Bill & Sandi Tepper were expecting their first child on or about September 12, 2002. (That just happens to also be anniversary #10 for us , birthday #14 for Brian Mann and birthday #5 (I think!) for Erin Cronise ! Big Day!!!) Sandi's Pregnancy Diary is on this page.
Well, Emma had other plans and arrived a few days late, on September 17, 2002, at 10:48 PM. The "Labor Story" will be on this other page - so you can go there if interested. Emma was 21" long and weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces when she was born. And she was instantly alert and aware of every move made around her!
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OK - so this part of the year isn't going any slower than the first half did! It is already October as I write this. Emma is now OVER 2 years old! The pictures to the right and left are from her 2-year old photo shoot. The Gallery page has the rest.
Emma is still attending McGinnis Woods Country Day School and is still loving it. She is learning SO much. She can now count to 5 (or should I say cinco) in Spanish and is trying to learn up to ten. Scary. Bill and I are going to start learning Spanish so we can keep up! She also is working hard on her potty training. It takes a long time! Her vocabulary is soaring and she sings like a bird. I'm a little bit proud, if you couldn't tell. Best of all, she is a sweet little girl who loves her Mama and Daddy!
Emma continues to grow well, too. At her 2-year appointment, she was 35.25" tall and 25.5 pounds. That puts her in the 90th perccentile for height and the 35th-50th in weight. So she is staying right on track. Which is amazing considering how picky she can be about food sometimes! I guess she takes after her Mama there!
She takes after Daddy in music, though - she loves to sing and to play any instrument she can get her hands on. She takes after her Mama Tessa and Aunt Jessica in that she LOVES shoes! She must pick out her own shoes each morning - whether they match her outfit or not!
Wow! We can't believe that half of 2004 is already gone! Emma is 21, almost 22, months old as I type this. She has a vocabulary of over 200 words and can try to mimic just about anything you say. The picture to the left is from Easter this year. She looks so much different than she did Easter of last year!
Emma started going to school at McGinnis Woods Country Day School on May 5. She started in the Senior Toddlers 1 room and is being moved up to Senior Toddlers 2 at the beginning of July. She is LOVING school. she talks about the other kids when she comes home and is always so excited to go in. Whenever we ask her about school, she says "yea school!" We are very happy with this school - they go from infants through 8th grade, so Emma can continue on in her education there. She is learning songs and shapes and more of her letters and numbers. She surprised us a while back (like in April) by counting to 13 on her own! She is now actually learning to recognize the numbers and letters by sight and absolutely delights in showing you things you never noticed before! We've learned not to tell her "there's no (blank) here" - because if you look around you'll see that she's right!
Emma is starting to bulk up a little more. She is still about 34 - 35 inches tall but has gained up to around 25.5 pounds. That puts her closer to average on her weight rather than under like she has been. But she is very active and is in the process of making sure that every piece of furniture in the house has her footprints on it as she attempts to climb on, over, or in everything!
In other words, she is still our delight and is more fun every day! For now, as Emma would say, "Bye-Bye, fun!" (Bye-bye! Have fun!)
Emma is talking up a storm these days! She also knows Baby Signs for several words. She has signs for hungry, thirsty, more, pig, puppy, notebook, Blue's Clues, and "thinking" in her Thinking Chair (the last three obviously from Blue's Clues). Her current words (as of December 3) are: Mama, Daddy, kitty, flowers, pillow, door, banana, ball, hat, PopPop, MawMaw, thirsty, dog, dancing, shoes, hello (sort of when she "answers the phone"), and book. She also meows at any cat she sees! She waves goodbye and hello (mostly to Mitchell and Daddy). She points to your nose and her nose and knows where her tummy and belly button are. She pats you when she gives you a hug. And she gives you a kiss right on the lips when you tell her "love you!"
She is also learning to feed herself with her spoon. Mostly sticky foods like oatmeal for now - but, hey, you gotta start somewhere! She climbs up and down off the fireplace hearth and the playground equipment. She loves to read books and has started sitting in your lap after she brings you the book for you to read to her. She loves "swimming" in the bathtub and we play shark. Mama sings the theme to Jaws and at the end squirts Emma with one of her toys. Then Emma says da da da da da DAAAAAHHHHHH! and on the last word Mama squirts her! Emma has even extended this game to the car where you are supposed to tickle her tummy when she screams.
