Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas to all! I am attempting a new experiment by going green and posting our 2008 Christmas letter to our family blog instead of printing it. I refuse to go completely green by not sending an actual card, but at least this decreases the paper. Please feel free to leave us a note if you stop by so I know how it worked. :)

Eli is getting so big. He is daddy's right arm and soaks up everything around him. He is ALL BOY which I have always said - but he is also so gentle and sweet. Mile markers for him lately are he can count to 30 all on his own, knows all his ABC's by sight and sound, has began reading and writing simple words and can copy words he sees, and is a BIG helper doing dishes. He LOVES Star Wars, airplanes, dinosaurs and sharks. He still says he is going to be a pilot when he grows up...that is the first thing he ever said he wanted to be and still holds to it.

Al is still working for Walter P. Moore. He has also worked on several projects around the house and for friends. His biggest project continues to be Eli and teaching him all about tools and all the "boy" things mommy just doesn't know about. I am still working at UT Arlington and doing cakes. Al & I both volunteer with MEND as much as we can. It means a lot to us to be able to give back to the other families that have suffered the heartache of the death of a child. We have built invaluable relationships with so many other families and are so thankful for the safe haven MEND provides.

2008 has been a year of healing for our family. We have learned to live the new normal. AJ's name is spoken daily in our home in one way or another and always will be. Eli has an amazing perception of his baby brother in heaven and speaks proudly of him often. We frequently stop to wonder what AJ's personality would be, how our lives would be different, or how Eli would be different. There is a peace about our new normal, but there are still days that bring us to our knees.

In April 2009 we hope to welcome another baby brother into the family. After months of trying to get pregnant again, God answered our prayers last August. It has been an emotional - happy, sad, scared - ride so far and no doubt will be until we hold him in our arms - alive and safe. But we are thankful for every day and movement that God allows us to have with him. The rest is up to Him.

We hope and pray that each of you have a very safe and Merry Christmas. This year especially, we are thankful for our jobs, health and friends and family. Please take a moment to remember our troops this Holiday season and those families who will spend Christmas apart. Keep up with our family year round by visiting our blogs when you have a minute. Between the two blogs, I try to get something posted as often as time and words allow. May God bless you and yours richly in 2009.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mr Green

Eli's favorite color is GREEN. When the boy makes up his is made up! Since he learned to talk, he has said he wants to be a pilot - a F-18 pilot! That has not changed. And now he is stuck on green. Green shoes, green shirts, green cups, green toys, green food. On so many levels it's great. Lucky for us the theme for school this year is frogs - "Leap into learning" - woo hoo green is the theme!

Eli goes back for lab work sometime this week or next and then back to the doc on September 8th. If all goes as planned (not my plan mind you) - the next fever will begin at the end of next week. If it all falls on schedule, he will have a fever for the appointment on the 8th and that will hopefully allow the doc to make some decisions.

Uncle Thomas comes to town this weekend! We are so excited to see him! A trip to New York would be great - guess we need to plan that before he moves somewhere else. Hopefully the Houston clan will be able to make it up and we can all have fun for a few days.

So nothing new is happening in the Z household these days. For all those who live in the Arlington area - I had lunch at a truly delightful place called "Mi Tierra" - Latin Fusion food the other day. It was muy bueno! I've had several cakes to work on and keep me busy with. E keeps us busy otherwise with all his new found knowledge on a daily basis. He reminds us to laugh and how great it is to live life with a childlike perspective.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


On Monday, July 28th we took E in for his upper GI barium study and to see the Infectious Disease doctor. Eli was SO brave and drank the barium even though he didn't like it. I think he did better than I would have done to be honest.

We saw ID doc that afternoon and found out that the upper GI was clear. Whew - that means the GI track as a whole is clear. So what is causing the fevers??? We don't know yet. The ID gave him a diagnosis of PFAPA, but we will repeat lab work and go see him again at the end of August. Then I suppose we should know more and possibly get a more definitive diagnosis.

If the fever stays on schedule, it should start any day now. Tomorrow to be exact to the 5 weeks, but it has ranged between 5 - 5.5 weeks religiously. So we wait....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Way Behind!!

The last blog was a little behind - this one is WAY behind. I should know better than to wait so long to post as I have probably forgotten most of what I wanted to say.

