Friday, August 31, 2007

Crummy day...

Okay, yesterday was really not a very good day for me...

First, my car, which has been giving me loads of trouble lately, broke down on the way home from work. Fortunately, it stopped working right in front of Emma's friend's house, when I picked her up after school. But I had to have it towed to the shop and then deal with the hassle of getting a rental this morning. The car guys just called and said they think the transmission's bad. Gee, what will that run $2,000?! I don't know what to do...I just paid off this car last month. It's like Daimler-Chrysler got the last payment and pressed a button on some remote control computer and fried my car so I'd have to get a new one. Dang!

Second, I got a letter from my former health insurer that they weren't going to cover a recent health test I had to have because they claim I was no longer being covered by their insurance, even though I was still under their plan. So now I have to go through the hassle of somehow proving to them that they were covering me, while trying to fend off the hospital, which is pressuring me to cough up $1,200. I despise the insurance industry so much...don't even get me started.

Them last night, Emma's kindergarten teacher called to tell me that he's having major problems with Emma talking in class all the time. I was so shocked, mainly because Emma is usually very quiet and shy. Apparently she's coming out of her shell, because he says she won't stop talking with her classmates, even after he has told her to. She apparently spent some time out in the hallway yesterday because she wouldn't pipe down. He was really nice and said Emma's a very sweet and intelligent child, but it's something she needs to work on. He just didn't want me to get freaked out if Emma came home saying she had to stand out in the hallway. So I tried to talk to her about it after I got off the phone. She just started crying and said she wanted to go back to her other school. I know that's not true, but she was upset. I just told her she needed to concentrate on not talking while Mr. Thomas or one of the other children are talking. We'll see...

Somehow, this then morphed into a tearful conversation about how she doesn't like being the smallest one all the time. She's really at that age where kids are excited about being the biggest and weighing the most (that will end soon enough!) But for right now, it really bothers her being so tiny. Her friend Emme was over yesterday and both girls got on the scale. Emme weighed 52 and Emma just 30. She was not happy that 52 was more than 30. I kept telling her that she was growing and would catch up with her friends. At one point, she said "I wish I wasn't Chinese...then I'd be bigger" which made me sad.

Anyway, a very emotional day for both of us. I mean, compared to say, refugees facing genocide in Dafur or something, it wasn't really a horrible day. But for me, not my best...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Crazy Saturday

I think I've mentioned before that, when it comes to our social life, it always seems to be feast or famine. We either have a long weekend ahead of us with absolutely nothing to do, or we're booked from sun up to sun down. Well, yesterday was definitely one of our feast days. We left the house at 10 am and didn't get back until almost 8 pm.

First we went over to Emma's friend Helen's house because we hadn't seen them in awhile. The girls played out in the back yard for a little over an hour. Then we went shopping at Macy's for about an hour because they were having a big sale and I had a coupon burning a hole in my pocket. I bought a few things for myself, including one of those baby doll tops that are suddenly all the rage. It really is kind of stupid that I lose a lot of weight and then go out and buy a shirt that makes me look six months pregnant. Oh well. And I bought Emma a couple of new dresses, one of which she insisted on wearing out of the store.

From Macy's, we headed over to Macie's...Emma's friend Macie, that is, who was having her 5th birthday party. I have to say, it was one of the nicest birthday parties we've been to. For one thing, there were just three little girls invited, which was lovely. I don't know if I can take another party where there are 25 screaming kids running around like maniacs. This was perfect because all four girls are great friends and know and love each other. Here are Pacey, Emma and Macie...

And here are the girls, along with Logan, clowning around with their ice cream cones...

After the party, and a quick clothes change for Emma, we raced across town to a park and met our friends Kay and Jenna. We haven't seen them in awhile and Kay had recently had some surgery, so I wanted to see how she was doing (fine). The girls ran around the park for about 90 minutes while Kay and I caught up on things.

