Zuzu Day- Practice makes Perfect

Word up!

Word up!


The Birthday Girl-to-be caught a glimpse of the birthday cake she requested. Last weekend I decided I needed to practice making this cake. I work with a wonderful pastry chef and she gave me her red velvet cake recipe. Zuzu has requested a WordGirl birthday party and this will work together synergistically! The color turns out exactly the right shade of WordGirls superhero costume! Since PBS hasn’t seen fit to actually license out any paraphanalia yet I’ve been left to my own devices and this was what I could come up with in terms of decorations. I found I can make a cake stencil if I try hard enough. A dear friend is helping me to make the capes the kiddos attending will get to decorate and adorn their little selves with as well. Between those handy items a wonderful playground and good company I think the party will be a huge success.

Now I just have to explain to Zuzu that we don’t get to keep having practice cakes…..

Zuzu Tuesday- Swim Classens

FIrst in Line

First in Line

In deep water
Her own duck

Her own duck












Zuzu is on a path to an Olympic Gold Medal. Or at least she’s trying out some new energy burning tactics. This week she started twice a week swim classes or swim lessons- which she has dubbed “swim classens”. She is once again tickled pink as you can see in the last picture as she finished up her first classen.

When I was a little girl my mother sat faithfully in the bleachers listening to Bette Midler’s, “The Rose” blast out of the loud speaker watching me learn to swim. She was not a swimmer herself and felt it was important that someone teach us before we were old enough to realize she wasn’t so keen on it. So off to the Red Cross lessons at the local pool we went. We were the “Hot Shot Little  Shots” dubbed as such when I continually asked Mom when we would get to try the diving board and she finally let Swim Teacher Sally know I was itching to try. Sally brought our young selves to the deep end, got in herself and then called us each in turn as we lined up. No one wanted to go…except me. And I wonder where Zuzu gets it 🙂 When Sally turned to me I was only all too eager to jump into her waiting arms.

Zuzu had recurrent ear infections from 7 months to one year when we had tubes put in. Since that time she has continued to get a handful of ear infections. This fact has made me weary to take her swimming. When we go to the beach either- Edisto or to see Lovey’s family in San Diego we do head onto the beach but never venture far into the water. Even that little bit of exposure has Zuzu bustling with excitement. This winter when The Quail was born we found ourselves all tightly packed in at home as school was closed down due to an odd snow storm in the beginning of March.  Although we didn’t get much, in South Carolina when snow is predicted the state shuts down, you can only imagine when the white stuff actually blesses us the response.  Being packed in with a new baby and an energetic toddler with no access to a usable park made us all a bit stir-crazy and ever so grateful when the school reopened the next day. This experience convinced us it was time to get Zuzu acclimated to the water so the local indoor pool would be an option on a snowy, rainy  or mucky day. So we’ve gone a few times in the last few months. The warm water pool is only 3 feet deep with a 2 foot high bench along one side- perfect for learning to swim.  For $6 for the 2 of us it’s a perfect weekend activity that burns off some energy for her and gives my weary bones a nice soak at an average of 86 degrees.

Yesterday Zuzu alternated splashing Swim Teachers Jared and Erin and hollering, “Look at me Momma!” for most of the half hour. Although I did spy her doing her little pull-along laps with Jared a couple of times as well.  I thought she might be a bit nervous since her habit of stammering that pops up every few months about the time she is ready for another language burst cropped up as we were talking about the lessons on the drive over.  When they called the small ones to the wall to walk from the parents bleacher to the pool itself she was first in line.  When she spied Lovey on the bench next to The Quail and I another round of hollering to watch her ensued. She has no fear that spirited little wildflower of mine!

I’m ever so blessed to join the legions of watching Mommas and Dad’s on the creaky, pooling bleachers as we watch our little wildflowers blossom. What a gift to be a part of the long line of supportive Mommas that have come before us.


Summer Happiness

Summer Happiness


Zuzu is going to start taking classes this fall. She is signed up for swimming and dance class and she is ecstatic. Of course being the wildflower she is- she is ecstatic about everything! I’m a little worried about how class-time will go- if she will cooperate and fall into line or continue to do her version of the silly-willy-nilly dance as inspired by Zoe of her Zoe Dance Moves DVD. She’s been practicing nightly for Ms. Fain. I guess time will tell and if it is too soon or she is too young to start classes we’ll try again in a few months. In the meantime she is tickled pink to be signed up like a big girl for both dance and swimming with her pals from her little school.

