Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Practicin' For The New Year!

Tryin' to hold back my excitement for the new year!
Hiya, Friends!  Well, as you know today's New Year's Eve.  This is a big deal!  Today's the day when we bid a fond farewell to Twenty-Thirteen and say a big "Hiya!" to Twenty-Fourteen! 

You know me.  I like to get this kind of thing just right.  It's important!  What if you greet the New Year with the wrong look on your face?  What if the New Year then thinks that you don't like it, and it gets soured on you right away?  What if you look overly eager, and the New Year thinks you're emotionally needy and will be quite clingy?

That's why I think it's so important to practice your New Year's Face, Friends!  I mean, it worked when I practiced my Christmas Face, just in case I opened up a potty chair that I didn't want, and I had to pretend to be all over the moon about it. 

It's important to greet the new year with the right look on your face!
I ended up not needing to use that face, because everything I got for Christmas was really cool, but I'm sure glad I took the time to practice my face, just the same!

It's better to practice for every eventuality, be prepared, and find out it was much ado about nothing than it is to go into something with no practice, and then find out that the very thing you didn't go over in your head is the one thing you shoulda done!

That's my gameplan for today, Friends!  You can practice along with me, if you want!  In fact, I recommend it!

My 'Happy New Year!' Face, Friends!  How 'bout it?!
I think that as long as you look happy to see the New Year, you can't go wrong.  Even taking into account that part I said about not wanting to look overly eager and emotionally needy.  It's a big deal when a New Year comes in.  It happens only once a year.  So of course, your excitement's going to be more outsized than it would be for, say, a Monday or something.  And that's okay!

I'm thinking I'm gonna take a look at Twenty-Fourteen, throw my hands up in the air, smile big, and yell "HAPPY NEW YEAR, TWENTY-FOURTEEN!  WELCOME!  WE'RE GONNA BE GREAT FRIENDS!"  That's how I'm gonna welcome in the New Year!  Maybe give it a hug, say "nice to meetchya!" and then back off some.  Let it catch its breath. 

Yep.  That's how I'm gonna do it, Friends!  Think about what you're gonna do. 

As for 2013... Well, Old Year,  you were good to me.  I had a lot of fun in 2013.  Got to do some really cool things I didn't get to do in 2012 or 2011.  You were always there for me, 2013, and I'll never forget you for it.  I love ya lots, and I'll see ya in my memories!  So long, Old Pal!

I'll see ya tomorrow, Friends... in the Future!  Hahahahahaha!  I love ya!  Muah!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Final Monday!

Hey, Friends- let's be good to the last Monday of the year!
Friends, you know how I'm ambivalent about Mondays.  You know I get kinda grouchy on Mondays, especially when I've had so much fun the weekend before.  Or in this case, the whole week before. 

You see, last week, I got to see lotsa family, and stay up past my bedtime- WAY past my bedtime, and eat lotsa cookies, and have  HOT COCOA with MARSHMALLOWS when I wanted 'em.  I got go play with little kids, and it was so much fun!


If that isn't an epic week of awesome funness, I don't know what is.

Whoa.  I need to turn my attitude around!
Here's the thing.  Today's Monday, and Aunt Colleen and Uncle Lorentz have gone home.  So even by Monday's standards, today could be construed as an extra letdown.

By that, I mean that today's an extra letdown.  It just is.  Last week was super-fun, and Christmas is THE holiday, and now that it's all over, I just feel kinda blah.

Plus, Daddy's gone back to work today.  It's just for two days, but I still wish he was home with me today. 

So there are lotsa reasons not to like today.  Lotsa reasons.  But what I'm gonna do is turn my attitude around.

It's all about how ya look at things, Friends!
I think Monday will be a lot nicer to us if we're nicer to it.  I think maybe if we make a big deal about today being the Final Monday of Twenty-Thirteen, Monday might start feelin' like a big cheese, and it won't be so mean.  I know it's kinda hard to have compassion for the least-liked day of the week, but let's name off some GREAT Mondays we've enjoyed this year.  For instance, think of all those Mondays that have made up the third day on a three-day weekend!  The big ones that were my favorite this year were Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the lesser-known Mondays where Daddy didn't go to work because he was on vacation!

See, if ya look hard enough, there's something good about most things, even Mondays.  And just think of how much fun today would be if we sent off Twenty-Thirteen's Mondays with a pinata.

I really wanna celebrate something with a pinata, Friends!  I really do!  Hahahahahaha!  I love ya!  Muah!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

There's More Holiday Season, Big People!

Come here, Big People.  Lemme give ya a hug!
Hiya, Friends!  Well, I know that Christmas is all over, and some of you have even gotten your Christmas tree all taken down and everything, and I know that can make ya feel a little bit down.  It makes me feel a little sad, because I have such a good time over Christmas Vacation that I hate to see Christmas all over. 

I think it's time for a big hug, don't you?  Yeah, come here, Friends!  Lemme give ya a hug!  I love ya, and I don't like to see ya feelin' all sad!

There's a bright side, you know!  There's still more Holiday Season!  There is!  We still haven't had New Year's Eve!  That's a fun holiday! 

You know something?  I know that what I eat really affects the mood I'm in, and as good as all these Christmas treats taste, they do kinda build ya up and set ya up for a big crash when they wear off.  They do. 
Don't give up now, Friends!  Get back on track!

That's why I'm bringin' up the food again.  I'm not gonna say not to eat any of those delicious, delicious, sugary cookies we all love.  No, I'm not sayin' that at all.  And you can have all the cheese'n'sausage ya want.  You really can.  But remember what I always say about gettin' enough fiber?  Remember how I say if you're gettin' enough fiber, and you'll know if you are, you don't feel all ouchy and bloaty and grouchy. 

