Monday, June 30, 2014

Safari Six

Ben's birthday festivities continued into the weekend thanks to his amazing GG at Safari West.  Here's a little blimp from their website what this place is all about
              Safari West is a world class destination and resort for the discerning traveler – an African adventure in the
                   heart of California wine country. Guests may explore the Sonoma Serengeti on an African wildlife safari 
                   alongside romping herds of exotic wildlife or relax in a luxury safari tent under the gaze of a graceful giraffe. 
We arrived right before our safari and first order of business was for Ben to measure up to see if he could ride on the top of the open jeep, and luckily he just made the cut. 
Before our 1.5 hour jeep tour began we had a 45 minute walking tour where we explored the beautiful grounds and tramped around with giant tortoises, exotic birds, lemurs, and monkeys.  
We then hopped aboard this bad boy and got up close and personal with some larger varieties of animals. 
The giraffes came right up to our jeep except for the sweet baby one, who immediately ran off as soon as we approached.  The ostriches also weren't shy and came right up to us and were pecking at our brave driver.  I asked him if what I heard about emus were true of ostriches.  That they can run up to incredible speeds and tear the flesh off of humans with one bit.  He confirmed that this was in fact true, as he continued to stand outside the jeep and get pecked away at.  Ha!  He did say that males were much more aggressive and all their ostriches are female, or else he wouldn't be outside the jeep.  
Female ostriches or not, they got a little too close for James' comfort. 
Ben rode the second half of the trip up top with GG.  I was not about to try and climb me and my belly up there and James thought that he would get car sick, so thank goodness GG is always game.  I couldn't see his face but he kept shouting out questions and comments to the driver (he was not being shy at all let me tell you), and I could hear it in his voice that he was having the time of his life. 
As soon as we arrived a little before 4pm, I could smell the delicious dinner they were cooking up.  So by nearly 7:30 I was ready to dig in.  The BBQ style food did not disappoint, neither did the view.  
After our adventure we went back to our accommodations where we had to rough it for the evening.  : )  Ben was thrilled to have bunk beds and that he got to sleep up top. 
We ended the night with yet another ode to the birthday boy as we sang the traditional song and ate cake and ice cream.  Ben happily announcing to any fellow glampers that it was his birthday yesterday. My mother-in-law deemed this tradition as the safari six, so looks like we will be back in 3.5 years for Jackson.  


Ben's sixth year of life marked the day when we finally gave in and got this kid his first pet.  Well, a fish.  Not exactly sure they qualify as a pet, but we have him fooled at least.  The lady photo bombing our picture thought it was pretty curious we were taking a photo to begin with so we had to explain the occasion to her.  : ) 
We decided on a pretty blue Betta fish.  A male of course.  And gathered a simple setup for our first go around as "pet" people.  Hopefully we got everything we needed.  We did run out of water (apparently this fish is too good for tap), as you can see from the photo below of the have full tank, so I guess we will be doing a Petco run tomorrow.  Ben thinks we now need the reward card they offer, since we are going to be frequent customers from now on.  
The boys worked together to set up their newest roommates digs.  When picking out the rocks for the bottom of the tank Ben began by looking at all the colorful rocks, but then when he saw the natural rocks he said he wanted them so the fish would feel more at home.  : ) 
Ben's favorite part was transferring his fish, which he so cleverly has named Blue, from his little container to his new home.  He began by very slowly pouring the water into the tank and then grew increasingly excited as he exclaimed, "he's going to fall in through a huge waterfall!"  Luckily he survived the huge drop and now lives on the boys dresser.  For hopefully a good while.  I have no idea the fish's life expectancy, but already warned Ben they don't live for very long.  Good thing a few bucks and a walk down the street will provide Blue's replacement when that time does come.  The pictures below make me so happy seeing that smile on my baby's face.  These are the kind of parenting moments that make it all worth it.  And this kid and I have had a rough week, so that's saying a lot.  Haha.  Love you Bentley Greene! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

This is Six!

