Saturday, April 25, 2009

What a Big Girl!

For a long time Janae has been telling us, "I'm not a baby; I'm a big girl." This is different from Ben, who called himself Baby until he was three--giving us such classic quotes as "Baby's Baby" (referring to Janae) and "No! Baby's fries" when I tried to sneak one of his fries at a restaurant.

And now one of Janae's last remaining baby traits has disappeared--she has traded in her diapers for big-girl undies!


I wanted to get her a little present for staying clean and dry the past two days, so this afternoon she got the Dora backpack she'd been asking for.


What a big girl!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Little More Information, Please

On Wednesday I had my 20-week ultrasound. This was a highly anticipated day--my doctor had me book the appointment over two months ago, and I'd been counting down the weeks and then the days. Jason took the afternoon off work, and we'd talked to Benjamin and Janae about what to expect.

This, however, turned out to be the least informative and most disappointing ultrasound I've ever had (and I've had at least NINE!).

Before going in for the scan, I had to read a statement about not interrupting the technician's work by asking questions and not expecting to be told the baby's gender until a separate report is sent to the doctor at 21 weeks (I'd known I'd have to wait and hear the news from my own doctor--but a separate report at 21 weeks???).

In the past, the technician has ALWAYS told me basic information like how many weeks the baby is measuring, what the heart rate is, etc., but this time, I was told absolutely NOTHING. I tried asking about the pocket of blood that caused so much trouble at the beginning of this pregnancy, but the tech's response was a very short, "I wouldn't see anything like that."

The screen was turned away from me during the entire process, so I only saw as much as Jason and Ben--about 5 minutes (Janae slept through the whole experience--probably a good thing!). We saw the baby yawn, and we saw his or her little heart beating away. I was surprised to see how long the baby's legs were and how well-developed he/she already is.

Benjamin really felt that the baby was real and now can't wait for the new little one to be born.

And, despite the lack of information, I left the clinic feeling like I really have three kids now!

Here are two of the pictures we had printed:


The profile shot looks just like Ben's at 20 weeks :)


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finally, A Family Picture

Before church on Sunday I thought Ben and Janae looked so cute that I asked Jason to take a couple of pictures of us together.

We had the usual problems of Janae not looking . . .


and Ben closing his eyes . . .


but we also had an unexpected surprise--a family picture!


You can see Jason's reflection in the window glass behind us :)

We tried and tried last fall to get a family picture--and now without any planning or effort, here it is!

I'll have to remember this in the winter when it's time to send out the Christmas cards . . . especially if there's another beard-off going on!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Making Their Own Fun


Lately I've been impressed with how good young children are at making their own fun--even in the most boring situations. For example, turn Ben loose in the backyard--with little more to play with than mud--and he'll stay happy for hours.


Put Janae in her room for a time-out, and she'll dress up her dog and have story time.


It really doesn't take much.

Benjamin and Janae's ability to make their own fun was really put to the test, however, on Thursday afternoon when I had to take our car in for repairs. I wasn't sure about going in to a garage with my two little ones, but after almost a week of driving what sounded like a cement truck--and turning the head of every pedestrian unfortunate enough to be walking down the street where I was driving, I decided it had to be done.

I called and made an appointment for right after Janae's nap, packed my purse with fruit snacks and granola bars, then headed off to Budget Brake and Muffler (by the way, the word "Budget" is definitely deceiving in this title).

The mechanic said we'd only have a 45-minute wait (it actually turned out to be an hour and a half), and the car had been hoisted up before I'd thought to ask to get the stroller out of the trunk, so we had to try to survive in the 4-by-6-foot waiting area.

The room had four chairs, a water cooler with cups and a candy dispenser. It also had a very grimy restroom, a glass door through which we could see our car, and a few muffler-related parts displayed on the wall.

Well, Ben and Janae not only made full use of every item in the room--swinging between the chairs, sitting upside down, re-filling their water cups over and over again (Janae was wearing big-girl undies, so this made me REALLY nervous!), pretending the candy dispenser flaps were crocodiles' mouths, and using the washroom--they also performed a loud and enthusiastic medly of Disney songs (complete with choreography), played red light/green light across the short length of the room, learned lots about fixing cars by asking the poor mechanic stranded behind the desk ALL their questions, turned around until they were dizzy enough to fall down, ran around in circles, jumped from the carpet to the floor . . . and that is actually not even a complete list!

