I have admittedly put off writing Emma's birthday post because I find it difficult to put into words what this special little girl means to me. Before Emma was born and it was just my buddy Matthew and I hanging out together, I used to think that I would probably be perfectly content to just be a mother of boys. When I found out I was pregnant again, I remember hoping that the baby would be another boy - and not just because I already had a ton of boys clothes and gear - but because I really had decided in my mind that I wanted to mother an army of little boys. But the minute Emma was born and I held my little girl for the first time, I forgot all about that and tumbled headfirst into a world of pink things, princesses, tutus, ponies, and butterflies and have never once looked back. Now I am a Mom to two precious little girls and I can't imagine life without them! But today, I just want to talk about my Emma.
Since the moment she was born, Emma has been the light of our world. She was our easiest baby by far - in fact, Paul and I briefly nicknamed her "The Baby the World Forgot" because as long as she was fed, we could stick her in her bouncy seat or the swing and she would just sit there contently, looking around or playing with her hands. She slept well at night, was extremely sweet-tempered, and very social. She also seemed to want to grow up a bit too fast - probably because she was in a big hurry to chase after Matthew. There was a time where we kept scolding Matthew for teasing Emma by taking toys from her or knocking her over. However, it wasn't long before we had to protect Matthew from Emma. That girl learned very quickly both how to press her big brother's buttons and how to defend herself from his shenanigans. Her speech was extremely advanced for any of our children and she could speak simple sentences by the time she was a year. It just seemed as if Emma was not a baby very long.
Now she is three years old and I can hardly believe it! She has grown into such a beautiful little girl who loves dresses and skirts, bows and ribbons, tea parties and tiaras. She might love all the fancy and dainty things, but this little girl is also one of the messiest eaters I have ever seen. Every meal time must involve Emma wearing a bib for she will find some way to saturate or stain her outfit! She also has one of the most doggedly determined personalities I have ever encountered. If she wants to button her own shirt, put on her own shoes, or buckle herself into the car seat, you better let her do it because she will fight you to the death. She is also highly picky when it comes to choosing outfits to wear, but thankfully actually has fairly good fashion sense. She loves her shoes, most especially fancy sandals, and always must have accessories with her, including her sunglasses and purse. She loves to read books, especially little small books she can easily stack together, and has recently been into drawing me pictures. If there is a flower growing in the yard, she will pick it. If there is an animal nearby, she will pet it. If there is a child playing nearby, Emma will quickly make friends. Everyone loves Emma and Emma loves everyone!
I can't get enough of her hugs and kisses. Paul and I have always talked about how Emma gives the best hugs. And she does because she puts so much emotion and love into each and every one! I love how she will respond when asked to do something for me, "Oh of course, Mommy!" Or how, in response to hearing me tell her she looks beautiful, she will exclaim: "Oh thank you! That's very nice of you!" When tucking her in at night, she always wraps her arms around me, gives me a sweet kiss, and whispers in my ear, "I love you, Mommy. You are very special to me." My heart almost can't handle the emotion that floods it when I hear her say those words.
She loves to be tickled, hugged, and kissed and her laughter and her smiles are both so incredibly infectious. She also loves to dance, especially one-on-one with her brother as she pretends to be the princess dancing with her prince. She is extremely defensive and caring about her little sister and always refers to her as "Little Lucy". And "Little Lucy" loves and adores her right back.
Don't get me wrong, it is not all rainbows and sunshine with Emma, for she can be the most difficult child when she is in a bad mood. Her extreme stubbornness can be quite challenging at times and she has been known to throw the occasional spectacular tantrum. Thankfully, those have been few and far between. Out of all of our children, she has the most difficult time waking up in the mornings and usually requires a good 45 minutes after actually opening her eyes to truly wake up before she is capable of carrying on a conversation sans grunting and groaning. When we have to wake up early on Sunday mornings for church, Paul and I always brace ourselves before entering Emma's room. We usually begin by opening her door open, allowing the light from the hallway to flood inside and hopefully encouraging her to naturally wake up as she hears the sounds of the rest of the family getting dressed and ready for the day. On more than one occasion, she has simply gotten out of bed, slammed the door shut again, and climbed back into bed to resume her sleep.
But, I wouldn't change a thing about her - her spunk, her spirit, her energy, her zeal for life, her enthusiasm for beauty, her love of others, and her earnest desire to please. Words truly cannot describe what an honor and a privilege it has been to be her mother.
For our special little girl, I wanted to give her a very special birthday. However, this year her birthday fell on Good Friday and since this is a somber day of fasting, it didn't seem right to celebrate with cake, ice cream, and presents. So, we instead just gave her a couple extra hugs and deferred her birthday until the following Tuesday. Obviously, she did not notice or care but we did tease her at breakfast on Easter Sunday by telling her that she was already three.
"No! I'm two! It's not my birthday yet!" she cried.
"Actually, Emma, your birthday was last week but we decided to skip it!" Paul told her.
"What? No! I'm two! That's not true, right Mommy?"
"No Emma....but actually yes."
It was actually rather comical but she insisted that she was two years old until she blew out the candles on her birthday cake. She already has a fear of growing old.
On the day we actually celebrated her birthday, she woke up to find her room filled with two dozen balloons. She came downstairs to find her high chair covered with pink and purple balloons as well as a beautiful tiara and a new Princess Sofia cup. She was in heaven! She immediately put the tiara on (and if I ever called it a "crown" she would vehemently respond that it was not a crown but a tiara!) and began to tell me she was the "Queen of the Day." This made me think I had possibly created a birthday monster. I served her highness strawberry pancakes for breakfast along with chocolate milk in her new Princess Sofia cup. The meal received her royal seal of approval.
We had a great day together - dancing, having a tea party, coloring, and watching her favorite movie Frozen together. However, towards the end of the day, I could see her starting to become tired - and grumpy. I tried to convince her to take a birthday nap, but she was too wound up and excited for presents and cake in the evening. So, she just bounced on her bed for about 45 minutes before I decided the effort was futile.
When Paul arrived home that evening, we headed up to Texas Roadhouse for Emma's birthday dinner. The kids had enjoyed Matthew's birthday dinner so much, that Emma requested the same location for her special day. Of course, being the health-conscious child that she is, she ordered Macaroni and Cheese and fries but barely touched it. Instead, she played with the peanuts and drank her weight in root beer. When the waiters and waitresses came over to give her a birthday "Yee-haw", she whined and moaned the entire time although normally she would eat up that sort of attention. She was definitely tired and beginning to suffer from Too Much Birthday Syndrome. However, she did not leave the restaurant without first having the balloon artist make her the most obnoxious glowing balloon headband.
When we got home, we opened her gifts and she delighted in each and every one. She and her siblings began playing with all her new treasures immediately - which included a new kitchen set, a new outfit and crib for her baby dolls, and a barbie in the likeness of Anna from Frozen. She also received several little sundresses for summer, but those were less exciting to her than the toys. When it was time for cake, nobody sang The Birthday Song louder than the birthday girl herself. Emma loves that song. When Matthew blew out Emma's candles on her cake, we had to light the entire thing again and do the whole ritual all over. After quite a bit of huffing and puffing, blowing and spitting, Emma finally blew out her own candles. And now she is three.
Shortly afterwards, the birthday girl suffered a bit of a sugar coma and had to be escorted to bed a bit early where she slept grandly before uncharacteristically waking up before the sun the next morning just so she could resume playing with all her gifts.
Emma Rose, we love you so much! We pray that you will always remain as sweet and dear as you are today. You are very special to us.