Thursday, July 31, 2008

Down the Red Slide

Zoe's grand birthday present this year was a slide. She loves it so much - throwing toys down it, having snacks on it, climbing on it, and even going down the slide. It's so great to have something for her to do in the backyard that doesn't involve water or any physical effort on my part.





video

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's Like This and Like That (and Like This and A)

Sorry for the blogging hiatus. Last night I told James it was because I had been using the laptop so much and I don't blog from the laptop. This morning he whisked the laptop away to work with him. What an odd coincidence. But also James has been using the computer a lot to work on musical stuff in the evenings and my afternoons have been a little hectic with the nap situation. Zoe did great in her bed for a week and then suddenly decided she didn't need to stay in her bed anymore. So I spend the better part of the afternoon in and out of her room until I just can't take any more and she goes into the crib. But she's still got a near-perfect record at bedtime so I can't complain too much.

Anyway, we have been busy around here, as usual. James had Pioneer Day off last Thursday and made it into a four-day-weekend. We went to the pool and on a ward camp out. The pool is great. For those of you haven't heard - the new Payson City Pool opened on July 3rd and it is about a 1/2 mile from our house. Zoe and I go at least once a week and it was great to have James join us. I actually got to go down the big slides. The pool has something for everyone and the best part is that the whole thing is padded in rubber, instead of having a concrete floor and sides. so I can spend my time on my knees in the shallow parts with Zoe and still be comfortable. If anyone wants to try it out, let us know. We're always game to go. Here are a few pictures to "wet" your appetite:












The ward camp out was ok. The campground wasn't ideal and it was really hot. It just isn't camping if you're in a t-shirt the entire time and you don't even want to come near the fire. Zoe loved being outside and kept saying "I camping in the mountains." The only obstacle we had with her was the sleeping arrangements. We took our portable crib because Zoe refuses to sleep with us, so she already wasn't too happy about that. Then we all had to sleep in the same tent, which she also didn't like. She knew we were still there and kept telling us to "go bye-bye" even though it was pitch black and way past her bedtime. Hopefully she'll get the hang of it as we have another trip planned in a few weeks.

This week is already packed as well. Tomorrow Zoe has her 2-year checkup and I have Enrichment. On Thursday I am helping with our Primary Activity Day. So of course I won't be able to get to the pool until Friday (because today we went to a movie in Spanish Fork). Life is just so rough sometimes!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Ongoing Saga of the Big Girl Bed

We have success! Well, mostly. We tried before to no avail, so I put it on the back burner. But lately I've been trying to get Zoe excited about sleeping in a big girl bed. She has seen the bedding in the top of her closet and I've told her that she can have that when she sleeps in her big girl bed. Finally I had enough of the talking and decided to act. After she woke up from her nap on Monday I took down the bedding, hauled in the spare mattress and had her help me set up the bed. For the rest of the afternoon we played "night time." We practiced laying down on her pillow and closing our eyes, then we talked about when it is dark we go to sleep and when it is daytime we wake up and get out of bed. Zoe ate it up, and seemed to understand what was going on. That night we read books, tucked her in, and closed the door. And that was it! Normally she stays awake talking in her crib for quite a while (anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes) but not this night. We never heard a single peep from her after we closed the door! She woke up at 7:30 the next morning but didn't even attempt to come out.

Now, we are still having problems with the nap and she usually ends up in her crib after repeatedly coming out of her room, but we're working on it. I am thinking of getting some darker curtains for her room and maybe "childproofing" her door (read: locking her in). Is that too cruel, or just practical? I know it would definitely help in the morning as she decided to wake up and wander the house at 6:15 this morning. I'm sure the nap issue will work itself out by the time Owen needs the crib, or we will just cut the nap out all together - the only reason she still takes one is because we spend so much time playing outside in the heat and we keep her up later on these long summer nights.

We still have a few kinks to work out, but things are looking pretty good. We are so proud of Zoe for how "mature" she's become just in the last few months. Any suggestions for the napping situation would be much appreciated!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Zooropa!

Phew! Only a week after the fact - I'm finally catching up around here. The Monday after Zoe's birthday we packed up and headed to the zoo. Because, you know, we hadn't crammed enough action into a 3-day weekend so we went ahead and made a 4-day-weekend. Of course we had a great time. The Hogle Zoo is a little small (and a little disappointing to anyone who has to pay full price to see it) but it was definitely worth it. Zoe had a blast and we had fun watching her take it all in. Here are some highlights:

Checking out some monkeys


The Bird Show Rocks!


More from the Bird Show


Just in time to see the elephants get a shower


The first snake of the day!


Friday, July 11, 2008

The Terrific Twos!

Zoe turned 2 on Sunday! Originally we were just going to have a quiet evening with my parents and a ladybug cake, but a few days before her birthday we found out that the Biggs family would be in town so we decided to pull out all the stops. We had 8 children ages 6 and under in our house with 9 adults, 2 cakes, balloons, and presents galore. It was great and I was surprisingly very relaxed considering the short amount of notice I had for throwing the whole thing together. I owe major thanks to our guests who helped out in so many ways - taking pictures with our camera, dishing out ice cream, feeding Zoe cake and ice cream so I could have some of my own, and cleaning up after said herd of children. I had the greatest time and I think Zoe enjoyed herself as well. Her favorite presents by far are all the little plastic bugs, animals, and dinosaurs she received. The hotwheels are a close second, though. Have I mentioned that Zoe is a girl? She is definitely an odd one. But we love her anyway!

