After a two week hiatus we are back and this edition is special; it's the, much anticipated, birthday edition!! So, needless to say, this Flashback Friday really has nothing to do with Danny and I (good thing we had nothing going on in July) and everything to do with Ms. Emerson. July was pretty much a slow month for the Dever's except for the week of Emerson's birthday. We did have a great July 4th with Grammy and Papa and had some fun at their neighborhood park. Emerson got her birthday present early this year, in the form of a big sandbox. Thanks again to Jasper, our house builder, for making such a great sandbox. Emerson loves it!! We had an incident with cows at Fearrington Village and working toward getting Emerson more comfortable around cows :) !!! Emerson moved from the toddler room to the 2 year old classroom. It was a very sad day for Mommy, Emerson did great!! We did some bowling with the Hermans and with Grammy and Papa on two different days. We also had some pool (baby pool, that is!!) time with Mimi and Birdie. All-in-all, a pretty low-key July, except for, oh, that big birthday party we had.
Emerson's real birthday is July 9th but we celebrated on July 11th with a Luau party. We had about 40 kids and adults over to celebrate the big day. Birthday planning is so fun and I tend to go overboard, go figure!! I think the event was a huge success and I think everyone had a great time. I was fortunate enough to have Mindy Church and Jordan Shamp of then, Mindy C. Photography (they have since changed their name to JAM Photography) take pictures. They did an excellent job and I am so glad I have those pictures to cherish and SHARE WITH YOU!! So, without further ado.....I give you the annual birthday slide show!! July picture link is at the bottom of the page!
Please make note, to view this slide show you will have to install the photodex installer...I had my neighbor, Amy, test it out and it only takes two seconds to install and run...then you can see the high quality version of the slide show. If for some reason you can't get the slide show to work, email me and I will figure out a way to get it to you!!
We all remember picture day from school. We would get all dressed up, we would go sit in front of a camera with some ugly background behind us, smile and then wait anxiously for our pictures to come back. We would wait 2-3 weeks only to get our pictures back and critique everything about them, and it was over if you had a bad picture, because then it was going in the yearbook and there was nothing you could do about it. Well, they are starting kids out younger and younger these days in hopes that they are all prepared for grade school. Hopefully they will all know how to take a good picture so there are no scars when it comes time for the yearbook.
We got Emerson's school pictures back yesterday. I wouldn't say they are the best pictures I've ever seen of her (I know, I am a horrible mom for saying that) but they are pretty cute, so I wanted to share them with the rest of you. Emerson has had a hard time with school pictures the past two times she has taken them. (You'd think with the amount of pictures that are taken of her at home, she wouldn't be so camera shy.) We didn't even get pictures from school in the spring (pictures happen twice a year at Parkwood) because she refused to go into the room. This time, I really talked up the fact that it was picture day and everyone at school was going to get their picture taken; it didn't help!! Emerson had a fit when I was there and didn't want to get her picture taken at all. Gail (the Director and Emerson's favorite) and I decided it would be best if I left and they would try again later. The next attempt must have gone better than the first. Gail told me that with some coaxing, she got Emerson to smile. Gail ended up sitting on the platform with Emerson so that Emerson thought both her and Gail were getting their pictures taken. (No wonder Gail has been doing this for such a long time...she's good!) I am surprised Emerson didn't ask where Gail was when she saw the pictures yesterday. But, thank goodness Gail was there to "sit" with Emerson and we could walk away with three decent pictures!!
Hopefully this will get easier as Emerson gets older and used to school pictures. I would hate for her to be one of those kids scarred by a yearbook picture!!!
I have also attached the pictures from Fall 2007, Spring 2008, and Fall 2008 so you can see how much are little one has changed. Sorry for the quality of the pictures...scanners really don't do them justice!!
What do you think this weeks Show and Tell item is going to be from? Of course, The Fair, especially since we went twice this week (see here and here)! Emerson "won" this pink dinosaur while she was fishing on Wednesday night (our 2nd trip to the fair). We paid the big bucks ($5) for her to be able to pick out an acutal prize instead of just a small trinket from the bins next to the game. She was pretty excited about the dinosaur after we peeled her away from the actual fishing game itself!! Gotta love the fair.....
