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.
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.