Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fun Outside

First, a better picture of Drew standing on his own.  Notice I had to distract him with something in his hands again.

The last 2 days we had really nice weather.  It was in the mid to upper 50's, and sunny.  Tuesday we got to go for a walk/bike ride (Zach rode his bike while I pushed Drew in the stroller and walked the dogs) with our friend Molly and her son Cooper.  Yesterday was even nicer and we got lots of time outside.  I picked up dog poop because today was trash day and the weather was supposed to get crappy again (and it did), so I thought it'd be good to stay on top of that lovely job.  While I did this Zach played on his playset, and once Drew woke up from his morning nap, he got to play outside, too.  Then we had lunch, ran an errand, and came back and did some sidewalk chalk.  After naps we took the dogs for another walk and then grilled burgers for dinner.  Sigh.  Is it spring yet?

Here are some highlights from our time playing outside yesterday morning.

I'm looking forward to this summer because Drew clearly enjoys his swing, so I think we'll be spending lots of time outside once it gets warm enough to do so.  Here are Drew and our own little Bono having some fun.

Zach was shaking Drew's swing in this picture, and Drew was just cracking up.

Maggie loves her krisbee, as Zach calls it.  You can just barely see the frisbee right above her head in this picture if you enlarge it.  Getting a picture of Maggie catching the frisbee was like taking a picture of Drew standing.  I had to throw the frisbee way up, so it would take a little longer coming down and allow me time to get the camera to my eye and focused.  

Finally, a few Zach moments from the past few days:
1. Zach clearly listens when I don't realize it.  He's been doing all this "racing" around the house lately, where he basically runs laps and wants me to give the play-by-play, complete with all the other imaginary racers.  Sometimes the racers are his cousin Cam, sometimes they're friends, sometimes they're Kermit, Gonzo, etc.  Anyway, he mentioned the other day that he has a half-marathon to run in, and later he told Mike, "Well, I have another race today.  I already paid for it, so I really should do it."  Mike's response?  "You are your mother's kid, that's for sure!"
2. Yesterday as we were getting ready to go outside and play, Zach said to me, "And when we come back in, if Drew's still asleep, I want you to paint my toes for me."  I knew Drew would not still be sleeping when we came back in, so I wasn't worried.  I did tell Zach that usually just girls paint their nails, and he said, "But you'll do it for me, right?"  Well, of course he forgot about it until later that night when he saw my bare feet and said, "Oh!  We forgot to paint my toenails!"  
3. Yesterday morning I had a headache, so I was a little grumpy.  I was getting Drew ready for his nap, and Zach was in the room with us blowing on this bath toy that's a flute.  It was making this loud, high-pitched sound, and I said, "Zach!  You need to go out of here with that.  I have a headache and that's not helping!"  Zach's reply was, "Well, I wasn't trying to help!"  
4.  Zach and Mike were tossing a ball back and forth last night when Zach said to Mike, "Do you need to go potty?"  Mike told him no and asked why Zach asked.  "Well, you were kind of dancing around."  Mike had been sitting there on the floor kind of moving his feet back and forth, just like Zach does when he has to go.  It brought a smile to our faces.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Random Post

Earlier this afternoon I uploaded a bunch of pictures I wanted to post on here, and they don't necessarily all go together, so this will be yet another random post.

First, here's our new photo wall in the dining room.  

Notice the lovely green color of the wall.  I love the green, and I love the photo wall, though I'm having a difficult time picking all the pictures to go up there.  There were some old  ones I wanted to put up, like one of my sisters and me when we were little girls and one of Mike and his little sister when they were a lot younger, but old pictures are too small for these frames.  I need all pictures to be at least 4", and old pictures are 3.5" tall.  So that is kind of a bummer.  I'm not sure yet what the other 5x7 photos will be, but I'll get it figured out soon, I hope!  I think I need to change the picture of Drew that's on the left so that it's horizontal.  I may use one of the pictures below that Mike took the other day.  I spent 2 days trying to get a good picture to put on Drew's birthday invitation, and the day after I printed the invitations Mike got all of these.  Figures.  There were about 3 other good ones from this night, but I decided to "just" put four of them on here. 

