I had put the monitors away awhile ago. I think about the time Miles started taking only one nap. Anyway, I have gotten them back out for our precious Belle and they have been a source of daily entertainment for me. When Annabelle wakes up and Bennett hears her on the monitor, he goes over to listen. Sometimes he says "It's ok baby Annabelle." and just yesterday I caught Bennett and Caden standing in front of the monitor with their finger in front of their mouths going "Shhhh! Shhhh! Calm down, Annabelle." I am sure they don't know that she can't hear them and I am in no hurry to explain this. It was hysterical!
When Annabelle and Bennett are in their at the same time, it is fun to listen to Bennett. He talks to himself forever before falling asleep. "I like water." "Daddy, I love you!" "I want chicken." I like rice." Very bizarre and very funny! We have recently had an issue with Douglas and biting. Two or three times, Bennett has come up to me, crying, saying that Douglas has bit him (he's a blanket dog, remember!). The first time Bennett told me this I played along real well and 'talked' to Douglas about using words. The second time Bennett told me this he decided to take matters into his own hands. He yelled "NO BITING, Douglas!" and then he smacked him right in the head! I was horrified! We didn't cover hitting Douglas in our last talk about biting! Then I had to have a talk with Bennett about using our words! So on Monday I wasn't terribly surprised to hear this over the monitor: "Owww!! NO biting, Douglas! I use my words and you NO bite!"
Annabelle started coming to the house a couple of weeks ago and she has been a joy to have. So far her likes are eating, being held and sleeping. And not in that order. She is a really good sleeper! I just worry that she won't sleep for her mommy at home during the night, but so far that has not been the case. Here are couple of pictures from the past week.
I have to work on Friday night (Beggar's Night) so we went over to Living History Farms tonight so I wouldn't miss out on all of the trick-or-treat fun.
Harrison was a skeleton and got a lot of "That candy is going to fall right through your bones! HAHAHA" from all of the volunteers. He had no idea what to think of that so he just basically ignored it and went right for the candy!
Bennett was a baseball player and very proud of himself. He HAD to carry a bat, ball, and glove. After 2 minutes, Mom and Dad were carrying a bat, ball and glove! Go figure!
He is the slowest child I know! Look how far in front Harrison is! And Harrison wasn't really running!
"Horses pulled me on a wagon!" ~ Bennett
Harrison thought it was really cool that the gazebo was dressed up like a witch!
Caden and Miles stole my hearts today. Here are a couple of stories about the cuties!
As lunch was wrapping up today, I said my usual 'We'll play trucks for 5 minutes, read a book and then it's nap-time' speil and Caden got a thoughtful look on his face.
"Um. At my house, when the moon is out, we take a nap."
"Well, since the moon isn't out yet today, it's not really nap-time."
Clever little guy, isn't he?!?! "Well Caden, that is when you take your night time nap. When you to sleep at night. This is your day time nap."
"Oh." And the poor guy had a bit of a dejected look on his face! He thought he could pull one over on old Beth!
Miles woke up from his nap in a great mood today. And this is not usual. For whatever reason he is a bit of a crab when he gets up from his nap. Regardless, today Annabelle and I went in to get him out of bed and he was all to happy to stay in bed! So Annabelle and I sat on the side of my bed while Miles showed off in his pack and play. I put Annabelle over the side of the crib and I said "Wanna hug Annabelle?" This is usually a sure yes! He loves her! But this time he turned away and dropped to his belly laughing. This got me laughing which in turn got him showing off more by throwing himself around the pack and play. I thought for sure he was going to bang his head on the wall! We went through this same scenario 3 more times. He was laughing so hard and I was just looking at him thinking 'Oh, he's changing! He's growing up and acting like a big boy! STOP!' So fun!
I saw this totally cute craft the other day at No Time for Flash Cards and I knew the boys would love it! Since it involved finger painting and Annabelle was at her 8 week well baby appointment, we decided to get messy! And what fun it was!
