Ben

August 27th, 2012

Benjamin is starting to say some cute things. Today he pointed my computer and said, “I like that computer. Can I have a computer like that for my birthday?”

I was quizzing Annalise on her simple addition and subtraction (which Ben can easily do with manipulatives) and he was showing her the answers with his fingers behind my back. He was often right! So funny.

He just loves Abigail. He walks up to her and says, “I just love you, baby. I just love the baby sooo much.”

Last night he was running a bit of a fever, and today he is just delightful! He is so much easier when he is a TAD sick and his energy is somewhat dampened. :)

We just got back from Clark and Lizzie’s wedding, and he was tough. So I’m trying to celebrate the cute things. :)

Summer!

June 11th, 2012

It’s officially summer, and we are trying to live it up! It’s exhausting for mom to have everyone with me all the time and have a newborn, but there are moments that I really LOVE, too.

Annalise and Ben are enjoying swimming lessons. Annalise said her first day was, “More fun than a birthday on Christmas!” She calls herself “super swimmer girl” in the pool and is always saying, “I swim like a shark!” Benjamin is doing so much better this year. He is cooperative and willing, and is starting to make some good progress. I am really proud of him for his cooperation and happiness.

Abigail is teething (ugh) and alternates between sleeping through the night and crying a lot grabbing at her mouth. I know she’s young to teeth, but those Barretts get teeth early, and they can hurt for quite awhile before popping through. She slobbers, and her gums look sore, and she’s fussy and likes to nurse all the time all of a sudden and chew on her hands. She also scratches her face when she cries and is harder to put to bed.

However, we all ADORE her. She is often smiley and happy. She is starting to coo and vocalize quite a bit, and it draws everyone in the house to adore her. It’s amazing how much all 4 of us can coo over her. And today, she was even starting to truly laugh! (After having some Tylenol and nursing… it was a rough night.) She is just beautiful, and everyone LOVES her red hair. I’m not sure it will last, but it surely is fun while it’s here, and she gets tons of comments and compliments on it.

I am working on teaching Annalise the piano, and em enjoying practicing myself when I get a chance.

The other day I called Benjamin “Benjy,” which is a nickname I like to use. He said, “Not Benjy, Mom. BEN! Not Benjy. BEN!” Wow. I thought I had more time, but I guess now that he’s 4 his opinions have increased!

And there was more, but I can’t remember right now and the baby is fussing, so I had better go. :)

“I’m happy.”

May 18th, 2011

Lately Ben has been entering an… emotional stage of life. He is tantruming more and more often, over things like not being allowed to wrinkle the picture of the prophet he is holding for family night, not being allowed to have crackers 5 minutes before dinner, etc. These result in full out, 10 minutes laying on the floor kicking and screaming tantrums.

But he also says some cute things about his emotions. Yesterday he was just doing some normal thing around the house, and he said to me, “Mom, I’m happy. I’m happy mom.” After we went to the park he said, “That’s so fun, Mom. Thanks, that’s so fun.” This morning he looked outside and said, “Look at the sky, Mom. It’s so pretty. The sky is so pretty.” We had a big full moon on Monday night, and we were all involved in trying to get dinner and family night, and Ben was the first to notice it. He cried over wanting to see the moon, and gazed at if for a long time. He seems to be moved by beauty.

Last night he was crying in his bed for me, and I went in to comfort him. He touched me all over, stroking my face and my arms and my back. I was trying to figure out what had been wrong, and finally he said, “I want a snuggle.” I snuggled him for a little bit, and sang him some songs. It’s so cute when he requests, “Muhder I ov voo,” and sings along with me. (Mother I love you.)

The tantrums are hard, but I’m glad that a lot of the time he is happy, and says so. :)

“It’s Sunday.”

May 7th, 2011

Last week we had a family night lesson about the Sabbath. I am always telling the kids the things they can and can’t do on Sunday, and I thought it would be good to review why, along with the scriptural reasons, etc.

This week, Ben has started telling me he can’t do things because it’s Sunday. Usually when it’s not Sunday. For example, today, he said, “I no eat that, It’s Sunday.” Then, later he said, “I no take a nap, it’s Sunday.” HAHA! I guess to him, it just sounds like the random excuse we give when we don’t want to say what it is.

Ben is listening to so many stories at night now. He can really sit and listen. I read him at least 5 every night, because he hasn’t had as many books read to him as Annalise. Mostly this is because he hasn’t wanted it as much, or had the patience to sit for them. I guess he’s finally figured out that if his choice is sit and listen to books or go to bed, he’ll sit quietly and listen to the books. It’s nice. He’s also starting to understand them better.

