Friday, December 9, 2011

Ballet (in Dec)

Last week was observation week at Zoë's ballet class. Of course, she was a bit more distracted (and so were the other girls) than usual, but it makes for good TV! I posted a few favorite video clips here and some photos, but visit the link for lots lots more (mainly videos).

From Ballet

We are getting ready for our visit to CA. Family: see you soon! Friends: hope to see you all soon too! Lots of love and happy holidays (since it's unlikely you'll get another post until 2012! Woohooo...)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Come and visit Zoetown

We have been playing at home more and more these days. It isn't even that cold, but I guess the dark days of Winter are upon us... or maybe it's the potty training practice that keeps us here. Anyway, today we make a city, complete with train system (Brio!) and tall buildings... even a small suburban neighborhood for fun. And that's all I have to report for now :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Holidays (yes, that includes Halloween)

We have entered the Holiday season. While my yoga classes have helped keep me sane by reminding me to focus on what's important and meaningful... life is still hectic after all. Not enough time to write a blog, for instance. However, I did upload pictures of Halloween and Fall splendor (including a video of fun at the pumpkin farm with Grandma and Grandpa). Here they are:

From Fall fun -- 2011

From Fall fun -- 2011

Some non-pictoral updates:
  • Zoë has been doing a nice job with potty training! She has a sticker chart and everyday there are more stickers and more successes on the potty. But one big thing is that she doesn't seem to have much of a problem with having accidents and hiding it from us... and then being very nonchalant and silly. I feel like we hit some boundary or potty training -- this is our current challenge. And then, with Holiday travels... I'm nervous about going backwards.
  • Zoë's verbal abilities are simply amazing! The other day she sang "We wish you a merry Christmas" song all the way through. I think they are practicing for the holiday party (which we are sadly missing by heading to CA early) and she holds a paper in front of her and sings very seriously. It's really cute! (I hope to capture by camera one of these days).
  • I am also really impressed with her observational skills. The other day she said "I see moon! But Sun's up too. That's interesting. " So we talked about how moon and sun can be in the sky together, but not when moon is full. She later explained that to her Dad.
  • Zoë still loves her ballet class. She's got her piqué's and curtsey's down!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall... (ing behind)

Two months have passed and there's much to update. So I think I won't even try. The Zych grandparents came a few weeks ago and we had lots of fun (Happy slightly belated Birthday, Grandma!)

The next few months will be very busy as I am applying for new positions (aiming a little ambitiously at a few faculty positions, and mainly more fellowships and postdoctoral research positions). As things are once again sitting on the precipice of total disruption, the level of stress and list of things to do are out of control! But luckily, tales of funny Zoë have been keeping me chuckling (and closer to sane, though she brings to our lives her own toddler angst). I wanted to share a few here before I forget!


Yesterday, while we were sitting down for breakfast, I found her licking the dining table. Now she is just getting over a bout of stomach flu, probably brought on by her recent deplorable habit of licking EVERYTHING. (Weirdly, she wasn't super-licky as a baby, but in several ways I find she has been "testing" baby habits, regressing a bit on skills that she had down -- like trying the potty, getting dressed, brushing her own teeth, etc. So I had a conversation with her:

Me: Zoë, why are you licking the table? You know that the table is not food! Babies lick tables because they are learning what is food and what isn't. But you are older, you already *know* that the table isn't food. Can you eat a table? No! Can you eat a book?

Zoë: No.

M: Can you eat Mommy's phone?

Z: No. It's not food.

M. Right! Can you eat cheese?

Z: Yes. It's food.

M: Exactly, so you can put it in your mouth. See, you know what's food already. If you see a baby eating the table or eating blocks, you might want to say: "Don't eat that! It's not food." But the baby has to figure it out for herself. She might not listen to you. But you can try to explain that some things are food and it's ok to eat. But other things are not food and should not be put in the mouth!

Z: Ok! I know! I need to tell Choochoo baby (that's her doll with a train on the chest) right now!

Hops off the chair, runs into the other room. In her sternest, loudest "teacher" voice, she yells:
Z: Choochoo baby, DON'T LICK THE TABLE! IT'S NOT FOOD! YOU DON'T LICK THINGS. YOU ONLY LICK FOOD. Table's not a food, is it? No... you don't want to eat it, do you? NO!

I can report that Choochoo baby learned her lesson -- she has not licked the table since.


