Saturday, May 31, 2008


After being very loose for about four months now, Emma has finally lost her first tooth! That thing has been hanging by a thread for about a month and it was driving me crazy. I was so convinced it was going to come out when I was out of town a couple of weeks ago. I was going to be so bummed if that happened. Granted, it's a small milestone, but a milestone nonetheless and I didn't want to miss it. Thankfully, it didn't budge while I was away.

So anyway, after attending her school's annual picnic last night, we got home and Emma was sitting on the couch watching her favorite program "Saddle Club." She just looked up and said calmly "Mommy, my tooth just came out" and handed me this teeny tiny tooth. I think I was more excited than she was!

So here is my little gap-toothed girl...

That gap will probably get bigger soon....her other bottom front tooth is already loose too!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Emma meets her literary heroine...

...well, at least one of them!

Last night, the Junie B. Jones Stupid Smelly Bus Tour came to our town. Emma LOVES the Junie B. Jones books. I know there are a lot of parents who can't stand Junie B. because she can be an obnoxious little girl at times. But we are one of those families who thinks she's a hoot. Sometimes when I'm reading the books to Emma, I'll edit out when Junie B. calls someone a stupidhead when she gets mad at them. And we talk about how, while we think the things Junie B. does are funny, that doesn't mean we act that way or say some of the things she says.

At any rate, we were very excited to learn the Junie B. Jones Stupid Smelly Bus Tour was coming to one of our local libraries. I picked Emma up from school and we raced to Chipotle for dinner (conveniently located across from the library.)

Before the show, I took Emma's photo in front of the Junie B. Jones bus...

I'm glad we got there early because there were at least 300 kids there with their parents. They announced it was the biggest turnout so far for the tour. We ended up snagging seats in the second row. The show essentially consists of an adult actress playing Junie B. and an actor playing Junie's bus driver Mr. Woo. I was kind of skeptical that a grown-up could play Junie B., but the actress was amazing and totally captured the essence of this little girl. Here they are...

I don't think I've seen Emma enjoy anything so much. She laughed non-stop and was totally mesmerized by the show...

After the show, the kids were allowed to take one of their Junie B. Jones books up to get stamped by Junie B. I was hoping to get a photo of Emma with the actress playing Junie B., but they were rushing kids through there so fast. So I just got Emma getting her book stamped...

Here's what her book looks like...

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I'm so glad we got to go. We started reading "Junie B. Jones: The Toothless Wonder" last night. It's about Junie B. losing her first tooth and the timing is perfect since Emma's about ready to have her first tooth fall out!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I know, I know... blogging for more than a week.

I have a good excuse though...I was out of town for work all of last week. Five days on a bus trip around the state with about 30 of my fellow university employees. I know it sounds like a living nightmare, but it was actually a lot of fun. However, it was very difficult being apart from my girl for five days and four nights. She did really well with my parents and we talked every night. But never again, if I can help it.

But we've had a wonderful three-day weekend, just hanging out together. Emma went to a birthday party on's a photo of her with the Incredible mask she got at the party.

Anyway, glad to be back...hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One of life's little constants... that Emma loves to sit in our clothes basket. I have a photo of her sitting in it when she was about one, but my scanner isn't working so I can't load it. But I do have one I took when she was about two...

And last night, I was cleaning the house when Emma called to me from the living room. When I went in, here's what I saw...

I don't know why, but every time I leave the clothes basket upstairs for any amount of time, she makes a little house out of it, even at age six. Fortunately for her, she's such a tiny gal, she'll probably still be able to fit in it when she's a teenager!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Star is Born - part deux

As many of you might recall (or more likely, none of you), Emma recently made her smash theatrical debut in a school play. Apparently word about her moving portrayal of Troll #3 has gotten around because she was asked to be in a television commercial.

Well, it was really a public service announcement for The Children's Miracle Network. She was in the commercial with Willie Wilson, a former All-Star baseball player with the Kansas City Royals. She had to run around and look like a baseball player and then recite some lines that were fed to her by the director. Here she is in her baseball stance:

And here she is with Willie Wilson after the shoot. He was so nice to her and kept asking her how she got to be so cute!

Anyway, she had fun and did a great job. So after conquering Broadway and television, I guess we'll be branching out into movies and a recording career now. My little Barbara Streisand is on her way, baby!

P.S. I hope you know I'm kidding about all this showbiz stuff!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day... all the moms and moms-to-be out there!

Emma and I spent most of the day at a beautiful botanical garden about 30 miles from here. We had a wonderful Mother's Day brunch (I will no doubt dream about the fresh berry tart tonight!) And then wandered around the gardens and nature trails for several hours. Here are a couple of photos...

