Saturday, April 27, 2013

Baby Dedication

Today Emma Vance was dedicated at North Point Community Church. (A "baby dedication" is a celebration where parents to announce their intentions to raise a child in a Christian home.) It's been a long time coming, with the grandmothers inquiring about a "christening" since before E.V. was even born, and this morning turned out to be a wonderful event where fun was had by all--and most importantly by Emma Vance!

I'll spare you all the mundane details, but it was a lovely event. There was a short service with live music, a slideshow of the babies, and a speaker, then some family discussions at our table followed by a prayer. There were a LOT of tears (happy tears) shed at our table, including those shed by the Aquilios (shocker!). I suppose when it comes to babies and nostalgia, even the toughest of The Donalds doesn't stand a chance. :) Thankfully, throughout the morning Emma Vance was not of the screaming-baby variety, but instead she chose to entertain her captive audience with a tabletop dance, to dote on her family as she was passed around, and to gaze at the big lights and loud music.

Afterwards we had a low-key family lunch at Brookwood Grill in Roswell. The food was good, and the entertainment even better. (Did I mention EMMA VANCE was the entertainment? Ha!) Overall it was a nice little event, and we're happy to have officially introduced Emma Vance into the church. God is good!

E.V.'s gift from North Point for the occasion

(There was a 10 person limit for the event, so Ryan and I sat butt-to-butt on a chair. Talk about a true partnership! ;) )

Hands-down the best picture of the day!

(Here she goes with the tabletop dancing...)

Little miss passed out on the way after the dedication (can't blame her!),
but was up and at 'em the second we walked in to the restaurant!

(Mrs. Emma Vance knitted this little peach caplet for the occasion.)

E.V.'s latest obsession? Clicking her tongue!

My brother, Jon, thoroughly enjoying his cheat day!

(Love this guy so much.)

"Um, hey guys? Where's my food? Guys? GUYS???"

Just chillin', blowin' raspberries...

Such a pretty picture! Too bad 10 seconds later she threw up oatmeal on Aunt Lisa. :/
Aaaaand we're done.

When all was said and done and we were home safely, Emma Vance and I wound down with a bottle and a little Sesame Street. She fell asleep about two minutes after finishing her bottle, and I went downstairs to join my husband...

...or should I say my "other baby?" :) Hey, it was a long day for everyone!

Dear E.V. (Month Ten)

Dear E.V.,

This month your personality has bloomed beyond our wildest dreams, and with every passing day I can see more and more of the person you're becoming--and that person is wonderful, my dear. It seems like every time I see more of "you" in you, I fall in love over again. I am so proud to be your mom!

Everyday you are becoming more and more independent. You have no fears, exploring every inch of the house as if you own it (which you kinda' do). You don't mind being on your own to play or crawl about, but every once in a while you remember that I'm nearby and come scampering to my side to check in. (And when I say "scampering," I mean SCAMPERING because you can crawl almost as fast as I can run to chase after you!) You are obsessed with standing up, using anything and everything around you to pull up. (The worst is the trashcan, which you discovered is better to turn over and undo than it is to use to balance on!) Whether you're standing at the storm door gazing out into the yard, holding onto the edge of your exersaucer and beating on the attached toys to make them sing, or reaching as far across the coffee table as possible to grab the remote or our phones, you love being upright like us grown ups. You've even begun trying to stand on your own, and once you're up and let go, you can last about five seconds before plopping down on your bottom. Now that whole getting-up-on-your-own thing? Not so easy! I often find you being a little yoga baby in downward dog position, confused how someone goes from butt up in the air to head up in the air! However, regardless of failed attempts, you are determined and practice all the time. Your favorite place to stand up by far is the tub, by the way. I ended up putting a no-slip mat to help you not fall because you were so determined, and so now you spend probably a third of your bath time standing up, leaning against the edge near me or messing with the spout. The down side? For some reason when you stand up you feel more comfortable pooping, so we've had two turd "incidents" this month as a result. Let's not do that again, okay? :)