She is the kindest little big girl. Last night I came home with a headache and told her this. She informed me that we keep the ice-packs and the Popsicles above the refrigerator and I could get them if I want. This morning she woke up and asked if I was still sick and before I could reply let me know that I can always stay home with her and she’ll take me to the doctor. It’s nice to be taken care of.

Zuzu- Here & Now in all her Glory


Dear Zuzu will be turning 3 in less then two months. To date she is 35 lbs and over 36 inches. She loves pink, baby dolls, doing somersaults and flips on her Daddy. She absolutely has to be included in absolutely everything we do. If I tell her I have to go to work, her response is either, “Me too!” or “No- you can go back to sleep with me”. She is extremely physically active and agile. She is definitely our monkey and proud of it. Things like story time at the library are so not her speed. Things that require sitting for longer then 45 seconds and listening attentively are so not her speed. Things that involve doing what the grown-ups are doing, shopping, taking a trip, talking, dancing, laughing, playing in the water- that is her speed.

When Zuzu crawls into bed at night with us she hoards things. We might wake up with a cup, a phone, a baby-doll, a robe, a sweater, a couple blankets, her mo-mos,  knuffle bunny or a teletubbie. The latest love is a tiny book on mushrooms and toadstool identification from Kew Gardens in England. She has to “read” it until she falls asleep and will often wake in the morning still holding onto it.

She LOVES Jingle Bells; preferably Andy Williams version and will hop around until it’s over, Van Morrison, Astral weeks isn’t bad either. Also Betty Swain- Make Me Yours. She has a couple of kids music albums- one she calls Down by the Bay and one she calls Hello- that she likes too- but in terms of grown up music the others rate.

Absolutely every animal and baby doll have been put in time out in our house by her. When asked what their offense was- they usually hit or bit her.

She loves Word Girl, Curious George, Super Why, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Martha Speaks. She refers to television as a whole as PBS. If you try to sing along to the theme song with her she will hold her finger to her lips- shush you and say, “No me” and continue singing along.

She used to pretend to cook while we did- using our kitchen apparatus- you know- back when she was a little girl- now if we are cooking or washing dishes she drags a chair over and insists on helping. She’s a good mixer! When it is time for a meal she will sometimes set out gummies or goldfish for everyone.

When we are out in public and have to use the restroom, there is much discussion needed. First time she asks to go- she won’t go- she’ll just check out the scene. The second time she probably will. The first order at hand is whether it is a big or a little potty. The next issue is whether it is a loud or a quiet potty. If it is a quiet and little potty she’ll go without too much trouble. Otherwise much negotiation ensues. She usually asks me to go first and then in all her familial pride bursts out with a, “Good job Mommy!”. And will usually announce- “ewwwww, Mommy poopy”. When in fact that is not the case.

6 months into it, she is still the most excellent big sister and is utterly in love with her baby sister. The Quail is the first and last thing she thinks about each day and will frequently tell her she “yuvs” her and hugs and kisses the dickens out of her. The Quail for her part tolerates this affection and will sometimes smile back. She is good about giving The Quail a new toy as she realizes the toy she has been longing to play with is in her baby sister’s clutches. She runs to check on her if she hears a peep from her. She loves to help feed her and is pleased as punch to come tell me that, “My baby stister woke up on her own!” (uh- sure she did). She recently told my mother that we are getting more babies.- Maybe not yet- but I know she is hoping for them.

Her favorite turns of phrase of late: “It’s ok Mommy”, “Cousin I said so”, “Good bye-bye” “Good night-night”, “Probably” , “Wellllllll, actually” and calling pineapple either pumpkin or apple pie. “I’m gonna blow your crankies away- Now you happy!” “Mommie- you make people sad when you are frustrated”, “Mommie- you have to be nice to people who are trying to take their shoes off on the bed”.  And she is quick to congratulate us-“Good Job Mommy!- Good job (insert mundane task here- pumping, eating, sleeping, going potty)” “Neh-neh tastes like Heaven Mommy”,

And of course the standards- she knows her colors, shapes, numbers and ABC’s.

That’s our wildflower to date-aren’t we lucky!