Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Discovery Kingdom

We scored some free tickets to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom for one adult and one child so Ben and I made a date out of it. Before we went I made up my mind that we would stay as long as Ben wanted and do and see everything he wanted. With it being just me, the funner, more easy going parent, I knew it was an opportunity to throw things aside like traffic considerations and just enduldge Ben a little. 
It was such a fun day with my little buddy. Just fun to be alone with him and fun to see him get excited to go see it do the next thing. Some of our favorite things were riding the big swings together, the cool circus show actually performed by Cirque de Solei, the super cute animals at the animal hospital place, and riding the water rapid ride. Ben felt like he was going on a really big kid ride. We ate nachos and a big salty pretzel for lunch and I let Ben have root beer for the first time (I didn't want to splurge for two drinks- they were like $5 each). And later we shared a massive snow cone together while we watched the dolphin show. After it stayed and Ben learned what the splash zone was he really wanted to sit there buy by then it was full. Next year. We got there right when the park opened at ten and stayed till five getting stuck in some major highway 4 traffic on the way home. I also developed a migraine about mid way through our trip that didn't leave me for two days. But it was so worth it to spend a great day with my Ben. 
Giant snow cone.  Oh how I love the look of pure childhood mind blowing.    
Check out the tiger behind him.  He was nervous to get close to the glass.  
One on one time is so important to me. Not only do I think it's so good for the child. But also it's something fun and new for me. You learn new things about your child when you can give then your undivided attention. It's also a refreshing break in a way to take the number if lives you are responsible for at that time down from two to one. And since we plan on having a big family, I will only love opportunities for one on one time more and more. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Yeah!  We went camping last weekend, and it reminded me how much I love camping.  When I started to camp with my husband's family when we were sixteen I laughed at their idea of camping (they had a tent trailer).  I was used to strictly tent camping.  But once you go that way there is no going back.  They also as far as I know have always stayed at KOA's.  Nice for the convenience of bathrooms, playgrounds, and sometimes pools.  This year we stayed at a KOA in Cloverdale, CA up in the Sonoma area.  And this time we stayed in a cabin.  Now we've stayed in KOA cabins before.  Usually just a one bedroom cabin with a couple of sets of bunk beds with really thin mattresses on them.  Well this time we stayed in the Taj Mahal of cabins.  A two and a half bedroom with a full bath and kitchenette.  All eight of us fit in this place, leaving our little tent site we also rented abandoned.  Now I really don't know if I will ever be able to camp in anything but.  Especially so long as we have young children.  It was so nice to store food in the fridge, clean the children off in the shower, and have Jackson take naps in the blazing heat of midday in an air conditioned room- rather than sweating like crazy in a tent.  The boys will experience plenty of true roughing it, tent camping on daddy and son trips and scouts, so glamping it isn't going to make them too soft.  
The first morning the boys woke up early and everyone else was sleeping so we broke into the powdered donuts and then took a nice nature walk.  It was fun but the terrain wasn't the easiest with Jackson.  We were basically surrounded by steep ravines, which kept me on my toes the whole time.  But we did manage to find a nice flat path that I could let him roam unattended.  
I also don't know if I can ever go camping without my MIL.  As in do it all myself.  This lady is a master camper and brings out all the stops when it comes to camping food.  We snack well and we dine even better.  Cooking over that fire below was shrimp and potatoes, corn on the cob, and delicious chicken.  If it were me, it would have been hot dogs.  
Other favorite memories include:  James throwing Jackson up super high in the pool.  His face was priceless and everyone nicknamed him super baby.  On our second night we played I spy around the campfire and when it was my father-in-laws turn he said, "I spy something cute," to which Ben responded right away, "GG" (my mother-in-law).  That began a little trend.  Ben was up next and copied, "I spy something cute."  James had the answer, "mommy!" "Yup" Ben said.  Then James continued, "I spy something cute."  
Ben: "Mommy?" 
James: "nope, you!."  
Ben: "You don't think mommy's cute?!"  
James: "yes, but you are being cute right now."  
Ben: "Oh, I know!"  

Sunday, July 14, 2013


The boys had their 18-month and five-year check ups on Wednesday.  I am super lucky in that Ben loves going to both the dentist and the doctor.  He enjoys showing off his bravery.  He was very excited to not even say "ouch" when he got his shots now that he's five (he hasn't cried over shots since he was three).  Lucky, I know.  Their daddy is always really excited to see their growth and where they stack up on the old percentile deals.  Silly men.
Ben was weighed, measured, had his eyes checked and his blood pressure taken before we entered the room.  Jackson then stripped down for weighing and measuring.  He looked like a giant baby on the scale compared to the tiny guy that once lay there.  Ben thought it was funny that he had to get undressed to but he kept on his hat and shoes and was quite the sight.  I asked him if he forgot a few things (i.e. shorts and a shirt) when he left the house this morning.  He thought that was pretty funny. : )  Both boys checked out and then the doc delivered the sad news.  Ben did not need any shots.  He was seriously disappointed.  I know, weirdest kid on the bock.  Jackson on the other hand had to get two shots.  Ben was a proud big brother when Jacky only cried for about ten seconds.  Another easy one when it comes to needles.
And here is how they measured up:

  • Bentley:  Height- 3'7.6'' (64.63%) and Weight- 40 lb. (44.32%)
  • Jackson: Height- 2'9.75'' (91.21%) and Weight- 23 lb. 13 oz. - (48.90%) 
Of course James was thrilled to know that Jackson is still his "big boy," and Ben's height keeps on creeping up there in the rankings every appointment.  And both boys are on the skinny side like their daddy (wish I could say like their mommy here).  And of course we are both just happy that our boys are healthy, no matter how tall they end up.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Pretty Perfect Weekend

I usually don't have the Monday blues.  Probably because I don't work outside of the home, and weekends and weekdays are all basically the same for me.  James likes to enjoy his leisure time on the weekends, and we always have this little problem of not thinking of fun things to do, so our weekends seem to go by mostly uneventfully.  Well, this weekend was a pretty amazing one filled with lots of family fun.  We had the idea to go to a small local water park on Friday with both boys but after naps we still didn't quite feel recovered enough from the fourth.  So James thought it would be fun to just rest up some more and take Ben to the drive thru that night.  But before I dropped Jackson off with my parents for the night, he and I enjoyed a little solo park time.  We discovered this dog park a couple weeks ago and Jacky loves dogs.  He points and grunts at every dog he sees.  There was only a couple dogs there this time but we got to get up close and comfortable with a lab called Captain.
At about 7:30 we headed to my parents and luckily Ben fell promptly asleep and didn't wake up till the movie was about to start at nine.  We set up our twin air mattress and were oh so comfy.  We have decided its the only way to go to the movies from here on.  We even lasted for the double feature: Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger.  Ben even lasted half way through The Lone Ranger; we're talking past midnight.  Crazy guy, or I guess crazy mommy and daddy (it's summer people).  James and I didn't get to sleep until 3 am that night but it was a very fun night.
James actually woke up the next morning at 7 am to help his dad and brother completely clean out their garage.  Don't worry he got a couple hour nap in later that day.  I on the other hand snoozed till about ten.  Finally around four we headed to the water park for two hours of swimming with Ben.  He surprised us both by actually swimming small distances solo.  I always have him in a life jacket, so I didn't know he could do that.  Especially because we haven't gotten around to starting his lessons yet this summer.  We took him to this water park on his first birthday and hadn't been back since.  Cannot believe that was over four years ago.
My new favorite pictures (above and below) of us! 
We had an hour to kill before a family event so headed to the driving range for the very first time with Ben.  In the garage clean up the boys found the clubs that James and I had purchased for my then six-year-old brother-in-law (that'a a lot of hyphens) about eleven years ago.  They are almost the perfect size for Ben.  James was an amazing teacher and it was seriously the best thing I've seen in a long time.  A total glimpse into the future with James coaching his boys on sports he loves.  Ben did amazing, was a perfect little student, and hit a few really nice balls and putted a beauty.

I really felt like Ben needed the alone time with mommy and daddy and saw a big difference in his behavior.  He does tend to get jealous of Jackson in the sense that he wants all the same attention that we give Jackson.  He wants to be thrown or carried sometimes just like Jackson; to which I usually tell him he's too big or heavy.  And sometimes if I tell Jackson he's the cutest or something like that, Ben will say something like, "you don't think I'm cute?!"  Typical jealousy issues.  I could tell he soaked up every minute he had with us all to himself, and need to make this a priority.  I already have a trip planned for just Ben and I to Six Flags, Discovery Kingdom soon!  We were all very happy to reunite with our Jacky bears on Saturday evening though and enjoyed the rest of our weekend together as a family of four.

The Big Day

As soon as the boys went to bed I got this balloon contraption set up.  I told Ben that I wanted to take a picture of him as soon as he walked out of his room in the morning because I just knew he would be bigger.  I told him to call for me when he woke up.  So I heard a "mom" and sprung out of bed to grab my camera when I realized it was still really dark.  It was 3 am.  Jackson had already opened the door part way and balloons were in the room and the hall.  I think it scared them a bit and Jackson was trying to maneuver the taped streamers to get out of his room.  A bust, yes.  But pretty funny nonetheless.  
Ben's morning started with bowling lunch, and frozen yogurt with Mimi (Papa was out of town).  He still likes to tell me, "Mimi wasn't very good.  I beat her!"  
She got him a fun pool for the backyard, a baseball photo frame, and two books, including a Knock Knock jock book.  He always asks Mimi to tell him a joke and she could never think of any, so this was her solution.  He made sure to memorize one for the next time we saw her, "Knock, knock.  Who's there?  Cows go.  Cows go who?  No, they don't, cows go moo!"  
After trying out the new pool and a nap for the cutie below we headed to the cake shop as per our tradition.  
Presents were opened and lots of hugs exchanged.  Ben got his coveted Inotab, some games, a baseball T, and some fun Monsters Inc. gear.  
Then it was off to Fuddruckers for dinner and the traditional Numbered Jordans from daddy.  The number 5's for Ben's fifth birthday.  
Someone spilled his drink all over himself. 
A great celebration for  a great five-year-old boy.  We all love you so much Ben!