Friday, August 22, 2008
I get Emma back tonight! Yay!
I say "I" because M will have to wait until tomorrow to see her. Noni is helping us out by meeting Aunt K halfway to pick Emma up. But she won't be able to go until after work. Then they have to eat and make their way back to Nonitown. Meanwhile I'll take my time heading over the mountains after work and will shop and kill time until they're home. Then I'll be able to have my reunion with my baby, probably sometime around 9:00 p.m.

The next day I'll do a little more shopping before heading back over the mountains. M has to work anyway. We'll be sure to be home by suppertime so we can all be together for the meal.

We have been missing Emma a lot. I think about her more when she's gone. M is practically beside himself with missing her, but he tries to hide it. I think he's doing a better job at it than last time, and that absence was shorter. Those two are like peas in a pod and it hurts him when his best little buddy isn't around. We both have huge gaps of time in our evening that would be occupied by her, so we have a lot of time to realize what's missing.

Only a few more hours...
Major excitement!
And I'm not even being facetious. Today I received the registration form for preschool for Emma. I register her after work on Monday and she starts September 2nd! I'm so excited for her to start having a regular day to be with other kids her age. With this preschool we'll be starting off slowly. She only goes Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. She'll still be going to Mary's the rest of the time. Since she misses the age cutoff to start kindergarten by nine days it will be 2010 before she starts "big school." This preschool should be her school for the next two years. I'm really excited for her, I feel like we're starting a new adventure and we're all so ready.
Emma's Wednesday and Thursday Reports
Hi Mommy,

Sorry I didn't write the last two days - I have just been really busy everyday. So let me tell you about Wednesday and Thursday:

On Wednesday,Aunt K had to go to her school so I went with J, M, C and Josefine to the swimming pool again. I had so much fun again!! Sorry - we forgot to take pictures there. Then by the time I got home, Aunt K was home! I Oh, M had a girlfriend come over and we played dress up some more! I really liked that. I then took a nap and when I woke up, I went to C's football practice. I got to play at the park there! I was playing with all the big kids and having so much fun. Everyone kept talking about my hair - they kept saying I was such cutie - I told them "thank you" every time. Oh - guess what? There was a dog that looked like Sammie there and he kept going down the slide - it made me laugh every time! Then we went home and waited for Uncle B and I helped him change the tire on his truck. That was really neat too. I played more with my cousins and was off to bed.

On Thursday, we went to a really cool park in McLean Virginia called "Clemyjontri Park" ( ). I really really really like this place. C took me everywhere in the park. They had a maze, a playground shaped as a firetruck and many more cool things to play on - but you know what? My favorite part was the carousal. I got to go twice!! Once on a horse that went up and down and then on the tea cup!! We kept going around and around!! I got so dizzy - but had so much fun. C was cool - he hung out with me the whole time!! Then we came home - I took another nap and then when I woke up - we went to Connor's football practice and I got to play at the park again. I really liked playing with the big girls again! I have been such a good girl for Aunt K and Uncle B. I like playing with my cousins and Aunt K and Uncle B - but I can't wait to see you all soon. I love you a bushel and a peck - a hug around the neck- a barrel and a heap - talking in my sleep about you!!


At the big playground.

Everyone at the park.

Look, Daddy! Pluto!!!

Off with Cousin C at the playground.

On the horse!

Helping Uncle B change a tire.

Playing dress-up. Look! No socks!

Posing with her hair in a ponytail.

Just thinking about something...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
She can still wear the dress...
This is the one that Noni and Popi brought her back from Mexico when they went on their cruise in February 2007. It was featured heavily in our photos from the beach last year.

Emma's Report on Monday's Activities
Howdy Mommy and Daddy!

Today, C, M, and J went with Josefine to the Washington Monument and Aunt K decided that it might be a little too much walking for me - so I got to hang out with her today!! First - we had to go to a store that had sooooo many tires!! I couldn't believe all the tires - I kept wanting to count them all. Aunt K said we were there to fix her tire for the truck. Then we went to each lunch at a place called Panera's. Wow - I was so hungry. I told Aunt K I would like a peanut butter sandwich only. I ate the whole sandwich and had some yogurt and chocolate milk - Mmmmmm. Then because I was a good girl - I got to have a chocolate chip cookie!! Yipee! Then we went a few other places and went home for a nap. I don't know why- but I have been taking long naps at Aunt K and Uncle B's house. They had to wake me up again!! At night - I was able to watch some Dora shows and then I played dress up with the girls. We had so much fun again. By the way, C has been really nice to me too! He played tag with me tonight in the house! I actually caught him!! I don't think he was expecting that. Okay - well I'm off again for another bath and Aunt K is going to read me a book!!

Love you both!

Monday, August 18, 2008
Our House (for a week)
Just a little cottage, really ;)

Emma Report for Sunday's Activities
Hi Mommy and Daddy!