I know Mother's Day is a day when you're supposed to appreciate your mom, and heaven knows God was smiling on me when he gave me my mother. She is the biggest influence on my life and my best friend in the world. But this day also reminds me of how incredibly fortunate I am to get the opportunity to be a mother too. It certainly wouldn't have seemed in the cards ten years ago...but somehow it all worked out and it's the most magical thing that could have ever happened to me. Through the grace of God, I get to parent this incredible little girl...which, hopefully, I won't screw up!

Friday, May 09, 2008

The model of restraint

Well, I MUST be feeling the economic pinch because I bought just one measley dress during Gymboree's Circle of Friends sale (you get 30% off everything.) Here is my sassy little girl modeling her new outfit...

AARGH! Could she not look so grown-up please?!

I'm serious about the economy, though. I really sat down the other night and figured out that I'm spending about $15 more a week on groceries than a year ago and $10 more a week on gas. That's more than $100 a month in additional food and fuel expenses...yikes!

Although I'm pretty good about clipping coupons and buying groceries on sale, it hasn't exactly been a religion with me. But it is now. I spent an hour yesterday on the computer searching for and printing coupons for my trip to the grocery store this weekend. And I poured through the grocery circular and wrote down all the sale things and am planning our week's menu accordingly. I should save more than $10 if my calculations are correct.

We've also been eating out too much, which has to stop. Well, not stop entirely, but we have to be smarter about it. For example...we have a sub place (a local joint, not Subway or Quiznos) that we both love. But we would easily drop $10+ eating there. But this week, we went on Tuesday, when kids eat free. And a bonus...because our city's MLB team won the night before, turkey subs were $2. So we ate there for less than $4.

Anyway, not to bore you anymore about this...I just think the economy is not going to rebound for awhile and my 2% annual raise this year is not going to come close to making up for inflation.

Plus, I've been trying to save up money (slowly) so Emma and I can go back to China in a couple years. That's going to be a super-expensive trip.

I'm sure many of you are in the same boat, so any tips you have for saving $$$ are appreciated!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

One crazy day

Today I had one rollercoaster of a day. The fun started at around noon when I discovered my wallet was missing from my purse. There's nothing like that wave of panic that rolls through you when you realized your wallet is gone. I pretty much think that when you lose your wallet, you might as well pack up and start a new life's that traumatic.

There have been several purses and wallets stolen in our building of late. My office complex is on a busy public street and people can just walk in without attracting much attention. I keep my purse in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet and although I don't lock it during the day, there are a lot of people in my particular office space and I have my own office with a door, so I didn't think I was a prime candidate for a purse thief.

Anyway, when I discovered my wallet was gone, I asked around the office if anyone had seen anything. We had several people out today and while I was at a meeting, the office was unoccupied for a short time. So there was certainly an opportunity for a fast robbery. Before calling the cops, I ran out to my car to make sure the wallet hadn't fallen out of my purse in the car, and even dashed home to see if I left it on the counter or something when I got Emma's lunch money out. But it was nowhere to be found.

So I went back to office pretty much in tears over the awful mess waiting for me. I called the campus police and they came over and I filed a report (like that would help in a case like this.) Then I called the bank and credit card companies to cancel my cards. I asked my boss if I could have tomorrow morning off to go to the DMV to get a new driver's license. Then you start to make a list of all the things that were in the wallet to be cards, AAA membership card, etc. Then you wail over the little stuff like photos you'll never see again. Not to mention the $50 bill I've had tucked away in my wallet for the past five years, just in case of an emergency. It was so demoralizing, but you just have to take a deep breath and tackle one thing at a time.

I had to leave work early because Emma had a dentist appointment. So I drove to her school (without a license, which makes me a nervous wreck) to pick her up. When I got to her classroom, Emma ran to me and threw her arms around me. Then she looked up at me with her sweet little face and said "Mommy, why did you put your wallet in my backpack this morning?"

I didn't know whether to jump for joy or burst into tears! I guess when I got her lunch money out this morning, for some unfathomable reason, I put my wallet in her backpack instead of my purse. I'm not a scatterbrained person...REALLY! It was just one of those total spaceouts - either that or I'm really getting old and my brain cells are dying off at an alarming rate.

Anyway, I was so overjoyed to be reunited with my wallet that I didn't even faint when Emma's dentist told me after her appointment that Emma would definitely need orthodontia and would probably have to be fitted with a palate expander in a couple of years.

I just hope tomorrow brings no surprises...I don't think my heart can take it!