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Today Emma turns five! I am so grateful to have such a fun, creative, and talented little girl living in our home. Emma is a child who knows what she wants, and plans how to get there – even from the age of two weeks old, when she started dictating our musical playlist. Unlike the babies of numerous research studies, Emma did not like much of the mainly classical music I listened to while pregnant with her – with the very tasteful exception of Bach. She favored Jewel, Bruce Springsteen, Cat Stevens and a single song written by a friend from our freshman dorm – who, incidentally, happens to share her birthday! I should be grateful that she felt so passionately about “her” music, because I spent her first three months of life finishing my dissertation, bouncing on an exercise ball with Emma in a wrap, listening to her music of choice as I typed.

Recognize the hands up under her chin? It’s the pose Emma picked for some of her earliest portraits – while in the hospital, less than a day old:

newborn Emma

And even when she was asleep, which happened ever so much more often during the day than at night for her first three months or so of life.

two-day-old Emma

For all the sleep deprivation, Emma was in some ways a remarkably tolerant baby. She had lived in three countries by the time she turned nine months old, and tolerated long trans-Atlantic flights with minimal fuss. She never fussed about the cold Scottish wind, and she loved riding the bus; being strapped into a car seat in a car was a different story.


Happy Birthday, Emma!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

23 thoughts on “Five”

  1. What a remarkable gal! Happy birthday, Emma!!! I’m excited to watch you grow and see where you’ll go. Love from Y&B

  2. Happy fifth birthday to your “beauty full” Emma. This is such a special post about your precious girl.

    You have shared such wonderful and delightful stories about Emma. How can you not love, respect and admire a girl who knows what she wants and then sets about achieving her goals.

  3. Her direct gaze and lovely smile show her sweet determination. It’s clear to me that whatever she decides to do will be done well.

    This is a beautiful word and picture portrait of a lovely girl!

    Happy birthday, Emma!

  4. Two Chicks and a Hen

    Happy Birthday, Emma! I know I just said this like two weeks ago, but that hand gesture is so sweet :). I can’t believe my older one is going to be five in just a couple of months. It seems so old.

  5. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    Oh WOW!!! Five years old already — what a milestone! Happy Birthday to Emma!!! xoxo

  6. Oh, this is so sweet. I love the pictures. She is such a pretty girl. Happy 5th Birthday to Emma! As we say in our house, she is now a whole hand!

  7. Happy Happy 5th Birthday, Emma!! I loved reading all that you wrote about her. Her musical taste is awesome:-). LOVE that she still puts her sweet hands under her chin. Things like that are amazing to me. It shows that our babies truly come to us as they are now, just tiny versions.

    I hope Emma enjoys her birthday and her party to the fullest!!

  8. Great stories from the first year of life. Emma was a beautiful baby, and now a beautiful girl. Happy birthday to her!

  9. I love the pictures and what you wrote for Emma! She is such a special little girl. I remember waiting for you as we were leaving the hospital in Edinburgh after Emma was born. Emma was wrapped up in her car seat, and an older man came up to me and told me, in his Scottish accent, that my life will never be the same after I take my wee lass home.

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