On Wednesday night we headed back to the State Fair. I guess we couldn't get enough from our first trip and needed one more dose of fun-filled goodness. This time we were accompanied by the Wisconsin Dever clan, Ed, Diane and Corey (or Uncle Nick/Ned, Aunt Diamond, and Coco, as Emerson calls them). Ed and Diane were in town for some business and Corey came over from Charlotte and they all decided they had to check out the craziness that is, The State Fair.
This trip was no different than our first trip with Emerson; she was all about riding some rides. She successfully rode The Dragon again (this time by herself) two times, the Merry-Go-Round, and the Jalopy Junction cars. She also rode two new rides, the Hot Air Balloon ride and the Fire Truck. She again, had that fearless attitude and seemed to enjoy all the rides.
We also did some more game playing and came home with a pink dinosaur and a stuffed pumpkin (this week and next week's Show and Tell items!! Score!!). Emerson, literally, had to be peeled away from the fishing game and was so excited when she "made" the basket for the basketball game (with a little help from the game attendant).
We did the typical fair ritual again; walking around and looking at livestock, eating the most unhealthy food ever, and people watching. All-in-all it was another great trip to the fair!! We had so much fun and it gave us a chance to have some much needed family time with the other Devers that we don't get see that often.
Although we had a great time at the fair, my favorite part of the evening was when we got home (no offense Ed, Diane and Corey). At bedtime, we decided to sit in the chair and recap the nights events while Emerson drank her milk. We rocked and talked about the fair until she was finished drinking. She then rolled over to snuggle into my chest (like any other night) to start our nightly ritual of prayers, before moving to the crib to sing Rock-a-bye Baby and Twinkle, Twinkle (in that respective order). Before we started, I sat there for a minute and rubbed her hair, and before I knew it, I heard snoring. She didn't even make it to prayers or her songs (two things that must be performed every night before she even thinks of closing her eyes for bed)...She was OUT!! I sat there for few minutes longer and stole a moment with her in complete silence and darkness. It is nice to know that even with that "No Fear" attitude, she is still my baby and she will still cuddle into mommy and fall fast asleep (something she hasn't done in a long time). It was nice to get that moment with her again, especially since she is growing up WAY TOO FAST!!
I know everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting for Flashback Friday (all 10 of our followers)!! I must say, though, we will be on a two week hiatus from Flashback Friday, I missed last week's edition and this week has been crazy for the Dever household. We have been to the State Fair TWICE, a deplorable FSU/UNC football game, and now, even as you are reading this, a benefit dinner and auction. So, I promise all of you readers (again, there are only a handful of you) that I will be back next week with Flashback Friday. Next will be the July edition, which will include Emerson's 2nd birthday (some of you have been asking)!! Thanks to all for your continued reading....
Just so I don't disappoint you terribly...I have included a couple of flashback pictures for you!!
Last night, we headed to the NC State Fair for a night of fun with several families; the Herman Family (Amy, Dale, Ivie and Macie), the Beale Family (Bethany, Michael, Laney, and Ashton), and the Cherry Family (Bob, Stuart, and Will). Emerson was so excited to go to the fair, and had talked about it all weekend. This years experience was much different than last; we had a toddler that wanted to do EVERYTHING!!! (and I took a lot more pictures than last year)
The first activity we headed for were some of the kiddie rides. The Merry-Go-Round was first on the agenda; all the kids loved riding their own "horseys". After the Merry-Go-Round, Laney and Ivie had no fear and went down the "sack" slide all by themselves. I think their bravery rubbed off a bit on Emerson because she was ready to go when it came time for the next ride.
The strawberry round-a-bout was next on the ride line-up. Laney and Ivie rode in their own and Danny and Emerson got in the one behind them. I think everyone, including Danny, had a blast on this one and good thing NO ONE got sick (dizzy maybe, but not sick) from all the spinning.
After the Strawberry, Laney and Ivie headed for the Dragon roller coaster. Emerson showed her NO FEAR attitude and quickly followed them. Once she saw them on the ride, there was no stopping this toddler, she was on a mission to ride, too. She was halfway up the stairs before we even got the tickets in her hand. Laney was nice enough to sit by herself, so that Emerson and Ivie could ride together. Needless to say, Mommy was a bit nervous about this one but I let her go anyway. Although all the faces in the pictures below look like the girls are scared to death, they all wanted to ride again and again. No need for Mommy to worry...Emerson did great and loved the ride.
