Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Places; Old Friends

We three Creaches decided that staying home for too much of Sophia's break would be too uninteresting for us, so we decided to visit a new city and see some old friends.

We have some very good friends who moved to Indianapolis in 2012, and we had yet to visit them in their new home. We did not expect to enjoy Indianapolis itself quite as much as we did.

We stayed in the downtown Omni hotel, which is in a very cool area. Lots of interesting architecture and walkable restaurants. Exactly what I love. The Omni and several other hotels are all connected by a skywalk, similar to the one in Kansas City, with a great mall in the middle.

In said mall, there are the usual stores, cineplex, food court and such. There is also a huuuuge arcade. This arcade is the nemesis of parents of small children. Why? Because most of the walls are covered in prize-hoarding crane machines like this one.

Sophia had been looking through the whole mall for a stuffed animal that was wearing an Indianapolis-themed shirt. I really am not making that up. Imagine the mixed feelings Erick and I entertained when we spotted, at last, this machine full of bears wearing an "I" on their shirts...

Before we let her spend any of her (and our) money on this effort, I showed her the chair that she would sit in when she tried it three times without success. It would be her chair of sadness and disappointment. She understands, having tried unsuccessfully at these machines many times before, that her odds are very slim.

But she's an optimist.

She tried it once. With no success. She asked Erick to take over. Palms sweaty, the pressure building, he dropped a bear on the first try.

Last try they had. Sophia got behind me so she couldn't see. Erick and I were silent as the crane swung gently and carried the blue bear (Sophia's favorite color) ever nearer the drop point.

Then we hooted. And so did she...

That may have been a highlight of the trip, but we were also very impressed with the memorials that Indianapolis has downtown to their veterans. Sophia could not understand why we'd fight with Mexico, but she did like the memorial. And we were cold.

Somehow we were too busy with our friends to capture any pictures of them or us with them. Their kids are adorable. Their house is wonderful and spacious. We had lots of fun. But you'll have to take my word for it.

Here's proof, however, of the fun we had just the three of us.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Heydays - by LJ

The night of Christmas is always bizarre. Is it just for me? It's just like the any other time that something you've waited and watched for comes to pass. It's a strange adjustment back to normal life. Not waiting. Just living. 

Christmas Eve, on the other hand, is my favorite night of the year. All that built up energy and excitement. Just ready to boil over. Santa to think of. Presents to wrap and present. 

Sophia put out Santa's snack in her cute little Christmas jammies. So excited to see what the morning might bring.

None of us were disappointed. I'm just posting this picture because he's so cute. The only thing Christmas brought him in this picture is the sweater. I love it. So cozy. It's going to be tempting to to commandeer it, but I won't.

We got Sophia this pogo stick. She said it was her favorite present, besides the doll bed that Santa brought her. I was happy that we had a reason to get outside on Christmas. After our nap, of course.

Another of her presents was a gift card to the American Girl store here in St. Louis. She has one American Girl doll and one Target version, but she has never been to the store. Her doll got a new hairdo. They have a salon. For the dolls.

That's just a smattering of what we have done so far this break. The majority of the rest of the time has been divided between seeing family and lying around in pjs. Happy holidays for us!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Snowboarding Adventure

It was fun to snowboard all day long.This
is me going down the hill. 

When you go down a hill  in order to go down a hill you have to keep a strong center of gravity.

It is hard to be cruising down a hill. But anybody can do it.

This is the ready position and sometime you get scared.

BY Sophia monroe creach

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Changes around here

As you can see below, Sophia is going to start adding some posts to this blog.

She wanted her own, but this is our compromise. This is a safe place for her to share some of her thoughts and stories. I won't let her post more than once a day. I am not going to edit her posts even a tiny bit, although of course I'll help her with posting pictures and such. As a precaution, I am going to disable comments on her posts.

We'll see how this experiment pans out. I have no doubt that it will be entertaining. At the very least, it will be writing and typing practice for the three days that she sticks with it...

the story of lulu

hi I am Lulu.Iam so   very glad I have a friend as sweet as sophia. She takes care of me and  best of  all  she loves me.Plus she feeds me.We have been best friends for as long as I can remember.And I have been with sophia for 7 yaers.And I celebrate all of the holidays with sophia's family.Sincerly Lulu. 

