Thursday, July 31, 2008


"Daycare" was not what I wanted to do when I made the decision to stay home from work with my boys.  I knew that I was going to have to do something - I couldn't go from being the bread winner to being the bread eater.  I mean we wouldn't have the $1200.00 a month childcare bills but we still needed a place to live!  I was thinking about part time jobs at Principal and Starbucks.  There are 2 ends of the spectrum!  Then I thought - hmmm I wonder if Andy and Claudia would let me watch Miles.  There, problem solved.  Well, other people have gotten wind of my 'business' and now I am having to turn people down!!!  I am a little lazy sometimes and I don't know if I could handle a house full of children!  Anyway, I have decided to watch another little boy, Will.  He is 6 days younger than Bennett and his mom is a teacher I used to work with at the Downtown School.  He will be here on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of next week while his mom is in training and then start full time August 18th.  I am so excited.  They were here today for a play date and Will is just the sweetest little boy.  I can't wait to watch him and Bennett play together.  What fun it will be!  The family I had to turn down was another teacher from the Downtown School.  Her little boy Cole is 3 days older than Miles.  It would have been like taking care of 2 sets of twins less than 9 months apart AND Harrison.  Holy cow!  I know I could have done it and handled all of the work, I just worry that Harrison would have gotten the raw deal.  In my experiences with in-home child cares, older children get told no more often and are left to their own devices more often because the younger children need more attention.  This is so totally not true.  Older children need just as much attention, just a different kind and I know how easy it would be to just sit Harrison in front of the TV to pacify him while I tended to the younger children.

Anyway, Bennett has a horrible diaper rash.  He has had diarrhea now for 2 days.  At first I thought he had eaten too much watermelon and now I think he might have had too much apple juice.  I bought some yogurt at the store to see if we can't 'thicken' him up!  I don't think he is sick.  Diarrhea is the only symptom he has.  Nothing else.  He cries horribly when I change his diaper.  He has never really had a rash so this is his first experience.  From his screams I can tell you that it really hurts!  I think I put half a tube of Desitin on him before he went to bed tonight.  Poor fellow.

Harrison is so funny right now when it comes to adults.  He is getting really comfortable talking and hugging and playing with them.  He has only met Kari (Will's mom) twice and today, the second meeting, he was just so comfortable with her.  I feel that we are going to have to start talking about personal boundaries and being respectful of people's space.  He is such an in-your-face loving child, but it is starting to come off as annoying (in my opinion).  I still want him to be comfortable and loving, but I want him to also know how to be seen and not heard.  I know that is old fashioned and maybe out dated, but I really want to teach my children respect.  I am the mama lion and when I find you annoying I am going to growl and smack you with my big paw!  How's that for respect?!!!! :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


For those of you concerned about my sons head banging obsession, yes he is still doing it and he has finally given himself a bruise on his forehead.  Things that make you go hmmm...


I have a confession to make.  Sometimes I swear.  Not a lot and not anything totally vile, but the occasional swear word finds it's way into my vocabulary.  You know where this is going.  Today while playing Cariboo, Harrison stuck his key in lock to open the door and he said "Nope, no ball.  Damn It!"  I gave him my best, most serious mom stare and he said "Sorry, sorry..."  And then he corrected himself and said "Maann."  I gave a quick "That was inappropriate" and we went on playing the game.  But later I got a good chuckle out of the whole thing.  He is growing leaps and bounds.  He knew he was in trouble for saying something wrong and he dealt with it in the most perfect way.  He didn't get angry or mad or sad that he did something wrong, he just corrected it.  Way to go, Harrison.

Now, for all of you judging the way that I handled that - I don't care if there was a better way.  :)

Who needs a Bumbo?

I love kids.  Miles was being a little figgity today.  He wasn't unhappy, just not comfortable.  I held him, I put him on his belly, I put him on the couch, etc.  He just wanted to sit.  So I sat him!  Which led to Bennett wanting to sit and Harrison wanting a piece of the action as well.  I love kids!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Three boys and a girl in the tub.  

We will probably never have another picture like this.  Aren't they the cutest?!!

Carpet in the Kitchen

Honestly, who puts carpet in their kitchen!!!  Maybe you don't all realize this, but I hate my kitchen.  The cabinets are horrible, the stove is located in a place where I am sure someone will burn themselves just by walking by, the fridge is in the entryway and did I mention that it is carpeted?!!!  Anyway, I dropped 4 eggs on the floor this morning and now there is another giant spot I am trying to get out.  "Why don't you redo the kitchen or even just the floor?"  Well, it's so nice that you asked.  First of all, MONEY and secondly the floor is uneven so it would need ripped out down to areas that I know nothing about.  Someday, maybe...

