Friday, August 20, 2010

Ben Update - 2 years, 6 months

You turned two-and-a-half this month. You are as cute as ever and have a never-ending supply of funny sayings and faces. The latest face is one we call "Pouty Monkey" face, because you stick out your chin and bottom lip and furrow your brow when something doesn't go your way. Except now that we've given it a name and laugh every time you do it, it doesn't have your desired effect.

Tommy is your best friend and favorite playmate. You seem to be lost without your brother, and on the rare occasion when he's not around you just walk around the house moping. You boys love to chase each other around, play hide-and-seek, and a game called "Bad Guys" (we think you picked this up from children at the playground), where you chase each other around and pretend to shoot each other with any object that is vaguely gun-like.

You are warming up to Daddy. We struggled a few months ago because you never wanted to be comforted by him and only wanted me to comfort you (after an injury or discipline). You started having Saturday morning 'dates' with Daddy and we purposed to have you spend one-on-one time with him at other times, and that has helped your relationship tremendously. Now you love to be with Daddy.

Some of your favorites:
Books: We read together as a family, so you and Tommy listen to me read the same books. Some of your favorites are Caps for SaleCurious George, anything by Lois Ehlert, and you still very much love Goodnight Moon

Shows: Wall-E and Bambi are still your solid favorites. You've also become interested in Thomas the Tank Engine.
Food: You are a great eater and you'll eat pretty much anything that isn't a vegetable. We've made some progress with you, in that you'll at least choke down a carrot or piece of broccoli when we ask you to, but overall you try to avoid veggies.
Toys: You like to play with anything Tommy plays with. Your favorites are Legos, your bike, and of course, Matchbox cars.

New things: You are finally telling us when you need to go potty! This is a huge milestone for me, since I've been taking you to the bathroom every two hours for the last six months. Something just clicked in the past few days and you've stopped having accidents, and I've stopped taking you to the toilet. Sweet!

Also in the past few days you've learned to ride your two wheeler bike with pedals! We didn't even bother with training wheels with you (like we did for Tommy) - we just put you on the bike, gave you a big push, and off you went. You're still a bit wobbly, but you're learning quickly. I credit your balance bike with helping you learn how to ride a pedal bike so early and so quickly.

Other: You are very social. You have a habit of walking up to strangers, even adults, and striking up a conversation, just by asking them what they're doing or telling them that you just got a haircut and that you got a lollipop for sitting still. It's so funny to watch, particularly since you couldn't be more opposite from my personality. I am so looking forward to seeing how you grow up and what kind of boy you become as you get older.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Only 11 more days until we leave for our first real family vacation!

I made this garland of paper rings so the boys would quit asking us about could visualize how many days are left until we leave for our weeklong trip to San Diego. Each morning they take a turn ripping a paper ring off and counting down how many days are left. We plan to hang out at a beach along the way, visit LegoLand, and possibly visit the San Diego Zoo, depending on how we feel. We can't wait!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

These Kids... figuring out how things work. Mark's uncle sent us a music box for a housewarming present and the kids sit down to "watch" a song play probably once a day since we received it. They enjoy listening to Mark explain how the music box works. (Every single day, of course.) Oh, to have a mind that understand mechanical things! Luckily I've got three guys who can help me. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekend Highlight

To me, this weekend was a blur of trains, congestion (as in, my own nasal congestion due to a head cold), and redwood forests. But the one exciting part for everyone was almost getting run down by Thomas the Tank Engine. We were hiking through a state park when we came upon some railroad tracks and a train bridge. We paused, debating whether to cross it, and not hearing the clunk clunk clunk of a train nor a train whistle, we decided to start crossing. We didn't get very far before we did hear the clunk clunk clunk of a train, a very quiet diesel engine. We backtracked our steps and quickly headed down the bank so as not to get, as Tommy would say, "smooshed" by the train. I'm only trusting steam engines from now on - at least they whistle while they're coming at you.

Climbing up the bank to the tracks.

Thomas' plastic smile added an element of irony to the situation.

Not too sure about that bridge anymore.