Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Yesterday I went with a hike around Discovery Park with my friends Libby & Kerry. The park is amazing. It is between the North side of Seattle and Puget Sound. There are trails around and through it. I think we walked about 4 miles. When we got to the beach it was empty, windy, and gorgeous. I spotted this seal taking a break from the waves. Beautiful! The lighthouse and a couple of buildings are being restored. You can see a few more of my photos here.

Monday, December 26, 2011


This is from last week.

yellow balloon

Santa brought a new yellow punching ball/balloon. We all had to play with it all day long yesterday so it was kind of a blessing when she finally jumped on it and popped it around 10pm.

I tried some different camera settings. The ghostly, blurry shots are interesting.

Christmas dress & Santa slideshow

Nana Jo sent this beautiful red dress.

solid gold

Aunt Annie sent Zoe some shiny gold leggings!

I love it!

Zoe opened this birthday present from Nana Jo. It is a nursery school for her Calico Critters dollhouse. It is super cute.

The giant castle [below] was from Constance. It's big enough us to get in with her! it will take a long time to color the walls.

birthday princess

Friday, December 23, 2011


Best Santa picture ever!

hello and thank you!

Based on what I have heard from everyone, I think we have received all of your packages. Thank you so much! Zoe is sleepless with anticipation.

We talked about Santa last night while I made cookies. She is very concerned that he is not spending enough time at his workshop getting the toys ready. I told Doug that we saw Santa on a Harley the other day. I thought that she was going to be really happy to see him - we were all stopping at the butcher shop - but she kind of skulked away from him and then told me "I think he should get back to his workshop!"

Last night she ran into the kitchen and told me that "Santa has a reindeer with a really shiny nose - and it's red - and it glows! And his name is Rudolph... and all of the other reindeer... have really complicated names."

So I haven't posted birthday pictures yet, sorry - I just haven't spent time with the computer much this week. I'm trying to get the chores done so that I am not doing laundry on Christmas.

Tonight we are going to see Santa. [Friday]
Saturday we plan to open presents from family. If anyone wants to call or Skype this would be a good day to do it.
Santa is coming Saturday night and then Zoe will open his gifts on Sunday morning.

We plan to be home all weekend, just watching tv & eating the turkey I roasted this afternoon.

Ho Ho Ho!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

tea party & whale

Blocks & Marbles

We have played with the blocks & marbles a lot lately. Thanks Uncle Doug!
This is a blueberry factory.
The marbles are bright blue and Zoe said that we have to wear gloves when we put the blueberries in the factory so our hands don't turn blue.

pretty dress

Pete's company holiday party was last weekend and Zoe finally had a reason to put on this pretty dress that grandpa sent a few months ago. She was really excited.


Grandpa sent an accordian and when Zoe opened the box she said "it's an accordian! it's for polka music!" You wouldn't think that she would know how to play it, but she did.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

last night talk

When we pulled in the driveway and Pete's work van was not there:

"ohhh, Daddy's not home." [zoe]
> nope. he's not here.
"Is he at work or is he at golf?"

[actually, he was at golf. the range.]

> Zoe, it is B-A-T-H time. What does that spell?
"Santa?" [with a huge smile, followed by giggles]

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

annie's blog

Annie posted a funny photo of Zoe on her blog. And there are some delicious-looking pictures from Pete's birthday dinner.

all talk

I overheard two women complaining about how "kid's tv these days" is just a bunch of junk with a catchy tune and how nothing is better than good 'ol Sesame Street. Well, these women would be surprised by the dullness of anything made in the 70's if they actually tried to watch it today and they obviously have not seen Little Einsteins which teaches little people some big words, music, and art.

This morning in the car Zoe told me "that caterpillar is hanging upside down."
 Oh, really?
"It's going to have a metamorphosis."

And then she hummed a little Tchiakovsky. I'm not kiddding.

Thanks, tv!

In this caterpillar episode an invitation to a caterpillar reunion is lost in the mail and they have to travel around the country to find it. Zoe tells me everything that's happening... "look mom, they are going to the United Nations in New York City!" "Look mom, it's a giant cave in Oklahoma!" "Look mom, it's Niagra Falls!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

On Saturday morning Zoe wanted to make a birthday cake for Daddy. So we mixed it up and waited for it to bake, and then we waited for it to cool off and it was finally time to decorate it. "You're a really good decorator, mom!" she said when it was all finished. She told me what to put on it, specifically a unicorn and dust bunnies. I don't know why, but she said that's what Daddy wanted on his cake.
The bottom picture makes Pete's hair look quite odd - there is a spiky plant in the background!

