Archive for June, 2008

Two little piggies

June 24, 2008

One of the things I love most about Emmy is her hair. I think it would be fair to say that I’m jealous of her natural curl! It’s been fun to see it grow and get longer and I while I wish that she didn’t pull her ponytails and bows out all the time (I think we’ve lost 5 bows in the last couple of weeks), her “styles” (as Ryan calls them) are awfully cute while they last. Today was the first time I tried pulling all of her hair into two little pigtails….isn’t she lucky that they curl out like that all on their own?  I’ll be taking bets on how long they last….the front of her hair wasn’t quite long enough to pull all the way back and it’s already starting to look a little crazy, but she hasn’t started tugging on anything else yet.  We *might* make it till lunchtime 😆


Book Review: Peace Like a River

June 23, 2008

Peace Like a River
By Leif Enger
311 pages
Finished 6/24/08


Leif Enger’s best-selling debut is at once a heroic quest, a tragedy, and a love story, in which “what could be unbelievable becomes extraordinary” (Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald). Enger brings us eleven-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy in the Midwest who has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been controversially charged with murder. Their journey unfolds like a revelation, and its conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates.

I borrowed this book, but it’s one that I can see buying and reading again and again through the years. One of my all-time favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird, and Peace Like a River held the same, warm feel for me. The relationship between Reuben and his younger sister Swede is very reminiscent of Jem and Scout. Amidst controversy and heartache, there is a very sweet story of loyalty and love, and told through the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy gives it an edearing quality that most books lack for me. I loved this one and will most certainly read it again!

2008 Page Count: 5301

Book Review: Pretties

June 23, 2008

By Scott Westerfeld
384 Pages
Finished June 2008


Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong. Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted. But beneath all the fun–the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom–is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold. Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life–because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Book Two in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, Pretties was good enough, but certainly didn’t capture my attention the same way that Uglies did. One reason that I’ve never really liked science fiction is all of the made-up language and words that are often written in. Uglies didn’t really have much of this, but it’s heavy in the first part of Pretties–I think I would have gone brain-missing if I’d had to read the word bubbly one more time. Sure, pretties need their own little sub-language….but the one they have is pretty stupid and it really started to grate on my nerves.

The storyline was so-so for me in this book. The plot was weaker this time around. And the thought of swirly tattoos on everyone’s faces made my head want to spin. On principle, I’ll finish the series. But if subsequent books aren’t better than this one, I probably won’t get much enjoyment out of it.

2008 Page Count:  4990

Book Review: Charms for the Easy Life

June 23, 2008

Charms for the Easy Life
By Kaye Gibbons
254 pages
Finished June 2008



A family without men,the Birches live gloriously offbeat lives in the lush, green backwoods of North Carolina. Radiant, headstrong Sophia and her shy, brilliant daughter, Margaret, possess powerful charms to ward off loneliness, despair, and the human misery that often beats a path to their door. And they are protected by the eccentric wisdom and muscular love of the remarkable matriarch Charlie Kate, a solid, uncompromising, self-taught healer who treats everything from boils to broken bones to broken hearts.

Sophia, Margaret, and Charlie Kate find strength in a time when women almost always depended on men, and their bond deepens as each one experiences love and loss during World War II. Charms for the Easy Life is a passionate, luminous, and exhilarating story about embracing what life has to offer…even if it means finding it in unconventional ways.

After all the young adult fiction I was reading, Charms for the Easy Life was like a breath of fresh air for me. It was nice to read a story that didn’t thrive on teenage drama to keep the plot afloat. It read more like a memoir than a novel for me, and I kept having to remind myself that it was a work of fiction. As I neared the end, I knew that parts of the story that I thirsted to read more about would come to unfinished conclusions, but the author did a great job of putting them to rest in such a way that I felt content. I enjoyed the author’s style of writing and will have to check out more of her work!

