Mommy can spit up, too!

We are in Columbus for Christmas. When I woke up this morning, I was feeling very sick and I went into the bathroom thinking I was going to throw up. I used my mind over matter thing I learned from being pregnant and eventually the shaking, racing heart, and impulse to gag myself subsided.

When I exited the bathroom, I learned that three other people had thrown up over the night. I ate a banana and then went to lie down again because I was feeling dizzy. I finally got up around 1pm and had an apple.

I had learned that the only other sick adult had only thrown up once and then felt a lot better. Around 1:45pm, I started feeling sick again. I went into the bathroom, and made myself throw up hoping that it would just be a one time thing and then I would feel better... And it worked! Of course, it has only been twenty minutes, but I already feel a lot better. Maybe I'll be able to enjoy Christmas Eve after all.

Now I am just worried about wee Alex. Last night, one of the sick babies slept in the pack-n-play Alex is using here. I really hope he does not get sick because I cannot imagine him feeling what I just felt.

So be grateful for your health and have a Merry Christmas!


Involuntary Shiver

Today we drove a different way to church because we were picking up someone. We passed a shopping center that has the temperature on the sign. Below is the conversation that followed:

Sam: Negative six degrees.
Emily: Wow. (Looks up and sees the sign.) Wait, why do you always say Celsius? It confuses me.
Sam: It's more impressive. 22 degrees is meh, but -6 degrees is freakin' cold.

That is the difference between Sam and me. Twenty-two degrees is cold enough to elicit a reaction of horror from me, but Sam reserves those statements for "more impressive" numbers like -6. Brrr...


First Christmas Tree

Sam went into this marriage knowing that I do not have a creative cell in my entire body. That is why what I am about to show you is truly a Christmas miracle.

Sam wanted a real Christmas tree. I imagined a two foot tall tree; Sam imagined a seven foot tall tree. Sam did the lights and I did the ornaments and ribbon. I am so proud of it that I keep trying to come up with excuses to invite people over. Not a single person has seen it yet! If you live nearby, come see my tree!

Picking out our tree at Lowe's. The worker told us not to buy it there but to go cut down one ourselves. We were way too lazy for that type of thing.

Strapped to the top of Sam's car. It did not end up being very secure after all so I had my arm through the sunroof holding it on.

Beginning to put on the lights.

We don't have a fireplace.

It is hard to take a good picture of a Christmas tree!

And a little bit closer.

"What was Alex doing during this time," you ask?

Sam was cold on our way to our ward Christmas party so he wore oven mitts.

At our ward Christmas party!


O Little Town of Skaneateles

We went with a few friends from Sam's program to a small town called Skaneateles. Each year, the residents dress up as characters from Dickens' A Christmas Carol and have activities. It was fun but extremely cold and we were not prepared for it. This was Alex's first experience with snow and he did not seem too happy about it.

Here we are.

Meeting Father Christmas.

The whole family with Father Christmas.

They came up to Sam and told him he did not look happy enough and they made him sing "Jingle Bells."

Before he was completely frozen.

On the 30 second carriage ride.

Waiting for the magic show to begin.

So cold! Look at those cheeks!

Most of the group.

The winter has very much arrived. I am not very good at dressing appropriately for weather and now I have to dress myself and a wee one. I am getting better, but I failed the day we went to Skaneateles. It was such a cute little town and we look forward to going again next year when Alex will appreciate it a little more.


Officially an adult

About a month before my 21st birthday, we tried to attend a birthday party that we thought was at a restaurant. I looked it up beforehand just to make sure that it would be a family-friendly environment and it looked fine. We showed up and it turned out that it was a bar. And they were ID'ing. I thought it was funny that Alex could have gone in just fine but I, a lowly 20 year old, was turned away. Sam stayed and Alex and I went home.

Well just last week at the grocery store, I bought a lighter (I have not taken up smoking). The cashier kind of laughed because the computer kept beeping at him to ask me for my ID and he considered it a ridiculous product to ID for. When he told me he needed my ID, I was so happy and gladly showed it to him. I looked at Sam and we were both grinning, knowing what a monumental moment it was. I almost took a picture with the cashier but I decided he had been sufficiently attacked after my minute of rambunctious celebrating over the occasion.


