Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pen Pals

Dear Em,
Last year you made the sweetest, little friend. You both love books. You both love pink. It was a match made in heaven.


You met your friend Claire at an out of state wedding. Her family lives in Pennsilvania. This doesn't make play dates easy to plan.

Luckily, her family came to visit Rhode Island for a fantastic long weekend a few months ago. It was as if no time had passed. You & Claire took up right where you left off. We loved the time we got to share with the whole family.

When it came time for Claire & her family to return home, you were devestated. I understood. It's so hard to say goodbye to dear friends, especially when you know it will be a while before you're able to be reunited. I suggested you write letters to Claire to keep in touch until we can visit her family. It didn't totally take away the sting of being apart, but you were excited to have a way to communicate...& you were really excited about the prospect of getting mail.

You wrote your first letter to her a few weeks later. Expecting to have a response the next day, you couldn't understand why the mail "was taking SOOOO long." Since then, we've had many discussions about how the postal system works. It's been an excellent lesson in patience.

When you opened the mailbox to find your first letter from Claire, you couldn't have been more excited. You read it aloud to Daddy & I. It was so fun to find out what she & her family had been up to. You "ohhhed" & "awed" over the picture she drew you & hung it up on the wall.

I smiled as I watched you write Claire a letter in return. In a world that's full of quick text, email, & facebook messages, you have a found a pen pal...& a fantastic friend.

I love you so,

Monday, November 23, 2015

Measuring Tape

Dear Em,
You're a little learning sponge. You constantly come home with a project of some sort in mind. We have refrigerator doors full of your writings, notes to Daddy & I, lists of numbers, & even instructions on how to make stars. I love how much you love school & learning at this age.

A couple weeks ago, you made a card & had left over paper. When I found you at the dining table, you had cut strips out of the paper & had taped them together to make one, long piece of paper. The strip was longer than you are tall. You numbered it from 1 to 100.

"Mom, I made a measuring tape. Look! I'm 55!"

While no actual standard forms of measurement had been used in the making of your "measuring tape," I couldn't help but be awed by you. I remember working together to count to ten. Now you're writing out your numbers to 100...& using scissors...all by yourself.

Sometimes it's sad for me to see you grow up so quickly, but it's just as exciting to see the young lady you're becoming. I couldn't be more proud to be your mom.

I love you so,

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Bug & A Wish

Dear Em,
You've been in kindergarten for a little over two months, & I have to admit, at times it's been a challenging transition. Through all the changes & the bumps along the way, you've really grown to love being a kindergartner. You love your little school, & you adore the new, little friends you've made along the way.

Daddy & I can't help but feel removed. When you went to Sweet Peas, we dropped you off each day. We said hi to your directors & your classmates. We got to hear about which classmate was about to have a baby brother & see which classmate brought in sea creature stuffed animals each day. We could see your classwork on the walls & had a few moments to touch base with your teachers about how they were doing & the things you were working on. When we picked you up from school, we got short glimpses of what classroom life was like for you before one of your little friends would shout out, "Emma, your mom/dad is here."

Now that you're in kindergarten, we don't get to have that daily glimpse into your school life. What we do get is the things you share with us once you get home. There are days where you can't seem to remember anything you did at school. Luckily, more often than not, you can remember little bits of your day. I love hearing about how you play zoo keeper in gym class, how you are working on identifying main characters & plots in library, & how you learned how to make a star in art. You teach me new words in Spanish each week & recite adorable poems you learned at "morning meetings." You shared with me that one little boy is the smartest kid in least he told you he was & you believe him (he knows things like what a trapezoid is & what 100 + 100 equals).

One of our favorite things that you've taught us about is a bug and a wish. You were discussing with us a difficultly you were having with another classmate. He was pretending that a block was a car, & he was driving his "car" all over your body. You didn't want him driving his "car" all over your body. You explained to us that you had given him a bug & a wish. A bug & a what?? "A bug & a wish, Mom. It's where you say, 'you're bugging me & I wish you would stop.'" A bug & a wish! Isn't that the most freaking adorable thing in the world?!

Knowing how to handle conflict is not something that is inherent. It is taught & learned along the way. Your style of resolving conflict will probably evolve through different situations & different years (let me just warn you now, there is very little that works with a three year old). It makes my heart happy that, for now, you have a bug & a wish.

I have to say, there are many times in my work day that I would LOVE to use a bug & a wish.

I love you so,

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Dear Em,
I remember many family nights playing UNO together as I was growing up. We played the version of the game where you picked up cards until you had one to play, & sometimes I felt like I had the whole deck in my hand. I remember being so bummed when one of my sisters slammed down a DRAW FOUR card, but feeling so exhilarated when I had one to slam down on top of it. It is such a simple game, but I love the memories I have of my family sitting down to play it together.

Once Daddy & I got married, we bought the game of UNO for our own home, but I can't even remember the last time I played it...until last month.

We brought a bunch of board games up with us on our New Hampshire getaway. We had each chosen a game to bring along, but at the last minute, I grabbed UNO too. We opened up the box & went over the rules with you. It seemed like the perfect game for you at this age. You've had your colors down for a while, & numbers are something that you've been going over a lot at school. Still, I wondered if it would be tough for you to manage a bunch of cards.

It turns out, you are a little UNO shark. In no time, you were shouting out UNO & winning without breaking a sweat. It's a good thing we weren't playing for money, because Daddy & I may have lost a lot that night.

