Sunday, December 12, 2010




I can hardly believe Zoey is already 1/2 of a year old. Six months has flown by so fast!




Zoey is now 14 lbs 7 ounces and 26 inches long. She is the happiest baby! She is always smiling and giggling. This past month she has been working on crawling, but so far just scoots around. She has pulled herself up a couple of times to standing, but cannot do so consistently. She can bear her own weight on her legs, but is still figuring out how to balance.




Aurora tested successfully for her yellow belt, green stripe. We are very proud of her!




We look forward to celebrating the holidays with friends and family!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Zoey is 5 months!








What a wonderful baby we have been blessed with! Zoey is 5 months old now, and loves to scoot and roll around! She is always happy and giggles all the time. She is now 14lbs and 4 ozs, and just over 24 inches! She also drools non-stop and we are expecting her first tooth any day now!




This month has been exciting for the Ziniels! We celebrated Halloween filled with parties, tricks, and treats!


Aurora also won her first medal in Tae Kwon Do! A silver in sparring!


We are looking forward to celebrating the holidays with friends and family . . . both near and from afar!





Monday, October 11, 2010

Zoey is 4 Months!--Exciting Times for the Ziniel Family!




Zoey is growing incredibly fast! I can hardly believe the progress she has made in just one month. She is able to roll both ways, but has only put it all together once. She still has some trouble rolling from her back to her tummy.
She also discovered her feet just last week, and has fallen in love with them! They are one of her favorite things to play with.
She can completely hold her head up on her own and is enjoying sitting at the dinner table in her high chair. She is also able to sit in the exersaucer, but does not go in it yet, because her legs are not long enough to tough the bottom of it!
She also can spend some time sitting on her own with no support! It is amazing to watch.
She had her 4 month visit this afternoon. She is 25 inches long and weighs 13 pounds and 1 ounce. That is almost double her birth weight!
Other exciting news is we purchased a new car! We finally broke down and bought a 2010 Dodge Caravan. I cannot imagine what we did without it. The entire family loves all the space it provides and it is much easier to travel now.
Aurora received wonderful news this week. She went in for a repeat allergy test and shows no allergy to eggs. She has already tried them out! She also shows no allergy to pecans, cashews and almonds! She has a almost non-existent allergy to peanuts, so she will be re-tested for it via a skin test. She is also highly allergic to cats, and we are considering alternate arrangements for Pandora if it is necessary.
Kyle is having a blast at preschool! He is learning many new things, and his language is greatly improved! He is excited for Halloween and dressing up in his Buzz Lightyear costume.
Finally, a special congratulations to my friend Sommer who welcomed an adorable baby boy this past weekend! Welcome to the world Carson! We cannot wait to meet you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Zoey is 3 months!




WoW!

I can hardly believe that Zoey is already 3 months old! She is growing so fast, and is just advancing so quickly. Yesterday she weighed 12 lbs, 10 oz, and was still 23 inches long. That is a whole 2 pounds in the last month! She has moved completely from her 0-3 month clothing, and is into her 3-6 month clothing . . . which is perfect because they are her Fall clothes! It has been very cold lately and we have been having fun with all of her pants outfits!

She has continued to roll over sporadically, but still not consistently. She is getting a lot better at rolling from her back to her belly and is always at least trying to roll to her belly. She also loves to try and scoot around. Sometimes she gets a little traction with her feet and seems surprised that she is moving to new places! She can lift herself entirely on her front arms and LOVES to stand! She also loves to sit in her bumbo and her high chair.

For the rest of the family, it has been a busy time! Aurora started 2nd grade and loves it. We are back on our regular Tae Kwon Doe schedule, and she has a performance at the VCSU football game next weekend.

Kyle started preschool and goes twice a week! He loves getting to play with the other kids and I can already tell that his vocabulary and speech are improving. We are proud to say that he is fully potty trained and loves wearing his big boy underwear.

We hope everyone is enjoying the Fall weather because it feels like winter will start any day now!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Zoey is 2 months!

Wow! I can hardly believe that 2 months has passed so quickly. Zoey has grown and learned so much in that short time.

