What a wonderful first Halloween for my girl. I am completely biased but she is the most beautiful chicken I've ever seen! I didn't know if she would wear her costume and didn't really care. "Cluck Cluck" was the first animal sound she learned along with "MOOO" and I was inspired by a fellow China mom and friend whose daughter had a similar costume when she was a babe. It was unique, no one else had it since only one site sells it. Her daycare was having a party today and I had promised to bake but I had to work late last night and didn't want to be up until midnight so I was going to go to the bakery this morning and pick something up. I went to bed and woke at 5am and realized that it wouldn't be the same so I baked 2 batches of brownies and by the time Emme was up and dressed she was able to frost and decorate them. I guess this means I'm a real mom now. I arrived at daycare and was surprised to see her all decked out. After her party there, we stopped by grandma for a party and trick or treating though the latter proved to be pretty uneventful as no one was home or not answering the door. So we joined friends Deb, Jason and Benjamin (Emme's BFF) and went to do some good 'ol trick or treating. Emme quickly caught on to this American thing AKA I knock on your door and you give me goodies. She actually walked into someone's house after hearing their dog bark. We had to talk about not doing that. Fortunately the owner was very nice and forgive her slight indiscretion. We saw caldrons, witches, pumpkins, orange-lit houses and had a lot of fun. I'd say we walked about 10 blocks and each step my little chicken was getting slower. I think her loot was holding her down. I love that she isn't greedy when it comes to food and she offered her friend (and I) a treat from her bucket which we gladly accepted. The candy will be picked over and anything really sugary is going out (taffy and that kind of stuff). I will put the chocolate away and give her a treat now and then with her lunch like a few kisses or a mini Hershey bar. She didn't even seem to notice that we didn't bring it in the house. So without further ado, CLUCK CLUCK
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Yesterday Em me had a specialty appointment at the Children's Hospital which is internationally known and is also part of the health system where I work. They have innovative programs for children like computers in waiting room, ipods in patient rooms, child life centers and the clowns. The clowns you ask, are two men who travel together with a program whose name is escaping me at the moment. I've seen them in the cafeteria in the past but never "at work". They are always around visiting sick kids on the inpatient units like oncology, adolescent psychiatry, surgery and anywhere else they can make a child smile. So wasn't I surprised to see them walking down the hall decked out in their finest clown duds complete with musical instruments. So clown #1 enters our waiting area and sees just us...."ahhh he says, we need to make this special". He starts singing to Emme while blowing her bubbles. She LOVES bubbles. She is smitten. Clown #2 starts playing his accordion and has Emme dancing in the waiting room. There is a fire drill so we are kept where we are and the gentlemen ended up staying about 15 minutes entertaining my entranced daughter. All of a sudden they begin to sing (with accordion accompaniment of course) "SKIP TO MY LOU". Within 30 seconds they called in the four receptionists who came out from behind their work station and they and the clowns are all circling Emme.....skip skip skip to my lou, skip, skip, skip to my lou, skip, skip, skip to my lou....skip to my lou my darlin. It's one of those moments you wish you had a camera. She was clapping and dancing her little heart out and threw kisses to the clowns as they departed. She was a perfect little patient and I really liked the doctor who was seeing her for an evaluation (one of several on my list). Now I know why he can't take any new patients though I managed to somehow finagle one colleague to colleague. We got good news and celebrated by letting Em pick out a little something in the gift shop. She chose "Austin", her favorite Backyardigan. It's very cute to see her carry him around since he's small and fits in her hands.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Yesterday we spent the day with grandma and grandpa in NJ. Emme enjoyed a trip to the pumpkin farm though I don't think she quite "gets it" yet. She had fun climbing around and grandpa bought us each a pumpkin to enjoy. Next year we'll have to carve one out and show Emme what it's all about. It should be interesting to see how she does with Halloween. Em likes to sit with hr grandpa and look at photos in the albums. This time she was able to identify people in the pictures; many of which were quite dated. We had a fun day and can't wait to go back for Emme's first Thanksgiving.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
