Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Zola turns 3!!!!!

My firstborn turned three today! I'm so excited for her because I remember how fun it was to turn another year older when I was a kid... but it's bittersweet because it's going so fast! Where did my little baby go!?!
Here are some photos from our great day:
Rock and Roll Face

Checking For Rain

Sweet Smiley Girl

Curious George Birthday Dress

3 Years Old!
She's having a Curious George themed birthday party on Saturday. He's a current favorite around here. I found this piece of Curious George fabric in the remnant bin at Joann's a couple months ago and took a while figuring out what to make. I've made her jumpers in the past but they haven't turned out well. But I've been seeing a lot of tutorials on blogs about shirring so I gave it a try and I am so pleased with the result! She LOVED her dress and I'm hoping it's big enough for her to wear for a while.
Some things Zola likes right now:
Movies!: Wizard of Oz, FernGully, Madeleine, Matilda, Curious George, Parent Trap, Nemo, Alice in Wonderland
Music of all kinds. She loves to sing and makes up songs and inserts silly words into songs she knows. She knows most of the score from the Sound of Music but hasn't seen it yet. She also likes to play instruments. We think she's pretty good at catching on to songs and staying in tune when she sings. She has a good ear and has started occassionally speaking in a British accent because of Parent Trap.
Dora the Explorer, Curious George..those are her favorite characters of the moment. But she's been really into SuperWhy this year...I think she got tired of all the repeating shows but she'll watch when it's a new one.
She likes villains...the black oil in FernGully, all the witches and giants...she thinks it's fun and she really enjoyed Halloween this year!
She's still into dance. She isn't taking a dance class this year because she's in preschool instead. But we checked out some dance DVDs from the library a few weeks ago and she enjoyed participating with the dancers on the screen.
Foods: spaghetti, pizza, bread and butter, grapes, apples, bananas, oranges, any kind of fruit, bunnies and goldfish, cheerios, yogurt.
She used to love vegetables and she'll eat them now most of the time but not with the same gusto. She still doesn't eat meat.
She's still good about trying everything we serve her and will swallow it even if she doesn't like it. But her menus are shrinking...we'll keep working on it though.
Her vocabularly is constantly exploding. She loves to add new words and she likes knowing multiple words for the same thing...like a little thesaurus. And she's starting to be curious about reading. We won't push her but we will encourage and point out words and letter sounds. Numbers are a whole other ballgame though...she can count but she's never gotten past 10. She knows bigger numbers but she doesn't care. And number recognition is not something she enjoys. She knows upper and lower case letters and loves doing word worksheets but when we give her one on numbers she finds shapes to color in or checks out the letters in the instructions. Not sure how to encourage numbers when it's not our favorite subject either. Books abound in our house and we read all the time.
She finally FINALLY FINALLY sleeps ALL NIGHT LONG. 11-12 hours most nights. This has just happened in the last few months. And there are still nights when she wakes up and wants one of us to come hug her or something. She still naps about every other day. And on the days she doesn't nap we make her rest in her bed with books for about an hour.
Zola loves preschool. She's in a Tuesday/Thursday morning program with other 2 year olds. It was a slow start because she was sick off and on for a while and we did some traveling but we're in the routine now. We think it's good for her to have that time on her own. And it's good for Niva to have some one-on-one attention.
She also really likes to dress-up. She loves her costume box and she changes her clothes at least once a day. And she has her own style. Sometimes I lay out outfits that match so she has a few to choose from and she'll pick one thing from one outfit and one thing from another. I've been taking lots of pictures to show her when she's older.

She loves her little sister but still has jealousy issues and fights for our attention. That's hard to see. She does try to take care of Niva a lot and gets frustrated when I insist she's beeing too rough. Niva is starting to communicate better though so that helps.
OH! Art! Zola draws dozens of pictures every week and loves to ask Grant to take them to work. She prefers plain white paper over coloring books.
I love you Zola!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Princess Book

One of our new favorite books around here:

by Jane Rey

Zola loves it because it's about princesses. I love it because this is one cool chick.

Monday, September 20, 2010

5 Little Pumpkins

sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "Oh my! It's getting late!"
The second one said, "There are witches in the air!"
The third one said, "But I don't care."
The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run!"
The fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!"
oooo oooo went the wind.
Out went the lights.
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

This is one of Zola's all-time favorite rhymes. So I decided to use it for some Halloweeny decorations this year.

First I taped down a large piece of brown butcher paper. The I included a color lesson by having her stir up some yellow and red paint to make the orange. We painted the whole paper orange.

