Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Night Before Christmas.....

On this cold and snowy Christmas Eve we wish you peace and happiness. We're so blessed to be spending our second Christmas with little Missy Em. We are grateful for her...and for all our dear family and friends. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Many Things To Do, So Little Time

One of the moments Emma slowed down long enough to snap a photo
Mmmmmm, hot chocolate!

I think you need more scotch tape on that

I'll start on the next one

It has been a busy few days, as Christmas approaches. Last Monday we took Emma on the Trax Train downtown to see the lights on Temple Square along with 8,000 of our closest friends. I don't want to say it was cold, but there weren't any brass monkeys out that night, I must say. Emma is not one to like confinement, so the Trax experience was interesting. It was all we could do to keep her from running up and down the crowded aisle. The threat of the big guy in the blue shirt coming out from behind the dark glass and yelling at us finally kept her at a dull roar. Everybody on the train was in a nice Christmas mood, which helped.

Upon arrival at our final destination, Emma was off and running. She was bouncing like a pinball from one site to the next. The cold didn't seem to bother her much. I was working up a sweat keeping up with her, so I was not affected by the cold myself. At one point Emma climbed up on one of the tableaux to pet a fibreglass lamb. It was only by persuasive coaxing and pleading that our evening was not interrupted by the nice men from security. She did hold still for a couple of seconds, long enough to snap a few photos.

We just missed a returning train, so we had 15 minutes to kill. There's a hot chocolate stand on a corner from the train stop, so we perched Emma on a small ledge and ordered a hot chocolate for her to drink. That staved off the cold that was catching up to us, and kept her entertained until the next train rolled by. A wonderful FHE experience was had by all.

Andy came over tonight to do a little laundry, as Kathryn was doing a little Christmas shopping. He had a couple of presents to wrap, so Emma helped. She sure enjoys any project that involves paper and "sca tae" [scotch tape]. Denny was out doing a little shopping herself, so Andy and I watched football on the couch, while Emma plied us with Clementines and things off of the Christmas tree. Denny is working on an update, so keep an eye out. OK then.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Fresh out of the box with all components

Concentration, strategy, and coordination will pay off!

You can tell when it is getting close to Christmas at Hacienda JoeyDennyEmma. The gals are constructing a gingerbread house, "Scrooged" is on the television, and there is a recently opened box of Enstrom's milk chocolate butter toffee on the shelf, thanks to the gang in Chicagoland. Gracias to Aunt Laurie, Porkchop, et al.

The g-bread house is a work in process. Emma learned to say the word "dang" from the construction foreman, but they are having a great time together. Perhaps a completed photo will be in a subsequent post. The roof keeps sliding. Instructions are for the weak.

Christmas is only ten days out, and it will be here before you can say "virgin eggnog." We actually put up a few lights and a festive wreath above the garage this year. Not too bad for us, but when compared to the neighbors, a wimpy effort. That's ok, something to build on. The cove does look festive though.

We donated two racks of smoked ribs for a Sub for Santa auction, and they are about to come off the Green Egg. I wonder what the neighbors think about peach wood smoke wafting through the 20 degree air. Gotta love the BGE.

Andy and Kat are through with school until January, so they can breathe a little easier. They sure work hard, those two. Emma sure enjoys their visits. There will be another post next week, as there have been photos taken that need to be shared with all, so keep checking in. OK then.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Our Sullen Ballerina

Emma loves her new tutu and leotard (a gift from her sis Jane), but didn't especially want to beam for the camera when we took her picture.
But she did show off one of her fancy moves.

And took a nice, deep bow.

Here's a smile. She likes taking tubbies in the kitchen sink as well as in the grown-up bathtub.