Zoey is now 10 pounds and 10 ounces, and is 23 inches long! What a change from the little infant we brought home. She is almost able to completely hold her head up on her own, and can raise it about 45 degrees when she is on her belly. She surprised the doctor yesterday when she tried to complete a roll from her back to her belly. I guess I should have clairified what I meant when I told the doctor she could roll. She has rolled several times from her back to her belly and her belly to her back, but she has not yet put the two together and does not do either very consistently.

She is a happy, happy baby! She LOVES to flirt with people giving smiling and sticking out her tongue. She will reach out her arms and legs to let everyone know she wants to be held, and will babble to you if you are not paying her enough attention.

We also were given a nice break and few times she has slept completely through the night. In general, she only wakes up one time. Mom and dad are happy for the much needed extra sleep.

Aurora has been spending her summer with swimming lessons and Tae Kwon Doe. She has a presentation this Wednesday, and participated in a photo shoot for the Fall TKD flyer last week. She is looking forward to starting 2nd grade!

Kyle is currently in potty training boot camp, and we hope to have all the "kinks" worked out by the end of the week! Fingers crossed! He is getting excited for preschool in a few weeks. We are still unsure how long he will spend in preschool, but interaction with others will be a good change for him, and a nice break for everyone in the house. He loves to play with little people his age, and I know he will love school as much as Aurora does.

I am looking forward to starting a new semester next week! I am hoping to find time to write at the end of this week to get my prospectus completed finally. I am looking forward to a new year of students, and especially to teach Intercultural communication, a class I have not taught since leaving KY.

Dennis is busy wrapping up his end cap class, and trying to get all of his ducks in a row for a December graduation! We both hope everything works out so that he is able to do so.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Zoey is 1 Month!







What an eventful first month Zoey has had! She has grown so much, and hardly resembles the same baby we brought home. At 1 month old, she now weighs 9 pounds and 8 ounces, almost 3 pounds more than when she was born! She is giving real, genuine smiles now, and once in a while will make coos and ahs.

We celebrated Zoey's baptism yesterday morning during the 10:30 mass at St. Catherine's church. It was a longer mass, but Zoey was a trooper and did wonderfully. Even Kyle was behaving like a champ! We were happy to share the day with family and friends. We are very blessed to have such wonderful people in both ours and Zoey's life! We were especially thrilled to host "Uncle" Curt for a few days. Aurora loves having someone new to play Nintendo DS with.

In other news, Aurora is attending swimming lessons and Tae Kwon Do. She is enjoying both. They are learning weapons in Tae Kwon Do, and they even get to jog to the park some days and have practice there. Ms. Stacy is a very special coach, and we are very fortunate to have her teaching Aurora.

Kyle is up to his usual 3 year old naughtiness! He LOVES LOVES LOVES his new baby sister though. He dotes over her, and he will sit by her bassinet and wait for her to wake up.

We are looking forward to a mini-vacation in the cities in August. We are planning on going to the "A Day with Thomas" and I am hoping to take a quick trip out to the outlet mall :-) We are also hoping to get out to Bemidji to see Grandpa and Grandma for the weekend.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zoey is 2 weeks!


Today Zoey is officially 2 weeks old. It is sometimes hard to believe she has finally arrived, and yet hard to believe life ever existed without her.


She is an absolutely delight to be around. She makes the funniest facest, and is just a very content baby. Aurora and Kyle are the best helpers to mom. Kyle LOVES talking to her and interacting with her. Aurora loves to hold her, swaddle her, and wants a shot at changing diapers even!


Today we visited the doctor for her 2 week visit. She is 7 lbs 10 ozs now, which is almost 1 full pound from her birth weight (and over a pound since we left the hospital). She measured at 20 inches, which is 1/2 inch more than her birth length! She is growing extremely fast!


Aurora will be in the VCACT production of 101 Dalmatians this weekend. She has been working hard at practice almost every night for the past month, and we are excited to see the show! It premieres tomorrow (Thursday) evening and runs through Sunday, when there will be a matinee. Aurora also got to be a part of the Rally in the Valley parade this past weekend and had an absolute blast singing during the parade to promote the play.


Our summer has been slowly slipping away as we attempt to adjust to the new life in the house. It has been a huge adjustment, but we are starting to settle into a routine!


I hope you enjoy the new picture of little Zoey!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Announcing the Arrival of Zoey Elfreda!

