Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from The Great Sosini!

I suppose I should have waited until the new year to have Sonia wear this shirt (and to post the picture on the blog), but I was too impatient. It's not like we're going to be ringing in 2010 at midnight, anyway.... Sosi will probably go to bed at 7pm like always, and I'll most likely fall asleep on the couch around 10pm. My guess is that Andrew will make it until about 11pm. A group of wild partiers we are not!

We will, however, be having a fabulous dinner.... Andrew is going to make us scallops in champagne (an Anthony Bourdain recipe), sauteed spinach, and lemon parsley orzo. This afternoon, I baked sugar cookies topped with butter cream frosting, so we'll have a great dessert as well. Sonia will be having a gourmet dinner of pureed apples, bananas, & strawberries (with a bit of barley mixed in) followed by a fine bottle of Up & Up brand formula. Yum yum yum!

Sosini's godparents sent her this hilariously awesome onesie-- thanks, Gonzo & Emily! Sosi says, "Happy New Year, peeps!"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas with the Mister and the Sister, part 2

Jolly young Saint Nicholas came to visit on Christmas morning! I could not stop giggling every time I looked at my nephew in this fantastic outfit.

This is the first present we've ever let Sonia attempt to open. She liked the shiny paper! The little Christmas elf needed a bit of opening help from her mommy, though. Sonia loved all of her presents!

We got Nicholas two books by Mo Willems ("Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale" and "Leonardo the Terrible Monster") as well as a stuffed Leonardo the Terrible Monster doll. The books are as big as Nicholas! That's okay-- he'll grow into them. Mo Willems is fantastic-- you should totally check him out! He used to write for Sesame Street (no wonder we love his books).

On the day after Christmas, we took Sosini to open play at Gymboree in Southlake. We had the whole place almost to ourselves! Everyone had Christmas hangover, we think. Sosi had a great time, though!

The crazy amount of fun Sosi had at her grandparents' house with the Malahowski side of her family was truly epic. For 4 1/2 straight days, she squealed, smiled, cooed, jabbered, and oh-- did I mention smiled? I thought her face was going to freeze that way! She loves her Grandpa Dick, Grandma Jenni, Aunt Ali, Uncle Daniel, and cousin Nicholas. She may not have slept as well as she did at home, but she did really well eating solid food and being a happy little girl.

One more picture and tale from our trip-- Daniel had free 1st class upgrades (he travels for a living) that were going to expire on the last day of the year, so he threw a couple our way! We were already traveling on a 777 (one of the bigger planes out there), so first class was really, really luxurious! Sonia broke her streak of fuss-free traveling, though-- she had two bouts of fussiness that I'm sure annoyed the other first class passengers, but I was able to calm her within 5 or 10 minutes. I'm definitely putting that first class boarding pass in her baby book! She may look dour in this picture, but trust me-- she had a great time. Thanks again, Daniel!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas with the Mister and the Sister, part 1

Due to a bunch of elements out of our control, we had not yet been able to meet our fabulous nephew, Nicholas, who was born on August 25th. Sonia was SO excited to meet her cousin! So excited, in fact, that she tried to roll over onto him. Note Andrew's hands in the upper left-hand corner of the picture, coming to rescue Nicholas from Sonia's attempted wrestling moves.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area had an extremely rare white Christmas this year! It snowed almost all day on Christmas Eve, and we got about 2 1/2 inches of snow that actually stuck to the ground overnight. When we left on the 27th, patches of snow were still visible in small areas that don't receive too much sunlight. I love this picture of Daniel and Nicholas (whom Andrew and I like to call "Nikolai") looking out at the snow falling onto the pool.

Hilariously enough, we realized that one of Nicholas's nicknames is "Mister" and one of Sonia's nicknames is "Sister". The Mister and the Sister look highly suspicious of each other in this picture with their Malahowski sibling parents. Don't Andrew and Ali look proud of their little goofball babies?

Oh, Sonia.... Don't maul your poor cousin!! You can't tell in this picture, but Nicholas had a handful of Sonia's overalls. Cuckoo kids!

Isn't our little nephew so cute?!?!?

Stay tuned for pictures of Christmas Day-- we were visited by St. Nicholas!

Monday, December 28, 2009

And we're back!

We have returned from our Christmas trip to Texas, and boy, do I have pictures to show you! It may take me several posts to catch up on the week since I posted last. Our story starts with last Tuesday (the 22nd) when Sonia hung out with five potential future ND Band members (four of which could be boyfriends). In the morning, the Murrays came over for a wee bit of fun, and Carol and I took the opportunity to dress Kieran and Sosi in their matching Old Navy outfits:

They were also wearing their matching blue eyes....

Aidan and Sophie tried to pose adorably with Sonia, but she was too interested in a pig rattle to look at the camera.

