Monthly Archives: June 2009

15 months











And you thought I’d forgotten about Ben’s 15th month update.  After all, he did just turn 16 months old (on June 26th).  Well, here it is…a quick recap of Ben’s 15th month.

Ever since Ben began eating solid foods we’ve made it a point to pray with him before each meal.  We typically start out something like, “Ben, let’s bow our heads and thank God for our food.”  Each time we’d try to hold Ben’s hand he would pull it away or if we’d place our hand on his leg or foot he would start kicking so we ended up just putting our hand on the tray of his highchair during the prayer.  Several weeks ago when we were praying Ben reached over and placed his hand on top of mine.  I’m pretty sure my heart melted right then and there.  Now he’s taken it a step further and actually holds out both of his little hands and wants me to take one and Jake to take the other.  It is by far the coolest thing ever.  I never knew my heart could melt so many times, but it does every time!!  Just when you think…”hmm, I wonder if he gets what we’re trying to teach him”…he shows this small gesture as if to say, “yes…I get it”.  How encouraging!!

Ahh, the faces our son likes to make.  Here are a couple of pics that show it all.  First up, the “super happy super cheesy grin” face.  He loves for us to snap pictures of ourselves together and then look at them on the camera.  He’ll point to me in the picture and say, “mama.”









Next up…I’m not really sure what to call this one other than “scrunchy” face.  In case your wondering, this is him eating a waffle along with a side of yogurt for breakfast one morning.  He kept making this face and then started laughing at himself!!  While we’re on the topic of food…when he REALLY likes what he’s eating he’ll give us a double fist pump!!









He also likes to watch food cooking in the oven.  Here he is watching the cheese melt on our homemade pizza!











Dakota LOVES playtime with Ben.  Oh, wait, maybe it’s more like Ben LOVES playtime with Dakota.  Ben thinks Dakota makes a great wrastlin’ buddy and horse too!  Giddy up!!









Another favorite pastime…kicking the ball.

His new favorite word/phrase is, “no no”!  Let me give a few examples. 

At snack time Ben knows that he is not supposed to share his food with Dakota (or at any other time, but for some reason he seems particularly giving at snack time) so now Ben will hold his sippy cup or snacks out where Dakota can reach them and when he gets close by Ben says, “NO NO”!

Another example, Ben also knows that he is not allowed to touch or play with our eyeglasses.  Jake and I both usually leave them laying on the nightstand during the day.  Now Ben will walk up to the nightstand, point to the glasses and then shake his finger and say, “NO NO”!  You can’t help but laugh out loud when he does these things!!

More new words…amen, oatmeal, nite-nite, I love you (said more like “I of you”), apple, banana, green and blue.  Okay, I need some help translating the clip below.  Lately, Ben has been walking around the house saying this phrase A BUNCH.  We can’t figure out what he’s saying.  I know the first word is “dada” but I can’t figure out the second word.  Maybe “car”?  Any ideas??

New sounds he’s making…for a dog he says, “uh, uh” (as seen here), a monkey says “oh oh”, a frog says “bit bit”, a bird says “tweet tweet” and a train goes “choo choo”.

We’ve also been working on ABC’s.  His favorite letter right now seems to be “M”!!  Probably because that’s what “mama” starts with!  =)  Check out the clip below.

And to finish up our update…Ben got his very own library card this month!!  Each Monday after story time we head on over to the kids’ section of the library to pick out books and play with puzzles!!


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Arkansas…Naturally a Good Time









Ben and I traveled to Arkansas to spend time with my mom and other family members at the end of May/early June.  It was such a blessing to have 10 whole days to hang out with my mom.  I referred to her as Ms. Daisy and I was her driver.  We spent time running errands, getting some lab work done and of course…getting pedicures!!  Here’s a recap from our time together.

The day before we left, Ben helped me pack up our stuff.  Here’s a cute clip of us talking about our flight the next morning.  Whenever we talk about planes with Ben he’ll immediately point up to the sky and then blow air out of his mouth making a “whew” sound.  At the end of the clip he notices the neighbor out walking her dog, Mojo.  That’s him “barking” at Mojo.

Finally, after an uneventful flight…we had arrived in the natural state!!  We enjoyed lots of fun times outside at Grandma and Grandpa’s house!


Ben liked to go on walks around the yard with Grandpa.










Here we are enjoying dinner out back…apparently howling is a very normal dinner time ritual in our family!!


He absolutely loved this Razorback flag at Grandma’s house.  When we were inside he peered longingly out the window at it and as soon as the front door opened he’d make a b-line for it.









Grandpa and Grandma bought a special little pool for the grand kids to splash and play in.  Ben spent a lot of time climbing in and out and in and out of the water, then he’d take a break from his busy activities for a nice refreshing drink of…pool water…yummy!









One afternoon mom and I took Ben to the playground down the street from her house.  Ben loved every minute of it!











Khloee and Ben played with sidewalk chalk while Laci (sitting up like a big girl!!) supervised in her adorable white hat.










We took a break from all of our outside activities to stop in at Rick’s Bakery to cool off and grab a delicious treat!!









We also celebrated two super special birthdays while we were there…my dad celebrated his birthday on June 2nd and Khloee celebrated her birthday on June 7th! 









