Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Lately we've been talking to Jackson about sharing. He doesn't really get the concept, and that's ok (according to our Parents as Teachers educator sharing is somthing that usually 'clicks' closer to 3 years). While he doesn't totally get the concept of sharing, he is starting to get the cocept of 'Bennett's Toys'. While I was wrapping gifts the other day, Jackson found one of B's toys- a tray for the Bumbo we already have. I told Jackson that we could not open it because it was for Bennett for Christmas. I don't really remember what happened after that. I went back to wrapping presents and a while later found this.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What should YOU be doing?

Really it's what should I be doing. . .

a) laundry
b) emptying/loading dishes
c) brushing dogs
d) vacuuming
e) using over-ripe bananas for banana bread
f) christmas list/shopping
g) 'working out' aka playing fruit ninja on the kinect, which really ISN'T working out
h) finding a recipe for the chicken I have thawing


i) taking care of two grumpy boys who cut their naps short?

Yeah. This is my second post for the day. Done.

Looking for a good (board) book?

Well, it happened. We knew it would, I guess. I missed a day. Going to try to get two going today. I threw, ah, put together, a lit of some of our favorite board books (though it looks like at least a couple aren't 'board books' they still come in that version!). I love board books for little hands- they are so durable. Anything that can withstand uncoordinated little hands, dropping, throwing, being stepped on and bent backwards is a win in 'my book'. Ha.

Favorite (Board) Books.

Bear Snores On. This is Jackson’s favorite book right now. I like it too. I really like rhyming books, I just think they are fun to read. I got this one at the PX in Germany. I remember when Jackson was a baby I’d get a book almost every time I’d go. I’m so glad I did because it seems lately there are so many other things to get, often books aren’t at the top of my list.

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear. This one we own isn’t actually a board book (but the link I included is the board version). Our copy was mine as a child! It’s really very short and simple. I remember it being one of my favorites, and Jackson loves it too. Especially the part where the bear STOMP STOMP STOMPs and SNIFF SNIFF SNIFFs. It’s all as fun as you make it!

Poke-a-Dot: Old MacDonalds Farm. Another Germany PX book that has been a big hit in our house for well over a year. This one has plastic dots you can pop. You pop them on one side, then turn the page and pop them back. The story is pretty lame (the lyrics to Old MacDonald had a farm), but the popping? Never gets old. I actually just had to replace it with another pop book because the binding on ours was trashed (re: toddler standing on books) but not because the pops wore out! Though the new book pops a bit louder than the one it replaced. I replaced it with the Monkeys Jumping On The Bed version, but think I prefer the farm version because each page has different animals.

Good Night Moon. I’m pretty sure EVERY parent has this, right? If not, it’s a classic.

Hmmm. I debated on which book to list last, and came up with this one. We LOVE Dr. Seuss around here and I think Theres a Wocket in my Pocket is our tried and true favorite (board book). It also may be the very first book we read Jackson- it even served as an occasional teething toy during that first year.  As you can see, it is VERY well loved.

When I went to look for books to take pictures of, I ame across these two that I couldn't leave out either.

We LOVE Llama, Llama books, period. Llama, Llama Mad At Mama is our current favorite. This might sound a little crazy, but I don't *love* reading books to Jackson where the characters are generally being little butt heads. It's like I think that somehow if he doesn't see these characters acting like that he won't display that behavior? Ha ha ha. But I make sure to use it as an example of how NOT to act, and we talk about the little llama's behavior. One of the lines is, "Llama llama, that's ENOUGH" which Mama Llama is telling Little Llama after he throws a GIANT tantrum in the middle of the Shop-o-rama. We both practice telling little Llama that is ENOUGH, and remind him that we don't throw fits (a frequent conversation in our house). There is even a Llama Llama Holiday Drama, but I can't swallow the 15.29 pricetag at Walmart. Maybe it will go on sale after the holidays- though only so much rhymes with llama and I wonder if there is actually anything *new* ;)

