Monday, June 30, 2008

A little bit of random for Monday

I'm having a little trouble uploading photos to the site. So let me tell you about something that has been on my mind. I don't have a picture for this. A picture just wouldn't do it justice. We have had our minivan now for several months. Shortly after we got it, a green speck appeared on our windshield. It's the kind of green speck that is easy to pass off as the innards of some unfortunate bug...until it has been there for three months! We have had several heavy rainstorms during that time. At the end of each one, I am certain the speck of green goo will be gone. Each time I am disappointed...or maybe I am a little relieved. So now we have been working on some other theories. Perhaps a lightning bug had been injected with some hazardous waste before meeting its end on our KIA. Could it be related to Incredible Hulk hype? Hmmm. Maybe they are developing some sort of indestructible super goo at the University and a little eeked out and splashed onto our windshield.

Have any ideas of your own? I'll try to keep you updated on the status of our visitor. Oh, maybe that's it! It's an alien life form that has chosen to observe humans via the Creach family. Wow. Wouldn't they be surprised at how little we reflect the lives of most humans....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Head Injury Update





Okay, you all know the real story for my recent head wound, but I have decided to change it up a bit. I was inspired by Stephen Colbert.

Forehead bruised, Colbert fights `face violence'
By JAKE COYLE – 3 hours ago
NEW YORK (AP) — With a bruised forehead, Stephen Colbert has found a new cause celebre: fighting the glamorization of "face violence."
As he did after breaking his wrist last year, Colbert has transformed a real-life injury into a mock crusade. Colbert was injured Saturday, and while he's been cagey about the cause, he's made no attempt to hide the scarring between his eyebrows this week on "The Colbert Report."
In extreme close-up Monday, he detailed the wreckage: "What the hell is going on right here? What the hell did I do to myself on Saturday? I've got stitches up there and it looks like I'm growing a little map of Norway down the side of my face."
Colbert has declined to say how the injury happened. (His publicist and Comedy Central also declined to comment.) Instead, he has said what's important is his new responsibility to fight "face violence" in Hollywood films.
Last June, Colbert broke his wrist while running around his set before the taping of a show. The comedian went on to wage a months-long fight for "wrist awareness" and widely circulated "WristStrong" bracelets for the cause. (Proceeds for the $1 bracelets have gone to the Yellow Ribbon Fund, a charity that assists injured service members and their families.)
This week, Colbert has joked that after the wrist injury, he pledged he would never break a fall with his hands.
Tuesday's guest, Will Smith, had a theory: "I think I know what happened to your face, `cause I can tell. Somebody kicked your ass, didn't they?"
Colbert has claimed it could have happened by smashing watermelons with his head or by "practicing for a walk-on role in Cirque du Soleil and overestimating the number of French Canadians my forehead would support."

Are we agreed? If anyone asks you what happened....I just overestimated the number of French Canadians my forehead would support. By the way, it easily supported nine.

Cracking me up

Okay, so it's not that difficult to do. I admit the fact. Still, Sophia absolutely cracks me up pretty much all the time. Here is the most recent example. This happened about 40 minutes ago. My laughter is even distracting to me, so apologies for that. At the beginning, she's saying "March, march." Then when you can't see where her drumsticks are, she's knick, knack paddywhack, drumming three on my knee....enjoy the crazy. I don't have the slightest idea where she gets it. video

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

About Sophia


We have noticed with joy and heartache that our baby is no longer a baby. It seems awfully early to me, but I suppose she'll revert every now and then. We have that to look forward to. Lulu is no longer NuNu, and she isn't her constant companion either. There are many days LuLu just spends the whole day in bed - lazy thing, leaving me all alone. Gone, too, are the little, yellow Pooh books. Believe it or not, I have managed to keep track of them, but she has, at least temporarily, lost interest. The two finger suck is going away too. It is used much less often these days.

