Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sophie = Madeline?

Sophie's new favorite book these days is Madeline, both the original story and Madeline's Rescue, all about the courageous pooch, Genevieve. She loves Madeline not just for her daring escapades on the bridge or for her bad-ass appendix scar; there's another big reason why Sophie loves Madeline- she anticipates the one moment throughout the entire story, barely containing her excitement as the twelve little girls ice-skate all over the preceding page...

To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just said , “Pooh-pooh.”

Sophie almost always erupts into a giggling fit, breathlessly begging “again, AGAIN!!”

Mama fun!
[Being goofy at Top of the Park]

I'd like for Sophie to have Madeline's sass and gumption. Just none of the whole falling off the bridge and into the river thing please...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Daddies are for...

...and for teaching you Drunken Monkey Tai Chi

...and for teaching you Drunken Monkey Tai Chi

Teaching a girl all about Drunken Monkey Tai Chi!

Happy Fathers' Day, Dada!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Random Daily Daycare Report #14

"Where's Sophie?"

More photos here and here.
Sophie had a really busy and fun day. This morning. she *loved* painting with fly swatters and making the paint splatter everywhere :) Sophie also did a great job with a fire drill this morning. She didn't get upset at the loud noise and marched right out to the preschool fence with her class. She's happy for any excuse to go to the Preschool playground :) Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Oh elephaaaaant!"

Sophie's been singing a lot lately. A lot. And anywhere and everywhere- in the car, in the shopping cart, in the middle of dinner, brushing her teeth (yes...), as she's falling asleep, etc. Sometimes it's because I start singing and she sings along but lately, it's more her bursting into a spontaneous tune, and into songs I had no idea she knows.

Like this weekend- we had just driven by the fire station near our house (it doesn't matter where we're driving to or coming back from- we *have* to drive by the fire station each time) and were doing this thing where we pretend to look for different vehicles. I didn't want Jude to miss it and took out my phone thinking I'd just be capturing her playing the game. Then out of no where, Sophie's starts singing her version of "Three Elephants Went Out to Play". They probably sing it a lot in school but I had no clue. Which is why I was so tickled! I'm also floored by the fact that it comes with hand gestures and varying pitch :)



[It's a little soft at parts so here's a rough transcript]

Sophie: Car, where are you? Looking for you...
Me: Who's looking for you?
Sophie: Firetruck looking to you.
Me: Is Sophie looking...
Sophie: Oh elephaaaaant... here he comes, here he comes. Shhh... Listen.
Me: Listen. What?
Sophie: Here he comes!!
Me: Here he comes!!
Sophie: Three elephants went out to play. On a sunny day... Oh elephaaaaant... Here he comes.
Me: Here he comes.
Sophie: Shhh.... Excited. Listen.
Me: Excited. Five elephants went out to...
Sophie: Play. Shhh... Here he comes.
Me: Here he comes.
Sophie: [beautiful smile]

I hope this makes your day, because two days later, it's still making mine :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

C is for cookie

Sophie's 1st cookie (choc chip, vegan, and yummy!)

Sophie has finally had her first cookie :) Giving her any kind of baked goods has always been tricky because of the whole milk/eggs/butter business and she didn't even like the vegan cupcake we got her for her birthday last year. It's not something essential to her diet and she never asks for it, and so we don't feel like we need to push this one. I gave her a slice of zucchini bread a couple of weeks ago and she liked it well enough that I felt inspired to find a good recipe (this one comes highly recommended), but apart from that, she's been perfectly happy with her huge snack trove of crackers, pretzel sticks, rice crackers, fruit, and cereal.

But after swim class today, as we wandered around Mark's Carts like we always do, we thought it might be nice to get Sophie a cookie from The Lunch Room, a vegan food cart that we've heard really good things about. That everything is completely vegan meant we didn't have to worry about possible traces of egg or butter in things or cross-contamination even when some non-vegan vendors claim things are dairy-free. We chose a classic chocolate chip cookie-- I mean, if it's going to be her first cookie, why settle for anything less?

Her first bites were a little tentative, like she wasn't quite sure what to make of the texture.

Tentative first bites...


But a couple of bites later, it was like she's been eating cookies all her life:

Then it was like she's been eating them all her life!


In the words of our friend, Jenn, it was like she's was drunk on cookie!

You can't really tell, but the cookie was literally the size of Sophie's face, if not larger, and our daughter obliterated it entirely by herself in under 10 minutes. If not for the fact that a crumb fell on my lap, I don't think either Jude or I would have managed to snatch a taste. It was really quite yummy- a little chewy like a oatmeal cookie with a nice molasses flavor. It didn't taste vegan at all and I wasn't surprised that Sophie demolished the whole thing in one sitting (and still had room for her usual post-swim soy hot chocolate after. And all this BEFORE lunch...). Since Sophie took to the cookie so well, I asked Phillis, the owner if they made cakes or cupcakes in anticipation of Sophie's birthday in August. They haven't officially sold any other baked goods apart from cookies and gingersnaps but they have been planning on putting cupcakes on the menu for a while so that's something she can definitely help us with! Yay!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Happy birthday, Dada!

