Sunday, July 31, 2011

Puzzle Master

Sonia is SO into puzzles lately!  She has always loved doing the simple chunky wooden Melissa & Doug puzzles at the library, but since I recently bought her a couple of 9-piece Wonder Pets puzzles at Target, she has become obsessed.  At the DuPage Children's Museum, she spent at least 20 minutes (an eon in toddler time) doing various geometric puzzles in the upstairs play area.  Then today, we bought her the puzzle of her dreams: THOMAS!

This 24 piece puzzle enthralls her to no end....  We bought it about 8 hours ago, and I think she has put it together (with little bits of help from me & Andrew) at least 10 times.  Mind you, during this 8 hours, she also ate lunch, napped for 2.5 hours (WOO HOO!), and went swimming at Sea Lion Aquatic Park for 2 hours.  So, pretty much all other time was spent doing the puzzle.

Each time she does the puzzle, she needs less and less help from us.  It's so fun to watch her-- the look of concentration on her face is priceless!

(Note the post-SLAP shower crazy hair-do she has going on in these pictures....  I think she's trying to look more like Albert Einstein.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Aunt Anita and The Great Sosini

Today, Sonia and I had a lovely lunch with Andrew's Aunt Anita (whom we were lucky enough to see just a couple of weeks ago during the reunion of the Brothers Malahowski in Texas).  Anita has been in town for work for several months now, but we weren't smart enough to be able to coordinate schedules and get together with her.  But, during the reunion, Anita and I figured out that Sonia and I could meet her for lunch on a week day, so that is just what we did.

Sonia studied the menu at Buona Beef (YUM! I love that place....) and determined that pizza was what she desired.

During the reunion weekend, Sonia wasn't quite sure what to make of the Brothers and their wives, so poor Anita got mostly the cold shoulder from The Great Sosini earlier this month.  But today, Sosi decided that Anita is her new best friend.  They were holding hands before we even had a chance to order our food.

Sonia was really hamming it up-- not only was she having fun with Anita, but she was also enjoying wearing her new Lightning McQueen bib.


Sosini and Anita both enjoyed schnuggling outside before we had to hightail it home (going on outings during potty training is dicey-- being Day 5 of the process, Sonia thought it an appropriate time to suddenly start refusing to pee on a public toilet).

In couple of weeks, Anita & Bob's daughter, Meghan, will be starting her PhD studies at the University of Chicago, so we have high hopes for getting to see their awesome family more often than once every few years.  Sonia (who was sadly chanting "Aunt A-NEEEEEE-ta" over and over as we drove away from Buona Beef) will be very happy about that!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Budding Chef

Sonia has been loving her kitchen even more these days (which I wasn't sure was possible-- this little kitchen from Ikea has been one of the best things we have ever bought for The Great Sosini!) and really getting into pretend cooking.

Sosi also loves to wear the chef's hat, apron, and oven mitts that her Grandma JoJo gave her for Christmas.

I've had fun filling her kitchen with "food".  Every time I find myself with an empty food container, I try to see if I can clean it out well enough for Sonia to use it for her pantry.  Right now, her food collection includes popcorn seasoning, various spices, grated parmesan, eggs, muffin papers, and a few other items.  Together with the plastic food that she got for Christmas, she can whip us up yummy fake dinners!  She's a chip off the old block-- Andrew is an awesome chef (and I'm really lucky to be married to him!!!!).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Where did our sidewalk go?

Blimey!  I came downstairs to see what those horrendously loud noises were....

And I saw THIS!  Someone was stealing the sidewalk in front of our house!

Huh.  Not sure how I feel about this.

Apparently, the Village of Lisle noticed that the sidewalk that runs in front of our house had sunk below the level of our front walk (due to either excessive heat or cold)....  During The Great Sosini's nap on Friday, this little backhoe thingy came to crack and then carry away the offending slabs of concrete (as well as make GOBS of noise while doing so, therefore waking up the poor toddler sleeping 20 feet away from the project).  The workers promised they'd be back on Monday (weather permitting) to pour a new sidewalk.  I'm pretty sure it will happen during nap time, knowing our luck.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Random Ike and Sonia cuteness

Emma just sent me these great pictures from various times our two wacko kiddos have hung out together over the last couple of weeks.  Ike and Sonia are such goofballs!

During a playgroup trip to the Ty Warner splash pad in Westmont, Sonia and Ike had a blast chasing some really brave ducks around during lunch.  Ike kept saying "quack quack", which sounded a lot like when Sonia's cousin, Peter, says "car-car".  So, Sonia kept trying to bring Ike a car!  Ike was very confused.  He kept looking at Sonia like, "Why do you keep bringing me a car when I'm clearly trying to talk to the duck?"  So funny.

Ike had a great time showing Sasa (that's how he says Sonia's name) around his awesome backyard one hot day earlier this month.

When temperatures are in the 90's, you'd think the kids would stay in the pool, but Sosini and Ike played on the slide more than they swam.

Sonia the walrus:

In this picture, I think Sonia was being a bit naughty and shoving Ike out of the way!

But in this picture, they are playing quite nicely!

More sliding!  Sonia was hogging the slide, and Ike was trying to belly-bump her so he could have his turn.

