Monday, December 27, 2010

Funny story

Today we took Vince to the doctor. He's been sick for weeks and turns out he has a sinus infection. While were waiting in the lobby, Ziva attached herself to an older couple who "took our seats" when I was up at the check-in window and Vince had to run back to the car for something. She was talking to them non-stop and had the lady read her book to her. Right as Vince returned and I was finishing up at the window, we heard her ask the lady "Is that your baby?" while pointing to her stomach. Oh. My. Fortunately, the lady just laughed and said, "No, I'm just fat." I'm not sure how to teach the subtler social dos and don'ts to a 2 year old. After the couple was called back to their doctor, we tried to tell Ziva it's not nice to ask people other than Mommy if they have a baby in their stomach. The guy sitting across from us started laughing, and he said the whole thing was really funny, especially because it wasn't his kid. So we had a funny moment to pass the time this morning.....we were laughing about how you always hear about people inappropriately asking someone if they're pregnant, and now we are those people....or at least her parents!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas pics

We had our family Christmas yesterday, and Ziva opened her presents from Grandma and Grandpa Ramirez. Here are a few of the action shots....she loves her new toys!

She has been playing with "her computer" or her easel non-stop today. I can't count the number of pictures she has painted and colored. She loves it! After we opened presents yesterday, we had a special Christmas breakfast and then later made Happy Birthday cupcakes for Jesus. It was a good day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas vacation, finally!

Today we were accused of being azy about taking pictures. And I'll have you know, we haven't been lazy about taking the pictures, just about posting anything on this blog. So sorry. Here you go. :)

Today was our first official day of Christmas break (for me and Ziva). My favorite thing about school breaks is that we're home with Vince on his days off. Since he will be working on Christmas, we're doing our little family Christmas tomorrow. We let Ziva open one present tonight, a tent with a sleeping bag, backpack, and headlamp, and she's sleeping in it tonight. Brings back fond memories of (not) sleeping on Christmas Eve with all the excitement looming in the air.

Nothing major in life to report. I'm still pregnant :) 17 weeks today. Most days I really don't feel like I'm pregnant...the only reminder is that I'm already starting to lose my belly button. People keep telling me, "Oh, you look great!" But I'm not buying it. I feel huge. Which really makes me dread the end, but babies are worth it. Anyway, hopefully I'll start feeling some movement in the next week or two, and we will have an ultrasound to find out the sex after the first of the year. And then maybe we'll tell you the name. Probably we will. You all know how we are about secrets.

Here are a few photos from the last several weeks:

We bought our first Christmas tree this year (can you believe Vince and I have never had one in our 3.5 years of marriage? Either we didn't have the room or didn't have the moolah.) To make up for lost time, we bought it about two weeks before Thanksgiving, and yes, we put it up then. But we didn't decorate it....right away. We made the decorating a whole big thing like we did when I was a kid and made cookies and hot chocolate and played Christmas music.

The finished product!

Here Ziva is helping me make banana bread. I think the flour situation got worse before we were done, but isn't that the point of baking?

And here she is with her Christmas story book from Grandma and Grandpa. She loves it and we read it at least once every day. And at the end she almost always says "Thank you!" after Grandma and Grandpa say "Merry Christmas Ziva" Pretty cute.

So there's a start to my (hopefully) vacation blogging time. No promises once school starts back up again, but I will try to put lots of Christmas pictures up over the next couple weeks. Love to all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dinner Conversation

Here's the scene: last night at dinner, Ziva declared she was full after just a couple bites. I took three green beans from her bowl, set them on her plate, and told her that she needed to eat at least those three before she could get down. If she did not eat them, she would go to bed early (we're finding this to be the only consequence that even remotely fazes her). After a while, the conversation went like this....

Ziva: I want to get down.
Vince: You need to eat those green beans or you will have to go to bed early.
Ziva: (a beat) I want to go to bed early.
Vince: I don't really think you want to go to bed early.