Another is LOOK LOOK. When I was a first time mom, after reading how babies see high contrast colors best for a few months, I bought this book. You know, to make sure my baby would love books as much as I do. Ha. Jackson could have cared less, until recently. I don't know where it was hidden, but he found it and has made sure it's in the pile of books to read at bedtime. He LOVES it. There isn't even a story, but whatever. Bennett saw it last night for the first time too and was MESMERISED! So I'm including it here. I think at least one high-contrast book is a good addition to any library :)

What is your favorite children's book? Board or otherwise? We're always on the lookout for a GREAT one!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


So it's already 8:24pm, and if you don't know me, I go to bed EARLY. I mean really early. So I don't have much for you today. I figured you were tired of hearing about bodily functions anyhow, and my next topic continues that trend. Potty-training. Jackson is, uh, mostly potty trained and it was quite the adventure. It's likely to be a long post, but one I want to write. Especially so I can look back on it in a couple of years before I decide to go through it all with B.

Here is a video of Jackson dancing at the bowling alley today. Sorry, you have to turn your head.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The things you don't see at 4am

Bennett is an inconsistent sleeper.

Some nights he's slept 11+ straight through, and for a few nights in a row. Then he'll quickly change it up to being up THREE times in a night, or even rarely 4. It's tough. It's tough to be up that much, but it's also tough when he starts sleeping through.

For the first couple of nights he doesn't get up, I'm up frequently (like every hour) after the times he's usually up. Just waiting, and checking the video monitor with an uncomfortably full set of milk makers, my mind and body are just UP. Eventually, though, they adjust and we all get a few great nights sleep.
But then. It's back up multiple times again. The latest catch is that B also uses this 4-5am time frame for his dialy poop. He doesn't poop any other time of the day. 4-5am. And if we're LUCKY he's done it before we go to get him. So we change, nurse and put him back to bed. On the not so lucky nights, we hear the grunting and pushing shortly after he's back in bed.

All this complaining and for what? It could be so much worse. Most of the time we get at least a 6 hour stretch (but not always) and I have an amazing husband who is able to function in his sleep, apparaently. I get it, this is what babies do, and I'm fine with it. Really. (As long as there is coffee in the morning!) Who wouldn't give up a few minutes sleep for this?

I wrote this post because I got a total kick out of seeing this the other morninig. I think we missed something MAJOR the night before! Eww! Parenting at it's . . .finest?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Do you like Kashi?

I LOVE Kashi. The Dark Mocha Almond Chewy Granola Bars are my FAV. Their 7 Grain Toaster Waffels are great, and their Go Lean Crunch Cereal is SO good!

Only one problem. The cereal, the Go Lean Crunch, gives me such and upset stomach I've been thinking I'm pregnant, because SOMETHING is not right in my stomach region.

Then I found this site.

Unless you've had the cereal, and had to Google, "Kashi Go Lean GAS", you might not find this link as funny as I did. I just skimmed the article. The comments is where the money is at. I DIED laughing. Oh my.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Linking up with Faith's Photography Challenge.

The theme? Gratitude. I think this picture sums up what I'm grateful for.

This picture embodies so much more than just the two beautiful boys I get to call mine. My family, my husband, our health and the life we've built together. . . the list goes on.
Happy Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Occasionally we affectionately call Bennett 'Momo' from the movie Madagascar. . .Cause he's BIG, he's CHUNKY. .

Here's the proof: B @ 2 months

I'm pretty sure my boys have made it so I have a love for ALL shapes and sizes of babies. Ok, this might make me sound like a total asshole, but I used to feel bad for people with giant babies. Because weren't they missing out on the itty bitty baby thing? Now I know, your baby is your baby no matter how big (or small). It really makes NO difference. Because unless you see them next to a same aged/smaller baby, they are still 'small' and just as sweet and cuddly! I love this big guy every bit as much as I love his 'little' big brother. I wouldn't trade these two for anything.
The sweet, little, furry ones, and the big, soft, squishy ones.
J @ 3 months                                     B @ 4 months

I could have sworn those were the same jeans, but looking at them now it sure doesn't look like it. I do know they are both pairs of 6-12m because we actually don't have any smaller 'jeans'!

