One of my main goals and most important job in life is to make sure that my daughter has the best life I can give her. That is Brian's main goal as well.
I want her to be HEALTHY! If you know me then you know I take that very seriously! haha! I am always worried about taking her to family gatherings or friends parties where there will be lots of people who might be sick and could potentially get EC sick. One the main reasons I like her being at home alone with me is that she isn't around a group of kids where illnesses are always being spread. And I'm happy to say that she has hardly been sick at all in her 20 months of life. She has been sick 3 or maybe 4 times at the most. I know that sometimes you just can't avoid it and I know that over the years she will get sick especially when she starts school but I'm going to do all that I can to prevent that, it's my job! When she was born we banked her cord blood so that just in case something ever did happen to her they might be able to heal her with her own stem cells. Hopefully she will never need them but they will be there in case she ever does. It gives Brian and myself a little peace of mind.
I also want her to be HAPPY. Everyday I try to make her happy (as I'm sure all parents do). I am a stay at home mom and would not trade that for anything in the world! I love seeing her change and learn new things every single day. Sure there are times when I need a break from her and that is when I go see a movie with a friend or go out to lunch with a friend. But for the most part I'm with Emme Claire 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She has spent the night with my husbands parents only twice, once because I was sick and Brian was out of town and not there to help me with her and once because they asked if she could and we decided it would be okay. The only other time I've been away from her was when my best friend Bridget and I went to Canton, TX to shop for 2 nights and Brian stayed at home with her. So, for the last 20 plus months I've been away from her for a total of 4 nights. I like it that way. I don't want to miss a thing about her childhood. Yes I do buy her lots of toys, clothes and other accessories so maybe she is spoiled (or very well taken care of) but she definitely isn't rotten. She is the sweetest, most loving and precious little girl I know. :) Toys make her happy and I enjoy playing with her and all her toys. It's kind of like getting to be a kid again. Brian works very hard and he worked hard in life to get a good job that affords us the ability to give her the things we want to. Buying her lots of cute clothes and shoes makes me happy and it's one of the ways that I get to enjoy having a little girl. It's fun for me to dress her up in different adorable outfits and put bows in her hair. She loves jewelry and wears a bracelet all day everyday and I love that about her! She has also recently started wearing necklaces a lot and it's so cute. She lets me put them on her and she Oohs and Aahs over them and she doesn't mess with them all day long until bedtime and then she knows it's time to take her jewelry off. She is a girly girl which is exactly what I had always dreamed of having! And yes we do take her on lots of vacations. Sometimes it's strictly a vacation and sometimes it's a work related trip that Brian has to go on and we turn part of it into a vacation. I do realize that she won't remember any of the places she has been so far but that doesn't change the fact that she thoroughly enjoys it while she is there. We will continue to take her places and one day she will be old enough that she will start remembering and as for the rest she will see lots of pictures of all the trips she has been on. If one day she says to us that she wants to go back somewhere that we took her when she was a baby we will gladly take her. I'm not going to stop going on trips and sit at home just because my child isn't old enough to remember that we did it. Emme Claire has been a lot of places in her short life, probably more than most adults. Brian and I just enjoy traveling, seeing new places and trying new things. I want to instill that desire in my child so that she too will want to experience all that this country and this world have to offer. We are taking Emme to Disney World in a couple of weeks. It will be the first time any of us have been. I've always wanted to go but I was waiting until I had a child to take, now we have that child! Some people probably don't understand why we are taking her when she isn't even 2 years old yet. The answer to that is because she will LOVE it! The only channel we ever watch (with the exception of my recording Sesame Street for Elmo's World) is the Disney channel. She loves all the little shows on there like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, My Friends Tigger and Pooh and Handy Manny. She is going to squeal when she sees all her favorite characters walking around right before her eyes. I think that I'm going to enjoy seeing her reactions more than anything else! A couple of months ago when we took her to see The Grinch Musical in Houston's theater district I was tearing up constantly over how she was reacting to seeing the show. I would catch myself watching her watch the show instead of me watching the show. Making sure that Emme Claire is happy is just another important part of my job.
And I want Emme Claire to feel SPECIAL and LOVED! I tell her I love her everyday, all the time. I praise her for all the good things she learns and does. I give her tons of hugs and kisses. I play with her, color with her and read books to her. I learned to sew so that I could make her special one of a kind outfits. Everything I do is to better her life and hopefully in turn make her a better person for it. I'm trying to be the best parent I can be, I know I'm not perfect and it's impossible to be a perfect parent. I have and will make mistakes along the way but I strive to do the best I can by her. Brian and I waited a long time to have children (6 years in fact). We wanted to be ready and in the right place in life so that we could do the things we wanted to for our children. We didn't want to rush into having kids right after we got married. I'm a planner and I've always known I wanted children but I was waiting for the right time. I wanted the first few years of our marriage to be a time for Brian and I to enjoy having just each other because once you have kids there is no going back and it changes your life completely. Then we were waiting until we were back in our home state of Louisiana to have a baby so that we would be around family. That finally happened when we moved back from Texas a little over 2 year ago and so we took that leap of faith. We couldn't be happier with this little blessing that God gave us on April 23, 2009! Our decision to be patient and wait for the right time has made it possible for us to be in a good place in life and we are happy with where we are at. Our life is busy and sometimes chaotic (it's definitely not for everyone) but we are usually always together. Brian isn't missing big chunks of Emme Claire's life and that is something that is very important to us. We travel back and forth from Texas and Louisiana as a family because that is what we have to do. Eventually when she is school age we will have to choose a permanent place to stay in and we will make whatever sacrafices that need to be made in order to keep our little family together and to do the best we can for our little girl. I do know that we are blessed and I know that life can change in the blink of an eye. We are making the most of every moment we can. I'm trying to live my life to where I will have very few regrets in the end. Like they say at the beginning of Jon and Kate Plus 8 "It's a crazy life. But it's our life!" and I wouldn't have it any other way!
My Darling Little Emme Claire, one day when you are old enough to read this I hope you will know how loved you truly are. Mommy and Daddy think the world of you sweetheart!
This picture was taken by Kimberly McDaniels of J&K Photography from West Monroe, LA. I will be posting more pics from this session soon.