Monday, December 27, 2010

Can You Dig It?

 Zach's party was a huge success!! It has taken me this long to write about it as I had to go through the 224 pictures and videos my dad took of the party. Yes, 224. I was not kidding about how much his grandparents love this kid. My dad also got some cute shots of Zach's friends too that I need to email to them.

Anyway, the party! It was just what I had wanted and envisioned, not without pain, "discussions" between Alex and I and sheer exhaustion. Let me walk you through my vision:

First stop - the hard hats with all the children's names on them and their goodie bags hung underneath.


Then inside to put the gifts under the tree and who wants a drink? Beer, wine (my dad found deep in the pantry), iced tea and lemonade for the adults (do you see the yellow and brown theme continued there??) and juice boxes and mini-waters for the kiddos.


On to the main event, the sandbox in the flower box. This is where the kids spent most of their time, digging and digging in the sand. The weather held out and it was cool but not too cold to be outside.

Miles especially liked the sandpit.
The pizza finally arrived (turns out I should have paid a wee bit more attention to getting the food there than the decorations) and the kids ate and we sang to Zach. I have to give a huge thanks to my friends Jackie, Neha and Laura who were taking care of my child while I was running about. Or talking. Whatever, I was doing something that required these fabulous moms to step in for me.

They were two fun busy hours and I know for next year NOT to wear faux Uggs to stand up for 3 hours during a party. Noted aching feet.

I think everyone had fun, there was sand, pizza and icing everywhere which should be good indicators of a good time had by all. I know that Zach had fun. He seemed a bit in a daze that all of his friends were here! In his house! At the same time! And he too was covered in sand, pizza and icing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grandparents

Both my parents came to visit the past two weekends, in tandem, to help get us ready for Zach's 2nd birthday party. And all I can say is thank the good sweet Lord, I have no clue how I would have pulled off that party without them.  My mom came in first to help me finish the table runner and goodie bags and watch Zach while Alex and I went to his holiday party. Then my dad came in this weekend to help us with the actual party. He got to be privy to a few "discussions" between Alex and I getting ready for the party such as: Alex "Do you want my opinion or do you just want me to move the chair where you want it??" Me looking dumbfounded, "I just want you to move the chair, how was I not clear?" Luckily my parents have been married for 35 years so these types of "discussions" are nothing new to my dad.

Un-selfishly the best part about both weekends was that Zach got to spend time with his Granny Marsh and Papa Wayne. He just adores them both and the feeling is mutual. He even got to see his Aunt Vickie, whom he is still talking about. Selfishly the best part is watching him interact with them and seeing the wonderment on his face when his Granny Marsh can sooth him so well and he and his Papa Wayne make "music" with his new Saxoflutes (thanks KK....). He was amazed that his Papa Wayne could make all those sounds!

These are some pictures my dad took the last time Zach was visiting them in Denton. He is such a good photographer and I think really captured Zach as the little guy he is right now. Even if he is wearing his nightshirts in all of these pictures.





Friday, December 17, 2010

Sing a-little-along

This week Zach's school had its Christmas party and Christmas Sing A-Long for the kids and parents. I think the older kids might do a pageant, but I can't be sure. For Zach's age they ask the parents to come and sing Christmas songs with the kids. I clarify "songs" not "carols" as I had never heard any of the songs they sung, except for This Little Light of Mine. Since his school does Mother's Day out as well as every day daycare on either Tuesday/Thursday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday we have 2 days that we have get to go.

Alex went on Tuesday and I went on Wednesday. I asked Alex how it was and he said he was glad he went as all the other parents were there, but that the kids only sang about every 5 words and our child at one point walked to the center of the circle and stuck his hands down his pants. I immediately glared at Alex and asked where, I wonder, does he get that from? Alex pretended to not hear me.

He also said that he was concerned about Ben's dad as he was pretty sure he is Jewish and they talked A LOT about Jesus being the son of God. I said that I am certain Ben's parents knew that some Jesus talk was a risk enrolling there kid in a Christian daycare. Alex remains skeptical.

I went today and was glad I was there. It is a giant mess no doubt. All the 2 year olds are walking around singing whatever song they want, clapping and alternately throwing themselves at their parents or other kids. Zach's favorite part was throwing the scarves in the air during This Little Light of Mine. He insisted on only singing Jesus Loves Me, which was not on the list of songs to be sung.

