Monday, November 30, 2009

Restful Weekend

Our weekend was so relaxing and refreshing that it's hard to believe we've had a sick kid for a few days.

Thanksgiving Day we drove to Kansas City and back to spend the day with Erick's mom and extended family. It's always fun to reconnect. Sophia loves her family. She hated leaving, especially because there is a boatload of kids there. Lexie, in particular, makes for a very good partner in crime. Lexie turned three in July, and the two of them are as cute as they are ornery. Wish I took my camera.

Friday, Sophia was still just a little coughy, but all together doing fine. So after nap, we took her to Grandmary's house and had a long luxurious date. Dinner, movie, shopping. Perfection.

Then, Friday midnight, or is it Saturday, regardless, she woke up with croup. Now, I haven't blogged this fact because I didn't want to jinx anything, but now it's broken, so I can tell you. The winter of 2007-08 was awful. Two pneumonias, too many croups to count, colds constantly. She was on breathing treatments at least twice a day. Last year, however, Sophia didn't go to the doctor once (aside from the burn). We haven't used the nebulizer for breathing treatments for over 18 months. Until Friday. She's been on several breathing treatments a day now.


No more croup, just a continual cough. I hope to get in to the doctor today to be sure there is nothing extra that we're dealing with.

Seriously, though, in spite of, or maybe because Sophia was sick, we had a fantastic weekend. We stayed at home pretty much constantly. In our pajamas. Yes, Sophia's are Spongebob.


We got takeout for supper because we didn't want to be the ones with the coughing kid. We played and played. I remember now that Sophia is quite possibly even sweeter than normal when she is sick. We got so many cuddles and kisses and hugs. She was a big time Daddy's girl but she still prefers her mama when she needs some comfort or to sleep an extra little bit at nap.

It always helps our weekends when the Tigers win. But when they win over the Jayhawks to keep them out of a bowl, it makes our weekend, week, month, etc. Sophia watched the end of the game with gusto. I had to hold her for part, and as I wandered away, she said, "Mom, I wanted to watch the Tigers."


I just loved this weekend. It's a shame that Sophia wasn't feeling well, but it didn't seem to affect her fun at all. I could do with some more weekends that we do as little as we did during this one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grateful is an Understatement

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rarely am I without words. When I try to put a name to all of the things that I am grateful for, my mind tends to black out with overpopulation. That's an easy way out, though, so here I go. Just a drop in the bucket.

I find myself most frequently grateful for Erick. Sappy, but true. There are no words to describe how grateful I am for the fact that when he isn't home, I know he wants to be. That's not to say that there aren't times that he leaves to have fun or work on relationship with friends. At those times, we're both grateful for other reasons. But, even then, I know that he is happiest when with his family, and for that I am so very appreciative.

I'm so glad that he and I tend to agree on politics, religion, music and TV shows. On the former two, we have enough opinions that differ to make for good discussion and constant learning. Because if we agreed about everything all of the time, I wouldn't be very grateful at all. Then I'd have to go exclusively elsewhere for all of my heated discussion, and that just isn't any fun.

There are many, many more things about Erick for which I'm grateful, but I'll save those for another day.

As I listened to Sophia scream for the first twenty minutes of her "nap," I realized just how grateful I am that she still naps. That's all I'll say about that one since it may be over anyway.

But I am incredibly thankful for the fact that when I am away from Sophia, even on a rough week, I miss her. I'm grateful, mind you, for the opportunities I have to get away, but it is nice to know that I always look forward to being home. Feeling her ever longer arms wrapped around my neck. Nothing makes me more grateful for those moments than the ones I have away.

Sophia feels loved, and for that I am so thankful.

I'm grateful for modern conveniences. There's no denying it. That's all I need to say about that, I think. You know what I mean, and if you don't, I don't want to rub it in...

Maybe more than anything in my life, I am grateful that I am known. That there are people around me who care enough to pause when I pause - just to see what it is that distracted me. Because even if they weren't distracted, they know me better after the experience. I love that there are people who will listen to me ramble for seemingly hours on the finer points of theology or society or pets or furniture even when I don't have something important to say. I'm thankful for people who love me in spite of my sometimes oblivious and thoughtless ways. I work hard to be thoughtful, and occasionally I'm successful. But the people who know me love me even when I'm not. That is incredibly liberating. I think I'm grateful for the freedom to be myself. I am, on most days, entirely comfortable in my skin. That is a beautiful thing. That is not to say that I don't work hard at improving myself. I'm not perfect, nor do I strive for perfection. Most of what I work toward is to more perfectly love others, allowing them to be free and comfortable in their imperfections. I thank my God for taking pleasure in my imperfections as much as he enjoys my few accomplishments.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just because


I was looking through pictures on the computer, and I found that each time I scrolled past this one, I couldn't help but smile.

