Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sophia's First Christmas

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. Sophia had a lovely 1st Christmas!

 She enjoyed looking at Christmas lights with a few of her furry friends.

And she loves her new little wagon. Every morning Auntie Tiffany takes Sophia and her little passengers on a daily stroll to say good morning to the townspeople (my dad).

 Sophia even gets story time in her wagon.

Then on the 26th, this little beauty turned 7 months old! Ack, it is going by way too fast. She is eating sweet potatoes, butternut squash, applesauce, and pears! And her new favorite thing is her own reflection. Her bathtub is right next to the mirror. When she catches a glimpse of her reflection, she breaks out in a giant smile and tries to climb out of the tub to talk to herself. What a hoot! Sophia changes so much every day. But no teeth and no hair yet for this little babe. I'm okay with delaying the whole teething experience, but hopefully she gets some hair soon. I'm ready to clip some bows to that sweet little head.

Now it's time to prepare for Sophia's 1st New Years!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Fail

So I had visions of grandeur for this Christmas many plans to make this the best Christmas that Sophia won't remember. But work is relentless this time of the year, and I'm barely staying afloat. But I did manage to bundle up Sophia for some morning errands.

We made a fun trip to Target (one of my favorite places!!) and finally bought Sophia some Christmas pajamas. A couple other stops later, and Sophia was tuckered out!

We still need to put up the mini "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree Johnny and I got last year for our first apartment together. My sister nicknamed it the "Charlie Brown" tree because it is a sad, skinny, little tree. But it's our first family tree, and I love it! In the meantime, I leave you with this photo taken by the Cheng Family Christmas Tree.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy December!

It's finally December and the best time of the year! Merry December and Happy Christmas! It's time to deck our halls, trim the tree, and elf the shelf (maybe? I still can't decide if it is creepy or cute).

6-month-old Sophia is all ready for her first Christmas season.

She gets to meet Santa soon...I've been putting it off because I can't stand the thought of spending my day off in a crowded deal-seeking frenzied mall. And because we never know what to expect from our dear Sophia. There's a strong possibility that she'll cry the entire she did when my sweet friend, Chelsea, tried to take her Christmas card photo. I couldn't even set her down for a second!

Exhibit A of Sophia's photo shoot meltdown. 
But check out Chelsea's blog and little baby Max!

In other milestone news, Sophia is sitting up like a big girl! And rolling over from tummy to back and vice versa. Rolling has proved to be a more efficient mode of transportation than crawling for her. She's also going through a phase where she is learning to talk and fascinated by the sound of her own voice. She just sits and squeals (squeaks) loudly. And she'll talk to anyone who will listen. I wonder who she got that from...

Sophia loves watching cars drive by, looking at her reflection and her shadow, listening to music, and chewing on the tags of her stuffed toys. She also loves to sleep on her tummy. I will set her in her crib on her back, and she'll roll over before she can fall asleep.

What's next for her? A trip to the Christmas tree farm, more solid foods, and lots of holiday festivities!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Tomorrow, tomorrow...tomorrow! Tomorrow my little Sophia will be six months old! Where did the time go?! There is no way she is already half a year old!

She has become the sassiest and sweetest little girl. And she's finally growing like a champ! 
How can you not love that little face?

We fed Sophia her first meal on Thanksgiving. She was not impressed.

We've tried again every day since then, and she's definitely come around to eating solid foods. We're still on the sweet potatoes, but I can't wait for her to try different veggies.

After Thanksgiving dinner, Johnny and I were busy with all the Black Friday hoopla, so I look forward to decorating for Christmas in the next week or so. My sisters put up a Christmas tree already, and Sophia loves the twinkling lights on it. We lay under the tree and look up at the lights every night before her bedtime.

Stay tuned for six month photos and the Twenty-Five Days of Sophia's First Christmas!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall Festivities

I'm so excited that the holidays are here. They are so much better with a baby around!