The PTA president kept sending these notes about not worrying about taking pictures but instead to use this time to "celebrate the joy of Christ's birth with your child". Ummm lady I have a blog to maintain. But since I am still pretty chicken (her not parking in the roundabout emails still haunt me) I just took my Blackberry in so the pictures are terrible. Thanks a lot Lisa. Next year I will not be so considerate.


 Zach and his girlfriend Abby
 Thinking about singing. Supposed to be singing Jingle Bells and shaking a bell.
Still not singing. Instead he is obsessed
with the tag on the side of his shirt.
What you don't see is me shaking my bell and
singing like a fool behind him.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fast Friends

A few weeks back Alex and I offered to watch Zach's BFF Ben for the evening so his folks could have a night out. They had sweetly picked up our troublemaker from school one night when Alex had to work late and I was in Dallas with baby Chuck.

Ben is just the sweetest little boy ever. I love to call him his full name "Benjamin" in a sing-song voice and he just smiles and smiles. Well, not for the camera obviously. He was so happy to play and run around the backyard. Look who is NOT happy? Yes, the boy on the left who has to share the sandbox he hates. It made me so happy for Ben to get in the box and play with the sand, getting himself covered in it. Not the owner of said box, Zach remained perched on the edge supervising and continually falling backwards out of the box.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Kind of Party

I am high into the planning for Zach's second birthday party. Last year the theme was A Year of Firsts. This year it is Construction. In early November, my friend Beth asked if I had even started planning his party. I was shocked at that accusation and said "Of course! I have a PowerPoint deck with links to all the ideas and items I need!" It just would have been totally weird to start doing stuff back in September when I created it. Not weird that I created it...just weird to start THAT early.

I am currently working on:
- The Happy Birthday Zach sign
- Goodie bags
- Construction tape table runner
- Construction signage for the event

I am BEYOND excited. This is what I live for. Crafts! For a reason! I fear my work is suffering as I google "construction truck images" and scour blogs for other ideas. 

Here is Zach trying on the personalized hard hats. I am not pleased with the name tag - put that on my list.


As an aside, this is not his shirt. He was sent home in it because 
he did not have a jacket and they "thought" it was his. 
Duly noted teachers; I am a bad mother.
I went out that day and got him 3 jackets just to be safe.

I had to bribe him with watching Barney to put the hat on.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Geeaus Loves Me

For Zach's baptism his great-grandmother Rowena gave him the book Jesus Loves Me which sings the song as you turn the pages. Though if you are Alex, somehow the music is too fast for you. Don't ask, I have no trouble keeping up.  Anyway, Zach has liked the book for a while, mainly because of the singing. The book made it into the car with him and is a perfect distraction for our car trips around town.

Cut to us driving every day by St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church on our way to and from school. Each day I hold my breath to pray (maybe to St. Vincent) that he does not say "Fair over? Fair over?" in recognition of the fair we attended behind the church. We were there approximately 20 minutes until he melted down and we had to leave. In August.

Yesterday he noticed the statue in front of the church and I hear "GEEAUS! GEEAUS!" coming from the backseat. I personally had never really looked closely at the statue, but yes it is Jesus and now in addition to "fair over" he says "GEEAUS CHURCH" and of course, "Geeaus fair?"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Good Luck with That

Zachary has begun refusing to have his picture taken. This usually happens when I am trying to take a video or a picture in the car. I hear "No cheese, Mommy! No cheese!" like I am trying to force him to eat vegetables. Now he just hides behind something. I can wait you out, buddy, just try me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Horses, horses, horses

A few weekends back we took Zach to a Polo match at the Houston Polo Club. We had no idea what we were getting into and figured it would either be cool or pretentious. Lucky for us there were numerous people who were trying their hardest to be pretentious, but they were sitting in plastic chairs drinking champagne out of plastic cups. I just scoffed my nose and walked right by with my baby in his "GoNuts" shirt on.

We ended up parking right next to the stables so we got out of the car and came face to face with about 20 horses. Zach was scared and thrilled all at once. When the match started we witnessed one of the few times in recent history that Zach stood totally still to watch the horses run up and down the field. As you can imagine "horses, horses, horses" was said in rapid fire, broken up only by "ball, ball, ball."  He will still mention the horses every now and again with a big smile on his face. We might have to go back. Not many other places to see 100+ beautiful horses in the city of Houston.

