Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sunday in the park with...Zo!

A couple weeks back Beth and I took Zoe and Huckleberry to Griffith Park for a picnic and a day out as a family. We decided to out the Zobee in a swing and see how she likes it. She LOVED it. Now, the video below might not show how happy she was but that's because I am lying. No. It's because she, as is her wont, was just taking it all in. Trust me. She was happy to be there. Swing video at the bottom.

Zoe Lulu, the true genius behind the blog.

This is what we can do with her hair now.

Gettin her drink on!

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it.

God bless Nana.
First it was "Hi!". Zoe started saying that with Nana's encouragement.
Then it was waving. Or, actually, opening and closing her hands in response.
Now it's crawling. Zoe got excited by the cat and Huck's disgusting, saliva drenched toy and decided, "I need that!". And off she went. It all started, literally, ten minutes before this video. So, here we are, our world has officially changed.

Nana's Here!

Yay! Nana's here! Playing with Zo, encouraging, feeding, it's awesome.
What a treat.
One of the things that I have been wanting is for Zo and Evelyn to spend as much time together as possible. I want Zoe to bond to her great-grandmother as much as she can, so this is a great thing for her. And us. beth gets to go to school all day and I get to recuperate.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Update, for what it's worth....with MOVIES!

First off, I just want to be clear that this forum, this blog (what a horrible word) is something I do to keep people who are interested in Zoe's life up to date. It's about her, although, since I write it, I do sometimes use it as a place to voice my own thoughts and feelings. Most of which, if not all, are centered and surround my daughter, Zoe Mina. It's a fun way to post pix of my kid that I think everyone would like but it IS from the perspective of her father. From the perspective of a NEW father who loves being a DAD. Loves every part of it, be it feeding her, playing with her, laughing with her and changing her diapers. Being Elizabeth's father was an honor and a joy and I believe my relationship with her, during all of those years have come to define me as a man more so than anything else I have ever done. For I believe that men are not defined by the size of their wallets or the power they wield in the community, not by the ability to "put a roof over" someone's head or provide for a wife and children. I believe that the truest measure of a man are two things: Who they are and what they do in crisis and what kind of parent they are. I was very lucky. I had two that were amazing. A father I fought with from the moment I could talk and resented and hated and became my best friend in his last years as I learned his most important lessons, like never worry about what the rest of the world thinks of you, be yourself! And "your enemies will make you laugh and your friends will make you cry" Credos I have lived by. And what an amazing journey my life has been. Ask me about it sometime.
And a mother who taught me the importance of art and dreams and humanity and how to be a better man.
Above all those things I learned the most important lessons:
Boys learn how to treat women by watching their fathers treat their mothers and girls learn how to BE treated by watching their fathers treat their mothers.
When you are talking to your children, to just take a pause to remember what YOU were like at that age and be honest with yourself because kids can smell when you are lying and full of hypocrisy.
I put all those philosophies and others that I learned from many mentors and friends to work to be the best father to Elizabeth that I could be.
Now I get a second chance. With Zoe. Chance is the wrong word. I didn't do it wrong the first time, the kid just died before she got to show the world what a great adult she was going to be.
I get a chance to be Zoe's father. It is an OPPORTUNITY of the highest order. Because I don't believe that fatherhood (parenthood) is a burden, it's a privilege. At the end of the day, when I am long gone and dead, it isn't the memory and legacy of my parenting that I want from Zoe. I don't want to be mythologized and made hero by her. I want my guidance to have had a part in helping her be the best person she came be and live a life of joy, fun, adventure, with no regrets.
I can't understand why anyone would want anything different from their relationship with their kid. It's beyond me. It's why I do not tolerate physical or mental abuse of our children. They didn't ask to be born. Don't we have kids because we WANT them? Not everyone, I suppose, but I want the kids I have. They weren't accidents or tragedies, they weren't the cause of my problems or sadness (even though the greatest sadness I have ever known is due to one of my children).
All that said, all pontifications aside, (who the hell am I to tell the world how to treat their kids....you wanna hate 'em? You wanna beat 'em? You wanna call them names and talk about what horrible people they are? Go ahead, they're not mine. Just don't do it in front of me. Please.It makes me sad.) it's important to note that this forum is mine. I created it. I write it. I consult no one on it. I write it in solitude. Everyone that sees it, be they family members or friends don't see what I write until they happen upon it, or get their email update.
One day, many years from now, it is my hope that Zoe will be able to look at this as a living, real time depiction of her first years and what her father was thinking at the time. This is a different age. There's no reason for a child to grow up with parental mysteries and having to learn about them through misty anecdotes rendered hazy by time. It's blaringly real.
And Zoe gets to see herself through my eyes.
If I write anything here that upsets someone or is confusing or sounds like something it is not, I encourage those people to make the comment in the comment section or email me directly. It is not my intention to hurt anyone.
And I am sorry that some things I have said were taken as insult. They certainly weren't meant to be. And the offending remarks have been removed. Only because they were confusing. Not because they weren't true.
Whew. That was wordy. I will shut up now.