Because he didn’t want to listen to books when he was a baby and young toddler, he missed some of the classic board books. So, tonight I read him a big stack of them. I read him, “Blue Hat, Red Hat” by Sandra Boynton. He thought it was so funny! He laughed like crazy through the whole thing. I wish I had a video of me reading it to him. It’s so cute.

My pirate

May 3rd, 2011

Yesterday we were outside playing together on the swing set. The swing set was a large boat going to neverland, the dirt was the ocean, and the patio was a nearby island. (All of this was thought of by Annalise.) Annalise was assigning each of us fairy roles, when Ben calls out insistently, “I want to be a pirate! I want to be a pirate!” It’s fun to see him come into himself. He also plays on the swings and goes really high on the propeller swing pretending to be an astronaut. It’s cute.

We were on our way home from grocery shopping last night, and I commented that Dad might be home when we got home. Ben was really excited about this. He said, “I want Daddy come home. I want a big hug. I want a big, Daddy hug.”

I am always telling my kids how lucky I feel to be their mom, and what great kids they are. Truly, I feel incredibly fortunate to have two such wonderful children, even if they are a handful at times. I was pushing Benjamin on the swing, and Annalise was telling him he was a lucky duck that he got to go so high. Then she said, “Lucky Duck,” to me. I said, “Why am I a lucky duck?” She said, “You’re a lucky duck because you have two kids!” I guess the message is sinking in to her. :)

Benjamin is excited for his third birthday coming up. He talks about how he is going to have a basketball birthday. This is entirely his own idea. I am thinking of having just a couple of his friends over for a little “basketball” party. Anyway, the other day, I asked him how old he was. Straight up he said, “I’m four.” I said, “no, you’re not four. How old are you?” He said, “I’m two and a HALF!” Then I asked how old he was turning, and he shouted, “THREE!” He is excited to be three, and it’s such a fun age as we get to see so much more of his personality coming out.

“High is the sky.”

April 15th, 2011

Annalise has started rhyming again in the form of singing.

Here is bits of a song she was singing tonight on the swing.

“I’m going so high
I wish I could fly
Things are so high
High is the sky
As it zooms by.”

Also, there were bits about mountains, seas, and housetops being high. Clearly, she felt the joy of swinging high. :)

A few tidbits and a grocery trip

April 15th, 2011

Benjamin eats strange things. He and Annalise left a friend’s house with a little baggy of popcorn for each of them. They were in the car. Ben shouted out to me, “Eat the seeds!”
To which I said, “Please don’t eat the seeds. We don’t eat the seeds. They can hurt your teeth.”
Annalise shouted, “He’s eating the seeds!”
I said, “Benjamin, please don’t eat the seeds.”
*silence.*
“Garbage.” I reached my hand back and came up with a completely empty popcorn baggy.
“Benjamin,” I said, “we don’t eat the seeds to the popcorn.”
He giggled and said, “Yes I did.”
Not much you can respond to that.

He was eating a banana the other day. He pulled off one of those strings on the edge, the ones I pull off and throw away with the peel. Then, he held the long string over his mouth, and tucked it all in. “I eat it.” Well, ok then.

Annalise has been reading and reading. Piles and piles of rainbow magic books. Today I checked more out at the library, and then went to the grocery store. I let her bring in 2 rainbow magic books that were new. She read them in the cart as we went around the store. These are 70 pg. chapter books. She had read both of them by the time I was only 2/3 of the way finished. I checked out 6 books this morning, and she’s almost finished with them all by 4:00. I love it, but at the rate she is going through them, we just can’t keep up! Now I see why Daisy Meadows has made so many of these (to me) very repetitive books.

As we were riding along, a few people stopped and asked her questions like, “When did you learn how to read?!?!” She didn’t even look up to answer. Ha!

The villain in the books is Jack Frost. It’s funny to have her reading near me, because she’s so quiet, and then she’ll call out something like, “Oh no! Oh no!” She’ll squeal, and continue. After she finished her books, she was cold in the grocery store, and she said, “Mom, I’m so freezing cold! It must be Jack Frost around her somewhere! Brrr!” Then, she read all through lunch, with her book propped open with a spare plate.

Can I just say how much I LOVE this?!?!?! I feel like my fondest dreams have come true when we snuggle on the couch together for our afternoon snack, and each of us reads our separate books. Honestly, it’s like heaven.

And since she’s been reading so much, her behavior has improved a lot. I think she’s a lot less bored, plus she’s not feeling like she needs to bug everyone in the world. It’s very fun.