Ok,

I admit this is a little late, and most already know all about Ms. Zoey. In case you have not heard, Zoey Elfreda was born on June 9th at 12:32 p.m. She weighed 6 lbs 13 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

The birth itself was a little bit of a surprise. We had "booked" out delivery date months ago as June 8th. THEN I called the evening of the 7th to get my exact time and they informed me I had been moved to the 9th!!! Apparently someone was supposed to have called, but did not! Another VERY LONG day of waiting.

Zoey arrived on the 9th and was just perfect. I could not have asked for a more beautiful baby! She was able to eat immediately with no coaching from mom at all! She knew exactly what to do! The first night she slept almost the entire night and we had to wake her for feedings. We thought maybe she would be a good night sleeper, but she showed us the next night :-)

We came home on the 11th after 2 nights in the hospital. The bed was uncomfortable (both mine and Dennis's), the room was cramped, and the shower was not ideal. We were glad to return home!

Perhaps her name was a surprise to many, as it was to us. We had decided on the name Trinity MANY months ago, but sometime in may Dennis and I was discussing other names. I just did not "feel" like she was Trinity, and we discussed "Z" names since our first was an "A" name, making the last a "Z". Zoey was a name that stood out and struck us both, and we decided to meet her to make the final decision. When we saw her we both just knew she was Zoey. Elfreda was the Dennis's grandmother's name, and we know she would be honored to share it with Zoey. Now I just need to find something to do with all this stuff I purchased with the initial "T". :-)

Waiting for us at home was Aurora, Kyle, Brittani, and Grandpa Dennis and Grandma Linda. What an extra treat that they were able to make it into town for her birth (and Aurora's birthday party). They were such a wonderful help while we were in the hospital, and assisted in helping the entire family to adjust to this new life.

What a wonderful addition it has been. As I type, Wiggly is keeping watch next to Zoey's bassinet. He is very protective of both her and me. Panda has not taken a real interest. The kids just adore her. Kyle is especially smitten with his new baby sister. He likes to tickle her feet while she is eating. Aurora has been a huge help with putting lotion on her, helping with diapers, and holding her when she has help from an adult.

We are very blessed to have Brittani helping as well. She has gone over and above to assist with anything and everything, especially in caring for Aurora and Kyle. She loves loves loves her new little niece!

What is perhaps most amazing is that Zoey is already growing so fast! Things that we loose on her at the hospital are starting now to fit! It is just incredible! She is also growing more alert and interested in the world every day. Today is the first day we were able to successfully able to get her to sleep in any place other than in our arms and a welcome break it is! I still miss holding her, but it is nice to have my hands free for an hour or so!

Today is Aurora's 7th birthday and I am reminded that 7 years ago today I first became a mom! Being a mom has been the single most amazing thing I have gotten to experience in my life, and I feel blessed to have 3 incredible kids!

I hope to post more information and pictures later tonight! We will do a "weigh in" every week to let everyone know how much Zoey has grown.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Week 38!!!

What a week for the Ziniel family!

We are thrilled to celebrate Aurora earning her yellow belt a little over a week ago. She worked very hard for this achievement, and we were very impressed with her Tae Kwon Doe skills! She also officially graduated 1st grade yesterday and will be in 2nd grade next year. She had an amazing report card, and we are very proud of her! Her last bit of "big news" is she auditioned and received a part in her first play! She will be in VCACT's production of 101 Dalmatians at the end of June. Her character is "Spunky Poodle" (she chose the name).

Kyle has been enjoying many trips to the park with Brittani this week. I also enjoyed spending mornings with just him and I. We colored, played games, put together puzzles and had a great time! I think he enjoyed his sister not being around :-)

Today was our 38 week visit, and although we plan on 2 more weeks before the birth of the baby, we were reminded that it could be any day now! We will not have a 39 week visit next wee as planned, as the drive to Fargo has become very exhausting and the doctor saw no real need for one. The baby is doing well . . . as am I! The doctor did not even measure my belly this time, stating that I was "plenty large". And I am HUGE! I do not think I was this large with either of the other children.

We are looking forward to a restful and relaxing long 4 day weekend at home. Dennis and Linda should be arriving some time next week and the kids are THRILLED!

Also, a reminder, Aurora's birthday party will be next Sunday, the 6th at 12:00 at Pizza Corner.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Week 36--Let the countdown BEGIN!

