Zachary is a child with personality. There is simply no other way to put it. He does the craziest things, says the funniest things and will never be accused of being dull.
Zach has a very independent, dominate personality. He wants to do things "my self." Today, he went upstairs, into the fridge, pulled out the apple juice, got a cup, brought it downstairs, and then when he brought it to me, he said, "self." Zach wants people to see him independent. Maybe he thinks he will get even more lee-way. He is very much the "big" brother. He speaks for Max (which certainly has attributed to Max's speech delays). When ever Zach gets something, without blinking, he then asks, "for Brudder?" While trick-o-treating, after Zach got his candy, he would put his bag out a second time, "for Brudder" even though Max was standing right behind him.
Zach is growing and developing faster than I can keep up with, they both are really. He is learning so much. We have new fish, and Zach fed the "fishy supper" on Friday, dumping the entire bottle of fish food in the tank. Then, in the most dramatic voice, he yelled, "Oh no!" Followed by, "No No!" (in a scolding tone.)
He likes Calliou, even though we really don't love when he watches the show. That kid is ridiculously whiny. Zach doesn't have one thing that he fixates on (like Max's love for Cars), but he does like to do whatever he isn't supposed to. He imitates a lot. He will often "fix it" and use his tools to fix the baby gate, his crib, the heat vents, anything he can.
When he is naughty, he says, "sorry" in the most sarcastic voice. It almost makes you madder at him. The child is a wonderful climber (he mastered the rock wall at the elementary playground late last summer.) He likes to climb onto the TV stand, the table, the counters, the toilet to the sink, anywhere really. When he gets up there, he will usually get into some type of mess (pull out cords, pull pictures down, get into food--i.e. dumping out the entire bottle of salt, pumping a bottle of soap into the bathroom sink) and then he will yell, "oh no!" Followed by, "No! No!" and then he throws out a sarcastic, "sorry" and I can't get him to clean up his mess and march into time out fast enough.
He does like to help, and he is good at it. Zach's job is to put the silverware from the dishwasher into the drawer. He doesn't organize the silverware yet, more like just throws it all into the drawer, but I am not going to discourage him from helping! He LOVES to wash windows. Last weekend, he even helped my mom give the turkey a bath and break up bread for dressing. :) When you ask him to help, he is very quick to quip, "K!" and jumps right in.
He doesn't really have any special comfort item like Max. When Zach goes to sleep, we always have to put footie jammies (with the feet cut off) on him, backwards. Otherwise, he is naked before I can shut the door. He likes his little bunnies. Today, while getting the boys ready for bed, I was trying to clean their room. I had set up some stuffed animals on the book shelf, all sitting up... Zach went behind me, laid them all down and asked me for a blanket. He preceded to tuck them in to go "nigh night."
And, he is a flirt. Dustin and I joke when we take the kids to store and split (one with each kid), who will take Zachary, because he always HAS to say "Hi!" to EVERYONE. If someone doesn't respond, he continues his greeting and gets progressively louder. He points to women and says, "oh! Cute girl!!"
He is sweet. He will snuggle up and read a book. He loves to paint. He LOVE to dance. He likes to run, jump and play. He loves the park, his bath, anything with water. He likes puppies, girls, and dirt.
He tests our patience and fills our heart.
Besides having Transient Tachypnea of Newborn (when he breathed too fast and the reason he spent 2 days in the NICU), he is fairly healthy. Respiratory colds stick around a little while longer with Zach. He has allergies and gets sinus infections, but other than that. Healthy. He is the same height and a little smaller than Max.
The Christmas I was pregnant with the boys, we were planning on naming them Maxwell and Mason. I had read an article if one twin is to have a nickname, the other should also. The child without the nickname (in this case, Mason) could grow up and feel that he isn't as special. We received a Christmas card from Dustin's (ex)step-sister and she has a named Zachary. I had never considered the name before. Since the name Mason was to be for Baby A... I gave it some thought and since Z was the opposite of A in the alphabet and the name could be shortened. I bounced the idea off Dustin. He liked it, and so, Mason became Zachary. Because Baby A was always going to be 1st born, he was to have the middle name Clifford, after Dustin, who is named after his Grandpa.
