Friday, December 9, 2011

odds and ends

Zoe had her 6 month check up on Monday, and she's a picture of health....I sure am thankful for healthy, happy children. She weighs 16 lb 12 oz (63 %) and she's 26 in. long (57 %). She has her two bottom teeth now; both came in pretty close together about a week before Thanksgiving. I think she's working on another one, but I can't see it coming yet. She's been more cranky than usual lately (which still isn't much), and I think maybe her immunizations have been tough on her this time, too. She's starting solids, and I know she's mine and Vince's for sure, because she does not like green beans!

We put up our Christmas tree two weeks ago, and it is so much fun decorating for Christmas in our own home for the first time! Our tree looks great and Ziva still has fun rearranging the ornaments at least once a day. Some of them she even sleeps with! She's been singing lots of Christmas music lately, in preparation for her pre-3 Christmas program next week. I can't wait to see it!

Zoe is getting to be pretty solid at sitting on her own now, and she's SO close to crawling. I think technically we still have to call it creeping, but she's getting around pretty good, and she's getting those knees up under her too. Just yesterday she started rolling over from her back to her stomach with a lot more ease, so she's practically independent! Her favorite things to play with right now are the remote control, Vince's phone, her pacifier, and her monkey ring. But mainly the remote control. I'm thinking about just getting an extra one for her for Christmas!

Zoe at 6 months

Can you believe how much she's grown?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

a few pictures

New pjs

Ziva's Thanksgiving feast at school. She was putting food in her mouth every time I took a picture, so this one was as good as any

Mmmmmm, peas :)

What was the pee pee thinking?!

This was Ziva's opening line today, to tell me there was a mess in the bathroom.

"Mom, what was the pee pee thinking?! I went potty. I went potty and now the pee pee is all over outside the toilet! What was it thinking?"

She's been doing great on going potty, but sometimes, even if she's ON the toilet, it doesn't all make it IN. That was the case today, since her potty seat wasn't on. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

5 months and some picture updates!

Zoe is 5 months old now! The time is just flying :) She's rolling around more and more (which makes for more waking up in the night, but oh well!). She's reaching for toys and people more and more (right now she's a bit of a mama's girl, which is fine by me, since Ziva's always been a bit more of a daddy's girl!) And she's really starting to get her knees up under her and scoot around, so we're hoping to see some crawling soon!

I've probbaly said it before, but Zoe LOVES her big sister. She just watches and watches her, whatever it is she's doing....and occasionally we get a belly laugh if Ziva's really being silly.

They love playing together! We have to remind Ziva to be gentle, but Zoe seems pretty resilient.

And here's something new....Ziva is old enough to start helping out, and she absolutely loves feeding Zoe. It's messy, yes, but it is when I feed her too! So this week while Ziva was feeding Zoe, I actually got a few dishes washed...before the girls were in bed!! It felt a little surreal, but it opens up a whole new horizon of life with more littler helpers!

And Monday night we took Ziva trick-or-treating for the first time. It was kind of a last-minute decision, so we dressed her up in her Rapunzel play dress that she's had for a while, and it worked great. She had so much fun. When we got home and I put her to bed, she said, "Mom, trick-or-treating was awesome! I loved it and I love you!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

firsts, revised

Adding to the list of recent firsts, Zoe has moved into the world of "solid" food! She had her 4 month check up last week, and the doctor gave us the green light to start her out on solids. Last Sunday was our first try, and she got mad pretty quickly, but she's done better every day, and today she finished the whole 1/4 cup or so I prepared for her! Her 4 month stats look like this: 25.25 inches long (74%), 14 lb 13.5 oz (64%). She is still just as chill and smiley as always, and she's really getting the hang of reaching for things she wants and grabbing on.