Maybe do yourself a favor and have an apple before and after ya have your cheese'n'sausage.  Or better yet, slice up an apple and have it WITH your cheese'n'sausage.  It's really good!  Try it!  I love apples'n'cheese'n'sausage!

And while you're makin' sure you get enough fiber, make sure you stay properly hydrated, here in the thick of Holiday Season.  You can think better if you've got enough water runnin' through your system.  You'll have more energy!  I promise!
There's still time to win this Holiday Season!
Don't be afraid of havin' to go to the potty if you're drinkin' water.  Don't let that stop you from getting enough hydration.  I learned on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood the other day that there are potties EVERYWHERE, so if you've gotta go, you can stop what you're doing, go, flush, and wash, and be on your way! 

It's such a cool concept that it almost makes me wanna try it out, myself.  I mean, it doesn't make me wanna try it out for real, because I have the impression that if I go to the potty once, Mommy's gonna think I'm gonna do it all the time, instead of letting me have just a casual interest.  She's pushy like that.  I wanted to walk around the mall instead of riding in my stroller on a recent visit, and then the next time we went, she thought I needed to be walking on my own the whole time.  Bye-bye, Stroller, I guess.  That stinks.  Sometimes, it's fun to ride around in my stroller instead of walk!  I don't want that happening with the potty.  I just don't wanna go there.

But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't get the rights amount of fiber and water during this Holiday Season, Friends!  Try it and see.  You'll be in a better mood.  Maybe things won't get so bluesy for you.  I don't wantchya feelin' bad, Friends.  I don't!

All right.  I'll see ya tomorrow, Friends.  I see Daddy's messin' around in my office, cleanin' stuff up.  I need to intervene, before it takes me until Valentine's Day to find my pizza making kit.  I'll see ya tomorrow!  I love ya!  Muah!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Last Saturday of the Year

Should we have any special plans for today? I feel like we should.
Hiya, Friends! How's your Christmas Vacation going?  Mine's still going strong!  You bet it is!

Hey, I couldn't help but notice that this is the Last Saturday of the Year.  The Final Saturday of 2013.  Is there anything special that Big People do to observate the last Saturday of the year?  Is there?

I think there should be.  I love Saturdays so much, and I just feel like it's kinda shabby of us to let the last one of the year go by without sending it out with a bang.

Well, if I knew HOW to celebrate, I wouldn't have asked!

What do you Big People do to celebrate the last Saturday of the Year? ... You don't really do anything?  ... You don't think it's an important enough thing, to have it be something you make a big deal about?


I guess since you Big People don't have anything special that you do to celebrate the last Saturday of the year, I'll share my ideas about what we should do.

First of all, I think we oughtta bake some cupcakes.  Make 'em real fancy-like.  Use some sprinkles.  I'm pretty sure Saturday LOVES sprinkles.  And sparkly sugar!  Saturdays LOVE those things!

Oh, can we get a pinata?  Saturdays LOVE pinatas!
Something else I think Saturday would like is a pinata.  You know, those things that are all colorful, and filled with candy and little toys, and everybody takes turns hitting it with a stick until the pinata breaks and all the treats come out?  I've always wanted a pinata.  I mean Saturday has always wanted a pinata, and if the last Saturday of the year isn't an occasion to have one, I sure don't know what is.

You know, Friends, life is a buncha little moments, strung together like beads on a necklace.  I think we oughtta celebrate as many of those as we can.  So I think we oughtta dust off the disco ball, and find a pinata and some treats, and some balloons and some sprinkle sparkly cupcakes and send off the last Saturday of 2013 the right way.  That's what I think we oughtta do, Friends!

I love ya bunches and bunches!  See ya tomorrow!  Muah!

Friday, December 27, 2013

I Have A Dream

I'm a kid with lotsa dreams, Friends.  Lotsa dreams!
Hiya, Friends!  How's your Friday going?  Mine's great.  You know what?  Periodically, I have big ambition.  I have dreams. 

And right now is one of those periodicals. 

A little backstory.  As you know, I dream of being a dentist.  I see how my daddy helps people with their teeth.  Sometimes, he can even change someone's life, just by changing their smile, and I think that's awesome.  Sometimes, people are in horrible pain, and Daddy does his thing, and they're not in pain.  I wanna be able to get people outta pain like that!  So I wanna be a dentist.

The trouble is picking which one I wanna follow!
BUT.  I love to play drums, things that look like drums, things that sound like drums but look nothing like a drum, but if you beat on it, it sounds like a drum, and then also I like to sing and shake a tambourine every so often.  In other words, I also wanna be a rock star. 

Thing of it is, I also like to do interpretive dances.  I just love to use movement to tell a story.  It really speaks to me, and it has, ever since I was a little kid.  I just feel so alive when I'm interpretive dancing. 

But then again, I've also always had a fascination with the Moon.  It has always been my dream to one day live on the moon. 

Dr. Zoe, Rockstar Dentist Interpretive Dancer on the Moon!
Here's what I came up with, Friends.  I'll be an interpretive dancing dentist ON THE MOON!  You see, the lesser gravitational pull on the Moon will really take my interpretive dancing to new levels.  I'll be able to dance and twirl and leap with great ease.  And the interpretive dancing will help me dance off the stress of being a dentist.  I think people will still be pretty wound up about going to the dentist on the Moon, but I'll help 'em.  I'll show 'em they don't hafta be afraid.  And I'll be so awesome a dentist that people will call me a 'Rockstar'.  So I'll still have that portion of my dream, whether or not I am an actual singing and drumming rock star. 

Now, a complicating factor of my Grand Plan is that Mommy says she doesn't wanna live on the moon.  She says she's okay visiting, but she doesn't wanna live there.  And I don't wanna be without Mommy.  So here's what'll happen: Between now and then, I'll just invent me a teleporter to teleport me to the moon and back every day for my work as an interpretive dancing dentist, and then at the end of the day, I'll teleport back to Mommy's to be there in time for dinner.  How about that?!

