Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I have a ton of photos and a description of our wonderful second annual trip to Devine Acre Farms to get up. But for now, here's some Deck the Halls inspiration.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Very Football-y Thanksgiving

We had a very small Thanksgiving this year with just the family since I am just too pregnant to make the big haul to Houston or have a dinner party at my house during which my water might break. (Its two weeks till showtime, folks!)

It was nothing like I am used to but a wonderful time, just the same. Mostly, the meal centered around football, which made everyone ecstatic except maybe Sam. :) Even Sam has taken to the sport, he enjoys the running and the ball. My boy!

Zayd was a little terrified when everyone would suddenly scream out for no reason, so we soon instituted a rule that screaming was immediately followed by a round of high fives for Zayd. He would go down the line: Nana, AJ, Uncle Jon, Auntie Andie, Nani, Mama and congratulate us all on a play well done. (Or a call that we couldn't reason with but "was not up for review". (Link provided in case you missed the call...) He liked the high fives and I get the feeling that everyone visiting from Houston enjoyed it too. The picture below is terrible, everyone is blurry, the whole thing is chaotic but it pretty much captures our afternoon - smiles ALL AROUND. (Go Texans!)

When football bored him, Zayd helped make dinner. He can crack eggs, stir, and add spices. (He is a french toast-making champ, but sadly there was no french toast on our Thanksgiving menu.) His favorite is the automatic pepper mill, which makes for some spicier-than-expected delicacies in our house.

After the game, us young folks (ha!) played with Zayd while trying to recline on the couches. Z had a blast trying on cousin AJ's (ENORMOUS!) shoes. Zayd couldn't even stand in them because they went clear to his knees. :)

After the excitement of the game and the exorbitant amount of food Nani and I prepared, everyone had to lie down. I think Zayd was asleep by 5:45, and Nani called it a day by 6 o'clock. Sam, Jon, AJ, and I stayed up playing Risk until 11 (hark!) and it was so much fun. The game really shows everyone's personalities. AJ is apparently obsessed with Japan. Sam wants to invade everyone, then wants a truce. As Jon said, "Tahira just wants to sit at home in North America, drink Starbucks, and enjoy what she has. She won't attack anyone unless they attack her first." And Jon was a strategizer. I don't often get to do fun things without Zayd these days, I am just too tired to consider most anything after the lentil tucks in, but this was just perfect.

And for the record, I am thankful for the following:
  • That we got to eat on real china like I had always dreamed
  • That I get to raise my kids with Sam who is really a damn good dad
  • That my family is willing to drive to me when I am too round to make it anywhere else
  • For the community we have found/made here in Mahncke Park
  • For my Houston friends (including the Bell) who I miss very much but know I will see again soon
  • And for a 10-1 Texans record

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reminiscing because I'm too pregnant to sleep

I just re-read Zayd's birth story and couldn't be.more excited to meet Zahra.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I get to wake-up to this face every morning

I just wish it wasn't at five in the morning.
PS Check out that tower - inventive, isn't he?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kiddie Park and a love of Motor Vehicles

I've been saying this a lot lately but my little lentil is all of a sudden a little boy. What does a lentil grow up to be? We have spent a few wonderful fall afternoons at America's Oldest Children's Amusement Park, Kiddie Park. In a previous post, I wrote that he could only go on the carousel and that he'd graduated to the horese from the bench seats. Well, let me tell you, he surprised us this month. Not only does he ride the horsey but he wants mommy to stand more than arms-reach away!

The horse looks terrifying here but I suppose 100 years ago, the horses had a little more personality!

We did this ride 3 times!

Flying some sort of WWII bomber complete with a machine gun - ah Texas!

Time is flying. I wonder if the seconds pass faster or slower with two...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Getting ready for the littlest Z!

We haven't posted much from the Mammen house lately. Everyone is full speed ahead and exhausted trying to prepare for our little lollipop's arrival.


Despite some pretty intense contractions around 32 weeks, things have slowed down internally, and I am trying to hang on until Nov 24th or later. Why, you ask? Have you read parenting tips for raising Scorpios? I am a fairly main-stream thinking person who doesn't really believe in horoscopes EXCEPT Taurus (my dad and Sam) and Scorpio (all three of my best friends!). Obviously, I am a lover of these fiery bull-headed signs, I'm just a little timid about raising one!  ;) Consider these quotes from
Even if your Scorpio toddler seems calm and relaxed, you can be sure it's bottling up, so better do something physical to help him get it all out.
You might need to steer them away from vindictiveness or an ill-tempered playmate will be sorry one day. They have intense feelings and a natural urge to act as intensely. 
Scorpio kids are wise beyond their years, intuitive (they give hugs at just the right moment) and can sense weakness. They have a rare courage, fierce loyalty to family and friends and can be extremely hard on anyone not in their chosen circle. 
With brilliant minds and magnetic personalities, they can suffer from inflated egos that can harm more than help. Avoid raising a revengeful, hurting Scorpio by doling out generous helpings of love and affection. 

