Friday, February 26, 2010


Last time we went to Disneyland, we were sure that Zoe would love all the characters.  We were wrong; she was terrified.

This trip, we didn't even think the characters were an option because we knew she would hate them.  Again we were wrong.

It all started while we were waiting for our Splash Mountain fast passes.  We needed to waste some time, Pooh was right there and had a short line, and Zoe has recently been really interested in him, so we decided to see what would happen.  She was tired and crying while we waited in line, but when we got up to Pooh, he rubbed her cheek with his hand, and she immediately stopped crying and started grinning.  She played with his nose and talked to him, and didn't cry again, until we made her walk away.  The rest of the day she wouldn't stop talking about Pooh and kept asking to look at the camera and see the pictures with him.

On our last day, as we were walking down Main Street, we decided to stop and see Goofy.  Zoe was so excited.  It killed her to wait for her turn in line.

When it was our turn, Robby went and dutifully stood beside Goofy for a picture.  Zoe ran right up to him and gave him a huge hug.

Goofy picked her up and sat her in his lap.  She just couldn't stop looking at him.  She was fascinated.

Zoe sat and played with Goofy for quite a while and the line behind us was starting to get kind of long, so I told her it was time to go.  She just kept saying, "no, no" and crying.  So, Goofy, sat down on the ground and put her in his lap.  They sat and played for a while longer.  It was so cute.

I eventually had to be the mean mom and make her leave.  She was not at all happy with me.

As we were walking away we saw Mickey and Minnie together.  They had a pretty long line.  I normally wouldn't even think about waiting in any kind of line to see a character, it has always seemed like such a waste of time to me, but she was so excited when she saw them and we decided it was worth it.  We sent Robby and Grandma to ride on some big rides, and got in line.

It was so worth it.

We wised up with Mickey and Minnie and took some video to try and really capture the cuteness.

Unfortunately, the video doesn't do the moment justice.  We just couldn't get at the right angle to capture the way she just snuggled right into them, the eskimo kisses that Minnie gave her, or the way that every time I started to convince her to leave, they would pull her back for one more hug because they thought she was so cute.  My favorite part was when I finally decided it was time to go and started pulling her away.  She started crying and Mickey and Minnie both pushed me away, telling me that they would just keep her.

She was with them for quite a while (longer than the video clip).  Eventually we had to leave, to the great protests of Zoe.  I honestly think she would have sat there all day, snuggled into Mickey, if we would have let her.  I think that Mickey and Minnie would have sat there all day with her too, if it was not for the line of impatient and tired people waiting behind us.

I had a couple of observations and thoughts from Zoe's character experience...

1. Those characters are truly amazing.  I always knew that the characters at Disneyland were good, but all four of them on this trip were truly magical. They were so good with Zoe.  They seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with her.  We weren't at all rushed (in fact, I think they all spent more time with us than they should have), they knew exactly what to do to make Zoe happy, and they were amazingly sweet to her.  I would imagine that it gets tiring, dealing with kids all day, but I do have to say, they were awesome.

2.  I love seeing my kids happy.  Those few minutes with those four characters was by far, the best minutes of my trip.  Zoe was so absolutely happy and that made me absolutely happy.  She won't stop talking about it.  In fact, one of the first things she told me this morning, three days after the trip, was "Minnie, kiss."  I am so glad she got to enjoy that moment.  That is why I love Disneyland so much, seeing the magic through the eyes of my kids, and why I can't wait to go back again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Disney Hair

We are leaving for Disneyland again in the morning and Zoe is sporting a new hair-do for the occasion.

A few months ago, when Zoe first became obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I started looking for Mickey Mouse beads to put in her hair.  I found a lot of beads, but none that had a big enough hole to fit over her braids.  So, I decided to make my own.  I made them out of Fimo clay.  They were really easy to make and turned out so cute.  Zoe wore them in October when we went to Disneyland and has asked for them every time we have done her hair since then.

Wednesday, she finally got to put in her Mickey beads again and she was so excited.  She wasn't as excited to sit still and get her hair done though.  It is such a battle to get it done, but she is much more patient when it is getting braided than she is when it is getting combed out.  The braids should last at least 2 weeks (hopefully 3) so it is worth it to get a couple week break from combing it.  As much as she hates sitting still to get it done, she absolutely loves it once we finish it.  She loves clicking her beads and showing it off to everyone she meets.  Plus, as time goes on, I am getting quicker and she is getting a little more patient, so it is a little easier every time.  I thought we would have to divide it up into 2 days this time, but we managed to have it completely done by lunchtime on Wednesday.  Not too shabby.

We did cornrows in the front and then box braids in the back.  They are definitely the best cornrows I have done so far.  I am getting better.  By the time she is old enough to care how they look, I am going to be an expert.  While I was out running errands today, I actually had two different people ask me where I take her to get her hair done.  I love it when people ask that question.  It makes me feel good to know that I am doing something right.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

18 Months

I haven't posted one of these updates for quite a while.  I took a picture a month in the same position during Zoe's first year in order to see how much she was growing and changing.  After she turned one, I decided to cut it down to a picture every 3 months.  It is so fun to look at them and see how much she has changed. (Click on the first picture to see it bigger and then you an easily click through them.)

I am amazed at how much thicker and longer her hair is getting.  It is kind of hard to tell in these pictures how long it really is.  The curl in her hair is getting much tighter and so it sits tighter against her head, but it is getting really long.  I am also amazed at how tall she is getting and how much she has thinned out.

At her 18 month appointment, Zoe was 33 inches tall and weighed just over 20 pounds.  That puts her in the 87th percentile for height and the 6th percentile for weight.  The funny thing about that is that Zoe is a wonderful eater.  She isn't picky at all and she eats a lot.  It doesn't surprise me that she is so skinny though.  She never holds still.

