Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Benjamin Danvers Willes: Age 2

I promised an update on our little man, so here goes.  At his two year checkup today he measured in at 34 1/4 inches and 29 pounds.  That puts him at about 50th percentile height and 75th percentile weight, so he’s not nearly as big (relatively) as he used to be.  This doesn’t surprise me at all as he’s much too busy to be bothered to eat as much as he used to.

Ben is a little adventurer and a delight to everyone around him.  Even today, when we had a WIC appointment and a doctor’s visit for him, he made friends with everyone.  He didn’t even flinch when they pricked his finger to test his iron. 

At the doctor’s office, he had a really good time.  He was pretty excited that he got to use the big boy measuring stuff and got to walk out in the hall to the measuring stick and stand on the scale.  He didn’t even mind when the nurse had to try four times to get a blood pressure.  Then the doctor came in with a nursing student and was telling her/me that 2 is a really hard visit and that he would scream through the whole thing.  Not so.  Ben was pretty quiet for most of the exam and only seemed bothered at all when they looked in his ears.  Then they laid him down to check him out and the doctor kind of tickled him and Ben started laughing hysterically.  The doctor looked surprised and said it was the most pleasant 2 year checkup he’d ever done (I’m sure he tells that to a lot of people, but Ben was pleasant, also of note, Penny was a champ through all of this too).  Then, the doctor left and left the door open while I had Ben on the exam table to dress him.  Every time a nurse would walk by he would say hi.  When they would stop and say hi he would point at the wallpaper and say “Wha't’s dat?”, “Train” (there was a train full of animals on the wall).  It was super cute.  He didn’t want to leave; I had to drag him out.

Anyway, so that’s just an example of the kind of little boy Ben is.  He’s sweet and friendly and curious.  He goes a mile a minute all day.  He loves, cars, trucks, trains, and Toy Story and running around outside.  He likes to read and knows most of his animals and some of his shapes.  I swear he picks up a new word at least once a day, so it’s hard to keep track of everything he’s saying.  He says several phrases now and is starting to put together little sentences.  His favorites: “What’s happeen?” (what’s happening, he says this a lot when he’s watching a movie or playing with his daddy), “Eer oo go" "(here you go, when he gives you something), "Puu pazon (put pants on, this one is funny as he didn’t used to want pants on, but he now knows he only get to go outside when he has pants on, so as soon as he has a new diaper on he says this and grabs his pants). He’s sweet to his sister when he slows down for long enough to pay attention to her.  And boy does Penny love her brother.  Any time he is in her line of sight, she follows him with her eyes and just smiles at him.  Ben is such a joyful little soul and I am so grateful to have him in my life.  He makes me smile every day (even on days like today when he screamed for 15 minutes when I brought him inside because he kept running into the street to go play with the big kids across the street, he just always wants to be socializing). 

Lastly, and of note, Ben is currently sleeping in a big boy bed for the first time (at least I’m pretty sure he’s a sleep, I haven’t heard a peep from him since I put him down an hour ago). 

I let him pick the bedding out at the store for his birthday.  Jon and I put the bed together today when Jon had a break.  While Ben was in the bath tonight I got the bedding all ready.  I got Ben out of the bath and in his pajamas and set him down so he could help me put his toys away.  I no sooner set him down than he ran straight to the bed, climbed in and pulled the comforter over himself.  I had to coax him out to help me clean up (which he actually did), then we had to brush teeth, read books, and say prayers.  When it was time to get in bed he climbed right in, asked for his fleece blanky which he put under his head and pulled the covers over himself.  I sang him a song, tucked his stuffed animals under his arms (he loves his stuffed animals, it’s really cute) and kissed him goodnight.  He still hasn’t made a sound.  We’ll see if he lasts the whole night.  Here are some pictures:

The bed all made up for him:IMG_1600

All tucked in for the night IMG_1601

So that’s my very lengthy update on the little man.  I also got the crib  set with Penny’s bedding, and it looks great.  I’ll take a picture of that tomorrow.  We probably won’t put her in it until Ben is in a routine with his new bed and she is sleeping a little bit longer cycles at night.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ben’s Birthday

So yesterday was Ben’s second birthday. It was a really good day. Crazy, but good. I think Ben really enjoyed himself. I made some french toast out of homemade cinnamon bread for breakfast with a strawberry topping. Ben loved it, as evidenced by this picture when he was shoving pretty much a whole piece into his mouth.