(Out comes the lower lip, and Ziva begins to pout and cry)

Vince: Ziva, you need to stop being fake. That won't work on me. (Pouting continues) Do you know who the biggest faker is?
Ziva: Yeah (still pouting/whining/crying)
Vince: Who?
Ziva: Me (STILL pouting/whining/crying)

And at this point, the discipline loses its effectiveness since we're both laughing. And Vince corrected her that no, HE is the biggest faker. At least she comes by it honestly. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010


In case you haven't heard yet from some other means, I'm pregnant! Baby #2 is due on June 3 (which is our anniversary...we always manage to have due dates on significant days!), and we are very excited. We actually planned for this one so we're feeling a little more prepared (although the "shock and awe" of Ziva is something we wouldn't trade for the world!). The timing couldn't be better as far as school goes, and we are just thanking God for how He blesses us. Ziva wants to see the baby in my belly already, and even Vince can hardly wait. Yesterday he said, "I need to go to sleep, but...I want to have the baby!" Cute daddy, huh? My first prenatal visit is November 3, and we should get to hear the heartbeat then. We'll keep you posted on every little milestone!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Life in August...and half of September, oh my!

I forget how quickly time goes by once the whirlwind of school begins. Last time I was talking about how we survived the first week, and here we are now almost 5 weeks in! We're starting to settle into a routine, especially now that Vince has finished his training in OKC. He is working the midnight shift now, so that's taken some getting used to, but he is starting to adjust to the new sleep schedule, and I think I'm adjusting too. We still get lots of good family time, like dinner together every night and playtime after school, so it's working out well. He's loving the job, so that's really about all that matters. I'm enjoying this year so far...a different mix of classes than I expected, but they're good. And I love that I get to teach AP Lit again, so I'm a happy camper.

Ziva is loving school as usual. She got to call me the other day at lunch to tell me that she ate all her food and got a treat--an M&M. Lately she's been sticking food--chewed or not, it's never the same--in her cheek and leaving it there....forever! Once she had several pieces of corn in there for at least 2 hours (from dinner until it was time to brush her teeth) before I noticed. We have no idea why she's doing it, and it has lead to some tearful mealtimes, thus the victory call on Thursday. (Wednesday was a day of no food at all because she refused to swallow what she'd "hoarded".) I did notice a couple days ago that she has two bottom molars coming in, so maybe that's a part of it. Who knows.

I can't think of any really funny things she's said recently, except one a few weeks ago. We were all in the car and she was speaking gibberish for the sheer joy of it. Vince said, "Ziva, what language are you speaking?" And she responded, "I"m speaking KIDS!" at the top of her lungs. Hilarious.

Here are a few pictures that aren't as recent as I'd wish, but they'll do for now....

At the zoo a couple weeks ago. Sorry you can't see her face that well...

All decked out, ready for the pool.

This one should have been a video so you could hear her declaring, "I. AM. PRINCESS. ZIVA!" She's wearing a posterboard crown with "jewels" from a broken necklace glued on it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We survived the first week!

School started this past week. It was a welcome event for me since Vince has been gone the last two weeks for his training in OKC. He comes home on the weekends, but a whole week with just me and Ziva gets a little boring for her, poor thing. There are two weeks left of the training, but now we have school to keep us busy, so it's good. He just heard today that he will probably have the midnight shift when he gets back, which is what he wanted, so we're happy with that.

So far school is going well. Ziva is doing one can get over how much she's changed and how much she TALKS! She cracks us all up every single day. I ahve to try really hard not to laugh sometimes when she needs discipline. I'm still a work in progress.

I will work on getting some pictures up soon. I haven't even begun to recover from the 6 months (and counting) where we were without a laptop and HOW FAR BEHIND I am when it comes to taking, uploading, printing, and organizing pictures. It has to happen, I'm just scared. But I'll make myself sometime soon. Keep checking back!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

She IS listening!

Just have to share some of the funny things we've heard come out of Ziva's mouth lately....proof that she hears everything!!