After the dragon, I thought it would be nice to slow it down a bit and ride something that Mr. Will could also enjoy. Emerson didn't know the difference in a "safe" ride so she was game. Stuart and I headed for Jalopy Junction with Emerson and Will. They both had a great time "driving" their cars and the moms didn't have to be so nervous with this ride.
After all the riding, it was time for the kids and the adults to eat, and boy did our group try it ALL. Between everyone, we had foot longs, corn dogs, pizza, cheese steaks, french fries, corn-on-the-cob, turkey legs, popcorn, cotton candy, fried Reese's peanut butter cups, fried snickers, and fried oreos, and I am pretty sure I am probably forgetting something in that mix. Emerson was a trooper and ate in her stroller for most of the time but got out to cuddle with Daddy for a bit and to try his corn dog!!
Livestock time!!! Who doesn't want to go walk through a stinky building and look at prize winning livestock after gorging themselves on food?? Come on, it's like a state fair ritual and we were all for it. We saw cows, and not just cows, we saw "BIG COWS!!", as Emerson said. We saw goats, sheep, horses (19 hands, Aunt Diamond), chickens, and pigs. Emerson loved them all but her NO FEAR attitude was deflated a bit when we got close to the cows; she is still a bit gun shy after her cow experience at Fearrington. Ivie and Laney had no fear, though, and quickly jumped at the opportunity to milk a cow. The livestock, as always, a huge hit with the kids!!!
Almost time for us to leave, but not before Round 2 on both the Merry-Go-Round and the Dragon rides, being silly with Daddy, and some game time for the girls (all of which were stall tactics). The girls loved playing the games and it's nice that "All kids are winners, Folks" (said repeatedly by the game operators). The girls got to pick out prizes, Emerson came home with a ducky and a stuffed banana.
I would say this years trip to the fair was, wait for it, LEGENDARY (for all my "How I Met Your Mother" fans). We had a great time and are so glad we went. In fact, we had so much fun we are returning tomorrow night with Uncle Nick, Aunt Diamond and Coco....I am sure there will be another blog post soon. Until next years annual fair trip.
For the past two years Danny and I have been fortunate enough to volunteer for the annual Roy Williams' Fast Break Against Cancer breakfast. In it's fifth year, this event has raised more than $1 million for Cancer Research; this is something we can all applaud. On Thursday, we headed over to the Smith Center to help set-up for the event. While I set-up auction items (my duty for the past two years), Danny and Emerson helped set the place settings with mugs, magnets and programs. Emerson had a blast running around the Smith Center and helping out. She even stood on the riser and peeked behind the podium like she was Roy getting ready to address the crowd.....
On Friday, Danny and I were up super early. I think I made it to the Smith Center by 6:20 am and Danny wasn't far behind me making it there by 7:20 am (after getting Emerson up, dressed, out the door and to school). I finished putting the touches on the auction table before all the guests arrived. There were some great items this year in both the live and silent auctions; shoes signed by Tyler Hansbrough, Anoop Desai memorabilia, a Guitar Hero game signed by Coach Williams (click here if you haven't seen the commercial), a package to watch the game behind the bench (always a high bidding item) and new this year, a signed ball by all living Naismith Hall of Fame members (Coach had two and ended up giving both of them to the two highest bidders).
Eric Montross was the guest speaker this year and he touched us all as he spoke of how cancer has been a part of his life since he was 5 years old. He especially touched me when he talked about one of the young gentlemen that meant so much to him, Jason Clark. I actually knew Jason and grew up next to him in Fearrington and attended his funeral, which Montross spoke at, after his battle with cancer. I had completely forgotten the connection until he started to describe Jason on Friday morning. Montross dedicated himself to making the Children's Hospital a better place. Before Jason's passing he left Montross a three page list of things that could be improved and make the hospital more "child-friendly" and I know Montross made it his goal to do make these changes. Montross was an integral part of the amazing playroom for children on the top floor of the hospital.
All in all, it was another great event that The Devers are proud to volunteer for.
