Sunday, April 24, 2011


I made Easter cupcakes!

They were a red velvet box mix and I used milk instead of water. They're perfect! (Thanks for the tip, Amber!)

I got the buttercream frosting recipe from a Kitchenaid cook book I have.

1/3 C softened butter
1/4 C whipping cream or evaporated milk
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
4 C powdered sugar

That's it! I used the evaporated milk, just to try it. It turned out delicious! I added blue food coloring to the mix once it was almost creamed to perfection.

Hungry yet??!

My first Primary!!

At work, in the NNICU, we have a very special opportunity to do something wonderful for our baby's families. We are able to "pick up" a baby and become their primary nurse. That means we take care of that baby every time we go in to work and get to be very close to the baby's family. It is so wonderful because the moms and dads are able to see the same nurses taking care of their sweet little infants; it provides continuity of care. We develop a great rapport so that the parents feel comfortable enough to ask us anything and really become interactive in their baby's care during their stay in our NNICU.

We are supposed to work in the NNICU for a year before taking on a primary baby, but there are lots of babies on the unit who need primaries, so they are fudging a little and letting my residency pick up a couple weeks early.

So, since I've been back at work, 5 out of my 7 shifts, I have been taking care of this sweet baby girl. Of course I cannot share her name or any specifics, but I'd like to keep you updated a little, as she's my first. I went in to work on Thursday night, ready to sign up for her, and whatdoyaknow... another night nurse had picked her up! :( But it's OK, we're going to share; be co-primaries. The other nurse is her first primary, so if we're both working, she'll get her. I get her when she's not there. Maybe it's good that I'm sharing, for my first primary baby. So I can learn the ropes with an experienced nurse. A little about this baby? I'll call her "M". She was born very early and very small. She weighed about a pound and a half when she was born. She's growing and as of my last shift was doing pretty good!

I'm working tomorrow and Tuesday night, so I may get her. I made her a couple of headbands on my days off.

Isn't it cute?? It's going to look PRESH on her!

Updates later. :) Prayers appreciated for M.

Hanging out with Jordan and Alysse

Cohen and I went last Thursday to help Jordan with her doctor's appointment. She wasn't sure how Alysse would do during the appointment, so I went along to keep Alysse company. Alysse was 6 weeks old! Weighing over 7 pounds now! She did perfectly at the doctor's office. I just gave her a bottle while Jordan was with the doctor. And this little girl drank 4 ounces! We just started offering Cohen 5 ounces! I immediately felt like we were depriving Coco of milk he needs! ha ha

Look how she's grown!

Moving so fast the picture's blurry! :)

Cohen just kept babbling around her, and I was trying to imagine what it would be like when they are both little chatterboxes! It's going to be so sweet. I just look forward to holidays with the family now! Babies really make holidays more fun, don't you think?

Cousin Alysse

Lost these pics (read: forgot to blog them)...

On March 24th we took the Rios' some dinner (chili and cornbread and cheesecake) to give them a night off. It was fun getting to see how Alysse had grown in the two weeks since I'd seen her.

She was still tiny as ever.. and cute as ever. :)


Sleeping angel :)

Taco Diner with the Foundation Group

Wednesday night, our foundation group leaders wanted to come up to Plano and eat dinner with all of us. It's almost summer and they leave for Florida for the entire summer, so they're trying to get some quality time in with us. Plus, they're about to set us free; on our own. No longer a Foundation Group, but a Community Group. It's a little exciting; a little daunting. We will also be losing our sweet, sweet friends, the Brannen's (to Houston) and the Dunn's (to Colorado). Our group is changing and it's sad and scary. But that just makes me so thankful that we have the Rays, the Allen's and the Cole's to stay here, to cultivate deeper friendships and deeper relationships with Jesus. I'm excited to find a good, relevant book or study to do with the group either when summer starts or ends. The sooner the better, I say!

Hector, David, Patrick, Tyler W., Cory and Preston

Callie, Me, Jackie, Coco, Brittany, Ashley and Lisa

Brittany and Ashley with Cohen

My big boy!

Cohen loves to stand up :) Moving a little too fast for me... He's so silly too; when he sees me hold up the camera or my iPhone, he gets a "deer in headlights" look and nearly refuses to smile. Hector has to play cheesy Sears photo studio photographer and make silly noises, shake toys and stick out his tongue to get this child to smile when he sees the camera. I bet he'll start hammin' it up soon enough though. And flirting with girls.. uugghhh.. I already see him grinning at all of my girlfriends.. :) 

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!!

