Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Itchy Feet (not literally)

In the Spring (and the fall, winter and summer), I tend to get itchy feet. I want to pack up and head out with Erick and Sophia. It's a chronic condition. Maybe because it's Fat Tuesday and I miss NOLA. Maybe it's because January and February always seem to drain the life out of me. Who knows.

In summary, I'd rather be here:

I don't necessarily want to be in NOLA today because I think actual Mardi Gras might actually taint it for me. I like a reasonable amount of debauchery, but let's not take it too far.

I can't wait till we're all doing this.

But honestly, if I have to stay bundled up, I'd at least like to have a nice view.

I need help.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthdays Galore!

This weekend was rife with celebration. Birthday celebrations all around!

It all started with a carefully planned and well executed celebration of Lori Mitchell's 40th. In her husband's words the "Best Unconventional, Progressive, Non-Surprise, Surprise Party." That sums it up. An afternoon of surprises for Lori ended at PS Gallery downtown for an evening of dancing:


and gifts:

Saturday included a celebration for Caroline Fretwell's very 1st birthday! Those are always wild times and this one was no disappointment. A passel of kids managed to do a great job of playing, eating and celebrating just in time to crash. Here is Caroline blowing out her candle with her beautiful mommy Lauren.

Sunday we celebrated the fourth birthday of Sophia's friend Jim. I didn't get any pictures of that event, but it was a good time. Dinosaurs and cars and lots of fun activities. Not to mention pizza, cake and ice cream. Sophia had a great time and so did we!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Funny Kid

Only moments ago, while checking on Sophia, I went through the potential list of toddler needs. After getting the usual indignant "No." and "No fanks." to everything on the list, I just added, "How about a tickle?" After a brief pause for consideration, she responded, "A tickle would be JUST fine, Mommy."

A Good Time

We have been enjoying our week. Sophia is in rare form these day. She is coming up with lots of new games on her own. Different ways to dance and songs to sing. She is also making up new words and laughing hysterically when we say, "What?"

Here are a few moments from our good times.

I don't even know what to say about this face. It's almost disturbing, but it's too funny to be scared

Here is Princess Sophia riding her horse...with her cape as a hat.

Here she is putting her treasures in her princess purse.

And here's another cheesy face.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Anyone who knows me won't be surprised to hear that I have to work really hard to be firm with Sophia. It's not that I have no rules or boundaries, it's just that I like to have fun. I've mentioned before how Sophia has my number, so to speak.

Last night, Sophia showed again that she knows my weak spot. When it was time for supper, I told Sophia that she had to stop playing with the dried beans that she was pouring in and out of containers. When I told her that if she didn't listen, we'd have to put away the beans entirely, she responded by drawing her knees up in her chair and saying to Erick, "I don't like it when Mommy acts like that to me. It hurts my feelings." ouch.

Now don't worry. I'm not going to let her go wild just because she can put words to my fears. I stayed strong. I explained to her (I know. She's two. It's ridiculous.) that we give her rules because we love her. She hopped down and said, "Okay."

I'm pretty sure she was thinking, "It was worth a shot."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Today we had the chance to celebrate our nephew Jacob's 4th birthday. It's not actually till Sunday, but since they live over three hours away and he happened to be spending the morning on Timbers Ct, we decided to take full advantage of the opportunity.

It's really fun to watch them play together. They love being cousins, and it's so sweet to see.

While they were sitting at the table, I took the opportunity to see if they could offer me some cheesy smiles. As long as I was willing to show them the picture as soon as I took it, they were willing to cooperate. Here's the result.

Birthday boy:

Sweet boy:

Silly boy:


Happy Birthday, Jacob!! We love you dearly.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Random Cuteness

Since Sophia's been back to herself, she has had A LOT to say about everything. So here are a few things that have caught my attention in the moment.

-The other morning, Sophia and I went out to McDonald's for breakfast. It was a yummy treat for both of us. Anyway, we sat in the booth in between the soda fountain and the bathroom. It's the ideal location for people watching, and we're both experts. As an older lady walked out of the bathroom, I looked up just in time to see Sophia throw her a big thumb's up! I was disappointed that the lady didn't notice, but when Sophia saw me laughing, she said, "I told her 'Go ahead!'"

-Transitions are our biggest battle right now. I have lots of horror stories about trying to get Sophia's coat on or diaper changed or trying to go somewhere, but those aren't funny. One morning when we got in the van, she looked up at a smiley face sticker on the back of my headrest and said, "Stop smiling at me, Smiley Face!" She repeated it several times until she decided the sticker was not listening. I guess she didn't get his sense of humor.

