School bus and the Moon
These are the two things that rule Emma's world right now. She's constantly on the lookout for school buses, wherever we go. On our trip to town in the morning we pass one bus. She used to holler out "school bus!" right as we rolled into town. I thought she was anticipating one that sometimes sits at the grocery store on the corner, but it's only there one out of five times. It took me a couple of weeks to realize she was seeing the little white abbreviated bus at the Baptist Church and getting excited over that "school bus."

On the drive home we pass two school buses, parked in their driver's driveways. She always announces them as we go by. She owns the Little People school bus and a Matchbox one. She has a Little People school bus book. School buses are everything right now. When she stays at Grandma's, whose house is next door to the county school, she stands at the door and watches all the school buses go by. She's obsessed.

The sad part is that I plan to do everything in my power to make sure she doesn't have to ride the school bus. I hated, no, despised, my experiences on the school bus. The worst behaviors available from school kids present themselves on the bus. This school system mixes seniors to kindergartners on the school buses and I'm definitely not comfortable with that. I'll go to work early so that I can drive her to school and avoid sending her on the school bus.

The moon also rules right now. She looks for it day and night. She points it out wherever she sees it. In the sky, on her Laugh and Learn House, on the book "Goodnight Moon," everywhere. Every evening when she and Daddy go out to run around she's always looking for the moon in the darkening sky. She'll come in the house and give me the moon report when they're done.

This morning after her morning Sesame Street Alphabet DVD I switched the TV over to Disney channel. There was an episode of Little Einstein coming on so I thought we'd try it. It was her first time seeing it so I didn't have high hopes. The episode was about the main characters helping a mouse deliver a present to the moon. Emma was transfixed. By the end of the episode I figured it might be a good idea to rewind it and record it as it played again.

Emma has wanted to do nothing but watch that show over and over all day. The episode is scored to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. By the time I sat down to type this she had seen this episode literally (at least) eight times today. Normally this child will not sit for TV. Since I began this post, and turned her over to her father's care, they've watched the episode at least twice more. (It's raining outside) I think she is going to ruin Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for me.
I keep a few toys in Emma's "shopping day" bag. She'll ask for them when she gets bored. Often she'll ask for them in car on our way to Noni's or on the way home. This is how it goes:




How do you ask?

"Truck, please."

So I root in the bag and hand her back the truck.


How do you ask?

"Tractor, please."

I hand her back the tractor.


Emma, what to you say?


I hand her the bus. She'll play with the collection for a while, making the accompanying car noises. One by one each vehicle escapes her grip and falls to the floor. That's the end of the game because I certainly can't search for them while I'm driving.

Here are the stars of this story...

But then, tragically, we lost the bus. When I say lost I mean I have no idea how, when, where or why it disappeared. When I went shopping for a replacement bus I couldn't find one anywhere. Desperate, I purchased a transit bus. It's a bus, right?

So next time we're traveling she begins the routine, "Truck, tractor, bus." With great hopes, I hand back the bus.

"School bus."


So I put out an APB to everyone to pick me up a school bus if they ever see one. Weekend before last, while shopping with M., we hit the jackpot, a school bus. Of course it was in a five-pack of Nickelodeon themed vehicles. The downside is that we bought four vehicles we don't care about. The upside is that Emma now owns a gen-u-wine SpongeBob Squarepants school bus:

Time to balance the checkbook
While I was tracing down those numbers that didn't quite add up, Emma decided it was time to reorganize my wallet. Or maybe just empty it, except this time not metaphorically.

...when we practice to deceive.
Rather than being deceitful, I like to think of this as "faking Emma out." When she asks for salt at the supper table we hand her the pepper mill. She shakes the top over her food (producing nothing) and she is satified. On the pro side she's not getting extra salt on her food. On the con side we are willfully misleading her. I'm thinking this is on the scale of the willful deceit of confirming the existence of Santa Claus. What do you think? How does this rate on the parental sin scale?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Sometime when we're driving around curves or over bumps you'll hear Emma from the back seat "Wheeeee!" It always makes me crack up. Today when I heard her doing it I looked in the mirror and she had both arms raised over her head like she was on a roller coaster. I about died, funny girl!
M. admitted it tonight...
Last night when I was out playing with Emma she got her hands dirty a couple of times. I'd tell her to wipe them on her pants. She'd come to me and try to wipe them on MY pants. I wasn't having it because I had to go back out for a meeting last night and didn't want to have to change clothes. So I made her wipe them on her own pants.

Tonight at dinner M. admitted that he'd created that little "bad" behavior. At the end of his day his jeans are dirty from work so he doesn't care if she wipes her hands on him, he encourages her. He forgets that she doesn't discriminate. She'll do it to whoever is handy now.
Do not assume...
Too often I underestimate what a clever monkey I have on my hands. Today when I unloaded the car Emma wanted to climb back in. I told her I'd put the stuff away and then be back. When I came back to the car this is what I found...

The worst part is that I saw her doing it before she saw me, and when she saw me she stopped and tried to hide it. I would have never figured that she would do that. Duh (I guess). She did get the key in the hole a couple of times, but she only put the tip in and never knew it needed to go in all the way. After she did that a couple of times she opened the console and played with whatever she could find in there.

