Friday, November 28, 2008

Post-Holiday Joyousness

I love the day after a holiday. No one has to cook because there are so many leftovers. And the shopping deals are fabulous if you venture out. And everyone is smiling in their sweet potato induced food coma.


Oh, and you can eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sleep?

We're back to obsessing about sleep again. Or the lack thereof.



I have recently begun the night-weaning process and we've gone from Zola nursing 6-8 times to only once or twice per night. Amazing. Plus she was going down each night so easily... we followed our routine and I could put her down awake with no problems.



But (isn't there always one of these?)...



the last 3 days have been rough. She's still only nursing once at night but she's been restless and not wanting to go to bed. Crying and then going to sleep for less than five minutes before waking up and crying again. And she won't let me leave her room. She will snuggle into her bed and I will think she's asleep, wait a few minutes, but as soon as I put one foot out the door she's sitting up, wide awake, crying. This has been happening in the middle of the night too... one night she was up off and on for 2.5 hours.


And the napping has been just as bad. She'll sleep for 20-30 minutes and then not want to go back to sleep. A couple of times I've been able to hold her and she'll doze for a bit longer.



I'm exhausted. And going crazy with the lack of personal time.



She did this around 10 months... I remember the restlessness- that's what led to the 6-8 nursings at night... I'm hoping we don't go down that path again.



I think it's a growth spurt... she's been looking really chunky lately (more so than usual, that is) and that's what happens right before we notice she's gotten taller. She's also becoming more agile- climbing, walking faster, etc. And her vocabulary has been expanding at a rapid rate... All things that lead to restlessness and clinginess.



On the brighter side- Zola has been so good at playing by herself recently. She will wonder off and find her toys or more often her books and entertain herself for 40 minutes at a time at least once and sometimes twice a day. It's been fun to watch her imagination at work and especially fun to hear her singsong voice as she reads to herself.

After the Low-Country Shrimp Boil Party on Amelia Island


Monday, November 17, 2008

Zola Turns ONE!

Well Bugga...yesterday was your first birthday. Yep. In one day you went from being months old to being an entire year old. 365 days. Your dad and I keep wondering what we did before we had you. Especially now that you're walking... you keep us busy every second of the day.


We had a fun time yesterday... a small party with our close-by family and a couple of our friends... cake and ice cream... snacks and presents. Oh and lots and lots of balloons.

You and your dad like to make funny faces.

In fact ever since you woke up from your nap yesterday afternoon and came downstairs to see the many balloons tied to chairs and the banister and your highchair and your changing table... you have run around pointing and letting us know about all of the "baaallloooons!!" I think it's your new favorite word... along with puppy and uh-oh, of course.

And speaking of cake... you didn't put your face in it like some kids (myself included, just ask your Gma about it) but you did stick your finger in the middle of a flower. Your Grandpa Buddy was standing by very excited- he would touch your arm and encourage you grab the cake but you held back and took your own time and eventually you did end up with the essential bits of icing smeared across your face and up your arm.
You were also very keen on sharing your cake with everyone. I'm pretty sure most of the people in the room licked some sugary goodness off your fingers.

So your first birthday is over but I've been told this happens every year.
As I watched you today you actually seemed older. Those four (!) upper teeth are helping out with that. And your walking is less 'frankensteiny' and your vocabulary is expanding and your play-time is more imaginative and you sit and ask us to read for longer and longer periods of time and you are starting to assert your independence in not always wanting to be carried and in deciding for yourself what you will or will not eat... you are growing up. And your parents just don't know how much more of this they can take.
The other day you said "I love you Dada." That was the first sentence you put together yourself. Your father melted. Keep it up and he might actually buy you a car for your sixteenth.
I love you baby girl.
Mom






Saturday, November 15, 2008

Musings

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post... being that my husband is a founding (and currently only) member of HAB I can now tell you that we've been out of town. We spent last week in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island just outside of Jacksonville... and it was FABULOUS.