Not much going today.  The weather was actually beautiful.  We have been getting a lot of rain and it has been crazy humid but today was not so bad.  The boys spent most of the day with Chris.  He got the weed eater out this morning and Bennett went crazy bouncing up and down.  Just like Harrison!  So they sat and watched Chris work for a long time.  I went out to see what was going on and decided to pick a few weeks and Harrison yelled at me because 'Mooommm!  Dad has the weed eater out!  Don't pick those!'  He's so helpful.

Harrison, Bennett and I went to the Science Center last Saturday.  It was pretty fun.  Harrison is getting into the parts where you connect the fact that something he just did caused something else to react.  This was very evident with the ball wall.  He kept moving all of the parts and then putting a ball down the basket to see where it would go this time.  It was great to watch.  Bennett stuck to the basics.  More WATER!!!  We also dug for dinosaur bones and saw a what I think was a T-Rex but it might have been a giganotosaurus.  This is new since I was studying dinosaurs.  Maybe I should keep up on things like this!  It might be important for a mom to know!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paradise by Toni Morrison

I have been trying to decide how to describe this book.  It was a tough read.  I think I started this book back in April and it does not usually take me that long to finish one book.  The book begins and ends in the same place.  Morrison does a great job thoroughly confusing you all of the way through the book and then ties up most of the loose ends in the last chapter.  And I say most because she purposely leaves some facts out for you to imagine your own take on the story.  This is a book that deals with the idea of utopia and the fact that in the end, utopia always gets shattered by the people who want it most.  I do recommend this book to anyone who wants to be challenged by a book.  Not your ideals or thoughts, just your reading comprehension ability!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Bennett has an obsession with dress up.  He loves to put things on his head and neck and he is always trying to put on other peoples shoes.  We actually have to be careful where we leave the laundry because I have caught Bennett 'wearing' Chris' underwear (gross) on his head before!  More often then not, Bennett is putting on hats.  And the really funny thing is that he wears it for a couple of minutes and then takes it off and repositions it on his head.  Fun stuff for a 15 month old!


When Harrison was born my mom got him a teddy bear blanket and the tag says "Hi!  My name is Billy."  Mom got James one as well and he was a puppy and his name was Rich (I think).  When Kaitlyn was born, Meredith's mom got Kaitlyn Kami and she was a pastel colored bear. Well, when Bennett was born I knew that I wanted one for him just like Billy, Rich and Kami.  I found Douglas.  Douglas would not have been my first choice.  He is white, for one thing.  He is a puppy and has baby blue trim and again, is white.  I didn't really want a comfort item for Bennett that would get dingy after many washes, but so far it has held up really well.  And Bennett LOVES Douglas.  We don't really let him bring Douglas out of his crib so the only time he gets to spend with him is in bed during naps and at night.  Every time I lay him down he hands me Douglas and I have to say hello and give Douglas a hug and then snuggle him into Bennett's neck.  And if I don't do that or forget, Bennett will remind me!  A couple weeks ago, while we were in Fort Dodge for Marc and Emily's wedding it was soooo cute to watch Bennett walking around with Douglas.  I can't even describe why it was cute, it just was.  The brand name for these is My Banky and they have the head and arms attached to a blanket and then the tail/body at the other end.  They are so cute!  I even got Miles one when he was born - it's name is Paddy and he is a frog!

My Life as a Zoo

Harrison had his 3rd day of Zoo Camp today.  He has a blast at camp.  He likes his teachers, especially Katelyn.  We have talked a lot about his cousin Kaitlyn and his teacher Katelyn.  And I guess there is another camper named Kaitlyn.  Too fun.  On Monday they got to feed the giraffes crackers and Harrison said the giraffe almost touched his hand with it's tongue but didn't.  He also made a finger print snake.  What he really couldn't stop talking about was the 'tomingos.'  I love the way he says flamingos.    It is so kidish and Harrison's words are so not kidish most of the time.  It makes me smile.  On Tuesday he got to see the lions and tigers and monkeys.  He told me all about how the one mama lion was sitting on a log and how the other mama lion was drinking water and walking around and how the Mufasa lion was walking around too but he wasn't thirsty so he didn't drink.  And they didn't get to see any cubs.  It was so fun to listen to him tell me about his day.  And he was so proud!  On that day he made a snake.  When I came to pick him up he had a tube sock on his arm and it was decorated and had a tongue on it.  He kept saying "Snakes say sssssssssss." :)  Today when I came to pick him up he smiled really big and whispered "I have a secret!"  "We rode the traaaaiiin!"  How happy he was!  Every morning Harrison has been hesitant to go to Zoo Camp.  I get the feeling that he thinks he is missing something by leaving the house.  He never has any trouble with me leaving him at camp such as crying or carrying on, he just keeps saying that he wants to stay home.  But, then he goes and has a wonderful time!  We will see what tomorrow brings.  

