Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sophia's favorite things!

Sophia and I both napped yesterday and it was glorious. A storm system moved through Huntsville for most of the afternoon so we made our way upstairs to snuggle in Mom and Dad's big bed with one window cracked open so that we could listen to the rain. As I watched Sophia begin to fall asleep, her eyelids getting heavier and heavier by the blink, I thought to could capture her and take a snapshot in my mind of just how she is, all two and a half years of her. How I could put in a tiny, little imaginary capsule all of her likes and dislikes so that I could look back a month, 6 months or a year from now and see just how much she has grown. So again...this may be more of a post for me, the mama, trying so desperately to remember every single second of watching Sophia grow up. I'll title it, Sophia's Favorite Things!

Favorite way to wear her hair: DOWN where she marvels at just how pretty her long, curly hair is. Any attempt to put it up, she adamantly refuses so most of the time she looks like she just woke up. I love it. I so often have people ask me if her curls are 'natural' which always makes me laugh. We have yet to cut it and I don't want to. Call me smitten but I just adore her long, curly hair so perfectly out of place.

Favorite thing to wear: DRESSES! Apart from the loads of adorable shorts and capri's I've stocked the little love's closet with, I wouldn't mind staying in this phase forever. Lately it has been the first thing she's asked for in the morning, to put on a 'pretty dress' and it's difficult to get her out of them. It might be just about the time for a cute little nightgown and dress-up clothes!

Favorite snack: Apples! The more I have them cut, the more she eats them so needless to say, I try to slice a bunch of apples! It has been my goal ever since she's been eating actual food to try and expose her to as many different fruits and vegetables as I can. I still remember Chris coming home from work one day in California to a 9 month old Sophia chomping on a yellow bell pepper. She definitely has her likes and dislikes but is a very good little eater which I hope will be a great example for her baby sister one day.

Favorite dinner: This one I'll have to say is a tie between my Chicken Potpie and broiled Salmon. I always jump-up-and-down in my head to see how Sophia manages to pick out only the vegetables from her potpie to eat, even stealing some of her favorite green beans from a very generous Dad. ;) And the same goes for salmon...she can't ever get enough.

Favorite activity: Nature walks, rain walks, sunshine walks...any way she can get outside! We pick up leaves, check out cool mailboxes, jump over the cracks in the concrete and steer clear of holes in the road! Sometimes we take the puppies with us but most of the time it's just Sophia and I, strolling around the block talking about the weather!

Favorite cartoon character: By goodness, Dora the Explorer wins hands down. The cartoon is rather annoying but Sophia has learned so much from little repetitive Dora, that I can stand an episode or two. We've also invented our own Dora games as we try and find her everywhere we go. Lately, the dairy section of the grocery store where Dora seems to be on every children's yogurt and string cheese keeps her occupied for a good three minutes while I scoop up my yogurts and cheeses.

Favorite saying: Well, we've been hearing a lot of interesting things lately from our little chatterbox but two really stick out in my head. Sophia loves talking about her baby sister and every so often will rub my stomach and say 'Baby in mom's tummy!!' as if I needed a reminder! It is cute to hear her expand on the oh-so-lovely topic saying things like 'Baby sister is Phia's best friend' or 'Love you baby sister' or 'Baby sister coming in three months!'. Sophia has now discovered that some shopping carts have TWO seats and heaven forbid I put my purse or any groceries in baby sister's seat. I adore each and every conversation I have with Sophia about baby sister and am itching to get my girls together and see the magic unfold.
Sophia's other big phrase of the moment is a sassy...'Aw, maaaaannnnn'...responding to something that she does not want to hear. And she truly draws the whole little phrase out with a snap of her fingers and everything. It makes me laugh every time! It's such a challenging yet wonderful age, two and a half and it is so fun to see her express herself in different ways.

Favorite special treat: Ice cream! Come on, who doesn't love ice cream! I got the biggest kick out of sending Mary and Papa out with Sophia to Baskin Robins while in Florida and hearing about the mess she made with a chocolate ice cream cone. Now why the two chaperones gave a toddler not only an ice cream cone but a chocolate one, to eat all by herself in her car seat on the ride home is beyond me. However, I saw nothing of the mess and Sophia had a wonderful trip to the ice cream shop with Papa and Auntie Mar!

