Sunday, January 28, 2007

Our crazy day

So here was our day on Saturday:

Leave house at 9:30 to go to Emma's gymnastic lessons.
Rush from gymnastic lessons to get to Emma's friend Emme's birthday party at Libby Lu (more on that later)
After two-hour party, go with some of the party people to eat at Rainforest Cafe because everyone is starving.
After almost two hours at Rainforest, rush across town to make it in time for our monthly playgroup with Emma's Chinese friends.
After playgroup, a bunch of us go out to eat at local Mexican restaurant.
Get home at 7:30 p.m.
Go to bed at 8:30 p.m. exhausted.

A long day, to say the least, but fun.

Okay, the birthday party at Libby Lu. For those of you unfamiliar with Libby's like they stuffed 500 princesses into a store and it exploded. If you have a girl into princess and girly girl stuff, it's heaven. In addition to the rows of little girl makeup, crowns, glitter, jewelry and hair accoutrements, you can book birthday parties where the guests can get makeovers. So Emma's friend Emme had her party there yesterday and let me tell you, these girls were on cloud nine. First you get to decide if you want to be a princess or a rock star (guess which one our girl picked!) Then you had your makeup done and your hair done. Here's what Emma looked like when her makeover was complete:

And here's a picture of Emma with Emme (who went for the rock star look)

I didn't mind this whole thing too much because they went really easy on the makeup and they did such an incredible job on Emma's was so cute (if you click on the picture of Emma and Emme, you can see upclose how wonderful Emma's hair looked,) I have to tell you, when I saw her after they got done working on her, I actually got tears in my eyes. I have always thought Emma was just about the cutest girl on the planet. But when I saw her like this, I got a glimpse into the future of what a beautiful young woman she was going to be. Probably way too soon for me.

But when we got home last night, it was into the tub to scrub off the makeup and the hair glitter. So I've got my little 4-year-old girl back now.

Today it's church and we're hooking up with our friends Dana and Jia this afternoon. When I'm going to clean the house, do laundry and go grocery shopping is up in the air.

Hope all of you are enjoying your weekend!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Months vs. years

Last night after work/school, Emma and I went to Target to get a birthday present for a friend of hers and then went out for dinner (hey, it's been a long week.) So Emma and a little girl were hanging out in the play area and I started chatting with her mom. I asked how old her little girl was and she said "39 months."

Excuse me...I was unaware I was going to have to do math when I got into this conversation. So now I have to get out my rusty mental calculator and think "okay, 39 divided by 12"...oh, so she's THREE.

It is my personal opinion (and therefore should be the law) that you have to stop reciting your child's age in months at in 23 months. I'm sorry, after that you just have to say "two." If you like, you can be more specific, such as "she just turned two" or "he's two-and-a-half" or "she'll be three in March."

Which brings up the question...when do you stop saying "and-a-half?" I frequently told people Emma was two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half. But I can't remember ever telling someone she was four-and-a-half. Maybe four should be the cutoff for that, since I have taken it upon myself to lay down these rules. I certainly know I would roll my eyes if someone told me their child was six-and-a-half.

Of course, the really sad part is, I spend more time thinking about these matters than I do on issues like whether the troop surge will make any difference in Iraq.

Such is my life these days...sigh!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snowmen and angels

The last thing we really needed after last week's ice storm was six inches of snow. But that's what we got last night. It was that heavy, wet snow that is a nightmare to shovel. I spent an hour this morning shoveling out our driveway - it will be a miracle if my back doesn't totally spaz out, which tends to happen when I overdo things.

On the positive side, heavy, wet snow is the most fun to play in. So this afternoon Emma and I headed outside to the frolic in the winter wonderland. First, we made angels in the snow - which actually isn't all that easy in the heavy stuff. But it was still fun...

Then we attempted to build Emma's first snowman. It has been forever since I've built a snowman, and I'm telling you, it isn't as easy as I remember! But we managed to mold together a sad, pathetic-looking snow creature that in some ways resembles a man...

I swear, Emma is crouching down in a futile effort to make our snowman look bigger. Anyway, we had fun and I'm sure we will both sleep like logs tonight.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

My little Mary Lou Retton

Emma's arm has recovered nicely, so we went to our first gymnastic lesson today. Emma was very excited, but as I anticipated, got very clingy as the class began and I practically had to drag her onto the floor. Fortunately, the instructor took her under her wing and let Emma stand next to her during class. Here's Emma sitting next to her new little friend Cassidy...

After a very tentative start, Emma ended up having a great time. And at the risk of sounding like one of those delusional stage moms, she really seems to have a talent for gymnastics. She certainly has the physique for it. The other parents were commenting on how well Emma did on the balance beam (despite the uncertain look she has in this picture, she really did great on the beam.)