I spent the rest of the morning assembling his cake while Jon played with him. Here’s a few pictures of the finished product (and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was A LOT of work):

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Jon did a good job of keeping Ben out of the kitchen until I was just about done. Once Ben saw the cake, though, he was way too excited to do anything else but look at it and point at it (just a note, none of these videos are edited. Sorry they are so long, but I wanted to get them posted and don't really have time to edit them).

Then we went to church. We came home and Ben took a nap while we got ready for Ben’s little party. We had over two families from church with kids around Ben’s age and one of Jon’s friends. Ben was so pumped when everyone got here. He was just running around screaming and laughing. Then he saw his presents and had to open one. He picked the one from the stack that was from my mom. Here he is opening it:

He really loved the train. Jon got it all set up for him, and he was pumped.

When it was time for cake and ice cream, we lit the candle and tried to get Ben to blow it out. See for yourself (thanks to Cori for the film-work):

Turns out we’ve apparently taught him too well that fire is hot and he shouldn’t touch it because he didn’t want anything to do with it. Not only that, but when we gave him the cake, he refused to eat it, saying it was hot. The only way I eventually got him to eat any cake was by cutting up a piece of the unfrosted stuff I had leftover.

Ben opened the rest of his presents after cake. I do need to edit the video of that, unless everyone wants to watch about 20 minutes of video of that. Jon and I gave him a couple of activity books about trucks, which he liked. The Thomases gave him a Hot Wheels car with the cutest little homemade pouch to put 5 cars in with a little road on it that folds up and velcros shut. It’s a perfect little thing for putting cars in and sticking in a purse or diaper back when we’re out. The Delavans gave him an action figure set of Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the rocket from the first Toy Story. He loved it. He was flying Buzz around all night. All in all, I would say Ben really liked all of his gifts and had a great time opening them and playing with them with his friends. I’ll post and abridged version of it when I get a chance to edit the video on the other computer.

One of my favorite parts of the night was Ben saying goodbye to his guests. Sorry his shirt was still off from eating cake.

All in all, it was a great day, at the end of which I needed a really long nap. So did the kids. They both zonked out pretty much as soon as the guests left. Poor Penny had been needing to sleep for a while, but it was just too loud. She was a really good sport, though. Turns out she likes having people around, too.

That’s all. Later today or tomorrow, I’m going to do a little tribute to Ben to catch people up on what our little man is up to these days.

Easter and Beyond

So, we celebrated Easter a week late as Jon was on call for actual Easter and was at the hospital all day.  Here’s a video of Ben on Easter morning doing his little Easter egg hunt.  It’s a long video, but I didn’t really have time to trim it.  All of the videos in today’s posts will be uncut for the time being.  Sorry about that.  It’s probably a lot more of us than anybody needs to see.  Also, sorry that Penny is screaming for the first half of this video.

And here is a quick little video of us in our Easter clothes on our way to church. We couldn’t find the still camera, so we just took a video.

I also discovered recently that Penny loves it when you tell her stories.  It doesn’t really matter what you tell her, just that you do it in an animated voice and look at her.  She gets a kick out of it.  Here’s a video of it. 

We put both kids in the crib.  Ben is actually pretty sweet with Penelope these days.  And Penny loves her big brother.  She always watches him whenever she can, and just smiles anytime he pays attention to her.  She’s also pretty tough and even likes it when Ben is a little bit aggressive in his affection.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Photos are up!!

