Monday, October 14, 2013

October Sky

 We discovered this park over the weekend, and spend a glorious sunny autumn afternoon walking on the trails, meeting the buffalo, throwing rocks in the lake, and looking for fish and turtles.  What a wonderful time of year; what a great day to be outside!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Little Bright Eyes

 Maren is smiling!  She has figured out her voice and can coo happily, as well as express frustration in little baby conversations.  She laughs in her sleep on occasion.  And, she has great hair!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Ezra is two years old! 

Birthday boy had a rough start to his day, but it did get better.  En route to his two-year check-up at the doctor's office, he threw up.  Breakfast was strawberries and milk, and it all came back out.  Poor kid--he was covered in it and stuck in a car seat.  He kept calling from the back seat in a frantic voice, "Tissue, tissue.  Wipe it mommy.  Wipe it."  We made a quick U-turn, went home, and started over.

At the doctor's office (later that day) he passed his check-up with flying colors, but had to get two shots.  (No, I wasn't thinking very well when I made the appointment.  Crummy thing to get on your birthday.)  As soon as the nurse poked him, Ezra, through tears cried out, "Kiss it mommy.  Make it better!"  What a sweetie boy.  Kisses and hugs did help, and he quickly calmed down.  He would have nothing to do with his Tweetie bird dot bandages, though.  "No dots.  Dots off."  I think I can attribute his dislike to stickers to the book You are Special.  Ezra is keen to remind me that stickers, especially dot stickers are bad.

Birthday celebrations were simple, but just right.  Ezra could care less about cake, but loves ice cream.  So, we had ice cream and cookies.  He thought it was fabulous, so did I.  Scoop ice cream, put cookie in bowl--done.  Ezra loves any type of large vehicle used on a construction site.  So the "prizes" as he calls them, were a dump truck, a roller, and a bulldozer.  He was so entertained by them that he neglected Bear for close to two hours, which is saying something!  It wasn't until he was in his crib, ready for bed that he noticed Bear's absence.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

This Makes Me Happy

I came back from an errand early last Saturday morning to find this scene:

Too precious not to document.  Daddy and Ezra working in the garden together, tools in hand, matching hats.  I am so grateful for this man and boy in my life!  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fill-in-the-blank singing time

Here is a recent example of Ezra and mommy singing time:

And, a few other Ezra-talk tidbits: 
"Hike-a-ba" = helicopter
"Geeps" = grapes
"Ena-pha" =elephants

One night while Molly was visiting, Ezra came into the bedroom where we were talking, and with wildly expressive hands, and great earnestness proclaimed, "Moses!"  And, he meant just that.  I tell Ezra Bible stories, and apparently the Moses and the burning bush story made quite an impression.  Aunt Molly and I got a good laugh from that one!  He has, on other occasions, suddenly, seemingly randomly exclaimed, "Elijah!"  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ezra's Latest