It's me again. Wow - today we went swimming in the "big" pool. I had so much fun! Aunt K and Uncle B said they would send you some pictures of my big day at the pool. I really liked being able to walk around the whole pool too!! It was so huge!! Then we came home and I took a really long nap (3 hrs!). Uncle B had to wake me up!! I kept telling him I was going to sleep but I wouldn't close my eyes! M and J then invited me to a "tea party." That was so much fun too! After dinner we decided to go on a long walk and we played at the playground. I didn't think I could walk all that way - but you know what Mommy and Daddy? I DID IT!!! I was such a big girl! Whew - I am tired again and I'm off to take a bath and go to bed. Tomorrow I am going to run some errands with Aunt K she said she had a suprise for me! I wonder what it is?

Good night Mommy and Daddy! I love you!

Nasty bloodsucking bastards
Mosquitoes were the party poopers on our trip. They were big, fat and ravenous. Every time we went outside the house they came after us in droves. We had to spray on a coat of bug spray to even run to the car to get something. The day after we arrived we went out and spent around $60.00 on citronella buckets and outside bug sprays. Noni and Popi went back for more spray and mosquito coils. It was crazy.

Unfortunately for M he was apparently the tastiest morsel on the island. If we were pestered a little, he was swarmed. He was bitten half a dozen times every time he went outdoors. He'd come in and go straight for the Porter's salve to put on his new bites. I was probably bitten 10 to 15 times the whole trip where the bite left a bump. M was bitten thusly at least a hundred. It was awful for him.

If we used the sprays and lit the citronella buckets we could manage for a little while. We had six buckets in the enclosed pool area and we'd generate a veritable cloud of citronella to keep the bugs away. The county sent out trucks spraying the area nearly every night. Yuck, yuck and yuck!

Fortunately, the house was great so there was nothing to complain about indoors.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Emma Report from Aunt K
Yay, Aunt K! You rock hard, girlfriend! Thanks so much for the report. You know how my readers appreciate them too.

Mommy and Daddy,

Just wanted to send you a quick note about my first night at Aunt K and Uncle B's house. On the car ride home I was such a good girl (that is what Uncle B and Aunt K told me!). I watched Mulan and then "M" read to me. The first thing I did when we finally got home was go straight to M and J's room. We played Polly Pockets almost all night until bedtime. The only time I came out of the room was two times: one to find Aunt K to ask to go to the bathroom :-) and two - to eat pizza for dinner!!! Aunt K was soooooo cool - she didn't even make me take a bath last night - oops - don't tell her I said that - I don't want to get her in trouble. Well I'm off to bed! I get to sleep on the bottom bunk with J. Tomorrow we are supposed to go the "big" pool. I can't wait! Oh, don't worry Mommy and Daddy I am using my manners everytime!! You would be so proud of me! I love you Mommy and Daddy!


I did it!
I did precisely what I promised. I read my book until I was finished. I watched "Juno" and then, just to be extra virtuous, I went outside and vacuumed my car and washed off the sea salt. I even took a shower today ;) I'm saving the mudslide until after dinner. M is going to make us fajitas (my new favorite) and then I'm sure we'll watch Olympics. Ah, such a sweet Sunday...
All by myself...
This is a surprise. At around 10:30 p.m. last night M got a call from his mom. She needed him to drive to WV today to pick up apples for her Homemaker's group. They make apple dumplings for the fair, which is coming up next week. It's about a five hour round trip. Plus, she wants to stop at the Walmart that is along the way.

I find myself completely and unexpectedly alone today. Those of you out there who are mommies know that even the prospect of such an alignment of the planets can send a thrill shooting through your spine. So I picture myself finishing Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn, maybe watching Juno, and possibly, just possibly, firing up a mudslide as a last hurrah before I resume Weight Watchers tomorrow.

Don't feel too sorry for me.
Monday at the sound...
We go to the sound because it produces little or no waves. This is in contrast to the ocean side where there are pounding waves and a sharp drop-off once you wade into the water. The ocean is often too dangerous for the kids, depending on the tides and the surf. On the sound we know the kids can wade in a long way and not be in any particular danger.

Emma's favorite floatie. It's her confidence in a plastic ring.

Popi watching over his floating brigade.

"All aboard the floatie train!"

M's favorite Guinness hat is getting a bath.

Most of the crew walked across the highway to the ocean side later in the day. Little M and J wait for the surf to knock them around.

C gets chased to shore by big surf.

"Come on, guys!"

The sun set on the sound side of the house. From the upper decks you could actually see a little bit of the water. I took the first picture on Monday night.

M took the rest of these on different nights.

This one was from an entirely different perspective. Plus, he caught two helicopters in it.

Fun in the hot tub
On Monday Noni, Popi and I went grocery shopping for everyone. While we were shopping in the pouring rain this is what the troops were doing...

Yeah...I see ya...having fun.

Uncle B's hippie hair.

And his protective