Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25, 2009 My Little Cleaning Lady


Sophia and Brandy are cleaning the kitchen for me. For the last two days, Sophia has taken an interest in helping me clean house. Yesterday, she grabbed her Elmo vacuum and went zipping around the house with it. She went into my bedroom where I keep my vacuum cleaner and started saying "Ma Ma!  Ma Ma!" I finally went in there to see what all the fuss was about and she was pointing to my vacuum cleaner and showing me her vacuum cleaner. I had told her we needed to clean but I really didn't think she understood what we were going to do.  This morning I was making breakfast and Sophia grabbed the little broom I use to sweep up the dog food and crumbs around the kitchen and started sweeping while I was making her food.  Her hair is all messy and she is still in her pjs in these photos but it was too cute to pass up.  

I can't believe she is actually using them correctly.  Obviously, she has been watching me more than I realized. 

Here she looked up at me but moved the broom right in front of her face when I snapped the photo.

Here she is showing Brandy what she is doing.  I also noticed some weird shadows in these photos but I think that is because it is early in the morning and the sun was just peeking in and creating some weird lighting effects almost like an undirected spotlight. 
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March 22, 2009 Sophia mixed up style modeling hat and MIZZOU uniform

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I was at work on Sunday and it looks like Sophia was cheering on the Mizzou tigers with daddy.  It looks like she was also modeling her sun hat for daddy as he snapped some photos. These two styles just don't go together at all.   I may have to give her a little coaching on how styles work.  You gotta hand it to her though, she likes to try on new stuff and see how it works. I think I have a future shopper girl on my hands. Go Tigers! 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 21, 2009 Maggiano's Little Italy

Tonight my sorority sisters met up for dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy. We had a good time visiting with each other and catching up on our lives.  It is so nice to  see everyone after all these years. I think we are going to try to plan dinners once a month like we used to do shorlty after we graduated from SEMO. We used to get together about once a month or so, but our lives just got in the way and we stopped meeting up regularly. I was a little disappointed that we didn't have more people show up since we had 12 people confirmed and 18 maybes, but I realize that people are busy with families and other obligations.  I really miss having all my sisters around like it was in college. There was always someone to hang out with or talk to.  I hope to have a larger turnout so we can catch up with people we haven't seen in a long time. I plan to help book our next dinner once we have a chance to chat online and figure out a good date.     I know a couple places such were mentioned so I am going to make some calls and see if they take reservations.  One of those being PF Changs.  Above are just a few photos of the girls. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 18, Caged Animal or Curious Toddler?

Today we were cleaning and getting ready for the contractor to work in the basement and I scrubbed out Brandy's dog crate. When I brought it back in the house all nice and dry; Sophia just couldn't help checking it out. Sophia is usually napping when I clean the crate so she never sees it without Brandy. She is so curious lately that she opened the door and walked right inside. Then, she closed the door.

I just couldn't help laughing as I watched this all taking place and thinking as a mom sometimes you think you want to put your kid in a cage when they are acting really crazy, but of course you would never do that. Anyway, Sophia had fun playing in the sparkling clean dog crate.

Here she is modeling for the camera her newfound discovery play toy.  Sophia is probably thinking, "Mommy, really I didn't let the dog out. She wasn't in there when I got here."
In case you were wondering, the reason she has no pants on is that she is almost potty trained at 18 months. We are really trying to help her remember to go on the potty chair. By not having anything on but her Pull-Up on she seems to remember to tell me in enough time to get to the potty chair and we have fewer accidents which means buying less diapers. Yeah!
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March 18, 2009 Monkey Hand Puppet Craft

As of lately, I have been noticing how short Sophia's attention span has become. It is a challenge to get her to stay focused on any one task. I thought we would try something that would challenge her and have a fun to play with result so we made a puppet. I chose a monkey because Sophia loves Curious George and I thought that might hold her attention.
Here she is putting together the paper bag monkey puppet with my help of course. She is putting the nose on the monkey. This craft not only was great for tuning fine motor skills, it was also a great review of body parts. I asked her to show me each part as we worked. I asked her for the eyes and then the nose, etc.
Here Sophia is walking around testing the finished product.

Wow! Look at what we made, a monkey.

Posing for the camera with her monkey puppet.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11, 2009 My Little Glamour Girl

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This morning we stayed home so that I could get some much needed housework done. I started out by catching up on the laundry. I was folding some of Sophia and my clothes when I looked up and realized Sophia had been hard at work turning my family room into a disaster area with her toys.  Once she finished that, she went into her room to get something else out.  I just couldn't wait to find out what was in store for me.  I found out soon enough, it was time to play dress-ups by what she brought back to me.