Then, later that day, both James Mullen (son of ND Band clarinet players Mark and Mary Jo Mullen) and Jack Schank (son of ND Band trumpet player Tim Schank and his wife, non-band ND alum Bridget) came over to play. They brought their parents, too, which is good because like Sonia, Jack, and James aren't great conversationalists yet! We had a great time hanging out and watching the babies play. It was an interesting age range-- James is almost one year old, Sonia is seven months old, and Jack is four months old.

Sonia thought Mary Jo was awesome!

We sat the babies in a semi-circle and then I decided to drop some toys in the middle. The grabbing that ensued reminded us of the cow being lowered into the raptor pit in the movie Jurassic Park.

Jack sat in a Bumbo for the first time-- his neck is so strong! We think he enjoyed sitting "on his own".

The next morning, we had a flight to Dallas that left at 6:45am. I have no idea why we thought taking a flight at that time was a good idea. We landed at 9:20am at DFW feeling like we had been through a war! Sonia was a great traveler, though. When Andrew strapped her into the Baby Bjorn carrier, she couldn't stop smiling and laughing. Pretty much no fussing occurred, and the TSA lady who checked our IDs said that Sonia was a "straight-up Gerber baby". That was a theme as we traveled-- on the way home, two different flight attendants declared Sonia a "Gerber baby". The agent who checked our bags called Sonia "well-fed".

When we got to Andrew's parents' house, Sosi's Grandpa Dick and Grandma Jenni wasted no time in getting down to the business of playing with their granddaughter. After an initial tiny bit of stranger-danger anxiety, Sonia decided that her grandparents are awesome and proceeded to smile, laugh, and squeal for 5 days straight.

Stay tuned for tales and pictures of more Christmas fun-- Sonia met her Aunt Ali, Uncle Daniel, and cousin Nicholas. Not surprisingly, she fell in love with them as well. Miles of smiles!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The silliest girl around

Lately, Sosi has been squealing & singing a ton and making lots of silly faces. What a cuckoo bird!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Learning and re-learning

During the last week or so, Sonia forgot how to roll from her back to her front. It was funny-- she knew she wanted to do it, but she couldn't figure out how to complete the roll. But this morning, she remembered! She proceeded to roll from her back to her front (and then to her back again) about 20 times in a row. Back and forth, back and forth. She was so proud of herself! Here's a short little video of her accomplishment:

We'll see if she still remembers how to do it tomorrow!


That Paul Frank monkey stuff at Target is so cute.... I'm not as wild about the "Small Paul" baby girl clothes, but the baby boy clothes crack me up! I would call this pair of pajamas unisex, but sure enough, Paul Frank printed BOY on the inside label. Oh well. Sonia doesn't care!

I'm not sure if you can see it very well due to how she was holding her arms (she was giggling at me), but the monkey is wearing a Santa hat and behind him, it says "Fa la la la la la la la la". I love the knee patches!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sippy Follies

When a baby is 6 or 7 months old, it's theoretically time to start letting your baby try out sippy cups. Or, if you're a What to Expect in the First Year disciple, you're 2 months late in beginning to teach your baby how to drink out of a normal cup. (All I have to say about that is BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!) Sonia always intently watches Andrew and me as we drink out of glasses and soda cans-- she usually smiles, too. I wonder how long it will take her to realize that we're drinking liquid.... Last week, I found a cool-looking purple sippy cup for The Great Sosini to use, and she thinks it's hilarious.

When I first hand the sippy cup to her, she happily nom-nom-noms on the spout for a while.

Then, things usually start to get a little silly.

This morning, she wanted to try to drink some of my Cherry Coke Zero, too. She checked out the ingredients first, because she's trying to watch her girlish figure.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seven Months Young: A State of the Baby Address

Sonia is seven months old today! Andrew and I love our goofy little Sosini.... Yesterday, Andrew and Sonia were playing on a blanket while I was baking Christmas cookies, and I had to keep running over to watch because Andrew was making her laugh hysterically. Little baby giggles could help usher in world peace if we could somehow employ them effectively!

The State of the Baby Address:
  • Sosi is now sitting up very well. As long as I leave a pillow or two behind/around her, I can actually walk away for a minute and leave her sitting up, playing with her toys. If she falls backwards or sideways onto the pillow, she usually rolls over onto the ground on her front, plays for a bit, and then rolls right over to her back. She's so proud of herself at that point that she excitedly kicks her legs, waves her arms, and squeals. It's so funny!

  • Her most recent developmental milestone is rolling from her back to her front. It takes a bunch of effort, but she can do it! I still need to see if I can capture it on our Flip video. Sonia doesn't mind tummy time as much anymore, which is good, because she's starting to make little moves toward learning to crawl. She can hold herself up in a plank position for a few seconds, and she pulls her knees up under her every once in a while. Time to start childproofing the house!