Thanksgiving in Arizona

We had a very eventful Thanksgiving break in Arizona. Below are some of the things we did!

We went golfing on Thanksgiving morning.

It took a while to figure out who would be in each group.

Sam was waiting patiently.

All the golfers (except me because I took the picture).

Sam and Alex waiting for Thanksgiving dinner.

Sherliene, Grandma, and Laura

David, Adam, Stuart (cousin), and Jared

The 'dult table.

The kiddos and Laura.

The cool people (my table).

Matthew and Laura taking a nap on the couch. Looks comfy.

Wee Alex and Papa.

Matthew sat right in front of a decoration on the wall and it looked silly.

We threw sawdust into a fire.

We went to Native with Michelle and Katie.

Alex meeting Katie.

Alex learned how to rap.

Early morning at Starbucks with Danielle.

Alex wanted some Starbucks too.

Del Taco. Of course. How could I not?

We went shopping.

Sam and Alex got worn out.

The baby Michelle is growing got some presents.

Alex, Sam, Grandma, and Papa

Alex, Jared, and Adam

We went to Bahama Bucks.

And Matthew got a massive one.

Jared built his toothpick bridge for Physics. See Flannel's here.

I had a wonderful time in Arizona and the weather was beautiful. It was quite a shock to come back to Ithaca. I think I overdressed Alex every day we were in Mesa. I loved spending time with the family and playing countless games of Uno with my little brothers.



About a month ago, Sam and I were called as ward missionaries. Initially we were called to the missionary committee but just before being setting apart, the ward mission leader decided we should be ward missionaries instead. I have never felt so inadequate in a calling. Immediately after I got home from church that day, I pulled out my copy of Preach My Gospel. I do not have a lot of experience with missionary work. Sure, I have talked to people about the church, but it was always more question answering and less invitation to be baptized. This calling requires me to step out, no, more like take a giant leap out of my comfort zone.

My dad said that this is one of his favorite callings because there is "a lot of ministering and very little administering." So far it has been more driving around than both ministering or administering. The sister missionaries in our area do not have vehicles. Also, many of the investigators do not have vehicles. I spend hours each week driving the sisters and their investigators to/from appointments.

On Saturday night, we had the sister missionaries over for dinner. After dinner I drove them to their next appointment. When we arrived, they asked me to go in with them and join in the discussion. The girl we were teaching did not speak English very well. We taught her about callings (amongst other things). As the sisters taught more of the lesson, I started thinking maybe it was more for me than the investigator. They taught about how callings are service and sometimes they may seem hard or time-consuming, but God will always help you. They also told her about how we are sustained in sacrament meeting and everyone raises their hands saying that they will support you.

I remember when I was sustained. Not only do I have the support of the entire ward, but I also have God supporting me. My testimony has already been strengthened immensely just by sharing it. I am starting to open up and not feel intimidated as much. It is still hard for me to put what I am thinking into words and I frequently ramble (kind of like right now). But I am getting better. I am grateful for this calling and the chance I have to teach others about something I love so much.


Flying with an infant

I just got back on Wednesday from Arizona. I flew alone with Alex both directions. Now that I have been on eight separate airplanes with Alex over the last four months, I feel like I am an expert at flying with a newborn. My newborn, at least. I will also make sweeping generalizations because I do what I want.

There are three types of looks I get from people when walking on an airplane:
1. No eye contact - Those who don't look up at all because they are already reading their magazines.
2. Quizzical - Those who judge you for flying with a baby and are convinced he will scream the entire flight.
3. Interested - Those who smile and think he is cute even though they are convinced he will scream the entire flight.

I do not have any experience of flying with a bad baby. Alex was perfect the entire time. He slept most of all of the flights. I also had an empty seat next to me on three of the eight flights. He never screamed while landing like many babies do. I sat next to a pilot on one of the flights and he told me how to avoid having a crying baby. He said that if they are asleep then you don't need to worry about anything. However, if the baby is awake then stand him/her up. Being vertical helps their ears clear. Nursing or using a pacifier will also help them to clear their ears.

