"

 However, none of us can contend with Nana, who Hallie calls all day long ("na-na-na-na"). My mom and Hallie are both morning people and usually spend an hour alone together before the rest of us are awake.  Nana has the perfect sleeping shoulder, and Hallie snuggles right into "her spot" when Nana is holding her.  I'm not saying she doesn't like the rest of us, but there is a clear favorite.

Sweet sisters


This little sweetheart brings us joy every single day.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Family and Friends

We've had such a fun month with lots of family and friends!  The month kicked off in the best way when my brother, Steve, and his daughter, Meera visited us during his spring break! We absolutely loved spending time with them and showing them around Virginia.

Meera is almost two years old, and both Emma and Hallie had the best time playing with her.

We took the girls to the mall to play one rainy day

They picked out matching backpacks and purses at the store

And shared ice cream afterwards!

The rest of us enjoyed some ice cream with them.

Even Hallie!

We finished off our active day with a fun bath time  

Uncle Steve and Hallie bonded while he was here

Meera was just the sweetest thing! She loved to give everyone hugs and kisses.

We took a trip to Williamsburg to meet Dan's mom for frozen yogurt and swim in her timeshare's indoor swimming pool!

All three kids loved playing in the water!

We ended the evening with dinner at Panera Bread before Steve and Meera headed back home to Boston the next morning.

Emma, Hallie, and I joined my parents on a road trip to Washington DC to celebrate my cousin, Rachel's, wedding.
My mom and dad with the beautiful bride!

Emma quickly hit it off with her younger cousin (whose name is also Hallie)

They danced the night away together. It was the cutest thing!

My Aunt Wanda even got my dad out on the dance floor, which is nothing short of a miracle!

Rachel and her groom, Richard, looking very much in love

Hallie, Emma, and I got to wear our fancy red dresses for the occasion

Another fun event this month was the Ringling Bros. Circus! Our local library provided free tickets for kids who read 5 books, so we collected enough tickets for all the Jester kids to go, and almost the whole family got together to spend an afternoon at the circus.

 We visited the animals before the show started

Naomi and Emma met some clowns during the pre-show

Naomi was tickling Emma to try to get her to smile for the camera

Nathan, Benjamin, Dawn (+ nephew #5, due in May!), Tim, Josiah, and Aaron enjoyed the show, too!

Emma was invited to one of her preschool classmate's birthday parties last weekend. They rented a gymnastics center and had a room for eating pizza and cake.

 Then they let the kids run wild in the gymnastics area! Emma was so brave and willing to try anything she saw her friends doing.  She has developed a lot more coordination in the past year, and I love seeing how strong she is, especially after watching her recover from multiple surgeries this year. God has been good to her and us.

The last big event of this month was that Dan left on a two-week European trip with his school's Senior class.  It's an amazing experience that we're glad he can have, but we miss him like crazy! Thank God we are still living with my parents, because I'm not sure I could manage to keep the kids alive without their help.  We are keeping up with him through texts and FaceTime, and are counting down the days until our favorite guy is home!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Six Months!

Hallie is half a year old! It's so hard to believe. The very best thing happened this month - Hallie is officially sleeping through the night now!  She didn't do it on her own. Dan finally got fed up with being tired and sick from us getting up with her 2-3 times a night and moved her bed out of our room. We found a cozy corner of the dining area for her bassinet that was as far away from the bedrooms as possible, and Dan slept on the couch near her the first night. When she woke up and cried, he'd comfort her every 10 minutes or so, but he didn't pick her up or feed her like we had before.  The very next night, she slept right through the night like a champ, and has been doing it ever since! It was the easiest sleep training of all time.

At her 6 month checkup, she weighed 17 lbs 11 oz (77th percentile) and was 26.4 inches tall (69th percentile).  Her head circumference was in the 96th percentile, because obviously her head is full of brilliance.

Hallie's new sleeping spot in the farthest corner of the house. Apparently, we were keeping her awake, too!

She used to sleep all the time in her car seat, and she still naps in it often. When she's ready to fall asleep, she always cranes her neck as far to the side as it'll go. She'll switch sides sometimes, but always with her nose nuzzled into the side of the car seat.

Hallie is getting so much more talkative. No intentional words or sounds yet, but she is the cutest little babbler.  She's having a heart-to-heart with her dolly in this picture.

She's also getting more playful and interested in things besides eating. She had lots of fun playing with this drum toy.

Hallie had her first beach outing when we got together with our friend, Cynthia, who was visiting from San Diego.

And she got to wear this adorable bathing suit for her first swim!

She really loved being in the warm, indoor pool.

Her meals have expanded to a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. So far, she will eat anything.

She's not quite ready to sit up on her own, but loves to be propped up to play.

Over a month ago, she rolled over every day for a week. Then she decided she had conquered that move, and stopped rolling altogether. We have tried to entice her to roll over again to get to her toys, but she is content to lay on her back and play with her toes instead.

Hallie, my mom, and I attended a baby shower this month for our friend from church, Rachel.

She charmed all the ladies in the room, of course.

She can get her pacifier into her mouth correctly now and knows to hold it there instead of jerking it away immediately.

She has successfully held her bottle by herself a couple of times, too. If we take the bottle out of her mouth, she will grab it and pull it back to her mouth.

She thinks Emma is the best thing ever. She lights up and starts giggling as soon as her big sister enters the room.

We had a little half birthday celebration with her grandparents when Hallie turned 6 months old. We wore party hats and ate cheesecake for dessert.

She thought the candles were amazing and kept trying to grab them so she could set the house on fire.  She got a few bites of cheesecake, too, and loved it!

Partying it up!

Dan and his girls

Happy half birthday to our sweet Hallie! We love watching you change and grow!