Monday, November 26, 2007

More gait trainer fun!

Not only is the gait trainer great fun for Xavier, Bennett always manages to get in on the action.

Xavier has been walking around in it like a champ. We have to push from behind usually (because he's walking on the carpet most of the time - too much resistance), but his little feet walk so fast! Its very cute! One day, I'll figure out how to do a video on here to show you all :)

The other night, we set the resistance to max and had Ben push Xavier (hard work for a strong boy!) After awhile of that, he decided to hitch a ride and climbed in the seat with Xavier. Xavier thought this was absolutely hilarious and giggled his little head off :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving, because it forces us to pause, and focus on all the blessings in our lives. As a family, we have so many things to be thankful for.

This year, we celebrated at Nick's parents' house. An excellent dinner, loving company, and laughter were shared. What a great time!

Here is my little turkey Xavier, hamming it up for the camera :)

Me and the boys...

...on a nice, warm fall day :)

The Wild World O' Bennett.

As Ben matures and grows, he's developing quite the personality - incredibly creative and expressive. With a vocabulary that continues to expand daily and a very witty charm, he's always doing something to amuse or amaze us.

Ben is pretty independent and likes to find things to occupy himself. One of his favorite activities is playing with his hotwheel cars. Its pretty remarkable, the original things he comes up with to do with them. One day last week, he was quiet for about 5 minutes while I was washing dishes. I went to check on him, and found him like this:

The little white puffs the cars are sitting on is stuffing from our couch cushion. He had taken out tiny little pieces and placed each car on one. I said (with a mixture of aggrevation and laughter), "Benny, what are you doing?!" He said, "Aw, Mommy. All the cars are sitting on the snow. See?" Brilliantly creative (as far as I'm concerned) :)

And tonight, it became very apparent to us, that our son is a gifted 'food artist'. Again, although we certainly do not encourage playing with food, sometimes, you have to let a 3 year old boy, be a 3 year old boy...Here he is, after noticing that he had biten his pizza crust into the shape of an animal. Nick saw him smiling and staring at his crust and said, "Hey buddy, what are you doing?" Ben said, "Look Daddy! I made a baby cow!" And upon inspection, it indeed looks remarkably like a baby cow!

And, of course, there is the ever-popular bologna art. He has advanced from making faces with eyes only, and has added a smile to his repetoire. Here's 2 from last week, after announcing proudly, "Look Mommy! Here's me, and here's Xavier!"

Super Ben! That's what he shouted as he ran eventually turned into "Super me!! Super Daddy!! Super Mommy!! Super Xavier!!" Very cute!

Ronald McDonald getting a check-up from Bennett, D.D.S.

And in a tribute to the Christmas season, multiple times a day, Ben will say, with a shifty little glance, in an almost eerie tone that would scare me if I didn't know what he was talking about..."He watching me..." referring to Santa Claus, of course. What makes this funny is that he says it completely out of the blue, and usually when he's thinking about getting into trouble.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last day with CJ and Pumpkin...

for a while anyway! Winter will be setting in soon, and we've opted out of continuing with hippotherapy during those bone-chilling months (Xavier HATES the cold!). We'll start the fun up again in March or April. So until's some photos from today's session!

Heather (Benny and Xavier's PT) brought her daughter Teagan along tonight. She and Ben had never met, but they seemed to hit it off right away. (This was short-lived, as Teagan did not enjoy sharing her chair with Ben towards the end of our time there...hey, a girl needs her own space, right?!)

Here, Ben and Teagan are doing a little warm-up activity:

...and spinning.

Sorry this one's a little dark, but its the best one I snapped of Xavier sitting all by himself! Awesome!

Ok, and how goofy am I for taking this picture with Frosty?! The horse made me do it.

The race! It was a photo finish...but in the end...a tie!

Leaf mania!

Yesterday was a beautiful day, so the boys and I got out and enjoyed it. Playing in the leaves was definitely the highlight.

Ben helped rake the leaves into a pile...

...then enjoyed throwing them on top of Xavier...

...which Xavier enjoyed equally as much!

Ben said, "Xavier has a leaf on his face. I gonna get it off."

This could be the cheesiest pose Xavier's ever given the camera.

Yep. It is!

Benny after a hard day's work raking and playing :)

Busy Benny.

Somebody called Ben that they other day, and I thought it was very apropos. His little mind - always working, his little body - always buzzing.

Here he is, after being left alone for, oh, say, 30 seconds, while I was checking on Xavier. Notice the stacked stools. He's a smarty. One wasn't enough to hoist himself up there.

He said, "Mommy, I gonna sit right here. Right on top of this giant box." Our dishwasher came today! I've been washing dishes the old fashioned way for several days now. Happy its made its arrival.

Look at the background - kitchen demo occurred this weekend! Hiphiphooray! Nick let me take the first swing at the horribly old, nasty counters that had been lurking in our kitchen for nearly 40 years. Bless him.

