Friday, December 24, 2010


well this is awesome!!!!! dad got me a kindle and i just learned that it has a wweb browser so now i can get online from anywhere and do fun things like this. maybe i can post some things a they are happening instead of forgetting them days later

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


So I hear Zoe say "mom, it's stuck on. It's stuck on. It's stuck on." and I turn around and she's got these stickers all over her that Grandpa sent for her. And then she says that she has the chicken pox. I gave her a piece of paper and she transferred the stickers to the paper.


where's tammy?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


not a book.

Zoe is opening the cottage from Nana Jo. I don't know why she thinks it's a book. And I also don't know why she sounds so disappointed that it is not a book. But it's funny.

Birthday play-by-play

First - THANK YOU for all of the fantastic gifts and LOVE that you sent for Zoe. She had a great birthday because she has so many people that care for her.

We had a good day. Pete was working on a building in Lynnwood and he was able to come home for lunch and open presents with Zoe. She got an amazing Calico Critters cottage and furniture & accessories from Nana Jo and Aunt Annie. It even has lights that turn on inside the house. It goes with the bunny family that Zoe got from Rowan's mom, Jen, for her birthday last year. This, btw, is the doll house/etc that I want Zoe to have. So if you, or someone you know, wants to get Zoe a little gift that is "doll house-y", look at the Calico Critters stuff. It's at the usual toy stores & online. It is definitely a little pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion because it's so well-made and detailed. Nana Jo sent the Birthday Girl t-shirt that Zoe is wearing, too. Thanks!!! It might still fit next year?

Uncle Doug & Aunt Tammy sent some very fuzzy moose pajamas that I think Pete would have put on if they were a bit bigger. He loves them. There was also a great box of sea life animals with a submarine and a boat. Zoe took the animals out of the box one-by-one and then looked in the empty box and asked "where's the sea? where's the sea, mom?" And then she insisted on taking a bath so that she could play with the boats in the water. She really likes the octopus.
Uncle Doug & Aunt Tammy sent a GeoTrax set, too. It's really awesome! We were actually at the toy store last night and I looked at all of the parts & pieces that we could get to add on to the Radiator Springs set that Zoe has now. Some of the sets have remote control cars and the tracks are really sturdy and easy to assemble in lots of different ways. The cars stay on the tracks really well, which is the point of this brand, and they're big so that little hands can push them around easily. There was a cool Christmas set with a Santa train and a bridge with working lights & ho-ho-ho sounds. fun!

Betty & Everett sent some cute pj's and pink slippers with bows on them. Zoe looks super cute in them and they keep her toes toasty!

Pete went back to work in the afternoon and then Janie and Constance were here later. Rowan is out of town and everybody was kind of busy on the Monday before Christmas, so it was the 5 of us, which was just right anyway. We ordered pizza that Zoe likes [dominos] and watched Beauty & the Beast on tv. Then we piled into the jeep and went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream sundaes! Two scoops!! Then we went to Toys R Us so that Janie could get a My Little Pony for Zoe, but they were all modern & weird looking and not at all like the My Little Ponies that Janie loved when she was a kid [last year], so she picked out some My Littlest Petshop animals. She brought it back to the house and wrapped it up and gave it to Zoe who said "A present for me? I'm so surprised! Thank you!" and it was hilarious.

We are still enjoying all of the new toys today and I know that we will for a long time. It's fun to have things that we can add to - like the GeoTrax & the Calico Critters - instead of things that we have to replace.

********** Thank you again! Zoe is here saying "let's go mom, let's go mom, let's go mom, let's go mom" and I think she wants to play Candyland [my birthday gift to her] so I'll try to continue this post later!

FYI - we have the webcam & Skype set up for free video calls. If you want to do this, just call me or text or set up a time and we'll do it!

3rd birthday!

blowing out the candles

Zoe put the candles in the cupcakes and she wanted a candle in each one, which is why there are 7 instead of 3. While we were singing happy birthday she yelled "stop singing!" at us - hence the joke at the end of the video. The first candle that kind of sizzles & goes out is the one that she spit on instead of blowing on. I guess she kind of spit on all of them. We didn't really eat these, they were just for the song & candles.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

build a bear

the santa experience

We finally had time to see Santa last night. We wanted to take Zoe to the fancy "good" Santa at Macy's downtown. They have quite the Santa Land set-up with moving reindeer heads and a sleigh filled with presents and giant toy soldiers, etc. As it turns out, it's also wildly expensive to take a picture and they don't allow personal cameras, which might explain why NOBODY was there in line. But it didn't matter because Zoe fell asleep in the car on the drive there and then freaked out when she woke up and we were in Macy's. I had told her that we were going to do "something special" and she was very excited about it until this point. She cried and cried in SantaLand and refused to do anything except sit on my lap on the floor and wail. After many minutes of this my leg was warm and wet and her pull-ups had weirdly leaked and then she calmed down. She is doing a fantastic job at potty training the last 2 weeks and she gets really upset when she knows she has to go but we're not at home and she really doesn't know what to do about it. So that was part of it.
We finally left Macy's and Pete changed Zoe's pants in the car to the "emergency" pants that only sort-of matched her plaid hoodie in that "who cares what a 3-year old wears?" way.

