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.