  • During her last bath, Sonia discovered the joys of splashing. I'm definitely going to try to capture that on video!! I know I won't find it funny for long....

  • Sonia has also recently become Grabby McGrabberson. She grabs at everything-- my hair, my face, the cats, my drink, the veggies I'm trying to feed her, her toys (only if my cell phone is out of reach), did I mention the cats?.... Bobo and Margie still haven't realized that the grabby phase has begun (I hear this phase typically continues well into the teens!), so they still place themselves in harm's way all the time. Soon they will start keeping their distance, which is going to be so sad!!! If you maximize the size of this picture, you can see Margie and Bobo in the upper left-hand corner both inexplicably heading toward the danger zone....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our new nephew is here!

Congratulations are in order for Niki, Corey, and Charlotte-- Peter James Stringer has made his appearance! It sounds like Niki had a really, really easy birth, because she and I were talking on the phone up until around 1:37am, and Corey announced that Peter was born at 2:05am. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Niki, my mother, and I are all very fast and efficient laborers! Peter weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce, and he is 19 1/2 inches long. According to Corey, Peter has brown hair-- I wonder how much!

But the most important part is that both mommy and baby are doing great.

I am one proud and happy auntie! It's amazing the leaps and bounds that the size of our family has taken in the last 7 months.... First Sonia was born in May, then Nicholas was born in August, and now Peter has been born in December. As Ali predicted many months ago, 2009 was the year of the baby!

Perhaps I should attempt to get some sleep..... Hmm. Yeah, I don't know if that's going to happen. I'm too excited!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Apologies to those who already saw this on Facebook, but I wanted to post the picture of Sosi's triumphant Santa visit on the blog as well. She was such a good girl! No smiles, but that was just because she was way too interested in all of the kids and lights and colors and sounds and smells and Mommy jumping up and down trying to get her attention and.... and.... and.... well, you can see that any baby would be filled to the brim with curiosity.

Sonia asked for teeth, hair, and a longer dress for Christmas. Why do they sell baby dresses without the cute little underpants to wear underneath?!? I do love the tights with mary jane shoes painted onto them. That Santa was awesome-- real beard and everything!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Curious Baby at Noodles & Co. -- a photo essay

The world looks very different when you start sitting in a high chair while out in public!

Finally.... Time for the curious baby to eat her own lunch!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Comfy overalls

Due to her rotund little belly, Sonia currently fits into 12 month pants in girth, but not in length. When she isn't wearing pajamas, she seems to enjoy one-piece rompers/jumpsuits and overalls. Denim overalls are extremely cute, but they don't seem wildly comfy when it comes to naptime. So, I was really excited when I found a pair of fleece overalls, and get this-- they have a CAT on them! Comfy, warm, and feline-themed.... how could they possibly get any better?

They could be some other color than WHITE!!!

Oh well. I'm prepared to use stain remover spray and bleach until the overalls fall apart in my hands (or until Sonia outgrows them!). These overalls are just that awesome.

Sosi seems to like them, too. Here's the budding maestro playing her piano while sporting her comfy overalls:

Hey, ice-skating snowman-- would you mind if I gave your leg a little nom-nom-nom?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This season's top fashion

Today, Sonia is modeling the crown jewel of the hand-knitted collection by top designer Carol Murray. On the stunningly beautiful sweater, purple is presented in two different shades-- light on top, dark on bottom (which we all know is very slimming). Accenting the purple is a pop of pink, which coordinates nicely with a pair of pink pants, white socks, and black mary jane shoes (not very visible due to the poor photography skills of the supermodel's mother). We foresee a bright future ahead for this talented designer. Carol is on her way to the top!

The model got a little crazy and flashed her belly at the photographers.... Risqué!

The matching hat has the most beautifully intricate knitted details.... Carol's incredible skill has no rival in the fashion world!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More Thanksgiving pictures

Between my post on Friday and Niki's post yesterday, I think we have shared most of the best pictures from our Stringer-Malahowski Thanksgiving in Nashville. Here are the last few that I can't pass up posting....

One last Gymboree picture-- the look of wide-eyed wonder & glee kills me!

Speaking of glee, the beautiful Charbunkle loved playing in the leaves!

Sonia thought the sun was awfully bright!

The next two pictures are from the car rides.... Andrew tried to see if Sonia wanted to drive for a couple of hours, but she didn't seem interested. (No need to call Child Protective Services-- we were parked when I took this picture!)

We fed her in the car seat for only one of the feedings while traveling (she eats every 3 1/2 to 4 hours, and we needed to stop for gas and food anyway, so we mostly fed her during pit stops). Sosi decided she wanted to hold her own bottle (this lasted for about 3 seconds until she got distracted). Goofball!