Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Wonder If I'm Growing

They sure are!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Houston Zoo

From the second we took off for Houston, Zayd asked for Nani and Nana. After he fell asleep in the car for his nap/drive, he couldn't keep his head up and we couldn't imagine him lasting long , so mommy had to crawl in the back and hold his little noggin upright. Turns out this wasn't comfortable because Zayd didn't sleep. And then he cried, for like 36 hours. "Home, pleassssse." 

Perhaps starting off on a better foot (nap!) would have helped. Perhaps we need one of these. (Ha ha! Someone find me a DIY pattern please, I can't pay $20 for a strap to contain Zayd's head until I try to craft one myself!) In all honesty, he was sick (the second illness for May) and it made him much harder to please. That and not having his bed and his routine were especially hard on the tike and I felt bad for him.

"Home, pleassssse. Please home, night night!" He said this ALL DAY for 36 hours. I appreciate the good manners BUT we stuck it out. Sam and I are not apt to stick things out with Zaydie and are much more comfortable making him comfortable. But Nani made some good points. (So glad she gave her opinion as we desperately wanted it!) Zayd really can get by with a little less catering, now can't he? He might even get to experience wonderful things, if he just lets Mom and Dad call the shots (every once in a while). And we have to know that 1.) He definitely is a lot sicker than other little boys his age 2.) That means he is miserable considerably more often than other little boys his age 3.) But we should still try to treat him like other little boys his age.

By Saturday night, he was like a new kid. It was wonderful, Nani and Nana actually got to enjoy him for a bit. Sunday morning, Mommy, Daddy and the Lentil headed to the Houston Zoo for a speed run through the exhibits before naptime. Best. Idea. Ever. 

There were at least six elephants and Zayd was in Hiya Heaven!

And there were six african drums in the Africa Exhibit!

Check out the chimp in the background. He's too cool.

 "Me ride!" It is a 2-D cutout but we tried.

One of the can't-miss best-ever features of the Houston Zoo is feeding the giraffes. At $5 for three pieces of lettuce its not "cheap" but it is worth it many times over. This was a special treat since there are NO giraffes at the San Antonio Zoo.

Here is Zayd in an eyelash competition.

Check out the baby below. We crawled on the ground to get to him without having the big-ems snatch our romaine!

Big-ems doesn't even cover it.

To our absolute delight the Zoo Carousel features an Okapi. Okapis are one of Zayd's new favorites. Every time (literally) that I come home from work Zayd reports to me about whether the SA Zoo okapi was walking or running today. Zayd goes to the zoo handily five days a week. Its close, its free (at this point) and he LOVES it. Zoo school anyone? That's what I am currently contemplating for Pre-K 3. But I digress. He loves okapis. He calls them "puppy" which makes it equally interesting when he brings them up the cashier at Central Market or Nene Payal. Confusion ensues. "Zoo! Puppy! Big! Walk, not run!" Or, the more exciting, "Zoo! Puppy! Big! RUNNING!!!!! Me see!!!!"

Say cheese Zayd. I am not sure if I want him to get the hang of actual posing or just do this till he's thirty.

And that's it folks. The Houston Zoo in 75 minutes. :)

In other news, just to keep a record, tonight Zayd is crying about his ear hurting. Make that his third illness in May? Seriously. May, not December. Not flu season. May. If he goes back to sleep and sleeps through the night, I am going to assume he fell asleep on it wrong. Immunologist diagnosis/results appt is June 18th. Darn summer vacation.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

On this lovely holiday, Sam and I will be having a date day, where we don't bother to tell our kids or the manny that we aren't actually working. :) Well, OK, if the manny asks...

We have two anniversaries to celebrate. What will we do, you ask? Why, shop of course! We had better finish this date with two new pairs of cowboy boots. And a kiddie pool for the lentil and lolly.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mommy Musings

An hour ago...

I had just finished a 1.5 hour hot Power Yoga class and was laying in shavasana all relaxed. I think I dozed off for a second because this mama of two tots is TIRED. Then, I started thinking about reading with Zaydie this evening and about how he likes to refer to these two little children at the end of Eric Carle's Brown Bear Brown Bear as Nani and Nana. In the middle of this 105 degree room filled with eight exhausted women, I started giggling. I just kept thinking about my sweet boy who is convinced that these two kids are his Nani and Nana.

Yep, a little blonde boy and an Indian(?) girl with pigtails. In his defense, how many images of a white person next to a dark-skinned person does Zaydie come across in his books...not many, maybe only one.

While we are on the topic, Zayd calls this book Ella.

He obviously remember's Ella's puppy Cairo from our Labor Day adventures last year.

For frame of reference, here is Zayd on Auntie Ella and Uncle Peters porch during that visit when he last played with Cairo. His memory for pets is uncanny! If you want Zayd to remember you, buy a dog.

Zayd calls the farmer in his Farm Donkey book "AJ". I suppose all tall white men *could*  be AJ.

And here is the kicker. And possibly my motivation for going to yoga so often.

Oh, that's right. Whenever we get to this page in his Elephant and Piggie book (thanks Nene Crystal) where it says "a BIG sister", Zayd points at this hippo and says "Mommy!" Let's pretend its the eyelashes or his new all around obsession with hippos. I am going to keep going to yoga until Zayd sees a giraffe and shrieks my name with excitement. Just sayin'.

In all honestly, Zayd loves reading and I want to remember that about him. Zahra is getting to the age where we can *almost* read our nightly books together all crisscrossed and limbs galore in our little green rocking chair. Heaven.