 Last week we took Sophia to the pumpkin patch. She had a blast looking at all the pumpkins and just being outside. She is the happiest when she is outside.

And now that it's November, we are one step closer to Christmas, my favorite of favorite holidays! I can't wait to take Sophia around to look at Christmas lights. She loves loves loves lights. Sometimes in the middle of her midnight freak out sessions, Sophia will stop crying to stare at the nightlight for thirty minutes. So if Christmas lights will soothe Sophia, Christmas lights she will get!

We're also going through some changes here in the Rivera house. Johnny, Sophia, and I have some new roommates. The three of us are moving in with my parents temporarily. They are a major help with Sophia...and sometimes Sophia only likes her grandpa anyway. And it gives us an opportunity to save some money and decide on our next move. I'm hoping that this means our next step is a quaint little house ready for me to decorate complete with exposed brick walls and a chalkboard wall.

Sophia Rose changes. every. single. day. Her six month birthday is just around the corner. And her first taste of food will be Thanksgiving Day! 

Sophia has started "crawling." She puts her head on the ground, wiggles her butt from side to side, scoots along, gets tired, and flips onto her back. It's pretty adorable. She's also very vocal. She'll babble your ear off, and she can even say milk in Chinese. And she always has to be chewing something. If it's not one toy or another, it's her blanket or her little finger...or whatever else is around. Today, for instance, it was Johnny's nose.

Now that Sophia is a little older and more alert, I cannot wait to share the holidays with her (we'll have to find her some sweet little holiday outfits too...of course). I can't wait to pop Love Actually in the DVD player and sip a vanilla peppermint latte.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Life Lately

Sorry for the lapse in updates, but life has been crazy between work and raising a four-month-old baby!  Five months is right around the corner, and before we know it, we will be celebrating little Sophia's first birthday!

Here is Sophia and her long legs at four months.

We have quite a few updates as well:
  • Sophia is such a morning baby. In the mornings, she will sit in bed talking to herself. And girlfriend sure has lots to say!
  • She is We have to be careful because she likes to fling herself backwards when she cries.
  • She's also a genius. Well, genius might be pushing it, but she is a very smart baby. Sophia's cries are unstoppable when she is hungry except when we give her a bath. She knows that she gets to eat as soon as her bath is over, so we usually have a happy baby during bath time. She also hates her pacifier. Sophia has changed the way she cries so that we cannot get the pacifier in her mouth! And she knows that the rocking chair means bed time. We literally cannot sit on the rocker without her screaming unless she is on the verge of passing out.
  • Sophia is very timid. Everything scares her. And I mean everything. She is scared of the dark, loud or sudden noises, her cookie jar toy, the sound of the door opening, the squeak of her Sophie the get the point.
  • The Aden and Anais blankets are her favorite. She's always clutching one.

  • I'm looking forward to sharing the holiday season with Sophia. Next weekend we plan on taking her to the pumpkin patch! And I already have a running list of seasonal outfits for this precious girl that may or may not cost a small fortune...
  • Sophia attended her first wedding recently, and she loved it. I had visions of her screaming during the ceremony, but she sat happily in my lap and sucked on her dress.
I hope to continue updating on a more regular basis. Johnny and I are taking a little vacation from work to take Sophia to Baylor Homecoming {SIC 'EM!!} and visit his family in a couple weeks. It'll be the first time Johnny has had time off from work since before Sophia was born! I know we are both looking forward to a little rest and time with Sophia before the crazy holiday season starts at work.

 Little Sophia celebrating mommy's birthday.

Ruffle bottom!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Three Months!

It's been a very long three weeks filled with work, pumping, and countless sleepless nights. Lately I feel that since I'm trying to do everything, I'm succeeding at nothing. Something has to change!

BUT sweet Sophia is already three months old and cuter than ever.