People keep asking me about Emme's clothes. I am queen of the bargain shoppers so while she has many designer duds, I never pay retail. Her tye-dye outfit from last week is the most expensive thing she owns and yes that was an extravagant item even by my definition. Her outfit last night was really much cuter in person. The denim skirt was a Gap sale item, the tights (really nice cotton) are from Carters outlet, a white undershirt and the pink sweater was $6.97 from $49 on a rack at Nordstrom. Her shoes are new and they were on sale at Nordstrom for $16.23 from $50. I could go on but to make it easier, these are my best stores. Gap, Nordstrom Rack, Lord & Taylor sale racks, Marshalls or TJ Maxx for inexpensive casual stuff, Children's Place for daycare stuff, Carter's outlet, Ebay for the designer names we love (Hanna Andersson, Baby LuLu, Mad Sky, etc)
Friday, October 17, 2008
It's been a very emotional week for me. I look at my daughter and wonder what I could have possibly done in my life to deserve the honor of being her mother. She makes my heart and life full and despite the challenges, exhaustion, the backache, depletion of bank accounts and extra cleaning I wouldn't have it any other way. I hope in her life she has every opportunity to excel but if she never aged another day I would love her just the same. What sparked such a post, you ask? It's quite silly actually. My job had a talent show tonight; an "idol" type event to raise money for patient programs and boost morale. I haven't been able to attend the prior two years but wanted to go support my colleagues and thought Emme would enjoy the music and dancing. I also thought it would be nice for the people who supported me through the adoption to meet her. We arrived at 6:15 for a 7pm show, went and got grandma who was working late and walked to the auditorium. She charmed nearly everyone she met. She applauded for every act, she laughed, she danced and she even tumbled down the red carpet in support of her favorite performer. She sat for several hours acting like the perfect little lady. She is two. Not many adults have such an attention span. Such a small thing to make a mama so proud. It didn't hurt that she looked precious in her fall attire. "Bear" was also in attendance though fortunately he did not require a ticket.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
After the infamous party on Sunday we went to the park with Em's balloon. She ran around chasing dogs, laughing, giggling and having a good time being in the fresh air. We chased each other to see who could run faster. Her hair was flying in the breeze and the belly laughs could be heard all around. We sat on a bench and "talked" about how lucky we were to have each other. She now says "Emme, mommy, family" which we've been practicing. I suggested we throw her balloon up in the air and send it with a message to China to let everyone there know how happy we were. Did I expect a two-year old to understand anything I was saying? Did I think she would part with HER balloon for anything? Next thing I know she throws the balloon up, waves bye-bye and closes her eyes as if she's making a wish. There's some other stuff going on at the moment contributing to these feelings which involve her "discovery place" which I just received photos of. In many ways I wish I could get on a plane tomorrow and spend a year in China working with the neediest children while they wait...and wait....and wait.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Emme had her first birthday party to attend today. She arrived on scene and was offered a job since her attire was not that different from the staff. She was a little nervous since it was all new adults and children but within minutes my girl was having a BLAST and didn't want to leave. She likes her little dance class but this was different. She was so proud of herself and listened so intently (put your arms out on the balance beam). Needless to say we are going for a trial class on Tuesday to see if she likes it again. I don't think kids need to be over-programmed but her dance class will end in a month and growing up overweight I am thrilled to see her engage in a physical activity. It's also a parent participation program so it will be a nice activity for us together. I am still learning the new camera but I tried for some action shots (the tumbling ones).
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Emme had her first haircut today. I wasn't sure how she'd do so I made her an appointment at a salon for kids. We arrived a few minutes early and she was "seated" promptly in her jeep after selecting a DVD to watch. She chose her favorite guy Elmo. It was all done relatively quick and she was very good with just a little squirming with the bangs. I can't tell if it was an actual good haircut until we wash it tomorrow but it's definitely shaped better. We opted for bangs given her high forehead. After the cut, she got a certificate with some of her hair and a pink balloon. We celebrated by a waterfront lunch and then a nap for Emme and mommy who is under the weather.