Grant had another training class so Zola and I spent our days strolling around the island, swinging a park, walking around the marina and getting diet cokes at a very cool local restaurant- T.Rays (well, that one was just me). If you are ever looking for a vacation spot in Florida, Amelia Island would be a great choice. There are tons of great shops and restaurants and you can walk from one side (intercoastal waterway) with the marina and ships to the other side (beach!). And we also totally reccommend our hotel.

We got back last night and spent today unpacking and cleaning up around the house (well..Grant spent the day doing laundry and then watching the Gator game) because tomorrow is ZOLA'S FIRST BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

I can't believe the baby that was trying to kick her way out of my stomach at this time last year is already turning one. We're having a little bitty party for her tomorrow and hopefully I'll get some pictures up next week.

On another note I made a really fun dinner tonight. Publix was not on our list of things to do today so I had to make-do with what I had on hand and I must tell you it turned out pretty tasty. Last week Grant's favorite salad dressing was on sale- BOGO- but they only had 5 on the shelf so I had to add one more to make the sale so I picked up a bottle of Kraft Italian Pesto Dressing and Marinade b/c I thought it looked like it might be good... Tonight I boiled some frozen chicken legs, warmed up some peas, sauteed a tomato and tossed it all with the dressing and a bag of these fat little football-shaped pastas. And b/c we love cheese we added a bit of parmesean- bravo to myself. Maybe you want to come over for leftovers tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkinhead Zola

Some cute shots from our visit to the pumpkin patch. It was the first time she had seen pumpkins and she was very excited. So much so that we bought one and have taken it everywhere with us over the last couple of weeks.

Edited by my sister, Stevie




Sunday, October 26, 2008

11 Months


All of a sudden we have a walking, talking toddler. Zola is walking all over the house, climbing everything and adding new words to her vocabulary every other day. These are the words we understand:

Hi, Mama, Dada, Amen, Book, Ball, Baby, Hey

She's also singing (La La La), saying 'moo' when she sees a cow, and trying to repeat whatever we say. Her third tooth has recently made it's appearance. Teething seems to be getting harder for her with each tooth. This one is on top and it took weeks to break through- including several rough nights and purlpe, blistery gums. It will be really sad if this is what she has to look forward to for the next year.

Things are not slowing down over here travel-wise either- St. George Island, A stop in Pensacola, and 2 weeks in New Orleans. Here are our favorite shots (pumpkin patch photos to follow in another post):






St. George Island, FL




Walking on Pensacola Beach




New Orleans, LA

The view from a hotel room
How Grant and Zola spent the evenings...reading, "Moo, Baa, La La La"

Photo shoot in a cool park downtown


Zola LOVED dancing with the street musicians


Photo shoot in a beautiful courtyard we came across

In the hotel dining room

The Audubon Aquarium - So fun!
Please don't poo on me!
Petting a shark
It's the extremely rare ZolaFish
Happy Birthday Grant! At the Crazy Lobster... After trying a fabulous Hurricane.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sundays (or Mondays) are for Food

Sunday: Cubed Pork Steaks, mashed potatoes, peas

Monday: Black Bean Enchiladas, fresh pineapple

Tuesday: Book Club for me (yay for margaritas!), so husband will be having leftovers from Sunday- minus peas, plus broccoli

Wednesday: Out

Thursday: Leftover Enchiladas

Friday: Usually homemade pizza but we have company this week so I will be making pasta shells stuffed with pears and asiago cheese in a light red sauce, and some kind of chicken and bread and salad

And on This Week for Dinner, Jane has promised an upcoming recipe for Thai Chicken Pizza...mmm... I am looking forward to that for next week.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Wardrobe

Today I told Grant that I am in need in of a new wardrobe. And not because of my post-baby, nursing fluctuated body- but because I am in dire need of a new style.

And I am 100% sure it will be more Granola than Princess.

This is was the final straw:

We went to an outlet mall today... when we go to an outlet mall it usually takes up most of the day and involves hours of walking. So I thought to myself, 'Emily, you should be sensible today.' That was #1.

#2. I wore a black Ann Taylor Loft tee with a cute neckline and flirty short sleeves... Black = no stains and invisible sweat.

