Zuzuday: Using your words- or your Momma’s will work too!

“Momma, I’m not pushing my sister!”

“Daddy, I said hello to Miss Patty!”

“Momma, I’m doing a very good job being quiet at the library!”

“Momma, I’m not having a fit!”

“Momma, Look- I didn’t spill my drink- watch me set it down!”

“Momma, I didn’t poop my pants today!”

“Momma, I ate my dinner, now I get a treat!”

“Momma, I told Conner, No biting- teeth are not for biting!”

“Momma, I didn’t poop in the tubby! I listened to my body and said- Momma I have to go poo-poo when I felt Mr. Poo-Poo coming!”

“Momma, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I didn’t cry, I just picked up my Momo, my Dora, my blue elephant, my Horton, my babydoll, my cup of kefir and I just came verrrrrry quietly into your bed and snuggled you!

“Momma, I just waited here quietly and didn’t wake you up!”

“Momma, I won’t cry, or fuss, or run, or scream. I’ll just eat my dinner and hold a grown-ups hand in the parking lot!”

You gotta give her credit- she’s obviously listening. And making sure we’re listening too. I will admit Lovey and I have not been as quick to the draw on the positive reinforcement as we need to be lately. It seems she’s noticing her good behavior and praising herself for us. Thank goodness someone has been reading the discipline books!

Fave-o-Lit Friday: Nursery Rhymes

What Are Little Girls Made of?
What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails,
And puppy-dogs’ tails;
That’s what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And all that’s nice;
That’s what little girls are made of.

*Except my little girl , who; although I don’t see a puppy dog tail… has taken to striking the above pose, embarking on a bit of a bottom-shaking jig while chanting, “Heinie-heinie-heinie, My bum is my heinie!”

I guess she’s right, technically. Maybe she’s just strong on the spice….

The Girls: Pushing past Smart Cat

Everyone’s healthy! So it’s time to get fit. You know something more than just, “Hey Zuzu, Smart Cat’s on PBS right now- quick let’s do a jumping jack with him!” Zuzu has always been a bundle of energy. So for her the more active we all are, the better she does. It’s hard to find time for organized activities with her on a daily basis though. Most park going, rec-center-swimming, bouncing like a Tigger & playdates are reserved for weekends. Fortunately her little school encourages a lot of free play time- to just run, jump, slide,swing. They also take the 3 year olds that are interested to Dance Class. She’s looooooovvved that. At home we’ve started spending time with some work-out DVDs. Yoga for kids- since yoga is my go-to activity. We have a few different versions and generally the rule is if Zuz is up when I’m doing my work-out dvd on a weekday morning and she brings it up- then we’ll switch over to her YFK. But lately- she’s not so into actually doing the workout. More into critiquing my ability to follow along. Which let’s face it is not so good.

But in order to set a somewhat decent example of caring about my health & fitness level I get up and try. Zuzu lies on the couch watching and coaching, “Momma, Jillian says to lift your arms up higher!” “Momma, Jillian says not to stop moving!” I will say it’s as good a motivator as any though.

Zuzu naturally is able to get her energy out. You know when you’re 3; and good at it, you run everywhere, that is when you aren’t skipping or jumping:

And our lil personal trainer keeps an eye on everyone’s activity level. Including the baby:

Who is usually thrilled to see her sister coming for her if there is a parent nearby to intervene when the weeble’s wobbling sets in. But sometimes not so much:

Mostly they work it out though. And because of Zuzu’s high level of energy we all follow suit.

Zuzu Day: The first dance…

 Our little ballerina twirled away in her first recital on May 15! That morning practice was at the recital hall- a hall mind you, that seats 4oo. Having never done this before I thought that seemed a little extravagant for a child’s ballet recital. We were to arrive 30 minutes prior to curtain and we wondered on the way over what we would do for that 30 minutes while we waited. Well- it turned out we would use it finding a seat! The hall was packed! That morning when we arrived for practice Zuzu was feeling a little shy and showed that she is indeed my little apple seed as she stood in line on stage leaning over and whispering to me in the front row that she had to go potty. Again, and again, and again. She made it through though and was a real trooper. That morning we learned that dancers bring their teachers gifts to the final recital practice. Ooops.

