The highlight this past month for Emi was Disneyland. Not just one day. Two days in a row. We used our Southern California pass and made use of the Magical Morning access, which was totally worth it. Emi was able to take pictures with Daisy and Mickey. We were in line for Minnie and literally we were next, but Minnie had to leave. Luckily we have a picture with her from a previous trip! However, she did give Emi a hug and kiss. But the highlight was Donald Duck. Emi is obsessed with Donald and walks around the house saying his phrases: What’s the big idea?, Oh druthers, and What a mess! Emi was SO happy to meet him and get him to sign her autograph book. In addition Emi took photos with Goofy and Pluto. This was a major difference from our January trip where she wigged out with all the characters! Emi had to see all the Mickey Mouse Club House friends and she gave hugs all around.

Day One of Disneyland was the we-are-going-to-stay-out-as-late-as-possible-night (I retired earlier to take care of Abby). Day Two was at a slower pace and luckily, it was not as crowded (although Day One wasn’t too bad)! Emi was able to get on all the rides she enjoys and she discovered new ones: It’s a Small World, Dumbo, the carousel, the rocket ships (as we like to call them), Winnie the Pooh, The Little Mermaid, the roller coaster at Toon Town, Autopia – Emi was a crazy driver!, Astro Blasters – Emi went with my mom and was scared, the tea cups – Emi wanted me to spin them faster!, Flik’s Flyers,  Golden Zephyr – my mom was way more scared than Emi, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree – Emi loved that the ride whipped us around and went fast!

We stayed at the Park Vue Hotel, which I highly recommend. It was so convenient since it was right across the street! Our room was spacious and they had breakfast for guests. It was nice to grab a bite to eat before heading to the park. In addition to eating the chicken Emi likes at Flo’s V8 Cafe we had corn dogs, fried chicken from Plaza Inn (first time there and it was yummy), dinner at Rain Forest Cafe, and Emi got to snack on popcorn and ice cream. Emi was able to choose one thing to buy and she got a charm bracelet. We brought home maps for her and now Emi is obsessed with looking at the Disneyland maps and identifying which rides she went on. By the way, when there were empty seats or in the case of It’s a Small a World, an empty boat, she would ask why no one was on it. She then told my mom, “I should be on it!” That cracked me up. Overall, it was a memorable, fun, and tiring but totally worth it trip. Emi had tons of fun and Abby went Dumbo, It’s a Small World, and the carousel for the very first time! We will probably go back for Emi’s birthday and hopefully we will be able to do everything she likes!

Emi is still the dancing queen at school. Apparently she has fast dancing, slow dancing, and Zumba (thanks to Grandmama). She skipped naps a few times before I reminded her about her quarters. That did the trick (in addition to saying It doesn’t matter if her friends don’t nap). I also told Emi she becomes crazy and bonkers without a nap. At school Emi becomes super silly with her teacher, but at home….NUTS as in all of a sudden crying because she’s so tired nuts. I don’t get the dance party version of Emi, but at least I see that side of her when she is well-rested.

Emi loves reading 123 Peas with Taro every night and now the reading also involves spelling out the numbers. Emi can spell one through six pretty well. And for some reason she can spell eighty. She just asked one night, How do you spell eighty? Emi proceeded by spelling it out on her own. Taro has also taught Emi how to count by fives up until 90. I love that we do very different things with her to help Emi in her learning. With me she practices tracing letters, matching numbers with the correct number of objects, identifying which object is smaller or larger, and cutting. Teaching her concepts like which one is smaller requires explaining things in different ways and it requires a lot of showing. Emi got it and it is great to see her learn new things.

Emi is becoming much more vocal and opinionated…essentially becoming her own person and it’s amazing to see how much she has changed. I’ve been working on her year four book and when I looked back on September 2014, I could see a huge difference physically. Emi’s face is more defined and she looks much more grown up now. She’s still my little girl, but boy has she changed and developed!

I’m constantly amazed by Emi and I cannot wait to resume our activities that we did prior to Abby’s arrival. We start up on soccer again and in June, Emi will be taking swimming lessons. Until then…

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Happy 7 months! This past month was definitely characterized by rolling. Abby finally rolled from her back to her tummy, which happened on April 28th, and now she is going back and forth – tummy to back, back to tummy, from the right side, and from the left side. If you don’t keep an eye on her she can roll quite a bit away from her play mat! It looks like I might have to put those foam mats on the floor again.

Emi rarely grabbed her toes and swayed in that happy baby yoga pose, but Abby loves doing it. On the play mat? Check. While changing her diaper? Check. On the bed while I am getting her dressed after her bath? Check. In the bath tub? Check check check! Abby does it anywhere possible, even in her bouncer chair and car seat! It makes me laugh. And she has managed to stick a little toe in her mouth. Better yet, she has learned that she can he her feet and suck on her thumb and fingers at the same time!

Tooth #3 came out on April 27th, although we spotted it on the 22nd. It’s the big top left tooth and it is still slowly emerging. #4 is coming out, too, which we noticed on May 13th! It’s the big top right tooth so soon Abby will have her front two teeth on display. I can’t believe she already has 4 teeth!

Abby is much more aware now and is more hesitant to go to people. Unless she is well fed, rested, and has a clean diaper, Abby cries when she realizes I’m not holding her. I pretty much have to be in another room for someone else to hold her…and also silent. If she hears my voice it makes Abby cry as well. Babies are pretty darn smart.

I’ve been able to move Abby’s bed time to a little bit earlier, but still not in that 6-8 pm range. She goes down by 10:30 and sleeps through the night – anywhere between 6-7 am. This works and at least I am not waking up to go into her room, although I do wake up and check the monitor. The one thing that has changed is Abby’s naps. She doesn’t go down for a nap as well anymore. She gets tired, but will only take one nap in her crib.

The summer will soon be here and I look forward to taking Abby swimming for Parent & Me classes. Hopefully she will get to do all the fun things we did with Emi at this age! Until next month…

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At seven months, baby S was baptized at the San Gabriel Mission. Surrounded by family and friends, she welcomed God and the church into her life – one of many milestones in baby S’s life. It was truly a pleasure to capture the love of not only baby S’s family, but also the love shown by her godparents (who also have a special lil’ one equally as adorable!). Since Stephanie and her husband were married at the mission, she wanted to take some similar shots, but now with the addition of her baby girl. It was fun to capture moments outside the mission and to see the love between sisters.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to photograph this special event, Stephanie, and I look forward to capturing more milestones in the future!

{Know someone interested in event photography? Feel free to share my new phone app: Andrea Takeoka Photography App}

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