Friday, June 05, 2015


Friday, March 02, 2012

Joanne Keel

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Long Overdue Zachary Update

Where to begin?

It’s been awhile since my last update. Just wanted to post the latest Zach Stats since he’s now 2 ½ and growing and talking and talking and growing more and more each month.

Height: 37 inches (75%tile)
Weight: 29 lbs (50%tile)

Zach was so good at his latest check-up. The few times before, he just did not want anything to do with anyone at the doctor’s office. It was a battle to weigh him, measure him, poke him, prod him… He responded better to the shots than to the actual check-up the last few times.

This time, he was so laid back and easy going and let Dr. Jill do her thing. This was a shot-free visit, too. Maybe he sensed that :-D

I’m amazed at the progress toddlers make in their speech – so quickly. Zach has always been chatty and talking – but it seems like even from age 2 to 2 ½, the sentence patterns are now complete, and we feel as if we’re talking with a little adult. It’s like you forget sometimes he’s only 2 ½. (Other times, like when he does not want to leave the local splash park and he puts up a fight, you remember – heh heh).

Of course, it’s so hard to track everything he says, but some examples are as follows:

“I want some water. I want some COLD water.” (He’s very particular about having his drinks chilled).
“Remember at the water park, I got my hair all wet? Remember I fell in the water? Remember I cried?”
“I want some meat balls.” (Or whatever food he has a hankering for – it’s so fun now that he can ask for the foods he wants).
“Mama, you have to go back to work?” (One time he walked me to the door and told me to go go go…haha.)
“Mama, I missed you sooo much!” (Or “Mama/dada, I love you so much!”)

My dad (papa) recently had knee surgery. When I asked Zach what happened, he said, “Papa broke his leg.” I then asked, “and what did the doctors do?” Zach: “They fixed it.” Me: “And where is papa?” Zach: “At the hospital.”

So just stuff like that.

He’s also reading and writing now – just kidding – but he does know that “D-A-D spells DAD” (thank you, Barney videos).

He’s got a memory like a steel trap (how cliché am I). He’ll remind me of things that we did/saw months and months ago – sometimes things from last year. It’s amazing how much information these (big) little minds hold!

Zach continues to love love love music. He sings very well – in tune. Has perfect rhythm when he dances/claps. When he dances, he likes to tell us, “I’m dancing.” Then he shakes his booty a bit for us. It’s so cute/funny to watch.

His musical tastes include classical (particularly Vivaldi and Beethoven b/c that’s what his toy caterpillar plays when you push the appropriate buttons), Rihanna (she’s his first love), Selena Gomez, AC/DC (or any rock when we play it for the most part), Barney songs/kiddie songs, and lately, Sara Brightman (he’s entranced with long hair – and she certainly has a lot of it).

On a side note, check out the video of Jackie Evancho and Sara Brightman singing “Time To Say Goodbye” on YouTube. Jackie Evancho is this singing sensation from Pittsburgh, PA – discovered on “America’s Got Talent”. Ten years old and she sounds as mature and polished and beautiful as Sara Brightman.

Back to Zach.

Eating habits – still picky. Still a toddler. Some days he’ll eat very well (especially when he’s with Nomma and Papa). Other days, he grazes. He likes Ramon Noodle soup, pasta, ice cream cones, potato chips, chicken nuggets, French fries, carrots, pretzels, cookies, etc. etc. So he’s got a wide array of foods he’ll eat – he just doesn’t eat a lot very often.

He’s not big on drinking milk right now. Maybe b/c it’s summer and it’s hot. He loves ice water. Recently, we started to let him have a little ginger ale b/c he seems intrigued when we drink “pop”. He drinks fruit punch once in awhile (not often). He’ll drink a little juice here and there – but his main focus is water.

Temper-wise: He’s very even-tempered in general, but he does have his moments. I can take him shopping with me and he holds my hand and walks through the store with me without running away (which is something he would do months earlier – off he goes… and the chase is on!). He likes to drive the little cars attached to some of the shopping carts when we go to the grocery store. Usually. There have been times when he curls up his legs and wraps them around my body like a monkey and refuses to go into the cart: “No! No! No! I go DOWN! I walk!”

We take walks to the local CVS and he stays by my side – mostly. Sometimes, I do have to pick up the pace b/c he likes to go “faster! Faster! Faster!”

