Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Zane is Three!

Today my Sweet Baby Zane turns three!  Last night Michael was making a big deal about Zane turning three, and this morning Zane asked me, "When will I change?"  He had an idea that he might be quite different today, even though last night I assured him he would be the same!

For the last couple of nights we've been playing a balloon bombing game with the balloons leftover from his party.  Enjoy this prelude to the actual birthday celebrations.

This morning Michael got up early so Zane could enjoy his presents and hopefully calm down a bit by nap time.  Unfortunately, the first present Zane took from the stack was a rolled up shirt with a digger on it.  As he started to open it he got very mad and said, "This isn't fun.  It's not fun!"  He really threw quite a pout, enough that I was thinking of repossessing the gifts!  But really, he had been expecting toys and he opened clothes!  Ick.  So I let him have a bye on that.  Then he opened the other things from Michael and I and really liked them.  Two Cars videos and a book of TowMater stories.  A Dinosaur Train set, and Cranky with some magnetic freight train cargo.  Well, I guess we went to the dark side on licensed image stuff from TV, but at least it's mostly PBS Kids!  I was excited to discover that the plastic Dinosaur Trains fit on Zane's wooden train tracks, and that the Megabloks they are made from are interchangeable with his Legos.

Video evidence of the birthday present melee:

After his nap Zane also enjoyed some cars from Grandpa, a shirt from Grandma, and a crazy pipe and flag from cousins Ian and Julian.  I think the flag was his favorite!

I wrote and posted this last night, and I realized later that I forgot to do my hypothesizing about the year to come!  Here's what I said last year:
And what do I look forward to next year? Well, I imagine he'll get pretty fluent with language and easier to understand, learn shapes and counting, jump, walk up and down stairs without hands, and generally get stronger and more nimble. What do I dream of? Potty training and sleeping in his own room!
I'd say that was all right on!  He doesn't really know counting very well, but the rest is true.  And he did indeed get the potty training in just under the wire!

In this next year Zane will begin school and I imagine that will cause a lot of changes, along with just growing older!  I can't think of any really big changes like weaning and sleeping in a bed and toilet training from the last several years.  I think there's a good chance that he might be reading just a little bit when he turns four.  Hopefully he will also be better with numbers and counting.  He still zips around on his balance bike, but maybe he will learn to pedal a bike without training wheels, too!  I hope he can form some really good friendships and start to hang out with more kids (I have to make that easier for him).

We'll see!  It will all be a magnificent mystery.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Zane's 3rd Birthday Party!

Actually it was Zane's first birthday party thrown on his behalf, and it was his third birthday!  I was nervous about organizing this, but it all went off without a hitch.  I was pretty surprised!  But also proud of myself.  We have a small house and backyard, but the weather cooperated so we could stay in the backyard which is our biggest space.  Two families from the neighborhood came, and that was just the right amount.  We also invited some daycare kids, but they never responded and didn't show up.

We had a morning party which turned out good because the day was getting hot.  I decided not to try to do too much, so I bought a fruit plate, veggie plate, cake, cupcakes, juice, and frozen pizza.  I like making cakes, but it would have been too much to do.  We started off with a shark pinata filled with toys -- no candy!  Zane was super excited about it, as he hadn't seen it before.  He posed with it trying to make an angry face.  As soon as the kids arrived, we had at it!  I ended up having to help things along, but it was pretty fun.

Then we did Olympic Fishing!  I had cut out eight identical gold fish and put paper clips on them.  One fish had gold stars all over the back.  The kids took turns fishing with a magnet, and whoever got the gold-star fish won a medal!  That was a good time filler, and everyone got a medal except Zane who lost interest at the end.  He kept asking where was his cake!

Meanwhile, I cooked up the pizzas, brought them out, and then brought out the cake!  It was yellow all over -- Zane's favorite color.  He blew the candles out right away, and we feasted.  After the kids got all jacked up on food and sugar, they ran around and screamed like banshees while one Dad was an escaped prisoner, and then Michael threatened to barbeque them.  Good times.

Zane had a good time, but was also kind of subdued.  He was tired in the morning, and ended up having not much trouble napping after the party, so I think he's a bit tired for some reason.  Still, I was really pleased that he had fun, the other kids had fun, there was food everyone liked, the games filled up the time, and the cleanup was easy!