I have had a funny week so far with all kinds of kids.  On Monday, Ian's dad called and asked if it would be possible to watch him for the day.  Ian is a school ager that I watch after school during the school year.  He has some anger management issues that I won't get into, but is an overall good kid.  We had horrible storms the night before and were without power.  I guess Ian's camp was also with out power so they were closing for the day.  I said that was fine.  In the mean time Miles was not feeling well so he was staying home with Andy for the day.  OK.  Monday done.  Tuesday brought another school ager to the house.  Chris' boss, Bob has a daughter named Suzie.  She is here this week from Cedar Rapids and is coming to play with us.  So on Tuesday, it was Miles, Suzie, Harrison and Bennett.  On Wednesday, Ian's brother, Quinn needed a ride to Zoo Camp - he was going this week as well - so since my mom wasn't here, Quinn, Suzie, Harrison, Bennett, Miles and I all piled into the car for our trip to the zoo.  Andy thought he was watching a circus.  But it's just my everyday life as a zoo!  None of this would even be that big of a deal, but this is the first week all summer  that I have had to drive somewhere everyday, twice a day - the zoo.  Oh well - next week we will try and stay home, maybe. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


So this afternoon, I got Miles out of bed and started changing his diaper, when I gasped and said, 'SHIT.'  What did I do to Miles?  My own kids get hurt enough.  There, on Miles' knee was blood.  How did he get hurt and what was I going to tell Andy and Claudia?  'Miles can't crawl yet, but he has a skinned knee.'  This was my initial, 3 second reaction.  After seconds 4 and 5 I realized that he had somehow gotten cherry jelly on his knee.  THANK GOD!  I realize that someday Miles will inevitably get hurt under my watch, but not before he can even move!  Goodness sakes, cherry jelly!

On to other injuries - Harrison has the cutest habit.  Sometimes Bennett wakes up before Harrison and then proceeds to wake Harrison up.  Well, instead of coming out of their room, Harrison will get in bed with Bennett.  Bennett is still in his crib so they will play in there for awhile and then I come in to get them and they are both standing up smiling and looking at me.  It is too cute for words.  Sometimes they are both jumping on the mattress.  So cute.  Anyway, Sunday, I had gotten Bennett out of the crib and was walking out the door while Harrison was climbing out of the crib onto the changing table.  (He does this, by himself, all of the time.)  Once he got to the changing table he must have lost his balance and he went head first onto the floor.  All I heard was a big thump followed by silence, followed by a hurt scream.  I put Bennett down and ran back into the bedroom and his forehead had already turned blue.  Luckily, he only walked crooked for about an hour.

And then, as if Bennett has not taken enough blows to the head already... on Monday my mom was coming out the front door to help me pick cherries and she said "He'll be ok here won't he?" and I said yes.  He has climbed down those front steps at least 100 times.  I am not exaggerating.  As soon as she got under the tree and started picking cherries,  he summersaulted down the stairs.  He ended up with his first puffy eye.  He hit the side of the eye brow and scraped under the eye.

Now you know why I momentarily freaked out when I saw 'blood' on Miles' knee. I am thinking about putting rubber down everywhere!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Head Banging 101

So, it all started yesterday and I can't even remember exactly why.  Bennett had been told to stop doing something and to my surprise he sat down on the floor and banged his forehead into the carpet 4 times.  I was amazed!  What was he doing?!  I picked him up and comforted him and all was well.  Since then it has happened at least 5 times and I was getting a little uncomfortable about the whole thing.  I had called my dad this morning and he said "Been there, done that."  I guess he used to do that as a toddler.  What?!  I have been in the field of childcare for 7 years and I have not seen this.  So, to the internet I went.  To my surprise this is a diagnosed condition in children usually seen in ages 18 months to 3 years (I knew he was ahead of his time!).  It is a comforting mechanism that children use.  In Bennett's case when he gets in trouble he bangs his head on the floor to take his mind off of the fact that he got in trouble.  What a trip!  I consider myself a pretty with it parent but this has me amazed.  He is purposely causing himself pain!  But, like most things that happen with children, this too will come to an end.  No more comforting or paying attention to him when he head bangs.  He will just have to get over it on his own.  Poor little weirdo!

And I'm not?

Harrison just asked me to throw something away for him and I said no.  He asked why and I said, "Because I am busy."  I was unloading the dishwasher.  He fired back "And I'm not?" in a totally adult, attitudish way.  Lesson from this: answer with "Because it is not my garbage!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Boys in tuxedo's!