Last week at small group, she had Vince's Bible and was "reading" to herself. When I realized what she was saying, I cracked right up, interrupting a serious moment in group. She was saying "'Never!' Triton shouted. (this part over and over) 'He's a human! A fish eater!'" (we've been reading "The Little Mermaid" a lot lately)

The other day we had on a Veggie Tales video about being patient. Ziva wasn't really watching it and was busy playing. Vince said, "Hey Ziva, come here." She replied, "I'm doing something. Just be patient!"

And just now, as I was getting ready to write these and we're sitting in the business center at the apartments, she said, "I need to check my email!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Maybe we're better parents than we think we are...

Lately the biggest parenting struggle we've faced (at least in my opinion) is getting Ziva to eat good food. The foods she eats aren't bad, they just don't add up to a very balanced diet. There only a few things she will always eat: string cheese, applesauce, and muffins (or any other member of the bread family). I try to make healthy muffins using pumpkin, zucchini, applesauce instead of oil, and whole wheat flour, but still. Only muffins isn't much of a diet. Then there are the things she will usually eat, but sometimes flat out refuses: corn, green beans, oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt, chicken nuggets, ham, cereal. And there are the every once in a blue moon (but don't count on it) foods: blueberries, bananas, carrots. Pretty much any other fruit or vegetable is a never, although I keep trying (I sure hate throwing it away when she licks it and then wants nothing to do with it!). And of course, she is my daughter and a part of the Calvert clan, so she will ALWAYS eat sweets if we let her.

Now here's where I get to the part about maybe we're doing better than I think. I look at that list (and that is truly all that she eats...on occasion I'll give her some of the "grown ups' dinner" if I think she'll eat it, but other than that, what you see is it!), and I think, oh my. But last night we went to dinner with some good friends who were visiting, and Ziva mainly at the french fries from her kids meal, with lots of ketchup (she LOVES ketchup). Now, you can see from our sorry little list of foods that, pitiful though it may be, there's no grease. So she ate a meal of french fries, and then we went to the park for a little bit where she swang for about an hour (probably didn't help....), and then on the way home, she PUKED all over herself and the car seat. And as gross as it was, and as much as I hate cleaning vomit from the carseat, I was encouraged. Obviously she's not used to greasy foods, so at least that's one positive in our parenting. Am I weird?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

God is a Provider

Today we brought home a new car, for FREE. It's not brand new, only new to us, but it is one of the biggest blessings of late in a long string of blessings. Now that God has provided Vince with a wonderful job, he's driving about 50 miles one way to work each day, so he needs some reliable wheels. Until today, we'd just had one car; my little Prizm was on its last legs and we weren't needing it, so we gave it to a friend from church for him to fix up and give to his brother. At the time, we both felt that was what God wanted us to do with it. But with the Explorer draining the gas at 100 miles a day, it was clear we needed a 2nd car for Vince. Our original plan was to find something on Craigslist for $1000 or less that we could pay cash for, even though that would have been a stretch on the budget. Then we started thinking since we want something we KNOW is really dependable, maybe it would be better to take out a small loan and get something a little newer, that we know for sure will be reliable. So I put in an application at the bank for pre-approval on a loan, and when I called to check on it, they said I'd been denied. What?! I still don't know why or how that could have happened, although after today I think the hand of God had A LOT to do with it.

Last night before I went to bed (discouraged and doubting, I must admit), I read from Streams in the Desert, and the concluding thought said something about faith meaning you remain confident in God, even in the apparent denial of your request. We were facing an apparent denial of our request, of our actual need, for a car, but I prayed as I fell asleep, telling God that I know He knows our need, and I know He is able to and will provide what we need.

This morning as we were eating breakfast, Vince got a call from a man at our church that we had not yet met. He had a car and wondered if we wanted to come look at it. We got ready, drove into Tulsa, and were GIVEN a car by this sweet couple who just didn't need it anymore. Vince was able to drive it a little, and it runs like a new car, even though it's a 1990 Oldsmobile (it reminds me of a smaller version of my old Stupid, for those of you who remember it!). It has fairly low miles, great AC, and even cruise control....blessing, blessing, blessing. I didn't get a picture before we dropped it off for an oil change, but I'll try to put one up soon so everyone can see our "new" car.

