Archive for the '37.Two kids-August 09' Category

Zoe tales

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

A few recent Zoe stories to share…

-Now that Zoe’s potty-trained, she often requests some “alone time” in the bathroom. (“I need privacy,” she’ll say to us and request that we shut the door.) The other day, we passed a little dog on the street and watched as it lifted its leg. “Look, Zoe, that doggie is going potty,” I told her. “Oh,” she said. “Does he need privacy?”

-I recently taught Zoe to play “slumber party” – which is a tricky way for me to rest my eyes when she’s around. (It doesn’t always work, but I try.) One afternoon, a few days after I taught her the game, she walked into our room and saw Avery sleeping in the bassinett. “Is Baby Sister playing slumber party, too?” she asked.

-The other morning, Zoe ran up to her sister and said: “Hi, Baby Avery. Hi, little girl. You’re cute – like me!” Uh-oh – I hope all those compliments she’s heard over the months haven’t gone to her head!


Neighborhood gang

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Zoe has been meeting a lot of new people lately – not only teachers and friends at preschool, but also neighborhood kids. Last weekend, she wound up playing for hours with the kids next door; Sophie (9) and Mikey (6) and their friends are all much older than Zoe, but it didn’t seem to matter! Zoe had a great time with them, and even requested that two of the girls come over and tuck her in for a nap. I love seeing Zoe hang out with “big” kids (it reminds me of just how little she still is), and I also love that in a few years, we’ll have some excellent babysitters!





First day of school

Monday, August 31st, 2009

So, the big drop-off happened this morning – and all went well. We got there a bit early – around 8:30 – and Zoe was the first child in her classroom. (There are 15 kids in her class, and another 15 in the part-time program next door.) Zoe was fairly quiet as we put her coat and panda lunchbox away and greeted her teachers; like she does in most new settings, she just looked around and took things in. When I said my good-byes and started to leave, she ran up and grabbed my leg with a little grunt (“Uh-oh,” I thought), so her teacher wisely suggested that she give me one more hug and kiss. That was all Zoe needed to hear: she hugged and kissed me and turned around to head to a little table, where paper and crayons were waiting. The last thing I saw was her sitting and drawing a monkey with her teacher.

I was a little sad as I drove away (though I’m used to having her at Elena’s, this is school!), and I’m more than a little anxious to find out how her day went. (Class officially ended at 1 PM; I’ll pick her up after naptime and snack.) I’m sure I’ll have lots to report on later – for now here are her official first-day-of-school pics.





Zoe’s pre-preschool thoughts

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

I wanted to get Zoe’s thoughts on starting preschool, so I grabbed the camera and conducted a little interview this morning. Here’s what my subject had to say.


Happy Baby

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Avery has been getting a lot of sleep lately; to our delight, it’s been four nights that she’s gone seven or eight hours without waking up. Maybe that’s why she’s so happy here!




Saturday, August 29th, 2009

So, we’ve reached two small milestones with the girls. As mentioned below, Zoe is officially a pre-schooler – she had her “orientation” on Fri. morning, and her first class day is Monday. (We’re super excited about the school. We met most of the kids in Zoe’s class and a lot of friendly parents yesterday, plus we learned her friend Jack will be in the classroom next door!) As for Avery, she slept through the night (10 PM-7 AM) for the first time on Wed. and did it again on Thurs! I had just been telling another mom how strange those long sleep-stretches are in the beginning – you tend to wake up thinking, “What happened to the baby??” before realizing she’s just still sleeping – so the timing was appropriate. I doubt every night will be like this for Avery, but I feel like it’s the start of something good!


Bye, bye, Elena

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Yesterday was Zoe’s last day at Elena’s; she starts preschool (!) on Monday. She’s been going to daycare since March 2007, when she was just a little older than Avery is now, so the change is a pretty big one. (I, of course, am way more emotional about it than Zoe is. I had a big lump in my throat when she asked this morning, “Are you going to drop me off at Elena’s now?” and I had to explain that no, she’s going to go to school – not Elena’s – from now on. Zoe responded with a simple “Okay.”) Zoe will still see Elena and her younger friends there – she’ll be with me when I pick up Avery after work in the evenings – but the fact that this phase of her life is over makes me a little misty-eyed!

