You weight & height: 21.5 pounds and 29 inches long. eating & sleeping: Typically you'll go to bed around 8PM and wake up around 7AM in the morning, a little earlier than we're used to but you're always so happy first thing in the morning that the wakeup call is still pleasant. We've officially jumped into the realm of pureed and solid food and so far you've enjoyed it! You love bits of banana for solids and apple & spinach has been your favorite puree! We're STILL trying to find a formula that doesn't upset your stomach, but recently switched to a soy-based one that (fingers crossed) seems to be working, making us wonder if we might need to watch out for some sort of milk/dairy intolerance in the near future. exciting firsts/milestones: This past month you have really started moving & grooving! You can now sit yourself up and stay there unassisted, and are constantly rolling, army-crawling, and lunging yourself across the floor to get to where you've set your mind to! Every day you've had us on our toes thinking that you're about to start full on crawling, but we haven't gotten there quite yet! things I love: You LOVE the independence that learning how to move has given you, and that along with your love for grabbing onto things with your iron-clad grasp has made you quite mischievous! You love playing with toys and books and are so curious about the little details of them. Emery is still your favorite person for playing and laughing with, and Mama is still your favorite person to cuddle up with come bedtime. things I don't enjoy so much: You do NOT under any circumstance like being left alone in a room while awake. You could be surrounded by toys and completely content with mama or Emery playing separately in the room with you, but the second people get up to leave and go somewhere else you'll go into full meltdown mode until mama comes and picks you up to go into whichever room she was originally headed. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: As much as I hate to admit that it's taken me seven whole months to get to this point, I'm learning now more than ever how important it is for me and dad to adapt how we do things to you personally instead of just trying to do whatever worked for Em at this same stage. You and Emery do get along so well, but are so different in personalities, strengths, struggles, and needs, and we've found that when we really pay attention to taking care of your needs in the way that is best for YOU, things go a lot more smoothly. From your diet, milestones, schedule, etc, you show us more every day how much you're growing into your own person, and we absolutely love you for it!
weight & height: 29 inches long and 20.4 pounds. You have had quite the growth spurt since last month and are now in the 90th percentile for weight and still at the top of the charts at 99th for height! eating & sleeping: Seeing how you've grown confirmed our suspicions of you going through a growth spurt because this past month your eating and sleeping have been all over the place! Most days you'll eat well, but lately the only place you want to sleep is either on mama's chest or in our bed, even waking up in the middle of the night wanting to cuddle in with me and dad. It's been a rough go for everyone as far as sleep goes, but mama's baby app told me that around this age you're recognizing more the relationships and distances of those around you, and it helps put things into perspective when you want to be extra close. exciting firsts/milestones: This past month you got the hang of rolling from your back to your tummy, and it's been pretty fun watching you find ways to roll and squirm around in order to get closer to things that you want (usually to mama). We took you to the beach twice this past month, and so you got to experience ocean and the sand for the first time and love them both! You're also getting better at sitting up on your own for short periods of time, although we still make sure to stay close by just in case you happen to topple over. things I love: Your favorite thing lately has been getting as much playtime and attention as possible, and Emery is hands down your favorite person to play with as long as she remembers to be gentle. You love bath time, and mama has a hard time keeping the splashing to a minimum because when you and Em are both in the bath splashing is the most fun thing that the two of you can do together! You've also really taken an interest in a few small toys and colorful books, and like being able to touch them to get a better feel for the bright colors. things I don't enjoy so much: As of right now you don't love sleeping in your own bed, and you hate feeling like you're being left out of the fun if you feel like you're too far away from anyone in the house. Teething has been a little rough for you this past month as well, but usually can be helped with extra milk and cuddles with mama. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: Sleep seems to be a pretty big topic this month, and with the lack of it mom & dad have basically tried to learn to appreciate as much of the sleep that we can whenever we can get it, even if it means working on a newborn-ish schedule again. We've also tried to be out-of-the-box thinkers when it comes to finding solutions to the sleep struggle, and have found that when we keep and optimistic mindset and continue to try new things to find what it is that will help you most, that things end up working out ok in due time.
Happy half birthday to our sweet little squish! The time is flying by SO quickly and we're working hard to soak in as many of the little moments as we can!
Whew! Since Kyle's graduation in May our lives have been running a million miles a minute, so before summer is completely gone I wanted to take a quick second and get a little life update written down, as well as share these cute family pictures we had done at the end of May before my kids grow up even more than they already have since these were taken. The photos were taken in downtown Salt Lake City by my sweet photographer friend Heidi, and as always it was so fun seeing her and getting to soak in some of her amazing talent while we were in Utah.