We are amazed at God's goodness and power to provide in such remarkable ways. This journey we've been on the last few months has been so good in how we've seen His glory at work in our lives. Thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bedtime instructions

Me: Okay, Ziva, it's time to close your eyes now and go to sleep.

Ziva (to her baby doll): Close your eyes. Close your nose. Close your mouth. Right now! Okay? Okay.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In all her glory...

Here's the promised post about Ziva, with pictures. :) The biggest things in her life lately have been the end of the school year, which she almost missed because she had strep throat AND the flu at the same time. She is one tough kid, because the first day she was sick, the only complaining she did was to say "My tongue hurts" a couple times. Never did I dream it was strep! But she pushed through a 103-104 temperature and would still play until it wiped her out. When the temp we thought was going down spiked again, we took her into Urgent Care and heard the double diagnosis. We're one day away from finishing antibiotics and she is a happy camper.

Since we're out of school and Vince still has one week until he starts work, we're filling our days with as much fun as possible. We've been to the park several times, and tomorrow we're meeting one of her school friends and Miss Angie at the park, then going to a baseball game with the youth group tomorrow night. Thursday is Vince's and my three-year anniversary, so we're planning a zoo day with Ziva and then we'll go out Friday night. We may try to squeeze some swimming in there, too. We went to the splash park yesterday, but Ziva HATES water on her head, so that was pretty much a bust. We have to get her used to water some other way, it seems.

Other than events, she is still her bossy old self, and talking more and more all the time. Yesterday my dad went out to the back porch while Ziva was eating breakfast, and she threw her hands up in the air and declared, "Papa has no shoes on!" She narrates just about everything that goes on around her, and has most recently started saying "Hey!" when she wants our attention. She loves to sing, all the time, and her funniest song right now is the Veggie Tales theme song. I don't know how she settled on these as the words, and maybe I'm not hearing it right, but when she sings it, she sings, "Veggie Ta-a-ales, margarita"....?? We have neither been drinking margaritas or talking about them, so who knows. :)

What can I say? She is just too awesome. :)

Baking muffins....

...and eating them.

Dance party!

Here she is having her first corn on the cob the other night. It was a success!

Friday, May 28, 2010


Yes, we're still here. I don't know how I let two months go by without posting, but it happened. I'll try harder now that it's SUMMER. (Yay! Yay! Yay!)

So the biggest, most important thing to update the blog world on is that Vince got a job! It has been a long and sometimes tough 5 months, but he has had the best attitude in the world and has shown so much faith in waiting on God's timing......which is a big part of the story of his job. Right after we left the Greens (I'm talking early January) Vince heard about an opening at a nearby prison for a corrections officer. He applied and went through a crazy long process of paperwork, then waiting, then a test, then waiting, then an interview, then waiting, and at the end of March he heard that he did not get hired. We were pretty deflated after that; I had been putting all my hopes in this particular job because it was just that good (benefits, insurance, growth potential, ministry potential...) rather than putting my hope in GOD. So I was convicted and tried to truly let go and just trust the process to God. We thought that job was a goner, but oh no! God's ways are so much bigger than ours, remember? Only a few weeks after the "no," Vince heard the same place was hiring AGAIN. So he began the process a second time, which wasn't quite such a headache since he'd been through it once before. After his (second) first interview, he heard back within a day that they were scheduling a second interview. We were pretty excited because that was further than he'd made it the first time through. After the 2nd interview, things were looking very promising; it sounded like they just wanted to check his references and then as long as they were fine he could get hired. The references took a veeeeerrrrrry long time, and I was getting nervous (I confess.....that whole trust thing again!) but we figured no news was good news. And we were right! A couple weeks ago they called him with a conditional job offer; he just had to pass a physical and drug test. Piece of cake. Tuesday he got the call that everything was great, and he starts June 7!!! We are really excited and so thankful for God's provision, and even for His timing that is so different than ours. I got a good faith workout in having to wait until the last minute (of school ending and along with it my paychecks), and Vince has been able to do so much ministry with the youth in our church during these last few months. We still don't know the WHY, of course; but we believe 100% that God had some big reasons for moving us out of the Greens and into a season of "hardship" (ahem, wouldn't really call it that, but relatively speaking) and waiting. Can't wait to see some of those little strands come together and make sense over the next weeks, months, or even years. So. Summer begins here with some mighty celebrating!