Random comments:
- Our tree is decorated only on the top half (and I think you know why).
- Emma enjoyed the recent big snow on Saturday ("Bih! Sno!"). We got bundled up and went for a walk and shook snow-covered branches of trees to watch the snow fall down.
-Stephens' dulce de leche flavored cocoa: Yumsters!
- I like it when cute Christmas programs for kids come on between 7:00 and 8:00. That's the hour when I'm always wondering "what do I do now...."
-We had fun at birthday dinner for Grandpa Hiatt at Chuck-a-Rama last week (and please pronounce that Chuck-a-Rahma). Aunt Barbie was there and Emma blew the wrapper of her straw at her and hit a perfect bull's eye (to many cheers and much laughter). She's been talking about Aunt Barbie ever since. "An Bawbie...blow! straw!"
-Oh! Big news. Emma started nursery school at DDI Vantage last week. She goes two mornings a week for 90 minutes. She loves it and I think it's going to be really good for her.
-I went shopping last night at All-a-Dollar to see what I could find in the way of dollary Christmas items. Found a few of those, but found even more non-Christmasy things. Spray starch that I usually pay way more for. Canned beans. A set of 5 kiddy toothbrushes. A little bag of chocolates to eat on the way home (and they were terrible; I was so disappointed). There was such a random variety of merchandise. I counted 33 beeps as the checker scanned my stuff. Grand total: $33.83. It really is all a dollar!
-Our stake conference is this Sunday. Last conference I went alone and Joe stayed home with Emma. This time I think we'll take her and hang out in the foyer if need be. Emma has worn the same pink dress to Church 3 weeks in a row and I think we'll shoot for 4 this Sunday.
-Check out the following link to the blog of a family who adopted twin girls from China shortly before we did. One of their girls is a real juice fan. It's cute.
-I taught Relief Society on Sunday and it was such a relief to have it done that now I feel like I can enjoy getting ready for Christmas.
-Hope everybody else is enjoying getting ready, too!

PS. Take a look at this! OK then.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ain't Leftovers Wunnerful?

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to our peeps everywhere. We had a loverly holiday yesterday. Joe cooked up a moist and delicious 20-pound turkey and made cornbread stuffing. I expertly opened a variety of cans and heated things up. Grandma & Grandpa Hiatt, Janie, and nephew Jonathan joined us for dinner. Jon brought us a key lime pie to enjoy along with the pumpkin. That's a nice taste combo! Grandma & Grandpa stayed overnight and Emma got up in the middle of the night and wandered downstairs in search of them...not wanting the fun to end, apparently. (We heard a plaintive "PA!!" -- what she calls Grandpa -- wafting up from the depths of the house as we lay asleep.)

Today we're putting up the tree, listening to the Carpenters' Christmas album (the pinnacle of all Christmas music) and eating the odd green olive and turkey fragment.

In other Emma news: She now only wears two shirts (willingly), the pink one pictured above and its light green twin. I wash one or the other almost daily, and sometimes we turn them around to get a different, non-stained view. She's got a million darling outfits that she's just now growing into but thumbs her little nose at all but these two summery shirts. (I tried to coerce her into wearing some cute black velvet overalls over a pink turtleneck yesterday. I asked her if she'd wear her new outfit and she retorted "No ow-fih!" A pox on outfits.)

She also likes to wear an extragavant pink dress with a fluffy skirt covered with netting given to her by a lovely lady in our ward. She saw a tutu-wearing ballerina on BYU's World of Dance program recently and dashed into her bedroom to don "the dress," then began spinning across the living room floor. "The dress" is now the apparel of choice for Sunday.

One of Emma's favorite phrases is "happy choo choo." I don't know where it came from. A few months ago she started saying "happy happy choo choo," then it dwindled to just "happy choo choo," and now it is applied solely to birthdays and birthday cakes (as in "I hope you have a very happy choo choo birthday and eat a lot of happy choo choo birthday cake"). Next week is Grandpa's happy choo choo birthday, which I'm sure Emma will enjoy, and I told her that Christmas is Jesus' happy choo choo birthday. I think she understood. We're looking forward to the next five weeks of festivities and hope you and yours enjoy a very happy choo choo Christmas season.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Halloweeny Update

We should probably give Emma's update on Halloween before Thanksgiving gets here. We also celebrated "Emma Day" on October 30th. I took some time off of work, and we all went to Jungle Jim's for the morning on Emma Day. It was great watching Emma ride all of the rides and ignoring lunch in the process. We took some footage of the occasion, and may even post it some day when we can figure out how to do it.

It doesn't seem like a year has passed since we first saw Emma. The year has gone by quickly, and Emma has made so much progress. She now has added to her vocab words and phrases like "mine!," "stop it," and "move!" So much has happened that it is difficult to think of how life was without her. The time her mother has spent with her has produced great results. Go Mama!

Halloween was a fun day. While Denny was playing an out-of-tune piano at a funeral, Emma and I hit a couple of Halloween parties. The first was at my work, and she was a big hit in her ladybug costume. She filled up her collapsing pumpkin with candy, and we took off for the party at Boo Boo's work. Those folks at OCC know how to do Halloween. All of the employees were geared up for the occasion, as well as about 30 or 40 kids. The office was decked out, and there was candy and favors at each desk on three levels. I took a few pictures at this location, but our trusty camera gave up the ghost, so there will be no pictures. Bummer. We then took off to meet Denny at her folk's place out in Sandy. We had a pleasant visit, and ate crackers to help balance out the sugar.