While Annalise was reading in the cart, Benjamin was running up and down the aisles. He loves to get a bouncy ball from the ball station, and take it with him through the entire grocery store until we put it back at the end. He was going up to every elderly person in the store (and there were a lot of them!) saying, “Watch this!” Then he would bounce the ball, and say, “It’s so high!” He loves all the love he gets from older people. A few are irritated by it, but the vast majority think he’s really cute. As we walk up and down the aisles, he dribbles the ball and runs if there is space. I hear a lot of comments like, “Wow, he is really good!” And some people say to me totally seriously, “Did you know he has VERY good hand eye coordination!” I guess all that basketball practice pays off for him. :)

During the few times he isn’t playing ball, he is trying to sneak things in my cart while I’m not looking. One time my friend called me in the store, and by the time I was off the phone, I fished out of my cart Doritos, fruit snacks, goldfish, cookies, capri suns, candy, etc. It was pretty funny. He likes to choose total “guy food.”

While at the store, I bought a ton of stuff (and spent more than usual) to try some new recipes. I’m excited to try them. About once every 2 years, I get on a “new recipe” kick. If I can find a few new staples for our family from those, then it’s worth it. :) That’s what I’m hoping for, plus I’d like to double things and freeze them, so I don’t have to cook quite so much but we can eat more “real” meals. We always eat real meals, anyway, I’m just getting tired of my repertoire. If I could find some things the kids will eat, that would be even better.

If Annalise has taken off (again) with her reading, Benjamin is taking off with his talking. It’s just so much fun to hear what’s on his mind. He can talk quite well now, and understand almost everything I say. He can carry one entire conversations. And he’s really quite funny. This doesn’t really surprise me, since he’s always had a good sense of humor, but the more he learns, the more sophisticated his sense of humor becomes. I can’t wait to have him around as he grows up. He’s very determined and hard to steer in the direction you want him to go, but on his own he is just such a joy and pleasure, so cheerful, loving, funny, and kind to other people. And active. Very active.

I just love both of my kids. I am loving being a mom lately. The weather is perfect, which is always really good for my spirits and my mood. And I have started exercising a bit more, and it really lifts my mood, too. It’s so hard to do an exercise video with the kids climbing all over me, but I am so much more productive, have more energy, and feel like I’m in a better mood when I do.

Which reminds me. I dressed in exercise clothes as a commitment with myself that I would do yoga today. And It’s 4:00 and I haven’t had a chance to do it yet. Ben is down for a nap, and Annalise is reading, so now is probably a good chance.

“The tale of fairies.”

April 13th, 2011

Annalise wants to write a story, so I suggested she tell it and I’ll type it here:

Once upon a time there was a little fairy. She was very friendly. She lived in a magic tree and ate strange things like grass tea. Her name was Daisy. This is the tale of Daisy.

Once Daisy was painting a picture and instead of using paint, she used colored pollen. When she was done painting all her pictures, it was late. So, she went to bed. zzzzz.

Then she woke up. Later that afternoon she decided to go to the stream where she met a frog. The frog thought she was a bug! And it stuck out it’s tongue, but hopefully she got back out and she made her way to the stream.

She clapped her hands all the way there, and then later that night she snuck out of bed and went to a farm. There, there was an owl. She was kind to the owl but the owl was scared. It was going to eat her but she handled it easily. There was no way she could escape, but she escaped. She poked the owl all over it and she took out all it’s feathers and it walked away.

She went to bed and then she just fell fast asleep. The End.

Just a couple of cute things

January 18th, 2011

Of course, I really only end up writing things in this blog when I NEED to write and have no other outlet, or when my kids say the cutest things and I’m afraid I’ll forget. This is the latter.

Annalise was snuggling with me the other day, and likes to touch my face and neck. She said so sweetly and rapturously, “Mom, I like to feel your skin the best. It’s just so… mmm… MOMMY!” It was sweet, partly because that’s how I’ve always felt about snuggling and holding my babies. I love the smell and feel of them because they are them and I love them. It’s nice to know she feels the same way.

Tonight she was begging for one more story. I refused, because it was very late and we’ve had a hard time getting up for joy school in the morning. She begged, “Tell me a story, please, just one more.” Finally I said, “Ok. Once upon a time there was a little girl named Annalise, and she always went to bed when her mother asked her to. The end. Goodnight.” She giggled and cried out indignantly, “That’s not a story, that’s a sentence!”

Benjamin has been calling all dinosaurs he sees a “Dinosaur-us!” It’s really cute. I’m sure it won’t last long, but it sure sounds cute.

He loves playing basketball on his new hoop. He doesn’t just like to play, he likes me to play with him. And every time he gets one in, he has to run to the screen door to shout, “Mommy, I did it! I did it!” And he gets quite a few in.

