Monday, September 17, 2012

Zachary's Five!!!!

Our baby boy turned five years old on September 13.  I'm having trouble with this.  Yes, I can count and I knew that five was coming after four, but doesn't five sound soooo much older than four?!?  Yes, it sounds silly, but that's how I feel.  Anyway, this year we did something new and I hope it continues througout the years.  We made a list of 30 questions to ask Zachary.  We'll ask him the same questions every year and see how his interests, etc have changed year to year.  I videotaped part of his interview, but he wasn't into that so we took a break and didn't record the rest.  The list of questions and his answers are at the end of this post.

Some facts about Zachary:
- he is the sweetest boy, he loves to snuggle and I'm not sure he's ever turned me down when I ask for a hug

- he's an incredible big brother.  He loves playing with his baby brother and sometimes gets upset with me when I put Eli down for a nap.  He'll say "but I wanted to keep playing with him!"  I don't know if he realizes how much Eli adores him.  I ask him if he knows we all love him and he just smiles and tells us he does.  I think he does know, but I don't think there's any possible way he could understand the magnitude of that love.

- I think everyone knows he loves dinosaurs and knows A LOT about them, but he does have other interests.  He likes zoo animals, sea creatures, computer games, X-box Kinect games, sports, fishing, drawing, reading, and puzzle mazes too.

- he has a very good vocabulary, but still has some cute little kid speech.  For example, "th" is pronounced as an f or p ("three" is "free," "something" is "some-ping").  He also mixes up some words and it just makes it sooo funny.  The "instructions" that come with a new game or toy are called "constructions."  Vanilla is pronounced "vamilla" which is a change from last year's "ba-billa."

- to Zachary, a hamburger is a burger.  If it has cheese on it then it's a cheeseburger.  We got in trouble the other night for saying we were having hamburgers for supper and there was no ham on his burger. 

- he can be moody.  He takes things very seriously and can get his feelings hurt easily. However he's very much a young man and can be put into a better mood with food, tv, and/or some sleep. 

- he's a good size boy.  On his fifth birthday he measured 48 1/4 inches tall, 63 pounds, and has a 27 inch waist.  It's hard to find him clothes right now!  He's wearing a size two boys shoe. 

- he enjoys having his picture taken, but seems to have trouble smiling and looking at the camera at the same time.  Thank goodness for digital cameras so we can shoot pics and delete as necessary!

- he has the best smile that just melts my heart.  I love his blue eyes too.

Zachary's birthday was on a Thursday and we just had a small party with the four of us and his grandparents.  We ordered pizza and had dinosaur cake courtesy of Mamaw Linda.  The cake was a trial run for her since she's doing the cakes for the joint birthday party we have coming up.  Since the boys' birthdays are only 6 weeks apart we decided to do one big family & friends celebration this year.  That will be on Sept 29th and it will be a combination of dinosaur and Elmo.  Fortunately, both boys like both themes so it works all around!  I'll blog about that after we have the party, but for now I'll end this with pictures of Zachary's small celebration and his birthday interview:

Opening his "Switch & Go Dino" from Mamaw Betty.  She usually gives money for their bank accounts, but this year she found this and it's been the perfect gift for him.  He plays with it multiple times a day.

Happy boy with his new toy!

Proudly showing his stegosaurus cake.  He was excited about this.
Blowing out his FIVE candles!

When asked what flavor cake he wanted, he said "Chocolate & vamilla stripes" so that's just what Mamaw Linda did!

Happy with his gift from Mommy, Daddy & Eli.  Yes, it has a dinosaur in it!

Having fun with his cool card.

