Emily: five years old

My Claire-bear, my #1 Girl, my Emma-swimma, my first born child is five years old!

Such a joy, just the sight of her brings a smile to my face.

Bubbly, happy, truthful, light and bright, eager, kind, inclusive, brave, easy to please little girl.

Emily is so empathetic and loving, always very generous with her hugs and kisses and apologies when she's bumped into you or spilled something. She's also very sensitive with her emotions bubbling just under the surface, much like her mom, thus a gentle approach when reprimanding and a calm voice are key. She's rarely in trouble for anything, I can count on one hand the time-outs she's had in the past year, as your disappointment in her is her greatest fear. She works hard to earn your approval and relishes in your affection, wanting to please you and see a smile on your face. But she does have her challenges as she has picked up some interesting behavior from classmates and the older kids at school, including a bit of a sassy mouth and stalling tactics when it's time to clean up and go to bed.

Emily's curious about the entire world around her, always asking questions and wanting to understand why someone said something or why something happened and always accepting of whatever answer you give, though we have to be careful we are not only truthful but appropriate as she remembers everything and will call you on it if you change your answer in the future. That little elephant! :)

Emily isn't afraid of anything! Not the dark, not ghosts or scary scenes in movies, not a cliff, not the ocean waves, not new friends; she jumps right in head first and learns her lessons along the way, some times the hard way, also much like her mom. But she learns fast and rarely repeats a mistake. Along with her zest for life comes a bit of stubbornness when she puts her mind to something. Her desire to try and try hard regardless of the hurdle is admirable and she's much more mature at handling losing these days.

She's also recently taken an interest in picking out her own clothes when shopping and laying out her outfit the night before school with dresses and leggings being her favorite outfit. She loves her light-up Twinkle Toe boots and Sketcher tennis shoes and if she had her way she's wear a hat to school every day! She's not brand-loyal but she does have a love for all things Hello, Kitty.

Emily has an optimistic view on life, seeing the good in everyone, and has fallen on some hard challenges when she's met with ugliness, rudeness, an unwillingness to play and be nice from friends at school and out of school. It's difficult to teach your child the very hard life lesson that not everyone is nice, not everyone wants to play, not everyone has your best interests at heart. What's amazing and so heart-warming is that Emily doesn't hold grudges, she'll just walk away and find someone else to play with and try again the next day. She teaches David and I love and forgiveness on a daily basis.

Emily is quite the little entertainer! Always wanting to learn and then tell jokes, singing along to just about every song on the radio into her little microphone, dancing, and being generally silly to get you to laugh. She makes funny faces, tickles you and requests you tickle her, draws you with silly faces and purple hair, and has been known to make fart noises to get a rise out of you.

On the other hand, she's also very well-mannered and polite. She raises her hand and says; "excuse me" when she wants to say something, careful not to interrupt, always blesses sneezes, and is generous with "please" and "thank you", and uses "ma'am" and "sir". We've never had trouble with her darting off or being unsafe though she loves to hide in racks of clothes from time to time so she can jump out and yell "boo!". ha! 

The love Emily has for her little brother is just another part of her personality. She watches over him and yells for me if he's gagging on his hands or trying to pull his socks off, she hands him toys he's thrown 100 times, she sings to him if he's upset (more so when he was a newborn), always includes him when discussing where we should go on vacation or when we are out shopping, and is so eager for him to grow up and be able to actually play with her. She has requested to share a bedroom with him and always talks about which toys she will give him when she grows up and doesn't want to play with them any more. To this day, she's never been jealous nor felt replaced or overshadowed by the time and attention he's required from us though it's much less these days. She truly understands his needs and we do our best to maximize our time with her daily, mainly during his afternoon nap after she's home from school and after he's in bed around 6pm before she goes to bed at 7:30pm.

Some of Emily's favorites:

Favorite books: Other than her Tag Reader books that she loves to read and play with on her own, Emily really loves books that rhyme like Dr. Seuss (they do a lot of rhyming at school!) and the Early Readers and I-Can-Read books about her favorite characters like Cars, Tangled, Nemo, and Pokemon. We read every night before bed for about half an hour and in the past month since she started learning sight words at school, Emily has even read a few words & sentences from her books to us! Like most kids this age, Emily is a super sponge, retaining every little detail of information read to her. She can tell you what's happening on each page just based on the pictures normally after only having the book read to her one time. She's very curious about why things are in books, always asking questions, eager for the explanation and often times offering up her own explanation for situations.

Favorite activities: Playing tag, hide-n-seek, and make-believe play (she can spend hours re-enacting the same story lines); camping; cooking and baking; using tools and helping build and repair things with dad; swimming; ballet, gymnastics, karate, cheer leading, and dance; riding her bike, riding her dad's skateboard, riding her scooter, and having races; painting, using chalk and arts and crafts; singing; climbing trees; dressing up; Family game night where we compete on our Wii; reading books; collecting rocks, leaves, and flowers; fishing; and most recently, helping with everything where her little brother is concerned. Emily loves going to the beach, the zoo, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Disneyland, The Aquarium of the Bay and The Monterrey Bay Aquarium, and all the parks around town. Her favorite thing to do is fly, especially to Texas to see her Gram and Aunt Jenny! She loves bugs, butterflies, whales and sharks, and talks non-stop about wanting a dog of her own.

Favorite toys: Zhu Zhu pets, Littlest Pet Shop, Zoobles, board games, video games, puzzles, legos, Thomas the Train; MagnaTiles; and her new Pokemon action figures.

Favorite foods: Cheese pizza, green beans, smoothies, chicken nuggets, graham crackers, cheeseburgers, french toast, fresh peas, nachos, black beans, ham & cheese sandwiches, popcorn, spaghetti & turkey meatballs, steamed broccoli, sweet potato fries, pineapple, fish sticks, meatloaf, yogurt, and every single cheese on earth, including blue, Gruyere, and Parmesan! She has never been hesitant to try new foods and will almost always take at least one bite. What is the neatest is that Emily is very interested in new foods because of what her peers at school bring in their lunch boxes or buy from school. Just last week she requested a corn dog, something she has always refused to even try a bite of and she ate the entire thing, exlaiming; "this is sooooooooooo good!".

All by herself: Other than things out of reach, Emily can do just about everything all by herself and we are so proud of her "can do" attitude. It's rare that she gives up, always wanting to try just one more time and she is becoming much more articulate in communicating her need for help. Getting dressed/undressed, making her bed, cleaning up her room, brushing her teeth and hair, bathing herself though we are still working on washing her own hair (it's tricky to rinse out all the shampoo and not get it in your eyes!), getting snacks, helping pack her lunch, putting away dirty dishes, remembering to turn lights on/off, and washing her hands are all things Emily does by herself really well. She needs a few reminders now and then but for the most part we can count on her to do these things herself.

Height: 44"

Weight: 41lbs

Clothing/shoe size: 4T-5T pants and dresses, 5T and XS (4-5) shirts and jackets, and size 10 shoe

Features: blue/green eyes, ash blond hair, and super long eyelashes and fingernails

She has lost her two bottom center teeth and was positively giddy at the idea of the Tooth Fairy coming to take her "treasures" and leave some money behind. The Tooth Fairy was mighty generous, leaving $5 for each tooth.

We are so blessed with the gift of Emily that God gave us five years ago and can't wait to see her personality continue to form in the years to come.


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