"Yes, Zachary we are going over there towards the horses. Can you please just cheese for me?"

About to go stomp the divots.
Not that we knew what we were doing at the time,
we were just excited to be on the field. Classy.

Right before he got so excited about the horses
running towards him on the field he scratched my neck off.

Still very, very focused on the horses, horses, horses

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Birthday

Last week Zach came home singing Happy Birthday. I don't really think it was Katia's birthday, but he is certain it was. When he sings it to Trinity he now says "Happy Birthday, Trick-or-Treat". He will also just wish you a Happy Birthday at random times too. Since I LOVE to celebrate my birthday anyway this is working out very well for me when he turns to me and says "Happy Birthday Mommy!". I just melt.

video

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drop the ball

Zach and I have been doing Gymboree (remember that plus Music class wore me out) for a while now and we are having a problem. This is all he wants to do.

See the hoop? See the buckets 'o balls? Putting all those balls into that hoop is what Zach wants to do in Gymboree class. I literally have to carry him kicking and squealing away to go climb on the various contraptions they build for the kids. You know, contraptions that allegedly build motor movement, coordination, sense of adventure and other wonderful things that are the reason I rush from work to scoop him up and race to the Galleria. But, no, all Zach wants to do is put the balls into the hoop. WHICH HE COULD DO AT HOME.

Except that I finally got him to climb into this tube, but it was filled with balls so I really don't think that counts.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Squeeze

When Zach is "helping me" on his stool in the kitchen he likes to squeeze things. I can't be sure if he learned this form watching me or from school. It always takes me a while to figure out what he is doing as it usually involves him clutching something un-squeezable to his chest and saying "eeeez".

Today I was making a banana-lime jam (of course I was - I can hear you) and Zach was helping me squeeze the limes. He then decided to try to eat one. His stunned face made me laugh. Nothing new with kiddos eating limes and lemons and making funny faces, but this is MY kid eating a lime and making a funny face.
video

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sort of a Reader

Though we have read to Zach for a while now, it has only been the past 6 months or so that he really likes to read with us and look at books on his own. I still remember the first time I saw him sitting with his board books and turning the pages. I love to read so it thrilled me to no end.

However, for a book to really hold his attention it needs to DO something - have pop out pages,  make noise or have texture. He is starting to like to read books with things that he knows, like Goodnight Moon since he spotted the giant full moon last week and has been talking about it ever since.

This is his Thomas the Train book that makes all sorts of sounds. I don't know that this is technically reading since he just focuses on the noises, but whatever, a book is a book.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Sweet Boy

Here is a little video really showing who Zach is right now. Trying to say everything and just the sweetest thing ever. Of course I stopped the video before he splashed me and himself in the eyes and started to cry.

video

Monday, November 8, 2010

Zoo Boo

After the Halloween parade at school, Alex, Vince and I took Zach to the Zoo for what they call Zoo Boo which is just the Zoo with extra Halloween decorations. This year they opened it up on Friday morning specifically for stay at home moms and their "young children". Needless to say, Alex and Vince were some of the few fathers there. We walked around the zoo; saw the baby elephant, the bear and the seals. They had a little pumpkin patch full of tiny pumpkins that the kids could decorate. We opted out of decorating and just posed for pictures and took our unpainted pumpkin home to sit on the porch. 


Vince & Zach looking at the sleeping bear

In front of the tigers

Friday, November 5, 2010

Baby Elephant



A few weeks back Vince took Zach to the zoo to see the new baby elephant and Zach has been talking about that baby elephant ever since. It took us a while to figure out what he was saying...it sounds like "baby llfffnnnt" but he says it so much that it is getting clearer.

This Friday we went back to see the baby elephant, who is darling by the way. Zach has really stepped up the baby llfffnnt calls now; he talks about the baby llfffnnt every morning and says night night to the baby llfffnnt at night. I have to reassure him that yes, the baby elephant is night, night with his mommy. And if we get anywhere close to the zoo he starts shouting "Baby Llfffnnt! Baby Llffnnnt". I am trying to get him to branch out a bit to lions, zebras or giraffes, but he just loves that baby llfffnnnt.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Parade and Parade and Parade

Each year at Zach's school there are two Halloween parades; one on Thursday for the Tuesday-Thursday kids and one on Friday for the Mon-Wed-Fri kids. My baby is an every day kid so he gets to parade his sweet little heart out.  Last year we did not go to either as watching Zach be pushed around in the Bye-Bye Buggy was not really worth missing work. But this year he is oh so mobile and fitting perfectly in his Lederhosen.

