Friday, January 29, 2010


The gals are going to a birthday party tomorrow. A Fancy Nancy party!!!!

We're all excited and preparations for fanciness have started. I made headbands and hair bows and the girls are planing their outfits as I write this, so far I have seen at least five variations on their party gear already.
Here are some of the things I made this morning and there will be pictures of the girls all dolled up to follow soon. ( You can tell who loves to have her picture taken, what a ham!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

That's My Baby: Anya


Are you watching the newest Emma on Masterpiece Theater? I did, and while I enjoyed the first episode I'm not yet sure it's my favorite, and that really surprises me. Up until this version all the most recently made Austins have been excellent, surpasing the older movies in doing real justice to the books and with Emma I'm just not sure.

I wonder if the problem is my expectation in representing the book, perhaps it's just difficult to capture the essence of Emma and round out the details in movie form.

With this Austin book I find fault the in movies there is always something I would change. In the 1996 Emma, with Gwyneth Paltrow, detail was lost. It was a beautiful movie and my favorite, but where for instance was Donwell Abby? Kate Beckinsale's movie that same year was better with detail, but not nearly as charming, way to stiff, and Mr. Knightly was a disappointment. Romola Garai has the lead in this new adaptation along with Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightly (interesting choice) and Michael Gambon playing her worrying father, the cast is good but have they added too much?

I will be watching, I hope you will too, and let me know what you think.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beautiful Smiles

While rummaging through our pictures I found some of Paul's Grandma Myrtle as a young girl, they reminded me of photos of my own girls, who like to hear stories of little girls past and what life was like. These pictures tell the story of how some things stay the same, little girls and their smiles, the special way they look at life and how they enhance ours for knowing them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Friends, They'll Break Your Heart

I helped a friend today taking care of her little guy, he is very sweet and plays well with my kids. We all love him and have fun every time we get together to visit. Annette especially has a fondness for him, he is her BEST friend, and he was here to play for the whole day!

At Sunday school last year he referred to her as my little raccoon, and would pat her on the head, (he likes raccoons and that summer had a raccoon story every time we saw him.)

Everything was going smoothly today, there were no little squabbles to interfere with their fun, until this afternoon when before naps, (by all accounts a tricky time of day for most) a little disagreement took place. Annette insisted too strongly about something and was pushed. No big deal, sorries were said, tears were dried and the playing went on. (this was the ONLY disagreement between any of them the entire day.)

I thought nothing of it until about an hour later when getting Annette (she's three years old) ready for her nap she said: 'J___ pushed me, he doesn't love me any more!' to which I replied: 'you two are friends, sometimes you push or make each other sad, but you are still friends and love each other.' I thought this was a pretty good response and that would cover it. Boy was I wrong! She looked at me and sorrowfully said: 'J__ pushed me and broke my heart, he broke my heart into a thousand tiny little pieces!'

The little drama queen!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Back to You

I watch the Today show just about every morning. However after this afternoon I might be rethinking that or signing Lila up for junior journalism classes.

I usually record the show and then watch it a couple of hours after it starts, picking and choosing what I want to see. The kids know who Matt and Meredith are and notice when Al or Anne aren't there. Lila in particular asks me where they are, and what they're doing.

Like I would know, because we're all the best of friends.

Today we spent the day today at Papa and Mama's house, escaping the rain at our house in exchange for the blustery rain at theirs. The weather was worse but the company much more fun than just ourselves. We had cabin fever, and needed a change!

After lunch and chasing Papa around for an hour or so , Anya challenged Papa to a game of checkers while Lila found a magnifying glass that looks (to a five year old) like a microphone and started some reporting. It was going for at least twenty minutes when I heard snatches of 'hundreds of tigers were found in the park today in the port city of Baal...back to you Meredith,' and 'there was a fire today in the town of ___ and no one died, however the firemen did not make it... , there were killer caterpillars, what do you think Al?...'

In fact she is still at it now, while I type this, although I have now started to block it out a bit. Her imagination is on full blast and then she is interviewing the family as if they were at the scene.

You just never know what a rainy day might bring.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Knock, Knock, Knock

Ugh! I hate door to door salesmen, they always come when the big guy is out. I have a No Solicitation sign and never answer my door to people I don't know, and yet they come at all hours of the day. Although their favorite is nap time, just as I'm putting Annette to sleep and feeling drowsy and cozy they start to knock, and ring the doorbell. So my adrenaline and I jump up and there goes that warm afternoon feeling all in one swoop.

There I had to get that out.