It's good to have dreams, Friends.  My dream for tomorrow is seeing you, right back here.  I love ya lots!  Muah!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Morning After

Welcome to the Morning After the Day Before!
Yooo-hoo!  Frie-ends!  It's your pal Zozie!

Hi!  How are YOU?  How was your Christmas?  How'd it go?  Didja get some nice presents?  Didja have a nice time with your family?  Didja hafta use your Cone of Silence or any of your Chill Pickles?

Now, keep it up.  Keep up with your calm, Friends.  I know it isn't over.  We're deep in the thick of Holiday Season.  Yes we are.  Don't fold up your Cone of Silence or forget about your Chill Pickles. 

Have ya been keepin' up with your fiber and water?  Go on.  Today, before ya start up with today's festivities, have an apple.  Drink a nicey tall glassa water.  You'll be glad you did, trust me!
I'll tell ya something, Friends! You've got this!

We're in this for the long haul!

So I didn't get a lobster tank for Christmas.  I'm not all that surprised.  There is all that business about the debilitating lobster dander allergy I suffer from. 

Funny thing about that, though.  I have never, ever had any symptoms pop out of this lobster dander allergy.  But I guess I have it, and Mommy would rather be safe than sorry.

No lobster tank, and no honeybees.  It's okay.  It occurs to me now just how much work it is to have a hivea honeybees.  And it's winter and all.  I guess honeybees aren't makin' much honey in the winter.

Plus, there's that thing about the stings.  I'm not gonna lie, Friends.  The beestings had me sorta freaked out.  The thought of beestings sorta freaked me out.  So it's just as well, I think, that for right now, I'm not adding "Beekeeper Girl" to my resume.

I'm bein' happy with what I DO have!
There'll be time for all that. 

I also didn't unwrap a potty that I'd hafta pretend to be all gaga over.  I'm so glad of that, Friends.  See, I have a potty already.  I just don't like it.  I'm glad my Christmas wasn't all potty-liticized with the appearance of another one.  I'm really glad of that. 

I. Love. Christmas!
What I'm doing today is bein' glad for gettin' to spend this week with everybody I love. 
That's a big deal to me, Friends.  That's better than anything I unwrapped yesterday.  I miss my Aunt Colleen and Uncle Lorentz when they're in Pittsburgh.  This week, we're all together.  Every day.   It's almost like when we went to the Lake House again, except it's cold this time around, and there's no lake.

But there IS a Christmas tree, and everybody I love.  And Rozzie's here with us, and she wasn't with us at the lake.  And neither was my friend Buddy-Cat or Frenzi or Graycee, the cats.  So I'm just all kindsa happy.

Find your Happy, today, Friends!  Big hugs -n- kisses to ya!  I'll see ya tomorrow!  Muah!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Stay "cool" today, Friends!  Stay "cool."
Hiya, Friends!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Oh my goodness!  Can ya believe it's finally Christmas Morning?  Don't worry.  I'm not workin' on Christmas Day.  Although, holiday pay WOULD be nice.  What's double of nothing?

.... Yeah, that's what I thought.  So it doesn't really matter if I'm workin' or not today, because I get paid just the same.

Anyway.  I just dropped in to entertain you and maybe give you a little Extra Boost today, just in case you need it.  We've been trainin' for this since Halloween, really.  Holiday Season.  That Holiday Season Winner's Cup is ours, Friends.  I'm so convinced of it, I can already see our names etched in the shiny, shiny metal.  It looks a lot like the Stanley Cup that the hockey boys play so hard for.  Except it's a little smaller, and has red and green tinsel on it.  Hahahaha.
Remember to breathe, smile, and say 'thank you!' No matter what!

Remember our game plan for today.  We're not gonna be the jerks, if there's any jerks to be.  And we're not gonna let the Holiday bring out the jerk in us.  Almost every party has a pooper, and that isn't gonna be us, Friends.  We'll retreat to our Cones of Silence when we need to, eat a coupla bites of Chill Pickle when we feel like we hafta, and we'll remember to breathe, smile, and say 'thank you!' every present, every situation. 

Today isn't the day for petty squabbles or big fights.  Rise above, Big People.  I'm gonna rise above, too.

Party Rozz and Zoe's in the house today! Everybody gonna play and play!
Actually, I'm not just gonna rise above.  You know what I'm gonna do, Friends?  I'm gonna join forces with my best friend Rozzie.  I'm not gonna just rise above things that might annoy me (like unwrapping a potty chair, if that happens- I still don't know!  How about that?!)  I'm gonna BE the life of the party, and so is Rozzie. 

We're callin' our selves Party Rozz and Zoe, and we're in the house today.  Everybody gonna play and play!  It's a holiday, after all, and what's our motto, Friends? 


Say it loud and say it proud!  HOLIDAYS ARE S'POSEDTA BE FUN!  Don't get all wrapped up in things people aren't even gonna remember in a year.  Get all wrapped up in smiling and getting along and having fun and enjoying the people you love!  That's what I get to do!  I get to spend Christmas Day with all the people I love most in this world.  I don't think I'm gonna be able to do anything BUT smile.

Merry Christmas, Friends!  I'll ketchup with ya tomorrow, but for today, from the bottom of my very heart of hearts, I wishyoo a Very Merry Christmas!  Muah!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Practicin' for Christmas Mornin'!

It's almost showtime, Friends!
Hiya, Friends!  Merry Christmas Eve to YOU!  How ya holdin' up?  Have you planned out your Cone of Silence you can retreat to?  I have mine.  And I've also got my case of Chill Pickles at the ready.  We've got this Christmas thing, Friends.

