Sunday, January 30, 2011

How you make me smile? Let me count the ways

Sophie makes me smile everyday. She makes me laugh. She makes me incandescently happy (to quote the Americanized version of Pride and Prejudice). Which is why I love the weekends because I am made happy all day long. It's only 2.30 in the afternoon and there have already been so many moments of delightful Sophieness:

- She's lying in bed with us after she wakes up and we take turns reading/playing with her so the other can get a couple more minutes of sleep; but our daughter will have none of it, shoving and barking "Get up!" whenever she catches one of us with our eyes closed.

- We sing along to the Firetruck Song and she knows exactly when in the song (around 0:56) to shout "Wheeeeeeee!" Cracks us up every time...

- At various points of the morning, Jude and I sneezed. And after both times, Sophie knows to say, "bless you." We've been making it a point to teach her the special words like "please", "thank you", and "bless you" so this was especially awesome to hear :)

- As I prepare her mid-morning milk, I turn around to see quietly reading to her Elmo doll. She even sits him on her lap exactly the way she sits on ours.

- While we're playing outside in the snow at the play structure, she says to the big kids around her, "careful..." I'm not sure if she means for them to be careful not to fall on the slippery snow, or to be careful not to knock into her.

- This. 'Nuff said...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Random Daycare Daily Report #6

I just love how much Sophie enjoys being at school each day! She always has so much fun! Today, I found out that Sophie knows every verse to "The Wheels of the Bus"- I tested her! We also did art using stampers and stamp pads. Sophie loved the stamp pads, especially with her hands instead of the stampers :)

[There are no horses or fish in the original of course, but Sophie loves to say "bubble, bubble, bubble" and "neigh, neigh, neigh" so we'll pretend for a while that they let horses and fish on buses...]

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not quite Tom Hanks in Big...

... but close enough :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The hot stuff

It was like running the half-marathon all over again. Except in 90 minutes. And in a hot room with 30 other people breathing heavily along with you. By the end of it, I felt light-headed, a little nauseous, and I couldn't speak (I did call Jude to try telling him about it immediately after but ask him, I could barely string a sentence together...)

I went for my first Bikram Yoga class today.

Up until a couple of months before Sophie was born, I practiced yoga for two and a half years and loved it. Loved what it did to my energy levels, how it helped my running, and with just my all round sense of well-being. But when Sophie came along and having to juggle writing the dissertation, research work, taking care of her, and just chores in general, working out (and yoga) fell to the wayside.

Then earlier this week, LivingSocial (a Groupon-like company that offers daily deals) featured 10 sessions at the Ann Arbor Bikram Yoga studio for $20 and I bought it in a flash. I'd never done Bikram before but an old friend of mine, Shirlyn (those of you reading in Singapore may know her and her music), is a certified Bikram yoga instructor and has been waxing lyrical about what a life-changing practice it is. I was really looking forward to it and to how I wanted it to snap me out of this winter lethargy I've been feeling.

Oh god, in Jude's words as I walked through the door after class this morning, "You look like you just got your as* handed to you..." I'm not going to lie. It was HARD. Getting used to the temperature is one thing, sustaining the poses in that temperature is something else. I'm used to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga where poses flow dynamically into each other, giving you a cardio workout as well as some good stretching. But in Bikram, holding the static poses works your heart just as much, if not more because of the heated room. I've never perspired as much in 90 minutes as I did today and my giant towel was soaked through once I was done.

But as exhausted as I am (I actually had to take a short nap to recover), I'm also exhilarated and invigorated. And challenged. One of the things I loved (and still love) about yoga is how acutely aware of my body I become- my posture, alignment, breathing, reach, strength, etc, and I find that kind of self-awareness very calming. Plus it's all me- the poses don't rely on machines or weights- it's what my body is capable of and comfortable doing at that moment. Every yoga session is a challenge. How much further can I stretch? How much longer can I hold this position?

I have 9 more sessions to go and I'm determined to be feel a little less pummeled with each class. My body needs to first remember all the things it used to be able to do when I practiced yoga more regularly, and then it needs to get used to the whole heated room thing.

And then maybe it'll realize that I'm working hard to be good to it and wasn't trying to torture it into submission this morning...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Animal cracker love

Sophie loves animal crackers. Loves. And specifically, she loves the animal crackers from Trader Joe's. They're not too sweet for her (with just a hint of lemon) and so I like them too and don't mind even if she has one too many for snack.

And so we were in her play-yard yesterday afternoon having a little late afternoon snack picnic-- milk and animal crackers for Sophie, a Nutella sandwich for me-- when out of the blue, she picked two of her animal crackers up, put them sort of nose-to-nose, and then nonchalantly said, "kiss!", as if she (or maybe the animal crackers) have been doing this everyday her/their whole lives :) It was so sweet and funny and I think I laughed so hard I might have startled her.

I was hoping she would do it again so I could take a photo but she ended up gobbling them both (and then some) up, effectively ending that short-lived animal cracker love affair...
Animal crackers, and cocoa to drink
That is the finest of suppers, I think
When I'm grown up and can have what I please,
I think I shall always insist upon these
-Christopher Morley

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Our Saturday

For the first time this year, we had a regular "no one is sick and in need to special attention" Saturday. Little Miss Sophie is recovering from a bit of a cough but nothing we had to stop the clocks for. She did give us a treat by sleeping in till 9am though (!!!) which meant we all got some good rest and woke up all peppy and happy :)

9.30: After rolling around the bed and reading with Sophie a little, we all finally trooped into the bathroom and got ourselves washed up for the morning. For Sophie, this means making sure that she "brushes" both our teeth with her toothbrush before brushing her own teeth. And saying "morning!" to the two monsters on our bathroom door. It's her morning ritual- go figure.