Thought a smile might be worth sharing.

It's from Jacob's birthday party in February.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Cookies Round One

I honestly couldn't tell you why I'm so into Christmas stuff already this year. I like it. It's fun. That's about all I've got so far. There is no telling, but I may be completely tired of the whole thing in a couple of weeks while the rest of society is just ramping up. Regardless, Christmas cookies have already been made at this house.

I started to just make regular sugar cookies, and decided to give our Christmas cutters a test run. Given that motivation, I really don't feel too overboard with this one. Anyway, we made the dough the night before. Sophia was, as always, ridiculously excited about the prospect of working in the kitchen.


The next day, we got out the dough and I let Sophia break in her new rolling pin - just her size.


These cookie cutters are the same ones (brand and origination, not actual) as the ones my Granny uses, so it is fun to use them each time. So many memories of doing this around Granny's table. Somehow it always felt more organized there. Well, she also cut them out herself while we were young, and she let us decorate. I am starting to understand why. Decorating is definitely the tedious part for me. I'll have to ask her about that...

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A few notes on the movie:

-Yes, she is pantless. Why? She said, "Mom, I don't feel like wearing pants." You know what, sometimes I don't feel like it either. So, while it's still socially acceptable, I'm going to free her up...

-Just before she guesses "Frosty" to the most famous reindeer of all question, you'll see it. That grin that she puts on when she's about to say something silly. Then she reviews the silliness just to be sure it was as funny as she thought it would be.

-When she's pointing during the Santa part, she's pointing at a Santa decoration in our house.

-Finally, she really makes me laugh. That's all. That was the final note. This kid makes me laugh. Hope you laugh too. If not, that's cool. I'll keep posting videos anyway.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

She's Officially a Very Big Kid

I am updating on the potty situation not to brag or toot my own horn. I realize how little I actually have to do with it. However, I do think Sophia needs to get some serious credit.

She has not had a poop or pee accident since the first day. It's kind of insane really. I know. The only catch is that she will only do this in her Winnie the Pooh potty, so we have been carting it around in the back of the van for the last week. We are those people. I figure she is doing so well that I just don't want to pick another battle until it matters.

Anyway, I think she really crossed the line today. I had to take a shower, so I reminded her about the potty procedures in case she had to go without me. In the middle of my shower, she ran in to tell me that she peed in the potty. She also told me that she had dumped it in my potty and I could flush it. Of course I was glad she had done it all by herself - pants down and up successfully, etc. Imagine my shock when I went to flush the pee and found poop too!! Immediately I asked her about it, and she seemed surprised that I was surprised. Like, yes, mom, I pooped in the potty. That is sooo last week. I expected to find a big mess on her bottom. Nope. She had wiped too. I know this is way too much information for some of you but others realize what a feat Sophia just accomplished.

All that to say Sophia is potty trained. She's a great big girl. It's a little sad, of course, to give up any of that baby stage. But mostly, I'm just thrilled for her and us. Yeah, Sophia!!

And that is all I've got to say about that.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Prep Day Two

Nope, the spirit didn't suffer. Sophia was stuffier, more tired and grumpier, but Erick and I are still in the Christmas spirit!!

Erick got up with Sophia, allowing me to sleep in. Have I mentioned how much I love that man? She's still waking up at 5:30 - for no apparent reason. Just wide awake, raring to go. She is tired by noon, of course. I don't know what it's about. Regardless, Erick lets me sleep on the weekends. Then he made french toast! Sigh. Don't wonder any more. Yes, I know how lucky I am.


Once our bellies were full, we could focus on the task at hand. Getting our lovely green tree to stand upright. Sophia's a big help.


What better way to enjoy a Christmas tree than sitting next to its glow to read a good book? Dressed as Cinderella, no less...


Here is our tree in all its glory. I am not ashamed to admit that I am much happier looking at this for the next 39 days than I would be if the white tree were still in my constant view. I'm just saying. I'm a tree snob. I can embrace that. But seriously. Who can argue with me?

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I don't know why. Maybe it's because we already went to Silver Dollar City Christmas early or because I'm just excited about having a potty trained kid (yep, pretty well), but for some reason, I am feeling a lot like Christmas. I love this season, and I tend to like starting early. Of course I'll have it all down a day or two after Christmas...

Our plan for this evening included going to church, but Sophia is either coming down with a cold or experiencing some nasty allergies so we decided to pass on church. Instead, we thought it would be fun to get out our Christmas stuff and take inventory.