After a sugar-laced nap, we took off for dinner at Andy and Kathryn's place up by the "U." There was a parade of about 50 kids that Emma joined, and they marched around [Emma had her arms folded like she does when the Nursery kids at church walk down the hall] and enjoyed hot cider and donuts (before dinner). Dinner was great, and it was good to see Andy and Kat. We then went up the street to visit Emma's other grandparents for a few minutes. By that time it was getting dark, so we headed for home to greet trick-or-treaters. Emma was bushed from a long day of partying, so we stayed home and handed out candy to about 28 scary visitors.

It was a busy couple of days, and much fun was had. She may not completely understand the Emma Day or Halloween, but that will come later. In the meantime, everybody is sure enjoying the ride! OK then.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Latest Pix + Vonage Schmonage

Our neighborhood playgroup visited Gardner Village recently. It was all decked out in its Halloween glory. Here is Emma with her friend Jackson.

Emma and pals surveying the stream below

L to R: Witch, Mom, Em

Gardner Village has a cool petting zoo. Emma took full advantage of the petting privileges.

These baby pigs were darling. Their tails were waving a mile a minute.

Emma is just beginning to fit into many of the darling outfits we got as shower gifts a year ago. Here is a sporty denim look.

And a chic green and white ensemble.

Emma in a beautiful coat her Aunt Boo Boo brought her from Disneyland (it has ladybug spots on the back).

And in keeping with that theme, a ladybug is what Emma will be for Halloween (we got the costume online from Old Navy).

On a different subject: Joe and I have Vonage telephone service, which comes through our computer. When we get voicemails we get them as e-mails with the voice message sent as an attachment (that we listen to). Lately Vonage has been pushing a new service whereby somebody (a human being presumably, but I'm not so sure) will transcribe the message so you can simply read the text of the message in an e-mail ("for only 25 cents a call!"). We've been getting free trial transcriptions of our voice messages and they are an absolute SCREAM. I think they must have non-native speakers, or robots, or aliens transcribing them. Or maybe it's just a machine. Anyway, check out the transcription of a message I got yesterday:

"I. Know. This is granted to me if. Dictator called me this morning and 1 good need to see if we could have been opening song. So. Could you please just choose 1 and then. I can eat anything so it doesn't happen to me but. Central not home and i have to go get the grandkids in a couple of hours. But different you would like to call me back it's 569. 1 c route 79. Thank you. Life state."

After listening to the actual recording, I discerned this is what the caller really said:

"Hello. This is Grethe, Denise. Birgitte called me this morning and wanted me to see if we could have an opening song. So could you please just choose one and then, I can lead anything so it doesn't matter to me, but since you're not home and I have to go get the grandkids in a couple of hours, but if you'd like to call me back, it's 569-1079. Thank you. Bye."

And then at the end of the transcription you read the following:

"Isn't Vonage Visual Voicemail Great! You could be reading this voicemail message even if you were stuck in a meeting. No more waiting until the meeting is over to listen to your messages."

Joe and I won't be signing up for the service, but we've had some great laughs over the nutty transcriptions.

That's all for now!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Great Time of Year

Here are my two gals sharing a large bowl of Sunday-night popcorn

Spring training is a great time of year. It means that the worst part of winter is behind us, and rich dudes are running around on green grass playing ball. The Giants aren't in last place (yet), and there are many summer nights on the horizon when baseball can be enjoyed. October is the cumulation of all of the above, with some great games being played. Too bad about the Cubbies, I would have liked to see them give the D-backs more of a battle. I think the Rockies will do just that.

Enough about baseball, for now anyway. On to Emma, and her progress. She is talking more each week, and seems more grown up all the time. She is having a rough go of it these last few days, we think due to her last four molars finally poking through. A spoonful of orange medicine and she calms down enough to fall asleep.

We were eating out for breakfast the other day, and I was reminded of a scene from The Godfather (I). The food had just arrived, and due to Emma's wanting to leave immediately, we had to "Tom Hagen" our food. This is in reference to the dinner Tom Hagen had with the movie producer. Just after he started eating, old Woltz started in on why Johnny wasn't going to get the part in his next movie. Ol' Tom knew he wasn't in for a leisurely meal, and was going to have to get on a plane in a hurry, so he starts stuffing the food in. Anyway, that is what we had to do. Oh well. it doesn't happen all that often, and a little "speed eating" once in a while won't kill you. Kinda funny if you think about it, I think.

