Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ben is 2.5 years old!

In some ways the second child is easier than the first.  As parents, we are more confident and knowledgeable with Ben than we were with his big brother.  However, each child is different, and our sweet Ben definitely challenges us as parents!  He is energetic, into everything, and prone to mood swings.  He is also more of a cuddler than his big brother, and has the sweetest manner of speech.  There isn't much that brings more joy to my heart than hearing him say, "Thanks, mama!"

Some stats:
Clothes: mostly 4T
Shoes: Size 7
Diapers: Size 5.  Not much interest in the potty yet.
Weight: 37 pounds
Height: 37 inches

Likes: Blowing bubbles,

Dislikes: doctors offices or anything resembling them

Speech: Ben is learning new words every day!  He is also starting to put words together more often.  He definitely took his time to start talking, but now he's really taking off!

Interests: Ben has taken a fancy to airplanes!  He loves to point them out during car trips.

Some pictures:

Doing some art at preschool.

Silly boy!

Ben discovered that the dog door is really fun!

Fun at Kindermusik!

That slide static can be brutal.

Ben was so funny during the Easter Egg Hunt at our church.  The eggs were not filled (you were supposed to trade in your empty eggs for a prize bag at the end). but he was NOT impressed with the empty eggs! 

Swings are so much fun!

We have great friends.

Those are some hyped up boys in the backseat!

Such a handsome fella!

A family picture at Daytona Beach!

He loves a good messy snack!

We had some portraits taken of the boys over the summer.  As soon as we got there Ben completely freaked out and I thought there was no way that we were going to get a good picture of him.  That photographer was a miracle worker!

Summer fun!

Hiking with Pappy and Gigi in the Great Smokey Mountains!

This is the first time that Ben met his newest cousin, Anna.  It was long overdue!

Boy is it hard to get a good picture of a group of youngsters!  This is all of my parent's grandchildren.

We cherish the time that we get to spend with family!

First day of school, August 2017.  Ben is attending preschool at our church this year.

My beautiful boys.

We weathered Hurricane Irma with little damage, thankfully.  Grandma and Grandpa stayed with us, along with their cat.  It was nice to have a few extra hands to handle all the energy that comes along with two little boys!

We were without power for two days after Hurricane Irma - at some point during the power outage the light switch in Ben's room got flipped on, so when power was restored during naptime, the light came on in his room.  He slept for his normal naptime even with the light on!

Ice cream is cooooold!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Eli is Five Years Old!

Five feels so grown-up to this mama!  Eli has become so much more independent in his fifth year of life.  He is energetic, inquisitive, talkative, impulsive at times, empathetic, and brilliant.  He is learning what it means to be a big brother and usually treats Ben well.  Five is an enjoyable age in lots of ways, and we are often entertained by what we call "Eli-isms"- some of our favorites are when he says he has a "head-ick" (Headache) and when he asks for "Makeup syrup" on his panckes.

Some stats:
Height: 44 inches
Weight: 38 lbs
Clothes: size 5T.  We need the 5's in pants for the length but we have to pull the elastic tabs in all of his pants ALLLLL the way in - he is a skinny guy!  There have been times when he's accidentally put on his little brother's 3T shorts without noticing.
Shoes: Size 12.

Likes: playing with cars, trucks and any sort of vehicle (especially his Hot Wheels), playing outside, telling "jokes" (they don't make much sense yet, but he's starting to understand the concept of humor), watching TV (Power Rangers, Ninjago, Paw Patrol), bathtime, playing with big kids, playing on his tablet.

Dislikes: new experiences (he can go either way on them), fulfilling a non-desirable request, being still.  He has made a LOT of progress on tolerating haircuts!

Food: Eli is very thin but is generally a good eater, sometimes eating a lot in one sitting and sometimes not as much. His favorites include: carrots, green peas, chicken nuggets, lunchmeat and cheese, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, yogurt, pretty much any kind of fruit....he will generally try new foods but usually doesn't enjoy them until he tries them several times.  He enjoys helping in the kitchen.

