Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pumpin' it up

I'm sorry I made promises I knew I could not keep.  Posting during these crazy weekends is almost impossible,  so I may just become a weekday-only blogger so that I don't feel guilty.

But this post is not going to be about me, it is going to be about Emily!

My 5 year old daughter.
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Emily has so much of her Daddy's perfectionism and her Mommy's bossiness, and that makes things tough for a person whose job it is to basically learn and try new things all day every day.  Over the past year we've seen her make such an effort to get some of these tendencies under control, and it makes us so proud to watch our little girl becoming mature enough to stop herself mid-freakout, take a deep breath or walk away from an escalating situation and get herself back under control.  She has become much more of a person with predictable moods, someone who can accompany you on multiple errands in a row without dissolving into fits of whining (provided she is well-rested and with stable enough blood sugar)!

She is a wonderful big sister to Charlotte.  It's been so fun seeing them interact as Charlotte has "evolved into a human" (as Emily says) and as Emily has grown up to the point where she can be much more patient with Charlotte.  They fight of course, but the days when they mostly play and giggle together (and beg to sleep in the same bed at night) are becoming more and more numerous.  

Emily already has quite a head for math, or at least addition :-)  She can add single-digit numbers together pretty successfully and is starting to understand numbers between 20 and 100.  She is also a remarkable singer, if you ask me!  She has incredible pitch and rhythm and can pick up on lyrics after 1-2 listens.  And if she doesn't know the lyrics she just makes them up as she goes, as anyone who has heard her rather excellent rendition of "Libiamo ne' elieti calici" from La Traviata will tell you.

Her absolute favorite thing to do is still to play ponies.  She loves her My Little Ponies with a fiery passion, and no one had better knock them over when she has them all set up in whatever the arrangement of the day is.  She is most often found tiptoeing around with a pony clutched in each hand muttering under her breath as detailed scenes play out in her head.  She loves it when I consent to doing voices for some of her ponies, but we always have  a rough patch at the beginning while we re-establish which pony has and has not met which other ponies, who is related to who and what the initial topic of conversation will be (see bossiness, perfectionism above).  She told me recently that she wishes I could read her mind so that I could play ponies exactly the way she wants me to without her having to tell me what to say.  I told her she won't wish that for very long.

Since Emily lives in her own imagination so much, she sometimes is not terribly observant of the world around her.  This was something I attributed to her young age until Charlotte came along and started noticing EVERYTHING.  Not being very observant might end up being an issue in the long run, but so far it has actually been a good thing for Emily (from a mom's perspective) because I think it has shielded her somewhat from things that we'd just as soon keep out of her head for as long as possible.  I don't want to be that ridiculously over-protective mom, but we all have memories of catching a bit of a horror movie when we were way too young or hearing about something bad happening that really preyed on our minds because we were too young to really process the information.  There are definitely things *I* wish I didn't have etched forever into my brain!  But with Emily for example, she has never been fearful of falling asleep by herself, never had nightmares, and never been much of a worrier in general.  But you can't keep the outside world out forever, and over the past year we have started getting the "I don't want my Mommy or Daddy to die!" comments, and the "I am afraid of the basement because I feel like zombies are chasing me when I come up the stairs" and "I am afraid there will be a vampire or a ghost in my room" fears.  It's normal of course, and so far we've been pretty successful at assuaging her fears, but it's also sad for me to see the first bits of her complete childlike confidence in her safety and the goodness of the world start to fade.

And Emily is nothing if not confident.  She talks to adults and other kids alike, she always stands front and center and sings the loudest at her preschool performances and if she sees someone doing something she knows is wrong she does not hesitate to have words with them about it.  I really hope this is a trait she keeps for life, because I strongly believe if you have confidence then everything else will fall into place.  Emily has a baby book (somewhere) that I filled out (a little bit) and under the question "What attribute do you hope your baby will have?" I wrote "Confidence".  Well I don't know if my BABY had confidence, but I know my 5 year old does :-)

We love Emily so much, we love watching her experience the world, and we love getting to know her day by day as her personality continues to develop.

And I promised dragon party pictures, so here they are!

The cake turned out!

I also made these "dragon nests" for the dairy-free guests.

Tell me this girl isn't going to be a ballerina

Charlotte's "Oh my God I'm falling" face

Later I attached some moderately wing-looking appendages

Pump it Up did a really nice job!

I even tried out the slides myself

Emily opted to sit in the throne the whole time vs. joining her friends at the table

I did have a piece of cake, but was a bit disappointed at  how sweet the frosting turned out to be!

I left a bunch of it behind.

It's tough to cook (and especially bake) when you are trying to avoid sampling your product!

The rest of the weekend was similarly busy, I'll talk about all that in another post.

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