He loves watching Jimmer Fredette highlights with Nick. Heck, I like watching those highlights, too. But he’ll watch the same long shot again and again and cheer with his arms up in the air every time. So cute.

Oh, and he also draws hundreds of basketballs and hoops. I love them. Have I mentioned this kid loves basketball? :)

Too many posts for facebook.

November 30th, 2010

Well, I have too many things I want to share swirling about in my head to post them on facebook, and when I try to choose which one I want to post, I just can’t decide! So, I decided it must be time for a blog entry to update with details of my kids. I’m not very good about updating this with details about me and my own life, for some reason. I guess that just tends to get put in my Journal more often, when I get around to writing in it. :)

Benjamin is really growing up a lot lately. He is so much fun, and just talks more and more. His vocabulary is really improving, and he’s beginning to string words together more frequently as sentences.

Today I was telling him it was time for him to take a nap. He responded and said, “No Tank too. I no likey nap. No tank too.” (Translation: No thank you. I don’t like a nap. No thank you.) Sorry, buddy. Unfortunately naps have nothing to do with whether or not you like them and everything to do with the fact that you mother still DESPERATELY needs you to take a nap EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Got that? No more of this skipping naps thing. No more of this being fine staying up all day. I need… I mean, YOU need a nap every day.

Benjamin is obsessed with basket ball. (Ok, why did I just have to write obsessed like 5 times before that spell checkey red line went away. Oh, and red line is now telling me that checkey isn’t a word. Tough. I refuse to re-write. Revolt against editing!) Ben LOVES basketball, with a passion. He would spend his entire life playing ball if we allowed him to. He likes other sports, too, but nothing as much as basketball. If he keeps it up, he could be pretty decent someday, since he’s just so determined. We shall see.

Some evidences of this obsession:
- When I went to a young women’s retreat for a weekend and came home after the kids had been with Nick, the first words out of Ben’s mouth were “Mommie! Mom, basketball. Daddy. Hoop. Shoot it! Basketball!” I had learned that earlier Nick had taken the kids to the new basketball hoop near us to play. That was the only thing Ben had to say about the weekend.
- He determines how much he likes his friends by how often they play basketball together. When we drive towards Mitchell Lamoreaux’s or Joshua Haymores, if he sees a familiar street, he will call out, “Mitchell! Basketball! Joshie! Basketball!” When he goes in either of their houses, he walks in and hopefully says to my friends, “Basketball?”
- Mitchell has a shirt with a basketball on it that Ben quite admires. Out of the blue, we were swinging the other day, and Ben said to me, “Mommie, Mitchell, basketball shirt. Hoop. Like it.” He hadn’t seen Mitchell in over a week.
- At dinner, Ben will randomly start shouting things like, “Hoop! Basketball! Throw it! Catch it! Pass it! Shoot! Basketball! Bounce!”
- He spends a lot of time practicing dribbling, which he is just beginning to get, and shooting and passing. If he misses, he cheerfully calls, “Try ‘gain!”
- When we are not 10 minutes early to church (read, nearly every week) we sit in the gym. Benjamin has frequently been known to point upwards during the sacrament and shout, “Basketball hoop!” Everyone can hear him.
- He can spot a hoop a mile away. As we drive down neighborhood streets, he points out every single basketball hoop anyone has.
- I check out books at the library designed to teach kids about basketball. Big, non-fiction books. Benjamin pours over them.
- One of his favorite activities is watching BYU basketball highlights on TV. One clip he watched many times, crying every time it was over.
- In 2 years, I have played catch more time with Benjamin than I have in 5 years with Annalise. Then again, I have read far fewer books. Just goes to show that they are each born with their own interests, I guess.

Convinced? I think a make a pretty clear case for this obsession. (Got that word right the first time.)

We had a good time at my parents house for Thanksgiving. They have such a lovely home, and always make us feel so welcome when we come. It was lucky that we were there, because my dad was released as the Bishop on Sunday after over 8 years of faithful service. He and my mom have both been such wonderful examples. It was so fun to hear them talk. I even cried, even though I’m not in their ward. It was a little emotional. (Or a lot emotional.) Mixed emotions, happy and sad, all strong. Ben spent a lot of time trying to persuade people to play basketball with him, (most everyone took turns) and trying to keep his food away from the dog. He is a little afraid of that big dog. Annalise spent a lot of time playing games in Grammy’s secret closet and spending time bonding with Grammy. Nick and I were able to see a movie, go the temple, and finish our Christmas shopping (mostly) thanks to my parent’s generosity in helping with our kids. It was a peaceful and great weekend.