Those are all things she isn't doing any more. Something she is doing - speaking in sentences! She has quite a way of turning a phrase, and we really enjoy it. When it's time for nap or bed at night, her newest thing is to say, "I don't go bed any more." She is also getting more and more creative. Today she had a friend named Bobby sitting on the swing with her. Among other things, she told me Bobby was funny. Then again, so is Sophia. She tells me that very often. She has known for a long time that being funny is important to us. (We'll deal with the consequences of that if she turns out to be less amusing down the road.) Anyway, yesterday, as she was repeatedly pushing the boundaries and having the consequences consistently raised, she just came back with "I so funny." I finally got her to agree that it isn't funny when we don't listen, but the look on her face told me she was not entirely convinced. The truth is, she's right and she knows it. I just have to stick by my guns. For once in my life, I can't fully appreciate (at least openly) the humor of a situation! Darn.

Anyway, all that to say Sophia is growing up. I'm sure you all saw it coming, but you could have let me in on it! That's not really true. Of course every parent tried, but I didn't listen. Well, now I realize. The days can be long, but time is flying!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Restful Indeed

Our weekend was so restful that the feeling kind of carried into the week for me. We spent the weekend enjoying Sophia's current phase of chatter and perpetual motion. We enjoyed parks, walks, naps and lots of playing at home. I cannot think of a better way to spend my time.

Sophia decided it would be fun to try on Daddy's shirt, then the hat just seemed like the natural next step. Needless to say, she got a good laugh, so it was continued for quite a while.

Sunday night, we tried the Concert in the Park at Shelter Gardens, but I had forgotten her "Apple Juicies" in the car, so we had to return practically before we got in. Not too quickly for her to stare at the firemen and get a chance to sit in the firetruck. Erick was more than a little jealous, and he told her so.

You can see a pattern here in the pictures. Perhaps the weekend was so restful for me because Sophia was a bit of a daddy's girl. She just loved hanging out with him and making him laugh. It is always a pleasure for me to see that...not to mention enjoy the rest it offers me.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A good time was had by all

At least I'm willing to believe that's true. Everyone seemed to have a good time at the work party, so who am I to question their authenticity? Sophia was up until 11:30. There, I just said it. One thing I had not anticipated was that other children have much later bedtimes than she does. There were three other kids present until 11:30, and it would have been impossible to put Sophia to bed while they were there. Of course there were other options for us, but honestly, she was having far too much fun! She wouldn't leave my side for about 40 minutes around 8:00 (her usual bedtime), but by 8:45, she didn't want anything to do with being held. That was partly due to the fact that she fell in love with a boy. Yep. At the tender age of 21 months, Sophia fell hard. His name is Jim. He's 3 1/2 with blond curly hair to be a near perfect match to Sophia's. The feeling was clearly mutual. They just provided the cutest show of chasing, hugging, kissing and performing for each other. Every time Sophia got out of sight, Jim would run to his mom and say, "Mommy! Where is Sophia?!" with all the urgency he could muster. She was never hiding too well. We tried to get pictures of the show, but they would skitter away. The best I could get was this shot of Kate (Jim's mom) reading to Sophia with Jim keeping watch.


Anyway, that was just one aspect of the great evening. All of the kids behaved beautifully. There were eight all told. It's pretty impressive to have eight kids in our house and not have anyone go crazy. Erick did a great job keeping the grill going and everyone fed. The adults managed to have some good conversation and enjoy socializing. The evening was intended as a welcome to the firm and (back) to Columbia for our friends the Bacons. That was, I hope, accomplished. So the evening was a complete success.

I didn't take the time to get any photos of the event. I gave all the kids disposable cameras to play with, so that should be interesting... Here is Sophia helping me clean up today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Distraction


We're preparing to host a party tonight for the attorneys from his firm. Nice people, but it's still pressure, right? Anyway, I've been busy with that. Here's a picture of Sophia's newest pasttime. When we get home from an outing, she inevitably says, "Down in van, please." Then I allow her to play in the van while I leave the door open, checking on her frequently. It's pretty funny. I always remember to check my flashers and wipers after she has had a play session.