Another reason October is great, is that we now have "Emma Day" to celebrate. Every October 30th we will celebrate the day we met Emma. We plan on giving her a special Chinese gift and doing something special. It has been a fast (almost) year. Emma is growing up fast, and her mother is doing a wonderful job in smothering her with love and attention! OK then.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Okay, we are MAJOR blog slackers. It has been one calendar month since we updated. We were indeed having some computer difficulties, as Joe has noted, but still... We are in danger of losing our handful of loyal readers. We have been chastised recently by both my dad and Shawn Stephens in our ward (hey to Shawn) for being poor updaters.

And now on to the Emma photos:

We went to the zoo with some friends a few weeks ago. It was splendid weather, Emma was quite well behaved, and I felt like I was on vacation it was so much fun. Here is Emma striking a pose in front of some feline (leopard? jaguar?)

I like this photo of the kids with their hands planted on the glass, observing the crocodiles (we saw the albino crocodile with the blue eyes -- "Ghost of the Bayou!") Maybe it was an alligator. I called it the wrong name when I was there and the zoo attendant briskly corrected me. (One has a longer, V-shaped snout; the other a shorter, square snout, but I can't remember which one's which anymore.)

We've attended a couple of U of U volleyball games recently. Kathryn Haynie, Andy's wife, is on the team and she is GOOD! We dress Emma in her red sweats, red Utah T-shirt, and white sneakers when we go. She likes to clap and cheer with the crowd. She also boldly approaches anyone close by, known or unknown to her, who has snack items. Sigh. It's kind of a problem.

Joe smoked some ribs recently. Emma's a big fan of the ribs.
We've been to the airport a couple of times lately to watch planes land. We walked along the bike path and the planes roared overhead. Emma mostly enjoyed it until a great big loud one came over and she got this expression on her face.

Today (September 25) is the Moon Festival, second biggest Chinese holiday after Chinese New Year, celebrating the autumnal equinox. We bought four moon cakes, the traditional Moon Festival delicacy, at the Melewa Bakery on 9th South to celebrate. They're filled with kind of a pasty, gelatinous something or other (sweetened bean paste I've heard). Not bad. Emma didn't partake, though.

Emma is really learning a lot of new words lately, stringing words together, chattering, humming a little (something she hasn't done much of until recently). She is a funny, energetic, happy soul. A joy. She'll be two and a half next month and it's almost a year that we've been home with her. The recent change in weather reminds me of getting ready to leave last year...such amazing memories.

Sorry about the long dry spell on the blog, but thanks for being loyal readers and checking in.

Technical Difficulties

We are experiencing blogger angst, and cannot log in from home. Stay tuned and we will update again as soon as we can do some reconfiguring. OK then.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It Was a Year Ago Yesterday....

A year ago yesterday we got Emma's referral and saw this photo for the first time. I don't know how old she was when this was taken. How old does she look to you?

And here's our pretty girl now. Doesn't she look grown up?

Emma made an important pilgrimage today -- to Maddox Ranch House Restaurant in Brigham City, UT. It will be the first of many such visits. Oh, the homey goodness of Maddox food. The first bite of hot roll with raspberry butter sent me to gastronomical paradise. Joe ordered the famous fried chicken; I had melt-in-your-mouth roast beef with mashed potatoes and sweet corn; Emma poked around at her child-size chicken-fried steak.

A fine point of Maddox protocol is to make your own honey butter for the cornbread; the bigger the mess you make on your plate, the tastier the product.

After lunching at Maddox, we bought a couple of baskets of peaches to take home for jam-making (it's Peach Days in Brigham right now, don'tcha know). Then we visited our friends Shawn and Calista and their family, who live nearby. They're planning to leave September 13 to pick up their daughter Sophi Li in Hubei Province.

My sister Julie was in town this past week for BYU Education Week (I went with her one day on Monday; what a blast. It's like being transported to a lovely, edifying, well-groomed, caffeine-free planet). The above photo was taken at Aunt Barbie's. From left: Yer author, niece Angie with her baby Wyatt, sister Julie and her daughter Julia, sister Barbie with Emma.