While going through airport security on my way from Ithaca to Phoenix, they did not even make me take Alex out of the front carrier. It was so nice. On the way back from Phoenix to Ithaca, they made me take him out of the carrier and remove his shoes! Baby shoes are all cloth. What is in their diapers is more dangerous than what is in their shoes. It was ridiculous. I think the airport security lady did not know, well, anything about babies.

While I was trying to get Alex back in the carrier, I set him in those boxes you put your purse in to go through the x-ray machine. A security guy came up and I said, "I just put him through the machine. That's okay, right?" He started laughing and said, "You would be surprised. Parents come up with their kids in the carseats and if they are sleeping they say, 'He is sleeping. I would really rather not take him out. Can we just put him through the machine?'" I was dumbfounded. Some parents struggle.

The flight back from Phoenix was Alex's first daytime flight. During takeoff he was looking out the window and doing his usual dance. Then he squealed, made an "ooooohhhh!" sound, and grinned. I think he likes flying.

I had just boarded the plane for one of the flights and I hadn't taken Alex out of the front carrier yet. A flight attendant walked by and told me I had to remove him for the carrier so that "in the event of an emergency, he could be passed off." I thought that was stupid but I did it anyway. A few minutes later I noticed I had been singing the Dixie Chicks song "If I Fall You're Going Down With Me" in Alex's ear.

Without fail, every time we landed, the people around me would comment on how good of a baby he was. I know I am lucky. And I am grateful for it.


Alex is aging! (4 months)

Weight: 13 pounds, 4 ounces (13th percentile)
Length: 24.5 inches (45th percentile)
Head circumference: 41.5 cm

He had his first professional photo shoot.

He loves looking at himself in the mirror.

He occasionally pretends to be interested in things like this.

He turns toward you when you walk into a room.

He flies on Daddy's head.


He can still sleep through most things (at a bowling alley).

He takes a bottle like a champion.

He watches So You Think You Can Dance with Mommy.

He watches sports with Daddy.

He is getting more hair.

He doesn't like the cold wind very much.

He can go full days without spitting up. But sometimes he gets me still!

He can hold his toys and rattles and play with them. He holds them above his head and stares at them. But when someone else shakes them above his head he blinks a lot.

He gets forced into sitting up.

But his big head makes him tip over.

He went on his first four wheeler ride.

He played the piano for the first time.

He experienced his first bonfire. He couldn't look away!

He gets fish hooked by Daddy.

He gets used as a pillow.

He gets dragged around to all sorts of events.

He hangs out in airports.

He hugs blue bears that make him giggle.

He chews on everything and slobbers constantly.

He stares at, and is fascinated by, the air.

He pretends he is a rocket ship.

He hangs out with grandparents and uncles (and aunts, great-granparents, etc.).

He gets tired of having pictures taken. He is camera shy already!

He reacts to eye contact.

He laughs in his sleep.

He frowns in his sleep.

He reaches for toys. Sometimes.

He loves bath time and play time after baths.

Daddy traps his hands while he sleeps.

He hasn't figured out which way he wants to suck his fingers so he tries all different combinations of fingers.

He will pull out his pacifier and put it back in his mouth. I recognize that this is probably inadvertent, but I will claim that it is intentional.

The dentist is going to love him because he can open his mouth so wide!

We torture our son in the following ways:

Watch his eyes!

We let him fall and hit his head.

We blow in his face.

We neglect him.

We toss him around while he's sleeping.

We let him roll over and then we roll him back.

We laugh at his bobble head.

Here are a few more things Alex does for which I do not have matching picture:
...arches his back to look over his head at us.
...stretches so cute in the morning and after naps.
...looks like he is faking when he coughs.
...is growing out of everything.
...was sick for a few days and the screaming made me appreciate the happy days even more and admire moms who deal with fussy babies every day.
...grabs my finger and puts it in his mouth.
...claws everyone. He has a vice grip. He will grab my bottom lip, shirt, face, arm, or anything he can get a hold of. I have scratch marks on my arms and chest.
...gets a very cute face while nursing. He looks drugged. "Mmmm, so good!"
...is happy with any new people. He is happy all-around.
...recognizes me. I now know this for a fact.

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