Friday, January 28, 2011

sweetie pie

One thing about Zoe, that everybody notices, is that she is unfailingly polite. I take credit for some of this, but it is greatly reinforced by the consistently polite & caring characters in her favorite shows on tv.
"what are you doing mom?"
"I am making you a grilled cheese sandwich!"
"oohhhh, thank you mom!"
"you are welcome. look, it's going to be butterfly shaped."
"Oh! Can I help make the butterfly please?"
"Of course. Here, press really hard..." [butterfly cookie cutter on the bread]
"Here is your butterfly sandwich."
"Oh, thank you so much mom. It's beautiful!"


She will hear Pete sneeze from anywhere in the house and yell "Bless you, Dad!"

After we do anything remotely fun/different she thanks me over & over again.
"thanks for the ymca and playing with the kids, mom!"
"thanks for the playground and the swing, mom!"
"thanks for the ice cream store, mom!"
"thanks for Gabby and playing with the toys, mom!" {Gabby is our fabulous babysitter}

If I step on something or say "ouch!" for any reason, she pats my arm really gently and asks "are you okay mom?" and I'll tell her I'm fine, and no matter what happened she'll apologize "I'm sorry mom. I'm sorry you hurt."

And recently she started giving me backrubs! She'll just barely rub my back with her little hand and I'll thank her and tell her how nice that is and then she'll smile really big and say "you feel better now!?"


While we were at The Yarn Garden in Portland, Zoe kept busy picking out buttons from the large selection in the store. The buttons are all stored in tubes, with a sample on the top cap. Zoe spent a lot of time picking out about 7 different buttons, they were all pink or red, and then she carried the tubes into the book/pattern room and sat at the table and took one button out of each tube. When it seemed like she was done I put them all back and put the plastic tubes back in the display. Later that day, Zoe found them same ones and went back to the table and took one button out of each tube. I told her she could pick one to take home. She decided which ones to put back but then couldn't decide between a red square and a pink circle, so I let her buy two buttons. We put the rest of them back. But then she was desperate to find the remaining buttons again a little bit later. Nana Jo purchased the other buttons and sent them to Zoe in the mail yesterday. She was so excited to see them again. One is a little, pink cell phone button, and one is a chalboard with math on it [she calls it the "x-ray button"], and there is a big red diamond-shaped button, and one more... Thank you Nana Jo!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Penguin Rescue

Zoe watched Go, Diego, Go! [a boy who rescues animals] and then rushed into the front room & sat down this penguin with a bag-clip on its wing. She ran over to me in the kitchen and yelled "mom, the penguin is in trouble! his wing is clipped!"
"oh, no! His wing is clipped?"
"yeah, and he can't fly!"
 "he can't fly?"
"and he can't walk!"
"he can't walk? what are we going to do?"
"his wing is clipped! we'll save him!"
Moments later, the penguin was free.

Monday, January 24, 2011



Pete took the train down on Saturday morning and drove us back Sunday afternoon. We didn't do much on Saturday except run some errands and drive around while Zoe slept in the car. We went to see the movie Due Date with Annie & John at the Baghdad Theatre that night. The movie was a typical, two-guys-on-a-roadtrip film, but the movie theatre was spectacular! Look at the pictures on their website. You have to be 21, the tickets are only $3, you can sit on a velvet couch and have someone bring you wine and a sandwich. Their food is delicious and the beer & wine are their own labels - McMenamins. McMenamins buys weird, historic properties, like old schools & hospitals, and turns them into hotels with spas and theatres and restaurants. Most of them are themed, and some are haunted [for real!]. They also have lots of little bar/restaurants around Portland & Seattle. I highly recommend going to one. It's also very affordable. They incorporate art & music & wine/beer into everything.

home away from home

We stayed in a super nice townhome in Portland. It was perfect! Jo's apartment was just a minute's walk away and we were right on the waterfront, between downtown & Hawthorne. It was so great to have everything we needed. I even did laundry and washed all of our clothes before we came home on Sunday. Can't wait to go back! Thank you Nana Jo!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the screen