For the past two weeks his class has been practicing parading by doing a spider parade with spiders on Popsicle sticks. Apparently there has been talk of shaking their spiders. Zachary thought this meant a full body shake, which we figured out about halfway through the parade. The kids before you see Zach are all in his class, they are: his best friend Ben the giraffe, the twins as bumble bees, Tony (aka the bitter) as a skeleton, Ella as something with a big hat, his girlfriend Abby as a pink cowgirl and then Zach. Bringing up the rear are Olivia as a super cute strawberry and Katia as something green. You can tell I only really cared about Zach.

video

Zach had a full cheering section made up of his Grandpa Vince, Godmother Alison and her boyfriend (and cameraman) Chris. Alex arrived just as we finished the parade. Of course.

Luckily my neigborhood mom's group had a Halloween fair at the park where there was yet another parade. Alex was there this time and got to parade with Zach.
Heading to the park with Ollie

Parading with Daddy 

Family portrait courtesy of goldfish (and Ollie)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Not all organic and flax seed

While yes, I am that crazy mother that packs Flax Seed crackers for a snack and makes her child eat buckwheat pancakes mixed with banana puree, sweet potato puree and blueberrys, here is evidence that even I cave to pizza on a Saturday night. This was the second night of Zach and I's weekend together when his father left us for a wedding in New Mexico. Pizza on the couch was easy and fun. The downside? He can now say 'pizza' which is just awesome, as he likes to scream it when I try to serve him rice balls or bean burgers. Luckily I have tricked him into thinking that quesadillas (with sweet potato puree and tofu) are pizza. I am sure this is all going to paid back to me someday.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All I ask for is one drawer

As any mother knows, privacy is just not happening with kids. I won't go into details but let's just say th large purple top to an under the bed storage box accompanied me to the bathroom yesterday. I have accepted this lack of priacy and space to myself. I am not a girl that really needed a whole lot of privacy anyway. Living in a sorority house and growing up with one bathroom for my sister and mom (Daddy had his own) took care of that.

All I ask for is one drawer. Just one - my makeup/hair/whatever-I-want-drawer in the bathroom. Even with all the entertaining Zach does in our bathroom (and there is a lot) I have NEVER let him in that drawer. It is my stuff. That baby is everywhere else! My closet - OK, whatever come on in and try on my undies and bracelets. The kitchen - sure, let me get you that stool so you can get your dirty hands in our dinner. And we don't need to mention the bathroom again.

So flash forward to me returning home from welcoming my baby niece into the world and what do I see? A headband that I do not remember leaving on the bedroom floor, my face wipes moved to a higher cabinet and my hairbrushes in the grip of a crazed munchkin.

It is safe to say that Alex got a "talking to" that rivaled the our-baby-needs-to-be-fed discussion. I am not messing around about that drawer.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ready to Go


I don't know where Zach thinks he is going, but I am glad he has on a hat. You know he is not wearing sunscreen as I, being the neglectful mother, believe that once it is October I don't need to coat my son from head to two in sunscreen. Good luck to you big boy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Arts and Crafts

In my constant attempt to keep Zach busy after school I thought about the stamps that I have been carrying around since I was about 10. I remember loving these when I was little, I loved how precise they were and hated when the colors ran across the stamp pad. I definitely was Type A even then.

At Gymboree and music class they get stamps at the end of class and all the kids love it. I thought that maybe Zach would like to stamp on paper with my little stamps. He figured out the process and liked to call out the "dog", "cat", "moo" and "horse",  but mainly wanted to put those stamp on his legs and feet. We ended up putting his hands and foot prints on the paper too.


Monday, October 18, 2010

It must be Fall

Most people know that Autumn is in the air because Walgreen's has been taken over by orange, the weather has a hint of non-miserable to it and school buses are all around. Here in the Wall household, we know it is Fall when we make our first trip to the ER.