Update on the party tomorrow...maybe.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She is me


Look at me!
Its what you say,
but how could I have helped it?

You are me.
Were those my eyes before the salty tears of disappointment?
Was that my smile before it learned to lie?
Your movements are so sure.
Your voice is free from doubt.

Can I keep you from becoming me?
Can I avoid seeing my tears reflected in your eyes?
Maybe nothing can; maybe nothing should.
It is the beautiful and awful truth of life.

You will learn; and learn you must.
I'll be here, little woman.
Some day I'll look into your eyes and know -
You are me.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!


On Saturday, Sophia was practicing saying Happy Father's Day. It was so sweet when she looked at Erick to say, "Happy Father's Day, Daddy!" A little of the sweetness was diminished when she picked up her stuffed animal and said, "Happy Father's Day, Doggy!" Still, she gave it a good effort and gave Daddy sweet kisses...well, the doggy too.

For Father's Day, Erick decided that he wanted to go to the St. Louis Zoo. It is one of Erick's very favorite places, and we hoped that Sophia would really be able to enjoy the sights and sounds this time around. We were right. She had a blast, which meant that we all had a blast. It was a perfect Father's Day for Erick - or so he claims. We love to look at the animals as much as she does, probably more. So it was a treat for all of us.

The zoo welcomed a new baby boy giraffe on Saturday, so that was pretty special to see the still wobbly baby. Sophia liked the big giraffes better, and kept trying to convince them to take some popcorn from her hand. She loves to "share" with animals.

Next were the goats. She jumped right in there with them. I was so pleased that she always walked around and just patted their backs! What great petting zoo etiquette.

The children's zoo has a splash park area, and I was looking forward to seeing what Sophia would think of it. As I mentioned, she goes through occasional nervous phases with water, but this wasn't one of them. After she had been digging around in the sand for a while, I was glad that she was willing to go into the water. She ran and splashed, following the bigger kids and then doing her best on her own. By the end, she was soaked from head to toe, and I was very glad I brought a change of clothes for her.

All in all, it really was a fantastic day. I'm so glad that we could celebrate Father's Day like this with our little family. I hope everyone's day was as meaningful.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Walk in the Park

One evening this week, Erick and I took Sophia to Shelter Gardens for the first time since she's been old enough to be interested in fountains, fish and flowers. Obviously, I'm interested in alliteration. Anyway, she had a wonderful time wandering around. Each time she found a "mountain" she had a hard time moving on to the next one. She was sure that what she was looking at had to be the best thing out there.

Imagine her rapture when flowers and open spaces were awaiting around each and every corner.


As usual, her interest was most engaged with other people. This was Anna. Anna will be two this weekend. I can only imagine what wisdom Sophia is imparting. I'm sure it's she offering the advice, in spite of Anna's advanced age.

Next she met the lion. They shared a moment. Brief but beautiful. Sophia moved on. Poor lion.

Did I mention trees?

Just so you know. This is the way she walks. Graceful? Not really.

With a purpose. Conquering one thing, then the next. Occasionally turning to say "Come on, Daddy Mommy." It's good exercise to swing your arms like that.

Try it next time you're out for a walk. I'm sure no one will stare.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Swimming

For the past month or six weeks, Sophia has shown a surprising and unexplained aversion to water. We thought it was just the bath until I tried to take her to the ARC's pool the other day. She didn't even like being accidentally splashed by fun-loving kids! So we decided to play it cool for a bit. We have been allowing her to go several days between baths, with spot washes between. The thing is, once she gets into the bath, she loves to splash and would pour water back and forth between containers for hours on end.

This weekend, we decided to make an effort to revisit the water as fun idea. Not the pool at the gym. Just a little water sprinkler thing for the front yard. When we got home to try it, the boys were already in their little pool having a good time. So we decided just to add the sprinkler to their yard.