That evening after we dropped her backstage and found seats next to some folks we knew we just soaked in the Quail’s enjoyment of a night out on the town. Going to shows, storytime, pottery painting; anything that requires sitting still and listening for longer than 30 seconds has just not been our ideal as a family. Zuzu is a free spirit. She likes to run and holler and leap and play. So it hadn’t occurred to us how much the Quail might enjoy this setting. She sat proudly on our laps greeting each neighbor that sat down with a smile and a wave. When the house lights came down and the stage lights started circling she was delighted. The sparkly costumes gleamed, the girls glowed and the Quail clapped and cheered along with everyone else.

When Zuzu’s class came on it was definitely one of the big “awwwwwww” inducers from the crowd. There is nothing cuter than a stream of 3 year olds decked out in their glittery tutus. Although Zuzu was a little more focused on her steps this evening she did spend a fair bit of the time with her hand shielding the lights from her eyes so she could locate us better. Unfortunately due to our arriving only 30 minutes prior to the show we were in the nosebleed section and couldn’t actually locate us.  She was darling nonetheless. All the little fishies did their swim, swim, swim. And when it was over she came flying into our waiting arms and exclaimed the two prominent thoughts on her mind:

1. “I couldn’t find you anywhere! I looked and looked and looked while I was on stage!” We know Zuzu.

2. “Where are my flowers? Katie has her flowers!” We’re sorry Zuzu, we didn’t know, but we will next year!

She actually glowed with pride after the show was over!We’re sad to see the dance year come to an end. Zuzu was one of the youngest in her class and we worried if she would have the discipline to make it through the fairly focused class. But her teacher is a wonder. She’s been teaching for 54 years (yes, that’s right- 54- you do the math!) and has those children in line, in order, in step and on time. Maddie loved it and although she was incredibly shy about showing us what she learned, she obviously worked hard this past year. We’re so proud of our little prima!

Zuzu Day

This weeks top-conversation (via the telephone):

Momma: Hi Zuzu- Momma misses you so much!

Zuzu: Momma- Daddy and I looked everywhere here for you. You aren’t here. Are you there?

Momma: Yes Zuzu- I’m there

Zuzu: Are you coming here right now?

Momma: No Zuzu, Momma has to stay there for a couple more days.

Zuzu: Uh-huh, Did you go there by airport?

Momma, No Zuzu, I went there by car.

Zuzu: Momma, did you go there by gold car?

Momma: Yes Zuzu, I drove gold car.

Zuzu: Do you have the purple spider trip picture I painted you Momma?

Momma: Yes Zuzu, I have it right here- It’s so pretty, thanks so much!

Zuzu, Uh-huhhhh…Momma I pooped in the potty. Can I have gummies?

Momma: Good job Zu! Absolutely you can have gummies!

Zuzu: Uh-huhhh, ok, actually Momma, I have to go now. Martha’s speaking right now.

Zuzu Day


This is one of the first baby doll’s that joined our brood. Both of the girls love her to pieces. I’ve been asking Zuzu since she was able to pick her up what the baby’s name is and typically what she heard was my asking what her name was and so the answer was always Zuzu. Well in the last week or two a new incarnation of baby emerged. This baby, her name is Fabulous. As in,”Mommie- how was fabulous’s day, tell me about her day, tell me what she did. Zuzu has always loved pretend play based on her own reality. She pretends to get the car keys to get ready to go to market to buy kefir. She needs monies to pay for parking. She turns on my pump and then begs to make milk herself. She sits and reads to her sister and dollies pretending to be Miss Chrystil. And the newest game is with Fabulous. I’m Miss Shaina and if I sit still anywhere in the house for more than 30 seconds, she comes strolling in and deposits Fabulous at my feet, kisses her, tells her she loves her and that she’ll be back after work. Then she runs into the hall and hollars, “Miss Shaina, Miss Shaina- tell everyone whose Mommie is coming?” It is then my job as Miss Shaina to  start naming off the kids in her class and asking if their Momma is on her way. Once she shyly enters the room, she then asks for a full report on Fabulous’s day and takes great pride in hearing that Fabulous had a fabulous day- she pooped in the potty, she napped on her mat, she painted a picture of pink hearts, she ate her corn, applesauce and chicken, she played outside and she listened during group time while sitting, ” Criss-cross applesauce, hands in her bowl”. She literally beams with pride over Fabulous’s fabulous day, picks her up, tells, her “Oh my dear, Momma loves you” then gathers her coat and shoes and heads into the hall to start from scratch.

