Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Zayd is Five

My big guy Zayd turned five today. He is sweet, loving, bright, and intuitive. He brings me such overwhelming joy that I cannot believe, day in and day out, that I get to be his mom. He has depth and complexity that I love to uncover as he grows older, and his commitment to family makes me a proud an zealously-loved mom.

Zayd on Family
He is an amazing big brother and can't wait to have a new baby to love. He says when he grows up he doesn't want to get married, but he wants to take care of 100 babies...but not if those babies grow up. He doesn't want "those kind of babies".  He is excited to come to my next baby appointment because he wants to hear the baby. He has spent more time calmly sitting next to me, with nothing to do but wait and feel baby kicks. The kicks bring light to his adorable put-it-all-out-there face. I want to be clear that he has not foresaken his responsibilities to Zahra in anyway. He is her protector, best friend, mentor, and karate instructor. He treats her like an equal when she wants to be and like his special little sister when she wants things to go her way.

Zayd on Happiness
Zayd smiles more in recent months but he probably also worries more. He is coming to understand and express a fuller range of emotions. He thinks deep thoughts about love and family and even death and he asks lots of questions. He is happiest when he is being loved or praised. Hugs and kisses go a long way with this little man.

Zayd and His Brain
He is intelligent and is already reading and writing pretty remarkably. He is a list maker. He knows TONS about TONS of animals. He can list largest cats to smallest cats and might even name four African Cats you've never heard of. The Caracal was his favorite for a few months this year. He also loves whales: sperm whales because they attack boats, and blue whales because they are the biggest. He strictly checks out non-fiction books from the library these days unless Dad directs him towards the superhero section.

Zayd's Style
Zayd likes his hair and teeth neatly brushed. He independently dresses himself early each day. You will never have to tell Zayd to get dressed; by the time you are up, he is likely completely ready to start his day. He refuses to wear socks. He wears Crocs nearly everyday and claims to have itchy feet if you try and put anything else on. (The dermatologist confirms he has distinctly sweaty toes.) He has grown tall and is still rail thin.

Zayd's Favorites
Zayd would pretty much always rather stay home than go anywhere, except the zoo or possibly a "special-treat" place. Though he is apt to suggest you just take Zahra and bring him a donut/snowcone/milkshake. He likes strange strongly flavored foods like stinky goat cheese, or parmesan, super salty sheep's milk feta, cranberry juice, or sour lemon cookies. The only fruit he will eat is tart and crisp granny smith apples. He eats carrots at every meal.

I will try to get a movie up later this week, but here is a quick overview of his birthday:

First it was his walk around the sun at Montessori Schoolhouse. This should be his last Montessori walk. (Mom is teary.) He was serious, as always. When he was done, he got to release the kids from the circle time rug to set up for snack. He was only supposed to pick kids who were quiet, not fidgeting, and had their eyes closed. He didn't let a single kid go without making sure they were 100% compliant with Ms. Migdalia's rules. It probably took more than five minutes just to allow the 17 kids to go to their tables.

At home, we made a special dinner of parmesan, chicken, carrots, and rice with Soy Sauce for the birthday boy and bought his favorite gourmet Ho-Ho Cupcakes from Central Market.

He got some vintage 1950's Batman stuff, a huge 854piece Lego Police Station that should take about a week to build, and new size 5 clothes. (Mostly, the shorts are 4's but don't tell!) Zahra bought him a Lion King 2 action figure and wrapped it all by herself: cutting, taping and all. He gave her the biggest thank you hug and kiss but I didn't quite capture it. Zayd was patient and kind and grateful all night. I think we "filled his cup" and his happy face sure filled mine.

Monday, March 21, 2016

One Awesome Lady

My grammy passed eight years ago today. I thought about her a bit today and how happy she'd be with the Lady I'm becoming. And how much she'd love those adorable Zs.

I also thought about how awesome it is to be able to recognize, increasingly these eight years later, how awesome my mom is. Many (all?) of those qualities I worshipped in my grandma I can brightly see in my mother today. I'm sure my mother was always courageous, brilliant, and determined... eight years ago or 18 years ago. In my younger eyes, though, and with my grandma's shadow, it was harder to see it then. I think that's part of the complexity of growing up female and knowing everything before your miss so much.

Today, I celebrate that my mom challenges everything and (seemingly) fears nothing. Just like the grammy I remember. Just like the little Lady I'm raising. And, likely, a hell of a lot like me.

Here's to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them. And to my mom.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Let's Rodeo Houston

We took an impromptu trip to the Houston Rodeo yesterday and had a wonderful if a little bit hurried time. Me and my two Z's went up in the Le Grande Ferris Wheel and I was definitely the most scared one. Look for the Astrodome and NRG Stadium!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Goodbye to the Z^2 nursery

Five years ago, some of my favorite ladies came to town to design what was then Zayd's nursery. San was working in Brazil for the winter and there was lots to do. It was MLK day weekend and the Oscars were on. The ladies brought an unbelievable amount of champagne and then drank it all. I remember so so much of that weekend. As a person who remembers almost nothing, I think it speaks to how wonderful it felt to embark on motherhood with my favorite ladies at my side.

Today, we destroyed the nursery into which Zayd and Zahra "came home".  They are getting a new blue room at the front of the house and our little Z3 will get a redone nursery just for himself (and houseguests). This house isn't big enough for everyone to get the space they'd like, but we surely all have more than we need.

It's been a long process just to get us ready to ready a nursery. Our office was dismantled. An office/closet was created and a new desk was built. We painted. As a family, all four of us, we painted. We painted dressers, desks, file cabinets, bedside tables, and finally the Z's room. And maybe you can tell if you see the splotches and the drops on the trim, but who's to say that's not exactly how my two Z's wanted it.

So, now I'm ready to pull the outer space themed vinyls from the walls and create a blank canvas for my last Z. (And then fill that canvas with propeller planes, hot air balloons, and those old timey bicycles where one wheel is huge and the other tiny.) I surely wish my ladies were here and I'll definitely be texting them soon.

But, in the meantime, it's time to purge. All of this stuff can't fit in a clean new room.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The First Woman President

Me: Kids, did you know today is election day. (They do.)
Me: And did you know that America is 240 years old and we have never had a woman president?
Zahra: Whaaat!?!
Zayd: No women?
Me: No, for 240 years every President and even every party nominee for President has been a man.
(Zahra growls.)
Zayd: Zahra could probably do that.
Me: Be a woman President?
Both: Yes!
Zayd: Yeah, she could do it.
Me: Well, there is a woman running now, and she might be the first woman President.
Zahra: No. She can be second. I'll be first.
(Zayd glares.)

Happy Super Tuesday to you all!