Friday, February 25, 2011

We must be doing something right...

Being a stay at home parent is honestly the hardest job I've ever had....and the most awesome.  Today, Zoe and I had a little...disagreement.  I admit I was reacting poorly to the confirmed news that Nathan has to spend another full weekend in the library and, while I know we will end up having  fun together, the thought of spending two whole days alone with the kids with no plans in mind whatsoever....well, it left me feeling a little claustrophobic.  It's so hard to feel this way when you have little people to take care of, because you never get a minute to just breath and have a little quiet time to psych yourself up for the work ahead.  Instead, if you are me, you have a 5 month old baby who is getting stronger and stronger and is wriggling, pinching and pulling so much that I feel like I'm wrestling a little pig or something when he's fussy.  Add to that a 3 year old who feels like she has to be physically touching me, if not completely climbing all over or sitting on top of me (yes, even when I'm nursing dear, little piglet) and you get a recipe for a little mommy break-down on a day like today when I'm feeling less than up to the challenge.

Anyway, I'll spare the details but we were in the kids' room and Zoe was just throwing demand after demand at me (just as a 3 year old should, frankly) and I, all of the sudden just told her I  couldn't take her telling me what to do anymore and that I needed a break from her.  I tried leaving the room and she grabbed the door and told me to sit down.  We played tug of war a little more with the door while she experimented with different ways to "ask" me to read to her.  I finally said I'd read one more book but that I just needed some time after that.  I'm not proud to admit that I choked back tears the whole time I was reading the book...I just couldn't help it--imagine a small 4 ft x 4 ft box and what it would feel like to be stuffed inside and that's how I felt in that moment.  I just wanted to bust out and breath for a few minutes. 

Then, miraculously when I finished reading, Zoe said these words:  "What are you going to do now, Mommy?"...and it was just the thing I needed to hear right then.  I was so grateful that she had heard what I'd said and respected it, that I felt that box open up with enough room for me to gingerly step out.  I told her I needed something to eat and she happily bounced along with me and we recharged with a snack before getting ready to go to art class.  At one point, after I was feeling better I said:

Me:  Hey Zoe?  I'm sorry.  I was feeling stressed out and I took it out on you.
Zoe:  What did you took out?
Me:  It means that I'm stressed out and the way I dealt with that feeling was to be mean to you and that was wrong.  I'm sorry for that.
Zoe:  I'm sorry
Me:  Well, you don't have to be sorry--I'm the one that was mean.
Zoe:  Do you know what it means when two people say they are sorry?
Me:  No, what?
Zoe:  It means they are both sorry and I'm sorry cuz I was mean too.

I just wanted to give her the biggest hug and kiss known worldwide and that's just what I did.  Later, when we were walking into art class I got this sensation that the two of us (not quite Owen yet--while babyhood has it's challenges, it's nothing compared to 2's and 3's...) are partners in a battle.  She's trying to learn how to navigate through life and I'm trying to learn how to guide her.  Sometimes we take it out on each other but in the end we always stick together and, even though there are millions and millions of other parent/kid teams out there, no one can ever know exactly what we go through together every day.  In a strange way, hard days like this make me feel even more that I need to treasure every part of this.  It's going to be gone in a minute and I'll be wishing there was something I could do to get even one day back from this time in our journey as a family.  Challenging times with these kiddos always reminds me of something my sister Emily said when I was pregnant with Zoe:  "If it wasn't so hard, it wouldn't be so rewarding." 

