Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Photo Shoot

Mama took me out for some pictures today.

She even let me wear the scarf Grandma Becky made her.

That's a little too much sun, thank you very much!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

These Boots

Sometimes we get a chance to try on a different pair of boots for a while. Sometimes we do so to get to the next chapter in life.
Sometimes the boots we choose to wear allow us a sense of accomplishment.

Sometimes we're glad when it's coming time for a new pair.

717 days in these boots so far. I hope they can retire soon, but for now, they're walking on air.

Monday, January 29, 2007

While You Wait

I've added something to the last "Sophiecdotes" post (actually, Isaac did :)), so while you're sitting around waiting for my vestation ticker to read "0 days", go ahead and check it out.

Oh, and a quick story to illustrate why I never should have been a mother. A couple of nights ago we were out pulling Sophia on the sled around the block (it's a mile long loop) and talking about how nice it is to go outside like that because we can have an uninterrupted conversation. Sophia can sit and enjoy the ride and we can just talk without having to stop every few minutes to say, "Oh, wow Sophia," or get up to get her some raisins. Anyway, soon after I'd said that she started to say, "Go, Mama, go!" - letting me know that I needed to pull her faster. So I picked up speed and ran while she yelled, "Weeeeeeee!" and I got so caught up in the moment that I thought, "Wouldn't it be so much fun to change direction all of a sudden and whip her around?" The answer, of course, is no. Not with a 25 lb girl. The sled quickly tipped, dumping her onto the ice and snow. You can imagine how she wailed, I'm sure, as we attempted to fish chunks of ice out of the collar of her jacket and brim of her hat. The only way we could console her was to ask her if she wanted to pull the sled on her own. So she did, for the remaining half-mile. It was a late night that night. (Our conversation, by the way, was interrupted every couple of minutes as one of us said, "Let's go, Sophia. Come on, pull your sled faster!")

This is what makes this undeserving mother so grateful that God gave her a chance at it, despite her downfalls:

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ask and you shall receive.

I must have said it a million times. I wanted a reason to start reading the Bible on a daily basis. I wanted to get involved in some kind of Bible study.

And then, *BAM*

Two studies at once.

Two studies at once?

Currently I am involved in an on-line study of David with my mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law. It is the study of the heart of David, the greatest king the Jews had before Jesus. Before I started reading 1 and 2 Samuel, I must admit that the sound of those books alone didn't really lure me in. It took a study like this one to make me realize how much excitement and on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense exist in these two books. Plus, I am loving the accountability I get from my study group, and am having lots of fun "getting together" even when they live 4,000 miles away.

The other study, Beloved Disciple, will begin the 6th of February at my house, and will be based on the life of John. My friend Jennifer and I have been planning it for about 2 years now and it finally came together, but this was before I knew I would also be doing a study on David (apparently God thought I needed both at once!), so it looks like I've got my work cut out for me. I am excited that, for the first time in my life, I will be meeting weekly with a group of ladies to talk about the Bible. I have never, ever done so before.

I'm praying that the people He has handpicked for these studies are moved and changed because of the time we spend together in His word.

Photos courtesy of Living Proof Ministries:

Thursday, January 25, 2007


A couple of recent memories that are giving me cause to smile:

Last week when we were visiting Jennifer and her new baby Sarah, we were all sitting around the kitchen table while the girls chased each other on their cars, and screamed, and laughed, and, well, Sophia might have let out a little pressure, if you know what I'm talking about. I was about to blame my husband, but then realized the sound came from across the room where Sophia stood taking care of one of Elaina's babies. Elaina, immediately, ran across the room to her friend, knelt down to get a really good look at the "noise maker" itself, and then, without hesitation, pointed at the middle of Sophia's bottom and said, "Toot!". Well done Elaina, we were wondering who the culprit was.


