Friday, November 28, 2014

Emery {8 Months}

Emery is eight months old!! Everyone told us this, but every stage gets more and more fun! Of course I still miss the tiny, snuggly baby that slept all the time, but she is just so much fun now and getting more and more personality every day!

Two Month Update
Three Month Update
Four Month Update
Five Month Update
Six Month Update
Seven Month Update

Here's what's been going on with Emery the last month.

- Our next doctor's appointment isn't until she's nine months old, so we won't have exact measurements until then, but we're estimating that she weighs about 20 pounds. I feel like she may be slowing down a bit in height, though.

- All of her clothes are now 6-9 months and most of her pajamas are 9 months. She can still fit into a few of her 6 month pajamas which is kind of why I think she's not getting taller as quickly as before. She's still wearing size 2 diapers.

- We're pretty much sticking with the same schedule as last month, but daylight savings time has not been our friend. She slept until 6:30 {which was actually 7:30} on the morning of daylight savings which had me super excited, but she's continued to wake up between 6:00-6:30 pretty much every morning ever since.

- We find her in the funniest positions when she sleeps. She likes to kick up her legs on the side of her crib.

- Naps are getting a little better and a little more consistent. Some are long and some are short, but the shorter ones are becoming a little more rare. I would say her average nap is about an hour and 15 minutes. Every now and then she'll shock us with a 2-1/2 hour nap. She takes three naps a day, but sometimes skips the third {shortest} nap depending on how late she wakes up from her second nap. I still rock her to sleep for most of her naps. She went through a short little phase where she woke up every single time I laid her down, but thankfully that stopped. I'm not ready to give up that precious time!

- Emery is still loving most of the new foods she gets to try! This month she tried yogurt, apricot, corn, spinach, green beans, pumpkin, and a few little nibbles of cheese when I was grating some for dinner one night. She didn't seem to love apricot, but she still ate it. I also gave her some apple and blueberry yogurt which she didn't love, either {just like her mama}. She did like Greek yogurt mixed in to her baby food, though. I think her favorite new food this month was probably corn! She's started this new thing where she will barely open her mouth for the first bite of whatever I'm giving her. It's like she wants to cautiously taste it before she takes a full bite.

She thinks these pouches are pretty fun to play with, too.
- Remember the first time she tried a Puff? {I was so glad we got that face on camera.}

Well, we tried them again after a couple of weeks and she's got it down! She can even pick them up with her thumb and index finger and feed them to herself. I have to say, I'm pretty proud of those fine motor skills. :) She gets excited every time she sees the container, and almost every time she eats one, she does this little dance where she shakes her head. It is just *so* cute!

- We finally have a tooth! After worrying for months that we had a child who was going to be toothless, I'm very relieved to say that she finally got her first tooth on the bottom at about 7-1/2 months. We had a couple of *really* rough days before the tooth appeared where she was so cranky and I was about to lose it because nothing I did made her happy. Daniel did receive a couple of tearful phone calls at work that week.  In a last ditch effort, she got introduced to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood {what an adorable show!!} that week and it actually calmed her down for a little while. Isn't that crazy that she just knew it was a show for her and that it held her attention? Somehow, I felt so much better when I saw the tooth because that explained why she had been that way all week.

Watching Daniel Tiger

- Another huge milestone from this month is that Emery is saying "dada"!! Of course, I want to hear "mama" too, but hearing her say "dada" is amazing and makes me so happy! And I didn't think Emery could wrap her daddy around her finger any more, but she definitely managed to with this one. I don't feel like it will be too long before we hear "mama". I've heard her make the "mmm" sound a few times...just waiting for the rest of it. :)

- If she's awake, most of the time she's making noise. Sometimes it sounds like she's singing and she'll go back and forth with us for a while when we imitate her. She's also doing a lot of "ya ya ya" and "la la la" lately. She even started clicking her tongue on the roof of her mouth this month. She woke up doing it one morning and does it all the time now. She smiles so big when we do it back to her. She also blows raspberries all the time and thinks it's so funny when we do it!

- We still don't have a crawler, and for this I am very grateful. She is very mobile, though...rolling and scooting anywhere she wants to go. She gets up on her hands and knees all the time and just rocks back and forth...usually backing up when she does this. It's almost like she can crawl/scoot backward, just not forward. She can go from sitting up, to rolling, to up on her hands and knees, and back to sitting. It's just amazing how fast all of this happens. Some of the positions she gets in look like yoga she'll be propped up on one elbow and have one leg fully extended to the side. She even does something that looks like a plank sometimes.

