Friday, August 29, 2008

Rock Me Like a Hurricane!


What a whopper of a storm did we get last night! I have lived here my whole life and I don't remember a storm as severe as this one. At about 8:00 last night, the sky tore open, shaking our windows, the lightning and thunder were pretty much constant and the winds were unbelievable. We probably got about an inch of rain in maybe a half hour. It was insane, and at the time I had no idea just how out of control it really was.

So this morning we go out to inspect the damage, and find our roof looking like the picture above. That's not good... thankfully we didn't get any leaks, but we didn't want this to go unrepaired. Thankfully, my mother-in-law had recently given us a referral for a roofer they have known for a long time (we had already lost some shingles from prior storms) so Andrew got him on the phone this morning and he agreed to come out and got it all fixed up this afternoon. It worked out well because Andrew was already planning on being home because Ben still had remnants of a fever. Anyway, I packed up Josh and we headed off to school. After we got off of the freeway in Phoenix, most of the traffic lights were malfunctioning, or just plain not working at all. I was thinking that I didn't have a good feeling about this. Then I heard people calling in on the radio saying that schools that were close by to daycare were closed due to lack of power. Uh oh. Then we got to school and saw a downed light pole and found out that school was indeed closed for the day because they had no electricity. Too bad I didn't know that before I drove 25 miles in! But what can you do? So I took Josh back home and just worked from home for a good portion of the day.

I guess the destruction downtown was massive. Major arteries for rush hour traffic were closed down due to downed power lines (I believe there were about 10 on 7th Street), there were even multiple spots where large portions of roofs were laying in the middle of the street. There were reports of wind gusts of about 100 mph, and the practice stadium for ASU was completely destroyed. It was just crazy. Don't believe me? Check this out! http://www.azcentral.com/commphotos/azcentral/7667/1/69/

Thankfully the monsoon season is nearing its end. It has been a pretty impressive season this year. The storms can be kind of cool to watch, but not when they are causing millions of dollars of damage around the city. Hopefully this will be the last of its kind for quite some time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Time for Round Two

Josh is over his random fever and got to have his first day in his new classroom yesterday. He was so excited and had a great day. His teachers seem nice, so I don't believe we will have any issues this year like we started out with last year, so that's a relief!

So after getting over one round of illness in the house, the inevitable second round has hit. Benny felt a little warm this morning, running a temp right around 100. So we did what any parent would do... pumped him full of Motrin and sent him off to school hoping that he would at least make it through nap time. Then 2:30 came with no call from daycare. Sweet! I guess he's okay. 3:00, we're for sure in the clear now. 3:15, not so fast. Daycare called me to pick him up because he had a fever over 101. He usually gets picked up at 4:00, so we were so close! So now he's not welcome at school tomorrow. Thankfully my mom is available to watch him for us so that we don't have to miss any more work. Andrew and I both had to take a chunk of time off last week because daycare was closed, and now the kids get sick. Isn't that always the way? I guess this is where being a stay at home mom would be helpful. Hopefully this will pass through him quickly and he can go back to school on Friday and we can move on to bigger and better things!

What'd You Say?

Little Ben is definitely finding his voice. At this age it's hard to tell what is actually being used, and what is just babbling, but there are a couple things that we SWEAR Ben is actually saying. He's been saying da-da-da for a while... that's pretty much been all he's said, so it's been hard to tell if he's actually associating it to Andrew. But a couple weeks ago he started adding the ma-ma-ma-ma sound to his baby vocabulary. But since then, we've noticed that he really only says ma-ma-ma when he is coming after me, climbing all over me, or when I am at least in the vicinity. We think he is actually calling me Ma Ma Ma (he adds an extra for good measure!)!!! He also has been making a da-da sound whenever he sees a dog. The intonations of this da-da are different than his others, and the other day he started trying to put a "g" sound in it and it really sounded like he was trying to say Doggie. It also sounds like he says "Thank you"... actually it doesn't sound anything like Thank You, but he makes the same sound - 2 little grunts - whenever you give him something. Even my friend noticed it, so we're not totally nuts. He has been loving experimenting with different sounds, and imitating some of the sounds we make. It's so cute, we just love it. We can't wait until Josh and Ben start having full blown conversations. That is going to be constant comedy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Here We Go!!!

Ben took a few little steps tonight!!! It might not look like much, but it's one of the most beautiful things we've ever seen! Hallelujah! It looks like the trick to getting him to pitter patter is letting him hold onto something he thinks he's not supposed to have, as evidenced by my cell phone in his little hands. Whatever works for ya, buddy. Yay!
video

What a Weekend

This weekend was one of those that we were so happy to see Monday roll around so we could go back to work! There wasn't anything totally horrible that happened, it was just extremely long and taxing.

Let me start by saying how much we love our little Ben. He is so sweet and funny and such a joy to have. We are just at a difficult developmental stage right now that can make things difficult, especially for Mommy. There is only so much face clawing, hair pulling and hitting a person can take! We are learning that Ben seems to get frustrated pretty easily, which is understandable for a little guy just beginning to try to figure out this big ol' world around him. Since he has no other outlet for his frustration, he lets it out physically. So our big task right now is to try to teach him how to use his hands nice. In addition to wrath of Ben's frustration, he also feels he needs to be hanging on me at all times. This is just a challenging age, and I know this too shall pass (come on, walking!), but any prayers for my sanity would be greatly appreciated!

