Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My little Jane Austen fan

Over the weekend, Emma and I were surfing channels, trying to find something other than Animal Planet (her favorite channel) to watch, when we came upon the 2007 film of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly. Jane Austen is my very favorite author, so we watched a bit of the movie. I told Emma that my favorite film version of Pride and Prejudice was the BBC miniseries starring dreamy Colin Firth (although I told her it starred the guy who plays Harry in Mamma Mia - that's where she knows him from.) I have it on DVD, so she asked if we could watch it. Geez, it's like five hours long, but since we were snowed in over the weekend, I let her start watching it.

Well, to say that she absolutely loves it is an understatement! Over the past several days, we've watched all but the last hour of it. Every day when she gets home from school, she starts pestering me about "when can we watch more of Pride and Prejudice?" She also wanted me to show her the book - I got out all my Jane Austen novels and pointed out that one of them is entitled "Emma", which is one of the reasons I picked that name for her. She asked if I could read her some of the books sometime - HECK YES!

I didn't start swooning over Jane Austen until I was in college...I'm getting such a kick out of the fact that she's become a fan at such a young age.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Seven-year-old checkup

Emma had her annual check-up yesterday. At age seven, she's 45 inches tall and weighs 37 pounds (she's gained 3 pounds in the last year.) She finally made it to the 10th percentile on the American weight charts - double digits! She is definitely a skinny little girl, but our pediatrician was raving about how healthy she is. She's had one cold in the past year and we had to go into the doctor one time this year for a rash thing. But other than that...smooth sailing.

Must be all those veggies I make her eat (HAHAHAHA!!!)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring break '09

Well, we made it back from our brief spring break trip to Minneapolis. We hit the road Tuesday morning and made it to the Twin Cities in just under seven hours. The weather was surprisingly mild for March and we had such a great little vacation.

Wednesday was our American Girl day...we went to the Mall of America American Girl store. I let Emma pick out a doll...her second American Girl doll (she got Julie two Christmas's ago.) She said she wanted one of the Just Like Me dolls...so she chose a doll with long black hair. So meet the newest member of our family...Gwen!

After getting Gwen's ears pierced ($14!), we had lunch at the American Girl Bistro. It was quite lovely and they brought Emma a little bag with AG goodies because we were celebrating her birthday (a little late!)

I just have to inject here...I am pretty sensible about money, but something happens when we're on vacation...money suddenly has no meaning. I somehow felt it was necessary to spend $24 on a little backpack for Emma's new doll. I would never spend $24 on a backpack for Emma, but somehow spending $24 on a teeny tiny backpack for this 18" doll is not a problem! In my defense, the backpack did come with a teeny tiny cell phone and a teeny tiny three-ring binder and a teeny tiny day planner. So really, it was a bargain.

Anyway, after the American Girl doll experience, we wandered around the Mall of America for a little while and played a round of mini-golf at the course there. After playing one hole and shooting in double-digits, we wisely decided not to keep score and had a good time...

We did a bunch of other stuff while we were in Minneapolis...we went to the aquarium and the Nickelodeon theme park (Emma's first ride on a rollercoaster!)

We were so excited that we got to meet up with Julie and Tess one evening while in town. I've been reading Julie's blog for like five years - it was so fun to finally get to meet her and Tess in person. We tagged along with them when they were getting Tess' pictures taken. After awhile, the photographer asked if Tess wanted to take a few with her sister (Emma!) We thought that was hilarious, since the two girls had met for the first time like 5 minutes earlier. But Emma jumped in and the two girls had their picture taken together...

They were quite adorable, I have to say.

Anyway, that was our nice little spring break...we had such a fun time. At one point, Emma said "Mommy, this has been the best day of my life." That makes it all worth it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Our Great Wolf Lodge adventure

Well, after being postponed once because of the weather, we finally had Emma's little birthday celebration at the Great Wolf Lodge this weekend. She invited her two best friends, Emme and Sydney...we left about noon on Saturday, stayed all night at the GWL and came back early Sunday afternoon. There were a few dicey moments (about two hours after arriving at the lodge, Sydney starting sobbing that she wanted to go home.) But we got through that and everyone ended up having a good time.

Here are the girls outside the T-Rex cafe where we had Emma's birthday lunch...

We hit the water park at the GWL shortly after we got there...here are the girls right before they jumped in the water...

It was so incredibly crowded there, it was not too enjoyable for me - although the girls didn't seem to mind. The water was nice and warm and they had a good time running around. That place is so loud, I had a splitting headache by the time we left.

For dinner, we just ordered a pizza and I actually got everyone in bed by 10 and after a little giggling, they were out like a light and no one woke up until 7:30. Everyone wanted to go to the water park again before checkout. It was so much less crowded first thing in the morning and everyone (including Emma) had a much better time.

Then it was time to pack up and check out...the girls were starving so we made a quick McDonald's run before I dropped everyone off. Emma and I are both tired, but she has horseback riding lessons later this afternoon. Thank goodness next week is spring break. On Tuesday, we'll be heading to America's spring break playground...Minneapolis (most people head south...we head north!)

Friday, March 06, 2009

The tutor

For the first time ever, Emma is struggling in school a little. She's doing well in all her subjects except one...reading, which admittedly is a big one. Part of it is that she goes to a French immersion school and is taught all day in French, with the exception of one hour of English reading every day. When we enrolled in the school, they told us that many parents panic because their children aren't reading well by the end of first grade and that almost everyone would catch up by second grade. And, of course, I am now panicking because Emma is not reading all that well in English (she actually reads better in French.)

I talked to her reading teacher and she said although she was sure Emma would catch up next year, if I was that concerned, she could recommend a reading tutor who works with a lot of the kids in our school. We met with the tutor last night and after evaluating her, she said Emma is obviously very bright, but that she was having some problems with long and short vowels and some consonant combinations. So we're going to start going twice a week and the tutor said Emma would almost certainly be reading at grade level by the time school starts next fall.

I'm sure some will think I'm overreacting. But I would rather be proactive and not take the chance of her falling further behind. I just want her to love reading so much.

On a more positive note, here is what Emma wore today...because it was 80 DEGREES OUT!

Of course, it's not going to stay that warm (I wish!) It's supposed to be about 60 tomorrow and rainy. But that's sure better than snowy and 20, which is what it was last Saturday!