Monday, November 17, 2014


The Halloween season started off with a trip to Ganyard Hill Farm, just like we did last year.  However, David got the sniffles and with all the hay and corn and crap out on the farm, I did the single parent thing and lugged Emma to pick out a pumpkin.  She had a great time I think, though it got warm towards the end.  She needed some encouragement to get into the corn crib, but once she started going down the slide, she rocked that crib.  We looked at some goats and took the shortcut through the hay maze, rode the hayride through the cornfields and then ended up picking out a pumpkin to take back home.  The kid got a really late nap that day, but I think she had a blast - I had a good time too and am still finding corn in places that I shouldn't.

We had an amazing Halloween, highlighted by a visit from Uncle DonDon, Aunt Danielle and Mister Max himself.  Donald and Max both dressed like lions.  One was cute, one was hilariously scary.  You decide.  Emma went as Dr. Emma Perry, Chief of Surgery.  I made her name badge at work so that she looked like she actually worked at Johns Hopkins.  My friend swiped some stuff from the hospital to make her outfit completely legit.  She had such a big day at school and came home with a bunch of treats, which made it into our giveaway stash at the door.  Ha!  Don't tell Emma, but that's gonna happen next year too.  Everyone at school loved her outfit and she was totally cute in it too.  She topped it off with some fresh Air Force Ones.  No doctor in America has anything on my baby girl.

David and I took the day off work to prepare for the shindig we were having that night....which was really supposed to be low key.  Apparently we cannot do anything low key.  But we had a great time with burgers and hot dogs and snacks and candy and drinks and trick or treating!!!!  I had too much sangria and had to potty at the neighbor's house....which was I ran straight into the washer and dryer and almost pottied ON myself.  But the night was super fun and ended with children crying as expected.  We dressed up like people from the show The Leftovers.  And it was weird.  I couldn't talk all night when I was in character and had to write everything down.  Thankfully I had other people watching my kid, because sangria.

We like to party.

Friday, October 17, 2014


So my birthday was yesterday and we celebrated with all things that I love.  Burgers, cupcakes, presents and family.  All things that are amazing.

Dad came and picked me up at work.  Grandmommy met David and Emma at home.  And we all met up at Al's Burger Shack.  And it was wonderful!!!!  Then we all went back to the house and I got presents!#!  And Gigi's cupcakes!!!!!!  And Dad got me a chocolate cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory!!!!

I am still full.

Sweet Cheeks ate 4 donut holes.  And then she sang Happy Birthday to me, several times.  However, it came out as "Happy Birthday to you, MommyDaddy."  I think David was trying to steal my big day.  And it was the most wonderful thing I think I could ever hear.  Except for her laughter and when she says I love you, Mommy...well, there are a lot of awesome things that I hear from her.  (and some very much not awesome things).

What a great birthday!  Now I need to eat lettuce for 47 days straight.

Here's a little pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I'd be remiss if I didn't tell the world (since I already did on Facebook, why not here too), how much I miss my Mom.  Today is 8 years since she last was here on earth.  And she really wasn't here for a couple days prior to that, in the sense that she didn't crack smiles or tell me what to do or scold me for going somewhere alone that I shouldn't have.

I see her in the face of Emma, some of her mannerisms.  Most of those are mine, but some parts of her just scream out Nana.  I sure wish she'd been around to see me meet David and marry David and buy a house and most importantly, have an Emma.  Mom would have been head over heels crazy for her and Em would have loved to know her Nana.  Sometimes, it would be nice to be able to pick up the phone and ask for advice or vent or both.  But mostly, just to be a part of Sweet Cheeks' life and the constant growing up she's doing.

I love you Mom and we miss you.  Every day.


So….Emma was doing some big things last we checked in after having moved to the big kid class late in August.  She turned 2.2 years old last Friday and is every bit of the two year old child we’ve all heard stories about.  She finds such joy out of the craziest things, so obviously those are the things we try to keep doing.  She can go from zero to hysterical in 3 seconds and everything can be fixed with a hug and a fruit bar (sometimes hug, always fruit bar).

Emma Is growing leaps and bounds, evidenced by her not-supposed-to-be-capri jeans that I put on her this weekend.  Her feet are large and she requires new shoes from time to time, and of course her Mommy and Grandmommy are happy to oblige!  She no longer drinks from sippy cups at school and sits at a real table with real chairs for snack and lunch (albeit a mini table and chairs).  They say their prayer before they eat, so hopefully she is becoming thankful for all that she has.  She can sing the ABC song and will count to 10, though her favorite number continues to be #2.  She will also throw some Spanish counting in, as directed by Daddy and Mommy, which will be nice when ordering a combination plate at El Dorado.  Old MacDonald and his farm was also sung loudly in the car this morning.  Emma handled the chorus, which was a loud and helpful reminder of our vowels before work and school.

She has a trampoline (thanks to her aunts and uncles) that still sits in the middle of the living room and not only does she love it, but so do the neighbor kids.  I found one by himself jumping this weekend, in fact, and Emma was still napping.  She has eaten her first taco and prefers ketchup on her hamburgers.  Em loves taking her vitamins and asks for several a day, which ensures that we have one upset moment each day.  On the way to school, I reminded her to chew her breakfast well and she told me to “be quiet Mommy” and put her finger to her lips.  I probably should have taught her that she’s not to tell Mommy that, but I laughed heartily instead.  It’s the unexpected moments that make life with Emma so awesome.