Harrison has recently been paying attention to a lot of details in his art and drawing. He is staying in the lines and taking his time. And he has been very proud of his accomplishments. I didn't push this on him as I wanted him to discover his own style of art, but I am a little happy that he has stopped scribbling on everything and saying he CAN'T draw!
Miles had a ball with the finger painting. It was so cute watching him paint and then rub his hands together. He loved looking at his fingers while rubbing them together. I love when a sensory activity comes together!
Back at it today. House full of kids. It really is amazing how the whole day works and I don't lose my mind. I even had 1 kid in preschool and 4 kids sleeping this afternoon! How cool is that?!?!
Bennett is a bit enamored with Annabelle. He thinks she is the cutest (don't we all!). Usually the kids are really good at leaving her alone. I can walk into the kitchen and not worry that she will be attacked (unless by Miles and his relentless kisses!). But today when I was bringing water out to everyone I caught my love bug Bennett pulling Annabelle, ever so gently, out from under her play gym. I asked him what he was doing and he said "I hold baby Annabelle." Melt my heart. While we had a conversation about how he could hold Annabelle, while I was there to pick her up, etc he looked at me and absent-mindedly 'petted' Annabelle. It was adorable!
By the way - we are going to work on the baby Annabelle thing. While I think it is cute that my boys call her that, I don't think she will appreciate being called baby Annabelle by her cousins for the rest of her life!
Another day in paradise here at the Neipert ranch. Bennett got an ear infection this weekend so Saturday night was a blast for us. He has had a small runny nose since Tuesday, and a slight temp Wednesday before nap, but no other signs. My parents were here for dinner Saturday evening and Bennett was in perfect health. So when he woke up around midnight screaming and crying and sticking his finger in his ear, I was a little shocked. He and Chris spent the night in the living room on couch cushions arranged on the floor until 7:00 am when Bennett repeated the screaming, crying and sticking his finger in his ear (Harrison was not impressed with the couch cushions. He seemed to think that looked like fun and he missed out!). I gave Bennett some more medicine and stuck him in bed with me. How I fell asleep, I do not know, but when I woke up at 8:30 am I knew my day was shot. Not only was I missing church, but I would spend almost 2 hours in the walk-in clinic before going home to leave again for work. Yeah! What a weekend! Regardless, Bennett is fine. It is amazing what antibiotics will do.
Miles and Annabelle stayed home today as they are running fevers with their new found runny noses. (I guess Bennett likes to share!) So it was just the three boys today. We did some drawing and made some funny ghosts with our feet. Harrison went first and as I painted his feet Caden started to look terrified. Harrison was being a little dramatic and funny and saying the it was scary! Caden decided that he wanted nothing to do with scary! So next went Bennett who laughed the entire time. "It tickles! I tickles!" This was the turn around that Caden needed and then he decided to give it a try. He giggled as I tickled his feet with the paint as well! It was too cute!
All the kids were in bed (Annabelle is a baby, she doesn't count!) except Bennett. He has recently learned how to open his bedroom door and his new way of procrastinating is by coming out of his room to have injured body parts kissed. "I hurt my finger, Mama." "I hurt my knee, Mama." Etc, etc. So today was no different. He did this a couple of times and I told him in no uncertain terms that he was going to the naughty spot if he didn't stay in bed. I thought this was working. I could hear him through the monitor and he was babbling on about something. I heard my name a couple of times, but nothing I was going to go in for. Until "HELP ME MOMMY!" I set Annabelle down and headed to the bedroom. I walked in to find Bennett in the pack and play. He looked at me and said "I stuck." Yes. Yes he was stuck. He had gotten himself into the pack and play that is set up for Annabelle, which means I have the insert in it so that she is higher up than normal. WHY DOES HE DO THIS!!!!! Just go to sleep! That is all I ask!!!! I mean, really, it is going to be 3:00 and all the other kids are going to be up and he is going to sleep until 4:00! What a peanut!