So on the drive home she starts singing a song and then says that she wants to do "something special" and go "downtown". I ask her plainly if she wants to see Santa. If she wants to sit on his lap and say hi and tell him Happy Christmas. And she says yes. ok. she'll do it. And I tell her that he is visiting a store from the North Pole and that we can go say hi if she wants to. And she says yes. ok.

So I check on Pete's phone to make sure that Santa will be at the mall for awhile. And I keep asking Zoe if she wants to do this. So we go to the mall in Lynnwood near our house. There is a bit of a line, but it's not a mile long like last year. We decide to walk around for a half hour and then come back. And Build-a-Bear is right there by Santa and Zoe RUNS to the store and yells "toy store! toy store!". Luckily there is nobody shopping at Build-a-Bear [last year there was a mile-long line here, too]. And I explain what happens in this store and Zoe agrees that she would like to fill something up with fluff and take it home. So she picks out this big, green frog and a heartbeat and a giggle box that we put in his hand. The girl that helped her stuff it was fantastic at her job and had Zoe help her with everything. It was actually really sweet and a lot of fun. But we also did not have to purchase a wardrobe and a car and accessories and friends for the frog. I can see how build-a-bear could empty your bank account quickly.
So then we went back and stood in a shorter Santa line. I asked Zoe if she wanted to sit with him and say hi and she still wanted to. He is a really great Santa - the same one that held her when she was 4 days old. It's not exactly Santa Land like at Macy's, but still a good time and they don't care how many pictures you take with your own camera. She refused to smile but as soon as she walked away she was skipping and yelling that it was the "best day ever!" We went to a 50's diner-type burger place called Ruby's and had some yummy cheeseburgers. Zoe played with the ketchup, the napkin dispenser, the salt & pepper and watched a train go around a track hanging from the ceiling.
She loves trains. I think I've told you that she can sing "chugga-chugga choo choo" over and over and over and over and over again.... really really loudly, too. She really likes the show about Thomas the Train and then there is a Disney show called Chuggington that she also likes.
So we got our Santa photo this year. tah-dah!

art or not?

I took these shots from the car last night with a super slow shutter speed. I like how sparkly they are.


After bath time Zoe puts her robe on and she says "I have my robot". [robe-on] Last night she told Constance [who had her robe on] "you have a robot!" Grandpa sent Zoe this fuzzy blue bathrobe-ot.

Monday, December 13, 2010

take a picture

the video below uploaded so quickly I decided to try another one!

lizard's hungry

I finally got a video to upload. I think this is really early in the morning and we were just playing in her room. I love how much Zoe is talking and watching her play with her toys is fun.

phone call

I have our landline phone set for a 5am wake up call during the week. It just rings a few times and although I've never 'answered' it, I think it says 'this is your wake up call' if you do. Since Pete doesn't actually get out of bed when his alarm[s] start ringing at 4:15am, this is a back-up system. And yes, we do have an alarm clock.
But sometimes we don't need any of those things because Zoe is really good at screaming "WAKE UP MOM, WAKE UP MOM, WAKE UP MOM, WAKE UP MOM" and stabbing her very pointy knees and elbows into my back.
So this morning we were already awake when the phone rang at 5am to wake us up. Zoe picked up the phone and said something like:
Santa? You have reindeer? I have a big problem! My presents are missing! I can't find them. I can't find my presents. Ok, bye.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


"ummm, mom?"
"Santa's at the North Pole?"
"yes. with his reindeer."


"Hey Zoe, you got a package."
"It's a package for ME?"
"Thank you!!!"
"Zoe, do you want to open it?"
"Yes. Oh my! What's this? It's a game!"

early morning butterfly

Zoe put on her "costume" and was a butterfly all morning.

Pete's Birthday!

Pete's birthday was Friday December 3rd. We went out to a delicious dinner at the Buenos Aires Grill on Thursday night with friends and then just stayed home on Friday. Pete was given an awesome birthday present in the morning from PSF Mechanical - a work shirt and a van! Hooray! They have warned him that if work slows down they have to let the "last guy hired" go first, but it seems like everything is going to work out. This is the same company that sent him to Baltimore in November. Because they have the Nordstrom account there is a chance that Pete might be asked to travel more. woohoo!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


grilled cheese

snow day photos

snow day

You wouldn't know it today, but we had quite a bit of snow last week. This is a very bundled Zoe on the front porch. She really likes the idea of snow and was excited to see it outside, but I don't think she knew how cold it was going to be. It also upset her that her boots were covered with snow and she started crying because she thought she was stuck in it. We took a little walk down our street and watched some boys slide down the hill. And then it started to rain and everything melted away. I'm sure it is not going to be our only snow day this Winter!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

day at the park

egg hunt

We have a lot of mysteries around here that are resolved by tracking down the missing objects with a magnifying glass and binoculars.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

chit chat

Zoe just pretended to make a phone call:
Hello? It's me. Zoe. I really need your help. Bye-Bye!