So I'm all ready to order our tickets for the 2016 Olympics - wherever they may be - because Emma will no doubt be the captain of the U.S. gymnastics team by then (kidding!)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Okay...what happened here?

No, despite the fact that our entire metropolitan area is a skating rink, Emma did not fall down on the ice. We finally got out of the house yesterday and we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant after running some errands. While we were sitting in our little booth, a waiter dropped a glass on the floor and, as she leaned out to see what had happened, Emma fell right out of booth and onto the hard floor.

I guess I should have known something serious had happened when she didn't cry. Normally, Emma breaks into hysterical tears for like 90 seconds every time she has any kind of little mishap. But after this, she just sat on my lap with this pale, pinched look on her face. She said she was fine, but when we got home, and I got her pjs on, she started crying and crying, saying her arm hurt. These are the moments when the parenting books really don't help much. I just sat there with her in my lap, wondering if I should just give her some Tylenol and put her in bed, or if we needed to get to a doctor. I knew she didn't have a fracture or anything because she could bend her arm and wiggle her fingers. But when she didn't stop crying, I bundled her up and headed out to the closest emergency room.

What a madhouse...there were like 40 people waiting to be seen, the majority of whom had wiped out on the ice and broken arms, legs, tailbones or heads. Shockingly, they got to us fairly quickly (like after 30 minutes.) They examined her, x-rayed her arm and said she had a small crack in one of her elbow bones. Not enough to put on a cast at this point, but she needs to keep her arm in a sling for a week or so. If it still really bothers her after a few days, we may need a cast.

When we got home, I dosed her with Tylenol, put her into my bed and then crawled in with her. She fell right asleep and I watched the rest of the Golden Globes. Emma whimpered all night in her sleep, especially when she rolled over on her arm. Her school was cancelled today so we're home, trying to recuperate from our little freak accident.

Ah...the adventures of parenting! It's certainly never boring!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Still shut in...

...but appears the storm is finally coming to an end. After 48 straight hours of sleet, the precipitation has turned to snow and should be ending soon. Hopefully we can dig out later today and get to the grocery store at least!

We've been entertaining ourselves fairly well. It helped that Emma took at 2.5 hour nap yesterday...that makes a tremendous difference in how the day goes. Last night, we decided to make a fort with the clothes basket and Emma's khakis (blankets!)

Emma also got her first introduction to the IPod...I've never let her use mine because I didn't want to start her on the road to hearing impairment so soon. But I turned the volume down low and loaded some of her favorites, like Hilary Duff, Laurie Berkner and Dora - and she listened for quite awhile...

So I guess we're going to make it out of this mess with our sanity in tact. However, I do think we're going to take a break from playing Go Fish and Crazy Eights for awhile...I swear, we've played about a hundred games of cards over the past two days!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cabin fever much of the Midwest, we are in the middle of a winter storm. It's that lovely "wintery mix" of sleet, freezing rain and snow that makes life miserable. It started yesterday afternoon with a nasty sleet storm. Emma's school closed at noon so I went to get her and we made it home by 1 p.m.

Now please don't misunderstand...I love spending time with my daughter. We never seem to have enough time together really. However, the prospect of being stuck inside with a 4-year-old for three straight days (which is how long this storm is supposed to last) would fill most parents with dread. By 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, I was getting weary of hearing "Mommy, play with me" and "Mommy, I'm bored" and "Mommy, can we GO somewhere?" And we probably had at least two more days of this!

Fortunately, the relentless pelting of ice and snow let up for a couple of hours late this morning and we ran out to Target and met some friends for lunch. But then it started up again and it's back to the house (with the walls slowly closing in...) It's not that Emma and I can't entertain ourselves...we can - but not for 12 straight friggin' hours! We are just used to being on the go a lot, I guess. are some pictures from our lovely weekend so you can see, being stuck inside has made Emma a bit goofy too.

I convinced her to try on her new swim suit (see yesterday's post) - I think she likes it!

Later, I let her pick out whatever she wanted to wear - since it appeared we weren't going to be going anywhere. This is the ensemble she came up with...

I think she thought the diaphanous pink skirt, the fur-trimmed pink sweater and the pink Crocs went together because they are all pink.

Finally, I think this kind of sums up our mental state right now...

We're going a little crazy!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gymbo spree

For those of you who don't live in the Gymboree universe, it's time to redeem your Gymbucks. So yesterday during my lunch hour, I dashed over to the nearest Gymboree to see what looked cute (uh, just about everything!) It was the usual madhouse there. Even though they had tons of winter clothes marked way down, I was in the mood to get Emma something for summer - despite the fact that warm weather is months away.

