Saturday, September 29, 2007

Extreme Makeover - Emma Edition

When it comes to home decorating, I tend to do things in spurts. I won't touch a thing around the house for a year, and then I become totally obsessed and start tearing everything apart. We are definitely in a "tearing apart" period right now.

I just had new kitchen countertops put in and decided I didn't like the color of the kitchen walls with the new counters. So last night, I started ripping down wallpaper (perhaps my all-time favorite home decorating chore - NOT!) Emma was excited and offered to help...

We got all the wallpaper down, but there are still a lot of spots where the glue is stuck to the walls. So it looks like tomorrow will be a wetting, scoring and scraping kind of day.

In the meantime, I had our bathroom sink hauled away to be refinished. It is an ancient cast iron pedestal sink that I love, but it was definitely in need of a little sprucing up. So we'll be without a bathroom sink for a week, which means brushing our teeth using the bathtub. That was fun for one day, but now we're over it.

Who knows what else I'll decide to tear up or out during this manic decorating phase. If only Ty Pennington would swing by to help out!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Our moony arty weekend

What is it about fall? It seems there is so much going on and everyone (including us) is so busy. I was trying to find a weekend day in the next month that we could go apple-picking, but we honestly don't have any time to do it.

We've been on the go all this weekend as well. Yesterday was our local FCC group's Moon Festival, which is always loads of fun. The weather was sunny and warm and the festival was at a really neat park this year. Emma and her pals had a blast...

After staying to help clean up, we didn't get home until almost 9 p.m. I think I was more tired than Emma, but we both headed straight to bed and fell right asleep.

Today, we skipped church (bad mommy!) to head out early for one of our favorite annual events...a huge local art fair. They have tons of activities for the kids and Emma had so much fun...

We must have run into at least 20 of Emma's friends really is such a great place to take you kids. It was extremely hot out though, and we're pretty pooped. But I still haven't cleaned the house and gone to the grocery store. So somehow, we've got to summon up the energy to get those things done before the day totally slips away. At least I had the foresight to get the laundry done Saturday morning!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Queen of the roller derby

Well, I cheated death (or at least permanent paralysis) today. We were supposed to meet a group of friends this afternoon at the zoo, but it was a cool and rainy day, so we opted for the rollerskating rink instead. This probably was not my number one choice, being that Emma had never rollerskated and I hadn't for a good 20 years. But we went along with the majority and ended up at a super-crowded roller rink for the afternoon.

The one thing I remember about rollerskating ARE going to fall down. If you don't hit the floor because of your own clutziness, some flailing child is going to grab onto you and take you down with them. And let's be honest my age, taking a fall on a hard roller rink floor...let's just say that it's not out of the realm of possiblity that a DNR order will be needed at some point. When you're a kid and you fall on your bum, you pop right back up. When you're closer to fifty than forty (as I am now), when you fall on your bum, traction is almost always the result.

But my girl and I bravely laced on the skates and began to tentatively make our way around the rink, clinging to the wall for dear life. I think it took us like 45 minutes to make it all the way around, while fearless little kids zipped by us at lightning speed. But we made it and we didn't fall down once (I'm sure I would be writing this from a hospital bed if we had.)

Anyway, I wouldn't say I had a great time, but it was a small victory to try something I hadn't in a long time and live to tell the tale. Emma had a decent time, although she said she would have rather gone bowling (a much safer sport for both of us.)

Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera to capture any of this thrill-seeking for posterity. But here's a pic of Emma at bathtime tonight. I think we'll both sleep well tonight!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My little Daisy

Emma had her first Girl Scout meeting this afternoon after school. In Kindergarten, Girl Scouts are called "Daisies." Then they move up to Brownies next year. Here's Emma in her little Daisy tunic...

At their first meeting, the Daisy Scouts colored a picture, had a snack, painted flower pots and planted some daisies. Quite a bit to cram into an hour! Here is Emma with her friends Raina and Sydney...

The meeting ended with the traditional Daisy Scout circle (or at least I think it's traditional!)

The troop has all kinds of field trips planned this year, including an outing to a pizza parlor to make pizza (cool!) and a trip to the Build-A-Bear Workshop store (Emma's already looking forward to that!)

I think Girl Scouts will be a great experience for Emma...tragically, it was one I never had. Somehow, I ended being drafted into the far inferior Camp Fire Girls (no offense to any former CFGs out there.) So I guess I will be living vicariously through Emma's Girl Scout adventures!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

One sign fall is near...

