Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's good to be clean!

Second day of school (not so good)

Okay, so our second day at the new school didn't go so well. It's kind of like it sinks in on the second day that we're going to be doing this every day now. When we got to her classroom, Emma started crying and wrapped herself around my legs and would not let go! I literally had to pry her off of me and make her sit down with the other kids. She was wailing "Mommy, I want to stay with you" as I made a beeline for the door. Not fun. I know she likes the school and her teacher...it's just getting used to it again. But mornings like this make you feel like the worst mom in the world.

Monday, August 28, 2006

First day back at school

Today was Emma's first day back at her public Montessori school, after spending all summer at her other school. I don't care how many times we make these transitions, I'm always so nervous about everything. Will she still like her teacher? Will she have good kids in her class? Will she rebel at having to wear a uniform again after a summer of wearing brightly colored dresses and shorts? She was pretty clingy when I dropped her off, but her teacher was great. I've been particularly worried because Emma's best friend at this school last year is no longer in her class. But she was happy to see her friend Quierra from last year.

I was worried all day about how she was doing and was tempted to call at one point. But I figured her teacher had her hands full on the first day and I didn't want to bother her. I did leave work a bit early to pick Emma up. She was happy to see me, but seemed to have a very good first day back. We'll do it all over again tomorrow!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Proud mama

Friday was Emma's last day at her summer Montessori preschool. When we were saying goodbye, one of teachers said "Your daughter is so smart, sometimes it takes my breath away." Wow! What parent doesn't love to hear something like that?

Sure, I love it when people say Emma is cute (who wouldn't?) But the compliments that really make me glow are the ones that praise her intelligence or kindness or how well-behaved she is. Maybe it's a bit of narcissism on my part...I obviously had nothing to do with how cute she is...and I can't really take much credit for how smart she is. But the fact that she's so sweet and kind and seldom misbehaves...I'd like to think I played a small part in that.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Baking with Emma

I have always loved to cook...baking with my mom when I was a little girl is one of my fondest memories. So during the long wait for Emma, one of the things I dreamed about was cooking in the kitchen together when she got older. I even bought several children's cookbooks when I was still months away from referral.

I'm happy to report that Emma loves to help me cook and bake. For Christmas this past year, my sister got her an Easy Bake Oven. Naturally, it's quite impossible to overstate the joy of spending 2.5 hours using a light bulb to bake a cake the size of a hockey puck and the consistency of a sponge. Nonetheless, I think we both prefer real baking using the big oven.

Earlier tonight, Emma helped me make cupcakes to take to her school tomorrow (it's her last day there this summer.) She really did almost everything but run the mixer.

And, of course, we know the best part about baking is...LICKING THE SPOON!

It was a fun, if not a little messy, evening. I really treasure the times we do things like this together.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Baby shower (update)

So last night, when I told Emma it was bathtime, she said she wanted to take a SHOWER instead. I'm thinking "Are you kidding me? You're four years old!" When I told her I thought she was too young to take a shower, she said "Mama, as long as I get clean, I don't think it matters whether I take a bath or a shower." Sigh...it's not easy living with the preschool debate champion of the world.

So I let her take her first shower. I stood there with the shower curtain wide open, water spraying all over the bathroom, while I tried to wash her hair and scrub her down. This is slightly less relaxing than our usual bath routine, where she plays in the tub for 30 minutes or so while I sit on the toilet (lid down) reading Entertainment Weekly magazine and chatting on the phone with my mom. I can only hope the novelty is over and we go back to baths tomorrow night!

UPDATE: Last night, when I told Emma it was bathtime, she hopped right in the tub...no mention of taking a shower. WOO-HOO! No water all over the floor and I got to catch up on all the latest show biz news!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A day on the farm

It was a nice day on Saturday, so we headed to a local farmstead with our friends Kathryn and Allison. It's a really cool place that had all kinds of animals and activities for the kids. Of course, the first thing we had to do was hit the pony rides...Emma got to ride one of her favorite horses, Sadie.

Then we went to the fishing pond, which is loaded with about 20,000 fish, each averaging about three inches in length. The girls were fascinated by Kathryn's attempts to bait the hook with a big fat squiggling worm (I was way too busy taking pictures to assist in this endeavor.)

After putting the fishing pole in the water, it took approximately four seconds before we got a bite. If you get out a magnifying glass, you might be able to see the Moby Dick-like monster we managed to land.

After that, we wandered around and looked at the prairie dogs and the turtles and bunnies and all the other animals. Emma and Allison had a great time on the nature hike.

All in all, a very nice adventure...so long from the coolest kid in the world!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bike Chickie

Just a typical evening at home...mommy makes dinner and cleans up the dishes, while Emma rides around on her bike in her underwear.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What we're reading now

Emma and I have just started reading the Junie B. Jones books. For the uninitiated, Junie B. Jones is a rather high-strung kindergartner with VERY definite opinions about everything. Some parents really despise these books because Junie B. can be a bit of a brat and says whatever comes into her head (her favorite word is "dumb.") I have to admit, I was a little concerned about it at first, but I don't think Emma is going to start running around calling everything "dumb" just because we're reading these books (at least I hope not!) And we've talked about how Junie B. sometimes says things and does things she shouldn't. The main thing is, Emma thinks the books are HILARIOUS (Emma's current favorite word.) We really laugh while we're reading them together in bed every night. And if it makes her laugh, I figure it's all right...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My daughter, the feminist

Interesting conversation with Emma this morning on the way to school...

Emma: Mama, why do Biggie and Papa (grandma and grandpa) not work?

Me: Because when people get older and after they've worked a long time, they don't have to work anymore.

Emma: Will you get to stop working when you're older?

