Archive for the Category ◊ Emily ◊

30 Oct 2008 I forgot how much I LOVE pumpkin seeds!

I used this recipe and they are GOOD.

But no one is here for a pumpkin seed recipe, are they?

You’re here because…..

….Emily got an awesome report with just 2 B’s and just as many A+’s.
….I am the mama of the cutest baby ever….
…it’s pumpkin carving night!

24 Aug 2008 Good luck, baby.
 |  Category: Emily  | Leave a Comment

Can you believe that I am a mama to a third grader?  Doesn’t that seem so big??

It seems like time is screaming fast, particularly this summer and once again, we’re back to back to school time. I look forward to school time every year. It feels like New Year’s Eve to me, a chance to start everything fresh again. We pack up the kids back packs with new things and dress them in new clothes and send them out to start all over again.

And Emily, to her credit, is so excited to start school; to be with her friends again and to get back into the swing of things. I wonder if she, too, feels the potential of a fresh school year stretched out before her. This year, she’s not the new kid anymore. There’s nothing new for her to adjust to. Emily has attended five school since she started attending school at age 3. Yes, that works out to one a year. I can only hope when she walks through the double doors tomorrow that she’ll feel confident, because she knows the ropes. There’s no adjustment period for her this year.

Just stepping in and going with the flow. I can only imagine how she’ll excel without having to puzzle out the system or her place inside of it.

So, the back pack is packed, the first outfit selected, Old Navy frustrated towards (hey, I ordered uniforms from that palce a week ago and NOTHING, which means if they don’t show by Tuesday night (I have convinced Emily to wear her jumper and blouse) I’m off to the store to rebuy things I’ve already bought and paid for. Curse you Old Navy!!), the snacks and lunch things bought, the lunch box washed and ready.

Best wishes for this year, babygirl. I hope it’s fantastic. I know you’ll do all you can to make it that way.

24 Jan 2008 The Times They Are A Changin’
 |  Category: Emily, Momdom  | Leave a Comment

Emily will be eight.  In just a few short weeks.  I find that I can’t really find the energy to lament her growing anymore. It’s not that I don’t care, but I’ve finally discovered that it’s inevitable and that crying over it really doesn’t change anything.  In addition, I’ve found that there are things to love (and dislike) about each age and stage which somehow makes the whole ordeal more bearable.

One thing that I find most striking is the difference between my childhood and Emily’s.  Not materially, although that is a part of it.  Only 23 years separate the two of us.  Not even a quarter of a century and yet so much has changed from the time I was eight and now.

When I was eight we owned one t.v.  I have no idea what the size was, but it did not have a remote control and it had knobs you had to turn.    We had a box with a button on it that you could push in an attempt to turn your antenna to bring in better reception.  You could even turn the frequency to UHF and try to tune in more channels too.

Now we have two t.vs, our newest a flat panel, high def LCDtv.  Emily has never had to get up to turn the knob, nor tune in the antenna nor been impressed when a channel from a distant city showed up on the dial during certain weather patterns.    She has no time or patience for black and white movies or t.v. shows (not even watching I Love Lucy when I tried to share with her.  Maybe she’s too young?)  She has never lived at a time when there weren’t t.v. channels dedicated to children on 24 hours a day.  Now you can even get programming from PBS and the smallest of babies 24 hours a day.

She knows how to use a DVR.
She knows how to buy pay per veiw.
When I was eight we didn’t even own a VCR and cable consisted of a converter box that allowed you to tune in HBO.  Now we have about a bazillion channels and Emily is just as bored on rainy afternoons as I was when we only had a handful of channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and a few local affilates which have pretty much died off the exception being WCIU out of Chicago, locally).

When I was eight i could play alone undisturbed in the back yard for hours.  I could walk three doors down without my mom being in a tizzy. I even walked myself down the street, around the corner and to the bus stop, not a long walk in distance but certainly out of my Mom’s line of sight.  People gave out apples and homemade popcorn balls for Halloween.

