A Mother’s Day Prayer… a few days early

“O Lord: On this Mother’s Day, when we pay homage to motherhood, I thank Thee, O God, for Thy gift of a blessed mother, for her sweetness, kindness and warmth, her deeply-felt love, and her tender, gentle care. All through the years, as long as I can remember, from infancy to this day, she has been at my side, caring for me, training and teaching me, and guiding and comforting me in every trial and tribulation. I know, O Lord, that this precious gift, mother, comes from Thy storehouse of blessings, and with all my heart and soul, I offer Thee my gratitude.”
“Reverently do I pray that I may be worthy of her noblest striving. Deepen my sense of understanding, so that I may be aware of her potent influence in my life. Give her Thy fatherly protection. Keep her from all bodily harm and from distress of mind and spirit. Grant me the privilege that I may cherish and revere her all the days of my life.”
“May He who blessed our matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, bless my dearly beloved mother. May God Almighty grant her life, and keep her strong and healthy. May He send many blessings of joy to her and cause her to be proud of her achievements. And may He bestow upon her and all other mothers in Israel and mankind, a full and happy life.”
Amen.
To me, my mother is not only a fighter, but an inspiration. Five years ago, she stomped the shit out of stage 3 colon cancer; and now, she’s staring breast cancer straight in the eye and taking no prisoners. My mother has showed me throughout the years that no matter what, we just have to keep pushing through. Sometimes life deals you some pretty crappy cards, but you can either feel sorry for yourself, or you can do what ya gotta do, and keep on moving…
Ever since I can remember, my mother has been the most selfless person. She has given so much to me. There will never be the right words to say to describe my adoration and appreciation. As much as I love having her as a mother, I love having her as a grandmother to Emmalyn so much more! There’s an infinite amount of love between the two of them. When my mom gets home from work, her eyes light up at the site of Emmy, who in return, gives her the biggest-most-gummiest-yummiest smile and flaps her arms in excitement. Their relationship is truly special.
So, I thank you, God, today and every day, for the most important woman in my life. I am blessed, honored, proud, and humbled to be her daughter.
{I love you, mommy!!}
Loyally,
Katie

5 Months!

Emmalyn Grace

You are 5 months old!
{April 17, 2011} 



5-Month Baby Stats
***

Sleep
You are still sleeping through the night. I am so lucky. This past month you’ve been *telling* us you want to go to bed earlier. You start showing signs of sleepiness around 7-7:30. I get your bath ready, then it’s bottle, books, & bed. Sometimes you whine-cry for a few minutes, 
but you always end up drifting off to d r e a m l a n d.


Daily Routine
It’s sometimes unpredictable when you’ll wake up. Anywhere from 7 to 9am! The other day you slept in until 9:45!!! 99% of the time you wake up in a good mood, just chatting away. And when I come in to say good morning, you greet me with a 
huge gummy smile. 
You get your first bottle (still 5oz), then are up for about 45 minutes, then go back down for a nap, anywhere between 45 minutes-1.5hrs. 
When it’s time for your second bottle, you also get mama’s homemade rice cereal!
After that, the day is whatever we want it to be. We usually head out of the house around this time though, since you had a nap & a fully belly…. you’re a happy baby!
Typically, you cat nap in the car, & normally take an afternoon nap.
Around 5ish, you get some more rice cereal–mmm yum, riiiight??
By 8:30, you’re out!

Then we do it all again the next day!

 Food
We started solids on the 14th! Mama made you some homemade rice cereal.
I cooked brown rice on the stove, then mixed it with some water in the Magic Bullet.
I let it cool, then refrigerated it. The next day, I scooped out a small amount, warmed it up, mixed it with a little formula, & we were good to go.
Little Miss, you didn’t really know what to think?
You were smiling and spitting and gagging and allthatjazz!

{It’s been a few days, and you’re still trying to get the hang of it.} 



Weight
At birth: 6lbs 14oz
Current: 14ish lbs

 Length
At birth: 20 inches
Current: no idea! over 24” though.


Diaper Size
1-2 Costco brand/1 Huggies


Clothes Size
Oh who knows anymore!?! Anywhere from 3-9 months. You are wearing 6-9 months jammies for length, and 3-6 onesies/shorts.


