December 2009

Storm of 2009, originally uploaded by Justpowers.

It’s the biggest storm in her short life. Heck, it’s probably going to end up being the biggest storm of my relatively longish life.

Luckily it was on a Saturday, so there was no pressure to get to work or school. I made it to the grocery store on Thursday so there was still plenty of milk and I was able to stock up.

William doesn’t really know what to make of it and would prefer to be indoors where it is warm and he can chew on things. Emma, on the other hand, just wants to be outside. No matter how frightful the weather.

Emma Thinks She Can Dance, originally uploaded by Justpowers.

It occurred to me last week as Emma and I danced around our living room, that she had never seen a real dancer. Rather than let her spend her pre-school years thinking that my spastic gyrations passed as dancing, we decided to let her watch Kathryn’s solo from So You Think You Can Dance. She was completely entranced. (Will – in the background, trying to take a nap – was less so.)

AstronautEmma turned three years old today.

It’s hard to know what to write really. She amazes, delights and frustrates us every moment of every day.

Last week she picked up a towel we were using as a door mat by the front door to soak up rain and mud. Mike asked her three or four times to put it down. She ignored him and instead shook it, spreading dirt and leaves all over the living room. Mike was understandably, um, annoyed and in a stern voice reprimanded her for not listening. She continued to ignore him, making him more and more mad, until she finally said in the calmest, sweetest and most sincere voice “Ok Daddy, I’ll stop. I was just being a goofball.” I looked up at Mike, who had been fuming, and we both had to stifle a laugh.

Out of nowhere the other day she said to me “Do you know what I want to talk about? I want to talk about a short nap. I want to take a short nap so I can watch Dinosaur Train.” Dinosaur Train replaced Thomas the Tank Engine this fall as her favorite show on television and she is rewarded with being able to watch 30 minutes of it after she takes her nap. This was a deal we struck recently after weeks of her refusing to take a nap left her weepy and whining by 5:00 PM every day. When Emma is weepy and whining, mommy is weepy and whining, so something had to be done. Dinosaur Train to the rescue!

Some of our favorite Emma-isms at the moment:

What is happolling? (happening)

It is so much bun. (fun)

Where’s the mokinintrol? (remote control, of course)

No bones at the table Daddy. (phones)

Things she loves:

Dancing – one day I took her to the mall and as soon as we walked in the doors and she heard the music playing overhead she started to spontaneously dance with joy. She especially loves to put on a princess (see below) dress and talk one of us into dancing with her to “I Could’ve Danced All Night.” I guess one of these days we should formalize her dancing and get her into lessons, but for now we are enjoying her enthusiasm and passion.

Reading – this girl loves books. And she loves “snuggling on the couch” and reading together. I think that started last year when I was on bedrest and I couldn’t do much else with her. However it started, it is a habit I am happy we got into.

Macaroni and cheese – I am pretty sure she would eat mac and cheese for every meal if I would let her. I used to be able to get her to eat homemade mac and cheese and could even sneak a little butternut squash in the recipe every once in a while to make sure she got her veggies for the day. A few months ago she informed me she liked the yellow kind and now will only eat boxed mac and cheese with nary a squash in site. *Sigh* The biggest problem with the Kraft mac and cheese of course is that Mike and I have to eat it with her sometimes – like for her third birthday dinner for example.

People – Emma loves to be with people. We have been working hard lately at getting William on a regular nap schedule, hoping it will help him sleep through the night. Unfortunately this means we are housebound from about 9-11 in the morning and 1-3 in the afternoon while he naps. The other day we went to an open gym session at a local gymnastics center and when we left and I told Emma we were going home she became almost inconsolable, crying to me that she didn’t want to go home, that she loved being out and doing ‘bings” and that she wanted to play with someone. It just about broke my heart and made me realize how bored she must be, home with me so much of the time. This is the challenge of having two I guess – figuring out who needs what, and how on earth you can give it to them. Something to work on I suppose.

Her bear-bear – this is a pretty sad looking little white bear head on a piece of white blanket lined with yellow satin. It was the thing she chose a long time ago to be her comfort object, especially at bedtime. When we realized she had chosen it, we ran out to Toys R Us and bought two more. Now she rotates between the three, switching them only when I am able to sneak the used one out for a freshly washed one. Every once in a while she will find one in the wash and grab it, laughing as she says “two bear-bears!!” She doesn’t suck her thumb and was never very interested in pacifiers, but I don’t really know what she would do without “sumping to chew on” as she says when she is asking for her bear.

Waffles – Eats ’em every day. Eggo Nutrigrain waffles. She can get them out of the freezer, out of the package and into the toaster before I have even poured my first cup of coffee. If she could reach the syrup on the top shelf her father and I could probably stay in bed and get a little extra shut-eye.

Dinosaurs, Rocket Ships and Princesses – Thanks to Dinosaur Train Emma can tell you about all sorts of dinosaurs that I had never even heard of prior to about three months ago. She has decided her favorite is Tyrannosaurus Rex, and she loves to talk about Giganotosaurus, Deinonychus and Ornithomimus – but that Spinosaurus scares the heck out of her.

She was an astronaut for Halloween this year and as part of the lead up to that we got a couple of books about space out of the library. The books were far far too old for her but they had some good pictures so I got them. She was fascinated with the space shuttle, the training the astronauts go through and especially the pictures of the moon landing. She started planning a trip to the moon and asked me if she could wear her sparkly shoes when she went. I told her of course she could, and asked when she was planning on going. She told me when she was six and a big girl. Once Halloween was over we thought she might stop talking about rocket ships and astronauts, but much to our delight she is as interested as ever.

And what three year old girl living in America isn’t obsessed with princesses – Disney or otherwise? I loved princesses as much as the next girl when I was growing up – my favorite thing to wear when I was four was a “long dress” so I could twirl and dance around – but I am far from being the princess type now. Upon learning I was having a girl, I am pretty sure one of my first thoughts was, oh Lordy, please don’t let my kid be obsessed with princesses. Obviously I realize now that I would passionately adore my daughter no matter what she was obsessed with, but I have to say that the dinosaurs and rocket ships make the princesses much more palatable, even enjoyable, for me.

That’s our girl in a nutshell. She is spunky and determined and musical and challenging and sweet and passionate and loving and we are having more fun watching her grow than we ever imagined we could have.

Happy Birthday sweetie. We love you.