Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yet Another Episode of....

Kids Say the Darndest Things! That's right, kiddies, we've got more tales to tell of those silly things that come out of a three year old. This one requires a little bit of a back story...

Way back when, probably about a year ago, Josh, Ben and I met up with Josh's teacher from the prior year for ice cream at McDonalds. He has remembered that to this day. He loves his ice cream, and he loves his Miss Kim! He apparently even remembers the exact location of the McDonalds we went to on that particular day. So fast forward to a few months ago, when my office moved, and we were now driving past that very same McDonalds on the way home everyday. He sees it and starts asking for ice cream. We would always combat this question by asking him if he had any money to pay for the ice cream, and that usually ended the conversation. That brings us to today, and our darndest thing quote of the day. We were driving past the McDonalds, and out of nowhere, Joshua asks us "Can I please have some money?" We both looked at him with puzzled expressions and asked why he needed money. "So I can go to McDonalds."

If you break it down, that is a really smart approach to try to trick Mommy and Daddy into some frozen treats... the preemptive strike. "If I can get them to give me some money, then they can't say I don't have money for ice cream." Brilliant! It seems to us there is a very advanced thought process going on here. He's going to be outsmarting us in no time. We're in trouble!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bye-Bye Binkey

Ben has always been the biggest binkey boy. He loves it... it's basically his crack. And it has been a Godsend to get a little piece and quiet around the house. But now that he is doing so many big boy things, we think it's time for the binkey to go. I'm sure Ben's totally NOT on board with this idea, but we feel it's time for him to learn how to soothe himself without the crutch. Yesterday was the first day we really started to hold out on him. We didn't give him the binkey all morning right up until nap time. We let him use it to sleep, and tried to steer clear of it for much of the afternoon too. The afternoon didn't go as well as the morning and we finally had to give in when he fell down and bonked his head in the library and started wailing. I couldn't very well say "Sorry all you people trying to study and read, my boy's trying to get off the binkey and you just have to deal with it!" I didn't think that was very fair. So hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can do away with the binkey during his wakeful hours. Sleepy times will come later. I'm just tired of his little face being blocked by the binkey in all of our pictures! Wish us luck, and pray that we will be blessed with an extra dose of patience for a fussy toddler going through binkey withdrawals!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Adventures in Costume Making

Josh's costume is done, and if you ask me, it looks pretty darn good. I am so glad I decided to make his costume. I admit I was a bit obsessed over this thing. Every night as soon as the kids were in bed, I would get to work and wouldn't stop until I had to go to bed. If I could have, I would have stayed up all night to work on it. At least I have work to motivate me to tame the crazy a little bit. So after gathering all of my materials and getting some very helpful advice from a little old lady at Joann's, I got to work. I made the cape first, since that was easy. I can handle cutting and gluing! After that I moved on to cutting out the pattern, cutting out the pieces of material and sewing it all together. After some finishing touches of velcro up the back, elastic around the wrists and ankles, and some bias tape (which I had never even heard of until this project) to keep the collar from being scratchy, the jumpsuit was all done. The only real mistake I made was getting the grain of the fur going in opposite directions on the front, but all in all, I would say not bad! Along the way I picked up some other handy sewing experience, like threading the bobbin and threading the sewing machine needle. The costume pattern also called for a hood. I made the hood, but figured it wouldn't really work for us. Since he would be wearing a hat, there wasn't any room to put the hears on the hood. And what do a guinea pig's ears look like anyway? Plus, the hood kind of made the whole thing a little creepy. So we decided to just skip it. Then I was on my quest to find the right hat for the costume. I tried and tried to find a youth sized golden yellow or yellowish-orange cap, but the only place I could find them was online, and the shipping charges were ridiculous! So I had to come up with a plan B. I found a white hat at Michael's and got some dye to make it just the right color. It turned out perfect! So without further adieu, the moment you've all been waiting for. Drumroll please...................
Here is a photo of the real Linny.







And here is OUR Linny!








When we are getting all dressed up on Halloween, we are going to give Josh a little pink nose and some whiskers as some finishing touches. I'm sure no one else will have any idea of what he is, but we will know. Josh is so excited to be Linny. I'm so happy I could make his Halloween for him!

I do have to pause and give a couple shout outs for those who helped me along the way. First of all my Mother-In-Law, Angie, a veteran seamstress, for giving me some awesome tips along the way. And my mom who let me use her sewing machine and helping me figure out how to use it. Thanks guys for all your help.

