LifeChelcey Tate

4 Months of Emmy Grey

LifeChelcey Tate
4 Months of Emmy Grey
Four Months of Emerson Grey via chelceytate.com

Thinking back to when I thought I would take a new perfectly styled photo every month, create an art journal turned baby book (this will happen someday!), post weekly updates on the blog ... it all makes me laugh now. 🙈 Life happens in-between all of those well intentioned plans, and I've been busy living every single day as it comes!

One of these days Em won't want to be held every second, and these lists of big moments I've collected in the Notes app on my phone will make their way into a tangible keepsake, but for now I'm going to spend that rare free time catching up with Sean, getting work done when I can, and staring at Emmy girl while she sleeps. 😉 

I've learned now more than ever that real life tends to shatter all expectations, but as Em sleeps next to me, I'm so thankful that I finally have a moment to journal everything out before I forget these sweet little details! A moment to breathe, reflect, and document every amazing second of Emerson's first four months!


 *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ MONTH ONE *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

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Smiling at two weeks, babbling at three, and sleeping through the night at only four days old. Your first month was like living in a dreamland. A very sleepy, slow moving, pure joy (and slightly overwhelmed) kind of world. You nursed like a champ from the very first moment you were placed on my chest, and you were back up to your birth weight in just one week! Speaking of nursing, your sweet little noises while you nursed was literal music to my ears. 

Gas drops were your very best friend, and we went against all the "experts" and popped a pacifier in your mouth sooner than "they" say you should, and you know what? You loved it, and we loved it, and all was well with the world. Your daddy played the ukulele, guitar, piano, and sang to you daily (which he still does), and played everything from alternative rock to rap to jazz (you know, to make you smart) to watch your tiny little reactions to each of them. It didn't matter how upset you were, your daddy's music calmed you down immediately. 

You absolutely hated bath time (unless I was in there with you!), but you looked SO stinking cute snuggled up in your towel with the big bear ears on the hood. Even though bath time wasn't your favorite, our master bathroom / the sound of the water running was something that would take you from screaming to falling asleep in two minutes flat. I have no idea how your dad discovered that one, but it's been our saving grace since you were born! That bathroom with the shower running is definitely your happy place. 

We spent most of our time snuggled up in bed just taking it all in. Lots of donuts were eaten, most meals were delivered to the front door, and we all tried to sleep as much as possible. Although most of the time we just ended up staring at you while you slept. 😉  

All in all, your first month was full a lot of trial and error, family coming over to steal some Emmy time every other day, us all learning about each other, your daddy and I falling into a new normal, and a whole lot of love. 


Weight

You were 7lb 6oz when you were born, and 7lb when we left the hospital. At your one week appointment you were already back up your birth weight! This kind of slowed a bit, and at your one month appointment you had only gained a couple of ounces since they had seen you last. 
 

Sizes

Newborn clothes + diapers! I could have sworn you were going to come out and jump straight into 0-3 clothes, but nope! At the end of one month (and then some) you were still rocking newborns! We had already bought so many clothes before you were born, but I avoided buying too many newborn sizes in fear you would grow out of them super quickly so we had to order a ton of sleepers online once we brought you home! 
 

Sleep

You were a CHAMP. Seriously. You started sleeping through the night as soon as we got home, and you slept in-between me and your daddy in your Dock-A-Tot swaddled up in a little velcro swaddle with a sweet hat on your head. We used to always say you looked like a little fisherman with your pink hat on at night, and especially when we put you in your sleeper that had little pink crabs all over it! 
 

Likes

Music, riding in the car (as long as it was moving!), listening to your daddy play music and sing to you, being held all the time, the sound of the shower running, taking everything in around you (seriously - you were the most alert newborn ever!), and nursing around the clock!
 

Dislikes

Bath time, being put in your carseat, and I think that was pretty much it! You were a pretty chill baby your first month, and honestly, when you weren't nursing, you were sleeping the day away! 
 

Nicknames

Em, Emmy + Little Love 


Milestones

Opening your eyes (even if they were crossed half the time 🙈), smiling, finding your voice, holding your head up on your own, and sleeping through the night! 
 

Random things i want to remember

Even your newborn sized clothes were big on you! Your daddy's favorite outfit was an aqua sleeper that had pink crabs on it topped off with your pink little hat from the hospital, and your sleeper that had light and dark purple stripes on it. My favorite was the little pink bamboo sleeper we brought you home from the hospital in ... it was SO soft! Plus it had a zipper, and was a whole lot easier to get you dressed rather than dealing with five million buttons! 