Now here's a picture from yesterday of Zach the artist.  I asked him to draw a person, so he started with the big head, then added the legs, then the eyes and mouth, and finally the arms.  It was interesting to see how his brain was working.  He told me that when you draw eyes you have to fill them in, because eyes are filled in. Then he looked at me with big eyes and said, "See- my eyes are filled in."  He also wrote his name by himself on the whiteboard.  We've been working on making his A's a little more triangular.

Yesterday we got to go out to lunch with our friend Moira, who I used to teach with and who also taught our private music class from when Zach had just turned one until this past summer.  We miss her and her class sooooo much, so it was really awesome to meet up with her and have lunch and catch up.  Zach had a blast of course, because he thinks Moira is the cat's meow.  We went to Panera, and Zach got a meal that has a sandwich and a squeezable yogurt thing.  I said something to Zach like, "It's ok if you eat the yogurt now, as long as you don't just focus on it and eat your sandwich, too."  So he eats a little yogurt, and then a little sandwich, and then some more yogurt, and more yogurt.  I think then I said, "Buddy, you need to eat your sandwich, too," and Zach said to Moira, "I'm just going to finish this yogurt so I can focus on my sandwich."  We couldn't really argue with that, I guess.  Thanks for meeting us for lunch, Moira!

Later in the afternoon our friend Carey was here from Kansas City.  Zach has met Carey a couple of times, and I wasn't sure if he'd be shy or not.  He was not.  Right away when he got up from his nap he got Carey roped into reading a bunch of books to him, and it was so sweet to see how he kept scooting closer and closer to her to snuggle her up.  We hope your test went well, Carey!

Last night Zach and Mike went to a high school basketball game together, so Drew and I hung out and played.  It's really fun to have uninterrupted time with Drew these days, because he's just learning so much.

First we played with spoons, and Drew would pretend to feed himself.  He puts the spoon to his mouth, and then takes it away quickly, and opens and closes his mouth quickly like he's eating.  He loves doing this.  He also tried to "feed" me once.

Then we moved into the dining room, where Drew looked out the window.  Both of our boys have been huge fans of the windows in our house and the window blinds.  If Drew is just in a nasty mood where nothing makes him happy, put him at the window, let him suck on the crank or the little toggle thing on the blinds, and he's happy as can be.  I have a picture of Zach as a baby just like this one of Drew.

It was very difficult, but I finally got a picture of Drew standing unassisted.  The last couple of days he really has gotten better and more brave about doing this.  It was tough to get the picture, because I'd trick him into standing without holding onto me by handing him something else to hold onto, and then I'd have to quickly get the camera and get it focused before he realized what he was doing and went down to his knees.  I swear he took 3 steps one time, but I don't know if that really counts as walking.  Sorry about the shadow in this one- it's from the dining room table.

Drew really likes the grandfather clock that Mike's dad made for us, but I don't want him touching it or leaning on it or anything.  I'm paranoid about it getting broken, and if he slipped or something, there are sharp corners and a big slab of granite underneath it that would not feel good on his head.  Anyway, he kept trying to touch it, and I kept saying, "Please don't touch the clock!" and moving him away.  Drew is our little drama queen, so here he is reacting to my saying no again.  It's really funny to watch him get upset about things like this and throw his little fits.  If you try to hand him a toy to distract him, he often flings it aside as if to say, "I don't want that!"

After playing in the dining room, we decided it was time to get ready for bed, so we headed to the stairs.  Foudy was waiting there for us, and was happy to give Drew a big, wet kiss on the face.  He went for it, though, going up to her with his mouth open, like he wanted the kiss, too.

After getting a couple of kisses he figured out how to get around Foudy, and climbed up the steps.  He stopped to make sure I was coming, too.

Some things I want to remember about Drew as he's about to turn one:
-He does the signs for Foudy, milk, and eat.
-It seems like he calls Zach.  If Zach's not around, I'll say, "Where's Zach?"  And Drew goes, "Baa!  Baa!" and the way he says it really sounds like how I would say, "Zach!  Zach!"
-He plays a game with Maggie where he picks up a toy and hands it to her to take from him.  Maggie seems a little more competitive with Drew than she is with Zach (probably because he can't tell her to "give" yet), so she of course is happy to take toys from him. 
-He is no longer phased by me sternly telling him, "No!  We don't throw food on the floor!" when he purposely drops food on the floor towards the end of his meals.  In fact, he seems mildly amused by me when this happens, which is not good.
-He loves to see how things work.  He really likes things that spin, and it's very cute to watch him move his hand to make things spin.  He also loves books with flaps to open and just books in general.  He'll sit and look at books by himself just to turn the pages.
-As I mentioned before, he's a bit of a drama queen, but he gets very tickled with himself when he figures something out.
-Oh!  I almost forgot.  He makes this hilarious face sometimes just to be silly, where he basically closes his eyes and gets this huge grin.  I never have the camera ready, but the other day I got him doing it and Mike got a picture.  This isn't exactly the look, but it sort of is.  