Alas, my pregnant brain as come to a standstill and as I read this post back over, I'm smiling thinking about the many facets of Sophia's personality. I look forward to updating this list for my 'Mama Records' in the not so distant future and see how she's growing more and more into a little lady. There are times these days when my belly seems just too big where I think to myself, how am I going to do this all by myself when baby sister arrives? How will I be a mama of two with a husband overseas and give them everything they so desperately deserve? I find comfort in believing in the power of great friends and family and the fact that God would never give me anything He didn't think I could handle. It'll all be so worth the effort in due time when I have two different lists to make, of both my girls' favorite things!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

When I count all my blessings, I get a smile on my face.

And there goes another month, the last month of summer and oh, what a fantastic month it has been. Our whirlwind month of August, the big shibang to the long and hot summer here in Alabama, has been greater than I could have ever planned. As I sit here tired as all hell with my belly growing by the second, I can't help but think of all the lovely things the Fall has in store for us and how I could possibly thank the Big Man Upstairs enough for his oh-so-many blessings.

From the beaches of Florida to the bustle of Boston to the charm of coastal Maine, we have taken our last vacation as a family of three and soaked up every second. We started our two week journey up the east coast in Jacksonville Beach, Florida where my parents have a house by the water. It has been my parent's dream to own a home by the water and by gosh, everything about the beach cottage is practically perfect. The highlight of the trip for me was seeing Sophia so happy, totally in her element with Papa, Gama, and Auntie's to follow her every move. Sophia is a true beach baby spending the first two years of her life by the beaches of San Diego but this beach trip was even better. To have the beach AND her own personal pool in the backyard...well, let's just say she was one happy little fish! We did absolutely nothing of importance, going nowhere fast and planned absolutely nothing to fill our days but isn't that the best way to spend a vacation? No plans and no problems! I always enjoy any amount of time spent with my family and it was an extra treat to be in such a beautiful and relaxing setting. I'm itching to go back and I just can't wait until next summer when my two girls and I can take our Marine, back from his third tour, on a much needed vacation as a family of four! :)

Next stop on our vacation train...Medway, Massachusetts's where we were welcomed by loads of extended family itching to get their hands on little miss Sophia! It was a joy! The whole week was just as I'd hoped! We spent time laughing, catching up, sharing stories and marveling at the fact that yes, it had REALLY been THAT long since we'd been together last!

Something I always do with my Auntie Tisa when up in the northeast is take a trip to Wells Beach, Maine. My grandparents used to own a condo .less than a mile from the icy cold waters of Wells Beach and some of my fondest memories from when I was little are spending time with my Grammy and Grandpi on the beach. So I took my Sophia there. I took her to the same beaches where I played as a little girl. We spent our days soaking up the sun on the beach and our evenings enjoying all the seafood Maine had to offer to then walk around the beautiful coastal cities.

From one end of the coast to the other, our vacation was lovely.

And then it was home. Home to the humidity that I had practically forgotten could even exist. I had a day and a half to putz around the house and get myself reacquainted with Sophia and I's routine before we welcomed the Auntie's for their SECOND visit of the summer! A perfect way to end the summer...with my sisters, my Marine and my Sophia.

And tonight it all came to an end. Everything has settled down and all we have left of summer is some wonderful pictures and priceless memories. My little lovebug has been an absolute joy through it all. The way that she loves is so remarkable and never ceases to inspire me. She holds a place in her heart for all of her family, near and far, and remembers them all by name and favorite memory. As I tucked her in to bed tonight, she told me with this light in her eyes that 'Mar, Annie, Grama and Papa were at home and that we'd see them again in three months (holding up three fingers)when baby sister comes (rubbing my tummy)'. In the thoughts of a child, it is comforting to remember that this is the end of the summer only. We will all be together again soon to make new memories. I know I say this often and sometimes I think it's more of a written reminder for me when the deployment days ahead get tough, but this military life has made me appreciate the treasure of family so much more than I ever could have on my own. I'll take a million heart wrenching goodbye's for just as many wonderful hello's.

I will sleep tonight with a smile on my face, for all of my many blessings.