Yesterday, Isaac took Sophia down to visit her favorite beasts of burden, where she had a chance to witness, for the first time in her life, a horse having a bowel movement. "Horsie, poo-poo" she said while Isaac agreed with her statement. "Horsie, poo-poo. Horsie naughty," she said with a scowl. Isaac explained to her that it wasn't naughty, that he was a horse, and for him it's okay to go to the bathroom like that. I don't know if it was out of jealousy of the horse getting to be so free with his actions, or the fact that Sophia just didn't want her world to be turned upside down with news of such anarchy in the animal kingdom, but she started to scream. And cry. She eventually calmed down and wanted to talk about it again, obviously, because she expressed again how naughty the horsie was for pooping out in the open like that. Isaac, once again, tried to explain it to her, and once again, Sophia couldn't handle the information. She broke down in tears. Now when she wants to talk about it, we've learned to just say, "That was pretty ucky, huh?" She agrees.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Future friend, perhaps?

It seems that I overestimate Sophia's naughtiness sometimes. Her little tantrums she throws out of tiredness in public always appear so massive to me, yet everyone looks at me as if I had an arrow through my head and says, "This? Oh, this is nothing..." In the past when she's been at a babysitter, sometimes for an entire day, I ask how she was and the responses have been "Angelic", or "What a good helper!", etc. Each of her sitters have children themselves, so this opinion is relative, of course. I, having only had Sophia, base all of my experience on her, to where a "bad day" could be one in which she has opened her mouth really wide at me and let out a sound that is similar to when someone has an incorrect answer on a game show. It's really her biggest form of protest. Doesn't sound very naughty, but it is, because right before she does it she gives me a really naughty look - eyebrows knit together really tight, bottom lip in a bulge. And the worst part about it is that she looks me straight in the eyes: EEEEEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH. Again, it may not sound very naughty, but it is.

And then there was last night. Let's just say that I got a whole new perspective. We had a neighbor boy over (who's a few months younger than Sophia) for a few hours who wasn't very happy to be at our house. He's been there before, he knows us, but he just would rather have not been there. Period. In the three and a half hours he was there he probably cried for, hmmmm, three hours and twenty-five minutes (it was actually more like an hour and a half, but it was evenly dispersed throughout the night). We tried everything we could to make him happy: put on Baby Einstein's Things Around the House, offered snacks and drinks, read books, went sledding outside under the beautiful stars.... What really broke my heart, though, was watching Sophia try to cheer him up. She offered him her favorite toys, like her elmo and ernie dolls, she tried to share her snack of grapes with him, and she told him it was ok. On the sled ride I even saw her leaning forward and hugging him. It seemed she was only making things worse, though. As she got closer to him he would scream louder. Eventually, he even hit her (not very hard) to try to get her to get away. Finally we just had to encourage her to play somewhere else because he didn't want to be happy right now.

She went away, but always attempted to make ammends with her "friend" as she called him. And I was so proud of her - for being the opposite of naughty. For being so generous, and helpful, and understanding that her friend didn't want to play with her. That he was just sad and missed his mommy. Isaac kept telling her what a nice friend she was. Maybe if we keep telling her that she'll really be a good friend one day.

Monday, January 22, 2007

One of my all-time favorites

Catalina Island, August 2006

Two babies holding their toes. I don't know what it is exactly about this picture that I love so much. Maybe it's that soft hue on their skin that reminds me of warm days cooling down. Or the fact that Sophia looks so much littler in this picture. Her face so much fatter, and her hair a little finer. Or is it because I see two cousins infatuated with each other, loving each other, wanting to sit together on a lawn chair while so much is going on around them? (I love how the lumbar support for an adult serves as a head rest for them.)

Beautiful children. I never loved children in general as much as I do now. I always loved kids, but now I look at a child and see so much more: I see the pride (or lack thereof) of parents, and grandparents; I see a person changing in mind, body, and soul every single second; I see the awesome love of God in these wonderful kids. And I have to ask myself why I never saw any of this before.