Yes, I know, these are all the exact same normal things that every kid in the world does at her age. But she is ours and she is our first and she is special to us. And that makes every little thing she learns, or does, or says, special to us, too. And most of all, we know that she is special to God. For He formed and created her and He knows every hair on her head - and every hair that is to come.
Berry Patch Farms October 2003 Halloween 2003 Halloween 2003 November 2003 Thanksgiving
Emma went with Mama and Daddy to an informal class reunion for Mama on the 23rd of August. We went to Monte Sano Mountain and visited with some high school friends and their spouses and children. It was a lot of fun and Emma played on the playground with Daddy-which was the most fun for her! We also watched Emma's first Alabama football game. Emma dressed up in her cheerleading outfit and pranced around the house all day. She was so cute!
We spent a good bit of this month just playing around the house and outside. Emma has learned a couple of Baby Signs - mostly connected to the Blue's Clues song. She has a sign for notebook (index finger of left hand pointing into the palm of her right), one for Blue's clues (hands opening and closing), and thinking in her thinking chair (both hands on the sides of her head). She also uses a hand to her mouth (or our mouths) for hungry. She points and grabs for things that she wants. It is so much fun watching her communicate - but it is a bit frustrating or her when we don't understand or won't give her what she wants.
With this month came Emma's first birthday. We can't believe it's been a year already! On the 13th of September we celebrated a bunch of birthdays in Sandi's family over at Daddy Ray and Mama Tessa's house. Aunt Kathie made Emma her own cake to eat. Emma was a bit confused by the whole process and so once she stuck her foot in the cake she decided to just explore it that way! She ate some, played in it some and then stood all over Mama (and got cake all over Sandi's clothes). When Sandi went to wash Emma's clothes, however, there were just two tiny little bit of frosting!
On Emma's actual birthday we had her one-year pictures made - the one to the left is from that sitting. (Wal-Mart's Portrait studio is a very affordable way to get pictures taken. Just know that the first picture you say you'll keep is the one you get a bunch of for the cheap price - even if you like other poses better. Just keep saying "No" and take another one until you can be satisfied with 31 pictures of the pose.) Then Sandi and Emma went to Bill's office where two of the ladies had arranged a little party for her with ice cream cake and a gift. It was very sweet of them and very delicious!
On September 20, Mama and Daddy had a party for Emma. Daddy Ray and Mama Tessa tried to come but Mama Tessa got sick. But Grandma Elaine was there and so was Aunt Misty with Rachel Kate and Patrick. Emma was very pretty in her lamb-inspired outfit, which matched the theme of the party. Emma sat in her high chair and ate her cake with her spoon. She was actually very neat considering that she was only a year old! She must take after her Daddy! We all had a very fun day celebrating Emma! Here are some pictures: Shutterfly link for September
Emma ended this month at 20 pounds 11 ounces and 31.25 inches tall.Back to top of page.
On July 18, we took Emma to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's surgery center and had her tear duct unblocked. It was a quick procedure, but Sandi did cry when she had to leave Emma in the operating room. Emma's eye looked fantastic within just about an hour after the surgery. Within two hours you couldn't even tell she had ever had a problem. it has been crystal clear ever since. One funny thing has happened since the surgery. Now Emma picks up concave objects and puts them over her mouth and huffs into them - just like she did with the gas mask for the surgery! I guess she remembers something of the procedure!
Emma has also continued her adventure into language. At the beginning of August she said DA-DEE and KI-TEE for the first time on the same day. she has been babbling MA-MA for a while - from like 4 or 5 months old- so it is hard to know just when she actually associated Sandi with Mama. But she definitely was talking about Bill for DaDee and about Mitchell for ki-tee. She says them both all the time now.This month's Shutterfly link.
On June 17th we had Emma's ninth-month birthday pictures taken. Here are the very low resolution previews. At her 9-month check-up, our doctor, Dr. Louis Hempel, sent us to a specialist about Emma's eye. She has had a problem with her left eye not draining properly since she was born. I guess they figured at 9 months, it wasn't going away on its own. Dr. Salit from Pediatric Eye Care of Atlanta examined Emma and performed the surgery on July 18.
On July 3rd we celebrated Daddy's birthday. He woke up to find a game of Emma's Clues waiting for him. It is based on Emma's favorite TV show - Blue's Clues. Daddy was given a notebook and had to look for "clues" that were marked with Emma's hand prints. He copies each clue into his notebook and when he had all three, he could solve the puzzle. He had to find out what Emma bought him for his birthday. With the clues "Emma and Daddy", "TV", and a sound on the computer "D'oh!", Daddy was able to figure out that Emma bought him the first season of the Simpsons on DVD. He sure is smart!