I love a boy in a tuxedo!  Since Harrison was in Marc and Emily's wedding last Saturday we needed to be there for the rehearsal and dinner on Friday night.  Chris took the day off and we headed towards Fort Dodge at 12:00 pm to get a good start and hopefully have naps in the van on the way.  After stopping to pick up the babysitter (we brought Jessica along for the whole weekend.  Brilliant!), stopping for ice, stopping to pick up another tux shirt for Harrison, stopping for drinks and snacks, stopping to drop off the dog at mom and dad's, going back to drop off cord adapters for the dvd player (random), stopping in the street to talk to Randy, Great Gpa and Gma, we were finally on our way by about 2:30 pm.  Holy cow!!!  We got to Fort Dodge around 3:30 pm and got checked into the hotel and then Nathan, Harrison, James and I went to the rehearsal.  The boys did really well.  They held hands and everything as they walked down the aisle.  The whole experience would have been great except that the flower girl was a pistol.  She got the boys all fired up and they were running around like chickens sans heads.  Finally we were able to go to the dinner.  Meredith, Jessica, the kids and I left early which ended up being a real bummer.  I think I missed my only opportunity in life to drink off of my Uncle Randy's dime.  I guess the keg they got went dry and since there is naturally a bar attached Randy set up a tab.  Damn my bad luck!! :)

The day of the wedding was a little chaotic for us.  The wedding was at 1:30 pm but the boys had to be there at 9:30 am for pictures.  Well - Nathan got out the door on time (because he only got himself ready!) but Meredith, the boys and I were running a little behind.  James was not having anything to do with his tux.  And Harrison being the follower he has become was acting a little defiant as well.  
But finally we were on our way.  We got there and they were running behind.  Go figure!  With lots of candy filled bribery pictures went well.  Then there was the waiting game.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  The flower girl did ok on this day in my opinion.  And that is only because I am sneaky.  Soon after the pictures were done for the boys I asked Harrison (alone) if he wanted to go outside.  Of course he said yes and out the door we went!  That left Meredith inside with the little cherub and James so I didn't have to deal with the loudness and such.  Hehe :)  Meredith soon found us but only after she firmly said no to the girl.  She was not coming with!  I do have to say, she really was quite sweet and cuter than a button.  Just a little guidance would do!  When it was finally time to walk down the aisle we were out of bribery, but they did just fine.  I don't have many pictures of the boys in their tux's.  I let Meredith get her pro-camera out and take the good ones so we will have to wait until they get back to Florida for her to post those.

The double wedding turned out to be very nice.  It was very well organized and only really dragged out a little because it was Catholic.  Which is fine, just not my cup of tea.  Emily made me cry when she said her vows and the music selection was great.  I loved the guitar!  I missed the rest of the wedding as I took my boys outside after the lighting of the unity candle.  Harrison was doing fine, but Bennett had enough sitting around.  Mass just got too long.  After the wedding we got some good naps in and were off to the reception.  The food was great and the place was packed.  Emily again made me cry when she made her speech at the wedding.  She said the appropriate thank you's for coming and thank you's to the parents, but then she teared up and thanked Marc for being such a good guy and sticking with her through all of the bad times.  It was just so touching watching her look at him.  They are going to have a fabulous life together.  Although at this moment they are not my favorite people.  I don't like anyone who is in Hawaii having fun on there honeymoon when I am stuck here in hot humid July Iowa. :)

Meredith, Chris and Jessica took the kids back to the hotel and the real fun began.  Let's just say we won't be having that much real fun again for a very long time.  Getting into bed at 2:45 am and then having your natural alarm clock wake you up at 5:45 am and then your children keeping you up at 6:15 am is enough of a deterient for me!  I think everything would have been fine if I hadn't had that fish sandwich from McDonald's at 2:15 am.  Yuck, what was I thinking?!

The reception was eventful for me.  I got to see quite a few people I don't normally get to see and I got to hang out with Nathan and Meredith which we never go out and just hang, just the 4 of us.  It was great.  The dancing was great.  The DJ played a lot of good music.  Marc and Emily had a dollar dance and Nathan felt obliged to go have a spin around the dance floor.  I wonder who led?  One thing that was kind of fun was that Marc brought his video camera along and let other people tape the reception at different times.  It might have been a mistake to give it to certain people.  The outcome should be fun to watch!  You can visit Meredith's blog to get her take on the whole weekend.