I think Sophia has given me a reason to slow down a little bit. To, as they say, stop and smell the roses (literally - even fake ones). She gives me a reason to appreciate EVERYTHING so much more. Way too many things to count, so I'll just say "thanks Sophia", and leave it at that.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

If you wait, she will eat.

I've discovered a little trick to making Sophia eat what we make for dinner: Don't feed her any snacks 2 hours beforehand! May sound a little cRaZy, but it works. Last week, I actually got her to eat some pork. And the other night, chicken. Amazing. It actually makes sense, too. I mean, it works for adults, why not kids?

Take me for example. A good friend of mine gifted me a bag of oriental trail mix that I brought to work to snack on, but shortly thereafter I realized I didn't really care for it. So it sat there, in my office, waiting for the time when I would be so stark ravin' stravin' that I would devour a couple of handfuls of it. And, it happened. It's actually happened about 10 times now (the bag is nearly empty) and I can hardly believe it, because each and every time I finish eating my little snack of oriental trail mix, I think to myself, "Never, again." Yet there seems to always be an "again". And again, and again.

All this to illustrate that if you are really, truly hungry, you will eat food. Whether it be pork sandwiches, or dried, weird looking cracker things with wasabi flavor sprinkled all over it. (They are all-natural, I might add, although I can't fathom how.)

Sometimes, though, Sophia is just plain stubborn (No! - you say). It seems that if we act too interested in the fact that she's eating something, she'll throw her spoon to the floor and that will be it. Incidentally, when she was eating that chicken the other day, I had to look away in fear that she would see the joy on my face, and decide not to eat it after all. I acted like I couldn't care less, until of course she had eaten it all and I jumped up and down with complete and utter delight. If I ever had a chance of being cool in my life, that chance is now over. :)

Getting the chance to be a mommy to this little stubborn angel makes it way worth it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Seeing Sarah

We had the pleasure of meeting Miss Sarah Suzanne last night, born Monday at 11:23 p.m. Easily one of the most beautiful new borns I've ever laid eyes on. Her skin tone is perfect. She is totally content. She resembles her sister Elaina, but has her own unique face that is just darling. Such beauty that makes your eyes well up with tears of joy.

As you can imagine, Sophia, too, was pretty impressed by this beautiful baby girl.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Some things that are making me go into spontaneous laugh today:

A few days ago Isaac and I were talking on the couch together (our favorite place in the whole world) and I glanced over at Sophia, who happened to look up at me at the same time. Her eyes lit up, she cracked a slight grin, and started to back up a little bit. I looked back at Isaac and kept talking, but by the time I looked back over at her, she was laughing hysterically and running away, tripping over every toy and blanket while she desperately tried to find some sort of sanctuary from her crazy mother who was "chasing" her all throughout the house. This is what our chasing games have produced.


Last night I was on the phone with a friend and Sophia was playing nicely next to me, until she decided to climb up on the back of the couch and onto the blanket-fort that Isaac made her. If you've ever made one of these, you know how unstable the tops of these blanket-forts are, as they are made of only blanket. :) Before she could fall into it, I pulled her back and scolded her about sitting nicely on the couch, and she could have gotten hurt, and please never do that again, which I ended with, "Okay?". No response. "Okay, Sophia?" Nothing. "Sophia. Okay?" "Otaaaaaaaaaaay!" was her response. Made me feel like a total nag, but gave me a good laugh, too.


This morning Isaac told me about how he'd tried to engage Sophia in conversation (while she stared blankly at one of her Baby Einstein videos) by asking, "Sophia, where's Mama?" She continued to stare at the TV but shrugged her shoulders. He asked again, yet her eyes did not move from the screen, and she shrugged. After he asked for the third time, she looked at him in the eyes, jerkily shrugged her shoulders, and then turned back to the TV. Did you not see me the first time, nor the second???


