Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ice skating adventure - by Sophia Creach

About a week ago I went ice skating for the first time with one of my best friends. I know my mom only talked about me falling on my butt but some parts weren't as pleasant... I took a big header into the ice. It hurt but not for that long. I'm not saying it wasn't painful, but every good ice skater needs a hard fall every now and then,right? My dad says I usually take the biggest fall on my first time. I'm a first time faller I say. My friends dad gave me a dollar coin. I got chili cheese fritos. One time when I fell. This time on my butt. My mom tried to help me up... I still couldn't get up! It was so, so, so funny. It took me at least two minutes to get up. I finally just scooted to wall so I could pull myself up.  

By Sophia Creach

Monday, January 26, 2015

Winter Sport

Yesterday was a drizzly, chilly day. Not the ideal day for one's (or three's) first time ice skating. Still, we had postponed ice skating with friends at least three other times for various reasons. We weren't going to let a little drizzle get in our way this time.

Erick, Sophia and I were all complete newbies on the ice. Overall, I'd say our first time was a huge success.

The grownups managed not to fall down even once. And Sophia's falls were almost entirely on her butt, so that's a win. I was very proud of her. New things are definitely not her favorite things, especially when pain is a potential outcome. She kept at it in spite of being soaked and exhausted and improved quite a bit!

Having some friends with us didn't hurt at all. We discovered that standing close together is not necessarily a good idea for stability.

This was a common look on Sophia's face.

Erick opted to be photographed alone and avoid his flailing companions. Wise, wise man that he is. 

Turns out, I'm a fan of ice skating, as I am of most outdoor activities. I look forward to a time when I can stray more than a few feet away from Sophia and try a little speed. I have a feeling that when that happens, I won't be able to claim a completely upright victory. But a little fall now and then can be a good thing. It happens often enough to me that I know how to tuck and roll.

Don't worry, Mom, I'll be careful.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Perfect Combination

This weekend brought lovely weather to Missouri. It's especially welcome since it's right on the back end of some very cold temperatures. Not only did they keep us inside and away from Forest Park, they froze all the creeks and little waterways completely solid.

The ice comes up in layers, much to the delight of an explorer and the dog who loves to eat ice.

Making for very chilly kisses.

I have to admit that it's lots of fun to walk on ice, stroll on ice, even skate (scoot) on ice. We spent a very long time at the park on Saturday and ended up very muddy.

Completely worth it. Except, I did fall down the hill right in front of the Skinker stoplight. Fortunately, grace is not an attribute that I thought I possessed.

I hate the cold weather so much. I really do. The fact remains that I couldn't possibly appreciate mid-40's temperatures the way I do if it didn't sometimes get ridiculously cold. Not to mention, ice is fun.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

These Days

Winter is long and cold. It's here in all its glory without a flake of snow to make it worthwhile. Still, we manage to eek the fun out of its darkness and goosebumps.

A record playing in the background, hot cocoa cooling down and the puppy squeaking his toy. Not a bad way to while away the hours. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Into the Woods

As badly as I'd love to see the movie Into the Woods, that's not what this post is about. This is about Forest Park. And Leo.

As you know, since we've moved to St. Louis, we have lived across the street from Forest Park. It takes less than five minutes for us to walk to one of the most picturesque locations in the city. And we have. In the last four years, we have used that park a lot. A very lot. Playgrounds, museums, picnics, lakes and the whole thing. We've used most of what the park has to offer.  

However, since Leo has been added to our family, we have discovered its wilder side. In the past, we have only used the woods as a cut-through to the zoo. That is no longer the case. In the past, we had sometimes hopped into the car to get to what we thought were the more useable parts of the park. Or we'd walk to one of the buildings. Having a dog who needs walks has led us to be more creative, and that has opened up a world we didn't realize existed. 

At least once a week since we've gotten Leo, we have followed the much less-beaten paths through the woods. We have been when it's cold, when it's muddy, when it's hot. 

No matter when we go, it's beautiful. Sometimes we have to drag Sophia off the couch to get her there. That's a fact. Another fact is that once we're there, we usually have to drag her back home. Point out growling stomachs or fingers and noses changing color from exposure. She has discovered that she loves fallen trees. She already knew that she loved mud holes and creeks.

There are many things that I love about having a dog, but this may be the very best thing so far. The woods.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to me from Sophia

I am lucky to have received some lovely and thoughtful gifts from my family already. This one is my favorite:

Merry Christmas
by Sophia Creach

I hope you have a great Christmas. The stockings are hung on the windowsill with care in hopes that  morning soon would be there. I wake in the morning and presents neatly put in rows sit there and mock me until you say GO!  I love you so much you will never know. I think this Christmas is the best but so are the rest. I think you should know I hope Christmas is great for you. For there wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t have you. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Freshly Cut

Ever since Sophia was very small, we've had artificial Christmas trees. After last Christmas, our most recent tree finally gave up the Christmas spirit and we tossed it. Sophia was determined that this year, we'd have the quintessential (she didn't use that word, although it wouldn't surprise me) Christmas experience by going to the tree farm and cutting down our celebratory evergreen.

Of course, that's what we did. In what turned out to be ill advised sentimentality, we brought Leo with us. He's just so cute, and I hate to think of him shut up in his little crate all day. He doesn't seem to mind, really, but it bothers me. He was nutso. Fortunately (?), Sophia joined him in his nutso behavior, and we all had quite the time.

Then we took one another's pictures. Because that's how we roll. Oddly, no selfies this time around.

Saturday was just gorgeous. The weather was so perfect for tree picking. And we had the window open while we decorated! Perfect, I tell you.

A real tree is exactly as I remembered it. A pain in the rear. Worth it, though. When it makes our super Christmasy girl that much happier.