Tuesday, February 26, 2008

6 Month Checkup

Ben went for his 6 month checkup today. He is doing so great, hitting every single milestone he should be at this point. He weighed in at 15 lbs 12 oz (25%) and 27 inches (75%). He's just such a happy healthy boy. He got 3 shots, which is always the saddest thing. Ben hardly ever cries, especially big tearful wailing cries, so it is strange to see him as upset as he gets when he gets shots. But he calms down very quickly, so I'm sure he's not totally traumatized by it all, and it's better than getting Rubella! =)

The boys also got to take their first bath together tonight. Joshua was so excited to take a bath with Baby Ben, and Ben looked equally as excited when he saw that Josh was climbing in there with him. Ben's not quite big enough for this to be a regular occurrence, but it sure is nice for him to be able to do it every once in a while on nights when Mommy or Daddy are flying solo and both kids need baths!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Coolest Swing Set EVER!!!

Today was such an exciting (and exhausting) day! We finally built the swing set that we got the boys for Christmas. For the last two weeks, Andrew and I have been staining and water sealing the wood, and this morning Grandma and Grandpa B came out, and Andrew's friend Jeff came over and the guys spent about 10 hours in the backyard putting together what we think is the coolest swing set EVER! See for yourself!

When it is actually finished, it will have a slide, 2 swings, a captains wheel (like on a pirate ship) and a "cosmic communicator" aka 2 plastic flip phones connected by a tube. Think reinvented tin cans connected by a string. It is supposed to have a cargo net, but we decided to hold off on that for now... Josh is just 2 after all.

While the guys were working, Grandma B helped me take care of the boys, which was a tremendous help to me. It is difficult to keep Josh out of the way when there is a big project going on, and also take care of Ben at the same time. The extra pair of hands and eyes were definitely necessary today! Plus, it gave Grandma some quality time to spend with two of her favorite little boys. Thanks Grandma!

We are so excited to have such an awesome swing set for the boys to play on for years and years. The guys really worked so hard today, and I am very proud of them. This thing is going to last forever! So anyone who wants to come over and help us break it in is more than welcome. We think our boys are going to be the envy of the neighborhood!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another Edition of Kids Say the Darndest Things...

So I took the boys to the park this afternoon. While we were there, Josh apparently decided he needed to go potty. Our park lacks any formal facilities, but hey, he's a boy, so he goes on the tree. I was feeding Ben when he decided to do this, so I stopped and went over to help him so he didn't pee on his pants. but I was told "No Mommy. Go finish Baby Ben's dinner." I was slightly amused by that, but I decided to let him do his thing. As he was finishing up, I saw that another family was coming to the park to play (a grandma with her 15 month old granddaughter). As she walked up, seeing Josh with his pants and underpants around his ankles, we both just sort of laughed. No need to get embarrassed. When you've got to go, you've got to go, right? So he finally got his pants up and was for some reason fascinated by his pee pee on the tree. He ran over to the little girl and said in his loudest voice "LET'S GO SEE MY PEE PEE!!! COME ON!!!" That's just one of those things that definitely deserved blogging. They're the things I don't ever want to forget. Priceless!!!

Babble Boy

In the last couple of days, Ben has discovered babbling. His favorite sounds are da-da-da-da, ga-ga-ga-ga and ya-ya-ya-ya. He seems very proud of himself, and is turning into quite a talker. He really sounds like he's telling you all about something. I guess he just has a lot to say. He is such a joy to be around. How did I survive almost 28 years without that smile in my life?

Monday, February 18, 2008

On the Mend

I'm glad to report that Joshua is feeling so much better. He has had no real fever over the last couple of days, and he's back into all sorts of trouble. His flu caused him to get a minor case of viral pink eye. We were concerned that we were going to have to take him back to the doctor and keep him home from school for yet another day, but it seems to have pretty much cleared up. Andrew and I are also feeling better, although we still have some of the lasting effects from being sick (I have a cough that just won't quit). Ben is doing great, although his appetite isn't quite back up to par. He has not been wanting much to do with solid foods, so he's been waking up to eat earlier than usual. We hope this is just temporary! But we are thankfully all on the mend. So it's back to school tomorrow for picture day!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Photos are Updated!

I have finally added some updated photos of Josh and Ben to our photo album. Just click the link to the right (it says "Joshua's Photo Album", but all of our photos are there). There are also a couple of videos added to some of the posts below. So go check them out. Enjoy!

P.S. If you looked at the album before 2/17, please check it out again. Due to technical difficulties, some of the pictures weren't actually posted in the public photo album. Enjoy some more!

