Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sonia and her minions

Why, yes-- I do believe my mommy has a touch of OCD. Sometimes, she organizes my toys for no particular reason. Why do you ask?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shake it up, baby!

It kind of looks like Sonia is dancing in this picture.... She was showing off her beautiful new outfit from Ryan and Brittany, and she was so excited that she was going a bit cuckoo.

Sosini has been so funny lately.... She's trying soooooo hard to crawl. I see her gain more and more control over her movements every day-- the changes are amazing. The cats better start watching their backs-- Sonia will be able to chasing after them any day now!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A fun place to take your little monkey

Whoever came up with the idea to combine a coffee shop and an indoor children's play area deserves a medal. Sonia and I both think that Little Monkey Bizness in Western Springs is awesome! We met up there with our play group yesterday and hilarity, of course, ensued.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sonia Balogna

Sonia had a lot of fun this weekend.... My "cousins" Ryan & Brittany came to visit, and she put on a good show for them (giggling, crawling, eating solid food, being fussy, taking a bath, etc.) to make sure they got the full Great Sosini experience.

She got some great schnuggles from Brittany-- just look at the smile on that crazy baby's face!

Ryan and Sonia had a wild arm waving competition, but I'm not sure who won....

Sosi wanted them to stay for longer!

She's making strides in the "standing while holding onto something" department. Don'tcha just love babies in overalls?

She's also making great strides in the crawling department! She scootches backwards pretty well. It's so funny!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Merry (late) Christmas to Meeeeeeee!

Andrew brought home a late Christmas present for me..... AN 11 POUND BAR OF DARK BELGIAN CHOCOLATE!!!!

While we were in Texas for Christmas, Andrew's father, Dick, was reminiscing about a huge block of chocolate that Andrew's grandmother had brought them many years ago. I was immediately intrigued. I may have asked for many details about the chocolate and how good it tasted. I might have dreamed about it that night. Seeing the beginning of an obsession, Andrew secretly hopped on the interwebs and found this beauty. Behold!

It tastes like heaven. HEAVEN!!! Note that we have hacked off a couple of huge chunks already. I use the term "hacked off" for a reason-- cutting off pieces to eat takes a huge knife and a lot of patience. I think we're going to drop it to break it in smaller pieces to make it easier to eat. Andrew said that the chocolate should stay good for a year, but I doubt it will last that long! He printed out some recipes for us to make using the chocolate, but honestly, I'm happy eating it plain. Sonia may weigh twice as much as the chocolate, but it's almost as big as she is!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sock Monkey Pajamas and Kidsploitation

I discovered last night that I had waited a bit long to have Sonia wear the sock monkey pajamas that her cousin, Charlotte, handed down to her. They barely buttoned around her tummy! The pants fit surprisingly well, though! She'll just have to wear the top open (over a onesie), I guess.... I'll buy her another pair next year when they come back to Target. We Evans chicks love our sock monkey pajamas!

I have been having fun with a blue scarf that Sonia plays with sometimes.... I have to do my kidsploitation now before she discovers the notion of "embarrassment"!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Auntie Ernie

As Andrew mentioned in the last post, I flew to Nashville this past weekend to play "Auntie Ernie". Check out my handsome new little buddy nephew (using a towel handed down from Sonia):

I had a great time with my wonderful niece, Charlotte, too.... Sorry this picture is not great quality (it's from my cell phone), but isn't she simply fabulous?

Andrew and Sonia did so great without me-- I walked back into a sparkling clean house and a gigantic hug from my wonderful husband. Unfortunately, Sonia was already in bed, but she woke up at 1am (she has a yucky cold), so I got to snuggle her then for about 15 minutes. When she woke up in the morning, smiling despite her massively runny nose, I almost cried because I was so happy to see her. I missed my sweet pea!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Erin went down to Nashville to visit her new nephew. I spent a fun weekend home alone with The Great Sosini. Thought I'd chronicle the weekend's events...

Sonia: "Really, Mom? You're going to leave me at home for three straight days and nights with Daddy? Are you sure you trust me to behave?"

Mom: "Yes, Sosi, I know you'll be on your best behavior."

Sonia: "Excellent..."

