Tag archive for » Sophia «


Wednesday, 16. September 2009 14:42

We finally have an update on Sophia’s hearing problems.

After waiting through the summer as her pediatrician recommended, we visited another Ear-Nose-Throat doctor today to see what he thought. He checked her out and then asked if either of her parents have allergies. Yes, that would be Joe.

So today I found out that children who have a parent with allergies have an 80% chance of having allergies themselves and that this can affect their hearing. It wasn’t a total surprise because we have friends who had a similar situation. He gave Sophia a prescription for a variety of allergy medications and I’m supposed to get back to him next month to give an update on her progress. If she’s better after three months then he will refer her to an allergist so that we can find out exactly what she is allergic to.

What that really means is that we’ll be dealing with this in the US and that I need to get off my butt and figure out our health insurance situation.

Category:Sophia | Comments Off | Autor: Erica


Monday, 10. August 2009 10:13

Continuing with my musings on The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule, one of the chapters that I found particularly inspiring involved being present in family life.

I have mentioned before that I often find that hard to do. Sophia will ask me to wander the garden with her or play in her water table and, while I do it, I find that I either put it off first or that I easily wander off to the next thing on my list of Things To Do.

The author suggests that we slow down at meal times by taking a deep, cleansing breath before we begin the meal and/or by reciting a poem or a prayer. I read this passage about slowing down and connecting with the family and the meal and thought, “Yes, this is something that I need to do.” I often feel very frantic when I sit down to eat dinner — frantic from preparing the meal and the table, frantic from getting the kids to the table and hoping that they don’t make too much of a mess, frantic from watching the clock while we’re eating for the countdown to bedtime. The idea of taking a moment to remind myself that this is a good time to connect with my family was an important one and I shared it with Joe.

We sat down to lunch after our conversation and I took a deep breath (I don’t think Joe did). Joe and I started having a nice conversation when I heard…..

Sophia: Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!

Me: Sophia, please wait just a moment. Your father and I are talking.

Sophia pauses for an instant and then starts again: Mom! Mom! Mom!

Joe and I finish our current topic and I turn to Sophia: What do you need?

Sophia wrinkles up her nose, points to her lunch and announces: I don’t like this!

And I started to wonder if I really need to be present all the time….

Category:Books, Sophia | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

The Creative Family

Thursday, 6. August 2009 15:39

I recently finished reading The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Blake Soule. I’ve been reading her SouleMama blog for a while and wanted to see what this book was all about.

The Creative Family

What I found was a very readable book full of ideas to inspire and celebrate both creativity and the family. I was especially pleased to find that many of the activities could be done with young children and that they showed how everyday activities can really be seen as a creative outlet. I’ve been inspired to say, “Sure, let’s do that.” rather than, “Maybe later.” when the kids ask to do some activity that in the past I might have thought took a bit too much effort.

In one section, the author discusses her passion for knitting and about how she always has a project going. I, personally, have found knitting a difficult craft to do with the kids around since I never know when I’ll have to quickly put it down and then have to figure out where I was when I come back to it. Having said that, Sophia’s now at an age where I can knit around her and not have to worry about her playing with my needles or yarn. The book shares instructions for finger knitting which I thought Sophia might enjoy.

I was mistaken.

As I was knitting the other day, she asked to play with my yarn. I instead gave her her own yarn and tried to show her how to finger knit. She wasn’t interested at all since it didn’t involve the needles. And here’s where I found some inspiration from the book. The week before, I probably would have put away my own knitting and been disappointed that this craft didn’t work. This week, I decided to go ahead and let her play with a set of needles (since Julien was asleep) and her own yarn.


She had a great time. I got to keep knitting. We were both happy.


Category:Books, Sophia | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica

Overheard: The Alphabet

Saturday, 25. July 2009 21:25

Julien points to a letter and says, “S!” I am amazed to find that he is actually pointing to a letter S. It starts to dawn on me that my kid could be a SuperGenious when I am jerked back into reality as he points to an F and says, “S!” and then to a T and says “S!” I then realize that, no, he isn’t a SuperGenious, he’s just been listening to his sister who constantly points out her letter — the letter S.


We are driving to Turin. Eilene and I are in the front seat, Sophia and Julien are in the back. From the back seat we hear Sophia singing.

Sophia: A – B – C – D – E – F – D

Julien: S!

Sophia: Q – R – S – A – B little T

Julien: S!

Sophia: Now I know my A – B little C’s. Next time won’t

Julien: S!

Sophia: you sing with me! (pause) A – B – C – D

Julien: S!

Sophia: babyJulien! You don’t say “S!”

Julien: S!

And so on, and so forth, for more kilometers than I could count.

Category:Julien, Sophia | Comments (3) | Autor: Erica

Overheard: The Bike Race

Tuesday, 7. July 2009 15:06

I was getting Sophia ready for our trip into Monaco last Saturday and trying to get her excited for what was sure to be a long day.

Me: We’re going to take the train to Monaco to watch a bike race. Won’t that be fun?

Sophia: Yeah! Why are they racing?

Me: Well, they want to see who is the fastest. So they are going to be riding their bikes really fast.

Sophia: As fast as Dad?

Me: I think they’ll be riding even faster than Dad.

Sophia: No. They can’t go faster than Dad.

I tried to convince her otherwise, but she was pretty adamant that no one could ride their bikes faster than her Dad.

Category:France, Sophia | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica

Sophia’s View: The Tour de France

Monday, 6. July 2009 15:18

I let Sophia use my camera a few times while we were at the Tour de France on Saturday. I didn’t bring hers along because I was already feeling a bit like a pack mule. Just thought I’d share the 4-year-old’s view of the Tour.