That being said, I'm really psyched that it's the end of the day and the next thing I have on my to do list is to go relax with Nathan and drink a glass of wine....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Visit to the Dentist

Well, I've been sort of dreading it for 6 months but today finally arrived.  Zoe's first visit to the dentist 6 months ago went fine, but I wasn't looking forward to this one because, unlike the first visit, parents are supposed to wait in the waiting room while the kids go back by themselves.  They say that they find the kids do better without the parents there, and while I believe that's true, I was almost sure that my kid would be one of the exceptions...if we could even pry her off my leg to go back in the first place, that is.  Now, I know it's probably starting to sound like I give my child absolutely no credit but she was really tentative that first time and these days she is stuck to me like glue whenever we are in a new situation or with people she doesn't know well, so....Anyway, we got there, checked her in, took off our coats and waited for them to call her name and when they did she literally skipped down the hallway with the dental hygienist with a big smile on her face.  Well!  Then I had a pleasantly quiet wait while Owen charmed all the front desk ladies with his completely contagious smile.  She came out, smile still plastered on.  I got the play-by-play from the dental hygienist and Zoe (no cavities!) and we were sent home, sticker and goody-bag in hand.  I was glad after that, that in general I'm secure in my parenting choices and don't tend to worry about what other people think, because Zoe totally yelled "MOMMY, WHEN WE GET HOME I WANT SOME CANDY!!" on the way out of the waiting room.  Ahem.....

Crazy that when we were making her next appointment we also made one for Owen.  I just can't believe how fast time is flying with him.  He is in one of my most favorite roly-poly-pudgy-legged-sucking-on-toes baby phases and will be eating mushed up "solid" food in about a month.  I am soaking up every minute, knowing that this is most definitely the last time we do this.  There are so many ways in which the baby experience this second time around is different than the first.  For instance, the other day we were letting Zoe walk around the living room holding him (that alone!) and she tripped and he fell flat on his face (on the carpet). Nathan just quickly picked him up while we both said "Whoops!  You okay, buddy?"  If that had been Zoe, we would have been on the phone with the doctor (or more likely my brother Wally, poor guy) asking what the red flags for possible head injuries are.   Anyway, we are all just lovin' on this little dude as much as possible. He doesn't make that very hard since he pretty much always has a smile for you, if not a completely irresistible baby-belly laugh.

The past few days have been misleading as far as weather...looks like it's beautiful out but when you spend more than 10 minutes out you realize you are not comfortable in the least.  It's been good enough for a quick spin on the bike or a short visit to the playground and the climbing tree, but mostly we've been stuck inside again.  Today, since we were driving by Hobby Lobby on the way home from the dentist I got motivated to get the materials I needed to attempt a project I've been thinking about.  I made this box for Nathan for the idea from...surprise, surprise...Pink and Green Mama:

They are Zoe's drawings burned onto the box with a wood burning tool and then painted over with watercolors.  It was fun to do, so I had this idea to get a small stool and create something we could always have kicking around that would remind us of our time in Boulder.  This is the drawing I made to burn onto the top of the stool:
The basic idea being the sun with the Rocky Mountains around it...kind of sums up this place, I think.  Anyway, I also got Zoe a little box that she could work on in the hopes that she'd let me work on mine (which she mostly did), and we had a nice time working on them:

The bummer was that it didn't really come out the way I wanted it to.  I'm trying to cut myself some slack because I'm not an artist, and I'm just learning how to use the wood burning tool...I'll have to investigate what kinds of wood work best with it, for instance.  I'm sure we'll hang onto it but hopefully I'll grow to like it a little more than I do today:
Finally I just have to share this funny conversation between Zoe and Nathan I overheard tonight while nursing the baby.  Nathan was on bedtime duty with Zoe and he was trying to convince her to come out of the bathroom from her bath to get her PJ's on:

Zoe:  Carry me, Daddy!
Nathan:  No.
Zoe:  Daddy!  Carry me!!
Nathan:  No Zoe, you have to stop being so demanding.
Zoe:  Wait.  Let's start over.  Blubbablubbbblubbb.  (in saccharine sweet voice)  Daddy?  Could you please carry me, please?"
A few moments of silence in which I can surely tell you, from experience that Nathan really wanted to tell her that the fake polite sugar-sweet thing is just as bad as being bossy, but was forced to accept it because it's better than a meltdown at the very end of the day....then ONE set of footsteps
Zoe:  No, carry me like a BABY!!

