Friday, March 30, 2012

Super Sillious!

For a super hero-themed birthday party she attended, Sonia dressed up as her own made-up hero: SUPER SILLIOUS! 

I absolutely love the cape that Sosini's beloved Auntie Niki sewed for her.

Sosini ran over to the stairs and demanded that I take some more pictures of her.

You can't really tell, but she was mid-jump in this picture.

Crazy tongue!

In lieu of a mask, she wanted to wear her new sunglasses.

Peeking over the stairwell wall in the garage; apparently, Super Sillious gets a bit nervous when faced with fearsome garbage trucks.

In mid-air again!  We didn't bother finding appropriate shoes for her costume because we would be taking them off the moment we got to the birthday party.

Let's get to Naperville and get this party started!

When we got to the party, she ditched her own costume to try on a Batman cape, Captain America mask, and fancy high heels.  Nice.

This child seriously loves to play dress up!  She went nuts over her buddy's DJ Lance Rock Halloween costume.

Oh, Sonia.  Maybe Super Sillious's super power is the ability to play dress up?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This and that

Blast from the past alert!  Sonia is currently loving to play with Andrew's awesome red "Direct Line to the Kremlin" phone that is no longer in use since we got rid of our home phone line.  I'm not even really sure how she knew how to pretend to use a telephone!

Sonia got a belated Christmas present when her new Mini Kick Scooter arrived a week ago....  She has been loving to try out the neighbor kids' scooters, so she was excited to finally have one of her own.  The Great Sosini is going to need a lot of practice to learn how to use it, though....  It appears that she has the same lack of natural coordination as her mommy....

Go, scooter girl, go!

But, Sosi IS doing great climbing ladders at the various parks we frequent!  I think this one looks like it's made out of Twizzlers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Good ole' PPZ

As soon as the weather got nice, Sonia and I had to take Andrew to the Phillips Park Zoo.  She and I went there several times last year and always meant to take him, but the weather turned yucky before we made it there.  Just as we predicted, Andrew loved it.  Not only does the zoo have a bunch of fun animals AND an awesome playground, but it's FREE, too!! We had a lovely day.

So fun to get so close to the alligators!

Sonia loves to pretend to sell people ice cream!

Still not quite ready to climb this apparatus, but she likes to consider it.

Super girl!

Daddy swings The Great Sosini really high!

Sonia pulled the wagon for a really long time....  She looked so serious about it, too!

This turkey was hilarious....  It totally wanted to bust through the chain-link fence and get all up in Sonia's bizness.

The mountain lion likes to sleep right up against the glass....  So cool!!

Near the end of our visit, while we were running around the beautiful garden, Sonia decided to lie down on a bench and pretend to sleep.  We thought she would fall asleep on the long drive home, but NOPE!  This child has decided that naps are for wimps.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Early spring at the arboretum

Sunny, dry, temps in the 60's....  This past weekend was so awesome!  On Saturday, we headed to the arboretum to visit Zach's tree.

I'm mad this picture turned out blurry, but you get the idea....  SOMEbody was a little excited about getting to spend some quality time in the great outdoors!

Zach's tree isn't budding yet-- it gets its annual blossoms after its leaves are in.

Andrew and I sat on a bench near Lake Marmo and watched Sonia dance and sing for a really long time.  I think this child has a screw loose.

Little Miss No-Nap (she is now napping only once or twice a week) was getting a little tired near the end of our adventure....  She ended up falling asleep during our drive to dinner!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The days of the week

Since Sonia began the Stepping Stones "preschool" program, I have started experiencing what all parents eventually go through: hearing things come out of your child's mouth that were learned from a source outside of the home.  It's so funny!  Sosini told me after her first day of class that she was sitting with "pencil legs".  Huh?  I finally realized that she was saying "pretzel legs", referring to sitting with her legs crossed (what we used to call "Indian style"-- is this no longer PC?).  I also started hearing snippets of songs about the day's weather and the days of the week.  On the day that Sonia and her class celebrated Valentine's Day, she finally sang the song about the days of the week with enough clarity that my mother and I could understand the words and melody.  Behold:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Reason #18 to love Cheerios

In our house, we go through a lot of Cheerios.  Sonia and I both snack on them, and it's one of our favorites when we have the occasional "Whoops, haven't planned anything for dinner; let's just have cereal" nights.  So, I was really excited to see that some Cheerios boxes contain free books (for Sonia's exact reading level!!) right now.  Cheerios AND a book?  How can one yellow box contain so much goodness?

Apparently, the program is called Spoonfuls of Stories, and it goes beyond just giving kids free books in boxes of cereal....  I wholeheartedly approve of any and all efforts on behalf of early literacy, so good job, General Mills!

