The Zellers Family

Well, Lent is over, and Easter’s come and gone. I have to say that I enjoyed this season more this year than ever before. Though I felt disconnected in some ways, I really enjoyed the break, and hope that I can hold onto that feeling and not need to go back to being connected at all times. The combination of the daily (well, for the most part) Rosary and the absence from Facebook has been powerful and important to this stage in my life.

Andy and I were both off work last Friday and were able to enjoy a long weekend with our family. The weather has been atrocious, and I was afraid we’d develop cabin fever by the time it was over, but we found ways to keep ourselves entertained.

Saturday was a particularly lovely day (though again, you wouldn’t know it by looking outside). During a brief break in the storms, Andy and Rowan went outside to jump in some puddles. Both had a blast! Poor Ruby was looking out the door at them and dying to join them, but she’s still too little and the water was too cold. Next year, precious girl, I promise. When the boys returned inside and Ruby went down for a nap, Rowan and I dyed Easter eggs for the first time. He really enjoyed this, though pretty quickly insisted on having one peeled so he could eat it! The rest will be turned into devilled eggs for a carry-in at work tomorrow. After that, I thought he and I would make brownies, but at his Dad’s request, we turned the mix into cookies, which we squished together with leftover chocolate icing. I ate waaay too many of those for several days, then finally had to put the rest in the trash last night. Dangerous things, I tell you. The sandwich cookies, coupled with all kinds of other Easter goodies, have meant that a little more time will be required in the gym this week.

Sunday was spent with family in Tell City, and it was great to see everyone! With so many brothers all living in different places, it’s not too often we’re all able to be together, but Rowan and Ruby really loved the chance to play with their cousins. We had time to eat, time to play, and time to hunt eggs in the front yard!

Today is the last day of classes at the university I work for, and I’ll be glad to get finals done, wrap up the last few tasks for the year, and settle into my summer break with the little ones. For me, June and July mean more time with the kids (who I can let sleep in past 6am!), playdates, trips to the zoo, and more time to cook, read, and bask in the sun. This year will also include that much-desired vacation with Andy, and I have a feeling that it’ll be one of the highlights of the year.

For now, I’ll just enjoy the last bit of lousy weather that forces us to cuddle in close and appreciate just being together before the warmth and freedom of the summer is upon us.


Since I mostly use this blog as a way to document the adorable or funny things our children say and do, here’s one from last night:

Andy: Rowan, which do you like more, pretzels or chips?
Rowan: Chips.
Andy: What’s your favorite kind of chip?
Rowan: Chocolate chips!
Jessica: That’s my boy!

Mornings are always an adventure in our house, and this one was no exception. I managed to escape with only minor injuries, which means the morning is a success, in my book.

When I came downstairs holding Ruby, and with Rowan trailing behind me (carrying a rolled up bath mat with Winnie the Pooh on it that he kept calling his “map,”), I saw a spider on the floor in the foyer. I’m not afraid of bugs, but I don’t like them in the house, and this dislike has increased significantly since having children. I instructed Rowan to stay back, and I put Ruby in the living room out of the way, and went to find a shoe. Once the shoe was located, apparently I decided it’d just be too easy to put the shoe on my foot and stomp the spider to oblivion. I, for some reason, stuck 2 fingers inside the shoe then slammed it down on the bug to be sure it was dead. For a minute, I truly thought I may have broken those two fingers, but now, an hour and a half later, they’re achy, but functional. Not my most brilliant moment.

I think the rapid shift in weather has led bugs to play a more prominent role in my life than I like. Last night, I tried to take Ruby for a short stroll around the neighborhood, in my arms, since the last time I took her out by myself she became furious in her stroller and we were far enough from the house that it forced me to scurry home while she shrieked. Didn’t want to repeat that experience. We got less than a block from the house last night though before I felt compelled to return home because of the mosquitoes that were literally swarming us. Yuck. Hopefully once the weather gets a little more stable, we won’t have this problem. In the meantime, I need to find a good repellent that’s ok for little ones.

About 5 minutes after leaving the house this morning (with all 4 of us in the car), I realized we had a bee in the backseat of the car, buzzing around our angels. Andy found a safe place to pull the car off the road, and I got out to shoo it out. I was willing to let the bee leave with its little life intact, but it was too persistent, landing on the seat right next to my baby girl after being swatted, so he, like the spider not long before it, got stomped on the side of the road.

