Archive for the '40.Two kids-November 09' Category

Zoe tales

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

A few recent Zoe stories to share…

-Q and Zoe ran out to get sandwiches last weekend. While waiting in line to pay, Zoe picked up a bag of Cheetohs – something I don’t normally let her have. I guess she knows this, because she said to her dad, “Can we get these, Daddy? Mommy’s not here.”

-Zoe often hears me use the word “honey,” and she recently started calling her sister that. The other day she rushed over to Avery when she thought she was in trouble. “Honey, you can’t do that – you’ll get hurt,” she said. “Okay, honey?”

-The other night, Zoe started bouncing up and down. “Look, Mommy, I’m doing this,” she said. “What are you doing?” I asked, and she replied, “It’s called booty-shaking.” (Note: neither Q or I have ever used this term!)

-“What’s your favorite thing about Avery?” I recently asked Zoe. “Her ears,” she answered. This seems like sort of a funny favorite thing – but it’s consistent with what she said when Avery was smaller!


Week in Washington, part IV

Monday, November 30th, 2009

So the last batch of pictures are all about family. We spent Thanksgiving with family in Virginia (thanks, Yola and Jake!), and Zoe and Avery had tons of fun playing around with and hugging their cousins. If only we could see everyone more often!


Avery and Eytan

Avery and Eytan2

Zavi and Zoe

Lexi and Zoe

Zavi and Zoe2

Week in Washington, part III (The Birthday Celebration)

Monday, November 30th, 2009

There shouldn’t be any doubt in Zoe’s mind that she’s now three: she has had a lot of birthday celebrations since her “official” party two weeks ago. Safta and PopPop were nice enough to host another little party last Wed., and I’m sure Zoe felt lucky for being able to celebrate with her grandparents and cousins! Here are some pics.


making birthday cake

decorating birthday cake

lighting birthday cake

birthday wish

eating birthday cake

opening birthday presents

Week in Washington, part II

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Part two of our pictures include ones from the zoo (where Avery especially enjoyed the panda) and the basketball game (where Zoe especially enjoyed the Wizard Girls) – and some of Zoe and Avery bonding with their granddads.


Zoe and Daddy at the zoo


Avery close-up

pre-game dinner

Zoe and Daddy at the game

basketball game

Zoe and the Warrior Girls

Zoe examining Grandpa

Zoe and Grandpa

Avery and PopPop2

Week in Washington, part I

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

We’re back from DC, and our time there was pretty eventful. Highlights for the girls included celebrating Zoe’s birthday (again – and twice), baking birthday cake, checking out their first NBA game, visiting the pandas at the National Zoo, enjoying Thanksgiving with family and bonding with all four grandparents. We’ve got lots of pics; here’s the first batch.


Zoe eating

Zoe and Daddy

birthday cake

birthday cake2
Avery at game

Avery and Safta

Avery and PopPop

Avery snoozing

What Zoe’s thankful for

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

We have a lot of pictures to post, but first, in honor of the upcoming holiday, I wanted to share a little story. On our plane ride to DC, I was explaining to Zoe about Thanksgiving and how it was a time for us to think about the wonderful people and things in our life. I named off the people I was thankful for: her, Avery, Daddy, Safta and PopPop, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Sandy and Uncles Dan and Gil. “What are you thankful for?” I asked her. Zoe was quiet for a minute, obviously thinking about the things I left off my list, and then responded, “I’m thankful for Mommy, Jenny, presents – and books!”

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving, everyone!


Three-year (!!) update

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

The other night, as we watched Zoe play, Q said to me that he doesn’t think “toddler” is an accurate word for Zoe anymore. “Little girl” seems more like it!

Indeed, we now have a preschooler – not a little baby – on our hands. Since our last update, Zoe left Elena’s and started at the JCC, and the transition has been fairly smooth. Though we’ve had a few separation issues (she still occasionally sniffles and clings when we drop her off in the morning), she seems very happy with school – and often comes home and sings songs or plays games that she learned there. (She’s often instructing me to “line up” like they do at school, and she likes to ring a pretend bell, which signals that it’s clean-up time.) She enjoys giving me reports on which kids were sick or on vacation on a particular day, and one of her favorite games is to pretend that she’s “Teacher Jamie” and read or give lessons to her “children” or “peoples” (as she calls them).

