Sunday, January 30, 2011

Prepared for the Storm

The talk of the night seems to be the impending winter storm headed our way, bringing with it some ice and more than a little snow. Not looking forward to that. However, I will enjoy the afterglow of this day for at least a few days into our being stuck.

The day began as many Sundays do - donuts and coffee. After our healthy start, we had a very productive family work day. Laundry, bills, floors and more were on our agenda. We had more than enough time for a dance break or two, although sometimes the dancing happened while we worked. It's frightening how much like me this kid is sometimes. With better rhythm.

Before noon, we had done everything I expected to get done in the day. So we decided to take advantage of the temps that were warmer than in weeks. One of the things we have talked about taking advantage of in our apartment is the proximity of the zoo. Today was our first attempt at walking to the zoo, and it was a huge success. It felt so good to get out in the fresh air and walk through Forest Park with the hundreds of joggers and bikers also out enjoying the sunny Sunday afternoon.

Once we got to the zoo, we went to visit the baby leopard. She made her first appearance this week, and Sophia and I went to visit her on that day. Since the big cats are Erick's favorite type of animal at the zoo, I knew it wouldn't be long before we made another visit. They weren't quite as active today, so I got a better picture of the baby. The best part was watching the mama leopard and the daddy leopard in the neighboring cage pace near and talk to each other - except when the baby was around. Interesting.

The rest of the day has been spent with a quick trip to a crazed and packed Wal-Mart, then puttering and resting after our day's activity. What a lovely day. I am trying not to think about how disappointed I am that it's going to be far too long before we can have a repeat.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hat Ladies


Our address here in St. Louis is only an hour from our friends in Farmington. Sophia has been counting the days until we could go to Lilly and Nora's house.

The visit did not at all disappoint. Lilly had planned a tea party and found a project for the to do of tea party hats. The making of these hats was very different than anything I'd seen before. I'm more than willing to describe it if anyone is interested. The result was worthy of Fancy Nancy...

And it was topped only by the Talent Show they put on for us before we left. Those girls have the best time together. Can't wait for the next visit, which will be much sooner than the last.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Almost Trouble

Tonight, Erick and I went to dinner while a local tween from the neighborhood stayed and played with Sophia. She is a friend of a friend, and we thought it would be nice to have someone handy for daytime/early dates or appointments, so we gave her a call to let them get to know each other tonight.

Sophia took her directly to her room and barely looked up when we left, so we knew it would be a good time. When we got home, they were still (or again) in her room playing. They told us what fun they had and what they had done. When I got out the door with the sitter to drive her the three blocks home (it's really cold), she said, "Sophia was really fun and sweet." Short pause. "She offered me wine." WHAT?? Yeah, apparently the sitter told Sophia that she was thirsty, and being the gracious hostess that she is, Sophia said, "We have some wine there. Would you like some?"

I doubled over in laughter when she told me. Then I promptly thanked this girl for not taking her up on the offer. Whew. That could have been a very ugly scenario to come home to.

We'll be using her again. Next time, I will put out a nice full glass of water and put my wine out of Sophia's sight...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just another snow day


Little did I know that I should have invested in some ski pants or something this year. It's gross out there! Okay, the beautiful, white blanket of snow can hardly be called gross, but give it a couple of days.

As soon as we were up, Sophia was begging to go outside. Wind chills in the single digits are no deterrent to a kid with a cozy pink snow suit. Eventually, I gave in.

But I did get a treat out of the deal. Kaldi's is on the way to the big hill, so it was easy to talk Sophia into a quick stop to get warm before getting to the hill. Don't worry, I was finished before I took this picture.


Also, I have found a very real advantage to radiators. Without a doubt, I will be asked to go out in this weather again today. When I do, I will have toasty dry clothes.


In the meantime, Sophia put on some new pj's, and has decided to create some art today. Works for me. I can sit here and offer input and desired affirmation while drinking some fresh coffee and catching up on the world (and Etsy).


Even though I'm tired of snow days, this one is definitely turning out to be a cozy one.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Late to the Party

A few weeks ago, I discovered Etsy. Okay. So it was discovered a long time ago. However, I had never once visited Etsy. I had only heard about it through people who were selling crafty smocked kids clothing and such, so I never thought it would be worth a visit. No offense to anyone out there who fancies crafty kids clothes. Sophia would be thrilled with that, but I choose to forgo.

