Thursday, April 22, 2010

emma the ham


emma's first time having a bowl of cereal

mastering the spoon.

Emma perfecting her kodak smile

Emma is growing up so fast I say this at least once a week. She is all about walking on her own and feeding herself. She even has gotten better at walking home. She no longer feels the need to run all over the sidewalk and up on the grass, she instead walks next to me and knows just where to turn. She is eating more and more like a lady and every time she sees that my plate has a different meal than hers, she just has to sample mine as well. She even acts like a princess. When she actually does need me to hold her hand, she just extends her arm out and doesn't even grace me with a glance. For instance when she needs help going up or down the stairs, she stops and all I see is her hand come out. If I ignore her or take too long, she starts opening and closing her hand until I give her mine. In a sense it is sweet she needs me and she knows she need me, but if I could at least get her to look up at me, make eye contact, say please. She will also just hand me things she no longer wants to carry, and I am starting to feel a little taken advantage of or taken for granted. As I type this I am hit with the realization that I am guilty of the same actions towards my own mother. Oh what we learn from our kids.

da ninj strikes again

emma thinking about it
this is how she does it from the front
just helping her break her fall.

from the back

training for Cirque de Soleil

So last week the sitter had told me that Emma had managed to climb out of both the pack and play and her son's crib. I was a bit in disbelief as she has not shown any interest in doing those tricks at home.
Well low and behold, on Saturday morning around 6am Ant gets up to go to the bathroom. When he comes back I see Emma running in front of him. Im all grumpy and ask him why he couldn't just leave her in her crib. He replies that he did not get her out. We are both in shock and laughing. She finally did it. She managed to escape her little jail. The rest of the day was rough. She would not take a nap as she knew she could get out and at night, Anthony had to sleep on the floor 'monitoring" her. We were/are not ready to make the transition to toddler bed. Just the thought of giving Emma that freedom both tore at me and worried me. So we just worked on training her to stay in her bed. We kept putting her back in until she wore herself out and we found the one thing that would distract her from the fact that she was able to get out of her crib, books. So we leave a book or two in with her and tho now we see that it might be causing a delay her ability to sleep and is actually keeping her up past her bed time, I much rather have her in her crib than running around eating cat food and doing bridge poses between the couch and coffee table.

Take your daughter to work day

gotta get these figures in
Castle Gallery, how can i help you?
mom, its for you


so, you first hit control and then what?

ok, lemme see here, control, alt delete

I'm every woman!

I got the hang of this

I'm sorry she is unavailable at this moment

Today was a great day. I got to spend my entire morning and early afternoon with Emma. Last year she joined me for TYDTW, but she was too small to enjoy her time and spent it mostly napping in a corner. Today she was quite the star. Everyone greeted her kindly. She mostly sat at my desk watching Olivia on my desktop, and then when the other girls came to do an art project with us, she joined and looked so cute just sitting at the table, looking at the older kids and really enjoying being part of the group. She (I) made a backpack from recycled items and then was off running around all over the gallery.
I think she had a good time and she really behaved well. At the end she was very tired , as she skipped her first nap and was up from 2am -5am this morning. She is a doll and when i had to leave her for lunch, she was clinging onto my leg and crying for her "mama mama mama". Needless to say it broke my heart as i had to walk away to do a job that, to be quiet honest, does not give the fulfilment as being with Emma does. I waited outside the sitter's apartment door until I could hear Emma's cry slowly die down. I felt like Dumbo's mom , on the other side unable to comfort my baby because "duty" called. Anyway, the good pictures I took of her in the big group were taken on a camera with no memory card, so here are some of Emma manning the fort this morning.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

danger, danger, high voltage!

what, me trouble?


OK, so not high voltage, but in a small sense, danger. On Monday i get a phone call from Emma's sitter and I hate when she starts off with, "Now Emma is fine...but" Your heart sinks, and I just want her to spit it out like a hot chili pepper. She informs me that the kids have locked themselves in Ben's bedroom and she cannot get back in. She says she can hear them and they are not crying or distressed. She, however, sounds like she just saw the living dead. I cannot help but laugh as she tells me this. I can imagine Ben and Emma hanging from the ceiling fan, or doing some tribal dance in their diapers. Being as how I myself have locked Emma in a running car and needed to call AAA to get her out, know that these things happen. In less than a second things occur and we have been quite lucky that these things have turned out to be nothing more serious. So she tells me her mother is on the way and that she cant find the super and she might have to call the fire department to BREAK the door down. I tell her I'm on the way and run over there. When I arrive I am greeted by her mom, a lady always dressed the nines yet today is in her workout outfit and with no makeup. She is jabbing a now broken lock with a screw driver. I can clearly tell these people have never in their life picked a lock or removed a door knob from the door. I ask to see what kind of knob/lock it was and then ask grandma to kindly move. Growing up with a brother who always took and hid my stuff and with whom I was constantly fighting, I am somewhat of a pro at this. More MacGruber than MacGyver, but when our parents gave us each special door knobs with locks to "protect" our stuff, I had many a chance to develop a knack for these sort of things. Anyway, I just had to see what type of lock it is/was and I knew right away know that a screw driver is not what you needed. I look in the hole and see Ben on his rocking horse and Emma reading, of course. They are both oblivious to the "drama" going on behind the door. I ask for a pair of pliers and in less than 5 seconds the door pops open and Emma simply looks up as if saying "can I help you". It really was cute how well behaved they were, just going about their business, playing and reading. I found it very humorous.