Here are some of the pictures I made Andrew take of me during this whole process. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another Episode of Kids Say the Darndest Things

Let me set the scene for you. We're sitting at the dinner table, enjoying a nice meal together. On the menu was Chicken Enchilada Casserole, which Josh has never wanted to even taste before. But this night, he decided to give it a try. I suppose he thought to himself "Chicken.... good. Chips.... good. Cheese... GOOOOD!" (Name that pop culture reference!) So we are sitting there eating, and Josh is trying to eat some of the cheese that tops the casserole, but it was too big for him... do you see where this is going? Wait for it... So he asked if Daddy could cut it up for him.... wait for it... After Daddy had obliged with Josh's request, Josh says "Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for cutting the cheese." Andrew and I couldn't speak, could barely breath, we were laughing so hard. Josh was looking at us like "What the heck is wrong with you guys?" Maybe you had to be there, but even just typing it right now I am laughing out loud. Gotta love having a 3 year old!

And another...The other night we were lazy and didn't want to cook, so we decided to take the fam to In n Out for dinner. After eating (Ben ate a WHOLE cheeseburger!), we were getting ready to leave when Josh said he needed to go potty. So I took him in the bathroom to do his thing. When we got into the stall, someone's seat guard was still on the toilet. Josh saw it and asked what it was. I told him it was a butt protector. But he must have misunderstood me and started calling it a butt-detector. Good thing we have butt detectors to tell all of us unsuspecting fools when there is a butt close by!

And yet another... Saturday mornings are usually reserved for down time, typically involving the TV. Josh likes the shows on Playhouse Disney on Saturday mornings, so we let him indulge in a little TV time. So after breakfast, Josh told Daddy he wanted to watch TV, saying he wanted to watch "business." Andrew had no idea what that meant, so he turned on Noggin which is Josh's typical channel of choice. Josh watched the first show, but when a commercial came on saying he was watching Noggin, he got very upset, and started saying "Not Noggin.... Business!" Turns out the Business Channel is the Disney Channel. I guess he's not too far off really. Isn't Disney one of the biggest conglomerate corporations in the world?

That's it for this episode of Kids Say the Darnest Things. Tune in next time for all of the hysterical hijinks coming out of the mouths of babes!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fun on the Farm

Fall is here! The weather is starting to cool down during the day, the nights are gorgeous and we're gearing up for a fun Halloween. A Fall-time must is going to a harvest festival. This year we went to Vertuccio Farms out in East Mesa. We had such a good time. This farm is a small operation, but has plenty to keep our two little guys entertained for a couple hours. Among the attractions were some small farm animals to pet (not really a petting zoo, but close enough), a "train" pulled by a tractor, old fashioned see-saws, a "pizza farm" - a circle that is sectioned off like slices of pizza with each "slice" containing a pizza ingredient, like tomato plants, pepper plants, a pig pen, etc. Ben had such a great time walking around and touching the animals. He especially loved the goats, which he kept telling us were doggies. Josh's favorite thing at the farm was the train. He got to ride in his car all by himself, and had his very own steering wheel. The first time he rode it there were only 2 other small kids on with him, and the driver went pretty slow. The second time was much later and he was on with a bunch of older kids. The driver was nervous having him on there because apparently he took it pretty fast, so he kept telling Joshua to make sure he stayed seated. But Josh was not interested in trying to get out, he had to steer his car, and he took his job very seriously! After checking everything out, we decided to try our hands, or should I say our feet, at the 3.5 mile corn maze, made in the shape of the Statue of Liberty. We walked around this maze for close to an hour. We were supposed to find 6 check points throughout the maze. It seemed just about impossible until Andrew had a brilliant idea... each checkpoint had a map of the maze, telling you where you were and where each of the checkpoints were. Andrew took a picture of the maze and was able to follow it and find all of the checkpoints, and more importantly, help us find our way out before it got dark! Josh did an awesome job, walking through about 90% of it before pooping out and asking to be carried. Ben walked some through the maze, but the ground was really uneven, so he wasn't too steady on his feet. But he did enjoy the shoulder rides! We celebrated our victory over the corn maze with hot dogs, chips and soda. Since they didn't have any lemonade or any other juice type drink, we decided to let Josh have his very first soda. The picture of him drinking it cracks me up. He looks terrified of it, but he wasn't! I think he's just not used to the bubbles, but he made that face with every swig. We tried to get some cute pictures of the kids sitting in the pumpkins, but it's hard to get them to both cooperate at the same time, so we got what we could. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. Here are some photos of our day. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kid Lottery

Andrew and I must be the luckiest parents in the world. In my opinion, we totally won the kid lottery, getting two of the best little boys we could ask for. I just wanted to take a few moments and reflect on some of the things about these two little men that make my cup runneth over!