This morning, another Choochoo baby story (these are starting to remind me of Calvin and Hobbes... only Choochoo is Zoë's naughty alter ego). For several months, Zoë has been saying "I don't like you" to me and Matt. I think it started as a form of protest, when we would make her do something she didn't want to do; and then it was silly, just to provoke some reaction like "fake crying", etc. In fact, once, first thing in the morning, she responded to my "Good Morning, Zoë!" with "I don't like you. Go away". Still sleepy and thoroughly disarmed, I reacted with "Fine. Since you don't like me, I am going away to New York tomorrow"... which was true, but I regretted telling her this way, making her think that my trip was a "punishment" or lesson for that phrase. She did stop saying it after that... but now that I have to travel again, we'll see how it goes. Anyway, this morning,

Zoë tells me, (in a tattle voice): Mommy, Choochoo Baby said she doesn't like me.

Me: Hmm... that's not nice! Maybe you should tell her how it makes you feel.

I heard her again sternly addressing Choochoo Baby in a quiet, ominous tone.

Zoë (to Choochoo Baby): Choochoo, You don't say, "I don't like you". IT'S NOT NICE! When you say "I don't like you" I get sad and feel mean.

(Pause the then sweetly) You don't want that, do you? You should say "sorry". You think what you said. I go to school now. When I come home, you say "sorry, I love you."

Choochoo Baby is no doubt contemplating her harsh words right now...

THE END (for now).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What to do in a hurricane

Now that Irene is here, I'm making my list of what to do in a hurricane:
1. get water, flashlights, and emergency supplies ready,
2. backup all important documents (photos, etc),
3. Until the power goes out, run the A/C, dryer, oven, and all the lights ... that isn't a strict rule but we gotta do laundry and store up some edibles, after all!
4. and most importantly, update the blog!

So things are definitely interesting here in Maryland. We were struck by a historic earthquake earlier this week, and nary the damages have been noted that we now have a hurricane bearing down on us. At least now it looks like Irene will be much meeker in D.C. than in other places (New York, Philadelphia, etc) and also as she moves up the coast there's not much fury left in poor Irene. Still, there's only so much shaking of the windows that ones nerves can take from the 9th floor of a building not accustomed to the full brunt of nature's forces.

So, Zoë is doing fine, although definitely at her wits end being holed up with no way to release her energy. With a toddler's many moods, it is not the hurricane that I fear most. As you see here in this picture, Zoë, herself, is a force with which to be reckoned. But she's doing pretty well under the circumstances. She and her father have made the daring journey downstairs (did I mention that we live on the 9th floor of a building with an electric elevator, which is slated to shut down immediately upon power outages?) to kick around a ball and hopefully run all the sillies out.

She says the most awesome things these days ... like: "First of all, we need to get cupcakes, then we go to the choo choo mall, then we get my ears pierced." Not all her wishes were granted (despite being impressed by her articulation), but she wants her ears pierced to be more like Mommy and Didun, who was visiting past few weeks along with Dadu. You can see that Didun sort of rubbed off on Zoë ... and so did Dadu! But then again... "Dadu's a boy! Zoë's a girl", so the ear-piercing desire still remains. Stay tuned...

Also, it turns out that Zoë is a super hero -- did you know that
? So no need to worry about Hurricane Irene! Perhaps this video will convince you that we will be fine. (Ninamashi, this one's for you, especially!)

From july-august2011
In case you find yourselves worrying about us, may we offer some pictures and videos to watch instead? Look at how much fun we have been having -- peach picking, train riding, ... and generally (witnessing Zoë) growing up! Here's a slideshow of our recent fun (those documented by a photo -- there are some videos too -- you might have to click on the link to access those).

Saturday, July 30, 2011

What is going on??? OR -- Summer 2011, part 1

So it has been just too long. So long that I freeze up thinking about how I can possibly update the blog properly to reflect months of excitement, glorious changes and growth. Since the last entry there has been: trips to Europe, New York, ... Since the number of stories rival the current national debt (trillions, that is, if anyone is counting...yes, that is what has us all holding our breaths here), I decided to give up and just offer a smattering of random tales (possibly not chronological, or any type of logical, for that matter). Also, beware, this entry may be long or broken into several entries. Here goes:

1. Europe, overnight train from Munich to Paris.It was 10:30 p.m. and we boarded the overnight train, expecting that Zoe will nod off very soon. We apparently violated the number 1 rule of traveling with a toddler -- NEVER expect anything. Not only was she not sleepy, being on the train made her more excited than anything else, she was bouncing off the walls. This was particularly tricky because everyone else had turned off their lights and were ready to sleep. The elderly Frenchman in the lower bunk was already a little annoyed by our very existence since it interfered with his perfect bedtime ritual (perhaps he offers an excellent example of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD?). Every time someone walked by him, he had to readjust the sheets and blankets just so. With his headphones and eye mask, Zoe's chatter and giggling did not sit well with him, to put it mildly. I figured that in the dark, bored, Zoe will eventually go to sleep if we just try. After laying with Zoe on the 18 inch berth, fearful of moving lest we fall off, Zoe decided that sleep was not for her. But she tried to help the situation by singing everyone else to sleep... she cycled through all of her favorites ("Farmer in the Dell", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Old MacDonald"...) and then sat up. Apparently Mom was being just too uptight with her "Shhhhh-ing" and needed some "pat-patting" (this is where she slaps my back with all the force that she can muster up in her tiny body and sings in her clearest, loudest voice "Jesus loves you evermore"). I had to inwardly smile a little, because the older man's grumbling seemed to tone down at the mention of Jesus. Anyway, after many rounds of this song, Matt took Zoe out to the "luggage room" to bounce off the (padded by bags) walls there, where I joined after the nearly involuntary Franco-grumbles unnerved me sufficiently, and we discussed politics and love with some nice, beer-chugging, German youth. The adventures continued in our cabin when the girl on the upper berth made trouble by getting sick, causing more grumbling from our friendly neighbor. But eventually we all managed a few hours of rest, without falling off the berths. (p.s. how weird-- in the morning, we learned that the upper berth travelers were family of, well..., an ASTROPHYSICIST! They left Dad/Hubby behind to do science while touring Europe on their own. It's a small world.)
2. Street performers. Ever since being put in a certain *ahem* awkward situation in New York, Matthew has developed a fear of street performers. Unfortunately for him, Zoe finds them quite inspiring. Late in the evening (well past Zoe's bedtime), the sun had barely set in Paris and we were out roaming the streets with Ben on our last night in this wonderful city. We were in front of the Notre Dame when we saw some "popping" (the break-dancing type art where movements are really sharp and jerky, kind of like Robots... pretty cool, actually). Zoe tried some of that too. Then "Popping" was replaced by "Fire-juggling" and Zoe did the less dangerous version of this too. I think the poor street artists lost some audience to her, as she did her best to mimic them (we did not solicit funding for our talents, however, since we were leaving Europe and had little use for Euros at this point... just kidding. )! Here are a few videos.
From europe2011

From europe2011

3. Prayer out of school. For whatever reason, Zoe has always been rather in tune with some form of spirituality or other. Starting with her fancy for Buddha, to singing "Jesus loves you evermore" when singing her dolls to sleep... Since our vacations, Zoe has realized that she likes to have "Mommy-Daddy-Zozo" days all the time -- cries of "I don't want Daddy to go to work", "I want Mommy to be with Zoe", ... and "I don't want to go to school"... have replaced her enthusiasm in the mornings for getting ready for school. We talk about her friends and discuss all the things that she loves about school -- circle time, art, water play, Ms. Namalie, ... Naynay (Nathan), Omeed, Rahrah (Ryanne)... we talk about how Mommy and Daddy will both pick her up later (soon!) and we can go to the park and have special Mommy-Daddy-Zozo time then, we plan to look for and count the "Daddy" buses and school buses on the way to school... eventually we manage to get out of the door and repeat again once buckling into the carseat. The other day it was pretty silent all the way to school -- we did not encounter any school or Daddy buses that day. When I went to the back to unbuckle her at school, I found her eyes closed and her hands together, the lips softly mumbling.

"Zoe, what are you doing?"
"I'm praying."
"For what? Can you tell me?"
"So we can have Mommy-Daddy-Zozo day and no school."