And then Sunday morning, Kaitlyn reminded us that it was time to go home.  Isn't she sweet?!!!  Weekends like this make me wish people would get married over and over, but to the same people of course.  I just like to be in those comfortable crowds.  I guess I miss going to all of the random weddings back home that we always went to just to hang out with each other.  Of course next time I won't be as selfish and I will let Harrison stay out way past his bedtime and boogie-woogie on the dance floor with us! 

Oh - I forgot - Chris calls me at 12:30 pm on the day of the wedding.  "Do you know where I can get a tie?"  Are you kidding?  He forgot his tie!  ell, needless to say he didn't have a tie for the wedding.  So, Sunday morning, my grandmother and I are enjoying some conversation and Christopher's missing tie comes up.  She says (and I'm not making this up) "Isn't that the wife's job?".  I was polite and just smiled, but really, Grandma...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Splash, splash

So today it was off to the Union Park wadding pool.  Now, before you ask - 'Are you crazy?  Three kids all by yourself?!'  I wasn't supposed to be by myself.  Meredith became ill and James was not wanting to get out of bed so the troops from Ames didn't come down.  I had already told Harrison about our plans for the day so I when I told him James wouldn't be coming down, his little lip quivered and he cried.  And then I told him we would stay home today, he sobbed.  I was over come by his poor little heart.  Getting there was easy.  There is really never a problem getting children ready to go swimming.  Out the door we went.  Getting home was another issue.  Wet suits and children who can not dress themselves was my biggest worry.  But, fun was had by all and very little crying was witnessed.
Harrison had a blast.  He was the hardest to keep track of.  He stayed by me really well, but still had the occasional run off to the deep end (1 1/2 feet!).  Harrison's favorite part was the sprinkler's.  He loves running through them and watching all of the other kids do it made him want to do it more.  When we first got there he would run in and then run back over to Miles and laugh in his face.  Miles cracked up each time.  

Bennett took a little while to warm up to the idea of the sprinklers and he never really giggled with glee like Harrison but he did have a good time.  A couple of months ago we put Bennett in the shower with Chris and he just went manic.  His eyes got huge, he had trouble breathing and he just screamed hysterically.  Well, not much has changed since then.  He cries every time we turn the sprinkler on in the back yard.  Today was better, but I think it will take some getting older before we can expect much more from him.
Miles on the other hand would have been just like Harrison if he could have motated!  I put his feet in the water and BIG smile.  I put his hand and arm in the sprinkler and BIG giggle.  I wish someone could have taken his picture as I was holding him!

It was a fun time and when Chris got home tonight, Harrison told him everything.  He ended his story with: "And Dad, you'll never believe.  Mom let us have lunch on the floor on the porch.  Isn't that funny?!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My boys

Miles can't crawl yet (he's a little young!) so he just lays around, plays and rolls over.  While he was lying on the floor today, Bennett came over and laid right down next to him.  I was commenting on how cute they were and taking their picture when Harrison comes over and lays down.  Can you believe I didn't stage that?!

Biker dudes!  Check out Harrison's license plate.  He got it from Nathan and Meredith last year and wanted to put it on his bike!
It was this hat or a John Deere one.  I decided to make Andy happy with the Hawkeye!  Miles loves to go on walks.  Oh - and I've decided that he doesn't need to be held all of the time but he does want attention all of the time.  He loves it when Harrison is making funny faces at him.  Giggle, giggle!

Dew Fairies

We were outside watering the new bushes and the conversation went like this...

Harrison - "Is it going to rain tonight?"
Me - "No, I don't think so."
Harrison - pause..."Are the dew fairies going to come and make the deck wet tonight?"
Me - "Probably so."
Harrison - pause..."Have you ever met a dew fairy?"
Me - "No, I haven't."
Harrison - pause - thinking..."I have."
Me - "You have?!  Where?!
Harrison - "At the old house."
Me - "Are they nice?"
Harrison - "Yes, they are nice and friendly.  And they live where the honey bees live."
Me - "Oh, I never knew that."
Harrison - "Yeah - I did.  They are friendly to everybody even though the honey bees have stingers.  The honey bees won't hurt the dew fairies."
Me - "Oh."
Harrison - "Water the rock.  That rock is big!  It's as big as a wolf!"

So, the back story on dew fairies is this - my mom and Harrison were outside one morning a few weeks ago and Harrison was commenting on how wet the grass was.  So my mom told him the dew fairies had been here and ever since then he would wake up and ask her about them.  "Were the dew fairies here last night?"  I can't believe that he said that he met them.  And at our old house.  That is hysterical!  What a kid!  And the story ended just about as quickly as it came about.

Go, go, go!

