Saturday, January 31, 2009

We are the champions, my friends!

Emma was in her second horse show today (she participated in her first this past November and finished second in her class, which was thrilling.) I was not optimistic about her repeating her good showing this time around...she had been bumped up from beginner class to intermediate and she hasn't ridden very much the past two months because of the cold weather and being out of town.

Anyway, this will give you an idea of how she did this time around...


First place in her class!!! I couldn't believe it...she beat a 15-year-old and an 11-year-old, among others. I was worried because at one point, one of her feet came out of the stirrups and she had to bend over to get her foot back in. But I guess the judge missed it because when they announced the standings, she had won!

The mother of the 15-year-old, who finished fourth, was not thrilled. After the class was over, she said in a loud stage whisper "Well, of course she won...she's so tiny and cute." Sarah, our trainer, overheard her and said "The only reason she won was that she rode better than anyone else today." The woman looked a little chastened but gave me a couple more glares. I swear, some equestrian moms can give pageant moms a run for their money.

But it was a wonderful day. It's kind of bizarre how excited you can get when your child performs well at something. It's not like I did anything...except pay for the lessons!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The home fires burning...

A few weeks ago, a fellow mom and I were discussing when it was that kids stopped having big birthday parties. Last year, it seemed that Emma was invited to some huge all-class birthday party every other weekend. This year, I think we've been to two parties so far. My friend and I agreed that it was in first grade that most kids (or more likely, their mothers) decided to forgo big birthday bashes in favor of much smaller affairs or no party at all.

So, of course, Emma promptly gets invited to two birthday parties this past much for my theory. She went to a slumber party Friday night and then went to another party Saturday afternoon at one of those big gymnastics places. Needless to say, she was pooped by Saturday night. She went to bed at 8 and didn't wake up until almost ten this morning. We skipped church (since she pretty much slept through it) and ended up going to see "Hotel for Dogs" (really cute) since it was too cold to do anything else.

When we got home, probably because of the cold, on total impulse, I decided to build a fire. I haven't used our fireplace since adopting Emma. Fire and young children just didn't seem to mix and making and tending a fire is a lot of work. But much to my surprise, I got a fire going in a short time and Emma was thrilled. I snapped a couple photos of her in front of our blazing inferno...

Unfortunately, we didn't have any marshmallows to roast...but it was still fun. Now I'm sitting here waiting for the embers to die down so I can close the damper before I go to bed. This is the part of having a fireplace I don't like!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Horsey pants

I bought Emma her first official pair of jodhpurs for Christmas. I somehow tracked down a retailer who had a pair of size 4's. Emma was supposed to be in a horse show on Saturday and was saving her new horsey pants for that special occasion. But the show was postponed because of the cold weather. So Emma decided to wear her jodhpurs to her lesson on Sunday. They're a little big, but I think she really looks cute in them...

She really looks like a real equestrian in her pants. Next, she'll want an expensive pair of tall riding boots (not until her foot stops growing two sizes every year!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The "b" word

Emma has used the word "bored" several times in the past week or so. Last weekend, after we spent the day running errands and just hanging out, she told me she was bored and wanted to go over to a friend's house (not any particular friend...just any friend.) Then the next day, when I asked her if she wanted to go to the park, she asked if we could ask a friend to go too.

She used to be content to spend all her time with me, but I can see that time is coming to an end. I think I'm still her favorite person to be with, but I'm no longer the ONLY person she wants to be around. And I know a few years down the line, I will be the last person she wants to be with. Her friends are taking an increasingly bigger role in her life.

I understand that this is normal and it's a good thing. But it's really making me a little sad. It's the first sign that she's gaining some independence and that soon her life will not be my life. It's one of the most difficult thing a parent has to deal with. You love this little person so fiercely, but all too soon, it's your job to start to let them go and become their own person. I just wish I could hold her so close to me forever and never let go, but that is not the right thing to do.

Anyway, here's a photo of my squeaky-clean, not-so-little-anymore girl.

Friday, January 09, 2009

My award-winning daughter

At Emma's school today, they had a little awards ceremony for the kids. In every class, the teachers named a number of students to be recognized for being outstanding school who were kind and helpful to their fellow students and who did an exceptional job of following school rules. I was so happy that Emma was one of four students in her class who were given the award.

Here she is with her friend Emme, who was also recognized...

The girls also got special hall passes that mean they can go get a drink of water or go to the restroom whenever they want. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is to a first-grader.

Anyway, I was pretty proud...I'm glad that Emma is a smart little girl, but I'm even more pleased that she's a NICE little girl!

Okay, enough shameless bragging for now...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Mini-Christmas report

Because of the break-in, I haven't really had a chance to post anything about our Christmas. Outside of becoming crime victims, we really had a nice holiday. We spent several days at my parent's house - Emma loves being with her grandparents!

As is the case every year, although I try to keep it reasonable, Emma had quite a haul when it came to presents. But one gift was clearly her favorite...

Yes, despite my insisting to her for the past year that we would never be in possession of Butterscotch, the three-foot tall robotic horse, we are now the owners of Butterscotch, the three-foot tall robotic horse. I don't know if any of you have ever seen this horse, but it really is quite amazing and LARGE! My parents got an incredible deal on this thing, so it was hard to say no. And, of course, it is right in the middle of our living room, depsite my efforts to keep it in the playroom. Emma absolutely loves Butterscotch, though, so it is worth it. And it's cheaper than a real horse, which we will never own - unless I win the lottery or something equally unlikely!