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mlle Sophie - la Raisinière

We have quite the little chef roaming about our house these days. Her specialties are coffee, eggs, and juice, but they all have something in common: they are made from raisins. Don't ask me how she does it, for I haven't the slightest idea, but my daughter is able to magically tap a raisin on the edge of one of her hot pink plastic plates, and - voilà! - it is suddenly an egg that she is letting slither out of its cracked shell into a sizzling pan on the stove. Delightful.

If, at any given time, we develop the need to give Sophia something to do, we can say, "I sure would like some coffee right now (which is funny, because we don't even drink coffee), Sophia, could you go and make me some?" And off she'll go, so eager to please. So ready to perform her chefly duties. While cooking she'll snack on her raisins until they are all gone, and then turn to ask, "Reena*, tup?", which you may have guessed means "Can you put more raisins in my cup?". We might want to research as to how many raisins should be eaten by an almost-2-year-old per day. But then again, we might not. :)

For Christmas she got a few new babies and lots of new baby gear, so she's been dutifully performing her motherly tasks as well. And although she can be a bit neglectful at times with some of her children, I think she is a very good Mommy. I've even watched her some nights as she feeds her baby a "baboo" before she herself can fall asleep. As Isaac has said, "I never imagined I'd be a grandparent this early in life."

*On a side note, "Reena" is a shortened form of the German Rosina (raisin).


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Snow, snow, and more snow

Sophia's "best friend".

Introducing him to one of her real best friends, Elaina.

I don't know what we would have done without the help of these two girls. They are such good little workers!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Elaina's Eyes

We visited with Sophia's friend Laina, as she calls her, today for a while. In an attempt to prove to her that I wasn't going to use the flash while taking pictures of her (she despises the flash), I let her take a few pictures of her own. Not bad for 22 months old, if you ask me.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

On the other side...Finally!

In one weeks time, our house has served as a quarantine location for the common cold, the stomach flu, and even pink eye. It's as if we've been served a smorgasbord of different diseases, from which our immune systems pick and choose where they'll be defenseless.

Next week: flu shots. First thing.

But for now, we've recovered. Today, Sophia even had her first play date since we left California last week. And she slept through the night the past 2 nights in a row! Without Sudafed even! Hooray! It's surprising, really, how the grass in your own yard gets greener while your trapped inside being sick. (That's my own little saying that I just made up - but maybe I should have said snow instead of grass...and whiter instead of greener...but the point was made nonetheless.)

Speaking of snow, I hear much of Alaska broke some snowfall records this past week. Sophia helped me shovel the other day by carrying chunks of snow from the middle of the driveway over to the sides of it. She surprised me when she asked, "Zee, zee?" (which is Sophia-talk for the German sitzen which means "to sit"). "Where?" I asked, puzzled. Then she pointed at my shovel, turned around, stuck out her bottom, and let it fall into the shovel head. So I tilted it back and pushed her all over in the snow while she giggled and eventually fell off on one of the turns.

She seems to love to go outside because of the snow, but even more so because of the neighbor's "Horses and Honies" (she can't seem to say Pony). She gets to visit them once a day and feed them celery or carrots, or just say hi if we don't have anything for them. Lately, she's been pointing to the door in the evenings and asking after them. I just tell her they're sleeping, and that's good enough for her. It's reasonable since it's dark out at 6:00 that they'd be sleeping. I'm starting to wonder what the excuse will be in the summertime when it doesn't get dark. Hmmm... At least I have the whole rest of the winter to figure that one out - while healthy, hopefully.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Christmas 06

Looking back on last week, I'd say we had a pretty great Christmas. Isaac's whole (immediate) family made it up to N. California to celebrate Christ's birth at his sister's house. It was a comforable 30 degrees almost the entire time we were there, and we even got some snow on the day after Christmas! We were the first to show up, so Sophia got some individualized time with two of "the cousins" (we'll call them Emonee and Yon-Yon to protect their true identities). Yon-Yon was Sophia's superhero the whole time (notice how she's staring at him in the picture at right), and you'd have thought that Emonee was her very own daughter the way she loved her and wanted to take care of her. No matter how many times Emonee tried to rip Sophia's hair out from the root (Sophia apparently has some great hair for that), Sophia recovered with as much love or more for Emonee than before - but perhaps with a little more attention to Emonee's little grabbers. After a couple of days, the other cousins Deet and Tallgirl showed up and made things even more exciting. I can only imagine the friendships that will evolve between the cousins throughout the years...

