Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Eye Doctor - Jacob (3 years) & Ashlyn (3 months)

Took the two youngest to the eye doctor today. Jake’s eyes aren't crossing so he will stay with the super high 10.5 prescription for 6 more months.


Ashlyn was next. Nothing other than crummy family history pushed me to take a 3 ½ month old to the eye doctor. I just needed to know. Babies cross their eyes and it’s totally normal but the doctor said after 3 months old if they cross it should be investigated.


She passed round one with flying colors - just like Jake did at 18 months. Then they dilated her eyes and we waited. The tech called us back after about an hour and started checking her by holding different lenses up near her eye and looking in with a light. It didn’t take long for me to understand that if there were no problem she’d have only needed three or four lenses. We were at seven or eight. Finally I probed, “Lots of lenses must mean you found something.”


"Not to worry. She is a bit on the high side."


The doctor took a look at the tech’s numbers and checked quickly on her own but only had to look a second to see the trouble. She measures a prescription of at least a 7 right now in general estimations. That’s a lot.


Not good news. We bring her back in for another check in 6 months when she is 9 months old and see where we are at that time. Somehow I’ve known inside since I found out I was pregnant that this little kiddo wouldn’t escape the plague of my bad eyes. Brian picked this picture of Ashlyn off our blog and added glasses. At least it shouldn’t be as bad as this picture, right?


Today has been a downer day thinking through her perfect, beautiful face. Covering it up with stupid, clunky old glasses. It takes a bit of the purity out of my children’s faces in my eyes. It makes me sad inside all over again though this is the first child I haven’t cried over. Either I’m getting used to it or I “got over it” before it actually happened because there were days of anguish and stress thinking of it all before she was born. Poor girl.


I just have to remind myself, Ashlyn will be beautiful in spite of the glasses.


Our smart little neighbor Trevyn was over to play today. Here is what I heard when they were looking at our chart for Family Home Evening job rotations.


Trevyn inquires: “How do you spell Jacob?”

Jacob confidently replies: “OK. Say the letters after me.”

Trevyn: “OK.”

Jacob: “J”

Trevyn: “J”

Jacob: “I don’t know the rest.”

Trevyn reads off of the name marker: “Ok. J-A-C-O-B.”

Jacob isn’t sure if he’s right or wrong. Both start laughing and run off to do a little more bowling.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Waterfall Ashlyn

Ashlyn turned into a waterfall a week or so ago. Every time she smiles she ejects a waterfall of saliva. Its funny to watch but sooo incredibly wet!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Family Scripture Time

Here we are all piled on mom and dads bed for scriptures before bed. I think we either need to put bricks on their heads to stop them from growing or look into buying a king sized bed. It's getting crowded!

Pictures to Remember - Hearse

I’ve been trying to get a good picture of this for months now. It’s one of those situations where I never have my camera on the right day. I actually caught myself saying the other day, “Dang it! All the good hearses are only out on Sundays.” After that day I set an alarm to bring a camera with us for the drive to and from church. Still none yet, but Brian was able to snag this beauty while he was out doing errands today. He’s a good man, don’t you think?


I think this is the coolest hearse I’ve ever seen. It says, “Hey world! Look at me!” in a reverent Pope-mobile sort of way. Some things catch me by surprise here and this is one of them. It’s just so ornate and loud for my reserved and solemn sort of cultural attitude to funerals, but who’s to say my way is the right way. I wish I could attend a funeral, but it feels like it would be disrespectful to intrude upon a family. Still I wonder, is it a celebration? Full of sadness? Ritual prayer? What does the average person do for their funeral here?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's In a Name?

Sometimes my accent makes me hard to understand. Even in the US people on the phone sometimes think when I say Angie that I'm saying Andy or Annie. Often I have trouble when I pass security gates at my friends condo gates. The security guards can't get my name. It's hard to help them get it right. The other day the guard heard me as MG. He raised an eyebrow but I
quickly assured him that he was correct. My name was MG and I made it through the gate with my visitor parking pass in record time.

Ben also had a funny one this week. He got his new retainer on Tuesday and the case was labelled "Master Benjamin Ryan Zufelt". Unfortunately his middle name is Brian not Ryan. Plus we must have checked the wrong box when we did his new patient forms. I smile every time they call him back to his dental cleaning, "Master Benjamin." Maybe the box said "Mstr" which means master but to me looked like mister. Even his receipts have it printed out completely formal just so I can laugh all over again when I file the insurance claims.