2008 Page Count: 4606

Owen’s Improvements

June 23, 2008

Owen had his follow-up weight check with his pediatrician on Friday. He’s been a totally different kid since starting the high calorie/high protein diet and the doctor kept commenting on how great it is that he’s made such big strides in just 3 weeks. He had gained almost a pound, bringing him up from the 3rd %tile to the 6th %tile….still down from where he was at 12 months, but heading up, which is the direction we want to go. He’s overall more pleasant, he’s interacting a TON more, and he has even started taking some steps! He’s VERY persistent and jumps right back up every time he falls to try again. He still struggles with eating…he’s quite picky (wonder where he gets that from?) and often refuses to eat. Textures also seem to bother him. But, he LOVES his Carnation Instant Breakfast, so I guess we can attribute a good chunk of his weight gain to that. We have an appointment with Early Intervention the first week of July….the doctor still has some mild concerns about his gross motor skills (though the strides he’s made recently are a great sign that they were mostly due to his weight loss) and he doesn’t seem to be making much progress in the communication department. We can also address some of the texture and behavior issues he’s having with eating.

Overall, we were happy with the appointment. It was good to hear the doctor so excited about his improvements. We don’t need to go back until 18 months for his regular well-child checkup!

Rolls and Pigs

June 22, 2008

“Get the hot dogs. Get the little pizzas. Roll them up and you make rolls and pigs!”

When Joseph asked Ryan what was for dinner tonight, he said rolls and pigs. Not sure what he was talking about, we asked him how to make them. After his marvelous description, we realized he was talking about pigs in a blanket, which I’ve only made once, quite some time ago. We had to laugh that he called the rolls “little pizzas” because I used the same rolls for pigs in a blanket that we usually make our little individual pizzas with.

Unfortunately, rolls and pigs were not the plan for dinner tonight, but we are definately having them for lunch tomorrow….with tomato soup. What a random boy we have!

Weekend Fun

June 15, 2008

We’ve been really happy throughout the house project to have had very few hangups or problems arise.  Aside from the slowness of things getting done due to time constraints, nearly everything we’ve done has been problem-free….until this weekend.  We got the railing put up on Friday, and the babies were LOVING the fact that the gates were gone and they were free to roam.  All day long I kept looking at the balusters, just thinking that something about them wasn’t right.  By evening, I started looking up pictures online to see if the way they looked was the way they were supposed to look, and we discovered that they had been installed upside down 😆 . It should only take a little extra time to get it put back together, but it was an unexpected (and somewhat comical, unless you were an exhausted Joseph realizing that you’ve got more work to do) bump in the road!

We spent Saturday at Lagoon for Joseph’s company party. Most of his sisters and their families came as well, along with Grandma & Grandpa Z. The kids had a lot of fun (most of them anyway….poor Brooke had a rough day) and we lasted until the power went out around 3:00. It worked out well for us because we were able to let the kids come home and have a nap, have dinner, and then go back later. We were intereviewed by channel two about the outage, but we were pretty lame on camera, so we missed out on an opportunity for fame on the local news that night. The highlight of our day was winning a camera in the raffle the company held before lunch! We hadn’t taken a camera that day (I love my Canon, but it’s not always practical to drag it around) so we were excited! It’s nice and little, making it perfect for things like trips to Lagoon, which we’ll be taking often. We opted to buy season passes with some of our friends this year, and we had so much fun that we’re really glad that we did. When we took Ryan two years ago, he was pretty afraid to get on most of the rides….this year, he couldn’t get enough of them! We went back with the Hoyts last night and stayed waaaay too late….Ryan, who NEVER sleeps in, had to be awakened by me to get ready for church. His response? “Mom, will you cover me up and go away?” If only he’d do that on a day when I can actually sleep in…

We didn’t get too many pictures yesterday because the camera battery didn’t have a ton of charge in it, but here are a few!


For you, Mom

June 9, 2008

We’ve been REALLY busy around here for the last week or so! It seems that every time I talk to my mom on the phone, I’m able to tell her about something new that we’ve finished on the house, and she’s always reminding me to post pictures. I’ve not had time to even take the pictures off the camera until today (and I could be interrupted at any moment with babies waking from naps), but here are a few pictures of recent developments at the Z house!