One more Zach story- today during Zach's nap I could hear him getting out of bed a lot.  I figured he was getting up to get books, and though I wanted him to sleep because he went to bed late last night and got up early this morning, I figured that if he was really tired, he would fall asleep.  Well, there were a few quiet times, but then I'd hear more moving around.  At 4:03, I swear I heard him talking to himself, and I expected him to get up, because he knows he can get up at 4:00.  Well, I went upstairs to get Drew, and suddenly it seemed like Zach was totally quiet.  So 4:45 rolls around, and I decide I don't want Zach sleeping any later.  So I go into his room, and there are books scattered all over the floor and all over his bed.  He's totally under the covers and his clock is under there with him, and he is dead asleep.  Seems like he was tired enough to finally fall asleep.  After I woke him up and was helping him clean up books, I saw that his clock said it was 11:20, but it really was 5:00.  So I think that he was playing with his clock, and that he was really awake at 4:00 but didn't realize it was 4:00, and then he fell asleep.  He tricked himself!  One day last week we found him totally asleep with his face on an open book.  So cute.  I hope he always loves books.

I'm certain there's stuff I'm forgetting, but I'll get it next time, hopefully. I thought there were other stories about Zach I wanted to write down, too, but I can't remember them, either.   Once again, it's past my bedtime, my contacts are dry and foggy, and I'm tired!  I'm not proofreading again, so Sandy, you can let me know how many mistakes you find this time! :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

When Zach Grows Up- pt. 2

Zach has had an ongoing list of things he wants to be when he grows up for some time now.  The kid plans on being busy, but I'll try to remember everything:
-A work theracalpist like his dad (physical therapist- he has a little trouble saying that)
-A soccer player
-A Rockette

Last week he added semi-truck driver to that list.  It was kind of a funny conversation, because he was telling me how he wanted to drive a semi with "all colors" on it so it'd be really neat looking.  He talked about how his truck would take things to the grocery store, and how he would drive it around during the day, and then come home to our house at night.  He said he'd put a car seat in it in case we needed to go anywhere with Drew.  I loved how in his mind, he was grown up, but the rest of us had not aged at all, and he still lived at our house.  It's interesting to see how that little brain works.

Tonight we were getting ready to go to a birthday party, and I was feeding Drew dinner and giving Zach a little snack while Mike got ready.  The plan was that next I would go up and get ready, because I was still in my t-shirt and sweatshirt.  Zach said to me, "Yeah, Mom, you gotta go change.  You can't go to the party in your sweats."  So I asked what I should wear, and he said, "Maybe that pink shirt with the fuzzies."  He meant my pink sweater.  I picked the purple one and my black boots, which I don't wear very often, and Zach approved.  When he saw my boots, he said, "OH!  I LOVE those boots!"  Then he saw my bare feet and my newly painted toenails, and he said, "Mom!  Your toes look so pretty!"  He's going to make a great husband some day, I think.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Week in Review

This past week was a change from the norm, mostly because Mike was gone in Vegas for a few days for a conference.  It was a long four and a half days, but we made it, and Zach, Drew, and I all still love each other.  A big thanks to Grandpa Kevin and Grandma Cynthia, who came over twice to watch the boys so I could go work out.  Here's a little bit of what we did while Mike was out of town:

Zach and Drew did some dancing.

Zach and I mixed up sugar cookies, and I baked them while he was at preschool one day.  That afternoon Zach decorated them.  I did a few, but mostly I needed to entertain Drew, so Zach did most of them on his own, which was fine by him.  Any time I tried to help, Zach would say things like, "Mom, you really should play with Drew," or "Mom, you've spent all this time with me, you need to give Drew some attention now."  Hmm, has he heard that one before?  I never expected him to turn it around on me!  

