Friday, December 22, 2017

Benson turns 2!

Yesterday Benson turned 2! He woke up to presents but would've been perfectly find with the dollar store mickey mouse balloons scattered on the ground. I took him to his 2 year old doctor's appointment where we found he had an ear infection, grocery shopping, and to pick up his prescription. Then we came home to cake and ice cream and lunch. Then we spent the afternoon and evening at Sea World. It was actually really fun because he knew it was a special day and was so cute about it all. It was fun for all of us too since he's still our baby at this point and we all just completely doted on him all day. Ty was so cute with him at Sea World, putting his arm around him, guiding him wherever. Levi took him on all the little kid rides (he's tall enough now!!! I kept getting nervous he would stand up but totally got it and stayed buckled up!). He kept his arm around him- it was so cute. We got to Sea World and realized Shad didn't have any shoes so TJ ran back home with him and made it back in 20 min (home and back!) to barely slip in in time for the dog show. Ha. It was actually a really good day together and made me realize how these kids really are growing up! It was pretty easy at Sea World today and Bens even walked around, out of the stroller just fine. I've never had a 2 year old before and not been pregnant or had another baby already so it's kind of weird feelings. As I put his little 2 year old shirt in the wash, it made me wonder when I'd ever get this out again?? Weird thoughts come as your babies get older :) We ended the day at Taco Cabana where everyone ate a ton and ate every morsel of food, even Ty- now that's always a win for our family!

Benson LOVED his own baseball chair from my mom. Him and Shad now can sit together. He also got a Paw Patrol ride on car but we didn't realize it had to charge for 18 hours before he could ride it. He got a Paw Patrol foam ball set of a basketball, baseball, and football- that is basically the perfect gift for him. Couldn't describe him better. 

I feel so blessed to have this boy in our family!! Even though he came at a pretty chaotic time in our life, I know now it was perfect timing. He's brought so much joy to our family and he's definitely the youngest- and eats it up. Him and Shad are starting to play much more together and I'm grateful Shaddie has a buddy. 

At 2 years old, Benson is talking more than any of the other boys did at his age. He clearly says, "Wow! Cool!" all the time (especially on his bday) and a slew of other words. I'm hoping we might have one that doesn't need speech. I'm not holding my breath though :) He used to eat really well but now just wants milk in his sippy at. the. time. Sometimes he'll catch up eating and loves mexican food. He's basically your averaged sized toddler with a giant belly when he eats a lot. He loves sweets, CFA, and chocolate milk as well. 
Benson is obsessed with sports, especially baseball. He likes to hold his baseball in his hand everywhere we got. He'll often hold it 12+ hours and when he drops it says, "my bae ball! my bae ball!" He also loves Paw Patrol (Chase is his favorite), all dogs, Molly, his brothers, and his momma. He is still a major momma's boy- it's insane. He only started liking TJ about 6 months ago but if I'm around, won't let TJ hold him. He struggles in nursery but that's because we've been the nursery leaders since he was old enough to go and he's around us. When he goes to Miss Katie's house when I have work meetings, he's very clingy and sad the next day. He's my little shadow, barnicle, and sidekick! All I have to do is raise my boy so spank his bum slightly and he falls apart, asking for "momma!" and to "hold me!" He's very cautious, understands A LOT, and doesn't run away but stays right by me at all times. He gives looks of death to strangers as well as family and friends, will smile only if he really means it and it's someone he knows. So basically, he's antisocial and might grow up to be a serial killer. He reminds me of how Levi was as a baby/toddler in many ways. 
We recently took him out of his crib and moved him and Shad in together. But Bens is in our bed now for the most part since he only wants me. Shad sleeps great in his bed so basically we've moved one kid out and put another in. Him and Shad are playing better and better together but they still fight and tease a lot. Way more than Ty and Levi. 
His favorite thing in the world is for my IHC work blanket to be folded in half (with the fuzzy side down) placed on a certain side of the couch. He then lays with his head on the arm rest, his own "umpie" (blankie) placed vertically on his torso and legs, and maybe a stuffed animal, while he sips his milk in his Paw Patrol sippy. It's ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous is that lately he likes laying in our bed in this same manner but with me next to him, cuddling him, for the entire time he drinks it. We give in because he's our baby :). He still needs daily Miralax in his milk since he has major constipation issues still. He's needed this since he was 3 months old.
Bens still has blonde hair that's a darker blonde/light brown in some places. Luckily, he didn't get the crazy Wengert hair that Shad, Devin, and Preston have. His hair has a nice form and looks so cute with gel in it. He has brown eyes and a little scar on the left side of his lip that happened when I was at work (TJ!). Benson loves to play on playgrounds and is totally capable on his own. People often comment on how tough he is- he'll fall down and jump right up. It's not very often that he cries after falling down. He does everything in his power to keep up with his brothers. He LOVES wrestling with Molly and is constantly pulling her tongues, ears and tail- she loves any and all attention! They sure are good buddies.
This kid is the epitome of the baby of the family and momma's boy! We sure love this kid- he completes our little line-up of boys. We all call him "Baby", "Baby Boy" or "The Baby Boy"- wonder why he acts like the youngest??? It just comes out. :) Together, him and Shad are the Little Boys and Ty and Levi are just The Boys. Benson's nicknames also include Bens, Benzy, and Benzy Boy. Happy Birthday to our baby boy!