It kinda broke my heart to send her to school that day.
I hope to recount some other favorite stories again soon. To hold you over, here are our pictures from Europe. (It began with an Xray Astronomy conference in Berlin for me alone; then we met in Vienna and spent a few days with Rinka; finally we had a family trip to Paris, where we met up with Ben, Michel, Frederique and Chloe.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Class is in session

We had a wonderful day today. After school, we went to cupcakes and then used my long-awaiting Living Social coupon for sushi at Sushiko. Zoë was covered in rice attempting to use her special kid-friendly chopsticks. It was really fun to watch her manipulating the chopsticks and stabbing at the rice (Boo hoo-- I forgot my camera today and can only describe in words this scenario! It was picture/video worthy). Then, we went grocery shopping at Whole Foods, which was nicely empty and gave Zoë the chance to run around as she and Daddy ran around finding things on the list. The best part was checking out -- Zoë was too excited when the checkout lights would blink to signal an open register. She was almost uncontainable as she got super-excited and yelled "Mommy Mommy -- blinking! Get ready, Everyone! Get READY!"

But this entry is really about this: Zoë loves school. So much that she doesn't get enough at school. When she comes home, she plays "teacher". I remember doing this too and since I tired of being bossed around by my favorite toddler teacher, I borrowed from my childhood ideas-- setting up her stuffed animals to be her class. She really like that. And is it any wonder that she's a natural teacher? After all, teaching is in her blood (both grandmothers, and aunt!) The funniest part is that she mimics her teacher's mannerisms. She regularly puts us on "time-out" these days. And poor Lamb! She was scolded for falling asleep during class!

Here are some videos of her class (don't you just dig the necklace??? She MADE it. :) ):

Also, another video of "cooking"-- apparently, Zoë's imagination is really exploding these days.

Finally, it seems worth mentioning... today marks a historic day: Osama bin Laden was killed last night and there was much rejoicing. But... as much as I understand the sentiment and appreciate the momentousness and significance of this event, I can't help but wonder... How does this evil man's death bring any peace to us? Don't we become morally corrupt by rejoicing in his death? As much as I want to rejoice in solidarity and unity with the rest of the world, I can't help but feel that hate should not unify us or we are no better than the terrorists. Apparently, I am not alone in this quandary. Anyway, I leave you with these thoughts:

“Where is the justice of political power if it executes the murderer and jails the plunderer, and then itself marches upon neighboring lands, killing thousands and pillaging the very hills?” -- Khalil Gibran

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Little Ballerina

Zoë is taking ballet classes. Okay, it is really interpretative-dance-with-your-adult class, complete with story reading, costumes and musical instruments and some demonstration of "plié" or "jeté"-- perfect for a toddler. As much as I love that my girl likes planes, trains, balls, science ("boy" things) too, I am really loving that the class has some girly magic too: "fairy dust", glitter, and lots of imagination-- poor boys! They also should have some of this, no? And plenty of brothers look into the class looking a little sad and left out. Several months ago I read this mother's blog and it really touched me. I hope that more parents feel this way about their children -- boys or girls. But I digress...

Zoë absolutely LOVES ballet. And in her leotard and tutu, even she can't resist "chassé"-ing away from the route to stare at herself in the mirror: "Mama, that's Zoë!" she says proudly. Then, her Didun sent her a multicolor tutu and I might never get this off her! She poses here with her bunny ears (made in school): our little Easter Ballerina. Poor thing, there will be no ballet this Sunday and she's already asking ... I guess we'll have to hide more eggs to keep her mind off ballet. Here are some more pictures from our adventures of late.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Buddha continued...

This evening, Zoë requested her father to read to her from a Buddhism book and then she took our Buddha statue and tucked it in for sleep (on the couch, where it almost got sat upon by some less enlightened soul). Then Zoë said "Daddy, let's see Buddha on the computer!", followed by ecstatic jumping and clapping. So the two of them researched and analyzed Buddha images from around the world. We then meditated as a family, after spending some time turning off ALL the lights (even those that were in other rooms, as commanded). During her mediation, Zoë had an epiphany and said "I am Buddha too." (I kid you not. So far I have not made any of this up... ) Matt and I exchanged impressed looks and several chuckles. Then we put on pajamas and headed for sleepytime in our blissful and peaceful states, but... apparently our Little Enlightened One is very particular about socks, because in the end we had a complete meltdown over them -- to be honest, I don't know what part was so contentious: the color, who put them on, the mere suggestion of cold feet? In the words of Buddha:
I teach one thing and one only:
that is, suffering and the end of suffering.

Looks like we are still learning.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Big phrases from a little person

Zoë proudly shows us her new creation: a Duplo bus.

"I made it!" and then ... "Oh my goodness!"

