Who is Emily, at 3 1/2 years old?

It's March 10, 2010 and Emily is officially 3 1/2 years old!

How Big is She?
She's 32lbs and almost 40" tall but very petite (with most of her weight, I'm certain, in her head!); she is still wearing 2T dresses and shirts and 2T leggings, although her jeans and pants are super short!  Ugh... someone needs to convince child retailers to make "ankle", "regular" and "long" lengths for pants!  I've recently begun to purchase 3T pants and either rolled the waist band down (so ugly!) or had my mom tighten the elastic where ever possible.  She's in a size 7 shoe, except for See Kai Run that runs small, in which she needs an 8.

Emily's hair is just so beautiful!  It's my color with natural highlights, straight, almost all one-length and is all the way down to the top of her pants.  I enjoy fixing it and she doesn't seem to mind it thus, I just can't bring myself to cut it.  I love braiding it for gymnastics class or putting it in pony tails and she's great at just standing there and letting me work on it.  In the Winter, I blow dry it after her bath and we always use conditioner!  My favorite hair accessories are the two-pack curly clips from Gymboree and the hand-made bows my friend, Malissa makes that we purchase from time to time.  We also should take up stock in those clear, rubber bands and Johnson & Johnson's de-tangling spray!  :)

As of just last month, Emily is potty trained during the day!  You can read all about our potty training adventures ***HERE***.  She communicates when she needs to use the restroom when we are out at a class or the park and often times just goes by herself without a word when at home, only needing our help to wipe and wash her hands.  She LOVES having her drawer full of big girl panties and picking out a special pair each day is her favorite thing, first thing every morning.  She is wearing Pull-ups at night but has been waking up dry often, always wanting to use the bathroom first thing.  In fact, she often wakes us up screaming; "Mama, I need to pee!!" with a completely dry Pull-up.  ha!  We are not doing night training just yet as she's still happy and comfortable in her crib and we aren't ready to convert her to a big girl bed just yet.

Our girl loves to eat and rarely hesitates to try something new.

She knows chicken comes in more forms than a nugget and loves different dips/sauces.  Steamed broccoli, green beans and peas as well as carrots, celery, roasted Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, grilled corn on the cob and iceberg lettuce (which she calls salad) are the vegetables she eats frequently.  I put shredded zucchini in my meatloaf, butternut squash in my baked mac 'n cheese, cauliflower in my mashed potatoes and mix chopped spinach into pizza sauce, all of which she loves, but is hesitant to eat in raw form. 

Her favorite meals include turkey goulash, meaty mac, spaghetti and turkey meatballs, hamburgers, chicken fettuccine alfredo, black bean & chicken quesadillas, steak fajitas, fish sticks, pizza, meatloaf, grilled ham & cheese sandwiches, PB&J, Pesto with penne, and chicken nuggets.  She won't touch a hot dog or corn dog with a 10-foot poll and goes back and forth between liking macaroni & cheese.  She has never liked milk and drinks nearly 100% water although she just loves juice so, we often let her have 4-6oz for lunch.  She will also drink a vegetable juice David makes fresh some mornings and loves yogurt & fruit smoothies I make from frozen berries.  Emily eats 3 meals and 2 snacks a day and knows that we set a timer for each of her 3 meals (25 minutes) and that when the timer goes off mealtime is over.  Yes, this means she will go to bed hungry had she decided to play rather than eat but this rarely happens as she knows we mean business.  The timer has really helped cut down on all the silliness and distraction at mealtime that comes with 3 year olds.

Classes, Favorite Activities, Preschool, New Things and Fun
Emily has Gymnastics on Wednesday mornings and My Play Place on Friday mornings currently.  Beginning in April, she will also attend the Small Fry Preschool Class put on by the Parks & Rec Department, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00am - 12:00pm.  The Small Fry Class also has a summer session which we are considering but it will depend on if it overlaps our summer vacation schedule.  This fall, Emily will attend Preschool at Kiddie Kampus here in Alameda Monday thru Friday mornings, also from 9:00am - 12:00pm.  We are so excited she was accepted last week as it was our #1 choice!  We chose this Preschool because it's play-based and owned & run by the parents, who are required to work in the classroom one morning every week and serve as snack helper & other supportive role, which enables the teachers to actually teach!  I'm thrilled to have another opportunity to be surrounded by other Stay-at-home-moms, to get to see Emily grow and develop and that, because of the required parent participation once a week, there are always 7 adults to the 22 children.  Because she will be 4 in September, she can no longer attend My Play Place, which we are sad to let go of.  Depending on what Emily wants to do, we may continue Gymnastics, switching to an afternoon class, or try out soccer, ballet, violin lessons or even hockey!  We'll keep you posted!