  • I miss her sweet milk breath when I'm at work.
  • She laughed! Or giggled. It is so cute and squeaky. 
  • Her crazy aunts have endearingly given Sophia the nickname of "that alien." Melanie has even developed a secret language between the two of them.
  • Sophia's bedtime routine is pretty much nonexistent these days since, oh wait, she. does. not. sleep. I tell myself it's because she misses me all day and just wants to hang out.
  • I'm looking for new toys to entertain Sophia. If you know me, you know that I hate toys. Give Sophia a book, and I'm a happy mama. But I know that toys are good for babies, so I'm on a search for cute and/or pretty toys. Do those even exist?
  • Her birth announcements have been sitting in the apartment for almost two months now. I'll get to them eventually...better late than never, right?
  • Please please please vote for Sophia on the Gerber Generation Photo Search. You can vote once a day every day until September 24th. Vote. Pass it along to your family and friends. We greatly appreciate the support!
  • I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting a million things, but the sleep deprivation is starting to affect my memory.
Here's a picture of Sophia at one, two, and three months. She's still my teeny tiny skinny mini and perfect in every way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


As my maternity leave comes to an end, I have to create a home away from home for Sophia at my parent's house. I am shopping around for more baby products, so I don't have to pack up my entire apartment every day. Since Sophia hates practically everything, I am obsessed with researching new and unique products to try. There's a running list of "gifts" for Sophia on my phone. We are going to test the comotomo baby bottles (similar to the Tommee Tippee bottles we currently use) when she drinks pumped milk. Both are supposed to make it easier to go back and forth between breast and bottle since I would like to continue nursing when I am home with her. And yes, I cannot wait to spend my breaks pumping away in my car.

And with work, it'll be even more difficult to find time for the gym, so my hunt for a good yet stylish jogging stroller continues. The bloom and origami strollers are both suitable for jogging, and they have some fun features like solar lighting or running lights and UV protection! Plus they have such colorful options.

Oh, and I would pay a pretty penny for a carseat that could safely transport a swaddled baby. I am not looking forward to the nights where I have to wake up a sleeping Sophia at midnight (or later depending on my schedule) to bring her home.

Every day Sophia is smiling a little more and developing into such a sweet little girl. And so my anxiety over leaving her grows. Any love, support, and kind words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. I don't really know many working mothers or have any great examples to follow in this direction, so I'm very uncertain of what this change entails. Retail isn't the greatest supporter of family life. The majority of people I work with aren't married let alone have any children. To be quite honest, I'm mostly not ready for this because I always prayed that something would work itself out so that I wouldn't have to go back to work until Sophia was 1- or 2-years-old. I don't want Sophia calling anyone else mommy!

But to end on a happier note, I'll include more pictures of our sweet Sophia:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cheering on the Red, White, and Blue...

...and loving the Fab Five and Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin!!

We're obsessed over here, and it always makes me cry. I love that even with all the trouble and turmoil going on, the world can still come together in friendly competition. Sophia loves it too! Look at her cheering on Team USA.
Watch out Olympics 2028, Sophia Rose is coming for you!

On a different note, our little family is breathing a huge sigh of relief today. At Sophia's 2 month well baby appointment, we found out that she wasn't gaining enough weight. After a couple days of a strict feeding schedule, we went back, and skinny mini hadn't gained a single ounce. They did some preliminary blood tests to see if anything was wrong. And they sent us home with the instructions to feed. every. three. hours. no. matter. what. Even at night. For, you see, baby girl is like mommy and daddy and would rather sleep than eat. If she still didn't gain any weight, our pediatrician was going to put Sophia in Texas Children's Hospital. So Sophia and I set out for a feeding frenzy. I had alarms set for every feeding, and I would wake up my sweet baby from her afternoon naps and deep sleep at night to eat. I was so worried about baby Sophia. And I kept blaming myself. What if I wasn't making enough milk? What if I was't producing good quality milk? What if they make me switch over to formula? But we went back to the pediatrician first thing this morning, and she had gained 4 whole ounces. Whew! We go back in a week to make sure we are still making progress. Then we can finally get her immunizations and space out feedings a little more, so we can both get more rest. I'm so so happy my baby isn't in the hospital right now. Keep her in your prayers this next week!!

