Monday, August 29, 2011

A Fresh Coat

I am always amazed at what a can of paint and a free weekend can do to a place. We love our apartment, but it isn't ours. There are many things about it that we wish we could change, but 98 percent of these things are out of our control. However, our landlord gave us a huge boost when he agreed to let us paint a couple of rooms. We chose the sun room and Sophia's room. The sun room was the one we chose to practice on. These walls are mostly plaster. They're pretty imperfect, to put it nicely, so we wanted to see if paint actually hurt or really helped the look of a room.

So, Friday night, Erick and I finished a date by shopping at Lowes. We got a little start on the walls that night but finished them up Saturday evening with Sophia's help.

I absolutely love the change. The idea behind this green, Green Briar to be exact, was that I wanted this sun room to feel more like a three seasons room or a porch. Eventually, I'd like to see some older outdoor furniture in here to add to that feel, but the paint was a really great start.

For now, I'm actually thrilled with the way our current things fit in with the space and color.


The sun room has always been my favorite room of the house. You'll notice that many of my pictures are taken in here because we love to play in the sunlight. I'm back here right now at the desk taking in the lights from the buildings around me. I wonder who else is working on a blog at their window. Anyway, the paint has only served make me love it even more. So if you're wondering where I am at any given moment, let's hope I'm right here.

Because this is the kind of stuff that goes on back here. Sophia is sending an email to Erick. I know I've videoed this activity in the past. I included this one because she has an entertaining song to go along with it toward the middle. It made me laugh pretty hard. We'll see if it's universally entertaining or if you had to be here...

Oh yeah! And Sophia got a haircut today!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On a Boat


Last Friday night, we took our little family for a boat ride. Of the paddle variety. We've been planning on doing this at some point since we moved here. Erick and I took the same ride in our pre-Sophia days. The plan was to wait until it got a little cooler. It's still ridiculously hot here in Missouri, but I'm not known for my patience. I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't make it happen again before the winter because it would be even more delightful if it were cool.

Anyway, Erick and I had fun and got a good quad workout. Sophia absolutely loved it. There is just something so peaceful and calming about a boat ride on a still lake around sunset. We got to the Grand Basin and just hung around for a while.


Sophia put her toes in and splashed around. I was too busy hanging onto her jacket to snap any pictures of that.

Sophia steered on the way back to the dock. That was an experiment. She did really well overall, but we did have to help in order to avoid collisions with other boaters...


This picture just reminds me that my baby's almost five.


Anyway, I got distracted there. This post was about having fun on a paddle boat. It's just $15 for the hour, too. I don't know, but that seemed like a decent deal to me. We'd love company, if you want to join us there some time!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

It was a good night

Last night, we were in Columbia to celebrate David's 40th birthday. Difficult to believe, yes. Impossible, no. At his insistence, we also had to acknowledge the other four August birthdays (one of which is Erick's tomorrow) All stops on our walking party train were planned and strategized by our friend JP. Anyway, it was a fantastic time. Way too many laughs to recall. I'm so glad we got to celebrate with our friends. They're fun.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wizard Sophia

Yesterday was such a lovely day that we wanted to be outside as much as possible. I had already gotten a bit of a shopping bug, so we decided a good place to do both would be in St. Charles. Chances were good that I wouldn't spend too much money there, which I didn't, and I'd still get to have some fun browsing and spending time outside. It was a really bright idea, if I do say so myself.

While looking through the shops, Sophia ran across a Wizard costume and book that she couldn't resist. She has been wearing it ever since.


Yesterday, while creating her own spells, she also came up with some unfortunate rhymes that I won't repeat here. We simply tried really hard not to snicker while directing her into some safer rhyming directions. It provided hours of entertainment for all of us.

One of my favorite things to do in St. Charles is to eat. They have some of the most pleasant patios that I have found in Missouri. Surrounded by lush greenery, placed on old brick terraces, they're really beautiful. Yesterday was no exception. It took forever to eat, though, but we didn't complain since it meant more time enjoying the loveliness. We had a great time together, as always.


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Friday, August 12, 2011

Little Did I Know

Sophia is going to turn five soon. That's right. I don't lie. Really and truly five years old. So it was a little over five years ago that I was having fun finding things for a little girl I had yet to meet. Posh Baby is one of my favorite baby sites to check out, but it was too expensive to actually order anything. However, they did have this incredibly cute little dress/pant combination that was only available in size 5. I figured it was worth the risk because how could any girl resist the cuteness of this outfit?

