Friday, September 29, 2006

Emma's first sleepover

Emma is going to her first sleepover tonight. Her friend Lola is having a birthday party tomorrow and her mom said she could invite one friend to stay all night tonight. So she invited Emma, who is VERY excited.

This is a pretty big deal to her, but even more so, for me. I have not been apart from my little girl for a single night since she was placed in my arms on December 9, 2002. It's going to be so weird not having her there tonight. I figure I'll either sleep like a log because I'm not subconsciously waiting to hear her call out to me. Or I won't sleep well at all because I know she's not sleeping peacefully in the next room.

This may be the first sleepover where the MOM calls and asks to bring the child home! I'm just kidding, but it is kind of a monumental event for us. I'm kind of teary thinking about how grown-up my baby is now!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It must have been a long day at school...

...because this is what happened on the way home!

Poor gal!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Halloween preview

When I asked Emma a few weeks ago what she wanted to be for Halloween, I expected the usual of the Disney princesses (last year, it was Cinderella, the year before it was Belle.) But much to my surprise, she said she wanted to be Lilo (from Lilo and Stitch.) I admit it, I have princess fatigue, so I was happy to hear this. Lilo is still Disney, but at least she's not a princess.

Anyway, Disney online has been having a great sale on Halloween costumes, so I ordered her Lilo costume a week or so ago. It came today and Emma wanted to try it on immediately. I know I'm biased, but I think she makes a pretty cute Lilo!

Of course, the danger of getting a Halloween costume too early is that she'll waver later and decide that she does, indeed, want to be Sleeping Beauty or Ariel. But I told her when I ordered it that she was going to be Lilo for Halloween and no changing her mind later. So far, she seems happy with her choice!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


So here's what Emma said when I asked her to say grace before dinner last night:

Dear God,
Thank you for our food. I promise to eat as much as I possibly can. Amen

No doubt about it...she's my kid!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Le art fair

Every fall, the city we live in has a huge art fair that draws artists from all over the country. Today, Emma and I skipped church (BAD MOMMY!) to get to the fair early (I hope God understands how bad the parking can get if you wait until the afternoon to go!) Anyway, we wandered around, saw some fantastic art that I couldn't afford, and spent the bulk of our time in the children's art area. I took a few pictures of our girl creating her own masterpieces.

If you look closely at the first picture, you might be able to see that Emma is still having a bit of difficulty with her name. About half the time, she writes it backwards, which is perfectly natural if you're a little kid who's left-handed. The intuitive way for her to write is from right to left, just like it's from left to right for right-handers. We're working on it, but she still tends to want to write it the way it feels more natural.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The littlest scrapbooker

Emma has spent a lot of time watching me work on scrapbooks (although not much lately - I've really fallen behind.) A couple months ago, she asked me if she could do a scrapbook, so I bought her an inexpensive one and have let her use some of my supplies to make her own pages. Today after school, she wanted to work on her scrapbook, so I dragged everything out and let her go at it.

This is one of the pages she did today:

Okay, so a couple of the stickers are upside down and there really was no reason for the "Happy Birthday" or "Girlfriends" stickers on it. But for a four-year-old, it's not bad. It's better than some of my earlier attempts!

BTW, the photo she used in her scrapbook picture was taken when she got into grandma's make-up's pretty hilarious!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hopscotch queen

Emma LOVES to play school and at home. She got a Disney Princess hopscotch set for Christmas and I've finally given up on ever putting it away. We play almost every night. I tried to take some pictures of her in action...they're not very good, but it gives you an idea...

I love this one because her hair is all poofed up!

I'm sure you're dying to know how well I play hopscotch these days. Well, let's just say I'm pretty good at throwing the little plastic hearts on the right squares...but gracefully hopping on one foot...those days are well behind me!