Well, we have reached week 36, and as the doctor said at my recent appointment, the baby could come any day now . . . but we are hoping to wait until June. :-)

We have had a VERY busy week at the Ziniel house!

Aurora had yellow belt testing on Thursday. She did not break her board, but she gave it a great try. Only one person in her class succeeded in the board breaking! She will be ready next time testing comes around.

Aurora also auditioned for her first real play (non-school) Friday. She auditioned for a local theater for 101 Dalmatians. The play will be this summer, which should be busy as she is also planning on Tae Kwon Do once a week, as well as swimming.

This week is finals week for us at the college. It has been stressful for everyone . . . and I am the only one with work left, of course. I am thankful that the baby held out long enough for me to see the end of senior portfolios as well as grading . . . which I hope will be completed this weekend.

Our 36 week visit went pretty normally. The baby is doing well with a heart beat of 152. Dennis could not make it, as Brittani had a morning final during that time and he had to drop Aurora at school. So, my mom came with me. She had the honor this time of sitting for over a hour to be told everything looked great. :-)

We have the nursery completed, and will post pics soon! Our next appointment is the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. At first I thought this was bad timing on my part, but as Dennis pointed out--it is not like we can go anywhere. Until then!

Friday, April 23, 2010

7 Weeks and counting!

Yesterday (Thursday 4/22) marked out 32 week visit. We were a week late on it, due to our trip to Cincinnati! So, this is an update of all of the exciting events over the past couple of weeks.

Aurora and I spent 3 days in Cincinnati last week. We had a wonderful time! We went to a Mary Poppins Broadway show, which was very fun. It was Aurora's first Broadway musical and she had a wonderful time. We also visited the Newport Aquarium and got the unique experience of 3 events (all in 1 visit). First, we saw a shark feeding, then a penguin feeding, and then we got to hold and touch real shark eggs. We also go to pet starfish, horseshoe crabs, and even small sharks! Aurora enjoyed the airplane ride.

The next day Aurora went to the dinosaur show in Fargo with my mom and Brittani. It was a neat experience for her!

The following day Heather and my mom threw a baby shower for me. Thank you to all who attended! It was a wonderful day, and a great way to cap off our weekend.

The appointment this week was somewhat uneventful. The baby is growing at a steady pace, as am I. The doctor checked the size, heartbeat, and just let us know that all was going well. Our next appointment is in 3 weeks!

The same evening as the appointment, Aurora had her School Spring Show. She even had a mini-solo/ duet part. She did a wonderful job.

I will be posting pictures and video very soon! Aurora has her Spring Dance Show this weekend on Sunday, so we are busy with rehearsals!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Hospital Trip

Hello all!

Just a quick update on a hectic day yesterday. At 2 a.m. I woke up with pains in my lower abdomen. After being up for 2 hours with the pain, I did what any reasonable pregnant person would do, I took a Tylenol PM (approved by the doc) and went back to bed. :-) I woke up with the same pains, and did not think anything of it. I thought it was stomach pain. The pain did not feel like a normal contraction. It would start in my lower abdomen and then shoot up my back. In a million years, I would not have guessed that is what back labor would feel like.

After being up for an hour, I called the doc as the pains seemed to be coming at consistent intervals (20-25 minutes apart). The suggested I come in. It turns out they were contractions. Because they were not increasing in speed, they sent me home after about 4-5 hours of observation.

This morning, they seem to have subsided. I am on bed rest today, and to return to "light" activity through the weekend.

So, a scray day, but the nurse said it was best I came in. And this way I know when these types of pains start again, to start counting the minutes between immediately.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Well today marks the beginning of the third trimester! Wahoo.

Nothing too new to report. We had our monthly OB visit, and thank goodness we will not go to visits every 2 weeks until AFTER April, and hopefully AFTER finals in May.

The baby is measuring almost perfectly, and the heartbeat was at 154. I lost a little more weight, and was showing signs of dehydration, but I have been battling a cold and they are not too worried. I think this pregnancy will go down as a weight loss plan like no other :-)

We are getting excited to actually meet him or her! We will be completely decorating the nursery in April, just in case he/ she arrives a little early (but again, not until after finals :-)). We are going with a star/ moon/ planets theme, and although I do not like all the BLUE, I am hoping to buy more PINK stuff if we have a girl. It is hard to plan everything without knowing, but it is also the really fun part.