I’m telling you, I have very little tolerance for biting or stinging pests in the general vacinity of our babies. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you bugs!

This will be a busy weekend with me working for a few hours tomorrow, and our Catholic couples book club meeting tomorrow night, with dinner in between with my parents. We’ve kind of gotten out of the habit of going on our Saturday grocery/library trip as a family, and will try to get that in tomorrow before I head to work, and I’m looking forward to it.

We’re getting to a point where I can see the end in sight for my work year (as I’m off during the months of June and July), and I’m very much looking forward to the time to just focus on our babies for 2 months. And yes, I’m going to continue to call them “babies,” for as long as I can get away with it. They can’t yet read, so I’m safe:).

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Andy and I spent Saturday night in Bloomington (in a hotel that we never would have agreed to stay at if the kids had been with us, but that’s another story), and my parents stayed with the kids. What follows is the e-mail I got from my mother detailing their time together. To my folks, thanks again for giving US the gift of time together, and to Mom, thanks for the gift that is this post. We LOVE knowing what they’re doing, saying, eating, thinking, etc., when we’re gone. Andy got the e-mail on his phone just as we were heading to bed on Saturday night, and we both layed in bed laughing and crying, imagining the fun that was had by all of you. And we laughed and cried some more the next morning over breakfast, and hurried our way out of town, anxious to get back to our babies.

Anyways, enjoy what follows, and Mom, you can guest blog on this post any time you like:).

“Just some notes in case I can’t remember to tell you everything.

Ruby slept today for a little over 1 hour – went down without very much fussing. Rowan was still awake when I took her up and of course she hollered at first and as I left her room I heard Rowan saying; “No, Ruby”. Too cute. He continued to talk to himself and kick the head of his bed – not roughly – just for awhile. I checked on him after about 45 minutes and he was still awake and kicking so I told him he could just relax if didn’t want to sleep but he needed to stop kicking. I only heard him for a few more minutes them all was quiet for a couple hours. I’m not convinced he slept the whole time because he still looked a little tired when I looked in and he was awake.

We played outside for quite awhile. Rowan sat under the magnolia tree and told me that it was his house. I touched the brick on the house and asked whose house it was and he told me it was Mommy and Daddy’s house.
Ruby – by herself – climbed UP the little slide all the way to the tree house and stood up – amazing.

Oh, after Rowan woke up he said “I pooped” and he had. We went into the bathroom to take off his pull-ups and he was very careful stepping out of them – no mess.

He was sitting at the table having a snack and Ruby was walking around. Ruby stopped to pick up the yellow spoon from the kitchen toy and put the edge in her mouth so that the spoon covered half of her face. She was holding it only with her teeth and toddling around. She looked so funny and I pointed that out to Rowan and he started laughing so hard, then we started laughing – great fun.

Dinner for Rudy was cheese, applesauce, puffs, water, and gold fish. We attempted a little turkey – no luck. Rowan had 1/2 hot dog, applesauce, cheese, crackers and raisins. Then David and I ate and Ruby ate a few bites of my baked potato. We’ll sit down together and plan meals for the week in June. By then we’ll have our game plan better prepared.

I took the kids in the stroller after dinner while David cleaned up the kitchen. I was struggling to find all the parts for Rowan’s seat belt so he stepped down and pulled up the part I was looking for and said; “How about this?”. He really was a big help all day. He rode, then walked, then stood, then rode again. Ruby just relaxed. At one point Rowan turned around fluffed Ruby’s hair and said “Hi, Ruby Duby!”.

After our walk Rowan wanted some ice cream. David fixed him a bowl of frozen yogurt and Rowan took a couple bites and said something I could not understand. Changing the subject did not help – he just held up his spoon and repeated calmly those same few words. Finally I got – “I want it cut up.” Whew. Crisis averted.

At one point Rowan noticed Ruby’s owie so he grabbed her shirt, pushed back her hair and gave her owie a kiss.

He went into an acting crazy mode – monster walk with monster sounds – when it was time for pajamas (he won – shorts and shirt he had worn all day – I know, I’ll do better next time) – and his pull-ups.

