Thing 2

Thing 2

Before Sophie becomes the forgotten middle child, here’s a quick update.

2018-01-12 16.16.02

Sophie’s first trip to the dentist at 16 months was pointless. She refused to open her mouth to have all eleven of her teeth examined. She did, however, enjoy carrying around the stuffed animals and rearranging the furniture in the waiting room.

When she’s not avoiding the dentist, Sophie works out by carrying pineapples around the house, doing her part to tenderize them by gleefully dropping them on the floor.

Other things she likes to drop on the floor: food scraps. When she eats, she picks her food apart and eats tiny crumb size bites, one at a time. Or she shovels handfuls into her mouth until she gags. Often, she’ll play the game where she pretends to be hungry and asks for more. After you give her more and turn your attention to some other task that requires immediate attention, she swipes the food all over her highchair tray as fast as she can with both hands, hurling as many tidbits onto the floor as possible before you turn around to check on her. On another food related note: she has a minimalist approach to sign language and will only perform signs for “eat,” “please,” and “more,” which she seems to think are all the same sign. All three result in food materializing out of nowhere, so I understand the confusion.

I remember when Stella was Sophie’s age. I should rephrase. I remember nothing when Stella was Sophie’s age, except that Sacrament meetings were spent policing the aisles in pursuit of our child who was about to steal another kid’s toys and snacks. This is why we’re impressed with Sophie’s ability to sit still at church. I get a lot more out of Sacrament meeting now. I can even tell you what the speakers talked about last week. But the freedom to focus on anything other than what Sophie’s doing comes at a cost, of course. Sophie doesn’t sit still just because she can. I can imagine the voice in her head: “Oh, you thought I would sit still just because I can?! HA. I demand the enticements of tactile sensory objects!” She’ll sit still only if she can raid my Primary bag and litter the pew with flash cards, paperclips, magnets, Craisins, and three boxes of crayons until she’s found something in the bag that will occupy her attention, be it a piece of paper she can tear into confetti-sized shreds, or a glue stick that she can rub all over her face and hair.

Other fun facts:

Favorite body part: tie between head and bellybutton. If she’s in the mood, she’ll tell you where her hands and feet are, and if you ask her about her nose, she’ll look at you, grab your nose, and squeeze it as hard as she can.

Favorite animals: owls, dogs, cats. Stuffed animals are their own category. Her favorite is still a little purple owl, or whatever Stella is carrying around and refusing to share (lately, the large psychedelic-colored Alpaca rescued from Target two weeks after Valentine’s Day. It was only .99)

Favorite hobbies: bird and squirrel watching. She likes to point out any signs of avian or bushy-tailed arboreal wildlife she happens to spot while we’re out walking Stella to school. She also enjoys a good book. She carries books around the house and just when you think you can sit on the floor and enjoy a free moment to yourself, she ambushes you by backing into your lap and shoving a book in your hands, which is how she says,  “Read. Now.”

Habits: identifying food sources. If she’s trying to get your attention, she’ll pull on your clothes and push you in the direction she wants you to go. Usually, it’s the kitchen, to the bananas or oranges sitting on the countertops she can’t reach. Or the closet where we keep a Costco size bag of prunes; we put a child lock on said closet so she would stop stealing the prune bag.

Once, while we were at the park, I forgot about her and she imprinted on a nanny who found her so adorable she fed her all the snacks intended for the other children in her charge. One of her kids had a big bag of popcorn; Sophie had her eye on it for a while and as soon as the bag was abandoned in the sandbox, Sophie stealthily toddled over, snatched it, and helped herself. So I didn’t have to feed her lunch that day.

Besides eating, Sophie also loves to snuggle. It’s strange having a snuggly baby. Stella never snuggled, unless she was sick. When she wakes up in the morning or after a nap, Sophie loves to grab all the stuffed animals in her crib and her giant blanket, and lay her head on your shoulder while you hold her. And sometimes throughout the day, she’ll just hug you. It’s the best.

2018-02-19 Jesse and Sophie [1]





Today in Sunbeams, the lesson was titled “Jesus and Heavenly Father Love Me.” I was trying to reinforce the main idea by repeatedly asking, “Who loves us?” I think Stella got tired of me asking.

Mom: “Tell me again, who loves us? Heavenly Father and J, J, J…”

Stella: “Jafar!”

Mom: “NO. He didn’t love anybody!” ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Dad and Stella went to Safeway and saw wood for sale piled high outside the store.