Ew The Flu!

For the last couple of days, we have all been sick around our house. Andrew and I have been fighting colds all week, and Ben had a low grade fever on Wednesday. But Josh by far takes the prize of Sicky. He has been sporting a high fever, between 102 and 103.7, for the last few days. I took him to the doctor this afternoon to make sure it wasn't an ear infection, or anything else that might require medication, and it turns out he has the flu. He got his flu shot in October, but apparently they didn't nail the correct strain of the virus, so there are lots of kids who have been vaccinated that are being diagnosed with the flu. Poor little guy. He is handling it like such a trooper. If you didn't know him, you probably wouldn't even know he was sick. But on Wednesday I knew there was something wrong with him, because he was melting down about everything on the car ride home from school, and it is so unlike him. When we got home, I took his temperature, even though he didn't really feel warm. Low and behold it was over 101. And it has just gone up from there. Children's Motion brings it down to about 100 for a few hours, but after that, it's right back up there. But, unfortunately, we just have to wait it out. Hopefully he'll get over it quickly so he can start feeling better. Until then, I guess it's hours and hours of Backyardigans!

Monday, February 11, 2008

What Happened!?!

I am pretty sure no one is even looking at this thing anymore, since we haven’t updated a thing in months, but I wanted to try to get us up to date, so the next few posts should fill everyone in on what we’ve been up to lately. Sorry for all the slacking. With two little ones to chase around (and there is chasing involved with BOTH of them now - see below), it gets difficult to find the time to do anything! I will try to get the pictures posted in the photo album ASAP, but if I reference looking at any pictures in any of these posts, and you don’t see them there, just keep checking back!

After Move the Dirt, Get a Swing Set!

Let the backyard saga continue! We are so excited! We got the boys a swing set for Christmas. We found a great deal on a buy-your-own lumber swing set kit, and now we are getting started. The first step was to remove the thorn in my side pile of dirt that has been taunting and irritating me for the last 6+ months. We had told Josh that as soon as we move the dirt, we’ll build his swing set. In a way he was sad to have to dirt go, because shoveling dirt was one of his favorite things to do, but he can’t wait to have his swing set. So one day while he was napping, we were able to get the dirt into a truck we had borrowed from a friend (thanks, Dave!). After his nap, he came out saying he was going to shovel dirt. When he saw the dirt was gone, he looked concerned and said “Where’d the dirt go?” When I told him Daddy was going to take it away, he thought about it for a minute, then his face lit up and he screamed “I get a swing set now!” We were a little surprised of his level of understanding of the whole thing. He’s a smart cookie!

We have now bought the lumber, thanks to Grandma and Grandpa B bringing out their truck (I’m thinking we need to get a truck!), and are diligently working on getting it stained and water sealed (which thankfully all comes together, so it’s just one step). We plan to build the swing set in about 2 weeks. We hope that this backyard project will be less of a headache than the other ones have been... but we’ve learned not to hold our breath on that one!

Welcome Home, Camry!

We FINALLY have the Camry back. After 6 weeks in the shop and 3 rental cars, we are so happy to have her back! Unfortunately, she will need to go back to the shop for another day or so, because they didn’t get the paint exactly right on the back bumper, but the shop is going to take care of a rental car for us on that if we need one, so it shouldn’t be too big of a deal. Thankfully, it is driving beautifully. You would never know it just had over $4,000 of work done to it!

In other Maple transportation news, we are in the market for a minivan (are we old enough for that?!?!). It’s getting to be time to replace our 8 year old Sentra that still gets over 30 mpg (sniff sniff). So in a couple of weeks, we will be out shopping for a new car. We’re looking for either a Toyota Sienna or a Honda Odyssey that is a year or two old. We’re just praying to find a great car at a great price. Wish us luck!

Keep Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

Ben has perfected the art of rolling over. He started rolling when he was just a few weeks old. We would lay him down for tummy time, and he would be flipped over. He only did that a couple times, but it was some definite foreshadowing of things to come. Right around 4 ½ months, Ben figured out how to roll from his back, to his tummy and it became his new favorite pass time. I guess any concerns about him not getting enough tummy time were out the window! Once he was on his tummy, he started working on his push ups, and once he was up on his arms, he learned how to lean to the side, and then would flip from his tummy to his back. At first it happened on accident, but now he has figured out that this can take him places.... as long as those places are in the one direction he knows how to roll! It has been quite entertaining to see his new mode of transportation.