And now an update on Ziva's field trip--it didn't happen. Well, the field trip happened, but Ziva did not go. Last week was one of those parenting-well-really-stinks-sometimes kind of weeks! A couple weeks ago Ziva started having some potty issues again, and she was pooping in her pants at school. (When the preschool director asked her why she was doing that, Ziva informed her it was "Poop In Your Panties Day") After several days in a row, we told her if she did it again she wouldn't be able to go on the field trip. She had several good days with no accidents, but wouldn't you know it, the day before the trip, she pooped. And she's smart, and she remembered what we said, and boy, she would have known and rememberd FOREVER if we backed down. So as much as we hated for her to miss the trip, we followed through. We took her up to the school to watch the rest of the kids load the bus, which sort of backfired because we parked where we couldn't really see and then they all came out so fast we missed it completely. But the backfire turned out to work even better, because she had wanted to see her friends get on the bus, and not seeing them, plus seeing the bus leave and us not follow, truly made for a lesson learned. After we left the school, we went to the library and got the book "Everyone Poops." And guess what? Since last Thursday, she's had no accidents. I think there's another field trip in the spring....

Last weekend was Rejoice's Eagle Fest (fall festival). Ziva had a blast with Daddy, Mimi, Papa, and lots of friends.

Monday, October 10, 2011

a whole host of firsts

It's been a busy month around here! School is going full swing, and we've pretty much settled into our routine. We love hearing about all the things Ziva is learning, and she has become the world's greatest expert on the letter Z. Anytime, and I mean ANY time, she sees one, she gets so excited and points out "her letter" to us. And of course she's learning other letters and lots of songs and prayers. One big first for her this week is her first field trip. She will get to ride on the school bus (oh, the wonder of it!) and go to a pumpkin patch. I'm going with her (can't imagine why they need parents to come with a bunch of 3-year-olds on an outing, can you??) and we're hoping Vince will be able to come too. Should be lots of fun!

Zoe at four months

Zoe has had a lot of firsts lately, too. We reported last that she had rolled from her stomach to her back, and about two and a half weeks ago she rolled from her back to her stomach. She doesn't do that as often, but it's still a pretty big milestone! Zoe also had her first ear infection last week. :( We actually haven't been in for her 4 month check up yet, because the doctor told us to just wait until her two week ear follow up, and she'd combine the appointments. So we'll go back Wednesday or Thursday for that. She's starting to talk a lot again, after going through a pretty quiet phase. This girl LOVES her sister. If Ziva is in sight, Zoe just watches her every move, smiling and laughing. It is so sweet to see.

Looks just like Ziva, but we think she's going to keep those blue eyes!

Sweet sisters. Ziva looks soooo much like Vince in this one!

Another fun first for Zoe was meeting Uncle Ross and Auntie Amber. Ross graduated from officer training school a little over a week ago, and they got to stop for a night on their way to El Paso where he's stationed now (woo-hoo, so much closer than Hawaii!). So glad they didn't have to wait until Zoe is 3 like they did for Ziva. We're excited to have them a little bit closer. Ziva loved playing **bossy**princess with Amber :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rollin', rollin', rollin'!

We had another milestone this weekend--Zoe rolled over from her stomach to her back! I heard her start crying as she woke up from a nap Saturday, and when I didn't go in right away she stopped. When I did go in to get her, she was on her back, looking up at me! I think she surprised herself enough that she stopped crying, plus she had a much better view of her room that way. She can get pretty far over on her side when she's lying on her back, too, so rolling the other way may be in the near future. I can hardly believe she's already so old and growing so much! I know it's cliche, but the time sure does fly.

Our other news this week is that Ziva got her first bladder infection. Not so exciting, I know. But it was almost a relief to me to at least figure it out. Starting the Friday before last, she started wetting her pants again every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and I was at my wit's end trying to figure out what could be causing it. Every one had their opinion--regressing is normal, she's doing it for attention, adjusting to school has been hard--none of which seemed to fit Ziva in our current circumstances. She wasn't trained until AFTER Zoe was born, she's been to school already for three years and acts like she owns the place (seriously, oh my!), and she still gets plenty of attention, or at least I think so. So when her teacher said she thought it might be an infection, I asked Ziva if it hurt to go potty and she said yes, so I scheduled a doctor appointment. Let me tell you, Ziva is one tough cookie. If "handling pain" were an Olympic sport, she would be a gold medalist. She hadn't complained about anything hurting until I asked her, and maybe it had been getting slowly worse, I don't know, but when we were at the doctor, she finally broke and was screaming just in dread of having to go, and refusing to drink water because she knew what would follow. So the sweet doctor determined she had all the other signs and we didn't need a urine sample, and prescribed antibiotics. And we are back in business. Ziva was allowed to wear a pull-up to school Friday, which she kept dry all day, and we had no accidents over the weekend, but did a little potty-training refresher course anyway. And she stayed dry all day today, at school and home...victory! I'm proud of her two-fold...I know how much those bladder infections can hurt so I'm pretty stinkin' impressed with her lack of complaining. And I'm proud she's using the potty again. It's the little things, right? :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First day of school and 3 months