To add onto all of that, Joshua came down with a high fever on Saturday afternoon. He woke up from his nap and we were cuddling and I thought he felt a little warm so I took his temp. 103.6. WHAT? Where did that come from?! So we pretty much spent the rest of the weekend home with him, cuddling and watching more Noggin than I will ever care to admit. The bummer of it all is that he was so looking forward to his first day of school in his new classroom (he gets to go in the purple door now), and he wasn't able to go today. He seems to be doing better now and we anticipate he'll be able to go tomorrow.

So with Josh wanting Mommy to cuddle on the couch, and Ben wanting to climb all over me, my personal space bubble was pretty much non-existent this weekend. I love my boys with my whole heart, but sometimes the solitude of my office sounds pretty darned good!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One Year Checkup

Ben went for his one year old check up today. Everything is great! He weighed in at 19 lbs 10 oz, which is still in the 10%, but he is holding steady on the growth chart, so there are no concerns there. He is 29.75 inches long (50%) and his head is 47 cm (75%). So he is pretty much our little big headed boy. =) He is hitting every single milestone right on target. One little blip on the health radar is that his iron came back a teensy bit low, so they are having us give him an iron supplement every day for the next 3 months. He was just borderline anemic, so he should be up to par at his next checkup. Hopefully the iron won't cause too much staining to those brand new pearly whites! He also got 3 pokes today. But big brother was there to comfort him and make sure he was okay. The tears didn't last too long afterward and he quickly returned to his happy go lucky self.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Come On Already!

I've heard the advice... I've even GIVEN the advice. "Don't be in such a hurry for your child to walk. Once they start walking, there's no going back.." Blah, blah, blah. This is true to a certain extent. BUT, then you hit that point where it would honestly be so much easier if he would just start walking already. We're at that point, and it's driving me crazy. Ben has been incredibly mobile for a long time. The only think missing is independent walking. He crawls at the speed of light, pulls himself up and cruises.... and he knows it. He knows he can go wherever he wants to go all by himself, so he gets frustrated at being carried around and becomes squirmy worm that is hard to even keep a hold of, because all he wants to do is explore. He doesn't understand that there are some places you just can't crawl. I know he's going to do it on his own time, but I am praying that his time will be soon, and I'm also praying for endurance and patience to get through this time. I know he'll do it.... I just wish he'd get on with it!

Gotta Get Away!

The weather in Phoenix lately has been, shall we say, toasty. In addition to that, life has been a bit mundane. We have been really feeling the itch to get away from it all, break out of our box and do something new and different. We got our chance this weekend. Grandma and Grandpa B were camping up in Payson, and invited us to come up for the day. What? Spend a day away from 110 degrees and spend time outdoors, and all it will cost us is a half a tank of gas? We felt like we won the Health and Wealth! Okay, that might be going a little far, but we were pretty excited about it anyway.

We started our day by going out to breakfast with the boys before heading out on the road. I think we could have ordered Ben his own adult sized meal and he would have taken it down. The kid was bottomless! But I digress. After breakfast, we got out on the road, and were delighted to see the thermostat on our car tick down one degree at a time. By the time we got to the camp site, about 15 miles outside of Payson, the temp had gone down to 78 degrees. Whoo hoo! We met up with Grandma and Grandpa, after having an entertaining conversation with the old lady who was running the booth at the entrance to the camp ground. She was a character to say the least. Joshua was highly impressed with Grandma and Grandpa's trailer. Actually, so was I. This is not your roughing it camping. This is my kind of camping. Camping with a bed, a microwave, a DVD player and a fully functioning bathroom. We spent a little time exploring the woods behind the campsite, collecting sticks and pine cones. Ben loved crawling around in the dirt, too.



After exploring the camp, we packed a picnic lunch and headed up to Woods Canyon Lake, which is at the top of the Mogollon Rim. We got a nice little shower on the way up there, which kept the temperature nice a cool. Ben had a great time smearing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich all over his face and stroller. He may have even gotten some in his mouth!




Josh was fascinated by the lake, and even got to stick his feet in. It is so beautiful up there! We even got to see a crawdad and a water snake!







After bumming around the lake for a while, we went back to camp and hung out. I even let Andrew beat me at cribbage... ha ha, just kidding. He ALWAYS beats me. But I guess that's why he suggested we play cribbage instead of dominoes! But at least I held my own this time...he only beat me by one point!

Grandpa made us an awesome dinner and Josh and Grandma made a yummy dessert. Nothing says vacation like good eating! But alas, it was time to head home. We were all sufficiently pooped! Josh was sacked out before we hit Payson city limits, with a book still open in his lap.