PS- If you haven't seen the out takes for the Guitar Hero commercial you can see Bob Knight's here and the coaches interviews here.
We all love Carolina Basketball in the Dever household. I was born into it, having a father whose blood runs through him Carolina Blue I didn't really have a choice (but had I, I would probably still be a Carolina fan). Danny has become a fan by nurture; it is hard to live in this area and not become a Carolina fan, it's pretty infectious. Danny says he used to watch the Tar Heels when he was young in Florida....but now he is like any other Tar Heel fan, he dons his Carolina Blue for game days, he yells at the refs, he gets angry when they lose and he gets just as pumped for the Duke/Carolina game as any other fan. So needless to say, you could call our household a Tar Heel household. This past Friday's Show-and-Tell item is in honor of our beloved Tar Heels and the commencement of our favorite sport....BASKETBALL!!!! Friday marked the start of the 2009/2010 season with Late Night with Roy (we had to miss it this year) and what better way to show our spirit than to send our little one to school with a Tar Heel basketball. I believe this little Tar Heel basketball was given to Emerson by Mimi before she could even hold onto it. Now, she loves to say basketball (although, she says it for any sport) and loves to throw this ball around the house. I see this ball making several appearances in our house during the 2009/2010 basketball season and maybe even accompanying us to a game. GO HEELS!!!!
Last night as Danny and I were driving home from dinner at Grammy and Papa's house. Danny started talking to Emerson about her Pink presents that he had just brought back for her from Vegas. She was naming all the things Danny brought home (see original blog here). She named the Dora doll first, then the pink "pursey", we helped her with the dice and she immediately then said "Ahh yes, Dice," but she got stumped on the V.I.P t-shirt. So Danny helped her out a bit:
Danny: Emerson, what else did Daddy bring you? Emerson: Um, Um, Um...I don't know? Danny: Was it a t-shirt that said V.I.P Emerson: Yes Daddy!!! Danny: Emerson, do you know what V.I.P stands for? Emerson: No, Daddy!! (in a very giggly voice) Danny: It stands for VERY IMPORTANT PRINCESS....and that's you Emerson. Emerson: OH! Danny: Who's a Very Important Princess? Emerson: Me, Daddy!! Danny: Is Mimi a Very Important Princess? Emerson: NO Danny: Is Grammy? Emerson: NO Danny: Is Aunt Diamond? (the name Emerson has given to her Aunt Diane) Emerson: NO Danny: Is Mommy a Very Important Princess? I think she is! Emerson: No Daddy!! Danny: Then who is Emerson? Emerson: Just me Daddy, just me!!
That about sums it up, folks!!! We are in for lots of TROUBLE!!
Yesterday we headed to Ganyard Hill Farm for some pumpkin patching fun with the Herman Family, which is becoming a yearly tradition, as we went with them last year too. I told Emerson earlier in the week that when Daddy got back from his trip, we were going to go to the pumpkin patch with Ivie. Needless to say, ever since that conversation, Emerson has done nothing but talk about going to the "punkin patch" with Ivie. Well it was a beautiful "fall" day...a bit chilly at first, but then it turned out to be gorgeous. I am not sure if it was the gorgeous fall colors of brown and orange or the gorgeous children we had as our subjects, but picture happy Amy and I took 860 pictures between the two of us. So needless to say, editing was a bit of a challenge, as there wasn't a bad picture in the bunch.
We all had a ball picking out pumpkins, riding on hayrides, climbing on bails of hay, sliding on slides and navigating through mazes. I hope all 7 of my collages tell the story better than any of my words could. Until next year.....
The sights (and sites) of Ganyard Hill Farm
Some of my favorite shots of Emerson with the Herman Girls (Ivie and Macie)
Emerson's Adventures on the farm
Wow, what a difference a year makes....check out pics from 2008 and then 2009.
Danny was out of town all last week in Vegas, poor baby! actually he worked really hard helping his brother, Ed, with his business at a trade show. I think, to the best of my recollection, this was the longest he has ever been away from Emerson. He knows how much I hate it when he travels and this trip was no different, as I was supposed to go with him. To make it easier on me, he had a "long" talk with Emerson before he left:
Danny: Emerson, Daddy has to go out of town and go to a meeting...I'm gonna be gone for 6 night nights. Emerson: Why? (a common word in her vocabulary right now) Danny: Well I have to go help Uncle Ed at a meeting and make some money...(not sure if Danny was talking about gambling or getting new customers here??) Emerson: Oh you help Uncle Nick! (for some reason that is what she calls her Uncle Ed) Danny: Yes, I have to go help Uncle Ed but I will be back soon. Emerson if you are good for Mommy and cooperate with her, I will bring you back a present.
