Zooby Zoobs

Dear Zuzu,

These are your many nicknames.


Baby Zoey
Baby Z
Baby Zo
Zo Zo
Zooby Zoob
Zooby Zoobs
Zoober Zoob
Zo zee

Your dad and I have a problem.

Also, we spelled your name with a Y so people wouldn’t call you Zo.



Yoshi at 3 years 5 months

Dear Yoshi,
Here’s some random stuff about you right now.

  • You talk all the time, but what’s new there? You have always been a talk-all-the-timer. It wears us down a little, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Right now, you are going through a period of trying to understand the world. You ask question after question about everything we do, because you are trying to understand not only what we are doing but why and what will happen next. You are trying to connect things together. It’s fun watching your mind put the pieces together in a way we haven’t seen before. You have always been such a thoughtful girl, even when you were a baby. We could see you figuring out the world by the way you looked at everything so seriously and intensely.

  • You also have your opinions about how we should answer each question or respond to each statement we make. Most of the time, you ask a question followed immediately by “say okay?” Sometimes we don’t hear the request and ask to to repeat. You then say “say okay?” “say okay?” “say okay?” instead of repeating the original response. Also, you want me to respond in specific ways. If I say “yes,” you will say “say, ‘of course you can’.” Or, if I saw “of course you can,” you say “say, ‘you certainly may’.” I never know which response you want. Sometimes you tell me exactly what to say in a conversation like “I will ask you what we are having for lunch, and you will say macaroni pizza.”
  • Your favorite thing in the whole world is for me or your dad to play with you in your room. This involves each of us being a character (usually a stuff animal or a figurine). The characters have conversations with each other and go on outings together. They usually discuss their names, go on a car ride (making sure to buckle the buckles), and go to the park and swing. The storyline usually involves one of the characters falling and hurting themselves, and a new doctor character comes in and gives medicine, band-aids, and cream to save the day.

  • You love to dance without your clothes. Every night after you take off your clothes but before you put on jammies, you insist on dancing nude. It’s hilarious. You have a “bottom dance” and a “snake dance.” I’m hoping this isn’t indicative of a future career. You also enjoy doing these dances in front of the mirror. I’m going to show this letter to your future partner some day, and you will be embarrassed. (Dear Yoshi’s significant other if you are reading this, please ask me to show you the videos. I’ve got them.)

  • You just started writing your name and getting very creative with your drawing. Recently, you drew a pirate with a band-aid, a dinosaur with one leg, and a doggie cloud with long boogers.
    A big dinosaur with one foot

  • You have the best imagination. Most of your play involves new stories and scenarios that you or your toys are acting out.
  • You love a good poop joke, fart joke, or booger joke.
  • You’ve started talking in funny voices. It’s really cute.
  • Your favorite food is pizza.
  • Your favorite toys are your stuffed animals (especially kitties), your Littlest Pet Shop figurines, and your Busytown figurines.
  • Your favorite shows are Winnie the Pooh, Busytown Mysteries, and the Busy World of Richard Scarry. You still love the Grinch, which we all still call Boosh.

  • You also love to pretend to be your sister. You crawl around with her, like to be held like her, etc.

  • I think I have talked about your nighttime routine in a letter to you before, but you now have a nightstand. On the nightstand must be water and two toys to “watch you.” You sleep with two stuffed animals, and you pick two toys to sit on the nightstand. The things that watch you don’t necessarily need eyes for the watching. The other night a spoon and a toy doctor tool watched you sleep. Usually, these are toys you aren’t quite ready to part with, but ones we won’t allow in bed with you.
  • Right now, your favorite songs are Row Row Row Your Boat and “Mommy Song” which is Ingrid Michaelson’s You and I.
  • You have a bunch of little friends at day care and in our playgroup. You love love love them and get very excited about seeing them.

  • We read your first chapter book recently. We read a chapter a night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You really liked it. When we finished the book, we had a little chocolate Wonka party. You, your dad, and I watched the movie, drank hot chocolate, and ate popcorn and chocolate. We started reading Charlotte’s Web next, but we haven’t gotten into it as much as the first. I think the individual chapters aren’t as engaging.