9.45: Breakfast for us is buttered kaya toast, thanks to the Ya-Kun kaya my parents brought over for us over the holidays. Sophie ate some oatmeal. One day, she will out-grow her allergies and we will share with her the comforting goodness that is kaya.

10.30: We all get changed and bundled up for a grocery run. Between all the yummy food my mom made and froze and the Omaha Steak's meat that both Jude and my aunt sent us as holiday gifts, we haven't actually had to do much shopping except for fruit and veggies. But our lunchies (quick and easy items for lunch) were running on low supply and we had to stock up on pantry staples like pasta and broth anyway, so it was off to Trader Joe's. No more balloons for Sophie there (they stopped their balloon-giving policy) but she had a usual grapefruit to hug and gnaw on so she was a happy camper. And she kept herself busy by waving and saying hi to complete strangers.

12.00: We drop Jude off at school so he can clock in some work for the day. Sophie and I head home for lunch (fish porridge for her and pasta salad for me) after which we spend some quality time with her blocks. The architectural project for today- a tall tower built entirely of just the square pieces. Not structurally the most sound but at least now I know she knows the difference between squares and rectangles. Sophie was also in a "dancey" mood so we put on some Pomplamoose and danced to their holiday songs. Sophie loves "Jingle Bells" in particular (she calls it "Jindle Bell") and I had to put it on repeat for at least 20 minutes.

1.30: Nap-time for Sophie. I catch up on my email, read the news, watched an old episode of Grey's Anatomy (don't ask...), and started planning for class for next week.

3.45: Had to wake Sophie up from her nap because we were meeting Jude downtown soon. Recovering from a cough is hard work but I didn't want her nap to interfere with her night sleep. She roused the moment I opened her door so she was probably close to waking up on her own anyway.

4.30: We met Jude downtown to run some errands- picked up some pants that needed alteration, popped into Van Boven to check out their sale (where Jude scored a nice jacket and a wrinkle-free shirt, and where the sales guys were rather smitten with Sophie and gave her free reign of running around the store), and let Sophie run around the children's section at Borders which basically meant her meandering around the shelves, randomly pulling out books she wants us to read to her, grabbing whatever Elmo product that's within her reach, and alternating between yelling "running!" or "coming!" whenever she sees a long stretch of uninterrupted floor space for her to blaze through. Sometimes, I feel like I am unleashing a mini tornado through a prairie.

6.00: It was getting cold and dark and we were hungry so we decided on some Tomukun ramen for dinner to warm ourselves up. We were planning on having dinner out anyway so I had packed Sophie some cherry tomatoes and chicken nuggets. We ordered her a bowl of rice and she was all set. Jude and I both got the duck ramen and dinner was us taking turns to eat while rolling the rice into little rice balls for Sophie. She likes feeding herself and having little morsels of food to work with keeps her occupied.

7.30: We get home in time to Skype with both Jude's and my family before everyone had to go to church (it was Sunday morning in Singapore). Sophie has come to anticipate these Skype conversations and will say "Yiyi" (what she calls my sisters) once she sees the Skype icon popping up.

8.30: It's the weekend so Sophie gets to go to bed a little later. Bedtime is usually between 7.30 and 8.00 on a school night. Tonight, Sophie was really interested in the Charley Harper ABC book that we checked out from the library. Sophie knows his art from his 123 book that my friend Teresa gifted us with and the Peekaboo Forest app on the iPad and so Sophie had fun identifying the animals in the ABC book even though his stylized take on animal illustrations isn't the most easily recognizable.

The thing about having an early(ish) sleeper is that Jude and I get the rest of the night to ourselves, mostly to do work. Or on Wednesday nights, Top Chef. But today, we actually squeezed in some laundry-folding, which is amazing considering we only did the laundry two days ago and we've once let the folding part wait almost an entire week...

As I'm typing this, I can hear Sophie coughing a little here and there. But I'm hoping it will all clear up tomorrow.

Then we'll see what Sunday will bring :)

The little imp in between bouts of dancing this afternoon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

And we're back...

And by we, I mean me. Back to the land of the non-sniffling, non-coughing humans, where things don't sound like they're operating underwater, and where I'm not constantly hacking away at night while swiping at my nose with my fourth box of Puffs (yes, I was sneezing so much, I went out and actually bought the expensive tissues that I would never buy otherwise. That's how much my nose was hurting...) It took about a week but I think things are slowly blowing (pun FULLY intended) over. And I finally gave Sophie a proper kiss and hug today after avoiding doing that for the past week. The poor thing was so confused as to why I would be playing with her but not snuggling like I always do.

Speaking of the little human, she's been having fun amidst all the precipitation we've been getting. Between jumping into snow piles whenever she thinks we're not looking and biting off her gloves so she can "tatch" (catch) the falling snowflakes, Sophie's really enjoying snow in general.

[Snowflakes are tasty!]

[Now that I teach on Monday and Wednesday evenings, Jude and Sophie get some quality "Dada & me" time with each other on those days. They usually try to have a little adventure before dinner...]

Thursday, January 06, 2011

We're currently busy but we'll get back to you shortly

This is a placeholder post to reassure everyone that no, we have not in fact fallen off the edge of the earth nor did our house burn down rendering us without access to the Internet. But between coming back from Chicago, Sophie falling sick over the new year, Sophie getting better but passing the bug on to me, me sniffling, coughing, and sniffling some more, and then having to prepare to teach my first class post-graduation while sniffling and being half-drugged out from Dayquil/ Nyquil, I just haven't found time to blog.

But maybe sometime this weekend I will. That is if my nose stops leaking...