Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is why I blog...I forgot.

I have not felt much like blogging lately.  Kind of wondering what the point is, in a way.  I've felt very small the past few days.  Realizing that my little family and I are just one of millions and millions of families all over the world, just living our lives.  Besides those who love us deeply, we are not really anything special.  Just a little family.  Existing in this world.  Hoping for happiness.  Hoping to avoid tragedy.  Just growing and living and experiencing this life.

Then someone posted a question in one of my Facebook groups.  She needed some support, and I remembered experiencing something similar to what she was experiencing and I started poking around this blog to find the post.

While poking around, I found another post that I wrote where I talked about the sweet things BBZ did in the middle of the night at 18 months old.  I had long forgotten those days.  Not only that they happened, but the details of those late night nursings are a long forgotten part of the first few years with a new baby/toddler.  But the memory came back in a rush, and I was so incredibly grateful that I took the time to type those words nearly 3 years ago.

I blog for them.  I want them to know how much I love them.  I want them to know how much I want to have their lives documented for them.  For their future spouses.  For their future children.

I blog for me.  I want to remember each and every detail of their very existence.  This world doesn't make sense to me.  I don't really understand why I am here.  Why they are here.  Why some feel pain and others are lucky enough to avoid it.  Why I wonder so much how our story will play out.  How sometimes I am so happy in my life that I find it hard to believe that it is really happening to me.

I find it hard to believe that these boys and their daddy are really mine.  How can this be?  How am I so blessed to have these perfect little people? (perfect for me that is, we are all fabulously flawed)  How can I possibly express the feeling of incredible pride in their very existence in this world that makes absolutely no sense to me?

This world doesn't make sense to me, and I suppose it doesn't have to.  I don't really believe in god.  I don't believe that someone created this world and is sitting back and watching.  While I preach about Karma at times, I also don't really believe that things happen to people because of the things they do.  I don't believe that if something bad happens, that a person did something to make that happen.  That is a very sad thought to me.  One of the blame games that so many of us use to try and make sense of a world that doesn't make sense.  Things just happen.  We have no control over it.

All I can do is look at these boys, wrap my arms around them, hope that our future will bring hope and purpose, as opposed to tragedy, and believe that each little moment is a special one to us, even if each and every other family in the world is having similar moments with their perfect little people.

And so, I blog.  I document each little milestone.  So one day I can read back and remember exactly what it felt like to see the incredible amount of pride BBZ felt when he learned how to buckle himself into his new car seat all by himself.  Or how LBZ begins immediately waving goodbye to everyone around when I ask if he's ready for bed, because he so looks forward to his bottle each night.  I write this all down because while we may seem just like everyone else to the big wide world, we are our own perfect little family, and I don't want to forget a thing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where have I been?

Busy.  That's the short answer.

The long answer is longer (obviously) and a bit more complicated.

I tend to turn to my blog when things are uneasy in my life.  It's a place where I can vent my thoughts and work through some things I have trouble with.  This time though, I turned away from it.

I've been struggling at work.  Trying to get what I need done in 4 days is proving to be really, really hard.  I've made the decision to go back to work 5 days/week.  I'm not really sure how I feel about this.  It was a hard decision, but when I look at my job and can see things that are not being done as well as I would like, it's hard to think of ways to do program improvement if I'm not even working at my full capacity.

It does make me sad though.  I love having an extra day with my boys.  Hopefully it is something I might be able to do again one day.  We'll see.

So things at work have been rough, and so have some personal things, although there is good news there, too.

At the risk of sharing TMI (too much information) it took 7 weeks for my period returned after I stopped pumping.  It finally returned on our anniversary (sucks, right??).  Not really though.  If you are a woman reading this, think about a time where you had a pregnancy scare.  Your were a day or two late, you swore your period was right around the corner, you had PMS symptoms, but your body was just not starting.