Warning - The following is gratuitous Zoe fluff and meant for 1) documenting our child's development and 2) the enjoyment of family and very close friends. You have been warned.

Whoever came up with the term "Terrible Twos" never met Zoe. Every day I just can't get over how much fun she is. I'd say the terrible part of her toddlerhood was between the ages of 15 and 22 months. Here is a glimpse of Zoe at 2 years:

Vocabulary: She says EVERYTHING! She talks all day long - narrating her actions and those around her. She mimics our tones and will repeat what we say when she is across the room completely entranced by something else. I can't attempt to document the vast vocabulary she has completely mastered. She speaks in complete sentences almost exclusively, using "ni ni ni" to fill in the gaps between the subject, verb, or object, as she sees fit.

Concepts: Again, she understands nearly everything we throw at her and applies her knowledge to new situations without being prompted or guided. It is amazing to see the wheels in her head constantly turning.

Humor: Zoe has an insane sense of humor. She cracks herself up on a regular basis and she generally has mom and dad in stitches as well. Her latest joke is replacing the first sound of words (especially in her books) with an "h" sound. If the word already starts with an h, she replaces it with an "n" sound - I kid you not, she came up with this by herself. Another recent joke is to replace all the characters in her books with "Orange Tigger" and then cackle when we correct her. Something about the word "women" is also pretty hilarious to her and she will just say it and laugh whenever the mood strikes her.

Favorites: Zoe is a pretty well-rounded kid when it comes to toys and interests. She likes Dora (though she won't watch any show or movie for more than 5 minutes), having her toenails painted, and having "pretty hair." But she also loves cars, bugs, animals, dinosaurs, rocks, sticks, and water. She hasn't shown any preferences for colors yet, though she can correctly identify all primary and secondary colors, plus some tints and tones - white, black, pink, grey, brown, etc. She loves to count and gets to seven in her own way: "one, three, two, five, six, seven." She loves running in circles but will also attempt to run in a square, triangle, or oval - the result is pretty much the same.

Personality: She is as independent as the day is long and will play on her own for quite a long time, especially after a meal. She has to identify everything around her in at least one of four ways - ownership, color, temperature, and shape (some examples include "Tre's blue car, brown square cereal, hot yellow butter). She has to give her toys kisses - "pisses" - before putting them away. She is becoming a bit of a neat freak and has me wash her hands frequently during meals. She has also decided that washing works great for bonks too and will plead with us to wash whatever injured body part she might have.

I really just can't overstate how much we love this little girl. She is getting more fun every single day. She brings so much joy into my life it just doesn't seem real. Now, on with those terrific twos!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Lake (Take 2)

Yep, we went to the lake again. This time to show it off to my side of the family. And this time we remembered to bring the food so I wasn't so grumpy. I still forgot the fishing stuff, so maybe next time I'll get everything right. The day was gorgeous and we had a great walk all the way around.


That night - Saturday - we decided to do some of our own fireworks. We didn't make it past the sparklers because of the wind, but Zoe enjoyed it anyway. Like everything else she enjoys, she looks absolutely indifferent and then as soon as something is over, she asks for more or to do it again. She loved fireworks. Good thing there will be more in a couple weeks for Pioneer Day.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stadium of Fire

Happy 4th of July! Oh, am I a little late? I hadn't realized. The last several days have been a whirlwind of friends, family, fun, and fireworks. But now things are starting to settle down so I've decided to buckle down and sort through the 250+ pictures we took in 4 days and post them.

For the 4th we hit the Namanny's for a bbq, then stopped and said hello to my parents who had just driven in from New Mexico, then we went and staked out our spot for Stadium of Fire. We didn't get there until nearly 8:30 but still got a decent spot - only about 20 or 30 feet from where we were last year. I packed tons of fun things to play with - nail polish, dominoes, Simpsons trivia cards - and we all had a blast waiting for the show to begin. As usual, Stadium of Fire did not disappoint. Zoe loved the whole thing and would identify each of the colors she saw and tell us which ones were "big" and which ones were "pretty." Here are the pictures.



Keep Your Eye on the Domino...




Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Great Week to be James

Let me start by declaring how grateful I am that James' overtime days are over. The last 2 weeks have been filled with, 10, 12, and 14-hour days, and he even had to work a Saturday! That is unheard of around these parts. But UVU had the library grand opening on Monday and things mostly went off without a hitch, so now life can return to a more normal pace around here.


The most exciting part of the new library is, of course, James' new office. His whole department has a new workspace which includes: offices, storage, workbenches, and more storage. And James gets his very own, big boy office - complete with desk, chair, shelves, filing cabinet and door. I love this space already because it prompted him to say the 6 sweetest words I've been longing to hear, "I want to go to Ikea." James is way excited to make his office his own space and I am more than happy to help, especially when it involves a trip to the Holy Land of interior decorating. So we will head up on Monday before we hit the Zoo for Zoe's birthday.

In other "amazing things to happen to James" news, his song By And By is being recognized again over at GarageBand.com. This time as the track of the week (in the folk rock genre). It has also climbed to #39 in the charts (out of 360 songs in that genre).

So let's all give a big Woo-Hoo to James for being so amazing!