The Life and Times of Monkey, Buster, and Yessa

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Cleaning Zoe’s House… August 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 4:17 pm

Here are stories from the journal I used to keep for Zoe stories, before I began this blog.  They are random, lovely memories of great things she said and did.

Zoe lost tooth #3 this afternoon.  It’s the top left side.  It had been hanging on by just a nub for a week or more, and a huge gap
had developed, and then finally, “I heard a pop, and I felt something in my mouth.  I spit it out, and it was my tooth.”  Very


Happy New Year, sweet girl.  You’ve now lost 2 teeth, the two front bottom ones.  Another one has been loose for awhile, but nothing imminent.
You continue to amaze and fascinate Dad and me.  For example a recent funny Zoe story:
Buds, Noa, and I are upstairs.  We hear Zachary start to cry in the living room.  It’s
his “someone has hurt my feelings and I’m mad” cry.

Zoe comes walking up the stairs.

She says to us, “I asked Zachary in a nice way to stop doing something, but he wouldn’t, so we had to do things the hard way.”

Then she says, and I am NOT making this up, “His actions dictated the response.”  (That might not be exactly the wording, but
it was something very close to that, Buds and I both agree.)

Chris said to her, “Zoe, you sound more like Mom than Mom does.”

These are the kinds of Zoe stories we love.  You continue to be such a funny mix of funny, loving, and cranky.  You are a night owl, staying up until 9:30 or later, but generally
once you are settled into bed, you fall asleep in 10-15 minutes.  You love playing with legos, your pop beads you got for Christmas from Uncle Tony and Aunt Liz, and lovely
flowing dresses.  You love dressing up as a princess.  Alex is still your bestest buddy in the world, and you also enjoy playing with Lucia, our neighbor.  You are comfortable
having a conversation with an adult as well as a child.  You love singing.  You are in the K-1 singers at church and we sing at the nursing home every other week.
You love being read to and we are enjoying playing games more and more.  You also love watching Duck Tales on youtube right now.
You are funny cranky when you wake up in the morning, but one of the many wonderful things about you is that you can be teased out of most any bad mood.  You are also
so logical and rational about so many things.  When I’m cranky or don’t want to do something you’d like, you often can help find a resolution that works for both of us.  You
are in that funny phase where you still want to be carried and snuggled and loved like a little girl, but you feel and act like a big girl in so many ways.
You and Zachary play, play, play together so wonderfully.  And you are really superb with Noa as well.  I just love you so much, Red Girl.

First tooth gone!  Zoe lost her first tooth on 5/26/08.  We were in Vermont for the weekend, and she said her tooth hurt.  When we checked it, yup, it was loose.  On the drive home, she was eating some honey nut cheerios, and out it popped.  She was tickled, and I was a little stunned.  It seems so early to be losing a tooth.  Mary said that when their kids were little, their dentist told her that when a child loses her first tooth, that means they are ready to start reading.  I thought that was a very interesting concept.

So, it’s been a month since the tooth dropped out, and the new tooth is starting to pop out.  It doesn’t look like it is going to have a lot of room to fit, but we’ll see how it goes.  She hasn’t said anything about any others feeling loose, but we’re headed to VT again this weekend, so we’ll see.


I can’t believe it has been this long since I wrote in your journal.  You say wonderful, sweet, intelligent things all the time.  I’m sorry I haven’t been more consistent about getting them in here.  Lately you
have been so in love with giving and receiving hugs.  It’s really so wonderful.  And it isn’t just hugs from Dad and me, you give and get them from Zachary and Noa, too.

Zoe, I often feel like I am crabby with you.  You, who are so sweet and funny and smart.  Please know, when you read this as your older self, I try/tried so hard to not be fussy and difficult.  I love you so much, darling daughter, yet sometimes I get overwhelmed.  I wonder what you will remember of your childhood.  I hope it is laughter and joy and time spent together.  A few days ago you asked me if I found it difficult having 3 kids, or did I sometimes not like having 3 kids, or something like that.  It made me fear that I had only been showing you the tired side of my life.  I love having 3 kids, I am grateful to have 3 kids, life is busy with 3 kids.

Right now you are in gymnastics class and Crafty Fingers.  You seem to really like both of them.  It’s fun to see your sparkly eyes when you come out of gymnastics.