Side Note: I wish it were socially acceptable for grown women to sport adorable baby fashion like onsies and leg warmers or headbands with giant bows/flowers or dresses with ruffled bloomers underneath. But, alas, it is not. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Little Rose

I cannot believe Sophia will be nine weeks old tomorrow. Where has the time gone?! I'll admit, I used to get so sad whenever I thought about her changing and growing. Okay, okay, let's be honest, I still do... But she really does get more beautiful every day, and I look forward to all of her little milestones. I can't wait to take Sophia to her first dance class or spend an entire afternoon reading and painting our nails (or, of course, our little shopping trips that will surely stress Johnny.) I just love having a little girl! Anyone that really knows me knows that I was meant to have a girl. I often dream of a slightly less caffeinated Gilmore Girl-esque relationship with my daughter. Doesn't that sound just wonderful?

And some updates on our little family:
  • We have recently started a bedtime routine to develop some familiarity and consistency for Sophia. I read that babies do well with repetition. We start with bath time, which Sophia has really grown to love. Then we nurse, swaddle, snuggle, and turn on the SleepSheep Sound Machine. Sophia knows exactly what comes next. I forgot to turn on the sound machine the other night, and Sophia sure did let me know. Last night, I added Goodnight Moon since bedtime really isn't complete without a story. She's usually still awake when I put her down, but she has learned to put herself to sleep. With the exception of some random cries and loud squeaks, Sophia sleeps fairly well.
  • Sophia has discovered the joy of sucking on her hand. I think she's still working on finding her thumb. She often prefers her hand to the pacifier or even nursing.
  • She is not a big fan of tummy time. She usually screams and screams and pushes herself around and around in circles. And she leaves behind a trail of drool. 
  • As much as I would like to brag about Sophia being such an easy and happy baby, it is not the reality of our situation. She loves to cry. And she has to be held and cuddled 24/7. It is going to be interesting when I go back to work. There definitely isn't a person in the world that dotes on Sophia the way I do.
  • Postpartum depression blows. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
I hope everyone is staying cool. We are looking forward to some relief from the hot summer sun. We want to run a marathon as a family, so I can't wait until it is cool enough to go running with sweet Sophia. And I know it is still in the distant future, but I am excited about buying Sophia some winter clothes. I love layers and baby Uggs.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Two Months!

Little Miss Sophia Rose is two months old, and we've got smiles!

Monday, July 16, 2012

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know

10. Be a girlie-girl. Love pink and lace and roses! Or be a tomboy. Either way, own who you are. Don't worry too much about what others think.

9. "You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way." Song of Songs 4:7. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

8. Don't compare. And don't judge. It'll rob you of a lot of joy. Trust me, I've learned this the hard way.

7. Follow your dreams. And dream big, girlfriend! I'll do anything and everything to help you, and I will always be behind you 100%. That doesn't mean I won't give you my opinions sometimes. But at the end of the day, trust your heart, and I'll have faith that I did a good job raising you.

6. Baylor Bears are the best! Education is important, but it's not everything. The support system you can build at Baylor is unlike any other. And enjoy everything while you're there, even if it seems a little silly (after all, there is no Diadeloso in real life). And have a heart for Waco. It's not the most glamorous place, but it has a certain charm. Plus that's where I met your daddy.

5. Don't be a mean girl. There's enough of them in the world. Have a good, pure heart. That alone will get you far in life.

4. Always have a planner. Bring a jacket. And wear sunscreen. You'll be glad you did.

3. Be careful who you trust. Some people will try to masquerade as your best friend for selfish reasons, and some will talk behind your back. It'll break your heart. Those people aren't worth it. I know, baby girl, it's hard to stomach, but it's important to know.

2. Always remember mommy and daddy love you. More. Than. Anything. We're trying, but we're not perfect. We'll make mistakes. Lots of them. We're sorry!