Taken by Sophia

Taken by Sophia

Taken by Sophia

Taken by Sophia

Category:France, Sophia | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Last Day of School

Thursday, 2. July 2009 13:12

Today is the last day of school for Sophia. Fortunately, she’s been feeling better. She had missed school on Monday and Tuesday. I would have hated for her to miss the very last day.

I had asked her to draw some thank you cards yesterday for her teacher and the class assistant. It’s pretty customary to give a gift also. Since Sophia has missed the last few days of school, I haven’t been able to talk to any of the other parents to see if anyone was doing a group gift. I talked to one person who suggested giving a bouquet of flowers, but I can only imagine how many bouquets these women would be getting from their students today.

So I dropped Sophia off at school this morning and forgot the cards that she drew. I promised that I would bring them in the afternoon. I also noticed that everyone had gifts with them for the teacher and that she had already received two orchid plants. I came home and talked to Joe about it and mentioned that I had been thinking of doing gift cards.

Me: Is that too American?

Joe: But you are American.

Me: That’s right! I should celebrate that!

And now I’m off to purchase some gift cards.

Category:France, Sophia | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Bad Stage Mom

Tuesday, 30. June 2009 21:03

The end of the year spectacle for our dance school took place last week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

And I took no pictures. Silly, silly me. (That’s OK, though. I’m sure I will buy a couple of the professional shots that were taken. OK, I promise that I will buy a couple of the professional shots that were taken.)

Sophia found herself on stage for the first time with her class of fourteen 3- and 4-year-olds. For those of you asking how well she did, I should remind you that at this age all that is expected is for them to look cute and bring in the money from all of the relatives who come to see them. It’s pretty hilarious to watch them walk around the stage and then stop to look at their teacher offstage to see what they are supposed to do next. At one point during their routine on Thursday night, I looked out from the side of the stage to see a long line of little girls waving while looking at the teacher. At the end of this line was Sophia and another little girl and they were shaking their hips, waving their arms, bending their knees till they almost hit the ground before coming back up to do it again. They were getting down! And totally not doing what they were supposed to be doing. Hey, they were having a good time, though.

Fortunately, Joe was there on Thursday night because that was the only night Sophia went on. Before they were to go on Friday night, another mom and I noticed that Sophia wasn’t looking very happy. I gave her a hug and a little pep talk that amounted to “Go out there and have a good time. I’ll be here when you’re done.” and sent her off to do her dance. She didn’t even make it ten steps before I could see her wiping the tears away from her eyes. Another dancer got her attention and motioned for her to come offstage and I was able to call a friend to take her home. At the time I wondered if she was just upset because no one put glitter on her that night, but she’s been home sick ever since.

As for me, I was in four numbers, including the finale. I’m feeling pretty mixed about the whole spectacle thing. Every studio here does one and it means that your dance classes for the last couple of months end up just being rehearsal for the show. Warm-ups are shortened or nonexistent and you do the same routines — although since our class did four dances there was still some variety — all the time. Add two full Saturdays for rehearsal and three nights of shows that run from 8pm to midnight, and it’s a lot of effort. At the same time, I was reminded of how much I do enjoy dancing and performing. So there you go. Mixed.

Category:General, Sophia | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

The Second Opinion

Thursday, 11. June 2009 12:23

Joe and I decided that, before we subject Sophia to general anesthesia, we should at least talk to her pediatrician to find out if she thought we should get a second opinion. I called her on Monday fully expecting that she would say that it was a normal procedure and that there was no need for a second opinion. Instead she said, “He wants to do what? We don’t do that anymore. What is this doctor’s name? Can you bring Sophia in to see me tomorrow?”

I was a little stunned. And a bit worried that I had used the wrong term for describing the treatment.

It turns out that I had used the correct term. The pediatrician explained that they don’t do that procedure anymore because, if you don’t remove the tonsils at the same time, the ear can just fill up with fluid again as soon as the eardrum heals. She said that the medicine that he gave her should have been for at least six weeks — not three — and that problems such as Sophia’s usually clear up in the summer anyways with the heat and the fact that kids don’t normally have colds in the summer. She basically said that this guy was going to perform the procedure because he wanted to be paid for it.

I don’t believe that his reasoning for doing the procedure was for profit. I do believe that he wanted to help her, but I do wonder if maybe he’s not up-to-date on the latest treatment for children. I don’t know.

Sophia can still hear, just not as well as she should. Her pediatrician assured me that if Sophia’s hearing loss was more severe that she would have recommended another Ear-Nose-Throat doctor right away. Instead, we have more medication and the name of a different doctor to go see in September.

Category:Sophia | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Elle Entend Mal Encore

Wednesday, 3. June 2009 19:48

Elle entend mal encore. She still doesn’t hear well.

We went back to the ear doctor today so that he could tell me what I already knew — that her hearing hadn’t improved with the medication. Certainly, things are better because we know that she doesn’t hear well so we are more likely to make certain that she did hear us before anything escalates, but her hearing ability hasn’t changed.

The doctor said that her right ear is slightly better, but that her left ear had no improvement. He is recommending a procedure where he basically pokes a hole in her eardrum to drain the fluid. As opposed to inserting tubes in her ears, this will allow the eardrum to close up again. We’ll have to be careful to keep water out of her ears for 15 days and after that she’ll be free to swim, dunk herself, whatever. He recommended that she be seen again before cold season starts in the winter to make certain that her ears are still clear. He also assured me that she will be hearing better as soon as the procedure is done.

The only catch is that the procedure will have to be done under general anesthetic. Kind of a scary thought, but maybe we’re making more out of it than it really is.

Category:General, Sophia | Comments (2) | Autor: Erica