Bennett can say go now.  While he is waiting his turn to get onto the slide, he says 'Go, go, go, go, go' and then when he gets to the top he stops.  I think that means he knows what he is saying!  He is also saying it when Harrison is playing with him and he wants him to leave.  Go!  Go!  Go!  Go!'  And it is in a little angry voice.  It is so cute.  

So Miles is doing this 'flying baby' thing at my house today.  He had his arms and legs all off the ground and was just looking around smiling.  It is so cute.  Claudia had to go back to work yesterday (kids start on Thursday) which is unlucky for her and very lucky for ME!  And of course, after I had him all day, he didn't sleep all night!  I am such a bad babysitter.  They are normally giving him 4, 8 oz bottles a day.  Well he had his 4th bottle at 3:30 pm at my house and then wouldn't eat very much before he went to bed, soooo he woke up at 2:30 am hungry.  Andy did mention that he had a very explosive poop and while Claudia was changing him (at 2:30 am remember) he decided he wasn't done and it ended up on the walls!  Again, unlucky for Claudia, but maybe lucky for me as he already had his poop for the day!!!

Miles is great.  He has turned into a pretty easy baby.  He likes to play on the floor and goes to sleep on his own.  He loves the Johnny Jump-Up!  Neither one of my kids ever liked to play in it but Miles just bounces up and down for almost 20 - 30 minutes before he gets tired of being in there.  The only con about Miles is that he likes to be held a lot.  But can you really call that a con? :)  Oh - and Bennett keeps trying to pick Miles up.  I haven't completely figured this all out but Bennett will walk over to Miles on the floor and pull on his sides.  Sometimes it is just his clothes and sometimes he gets ahold of his side and Miles kind of rolls a little.  It is really cute.  We will have to see if this continues.  Hmmmm.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Harrison - Remembered Tales *UPDATED*

1.  Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-BATMAN!  When Harrison was around 7 or 8 months he used to crack up every time I would sing the Batman song.  His giggle was so infectious.

2.  Harrison and Chris are in the shower and Harrison asks what 'this' is.  Chris explains that it is mama's foot file that she uses to rub her feet.  Harrison says 'Oh, a foot file, I get it.'  I get it?  What 3 year old says 'I get it'?!!!

3.  "We don't say stupid."  Harrison would tell everyone this if they said the word stupid (he still does sometimes).  When Harrison was 2 he and a friend were calling things stupid and their teacher, Delila told them to stop and Harrison said "Stupid, Delila."  We were never sure if he knew what he was saying but it didn't matter.  He got a lecture and it stuck!

4.  We went out to dinner at El Rodeo to tell my parents and my brother and his wife that we were pregnant with our second child.  We had practiced with Harrison by asking him where the baby was.  We assumed that everyone would think that he was talking about Meredith since she had recently shared her pregnancy news so we taught him to point at my belly.  When we asked him where the baby was he lifted my shirt so high that I flashed everyone at the table!

5.  When Bennett was 2 or 3 weeks old you decided he needed a taste of chocolate.  I didn't see it happen and it took awhile for me to piece it all together, but I did.  Bennett was in the cradle and I went over to check on him and he had this black stuff coming up with his spit up.  I was fairly concerned, but upon some further observation, he seemed to be fine.  I don't know what made me ask you, but I finally did.  You said "I gave him a taste of my chocolate.  He liked it."  And off you went with a smile.

I will come back to this page as I know that I will think of or be reminded of more!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


We went and visited a preschool today.  I really like it.  It is at a Presbyterian church and is TWR, 12:30 - 3:00 starting after Labor Day.    Nap concerns me.  The space looks great.  The room is large and open.  The playground is a little small, but they have 2 other options as well; a gym type area that is huge compared to spaces I am used to and a full sized basketball gym that they can run around in.  There are only 2 spots left so we are thinking about enrolling him.  We were originally going to wait until January, but I am getting worried that there will not be any openings.  And it would be nice for him to be in the same class all year long.  He is in dire need of new friends.  I can tell that is what he misses the most from Uncle Sam's.  And I miss that too.  I miss him playing with friends.  Being involved.  I love staying home with my boys, but I loved childcare as well.  There are sooo many benefits and socialization is just one.  I can't say enough about how much I loved Uncle Sam's.  The teachers were so good at making sure that the children were learning their 'academics' within  their normal play.  Chris and I both loved it.  If we do end up going here I hope that it is just as good or better.

Harrison is continuing on his quest to be just like Bennett.  It is almost to the point that we can't take it.  We are dutifully trying to let it run it's course, but it is a challenge.  Bennett just keeps getting cuter and that is a challenge as well.  We are trying extra hard not to laugh or smile too much at Bennett while trying harder to laugh and smile at Harrison as a means to help Harrison get over his jealousy.  Thank goodness it is a loving jealousy and not the other way around.  I really don't think I could handle that!

