New iPhone means new videos

Since Ashley and I have gotten new iPhones, I have been playing around with the still and video camera on the iPhone 4S. I think that the photo quality is very good — in fact, it is better than our old point-and-shoot Kodak camera that we bought when we finished graduate school. I am having the most fun the video camera, though. When Emily was born, Ashley and I bought a hand-held video camera but, like the point-and-shoot, the quality was not great and I rarely had it on me. With the video functionality in my phone, I am more likely to use it.

A few weeks ago, we went to Bridge Street to walk around on a Friday night, when the bands are out playing. Since Emily loves to dance, she just had to show off her moves.

Then, over Thanksgiving, Emily got together with her cousin Colin and had a good time playing at the park. I took some video and stitched together a couple of clips and still shots into this little movie.

Tired of Children’s Media

With Emily now a bit older than four years old, I have gotten extremely tired of reading children’s books to her. Now, this does not mean that I am tired of reading to her. While stories like the Berenstain Bears, Curious George, and the Golden Books are fantastic compared to most of the children’s books that have been written, I have read all of the ones we own to Emily (and that is a lot of those books). So, starting this week, I have decided to rebel. Over Christmas, we brought back a lot of Ashley’s old story books from her parent’s house. This included ten or so of the Great Illustrated Classics. So, this week, I picked up Heidi and began to read it to Emily. At first, I was a little worried about how she would deal with that, because my daughter is very opinionated, especially with regards to the story she listens to at bedtime. However, she seems to really be enjoying Heidi so far. We are reading 3–4 chapters a night, with each chapter being 10–15 pages each, with illustrations every other page. Once we get through the classics we have, I may look at introducing her to Nancy Drew, since Ashley and her Mom have collected virtually every Nancy Drew known to man and we have them all stashed in Emily’s room.

I also have a goal to get Emily off of her Disney movie obsession. We have watched about half of My Fair Lady and she likes that so far, so I am going to let her watch the original movie version starring Rex Harrison. After we finish reading Heidi, I am going to show her the Shirley Temple version of the movie. This won’t break her of the Mouse, but it will expose her to other classic films that will not drive me nuts to watch.

She’s a Big Kid Now…

Today marked another milestone in your life, your first day of Pre-K.

Today you moved up into the ‘big kid’ class at daycare.  You put on your new school uniform and off we went.

We put your new ‘big kid’ backpack…your first reaction: “Mommy, what’s that smell?  It stinks!”  Then I explained to you about that ‘new backpack smell’.  I don’t think you believed me.

When we arrived at the daycare, it was packed.  Many parents were lingering as they dropped off their new Pre-K’ers.  We arrived just in time for a group photo.  As I looked at the group of kids, some of which you’d been with since you were an infant, I couldn’t believe how you all had grown.

Some kids were sitting around looking shell-shocked, others had tears running down their cheeks, and then there you were my bright, shining star, my Emily; sitting there with a big grin on your face, bouncing on your knees with excitement.

I hope you have a great first day of Pre-K.

Happy (Belated) Birthday

I know I am late in posting this (as usual). As you get older, you will realize being late is one of my many quirks (and Nana’s too).

My Dearest Emily,

Another year has passed, and I cannot help but sit back and contemplate all the things you have done in that time. Over the past year, I have watched you transform into a little girl. Gone is the toddler with unsteady feet and words. Instead, in her place is a child who is well articulated and steady. You have blossomed over this last year. You can count to 30, you are beginning to put letters together to spell words, and your vocabulary has increased dramatically. Never did I think that my 4-year old would look at me and say “That is correct, Mother”.

On your birthday, you asked to go to the Mac store to play Dora. The Mac store! You are more like your father every day.

You take great pride in picking out your own clothes.  You always have a counterargument ready when your mother tries to modify what you have picked out.  “But Mom, they both have flowers!  They match!”

You love all things pink and purple. You love wearing dresses and playing dress up. You love to sing and talk all day. You love fairies and princesses with abandon.

Your favorite shows are Dora and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

You love drawing and cutting and all things art, even when you yourself are the canvas.

You are quite the mother hen in your class with all children smaller than you, regardless of their age.

You went to the dentist for the first time and had your first real birthday party with friends.

Your best friends are Tori, Taylor, and Mackenzie at daycare. Liza, Sonja, and Phoebe are never far from your mind though when not at school.

You love your teachers Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Ana at daycare. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth should either of them dare to take a personal day. And you consistently call me Mrs. Ana at home, almost as much as you call me mom.

You call me Mother, M-o-m, Mama, and Mommy depending on your mood and if I’ve done anything to aggravate you. Sometimes it is accompanied with an eye roll or two.

This year we began hearing “You just don’t understand”, “It’s not fair”, and “Leave me alone! You’re aggravating me!”

You  made your first snow angel and had your first snowball fight.  You managed to dump tons of snow down Mommy’s back.

You had your first dance recital; it was 15 minutes long and you refused to wear your tap shoes. At the break, while all the other little girls were changing into their ballet shoes, you skipped around in circles becoming the star of the show.

You begged to be in ‘yogurt’ classes because your best friends were doing so. You seemed to really love yoga and continually ask if it is yoga day.

I look at you and am continually amazed at the little person you have become. Your personality has really bloomed and you have opinions about everything! You are stubborn and strong-willed, but you get that honest. My mom was right; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Your beautiful curly red hair and blue-green eyes catch the attention of everyone around us. We can’t go anywhere without someone complimenting you on your hair and how cute you are. Then you smile and shyly hide your face. You don’t hesitate to let someone know you like their shoes or clothes. You even compliment women on their painted toe nails. I can already tell you are going to be the death of us when you are a teenager. But we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

You capture the hearts of all you meet, strangers and loved ones alike. We are very lucky to have you. And while we may get mad and cranky, as most parents are apt to do, remember this:  we’ll love you forever, we’ll like you for always, Aa long as we’re living our baby you’ll be.

…our baby, our little girl, our Emily.