First, I have the best son in the world!! I know I say that or something like it in almost every post, but he's my kid and I'm bias. AJ's one year birthday was March 30th. Somewhere in the month of April - after the last post - Eli began saying "I love you all the way up to the sky to AJ" every time he said I love you. He had connected that AJ was in the sky, with Jesus and that that was far away. He has occasionally asked if AJ is coming home lately. I just reply that AJ is having too much fun with Jesus and that some day we will get to see him. Questions come sporadically and he seems to understand WAY more than we could ever imagine. He is just so sweet and has a compassionate heart. Amazing how God works those little details out. :)
This is a picture of a beautiful rainbow that came to visit one day after a rain shower just as I was picking up Eli from school. We got in the car and he asked "mommy - did AJ send us that rainbow?" I see things like rainbows, snowflakes, and butterflies as God's reminders that the world is a beautiful place and He has it all under control - so I replied yes. We talked about how the rainbows are all the colors of the balloons that we send to AJ, and a rainbow is our way of knowing that he got them all. Then as sweet as can be, he said "Mommy, we need to blow kisses to the rainbow so the rainbow can give them to AJ for us." Can you say tears?

If you read AJ's blog, you know that I was a terrible mother on Mother's Day. But the bright spot was the wonderful crafts that Eli brought home from school for me. He was so proud of them and I was so thrilled to get them. Those moments are so special.

Eli had his first sleep over on June 6th. We took Eli and Walker to eat Chinese food and go see Kung Fu Panda. The boys had a hard time getting to sleep and then of course were up early the next morning to play. I think it went as good as it could have gone considering they are 3. :)

Daddy has been working on a patio with Tio V so it has just been Eli and I ruling the roost. Amazing how the time flies by - he is growing up so fast and always coming up with new things. I love being a mom!!

Eli is addicted to Wall-E!! It has been out for a 10 days and we have been twice already. He has posters, pictures, action figures and sheets. It's an awesome movie if you get a chance to see it.

The scary side of being a mom is when your kids are sick. E-man has been getting weird fevers for several months off and on. After the last bout of fever last week, the docs got together and have begun running a bunch of tests to make sure something weird isn't going on in his little body. Today he had a EDG and colonoscopy to see if his Eosinophillic Esophagitis is still flaring up and if something GI wise could be causing the fevers. Preliminary results look good and don't show anything. We will wait for the biopsies and lab results.

Eli had to do a bowel prep for the past three days - NOT FUN! Yesterday was clear liquids all day - MORE NOT FUN. He said I was a bad mommy, that I was mean for not letting him eat - and my favorite, while hanging on the refrigerator doors, "Mommy you're breaking my heart". If he only knew how hard it was for me to deny my child food for an entire day. I can't imagine how anyone could ever starve their child!! That was horrible and he could drink, eat jello and Popsicles. I'm so glad it's over and we continue to pray that it doesn't turn up to be something bad.

Ok - sorry this was a little choppy. I will try to do better and keep up the posts. hugs to all!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A little Behind!

Well, it appears I'm a little behind on my blog. Let's see what has happened since February?

Daddy celebrated his 39th Birthday - Eli got him Wii - woo hoo!

Eli spent his first weekend away from mom & dad and went to visit Aunt Leah, Uncle Craig, Mandy and Jonathan for 5 days. Granny and Pockie took him down for a visit and to help Bubba celebrate his 8th Birthday. Eli was way too busy to talk when we called - he had so much fun. And we had a nice time too...March 10th was our 7th anniversary and we celebrated by going to see Jim Brickman at the Myerson in Dallas. It was a really nice concert and an awesome experience. As many people do, we fell in love to many of his songs. :) Eli came home and went right to work helping daddy in the yard.
I made a cake for AJ's 1st Birthday to take to MEND on March 13th. I decided that we should celebrate his birthday with his friend's parents... so we did. I made a replica of the first toy I bought for AJ when I found out he was coming. It's what I hold on to when I need a good cry.

Had a groom's cake order and we got to watch Sawyer for the first time. Long story short...the opportunity to watch him came and I didn't even realize what I was saying until I hung up the phone and I had a slight panic attack - what was I thinking watching a 1 year old...but God knew it was time for some very much needed one on one time with the little monkey - and WE totally enjoyed having him. Eli showed us what an awesome big brother he is/would have been. We are so blessed to have Jenn, Sean and Sawyer in our lives. And we are very thankful to be a part of Sawyer growing up...such a gift!!

Easter we attended a new church - The Church on Rush Creek. They began a new series that day on "Pushing Daisy's"...about death, post mortem, was fitting for our lives at that very moment. And the music ministry is awesome. After church we got together with Al's family for food and an Easter egg hunt for the kids.

For AJ's Birthday we drove to San Antonio (no pics yet, forgot the digital and haven't gotten film developed yet) to get away and take Eli to Sea World. We drove down one day and back the next in order to be home on AJ's actual Birthday. I stayed up all night the night of his birthday in order to remember all of the events moment by moment as they occurred last year. I sat and listened to music and worked on AJ's was a very peaceful thing to do.

We celebrated AJ's 1st Birthday on March 30th. We went to church, lunch and then went to buy some balloons and a cake. We came home and some family and friends came over to share the day with us. We celebrated with a balloon release in the front yard as we sung Happy Birthday to our baby boy. I can't believe that he is a year old now.
Eli wrote his name on his balloon and drew AJ a shark.

