Sunday, July 27, 2008


Ben and I went down to see Daddy in San Diego for a couple of days. We had such a good time. Unfortunately, we didn't get many pictures as we were much more interested in spending lots of quality time together. Ben and I were really sad to leave and Jon was pretty sad to see us go. We did get to go to the beach. Ben loved the sound of the waves. Jon held Ben while I tried to surf for the third time ever (all three times with Jon in San Diego, the other two times being pretty much our first dates). It was a little intimidating without Jon in the water telling me what to do since he had to watch Ben. I did manage to get up a couple of times, but I only catch the waves after they've broken. I think I got a feel for the wave and the board, but my arms were so sore from carrying Ben to the beach from the dorms that I didn't quite have the energy to push myself up more than a couple of times. Anyway, Jon and I switched off and Ben and I got to watch him catch a couple of waves. He's such a stud, and an awesome teacher as his students and co-workers were constantly telling me.

Jon with Ben looking super tan and trim and a little bit drowsy. It's a little hard to tell, but Ben's shirt says "Daddy rocks". Ben was so excited to see Jon and was so sweet with him. It was so good to see him, but it made us realize how much we miss daddy when he's not around.

Another shot of Jon and Ben. Sometimes it looks like Ben has a hint of a dimple on his left cheek. I think it's hidden under all the fat.

Ben sitting on daddy's tummy . . .

and enjoying some daddy finger. His hair has continued to fall out and is now coming in blonde. I guess he's going to try out all of the hair colors before he settles on one.

Summer Days

So, Ben and I have been pretty busy the past couple of weeks. I'm sorry it's been a while since I posted. Don't worry, I have lots of pictures to show everyone what we've been up to. I have to say, I have no worries that there aren't enough pictures of Ben. He has been thoroughly photographed in his short little existence. Anyway, this post and the next couple of posts will be a quick photo journal of the last few weeks.

Ben and I went to the zoo with my mom and my two nephews. Ben slept the whole time, which was really a blessing. It's not like he can even see anything more than a couple of feet away. Here I am on the Carousel with Owen. Owen loved seeing all of the animals and was really a trooper.

Ben was dressed up in his animal outfit in honor of going to the zoo. Sometimes he makes the silliest little faces. I decided I should post some pictures of those faces instead of only just when he's smiling. In this one, he's hanging out under a little play gym. He loves batting at the toys and trying to grab them. He's getting pretty good at it too.

Owen just loves his little cousin and always is trying to make him smile. They are so cute together. I'm really glad Ben has been able to spend some time with his cousins.

Ben loves hanging out with Grandpa Merrill (B-Pa). I just love all of his little rolls. Is anyone out there worried that I don't feed the kid enough?

My mom and I decided that Ben needed a Bumbo chair since he's really starting to try and sit up. Here's the trial run. I know it says right on the box that you aren't supposed to put these things on elevated surfaces, but I laugh in the face of danger. Really though, I was obviously standing pretty close. Don't you judge me. I will try and get a video of Ben trying to sit up without the Bumbo. When I hold him semi-reclined he lifts his little (or rather big) head up and pulls on my hands to sit up all the way. He still has a little trouble with his head wobbling and a lot of trouble with balance and holding still.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Last batch, for now anyway

Dylan and Ben on my lap.

Rachael, Me, Mom, Courtney, and Ben on July 4th at Cascade Falls.

Ben enjoying the outdoors in his adorable hat.

All pooped out after the long trip, sleeping so peacefully (for a little while at least).

Even more pictures

Ben and Dylan in their bouncies again. This time with matching outfits. They're both stinking adorable, but are we sure they're related?

All six little boys, from left: Oliver (1), Ben (2 months), Owen (3 1/2), Nick (5 1/2), Dylan (3 months), Alex (2 1/2). What a handsome group of boys. I'm still impressed we got all of them sitting still long enough for a picture.

Mom and Ben, who misses Daddy?

Me with Courtney and Ben. At least Courtney and I look like we're related.

Ben's sweet little smile.

More pictures

Benjamin with Aunt Rachael and her 1-year old, Ollie. Also, check out the awesome lamp shade in the background.

The women of the Merrill Family, from the left: Rachael, Courtney, Karen (mom), Chelsea, and Karlie

Ben with his oldest cousin, Nick. Nick's first impression of Benjamin: "He has a lot of fat in his cheeks". The kid calls them as he sees them.

Looking cute with the sideways smirk

Smiling for Nammy. Notice the drool on his shirts in most of the pictures. He does love to blow spit bubbles.

Photos Galore

So, I decided to post the pictures in a couple of separate posts to hopefully make it a little easier to navigate. I will also probably put up a couple of slideshows later on.

Ben with Aunt Michelle before the big trip

Ben with his cousin Dylan, who's three weeks older than him . Just chilling in their bouncies.

Catching a quick nap in the sling. What can I say, mom loves blue stuff?

Flirting with his Nammy and looking good in blue.

Seriously, what a handsome boy. Nice job to my dad on the awesome photo.

More pictures are on their way

Family Reunion

So, we just got back from a family reunion with my parents and siblings and nephews. We went down to Cedar City for the Shakespeare Festival. It was loads of fun and pretty crazy with six little boys (Adam and Karlie have three: Nick (5), Alex (2), and Dylan (3 months); Rachael and Lance have two: Owen (3), and Oliver (1) and then Ben of course). The four older boys are running all over the place. OK maybe Oliver doesn't run, but he gets around and is always heading for stairs. Unfortunately the stairs at the place we were staying at were really treacherous, so we had to keep a close eye out. The older boys wanted to play hide and seek constantly and we were usually limited to the upstairs because of babies taking naps. There were probably a total of ten hiding places up there and we must have played about 50 times. It didn't help that when Owen or Nick would get found first they woul tell the seeker where everyone else was.

Also, we played lots of Rock Band in between seeing the plays. Everyone got a big kick out of it. Nick especially liked the drums. Unfortunately, the drums were a little too loud to play when babies were sleeping, so that limited their usage.

As for the plays, they were fantastic. I saw four of them: Othello, Cyrano de Bergerac, Taming of the Shrew, and School for Wives. The production and acting and costumes and everything were great. My favorite was Taming of the Shrew. It was by far the best production I've ever seen of it. It was really funny. That play can really be interpreted as lighthearted or depressing, and they did the lighthearted interpretation really well. Cyrano is still probably my favorite play, but it wasn't my favorite rendition. I thought they made some interesting editorial decisions that I wasn't super pleased with. School for Wives was really clever and funny. Othello was really well-done. Iago, Othello, and Desdemona were particularly fantastic. Plus, we saw it in the outdoor theater and it was a great experience.

I'm so glad that Ben got to meet his cousins and Adam and Karlie. He's a very social little guy and I think he loved having so many people to play with him. Also, he loves to be outside. We went on a hike on July 4th with Ben in the sling to Cascade Falls. He loved it and was such a trooper. At one point I slipped and almost fell. It was probably the scariest moment of my whole life, almost falling down a mountain while carrying my baby. You'd better believe I was really careful with my steps the rest of the way. Plus, my dad and Courtney were great about finding the best paths and helping me keep my balance.

Since we got back, not much has happened. Ben can sort of kind of sit up. If you set him up just right he can keep his balance for a couple of seconds. Usually it's only a couple of seconds because he tries to kick his little legs and loses his balance. His tummy and neck are close to strong enough for him to sit up, he just has to learn to not flail. That may be a tall order, though, as his limbs are in constant motion.

So, that's the synopsis of the Merrill Family Reunion 2008. I'll be posting a bunch of pictures shortly.