Ah, the end of the day....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gymnastics and Tarantulas

My daughter is way more brave than I ever have been or ever will be.  Sometimes I'm not quite sure she inherited anything from me.  I do try my best not to show her the underlying stress-storm going on in my whole body whenever she is doing something more daring than I expect her to be and it seems to be working because NONE of my paranoia seems to be rubbing off on her.

Nathan and I took her to the open gym at the local gymnastics place.  The last time I took her it was really crowded and I was carting around Owen in the car seat while Nathan was at school so we were limited in what we could try.  This time, though she tried everything.  Her favorite is easily the trampoline but she was a pro at everything.  Ok, so she isn't totally fearless and tends to go at everything a little sheepishly, but hey--I consider it conquered if she's nervous about something and tries it anyway.  Here are a few favorite photos from that day:

Waiting with the big kids

Getting ready..

Getting ready...

Running...with tongue out and big grin

Sunday Zoe and I had a quiet afternoon around the house because Nathan had to go into the library.  She came up with this project that we both stayed busy with for quite a while....we just strung these cool beads onto pipe cleaners and she is calling them "The Beautiful Things".  She loved making them so much that she asked all day today when we could do them again so of course, we made more today.  When I asked her what we were going to do with them, she told me she and I were going on a date and that we were taking them along.  Apparently we were going out and having parfaits for lunch, and french fries for dessert!  Works for me!  Too bad it was all pretend.
Making the Beautiful Things

Owen, our cheerful little companion
This morning, Zoe started drilling me with tough questions again.  Almost first thing today she said "How can I be a boy?  Like Jake (her older, ultra-cool cousin)?"  Now, of course I said "Well, you can't because you're a girl, but you can do anything a boy can do so it doesn't matter.  You just be you, ok?"  I wisely decided that saying something like "Well some people do, actually!"  would be a, confusing for a 3 year old...better to keep things simple for now but I vowed, silently in that moment, that if there's ever a day where she wants to talk about that particular subject and, honestly anything related to that subject, I will have given her the impression that she can be comfortable doing so with her mother. 

Anyway, this afternoon we went to the Butterfly Pavillion with every intention of spending most of the time in the greenhouse, where all the butterflies fly around you among beautiful flowers and little ponds, and skimming through the rest of the museum where the roaches and spiders are on display.  Silly me, I forgot that my daughter is not actually ME and, wouldn't you know, we were in the greenhouse for not even 5 minutes before she was sick of it.  So we wandered over to the creepy-crawly room in which she held a real live tarantula.  As we were walking up to the guy holding "Rosie", I thought there was no way she would ever ever hold the thing.  After balking the first time around and then watching some other kids do it, she finally said "Mommy, I DO wanna do it." and up she went to the guy, held out her hand, got her "I held Rosie" sticker after it was over and then had a mini-meltdown because she wanted to do it again and they had a rule about each person going only once.  What the?  Where did this kid come from?  When we got home she said "I'm really proud of myself!"

Basking in the glow....
When we got home, I put together and painted this play computer for her.  She's always getting on our computer and "working" and I'm getting kind of tired of telling her to stop pressing the buttons so I was hoping this might help.  I'm well aware my days of steering her clear of the computer are not over but at least it's a good try...I got the keyboard and mouse from someone in Boulder who was giving them away and then she and I cut, painted and glued the box together.  She said she wanted a turtle for her wallpaper so I found the image online and just glued it on and painted over it with Mod Podge.  Then I painted and glued a couple of clothespins to the top so that she can pin on paper and pretend she's typing something up...we'll see if it helps!

UPDATE:  I had to give myself a big pat on the back today with this play computer.  I'm not sayin' it'll last, but it totally solved my problem today.   Anytime I had to jump on the computer, she jumped right on hers and happily copied everything I did.  Then, later she was practicing finding letters on the keyboard while doing her "work".  I wrote some words on a piece of paper, all having to do with what we were doing today and I had to drag her away from it to get her to go to the playground.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One of those days...

