Love Overflowing

Dear Zachary

My dearest Zachary,

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since you came into my life. What a year it has been! It has been my pleasure watching you change and grow from this little helpless creature to a wild and crazy monkey. You are the sweetest little boy that I know. You love life and embrace it. You give your all in everything that you do and it is done with gusto. Whether it’s crawling around the house or being rambunctious on the couch you give 110%. You go full throttle. And yet you always come back to mommy and daddy, wanting some love and affection. You climb up in our laps so that we can give you snuggles, hugs and kisses. Melts my heart every time.

There is a reason that you are called monkey. It’s because you are into everything. You still don’t walk yet but you have managed to figure out how to climb on just about anything. Especially if it gets you where you aren’t supposed to be. There is nothing safe in our house. If we want to keep it away from you, it has to be put up high and out of your long reach. You see something that you want and you are determined to get it.

You are a very energetic little boy. Always on the go. You know what you want and you are not afraid to let anyone know when you are upset. You have no qualms about throwing a tantrum or screaming at me, your daddy or your sister. You want us to know that you are upset and you don’t care what we think. While I think it is good that you are so independent, it’s also very frustrating. You are also very animated. Your facial expressions are just so funny to watch. You have the pouty lip down as well as the perplexed look and everything in between.

There are so many things that I love about you. You are thoroughly changed my life and for the better. I love what you are, I love what you do, I love what you will be. In short, I love you through and through.

I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store. Just one thing: please don’t grow up too fast.

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Monkeying around

The monkey party was a few weeks ago. Even inviting immediate family, we still had a house full. It was great! Although Zachary didn’t think so at first. He hadn’t had his afternoon nap so he was a little concerned as his house was being invaded by so many people. It took him awhile to warm up to his cousins and begin to play with them but he eventually got into the groove.
After letting the kids play for a bit, Zachary dove into his monkey cake. He wasn’t sure about the whole singing and candle thing though. It’s different when there’s only a few people singing off key but when you have 20 people singing off key…. And then there were the presents. Zachary opened a few but really wasn’t into it.
It was a great party and we are so blessed to have such wonderful family to share the day with us. Zachary was pretty spoiled. He is a very much loved little boy.

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This is what it has come to…

My son… Into every thing…
One of his favorite rooms the house is the kitchen, much to my dismay. He opens every single drawer and cabinet. He pulls out utensils, bowels and towels. I “gave” him a few drawers but that was not good enough. He wants access to them all. He plays with the trash can, making the lid open and close while pushing it around the room. He opens the bottom drawer of the oven where we store skillets. Laundry room door not closed? He goes in there too.
It is maddening!!! He has a room full if toys and a sister who will usually play with him. Emily was never like this. She was content to play on her own while I made dinner or washed dishes. Zachary wants to be in the thick of things. Hanging on my leg while I try to clean up dishes. It’s ridiculous.
So this is what it has come to…. This or a good stiff drink every night.

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A couple of monkey boy projects

I made a couple of things for Zachary recently. A hooded monkey towel and a shirt for his birthday party. The towel was much easier than I expected. You can find tons of tutorials one- as fancy as you want to make it. I found a straight forward one on Make and Takes that I used. I just modified it a bit for my needs. The shirt was just iron on appliqué. Super easy!

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Zachary- One year old

Some stats for Zachary at one year.

  • 22 lbs 6 oz (46%)
  • 31 1/2 inches (92%)

I am raising a future basketball player according to the nurse at Zachary’s doctor’s office.

  • 6 teeth (4 on top, 2 on bottom)
  • Still prefers to crawl. Has taken one or two steps at a time but decides crawling is more efficient
  • Favorite rooms in the house: Emily’s bedroom, laundry room and bathroom
  • Favorite toys: remote control, cars, trash can, balls
  • Zachary still loves his pacifiers and must sleep in a sleep sack
  • He wears 12 month clothing in shirts and pants. One piece outfits and pajamas are 18 months due to length
  • Size 4 diapers and size 5 shoes
  • Zachary loves to climb on everything and open everything
  • Cannot STAND any form of vegetable but loves his fruit and dairy products
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Zachary turned 1!

365 days have past since my sweet baby entered the world. It’s amazing how fast that year seemed to go. There is no way to slow down time and make your children grow a little slower. You blink and they have passed another milestone!

To Zachary, January 12 was just another day. To the rest of the family, January 12 was a celebration. A celebration for a little boy who has rocked our world and turned it upside down! We wanted to make the day special for him. A special day for a special boy. After a sugar filled breakfast commemorating mommy’s last meal, we headed to the mall so Zachary could play in their play area. Plenty of room to crawl and climb. What else could a monkey want? For lunch, we headed to McDonald’s so both kids could play some more. The location has a little area designed for little ones- perfect for Zachary. Emily could run off some energy while Zachary got to play as well. It had several of his favorite things- meat, steering wheels and slides.

After a much needed nap, Zachary opened some presents. Emily was pretty antsy for this part. His eyes lit up when he saw his Cozy Coupe. It was a car! And it had wheels! And he has a more than willing older sister who will push him around for long periods of time. It doesn’t get much better than that. Once he saw the coupe it was pretty much over for the rest of the presents. After several trips in his new wheels, we headed over to Applebee’s for dinner with Grandma and Aunt Kristina. Dinner was good but it was made even better by one of his favorite people in the world- his Gaga.