Chris is at work and the boys are in bed.  I guess I will find a good book and settle in for the night.  I really want to read Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire but haven't been able to find it for a price I am happy to pay.  I have some short stories I have been wanting to read, but I also have a Stephen Ambrose book D-day that I have been wanting to start.  Oh the choices.  Maybe I should finish Paradise by Toni Morrison or Can I Keep My Jersey by Paul Shirley.  Can one be reading too many books at once? :)

Warning - potty story alert.  Today, Harrison went into the bathroom while Gma was in the shower.  He sat down on the potty to begin his business.  He was done rather quickly and Gma said 'Are you done already?'  Harrison replied, 'Yep - I only had to go one link.'  Where does he get this stuff?!! 

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Smile for the camera

Can you believe he does all of these cute smiles?  And his poor nose.  He will be so mad when he brings his first girlfriend to the house...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Gma and Gpa Neipert

A visit from Gpa and Gma is always fun for the boys.  Bennett's obsession with Gpa continues and has led to an obsession of Gma for Harrison.  He wanted her to play legos, play hide and seek, come see this, come see that.  And I don't think she minded (she loves him!) but it had to of wore her out a bit.  I was mentally exhausted from hearing him call her name over and over!

We went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning.  We can't get enough of the food!  We had our normal Breakfast Burritos and Dutch Letters but added Breakfast Pizza and Egg Rolls to our plate.  I like the breakfast pizza better than the burrito so I think we will get both from now on and share!  The boys got to ride on their first Farmer's Market train ride.  And I do mean boys.  
Isn't Chris so cute?!  Bennett is at an age where he thinks that getting to hold  the wheel is the best thing since breast milk.  He turns the wheel back and forth, back and forth while laughing.  I did tell Harrison that I thought this might be the only week that the train was at the Farmer's Market.  This way we don't have to ride it every week.  Aren't I an awful parent?! 

Gpa bought Harrison a new book at Barnes and Noble.  I love that store!  Hours and hours I could spend there.  The new book is called Cars and Trucks and Things That Go and is by Richard Scarry.  It was cute in the store because he had picked it up walked with me to find someone who could help me find a book I was looking for.  Well he had just sat down when a lady appeared to show me where the book was and he said 'Geez - I just sat down to read!'  He was so frustrated!  When we got home, Gma and Harrison sat down to read.  There is a character in the book that 'hides.'  His name is Goldbug and you have to find him on each page, kind of like Where's Waldo.  It was cute to hear Harrison say "Where are you, Goldbug?'

Friday, July 4, 2008

Red, White and Black and Blue

Poor Bennett.  We went to the Ames Fourth of July Parade today and he decided that his forehead and nose were not scraped up enough.  He did a face dive into the street while trying to get out of a chair.  My dad and I watched him go down and there was nothing we could do.  He let out the initial scream and then didn't breath for almost 10 seconds.  I first noticed his non-breathing technique of dealing with pain when he got his first set of vaccines.  I had to breath into his face to get him to breath again.  Poor little bruiser.

The parade was a lot of fun.  It started at 11:00 am an we got there at 10:25 am or so and almost every space was filled.  I couldn't venture to guess how many people were there and what time they started showing up!  We finally found a spot and of course it was next to a bunch of 7 & 8 year old boys.  My dad finally grabbed Bennett and went out to stand next to Harrison to run interference.  The boys kept coming over and grabbing all of the candy!  It's not like we need the candy but Harrison wasn't getting to pick anything up because the older boys would grab it.  Dad gave a strong arm and that kept them at bay for most of the parade.  After the parade we went to Band Shell Park and grabbed some food.  I got to have a gyro from the stand that we always ate at after going to the bars in college.  Mmmmm.  Mom waited in line for walking tacos for herself and Chris for almost 30 minutes.  Right when she got there to place her order, they ran out of cooked meat!  She had to wait for them to cook more.  What an ordeal!

Christopher's parents came for a visit that evening.  We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and then Christopher went off to work.  Greg, Pam, the boys and I cooked marshmallows and then went to see fireworks over at Raccoon River Park.  We thought we would be smarter than most and stop short of the park on this hill where some others were setting up.  This turned out to be an ok idea.  We got to see the high fireworks but not the ones that were low.  They ended up behind a carefully placed row of trees.  Harrison kept saying 'Please, please go high - YEAH - that one was high!' and Bennett started mimicking us by going 'ommmm' whenever he would saw something that he liked.  It was adorable.  

