Monday, December 20, 2010

Fort Building Lessons With Dad

I went into the kitchen to make dinner and when I came out I found this:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sody vs. Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate, loads of whipped cream, white chocolate shavings, served with a chocolate stick. This may have been the greatest day of Sody's life.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our Seattle Times

Oh, bloggy blog, I have been neglecting you. I have a good reason this time though, even better than your run-of-the-mill holiday crunch time busy stuff that happens every December, and that reason is this: Sody and I went on a trip to Seattle! And it was awesome! And my girl is a rad traveler! It was interesting, to say the least, trying to navigate the airport and flights with a carseat and two carry-ons and a toddler all by myself, but all things considered it went pretty darn smoothly. Seattle is where I went to college so it was super fun to take Isota around to some of my favorite spots and show off the city to her. Or rather, show her off - I still have a lot of friends up there, some of whom haven't met Sody yet, so it was great to be able to finally introduce her. She was such a trooper the whole time, too...a messed up schedule, napping only in the car for 45 minutes instead of her normal couple of hours, being dragged around all over town in an attempt to fit in as much as possible...she totally went with it. It probably helped that we plied her with Christmas treats wherever we went. People of the Northwest are very generous with their Christmas cookies and lollipops and sugary goods.

We did a lot of Christmas-y things and a lot of eating and a lot of running around to my favorite restaurants. It was definitely a different kind of Seattle trip than I am used to taking: more kid-centered activities (natch) and less bars (zero, thank you very much). But the best thing - really, the whole point of the trip - was that I finally got to spend a good chunk of time with my best friend Beth, also known as She Who Started This Whole Blog (really! she has the very first entry here, go look it up!). She met Sody once before when she came out to visit us in Sacto when Sody was a teeny little four month old. But now was their chance to really bond, and bond they did. Sody fully fell in love and it just melted me. Watching them playing and reading together, me getting a break while Beth took over entertaining duties - you went above and beyond in that regard, Beth! - and the fact that "Beth" was the first word Sody uttered to me each morning because that is who she wanted to see...all amazing. Just knowing that my kid was so loved and that she was loving someone I love and trust so completely...can I say "love" any more in this sentence?? You get my point. There was a lot of love going around on this trip. We are both so grateful.

We love you and we miss you and I promise we won't always live so far apart!!

at Pike Place Market

my favorite pho place on earth, in part because they serve cream puffs before you have your meal. oddly enough, Sody didn't care about the cream puff but she absolutely DEVOURED the noodles. you don't even know how much it warms the cockles of my heart to watch my kid dig into a giant plate of vietnamese food. I just could not be prouder of her.

We met a giant dancing penguin. Can you tell Sody was not amused?

Late night hanging out with Beth. It's hard to tell in this shot but Sody was leaning on Beth for a long time, looking at pictures on her computer and the whole thing was very sweet.

Her favorite snack on earth, strawberries. Juicy and delicious and a great deal at Pike Place Market.

About to head home. Sody was completely and totally asleep here. So out that she stayed asleep while I took the carseat out of the car *with her in it*, strapped her all up to the carry-on, checked in at the airport, and rolled her all the way to the security checkpoint before she finally woke up. The sad part was she woke up crying out for Beth because she slept through the dropoff and didn't get a chance to say goodbye. Sleepyhead!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Lite

A couple of weeks ago we did a big Thanksgiving feast with my parents and friends because my parents left on a cruise and would be gone on the actual date. So for the real Thanksgiving, we kept it super low key here with just Joe and me and Sody, and it was pretty perfect. Football on tv, a leisurely family walk around the block (Sody pushed her penguin Fatty in a stroller), and an easy semi-Thanksgiving meal where the potatoes and stuffing came out of a box (soooooo not like me) and I didn't even feel bad about it. Sometimes, you just gotta let some things slide. I am slowly but surely learning that. All in all, it was a lovely and relaxing family day and that is pretty much all we could ask for.

As far as the food went, Sody ate one bite of brussels sprouts, one bite of potatoes, and about a barrel full of cranberry sauce, the nut.

the aftermath - thanksgiving leftover sandwich the next day!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We Have a Winner

Well, the "Got Ketchup?" bib has been occupying the #1 spot in our hearts for a while now, but I have found the new official Best Bib Ever:

Kiss Me I am Swedish!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Few Pieces of Evidence as to Why Sody Rules

Because I don't talk about that enough, right?

1. She looooooves Thai food, especially green papaya salad and pad thai noodles ("noonles"). She is warming up to Indian food too, so I have an excellent lunch buddy.

