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I love when I photograph a family multiple times and the kids are excited to see me. It only shows that not only are they excited to take photos, but they feel comfortable around me to be themselves. That is how it is with the Aguilar kids and I really enjoy seeing their bright smiles and fun personalities. They know when to put on their “serious” faces and smiles and when they can be goofy and run around or play in the sand. It was fun watching them build their sand mounds and run away before the water would reach their toes. These kids are a treat to be around and it is always good to see them.

As always, it is an honor and joy to take photos of the Aguilar family. Delilah really wanted a beach setting since they have not done photos at the beach before so we headed out to Miramar Park – a nice mixture of grass setting, but mainly the beach – early in the morning and it was perfect because it was not crowded and allowed for us to freely take photos. Even though our last session was not too long ago, their lil’ one definitely is even more on the go and I feel like I get to witness the kids growing up!

It was a fun session on the beach and I look forward to seeing more of the Aguilar family in the future! Thank you again for the multiple opportunities in photographing your family, Delilah, and I hope you and your family enjoy the rest of the summer!

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What is special about the pair of shoes below is that each kid wore them. I love how the shoes were passed from one kid to the next and how the youngest has already outgrown them!

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It is the summer of Emi. Everything revolves around her, even when she has school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel like I am just running around doing errands and getting her party stuff ready on those days. At times I feel like I don’t even have a chance to stop and breathe because it is literally going here and there tracking everything down! But it will all be worth it come September and despite going everywhere, I have been able to sneak in some lunches here and there and even go get a much needed massage. I’m not sure whether I am just busy or #2 is causing lower back pain, but whatever the reason, it was nice to get a little bit of relaxation.

So back to Emi. Her sentence progression is evolving. Before it was a bit more simplistic like, “Mommy, come here.” When we were reading her books the other night, Emi said, “The baby is holding a spoon.” I can see her trying to gather the right words together and I just let her figure it out so when Emi said that, I just responded with a yes and was impressed by how rapidly it goes from a few words pieced together to something more. Emi talks quite a bit, but people probably won’t know only because she clams up the minute someone acknowledges her. At the same time, she can be pretty quiet around Taro and his parents, which is surprising to me – and vice versa because Taro is always surprised when she talks SO MUCH around me. I don’t know what it is, but around me, she doesn’t stop talking. Here are only a handful of words/phrases that I jotted down that Emi has added to her growing vocabulary: Wait a minute, Scoot scoot, Why are you sitting in Meme’s chair?, yes (sometimes yes, please), yup, Bless you (after you sneeze), hobbies, baking, cooking, rug, mirror, octopus towel, sushi (in reference to a towel we have), swimming, radio (sometimes big radio), Who’s a silly monkey?, Who’s a party animal?, Who’s munchichi? (a nickname my mom calls Emi), Where’s my kiss?, Hug!, It’s getting late (what I tell Emi when she goes to sleep late), and mirror. Emi loves identifying punctuation in her books and now in other places, too. If it says, “Where’s Goofy?” in her book, Emi will say, “Where’s Goofy question mark.” She knows the difference between a question mark, exclamation mark, comma, apostrophe, period, and can even identify a dash. The most confusing was definitely telling the comma and apostrophe apart since they look the same, but eventually Emi figured it out. I think it is really funny when she says things like, “No exclamation mark. Only a question mark.” I don’t know where she gets it.

So what does the summer of Emi consists of besides making her daily breakfast – eggs and pancakes, will sometimes request a banana – and tickling the bottom of her feet which she loves? It is listing out everything we do the night before – Emi will repeat it nearly word for word and add in things that I miss like, “Put on swimsuit” – and observing everything around her – “Where’s the black flag?” when the black flag wasn’t out during soccer practice. It is singing and dancing to songs like the Hokey Pokey, which she loves singing in the swimming pool during her swim lessons and Ring Around the Rosey or The Noble Duke of York, which she learned in music class. It is her Emi and Baba visits to the Huntington Library where they ring the bell and feed the fish, which they totally aren’t supposed to do, but Emi said that the fish like baker bread, too! She made me laugh and I gave Taro this funny look. But besides all that, it is everything we participate in like…

Ballet/Tap Class: Emi is definitely improving on her ballet/tap! She can now do the butterfly stretch pretty well and follows more with the tendu and passe moves. She still likes to do some things her own way, but Emi can follow along way more compared to before. Seeing her in her pink ballet outfit and doing her shuffle step or bunny hops during the tap portion still puts a smile to my face. I feel lucky that my schedule allows me to take Emi to classes like these and as long as she enjoys doing it, I will continue to take her. We are signed up for the Fall session so this will definitely be something that is our thing even when baby #2 is here!