Me: Yes (when I'm about 80, according to my financial planner - I didn't say that part to her)

Me: What kind of job would you like to do when you grow up?

Emma: I'm not going to get a job...I'm going to get married.

Me: (trying to remain calm) Well, most grown-up ladies get married and go to work too.

Emma: Not me. I'm going to be one of those mommies who stays at home all the time.

What a relief...I guess I can stop saving up for Stanford now!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Post-vacation blues

Well, we saw my sister and her family off this morning before we headed back to work and school. We're very sad they're gone. Emma was sobbing when I dropped her off at school - she kept saying "I want to stay with you" (words that drive a knife through every mother's heart.) I'm sure she was fine once I left, but it doesn't make the week start off on a bright note.

So after four days of non-stop fun, now I'm looking at the wreckage of the things I didn't get done this week. They include:

No laundry done (I had to wear my "only-as-a-last-resort" underwear today.)

No groceries in the house (I can probably scrounge up something for dinner tonight, but after that, we're in trouble. Which means a trip to the grocery store after work on Tuesday - I don't think there's anything I love more than trudging through the grocery store after a long day at work.)

The lawn hasn't been mowed (I'm sure the neighbors love this one, especially those who have their houses on the market right now.)

Dirty house (I'm pretty sure the rug isn't supposed to crunch when you walk across it.)

I should have tried to start tackling some of these things last night when we got home, but we were both exhausted and hit the sack at 8:30. I guess I'm also a little bummed that summer is winding down...although cooler weather sounds good right now.

So anyway, I need to snap out of it and get back to the routine...sigh!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Water play

My sister and her family go back home tomorrow...we've had so much fun with them this week. Today we went to a local water park and had a blast. While Emma and I obviously didn't get to ride on the big water slides and thrill rides, there were a lot of areas for kids too.

Shockingly, Emma's favorite part of the park was the wave pool, where bigs waves hit you like every ten seconds and pretty much knock you over. She loved it! This was a pleasant surprise, since Emma is not the most adventurous child on the planet. Anyway, she had so much fun, especially hanging with her cousin D.J.

We are going to miss everyone so much when they leave tomorrow...but we had such a great time!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I swear, there are very few things Emma loves more than merry-go-rounds. Just the sight of them sends her into flights of joy. Yesterday, we went with my sister and her kids and my parents to a local mall that has a merry-go-round, so we had to hop on it the first thing when we got there. She was in absolute heaven.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Emma's first MLB game

My sister and her family are in town this week and Emma is having such a great time with her cousins. Last night, we all went to the baseball game - Emma's very first Major League Baseball experience. I used to be such a baseball fan and have probably been to at least 50 MLB games. But I haven't been since I got Emma, so this was so much fun!

As you can see, Emma is crazy about her cousin Brennan...

We lasted until the 7th inning, but then headed home. We all had a wonderful time and I'm sure it won't be our last game.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sweat city

Okay, it's official. I'm totally over the heat wave that has gripped our part of the country for the better part of a month now. We've had weeks of temperatures around 100, with a short two-day respite where the mercury plunged into the lower 90s. This weekend was horrible. We actually went to the zoo on Saturday with a friend and her two young boys. The kids did fairly well, but my friend and I were pretty close to being hospitalized for heat stroke by the time we left. We spent as much time as possible in the air-conditioned kids area.

Today was a little better, only because we spent it at the pool. But we did have to go to the grocery store and Target this afternoon, when it was excrutiatingly hot. I can't wait to get my electricity bill this month!

On the bright side, my sister, brother-in-law and their two kids, and my parents, are all coming for a long weekend visit. So we're really looking forward to that. Unfortunately, there's not supposed to be any break in the heat. But hopefully we can find something cool to do.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Emma's school

The other day, I realized that despite practically photographing Emma's every breathing moment, I had very few pictures of her at school. During the school year, she goes to a public school here that has a Montessori preschool program (and is therefore free - YES!) In the summer, she returns to the Montessori preschool where she has gone since the age of 1 year and 1 day old. I like both schools for different reasons. She has a lot of fun at her summer school...she and her little friends are so adorable. Every day, when the parents come to pick up their kids, the girls all have to give each other big hugs - like they aren't go to see each other for ages, instead of the next day.

Another reason I really like her summer school is that the center's kindergarten teacher is this incredible single dad...all the kids are crazy about Mr. Matt, including Emma. She'll be in his class next summer, which I'm thrilled about. Being a single mom, I'm always looking for male role models for my girl, and you can't do better than him.

Emma will be at her summer school for about three more weeks, then it's back to public school. I'm always worried about the transition, but she seems to handle it well.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Emma and Helen

We had a little playdate this week with Emma's friend Helen. It's very odd, because Helen is a very sweet girl and of course, we know Emma is the sweetest girl in the entire universe (MOST of the time!) But lately, when the two of them get together, they are EXTREMELY competitive! It seems whatever they do, it's a contest to see who has the biggest cookie or who finishes first or who draws the prettiest picture. I know it's just a phase (I hope). Helen's mom and I just roll our eyes when the girls get going. We try to curb the behavior, but it's pretty comical at the same time...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Scratch scratch

So it appears I have somehow developed a case of poison ivy. I did some weeding on Saturday morning before the heat got too bad. I took a shower as soon as I came in (primarily because I was concerned I might have come in contact with something, but also because Emma wrinkled her nose at me and said "Mama, you're STINKY!") But by Saturday night I had developed about 25 red welts all over my legs, which were extremely itchy. So far, it's manageble and I haven't gone to the doctor. Hopefully they'll just go away after a week or so. Several summers ago, I got a horrendous case of poison ivy that took two rounds of steriods and a couple of months to get under control. I don't think this is in that league. But I'll be happy when it's gone.