Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zayd's First Birthday

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The sun is setting...

As I keep telling the lentil, when he wakes up tomorrow he will be one. ONE. My goodness.

I intend to break out the camcorder and record every last second so we can look back years from now
  • this is how you read a book when you were one
  • this is how you ate breakfast when you were one
  • this is what you did at the playground when you were one
  • this is how happy you made mommy when you were one
  • this is how handsome daddy was when you were one
  • this is how your bedroom looked when you were one
  • this is how you spent your first birthday with your mommy when you were one
Along the same vein, I have decided to turn my phone off with tonight's sunset and ignore it until tomorrow's sunset. I just don't want to miss a smile because I was updating my facebook status.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The lemon list

My to do list is insane this week. I'm beginning to feel like an ashamed OAM (over achieving mom) that one of my favorite bloggers is always ranting about. (

Zayd's first birthday is definitely going to blow my upcoming (30th!) fiesta out of the waster.

Here is over of the easier projects pinterest and I knocked out last night.

I used two brass candlesticks from goodwill, melamine plates, and bright yellow spray paint. I held out searching for lemon plates for a while but decided time is ticking and yellow accents would have to do.

This dessert stand is just waiting for lemony chex mix, gooey lemon crumb bars, and lemonheads.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day Two: Hollywood Trolley!

The second day I woke early and took Zayd on a three mile walk to try and compensate for my lack of 10K training that I knew I would come in the days ahead. We went and had an awesome breakfast of a Belgian waffle and scrambled eggs together - his first waffle experience. He had a blast making faces at the retirees in this cute community bagel shop.

During the afternoon, I had to head to work so Sam and Rachel were left in charge of le bebe. He took all his naps so I was a happy mama.

At night we hopped on the Hollywood Trolley - one of my favorite things about this adorable town - and headed back to the boardwalk for dinner.

We contemplated hitting up Le Tub Saloon which aparently had 13 oz burgers good enough to be an Oprah favorite. It turned out that everyone in town had heard about the Oprah endorsement so we decided to pass when we heard about the 1.5 hour wait for food. We ended up enjoying calzones and gnocci, perfect for this little Italian clan.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Our first day in Hollywood, FL kicked off what turned out to be an awesome vacation. Here is a short recap of Day One!

Here we are waiting at the airport and watching for our plane to show up in the early morning hours. Zayd was an excellent traveler and I was so so proud of him. Sam and I were both surprised about how easy the trip TO Florida turned out to be.

I am not sure how Zayd knew he was supposed to hold on during the DFW Skylink ride but he did it instinctually. It was so cute to me.

Headin to the beach!
At first, he was a little timid about the water. He never really warmed up to the idea of swimming in the ocean.

But we had a great time running down the beach with the wind in our hair.

And eventually we got our feet wet!

Relaxin in our awesome Crowne Plaza hotel room.

For dinner we headed to the Hollywood Boardwalk and enjoyed Greek food on the shore. Zayd enjoyed his first Saint Patricks Day. (Don't worry, it's clean and alcohol free at this point?)

Thursday, March 22, 2012


An awesome awesome mama in the neighborhood set up a little photo shoot for all of the tots since Mahncke Park wildflowers are in full bloom. This really is the best neighborhood on Earth.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Practice What You Preach

Zayd is finally at an age where I feel like all of those parenting books I spent reading while I was pregnant or he was just a tiny thing are coming in to play and its wonderful.
  • When I am trying to explain the behavior I want, I can definitely see a difference if I get down on his level. Its much easier for him to ignore me if I am some big tall mommy monster. And if I squat down, he usually crawls in my lap so whatever he was attempting to destroy is safe again. We have moments there both of us on the floor.