Once it was out, we couldn't help but put most of it up. The rest will go up tomorrow. I know, it's a little ridiculous, but you should have seen Sophia's face. As she was digging through the ornaments, wiping her nose and sniffing, she looked up and said, "Mommy! My allergies flew away!" So it was worth the hassle just to take her mind off her stuffy head for a bit.

We have had this white tree since Sophia was one. I hold a special place for this tree in my heart because of what it's been to our family. However, I don't love it. It's not Christmas to me. After Christmas last year, we bought a (hopefully) beautiful green tree. Much more to my taste. So we decided to put the fun tree upstairs in Sophia's playroom. She's crazy about it. I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot of time upstairs.


She was very proud of the finished product.


We can't decorate for Christmas without having hot chocolate. Believe it or not, this is not our first hot chocolate of the season. Not even counting the one we had in 70 degree weather at Silver Dollar City!


One other thing we managed to get up tonight was the mistletoe. Sophia is a big fan. Even more than Erick. So they "catch" each other under it frequently...


Hope everyone else is getting in the spirit too!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The nerve

Erick and I were both gone tonight. Erick had a board meeting. I cancelled a meeting just to hang out with Casey, Lori and Niki - I needed it. Mary came over to watch Sophia. Guess what. She pooped in the potty.


Obviously, I'm thrilled. It's the best news I've heard all week. But I've been cleaning up poop all week and sitting on a cold tile floor waiting for poop! Oh well. I would much rather have been where I was. Eating sushi, laughing and crying.

Thanks, Grandmary, for being here. I know I'll get to experience many, many more. But the first eluded me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Timing is Questionable

The week I chose to start potty training just happens to fall when I would have been expecting our second baby, had I not miscarried in April. Coincidence? An effort to distract myself? Who knows. The result has been a heightened level of emotion and tiredness that leaves me feeling uncomfortable, to say the least. I'm used to feeling emotion, but typically I feel it, process and move on. This week, however, has just been one big emotional grab bag. It feels like everything is just close to the surface. That lump in the throat that won't seem to fully show itself or just leave me alone.

So, as I write this, red-eyed and splotchy-faced, I couldn't even pinpoint the culprit if I tried. My life is brilliant right now. I'm not sure that I could be more content, but I am sure that my arms could be full.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day Two

Just a few notes from day two.

Number one is going great. She was not keen on the idea first thing in the morning. I think she thought it was all some kind of strange experiment yesterday. Once she gave in, she did great.

She didn't poop once today. This could get ugly. Back to the battle of the wills.

Also, we haven't gone anywhere during the day in two straight days. That's a lot for us, and I think we are getting tired of each other's company....

Wish me luck.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Red Letter Day

Sophia had no accidents and many pees from 11 a.m. until bed. I used the trick Sarah gave in the comments. Every time she asked, I said yes to drinks - more juice than usual, but it paid off. (Thanks, Sarah!) No poop yet (since the frustration and vinegar this morning), but I am certainly not complaining. For a first day of potty training, I would call this a complete and total success. Definitely not what I expected.

Sophia actually had a ton of fun today. She got a LOT of personal attention, and a few treats. She also got to stay at home, which is what she always prefers. She always forgets how much she loves to go out until we GET out. It's the getting there part that can be rough.

Anyway, terrific day. I'm definitely pooped. Pun intended. How exhausting! Even though the day could not have gone much better, it's just so tiring to be ever vigilant. And this is just the start. Does it get harder when the treats stop? I'm just curious.

Here she is showing off . . . in a knight helmet for some reason.


This is Sophia with a very chocolate mouth after eating a treat that Grandma bought her yesterday.


I'll update you tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Posted by Picasa

Now I know...

...that it's a battle of the wills. Sophia had some advantage over me coming into the day because I still held some doubt that she was physically ready to potty train. Now, at 9 a.m., that advantage is history. She got up at 7 this morning, and I put her straight into big girl panties. Since that time, Sophia has not pooped or peed even a little. So I guess she is physically able to hold it.

Now we'll just have to see who wins. During that two hours, she has only *willingly* sat on the potty twice. No accidents yet, so I've got that going for me. Still, it's only successful potty training if there's pottying going on...

Addendum: It's now 9:50. The house smells like vinegar (from cleaning) and frustration. Needless to say, Sophia: 1, Mom: 0. That's just the battle, not the war. It's on.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Feeling Christmasy

We went to Springfield this weekend to visit my parents. A trip to Silver Dollar City yesterday was almost surreal as we looked around at Christmas lights and snowmen in nearly 80 degree weather!