The L-O-N-G night

Well, I'm a total zombie today after a semi-sleepless night. I put Emma to bed a little after 8 and she fell right asleep. I went to bed at 10 after watching that new Studio 60 show. At around 11:30, I awoke when I heard Emma coughing really bad (her allergies are acting up big-time.) So I woke her up and gave her some Zyrtec. Went back to bed. Fell asleep finally. At 2:00 am, I hear Emma crying. I go in her room and ask her what's wrong. She thinks she sees a monster with scary eyes - our very first monster citing. I move some stuff around in her room so the monster goes away and she falls asleep quickly. Back to bed...takes 30 minutes to fall asleep again. 4 am...Emma calling out to me again. I go in her room and she's crying because she had wet the bed for the first time in I don't know how long. I take her wet jammies off, put her in my bed, strip her bed. Go to my room where she's already asleep and has positioned herself at a precise angle where there's no way I can lay down on my bed. End up trying to sleep on the sofa, to no avail, and finally just got up and read until 6 am. When Emma woke up, she wanted to know why she was in my bed - doesn't remember any of it!

Well, I'm sure one of us will have a good day!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Return of the heat

We've had a nice couple of weeks with cooler, almost fall-like weather. But this week, the temperatures starting edging up and it was 90+ today. So, of course, we went to the zoo, as we usually do when it's unbearably hot!

Actually, it was an outing with our local FCC chapter (of which I am a proud board member.) A bunch of families with kids from China met up and walked around the zoo, looking at the animals and riding the ponies. It was fun, but really draining because it was so friggin' hot. I only took a couple's one with Emma and her friend Mer squinting into the sun...

Hopefully it won't be as hot tomorrow because we're supposed to go to this local street fair/carnival's not a huge production, but Emma like to go because they have REAL cotton candy (not that dreck that comes pre-packaged in plastic bags.) My girl knows her cotton candy!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My daughter, the comedian

I've been so fortunate to have a daughter who possesses many endearing qualities, the most important of which is a great sense of humor (in my book, anyway.) Even at 8 months old, she loved to make people laugh. We would say "make a funny face, Emma" and she would roll her eyes or stick out her tongue. It was hilarious.

Well, now Emma has discovered the concept of jokes. Her favorites are knock-knock jokes. Here is a typical example:

Emma: Knock knock
Me: Who's there?
Emma: Boo!
Me: Boo who?
Emma: Boo carrot! GET IT? (peals of laughter ensue from both of us)

I guess someday she'll learn to tell real jokes. But her made-up jokes are pretty funny to me in the meantime...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our boring world

Emma has discovered the word "boring." Suddenly, everything in our lives is "boring"...from the park we're playing in, to the tv show we're watching, to the clothes I've laid out for her. Last night, after Emma pronounced that the dinner I'd made was boring, I snapped "you know what's really boring is hearing you say the word boring every five seconds!" Yes, I'm the mature one in this relationship. Needless to say, I didn't hear the word "boring" the rest of the evening. But I'm sure its return is imminent.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Emma's menagerie

There are a lot of little kids who like to sleep with one or two of their favorite stuffed animals...Emma is not one of those kids. She is currently sleeping with like 10 of her animals and the bed is getting a little crowded. She has a big Clifford dog, a Bambi, Lady (from Lady and the Tramp), Roo (from Winnie the Pooh), some big pink Disney cat, another little cat and about 5 horses of various sizes. Every night she has to arrange them just so before she lays down to sleep. If this keeps up, I'm going to have to get her a king-size bed!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More of the greatest inventions of all time

Every once in awhile, I stumble onto something that totally rocks our world. This week that happened...

A little history...about a year ago, my VCR went kaput and I've never bothered to get another one. We don't watch a tremendous amount of TV and I figured the VCR is pretty close to being an obsolete technology, so why bother? The problem has been that I haven't been able to record any programs for the past year. There are a couple of shows, like "24", that I would like to watch but miss because that is bath and story time for Emma. Plus, there have been a few kid's shows that I know Emma would like to see, but they're on during the day while she's at school.

