Friday, April 26, 2013

Haunted History

I bought a Groupon and convinced a friend to go with me downtown for a Haunted History tour of St. Louis.

It was great fun. I love to be outside at night, and I love history, so this is right up my alley. I didn't see or hear anything of the haunted variety, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I don't buy into it. St. Louis is full of fascinating history. I can't wait to read more about the things I learned about last night, some of which are probably true...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home Entertainment

Sophia has been at home fighting off a sinus infection and nasty cough most of the week. This afternoon, we both needed some sunshine and fresh air. Sophia brought her guitar so she could serenade us.

The cough came back after a little singing, so we had to go inside. But our little outing left both of us feeling better.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Sophia is, for the most part, in a place of equilibrium. We know what to expect, she delivers. She knows what to expect, and we deliver. She gets plenty of sleep and good things to eat, so she feels safe and happy. So there isn't a lot to say.

The parenting issues that we do have are of a different nature entirely. I feel like my job, right now, is preparation for teenage years. This is true of every parent, I know. The issues we have had lately have been about navigating her through relationships and helping her to know herself. We spend a lot of time talking about manipulation. I let her know when she does it to me. I try to call myself out (or she does) when I use it on her. However, the most common initiation of this topic comes from school.

Sophia has a group of very close friends at school. There isn't a kid in her class that Sophia doesn't count as a friend, but four or five of them are tight. This is a situation I have been watching closely from the beginning. It's the potential beginning of childhood friendship trauma, and my objective is to keep her from being at either end of such a disaster.

So far, Sophia still shares with me everything that happens. When a friend says things like, "I won't be your friend if...," or "I will play with you if...," and my personal favorite, "If you're my friend, you'll..." My first response to this is always a question about her feelings when this statement is made.

She is more than willing to share with me times that she didn't use her words kindly. So far, though, that's largely snippiness and irritation, which can also be hurtful, of course. However, she is very aware that friendship cannot be used as a weapon. In her words, "Yeah, I can't ask someone to be my friend and then just *makes whipping motion and sound*." I think she gets it...

I guess we've been doing pretty well on this topic because the other day, she told me that she told a friend that she was feeling too much pressure about something particular. She could not promise to do what the friend required, and the friend ended up understanding. I love that Sophia is confident enough in her personhood and her friendship that she can express her thoughts and feelings. It's the best thing for the kids on both ends of that discussion.

Of course it's still hard at times. She doesn't like to disappoint others. And this is just the tip of a very large iceberg, especially since her friends are all kind and generous in nature. And, of course, they're 6...

I just keep on with what we're doing, hopeful that Sophia can see enough success in being herself that it becomes just as easy and just as good an idea as being someone else in order to win acceptance.

*to  my knowledge, Sophia's friend in the picture with her has never tried manipulation. Just felt the need to say that.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Martial Artiste

Sophia's still at it. She doesn't love it as much as she did at first. No big shock there. The class is an hour and a half, and they spend at least thirty minutes sparring. When it's Judo sparring, she doesn't enjoy it as much. She always spars with this one orange belt who gets her down, and Sophia does not enjoy that at all. I can understand. I wouldn't be a fan myself. I love Judo for her, though, because it's all about using your body. Learning how to use what you've got.

She enjoys the Tae Kwon Do side a bit more because she likes kicking. And she's good at it, too, although when it's time for sparring, she's always too afraid of hurting the other kid to really let it go.

Another reason she's still keeping at it is this guy. Her friend Henry is a favorite, and she does not mind having an excuse to hang out with him after school.

I do hope she sticks with it, but she's only committed through the school year. We'll see if I can convince her that it's worth being held down occasionally to learn that she can get up.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just Because

I'm going to post this picture from Hillary's wedding because she sent it to me. And she's adorable. I know I posted some in October, but memories of this special day and this darling girl don't really get old.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunshine and Smiles

This was definitely the kind of day that needs more than 24 hours. After a birthday party this morning, we went out to Forest Park for some play and cartwheels and resting.

Sophia is really changing and growing. Still a beautiful and darling girl.

Still a goofball as well.

My knees on the left, Erick's on the right. We were sprawled on a hill where we all got some sunshine and rest.

After spending a couple hours in the open field, Sophia spent the rest of the afternoon making mud balls by one of the ponds. It's her best relaxation therapy. Not bad for her skin either...

Again with the beautiful, albeit corny, smile.

Expect more of this. We already have plans to go back to Forest Park tomorrow. We'll see if the mud gets some more play. I'd be surprised if it didn't.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Life

I haven't posted in a while because we've been too busy outside just enjoying all that is spring! This last weekend, my brother ran in the Go! St. Louis half marathon. They came Saturday, so we had an afternoon outside and at the zoo.

Sunday morning, the kids made signs to cheer David on.

We had made no promises about our attendance, so David was pleased to see we made it. It was great fun to cheer on all the runners. Inspirational.

After they left on Sunday, our family went to Forest Park, which I had forgotten during this long winter just how much time we spend there. Sophia got muddy from her head to her toes. This was before she found the mud. She was trying to make friends with the ducks.

After hours of play and walking there, we came home to recuperate. Then it rained, and now the plants are really popping out. I love Spring. I do. Really very much.