Wednesday, January 30, 2013

We See You!

"Hi" there family and friends!
Benjamin is wearing his high water pants for the imminent snow thaw. Or, maybe, he is just sprouting up taller again. That is what seems to happen every time I feed him. Although, he never appears to be eating much; he prefers to turn a mealtime into a musical. There is usually a lot of singing, choreography and drama at our table.
Ben is always trying to steal the show. He has started telling me to take his picture. He wanted to say, "Hi" today. This was not a dressed rehearsal.
Yesterday, the play was especially entertaining. Ben came to me, covering one eye, saying, "I am the Flaming Eyeball. I am the Arch Nemesis!". However, he seemed very critical of his performance when he saw it in this picture. He determined that it didn't look as menacing from that camera angle as he thought it had. Don't believe the camera, Benjamin Jon! You are a fearsome creature! Don't ever dim the lights on the grand stage of your imagination! You have a great talent!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Guess Who's Potty Trained!

Okay, maybe it is too soon to call it final. However, Benjamin has been wearing "Big Boy Underpants" and staying clean and dry, day and night!
Benjamin is "Big Boy now". He said, "No more diapers for me"!
He really is a "Big Boy" now. But, he is an even bigger goof ball!

Wild Weather

Winter is dragging on here in the mountain valley. A mass migration began this morning, from the colder regions of the house to the warmer southern climes. Eventually, even aquatic animals began the shuffle along! A Giant Squid was seen following an elephant! Scientists were unable to get photographic evidence of that sighting due to a tremendous hurricane which followed. "Hurricane Benjamin" seemed to come out of nowhere. The tremors sent animals flying in all directions. You have heard the term, "When pigs have wings"? Well, this little piggie didn't need any wings.
Even before the storm, the creatures had been subjected to some horrific hardships. First, the herbivores had to run from predatory animals at every turn. Then there was an attack on the entire caravan. "Run! Here comes Buzzy", the giant dragonfly. It is a fearsome creature.
There has been a calm following the storm, but meteorologists in the area suspect we have not seen the last of the foul weather.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

He's a Rocket Man!

We have big news at our Space Station!
Our smiley little space man has been wearing "Big Boy Underpants" and staying clean and dry!
That deserves a promotion! He is now "Space Shuttle Commander"!
Here we see the new Space Commander in his official uniform, "blasting off" his new "rocket ship full of spacemen" after an exciting countdown from 10-1. He dressed himself in these Space Ranger Big Boy Underpants (still dry of course) and matching t-shirt. He told me to "Stand back because it phooshes blue fire!".
His work site is up for several safety awards, being that there has only been one industrial accident in 3 days. Today has been the best day yet! Keep up the good work Space Commander Benjamin!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

More Travel

Daddy had to fly out on another business trip.
Benjamin was pretty sure he could make the flight if he could just fit in the check-in luggage.
No matter how important a trip is, the best part of any business trip has got to be "Welcome Home" kisses!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Trail Blazing!

As I cleaned up our snack time mess, I casually remarked that we should go outside. At the mention of it, Ben raced down the hall and came back dressed! He had put on his own pants (no underpants of any kind), shirt (inside out), mittens and cowboy boot slippers. He was struggling with his own coat and saying "I did it all by myself!".
I really wanted to be supportive of his efforts, but I really wanted to get snow boots on him. After explaining that his feet would get cold and wet in the slipper boots, I asked him "Do you understand?". He said he did and then continued to insist that these were the only boots he could wear outside and still be a cowboy. I decided that, since we wouldn't be outside very long, and he was so proud of dressing himself, this could be a learning experience. I figured that, even as padded as they were, his feet would eventually get wet or cold and then he would change his footwear choice.
Ben tromped all over the snowy yard!
Lucy Kitty tromped right around with him.
It is beautiful outside today! It is sunny and relatively warm (36 degrees F).
Ben ran and giggled with his shadow, making joyful new tracks in the sparkling snow.
Although it looks as though he is trying to turn on the water, the truth is he is peeking through the periscope of his imaginary submarine. He kept telling me, "Up pera-ma-scope. I see you!".
He made happy tracks all over the yard!
We followed deer tracks in the backyard.
They lead us to a hidey hole under the "pine cone tree". Ben was convinced he would find the critter there. He was very disappointed when there was not so much as a single bird under the branches of that tree.
Between the two sets of animal tracks in this picture, you may notice that our little Potty-Trainer made his very own yellow snow! Good Boy!
Ben spent a lot of time trying to "clean" his summer play equipment.
He was not interested in climbing. He just wanted the snow removed. Once he did that, then he went where there was more digging to be done.
The Sandbox is under there somewhere. Apparently, it is fun year-round! As it turns out, so are cowboy boot slippers.  However, we put his wet socks and "cowboy boots" by the fireplace to dry out, and Ben finally agreed to use his dry snow boots when we go back out after nap time.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So Close, And Yet, So Far