"Mom, like maybe, someday, I mean, I will give you and Dad some of my cash because, you know, you don't have very much cash. But, I will wait. I mean, not right now I won't give it to you, but maybe later." ~ Harrison
It's like he has been reading my diary and knows why I had kids!
There is a precious rope that you walk on when it comes to children's art work. You don't want to say "Oh look! I love the cute puppy that you drew!" only to be looked at with big puppy dog eyes and the response "But Mom. It's a scary bear eating a wolf! I can't believe you thought it was a puppy!" (This exact story happened once to one of my families back at the Downtown School!) So when Harrison brought this wonderful drawing home from Sunday School a couple of weeks ago, I said "Oh look! You drew our family!" and then while speaking I did the math and realized I needed Harrison to tell me about the picture instead of me telling him about the picture.
I mean look! Isn't it wonderful? I was so proud. Harrison is usually a scribbler and not very interested in drawing actual things. And here he has drawn PEOPLE! After my initial enthusiasm and joy, I tried to maintain excitement for his drawing and calmly asked him to tell me about it. He said:
"This is me. This is Daddy. This is you. This is Marc. And this is Bennett. Isn't it great?!?!"
So it was his family plus an extended family member. It was great, but Marc? I was pretty sure we only knew one Marc, but I had to tread lightly. I didn't want to offend him by asking the wrong question and he can be very sensitive about things like this. I asked what they learned in Sunday School today and sure enough he learned about families. I said "Cool. So you decided to draw a picture of your family?" And then Chris asked the question I was dying to ask, but didn't want to: "Why did you draw Marc?" At this point, as hard as I was trying for this not to happen, Harrison began to think that he had done something wrong. He got a quizzical look on his face and looked at me like I should say something. I didn't know what to say! He was second guessing himself. He finally said "Is Marc part of our family?" I said "Of course he is, honey. Isn't that why you drew him in your picture?" This seemed to pacify Harrison and we proudly displayed his picture on the refrigerator.
Anyway, we never really got an answer as to why Harrison decided to draw Marc in the picture. I mean, he is family, but as family goes, we haven't seen Marc in a couple of months so I don't know what brought him to the fore-front of Harrison's mind. Chris and I got a big kick out of it and I called Marc to fill him in and he also got a big kick out of being included. The drawing and Chris' question about Marc have led to many other questions about family; what are cousins, uncles, aunts and other family members? How are we related? Why are Caden and I not releated? Etc. It has actually been a fun learning experience.
Harrison now wants to have a family picture taken. And when I say family, I mean any one with DNA even closely resembling Harrison. So beware family everywhere, Harrison is going to be calling. No matter how distant the relation!
Amazingly enough this was the 4th annual Night the Light for Team Klara. Kara has been gone for 5 years, but never forgotten. I can't believe how time moves so fast and how it even goes on at all. And being there at Light the Night with her family and friends feels so good and so bad all at the same time. It also gives me hope that we will do this walk forever. For me it's not so much about raising money for blood cancer research (which is very important and I will be fundraising doubly hard in 2010!) but it is a great time to get together with people who were important in Kara's life. I know that it is a year away, but if you can just take one Saturday next year to celebrate and remember Kara you won't regret it and we would LOVE to see you there.
Anyway, the walk was once again a success. I did a bit of misjudging on when the walk was (date wise - I thought it was in October!) so I had to work the morning of the walk. I didn't really want to drag the kids to Davenport (I drove there and back to Des Moines in the same afternoon/evening) because they have been going there quite a bit because of Hawkeye home games and my work schedule. So I left the family at home this year and my mom came with instead. We had a very nice time. She got to catch up with Mary House and I got to fawn over baby Nora and talk with great friends.
Here are some pictures from our evening:
Marcy (Kara's sister)
Jod, Scott, James, Ken (among others in the background!)
Checking out some lost balloons
Jen, Nora (in stroller), Scott and Marcy
Mom chattin' it up with Danika Perron (classmate of Nathan's) - she volunteers her time and takes team pictures at the event.
