Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nativity

Our ward had "A night in Bethlehem" last night, and it was a blast. There were booths set up all around the gym with different items for sale for a penny. We were given a sack of pennies on our way in, so we had plenty to buy our dinners, after taxes of course. Benjamin was so excited to go and buy his cheese. Here's the little shepherd boy. We had to tell him he was dressing like David or Samuel from his favorite scripture stories for this to work.
And as the family with the newest baby in the ward, we were asked to be in the live nativity. I was dressed as a very Catholic looking Mary, and we all enjoyed gazing lovingly at our baby while everyone sang beautiful Christmas songs. Fortunately Peter slept in heavenly peace the entire time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two-and-a-Half

Benjamin is officially 2 ½ as of yesterday. I’ve been saying the spacing between Benjamin and Peter is great because we’re just lumping together all of the effects of having a new baby and all the joys of Benjamin being 2 ½ and getting it over with, but it really has been challenging. I feel guilty most days because I know how much our relationship has changed since having Peter, and I’m definitely not as patient with him as I used to be.

Benjamin used to be the perfect child who could do no wrong (second children are good for the firstborn as well as the parents, don't you think?). He was adorable, sweet, obedient and good. Now he’s obstinate and extremely independent, unless he decides that either Paul or I need to do something for him. I find myself expecting more from him because he’s “big” now, but I know it’s probably unreasonable for me to do so. I have to keep reminding myself he is only 2 ½. He’s regressed a little with his potty training too. This morning, I asked him probably 10 times to go to the bathroom before he finally wet his second pair of pants of the day, right in front of the potty.

As frustrating as my little Benjamin can be, he forgives and forgets all of my less-than-stellar moments. He’s a sweet boy with a huge heart, and I learn a lot from him. He is smart and so imaginative and fun. I feel so lucky to be the mother of this amazing little boy.

This morning as he was using all of his usual tactics to get us out of bed (i.e. trying to injure Peter), Paul finally said to him, “That makes Mommy and Daddy really sad when you do that. And it makes Jesus sad…And Santa Claus,” to which Benjamin quickly replied, “No, only Santa Claus.” We’re still trying to teach him to understand the real meaning of Christmas. :)

He is obsessed with this book we got at the library about Santa Claus called “The Christmas Bear.” It really does have fantastic illustrations and the story line is pretty cute, but I’ve read it probably at least a dozen times every day since we got it. This afternoon as we were reading it, he got so frustrated because he couldn’t “skidoo” into the page (if you haven’t ever seen “Blue’s Clues,” Steve and Blue “skidoo” into pictures and books on every episode). He was saying “Blue skidoo, you can too!” and jumping and making the right sound effects, but to no avail. So we had to pretend to “skidoo” into the pictures and play with all the cool toys.

Hopefully if he’s really good this year, Santa Claus will bring Benjamin a “fon-un,” or “fire engine,” in case you didn’t catch that. And if I’m good this year, maybe two-and-a-half will fly by!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Some Videos of the Boys

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Here's a boring newborn video. We were trying to capture Peter's terrific gutteral goat grunt but couldn't get more than a couple of coos out of him.

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"It's a cyclone experiment!" Benjamin saw this on Blues Clues, and was stoked when Paul brought two bottles home to try it out.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanksgiving...A Week Post-Date

I'm finally getting around to posting about Thanksgiving! We had a wonderful time. Paul had work off from Wednesday through Friday, so we drove up to Indianapolis on Wednesday morning to spend a few days with Paul's cousins and Grandma. It was a four hour drive, which turned out to be perfect. Benjamin was able to entertain himself almost the entire time, and Peter slept with one break to eat. It was great to get out of St. Louis for a few days and just take a break from normal life. Paul's cousin Adrea and her husband Josh were awesome and made their first Thanksgiving dinner for a group of eight, plus two toddlers. We provided our measly contribution by making the rolls and some pumpkin bread. Grandma was appalled that we threw out the neck and giblets...apparently they're supposed to be used in the gravy. But as far as I was concerned, everything tasted great! Thanks again, everyone!


Those are the satisfied faces of those who stuck around after the meal for a fun game. We all wrote one thing we were grateful for, and Grandma read them all aloud for us to guess. I was pretty proud of the fact that I stumped everyone with "gas heat." They all thought it was Josh, who had actually written "fossil fuels." Everyone guessed Paul's right away though. His was "proximity."

Paul and me.
Paul's other cousin Maddy and her husband Seth decorated the table and came up with the game. Here's Seth making butter after salt was accidentally used in place of sugar in the whipping cream.
Maddy is an awesome photographer and took a bunch of pictures of Henry and Benjamin playing together. Henry is just two months younger than Benjamin, so they had a great time together when they weren't grappling over a toy or knocking each other down. I'm pretty sure they're both much more affable to lady friends. :)

Henry was so sweet to Peter. He even let him hang out in his beloved chair during our stay! Here's Benjamin pretending to fawn over his baby brother like Henry. Since we've been home of course, it's been a different story. Good thing we can use Santa as a discipline tactic now! I wish I could say that it works all the time, but I'm usually giving Benjamin "time outs" every 15 minutes or so towards the end of the day, when he's had just about enough of me nursing and holding Peter.
So anyways, I'm thankful for all of you! We really do feel blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. Happy December, or "kimmih-time" as Benjamin would put it.