You began to worry.  You began to wonder how a baby might affect your life.  You began to freak out.  You maybe even took a pregnancy test.  That feeling of uncertainty was the story of my life for at least the last month.  I guess I assumed my period would return within a few weeks of weaning.  Not so much.  It took 7 weeks.

That sucked.  But it's over!  Hooray!  Except...now I am left with the first period I've had in a little over two years.  Why did I want this to return again??

So I'm not pregnant, I'm going back to work full time, Christmas is right around the corner, N and I celebrated 6 wonderful years married and 10 (yes, 10!!) years since our first date, we had an awesome trip to the far north for Thanksgiving, LBZ is waking every single night for usually around an hour and only wants me, BBZ is saying some of the funniest things on earth, LBZ has a 15 month appointment this Friday, I'm thinking of growing my hair out, my mom stayed with us for almost a month while my grandma went through a life-changing circumstance, my sister found out she is having a baby girl, I'm beginning to plan her shower, we have some fun events with friends coming up, I have done almost all of my Christmas shopping online, I bought a present at an Etsy shop for someone but decided to keep it for myself, BBZ's 4T pants that I bought him at the beginning of Fall are already almost too short for him, LBZ is still in 12 month clothes and is much smaller than BBZ was at this age (there goes my argument that BBZ better be nice to him because LBZ will be bigger than him one day).

And I think that's it.  For now anyway.  Hopefully I will catch the ol' blog up with some photos!

I hope everyone else is doing well!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A moment.

I wrote this on November 8th and never posted it.  I guess it got caught in my drafts. What a special moment this was :)

We were eating dinner at the table tonight while music was playing.

Engrossed in my own thoughts, I didn't realize what song was on.  I stood up to return a text and BBZ jumped up too.  He said with an incredible amount of exuberance, "dance with me, mommy!"

On the stereo was Ripple, which was N and my wedding song.  BBZ and I danced and the rest of the world melted away.  That's two times today that music rescued me.

Never has he asked me to dance with him like that.  I was distracted and immersed in my own world, and just like that, he pulled me out and into a beautiful moment.

When words leave off, music begins. ~Heinrich Heine

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Are You Thank You for?

11/1 Widespread Panic.  It it weren't for this band, I wouldn't have met my friends.  I wouldn't have met my husband.  They are more than music, they are a community.  They bring out something in me that is hard to explain, but when we are all together listening to each note that each of us can anticipate, it takes my breath away.

11/2 Weekend activities as a family.

(Magic House)

11/3 Tiny little eyelashes that seem to go on for miles.

11/4 N's family.  We attend a craft fair every year together and I really look forward to it.  Having his family close by is the next best thing to having my family here.  I'm so glad we get to spend time together.

11/5 My job.  That I have one and that I like it.

11/6 My right to vote.  I will never take that right for granted.

11/7 That the election is over.  And that we live in a country where people on social media are allowed to voice their opinions.  Some people are not afforded such a right.  Never the less, I am glad I no longer have to read such strong (and sometimes very hateful) comments.

11/8 Ninjas.  In the bathtub :)

11/9 Story time each and every single night.

11/10 My tenacity and positivity that was passed down to me by both of my parents.  Both characteristics help me be the person I want to be both in my family and in my work life.

11/11 My parents, who gave me a strong and solid foundation that I now take lessens from as I try to create a similar foundation for my boys.

11/12 My girlfriends and the way we are always there to support and encourage each other.

11/13 Pants that are getting too short. A constant reminder that we are all growing and changing and we need to slow down and appreciate every little moment.

11/14 Wine.  Especially at the end of a crazy day.

11/15 That an interesting man got into our car 10 years ago tonight.  I don't know where my life would be without him.  Oh, how I love him so.

11/16 My new niece who will join our family in March.  Seeing my sister happy makes my heart smile.  I'm glad she found a good man to share her life with.

11/17 My new car that is perfect for a road trip.

11/18  Two Three awesome little travelers.

11/19 Quality time with my mom and dad.

11/20 A little retail therapy.

11/21 Paid vacation time.