Birthday boy and his daddy

Mommy & her five year old

Zachary's Birthday Interview

  1. What is your name? "Zachary G-wen Veale" (Glen)
  2. How old are you? "Five!"
  3. What is your favorite animal? "Dinosaurs"
  4. If you could be any animal, what would it be? "Maybe, probably a zebra"
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat? "Nachos"
  6. Who is your best friend? "I don't know, I have so many"
  7. What is your favorite color? "Green"
  8. What is your favorite number? "5, 4, 1, 3, 12....ummmmm, I think I might pick 4"
  9. Where is your favorite place to visit? "There's a place we haven't been for a long's Splashin' Safari! (sigh) I wanna go there sometime. And Chuck E. Cheese too!" --note: he's never been to Splashin' Safari
  10. What are you really good at? "drawing my dinosaurs"
  11. Waht do you want for your birthday? "golfing alligator game, Big Dino Adventure Squad/Big Boots, Switch & Go Dinos"
  12. What is your favorite book? "dino books about their features, food, teef (teeth), and legs"
  13. What is your favorite movie? "Team Geo Trax - All Aboard!"
  14. What is your favorite tv show? "Robot Rampage" (Backyardigans)
  15. What do you and Mommy do together? "play outside, read books, make cookies"
  16. What do you and Daddy do together? "he plays with me, plays outside, fishing, watch tv"
  17. What do you and Eli do together? "maybe go crazy and make messes"
  18. What makes you laugh? "jokes"
  19. What makes you happy? "my family"
  20. What makes you sad? "when I lost toys"
  21. What is your favorite sport? "Are you kidding me?!? I have lots of favorite sports: football, baseball, t-ball, basketball and that's all."
  22. What is your favorite holiday? "Christmas because it has lots of presents and it's Jesus' birthday"
  23. What is your favorite drink? "juice"
  24. What is your favorite toy? "Imaginext Dinosaurs"
  25. What is your favorite thing to wear? "dinosaur shirts....I"m just really into dinosaurs"
  26. Who is your teacher? "Ms. Angie"
  27. What do you sleep with at night? "my stuffed animals: Giggles (bear), Spiny (dinosaur), Buck (from Ice Age), another dinosaur, and my two pillow pets (Triceratops and Colts)"
  28. What do you think about before you go to sleep at night? "What I want to dream about, but I just dream what I dream about"
  29. What's something you hope you and your family do this year? "maybe, probably, hmmm, I fink it might be Chuck E. Cheese"
  30. What do you want to be when you grow up? "a paleontologist"

We love you, Zachary Glen! 
You are so precious to us.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Last night we had some nasty weather roll through our area.  It rained really hard, we may have had some hail, and our power was out.  We had known it was coming and had some time to prepare.  First of all, we cancelled our plans to go to the Turkey Trot in Montgomery and see the Kentucky Headhunters concert :(  We'd been so excited to take the boys because they both love music and they're such good dancers!  But we knew it wasn't worth being stuck in the rain (or worse) with hundreds of other people trying to drive their vehicles out of a muddy parking area.

Next thing we did was pack a bag in case we had to retreat to our basement for safety.  As we were packing the essentials for a damp, dark basement hideout, I was again reminded that I should have an emergency kit down there.  That's definitely on my to-do-soon list.  We started researching disaster kits as soon as the power was back on last night.

Although we went ahead and put our bag and a cooler in the basement, we never felt the need to go down there.  The storm was bad, but the worst of it bypassed our area and our biggest problem was the power was out.  Not a big deal, obviously just different from our norm.  We sat around our dining room table and lit some candles for light.  We were trying to save the batteries in our flashlights, but Zachary kept playing with them anyway (seriously, a flashlight is one of his favorite toys!).  He decided we should tell stories.  He went first and of course his story was about dinosaurs.  He used the flashlight to make a shadow puppet of a T-Rex.  It was very cute. 

Then it was my turn.  My story was about two little boys named Zuchery & Erye (not very original) whose electricity went out after they went to bed.  Their nightlight went out and they had to deal with the dark.  Zuchery & Erye had to remember their guardian angels were there and to ask them and God to protect them in the darkness.  After a while they realized they felt better and even drifted back to sleep.  When they woke in the morning, the sun was shining and their power was restored.  Zachary giggled at the names in the story, but when I was done he said, "Aww, that's sweet!  Now my turn again!"

I decided to grab a pen & some paper so I could take notes by candlelight from his next story.  The first one was so cute and I know I don't remember all of it.  Zachary's second story was very cute as well although much shorter.  Here's his story:

Once upon a time, there was an elephant and a rhino. 
They were friends. 
The elephant's name was Trunk because he has a trunk.  
The rhino's name was Horn because he has a horn.  
Trunk and Horn played in the backyard.  
They played bubbles because they like to blow bubbles.  
Then they played inside the house.  
Inside the house they played dinosaurs and they rolled a ball.  
Trunk and Horn had to roll the ball because you can't 
throw a ball in the house.  
The End.