We also put out Emma's swimming pool and got to swim for the first time! She loves water - whether she is walking around in it or sitting beside the pool playing in it! The Shutterfly link for this month has several pictures of her in her bathing suits. We also took her to the big swimming pool in the subdivision. After living here for 6 years, we finally used the pool! She loved it but didn't understand why she couldn't walk around like she does in the tub. July Shutterfly link
Emma started this month by getting her first upper tooth - on May 17! Within the next 8 days she got two other upper teeth. So she has 6 teeth - the two middle ones on top and bottom, and the lateral incisor on the left on both top and bottom. She looks a little tilted to one side! She is crawling more and more and still trying to get anyone who will to help her walk - and try to run to Daddy when he comes home!
We all went to Alabama over the May 31st weekend. We went to Heath's 5th birthday party at the park in Decatur. The picture to the right is Emma on the swing at the park. Then we went to Tuscumbia, AL, to the Moss family reunion at Spring Park. (Moss is Grandma Barnes' maiden name.) We had a great time. Daddy went back home on June 1. Emma and Mama spent a couple more weeks in Alabama with Grandma Pell. Mama Tessa and Daddy Ray went on trip all alone. Emma played with the new puppy, Sam, and with Shelby and Simon. It was interesting having the two babies together. Emma and Sam always thought they should play with the same toys - it didn't matter if they were dog toys or baby toys either! Emma was a bit sick while we were there - she was trying to cut two more teeth. After we got back home, she cut her right lower incisor and then a couple days later her upper right incisor. So she ended the month with 8 pretty little teeth.
You can link to this month's slide show here or by clicking on Emma's Swing picture.
Emma celebrated Easter this year with us at First Baptist Alpharetta. We took her to see "Peter Rabbit"
at the mall and bought her a new Easter dress to wear. She was adorable! If you click
, you can see more of her Easter morning. Emma is trying so hard to walk - if anyone will hold
her hands she will step all over the living room, or the bedroom, or wherever you happen to be! She still
can't crawl, but that doesn't seem to bother her. We are working on tooth #3 and that is bothering her. Oh
well, she has a lot more of that to go! This link will take you to
this month's whole slide show. On May
15th she took her first crawling steps! She's not so sure she likes crawling yet, though.
This picture was taken on Emma's 6-month birthday, 3/17/03, which was also St. Patrick's Day! We greeted Bill at the door dressed up since we couldn't go out to celebrate! Here are some more pictures from this month. We also had formal portraits made of Emma (you can see them at the top of this page) by Julie Morton - a friend who is also a professional photographer. She is getting so big - at her 6-month check-up she was 27 inches tall and weighed 17 lbs 2 oz. She has been helping us do yard work - she sits in her Pack-N-Play and plays while we work in the gardens. She also rides in her stroller while we go for walks. She can now get up on "all fours" and rock back and forth but hasn't made any forward progress on crawling yet. She can, however, take a couple of steps if someone will hold her hands for balance. At the end of this period, Bill and Sandi decided it was time for Emma to start to sleep through the night on her own. We tried several different techniques - some much more painful than others("crying it out") and none all that effective. We finally remembered that Bill's sister Sherri had given us a tape from her pediatrician (Dr. Jeffrey W. Hull) that worked for her boys - "The Sleep Tight Video" - a "no tears" method! We all watched the video and put it in place that night. Emma slept from 10PM to 7AM without getting up! Then she slept the whole night through almost every night that ext week - it was a miracle for us!Back to top of page.
Emma finally pushed her first tooth (lower incisor) through the gum on February 26, 2003!! She was 5 months and 9 days old. Then a few days later, she got the second lower incisor through! She is so cute with those two teeth! She has expanded her food repertoire to include several vegetables and some fruits in addition to her cereal and formula.
Here is the link to this month's slide show . Emma is getting a lot more active these days - she is even skooching around on the floor on her back. Not quite getting the hang of being on her tummy just yet. Of course the extra activity leaves less time for Mama to do things like update the web page - please forgive me!Back to top of page.
