Friday, March 28, 2008

Easter 2008

Nick and I awoke Easter Sunday to, "MOMMY! DADDY! There's an EGG in my ROOM!" Ben wouldn't even get out of bed because the Easter Bunny had left a single egg in the middle of his floor, and I guess it kind of freaked him out. hehe. After the initial shock wore off, he was happy to find there was a jelly bean in the egg, and that the Easter Bunny had hidden countless others, which he continued to find into the next day :-)
Ben followed the bunny trail down our steps and to his basket. He was also kind enough to help Xavier find his.

Ben's 3 Spider Man eggs each contained the infamous "Peep". Background: Nick and I hate Peeps. BUT, the Easter Bunny is an equal opportunity candy supplier and wanted to give Ben a chance to form his own opinion. Here he is inspecting:

He asked me: "What is this, Mommy?" I said, "Its candy, Ben. Its called a Peep. You can take bite, if you want."(Nevermind it was only 8am at the time ;-) So Ben tentatively took the Peep to his mouth, and didn't even make it all the way through the bite before spitting it out and saying, "YUCK! What?! This not food! I not gonna eat this!" Exactly, Ben! Huh. Dislike of the Peep is apparently a familial trait.

Ben with his new friends for Thomas the Train: Annie and Clarabel passenger cars (he'd been asking for weeks!)

Xavier and his new iPod. This might just be the greatest invention ever, as far as Nick and I are concerned - happiness delivered in a tiny, infinitely portable package. Xavier has been having lots of melt downs lately, full blown tantrums with breaks in routine, or just simply not getting his way (i.e. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the tv)...BUT! when he starts into a screaming tirade, music almost instant switches him from an angry little troll to a happy camper.

Ben set the table for Easter dinner.

And then waited patiently for the feast...(notice our new banquet seating area, not quite finished yet, but useable for our dinner!)

Papa Paul giving Ben his Easter basket - Ben was delighted with his treat!

Remember what I said about Xavier filling our ears with lots of noise lately (that's the polite way of saying 'screaming his head off'), well, the poor guy was so out of sorts about the fact his usual routine was broken, that he yelled for all but about 30 min of our family gathering. And that time he spent with his iPod. Evidence of music soothing the savage beast:

Nick and niece Kathryn resting with full bellies :-)

The Great Cover-Up.

Ben's favorite game as of late is to cover up people (or in this case, poor Stewart) with every pillow and blanket he can find, and then delighting in the explosion when the subject bursts out from underneath.

Stewart is a very patient dog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Squeaks and squeals

Discovery: Xavier thinks the fact that my armrest in the car squeaks is absolutely hilarious.

Chili cookoff

Here's a couple of photos from our church's chili cookoff last weekend. Ben is with friend Gabe, and Xavier (looking quite thrilled, eh?) is with friend Clara. The cookoff was a lot of fun (yummy) and I had the pleasure of running into a friend I haven't seen in more than 13 years! (Hi Allison! :-) An all around awesome afternoon!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hands on

Xavier has gotten very good at sitting up from off the back of whatever he's sitting in lately - his highchair, his stroller, his carseat...he just keeps getting stronger. And bigger too! A few days ago, he had an appt with his neurologist, who he had not seen since last May. Since then, he's put on 5 lbs. (he now weighs in at 35lbs.) and moved from 3% on the growth chart to the 15%. And he seems to be getting so much taller too, I'll have to measure him soon. Here's my strong boy, sitting up in his high chair, playing.

And here are the boys with a school project: hand prints!

I think this photo is hilarious. I was working with Xavier on his exercise ball, and got the urge to give him a kiss - just look at his reaction. He did not appreciate the interruption in one of his favorite activities - bouncing!

Cherrio, mate!

Last Saturday morning, Ben was enjoying a bowl of cherrios, while I sat next to him with my coffee...I looked up from the book I was reading when he said, "Mommy! Look at me!" Oh, those words! It could go either way with Mr. Bennett...this is what I saw:

Apparently, he had been drinking the milk out of the the last of his cereal, and a lone cherrio had inadvertently stuck to his nose. Deserving of a photo, don't you think? hehe.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Crazy Ohio weather.

Ok, so like I mention in the entry below, I'm a little behind in posting. The following pictures are from March 3rd, when we hit 60*.

Yep, that right -- early March + Ohio + 60* = a truly inspiring event (for me at least, hehe). See all the snow disappearing? - a beautiful sight! I could 'hear' it melting that day. Music to my ears :-)

The boys and I took this advantageous situation, and ran with it. Or walked with it, as the case was :-)We took our first walk over to Gpa and Gma's since that fated day on Halloween when our house caught on fire while we were gone. Ah, memories...

Ben did a great job following directions and traffic laws ;-) on our walk. Notice he is riding his "Diego" bike from Christmas, its first spin on the road. I think he could have ridden for miles. "COME ON, Mommy and Xavier! GO FASTER!"

