Friday, August 23, 2013

Trip to Indianapolis and Pittsburgh!

Earlier this month, right after Sophia's birthday, we drove out to Indianapolis to visit David's parents for about a week and a half.  We love visiting Indy -- the kids love hanging out with their grandparents, the grandparents love taking care of us, and David and I get to relax and be refreshed!

We've made the long drive out to Indy often enough now that Joshua knows he gets to go through a bunch of tunnels on the way to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  :)  So even though the drive is long and the kids do get antsy at several points along the way, it's becoming slightly easier to make the trip, with Sophia being weaned and old enough to make it longer between stops, and Joshua waiting eagerly for the super fun dark tunnels!  I tried to get some of Joshua's eager anticipation on video -- he's a bit self-conscious here since he knows I have the phone out, so just multiply this glee by about a thousand to imagine what he was like for all the other tunnels we drove through.  :)

And when we got to Grandma and Grandpa's, even though we arrived after 11pm, Joshua made a beeline for the toys (he remembered the "big airplanes" and "different trucks" and had been requesting them for days before the trip), and Sophia was actually okay with being held by her grandparents.  The kids really do know and love their grandparents, and we all had such fun being taken care of by them!

Halfway through our time in Indy, David and I actually got away for a couple days, leaving the kids with their grandparents.  We were only about half an hour away, in downtown Indianapolis, but it was our first overnight trip away together since Joshua was born, so we figured we'd start small.  We stayed in a lovely hotel in the heart of the downtown area, ate out at nice restaurants, and generally relived our yuppy DINK youth.  ;)  Though we kept saying the whole time that we have no idea how we spent our time before the kids arrived...

It really was a win-win-win -- Joshua and Sophia had a blast with their grandparents (who took them to the zoo!  And gave them focused attention!), the grandparents really loved having the opportunity to spend so much time with the kids, and we had a lovely couple days away.  We hope to do this every year!

One of the other reasons why we made this trip when we did is because there was a family reunion in mid-August -- David's grandmother turned 90, so everyone was gathering in Pittsburgh to celebrate.  It was so wonderful to see everyone, especially now that there are more babies!  :)

Sophia really got a kick out of our hotel room bed...  I got her ready first and then gave her Cheerios to keep her occupied while the rest of us got ready.  And then promptly got distracted by how cute she looked in her pretty little dress, and took a ton of pictures!

And just a few of the photos from the birthday gathering, which was held in the community room at the Reformed Presbyterian home, where Great-Grandma relocated earlier this year.  I'm afraid the pictures I took are very kid-centric -- but what can I say, the four youngest family members are undoubtedly the cutest, so there you have it.  :)

And this one just because I love the suspicious side-eye Sophia's giving her second cousin, Adrienne.  :)

And a big family group photo!

(With just one outtake: I got Joshua to look at the camera and smile by telling him to look for the blinking yellow light, but it backfired when he decided to run straight for it!)

We're so thankful we had the chance to spend time with so many loved ones on this trip.  Our kids can't wait for the next family vacation!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sophia Watch: Twelve Months

We did it!  We made it through twelve months of Sophia Watch!  Hurray!  Sophia's pretty psyched about it, too.  :)

I can't believe our sweet little girl is already a full year old... She's getting to be such a big girl, too!  It's just as well that I'm so late in posting this month's Sophia Watch, because she's really starting to hit so many milestones now -- so this will be a mix of Sophia's 12th and 13th months.  :)

While she's still not crawling, she *has* figured out a really cute squat/scoot combo that gets her around in a haphazard way.  :)  If you put her down on her belly, she immediately puts her legs out in a froggy split, and then pushes herself up into a sitting position.  I keep trying to get it on video, but she's so darn fast!  She's also discovered that by reversing that move and scooting her bottom over a bit, she can slowly maneuver herself around on the floor -- she goes from sitting, to froggy split on her belly, scoots herself backwards a bit, and then pushes herself back into a sitting position.  It's not the fastest or most precise method of locomotion, but it's incredibly cute.  Especially given her shrieks of triumph when she manages to get close enough to grab another toy!

Sophia has also started saying a few more words this month!  She reliably announces our names whenever we come into view, and she's added a floppy little hand wave and "hiiiii!"  The best is when we're driving somewhere, and then I come around to get her our of her carseat when we've arrived -- because she's rear-facing, she doesn't see me during the whole of the drive, and then gets super excited when she sees me again.  She starts vigorously waving both her arms, tilts her head at me, grins, and shouts "hiiiiii!  Mamamamama!"

Other words she says: milk (which she pronounced perfectly once earlier this week, but usually says more like "meh" while reaching insistently for her cup), yes (typically in response to me asking if she wants more food), no.  I, um, may have taught her that last one -- she's been in a food-throwing phase lately, and I said "no!" to her very sternly, which seems to have made a big impression on her.  Now she babbles to herself "no, no, no, no" -- as she throws her food.  Here's hoping she learns to not actually throw her food!

And Sophia and Joshua are really starting to play *with* each other more these days.  Joshua has learned that if Sophia has a toy he wants, the easiest way to get it back from her is to hold out his hand in front of her and wait.  She loves sharing with us, even more than actually playing with an object herself, and Joshua is learning to take advantage of that.  Which is much better than him grabbing things out of her hands!  They also love dancing together, particularly at the table -- Sophia will start rocking back and forth in her booster seat, and Joshua will laugh and start rocking his own chair.  They make each other laugh so hard!

And some more sweet photos from our little 12-month photo shoot -- I did at least take these right on Sophia's birthday.  :)

Big brother wanted to help, but then he got bored and started hiding under the blanket off to the side.  Which Sophia thought was absolutely hilarious!

Then Joshua wanted in on the sticker-wearing photoshoot fun.  He didn't want to sit nicely next to his sister, but I think this sequence is a sweeter representation of their relationship!  (Please excuse his jammies and Thomas underwear...  Again, a more faithful representation of how he prefers to present himself these days!)

Happy birthday, sweet Sophia!  We love you, and are so thankful for your presence in our little family!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sophia's flower garden first birthday party!

I just can't believe our baby girl is a whole year old! We decided to go with a super girly flower garden theme for her birthday party, and invited pretty much all our friends to come and celebrate our sweet Sophia!

As I've mentioned before, we had a really fun themed photoshoot for her party invitation.  And I think it came out super cute!  As is becoming par for the course for me, I found a designer on Etsy to put together the party decorations for me -- and just look at the beautiful invitation she created!

The rest of the party decor was in pinks and greens, playing off the colors in the invitation.  I tried my hand at a cake I found on Pinterest, complete with little fondant daisies (my first attempt at working with fondant), and put together more pink and green desserts and snacks (pink frosted sugar cookie bars, caramel-dipped green grapes, pink liners for muffins and cupcakes).  And I strung up some pink and green streamers to hide the messiness of our dining room shelving.  ;)

So many friends came over to celebrate Sophia's birthday with us!  I had hoped to have some overflow space out our back door, but it was gloomy and rainy that morning, so we ended up being a bit, um, cozy indoors.  :)  But I think everyone had a good time hanging out -- and Sophia enjoyed seeing everyone!  Once she woke up, that is.  :)

And of course, the best part of a first birthday party: baby's first taste of CAKE!!

What a fun party!  Happy birthday to our sweet little girl!