Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring at its Finest

You should see our driveway right now. It looks like a tree sneezed on it. The green powder coating isn't just sprinkled on, there are actually streaks that make it look like it was applied with some force. So I've been sneezing a lot lately too, but I don't mind. It's SO warm! I'm loving the weather these days. I was even motivated enough yesterday to take a walk beyond my normal boundaries, venturing across the busy intersection to a park about a mile away from our house.

I've been wanting to exercise on a regular basis for some time now, and I figure it might actually happen if Benjamin knows there's something in it for him (i.e. the playground). He'll be my coach. I've also been really inspired by Paul, who has been going to the gym regularly at work and has made some impressive progress. I'd really just like to be in shape again. So I'm setting a goal to be able to run to the park (pushing the 50 lbs. of kids + the stroller, which probably weighs a good 30 lbs.) in half the time it took me to walk it, so 10 minutes. I think that's a reasonable goal, and now that it's in writing, it might just happen.

The boys in the stroller, happy to be out for a walk.

Benjamin was running around aimlessly through the park with the biggest grin on his face, SO happy to be outside. Haha...You think we get out enough?! :)

We also hit up a library book sale yesterday, which was a lot of fun. I got a bunch for Benjamin and Peter, and a few for Paul and me for about $1.00 each, and they're all in really great condition! I also bought some old piano duets for Paul and me. When we moved here, Paul couldn't read music, and now he sight-reads most pieces with both hands! So I thought it was time we started playing together.

This afternoon, Paul made us a delicious quiche Lorraine with Gruyere cheese, and we set out for a picnic at the park. Benjamin's head was already dripping with sweat when we got there because he insisted on sitting in the car for a long time before we left.
Peter is loving the warm weather too. His eczema has finally decided to give his poor cheeks a break!
We didn't end up staying long (or even playing on the playground) because Benjamin requested to go home and take a nap. He's a very routine-oriented kid, and was exhausted from missing his nap yesterday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Half Birthday!

I've decided that Peter's half birthday is as good excuse as any to play "Who does he look like?" You can vote on the side if you want.



...or Paul?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baby Steps

So guess what. I just drank my first glass of "cow milk" (as Benjamin would put it) today. I feel so bold and liberated.

My family was generally raised dairy free, and I fully believed that I was allergic to milk until I was about 21. That's when I introduced cheese, ice cream and yogurt into my diet and my real passion for food began. Still, I could never bring myself to actually drink a glass of milk or put it on my cereal. But this last grocery trip, I bought a container of Ovaltine for Benjamin. I tried a glass too and it was surprisingly silky delicious. I think I might even be able to try it on cereal now! Soy milk is about double the price of milk, so we'll be saving a bit of money. I feel great, and yes, I am a freak.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Almost-Three-Year-Old

Benjamin is now 34 months. I'm not sure if it's his approaching third birthday (he's steadily moving away from 2 1/2!!) or Peter's recent sitting up (which frees me up tremendously! I love, love, LOVE this stage) but I have been enjoying (almost) every minute with my big boy. He really is a lot of fun. He often asks me if I'm happy, tells me he loves me, and says we're best friends. He likes to pull me down to the floor randomly and give me big hugs. He even takes his responsibility to "help Peter be happy" more seriously these days while Mommy is busy.
So here's a post, dedicated to him. This way, I won't forget some of the little details that made him so endearing at this age.

Benjamin still loves his games, especially Candy Land. He's doing much better at following the rules lately.
I guess he must have gotten it from Blue's Clues, but Benjamin is really into "contraptions" like pulleys, ramps and see-saws. He actually uses those words in context too. Like instead of calling the cord on the blinds a string, he calls it a pulley. I know I didn't teach him that one. This is a fun ramp game that he likes. He rolls these cylindrical blocks down the slide and tries to make them into the bread pans at the bottom. Then he counts how many missed, and how many made it into each of the pans.
Benjamin likes to talk a lot about what's "good for our bodies." He loves checking out books from the library that are all about bodies. During dinner, he'll often start explaining that a certain food "helps our body to be strong and it gives us energy." For breakfast, he'll choose Grape Nuts over any other cereal on the table, which is weird to me because even I won't eat Grape Nuts very often.
The only place he likes to be naked is in the tub, because as he often reminds me, he has to wear a shirt so he "won't get sunburned" and pants and underpants because "we have to be modest." I might have told him about sunburns last summer, but he never forgot. Nevermind that we're in the house all day, OUT of the sun! :)
He gets so excited to go on any outing with me. We went to the fire station last week, and you would have thought it was Christmas. He was an angel, anticipating for days the fun he'd have there! If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, without hesitation, he'll answer, "a fireman!"
We also went to the pet shop on a whim last week, and now he talks all about "Marshmallow" the white cat. It was by far his favorite pet there!
He memorizes books, so I have to be careful about how I read them. I was reading his current favorite, "The Best Mistake Ever," by Richard Scarry, and accidentally left out a line at the end. He stopped me, and "reread" the last two pages back to me, word for word.
I've only recently started noticing how often he quotes from his books too. The other day, he was pretending to fly on an airplane and to to Grandma and Grandpa Cannon's house. When he got there (the destination was apparently in the lower half of his bedroom closet) he had to make sure he had everything there with him. Books, pull-ups, pajamas, toys, puzzles, games, boxes...Then he excitedly told me how much he loves their house because it is full of "wonderful toys to play with and good food to eat" ("The Little Engine That Could," by Watty Piper). It's true.

