Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Where does the time go? It seems like I was just writing a Christmas letter yesterday for last year and yet here we are a year later. I hope you are all healthy, happy and blessed this Christmas season.

We joyfully welcomed Alexander Isaiah to the family on April 20, 2009. He is growing up so fast and changes every day. Big brother Eli is still smitten with is 'baby' and requests to hold him, love on him, play with him and of course in brotherly love fashion - pester him - every chance he gets. Luckily it's more love than pester. At last check, Alex is 20 lbs and 25 3/4inches. He was a slow starter to get rolling, but he is rolling and sitting up. He got his first 2 teeth on the same day on November 13th. He is stubborn though and wants to stick out his tongue when I want a picture of them. He is a happy baby, loves to talk and smile.

Eli is every bit of 5 years old! He is obsessed with Ben 10 (a cartoon) and skulls, fire and motorcycles. He would spend every minute of his time outside if he could...digging for worms, snakes and bugs. He loves going to Granny & Pockie's house so he can dig in the garden and hunt for all that boy stuff. We are so proud of how much he is learning and sharing with the world around him.

Al started a new job at the end of September. The jury is still out on if it is better, worse or indifferent. He has done several extra handyman jobs this year and (I think) he would love to someday have his own business doing just that. But...that time hasn't come yet. He is the BEST daddy ever! I love watching him with the boys play and roll around on the floor together. As a mother and a wife that is the best part of life!

I am still at UTA. I was elected the Chairperson of the Staff Advisory Council this year so I have been very busy working with that. Al & I also continue to volunteer with MEND as often as we can. It seems I have a knack for PR/fund raising. :) I enjoy raising money and spreading the word about a cause that I believe in! It is rewarding to be able to share AJ's story with others and see his life make a difference in this world.

Many blessings in 2010!!
Much Love,
The Zuckerman's

Thursday, October 1, 2009

5 months...

I can't believe that Alex is already 5 1/2 months old. Time is flying by and I am doing a HORRIBLE job of documenting all of his mile stones.

Let me see if I can capture some of them...

About a week into being 4 months old we tried cereal for the first time. He liked it for a few days and then started playing with it or refusing it all together. We have been 'practicing' for the last 4-5 weeks so he doesn't totally get away from having a spoon in his mouth...but he isn't too thrilled with it.

He still LOVES his bath time. Kicks and splashes water everywhere.

His favorite thing to do is lay in his crib and 'talk' to the airplanes hanging above. He is so cute when he takes a deep breath and makes his 'airplane' noise. I keep trying to catch it on video, but he gets camera shy and stops every time I try.

He also loves his exersaucer. He will also sits in that making noises back to the animals on the buttons. I think he is going to be a talker. :)

He is still working on sitting up. He is so 'roly poly oly' that he just tends to roll to one side.

Speaking of, rolling...he still can't roll over on his own yet. Just not motivated enough to get anything out of his reach. LOL

Eli is still in love with his brother and Alex with E. They just light up when they are around each other. Eli always wants to hold brother before and after school. He stands in the doorway of Alex's class when I pick them up dying to give his brother a kiss. E is such a great brother!

Alex is addicted to the Cowboys. No matter what we are doing, if football is on he is looking at the TV. Doesn't particularly do that for anything else except football. Maybe we have a line backer on our hands??

Alex also loves his one on one time with mommy or daddy and loves to play "SO BIG". He just chuckles and laughs a hearty little laugh when we play. He is such a joy!!

He has created his own schedule...not approved by me, but because I am too sleepy to get up and change it, we just deal with it. he sleeps from 8:30 - 12:30. Wakes up to nurse and then sleeps with us for the rest of the night most nights. Then he wakes up for another short feeding around 2:30 - 3:30 and again at 5:30 - 6:00. It's tough for me to sleep, but it's only temporary and I do love waking up with him next to me. It will be nice to get a full nights sleep again someday though. ;) Maybe when we start solids he will sleep for longer periods of time.

Granny watched Alex for us last week so we could take Al's Uncle & daughter to Six Flags. We had a great time. Eli rode the Shock Wave for the first time - because "he's 42" as he told everyone. (That's 42 inches tall - LOL) He is addicted to roller coasters. :) I guess we need to budget for season passes once Alex gets old enough. ;)

We have the Annual MEND Walk to Remember this weekend for AJ. It will be nice. I am really looking forward to it. We miss him so much. :)

Life is all around busy, but good. Sorry I've been away for so long! I'm sure all of my readers have left me...LOL. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Alex is 3 months!!