My first baby turned six today.  Just crazy.  But I am really glad that he is six considering I'll be having my third baby soon.  I need some space between these kiddos of mine because I can use all the help I can get.  And he's a good big brother.  When he wants to be.  Although he's still not sure about this sister thing.  He thinks that girls are bossy and that she's going to come out of the womb bossing him around.  Ha.  My first order of business was setting up a little festive birthday breakfast for him to wake up to.  I love how simple things still tend to blow him away.  He thought that Dollar Store banner was top notch.  
We dined on orange juice and Pillsbury cinnamon rolls . . . you know, the good stuff.  Ben thought he was pretty clever turning his card upside down.  At breakfast he received his traditional numbered Jordan shoes from his daddy.  He was an active participant in his other present later today, but I'll give that it's own post.   
We kept it low key again this year.  Since we moved twice during the last school year and he's been home schooled since January, Ben doesn't have a big group of friends.  He said next year he "definitely will!" since he'll be in Kindergarten and all.  We invited his two best buddies, Beau and Grady, and his cousin, Ashlynn, to join us for a morning at Pump It Up followed by pizza and cake.  Ben already tells me way too often that he is too old for lots of things.  And I hate it every time he says that.  He's growing up way too fast.  So I love to see him being a kid, which he still very much is, but he likes to think he's not sometimes.  My boys were both so worn out that bedtime took about ten minutes tonight too.  Score. 
Again trying to tack another year onto his age.  : ) 
Ben decided a couple months ago that he wanted a Sonic the Hedgehog cake.  He's played the game on Wii a couple times at our gym and that's about it, but for some reason it stuck with him.  This was a picture he drew of the cake that I was supposed to make him.  It has sat in my bedside table since then, where he put it as a reminder.  It wasn't until a couple weeks ago that I hesitantly told him, "you know I can't really make that exact cake, right?"  Being the super reasonable boy that he is, he understood that I'm no baker or cook for that matter.  He will definitely attest to that as he often chastises me for eating out too much.  : )  So we turned to Pinterest and found a compromise cake.  And surprisingly enough he was very pleased with my wonky version.  Phew.  When I was getting a little stressed out over it last night he says to me, "mom, it's just a kid's birthday party!"  Gotta love that guy.  
Once the festivities wrapped up we headed to our store to see GG as per tradition.  Daddy was busy with deliveries and meetings, but Ben couldn't resist tearing into his presents from his GG and Pa.  Among which was his long coveted after, robo dog, Zoomer!  Out of the box it had to come and it was surprisingly all charged up so the boys had a great time running around the back of the store with their new "pet" casing around after them and barking on command.  Now Ben insists on building him a dog house.  Hopefully my dad wont mind tackling that project with Ben.  
Once daddy got home we had one more thing on our agenda (next post) and then it was off to bed.  From the pictures below I thought that he was going to be too wound up and that bedtime would take forever.  But as already mentioned, the day wore him and his brother out, and luckily they both floated off into dreamland in record time.  Happy sixth birthday buddy.  We sure do love you! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Handmade with Love

I have fallen head over heals in love with handmade products for baby girl.  Not only are there so many beautiful and unique items out there but I just love the idea of the person behind the piece.  I love thinking of the mom sewing all hours into the night to pursue her passion, help provide for her family, without having to sacrifice her days at home with her children.  I love supporting the momtrepreneur, as it has since been termed.  And the products that some of these ladies produce are nothing short of art.  Etsy provides a place for these ladies to get their businesses started and I am a frequent purchaser.  I love that there is a place where all of my favorite things can go so I can slowly and eventually chip away at my wish list and eventually support all of my favorite shops.
So many of my other favorite shops have graduated from Etsy and have their own place in cyberspace, so I wanted to include some of those links.  I know my readership of this little blog is very small, but if I could bring one new customer to any one of these shops I would feel happy.