In anticipation of Zoe’s departure, I had a little photo shoot with the kids not long ago; I thought today was an appropriate day to post the pictures.


With Molly and Elena:


The gang (minus the little ones):


Zoe and her good friend Tessa (who’s also off to preschool):


Little Badger

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

When Zoe was small she sported a little Wisconsin onesie, and the piece (like most everything else of Zoe’s) has been passed down to the baby. (And before that, the onesie belonged to the daughter of friends of ours.) Avery tried it on yesterday, and I think she looks pretty good in red and white. Who knows – maybe she’ll be a UW alum herself one day!




Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Ever since I wrote that Zoe hadn’t seen her friend Zander in awhile, she’s had the chance to spend quite a bit of time with him. (It’s convenient that Zander’s mom and I are on maternity leave at the same time!) The two always have a good time together, and Zoe talks about him all the time these days. (The other afternoon, she even napped with an imaginary Zander!) Here are some pics of their recent adventures.





Thoughts on a bad week from Mom

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I don’t often write on this blog about the challenging parts of parenting – for one thing, the bad moments don’t usually last too long; for another, no one wants to hear from a complainer. But, for the sake of historical accuracy, I thought it important to mention that I’ve experienced some tough times these past few weeks. The biggest problem is that both girls often need something at the same time, and I’m forced to choose which child to tend to and which to – at least temporarily – ignore. (Believe me, that’s no fun to do.) Zoe has also been particularly crabby at naptime and bedtime lately – and dealing with all the tears (both hers and the baby’s) usually leaves me emotionally spent. On more than one occasion I’ve thought, “I’m not sure I can do this,” or “Maybe we had our second at the wrong time.”

I felt the effects of caring for two more than usual last week because we took a break from Elena’s, and Zoe was home every day. (Zoe has been going to Elena’s for at least half-days since my maternity leave began. We had decided to keep sending her to keep her routine intact and to give me bonding time with the baby.) I was used to caring for both girls for portions of the day, but I wasn’t prepared, I guess, for the constantness that comes from being with two all day long. On more than a few occasions I’ve felt like a bad mom – for feeling tired and overwhelmed and even sick of one (or both!) of the girls. And, of course, I also felt guilty for not always keeping it together.

As I’ve said here about other topics, I realize that nothing I’m saying or feeling is unique or unusual. And I know I shouldn’t be so tough on myself or feel surprised for feeling frustrated at times: caring for a newborn and toddler, after all, can be very tough! At the same time, this is probably the only time in my life that I’ll have a baby and 2-year-old – and I don’t want to wish the time away. And – when I’m treated to a smile or a hug or an “I love you, Mommy,” I’m reminded, yet again, of why parents deal with this stuff!


The weekend

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Quick update on what’s been happening here. On Friday, I ventured to the zoo (alone) with the girls, and we spent most of our time running around the petting farm. (Well, at least Zoe and I did – Avery mostly just snoozed.) On Saturday, we had friends, including 8-year-old Ari, over – and yesterday was spent relaxing and running errands. After all that stuff, the girls were exhausted! Here are some pics.








Two year, nine month update

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

A lot has changed with Zoe since our last update: she’s now a big sister, she’s about to head off to (sniff, sniff) preschool, and she’s (basically) potty-trained. I don’t think I can accurately call her a baby any longer!

As for specifics: Zoe is almost always chattering. (The exception: when she’s tired or when she first enters a new environment.) She loves to comment on what people are doing (e.g. “Mommy’s in the shower,” “Daddy’s sleeping”), and she likes telling long, elaborate, usually fictional stories to me, Q or one of her stuffed animals. She also likes giving directives; it’s safe to say that she’s hit a bit of a bossy stage! Most of her sentences end with an “okay” – as in, “Come with me and Panda to play in the other room, okay?!” (And, believe me, she’s hoping it’s okay.)