He had his first visit to a local water park and he had a blast! He was such a good boy the whole time. He particularly enjoyed the pseudo-geysers that pop out of the pavement. He has no problem getting water in his face, on his head, on his body (but he makes me do the same. I have to be an active water-buddy-participant). He did fall face first in one of the wading pools – which made him cry. He had a life jacket on, so he popped up quickly, but I think the incident scared him. I grabbed him very quickly, but it took a few minutes for him to calm down. Then he said, “I’m all better now.”

When it was time to go, he was so tired that he just wanted me to hold him as we walked to the car. It was a bit of a trek, so here I was, carrying almost 30 lbs of Zach and a diaper bag, in flip flops…asking Zach, “are you sure you don’t want to walk and hold my hand?” :-D

Since we had such a positive experience, I took him to a smaller splash park in the area on Saturday. Again, he had a blast, but the exit was not so smooth. I tried to work him out of the park with a popsicle and promises of going to Wendy’s, but we had to walk past a pseudo-geyser to get out of the park, and that ended the calm exit. “Water! More water!”

So once again, I had to carry almost 30-pounds of Zach out of the park, but this time he was pushing away from me, pulling on my lips as if they were taffy, and doinking me over the head with his troll (more to come on troll). Luckily, the parking lot was much closer, so it was all of a one-minute battle, and he fell asleep on the way home. The next day, he said, “Remember I cried?” Why yes, yes I did – because you were screaming to the heavens for more water. “Remember I hit you?” Funny you should mention it because yes… yes I do. I’ve never been beat with a naked, scalped troll before.

Like I said, he has his moments ;-)

Ok – Troll. And Mr. Moppy. And Angel Dolly.

For a long, long time, Zach did not have a “lovey” as his pediatrician called it. Once he turned 2, he started to take notice of his stuffed toys and “Angel Dolly”. I bought Angel Dolly at a local Marcs for less than $5. She sat on our Christmas tree. She has long blonde hair, wings, and a pretty little angel dress. Well, she had those things. Zach took a liking to her because he loves long hair. We play this game called “Blow To The Wind” where we have to dump Angel Dolly upside down and watch the air conditioner (or a fan) blow her hair. Sometimes, he demands, “You dump your hair” – so I have to turn my head upside down and let my hair “blow to the wind.”

Angel Dolly has also taken many baths and had her hair blown dry with our blow dryer – so now Angel Dolly is naked and her hair is all gnarly and half-melted. You can’t get a comb through it without causing her pain (if dollys can feel pain).

She will no longer be part of our Christmas Tree décor unless we give her a full makeover.

Enter Mr. Moppy. Mr. Moppy is, literally, the head of an old mop my dad had. My dad (the ad-lib toymaker that he is), cut most of the stick off of Mr. Moppy and gave Zach the mop-head with about 6 inches of stick attached. My mom drew eyes on Mr. Moppy and dubbed him Mr. Moppy. However, Mr. Moppy is stinky. He’s old. He’s dirty. We tried giving him a bath outside in the pool and sprinkler. I scrubbed him down with Irish Spring body wash, but a rain storm got Mr. Moppy and made him even more stinky. So Mr. Moppy was not allowed to set foot inside our house.

Oh did that make Mr. Zachee angry and sad. “Bring Mr. Moppy inside? Bring Mr. Moppy inside? Bring Mr. Moppy inside?” I had to explain that Stinky Moppy stays outside, and we would buy Zach a new moppy. From time to time, we’d hear Zach mutter, “Mr. Moppy is all stinky. He stays outside. Don’t bring Mr. Moppy inside. We’ll buy me a new moppy.”

It got to the point where we had to hide Mr. Moppy at papa’s house, and now I’ve told Zach that Mr. Moppy has gone to Europe on vacation. He is MIA. He has flown the coop. He has moved.

SO, being the daughter of an ad-lib toymaker, I bought some thick yarn at Walmart and cut strands and strands of it, tied it together, and lo and behold, we have a NEW AND CLEAN MR. MOPPY! However, not being a toy-making professional, Zach has managed to pull strands of thread out of my concoction, so this leads me to make many mini-moppies for him. Our house is infested. It’s like a moppy convention. They have multiplied like guppies. Moppies, moppies everywhere (I even invented a song about Mr. Moppy). I’m thinking of marketing these creatures.

“Oh Mr Moppy, you are so floppy, oh Mr. Moppy, you’re my best friennnnnnd…. Oh Mr. Moppy, sometimes you’re soppy, but Mr. Moppy, you’re my best friend!”