With how quickly summer has been going by, I've noticed that the kids have been growing just as fast and it's blowing my mind. Emery turned three at the end of June (pictures from her party here), decided she was ready to be toilet trained (and has done awesome with it since, great job Em and yay for gentle parenting/potty training!), went through another summer of swimming lessons, and still runs on about six times as much energy as the average human being. Since moving she still occasionally asks to go to her "black house" (our apartment in Louisville had a black front door) or to my parents' because Nan misses her 😂, and still asks for her bff Gus at least once a week, but is slowly starting to recognize our new space as her own and gets excited when she spots her "new house in Oregon" whenever we drive home from errands. I don't know of many three year olds that have as many houses as Em does, but I'm considering it a good thing that she has so many places that have truly felt like home to her.
Ashton is quickly approaching his half birthday, and has developed quite the adorable little personality. He loves to move and is constantly rolling, squirming around on the floor, and jumping on whatever he can. He's got two little teeth coming in and is constantly drooling and chewing on whatever he can get his hands on (or just on his hands), and is always quick to flash a flirty smile when you look his way. Ashton's favorite place to sleep is still on my chest or smack in the middle of mine and Kyle's bed, and out of all four of us Ash has been the one to take the longest to adjust to pacific time making earlier than normal morning feedings a fairly regular thing. He's obsessed with Emery, and brings so many smiles to all of us every day!
As far as the family goes, we've been having a summer of transition and suitcases, going from Louisville to Utah in May to hang out with family for a couple of months (thank heavens for my incredible parents for giving us somewhere to live for that long), then from Utah to Oregon to finally start putting some roots down in our new home state! I'd love to say that we're completely settled in and unpacked, but Kyle not starting work until the end of August has made us extremely laid back when it comes to getting things up, and our house still has yet to have any sort of decor, shelves, etc. on the walls and we're still waiting on getting quite a few furniture items bought. We got all of the basics unpacked, and since then have been soaking in the first real summer "break" Kyle has had since before dental school by exploring bits of Oregon and making/planning trips down to California to visit family and friends. Oregon is absolutely beautiful and everyone here is so nice, making us excited to settle down more and find a sense of community and friends as we're here a little longer. I am really excited for our house to start feeling more like a home, but am definitely enjoying the time that we're all having together as a family and know that the unpacking will happen in it's own slow-paced timeframe. With two high energy kiddos keeping us busy during the day, I'm considering it a win if we can get even one box done a day. 😉
This summer has been equal parts exciting and exhausting. Moving with two kids is freaking hard and it'll probably take us three years to get everything unpacked, but I feel SO lucky to have Kyle around to help get it all done. We miss our dental school friends fiercely, but are ecstatic to be done with school and to be getting on into a "regular life" routine. I'm still having to remind myself on a regular basis that this is our real life now, probably because we're still technically waiting for our "regular" to begin, but it's weird thinking that we don't have to go back to dental school and that once Kyle starts working that will be our new norm. It's still an adjustment, but we're really looking forward to all that's ahead and are learning more than ever to enjoy the little things, and all the time with each other now that we finally have it. 💛
weight & height: 27 inches and 18.5 pounds. You haven't gotten any longer but have gained two pounds in the past month, putting you in the 80th percentile for weight and 89th for height. We finally found a formula that doesn't upset your stomach and it looks like the positive change is paying off with healthy growth! eating & sleeping: You're still on a full-formula diet and doing well with it! You love your milk and will even ask for it using sign-language occasionally when you're hungry. As far as sleep goes, you're still not fully adapted to the different timezones that we've put you in, but typically will still sleep well through the night and for now are just a bit of an early bird. exciting firsts/milestones: This month has been BIG as far as firsts go for you! You've started rolling over regularly from your tummy to your back (and are so close to rolling back to tummy!), had your first road trip (from Utah to Oregon), and surprised us all when on your five-month mark exactly you cut your first tooth! We were all a little surprised that it came so early on since Em didn't get any teeth until closer to 8 months, but are excited to see you growing so well! things I love: Your favorite thing to do right now is to play with people, and Emery is your favorite person to be close to when you're in that playful mood. Silly sounds make you laugh like crazy, and you've recently learned how to blow raspberries with your mouth and think it's a pretty neat trick. You love chewing on your hands, blankets, or pretty much anything that you can get into your mouth (except a pacifier). You love rides in the stroller outside, and still love being held and cuddled to sleep, specifically with Mama. things I don't enjoy so much: During your first road trip from Utah to our new home in Oregon, you were much less of your easy-going self as usual and were pretty upset for some decent stretches of the drive, making us wonder if you don't care much for long drives. You were also cutting your tooth at the same time though and we just didn't realize it, so it could be that you just really don't like teething. We've got a couple more summer trips coming up soon, and I suppose will find out which one it was! mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: This past month I feel like you've come really far with learning how to communicate what it is that you're needing and/or wanting from us, and it's been really exciting watching that growth and working on ourselves to be really in-tune to your cues so that we can all better communicate together. Things seem to go so much more smoothly when we are able to watch and listen to these cues, and it all just makes us so excited for everything that's to come as you continue to learn and grow!
