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Archive for the ‘Emma’ Category

Spring Break 2011

Several highlights from the Picetti family’s Spring Break last week:

This conversation took place at the dinner table one evening.

  • Fehmeen — Who do you love more, Mommy or Daddy?
  • Emma — Papa (the diplomatic choice)
  • Emma — Batman or Spiderman?
  • Fehmeen — (running into the living room occupied by me) How can you have so much influence on her?!? You can’t even speak!!
  • Jason — (Grinning ear to ear in his BiPap mask)

The first comment Emma uttered to Fehmeen after witnessing her first up-close birthday party clown performance was “Do you think Buki (the clown) takes off her nose when she goes to sleep?”

I took the trip over the San Mateo Bridge with Fehmeen in order to pick up Emma from an overnight stay at No Nap Nani’s house.  The moment the wheels on my wheelchair hit the pavement Emma came running over to introduce me to the gardener who was mowing the lawn in the park where she was playing.  From there I watched her gleefully hop over a piece of poop on the ground (a la the opening scene in Up, now her second favorite movie followed by Beauty and the Beast).  Then she practically flew to the moon on the swings, climbed up the business end of the slide at least a dozen times, and back down that very same slide on her (cute little) buttsee a dozen more times after that.  The last time I watched her playing at the park was over a year ago and she was not as courageous and confident as she was now.  It goes without saying that I thought it was awesome seeing her having so much fun.

Emma, The Italian Man Servant and I had the pleasure of catching a Motley Crue Carnival of Sin concert on Palladia the other night.  We were all rocking out (Emma especially) to the first three songs (Shout at the Devil, Too Young to Fall in Love, Looks That Kill) before they went to a commercial break (back to back with a vibrating device made by the folks at Trojan which was followed by an internet dating spot from a group called ChristianMingle.com).  When the mixed advertising messages concluded, the band rolled back onstage on choppers and launched into Girls, Girls, Girls, complete with Cirque du Soleil-style acrobats dressed in skimpy leather outfits performing death-defying (yet strangely mesmerizing) routines high above the sonic fury occurring on the stage.  Well, Fehmeen wandered in about then, sized up the situation and quickly whisked The Bug off the couch and into her room.  Meanwhile, the two munhooses kept on watching the show.

Did you know that there was a Jewish version of Sesame Street called Shalom Sesame?  I sure didn’t.  And neither did Fehmeen when she joined it mid-episode.  She was forced to go to the Info button on the Comcast remote when she couldn’t understand what was going on when they were counting to five in Hebrew.  While we are on the topic, does anybody know if Grover is Jewish?  He was the only muppet hanging around but we changed channels before I could find out.

My newest caregiver Julian told us about how he knows a guy that does tattoos in people’s homes.  I think that the Tattoo Concierge will be making a stop in the City of Good Living very soon to work on tattoo number eight for ALS Boy.

I didn’t think that it was possible but Fehmeen just got even hotter when she got her nose pierced!

It was just like old times on Saturday night when Fehmeen, Emma and I got cozy on my recliner and watched videos on the laptop.  We started out with my documentary but we quickly switched gears to the Wiggles, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and the Black Eyed Peas.  It was the best thing ever to hear our sweet Emma’s voice singing every single word of Just the Way You Are while sitting right next to me.  Best thing in the whole world.

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Only Our Emma

Upon arriving home from a quick errand to the local video library to return a few movies with Da Bug, Fehmeen made this shocking announcement to all of us present in the house at the time:  “Attention everyone, Emma just informed me that she doesn’t like ice cream any more!”

If it wasn’t already true, I’d be speechless upon hearing that headline.

Sensing that the room was hers for the taking, Fehmeen took her time and spared no detail.

Apparently, after Little Miss slid all five of the dvds through the Blockbuster mail slot one by one, Fehmeen decided to take our good little girl over to Johnny Rockets for an early evening treat of a hot fudge sundae.

Once the single scooped confection arrived at their table, Emma demonstrated by example how much she is equal parts Mommy and Daddy.  She was so distracted by the ice cream dripping out of the silver metal chalice that she felt compelled to clean it up as it slowly oozed onto the plate beneath.  This is a trait she inherited from Fehmeen.  However, Emma couldn’t handle clean up duty very long because her fingers were getting way too sticky for her to reasonably tolerate.  That one, dear readers, is courtesy of me.

Partly because of that aforementioned situation, Emma only ended up eating about four spoonfuls of her sundae, two of which were exclusively of the whipped cream variety.  As she put down her spoon following that final bite, the (almost) three year old turned towards Fehmeen and said, “Momma, I don’t like ice cream.  It has too much shuga.  I prefer frozen yogurt because it has less shuga.”

Like I said in the title, only our Emma could say something like that.  But if I had to guess, I’m pretty sure she picked up that phrase, at least the shuga part, from her beloved Nani.

As for whether or not she sticks to her guns and spurns the frozen dairy product for the (relatively) healthier alternative, only time will tell.  Especially this birthday weekend.

