Monday, September 26, 2011

Chef Sonia strikes again

Even though I cook dinner almost every night, I still have not grown to enjoy it.  I do it because I made a deal with myself: as a stay-at-home-mom, I would attempt to get dinner on the table at least 4 nights a week.  That doesn't sound too hard to a person who A) likes to cook, and B) does not have a small child.  But to me, that task was pretty tough.  I had to force myself to plan out the week's meals and learn how to grocery shop effectively.  After 2 years, I am getting better, but it is still a struggle.

I don't know why I'm like this....  While I was growing up, my mother cooked every night of the week, even after she went back to work when I was 11 years old.  I have vague memories of helping her occasionally, but I think for the most part, I had no interest in kitchen antics unless they involved baking yummy desserts.

Despite having me as a mother, The Great Sosini is really taking after her father and loving to cook! It has been really fun over the last few weeks, having my little sous chef "assisting" me in the kitchen.  The other day, I gave her a piece of onion to "chop", and she had a blast.  Hilariously enough, while she was "chopping" onions, she rummaged around in a drawer and brought out a chopstick.  Huh.

Then, the chef got hungry and requested a banana to munch.

I have been teaching Sonia how to crack eggs....  She's getting pretty good!  I let her help me crack a few the other day when I was making my favorite dinner, Eggs in Tomatoes.  She also helped me put the corn in the tomatoes and sprinkle the parmesan on top.  I captured a bit of it on video:

I'm sure there will be more Chef Sonia updates in the future....  This child loves to cook!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My name is Sonia....

....and I like to dance!

(click here to see the video if the embedded version isn't showing up above)

Sonia has learned a few more moves since the last time I posted a dancing video.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

As captured on the camera phone

I've been too lazy to blog (and also getting addicted to The Hunger Games trilogy) the last couple of weeks, but I have snapped a few camera phone pictures.

It may look like Sonia is trying out for America's Next Top Model, but in reality, she was dancing while I was trying to get a good picture of her in her new shirt from Once Upon a Child:

Bobo and Sonia had a lovely tea party in the basement later that same day:

All by herself, with no encouragement from me, Margie came to snuggle with Sonia while she was watching a little morning TV!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lovely weekend at ND

What do you do when your college's football team breaks your heart into a million pieces?  Go to campus on an away-game weekend and make some fabulous non-football-related memories!  We spent this past weekend in South Bend with our awesome friends (Matt & Susan, along with their kids Fiona, Whitney, and Oliver) doing just that.  Of course, I forgot to charge the battery on my camera, so I had to take all of the pictures with my cell phone camera.  Oops!!!!

The last time Sonia saw Fiona & Whitney was before their little brother, Oliver, was even a twinkle in his parents' eyes.  But Sosini recognized kindred spirits and was best friends with both girls in 3 minutes flat!  There was a lot of hand-holding this weekend....

Fiona and Sonia charged up the steps to the Golden Dome and beckoned Whitney to follow (with expert assistance from her lovely mother):

Whitney chilled on the steps, looking all stylish in her football jersey!

Inside main building, the girls sat on the ground to get a better (safer, really-- I thought they were going to all fall over!) look at the angels on the inside of the dome.

Andrew & Sosini lit a candle at the Grotto while Fiona, who had heard the story of the first dome burning down, worried that the same thing might happen again due to all this fire!

Crazy girls pretending to be in the marching band on the steps of Bond Hall!

Dance, Sonia, DANCE!

I'm mad that the low light caused this picture to come out blurry because Whitney & Sonia were having such a grand time holding hands!


The next morning, the girls all sat and colored outside the on-campus hotel where we stayed (the Morris Inn).

Whitney showed  off her amazing walking skills with her walker!!  Sosini thought the walker looked really fun and begged for a turn.

Crazy girls at Stonehenge!

Right before we left, I realized I didn't have any pictures of F&W's handsome little brother, Oliver.  Is he not the cutest little dude on the planet?!?  Such a happy guy....  I got some good snuggles with him.

