Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Holiday Weekend

It has been a fun, relaxing Thanksgiving weekend.  Does it really have to end?  

We started the extended weekend on Thursday, with the traditional Zinn family Thanksgiving breakfast of homemade caramel rolls.  YUM!  I went for a quick run so I wouldn't feel so guilty eating those rolls for breakfast, and it was so worth it!  Then we headed over to Curt & Linda's for Thanksgiving dinner.  Linda doesn't love cooking, and I'm not confident enough to tackle a turkey, so usually we go to the Mariott and eat there, but this year we decided to cater in from HyVee.  It was very good.  I made a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert, and Linda had lots of other goodies to eat as well.  Unfortunately Mike's grandpa, Pa, wasn't feeling well, so he couldn't make it.  We really missed having him there.  The boys had a blast playing and hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa.  

We always take a family picture on Thanksgiving to go on our Christmas card.  Here's one that didn't make the cut.  If you've read many of my previous posts, you'll realize that we have a lot of pictures that were attempts for the Christmas card but that didn't make the cut.  It's tough to get a good picture!

Mike and I left the boys at Curt & Linda's Thanksgiving afternoon and went to a movie.  Then we had a night to ourselves (the boys spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's) and even slept in on Friday!  After waking briefly at 5:40 sure that I heard Drew talking (funny how the mind is wired for routines like that), I managed to get back to sleep and was flabbergasted when I awoke and it was 8:40!!!  I don't think I've slept past 6:30 in the last 9 months, and not past 7 in the last 3 years!  It was awesome.

Sleeping in like that did not give Mike and me the chance to be first in line at any stores on  Black Friday, but we did join the masses and hit up a few places with some success.  We didn't find a lot in the way of Christmas presents, but I found some great deals at GAP (buy one sweater, get one free- I bought 2 & came home with 4!), and we got some good deals on stuff for our adopt-a-family girl at Kohl's.  Parking was terrible most places we went, but the weather was nice, so we didn't mind walking a bit.  And we didn't end up standing in line too long anywhere, which was nice because that's the part that really drives me nuts.  After picking the boys up at Curt & Linda's we came home and promptly went on a walk/bike ride (Mike & me on foot, Drew in the stroller, and Zach on his bike) up to the movie store.  It was such a gorgeous day out.  We rented Madagascar, but haven't had the chance to watch it yet.  Good thing it's a week-long rental.

Saturday we basically cleaned up the house, which looked like a hurricane had come through.  Mike and Zach ran to the post office mail something that we needed postmarked by Dec. 1.  While they were out, I got a call from someone at Kohl's saying that they had found a rebate form for the new toaster oven we had purchased the day before (we realized once we got home that we hadn't gotten to mail-in rebate form that would make the $100 toaster oven go from $50 to $30).  So I called Mike and since he and Zach were close to Kohl's, they ended up just stopping by to pick up the form.  Here's the funny thing- initially they were just going to go to Dahl's to mail the letter, so we let Zach stay in his pajamas and just have his slippers on, but Mike changed his mind at the last minute and went to the post office instead.  Then they went to Kohl's with Zach in his pajamas, too.  I'm so glad it was Mike with Zach and not me, because I think I'd be too embarrassed to take my kid into a store at 9:30 in the morning in his pajamas and slippers!  Oh well.  I am not sure if they got any funny looks or not.  

Later Saturday we got to go to our friend Cooper's first birthday party, and then Grandpa Kevin, Grandma Cynthia, and Aunt Katherine came over.  It was great to see Katherine, as we haven't seen her since early October since she's away at college now.  We had some homemade pizza and leftover pumpkin cheesecake.  Zach talked Katherine's ear off and got his dad, Grandpa, and Katherine all involved in a rowdy basketball game downstairs.  It was a really fun night.  We can't wait to see Katherine again when she's home for Christmas.

It started snowing lightly yesterday afternoon, and this morning when we woke up we had a couple inches on the ground.  Zach was so excited to get out there and shovel, but we told him he had to wait until after church.  So, after Mike and Zach went out and bought a new shovel (ours had broken), they got to work.  

After getting the driveway and sidewalk shoveled, Mike and Zach started working on a snowman.  Mike is a much better snowman builder than I am, that's for sure.  Our neighbor Zoe came over, and she and Zach had a lot of fun playing together in the snow.  

Here is Drew checking out the action outside:

Once the snowman was built, the kids came in for some hot chocolate and a little warm-up.  