2 years old

28 lbs = 49th percentile
35 inches = 72nd percentile

Right before we were leaving to Sea World, Levi decided he was going to count all the books we have as part of his Winter Break Challenge paper from school. 537 books later and this mess he completed the task. 

Riding the rides without mom!!

We ran into Carrie and Cameron at Sea World since it was Cameron's bday today too. We love our good friends!

We read the first book of Harry Potter (the full book with illustrations) together as a family in one month. The boys are now OBSESSED with Harry Potter. Levi was so into it he found my chapter book of it and took it to school to speed read through it. Ms. Monte about fell on the floor when she saw him reading it, while the rest of the kids were with their picture books. They all want to be in Gryffindor now. We celebrated by watching the movie together as a family. They can't wait to start book 2. 

His new Paw Patrol motorcycle! I found this marked down on Amazon back in Sept. Definitely a good buy- he loves it! He's still figuring out how to steer it so we're constantly helping him turn it around when he's stuck against a wall. :)

The usual look he gives people who smile at him.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

U of A Graduation

On Wednesday Dec 13th, Benson and I got on a plane and headed down to AZ for my graduation from the U of A. Since we had a week left of him being free as a lap child under the age of 2, we decided to take advantage so TJ could still go to work. Graduation was on the 14th and I flew back on the 15th so it was a quick trip yet there was still a lot of arranging with friends to help with the 3 older boys. I was really appreciative of good friends who picked up/dropped off from school and everything until TJ could get there. Benson did really good on the flights, however, there's a reason why you pay for their own seats at 2. He is just too big and we were super cramped. Both flights were full flights as well. But it went really well and I was so glad I made the effort to go!

Devin and Teddi were out of town on a cruise for Ted's 30th b-day so we hung out with Ruby the whole time we were there! It was so good for Benson to be around a baby!! At first he kept putting his finger to his lips and telling her to shush. But eventually he would say, "boo!" and she would laugh her head off while they were play a little. Benson also got sick while we were there, of course, but we made it through! My parents are in the middle of remodeling the house too- it's looking beautiful but still lots of work to be done. It was neat to see it in progress and just hang out with my mom. 

Ruby- 8 months old

On the day Shad didn't have preschool, he went to work with TJ and got lots of food and iPad time :)

My parents and Tanner left Wednesday for a 8 hour MHS football banquet. I left my suitcase in the back of their car so I didn't have any jammies for Benson. This was all I could find of Ruby's that would fit him- he did not like it :) But it sure was fun playing mom to Miss Ruby! She's such a smiley, easy-going baby that reminds me of an owl- turning her head back and forth to every little noise. She also can't sit still and wants to move back and forth from person to person. She's so adorable.

Graduation was at Centennial Hall- the same concert hall where I had my piano Ensemble concerts every year for a whole decade. My parents and I thought it was quite ironic- like life had come full circle in some way :) My good friends from my group weren't able to be there but it was still fun to meet people I had only worked with online. My favorite professor, Professor Walters, was there and it was neat to be in person. The actual ceremony took forever but it was really neat to be on stage to get hooded. I realized that of the list I had made of my life goals back when I was a Mia Maid, this was the very last goal left to achieve- obtain a Masters. It felt good. I also had a secret goal of becoming a Wildcat Alumni! :) Sun Devils is fine but now I'm both!!

Since I was at home, I found pictures from my ASU graduation, 11 years ago (almost to the day) on Dec. 15, 2006. Crazy how so much has changed, (how I look so much older! I blame that on the kids:), and how little pictures we even took. I don't even have a decent one of us looking at the camera!

11 years apart

12/14/17 at U of A
12/15/06 at ASU

TJ felt really bad about not being there. I really was just fine with it and appreciated him helping me so that I could attend. I was sooo touched when I found out he had emailed the tech person in charge of the ceremony to find out how he could view the ceremony from Texas. He left work early and picked up the boys so they all could watch it together- I just thought that was so sweet and was the same as if they were there. They all cheered for me here while I was up being hooded on stage :)

Tanner had a basketball game at MHS so it was fun seeing Lucy Sewell (Kendra's daughter) and hanging out with her- she's the cutest thing ever!!

My very expensive badge holder :)

As part of the boys' Christmas present, Ruth sent money to go see Coco. I thought it looked weird and wasn't sure how long Benson would sit but I was SO surprised at how much I loved that movie! We all did and all of us sat there the entire time. Levi was so absorbed in it that he kept shouting out loud at Miguel, telling him he had to go back. He even was crying at one point, he was so into it. It was so adorably cute. I thought it was so nice of Ruth to do that. 

Shad had his preschool Christmas program where they sang a few songs. Shad took it very serious. It was pretty cute. He sure loves his preschool. 

Lennon McIntyre- Shad's good buddy from school/ward who we carpool with. 

I was in charge of Ty's 2nd grade Christmas party and helped with Levi's. It was crazy and chaotic but the kids loved it all. Shad is so used to being with the big kids and just goes wtih Ty from station to station. By the end he was calling out the Bingo cards to the kids. :)