In other news...
Zayd had a slight fever, has been complaining of painful knees, and asked to go to sleep at 5:30. Send positive healthy vibes his way and maybe we can beat whatever this is before it takes hold. The immunologist recommended probiotics, selenium, and xylitol as a first course of action while we wait for the bloodwork to come back...let's see if its helping.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Zahra is Five Months Old

You know what else starts with F...FIVE, as in Zahra is (and has been for a week) FIVE months old. Granted I took her pictures pretty much on time, but I certainly didn't get them up here in an appropriate amount of time. F also begins FAIR, so we will try harder at six months. Poor poor second child of mine. Sometimes, I really do feel bad for my poor second child.Then, I reflect on my status as the eldest of two and think that my brother really doesn't have it so bad (sarcasm!), so Zahra probably doesn't either. (Love you Jon-Boy!) (And Zahra-Girl!)

Lately, Zahra

  • chunked up! Way to go little lolly!
  • Can totally get around, though I wouldn't call it crawling.
  • Is getting to be a fantastic independent sleeper. (Which Zayd also recently mastered.)
  • Babbles a LOT
  • Spits at you when she is mad and makes a trumpet sound
  • She is taking advantage of all of the giant plastic monstrosities built for infants: the jumper, the play gym, the bumbo, you name it.
  • She can kind of sit up

Here is Zahra just waking up to celebrate her 5-month birrth-aversary!

We took the  little lolly to baby storytime which it turns out is run by someone new now and wasn't quite what we expected. Zayd get saying "Bus? Bus?" ("When will we hear the Wheels ont he Bus, Lady!?") and Zahra didn't get a spot on the play blanket.  So, we decided to enjoy the children's section of the library and some outdoor play.


Outside, Zahra enjoyed her first rid on the swing

And rediscovered her hand!

And here are some additional recent pics that I just can't bare not to post.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Brought to you by the letter F

What do you need to have a day brought to you by the letter F?

  2. F's that you can FINGERPAINT
  3. And decorate with FROGS, FLOWERS, and FARM ANIMALS

(It was hard to keep the kids out of the rice. I suppose we need a letter R day soon.)

For Zayd, a staple of the letter F day was (sadly) a FROWN.

Even while visiting a FIRESTATION

The basketball was quite a hit. Zayd can dribble now! He must take after his uncle!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fruit and Flowers

Today is the Mammen family fourth anniversary and we spent it just exactly that way, as a family. Sam came home early from work and we immediately rushed Zayd to the zoo to see the hippos he had been clamoring for all day. (To be specific, while the Mahncke Mamas had taken our tots to tour a fire station this morning, all Zayd could ask about was the hippos!)
Snakes, hippos, and the tiny tot nature spot where Zayd proved himself and expert magnet fisherman. By then, the 97°sunny evening meant we were ready for dinner.
We headed to the luxury, a new celebrity chef hipster joint that sells gourmet food in a backyard setting, perfect! You'll never guess what they gave us to mark our order...a giant rubber hippo. I kid you not.
Our food was pretty good but the company was fantastic. Zayd had a great time. He played with the hippo, chased ducks, and sifted through the pea gravel floor. Zahra splashed in the water puddle hippo had spilled on the table.
Sam and I haven't settled on exactly what we'll do to mark our anniversary when we enjoy memorial day off without our kids. We both immediately thought Fredericksburg(!) when we heard that this anniversary is traditionally celebrated with fruit and flowers, but it just isn't in the cards for us to escape without any of kiddoes yet. Zahra is too young.
But honestly, today was enough. Today was great. Someday Sam and I will make it back to the wineries in Fredericksburg, and we'll remember how for our fourth anniversary we couldn't imagine escaping. And well laugh about how far we've come.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I wonder who is growing...

I remember the days when Zayd was portable and "easy". I used to take him to the front yard and work on our borders or the few flower beds I have planted since we bought our empty canvas of a yard. I loved it and he loved being outside, so it worked well for us. And it felt idyllic. Gardening in general makes me nostalgic and doing it with a gorgeous baby in tow made it a complete white-picket-fence-moment.


Then...he learned to walk? Maybe. I am not sure what the turning point was but we stopped hanging out in the front yard and weeds overtook every inch of planting I had done during his first ten months of life. The idea of venturing out there with him made me nearly fearful, at least timid. It seemed he was "too much". So much that I couldn't do something we had always enjoyed. So much that he could no longer enjoy it.

We have had a gorgeous spring here in San Antonio; one I definitely don't take for granted. I have lived through many hot Texas seasons (be them summer, spring, or fall). A few weeks ago I ventured out with Sam and the kids and we got into the work of pulling weeds, to start again. Eventually, I realized that Zayd is past the age that I have to fear the front yard. He has grown. And we CAN garden. I have spent many afternoons out there lately and the walkway leading to our house is edged in bushes and flowers.

Sometimes he races to see how fast he can run from Zahra to the sidewalk, back to Zahra and kiss her. We have only had a few minor collisions.

 Sometimes, he tells Zahra secrets or shows her what Mommy is doing.

He brings me my tea or enjoys a cup of his own.

And he sorts, pours, and organizes dirt.

So, it turns out, that even on my own, I can now garden with two kids. It kind of makes me consider how much Z1 has grown. But a bigger part of me thinks that it is probably me who has changed. You have the second baby and realize that the things that plagued you weren't really plagues. I'm grateful to have had my two Zs so close that I didn't have to spend so much time with the worries of a First Time Mom. Here's to conquering the weeds and a little bit of mommy fear.