Her vocabulary is expanding; she can ask questions and comment on things in full, often complex sentences; and she’s getting easier to understand. She does, though, still pronounce a few words in a baby-ish way (which I love): hospital is “hossible,” computer is “com-poo-ter,” yellow is “lellow,” and backpack sounds like “bah-pat.” She also has a habit of adding an s to words that don’t need one – like “cereals,” “feets,” “tapes,” and “peoples.”

Much of her time these days is spent playing make-believe games: she likes to cook and feed us; take us on train, airplane or boat rides; and shop in the “shopping store” in Avery’s room. She recently started talking about various make-believe friends, she often talks about pretend alligators and snakes in the house (at least, I hope they’re pretend), and the Imagination Movers – characters on her favorite TV show – have come by for visits. Other favorite things to do: draw little cards that she calls “birthday parties” and play hide-and-seek. (She doesn’t yet understand the concept of hiding, though – she usually puts herself in a “hiding” spot right in front us and then calls out “Okay, find me!”) She also loves to make up funny songs and generally act silly; her new thing is to announce, “I’m joking.”

She has a really good memory and is always telling stories about things that recently happened. (Q jokes, though, that she thinks anything in the past was done “yesterday.”) One day I stumbled and fell into this little hole on the sidewalk outside of Elena’s; two or three weeks later, she saw the hole and commented on how I had fallen in it. She also remembered when I was pregnant; when climbing on my stomach not long ago she looked down and commented, “Baby Sister’s not there anymore!”

Speaking of her sister – and as mentioned many times here before – Zoe loves having a sibling. She was excited about the baby for months prior to her birth; she used to put little stuffed animals under her shirt and say she was having a baby too! She’s been very helpful since Avery arrived: she likes helping change her and fetching little things for us. (One day last month she saw Avery had spit up and – without even being asked – ran to get a burpcloth for me.) She’s always interested in what Avery is doing – “Is she awake?” and “What’s that noise?” are questions she asked constantly the first few weeks. When Avery is upset, Zoe likes to comfort her – by saying “Shhh” or singing (usually Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star) to her. She’s always coming up to the baby and offering kisses, and she’s particularly fond of Avery’s feet.

Other developmental things: she’s 99% potty-trained, she can get dressed (mostly) on her own, she knows how to spell her name, and she has known her shapes and colors for several months now.

Zoe has a very sweet, affectionate side. She gives lots of hugs and kisses to the three of us, and she’s often saying to one of us (whether we’ve said it first or not), “I love you, too!” And when she thinks I’m upset about something, she often tries to make me feel better. Just the other day, during one of my low moments, she came up to me with a hug and said, “It’s okay, Mommy.”

On the flip-side, Zoe (whose moods can literally change in seconds) still has that terrible-two temperament – and after a tantrum, she’ll often tell us, “I’m grumpy.” One day I heard her throw around toys in her room; when I went in to ask her what was going on (and to reprimand her), she said to me, “I’m frustrated.” I didn’t even know she knew that word, but it was so cute to hear her say it. But not so cute: a few weeks ago, she yelled out to Q, “Don’t talk to me!” and then ran to her room and slammed the door. And the other night she told me (though I know she didn’t mean it), “I don’t like you, Mommy.” Sometimes it’s like having a little teenager around!

Like other kids her age, Zoe wants to do certain tasks on her own and she’ll sometimes say in annoyance when we try to help, “No, I’m a big girl!” On a related note, she recently told me and Q (during a conversation about what Avery would be like when she was bigger), “I’m already grown up!” Oh… don’t rush it, Zoe!


(Zoe) Pics from the vault

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

I just came across several Zoe photos that never made it onto the site; I thought I’d post them now.







“So cute”

Friday, August 21st, 2009

As previously mentioned, the changing table is the place where Avery is usually the happiest. Yesterday afternoon, I was able to capture some smiley time there…


Best part of the day…

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I often ask Zoe at bedtime about her favorite part of the day – it’s a fun way for us to reflect upon what we did earlier (and it’s always interesting to see what she remembers). When I posed that question the other day, Zoe answered, without hesitation, “Uncle Gil.” I found that answer terribly sweet, and I’m so happy that she loves her uncle so much!