Saturday, February 27, 2010

Before February is over...

...let me squeeze in our Valentines Day post!

Well, this first picture is from the Super Bowl, but Ben and Madeline are wearing their Valentines Day shirts, so it counts!


Ben was all about cutie-pie Madeline, as you can see. I guess we'll know soon if he has an affinity for babies or just younger women.

As I keep harping on, I mean mentioning, the weather has given us the opportunity to spend lots of time inside. Which means it's time to get creative! I know that Ben enjoys all the art projects he does at school, so after a quick trip to the store, we set about making our own valentines!

"Ta daaaaaaa!"

We cut them all out into heart shapes and sent one to all the cousins and Nana and Grandma. (Planned to make them for the aunties too, but 10 hearts later, "we" ran out of steam.)

So here's a virtual valentine:

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We also celebrated with the Little Bears in Ben's classroom.
We read some books:

And sang some songs.
Ben was still waking up from his nap, but I made up for his lack of enthusiasm about the BIG, FAT spider!
He can't resist a good sing-along for too long though!
(Here's another girlfriend-in-training, Adrian)

Soo...happy Valentines Day! And a happy St. Patricks Day too, in case I don't get to that on time either!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Celebrating 30 weeks with a little whine

Ten to go! When I hit 30 weeks in my last pregnancy, I remember thinking, "wow - I'm in the homestretch!" Aww, so sweet and innocent. I didn't realize then that the "homestretch" is where things really start to get interesting.

7.5 months

At my appointment earlier this week, I found out that my bump is measuring at 27 weeks. So since it was 25 weeks two weeks ago, Dr. Hoover is happy with the progress and said that it might just mean I'm not having a huge baby (fine by me!). She was full of good news that morning, practically assuring me that I won't be pushing for three hours this time or experiencing some of the other less-than-awesome things that happened during my last delivery. I wish I could've gotten that in writing! We'll see how it all plays out. What's that saying about how making plans is the best way to make God laugh?!

That appointment came the morning after my worst pregnancy night so far - restless, uncomfortable, with a good dose of insomnia. I try not to be a complainer and am so inspired by those who claim, even in the worst of times, that they are better off than most. And that is so true in my case - the baby is healthy, wanted and loved; I am healthy, supported and loved. But...in the spirit of this being my pregnancy journal, my back hurts! A lot. It hurts when I sit, stand, sleep, walk, swim, etc. (I mean really. Who hurts their back in the pool?!)Arching like a cat and sitting on heating pads are temporary solutions. Even the prenatal massage that my sweet husband got me, while supremely relaxing and wonderful, only offered short-term relief. Guess I'll have to have one every day, huh!

Actually, Jenny, who has taken the brunt of my complaining, found out from her physical-therapist husband that there are PTs that specialize in prenatal and postpartum patients. I am waiting on appointment confirmation as I type. :)

So, here's hoping that running bathwater and retrieving dropped items will soon be less of a painful task. I am only 29 years old, after all!

Note for preggie friends: One bright spot in this week has been the discovery of the maternity belt, recommended by my nurse. This stretchy little velcro-wonder, as attractive as it is, has done an excellent job of relieving pressure, and I highly recommend it! So much so, that after the salesclerk put it on me, I had her ring up the package and wore the belt right out of the store. :)

And, if you're still reading after all that whining, here is the reason for the back pain in the first place:
"Ease up on the snacks Ben - you're breaking Mommy's back!"

But what can ya do? He does a really great job of holding my hand as we walk to his classroom, but there are times that the guy just needs a lift. And yes, he's wearing pj pants on top of a sleeper. This is what happens when Daddy does bedtime, and Ben is inconsolable about not wearing Elmo pj's to bed!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Easy Rider

I feel bad giving the weather such a hard time. So, ok, ok...in between a couple of Jan/Feb's cold snaps, there was ONE nice weekend that we got to enjoy outside!

Ben was super pumped to get some mileage on his birthday present from Grandma and Grandpa, so we shuffled up and down the street on the Harley trike one balmy Saturday.
I say "shuffled" because Ben's little legs aren't quite long enough to reach the pedals. While this stressed him out in a big way at first, he quickly adapted and is quite content to get around Flinstone-style for the time being.


Once we made it to the elementary school parking lot, he got to pick up his feet and glide down a couple of "hills", making me regret leaving his helmet at the house.

Concentrating on his "Cool Dude" thumbs up

Once he climbed out of the saddle and got over his disappointment in the too-wet playground, he and Zoe took to exploring.
"Wow that's freaky Zo."

a boy and his dog

Ben is SOOOO big!

It was a fun outing - hoping for more like it soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stircrazy

Like most people, we've been going a little stir crazy lately.

Sometimes literally...
the kid loves to cook!

And sometimes, figuratively, which makes us doing weirdo things...
like read Daddy's orthodontic journals.

But mostly, we've been playing around the house and have gotten really good at Lego building,

and bonding with/harassing Zoe.
Which has, in turn, made her even a little crazier than normal...
(that's a solid six inches of tongue right there)

So every once in a while, we just have to bundle up and head outside.
But we usually wait until Daddy can come too!
After all, they share that Canadian blood that keeps them warm.

C'mon Spring!

Friday, February 12, 2010

TGIF...with snow!

Amazingly enough, the predicted forecast came true today, and we got some snow! Once work/school got cut short, we headed home for some fun in the white stuff.

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After our fingers were too cold to move, we came in to warm up with a snack...



and some hot cocoa.
(with just a few marshmallows)


Who knows if it will stick around tomorrow, but we made the most of it today!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

lost in translation

Please enjoy the musical stylings of head chef Tyler and his sous chef Benjamin:

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Makes me laugh every time!