You’re getting so big though! Look at you & Aidan now!


Hair Color
At birth: bald
Currently: brown–I swear she’s starting to grow more hair 😉

Eye Color
At birth: dark blue
1 month: slate grayish/blue
2 months: dark brownish/green
3 months: brown with hints of green… debatable 
4 months: looking like they’re going to be brown like your mama, although there’s still a shimmer of green
5 months: Brown!


Mommy’s favorite moments
I am loving watching you watch the world. It’s so fun to see you do new things almost every day. You just started reaching for me & it melts.my.heart. I love that you’re so well-behaved when we go out in public.


Indy’s really taken a liking to you in the last several days. He loves greeting you at the door, licking whatever he can find! And the proof is in the pic! Here’s your face right after he got you smack in the face! 😉



Milestones

You can do a pretty good yoga cobra–you’re getting closer to getting on all fours.
You are more interested in things around you, and when you grab them, you actually hang on to them now.
You are rolling e v e r y w h e r e ! ! You can roll all the way across the room, and scoot yourself around.
You’re making new noises with your mouth, some that even sound like you’re saying *hi*
You can tripod-sit, but if you see something to your left or right…. tiiiimmberrr


  
Your favorite toy
you absolutely love your jump ‘n jive! You go to town on that thing! You love the musical mat that you can activate with your jumps. You squeal with excitement every time we put you in it. 

Firsts

First time meeting your great-grandma “Georgie” (mommy’s gma)

First time meeting lots of great aunts, uncles & cousins
First full night without a swaddler
consistently rolling over both ways with ease
First time in your jump ‘n jive
First car travel trip (2 hours away) with JUST mommy & Indy
First big thunderstorm where the power went out (you slept right through it!)
New house!
Trip to the aquarium. You loved looking at everything!

Story time at B&N
You loved it! You sat quietly and watched the storyteller and the other kids very intently.

 {iPhone pic}


First drink of water
First solid food!
First time on a swing

{i promise she wasn’t squished!}



I’m having so much fun!
I love you so much, baby girl!!

loyally,
katie

4 Months & Whoopsie Daisies!!

If you stopped by earlier, you may have noticed something out of the ordinary. Perhaps, Emmalyn looked a little different in her pictures? Perhaps, maybe, it was because the pictures were not actually of Emmalyn…?? Perhaps they were of Little Miss Elli over at From Mrs. to Mama…?
Before you think I’m a total crazy person, let me explain…
I copy/pasted Elli’s mommy’s format of her 4 month post on Elli. I deleted Elli’s info/stats/pictures, and replaced them with Emmalyn’s, naturally. Well, I got a super nice e-mail from Elli’s mama letting me know that Elli’s pictures were on my blog. what.the.H?! I previewed and previewed and checked and checked my blog, numerous times… you know, for typos and what-not. Never once did I see pictures of anyone else but Emmalyn. But, sure enough, when I checked my blog from my phone… there was all of my information & pics of my daughter, BUT also pics of Elli.
I immediately apologized to Elli’s mommy–I felt terribly awful! 
Let me just say that I am using my parents’ stone-age computer. This never would have happened on my Mac, back home. (This is also why my pictures are small and grainy.. blech!) I canNOT wait until we move in (April 1st!) to our new house and I can get back to my Mac.
OK! So I hope that cleared things up. 
Now, for the re-post of Emmy’s 4-Month Update:
Emmalyn Grace,
Today you are four months old. & I am having the most fun with you! Your bubbly personality is a constant reminder to me just how wonderful life is. There’s no way I can have a bad day with you around. Sometimes, if I’m expressing a frustrating moment to someone, & I see you flash a big gummy-smile at me, I literally forget what I was talking about. I’ve been told by many people that you’re the best baby they’ve ever seen–and I agree! [no biases here, of course} I love watching you grow everyday, finding new things you can do. I am looking forward to moving in to our new house with Daddy and Indy. There’s a nice porch to shade you from the sun, & a big fenced-in yard for you to run and play in {not anytime soon though!} I could go on and on, and I will in your baby books, but thank you, my sweet angel baby, Emmy, for making me a better person.
Forever Your Mommy…
4-Month Baby Stats
***
Sleep
The angels have blessed me in this department, kid. My darling daughter, you go to bed around 10 or 10:30, and don’t wake up until 8:30 or 9am. You have been doing this since you were six weeks old! You are still sleeping in my room (or shall I say your grandparents’ guest room since we are in between houses and cities). Most nights you wake me up with little mouse-like squeaks and giggles. Yes, you giggle in your sleep. It’s hilarious. Oh, and we can totally make noise around the house, while you’re asleep, and it does.not.phase.you. I’m talking, vacuuming, phone ringing, dog barking, doorbell ringing kind of noise… yipeee!
Daily Routine
 I’ve tried writing down your routine, and it’s just not practical. I can pretty much predict how the day will go until around noon, but that’s about it. Most of the time you wake up around 8:30am, & this is one of my most favorite times of the day with you. When I go in to get you out of bed, you have the biggest smile on your face…always!! I love it! I let you stretch on the bed, & we have a little “chit-chat.” Then, when I change your diaper, I sing you our three “Good morning” songs. You just smile and coo along…
After your first bottle, I’ll set you in the Bumbo while I either eat if I didn’t get a chance earlier, or finish getting ready. You love to watch your mommy beautify herself. Then, within the hour you start rubbing your eyes and I know it’s time for your morning nap. Normally, you’ll nap for another two hours. After that, it’s usually time for another bottle. 