Anyways, this leads me to Scalped, Naked Troll. Zach also took a liking to some trolls I’ve had forever – again, he’s obsessed with the troll-hair that stands on end (think of Heat Miser from “A Year Without A Santa Claus”). Well, Halloween troll went swimming with us one day, and perhaps the water loosened the glue that held his hair to his head, because lo and behold, the hair/head fell off. Trolls are hollow inside, so Zach says Troll now looks like an ice cream cone (“Ice Cream Cone Troll”). Well, my boy can’t have a hairless/scalpless troll, so I took one of the mini moppies and stuffed it into Troll’s head. Wa la. “Troll has long hair, like Dolly,” says Zach.

Troll now travels everywhere with us. You should have seen the look of horror on this little girl’s face at the splash park as she eye-balled my son with Scalpless Troll in one hand, mini-moppy-hair in another: “What IS THAT THING?”

That, my dear girl, is art. That is the latest in innovative toy-making, brought to you by Mom, Inc.

So Zach now has a lovey, or two, or three.

What else?

Zach still naps in his crib. He hasn’t tried to climb out (phew!). I’m surprised b/c he climbs onto/over everything else. He sure jumps in his crib. He’s my little Tigger. Sometimes the crib is about a foot from the wall when we go to get him.

At night, he mostly sleeps by my side on the big bed. Yes – we will have to deal with transitioning him to a toddler bed soon – and I’m sure there will be a battle of the wills – but right now, he sleeps through the night, which means I sleep through the night, which means DH sleeps through the night, and all is good. I move him to his crib in the morning and he sleeps a little longer. It’s just the routine we established months and months ago – and it still works for us.

Potty training – we haven’t really done much with this yet. I’ve bought him his own little potty seat – the kind that goes over the toilet. He likes to climb up and down on his step stool and sit on the potty – but whenever I remove his diaper and explain how to point the wee wee down and pee, he doesn’t pee. Instead, he makes me remove all his clothing until he’s “Naked Boy”. Yes – we even have to remove his socks. One time, he said, “Now mama get naked.” That was the end of that game.

The one time I let him run around the house without his diaper, he came to me (I was in the kitchen) and said, “Mama, I went poo poo.” Visions of poo poo on my couch raced through my head. I asked where, and he took me by the hand, pointed to the floor, and here, he had gone pee pee on the floor. I gave him a high five, told him next time he can go on the potty, and cleaned it up. So he’s aware of his bodily functions. He just hasn’t really shown an overabundance of interest in potty training yet, so we’re not going to push the issue. I figure when he’s ready, he’ll let us know. It was like the whole self-feeding thing. Zach was just about a year when he FINALLY put a cheesy puff in his mouth by himself. He does things on his own time. He’s too busy saying words like “rehabilitation” or “octagon” or singing Rihanna songs (“oh na na, what’s my name”) or Beyonce songs (“to the left, to the left, everything you own’s in a box to the left…”) ;-D

And on that note, Happy Summer To All!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy First Birthday, Zachary

Happy Birthday, dear Zachary.... Happy Birthday to you!

Let me state the obvious and shout, "I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FAST THIS YEAR HAS FLOWN BY!"

Now that I have that out, just wanted to write a "brief" recap about my little guy in honor of his first birthday.

A year ago today, at 11:30am, Dale and I waddled into the hospital (well, Dale walked...I waddled), for my 1pm scheduled C-section. As I sat hooked up on a monitor waiting for the extraction to begin, I remember feeling so excited and nervous (what else is there to feel)! The time had come to finally meet that little guy whose feet, face, and organs we had viewed on screen via ultrasound.

As the clock ticked past 1pm and the nurse told me that my obgyn was delivering another baby (you of those "natural....can't hold baby in any longer" situations), I panicked and told Dale, "But... but.... we're supposed to be done by now! It's MY turn! What if the other lady's in labor and pushing for hours!" How dare someone go natural during my scheduled C! As pee mounted in my bladder, I remember unhooking myself from the monitoring device instead of calling the nurse....which led her to come running in the room to find out what happened on the heart monitor (gee - so THAT'S what the nurses are watching from the nursing stations). Based on my hundred other visits to the bathroom, she smiled and said, "I had a feeling that's where you went."

