Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I'm a Survivor

I've recently been sending empowering women's hip hop songs to my new strong-lady partner at work. Today's song is without a doubt "I'm a Survivor". This day tried to kill me I'm pretty sure.

I was in 45 minutes late to work, which believe it or not is me arriving at 6:30am. Work, as always, provides a little bit of every feeling and leaves you pretty worn out. A was was @

By 2:45 I was off to get Zahra. We had a pleasant drive which is anything but guaranteed these days with my little firecracker. (During our unbearable drive just a few hours later, she told me " Mom, I think you frustrate me, and I frustrate you, and we just frustrate each other.") We got a quick gift on the way home to thank the Manny for agreeing to pick up Thursdays so Mommy can work more.

Both kids cried at the prospect of going to gymnastics, cried about being hungry, cried about shoes, cried about buckles, cried about crying, cried. Cried. CRIED. My mom called and I told her that I had to go because Zahra was in her quiet spot and Zayd was hitting me. I think she was starting to say how I should switch them when I hung up. Fear not, I wasn't being unfair. It's just that Zahra hit me first. Hence she was the first quiet spot.

Somehow despite being ready an hour early we left twenty minutes late straight into rush hour on the way to gymnastics that everyone wants to quit. Tuesday night through Monday night, they love it, but they wake on Tuesday thinking it's the worst punishment. Then the car, the car that barely moves in they traffic that moves even less. Ziyan cried. Zahra cried about not being able to help him. Zayd couldn't quiet either of them... possibly because he was taunting his sisters non-middle-seat-ness. Sam called. I almost cried.

We arrived at gymnastics. We had eaten. Win, win, there.

We prepared to quit, as I have been promising Zahra she can quit this hard class for about two weeks now. (She's been in it for two weeks, in case you weren't counting.) So, while I have a minute to myself here watching Zayd in tumbling I decided remember that though today was comically insane, yesterday was beautiful.

So, after all those words... Let's remember yesterday.

And don't worry. I got this. #likeaboss

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ziyan is Three Months Old

We have made it through that "dreaded" fourth trimester and are spending our first full day together, just me and my littlest Z. Zayd and Zahra are off to school and I used this "free time" to have a quaint photo shoot with my little lamb.

It turns out my little lamb is a huge lamb in his size six month jumper. He is the happiest giggly baby I have ever had. He loves to echo your voice and we spend lots of time OOOing and making what I call tiny bear noises "rarrrrrrr". He loves his mommy and being in the wrap. He is a snuggler. He is a puker and I am stunned how much weight he has gained given how often he...expels it. I think/fear he might be teething. He doesn't fuss but he is very keen on fitting 3-8 fingers in his mouth at any given time. He is spitty spitty spitty, as you can see below.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Welcome to Kinder: an update

When I went to pick up Zayd at the advanced learning academy, he scowled at me.
Me: What's wrong baby?
Z: I want to stay.
Me: You get to come back tomorrow...
(Scowl, scowl, scowl)
Me: Let's go get a snow cone!
Z: OK.

Then he let me pick him up and carry him to the car. He felt so big.

They sat on the rug and each said their name. He passed the dog to another boy in a blue shirt. He played basketball alone in the gym and loved it. He sat next to Milo at lunch. He picked swimming (???) and didn't pick the picture of the dice or the castle. He had a great music class and met the artist. He didn't learn anyone's name. He doesn't have an assigned desk but can sit anywhere. His classroom isn't too cold but it is cold. His too big uniform shorts stayed up just fine.

All in all, a very successful first day.

Welcome to Kindergarten

This sweet boy just entered his first day of kindergarten full of excitement and with a huge smile. What a kid. He's come so far in these last few years and I can't wait to see him continue to grow.

There were kids all around crying and nervous and Zayd seemed perplexed by their displays. His teacher whisked him off before he even had a negative thought.

The school invited us to leave notes for our sweet kids and Zahra helped me write to him. It reminded me of some of the exercises we did in play therapy where I sent letters to Zayd designed to help grow his self confidence. I couldn't help think about how much bigger he is now and how much more confident.

Then Sam and I drive Zahra to Montessori Schoolhouse for her first full week. She told us the entire way about how she already knows everything and made up a song about looking out the window. Then she required all of us to sing it. And we dropped her like a firecracker into her primary class.

Good luck to both of my amazing children and their patient teachers today!!

**Also of note, we meet a Zayn and found a long lost Zahara name tag today at kindergarten checkin! So my kids are in good company!!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

ZiZi's New Teeth

My little lamb is definitely teething. I can't guarantee teeth are on the way soon, but he's chewing on as many fingers as he can fit in his mouth. His drool is free flowing. Zayd had teeth at four months and I think Ziyan won't be far behind. I must admit that, in keeping with his character, Ziyan hasn't once complained about this teething.