The photos from our recent photo shoot in Utah are up. I think they are pretty great. It definitely captures Ben's little personality, as you can tell that he was never really sitting still the whole time. My kids pictures are mixed in with pictures of my sister's kids, as well as some group shots so you might have to sift through it a bit to find Ben and Penny. Although I don't think that's too much of a problem as my sister's kids are just gorgeous. Check it out by clicking on the picture here:

They are just so cute.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Trip to Utah and More

So Ben, Penny, and I took a trip to Utah for about a week and a half.  We got back last Saturday.  We left so we could get out of Jon's hair while he studied for his surgery SHELF (which he passed, no problem, even though he was convinced he failed).  It turns out, Jon knows his surgery stuff and we're really proud of him.

Anyway, it was a really great trip.  We stayed with my parents, and my sister and her three boys were there at the same time.  Ben had so much fun with his cousins.  Owen (5) and Ollie (3) were really cute with him.  Ben spent most of the time chasing them around.  He was always the "monster", which he didn't mind, since it just meant that whenever they started running away screaming, he chased after them, screaming.  It made for a very noisy time, but also very fun.  Penny was her cute self, and even overcame some of her mommy clinginess by the time we left.  She's still not taking a bottle very well, though.

I'm sorry I don't really have any pictures of the trip, as we really only took pictures on my mom's camera.  She's been pretty busy, but as soon as I get a chance to get some of those pictures from her, I will post them here.  Also, we had some professional photos done of the kids as well, which I'll post the link to here as soon as they're uploaded.

In the meantime, while you're all anxiously awaiting those pictures, I did finally get around to dumping all my camera photos onto the computer, so here are a few of those.

Penny on the plane-ride to Utah:


Yeah, miraculously, she slept the whole flight.  No joke, she fell asleep as we were taxiing to take off and woke up on the descent. 

Benjamin on the ride to Utah:


Thank goodness for portable DVD players.  We got a portable DVD player that accepts SD cards.  Jon put a bunch of movies on one SD card (about the size of a quarter) and that way I didn’t have to pack any DVDs.  Ben still has a pretty short attention span and the plane was full of distractions, so this only worked for about twenty minutes at a time.  Still, it definitely helped, as he did that several times.  He also ate lots of sugary treats that he doesn’t normally get.

And I have to post a picture of Penny in the AMAZING knitted dress that Courtney made for her, although these phone pictures do not do it justice:

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Can you believe that my sister made that? It’s very impressive.

Speaking of impressive homemade things, we have received so many great homemade things for Penny.  I’m blown away by the talented friends and family that we have.  Unfortunately, the only other one I have a phone picture of is the quilt that Jon’s Aunt Linda made for us.  I think it definitely warrants mentioning, though.  Check it out:


Penny enjoying her little baby straight jacket and waving to the camera:

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Ben, outside in the warm weather, at long last.  He actually probably didn’t need the jacket, but when I asked him if he wanted to go outside he went and grabbed his shoes and brought them back for me to put them on him.  Then as we were going out the door he pointed at the coat closet and kept saying “coat”.  He’s so used to needing a jacket to go outside, he wouldn’t let me take him out without one.  Classic.


Plus a video of Ben outside.  He has discovered a new thing that really interests him, bugs.  I think this partly comes from the little bug cages and plastic bugs that my mom had at her house.  I think this video captures our very boyish little boy quite nicely.  He’s obsessed with cars/trucks and bugs.

Also from my phone, a video of Penny being ticklish and otherwise adorable.  Admittedly, her little laugh is more of a grunt.  Oh, and she loves her fist.

And last, yesterday Ben did not want to get out of his crib after his nap, so I gave him a couple of toys to entertain him while I got some other things done.  I heard him jabbering quite a bit and went in to find him intently reading Jon’s laminated pamphlet on Schizophrenia that had been stuck in one of Ben’s books.

That’s all for now.  I’ll try to update as soon as the photographer sends me the link to our pictures.