When I was putting Zoe to bed last night, we were all snuggled under her blankets, talking about the day.  We were talking about how much we liked having lots of heavy blankets to snuggle under and how
safe and warm that made us feel.  Zoe said, “It’s much better than just having one blanket and one pillow and having to be outside in the cold.”  We talked about being homeless for a little bit.  She said, “We are
lucky that Dad generates enough money for us.”  I agreed with her about that, and we talked about how God had blessed us with so much.  “Yes,” she said, “And he’s blessed Dad most of all because of his
job generating money for us to live on.”  I assured her that even if Dad weren’t working, I would work, so we would always have the money that we needed.  And I explained that before she was born, Dad
and I had both had jobs, but then once she came along, we decided that I would stay home to be with our children.  “So Dad wasn’t the only one to work?”  “Right,” I said.  “I used to have a job, too.”  “What
did you do?”  she asked.  “I traveled around and talked to business people about learning new things.” says I.  “They paid you to do that?” says my sweet daughter…

Zoe has spent the last several days being a dog.  A very nice dog, a dog that speaks in barks, but when that isn’t having the desired affect, a dog that can speak English.  It’s perfect.  Gotta run.  Dog needs me.

The following event took place today:  You were having a great time playing the piano.  Then you decided you wanted the piano to play some of the presets so you could dance.  After whirling around on your own
for awhile, you decided you wanted Zachary to dance with you.

“Zachary, dance with me.”
“Zachary, dance with me or I won’t give this dinosaur back.”

So you and Zachary danced and spun around the living room, spinning until you both were dizzy and laughing and giggling.  Pretty wonderful.

And you ‘ve decided that whenever one of you kids gets hurt, we need to be calling Grandma Iowa because she is a nurse.

Yesterday was your first gymnastics class and today was the first swimming lesson.  You seemed to love both.  I could see you laughing and hopping in the pool today, and you said you loved gymnastics.  You love
learning to stand on your head at home, so I’m guessing that this is a class you’ll love.

We were driving around in the van this a.m., the whole family.  Zoe and I were naming off all the places/museums we had visited in D.C since we’ve lived here.  Nat. History Museum, Capital, White House, Senate
Buildings, Washington Monument, then she said, “Don’t forget the parallelogram-shaped one.”  Ahh, the Pentagon, I had forgotten that one.  What a girl.

You spent much of today pretending to be a baby, which made us all laugh.  You were “gooing” and crawling on the floor.  You even had me put a diaper on you for a bit, but
it fell off.  It was funny when you were gooing because if I didn’t figure out what you meant pretty quickly you would say, “The baby is trying to tell you, blah, blah, blah.”  Then
you’d go back to being a baby.  So creative and funny.  I love you.

Zoe had Daisy Scouts today, which is always interesting to me to watch.  I really like all the girls in her troupe.  They are really sweet and friendly.  And the leader, Ann Marie, is wonderful.  You like to be
close to her when she’s reading, and she just thinks you are superb.  It was funny today, one of the girls, Shoshana, gave you a valentine she had made, and then you made her a little thank you card, but she
wouldn’t take it for some reason.  You came over and sat on my lap, and looked so distressed, although you didn’t cry.  I suggested you give it to her mom, Miss Kristin.  You liked that idea, and it worked out
great.  Later, when we were at home, I told you that Miss Kristin and I had been talking about all of us going into the City together, and would you like that?  You said you would, as long as Shoshana didn’t boss
you, which she sometimes did.  “So,” you said, “I think it would be good to go into the City with her, but not to have a play date.”  You are logical and able to express yourself and think through what you feel.

You also have strong feelings about bodily integrity, which I support and encourage.  For example, you don’t like to be wiped after you just tinkle.  And you like to get to choose if you don’t want to brusk your teeth.  And you like to be able to pick when and if you shower and wash your hair.  I love that strong sense of self.

Zoe got short shift last night, but not today.  Today has been a very good synopsis of Zoe.  She’s worked on the computer, watched
videos on youtube (right now she’s interested in gumby and Tom and Jerry), helped me make a pumpkin pie, eaten sweet potato with
lots of catsup, helped fold clothes (2 items), and is now playing in the basement, “cooking” with lincoln logs and making up stories
with the big Dora house she and Zachary got for Christmas.