So today, I'd like to focus on something as important as getting your Christmas to-do list done, and as important as devising a strategery to keep yourself from a Merry Meltdown.  It's practicing for actual Christmas Morning! 

What's to practice for, you might ask?

Oh, puh-lenty!  There's plenty to practice for.  For instance, you need to practice your present-face, and you need to practice sayin' 'Thank You!'

Sayin' 'Thank you!' is easy when you've opened up something you really, really like.  For instance, if I were to come downstairs tomorrow morning and see a great big lobster tank with my name on it, and a lobster named Lerbert inside the tank, waving a big lobster-claw at me, it'd be easy to jump up and down and say 'Thankyouthankyouthankyou!'

Or if there was a honeybee hive with a sign that said 'Zoe's Honeybee Hive!' and some protective beekeeping gear, it'd be easy to clap my hands and be all hugs and say 'Thank you! I LOVE honey and I LOVE honeybees!"

That would be easy, Friends!
Will ya do one last rehearsal with me?

It's a longshot on both those things.  It's a longshot in my house, Friends. 

That's why I've decided I need practice smiling and sayin' "Thank You."  Just in case the presents go sideways tomorrow.

Think about it.  Say I've got my heart all set on openin' up a lobster tank or a honeybee hive, and when I come downstairs in the morning, what's under the tree for me ends up being underwear and socks and sheets for my bed and in the big box... a potty.

You know, it would be just like my mother to politicize Christmas- or should I say potty-liticize Christmas by "gifting" me with a potty.  Big People, to put that into context for you, that'd be like somebody special to you buying you ... I don't know... a self-help book on a quirk of yours everybody, including you, knows you have, but nobody's come out and said anything about it yet.  Or maybe it's more like if your special people noticed you've had trouble making it to the bathroom lately, and they buy ya a pair of rubber pants for Christmas.  How would YOU feel if that happened to you, in front of your whole family on Christmas morning.

I'm sure nobody'd buy YOU rubber pants for Christmas, even if you DO tinkle a little bit when ya sneeze or jump.  They wouldn't do it, because that'd be UNCOUTH.  So why's it okay to "gift" a little kid like me with a potty?  I mean, really?!

Here's my excited face. I'm working to maintain it, even if I unwrap a stupid potty!
As you can see, this is a hot-button issue with me, Friends.  It really is.  And this is why I need to practice smiling and saying "Thank you!"  Just in case there's a potty chair waiting for me under my Christmas tree tomorrow morning.  I'm thinking toward the Future, and I don't wanna mess up Future Christmases by handling an uncouth gift in an equally uncouth manner. 

So.  Here's my plan.  No matter WHAT I unwrap tomorrow, whether it's a really super-cool pet lobster named Lerbert in a super-cool tank, or maybe a new Pink Jeep Powerwheelz, or something else really super-cool I haven't even imagined yet, or whether it's a flippin' pottychair, I'm gonna pretend that what I find under the wrappin' paper is just the Best Thing Ever.  No.  I'm gonna pretend it's just the Best Thing Evah!

I'm gonna smile big, jump up, give whoever gave me said present, and say "Thank you!"  If I hafta, I'll pretend I unwrapped a giant cupcake.  That's what I'm gonna do.

All right, Friends.  Here we go.  Christmas morning's tomorrow.  I'll be here at 6 AM, just like always.  But I know I'll see ya when I see ya.  With any luck, I'll be playin' with something super-cool, instead of havin' to pretend to be excited over a potty-chair.  Something about turnin' two, and everybody thinks they've gotta start with the Potty Business with ya.  Sheesh.  But that's something for another day.  It is. 

For now, Friends, Happy Christmas Eve!  We're gonna have a fun day tomorrow!  I love ya and will see ya when I see ya!  Muah!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Holidays Are S'Posedta Be Fun!

I'm sorry I madeja do pushups yesterday, Friends!
Hiya, Big People!  It's Monday, December Twenty-Third.  How are ya doin' on your list we talked about yesterday? 

I know I got a little serious on ya yesterday.  I probably shouldn't have been so stern.  How are your arms from those pushups I made ya do?  Are they a little wiggly-jiggly?  I bet they are. 

I sure am sorry about packin' up and goin' on a power trip with ya.  I really am.  I will try very hard not to let that happen again.

I just figure that worrying about doing something and procrastinating on getting started just makes things worse.  I've seen it overandover again with one of the Big People in my house.  I won't mention any names, but hers rhymes with 'blommy.'  I watch her procrastinate and procrastinate, and hem and haw, and then when she finally gets around to doing whatever it is that she's puttin' off, it ends up taking her like a tenth of the time she spent getting all huffy and whiny about having to do it. 

Blommy would save us all a lot of misery if she'd just do whatever it is, right now, and get it over with.  That's the kind of misery I was tryin' to save you from, Friends, by offering you a detailed system for getting through your Holiday To-Do List.  I just got a little highenmighty with the pushups.  I was coming from a good place in my heart.  Just got a little rough in the delivery.

Take a little time to be silly this Holiday Season, Friends!
What I'd like to say to you is this, Friends: I know this is an emotionally-charged timea year for you Big People.  You might have lotsa baggage you're carrying with you, from Christmases Past.  I get it.  I understand.  If I could wave a magic wand and take away all that baggage, Friends, I would.  I sure would.  But I don't have a magic wand that'll do that, Friends, so maybe you could remember just one thing:

The holidays are s'posedta be fun.  They really are.  That's why we say "Happy Holidays!" and "Merry Christmas!"  We don't say "Horrible Holidays to You!" or "Miserable Christmas, Chump!"  We don't say that, and you don't say that, Friends.  Don't make me get all pushup on ya again!