As if I weren't bad enough about blogging when I'm home for the summer, I'm sure you can tell that school has started from my silence. Yep, we're back at it, and it's going well. Ziva LOVES preschool, and came home the first two days spouting off verbatim what she'd learned. I'm so thankful she's already been at Rejoice for three made this year an easy transition, which I realize and appreciate all the more when I hear there is still one little boy who cries all the time at school.

Zoe is also "at school" in the staff baby room. That baby room and the teachers, Donna and Angie (we miss Angie this year but it sounds like she's loving K4), have been one of the biggest blessings of all during my time at Rejoice so far. Zoe does great and is getting herself on a pretty good schedule. Donna reports just about every day that Zoe is happy all the time. She is just a joy!

Ziva's all ready for her first day of preschool!

September 1, 2011...Zoe is 3 months old, and that little lamb is looking smaller and smaller!

Hmm, another failed picture rotation....but still, check out that grin!

Are these girls sisters or what? It's Ziva and her mini-me!

Apparently I need to practice rotating pictures....I really do rotate them the right way before I put them on the blog, but I must be missing some secret step :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Zoe is 2 months old

Hard to believe this little girl is already 9 weeks old! We had her 2 month check up on Monday, and she's doing great. The little trooper did well with her shots, and the only way I could tell it was affecting her was that she was extra sleepy. She weighs 11 lb, 10 oz, so that's about 2 more pounds in the last month! And she's 23 inches long....she's right around the 75th percentile for both her weight and height. She's outgrowing that lamb at a pretty fast clip!

Here's a smile we caught on camera...she's smiling, talking, and laughing a lot more now, so we're having lots of fun!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Killing bad guys

Ziva has been talking a lot lately about killing. She frequently makes comments about Daddy killing the bad guys at work, she talks about police and soldiers killing people, and occasionally she voices fear that someone will kill her. It has concerned me that my 3 year old is thinking about killing, and I wondered where in the world she's been getting such ideas, until a light bulb went off and it occurred to me--the only place Ziva hears about killing is in the Bible.

And it's had me thinking. These stories we read her, in any other context, I would probably shelter her from. But since they are in Scripture, we don't. We read them and talk about them, and even at this early age, try to teach her truth, even though it's hard. A lot of what Jesus taught was hard to hear, harder to live. Still is. But we can't gloss over it or leave it out because of that. It's there for a reason, and it's an important part of the puzzle, a very real aspect of the life of faith.

I think all those war stories, all the killing of the Old Testament, are visible, in-the-flesh reminders that the life of faith ultimately is a battle. No longer do we see God's people fighting against God's enemies, fighting for their home--at least not in the form of Jews fighting against Philistines, fighting for a piece of property. Today, Goliath comes in the form of "spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm" (Eph. 6), all the more dangerous because unseen; the home we're fighting for is one we've not yet seen. And the not seeing makes it so hard for us to remember there's a war going on all around us. Perhaps the war scenes of the Old Testament are trying to remind us....this is happening right here, right now, all the time. Killing is still an important part of following God, but now it's putting to death self, killing the sinful nature, destroying anything that tries to turn my heart away from God toward something less, something empty. Now that's a concept that a 3 year old can't grasp...most adults still have a hard time with it too. So we continue to read the stories of battle and death and pray that what Ziva--what we all--take away from it is the knowledge that good must be fought for, in the world and in our own hearts. And victory is ours if we remain in Him.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A good night's sleep

Last night was Zoe's first night in her crib. We put her down and let her cry herself to sleep, which she did pretty quickly. She whimpered some off and on but finally settled into a good sleep. She woke up a couple times to eat but went straight back to sleep every time, and I felt like I got the most rest since we brought her home. Hopefully tonight will be a repeat! Here are a few pictures from this week...