I did show it to his teachers and it turns out it was a medley of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and something about a snapping turtle. Hmm, think I need to take the videocamera to circle time to get the full effect...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seven months...well when did this happen?!

The third trimester has begun, and I'll admit that, while it snuck up on me, I am feeling it! Oh my aching back that Ben has no mercy on, the heartburn that Tums and Pepcid temporarily relieve, only to rise up again once I lie down on my two pillows and shove the third between my legs, and the restless sleep that is driving my husband to the guest room...

but she's worth it.

28-week belly pic:
(I'm happier about it than I look!)

We've always predicted that our second child would be a maniac since Ben spoiled us with a calm and cuddly infancy. Katie Beth seems to be fulfilling that prophecy with lots and lots, and lots, of in-womb activity! Wild Woman is always busy whirling and twirling in there, and I can't wait to see how that translates on the outside!

My doctor said that all is on schedule for the Feb. 22 opening of UAB's new Women's and Infants Center, whew! I'm really enjoying Dr. Hoover, as she's a mom of little ones too and just gets it. And delivering at UAB will cost us zero dollars. Zero! You don't have that opportunity very often, so that and the new hospital really clinched the deal for me.

This morning's appointment was eventful as it was time to take my glucose test (I passed!) and get my rhogam shot. Neither was as bad as anticipated...nor was the weight gain this time - although I'm still reeling from that 7-lb jump in January! (thanks Christmas cookies!) My belly measurement was a little small, 25 weeks, so we're just going to check again at my next visit in two weeks to make sure she's growing like she should.

That's all the news I know! Tyler recently taught Ben how to rub my belly and say hi to Katie Beth. So here's a shot of me with all our kiddos:

"Hi Kay Buff!"

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Birthday Day: two-two train party!

It was so fun have Ben's birthday party on his actual birthday this year! My parents arrived the night before, and we were ready to roll bright and early on January 23!

"Two-two trains" was the theme of the day, so we asked all the party goers to bring their favorite ride-on toy to the UAB Campus Rec Center for a morning of choo-choo, vroom-vroom and beep-beep!

Ben had a blast - did a little cupcake snitching at the beginning, but also got lots of play time in with his buds. And the sharing concerns I'd had proved unwarranted - there was plenty of fun to go around!

Ben showing off his mad trike-riding skills.

Carter, low riding on the Harley.

Ben and Hope smiling "naturally" in Ben K's wagon.

Miss Madeline taking the cozy coupe for a spin.

Mills showing the little kids how it's done.

No surprise that the inflatable we borrowed was a hit!

Ben seems to have gotten past his fear of bouncy houses.

Eventually we corraled the kids long enough for pizza and cake.

The lone family pic of the day...can you tell Ben's got something else on his mind?

The train cake, courtesy of mom's cake mold and an evening of sugarloaded decorating!
(Dad did the cupcakes)



So, I'm proud of this cake. ;) It was cute and fun to do, and each kid got their own car to eat...

although guess who preferred a cupcake?

After more playtime to burn off that nutrious meal, all the kiddos went home for, what I hear, were excellent naps! Definitely true at our house. And what better way to wake up than with presents to open?!

In addition to his new basketball hoop and Harley tricycle, Ben scored lots of fun stuff, from a keyboard that plays "loveshack" to sticker books and hot wheels,
and a marshmallow gun :). Ben was so excited about each one!

We took a brisk walk at the Botanical Gardens,
and said goodbye to "Mah and Pampaw" - see you in a couple of weeks!
Then we wrapped up Birthday Day with dinner at Moe's and a bubble bath. All in all, a great day, and a wonderful time celebrating our two-two year old!
Here are some more pictures, and more pictures, and videos for our family who couldn't be there - especially the cousins, whom I know love a good party in the gym!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

cupcakes galore

I'll just preface this by admitting that Ben has had more cupcakes in the two weeks leading up to his birthday than in the rest of his life combined.

First there were the "practice cupcakes" at Grandma's house that his cupcakedar (that's radar for cupcakes) picked up from across the room, inside a container.


Then there was the cupcake-baking project at home before his classroom birthday party. He had a blast dumping in the mix and then placing the cupcake cups in the muffin tin. However I then made the unforgivable mistake of pouring the batter into the cups!

Let me just tell you, the icing hit the fan.

Ben: "Nooooo! Duptakes!"

Me: "But Ben, these ARE cupcakes. They just have to cook first!"

Ben: "Nooooo!" (frantically trying to scoop batter out with his spoon)

It continued on like this for a while, as I tried to explain the solidification of liquids and rising properties of yeast to an almost two-year old. ...Which is pretty much my comprehension level of both anyway, but it still didn't bridge the gap.

After cooling down with a visit to the front door, a naked time-out in his room and then finally a bath, Ben was happy to discover that real cupcakes had taken the place of that mess Mommy made.

Somehow the little squirt even got to test them out. There's my iron-fisted parenting, for you!

The cupcake taste-tester gave them high marks.

Final product!
(This part was done after my assistant had clocked out for the night.)
Icing cupcakes at 10:30 at night for my son's school party was definitely one of those "I'm a mom" moments, by the way.

It paid off the next day as I met the "Little Bears" as they woke up from their naps for Ben's Mickey Mouse party!
I thought I had bought Mickey Mouse ears for everyone, but was short a couple of ears. So in fairness, only the birthday boy got to wear them.
(let me know if you're in the market for 7 mouse ears)
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Dig in kiddos!
Sylvia and her icing lipstick

Adrienne enjoyed hers as well!

Ben was very excited about his "pahty pates" and had wanted to eat off them for the last week.
So dinner that evening was served on Mickey, as well as the remainder of the weekend meals, even at Moe's.

More birthday hoopla, and cupcakes, to come!