Well that phrase isn't too common in our family, so I ask (impressed): "Wow, Zoë, who says that? "

Zoë: "Zoë says it. "

Ah, yes well, naturally...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring! (sort of)

So the weather hasn't completely committed to Spring... one day is 30 degrees and snowing and hailing and the next is sunny and in the 70s. The weather in these transition days is almost as erratic as the moods of a toddler. And similarly, perhaps, just as beautiful when the blossoms finally emerge. It's amazing that the poor cherry blossoms survived the recent meteorological whims -- suddenly blooming, then stopping abruptly during the freeze, and shedding with hail and wind... but somehow reaching peak and looking gorgeous.

Zoë's moods have gotten much better after the last few weeks -- she has finally stopped crying when I drop her off at school and speaking of blossoming, her vocabulary has suddenly exploded! What is particularly fun to watch is that they aren't just practice words anymore, she is learning the subtleties of language and using the correct words with actions. For example, yesterday she said: "Daddy, calm down! Baby is sleeping." (because, ahem, Daddy and Mommy were having a loud discussion and Zoe was putting her Pinky baby down for a nap). She's been saying "Mommy, I like this!" when she enjoys some food, activity or book we are reading. She likes to make up her version of songs "I like books, there's no doubt about it!" (that's my favorite!) Everyday, it seems that she has an opinion about something around her and she now has the words to voice that, and that's exciting to her and us! We are also getting better at knowing the triggers for her sudden "thunder storms" (hunger! sleepiness... lack of attention, etc.) and being healthy does make the crazy less frequent. Thank goodness.

Anyway, we went around the neighborhood today (who knew we live in a secret wonderland spot for the D.C. cherry blossoms???) In fact, this was the closest park to us and is often completely quiet. Not today! It was like a parade of children, lemonade stands, bake sales, tourists, families, cameras and their owners... Even Matt(!) and I could not resist taking several photos... check them out here:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dealing with a sick toddler...

... is like hostage negotiation (or so I imagine).

Loud crying... "I WANT SGHSKGOWG"

"Zoë, when you cry like that I can't tell what you want. I need you to stop crying and clearly state your demands."

"NOoooooooo... " Escalating volume of crying.

"I am leaving the room until you stop crying. I will not negotiate with a loud cry baby. We will talk when you calm down." (Help! I need reinforcements.)

"BAHHhhhhhh... I WANT lsbjsdgbksgbslkgjb, MOMMY, NOWWWWWW"

"What? You want juice? Until you stop screaming and step away from the mirror, I can't talk with you."

"NOOOOOOOO." Wild thrashing and dangerous, erratic movements. Keep head down, go for the tackle. Deposit screaming two-year old in safe crib. Run.

So went the afternoon. Finally, I got her settled and down for her nap. We call that a win-win situation. Now I need a nap.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

an Acorn.

Rather than apologizing for the long gap, I will try to share a sampling of evidence that Zoë has grown in the meantime ... One big update is that she is now an Acorn. She has been promoted from "Dragonfly" to "Acorn" and managed to adjust to the new class, teachers, and buddies. She is a TWO-YEAR OLD! No longer a baby... and yet, always my baby :)

