Archive for February, 2007

Sophia, as you know, will be turning 2 in less than a week. She’s constantly showing us signs that she’s now a big girl – like how she said, “Yes, please” when Isaac asked her the other day if she wanted another helping of green peas, or how she used the potty after getting done taking a shower recently.

Taking a shower seems to be quite the big girl task in itself. But when you consider the fact that we don’t have an actual bathtub – just one of those plastic kiddy tubs – sometimes its just easier to let her take a shower. She’ll hold the wand and spray herself down (remembering always to do her “Po waschen*”), then use the Avon Roll-On Raspberry Scented Soap her Grandma Becky gave her, and then spray it off. She even does a pretty good job getting her hair wet so that all we have to do is wash it and rinse the shampoo out. I must also admit that she spends a lot of her time washing the shower walls while she’s in there – which could be considered the act of a big girl, I guess. 🙂

She’s also getting extremely fun to talk to. When I get home from work, Isaac always encourages me to tell her about my day, and it’s really surprising how intently she listens. And how interested she actually looks. When I ask her about hers, she’s got so much to say – about horses and monkeys and friends she saw at the post office or at playgroup. The world is her oyster…

Amidst all this growing up, though, I still look at her and see my baby. Despite her loooooong legs and arms, and the way she tells me, “No, no, no” in a really calm voice as she shakes her head, as if she’s trying to teach me something I just don’t get, she’s still the one who started out so small inside of me. She’s the one I have memories of lying on my chest after I gave birth to her, squinting because the light was too bright. The both of us feeling slightly out of place, yet also feeling like we were where we belonged. I remember about an hour after her birth she lay in the bassinette beside me. I stared into her eyes for what seemed like an eternity, before finally falling asleep. Our family of two had all of a sudden become a family of three, and nothing seemed more normal.

In about 7 months, that number will change again. And I have a feeling that she will grow up exponentially after that. For now, I want to enjoy my Baby Phia. Her task of Big Sister will come soon enough.

*Po waschen is German for “to wash your bottom”.

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Sophia has learned how to open the blinds in the living room. I haven’t seen her actually do it yet, as it’s usually dark by the time I get home, but I did get to “hear” her doing it this morning. I was on the phone with Isaac when suddenly he admitted that Sophia just caused him to flash the neighborhood in his boxers. Luckily no one was walking by at the moment, and we have no neighbors across the street from us, so he wasn’t ever really in much danger to begin with. It was still a crack up, though.


Some of you have heard this story, I know, but I really love it. A couple of weeks ago I was pushing Sophia home from our neighbor’s house (who lives over 1/2 mile away) and it was pretty chilly. A little windy, too, especially as we hit the portion of the walk that is the side of the highway. I had a little baggy of apples that she asked for, so I took them out of my pocket and she immediately tore off both gloves in preparation for eating them. There were about 8 pieces in all, and once she only had one or two left she looked up at me, and then back down at her little red hands, and said, “Warm all gone.” As if it’s just a fact of life: sometimes hands are warm in gloves and other times they’re exposed to the freezing air. My little Alaskan baby….

By the way, I thought you all might want to see how long Sophia’s hair would be if it wasn’t SO curly!

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New Thoughts, Old Hymn

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

Written c. 1772 by John Newton*

With the Hollywood movie** “Amazing Grace” hitting theaters this past weekend, I’ve had the chance to hear this popular hymn on Christian Radio coming home from work the past few days. I’ve always enjoyed it, I’ve always found it to be very beautiful in melody, but I never have listened to the lyrics quite like I have this week. Listening past the first verse, I saw how the words are actually mine. I never knew it, but they are.

Grace can cause us to have a healthy fear of the Lord; yet it can also calm the fears we have about our lives here on earth. When I try to think of all of the times grace has gotten me through something – struggles, worries, consequences of sin – I am amazed by it. Really. Being that He always follows through with what He promises us, His Word will always be a form of security to His people.

My favorite part of this version of the hymn is the very last sentence: We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise then when we’ve first begun. How will I ever be able to fathom something, anything, that has no end? I try to picture my brother John sitting by Christ’s side listening to my thoughts, already understanding. I feel that if he could tell me, he’d simply say, “You will.”

I’ll let that be enough to convince me.

*Many hymnbooks omit one or more verses and add the final one, as was the case here.
**On the way home from work yesterday, I learned from the radio announcer that the movie doesn’t come out until this weekend. I’ll blame the misinformation on the fact that the closest movie theater is 300 miles away!

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Cookies High and Low

She probably would have put just about anything in there if I had let her. But she sat so patiently, waiting for me to hand her the next spoon or cupful of this and that. When it came time to add the raisins, though, she was surprisingly very stingy. At first she only wanted to put 4 in, but I convinced her that she would be helping to devour these little morsels of goodness with the rest of us, and eventually I think she got the point that the raisins weren’t going to be wasted.

Last night we had kind of a different eating experience with her. She woke up from her nap at around 6:00 p.m. and informed us that she would not be eating anything for the rest of the evening except for jell-o. This is how she did it: After she refused to eat her salad and pasta alfredo, she asked to be let down from her chair and go to the couch. Well, a few minutes later I had prepared myself a bowl of jell-o and left it on the counter momentarily to see what it was Isaac was trying to tell me, then I turned around to find the jell-o about 2 1/2 feet lower than it had been, trying to leave the kitchen in the hands of a little thief.