Danny: Yes, a present. Emerson: Daddy, I want PINK presents!! (notice how Emerson keeps making it plural...SMART girl). Danny: Okay I will try to find you pink presents. (Daddy gives in) Emerson: Oh, and Daddy I want some monies too for my pingy bank!! Danny: Okay Emerson I will bring you pink presents AND monies.
The week went as planned and for the most part Emerson and I were trucking through the motions. I was actually sleeping, 'cause my mom came over every night after Em was in bed and stayed with me (Thanks Mom!!). Then about Wednesday, we hit a wall and she really, REALLY wanted her Daddy (so did I)!! So when Danny talked to Emerson on Wednesday night, he reminded her to be good to Mommy so that she could get her presents on Friday when he got home.
Danny: Emerson, are you being nice to Mommy?
Emerson: Yes Daddy, I being nice
Danny: Emerson be nice to Mommy and listen to what she says and asks you to do. If you are nice, Daddy will bring you presents
Emerson: Okay Daddy I be nice. Daddy, make sure my presents are PINK
Danny: Okay Emerson, I will try to bring some pink presents
Emerson: Oh and Daddy, don't forget mines monies!!!
For the next two days, all I heard about were pink presents and monies and Danny was reminded everytime he talked to Emerson on the phone. I think Danny was sweating bullets though, because what could he possibly find for a two year old in Vegas, yet alone something that was acceptable and PINK. Friday finally got here (longest week ever) and Emerson and I went to the airport to pick up Danny and Papa. Emerson was so happy to see her Daddy, but she quickly got over the reconnecting and got right down to business...."Daddy you got my presents and my monies??"
Danny gave Emerson her presents when we got home and needless to say, she was so excited. I must admit, Danny did a great job finding all things PINK. He brought Emerson some pink dice (how kitschy of him), a pink purse that says Vegas Princess (it also included the $5 monies), a Dora doll (she had a pink shirt on), and a pink t-shirt that said, "V.I.P Very Important Princess" (very fitting for our little Emerson). I think Danny has his work cut out for him though, you see Ms. Emerson doesn't forget much and I am sure when Danny has to go out of town the next time, she will ask him to bring her PINK PRESENTS AND MONIES!!!!
I really wanted to get this out to everyone yesterday, but I ran out of time. So, here is your Flashback Friday for June on a Saturday instead of Friday. When we last left you, the Devers had a pretty lowkey May, and June was no different. Danny was actually in town the entire month (can you believe it?) and I was just doing some wrap-up stuff for events at work and then working on a big conference for August. I did get sick with, what we think was, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I had the highest fever I have ever had at 104.2.
We got to celebrate several birthdays in the month of June: Brooke (2nd), Mimi (5th), and Grammy (12th). Emerson also got to attend her friend Aurora's birthday at the NC Museum of Life and Science. We love the museum and took some time to play after the party was over.
The rest of the month was very relaxed, just the way we like it. It was, however, the calm before the birthday storm....that's right, June was Emerson's last month before her 2nd birthday (more on that next week).
I'm a huge fan of the Pottery Barn Kids line of toys, especially those that come out around Christmas time. Last year when I was Christmas shopping, I just happened to pop into PBK and walked out with Abby and her stroller, although not one of the Christmas specific toys, they were still just what I was looking for. I knew I wanted Emerson to have a stroller and her first baby doll to go in the stroller. Abby was perfect, soft and just the right size for Emerson to start learning her nurturing skills. Abby has been through a lot and has comforted Emerson many a time when she was sick. She has gone to doctors appointments, had her ears, eyes, and throat checked by doctors, gone to school, friends houses, the mall, the car, and many other adventures. As much as she has comforted Emerson during tough times, Emerson has begun comforting her; playing Mommy to her, talking to her, rocking her, feeding her, and even changing diapers. She is also one of Emerson's favorite cuddle toys at night. Abby and Emerson are learning a lot from each other and I have a feeling Abby will be around for a long time....