After a local report of a child abduction I’m afraid of Emily walking to the corner without being in my line of vision.  Even last year I would stand in the garage and watch her at the bustop, a whole two houses away.  Just in case.  I do my very best to give her that freedom that makes up the happy memories of so much of my childhood, but the reality of the news reports gives me pause and my heart pounds hard in my chest when she takes just a second or two too long to complete a simple task outside that is out of my line of vision.  I’m thankful that one of her best friends lives directly behind us and that they are mostly content with playing in our adjoining yards, out of the view of strangers driving by and in my direct line of sight.

We inspect Emily’s Halloween candy carefully (though not as carefully as my Dad at the height of the needles in candy scare when he would literally run our candy under his metal detector discarding anything that set it off).  Our biggest concern now is peanut products, but we would quickly throw out anything not individually wrapped and sealed.  No more homemade popcorn balls, apples or cookies in the Halloween bag.  They’re a waste of money.  Who would eat them?

When I was eight we had tornado drills and fire drills.
Emily has “lock down” drills where the children practice hiding in darkened class rooms in case of the school being invaded by someone with evil motives. I was more shaken by her announcement than she was.  She was matter of fact, the point of the drill downplayed by kind teachers who made vague references to “bad” guys.  Emily’s mind can’t conceive, yet, of what those bad people could do and what sort of terror caused schools to practice hiding the children in silence.

In some ways, Emily’s world is worse than mine was at eight.  She has more homework than I did.  She can’t play with as much freedom as I did.  She spends more time in front of the t.v. and computer than I did.  She had to ride in a car seat longer than I did (and still could be in a booster seat by all rights).

But in some ways, her world is better.  So many people my age and older talk about how “bad’ things are now and allude to the “good old days” but honestly, I don’t think that’s the case.  I think we hear a lot more harrowing things because we live in a world with 24-hour news channels, desperate to gain our attention.  We live in a world with three hour long news programs in the morning, following by a half an hour of news at noon, 1 to 2 hours of news in the evening and 30 to 60 minutes of news at bedtime.  I mean, there comes a point when what’s going on locally isn’t going to capture any one’s attention and they have to turn to other communities.

But, I digress.  Emily lives in a world without boundaries or borders.  She can easily travel across the world.  She can connect with people across the world on the Internet.  In a minute.  She can see family and friends real time, in streaming video.  She can learn anything.  This week we looked up pictures of a Chinese Crested,  a hairless cat and a mud puppy to compare who was ugliest.  We live in an amazing time.  Truly.  Full of things and learning.  Is the trade off fair?  I can’t really say, but things certainly have changed.

14 Dec 2007 The first cookie of Christmas…

…spiced pumpkin softies from Woman’s Day. You can find the recipe here

Overall, these are pretty good. I skipped the pumpkin pie spice and just added some similar spices of my one (1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves). Emily gave them a thumbs up and the baby and the dog liked them too. Oh, and if you drop them onto your cookie sheet you have to flatten them.

Mine looked nowhere NEAR like the one’s in my Woman’s Day (there’s were tiny and very flat and round). Mine were big and sort of ….bumpy? The recipe claimed to make 60 cookies and I made 48 so I didn’t grossly over do the size.

I also used a pastry bag to pipe on the icing. It was easier, IMO, then trying to spread a dollop on each cookie.

12 Dec 2007 What do you know?
 |  Category: Cadence, Emily, Kids  | Comments off

This morning, Cadence was playing near me. I held out my arms and she walked into them, snuggling up against my chest for a hug. I’m so glad that this is something that Cadence has already learned, that we’re here and willing give hugs and kisses and that hugs and kisses make you and others feel good.

But more than that, I love the little world that our girls have come to understand as babies; a place where there is just love and kindness and hugs and kisses.

Emily is nearly eight now (well, 7 years and 10 months) and she’s learned, you know, that life isn’t all hugs and happiness and security. She has learned that sometimes people are downright mean to you for no reason and I wish I could keep her in that little shell she was wrapped in when she was Cadence’s age where you got what you needed and the only people around you were people who loved you.