Thankfully Zach's snowpants and boots still fit him well enough to wear today, but we decided he might need new ones.  His boots are a size 6, and the shoes he's wearing these days are size 8, and his snowpants are size 18 months, and Zach is about a week away from being 3 and a half, so yeah, it might be time for some new snow gear.  Seriously, though, the pants are not as small as you might think- they're barely getting snug around the torso and are just the right length.  They must have been made for 18 month-old giants or something.  

The snow is fun and beautiful, but I'm really dreading getting the boys bundled up and in and out of their car seats this winter.  I'm sure winter will pass before I know it, right?  Hey, come on, I'm trying to think positively here!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bears and Bunnies

One night last week we awoke to Zach in our room, a bit spooked by his first real nightmare.  He was asking Mike about bears, and were there any in our house?  We calmed him down and assured him that there were no bears around here, and probably none even in Iowa.  We also assured him that bears could not get into our house anyway, to which he asked his standard question- "Why?" and Mike told him that since they don't have thumbs, they can't open doors.  Ok, so he's randomly said since then, "So, bears can't get into our house because they don't have thumbs to open doors, right?"  I don' t know where he got this fear of bears, but it's there.

So yesterday after preschool, the boys and I were headed home, and Zach and I were talking about holidays.  He asked what a holiday was, so I was giving examples.  After I mentioned Easter and the Easter Bunny, Zach said, "But how does the Easter Bunny get into our house?"  I could see the no-thumb wheels turning in his head.  I just said, "Um, I'm not sure."  Zach said, "Maybe he comes down the chimney."  I said, "Yeah, maybe," hoping to avoid the no-thumb connection, and hoping he didn't put 2 and 2 together and start thinking bears could come down the chimney, too.  Then he said, "Or maybe he comes in the front door...but he doesn't have thumbs, so he couldn't do that, right?"  I started laughing, and somehow got the subject changed.  

I'm watching Little People, Big World, and there was a scene just now with Zach, the little people son, and his twin, who is not little, and actually is quite tall.  I was totally reminded of P.D. Eastman's book Big Dog, Little Dog.  Funny.

It was a pretty nice day here today, so after the boys' naps, we took a walk/bike ride up to the grocery store.  I pushed Drew in the stroller and Zach rode his bike the whole way, even up the big hill by Walgreens.  It's probably about a half-mile each way, so I was very proud of Zach for pedaling the whole way there and back, and not even whining about it.  It was great to get out and get some fresh air and exercise.  Sometimes I get a little obsessive about making sure Zach gets lots of physical activity every day, and going for bike rides/walks with the dogs is a good way to do that.  It gets us out of the house, and helps break up that really tough time of day between the end of the boys' naps and when Mike gets home.

I just finished making a pumpkin cheesecake with a chocolate graham cracker crust for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.  Yum.  I hope it turned out.  It's late, but I have to wait a little longer for it to cool before I can take the sides off the pan and put it in the fridge to chill.  I also prepared caramel rolls, because it's not a Zinn-family Thanksgiving without caramel rolls for breakfast.  It really should be served with souffle, but I don't think Mike, Zach, and I would eat enough of it to warrant all that work, unless I made a quarter recipe or something.  We'll just have scrambled eggs with the rolls, I think.  Can't wait 'til morning!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


We have been busy over the past few days.  First, the new car seats came, and Zach and Drew both enjoyed playing with the big boxes they came in.  Perfect timing, as Zach just wrapped up Boxtown week at preschool.

Here's Zach in his fancy new car seat.  So far it seems pretty nice, but with the cold weather comes heavy coats, and any 5 point harness is a pain with a big heavy coat.  

Last week we finally took the plunge and started repainting the inside of our house.  We've lived in this house since it was built, which was 5 years ago.  We picked the original paint, which was a nice color, but, being builder paint, it was very flat.  Having flat paint with two dogs and eventually two kids is not a good idea.  After 5 years, the hallway was a mess.  It was so marked up, and I just hated it.  Plus, the neutral color is nice, but not real fun, so the last couple of years I've really been itching to get some color in here.  I finally wore Mike down so that he was open to the idea, though still a little hesitant to bite the bullet.  It just took me getting the ball rolling, though, and we're now on our way to a more colorful house.  Painting started on Saturday, and as of right now the kitchen, hallway, and stairs are repainted a similar color of beige, and the laundry room and half-bath are pool blue and sundance yellow.  The living room and dining room will be painted next week.  