I'm pretty sure Ben was too. After an hour and a half car ride, we were back to our 100 degree home and our normal routine. But it was so great to be able to get away, if only for a day. Thanks for the invite, Grandma and Grandpa B. Can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Standing Man

Ben's standing skills are increasing every day. It's so exciting! We really noticed how far he had come yesterday afternoon. Everytime he pulled up on something, he would let go and stay on his feet, usually without so much as a wobble. I don't even think he realized he was doing it. It was really for just a few seconds at a time, but we can tell that he is mustering up some bravery to let go of that security of holding onto something. We've learned a little trick to get him to let go... entice him with something "forbidden". None of his toys will do the trick. It's got to be something he thinks he's not supposed to have, i.e., the remote, the phone, a spoon, etc. It's the same trick we used to motivate him to scoot/crawl. Works like a charm! He's still not taking any real walking steps, but he is definitely finding his balance, which means the rest is probably soon to come.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not Ready for Weaning

Now that Ben is officially one, I wanted to try to start weaning him from the breast to cow's milk. He has been drinking cows milk once a day for a couple weeks now, and does just fine with it. But this kid really loves nursing, which makes my heart soar! =) Our current nursing schedule gives him 3 nursings a day... 1st thing in the morning, right before dinner and right before bed. I wanted to try to cut out the early evening feeding on Monday, and try to give him milk with his dinner. But when I got home, all he was interested in was Mommy's milk. I tried giving him some cow's milk in a sippy cup, and he would have none of it. He pushed it away in utter disgust and then started poking at my shirt, as if trying to figure out how to get to those things he really wanted. So, of course I gave in! I don't want to take it away from him if he's not done with it. It feels nice to have that freedom to nurse if we want to, but if he doesn't, he can have cow's milk and it doesn't make a bit of difference. So I am going to just let him tell me when he's ready to wean, and enjoy this time with him while I still can! =)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Randy

We had an awesome experience on the way home from work one day last week. Where we get on the freeway to begin our lengthy drive home, there is frequently a homeless man standing on the median asking passers by for a little help. Andrew has taken to trying to have a bottle of water with him at all times for such an occasion. But on this day the only water we had had been sitting in the car all day, and would have been shall we say, less than refreshing. But feeling like we wanted to give him something, we gave him the cash we had on us. When Andrew handed him the money, he asked him what his name was, and our new friend introduced himself as Randy. Andrew shook his hand and told him we would be praying for him. It was so awesome to see Randy's huge smile at the idea of someone caring to know his name. After our light turned green, we got on the freeway and went about our way home. After a minute or so, I turned around to Joshua and asked him if he saw the man that Daddy was talking to. I told him that was Randy, and explained that Randy doesn't have a house, or a bed to sleep in like we do. When I asked what we should do for Randy, he said "we should pray for him. We should pray that Jesus gives him a house." It was too sweet. So we prayed for Randy and continued on our way.

Joshua must have continued to think about our new friend, and made a very profound observation... "Randy doesn't have a house. We have a computer." I don't think he probably meant it the way it sounded, but it spoke volumes to us, and helped us to put the whole thing into perspective. Randy doesn't have a house. Not only do we have a house, 2 cars, beds to sleep in, air conditioning, tubs to bathe in, food whenever we want it... we have a computer, which is probably the most frivolous thing we own.

It's easy to get caught up in the "keeping up with the Jones'" and obsessing about all the stuff we want and think we need. Experiences like this really make us extra thankful for the things we take for granted in our cushy lives, and motivates us to do a little more for those less fortunate than we are. I guess it all comes down to being Jesus' own hands and feet. I hope we see Randy again, and can continue to be a blessing in his life.

It's Fun to be ONE!

What a happy (and kinda sad) day it is. Our little Baby Ben is officially one year old. How on earth did THAT happen?!? What a year it has been. I have to admit that bringing Ben into our family wasn't quite as much of an upheaval to our lives as the first time around, but it has definitely made our lives more rich, joyful, and of course hectic! We celebrated the big day (a day early) with a big party at our house. The whole family - minus Auntie Kerri and Uncle Jonathon - was there to celebrate with us. We had yummy Mexican food and the kids played themselves out. I've got to say, the best part of the day was the birthday cake. We were so excited to see Ben cover himself with bright blue frosting. He had a blast. It was too cute. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure! It was a great day. Happy birthday, Baby Ben. We love you, buddy!











Monday, August 04, 2008

The Dancing Man in Action

We finally got a decent dance video of the almost-birthday boy. Watch Ben get down and funky! You will also get to witness his patented "lay flat on my tummy and be cute" routine. Enjoy!

video

Friday, August 01, 2008

Comprende?

Ben's cognitive skills seem to have exploded over the last week or so. A couple weeks ago, I was thinking to myself that he just doesn't seem to be getting what we're saying. In thinking back to Josh at this age, he seemed to understand a lot more than Ben appeared to. I was never concerned about a delay or anything, it was just an observation. Then all of a sudden, Ben has started following directions and really seeming to understand what we are saying to him. He will give us a bite of his food when we ask for it, he will stop doing something when we tell him to stop... it's amazing to see how the light bulb has suddenly come on. Last night during dinner, he even tried to copy us blowing kisses and clapping his hands. He hasn't quite gotten these things down yet to a fine art, but it was so cool to see him try. As the birthday fast approaches, he seems to be growing up even faster. What will he do next?