Xavier was not in a good mood, and was less than thrilled with the idea of taking a wagon ride. But he toughed it out, and by the end, he was very upset our time outside was over...

And that was the same day that Uncle Eric brought Ben a train table he found at an estate sale! Holy cow! Jackpot! Ben was crazy excited, wanted us to bring it inside immediately, but alas, it needed a good cleaning. The wait until the next day nearly killed him (hehe) and now he devotes hours of playtime to it and his train set each day. Thanks again, Uncle Eric!!

Alright, remember my post title? Here's where that comes into play - 60* on Monday that week...Friday and Saturday - 20* and over a foot of snow. Seriously! Here's Ruby trudging through the frozen tundra.

Papa's birthday!

I'm late updating pictures! Earlier this month, we celebrated Nick's dad's birthday with a family lunch at their house. Ben was so excited to "make a chocolate cake for Papa!", so we did just that. Here he is with Papa, adorned in their festive party hats.

And here I am with our niece Kathryn, who seems to be growing cuter by the day :-)

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Ben is able to recognize all his letters now with almost 100% accuracy, and has even come up with a way to write them -- with his favorite snack, of course!

Bennett is a pretzel junkie. I'm telling you, he MUST have them every day, no exception. ;-) The usual routine:

Ben: Mommy, I need a snack.
me: (knowing 9 times out of 10 he'll ask for pretzels) Okay, Ben, what would you like?
Ben: mmmmm, pretzels! yes, pretzels!

Ben MUST get the bag of pretzels himself. (otherwise, meltdown!) Unclips the bag, hands me the clip, asks for a "little bowl", looks at me very seriously, and then this exact conversation ensues everytime:
Ben: Mommy, I gonna fill the bowl all the way up to the roof.
me: Wow, Ben that would be a lot of pretzels! Too many, I think. How about 3 handfuls?
Ben: (satisfied) Okay! One (grabs first handful, with care to fit as many in his little hand as possible) - Two - Three. One hundred! One hundred pretzels. Oh, and I'd like some milk too, please!

Some more fun things courtesy of Ben's mind:
As we're sitting all in a row on the steps of the pool after swimming:
Ben: (sigh) This is nice.
me: (giggling at how sweet he is) Yes, Ben. It is nice. Hey Ben, how many people are in our family?
Ben: (pointing at each of us) one-two-three-four! Four people in our family!
me: Thats right. How many boys are in our family?
Ben: One (pointing to Xavier) Two! (pointing to himself). Two boys!
me: Ben, I think you're forgetting someone. What about Daddy?
Ben: hehe. Mooommmy! (said with a 'you're being silly' tone) Daddy's not a boy! Daddy's a MAN!
Nick: Yeah Ben!
me: Was that rehearsed?
Nick: Nope. Our boy's just smart! (smiling big)


Heard from our walk-in pantry at snack time:
Ben: Mommy, I'd like a snack, please.
me: Okay, Ben. What would you like? (expecting, you guessed it - pretzels!)
Ben: Hmmmmm, let me see...(hands on hips)
Maybe....(with thoughtful finger touching his lips)
I gonna have (taking that same finger and pointing up and down the shelves)
a teeny tiny bit of (using a tiny pleading voice, holding each index finger and thumb together and using both hands to make a little box shape)
I laughed for about 5 min straight. Where does he get these gestures from?!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Upside down!

As a newborn and a few months after, Xavier was very bothered by any kind of motion, and would end up projectile vomiting everywhere (yes, yuck). I remember errands and doctors appointments that entailed 3-4 outfit changes (sometimes my own). It was a nightmare, and they said that some kids with hydrocephalus experience motion sickness. All we could do was hope and pray he would grow out of it...and he did. By his 4 month birthday, Nick was throwing him up in the air (I remember this so clearly) and we heard his first little giggle...the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. :-)

Well, now is no different. Although its getting more difficult for us to throw him up in the air (this usually requires a blanket made into a sort of sling), upside down is still quite manageable! Here's me and my baby boy (he'll be 5 next month, am I still allowed to call him that?) delighting in this simple pleasure last weekend - both of us still in pj's!

Oh, and since you can see a tiny bit of our kitchen in these photos, I'll take this opportunity to update remodeling progress. I know you're all dying to know! HA! Later this month we'll hit the one year mark for this project. We can see the light, as our kitchen is now completely functional (has been for a few months now) but there are many loose ends that need tied up (cabinet doors, finish trim, some painting, etc.) Nick's completing work on the kitchen seating area and table. I promise to post a full report with "before and after" pictures at this epic project's conclusion. Be patient -- remember, Nick is making everything! I remind myself of this daily, when wanting to set something down on a non-existant table, or close cabinet doors when company comes. hehehe