  • Vocabulary skills continue to ramp up.  I have an official echo; literally every word I say, Ezra gives it a try too.  He is also expanding his repertoire with adjectives.  For example, he talks about the "big truck", "tiny dog", "funny boy" and "brown car", etc.  He will echo every fifth word he hears when we read the Book of Mormon together.  Sometimes, he will repeat other people's overhead conversations in the grocery store or the library.  He recently started differentiating "grandma" from "grandpa", and says them very distinctly now.  His first three-word phrase was, "Maybe grandma home?" (pointing to the computer, hoping that we could skype with grandma)  She was, and we did, and grandma was tickled pink that Ezra requested her company.  Anytime anyone sneezes (including himself), Ezra will say very promptly, "Bless you." 
  • Ezra also seems to understand how to articulate some basic emotions.  For example, he will sometimes say, "tummy hurt", or "doggy mad" (if we encounter a wildly barking dog on a walk).  Sometimes he will come to me and say, "Sad.  Hug?"  I am impressed with his acknowledgement of his emotions (I'm sad) , and his efforts to solve the problem (I need a hug.)  Bear is often tagged with emotions as well.  "Bear sick.  Help", was a recent request from my little guy. 
  • Imaginative play is starting as well.  Usually it involves bear.  Bear and Ezra reading a book together.  Bear and Ezra "cooking soup".  Bear getting a "bath" with wipes.  Bear going for a walk in the stroller or a push on the toy mower.
  • He is making connections all the time!  For example, he likes to know what day it is.  If I tell him it is Friday, he immediately hollers (and I mean hollers) "Garbage truck!"  If I tell him it is Saturday he responds, "Daddy home."  If I tell him it is Sunday, he calls back, "Nur-she" (nursery).
  • Ezra and I sing songs all the time.  It turns out Ezra is doing more than just listening to me sing, he is internalizing the words, too.  We play fill-in-the-blank singing time, and I am amazed at the words he knows.  His favorites are "Choose the Right", "Choose the Right Way", and "I Am a Child of God".  We also play fill-in-the-blank singing the ABC's.  
  • Ezra loves strawberries (straw-bees), any variation of chicken-and-rice-and-a-sauce, goldfish crackers, raisins, and apple juice.  He is a spotty breakfast eater, but tends to gobble any and all food at lunch and dinner.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't ask me how...

...I only know I laughed a lot.  

I think there is more of this to come; I occasionally find him partially stripped of clothing after naps. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hate Crayons

Ezra has started to piece together words into simple phrases.  For example, the other day one of his favorite trucks got stuck under the crib.  He came to me earnestly repeating, "Truck, under.  Truck, under."  It was magical--I knew what he wanted and how to help!  He also uses "Get me" or "Help me", when, for example, he throws Bear in the bathtub or down the basement stairs and can't retrieve him. 

His nursery leader told us last week that Ezra is the star vocalist at singing time, and often doubles as exuberant chorister.  But, he could care less about crayons; he his either eating them or throwing them.  After she left I turned to Dallin and said, "How do you teach your child not to hate crayons?"  Ezra, who was within ear shot, picked up on that immediately, and said with a little grin, "Hate crayons.  Hate crayons." (sigh). 

Yesterday, while studying the pictures of the newly called members of the Seventy in the Conference Ensign, he summarized their character in two simple words, as he pointed to each picture, "Happy da-da."    

And Ezra is our happy, talkie boy.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Garden Happy

Before the late season snow storm rolled through, Ezra and I picked a sunny day and spent some time at the botanic gardens. 

The children's garden offers a slice of the various climes of Colorado.  Plant material and elevation change are meant to mimic a microcosm of the state's ecosystems.  We ventured through alpine meadow, weaved through grasslands, and explored aquatic life at Pipsqueak Pond.  As our final hurrah, we ascended Marmot Mountain (10,000 ft elevation) and conversed with the local fauna: a friendly big horn sheep, moose, and red fox. 

And then, we crossed the street to the main gardens where Ezra appeased a plant-obsessive mommy snapping twelve pictures of the same flower head. 

We revisited the moon gate.  No family picture this time, but Ezra helped preserve our family tradition until we can all pose for a new shot. 

Anything with water was appealing to Ezra.  He liked watching the koi in the Japanese garden and threw at least ten handfuls of pebbles into the pond by the bonsai garden.  A friendly squirrel looking for a handout gave Ezra quite a thrill too. 