It's hard that we're not celebrating your birthday with you but it helps to know that you'll be back tomorrow! We miss you and love you!

Random Daily Daycare Report #13


1. How much fun do you reckon our little water bug is having?, 2. Just letting the water shoot up her back ;), 3. Sitting "on" the sprinkler, 4. Sprinklers rock!

Sophie had so much fun doing water play today. She walked over and stuck her hand right on top of the sprinkler and got herself soaked! And that she decided it would be even more effective if she just sat on the sprinkler :) Such a clever girl. Then, of course, she went directly to the sand box afterwards.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

How to end a vacation


I saw a dolphin today. Leaping out of the sea.

At sunset.

It was beautiful. And special. And I love that I got to share that moment with Jude and Sophie.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Exactly how much fun are we having on vacation?

Just ask Sophie :)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

"Sophie airplane... excited!"

If you ask Sophie, she'll tell you that we'll be spending the next four days on an airplane. Flapping our wings. And flying. That's what she thinks "going on vacation" means. It's hard to explain a holiday to a 22-month old, what with all the packing, and going to the airport, and air travel and hotel and stuff. So we just told her we're going on an airplane. And so that's what she thinks we're going to be doing. For four whole days.

We'll actually be on Captiva Island in Florida. Jude has a conference there starting Monday and we thought it'll be nice for Sophie and I to tag along for a short family vacation before that. We'll be staying at the South Seas Island Resort which from what I gather is one of those self-contained vacation locations where you pretty much do everything onsite- beach access, multiple pools, biking tracks, boat tours, kayaking, and all manner of kids activities.


I'm actually really looking forward to this break- to just relax and take things slow and easy. No itinerary, no schedule- just us, the sun, sea, and sand. I love visiting cities-- San Francisco, Chicago-- but this time, I'm ready for something less intense. I just want to hang out lazily by the beach or pool all day, play with Sophie to her little heart's content (I think she has grand sandcastle plans a.k.a Olivia...), unwind in a pretty hotel room, take a nap whenever she naps, and maybe squeeze in a couple of umbrella drinks or two ;)

I also think it might be the first vacation that will make any kind of impression on Sophie. I don't think she remembers much of our summer in the Bay Area or Christmas in Chicago with my family, but I suspect this trip might stick with her for a little while just because in the last few months, she's been really thriving on and blossoming from all the things she's been seeing, hearing, and experiencing. It's like she's going through some kind of exquisite cognitive explosion and we can't wait to see what she'll pick up over the next four days :)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I don't always have to smell nice

As I was singing to Sophie before she fell asleep tonight, she half-sleepily looked up at me and said, “Mama smell nice… Mama pretty.” And I viscerally felt my heart clench a little. Like I literally felt the muscle tighten. It had nothing to do with the fact that our daughter had just paid me a compliment- I don’t even think she knows what it means to be pretty (she learned it from Jude who taught her to say the word whenever he points to a photo of me in our living room); it was more about how adoring she is now of me, and of Jude. At this moment in her life, we are perfect in her eyes- we smell nice, we look good ('nice' and ‘good’ as defined by a 21-month old whose daily wardrobe invariably includes some kind of food stain, spilled juice, and sand), and we do things she wishes she can do- drive, climb down the bed without holding someone’s hand, eat cheese. As far as Sophie is concerned, her parents can do no wrong. To her, we rock.

And it scares me.

It scares me that I’m the model to which another person is looking for how to be a good and decent human being. My every word and action has the power to influence the kind of person into whom she will grow. I must embody all the virtues and characteristics I want her to inherit- compassion, grace, fortitude, wit, gumption, tenacity, love. I want to be perfect. For her.

But at the same time, I don’t want her to think of her parents as infallible. I want to show her that it’s okay not to be awesome all the time, to learn how to fail gracefully and fabulously and to learn from that failure. Sophie should know that her parents aren’t perfect- they get impatient with people who annoy them, they’re not always gracious about losing, and they procrastinate. But then sometimes, it’s our imperfections that make us us. Our quirks are what make us special. And beautiful. She must also realize that to be a good kind soul doesn’t mean smelling and looking good all the time.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is- I guess I want to give these thoughts some form or another for the year 2022. That’s the year Sophie will turn thirteen and undoubtedly go through a sullen, belligerent phase (it *will* just be a phase!). She will, at that stage in her life, invariably think her parents are about as awesome as gnats. Then, I’ll look at this and remember that yes, we really were once the center of her world and that no, I didn’t make it all up.

I'm stealing this from Jude’s Facebook, which brilliantly captures the essence of this all:
And, although I’m confident that I will always think my daughter is The Greatest Thing in the Universe, I’m also all too aware that this feeling will not always be reciprocated in quite that same way or with quite that same enthusiasm that we both enjoy right now.

She won’t always run to my bed in footie jammies.

I’ll only get that particularly noisy and personalized wake-up call for a little while. And, I only get a shot at it once a day. At almost exactly 6:00 AM Pacific Time.

Then one day? I won’t get it any more. It will be gone.
- Merlin Mann

Excited for Touch-a-truck Day!