Here are some vignettes highlighting other gems of Zoë's "growth":
  • "I want Buddha": This may be an old story, but worth documenting in her blog. At the young age of 20 months, she has shown an uncanny affinity to Buddha. I was away at the Swift proposal review, when Matt took her to a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner and she pointed to the statue in the corner and clearly showed interest and said "Buddha". This was interesting, since her only other introduction was 4 months prior at an Indian restaurant where a huge, wall-sized gold Buddha apparently made quite an impression on her. But after coming home, Matt gave Zoë a tour of Buddhism (courtesy of Wikipedia). They also (re-)discovered our Buddha on a bookshelf. At this time, Zoë had only recently shown minimal interest in dolls and stuffed toys, but this Buddha became her security object. Especially during meals, she wanted Buddha close by. (Keep in mind, our Buddha statuette is made of heavy rock and almost acts like a paperweight... it isn't cuddly nor easy to manipulate.) One day, Zoë and Matt were on the way to the store, but Zoë adamantly refused to go because "I want Buddha. I WANT BUDDHA!!!" This sparked a long religious lesson about how Buddhism is about suffering and about detachment and if she were a real Buddhist she would carry Buddha in her heart and this statue is only an illusion, etc. etc. etc... Zoë listened respectfully. But... "I WANT BUDDHA!" (Update: in the following several months, she has made significant headway into embracing the purer Buddhism philosophy and has practiced detachment with the "Buddha" statue more and more.)
  • "A Dose of Sympathy": In the mornings, while combing her hair and getting her ready, Zoë and I play the game of "Faces" -- "show me a happy face... now, Zoë's sad... " etc. Mainly this is to entertain her while I get her ready... but this day in January, Mommy bumped her head and I pretended that I really got very hurt and I pretended to cry and cry and cry. For a while Zoë seemed to think it was funny, but when I didn't stop she looked very shocked and horrified. Then all of a sudden, she began to cry. I think she was so forlorn to see Mommy in such a state that she felt helpless and maybe even empathetic. I told her that a hug and some gentle patting would make me feel better and we soothed each other -- me for my head "boo-boo" and her for her sympathetic nerve "boo-boo". Then we played.
  • "Curiosity never potty-trained the cat (or the girl, for that matter)": In the last few weeks, Zoë has shown more and more curiosity in the potty. She seems to have a "love-hate" relationship with it (also the vacuum -- she runs away and hides when we vacuum, but always wants us to vacuum ... we will call this curiosity). She has coined several unique phrases, encapsulating her love for the potty, like "Giggle giggle POT-ttteeee" (you have to say it just right, or she will correct you!) or "Pretty pretty POOP!" She likes to walk around the toilet and investigate it, to see if it bites. It doesn't. We got her a "Zoë" potty and it was like Christmas, again! She was so excited to open it and set it up, but ... screamed bloody murder when we suggested that she sit on it. She does like to have Pinky Baby sit there all day. It's been a few weeks and we are getting used to it for now... reading Potty books and toilet training her doll (except more recently, Zoë put a diaper on Pinky Baby).
  • "Happy to you!": We had a birthday party for Zoë the weekend before her birthday. There were 10 kids (!) and their parents(!!) and we all survived. There were balloons, balls, bubbles, bubble wrap (we only play with things starting with "B". Just kidding...), also stickers and pasta necklaces, and ... food! CUPCAKES, naturally. Payesh, very important. And snacks and pasta salad, and ... good times were had by all. Instead of presents, we asked people to donate to a Children's Homelessness organization (Project Night Night), and this idea was very appreciated and we got very nice cards! We bought Zoë a nice train tent (pictures forthcoming!) where she likes to play hide and seek, and especially climb around in with her friend Mary, who also lives in our building and is the same age. Here are some pictures and a video from the celebrations (that's right-- plural! We also had our small family party).

    Also noteworthy... on Zoë's birthday, a sneaky fox (we hear his name's "Swiper" and he makes mischief on Dora the Explorer) stole all of Zoë's bottles ("Oh No!") and so we can only do sippy cups and regular cups now. Swiper is a known bottle thief in our building, Mary also suffers from his acts.
  • "A sense of immediacy": In case anyone was unsure about the cleverness of our girl, we have proof. For awhile, Zoë would ask for something and we would say "ok", hoping she would forget, and then when she became more insistent we would modify her request to satisfy our time constraints, like: "Yes, yes... Of course, you can eat chocolate. Tomorrow." So she adapted. She learned the word... "NOW". "I want chocolate NOW!" So now, we are working on understanding the meaning of "No" and "wait".
  • "Is she at the stage where she throws tantrums in public places? Yet?": We have had one such incident and ... I'm too traumatized to write about it. But this was the question that someone asked me awhile ago. I thought it was funny then. Now I think it is mean. (The nice gentleman had two sons -- 12 and 10, so I guess his wounds have not healed. Yet.)
  • "Mommy's Competent" and other verbal gems: We are in the stage where Zoë throws out what she hears. (BEWARE!) On this one occasion, we were reading her report card and we were telling her that we were proud that the school found that she was competent in her growth milestones. Then Daddy said "You will have lots of report cards. Why, even Daddy got a report card from work - Zoë's competent and Daddy's competent". Zoë counters with "No. Mommy's competent." Well, my job's done. Whew. :)
  • More pictures: Fall in Shenandoah

    Christmas (Caveat Emptor: I did not take many pictures on our trip to CA, so please donate to this album!)

    Thunder Snow event

    Random Winter photos...

  • Videos! :

    Food critic-in-training

    Video within a video