My neck was feeling very, very stiff. I could hardly look over my shoulder to change lanes. I went to the chiropractor today, and after he did my neck, I tried it again. My range of motion improved a lot, and I’m feeling much better! So, thankfully, I can now drive safely again and look over my shoulder to change lanes.

Annalise is still growing up really fast. Her bottom tooth is loose, and even though it will be awhile before it comes out, it’s hard for her to eat things like apple peels. She also sometimes cries that her mouth hurts and puts her hands in her mouth and chews her fingers. (Like counterpressure.) I just discovered the other day a large molar that is half way in in the back of her mouth. I looked it up online, and it’s her six year molar, which most kids get at age six or seven. That’s right, she just turned five and one is already in and the rest are bulging. This teething thing could explain so much… Hopefully everything will come in well and in the right spot.

The other night at dinner, Annalise announced to Nick and I that she had a trick she wanted to show us. She told us to close our eyes, and we did. We heard a glug glug glug sound, and then she told us to open them! She then announced, “I made my milk vanish!” We of course showed appropriate levels of shock and amazement. When we asked if the trick could be repeated with her eggs, sadly, she told us it could not.

The other day she said to me, “Mom, I’m bored.” I didn’t respond at first, and then she jumped up and said, “Something just hit my head! An idea!” Then she ran off to the craft room to make something or other. I just like that phrasing.

We are continuing to read scriptures together as a family in the evening, and I do think it’s helping with things. Annalise’s reading has improved SOOO much. She rarely needs help now. I know that her reading improves naturally and on it’s own, but I do believe that the power of the Book of Mormon helps. She did a reading demonstration reading from the scriptures for my parents, and they were duly impressed. :-D

We have put up the swingset in our backyard, and are enjoying it so much. Hopefully sometime soon we can get the rest of the backyard finished, too. The kids just love the swing set, and I love that they never fight when they are out there and are always happy. We have never really had a yard we could go in before. Since Annalise was born, we have lived in 4 different apartment complexes, one house with a very hilly yard, and one small rental house. Now finally we have a nice flat yard. I tried to pick up all the rusty nails and wires, but the yard really isn’t kid proof yet. Somehow, that doesn’t seem to stop us from enjoying it. :) To me, the swingset is a miracle, because it solves sooo many of my problems. The kids are restless? Outside. They are hungry? Snack outside. They are fighting? Outside. Hopefully that magic will continue. ;) Annalise has said, “Mom, I’m starting a new a life. A life with a playset.” She has also said that it feels like we have our own apartment complex with a swing set. I guess that’s the only other time we have had a swing set before… when we lived in an apartment. :)

We put our Christmas tree up pretty early this year. Partly because we are traveling for the holidays and wanted a chance to actually enjoy it and partly because we would be gone on Thanksgiving, the day we typically put it up.

The kids have been so in love with the Christmas tree. For the first week, we kept on finding Annalise sneaking out of her bed until like 10 at night laying under the tree looking up at the lights. One night Nick finally went and gently carried her up, and she said, “I was trying to fall asleep under it, but I just couldn’t.”

We have the kids nativities out, and it’s fun for them to play with them. I enjoy seeing the interesting and eclectic arrangements of the various characters. The other day I found that even Thomas the Train wanted to come and see baby Jesus! I also love getting out all of the Christmas books, and seeing the kids read them.

I got out tree for 10$ at a garage sale. It’s beautiful, 7.5 ft. douglas fir, pre lit. I saw the identical one at Home Depot for 130$. We enjoyed putting it up, and hope this will last us many years to come! We got our first 6 ft. cheap Christmas tree our first Christmas on a good deal for 16$, and last year it finally bit the dust. I was all prepared to spend a great deal of money this year on a nice tree, but when I found this, I was really excited! Nick and I are excited that in our entire married life, we have spent only 26$ on Christmas trees. This year we needed a new star, so we went star shopping. I was so determined that I didn’t want to spend more on a star than I did on the whole tree! Alas, it was not to be. The star was 10$, best we could find. Too bad those garage sale people weren’t getting rid of their star, too! Now that would have been sweet.

Somehow, celebrating Christmas in our new home makes it really feel like home. I love this house, but I was wondering when it would really feel like home to me. Putting up the Christmas tree and the stockings makes it really feel like that. Also, when we went to my mom’s for Thanksgiving, and then we came home and walked inside, I had a peaceful feeling well up in my heart. The feeling of home. I’m so glad that my house is finally really and truly starting to feel like my home. And I’m glad I’m not as scared to love it. I loved my last house so much, then 8 months after we bought it we found out we would probably have to move… I have been afraid to let myself love this house. But now, I do love it.

Merry Christmas season. :)