school is finally finished... i finished my last final on tuesday, but it took me several days to get my sleep schedule back on first shift. i had been pulling quite a few all-nighters there at the end, so it's nice to be back to normal. my grades are up already, i got all A's and one A-. apparently UGA switched their grading system, so i have a 3.92 gpa for the semester even though they were all a's. oh well.
i'm still having battery issues with the camera, and it's on my wishlist for school supplies (photography is a required course) but we'll see how that all pans out. i do have some pictures from november which i didn't post, but haven't taken any this month so far. i will be remedying that pretty soon.
zoë is turning into a very self assured little girl, something i hope carries on throughout her life. she will tell us "i'm beautiful. i'm a beautiful princess..." spencer and i have talked a lot about the correlation between the self esteem of girls and their relationship with their dads. the hope is that we provide her with the tools and strengths she needs to go through life feeling truly loved and encouraged. it's interesting to me, how the roles of parents keep shifting throughout the life of a child. which i can only imagine starts to feel like juggling once there are other kids involved. we're trying to learn how to shift our perceptions of zoë to that of a burgeoning intelligent little girl, not just a baby or toddler with more simplistic needs. yes... her needs are still simple, love, care and spiritual guidance.
but how all of that gets addressed is changing. because of this change, we're having to make some changes in our own lives. spencer and i have been alternating our schedules so that i'm with her in the afternoons and evenings, and spencer takes care of the mornings. but my schedule, while technically full time hours, is fairly time intensive, something not likely to change as i only have studio classes to take from here on out. so, with a lot of prayer we've decided to change schools. we'll be transferring up to NGCSU in dahlonega at the end of our lease, to be a bit closer to spencer's parents. they've generously offered to help us watch zoë while we're in school. we still have to work all of the details out, but we have a few more months before that has to be done.
i can't say that i'm really excited about leaving athens. honestly, i have been a lot happier here than i ever was in north georgia, but there is something bigger at stake here. if we want to make sure that zoë gets all the opportunities for socialization, and exploration she can, we have to change things. forgive my post for being maudlin and rambling, i just will really miss it here. but the question arises of importance, and priorities. when it comes down to it, zoë is our priority. thus, the changes.
i'm working on editing my photos from november, expect that post quickly.
so we're doing one last potty visit before bed... zoë's little all in one potty chair is perched on one of the kitchen chairs while she colors. anything to keep her on her chair as long as possible... earlier she was "driving the potty" around the house, scooting the chair all over the living room.
i haven't used my camera in 2 months. which is a shame, i know. i keep using the school thing as an excuse, but it really is a viable one. i don't know if my issue is because i'm taking more classes than i was this summer, or i'm just getting lazy. i do know that my frustration with my camera batteries leads to me not charging them, since they hold a charge for 20 minutes and then die again. after charging for 8 hours.
but all of that is secondary... eventually, i will get my act together, and start posting more pictures. until then, here's some zoë stories.
tonight, while eating chicken nuggets for dinner, she started throwing them on the ground. when i told her to stop, she replied "i'm playing 'keeball' with my nuggets!" apparently, our trip to chuck e cheese 2 months ago made a real impact.
we went to walmart after dinner to go pick up eggs and juice. what did zoë ask for the entire time? not candy, toys or treats. all the miniature pumpkins that were all over the store. my thought is, if the child wants to kiss her vegetables (she really does kiss them - the usual comment is "awwww, fweet punkins" followed by some cuddling and smooching) then i can oblige her.
she's still not potty trained, although we do spend a lot of time on the potty. lots of songs get sung in the bathroom, books get read, and i've even taken to letting her play in bowls of warm water (hands only, kinda like the sleepover pranks we used to pull when we were pre-teens). no luck yet, but i'm hoping we're getting there.
she rides her tricycle all over the house and driveway, cheers with her pom poms, and loves to watch "amimals" on the computer. we've got netflix, and i have the planet earth series checked out right now.
she's very aware of her night time routine, and whenever we're out after about 7:30, she starts asking to "go back to zoë's house. put on nightgown? brush teeth? read ima bunny (i am a bunny - house favorite around here) snuggle in momma poppas bed? go night in big girl bed?"... at least she knows what to expect.
she's got a play kitchen in her room, courtesy of grandma and grandpa, and when i'm cooking dinner, and tell her to stay away from the oven (i want her to stay in the habit of not trying to touch what's going on) she'll reply "i cook dinner in zoë's room. i cooking mac and cheese!"... i think if she had to pick one food to survive on, it would be mac and cheese.
and the songs. oh the songs. we sing endless songs, all day long. the itsy bitsy spider, deep and wide, if you're happy and you know it, matt redman's "you never let go" and the abc's are among just a few of our song samples. she knows the abc song, and can count to 15 without getting confused (she will go up to 20, but it's very out of order after 15). as far as recognizing letters, she's got W down pat. actually, she learned W about 6 months ago, before she could even sing the song. why, i don't know. but it just is.
so zoë is her silly "2 and half" year old self, and spencer and i are settled (settling, but more settled than we have been anywhere else) in our routine, and in our town. i still can't stand game days, since the art studios get shut down on game day. i feel like it's a bit unfair, as most of the art majors need access to the studio to do their work. it's not like the library gets shut down on game day. whatever.... i'm just complaining. my classes are going well, and i am seriously considering double concentrating. we'll see, after the spring semester my mind might change. i'm considering printmaking and fabric design as co-concentrates, but i need to take some sort of printmaking class first. the plan is to take one in the spring, and then go from there. it will require 2 extra semesters of work, but at this point, it's not going to make a huge difference, since my hope scholarship will run out long before i graduate.
i feel like, in a lot of ways, we're just trying to survive. when i'm not swamped with work from school, i do experience my usual existential crisis, of "who am i and what am i doing with my life?" but the work load is so heavy right now, all i can do is think about the present. i want to make sure all my decisions are brought before the Lord, and really examined to find His will, but so often i just slip through life without a thought. i want that to change. it's just tough to live a thoughtful life when you can barely keep your thoughts in your head.
whenever i get the camera squared away again, i'll take pictures of zoë, and pictures of my drawings. i can already see myself improving. and that's a good thing. now to see change in all the other aspects of my life.
i guess i completely forgot to mention it, in my joy of actually getting in. but i am an art major at uga now. ha. it was a big deal when i found out, and i can't believe i forgot to blog it.
here's those pictures.
and if there's any doubt we live in "bulldog country", let the first picture show that apparently, crazed rabid bulldog statues in walmart are the best way to show team spirit. seriously, that was the scariest thing i've seen in a while, and it's just hanging out on top of a display at wally world.