- She is definitely getting some really strong opinions about some things and is not shy about sharing them with us. It seems like if she's tired or frustrated, anything we give her or try and do {even if it normally makes her happy} just makes her so mad. She will give us this mad look, push her little fists out, and make the most frustrated sound! It's like she's trying to say, "How dare you sing 'Wheels on the Bus' right now or give me my favorite toy!" It's kind of funny...depending on the situation, of course. One thing that she's pretty much always in the mood for, though...her Wubbanubs. Every now and then, she'll swat it away if something else has her attention, but that is rare. We usually have to give her a pacifier to hold while she eats to keep her from getting too distracted. She also has started to rub the paws on her nose and face when she gets sleepy. So sweet. She's getting another one for Christmas and I'm going to have to have some serious self-control to keep from giving it to her before then. It' just so cute!

- Emery also took her first trip to the beach this month and she did so well! She slept well in her pack and play and even took naps on the beach. She didn't seem to be a huge fan of the sand, but she didn't hate it either.

- She gets excited about more and more things and it's so precious. She'll kick her legs, bounce up and down, wave her arms, smile {with the cutest little nose crinkle}, laugh, and most recently...snort. Yep, she snorts sometimes and I love it!! She always does it when she sees me getting her bottle ready or when she sees one of her pacifiers.

- Emery's favorite things to play with are things that aren't toys. She will entertain herself for a good 15-20 minutes with a bottle of lotion or her little hairbrush. Some of her favorite things to play with are bowls and spoons, the Puffs container, the tray that goes on the Bumbo seat, the remote. She loves anything that makes a crinkly sound which explains why she was thrilled to play with a piece of parchment paper one morning for at least 15 minutes. {Don't worry, I was there the whole time.} We gave her a mini packet of M&Ms on Halloween night to give her something to crinkle...thinking that the package was more plastic than paper and she wouldn't be able to get into it...until we saw blue on her face. Thankfully, none got in her mouth and we had a good laugh about it later. But we learned our lesson and stuck with Starburst packets later. :) She does seem to be scared of aluminum foil, though. Every time I get it out, she cries.

That's parchment paper in her other hand!! :)
- One of her very favorite things to play is Peekaboo. She *loves* it and goes crazy when we cover her up. She's just starting to pull a blanket off of us if we cover ourselves up, but she likes being covered up more.

- She still loves books and is getting so much more active with them. She has gotten so good at turning pages, pulling flaps, and touching the texture pages. I'll ask her to turn the page and she does it almost every time. She still loves Buzz, Buzz Baby, but I think Pat the Bunny may be her new favorite. She kicks and laughs {and yes, snorts} every time I get it out. She'll do each page, and usually she'll lean in really close to the mirror page...almost like she's giving herself a kiss.

- Emery has started to *hate* getting dressed, getting lotion on her face, and getting her face cleaned off after she eats. Most of the time I can get her to calm down by singing "Wheels on the Bus". I know...what in the world? But it usually works. She especially likes the verse where the people on the bus go up and down. Sometimes I even sing it to her if she seems distracted when she's eating her bottle and it usually calms her right down. There are definitely still those times, though, that she will kick at us, swat our hands away, whatever she can to make whatever we're doing as difficult as possible!

- She's a pretty snuggly baby.Usually after she finishes a bottle, she'll sit in my lap and lean her head against my chest for a quick minute. I love it so much and want to freeze time every time she does it.

- She laughs more and more! She's super ticklish and goes crazy laughing any time we tickle her. She also thinks it's pretty funny when we pretend to hiccup, cough, or sneeze. My Cookie Monster voice and Elmo laugh gets her almost every time, too. I'm not sure what made me start that...I think it was probably seeing them on her diapers. Me telling her "no" gets her every time, too. She still tries to grab the canvas above her changing table and thinks it's hilarious when I move her hand and tell her "no". I'm hoping she just thinks it's a game and is not a sign of things to come! :)

- I still give her a bath in the kitchen with her baby bathtub over the sink. I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to do that because she has officially discovered the joy of splashing. I might have to try giving her a bath toy to see if that helps, because I'm not looking forward to kneeling on the tile floor in the bathroom to give her a bath!

- It's definitely no secret that I love almost everything Emery does and think it's the cutest thing ever, but here are a couple of things I don't love. She thinks my hair is super fascinating and tries to grab it all the time. Ponytails don't help. She'll still grab at the side of my head trying to yank my hair out of my ponytail. I'm pretty sure hair pulling could be a form of torture for me. She also grabs at my face and manages to twist handfuls of my skin. She's left scratches and even a bruise on my face before! You wouldn't think these little people would be so strong, but goodness.

- She doesn't like to be left alone. I don't think it's necessarily separation anxiety, because she does fine when I leave her in the nursery or with my sister or mom, but if I leave the living room to go in the kitchen for a minute, she doesn't like it one bit. If I make it into a game of Peekaboo, she handles it a little better. :)

- It's amazing how quickly she'll start doing something and then stop and start doing something else new and different. One thing she did that didn't last long was leaning from side to side. She would just lean all the way over to one side and smile, and then switch sides. She would do it in our laps sometimes, but most of the time it was in her Bumbo seat. It was just so cute!