Two year olds do the craziest things... Especially our two year olds. I swear, people don't believe some of the stories I tell, and in order to remember those stories, I am going to dedicate the next few blog posts to some stories and notes about each boy to help myself remember these little moments.
I am going to start with Max. Even though he is younger (by one minute) and nearly never gets to go first. We've often said "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" and our Maxy is definitely not a squeaky wheel. But, we do smother him with grease. ;) (Also known as attention.)
Max has no patience. None. He wants what he wants, now. He doesn't throw all-out-fits though. If he doesn't get what he wants, he will let out a scream and usually bite something. He has gotten better about biting people, but he will gnaw at the couch, a blanket, etc. during a frustrated moment. He only has a few frustrated moments a day, he is very quiet and deliberate. Easy-going and rarely has an "I want" moment.
He is smart as a whip, both "book smart" and "street smart." Example of "street smart": On Sunday, the boys were eating dinner at their table and they were fighting over a cup. They had gone round and round, fighting over the cup, etc. Zach had gotten up from the table, and Max used that opprotunity to get up as well. Max grabbed a spoon and the cup and started running towards the kitchen. About 5' from the table, he dropped the spoon and kept running. Zachary began to follow him, but stopped when he noticed the spoon, thus, giving Max a few more seconds to enjoy the wanted beverage in the coveted cup.
Max loves cars. Cars, the movie, cars that drive, Matchbox cars. This child will sit still for hours and run his little Matchbox car over ever inch of the house making "Vrooom" noises. He has a red, "Cars" shirt that we got in a bag of hand-me-downs and I can barely get him to take it off. He will often pull it out of the laundry and wear it while dirty.
He also loves "ChooChoo" trains. He is very into Thomas. Not so much watching the movie, but items with Thomas on them. He is a dream come true for the companies who use Thomas/Cars to market their products. We have Thomas swimming trunks (that Max sleeps in), Cars fruit snacks, ChooChoo cups, you get the idea.
Max loves to count. He is very good at counting to 10 and can say all of his ABCs. He is working very carefully on his colors and still is terrified of cows. We have a farm puzzle, and one of the pieces is a cow that mooos when you get the piece in the correct slot. When that happens, Max is terrified. Yesterday, he cried for nearly 10 minutes, wanting mommy and daddy and needing his blanket for comfort. He now refuses to work on any puzzles.
He still uses his blanket for comfort. He chews on one corner, which is now black and nasty. He sleeps on his tummy, like he always has, with his butt in the air and his blanket in his mouth.
He has come such a long way since getting tubes in May. He had a special ed. eval last Spring for delayed language development, now that he is able to hear, his words have really blossomed. He is more careful with his speech and puts a lot of thought into what he wants to say and how he will enunciate letters and syllables.
He loves to sing. Some of his favorite songs are: "Twinkle, twinkle, little star", "I love you" (Barney song), "Barbara Ann" (Beach Boys). He has the sweetest little singing voice.
He likes to pretend he is on the phone and is almost always taking to his papa.
His fingernail is starting to grow in and he still has occasional issues with staph bumps and herpes sores. Each time he breaks out, I am heartbroken. Our pediatrician is amazing though and is an excellent resource and quickly treats his skin issues.
When I was pregnant, at 9 weeks, Dustin and I went to Omaha for a Metallica concert (I swear I felt the babies move at that concert) and on the way home, I was determined that we needed to name the babies. We were driving through Iowa and passed a sign for the town, "Maxwell." I said to Dustin, "what do you think of Maxwell?" He liked the name and it stuck. However, I was so terrified that people would call him Maxy. I did not want him to be made fun of and called "maxi-pad." Several people reminded me that kids will find a way to make fun of any time, yet, I remained determined NOT to call my son, "Maxy." However, the first time I held that sweet baby and as I watch this boy grow, he is no doubt, my "Maxy baby."
