Sonja turned 2 a few weeks ago! I'm not great at keeping up with these blog posts anymore. In my defense, we went to Whistler, BC on a ski trip and she turned 2 the day after we got back.
Sonja is a great kid. You always hear about the "terrible twos," but I have found her (so far) more and more delightful. For one thing, she's starting to get really great at communicating, for another she's learning to control her temper.
I've never seen a kid reset themselves the way that Sonja does after she's gotten out of control angry.
She will get mad, sometimes she hits me or sprawls out on the floor like an extra from the Exorcist. When she hits me, I get pretty mad, but I try to stay calm. I usually say "No, we do not hit in this house," or something to that extent and then let her sit by herself without looking at her (because eye contact makes it worse every single time) while I stand far enough away that the temptation to hit me is lessened. But what happens after that is so crazy. She usually takes less than a minute to gather herself and say one of a two things: "Hi" is her favorite, and "cheek," as she points to her own cheek.
I'm not sure why, but these are her "resets." She says them, I usually laugh, and everything is fine again. It's a beautiful thing. I love that she has the ability to reset herself. Sometimes she even prevents an outburst by saying "cheek" when she is mad. Oh it makes me laugh.
Sonja is also developing a keen sense of how I am doing emotionally. The other day I got hurt really bad. I stubbed the two middle toes of my foot on a wooden step stool and (most likely) broke them. I was crying on the floor in pain. Sonja came up to me and said "Hi" in her reset voice lol, and asked to sit in my lap. It was the sweetest thing.
Sonja is truly a sweet child. She loves animals, she is always trying to snuggle with Puppy. She makes these cooing noises and nuzzles into him. He's learning to deal with it. She's recently also started coming up to me at night and saying, "Snuggle?" That request completes my life. Like.. never in my life have I felt happier than having that sweet angelic toddler ask me to snuggle, and then sit in my lap and just snuggle right up to me. Oh man. It's a beautiful thing for me.
Sonja is talking more and more and of course still loves music. Her teacher was telling me she's never taught a child who was so into music to the degree Sonja is. She said none of the other kids hum and do the hand motions like Sonja does, they just do it when it's music time.. Sonja never seems to stop. lol. She's a musical girl! Her current favorite song is "Getting Jiggy With It" by Will Smith. She calls it "Nananana."
Sonja also loves adrenaline rushes. She loves being thrown, running, being held while I run, shoulder rides, and doing front rolls on my bed. She's gotten a lot better with people, especially "new" people.
We had her birthday party last weekend. My Dad, step-Mom, sister Meghan and sister Valerie came with her girlfriend. Meghan stayed at my apartment, the others got hotels. The best part was that Sonja immediately opened up to them better than she ever has. I think because she got so much face time with so many people while in Canada (we went with Jeff's mom and step-dad and his teenage daughters and nephews). She just was a lot more comfortable with my family and finally willing to interact without getting too scared or nervous that we would leave her. It was really great. For me, it is so important that Sonja have strong bonds with her family, and my family, because I want her to feel the love that I feel for them. I want her to also feel well loved, because she is.
The party went really well. We had it at Gymboree. We had around 15-16 children and over 30 adults there. My friend Sherri and I made mini cupcakes and Susan (Nana) made the most delicious vanilla cake. Everyone brought really awesome gifts for Sonja, and it seems like all the kids had a really fun time. I know Sonja did. She was totally shocked when everyone sang "happy birthday" to her. She seemed stunned that all eyes were on her.. then she started jumping around happily and spent the whole time playing and jumping and enjoying her little friends. I even let her have a real cupcake this time, frosting and all. She pretty much ate the frosting and ignored the cupcake. But it could not have gone better in my opinion.
I don't have many photos from the party but my Dad is supposed to send me some, and my sister texted me hers.. so I'll post photos later.
Life before Sonja is hard to remember. Our lives got harder, but gained so much more meaning when she arrived. Life is more beautiful through the eyes of your children. I love being able to let go of the seriousness of life and just ENJOY it with my sweet, awesome Sonja.
Happy Birthday to the light of my life!
Monday, December 8, 2014
We took Sonja to get photos with Santa this year...
That last one is her pointing her finger at me. It felt accusatory, but it was actually her way of telling Santa she would like him to take her back to me... hopefully.
Sorry if I ruined the surprise. I sent out MOST of my Christmas cards already so you should've gotten one if you gave me your address or I might have even hunted it down if I felt you NEEDED to see this.
So now for an update on the family... I won't have much time to update you in the coming weeks, so it's now or never.
Jeff is back from VA. It's been a crazy year for us. He's been doing contracting work in the DC area for a company that his dad works for. Sonja and I went with him for the first month, then spent a month without him back at home. It was rough.
Jeff is also going to school part time (online this semester). He just built his own computer (a very cool gaming computer), and is currently Sonja's absolute favorite person in the world.
I have been training clients part-time, and quite enjoying it. I've also been working on a few other projects, mostly pinterest stuff, and spending most of my time with Sonja. The highlight of my year so far was our trip to Cape May, NJ for a family reunion with my side of the family. It was absolutely wonderful and so very needed. This has been a great year for me as a mother, as well. I have found this year a lot easier in most ways than the first year. Sonja is such a delight to me, and I'm finally feeling confident in my abilities to handle motherhood and other things at the same time. lol.
This has been a big year for Sonja. It's her 2nd year of life, so big changes have taken place. She's gone from an unsteady walker to a running, jumping, energetic small child! She loves to sing, music, hums constantly, and is almost always placated if I just make up a song about whatever it is she hates doing (like putting on shoes and socks). She's always been a sweet girl, but her soft heart has started really showing as she's gotten older and more independent. She loves stuffed animals, and loves smothering them with hugs and kisses. She loves Puppy even though he doesn't exactly love her messing with him. She loves jumping and being tossed and doing rolls, she loves making me jump with her. She loves birds, the sun, the moon, stars, and learning. She loves to count. Her wonder and amazement at the most simple and basic aspects of life helps me to also enjoy those things in a new light. Taking her for a walk is so much more fun than going on a walk by myself has ever been. It's fun to show her new things and experience them with her in all her wonder and excitement.
Sonja is now going to a mother's day out program twice a week for half a day. She loves it. She doesn't like getting dropped off but loves being there and loves her teacher. She's also still in gymboree and loves that too. She's a smart kid. She's talking more and more and quicker to laugh and smile than ever before! She is the absolute light of our lives.
Puppy is doing great. He is a little bit sad about not being the center of attention anymore, but he and Sonja have reached an understanding. He still loves his crinkle tunnel and his mousies. Sonja is learning to throw them for him.. so that's a fun new way for them to play together. I've put him on a new diet that should hopefully help with his extra lbs. He's still our sweet Puppy boy and we love him a lot.
Hope you are all doing really well!
Posted by Caitlin Hartung at 7:04 PM