**Dena- I totally just realized the double meaning here. How funny!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Adult interaction and my knight in shining armor

Mondays are always a little rough. Coming off the weekends are usually a bit of a letdown. There is plenty of cleaning and catching up to be done, and getting back into the swing of things with just me taking care of the boys can take it’s toll.

Yesterday Andy texted me at 4:30 telling me he was still in class (meaning it would be a while before he would be home). I’ve been working on our Thanksgiving shopping list and KNOW it’s going to take at least two trips to the store, if not three. So when Jackson woke from his nap in a pleasant mood I knew I needed to seize the opportunity. I got everyone dressed and headed out the door. I always park near a cart rack and use a cart to carry everyone inside. No luck today. ALL the racks were empty. Jackson very obediently held my hand and I lugged Benny and the diaper bag on my other arm.
Once inside we wandered the Christmas aisles. (Anyone who complains about the Christmas decorations out too early obviously doesn’t have small children.) We stopped to smell the holiday candles. Jackson enjoys doing this too and even names the colors (Orange! Green! Purple!) that he wants to smell. I chat with a lady with a toddler in her basket too about how whenever you ASK them to name a color they look at you like you are from Mars. I’m generally not a ‘chatter’. I’m just not good at it and unfortunately often keep on moving without making eye contact. Something I’m trying to do better on. Trying to be more ‘present’ in life. Later I ran into another mom with THREE boys. You know how you keep ending up in the same aisle with people sometimes? And you feel like you get to know them (as crazy as that sounds)? We kept running into each other and I stopped to ask about her THREE boys. She shared that she did also have a girl and another on the way! I love big families. I don’t know why, I just REALLY do. And there really isn’t much of a point to this story other than that it’s funny how sometimes exactly what you need is some ‘adult interaction’ in the form of a shopping trip to Walmart J
As the often do, things quickly started to turn downhill. Jackson was getting a bit cranky and Benny was getting restless. Or maybe Benny was getting cranky and Jackson restless, I forget. I quickly hit the produce section and made my way to the checkout. The first one I got to was the 20 items or less. I quickly estimated I had ‘about’ 20 and stood in line. While standing there I start counting and realize I may be over, but only  by an item or two. At this point I made the decision to stick it out, overage and all. I manage to get everything up on the counter. Jackson is ‘helping’ me unload and Bennett is getting fussy. REALLY fussy. I’m starting to stress, trying to find my credit card to pay and someone comes up quickly behind me, touches my back, and approaches my kids. It took a second to process, but it was my dear husband, who had come home from school, realized we must still be at Walmart and drove the couple of blocks to come ‘rescue’ us. He helped me load the kids and groceries into the car and then met us back at home. Could I ask for anything more?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Back to blogging.

Yeah. I want to come back. I just don’t know how.

I was looking through my old ‘comments’ trying to find a friend, and fellow blogger’s email address and came across this post. (It’s the one where I carefully outline why I’m POSITIVE I’m having a baby girl.) How fun is that? To look back on months later (knowing how wrong I was), hilarious! It’s always so fun to look back.
So I’m back to blogging, because I want to remember this crazy time, with two little guys, a fantastic husband (who got up with the kids this morning so I could sleep in), and two nutty dogs here in Kansas, of all places.
So here it goes. My own 30 day challenge, I'm going to blog every day for the next 30 days, and if I never write another word after that, so be it, but I think I can make it 30 days, right?
Some of my favorite blogs are short, sweet, and to the point. It’s no longer all about the kids. Ok it is, because isn’t it ALWAYS about the kids? But I’m not going to stress about it, no worries about documenting every fun thing we've done, complete with uploaded pictures, and witty comments, because really, I just don't have the time. (But maybe I'll recap some of our favorite things I've never blogged about). I'm just going to write.
I know this is a big undertaking with the holidays fast approaching and I'm sure there will be days I don’t even proofread. But I’m going to give this a try, and maybe you all can throw me a comment or two and keep me going.