It was such a fantastic weekend....  We love hanging out with Matt, Susan, Fiona, Whitney, & Oliver so much!!  You can check out more pictures of and stories about this terrific family at their blog.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Children's Garden Hijinks

Last week, The Great Sosini and I met up with the Murrays (at least, the ones who are not in second grade!) at the Morton Arboretum's children's garden for some fun.  It's so nice-- Sonia is getting to the stage where she can go running off with Sophie & Kieran, and I don't necessarily have to run after her.  Part of that is Sonia's age, and part of that is Sophie being such a great big sister to her little brothers that she helps Sonia out a lot.  For a good 20 minutes, Sophie, Kieran, and Sonia all sat at a little table and chairs, eating snacks and chatting.  Carol, Baby Declan, and I spent that time talking and actually being able to finish more than 2 sentences in a row!  It was heavenly.

I didn't get very many great pictures (we were too busy having fun), but here are a few shots of the kids enjoying themselves:

Sophie & Kieran got to the middle of the hedge maze!

Declan was content to hang out in his carrier, making hilarious tropical bird noises and flashing fabulous smiles.

Hey, you!  Tell me how cute I am!

Sophie pulled Sonia around in the wagon, eliciting many giggles.

Beautiful mommy Carol and her handsome li'l buddy, Declan!

Wading in the pond resulted in a very wet Sonia and a very wet Kieran!  Sophie managed to stay dry, though.

More wagon pulling fun....

Thanks for a great morning, Murrays!!!  You all are the best!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stego & Ankylo go to work

Yesterday morning, as Andrew was just about to walk out the door to go to work, Sonia trotted up to him and handed him a glow-in-the-dark ankylosaurus and a little green stegosaurus.  "Daddy put Stego and Ankylo in bag?"  When Andrew asked her if she wanted him to take the dinosaurs to work with him, she said "uh-huh".  And so they went!

To give Sonia a flavor for Stego & Ankylo's adventures in the big city, Andrew sent us periodic updates:

Climb, ankylosaurus, climb!  If you heard any screams coming from the area of the Willis Tower yesterday, it might have been because no one has ever seen a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur scale the building in a few years.

Stego and Ankylo took a lovely walk along the Chicago River.

Apparently, dinosaurs are very helpful with employee benefits legal issues.

Oh, no!  Stego ate several tourists off of this boat!

Stego was still hungry after eating the tourists, so he treated Ankylo to a sushi lunch.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day at the Morton Arboretum

We got a preview of fall weather on this Labor Day 2011....  The high temperature of 67 was a bit misleading, because the wind made it feel much closer to 60 (or colder!).  After The Great Sosini woke up from her nap, we packed up a picnic dinner (for just me & Sonia-- we accidentally forgot Andrew's portion of it in the refrigerator-- whoops!) and headed out to Meadow Lake and the Conifer Walk at the Morton Arboretum.  We were checking out the Nature Unframed art exhibit, which includes incredible art installations inspired by and displayed within the gorgeous arboretum landscape.  Clad in fleece jackets (were we wearing shorts just two days ago?!?), we had a fabulous time enjoying the weather, art, and just being outdoors in a beautiful setting.

Toddler-sized hedge maze shenanigans:

Adult-sized hedge maze exploration:

Run run run.... It's fun fun fun....

Jumping like a froggy was Sonia's favorite pastime today! 

Showing off her beautiful blue eyes....

Speaking of beautiful, Sonia has a message for you.  Yes, YOU!

These letters were huge!!

Sonia, you are too much.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Old friends

This past November, our good friends, Maritza & Sara, moved away.  They had been our bestest buddies and our go-to peeps for fun, support, and laughs.  So, we were THRILLED that we got to spend one short, precious day with them this past weekend when they stopped in Chicagoland for a layover on a journey from LA to Mississippi. 

I'm not 100% sure how well Sara and Sosini remembered each other, because they were 19 and 18 months old, respectively, when the big move happened.  But, not surprisingly, they reconnected instantly and were BFFs in about 5 minutes flat!

Maritza was one of the original masterminds behind our fabulous play group, so of course, we had to have a play date while they were in town!  A good portion of the play group was able to come over to have a really fun barbecue lunch (for which Andrew expertly smoked a brisket) mixed with some good old-fashioned mischief making.  These kids are such a funny bunch!  I didn't get very many good pictures (seriously, was Johanna just standing behind me the entire time? how did she not show up in one photo?!), but you get the idea.

We are so lucky to have such great friends-- the ones that live here AND the ones who now live in LA.  We miss you, Maritza & Sara!!!