Sunday, March 6, 2016

Vacation to LA - Part 2

Day 2 of the vacation brought us fog and chilly (for LA) temperatures. But that didn't stop us from dropping the top in our convertible to do some cruising downtown to check out the walk of fame.

 After, we got our bikes and headed from Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier. They have a ton of rides there and being a random cloudy Wednesday, no one was around! First stop, per Sophia's request, was the Roller Coaster. We went twice in a row - sorry, no pictures, but it was a good, stomach dropping time. We rode all of the rides at least twice, including the bumper cars, which I hadn't been on in years. It was just Sophia and I on them and I haven't laughed that hard in so very long. It was great.

We got a good long ride on the Ferris Wheel, though unfortunately with the fog, we couldn't see much of anything. But it was still a good time! We had a nice bike ride home, including a long stop at the park so Sophia could have some kid-playtime and then a stop at the skate park on the beach. I think she's inspired to get on a skateboard.

Mother - Daughter vacation to LA - Part 1

It's been quite awhile since I've managed to pull together thoughts (or more appropriately, time) for a blog post. It feels quite fitting to pick up writing again to chronicle Sophia & my trip to Los Angeles - the first of what I hope are many vacations together.

For over a year now, Sophia has been asking to visit her best friend Avery who lives out here. Given the winter we had last year, I was all for a warm weather vacation. Plans didn't work out for February break for a number of reasons (mostly because I'm adverse to traveling during a week that the 2/3rds of the entire Northeast population is trying to escape to warmer confines), we opted for the first week in March.

In addition to wanting to see Avery, Sophia wanted to go on an airplane. The last time she had been on one was our ill-fated trip to London 5 years ago -  (2 days after she had a concussion and picked up some unpleasant virus while at the hospital). I remember every vivid detail of that plane ride, her - not so much.

Luckily, we had a ton of jetBlue miles which meant personal TVs, Wi-Fi and unlimited snacks. Really - a win for everyone.

Drawing while waiting for our flight to board

It's Go Time!

Unlimited PawPatrol and Adele playlist - Check!

The flight was easy-peasy. We made it into LA and picked up our rental and then headed to our AirBnB. We got a fun little place on Venice Beach. We couldn't check in till 3p, so we parked the car and headed over to pick up our rental bikes. Check out Sophia's cruiser!

Then it was off to the beach to dip our toes into the Pacific!

Not a bad view to end our first day West!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

First Tooth - Gone!!

February 4, 2015
Sophia loses her first tooth. It had been wiggly for quite some time (a good 3+ weeks). We survived a dentist appointment (where she got a tooth box from the dentist for when it fell out), numerous meals (for which EVERYTHING had to be cut really really small) and nightly wiggling. 
Finally, the tooth was ready to come out and with a gentle tug, out it came. Sophia was a trooper and was very excited. 
The tooth fairy came and brought 2 half dollars and a $5 bill. 1 down, 20 more to go. 

The Great Winter of 2014-2015

Winter 2014-2015 is going down in history. Literally.  We got 108"+ of snow - the most ever recorded in the city of Boston. Ever. The trains stopped for days and when they were running, they were so delayed it was crazy. I ended up biking into work because it was more efficient and traffic moved so slowly that it didn't really matter.

It was truly historic. The kids loved it for the most part. Mom & Dad got to be home a lot more (attempting to work and trading off coverage.) Dave took the kids sledding a lot. We did family walks around the neighborhood in most all of the storms, pulling the kids on the sled.

We also launched them down a few epic hills, some that ended with faces full of snow and tears. But everyone had fun.

We had 2 official blizzards and any storm under 8" became a non-storm. School was closed a ton, but luckily we got heartier as the winter went on. We met a lot of neighbors, helped people shovel out and got to see the awesome "Snow Eater" come up the street and shoot tons of snow into dump truck after dump truck.

