Posted: May 19th, 2013 | Author: Sarah Freebern | No Comments »
Sophie, ladies and gentlemen!
This month, Ryan had a birthday! We had a nice, mellow day of kite flying and bike riding together. Here is Sophie, celebrating in style:
Getting her party on
Speaking of bike riding, Sophie is practicing her skills on a balance bike (the kind with no pedals or training wheels, so you can scoot along and learn balance) this spring. While I was out biking on my own for a while the other day, she and Ryan went to the playground and for ice cream – and she balanced-biked herself the whole way! We’ve been hitting the bike trail a lot this month, and we did a 10 mile route around Burlington with a big group of people a couple of weeks ago.
Here are Sophie, Eleanor and Adele before the big ride.
Sophie has an unusual new hobby: stick piles. She just really likes yardwork, I guess? But seriously, we were outside for an hour a couple days in a row just…piling sticks. I got pretty bored. ;)
Pile o' sticks
We tried out an art class a few weeks ago, and Sophie was so in love with it that we have gone back for the rest of the series. She made a very…striking! painting on canvas (I don’t have photos yet of the finished product, but just you wait), a t-shirt, a slide whistle, a bookmark, a sock creature, a flower pot, and a bunch of other stuff. So much fun. So much art! What do we do with all this art?!
The artist at work
Sophie is also, at least at the moment, kind of a hiking enthusiast. We went for a little hike with Tavi and Erin the other day, and we had a great time. The kids got to drop sticks and leaves in the brook and watch them travel down the little waterfall, and there were turtle and newt sightings. Sophie spent most of the hike saying she wished we could stay there for longer…and then when the car was within sight she was all “I wish we were home for dinner.” Note: leave earlier next time. ;)
Taking a break.
Speaking of enthusiasm….
Pretending to be the Queen of Hearts. The Queen of Hearts is often angry, you see.
Alice in Wonderland is still The Thing.
Also, we went to Mayfest at the Waldorf school, and it was good. This year, the weather was much like May, instead of the cold drizzle that we experienced last year. We got to spend a bit more time and my fingers were still operable, so I could help Eleanor and Sophie make flower crowns and Sophie took the time to get her face painted as well as getting in her long-awaited pony ride.
She is a tiger, with a flower crown, and a sunhat. There is a lot going on.
I have now taken entirely too long to post this, so I’m going to go ahead and do that. You can find more photos at our Flickr. Hope you’re having a lovely spring!
Posted: April 11th, 2013 | Author: Sarah Freebern | 1 Comment »
A constant in our lives: the Alice in Wonderland outfit
Sophie is dressed in a variation of this theme nearly every day lately: the Alice in Wonderland outfit. A dress, some tights, black mary janes, and a headband I constructed out of sock garters. Her preference is for a blue dress and white tights because that is most accurate, but when those are in the wash she makes do. ;) When we go to yoga, open gym, or the playground she usually wears something else at my request, but otherwise, it’s all Alice all the time.
Did I mention this is also her favorite thing to play for as many waking hours as possible? And that she is persistent about requesting that Ryan and I pretend to be a character or 5 from the story? Did I mention she wants to read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass quite often too? (Don’t worry, we’re reading the proper annotated edition and everything. ;)) It’s a good thing we are fans of the story….but even though we love it, our enthusiasm isn’t exactly turned up to 11 like hers is at this point. You know that thing about how if every day was your birthday, you might get tired of it? Around here, it’s always a mad tea party. :) Still, of all the things to be obsessed with when you are a 3 and a half year old girl, Alice in Wonderland is totally something I can live with. She’s learning about…curiousity? and using an excessive amount of adverbs. (“Constantly” and “violently” have been used a lot.)
Also, she’s making art:
Sophie's interpretation of the Cheshire cat.
I really like that one!
I’m about to post a picture of snow, brace yourselves. Hopefully, this is the last one you will see for ages and ages:
Ryan and Sophie made a snowman WITH THE LAST SNOW OF THE YEAR, GOT IT?
Quick, here is an antidote:
At Gramma's, searching for wooly bear caterpillars
We went to visit the grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles and so on for Easter. It was very fun. :) Sophie, Eleanor and Adele are all at good (plastic) egg hunting ages, and they had a blast looking around Gramma’s house for eggs. They were moving so fast and in so many different directions that I did not get many good pictures of the event, but trust me, it was great. And here is a picture of her sitting with Gramma:
Chillaxin', as they say. (This one's for Gramma.)