So last week, kind of on an impulse, I called the local cable company to ask about their DVR service. The next day, they came to the house, hooked up a new box and - TA-DAH - we now have DVR, which is just like Tivo, without the $14.95 a month charge (DVR costs $5 a month.)

I know the novelty will wear off, but I am so totally in love with this thing! It's so easy to use. When I got it, I set it up to record any airing of "Go Diego Go" and "Wonder Pets", two shows Emma loves but can't see because they're on weekday afternoons. And I have recorded "When the Levee Breaks", the new Spike Lee HBO doc on Hurricane Katrina. The other cool thing is that if you come in and turn on a show halfway through, you can send it back to the beginning. Or you can pause it even though it's live TV. Totally cool.

I was a little worried that getting something like this would make us watch more TV than we should. But I think it's made us even more selective. We're only watching what we want, and haven't been turning on the TV and channel-surfing to whatever might be on, even if we're not wild about it.

I'm sure people who have Tivo or DVR are rolling their eyes at my enthusiasm. But it's new and fun and I love it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The rest of the weekend (in a nutshell!)

Even though the genius weather forecasters predicted rain for the entire Labor Day weekend, we saw brilliant sunshine pretty much all Saturday through Monday, with temps in the mid-70s. Perfect weather, in my book. When you've got an active young child and you're given the gift of this kind of weather, it means you spend a big chunk of time at the park, which is what we did.

We are blessed with an abundance of beautiful parks where we live. We probably have at least 30 great parks to visit, all of them with their own special appeal. I think we ended up hitting five or six of them over three days. These days, the number one thing Emma wants to do at the park is ride her bike. So we got plenty of that in.

Emma got her "big girl" bike for Christmas. When we first took the bike out this spring, she was pretty cautious and I would walk at a medium pace beside her. Now she's so confident that I really have to go at a slow jog to keep up with her (not that I can't use the exercise!)

Today, we headed to a park we'd never visited was lovely. The park is built around a lake and we walked around the entire thing.

Emma does spend a lot of her park time on the swings. I've probably taken 100 photos of her swinging and I've never been totally happy with any of them. Capturing the perfect picture of a child on a moving swing is difficult at best. But here's my latest attempt.

This picture might have been the one if Emma had been looking at the camera smiling. But there's always one little thing that keeps me from snapping the elusive perfect swing photo...maybe someday.

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend as much as we did!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The long far

There certainly was a time, when Emma was a little baby, when the prospect of a long holiday weekend without any concrete plans filled me dread. Don't get me wrong, I loved the time we spent together when she was a baby. But she was so little and couldn't play by herself or walk or really do anything, and that can make for a long three days. That time, however, is way past. We have a three-day Labor Day weekend and no real plans, but we can always seem to find something to do now. A four-year-old child is so much fun.

It was a bit overcast on Saturday, with temps in the mid-70s, so we headed to the zoo. I didn't take many pictures, but managed to get a decent shot of Emma in the vicinity of the elephants.

They have these little stone animals all over our zoo and Emma had a good time riding the hippo...

We probably walked three miles by the time the afternoon was over, but the weather was so pleasant that it didn't seem too much effort. I'm so happy the hot weather appears to be gone. I love fall and hope we're in for a long Indian summer.

I guess we should enjoy our nice leisurely long weekend, because the next several weekends are crammed with activities. It's feast or famine with us, and we're definitely feasting the rest of September!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


From the time she was a baby, Emma has loved artistic activities. She loves to color and paint so much and I really think she's got a talent for it. She started coloring in the lines when she was like two years old and her teachers at school have praised her skills in art class. Ugh, I sound like the worst kind of delusional bragging parent. It's just something she loves and is pretty good at.

Anyway, Target had this Parent Magazine art desk marked down this week and I bought it for Emma. Now she can sit on the couch or in bed and color to her heart's content. She's so excited!