 I got excited about cool textures and the spring bulbs.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ezra-isms, Updated

Our little guy celebrated his half-birthday this month.  It seems a good time to give an update on current Ezra-isms:
  • Ezra talks with his hands.  As his pediatrician put it, "He looks like he is conducting the orchestra when he babbles."  He seems to do this most when he is excited or trying to show off.  At any rate, he is fairly dramatic!  
  • He has recently become a broken record when he wants something, but has to wait.  For example, now that the weather has warmed up, we go outside most days for a walk.  After his morning milk (and still in pajamas) his only desire is "side" (outside)--right then.  Explanations about first eating breakfast, or getting dressed are pointless.  He will repeat his request endlessly hoping I will at some point give in (or go crazy).  
  • Although he has a huge interest in verbalizing, there has been a fair bit of miscommunication between Ezra and I.  He says a word, but I am clueless as to what he is referring to.  He repeats it; I am still clueless.  And we circle around until he is nearly in tears for trying.  Improvement needed--for both of us!
  • The nursery leader reports that he loves singing time, and dances around the room, kind of hop-skipping whenever songs are sung.  Current favorites include "The Wheels on the Bus", "Old McDonald", "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam", "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes", and "We are a Happy Family".  But, actually, if you sing to him, he is all ears, no matter what the tune.  He loves music. 
  • On those occasions when Ezra is frustrated and hits, I have found it effective (thus far) to say what I like, rather than what I don't like.  For example, instead of just saying, "No hitting", (which usually means I will be hit again), I say "Mommy likes hugs.  Can I have a hug?"  Ezra likes hugs too, and he usually recognizes that a hug from mom is better than hitting.  I am so grateful he is so tender and teachable!  We are trying!  
  • Ezra loves his bedtime routine.  It seems to me that he appreciates the consistency and safe feeling of always closing the day in the same way.  After pajamas, milk, and brushed teeth, we head for his room for prayer and Book of Mormon reading.  When we enter the room, he immediately plops down on the floor, folds his arms, and says (expectantly) "pay" (pray).  After prayer, he will pull down The Book of Mormon, chanting over and over, "Mormon".  We read our five verses, and then he is ready to get in bed.  No fight, no fuss.  He snuggles with Bear, assures that the heater and humidifier are on, and then wishes us, "ni-night."  I know it won't always be so pleasant; I am trying to fully appreciate this stage for as long as it lasts!
  • Books are still a constant in his life.  He now loves the Gospel Art Book, published by the church as a spiral bound compilation of pictures from the Old and New Testaments, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants/Church History.  Ezra sings songs about Jesus and hears stories about Jesus, so any picture of Jesus is his favorite.  He can be happily occupied for 15 minutes straight looking at pictures of Jesus.  Sometimes, I go through the entire "New Testament" (in pictures) and give a short two-sentence synopsis of each story, which he will sit through of his own accord.  I consider it pretty miraculous, but he really loves hearing the stories of Jesus.  
  • We love our sweetie boy!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Picture of Contentment

Ezra, lover of books, with daddy for a second dose of the good stuff.  I think daddy was home from work three minutes when Ezra pounced, book in hand.  He just can't get enough.

p.s.--We made a great find at the public library.  If you are searching for an authentic boy book, try Demolition by Sally Sutton.  There are plenty of large machines that Smash! Bang! Clank! and Rip!  Entertainment value for little boys? Very high.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Ezra has a new favorite mode of communication: conversations via cell phone.  He found a little blue harmonica case that resembles, in size and shape, a real cell phone.  He and his imaginary caller have much to talk about!  (Dallin thinks the tongue clicking comes from him.)

About the only time our little guy isn't jabbering at this or that is while drinking his beloved "ma"(milk), usually snuggled with Bear, and often while looking at a book (or in this case, the newly arrived issue of The Friend.).  We subscribed to The Friend magazine about five months ago, and Ezra looks forward to each new issue.  We read the magazine cover-to-cover all month long, and by month-end it is ripped and crumpled. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Whispers of a Little Boy

Earlier in the week Ezra and I were at the public library.  A fellow mom with a toddler or two approached me and asked me Ezra's age.  I responded that he was almost fifteen months.  "Hmmm," she mused, lost in thought for a moment, "Whispers of a little boy."  How true that is!  I am seeing more and more of little boy and less of baby all the time.  It is quite an exciting transformation!