2. When she got her flu shot last week, she not only didn't cry - she didn't even flinch one single bit. It was like the nurse high fived her instead of sticking her with a sharp needle.

3. She played in her crib so quietly the other morning that Joe and I slept in until 9:30. NINE THIRTY, PEOPLE! That is totally insane. (of course, in case you are getting too jealous of our kid, I should temper this by saying that the morning after that she was awake in our bed from 3:30 to 5:30, refusing to go back in her crib and refusing to fall asleep with us. Although this is really rare for her, it was plenty annoying, believe you me.)

4. I brought home a donut for a special treat the other night and she willingly broke it in half and handed it over to save for the next day. Also, she made this face:

See, she rules. Case closed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Super Awesome Fall Tradition #3

Since carving pumpkins (tradition #1) and spiking the hot apple cider with whiskey (tradition #2) have been crossed off the list, it was time to tackle the next one: eating pumpkin pie for breakfast. And this was the year Sody got to participate in this one. I think she was more excited about the idea of pie more than actually eating the pie.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sometimes, I Still Can't Believe She is Real

I always wanted a little girl. When you are pregnant you do the "healthy baby, who cares what it is" song-and-dance, but let's face it, most people lean towards one or the other. I definitely leaned towards girl. So way back when in 2008 when the ultrasound tech told us that Isota was, in fact, Isota, we were pretty darn thrilled. Like, Best Day EVER thrilled. Like, immediately rush to Old Navy and start picking out girl's clothes thrilled. On that day my mind's eye conjured up a picture of what this little girl was going to look like. And what my mind's eye saw was pretty much exactly this:

Leggings and boots, pigtails and smiles, healthy and happy and so gregarious. This is exactly what I saw when I dreamt about having a girl.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What We Made On Halloween

We made roasted pumpkins seeds, even though none of us really like them.

We made a vegan cookie tray for a party (rice krispie treats, gingerbread biscotti, caramels, macaroons, peanut butter cookies).

We made jack-o-lanterns.

We made a mess while making our jack-o-lanterns.

And we made ourselves exhausted from trick-or-treating.

It was a truly great Halloween, mainly because you could tell Isota was starting to get it this year. We took her to a neighborhood parade on Saturday, and then to a party at her friend Remy's house on Sunday. She very quickly got the hang of trick-or-treating. Candy for no reason? For saying "Trick or Treat"? Sign this girl up! The best part was that she was so serious about putting each piece of candy into her treat bag herself. Up to the house, get the loot, then immediately crouch down and wrestle with her bag to get the candy in. If someone made the mistake of dropping it straight into the bag, she would hold her hand out for more so they would hand it right to her. Putting things into other things is a huge deal right now.

As for costumes, I was candy corn, Joe was a retired hockey player, and Sody was a chicken. Yes, I recycled her costume from last year because she doesn't know any better yet! She had so, so much fun. We let her run a little wild with the candy that night (because we are awesome parents, natch) and her favorite type of candy seems to be lollipops so far. Which of course leaves the chocolates for Joe and me to steal when Sody goes to bed. Don't tell her.

She went to bed at 10 pm that night(!), probably with lots of sugary dreams. And she woke up the next morning still trying to say "trick-or-treat!"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Little Miss Independent

You know how you can try and trick kids to make them do what you want them to do? Like, psych them out for a brief moment, all in the name of manipulation? Say they are fooling around and not getting out the door fast enough, so you say, "See ya, kid, I am leaving now, bye..." and pretend to leave and then they fear being left alone and come running. You know that trick? Well, it doesn't work with Isota. I really don't think that she is worried about being alone. She'll pretty much do things when she wants to do them.

Example: we were babysitting yesterday for her two little friends and we were all gearing up for a walk to the park. I put the two kids in the double stroller (what's funny is how I have started thinking of them as "the kids" as though Isota is separate from that. I actually say things like, "Sody, let's take the kids to the park," like she is the Grand Dame of maturity since she is a few months older than her friends) and Isota was going to walk next to me. Usually I put her in the Ergo pack on my front while pushing the stroller - you have to see all this to believe it - but yesterday she wanted to walk. (My big girl!) As we left the gated yard, she spotted some toys in the corner that she wanted to play with and made a beeline for them. Convincing her to come back and join us proved futile so I said, "Ok, well, the kids and I are headed to the park...I guess you can stay here then," thinking that would get her. Nope. All I got was, 'Yeah. Bye!" So I walked out of the gate and stomped my feet, pretending to be walking away, thinking that would make her run over. Nope. So we stayed outside the gate (I could spot her through a hole in the wood) and I watched her, trying a little experiment to see how long before she would actually get scared and come find us. And the thing was, she never did get scared! She just played by herself for a good 5 - 10 minutes (a lot in toddler time), not caring that we weren't there or that we "left" her, until she seemed to get a little bored and then finally wandered back over to the gate. Which she then opened by herself. And she seemed very surprised to see us on the other side.

