Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Kind of Normal

I played it off like the transition from last year to this year was no big deal, that it was just another day. Boy, what a misjudgment that was.

Auntie Rachael (Jacob's sister) watched Zoey while we were at work for the last time the very beginning of January. Now she's taking it as easy as she can with a 4-year old, concentrating on baking that new niece of ours. It seems like her pregnancy has gone by really fast, although I'm sure she won't say the same thing. It's fun to be pregnant when you start to look pregnant, but then the reality of the baby hits around  month 8 and you spend every waking and sleeping moment in sheer panic. It really is a beautiful time.

Zoey's daycare wasn't allowed to take her more than one day a week until February so DUN DA DUH DUN! Super Grandma to the rescue! While my dad and (primarily) my uncle were eating the food and drinking the water in South America, and subsequently winding up in the hospital for 5 days (uncle), my mom was babysitting Zoey. It worked out even better because I was able to work a full week helping pack up the office. At the end of January my mom said, in discussing her return to Tucson, "It will be nice to get back to your normal routine again." But I thought, it won't be our normal routine; it will just be a new kind of normal. "Gamma's" visit was fun, though, and here's some proof:

 Rock star baby.

 Rock star baby who has a fascination with viewing her own paparazzi photos.


 Oh, what do you know, Simon Cowell!

 Just arriving home from shopping with Grandma.

 Grandma got her a Gourmet Cooking Set, which she LOVES. More than anything, she loves the noise the whatever-it's-made-out-of-to-resemble-metal sounds like against the coffee table.

Learning some tricks of the trade from gourmet chef, "Gamma."


 Floppin' around in some of Gamma's flip-flops.


 Showing Gamma how she uses a colander.


 You'd never believe how skinny I am if you knew how much I baked. I'm throwing a banana bread together.....

 Before....

What it exploded to after. I may have used just a touch, or two, or three more bananas than necessary. I like banana-y bread but this resulted in a big ball of raw dough in the middle.

 She LOVES bath time. You'll never see her face light up more than when you ask her if she wants to take a bath.

 Gettin' scrubbed down by scrubber-ducky.

 Jacob keeping the peace with a little Kumbaya. Just kidding. :-) Jacob plays guitar very well, but not as well as he would like but that's just because he doesn't play enough. He is self-taught - which is extraordinary - and no doubt has the capacity to learn more. I couldn't play a musical instrument if my life depended on it.

 Here I am, the stick insect with no soul, doing some more baking, this time chocolate chip cookies. (I eat, I swear. Even my mother, who would be first to harp on me if I wasn't eating enough said, "I've seen you eat! You eat a lot!")


It was high-time I put the cookie spatula my mom gave me for Christmas to good use.

 Finished product. If I may toot my own horn - TOOT TOOT!

 Zoey loves to play around and snuggle on the super-cushy blanket her other Grandma - Jacob's mom - made her. We're in the process of trying to commission her to make us all one. :-)

 Hmm...there are no more toys in here, I don't understand how that could possibly be.

 Building one of her famous block towers with Mommy.

 "See the baby??" is what she says every time you take a picture of her and she happens to notice the camera. Now we move in stealth mode and keep it hidden until the very last second in order to get a picture of her doing something other than pointing at the camera from 2 inches away.

 Figuring out other ways to ride her horsey.

 "Gamma," Zoey, and I went shopping at one of our favorite places, Ross. We didn't have the time and energy for much else which was fine because Ross pretty much has everything you could ever want to buy that doesn't include food. Well, they do have a specialty candy aisle which I only avoided because Zoey was tugging me to the kids section.

 When I was younger, I swore I'd never put my kid on a leash. Well, Younger Self, they are a GOD-SEND! Being the investigative toddler she is, Zoey always has to run off and check out everything, as you can see. And if I hold her on my hip too long she starts to freak out. Case in point: I was holding her to flip through the dresses and she kept saying, "books, books." Finally - according to her - I had looked at the dresses long enough and she started crying for the "books!" So she led the way, found a book and plopped herself in the middle of the aisle to flip through it. We settled on a Thomas and Friends book.

She also loves chairs, running across a store and announcing "chair!" Although she loves "Bob Bob," once she got the chair situated, she really didn't want to have anything to do with it. She is partial to small chairs for small bottoms that look like big chairs for bigger bottoms.

January brought a steady schedule, but it still had it's erratic moments, and it was only a month long. February came with a brand new schedule: daycare 3 days a week, and me working in a new office, causing a slight ripple through the rest of our time-tables. It's nothing but good, though, nothing that won't benefit us in some fashion or another.

With the holidays over and my mom back in Arizona, things are a lot quieter around the house. But each new change brings things to be thankful for, and better prepares us for the next time we have a new kind of normal.