Then came cake. You can’t have a birthday without cake! I made him a “1” cake to share with everyone. He got to smash into a pretty large piece. It was so funny because he didn’t know what to do with his cake. The look in his eyes was “Mommy, usually you cut my food up for me.” He was pretty unsure of the whole situation. He finally decided to go for it. He picked up the WHOLE piece and started gnawing on it. There was no smashing or grabbing. He was eating it all in one piece.

I think Zachary partied pretty hard for a 1 year old!

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Party preparations

It seems like we finished up Christmas and headed right into birthday season! No sooner than the tree came down, I got started on Zachary’s birthday party. We decided on a monkey theme for our little monkey. Invitations were sent and then the planning began. I knew I wanted a monkey theme but didn’t know exactly what. Finally found the “mod monkey” design and ran with it.

I ordered a few supplies from a party website and some graphics from Etsy (LOVE that site!). I used the graphics to create most of the decorations for Zachary’s party. I am, by far, not Martha Stewart. I just enjoy doing this kind of stuff. It drives me crazy half the time but the end result is totally worth it. Even though the guest of honor didn’t know what was going on. I even made his “smash” cake. It was a little big but pretty cute- if I do say so myself.

Without further ado, here are the pictures!


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Cooking with royalty

It is so cold today! Too cold to get outside in my opinion. We scrapped our plans to go to the library because I just couldn’t bring myself to take the kids out in sub-zero wind chill. So we have been having fun around the house. I bought some steel cut oats a few weeks back and saw a recipe for cookies on the back that I had been wanting to try. I decided that today was a good day to crank up the oven and bake.

Little did I know, I was getting to bake with royalty! Princess Tiana and her imaginary prince decided that they wanted to bake some cookies too. By helping mix, they knew that they could sample the product. Smart!

Making steel cut oat and craisin cookies!


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Butterfly House

Winter blahs. What can you do to take your mind off of the bitter cold? Head to the Butterfly House where it is always a balmy 82 degrees! This was Zachary’s first trip there and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the heat or the butterflies. We met our playgroup there so Emily had a great time, as always. Her little friend, Autumn, was there and they always have a great time. Emily even had one land on her head! She was following the advice of Fancy Nancy and was dressed colorfully and had on her butterfly spray (aka Bath and Body Works).

After we sweated and checked out all of the pretty butterflies, we headed over to the carousel. It was a day of firsts for Zachary as this was his first time riding one. Not sure if it was the best choice though as this one is really, really fast! Emily got to ride unattended for the first time. Nice hitting the magic 4 year mark! Zachary seemed to enjoy it as we were waiting for everyone to saddle up. Luckily, at last-minute, I decided to climb on with him. Once we started, he was a little more than apprehensive. He never cried though. Just held on for dear life.

It was a great excursion to mix up the winter doldrums!

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New Year’s

Whew, I am really behind! It seems like we went straight from the holidays to birthday planning. Blogging and computer time have been pushed way down the list of important things to do. I hope to catch up with a few things and get back into a routine soon.

New Year’s Eve. Stephen and I had planned a day with the kids. We were going to hang out around the house and party with the kids. I went to the store and bought some decorations, party tiaras and torture devices party horns for Emily. We planned up a menu of appetizer food for dinner and had sparkling grape juice and bubbly on hand for toasting. It was going to be a fun time!

That morning, we got a call that changed our plans. And I am not complaining at all! Grandma and Papa called and wanted to know if they could party with the kids for a few hours that night while Stephen and I went out and had some alone time. I don’t know any person in their right mind that would turn that down! We still had our appetizer dinner and Emily had her sparkling juicy. The main change was that we didn’t have to put Emily to bed that night. And that was a treat in itself! Of course, she wasn’t actually asleep when we got home and we had to tuck her in again but that’s ok. She got to play with Grandma and Papa for a little bit before she was supposed to go to sleep.

A few hours of child-free time? We didn’t have much time to plan so we were basically flying by the seat of our pants! We were on the hunt for ice cream! After trying a few place, to no avail, we found our way to Cold Stone Creamery. That place is so good. I sometimes wonder what they lace the ice cream with to keep you coming back. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it was unseasonably warm on New Year’s Eve. So much so that there were tornadoes in the neighboring county. We spent a bit of our afternoon in the basement when the sirens went off. So ice cream on December 31 wasn’t too far-fetched.

After we got our sugar high, we still weren’t sure what we wanted to do with our remaining hour or so. We were just driving around and ended up on Main Street. We saw an open carriage and decided that we were going to take a carriage ride. We have always wanted to take one and I am not sure why we haven’t. It was a lot of fun. The only downside, if you can call it that, was that the cold front had moved in and it was pretty darn cold by the time we loaded into the carriage. They were prepared though with blankets. Stephen and I snuggled in and enjoyed the ride.

It was time to head home and relieve Grandma and Papa so they could beat the crazies home. We had a really great time and are really grateful for the last-minute plan change. We weren’t watching a movie, snuggled on our bed, but we were having an even better time. At last, we toasted at midnight to a wonderful new year.

2010 was crazy and wonderful. We had an addition to our family, Stephen started a new job, I broke my foot, Emily started preschool. A lot of big things happened while life went on its mundane way. I loved every minute of it. I hope 2011 is even better! In its own way….

Happy New Year!


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