She loves making up stories, and they are so fascinating to listen to.  Oh, and just for posterities sake, she wants to wear a dress everyday,
rain, shine, warm, cold, it doesn’t matter, she wants to wear a dress.  She doesn’t feel that pants and socks are pretty like a girl would wear.
She just asked me yesterday what a princess would wear if she went into space?  A spacesuit wouldn’t look pretty enough.

She continues to work on learning to read.  Another interesting thing to me, and another thing that makes me feel the rightness for me of unschooling is to see how much more willingly she writes now.  She didn’t want to use to color, draw, anything, now she will, of her own accord, write out letters, she loves to draw now, and wants help to write stories to go with her pictures.  It really is wonderful to see.

Buddie and I have talked about how we can see the rationality and openness of her, especially when she feels she has input and is listened to.  She is totally our child when it comes to being told what to do.  Very little interest in that.

Duh, finally figured out I should be writing this from the top down.  So, read accordingly.

Zoe continues to be amazing.

March 29, 2007

Ahh, sweet, sweet, Zoe.

Zoe has been on a “Fancy Nancy” run lately.  This child only wants to wear dresses, and she’d like to see me wearing a dress and fancy shoes every day, too. She even picked out Buddie’s work clothes for him on Monday.  She wanted him to wear a tie, but he slipped out of the house when she was distracted.  When it was still too cold to just wear a dress, we’d have her put a shirt and sweatpants on under a dress.  She would do it, but as soon as we got home, off they would all come so she was just left with the dress.  She would be so sad if she felt like she didn’t look like a princess.  She loves being a princess.  And not in a snotty way, just truly dressing up, being a princess in the regal sense of the word, living in a castle, having knights (Zachary) there to help solve problems and go on adventures.

Such a fantastic imagination this sweet child has.

I haven’t written a journal entry for Zoe for so long.  She is able to do so many amazing things.

Just this last week alone she has started wanting to wash dishes.  She and Zachary both did lots of cleaning yesterday.  Granted, the fun is in the spraying of the red or blue juice, not in the wiping up, but still.

Another fun thing this last week or two has been having tea parties.  I found the tea set that Grandma Vermont brought her from China and it has gotten lots of use.  She loves having little foods that fit on the little plates and drinking apple juice out of the little tiny cups.

I’ll wait and write about this tomorrow night, but one of the things we are so proud and impressed about with Zoe is her ability to verbalize and think through her feelings and emotions.  Tomorrow I’ll write about her being so sad and angry with me about not letting her walk to church, only to discover it wasn’t really anger and sadness about walking to church.

April 2, 2007
Today was another lovely day.  I am working very hard on being open to what comes up with the kids.  Zoe, especially, is so sensitive to tone and body language.  She has really been saying “I’m sorry” so frequently lately.  Part of that is because I get so cranky if something feels messy or sloppy to me.  I am working very hard on not being that way, and I already see her relaxing.  Today she and Zachary had a great time.  And she is such fantastic help to me.  I was focused on something on the computer and Zachary was wanting my attention and fussy.  Zoe came out from the kitchen, asked Zachary if he wanted to come and help/play with her.  They went out into the kitchen, set up about 35 cups on the floor, she crawled up on the counter to get apples and bananas and kiwi, they had a little refreshment stand they were creating.  She figured out how to squeeze the juice from lemons and tried to sqeeze kiwi and apples, in order to make kiwi lemonade for when Daddy got home.  In the process of getting the apple juice out of the fridge, it slipped out of her hands and hit her glass of “lemonade” and shot it across the room and into the wall.  She looked at me, with a concerned look on her face, and immediately said, “I’m sorry.”  I truly didn’t mind that it had happened.  We worked together to clean it up, she fell twice, walking across the wet spots on the floor, which made her laugh, and all was well.

I was suprised at the turn around in Zoe when Buds came home from work tonight.  At dinner she had such a hard time settling, was being goofy, feet on the table, bouncy.  She so much wanted her Daddy’s attention.  Once she got some truly focused time with him, she settled back down into her normal, comfortable self.  It was an interesting lesson for all of us.