We had every intention of taking the boys to get their pictures taken today. Actually, we were going to do it last Sunday. I picked out what they were going to wear, ironed their shirts and pants. Set out their good socks, looked for shoes. Planned to get Max's hair cut... when I tried to make an appointment, the time slot I needed was booked and Max fell on his firetruck and got a black eye. Plan B: get their pictures taken this weekend. I have been needing to do this for a loooooooooooong time. These are their two-year pictures. Yeah. My mother-in-law gave me a gift certificate for portraits in July.... I need to get this done, but I just have not been able to muster up the courage to get it done. I don't mean to be such a pain about it, but Dustin hates activities such as these. I do too. I usually end up sweating like a pig, crabby and hungry, all while sneezing--hoping to get the boys to smile, or at least sit still. They don't like to sit still. Or together. They are much more interested in taking the "peecture." I have no idea what Plan C is. When the boys were 1 month, the only reason the photo shoot got completed was because my sister, Betsy, came over to help. Same thing when the boys were 6 months. Hmmmm... I am seeing a pattern.... BETTTTTTTTSSYYYY!! ;) Either way, I will get their portraits taken. Hopefully before they are old enough to drive to the studio themselves.
I usually use this blog (well, I need to use this blog) as a way to keep friends and family informed about our ever growing boys, also, as a way to keep track of the milestones the boys achieve as they grow. Life in general is so hectic, that I often fail to write down all the little things.
But, today, I am not going to do that. I am going to just write to get a few things off my mind. I have had a heavy heart lately, full of sadness for parents who lose their children. My Facebook feed has been full of stories and prayer requests for people who have lost their infants to cancer, SIDS, and stillbirth. My heavy heart brings a lump to my throat that I can not swallow.
I just don't understand why. Why do parents have to endure such heartache? One story: a couple marries, struggles with infertility, is finally successful with IVF and conceives twins, a boy & a girl. She loses the boy on a Wednesday and the girl dies on Friday. Both stillborn. When she lost the boy, the heartache must've been so intense, but the glimmer of hope was still there. The baby girl was alive. But, then to have to deliver two stillborn babies? To have a funeral for your twins, whom you prayed for, wished for, hoped for. Certainly IVF isn't cheap and there is no price for a human life... I just don't understand why it happens.
I believe in God. And I know that these things all happen for a reason. I know that. I understand that. But, I still don't think it's fair and it doesn't stop the heartache I have for these parents who are grieving the loss of their babies.
And, Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 20th child. Really?... I won't watch their show, but at one point, there was an interview with Jim-Bob and someone in a restaurant had bet him $100 to name all of his children's birthdays, and all Jim-Bob did was opened his wallet and gave the man $100. He couldn't start to list their birthdays. Imagine, not being able to name the day of your child's birth.
The parents whom lost their children, they will never forget the day they discovered they were pregnant, brought their babies into the world, the first night home. The way their child looked, felt, smelled. Never. Yet, Jim-Bob Duggar won't even try to name birthdays.
I don't understand why you would continue to bring children into this world if you can not give them the attention they need. I am certain that the Duggars' love their children, but there is no possible way that they can meet the emotional needs of 20 children. I'm not sure what Michelle is waiting for? Her uterus to fall out? Exhausting every possible "J" name in the bible? It infuriates me that those parents stretch themselves so thin between 20 kids and then exploit them on television, and the mommy's & daddy's whom have lost babies will never see the 1st smiles, watch their children go to school, get married, and have children.
It makes me sad. I have been following the Penn State child abuse case too. The fact that the coach pried on these children whom had a poor home life and then used his money, his position within the college, his money to molest young boys. It's beyond disgusting. And sad.
I just feel like their is so much sadness in the world. So much disappointment. So much exploitation. I worry about the parents who lose their babies. I worry about the children who have been exposed to horrible, unthinkable acts and will grow up to be parents. I just can not get rid of that lump.
I can focus on being the best mommy to my boys and I do. But, I have to admit, I am terrified to have to send them into a world with so much hurt and heartache.
I promised I would keep this better updated, and I failed. I am juggling a lot, loving it all. The boys are growing, healthy and happy. They are both the same height and weight (36 lbs.) I'd have to double check their heights, but it is certainly over 36".
I am attaching a video of some "Saturday Night Fever." Last night, the boys climbed up and turned on the radio (a daily activity), but last night, I had my smartphone ready to record. Their favorite song is Michael Jackson's "Thriller" but, this country song came in a close second.
Zach put on my socks and he has his shirt over his jammies. He needs to wear jammies for naptime, or else he ends up naked with God knows what smeared in his crib. I am not taking that risk every day, so, he sleeps with his jammies on, backwards. Normally, he is dressed a little more stylish. ;)