1. Do everything in His glory. Wear out your praying knees.

And ten more things...


Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby Coos & Rose-Colored Glasses

"I surrender who I've been for who you are, for nothing makes me stronger than your fragile heart." - Sleeping At Last
Little Sophia Rose will be seven weeks tomorrow. People weren't lying when they said it goes by fast! It has been a tumultuous and dichotomous couple of weeks. I love the little milestones that come with her inevitable growth, but I also want to hold onto my tiny newborn. 

Recently, we've discovered the magic of the baby carrier. Sophia loves the closeness that it provides while it gives Johnny and I the luxury of two free hands! She is still a little too small for it, but it stops the crying.

We're also getting more smiles and baby coos. The journalism major in me wants to capture every moment, but my paparazzi skills leave something to be desired. 

Some other baby Sophia developments:
  • She has an amazing startle reflex. She'll throw her arms up in the air and then go right on sleeping.
  • The sound of the hair dryer makes her pass out, even if only for a couple minutes.
  • I want to start exploring baby sign language. I think we'll start with 'mommy,' 'daddy,' and 'milk!'
  • No, we're not getting her ears pierced. I want her to ask for it and for us to have that girlie bonding experience.
  • She has super soft baby feet.
  • It is fun seeing the world through the eyes of a baby; everything is new and exciting. Sophia's favorite game is Peek-A-Boo. I get a great big smile every time.
  • Bath time is getting better. The lavender scent of our baby shampoo & body wash calms sweet Sophia Rose after a good hard cry.
  • I feel incredibly guilty every time I leave Sophia. And it's only for about an hours at a time. I can't even imagine going back to work right now.

I love discovering new baby products, brands, and outfits/accessories. My latest obsession is BabyLegs leg warmers. They help keep Sophia's legs warm without interfering with diaper changes. Besides, Sophia has the ability to kick off her pants. Leave your recommendations for your favorite things!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Life Lately

The other day, a good friend asked me what my least favorite part of being a mother was. I quickly answered, "Being lumped in the category of 'mom.'" Those without children often see women with children as simply a mother. Nothing else. No individual identity outside of motherhood. But the more I think about it, the prouder I am to have that mommy title! 

Over the last five weeks, I have changed quite a bit. Even during my pregnancy, I was incredibly immature and selfish. I fretted over the smallest of details that now seem insignificant. Things like how much weight I was gaining to getting that perfectly folded stack of shirts at work to making Sophia's nursery just right wracked my brain. Now, I would give up anything for just a second longer to snuggle my sweet baby. To have her understand how much I love her. She's the sweetest, daintiest, most perfect little girl, and I want to give her the world. 

While we were growing up, my mother (and my father!) gave up so much to give my sisters and me the best possible life. They are the most selfless and non materialistic people I know. It was always all about the kids. I know I don't tell them enough, but I am eternally grateful for the life and opportunities I was given. And now I want to do the same for Sophia. I am not perfect. Far from it. But I hope she grows up knowing that even with all my mistakes, I am trying my best.

On a less sappy note, here are some updates on baby Sophia!
  • She has a cry that will break your heart. She gives you huge puppy dog eyes, quivers her lower lip, and screams. For hours. Hours of purple-in-the-face screaming.  Sophia's pediatrician recommended that we read The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp. Hopefully we find a way to soothe our sweet baby.
  • During more serene moments, Sophia has started smiling! And cooing! And following our faces from side to side!
  • Her fingers and toes are always ice cold. The little footie pajamas are perfect at fixing that. And they are too cute on her.
  • She has the funniest facial expressions.
  • She loves to grab onto the collar of my shirt when I hold her.
  • She still has that intoxicating baby smell. It is pretty extraordinary.
  • She is dying to go swimming. Actually, I'm dying to take her swimming. But right now she hates the water. Bath time is quite an event here at the Rivera house.
  • I am considering cloth diapering. Sophia is still in newborn diapers, and we have gone through quite an impressive number of  them.
  • I'm getting Johnny a custom key with Sophia's name on it. As her daddy, Johnny holds the key to her heart. And it will be the perfect gift for him to pass onto her future husband when she gets married.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