Mom, Marcy, Dayton (Marcy's oldest son)
James, Scott, Jod (notice the headphones on Jod - she couldn't miss the Hawkeye game!)
Our shirts this year had a phrase written from a birthday card that Kara had sent Jen one year. They said "Hope you have an awesome day" and it was in Kara's handwriting. Very cool!
Me: silently giggling - I mean, 'What's what?'! That is not a 4 year old phrase!
Caden: "Those. Up there. Those."
Harrison: "Oh. That. Those are wires. And if you get a REALLY tall ladder you can climb up and touch those wires. But (pause) then you die. Do you want to die, Caden?"
Caden: "Oh. Ummmmm. No."
Harrison: "Well, you could wear special gloves. I mean there are guys that touch those wires all the time but they wear special gloves. I'm not so sure why they touch the wires. MOM!!!"
Harrison: "You know those wires up in the sky? Why do guys touch them? I mean, why?"
Me: "Sometimes they need fixed or tightened so they don't fall down."
Harrison: "Oh. See Caden? Do you have any more questions?"
Caden: "Oh. No. Thank you."
Bennett: "PLANE!!!!!" (pointing up in the air)
This is about the exact conversation that was had in the van this morning on the way home from the library. I hope that Caden's parents appreciate the education that he gets at my house. It doesn't get any better than 'Do you want to die, Caden?' I mean, really. I love these kids!
These are just a few of the phrases going around Camp Neipert these days. It is amazing how many conversations I can carry on at once. Caden and Bennett are in full swing with all of their talking and Miles is really starting to talk. He is the one that said 'I ok." He is not the most graceful toddler on the planet and he tripped in the living room the other day and he looked up at me and said "I ok" and went right back to playing! This is not a normal response. He often looks for the sympathy with a tear or two! Not this time!
And poor Miles! I must have said "Not in your mouth, Miles" a few too many times, because now Bennett feels the need to remind Miles that certain toys don't go in his mouth! And Miles DOES NOT like being told what to do by Bennett! (I can sympathize!)
Harrison is kind of protective when it comes to the little Legos in the house. Bennett was showing Caden a Lego alien and then they took turns chasing each other with it. I was monitoring the situation, but a little piece must have fallen off. A little while later I found it and set it on the table. Harrison got home from school and saw it. His response: "I am sooo sick of Caden and Bennett!" We had a quick chat about that. I continue to be dumbfounded by what comes out of his mouth. Do I say that? Do I use "I am so sick of..." in conversations with Chris and others? I can't believe that I do but where else would he get it. Probably watching the Cubs with his father!
Bennett is almost to the annoying 'Why' stage, but not quite. He says 'Why' but not so much that he says it 7 times in one conversation. He has started saying "Because." This is something I think he picked up from Caden although I can't be positive. It is just really funny to hear either of them say it. Bennett does love his manners. He is a constant, please and thank you man, and he has recently added your welcome into the mix. He also loves to give others praise. I made a letter 'F' today and cut it out of the construction paper and I received a "Aww, good job, Mom" and a nice old pat on the back. What a sweetie! It's nice to be appreciated!
Bennett is also at an early procrastination stage. Depending on the time of day, I am ready to strangle him once the 'Be right back's" start coming out of his mouth. "Be right back. Need water." "Be right back. I need a truck." "Be right back, I go use the potty!" (still not really using the potty, just lifting his shirt to expose his belly button!)
Caden continues to amaze me with his language skills. Yesterday, instead of just asking me like most normal kids, he told me he had a question! "Beth, I ask you a question. Can we go outside?" Too cute! And he is always very curious as to what I am doing and what we are going to be doing. "What are you doing?" "What are you making?" "Are we going to have yogurt?" "Can we play with the trains and then watch Dinosaur Train?"
Nap time is a treasured time around here. I am a little worried that a little girl is about to disrupt all that!!! :)