We ended up sending the majority of these cookies to Aunt Katherine as a little Valentine's Day surprise.

At first it was difficult for me to give up the control of making the cookies pretty, but since Drew needed me and Zach didn't want my help, I decided to just let go and let Zach do his thing.  He did a great job, and though the cookies didn't look the way I like to decorate them, they did remind me of the way my sister Sandy decorates cookies.  Just kidding, Sam! :-)  (Whenever my sisters and I decorate cookies together, Becky and I take a lot of time to make them intricate and very detailed, and Sandy is more, um, laid-back about her cookie decorating.)  Here's what one of Zach's typical cookies looked like.  

Zach and I also decorated a bunch of valentines.  It started with making valentines for his preschool class, and just sort of snowballed from there.  For the most part it was fun, but we had to break it down to a few each day.  I think we made over 35 valentines.  Why didn't we just buy them, you ask?  Well, I asked Zach if he wanted to buy valentines for his friends at school or make them, ad he decided he wanted to make them.  So, we bought some glitter and some stickers and went to town.  Zach wrote his name on all of them, and did a pretty good job.  We're working on writing his letters correctly, and sometimes I really have to remind myself that he is just 3 and that his letters don't have to be perfect.  Maybe it's the teacher in me.

Drew did some playing,

helped rearrange the tupperware cabinet, 

and looked into his crystal ball to see what the future holds.  His verdict?  "Mamamamama."

While Mike was in Vegas we mostly had really nice weather.  Actually, it was warmer here than it was there a couple of days, which kind of cracked me up.  Mike still managed to get one round of golf in, even though it was only in the 40s that day (it was 62 here that day!).  He returned Thursday afternoon, just in time for the snow to start on Friday.  So after dinner Friday night, Zach and Mike decided to head outside to do some shoveling/snow-blowing.  After that, they decided to go play in the backyard.  Zach enjoyed clearing off the slide and getting buried in snow.

Saturday  Zach and I played in the snow some more, while Mike, Drew, and the dogs watched.

We dug a little tunnel, and Zach's first try through it didn't go so well.  It wasn't big enough, and he got a bunch of snow in his face and was unhappy.  I made it a little bigger and he was able to squeeze through it, though.  After that, he was ready to go inside.

We celebrated Valentine's Day by taking the boys to the mall for some delicious food court food (Mike and Zach had Chick-Fil-A and I had Panera, so actually, it was all pretty tasty), and then some time in the play area.  This was Mike's and my 10th Valentine's Day together, and a lot has changed in 10 years!  It was a fun night, though.

Today there was more playing in the snow.  We never got the chance to go skiing when we were in Colorado for Christmas, but at least Zach's getting some good use out of his goggles here at home.

This afternoon we got together with our church friends, and here's the dessert I made.  YUM- these were DELICIOUS!  I may need to make some more.

Now I must get to bed.  Why do I always start blog entries at 10:00 at night?  If there are a lot of mistakes in here, it's because it's too late for me to proofread, but I just want to have this post done.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

11 Months Old

Drew is 11 months old today, and I'm not sure a whole lot has changed since he was 10 months old, but you can be sure I'll find plenty to say about it. :)  

Let's see, a month ago I thought he'd probably be walking by his first birthday, but now  I'm not so sure.  He is still pretty reluctant to let go when he's standing up, though he did do it today for about 30 seconds.  I think he has pretty good balance, but once he realizes he's not holding on, I think he gets scared and grabs hold of the nearest stable thing.  He still has just 2 teeth, but he is down to nursing just 3 times a day now and eating all table food and loving it.  There's not much he won't eat, really.  We are constantly amazed at how much food the kid can put away.   Zach and I put Drew on the scale today in my closet, and he weighed 22 pounds, but I'll be really curious to see what he weighs next month at his 1 year check-up.   We're trying to give him a sippy cup more often, and today he seemed like he really had the hang of it.  Drew's napping schedule is changing a little, too, so that both naps have shifted to a little later in the day.  