Finally, at 1:45pm, I was rolled in, given the spinal (minor "ouch"), felt my legs go numb, was laid back, and the medical equivalent of a Nascar Pit Crew put a sheet up between me and the cutting crew. Time to make that first incision. But where was Dale? They had not brought him in the room yet, and my doctor started to cut! I called out, "Wait! My husband's not here yet!" Within minutes, Dale was walked in and told, "Don't look!" Of course, he said he glanced over and it looked pretty messy, but after that, all messiness was a blurry memory, and at 2:04pm, we heard Zach's beautiful cry.... he was lifted above the sheet ala "The Lion King", and we both broke into tears as Dale said, "Oh my God!"

(And yes... I'm feeling a little verclemped!)

I mean, everything is so clear in my mind... my 8lb 6oz 21.5 inch perfect baby boy! (I also remember trying to move my legs in the recovery room just because I couldn't - from the spinal.... and I kept thinking of Uma Thurman's line from "Kill Bill": "Wiggle your big toe.". I could not wiggle my toes nor move my legs....despite my attempts...but it kept me occupied until they brought Zach to me so I could hold him for the first time.

So here we are.... a year later, and as much as people told me, "You won't BELIEVE how much a baby changes and grows in the first few years and how fast it goes", boy are they right!

From his belly laughs which started around 6 weeks, to his lifting his head like a little turtle during tummy time, and staring at Dale and me while we sat on the couch, his little head barely lifted above the edge of the mat on which he lay... to his belly push-ups.... to balancing on his his crawling (about 8 months - here comes Speed Racer) his first stumbly steps (10 months - forget cruising - I'm just gonna walk!) to his walking like a pro at 11 months.... to his running around his crib last night while I chased him.... as he giggled continuously.... to his babbling and talking ("hot! hot! hot! BAAAAYYYYY BEEEE.... HIIII EEEE! Clock! Clock! Fisssshhhh! Da da da! Up! Up! Mamamama! Ba ba ba!")... to his playing peek-a-boo (especially with dada)....I love every minute!

I love watching him play with his toys....watching him as he figures out how to push balls through the holes in this one contraption he has.... laughing and babbling as they roll back out.... then trying to fit his blocks in the same's a hoot.

I love how he tries to test me with his wicked grin. Lately, he's been trying to touch my cell phone charger. It's become a game now. He'll point at it and get his finger closer and closer as I say, "No. No. NO!" He tries three times in a row - smiles - and then he walks away from it, only to return again to try once more.

I love his charming smiles and grins. He has millions of those to give. And boy does he give those liberally! I love his hugs - especially when I get home from work and he hasn't seen me all day. He literally squeezes me as I hold him and jumps up and down in my arms - squealing and smiling! About a week ago, I was in his play area with him, on my knees, facing out and talking to Dale. All of a sudden I felt these tiny arms around me, felt a squeeze, and heard a loud "eeeeeeeeeeeeee!" He gave me a bear hug!

AND... I got my first official kisses from him on Christmas Day! I mean, of course I steal kisses from him all the time, but on Christmas Eve, he started giving my sister's mother-in-law kisses on his own - lips to her face - no initiation from her... we all got the biggest kick out of that. Well, come Christmas Day, he starts kissing the baby on the box of this toy my sister gave him, and when I picked him up, he started smacking his lips against my cheek, my nose, and my mouth! I love those wet baby kisses! Of course, he hasn't done it since, but hey - I'll take what I can get - and what better day than Christmas day to get one!

Zach is such a good boy overall. Now, that's not to say he's temper-free. (He's Italian - a temper goes with the territory. An Italian without a temper is like... well... a non-Italian). And Zach does have a temper, let me tell you! We sometimes egg him on (bad mommy and daddy). For example, when he's tired and wants attention and we're eating dinner, he yells at us and pushes his little fists towards us and lets out a red-faced scream until we come get him. Sometimes, if we try to put a cookie in his mouth when he's in this mood, he smacks it away. So we keep offering the cookie. 101 Ways To Annoy Your Kid And Have Fun Doing It.

Food-wise, Zach drinks about 21 oz a day on average (ranges from 18-24 oz depending on the day). The most he'll drink at one sitting is 5 oz. Usually, he has smaller-more-frequent meals throughout the day (perhaps he heard that it's good for the digestion). When he's done, he pushes that bottle away. I'm impressed at how controlled babies are with their appetites. If only I could be like that. Me.... I'll keep eating and eating until my plate is clean... and then eat some more (although last year at this time, I weighed about 55 pounds more - me pats myself on the back...end - ahem).