Here's some video of Zoe.
By the way, she's started chowing down on real solid stuff. Tonight it was diced potatoes and carrots from the pot roast and pot roast ITSELF! And she liked it! Which just makes me feel better about myself as a cook.

Holiday Clarification

Our trip to Cincinnati in and of itself was terrific. Not bad at all. Love the family. Love the time spent. The grandparents, the nephews, etc, all are the best.

However. In ranking of great holidays, wherein we include marriage proposals and great performances, etc, this one came with tons of chaos.

Due to circumstances out of my control an entire portion of our trip was prevented. This caused us to be interlopers where we had promised we wouldn't be. No matter how you slice it, if someone says they're coming for 5 days and they stay for 14, that's not good.
For the first time I was knocked out with bronchitis toward the end of the trip.
I spent the entire time on painkillers of some kind because of my leg.
I never got to do anything or go anywhere because of said leg issue. Which meant that I was just a blob, sitting around.
My daughter, who had appeared to be such a perfect little traveler, was a caustic, screaming nightmare on the plane that I spent much of the flight in the bathroom with her so she wouldn't scream and wake up ALL the other passengers.
When we got home our dog had turned into some crazed, codependent child who couldn't be left alone for more than three days. He would sulk the whole trip and our breeder told us that he shouldn't be left alone for so long, nor should he ever be flown in cargo, leaving us with a huge dillemma about what to do regarding Huck.
He didn't come back to his normal self for about three days

I regret anything I wrote that made it seem like we didn't have a good time. We did. We had a wonderful time.
Our own situation caused us a lot of pain and it was frustrating.

Can you understand what I mean?

Hi again.

Zoe's having a great 2008.

She has completely eschewed crawling in favor of standing, holding on and cruising. You can't put her down on the ground without forcing her to bend her legs so she can sit. Won't sit. Not having it.

Her bottom teeth came in around Thanksgiving and since then...nothing.

It's her attitude we are all noticing of late.

Rather than take on the genteel, sweet, calm, centered quietude of her mother, Zoe has taken a shine to her dad's histrionics and tendency to shout like an old man wearing headphones.
So, if you are visiting and you notice her point her finger at the dog and shout nonsensical blah blahs that are filled with vitriol and self righteous indignation, you know where she is getting it from.

The reading thing is also getting spooky. Zo prefers to hold a book exactly as though she is reading from it and babble loudly as though she gets the concept that you look at these things and make noise. It's uncanny.

Beth got a year long membership to the zoo and has taken the Zobag twice. I have yet to get over there. Zo is not impressed yet.

What else? Anything? I'm tired and in a weird fogheaded bubble.

Enjoy the pics.

Ready to go.

Okay, the story was good, the end was bogus.

Who draws these maps????

The true face of "Cloverfield"!