Monday, March 31, 2014

A perfect Mahncke Park Sunday

After a whirlwind of visitors, gifts, and one stellar Olympic birthday party, we Mammen's were popped by Sunday morning. The kids slept till 7:30! That NEVER happens here.

After nap, we needed an event and decided to renew our membership to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. I'm so glad we did. The place has always been so calming to me. It reminds me of our pregnant time in San Antonio, of Zayd's infancy, and is gorgeous to boot!

Lately, the gardens seem to have a concerted effort to woo the littles and I couldn't be more thrilled. Here's to 365 days of free visits.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The things you discover. (Eucalyptus)

My grandmother always had eucalyptus in the house. There was a wreath that greeted you at the door and stems inside. Looking back now, it was so perfect. Eucalyptus isn't a flower, but it smells of perfume. Or maybe musk. It's hard to define, I suppose. It's hearty. She had the same stems year after year and they always smelled amazing. I remember arguing that they had to be artificial with artificial scent.  Perfume doesn't last for years, except, apparently for eucalyptus. Some things surprise you. Year after year. Of course (!) she had eucalyptus. It makes so much sense today when, as an adult, I can understand more about my grandma and learn new things years after she's gone. Eucalyptus is some undefinable color. It certainly isn't pink. Maybe its blue, possibly green. I wouldn't know, to be honest.

It took one whiff today at Central Market to bring it all back to me. The wreath. The stems. My grandma.

I'll be buying a wreath very soon...

What a difference a bath makes!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Z's First Play

The kiddos and I and our 11 favorite people trekked downtown to the Magik Theater yesterday to see our first play: Llama llama!

As we talked about our adventure, I instructed the kids that we could look with our eyes and listen with our ears but we had to be quiet. Zayd protested that he intended to sing really really loud with his mouth. Sadly this performance was not a musical but I do intend to take him as soon as I find an appropriate option. Twice during the play he turned to me and asked when the singing would start. We have never talked much about the theater so I'm not sure why he assumed there would be singing but I probably mention the word play in the car as we listen to to our Broadway or Disney soundtracks.

Music or no, both the lentil and lolly loved it. In fact, all eleven children we had and the four mommies thought it was great. Captivated. That is the word I would use.

A downtown day

Sam is away on business which leave me and the littlest Mammen's on our own. While for most, a few days of single parenting might mean more movie days, for me it means throwing caution to the wind and exploring! Sam is it practical Mammen, the one who will point out all of The drunks are downtown for St Patty's day. I am the adventurer who will point out that the dye the san Antonio river green to impress all those lonely drunks! So, solo, off we went. We missed the river parade but had a great late afternoon all the same?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Zahrisms: a Dictionary for Nani and Nana

  • Abba= Open (sometimes with the sign)
  • Bah! = Bath
  • Bibi = Binky (Don't give in!)
  • Bobo = Bubbles
  • Buh! = Bus/Wheels on the bus (especially if said while clapping)
  • Buh-ull: Buckle, she'd like to hook one
  • Elefa = elephant (usually with arm motion)
  • Head-knees = Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Lize = Lights! (She wants you to hold her near a lightswitch to flip it...1000x)
  • Mala-Mala = Banana
  • Tease = Teeth (brush them!) Sometimes it comes out cheese...
  • Zay-ee! = You guessed it.
There are tons of words she says properly but I won't go into all of their meaning (mama, daddy, nani, Nana, mine, eyes, nose, all done, night night, baba, cheese, shoes, socks, up, down)

And my favorite thing she says perfectly every time... "I know"... So very matter of fact.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The best city...

To raise kids in, just might be San Antonio. Today we enjoyed Second Thursday (not to confused with third Brewsday, first Friday, second Saturday) at one of best museum grounds I've ever seen: The McNay.

Love it. Now I just need to get more diverse people to populate the city I'm falling for.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Zayd Writes! Zahra Puzzles! Both snuggle.

Today, Zayd told me he wanted to write his name. I have tried lots of different sorts of tracing activities with him, almost all of which met with little to no enthusiasm. But, TODAY, he wanted to write.

Success! (I made the Z to get him started. The rest was all him!)

And here is Zayd screaming, "I am proud!" We are making active efforts to improve his self esteem after weeks of him telling me he can't try things because he isn't good at them. (Breaks my heart!)

Zahra is speeding right along as well. Here she is tinkering with a wooden Montessori puzzle.

And lastly, despite all of their advances, they don't seem to quite grow up in this house. I know he is too old for a bottle and many would say she is too. But we just aren't there yet and if it helps them, I suppose it isn't hurting any of us.

She loves to eat

Now, when Zahra is hungry, instead of asking for food she just climbs into her seat, buckles herself in, and waits!

Zayd's still hasn't learned hunger.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I have been trying to teach Zayd about being proud of himself as a way to get him to do the things I believe he is ready to do. Not get out of his bed at night. Poop in the potty. Eat new foods.

He has definitely gotten the concept. He sometimes informs me that I should squeal, "Zaydie! I am so proud of you." He lilts the "Zaydie" part to get three distinct syllables and he a mimic?

Anyway, today as I sat him down to a lunch that I hoped/figured he would like

  • pistachios
  • greek yogurt
  • whole wheat ritz with cream cheese
  • carrots
  • strawberries filled with cardamom whipped cream
He said, "Mo-o-om!" (Three syllables, three pitches.) "You did great!"

I am not sure if I should congratulate myself for successfully teaching a concept or mock myself for the excessive amounts of praise I am obviously doling out.

For the record, he didn't eat the strawberries. They were the new experimental food I like to try for at every meal.