Friday, July 29, 2011

Zoe's 2nd Birthday

This year, I was leaning towards making Zoe a carrot cake until Jed discovered my plans and absolutely insisted that Zoe MUST have a "Pink Princess Cake." So we found some strawberries in the fridge and I made her a little 6" strawberry pink lady cake. She sat on the counter with me and licked at every step, just for quality assurance you know.
Rather than decorate the cake in some fancy and fashionable method, I thought it would be fun to let the kids decorate the cake themselves. And boy did they love it. First a rather messy layer of cream cheese frosting, topped with several kinds of sprinkles and every candle we could find. Prettiest cake I've ever seen!
You may note the thick layer of cream cheese coating Zoe's cheeks. Ooooo, she loves making her own birthday cake!
Jed's getting ready for the party! He picked out the balloons (red and pink for Zoe, blue and green for him) and a valentine's day "kisses and loves" tablecloth because it was pink and we all love Zoe so much.
Jed made her the traditional pink crown.
Cheesy grin!
Licking off the candles, an essential part of every birthday party.  Actually, this cake had its candles taken off and licked several times while mom wasn't looking before the party itself, but we patched it over all right.  What's a little extra moistness matter when it's all in the family, right?
This year we decided to make all homemade gifts for Zoe's birthday.  Jed wanted to make Zoe a dolly and picked out this pattern himself.  He chose all the fabric and helped me cut and stuff the baby.  He insisted on pink hair.  We had so much fun working on it in the afternoon while Zoe was still napping!  A secret surprise!
She loved the pink hair.  The doll goes in and out and in and out of the little swaddle pouch (Zoe is ALL about swaddling her babies, she must remember her own babyhood when she loved to be swaddled so much.)
I made her a little doll blanket and pillow set, with a secret treasure pocket.  I gave her a few little trinkets to hide.

One other little gift I picked up at a garage sale was a pair of frilly dress-up shoes.  You know the type, slip-on princess heels with a little rhinestone heart and bow.  She went crazy over them and immediately fell down a flight of stairs trying to follow Jed into the basement.  They kind of disappeared after that.  We already did the "falling down stairs and breaking collarbone right about the time the new baby is born" thing once before.  No need for a repeat performance.  They were pretty darn cute though.
And here was the highlight of the evening - her daddy made her this amazing dolly bed that perfectly matches her own!  Every night we put her dollies to bed, it's so much fun. He's pretty much the best dad ever.  She'll be playing with it for years.
We love you, Zoe Ann!  You are still the little ray of sunshine in our home every day.  Thanks for the two best years!

Red head

Zoe put on some major style moves while opening presents from Grandma and Grandpa Stanfill for her early birthday. She looks pretty good as a little orphan Annie redhead, don't ya think?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Morning with Zoe

Zoe woke up early on Saturday, while Jed slept in, so she got Mom and Dad all to herself.

Here she is singing a little song to the baby and giving my belly a big hug.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Bad Habit

I have a confession to make. I've developed a bad habit. And it looks like this:

After we moved Zoe into Jed's room, I had to make up a new nap routine for her, especially since it coincided with me weaning her. I decided to try snuggling her into my bed for naps so Jed could continue to have his quiet play time in their room. To my surprise, it worked. Unlike Jed, who would rather use me as a punching bag/trampoline than ever sleep in my presence, Zoe has loved our new naptime routine.
My original plan was to slowly teach her to fall asleep by herself on the bed, and that worked for a while, but the problem is... I am really tired. And I almost always fall asleep first! Pretty soon I was addicted -- falling asleep with a small soft arm clutched around your neck, soft pink lips pressed against your cheeks, it's heaven I say.

So now we take a nap together every day. I don't know how that will work with the baby coming, but at this point, I don't even care. Naptime has become the most precious mommy/daughter time for us, and I can't give it up!
You can't tell me you wouldn't love all this darlingness cuddled up in your bed, too!
Now when Michael is home, he asks with big puppy eyes if HE can do quiet time with Zoe that day, so he can have some snuggle time, too.  I'm happy to share.  She's such a sweetheart and moments like this you have to cherish.  I know she won't be a toddler forever.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wash da bubb-os!

Zoe washes her hands about 25 times a day. She loves the bubb-os.

A few thoughts on Jed

Jed is ordering Zoe about to go look for his missing puzzle piece.  Right now he is directing her to look under the couch.  He sounds exactly like his mother.  But I suppose at least he is doing it politely.

