Zoe's First Christmas

We were pleasantly surprised as we took a hungry Zoe downstairs Christmas morning to receive her first presents from Santa ever. She was immediately interested in her new toys. She even helped Love open her presents a bit. She was fun to watch as she inspected each of her gifts. We did laugh at her a little as she looked around a few times trying to figure out why this particular morning was so different. By the end she was tired of the present thing and ready to eat, but we think she did great! Here are a few photos:
"Mom! We just woke up!"
The tree...Santa came!
"I learn fast."
"Books that talk and sing!"
"This looks delicious!"
"Is this mine?"
"Wow, she's pretty!"
"It's sooo not that cold in here."
"Well look at that! New PJ'S!"
"Didn't you know? DVD's are for eating."
"Wow! That frog is as big as me!"
"Ooo...cozy outerwear!"
"Let's see there's one, two, three..."
"Playing with the new toys...sitting all by myself."
"K, Mom, I'm ready to eat now."
There was much more under that tree for her than what I posted in pictures. Thank you to everyone who helped Zoe to have such a great Christmas! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday as much as we did.
On a more serious note, my Grandpa passed away peacefully in his home on December 24th. I will be taking a break from blogging for the week in order to attend his funeral and spend some time with family. While he will be greatly missed, he had been ill for some time and we're glad that he's home at peace with our Heavenly Father. My Mom wrote a lovely tribute post to her Daddy here. Thank you for your understanding, friendship and love.


Twenty-six years ago this last Sunday I came into the world. We celebrated by sleeping in, going to church, and attending to family dinner to eat yummy homemade chicken noodle soup with brownies for dessert. A few years ago Love gave me a print of my favorite Van Gogh, "Starry Night". It's been sitting in our closet in a tube for a long time. Five years later he had it framed for my birthday.

He and Zoe also framed one of the family pictures we took recently:
Thoughful gifts always make a birthday wonderful. Also, getting to spend time with family always makes for a great day.

Lastly, my birthday happened to fall on the Sunday before Christmas so I have to include a few pictures of Zoe in her Christmas dress. In case I don't get on here again before then, Merry Christmas everyone!


5 Months

Dear Zoe,

A couple weeks ago you turned 5 months old. I regret to say that your fourth month in this world was definitely not your Mother’s best month as far as mommyhood goes as I had to spend much of my time dealing with all the changes we went through. The theme of this month was “new” and you came through it all so well, much to our surprise.

At the beginning of this month we signed papers on our house. By the end of the first week we had packed half the apartment and were ready to move the necessities. The entire week you were somewhat anxious, wondering why the only home you’ve ever known was being packed away as boxes began appearing everywhere. Friday, November 8th, our friends showed up to load all our belongings into a big trailer. At this you fell apart. Mom was trying to get you to play in your bouncer or go to friends/ family as I hastily packed anything I thought we might need for the next week or two…not to mention taking down your room. (We wanted to wait until the last minute to do this to make it as easy on you as possible.) You would not have it- only wanting me. So, I held you and packed at the same time. We gathered up a few last minute things, shoved them in the car, loaded up and we were on our way to our new house. You cried most of the almost hour drive there. Upon arrival, I took you to a quiet room (our closet) shut the door, and nursed you- trying to comfort you. Although better after eating, you were still fairly anxious as people wandered in and out of the house with our furniture and boxes. When everyone went home, you calmed down enough to play on the floor while we set up your room. Mom and Dad were a little worried that you wouldn’t sleep well that first night…but you surprised us when we woke up at 8:30 am and you were still snoozing! Eleven hours of sleep the first night in our new home- even your naps were longer! It was amazing that the quiet of the house, verses the noise of the apartment, allowed you to finally relax and get the rest you need. It only took you a couple of days to relax during your wakeful hours and recognize the new place as home. We are so proud of how well you did through all this!

The change of residence brought with it a change of primary sitter. Now that we lived near her, your Aunt Hez volunteered to watch you 3 days a week, leaving Grandma D with one day. Again we were nervous to see how this change would affect you, and again you surprised us. Eager to meet your Aunt’s expectations from day one as she worked to follow my direction, it only took you a couple days to pin down a new schedule. We’ve had troubles here and there, but overall you’ve been great. In fact, I think you nap better for her than you do for Mom sometimes! The new schedule helped make things easier for Grandma D on her day, so overall we’ve been pretty happy with our new set up. I’m excited for you and your cousins to become close as you grow up with each other. I’m grateful to have people I trust help me to raise you while I have to work. I hope you become increasingly comfortable there as I work to help provide for our family…and work on trying to be home with you.