We left it to dry and when she went to bed last night I cut out five pumpkin shapes. Then I used some black construction paper to cut out different shapes for eyes, noses and mouths. I used some green construction paper for the numbers and gray cardstock for the speech bubbles. And brown paper for the stems.

This morning I layed it all out for her and she had a lot of fun picking out the faces and gluing them down. Once they dried this is what we taped up on our stair rail:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Make-it-Easy Monday

Zola is taking her first antibiotic right now because of case of the polka-dotted throat, otherwise known as Strep. boo. Given her penchant for HATING to take medicine (I'm serious. When she needs a pain reliever she opts for a supposatory over liquid by mouth!)... I came up with a medicine chart.

I grabbed a piece of paper she'd been doodling on, flipped it to the blank side, and wrote 'Zola's Medicine Chart' with a blue marker. Then I cut slits along the bottom until I had 20 little tabs. I posted it on the refrigerator. Now she can pull one off each time she takes her medicine and she has a good visual for how much she has left before she's all the way better.

I'd post a pic but my camera is acting up. Just picture those notices people put on bulletin boards where you can tear off a phone number to call about a rental or something for sale.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zola's First Day!

Today was Zola's first day of school! AH! My belly was feeling all topsy-turvy this morning..I thought it was pre-school jitters until I thought about that brownie I had for breakfast, that'll do it.

She was a bit nervous though...who the heck isn't on the first day of school? But she apparently had a blast and has said yes to everything I've asked- Did you play outside? Did you play with the kitchen stuff? Did you make friends? Did you go to the potty? Did you play with the train table? Did you have fun? Lots and lots of fun? Do you want to go back on Thursday?

And she was totally rocking the skirt I made especially for her first day. I was secretly panicing that she wouldn't have a great first day of school outfit (a must-have in my family growing up) but I had purchased this fun strawberry fabric on vacation and was able to whip this up while the girls took simultaneous naps yesterday!

Checking out the note I out in her pocket. It said, "Zola: I love you. XOXO, Mommy" She could read her name and smiled when I told her the rest.

Monday, July 05, 2010


What's one thing you think it's worth spending money on? What's one thing you always cheap out on?

This could also be a confession of ways I'm not environmentally friendly...eek. I am ok spending money on our power bill in order to keep the house cool. We set our thermostat much lower than the suggested 78-80 degrees in the summer. That is hot. I confess to being a creature that enjoys being comfortable. We set our A/C at 74. And our bill is expensive. But it's worth it.

I cheap out on clothes for my self. I don't buy myself clothes very often and when I do it's always clearance rack specials.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

What's your favorite movie?

What's your favorite movie?

Steel Magnolias. Hands down. Sometimes I think that maybe it will be something else...I try to force myself to pick another movie but it doesn't happen. This one makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me want to be a good person who loves others and takes care of those around me. Plus it kind of makes me want to be Sally Field.

Other movies I like...
Anna and the King- my favorite, 'i'm sick and just want to lie on the couch' film.
Matilda- my favorite to watch with Zola
FernGully- the first movie I remember seeing in the theatre
Terminator 2- Grant's favorite movie (i just like watching him talk about it)
The Princess Bride- my favorite quotable movie
Anything with 007. wowza.
Dirty Dancing- because it makes dancing look so fun

i'm sure there are others.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hat Rack Project

I had been trying to come with an idea for this hat rack for a few years. Grant's mom gave it to me after I turned one into a jewelry organizer for my sister. I didn't need a jewelry organizer but it took me a while to come up with another idea...but I finally firgured it out... the blank wall above the changing table in our downstair's 'everything' room:

Add the hat rack:

Add some pretty silver buckets out the $1 shelves at Target and some ribbon from the $1 section at Michael's that I already had in my collection:

Fill with all the babies' lotions, stain stick, diaper covers, snappis, medicines, etc.:


I love this project. Cheap, easy and helps with organization.

Monday, February 01, 2010


About 10 years ago I participated in a summer christian leadership training program called Josiah Project. It is run by Rock the World YMA . I lived with four other 20ish-somethings and we participated in team building activities, inner-city mission work experiences, youth ministry opportunities and cross-cultural mission projects in Belize. After spending 3 months living in close quarters we got to know each other really well.

At the end of the summer one of the directives was to access each other's good and not so good qualities. We lifted each person up with encouragements, thoughts on their future, prayers, and all of the amazing qualities we could see in him or her. Then we used our ears to hear and our eyes to see the rough places that could use improvement or that could possibly cause a challenge for his or her future.

