Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our First Mommy and Me(s) Vacation

It's over, our first minis&me family vacation! Sorry, I didn't prepare any of you, but we were attending a SECRET SURPRISE bachelorette (and my babies) weekend and I couldn't be the spoiler. (Hopefully my collection of tots was not viewed as a double dose of party spoil...for the most part, I think they were welcome guests.)

We survived a lot but also really grew closer during our six days away. I got to see my children really play together in a way that they just weren't when we left. I think the absence of anything familiar made them drawn to each other. I got to test Zayd's limits for change, and marvel at his ability to express himself, "me want be alone", "she hurt my feelings", and "mommy! Me frustrated!". He's a wonder, that little man. Zahra has evolved into the biggest snuggler. Auntie Lizzie couldn't get enough and neither can I! We only made one ER appointment but we canceled when it turned out Zayd *could* walk on his likely broken toe. He was just only willing to walk toward a new excavator. And we bonded with the people we love. Rhyan and Hayden are  both bigger in Zayd's heart. He has three new puppy loves. Miss Merrillee earned the moniker Nini. It was really hard and often stressful but I took these two tiny tots halfway across the country so they could come to love the people I love and cherish the things I cherish. It makes everyone closer and I couldn't ask for more. 

I felt a lot like a fireman emerging from a burning building as I stepped out of the elevator to baggage claim carrying two sleeping children and two backpacks. Like a boss. Or one really determined mama.

But now, I am going to sleep with no children wrapped in my arms and I am going to LOVE IT!

A round of sparkling apple cider on Z!
A round of sparkling apple cider for the house!

He can walk!

Here is Z1 while i make the ER call...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Flight for three

I just made it halfway across the country with two tots in tow and I really couldn't have asked for a better experience. From the most helpful fellow travelers and Enterprise employees, to Zayd walking his way to the gate, to baggage claim and to the rental car, and Zahra sleeping two hours in my arms, I have no complaints. It was still extremely hard but just because (air) travel is often that way and we had a lot of ground to cover with luggage, two car seats, and some pretty little legs.

I even had time to make the Southwest fold-a-dollar-into-a-boat craft. You can see Zayd attempting it as well.

Thanks to all the friends who's stuff helped make our first threesome flight a success!

Monday, September 23, 2013

"I So Excited"

Zayd now takes weekly gymnastics classes and, my goodness, does he love them. He gets to run and play, walk the balance beam, hang from the bars. My typically-fraught-with-fear child seems to not mind the heights, the balancing, the leaping off tall objects, so long as no one but me tries to help him.

Here he is on his very first day, not the best photos but a record nonetheless.

Last week, he worked on candlestick on the beam (the two year old version) and is now confident enough to take a leap of faith off the big padded podium and reach for the uneven bars. Half of the time, he makes it!

Mom of the year

Hands down. The airplane tomorrow will have nothing on this!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A lesson about mail

Zayd just made an octagon for Aunt Norma and then we got to have a nice lesson about mail. How mail works, how you send mail, how he could receive mail. It was very, very exciting to him as we packed away the Octagon for mailing. Apparently he found a hundred other things to mail Norma and included then when I wasn't looking. Luckily, I have a rescued them (the remote!) to watch the Texans game.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Zahra's First Zoo-venture

Though we have taken the Zs to the zoo together many dozen times, I think today was Zahra's first significant trip where she was allowed down to explore. Did she ever! It was great to have Zayd as her personal zoo tour guide. My only complaint is that every time I turned around, she was not wearing her shoes. Otherwise, this was the perfect early morning, late summer outing on a half-work half-mom day. I couldn't ask for more than getting to make memories before handing them over for nap time while I go manage my team. Today was definitely a good day for work-life balance (though they seem few and far between lately).
We spent almost fifteen minutes watching the Nile  crocodiles swim back and forth in their pond. I have never seen them so close to the glass and I would venture that I have visited them easily more than 100 times. Zayd had definitely never seen them so active and he was ENTHRALLED!

Zahra wasn't as interested and found other things to do (climb her stroller and throw her shoes).

