Sunday, April 30, 2017

Benjamin is 19 Months

Does anybody know where my baby went? I've been looking all over but it seems like someone sneaked into Ben's room one night and replaced him with this big kid!

Ben's 19th month brought lots of fun, mostly in the way of new words! Lots of them. I would guess he's probably up to around 80 words and adding new ones every day. Some of the cutest things he's currently saying are: "amen!" after we pray, "yeah!" as a response to questions like "did you have fun at school today?" and "Hi Mama! Hi Dada! Hi Jack Jack! Hi Andwew!" He says hi to each one of us in turn and will keep repeating it until you say hi back. He has certainly found his voice and discovered that it's fun to be LOUD. He knows a lot of his colors and is also starting to try to sing his ABCs.

I just can't get over his hair! Bald baby no more! But all that hair is definitely a big part of why he suddenly looks so much older! He also added another tooth this month, his lower right canine, so now we are just waiting on one more to complete his mouthful minus the molars. 

Ben discovered his love for that furry red monster Elmo this month, when he was sick and Grammy and Pop were here to take care of him. When he finally slowed down long enough to really watch it, he decided that he enjoyed it quite a lot! Now he will frequently bring us the remote and point at the tv and say "ELMO!"

Like most 19 month olds, he is busy busy busy. He loves being outside, climbing and carousing with the big boys. He loves any activity that involves filling and dumping and pouring. We will get out the water table soon and I know he's going to love that.

The only moments when he slows down is when we are reading to him. He still loves books and will let us read to him for as long we want. He is an increasingly interactive listener, pointing to the characters or objects in the book, telling me about other things he sees on the pages, prompting me to speed up through certain pages and repeat others. It's fun to see his wheels turning as he makes new and increasingly complex connections with his world.

Happy 19 Months, precious boy!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fabulous Firsties at the Zoo

I was lucky enough to get to take a day off work to accompany Jackson's class on their field trip to the zoo! 

Thankfully he was much happier about me being there in general than he was about taking this picture! Stinker!
Mom and Jackson taking a selfie together with Jackson wrinkling up his nose

Here's one to check off the ol' bucket list: navigating a zoo with 18 6-7 year olds! It was about as relaxing as you might imagine!
18 first graders posing together in front of a buffalo

several children and a teacher lined up along a fence looking at an elephant

He found a stick. Because of course he did.
Jackson standing with a large stick of bamboo in his hand that is taller than he is.

The jaguar is always a favorite!

Jackson sitting next to a glass enclosure with a sleeping jaguar on the other side. The jaguar has one of his paws pressed against the glass and Jackson has his hand pressed against the glass over the jaguar's paw, as if comparing the size.
The firsties made a very quick trip through the zoo and then the class made their way back to the bus to make it back to school on time. Jackson wanted to go back to see a few animals again that we had rushed through the first time, so since I drove my own car, we stayed and basically walked the zoo twice. 

A collage picture with 3 separate images: A lion, Jackson standing with a cougar behind him, and a giraffe

What a fun day with my fabulous firstie!
Jackson sliding through a clear slide with an otter swimming over him.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sweet Andrew

Aren't some of the sweetest things in the middle? The cream in an oreo cookie, the jelly in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and sweet middle brothers. Our Andrew is certainly as sweet as they come.

Sweet and silly...and a big fan of the selfie!

Like a lot of middles, it's sometimes easy for him to get a little lost in the shuffle. It's been on our hearts recently to carve out extra time for him.

Little things go a long way...a special lunch date in the middle of the day with just mom and dad...

...15 minutes in the evening to play any game he wants, and learning new things about him. Things like he can set up Mouse Trap by himself in less time than it takes me!

Even just a trip to the grocery store with just the two of us gives me the chance to hear his thoughts and ideas with no interruptions and no competition...

He really loves his "special time" with mom or dad at the end of the day, snuggling up to read the books he alone picks. 

These tiny efforts on our part are huge to him, but truly, we are all reaping the benefits. For my boy who says "I love you mama" about a hundred times a day, may you always know just how special, valued and treasured you are to us!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mischievous Benny

Me: "Benny, you're not supposed to be standing on the back of the couch, get down from there!" 

Benjamin: *mischievous cackle from the other side of the sink*

Me: "Benny, you know you're not supposed to be up there!"

Benjamin: *delighted giggle*

Me: "No, no, leave the faucet alone!"

Benjamin: "Wawa!"

Me: "No, no water, no no no!"

*More delighted giggles*

Cute little stinker!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter at the Cabin in the Woods

Jackson was relieved to make it back in time from Papa John and Granny's Easter Party to play with all of his crawfish "friends" before they met their fate in the boiling pot. He had been looking forward to and talking about crawfish for weeks! 

Andrew is still a bit hesitant to pick them up but Jackson and the crawfish are regular buddies.

I think I have a picture from at least the last three years of Jackson tormenting poor Evie with a crawfish!

Sorry Jackson, we boiled all your friends and ate them! Jackson and Andrew both ate them enthusiastically this year too. The process was way too slow for Andrew so he lost interest pretty quickly. Jackson hung in there longer and peeled quite a few for himself.

After crawfish, the ladies went for our traditional trip into town for mani/pedis. Once back at the Cabin in the Woods, it was pinata time! All the kids got some whacks in!

Jackson took pinata whacking very seriously!

It was a tough pinata! Pop finished it off and all the kids swooped in for their loot. While everyone was distracted, Ben grabbed some beads and a sucker, took the paper off the sucker and found a place to sit and enjoy it before anyone could tell him no!

An egg toss contest followed, and I teamed up in two different rounds with each of my big boys. They don't catch very well, but they also don't throw very hard, so we managed to hang in there for quite a while!

The next morning we were all up early to head to church to celebrate our risen Lord!

 My sister and I don't always get all dressed up when we're together, but when we do, we make sure our dresses coordinate!

I'm 5'6 so I'm not really all that tall, but among the women my family I'm a veritable Amazon!

All those smiles were brought to you by the promise of Easter baskets for boys that cooperate!

Everyone found a few things in the basket that absolutely delighted them!

Benjamin was excited about Elmo but it was the book that he brought to his daddy to read to him right away. He loves books!

After church, we had a delicious lunch and then our egg hunt.

They love the eggs full of candy and trinkets, but it's the confetti eggs that are the real prize! Don't worry, there were plenty to go around...I think we had 8 dozen!

After all the churching, eating, and egg hunting, we had a very tired, cranky little boy on our hands. He lasted about 2 minutes in Pop's arms before giving in to a well-earned nap!

When we arrived home, I carried an armload of stuff up to the boys' room and opened the door to this scene. I guess Jackson wanted to protect his room? =)

I hope you all had a wonderful celebration of your own!