As far as baby food, he'll eat approximately 3 jars a day - some days he has cereal in place of a jar - or yogurt. It just depends (on what mommy or daddy feel like feeding him). And he still favors the fruits. Forget those baby meats - he gags on the smell alone. Who invented those horrid meals! Do they have any taste buds!?!

He had pizza for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it (meaning he almost attacked me and climbed up my leg to get more). He kept opening his mouth even when he had some in his mouth already! We don't give him much "adult food" yet, but we're starting to introduce different things. He seems to like everything we've offered. Oh - and I love the way he chews - he looks like a little old man as he munches away (he has 7 teeth - 3 on top and 4 on the bottom).

Next up: Milk and a Sippy Cup. (Hard to believe we won't be buying formula much longer)! The Sippy Cup is a toy to him right now. The other day I demoed to him how to drink from it (thinking if he imitated my carrot-eating, he might imitate my cup-drinking), but this led to a game whereby he would put the cup to MY lips over and over and giggle.

There is so much to write about! And speaking of writing, Zach wrote his first book! Just kidding - but he did draw his first 'picture' on Christmas day with a crayon. He walked around holding it (reminded me of Harold and his purple crayon... but Zach's was blue), and then he put it to paper (and to my dad's patio door...and to the kitchen floor...and back to the paper). But the funny thing was, he held the crayon the way you're supposed to! Between his forefinger and thumb - not clenched in his fist as you would expect of someone so small. I think if you stare at the drawing long enough, you'll solve the mystery of the Sphynx!

I guess I'll sum it up (geez - FINALLY, Joanne) by stating that he has such personality! It's as if he knows how cute he is... and how funny he is! Yesterday, in his gated area, he kept crouching down to play peek-a-boo with us - and we'd say, "where is Zachee? Where did he go?" Then he'd pop up and giggle like a hyena! The funny thing is.... you could see him throught the gates the whole time, and he could see us.

I know I'm going to post this and say, "Drats! I meant o mention this" or "I forgot to mention that!" I need a tape and video recorder 24x7 to capture it all!

Anyways, Happy First Birthday, Zacharoo! You're a beautiful and funny boy, and when you learn to talk even more, please tell me what is it about my singing of the Alphabet Song that makes you smile and chuckle. And why do you giggle so much at night when I dance with you and sing "This Old Man" (it's my singing, isn't it). And what it is about sucking on strands of my hair at night that you find so soothing, and why do you frantically clamber towards my head and pull on it - practically ripping it out - when I yank it out of your mouth!

We love you SO much!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


My mom taught Zach all about bubbles when he was a wee lad of about 4 months. She said she probably shouldn't do this (after all, it's not very ladylike), but she introduced him to - yes - spit bubbles.

Fast forward 5 months.

Every time I say the word "bubbles" now, Zach stops whatever he's doing, stares at my mouth, forms Cheerio lips, and says "oh". And he will stare and stare and stare until a bubble comes out of my mouth.

Well, normally, I only do bubbles with gum, which Zach finds intriguing. But, alas, yesterday, I found myself without gum, and I found myself in need of trying something new to entertain Zach.

So, yes, I resorted to the Spit Bubble (me hangs my ladylike head in shame).

BOY did he laugh. And laugh. And laugh. And giggle. And giggle. And laugh. And laugh. Belly laughs galore - as if he had a million of them stored up for the winter and was letting half a million loose.

The more I blew, the harder he laughed. And the harder he tried to "catch" one on my lips.
After about 20 minutes of this (I think my spit supply actually ran dry), I stopped, much to his dismay. He pulled himself up to face level (I was sitting, of course) by grabbing my shirt in both hands, formed the Cheerio mouth, and gave an insistant "OH!"

"Mommy has no spit left, Sir Zachary. The supply has run dry. It only refills overnight."


"Mommy's lips are dry, Prince Zacharoo. If I blow any more spit bubbles, those lips will fall off and I won't be able to blow any tomorrow."

"OH! OH!"

"Um... bubbles can only be blown midday - and it's 20 minutes past midday."

"OH! OH! OH!"

His face got closer to mine...his grip tightened on my shoulders...his tiny fingers probed my mouth, in search of bubbles.

So I succumbed and started the Bubble Factory again. Giggle. Giggle. Belly Laugh.

Fast forward to night time (well, 2am).

Zach was having one his nights whereby he half-awakens...sits up in his crib...and cries out until Dale or I pick him up.

So I laid Zach on the big bed with me, with hopes that he'd drift off to dreamland again, but he still fussed. So I whisper, "Zacheeeee....BUBBLES!"