No. And I understand that sometimes you Big People hafta spend holidays with other Big People you really don't give two shakes of a maraca about.  For whatever reason.  It's okay.  What I say to that is limit your exposure to those people, even though it IS the holidays.  Find a place where you can have a Cone of Silence, so you can chill, and go there to chill when you need to.  And for the rest of the time, take some advice I think is just brilliant:

"Think of those people you're dreading seeing this Holiday Season as old friends that you don't see all that often.  Then after they go home, or you go home, you remember why you don't see 'em all that often."  I think that's just great advice, and that's advice I deploy whenever I'm thrown in a social situation with Mitch from Accounting.  I guess you Big People aren't the only ones who have people that just rub ya the wrong way.

And if that fails, Friends, do something else I do: Pretend you're an anthropolologist studying a different culture.  In a way, I am kind of an anthropolologist, studying a different culture, on account of me being a Toddler and you all being Big People.  Anyway, ya kind of sit back and observate, smile and be pleasant, but don't make any disruptions, because you wanna see the culture you're studying without a lotta interference from you.  Like I said, be pleasant and smile, but don't give it back if somebody engages you with unpleasantry, to get a rise outta you.  Don't play their game, Friends.  Chalk it up to knowing that's just how this culture rolls, and excuse yourself to go get another cookie.  There's ALWAYS cookies this time of year.  Go eat your cookie in your Cone of Silence, and then come back to the party refreshed and ready to observate some more.

Remember: your attitude determines your altitude during the holidays, and if you set your attitudinometer for FUN!!!!!, your altimeter has no choice but to follow along with it and help you rise above the annoyances.  THAT's gonna be how we win the Holiday Season Cup, Friends!  That's how we're gonna emerge happy and healthy.

I love ya bunches and bunches, Friends.  I really do.  Holiday baggage and all.  And I'm sendin' you GREAT BIG KISSES AND HUGS down the stretch.

And speakin' of stretches, now'd be a good time for you to stand up and have a little stretch of your own.  Stretching and breathing help ya fight off stress.  Yes they do.

I'll see ya tomorrow, Friends!  I love ya!  Muah!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Game Plan

Time to regroup like chicken noodle soup!
Hiya, Big People!  Hey, sorry about my post yesterday.  The more I get thinking about it, the more desperate I realize I sounded.  And the more I realize how desperate I sounded, the more I kinda wish I could shrink.

But I'm not gonna shrink!  I'm gonna learn from it and move the heck on! 

Besides, we're into the final push before the Big Holiday.  Christmas, and I've been studying some tactical tactics, and have learned that if we wanna win this Holiday Season and bring home the Christmas Cup, we've gotta have a good, solid plan.

Stick with me, Friends!  Grab some water and a towel, because we've got some serious plannin' to do, mmmmkay?

Write up a list and prioritize the things on the list!
First, I'm gonna wantchya to write down all the things you've still gotta do.  Big and small.  No whining!  If you whine, I'm gonna make ya drop and give me twenty pushups! ... Okay, ten pushups!  Twenty's a lotta pushups.  I don't know why I'll have ya do pushups, but it's something coaches and drill sergeants love to have people do, so that's what I'm gonna have ya do if you keep whinin'. 

Now.  Getchyer list written.  Still have presents to wrap?  Put it on the list.  Still have cookies to bake?  Get it on the list.  Have some last-minute fluffing and dusting to do?  Write it on the list!  Still have presents to buy?  Write it on the...

Wait a minute.  It's December the Twenty-Second.  Sunday, December the Twenty-Second, and you still have to buy your presents?!  What the heck, Big People?  What the heck at all?  WHY are you still sitting here, reading what I hafta say, if you still have your presents to buy?!  Drop and give me ten pushups, then get in your vehicle and go get your presents boughten.  Don't diddle around.  If you're really puzzled for what to get somebody, get 'em a gift card!  There's no shame in buying somebody a gift card!  Some of my favorite things I have came from gift-card money, and my Mommy can tell me who bought the gift card to where, and that's the thing she picked for me.  Gift cards are great, and they're easy to wrap.  So if you haven't gotten your presents even boughten yet, you skedaddle right now.  I'll be here when ya get back.  MOVE IT MOVE IT MOVE IT!

Tackle one of the most fun things on the list, then do a hard one.  Keep repeating that pattern!
Do I still have some friends still here?  ... Good.  For those of you who are still here, and you at least have your presents boughten, and you've made your list and prioritized it according to fun things you're looking forward to doing, and things that are on the list because they're not fun for you, so you've been procrastinating on gettin' 'em started or finished, now is the time to stop that stinkin' thinkin'. 

We all have things we love to do, and that are fun.  We all have things to do that we don't, so we put 'em off, and they go from being unpleasant tasks to being big, scary monsters with bad breath and glowing red eyes that we shut up behind a door and hope never to see again, but we hafta see 'em now, Friends.  It's crunch time.

What-what? You finished your to-do list?  Partay!  Whoop-whoop!
So here's whatchya do.  Make a Fun Task Dagwood Sandwich!  Start with a super-fun task on your list.  Get it done.  Cross it off.  BOOM!  You're already one item on your list closer to being done, done, done.  Next, tackle one of those jobs you've been putting off.  I'd pick one that's an easier one that you've put off just because you don't particularly care for it.  Buckle down and do it.  Get it done.  Cross it offa your list.  Thereya go!  Two jobs down!  Now it's time for something fun again.  Get it done, cross it off.  Now back to a job you don't think is as much fun. 

Keep alternating Fun-Not So Fun-Fun-Not So Fun until your list is complete.

