Category Archives: parenthood

Fall Festival 2011

You guys are going to think I grew up under a rock…and the truth is, I did, but we didn’t celebrate Halloween in my family. In fact, 3 years ago was the first time that I ever dressed up for the event as far as I can remember. I wore a toga, it was beautiful, and I went to my first ever costume party. I was 26. Instead of going Trick or Treating we went to our church’s “Hallelujah Night”. I never knew anything different. I never felt slighted. I always went home with a full belly, lots of great memories, and a ton of candy.

Fall Festival 1

Fast forward a decade or so…nothing much has changed. The church we currently go to has a Fall Festival, and because Zoe isn’t exactly ready to decide if she wants to Trick or Treat or not…that’s where we headed. Let’s be honest, the real reason we went is because I worked damn hard for hours on her costume, and because Brad and I could get candy teach Zoe the glory of a bag full of candy. {Apparently, that lesson comes with birth…there was no teaching necessary. Zoe tried to take an entire bowl of candy. I’m actually not kidding you.}

Fall Festival 2

I picked Brad up at work and off we went. Our church has an annual chili cook-off at the Fall Festival, and that’s what we counted on for dinner. I eat chili about once a year…and this is it. Not that I have anything against chili, it’s just that we never have it. So, we ate that and then meandered around for a little bit until it was our turn to man the bouncy house.

Fall Festival 3

Brad and I decided to split up, I would take the first shift and he would take Zoe around and then 30 minutes in we’d trade places. It was a great plan right up until I ended up being there for almost the entire hour. But? Brad had a great excuse, he’d taken Zoe on a hayride that ended up in a bird sanctuary next door to the church. They got off the hayride and explored the whole place. There were wallaby’s, monkeys, tons of birds, and a whole collection of ridiculously cool/vintage/crazy expensive cars {like Colonel Sanders actual convertible, one of the cars was 1 of 2 ever produced, and an exact replica of the Delorian}….needless to say, Zoe loved it and so did her Daddy. I didn’t mind manning the bounce house for a minute, because lots of people that I don’t get to see every day stopped by to say “hi”…and how can you complain about that? At one point, one of the girls from the youth group that Brad and I used to work with came up to say “hi”, we were talking a bit before we got to this part of the conversation:

Her: You look exhausted.
Me: Thanks.
Her: No, I mean you really look exhausted.
Me: Yeah, it’s because I’m not wearing any make-up and so I don’t have any color on my face. {what I didn’t say is “I can’t find my makeup because my child took it somewhere and I have no idea where that “somewhere” might be}
Her: No. It’s under your eyes. It’s like {motioning} here. But, you for sure look exhausted.
Me: So, what have you been up to these days?

Kids. Kids and their damn honesty. Moms with no makeup, and a toddler, and kids with their damned honesty and lack of social graces. Anyways, Brad came to relieve me of the bounce house and suggested that I too go on the hayride. We caught the very last ride as the sun was setting. I didn’t get to see all the highlights of the bird place…but I definitely got enough to wet my palate. We’ll be going back there for sure!

Fall Festival 4

Then it was all over. Brad and I made the 40 minute trek back home, put Zoe to bed, and then I sorted through our stash Zoe’s candy that she’ll never be allowed to eat because she’s too young. And that’s that!

Fall Festival 5

Today we have Zoe’s 15 month check-up…should be fun! So, what did you do for Halloween?

Happy Tuesday Ya’ll!

PS. The lady that I’m with in the very last picture on the left…that’s my mentor that I’ve been talking about lately! Her name is Kim. Absolutley love her!


My Sweet ZoeBear


Did you know that while you were still in my tummy your Daddy nicknamed you Zozo and I started tearing up. You were going to be his Zozo…and I determined that I wouldn’t ever call you that, so that it could be something just between you and him. When you were born your Papaw saw you and said, “Well, hey there Bugaroo” and that’s what you’ve been to him since that day. His little Bugaroo. But to me? You’ve always been my ZoeBear. I have no explanation for it. I don’t even know where or when it started. I can’t remember if you were still in my tummy when I called you that for the first time, or if I’d been holding you in my arms for weeks. But, for as long as I can remember you’ve been my ZoeBear. You’re 15 months old today, sweetheart. That’s a little over a year, still far away from being 2, and right smack dab in the middle of learning how to be a toddler.

This month has brought as many changes as it has days. You are becoming more independent every single day. For the most part, you can entertain yourself for a long time. Lately you’ve been trying to climb into your carseat all by yourself {you’ve even succeeded a time or two}, and your highchair too, for that matter {you have yet to succeed at that}. You now request to walk by yourself in public instead of hold my hand, and after you do that for a little while you come toddling back to me with your arm outstretched. There’s a 50/50 chance that at meal time you won’t eat something if I’m feeding it to you, but you’ll scarf it down if you’re feeding yourself. Actually, let me restate that. You’ll flat out deny the food, turning around in your highchair and pressing your face into the back of it in order to not eat the food that I’m trying to feed you. Those moments are countered by an increasing clingy-ness to me. Numerous times a day I try to put you on the floor, and you cling to my shoulders and pull your feet up like a monkey, absolutely refusing to be put on the ground. You associate your Papaw with me leaving, so even though he’s your favorite, it takes you a while to go to him. You like your independence, you just like it in doses.