It's the night before Em's third birthday and I'm once again sitting here now that she's in bed feeling allllll the nostalgia and mama feelings and wondering why time has to be such a thief when it comes to my kids staying little. Emery has had to go through so many big life changes this past year with our family and as an individual, and has grown through all of them with so much grace into such a beautiful, loving girl that I'm so grateful and proud to call my daughter.
As Emery's birthday came closer, I found myself having to fight off anxiety and a bit of homesickness about us no longer living in Louisville. The past two years we've had so much fun celebrating her birthday with all of her dental school toddler/baby friends, and with how much of a social bug Em is I was worried about her feeling let down about not being able to celebrate her birthday with all of her friends. Thankfully though we're (still) in Utah with family before Kyle starts working up in Oregon, and have a group of the cutest cousins and loving family close by that we were able to celebrate with instead. Emery loves her cousins so much, and I'm so grateful that they all get along well and are always able to make for a fun playdate.
I told myself when Em was a baby that I was going to always try and throw her parties around her favorite things for that year, but to be completely honest was a little surprised when I realized that her favorite thing this year happened to be focused around a TV show. Em didn't really have any screen time until she was close to two years old, and even then watched it very rarely (we're talking maybe one 30 minute show a couple times a week), but towards the end of my pregnancy with Ashton, fatigue and sickness got the best of me and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood helped to get me and Em through the harder parts of it. Emery fell in love with the show, and since then has made it a habit of singing the different songs from the show whenever she feels like they apply, turns every toy car into a trolley, regularly asks for the trolley song while driving in the car (we're going on a trolley ride, to go to Target, won't you ride along with me... ride along! 😂) and gets insanely excited every time she finds what she affectionately calls "a trolley penny" because she thinks that the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the penny is Daniel Tiger's Trolley. Kyle and I both grew up on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and the songs and rhymes have proven useful to help coach Em through so many different situations that if she had to attach herself to a show, we figured that this was a pretty good one, and I set to work to try and throw Em the best trolley/Daniel Tiger party that I could put together. I found a book filled with illustrated versions of Mr. Roger's songs and poems, as well as a darling little trolley toy on Amazon, the cutest little trolley cake topper and garland from shop fluff on Etsy, then filled in the rest with color coordinating decor from Target and of course yummy treats & a cake from a local bakery for everyone to enjoy. I bought several bubble wands from Target as well and slapped some homemade trolley labels on them, and after cake and presents all of the kids young and old got to have fun running around my parents' yard playing with the bubbles. Overall it was a pretty simple, minimal family birthday party, but at the end of the day Em loved it all and had so much fun, making it all 100% worth it.
As far as an update goes for our busy little three-year old, if I could use one word to describe her it would be ENERGETIC. She goes off of way less sleep than I feel like any toddler should because she is so worried about missing out on any fun, and loves being able to spend as much time as possible with her friends and cousins. Along with Daniel Tiger's Trolley she also loves dancing, singing, building towers out of blocks, swimming, playing outside with her soccer ball or on the playground, and being my little helper in everything from cleaning to cooking/baking to taking care of Ashton. She LOVES being a big sister to Ashton and we always have to watch the two of them closely because her affection for him can sometimes be a little overwhelming haha. She is fiercely independent which can sometimes be infuriating but also makes me silently proud because I just know that she will do so well with whatever she sets her mind to. We finally tackled potty training, and I can 100% say that after going through it twice with her am a huge advocate of waiting until a kiddo is older and truly ready to be a big kid with the potty - once she decided she was ready she literally caught on within a day and a half and has done really well with it since! She is creative and caring, and amazes me everyday with how intuitive she is, especially with the emotions of those around her. She can be so wild and crazy and exhausting, but loves SO big and has such a pure, kind soul. I see her and everyday feel so much gratitude because I know that when she came into this earth on that Saturday morning three years ago, that she was exactly the burst of sunshine that Kyle and I needed in our family. She has grown and learned so much, and even though I want to keep her little forever, I can't help but admit that I so much love watching her bloom into her own person and can't wait to see how her own personal creation continues.
Happy Birthday to our sweet Emery girl, we love you more than you'll ever know!!
A big thanks to my sweet family for letting us take over their house (for the last month+ but also for the party) and especially to my sweet mom for helping me put it all together, and then of course thanks so much to all of our family and friends near and far that help our Emery girl feel special and loved every day! Also, because I know no one will notice unless I point it out (probably because I'm the only weirdo that cares about these details) as one last ode to Daniel Tiger for the party, I had the four of us dress in the same colors as the main characters in the show: blue for O the Owl, green for Katerina Kitty Cat, white button-up for our little Prince Wednesday (we didn't have any purple), and of course red for our sweet Daniel Tiger.
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.