...we had to start raking leaves today. We have a tree in the backyard that starts losing its leaves in late August, so we spent an hour or so raking leaves this afternoon. Emma loves raking (I know that will change someday!)

After raking, we went to Michael's and bought some Halloween arts and crafts stuff. By arts and crafts stuff, I mean like a all-but-preassembled foam haunted house that we put more foam stickers on. Trust me, it's not like I'm crocheting Emma's trick-or-treat bag or anything.

BTW, the Jane Brown thing went very well...extremely emotional and informative. Last night, Emma and I had our first real discussion about her birth parents. Much to my surprise, she has some definite ideas about them (for example, she thinks they are dead.) But I listened to her and told her anytime she wanted to talk about them, I would be happy to listen. I think it will end up being a very good thing that we went. I'll write more about it later, when I have a chance.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Jane Brown playshop

Our local FCC chapter is sponsoring a Jane Brown playshop this weekend. For those of you who don't know, Jane Brown is a nationally-known adoption social worker who works with young adoptees and their families on better understanding what it feels like to be adopted. She is not without controversy. Some adoptive parents don't subscribe to her theory that ALL adoptive children are going to have issues at some point in their lives and you, as a parent, need to learn to deal with it.

As a parent of an adoptive child who, thus far, hasn't shown a great deal of anxiety about being adopted, or even a whole lot of interest in the subject, I wonder if I'm doing the right thing taking her to this playshop. I've talked to some of our friends who are attending and I think we're all concerned that our children are going to be upset by what's discussed and it might open up a Pandora's box of emotion for our girls. Before I signed us up, I read several accounts of the playshops written by parents and every single one of them had the same concerns. But they all said that they were so happy they attended.

I guess my feeling is, it's unlikely that just attending this event will lead to Emma experiencing full-blown grief for her birth mother or something similar. Unless that was already there hidden inside, in which case, we need to deal with it.

Anyway, keep you fingers crossed that this ends up being a valuable experience for us...I'll let you know what happens.

P.S. You can read more about the Jane Brown playshops here, if you're interested.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A sight you don't often see...


My poor daughter is cursed with the same problem I have...long skinny legs and no butt or tummy (okay, you can quit laughing now.) I have not been able to find a pair of jeans to fit her in like two years. If they fit around the waist, they're too short. If they're the right length, they fall off.

I saw these Disney Princess capri jeans at Macy's yesterday. They're 3Ts and I thought they might fit her and it wouldn't really matter if they were a bit short. I wasn't sure if Emma would go for them because she's worn knit pants for so long, I thought she might not like the stiffer feel of denim. But she was so excited and insisted on wearing them right away.

I think she looks pretty cute in them. Plus, I got the pants and shirt for $7.00!

P.S. just to reassure you, Emma did not fall right after this picture was taken! It looks like she's about ready to tip over!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Summer must really be coming to an end...

...because we had our last outing to the pool yesterday. Although the water was a little brisk, we had a great time.

We always seem to run into someone we know at the pool and yesterday was no exception. Emma got to hang out with her pals Jia and Ella...

Even though autumn is my favorite season, I'm always a little sad when summer is over. Work and school suddenly take on a more serious tone. But we've had a pretty good summer and I am looking forward to fall and cooler temperatures. Emma's already excited about Halloween and, heaven help me, Christmas.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A mommy and me day

Well, I guess I've somewhat recovered from my lousy Friday (or more likely, I've just decided not to dwell on it this long weekend). Since we've been majorly busy the past couple of weekends, Emma and I spent the day together, just the two of us, on Saturday.

She had been pestering me to take her to one of those "edu-tainment" kids places that we hadn't been to in awhile. So we hung out there for like four hours. Here's Emma having some fun in the ball pit...

We came home and rested up a bit and then headed to a popular outdoor shopping area. We managed to hit both Gymboree and Children's Place, which were both having sales. I'm starting to buy fall and winter clothes for's always kind of fun to start buying stuff for the new season. What's I need to do in the next few weeks is start weeding out Emma's old summer clothes. It's hard, because it's still warm and probably will be for the next few weeks, so I can't toss all her summer stuff. But both her closet and dresser are bulging with old summer and new fall clothes. So something's got to go pretty quick.

Anyway, church this morning and we may try to hit the pool one last time today. The water is probably freezing, but it's supposed to be close to 90 today, so we'll see.

Enjoy your weekend, especially those of you that have Monday off too!