But that’s not how life works, is it?

I don’t want this post to be a downer. That was totally not my intention. My point was, I love the fact that as babies and toddlers and young children , my children just expect to be loved because that’s what they live.

When Emily was a young child, she was fearless. It used to scare Eric half to death,b ut we realized that Emily had no fear of falling because, well, we never let her fall. She could climb as high as she wanted, secure in the thought that she wouldn’t fall and if she did fall, we’d be standing there to catch her and cushion her fall.

And I’m glad that Cadence will feel this way. That she’ll only know love and contentment because that’s what we give her and she’ll feel free to climb to the tippy top of the playground equipment because she has no fear of falling because we’re there. :o)

11 Nov 2007 Murphey’s Law
 |  Category: Cadence, Emily, Kids, Momdom  | Comments off

You all know it right? Basically what can go wrong will?

About six weeks ago, Emily got her annual cough. Emily gets this cough around the start of the school year and it lingers, on and off, through Christmas and into the new year. The past several years, we would run to the doctor and get sent home with meds. for her nebulizer. This year, we decided that we weren’t going to run to the doctor. We knew what she had and how to treat it and started giving her nebulizer treatments. But, this year Emily decided to change it up and started coughing so hard she would throw up. That accounted for three trips to the doctor and a just about that many days of missed school too.

Cadence, during this time gets a runny nose and a little baby cough. Nothing too horrible (and the cough was so little it was almost cute).

This week Monday, Emily is back to school We have a clean bill of health. We’re off the nebulizer for the first time in weeks. We get a call from the school. They think Emily has pink eye.

So, we’re back to the doctor. We get eye salve. Emily misses ANOTHER day of school to make sure she’s no longer contagious. Weds. morning I notice that the bloody patches Emily has on her eyes have gotten worse. I suck it and get her another doctors appointment and she misses a half a day of school. She has a < href="">subconjunctival hemorrhage. She gets two different eye medications and a note so she can go back to school. The doctor makes a quick inspection of C’s eyes and pronounces her clear.

Thursday, I notice Cadence has a little baby fever and her runny nose is back. When she wakes up friday morning and starts “talking” it becomes obvious that she has Croup. Argh. We treat her at home, but she appears to be having trouble breathing over night from Friday into Saturday so we get out of bed and talk her to the ER. She has a breathing treatment, a chest x-ray and a steroid shot. We got home at 4 a.m. and cancel our activities for the biggest part of the weekend.

And now, to make matters worse, Cadence woke up from her morning nap with a goopy eye. Sigh.

24 Sep 2007 Cadence didn’t want to nap today.
 |  Category: Cadence, Emily, Kids, Momdom  | Comments off

We were in my bedroom, in my rocking chair in the sunny patch in the corner and Cadence was pushing against my chest. The sun catches her eyes and they turn a brilliant, clear hazel as she leans over my arm, half recklessly, stretching with every fiber of her body to try to and reach the windowsill behind me as we rock.

The rocking chair creeks and squeaks, making it’s own song. Emily is playing outside and the laughs and squeals of the kids carry up to the bedroom. I can’t resist and tickle the wrinkled skin under Cadence’s arm. She giggles in delight and turns back to trying and capture the window sill. I continue to rock. In the year since Cadence has been born I learned that my natural rock is two seconds. One second up and another second back to the ground. Cadence’s hair is swooshing softly in the air as I rock back and forth. Her head is becoming heavy as she is slowly giving over to sleep.

The dog comes upstairs to climb into bed. Cadence jerks her head up and swivels around to inspect him. He gives her a quick glance, spins in a circle twice and settles into a pile on the bed. I whisper to Cadence that puppy is going night-night too. She makes a brief attempt to catch Eric’s night stand before throwing herself over my arm again, her head dangling downwards. Within a few minutes, her eye lids are dropping and then closing. She’s asleep.

