Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pictorial evidence of Being Too Smart For One's Own Good

He wanted to see the cars that are his reward for going to bed by himself, which were on top of the bureau. So, unbeknownst to me, he brought a wooden stool upstairs and stacked it on another one.

Points for cleverness. Demerits for initiating heart palpitations in his mother.

Happy Birthday

Dear Zack,

Happy 4th Birthday! I can't believe that four years have gone by since you took your sweet old time to arrive in this world (and no, I will never let you forget that). And yet it seems that you've always been a part of our lives. How does that work? I'm not sure, but you might figure it out one day. Because Dude, you are sharp. And you don't miss much. I'm not sure how well that bodes for your Dad and I over the next few years, but it can only serve you well as you grow up.

You are one of the happiest, funniest people I know. It's so obvious that you love being alive. You have a crazy sense of humor and love to laugh and make jokes. Four-year-old jokes, but jokes nonetheless. While you like to have fun, you're also very sensitive to what other people are feeling. You wanted to make sure that we brought cupcakes for all your friends today, and the same for bringing Valentines to school last week. You want to know why people are sad or mad, and you don't like it when they are. You're very empathetic to Georgia (most of the time), and it's so sweet to hear you talking to her reassuringly when she's frightened in the car, or when you're proud of yourself for petting her gently.

That said, you have a very strong sense of self which I hope that you'll keep forever. You know what you want and you aren't really afraid to go about getting it. You're favorite phrase lately is "If I want to do that, then it's OK." This all makes your Dad's and my job of setting limits for you a little more challenging, but again, this will serve you well later in life.

You started writing your name recently and it's just been amazing watching you develop an interest in words and letters and numbers. You're well on your way to reading, and I just can't wait until that world opens up to you. You love to create, whether it be with crayons or playdough or legos, or imagining fantastical stories with all of your toys. You spend lots of time engrossed in these activities and I love to watch the concentration on your face.

You have finally started to go to sleep by yourself! It may have taken some bribery on our parts, and I think a few things have finally clicked in your brain, but regardless, you're doing it all on your own. And you're rather proud of yourself for it, too. There are other signs that you're maturing, too--you're much more conscientious about cleaning up your toys now, you help set the table, you were such a big boy for your first dentist visit.

I hope you know that your Daddy and I love you very much and that we think you're a really cool dude. Many more happy birthdays to you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

It's Wacky Wednesday.

He has fully embraced the occasion.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


This was taken about 5 minutes into our trip home from Mark and Judy's.

Monday, February 06, 2012

This weekend

We were busy this weekend. Saturday morning, Zack started a gymnastics class with one of his buddies, Sebastian, from school. While he was a little nervous before it started, it helped that his friends were there (turns out, another of his school classmates was also in the same class). Parents aren't allowed in the room, and we could only see the kids for part of the time, but he seemed to enjoy himself. His perceptions might be slightly tainted by the meltdown he had on the way out when I wouldn't buy him a toy he saw there.

That night, Sebastian, and his mom and sister came over to play and have dinner. After dinner, all the kids got in the tub together, got jammies on, and watched a show before Sebastian et al headed home.

I'm not sure if this is an example of how scattered we moms are, or how we sometimes lose our identity, but it cracked me up regardless. Before dinner, Sebastian and Zack were coloring. Sebastian told his mom that he was making his picture for Erica. Sebastian's mom looks at him and says, "Who's Erica?" I just burst out laughing. Sebastian just pointed to me and said "Her" with a "have you lost it?" tone of voice.

The next morning Zack and Sebastian met for a playdate at Boden's house. (I told you we were busy!) Boden is another classmate and oft-mentioned friend of theirs. The kids all did really well together and I think we managed to call it quits right before everything melted down.

Boden has two sisters, one of whom is 4 months old. I offered to hold her and give her a bottle, to give Boden's mom a break. I was doing this when Zack walked around the corner. His eyes got as big as saucers, and he said, rather apprehensively, "Mommy? Is that MY baby?" He seemed pretty relieved that this was, in fact, really a playdate, and not a baby-acquisition-date.

Finally, Sunday night we went over to our neighbors' house to watch the first half of the Super Bowl. There were a bunch of kids there, so Zack got to play some more. We had chili, and Rob made some really amazing empanadas. Yumm!

And did I take one single picture of all this fun? Why no, I did not.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Pizza and pre-reading

Zack helped Rob make pizza last night. I think he enjoyed it.

Have I talked about how Zack is pre-reading? He's known what a Z looks like for awhile ("Z is for Zachary and Zoe and zebra."). But more recently he's definitely been realizing that these letter things mean something and can tell people important information. So this isn't an actual example, but he'll do something like take the jar of his vitamins, point to the letters, and say "This says 'these are vitamins and I can't take too many or I'll get sick'." When I read to him at night, he askes me which page I'm reading. And of course, he wrote his name the other day. So he's getting the mechanics of it all. Then last night Rob was reading his new Big Back Yard magazine to him. There are several pages that have pictures of pairs of animals--two cheetahs, two rabbits, two turtles--with the name of the animal in a heart next to the picture. We've looked through this numerous times, and he knows all the animals. But last night, Zack pointed to the words in the hearts, used his finger to follow along the letters, and "read" the name of the animal. Pointing to the words isn't something we've done (though we should probably start), so this was all his doing.

The other thing he's been doing that I wasn't expecting at all is that he picks out words that rhyme. At first he didn't really get the concept---"Orange and orange juice rhyme." But now he's getting really good at it. As he was falling asleep last night, I could hear him whispering words under his breath. Then all of a sudden he said (as if it were the most exciting discovery ever), "Mommy! Shirt and hurt rhyme!"

There is a lot going on in that brain of his, that's for sure. He picks up on EVERYTHING and is so very curious. The other night we were reading his magazine, and we ended up talking about what rhinocerouses (rhinoceri?) eat. I told him that he should remind me the next day and we'd look it up. "You'll look it up on your iPad, Mommy?" Uh, yeah, that was exactly what I was going to do. And we did and he was really interested in clicking on all the links and finding out more about them.

And baby rhinos? "Awwwwww! They're so cuuuuuute!" Just in case you were wondering.