It's days like today when I think I might have some idea of what it would feel like to suffer through Chinese Water Torture.  I think Zoe said my name 1,000 times today in one constant stream all day..."Mommy?Mommy?Mommy?Mommy?Mommy?...." never yelling and hardly ever raising her voice but it was just so relentless.  I could even hear her downstairs while I was upstairs, just a little louder and a little more drawn out...."Mommmaaaayyyyy?Mommmmaaayyyy?Mommmmmaaayyyyy?..." You know, so I could hear her while trying to quietly get the baby to sleep...Half the time she doesn't need one single thing other than for me to acknowledge her existence (as if I don't do that every other second of every day), and the other half of the time she's asking for the same thing  for the 100th time because she thinks maybe THIS is the time I'll say "Yes, you can have candy for breakfast."  At one point, I was cleaning up a painting project while holding the fussy baby (of course, he didn't take good naps today which probably explains my poor coping skills) and she was asking for a piece of  toast with melted cheese. Fun fact:  3 year olds are not capable of saying "Mommy, when you're done doing that do you think I could have a piece of cheesy toast with melted cheese, please?" and I would never expect my own 3 year old to honestly, but what kills me is that this is the way it comes out:

Zoe:  "Mommy, I want a piece of cheesy toast with cheese melted on top."
Me:  (Baby starting to fuss) "What are you forgetting to say?"
Zoe:  "Please?"
Me:  "Sure, as soon as I get this cleaned up I'll get it for you."
Zoe:  "Mommy?"
Me:  (Baby fussing a bit louder) "Yeah?"
Zoe:  "I want a piece of cheesy toast with cheese melted on top."
Me:  "I know, honey you just said that. I'll get it for you when I'm done cleaning this up."
Zoe:  "Mommy?"
Me:  "Honey, I know you want a piece of toast with cheese--"
Zoe:  "Cheese MELTED on top!"
Me:  (Baby inconsolable) "I know. But I'm in the middle of cleaning up your LAST demand, now give me a minute and I'll get your toast."
Zoe:  "Mommy?"
Me:  "Zoe, please don't say it again."
Zoe:  "No, I wasn't gonna say it."
Me:  "Oh okay, go ahead then."
Zoe:  "What are we doing today?"

Sheesh.  After that, I decided to get us outside for an emergency change of scenery (well, I EVENTUALLY got organized to get out and Zoe said to me "Geez, Mommy you must be a GENius!....It took you SO long to get out here!"  Huh?), and we had a great afternoon and evening.  Playing outside fixes everything, and dinner with Daddy (especially when Daddy cooks!) tops it all off.  As we did our "cheers" at the table, Zoe proclaimed "A wonderful weekend!"  Somehow, it usually all ends up okay at the end of the day but sometimes the journey is a little slow and bumpy.

On another bright note, our amaryllis is blooming again.  My sister Emily gave us a cutting of it way back when and it's still kicking, although it's had some rough times.  The last time it bloomed we were in Brooklyn, so it's made me feel a little sentimental.  It decided to bloom right next to this star I made the other day and hung in the window so it made the event even a little more cheerful....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We are having the most beautiful weather here.  Seriously, it feels like Spring out there and I'm in complete denial that Winter isn't over yet.  I'm just soaking up the sun and the no-jacket weather while we have it.  Which means, Zoe is getting TONS of practice on her bike.  Yesterday we went to a friends' house to play outside after making sundaes and heart shaped multi-colored crayons to give to friends for Valentine's Day  They live about a mile away from us and you can get to their place by going on the Boulder Creek Path the whole way, so I decided to let Zoe give it a try with her two-wheeler.  Her school is right next to our friends place, and I've been thinking that pretty soon she could ride her bike to school in the morning, along with Nathan on his bike.  She did an awesome job--it didn't take nearly as long as I expected and she was nice and cautious the whole way.  In fact I think it's safe to say she walked the bike for at least half the distance...too nervous to go down big hills and it's too hard to go up "tuff hills", as she insisted I call them.  I was really proud of her, though.  We think that by the end of the summer she will be ready to make the trip on a deadline.  Nathan's usually trying to get to class or the library by a certain time, so she's got to get really good before we attempt that but I think I'll start bringing the bike in the back of the stroller to pick her up and let her ride home...she'll be a pro in no time.

