photo taken by Angela Speiker

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday to you, Zachary!!!

Our sweet one year old

At birth, about 2 hours old, the first time we got to see you

Celebrating New Year's day with you. So super tiny.

1 month old. You had just got the all clear for removal of everything from your face, nasal cannula & feeding tube.

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months--had to show the pic with you and Rocky in the hospital. It was a long stretch of surgery, MRI, and many other visits to the hospital and doctors.

9 months

Couldn't resist putting the Halloween shot in of you as a lobster!

10 months

11 months

My little lobster is 1!!! One year ago he joined our crazy family, creating a little chaos of his own. It was a scary day when he was born. It was a scary few weeks in the hospital. There have been a few scary moments during the last year of his life. But, he is here with us and healthy and so fun!

A year ago we were awoken by a tornado warning alarm at 3 am. I, like any pregnant woman, had to go to the bathroom since I was awake. My water broke at that point and the nerves started to flow. After telling Skip, and calling the doctor, I feel so lucky that I have such a fabulous friend I could call. Steph accepted my 3:30 am phone call with calmness in her voice and assured me it would all be ok. I really blame her for never being scared, and for remaining quite calm about the next 7 weeks of my life!! (Thanks Steph) We made it to the hospital before the snow began and they tried to stop my contractions--which at that point were coming every 3 minutes and fairly hard. At about noon they told me that my baby (still didn't know he was a he) was beginning to get stressed, and due to (his) young age we didn't want to create any more stress on his body and lungs. It is funny thinking back that 10 minutes later he was born! The do came in, they prepped me, and began my C-section faster than I knew they could. I felt so odd after he was born being asked the question, "do you want to know what you had (boy or girl)?" I didn't care if my little one had boy or girl parts, I ONLY cared that he/she was breathing, ok, big enough to survive in this world. They told me a boy and it didn't even matter, the fact that he cried meant more to me. I didn't get to see him after he was born, not for 3 hours, and not even until they wheeled me down in my bed. It would be another 24 hours or more (was it 36?) that I got to hold him. But, I did, and he is here with us now, so all of that is but a long memory of his start. He startled us by his existence when I found out I was pregnant for the first time in 10 years. He surprised us by his early arrival. He shocked us by crying at birth. He has continued to please us by his fighter attitude and his wonderfully laid back personality. What a year it's been!

Zachary, thank you for your easy-going attitude. I am so thankful for your sweet spirit and that adorable smile. You are so in love with your sister and brother, and your dog, and they are just as in love with you. Mommy and Daddy feel so lucky that you joined our family. We feel so thankful that you are healthy and doing so well. You know how to bat those eyelashes and gain some love from everyone around you. When you are determined you can army crawl across the floor faster than lightning. You love playing with your sibling's toys and have found some new ones all of your own during this fun time of year. I think your favorite toys by far are your trucks and cars. Your first Christmas was filled with fun and family. You touched the snow for the first time and weren't so excited. This week you have begun to pull up to your knees and to clap, especially when we all yell "yeah Zachary". Zachary, you remain a little on the small side, still wearing size 2 diapers and some 6-9 month sized clothing. But, as I type small, I am reminded that you have more quadrupled your birth weight, something not many one year olds have done. You are a fantastic sleeper, and play so well independently. For now you are only liking the pureed baby food, but we are sure that will change soon. This fact does make it interesting when it comes time to celebrating with birthday cake (we get some, you don't, doesn't seem fair). You are still working on sitting up, but each day you seem stronger and stronger. Bath time is a favorite--and we are about to change your nickname from Lobster to frogger as you KICK and KICK in the tub. We have (nearly) taken to wearing a raincoat at bath time b/c of your splashing. We are so happy about the way you behave when we are on the go. You seem to just take whatever comes at you. Zachary, Zach, Zachy, Z-man, Lobster, Frogger, little puffy wuffy (sisters!), little Boo, whatever we choose to call you at the minute, we all LOVE you so much. Happy first birthday my littlest gift from above! Thank you God for giving this special present to us, for bringing him thru this last year with a healthy report, and for granting him with such a fabulous spirit. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dearest Zachary, happy birthday to you!!!!!!!!!Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

My sweet girl--she's been an angel this month!!
Brotherly sweet.
I love how the back of the pants says "no pouting"
No way, a pic with mommy. Forgive the hair, I wasn't ready for a picture.
Look out world! Zach has a big weekend with his first Christmas and first birthday all in 3 days.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! Skip's sister and her family finally made it. They were stuck in Denver last night after a problem with the plane and missing a connecting flight. We missed mass tonight. The weather took a turn for the worse and we decided as a group that driving to church was just kind of dangerous. One of the cars we were going to drive, the doors were frozen shut. We just didnt' want to take a chance as we are under a "blizzard warning" right now.
The cookies have been laid out for Santa, reindeer food prepared and spread on the snow, stockings filled, kids in bed, and now just waiting on Santa to stop by our house. I think 5 kids are about to get pretty spoiled tomorrow :)
Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful Christmas. Love from the Pankewich family!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ornaments and decorations

One of my favorite decorations for the season. Keeps us focused on why we are celebrating.