11/22 A snowy day.  Turkey.  Family.  BBZ saying "I'm thank you for mommy, daddy, family, my blankie and my diney".  A sleepy baby.  A happy 4-year-old boy.  Chilly noses.  A good dog.  Beer.  Leftovers.  In-Laws we will see tomorrow.  Online shopping.  Nosey kisses.  Snuggles.  Rough housing.  Sweet boys loving all over me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

And as BBZ would say, "what are you thank you for?"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Maybe I am doing something right.

I made some changes around here.  It was time to change the look of the blog a bit and I think I found a template that matches this little 'ol place of mine.  I like it here :)

Today when I dropped of BBZ at school, his teacher told me a story.

She said that yesterday at lunch, BBZ was talking to his friends about genes.  He said genes are what make us who we are and we all have different ones, which is why some of us look different.  And how fun it is that no one looks the same.

He went on to say that his friend, who happened to be black, has brown skin because of the genes she got from her parents.

He then looked at a friend of his who is white and said that his skin is peach because of his genes.

Then the whole table cracked up because they thought BBZ called him a peach!

Can I just say how unbelievably happy I am that he hears and listens to what I say?  This lesson, about people and differences and skin color is just beautiful to me.  And the fact that he has the words to use, and the comfortableness to talk about these things that so many people are uncomfortable with make smy heart smile.

It reminds me of when we were at his chiropractor appointment recently.

He noticed a plastic magazine rack on the wall and was fiddling with it.  You could lift the magazines from the top but could also pull them out from the bottom if you needed to.

He notices this and says to me that the reason it is set up that way is so that people who use wheelchairs (he even used person first language!!) can reach them easier.

My sweet boy already knows about accessibility.  Be still my Rehabilitation Counseling heart.

One of my hopes as a mom is that I can raise strong men who are kind and understanding of people and of the world we live in.

I may yell at times.  I might make some pretty big mistakes as a mama, but in moments like these I feel like I just might just be doing something right :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our First Music Festival With the Boys!

N and I "met" on our way to see Widespread Panic in Memphis in 2003.  The year before that, we were both at the very first Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, although we on different sides of the friendship line.
The festival was amazing.  It took 14 hours to go the last 4 miles into the festival grounds.  That is not an exaggeration.  The traffic going into the festival was unbelievable.  I think it was the first festival of it's kind, in many years anyway, so they did not plan things out well.
70,000 people were there.  The port-o-johns were overflowing.  There was no shade and having never done this before, we had no shade tents.  In Tennessee.  In July.  Yeah, a recipe for much disaster.
Now we did have an absolutely amazing time.  The bands were incredible.  I had a perfect tan afterwards.  It was an experience I would never take back.  But, I will never again go to such a large festival.
After N and I got together, we found another festival we frequented- Wakarusa.  It started out small, around 4000 people in 2004 according to Wikipedia.  This was the perfect size for us and our friends.  We went every year until 2007, which is when I was pregnant with BBZ.  Here's a photo of my friend and I at that festival.
Wakarusa has grown to about 20,000 people now, so we probably won't be heading to another one of those for a while.
When we heard about Harvest Fest, put on by one of our favorite bands, Yonder Mountain String Band, it seemed to be a good fit.  With only about 7,500 people, we thought it would be a good intro into the land of music festivals for the boys.  Four days of camping and music, what could go wrong?
We tried to take a few trial runs for camping.  First was our memorial day camping trip, where BBZ threw up in the tent and we were home by 7:30am.  The next was our trip to our friend's farm the day after LBZ's tube surgery where he spiked a crazy high fever, which cancelled our tent camping.  So we didn't really get to practice tent camping as we hoped.
Not that it really mattered anyway.  It's not like we would cancel our trip if it didn't go well.  I am not afraid to admit, I was down-right scared about this trip.  I was scared of the cold nights, although the forecast kept getting warmer and warmer.  I was scared of the rain and how we would manage 2 little boys in a big, but still very small, tent.
But all fears aside, we took off for the road on Thursday morning around 9am, perfect timing for LBZ's nap.
The boys were amazing in the car.  Considering the nightmare that was BBZ during our super-long trip to Florida in June, having him in a pleasant mood in the car is not something we take lightly.  They were both happy and contented to stop just twice during the 6-hour ride.
We got there around 3pm and set up camp.  Our friends had a camper there, so we pulled the car p next to theirs and added our stuff to their camp ground.  It was a good fit, as some photos below show.
Then we headed to music.  And I realized the one thing we didn't think about.  BBZ hated the volume.  We were at the smallest stage and he really didn't like how loud it was.  Luckily, our friends had some ear plugs and he was happy with those.  He did some wining about wanting to go back to the campsite, but I really think he just wanted to get accustomed to being there.  N was clearly frustrated that he BBZ didn't want to stay at the stage, but I had high hopes that hanging out at the site the first night would give him a good start to the weekend.
The did great dancing on the blanket.