I made a cheesecake too - caramel, toffee, chocolate.

mixing the cake

Monday, November 28, 2011


don't say I didn't remind anyone...

Pete will be 35 on Saturday Dec. 3rd.

Zoe will be 4 on Dec. 20th.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

christmas tree!

I put up our tree and our lights outside! It is very exciting. Zoe helped with everything. There are a lot of ornaments on this particular section of the tree.

learning to read

Zoe is ready to learn to read. A frequent question is "what does that say? what does that say? what does that say?" She knows some words, like her name. She has some things memorized, like the titles of books, so I don't know if she is actually reading the words, or if she just knows what they are supposed to be... or is that the same thing? I don't know.
She can also write numbers [mostly] from one to ten. We did this last night and I had no idea she knew how to write them so well. Her LeapPad is helping a lot with this. There is a game where you teach your pet new tricks by writing all of the letters of the alphabet. And she has a cooking game with lots of math & number games. At her preschool conference her teacher, Ms Margie, said that she thought Zoe was ready to start learning how to write some letters and I know that she is not only ready but has already mastered a lot of them.

Friday, November 25, 2011

magnet tiles

Yesterday Zoe kept asking to play the "magnet game" and I couldn't figure out what she was talking about until she was carrying around the very heavy box of magnet tiles. She was staring intently at the outside of the box and seeing that there were pictures of things that you can build so she set about putting together each one. Here she is building the rocket ship.

snowman pillow

This is a quiet video, but I like watching her work. I cut out some shapes to make some winter pillows and Zoe went and got my pins out of a drawer and started pinning them down for me. This isn't something I showed her, but she has seen me pin things a couple of times before sewing, and she has always been able to learn new things just by watching someone do it once. Of course, pins standing up aren't very useful...

A day at home

Zoe built a dinosaur town. See the column with a half-circle on it? She said it was a palm tree.

And then we did some coloring. 

We read some books.


Time for Legos!

We played a matching game.


Dad made this awesome box for Zoe. She calls it Locks and Keys. She likes to put things in the different boxes and then she'll come ask me where something is... like, "mom - I can't find my pink ring" and I'll ask her where she thinks it is and she'll say "I think you should look in number five" and I'll have to go unlock box 5 and get it and she congratulates me on being so smart.

Nap time.

Friday, November 18, 2011


the dynamic view was bothering me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

new blog view

I switched the blog style to "dynamic view." You can choose any of the different options along the top to see the posts, pictures & videos in different ways, just for fun. I kind of like the "snapshot" view because it looks like a bunch of polaroids laying on the table.

Is this irritating? Does it take a long time for it to load based on your internet speed?

I can switch it back to a simple blog scroll if you prefer. let me know.


The ZAH Things lists are updated.

gift ideas

I am going to put a list of things on the ZAH Things blog as suggestions for Zoe birthday/holiday gifts. And I'll update anything else that needs updating also.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

that's a pattern

Amazon Fresh not only delivers groceries, but also early math skills!

slippery fish

Slippery fish, slippery fish, swimming in the water.
Slippery fish, ,slippery fish... gulp! gulp!
Oh, no! He's been eaten by...
Octopus, octopus, swimming in the water...
Great white shark, great white shark, swimming in the water...

I know what she is singing because I have been working in a preschool classroom the past few weeks and we sing this song a lot! There are lots of verses.


BTW: Thanks for the orange tights Nana Jo! Zoe loves them!
I found this little sweater dress at Target.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The List

So I think that this is AWESOME.
Zoe was sitting at the computer desk and coloring [I thought]. Later when I looked at her paper I saw this and asked her if it was a list. She said "yes, and it's all checkered off." > Do you mean that you checked off everything on your list? "yes, it's all checkered off. see?" and she pointed to the little marks in the margin.
Why do I love this? Because I am a constant list-maker. And I love to "checker" things off my lists. Whenever we are shopping Zoe asks me for my list and she holds the pen and draws lines through everything until we're done.
She is obviously a very busy, little girl. But somehow she manages to get it all done.

