Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Fun Reunion Party

The wonderful woman who was our guide and facilitator in China, Judy Wu, has been visiting the U.S. for the last three weeks and made a stop in Salt Lake to see many of the families she helped in China. Our agency threw a party on Saturday at the Olympic Ice Sheet in Ogden and we met up with Judy and a bunch of our friends.

Emma seemed very pleased to see Judy, although it's been 16 months since we've been home and I don't imagine she can remember much about the big trip...

...but Judy certainly remembers Emma and was delighted to see her again.

Our friend Shawn was there with his little girl Sophi. Sophi's been home almost six months.

Here's Sophi and her mama, Calista.

Little Maylin was at the party, too. Maylin's mom, Laurel, and I think Emma and Maylin look a little bit alike.

Emma enjoyed collecting goodies and arranging them on the chairs...

And she just generally had a good time.
It was wonderful to see Judy and our friends. We had a blast.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Sunday in the Life of Missy Em

Young Emma got up at 7:55 this morning after sleeping all night in her bed. Sleeping all night in the bed happens about half the time. The other half, Emma brings blanket and pillow out to the living room sometime between 1 and 3 a.m. and spends the rest of the night on the couch.

We breakfasted with my folks, who stayed overnight after babysitting for us last evening (thankyou-thankyou-thankyou!). Emma's breakfast: Two bites of scrambled egg, four spoonfuls of raspberry La Creme yogurt, five individual Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares, two fingers of apple juice.

After briefly (but vigorously!) protesting getting dressed for church, Emma saw it my way when she realized "Handy Manny" would be turned off if clothes didn't go on. (Disney channel programs are helpful negotiating tools in our household; and of course they teach valuable lessons of cooperation and friendship consistent with appropriate Sabbath viewing ;)

Off to church!! Sacrament meeting is often a challenge, but today Emma enthusiastically vocalized during "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" (with open hymnbook on her lap) and was very quiet during prayers, although she looked around suspiciously a few times (which I guess I did too). She also spent a good part of the meeting galloping stocking-footed across the gym floor, juuust ahead of Baba. She had a good time in Nursery and came home with a bestickered art project.

After lunch (Campbell's Goldfish soup and a few bites of leftover KFC), Emma and I retired to her room for the naptime project. This can take awhile. We usually read some books pre-sleep (on Emma's nightstand right now: "Harold and the Purple Crayon," "Pete's a Pizza," "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," "Caps for Sale," "From Head to Toe.") I think Emma is gradually moving away from needing an afternoon nap; it takes longer and longer for her to fall asleep in the afternoon. But once asleep, she often sleeps a looong time (like today: 3 hours). But of course after a long, late nap she doesn't want to go to bed very early. (However, when she doesn't get a nap, she's SO unhappy in the early evening). I don't know...I think naptime probably will fade away sometime in the next few months and we'll opt for earlier, crankier bedtimes.

After long, late nap, Joe's dad and Andy & Kat joined us for dinner (Joe's mom is on a trip to Asia with Aunt Adele for 2 weeks; today they're in Cambodia). Joe made every bit of dinner. Bacon-wrapped pork loin. Yummy chunks of sweet potato with a lemony sauce. Fresh green beans. I contributed by putting butter and jam on the table for the bread. Joe loves to cook. I love that Joe loves to cook. I am a lucky duck, a fortunate fowl. ("Bannister, you're a lucky dog" -- anyone know what movie that's from?)

After company went home, Emma and I lounged on the couch and watched a Mickey Mouse video. (She loves TV; I try not to overindulge her, but man, she gets a charge out of a good cartoon.) Joe retired early, earning a well-deserved rest after a hard day of churching, cooking, and chasing his 2-year-old. Emma and I headed in for bedtime project a little after nine, equipped with blankie, toothbrush, and sippy of water (after she finished a bedtime snack of Nacho Cheese Doritos, she willingly submitted to brushing teeth by herself; she's been doing much better with the brushing lately). Took over an hour for her to fall asleep. But here's the beauty part: Emma now lets me rock her at night! This is huge. It took months for Emma to let me rock her in the rocking chair. But she loves it now, and it's cute, 'cause she's getting taller and she's got these long, rangy legs that hang over the side of the chair and she has to keep readjusting to get in a good position. But she's a regular snuggle bunny at night. 'Snice. After the hundredth readjustment, however, I said, "Emma, why don't you get in your nice comfy bed with the snuggly green quilt and you can fall asleep there." She realized that was a good option, too, and so she jumped into bed with a giggle and was asleep in 10 minutes.

And to close, following are two photos: The first one is from December '06 when Emma had been home just a month or so and we had ribs at Uncle Matt's house. The second one is from just last week on Superbowl Sunday when we had ribs again at Uncle Matt's house. It's fun to see how much she's grown (her head comes up higher on the chair).