One thing I've really enjoyed is seeing how Drew's playing style has changed.  He's really into putting things into other things.  For example, in the play kitchen, he puts things in the fridge and oven.  Or he has this gumball machine toy, and he loves to put the balls back into it.  Drew is a pretty good listener/quick learner.  He'll do something like play with the plant, and after I tell him no once or twice, he usually quits, though he thinks a lot about doing the thing he's not supposed to do again.  For example, the other day he was grabbing at the plant, and I told him no, and he did it again, and I told him no again.  Then he started to crawl away, and sort of went back to the plant, reached out, but stopped himself.  This happened a couple of times, and it was like you could hear him saying in his brain, "I want to touch the plant- no, I can't touch it!"  He has gotten a little sad when he has dropped his food on the floor (something he does when he decides he is full) and we've been a little more stern with our no's.  He can be a bit of a drama-queen sometimes, that's for sure.  Drew also is imitating more.  Yesterday Maggie was barking, and I would tell her to be quiet, and then she would bark again.  After a few times of me saying, "Quiet!" Maggie barked again, a solitary bark, and Drew looked right at her and sort of barked back, "Aaaa!" in the same tone as my "Quiet!"  It was pretty cute.  He also does this if I'm calling Zach, where he matches my tone.  I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but whenever he plays with cars, he makes a little motor sound, like buzzing his lips.  He loves to play the piano, too.  

Zach and Drew are playing together more, too, which is awesome.  Lately in the car they've been trying to touch hands, and this totally cracks Drew up.  They also were playing a game the other day where Drew was in his crib after his nap, and he had his pacifier in his mouth.  We only give Drew his pacifier when he's going to sleep, so Zach took it out of Drew's mouth and moved it to the other end of the crib.  Suddenly this became this big game, where Zach would take the pacifier, move it to the opposite end of the crib, and then Drew would quickly crawl and get it and put it in his mouth.  Then Zach would grab it out of his mouth and move it to the other end.  Back and forth they went, and every time Zach would pop that pacifier out of Drew's mouth, Drew would squeal with delight.  I kept waiting for Drew to get mad, but he never did.  It was sweet.  Here are Zach and Drew snuggling on the couch.  This is our new favorite picture.  I think it really shows that Drew must have a big head- his head looks as big as Zach's!

Speaking of pacifiers, like I said, we only let Drew have his pacifier when it's bedtime- either naps or at night.  But the kid loves to have things in his mouth.  He frequently finds things to crawl around with in his mouth.   The other day he had a ball in his mouth (ok, it was a dog ball- gross, I know, but in my defense, I wasn't there- Mike told me about this), and Maggie wanted it, so she just plucked it right out.  Here are some other examples of things he has used as his pacifier:

A small wooden person.  I know- this looks like a choking hazard.  Right after I took the picture I took the person away and it is now out of Drew's reach.

A Fisher-Price blood pressure cuff.  Maggie was waiting in the wings to snatch this away right after Drew decided it was a little big for his mouth.

And a Doodle-Pro, which he also decided was kind of a pain to carry around in his mouth.

Here are just a few more pictures of Drew being silly.

He makes this hilarious, squinty/shut-eyed face with this big, goofy grin.  A lot of times he makes this face when he's in his high chair.  I have been meaning to get a picture of it, but I never do.  This is the closest I've come, and this isn't even exactly the right face.  But I thought this was cute, even with the avocado all over his face.

The lazy baby's SOOO BIG pose.  Usually he does both hands up, but not in this one.

I don't know what he was doing here, but he sure was happy, which is how he is about 95% of the time.  

But not here.   This is not a good picture of Zach, but it is such a funny one of Drew, with his little (huge) hand up over his mouth.  He was sick of pictures at this point, I guess.

It's hard to believe that the next time I take pictures in the rocking chair Drew will be a year old.  There is definitely a part of me that would like to keep him this age forever, because he's just so fun, and the littlest things make him happy.  But I also really look forward to the days when he and Zach can really play together and be happy.  And watching Zach just makes me so much more curious as to what Drew will be like- will he have the same kind of personality as Zach?  I wonder.  Speaking of Zach, here's proof that he's all boy- tonight I was in the laundry room doing something, and I heard him say to Mike, "I just tooted on you!  I want you to smell my toot!"  Oh, I do have so much to look forward to, raising two sons, don't I? :-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Black and White Angel Food Cake

I talked to a few people this weekend while I was making this angel food cake that is part chocolate and part regular angel food, and a couple of people asked me for the recipe, so I thought I'd just post it here.  It was delicious!  I made it because our friends Mark and Christa and their kids were coming over, and I thought this would be a nice, light dessert.  Plus, I love to try new recipes, especially dessert recipes.  I tore this one out of a Cooking Light magazine I saw at my parents' house probably 6 or more months ago.  It was the cover recipe, and it just looked too delicious.  It is also very low in fat, so that's just a nice little bonus!  