it's in our hands

oh so much to tell. I just want to write this small thing before I forget, last night was a good night/evening. I took Emma to the park to wear herself out and she had a great time. She loves running around and pushing her car. She loves the ball and above all she loves staring at the older boys. After her bath, she has her routine of brushing teeth and putting on her lotions. She has been helping put on her lotions since December, yet she hates, HATES to put it on her face. SO last night i put the lotion in her hand and then took her hands and placed them over my face. I wanted to let her see how lotion doesn't hurt on the face. She then removed her hands and put them back on my face in the most tender and gentle way. i just kept thinking of rose petals brushing against my face. It was such a small gesture, but when you have a child who still is mastering her fine motor skills and hand eye coordination, and who I at times refer to as my feral child, simply put her hands on you in a very deliberate and kind manner, it broke my heart. She then did it to her papa. Anyway, I don't know if the lesson worked , but I just fall more and more in love with that kid. Just when you think, 'ok, i cant love her anymore, this is it, I am at my limit', she does these small actions that just take your love to the next level.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

emma loves to read!

She might not look like her dad, but she sure has one of his most admired traits. She loves to read. I mean she will look through anything you give her. Once at the mall in Tampa, she was getting fussy and I had no book for her, so I handed her the BCBG catalogue and she read that thing front to back, over and over and if she dropped it, she would not let us leave with out picking it up. The best part is a book doesnt even have to contain images, she is just happy flipping through the pages. This morning Ant left out his mandarin/english dictionary and Emma was perusing through it as if she could actually understand the content. She even handed it to me and sat on my lap so we could read it together. It was too cute. Since emma is in a transition phase of not wanting to stay in her crib, we have been needing to find out what her 'object' of comfort is. The doctors and books all say that when a child is transitioning from anything from no more pacifier to sleeping on their own, it helps if they have an object of comfort. Most common objects of comfort are a stuffed animal or a blanket. Emma being the kid she is, hasn't really formed such attachments to one particular object. I mean she loves her bebe but she never asks to sleep with it. She rather just drag it all over the place. However when it comes to books, particularly her new Olivia books, I noted that she holds on to them a little bit longer. Her books are enough to keep her focused and unaware that it is time to sleep. I've seen her hug her book when she is upset and when she eventually calms down she just lays there, flipping through that book until slumber hits. We bought a monitor early on and never used it since we lived in a one bedroom for the first year of her life. Now since she is a ninja and we need to monitor her every move, we are finally finding use for it. So at night all we hear on the monitor are pages being turned and the occasional sweet giggle. My fear of waking up to Emma cooking in the kitchen is assuaged by the sound of her pages a flippin' at 7am, sharp. At least I no longer have to worry about over sleeping. It makes me proud how Emma can sit and just look at all her books for a good chunk of time and the best part is when she hands me a book, turns around and backs into my lap. She is the cutest and really is the personification of Olivia the pig.