It was fun to hear him make up stories.  It was really fun to hear something that wasn't focused on dinosaurs.  We love that he loves them so much but it's nice that he can have other interests too.  After storytime Zachary played with his battery powered Leapster while Bryan got Eli to sleep.  Poor baby had been up since early morning and had only had a one hour nap.  In addition he got his flu shot yesterday, so the little guy was exhausted and getting crabby.  He fell asleep easily.  Our power was restored pretty quickly considering the weather conditions.  We were only without for around an hour.  Zachary fell asleep on the couch less than five minutes after stating he wasn't sleepy.  

Even though our plans were changed and we were concerned about severe weather, it was a pretty fun night.  It was relaxing to sit around a candlelight and tell stories.  Hope everyone else had as much fun as we did in the storm!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Year Later...

The day came and went and now, almost two days later, I realize what I missed.  Saturday, September 1 was the one year anniversary of Eli's second open heart surgery.  Just like anything in life, it seems like it was a long time ago and like it was just yesterday.  I remember so many details about the day that keep it so vivid in my mind.  Sometimes I still can't believe how easily some phrases like "his second open heart surgery" roll off my tongue.  That's our baby and he's had two heart surgeries with more on the horizon.  But I think that it's a positive thing too.  It means we're coming to terms with our situation and it's what our norm is.  I think that's partly why I didn't realize this anniversary was approaching.  I had thought of it early in August, but not since then. 

As it turned out, we had a good family day Saturday that can be thought of as a celebration of sorts.  Zachary desperately needed some winter clothes.  He has only one pair of pants from last winter that still fit so we decided to go to Evansville and get some shopping started for him.  Eli has grown a lot this summer but he still has a lot of hand-me-downs from Z and, since his butt hasn't grown any, he can still wear a lot from last winter.  The four of us shopped at the mall, ate at Hacienda, shopped at Target and finished up at Kohl's.  It was a great day and we had a lot of fun.  Both boys were tired when we got home.  Even though it was 11:30 when we finally pulled in the driveway, Zachary wanted a bedtime snack.  His choice?  A ham and cheese sandwich.  Maybe that's partially why he needs new clothes twice a season!  And just in case anyone is wondering, yes, we do shop at consignment stores for clothes too.  We have a good mix of new & used clothes in this house. 

It was a great day.  The boys were as good as we could expect, maybe even better.  They have such a good time with each other and make each other laugh so much that Bryan and I are really just around to pay for things and drive them.  They really do take care of each other.  I expected they'd get along, but I never dreamed they would be this close at this young age.  Zachary often asks me not to put Eli down for his nap because he doesn't want them to stop playing.  Eli can't stand to be without his big brother for more than a couple hours.  Zachary recently spent the night with Bryan's parents.  The next morning Eli was toddling around and he started yelling "Bubba!" like he does every morning.  That morning Zachary didn't appear.  Eli started getting frustrated and kept looking for him while calling to him.  I told him where Zachary was, but it didn't click with him.  He walked into Zachary's room and checked his bed.  While leaning on the bed he surveyed the room and found a couple other places in the room to check.  I slipped out before he found me watching him.  He came out of the room with his hands out, palms up, and asking "Bubba?  Bubba?  BUBBA?"  He was clearly upset with me for not providing his playmate upon request.  I told him (for the 15th time) that Bubba was at Mamaw & Papaw's house.  The only progress we made was that he started yelling for Papaw instead of Bubba.  I don't think we can let Zachary start kindergarten next year because Eli won't be able to handle the separation. 

Back to my original point with this post, it's been a year since Eli's last surgery.  I missed the significance of the day on that day, but I'm so glad it was just another day for us.  Eli has made such progress in the past year.  He's walking everywhere and is very stable on his feet.  His speed is increasing (which leads to an increase in his falls as well!).  He's using more words but prefers to grunt like Tim the Toolman.  We know he understands a lot though.  He's really smart and you never know what the little creature will do next.  He loves to help me load the dryer.  He actually follows instructions pretty well....unless we're trying to get him to quiet down, quit throwing things, or leave the dog alone.  Other than that, he's great!

Keep checking in because I'll be posting about birthdays soon.  Zachary starts his second year of preschool in two days and then next week celebrates his fifth birthday!  Eli's birthday follows at the end of October.  We decided to celebrate with one party for both of them this year so I'll have lots of pics to post. 

Again, thank you for all your prayers and support since this journey started.