The other day I took Sophia shopping for some new sandals for Spring but somehow ended up coming home with some new rain boots.  Here is how the story unfolds.  We were in the shoe section at the store and we found the sweetest little pair of sandals that were white with hearts on the side that I think light up.  Well, as my luck would have it, there were no size 6.5 or 7anywhere in sight. Sophia wanted them so bad but was very disappointed when I told her there were none in her size.  I told her we couldn't buy them because they were too small and wouldn't fit her feet. With no sizes even remotely close to being an option for her, my daughter had a meltdown in the store.  How embarassing!  She definitely knows what she likes and really wanted those sandals. Well, I felt awful for her. I had told her we were looking for shoes for her and now there was no chance we were going home with the wrong size shoes.  So, I had to use some quick thinking.  I thought I will let her hold the display shoe until I can find something else to distract her with.  We headed over the Clearance Rack and low and behold, Size 7 shoes were all over it. We found her new favorite rain boots on clearance for,  I kid you not $3.49.  What a bargain. They are pictured here in black with little sparkles on them.  Sophia grabbed them out of my hand and wouldn't let go until she tried them on.  They were a little big but for such a small price, I thought we will take a chance on them.  She beemed a huge smile at me indicating that she liked them very much.   I told her she could have them and quickly handed her the box which allowed me to snag the model shoe out of her other hand to be replaced back on the shelf.  She held that box of boots for dear life.  She wouldn't even let the check-out person take them to scan for fear she wouldn't get them back.   We checked out and headed home. 

Today Sophia grabbed those boots out of her room and insisted on wearing them. Since we were staying home, I figured what could it hurt. I had dressed her in a plain old white T-shirt and some training pants to practice going on the potty today.  I didn't put any pants on her over the training pants so we could get them off quickly.  Since she put the boots on with my help of course, I decided to slip her skirt on to make the outfit look a little better.  The next thing I knew she had snagged some of my satin PJs and was wrapping them around herself like some fashionable drape or vogue scarf.   I guess she has been reading too many of my fashion magazines. I usually ask her to find babies in the magazines or any other thing I dream up on the spot.  Well, I guess she has been looking at the models in there too or something and felt these boots deserved more than a plain old white T-Shirt and a red skirt.  I have to admit she was right.  
See the photos of the fun.  I am so in trouble when she is a teenager knowing that she has such an opinion of clothes at such an early age.  I often hold her up to the hangers full of clothes in her closet and let her pick a dress or favorite outfit and then we put it on.  I think I might have created a fashion monster.  She really loves those boots andhas been wearing them all day. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10, 2009 Museum of Transportation Creation Station

Playing with Thomas the Engine Trains or as Sophia would call them and did over and over while playing, "Go Go's". In case you are wondering about the black outline form in the foreground of this photo; it is a train cut-out. I am still getting used to this camera and couldn't quite capture the train outline and have Sophia is focus. I couldn't get her to stand there for a picture so I just snapped some photos through it.

Don't look now Mom! I am at the top of the boat all by myself. Sophia spent most of the hour sailing the ship as the Captain.

Ahoy, all aboard that is going aboard. Captain Sophia at your service here. Please keep all hands and feet inside the boat as we set sail. A quick glance starboard and a view of the Port side and we are a sailing mateys. Argh! It is lucky for the other kids, she didn't make them walk the plank.

Ooh! This looks like fun. Sophia briefly checked out the kitchen area complete with cabinets and sink and refrigerator. She said "cup" when she picked up the little cups from the wooden cabinets.

Look mom, I can climb up the steps of the boat all by myself.

Today, was Sophia's favorite day. She learned about all modes of Transportation at the Museum of Transportation Creation Station. Our playgroup went there today to enjoy this exciting experience. Sophia especially loved learning about all the "go gos". Clearly, since I couldn't drag her away from the boat for very long, she will grow up to be a pirate and sail the seven seas. Argh! At least, I hope not.

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Of course, below is the slideshow.

March 9, 2009 Gone Fishing - Mum Mum, I caught one

Putting the fish back into the puzzle

I think this one goes here...

If I can just catch one of these fish with my fishing pole.

Look mommy, I caught one

So as a parent I have this responsibilty that is given to me to raise a child to be an independent responsible human being who can take care of herself and feels as though she can do anything she wants to if she sets her mind to it. With that in mind, I am always on the look-out for new methods of helping Sophia develop and learn and grow into a perfect little being. The other day I had escaped my world for a little me time and headed over to Target. At Target I was looking at the toys and came across this little what I thought was a wooden fish puzzle. Well, when I got it home I discovered it was so much more. It has little fish that fit into the wooden puzzle but also a fishing pole with a magnet on it to pull the fish out of the water puzzle. I was thinking what a cute puzzle, when I quickly discovered that this was not just a lesson in very basic spatial reasoning, but a hand eye development coordination tool. Sophia loves to go play the fishing game and go fish. Then, when she is finished sporting her fishing pole, she sits down and puts the fish back into the water in the wooden puzzle. Or ideally, that is how it is supposed to work but she has yet to get all the fish back into the puzzle. Many of you who read my blog know that my dream at one time was to teach preschoolers. Each week we have some structured learning whether it be artistic, such as finger painting that I still haven't posted from last week or simply coloring pictures and talking about them from a coloring book or printed from the internet. We explore our senses through scented squishy play-dough, magical soap bubbles, touch and feel books, etc. We get outside and talk about what we see on our walks the leaves the trees, the kids at school in the school yard. She likes to point out the "Go Go's!" I ask her what kind of Go Go does she see. That way she learns the proper words for each form of transportation we come across. to her, they are all go gos right now but soon she will know automobiles, trains, planes, and her new favorite boats.
I feel it is important to emphasize learning through play as well as some very structured lessons which will help her to be prepared fo preschool when that time comes. I just love the discovery and development stages of life and enjoy staying home and teaching and observing Sophia as she learns and grows into an independent little human being. Sophia mommy loves you. Don't grow up too fast.