I thought I rotated this one, but I guess it didn't take. Oh well. We have a picture of Zoe with this lamb her first few days at home, and they were the same size then. What a difference a month makes!

I think she looks like Grandma Ramirez in this one....what do you think?

Happy after nap time!

All dressed up in their red white and blue for the 4th!

Zoe has her eyes open more and more all the time, and she's so much fun. She's starting to "talk" and smile more...can't get enough!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chunker - 1 month check up

Today was Zoe's one month check up, and she weighed in at 9 lb 2 oz! Our doctor laughed at how much she's gained...2 pounds in a little over 2 weeks! She's in the 45th percentile for both weight and height (21 inches), so she may not end up tall like Ziva, but time will tell. The best news is that I don't have to wake her up at night to eat anymore. I forgot to set an alarm last night anyway, and she slept 5 1/2 hours before waking up, so I'm hoping I can start getting a teeny bit more sleep. We'll see :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

24 days

First of all, let me say "Happy Birthday" to my brother Ross! I didn't get a chance to call him today, so this is my birthday shout out...we love you and can't wait to see you again! I will try to call you tomorrow :)

And since Zoe has yet to reach the one month mark, we're still counting by days, so today is 24. She is growing fast, and I can't wait to see what she weighs at her check up next Friday. Breastfeeding experiment #2 hasn't been as miserable a failure as it was the first time around with Ziva, but it has been a failure nevertheless. So I'm pumping again, which I said I wouldn't, but this way Zoe's still getting breastmilk, just in the bottle. And I'm pretty much guessing on how much I should give her, based on how often she gets hungry and how much she drinks, and she seems to be a bigger eater than I remember Ziva being. So we'll see in a week how she's packing on the pounds!

Overall she's a pretty easy baby....she still sleeps a lot, and sleeps pretty well at night, which is great. She's not usually too fussy, sometimes just for a while in the evening. Typically she's fussiest right at Ziva's bedtime, so my stress level is maxed out, but it's okay. At Ziva's 3 year check up, our pediatrician quoted a saying from Bill Cosby, something to the effect that you're not really a parent until you have more than one kid. I scoffed at it is plenty of work! But oh man. It's kinda true. One to two has been challenging in some ways, but mostly ways I hadn't expected or thought about, which makes it seem harder than it probably is. Post-partum hormones probably also make everything seem harder than it actually is :) The biggest shock to my system is just not having Ziva as my baby anymore. Suddenly she's a BIG girl, and it's funny how my expectations of her changed so quickly. She's doing great and loves being a big sister, but I know it's hard on her sometimes, and that's hard on me. But just tonight I was praying and remembered that it's a really good thing for her to learn that it's not all about her, to learn to share and have to wait for things and think about someone else besides herself. Even if it's painful at times, those are great life lessons and if we could somehow go through this transition without her learning those things, she'd be missing out in the long run. And I will keep reminding myself of that, day after day. I will need it, I'm sure.

Vince with his girls on Father's Day...we got to go to church for the first time with all four of us.

How sweet is this?

We're seeing more and more alert time, and I've even gotten some coos and smiles in the last few days. I know it's early but I swear they're real smiles....

We had family over for Father's Day, and Uncle Nate was able to come meet Zoe for the first time. Ziva's looking very serious in her big sister role.

Already climbing over the couch :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Welcome Zoe!

Zoe Kaitlin arrived on May 31, 2011, weighing in at 6 lbs, 13 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. I know I'm late in putting up pictures......we'll keep more coming!

Love this one...Ziva is a great big sister!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Entrusted to us...

