Saturday, November 26, 2011

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday - potatoes as far as they eye can see, heck yeah! It was a little lonesome, though, watching the Macy's parade just me and Zoey while Jacob worked, and there not being the smells or noises emanating from the kitchen that marked each Thanksgiving when I was growing up. I made green bean casserole for our dinner with Jacob's parents later in the day, as well as broccoli salad of my own concoction (broccoli, red, orange, and yellow peppers, kiwi, celery, raisins, and dressed it with mayo, sugar, and vinegar). Both turned out to be a hit. It was a good day, but a stark contrast to what I picture, so made me just a wee bit sad.

What helped make the holiday awesome was all of the time I had off from work. Tuesday was my Friday, leaving me 5 days to pretend I'm an actual stay-at-home-mom. On Wednesday, we stupidly went to the grocery store but it was necessary - we always need milk. We went to Costco because we can get 2 gallons for a little over $4.00 (cannot even believe I was paying almost $4.00 for just one!), but then went to the Target by our house - which is under-crowded by normal standards - for green bean casserole ingredients and baby food.

Already excited for those fried onions! Her dinner actually was Thanksgiving dinner, eating turkey, ham, potatoes, green beans, stuffing (didn't care for it), and sweet potato.

Otherwise, we just hung around and conducted business as usual. And I'm just going to post all of these pictures because I think they're all awesome:

 She dragged this gigantic bear from her room to the living room all by herself, grunting the entire way but she was determined.

 Totally worth it, I guess....

 Her favorite thing to do - regardless of rampant discouragement from Jacob and I - is to cover herself with her blanket and run around the house.

 She thinks it's hilarious. And has only cried once from crashing into something. 

Later in the afternoon, Zoey went into my closet and pulled out each shoe one at a time, holding each one up and declaring "shoe!" She even knew the difference, holding up my boots and shouting, "boot!" I didn't even have to teach her that, how proud am I?!

Jacob got home from work on Thanksgiving (yup, work. TV never sleeps) around 1:45pm, and Zoey was in the middle of napping so we weren't on our way to Columbus until almost 3pm. The dogs are always so excited to go but then are inevitably crying to go home 20 minutes later. I don't know whose idea it was, but they opened the window so Durbin and Louis could be partially included in the action (they're welcome in the house but it just becomes entirely too much, especially since Jacob's grandparents were in town for the holiday).

 Durbin keeping an eye on things.

Louis checking things out. I'm sure the smells didn't help to send them outside and play; they just camped on the porch.

 Zoey and Durby sayin' hello. That is a toy in her hand, not a piece of food, FYI.

 Layne and Zoey essentially teasing the dogs, but saying hello to them at the same time.

 Layne saw that I was taking pictures and wanted a picture of himself. So I said, "Ok, let me take a picture of you." And this is what he did.

We got home shortly after 8pm and there were people lined up at our neighborhood Target. I foolishly thought stores opening at midnight would be a bust. Sure, everyone would have excellent intentions at going, but once the tryptophan kicked in, it might be a different story (but I guess that is a myth now...). From what I understand, it was quite the war-zone. I had zero intentions of going anywhere on Black Friday at any time during the day. And just to make sure I didn't cave to any weak moments, Jacob took the Jeep to work. Even still, we managed a pretty cool score.

A friend of Jacob's braved the Black Friday madness to pick up a new television. He was just looking to be rid of his 48" projection screen television so gave it to us. It is awesome, and quite the experience. We are beyond thankful that we have such generous people in our lives (a friend of mine gave me her washer and dryer on a different, un-related occasion). We'll probably be vision impaired in a few months. But, oddly enough, it makes the living room more spacious because we had to push the couch back. Zoey has more area to play AKA spread her toys out.

Growing up, we didn't wait much past Thanksgiving dinner before heading out in search of our tree. For the longest time it came from our backyard, always looking a lot more plump next to its brothers and sisters. Jacob and I talked about going up to the mountains for our tree - my friend and her husband go up to Red Lodge every year to hike and find a tree. Even still, Jacob and I have already started to slack in the Christmas decorating department.