By now, it was 7 o'clock and Emma and I hadn't even had dinner. On the way home, we stopped at McDonald's (YUM!!! Mommy's favorite place!) Snapped this picture of Emma chowing down...

Then it was back home for a quick bath and I put a very tired girl to bed. Even though I was pooped, I stayed up late to watch my Netflix movie "Hot Fuzz" which I have to say was pretty hilarious.

We have a much less hectic day on tap today...Sunday school and church and then some grocery shopping and house cleaning (or chores, as Emma calls them.) Less fun, but we definitely could use a more laid back day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I am the mom of a kindergartener

Today was Emma's first day of kindergarten. We were so thrilled when we found out at the open house yesterday that Emma would have her summer school teacher, Mr. Thomas, for kindergarten. And a lot of her friends are in her class, so that's great too.

Although Emma had been talking about how nervous she was about going to kindergarten, she was all smiles this morning before we headed out.

When I dropped her off at school, I gave her a quick kiss and hug at the classroom door (as we were advised to do by the principal) and that was that.

I was totally shocked when I started crying out in the parking lot and bawled all the way to work. I had been telling myself the past week or so that going off to kindergarten just isn't the milestone it used to be, because most kids are in daycare and preschool these days. But it was obviously a bigger deal than I thought! The sight of Emma in her little plaid jumper and brand new mary janes was very emotional for me.

Emma didn't have a whole lot to say about her first day when I picked her up. This was her first day of total French immersion, so maybe she didn't understand much of what was going on. But she mentioned how much she loves her new school, so that's wonderful. We'll just have to wait and see how the year progresses...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bowl-a-rama extravaganza

One of Emma's little friends from school had a birthday party this afternoon. Thankfully, it WASN'T at Chuck E. was at a local bowling alley. So Emma got her first bowling experience. Here she is all decked out in her multi-colored clown bowling shoes, ready to hit the lanes.

Considering it was her first time, she did pretty well and really loved it. Of course, I held my breath everytime she lifted up her 8-pound bowling ball (bright pink). I was so sure she was going to drop it on her foot or some other kid's head. But that never happened. Here's my pint-sized Dick Weber and her friend Pacey watching their bowling ball S-L-O-W-L-Y make its way down the lane...

The most pins Emma knocked down on one throw was seven. I think that's pretty good. But then, I once bowled an eight...and I'm not talking about when I was a child. Another time, when I was an adult, I went bowling with my eight-year-old nephew and he creamed me. And, oh yeah, he had a broken leg at the time.

But I's Emma with her friends Logan, Macie and Pacey, and one of her with the birthday boy, Christopher...

We had such a good time that I think we can safely add bowling to our list of things to do when the weather isn't ideal for outside activities. Of course, it will be a little embarrassing if my five-year-old beats me at bowling! A real possibility, trust me!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Our wild weekend

We were very excited because we were supposed to meet my sister from Boston, her husband and their two kids in St. Louis this past weekend. After work on Friday, I rushed to pick up Emma from school and hit the road for the four hour-plus trip. About 10 miles out of town, our car's electrical system suddenly failed! That means no radio or DVD, no opening the windows and locks and, most critically, no air conditioning. I was in a total panic. I pulled over and restarted the car and the system came back on, but kept fritzing out. I knew there was no way we could go so I turned around and headed back home.

Emma started crying and wailing "But I want to see my cousins." And I did too, of course. So on the way back home, I called the car rental place near my house (unfortunately, I have them on speed dial.) They had one car left. So we raced over there, drove our car home, with the car rental guy right behind us. Dumped all of our stuff into the rental car and took off again for St. Louis. The trip was fairly uneventful until we hit a blinding rain storm about 30 minutes from our hotel. I mean, a traveling-20-miles-an-hour-on-the-interstate rain storm. And, of course, with a rental car, it was fun to try to figure out how to work the windshield wipers and all that stuff in a torrential downpour. It was past 9 pm when we finally got to the hotel...we were so happy to get there!

