Friday, December 5, 2008

"Happy Bert-day!"

Emma turned 2 on November 7th, and she completely understood the whole "birthday" concept, except for the fact that it is only one day. She regularly sings "Happy Bert-day" to herself, and almost daily she asks for birthday cake. She has since gotten used to the fact that the birthday cake was eaten long ago, so she answers her own question. "Bert-day cake? All gone." Despite the serious look in the picture, she quite enjoyed her cupcake, though she was a bit dismayed at the mess the frosting made.

Here is a glimpse of Emma at 2 years old:
--She is a very happy girl, and this happiness is often manifested by jumping in excitment. She jumps when she watches Sesame Street, when she sees a friend, when Dad comes home, when she gets to eat a treat.
--She is quite physical and loves to move her body. We signed her up for a gymnastics class and she can jump, stretch, stand on one leg, do a somersault, and a hand stand (modified, of course, with her feet on the bottom stair) on demand. We frequently run the length of the backyard, which is quite large by Texas standards.
--She is also very much a talker, and parrots me anytime I say a word or phrase that is new to her. She began using sentences and phrases a couple of months ago. Her favorite sentence constructions are "I want," usually followed by a request for food, and "I like," usually followed by the name of a friend or relative.
--Emma loves to sing, and knows the words to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Farmer in the Dell, Wheels on the Bus, The Wise Man and the Foolish Man, Old MacDonald, and B-I-N-G-O. She doesn't like to sing on demand, however, and if you try to get her to sing with you, she won't sing and instead just listens to you. She sings most often in her crib before or after sleeping, or she sings when she is playing by herself and doesn't think we are paying attention. Some day I am going to try to video this.
--Emma is aware of social relationships and has started to talk about her friends, most of which we know from church at this point. This also includes old friends from New Jersey.
--She is also quite fond of her relatives, and loves to talk to Grandma and Papa, Grandmacita and Grandpoppy, and Mimi and Tyler and Matt on the phone. She is especially fond of her uncles, and often giggles instead of talking to them as she remembers past exploits and games.
--She has become a bit of a TV junkie. Her favorite is Sesame Street, and her favorite character is Elmo. When he is not onscreen, she constantly asks "Where Elmo?" until he shows up again. Several times a day she'll request to "watch a movie." Lest you think I am a lazy parent, this request is frequently denied, and she usually only watchs about half an hour a day.
--She is an extremely picky eater. If it were up to her, she would consist on fruit snacks, fish crackers, and pizza. She loves pizza and has been known to eat up to 3 slices (yes, regular, full slices) in one evening. She often goes to bed without eating hardly anything because she refuses to eat dinner (and I refuse to let her eat pizza for every meal). As you can imagine, this makes her quite enthusiastic about breakfast and she loves yogurt, bananas, and cereal. I suppose she eats a dietician's dream diet, eating a large breakfast and her meals getting smaller as the day progresses.
--She likes to run errands and is learning the names of the places we frequent: Target, Kroger, the library. She likes to have a label for everything and often narrates our day, all day long.
--She loves to read books, and will read them to herself, memorizing them after I read them to her a few times. She loves story time, though there she is less interested in the stories and more interested in the finger plays and songs.
--Emma loves animals. She doesn't like to get too close to them (with certain exceptions, like my parents' dog, Shadow), but she loves to look at pictures. We have a daily ritual of saying hi to the donkey who lives on the main road by our house.
--Emma has become a huge Daddy's girl, especially now that Daddy is home regularly to play with her. She gets a huge grin whenever she sees him and requests their special games. She often thinks about him during the day and will say randomly, "Dadda work."
--Emma is quite pious. She is well-behaved in Church and rarely needs to be taken out; the one problem is that she likes to narrate the proceedings at a higher volume than we'd like. She knows when to sing and pray and likes to find the pictures of Jesus in her church books.
--Her favorite companion is her stuffed dog, Shadow (who looks just like the real Shadow). She treats him the same way we treat her: she hugs and kisses him, gives him a blanket, pushes him in a toy stroller, tickles him, even plays the games her dad plays with her.
--Emma hates it when I hold another baby. We are working on this issue.
--She is very helpful around the house and likes to throw things into the garbage. She cleans up her own toys, mostly, with prompting. She also clears her dishes and throws them into the sink (thankfully, they are plastic and probably will be for a very long time).
--When she throws a fit, she will often ask for a "time out." We have 2 kinds: for a small offense, she has to sit on the stairs and count to 10. For times when she is overtired, she has to lay down in her crib with her blanket and Shadow until she calms down (often she falls asleep).
--She is obsessed with napkins and uses 2 or 3 with every meal (she would probably use more if I gave them to her). She gets very concerned if anything spills on herself or on others. At her birthday party, she cried and ran into the kitchen to get her dad a napkin because he was blowing bubbles and spilled a little of the solution.
--She is very smart. She knows her shapes, numbers, and colors. She can recognize written numbers 1-10 and random letters. We are going to work on the alphabet next. (The letters that she recognizes must have been picked up by Sesame Street. She is constantly surprising me with something new that she knows. The other day we were at Kohl's, and she pointed to the sign on the building and said "H!" I did not teach her that, though I can tell you that she is getting several alphabet-themed gifts for Christmas).

This is a long list, but I haven't done one in a while. And I really can't help it: I'm her biggest fan. We love her and count ourselves lucky that she's ours.


Jen said...

Happy birthday, Emma! It's so fun to learn more about her. And I AM planning to get you some ABC book ideas--we just got to Utah, so things have been a bit crazy. I'll try to send something in the next few days, if it's not too late!

The Roberts' Report said...

WOW you remembered a TON about her! She is sooo super smart. She totally puts Ben to shame!!

Emily said...

What a cutie. Ruby was much the same way at 2, and still sings happy birthday all year long. ;-) Happy Birthday!

Tyler said...

I can't wait for Christmas! :)

Maile said...

Happy birthday, Emma!! I'm glad she still remembers us. =) We were near you for a few hours on Wednesday - at the Dallas airport for a 3 hour layover. I even thought of calling you to see if you wanted to meet up, until I remembered I'd have to go all the way through security AGAIN!

Emma looks like she's getting more hair...and bangs! Cute!

Oertel said...

So cute. (And, of course she would be.)

AddyandMatt said...

I loved reading all about Emma. I think the napkin thing is great. I wish Matt felt the same way, but he just wipes his hands on his pants.

Jenny said...

Sounds like you are raising a smart, caring, sweet daughter there Jess! You should be a fan. :)