Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

We had a good day, despite some teething issues. We woke up and checked out the Easter baskets, played with the toys, went to Church, and had a good dinner. Emma looked positively angelic in her new Spring dress, though I didn't get a particularly formal picture of her in it before Church, and after Church it was a bit messy (so much for white). I hope you all had an equally good day with your families.

Emma's basket

Emma with her basket.

I love this dress on her!

She's teething--check out the chapped cheeks and runny nose.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Egg-citement

Today we went to an Easter egg hunt thrown by some friends in a local park. The weather was semi-lovely (sunny but chilly) and there was quite a crowd--maybe 40 kids. I have to give them props for organization, though--the park was divided into sections for different ages so the littlest kids (ie Emma) weren't trampled by the bigger kids who actually knew what was going on. She understood what was going on long enough to pick up maybe 4 things of candy (with much prompting). But mostly she just wanted to run away in the open space, with one of her parents chasing after her.

There she goes!

Emma: "Look, I got one!"
Me: "Put it in the basket, Emma!" (We had a bit of a communication gap.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Born Shopper

Today we went to Kid Junction, a fun indoor playspace. There was a playground, a section with legos and blocks, a dress-up stage, and a bunch of child-size rooms to play pretend: a post office, a pizza parlor, and a grocery store. Emma particularly liked the grocery store with the little carts. She liked them so much that she took them out of the grocery store and around the entire place!

Emma, Mia, and Damon

Bring the cart back, Emma!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

By Kim Edwards. Published by Penguin Books, 2005.

On the night when his wife gives birth to twins, Dr. David Henry chooses to send away his daughter, born with Down syndrome. On this decision hangs the rest of their lives.
This book is beautifully written, drawing you into the characters' lives. It is a story of the decisions we make as individuals and how they affect our families. It is not a happy book, though it is not necessarily sad either. Though you'd like to condemn the main chararacter for his decision, you can't, because he is thoroughly human. An added interest is the life of the daughter, and the treatment she receives because of her Down syndrome. I am glad things have changed since 1964.
An engaging, thoughtful read.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sea Time for Babies

Along with our zoo membership, we get a magazine about the goings-on at the five NYC zoos and the aquarium. Today we went to a little workshop called "Sea Time for Babies" at the aquarium at Coney Island. The classroom was set up with different stations geared towards babies and toddlers. There was a touch tank with crabs and starfish, a splash table, a sand table, a tunnel, blocks, coloring, and sea-themed puzzles and books. Emma had a blast flitting around the room from activity to activity. Though she would not dare touch the hermit crab, she loved the splash table. She also loved stacking the blocks (they were bigger than ours at home, which made it easier for her) and emptying the bowl of crayons while she was purportedly coloring a picture. The weather was lovely for March (high 50s and sunny) and after Emma's program we took in a sea lion show and other exhibits. Dave loved the shark tank, while I was particularly enamored with the baby walrus.

Checking out the puzzles.

In the tunnel...

...and back out!

Playing at the splash table.

This isn't the greatest picture, but the big walrus is the mom, and under her face, horizontally, is the baby walrus. Trust me, he was cute. I would've taken him home if he wasn't already 300+ lbs.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Peanut Butter--Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used good ol' unnatural Jif)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups salted peanuts
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Stir together the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. Put brown and granulated sugars, the butter, and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixter fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed.
3. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture, and mix until just combined. Mix in peanuts and chocolate chips.
4. Using a small (1 1/2 tablespoon) ice-cream scoop (I just used measuring spoons), make balls of dough, and place them 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
5. Bake until cookies are golden and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and cool completely.
FYI, This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, so be prepared to share!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Clapper

Emma loves to clap, especially if it is in praise of something she does. So tonight, as I was changing her diaper, the stench hit me as soon as I opened it, I exclaimed: "Whoa! That's some good poopin'!" There was much clapping and even a "yay" or two.

I guess you can clap for pretty much anything. And sorry, no pictures for this one. :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

16 Months

Emma is 16 months old today and I thought I'd share 16 facts about her.

Favorite foods:
1. Bananas
2. Raisins
3. Cheese
4. Anything with carbs: bread, cereal, rice, etc....

Emma enjoys:
1. Long walks down the hall to get the mail
2. Watching Baby Einstein, esp. "My First Signs"
3. Reading books
4. Running away from Mom

Emma is good at:
1. Playing peek-a-boo
2. Climbing
3. Animal sounds and names
4. Screaming like a banshee

Emma's most common words:
1. hi
2. more
3. mama (but usually it's towards something she's not allowed to touch)
4. ball

She is truly a full-fledged toddler, with all the fun and all the headaches. But we are never bored because we love her so!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bubbles are fun!

Okay, so you can't really see the bubbles in this picture, but I thought it was cute anyway. These four (plus two more I didn't get in the picture) played so nicely at the playground this morning. It was especially cool to see Emma and her friend Mia, the youngest kids in the group, be able to play with other kids. It's going to be a fun spring/summer watching her skills evolve!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hair Cut!

When we were in Michigan last month (yes, I'm behind), I had my mom cut Emma's hair. She had just a few strands that were down past her eyes.



Bangs are in, right?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spring Preview

Today it was a whopping 55 degrees! And while those of you who live in Arizona may think that is frigid, to us Northerners it is downright balmy. We took advantage of the "warm" weather and went to the park with some friends. Now that Emma is a good walker and a decent climber, she does well, though she still has a lot to learn. It took me a good two hours to help her understand that after you go down the slide, you have to run around to the steps to go down again. She preferred to climb up. It was so nice to be out in the sun and get a little vitamin D, weak though it may be.

Playing peek-a-boo at the top of the slide.

She liked to go down the slide backwards.

Check out the static hair!

It's easier to walk back up the slide, don't you think? Or rather, it's easier to TRY to walk up the side, then CRY when you can't, and wait for Mom to lift you to the top.

Sometimes she just liked to wander by herself.