Well, Alex is now 3 months old. He is a cutie and a flirt.

I returned to work after 14 weeks off with the boys...SO HARD! I did better than I expected, but it was so hard to leave them. I REALLY enjoyed being a stay at home mom for that period of time. It's so hard to get anything done in the evenings now that I've gotten back to work. We pretty much get home, dinner, wash bottles and prep for tomorrow, baths, read and then it's time for bed. :( No fun!

Eli is in his new room at school. He has had a few bumps along the way this week - testing the waters - but overall doing good. He continues to amaze me with his art skills. He is SO creative and can conceptualize things in paper like I've never seen. He loves to sit and make paper airplanes with Pockie and Daddy. They challenge each other to who can make the coolest one. He is ALL BOY which is nothing new, but I'm learning how to respond to ALL BOY - ALL THE TIME! Alex should have it much easier as I will be better trained by then. :)

Alex is already about 16 lbs. He is a smilie baby and is mostly content all the time. Before I went back to work he was sleeping from about 9:00pm to 4:00am. Not so much now. Maybe it's just a phase as we adjust.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2 months...

3 days old...
One month old...
Two months old...

Wow - time has flown by. Mr Alex turned 2 months old on Saturday. He is a good baby who loves to flirt and snuggle. He has earned the nickname "cheeks" as he has not wasted any time gaining weight and getting big.

He currently weighs 13 lbs 11 ozs and is 23 inches long. That's 90% in weight and 50% in height. :) He has well outdone his big brother who was only 11 lbs 8 ozs at his 2 month checkup.

We had a few issues with colicky nights, but that time is passing and he is doing much better. Still hasn't slept all the way through the night, but we've gotten a few 5 hour nights and that has been nice.

I will return to work in 3 weeks - BOO HISS! I can't imagine leaving the boys now that I've been blessed enough to stay home with them for a couple of months. I love being a SAHM...but we can't afford it so I shall return to the ranks to earn my keep.

This year I shared my birthday with Father's day. We had a great time. Went to the movies to see Up (I cried through most of the movie!) and had family over for dinner. Low key - but fun and great.

Here are a few pics of our second month...
Cousin Mandy came for a visit and was a HUGE help to mommy! She loves taking care of Alex and entertaining Eli. :)

Mr. Smiles
I'm so cute!
Both with a smile...priceless.
"How you doin?" He's a ladies man already!
Just chillin...
My first official full blown push up. He won't have baby rolls for long...he is a mover and a shaker...likes to GO GO GO!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy 1 Month Alex

I can't believe it's been a month already. The first thing Eli said was "He's just what I always wanted!!" and he hasn't changed his mind about that! He LOVES his brother!

How's life adjusting to a new baby in the house you ask? blessing!!

I have been working on the 'birthday story' in another post, but lacking sleep and time - that is taking longer than this will. Mr. Alex is one month old today. At his doctor check up this morning he weighed 10 lbs and 6 ozs and is 21 1/4" long. That's up from 7 lbs 8 ozs and 19 inches at birth.
We have conquered most of the breastfeeding issues, are working on a schedule and are being retrained on how long it takes to go somewhere with a baby...not to mention a very curious 4 year old. Eli is still very much in love with his brother. He is a BIG helper and wants to love on and hold Alex every chance he gets. It is really endearing.

Alex is a very happy baby - FULL of smiles! I have called him the "thinker" (just like the statue) since we got a sono pic of him with his fist to his chin. Turns out that is one of his favorite positions outside of the womb as well. Nursing, sleeping or just chillin - the fist is usually up at his chin...thinkin! WAY cute. It will be interesting to see if he turns out to be a methodical systematic kind of guy.

He loves being on his tummy, especially to sleep. Of course we are too paranoid to let him sleep like this at night, but naps laying next to us where we can watch him is great. His neck is so strong and prefers to be scoping out the world around him. Maybe he's just getting a head start keeping an eye on his big brother?

A friend commented on how Alex was literally prayed here and that is the truth! When we didn't have the strength or words to pray for him we could always trust that someone else had it covered with us. We are so blessed to have such great friends and family.

Here are a few pics of our sweet new addition.

His first picture at home on the changing mat that Granny made - way too cute! Thank you Granny!!
Below - Alex at 1 month...such a big boy!
Brotherly love...