I always LOVE IT when our trip coincides with birthday parties…I hate missing out on family stuff like that.  For my dad’s big day we celebrated at PF Changs.  We had a lovely evening and pigged out on some delectable food!!  (The babies were at home with the babysitter.)









A few days later we celebrated Khloee’s sixth birthday at LokomotionIMG_7706







I’m pretty sure Ben was quite overwhelmed by all of the commotion and loud noises, but he handled it quite well.  He got to ride on some of those motorized vehicle toys for the first time which was quite fun to watch. 









Hunter, Landon and Kayla after bumper boats.  Clearly they were having so much fun and definitely hyped up on lots of sugar!!









And for the record…Kayla and I smoked and I mean SMOKED everyone else on the go-karts!











When we arrived in Arkansas Ben hit the ground running…literally.  He wasn’t really walking that much before we left other than the times we would really encourage him to stand up and walk.  By the end of our trip I felt like “he was run-ning”!!


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Poop and Turtles and Bears! Oh, My!

Well, after about a month long hiatus from the blog (albeit not planned or on purpose), I’m back to fill you in on all of the current ongoings of our lives.  As of today I can say that we are officially moved in to our new house!!  Let me define “moved in”…all of our belongings have now been transferred from the old house to the new house…many of our things are still in boxes or somewhat scattered about and unorganized.  I think a move “just down the street” somehow gives you a false idea that moving will somehow magically be different and easier than other types of long distance moving.  I’d like to strike the word “easier” from any further discussions about moving and just state for the record that while it might be less hard from a logistical standpoint to move down the street versus across the country it is still hard all the same.  Oh and something entirely new to the moving process for us…Ben!!  Throw a toddler in the mix of moving and it multiplies your workload all the more.   

Thankfully moving day was quite uneventful, but I would certainly call it organized chaos.  Looking  back I realized I didn’t snap a single picture from moving day.  Why you ask?  Probably because I ended up on babysitting duty (five kids…which was fine considering all of the help we had) but I don’t think I had a free moment or a free hand for that matter to snap any pictures.  I did manage to take a few of Ben climbing on boxes during the packing process.  I walked away for a moment and when I came back in the room there he was very excited and very proud of his fine accomplishment!!










So you might be wondering what we’ve been doing for the past month.  While I’d like to tell you that I’ve been sitting on the couch with my feet kicked up eating bonbons…it goes a little more something like this.

Third day of life at the new house – It was hot and getting hotter INSIDE.  After sitting in our house for two days in 82+ degree weather the air conditioner was finally fixed.  It turned out the unit was low on freon so in the midst of working extra hard to cool the house, it froze itself.  So just as I was feeling the nice breeze of our newly fixed air conditioner I heard a bubbling sound.  The bubbling got louder and LOUDER and LOUDER.  As I ran from one bathroom to another each toilet continued to bubble.  Then it occurred…a back-flow of sewer water began to bubble up into all of the bathtubs and showers.  In a panic I called Jake who just so happened to be at a conference down by the theme parks (that’s about an hour away compared to his typical ten-minute commute to the office).  So while explaining the situation to him over the phone I was also hurriedly prepping to scoop the poop.  Gloves on, buckets ready, nose plugged (it did not smell good, people)…and then it stopped!  A few hours later after the plumber had performed a “simple” routine of “snaking out” the “clean-out” we were in for some bad news.  I was informed that he’d be back the next day to dig up a portion of the front flower bed in order to replace the broken clean-out.  Apparently when the initial landscaping for the house was completed the clean-out was broken and in turn the roots from the plants had grown down the pipe clogging it up.

Fourth day of life at the new house – One hole, one dead plant and one new clean-out later…we were back in business to do our business.  (ha ha)  And while we’re on the topic of poop…

Not long after the sewer system was back up and running, Ben and Dakota were playing together in the family room.  A little while later Ben walked up to me in the kitchen and handed me a piece of something.  It was round and brown and I thought it was most likely just something Dakota brought in from outside like a piece of bark or pine cone.  I had one thing right…it was something Dakota brought in from outside.  Sure enough it was a piece of dog poop…poop that I was now holding in my hand, that was smeared down the side of Ben’s leg and across the tile floor.  Lovely!

Last but not least I’ve been feeling a little like we’ve moved into the forest.  We have a HUGE turtle (the size of a dinner plate…no joke) that comes to visit every morning.  Dakota barks because I won’t let him out to “play” with it and then Ben chimes in and barks along with Dakota. 









Also, the day before we moved in our neighbors informed us that they saw a bear in our backyard.  Yep, not a typo…a BEAR!  Apparently it is a frequent visitor!!  And for all of you wondering…we had our first bear sighting last night!!!  Dakota started barking and completely freaking out by the back sliding glass doors.  From the way he was acting I knew what he saw…the bear.  It came darting across our backyard and a few seconds later he was gone!  Now that we’ve seen him, I think a call to animal control is in order.  A bear is cute when you see him at the zoo, but somehow they become a lot less cute and more frightening when they make house calls!!    

On that note, I guess there’s just one last thing to say, “Welcome home Jake, Joanna, Ben and Dakota…Welcome home!”

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