Emma and Grandpa Hiatt had a blast swinging in Barbie's backyard. Hard to tell who was having a better time.

But from the looks of this photo, it was probably Emma.

The other day Emma took one of her little bears, wrapped him in her blankey-blank and propped a pillow behind his head. I like to see her pretendy side coming out.

Our summer's coming to a close. It's been a wonderful first summer with our little girl. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

We're Growing Weary of JoJo's Circus

Take a good look at the picture above. You can see the top of Emma's head as she is holding her balloon (from her sister Janie), and watching another episode of "JoJo's Circus." Most days when Emma wakes up, the first words out of her mouth are "JoJo." It doesn't matter if it is 4:00 AM or 7:30 AM. She is a JoJoaholic. As bad as that sounds, it could be worse. She could be a "Dr. Philaholic" or "Little Womenaholic." With the magic of Tivo, JoJo's Circus can be played in all of its 1/2 hour glory whenever it is deemed necessary or acceptable. Our Tivo library now sports a selection of about 15 episodes.

Emma used to be hooked on "Go Baby." There were two problems with that offering. They only made seven episodes, and they only last five minutes. We would go through the whole series in one sitting. She still says "Baby" when she wants Denny to call up the Disney Channel website, but will seldom ask to look at the actual "Go Baby" url. Emma really likes to look at the computer screen, and the stuff Mom can
make it do. I think she is going to be a natural on the computer.

Back for a moment to the 4:00 AM comment. When she doesn't sleep the whole night through,she will wander in to the front room and kick me off of the couch, which is where I sometimes end up sometime during the night. She will then go back to sleep. We are hoping that it is because of the warm evenings we are experiencing, and cooler nights will help her sleep the night through. We can hope can't we?

We were noticing a few days back that she is not as hyper as she was nine months ago. Her attention span is longer, and she now has the ability to amuse herself. We just hope it doesn't have anything to do with the dog and/or sharp objects.

Emma freely gives hellos, bye-byes, high fives, and headbutts, so she is adding to her inventory of social skills. She's a sweetheart.

Ok then.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dog Days of August

My two girls on the merry-go-round

Emma on the "Speedy Turtle"

I asked for a natural smile


We have had a very busy summer so far. Emma has made a few trips to the old neighborhood and visited Liberty Park to take in a few rides and shaved ices from our good friend Nicolai. She seems to enjoy the orange cream flavor. The fourth picture in this post represents the referral photo of our friends Calista and Shawn's new daughter.  They will be leaving sometime in the next few weeks to pick up their new daughter from the Hubei Province. That's right, another "spice girl" will soon be in Utah! We are excited for them and are anxious to meet Sophi.

Emma is growing taller and faster. She had a cold two weeks back, and may have lost a pound or two because of a lack of interest in food, but we think she has gained it back. We didn't feel right in taking her to the nursery at church for two weeks, so I had to make the supreme sacrifice and stay home with her.

Emma helped me pick two tomatoes from our garden last week, and I asked her to take them inside to her mother. Mom only got one, because Emma bit into the other one and ate the whole thing...just like her great-grandpa Foster. I remember grandpa driving me up to a tomato field, getting out with a salt shaker that had somehow appeared from the glove compartment, and eating tomatoes al fresco right off of the vine.

We went to the annual picnic of our adoption agency and met many of our old friends and their little girls from China. Emma fit right in, and played hard with them all. She enjoys mixing it up with a crowd. Last Friday Kathryn and Andy held a party at the house for friends who are getting married this week. Emma arrived on the scene about 9:00 PM, and started to work the room. She went around and said "Hi"to everybody while eating and drinking. She was kind of wound up later that night when she had to go to bed.

She is making great progress with her language skills, putting words together, and expanding her vocabulary. Advances are being made on the potty training front as well, but I will leave those details to Denny. She has discovered the subtle beauties of bologna, and 
would eat it at every meal if we would let her.

OK then. 

Friday, July 06, 2007

Summer Days....

Emma and cousins Josh and Jonah on the 4th of July.

And the rear view....

Emma had her first visit to the dentist a couple of weeks ago. All went well and she was a hit with the two dental assistants, who plied her with stickers and plastic jewelry. The dentist, an earnest fellow, gave us many helpful pointers. He stressed the importance of proper nutrition and looked genuinely taken aback when he asked what Emma's diet consisted of and Joe answered, "Mostly Slim Jims and Mountain Dew." "Well, YOU get the Father of the Year award," he retorted. (He's a kidder, doc...)