Once when Paul was out late there was a knock on the door, at 10:30 at night! I was in the middle of watching Heroes (not the best thing to see by yourself at night if you are as jumpy as I am.) when I heard a knock, knock at the door. I immediately called Paul, who was near by, while peeling myself off the ceiling and looking out the up stairs window. Paul started for home as I called the police, describing the man who had come, my situation (three small kids at home and one scared mama) and that the door knocking fiend was now at the neighbors!

I love 911! They calmed me right down and stayed on the line, and after some quick investigation found that it was a Policeman checking out a noise complaint next door. Our very nice neighborhood policeman came back over and while I still on with 911 he introduced himself, asked if I was OK and apologized for scaring me. He also said that I had absolutely done the right thing and if it were to happen again to follow the same protocol. Even as an adult woman not opening the door and reporting it immediately is the right thing to do, they want us to. You never know if it is a real officer and calling it in will let you know. Better safe than sorry.

I felt like a ninny, but a safer one for knowing what to do.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I have just finished watching the new Masterpiece Theater's Return to Cranford, it was so very good, always leaving me with the desire to see more. Romance, babies, elegant economies, death, good guys, bad guys, drama and once again a cow in long johns.

I LOVE IT, and so do my kids.

Lila in particular has a real fondness for period drama, funny for a five year old, she once tried to talk the babysitter into watching Jane Eyre, she was also the only three year old I knew that like to watch anything Jane Austin. I love that too. They all like to watch with me and giggle when Mr. Darcy, is on screen. Well it is Mr. Darcy after all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Crazy Friday

Oldies but goodies, here are some funny pictures of the gals. Fridays are days we unwind and get ready for the weekend, movies, pizza, looking at old pictures and games are what we like best. So Fridays at the zoo are crazy in the very best way, full of fun and laughter, I hope these make you laugh too.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fuzzy, but check out Netta's moves at the end. My in laws gave the girls ukuleles and one day the kids did this little number that they had been working on, it always cracks me up.

Cozy Time

I love lazy days, they're cozy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Little Helpers

I was refilling the sugar canisters after a trip to Costco this week, and putting away all our other purchases when Lila asked to help, put a way the "donuts". I knew she meant the bagels and told her sure, but to wait for mommy to finish her job first.

She went on talking about how she was going to help and leave some in the bag for the downstairs freezer, and put some away in the kitchen. "OK, sure" I replied, distracted by work, which might have been a mistake You know it's always a good idea to keep track of busy five year olds.

She didn't wait.

"Mommy look, I helped put away the donuts" she very proudly told me.

Here are some other helping moments in the life of the zoo.

Anya as a baby "helping" Mommy with her hair.

Helping bring in the loot, from our last big pirate raid.

Helping keep a little sister busy while another sister's hair is being done.

And finally Annette's cookie after "Helping".
Can you find the cookie under there?

The Siren Song Of The Baby's Call

Paul handles bedtime, he's good at it, recently however Annette has had a little trouble. They rock and read stories and just when she is ready to to be put in her bed she asks for Mommy, and when Paul says no she starts to cry. After trying to calm her down he lays her down and she cries for a little while and he goes in to rock her again and she goes right to sleep if she hasn't already. Tonight I thought I'd help.

As it turns out she calmed down very quickly but I was a doubtful as to why so I thought I'd check to see if she had climbed out of her bed and started to play. When I went to the door and held very still to listen for playing I heard it, The Siren Call, it was faint but Annette was softly singing "I love mommy, I need my mommy, I love mommy, I need my mommy..." Could you resist?

I went right in.

I'm sure you would too, it was such a sweet song and it pulled me in as siren songs do. I rocked her to sleep, her breath was on my chest and her lashes brushed my collarbone in a sleepy blink signaling sleep.

I was in heaven, yes she could have fallen asleep by herself, she is three now, (although I think babies are babies until they turn five, this is a personal opinion) but I would have not been able to gather and store that memory away with the deepest hope that I have enough to last me through the winter of my life when there is no baby breath to warm my neck.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Odds and Ends but Mostly Odds

Paul was making coffee today when Lila crept up from behind startling him, when he asked "Lila where did you come from?"  she replied "my mommy's tummy."

This is a picture of Lila after she finished her first puzzle without sibling help or interference.  She was pretty happy and proud of herself.

Anya making egg salad sandwiches (one of her favorites) for the first time.

Annette thought it would be fun to go back in time, her sisters had a great time playing baby with her.

These are here just because I like them, and to show the result of living in a house of girls,        
   my brave man.