Momma Monday

Last Tuesday a sweet family was kind enough to watch our gaggle of girls while Lovey and I both had to work. When I picked the girls up Zuzu wanted to know why she got to go to her friend’s house since it was not the typical weekday routine. The conversation went like this:

Zuzu: Momma why did Denise pick me up?

Momma: Because Momma had to work out of town today sweetie. Momma got a promotion at work and had to train for her new job.

Zuzu: A promotion?

Momma: Yes, Momma was told she did a good job and so she gets to do a new job.

Zuzu: Do you mean your teacher told you to be quiet while she read the story and you did so you got a special heart sucker treat?

Momma: Yes Zuzu, that’s exactly what I mean.

Zuzu Day: BFF




I know, I know- enjoy it while it lasts- I so am. A few months ago Zuzu realized a couple of the jammy sets in her and the Quail’s drawers matched. Ever since that fateful day she has taken great pride in choosing matching jammies and clothes for her and her sister. If there isn’t a matching set- it’s ok to just coordinate just so long as you can come up with a fairly credible story as to why they go together: “Well Zu, there are cupcakes on your jammies and lollypops on your sister’s. See those both have sugar in them, therefore they match- see? See now why you don’t need to cry about her jammies being blue and your’s being pink? Isn’t that nice?” 

It really happened all of a sudden. She still takes credit for “her baby” to anyone that will listen. She’s the first to kiss the Quail in the morning, the one she goes looking for at the end of the day, the one that she starts singing “Twinkle, Twinkle” too as soon as the baby erupts. She wants her to sit with her, to lay with her, be pounced on by her, play Little Peoples with her. She asks in what sounds to be sincere tones, “Momma, can we have more babies, pleasssssseeee, more babies?”She’s a dear heart that girl….

Quail Day

I’m just a little bit in love with this girl and her party dress. I am still ruminating over the lost tiny tiara though. Maybe it will turn up one day. In the meantime she is enjoying her status as a 1 yr old. During therapy she is already acting so much more mature! Well at least she is now talking to her speech therapist and pleased as punch that swinging has been added into her OT’s repertoire. She also in the last few weeks has apparently decided what the world needs now is more love and thus has started doling out hugs left and right. To her classmates, to her therapists and most adorably to her sister. She will holler and holler until she gets Zuzu’s attention, at which point Zuzu will lean in for a hug and proudly pronounce, “Momma, she just needed a hug!”; as the Quail grips on to her with all her might and drools happily into her sister’s hair. The acoustics in the bathroom are especially pleasing for this ongoing reenactment and I managed to capture a bit of the filibuster on film last night. Right now they are about as in love with each other as two sisters can be. On the morning of the Quail’s actual birthday I started softly singing Happy Birthday to her when I saw she was awake. Zuzu broke in and silenced me insisting she needed to do the honors. She finished the song off with, “I love you my sweet sister, you are the best baby ever!” It brought tears to my eyes, as the last time she insisted on serenading her sister with Happy Birthday was the weekend after we brought her home from the hospital. She would alternate Happy Birthday with the Barney theme- I love you, you love me, firmly insisting we all sit in a circle and hold hands while she finish out the concert. I tried to capture it on film then, and it was hormonally deleted. So I’m pleased as punch to have a chance to recapture the sentiment- still as lovely and true as a year ago. I wish this joy and delight in each other for them throughout their lives.