Here's our painter hard at work:

Ok, we're not really letting Zach paint everything. Our friend Bryn is doing it for us. I used to teach with Bryn's wife Brea, and until she started back full-time this year, she was in playgroup with us. It's really nice having somebody we know and trust in here doing this. And he's way faster than Mike and I could ever be, which is really nice. Plus, he's nice to Zach, which is a bonus, because Zach likes to talk his ear off, if you can imagine.

Here's Zach doing what he does best- talk.  In this picture he was talking to Bryn while Bryn painted the bathroom:

Now for some before and after photos of the bathroom.

Before- just beige

After- sundance yellow

Now, stay tuned to the blog for a new "after" photo of the bathroom.  You may be thinking the same thing I was the first time I really got a good look at the yellow bathroom, which was, "Holy crap, that is VERY yellow."  Turns out that a little 1 by 2 inch rectangle just doesn't really do the color justice.  On the little paint strip it looks like a nice yellow, but in the little half bath, it's way too bright.  It hurts my eyes.  So, I picked a lighter yellow, called pernod, which is apparently a type of liquor.  It hasn't been repainted yet, so I'll post a new picture when it is.

Now, here's the mud/laundry room.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before it got painted, but it was the same color as the rest of the house- beige.  It also did not have the cabinets before.  Mike and his dad hung those the evening that the room got painted.  I love the new laundry room.  It's such a fun, bright, cheery color, and the cabinets really pop in there.  Plus, the cabinets surprisingly offer much more storage than the shelves we had before, and it's just nice to have our crap hidden away instead of in plain sight.

We didn't take pictures of the kitchen and hallway, because they're basically the same. I'll post more pictures next week after the living room and dining room get painted, and once the bathroom is repainted, too. It's so great to have a little color in the house!

Saturday night we went to a wine tasting party hosted by our friends Tyra and Curtis. It was a lot of fun to get out of the house without the boys, and for Mike and me to hang out with some friends for a while. Plus, I like wine sometimes, but I don't know enough about it to try something new. I don't want to spend $6 on a glass of wine and then hate it, so I end up ordering something I know I'll like, or just getting water (usually the latter). At this party we got to taste 6 different wines, 3 red and 3 white. They were all written down on a piece of paper with some notes about the wine, which was really helpful. I kept the paper so that I know what to order sometime. I really liked a couple of the whites, which surprised me, because I usually just drink red wine. Mike even tasted most of them, which was surprising because he's not a wine drinker at all. We had fun chatting with our friends, and then came home to watch the Hawkeyes win big in Minnesota.  Thanks for a fun party, Tyra and Curtis!

Here I am with a couple of my good girlfriends, Sara and Tyra:

And here we are with our husbands- Curtis, Mike, and Matt:

Drew is getting so busy. He crawls all over now, so I have to keep a close eye on him at all times. He loves to get up on his knees and kneel, and he sometimes manages to pull himself all the way up to standing. The only problem with that is that he seems to sometimes forget he's a little wobbly still, and he lets go, and then he falls over. He also learned how to splash in the bathtub the other night, and had a blast with that. Here he is crawling around with a screw from Zach's workbench in his mouth. He was just tooling around, doing all sorts of things, and this was like his little pacifier. It was pretty cute. It makes me think of my nephew Cam, because he used to do that sort of thing.

And this is a picture Mike took tonight while I was working out. I thought it was cute, which is why I'm sharing it.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Overheard while I was upstairs getting Drew in bed and Zach was finishing dinner:

Mike- "Zach, what have you been doing?"
Zach- "Nothing.  Just eating..."
Mike- "How did you make such a mess?"
Zach- silent, as far as I could tell
Mike- "Were you just pouring it over the table?"

There was some other talking, I think, and then I heard Zach cry and say, "Will I get to eat anymore?" and then I could tell he was in a time-out.  Then I heard this:

Zach- "Daddy still loves me, and I still love him."