When I offered the walk I told him He needed to try to pee in the potty before we could go on the walk. He wanted to go upstairs – of course – so we headed that direction. He was ahead and I was letting Ruby climb up the stairs. When we got to the landing Rowan informed me he did not need help – expressed by placing his flat hand on my chest and firmly pushing me back to wherever I had come from – point made. I let Ruby crawl up a couple times so I could at least be in hearing range. I heard him pull down his pants, move his step stool to the toilet, climb up and sit down – peeing sounds going into the toilet, Rowan got down, wiped, flushed the toilet, pulled up his pants and came into the hall. I asked “Did you wash your hands?” – answer “Yes – hmmm, No, I don’t need help.” So back to the step-stool, heard water running and then “I need help”. He only needed me to squirt the soap on his hands and then I was dismissed after he informed me that he wanted the light off – okay then.

He picked Hans Christian Anderson for his book tonight – of course he did. The story he actully got was based loosely on the pictures I saw on each page. It went something like…A woman wanted to have a baby. She found one on a lily pad. The bird gave her a beautiful flower and spring time came and all the flowers grew. The pretty woman was the queen of all the flowers and lived with the mole. They were very happy and when winter came they had lots of food. The End.

Phrases we heard today from Rowan: I sure do. I love my band aid. I want a lot. Ruby, don’t touch my cowboy hat. And, several times after his nap: Are Mommy and Daddy home? At one point while we were sitting on the porch he said; “Here come Mommy and Daddy!” Yes you were both missed but we think your children felt safe and loved and were willing – for a limited time – to get their hugs and kisses from the next generation back. And we loved being the ones they reached their arms out to, the ones they called for when they needed, and the ones that had the pleasure of reading them the good night books. Note: I think Rowan may have been making fun of me at prayer time. He was saying something that I didn’t get and then he would laugh. I got the feeling he thought I was teasing him by not doing “it” right. Whatever, we made it through and requests for blessings for the usual suspects were presented to God…Mommy, Daddy, Ruby, Mimi, NeeNee, PawPaw, Rowan and fireplace (with an aside, “it’s not a person”).

They are both always looking and thinking and planning and remembering all the time. Thank you for letting us be part of their lives and of yours.”

But just a little bit.

Mostly what I’m feeling today is gladness. I’m glad that Andy’s off work today and able to spend some one-on-one time with Rowan. When they checked in a little while ago, they were on their way to my parent’s house for a visit, having already eaten cinnamon rolls, taken a walk, played outside, “swept” the garage, and taken the recycling to “Trash Mountain,” as Andy calls it.

Sounds like a lovely morning:).

Do I wish I were hanging out with the boys today? Sure, a little. But I’m so pleased that they get this time together.

These boys, whom I love so much, sometimes butt heads. These boys, whom I love so much, sometimes ARE buttheads. They both want the other to know who’s boss, and this has led to some tantrums and minor conflicts in our house. These incidents frequently end with Rowan crying and asking me to hold him. Because I’m the nice one, can you imagine?

Until I’m not the nice one, of course. Then it’s Daddy’s turn to comfort and hold. We switch roles like that a lot.

Andy’s decision to stay home today also meant that I had a little bit of extra time to get ready this morning, and also had my girl Ruby to myself in the car on the way to the sitter’s. I also arrived early enough that I was able to hang out for a bit. Sweet girl; I’m so very thankful she’s in my life.

We’ll be celebrating my mom’s birthday tomorrow morning, then Andy and I will be heading out of town to support our local roller girls as they face Bleeding Heartland (Bloomington). We’re looking forward to a night away, including the chance to watch some roller derby, eat a meal or 2 out, and wake up to something other than the sound of either an alarm clock or a child’s voice. Occasionally, it’s a nice thing to do, or so I’ve been told. Thanks to my folks for staying with the little people so we can have some time to ourselves, and on your BIRTHDAY, Mom! Our kids are lucky to have people who love them so much, and so are we.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Since Andy has class every Monday night, these are often the nights that we have more kid-friendly (versus Dad-friendly) meals. Tonight, that meant fish sticks, corn, and applesauce. However, once I saw on Rowan’s take-home sheet from school that he had fish sticks for lunch, I gave him other options, and he substituted a hot dog for the fish sticks. He eats pretty well most of the time, so we figure an occasional hot dog is probably ok. The kid had about 3 helpings of corn and applesauce too! Ruby had some of all of it as well (minus the hot dogs), and seems to be enjoying foods that she can feed herself.