Here are a few embarrassing photos of this sweet boy drooling like a fire hydrant.

Twas the Night Before Kinder

Well, folks, we've made it to our biggest milestone yet. Kindergarten starts tomorrow for my biggest boy. He is overjoyed about it: he likes his classroom, his friends are going, he has an awesome backpack and the uniforms are blue. What's not to love?

Speaking of the backpack, I let Zayd do his first online shopping for this backpack and as soon as he picked something, I regretted turning over the reigns. I tried to convince him that this Dinosaur World backpack was too scary for a five year old.  It would terrify the other kids! He can't understand that perspective at all and if he wasn't the sweetest kid in the world, he'd surely say, "oh, moooom" while rolling his eyes at me.

Our goal for the summer was to read 100 unique books. We might have read the last twelve today but we did it! The kids were so proud when we listed "School's First Day of School" as our 100th book. It was fun to end our summer with ritual and an accomplishment. Frankly, I'm proud too and think I might keep our reading log for at least the next year.

Zayd's super sweet teachers sent home colorful confetti "guaranteed" to help you sleep a restful sleep just before school starts. Zayd shared with his baby sister and definitely loved the magic of this ritual. Zayd took care to spread the paper confetti just right beneath his pillow. SF DA We are so lucky to have such sweet thoughtful teachers.

As I kissed him goodnight, he shot his arms up in the air and exclaimed, "I am just so excited!!" Then, somehow, maybe because of magic confetti, he fell quickly asleep. Because at the end of the day, he's only five and he's definitely my dear baby boy.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Big Changes: the Update

I came home from work late today (my first day... I know). I walked in to find Sam a bit overwhelmed by our baby (who is an angel for everyone but Sam). But, otherwise, I walked in to find two totally happy, well-adjusted big kids. They didn't seem at all phased by their huge accomplishments of this crazy rainy day. So, let's remember how we chose to end this day: with snow cones, board games, and silly lovey familiness. And my two big Zs looked exactly like twins sharing that big umbrella.

Big Kids and Big Changes

I just dropped Zahra off at her first day of Montessori Schoolhouse without her big brother there. And then I took Zaydie to gymnastics camp where he would be somewhere without his little sister for the first time ever. And they both took it like a champ. I can't believe how big they are. I can't believe they'll start separate lives this year. My little kids who always seemed like twins don't get to be twins anymore. I keep reminding myself it's just one year. Next year Zar-Zar can join Zayd at the advanced Learning Academy. But a year is a long time to go...

My kids are quite talented when it comes to Reading Writing and Arithmetic but this year they're going to work on how to make friends.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Things About Ziyan

Our long summer off ends tomorrow. I'm both happy and sad to be returning to work Monday. Wish me luck. I'm happy to know I'll get to see this face when I walk in the door. I'm sad to think about how many smiles I'll miss when I'm gone.

Ziyan really is the best baby I could have ever imagined. He sleeps so well. He smiles so much. He is the drooliest baby ever. He throws up more than the other Zs but he doesn't complain about it. He doesn't sleep in his stroller on walks but instead stares wide-eyed at the world. He is so very heavy. He breathes with his whole body: he gently rocks up and down as he takes his tiny baby breaths. When I hold him he almost always has a firm grasp on my baby hairs but I kind of love it. If he's crying he's probably tired. That or it's early morning and he's trying to complete his daily poop. Sometimes he fusses at other people but he always calms right down if I hold high him up on my shoulder and whisper in his ear. I've never had a new baby love me so much. What a lucky mama!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Our dear friends and neighbors go to the Frio River every year camping. They used to tent camp then they upgraded to an RV. When the RV was stolen they couldn't revert back to tents and that's when they entered my realm of camping abilities. Last weekend whe rented a 3000 square foot house that was built last year and had four bedrooms and four baths for four families. Perfect!

All joking aside, we spent almost all day outside; the kids were awesome and wild and free. They played with sticks and rocks, chased minnows in the shallow water, and floated the laziest of lazy rivers. With eight adults and twelve kids there was always someone to hang out with. We laughed and made memories; it was a fantastic trip. There aren't many people who want to travel with their next door neighbors and I count us as some of the luckiest neighbors in the world.

Donuts for breakfast? It's vacation!!

Ziyan was so relaxed and spent hours sleeping on the shore or sitting just a bit in the cool water.
"Hey, Zahra! Try to fight me with a stick for pretend! "

Last year we drove up for a day trip to visit them at the river and took a picture of all our chickadees lined up like angry Warriors along the shore. This year they're bigger and better!