So, yeah. We aren't having a baby until after we enjoy a day of Black Friday shopping. I see this as a win-win. :)


Zayd is beyond excited about this little baby. I hope his excitment lasts and I think it just might. We spend a lot of time nowadays changing his baby's diaper, putting it to bed, or swinging it in the baby swing. (His baby is a stuffed monkey.) Last night, when Zayd couldn't sleep at 415 in the morning, he only found comfort by snuggling my swollen belly and sleeping with his head right next to Zahra's sleeping frame.

Here is a photo of my little lentil at last week's birth center appointment. We do a lot of belly kissing these days. I actually wonder if Zayd will be sad to see my belly deflate. (He'll get over it. I just wonder...) Luckily, we will have a sweet little lady to cushion the blow!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween 2012! Chomp!

This year Zayd (probably) wanted to be an alligator. It is his favorite animal at the zoo and his hands-down best animal impression. He really gets his arms CHOMPIN' and usually takes your whole head into his alligator jaws. :)

Enter, the search for the perfect alligator costume that in no way requires he wear a mask, a hat, or anything uncomfortable. (Because, honestly, he just wouldn't wear it!)

I think we did pretty well with our creation. And Zayd did rather enjoy Halloween this year. Though, I think he enjoyed handing out candy at the door more than trick or treating. EXCEPT when the kids were wearing masks. Then he would go hide inside. We'll see what happens next year...

Here he is with a ferocious CHOMP!

Trick or Treating with the Mahncke Park Toddlers and Waddlers Parade

He was a little aloof about actually Trick or Treating

But he sure loved handing out candy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mommy Tests

There are times when being a mom is really hard. Until this point, most of our struggles (which are rather seldom) have revolved around nap or bedtimes and trying to get Zayd to sleep through the night or take sufficient naps after messing up his schedule. The thing about those "crisis situations" is that it is still kind of about you. I want Zayd to sleep because it is good for him and makes him a happier boy but I definitely ALSO want him to sleep because I am exhausted and would rather spend my days with happy boy versus what I occasionally lovingly refer to as "jerk baby". (One of the personalities he flips on when he is super super tired.)

This week Zayd came down with a sudden ferocious bout of strep throat. Monday the nanny called me home to "look at Zayd" because he was sick and had the nanny extremely concerned. I arrived to my listless little man with a raging 102 degree fever (despite a dose of tylenol) who did look scary sick.

We went to the doctor who ruled it to be strep and sent us home with the yummy pink medicine I remember fondly from my childhood. (How do they make it taste so good and could they sell the flavoring to the children's tylenol folks?)

I spent about an hour after that appointment trying to get Z to relax and sleep a little but he was miserable and getting hotter and hotter despite tylenol. He would fall asleep, then violently twitch awake and scream for his daddy (who was at work). One of these twitches resulted in shivers and snowballed into a screaming crying hysteria that was terrifying. And I was scared. The thermometer was up to 105.6 and I was alone.

I ran to the front yard to cool him off with the short stint of fall weather and try and get him to get out of his screaming trance. Possibly. I definitely headed out the front door but exactly why I chose to do that I can't pinpoint. Possibly it was because of the completely logical reasons I listed but more probably it was because I was terrified and I couldn't be alone in my house with my fears and our rapidly escalating situation. Had Sam been home we would have had Z on the way to the hospital in my arms in 10 seconds flat. But, I wasn't about to drive down the highway with Zayd on my lap and I couldn't imagine letting go of him. I think I held him for the next 48 hours, in fact.

It was truly my first realization that literally the buck stops with me, and I'm the one who has to do whatever needs to be done to get him to be ok. If I can't control his fevers, then we won't necessarily just muddle through. I had many "I am the mom (!?!)" moments over those 48 hours, where it was really painfully obvious that I was 100% responsible for my little lentils life. (I suppose in actuality, I am 50% responsible but that isn't how it registered inside of me.)  It sounds dramatic and it probably felt hyper-petrifying because he is mine but it was just a real growth period for me. I'm it. And we are going to do whatever we need to do, and we are going to be ok, and I am the one who will make sure of it.

The second night, when Zayd wouldn't leave my arms, and woke every 45 minutes screaming in pain, I was so serenely calm. And just did it. Even Sam couldn't believe the weird person I had become to deal with the situation. Honestly, that person is probably already gone. Now I know she is there though. I just hope we won't have to summon her for quite some time...(everyone knock on wood).

He's 100% on the mend and even got to trick-or-treat in the Mahncke Park Toddlers and Waddlers parade for a bit yesterday. We'll get photos up soon.