Sophie also got to meet some of the women I grew up with while we were in New York. Nellie and Emma Ruby were both in town from their respective homes in other states, and there was a party for Emma’s birthday. It was really great for me to see them, and I’m glad Sophie got to spend some time with everyone. She even got the meet the woman behind her favorite handmade washcloth – their mother, Barb. ;) This sounds silly, but I promise – the wash cloth is a Huge Deal at bath time. She always asks for it and asks me to tell her about who made it and how we bathed her as a baby and stuff like that. Also, it turns out wax lips are safe for people with egg and nut allergies, so she got to join in the fun when we all wore wax lips for pictures! Somehow I didn’t upload the picture I had of her though, so you’ll just have to imagine it for now.
We also went to see the Alice in Wonderland ballet in Glens Falls, and Sophie was so moved by it that she cried when it was over. It was perfect for her.
Sophie and the white rabbit from the Alice in Wonderland ballet
Besides Alice, Sophie’s developing an interest in dinosaurs. I am excited about this, because I was big into dinosaurs as a child, and it’s fun to revisit! Except, did you know that basically everything we knew about dinosaurs has changed since the 80s? Okay, not quite everything – but a lot of things, seriously. I bought her a dinosaur book published in 2008, and there are whole classes of dinosaurs now and things you’ve never heard of and it’s…whoa. She also enjoys reading about fossils and is interested in being a palaeontologist. She says we should travel around the world and look for fossils, maybe in Florida. :)
Here are two facts, from Sophie – ones she needed to convey to Ryan when she had to pee during her quiet time:
“I have two things to tell you. Sometimes when we don’t have toilet paper we use tissues, and sometimes when the weather means rain it says showers.”
Also, her app idea (for context: I have the Gmail background with a little fox and his bird friends, and what they are doing changes depending on the time of day):
“I wonder if we could have a touchscreen with the fox doing tai chi and some rocks and some bunnies, and they would all splash around, and when I touch them they would say “tai chi!” or “rock! rock! rock!” or “bunny! bunny! bunny!” or “broom! broom! broom!” And you could turn the page and on the next page it would have the fox sleeping or having tea or sweeping or pretending to fly with his birds, and he could climb a tree like he was flying, and fill the birdbath for his birds.”
I’d play with that.
When I called her “baby”, she said “Why you call me Baby?” I said I don’t know, it’s just a thing that I say sometimes, because you are my baby even though you are a bigger girl now. I asked what she would prefer I call her, and she said “Kiddo. Also daddy calls me goofball sometimes, that’s a good one. Also I like Pumpkin, or Pumpkin Pie.”
Sophie nurses a little bit still, just before nap and bed for a few minutes. I asked her the other day, conversationally, when she thought she might stop nursing. She said “Maybe when I’m…10.” I said I would prefer not to nurse that long, and what did she think about 4? She genuinely thought that was funny, it was so ridiculous to her: “Hahaha! 4 is after 3!”
Indeed, and now she’s 3 and 3/4ths. How did that happen?
Posted: March 17th, 2013 | Author: Sarah Freebern | No Comments »
This month, Ryan was in Texas for a week for SXSW. It was a very long time to be apart, but we survived! Sophie and I kept busy, spent time with friends, had a whirlwind visit from Gramma Martha and Grampa, and visited the airport. Ryan left and came back at times when Sophie would be very much asleep, but Sophie had never been to the airport before, so we decided to visit just for fun. We went with Tavi and Erin, because Tavi has a lot of airport experience – his dad flies for work all the time! The kids had a blast. We rode the escalator, visited the observation tower, did yoga in the yoga room, and sat at a table in the restaurant to watch planes.
Observing the airport.
Sophie says she’d like to fly on a pink and red plane to South Africa. I asked what we would do in South Africa, and she said she didn’t know…but hey, the adventurous spirit behind this idea is appreciated! She also said she would like to drive to France, and she drew a picture “for France”. It is hanging on our wall, I hope France can enjoy it from here!
In early March, Burlington celebrated Mardi Gras with a parade. It was chilly, but fun! After the parade, we went to dinner with Erin and Kai and Kelly and Peter, and then walked back across town in the snow. It was pretty awesome, actually.