After a good night's rest, we revved up for a day of fun with Emma's cousins. Since it was 100 degrees over the weekend in St. L, we decided to forego the zoo and other outdoor activities. We spent a good part of the day at the Science Center, which the kids loved. Here are D.J., Emma and Brennan goofing around...

The next morning, we checked out of the hotel and decided to brave the hot and humid conditions and go to Grant's Farm, which is always fun. Emma was excited because she got to pet one of the Clydesdale horses...

I think what excited Emma more than anything was eating her first snow cone!

Anyway, after a long morning at Grant's Farm, we had to head back home. We hadn't gotten very far at all when Emma started wailing that she didn't have her khaki (blanket). I pulled the car over and tore through the car looking for it. I just KNEW I had put it in the car when I packed up everything that morning. By now, Emma was crying and I was pretty close. I'm sure all of you with kids have had that moment of panic when your child's most prized blanket/stuffed animal, etc. goes missing. So I called the hotel and asked them if they had found a child's blanket in our room. After an interminable wait, the girl gets back on the line and tells me housekeeping had the blanket and they would hold it for us. So I turned back to St. Louis to get the blanket. I don't know who was more or Emma!

So we're back after a nice weekend, despite all the little bumps. Now I'm dealing with car repairs and rental cars, school and work...back to reality!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Random photo

Yesterday, I had a photo shoot rescheduled at the last minute and I had to run and get Emma before I headed out to the shoot (yes, it's fun being a single working mom at times!) Anyway, we were working with this really great photographer Kenny on this shoot. While they were setting up the lighting, Kenny turned a took one quick snap of Emma. He sent it to me this morning...I think it's such a nice picture...

I'm amazed at how talented professional photographers can be...the guys I've been working with the past couple of weeks have taken some fantastic photos. They really are in a different league than us amateurs.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Things I've decided to be crabby about

Here are a couple of things that are making me cranky this week:


After starting and sticking with a diet for more than six months, I've lost like 35 pounds. However, I haven't lost any weight in more than three weeks...nothing, zip, not even an ounce. Sure, it could be that I've hit that dreadful dieting plateau where you can't seem to lose anything, no matter how hard you try. But I think it's more likely that I've gotten a bit fast and loose with what I'm eating. I came to this epiphany while eating some of Emma's nachos grande at Taco Bell the other night (something I normally wouldn't touch - I don't even like them that much!) So I need to re-commit myself so I can lose this last ten pounds.


I have come to the conclusion that Emma has developed a case of the "gimme gimmes." I should preface this by saying that in the past, Emma seldom, if ever, has demanded anything. On the rare occasion when we were at the store and she asked for something, if I said no, that would be the end of it. But lately, I'm noticed little signs that this is starting to change. A couple times when I've picked her up from school, she has asked "did you buy me anything today?" And she's starting to see commercials on tv and asking if she can have this or that. I really think this is more of a mommy problem than an Emma problem. I have probably been buying her too much stuff lately and I need to stop. I just love getting her toys and clothes. But I'm going to cool it before it gets out of hand and I end up with a spoiled, demanding child.


I feel like one of my best friends and I are drifting apart and I'm not sure why. Maybe we're taking our friendship for granted and neither of us is putting any effort into it. But I'm going to try to be better about emailing and calling her and getting together with her and her daughter.

Things I am actually happy about this week:


After sort of feeling lost the first couple of weeks, I'm finally settling into a groove with the new job. I've been insanely busy the last two weeks trying to get a magazine out, but it's been kind of cool running all around for photo shoots and working with the writers. I really think it's going to end up being a great job for me!


We're meeting my sister, her husband and their two kids this weekend in St. Louis. Emma adores her cousins, who she only seems to get to see 2-3 times a year. So we're looking forward to this. Hopefully we'll have a wonderful time, despite the predicted 90+ temps.

So, like most people, some good and some not-so-good going on in our lives. But I guess all things considered, we're doing pretty well and I shouldn't complain.