I spied this adorable swim suit and knew it was perfect for my gal. I can't wait to see her running (WALKING) around the pool this summer in this. Of course, I had to buy the matching sunglasses and picked up a couple of cold weather tops super-cheap. But it's the swim suit I was most excited about.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mommy Einstein

It was a fairly nice winter day on Sunday, so Emma and I headed to the park to get some exercise. We were hiking around the park and there was a huge pine tree with scads of pine cones underneath. Emma walked around the tree, picking the biggest and best pine cones. We put them in a plastic bag, along with a few acorns. I suggested that maybe we could buy some glittery spray paint and little sparkly jewels and decorate them. Emma's eyes got really big and she said "Mommy, that is SUCH a great idea!"

So we went to Michael's and spent $12 on spray paint and glue-on jewels to decorate a few pine cones. But hey...your kid thinking you're a genius...priceless.

I'll have to remember this day ten years from now, when everything I say to Emma will be greeted with a roll of her eyes to show what a total idiot she thinks I am!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Switched at adoption?

Not only do Emma and I look nothing alike...we are very different individuals.

I was always a bit of a tomboy. I played on the basketball, tennis and badminton teams while in school, and still enjoy playing in a volleyball league today. Emma has no interest in anything remotely athletic. She is at the age now where many of her little friends are signing up for soccer and t-ball, but she has absolutely zero enthusiasm for the idea. I have signed her up for gymnastics lessons beginning next week, but that is about as athletic as she'll get, and I'm not even sure how that will go.

Emma's interests center totally around being a girly-girl. She loves prancing around in princess dresses, wearing tiaras and sparkly shoes. She adores putting on makeup. I'm one of those women who puts on just enough makeup so I don't scare people when I'm out in public. Emma could sit in front of her grandma's light-up makeup mirror for hours, applying eye shadow, blush and lipstick. Sure, sometimes she puts the eye shadow on her cheeks and the blush on her eyelids, but she knows more about makeup than I do.

The point I'm making is...there could not be two more different people than the two of us. So here's my theory...

When Emma's dossier was in the matching room, so was Elizabeth Taylor's (for the sake of argument, let's forget the fact that Liz is about 30 years past the CCAA age limit for parents.) So Liz's file and my file are right next to each others in a pile. And a brand new worker in the matching room is working on the dossiers. But he's a little confused and distracted because it's his first day and he accidently staples the baby meant for Liz onto my dossier, and she was matched with Emma.

So while I have this girly-girl, Elizabeth Taylor is sitting in her mansion in Beverly Hills with all her tiaras and jewels and perfume and makeup - and she has a little girl who asked for a lacrosse stick for Christmas.

In all seriousness, Emma and I might have widely varying interests at this point. But she has always been, and always will be, the perfect child for me...I guess the CCAA knew what they were doing!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

And the award for the world's worst mom goes to...

...ME! Yesterday we decided to take advantage of all the New Year's sales and do a little shopping. I needed a couple of jackets or sweaters to get me through the winter, so we stopped at a favorite clothing store to browse. Apparently about a thousand people had the same idea, because the place was packed.

I saw a skirt I liked and was flipping through the rack to see if they had my size. When I turned around, Emma was nowhere to be found. I start walking around, calling out "Emma." I circled the store, but I couldn't find her. Although I am really kind of paranoid about child predators, that really didn't enter my mind (if you were a child predator, would you head to Coldwater Creek to see if there was any action? Probably not.) But I was concerned she might have left the store or something and was outside.

I was about to head outside when I heard someone's voice saying "Donna...Donna." So I started running around the store, trying to find the voice. Finally, I spotted a sales clerk holding Emma, who had tears running down her face. I ran up and got her and thanked the woman and apologized. I felt like every eye in the place was on me, a mom who was too busy shopping for herself to keep track of her kid. I kept telling Emma how sorry I was that I got lost. She said in her tiny voice "That's all right, Mama. I still think you're a good mom." Stab me in the heart, why don't you?!

I felt so guilty about the entire incident that I played Barbies with Emma for TWO HOURS when we got home. And I let her sleep with me last night, which is a real sacrifice for me, since Emma thrashes about at night like a wounded wolverine and also talks in her sleep.

I can't believe this is the first time in our four years together that I have lost Emma at a store. I guess that's pretty good, but I still feel badly about the whole thing.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

We spent New Year's Eve with our friends Dana and Jia...

So Happy New Year from Princess Emma and Princess Jia!

(and their moms too!)