Even with the toys, they loved the music!

LBZ did especially.

Everyone slept pretty well Thursday night.  It wasn't as cold as I thought it would be, and while LBZ did wake up crying, he spelt well in the sleeping bag with N and me.  BBZ slept great on his one sleeping bag.  We got up and cooked a yummy breakfast.  One thing we did for this trip is amp up our camping gear.  We have a new storage container for our food that doubles as a table for our stove and a new cooler.  It was all awesome to have for this trip!

But then the rain came.  Thank goodness our friends were there with their camper.  We would have managed in our tent, but it was much better that the boys had the camper to run around in.

The most frustrating thing was that we had no idea how long the rain would last.  We all had our phones but didn't have any internet connection to check the weather.  I finally texted my mom who said the rain should stop around 5pm, which it luckily did.  LBZ had his raincoat on for a while and was exploring the campsite in the rain, but that got old really fast.

Aren't you just in love with these little pants??

The rain finally ended at about 5pm, just like my mom texted it would.  We ran out of that campsite so fast!  We were really ready to hear some music.

The festival grounds were so incredibly muddy.
I've never been so happy to have water-proof shoes!

BBZ messing with his ear plugs.

They brought in bales of hay to help with the mud situation. 
It was almost impossible to push the strollers through the mud!  The hay really helped.

We did take the long way around a few times to avoid some of the worst muddy places.

See the main stage?
It was nice to have it so close that we could see and hear it from our camp site.

Snackin' and nappin'

Friday night was a big 'ol sloppy mess. We were all completely mud-covered. But we did ok. We saw some music, the boys fell asleep in the carrier and the stroller, and we called it a night a little early-around 11pm. BBZ slept awesome and LBZ ended up in our sleeping bag again, but he didn't cry as hard as when he woke up Thursday night. He seemed more interested in where N and I were than scared like he sounded the first night.

Saturday morning we all woke up, ate more eggs and bacon, and headed to some music.  The sun was shining and we were hoping for some sun to dry off the festival grounds.

Some photos of our campsite.

Little napper.  He actually asked to crawl in the stroller and fell right to sleep!
He must have been very sleepy :)

Little muddy shoes :)

Saturday early afternoon, Jeff Austin of Yonder did a tutorial on music and song writing.  It was quiet and intimate and an awesome look into such a talented musician's mind.  I really enjoyed it.

They had some kid activities, but BBZ wasn't interested.  We moved over to the main stage and watched a few shows and ate some festival food.  BBZ and LBZ did some dancing and running around, the way we hoped they would.

Our friends' kids are the exact same age as ours, so they were playing really well together.

Can I just say how unbelievably sexy it is to see my husband wear my baby?
Be still me heart :)

This really made me wish that the whole weekend was this beautiful.  The kids had so much fun.  If only we had more than the 1.5 days of non-rain that we had.  Saturday really was a perfect day.  We ate some dinner and found a great spot for the evening shows.  It was to be Yonder's 1500th show.