Boring Weather

The weather here is so boring. This is the forecast every day and night all year long. I can't wait to put on a sweatshirt for a chilly mountain morning or evening hike on our Utah trip.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Would You Quit Helping?

Jacob is so darn cute. I worked with Maddie all last summer to learn her numbers to no avail. We have commenced our study again this summer but there is one problem. Jacob keeps butting in and giving his big sister all the right answers. That kids got some brains on him. I'm sad he's going to the American school because he will forget everything the Singaporean school has taught him.

I Don't Wanna

I have four good and important things to do today and I don't wanna do them. Yesterday was supposed to be my productive day at home but it was hijacked by helping other people. Good things were done but my back yard area is STILL littered with everything from the pantry and now I can't get to it until Thursday because the calendar is too full. Grrr. I just want to stay home and clean up my disaster fumigated house!! Just one more fumigation to go I think and we are done with this seven month life altering disaster. I can hardly wait to unpack my clothes back into my wardrobe and know where to find socks for this kid or a tshirt for that one. It's going to be a lot of work putting my house back together but so totally exciting to live in a normal house again!!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Durian Results

It wasn't as stinky or nasty as I thought it would be but it wasn't good by any stretch of the imagination. Gina cut it up for me without giving me warning. If she'd have asked I'd have told her I was too scared still. She says I have to buy the BIG one for the worst kind. Guess I still have some Singapore homework to do. I like that she likes when I buy weird stuff and bring it home. She likes trying it too and helping me figure out how to cook new and strange vegetables. It's fun having Gina with us!

Favorite Shots

Here are a few of my favorite shots from my attempted photo shoot.

Growing Like Weeds


8 years old

48 lbs

48 ½ inches tall


Maddie Mae

5 ½ years old

35 lbs

41 ½ inches tall


Jakey Boy

3 ½ years old

32 lbs

38 ½ inches tall



3 months

over 8 pounds, my scale says 12 pounds - but we’ll have to see in two weeks at her 4 month weigh in

22 inches long (lets be realistic, she’s not standing yet so it can’t be tall)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day Crepes!

Breakfast was a hit this morning. We've only had Crepes with the kids twice now so they are still super cool and exciting. Happy Fathers Day to our favorite daddy!

Fathers Day Dinner

No problem. A pot roast with actual quality meat? Hard to come by but I got it. Now it's time to throw it all in the crock pot before we leave for church. Anyone know which bag holds the little packet of onion soup mix?????

We found live fleas in the pantry now and had to do another fumigation yesterday. Just another standard Saturday where we sit around in the front yard waiting for the peat control guy to finish. Then we are banished from our own house trying to find some way to entertain the kids without spending a fortune.

Brian and the pest guys concluded that we needed to basically empty the pantry and then spray. So this morning it was a hunt through the yellow bags to find a single packet of dry onion soup mix. This will get old really, really fast!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I'm Giving You a Definite Maybe

That's what I got from Jacob this morning. He has been a bit of a destructive disaster lately. He gets things and ruins them even when he knows better. This morning it was a plastic sleeve for Maddie's summer reading chart. He took the thing and crumpled it over and over. By the time I found it I thought I was picking up one of those shrink wrap wrappers you have to rip apart to open a new product. He knew what it was. He knew it should be flat. He's just looking for attention in all the wrong ways.

He finished his time out on the stairs and Brian asked, "Are you going to ruin things again?" After a long and thoughtful pause he replied with slow and steady words, "Prooooobably not."

My confidence level is low.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reading Upside Down

I can't figure Maddie out. We are doing mommy summer homeschool and she's doing it more and more. She reads her books normally but when she reads the review word lists at the beginning and again at the end of the book she turns it at a minimum sideways and sometimes nearly completely upside down. I suppose as long as she's able to read it then I can let it go and give her a little wiggle room because sitting still long enough to read a book is hard to do still.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Handicap Accessible?

This picture was on the door of the toilets at the dentist office today. We took an elevator to the 26th floor and that's the end of the handicap accessibility-ness. Then we had to follow the signs all over the doors and walls telling us to turn here and walk up this set of stairs then another flight I just want to ask the management how exactly they think a wheelchair bound person is going to make it through a maze of hallways and two flights of stairs. This country and their ideas of handicap accessible make me laugh.