This morning he came up to me and said:
"Mom, I went ahead and spilled some water on the kitchen floor so you could clean it."
Gosh, thanks, Jed.  Do you think the floor needs to be cleaned?
"Yes, mom, but you should sweep it first."

Another favorite Jed phrase is, "Wasn't it nice of me to...?"  Anytime he does something even remotely praiseworthy, he immediately comes over to mom or dad and says "Wasn't it nice of me to carry my dish over to the sink?" or  "Wasn't it nice of me to not take that toy away from my sister?" or "Wasn't it nice of me to put my underpants on all by myself?"  Apparently he is lacking in positive reinforcement.  Cute, but kind of ridiculous at time when he picks out any old thing he does and suggests that we need to praise him to the skies: "Wasn't it nice of me to walk across the room to you?"

Jed's shyness can be at times embarrassing.  Yesterday he got a new teacher in Primary.  For Pioneer Day we had taken all the chairs down and the kids were sitting on quilts around a little "campfire."  I led singing time, and chose one of Jed's favorite songs "The Handcart Song" and we all pretended to push our handcarts.  All the kids were up singing and giggling except for one -- my son, who was curled up on the floor like a turtle with his face glued to the floor.  The teacher looked at me with a raised eyebrow.  I shrugged, "Just leave him," there's nothing you can really do at that point for my stubborn headed little offspring.  One would think he was crippled socially for life.  Seriously, there is nothing less enjoyable than a birthday party with this child, one would think he was having his fingernails ripped out every time an amusing party game was introduced.

But flash back a few days earlier and there's the mail-lady at the door, trying to drop off a package, and my son has opened the door and trapped her in one of his friendly, eternal monologues, this time regarding our cars, who drives them, where they go, which ones we have sold, which ones we plan to sell, how long we've had them, how fast they drive, the minivan we plan to buy and how we plan to flip the cars to get there, etc. etc. etc.  She must have politely stood there and listened for 20 minutes as the kid yakked her ear off, completely comfortable to tell this stranger the most intimate automotive details. 

 The ladies at the checkout lane at Aldi might as well be his best friends for life the way he greets and informs them of his latest life details each week.   Old men standing in line behind us, people attempting to shop in peace, at the grocery store they are all his prey and subject to the most esoteric of discourses.  Even better is if he can get a new adult into the house, where he can then proceed to show off all  his latest "now I'm 4 years old!" tricks -- jumping up in the air with both feet, headstands on the couch, "flipping" various objects into the air and around the house.  He is a veritable carnival of childhood delight, each trick performed with large, shining eager eyes looking to see how impressed the new victim must be at his accomplishment. 

There is no shyness in this child at all.  So what's with the turtle pose at church?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Growing Again

Everyone's been eating and falling down around here a lot, and that usually means we're growing!

Today we marched Jed up against the wall and gave him a check: 43 1/2", which puts him in the 88th percentile for height.  He's grown a solid 2 inches in the five months since his birthday.  He moved into new church shoes and pants today.

Zoe has grown, too!  She's 34" tall now, and she has grown over an inch just in the last three months!  She's only in the 60th percentile, but she's definitely taller than most of her friends and her long toes touch the end of her size 6 shoes.

Both these Stanfill-skinny kids look taller than their actual height.  Last week at the pool a lady asked me if Zoe was the same age as her... 3 year old?!  Gah!  Mine hardly even talks yet, woman, give her some time to be a baby!  What really threw me was when a friend's visiting grandma asked Jed if he was in Kindergarten or First Grade.   Even though he is a sober little old man, and talks like he's 70, I still think of Jedster as my little tiny guy, and it shocked me to think other people perceive him as so grown up.

Meanwhile, the one who's really growing is... Mom.  At my last checkup, which was just over a week ago, I got measured and weighed.  You're supposed to gain a pound and grow a centimeter on average per week.  In 3 weeks I had gained only 2 lbs but grown 5.5 cm!  Yep, it's not just my imagination... the baby's huge! I am hungry all the time, and back to the ol' first trimester joy of getting nauseous if I don't eat very regularly and in large quantities. I worry that the baby might come early.  This would be bad because Michael has to travel the next three weeks.  We would really like the baby to wait until its own appointed time -- we're just not ready yet!

Friday, July 8, 2011


At nearly 2 years old, Zoe revels in the full glory of womanhood.  I love how she overflows her car seat in sequined and ruffled opulence.

Monday, July 4, 2011

All Dressed Up

The kids all dressed up for Memorial Day church.