Sosini and Ike tried to make a getaway in Emma's new car, but it turns out they haven't learned to drive yet.  Oh well-- better luck next time, kids!

You two are a couple of cuckoo birds!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Texas fun

8 days of swimming, triple-digit temperatures, reading, hanging out with family, swimming some more, singing incessantly, getting tickled, eating ice cream cones, and having a ton of fun.....  Our vacation in Texas was Sonia's idea of heaven!  Here are the best of the best of the best of the pictures we took....

Wearing the brand-new strawberry dress from Grandma JoJo:

Wearing Grandpa Dick's glasses:

Dancing with Uncle Daniel:

Riding the black bear at Grandma Jenni & Grandpa Dick's house:

Watering flowers with Grandma JoJo:

Smiling like Alfred E. Neuman:

Putting dinosaur stickers all over Grandpa Dick and herself:

The two train engineers:


Wearing Mr. Potato Head's glasses:

A sweet moment with Grandpa Spike, looking in the pass-through fireplace:

Love those swimmies and pool noodles!

Smooching the big penguin at Grandma Jenni & Grandpa Dick's house:

And here is a great picture of 5 of the 6 living Brothers Malahowski, in age order from oldest to youngest: Dick (Richard), Roy, Neil (Ralph), Russ, and Bob (Robert).  Randy, the 6th brother, was unable to attend.  It was so great to see almost all of Andrew's awesome uncles!

Thank you to everyone who made our week in Texas so great!  Our time there flew by...  We lived in luxury at my parents' new house in Southlake-- even though they had only been living in the house for 2 weeks, my parents had unpacked and decorated so much that it almost looked like they had been there for years!  My parents' house is about 25 minutes away from Andrew's parents' house, which is really handy.  We're not going to miss that long flight between Chicago and LA (where my parents used to live).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Great Sosini swims!

This child is such a fan of water....  Swimming in the grandparents' pools has been such a huge treat for Sonia!

No, the wind wasn't blowing.... that's just a bit of morning hair in the picture below:

Grandma JoJo and her fishy (in more ways than one!) granddaughter

Holy moly!  A rare picture of Sonia with her mommy!

My mother bought some swimmies (or water wings or whatever you want to call them) to see if they would work with Sosi (and with Charlotte when she & Peter visit TX later this month), and I think we can safely declare the swimmies to be a huge success.  Sosini floats around the pool, giggling at the freedom she has.  She can't quite kick effectively enough to be able to swim great distances, and steering herself is a bit beyond her reach, but that doesn't bother her!

Tuesday morning, Sosini's Aunt Ali and Cousin Nicholas came over to swim with us.  Sonia was so funny-- she really showed off for Nicholas and was pretty much fearless in the water.  Nicholas seemed to have a great time, too!  Several times, Nicholas and Sosini gave each other hugs and kisses, which was fabulously adorable.  Cousin love is the best!  We'll try to catch some of the hugs and kisses on camera when we see them again later this week. 

Thanks for coming over for a really fun morning, Nicholas and Ali.... Good golly, my nephew is CUTE!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just a few pictures from the first part of our trip to Texas...

These are the handful of pictures I took on my cell phone (sorry for the bad quality) from the first two days of our visit to Texas....  There are more pictures to come, but I wanted to post these to get started.

We left on Friday morning, and Sonia was very helpful.  Have Thomas suitcase, will travel!

For some reason, watching the DVD player didn't entertain Sosini for very long, but the SkyMall catalog sure did!

The primary reason for this trip was to celebrate Andrew's father's retirement with a surprise reunion with 4 of his 5 brothers.  It was so great to see everyone!  Sonia did not show her customary fear of strange men-- she seemed to sense that these dudes were all ok and she shouldn't be afraid.  Jenni (Andrew's mom) did such a great job organizing the reunion and keeping the surprise from Dick.  He didn't know we were coming, either!  One of the fun activities from the weekend was going to see a Texas Rangers game on Saturday night.  Sosini stayed with her Grandma JoJo & Grandpa Spike (it is so nice having both sets of grandparents living in the Dallas area!!!) while Andrew and I accompanied the brothers, a couple of wives, and Andrew's sister (Ali) to the game.

In the top row, starting from the left with the guy wearing the binoculars, is Uncle Roy, Aunt Cathy (Roy's wife), Uncle Bob, Aunt Anita (Bob's wife), Uncle Neil (aka Ralph), and Uncle Russ.  On the bottom row is my empty seat, Andrew, Dick, and Ali.

We had such a fantastic time!  The temperature was a wee bit on the hot side (upper nineties), but we were in the shade until the sun went down, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  Plus, we got a sprinkling of rain while we were finding our seats!  That's a rare event during a Texas summer.

Andrew and his pops....

 Give 'em THE CLAW! (not sure what claws have to do with Rangers, but that's a battle cry of theirs)

A rare photo of me with my husband:

Sonia's Grandpa Dick and Aunt Ali, enjoying the game:

 The game ended up being pretty darn awesome....  The Rangers came back from a deficit to win in the bottom of the 9th, thanks to a walk-off 2-run homer by Josh Hamilton.  Woot!

More pictures and stories to come....  Sonia has been swimming like a fish in both sets of grandparents' pools.  I love watching that child enjoy herself in the water!