I shift her onto my shoulder and carry her into her room. She makes unhappy noises when I settle her into crib, but for now, she’s asleep.

02 Apr 2007 Mommy Guilt or Why I spent $100 at Target this morning
 |  Category: Emily, Momdom  | Comments off

I will open by saying, the entire $117 bill wasn’t in easter basket stuffing goodies. I spent about $13 in baby food and personal care items and another $7 or so dollars on easter baskets for Cadence as she has none, but that still means I spent $90 to stuff two easter baskets.

Seems a tad crazy, doesn’t it? But, in the end, it’s all about mommy guilt.

Before Emily was diagnosed with a class six peanut allergy, Easter shopping was easy. Chocolate, a stuffed animal and a few small toys. That was when it was enough, in our minds, to eliminate products that visible contained peanuts or tree nuts. It was easy.

Now, however, getting chocolate to put in Emily’s easter basket is difficult and seems to get harder every year. Emily ADORES chocolate and it was Very Bad Day when we told her that her beloved M&M’s were “may contains” and no longer something we would buy her to eat. She still mourns their loss at times in the checkout line.

I’m sure I could find an on-line retailer of peanut free chocolate bunnies, but sometimes you have to buy something off the shelf. I intend to write a letter to Hershey to thank them for continuing to produce peanut free items, like candy bars and especially, kissables, that feed Emily’s desire for M&M’s in candy coated chocolate safeness.

But, how does this relate to spending $90 to fill four easter baskets? That is, $45 a child one of whom is only six months old and was more delighted chewing on some paper as we shopped than the pretty colored things I was tossing in the basket.

Well, it’s the mommy guilt. See, I had to pass up those dozens of cute solid chocolate bunnies. Cadence and I spent half of forever in the easter candy aisle, hopefully reading each chocolate bunny hoping that ONE would be safe for Emily. NONE were. THe only one not labeled as containing peanuts was one by Brach’s candy and since their HARD candy isn’t safe, I couldn’t bring myself to chance it. Since there is no cornucopia of candy in Emily’s basket, my mommy guilt forces to me to compensate in the following manner

  • 1 Puppy in my Pocket set-5.99
  • 2 Disney Princess Pocket dolls with dresses-9.98
  • 1 happy rabbit stuffed bunny-2.99
  • 1 package of mini egg chewing gum-.99
  • 1 Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses DVD-13.78
  • 1 easter lifesaver book-1.99
  • 1 Junie B Jones First Grader: Dumb Bunny-10.79
  • 1 package of small hershey chocolate bunnies-3.99
  • 1 package of flower barrettes-2.54
  • 2 egg shaped containers of kissables-1.98

For a grand total of:$55.02 for one little girl’s easter basket. You’d think the mommy guilt was over, but in truth, it had only begun. See, in my heart of hearts, I know Cadence’s easter basket isn’t for Cadence. It’s just not. And, if Emily wasn’t perched on the verge of not beliving in things like Santa and the Easter Bunny any more, chances are good I would bought a rattle or two and forgotten about it, but not only does Emily still believe, she also believes in equality for her and her sister AND would be painfully annoyed at the easter bunny for not being fair with Cadence, so….

  • 1 mesh self-feeding set 5.49
  • 1 Baby Einstein First Signs DVD-12.99
  • 1 pull along chick-1.00
  • 1 small stuffed duckie-2.99
  • 1 package of Weebles-3.99
  • 1 play and Grow Hippo-7.99
  • 1 Bunny My Honey board book-5.49

Which looks more fair in the basket than it does on paper.

But, my mommy guilt is eased. Must now go ease wife guilt and confess holiday over spending. I just can’t win…

26 Feb 2007 Summer is coming. Right?
 |  Category: Emily, Love in every stitch  | Comments off

Wouldn’t know it from here. We had some sort of a precipitation storm here on Saturday night (wasn’t snow, wasn’t ice) that left several inches of fine, wet heavy, frozen something all over the ground and last night it started snowing again leaving another inch or two. It’s a friggin’ winter wonderland out there right now.