I think one of the easiest ways to describe this month is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. For instance, this month we’ve seen a tremendous slowing down of our lives. Our schedule isn’t any lighter…just our pace. Because you want to do things on your own, and we allow that, it takes 5-10 minutes {instead of 1} to walk from the car into the store. We have to get to the gym 15-20 minutes early so that you can walk yourself in, and hand the cards to the front desk people {who adore you} and then walk down the hall to the daycare. If I’m doing BodyPump, we have to get there 30 minutes early. You feed yourself everything, meal times can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Most are right around 45 minutes. Then there’s the clean up. But the opposite reaction? Is that you’re more active then ever, and getting more active every day. Which means that we’re up and down, up and down, up and down all day long. I’m learning that anything I want/need to get done has to happen at naptime…which coincidentally, has also gotten shorter.

At 15 months, you are still the sweetest kid I’ve ever met, but you’re adding more into the mix. You’re testing your limits every single day. That’s good. It means your brain is working. But, it also means that Mommy and Daddy have to be on their game. We’re trying to be as consistent as possible with boundaries and their consequences. The fun part? You’re a GENIUS. You’re now learning that if you want something, like…say, to get down and walk around when we’re at the mall, and I’m holding you in my arms because I’m tired of chasing you here there and everywhere, I’ll see your thinking face appear, and then you’ll hit me. Full on. In the face, on the chest, on my head. Wherever you can reach. Why? Because the consequence for hitting is that we put you down on the ground. You’re smart. I’m smarter. We won’t even talk about the tantrum you threw in the middle of the mall when instead of putting you on the ground, I just held your hand so you couldn’t hit me again. Aside from testing limits, you’re also mastering how to work a room. I love that I know you like no one else does. I love that I can see you thinking. I love that you walk into a room, take a glance at your audience, and then figure out which one is the easiest to get your desired outcome from. It didn’t take you long to figure out that grandma’s and grandpa’s are for giving you things that your mommy won’t let you have. That, by the way, started months ago…you’re just perfecting it now. You also test people’s reactions to things. Like, if I laugh…will they? How many times can I laugh and they laugh after me? That kind of stuff.

Your vocabulary is growing every day, although I would say that you’re probably just at average with your words. You say: Mama, Dada, Papa, Gaga, Yess {aunt Jess}, Yeah!, dog, cat, this, that, baby, and ice. You still have your same signs: more, all done, yes, no, goodbye, blow kisses, please, and eat. We added “drink” this month, and if we ever make it to the library so that I can check out a sign language book…we’ll learn more. Oh, and Daddy’s trying to teach you “thank you”. More than anything else, I’m amazed at your cognitive skills. I can ask you just about any question, and for months now you’ve been answering “yes” or “no” correctly. It makes life so much easier. It makes meal time a whole lot more stressful…

Speaking of mealtime…that has climbed to the top of the list of stresses in our life. You’ve turned into a moderately picky eater, which I hear, is common in toddlers. It’s not that you will or won’t eat a particular food group…at times you eat them all…it’s just a matter of determining “which” time the particular meal in question is. Snacks give me gray hairs. You don’t like the same thing all the time. You like variety. Awesome. Do you know how much variety costs? Sometimes I just want to beg you to eat Goldfish like every other kid on the block. It would make my life much simpler. And this is random, but the other day you were chowing down on fried okra and turnip greens with your Grandmommy….do you know how disgusting that stuff is? You won’t eat Goldfish, but you’ll throw okra back like there’s no tomorrow. You’re weird kid.

As far as milestones go? I don’t know if you’ve had any this month. Your molars came in, does that count? I know that I woke up one day and your face had changed again, you were older…there was no “baby” left in your face. I have a love/hate relationship with those moments.

Your Specifics:

Weight – Right at 23lbs…good job kiddo!
Height – You can see {and reach} over the kitchen table if you stand on your toes {which means our stuff isn’t safe anymore}
Size – Steadily growing out of 12mths and into 18mth clothes
Shoes – 4…favorite? Your boots.
Favorite things: pulling off your socks right after I put them on, picking your shoes for the day, your rocking chair, Hemmingway, pulling your toys out of your box one by one, pulling DVD’s off the shelf and throwing them behind you, laughing, flying, pony rides on our backs, pony rides on Hemmingway, being outside, riding your race car, bouncing on your rocking horse, climbing anywhere.anything.and everywhere, petting the cat {when she lets you}, going to the daycare at the gym, reading {all day, every day}, Baby Einstein’s World Music, DANCING!
Least Favorite things: being told “no”, eating anything that doesn’t appeal to your taste buds at that moment, being told “no”, when I am otherwise occupied and can’t pay attention to you, being told “no, getting strapped into the carseat, and…being told “no”.