Sosi and I had a fun-filled weekend together. We went to Gymboree and the Arboretum on Friday, the grocery store on Saturday, and Target and the Arboretum again on Sunday. We watched football (but not too much...she starts to get a blank stare if you watch too much). We also played with the cats a ton. Bobo kept a safe distance.

Unfortunately, Sosi had a wicked cold the first day, and took only two 45 minute naps all day. Then she woke up 4 times during the night and needed constant steam-room treatment, the booger-sucker, and kleenex. Not much sleep that first night at all, for Sonia or me. You can see that Sosi looks pretty tired in this picture the next day.

Still, I had time to cook myself a nice meal Friday night. I knew I'd have to make something that we would *never* have if Erin was home. So, I made a stir-fry chicken and vidalia onion curry with green onions and peanuts. My breath smelled awesome.

The next day, Sosi did really well...almost a little too well. She took naps of 1:15, 1:45, and 1:50. I also took naps of 1:15, 1:45, and 1:50 (mostly dozing in front of football). I made some homemade pulled pork shoulder, and did some laundry and cleaning. Sosi enjoyed eating her solid food and tried a delightful mixture of pears, blueberries, and oatmeal that afternoon.

One thing that goes without saying: kids this age need constant attention. Sosi is decent at playing by herself for about 5 or 10 minutes sometimes, but mostly she just wants to be played with, fed, changed, or just picked up.

On Sunday, we made a fort, and Bobo screamed from the minarets as the Cowboys and Tony Romo got maimed by the Vikings. Protect us from Captain Turnover, Mr. Duck!

Overall, we had a great time. On a serious note, I have always admired what Erin did at home with Sosi, but now I'm even more overwhelmingly grateful. It is tremendously tough work. One of the moms at Gymboree asked me whether it was tougher working or staying home with Sosi (I think she was expecting me to curl up in a ball and whimper that I had failed and wanted to go back to the office). I told her it would depend on the day at both places -- some days are likely better, some days are worse. The tough days (like Friday) took all of my mental and physical energy. And the easier days still have so many opportunities to go the extra mile to help Sosi develop. And Erin navigates her way through both types of days in an expert manner...she really is heroically good at what she does!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Like Father, Like Daughter

I have been trying to teach Sonia how to play the drums over the last week or so, and it's going, um, slowly. But she has made a bit of noise (I mean progress!).... It took about 7 or 8 minutes of me filming to get enough clips of Sonia's wooden spoon drumsticks making contact with the metal mixing bowls to make this video. She kept getting distracted by passing kitties or the delightful taste of her drumsticks. Sorry about the shakiness of the filming-- I was trying to grab drumsticks of my own to demonstrate while filming at the same time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

8 months young: a state of the baby address

Holy cow-- Sonia is EIGHT MONTHS OLD. How did that happen?!? Did someone speed up the rotation of the earth?

The Great Sosini is such a great little girl! Her smiles and giggles make any fussy times or diaper blowouts seem not so bad. My little buddy finds new ways to make me laugh every day-- today, while we were driving to story time, she was sitting in her car seat randomly giggling and squealing. I have no idea why or how, but she was cracking herself up!

Sosi is doing much better with solid food. She eats a total of roughly one "stage 2" tub per day (usually some fruit, some vegetables, and some cereal), and she's even getting pretty good at getting those little puff thingies in her mouth all by herself. Too bad she doesn't really like the texture of puffs all that much! Her new favorite food is teething biscuits (which seem to be helping a bit with tooth #2). I don't think she's getting much nutrition from the tiny amounts she ingests, but she enjoys nomming on her "cookies" and making a ridiculous mess.

Li'l Sissy sleeps through the night at least 5 times a week. I was just talking to Carol about how it seems like everybody has a different definition of "sleeping through the night". Does it count as "through the night" if Sonia wakes up at 5am when she normally wakes up at 7am? Does it count if she wakes up and cries but is able to go back to sleep on her own without intervention on our part? I have definitely heard of babies who sleep both better and worse than Sonia, so I would consider her sleeping abilities to be about average.

Her obsession with the cats continues.... Margie and Bobo are surprisingly good sports about it!