Good thing the dentist didn't see Emma on this day, post-grape sucker.

The summer is flying by. It's hot. Our electric bill is high and 'twill be higher yet next month. Emma is growing taller; her head barely clears the underside of the kitchen island counter and I plan to note in my journal the day she bumps into it. (Ouch; poor honey)

We've had a busy and social couple of weeks. Two of Joe's out-of-town siblings and families have been in town recently and we've had lots of family get-togethers. Was fun to have Uncle Mike stay with us for a night last week. We ate chocolate Dunford donuts and watched a DVD about 9/11 conspiracy theories. Good times.

On the 4th Emma experienced the Kaysville 4th of July parade. She was equal parts bewildered and fascinated. What in the world are all these people marching down the street for...? Then the fire trucks drove by and sprayed all the kids with water. She hung on to me tight but didn't complain; it was hot and the water felt good.

Aunt Laurie and family are now in town and it's fun to see the Illinois cousins.

Last night my folks treated my sister Barbie and me and some of her kids to a night at the theatuh -- Les Miz at Pioneer Memorial. A half hour into the show -- pop! the lights went out -- right in the middle of the brothel scene! The actors froze on stage, then scampered off. The power outage lasted for about an hour; the director came out and gave us periodic updates and said if the lights didn't come back on by 9:00 we'd all go home. At 8:55, bing! they came back on, to enthusiastic applause. Oh goody. I saw Lez Miz about 20 years ago and very much wanted to see it again. Great production. Thanks, mom and dad!...

Emma is doing great. She had an assessment by the DDI Vantage early intervention folks last week to see if she's eligible for speech help (because of her delayed start with English), but she tested too high. She's either at or above her age level in every developmental category except expressive speech, which they estimated was only about 3 months behind a native-born speaker, so that ain't bad. Way to pick up a new language, Em.

Thanks for checking in. Sorry we're not frequent posters, but we'll still do the periodic updates.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Out and About with Missy Em

Emma walked through the raindrops during our wet weather a week or so ago. Isn't the raincoat cute? (A gift from Cindy Sweat.)
We went swimming on Memorial Day weekend with Uncle Matt and Aunt Erin and their boys.
Emma helped Mom plant some flowers last weekend. Unfortunately, she also likes to pick them.

Last Saturday we drove up to Brighton to eat our dinner. Emma had a blast in the great out of doors. The mountain fresh air was wonderful.

Haven't posted in a long sorry. Discretionary time is scarce, and it seems we tire easily in our advancing years, but we're having so much fun with our little girl.
* We're trying to teach her how to say "I love you." Emma says "I lah..." We're still waiting on the "vyou," but are happy to hear it however it comes out. She also says "I lah" when she wants to go outside.
* Emma has turned into a persnickety eater. I remember how much she ate in China and can hardly believe she's the same girl.
* She likes playing on the computer. I found the coolest website, Has all kinds of nifty games for little kids. So creative and colorful.
* Emma has a good sense of humor. Sometimes we listen to Primary CDs when we're lying down for a nap. One of them has a scratch in it and always gets stuck in the same place. ("Can a little child like me thank the Father fittingly.") It always gets stuck in the next part, "Father, we thank thee." It'll go "Fa-wa-wa-wa-wa," but if you tap on the CD player it'll jump over the scratch and keep going. Anyway, Emma can be almost asleep, but if she hears that song starting she'll sit up and grin at me and can't wait for the skippy part to come. Cackling with mirth, she'll whack the CD player and then say "Gin?" (again), so I start the song over and we do it again...and again. She gets a huge kick out of it.
* When she's finished eating, she'll stand up in her chair, booster seat still strapped on, and start reaching for everyone else's dinner and any drinks, condiments, or utensils she can find. She is compelled to grab, dump, shake, pour, and squish everything within her reach. A great work of civilizing our youngster lies before us. In the meantime, we scoot things farther down the table.
*Emma is a great helper. She helps unload the dishwasher, sweep the floor (she holds the dustpan), do the laundry (I lift her up to put clothes in the washer, and she's good at cleaning off the lint trap in the dryer), and cleaning the mirrors, although she squirts on somewhat more Windex than is really necessary.
*One of her favorite words right now is "Beh," which means "Back," as in "Stand back and let me do it myself." She pushes on my thigh and says "Beh!" and I have to back up a couple of feet so as not to invade her personal space as she performs some task.
*Emma is a charming, smart, independent, loveable little girl.