There was a song that we would play when I was pregnant with you, "I Wish" by Tom Misch, that you would always kick and move around to whenever it was played. We started playing it after you were born, and I swear you recognized it! You would stop crying whenever it was played, and it would crack us up every single time! 

Your daddy and I SWEAR you said "hey" when you were like two weeks old ... Your binky was in your mouth, and you did it multiple times! We were both laughing and in total disbelief of what we were hearing. Total genius baby from the start! 

How stinking CUTE you looked all snuggled up in the baby wearing shirt your dad had. 

You were seriously the prettiest baby anyone had ever seen! We would get told that constantly by anyone who would meet you or see a photo of you (your Lolly & Pop would show you off to all of their patients in the office!), and we couldn't agree more! Your big blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and sweet little face just melted everyone's hearts. 

How completely and sweetly milk drunk you would get! You would totally pass out after you ate, and it was the sweetest thing ever! 

Your CeCe would come over every other day to check in, steal some snuggles, and give your mama a break (she's a saint)! Well, one day she brought over Starbucks, and I took Kodah out into the backyard. We had gotten a new leash for him a few days prior, and I had no idea how to put it on him. I tried my best, and assumed there was no way he could get off and escape. Well, I bet you can guess what happened next ... Your poor mama, chilling outside with nothing but a sports bra and a (way too short) robe on, was chasing your dog through the neighborhood. Your CeCe was standing inside with you, and was in total disbelief that I went running after him based on what I was wearing. 😂 He ended up in someone's yard a couple streets over, and I had to explain to the sweet lady (and her son) who were helping me that I had a 3 week old baby at home (and then explain to her that no, you were in fact not all by yourself while I was chasing after the dog), and yeah ... it was definitely a sight to be seen, that's for sure. 🙈


 *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ MONTH TWO *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

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Finding your hands, always snuggled up in a wrap of some sort, and our first family trip! Your second month was a little more fast paced, and we actually left the house for the first time ever. 🙈 We fell into a regular routine, and had completely forgotten what life even looked like before you came in and make it a million times better! 

You found your hands, started waving your arms around like crazy, and officially became the world's cutest thumb sucker. One time you even picked your binky up off of your lap and just popped it right into your mouth! Whether it was intentional or not, your CoCo and I totally freaked out. 😂 You had some skills, girl! 

You discovered your new BFF Calvin this month. I have no idea how your dad came up with his name, but he's forever Calvin now. Someone your Poppidy did business with gave you this perfectly sized stuffed black and white dog that you just couldn't get enough of! You're still loving him every bit as much now at almost five months old so I'm thinking he's here to stay! 

You also took your first mini family vacation this month! We went to Washington D.C. where you hung out in a limo (#classy) with your CeCe while everyone else explored. Trust me, it was FREEZING. And you wouldn't have wanted to be around all of those germs anyways. 😉 From D.C., we hopped back on the plane and went to Lake Placid, NY where we spent the weekend.

Everyone took turns passing you around, you went on your first hike (strapped to me in a baby carrier, of course), and your dad and I totally forgot your dock-a-tot so you slept outside of our bed for the first time ever in a rock-n-play we bought at Target. We hated it, but you didn't seem to mind one bit! You were also a total pro on your first 3 flights that all happened within days of each other! I was so worried about your ears popping, or you being uncomfortable, and you literally slept through take off and landing all 3 times! We were so proud. 🙌

Other than that trip, we adventured out of the house a few different times for doctors appointments, we went to a pumpkin patch with CeCe, Vanna, and Addi, we took lots of walks around the neighborhood, and you met some of your dad's side of the family for the first time! Oh, and you took your first trip to Target! And yes, your first trip to Target is 100% worth documenting for you to look back one day. You slept the entire time while I wore you through the aisles of Christmas decor in the middle of October, but it totally counts! 

Your second month of life was just as sweet as the first, and watching you take in the world around you with fresh eyes is my new favorite part of this life. You are literally magic, baby girl. ❤️


Weight

You hit the 8lb mark this month, and you were following a pretty steady growth curve right at the second percentile ... Lots of weighing you before and after you nursed to make sure you were getting enough milk, and I was attempting to feed you every chance we got! We never saw you as being particularly tiny, but apparently compared to other babies your age you were itty bitty! 
 

Sizes

Still rocking newborns in both clothes + diapers! I tried to put you in a pair of 0-3 skinny jeans I had bought before you were born, and you were SWIMMING in them! 😂 I seriously stopped to take a photo, and FaceTimed anyone who would answer to see how stinking cute (and hilarious) you looked! 
 