Some chillin - skin to skin time - just the boys!

Loving my nap.

My first actual bath...I love my baths. Ahh - so relaxing!

Who are you calling little? I'm gonna get you someday for that!All in all - life is good. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Isaiah 40:31

'But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.'

Welcome Alexander Isaiah

Baby Alex is here!

Please see Amber's other blog - Broken But Blessed - for an update!



Friday, April 17, 2009

And 4 will become 5 on Monday!

Well, after 4 days of false trip to L&D and one to the doctors office to be sure it wasn't the 'zone' and out...the date for induction has been moved up to Monday, April 20th. Yea!

I was absolutely shocked when the office called to move the date up to Monday instead of next Friday...but there was no way I was going to turn the offer down. If the docs think all is good, then let's do it! We are set to arrive at 7:00am on Monday to Baylor Irving -unless of course, he decides to arrive on his own during the weekend.

I ask for prayers of peace and strength for our family as we welcome this new little guy into the world. I will update as soon as I can with pics and the details. I can update Facebook from my phone so you can check there as well.

Blessings to all!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gone for 10 days...

Well, Mr E left with Granny and Pockie for 10 days to Houston to see Aunt Leah and crew. Actually - I think he was intent on seeing Jonathan, but I hear he worked in a little time here and there for Mandy and the rest of the family as well. He packed his bag and headed south so big telling mom and dad "I'm gonna cry a little when I leave because I'm gonna miss you", but that didn't last long. After the first night of a tearful call because he was going to bed without mom or dad, he was off to the races - literally.

Mandy & Eli playing at the baseball fields.

Jonathan had his derby car races for boy scouts that weekend. Eli was able to participate in the sibling race with him and made his very own green derby car named "Just Fast".

Mandy and Eli watching the races

Eli & "Just Fast"

Eli, Mandy and Jonathan watching the races.

Daddy and I were able to get some much needed things done around the house and spend some even more needed time together. Our 8 year anniversary was on March 10th. We enjoyed a nice dinner at PF Changs and he brought me some very perfect and beautiful roses. I don't think we have completed a coherent, uninterrupted conversation since Eli started talking.

Eli returned home so big - seems like he gained 4 pounds and 2 inches. We go to the doc on Monday and I am interested to see what his stats are. He had a great time!

We are 34 weeks now and Eli is getting so excited for his brother to get here. We have been working on the room so pics will come soon. The house just woke up so off I go to start the day. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

He's only 4

Last Friday night we were heading into a local store to grab something and there was a dutiful group of Girl Scouts/Brownies selling cookies outside the store. Eli became distracted and bashful as he passes this young lady at the door. Daddy asked him as they got inside what was the matter - why was he being that way and his response was "I just like looking at beautiful women". LOL - I couldn't believe this adorable - yet unexpected - comment.

As we were leaving - again distracted and bashful - he was telling us about a little blond girl in his class that he affectionately has refers to as "his girl" for the last 2 years. He proceeds to tell us that here new name is "Madison ____ _____ Zuckerman". I nearly fell over. Al looked at me and said, "What - you didn't expect him to give away his last name at 4?" NO - actually I didn't! He then proceeded to tell us that he would always live with us though. LOL!! I love the innocence of a 4 year old. Someday this story will be gold when he's getting married. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The 44th President of the United States of America

What a historic day today was. Barack Obama was sworn in this morning as the nation's 44th President. The first black president of the United States. I was at home sick, pregnant with baby boy #3 so possibly hormonal, but I couldn't hold back the tears for what an awesome opportunity this is for our country.

Eli - you are only 4 years old and have no idea what this means for the country today, but I guarantee that you and your brother's lives will be changed - hopefully for the better - because of it. I can't say that we will always agree with the decisions he may have to make or the roads he will lead us down over the next 4 years, but we must always respect and support - to the best of our ability - the tough job he has. We pray that the 'change' he promises, leads this country down a road that will make your life and the world you grow up in a better one. A world of unity, love and prosperity.

Below is the transcript of President Obama's Inaugural Address. The history books probably won't be rewritten soon enough to include this day, so I'm attempting to capture the moment.

The Inaugural Address of the 44th President, Barack Obama

My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition. Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents. So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans. That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights. Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction. This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage. What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more. Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace. To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate. Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.This is the price and the promise of citizenship.This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.