Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sophie these days

Our Sophie girl is a sweet, emotional, affectionate girl these days.  So, I guess not much has changed there!  She has been having a good summer.  She has had lots of cousin time, lots of Christy time, lots of Grandparent time, lots of family time, and some friend time mixed in there, too.  She is always happy if we (or really anyone else, for that matter) have time and attention to devote just to her, or if Jane is around.  The worst crime I could commit in her eyes is promising a Jane day and not delivering, which I try to avoid at all costs.

Sophie was sharing a room with Calvin, but recently swapped with Ryan so that she now shares a room with Hannah again.  The trouble was that when we would ask Calvin and Sophie to clean their room, she would just utterly refuse to help.  So we decided to put her in a room where the mess that gets made is essentially all her responsibility.  And she is LOVING it so far.  And I love hearing my girls goofing off while trying to fall asleep.  That only lasts for a couple of minutes before I have to move someone, but it's cute for a couple of minutes, at least.  Last night Sophie was put to bed before Hannah, and so she was asleep when I put Hannah in.  Hannah lays down and then immediately jolts up with a "HI, YOU!" and crazy giggle.  She was disappointed when she didn't get a response.

So, a typical Sophie day these days goes a bit like this.  Wake up around 6:30 and come snuggle us in bed or snuggle with whomever is awake on the couch.  She is a good hugger and snuggler.  She then heads off to play with whomever wakes up next or has woken up before her, usually down in the basement.  Then she will typically wander up and ask about breakfast.  Instead of going to play until it is ready, she will almost always opt to wait patiently (but not quietly...she talks and talks and talks!) at the table until it is ready.  This drives me a little bit nuts!

Sophie will usually eat toast, fruit and cereal for breakfast.  Today it was toast, fruit and a hard boiled egg.  She loves cinnamon on her toast, will ALWAYS ask for milk to drink but almost never drinks much of it, and always seems to finish the fruit I serve with meals before she finishes the other parts.

After breakfast, she gets dressed.  Now that she has switched rooms, she can reach all of her clothes by herself.  What a nice change!  I do her hair, which she is very good about.  She always wants one braid or one ponytail, but the truth is that her hair is still too short to stay up nicely like that for very long.  So I usually tell her she can do down and curly or else up in two of something--two buns, two braids, two piggytails.  I love her curls, and I try to talk them up to her a lot, because I have noticed every now and again that she bemoans her curly hair and asks to have "straight hair today".  I tried that once with my straightening iron, but her hair is so thin and so uneven in back (I have never in my life cut it) that it looked simply awful.

She loves her pink princess toothpaste (the only time I have ever purchased not minty toothpaste for my kids--I was at Grandma's and I was feeling especially nice), and takes FOREVER in the bathroom, no matter what she went in there to do.  It always ends up with singing and puttering with something.  It often ends with her dipping the top of her head in water and coming out with wet hair running down her face, asking me if she looks "creepy".  She is funny.

Once she's dressed and ready for the day, we attempt chores.  Sophie has adopted the motto of "I'm scared to be alone".  Except that it's not true.  She's actually never been scared to be alone--she does great.  It's just that she is social and craves someone to talk to (where on earth does she get that from???) and so she has told herself this lie until she really believes it.  So it is sometimes VERY difficult to get Sophie to do anything by herself.  If I offer to help her, my rule is usually that I will help her as long as she is working hard, but she usually only lasts a couple of seconds.  At which point, I leave and tell her she has to do it alone.  If she's in a good mood, she eventually decides that she will do it, and then she does GREAT work!  Probably my best worker under those circumstances.  But if she's not in a good mood, I simply can't influence her to do it, no matter what I try.  So I just tell her that she has lost her chance at chore money because I have to do her chores now.  Then there are a few tears and then she is off to play again.

Sophie loves to play with her brothers, Calvin especially.  Summers are kind of hard for me.  First of all, four children feels like so many to have at home all day!  And secondly, Calvin and Sophie play SO WELL when Ryan isn't around.  When they are all three together, sometimes they play SO WELL and sometimes it is just a disaster :)  So I think Sophie has been missing playing with Calvin in the afternoons when Ryan was still at school.  I think she will be rather lonely this year with the boys both in school all day.  But Sophie's main desire in life is to be included in what the bigger kids are doing, and it makes her so happy when she is!  She starts preschool (2 days a week, 2.5 hours per day) in a couple of weeks, and I know she'll love it.  I am excited for her to make new friends and learn more about social interactions.  I know she'll do great!  Sophie has been playing in the back yard a lot this summer with her brothers and sister, doing some really awesome make believe games, going on cousin outings, doing some playdough, going to parks, playing in the sprinklers, that sort of thing.  And it has been a nice summer.  The weather has been beautiful and we've spent a lot of time outside enjoying it.  Sophie loves being outside, and I often find her on the little swing in our backyard or climbing the tree by our garden.  Or digging in the dirt.  The other day I sat out there under our maple tree with her and she was just so lovely and adorable that I cried because I didn't want her to grow up.

Sophie's lunch of choice is always, and I mean ALWAYS a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Okay, that's not exactly true, I guess.  If Jane is eating with us, Jane always has a plain peanut butter sandwich, and in that case, Sophie will request hers to be just like Jane's.  She likes apple slices or some other fruit to go along with it.  Sometimes I get so fed up with her love for PBJ that I force alternative lunches on her, but I always end up crawling back to the PBJs, because, hello, cheap and quick!  Sophie is my most reliably polite child, and usually asks for things with a "please and thank-you" and a "may I".  And least more so than the boys.

