Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

ZB and I have been playing a game to help her learn the names of body parts.  I've been pointing out our mouths, noses, cheeks, eyes and hair.  This time ZB wants to name them.

ZB starts by jabbing her finger at my nose.
Me: Good girl! That IS Mommy's nose!  You are so smart!
ZB grins and claps for herself. Then she sees grabs some of my hair.
Me: That's right! Mommy has hair! You are really good at this game!
ZB laughs. She is thrilled with her own brilliance.  She watches me blink a couple of times and decides to go for the trifecta.  She points to my eye...

Well, you can't win them all, I guess.

Say Cheese!

Is anyone else shocked that we're already halfway through September?  This year is going so so fast! We're already thinking of Halloween outfits and Christmas presents and Thanksgiving travel schedules and all of that.  But before we get all hung up on that major year-endy stuff, here's more of a micro look at what we've been up to this week:

We had ZB's 18 month check-up with the doctor yesterday.  I am just shocked, SHOCKED I SAY that she's already 18 months old. That's a year and a half!  She's such a big girl now!  It just blows my mind.  

(And makes me feel old.  And like I should be sniffling over her baby booties and singing Sunrise, Sunset.)

Anyway, how it went depends on your point of view.  ZB has come to recognize it as the place where the bad people in white coats give her shots, so she screamed bloody murder whenever anyone walked into the examination room with us.  Poor Nurse Lisa has been attending her since she was 10 days old and only wanted to get her temperature (under the arm no less!), but ZB would have none of it.  The doctor even took his coat off so she wouldn't associate it with getting a shot (which she didn't even get this time), but she was not fooled.  She screamed The. Entire. Time.  The good news is that ZB is as healthy as an extremely loud screaming horse, although her weight is only at the 8th percentile (19.8lbs), so the doctor wants us back in 3 months just to check to make sure that it doesn't drop any lower.  (This has been a thing for us since she was born.  She just has a really high metabolism and has trouble adding weight no matter how much she eats).  But her height is pretty average for her age (2' 8"!), and the rest of her development is normal, so I'm not really worried.  She's just skinny like her mama was when she was her age (although sadly, not so much now).

Speaking of skinny, I ordered the cutest little toddler "belt" off of esty.  I don't know if you know about these (or if you're even in a position to care), but if you ever find that you have a need to hold little tiny pants on a little tiny body without interfering with diaper changes, may I highly recommend this: 
 It's an elastic "belt" that goes only around the back of the pants so that you don't have to mess with unbuckling it for diapers or potty training.  You snap it around the three back belt loops on the pants and you're good to go.  Since ZB has size 18 month legs and size 12 month waist, this is going to be a HUGE help in getting her pants to fit.  

In completely unrelated news that has nothing whatsoever to do with toddlers and the trials and tribulations of keeping their pants up around their little waists, I've recently discovered pic-a-pix puzzles and I'm totally addicted.  (I know, it's quite a jump.  Stay with me here).  The pic-a-pix.  Does anyone else play?  They're little logic puzzles that make pictures when you solve them.  Last night I was solving puzzles until after midnight.  Right now I'm doing the 20x20 puzzles, but I'm hoping that I can work my way up to the 100x60.  They're harder, but the pictures are better. (Like way better.  The 20x20 ones look like the pixilated mess you saw on the original Nintendo games.  You know, the ones where you were the colorful boxy blob trying to defeat the other colorful boxy blob while it hurled colorful boxy blobs at you?  It's a lot like that.  But still fun). If you haven't played, I totally recommend.  

In another completely unrelated stream-of-consciousness jump, I'm cooking a new slow cooker recipe tonight.  It's called pernil pork and it's supposed to be a Puerto Rican dish.  I can't tell you how it tastes yet, but I've been sitting here smelling it cook all day and it smells DIVINE.  It has cumin and oregano and chili powder and garlic in it, and the whole place smells like garlic and spices.  (Garlic and spices in a good way, not in a "whoa! Your breath smells like you ate a lot of garlic and spices!" way).  I'm pairing it with some decidedly un-Pueto Rican parmesan mashed red potatoes, but I don't care because I like parmesan red potatoes, and we're all about mixing international flavors anyway.  (And if you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you, because our idea of international cuisine around here is frozen french fries and pizza rolls).  BUT! Tonight we shall be dining on real international dinner, and I shall let you know how it turns out tomorrow.

Oh by the way, and speaking of recipes, if anyone has recipes for cheesy stuff, I'm in need of some.  See, Tony's work had a some cheese samples in the test kitchen, but they had to get rid of it because they are doing some construction and they were all, "We have to get rid of this perfectly good cheese to make more space" and Tony was all, "I like cheese" and they were like, "Great! Here you go!"  Only their definition of cheese samples and my definition of cheese sample vary slightly in scale, which is how I ended up with a fridge full of 11lbs of various fromage.  Yes, 11lbs.  Maybe 12.  I'm not totally sure.  I do know that we have a couple pounds each of pepperjack, Parmesan, smoked Gouda and feta.  So now I'm looking for dishes that call for cheese.  Preferably the more cheese the better.  (And also maybe some people to volunteer to eat all these cheese dishes, because if we try to eat all of this ourselves, we are going to explode.)