She looked at the garage the other day as we were pulling into the driveway and said "look, it's daddy's house!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


On Sunday [halloween] we spent the afternoon with Jen & Rowan at their house. Jen's husband, Mike, goes to work on Sundays so we are trying to have weekly play dates. It's awesome! Jen lives near Columbia City - a great little neighborhood in Seattle on the East side of I-5. The shops in the main part of town gave out candy at 3:30 so we dressed up the kiddos and went up there. I wasn't sure what Zoe would be willing to wear so I took a whole bunch of stuff with us. We have been talking about trick-or-treating and costumes and getting candy and watching some Halloween shows to see what it's about. She put on the tights & leotard that Nana Jo sent Zoe for her birthday last year. They totally fit! I told her that the leotard was like a swimsuit and she was excited to try it on. That morning I re-made the skirt with a larger piece of elastic, it was super tight, and she put that on. I didn't think about the leotard being short-sleeved so I did have her wear her raincoat with the wings on the outside. It's a really cute raincoat, though, and people kept saying how cute she looked, so I guess it doesn't matter too much.

She got about 20 pieces of candy, which I was totally thankful for later that night. She needed to know what each type of candy was. She wasn't interested in eating it, just identifying it. She went through each piece about 45 times and said "what's that mom?" over and over again. Into & out of her candy bucket. She didn't stop until she went to bed. And then in the morning she comes in our room carrying her bucket with the candy and gets on the bed. "Look what I found!" and then she starts asking me again "what's that mom?" and I say "I don't know, what is it?" and she says "a jolly rancher!" and we go through them all. It's a good thing Pete and I are eating it for her or this game could go on forever.

Monday, November 1, 2010

come on dog

Pete's Aunt Connie & Uncle Rick are renovating their home and Zoe & I visited while Pete installed a new water heater in the garage. Normally their dog, Blanca, is super excited to have people to play with but Zoe wore her out.

Zoe & Rowan go trick-or-treating

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So we are in a store and Zoe says "look, a carrot!" and I look out the window and see a parking lot and an auto parts store and I just kind of quietly look back at her and think that she is a weird kid. She senses my disbelief and says "it's a cloud carrot" so I look again, this time at the sky, and yep - there was a cloud carrot:

Monday, October 18, 2010


I have built a tower like this a few times for Zoe and today she built this one all by herself! MagnaTiles are so awesome. Thanks Grandpa! Zoe is going to be a geometry expert.

chrysalis, really?

I don't need any more proof that Zoe hears, sees and remembers everything she hears and sees on television. That is why, if she is awake, nobody is allowed to watch anything on tv that is not preschool friendly. Yes, tv will rot your brain and turn little kids into gun-wielding psychopaths. But I know that it can also educate if used correctly.

I have some plant/leaves painted on Zoe's bathroom wall. While she was taking her bath she pushed a hanging towel out of the way and said "look, a chrysalis." She learned this from a Wonder Pets episode where an inchworm was upset because its caterpillar friend was all wrapped up and he didn't understand why until Lenny the guinea pig explained what a chrysalis was. I have to admit that this is also how mommy learned what a chrysalis is [it's a pupa - supa dupa!].

puzzle flying away

Zoe loves to pretend that things are flying away. I can understand everything she is saying, can you? I don't have any idea what she sounds like to someone who doesn't hear her every day. She says that the puzzle piece is in the wind and then it lands "on the top" and then she says that she broke it. She asks "what shape?" and answers her question "a puzzle". Then she looks for it and says "there it is. it's really high" "how we going to get down?" "I know - a hand" and then her hand jumps up to get it. When she tries to put the piece in the wrong way she says "no" and then "I fixed it."

puzzle time

Thursday, October 14, 2010

new paint!

Uncle Dougie sent a big box of paint. Pete opened the box for Zoe and she ran out of the room and came back with her palette. Today I drew her a Halloween picture. I usually squeeze the paint out for her but she wanted to do it herself today and she did an amazing job! I'm so glad I was video-ing this because I love it when she decides that her paintbrush is too small. This is just a small example of what I believe is the key to success in life: options. It is impossible to choose something when you don't know that it exists.

Zoe told me twice today that she needed to potty and has had no accidents and no diaper changes! So fantastic!

