Sunday, February 24, 2008

My baby is six

Emma turned six years old today. I simply can't believe I have a six-year-old daughter already and that I have spent more than five years with this amazing little person.

We didn't do anything spectacular up early and Emma opened her presents from Mommy (the Barbie party van was a huge hit - big surprise!) Went to church and horseback riding lessons. Then to Emma's favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner, where she ate four of her new favorite food - crab "racoon."

Just a special day with my special girl...but they're all special!

Happy birthday, sweetie!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Another #*@% snow day!

See Thursday's post...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another #*@% snow day!

We are home from school again today because we got hit with a ice/snow storm overnight - it's still sleeting out now. I think this is our fifth snow day this winter. These kids are going to be in school until July if this keeps up. Have I mentioned lately how totally and completely sick of winter I am? Oh yeah, I think I brought it up on my last post. Well, I'm even more sick of it now!

Anyway, I think this is not going to be one of those snow days where the snow stops and the sun comes out and you get to take your child out to lunch and to Target by afternoon. We are going to be stuck inside all day because of the ice. The weather forecasters (who I personally blame for this horrible winter we're having) are saying don't go anywhere unless you absolutely have to.

We did go outside for a bit this morning to chip away at the ice, to little avail. Here's my little snow princess helping shovel...

Well, I'm going to make a big pot of my homemade baked potato soup...definitely NOT low-cal, but delicious on a day like today. Hope you're warm and dry where ever you are!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Emma's 6th birthday party

Although Emma's birthday isn't until next Sunday, we had her 6th birthday party yesterday. I kind of like having her party the weekend before so we can have a more low-key celebration with just the two of us on her actual birthday.

I had been promising Emma for like a year that she could go to Libby Lu for a makeover before her birthday party, so off we went. Here is Emma, pre-makeover:

And her she is post-makeover:

I'm happy she went for the princess makeover, rather than the rock star makeover, which was what most of the little girls at Libby Lu were getting that morning. The girl that did Emma's makeover went light on the makeup and did a cute job with her hair. Emma was just in heaven, so I was happy too.

Anyway, we had her party at this really cute ceramics place. All the girls got to pick out a piece to paint, and I'm telling you, you've never heard a quieter birthday party! Here are the kids hard at work:

After about an hour of painting, we had cake and Emma opened her presents:

She got a lot of horsie stuff and art and crafts things, so she was excited. We managed to get all the girls corralled for a group picture before the party was over:

It was such a nice party and I think everyone had a good time. Sometimes kids parties can be so chaotic and everyone gets so wired. This was the antithesis of that. I'm happy we ended up having it at this place.

On the down side, we were supposed to get up early this morning and meet my parents and niece D.J. in St. Louis to celebrate Emma and D.J.'s birthdays (they share a birthday, which is cool.) Unfortunately, we got socked with yet another snowstorm last night and this morning and traveling was out of the question. Everyone involved is really bummed about it. I am so thoroughly sick of winter but there's no end in sight. The forecasters are talking about the possibility of two more winter storms this week alone.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

My new toy

Last week, I had my income taxes done and I'm getting a slightly bigger refund from the IRS this year (YES!) Most of it is going into savings, but I decided to buy myself a little present since I'm such a fabulous person (HAHA!) Although my little point-and-shoot digital camera has served us well, I've been dreaming about buying a great digital SLR for some time now. So this week, I finally took the plunge and am now the owner of this little beauty:

Yes, my friends, the Canon XTI with 10.2 megapixels of pure enjoyment. UPS delivered it last night and, of course, I didn't have a memory card that fit it. But I bought one today and here is the very first picture I took with the new camera:

Well, who did you think it was going to be?! Seriously, I think I'm going to love this camera. I know it will take me awhile to figure out all the bells and whistles and how to take great pictures without just setting the thing on automatic. And I'm already scouting out additional lenses and flashes, etc. But for now, I'm just so happy snapping away with my new toy. More pictures to can count on that!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy CNY!

Saturday was our local FCC chapter's Chinese New Year party. It's really the biggest event on our calendar and, although it's a ton of work for those of us who are board members, it's so much fun for everyone.

This was the first year that Emma pretty much took off with her pals and partied all afternoon. In the past, she has stuck fairly close to me, but she wasn't shy about running off and playing with her friends. Just another sign that my little girl is growing up (sigh!) Here's Emma with her very good friend Amy...doing their version of a Chinese fan dance...

A lot of the girls grabbed ribbons and ran around dancing until they practically collapsed!

I think the only sad part of the entire affair was that we are really starting to see the effects of the Chinese adoption slowdown. Normally at our CNY celebration, we see 25 or so new families with their babies. This year...three. And we live in a fairly big metropolitan area. It really makes you wonder how long these kinds of events will go on. Let's face it, as most girls get older, they are less and less interested in attending CNY festivals and the like. A good friend of mine with adopted daughters who are 8 and 10 didn't come for the first time this year...she said her girls were tired of going. I worry that as fewer girls are adopted from China, and those who are already here get older, events like our CNY party and Moon Festival will just fade away.

I hope I'm sounding the alarm prematurely...maybe Chinese adoptions will pick up soon and more babies will find their way to homes in the U.S. You can't help feeling that way when you see all the beautiful and happy girls (and a few boys) with their families.

Monday, February 04, 2008

And so it begins...

...I'm referring to Emma's love of everything equestrian and the drain it's going to put on my resources. Emma is becoming more and more enamored of horses with every passing week (and with every lesson she takes.) Because of my concern about her safety, this week I bought Emma her own riding helmet ($40). She's been using the ones at her barn, but I wanted her to have her own that fits well and that I know hasn't been damaged in any falls yet. We got the helmet today and she loves it - mainly because it's bright red!

Speaking of safety, Emma took her first tumble off a horse on Sunday. I about had a heart attack. She was riding bareback this week to learn more about how to control a horse with her legs, not just the reins. Her horse wasn't going fast, but she somehow slid right off of him, onto the soft dirt in the arena. She was fine, although she shed a couple tears. But she got right back on and finished her lesson. I was told falls are just part of riding horses and, in a way, I'm glad we got our first one out of the way. But I'd still be thrilled if I never had to see my kid flying off a horse again!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Casual day

Emma has to wear a uniform to school, but the first Friday of every month is casual day. So last night, I laid out her clothes for adorable Gymboree ensemble with cute little cupcakes on it. When it came time to get dressed, Emma looked with distain at the outfit I had chosen and said "I want to pick my casual day clothes." So she rummaged around in her drawers and picked her sparkly pink jeans and the High School Musical shirt her cousin had given her for Christmas. So instead of my cute little Gymbo girl, she looked like a tween-wannabe!

I guess it isn't that bad...she just looks more grown-up than I want her to be. WAH! I will have to put my foot down if she wants to start shopping at Limited Too though!