Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sonia Lou Retton

One of the greatest parts of having my mom visit is having her take pictures of our adventures.  First of all, she's a better photographer than I am, and second of all, that means I actually make it into a few pictures!  We had the benefit of Grandma JoJo's awesome photography skills when she came with us to Sonia's "parent-tot" gymnastics class, and I am so excited to finally have pictures of Sosini's gymnastics class to show everyone!

Sonia has never been a fan of the portion of the class where we warm up and stretch (I think there's not enough action for her), but she's been participating more and more during the past few weeks.  I credit her Stepping Stones (pre-preschool) program with her finally learning how to sit still and listen to a teacher.

 Make a bridge!

This part of the warm-up time where we sing "The Grand Old Duke of York" and lift the kids in the air several times is pretty hard on the ole' back...  Sonia weighs almost 35 pounds!

Once the warm-up period is over and it's time to hop down the long trampoline, the REAL fun begins.  Even though the temperature was sub-freezing outside and not all that warm inside, I still had to put Sonia in a short-sleeved shirt, because that little girl works HARD!

Forward rolls are much easier to learn on a soft downward slope.  This is part of the ever-changing obstacle course that the kids do every week.

Another part of the obstacle course: a balance beam that looks like a little street.  Even though Sonia barely needs any help, she has always wanted me to hold her hand....

....until this past week!  We convinced her to walk the last 12 inches or so on her own, and she did it several times!  I'm so proud of her.

Sonia LOVES jumping into the pit filled with foam blocks.  This is the pit that the older kids fall into when they are learning skills on the uneven bars and rings.  Crawling around in the pit is really, really tough and takes a ton of energy.  It feels like you're trying to move through quicksand!  Sosini has gotten really brave about taking huge leaps into the pit all by herself.

Yellow trampoline time!

We've only tried doing handstands at the handstand wall a couple of times, but Sonia seems to love it!

Parachute time!  Sosini thinks parachutes are hilarious.

It is so genius to give the kids stamps at the end of class....  I'll bet it averts transition tantrums!

Gymnastics class is so much fun!  I really don't think Sonia will end up going to the Olympics, but she sure has a blast.  It's amazing to see how far she has come since we started gymnastics class just four months ago.

Friday, February 17, 2012

More fun from Grandma JoJo's visit

Wednesday was an eventful day....  Preschool in the morning, lunch at home, Sosini's third-ever haircut, and the Great Balloon Tragedy of 2012.

First, Sonia hopped in the car and got the back of her hair trimmed so the sides could play a little catch-up.

Miss Kateri does such a nice job!

And Sonia's hair is finally ready for some bangs!  This picture was taken at an odd angle-- her bangs don't really start that far back on her head.

Sosini and Grandma JoJo had a fun time playing with Duplos until they lost a few under the couch.  Watching the two of them fish the legos out with a Swiffer and a Lightning McQueen flashlight was kind of like watching two of the Three Stooges in action.  Note the red ribbon dangling behind Sonia....

That brings us to the Great Balloon Tragedy of 2012.  On a day when a toddler refuses to nap, events such as your cat (Bobo, of course) chewing through the ribbon attached to your prized shiny red heart-shaped mylar balloon (causing it to float to the really high ceiling in the family room) seem awfully traumatic to said toddler.

Sonia cried off and on (mostly ON) for almost a half hour after Bobo broke her heart (well, I guess it was just a string attached to her heart).

My mom and I both tried to reach the balloon using our tallest ladder, but we are too short.  Tall Daddy to the rescue!

Oh, Sonia.  You are such a cuckoo bird.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Grandma JoJo in da house!!

My mom (aka Grandma JoJo) is here visiting us this week, and we're having a fabulous time!  We've been doing puzzles, playing Candy Land, cooking, baking, shopping, hosting a Valentine's Day playdate, and much more.

Oh, and we've been snuggling a lot, too!

Grandma JoJo probably had flashbacks to playing 8 million games of Candy Land with me, my sister, and my brother.

Sonia likes to steal people's boots....

Showing off her puzzle prowess

Making Valentine's Day decorations for our playdate

This kid loves to play with Andrew's collection of wine corks....

Sock Monkey Girls!

More play with corks

Sonia absolutely loves to watch Grandma JoJo do her beauty routine in the morning....  I'm pretty sure Sosini has seen me put on mascara only once or twice in her entire life, so witnessing someone actually apply makeup is fascinating to her.  Once Grandma got gorgeous, she turned her talents on her granddaughter.

Speaking of hair, The Great Sosini got her third haircut this week!  Stay tuned for more on that.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Candy Land!

Last weekend, I had a sudden urge to clean out a closet that had been stuffed full of, well, STUFF since we moved into this house almost 6 years ago.  That closet holds our small collection of board games, and as I looked through them, I wondered if Sonia might be ready to play a simple board game.  The first one I thought of was, of course, CANDY LAND!

I have no idea how many thousands of times I played this game when I was little, and I love that it's still on the market.  Sosini loves talking about colors (every time I give her a stick of cinnamon gum, she has to mention that the gum matches my red winter coat), so I figured she might be able to handle playing this simple color-based game.

Not at all surprisingly, Sonia LOVES Candy Land!

"You mean I get to hop my little piece onto TWO different blue squares?"