Anyway, this whole two-wheeler thing has stirred up all these emotions for me...for one, I've been really shocked to find that I feel really liberated.  I expected to feel more nervous and anxious when she started riding like this but I realized that she totally knows what to do, otherwise it wouldn't be happening.  So, I feel like I don't have to hover as much, which is really great.  When I really started to think about that, I wondered if something similar happens when your kids are old enough to go out by themselves with friends.  At night.  In cars.  Something else I'm terrified to face, and have been since the day Zoe was born.  Now, though I wonder if I just put in the work while they are little, MAYBE by the time that stage comes I will be able to enjoy a sense of trust that they will both know what to do to be safe and cautious in life.  That's what I'm going on at this point anyway.

Then again, watching her fall for the fourth or fifth time that day, I also had this sinking feeling that this is the beginning of many injuries.  I had memories of black eyes and broken arms...not mine, of course (save for my one moment of XGames-like fame when I was 2--see photo below) since I did everything as a kid from the safety of my room with my dolls and their non-threatening silence and inertness...but, my brother's and sister's many, many injuries.  My brother Ivan broke his arm multiple times in the same place from flying off the front of his bike, for instance.  So, I guess in all likelihood, letting them go out into the big, wide world when they are teenagers will be a combination of trust and dread...and hope that my kids will make it through life in one piece.
                                             Me and my black eye with my sister, Emily

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend with Daddy!

Yay!  We had a FULL weekend with Daddy.  Finally!  It's been so long since we all had a couple of days to just enjoy being together and we really made the most of it.  The weather is so beautiful and it's supposed to be awesome all week so it was an added bonus to an already great weekend.

Friday Zoe and I hung around the house while Nathan finished up the work week...she spent at least a half hour that day trying to figure out how to fly.  I mean, she was flapping her hands and everything...jumping on the bed, tentatively flapping her little hands as fast as she could and once in a while really giving it a go and picking her feet up.  She never did officially get off the ground but she had an awesome time doing it, which is the most important part.  Later in the day I made some "Oobleck" for her.  I always think of my sister Jill when I make it because she was the one that introduced it to us when we were little and I remember it being a favorite activity for a while...if you've never made it before give it a try, even if you don't have kids. Just mix together corn starch and water until the consistency is kind of thick but also gooey.  I also added food coloring to it and made a few bowls of it.  Of course, she was only into it for about 10 minutes until she decided it was too weird, but it's easy to make and easy to clean up and it brings back great memories for me, so I called it a success!

 Then on Friday night, we had pizza/movie night with the May-Ostendorps.  It's become a tradition and we're soaking them up as much as we can before they ditch us and move back to Durango this summer.  Boo.  We usually order pizza, but this time we made homemade pizza...dough from scratch and all!  Mariah, always the one with the most amazing ideas ever, brought along some stuff to make dessert pizzas too...they were the most delicious thing I've tasted in a long good....chocolate, butterscotch, marshmallows...can't beat it.
Saturday, we attempted a "snow picnic" with the very same May-Ostendorp clan.  It was kind of a bust because we got all the way up there and realized I had no cell service, which wasn't alright since I was on duty this weekend.  I went home with Owen, and everyone else stayed and did their best to make it happen but I'm not sure it was what we all had in mind.  Still, always good to get some sledding in.