This is our new home! And oh, what a journey it has been to get here. "Here" is knowing that this really isn't OUR home; it is the house God has entrusted to us, and we have seen His goodness so tangibly in the way He has provided for us. I know the blog has been a little quiet lately, but that's because we've been working through some opposition to God's plans. Two weeks before our original closing date, we found out that Vince's overtime counted as "salary," and that there was an income limit on the loan type we were getting, so all of a sudden our choice was to change loan types, which meant coming up with almost $4000 for a down payment, or walking away. We did not have $4000, so we prayed for God to provide and waited hopefully, but started making strategic plans for adding a baby to our current apartment situation. One week after the news, my aunt found out about our situaton and wished she could help. The next day she found out her tax return had gone in early, and she had enough for her needs plus enough to help us, so she loaned us a down payment. We never would have dreamed of God providing the way He did....dropping that much money in our laps seemed improbable at best, but I knew He could if He wanted to. And He did....which blessed us in so many obvious ways, but also it just confirmed to us that this house really is a part of His plan for us. We probably could have eeked it out somehow on our own, but in the back of my mind I wondered if we'd be trying too hard to force something God was trying to say "no" to. So the outside provision was a resounding "Yes" and "Amen", and we are taking that blessing with open arms! We already have plans to host youth over the summer, and our prayer is that our house (and we) will always be open to anyone in need. Because it's not really ours, you see. We're taking care of it for God and we want to use it the way He wants us to.

So yesterday we closed, today we got the right keys (that's another story for another time....), and this Saturday we move in. Oh yeah, and I'm scheduled to induce labor on the 31st, unless Zoe decides she wants to come sooner. I think the nursery will be ready for her...I know we all are!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

T-minus 25 days!

We are scheduled to close on the house May 12! Two weeks from tomorrow we have our initial walk through to make sure everything's right, then a week and a half after that it's a done deal. I can't believe how fast it's gone, but we're so excited that we will be able to get in before Zoe makes her entrance to the world! We have to pay for our apartment through June no matter when we move, so we can take our time on the non-essential stuff. That's a good feeling! We started packing a little bit this week ("we"=Vince). Ziva has always loved climbing on boxes! Hopefully this is the last time she'll have the opportunity for a LONG time.
Here are some shots of the hosue with the brick done. The last time we got to go inside they had tile down and all the wood trim and cabinets up. And they've poured the porch and looks like the driveway will be going in this week. There's still a lot to be done inside, but in two weeks, it will be finished!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Princess Turns 3

Last weekend Ziva turned 3. Of course the weather was bad....we're three for three so far....but we crammed everyone in the apartment and had a grand ol' time. I think this is the most presents Ziva has ever had to open at one time in her life! We spread the gifts out at Christmas so she's not in shell-shock and not overly focused on the presents. I think it works great....our heart has been to make a BIG DEAL out of birthdays, to celebrate how special she is (and same for siblings and any family members), so that when Christmas rolls around, it's a BIG DEAL because it's Jesus' birthday, not because of what she may get out of it. So I love that she had tons and tons of gifts--we were blown away with everyone's generosity! Ziva loved every minute of it, and we were all laughing at her natural talent at pulling tissue paper from a bag and tossing it into the air. Hers was a joyful soul! Our joke, for those of you who may be familiar with the TV show Friends, is that Ziva is just like Chandler--she can have a normal smile on her face UNTIL it's time to take a picture, and then....well, it turns out looking like this. But she's three so it's adorable. And we're working on it for the future. :)

Taking a picture with "her Mitch". Of the Uncle Mitch/Aunt Rachel combo, Rachel has always been the favorite. But Mitch came out to dinner one night when Rachel couldn't come, and she was deposed, big time. Ziva will always love her (who wouldn't?!), but Mitch now has a very special place in her heart, and it seems to be sticking, even when Rachel IS around.
Blowing out her candles, and I think she actually blew, instead of spit. Hope so....we've been eating it all week. ;)

And here the princess is showing off her new princess gear. One of my old students, Lena, has been babysitting for us on small group nights, and she sent this gift up to my classroom this week. Did anyone know they even make baby snuggies?! Pretty cool. Ziva's even been sleeping in it, despite the 70 degree temperatures. We sure love our princess!