Sonia's favorite Spoonfuls of Stories book so far is Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer.  So cute!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This and that

As Sonia gets closer to turning three years old (in May), it seems like she is developing faster and faster.  It's amazing to watch as she gains more control over her movements (especially her dance moves.... hilarious!!!), increases her vocabulary at an exponential rate, and shows me that she understands more about how the world works.  The questions she asks crack me up; the other day, she asked me what those funny things on my feet were.  When I asked her to point to them, she touched my ankle bones gently.  I realized that she can't really see those bones on her chubby little ankles, but when I showed her where to press so she could feel her own ankle bones, she got a glimmer of understanding on her face that made me smile.

Girlfriend is IN LOVE with lip balm.  Having fallen prey to marketing, I am in the habit of calling all lip balm "Chapstick"; therefore, if Sonia asks you for "daptik", she is trying to tell you that her little lips are in need of moisture.  She was using some tubes of Blistex as rolling pins the other day when she was playing with playdough.

Sonia just finally passed through a horrible month-long potty training regression.  She had regressed a bit in December (no clue why), but seemed okay through Christmas.  When this regression hit in mid-January, I initially thought it was a continuation of the other regression.  Her accidents got so frequent that I actually put her back in Pull-Ups full time for almost a week so we could all take a breather.  Luckily, at the end of that week, my mom came to visit, and with her support, we got Sosini back in underpants and headed in the right direction.  Thank you so much for all of your help, Mom!!  I love you!!  Now, Sonia is doing even better than before the regression.  She has been telling us more often that she has to use the potty, and the occasional slip-ups are very minor.

In hindsight, it is now obvious to me that this regression was most likely linked to Sosi beginning preschool.  It began around the second week of Stepping Stones-- right when her separation anxiety reared its ugly head and drop-offs became stressful & tear-filled.  But with the help of Sonia's awesome teachers, 6 weeks into the program, Sonia is now happily kissing me goodbye and heading off into the classroom to play.  It took her a while to get used to the whole preschool experience, but the teachers say that Sonia now seems comfortable and doesn't need much special attention at all.  She told me in a very serious tone the other day that "it's okay to be without you at pee-school, Mommy".

Right around the same time that Sonia started school (and her potty training regression), she also stopped napping regularly.  First it was just the occasional nap fail, then napping only every other day, and now napping just twice a week.  The end of naps might be nearing....  But, she did nap every day for the last 3 days in a row, so who knows?  Perhaps the nap pattern disruption was just a short phase; perhaps the end is just around the corner.

The nap pattern disruption did make me realize one thing: I, myself, need to stop napping.  I had gotten into the terrible habit of snoozing every day for however long Sonia napped (usually 90 or more minutes).  Then, I would stay up too late (or wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep), feel horrible in the morning, and nap again the next day.  It's a terrible cycle!  From what I have read, napping as an adult is fine (even healthy), as long as you don't sleep too long.  But, I have a hard time putting a time limit (such as 30 minutes) on a nap-- I can always talk myself into thinking that I need a longer rest.  During the last couple of weeks, I found that it helps to have an incentive not to nap, like being immersed in doing a 1,000-piece puzzle (I did another one-- this one had lots of flowers in it and it was SO HARD!!) or reading a really good book (like 11/22/63).  So, that's my napping story.

Speaking of sleep, we recently got Sonia one of those clocks that can be set to turn green when it's okay to get up and out of bed.  I can't tell you how fabulous this clock has been for us over the last few weeks....  Every night, we set the clock to turn green at 7am.  Sosini has always been somewhat of an early riser, but now she knows that no matter what time she wakes up, she needs to stay in her room and chill until the magic color-changing clock tells her that it's okay to bother Mommy & Daddy.  It's hilarious to hear her start proclaiming over the monitor, "It's geen, Mommy!  The light is geen!  The light is geen!  It's geen!  It's geen!"  She continues to announce this until one of us comes into her room to acknowledge the miracle that has just occurred.  On days that Sonia doesn't nap, I set the clock so that it will turn green after she has been in her room for an hour, playing. 

Thank you, magic color-changing clock!  Andrew and I are grateful for the extra sleep, and Sonia thinks that you are the coolest thing in the world.

So, that's what has been happening with us lately.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Money Money Money

Andrew brought home a large bag of loose change last month, and before I took it to the Coin Star machine to get it counted and turned into a grocery store gift card (no 10% counting fee if you do it that way!), I decided that Sonia might think it was fun to play around with all the coins. 

She doesn't really see coins a whole lot....  I normally pay for everything with my debit card, and even if I do use cash, Sosini is usually paying attention to 500 other things in addition to what Mommy is doing.

I had fun pawing through the pile, pulling out the state quarters and showing Sonia the pictures.  A surprising amount of them have animals in their pictures, which thrilled our little animal lover.

Now when Sonia sees me pay for things with cash, hopefully she'll make a tiny connection with this pile of metal she played with that one time....

As an accountant, I can't believe it took me this long to come up with this idea for a fun toddler activity!  I know coins are theoretically a choking hazard, but Sonia is long past the stage of putting everything in her mouth (plus I warned her that if one coin went into her mouth, we'd put them all away instantly).

(Don't worry-- we washed our hands thoroughly after we put all the coins away.)