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March 8, 2009 Condo and Early St. Pat's Day

Come on baby, if we hurry we can hide inside our little playhouse and no one will miss us.

The baby needs a hat. Put the hat on the baby.

Looking out my window, drinking a little moo juice.

This is fun. Hee Hee Ha Ha!
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Sophia went to visit Great Grandma at her house on Sunday afternoon. Grandma and Uncle Mike were also there. We decided since Grandma is out of town so much that we needed to do St. Patrick's Day a wee bit earlier than most. Great Grandma prepared a delicious meal of Corn Beef and Cabbage. Sophia seemed to like it but I have to tell you the best part. You see, Sophia loves vegetables. She loves them and will eat them any time of day. So, I fixed her plate with Corn Beef and Cabbage and made sure she had plenty of veggies with it. I even sliced the corn on the cob off the corn for her so she could eat it. Well, little did I know, she wanted her corn on the cob, not cut off the cob. Great Grandma was enjoying her own plate complete with corn on the cobb and Sophia was watching. Sophia waved at Great Grandma to see what she was eating. Great Grandma took a corn cob and sliced it into a little mini cob for Sophia. She handed it to her and you would have thought she handed her a giant icecream cone. Sophia's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. She picked up the mini cob and sunk her teeth into that delicious sweet corn and exclaimed in the cutest voice, "MMMMMMMM!" It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. She let us know that she loved the taste of the corn on the cob. It was "Yummy Yummy!". Well, needless to say, she didn't want the corn that mommy had cut off the cob on her plate but ate every bite she could muster off of that cob. So the next time I decide we are having corn, it will have to be on the cob for Sophia. Whho knew it tasted so much better when you could just eat it right off the cob. After dinner, Sopia had another opportunity to play in her home-made condo by Great Grandma. She lit up the minute it arrived in the family room. She even had to take her doll inside and show her the new home away from home.

Not only did Sophia enjoy playing in the home-made home, she also received a couple surprises from her Grandma. Grandma brought Sophia a little Irish Hat to put on her head. We had trouble getting a photo with it on but she liked putting it on her doll's head. She also recieved an Elmo kite and a clapper toy. Grandma also gave her some clothes and a jacket.

Check-out the slideshow below..

March 5, 2009 Hawk Ridge Fun with Dad and Mom

The fairy princess is saved. Whew! That was exhausting. Now for a short rest.

Resting on the landing on the way up to the highest tower in the castle.

Scaling the block wall up to the tower

Swinging on the pendulum swing across the divide
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Scott got home early from teaching at Junior Achievement on Thursday. Since the weather was nice, I suggested we all go play at the park. Here are some fun shots of Sophia climbing, swinging, and resting in the tower of the castle in Zachary's Playground at Hawk Ridge Park. Up until now all Sophia could really do was swing in the swings at the park. This was really the first time she could enjoy the full experience of climbing and playing on the playground. She still wanted to ride on the swings. She told me they were "un". This means fun.
Check out the slideshow below for the detailed version of Sophia's fairy tale play.

As you will see in the slideshow there is a short story that follows.

Our adventure started out with Sophia flying high up into the sky soaring with the eagles on the swings. From that vantage point she could see the fairy princess was captured and stuck in the tower. We had to save her. Like a Knight in shining armor Sophia fearlessly slayed the vicious dragon surrounding the castle.  She fought off a rogue villian also battling the dragon.  Whoosh she rushed down the slide!  As a princess on her horse, Sophia rode the seahorse and the glider until we came to the huge mysterious winding castle. With a quick wit she escaped the green dungeon window as she called to her daddy. "Dada Dada!" The massive castle in the nearby field had steps and bridges and a drawbridge. Sophia stomped across the drawbridge over the moat and fiercely entered the huge castle. Nothing is going to stop this baby from getting into that castle. We climbed steps and we crept through walkways and more bridges. Next, Sophia swung on the pendulum swings to get across the divide. Where she finally scaled the wall blocks to reach the tower where she rescued the fairy princess and saved the day.

Okay, so maybe this is a little silly, but it was fun writing. I also noticed some interesting photos of my dog and cats slipped into the slidshow. What I want to know is who are the guys golfing and how did that photo get in there? I guess Scott was practicing taking long range pics out our back window on the golf course.