Mardi Gras Sophie
This past month, Sophie went to a photoshoot at the yoga studio for their website update. She and the yoga studio director’s small son had a great time pretending to do yoga class and holding yoga poses for the camera. She got to hang out at the studio and eat oranges and color for a while, too. Plus, she got to go to the bigger kids’ yoga class with her very favorite teacher of all time afterwards, so that was also pretty exciting!
Sophie is starting to sound out words, which is big news around here! She’s doing it whenever the mood strikes and not often or consistently or anything, but it’s still kind of exciting. She sounded out the title of “Hop on Pop”…but what she came out with was “Hop on Poop”. (She laughed about that for like half an hour!) She is still having a good time writing her name a lot, and she likes to ask what everything says lately – all the signs, book covers, words on boxes, etc. She’s going to be a reader one day…
And probably a musician. :)
Singing with a very serious expression while wearing fairy wings and playing the ukulele, of course.
Posted: February 17th, 2013 | Author: Sarah Freebern | 1 Comment »
Sophie and Arlo color collaboratively. I love everything about this photo. :)
Sophie and Tavi, playing together!
Sophie and her 3 year old friends have suddenly had a major uptick in playing together (versus parallel play). The involved parents are pretty excited about it. It’s fun to watch! And drink coffee and have conversation while we watch!
Checking out the Eiffel Tower, in ice form, on Church Street during the winter festival
It has been a fairly cold and dreary month weather-wise, but we braved the cold to visit Church Street during the winter festival so we could see ice sculptures! Most of them weren’t out yet when we were there, but we got to see the Eiffel Tower outside of Leunig’s as you see here, plus a few more. There was ice skating and other fun stuff going on, but it was so freezing that we didn’t attempt any of that. Also, it was so cold that day that we sought shelter for a few minutes in Banana Republic. Sophie and Tavi played hide and seek there, with Tavi’s dad Brad as the hider. They were ecstatic about this, and Sophie is still asking to do it again sometime.
This is a blurry photo, but you can see the level of glee very clearly anyway!
We get to play with parachutes at open gym and at yoga class. This is one of Sophie’s favorite things right now.
This little girl and Sophie made friends during story time.
Sophie is interested in making new friends and is trying to figure out the intricacies of that. She expresses admiration for certain children but doesn’t always know how to connect with them. So we are practicing saying hello, and telling your name, and things like that. This little girl made it easy – she cozied right up to Sophie without actually invading her space during story time and asked how old she was and what her name was and they proceeded to hold hands. Pretty cute, yes?
Rocking out with her uke
Sophie likes to belt her favorite songs and play the ukulele along with them. She also chose this black rocker kid sweatshirt! I think it is quite cool. Right now she’s particularly enjoying Elizabeth Mitchell’s Little Bird CD, They Might Be Giants, and Jack Johnson. Oh, and the Muppets. So. Much. Muppet music. Thank goodness it’s generally awesome.
Sophie is painting a lot and creating slightly more representative art…or at least, is more able to explain to me what she’s thinking about as she paints or draws. She can write her name, sort of, and enjoys reading the word “zoo” and the phrase “I AM I” (and if it isn’t clear, she chooses Dr. Seuss books as her bedtime books a lot right now). She is playing with language a lot. She uses “yippo” or “yarbo” to mean “yes” and is using a lot of nonsense rhyming words. She is also still really into pretending to be a baby, when she isn’t pretending to be some fictional character. She is also still big into art. Here she is painting a picture in which the orange, she says, is “time passing on the bear’s clock”. Deep, huh?
Time Passing On The Bear's Clock
We have all been sick this week with colds, but are feeling fairly lucky to have only had this one real illness this winter so far (knock on wood!) Your faithful blog updater has a date with some hot water with lemon, honey, and ginger now. We hope you are all healthy!
Posted: January 16th, 2013 | Author: Sarah Freebern | Comments Off
How is this child three and a half already? I mean, really! Sophie’s year of being three is just flying by.
The past month has been a whirlwind of holiday fun, and that is mostly what I have photos of! Holiday fun! Here are a few of those, all from Christmas morning:
A rare family photo, in Christmas jammies.
Christmas morning revelry :)
Romper stomping in Christmas regalia!