Sometimes Sophie still naps, but when she does nap, she stays up so much later that unless we have some event where I know we will be out late, I almost never ask her to nap anymore.  But when I do, she is usually willing and good at falling asleep quickly.  When I don't there are often meltdowns about not getting her way.  Sometimes these result in a nap even if I don't want her to take one!  Or in a best case scenario, an over-tired Sophie will simply complain about being "too sweaty!", which I guess she uses as a filler word for uncomfortable or tired or hot or cold or anything other than feeling just right.  But you can bet almost always that if Sophie says that she is sweaty, she could probably use a nap.  Whether or not you want to give her one is another story!

The afternoon is spent doing more playing and running errands.  Sophie is a girl of simple pleasures.  For example, I can seriously make her day by asking if she would like to use my door to get out of the car.  She is a good shopping buddy, except for in the check out line.  Those shelves of toys and candy were MADE for her.  I have to be on top of my game to get through with my sanity and dignity as a mother still intact.  Michael's and JoAnn's are the worst offenders.  Those checkout lanes go on forever and they have every candy and child-enticing thing known to man.  It is maddening.  And Sophie has a REALLY hard time leaving any of those places without begging for at least 5 things.  At which point I tell her that she can save up her chore money to buy them.  But then she remembers that she usually refuses to finish her chores and therefore doesn't really earn money.  This makes her very sad.  I'm hoping someday it will encourage her to do her chores more willingly.  Time will tell!

Usually when we are out, though, is when I get the most compliments from Sophie.  That is when she notices my hair or my earrings or my eyeshadow and decides that she LOVES them and tells me about how nice they look.  It's pretty cute, and makes her a pretty delightful shopping companion.  Plus, she loves to talk to people at the store, so they always seem to think she is funny or charming, which she is.  She likes this a lot.  Also, whenever she sees litter on the ground, she runs up to it and scoops it up in her hands, no matter what it is.  This grosses me out to no end, but she is so excited to "help keep Heavenly Father's world clean and beautiful" that I have to allow it.  Maybe I'll have to start carrying around little baggies for the extra gross things so he doesn't put her hands on them.  Gross, but sweet.

When Michael gets home, we have dinner together.  Sophie is a pretty good eater, as in she will try pretty much anything, but she must be going through a phase where she doesn't really need that much food, because if she doesn't really love what we are eating, she will just eat the fruit or veggie or bread and then be done.  Even when dessert is on the line, she usually won't finish dinner.  She will say something like, "I decided that I wanted to be a little healthier, so I am not going to eat dessert."  She is very sure of herself and heads off to do whatever without a second thought.  The only exception to this is if Jane is around and if she has earned her dessert.  Then Sophie will usually swallow anything she has to swallow to have dessert just like Jane.

Sophie loves to play with Michael and do things with him when he gets home in the evenings, or when he is home on the weekends.  She is a good buddy for whatever project he is working on.  She loves getting dirty, so she's up for whatever.  She loves stories and music and dancing.  Now when she sings, she puts a fake vibrato in her voice and it is pretty funny.  She's usually on key, though!  Sophie loves family time, and especially right after we kneel for family prayers, she wriggles into the middle and yells "THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE GETS HUG TRAPPED!!!!!!!!!!" and waits for everyone to hug her all at once.  It makes her so happy.  Bedtimes (especially if she hasn't napped) are usually pretty easy for Sophie.  She loves to wear nightgowns and is pretty put off if they are all in the laundry when she is looking for one.  She loves a song but doesn't want a back scratch, and loves to snuggle Violet the dog.  Other snuggle friends, even Elsa, get shoved off the bed.  And she usually either doesn't want blankets at all or wants them just so--completely straightened out with absolutely no wrinkles.  She is very particular about this, especially if you are laying down to sing to her and you happen to be on her blanket.  It is really cute to watch her try so hard to hold it together and ask you politely to get off and straighten out the blanket.  Not as cute when she just doesn't have the required inner strength and wails uncontrollably about it :)

We love our Sophie girl so much.  She is kind and thoughtful, funny and smart, and tries so hard to do what she knows she should--which is sometimes so hard for her, with all of those swirling emotions.  But I love to see her try so hard to be in control of them--she really is a great example to me in that way!  She is such a sweet and patient big sister to Hannah--this is something that was pretty unexpected for me (she was in a kind of rough 3 year old patch when Hannah was born, and I expected there to be major trouble), and I love seeing that side of her.  She is confident and determined and knows which way she is walking.  She loves her family, loves her cousins, loves her best buddy Jane, in fact, she seems to love just about everything.  She is a sweet and spunky girl, and I am so glad to call her mine! 



Some pictures of the preschool photo shoot I did with Sophie at AnnaMarie's house.  Such a happy girl!


Love this little beauty:



My favorite:




My other favorite:


My very most favorite:


Playing with Jane:


Spending some quality time with Daddy:




Love these two!


Helping Daddy change the wipers:



Sitting on the porch:


 A back yard evening:


Sitting under the apple tree with Michael.  They like to sing an old song about this, so they sang it together under the apple tree:


Love the look on Sophie's face:


On her swing:


Blue eyed baby girl:


Out for a walk at the park with Jane:


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