#3. I wore a pair of red Ann Taylor Loft capri pants. Not so bad unless you inquire about the many zippered pockets where I kept my phone, credit cards and cash- so I wouldn't have to be bothered with carrying a purse. All I can say to myself at this point is, Thank God I didn't wear a fanny pack.

#4. I wore sensible tennis shoes with socks. No cute flip-flops or sandals for me... No siree. I went all out today. My feet were cooommfffyyy. Yeah.

#5. The mom haircut. Grant assures me that it is normal for all new moms to cut their hair short in the name of convenience and maybe even looking older. He's also hoping that I grow out of this phase quickly and that my hair grows back even quicker. But I do offer one excuse- I did have a very cool short cut and color a few months ago...and my current style can be fully attributed to the 'growing out' phase. Plus, it's actually a good haircut... but a short, bobbed do, coupled with this outfit...well, I'm pretty sure you're getting the picture.

#6. There is no #6. But if there was it would probably involve crumbling tissues in my pockets and granny panties and wiping off my daughter's face with my spit (oh wait...I have done that one).

So in summation- if you have any hippie skirts or funky shirts from your pre-mom days that you have willingly boxed up in favor of comfort and sensibility- please, oh please send them my way.

And in case you haven't seen it, this is what I want for Christmas:

Mom Jeans

Thursday, October 09, 2008

WALKING!

Zola took 11 steps today- BY HERSELF!


I think we have an official toddler on our hands people. Oh my.
Here's a photo of her walking on Pensacola Beach.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

She's on the move, people, she's on the move.

It has been another HUGE weekend for Zola; develomentally that is. Will this ever stop?


In addition to knowing where her head and her belly are, tonight I asked her where her toes are... we haven't tried this before but she immediately grabbed her toes! Of course lots of clapping and 'yeahing' ensued.


And yesterday she decided she could now climb the stairs. All the way to the top. Quickly.


And this evening I handed her an empty diaper box (one of her favorite toys, among water bottles and altoid tins). I turned around to pick up some toys and when I looked back at her she had turned the box on it's side, pushed it over to the cedar chest and proceeded to climb up and grab the picture frames we keep at the very back edge- the place that used to be out of her reach. She had a problem, formed a plan and executed it. We are pretty sure she's a genius.


Obviously this means that she must be feeling better. The snot sum was significantly lower in our household today. We also discovered a new top tooth just below the surface- which may have been the cause of some of the snot, fever and general crankiness this week.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thats alota snot. No itsnot. Exactly.



Yesterday was Sunday, the day usually set aside to think about food for the week. But yesterday was also apparently the day for snot. So I ate cinnamon rolls for dinner and my daughter just wiped her nose on my shirt and my jeans and the floor and her blankie and occassionally she'd scream while I wiped her snot on a tissue.





Poor kid. Today her nose is all red and it's still running... where it is going and when it will stop, nobody knows.

Until then.. here's one of our favorite WTF? Zola moments. She has these often.






Grant is almost done with his cold and mine is still towards the beginning I think... sore throat, to be followed by sneezing and snot.





Maybe I'll feel like thinking about food later... hopefully after I wash the dishes that have now breached the counter and moved on to the stove.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Magical Moment

I love that magical moment- when we find the exact second Zola needs to take a nap- when she nurses and takes herself off (!) and then she climbs up on my shoulder and snuggles in and I feel her warm, milk-sweet, baby breath on my neck. And then she actually lets me put her in her bed and without complaint she grabs her blankie and bunny and curls up to sleep. sigh. Magic.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday is for FOOD

Menu thoughts for this week.

- i have some marinating, raw green peppers and onions and zucchini leftover from grilling out last night... i think i will put them in a baking dish with some chicken and some sweet potato chunks and bake it all together for a while... maybe with some rice.

- chicken tortilla soup (from our freezer)

- pizza for friday (so far I've done, chicken barbecue, french bread, my own crust w/ vegies... perhaps we'll try english muffins?)

Friday, September 19, 2008

H.A.B.

This evening I'm sitting at the computer reading through my daily blogs (read: trying to spend 5 minutes ALONE after an entire day spent with family)... when Grant sidles up next to me and proceeds to fill the entire space around us with a cloud of dense, ass-stink. As I begin to hurl he mentions that he may have eaten a lot of hummus earlier.