I should add here that BBZ had a puke incident.  We were walking to a show and he was in the stroller.  He said mommy, there's something on my shirt.  And sure enough, he had barfed all down the front of his shirt.  Perfect.  N went back to the site and got him a new shirt, but I was a wreck.  I have an issue with puke.  Not necessarily the first episode, but the anxiety that comes along with the possibility of him doing it again is often enough to make my tummy all crazy.  Luckily, he didn't puke again and seemed to be ok.  I guessed it was another camping fluke puke.

At around nightfall, we noticed a nearby festival tent frantically packing up all of their stuff.  N walked over to see what was going on and they told us that a huge storm with 80mph winds and the possibility of tornadoes was headed right for us.

N went into keep-family-safe survival mode.  He rushed us back to our site and began taking down our shade tent.  We just bought it fr the trip, so he wanted to make sure it was safe.

I felt like I was on a bit of a whirlwind.  N is always calm cool and collected and I'm the one who freaks out.  This time, I wasn't sure what to do!  At the site, N talked to some older folks who were camping nearby us who said that they had friends at home who were supposed to let them know if bad weather was coming and they hadn't yet, so they thought we were ok.

We planned to pack up as much as possible that night anyway, so we did while we were there.  Then we headed back to the field to wait for the next band to start.

After the next concert was over, it started raining, so we headed back to the site again.  This time the neighbor said that something big was heading our way and suggested we pack up even more stuff.

We did and decided to wait at the campsite for the storm to pass and go from there.

BBZ had fallen asleep on me at about 7:45 and was now cuddling with me in the camper while I held sleeping LBZ in the carrier.  We weren't sure what was happening, so we kept wondering if we should go back to hear music or not.  Yonder started playing (and played BBZ's very favorite song first!), and we were so bummed.  Four songs into the set, Jeff Austin said that the festival folks told them they had to stop the show and send everyone to their camps.  They said to take cover in our vehicles during the storm.

We were all in the camper already, so we stayed there and waited for it to pass.  I cannot even believe how much rain fell.  There were rivers of water all around our tent and our site.  It was a mess.

N moved BBZ into the tent and onto the air mattress first.  We figured we would all have to sleep up off of the floor so we wouldn't get wet from water seeping in from the floor.  About that time I took LBZ out of the carrier and handed him to my friend so I could get his bottle ready for him.  She noticed that he was feeling warm.  Sure enough, he had a fever.  For the love.

So LBZ drank his bottle down fast and I put him in the playpen in our tent.  N, BBZ and I were on the air mattress.

At about 1am, LBZ woke up and was on fire.  I didn't take his temp, but I could tell it was really, really high.  I managed to get him tylenol from the back of my car in the rain and decided to sleep with him in my car, because I figured we might both sleep better than trying to have all four of us on the air mattress.

While it was pretty uncomfortable, we did get some much needed sleep.  He was still feverish in the morning, but I hoped he would fight it off while we drove home.

It was the sunniest and most beautiful day of the while weekend on Sunday, just as the weatherman had predicted.  We packed up everything and headed on the road.  We were about a mile away from the campground when it happened.  BBZ puked again.  We pulled over and I cleaned him up, and again I panicked about how we would make it home with a puking 4-year-old and a feverish baby.

BBZ puked just one more time and while he looked half dead, his color returned shortly and he was clearly on the mend and asking for food and something to drink.  The worst was certainly over.

We stopped and ate lunch and regrouped.  LBZ was still running a fever, but it was lower.  BBZ was no longer puking.  The rest of the trip was really easy.  LBZ slept a lot and BBZ was pretty happy.  We survived!

So it certainly was an adventure.  I must say that because of all of this drama, I feel like we can take on any little 'ol camping trip now.  I figure as long as the weather is nice, I'd camp every weekend!

And I think I might just have to accept the fact that on any trip we take, BBZ will inevitably puke and LBZ will have a fever.  The best line was when N happily reported that he was not the first one to puke on himself this weekend!  Ha!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The End.