You are funny, smart, sweet, stubborn, creative, beautiful, quirky, shy, busy, and talkative. I could go on forever about you, but I’ll stop for now.
Love your face,

Zuzu at 8.5 months.

Dear Zuzu,

Here’s some random things about you at 8.5 months.

  • You LOVE to eat. Seriously love. It took us a while to get your interested in food, but once you got into it you never looked back. You quickly realized that purees were no good and that feeding yourself finger food is where it’s at. You’ve eaten the following finger foods: cheerios, bread/rolls, tortillas, pasta, pancakes, crackers, several types of beans, apple, banana, avocado, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut and acorn squash, persimmon, zucchini, chicken, turkey, ham, eggs, strawberries, blueberries, scones, shredded cheddar cheese, peaches, mandarin oranges, pears, yogurt melts, baby puffs, and mashed potatoes. You love just about all food we have given you with the exception of the zucchini, mashed potatoes, and black beans. You seem most excited about bananas, carrots, green beans, persimmon, cheddar, and chicken. You are still nursing like a champ!
  • You are a busy, grabby, kicky, bouncy, busy little girl. We had to start strapping you to the changing table because you couldn’t lay still long enough to change your diaper. It’s like wrestling a pig. Changing your diaper takes about three times as long as it should. When being held, you like to lunge at things.
  • You love to crawl, and you are just starting to pull to stand. You can pull up on low things and are working on pulling to stand on higher things like the couch and coffee table. You don’t really understand standing just yet. One foot is usually turned upside down somehow. You’ll figure it out soon! You have also just figured out that you have the ability to visit other rooms. We have introduced baby gates into our house because of this!First pull to stand!
  • You have two teeth on bottom and one tooth has broken through barely on top. There are two others also making their way in on the top. They have really been bothering you the last few days.
  • You laugh and smile so easily. I can get you to laugh more in a day than your sister did in her first year probably. We find you just as delightful as you find the world!
  • You just started dancing. When music is played, you start bouncing. When your favorite song comes on, Ingrid Michaelson’s You and I, you start bouncing, waving your arms, and squealing. That song used to be the only thing that would calm you down, but you don’t cry much anymore. Now, we put it on to make you and your sister smile.
  • Your favorite toys are anything new really, that you have never seen before. You also like sticks of any kind (you take after your sister there; she also loves sticks), and rubber animals to chew on, balls. You like anything you can put in your mouth and are less interesting in the noisy electronic toys. You also love your sister’s little figurines. We have to watch you with those, since they can become a choking hazard.
  • You are sleeping much better than you used to, thankfully. You sleep from about 8pm to about 5:30am, then you go to sleep until 8-9:30am. You take two naps, one in the late morning and one in the late afternoon.
  • I am still your favorite. Me picking you up will usually solve all problems. Me walking by you when someone else is holding you makes you cry. If I am going to leave the room, I have to wait until you aren’t looking at me, or you will start to cry.
  • You LOVE your sister. You like to play with her, and often you think she is playing with you when she is not. It keeps you entertained. She loves you too. She likes to pretend she is you, and she crawls around with you. We catch her giving you little hugs while playing. It’s very sweet. I hope you grow up to love eachother as much as you do now.
  • I’m guessing you weigh around 22-23 lbs. You are in 18month clothes.
  • You were an owl for Halloween. You didn’t really like your costume, so it didn’t stay on long.
  • Okay, that’s all I got right now. You’re an awesome baby.


Like Father, Like Daughter

Dear Yoshi,

When your dad and I first started dating (about 12 years ago!), we went to Palo Duro Canyon for an afternoon of a picnic and hiking. We brought fried chicken as we always did when I was growing up (now that I am older, it seems weird that we would take fried chicken…) and sat down at some picnic tables. The meal was cut way short by your dad freaking out by all the bees and other bugs flying around his food. I think we ate the rest of the meal in the car, with me severely annoyed.

You, my dear, are just like your dad.

It’s October now–by far the best month in Dallas. The weather is beautiful, and I just want to be outside enjoying the quiet, sipping a nice drink, and feeling the breeze. I have taken you and your sister on several impromptu picnics over the last few weeks. One day, we went to White Rock Lake and sat at a picnic table by the lake. It was lovely for the 5 minutes we lasted before you couldn’t take the bugs any longer.