I was upstairs cracking up this whole time, though I'm sure if were involved, I would have been as mad as Mike.  Turns out that while Mike was out of the kitchen for a couple of minutes and I was getting Drew in bed, Zach was making a mess of his blueberry applesauce.  So when Mike went back, there apparently was applesauce all over the table, and Zach was trying to clean it up with his napkin (one of those new, white cloth napkins).  Mike was only gone a couple of minutes, but it was long enough to make a mess, I guess.  As I listened from Drew's room and had no idea what was going on, I had flashbacks this time when I was kid, and I was the last one eating.  My dad was in the living room, and I was supposed to finish my peas, and then I could have a brownie.  So, I finally brought my plate into the living room to show my dad that I had cleaned my plate, and he said I could have a brownie.  I went back and got one, which I enjoyed very much, I'm sure.  As I finished it, my dad came back into the kitchen, only to realize that instead of eating my peas, I had dropped each one on the floor, one at a time.  Needless to say, I got into trouble for that one.  I'm not sure why I thought I could get away with it, though, really, I guess I did.  I mean, I got the brownie, didn't I?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mike

Sometimes I forget what stories I write about on this blog and which ones I just tell to people, so if I ever write about something twice, forgive me.  It's just a bad memory, and I guess I'm too lazy to go back and reread my old posts to find out if I've already blogged about it.  Same goes with pictures.

First, here's one more (failed) attempt at a Christmas card photo with the boys and dogs.  Notice that look on Drew's face.  He has gotten so good at crawling already- he is all over the place, and I'm finding I have to think more about what's out that he could get into.  Zach also seems more easily annoyed by Drew because Drew can get to Zach's stuff by himself now.  Sometimes it's pretty funny to watch.

Thursday I got to go volunteer at Zach's preschool.  It was a blast.  I had to take each child out into the hallway to see if they could put their own coats on and zip them up.  They all did a great job getting them up, but for most of them getting the zipper started was tough.  Then I got to stay and observe/play.  I can see why Zach loves it there- his teachers are awesome.  Here's a picture of Zach that I took right after we got there Thursday morning.  He went straight to the dramatic play area and got dressed up as a fireman.  Notice the boots- he loved those.

After preschool Zach and I went to Jumpin' Jacks, a place with big inflatables to play on.  Zach always wants to go there, but it's not easy to go with Drew.  The room mom for Zach's preschool class had set up a playdate there, so we left Drew with Grandma Linda and went to play.  There were about 4 of Zach's classmates and a few of their siblings there, too, but no other kids.  It was perfect, and really neat to get another chance to meet some of the kids and talk to some of the moms.  Zach had a lot of fun playing with his friends, too.

Friday night we got together with our neighbors and our former neighbors.  It was a lot of fun.  It's been a long time since we've all hung out.  Zach enjoyed having everybody over, and he and Anna, who is about 20 months, loved watching The Wiggles and dancing together.

While everybody was over Maggie just couldn't resist trying to get some attention herself.  Here's how she did it.

Saturday Mike went to his last Hawkeye game of the season, and they won!  It's turned out to be not such a bad season after all.  I went Saturday morning and did testing at the place where I work out.  With the program I follow you do your initial ten weeks with testing at the beginning and end.  Testing consists of a weight check, body-fat check, measurements, sit-n-reach for flexibility, sit-ups and push-ups (how many you can do in one minute), and running the mile.  I did the testing when I started back in June and again at the end of my initial ten weeks in August.  Now it's been about 12 weeks, and I haven't worked out as religiously as I did for those first ten weeks, but I've still gone probably an average of 5 times a week.  I also haven't followed the diet like I did this summer, so I was curious to see where I would be at.  I was very happy to see that everything pretty much stayed the same since August.  I guess I wonder, though, if I had been eating a little better, if I would have improved.  Oh well.  If I didn't go backwards, I'm ok with that.

Yesterday we went out to brunch with Mike's dad and stepmom to celebrate his birthday.  It was delicious, of course.  Before that we took some time to get stuff done around the house.  I've had these little collections of single socks on top of both of the boys' dressers for a couple of weeks now, just waiting for their mates to come through the wash.  Well, yesterday Mike discovered most of those mates- while he was picking up dog poop.  It seems Foudy has developed a real taste for little socks.  Mike said he probably saw 10 socks in the poop.  It's not only gross, but it also worries me because one of these days she'll eat one and it will clog everything up.  She puked one up the other morning at about 4 a.m., and I didn't appreciate that.  It's also maddening, because I have to keep buying new socks for Drew, and sometimes she eats really cute socks.  She prowls around looking for them.  For example, a couple of weeks ago after Drew's nap I had taken his socks off and they were by us on the living room floor.  Pretty soon I realized by the way Foudy was sauntering around me that she had something in her mouth, and sure enough, it was one of the socks.  I took it from her and put it on the coffee table with its mate.  Then I vacuumed the living room.  As I finished up vacuuming, I happened to glance at the coffee table and realize there was only one sock there.  Sure enough, she stole it right out from under me, the little scamp.  We're being very diligent to keep closet doors closed and make sure Zach doesn't leave his socks laying around anywhere, as he likes to take his socks off a lot.  Unfortunately he thinks a good place for his socks is on the kitchen table, so I'm also working on breaking that habit.