We've brought the UNO box back out a few times since then & even played with Grandma & Papa's set. I can't wait until we get together with my family for the holidays. Taking out the UNO set with my parents & siblings again will be so fun...especially when I'll get to look across the table at you shouting UNO & beaming with excitement.

I love you so,

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Last Friday Night

Dear Em,
It's fall, & we've been spending many of our Fridays at the pool. You love swimming, & I love swimming with you. Daddy & I have been so impressed with your budding swimming skills, & it's so fun to swim along with you. There has been a lot of splashing & floating competitions & giggles & family fun. Of course, I have to bring my camera along...

A few weeks ago, you & I had a night of swimming as just us girls. You had been asking to jump off the 3 meter diving board for over a year. Each time, Daddy has been too chicken to let you take the plunge. "Maybe when you're a little older," he would tell you as he shook his head in fear. I have to admit, I was feeling a little fearful too. Three meters is just so high! 

But then you asked me again when it was just the two of us. More often than not, I find myself holding my breath, not ready for you to take that next step or grow anymore into a young lady. I think after a long & hard work week, I was feeling the need to be brave. Somehow, I found myself saying yes. You climbed up the ladder timidly & slowly inched out onto the board. You gave me a nervous, questioning look. I tried to be as brave as I could for you. I gave you a thumbs up & a reassuring smile, & then you jumped!

My heart thumped out of my chest as you splashed into the water & finally swam up to the surface. You had a huge smile on your face. "I want to do it again!" I let you jump one more time before we had to leave. "Next time, I'm going to do a cannon ball," you exclaimed. Oh my goodness, I love you so freaking much my little dare devil.

I have to say, there's something pretty dang exhilarating about watching you conquer each first as you did on the 3 meter board that night. It gives me the inspiration & the confidence to try to conquer my own.

I love you so,

Monday, November 2, 2015

Our Halloween 2015

Dear Em,
This year for Halloween, you were a gorgeous purple butterfly.

Our Halloween celebrations started a week before Halloween. Your school held a Fall Spooktacular. I got to help put the event together, & I couldn't believe the hard work the PTO put in to throw such a fun event. The decorations were so fun. There was a photo booth, crafts, a DJ, & fall snacks galore. We had a blast.

We carved pumpkins on the Thursday night before Halloween. Daddy carved out the minnie mouse you had picked, & I went with a nautical theme & carved a lighthouse.

We continued with our annual tradition of meeting up with your best friend & her family to go trick or treating at Mystic Village. The two of you were so stinkin' cute & had such a blast together. The hardest part of it all was contianing your large, butterfly wings. You're already like a bull in a China shop. Pair that with a set of wings that stick out & you were bumping into everyone & everything. Ha!

Savanna came back home with us, & the two of you trick or treated together in our naighborhood. Our neighborhood is small & doesn't get many trick or treaters. You both got handfuls of candy at almost every house. Your bags were overflowing by the time you got home. We offered you lots of candy that night, but you & Savanna were too busy playing barbies & writing your own books to be bothered by candy. Ha!

So, now I'm living in a house with an over abundance of candy. This is not good.

I love you so,

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Fun Fall Saturday

Dear Em,
We had such a fun fall Saturday this past weekend. Our friends had driven up from the New York City area (you fondly refer to them as Aunt Erin & Uncle Matt). Wanting to show them the best of Rhode Island & knowing rain was on the forecast for Sunday, we jam packed our Saturday with as many of our favorite fall activities as we could.

It started with a 5 year old birthday party at The Farmer's Daughter. We don't typically take our out of state friends to birthday parties of children they don't know, but the party was at a farm. So we figured, why not? We had planned on having some pumpkin patch fun, & this way you could also celebrate one of your dearest friends.

We watched you have a blast with you little friends, going on a hayride, picking out a pumpkin, & painting your pumpkin. You hit a pinata & collected candy. It truly was the perfect fall birthday party.

After you hugged all your little friends goodbye, we explored the farm ourselves. It took us a little while to pick out the perfect pumpkins to take home.

After we had purchased our pumpkins, we had fun at some of the other farm activities. You worked your way through a hay bale maze. Everybody slingshot pumpkins at scarecrow targets. We all got lost in the corn maze. Although there was a flock of bird nearby making ominous, horror movie bird sounds, everything else about the corn maze was hilarious. At each fork you would split up our group, ordering half of us to go one way & the other half to go the other way. Eventually, we all made it out together.

After the farm fun, you went to have a sleepover at Grandma & Papa's house. Matt, Erin, Daddy, & I began the adult portion of our Saturday. We went to Tilted Barn Brewery. I just love that there is a place near our house where we can taste beer in a barn & walk along a path filled with chickens.

We stopped to enjoy the fall foliage on the way to our next stop. The foliage was at its peak this past weekend. It made my heart so happy as we drove along backroads.

We took Erin & Matt to our favorite beach in Rhode Island. I promised them that after they climbed the giant dune, they would love the view. Of course, Napatree Point didn't disappoint.

We went into the night at Ocean House & Malted Barley (two of my favorite Westerly spots for very different reasons), & returned home exhausted from our full fall day. Luckily, Sunday was the perfect grey day for us to relax & recover from our busy Saturday. We mostly watched movies & football & ate a lot of yummy food. Although I felt a little guilty about not getting out of the house, I think it's what we all needed.

I'm so thankful for our beautiful fall Rhode Island weekend. The best part was sharing it with friends & family, & the excited smile that spread across your adorable face.

I love you so,
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