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

First Grade Basketball

There is something that I've been getting more and more okay with as the school year goes by. First graders just don't have the "Awww" factor that Kindergartners (and younger kids) do. Of course they're awesome. No debating that. They're learning and stretching their minds and their wills and doing incredible things! They're awe inspiring more than aww inspiring.

But here's the thing. Last night, Sophia went to her first basketball practice with her team of first grade girls. I have not seen this much cuteness in one room all year.

These girls are so excited! So serious. Determined. Happy. Attentive. They have such a desire to please, improve, excel and dribble that damn ball.


I just don't know how to describe these girls. Or explain why it was so cute. They're not even unskilled. They're just cute. Really, really cute.

Saturday, they're naming their team. That will be entertaining. Sophia's preference is the Dragons. Why? I don't know.

Plus, she seems pretty pumped about having a "coach." Of course she loves having a new adult in her life. When we got home, "Should I call him 'Coach,' or should I call him by his name?"

Friday, November 29, 2013

Let Down

My body let me down. Although I really shouldn't say that. I got through the majority of this month with my health, even a workout thrown in now and again.

I'm sick now. A cold or something nasty. It hasn't kept us from having a good time, though, for the most part. Mary came over for our Thanksgiving Dinner from Dierberg's. Yummy as ever. This morning, we headed to the farm where Sophia takes lessons so she could get in one extra, since she's been sick too.

It was chilly but worth it.

Now Christmas is up around here. I'm finally starting to feel in the Christmas spirit just a tiny bit. Erick and Sophia take such sweet care of me when I don't feel well. It makes me that much more grateful for them.

Maybe now that things will potentially resume some normalcy, I'll have a chance to blog more. I'm not even sure what I'd write about, but I'll give it some thought.

Hope everyone's holidays are off to a beautiful beginning.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I'm a little concerned that the light at the end of this tunnel might be a train. But I'm willing to take the risk just to get through.

Sophia has finally gotten healthy, knock on wood. In the three weeks before this one, she missed seven days of school, with a cough and occasional low grade fever that simply would not leave. Finally, in the last week, I took her back to the dr., where we were finally given the answer of walking pneumonia. Obviously not great news, but great to get antibiotics and an illness that will actually be helped by them...

That was going on while I'm still spending most hours of my day on the PTO Auction. Don't ask. Although, I'll probably tell you about it anyway.

And Erick is having his busiest time of the year so far - right now, often not getting home until it's pretty much time for Sophia to go to bed.

So, you can understand why we are all waiting anxiously for the end of this week. The first half of next week will be busy, but for me it will be tying up the loose ends. This weekend, after the penultimate event of this auction, we are so happy to welcome our friends from Seattle! They're just staying for one night, but it will be so great to have them, even if I'm largely in a cloud of angst and giddiness.

I had a minute. So I thought I'd let you in on the haps. Minute's over. Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Halloween Post

I have a very busy week, and I doubt if I post again. Since I have yet to post anything from Halloween, I'm throwing this out there to tide you over till Crazy takes a holiday...

Halloween was a success in spite of the dreary fall day. Sophia is posing here with her friends the wicked queen and a Flying Wallenda. She is Ms. Frizzle from Magic School Bus.

As we prepare to Trick or Treat, she shows off the red highlights that complete her disguise.

Per usual, Erick and I got in on the action. Wouldn't want the spirits to recognize us, now would we?

There was some rain. Not as much here at the beginning, but the girls were prepared.

I love the Halloween walk around our neighborhood. Sophia had her joke prepared. We went this year with some friends who are not from St. Louis, or from the U.S., for that matter. They didn't know about the joke tradition. Only five houses in, though, and Sophia had taught jokes to her friends so they could enjoy the full experience.

It was a Happy Halloween. Plenty of candy, but Sophia isn't in it for the candy. She's in it for the later bedtime and the chance to make friends...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Peter Pan Magic

For weeks now, I have been giddy with excitement about going to see Peter Pan at Touhill. I've been more excited, in fact, than Sophia was.

