Update 15: April 17, 2007

Scorecard: (as of this update): 353 days; 29873 miles (Car: 13136, RV: 16737); 37 states; 37 National Parks; 14079 photos.

Greetings from Phoenix

We're in Phoenix again, after being gone for almost a year. Since we had to pass through Arizona to visit Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Parks, we figured we could tie in a visit to friends and family in Phoenix, and take the boys in for doctor visits. It's also given us (Jeff in particular) a chance to do some hiking and climbing with friends. Next week, we'll head out to finish off the last two months of our trip.

Zane is doing very well, all things considered. His seizures have dropped off in the past couple of weeks, and he continues to eat and sleep well. Lately, he seems to have a penchant for projectile vomit, but other than that, things are going well.

Susan continues to update Zane's website several times per week, and will continue to do so when she has internet access. To see Zane's journal and photos, and stay updated on how he's doing, please visit: www.caringbridge.org/visit/zanemichaelhatfield. (Opens in a new window).

After learning of Zane's diagnosis last December and hearing of us talk about the blanket we received on Christmas day from local middle school students in Florida, our good friend Sally started Blankets of Love for volunteers to make and deliver blankets to neonatal intensive care units in the Phoenix area. The Scottsdale Tribune heard about Sally's project and wrote an article about it and the inspiration Zane provided. The article is available (without the photo that appeared in the print version) at http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/87967. If there are any problems with the link, you can also read the article by clicking Here. (Opens in a new window). There is one small problem with the article: a misquote attributed to me. For the record, I told the columnist that if the issue was that we simply needed blankets, we could go buy a hundred of them at Target. My point being, it was not about the blanket itself, it was the gesture that was important. I did not say anything about buying better blankets at Target, and I am disappointed by his misquote. Other than that, it's an accurate article that does a good job of telling our stories.

Justin is also doing well. After being introduced to the concept of milk and cookies after dinner, he enjoys his new pastime of playing Uno and eating cookies before going to bed. He plays off of Susan's hand, and generally grasps the basics of the game enough that he can lay down the cards each round without much assistance from Susan.

He's turning into a little hiker, too. Most of the time I will carry him in a carrier on my back, but we'll also give him a chance to hike on his own. At the Grand Canyon, he set his personal best by hiking 1-1/2 miles unassisted. Not bad for someone who is not even three years old.

Lately, he's been asking "what o'clock is it?" as he looks at the clock, and Susan has tried teaching him the basics of telling time. The other day, he helped Sally as she trimmed brittlebush in her backyard, repeating "trimming truffle trees" as he worked. This was a reference to The Lorax, which talks about people cutting down truffula trees. One of his favorite sayings has become "Daddy, don't drive yet" whenever I start the car or RV and Susan is not yet in her seat. He's always looking out for his mom and his little brother. And he keeps on talking. The other day Susan told him he was like Donkey in the movie Shrek, the character who continually talks and bounces around non-stop. In response, Justin looked at his arm and commented, "I'm not brown" (like Donkey), "I'm butterscotch."

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