The other days of the week we go to the park, our local zoos, children's museums, aquariums, indoor bounce houses, play cafes, and friend's homes for play dates as being around other children is the most fun for her.  We have just purchased a Season Pass to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and renewed our annual Memberships to The Oakland Zoo, Franklin Pool, and The Aquarium of the Bay.  Emily loves to be in the water so I envision us spending most of our time at the pool, which is heated year-round and just a few blocks from our house.

Some days, Emily really just wants to chill here at home so she and I play with her cash register and walkie-talkies, doing little art projects and cook/bake as she just loves to pour and mix and sprinkle flour for me.  Independently, Emily really loves to read books, do puzzles, play trains, use glue & glitter, dance and sing, ride her scooter & tricycle, chase the cat, play with her musical instruments, and play in her sand & water table.  She also really loves to be outside, examining nature and is stoked about the butterflies currently about to emerge from their cocoons here at our house.  She is constantly asking to go to the pet store and the aquarium so she can see the fishies and has even asked for a fish of her own.  Not sure how that is going to turn out, especially since a recent trip to The Vivarium had her drooling over a Bearded Dragon.  Oh, Lord...

Emily constantly asks when we are going to pick up Gran at the airport (her favorite visitor!) and reminds me that she had a Thomas cake at her 3rd birthday party.  She also remembers the smallest details about how she got a boo-boo and what book was her favorite at last week's My Play Place class.  She's very communicative, demanding and whiny at times, inquisitive about people, animals, and things passing by; curious about why we are happy or upset and about noises she has heard; and expresses genuine concern when others are hurt, wanting to get them a band-aid and a juice box so they will feel better.  She wants to know how things work and races to answer the phone any time it rings.  She loves to be in-charge of the remote control, help take out the trash, unlock doors with keys, feed the cat, buckle her own seatbelt in her carseat, and is obsessed with taking baths, requesting to take up to 2 a day!  

A list of her favorites:
Clothes - green Adidas (she calls her "super fast running shoes") and her pink leotard with attached tutu
PJs - Piggy jammies
Stuffed animal - Lambkins
Movie - Finding Nemo and Cars
TV show - Chuggington and Jungle Junction
Book - How do Dinosaurs say I Love You
Dessert - Ice cream
Food - Farfalle pasta with turkey meatballs
Outdoor fun - playing catch, riding her trike, playing in the sandbox, going on nature walks and gardening
Indoor fun - helping me cook/bake, playing "store", puzzles, and dressing up
Toy - cash register, magnifying glass and dress-up clothes
Favorite thing at the park - the swings
Favorite chore - brushing her teeth
Favorite song - "I've Got a Feeling" by The Black-Eye Peas

David and I follow the 1-2-3 Magic technique of counting bad behaviors and it's worked brilliantly!  She gets a short explanation of how her current behavior is unacceptable (for example: if she is jumping on the couch we would look her in the eye and say; "you are not allowed to jump on the couch and if you don't stop by the time we count to three, you will go to time-out") and then, we say; "that's a 1" should she not immediately stop.  If the behavior has not stopped 5 seconds later, we say; "that's a 2".  And if the behavior still has not stopped, we say; "that's a 3 and now you must go sit in time-out".  There's no talking and no emotion of any kind as most 3 years olds behave badly in order to get a rise out of you, to "make a splash", so, not having a parental temper tantrum yourself ("how many times have I told you not to jump on the couch?!?!") is your biggest weapon to combat their bad behavior.  :)  We have our good days and our bad days when we wish we could go back to bed and start over, but on average, Emily's only in time-out once or twice a week.  She's never been a hitter or deliberately malicious towards other children and is still pretty easy to talk-down and redirect to another activity should she not want to share something. 

Emily's schedule:
8:00am - Up for the day; David gets her dressed, feeds her breakfast, and brushes her teeth and then I fix her hair and get our things packed for that morning's activities
9:30am - We are normally out the door for an activity
11:30am - Morning snack (she's not much of a breakfast eater) after our activity
12:30pm - Lunch (normally here at home with me)
1:30pm-3:30pm - "Rest time" in her crib with toys & books or a movie on the couch
4:00pm - Afternoon snack
4:30-6:30pm - Play time here at home, usually outside as it's staying darker later
6:30pm - Dinner time then, brush teeth
7:00pm - Bath, if needed then, PJs and Pull-up, clean up her room, read books
8:00pm - Lights out!

David and I cannot believe what a clever, gentle, hilarious, engaging, kind, sassy, generous, loving little girl we have raised and that we are already planning her 4th birthday party.  Where does the time go?


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