Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Swimming

Benjamin is now a Certified Shrimp! He finished his swimming class last week, and really enjoyed it. The class make-up was kind of interesting. Most kids (18 mos.-3 yrs.) were there with a nanny or grandparent, or if they were with their mom, they were an only child. And if they had a sibling, the sibling was with a babysitter. So I felt a little out of place, juggling my two little boys (hence the lack of pictures), but we had a good time and no one drowned!

This weekend, we took a little road trip up to Indianapolis to visit Paul's cousin Adrea and her family. Peter's new convertible car seat we ordered arrived just in time for him to break it in right. He's getting so big!
On Saturday, we went to an organic farm and saw some chickens and cows. Here's Mr. Henry and Benjamin. They are close in age but have very different personalities. Despite their differences, they're getting to be good friends!
We lucked out and had Paul's Grandma there too. She was visiting Adrea for a few weeks, so we were delighted that our little trip coincided with hers. Strangely GG (Great Grandma) has only blue-eyed great-grandsons so far despite a good bunch of brown-eyed parents in the mix.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Five Years

Today marks the day when Paul and I met five years ago, and I am happy to say, life has only gotten better. I love you, Paul!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Submarine

Once upon a time, Benjamin and Peter climbed into a submarine and closed the door. The submarine went down, down, down into the ocean, and Benjamin and Peter looked out the window. They saw hundreds of fishes and giant turtles. They wished they could get out and go swimming with the dolphins. Then they saw a sting ray and a shark, and they were glad to be safe in their submarine. Benjamin helped Peter so that he wouldn't get scared; the sharks couldn't get them in there! They saw giant whales that were even bigger than their submarine, and at the very bottom of the ocean, they saw fishes that glowed in the dark. But then Benjamin and Peter wanted to go home, so they went back up to the surface and climbed out. They were glad they could see so many neat things and stay safe in their submarine.

Over the past few days, I've told dozens of silly stories like this to Benjamin. He usually runs off after the first sentence to grab appropriate props and will role play along with the story as I tell it. I make them up as I go along, and they usually include elements that I know he gets excited about, like baseball, camping, swimming, playing in the snow, fire fighting, trucks and diggers, trains, going to grandma's, going to the beach, going in a rocket ship, etc. He even prefers hearing these stories to reading his books, which is a first. What I'm loving though, is the fact that he's starting to refer to Peter as his buddy. Today in the car, he said to a tired and frustrated little brother, "It's OK, Peter. You don't need to cry. I'm your best friend!" Each morning, Benjamin is the first to go to Peter's bed to entertain him and keep him happy until one of us can get up. They've come up with a chasing game where I hold Peter's hands and he "walks," following Benjamin to his bed. Then Peter "jumps" on top of Benjamin and they giggle and giggle. It's so much fun to watch this budding friendship, and in some small ways, help to nurture it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I was just noting to Paul today how rare a thing it is for a guy (I guess old or young) to want to be a dad of a big family, the sole breadwinner, help out around the house and be silly with his kids. I think it's fairly common in Mormon culture, but still a very rare quality among men. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have found such a catch. Thank you Paul for being such a wonderful father to our two boys! I also want to thank my wonderful father and father-in-law; they are both remarkable men!

I taught Benjamin his middle name this week. He was excited to know that his middle name came from Paul's Dad's line, and that Peter's middle name came from my Dad's line. I hope we can raise our two boys to live up to the great legacies these men left. I hope they'll grow up to be good fathers, just like their dad and the fathers who have come before us. This world sure needs them!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Peter's Post

I feel like my almost-eight-month-old has been out of the spotlight for long enough, so here's a tribute to my little sweet Pete. Peter is about as delightful and cuddly as they come. He is pretty easy going, but he's just starting to show strong preferences for me. He will sometimes shriek, I believe with jealousy, when Benjamin runs to my arms, crying for comfort. Peter has no problem playing by himself, though, and often does. He is getting stronger and stronger every day, and really wants to be mobile. He loves to be tickled, and thinks it's hilarious when I play "Where's Peter?" with him.

He has these funny little indented eyebrows that look almost cartoonish when he's wide-eyed, and his hair has been getting fluffier and redder. I, of course, think he's adorable- even with his characteristic pacifier-induced eczema patches. Benjamin took this picture. You can just ignore me in it, but I think it captures our relationship well.