The rest of the day is pretty flexible. If it’s a stay-at-home-kinda-day, we’ll alternate between tummy time on your activity mat, reading books, sitting outside in the shade, and following mommy around the house in your Bumbo. You love to sit on mommy’s lap and “talk.” It’s like we’re having our own secret conversation….
If we venture out, you’re always so well-behaved. You’re either sleeping soundly or lifting your head to look around. {I’m guessing you’re going to save your in-the-middle-of-target-tantrums for a later time?}
Anywhere between 9:30 & 10pm, you get a bath. And baby girl, you L-O-V-E your baths. You’re definitely like your mama in this way. You just lay back (in the sink, still–but not for long), while I pour warm water all over you. You don’t even mind when I let water drip down your face.

 Food
You are eating 5oz of formula, approximately every three hours, unless of course you are snoozing. I used to stop to burp you a couple of times during the feeding, but you started getting a little attitude if I took the bottle out of your mouth =P
Apparently, we are going to start solid foods this month. {will find out more at your next appointment}
Weight
At birth: 6lbs 14oz
A few days ago: 13lbs 2oz
{but this was done with the ‘ole mom-stands-on-the-scale-first-then-subtracts-from-combined-weight-method. totally accurate}
 Length
At birth: 20 inches
Current: No idea. But you have your four-month check-up on the 28th so we’ll find out then!
Diaper Size
You are wearing size 1-2 Costco diapers. These seem to be working the best on you. Sorry Pampers, but you did not hold up well in the blow-out test.
Clothes Size
I do not understand baby clothes sizes! No two of the same sizes are actually alike! {what gives?!?} You are mostly wearing 3-6 months, although you can still fit into some 0-3 and just 6 months. Makes no sense to me… This week, mommy’s going to go through your newborn clothes and pack them away [insert.tears.here]
Hair Color
At birth: bald
Currently: wellll… in pictures it looks like you’re still bald, but up close, it’s light brown in the back and blond on the top. But I’m not holding my breath that you’ll grow more hair anytime soon 😉
Eye Color
At birth: dark blue
1 month: slate grayish/blue
2 months: dark brownish/green
3 months: brown with hints of green… debatable 
4 months: looking like they’re going to be brown like your mama, although there’s still a shimmer of green
Mommy’s favorite moments
I cannot get enough of your smiles and giggles. You do it all.the.time. I love when I catch you looking at me, staring and studying my face so intently. 
BUT I think my most fav.or.ite. moment is when I lay you down in your bed at night, while you’re still awake… I say a little prayer, kiss you goodnight, & you show me the biggest!smile!ever!
{melts mommy’s heart every time}
Milestones
When on your stomach, you are holding your head up for much longer periods of times. …Sometimes you don’t even put your head down!
You are TheDroolingQueen, emmycakes. I should invest in bib stock with how many bibs we go through a day! And you are constantly trying to gnaw on things.
You started laughing out loud. Like, full-on belly laughs!! zomg i love it!
You’re following objects that are at a farther distance. & whenever I walk across the room, you stop what you’re doing to follow me.
You are holding your head up nice and strong when you sit in your Bumbo. 
You started reaching for items and grabbing onto them–although they don’t keep your attention for too long. The other night, I had you in your Bumbo next to a shoebox and you leaned over & grabbed that sucker, pulling it over to you. {Perhaps you’ve inherited your daddy’s love for shoes?}  
You’ve started squealing in delight, especially if you like the song mommy’s singing.
You are continuing to roll over from your stomach-to-back, but have been doing this since you were a month old.
We’re still working on back-to-stomach… you can almost get flat on your stomach, but you haven’t quite figured out how to pull your arm out from under you.
The swaddler has been our best friend since day one {works like a charm every time} but two days ago, I thought we’d see how you did in just a sleeper. My girl, you did great! Still didn’t wake up once 🙂
You make razzberries.