Zoe is a character.  I can't even find the words to explain her.  She is a firecracker.  She has so much energy, so much passion, and such a love for life.  That energy and passion gets her in a lot of trouble, but it also makes her so fun to be around.  Every day, Zoe leaves me exhausted and watching the clock for bedtime.  But every day she also brings me so much joy, makes me laugh more than I have ever laughed in my life, and makes the world so much fun.

She has developed quite a little temper.  She knows what she wants and doesn't think she should have to settle for anything less.  When you tell her no or don't give her what she wants, she tends to throw things, or bite (not people yet, usually just her shirt), or kick something, but half a second later she is happy and content with the world again.  However, she is also very loving.  She loves to give kisses and hugs.  The only time she holds still during the day is when she climbs up into someone's lap to cuddle.

She is developing an adorable little personality.  She loves to be the center of attention and is quite the little show off.  She loves to play with Robby (or anyone else who will play with her.) She likes to be silly.  Her favorite thing to do right now is run away from me and hide.  The other day, she ran into her closet, hid behind a diaper box, and pulled it back against her so she was trapped in the corner.  I don't know how long it would have taken me to find her if she wasn't saying "Zoe, where are you" and giggling the whole time.

She is a very active child.  She loves to run, gallop, jump, dance, and climb.  She gets into absolutely everything.  One of her favorite things right now is slides.  She will go up and down a slide a hundred times and giggle every single time.  She loves shoes, books, Mickey Mouse, and "poop" (Pooh).

She is talking like crazy now.  She says new words every day.  I seems like there isn't a lot she can't say and she is getting better and communicating her needs with words, which is very nice.  Right now, she is working on putting words together into sentences and conversations and is getting pretty good at that.  She loves to talk to anyone and will always try to get every one in the store or anywhere else we go to talk to her.  She will usually say hi to whoever is passing by.  If they acknowledge her, then she will continue the conversation, usually saying "Daddy work, Robby school," because of course the random stranger would be interested in where her dad and brother are.  She knows a lot of body parts and animal sounds now too and we spend a lot of our day pointing to noses, ears, eyes, eyebrows, and belly buttons.  She also loves music.  She sings to herself all the time and is constantly asking us to sing her favorite songs.

Zoe loves pretty things.  She absolutely hates to have her hair combed, but is relatively patient with sitting for a long time to let me braid her hair.  She adores having beads in her hair and will ask for them if she hasn't had them for a while.  She loves when people pay attention to her hair and tell her it is pretty.  (Which is good because everyone comments on her hair.)  In fact, if we have recently styled her hair, she will walk up to people, click her beads, and tell them "hair, pretty."  Aunt Emily gave her a bunch of necklaces, bracelets, and a pair of dress up shoes and she loves to put them on and walk around the house in her pretties.

I love this little girl more than I can even say.  She makes life so much interesting and so much fun.  I can't even imagine my world without her in it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

10 Magical Years

December 18, Kirk and I celebrated our ten year anniversary.  We had always planned on going to Hawaii, Mexico, or some other tropical-like place to celebrate this great milestone.  But, given as how we already had Disneyland season passes, we thought that it might be kind of fun to go together, on a childless Disney trip. Plus, as an added bonus, it was definitely a cheaper option.

I wasn't too sure how the trip was going to be.  Disneyland is fun, but mostly because the kids are having fun.  It is such a magical place to a child and seeing it through their eyes make it fun.  I wasn't too sure how fun it would be without the kids.

We ended up having a great trip though, and in some ways, it was one of my favorite trips we have every taken.  Disneyland is so much less stressful without kids.  We were able to just slow down and enjoy.  We were able to do what we wanted to do, without worrying about keeping everyone happy.  And, the magic was still there.  It was the first time I have ever been to Disneyland during Christmas time and I loved the festive decorations and atmosphere.  It made us want to go back next Christmas time, so that the kids can experience the Christmas magic.

The greatest thing about the trip was just having a few days together to reconnect and to focus on us.  There is no one I would rather have gone to Disneyland with.  I am an incredibly lucky woman to be married to such an amazing man.  He truly is my better half and makes me a better person.  The last ten years have been incredibly magical and I am looking forward to many, many more.  I love you, Kirk!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Playing in the Snow

After one of our snowstorms this year, I decided it was time to take Zoe outside to really experience and play in the snow.  It was really cold, so I bundled her up a lot.  She wasn't sure what she thought of the experience.  She hated being all bundled up, the poor kid could hardly even walk, but she thought the snow was ok.  Once Robby showed her that she could eat it, she was a little more impressed.  Now she love the "nows" (as she calls it) and gets excited any time she sees it.

I love the expressions on her face in this pictures.  She kept looking at me like I was crazy for putting her through this.

I can't believe how big Robby is getting.  It seems like it wasn't very long ago that he was getting bundled up for the first time and thinking I was crazy for taking him out in the snow, just like his little sister.   Now, he is enjoying helping her experience such exciting new things.

Enjoying the Cousins

Around Thanksgiving time, Kirk's brother Gavin, his wife Karena, and their 3 boys, Elden, Bennet, and Keagan, came from Arizona to visit.  It was so nice too see them.  The cousins all have a lot of fun playing together.  We are so glad that they are living in Arizona now so that we can see them more often.

It was Keagan's first birthday while they were here, so we got to have birthday cake and celebrate with him.

For some reason, I have always been terrible about taking pictures when we are with them (we went to Arizona in October to visit and I took zero pictures).  I guess I am just too busy having fun and enjoying the company.  This time, I at least got a few.

We also attempted to take a family picture while they were here, but it didn't go so well.  At least we got something.