In the afternoon, we took the kids to the rec center to swim.  It was Owen's first time swimming and he seemed to love it and Zoe, as always, had so much fun she didn't want to leave.  They also have a hot tub there, much to mine and Nathan's more than pleasant surprise...I've been dreaming about sitting in a hot tub for a few months now, so that was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Finally today was the most beautiful day all weekend, and the first of a week's worth of expected gorgeous days here.  I think it may have been in the 60's!  After getting some chores done in the morning, we headed outside.  Zoe on her two-wheeler and me with Owen in the carrier.  (Nathan had a couple of errands to run for a bit).  Zoe headed straight for the creek path--the first time on it with her two-wheeler, and I had no choice but to follow.  It was so nice to stroll along behind her, watching her get the hang of the rules of riding like a big girl with all the other people enjoying the beautiful day.  She was ringing her little bike bell at every person she passed and that passed her, even if she was standing still holding her bike.  She said it was her way of saying "On Your Left!".  Good girl.

I had a funny moment this morning when Zoe asked "Who built you?...How?...Who built me?"  I'm being put to the test here all of the sudden with the life and death questions and I'm not sure I handled it perfectly, but I'm told no one feels like they do.  I can only hope that my children will have at least SOME idea of how everything works before it's time for them to leave for college, but I can only do my best!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What are YOU thank you for?

We started a tradition this holiday season where we try to remember every day to say something we are thankful for.  Zoe seems to really like the tradition because she is usually the one to remember to ask me what I'm "thank you" for.  It's really nice because it really makes me think every day about the little things that really make me happy.  Mine and Nathan's usually center around family and kids and Zoe's are always pretty different...sometimes thoughtful: "The great sun", sometimes sweet: "Owen" and sometimes kind of strange and abstract: "For someday when I will run with Owen."  At lunchtime today she asked me what I am "thank you" for and I said "I am thankful for good books.  What are YOU thankful for?" and she said "Today I am thank you for that Mommy isn't grouchy today."  Ooo, ouch!  I then resisted the urge to say in my most sweetest Mommy voice "Well, Zoe maybe that's because you aren't pushing my fricken BUTTONS today." But, I apologized for being grouchy and moved on.  Then to add insult to injury, at dinner she said she was "thank you for lovely weeks with Daddy."  Ah, well.  I'll take the hint and go back to my Zen mothering place..or work on it, anyway.  :-)

Also, at dinner out of the blue she said this:

"Mommy, I had a dream.  Daddy was with us when we went to the swimming pool and I didn't have NO swimming suit on.  But when I got onto the boat, I DID have my swimming suit cuz I just walked out of the water to get my swimming suit on.  But the boat could fly into the air from the water cuz there was a waterfall and it flew all the way up to the ceiling.  And I flew out of the boat onto the sidewalk.  Not ONto the sidewalk, but INto the sidewalk.  It. Was. Funny."

And then when I was washing dishes she came in and asked:

Zoe:  "Mommy, did Jazz (our old cat) died to Vermont?"
Me:  "Well, he was living in Vermont and then he died."
Zoe:  "Died to where?"
Me:  (Seriously doubting the wisdom of my decision to be straight forward with her on such matters) "Well, to nowhere."
Zoe:  "Is it strange inside?  Is it noisy?"
Me:  "Inside where he died?"
Zoe:  "Yeah"
Me:  "I don't know, I've never been."

Thank goodness, that was the end of it!  I think I'll have to read a few books on talking about sex with your kids before she starts asking so I don't back myself into another uncomfortable "nothing but the truth" corner with that one.