Yes, last week Zach and I (to be met by Alex) scooted on up to Texas Children's Hospital because Zach was having trouble breathing. It turned out to be a bad case of croup, but it was terrifying.

When I got him from school he seemed fine, a little tired but nothing abnormal. As we were hanging out and playing he started having this cough that sounded like he could not clear the phlegm out of his throat and started to breathe rapidly. I tried giving him his inhaler from the spring with no change. He got a steamy bath but when I laid him down to put his clothes on, it was obvious that he was struggling to breathe, which is when I started to freak out.

I threw some clothes on my crying baby - stopping only to comb his hair - and into the car we went. Given that it was 6pm there was some traffic and I almost hopped up on the median but contained myself. Turns out, when you fly into the ER, throwing your keys to the valet and announce that you baby can not breathe, they take you pretty seriously.

The doctor and nurses were awesome, they listened to me and were great with Zach. When the doctor first saw Zach she said, "Oh sweetie, you look like you don't feel good. But your hair looks great!" He was  not quite as amused as Alex and I were.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Just like Daddy

Zach has figured out how to wear "Daddy shoes", though he can't really maneuver super well in them. No matter, that does not stop the exclamation of "Daddy shoes! Daddy shoes!" whenever he seems them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baby Bailey's Bath

When I saw this picture of my new niece getting her first bath I could only think how angelic she looked and very unlike her cousin looked during his first bath. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pretty Shoes

As mentioned, Zach loves to wear everyone's shoes and mine are the easiest to fit into. He also enjoys his pajamas with shoes (aka the footed pajamas) like the ones he is wearing in the video below. These have monkey faces and are then stuffed into my turquoise flats. All in all it was a lovely outfit choice by Zachary.


video

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A new Little; but A Little Bailey this time

Zachary's cousin is here! My sister gave birth to Charlotte Bailey last Wednesday and we are all in love. As you can see below she has a full head of dark, dark hair and looks just like her daddy. I think that is going to be Lauren's nose eventually though. And she is as stubborn as us as well.

I went up the day before she was born to be the dog sitter/house sitter/food runner. Which meant that Alex was in charge of Zach for 3 nights and 2 daycare days. That is the longest he has ever solely been in charge. I have left my child before (we all know I have zero hesitancy about that) but with his previous job it was impossible for Alex to 100% be able to get Zach from school on time meaning that his sweet parents always jumped in. This time he did have help in the form of Zach's best friend at school Ben's parents who picked him up from school with Ben and kept him until Alex could get him around 6:30. What a change a job makes I tell you! Of course the Wall's got him too....they said they had not seen him in a while and that was the only reason they were going to take him. Now, while that was true, I really think Liv can't let Alex get in trouble. And let's face it, I will do the exact same thing down the road.

But back to Charlotte. My mom sent pictures and Zach is focused on his "Entie" and "Baby". He is currently obsessed with throwing things in the trash so he kept throwing away his Auntie and then getting very distraught when he could not find her. Luckily her mother and grandmother are taking much better care of her than her cousin.



I bought this Woobie online before she was born
 and we laughed at her trying to get out of it. She is still a bit too tiny
for normal size swaddlers but she can't get out of this one!
Sucking her thumb for the first time with her
Auntie who is missing that sweet little cuddler.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Random Zachary

Here are some photos I found on my phone of Zach at Dave and Tami's wedding:

Zach was very helpful pushing the cart when we were leaving the hotel. This was really foreshadowing to him wanting to be helpful all the time now. At home he helps with all sorts of chores. He loves to push around the Swifter Sweeper so I just put a pad on the bottom and he goes to down. He runs into many things but does get up some of the pesky dirt. Same with laundry, he is excellent at putting items into the washer and from the washer to the dryer. You hear a lot of "HEAVY" calls when he is holding wet "daddy shirt" headed for the dryer.


I love these guys in the pic below. They are Zach's cousins, the Morris kiddos: Pat, Danny, Abby, Jack and Emilie. They are just some of the best kids (I guess adults now) I know and I want Zach to be just like them. From my first Thanksgiving with the Walls they have just taken me in as one of them - even when I refuse to play soccer. They are genuine and fun, sweet and kind plus they love my baby. How could I not love them!?

Here they were walking all over the hotel with Zach while I was eating breakfast and generally hiding from my child (yes, yes a common theme in my life). I would like them to come back to Texas tonight. Please.