There were also a lot of new physical changes this month. You braved through your second set of immunizations without too much trouble. A little crying, but that’s to be expected. You mastered rolling over front to back AND back to front, pulling up your legs to play with your toes or bending over to try and remove your socks, and easily rolling or reaching to pluck up toys from the ground around you. Everything you touch instantly goes to your mouth! You get bored easily…always wanting more stimulation- making diaper changing (or leaving you to play by yourself for long) kind of difficult. I’m hoping that this means you’re eager to learn, to do, to master and to push limits as you discover the world around you. You learned to giggle and will laugh at funny faces, or from being tickled. We heard quite a lot of your little voice this month from happy squeals, to babbling, to upset screams…you’ve definitely found your voice and aren’t afraid to share your opinion. Also, we started introducing you to solid foods. You don’t particularly care for rice cereal, but you’ll eat it- especially that one time when Grandma N decided to mix in a little organic applesauce and you devoured two small bowls! We also discovered you like water and can drink from a cup…except you sometimes just want to play and will get the water in your mouth and then let it fall down your shirt, silly girl. Also, you got your first cold, which totally threw you off! Mom had to leave work for a couple days to take care of you. It was a week before you were really yourself again. It was hard for me to watch you deal with being so congested…and to hear such a big ugly cough come from such a tiny person. I think we’re both glad it’s over. I promise it won’t be the last time you’re sick, but I also promise to take good care of you when you are.
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We rounded out our month of newness by taking you on your first trip. We went to my home in New Mexico to visit family for Thanksgiving. Everyone was so excited to see you, especially Grandpa S- who hadn’t seen you since you were a week old! We decided to leave at night, hoping you would sleep through most of the trip. We made it four hours to Moab- you slept most of the way- and decided to be smart and stop since we were tired. You slept terrible in the hotel room. I don’t blame you, we didn’t sleep well either, but we got up early and finished the trip. You were an angel. When we arrived, everyone was gushing about how much you’d grown. You touched each person’s face, as if you wanted to study them, remember them, and give them a genuine hello. Grandpa S came home as soon as he found out we were there. Within minutes he had you in his arms. We were shocked at how well you did with being scooped up by so many unfamiliar people. As Grandpa S said when I expressed my worry for you when we moved, “She will take her cue from you guys.” To me this was home, this was my familiar place, my family…as it has become for your Dad. I think you recognized my comfort there and trusted that these people love you just as much as I do. We dragged you so many places, introduced you to so many new people and through it all you stayed fairly good natured- even blessing many with smiles and happy squeals. Personally, I think you enjoyed being the center of attention everywhere you went. I was excited to introduce you to your great Grandparents, Aunts/ Uncles and second cousins. They all thought you were beautiful and enjoyed getting to spend time with you. Your sleep schedule got a bit off during the trip, with nighttime crying and short naps, but you were happy…though we’re still working to get things back to normal at bedtime.
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I know this month of your life was crazy, but it showed that we can get through anything as long as we stick together. Your personality shines, my little sweetheart. I’m certain there are quieter times ahead…and also more insane times. As you learn and grow, we will too, and we’ll figure out life together step-by-step. I love you with all my heart.



Any Equipoise I've found is missing...

How do you even begin when you haven't updated your blog in weeks? How about a list? I like lists. We'll just go with major points of interest.
-Moved the big stuff to the house, unpacked, proceeded to begin our new life here.
-Long (loooooong) commute. Zoe got used to a new sitter. She began to sleep well during the day!
-So little time. So very little time. Never able to touch a box, hang a picture, clean a room. Just driving and working. Feeding and playing. Eating and sleeping. Rinse and repeat.
-Moved the rest of the stuff from the apartment, cleaned and said goodbye.
-Vacation to New Mexico to see the fam for Thanksgiving. Grandpa was adorable with Zoe- came straight home from work at 2 in the afternoon to see her. (He hadn't seen her since she was a week old.) Everyone was thrilled to see her and happy to see us. Zoe didn't sleep well but she was an angel and was sweet and playful with everyone the whole time. Extended family on my Dad's side got to meet her- including her great grandparents. I enjoyed her being the center of attention. We also got to meet our future brother-in-law- who, unfortunately, got hurt during a "flag football" game and ended up having surgery. Luckily he is bringing my sister up to see me in a couple weeks so we'll get to chat more.
-Zoe turned 5 months old. Letter will follow in a later post.
-Back to work. Boxes from the second move still scattered everywhere- along with our bags from the trip that are still packed.
-Will life ever get back to normal?
-Tried to go get family pictures taken today. By the time it was nearly our turn Zoe had rubbed her eyes red, I was stressed and Love was done. We went home instead.
-Zoe pulled her little knees up under her tummy and learned to scoot. We are thrilled with our little stinkbug!
-Was going to try pictures early tomorrow but Zoe's been up 4 times since bedtime...think it's going to be a long night.
Sorry no details. I should really be sleeping instead of typing. I do have a bunch of Zoe pictures that I will try to post soon. I am reading your blogs, just haven't had time to comment. Hopefully life gets back to normal soon...I need a week off. Goodnight!