-The same day, Sophia was sitting in the van with Lulu reading a book when we stopped at a stoplight. When the van stopped, Lulu fell on the ground. Sophia yelled, "Van! Stop crashing my Lulu down! She could hurt herself!"

-Whispering is one of Sophia's new favorites. She loves to whisper, especially to Lulu. They will be whispering secrets back and forth for a long time in her tent or on my bed. Sometimes Lulu is even funny and cracks Sophia up!

-I'm starting to see a pattern here, are you? Many of Sophia's favorite activities involve imaginary friends and enemies. Hmmm.

-The best one was a deeper than expected discussion about trusting God. Last week, we had a Veggie Tales movie from the library about Gideon and trusting God. She brought it up one day by mentioning that we have to trust God, and Erick and I encouraged a discussion about it. I asked her if she knew that God loved her even more than the great big amount that Mommy and Daddy did. She said no and sat thinking for a few minutes. Then she said, "I can trust my mommy and my daddy, and that's how I can trust God!" Wow. I think that's the entire job of parenting right there. Just don't screw it up for God.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

First Trip to the Zoo in 2009


Temperatures today reached in the mid 60's! We were so excited by the promise of a warmer day that we decided to head to one of our favorite spots - the St. Louis Zoo.

Sophia was beside herself! We just watched Madagascar 2 again last night, so she had all the zoo animals fresh in her imagination.

It was a perfect day to stroll around the zoo, and we knew that we wouldn't be the only ones with that idea. The zoo was probably as crowded as it has ever been on the second weekend in February. Of course, Erick and I love crowds, and Sophia thrives on them too.

Chimps are really gross. I won't tell you all the things this guy did as Sophia looked on.

One of my favorite things is how these giant wild cats behave almost exactly as your average house cat. This ferocious tiger was stretched on the edge of his habitat, and I just pictured the America's Funniest Video clips of housecats falling off during their sleep.

Timing was such that Sophia couldn't stay awake the entire time, so she took a little snooze on Erick's shoulder before we left.

It was a great way to spend a FEBRUARY Saturday! I still can't believe it. After all the harsh winter weather we've had, it was such a treat to enjoy the fresh air (away from the apes) with my family.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Song of Choice

If you really think about it, you've probably already formed an opinion on my following topic. I'm not trying to be morbid here, but I have chosen the song to be played at my funeral. I didn't want to go through the trouble to put this in my will or anything, so here it is here. I'm counting on someone to remember this in eighty or so years when it becomes necessary.

I like the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," but I love it as IZ has arranged it. Check it out in this video. I couldn't find just the soundtrack for it. (Does anyone know if I can use my own music on Blogger? If so, how?)

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere Over The Rainbow

The second half of this post is - what's your choice for your funeral song? I already know the answer for a couple of you, but put it down anyway - unless of course you want it to be a surprise. Too soon? Sorry, I'm really not trying to be depressing. That's kind of the point of the song, really. It happens to the best of us. We might as well look on it as another part of life. I guess it depends on your theology. Anyway, have at it. I'm really interested. What's your song?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Great Finish to a long month; Great Start for a short one

January was one of the longest months I have ever had the privilege to live through. I don't know why, but that's definitely a fact. So I was pleased to bid it farewell. The month ended in good style for us, though, so that was fun. We started by celebrating our neighbor Ernie's birthday on Thursday evening. I had a new recipe for white chili. It was so good that I can't wait to make it again. It may even happen this week!

Sophia helped make Ernie's cake, and she was particularly proud of it. I was slightly worried when I realized (after the cake was in the oven) that my canola oil expired before Sophia was born. Apparently that's not a problem. We didn't get sick and the cake was gone before I got my second piece!

Saturday was our chance to get outside for a few moments before winter caught up with us again. It was great just to wander around taking in some fresh air. It's amazing how stifling recycled air can become, even before you notice!

Our Saturday evening was spent with our friends/Erick's co-worker's family, Matt, Kate and Jim. Jim was Sophia's first love. You can catch up on that endearing story HERE. They had a really great time together again. Here they are making their own pizza. Sophia would pile cheese on top of any topping that Jim would place on the pizza, he'd top off her pile of cheese with another topping, and the cycle continued. So Kate flattened out the cheese mountain and it turns out they made a pretty good pizza together!

Sophia did sneak in a good night kiss before we left, but Jim was sleeping so he'll have no memory of their first kiss.

Super Sunday was so super relaxing for us that I didn't even bother to record it. Sophia stayed in her pajamas until lunch. We ate and played and hung out with David, Casey and the boys all day. It was really great. I was disappointed in the outcome of the game, but mostly just for Kurt Warner.

Hopefully since February is off to such a great start, it's a good indicator. If you just heard something, that's me knocking on wood.