Here's what my version looked like:

Black and White Angel Food Cake 

1 C. cake flour (about 4 oz.)
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
12 large egg whites
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa (such as Hershey's Special Dark)

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. tub light cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. 1% low-fat milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. unsweetened dark cocoa

Preheat oven to 325.  To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and 3/4 C. granulated sugar, stirring with a whisk; set aside.  Place cream of tartar, salt, and egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy.  Add remaining 3/4 C. granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.  Beat in juice and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Sift flour mixture over egg white mixture, 1/4 C. at a time; fold in after each addition.  Spoon half of the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly.  Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife.  Sift 2 Tbsp. cocoa over remaining batter; fold in.  Spoon cocoa batter evenly over top of vanilla batter; break air pockets by cutting through cocoa layer with a knife.  Bake at 325 for 55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Invert pan; cook completely.  Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula.  Invert cake onto a plate.  

To prepare glaze, place powdered sugar, cream cheese, milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Drizzle half of glaze over cake.  Add 1/4 tsp. cocoa to remaining glaze; stir well to combine.  Drizzle cocoa glaze over cake.  Refrigerate 5 minutes or until glaze is set.  Garnish with strawberries, if desired.  Yield: 12 servings

If you follow the recipe exactly, it has 0.6g of fat per serving, 4.7g of protein, 47.3g of carbs, and 1 mg cholesterol.  I used regular cream cheese from a brick and 2% milk for the glaze, because I already had those on hand.  As a result, I had to use more milk than the 1 Tbsp. the recipe calls for, but it worked fine.  

Zach, Mike, and I loved the cake, so I consider it a hit.  Sydney, Mark and Christa's daughter, didn't seem too interested in cake.  She decided to play the saxophone instead.

You can't please all the people all the time, right?

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Magic of Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Tonight after I got Drew in bed, Zach and I decided to play Hungry, Hungry Hippos.  Mike was playing basketball.  We've had the game since September, and have always been vigilant about making sure all the marbles are put away so that Drew doesn't put one in his mouth and choke on it.  Well, a month or two ago somehow we lost one.  I noticed it right after it went missing, and I searched and searched, but could not find it, which was weird.  I finally gave up looking and hoped that Drew wouldn't find it before me.  So back to tonight.  Zach and I are playing with the 19 marbles we have, and as usual, Zach wanted to be the green and yellow hippos.  So we played the first game, and Homer, the green hippo, got the most marbles.  Just like we always do, Zach counted his marbles first, and then I counted mine.  Amazingly, as I finished counting my marbles, there were suddenly all 20 there!!  Zach and I could not believe this, as we have seriously only had 19 marbles for a few months.  I guess that last one must have been stuck up in one hippo's throat or something, but we've played with 19 marbles multiple times and the 20th has never shown up before, so it's very strange.  

High Hopes

Two things Zach recently informed me he plans to do when he "gets big"-

1. Take pills
2. Shoot birds

Yep, we've got some high aspirations here.  The taking pills part comes from the 3 pills I take every day- a vitamin, folic acid, and fish oil.  I don't know why he thinks that seems fun, but whatever.  I'm not sure where the shooting birds part comes from.  When he told me this, we were in the grocery store, and I was a little dumbfounded, because I don't think Zach has ever really heard anyone talk about hunting or anything.  So when he said, "Mom, when I get big, I'm going to shoot birds," I said, "Why?"  I'm not against hunting, but it's not something that I will probably encourage with my boys, unless they bring it up first.  He didn't really know how to answer my question, so next I said, "Well, shooting a bird would hurt it," and Zach thought for a minute and said, "Well, what's shooting?" which brought a smile to my face.  Classic case of a kid wanting to do something when he doesn't even know what it is.  I don't even know how I answered him.  I can see we're at the point where we're going to start having more questions about things like shooting, killing, dying, etc., especially with Zach being in preschool now and being around other kids, and I'm not looking forward to it.  I wish I could shield him from all things violence-related forever, but I know that's completely unrealistic.  I wonder if moms of girls have this dilemma ever...