Anyway, I walked into Drew's room after his morning nap on Sunday and he was standing up in his crib, leaning on the railing!  I had already told Mike that I wanted to move his mattress down, and that just confirmed that.  So apparently Drew is pulling up now.  I haven't seen him do it on furniture yet, but obviously he can.  Now with his crib mattress down so low I feel like he's sleeping in a cage, but oh well.  It's only been 11 months since Zach was sleeping in the crib like that, but it's funny how I hardly remember it.  

Mike is 32 today, so happy birthday, Mike.  We celebrated tonight by having pumpkin bars after dinner.  Thankfully Zach did a good job eating his dinner and got to have a pumpkin bar, too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Preschool Open House

Last night we had an open house at Zach's preschool.  It was great to go there and check out his classroom, let him show us all around, and get to know his teachers a little more.  Zach was very excited as we got there, and he wanted to show us right away where he hangs up his coat every day.  Then he took us into his room, and his teachers had a map of things for Zach to show us.  We got to see some cool projects Zach has done at school, the job chart, Zach's cubby, and more.  Zach of course found a book about firefighters while we were there and wanted me to read it.  It was a little longer than I realized at first, so I had to skip over some parts.  I don't know what I'll do when Zach starts reading and catches on to those little tricks.  Not that I do that often, but sometimes he picks books that are just so long and boring.  Anyway, here's a picture of Zach with his leaf creature that he created.

And here is Zach in the telephone booth.  I love all the dramatic play stuff that they have at his preschool.  It's neat to hear that he got to "work" at McDonald's, be a vet, etc.  

I've been happy with Zach being at this preschool since he first started because it's been very obvious how happy he is there.  Going to the open house only confirmed all of those feelings.  Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Gray, Zach's teachers, are wonderful, and they had nice things to say about Zach.  We were a little worried that he might be Mr. Talkative at school, since he seems to talk nonstop at home, but Mrs. Gray said that when it's time to be quiet, Zach is.  She said that they look forward to Zach getting there every day because he always has a story to tell (imagine that), and that his stories usually involve helping somebody and they end with, "It's really hard."  We've heard that a lot.  Usually he randomly throws in a, "Well, it's really hard, ya know."  I'm sure some of you can hear him saying this in your heads.  Anyway, it was good to hear that he's doing ok and that he has friends there.  It's so hard to get information from him, and when he does tell us stuff, sometimes it's hard to tell what's real and what he's made up.

On a different note, we decided to switch to cloth napkins in an effort to be more green.  Since making the switch a few days ago, I have served my 3 year-old pasta with marinara sauce, tomato soup (twice- we had leftovers), and chicken with a raspberry-pomegranate glaze, among other things.  Could I have picked food any more likely to stain new, white napkins?  I don't think so.

Finally, we're looking at car seats because we're getting ready to switch Drew over from his infant seat to a convertible car seat.  I'm looking at a few different Britax models, which is not what we have for Zach.  If anybody has any advice or has a seat they love, I'd love to hear your opinions!  We've been happy with Zach's seat, but I think the Britax may be more comfortable, and they get great ratings/reviews.  We'll probably move Zach's current seat to Mike's car and get both boys new seats for the minivan since we don't currently have anything other than a base for the infant seat in Mike's car.  It's nice to be able to put at least one of the boys in Mike's car in case we're not all doing the same thing sometimes.  So again, if anyone reading this has any advice or opinions on car seats, I'm happy to hear them.  Thanks.

Finally, one last Zach quote that I don't think I've posted here before.  This happened a couple of weeks ago.  We were at the grocery store, and Zach, who always tries to talk to the people bagging our groceries, said to the guy, "That Maggie gives me a headache!"  The guy was a good sport and asked Zach about Maggie, saying something like, "Maggie's not your sister, is she?"  And Zach told him that she is our dog.  It was just one of those funny, slightly embarrassing moments where you feel like you should explain to a total stranger how your kid just likes to talk for the sake of talking.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Randomness

-This morning I was thinking more about what I wrote yesterday regarding Drew's favorite toys being dog toys.  About that time I took one of Drew's toys out of Maggie's mouth for about the 5th time in 10 minutes, and I thought to myself, "Drew loves the dogs' toys and the dogs, or Maggie at least, love his toys.  What is up with that?"  I keep taking his toys away from Maggie, and eventually they're all crusty with dog slobber, so I throw them away.  I suppose, then, that I shouldn't worry about Drew playing with dog toys, since they probably have less slobber than his own toys, right?