Three Year Old Clean Up

Again. I told Jacob to clean out everything under his bed and put it all away. Well he got the books out but they seem to have been discarded in a most inappropriate place. Poor Ashlyn.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Too Much Food?

Ben went grocery shopping with me today. It was all so he could get a ride to the 7-11 and buy candy in the end. The shop is close enough to walk and I didn't have that much on the list that was a must so I figured it would be a light trip and the trolley cart would work. Ben really wanted to drive though so we did and then I decided to get most of the list since we had the car to haul it.

When we were loading the bags into the car he said pointing to our shopping cart loaded to the very top with food, "It sure is good we drove because sometimes THIS happens!" I wanted to laugh and tell him I was totally constrained by the tiny size of the shopping cart and boy oh boy he ought to see me do a Super Walmart shop in Texas. It'd put that little $191.00 shopping trip to shame.

Durian King of Fruits

I did it. Today I bought a durian. The fruit that is so stinky it is literally banned from being carried on the train here. It is reputed to be completely repulsive. If its any clue, it is wrapped in plastic just to contain the smell in the store and I have never before seen it in the store. In fact there is a nasty smell around the market where I do lots of my grocery shopping. There is a durian stand there all day everyday. It's yucky and I try to stay away from that side of the plaza. Now that I have it I just have to work up the nerve to split it open and take a bite.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Breaking in the Pool Today

This summer should be way better than last summer for a million reasons. I'm not pregnant. No morning sickness. Last year there were zero families with kids our ages this year there are five. We hired Gina so I can take some kids out and leave others home so we can do more age specific activities. But maybe the best thing is we have been around long enough that some of the neighbors left us keys or combinations to their swimming pools. we are out in the Reeves pool today having fun despite the sprinkling rain.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Houston Bound

Brian got this in his work email overnight:

“Dear Fairfax Home Based Expat:

The following announcement was made today regarding the decision to relocate the Fairfax Headquarters office to the new Houston Campus.  We wanted to ensure that you were aware of this announcement.  Questions you may have regarding your personal implications should be directed to your functional Supervisor.”

I guess it’s finally official. When we left Fairfax we knew it was likely the last time we would be there. Nothing was announced for the Fairfax office, but there was an obvious LACK of an announcement. ExxonMobil had announced their intentions to build a mega complex in northern Houston to consolidate locations for their Texas employees. It’s been a while, but my vague recall of numbers was something like it being built for 8,000 employees. There were 6,500 Houston based employees.  Rumors of closing the Fairfax office have been around far longer than we were in the area. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read the writing on the wall. Of course it took nearly two years to officially declare it to be so, but we’re Houston bound again in Dec 2013. Or June 2014. Or whenever we finish up this Singapore project.

We’re not surprised in the least. We’re sad to know officially we can’t go back to Fairfax. It’s shutting a door to a life I loved. Still, until we settled in Fairfax, we were very, very happy in Houston. We had full intentions to return when we left but the allure of four seasons and a land of politics won out.

I’m looking forward to:
Tex-Mex food
Big trucks
Parking spots big enough for big trucks
Texas pride
Houston Rodeo
Country music
Owning two cars again
Cheap houses!!!
Managing our own rental property
Home Depot and Lowes on every corner
Warm southern people
Dragging my rusty Spanish up again and using it

Brian is looking forward to:
Riding his motorcycle year round - I haven't blogged about it yet, but he's working on getting his license here and it's LOTS harder here than in the states but he figures it's worth it

Then again, maybe we’ll get another cool assignment.  China? South America? KL? Australia? Europe? A traveling fool can always hope, can’t she?

Maddie Has the Wierdest "If" Thoughts

"If we had a pet giant bird I'd ask it if I could fly on it every morning." Maddie

"I'd fly to school on it." Ben

License to Sing

I'm not a fan of potty talk. We don't discuss bathroom events at the dinner table. Sponge Bob viewing isn't allowed on our television. Jacob knows the rules and is pretty good at following them. He used to ask everytime he was sitting on the toilet doing his business, "Can I say" this word and that one to which I would have to answer, "Yes. You can say it while we are in the bathroom."