Monday, April 19, 2010


As I mentioned before, I had a very difficult pregnancy and in hindsight I realize that perhaps most of my problems were caused by anxiety. I was so worried that I or the baby was going to die, that I never enjoyed a single moment of being pregnant. I was suffering from terrible morning sickness that I lost 15 pounds, and I had other physical ailments that made it seem as though the end would never come. I now realize that I wasted an important phase of my life on silly, yet valid at the time, neurosis. Now that the wife of one of Anthony's friends is pregnant, I am reminded of the small things I never enjoyed. Last night I tried to go back and find the ultrasounds that I almost threw away. So far I have found three and am still missing two. My first ultrasound was from trip number 2 to the emergency room. I was having terrible stomach pains (indigestion) and trouble breathing (anxiety). The obgyn on call came and performed an ultra sound just to be sure all was in order. In a not so friendly manner he informed me that at this point in my pregnancy, 6 weeks, he should be able to hear the heartbeat. He further went on to say that not seeing one didnt necessarily mean anything, but that he should be able to see a heartbeat at this point however he is unable to see one. It was his emphasis on the "should be able to" more than once that just threw me under. Confused, I had to ask him to reword what he was telling me, as nothing was not sinking in. I just remember trying to hold back the tears with my rage at this doctor who is trained to help and comfort patients yet was telling me in a matter of fact kind of way that there might not be a baby after all. He writes a script for an formal ultrasound and I go later that day to get one. After this less than pleasant way to start my pregnancy, I am left numb and further validated in my feelings of not getting too attached or excited with something that could disappear at any moment. At the OBGYN department at LICH, I am still very nauseous and the mere fact that I feel so ill isn’t registering in my brains as evidence that I am indeed pregnant. I sit in the waiting room with other women who are at various stages of pregnancy. Some women are more visibly pregnant than others and I just wonder if I will be lucky enough to have a belly. They call my name and I am very quiet, my eyes down and I feel like I did the first day of school, scared and alone in a strange land. I am greeted in a room with that is clean yet somehow oddly comforting. There is fancy looking equipment and a monitor above me so I can watch the ultrasound. The technician comes out to greet me and there is something in her voice or the way she carries herself that manages to make me feel safe and strangely enough, alive. She asks me why I am here and I inform her that the ER doctor so graciously told me he was unable to hear a heartbeat and I leave it at that. She doesn’t say much, or if she did I can’t remember, I just remember she made me smile. I later wondered if her demeanor was a requirement for working in the prenatal/neonatal division of a hospital or if she was just blessed to posses the one criteria most valued in such a field that no university or school could teach you. She proceeds to do the ultrasound, it is has to be done vaginally as it is still early on in the pregnancy, and I am watching the screen above me. I can’t really see or make out anything. The whole time she is calm and smiling and I just wait, as if waiting to see if you have all numbers needed to win the lotto. She smiles and says, "there is your tenant", and I am confused as what she is referring to. I just start thinking of the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side. I know I was silent for a while since I can tell by the look on her face that she was looking for a different reaction from me. I might have said "sorry?" Or "what?" followed by a "really" and then my own smile. She asks if I see the little electrical charge on the monitor and I realize that there is indeed something on the screen that looks like lightening bolt flashes. I know refer to lightning bugs flickering on a later summer evening as it was just that, tiny flicks of light rapidly beating. I could feel the little creature's desire to live and I knew unconsciously that she would be ok. I thought such the term your tenant was the sweetest nickname ever given to a baby. It finally all sinks in that I am the landlord that is allowing this little tenant to live inside me for the next 9 months. I ask if I can have a print out of the sonogram and she complies.

It is this both this sonogram and the one from the night before that I tucked away in a pregnancy journal never wanting to see again. The memory they conjured up was too painful for me. I almost threw them out, but somehow Anthony rescued them. I am now happy they survived, if I could only find the one of Emma's heartbeat. Nothing can compare the joy you feel when you see or hear their heartbeat for the first time. It is like the little engine that could. It is amazing how fast they grow both inside and out. Two weeks later at her 8 week sonogram she already looked like a gummy bear. At my 15 week sonogram, the one where I was given the 70 percent chance it is a girl, she already looked like a full baby. It goes way too fast and I realize how short life is. How 20 years really is nothing. I miss her so much when I'm at work. I ache at the thought of all the time I have lost not being with her. This isn't how I had envisioned having a child. I always thought I would be home and the one raising her. I am at the point where I could see myself having another one. Giving Emma a sibling to play with and simply enjoying being pregnant and a mom. Transitions are hard, and never occur without some sense of loss. I need to learn to enjoy the moment and focus on the positive. This all sounds hokey, but it is the simple truth. Speaking of transitions, Emma is now transitioning from her crib, yet I am not quite ready for that step. I will talk about that later on.

week 6

week 15, it might be a girl!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Emma loves to shop
top, Janie and Jack,
pants, Gap
shoes, Nordstroms
addicted to shopping, mommy's influence

terrified of Its a Small World

getting fed up with the lines and the heat

looking oh so cute
top, Janie and Jack
hat, Liberty of London (lost)

a whole new world

enjoying a sammich break

we can fly, we can fly, we can fly

topsy turvy

is this it?

