Hey guys. Well, I am sitting in our office literally among piles and piles of laundry. We are between trips and I am trying to get everything clean before we leave. This past weekend Emma Grace and I dashed down to Thailand with our friends Laura and Lydia for some medical care. EG and Lydia both got their 4 and 2 month shots, respectively. It was really fun to get out for a weekend...just nice to get away-good for my soul. Basically the weekend consisted of lots of fun converstations with my friend Laura, several starbucks runs (which we don't have here) a little shopping and lots of sunshine! All in all a great weekend. We really missed Andy though. At one point I called him and in the background I heard a chinese guy saying they were having a crisis...basically Andy invited some friends over to grill hamburgers which turned out great all except the smoke that set off the alarms and filled our house! We are dreaming of meat as our bedroom still has a faint hint of hamburger lingering in the air!
Last night we held our 2nd annual "Learn to Cha Cha" birthday party for one of our local friends. Before we were married, Andy bought me these really awesome 1980's "Learn How to Dance" videos, which feature British ladies and awesome 80's clothes. After a fajita dinner, we cleared our living room and turned it into a dance floor. We watched the videos and practiced the steps. 30 minutes later, the room was full of awkward cha-chas and a lot of laughter.
Here we are learning a move along with the Kvernens, Matt and Laura.
Fridays are a long day for me and the Bean (Emma Grace for all those who aren't familiar with our nickname) Andy leaves fairly early and doesn't return until 10pm. We had a special treat this past week. Two of our good friends, Alisa and Ginny came out to visit and brought their little girls. So, along with EG and the Kvernen girls (our neighbors and good friends) we had a total of 5 little monkeys. Kayleigh, the one beside Emma Grace is a year older (to the day) I hope we can have a joint party for them this year. At one point Kayleigh thought she was in childcare (easy to think with all the kids and mass of toys) and started to cry because she thought her mom was gonna leave her! Alisa and Kayleigh are planning to come out weekly to visit and we are gonna scrapbook while the youngins sleep! It's a really fun treat to have people come visit us out here in the country. The Kvernens, Matt, Laura, Julianna, and Lydia are our good friends and neighbors. I am sure they will "make the blog" often!
Here's our neighbor Julianna playing with EG in the swing. I am looking forward to the days when EG can really play with Julianna and Lydia.
PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE! We finally have a helper and not just any helper. As many of you know we, along with the Kvernens have been looking and "asking" since last spring to find someone who would be willing to come all the way out here to help us in the house and with the kids. After a long and somewhat "hopeless feeling" process, we have a GREAT helper. Xiao Li previously worked for the Kvernens and we thought she would not be able to work for us this year. We offered her a good salary and help with moving expenses and rent and she has deicded this is what she should and wants to do! We are so thankful for her. She is such a sweet kind woman who is "like us." We totally trust her with Emma Grace. YEAH! My life has changed! I really felt like I was just barely keeping my head above water but now I might actually be able to swim a little!
I really think Emma Grace is the most photographed child in the world. Having this blog makes me take pictures more often...which is a good thing overall. But I am starting to think you guys might be getting bored with all these pictures of her...WAIT A MINUTE. Who am I kidding?! You guys are more obsessed with this little girl than we are! Seriously, I do want to take pictures of other things for you to see...I just haven't gotten around to it yet! I am gonna print out all of these blog entries and keep them in a scrapbook for her! well, here is yet another picture of our star. Bath time! She takes a bath about every 2-3 days. She loves it! (she hates the getting out part though)
Sleepy time with EG! This is one of my favorite things to do each day...At 10pm we wake Emma Grace up to eat and then put her back down for the night. (that way we ALL get to sleep through the night!) She is so snuggly and cuddly during these times. One of our favorite things to do is get her from her naps...if it's during the day, she is sooo happy to see you...because you've rescued her from her lonely room. And if it's at 10pm for this last time to eat, she is just a snuggle bunny!
Here she is getting ready to go outside...gotta bundle up. It's been cold lately. I just love this hat!
Here she is with two of her "A Yi's" (that world is pronounced kinda like Ahh eeee and it means Auntie) This lady on the left, Jiao Jie (which means sister Jiao) has been a huge blessing to our family. She works at the management office in our apartment complex and lives near us too. She has really reached out to us, inviting us over for dinner, helping me to know the "correct" prices for vegetables (I often pay way too much as a foreigner) and has really loved on our Emma Grace. I often run out to buy milk (a less than 2 minute walk) and Jiao Jie will play with EG while I go.
Emma Grace just celebrated her 4-month birthday last Wednesday. She has changed so much during the last month! Despite what you may guess from these most recent pictures, she is smiling and laughing more than ever. It's been really cold here recently. Last night when EA and I were walking outside, we decided it was perfect weather for going to a high school football game. We even started making noises like we were a drumline. EA wants to put up the Christmas tree, but I'm telling her it's a tad early.
EA wanted me to tell you about how she made 4 loaves of banana bread on Friday. One of our local friends was celebrating her birthday, and she asked EA to make the cake for her. What, you may ask, do banana bread and cake have to do with one another? Actually, in our friends' minds, they're one and the same. They really don't like cake in the sense that we think of it - it's too sweet and too rich for them.
Happy Four Month Birthday Emma Grace! Here are some cute pics of her. She's making all kinds of faces these days. She has changed more this month than the previous ones! I feel like she does something new everyday. She recently started turning herself around in her bed. I put her in one way and when I go get her, she has her head at the opposite end! I am so thankful to be home with her. I don't have to miss all these precious "firsts"!
Emma Grace got a new seat! It's called a bumbo! This thing is great. It supports her back and her butt sits lower than her legs so she can't fall out. It's perfect for the stage she is in right now, "frustrated stage." She wants to do so much more than she is able to do and therefore gets really frustrated. For example, she has learned to take her passy out but hasn't quite mastered the "putting it back in" part. She also really wants to sit up so she strains her neck, like she's doing crunches but fails and gets really mad. So this seat works great for both of us! She can sit up without me holding her up so I have my hands free. She has been sitting in her seat helping me do dishes! On another note, we got a breadmaker because I am NO BAKER! It's really yummy...we've made cinnamon rolls, cheddar beer bread, and a loaf of white bread. So now with the bumbo and the breadmaker, the Huffys are living the highlife!
Emma Grace rolled over on Saturday. When she did, we both cheered and it scared her and she started crying. Hope we didn't discourage her from trying it again!