I was so thrilled to put together Cohen's very first Easter basket. I filled it with cute things that I knew he'd be "growing in to" in these next few weeks. 
A new onesie
Big boy bowls for when we start cereal in a few weeks!!
Spoons for said cereal.. :)
A new jittery giraffe for his car seat.
A vibrating teething ring (yes, we think he's starting early..)
And of course, an Easter bunny!!

There was also a new pajama set (as he's grown out of all the 0-3month ones!) and a teether that can be frozen to soothe his gums. He had fun! I was afraid he'd just stare at it, but he actually tried to chew on everything. 

Now this is my favorite Easter Basket!! :)

Granna and Pop came over to celebrate Easter with us and go to Watermark's Saturday service. We had a great time!

Here we are at Church!
Dinner at Taco Diner (yummy!)
His Easter card from Granna and Pop!
They brought him a new outfit, new sandals and these new pj's! We love them!
(Again with the chewing...)
My sweet Easter baby!
Our little family!

What a sweet day! We are so glad my Mom and Dad got to come over. They're only 2 hours away but it seems like we have to go long times in between visits. Cohen was about 3 months and 1 week this Easter. Next year we should get to go to an Egg hunt!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cohen: Three Months!

So, Cohen's 3 month birthday was a week ago. A little late on this post, I know, but we were out of town and I've been working. Sheesh!

This baby...

He has inched his way into the very center of our hearts and tossed his anchor. He's there to stay. Every day with him is literally a joy. Even if I'm tired, or he's grouchy, there are still so many more moments of joy, that those moments of exhaustion, emotion and frustration are simply forgotten.

He is ever-growing and ever-changing. This is good.. this is good. I have to tell myself that all the time. Because part of me, if I had it my way, would keep him tiny, small and helpless forever. There is something so wonderful about being needed by this immature human for his every need. Now, granted, he still needs me for 99% of his world. But friends, I saw this kid put his paci back into his mouth the other day after it had fallen out. I'm not ready for that! Or am I? The polar opposite side of me (the rational side, perhaps?) is the one saying, "Yes, Emily, OF COURSE you want him to start gaining independence!" You want him to be able to lay in his play gym and entertain himself for a while. You want him to learn to soothe himself back to sleep at night when he gets startled awake. And I am so excited for his future... our future with him. We'll be celebrating with our friends, the one year birthday of their little girl this week, and I actually caught myself the other day, thinking of how I would do Cohen's first birthday party. Now, I can't give you details, because I mentally slapped myself and thought, "Are you CRAZY?? Don't you dare rush this first year of his, because you'll never get it back! Let him be little and enjoy the heck out of him!" So, that ended the birthday party planning session. :)

Here is Coco's 3 month Tonka picture:

Remember 2 months?

And 1??


-Sleeping- Siiigghhh.... When will we perfect this? He's getting better.. He is! But, I guess like with everything, we still have our bad days (nights?). We usually do bath time around 8, then try to get him to sleep in his crib by 8:30-9. On one of our "good" nights he will sleep from 9 to 3-4am, eat, then sleep for another 3-4 hours. We'd like to cut out this one, lingering night-time feeding, but the paci does not do the trick. We are still swaddling him in his Miracle Blanket. It has been our lifesaver. Can I just say that we tried to not swaddle him last night and it was a disaster?? Any suggestions? He just kicked and squirmed and would not settle down. From 2:30am to 5am, mind you. Yes, I'm tired. He's napping a little better. He'll take an hour-ish nap in the morning and another afternoon. That's better, right??

-Eating- Not much to report here. He's been eating about every 3 hours during the day, although, it's been a little more frequent lately. This is to be expected, as babies have a growth spurt around 3 months. He only drinks breast milk and formula. I've learned all the ins and outs of pumping at work. And I am so thankful to be working at a place that is so baby-friendly (we are a giant nursery, after all!). I am able to use our pumps at work, which makes it super convenient and easy. 

-Growing- He weighed 14 pounds on the 13th. And was 25 inches long. (He weighed 8 pounds 12.4 ounces at birth.) 