Soccer: Emi is now no longer hesitant to run and kick the ball on her own. Each time she kicks the ball, she says, “Kick!” She follows along, for the most part, with the games and especially likes kicking the ball in between my legs or kicking the ball so it knocks over the cones. At the end all the kids get to kick into the goal and she enjoys that part. At the end the coaches have the kids huddle in a circle and put their hands in. They then say, “1, 2, 3…kids love soccer!” Emi now says it loud and clear and I am so glad she is opening up more. After soccer we always go to the playground portion of the park and go on the swing, ride the little airplane and fire truck, and play with bubbles. It is definitely something she looks forward to after being at school all day and we have a ton of fun.

Swimming: We only go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but Emi really enjoys getting into the water. She now walks to the steps herself and then we hop into the (freezing) cold water together. She loves to kick on her stomach and now blows bubbles as well! Kicking on her back is okay, but not preferred and Emi now enjoys jumping into the water more. She will only do it from a sitting position, but she laughs when she does it. What Emi has also learned is to crawl on the wall and I don’t need to hold her anymore. Of course I still feel a bit afraid and will keep my hand under her butt, but she is getting better at it. This week she put her face in the water and I was able to put her underwater. She said it is like washing her face so hopefully she will get used to getting her face wet a bit more!

Music Class: I was starting to think that Emi didn’t enjoy the music class anymore because she wouldn’t go and get the instruments herself or participate. However, this session she is back to her normal self and standing up and hopping to the frog songs and even singing along to the songs! I am pretty sure she likes the songs better for this session, but we are also sitting in the “usual” spot. Emi definitely doesn’t like change so when we were sitting somewhere else, I wasn’t sure if that was the issue. However, I am pretty sure it is the song selection only because she likes listening to the CD in the car, which we didn’t do last session. Perhaps frogs are more fun than elephants? Whatever it may be, this will probably be our last session of music class only because we have taken it for a year now and in the Fall, Emi will start taking Parent & Me Tennis!

Taro, Emi, and I went to the O.C. Fair last weekend and we had a blast! Although I cannot ride the rides with her, I take plenty of pictures and videos of her. Taro likes to do more daring things with her, like put her hands up or spin the ride, and Emi loves it. Emi just barely made the height requirement (36 inches) and was able to go on the roller coaster and the spinning balloon ride, which she loved! Emi even went on this car ride that she had to ride by herself. I know that might not sound like a big thing, but Emi has not gone on a ride by herself, even at Knott’s Berry Farm! She was completely scared when we tried to put her on the airplane ride so when she wanted to go on the cars, I said, “Meme and Baba can’t go with you. You have to go all by yourself. Do you want to go by yourself?” Emi answered confidently, “Yes.” And oh did she have a great time! She even put her hands up and it made Taro nervous enough to say, “Hold on to the steering wheel!” It was great seeing her laugh and enjoy herself. She definitely is becoming a big girl.

Emi, my mom, and I still continue to go to Knott’s Berry Farm. The season pass is definitely worth it since Emi has so much fun at Camp Snoopy. She loves going on the train, the camp bus, the boat ride, the trucks, and the carousel. Now that they have some new rides, specifically the swings and the mud buggies, it is definitely more fun. The first time Emi went on the mud buggies she laughed so hard and each time she laughed, she would look up at my mom to make sure she was looking. It seriously was priceless. It makes me happy to see her laugh so hard and enjoy spending the afternoon riding rides with my mom. And now that she has gone on the roller coaster at the fair and is tall enough, we will have to add in the roller coaster at Camp Snoopy to her ride rotation!

Although there has been plenty of fun so far, there has been a major challenge with Emi and that is with potty training. She is a stubborn one and refuses to go in the potty. I’ve tried having her wear underwear all day, not wear anything, giving her rewards, not doing rewards…and it all hasn’t worked. Emi will hold it and pee or poop in her underwear or totally freak out and say, “Put on a diaper!” Even if I put her on the potty, she freezes and then doesn’t go for a long time! I am completely stumped on what to do and am just hoping that with time, she will become less afraid of the toilet. Yes, she is terrified of it, yet she clearly understands when she has underwear on and prefers wearing underwear! I know it will work out, but I am hoping that it will be before October. Fingers crossed.

It has been an eventful month and I still have three weeks left of vacation (Sigh…does it have to end so soon?). I am definitely going to enjoy the time left, but it is definitely scary thinking about going back to work only because that means that time will go by fast and the next thing you know, it will be Emi’s birthday party and…baby #2 will be here.

Until next post, though…

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Emi loved watching the fireworks on the 4th of July, even though I was terrified!