Lately he is a bit more independent in his bathroom abilities and just calls me it to wipe so he has a little time alone. I've been hearing him sing a new song as he sits on the pot. It's a random and happy tune with notes all over the place. The lyrics vary in order but repeat the same ten or so singular words over and over and over. It goes something like this, "Poo poo" "pee" and all the proper words of the important boy parts of both genders. He sings and sings and sings his happy little song - within the bathroom walls. When he leaves the free speech zone I don't hear another peep of him and the potty words. He's totally enjoying his license to sing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

6:39 AM

That’s when the first head popped out of their room. Depressing, I know. It’s summer and we’re supposed to sleep in. Lucky (??) for me Ashlyn wanted to eat at 5:00 am and since I’d been under the weather I went to sleep last night at 8:00. So did Ashlyn so I had a great night and by the time I finished feeding her, Brian was about to get up and shower so I fiddled around on Facebook until it was my turn to shower. I landed downstairs to start my productive day and get a bunch accomplished at 6:20.


I got nineteen minutes before Jakey came plodding down the two flights of stairs groggy headed and pulling his two beloved woobies behind him. I love to see him first thing in the morning. He’s cute as can be. Our house is three levels and 38 of the 40 stairs from top to bottom are hard wood. When he wakes he has hand me down pajamas that are stretched and saggy. His hair has been tossled and it looks to have the tiniest hints at curls. He drags his two beloveds behind him as his chubble little feet plod down, down, down in a groggy stooper.  Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Still taking two steps per stair because he’s too tired to do it normally that early in the morning.


When he sees me at the bottom his left eye looks directly at me as his face does one of two things. He can scowl his disapproval at being arisen by his siblings dressing for school. Or smile ear to ear and come sit upon my lap to snuggle in my lap and rub his cheek into my shoulder as he curls in a ball with the woobies.


Today his comments made me laugh. He came to me but before he could even climb in my lap, nature called and he detoured to the toilet. While there he coughed and told me, “Mom. You shouldn’t be down here. I’m sick and you can’t be here if I’m sick.”


Now my nineteen minutes of productive time is spent and all three big kids are up and going. And arguing. Time to go be a mom. Despite the whining after school yesterday turned out okay since I decided to join the pool party at Kristy’s place. Everyone was happy. I think we can make today a good day too. Project of the day? Sorting clothes from the laundromat. Since we’re done with school uniforms for three months we better locate a few more things for these rough and tumble kids to wear!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Let the Whining Begin?

And I was in such a fantastic mood today. Maddie has been home from school for the summer for 45 minutes and she's tired, bored and whining. Jake is making her nuts. At least Ben is happy playing DS with Allen under the desk in the office. It's his favorite place to play because it's a little bit dark. Doesn't sound comfortable though. Sitting hunched over under a desk in the semidarkness in the cold marble floor. He's a little cooky.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Zoo Fieldtrip

Second grade went to the zoo on Friday. Ben had a great time!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jacob Quotes

Nightly Family Prayer

Speaking to God: “Thank you for today. Except that is night already so it isn’t day anymore. So good night.”


Subway Cookie

Brian tries to secretly, subtly ask me in front of the kids if I ate the Subway cookie he apparently left for me in a bag on the table but I can’t understand what he’s trying to say in code language.

Brian: “Did you eat the Subway thing?”

Angie: “The what?”
Brian: “The roundish thing…(pause)…that was dark brown…(pause)…with chips…(long pause)…double chocolate?”

Angie realizes he means the cookie: “Oh. Nope. Was it supposed to be mine?”
Jacob: “Oh. I just wanted a round double chocolate. So I ate it all.”


After Watching the Movie Annie

“Mom that movie wasn’t good for me.”

Ben Surfing Like a Mad Man!

Ben went surfing with his buddies for a goodbye party for the Lobbs.

Brian and I couldn’t go so we sent him with one family...
and he came home with another. 

Monica was awesome and sent me these pictures of him surfing.

He absolutely loved it!!

I made the decision that he wouldn't be tough enought to do it before I asked and didn't want him to be embarassed in front of his friends.

The decision was, of course, based on past history, not just me being an overly protective mother.

But recently he is beginning to emerge from is shy, and is it okay to say wimpy shell. He's taking more risks and ready to ride the waves of life. Haha.

Originally he told me he didn't want to go just as I had guessed. Then he went to school and Rowan talked him into it by telling him how AWESOME it was going to be. He came home having changed his mind and I had to break the news.  He made his choice and we had therefore planned other things so couldn't take him. There were tears. Lots of phone calls and texting. Finally he had a ride. And he did great.
I'm loving my new emerging adventurer! We're going to have lots of fun with him in the next ten years before he launches from the nest and I can't wait for our next adventure. Maybe next time Brian and I can join him.