The elephants were another favorite and Zahra shrieked at poor old Lucky for what felt like twenty minutes.

Sadly, also topping the list was the "not excavator" and "dump truck" that were loading grass for the African animals. We watched the men at work for longer than we watched the elephant.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sensory Play Fail

nterest-inspired, Montessori-leaning, messy/sensory/motor skills play wonderland for my tots. When I come up with something awesome (Letter-inspired days, or the Frosty the Snowman bath we did), I post here and Pinterest and we can all ooh and aah and Repin. Today, I am going to post two recent fails so you can not waste your most precious mommy resource (time!). 

Here's the noodles I wasted a morning dyeing different colors. Weren't. Touched. Once. I couldn't get Zayd to dig in them and even after they dried out three days later, he didn't want to smash them. Zahra would even eat them. It's the only thing she has rejected. Zayd cries when he thinks he'll have to taste a noodle, so that wasn't even an option. Perhaps it's because I used pho noodles since I didn't have spaghetti? (I think that makes me weirder and hopefully more cool all at once.)

On Pinterest, you can find all of these fun art activities for toddlers, such as watercolor ice. 

It was a lovely treat. No art was made in the eating of the "paint". 

We also lost one onesie in the process.

We've tried our hand at Q-Tip painting and while he can't Q-tip paint quite yet, I would say the art part we mastered. Even if it never left the plate.

Wait a minute, he is on a call. But Nani is great at toddler art.

Like all of our projects, it turned into a stamping project. But I count that as a win in the toddler art column.

Now, something that we did, loved, and then did again: Suncatchers! When I asked Zayd what he wanted to make Nani for her birthday, he said, "An OCTAGON!" Naturally. It is just torn or cut (into shapes) tissue paper that we put between two pieces of contact paper and finished off with colored masking tape.

Here is the more professional second attempt that we gave to Nani for her kitchen windows. We are taking requests. If you would like an octagon for Christmas, just comment here.

What toddler art do you love? Zayd got scissors for his Special Surprise for getting 30 magnets on his responsibility board this week so look forward to art with fringe. We are eagerly awaiting Halloween crafts like egg carton spiders, cotton ball ghosts, and some new window art with a ghoulish theme!


We learned an important lesson today: can only enjoy blueberry broccoli pops before our bath time.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Lolly is 9 Months Old!

My goodness, where to begin? Oh, I know, she walks. Not in 4 steps like she did at 8 months 2 weeks, or 10 steps like 8 months, 3.5 weeks. She just walks without the need for qualifications. Her progress from the video on her birthday until today is unbelievable. It is insane.

What I love most is how relentless she is. She takes some pretty significant falls. And up she goes. This girl needs a horse.
  • She maybe says mama and dada. Probably. But its hard to know for sure because she still seems so small to me!
  • She laughs and laughs and laughs.
  • And mean mugs strangers in the grocery store. People try and try to get her to crack a smile and she is a stone cold stoic. That must be the Sam in her.
  • Clapping makes her happy.
  • She has figured out how to blow into Zayd's toy trumpet and it startles her EVERYTIME.
  • She eats. Perhaps I should include, She eats more than Zayd at almost every meal.
  • She weighs 17.5 pounds (25%) and is rather short, in the "more than 10% column". Hysterically, everytime we are in a store a few people remark, "she's so big for nine months" while others choose, "she is so tiny!" but everyone comments on her curly lashes. It turns out San Antonians have no idea what size a baby should be.
  • She is so endearing. While I recognize she isn't nice to most people, she is so sweet and kissy, and lovable at home with us. She LOVES to give kisses (an attempt to suck on your lip, I think) and I could just never have enough.
  • Her hair is coming in. Occasionally, she has a wispy curl behind her ears. AND I can fit a bow in her dark locks...but it looks ridiculous. Don't worry, I don't make her leave the house looking like this:

Here she is on her birth-a-versary:

Towering over her former playgym.

Contemplating lunch.

There is a hat in there somewhere.

Bored with the hat and on her way to new adventures.

You comin?

After getting her flu shot. It was a 2 binky moment.