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Miss Picheddar Gone Viral

Here is a video where Emma gives writing lessons to Daddy.  She also shows off her penmanship and mathematical skills.  And what home movie would be complete without Daddy getting caught on camera checking out Mommy.

Enjoy the show.

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Emma and the 3 R’s

A quick update on some of the things that Emma knows about Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic (so far).

Technically speaking, she can’t actually read yet, per se, but that doesn’t stop her from pretending to try.  She will sit either on the couch or on the step to our family room and read aloud as if she was a teacher reading aloud to her students.  Before turning the page, she flips the book so it faces outward and slowly rotates it around the room for everyone in attendance (both real and imaginary) to get a look-see at the picture on the page.  When it comes to the act of reading, the words that flow from her lips are an equal combination of a description of the artwork she sees and what she remembers of the story from when Fehmeen had read it to her before.  This little girl even throws in passages from other books she has heard, verbatim, just to keep things interesting for her audience.

I’m pretty sure it was during her first few days of pre-school that she came home with her first of many miniature sound books.  Inside each one of these classroom created booklets are four or five letters, as well as their associated sounds in context to a word she is familiar with, for Emma to work on at her leisure.  Soon enough, she learned that E, m, m, a spelled Emma and just this past week, she took pencil to paper and wrote her first legitimately legible letter.  Using her sound book as a guide, Emma sat down at the kitchen table and wrote a capital E.  I almost blew out the motor on my Bi-PAP machine (by extreme exhalation) when I heard how loudly Fehmeen screamed when she saw the “perfectly” rendered letter.

When it comes to numbers, Emma can usually count to about twenty-nine before she gets caught in an infinite loop of 29, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 23, 24, 25 etcetera, etcetera and so on.  It’s kinda cute in a way.  Fehmeen has also begun teaching her how to use her fingers to represent various digits.  So far Emma knows one, two, three, and five (although getting her fingers to make the symbol for three takes a little help from her other hand).  All that being said, the best was when someone asked her how many was all fingers on both hands up, her instantaneous and deadpan response was, “A lot.”

Class dismissed (for today).

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Change of Heart

Initially this post was supposed to chronicle all the gory details of Emma’s first experience with throwing up two Friday nights ago.  I was going to describe how absolutely terrible I felt just laying there in bed unable to move, much less actually being there to provide a modicum of comfort to my barfing bambina.  Fehmeen told me the next day of her own feelings of helplessness as she sat right next to the Bug while she tossed her cookies into the toilet.

And then I had a change of heart.

Why sensationalize an event in words when the pictures I have would do a much better job of capturing the essence of our beautiful Emma.

Scroll down please to look at the photos.

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Now did you really think that I would actually post pictures of my daughter puking on my blog?   Fehmeen and Maheen would have my head.

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Emma enjoys herself a nap each and every day.  She typically slumbers for several hours before waking up.

Fehmeen usually brings The Bug into our living room/ALS Boy Headquarters so she can slowly ease into the early evening with the family unit.  I am seated (duh!) in my recliner, looking absolutely resplendent in my Miami J neck collar, playing the role of DJ iGaze spinning tunes for the entertainment of those around me.  After a couple of songs off of her special playlist and a few giggles courtesy of her momma, Emma is up and around and chatting up a storm like a sugar-crazed tweenager.

Every so often, Emma wakes up from her afternoon nap in a mood several klicks south of good.

It starts out with whining that goes on for several minutes.  Then the whining turns into tears of the crocodile variety.  Fehmeen asks her what she is crying about but by this time Emma is on automatic pilot with the waterworks, inconsolable even with promises of a visit to the park or chocolate pudding after dinner.  The only viable option is to let her cry it out.

And then there’s DJ iGaze.

During this crying episode, I try to help the situation by providing a soundtrack of her favorite songs such as Billionaire, Hey Soul Sister, and Meet Me Halfway.  When that particular gambit has failed to elicit a smile on our little girl’s face, I take a less subtle approach towards solving the problem.

Combined with giving her the time to let her get it all out of her system, Dad, aka DJ iGaze, dials up songs like Madonna’s version of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina or Melissa Manchester’s big hit from the seventies Don’t Cry Out Loud.  Fehmeen and I are still laughing at my inclusion of Bad Day by Daniel Powter.

At some point in time Emma will understand the lyrics of those tunes and we will have to face the formidable wrath of a preschooler scorned.  But until then I will be on a quest to find as many songs about the subject mentioned above as possible.

She’ll think it’s funny someday, right?

And just so you don’t think I’m an evil troll who doesn’t love his daughter, I present to you a picture of the happiest guy in the world wearing a Miami J.

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Comeback of the Decade

It seems like it was only yesterday the first time we heard “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

And it also seems like the day after yesterday that we forgot all about that catchy little ditty.

For some unknown reason my mind held on to the name of the band — The Baha Men — long after the shelf life of their lone hit faded away from our collective consciousness and into the annals of pop culture trivia.