Here's a Ben quickie for you:

Ben: (leaning over Xavier) sniff, sniff. "Mommy, Xavier smells like potato salad."
me: "What? Potato salad?" (surely I hadn't heard him right, this, or anything remotely like it, had not come up in conversation anytime recently)
Ben: "Yes, potato salad." He said emphatically. "He stink."

I laughed for 2 minutes. :)


Here are my boys (all 3 of them) in dreamland.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

50 years!

Last night, friends and family gathered to celebrate Nick's parents' 50th wedding anniverary. The room was filled with laughter, shared memories, and love - reminiscing about old times and counting all the blessings that fill our family now.

The party, which was organized mainly by Nick's brother Eric and his wife Vicki (with some help from us and sister Michelle), was held at our community center. We managed to keep the whole thing a surprise!

The evening was kicked off by the mayor Terry Lindeman, who gave the guests of honor an official proclaimation, deeming November 9, 2007 "Nick and Adrienne Day in Doylestown, OH"! Here's the mayor handing Mom the proclaimation.

Eric's efforts of compiling old photos to make a video montage were well worth it. The video captures 50 years of family memories in a way that was both loving and humorous. It was even interesting enough to keep Benny's attention (that's saying a lot :) Here he is, sitting with Grandpa D., looking at all the great photos.

Mom and Dad cut the cake, which was nearly an exact replica of the one at their reception 50 years ago.

Xavier and Ben had the time of their lives. Just a couple of years ago, Xavier might have been undone with all the noise, strange voices, and low lighting. But instead, he smiled, laughed, and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He was so active, kicking and moving around in his stroller, that I had to catch him a few times from falling out! It warmed our hearts to see him having so much fun!

X with Nick...

X with me...

X with buddy Clara...

X with Aunt Michelle and cousin Kathryn (laughing like crazy!)...

And Benny...well, with all the activity and excitement in the air, plus the fact that he was all charged up on sugar (there were cookies galore, I'm sure he swiped way more than what we knew about), his normal seemingly boundless energy was on overdrive. He had a blast chasing after cousin Kathryn.

And here's Nick clowning around with Ben, and friends Gabe and Clara.

Before you view this next picture, know the bottle was empty...but it still makes for an excellent photo :)

Mom and Dad with Aunt RuthAnn, Uncle Nils, Uncle Sig and Aunt Penny:

Congratulations Mom and Dad! With all our hearts, we wish you many more years filled with all the love and happiness that you have shared for your first 50! We love you very much!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

As Ben would say...

Here's some more, from the mind of Mr. Bennett:

One night last week, we arrived home after dark. We came in, turned the lights on, and I layed Xavier down in the middle of the living room floor. I left to take my coat off and saw the lights go off. Then I heard this: thud...grunt. (that was Xavier grunting). I quickly made my way back to the living room, and there was Ben, laying down next to Xavier,with his head on his belly. The thud had been him flopping to the floor and the grunt from Xavier was from the weight of Ben's giant melon squishing the air out of him. I said, "Benny, what are you doing?" He said, "Aww, Mommy. I just gonna lay here in the dark with Xavier. I gonna rub his head." and with that, he gently tossled Xavier's hair, the way we do sometimes. Brought tears to my eyes. :)
Ben: "Aaaachoo! Aaaachoo!" (real sneezes)
me: silent, concentrating on buckling a wiggly worm in his carseat
Ben: "Bless me, Mommy!"
me: "what, Ben?"
Ben: "Mommy, I sneeze. You need to bless me!"
me: "oh, bless you, Ben."
Ben: "That's better. Thank you, Mommy."
And last, but certainly not least, its started. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the dreaded why question!! For the next several years, we will be answering, ummm, maybe a few million of these. WHY??!!
Here's Xavier yelling at Ben, because Ben was complaining, "Mommy, the pumpkins are WET! I don't want my picture taken with the yucky pumpkins!!" (again, he's on photo strike)

A new tradition! Kick the pumpkin! Hey, there's got to be an end to the pumpkin sometime, right? Might as well have fun with it!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Like mother, like son!

I've been working on a little project with old photos lately, and upon going through almost everything we have...I've come to realize that Xavier and I look a lot alike. There are definite differences - but he certainly inherited the cheesy underbite grin from me. Here we are, both at 3 1/2 years old...looking quite happy. Xavier is pictured in his Blue costume October 2006, and I am playing in my Grandma's backyard in August of 1979.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Rub-a-dub-dub...2 boys in a...sink?

Although we are making excellent progress in the kitchen lately (hallelujah!!), Nick will not allow me to post many photos, so as not to ruin the 'unveiling' in a few weeks :)

I'm going to sneak these two pictures in, featuring the boys sitting in our new sink. Granted, the sink is not working quite yet - but - will be soon. We've also had our counters (quartz) installed, the oven is in, some of the cabinets have drawers (we're waiting for parts to be shipped to us), and the finishing touches on the wiring and lighting are being done.

I'm so proud of Nick - he has done this practically all by himself, and is doing an amazing job. I'm a lucky girl.