All in all it was a great activity. I heard things that would not come up in normal life conversations.

I've gone back to the lists several times in the last 10 years when I've needed reminders about my strengths and also when I want to check on my progress at fixing those things they saw that might block me in my endeavors. Helpful and interesting. One of the obstacles someone said they saw for me was my tendency to act and speak provocatively. I was surprised that someone was actually calling me out. I knew I was flirty (the attention gave me a confidence boost) and I knew I liked to cause people to react at my words, but I didn't know that I was beyond the ordinary. Among other things I did that summer and on other occasions near this person- I walked through a church hallway from the bathroom to my sleeping room wearing nothing but a towel, wore skimpy bathing suits, stood on top of a suburban wearing a short dress, enjoyed surprising people with my vast sexual vocabulary (I could talk a good game), somehow caused a grocery bagger to leave his name/number in my bag of groceries, made out with someone (not that summer but on another Christian mission project)... I'm sure the list can go on. And that's just how I was being sexually provocative. I also encompassed this word on another level.

I love to question authority. I rarely take things at face value. I constantly seek for more and I enjoy pushing people beyond their limits (and often patience with me). I don't want to be the status quot. I want others to be provoked by what I say. I like starting and continuing conversations versus small talk (does anyone enjoy this?).

The other day I took both my girls to Target. When I shop with both I put Niva in a front carrier I've concocted out of a long piece of material so that I can chase Zola through the store as needed. I went in to Target to drop off a prescription. One guy came to the desk to help me and then called another guy over to help too. About 20 minutes later as I went to readjust Niva in the carrier I realized her foot had caught onto my tank-top strap and pulled my shirt down to my waist leaving my totally hot, beige-colored nursing bra out for the world to see. This is the extent of my flirtiness these days. Sweatpants, unwashed hair and an exposed nursing bra.

While my desire to be sexually provocative has waned over the years (having much to do with being married and loving every minute with my husband), my desire to provoke people in other ways is still burning bright. But somehow my spirit seems tame these days. It's been a while since I've offended someone (at least on purpose). I'm the authority now as a stay-at-home mom, so I guess I could question myself? I knew staying home would be hard but I am just now realizing the reason...it's not merely about other adult interactions because then grocery store encounters would suffice... I miss being frustrating. I miss inciting others to action. I really miss pissing people off- in a good way though, not in a way that flicking someone off in traffic could take care of. I miss the intellectualness of being a challenge.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


so the husband of mine decided to start a blog. good for him, i say. now my question is, is he doing it to spur me on in my writing, a 'hey, this is easy. why aren't you doing it more?', or is it really just for fun as he says...?

regardless of his reason it does make me feel like i should write more- here on my blog and on my literature stuff in general. thanks husband.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


one goal for this year: not to read any parenting books. to just go with the flow for niva and let her lead. do not be obsessed with what developmental stage she 'should' be in. just be on the lookout for anything odd but otherwise, enjoy her. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Would you like a side of urine with that?

Zola started potty-training last week. We've had a little potty in the bathroom for a long time and she has sat on it occassionally and used it a handful of times. We have constantly encouraged her to use it and have read books, watched movies and sung songs about going potty. But she never seemed very interested.

Then suddenly she asked to wear her panties one day and she stayed dry the whole day- running to the potty when she needed to go. Amazing. So it's been a little over a week now and she's still wearing panties most of the time. We average 2-3 accidents per day. And she's starting to try to go more each time so she doesn't go back and forth for small amounts. The first few days she was peeing 12 or more times a day. That was crazy. She seems to be saving it up more now and only going a handful of times.

She's pooping on the potty too. She's been nervous about pooping for a few months now...needing me to hug her or sing our poo-poo song before she can relax and let it go. That has translated into lots of back and forth to the potty without going and jumping up and down and sometimes even asking for a diaper before she relaxes and lets herself go.

The amount of urine we've all over the house is astounding. When she has an accident she really makes it count. She starts peeing and then she walks and keeps peeing until it's from one side of the room to the other. oh my.

She did so well going potty last week that we took her to Target on Saturday and she picked out lots of new big-girl panties- elmo, abby caddabby, hello kitty, flowers, owls and deer, plain colors. Sometimes I think she has an accident just so she can try out a new pair.

Most exciting for us is not having to clean adult sized poo out of a diaper! wahoo!