We also enjoyed a short stint at the park yesterday where dozens of orange butterflies fluttered about. Anytime any one of them would come anywhere near you, you screamed loud and long as if you were being chased by a man with a knife. I couldn’t help but laugh, but it was sad that you didn’t do any playing at the park because of butterflies (and birds and a very small, very terrifying chihuahua).


There are killer butterflies among us.


Today, we went to a Sonic restaurant with a park for lunch. You were completely freaked out by the birds. (Although I kind of understand today… those birds seemed shifty and were eying Zuzu’s cracker a little too carefully, and it probably doesn’t help that your dad taught you that birds are descendants of dinosaurs.). You spent most of the time close to me at the picnic table instead of enjoying the playground because a bird was perched on the stairs of the play structure.

This is nothing new though. Check out this video of you freaking out by a [dead] fly on the table just after your second birthday. Side note: you love watching this video and act it out regularly. You will all of a sudden go “TWO nighty night nighty night dooooo-eeeeeeeee.” Also, this is one of the cutest videos ever taken.

“Bye bye budge.”



5 Haikus for Zu

Dear Zuzu,

I wrote you some haiku poems last night.


Creeping through quiet
with bated breath I slink by
Kick loud toy. Of course.

sweetly snoozing girl
hand tangled up in my shirt
What are you dreaming

Playing with my dad
Laughing smiling it’s so fun
Oops saw mom, I’m done

tiny burst of light
Joy erupts like solar flare
You are my sunshine

waking nursing through the night
then it starts again


Don’t believe the hype.

Dear Zuzu,

Over the last few weeks, we’ve offered you bites of food here and there (banana, acorn squash, plum, rice cereal) with no interest from you. This changed on Thursday when we decided to give into the rice cereal hype with the hope that maybe you would sleep longer with a belly full of rice. Your grandma had given us a box of white rice cereal, so we decided to try again. Mistake #1.

You LOVED it. You were super excited and eager to eat. It was super cute. I was excited and gave you a little second serving since I hadn’t made much to begin with. Mistake #2.

Turtle face

This was about 8:30pm. Mistake #3.

All was well and good, and I was optimistic about the night ahead. Fast forward to 3am when you woke up soaking wet and cold. You had vomited everywhere, pooped some not normal color, and your neck was covered in a bright red scary rash which eventually turned all weird and crusty. After you woke up, you threw up again. (In other news, babies are gross).

You were not interested in nursing, so I changed your swaddle, cleaned you up, and put you back to sleep.

You can kind of see the rash in this picture.

The next day you slept a ton, and I gave you a little benedryl to combat the rash. It took another 4 days before you were back to normal. You had 3 rough nights waking up constantly ever hour to two hours. You weren’t napping during the day unless on me. And you were crying inconsolably way more than usual. Your diapers were unpleasant. The whole thing was really scary.

We never gave Yoshi this kind of rice cereal. We gave her organic brown rice cereal, mixed whole grain cereal, and oatmeal. Many people recommend rice cereal as a first food because it is the least allergenic! I was shocked that you would be allergic to rice cereal. After this whole episode, I looked at the box and noticed all the crap in it, including soybean oil. Ridiculous. I have tons of homemade baby food in the freezer for you that I have been making over the last month, but I went with what was easy. Lesson learned.

The next food I give you will be homemade, given to you in the morning, and in a very small portion to start! I’m sorry you had to go through that. 😦


Mixed Up

Dear Yoshi,

As you add big words to your vocabulary like terrible, orangutan, synchronized, and orbit, you also get words mixed up sometimes. Here are some of your recent confusions.

Instead of helicopter, you said cauliflower.
Instead of humidifier, you said conditioner.
Instead of spacecraft, you said birthmark then firework.
Instead of dizzy, you said busy.
Instead of water tower, you said water castle, lake castle, and lake tower.
Instead of parents, you said carrots.
Instead of pepperoni, you said macaroni.

It’s super fun to watch your mind work.