Some little boy whispers I have noticed lately:
  • Ezra understands our conversations.  For example, he likes to go in the basement with me to do laundry.  But, I can't juggle laundry basket and Ezra and straddle a baby gate, so he has to wait.  I explain the situation, and assure him that I will be right back.  Little gem that he is, he waits perfectly still and patient, peering through the holes in the gate for my return--no crying, no throwing a fit.  When I do come "right back" he is all grins.  He is learning to listen to me and trust me.
  • Ezra means "the helper", and I am beginning to see little helper behaviors come out already.  After every meal dropped/discarded food needs to be cleaned up off the floor.  I usually take a rag and get down on my hands and knees to clean it up.  After a meal, Ezra goes straight for the kitchen towel hanging on the refrigerator door handle, pulls it down, and helps me mop up in a squat position.  What a sweetheart!  He is so aware!
  • When I am reading a book or working on the computer, or just involved in something other than him, and he wants my attention, he will take his hands and turn my head to look at him, pressing my nose to his nose.  Ezra will lock eyes with me and give an intense look, as if to say, "Don't forget about me.  I need your time too."  He seems to understand how important eye contact is as a nonverbal cue for interest in another person. 
  •  At bedtime, and sometimes at nap-time, if he is tired, he will scurry upstairs when it is time to put on pajamas, go anxiously to the fridge for his cup of milk, and then go up to bed quite willingly.  He is recognizes his physical needs!  
  • When Ezra needs my help, he will try and communicate that, rather than just cry.  For example, Bear often gets misplaced in the house.  This is rather traumatic for a little guy.  He will come to me with a worried look, shoulders shrugged, arms bent and close to his ears, palms upturned  and parallel to the floor, which translates into "Where's Bear, Mom?"  We go looking together, and with an extra pair of eyes, it is usually quick work to locate the lost friend.       


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

 Lion, and tiger, and bear--oh my!  It's a zoo at our house, but oh so much fun!  We found the lion costume first and wanted to somehow coordinate with our little Ezra.  I turned Dallin's brown Breckenridge hoodie into a bear costume and I found tiger fleece (on sale!) at JoAnn's and made pajama pants, ears, and a tail.  Ezra was super excited to wear his costume, first to the ward trunk-or-treat party and then again tonight.  We went out for a little bit to our neighbors on the cul-de-sac so Ezra could get a sense of Halloween.  I think he was a little confused, but very interested in all the costumes, lights, pumpkins, music, etc. that accompany the trick-or-treating.  We love our cutie boy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

First Snow

Ezra loves being outside.  It is his all-consuming goal to be outdoors as much as possible.  Many of his melt-downs are because he can't go outside (it's pouring rain, it's bedtime, we are going in the car to run errands, etc.)  Recently, we had our first snowfall, and wouldn't you know, he wanted to go outside.  I bundled him all up and we went, but he didn't really understand snow.  He wanted to touch the snow, but was quite upset when the white, fluffy stuff turned out to be very, very cold.   

What is this?!
I'm not so sure, Mom.  Maybe we can go inside?
The unexpected reality.  (trying to hold the snow)
We went inside about here.  He had his fill.  We tried again a few days later, with gloves.  It turned out much better, although Ezra still isn't especially keen on the cold experience yet.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumnal Adventures

Fall is here and so are cooler evening temperatures.  A favored activity in the fall are corn mazes, which abound plentifully along the front range. The Denver Botanical Gardens at Chatfield hosts a good size maze and ample space for picnics.  What an excellent way to start the weekend.

Team Kuzmich embarking on their mystical journey.

Along the way were sets of clues and questions testing our agrarian knowledge.

Within the domain of the herbaceous labyrinth, thick walls of corn stalks taunt passers-by.  The whistling wind sways the tassels to and fro as their shadowy figures dance in the moonlight.

Upon success passage of the maze, we gave in to the excellent marketing techniques of nearby kettle corn vendors. So here's to making memories, one kernel at a time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Splashy Fun

 Hot August day and splashy fun in the backyard = One contented, perfectly happy boy.  Enough said.