-Zach said to me while I was making lunch today, "Mom, I told Drew I was sorry."  I said, "Oh, that's nice.  Why did you tell him that?"  Zach said, "Because I was sitting on him."  At least he was sorry about it, I guess.

-We have officially gotten our first holiday card, and it's not even the middle of November yet.  Ridiculous!  We got a card from the people through whom we used to get our private health insurance, so it's not like it was a very personal card, but still.  They must not have much going on right now.  I also heard that there's a radio station around here that's playing Christmas music already.  I love Christmas music, but I really think it should only be played from Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day.  Starting right after Halloween seems a bit excessive to me.

It suddenly got very cold here, so yesterday when we took the dogs for a walk, we had to get the boys bundled up in their new winter coats and hats.  Poor Drew kept trying to move from sitting to crawling, and with his big coat on would basically just do a face-plant on the ground.  

Here's another failed attempt at a Christmas card photo.

Here's Foudy just loving Zach up.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Few Random Thoughts...

-Why is it that Drew's favorite toys are the dogs' toys and toys that say, "Not intended for children under 3" written on them?  It's like he has radar for these things.  I'll think I've sufficiently removed the dogs' disgusting tennis balls, squeaky toys, etc., and then I'll run to the bathroom and come back to find Drew happily sucking on one.  Gross.  He also really loves Zach's plastic food that goes with his kitchen.  Yesterday when we went to church, I made sure to pack a piece of plastic bread and plastic cheese, and they kept Drew very entertained throughout most of the sermon.  

-I'm so glad that we got leather furniture a while ago.  The massive amounts of spit-up that sometimes come out of Drew's mouth are much easier to clean off the leather than they would be on the cloth couches we used to have.  When do babies stop spitting up, anyway?  Zach never really spit up at all, so I keep wondering when this will end.  I've also made a mental note to really clean the leather furniture and get the carpets cleaned once the spitting up has ended.

-Zach really is his mother's child.  I put him down for his nap at his normal time today- about 2 o'clock.  I came down and turned on his monitor, and he was quiet.  Around 2:25 I heard walking around up in his room, though, so I went up to check on him.  He was back in bed when I got up there, but he was awake.  I asked what was going on, and he told me he had to get up to go into the bathroom to get his chapstick so he could have it right there with him in case he needed it.  I own about 10 chaptsticks- one for each purse, the car, my soccer bag, and about every room in the house.  I wouldn't want to be caught without my chapstick, and apparently, now, neither would my son!  His aunts will be so proud!

-I have on this show The Doctors right now, and they're talking about all the new drugs teenagers these days are doing, such as smoking salvia, snorting vodka and other alcohol (ouch!), taking lots of prescription drugs, etc.  Yikes!  Can I just keep my kids toddlers forever?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Couple of Things Zach Said Recently

Thursday morning Zach came into my bathroom while I was drying my hair.  "Good morning!" I said.  Zach said, "Good morning.  Mom, let's make muffins for breakfast.  When I was in my bed God told me we should have muffins for breakfast."  I said, "Oh, really- God told you that?"  And Zach said, "Yep."  That was all the convincing I needed.

Today we got home from running some errands, and we were walking down the hall and I noticed some stuff on the wall next to the bathroom. I said, "What is all this stuff on the wall?!"  Zach came over and said, "It's not boogers!"  Mike and I had to laugh.  If you've read earlier posts, you may remember that Zach got in trouble once or twice for putting boogers on the wall, so he was very quick to point out this time that these were not boogers.  He was right, thankfully.  I think it was just dirt or something from one of the dogs.  The boogers comment just cracked us up.  

And, no post is really complete without a few pictures.  I was trying to get a good Christmas card photo with the dogs and the boys, which is next to impossible.  Whenever you stage a picture with our dogs, they look all big-eyed and uncomfortable, and Maggie always looks like she's just waiting for you to give her the ok to get up and move.  These attempts just didn't quite work out.