Dad sent Zoe a LeapFrog and she calls it her "screen". As in, "I need my screen Mom." "I can't find my screen Mom." "Look at my screen Mom." She plays with it a lot. It has a pen that you can write with and simple buttons and an arrow pad. She learned immediately how to navigate and she already know up/down, right/left, so when a game tells her to go to the left or to choose something she is usually able to do it. There is a game about the number zero that she loves and there is also a Spongebob Squarepants game that she doesn't understand but can attempt to play for hours.
Zoe & I are driving to Portland today to visit Jo & Annie. Pete is taking the train down on Saturday morning [he's working again!] and then we'll all drive back on Sunday. The apartments where Jo lives has an "executive" townhome that tennants can rent for guests, etc. It's a furnished 2 bedroom apartment with all the comforts of home. That's where we'll be staying. It sounds awesome! She lives on the waterfront close to downtown. I'll post some photos and stories about our trip when we get home.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

my other blog

I have another blog. And now I started another, other blog. It's a food blog. I'm writing it mostly to keep track of/pay attention to/amuse myself with the new recipes that I am trying.

We all having been eating a "clean" diet the past two weeks. We have another week to go as part of the 21-day plan and then we can work our "old" foods back in if we want. It's based on the advice in the book "Clean" which I highly recommend to anyone like me who hates diet books and judgemental attitudes about eating and food. This book is about getting your digestive system cleaned out so that you can release toxins and give your body a chance to absorb nutrients instead. So we have avoided all of the foods that are common allergins and/or bring damage instead of benefit such as: caffiene, soda, all dairy, all soy, peanuts, tomatoes, beef/pork/shellfish, all gluten/wheat flour, white rice, oranges, strawberries, potatoes, corn, sugar, alcohol...
One of the best side effects of this diet is weight loss. Another benefit is finding out that you might have an intolerance/allergy to something that you didn't know was the cause of your headaches /stomach ache/arthritis / liver problem / vision problem ....

We have been eating LOTS of organic fruits and vegetables and lean protein - chicken, lamb & salmon. I bought a cookbook written by a woman with a local, vegan gluten-free bakery so that I could make some bread & muffins. Pete knows that he is gluten-intolerant but I still want to have waffles for breakfast. I am experimenting with different flours like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, garbanzo bean.... that's what my blog is about! I invite your comments and if you want to join me in the quest to make something delicious out of these tree-hugging ingredients let me know!

Sara Is In The Kitchen


The rain stopped and the sun came out so we went to the beach for some much-needed Vitamin D and kite-flying. It was super-duper-duper windy. There were several kite surfers out in the water. The sunshine felt so good and it was nice to see that the green grass and a pretty blue sky still exist.
We have to get a scoop of ice cream [rainbow sherbet] after the beach every time we go... Pete and I did not have any. We are being good dieters. We came home and had roasted chicken and peas. Not really the same thing at all.

ice cream slide show

This is a prime example of why Pete doesn't get to touch my fancy camera very often. He is just delighted by how fast the shutter snaps when you hold the button down and loves that he could take a thousand shots of the same thing, just slightly different each time. It takes longer for me to delete them all than it does for him to create them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Calico Critters = Extreme Cuteness

bee sting

Pete is allergic to bees and he managed to find one to sting him in the neck last Sunday. He was at his Unlce Rick's house and Rick drove him to the ER immediately. Zoe & I met him there and she kept patting his arm and asking "are you okay dad? are you okay dad?" She wasn't the slightest bit afraid of the hospital or the nurses. She had to be involved when they checked his vitals. Is it weird that I have pictures? I had my camera with me because we had been playing with Rowan that afternoon. I didn't, like, make sure I had it with me on the way to the hospital. I did not stop at the concession stand for JuJubees.

cupcake date with Rowan

Monday, January 10, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I plan on updating the ZAH Things list sometime soon. It's going to take some concentrated time and there are a lot of other things that I would rather do right now, like watch Top Chef. So if I have an hour that I can do whatever I want, then I'm going to watch Top Chef.

Zoe went to her 3rd Year Check-Up. She really likes doctors and going to the doctor. The night before her appointment Pete was playing with her and she knocked her head against the wall and started crying. He asked if she was ok and Constance & I heard her wail "I need a DOCTOR!!!" It was funny. She was ok.