My mom and Heather (my cousin) will be throwing a shower for me on April 18th in Fargo. Heather is sending out invitations this week. If you are local, or will be in town, and do not receive one, please let me know and I will get one out to you! I tried to include everyone on my list I could think of, but my brain power the past couple of weeks has been low.

This past month has brought a nasty cold to our home, but thank goodness almost everyone is over it. :-) Aurora has been VERY busy. I posted a link to her "special" show a couple of weeks ago, and we look forward to her final performance in April. She is also gearing up to test for her yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. Kyle had a wonderful 3rd birthday party! We had a great time, and were happy for all of the friends and family that were able to make it. Aurora's party will be in June, but we have not set a permanent date. :-) She wants to have it at the local hotel pool, but we shall see.

I hope everyone is having a lovely beginning to Spring. We are thankful that we have not had any problems with flooding yet. We are praying for all those in Fargo/ Moorhead!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Aurora's Dance Show

Aurora had a special dance show to celebrate the high school dance team's win at state. They did not have much time to practice, but I think they did very well! Mom forgot to press "record" until about 1/2 way through . . . :-)
video

Thursday, February 25, 2010

24 weeks (well, 25 weeks now) and counting!

Today was our 24 week visit, which came just a little late. I was ill with the flu at the beginning of the week, and was unable to make my first appointment.

The appointment was your normal "belly check". The baby's heart rate was 152. The baby is now large enough that if you watch my belly, you can often see it kick. I read in a magazine that you can HEAR the heartbeat if you listen close enough, but so far we have not had luck with that. This was also the week for our gestational diabetes test . . . which was LONG, but came back just fine. :-)

We are very excited to be getting ready for Kyle's third birthday! It will be a "Thomas" affair and should be tons of fun! Kyle has been practicing singing "Happy Birthday" all week.

This week Aurora and I started our preparations for our Mother/ Daughter----Central States Communication Association Conference---trip to Cincinnati in April. Aurora is very excited to go on a plane. This will not be her first plane ride, but she cannot remember being on one before, so it is almost like her first time. She also does not remember being to Cincinnati before either. We are only there a few days, and are spending much of the time at the conference, but will have a little time to visit the Aquarium as well as a children's theater production. I was thrilled today to get the "all clear" from the doctor to go.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

20 week ultrasound pics!











Well, today was the big day. We had our 20 week visit where we were set to get a 3-D ultrasound AND find out the sex of the baby. Dennis and I were a split decision when we arrived at the clinic, him NOT wanting to know and me WANTING to know. My mom was with, and she wanted to know as well (as did Aurora who came along too).

We spent OVER an hour in ultrasound this morning, while the tech tried to get the baby into a good position for photos . . . and to get the necessary photos (of all the major organs). After an hour had passed, she had me get up and walk around, hoping that would shift the baby. No luck! She was able to get the brain scan, heart, diaphragm, kidneys, bladder, and other major organs. She was not able to get everything wanted, and was not able to tell us the gender at all. I guess Dennis was praying harder than me. :-)

So, in the end, God took the decision out of our hands and made it for us. The doctor does not expect to order another ultrasound at all, so we will not find out until the delivery date.

I am posting the pics that we DID get as well. She was trying to get a good face photo, but every time she focused on the face, the baby would cover his/ her face completely with his/ her hands. It was quite funny to see! We did get a couple of profiles, but you can see in the 1st that he/ she once again started covering his/ her face. The last photo is of the feet . . . kind of hard to see.

The tech was amazed that the baby moved that much. She asked if that was normal for the baby, and I informed her it absolutely was! I said it was like the baby wanted to remind me of his/ her presence 24/7. It is reassuring, but tiring.

The due date was 1 day earlier this time (from the ultrasound), so we are still looking at a June 11th due date . . . and a delivery date during the first week in June. If anyone is wondering, Kyle's birthday party is set for March 7th, and Aurora's will be June 20th. Both birthday parties will be in Valley City. Kyle's will be at the house, Aurora's will be I am sure at Pizza Corner (she would eat there every day if we allowed it).

My mom and Brittani will be throwing a shower for me in April (April SHOWERS . . . well, I thought it was funny), so be on the look out for an invite some time in March!