Aww, Friends.  It's gonna be okay.  Trust me, if you just put a little oomph behind yourself and keep on keepin' on, that list is gonna get over and done with before you know it.  Put on some music.  It doesn't hafta be Christmas music.  In fact, the other day when I was coaching Mommy through HER holiday to-do-list, we were listening to Christmas music, and she sat right down on the floor and wailed that if she had to hear "10,000 Santa Clauses" one more time, she was gonna have a nervous breakdown.  While it coulda been argued that that WAS the nervous breakdown, I took it easy on her and put on one of her favorite playlists, and boom.  We were havin' fun again in no time.  Music makes all the difference, Friends.  Make it work for you, not against you.

And if your list is just too big, or there are too many things on it that feel like "haftas" instead of "wannas," take a coupla minutes to go over it and see just how much on there is essential.  Are ya being a perfectionist?  Didja put down "dust under the china cabinet" because you feel like every square inch of your house needs to be spotless for the holidays?  You know, you can let the things like that go off your list for now.  Nobody's gonna be crawling under that china closet to see your dust.  I WOULD dust under there maybe closer to Eastertime.  You know how those egg hunts can get.  But here at Christmas?  Be more broad-strokes-minded, Pals.  Figure out what's really important to you, and tailor your list to that.  Don't worry about the tiny stuff that nobody's gonna notice anyway.

Now it's time to sit down and enjoy a show.  I'm watchin' "Frosty the Snowman!"
I think if you're stressing out over your to-do list, the best present you can give yourself this Christmas is a break. 

But.  If you're still agonizing over your list, because there's a buncha stuff on there that DOES need doing, and you're still feeling overwhelmed, ask someone to help you.  It might not make you better at making the corners on the presents you wrap extra-sharp, but it will definitely make the chores a lot more fun, to have a partner in the work.  Believe me!

I love ya, Friends!  Muah!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Saturday Before Christmas!

Hi, Friends!  It's me, Zozie!
Hiya, Friends!  Hey! Happy Saturday Before Christmas!  How are you?  Have ya got any plans?  Me?  Oh, you know, just the regular things and stuff.  Except everything's all wrapped in red-n-green.

I will accept either a lobster tank or a honeybee hive!  I'm flexible! 
Okay.  I'm just gonna cut right to the chase.  This is my last-ditch effort to gain support for my cause.  I've been bein' really, really good, and I know I said I'm at peace with not getting to have a lobster tank and a pet lobster named Lerbert to life right in my very own bedroom.  I know I said I'm cool with that, until they figure out a cure for my debilitating allergy to lobster dander, but the thing of it is, Lerbert is really all I can think about.

I'd be such a great pal to a lobster looking for a home!  I would!  I would make a SAFE home for a pet lobster!  No boiling my Lerbert, by golly!  I can just go to the allergist and get shots for my debilitating crustacean dander allergy!  I can handle a shot, I can!

Happy Saturday Before Christmas, Friends!  Wheeee!
Or if you think my Mommy and Daddy would be more impressed with a practical Zozie, I would not be averse to coming downstairs on Christmas morning and finding a honeybee hive with my name on it, and a bee-keeping outfit, with one of those hats with the pretty veil on it, and some snazzy gloves, and one of those smokey cans.  I would not be upset, finding that under the tree at all!

I just need the support from Big People like you.  Email my parents.  Call 'em the heck right up.  Tell 'em I'd be the BEST Pet Lobster Owner/ Beekeeper Toddler EVER!  For some reason, they don't listen to my impassioned appeals!  They just dismiss me, just like that.  They'd listen to Big People like you!  They would!

Sorry.  I know that sounded desperate.  I know that sounded like I'm incapable of conducting myself in a mature fashion.  I just get so excited this time of year, I'm realizing.  I get so darned excited.

The important thing to remember is that this is the SATURDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS!  That, in itself, is enough to get all excited over.  So that's what I'm gonna do.  I love ya lots, Friends!  I love ya lots!  Muah!

Friday, December 20, 2013

With a Little Help From My Friends!

I still love apples!
Hiya, Big People!  How's your Friday the Twentieth going?  I'm doing all right.  Hanging tough during this Holiday Season. 

You know, ever since Halloween, when I got candy, it's been a little bit more difficult to stay on track with eating what's good for me.  Yeah, I still eat bananas like they're going out of style.  I still enjoy a good apple.  But I just can't get it out of my head, the wonder of CHOCOLATE! 

Nothing compares to apples for a crunchy-sweet, healthy bite!
A couple weeks back, Daddy took me to Tractor Supply Company, and he bought a bag of those candies with peanut butter inside little chocolate cups.  Oh, my GOODNESS!  They're just wonderful!  They really are! 

I think they're called "Reese's Peanut Butter Cups," but I think I'm gonna call 'em "OH MY GOODNESS WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE??? Butter Cups."

That's how I feel about 'em.  I just love those things!

I see, Rozz. So I should eat more apples and less peanut butter cups?
I hafta admit, Friends, that once I got a mouthfulla that wonderful chocolate and the salty-sweet peanut butter, I had a hard time thinking of anything else. 

I'm starting to see why you Big People have sucha hard time keeping straight your "should-eats" and "wanna-eats."  Until recently, I just wanted to eat!

Well, it was startin' to get outta hand. 

Gee, guys, Rozzie gave me a lot to think about!
Mommy would say, "What would you like to eat for breakfast, Zoe?"

I'd say, "Chocolate!"

Mommy would ask me what I wanted for lunch, and I'd say, "PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!"

I didn't want yogurt.  I didn't want bananas.  I wanted PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!  I wanted CHOCOLATE!

It made for some awkward moments in the kitchen at mealtimes, because of course Mommy wouldn't let me have peanut butter cups and chocolate for my whole entire meal. It was a problem.  A big problem.