The family celebrated Christmas on the 26th, so on Christmas Day Isaac and I took advantage of our spare time and took a 6 hour roadtrip out West to see some countryside. It was beautiful. The weather was perfect and we took a different route back and drove on a very narrow country road where we saw deer and wild turkeys. It was certainly one of our favorite dates yet.

Sophia's grandpa, or Pop-Pop, as we call him, dressed as Santa and surprised the kids with a visit and some stockings. Sophia enjoyed getting the stocking, but didn't want to get too close to that weird bearded fellow. The day ended perfectly with a wonderful dinner lovingly prepared by Grandma. We are so happy and indeed blessed to have had the chance to share Christmas with family.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I still want to post a little bit more about our trip before I return to "normal life" posts (I'm still kind of in that state of post-trip-reminiscence), but quickly, I wanted to mention the countdown clock I've added about vestation. Isaac asked me last night, "Is that even really a word?" And, or course, my answer was a bold, "YES!", with justification being that we say it here at work. Then, after much thought, I realized how confused some people could become at the reading of it, and decided I would just tell you what it means.

Simply, vestation is the state of being vested in a company. Or, in my case, labor union. January 30th marks 5 years in the union to which I belong, ensuring that I will never lose the hours I've put in, and that I'll receive a retirement check (however substantial) when I turn 60 years old.

This vestation was the reason I continued to work after my daughter was born. It's also the reason Isaac's been a stay-at-home dad this whole time and that I've been subject to this goofy schedule. It's the second of the ten-thousand goals we seem to have accumulated in our time together (the first was getting our Kirby Vacuum paid off - woo hoo!). And soon, our next goal will be met. I just felt it deserved a final countdown.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Ding, Dong, Ditch

She couldn't help but add to the mystery.

I don't want to brag, and I'm not going to say that I have the best behaved child in the world, but she was pretty darn cooperative during our Winchester Mystery House Mansion Tour in San Jose, CA. With the most perfect of timing, she called out, "Oh, WOW!", to the beautiful stained glass windows and gorgeous views of the courtyard from the very top of the house. She sat comfortably in either Papa's, Mama's, Oma's, or Papa Pete's arms the entire time. AND, she even gave our tour guide a great big hug and said "Dae do" (thank you) at the end of the tour. What a sweetie.
She and I have been sick the past few days (as have others in the family, I've heard) so our nights have been somewhat short of serene. A couple of nights ago she cried and cried with a horrible stuffed-up nose until both Papa and I got up and sat with her on the couch. It's all kind of a haze to me (thank you Theraflu), but I do remember one particular instance when I was holding Sophia on my lap, with all 3 (thank you Gloria) of her blankets wrapped around us, her Papa singing and playing guitar ever so softly, she said, in the sincerest voice I've ever heard, "Dae do, Mommy". Is there anything better than that in the whole world?

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Same people, same clam, different year

More on Monterey


and now.
It's hard to believe that two years ago I was not far from giving birth to our beautiful baby girl. That's right - if you can't seem to find her in that first picture, it's because she was snug in her mommy's tummy.


Jellyfish, and Penguins, and Slimy Stuff...Oh my!

Before we went on this trip down South, I started to wonder why we'd never taken Sophia to an aquarium before. There's a very nice one in Seward - we'd just never taken the 500 hundred mile drive to see it. (Maybe that's a reason in itself!) After taking her to the one in Monterey, I'm glad we waited. She seemed to be the right age to enjoy herself and not get too worn out through the whole 5 hour excursion.