Sophia feigned disinterest for a long time.

Finally she decided to give it a try. She hopped in for brief periods, then would get right back out.

It didn't take too long before she was having a blast with the boys and enjoying the water. I have to admit I was more than a little relieved. Last summer, we spent a great deal of time at Twin Lakes with our friends. I was counting on that as a distraction! Hopefully, this change in attitude toward the water is a permanent one.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Happily Ever After


This is what we look like today on our six year anniversary. Six years isn't quite Happily Ever After, but I think we are building a good foundation to that end. It has been an emotional week, and Erick and I nearly forgot our anniversary altogether! Fortunately, we remembered in time to recruit Mary to watch Sophia so we could have a little time away.

We had lunch at Sophia's/ - no, not a namesake either way. It was so nice to sit and chat and share a meal together. We discussed how much we enjoy one another's company, and how grateful we are for our friendship. Relationships are work, there is no doubt of that. But with work, marriage can be a fantastic endeavor. The best piece of marriage wisdom I've ever heard was from a professor and his wife just before we got married. "People always told us that marriage is hard. We have found that marriage isn't hard. Marriage is work, and LIFE is hard." I thought of that again as we drove through Broadway Village this afternoon. That is where we made our first home together six years ago. The tears that we shed in that home far outnumber the tears shed before or since. But it may always be our dearest home. It was within those walls that we really fell in love because we grew up. I discovered who I was, Erick discovered who he was, and in the process we fell in love with one another for who we are separately - not for what we are together. I am so grateful for those hard lessons, although I would love to have learned without them. Of course we also reminisced about the many, many good memories we made in 53C. Many of the readers of this blog were integral in making those memories.

Six years is not much in the scheme of things. Popo and Momo were married for sixty-six. Still, I am confident that during these six years of life together, we have been preparing ourselves to stand and thrive together for sixty more. I could not be more grateful for my friend and protector and husband.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Headed to Illinois

As I pack to go to Illinois, here is a video from last weekend just to distract you a little bit. This is a fairly long video. It's just our usual evening playtime.

I have lost my voice. It's surprisingly difficult to parent a toddler with no voice. She doesn't necessarily understand all the hidden meaning in a "look." Under Erick's orders, I will try some cough syrup today.

Thanks for all of your comments and support. I am anxious to see Momo and the rest of my family, in order to share in our grief, but also our memories of Popo.
video

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Popo


Popo, my dad's dad, has been sick for quite some some time, and now he is finally free from all that pain. I have been thinking of so many things I needed to say about him - like how Sophia loved him instantly or his surprising internet savvy. So many stories I should share - maybe you should hear about his unique collections or how he taught me sign language fifteen years ago (I've forgotten most of it.) But only one thing seems to matter at the moment. Popo gave THE best hugs, and often, as I was leaving, he would take my face in both his hands to kiss my cheek, just before he said, "I love you, Sweetheart."

I love you, too, Popo.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Grad Moves

On Saturday we drove to Kansas City to attend a party for Erick's cousin Rusty. Rusty and his wife have five children and he has been doing school and work full time. So, he's obviously attained some sort of superhero status at this point. Anyway, we were glad to get to celebrate with all of them in Lee's Summit. Every time we visit Erick's Lee's Summit fam, we go early or stay late to shop on the Plaza. There is just something about it that we really love. For Sophia, it was Topsy's and cruising in the umbrella stroller.

With little to no nap, Sophia had a hard time warming up at the party, but eventually she did great. Then the girls discovered the stage and runway. Lexie is Rusty's niece and Erick's second cousin. She'll be two in July, and she is a hoot.

She and Sophia had a lot of fun dancing and singing and strutting their stuff. Sophie definitely learned some new moves from her KC cousin.

I was also very pleased that Sophia was gentle and sweet with the youngest of Rusty's five, Halley (not sure I spelled it right).