It was a very nice Fourth of July.  I even read the Declaration of Independence that was actually written on July 2nd and not signed by everyone until around July 8th.  Also - did you know the 1st Fourth of July was celebrated on July 4th because Congress forgot to celebrate it on July 2nd.  Too funny!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

More money would make me happy

Money doesn't make us happy, correct?  Well, can you all call and tell me that because currently, I don't believe it!  I just read my cousin Tome's blog and found out David Sedaris is coming to Des Moines.  I would love go see him.  I have read his books and listened to some of his essays.  He is hysterical.  So then I decided to look at the rest of the Civic Center's lineup and it is fantastic this coming season.  I am so going to Wicked and I really want to see Spamalot since I missed that last time and Rain since I missed that last time and Triple Espresso is coming back and Hairspray and Mamma Mia and The Color Purple and then The Velveteen Rabbit and The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley for Harrison!  How can I possibly afford to go to all of these great works?!  I need to find another job.  :(  Thank you for listening to my pitty party.  I feel better now!

Are we cherried out yet?

So the cherry tree in the front yard is still a great hit.  Today I was picking cherries so that mom can make cherry jelly when Bennett decided to come help.  I was on the ladder and he wanted to come up as well.  He would climb up the first rung and then go back down.  Climb up again and then back down.  Around the 5th time of doing this he decided to go for the 2nd rung.  The ladder shook a little because I was reaching for a branch and I think he actually got a little scared.  Down he went and he didn't come back.  He did, however, park himself below the ladder and must have had quite a sour treat.  Look at the war paint!  This picture is even funnier because my niece, Kaitlyn does a funny face for the camera that looks just like this!  Chris asked Bennett to smile for the camera and Kaitlyn's face came out!  How fun.

As far as climbing goes, Bennett is on everything.  He has 'found' the child sized table and chairs and loves to sit at the table like a big boy.  He reads books there and has his snack there.  It is great!  He has also decided to climb up on adult size chairs with out the use of anything to help him.  He hasn't gotten back on the table but the chips and salsa episode a few months ago is still in our minds (Bennett used his booster chair to climb upon the chair which he used to climb upon the table.  He then sat in the middle of the kitchen table eating chips and salsa.  He is quite a good dipper!).  He hasn't figured out how to climb up onto the couch all by himself yet; he still uses Maddie for that feat!  Today he fell down the front steps and scratched up his back and forehead.  I am patiently waiting for the first ER visit.  It can't be far away!

I just asked Harrison what he liked doing today and he thought..."Mama, can you tell me what was 'citing for me today?"  Love that kid!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The best mom I've ever met

I am sorry to say that I can not recall the first time Harrison told me that I was the best mom he had ever met.  I do know that he was drifting off to sleep when he first said it and I was so thankful that he didn't see the tears come to my eyes.  How sweet was he and how lucky was I?  He now tells me that I am the best mom he has ever met every now and again.  Today he picked a moment where I was laughing at the great way that Bennett and Harrison were playing together.  They were having such a good time when he came up and hugged me and told me again that I was the best mom he had ever met.  I again felt privileged to be his mom and hugged him back tightly.  After sharing this cute and endearing comment with my husband, mom and dad, I now wonder what will happen to me when he finds that 'best mom' as I am just the best he has met (so far!).  So to all of the moms that he has met so far 'HA' and to all of the moms he has yet to meet, stay away! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Birth of the Harrison Blues

Harrison received lots of Legos for his 3rd birthday back in December and played with them continually until he lost interest around April.  Now, the enjoyment of building blocks has resurfaced and it has brought to us 'The Blues.'  Yesterday, Harrison had built a tower.  It was a tower so big that the top was actually about 2 feet above his head.  Gma helped put the top on.  He had built this same tower several times over the past few days and it was an unstable, wobbly thing that was prone to fall over at a whim.  Well, Bennett happened by and suddenly there were Legos everywhere.  For those of you who know my child fairly well, you know he has quite the temper.  But not on this day.  On this day he hung his head, shook a little and just said why with a quivering lip.  As I carted Bennett off to another activity Harrison began his rebuilding process.  It was during this process that I discovered Harrison's talent with 'The Blues.'  It goes a little like this "Oh, I'm so sad, sad, sad.  Just so sad, sad. sad.  Why am I so sad, sad, sad?  Just so sad, sad, sad.  At this point my mom and I left the room so as not to disturb his poetics (as we started laughing quite hard!).  I built a tower and Bennett knocked it down.  Just so sad, sad, sad.  Oh, I'm so sad. sad, sad.  Why did Bennett have to knock down my toooooooooower?  My toooooower.  I'm just so sad, sad, sad.  I really need to start keeping the video camera in my pocket!