Sunday, July 30, 2006

Keepin' cool...

The Great Decluttering Project - Part 1

As I mentioned in my last post, the time is long overdue to go through all of Emma's toys, books and clothes to weed out what is no longer played with, read or worn. So this weekend, we started with the books. I took our pal Mary's advice to get Emma involved in the process, to let her help decide what stays and what goes, and to help her understand that the things we are getting rid of will go to kids who don't have all the nice things she does.

Well, initially things didn't go exactly as planned. She decided she wanted to keep EVERY book she had, even the ones she hadn't touched since she was like two years old. But eventually she got in the spirit of things and started to pick out some books she could part with (my little Mother Teresa doesn't look thrilled in this picture though!)

I would have tossed a lot more, but eventually we ended up with a pretty significant pile of books that I will take to a local bookstore that collects children's books to distribute to low-income families.

Next weekend, we'll tackle the toy box, which should be a REAL challenge!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


You know, I really think it's time once again to go through all of Emma's toys and throw out or give away the stuff she hasn't played in awhile. Unfortunately, she's one of those kids who NOTICES when her toys disappear. But I have to get rid of some of this clutter!

On a totally different subject...not to brag, but I made the most fabulous dinner tonight. Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob...m-m-m-m! This almost makes up for the previous night's feast, which consisted of a Lunchable (Emma) and a microwaved Hot Pocket (me.) Bad mommy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Emma's latest obsession is the movie Aquamarine. She watched part of it when we were at a friend's house last week and I finally rented it from Netflix so she could watch the whole thing.

It's a pretty harmless movie about a mermaid who lands in a swimming pool, becomes friends with two girls and has to find true love. It's really aimed at the preteen crowd, of which apparently Emma now considers herself a member. Her new favorite role-playing game is "Pretend I'm Aquamarine and you're Raven." I'm actually supposed to pretend I'm RAYMOND - the hunky boy in Aquamarine - but that name is unfamiliar to Emma, so she just substitutes Raven, because she's heard of the Disney Channel program "That's so Raven."

I always have to be the boy in these pretend's "pretend I'm Liesel and you're Rolf", "pretend you're Troy and I'm Gabriella", "pretend I'm Ariel and you're Prince Eric", "pretend I'm Annaliese and you're Julian." I could go on and on. It would be nice to get to be the girl just once. Sigh!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The social whirl

Emma got invited to two pool parties this week...we were only able to make it to one of them. Frankly, it's a little depressing that at the age of four, Emma has already been invited to more parties than I have over my entire lifetime. Anyway, Emma's classmate Grace turned four, so we went to her soiree on Saturday morning. Grace and her older sister Frances are beautiful and sweet girls and Emma had a great time at the party, even though it ended up being a little cool for the pool. I don't think anyone lasted longer than an hour in the was just too breezy.

Good lord, after looking at this photo, I realized what an atrocious job I did trimming Emma's bangs the other day. I'm no better at cutting hair now than I was at age six, when I gave my sister Jody the hatchet job of all time. Well, I'd better get out the scissors again and try to repair the damage (to Emma...Jody's hair grew out quite a while ago.)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Greatest inventions of all time (according to ME)

Yes, it's a new semi-regular Emma's World feature where we give a shout out to the greatest inventions of all time (in my not-so-humble opinion!)

Today I'm lavishing praise on the relatively new spray-on sunscreen (or "sun scream" as Emma calls it.) Specifically, Coppertone Sport spray-on sunscreen. As anyone with a child can attest, slathering a squirming kid with sunscreen lotion is no picnic. They generally hate it and you end up missing spots anyway. But this new spray-on stuff is fabulous. You spray it all over and you're done in like 10 seconds. And it seems to stay on longer.

Plus, as a single mom who seldom if ever has someone to help put on MY sunscreen, this is great. I can even spray my back without missing a spot (which never happened with lotion.) My back was always a patchwork of glaring white (where the sunscreen was) and lobster red (where I missed.)

So anyway, we love this's the best!

Disclaimer: I am in no way being compensated by Coppertone for this endorsement (I wish!!!)

Sunday, July 16, 2006


We got together with some friends on Saturday...a single mom with two daughters from China (I don't know how she does it!)
Emma absolutely adores the older daughter Elena, who is ten. Elena is such a special girl. She's so sweet and has this zen kind of personality. Nothing ever seems to bother her. I'm sure in a couple of years, she'll be a great babysitter for Emma (like I ever go anywhere and need a babysitter!)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Guilty pleasure

I have to admit that I am completely hooked on Project Runway. The only other reality show I watch is American Idol, but I find Project Runway much more entertaining.