Along with standing up, you've also become quite the dancer, rocking back and forth anytime you hear an inkling of music. You even dance in the shopping cart to the "elevator music" when we're in stores, thus garnering the admiration of everyone within a two-aisle radius. Your FAVORITE song to sing to, though, is the ABC song, and you prefer you dad's rendition over anyone else's. You love to imitate Dada, and he can get you to do anything these days. The other night he blew puffs of air into your face, making your bangs go crazy, which you thought was hilarious. To get you to imitate him, he says, "Your turn!" and points to you, and on this particular night, you blew air right back into his face!  (You are definitely a Daddy's Girl already, doing whatever he wants of you happily and screaming out of joy when he walks in thr room. I can't blame you, though, because I feel the same way!) You also do "Clap Clap Clap" and "So Big" very well, little lady. Among your other entertaining talents, this month you started grinning these big, wide, close-eyed, toothy grins. It cracks your audience up every time to see you smile as hard as you can, and you love the reactions it gets you. Everyday you show that are a ham who loves people and attention; that's for sure! There is not one ounce of shyness within you, and when strangers pick you up, you're more curious than scared. In fact, people--strangers even--ALWAYS comment on how content, aware and advanced of a baby you are, and we agree.

During your wake time, we usually eat, play, run errands, and take walks. You have three big meals a day plus one snack in the afternoon, and I carry extra rice cakes and cookies with me while we run our errands or take our walks just in case. You'll eat almost anything, but definitely prefer to feed yourself. Bananas are your favorite by far, followed by avocados and puffs. We added turkey, cheese, black beans, non-dairy yogurt, and scrambled eggs to your diet this month, and you're loving it! Sippy cups are still difficult for you, and you prefer to drink from a cup like a grown up or to use lidded cups with big kid straws. Before every nap you have a bottle, and oftentimes we cuddle and watch a few minutes of "Sesame Street" to help you to relax and focus. Other than that and a little "Seinfeld" with your evening baba, you don't watch really any television. We do listen to a lot of radio, which is probably why you love music so much! In fact, you are obsessed with music and instruments. You still love your Fisher Price piano, and this month your dad showed you our real piano. You loved banging away on those keys for sure! He also showed you how to strum his guitar, and now when you crawl around on your own you seek out his guitar and mandolin; it cracks me up to find you alone, strumming away on his instruments! When you play, you're content in your toy corner, your own little place in the world. You definitely go through phases with favorite toys, but you consistently seek out your LeapFrog Scout book; it reads itself out loud when you turn the page, and I can hear you rummaging through your toy bins to find it, followed by the now-familiar story as you turn the pages. I hope you get my love of reading, and to that end I read to you from "The Wizard of Oz" every morning. You love to listen, but we only do a few pages a day because you end up trying to rip the book out of my hands! We also read to you at night, and it's the most relaxing time of the day for everyone; you are so calm and attentive in our laps as we rock and as you listen to the story. It's always the perfect end to our day.

This month you became way snuggly, hugging and kissing us joyously. After nap time you're especially snuggly, needing a few minutes of cuddling to wake up happily. (In fact, you look and act exactly like your dad when he wakes up--a little cranky and slow-on-the-go.) Dada says this is his favorite phase so far because when you hug, you hug so hard and so long, we finally have a sign that you love us. It also warms our hearts to hear you say our names, "mama" and "dada." They are definitely your two most used words, and they distinctly mean me and your dad--as well as a few other things: "Dada" also means to "fun," "I want that," "yay," "I'm happy," etc. (basically anything exciting and joyous), and "mama" also means "I'm hurt," "help," "I need," "I'm sad," etc. (basically anything sad or in need). Go figure! I'm not offended, though, because dadas are fun, but mamas are the ones babies cry out for in their times of need. You parrot words like crazy, the most popular of which is definitely "hey." You also love to click your tongue and blow raspberries, too, to communicate.

E.V., perhaps most significantly this month, you were dedicated at North Point Community Church on April 27th. Your dada and I both fully and whole-heartedly believe in the reality and saving grace of Jesus Christ, and at your dedication, we symbolically promised to raise you in a home where you're exposed that message. Following Christ is a decision you have to make all on your own, but your dada and I pray every single night that you (and your future husband) will have open eyes and hearts to the Lord and that He reveals Himself to you at a very young age. We are so blessed to have you in our family here on earth, and pray that one day you'll see God's word as Truth and join our figurative family in Christ.

Oh, dear heart. Dear little heart. I love you to the ends of the earth and back, and can't imagine my life without you. Everyday you make me happy, bring me joy and renew my faith in this crazy world. You are what is good here on earth, so thank you for everything you bring to my life. Your dad and I are so proud of you already. You are one amazing little girl.

Love you always,
Me (and Dad)

P.S.: May we also have a moment of silence in honor of the loss of the rattail? It finally happened this month, and now sans mohawk and sans rattail, your hair is so pretty, but (truthfully) so plain! :)

(These shoots are getting WAY, WAY hard!)

"What, you want me to lay down? Huh? I don't feel like it. I want to play!"