But did you know that that song was a cover?  Well, it was.  The original tune was written by one Anslem Douglas, who, as it turns out, actually stole the song from someone else when they were recording it in the studio that he was working at several years prior to the legendary track’s being covered by The Baha Men and heard in stadiums and arenas throughout the land in the year 2000.

And now there is news of a follow-up single.

Here’s what I’ve been able to find out about it:

Musically, the new track is practically a bark for bark copy of Who Let the Dogs Out.  I guess they didn’t want to stray very far away from their core sound.  However, the boys from the Bahamas have really outdone themselves when it comes to the lyrics for this particular song.  It’s a story about an almost three-year old little girl and her grandpa who look out the window one day to discover a dog roaming around the backyard.  When the grandpa goes outside to shoo the canine away, the excessively friendly dog casually enters the home through the now open sliding glass door and approaches the suddenly hysterically screaming pre-schooler.  The grandpa and an Argentinian caregiver swooped in and rescued her from being covered with doggie drool.  The toddler was only consoled by the knowledge that this was the dog that provided the most fascinating piece of poop in her driveway the previous week.

The new track is called Who Let the Dog In and is available on iTunes now

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As long as I’ve been a part of my family — and for clarity’s sake that would be the Picetti and the Bishop families — it manages to find its way into conversation at every familial gathering, large or small.  Someone always brings it up, someway somehow, and all family members present acknowledge the bringer-upper for bringing up what was brought up yet again.  Those of us who wear watches make note of the time and look around the room to confirm the hour and minute with others who have just done the same.  Typically it gets mentioned sometime during dinner but on the rare occasion it goes unspoken of until some point while we are finishing off our desserts.  Then we all listen intently to the story involving it and laugh our collective asses off because, I’ll be the first one to admit so, that hearing about it always cracks me up.

And now, I’m more excited than I should be to say that my little Emma has joined the club as well.

Just last week she told everybody who would listen to her about what she had seen outside near the driveway.  Every time she ventured out of doors she had to check and see if it was still there, where it was the last time and the time before that.  Even when it had aged a bit, Emma astutely noted and enthusiastically reported that it dried up and was no longer stinky, laughing the entire time. And then Papa came home from LA and threw it away so it ceased to be at the forefront of her mind.

But that doesn’t matter to me.  The fact remains that our darling EZP is officially one of us who thinks that hearing about it is pretty freakin’ hilarious.

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All I Need

Persistent lingering HACK.  Interrupting normal flow of life HACK.  No comfortable way to expel HACK HACK super-sized ball of phlegm from the back of my throoooooo.  HACK HACK HACK.  Pause to catch breath.  Fire up the DeVilbiss suction machine.  Insert into mouth.  Bzzzzzz bzzzzzz bzzzzzz.  Remove the wand.  Reinsert into other side of mouth.  Bzzzzzz.  Several minutes of relative peace and quiet.  hack hack.  Coughing since Christmas hack.  Wake up tired hack HACK head full of Nyquil.  How much more hack HACK HACK of this hack HACK ’til it breaks HACK my hack hack spi…

It’s been nearly three years since my D (for Diagnosis) Day and I have always considered myself to be a person living with a terminal disease as opposed to dying of a terminal disease.  As of late, however, a small but nagging and relatively persistent train of thought has derailed my locomotive of positivity.  For the first time in all my forty-one plus years of life have I ever contemplated the concept of my endgame.  I assure myself that these thoughts are directly correlated to my being sick with this cold but they still make me feel sad and alone.

Without prompting she walks across the room to my recliner and asks me if I would like to have my hair brushed.  I nod my ascent vigorously and without hesitation.  She climbs up the armrest and seats herself on my left hand side.  She begins running the red comb through my hair as she tells me how beautiful it’s going to look when she’s done.  Then she hops off my lap in order to retrieve the small plastic hair dryer she needs to use of my head of lettuce.  For the next few minutes, my daughter sits with me combing and drying my hair and talking to me about nice it looks now.  You couldn’t have combed the smile off my face with all the combs and brushes in the world.

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Solving the Conundrum

Our daughter Emma talks a mean game.  “I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna do that” but sometimes, when it comes down to actually doing what she said she was going to do, the end result is vastly different than what she visualized herself doing in the first place.

Case in point:  The Santa Claus Conundrum.

Her first Christmas at eight months old she wanted absolutely nothing to do with the man in the red suit at the mall.  She cried so boisterously that even the quick photo of her on Mommy’s lap next to Santa was not worth the purchase price.

The older and wiser Emma of the next Christmas season found her filled to the brim with confidence and courage while waiting in line only to see that bravado dissipate into a mantra of “I don’t wanna” upon reaching the front of the queue.  Again, no photo.

This year, in her third Christmas, she had two opportunities to pose with the Big Guy.  Her first attempt was at school and she more or less just sorta stood in relative proximity to Mr Claus.  The photo was okay but not worth sharing here.

She did get over her case of the St Nick Yips when she took this picture one evening last week during a visit to the mall with Nana and Nani.

Good job, Emma.  Mommy and Daddy are proud of you.

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