Emma's 4-month birthday signaled the start of her foray into solid food! Sandi fed her some rice cereal. The slide show for this month has pictures of the aftermath! You'll also see pictures of Emma sitting up UNASSISTED for the first time on January 24!
Emma spends most of this month standing and dancing and singing and playing - all the things a baby should do! But mostly, she drools - A LOT! We think she is trying to get her first teeth in - but we don't know when it will happen. She is still growing well (15 lbs 3.5 oz and 25.5 in.) and is a happy baby! Sandi and Emma took their first trip alone at the beginning of February over to Alabama to visit her Mama & Daddy & Grandma Pell . Emma was so good on the trip! We even had to go up to the hospital with Grandma one day because she fell ill. She was released the next day, though. After we got home, we bought Emma an activity chair and she now plays in it every day!Back to top of page.
Another month - another trip to Wal-Mart for portraits! We took Emma to get portraits made of just her for her 3-month birthday on the 17th. She did so good! The pictures turned out great.
We all piled back in the car for the Christmas trip to Alabama. Emma wasn't feeling very well during the trip so she was pretty cranky. Bill spent Christmas Eve upstairs at Becci's house trying to calm Emma down enough for her to stop crying. We think she was teething and having some lower GI problems.
Emma started to sit up with support this month! She is growing so well - at a 12 week appointment she weighed 14 lbs 1 oz! She is also trying her best to stand up and dance as much as possible. You'll see in this month's slide show some shots of her standing.Back to top of page.
We started this month by taking Emma to get her first portrait made. She did pretty well but was very sleepy by the time we started taking the pictures. Mama had to hold her in the pictures that were supposed to be just her. Oh well, you can't fault her - she was just 2 months old!
This month also brought Emma's first Thanksgiving. We all traveled over to Alabama to visit our families. Emma did great in the car again. She was a bit out of sorts during the celebrations, though, with so many new people and such a wacky schedule (which was no schedule at all for her!). She started to actually play with toys rather than to just look at them. She has also started her first attempts at talking! She mostly says vowels sounds right now - ah seems to be her favorite.
Height & weight update at 2 month appointment: 23.5 inches tall, 12 lbs 9 oz. Emma also suffered her first illness this month - an eye infection that she got from slobbering on her hands and then rubbing her eye. This was compounded by the fact that she has a blocked tear duct in her left eye (so if you see something strange in the pictures - that's it). Here is the slide show for this month - 36 pictures this time. Most of the pictures are from Emma's dedication at church . This ocurred on December 15, 2002, with Dr. Nelson Price presiding. He was our interim pastor at the time. Emma was so cute - she kept turning around to look at Dr. Price every time he started to speak. Everyone commented on how well she paid attention for a 3 month old!Back to top of page.
Emma weighed 10 lbs 9.5 oz and was 23 inches tall at her one month check-up! She is growing quite well! Emma celebrated her first Halloween. She was a pumpkin, while Mama and Daddy were dressed as Renaissance-era people. You can see 43 pictures from October here (again from Shutterfly). Emma started sleeping better during this month but still has to wake up several times a night to eat.
We all went to Florida on Emma's first big car trip the first weekend in November. It wasn't a pleasure trip - Bill's Aunt Lillian Barnes passed away and we went down for the funeral. Emma met a lot of people that she probably won't remember - but they'll remember her! She did fantastic on the trip, too!Back to top of page.
This went by so fast! After having Emma at 10:48PM and recovering until about 2AM, we got up to our room. The days in the hospital were a blur - but luckily we did take a few pictures! ( This link will take you to a slide show of 66 pictures on Shutterfly.com's website.) The shots on this page were taken in the hospital room we stayed in on Friday. We went home a day earlier than we could have because none of us were getting any sleep in the hospital. Too many nurses coming in at all hours of the day and night!
Bill stayed home with us the first week then had to go back to work. Emma had to stay on antibiotic shots for her first several days home. It was awful watching the nurses give her that shot! But she came through it just fine. At Emma's 1 week (and 4 days) appointment, she weighed 8 lbs 14 oz. Mama Tessa came the next week to help out. She was great! We even took Emma out on her first shopping trip while Tessa was here! Sandi had a little bout of baby blues, but nothing too serious.
It seemed like before we knew it, Emma was one month old!Back to top of page.
I'll do my best to keep this updated as Emma grows. So far, so good. The Lord has blessed us with this wonderful child! We are just trying to do our best to raise her and love her.
See You Soon!!
Bill & Sandi
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