Sunday, January 25, 2009


Dear Ben,

Yesterday you turned 3. As usual, you first woke up around 5:30 AM. You are nothing if not predictable in that respect. In many other ways, you keep us guessing every day. You are full of character, that's for sure. The last few months your favorite insult, and you imbue it with as much scorn as your little voice could possibly hold, has been "baby girl". If Claire, me, or even the cats do something to bother you, you will give a big harrumph, and then exclaim, "baby girl." I think you like it most because it bothers your big sister so very much.

You are still very stubborn. Bribery and threats rarely work with you. This week I would often tell you that we had to go straight home from school because we had to get things ready for your party. You would tell me, "actually, I don't want a birthday party." No, you don't, you'd rather get whatever it was you wanted right then. But only a few minutes later you would change your mind again, "actually, I do want a party."

I love how much joy and enthusiasm you have. When I pick you up from school and you first see me you get the biggest smile, and you run to give me a hug. That makes my day. You are still such a loving little boy. Though you would correct me, "I a big boy now, I wear underwear!" You will sometimes come up to me as I sit on the sofa, and say, "Mommy? Can I snuggle with you?" How could anyone say no to that?

I love listening to you play with your sister. Tonight the two of you were playing with one of the new toolkits you got for your birthday. You were pretending to screw something in, while Claire manned the cell phone, and talked to your client, "Yep, we're just checking on things. Making sure it's tight. There's a leak? Ok. Uh-huh. Bye." You continued to work industriously. I'm so glad that you two can be such good friends to each other. That is when you're not driving each other crazy, because we definitely see that, too. You seem to have a talent for saying and doing exactly what will annoy Claire the most. I keep telling her that that is a little brother's job, but that doesn't really make her feel any better.

You love music so much. You will frequently put on concerts for us with the guitar that you got for Christmas. You almost always request to watch Imagination Movers on TV, or a Rocknoceros podcast on my computer. Sometimes you won't respond to me unless I call you Imagination Mover Dave or Coach Cotton. At your school's holiday concert whenever we could hear anyone in your class singing it was you. You may not be pitch perfect, but you are certainly enthusiastic.

Ben, you amaze me everyday with what a big boy you are becoming. You are growing up so quickly, and I love the new changes, but I will also miss the stages that you are growing out of. I worry that sometimes I don't pay attention and the "last times" slip by without me noticing. I didn't realize the last night that I put you to bed in your crib, or the last morning I got you out. I want to go back in time, and make sure that those memories are imprinted in my mind forever. I love you so very much. Happy Birthday!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ten on Tuesday - the Inaugural edition

1. Yesterday we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.
2. For King's day of service, I've decided to participate in the Knit your Bit campaign.
3. King is probably best known for the "I have a dream" speech. I think today, that part of his "dream" is becoming a reality.
4. Today is about change.
5. I am grateful that my kids will grow up in a world where they won't understand why electing a president that is African-American is a big deal.
6. Unknowingly, but what a nice coincidence, Ben and Claire chose to wear patriotic colors today.
7. Me? Do blue jeans count?
8. At least my Starbucks cup has a patriotic cardboard sleeve.
9. No matter who you voted for, it is impossible to deny that today is a historic day for our country.
10. Yes we can!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Best Shot Monday - cousins

Every year sometime in the week before Christmas my husband's mother's family all gathers for a holiday party. I caught Ben and his cousin, Ryan, in a particularly "cheesy" mood while the older generation tried to watch football behind them.

Visit Tracey at Mother May I for more pictures from Best Shot Monday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where has my baby gone?

I rushed home from school yesterday to be here when Ben's bed was delivered, then headed back to school, ran some errands, picked Claire up and took her to dance class, and then finally returned home.

I found Ben and Brian in a storm of cardboard boxes and pieces of pine. Some of them resembled a bed.

About 45 minutes later, we had a twin bed, with rails set up. (We bought Ben a twin-over-full bunkbed set, but for the time being we are only using the top part.) I quickly heated up some dinner for the kids, they ate, and then we went back upstairs to put on pajamas. As soon as Ben had his pajamas on, and for every 30 seconds thereafter he said, "will you tuck me in, Mama?" Over and over and over again. Until finally it was time to get tucked in. I kissed him and hugged him, and put his stuffed elephant in beside him. He gave me a huge smile, and said goodnight.

This morning I was awakened by him calling me. I went in, and when I reached out to him in bed he realized where he was, and suddenly said, "oh, I can get out by myself." Then he told me, "The bedbugs didn't bite me. My elephant helped me sleep." By all accounts, a good first night. Let's hope it continues to go as smoothly. Or that maybe? Possibly? He will start sleeping later in the mornings. Ha!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. I have been a terrible blogger lately.

2. My baby is turning 3 in 11 days. Scaaaaaaaaary thought.

3. He gets a big boy bed tomorrow. I'm excited and trepidatious.

4. Work has been a little crazy since we got back from the holidays. Hopefully things will get straightened out soon.

5. I was so tired this morning that when I got to Ben's classroom to sign him in I looked at my watch and thought the battery was dead again (it had just been replaced last week). I was frustrated, but just made up the time based on the last time I'd looked at the clock in the car. Today at 3:45 PM I realized I had put the watch on upside down, which was why the time looked all wonky when I checked it throughout the day. Brilliant.

6. I am sipping minty green tea out of a mug my office-mate gave me for Christmas. Lovely.

7. We decided that the cats were finally big enough to wear the collars that we had bought them when we first got them. I put Penny's on after dinner, and she has spent the last hour and a half trying to figure out how to chase the little bell on her neck.

8. Now we need to figure out where Papaya's collar is hiding.

9. Claire started a new dance class last week, and tomorrow is her second class. We got her tap shoes last weekend, and I can't wait to see her face when she puts them on and starts tip-tapping.

10. The kids and I have a four day weekend this weekend. Hooray!