We'll give Zane presents from the family on his birthday on Wednesday.

Here is video evidence of the fun!

Summer Fun

We've been having a really great summer.  I've enjoyed so many adventures with Zane that we can do together, now that he's older and more of his own person.  The potty training has also really gelled, so it is wonderful to be able to just head over to a toilet when we need to.  No lugging diapers around, no scheduling trips around using the toilet at home (which was the only acceptable toilet for a couple of weeks), no juggling fluid intakes to get the pee at the most convenient time.  I still take an extra set of pants in case of an accident, but I have not yet had to deploy them.

Michael's cousin Rafi and his family came through Seattle briefly to start a Disney cruise to Alaska.  We caught up with them for about an hour at the terminal.  Zane's cousins Elisa and Niko are so wonderful, and Zane just looooooooved them.  That's the three of them at the top of the post.  This was on day three of potty training, and I was all stressed out, but Zane wasn't, as you can see!

One sign that Zane has been having a good summer is his very diverse collection of scabs.  The picture does not do them justice (like my modesty oval?).  He had two sets on one knee and one on the other with a scattering of extra bruises.  Each shin was scraped bloody.  He also had a new chin scab with matching lip scab in addition to the old healing spot from his bicycle mishap from a month ago.  Each scab and bruise was from a different event.  Also, yesterday he ended up needing three baths throughout the day, which I think is also a sign that the boy is having the kind of summer a kid ought to have.

I realized the other day that I've kind of fallen off in terms of taking him to the zoo and aquarium and museums and swimming, but when it's nice in Seattle, I just want to be outside!  Zane likes it, too.  We're very fortunate to have a nice neighborhood to walk, play and bike in, a pleasant backyard with good neighbors, and parks within walking/biking distance.  We can go back inside when the rain starts!

Our neighborhood is really wonderful.  Many Seattle neighborhoods celebrate Night Out Against Crime, and ours is no exception.  The idea is to get neighbors together at least once per year to create a more solid community of people who will watch out for each other throughout the year.  This year Michael was able to participate (he's usually at Kung Fu), and Zane was old enough to really have a blast with the other kids.  I think the stomp rocket launchers really made an impression on him.  He was laughing maniacally and yelling "Hoarding!  Hoarding!" as he gathered up all of the rockets in his arms.  He also had an awesome time running races with a bunch of the other boys.  His favorite pair of shoes these days are blue and black "running shoes" that he says make him go super fast!  Towards the end Michael had some sort of game going with a gaggle of kids involving threatening to barbeque them.  Good stuff for little boys!

This month is a very busy one for us.  I have been excitedly looking forward to Zane's birthday and also starting school in September, but I also hate to be wishing time would pass, because then summer would be over!  The weather has been really superb the last couple of weeks, and as of today the forecast looks great for the next week, too.  At this time of year I start thinking that each nice day could be our last.  We've been enjoying soccer, which will end at then end of this month; we had a rocky beginning, but Zane said he wants to continue in the fall.  We tried to see some fireworks nearby, but they were delayed and ended up being too far past bedtime to be reasonable; but Zane still was excited about being outside in the near dark since he goes to bed and wakes up in the light in the summer.  Today we had a fabulous birthday party in our back yard!  I'll post separately about that later.  Next up is Zane's actual birthday on Wednesday, and we'll give him gifts from the family then.  Next a doctor's appointment for a three year checkup, a development assessment, a haircut for school, and the last days at daycare.  I'm hoping to squeeze in our first visit to a big fair.  I think I'll go in the morning and plan to stay for a long time and not worry about the nap schedule; sometimes you gotta mess with the schedule!  I can't wait to show Zane kiddie rides, a horse show, pig races, chainsaw carving, and fair food.  I think he will love it and be in awe of all the world has to offer.

And then in September we have school starting, and that will allow me to go back to the gym.  And finally, in mid-September we go to Maine for a visit!  Whew.

I will leave you with this nice photo of Zane washing the kitchen floor.  I gave him a bowl of soapy water and an egg beater for entertainment, and he ended up deciding to wash the entire kitchen floor plus the outside of the garbage can!  Who am I to stifle the urge to clean?