A new ornament we added to the tree.
Em & Cal were excited to pull out the Laney (as a tiny puppy) ornament. They found it hilarious.

An ornament we collected shortly after Christmas last year. The NICU nurses made this ornament for us with his itty, bitty, tiny handprint. From top to bottom of the hand, it is less than 2 inches. I pulled this out and had forgotten we'd gotten it. I cried in seeing how small he was.

Anothe new addition this year, Elliot the Elf. He has been a fun addition to our Christmas festivities and creating some great excitement as the kids search for him each new day. Posted by Picasa

A day in the life

I promise--this one was not posed at all! I came in from throwing a load of laundry in, and there you have it. All 3 kids, laying side by side, looking at their favorite book. What is it you ask?? A super cheap photo album filled with pictures of them and other family members. They spend hours looking at that thing!

Emerald wore pj's to school for the last day of the year. She loved it. She was telling me in this photo that she was ready to have a snowball fight (with Zach's ball).

Zach has decided that crawling in the shelf is fun. Think I have a similar pic of both of the other kids doing the same thing.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Zachary learned a new trick

Up the step and moving on to explore the rest of the house.

Getting up on all 4's more often, but still army crawling.

It's been cold here lately and mommy keeps forcing me to wear a hat. I'm not always this happy about it.

Our little man learned a new trick this week. We have a step down into our living room. It has been a nice place to contain one little tyke. However, Zach learned that he could crawl up the step this week. We even moved our tree out of the living room so he wouldn't mess with it. Oh well........ The thing that bothers me the most about this new move is that now he has access to the stairs. That is scary! Luckily I have an extra little mommy in the house who is all about helping hover over Zach. Guess they have to grow up at some point.......sigh.........
Posted by Picasa

One week

In one week my little man will turn 1!! I can't believe it! He doesn't feel like a 1 year old. No, not in the cheesy mommy, "I don't want him to grow up" kind of way (although that is a little true). He isn't sitting, eating table food, talking, pulling up, walking, rolling a ball back to me, sitting in a big carseat, or many other things. I wonder, sometimes, how big is he? Well, these pictures kind of show it, don't they? Look at that tiny little peanut! Emerald is a year older, too. These pics were taken in Feb. when he was almost 2 months old, too. Now look at him. He is longer, that's for sure. We sat behind a baby at church today. Teeny, tiny little baby. Made my baby feel like a big monster. He is growing. He is doing things at his own pace. We'll be patient for you Zachary. I just hope everyone else is, too. I hate the comments from strangers asking about his age (another family at church and at the store today). They always give me a look. Argh! If only they'd seen him those first few days. He's here, and he is healthy! We love you almost birthday boy. Makes me wonder, though, how best to celebrate your birthday. I really want to make it special, separate from Christmas. This year, though, no cake for you. We will sing, you can open presents (with a little help from Em & Cal), and we can save the cake for future bdays. You didn't want it anyway, right? Not if you are your father's son!
Posted by Picasa

It's the simple things in life

The miracle box

Emerald just wanted to hug Calvin, but he wasn't so excited

Where did Zachary go?

This was a chew toy, right mom?

We got this ginormas box from Amazon the other day (especially considering what it held inside). That box has been the best gift of the Christmas season! It has served as a hot tub, a kitchen, a hiding spot, a pirate ship, a house, and everything else those crazy little minds can imagine! The second best gift--balloons! The balloons from the party were so much fun for the kids. I think the next time I need to get someone a gift, I'm giving them a helium tank (the small ones they sell at Hobby Lobby) and a bag of balloons. Hours of excitement and fun. Or, maybe a big box........ Who needs presensts?
Posted by Picasa

A Princess and the Frog date

My beautiful girl

I'm telling you, she loves to pose

It was a good date

Emerald with her friend, Aubrey

I got the privelege of taking Emerald on a date to her first movie. We went with her friend (one of our neighbors), Aubrey, and her mommy. We went to see the new Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog. It was such a fun date. Emerald had a blast. She enjoyed the movie, and the popcorn, and the M&M's, and the dark theater, and the friendship, and the one-on-one time with mommy. I can't believe what a sweet girl she is. Lately she has been the best helper with the boys, and doing little things around the house. We enjoyed the movie. It wasn't my all-time favorite Disney movie, but it was pretty cute.
Posted by Picasa