Uncle Dougie also sent a 30-piece puzzle that is a picture of a barnyard. We've had the puzzle for a few days and I think we've put it together no less than 20 times. I help Zoe get the edge pieces sorted out and the first few times I talked to her about how the pictures match. Now she has it all memorized and she says "where's the horse? here's the horse. where does it go? right here. I did it!" Now she also knows what hay bales and wagon wheels are.

This morning she was making this really weird noise and I asked her what she was doing and she said "I'm an elephant!" and then she tried to stretch her head out in front of her and she said "I'm a giraffe!" and then she was a monkey [eeh eeh ah ah] and a kitty and a dog and a lion and a dinosaur.

Pete still has his old skateboard in the garage and Zoe is adamant about trying to ride it whenever she is allowed in the garage. Yesterday Pete got her to balance on it correctly by spreading her feet apart and bending her knees a little and then she rode it around the driveway by holding onto Pete with just one hand. He is dying to take her snowboarding. And since kid's start skiing at age 3 here she might just get to go this winter. It sounds dangerous, right, but then when you are laying on the side of a mountain thinking about how bad your legs hurt and a dozen 3-year olds blaze past your head it makes you wish that you had learned how to do more things when you were bendy and had a low center of gravity.

I made some ghosts and paper chains for our front porch and we put up a black light so they glow at night. Zoe has watched me cut all of the ghosts out. I was surprised when I was hanging them up and she said "look, decorations!" in her little voice. Such a big word. And this morning I opened up the curtains by the front door and she saw them again and said "look, it's a party!" and then she asked where the cake and candles were.

new toys!

Zoe got a lot of new toys in the mail in the past week. She is in heaven. There are so many fun things for us to do in the house now. I will try to post pictures & video of her playing with everything as I can. Sometimes the video upload just doesn't work, and then suddenly - like right now - it will.

Grandpa sent these MagnaTiles. They are plastic shapes that have magnets all around the edges so you can build 3D objects. I made these "tents" for Zoe. She ran out of the room to get a "hammer" and fix them. She has been watching Handy Manny - he speaks Spanish and his talking tools can fix everything [if they work as a team, of course]. She saw one episode of Handy Manny a couple of days ago and now she is totally uninterested in UmiZoomi.

magna tiles

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a game sort of

Zoe was using her flashlight to look for ghosts but she determined that we didn't have any. And then she made up this little game for a minute.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Last night Zoe had to put her swimsuit on. And then she wanted to paint.

Monday, October 4, 2010

geocache Oct 2

We went about 30 minutes North to Snohomish [also where the pumpkin patches are] and found a couple of geocaches on Saturday. I found a lot of weird mushrooms and a giant slug. Zoe found some fishing line in a bush and a rock. And she pretended to catch a fish by holding a little stick in the lake.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Zoe looked at a cup of bubbles while she was taking her bath this morning and said "look, the Milky Way".

scavenger hunt

Zoe is in love with a show called Team Umizoomi right now. It is a pretty good animated show with tiny superheros who solve problems using math, shapes, and Pattern Power! I found a scavenger hunt "printable" on Nick Jr's website and we have played it several times each day. I don't really hide the shapes because Zoe freaks out when she can't find them. The fun is in looking at the "map" and being able to quickly find the match. I check them off and she puts the cut out shapes in her Halloween bag that mom made 2 years ago. She uses this bag for a lot of tasks because it fits on her arm and it's easy to put things in it. And she likes the pumpkins that are on it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This was apparently the perfect time to upload video to the blog so I added lots of things for you to watch. I've had some trouble the past few times I have tried so there hasn't been an update for awhile. We are all doing fine. I am thinking about putting together a Halloween costume for Zoe. Maybe a buzzy bee. She has a really awesome bee hat that Nana Jo made for her. It could also be a really awesome Mizzou hat.

children's museum

We went to the Seattle Children's Museum. It was all right. There are more things to look at and read about then there are to do. This is a common flaw at a lot of places that are designed for children. Yes, things will get broken and dirty and carried away. That has to be part of doing business. Why else is it so expensive to visit these places when all of the objects are enclosed in plexi glass and everything that looks like it's going to move is nailed down?

She did enjoy the little kitchens from around the world. But everything was behind plexi or nailed down. The art room was good, but you could only stay in there for a certain amount of time and there was room for 10 kids at a time and the 1 girl who was running the space looked like she wanted to hide in a closet instead of dealing with the constant, constant, constant mess.

Zoe has lots of musical instruments - even a violin & guitar [thanks grandpa!] - and she often plays a little song on the piano that usually sounds better than the songs Pete invents. The other night she brought me a tamborine and gave Pete her maracas and she had her recorder/flute and she told us that we were a band and then we made some really loud music for several minutes.