Rowan actually gave me a chance to get it all ready in a hurry tonight by falling asleep in the car on the way home. I left him snoozing in the garage (with the laundry door open so I could hear him) while I got things going and got his sister munching on grapes and Cheerios.

This was one of those lovely evenings that didn’t involve Ro begging for cartoons; instead, we finished our meal, then all 3 cuddled on the couch while reading book after book, since Ruby received several new ones for her birthday.

Ruby went to bed without incident tonight, and Rowan and I read another couple of books then headed upstairs. He’s been insisting on peeing “like a big boy,” (meaning standing up) for the last couple of days, which is great. For the most part. Except for the dribbles around the edges. Oh, well.

After the visit to the potty, tooth-brushing, and pajamas, Rowan said he wanted his temporary tattoo that he got at school today off of his arm. At this point, we’re a few minutes past bedtime, so I just kind of rubbed it off with my thumb, and most of it came off easily. I licked my thumb and rubbed the last little bit off. This last move set off the screaming. He wanted his tattoo back on. I explained in vain the impossibility of this. He cried and cried, then looked at me and said, “Don’t eat my tattoo!” The kid believed that when I’d licked my thumb to get the tattoo bits off, I was actually EATING his tattoo. I promised that I hadn’t eaten it. He cried and cried, then stopped suddenly and said, “Let me see your tongue.” At this point, I kind of lost it. To grown-up Rowan who may read this at some point, I say, I wasn’t laughing AT you, darling, but at the whole situation. I was laughing at your certainty that I had eaten your tattoo, and you were about to prove it by looking at my tongue, and, presumably, saying, “A-HA!”

Once I stopped laughing, I did show him my tongue, and he was able to go to bed knowing that I hadn’t, in fact, eaten his tattoo.

Most. Interesting. Person. I. Know.

Thanks to all who joined us this past weekend to celebrate Ruby’s 1st birthday! She will certainly be the best dressed baby in town, and I just know that at some point in the near future, Rowan might actually let her play with some of her new toys and books.

The “aftermath” portion of this post has to do with my back, which has been aching for a solid 2 days now. I think that I’ve figured out what caused it, and his name is Rowan. At almost 3 years of age, he still frequently asks to be picked up, and sometimes requires it, either just for cuddles or to move him from one place to another, onto or off of a potty, etc. I’ve discovered that when he’s not convinced he should be moved, he becomes really heavy and it’s during those “dead weight” moments that the strain happens. He’s getting heavier and I’m just getting older. Not fair.

Rowan did have a moment this weekend though that was good for a laugh for all of us. One of Ruby’s birthday presents was a toy panda bear. As I mentioned, most of her new toys have spent more time with her brother than with her so far, and this was the case with the bear. I should also mention that Rowan spent much of this weekend without a shirt on. It was sunny, it was warm, and we allowed him to spend part of the weekend topless while inside. So, here’s the scene: Rowan’s sitting on the couch holding the bear, then after carefully placing the bear on his chest, he says, “I’m feeding the bear.” We asked him to repeat it, not sure we’d caught it correctly, but yep, that’s what he said. He was “nursing” Ruby’s polar bear. This is one of those stories he’ll probably hate when he’s a bit older, but it was really touching to me, and I love that he’s gotten the message about where baby’s food comes from. Very sweet.

All in all, it was a great weekend with family, friends, and celebrating our baby girl!

My, it has been forever since I’ve found the time/gumption to post on the ol’ blog.   So much has been happening at work and in our lives that this little blog has been unduely ignored.

To echo Jessica in her last post, we are so very lucky to have the friends and family that we do, and most lucky to have Ruby and Rowan in our lives.   These kids give more purpose to our lives,  and more joy than we ever thought possible, and for that we are thankful to God, who without His patience, guidance, and love none of this would be possible.

I am very thankful that Jessica is blogging again, and hope that she continues with it after Lent is over and she returns to the Facebook Universe!

My mission this weekend is to show Jessica how to post pictures and links on her posts.  

You’re welcome!

A Little About Us…

More to come!