We recently had a parent-teacher conference, and her teachers reported that Zoe is a pretty easy-going kid. She’s calm and sweet, they said, and she has a lot of empathy towards the other children – especially the younger ones. (When I innocently asked if Zoe ever threw fits or lashed out at other kids, one of her teachers’ eyes got very wide. “Zoe?? Oh, no!” she said. I had to laugh – I guess Zoe saves the “colorful” side of her personality for home!) Zoe likes knowing what’s happening next, her teachers said; she often comes up to them and asks what they’ll be doing after this particular activity. As mentioned here before, they also said that Zoe spends a lot of time doing art projects and playing in the kitchen.

As for favorite activities at home, Zoe still loves playing pretend. She likes playing “doctor,” “cooking” for us, taking us on little trips via airplane or train, and – as just mentioned – pretending she’s a teacher. In recent weeks, she’s been very into “reading” stories (usually very elaborate ones) to us; and she has a fondness for puzzles. (She has two long train puzzles – one of the alphabet and the other of the numbers 1-20 – and they’re really helping her with her letters and numbers.) She doesn’t watch a lot of TV, of course, but she’s now a big fan of Dora the Explorer, which she calls “Dora and Boots.” And Imagination Movers is still an old favorite.

Zoe’s speech and vocabulary have gotten quite advanced, and I’m still sometimes amazed that I can have a normal (practically adult) conversation with her! She does a good job with pronouncing most words, but there are a few words that still come out in a Zoe-way. For example: huge is “hooge,” Muni is “mooney,” and “hood” is “hoot.” I don’t correct her – just for now – because I think they sound so cute!

Zoe can be quite funny times. I always ask her in the afternoons what her favorite part of school is, and she routinely says, “Naptime.” She thinks it’s hilarious – I guess because of my reaction the first time she said it – and now says it just to tease. And recently, after I said something that she found funny, she said to me, “You’re a silly goose, Mommy.” (I often call her a silly goose, and it was cute to have her say it back to me.)

Zoe can also be a bit of a boss. When she wants us to play with her, we’re likely to hear a “You stand here, Mommy!” (We have to remind her to get a “please” in there.) Recently she started telling Q (who always puts her to bed) what he should do after he leaves her room. “You go watch football and eat and then go to bed and just wear your t-shirt, okay, Daddy?” she told him one recent Monday night.

She’s not always so sweet and cute, of course. She still has her share of temper tantrums (especially in the evenings, when she’s tired) – though Q and I have noticed that she’s quicker to say “Sorry” than she used to be.

Zoe remains quite fond of her little sister (the jealousy issues I keep waiting for haven’t arrived yet), and says the sweetest things to her at times (“You make me happy,” she recently told her). She occasionally wants to hold her (though not for long), and she’s always interested in “checking her” – especially with her new doctor’s kit. She’s also quite patient with Avery: the baby likes to pull hair, and Zoe doesn’t even get that upset when Avery pulls hers (and I know it can’t feel good). Recently she started talking about what she has to look forward to as Avery grows: “Soon she’ll walk and run and crawl and sleep in my bed and play!” she said to me the other night. (I don’t want to rush these things of course, but I think it will be pretty fabulous when Avery is older and can be more interactive with her sister!)

And lastly, a milestone. As Q recently reported, Zoe is now nighttime potty-trained. We weren’t even trying to potty-train her (pull-ups at night really weren’t a bother), but it just happened naturally. Eventually she was dry for so many nights that it seemed like a waste to continue using diapers. It’s been a few weeks now, and she’s only had one accident. We’re pretty proud!


We’re off!

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Zoe is always talking about going to DC – and today we’re doing it for real! We’re heading there to celebrate Zoe’s birthday (real date = Monday) and Thanksgiving with family. We’ll have updates and pictures to post soon.


Dr. Zoe

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Since Zoe, as mentioned earlier, has a fondness for “checking” people, Q and I got her a little doctor’s kit for her birthday. (I, of course, was insistent that the bag be pink, and I was annoyed when I kept finding ones with little boys on the cover. How sexist, I thought – until we found a pink one with a girl on the cover.) She’s been playing with it non-stop, and Avery is one of her favorite patients – as you’ll see below.


“Hm… What should I check first?”

Dr. Zoe

“Let’s take your temperature!”

Dr. Zoe2

“Don’t worry, this won’t hurt.”