Sosini loves to be around other babies and kids.... Her "stranger danger" anxiety isn't too bad-- as long as she is around a person for at least 20-30 minutes before that person attempts to hold her, she's actually okay being held by people other than her mum and dad. Speaking of her daddy, Sonia's absolute favorite time of day is when Andrew walks through the door. She smiles as wide as the Grand Canyon and waves her arms wildly, anticipating snuggles from her tall, handsome father.

Andrew and I love our little eight month old baby!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sonia and her Murray buddies

"Seriously? That's all you got? I was expecting entertainment like dancing girls and fireworks. You're gonna have to work much harder than that to make me crack a smile."

"Can you show me how to work this fun ball popper toy? I'm not sure, but I think the smiley face ball that is from a completely different toy might fit in this as well. No? Now Carol has to take the toy apart with a screwdriver to rescue the smiley face ball? Let's try again. Whoops-- we're gonna need the screwdriver again...."

"Hey! Why is my mommy schnuggling that Kieran guy? And why is he wearing a blue version of the outfit I have on?"

"Well, fine then! I'll schnuggle with Kieran's mommy! I love Carol. And The Count. But mostly Carol."

"I am SO embarrassed that my dad is grilling Aidan about his future. Can't Aidan and I go on a date without my father getting all up in my boyfriend's business? I really hope Aidan doesn't tell my dad about his plans to become a pirate when he grows up....."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Do you need a pick-me-up?

Feeling a little blue? Sonia will help cheer you up with this video:

If you're curious to know what I was doing to make her laugh so hard, you're going to be disappointed (unless you have the same sense of humor as a seven month old baby). I was putting something on my head and letting it fall off, over and over and over. That's it. No silly faces, no silly noises, nothing. She also laughed when I did the same thing to her Ernie doll-- I put a little hat on him and let it fall off, and she laughed like a hyena. Goofball!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sonia and her buddy, Margie Cat

If you have spent any amount of time around a cat, you know there is no way I could have posed this picture.... I was taking pictures of Sonia hanging out on her tummy when Margie Cat came by and squatted down alongside. Andrew and I often wonder why the cats haven't yet learned to give Grabby McGrabberson a wide berth, and the only theory we have is that our cats are even dumber than we thought they were.

"Look, Ma! My buddy, Margina, stopped by to see me!"

"Margie, can I squeeze one of your feet or perhaps pull your tail? No? Hey, where are you going?"

"Well, fine! I'm just going to roll over onto this hard plastic toy."

Sonia, you are one goofy kid.

As I am typing this, Sonia is sitting next to me, shaking Clyde Frog (he's a little stuffed frog with a bell inside) and Margie is sitting next to her, well within the grab zone. Once Sonia tires of the frog, Margie's going to get her ear pulled. Aaaaaand, it just happened. Oh, Marge....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Baby, it's coooooooold outside

Sonini and I are so bummed this morning. First of all, it's yucky-cold outside. Like, temperature in the teens, not wanting to leave the house unless it's to buy dark chocolate, Margie Cat sleeping on the heating vents cold. Second of all, we miss Andrew. During the last two weeks, we got to be with him for 5 full days in a row during our Texas trip, and then for 4 full days in a row this past New Year's weekend. We were so spoiled!! We did lots of cooking, baking, playing, singing, dancing, and hanging around. Now, Sosi and I have 5 long days stretching ahead of us where if she's lucky and Andrew is able to make his normal train (as opposed to working late), she'll get to see him for 15 minutes every night before she goes to bed. I get to see Andrew for about 2 1/2 hours every evening before I, too, must go to bed. It's just not enough! We need to start playing the lottery so that we can win and Andrew can stay at home with us.

To cheer us up, I made Sonia a drum set out of two metal mixing bowls and two wooden spoons. The little drummer girl isn't interested in doing much more than waving the spoons in the air and trying to eat the bowls.

Sonia and her daddy, playing around and generally being goofy:

It's too cold to go play outside, even with her cozy fleece hoodie outfit.

Not interested in banging on the drums.... When I demonstrated for her, Margie Cat and Bobo Cat got very disturbed and ran away.

She may be bummed about the cold weather and missing her daddy, but she's more than happy to smile for the camera. What a ham!!!