Zoe's First Bug

Poor Zoe is sick with her first cold. It's so hard to see such a tiny person cough and be all stuffy. She's had this cold for a few days but this morning she woke up and sounded all muffled because she was so congested. Her cough sounded wet instead of the dry cough she'd been having and then she threw up twice from gagging on her phlegm. Concerned, I decided to take her to the doctor. Thank heavens everything is fine...just something she has to get over...but I sometimes find myself wondering what I paid a co-pay for. Peace of mind is a good thing...but I hope as I become better at this Mom thing I'll be able to give myself peace of mind instead of paying for it. In the end, it's worth a co-pay to make sure everything is ok rather than worrying, or worse, not going and something actually being wrong. So, today I stayed home with Zoe for the second time this week and tried not to think about what it would do to my budget. Wouldn't you know, besides a little more fussing than usual and a lot longer naps, she's actually pretty happy when she's sick with a cold. I seriously love this child.

P.S. I know I've been a picture slacker lately...my excuse is that I'm not feeling well either, I just moved and am still working on that, and well I just haven't had a lot of time. Things will settle eventually and I will go back to posting weekly pictures, I promise.

4 Months

Dear Zoe,

A few days ago you turned 4 months old. As always I can't believe how fast the time goes. I've been astonished at how much you've grown and changed this month. The beginning of the month marked the start of a routine for you. After a few months of you eating and sleeping sporadically, coming to pick you up and you bawling because you're so tired/ hungry, I decided something needed to change. Grandma D bought us a book called, "On Becoming Babywise." This book changed our lives. By following their parent-directed, flexible routine, you became an entirely new child. We also switched your bottles to a higher flow nipple and your eating habits improved dramatically. You and all the people who care for you have enjoyed your new happy temperament and the ability to feel more in control. I was surprised how fast you took to the new routine and how quickly you adapted and changed.


Not only did we change these two things, we also moved you to your own room. Grandma N came up for a week and helped us make all these changes while you were in your own home for a week to make things easier on you. Plus, Mom and Dad felt better leaving you in your own room with Grandma N sleeping near you those first few nights. The adjustment was seamless...almost as if you didn't notice. I guess having your naps in there during the weeks leading up to the change helped. Grandma N also did one truly amazing thing while she was here...she got you to take a binky! You won't understand this until you're a Mom one day, but the ability to give you that to calm yourself in a bind, or until I can get your bottle made, or in stressful situations, has been a major help to me. You are still picky and will only take it in these situations, but that works for me because I like to see your smiles and let you talk without a binky constantly in your mouth...plus I don't want it to become a major security item. It is cute when you fall asleep on the floor with it though.


You have learned to do a lot of things this month. You can roll from your tummy to your back. You don't really like being on your tummy. About a week ago I put you down with some toys for tummy time and within a couple minutes you rolled over. You'd been trying to do this for weeks and we were so proud of you when you did, though it scared you a bit. You still don't do it a lot, but every once in a while you will...of course never when I have a camera handy. Here are a few attempts at capturing this:

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While you don't always roll over, lately you've been rolling to your side or scooting to reach a toy. I love to watch you figure out how to reach and grab something you want. This is a lesson well learned for your future.

You are very influenced by your environment. When you get stressed you let me know. However, you are starting to learn that sometimes crying just doesn't help the situation. You let us leave you with a sitter successfully while we went to a haunted house. You've had two Sundays now where you don't freak out at family dinner. You've made peace with the car seat- which is good since we're taking our first long car trip the end of this month. You amazed me by letting me take you to work on Halloween and being so good while I got in 5 hours of work.

The best new development this month is your laugh. We will sit for hours and make silly faces, surprise you, play-scare you, or do whatever it takes to make you laugh. No matter our mood, your sweet laugh is infectious. Last week you reacted to being tickled by laughing- instead of just squirming- and now we can't get enough. You have also found your voice and will babble for hours or have small conversations with people. You still love to hear people talk, you're starting to be a little leery of strangers, but if they talk to you they'll usually win a smile.


We love you. We love to watch you learn and grow. We hope to continue to give you plenty of opportunity to explore the world around you. I know you'll continue to amaze me.


It's Done!

Ok, so we did the walk through on Friday for our house. We did put up a lot of blue tape (you put blue tape on things you want fixed before you close) but it was all for very minor things. I LOVE my kitchen. I was nervous because, at the design center, you pick out every thing and you're not sure how well it will all come together, but I was so happy! I will just post a few pictures now of the kitchen and then when it's all fixed and finished I will take you on another tour.
Ah! I can't wait to move in!