Dr. Zoe3

“That wasn’t so bad!”

happy patient

Five-month update

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

At five months, Avery has hit the happy-baby phase. Unless she’s tired or hungry, she’s almost always smiling – or happily observing the world around her. While she’s still content just sitting and watching people, she recently started showing an interest in toys. She enjoys the various animals dangling from her ExerSaucer, and she has shown a fondness for a red kangaroo that crunches and rattles. I have yet to see her laugh really hard, but she does giggle a lot – especially when her dad tickles her tummy or under her chin or when I brush her face with my hair. And last week I was sounding out words for Zoe (“Bbbbbb is for bear”), and Avery started to laugh.

Another fun development: she now recognizes her name, and she’ll turn her head and give a curious look when she hears it.

As for physical milestones, she rolled over (back to stomach) for the first time a few weeks ago, and now she’s almost constantly on her stomach with head held high – like below. If she leans forward and places her hands on the floor, she’s able to sit unassisted for a few minutes. (When sitting straight up with no hands, though, she topples right over.) She has more than doubled her birth-weight; at her last doctor’s appointment (on 11.6), she was just over 17 pounds.

In terms of sleep, Avery typically takes 3-4 naps around the same time each day. After a month-plus of some bad nights, Q and I changed her night-time schedule and did a bit of “sleep training” a few weeks ago. (Zoe was such a good sleeper, that we never had to do that with her. As I told a girlfriend recently, I didn’t even know what “sleep training” was!) We now feed her at 7:30 or 8 PM and put her to bed at 8 or 8:15, and no longer wake her for a feeding at 10 or feed her if she wakes up in the middle of the night. It seems we’ve trained her body into *not* waking up for milk – because she now routinely sleeps straight through to 5:30 or 6:30 AM. I hope it sticks, because we’re all much happier!


Avery on mat

“Some peoples are crying…”

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Zoe had a particularly rough night recently. She didn’t want to go to sleep, she was upset when Q (who always puts her to bed) left her room, and she did a lot of yelling, crying and tantruming in the hallway. After awhile I called her into our room, where I was feeding Avery, and encouraged her to climb up on the bed, sit near me, and take a deep breath. “It’s okay,” I told her once she was nestled next to me. “You’re just grumpy – I get grumpy and cry sometimes, too.” She sat up, looked at me with big eyes and said, “Some peoples are crying because they want their daddies, and they go through the door and can’t find them, and then they see their mommies, and their mommies are feeding Averies, and then the mommies hug the little girls and the little girls stop crying…” There was a bit more to her monologue, I think, but what I remember most is the look on her face as she said all of this in one big, run-on sentence. It was just so sweet – and funny (I’m not sure why she pluralized every word) – that I practically forgot all about her tantrum.


…And a video

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

One last thing from the birthday party: a video of Zoe and her pals on their birthday “throne.” Q and I were busy with lighting candles and taking snapshots – thanks to Jenny for taking this!


Happy (Early) Birthday, part II

Monday, November 16th, 2009

After her party – and a long nap – on Sat., Zoe got to open up her birthday presents. There was a lot of pink wrapping paper, and a lot of very sweet gifts, including a doll named Zoe (below) and a LeapFrog Scribble & Write, which helps her identify and write letters. (Those two have emerged as her favorites, though she spent yesterday playing with all the new toys.)

Zoe is bit bigger than the last time she opened birthday presents, isn’t she??


opening presents2

opening presents

Zoe and Zoe

Happy (Early) Birthday, Zoe!

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Yesterday was the big day: Zoe’s 3rd birthday celebration at Pump It Up. It was another joint party with her friends Miles and Zander, and Zoe had a lot of old friends (from Elena’s) and new friends (from preschool) come celebrate with them. I think she had a good time – as did her baby sister, who cuddled and played with Uncle Dan and Jenny throughout the party. Here are some of the best pics.


birthday girl

Zoe and Leo

Zoe sliding

Zoe and Mommy

Zoe and Daddy

Zoe and Uncle Dan

Three girls

birthday kids


Zoe hugging Briana

Zoe and Tessa

little sister

Avery and Uncle Dan

Zoe’s thoughts on her birthday

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Zoe’s 3rd birthday is still more than a week away, but we’re having a party for her and her friends tomorrow. A few nights ago I sat down with her to get her thoughts on the big events, and our video is below. (Oh, and the kitchen she’s referring to is one of those play ones that she told her dad she wanted as a present.)