Ben is also doing a great job learning how to sit up on his own. He can sit and play with a toy for stretches of a couple of minutes at a time before he finally “timbers” over to the side. We are so excited for him to be a professional sitter upper. It just opens up a whole new world of play and discovery for him. At the same time it’s a little bittersweet, since our baby is growing up!

I Spin and Sing!

Joshua is probably the funniest little dude ever. Life would certainly be much more dull without him around. His newest activity is to sing along with songs.... ANY song. Andrew typically has his iPod going in the car on the way into school, and Joshua has begun to sing along with a lot of the songs. We have made him his own play list on iTunes, and the list is growing seemingly daily. It is the cutest thing to see him in the back seat, just singing quietly to himself while he’s trying to teach himself the song. Then once he has it down, he will start belting it out at the top of his lungs. His favorite song of all time is “Mawmaw’s Song” by Bart Millard, or as Joshua calls it, “The By and By’s” (it’s a song about the hymn “In the Sweet By and By.” He has now taken to spinning with his arms outstretched while he sings when we play his songs at home. This is so precious to me, because when I was about 3 or 4, I would do the same exact thing. I love seeing little glimpses of myself or Andrew in our little guy. Joshua is definitely a music man. We can’t wait until he is old enough for piano lessons. Maybe we’ve got the next Billy Joel on our hands!

Rub a Dub Dub, Thanks for the Grub! Yay God!

Ben had been doing really well sleeping through the night, but right around 4 ½ months, he started waking up again and was definitely hungry. So, we decided to begin solid foods to give him a little more sustenance (and Mommy a little more sleep!). We started giving him rice cereal mixed with Mommy’s milk on Christmas day, and within a couple days, he was a pro at eating with the spoon. We then moved on to tastier fare, such as sweet potatoes, applesauce and even peas (make sure you check out the pictures on that one!). After we bumped him up to two solid meals a day, he again started sleeping through the night. Ben has turned into quite the little piggy. He’s now eating stage 2 sized jars of food, and is sometimes looking for more when he finishes those.... even after taking a full nursing right before eating. I guess we won’t have any trouble getting this one to eat. Must take after his mother!

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas season was probably the most fun we have ever had. Joshua really is beginning to understand what is going on, and was really excited about everything. In the days leading up to the big day, he wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus every morning.

We were able to create some really happy memories, like decorating Christmas cookies (which he still talks about putting “nummy nems” (translation - m&m’s) on the cookies), decorating our Christmas Tree and singing Christmas carols (jingle bells was by far the favorite - especially the “HEY!” part). This season started Joshua’s obsession with Christmas trees. He still talks about them. When he stacks Legos, he is making a Christmas tree. When he piles up the wood chips at the park, he’s making a Christmas tree, when he sees a tree that had lights on it at Christmas time, he reminds me that was a Christmas tree. I think you get the picture.

We celebrated Christmas with the Duncans/Bangos on the Saturday before Christmas to help take some of the stress off of Christmas (it’s hard to have three separate families to get together with in the span of a day and a half!). It was a really fun evening. Josh got to play with Jacob again, and we got to get the babies together (which they didn’t care too much, but give them a year or two). Grandma made a prime rib (yummy!) and we all hung out and stuffed ourselves silly.

When Christmas Eve finally rolled around, Joshua and Ben gave Mommy and Daddy the best Christmas present ever.... they both sat through an hour long church service without so much as a peep. It was amazing. Josh loves to tell us that he went to “Big Church” since he usually goes to Sunday school, or “Little Church” when we are in service. He also remembers that “after the music is over, you get a treat” because we came stocked with goldfish crackers and cookies to help keep him entertained (Momma ain’t no fool!).

After church we went out to Grandma and Grandpa B’s for dinner and presents. Although it was an extremely hectic and stressful evening (the family has added four, almost five, grandchildren in the last 2 ½ years, so there are now many more people to try to cram into a small room), the kids had a good time opening presents and playing with their cousins. Hopefully we can work something better out for next year. I was kind of bummed that I didn’t get to watch my kids open their presents, and couldn’t even thank the family members for what they specifically got them because I had no idea. But overall, it was a good night.

After we got home, we put cookies out for Santa, and the next morning, Josh was amazed that Santa ate his cookies. Then we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus (again) and opened our presents as a family. Later that morning, Grandpa Maple and the rest of the Maple clan came over for breakfast. It was great to be able to spend the whole day at home instead of running all over town!

All in all, I have to say, it was the best Christmas ever! Be sure to check out our pictures!