  • Getting him to help is key for this kid. He holds his buckle on his carseat now while I try and hook it. (After screaming at me about being strapped in, but hey, baby steps.) The other day at the grocery store I promised him that if he stayed in the cart the whole time I would let him run around outside before we headed home. After loading up the trunk, it was time to push the cart back. I popped him down and let him *push* it into the cart corral. I was doing the heavy lifting and he was safe between me and the cart but he was SO PROUD when we got to the corral. You should have seen his beaming face and the ridiculous amount of clapping we did for him. (And, as a matter of fact, the lady parked next to the corral rolled down her window and applauded him as well.)
  • Sometimes I get frustrated because he doesn't want to stay in his stroller and would rather be pressed to me in a wrap or sling. And then I remember that I babywear because I read and I believe that its good for him. Especially as a teeny tiny lentil, he definitely benefitted from having my heart beat right next to his little cheek. So, now he likes to be worn. And I like to wear him. And really, its way better than the stupid stroller anyways! (As long as we aren't running. Haven't figured out a babywearing/running mechanism.)
  • I get to let him pick things now and it is awesome. "Bulbul ka bacha" or "Noisy Baby Book"? Apple or Banana? Blocks or Balls? He actually picks. Its so mature and I like being able to communicate with him even though he knows very few words.
I feel like I am finally parenting and not just keeping him alive. It is scary but awesome. I love watching him learn to behave a little more maturely, or pick up a new skill, or be proud of himself. There is probably nothing I have ever loved more in my entire life than seeing him be proud of himself. We do a LOT of Zayd-inspired celebratory clapping in the Mammen house.

There was a positive parenting workshop this week that I missed but some friends of mine went and took notes. I am really excited to attend a four week workshop on the topic during the summer. I love the idea that there is a science to parenting. (Just need to be sure to keep myself away from solidly defining a *right* way to parent and then beating myself up for not measuring up...its maybe a tendency of mine.) Any parenting advice from the readers out there?

P.S. Did I mention he is destructive?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Zayd is Turning One!

Many many people have asked me what Zayd would like for his birthday. Here are my answers.
  1. Nothing! He is one. He doesn't know he is getting things.
  2. A small donation to his LoneStar529 college fund.
  3. Something to help him discover the world and help his brain grow. Do you have a toy your little one loved? Pass it on!
Big wooden puzzles
Books - his favorite thing!
Things to help him make music!
Items that teach cause and effect - jack in the box for example
Things that stack, sort, etc. Mommy has been reading a lot about Montessori education and it seems sorting plays a huge part!

Mostly, he wants you to read him a story, play paddy-cake, and be patient with him
while he tries to figure out how to be a mature well-behaved boy in this crazy crazy world.

Photo Phail

It isn't often that I set out to do something and then find myself incapable of achieving it. This month has already proven itself a whirlwind and we have a work conference, a five day beach vacay in Florida, and a 1st birthday yet to come! I managed to get 2 days of my photo challenge up on the blog. I've been too agitated with myself for not sticking to the challenge to blog about anything else, and that has left Zayd-o-philes without their daily fill. Let me see what I can do to make it up to you!

Your neighborhood - We enjoyed our sweet little neighbor's 2nd birthday and spent about 90 seconds in the bouncy house before vomitting. (Zayd not me.)

Bedside - This is hysterical but this is actually how Sam sets up my bedside every night. There is an art to it, and my technique is not good enough. I will (woefully) admit that Zayd has probably rolled out of my bed 3 times and hit this plush dreamland and only woken up once - without a bump or a cry or anything.

A smile - Didn't get any photos this day. I am sure there were plenty of smiles to go around. Here is a throwback circa 6months. :)

5PM - I got nothin' By five we are usually in the homestretch just before crankiness and on a run. A literal run. Mommy (that's me) is training for a 10K. I suppose I forgot to mention that here on Z's blog. I have lately been feeling the need to say more about what's going on outside of my 12 hours a day with the lentil but not knowing if this is the place. Or if I need more places...(I can't keep more places straight, so that is definitely not the solution.)

Something you Wore - Because Mammens are inherently cool!

Window - Whenever Sam goes outside to mow the lawn or do Daddy-like things in the backyard, Zayd stands at the window and yells Da-da-da-da-da-da. His list of words now includes Mama, Dada, and he snuck a Hot! in this weekend with Nani. He might know Nana too but I can't be sure. He can also wave hello and goodbye, clap, shake his sillies out (its a song), he signs milk and more (though I am not sure if he knows what more is supposed to mean or just that we like doing it...), and he dances.

Red - You can check out some anachronistic red Santa socks in a few of these photos!

Loud - Yes he is.

Someone you Talked to Today - I know I've been trying to predict the lovey for months but I think this little sock monkey might be the Mitt Romney of this contest. They are very close, Zayd and that little minky monkey.

Fork - Nope - we don't have an actual photo. Zayd has an awesome dump trick fork his Auntie Sonia bought him though so we will use the stock photo.

Sign - I am going to take this as a sign that he wants to be a mathematician. That is one giant abacus.