Anyway, in addition to having funny conversations, we continue to spend the cold days inside "arting" but mostly the past few days she's been drawing and I've been experimenting.  I worked on a couple of projects that I think are too "old" for her, but I know that on the right day she will be able to bust out a 3 year old version of these two.  The round one is the "Cut Tissue Paper Stained Glass Circles" from Pink and Green Mama and the star is just crayon shavings ironed between wax paper.  Grandma and Zoe picked out the colors last weekend and shaved the crayons.  I'm excited to play around more with the crayons because I love how that looks and something about melting the crayons is satisfying to me...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snowy Day Fun

We had another cold, snowy day today, which means we spent pretty much all day inside rather than bundling us all up to go outside.  It's hard enough with the two kids and myself but Zoe often insists on bundling her stuffed animals  when we go out...a battle I've tried to fight in the past and have come to accept that the actual energy I put into helping her bundle them is LESS than it is to argue with her about it.  So, I begrudgingly bundle the "buddies", all the while laughing on the inside about the things we Moms will do for our kids.  I like to picture how many ridiculous things we had my Mom doing while we were this little and I silently thank her for everything.

So, it was a day for projects in our house because I tend to go stir crazy if I spend all day at Zoe's beck and call!  Owen did us a huge favor and took a long nap in the crib so Zoe and I made these heart boxes, inspired by the Pink and Green Mama blog I love so much.  We made one for Zoe and Owen and one for me and Nathan so that we can deliver Valentines to each other.  We hung them on our bedroom doors and I plan to leave the kids and Nathan little notes in their boxes after bedtime this week, to be discovered in the morning.  On Valentines Day I will put some treats in there.  We had fun making was a great project for her because she could decorate it however she wanted after I got it all cut out and everything.

After that, we made these delicious Banana Chocolate Brownies for our dinner at Gretchen and Hunter's house.  We've been spending Tuesday evenings at their house while the Daddies are busy with school and Gretchen is about to have a baby so we wanted to spoil her a little.  We found the recipe the other day after Zoe requested banana brownies and I think they will most definitely be a regular occurrence.  YUM.  Give them a try, they are delicious.  It was Hunter's 3rd birthday so we got to sing Happy Birthday and watch the kids try and figure out the trick candles Gretchen gave us all.  We all got giggling so much, and I think it's safe to say that it was just the thing we all needed.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Closing a short chapter....

Well, Nathan's show officially closed today and in so doing, we have closed a short chapter in this Grad School adventure we are on here.  We are so proud of all of the work Nathan put in, and he had a great experience so it was a success!  I must say, though that we are all relieved to be able to get back into a rhythm together again as a family and actually be able to spend some time together.

Zoe and Owen got to spend some quality time with Grandma and Peepaw this past weekend.  They came to see Nathan's show and stayed for a few days to soak up some time with the kids and we all had a great time together.  We hung around the house mostly because of the cold and snow, but one day we did get outside with Grandma for a bit for a little bike riding and playground-playing.  We put Owen in a little swing with Zoe for the first time and, as usual he was a little bundle of smiles and giggles.  That kid loves life and isn't afraid to show it!

Zoe, Peepaw and I spent some time one day working on some marshmallow/toothpick structures.  We all kind of got sucked in and probably ate more marshmallows than we built with.  Zoe won the prize for most innovative with her "necklace for a house".

We also went to the WOW Children's Museum in Lafayette.  It's a cozy little museum and Zoe was able to work off some winter time crazies so that's always good...

Finally after a pizza party with our neighbors, we closed out the weekend with a long, drawn out bedtime which is always fun for everyone involved.  If you've ever wondered what life with a 3 year old is like, just picture conversations such as the one I had with Zoe during her second bathroom trip after lights out:

Zoe:  Mommy, is tonight bath night?
Me:  No.
Zoe:  Why?
Me:  Because you had a bath last night.
Zoe:  When was last night?
Me:  Yesterday.
Zoe:  Tomorrow?
Me:  No. Last Night.
Zoe:  When was tomorrow?
Me:  Tomorrow is tomorrow.
Zoe:  Yesterday?
Me:  No....  Never mind.

Now picture having similar conversations at least 15 times each day.  Depending on how long it's been since I've eaten it can either be really funny or really annoying.  In the end I always feel so lucky to be able to find it funny, even if it is a few hours after the fact.