Last week, we decided we’d buzz the boys’ hair for the summer. I’m not necessarily crazy about the look of buzz cuts, but I am crazy about the ease of buzz cuts. And anything that will make getting out the door on Sunday mornings easier is worth dealing with for a whole summer. The problem is, Joseph cut them MUCH shorter than I had anticipated and we now have two little boys who appear to have just finished a round of chemotherapy. Oh well….hair grows. I suppose I can’t fault Joseph….hair this short comes natural to him 😆

The big news at our house is that the ceilings have been textured and painted, the fireplace has been stained (that was a huge headache….stain isn’t easy to choose and it took a couple of tries to get it how it is now, which I don’t LOVE, but can live with), and the hardwood floor is in!! We’re down to finish work, which is usually the point where you poop out and things go unfinished forever. Thankfully, I’m not sick to death of my paintbrush and I’ve still got the energy to boss Joseph around to get it all done! Hopefully within the next couple of weeks we’ll be completely done. Here are a few pics of the progress! All of my before pictures are on the other computer, so you’ll have to wait for the comparison until we get that hooked back up.


June 4, 2008

I’m not very good at writing down the cute and funny things that Ryan says, and there are many! My grandma wrote down lots of the things we said as kids and they are so fun to read now, so I’m going to make a better effort to keep track of things. These are all from today…

Out of the blue, and in a very serious tone, Ryan said to me today “Mommy, when I’m done growing up, can I be little again?”

It’s been raining today, and Ryan declared this morning that the sun was taking a break. After a long, boring day inside he said “When the sun’s done taking a break, we can go out and play?”

While doing our Scripture Picture, Ryan was looking at all of the destruction that came upon the Nephites and Lamanites before Christ came to visit. He noticed all of the sad people and we asked if he would be sad if our house was was destroyed like the things in the picture. He thought for just a second and said “But Daddy, you would fix our house. You could fix it with your tools”.

June 15, 2008:
It’s Father’s Day today and we asked Ryan if he could name all the fathers in our family….who is daddy’s father, who is mommy’s father, etc. When we asked him who his father was, he thought for a moment and said “Uncle Nick” 😆 . We’ll have him on a plane tomorrow and at your doorstop by evening Uncle Nick…enjoy fatherhood!

June 16, 2008:

Ryan woke up early this morning with a little bit of a bloody nose.  Joseph was just getting up to get ready for work, so he checked in on him.  He asked if Ryan wanted to climb in bed with me, and Ryan informed him that he couldn’t because the sky was still blue dark and he wasn’t aloud to come into mommy’s bed until it was light.

Ryan was hastily climing out of the tub tonight and slipped and hit his head on the edge of the tub.  It immediately turned into a bruise.  During his nightly prayer, he prayed that his “blue hurt” would feel better.

August 19, 2008

Ryan was playing downstairs and came up to tell me that he’d found a spider. He asked if I wanted to help him catch it, and I politely said no. He ran off and a few minutes later he came back to tell me that he had tried to catch the spider:

R–“Mommy, I tried to catch the spider, but it didn’t go so well”
M–“It didn’t? What happened?”
R–“Well, I tried to catch the spider, but he crawled up the water spout. Then, down came the rain and washed the spider out”

September 2008

The boys were in the kitchen and Owen started to push Ryan. Ryan nicely said “Owen, we don’t push”, to which Owen responded with a bigger push. He then latched on to Ryan’s shirt….he’s got a really good grip and Ryan was having a hard time getting him to let go. Finally Ryan gave an exasperated sigh and said “I don’t have time for you Owen!”.

September 20, 2008

We had been out running errands all morning and missed our usual lunch time. After arriving home, we started on lunch. I was starving and was being impatient waiting for my hamburger on the grill. I vocalized my impatience, to which Ryan replied:

R: “Mommy, are you whining?”
M: “Yes, I guess I am.”
R: “Didn’t Daddy tell you about whining?”
M: “No, he didn’t. Daddy, tell me about whining.”
D: “Nobody likes it when you whine.”
R: “Yeah Mommy, we don’t like you when you whine. Can you try again in a normal voice?”