By March, though, Sophia was ready for summer, and kept telling me repeatedly we had to go find it. I told her that "Spring was around the corner." To which she promptly responded, "Mama, can we go around the corner tomorrow and find it?"

Outside the basement door

Prospect Hill Tower

Backyard after the President's Day storm

Theo's First day of Nursery School

Theo has been ready to start "school" for some time now, but between his EI Speech sessions and EI playgroup, he had enough going on.
When he turned 3, he aged out of EI services, which was perfectly timed with the late winter session of Tot-Time at the rec center down the street.

He was so excited his first day - new backpack and all! He went right in, played with the train table and didn't look back as Sophia & I left.

Day two was a bit tougher on everyone. What I hadn't realized is that his routine, since he was 2 weeks old, was having Nonni & Milla show up every day to play, talk, read and take care of him. And this was an epic change for his routine.

When I dropped him off on the second day, he dissolved into tears and wouldn't let go of me. I had to do the handoff after we read books, went the bathroom and found more trains. The teachers said he settled down pretty quickly, but still, it broke my heart to leave him.

The 3rd day was more of the same - but then, Nonni brought Milla with her to pick him up. And he got to show her off to all his new friends.

From that point on, whenever I drop him off, after we say goodbye he says "Nonni come? Milla come?" Yes buddy, they'll be there.


What I want to be when I grow up!

Sophia and I read one of my favorite books tonight - Rosie Revere, Engineer. That prompted the discussion of what she wanted to be when she grew up.
A scientist? An engineer? I asked.
Maybe Mama. But first...

I want to be a policeman. And an artist. And what was that other thing, with animals?

A veterinarian?

Yes, that's it.

For the life of me, I had no idea why she wanted to be a policeman. Nothing wrong with it, but she never has had (thankfully?) a meaningful experience with a policeman or law enforcement in general. So I asked her.

Sophia, why do you want to be a policeman.

"Well Mama, when I grow up to be an adult, I want to be a I can drive REALLY REALLY FAST. "

Yup. She's got the need for speed. At 5.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wow - it's been awhile - 6month update on Sophia

Somehow, 6 months has passed since I last posted. Vacation, summer, beach and fun - it was such a relaxing time.
Life just goes - there isn't a pause button, or even a slow-mo. And definitely, no mute button!
Most of the time, though, it's exhilarating to experience it all in full speed.

So much has happened - Sophia has just grown leaps and bounds. For her, this summer was all about friends - finding new ones, nurturing the friendships and settling into an easy way with her little buddies. Newport became (as it is ours) her happy place. Every weekend spent with Avery or Ainsley or Addison or Katherine, or any combination of them. Endless hours on the beach, working on swimming and paddling on the boogie board.

But soon, as it always does, summer drew to an end and it was back to school time. Sophia would be back at Agassiz, in the oldest group again. With friends from last year and new friends for this year. What never ceases to amaze me is her empathy and caring. Welcoming of the new kids and finding an immediate kinship. She also made sure to be the protector and buddy to her long time neighborhood friend who joined the class this year. It made my heart soar when she told me stories of defending her and making sure that everyone included her friend in the games.

Weekends brought us to soccer games, where I coached her team again this year - but it was different. We had a practice on Wednesdays and games on Saturdays. Coaching 4 & 5 year olds is like herding cats. But harder. Looking back, we got progressively better each week, all the kids managed to make it onto the field under their own interest for at least a part of one game. And they all had fun at some point or the other. Even me. Theo was the consummate little brother and ball boy - anything he could do to play with the big kids. I think their favorite were the pig piles after the games and practices.

More and more, Sophia has become a little person - her teacher told me a few weeks ago that she was truly becoming a little girl. Her mannerisms, opinions and her established position as "management" when it comes to the sibling pecking order leave no doubt about how much she has grown.

The stats for her 5 year check up (December '14) - 44", 43lbs, 1 6 year molar and, as of 1/19, her first wiggly tooth!!

More to come.