Anyway, one day I got a link from a college friend who is an artist. She was selling art on Etsy. I decided to check it out, and I was immediately hooked. That's my friend's shop, in case you're interested. If you buy the anatomical heart necklace, let me know so we're sure not to wear it on the same day. Oh, and tell her I sent you. Maybe I'd get some free art eventually.

Fortunately, my Etsy "discovery" happened after Christmas. If it had happened before, I cannot account for the handmade and artsy stuff my family would be the owners of today.

I now look every evening just to see what beautiful things may have been created around the world today. I haven't bought anything else, and I may not because I can never convince myself that something more beautiful won't turn up the next day! Oh, and don't get me started on the vintage furniture items. Wow.

Basically, I'm posting this in case I wasn't actually the last person to discover this glorious pasttime. Go check it out. I wish I had found it earlier.

Friday, January 14, 2011

We've got a label for that

Yesterday in the car, Sophia and I were talking - as usual. At one point, the term "Christian" came up. She had asked what kind of school I had gone to when I was little. She was intrigued. Of course I was required to define and offer examples of the use of this word. That is protocol when introducing a new word to Sophia - or any child, I would imagine. It's good for my vocabulary because I don't use words I can't define. Anyhow, I defined "Christian" as a word that we use to describe a person who wants to be like Jesus. "Like me and you!" she responded. Yep. Just like that. She was quiet for a while, and then said, "Why do we have a word for that?" Seriously. That's what she said. I was stumped. For one, she has never asked that question before. For another thing, I didn't know what to tell her. The simple answer is "So we can label ourselves and others."

Now, I'm not saying that we should take this or similar words out of our lexicon. I'm simply suggesting that maybe we use too many labels. It's possible that labels allow us to assume too much about each other. Or not. I don't know. I'm just saying. It was a great question, and I wanted to throw it out there.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keeping in Touch

This was actually a few weeks ago. Sophia wrote her friend Ava an email before she came to visit us. Normally when she types an email, I'm not allowed to ask questions about what it says because she doesn't want me to type it out again for the person. She thinks that's duplication. And I guess, at some level, it is. So this time I captured her words out loud as she was typing (and writing) them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tell me when to show up

I cannot wait for this movie to come out. It looks like exactly the perky, cheesy movie that I tend to love. Plus Harrison Ford?? Yes, please! I'll take two!

Thursday, January 6, 2011



Sophia and I have spent more quality time together since our move to St. Louis than I thought I could handle. The holidays helped us both make it to the new year, and preschool should get us through the winter all right.

We have lots of fun together really. She is very much into helping right now. When I clean, she cleans. When I cook, she tries to help. There is pretty much nothing - and I do mean nothing - that I do during the day that she doesn't think she could help me out with.

Sometimes, however, her helpfulness runs out. Today, while I was cooking, she played in her room. I asked if it was a mess, and she responded affirmatively. I said of course that was fine as long as she helped me clean it up. Her response, "I don't really like helping clean messes I make." Me: "It's just part of being human." Brief pause: "Then I'll be a frog."

The other day, we got to be outside for a while at the park and just out in the neighborhood. Little respites like that help us both tremendously. Just in case you were wondering, this is her response after being caught doing something I had just asked her not to do. In case you needed to know.


One of her current favorite comebacks is, "Why are you asking me?" Sometimes it fits, and sometimes it doesn't. She doesn't seem to care whether or not it works. She just throws it out there when she doesn't know the answer.

I have to admit that I have enjoyed my quality time with the girl. She is a hoot.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Zoo


On New Year's Eve, it was balmy in the morning. Beautiful. Once we realized a trip to Columbia was not going to work out, we decided to head to the zoo. The animals were pretty active. I think the storm blowing in made them a little crazy.

Anyhow, I just wanted to post this picture. It's a Somali Wild Ass. And I'm 12. I love to stand next to families with small children and tell Sophia about the Somali Wild Ass just to see the parents' reaction. So far nothing interesting, but I'll let you know if that changes.

By the way, that's a baby ass.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011


That's a lot of ones. After the last four months, I know better than to place too many expectations on the next twelve.

Here's what I want for 2011. I want to sort it out. Where do I fit here in St. Louis? How do I fit into the lives in Columbia? And vice versa. How do I capitalize on this built-in solitude? I find that it's invigorating many days, but how do I keep from insulating myself? It seems like a difficult balance.

Balance. It's a good goal for this year. That's what I'm looking for. Also, I think it will be easier for me to balance if I drop a few pounds. Wish me luck.