We can have conversations with her and she understands what we say (when she listens).  One of her favorite friends is Logan, both at school and at home – they are two different Logans, but we are pleased that she’s narrowed down the names we have to remember.  Everyone at school - teachers, parents and classmates – all of them know Emma P and, subsequently, her parents.  It’s really amazing.  She runs that place.

She is practicing sitting on the potty whenever she asks.  We aren’t forcing it, but someday we’ll not have a changing table in the dining room and  I’m sure our guests will appreciate that.  Sweet Cheeks also likes to boss her parents around, telling us to sit next to her in the evenings while she plays.  She will also grab our hands and tell us “up.”  There’s a lot of activity before bedtime, as you might imagine.  She is fast and can take off running when you least expect it.  She might benefit from some kid soccer in the next few years – I’m sure she’ll be a natural like her mother.

Emma inspires us, amuses us, teaches us, laughs with us and frustrates us on a daily basis, and we are so in love with her. 


What was said to Emma's fan club over email at the beginning of September....

Since we last spoke, Emma traveled to the beach and made lots of new friends.  She turned two years old and ate more sugar than in her previous 730 days combined.  She had a second birthday party in which she received an indoor bounce house, more books than Barnes and Noble and the gift of education.  Her August was quite the bang-up month, I’d say.

Emma loves the beach and loves the water – both of which were a concern heading into Vacay2014.  Last year, you’ll remember, she did not like the sand to touch her feet.  (which would obviously present a huge problem).  But, this year after some beach introduction on the first day, she headed to the surf like an island kid.  She splashed in the wading pools that Mother Nature saw fit to provide, knocked down other people’s sandcastles (with their permission), swam in the pool and wore 8 lbs of sunscreen per day.  She had her first Krispy Kreme doughnut, ate Grandmommy’s “a la mode” and enjoyed a party with our beach friends, who all fell in love with her and took turns babysitting the princess.

Sweet Cheeks returned home for a family party with the world’s best Elmo cake.  She received more presents than needed, but all were completely appreciated.  We now have a trampoline in our living room.  Thank goodness we aren’t trying to sell the house.  Her Daddy made his famous bbq, which was pleasing to everyone, especially her Mommy.  She has the best books to read before bedtime, which comes quickly now that she jumps all day in the aforementioned trampoline.  She has since had guests who have participating in the jumping and the associated falling down.

She had her 2 year old checkup and passed with flying colors.  Her head matches her body a little more closely these days and she’s essentially 50th percentile in everything (though her head is a bit bigger).  She received a booster shot and cried for all of 5 seconds.  Daddy took her to get ice cream afterwards and since she has a good memory, I suppose we’ll be getting ice cream every 6 months for a while.  Cheeks is still a little on the little side, but that’s how we like it.  She takes her vitamins and we make sure to mix up her food options.

We celebrated Daddy’s birthday with more merriment.  Emma not only had ice cream and cookie cake, she also had friends come to visit.  She showed them how to jump and then perhaps gave baby Eva a little tackle on the floor.  We are working on our “soft hands” and “being easy with babies.”  I hope Max grows up quickly, because he may need it.

Birthday season #1 concluded as quickly as it came, with a new start at school.  That’s right, Emma had her first day in the 2 year old class on August 25.  She did wonderfully, marching in, picking up some toys and getting a hand washing before snack time.  Her mother, however, dropped pools of tears no less than 5 times before returning to her car.  I may need some therapy before kindergarten.  She’s gotten her hair done several times by Miss Devona and had a manicure, complete with purple polish, by Miss Madison.  She continues to do great – she comes home dirty, says her blessings before snack, still does not like mac and cheese, and is learning more what it takes to go potty like a big girl.  She showed us this by removing her diaper on several occasions inside the house.   It’s now been determined that she requires pants over her diapers during nap and bedtimes.  Let’s not discuss how we now know this.
Emma will now repeat words we say – intentionally or otherwise, so David and I are working on talking with our best SAT words.  Her favorite color seems to be yellow, as that’s what she says to everything.  She also loves the Happy Birthday song, thanks to Boy Boy’s birthday party across the street.  She likes to tell her Daddy and Mommy what to do and tells us to stop – with hand gestures.  There are more whiny moments, which I equate to her being two ….and to us not giving her fruit bars 24/7.  She makes an adorable pouty face, which some people seem to think she got from her Mother  (not sure why)

Due to weekend circumstances, her car seat was removed from the car and is now placed in the front position.  This means that she’s no longer my little baby.  It also means that she can see more of the world we are passing, she is more a part of our togetherness in the car and that if she sneezes a big one, I can easily toss her a Kleenex and tell her to take care of it.  I can no longer see her in the mirror, even though I keep looking in it.  She fully enjoyed her new ride this morning and after my initial sadness, I did too.

David and I are so totally in love with our Emma – she is the cutest little girl we’ve ever met (and the cutest we’ve never met).  She does and says things that melt our heart, amaze us and irritate us.  She is growing up every day.  We cannot imagine having a sweeter little girl.