While I was getting a pounding stress headache and becoming increasingly upset and worried as the 90 minutes passed, Janae and Ben couldn't remember when they'd had more fun!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Jungle Birthday Party

I don't know how Ben came up with the idea, but he was adamant that we celebrate my birthday with a jungle party this year :)

He and Jason made palm trees and put them up around the living room--some of them complete with monkeys! They also made lots of jungle flowers and giant leaves.


Ben got out any animal from his collection that may live in the jungle--and even cleaned them all up at the end of the day, too!


Benjamin had grown some grass seeds at preschool, so he was able to use this as part of the decor.


We went out for lunch, where Benjamin had a pirate pack--this gave him lots of excuses to say things like "ARRG" and "Me Hearty" (Yes, I realize this has nothing to do with the jungle--I think Ben was practicing for his upcoming pirate party that he's planning for his own birthday!).


In the evening, Jason helped me make dinner, then we all watched Jungle Book.

I wasn't too excited to enter my "late 30s," but watching Ben and Jason go through so much work to make my birthday special made me feel a bit better. And when Ben gets one of his big ideas, it's hard not to catch some of the enthusiasm!

I have to admit, I'm glad the day is over, though--I love celebrating other people's birthdays, but I always seem to have trouble with my own . . . I'm just glad when it's DONE :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

There's More to Easter than BATS!

With Easter coming up this weekend, you might imagine that Benjamin is spilling over with excitement and anticipation--but no. Ben gets so into Halloween and Christmas that you would think they were the only holidays in the year.

I thought this year I'd try to help him branch out and discover that Easter is a really special holiday, too.

We got a few decorations (Ben wondered if we could put out some bats, but I told him we needed to stick to bunnies and eggs),


We decorated some cookies (Ben wanted to use the bat cookie cutter that came in the tub of "50 Animal Friends" that I bought, but I limited the cookie shapes to birds, chicks, bunnies, and butterflies),



Finally, Auntie Shannon brought over some bunny ears and I got the Easter baskets out of the holiday closet (managing to divert Ben's attention before he spotted the Halloween stuff). Ben seemed to finally accept that bats are not going to be a part of the festivities.


Imagine how surprised he'll be when he sees the book I picked up for his Easter basket, titled "How Do Bats See in the Dark?" (I actually bought it at a Christian bookstore when was looking for something more appropriate--Janae's getting a Veggie Tales DVD). I'm pretty sure he'd have a happy Easter even without it, but this way he'll know that there really is an Easter bunny :)

And before you start to worry again about my children and their upbringing, let me assure you that when I asked Ben, "Is Easter really about chocolate bunnies, and eggs, and um . . . bats?" he said, "No, it's about Jesus!"

So, maybe we're doing something right. . . .

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Different . . . or Alike?

A few weeks ago my sister Anita posted a list of questions she had asked her kids about their mom. The answers were so funny--and the idea so cute--that I thought I'd try it with Benjamin.

Some of his answers were pretty interesting, but the one I've pondered the most is his answer to "If your mom was a cartoon character, which one would she be?" Without hesitation, Ben said, "Winnie the Pooh."


Immediately I thought I knew what he meant. "Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff" might not sound very flattering, but I am pregnant, and I admit that my tummy is starting to stick out in a Winnie-the-Pooh-like manner.

Later I told Jason about Benjamin's questions and answers, and when I told him about Winnie the Pooh, he laughed and said, "Bear of very little brain!" Not nice!


But I started to wonder, what did Ben mean?

So I sat down in my thinking spot and tapped my head. "Think. Think. Think." How am I like Winnie the Pooh? All I could come up with is this:

I have a round tummy.
I have a little pink sidekick that some might think resembles Piglet.
I've recently been photographed with Tigger and Eeyore.


Then I thought about all the ways Winnie the Pooh and I are different:

I don't eat "hunny"--at least, not by the handful (and these days not AT ALL).
I always wear pants.
I don't usually find thinking painful.
I don't fall asleep easily.
I'm not afraid of Heffalumps OR Woozles.
I've never dressed up like a bee.
I say "Oh bother" only very occasionally.


I think it's clear that Winnie the Pooh and I are more different than alike!

Still, if Ben looks at his mom and sees Winnie the Pooh, there must be something to it. . . . I guess I'll need to work on my image a bit--maybe if I'm successful next time he'll say, "Cinderella!" :)