One Month of Sophia Rose

Baby Sophia celebrated her one month birthday on Tuesday complete with a new Snugabunny bouncer, a 4th of July outfit, and a cake! Of course, the birthday girl slept through her entire celebration, but I'll count it as a blessing that she did not cry the whole time. Since then, Little Miss Priss has decided she has to eat with her pinky finger in the air! When she's older, I'll have to take her to tea at the Plaza!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sophia's Birth Story

Where has the time gone?! I cannot believe my baby girl is already one month old today. Happy One Month Birthday baby girl! It has been the most difficult, terrifying, BEST month of my life. Johnny and I are loving every second of being her parents.

Here is the story of sweet Sophia's arrival on May 26th, 2012. (I realize it is a bit overdue, but little princess likes to be held 24/7, and it doesn't leave me with much time to get anything else done!)

Saturday morning, I woke up with a huge stomachache at 5 am. I went to the bathroom and realized that my shorts were all wet! My first thought was "did my water break?!" I was not 100% sure since there was no gushing water of Hollywood proportions. I waited 30 minutes to see if anything progressed and proceeded to call the doctor. They told me to come on in to check to see if my water broke! I woke up Johnny, took a quick shower, and arrived at the hospital at 7am.

By then, I was sure that my water broke. Water was running down my legs! The nurse confirmed it, and I was finally admitted to Labor & Delivery. Johnny and I waited until this point to let our families know that the baby was on her way because this was my 3rd trip to the hospital in a month. I didn't want any more false alarms.

Once in Labor & Delivery, I was hooked up to an IV and given pitocin to help along my contractions. Boy was it painful! Between the needle of the IV (I HATE needles) and the pain from the contractions, I was such a mess. Shortly after, I got an epidural. I had heard how giant the needle was, so I was terrified! But best decision ever! I was a completely different person post epidural. From there, my contractions were a minute and a half apart, and I went from 4 cm dilated to 8 cm to 10 cm within a couple hours! All the nurses were surprised at how quickly I processed, especially for my first pregnancy.

Around 1:15 pm, I knew that I had to start pushing soon. Baby Sophia was ready to see the world! As the doctor and nurses set everything up, I made Johnny hold my hand through the contractions. At this point, I was sobbing from the pain. After 13 minutes of pushing, I heard my sweet baby's cry! "It's a girl! 1:48 pm! She's beautiful!" Welcome to the world Sophia Rose Rivera!
They laid Sophia on my chest for a brief moment. The nurses cleaned her off while the doctor stitched me up. I could not (and still can't) believe that this tiny, perfect baby was in my belly for 9 months! Sophia's birth day was such a special day. I wish I could experience it all over again. I often find myself sad that that day I had anticipated for so long is over. Apparently becoming a mommy has turned me into SUCH a sap! 

We have spent this past month learning so much about our sweet baby.
  • She is THE cutest, sweetest, most beautiful baby in the whole world. Okay, I might be a little biased, but would't you agree?
  • Sophia is such a daddy's girl. She stops crying the second Johnny picks her up. She's even given him two sweet baby kisses already. I love watching the two of them together. They are the cutest!
  • At least once, sometimes even twice, a day, she gets the hiccups. Those, and pretty much every other sound she makes, sound like a squeak toy.
  • She has the strongest legs. Yesterday, Johnny propped her up on the boppy, and she climbed over it!
  • Her head is tiny tiny tiny. All the cute little headbands we have for her are too big and fall into her eyes. 
  • Sophia already loves shopping. She will scream and cry, but the second I pick her up in her carseat, she gets really quiet. She'll just look around with her big, beautiful eyes.

Stay tuned for one month photos of my sweet angel! I'll post nursery photos as well once I'm finally done decorating. For more pictures, follow me on Instagram @emilierivera.