Friends, I'm gonna get this Peanut Butter Cup monkey off my back, with the help of my friends!
Rozzie got all my friends together, and they all talked to me about how I should be happy with chocolate for a sometimes treat, but I can enjoy things like apples-n-bananas-n-oranges often!  They gave me a lot to think about. 

They also let me know I'm not alone.  When I think I need chocolate or peanut butter cups... delicious, delicious chocolate or peanut butter cups... what's that? ... Right.  Whenever I think I need those things, my friends are here to support me.  They're gonna get me walking.  They're gonna remind me to have a drinka water.  Am I really hungry, or am I bored, thirsty, or bored?  If I'm really hungry, I can have a piece-a-fruit.  Maybe some string cheese.

I can do this.  I've got my friends!  Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cups aren't gonna push this little kid around!  No they aren't!  Rah! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Damage Control Workout!

Hiya, Friends!  Well, it was inevitable that I'd bring this up, so don't be mad, and don't look so surprised.  Christmas, which is actually a Major Eating Holiday in disguise, is six days away, and so we have what, four?  five days to do a little Damage Control? 

We'd better get crackalackin', Friends!  Don't worry.  I'll be with ya every step of the way.  Every side-step, double-step, step-touch, and step-step cha-cha-cha. 

What I'm sayin' is we're all in this together, Friends!  Now, let's start our Holiday Damage Control Workout!  Put on your favorite music and LET'S GO!

A warmup gets your heart rate up!
1.  The first thing you're gonna wanna do is do a little warm-up, all to yourself.  March around your area for a coupla minutes.  Jog in place.  Nothing too strenuous.  You're just warmin' up!  Okay, ready, go, Friends!  Come on!  I'll stand here waiting for you, since I already did my warm-up!

Warmups are a really important part of our workout, Friends. Don't skip it!  Warmups are the part that gets your heart rate up, and warms up your muscles, so you won't hafta worry so much about injuring yourself.

Think about a rubber band!  When it's all cold, and you try to stretch it, it'll SNAP!  Imagine if that were your hammy!

No!  Don't use the fear of snapping a cold muscle and hurting yourself as your excuse not to work out!  Just warm yourself up properly!

There!  I think that oughtta be just about right.  Let's move on!

Put your hands up in the air! It feels great!
2.   Okay.  You should be warmed up now, so let's get right into our Holiday Damage Control Workout!  We're gonna keep it simple, so exercisers of all levels can keep up, mmmmkay?  Step side to side and clap your hands.  Just let yourself go.  Really get into it. 

Now, we're gonna ramp up the intensity, just a little bit.  You know how we've just been stepping side to side and clapping?  Well, now, you're gonna take two steps to the left, and two steps to the right.  Do that for a little while! It's lotsa fun!

When you get that part down, you can start throwing your hands in the air at the end of each two steps to the left and two steps to the right.  If you're countin' your steps, it'll go Step-together-Step *hands up in the air!*

You can even add in a little bounce, jump, or if you're advanced, a JUMPING JACK!

Gotchya Squats'll getchya in shape!
3.  Guess what!  It's time to do some Gotchya Squats!  These are great for firin' up your glutes and hammies- your glutes are the muscles in your hiney!  And they're the biggest muscles in your whole entire body! The more fired-up they are, the more eggnog you can have at Christmas!  How about that?!

Pretend that you're playin' tag with a little kid- you can pretend that little kid is me, if ya wanna!  And just as you're gonna catch me, ya squat down!  "Gotchya!"  That's how these squats got their name!

We're gonna do twenty-four.  If ya need to hold onto the back of a sturdy piece of furniture for balance, do it, and only squat down as far as you can without straining your knees!  Keep your weight back in your heels, not in your toes!  If your weight's in your toes, you're workin' your quads, and that's cool, but I wantchya to focus on your hiney muscles right now.

If you're advanced, pretend that you're sitting back into a little-kid chair, because I've invited you to a teaparty, and my chairs are really tiny, and you can't say that you don't wanna sit in my little tiny chairs, because if you do, I'll cry.  And what kind of a Big Person makes a Little Kid cry like that?  Come on!  Down ya go!  Feel the burn!

No, you can't just do the last four reps. That doesn't work.
4.  Woo!  Twenty-four Gotchya Squats!  I'm proud of ya, Big People!   But we're not done.  I went and mentioned the quads, which are the muscles on the fronts of your legs.  They're pretty big muscles, too.  They burn a lot of eggnog and fudge if they're cookin', too, so we'd better work 'em.  Grab your chair for balance again, and do the Gotchya Squats again, slower this time, with the weight in your toes.  Don't let your knees jut out too far forward, or else you'll put unnecessary strain on your knees, and we definitely don't wanna do that. Stick your butt back, just like with the Gotchya Squats we just did, just make sure your weight is shifted toward your toes of your feet insteadda your heels!

I know you're feelin' like ya wanna quit, Friends, but remember that the last four reps are the ones that really make a difference.  Don't quit.  Don't be defeated.  You can DO this! Keep good form!

Stretchin' is like the dessert after your workout!  It feels GREAT!
5.  There.  Friends, I am so proud of you.  You got through our Holiday Damage Control Workout, and now it's time to stretch a little bit.  Nothing crazy.  Nothing that's gonna make ya feel like a pretzel, unless you wanna feel like a pretzel. Some people are into that.  I just want ya to stretch those muscles we worked a little bit.  Stretch until you're comfortably uncomfortable, not until you're in pain. 

If it helps ya, think about seein' your muscle fibers stretching while you're stretching them.  This is what they mean when they say "mind-muscle connection."  It might help ya stretch just a little bit deeper. 

Breathe, breathe, breathe, and feel your heart calm right down.

That's something you're gonna wanna remember to do in these days leadin' up to Christmas, Friends.  Remember to breathe.  It'll calm ya down when people are annoying you.  Go to another room and take some nice, deep breaths, and it'll make the stress go away a little bit.