The thing is, I know she wasn't up to no good. She was just copying what she had seen me do. I just forget sometimes...
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
You are invited...
I sent out Emma's birthday invitations today. It's a family party so don't be offended when yours doesn't arrive. I missed my chance to have really cute ones made by Leslie. I didn't know she was running off for a weeks vacation until it was too late. Bummer. So everyone will be receiving the standard Elmo invites. The party is on Sunday the 8th of October. We'll be celebrating other family birthdays that day too, basically covering August, September and October people. That's only ten people. Yeah.

We've also narrowed down the cake selection. We tried to order the cake from two different customers of my Dad, but one was going away that weekend and the other couldn't do an Elmo cake without us bringing them the Elmo part. Hence, we're doing the Walmart thing. They have three Elmo cakes to choose from. Considering the number of people eating cake, we'll probably be getting two different cakes. We'll have pictures for you in two weeks.
Healing vibes to Mary
Our babysitter's surgery is this Thurday so tomorrow is Emma's last day with her for who-knows-how-long. Mary fell several weeks ago and dislocated her shoulder. After they put it back she noticed that she had diminished range of motion in that arm. She was really concerned about it. Finally after a few doctor visits and an MRI it was determined that she had a torn rotator cuff. It was completely off the bone. yuck. The surgery is to have it reattached. It takes a while to recover from that surgery so we have no idea when Emma will be going back. Meanwhile Grandma G. is helping us out as much as she can and we'll have to figure out the rest.
To make up for being so lame last year...
and making Emma's Halloween costume from her winter coat and two scraps of paper, I've already ordered her costume for this year. It arrived in the mail today. I'm very happy with it. It's a Tinkerbell costume from the Disney Store. We have no particular affinity for Tinkerbell here, but I did want Emma to be a pixie. Since her hair is still short I thought this would be the year to do it.
Tuesday Toad
A neighbor of ours. He lives under the blue tarp outside the back fence.

Monday, September 25, 2006
Every picture tells a story
Not that this one is all that enthralling. Emma was standing there so she could supervise Daddy fixing supper. She was playing with the new cup Mommy found in the cabinet. It's a twisty straw cup kind of like the one she got to use at Uncle B. and Aunt K.'s. She was drinking along nicely and then decided she needed to pop the lid off the top of the cup. Hence the wet pants.

Then I took a picture of today's outfit cause it was so cute. I was getting ready to take off the shirt because we were having tacos and nothing stains like cheesy grease (except maybe tomato sauce grease). I didn't even realize she had spilled the water all over her pants until I looked at the picture on my camera.

Sunday, September 24, 2006
Weekend of firsts
It was our first time visiting my brother's new home in Maryland. We went up to help celebrate my niece's 4th birthday. We left right after work and got there at 10:20 or so. We put Emma to bed fairly quickly. Like morons the rest of us stayed up till 1:00 a.m. talking. Those are always the best times, quite frankly.

The next day Noni and Popi arrived. We spent the morning getting ready at our leisure while the kids played. The mama's went out grocery shopping (with a swing by Panera's for lunch and Krispie Kreme just because it was there). When we got back we learned that some furniture for my nephew's bedroom had arrived so we spent most of the early afternoon unpacking and assembling a full/twin bunk bed and new desk. Around 4:00 we headed out for bowling in honor of the birthday girl. It was the first time I'd ever seen bumper bowling. The kids played one lane and the adults played the old fashioned stupid way. I suck, 'nuff said. Oh, except this...bowling is damned expensive compared to when I used to do it. Sheesh, or maybe it's just that Maryland sucks because everything seems to be more expensive there.

Birthday dinner was brisket in mystery marinade, Noni's scalloped potatoes au gratin, peas, green beans and rolls. Birthday cake was chocolate cake with chocolate icing. The birthday girl had a fabulous time opening her new presents. When it came time for bed she wanted to take the Dora stickers we had given her to bed with her. Her mom told her to lay them by the fireplace. She got upset and explained that she was afraid to leave them there cause Santa Claus might come and get them. It's amazing how kid logic works, sometimes it's just impossible to anticipate how their thinking might go.

The evening concluded with Mudslide, cutthroat Uno and a daquiri.
First time playing with Playdoh
J. got the Dora Playdoh set from her au pair (and later from us, sigh). Emma tried it for the first time. I think she liked it. I wasn't supervising. I'm not even sure if she ate any. I may need to get a full report on that.

J. was thrilled with this Dora game box from her sister. Any of you with Dora fans might want to snap this up now to save for later. I saw them at Target. It's filled with a bunch of games and seemed like a fabulous set for little Dora fans.

Emma enjoyed the morning activities, but what really got her excited was when C. brought out his box of cars for her to play with. She was in heaven!

First time on a John Deere
That thing is all heavy metal and Emma's cousin pushed her around and around on it. He was so sweet to her all weekend. She really adores him.

First time bowling
Emma had never been to a bowling alley and it had been years since we'd been. She was fascinated by the balls rolling up on the pick-up rack.

First time we've been to J's birthday party
All of her birthday's have been in Germany till now. I'm so glad we had the chance to share it with her this time.

The only way Emma would eat the cake was from the candle. Popi kept dipping it in the cake and icing and she'd eat it off the candle.

The ritual opening of the cards...first.

Ready to hand out some presents.