The pediatrician said that Zoe was fine. She was 38 1/2 inches tall and 37 pounds, I think. I answered the barrage of questions which always makes me feel like I'm doing everything wrong because yes, it would be awesome if Zoe ate raw vegetables and played all day with other children and never watched tv and lessened her dependence on foreign oil. But instead we're going to eat fruit roll-ups and watch Wall-E [again] and then drive around aimlessly just to get out of the house. It did lessen the bad-mommy-pain when the doctor gave Zoe a sticker for being such a good girl and Zoe said "look mom, a sticker!" and I said "what is it a picture of?" and she said "It's planet Earth." and the doctor just stared at her.

She did have to get a flu shot & 1 immunization in each leg. It was awful. She wanted to know why we were hurting her. And then her legs hurt for.. 2 days... she couldn't walk or move and it hurt when we carried her to the potty. And then at 2am she had a 101 degree fever that luckily Tylenol knocked out really quickly. Finally the pain subsided and she was able to use her legs again and take the little band-aids off and now she's fine. While she had a fever and was in so much pain she kept whimpering "help me, mom. help me, mom." Doesn't that just break your heart?

Today we are learning the names of different dinosaurs. Zoe invented a game where she brings me a book that I put on her shelf called The Encylopedia of Dinosaurs. It's a thick book, like the Peterson's Bird book, and has "pictures" of all of the dinos. I have several small dinosaurs around the house. Zoe has me find one in the book and then she goes searching for it. She can fully say Stegosaurus and Brachiosaurus. It's really exciting.

She is, like, 97% potty trained. It seems like it took a really long time, but then she mastered it in the past 2 weeks. It is such a relief to not have to buy pull-ups/diapers/wipes at costco. She is wearing "big girl underwear" and doing an excellent job of yelling "I go potty, I go potty, I go potty mom, I go potty mom, I go potty!!!!" whenever it's time to go. I was putting the groceries away this afternoon and she ran in to tell me "I go poop!" and I said, ok, let's go! And then she turned around and she had poop all over her butt, so I was totally prepared for it to be.... on the couch, on the floor? But I followed her into the bathroom and it was in the toilet! Hooray! This is the first time she totally went all by herself. She just needed some help with the butt-wipe.

Before we went to Costco today she came in the bedroom and asked what I was doing. I told her I was putting my clothes on and then we were going to the grocery store. And she said "ok, I'll go to the grocery store" and ran out of the room. A minute later I heard her yell from the front door "mom?" "yes?" "I don't know where the grocery store is."

We went to this awesome place in Issaquah called Kidz Bounce. It's one of those faceless, warehouse-office park buildings but on the inside they have two giant rooms filled with giant amusement-park style bouncey-things. It's $6 for 90 minutes per kid and parents are free & encouraged to play & bounce with the kids. Otherwise, there's really no supervision. Zoe was scared for a little while and then when I got in one of the smaller bouncey things with her she had the best time. I have 3 more passes so we will definitely go again soon. I took some shakey photos that I will post.

We are still doing puzzles and painting pictures and building castles with the magna-tiles and the blocks and the marbles. We play with the Calico Critters and read books and continue to feed her rocking horse apples. She loves to play and learn new things every day. Hopefully this year you will all get a chance to spend some time with her at this age. I think it's going to be super fun.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ho ho the mistletoe

random photos from the end of the year

On Christmas day we were invited to Pete's oldest friend's [Ken] sister's house [Terrina & John] to have dinner with their family. A few months ago they moved to their "dream cottage" on Whidbey Island. From our house it's just about 10 minutes to the dock and then a 20 minute ferry ride followed by 10 minutes of driving down a dark & windy road through the woods to their home. They don't have any neighbors except for coyotes. Terrina made a gigantic prime rib and baked potatoes and Zoe had a blast running around their house with all of the dogs & cats.
photos - Zoe in purple hat on the ferry, and playing a driving game on the ferry; at Terrina's with their newest dog - a standard poodle [only 6 months old]; Terrina let Zoe use her IPad; crazy lights; Zoe unwrapping gifts at home; Zoe giggling in her tent.