I have a serious problem when it comes to those dollar bins at Target. My latest obsession is window gel clings, and they have a few different designs for Christmas (it's not all evil, I've found a lot of Zoey's favorite books in there as well). Zoey put these up herself. Well, by herself I mean, I let her select a gel cling from the plastic, lifted her up to the window and she put it where she wanted it. That explains the very Wizard of Oz-esque Christmas scene we have going. You're also looking at a landmark: the piece of brand new fence put in place after Louis burst through it and killed the neighbor's cat in front of their children.

Our Thanksgiving weekend was all that is should be. We were with family (although it makes me wish I could be with my own family), had amazing food, and a lot of time off to enjoy both. Thanksgiving is a day to the thankful, but we should be every day. We're thankful for our Zo Zo, our family, friends, travels, experiences, love, laughter, our jobs, our health, and the fact that the sun still comes up every day. And thankful that it's Christmas time again! :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Peek Inside Our Days

One of my favorite things to do on my days off is to look through all of the pictures I have taken of Zoey and our day together. It also allows me the opportunity to show Jacob what our day was about. Here are some such pictures:

 Cheerios are just way better underneath the coffee table instead of on top. (Sidebar: that pink glob is not gum, it's part of some rope thing most likely used in transportation of the coffee table on one of its many journeys.)

 Durbin and Zoey are buds, especially since, I think, he realized that she can't hurt him. I'd also like to believe that he understands and appreciates when we try to teach her the parts of him she cannot touch or poke. Mostly, though, I think Durbin just loves the attention.

You can climb all over me as much as you want, just as long as you're loving me.

 This is [what we call] Boo. It started one night when I was blow-drying my hair. I was in this position, blow-drying the underside of my hair in the bathroom, when Zoey appeared in the doorway. I shouted, "BOO!" So, now, sometimes she'll just randomly bend over and shout, "BOO!"

This is me doing Boo with her. She hasn't quite grasped the concept that things look different when she's upside down.

On Friday, it was really cold so I - big duh - did some baking.

Homemade chocolate chip coffee cake (homemade as in all my ingredients, I didn't use Bisquick or anything). As my friend, Daryl, said, it does look like it has been trampled, but that doesn't stop it from tasting freakin' amazing. I didn't have the right size pan so the edge is just a schmidge Cajun, but the inside and top are good.
Zoey helped:

 She kept the colander busy so it wouldn't feel left out.


Grrrr!! This colander so heavy!

 Of course, being us, we had to stop for a photo op. :-)

And, of course, make random stops throughout the house....

 Including the closet....

......And back to the kitchen during snack time with a handful of snacks in each hand.

This week, with the Thanksgiving Holiday, Tuesday is my Friday, giving me 5 days off. What sort of trouble could we possibly get into....?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordy Word Words

I've asked my mom a few times what my first word was and she's always told me she couldn't really recall. I've always found this slightly offending until I became a mother myself (I've notice a lot of stuff is like that). When babies first start to make noises that aren't crying, it's pretty indiscernible and sounds a lot like all one sound, i.e. dadadadadada was big in our house for awhile (so, yes, I guess you can consider she said "dada" first *pout face*). But then other sounds start to get mixed in there and, as the parent, you are absolutely convinced your 3-month old said "book."

Now that Zoey is over a year old her words are more discernible, and she is more aware of what she is saying as well; she knows what she is saying has actual meaning. For example, she'll hold up her shoe and say, "shoe." Or when she needs a new diaper, she'll just blurt out "diapy!" The problem is, every noise she makes is undeniably adorable so I find my only goal is to be adorable back at her; i.e. baby talk. People say they never do it. Have your own kid and try not to do it, I dare you. For the most part, I speak to her like she's a cognizant, intelligent child, but when she looks up at me and says, "moo moo," it's hard to detour from that; so much so that I've actually said to Jacob, "Did we forget the moo moo?" But I know I have to snap out of it, start teaching her the real words, and stop caving to her cuteness.

Speaking of moo moo.....We have no idea where that came from. The entire time she used a bottle, Jacob and I called it a bottle. She eventually evolved to "ba ba," but when we switched to a sippy cup, I figured it wasn't appropriate to call it any variant of "bottle," so I went with "milk." We've never used "moo moo," so I guess I'm forced to believe (and subsequently tell people) that she popped out of the oven knowing that milk came from cows and that cows go "moo."