September 22, 2008

We aren’t fans of Walmart, but once in a while (like once–maybe twice–a year) we find ourselves there for one reason or another. Tonight, I needed to pick up a few things, and it was the closest store on the way home. Joseph dropped me off at the entrance and I ran in for my two items. When I got back in the car, Joseph informed me that he and Ryan had had the following conversation (not verbatim, but as close as I could remember):

R: “Daddy, is this store stinky?”
D: “Yep, it’s a stinky store”
R: “Are the people in there stinky?”
D: “I guess so”
R: “The kids too?”
D: “Sure”
R: “Daddy, I’m not stinky because I wiped”

From this I can deduct that we’ve done two things right in our parenting–at the tender age of 4 years, Ryan knows that Walmart is evil and he’s also smart enough to wipe when he goes to the bathroom. Doesn’t get much better than that!

October 5, 2008

Ryan was singing “The Corndog Song” but instead of saying “corndog” he was saying “mommy”…

R: “Mommy, mommy, you are so good to me. Mommy, mommy, you are so good to me. Good when you’re hot, good when you’re cold–”
“Mommy, are you good?
M: “Sure”
R: “Mommy, you’re HOT!”
M: “Wow, thanks Ryan! Will you say that on camera?”
R: “No. You’re really a hot dog.”
M: “Gee….thanks.”

October 6, 2008

Ryan has been into using big words lately. Last night, when Aunt Carla left, he shouted out the door “Thanks for coming! It’s been excellent!”. This morning, when he took the lid off of a container by himself he exclaimed “I got it off all by myself! That was fantastic!”.

October 31, 2008

In spite of his excitemet to trick-or-treat on Halloween, Ryan’s stamina was short-lived, and he told Joseph that he was ready to go home. Joseph reminded him that he was with friends, and he needed to wait until everyone was ready to leave. At the next house, Ryan put on his official announcer’s voice:


December 4, 2008

Our family enjoyed an evening on The Polar Express and Ryan was very excited. We had our hot chocolate and cookies, heard elf jokes, and read the story of The Polar Express. Just as the book was finished, we came upon the red lights of the North Pole. The kids pressed their faces up against the window, brimming with excitment over seeing Santa. A few seconds later, one of Santa’s reindeer wranglers stopped at our seat and asked if the kids saw Santa. Ryan exclaimed “Yes, and my blankie is SO excited!!”

December 8, 2008

After loading everyone up in the car to head to preschool, Ryan took notice of Owen’s new shoes.
“Mom, Owen’s wearing his space ship shoes! Is he going to blast off?”

December 30, 2008

Ryan is a talker. He can talk your ear off. We were downstairs cleaning out old toys to make room for the things we got for Christmas, and he was talking non-stop. After about a 1/2 hour, I finally said “Ryan, do you ever stop talking?”. He gave me a look like that was the dumbest question in the world and said “Yes, I do”. “When?” I replied. “Well, at night, when I go to sleep”.

December 31, 2008

Yesterday Ryan said to me “Two loves for a kiss” and leaned over, gave me two hugs, and a kiss on the cheek. I thought it was so cute and asked him where he learned it. “Shrek”, he said, “the one with the dragon”. Later, after Joseph had come home, I told Ryan to show Daddy what he learned from Shrek. Once again he said “two loves for a kiss”, and gave Daddy two hugs and a kiss on the cheek. Neither Joseph nor I remembered that part of Shrek, so after Ryan was in bed we hopped online to search for the quote….we didn’t run across anything. This morning while Ryan was snuggling with me in bed I asked him for two loves for a kiss, and he went through the little ritual. It suddenly dawned on me where he had picked it up. The line he was quoting was not “two loves for a kiss” but “true love’s first kiss”. I like Ryan’s version better. I think we’ll keep it around.

January 4, 2009

Owen was playing with Emmy’s dolly, lovingly giving it a bottle. When Emmy saw, she became very upset. I explained to her that Owen was taking a turn and learning to be gentle. About 3 seconds later, we looked down to see Owen banging the doll’s head on the kitchen floor and then jump up and try to ride it like a horse. I guess gentle is a lesson for another day…