New Developments: the biggest change in Eli's life this year was definitely starting preschool.  He started out going for half the day (until lunchtime), and when mom went back to teaching he started staying for the full day.  He loved going to school for half the day but had a hard time adjusting to the longer full day.  He made great strides in his learning.  He knows all of his letters and the sounds and can count to 20 reliably.  His handwriting is improving rapidly and he can form most letters and numbers.

Some pictures of Eli's fifth year of life:

Picking blueberries with the ever-youthful Great-Grandma Lynda.

We ordered the "large" sub sandwich for Eli and mom to split.  We didn't know just how LARGE it would be!  Sometime's this kid's face slays me.

Florida babies at the beach!  Saint Augustine, Florida.

Cousins.  Only a month apart and so much love between them!

Joie De Vivre - this kid has it!

Eli has started to dabble with taking pictures.  We'll work on it.

The only time this kid is still!

I love this picture!  With grandma at the library (it got a little intense).

Eli got to see where Grandpa works!

First day of pre-K!  

Doing a little yoga with mom.

Choosing a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch.

Funhouse mirror shenanigans at a children's museum.

This guy's personality just bubbles over sometimes!  This is the pose he chose when I asked him to let me take a picture of him on a hike on North Carolina.

Lighting the Advent wreath with dad.  When he learned that Christmas Eve had finally come, he said "Oh boy, I finally get to light the red candle!"  What is it with little boys and playing with fire??

Happiness is having friends who take the time to play lightsabers with my kids.

With mom's parents (aka Pappy and Gigi)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ben is Two Years Old!

We celebrated Ben's second birthday with much thankfulness.  Our lives have been undergoing a lot of change as of late, and Ben has adjusted well to all of them.  Ben is a delight to our family, is learning to be a good playmate to his big brother, and is changing fast!  

Some stats on our big boy:
Weight: 35 lbs
Height: 35 inches
Clothes: 2T
Shoes: 5
Diaper: cloth and size 5

Likes: stamps, imitating big brother, opening the refrigerator and dishwasher (we're working on that!), clapping and saying yay

Dislikes: being told no, haircuts, new Foods, having his hair washed

Stages: Ben is at that stage where he gets ahead of himself while walking fast and will wipe out quite dramatically. He also is at the echo stage - he will say words back to you when you say them to him.

Food: Ben has proved to be a picky eater. Although big brother Eli went through a picky stage at this age, it was never as severe. We are hoping that our policy of continuing to offer him foods and encouraging him to try new foods will work like it did with big brother!   Ben's favorite food is definitely chicken nuggets. I think he would eat chicken nuggets and applesauce for every meal if we let him!  He also likes veggie straws, which we discovered from school.

Sleep: Ben usually naps for 1.5-2 hours after lunch, a schedule he follows at school as well. Bedtime is at 7:00 and he usually sleeps until 6:30-7 the next day. This is one thing we definitely like better versus the newborn stage!

One of the biggest pieces of news in Ben's life is that he started attending preschool when mom and dad both started teaching. He was enrolled in the one-year old class at the same school as Eli and finished out the school year there. He did surprisingly well adjusting to this big change in his life. It took about a week for him to be comfortable with being dropped off, and another two weeks to be comfortable with being picked up. It was like he would suddenly remember that we had been gone all day once he saw us approaching!

Some pictures from Ben's second year:

Sitting on a lawn mower at Home Depot with a fresh temporary tattoo - life is good!

Mommy and Ben both love a good tire swing!

Blueberry picking.

At Cousin April's wedding in May 2016.

Ben loves his Aunt Em and all of his cousins!

Two cool dudes.

Love that belly!

With Grandma and Grandpa.

Little ones look so angelic when they sleep!

Playing on the beach in Saint Augustine.  He sat on the sand and let the waves lap over him - he loved it!

Yep, this one's mine. Notice the stitches on his nose from an ill-fated attempt to climb out of the bathtub.

Ben started attending Kindermusik classes in the fall.  They are a bit chaotic but lots of fun!  

Fall 2016 at the pumpkin patch.

With Pappy and Gigi.

He loves his puppies!  Both of our dogs are so good with the boys - and for that we are grateful!

Opening up a Christmas present with daddy.  He loved ripping wrapping paper this year!

He'll be driving for real before we know it!

When this look comes out, you just KNOW he's up to something!

The wonder of childhood!

It's hard to resist this face!