The day was beautiful and perfect.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

E - L - I

I know I am a ranting mommy, but Little Eli can spell his name. He can write his name all by himself and knows how to spell a few words - first of which being his name. He screams it like a cheer - E - L - I spells ELI!! Then does a happy dance.

I find it very important in this day and age of crazies, to be sure that he knows important stuff like where he lives, his parents names, his name, etc., so that in the event he - GOD FORBID - ever got lost or kidnapped, I could hope that someone would help him find his way home. I think about that poor little girl that was left at Chuck-e-Cheese a few weeks ago and think if she had only known some information maybe she would have been home sooner.

I also use the blog to track events so that SOMEDAY when I actually sit down to scrapbook Eli's life, I will have a record of what he said and did when. So, he can spell fox, cat, dog and his name. Which at 3 years 4 months - I think is pretty darn good.

On Sunday we went to Fair Park in Dallas to see the Dinosaurs Alive show and walk around the museum. I hadn't really thought about it until we got there, that the last time we were there was about a year ago - AJ was alive and we were awaiting his arrival. I found myself frozen in my steps as we entered into the kid zone. It was that day that the picture of prego me and Eli was taken - the one I cherish because it's me with both of my boys - alive and healthy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Proud Mommy Moment

I have to brag for a minute...

On Saturday, I took Eli to a birthday party for a one of his friends. His teacher happened to be there and as we were talking she shared with me that Eli is the ONLY one in his class who can cut out objects with scissors and the is the ONLY one who knows that you use numbers to count objects.

For Christmas he got the book "Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones" from Ms. Jane. He has either memorized it all or I swear he can read! It's amazing.

Being a mommy is the absolute best thing I have ever done in my life - and the most painful. Both of my boys make me so proud!! I'm amazed what an impact AJ has on our lives and the lives of others. And Eli - well - I am beyond grateful and blessed to have such a caring, sweet, smart, funny and sensitive young man - all of 3 that he is.

Ok - I will step back and stop being conceited now. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Planes, Skiis and Paramedics

Well, we spent Christmas in South Dakota visiting my Granny who turned 97 on Christmas day and other family that we haven't seen in many years. It was a nice vacation, the mountains were beautiful, the snow was fun.

Eli got sick 3 days before we left for vacation and stayed sick for 3 days into our vacation. We took an unplanned visit to the ER in Hot Springs when Eli's fever spiked to 105.5 on the second day. We were worried that we were missing something...he kept complaining that his stomach hurt, had a bad cough and just listless. But after getting checked out, the doc agreed that it was probably just a virus. Either way - not fun!
Miraculously, Eli woke up fever free on Christmas morning - a HUGE answered prayer. On Christmas day, we had lunch and enjoyed the family until about 5. We then drove into Lead (about 2 hours from Edgemont) to the cabin we rented at Terry Peak. We got settled and crashed for the night. On Wednesday, Al, Craig and Mandy went up to ski. Eli, Jonathan, Leah and I stayed at the cabin and let the boys play. It was nice to just sit for a change. Eli and Jonathan promptly declared that they were not even getting dressed that day - it was a pajama day! And it was - the boys had a great time. Granny and Pockie joined us on Wednesday evening. We played canasta until all hours of the night.
On Thursday, we all got up and went down to the ski lodge. We attempted to convince Eli to ski, but he just wasn't interested. Granny and Pockie took him back to the cabin and I stayed with Al to ski. We had a good time - skiing is much like riding a bike, it comes back to you if you haven't done it in a while. Well, on the last run of the day, I decided to ride the lift with Al to the top of the mountain - let's just say oops - thank God for Kent - the friendly paramedic. I fell and hurt my knee. The jury is still out, but I think I'm ok! Of course, Thomas quickly showed up to get a picture of the injured was supposed to be a picture of me coming down the mountain.

We returned to Edgemont from the cabin through Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park. It was VERY cold at Mt Rushmore - but good to see the view. On Saturday morning we got up and Uncle Russell gave the kids (and Al) a ride on his rig. Eli and Jonathan just thought it was the coolest thing ever. We played a little more in the snow and headed back to Hot Springs for lunch and to tour the Mammoth Site. We finished the Mammoth site just in time to return to Rapid City to board our airplane back to Denver and then on home. We got home a little after midnight. All in all - it was a good trip and great to see Great Granny and the rest of the family.

Santa came while we were gone and brought Eli a race track and a red motorcycle. Eli had told Santa that he wanted a green motorcycle, but I think once he saw the red one, it was ok that Santa was out of green paint. It has been next to impossible to get him off of it for 4 days now.

We rang in the New Year with a few friends at home. We wish you all a happy 2008 as we pray for peace and new blessings.