But, this girl’s fancies are turning to spring and therefore summer and in a fit of optimism, I sewed Emily and Cadence matching sun dresses yesterday. They both look adorable in them and I’ll get them dressed and take a picture soon.

Actually, we bought enough fabric for two sets of matching sun dresses. The first one I sewed was Emily’s pick and the second was mine. I’ll post pictures of both and see if you can guess who picked what. ;o)

In addition, since sewing is so much fun, I picked up some material for more pajamas for both girls as well. I’ll be posting pictures of those, too, when I’m done and you can guess who picked what. Emily has a style ALL her own and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I was hoping I would get some help cutting and pinning the patterns so I took it over to Eric’s mom’s with us yesterday, but I ended up only working on the sun dress, so I cut and pinned last night while Emily read before bed. S he’s reading one of the Mary Kate and Ashley mysteries and really doing a helluva job with it. She read two chapters last night while I was pinning and while she needed help with some words, really worked hard to puzzle out the words on her own.

Of course, I won’t get into the Mary kate and Ashley thing. I’ll just say that the books, of all kinds, are wildly popular with young girls and when I worked children’s services we could hardly keep them on the shelves. The movies either. This book is a mystery, so we’ll see what Emily thinks about that.

09 Feb 2007 The transition.
 |  Category: Cadence, Emily, Momdom  | Comments off

Before Emily was born, I swore she wouldn’t sleep in our bed. Our bed would remain ours and Emily, save for brief, rare appearances would stay out of it. But, once we brought Emily home and had some struggles getting her to sleep, coupled with our exhaustion, it just seemed easier to nestle her in bed with us and that’s where she slept, until it got to the point that no one was getting any sleep anymore we moved her on her way.

And so, when I became pregnant with Cadence, I said she wouldn’t sleep in our bed. We’d learned our lesson! I was going to be a hard ass and that baby would sleep in her own bed, but someone giving up sleeping on my left side seemed much less of a thing once Cadence got here and once again, we nestled her into our bed with us.

The last week or two has seen Cadence being more fitful during sleep and last night I drew the conclusion that it was time for Cadence to have a space of her own to sleep in. I told ERic that this weekend, she’d have to learn to sleep in her crib, even if that meant a little crying (which I just cannot bear).

Late morning, Cadence and I came upstairs to nap and compensate for last night’s sleeplessness and this afternoon, I brought her upstairs, very drowsy, but awake and put her into bed. She fussed a little, and cried for less time than it took me to count to 100 and she slept, in her own little crib, for more than an hour.

This evening, she fell asleep when Eric was holding her and he brought her up and transferred her into bed. She slept for a half an hour. I finished feeding her about a half an hour ago and snuggled her into her crib again, and she’s sleeping.

Part of me is a little sad, but I’m sure the cuddle times won’t be over. If we have another baby, I won’t be so short sighted as to suggest that baby won’t be sleeping with us. Nope. I’ll admit to it now. I like my babies there. I feel safer with them there (Cadence in particular who would spend whole nights asleep on my chest) and it feels, more than that, like it’s the right thing to do.

I’ve never been a fan of the attached parenting movement, mostly because this “natural” school of parenting comes with a course of books and a website and, IMO, something that’s natural and instinctual shouldn’t NEED that much instruction, but as I’ve gotten older, the tenant of AP(attached parenting) that I do believe in, is allowing yourself to make choices for your baby based on what feels right to you and that it’s okay to hold your baby a lot and to co-sleep if that feels right and makes sense to you.

And, more and more, I’ve found myself turning to Dr. Sears’ website for information on breastfeeding and colic, not because I feel myself turning AP (or labeling myself as such) but because his medical advice seems to jive with what feels right to me.

And so, Cadence sleeps peacefully away from me. And that’s okay. Her time has come to make that step and I’m glad we didn’t force her sooner.