Pretty sure I'm never making hummus again. Or if I do I will just put it right out in the open on a refrigerator shelf where he will never find it.

As the smell becomes more and more repugnant I informed him that I would be blogging about this incident.

"Emily. We're going to have to lay down some ground rules for blogging" he says.

I ignore him.

"Remember the 'Craigslist Incident'?" He scrapes the last of the hummus from the bowl.

Seriously though. The 'Incident,' he refers to, was one time (ONE TIME!) that I had someone meet us at the grocery store that we frequent that happens to be close to our house. Now we have a "Family Craigslist Rules List"...

"Craigslist is different from blogging." I probably should have just kept ignoring him.

"But you're giving out personal information!" His pitch is rising now.

"YOU don't even read my blog!"

"I read it every day!"

"Then what is the last thing I blogged about?"

"Zola."

"I think this conversation is over now."

Later he tells me that he's going to create a new club.

H.A.B. = Husbands Against Blogging

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mooo

Zola has a lot of gas lately. It seems to be the main culprit waking her up at night. We hear a cry and then some loud (LOUD) gas and then more crying and usually she needs me to help get her back to sleep.

hmmm...

I think I'm going to cut out dairy from both of our diets for the next few days and see if that clears up the problem.

Now to find other things to eat with calcium...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is she growing?


Last night Zola slept with me all night because I could not get her to stop nursing! She did this a few weeks ago and I had heard that babies typically go through a growth spurt around 9 months...but at 10 months, too?


She has also been refusing to eat fruits and vegies in favor of meat or beans or eggs or yogurt...all high protein. More evidence?


I guess we'll find out at her 12 month appointment.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Sleep, what's that?


So a few weeks ago we decided to start trying harder to get Zola to sleep all night. I read some books, talked with a great friend whose daughter happened to be in the same position, made a plan. Persistence, Consistence, Patience.


After a couple of night it was working! Zola was sleeping up to 6 hours at a time. BLISS, I tell you, BLISS. We were getting more sleep which equaled more energy and we were being much nicer to each other during the day.


Alas...I guess all good things come to an end. I started noticing it was getting harder to get her down for her naps. Persistence, Consistence, Patience. But it just kept getting harder. I was fighting her for almost every single nap. Upwards of an hour or more each time. She just refused to sleep. So I regressed. After the back and forth of sit up, stand up, throw everything out of the crib, shhhh, it's time for sleep....I started napping with her. I mean, she had to get some sleep, right? And I was exhausted.


And then nighttime sleep took a turn towards wakeful. The plan wasn't working. She'd just play and ignore my very Persistent, Consistent, Patient plan. Until I left the room. And then she'd scream and throw her loveys on the floor and cry until I came back. Shhhh... it's sleep for time. it's sime for teep? oy.


And then she was suddenly back in our bed for part of the night. She's teething we say. She had some really bad gas this evening, maybe that's her problem. Her bones must be aching from all that growing... do you want to go get her and bring her in here? Yes. Okay.


Last night she was up for 2 hours. From 1-3am. Nothing was getting her back to sleep. Grant and I are borderline delirious from sleep deprivation this morning. I just got her down for a nap- by herself, in her crib- but only after an hour of crying off and on and finally being rocked to sleep.


I guess it's back to the plan. Persistence, Consistence, Patience. But when she will be consistently sleeping? That's what I'd really like to know.


But then she smiles in the morning and says "olley olley olley" in that funny voice and maybe give a little fake laugh and we crack up and pretend it wasn't that bad.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday is for FOOD

Let's see...what are we going to eat this week...

Tonight I am making:
Apricot Chicken (Recipe by Jane)
Whole Grain Rice
Green Beans
Bread

On the menu for the rest of week (in no particular order):
- Spaghetti or Lasagna w/homemade meat sauce (frozen from last week's large pot)
- Egg Foo Young
- Leftovers

Zola has been fairly adventurous with her eating recently. Tonight she ate her mum-mum dipped in smushed black beans. She won't eat black beans off a spoon but she will eat them like crazy if she can do it herself with the mum-mums.