1. Brotherly Love: Josh and Ben love each other so much. Josh is so patient with Ben, and really takes his responsibility of being a big brother very seriously. Ben wants to do everything Josh does, and loves getting his brother's hugs and kisses. It's so sweet to see Ben light up when he knows hugs or kisses are coming from big brother, and lean in for them. I know they'll go through sibling rivalry and will definitely argue and fight, but I hope that this bond between them stays strong.

2. Potty Training: I can only attest to this one with Josh, but we got off way too easy with this one. As friends were going through potty training nightmares with their 3 year olds, with regressions and loss of interest, Josh went for the potty at 27 months old and never looked back. I'm not fooling myself to think that we had much to do with that. He was just a superstar. I am also not naive enough to think it will be that easy second time around, but we can hope! =)

3. Sweet Nothings: Josh is such a sweet affectionate little guy. He will spontaneously decide that Mommy or Daddy need a kiss or and a hug and makes sure that need does not go unmet. He has so much love in his heart, and has one of the sweetest spirits I have ever known. Ben is our little cuddle bug. I hope he never gets too big to cuddle with Mommy on the couch!

4. Do as I Say: Josh is so good at following directions. We have some pretty high expectations of him, but he usually meets them, and a lot of times surprises us with even more. In the evenings, all we have to tell him is that dinner is ready, and he will turn off the TV and come in and sit down. Of course he will balk at us from time to time, but will usually end up making he right choice. We have relatively few tantrums from him, and I can't even remember the last time he had to sit in the corner. I don't even remember having to threaten the corner lately. Ben is really starting to show increased understanding of what we say to him, and is starting to follow simple directions. We hope that Josh will be a great example for his little brother and will help in teaching him to make good choices.

5. Transition, Shramsition: Both of these boys just roll with the punches. Everything we have asked of them, they have totally delivered. Josh went through lots of transitions between 1 and 2 with moving, changing bedrooms, going into a big boy bed, becoming a big brother, potty training... and he has done it all without any problems. I have spoken with friends who have not had it so easy with these types of things, and am very thankful for how easy these things have been for us. Ben is such an easy going guy. As long as he's got a full tummy (which is getting to be a difficult task!) he's good to go and can handle just about any situation he is thrown into.

Okay, I guess that's enough mushy gushing over my kids. It's just nice to have posts like this to look back at every once in a while, especially on those frustrating days when it's easy to forget that the bad days are few in the grand scheme of things.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feeling Inspired... or Maybe Just Crazy

Halloween is rapidly approaching. Before kids, I really didn't care much. It's not typically a holiday that excites me much. But kids change everything. Joshua is so excited about Halloween. He remembers trick or treating last year, and can't wait to carve/paint our pumpkin and dressing up. This is the first year that he has really understood the festivities, and has voiced his opinion about who he would like to dress up as for Halloween. This year, Josh would like to be Linny from the Wonder Pets. Linny is the Guinea Pig, and kind of the leader of the Wonder Pets. Josh decided a while back that he was going to be Linny, and that no other costume would do. So we set out to find him a Linny costume. Unbeknownst to us, Linny costumes for 3 year olds do no exist. So, I decided it was time to get creative. I started searching online for a sweatsuit that was a similar color to Linny's fur. Unfortunately, orangish brown is not a popular color for sweats, so I had to abandon that idea. So now I am on to bigger and better things. I have decided to make a Linny costume. So this weekend, we made 3 separate trips to Joann's Fabrics to buy the material to make the costume (fake fur!) and the cape, as well as a costume pattern. I borrowed my mom's sewing machine, and away I go. So I get home and open up the pattern, and am instantly overwhelmed. How on earth am I going to do this? I have no idea what half of the stuff means, and the directions are not totally for a beginner. The things a mother won't do for her little wannabe guinea pig! Thankfully my mother-in-law is very experienced in this area, so I think we will be speaking quite frequently over the next few weeks. I really hope I can pull this off. I figure that as long as the pieces get sewn together good enough to hold for a few hours, and are approximately the right size to fit him, I can deem this costume as a success. I'll post again with my progress (and most likely my frustration!) as I get going with this newest project, and of course will post a picture of the finished product. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Toddlerhood