We have funny conversations all day long, like about who he's going to marry. He says he's going to marry Mary Joyce because Kennedy died. I had to inform him that Kennedy moved about 1/2 hour away and that she's not dead, but it's still Mary Joyce that he's into. I guess he can't do long distance relationships or something.

So I really can't take credit for this fun, bright little boy. I just feel lucky to be the Mommy.

Easter Festivities

We had a little Easter egg hunt in our backyard with a few friends this year. Last year, we had the hunt at Megan's house. It was the last year these three friends could do it since Megan is moving this summer. They also colored eggs and played games. We had a good time.

Benjamin was excited to get a whiffle ball and bat for Easter this year. Peter was excited to get some fake grass.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Please Bless the Scary Bugs

I took the boys to the Butterfly House yesterday. It's free on the first Tuesday of the month so that's about as often as we go. The last time we went was actually about two months ago, and the butterfly atrium was closed for yearly pruning and maintenance. All we saw that time were the "scary bugs" in their cages. Since that visit, Benjamin made sure to "please bless the scary bugs" in every prayer he said, and constantly talked about going back after they "fixed the trees."

Here he is, in awe of the "scary bugs." I don't know if you can tell, but those giant snake-like things in there are millipedes.
I loved the wonderment in both their faces as we entered the butterfly atrium. I also loved how my camera immediately fogged up when we stepped into the 85-degree, humid air.
Benjamin brought along his magnifying glass for the excursion so he could better examine the butterflies.
Cute, cute Peter.
Checking out another specimen.
Peter was excited to get out of the stroller and have a bit more sensory stimulation.
Don't worry, the butterfly did get away in time.
I love this kid.
Benjamin was terrified that a butterfly might actually land on him, so I caught this picture before he found out about it.
This is how he felt when I showed him the picture of the butterfly on his back on the camera. He wanted to leave immediately.
Isn't this butterfly cool? Also, notice Peter's sweet new kicks. They're his "Peter Pirate" shoes. Benjamin had similar shoes when he was a baby, but his had dragons on them. I have a weird thing for baby shoes.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


This morning I had one of those dreams where I was looking and looking for something, but could never find it. It was exhausting. I was roaming around in a church parking lot with some old friends, but I could not find my motorcycle anywhere in the sea of cars (note: I have never owned a motorcycle, nor do I plan to). I saw one with a car seat strapped to it, but that one was definitely not mine.

I think I need some more adventure and excitement in my life....without the kids.

(I Google-Imaged "motorcycle" and "car seat," but couldn't find any pictures of a car seat strapped to a motorcycle. Good thing!)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

"I LOVE Conference!"

I've always loved General Conference, maybe because I've always loved traditions. I'm glad my parents made it a big deal in our home. We didn't have cable growing up, so we watched all four sessions at the church. On Saturday, we'd bring our buckets of legos and constructs and paper and pencils to the Relief Society room and draw and play while we listened. Then between sessions, we'd always get pizza for lunch. On Sundays, we'd watch it in the dark chapel. I remember trying to position myself under one of the spotlights on the side so I could draw the speakers while I listened. For one of the Sunday sessions, we'd go to my Grandma's chapel, where she always had little bags of treats for us. Later when I was in college, my siblings and I would drive to my Grandma's house, and sometimes spend the weekend up there to watch.Now that we have kids and are on our own, we're trying to figure out what traditions we want our kids to grow up with. I know our kids are still tiny, but it's still something I think about. I found a great idea in last month's Ensign that I used. Benjamin was so excited about the "game," and was saying all morning, "I LOVE Conference!" anxiously waiting for it to start. I just set out a bunch of objects that I knew would be key words and a few bowls of candy. Then Benjamin had to see if he could hear them say any of those words so he could have one. He listened for a little while, but mainly just worked on his puzzles and colored. The fact that he let us listen was enough for me! Peter was content to lay near us and play with toys. We were lucky naptime for both of them fell right during the second session, because I think our "game" had lost its magic by then. I'm interested to hear what others have done and what's worked.

The key words I used were Jesus, key, bread, Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, family, tree, prophet, rock, and temple. Paul and I were good listeners too and got lots of candy. :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Last night I made this broccoli cheddar soup, not expecting anything spectacular, but Paul could not stop raving about it. It really was good! And the bonus? It has a lot more vegetables in it than we normally eat at one meal. It was delicious with biscuits. I use this recipe website all the time. I knew Lara and her family from Virginia, and then her brother married my cousin. Small world, isn't it?

In other news, Peter finally had his 4 month checkup (remember when his two month well checkup was postponed because they found he had RSV? Good times...) and is growing well. We got a whole new arsenal of eczema advice, so we'll see if any of it works better. He is 17 lbs. 7 oz. (65%) and 26 3/4 in. long (78%). He's a champ at eating solids and any other objects that happen to be within reach. Peter is just excited about life!