Tonight while I was preparing dinner, Emerson was doing her usual routine of running around the house, chasing Hogan, playing with every toy imaginable, pushing me out of the way and away from the oven, opening every cabinet and drawer, and asking every 2 minutes what I was doing. In all of the mayhem, though, she added a new bit to her routine.... she suddenly broke out in song. Emerson started singing "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way," and she sang it all the way through to the "one horse open sleigh, hey" part, I couldn't believe it. When asked where she learned that song she replied with something that, even though I am her mommy and understand most everything she says, I couldn't understand. I asked her repeatedly and I just couldn't understand the name she was saying, but she certainly knew what she was talking about. I went through everyone I knew, finally I think Emerson just agreed with me cause she knew I couldn't understand her. So, before bed we tried again (I was eager to find out how she learned the song). Little Bill (TV character), Miss Linda (school teacher), Kayla (girl in her class), and Macie (our neighbor) were all contenders for teaching Emerson the song. I felt horrible that I just couldn't understand her. I put Emerson to bed and knew that I would ask at school tomorrow to find out just how Emerson learned this Christmas jingle!
While putting out the trash tonight our neighbors, the Hermans, drove up. So, I took the opportunity to ask Ivie (the oldest and wisest of our three girls) if she had learned "Jingle Bells" at school today. She confirmed that she did learn it and then let me know that Miss Beth was the person who taught her. Amy reminded me that on Mondays Miss Beth comes to school to teach the children music.
So the Christmas jingle mystery is now solved...Emerson is learning Christmas songs at school from Miss Beth. Thanks Miss Beth for teaching Emerson all about music and Christmas Carols....oh, and getting my child to start thinking about Christmas in OCTOBER!!
After April's crazy busy month we were glad that May was a bit slower for us. It is always nice to have lots of things on the agenda and to stay busy, but it is also so nice to have down time where there isn't much going on; May was that kind of month for us. Danny didn't travel for work at all this month and Brooke only had 2 events. Danny did go to a bachelor party at Ocean Isle Beach at the beginning of the month. Danny and I got to sneak away at the end of the month for the wedding of Philip, whose bachelor party Danny attended earlier in the month. The wedding was in Mathews, Virginia. Danny and I made a small trip out of it and stayed at The Tides Inn for some rest and relaxation.
Emerson was invited to and attended several of her friends birthday parties; Laney and Ashton (family friends), Carter (Emerson's godbrother), and Haegan (one of Emerson's friends at school). Emerson had a blast at all of them. She is really starting to understand and enjoy birthday parties.....especially the CAKE!!! We also celebrated Mother's Day with both sets of grandparents.
The biggest and hardest event of May was Emerson's ear tube surgery. We decided tubes were going to be the best option for Emerson because she was having way too many ear infections. It turned out to be a great decision because she hasn't had one since (knock on wood). Emerson was a trooper and did great for the surgery. I think it was harder on Danny and me than it was on her. We hated sending her back for the surgery but it only took about 15 minutes and they were done. The worst part of the whole thing was Emerson coming out of the anesthesia...she was so out of it. She finally came around though and we were on our way home. It took her a bit of time to get used to putting her "Orange Things" (ear wax) in for each bath but she is doing great with them now and sometimes even prompts me to put them in before I've had the chance to do it.
That's the Devers May in a nutshell; we hope you enjoy the pictures and until next week's Flashback.....
WEEEEEE'RE BAAAAAACK...after a brief hiatus last week for the swine flu. Show and Tell this week is one of Emerson's favorite toys right now and it was given to her by one of her favorite school friends, Haegan. Haegan gave this to Emerson for her 2nd birthday. Cherrilee is part of the My Little Pony - So Soft Newborn collection. She is cuddly and soft and has the sweetest little voice when you press the button on her foot; she says, "Cherrilee hungry!" When you put her bottle in her mouth, she makes the sound of sucking on a bottle. Emerson loves to hold her and feed her. While Emerson was sick, she would hold Cherrilee and feed her and say to her, "I make you feel all better!" I think holding Cherrilee and giving her a bottle was the perfect medicine for Emerson.