And then ZB won't have any need to wear her pretty new toddler belt, will she?

ZB's Flag

So here it is, September 11th.  

ZB has been learning about the flag in her Mother's Day Out class.  She did this during craft time.  While I suspect that she had a little help gluing on the stripes, the stars are all her doing.  I ask you, have you ever seen such masterful sticker work?  The slightly mangled yet shiny gold stars say so much about the juxtaposition of triumph and struggle in our lives.  Her use of space is refreshingly unexpected.  In short, I'm pretty sure she's brilliant!

Now All We Need Is 500 Gallons of Salsa...

Welcome back, Internets!  I trust everyone is having a good week after getting a three-day weekend?  Ours hasn't really been a bad week, but it has definitely been out of the ordinary.

First off, the gym was open on Monday, and they're getting ready to re-open the new and improved group exercise room (with new floor and painted trim and such!), so I went in to do a little helping out.  I washed the dust from the flooring off of the walls and cleaned the mirrors and helped move equipment back in for the exercise classes to use on Tuesday.  And as a thank you, the gym bought me lunch.  So yes, I went to the gym to clean and eat a turkey bacon club, but not to work out.  It felt a little bit like opposite day, but who am I to turn down a free lunch?

Then yesterday, Mom called and asked if ZB and I could do a little grocery shopping for her.  See, her church prepares grocery bags full of goodies for all the students who are part of the college ministry, and they were shooting to fill 1000 grocery bags.  And Mom was helping to organize them.  So yesterday she calls me up and says, "Hey, can you go pick up some groceries for the college students and bring them to the church?" and I was like "Sure! What do you need me to get?"  And she was like, "50 bags of chips, 50 boxes of assorted cheese and peanut-butter crackers and as many cases of Cup of Soup as you can fit into your car".  And I was like, "Hahaha! No really." And she was like, "Really".  

Which is how I found myself pushing two carts through completely loaded with nothing but bags of chips and the other filled with 50 boxes of crackers and 20 cases (that's 240 cups!) of Instant Cup O Soup.  (One woman passed me while I was tossing bags of chips into the cart by the handful and with a totally straight face she quipped, "Salt craving, eh?" And I was like "Yeah, but my doctor can't figure out why my sodium levels are so high").  It was really wild.  ZB, however, thought the entire enterprise was the greatest fun.  I let her down out of the cart (there wasn't room for her in there anyway) to help me pull chips and crackers off of the bottom row.  Her job was to pull peanut butter crackers off and stack them in the floor, and then I would take her stacks, count the boxes and put them in the cart.  She was very helpful, (which is what every one and a half year old wants to be).  The only problem was that she didn't want to stop.  She pulled stuff off the bottom row of every aisle we passed.  "Floor cleaner? College students need that!  Marshmallows! Check!  Navy beans?  Cat food?  Size 4 Huggies Overnight Diapers?  Check! Check! Check!  

I was hoping that when I got to the checkout I could just go, "50 bags of chips, 20 cases of soup and 50 boxes of crackers" and be done with it, but alas.  Apparently it is Walmart protocol that you have to pull everything out of the buggy and have it scanned by the cashier.  EVERYTHING.  So 50 bags of chips came out of the cart, went beep! 50 times as they were scanned, and then 50 bags right back into the buggy (I declined the 50 plastic bags to bag them).  Then the same with the soup, and then again with the crackers.  And it's a good thing that I'm being reimbursed for this, because if Tony saw a $300 grocery bill for chips, crackers and soup, he'd have a stroke.  (Well, he might be okay with all of the chips, but the rest...)

I wish I had thought to take a picture of the grocery carts, but I had my hands full with a squirming ZB who now wanted to throw all the chips OUT of the cart and play again!  I did take a picture of the stuff once I got it into the back of my SUV because you could literally swim though that much food if you had a mind to, and to be honest, the thought of all those chips still blows me away.  Of course, that was nothing compared to getting it over to the church and seeing 1000 grocery bags full of chips and cookies and granola bars and peanut butter and ramen noodles (oh the Ramen!  Cases and cases and cases of freeze-dried noodles piled up to the ceiling!)  Those college students are going to eat like kings! Sodium-filled, stroke-waiting-to-happen kings!  Still, it's a good ministry, and the college students always appreciate it, and it was fun being able to help them out.  

(Lest you think that we are destroying the local college student population by filling them with fatty, salt-laden snacks, know that there are healthy foods in the bags too.  My part of the list just happened to be the tasty salty section, hence what you see here.  Next year, if I happen to get the apples and All Bran part of the list, I'll be sure to show that on here also).  

Edited to add: Well I was all impressed with my 50 bags of chips until ZB and I went back over today to help and witnessed a Ford Fusion packed with 200 bags of chips.  Now THAT was something to be seen.  There was just one little bubble of space for the driver and the rest was filled with chips.  This is going to drive the chip manufacturers forecasting programs wild.