Tuesday, September 27, 2011

High Five!


Dear Sophia,

When you wake up this morning, you'll be five! It is very hard for me to believe when I stop to think about it, but you are definitely every bit of five.

Last night, as I gathered you into my lap and you still spilled out of it, I couldn't help but think back on a night that doesn't seem that long ago. You were still in my tummy, and I was reading a story to Aaron and William in their room. Aaron wished that you could scoot over a little so there was room on my lap for all three of you.

As I had you there in my lap last night, I said everything that I'd want to say in a letter to you. I'll tell you again here so that years from now, you'll remember each word.

Your daddy and I thank God every day for the day that you were born. You have brightened and filled our lives for the last five years in ways that we couldn't have imagined. You make us smile, and you challenge us to be more true to ourselves. You look at life with such clear eyes and an open heart. You inspire me every day.

Every day when I go to school to pick you up, I smile to myself with pride and excitement that it's you that I'll bring home. Thank you, Sophia, for being you.

Happy birthday to you, Sweet Girl!

Love always,

Your mama
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Celebrating Sophia


Tomorrow, Sophia turns five. It's a very big deal, and especially given the year we've had since her last birthday, I wanted to be sure that her birthday was a big deal. Sophia, of course, helped that happen. My original plan was two small parties: one in Columbia, and one in St. Louis. Just a few friends at each so we could spread the love. The Columbia party stayed small as planned, but the St. Louis party guest list was expanded - by Sophia. She kept inviting people that we'd see until I finally had to give in and invite the whole preschool class (fifteen kids!). Her class is pretty close to one another. They all go to every kid's party. It's a good problem, but not when the party is planned for the park and rain is a threat....

So the birthday weekend started at Mary's house, where Sophia received the above Rapunzel doll.

Next came the party at Bonkers. A great time that wore everyone out.


After we left the party, we headed to David and Casey's so we could celebrate with family and also celebrate Henri's second birthday! The cousins had a blast.


We headed home Saturday night so we could finish preparations for the party in the park, which came off without a single hitch. I have never been so happy for a rainless day in my life. It would have been a tight squeeze in our apartment, to say the least!!

The party was lots of fun, and the park turned out to be a great location. Again, the kids went home wiped out. All the parents grateful for the promise of a good night's sleep...


Anyway, it was a great weekend. Tomorrow, she'll get to choose our after-school activities. I can't believe I'm almost the mommy of a 5-year-old!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Everyday Adventures


The main reason that I blog is so I remember the stories of my life. Some days are not full of funny stories or quirky adventures. But I don't want to forget those days either. In fact, these are the days that accumulate to make our lives everything they are.

I don't want to forget that on rainy days, we snuggled up together on the couch with a book or a Disney show. I want to remember that on sunny days, I talked Sophia into going outside to blow bubbles or play in the back yard with Gabriella. I don't want to forget these days with Sophia and her sweet little kitten. A trip to the candy store might be the highlight of a day like this. Or maybe a trip around the block to say hey to the people we meet. Our days are filled with imagination, and we use it to play with Barbies, ponies, princesses and animals. Board games, dominoes and Uno out the wazoo.

I want to remember the "tent" Sophia made out of the love seat cushions and a blanket - the one that Gabriella took over as her own private apartment.

It seems impossible that I'll forget all the evenings sitting in the sun room listening and watching for the Jeep so we can jump up and surround Erick when he gets home.

These days are the days that I say a special thanks to God for the life we are privileged to live together.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Sophia's First Day

I finally plugged in my camera to show you the pictures from Sophia's first day of school. I wasn't in a hurry to do so, and I'll show you why.

Sometimes, Sophia insists that she doesn't like having her picture taken. Well, that's probably because sometimes she doesn't like having her picture taken. But that's beside the point. Other times, she's begging me to take her picture so she can run through a few poses. I guess I was hoping the first day of school would be the latter.

It wasn't.


I talked her out from behind the pole and got this.


I asked if she was sad to leave her mama and go to school. "No, just don't want to smile for this picture."


Got to school and tried again for naught.


Later this week, she put on this outfit, and I simply had to snap a shot of it. She's so darn cute! This time, we reached a compromise. She would smile as long as she could close her eyes...


Have I mentioned lately that I'm the one who asked for an interesting child? 'Cause I did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oh, the possibilities

Sophia is almost through her first full week back to school. We have both survived rather nicely, I think. Sophia is still exhausted at the end of the morning, but she's having fun at school.

Yesterday was a cool, rainy day here, and I could not have enjoyed that weather more. I'm happy to see the sun today and the wispy white clouds, but there is something about a fall rain that is cleansing and symbolic of the change of the seasons.

With my week of mornings, I have cleaned, cooked, napped, eaten, rearranged my living room and helped a friend. I knew that I was going to like having my mornings, but I forgot all the things you can get done in three hours. So I'll spend the next few weeks experimenting with the possibilities.

Hope everyone nearby is enjoying the shift of weather as much as I am.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Last Hoorah


Today is the last full day before Sophia's last year of preschool. Tomorrow is just a warm-up day, but since I have to get dressed before noon, I'm calling that the beginning.

Samuel Preschool starts significantly later than its counterparts here, and we've had the benefits and disappointment of that these last couple of weeks. The benefit has been fewer kids at all the kid places, like the zoo yesterday. Even on a gorgeous day, we didn't wait in line for anything. The down side, of course, is that Sophia and I have been on our own for the most part. We're both ready for a little outside interaction.

Like most moms, I love and hate sending her to school. I'm glad it's just for the mornings, but I'll still miss her. Of course, I have enough experience to know that five minutes after we're reunited at noon, either of us could be exasperated. Even though that's true, I may shed a tear Monday morning. Just before I go to the coffee shop with a book.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Love Labor Day

My parents came into town for the weekend, and we fit a ton into it. Mom always has a place or two on a list of things to do that I've never heard of before. It's really a great way to get to know the city.

This time, I preemptively bought tickets for a Trolley Site-seeing tour of downtown up to Forest Park. It was entertaining and educational. A ton of fun! I learned several things I'd never heard about St. Louis before, and we got some fun ideas on things to do in St. Louis. Sophia slept through most of the tour, but it was 90 minutes well spent.


On the tour guide's recommendation, we visited The Basilica, and it was not a disappointment. An incredible feat of art and ingenuity.


We took Mom and Dad to one of our favorite eateries. If ever we're craving breakfast food, City Diner is the place to be. I can't get enough of their biscuits and gravy. Mmmm. I want some right now.


We spent a few hours (yes, we got it done quickly!) on Sunday painting Sophia's room. I absolutely love the way it turned out. Sophia does, too, which is more important, I suppose. It also gave us a chance to go through some of her things. The result is a beautiful room fit for a 5-year-old.


Love, love, love the Sassy Violet room!


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