This has been some good times for Zoe.  Grandma Iowa is here to visit for a good long time, so Zoe has been having slumber parties in the basement with Grandma, which she loves.  She’s also been saying “I’m sorry” less, at least I think she has.  She has such a tender, loving spirit, but also a fierce, stormy spirit.  It makes for an interesting mix.  She’s also very “emotion sensitive.”   When Uncle George called today to say he was on his way to the hospital because he still has infection from his surgery, and he started to cry, when I got off the phone, Zoe hugged me and said, “Don’t worry, Mom.  Don’t be sad, Mom.”  Very sensitive to mood.

She’s gotten a new friend, lately, Caroline from soccer.  Caroline and her mom and brother have been over for one playdate, and everyone had a good time.

Speaking of soccer, Zoe likes the concept of soccer, and she doesn’t fuss about going, but she doesn’t like playing with the big group of kids.  She doesn’t mind standing on the sides, or running around kicking the ball on her own.  She enjoys kicking it around with me or Grandma or her dad, but she just doesn’t want to be out there with the big group.  This doesn’t bother me, but her daddy worries that she needs to be more comfortable with a big group.  I figure it will just come with time, or it won’t, and either way is fine.

I just realized I haven’t written about the incident I  mentioned on March 29 about Zoe being angry with me about not letting her walk to church.  She was so angry and frustrated, and that was what she said it was about, but, once she and I were out in the lobby, just the two of us (I had been getting very frustrated, threatening voice, etc.,), and we sat down and she sat on my lap and I snuggled her and told her how much I love her, she verbalized, maybe even just realized at that point, she wasn’t sad about not getting to walk to church, she was sad because coming to church reminded her of how much she missed Grandma and going to church with Grandma.  Once we realized that and got it out in the open, all was okay.  Such an in-touch girl.

I’m watching “Aleana and Tredean” the world famous dancers as they prance, jump, and dance around on our bed.  Zoe and Zachary have found a beat they like on Mom’s keyboard which I brough home from my weekend visit there.  Now they are doing “stick dancing” which involves holding two sticks as they dance and jump around.  It really is so fantastic how much they play together.  Zachary just said, “you are princess, and I, Knight.”  “That’s right,” replied “Aleana.”

We had plans to go to the pool today, but it started to rain about an hour before we planned to leave.  I don’t know if it is still raining, but I hate to interrupt a day like this where they are playing, playing, playing.

Zoe has been changing habits a little lately.  She’ll go to bed around 8:30, and then, she’ll sleep the next morning until 7:30 or 8.  That’s much later than she used to sleep.  And she’s been waking up in a sweet mood, which is a good indicater that she’s getting enough sleep.  Often it is she and Noa still in bed, which helps that she has something with her to wake up with.


Zoe wants me to write that she also loves takes bubble baths in the kitchen sink.  Several times in the last weeks, she’ll strip herself down, fill up the sink, and crawl right in there.  Often she has washed dishes before, so her clothes are all wet.  Then she’ll sit in there and sing and tell herself stories.  She has a wonderful imagination, always coming up with new ideas.

Here’s a recent Zoe story:  I have had to give Chip 4 pills/ two times a day.  When I had been doing it, I got peanut butter all over my hands.  I would get a knife of peanut butter, sweep it off with one finger, put the pill on the peanut butter, stick that in Chip’s mouth and let him lick my finger, then another swip with the knife, I’d have to use a different finger to swipe it off so Chip slobber wasn’t getting in the p.b., and repeat all this 4 times.  Two nights ago, Zoe asked if she could be the one to give Chip his medicine.  I was very dubious.  “It’s too messy.  I don’t want you to get peanut butter all over (Even though I did.), your hands will get icky, “etc.  Still, I’m trying to live an unschooley life when I can, so I said okay.  I got a swipe of Peanut butter on a spoon for her, she carefully picked up one of the pills, swiped half of it in the peanut butter and dropped it in Chip’s food bowl where he gobbled up.  Not a smitch peanut butter on herself.  So, ever since then, I’ve been doing it the Zoe way, and staying much cleaner.  Buds and I are constantly amazed and impressed with her rational thinking, clear ability to express herself, and just how doggone smart she is.  And, what a memory.

She wants me to read to her now, so I’ll have to save the story of the caterpillar shedding later.


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