I managed to get into the Christmas spirit, though. Eventually, I had to force Sophia to put on her fleece. She probably didn't even need it, but it definitely made me feel better. Just as it was getting dark, we went to the kids rides with no expectations. Last time, Sophia sat down in the frog, looked around and screamed until we let her out - all before it started. So I expected the same this time. Fortunately, she didn't have time to think about it. She was happy to get into her seat.


And didn't realize she was nervous until it had already started...


Anyway, she got over that pretty quickly. One ride is definitely her maximum at this point. I'm fine with that as there were incredibly long lines for everything! I love a crowd at Silver Dollar City at Christmas. I think the crowd gets happier as it gets closer to Christmas, though, because I could tell there were some who were not yet in the spirit...

We managed to do everything we wanted. Watched the big Christmas tree. Also a little loud and intimidating for Sophia, although she adored it when it was solid blue. That was her favorite. Inspired by a family wearing red in front of red Christmas trees, we decided to get our picture in front of the gold Christmas trees given our wardrobe choices. Sophia wanted in on the action, and this is a picture of our family the way we are at any given moment.


We ended up staying until a little after 8, which is a relatively big deal for Sophia. It was lots of fun. On the way home, Sophia somehow coerced us all into singing Christmas songs and carols for a very long time. We also discovered that while we have no lack of confidence, we do have a lack of lyric retention. Oh well. We just need a few more tries to brush up...

Oh yeah, and tomorrow Sophia starts potty training. Booooooo
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 6, 2009

Check In


I don't really have anything to say. It's been a normal week for the most part, with some pockets of emotion thrown in. Maybe there will be something to say about that on another day.

For now, I'm looking forward to celebrating Aaron's 7th birthday tomorrow at Flipz, heading to my parents house, and going to Silver Dollar City for the - yep - Christmas Festival! It will be 75 degrees there tomorrow. Unbelievably, it was 15 when we went last year. So I'm going to have to force a Christmas spirit, but I'm not complaining. Trust me.

Check ya later.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Henri's First Visit to the Big Park

We have our own park up the street. It's a great park. It has a sand volleyball court which serves as a great big sandbox (at least after checking that it isn't a great big litterbox) and playground equipment. However, it has a serious lack of swings. That poses a problem for Sophia's enjoyment.

So on a beautiful day like this, we can be found at big parks like Bethel Park. They have recently added a fantastic playground area that dwarfs anything but Cosmo Park here in Columbia. The other thing about this park that I sometimes overlook - is the lake.


Anyway, today being the beautiful day it was, Casey and I decided to load up the kids and head to the park. This being Henri's first outing to the big park, imagine Casey's pleasure at discovering that he so enjoyed it! He slept, but we could tell he liked it....


After some kids started spreading cottonwood or cattail fuzz or something on the wind, we decided to take a walk around the lake. That was a great decision. The three big kids really enjoyed the nature hike. We realized we're biased, but goodness...


Also, I swear we saw an otter in that lake (it's really more of a pond). Does that happen? Do beavers look just like otters save their tail? I don't think any of us got a good look at the tail. Regardless, we felt like we had made quite a discovery! The boys rushed to the other side of the pond just to see if a log sticking out happened to be the elusive creatre. No such luck.


It was a gorgeous day. As always thankful for such great playmates for Sophia within a stone's throw (literally, although that's not a good idea. The same kids who were spreading allergens had earlier been throwing rocks at the playground equipment while some little girls climbed on it.... Sigh.)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunshine on my Shoulder


It's been an interesting day so far. Unlike many Monday mornings when I give in the whines of Sophia and my own tired eyes, I had us all packed up and ready to go to the gym at a decent time. Key in, van on, can't get it out of park. The button on the side wouldn't push in. Turning the wheel, turning the van off, nothing helped. Sigh. After a few phone calls and stuff, I tried again. It worked this time, but barely went from reverse to drive, so we dropped it off at the dealership.

Stage two: I thought while I had Erick's Jeep, I'd do something nice for him by having the oil changed. It's been a while since he's taken the time to do that... At Jiffy Lube, I was told that the Jeep has two hoses so leaky and rotten that they wouldn't even work on it. Wow.

Starbucks instant coffee is gross.

Erick has a late meeting tonight.

Sophia has been up before 6 am for weeks now.

My house is less than spotless. I guess that would mean it's spotted.

I had to sew up one more hole in Lulu before Sophia could nap.

I'm sure there's something else I could throw in the mix here. However, my point is that I'm in a seemingly unexpected good mood. No explanation other than the sun. It's a beautiful sunny fall day. I'm wearing capris! I don't typically think of myself as that affected by the weather. I actually enjoy rainy days or cloudy mornings. I guess it's just been rainy and cloudy so much lately that these days of sunshine have soothed my soul.

Aaahhhhhh. It feels good.
Posted by Picasa