It has really been an amazing last couple of weeks. Ben has literally taken off in his walking. He has reached full blown toddlerhood. He reached the last little milestone today. He was sitting on the floor and then stood himself up! It was the first time we had seen him do that. He apparently was pretty impressed with his new found skills, and kept doing it over and over again, so we know it wasn't a fluke. Here's a great video that Andrew took tonight of just how good he is now. We are so proud of him, and so relieved that he has finally decided to walk! I will preface this video with, yes, I know my fly is down a little... Oh well. You shouldn't be looking at me anyway! =)
video
He has reached big boy stature in other areas too. He no longer eats in a high chair at school, but sits at a little table for lunch and snack time. He is really starting to understand the things that go on around him too. Tonight he found a tissue, and tried to wipe his nose with it. At bath time, he handed Andrew the plug for the bathtub and pointed to the drain. It seems to be something new everyday. This is such a great age, filled with so much discovery. As I see Ben doing these new things, it helps me to remember those little things that I had forgotten about when Josh was this age. For instance, being fascinated with curbs, wanting to step up, step down, repeat, repeat, repeat. We just love all these new things he's doing. I can't wait to see what he does tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Jury Doody

I have spent the last 2 days down at the Maricopa County Superior Court, fulfilling my civic duty. What an experience! I got the dreaded jury summons a few weeks ago. I called the number on Friday night, hoping that my group would be excused, but of course, I was in the very first group, so I got the pleasure of attending. So, armed with a book, a magazine, a bible and plenty of water, I headed down to the courthouse on Monday morning. Usually the cases they are hearing are 3 day civil trials, like the ones I work on, so I wasn't thinking it would be that big of a deal. It might actually be a good learning experience for me given my chosen career. Then we hear the announcement. "Ladies and gentlemen, we will be calling a panel today to select a jury for a 5 week trial." What?!? I don't think so! But the only excuse they would accept to begin with was if you medically were unable to attend trial for that long a period of time. I'm thinking, why can't I still be nursing and still in pain from my car accident! But, I guess I better be careful what I wish for. Anyway, I of course was called into the 5 week trial group.

First we get to hear the allegations in this case. I won't get into details here, but let me just say that I would definitely suffer from vivid nightmares with the things that I would hear and see as a result of participating in this trial. Sitting through the voir dire process is excruciating. I was sitting in this dreary courtroom for 3 hours listening to 55 people's dirty laundry. When asked, I advised the court that I was the only employee at my office, and that I handle everything and could not be gone from work for that stretch of time. Apparently that wasn't good enough to get me excused at that point. At 4:30, the judge adjourned, instructing each of us to come back the following morning to continue jury selection. Are you kidding me? So I call my boss, and thought his head was going to explode when I told him that they were selecting for a 5 week trial. He stressed to me that I had to get out of it, that he couldn't survive without me. So I came back the next day and while answering another question requested a personal meeting with the judge and counsel. Of course they didn't do the private meetings until AFTER lunch, but when I was called into the courtroom, I just flat out requested to be excused from the case, telling them that the stress and worry about what is going on at the office would absolutely distract me from the case at hand. With that, I was dismissed. What a relief. I got out of there at about 2:30 and went back to work. My boss literally fell down on his knees when I walked in the room. It seems as though the thought of being without me for that period of time reminded him of how much he needs me. He was telling me all afternoon that I can't go anywhere (as in quit) and that he is so happy I'm here and really appreciates the work I do for him.

So all in all, I guess I know my job is secure, and I am off the hook for jury duty (at least superior court) for at least the next 2 years. I definitely thing that this process is more doody than duty!

Friday, October 03, 2008

All Done!

At 13 1/2 months, Ben is officially done nursing. It's been 5 days since he has had any milk, and he doesn't really seem to mind anymore. This is one of those bittersweet times, when I am happy to be past that part of babydom, but at the same time, I am going to miss it. I really enjoyed nursing (feels weird to say that in the past tense!), and Ben really enjoyed it too. I decided early last week that I wanted to try to get him off of that 5:00 feeding that he so stubbornly was holding onto. So I made sure our dinners were prepped and ready to just heat up when we got home so that he would be eating dinner ASAP in hopes that he would then be too full for milk. I still caved and gave him some those first few days after dinner, but after a few days he started to get the idea that milk wasn't going to be forthcoming as soon as we walked in the door, and then decided he didn't really care all that much, as long as the feeding got replaced with mucho cuddles. I think I can handle that! So that chapter of our lives is officially over. I guess now I can find out how big my boobs REALLY are! Ha ha! Is that TMI???