& You try to stand up.

 Your favorite toy
You pretty much know how to entertain yourself. But I must say, you love to read/look at books. One day, I was reading a kid’s first-bible-book-of-sorts… you sat on my lap & let me read eighty pages to you!! {yes, that’s eight-zero…80!} I kept looking down to see if you were really looking, and sure enough–you were following along!
Firsts
First trip to the zoo with mommy, Auntie Re (your godmother) & cousin Lucas. You basically slept in the stroller the whole time, and never once fussed!
Watched mommy play at her flag football game
You’ve started rubbing your eyes when you’re sleepy 
You found your feet!
MET AUNT DANA from NYC (aka mom’s BFF)!!!
let out a REAL.BIG.LAUGH! {courtesy aunt dana}
First picnic by the lake with mommy & daddy
First cold, unfortunately 🙁 But it didn’t seem to bother you the least! Just a very snotty nose and baby coughs. Mommy caught it though, and felt miserable all weekend. boo

First St. Patty’s Day (today!}

 ***
& in just one.short.day…
you will meet your great-grandma from West Virginia.
As well as aunts, uncles, and lots of cuzzies!

!!! WE CAN’T WAIT !!!
<3

loyally,
katie

P.S.
hey y’all!! please let me know if i fixed it. it seemed to have worked when i viewed it from my phone, but let me know! thanks for understanding 🙂

Capable.

Kelle Hampton has inspired me yet again with this post.

Her words really hit home to me: I am capable.

It’s my new mantra. Although I’ve decided not to go into detail about my PPD (since my story is a work in progress), it’s still a part of my reality. It’s a constant battle, but I am capable. I have a healthy and beautiful baby girl who is sleeping through the night [8-9 hours!] I have the most amazing husband who has been by my side every.single.day. And I have a family who loves and supports me unconditionally.

I have so much. And there are people who have much less, and who are going through tougher times. And although PPD isn’t a piece of cake, it’s not forever. And I’m getting help. So for now, I take it one day at a time. 

I do it for me. I do it for Blake. And I do it for my daughter.

Speaking of my daughter…. Emmy is growing up! Gosh, I love this girl so much. 

Decorating the Xmas tree:

Walk around the lake:

Christmas Eve: 
Where’s Emmy?

Christmas morning: 
 Christmas Day:

Thank you all for your continuous love, support, and prayers–whether it’s been in person, through FB, phone/text, or blog. 

Loyally,
Katie



This Too Shall Pass

First of all, thank you for your generous support through this trying time. I was going to share my story, but after discussing it with my husband and doctor we’ve decided to keep it private. However, if you or someone you know is going through Postpartum Depression, PLEASE send them my e-mail: loyallovinglearning[at]ymail[dot]com
I’d love to help a sista out if need-be!
I am well on my way to feeling like myself again. Being with my family, and especially my precious little daughter has helped immensely. 
Motherhood is much harder than I ever expected, but it sure is rewarding.
Just look at this face:

[again, sorry for the iphone picture quality]

God Bless!
This Too Shall Pass