There were also a couple of proper snows this month. Sophie had been waiting and waiting! She and Ryan went sledding, shoveled (she has her own mini snow shovel), and made a snow fort. Here she is walking around the yard with Ryan, singing “Winter Wonderland” so loudly I could hear her clearly in the house:
Walkin' in a winter wonderland
The other big news is that she had her cavity filled and it went pretty well! The mask thing I handled by just using her mask inhaler casually in front of her without comment a few times. She asked to play with it. I said “sure, if you want to” and tried not to look like I was looking as she put it on her face all on her own! We also played dentist, and she got to be the dentist and fill cavities in her stuffed friends’ teeth. We used the mask on their faces for a few seconds and made buzzing sounds. Arlo also gave her a book about the dentist where someone gets a filling, which was helpful too. When we sat down in the chair (she was on my lap for the whole thing), the hygenist asked if she wanted to know exactly what was going to happen. Sophie said, “Oh, I talked to Sarah about that already.” I said, “Let’s talk about it again!” And they did, and Sophie went into it all very calmly. She did cry and ask to go home at some point, and the dentist gave her novocaine thinking he was hurting her. That may have been the worst part – the whole way home she was sad on and off because her face didn’t work properly and it felt strange. She looked in the mirror while she was washing her hands when she got home and told Ryan “I am happy, but my smile is crooked!” But she doesn’t seem to remember the parts where she was very upset, perhaps the nitrous helped with that, or something. I asked her how she felt about the whole thing at the end of the day. She said “I did not like the parts I did not expect.” (She is referring to the numbness, they said they wouldn’t numb her so we didn’t properly prepare for that.) Overall, it seems like she will willingly enter the dentist’s office again. :) They handled everything very well and I am relieved it is done.
Oh, one last dentist related thing: she was talking about her experience there, and she said “I was so brave. Braver than…something else that is not brave at all.” So true.
Now that we’re not therapeutically engaging in play dentistry so much, Sophie’s favorite thing to play is Muppets. She is Miss Piggy, I am Rowlf, and Ryan is Kermit and/or John Denver. (!!) Kelly is Janice. When Sophie found out that Ryan’s brother Patrick would be staying with us for a while, she said “Well, now that he’s a muppet, we’ll have to figure out which one he will be.” The verdict? Fozzie Bear. Her album of the moment, over and over, is John Denver and the Muppets singing Christmas songs.
I inquired today what her favorite thing to do in the whole world was. Her immediate response: playgrounds. (She misses warm weather very much.) Next answers included going to Maine, helping snails get back in the water at the beach, stomping in puddles, eating snacks, and visiting friends. She also randomly supplied that starfish are her favorite because they are scratchy and beautiful. Scratchy, and beautiful!
Recently, Sophie asked me what minerals are. I did not have a good answer to her question, and I posted about it on Facebook. The other day, a letter arrived for Sophie from my friend Emma Ruby, who is a Scientist. Emma wrote her a whole detailed explanation of minerals, and Sophie got out the magnifying glass she got for Christmas and examined some salt and a rock, and it was very cool. Sophie previously knew of Emma as my friend who knows a lot about mushrooms (we asked her some mushroom questions in the fall, and she remembers that), now she is my friend Who Is A Scientist! And who wrote her a letter! Emma is so cool. :)
A couple of miscellaneous things Sophie has said:
“When animals act like people, that is anthropomorphic.” (We worked on this one after the concept came up in a conversation she had with Grandad about a book he was reading to her. Grandad said something like “bears don’t usually do that!” And Sophie said “But these are like….people bears.” So. :))
“Those Warblers are warbling up a storm!” Followed by some meta commentary: “Dad, you should put “those Warblers are warbling up a storm” on the list of words I have said.” (And so this one is here because she said it ought to be!)
She also likes to narrate everything, mostly when she is pretending to be someone else. It’s all “Miss Piggy sat down with a plop, then reached for her pile of books. She picked a book, opened it, and began to read.” (What do you suppose is going on right this very minute at my house?)
Here’s 30 seconds of her doing a little dance to her favorite music-of-the-moment:
Dancing from Sarah Freebern on Vimeo.
And that is a little bit of Sophie Florence at 3 and a half. We have a great time, with starfish and snow and muppets and warbling up a storm. :)