-Development- Let's see. He holds his head up ALL the time. He wants to be standing up 99% of the time, he gets impatient if you just sit him on your lap. He is still only mildly interested in tummy time. Even though we go to great lengths to make it fun (mirrors, toys, laying on the floor with him..). He is grasping small toys and bringing them to his mouth. He chews on his fists. He studies his feet occasionally. He is not rolling over, either way. He will sometimes roll from front to back if he is that  upset. He lights up when he sees me, Daddy or octopus. He enjoys his Baby Einstein Jumperoo. He occasionally laughs out loud. He can almost sit unassisted in his Bumbo and Superseat. And he talks to us A LOT now. He is especially talkative in the mornings. He makes a sound like he's blowing a raspberry. It's mainly a lot of different volumes and pitches of "Oooooo" and "Ohhh". He has been ignoring the frames lately. He likes to grab his blankets and bring them to his mouth so he can chew on them. 

Right around his 3-month birthday he had his first cold. Nothing big, just him feeling and looking pitiful. But he's just about fully recovered, with just a little watery eye leftover. And he does not like it when Mommy gets out the bulb syringe. No, he does not. 

So that's where we are! He's such a wonderful baby. We love him so much. Hopefully I'll get some more blogs in soon!  

Friday, April 8, 2011

A post of pics :)

It's been a long week... I went back to work. :( But it was good. Tuesday was my first night back. Everyone was so nice, helping me get reacquainted with the unit. (Thank you Emily, Maryann, Virginia and Sara for all your help!) I got home Wednesday morning as fast as I could! Cohen was awake and ready to eat! I had to go to sleep right afterwards, but I woke around 2 pm, so I could play with him before going back to work. It was harder to go the second night. I hated only having 3-4 hours of time with him. But... gotta work! And, apparently it was much harder on me than Cohen-he was fine! I didn't cry at work, just on my way. :) But we still took a bunch of pictures of Coco this week. Enjoy!

We went to church on Sunday and left Cohen in the nursery for the first time! I nervously checked my pager about every 3 minutes. :)

He did just fine. I came in and he was napping in the crib! :)

Cohen and Daddy after church. He's looking at Maggie :)

Like father, like...daughter? Mags and Tyler

I want to remember this hair forever :)

Holding things and bringing them to his mouth!

Trying to roll over during tummy time... :-/

Looking at his octopus

Octopus is his favorite toy :)

He has a special look, just for me :)

Mommy and Coco

He's a thinker!

Hector thinks it's so weird when Cohen chews on his hand

Cohen doesn't think it's weird at all :)

Right before I went to work. Isn't it clear why I have a hard time leaving him? That face!

Thanks for checking our pictures! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Play date

Today was a fun day for Cohen and me. We went to historic downtown McKinney to have lunch with Deanna and her son Kade. Kade is 10 days younger than Cohen.

 Such beautiful colors on this breezy spring day!

Waiting for Mr. Kade to finish eating!

We walked around the square, peeked inside shops and settled on Sauce for lunch. I definitely recommend it! The prices were reasonable ($7 for a pizza, $6-7 for a sandwich). I had a BYO Pizza (Build Your Own) with Slammin' Pizza Sauce, Fontina and Parmesan cheeses, black olives and pepperoni. Yum! Deanna had a BLT Panini that looked wonderful! They have a covered patio, and on a day like today, we had to sit outside! 

Kade slept the first 1/3 of lunch, Cohen slept the middle 1/3 and they were both awake the last 1/3! We had such a nice time catching up (it's been years since I've seen her!) and talking about the babies. Deanna is a nurse, too, so we have lots in common. It is so nice to talk to other mothers! We were able to share opinions, practices and stories about our boys. 

Kade is a sweetheart! He barely made a peep the whole time, until he got sleepy towards the end. Coco made himself known as soon as the stroller stopped on the patio. :) But he just wanted to talk and play. And that's always OK with me! 

After 2.5 hours of chatting at the restaurant, we strolled our way back to the park, by where we had parked. There was shady grass there and we wanted some pictures of the boys together. :) Cohen was falling asleep and Kade was already napping, but hey.. they're only babies for a short while, right? 

 Now they're both awake!

They were supposed to be laying on their sides looking at each other.. yeah right!

Both boys staring at their mommies! 

And at this point, we changed diapers and loaded them up into their car seats. Then it was home we came!

How refreshing it was to get out and see a friend today! Can't wait to do it again!
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