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So summer vacation got off to a rough start. Emi started swimming lessons on June 9th and on her first day, she had a meltdown. The pool was unfamiliar (even though this is the third summer taking Parent and Me classes, which truly shows how kids become afraid of things and also, cannot quite remember things) and it was quite cold. The next day Emi came down with a fever (not sure if it was completely related to swimming) and that fever/cold knocked her out for well over a week. It was nuts! Emi rarely gets a fever – didn’t get fevers when she was teething except for the first molar that popped out – and this time, it reached 103/104 at night. It was insane because we were getting up and giving her medicine, constantly giving her lukewarm baths, and doing everything possible to drive the fever down. I have been completely spoiled by not having to deal with this during teething or any other time so of course, when it does happen, it almost feels completely foreign to us. And in the middle of Emi being sick, I caught it. Fever + lack of sleep + taking care of a sick 2 year old + being pregnant = disaster I told myself I could get through it (cue “Eye of the Tiger” and envisioning myself conquering the flight of stairs), but the combination kicked my butt. And since I cannot be on antibiotics, it made it even more difficult (I still have the lingering cough/asthma/whatever it is now!). But now Emi is better (Finally and thankfully!) and we are now enjoying all the activities of summer. So yes, it was a rough start, but now we are having tons of fun because we’re not exhausted and drained from fighting off a fever/cough/sickness.

So session #2 for Emi’s swimming lessons started today and she really looked forward to going swimming. Although she was scared of her teacher, Emi kicked her feet and kept on saying, “Meme will hold you.” That was her reassurance in the pool that I wouldn’t let go. And she had fun, especially when I would spin her around in the water and bob her up and down while counting. Emi loves numbers, by the way, and will count and stack things like no tomorrow…and in numerical order. I seriously don’t know where she gets that from.

In addition to swimming we just started up soccer again last week. This time around Emi actually kicks the ball on her own and at a pretty good distance. The kids are supposed to kick and run to colored flags and Emi really enjoyed doing that. In addition to numbers, Emi also loves identifying colors so the flags are a definite plus. She was laughing and kicking the entire time until the coach said, “Good job!” That’s when Emi realized that someone was watching her AND there were other parents and kids in the class. After that, all she kept on saying was, “Meme kick the ball.” Emi is really conscious once she realizes people are aware of her. She is still really shy, but starting to open up a bit more. I remember the first soccer class and she didn’t even want to walk or run. I had to carry her so she has made improvement since then!

Emi is still continuing her ballet/tap class and she is definitely picking up more from the class. Her favorite part is still the tap portion and I think it is because the shoes make a lot of noise, especially when they bunny hop across the room or tap their toes behind them. There really isn’t anything cuter than little girls in matching pink tutus! All the moms have their phones out taking pictures and recording their girls. You just cannot help it (even though we are not supposed to)!

Since I have been home, I feel like Emi’s language and words have grown exponentially…or exploded! Everything just comes out in sentences – “Come here, Mommy,” “Move back, Mommy,” “What are you doing, Baba?,” “Get up, Meme,” “Do you want to play with dolls?,” and so much more. When we read books, Emi copies all the phrases and repeats them. She especially likes the Mickey Mouse book, Favorite Seasons, and will repeat “In the winter,” flowers, barbecues, celebrate, and “What’s your favorite season?” from the book. She just recently (today, actually) started pointing out all the question marks, exclamation points, and commas. Before we go to sleep, we read nine of the Mickey Mouse books, Goodnight Moon, and My World. Emi reads most of Goodnight Moon and she even makes silly voices when reading. She especially likes to point out where the mouse is at and laughs when she says mush. I love that she enjoys listening and reading books and our nighttime routine is definitely longer now that she has added books and likes to spell out the title of the books. She will look at the title, say each letter, and at the end ask, “What’s that spell?” Like I have said in the past, it is amazing how fast kids learn.

So here are some additions (just a handful) to her words: celebrate, shovel, Knott’s Berry Farm, videos, carousel, exploring, wheels…it may seem like a short list, but really, it’s hard to keep up now! Emi just asks questions left and right and it feels like she knows a million words! However, here are some funny ones. My mom asked her, “How about some water?” Emi’s response was, “How about no?” I have no clue where she got that from, but it totally caught us off guard and we couldn’t help but laugh. Another one that is funny/not so funny (in ways) is that she kept on saying two words and all I kept responding with was, “White dog?” Eventually Emi said…”What…what the…what the hell?!?” So I laughed…and I am to blame for this one. I think when things catch me by surprise I say, “What the!” It could be worse, that’s how I see it.

Emi is growing and changing so fast – she went through a growth spurt and is now taller than the dining room table and can easily reach up to the kitchen counter and even the dish rack – and is definitely not a baby. She is this little person…and I absolutely love it. This summer, now that our fever is over and done with, is going to be the best, although I have to start planning her 3rd birthday already! Ahhhhh!

Until the next post…

Some of Emi’s favorite things right now:

1. Duplo Lego Sets

2. Dolls, especially making them sit down or do the downward dog yoga pose

3. Painting on a daily basis

4. Shapes, numbers, and colors

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