Some other words a la Zoey are:

 - diapy (diaper)
 - moo moo (milk)
 - bee (book or blanket, and also Bert from Bert and Ernie, and Big Bird; basically all words that start with B)
 - shoe (shoe)
 - Foof (her stuffed dog)
 - Mo, EhEhEhEhlmo, MeeMo, Elmo (Elmo)
 - down now (she wants to be put down; coincidentally she'll also say this when she wants to be picked up)
 - dego (Diego from Go Diego Go)
 - ball (ball, ironically)
 - hi (hi)
 - bye bye (bye)
 - bee bee (baby)
 - cuckoo (the cuckoo clock in her favorite book Where Is Elmo's Blanket?)
 - coal (cold)
 - mama ( :-) )
 - dada
 - duck (duck)
 - bat (bath)
 - ahchoo (she'll say this to you after you sneeze)
 - na (snack)
 - na na (banana)
 - cook EE (cookie)
 - nummies (Cheerios)
- oh-lies (her baby ravioli)

If she hadn't developed such an extreme love for dogs I probably wouldn't be so sure of her first word. But Jacob and I consider "doggie," "dog," and "dog dog," to be her first coherent, understandable-by-others words. Now she uses their names (although Durbin is just a wee bit harder) and gives them kisses by pursing her lips together and exclaiming, "MUAH!"

It's such a crazy experience being responsible for someone learning something. I felt the same way when I brought Louis home and thought it was hilarious he had no idea of stairs so plowed right into one at the first encounter. You mean they don't just come knowing all of this stuff??

So now it's really time to clean up the potty mouth.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some Randoms

Ok, so I was wrong, we did take a certain amount of pictures this weekend. I just forgot about them because they were taken with an actual camera and not my cell phone. As Zoey has started to move faster, the camera on my phone just can't keep up; it's always a millisecond behind the cuteness, and we just can't have that. The only trouble I've come across is keeping track of two devices since I had enough difficulty keeping track of one.

So, without further ado, the life and times of when we're sick (and some other, random, stuff too):

 To start, this picture was taken awhile ago. It was just before it got cold and we had just gotten home from visiting Daddy at work. Some wind-down time with a book before nap.

 Mommy and Zoey after our 4-hour late-afternoon nap. Whoopsie. I didn't employ the sleep-when-the-baby-sleeps when she was a newborn, but I'm utilizing it now when her sleep is a bit more predictable. On Friday she took a later-than-usual afternoon nap, both of us falling asleep around 4:30pm, and neither of us woke up until 9:45pm. We got up, had some dinner, and we were both back to bed by 11pm. By then Jacob had started to feel yucky. Fortunately, Zoey and I woke up at the usual 7am, bright and cheery (her probably more so than me).

I started Christmas shopping early this year, doing a little bit here and there so its not all of a sudden upon me and blowing my budget. In that box lies a few Christmas presents, a couple for her. I think she understands the concept because she always coyly reaches for it.

 Camera in hand, I thought it was cute Louis was playing with an old toy of his from last year - a used-to-be-stuffed Christmas tree.

 He is quite the handsome boy. Durbin - what Louis is looking at - gradually got more worked up as I paid more attention to Louis, it didn't matter that I wasn't in any sort of physical contact with Louis.  So then I just started joking around with Louis, telling him how handsome he is.......

 Durbin started to cry, so this is what followed.....

 Louis then got worked up that while I was cooing at him, Durbin was the one getting the actual attention.......

These pictures are misleading; Louis looks scary but he's loving up on Jacob like you wouldn't believe.

 Monday night, we were feeling better. Jacob wasn't so he stayed home from work, and, as you can see from the stack of laundry on top of the couch, very busy. Sick or not, we always get in a good evening cuddle. P.S. She is holding Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. Once she grew out of wearing it, she never goes anywhere without it.

Snuggling with her makes everything else go away.

Random sidebar: I just happened to discover my post on Zoey giving up her Sleepsuit is on page 1 of Google.