So we took Emma to the Happiest Place on earth for her first park adventure. It was a lot of fun, the first 20mns. We got wrapped up in the hype, the castle, the souvenirs, the characters. I had found a pic of me with Chip or Dale from probably 25 years ago and I knew my mission was to find them and get a picture of emma with chip or dale. By luck the first characters we see are Chip and Dale and so of course we go pose with them. BUT things have changed. You first are suckered into thinking they are just standing there for ANYONE to walk up to them. Alas you have to wait in a line that is being managed by some sort of Disney bouncer. I guess gone are the days of the character just walking around and you running up to them to get a picture. Now we waited 15mns to get the winning picture and you have to be of the lucky few who can get in the line during the allotted time slot. It was sweet to get that picture, even though I look hideous. So we moved onto the teacups and were so relieved that there was no line. After breezing by the line at the Pooh ride, we realized Emma would not do well on the indoor rides. She is a tad afraid of the dark and the Pooh ride scared her. She would clutch onto me for comfort and as sick as it sounds, Anthony and I found it kinda nice to be able to comfort her. Well, the lines got longer throughout the day and the heat became unbearable at midday. Emma was fed up quickly with all the waiting as she is much more of an outdoor, running wild and free child. Her spot was Pooh's playground which was just that, a playground for kids 2-5. She also enjoyed the train and we were brought to tears when she started making the cho cho sound. It was really quite sweet that she knows what sound a train makes. But yes, Jungle Boat, scared, Pirates, scared (a given I know) It's a Small World, terrified. As much as an adventure that it was, we realized that contrary to what other parents of kids Emma age said, Emma is still too young to enjoy Disney and we will hold off on any other parks until she is at least four.

The ninja

Just look at the size of her.

One of Emma's many nicknames is da ninj and for well deserved reason. Last night I came home late and Emma was already asleep. I peeked in, as I do several times a night, and saw her wrestling around and wearing her pink, zip up, footy, onsie. About an hour later I peeked back in and saw her in just her diaper. I was so proud and amused at her. At 18 months she has somehow mastered the zipper. She has shown interest in zippers for the past month, but has been unable to get the gist of it or simply hold it in her hands. To see her not only unzip herself but get out of her pj's was just amusing and endearing. She is too much and tho she is getting very defiant as of late, she cracks me up and I love her so much.

Monday, April 12, 2010

First time out!

so last night we gave Emma her first time out. It was unexpected but her daddy thought it was necessary. After telling her several times not to stand on her step stool, we took it away from her. All the while she is laughing at us and intentionally ignoring us by avoiding eye contact. She really is too cute when causing trouble, that i end up having to leave her presence so I can laugh out loud. Well, we take her step stool away, and she proceeds to stand on her car. We say no, only to be given the same defiant treatment. We take the car away and then she finds the next object nearest her to stand on, the chairs. So after defying us once more, Anthony decides to give her at time out. He then asks me how long must she be in time out. I have no idea as we have never discussed it or read up on it. The only thing I knew was not to punish her in her room. So we decide 2 mns is enough and Emma is crying these huge tears and is inconsolable. My heart aches at the sight of her and I cant imagine doing this over and over. Discipline is probably going to be the hardest part about raising her.
yeah, we doin' nuttin here.
emma's new obsession, Olivia

her big girl towel

on a positive note, Emma has graduated to a big girl towel. No more baby towel for her. She is growing way too fast. The other day I gave her some kiwi in a bowl and she always eats her fruit with her hands. That day , all of a sudden, she placed her bowl on her step stool and ran over the drawer where we keep the utensils, opened it and pulled out a fork. She slammed the drawer with such determination we didn't realize what had just happened. She had marched over to the drawer like a cartoon character about to duel his nemesis. It was too much. She is becoming a little more self sufficient, or at least determined to get her way.

Happy Easter!!

daddy's family is country folk

im hot and mosquito bitten, can we go now?!

Emma's in the jungle!
dress, Gap
hating the outdoors, all mommy

you can see the exact moment Emma removes her hand from grandmas

dress, Janie and Jack

Easter was actually very calm. Emma opened her treats and loved her Lego's, well the animals, not the blocks. We went to church and Emma actually behaved for most of the service. After 40mns we lost her , so she went outside to blow some steam. Later that day she went to see her other grandpapa and it always takes a while for her to warm up to him. She did enjoy his dogs and was hell bent on getting in the pool.

Second stop that day

hm, which one is Emma?

who wants tkts to the gun show?

emma in her Richter phase

on a mission

counting her loot!

i'm coming

dress, Janie and Jack
fixating on one egg, all mommy

Emma and my friends daughter, Sasha

Emma was invited to an Easter egg hunt the day before Easter. My childhood friend usually hosts an amazing Easter bash/pool party but this year since she had a prior engagement her mother decided to host a party for the kids. Emma had a fun. She loves wide open spaces, so she took off running all over the back yard and was more interested in climbing the steps than playing with the other kids. She is still too young to understand the concept of the Easter egg hunt, but it was nice to be outside and with old friends eating bad food.