The fist time we took him to the pool, he could not stop giggling. He loved it!

This picture reminds me of one we have of Benjamin when he was about a year old at the pool. Pure joy!Unlike Benjamin, however, Peter loves the splashing water area and doesn't mind getting his face wet (perhaps it's because Benjamin dumps water all over him during baths?). Anyways, I signed Benjamin up for a two-week swimming class, starting tomorrow. I'm hoping it will ease some of his water-related inhibitions. Or maybe Peter could teach him lessons in bravery. This kid has no fear!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Happy Birthday, Benjamin!

It's hard to believe we have a three-year-old already, but it's also hard to imagine life without Benjamin in it. Benjamin made us parents on June 9, 2006. He has filled our lives with lots of laughs and pure sunshine ever since. We love him!

We celebrated Benjamin's third Birthday on Saturday so we could have a nice, long celebration with the whole family. We went to go see the new Disney-Pixar movie, "Up," which was a lot of fun. We mainly just hung out and played.

He loves his (old) new table and chair set we got for him. He eats most of his meals and plays at it all the time! It's perfect.
I realized something funny as I was hanging the red, yellow and blue decorations up for his birthday, and had a good laugh at myself...I'm a bigger freak than I thought. Subconsciously, I have always associated the primary colors with Benjamin and the secondary colors with Peter. Peter's room has orange and green accents, and Benjamin's has red, yellow and blue. Hmmm....
Benjamin had a funny request for his birthday cake this year. He wanted a "pink one with white all around it," just like Huckle's from his favorite book.

I couldn't argue with that! It was the easiest cake I've ever made. My Mom was nice enough to send these cute little race car candle holders, which I think gave it a nice, masculine touch. :)

Benjamin has already mowed the lawn for us several times since he got his new bubble lawn mower. That was the one present we let him pick out for himself from the store this year.

video

Happy Birthday, Benjamin!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Three Years Old!

Our big boy is three years old! A little flashback of birthdays past...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Changing Things Up

Just so you are aware, we're changing things up a bit to create some anonymity. We tried making our blog private, but we obviously gave up on that a while ago. Our new title will be "Green Bluebirds" (greenbluebirds.blogspot.com) since we're relatively new Missourians (our state bird is the bluebird), homeowners, parents, etc. It's deep, I know.
I know how to change the web address, but I'm not sure how to redirect it from the old address. So I'm not switching over just yet. If you know how, let me know!

Monday, June 01, 2009

I get it.

I've been having frequent flashbacks to a conversation we had with our buyer's agent, Lynn, almost two years ago. She was mentioning various places in the area that we could go during "suicide hour," the late afternoon before Daddy got home. In my naive, new-mom state, I pretended to agree and accept her advice, but really brushed it off. My child took afternoon naps, and it was only about an hour after he woke up before Paul got home. I could handle an hour.

I've been fighting an uphill battle for weeks now, trying to hold on for dear life to Benjamin's naps, but to no avail. He's done. When he does nap, he sits in bed until 9:30 or 10 before he goes to sleep, and is a mess the next day.

I guess my real issue with this whole no-nap thing is me. That was the only time I had to just be Sarah, and not Mommy. That's when I'd read, or blog, or do my projects. That's when I'd regroup. It's not the same enforcing "quiet time," because he's constantly popping out to check on me. He's pretty good about giving me an hour or so to do my thing, but after that, there's at least three hours where he requires my full attention and energy. Thus, "suicide hour(s)." Even if I am playing with him, I'll hear "Mommy, will you play with me?" all day long. It's pretty draining. Another recent habit that he has is asking "Mommy, are you happy?" all day long. This question comes more frequently when he knows he's done something he shouldn't, which makes it hard not to say "Yes, Mommy's happy." through gritted teeth.

That's the way it goes though. You think you have this motherhood business down, and a new phase will inevitably throw you off. It's a constant readjustment. If it weren't for this repeated stretching and pushing, I'd never develop into the person I know I need to be. I'd still be that new mom, thinking I know everything. And I guess as I've lost my sense of self over and over, and tried to find it over and over, it's been good. I've become a little more patient, a little more flexible, and a little more understanding. I can't wait for the teenage years...but by then I'll probably be a saint, right?