Sorry for yet another novela of a blog post. I'll end it here and save a Ziva post for next time. Don't worry, I won't keep you waiting too long. And there will be pictures!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy to you!

We started singing "Happy Birthday To You" about a week before Ziva's actual birthday so she would really know what it was all about and just so she'd feel special. She loved having it sung to her, and she would sing along, "Happy to you!" Very cute. Her birthday last Saturday began with waking up to an Elmo balloon and eating Mickey Mouse-shaped chocolate chip pancakes and chocolate milk for breakfast. Then she got to open her new "basketball game" as she calls basketball goals, and play in the driveway all morning. Vince built her a soccer goal to go with the new soccer ball she got, and then later in the day we had a cookout and little party for her. She got a new umbrella which she loves, and some playdough and new clothes for the summer. Mimi taught her how to show that she's two, and she loved her Elmo cake (which I bought, instead of making and decorating myself as I had planned...). It was a very good 2nd birthday!

Playing ball during the good weather (which was supposed to turn bad but never actually did) with Daddy

Ziva's new umbrella from Mimi and Papa. We have yet to use it in real rain, but it's really fun inside the house too.

Elmo was her special birthday friend. He's still hanging around. :)

She snuck a lick (with Papa's encouragement)....brings back memories of the 1st birthday party!

"I'm 2!"
She can't hold up two fingers on one hand very well, so Mimi taught her this way of showing she's 2 years old. She seems pretty happy with it!

New do

In the month since I posted last, a couple of big things have happened: Ziva got her first haircut (Daddy cut her bangs) and she turned 2! Here's our life in a few pictures lately...

Spring break play date at the park with Ziva's friend Gabbi from school. She still talks about it just about every day!

Vince taught Ziva this pose, the "I look like I'm listening to Mommy but really I'm not" look. Ha ha. At least you can really see how good her bangs look. :)

Pony tail and ear phones

This is a post-blanket cave destruction pic. I love her face in this one!

She loves hiding and then jumping out and yelling "Hewwo!"
And speaking of what she says, Ziva no longer just knows words, she TALKS. She pulls these complete sentences out of nowhere and leaves us all in shock and awe half the time. A few weeks ago we were all racing each other around the house and she beat us into the living room and called out "I beat you guys!" over and over. She's also very bossy and likes to tell people where to go and what to do. "Mommy, do this." "Daddy sit there." "Go away!" "Ziva do this!" This morning when she woke up, she pulled up her pants leg, pointed to her knee and said, "Mommy look at my boo boo." It's so much fun to have her talk like this!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Okay, here are some long overdue pictures, in no particular order. I've got three or four posts' worth, so keep scrolling down. Enjoy!

Here's the Christmas dress that Grandma and Grandpa sent. It was adorable! This was by far the best shot we were able to get with her wearing it.
This was when we went to see Christmas lights at Rhema. Always a fun trip!

Playing in the snow with Daddy!

She threw a snowball at me...

Ziva's favorite thing about winter is definitely snowmen. When there was snow on the ground, everywhere we went in the car, we would count how many snowmen we saw. This is not a snowman we built, just one she's admiring at a neighbor's.

We decorated cookies for Valentine's Day. Ziva enjoyed all aspects of it...the decorating, the sprinkles, and the eating!

This is her "cheese!" face. We're working on how to give a real smile for the camera. :)

Check out this monster icicle! It has been one amazing Oklahoma winter. (But we're ready for it to be over.)

Fashion guru, don't you think?

This one's a classic.....I have a feeling it will make an appearance when she starts bringing boys home to meet us.
I just love this picture. She looks so big.

Playing golf with her new clubs.

She looks like a pro, right?

Snack time! This picture is from today, so it's the most current shot of what she actually looks like....tall!