I was right to be so excited. That's for sure. What I didn't know was that the company that put it on, Variety Children's Theatre, specializes in helping children with disabilities have life experiences that are often limited to children without disabilities. Being in a play, for example.

I was surprised, at first, when some of the Lost Boys and Indians were in wheelchairs. Some were disabled in other ways. It was easy to forget, though, that anyone on that stage was anywhere but Never Land. The show not only did not suffer because of their addition, it's not an exaggeration to say that it was made better. I'm glad that the first play I got to see by Variety was Peter Pan. What better way for me to be introduced to this idea than through a play written about kids who are abandoned and lost? Kids who go out of their way to care for one another and who have to learn what it would be like to grow up "normally"? It was beautiful. I cried even more than I typically do when watching Peter Pan, which is saying something.

Aside from the unique aspects of the production, it was really a great show. Sophia always loves attending the theatre. Her passion for performing gets renewed. We'll see where that leads her, but for now it sends her into a world of possibility. And I'm in favor of that.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Sophia was at home for two days this week. She had a low- to middle-grade fever for the first day into the evening. A virus of some sort. I kept her home the second day for two reasons. The first was to follow the rule. The "no fever for 24 hours" rule. Primarily, though, because she did this exact same thing last year around Halloween. I sent her back the day she felt better, and she ended up being sick for the following two days. So, I'm hoping that by giving her the extra day of rest, she'll actually be healthy this time...

Also, I love spending time with her. Which brings me to my confession. I miss her today. Two days of not getting the things done that I had planned to get done. No exercise, no friends, no time to myself. But we giggled and snuggled and talked. And I miss her today.

Today, I'll go get all my errands finished. I'll have a few minutes to myself. No one will have an invisible 5-foot leash on me.

And I'll be so happy when 3:30 rolls around.

*the picture was not from a sick day, but it's still representative of our state for the past two days

Thursday, October 10, 2013

First Grade Field Trip

Today was Sophia's first field trip of first grade. To say that she was excited would be a gross understatement. The funny thing is that she was going to the zoo, which she goes to dozens of times every year. Riding the bus the five minutes that it takes to get there apparently kicks the zoo up about a bajillion notches.

Because there were so many parent volunteers, I had a group of three little girls. Easy peasy. That's not sarcastic. It really was. At least as easy as walking around the zoo all day ever is. Did I mention they were three chatty girls? As long as I nodded occasionally and looked like I was paying attention, they were happy as three cute little clams.

No matter how many times we go to the zoo, it never gets boring or old. But, apparently, you can have more to say about it. Chat-ty...

Look how excited she is to get on that bus. It beats walking, which is what she knows I'd make her do...

Monday, October 7, 2013

More Birthday Fun

This weekend, it was our turn to celebrate Grandmary's birthday!

Lots of playing with Sophia is what was most desired by both parties. Of course, we also needed to do something special. In this case, something special turned out to be Eckert's Farm. The weather was just starting to turn, and it made for some great pictures. The sky was so pretty.

We all had lots of fun celebrating Grandmary. Couldn't have "picked" a better way to do it. Get it? Picking apples. It's funny.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sophia-Centered Weekend

Who am I kidding? Most weekends around here are Sophia-centric. However, this one was even more than most... It was her birthday, after all.

Friday night, Grandmary came for birthday dinner of Chinese delivery. And here is Sophia perched in the window waiting for the food, for Grandmary and waving at her friends.

I made shortcake for her special birthday dessert, and she made a wish.

Then she played a post-dinner concert for all of us. I do enjoy watching her play.

Saturday was Sophia's party at BounceU in Chesterfield. Her crazy friends were happy to bounce around and celebrate Sophia.

Yet another delicious dessert and another wish.

Here's my seven-year-old in all her post-bounce and sugary glory. Very happy with her party and her friends. 

I love Sophia's birthdays almost as much as she does. Of course, I hate the passing years that come with them, but a great excuse to spoil my main girl is always welcome.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sophia!

Happy birthday Sophia!

I love writing this letter every year. I get to think back about all the fun we had this year and think about all the ways you've changed, grown and stayed the same. I get to celebrate the person you're becoming as you get ready to celebrate your birthday. With presents.