The board is really over-decorated with ridiculous drawings....  I think it's a little hard for a toddler playing her first board game to follow where the path goes.

But, Sosi managed to figure it out pretty quickly!  I know this game is 100% luck and has no strategy involved (I even read the directions to see if I was mis-remembering how to play the game-- nope), but darn if I don't keep accidentally beating the poor kid.  I always promised myself that I wouldn't cheat on board games to let my child win, but I think I need to let her win a few times so she doesn't get discouraged.

Sosini has been working a lot on puzzles lately, and she has graduated from 24-piece puzzles to 48 piece puzzles.  She can't quite finish the 48-piecers by herself, but she can get pretty darn far.  I also bought a couple of 100-piece puzzles for us to do together, and she helps me far more than I would ever imagine that a 2 1/2-year-old could!  Doing all these puzzles made me remember the fun that my siblings and I had when I was younger, doing jigsaw puzzles together on my parents' trestle table.  So, I bought a 1,000-piece puzzle on sale at Target, and I spent the last 6 days doing it every chance I got.  Sosini helped me (by sitting on my lap and giving me moral support) finish it last night, and now I want to do another. 


I love puzzles!  Looks like the apple didn't fall far from the tree.  The Great Sosini may look exactly like her father, but she is a puzzle maniac like her mother.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This morning, Sonia rendered me temporarily speechless with her antics.  Let me just narrate what happened between 6:15am and 6:45am to explain why.  At 6:15am, I heard Sonia start saying, "Mommeeeeeeeee, I'm awaaaaaaaaaaaaake!" I marched into Sonia's room, gave her a good morning kiss, and told her that it was too early to wake up.  I pointed to her digital alarm clock and told her she had to stay in her room until the first number (which was currently a 6) turned into a 7.  I also told her that she could turn on her light (she can juuuuuuust reach the light switch by standing on her tippy-toes).

Over the monitor, I listened to her chatting, singing, and banging around until 6:23am, when things got very quiet for about 10 minutes.  I didn't think she had gone back to sleep, because I could hear quiet sounds of movement every once in a while.  Around 6:35, she started chatting again.  At 6:40, Sonia started a 5-minute-long campaign of shouting into the monitor, "Mommeeeee, please help me put on my sock!  My sock!  Help me!  Put on my sock!  Mommeeeeeeeeeee!"  At 6:45, my curiosity got the best of me, and I got up to see what was going on.  As far as I can tell, here's how Sonia had spent that half hour:

- Turned on her light.

- Stripped from the waist down (taking off her pull-up and her pants).

- Dug around in her closet for underwear and pants.

- Put on one pair of underwear and then promptly wet herself.

- Took off the underwear, sat down on her little froggy potty, and went pee some more.  Wiped herself.

- Put on dry pair of underwear (inside-out).

- Tried on a pair of purple pants, then rejected them.

- Tried on a pair of pink pants, then rejected them.

- Put on a pair of skinny jean leggings (aka "jeggings") (the right way!), and decided she looked good.

- Sat down in her rocking chair, and put on one rainbow Elmo sock (backwards).

- Tried to put on her other sock and failed.  Started yelling into the monitor for help.

Before now, Sonia has showed only fleeting interest in undressing and dressing herself.  She still can't figure out how to take off and put on tops, but it seems that she has mastered underwear and pants.  Socks are still a bit tricky, apparently.  Also, she has mostly played like she is helpless when it comes to going to the potty-- I know she can pull down her pants and underwear, but she usually refuses to do so and preys on my fear that she will wet herself to make me be the one to pull her pants down.

Ohhhhhhh, Sonia.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jibber Jabber

I love how oddly toddlers pronounce words as they are learning to navigate the verbal world....  Sonia talks constantly from morning until night, and every once in a while, I have to take a moment to giggle to myself when I hear a particularly funny-sounding word.  As with most toddlers, Sosini pronounces her "R"s more like "W"s, but the funniest words that she says are the ones where she mixes up the letters.  Too bad The Great Sosini clams up when I whip out the video camera..... I haven't yet been able to get a good video of her verbal stylings.  For now, here is a short list of some of our favorite Sonia-isms:

ambliance (ambulance)

banklet (blanket)

sipperly (slippery)

aminal (animal) ==> that one is a classic!

soopcase (suitcase)

peeschool (preschool)

I am definitely forgetting some of Sonia's funniest mispronunciations, but I can never think of them all at one time.  She's also getting to the point where she's busting out with phrases that crack us up, like "Goodness gracious!" and "I knew that....".  Oh, Sosini.  You're such a cuckoo kid!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Helpful Jones

In the grand tradition of her cousins (see this post and this post), Sosini is SUCH a "Helpful Jones"....  She loves to "help" me with the dishes.

Oh, Sonia....

Friday, February 3, 2012


On her own accord, Sonia stopped biting her fingernails.  She had been doing it for about 6 months or so (at least, I think so-- momnesia is real, people!), and just as mysteriously as the habit began, it ended.  Andrew and I tried our hardest to get her to stop for about 2 months, but nothing worked.  Then, a week or so ago, I suddenly noticed that Sosini was in desperate need of having her fingernails cut.  WOO HOO!!!!!

Her reward:

Purple sparkly fingernail polish!!