I'm proud of you, Friends, and I love ya!  I'll see ya tomorrow!  Muah!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Aunt Colleen!

Yay! Happy Birthday, Aunt Colleen!
Hiya, Friends!  Today's a very special day.  Yes, it's the week before Christmas.  That's right.  You're correct. But even more than that.  Today's a special day because it's my Aunt Colleen's BIRTHDAY!  How about that?!

I feel for my Aunt Colleen in that her birthday's always gettin' rolled up into Christmas, on account of its close proximity to the Major Holiday.  Unfortunately, my very own present to Aunt Colleen isn't gonna get in her hands until Christmas, so I feel like I'm part of the problem.

But.  Today is Aunt Colleen's birthday, and that's a holiday enough to me!  Please join me in singing to my Aunt Colleen right now:
Happy Birthday toooooo yooooooooo!
Happy Birthday toooooo yooooooooo! 
Happy Birthday, Dear Aunt Colleen!
Happy Birthday tooooooooo yooooooooooo!

I sure hope Aunt Colleen's havin' a great day today.   I sure as heck hope that Aunt Colleen's havin' a great day on her birthday!

If you're readin' this, Aunt Colleen, I'll be seein' you in just a few days, but until then, I'm sendin' ya Xs and Os!  I sure as heck love ya!

Friends, I'll see you tomorrow.  And I love you, too!  Muah!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Last-Minute Squishmas Shoppin'

Well, shoppin' this time of year is a sprint, really.
Hiya, Friends!  Well, as you know, it's a week before Christmas.  We have seven days left to shop, so that's what I'm doin' today.  I'm shopping at the Little Kid Big Box Store Supercenter.

Now, you know how it is, this time of year.  People go a little crazy, wanting to get the best deal, wanting to get everything done and get home in time to get the roast in the oven.  Little kids are no different from Big People, Big People.  We want those things, too.  Even the getting home in time to get the roast in the oven.

Oh, yes, we Little Kids just love to cook roasts.  I'm partial to using my slow cooker, because then I can just put it in, set it, and forget it.  But I hafta admit that oven-roasted roasts do have wonderful flavor and richness.  Either way, you've gotta make your side-dishes, and that's something that worries me when I'm out and about and I have a roast in the slow cooker or the oven.
I believe I have everything I need, so I'm heading to the checkout!

Sorry.  I got off-topic.  I know.  This is a thing with me.  But when I shop, I get hungry, and when I get hungry, all's I can think about is food, and I said something about the roast, and how to roast, and it just got me all hungry.

Don't things like that happen to you, Big People?  Don't they?

Well, anyway, like I was saying, we little kids can get a little crazy this time of year, too, because we have a lot on our mind while we're shopping, too.

For instance, today, I'm trying to stick to my list, which I made out to be in the order in which I'd encounter my items in the Little Kid Big Box Store Supercenter.  I did this in order to accomplish a handful of things: first, it'll help me get around the store faster.  Second, if I'm getting around the store faster, I'm less likely to stop and tarry over pretty baubles I don't need and which are not on my list.  Third, it'll help me not buy things not on my list, so I don't spend money I don't need to spend.
Oh, no. I forgot my Secret Santa gift!
I guess that was three things I was accomplishing.  Not necessarily a whole handful, unless you take into account that those are three BIG things, and I have little hands.  Strike this digression.  I stand by my original assertion that my filling out my shopping list in store-order accomplishes a handful of things.  You bet I stand by it!

So.  It's a pretty brilliant plan, don'tchya think?  I think in modern Big-People-parlance, you'd call it "Totes Brills."  Isn't it?!

Except, those people in charge at the Little Kid Big Box Store Supercenter went and changed things up since the last time I was in there.  They did a floor move.  They did a retail re-set. 

In other words, those jerks messed up my Totes McGotes Brills system, and insteadda me walking into that dang ol' store like a big, stinky cheese, going around fast and being guided by my list that was written out in the order of the store's aisles, I went into that store and felt a little bit like I caught amnesia for a little bit.  Things were familiar enough to make me wonder if I dreamed the way things used to be in the Little Kid Big Box Store Supercenter, but they were different enough to render my super-cool-in-store-order list just a super-uncool-not-in-store-order shopping list.
I don't wanna go back into the fray! I just need to sit down!

Oh, Friends, it was sucha mess.  Things that were on regular shelves in one part of the store are now on endcaps in other parts of the store.  Things that were on endcaps in such-and-such department were relocated to bins in the middle of different aisles.  There's stuff stacked on pallets in the middle of walkways.  And that's part of the display.  They're not going to move the stuff off the pallets and onto shelves or endcaps, because the pallets are those things' shelves and endcaps!

Because my list was no longer in the order of the way things are put up on the shelves, I had to go around the store, hunting and searching on my list.  I dropped my pen I was using to cross off the things on my list that I found, and it rolled under a heavy pallet stacked high with blocks.  Heavy, heavy blocks. 
Like I said. Shoppin' this time of year is a marathon.  Hoo boy.

So I was pretty much going around the store, trying to guess where things were, unsure of what on my list I'd gotten, what I still needed to get.  I backtracked.  I missed things.  There were lots and lots of people in the store, too, so there was that.  The crowds in the aisles were thick as pea soup.

Then, I thought I got all the way to the end of my list, and I fought my way to the checkouts, got almost up to the endcaps that make sort of a chute to the register, and I realized I'd forgotten to buy my present for the office Secret Santa.

Oh, the horror, Friends.  I had to leave the checkout lanes and go back into the roiling roil of the store. 

I guess it's a good thing I put my roast in the crock pot with plenty of liquid.  I think it's gonna be a long day of last-minute Squishmas Shoppin' for this girl.