Season three just started this week and it's too early to tell what designers I like, but as with most reality shows, it's easy to pick out the villains. After one episode, I already know I'm going to love to hate Jeffrey (that tattoo!) and Malan (that accent!)

In the void that is summer television, Project Runway is going to totally rock!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Booster Club

Well, Emma has finally made the leap to a booster seat. I've been checking out boosters for a couple weeks now and finally decided I couldn't put it off any longer. I was totally lusting after the Britax Regent, and almost bought it, but it costs $250 and Britax doesn't allow retailers to mark its seats down. I just couldn't justify the cost. So I ended up going with this $79 Eddie Bauer High Back Booster. I don't love it, but what are you going to do? We can't always get what we want.

I did throw out my back while installing this thing in the car. I was so mad, I was practically yelling at the car seat! I kept thinking "this never would have happened if I'd gotten the Britax!" Of course, the only critisism of the Britax is that it's heavy and is hard to install. So I might have strained my back anyway.

So the seat's in...Emma loves it, mainly because she now has her own cup and snack holder (which she has already filled with rocks.) Kids are so easy to please...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Emma and Jenna

We met with some friends over the weekend for a play date. I met these three women at an adoption seminar five years ago - we were all single and paperchasing for daughters from China. We've become great friends, as have our girls. Anyway, we spent the day with them on Saturday, at a McDonald's Playland and then walked over to one of those quasi-educational play centers. Emma and her friend Jenna were in a goofy mood and I took some funny pictures...

It's been so much fun to watch the girls grow's so amazing when you look at pictures from 2-3 years ago. They're not toddlers anymore...they're little girls (sigh!)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Party from h*ll

Emma and I went to a really disastrous birthday party for one of her little friends the other night. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say there's a good reason you don't invite 20 KIDS to a 4-year-old's birthday party. This mom apparently never heard the standard recommendation that the number to invite to a kid's party is your child's age plus one.

Anyway, I took a couple of snaps at this they are and then I'll try to forget the whole thing...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Our 4th of July

We had a pretty laid back holiday...we spent a good part of the morning scouting out booster seats for Emma. Although she weighs just 28 pounds, she has outgrown her car seat height-wise. I can't believe how rusty I am when it comes to buying baby gear! During the long wait, I spent countless hours researching and shopping for strollers, car seats, high chairs, play yards, cribs, etc. But I haven't done much since acquiring all those essential items. So I spent a couple hours Monday on the web looking at ratings and prices for booster seats and then we hit Target, Walmart and Babies R Us looking at seats and trying them out. No purchase was made, but I'm close to deciding what we're getting.

Since it was almost unbearably hot on Tuesday, we, of course, decided to go to the zoo in the middle of the afternoon (I find the zoo is truly enjoyable only when it's 90 degrees-plus with 95% humidity!) But we had a pretty decent time. The zoo had reopened the pony rides and much to our delight, Emma's favorite pony Dustin was there. Emma first rode Dustin when she was about 15 months old (he looked like a friggin' Clydesdale the first time she was on him) and has probably ridden him 20 times since. I worry because Dustin is like 20 years old and I always wonder if he's gone to horsey heaven during the winter months. But he was there on Tuesday and Emma rode him a couple of times...

We trudged around the zoo for a couple of hours, stopping for awhile so Emma could eat the world's most obscenely big popsicle...she ate this entire thing!

Anyway, we had a good time despite the of us fell asleep in the car on the way home (unfortunately, it didn't get to be me.) We were too pooped to go to any fireworks, so we conked out pretty early. Not our most memorable 4th, but I can't complain about spending the day with my girl...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Emma the aquatic star

Emma and I spent much of the weekend at the pool, which is nothing new. However, what IS new is what pool we've been hanging out in. Although we've ventured into the big pool a few times, the vast majority of our time has been spent in the kids' pool. But Emma decided this weekend, out of the blue, that at age 4, she's too big for the kids' pool and wanted to stay in the big pool. So yesterday and today, we stayed exclusively in the big pool. Emma's not the most adventurous child, so imagine my surprise when she wanted to stand on the side of the pool and hurl herself in my general direction to be caught. She also started putting her head under water.

I'm proud that she's gotten so comfortable in the water. But to be honest, I don't think going to the pool is going to be the relaxing experience it has in the past. Trust me, it's much more calming to sit in a pool chair reading People magazine while your daughter splashes in 9 inches of water than it is to have your child leap from the side of the pool 37 times in a row! I was pretty tired when we got back this afternoon.

Anyway, I didn't bring the camera, so no pictures of Emma's new diving form in the pool. I did take a photo on Friday of her on her scooter at bike day at her school. So that will have to do for now...cheers!