Stella: “Hey, look at all that wood, like what they used for Abinadi!” [As in, Abinadi, her favorite Book of Mormon prophet who was martyred and burned to death by the wicked King Noah…]

*Note: As a former reading teacher, Mom is supposed to be proud of these sorts of text to world connections, no matter how macabre they are… ____________________________________________________________________________________________

During dinner prep:

Mom: “Stella, may I put some peas in your bowl?”

Stella: “NO, you can’t. It’s IMPOSSIBLE!” ____________________________________________________________________________________________

We were walking home from the store and approaching a group of high school boys bouncing basketballs on the sidewalk.

Stella [in a really loud voice, while pointing]: “Those boys have balls!”

Mom: “Shhh, yes they do.” [And then laughing]

Stella: “Mom, are you laughing at ME?” ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Stella was playing Great British Baking Show and making “Genoise sponge” cake by tossing Legos and stuffed animals and giant plastic spiders into a bowl…Sophie came along and tried to help…

Stella: “No, Soph! Don’t touch my semolina and strong flour!!!!” ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Dad came home from work and told us about a meeting with a coworker in which they discussed the possibility of us moving to Hawaii for a new position with Kaiser. Stella was eavesdropping at the table:

Stella: “We’re not moving to Hawaii. We’re going to stay in this disgusting house.”

She’s probably right.  ____________________________________________________________________________________________

I asked Stella what we should name baby brother.

Stella: “Captain Hook!”

Mom: “But he was a rapscallion. We can’t name brother after a bad guy.”

Stella: “Well, your baby is a rapscallion.”



While out driving, an orange Lamborghini pulled up just ahead of us in the adjacent lane:

Dad: “Hey, look at that orange Lamborghini! Isn’t it fancy?”

Stella: “Yeah. Our car’s not fancy. It’s black.”

Mom: “How can we make our car fancy?”

Stella: “By cleaning it.” ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Stella went to the dentist this week and on the way to the office we had this conversation:

Stella: “Are you going to the dentist too, Mom?”

Mom: “Yes, but not to your dentist. You get to go to a pediatric dentist, which is a dentist for kids. I have to go to a dentist who only sees adults.”

Stella: “Adults?”

Mom: “Adults are grown ups, like moms and dads. And when you grow up to be an adult, you can see an adult dentist too. Won’t it be nice to grow up and do adult things?”

Stella: “No. That’s the worst thing of all.” ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Sophie was playing with her Sesame Street Bert doll…

Stella: “I want Bert!”

Mom: “Right now it’s Sophie’s turn. You can have a turn when she’s done,” [while restraining Stella and trying to keep her from grabbing the doll from Sophie]

Stella: “But I wanted to roast him in the oven!”





Dad was showing Stella an episode of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The guest was Robert Irwin, who brought several animals on stage. Stella’s favorite was watching the beaver eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Jimmy’s desk.

Dad: “Look at that beaver eating a sandwich!”

Stella: “Yeah! But he doesn’t even have a plate. He’s getting crumbs everywhere!” ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Mom: “Stella, please take off my shoes and put them away.”

Stella: “I’m just borrowing them!”

Mom: “But I asked you to take them off.”

Stella: “Well, I want them ON!”

Mom: Sigh. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Stella has been watching The Great British Baking Show again…

Stella [talking to herself]: “Now add strong flour and caster sugar and liquid cream, then mustard…mix it together…My Genoise sponge is beautiful, nice and golden!”

Stella: “Look! It’s Holy Poly and Mary Berry!”

* “Holy Poly” is Paul Hollywood… ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Mom: “Stella, come take a bath!”

Stella: “No!”

Mom: “Why not?”

Stella: “Because I’ll smell like dogs’ droppings and the witches will get me!”

We’ve been reading Roald Dahl’s THE WITCHES. A very important part of the story is that witches think clean children smell like dog poop…



Mom made delicious cupcakes this week. Vanilla with lemon curd and plenty of frosting. Stella really enjoyed them.

Stella: “Can I have a cupcake?”

Dad: “I’m sorry, we don’t have any more cupcakes.”

Stella: “You ate them all while I was asleep.”

Dad: “Yeah.” [There had been two left that we ate a couple days ago.]

Stella: “Hey, I wanted one!”



Dad left his razor on the counter and Stella cut herself trying to shave her upper lip. Dad felt really bad and was apologizing to Stella for being careless.

Dad: “I’m so sorry for leaving the razor out. I feel terrible and it’s all my fault. Do you forgive me?”

Stella: “It’s okay, Dad. I’m just really curious, like George.”


Dad was talking with Stella and asking about how her day had gone.

Stella: “Guess what.”

Dad: “What?”

Stella: “I went to work today. I do strategic market planning too!”

Dad: “Really? That’s what I do!”

Stella: “I took a strawberry and a tea sandwich for lunch.”