She is a big fan of turkey, chicken and ham. For lunch today she ate 2 slices of turkey. Yogurt has also been a big favorite recently. The yogurt made for babies makes her sick (as in puking all over the floor) so we give her regular adult yogurt and she loves it. I think it may be giving her gas though so I'm trying to give it to her in moderation.

I've been trying to use one new recipe each week. Apricot chicken for this week. One of the best parts about being married to Grant is that even if a dish turns out so bad that I won't eat it, he will.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Not I Sewing Master Am

I just finished my third jumper for Zola. This time I threw the pattern out the window (not really... I just hid it under a box). It turns out I was actually making a shirt for something the size of a large eggplant. Surprise!

In my head it was going to be this really great flared summer, tie-shoulder, dress. When she wakes up I'm going to try to wiggle her in it.. which she will love and ask me to do over and over again... and I will try to take a picture... if she can hold her breath for that long.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

6 years. Or 6 dozen eggs. You choose.


As of last Sunday I have been married for 6 years. I have been married for almost one-third of my life. (picture circa 2002)


We went to McDonald's- in honor of our wedding night*. And then the in-laws came over and we went to the dollar movie theater to see the new Indiana Jones film. Which by the way is now charging $1.75 per ticket. We realized we'd been out of the loop for a while. It was still better than $10 at a regular theater.



*After our wedding my dad took us to our hotel and being as we had no other transportation, no money, no desire to call any friends to pick us up and take us out, we had to settle for whatever was in walking distance for dinner. And so we went to McDonald's. And I had chicken nuggets. At the time I thought it was all romantic - 'young, broke, newlyweds dine at micky's.' Then I went through a time where I was all- 'is it okay to eat fast food on your WEDDING night?' Now I just think it's funny.


Mommy's Nose

Three times today I asked Zola, "Where's Mommy's nose?"


And three times today she touched my nose!


This is the first time she's pointed to something on someone else. I always wonder if I will be this excited about these kind of things with the next baby. I think I will though... it is such a wonder to watch her grow and learn.


One of her favorite games is 'tent.' We lay on the bed or on the floor and use a sheet/blanket as a tent. She LOVES it. She'll talk and wiggle and try to hold it up and pull it down and then push me to put it back. She is so happy under her tent. We might have to get her a real one.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

9.5 Months


In 2 weeks Zola will be 10 months. Double digit months. There's no going back from there.

In the last few weeks she has met some HUGE developmental milestones:
FEEDING HERSELF
Corn is Delicious!

MASTERING THE XYLOPHONE


FISHING WITH DAD

'Four' Real.


EATING MORE BERRIES


What's on my belly?



BOILED EGGS ARE DISGUSTING

Seriously Disgusting.

SWINGING AND MAKING FUNNY FACES

PUSH-UPS
VOTING IN HER FIRST LOCAL ELECTION
Can you see my tooth?
CLAPPING
MODELING MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT SEWING BABY CLOTHES


PULLING UP!

READY FOR HER FIRST NAMED STORM (FAY)

In addition, Zola took her first step!!!! I'm hoping to get the video uploaded here soon. Yes, I just happened to be videotaping her when she decided to take off! She has also started rolling over, going from her stomach to sitting, and crawling. Well... sort of crawling. Grant has dubbed it as the 'dead-leg crawl.' She tucks one leg under and leaves the other leg hanging behind while she pulls herself across the floor with her hands. It is hilarious to watch and hopefully I will have a video of that soon too!

Her one tooth has also been growing in more. And we can see a couple others trying to poke through but they haven't made it quite yet.

With all this rolling and crawling and trying to walk we are all exhausted! And it happened so suddenly that Grant and I are scrambling around the house trying to get everything baby-proofed!

Zola has been saying 'mama' and 'dada' for a while now but only recently in context. Most days when Grant comes home she squeals and will start yelling 'daaa-eee,' just missing that middle 'D.' She has also started flapping her arms when she dances and if you ask her where her belly is she'll pat it.

I'm tired just writing about everything she's doing these days. And I just know more will come.