That was long before I had met my Sophia. She is no average girl, nor is her style anything like mine. Sophia has been big enough for this outfit for about a year, but she has refused to put it on, primarily on the basis that it's too brown. Today, I finally got her to try it on, since she's almost outgrown it. Once she added the hat and the heels, it became an outfit suitable for her sense of style. I still think she's just humoring me, but I'll take it.


This is the kind of outfit that Sophia prefers.


Please note the hat in both pictures. My mom made me this hat one year to match a dress that I had sewn. Yes, I sewed, and I even wore this hat. However, I did not wear it willingly. Sophia, on the other hand, adores it. We are very different girls, she and I. But it turns out that I love the Sophia I know more than I could have imagined.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Time

My summer has been really fantastic. The first one in St. Louis, and it's been my favorite season here yet. Although really the only one I haven't particularly been fond of was winter, and I don't like that anywhere that it gets below freezing... Back on topic.

I've tried to write posts about our summer maybe a million times, but every time I start I get distracted by something or someone - usually Sophia. Summer is a long time of togetherness. I don't have quite as many human options for distraction as I normally have in the summer. That's been a mixed blessing, as most things like that tend to be. It's been terrific making new friends and having all manner new adventures, but it is more work than calling up a list of people and saying, "Please, come over! I'm bored!" At the same time, Sophia and I have had about the most chill summer known to man. When we weren't hanging out with Emily or some other new and fantastic friends, we've been at the pool or just at home in our pj's. We have had more pj days than I dare to admit. We now change into them when we get home from doing something as a way to state that we are definitely not going out again that day.

Now that the weather has broken for a few days, at least, we are taking family walks in the evenings. This includes Gabriella in the carrier.

That is going to be a great addition because Sophia is not normally an exercise type girl. If we get her outside it's to lie on a blanket or sit and play bubbles. With Gabriella in the carrier, we don't have any trouble getting her out for an evening walk. And the cat loves it. I think I've mentioned previously that we don't have a normal cat. In the evenings when we open up the carrier, Gabriella hops in on her own. Tonight, we walked down to the park, and while Sophia and Erick played, the kitten and I just chilled in the grass (well, she was still in her carrier, but you get the point.) Anyway, it's quite a fun trip around the neighborhood!

So many of our days are taken up with just thinking, talking and laughing together. Sophia is never far from something hilarious or wise to say. It's been a memorable summer, but since I haven't written down enough, I probably won't remember it very long. I'll try to do better about recording our days as the summer winds up. Sophia's preschool doesn't start until September 12th, so we still have a bit of summer ahead of us. I'll try to say more about it as it winds up.
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Friday, August 5, 2011

It's My Birthday!


Twenty-seven years ago, this is what I looked like on my birthday. Today, I'm not wearing a party hat, but I'm still the same girl. Giddy about my day.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reached a "Passed End"

Sophia likes words a whole lot. I like words, too, so we have a blast with them on most days. However, like me, she seems to feel that words hold special meaning, so she steers clear of words that make her uncomfortable. One such word is "dead."

The concept of death itself doesn't seem to intimidate her at all. It's pretty surprising, actually, how often she will bring up the topic on her own just to chat about it. And when I told her that we were going to get a cat, she said, "Yeah!! We're going to get a kitten, and keep it until she passes and goes to cat heaven!!" Apparently, she had already grasped the concept that people tend to outlive their pets, and she's embraced that. We try not to bring it up in front of Gabriella, though.

Anyway, the funniest part about all this is that she replaces the word "dead" with the word "passed" in all situations, and it can be pretty funny in the moment. One time, when we had turned onto a road with no outlet, she said, "Oh, this road is a passed end." Yes, she really said that. It took me a minute to figure out she wasn't saying "past." Another time, she was pretending that Gabriella could do tricks, and when Gabriella fell over, she said, "Oh look, my kitten's playing passed!"

It's just an interesting aspect about Sophia's respect of words. At least, I assume that's what this is about. I have never told her that we don't use the word, so I don't know why she would have decided it's taboo. It will be interesting to see what other words she decides deserve their own rules.