Suddenly, his eyes open wide, he stares at my mouth, and smiles. So here I was... at 2am....blowing more spit bubbles (quite the visual, eh).

Regardless, I must say...this technique helped during his 9 month wellcheck as well because at one point, he would not let the nice pediatrician listen to his heart. He kept moving his arms and trying to grab the stethoscope. So I gave the "Bubbles" war cry - and sure enough - he was drawn to my lips the way a sailor is drawn to a mermaid's song.

Who needs toys!



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy 7 Months, Zachary!

Happy 7 months to my little prince!

I love you so much!

I love how you...

sleep with your little bum in the air, all curled up like a bug in a rug

stare up at me with those big eyes and long lashes - especially at night when I sing the lullabye song to you - in the dark - you and me lying on the big bed - your little face only inches from mine - so serious as you peer into my eyes and stare at my mouth

sometimes stick your fingers in my mouth as I'm singing, as if you're trying to catch the words in your hand (or perhaps your practicing to be a dentist as you yank on my bottom teeth. Regardless, I love it!)

belly laugh when I wiggle my hair, my fingers or my toes in your face; when I talk in a high, squeaky voice to you; when daddy's kisses your belly and toes, when daddy plays airplane with you; when daddy or I do anything silly

bounce up and down in my arms and smile and shriek when I sing the alphabet song (or any song for that matter, to include my attempts at rapping)

open your mouth like a baby bird for more baby food or cereal when you're hungry...sometimes grabbing the spoon out of my hand as you try to feed yourself...or touch the cereal and get it all over your fingers as I attempt to pry the spoon out of your hands - what a strong grip you have!
make loud raspberries and gargling noises and screams ... just because

yell out angrily when we're not paying attention to you - and then a big smile erupts on your face when we look at you

grin with your mouth closed at times - you look so mischievous

rub your eyes when you're tired and burrow your head into my neck while sucking your thumb as you begin to drift off to sleep

grab at everything, including my glasses, beer bottles, my hair, daddy's hair, daddy's foot, and yes, your wee wee

observe everything - nothing gets passed your line of vision

pull your bottle to your mouth when you're extremely hungry

jump up and down in my arms when we dance - squealing with delight

get excited to see me and daddy, and when when we pick you up, you give us bear hugs

roll, scoot, and move all around

sing and babble and coo

pull on the string of the Mother's Day balloon you and daddy bought me (which is still inflated after all this time) and bop the balloon up and down in your face, laughing

play in your exersaucer, touching and feeling every toy, inspecting every angle while babbling to yourself

laugh while you watch cartoons

smile every time i put the camera to your face

smile at videos and pictures of yourself

smile at everyone

fill me and daddy with so much love and bring us so much joy that we could cry happy tears every time we look at your angelic face.

I could go on and on and on with all the things you do that I love... because I love everything about you!

Happy 7 months, Zachary Adam Keel - you are truly the love of our lives!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Crib Nap

Zach took his first nap in his crib He's been sleeping in his bassinet at night, but I thought I'd lay him in his crib (inside this secure sleeper thingamajig) because he seems very content in his room, and wa la...he fell asleep for a few hours!

The funny thing is...whenever we take a field trip to his room, he gets transfixed by the ceiling fan! It's not even on - but as soon as we walk into the nursery, his eyes immediately focus upward, and he just stares and stares at this fan! I have no idea what's so intriguing about it (is he seeing angels playing on the ceiling? aliens? another dimension?)! All these super cool stuffed toys and rattles and the kid likes the ceiling fan. He'll be very easy to please come Christmas time.

On a good note, since he was so focused on the fan (and thus the ceiling), I, too, focused on it, and I noticed a crack in our ceiling that wasn't there before, so I told Dale about it and he will have to fix it (may have been caused by the cold weather - who knows). So little Zach helped us identify a home improvement project

Zach turned 4 weeks yesterday. His milestones are that he can really hold his head up during tummy time (in addition to falling asleep), and he can now find his binky at times on his own when it falls out of his mouth during Tummy Time. In addition, he's really got some smiles on him! Just today he was practically laughing as Dale tickled his chin and talked to him - more than we've ever seen, and this morning when I wiped his bottom with a warm cloth, he grinned and grinned (who doesn't like their bottom wiped with a warm cloth)!

Oh - and Zach can operate the snow blower now - which is a good thing - especially on a day like today!