Saturday, September 27, 2008
But it's not just the beginning of the school year that explains my love of Fall. I also love the weather - the warm (not freakishly hot and humid) days with clear blue skies followed by cool nights. I love to watch the colors of the leaves, and I love the smells of fall too - leaves burning, candles, pies and bread baking.
We also love all the festivals and fairs that take place in fall. In this area alone, there's the apple festivals, the pumpkin festival, the various county fairs, and the Dixie Classic Fair. Ever on the lookout for free family entertainment, we try to go to several of them, weather permitting, and last weekend, the weather was perfect, glorious really. I know that word "glorious" sounds pretentious, but I can't think of another way to describe it. The sky was perfectly blue, the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, yet it wasn't too hot - glorious. We attended the Historic Bethabara Apple Festival at the historic Bethabara Moravian settlement. The kids had a great time playing the old timey games, and we enjoyed the atmosphere and the time outside.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This video was taken on this past Saturday when we were finally able to celebrate his birthday. He was so excited about getting to blow out the candles, he couldn't wait until the end of the song.
Cake sugar high
We debated forever on what to get him for his birthday, but a choo-choo trains are definitely his current obsession. He loves Thomas the train, so that's what we finally decided on. He was very happy.
Boys and their toys
A few facts about 2 year old Benjamin:
1. He worships Claire. He will follow her, cry when when we drop her off at school, and mimic her. This includes accessorizing with tiaras and jewellery which has caused Shawn to panic a bit, but I reassured him that even my uber manly brothers had their "dress up" moments as kids. That's what comes of having an older sister.
2. He is nearly reflux free. Hard to even picture this sweet, pleasant (mostly) boy as the screaming baby who was in constant pain. We are SO thankful that he is better, and I'm no longer a candidate for the looney bin.
3. He is LOUD! I know all boys tend to be loud, but, good grief! Everything is said at least 2 decibels louder than the average human.
4. He is not a fan of milk. Not that I blame him, but we are wondering if he might have some food allergies too.
5. He still has bumps on his arms and legs. Again, wondering about the allergy thing here.
6. He loves to give hugs. Actually, he calls them "squeezes," and they are aptly named.
7. When he wants me to hold him, get him out of bed or pick him up, he will say, "Mommy, need you." Who can resist that one?
8. He has suddenly developed a fear of alligators. Not sure where this one came from, but I suspect it has something to do with the crocodile on Disney's Peter Pan. He will say, "ayayayayaaligator get me, mommy, need you." I'm not sure if this is an actual fear or just another way of getting me to pick him up and hold him. He's a smart little stinker.
9. He is a HORRIBLE teether. It takes forever and a day for the teeth to break through, and the fussy, hands in the mouth, non-sleeping phase that is supposed to only last 3-5 days will typically last a month or so for him. This current teething trial (2 year molars) resulted in a scare at Walmart yesterday. He was chewing on one of Claire's bead bracelets (I know, bad mommy), and he broke it and swallowed one of the beads. Well, I'm not actually sure the bead went down, but he choked for a second and then said that it did go down his "froat." As instructed by the doctor, I am still awaiting its arrival from the nether regions, but it has yet to show itself. We shall see.
10. He loves his bink, to swing, and to pretend to cut the grass or vacuum. However, he is terrified of the actual vacuum and lawn mower - way too loud!
11. He is learning to jump. Right now his jump is a knee bend followed by one foot being lifted into the air.
12. He has the best laugh ever and the sweetest chubby cheeks that jiggle and bounce up and down when he runs. Shawn calls it the "Baywatch bounce." HA!
Happy Birthday little man, porkchop, little monkey, buddy boy. We love you.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
My father's wedding took place this past weekend. It was a wonderful time to visit with family, see friends from many years past, and rejoice in the new happiness in my dad's life. It's been a long time coming for him, and we are extremely thankful for SueAnne and her addition to our family. And yet, despite the overwhelming happiness of the day, it cannot be denied that a certain sadness existed for me as well. A sadness for what was, what was lost, and for what cannot be regained. However, seeing how happy my dad is, how happy SueAnne is and how happy they are together is really evidence that, truly, sometimes, change is a good thing.
I've posted several pictures from the weekend.