I asked for a sign that it was time to stop.  I needed something to tell me it was time.
Between an extremely kind comment from my aunt (my father's youngest sister), which gave me permission to stop pumping, and the fact that my sweet LBZ has tolerated whole cow's milk since yesterday morning, I believe I am done pumping.
I pumped only about 4 ounces this morning, and while I felt the familiar need to pump, I easily could have gone without.  I wanted to remember the last time I pumped.  I wanted to cherish it, as I was unable to cherish our last nursing session since I didn't know it was our last.  I wanted to remember it, so I pumped, knowing it was likely going to be my last.
I've tried to introduce cow's milk to LBZ, but he either became very crabby, or woke up a lot that night, or did something similar to make me think the milk might have contributed.  He has now had all breastmilk/cow's milk bottles since yesterday morning and has displayed no symptoms that it's not agreeing with him.
I now feel comfortable stopping pumping.  I have about 100 or so ounces in the basement that I will continue to give him over the next few weeks, as long as it lasts.  Here's the last of it, which I just poured into a bottle for his night time bottle.
Thank you, aunt Robin, for telling me it is ok to stop.  I didn't realize that I needed to give myself permission to stop, but I did.  I needed to know it was ok to stop, and your sweet comment helped me do that.  So thank you!
And thanks to everyone else who sent me positive thoughts and love as I went through the end of this phase of motherhood.  I think I will always mourn the way our nursing relationship ended, but I can feel really good and proud of myself for continuing to provide this milk to him well into his second year.
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."  ~Winston Churchill

Friday, October 19, 2012


I'm struggling with a few things today.  Lately actually, not just today.

While I am still pumping for LBZ, my heart is no longer in it.  I want to stop, but I want him to continue to have the benefits of my breastmilk.  I still get sad sometimes about the abrupt end to our nursing relationship, and pumping was keeping that positive for me.  Now it feels like a chore that I don't want to have to do.  I'm waiting for a sign.  Something to tell me that It's ok to stop.

I thought that might come from my body as it decides to no longer produce milk, but it just keeps on producing it.  I pump about 5-6 ounces in the morning, which I divide and combine with almond milk for school and his bottle for before bed.  Then I pump another 4-5 ounces in the afternoon, which I give him in the car on the way home from school.

It's actually a manageable routine, but I'm growing tired of having to stop what I'm doing to pump.  At work it is somewhat easy, although still inconvenient.  On the weekends, I get positively mad that I have to find time to pull myself away from the boys to pump.  20 minutes of uninterrupted time with two little boys is very, very difficult.

So, I'm struggling.  I'm waiting for a sign.  I'm waiting for something to tell me to stop.  I guess I'm still waiting to be ready to stop.

I'm also struggling with how to deal with some of BBZ's very challenging behavior.  It seems that the only thing that works when he is falling off of the deep end is for me to yell.  Like, really yell really loud.  It works, and then I hate myself for it.  There has to be a better way, but I can't seem to find it.

I keep my cool for as long as humanly possible, but when he hitting and kicking me, trying to hit his brother, yelling terrible things and throwing toys, I just cannot put up with that.  I try holding on to him tight, giving him love during these emotionally challenging times, but they have more often than not ended with me yelling lately, and I'm not happy with that.

When I let myself get so upset sometimes I can't hide it from him, even if I want to.  After a blow-up and when he is crying and beginning to come down from it, he will often look at me and say "but what will make you happy, mommy?"

Just rip my heart out from the heavy guilt I feel, please.

Seriously.  I was fine.  Then my four-year-old throws a fit and gets me all worked up and pissed off, then he is asking me what I need to be happy?  This doesn't seem right, and all I can think of is when he is older and looks back on this, all he is going to remember is trying everything he can to make me happy and me being pissed off all the time...when I wasn't pissed off at the beginning at all!