Now, she does this thing where she looks like a bobble head doll. She shakes her head back and forth but ends up moving her whole body, too. It's awfully cute, too. Usually we can get her to do it if we do it first. I love that she copies us sometimes!

- Just in the last week or so, she's started rubbing/scratching the side of her head. Her hair is getting a little thicker, so I don't know if she's feeling that or seeing if there's a headband she can pull off of her head. Either way, it's so cute and it looks like she's saying, "Hmm, let me think about that for a second."

- She is our curious little observer. She watches everything that's going on around her, perks up at the slightest little noise and wants to see what's going on, and examines anything and everything around her.

- We put our Christmas tree up a couple of weeks ago, and surprisingly she has left it alone! She looks at it, but she hasn't really tried to mess with it yet! We did give her some Christmas lights to look at it which she loved!

Christmas is going to be *so* much fun this year!!! It will be here before we know it! I wish time would slow down just a little bit!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Brown Butter Banana Bread Cookies

I haven't posted a recipe in *forever*, but I have definitely been cooking and baking. Fall and winter are my very favorite times to be in the kitchen. There's just something so cozy and warm about it. It's just not quite the same heating up the kitchen with the oven during the summer.

Spending time in the kitchen is even more fun now with my little helper. Is it as easy? Definitely not since she grabs at everything...and sometimes manages to get something that we left too close. But it's certainly more fun. She intently watches every single thing I do and it's so cute. I hope she loves to bake with me someday!

These brown butter banana bread cookies are one of my favorite things I've made lately. I love banana bread and these cookies add a fun little twist. Making anything in cookie form is more fun, right? The browned butter frosting drizzled on top definitely takes them to the next level. Browned butter takes everything to the next level, I think. In my opinion, these are the perfect excuse to have cookies for breakfast {umm, there are bananas in them!}, but they also would make a great afternoon treat and they're even yummy enough to have as a dessert!

Brown Butter Banana Bread Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies

Cookie Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 small bananas)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg

Icing Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter is completely melted, swirl the skillet until the butter becomes a light caramel brown color, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately remove the skillet from the heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. {Click here for step by step photos of this process.}
2. Add the sugar to the brown butter and mix on low speed to start, then increase the speed and beat for one minute. (Mixture will not be light and fluffy.) Add in egg, and mix. Stir together mashed banana with baking soda and let sit for 2 minutes. Add mashed banana and vanilla to the bowl and mix.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing just until combined before adding the next batch.
4. Drop batter onto a parchment paper lined, or non-stick sprayed, baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown around the edges. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the icing: Follow the directions for browning the butter in step 1 above. Whisk in powdered sugar, and drizzle icing over cooled cookies. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Source: Iowa Girl Eats

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Monday, November 10, 2014

#richlyblesseddaily2014 {Week 44}

Here is week 44 of #richlyblesseddaily2014! Our sweet girl isn't quite crawling yet, and I have to say I'm pretty thankful for that...especially since we put the Christmas tree up this weekend. I know, we're crazy, but I love Christmas so much and want to enjoy it as long as possible! And everything feels a million times more magical this year with Emery. I can't wait for all the fun memories we're going to make the next several weeks!!

I hope y'all have a great week! :)

You can follow along every day on Instagram @richlyblessedblog. :)
Click here to see previous weeks.

 Day 305: Date night at Chuck's Fish!

Day 306: Bath time with Daddy while Mommy was at Publix. Emery looks less than thrilled.

 Day 307: Super baby! She ended up this way all by herself!

Day 308: We voted today!

 Day 309: Silly things from today like playing with a Pyrex bowl lid and eating every toy in sight!

 Day 310: Doing one of her favorite things with "dada". She says it now!!

Day 311: She loves playing with pretty much anything that's not a toy...and this Bumbo tray part is one of her favorite things!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

#richlyblesseddaily2014 {Week 43}

Here is week 43 of #richlyblesseddaily2014! I'm pretty sure that next week's post will include pictures of Emery crawling! Not too sure how I feel about this yet! Have a great week! :)

You can follow along every day on Instagram @richlyblessedblog. :)
Click here to see previous weeks.

 Day 298: It was a perfect fall day to go to the park for the first time with our little pumpkin! She loved the swing!

 Day 299: Our precious little mouse ready for Trunk or Treat at church!

Day 300: Nothing sweeter.

 Day 301: She is getting so close to crawling and I want it to stop right now!

 Day 302: Emery finally got her first tooth! I tried to get a picture, but I'm pretty sure I'd have to put her in a straight jacket to get one.

 Day 303: Walking together on this perfect fall night.

Day 304: Emery's first Halloween! We walked around the neighborhood a little bit and she was so excited she kicked and laughed the whole time!

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