Sleep

Still sleeping through the night, but not so much during the day anymore. We would always joke that you were the queen of power naps! You would nurse, and then sleep for about 20-30 minutes in my arms, but as soon as I went to transfer you from my arms to anywhere else, you would wake up immediately!
 

Likes

Being held facing outward all the time, the sound of the shower running, and your daddy playing music always made you talk and smile
 

Dislikes

Sitting still for too long, nursing on my right side, and being put in your car seat.
 

Nicknames

Em, Emmy, Emmy Girl, Little Love, Stinker, Baby Love, M&M
 

Milestones

Finding your hands, talking all the time, and you started trying to dive off of our legs when you were sitting on them facing us. 🙈
 

Random things i want to remember

We took a drive through the park like your daddy and I used to do before you were born, and took photos at sunset. 

We took our first family walk around the neighborhood, and you and I walked around the neighborhood with CeCe and Kodah a lot this month when the weather was nice. 

The first time your daddy fed you a bottle (of breastmilk I had pumped)! It was a little emotional for me because the only reason we were giving you a bottle of breastmilk vs nursing was to make sure you were getting enough ... It started to make me doubt my body's ability to solely feed you, but it was equally as sweet to see him experience the same looks and noises you would make while you ate that only I had shared with you up until that point! 



 *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ MONTH THREE *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

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Teething, your first holiday season, your VSD diagnosis, laughing like crazy, talking up a storm, and your first cold! Your third month seems like kind of a whirlwind. We came up with new family traditions for the holidays, decorated the house for Christmas with you dressed up like a tiny baby reindeer while I wore you around the house (you were the cutest thing EVER), and really, we were just living our new sweet life! 

You started to do something brand new every single day ... new sounds, new motions, and allllmosstt completely rolling over. I swear your daddy had a heart attack the first time you rolled over from your belly to your back ... he was watching your every move for 5 minutes after to make sure you hadn't hurt yourself in some way. You protested naps a lot, and the only time you were truly content was if you were being held, just right, facing outward so you could see the world. You definitely had a fear of missing out ... I wonder where you got that from? 🙈🙋🏻‍♀️

This was the month that we were finally able to get into the cardiologist to find out what was going on with your tiny heart. Your pediatrician heard a super loud murmur at your one month appointment, and you were diagnosed with a moderate sized VSD. Click here to read the whole diagnosis story. ❤️ Needless to say, we were all a big ball of anxiety and praying constantly that your body would quickly heal itself. 

We made a sweet video of your first Thanksgiving, and had every intention of doing the same for Christmas, but living in the moment of your first Christmas was so much more meaningful. We celebrated at your Lolly and Pop's with a Christmas brunch a couple of days before, and spent Christmas day at your CeCe and Poppidy's house. It was the perfect way to make sure that we spent time with everyone else, but also had time to spend together as a new little family of three! 

You started laughing this month ... you had laughed a little bit before, but this month was when you full on started belly laughing, and it's the best sound in the entire world! Things that make you laugh like crazy: your daddy making crazy noises, grabbing his hair, knocking things over on the bathroom counter, me kissing your belly, and your legs + neck are super ticklish! 

You also started loving on your pup! Kodah didn't really know what to think of you at first, but now he's accepted that you're here to stay! We sit with you in our lap in front of him, and you talk and reach out to pet him. He tried to give you kisses aka lick your hands and face most of the time, but don't worry, we always pulled you away just in time. 😂

In an effort to find something that would entertain you, we bought you a little playmat that has a piano you could kick! You would squeal and kick and try to pull all of the toys hanging over your head into your mouth. You would get so frustrated that you couldn't pull them down, but as soon as I took them off to put the toy in your hand you weren't interested in it anymore. 😂 You would spend about 15 minutes playing on it, and then you would inevitably get bored, and we were onto the next thing! 

And last but not least, the not so fun stuff. You started teething, and on top of that, got your first cold! We bought every teething toy under the sun trying to find you some relief, and your nickname was Drooly McDroolyson. Original, right? 🙈 We took you to the doctor for your cold, but there was nothing we could do other than to just let you ride it out ... It seriously broke my heart to see you not feeling good! 