I've also been trying to get a good picture of Drew for our Christmas card.  I already have one of Zach that I want to use, but it's been more difficult getting a good one of Drew.  Here are a few cute ones that didn't make the cut.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

8 Months Old

Today Drew is 8 months old. I can hardly believe that in four short months he'll be a year old already.  He's babbling more and more, and getting his whole body involved at times.  He sleeps from 7 p.m. until between 6 & 7 a.m., and he now naps twice a day for about an hour to an hour and a half each time.  I can't believe we've come that far with sleeping.  Thank goodness!  Drew is already getting better at crawling, even after just a few days. He is now eating 3 solid meals a day of baby food. He really loves fruit, especially bananas. Sometimes we have to trick him into eating veggies by putting them on the spoon with bananas or another fruit. He isn't eating table food yet, but he is very interested in whatever we eat and watches very intently. He loves Gerber Puffs- at least the sweet potato kind, which is all he's tried. He has gotten much better at picking them up and getting them into his mouth. However, we have to ration them and only give him one at a time because otherwise he just keeps stuffing them into his mouth before he swallows them. Rationing them doesn't even always work, as I found out yesterday. Zach, Drew, and I were out at a park to enjoy one of our last really nice days. We played for a while and then had a picnic lunch. After Drew finished his baby food, I was giving him Puffs, one at a time, while Zach and I finished eating. It seemed fine. Zach then went to play a little more before heading home, and Drew remained in the stroller. We were walking to our car about 10 minutes later and Drew started coughing- I figured he had inhaled his own spit or something. Zach stepped around to the front of his stroller and said, "Spit UP!" So I looked, and Drew had not really spit up- he had completely puked all over himself and his stroller. Thank goodness I had an extra outfit with me! Poor kid. It was gross.

So here's Drew getting his 8 month picture taken.  He was very happy this afternoon.

Here's his close-up.  Too bad it's a little blurry.  Again, very happy, which was nice.

And Zach wanted to be in one picture.  I had to wake him up right before taking these pictures, so he's still in his pajama shorts.  

Zach and Drew got their flu shots today. I gave Zach the choice between the nasal mist and the shot, and he wanted the shot. He does not like things up his nose! So we got to the doctor's office and Zach was being really brave about it, but he wanted Drew to go first. The nurse wanted to do Zach's first since she figured Drew would cry more, but she was fine with doing Zach first when we asked. So, we laid Drew down on the table, and I picked Zach up so he could help distract Drew. I could not believe it, but Drew did not shed a tear. He must have been too interested in watching Zach. He kind of lost his smile for a second, but that was as much of a reaction as we got. Next it was Zach's turn, and he decided to sit on my lap while the nurse did the shot. She did it and he got tears in his eyes and whimpered some. The nurse said she "really got him," whatever that means. She said sometimes you just get a spot and it creates a bruise and hurts more, and that's what she thought she did. As Zach was sort of crying I said, "It's ok, buddy, you're tough, right?" And Zach said, through his tears, "Yeah...kind of..." It was sweet. He felt better once he picked out 5 stickers and got his 2 cookies, of course.

I have not mentioned any political stuff on my blog because I get very conflicted about it all. I did vote for Obama, and I am happy he won, but I know plenty of people who were McCain supporters who had very strong arguments for their side. The thing I think is so cool, though, is that I am a witness to and a participant in this moment in history, when our country has elected an African-American president. If only we'd elected an African-American female president, then we could really say the barriers had all been broken down, but I'll settle for this. Obama has some big obstacles ahead of him, and a lot of promises to keep, and I hope he doesn't let us down.

This is Drew after I told him that our next president will be Barack Obama.

Ok, really, he was just doing that whole babbling thing where he uses his whole body to convey his message.  Shortly after this he was trying to grab the 8 month sign and he fell face-forward off the rocking chair.  I was right there and kind of broke his fall with my hand, and thankfully, he was unfazed by the whole thing.

