Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"The ducks are very hungry!"

So says Mr. Bennett Paul. And I'd have to agree, as I've never met a duck who wasn't way too excited about an old piece of bread. So Ben and I ventured out to Silver Creek MetroPark this week to feed those ravenous ducks and geese.

What a beautiful day, almost like fall...big, puffy white clouds, deep blue sky and water, cool breezes off the lake...just lovely. Anyway, the setting lent itself to some great photos. :-)

Can a hallway be fun?

Why, it most certainly can! At least this one anyway...

Here's Ben, running down a very long hallway (you're only seeing about 1/3 of it in this photo) decorated with colorful three-dimensional art at Akron Children's Hospital. It takes us about 5 minutes to make it past this wall each time through, there's just too much to look at!

Love this one:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just some cute moments...

Ben, still in pj's, having a lazy morning moment with Ruby.

Ben shouted at me to come look at his "snowman". This is what he presented me with:

Yesterday, Xavier decided to fall asleep while laying on his belly watching tv. He was exhausted after getting up at 5am (his idea, not mine!) I think he looks so old in this picture. It's still hard for me to believe I have a 5 year old.

And here's my favorite. I was bouncing the boys up and down on the bed, and they were both giggling like crazy. I don't think I've ever heard so sweet a sound as my boys laughing in unison. :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Little Gym

Bennett has been attending a tumbling class at our local "Little Gym" for several weeks now. He was in the same class last summer, but this year, he is enjoying it so much more. I think a year of preschool under his belt has done wonders for following directions, waiting turns, etc.

Remember that big parachute that would come out for gym class every once in a blue moon in elementary school? Such fun!

Ben's the little guy in the background doing a forward roll off the springboard.

Walking on a balance beam, and taking a break to peep at me and smile:

A little fast-action photography at work for this next sequence ;-)

Afterwards, we had breakfast at Panera. Ben was enjoying his asiago cheese bagel so much, he wouldn't even take a break from eating it to smile for the camera. What an enjoyable morning!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 4th!

We had a very nice time July 4th, with a leisurely cookout at Nick's parents' house. The highlight of the day (in addition to the yummy food, of course), was the fun the boys had with a small wagon. Its one of those little plastic wagons that legos come in, but we figured out that Xavier fit very nicely into it, and Ben had a blast dragging him around the yard.

No kidding, they did this for about 20 minutes. Xavier's heavy! We were surprised that Ben kept at it so long, but he loves to make Xavier laugh, and Xavier was giggling like crazy. Ben would push him up the ramp to Papa's shed and then run him back down, over all the bumps along the way. He'd say - "Ready, Xavier! Here we go! 1-2-3-Blastoff!"

Here's documentation of their little game:

Friday, July 4, 2008


As in, The City of Brotherly Love.

Xavier and Bennett are never far from one another. Xavier yells to get Ben to come over, and Ben never strays very far. The newest thing is, Xavier has learned to give hi-5's, and Ben thinks this is great.

Ben also loves to make Xavier laugh, by splashing in the tub with him, making funny noises, tickling him, poking him, running toys over him (yes, this surprisingly does make him laugh.) From another room, I'll hear, "Mommy, Xavier's lapping! I'm making him lap!" (that's laughing, Ben has trouble with f's ;-).

Here they are, enjoying a "moment" together. Xavier loves when Ben sits with him. I needed a closer photo of this to show the smile on his face :-)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

As is always popular here...

fun Ben quotes!

1. Heard from a restroom stall at the grocery store:
Ben: "Mommy, you stand outside."
me: "No, Ben, I have to come in this time. So I can help you." (I've let him go in by himself before several times...but this time, I knew he'd need help at the end, and wanted to be there...know what I mean?)
Ben: (bargaining) "Stand outside, and look through the crack in the door. Come in when I'm done." (This kid does not miss a beat, I thought I was being sneaky!)
me: "Nope, I'm coming in this time."
Ben: (his voice edged with great reluctance) "OOOOOOoohhhh!!! Alright. Turn around and face the wall, Mommy. I need some privacy."
Woman in the other stall: laughing.

2. At a pet store, a puppy on the floor between us. (NO, people -- we're NOT buying a puppy. Just a fun thing for Ben to do.)
Ben: "This is a nice puppy." (gently petting it)
me: "Yes it is."
Ben: "I want to show the puppy my track." (referring to a new piece of wooden train track I'd gotten him that day. He took it out of the bag...)
me: "I don't think the puppy really wants to see your track, Ben."
Ben: "Yes he does! Look puppy, here's my track. It belongs to me. Mommy bought it for me today. I like it very much. Do you like it? He likes it, Mommy, see?!"

During church last Sunday, Aunt Court taught Bennett how to say "I love you" in sign language. Here he is practicing (take note of his juice stained face from the after-church cake and punch gathering):

From this new sign has come many cute moments.
4. me, after some infraction of the rules: "Ben, go to the corner for a time out. I'll set the timer."
Ben: "No! I don't want to!"
me: "Go. Now."
Ben: "BUT MOMMY!!" and then flashes "the sign".
me: (trying not to laugh and give up on the timeout) "I love you too, Ben. But you still need your time out."
Ben: "OH MAN!"

5. Nick and Ben are using both hands to do the "I love you sign" to each other.
Nick: "I love you, squared!" Ever the engineer, Nick seems to not realize that a four year old does not understand exponents.
Ben: "I love you, circled!"

6. I tried to get Ben to flash the camera "the sign" with me. He was...and then I snapped the photo right as he decided to LICK me. What?! Oh, who know's what goes through his mind. He's 4 AND a boy. Go figure.

7. The boys and I continue to work on school type activities during the summer. Here are Ben and I with the great calendar that Aunt Kelly gave us. Ben is awestruck by the fact that Aunt Kelly is a teacher. He'll say it at random with a glazed look in his eyes, "Aunt Kelly is a teacher." Like she's of another world. hehe. We switch the date, the weekday, and the weather each day. Ben's been know to dash inside from playing when a cloud passes over the sun, because the calendar is wrong..."I'll be right back! The calendar says sunny, but now it's cloudy!"

"I'm getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger!"

I don't know why there's always 3 "bigger's" in there, but I hear this from Bennett everyday as he proclaims his independence, physical growth, and learning to anyone that will listen.


Ben loves the computer (who does he get that from? hmmm??? I seriously have no idea!) and can now efficiently use the laptop mouse pad to play games. In the above photo, he's playing videos of his favorite Thomas the Tank Engine songs. And singing along. The kid has a wicked memory!

Teeball next year? I think so. He'll be ready. Last weekend, I was upstairs and heard the sound of a ball being hit with a bat. Nick was standing in the middle of the backyard and catching balls hit by someone from a decently far distance. I couldn't see who that was from the window, and I said, "hey, Nick - who's here? Who's hitting the ball to you?" He said, "Ben!" Whoa. I was impressed.

Foul ball, but look at that form...the follow through! Whew!

As fast as the last couple years have gone with him, I imagine it'll feel like only a week has passed and I'll be sitting in the stands watching him at bat for his high school team. Insane.