Six was as big a year as you've had so far. So much independence and change! Stepping away from the comfort and protection of home and going out into the world in a big way on your own. It's been fun and scary for us to watch, but I am so proud of the way you carry yourself out in this world.

You are one of those people that all people find themselves searching out. You are so full of life. You're generous and kind, with your words and your actions. You speak up for yourself and others, even when it gets uncomfortable. That isn't easy for any of us, and I'm amazed every time I hear that you made that choice.

I've noticed lately that you are more attached to Daddy and me than you have been in a long time. I assume that it's because of all this newly found independence. I hope that you know no matter how much you flex your independence or how far you go on your own, we will always be here. You don't have to check in to keep us here, but we'll enjoy the extra snuggles while you do. 

The challenges that have come with six will continue forever. It's just part of growing up. You always need to know why. You question our (my) judgment. You have a different plan. I understand how that is. And, for the most part, we work through that together. Building trust between us. Developing the conversation that will get us through to 2024 (when you're 18) and beyond. 

I've enjoyed this year that you've been six. Adventure, comedy, drama: all of these have been part of our daily lives with you. I have no doubt that seven will be more of the same. I hope seven is lucky for you! Full to the brim with giggling with your friends, mud in your hands, excitement in your eyes. 

I love you, Sophia. I hope every wish you make comes true.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Starting Sophia's Birthday Week

Sophia was very happy to start her birthday week with our good friends in Farmington. It has been sooo long since we've seen them, that I had never even met this darling girl!!

The only activity away from the house was at the pond. Paul caught this fish but let Sophia reel it in and hold it. Marking her very first interaction with a bluegill.

This is how they walked home. I just loved watching them follow one another, discussing their most recent and their next adventures.

Yesterday, the three of us went to Eckert's Farm. That place is huge. And very fun. We picked some apples.

And Sophia rode some rides. The ticket system there is pretty reasonable really, in case you're interested in heading to Belleville for just such an occasion.

I think her week of birthday fun is more or less on hold until her actual birthday, which is Friday. The rest of the week promises to be more or less routine... Unless we can think of something exciting to throw in.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Silly Sunday

It was a beautiful day yesterday. We started it outside with some grass weaving. I helped braid, but the primary braider was Sophia.

She was in such a good mood that I got an actual smile out of her. Beautiful smile.

The middle of the day was filled with football watching, resting, card games, imagination games and such. We got a little bored but had determined we were not going out. So, what did we do? Face crayons, of course.

In case there was ever any doubt, Sophia marked me. "Clown."

We are very serious about our makeovers. Intensity suits our moustaches quite nicely, yes?

Frame it.

It's impossible to make Sophia look ridiculous. Not sure I'd really try, but seriously. That face.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dream Come True

I have been dreaming of this day since I was a little girl. I don't think it looked exactly like this. When I was on the back of a horse or messing around in the barn, I did not see myself living in an urban area, let alone in St. Louis. I didn't think I would have only one child and no dogs. Still, the part where I watched a child of mine climb on the back of a horse . . . that part was in the dream.

And that's just my dream. Sophia's been dreaming of this since, well, since she rode a pony on the fourth of July. Still, a long time for a nearly seven-year-old.

The day was even better than either of us hoped. Through a friend, we found a farm that is laid back, easy, full of dogs, horses, cats and happy girls. It's even in Illinois, so that part is about right.

This adventure started, as any adventure should, with new boots.

But the best parts happen when the boots get dusty. Sophia helped get her horse for the day, Karoly, ready for the ride.

She's even responsible for the tack. I was lucky to get a picture of Karoly with his eyes open. A good old horse, who used to be in Circus Flora, he's now less than energetic. A perfect starter horse.

Then it was off to the ring to get her first real taste of riding.

I don't know if you can see this or not, but it's the best picture I could get of her very first "I'm actually on this horse" grin and, possibly, prayer of thanks.

More smiles

She cuts a pretty fine figure on horseback. Says her ever so proud mama.

I look forward to many more (at least twice a month) afternoons at the barn. I'll sneak a sniff of horse neck on the sly and hope they don't notice...