Things I wish had been on the list: Things you covet

And a category for Hugs:

And lastly, we'd like one for Chores: Because he loves to help me with the laundry.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Return of the Gocco

Fair warning: there are no pictures of my little lentil in this post!!!

Zayd is nearly a year old now! Ah! To celebrate, we are throwing him the best birthday party with a lemony citrus theme at the end of the month. Why lemons, you ask? I found a dairy free Lemon Coconut Bundt cake for my little lemon drop MONTHS ago that inspired the whole shabang!

There are tons of my ideas coming to life on Pinterest on my Party Ideas board right now. Menus are just about crafted, I am working on favor bags, the color scheme is set: yellow!, grey, and white, with paperbag brown as a medium throughout. But! I had yet to send out invites. That was what this weekend was for.

I thought I would reintroduce you all to my lemony friend, the gocco. We spent many months together in 2009 printing wedding invites. See here for proof!

This time, we only had 50 invites to print, and 100 invites later I can tell you that I am moderately pleased with the results. :)

First, we burned the image using a carbon-ized Xerox copy of something I crafted using clip art and Microsoft Publisher. I had forgotten that having to stick those sponges between where you want to ink is a pain. When I designed the wedding invites I was reading about Gocco projects EVERYDAY and really had a better understanding of how to fool proof the process. This time it was more guess and check. Here is our sponged master:

In case you are squinting to read:
Our little lemon drop is turning one
Please join us for some birthday fun
For arts and crafts with a lemony twist
Wear citrus colors if you can't resist!!!

And then we inked. Something I did learn from the last time: don't conserve ink. You have no other use for it! I laughed reading about spreading the ink around for the RSVP cards in the post from many moons ago.

Here is the ink all spread out post smush.

And there are some of our original 50 invites...

Nicely, this also satisfies our photo a day requirement: Fruit! Go figure - this just keeps working out!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Photo a Day - March

Lets see if we can document Zayd's last month of his first year with a photo a day challenge. Itsa good way to get more photos of the baby out for his loving followers and a nice count down tothe big 0-1. :)

I got this idea from the Vintage Lemon and this exact challenge from Fat Mum Slim

So, here goes nothing. I actually forgot to take a photo for the challenge today but just happen to have one that kicks us off nicely.

It lifts me up. He's looking up. We'd just gotten up. It works.

Photo a Day - March

Lets see if we can document Zayd's last month of his first year with a photo a day challenge. Its a good way to get more photos of the baby out for his loving followers and a nice count down to the big 0-1. :)

I got this idea from the Vintage Lemon and this exact challenge from Fat Mum Slim

So, here goes nothing. I actually forgot to take a photo for the challenge today but just happen to have one that kicks us off nicely.

Our first Palindrome!

Zayd has grown by leaps and bounds these last 30ish days.
  • He is a full fledged walker. He walks everywhere until he wants to pick up the pace and then its back down on all fours. He like to walk like the baby of Frankenstein and it is so freaking cute.
  • He signs! I have meaning to tell you all about the afternoon he looked me straight in the face and sign "milk". "Are you saying you want milk Zayd?" I had been signing it at least three meals a day for 10.5 months and I was SHOCKED when he signed it back. It takes a lot of guess work out of our interactions.
  • He is a terror. You will see below. The way I used to LOVE taking him everywhere with me has hit a bump this month (this week, really). He is just soooo active. And he wants to walk; the baby seat in a cart is no longer cutting it. He wants to push the cart. AND HE DOESN'T WANT YOUR HELP. Gosh mom!
  • He laughs. Real little boy belly laughs. Peekaboo is still the best bet to get him really cracking up. It makes up for the never-sitting-still issues.
  • He has stranger danger. He doesn't just pass from person to person anymore. Half the time I can't pass him to Sam. We are working through it. :)
  • He is skinny. Really really skinny. Its all the running around.
  • You will notice that this month there are a ton more pictures sans-hat.
See those ribs!

He still loves the fan.
And mommy!

Celery and carrot sticks. MMMM!

At least in this photo he is reaching for the hat. Probably so he can destroy it.

Here is where you get to see The Little Zayd that Could. We were just running in to target to pick up three things so I didn't bother with a cart. But he wouldn't stay in his stroller. So, I tried to improvise. MISTAKE.

Doing what we do best - gardening.

I can't believe its almost here. The rest of my life is going to fly by.