So here I am.  Struggling.  I'm not miserable, or sad, or having a terrible day or anything, I'm just...struggling.  I'm having a hard time figuring out how to parent my 4-year-old in a way that shows him love and doesn't give in to his misbehavior.  Trying to give my 1-year-old the best foundation for good nutrition and good health while trying to balance my own needs.  It's a struggle.  One that will likely become worse and get better over time.  And now, it's on the bad end.

Blah blah, blah.  Enough poor me.  The Cardinals are in the post season!!  Cardinal fans are truly the best.  This town is the best during post season baseball.  Everyone is wearing red and thinking the same thing at every turn.  Even BBZ sang the whole Take Me Out to the Ballgame song on the way home earlier this week!

Go Cards!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Z Boys' Lego Birthday Party!

I remember when I first found out LBZ's due date, I was happy that the boys might not be born in the same month.  I didn't want them to have to share a birthday party.

Fast forward to LBZ's 10-day-late birth, and there I was, with two boys who's birthdays were just 13 days apart...and in the same month.

I couldn't imagine letting LBZ's birthday go by without some kind of celebration, which is why we threw him a little party the day before his real birthday.  Then we had BBZ's real birthday celebration in Chicago, then came the next weekend, which was the party for our friends and my family (that couldn't be here for LBZ's real birthday).

The theme was an easy choice...Legos!  N said he wanted to do the Lego head cake, and I'll admit, I was scared about how it would turn out.  I told my mom I was nervous about it, so she brought everything we needed to make it.  It turned out so good!

All four of my big boy's birthday photos.

And my sweet littlest's too.

So I have to admit something.  I completely forgot to get LBZ something nice to wear for his birthday.  He wears all of BBZ's clothes, which are mostly pants and t-shirts.  The nicer polo style t-shirts have all been worn by BBZ at some photographer occasion, so I needed an idea stat.

I bought these iron-on ties from a baby website and almost forgot about them.  It was perfect to celebrate the little man's day.

Our friends and family are so generous.  Each person who came made the day a little better for my boys.

I love how much he loves Legos.  And I am quite pleased that I love them as well.  If I didn't, we might all be in trouble.

This toy is awesome.  I can program it to include LBZ's name in a song and the dog actually says hi to him using his real name!  LBZ loves music too, so it's perfect.

My sister with my bestest friend's baby girl.  My sister has a baby in her belly too.  We will find out in 8 days if that baby is a boy or a girl.  I can't wait!  And I think it's a girl :)

My big 4-year-old.

Hooray for birthday candles!

LBZ had a piece, too...with Grandpa Z's help.

The kids really seemed to have a good time.

He had this smile permanently attached to his face while his sweet uncle B pushed him all around our yard.

I have to admit, that photo above reminds me so much of this one...
...of BBZ on his first birthday.
It was such a wonderful party.  The boys were really worn out by the time it was over.  The only bad thing is that a few people were missing from their special day.  My parents came in town for the party and left around noon to pick up my grandmother, who lives in an independent living senior apartment.  She is still quite independent, but doesn't drive, and my aunt was sick, so they offered to pick her up and bring her to the party.
When they showed up to get her, she was hallucinating and couldn't get out of the chair or walk.  It was pretty scary.  They took her to the hospital and she ended up having a UTI.  It was along day for all of them, and they were all really disappointed that they missed the party.  We weer able to spend some time with them in the next couple of days, so that was really nice.
It really is amazing how things work out though.  My aunt is my grandmother's main support person since my mom lives out of town, and she was both sick herself and caring for her husband who had to have back surgery.  If my parents hadn't been in town, who knows what my grandmother would have done.  It really amazes me how things come together in this way.  Happily, my grandmother is recovering well.  She's not home yet, but hopefully she will be soon.
So thanks to everyone who came to the boys' party!  I now LOVE the idea of having a joined party each year for them.  It was fun to have everyone here celebrating both of my boys.  I probably won't have it at our house next year though...it's so much work!