After the cake reception at the church, immediate family (sans kidlets) had dinner at Carver's - yum. It's not often that Shawn and I get to dress up for anything and go anywhere without the kids, so I had Seth take a picture of us at the dinner reception.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Despite being scheduled for an induction on Wednesday night (the 10th) which would, most certainly, have resulted in Amy giving birth on the morning of September 11th, this little guy had his own agenda. Amy went into labor on her own on Wednesday morning, and Noah was safely born that night at 10:30. We were thrilled at his timely arrival. Though we all professed to Zach (to his face, anyway) that his son being born on September 11th really wouldn't have been a big deal, I'm pretty sure we were all secretly horrified at the thought. Imagine having that birthday and it being commemorated every year with a memorial for all those lost on that dreadful day. I'm sure it wouldn't have made a bit of difference to him, and, with time, the stigma of that day will surely lessen (sad though that is), but, still, we are glad he came a bit early! Welcome to the world, newest nephew!!
Proud Aunt Naomi, Nomi, or Mimi, whatever. I'm cool with it.
As I told her, Amy looks pretty darn good for having given birth just the day before. Hello, makeup? I was impressed. I looked like death warmed over, and could have cared less. Poor thing had a horrible time with her epidural. She had a "wet tap" the first time, and it had to be redone. Even worse, the messed up epidural has caused awful headaches. The doctor told her, not to worry, they should be gone in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!??? I think I would have punched him in the face. But that's just me.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Unlike the anxiety that colored last year's first day, this year's first day was full of excitement and anticipation, mostly due to the fact that Alexandra, her best friend from last year, is in her class again. As you can see from the pictures, she was all smiles about her new dress (thanks, Grandma) and her new Tinkerbell backpack.
Here she is outside her classroom. No tears!
Now that several school days have passed, she has informed me that she has a new best friend - Riley (female). Actually, Claire seems to think that her name is Rolly, but I kinda doubt that (though who knows these days, huh?). Anyway, it seems poor Alexandra threw a fit and told Riley to leave her friend (Claire) alone. Claire, ever the peacemaker, calmly informed Alexandra that she would have enough time to play with both of them. While I certainly don't like the idea of girls fighting each other for friends (cat fights aren't supposed to happen till jr. high, right?), it does this mama's heart good to know that Claire has more friends than she can play with all at the same time. This is a far cry from last year when this little girl would constantly come home from school and tell me that she just played by herself that day.
So, here's to more cat fights! Just kidding . . . sort of.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
The new Mr. and Mrs. Black
Dr. Conn and Darlia were there so that he could officiate the ceremony.
This picture makes me laugh. Mrs. Conn took it of Shawn while he was giving the best man speech. I, as during the ceremony, was out of the room keeping Ben occupied.
This picture was supposed to be only of Shawn and me, but Claire ran into the frame at the very last second.
This wedding and my dad's upcoming wedding next weekend have, of course, made weddings and getting married a VERY popular topic in our house. Yesterday, Claire wanted to watch our old wedding video. While we were laughing throughout the whole thing (mostly at Brad and Merica being dorks while mocking the videographer), Claire was carefully analyzing the whole production.
She has always told me that she wants to marry daddy, and she asked me yesterday if she could wear my wedding dress when she gets married. I told her she could, and then she asked me to show her on her back how far down the veil will hang. She's really serious about this. A bit much, but fine, she can dream, right?
Well, last night, she had an interesting conversation with Shawn. I wasn't present, but it went something like this:
Claire: Why do you have rings when you get married?
Shawn proceeds to explain. She then wants to know where I got my ring and where he got his ring.
Claire: Don't worry daddy, you can take mommy's ring with you when we move into the hotel.
Shawn: Move into the hotel? What do you mean?
Claire: Everybody moves into a hotel after they get married. You can take the ring mommy gave you, so that you can remember her when we get married. Don't worry, we'll call mommy sometimes and see how Ben's doing or when Ben's birthday is.
Um... yep, Elektra for sure.
The highlight of the evening was the bouquet toss. I know it's difficult to see in this picture, but the girl in front lunged for the bouquet, missed it and nearly did the splits. The bouquet? It fell on the floor right in front of Claire.
Allison and Claire along with the hard won bouquet.
Stop Mom! No more pictures!