Month number three was kind of a rollercoaster of about a hundred extremely happy moments, and a few really anxious moments. We learned a lot, prayed a lot, laughed a lot, and loved more than we ever knew possible. ❤️


Weight

Two more pounds up! You hit 9lbs this month, and ended it at 10lbs 4oz! We were all celebrating and super thankful that you were continuing to gain weight. Your VSD was making your little body burn calories like crazy so we were constantly playing catch up, and still trying to feed you as often as possible! Your face really started to fill back out this month, and we could tell that you were starting to gain weight faster than you had been! 🙌
 

Sizes

You jumped straight to size 0-3 sleepers (still in newborn leggings + dresses!) this month! They were still a little baggy, but you just looked extra cozy all the time. ☺️ You also grew out of your newborn sized diapers and we started putting you in size 1! I have to admit, I haven't gotten sad at all about you getting bigger (you're far less fragile now and have so much personality!), but officially having clothes and diapers in the house that you had grown out of was a whole new experience. 😅 
 

Sleep

Sleep didn't change much this month! Still sleeping through the night in your Dock-A-Tot, but you've moved from the center of the bed to my side. We tried one night to put you in your bassinet next to our bed, but your daddy was just not a fan of you not in bed with us! I definitely wasn't complaining ... having you snuggled up so close was perfect! 
 

Likes

Being held facing outward all the time, your piano play mat, Calvin, and your elephant toy that we named Ellie.
 

Dislikes

Sitting still for too long, nursing on my right side, and being put in your car seat.
 

Nicknames

Em, Emmy, Emmy Girl, Little Love, Stinker, Baby Love, M&M


Milestones

Truly laughing! Like full on, taking over your whole body, belly laughing. Watching you figure out what you thought was funny was so much fun! You also started rolling over to either side this month! I could have sworn you were going to full on roll over every other day! 
 

Random things i want to remember

You got SO excited when your daddy came home from work. Your entire demeanor would change, and your whole face would light up! You would laugh and kick and squeal, and you'd be the happiest little girl in the world. It was the sweetest thing EVER! 

The song that I made up and sang to you all the time "Hey hey, you are my little Emmy Grey, hey hey, you are my little Emmy Grey, hey hey, I love you my Emmy Grey, hey, hey ..." 

How you sat at the piano with your daddy and hit the keys while he played.

The way that you instantly calmed down the moment you started to nurse, whether you were hungry or not. 

The game your daddy made up to keep you entertained ... he would line up anything he could find in the bathroom (deodorant, bottle of water, shampoo, nail polish), and bring you down to eye level with the row of random things. You would immediately reach your arm out and start swatting at everything knocking it all to the ground. 😂 You loved it, and it was so funny to watch!

You randomly started flailing your right arm and hitting yourself in the side whenever you got super excited ... You would just hit yourself over and over. 😂 We had to google it because you were going it so often and we couldn't figure out why! Apparently it's a normal thing, and you got over it after a couple of weeks. 

You think my top knot is the funniest thing! I would go to kiss your belly, and my top knot would brush against your face and you start cracking up! 


*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ MONTH FOUR *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

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Celebrating your first New Year, chunking up, rolling over, discovering your feet, licking everything, new sounds, mimicking us, your first ear infection ... SO many new things this month! We're only a few days away from the end of your fourth month as I'm writing this, and it feels like so much has changed. Your little personality is shining, you're talking all the time, and your laughs are coming more freely. 

I think the majority of this month has been my favorite yet (even though there were some moments of major sleep deprivation). I loved the newness of the months prior, but I really feel like we've actually started to figure this whole thing out. There's no more freaking out over every little cough and sneeze, your daddy and I are feeling a little less anxious about every little thing, and you just seem so much older! 

We never really did "tummy time" with you since you were holding your head up on your own from day one (no, really, you were born and five minutes later you were pulling yourself up on my chest looking around), and honestly, you hated being on your tummy any time we tried and would just bury your little head into the blanket. 😂 We decided to try it out a few times this month, and that's all it took for you to figure out how to roll over from your back to tummy back to your back! Now, literally as I'm typing this, you're rolling around on the bed like a crazy person! 

You also discovered your feet this month, and you can add them to the list of things that you're constantly putting in your mouth! Your hands, feet, Calvin, my face, your daddy's arm, and really anything you can get your hands on / mouth close enough to doesn't really stand a chance of not getting covered in drool. 🙈

You talk ALL THE TIME, and it's my favorite. You've discovered so many new sounds, but you also had a full week where you didn't talk at all, but instead you just started growling. Any time you would think to talk, a growl would come out instead. Your poor little throat had to hurt by the end of the day, but you would wake me up in the morning by kicking and growling some more. 😂 It was the funniest thing. 

We celebrated your first New Year at your CeCe and Poppidy's and you spent most of the night upset by your teeth. You were drooling like crazy so when the ball dropped you were stripped down to nothing but a diaper and a tiny Happy New Year hat on your head! We took you out of the room when everyone was cheering so that they wouldn't scare you, and me you and your daddy rung in the New Year all together in the corner. Your dad  just kept saying "This is the year she'll turn one! Emmy! You turn one this year!". I told him the entire time I was pregnant with you that you were going to turn him into a big softy, and I was definitely right about that one. 😘

Oh, and you started truly mimicking us this month! You stick your tongue out when we stick ours out at you, you repeat different sounds back at us if we do them enough times, and you even made a full on spitting sound with your tongue sticking out back at me when I was randomly doing it to make you laugh! 