She does this every once in a while. Like the time I was so intently crocheting on the couch that the only definite fact in my head about Sophia was that she was in the same room as I. Upon hearing a “crunch, crunch, crunch” I looked up to see her enjoying a few chocolate hazelnut sticks that Isaac had left on the coffee table. I took them away and said a cheery, “All done!” and put them up on the counter in the kitchen. A few minutes later my work was again interrupted by this same girl asking me to please help her open the container of lemon gumdrops in her hand. Where she got them, I don’t know, but I put them up in one of the cupboards and continued crocheting. Not 10 stitches later did I hear the all too familiar “crunch-crunching” coming this time from the kitchen. Sophia had taken it upon herself to climb up into one of the stools (which I didn’t know she was capable of at the time) and partake in a few more of these delicious little chocolatey sticks. When she realized she was caught, she managed to shove two more in her mouth before I could get the container away. And then do you know what she said? “All done!”

My mom tells this one story about how when I was a little younger than Sophia, she saw me walk past her with one of my books into the pantry. She then saw me come back out – no book in hand – and walk straight to where my books were to grab another, and another, and another. Finally, she followed me into the pantry and watched me put the next book on the stack of previously carried books on the floor, step up onto it, and reach up to see if I was close enough to the cookie jar to be able to reach one. She said I still had about 50 books to go before I ever would have reached it. What determination kids have, eh? Especially when it comes to sweets. What I’ve never asked her before, though, was whether or not I got a cookie for my efforts. Well, Mom?

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Thoughts on a Girl

I have a crush…on a girl. She’ll be two soon and I can hardly believe it. She’s got lots of personality, which sometimes drives me crazy but mostly makes me laugh. Last night, her personality was such that she didn’t want to listen to anything I said. She wanted to do just the opposite. She did that up until I realized that: 1. I was with her every day for 17 days in a row, and then I suddenly was gone one morning when she woke up and 2. Maybe she missed me and was trying to tell me in a way that she knew how. Before I had this epiphany, I spoke harshly to her, trying to rebuke her (my Bible study talk coming out) for what she was doing (or not doing). My moment of clarity was followed by an overwhelming feeling of guilt. I felt like I was the worst mom in the history of moms. So we went in her room for the rest of my awake time and talked about toys while she played and I sewed some buttons on a sweater. After Isaac put her in her crib I snuck in for one more snuggle, but decided rather to snatch her up and take her to my bed, where we hid under the covers and waited for Papa to come in so we could surprise him. He was surprised. And Sophia loved surprising him. Then we got to snuggle a little more before I put her back in her crib. 🙂

I love that she’s so forgiving even though I mess up ALL THE TIME. I love that she copies me by saying “shoot” when she drops something. And that sometimes, when she gets up from her nap she realizes she’s still tired and asks to be put back in her crib for some “more night-night”. I love that she’s a laugher and a smiler. And I love that she loves me back.

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Sophia’s been very, how shall we say it, musical lately. It started over at her friend Elaina’s house where there’s a piano. Sophia must have sat up on that bench for 20 minutes striking the keys and singing her lungs out before I told her to move on to something new. Not that her music wasn’t beautiful – because it definitely was – I just wanted her to be able to spend some time playing with her friend.

During the worship time at our church yesterday, she sang along with all the songs. After one in particular, Blessed Assurance (old faithful, as the music director called it), Sophia stood up on the pew between me and Isaac, beamed with pride (I thought she was about to take a bow), and clapped wildly, yelling out, “Yay Phia!!!!”. She was so happy with her performance, and so were the three rows of churchgoers behind us.

She also spends a lot of time in a state of musical bliss at home. As you’ll see in the clip below, our hours of singing and dancing with Sophia have not been in vain.

To see the video, go here.

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3 years

There was no doubt about it, he had my heart from the get go. And since then, he’s loved me like no other ever could – sacrificially, beautifully, completely.

He makes me excited about life. He’s the kind of person who can’t sleep the night before a trip out of excitement. He dances with us in the living room when a great song is on. He sings in the shower and in the car. He is always reminding me to look past the little bad things to the great big good things.

In a mere 3 years we’ve seen so many dreams become reality. Or rather, of God’s work in us becoming evident. I look forward to a lifetime of His work in our lives. But I will always believe that His first great work in me, was Isaac.

I love you, Babe. Happy Anniversary.

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I’ve somehow managed to hurt the tendon that connects to my right thumb. Now, when I move my thumb, I get a shock of pain down my arm that’s almost crippling. My doctor made this splint for me on Friday, which has helped out a lot. I no longer have to think about not moving my thumb, at least, I just have to do things like remember to hit the space bar with my right pointer finger.

I sat this morning drinking some cherry-vanilla tea while Sophia finished her snack. I poured a little of it into one of her play teacups and before I knew it we were having our own little tea party. She’d stop between sips to raise her cup for a “cheers” and to announce, “Phia Tea!”. She’s getting extremely good these days at “self-praising”. We hear the words “Yay Phia” about 20 times a day after she accomplishes all tasks: eating all her dinner or putting her socks on (again and again). She’s also getting better and better at cheering her mama up. She reminds me how having only one fully functional hand is actually very useful for passing off the duty of changing messy diapers. 🙂

All jokes aside, though, she knows how to cheer me up faster than anyone else. Sometimes it just takes her smile, other times it takes climbing up onto the couch next to me to cuddle and watch a documentary on The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.

Either way, she knows her mama best.

Happy 23rd month of cheering Mama up, Sophia!

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