Monday, November 3, 2008


After a month or more of trying, Drew finally got the crawling thing figured out. He's been getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth for a long time now, but until today he's only been able to go backwards. He has done pretty well getting around by pivoting and rolling, but he would always eventually get frustrated and end up on his tummy and flailing his arms and legs. This afternoon, however, after his nap, he got up on all fours and finally moved his knees, one at a time, and got to moving forward. He was enticed by Harold the Helicopter, once of Zach's toys. By this evening when Mike got home, he could move four or five steps forward. It's so cute to watch him because he looks like he's trying really hard and focusing very intently. Zach said this evening, "We're gonna have to get out the gate now!" I had just been thinking the same thing, which was kind of funny.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Fun & Some Other Stuff

Let's see, I think this is going to be a random post, and I'm not sure where to start.  While Mike was out of town for his class last week, Zach and I carved a couple of pumpkins.  Zach wanted to use his Halloween placemat as our "map" (that's what he called it).  It has a bunch of different jack-o-lanterns on it, and Zach chose the one that he wanted his pumpkin to look like.  He enjoyed scooping out the seeds.  Later we washed the seeds and baked them, and they are so yummy.  Zach and I carved 2 pumpkins together, and then later I carved the other two.  I think we did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself!

Here are the final products.  I'm most proud of the Hawkeye pumpkin- I did a much better job carving a tigerhawk than I generally do just drawing one!

Later that day Zach spilled a little milk.  It hit the floor and he said, "Oh, it looks like a boy in a bathtub!"  I looked at it and thought that was a creative assessment.  I could see why he thought it looked like that, and it made me think of the children's book It Looked Like Spilt Milk.  

Thursday night was trick-or-treat night here, so we got the boys all dressed up and ready to go. 

Friday was Halloween, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous, so the boys and I took the dogs for a walk and stopped to watch the construction on the street one block over.  They're paving now, which is a good sign that that road might be open before long.  When we got back from the walk we played outside.  I blew bubbles for Foudy, and Drew thought that was so funny.  Here he is enjoying the bubbles.

That night Mike and Zach took further advantage of the nice weather and went out to Living History Farms for their Halloween fun.  Zach got to do some more trick-or-treating there, they roasted marshmallows, and rode on the hayride pulled by two big quarter horses.  They had a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, the line for the horses moved very slowly, so they ran out of time at the end to see the firetruck and talk to the firemen.  Zach's own words regarding this were, "I cried a lot, but then I was ok."  He was so excited to tell me about everything when they got home.  I asked if he roasted a marshmallow, and he said yes.  I said, "I can see it on your face," as he had a ring of sticky marshmallow residue all around his mouth.  He wiped a little bit of it onto his finger, held his finger out, and said, "Yeah, you wanna taste it?  It was really good."  Only a 3 year-old would scrape his marshmallow residue off his face for his mom to taste.  Gross, but sweet.  

Here's Zach with a weird smile next to a giant pumpkin at Living History Farms.  

Last night I had a bachelorette party for my friend Katrina.  Katrina went to Wartburg with me.  Three of our other college girlfriends were at the party, too.  It's been a long, long time since I've "gone out," so this was a fun treat.  It was definitely interesting watching the people out at the bars the night after Halloween.  I  felt like one of the oldest people out there, and also the most conservatively dressed.  The costumes that most of the young women were wearing were shocking.  They barely covered those girls' butts.  Zach did tell me before I left the house, "Mom, you look so stylish!"  I didn't realize he knew the word stylish, but Mike swore he didn't tell Zach to say that.  Anyway, we had a fun time, didn't drink too much, but also didn't get enough sleep.  It was so fun to be with my college girlfriends again.  It felt like the old days!

Here are Sandy, Britt, Katrina, Kristi, and me.

Since I stayed downtown with the girls, Mike and Zach decided to have a sleepover in Mom & Dad's bed.  It sounds like it went ok, though Mike said Zach had a hard time settling down to go to sleep at first and again at 2 a.m. after he got up to go potty.  He was too distracted by having someone else in the bed, as well as having Maggie on the bed.  Mike told Zach how Foudy usually sleeps on the dog pillow in the corner and how Maggie sleeps at the foot of the bed.  Zach said, "I never knew where you guys slept!"  At one point Mike woke up with feet in his face, and realized that Zach had turned himself a full 90 degrees and was lying sideways on the bed.  Though it sounds like they had a lot of fun, I've already decided that sleepovers can be a special Zach and Dad thing.  I'll pass on that one.

Today we had beautiful weather again, so after Drew's morning nap we packed up a lunch and the whole family, dogs and all, walked/pedaled (Zach rode his bike) over to a park for some playtime and a picnic. It seemed like the first time in a while that we just did something fun as a whole family, and it was so nice. Things have been so busy lately, so this really felt like slowing down and just having fun, quality time together. What a perfect end to a fun weekend.