Your fourth month was seriously so much fun. I've never laughed more in my entire life, and seeing you light up when you see me or your daddy just makes my entire life. You are so incredibly loved, Emmy girl! 


Weight

You gained another pound and a half ending this month at 11lbs 6oz, and your little double chin is my favorite. You're constantly getting fuzz and Kodah hair stuck under there though because your nickname Drooly McDroolyson is still ringing true! 🙈 
 

Sizes

Another size up! You can definitely still fit in 0-3 sleepers, but the 3-6 month ones are so much cozier for you! You're still in 0-3 leggings, dresses, and onesies, though! You're still rocking the size 1 diapers, and I don't see that changing anytime soon!
 

Sleep

Sleep was a struggle this month. The first couple of weeks stayed the same as your whole life ... sleeping through the night, and power napping through the day. But all of a sudden you started waking up 3+ times in the middle of the night, and then you just weren't sleeping at all during the day. Let's just say your mama was a little more than sleep deprived for the first time in your entire life. 😅 We ended up taking you in to see your doctor (while freaking out about the fact that it's flu season and that place is riddled with germs), and found out that you have your first ear infection which totally explained the lack of sleep and extra fussiness. 😔
 

Likes

When your daddy comes home from work (you laugh, kick, and squeal every time!), being held all the time, your BFF Calvin, baths with your mama, when your daddy plays music for you and makes up random songs, Baby Einstein is your jam, fake sneezes make you laugh like crazy (but real ones scare you half to death!), sticking your tongue out, playing with your feet, FaceTiming, and pulling hair like it's your job.
 

Dislikes

Getting dressed when it requires anything to go over your head, doing the same thing for too long, sitting still in your car seat, your reflux medicine (it tastes so gross!), and baby wraps of any kind because I think they make you feel restricted. 😂
 

Nicknames

Em, M&M, Emmy, Emmy Girl, Little Love, Pemberton (please don't ask ... your dad randomly started calling you this one day and apparently it's stuck 🙈), Nugget, Boo Nugget (another one from your daddy 😂), Emmykins ... The list goes on and on and on and on! 


Milestones

Rolling over back to belly and back again, discovering your feet (and sticking those suckers in your mouth!), intentionally taking your binky out of your mouth + popping it back in, and mimicking sounds and facial expressions!
 

Random things i want to remember

You always want to hold my hand! If you're laying in your Dock-A-Tot, in your bouncer, or even just laying right next to me, you have to be touching me in some way or another or you're not content. ❤️

The way you search for me and your daddy when someone else is holding you and you hear our voices. 

How your daddy will hold you out peeking around an open doorway to make it look like you're standing there by yourself. 😂 It cracks me up every single time! 

You reach out and caress people's faces now ... it's so sweet! It's like your own little way of saying hello.

Your crazy eyes when you get super excited! Your entire body shakes, you flail your arms and legs out, your mouth goes wide open, and you start to breathe super heavy. 😂 It sounds intense written out like this, but it's seriously hilarious! 

That one time (and probably the only time) that I got both you and myself ready for a doctors appointment like an hour early. I had your diaper bag packed, your car seat downstairs, you were dressed and fed, I was fully ready (no make-up in the car!), and your dad was seriously impressed. For someone who's ALWAYS late that was a big accomplishment! 🙌

The way you run your little hand across my chest and face every time you nurse. You look up at me with those big blue eyes of yours, and just reach up and touch my face. It fills my heart to the very brim!!! 

How you started reaching for either me or your daddy! You've only done it a few times, but if one of us is holding you, you'll reach for the other!

The way you start to smile and laugh whenever I look at you / your daddy brings you over to me like you haven't seen me in days (when in reality you never leave my side 😉). It seriously makes me the happiest girl in the world!


Whew! That was a novel, I know, but I can't wait for Em to be able to read back on all of these updates one day! All of these little memories are things that I never want to forget ... There's only so many moments you can pull from a photo, and I wanted a way to journal it all out while they're fresh in mind. One of these days I'll get around to filling out her baby book, and creating a sweet art journal full of photos to go along with these memories, but for now? I'm thankful for this space where I can document all of the little things that make up our lives exactly how it is right in this moment. ❤️ Thanks for following along, y'all! 

Chelcey Tate is a photographer, blogger and graphic designer based in Louisville, KY.

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