Monday, October 31, 2011


I probably won't have much time this week to post here, so I figured I would get it done tonight!
We did go out looking for a scientist costume a couple of weeks ago and it's just not an option. I told Zoe that she would have to choose something else and she picked this firefighter costume. Absolutely nothing else interested her. We went to a few other Halloween events before tonight and everyone loves her in this outfit.
Tonight we went door-to-door trick or treating on the streets in our neighborhood. Zoe was really excited and she had Pete or I come up to the door with her for several houses and then she told Pete to stay with me while she went by herself. People gave her lots of extra candy for being such a brave fireman.
She has a small candy bucket, but it is full. Whenever she has candy like this her favorite thing to do is to sort it and count it over and over again. A lot of it looks quite delicious....

I have explained that Halloween is just one night and that it's over now. She isn't too upset though because she immediately picked up the phone and called Santa. I'm not kidding. She just called him on the phone.

And since we had Bat's birthday, she also announced that it is Uda's birthday [the unicorn], and then it will be Dinosaur's birthday and THEN it is her birthday.

I need to figure out a recipe to make, like, 3 cupcakes. Maybe I can make them out of Bisquick.

candy videos

Trick or Treat!

Friday, October 28, 2011

scary ghost

I could have turned the light on, but I didn't... so this is a dark video from last night while we were waiting for Bat's birthday cake to bake [see below].

Bat's Birthday?

Zoe made this bat at school and when she brought it home she played with it all night and then told me that it was Bat's birthday and wanted to have a party for him. She asked if we could make cupcakes and I told her that it was really late and maybe we could make them "tomorrow after school." Zoe does not forget. Anything.
So, sure enough, yesterday when we got home from school she found Bat and asked if we could make cupcakes for his birthday. She said that they needed to have white frosting with pumpkins on top. I made this round layer and used a stencil and some cocoa powder. It was pretty exciting and a good excuse to have chocolate cake. Bat was very surprised.

fall craftiness

I made these candles by pouring wax into hollowed acorn squash.

Zoe wanted this trumpet. She LOVES musical instruments. We have quite a collection.

make a wish!

We decided to carve the 2 smaller pumpkins last weekend. Pete's is the "silly face", mine is the classic triangle-eyes. Zoe wanted it to have pointy teeth. I think we might try to carve the big giant one this weekend. The stem is getting a little soft anyway, so I don't think it's going to last much longer. We did not go to a pumpkin patch this year. The local fruit stand has the prettiest pumpkins I have ever seen and rock-bottom prices, so we got these there. Zoe picked out the bumpy one. She said that she was going to get the "biggest pumpkin in the whole world."

One of my new crafty projects this year was to make pillows. Constance & I bought felt & pillow-forms and I designed and sewed these for our couch. I think the big tree pillow is particularly successful. Zoe told people who came over all about them "mommy made these!" The felt was only $2.50/yd that day so it won't be too big of a deal to open them up and make some Christmas pillows in a couple of months.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me how to sew!
And, you were right... cutting paper with sewing scissors ruins them.... sorry.

new coloring "books"!

so I heard that these were from Uncle Doug - thanks! There wasn't any info on the invoice/package about who sent it. We got a fuzzy pink jacket too that is just in time for our freezing cold weather - it was 35 degrees yesterday. what?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

nine rings?


Zoe has a lot of rings. Rings are one of her favorite "prizes" for doing something good. Even though she has multiple rings for each finger, and it would seem like she wouldn't know the difference, she gets upset when one of them is missing and then we are hunting down the pink, sparkly, heart ring specifically. She likes to show them to people and count them. In this video the rings are sent back home in their "green lemon" spaceship. She has a heart-shaped keyring that we got at the airport - it doesn't seem to know how to jump into the spaceship so Zoe demonstrates how to "sit on your bump" which must be something that they do at school, or maybe it was on tv.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Today we went to Jones Creek Farm in Sedro-Wooley. It is about 90 minutes North of us in the middle of farmland. There are a lot of different u-pick farms and honey farms and horse ranches up there. The topography of the area means they have more sunny days then we do closer to the city. It is a prime agriculture space. Constance's friend, Sheri, arranged an apple-picking outing and Zoe & I tagged along. Sheri & her friends picked about 175 pounds of apples. OMG! Sheri rented an apple press and they all went back to her place after to make cider/juice. Good luck with that!

Zoe and I brought home 3 bags of 3 different apples. These green apples are super tart and a little dry. I am going to try to make a pie filling & can it. And some apple butter.

It was a lovely, October day - sunny and 47 [forty seven!] degrees.