Xavier broke 3 pairs of glasses in the span of a week. Right now, he's wearing his old blue glasses that are over 3 years old, while we're waiting for new glasses to be made. But before I came up with that idea, he was glassesless (is that a word? I just made it one...) for a few days.
He may not be able to see, but he still manages to look very cute. :-)
Its hard to believe that our little boy, who entered our lives when he was 15 months old, turned five today. He's come a long way from the 1 pound 3 ounce, 4 month premature baby he once was. B is a living example of how far a spirited heart and willpower will get you...
Therefore, we had a totally fantastic day, celebrating BENNETT!
In the morning, he had his first day of "Safety Town" at the local elementary school (more about this in a future post). We went home for a quick lunch, and then off we went to see the movie UP (which was soooo good.) After that, it was home for a party with friends and family.
The kids played while Nick and I finished up with getting dinner ready for everyone. Here's Ben's friend Clara and her baby sister Mallory. Mallory was loving Xavier's swing :-) Nick and Mallory Ben was so happy everyone could come! Look how thrilled he is to have people singing to him :-) My niece, Kathryn: Mallory swinging with Uncle P :-) My other niece, Alyssa :-) Yet another niece, Mallory :-) Bennett and Alyssa had the most gentle sword fight recorded in history. Goofball brother chewing on a towel, taking in all the action: PRESENTS!! This year, B's party didn't really have a theme, persay, but he did get lots of sports oriented gifts. An official teeball set, his first mitt and teeball, a tennis racket and balls (important, because that's his mom and dad's "thing" ;-), a frisbee, and a hoolahoop. He also got a really awesome game for his Leapster2, and some movies he's been dying to have in his ever-growing DVD collection (Wall-E, the Incredibles, Charlotte's Web, and the Cat in the Hat.) Mallory, showing off her sitting skills and watching B open his loot. Kathryn, GmaP and Xavier: Of course, the $1 Pez dispenser was the best gift ever. ;-) And, the night ended with an injury. I slammed the gate shut right on Nick's ankle as he was walking through carrying Kathryn to the car. (It was an accident, people! Don't judge! ;-) He looks real happy with me, here. Whoopsie! (sorry :-(
Happy Bday, Bennett - I'm soooo proud of the boy you've grown into. You've faced so many challenges in your short life. You are a constant reminder to me that life is a miracle. We are so unbelievably lucky to have you in our lives, and we are forever grateful to the people who helped you find your way home to us. Love you, buddy. XO.
B's second gymnastics "show day" was June 9th. The kids ran in individually to the theme song from Rocky, and did a mini-vault off a spring board onto a mat. (Why don't I video these things!? Dangit!) The line-up: The beam routine (including walking on tip-toes, and an arabesque at the end.) Flawlessy executed. Breaktime between the routines, on the bars with buddy Owen. Bar routine. (the green stick is used to give the kids something to straddle jump over back and forth, helping them to learn to change their hand grip.) He fell on me right after the shutter closed. Medal of achievement!
Monday, June 8th, I decided to be very, very brave and head down to Columbus, Ohio with Bennett and two friends, Gabe and Clara. (Xavier stayed behind with Gma and Gpa P.) A new baby elephant there instigated the trip; I guess that's rare in the zoo-world. SO, there we were...driving 2 hours in a terrible rain storm to see him and all the other animals. Probably three separate times, while driving in the kind of rain that windshield wipers just can't keep up with, I shouted out, "Oh! Seriously!!! What are we doing?!?!" And I'd hear: Gabe: "I brought 3 leaf clovers for luck! (waving a little bunch of green over his head) It will stop raining, Aunt K, I just know it!" Clara: "That's so dumb, Gabe. Those are just WEEDS!" Ben: (in his quiet, innocent little voice that I can barely hear sometimes)"I thought we were going to the zoo, Mom. Isn't that what we're doing?"
Soooo, we drove on, and the sun even decided to come out at times. The day was pretty perfect weather-wise... 80*, a drizzle now and then, and overcast. Kept us cool and the crowds away. Not bad.
Okay, there are A LOT of pics in this post. You've been warned. Also, please note that I was forced to stop at EVERY single animal statue we went by, where photos were creatively arranged by the 3 amigos. I did not ask them to pose in any certain way, ever, so this was all their doing...I was just the photographer for the day.
First animal statue picture: Gabe and Bennett on BECO! the baby elephant: Ben watching the elephants Love the fuzz all over baby Beco. (I also just like saying "baby Beco". hehe) Waiting for me to catch up to them to enter the pheasant enclosure. We met two of my friends from work there (Denise and Pat) so we were kind of trailing behind the kids, who were tightly wound from the 2 hours in the car. Watching a soda bottle explode on my friend Pat: Here's what was behind the fence that they should have been looking at (the soda explosion was probably more interesting ;-): This tiger was really cool - he just paced in front of the glass endlessly. Not the best moment of the day ("AUNT K! Gabe messed up my hair! You CANNOT take my picture!!"...oooh! but I just did! HA!) Gabe generously donated lots of coins at the "save the animals" collection points (love how the zoo is very crafty, and makes the coin dropping fun, enticing kids in...) Watching the lions I have to say, I've never seen zoo animals actually do much but sleep (unless they're monkeys or the like - those things are crazy)...anyway, the lions were really active, and surprisingly, a bit scary. At one point, the male lion and one of the females chased another female about 50 yards up a hill right next to us. The male roared (loudly!), and we felt like we were on a safari. Well, not really. (hehe) But, I felt like, for a minute there, we were going to witness something National Geographic worthy. Starfish touch tank: Clara. Ever the actress. Anticipating the carosel ride: Don't let this photo fool you - he's actually really happy. Honest! (Oh, darn. The LAST animal statue photo op of the day?!) Bennett gleefully skipping through the tunnel on our way out. We still had to make it through the gift shop. It was 4:15, and anticipating the 2 hour car ride ahead of us, I was a smidgeon worried about leaving in a timely manner. On the way to the gift shop, I had the kids repeat after me a couple of times : "gift shop, bathrooms, home." (say it with me, children...) Well, drama ensued at the gift shop (too many selections) for an insane 25 minutes. When we finally made it out of there, it was followed by - not one! not two! but THREE trips to the bathrooms. (Someone might have to go multiple times within a timeframe of 5 minutes? Who knew?!) We FINALLY left at 5pm. And guess what! - NO ONE fell asleep on the way home! lol.
It was a fun day, but I left feeling a bit dizzy. I'm not used to having 3 mobile children on my own. The vertigo was worth it though - we did have a lot of fun :-)