Other days, she decides to walk in the complete opposite direction of where we are supposed to be going. She just tells me "Bye" and goes. I find it pretty amusing until I watch and watch and watch and realize she has no intention of turning around and coming back. And then I have to chase her down like a crazy person. How we have gone - in less than two years - from a seven pound crying little dependent nugget to this opinionated little lady who seems to think she can stroll down the sidewalk alone is beyond me. I live in a constant state of bewilderedness.

Monday, October 18, 2010

File Under: Things I Want to Remember Forever

Have I told you yet about the way Isota runs? She really puts her arms into it, swinging them at little 90 degree angles, like a serious racewalker. Like she is on a mission to get where she is going. It's pretty amazing. She also started doing this little shoulder shimmy when she is really happy about something. If you ask her about something she likes or wants, she grins and shakes her shoulders up and down a bunch of times in quick succession. Total ham, this one.

There are all these tiny little things cropping up now that I want to hold onto because I know she is going to outgrow them soon. The shoulder shake, the funny run, the way she says her own name ("A-zsha-zsha") while she scrunches up her face. She shocks us near-daily with something new. It's like she has reached a new threshold of how she plays. A new savviness about the world around her. Sometimes just witnessing that could bring me to tears. How she knows how to pour us pretend tea with her new tea set and serve it with a spoon so we can stir in our pretend sugar. How she knows to cover her ears when a siren goes by. How she finds a lipstick in my bag and takes the cap off and pretends to put it on. How she goes "mmmmmm!" when she eats something yummy and how she says "ooooooh" when she admires her own artwork. Today I asked her if she was a baby and she said, "NO WAY!!" Then I asked if she was a big girl and she said, "YEAH!!"

She's fun as hell right now.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Last week Sody and I were driving home from Davis and we stopped at the Nut Tree. It used to be this great restaurant/store/complex that everyone who has made the drive between Sacramento and San Francisco has been to. When I was a kid it was a given that we would stop at the Nut Tree on the way to SF, and I would check out the veggie dip samples in the back and drool over the gigantic iced cookies in the front. Of course in the 90s the place got demolished and what is essentially a mini-mall was put up in its place...because that is the kind of world we live in, where anything remotely original and interesting gets replaced by homogenized junk, but I digress. The good news is that they kept some of the kiddie rides from the original Nut Tree and set up a new little kiddie wonderland.

So we stopped and we went on some rides. Sody calls them "whys" and when she says it she does a little arm motion like she is driving a car. It kills me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Swear This is the Last One

Since our NJ trip was now a full month ago, I suppose I should wrap up this "New Jersey Is..." series. For our final installment we bring you: family. Going to New Jersey for us means hanging out with family above all else. We stay at Mom Mom and Pop Pop's, Joe's siblings come over for late night Risk games, cousin Ryan comes over to play, we visit grandparents and other various members of the (huge) family, you get the idea. There are plenty of playmates for Isota and a whole lotta love to go around. One of the best part of this trip was she learned everyone's name. Some came out a little funny - Courtney was "Der Der" and Cory was "Der" - but she was saying them. Constantly going around the room pointing and repeating names. Waking up every morning asking, "Pop Pop? Mom Mom?"

This was also part of the hardest part of the trip. As Sody gets older and more aware of people around her, realizing who everyone is, knowing she is safe and loved and adored by this part of her family too, it is just so hard to leave. It gets harder every time we go east. And it feels unfair taking her away and only being able to make the trip once or maybe twice a year. And it's a huge thing Joe and I struggle with, wondering where we can live so that everyone is happy. Where everyone who wants to love this little lady can do so, where will be best for her to grow up. This is the stuff that keeps me up at night because there are no easy answers to any of it. But I take comfort in the fact that all of this means that there are just so many people that want to love our little girl. So much family, so much love, and for that we are thankful.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Jersey Is... (Yes, Still Continuing With This List)

...all about EATING. Pizza, pasta, cheesesteaks, strombolis, fries and especially sweet treats that Mom doesn't allow that often at home. There are no rules in Jersey, people.