Dylan is only a 45 minute drive out of town, but it seems like there is just never enough family time with him included. We miss him like crazy. However, we understand that he is very busy and we are very proud of him. The semester is going to start up soon and he is getting very focused for success!
Dylan has his books purchased and has been reading ahead. He has been drawing amino acids for biochem practice/review. Also, Dylan is preparing for some work in a laboratory this upcoming semester! He has been chatting with his professors and Dr. Grimes has agreed to place him in his research laboratory. Dr. Grimes works on neuroblastoma cellular research. Dylan may be washing a lot of glassware at first, but he is learning all he can in order that he may be more helpful at some point soon. He has started eating research papers for lunch and savoring the acronyms of the trade!

Take good care of yourself kiddo. Drink lots of water. Get lots of sleep. We will need to come see you soon, before the semester adventure begins!

Our New Cat, Pete

This is Pete the Cat. Pete followed us home from the bookstore today. Lucy intimated that she is still head of the household. Pete is okay with that.
We already had the book about his 4 Groovy Buttons. Ben loves to sing the song. In the story, Pete has a jacket with "Groovy Buttons" that keep popping off and rolling away.

It is a sweet little story. Each time Pete loses a button, the narrator asks, "Did he cry? Goodness no. Buttons come and buttons go". Pretty soon Pete is down to just his own groovy bellybutton. He happily sings about that button too.

Ironically, Pete didn't come with a belly button. At Ben's request, I had to sew this one on.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Staying Warm

We celebrated Lucy Kitty's birthday! Happy 6th Birthday Lucille! It was also a really good excuse to have some cake.  
The way Lucy tells it, she has survived 6 years of captivity.
Lucy has no idea how lucky she is to be indoors right now. In 24 hours, we went from having no snow to having eight inches of fresh stuff. To prepare for a visit from Dylan, David shoveled and Benjamin swept the walk. Kitty and I supervised from the window.
We received a fun Mozzarella-Making Kit for Christmas (Thanks Wojciks!), so David has been learning to make cheese. Even better, he purchased some Lactase drops to prepare lactose-free cheese for me.
With two mounds of homemade Mozarella at hand, we all pitched in to prepare homemade pizza! Although David plans to tweak the recipe a bit to obtain a more firm, cuttable texture, I was able to have yummy lactose-free Mozzarella on my pizza!
Benjamin got to hang out with his brother a bit.
Benjamin has been dying to show Dylan his rocket expansion work.
Dylan completed some repair work on his car this morning. His lights had been broken recently by a suicidal deer. The unfortunate event had a pretty happy ending, in that the deer got up and was, presumably, fine. Also, Dylan is pretty handy when he has replacement parts available. The little Sube is right back in action.
It was a good thing he didn't need to be outside very long, though. We have been in the single and negative digit temperatures for a few days.  It had "warmed up" to 7 degrees when  this photo was taken.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It's 2013!

It is time to learn. We are sifting through what we think we know and looking for new things to learn.
It is time to seize the day. We want to taste, see, hear, smell and feel the evergreen world around us.
It is time to seek out light and truth. The low winter sunshine is warm coming through the window and its light will be coming earlier every day until our next Solstice. We are ready.
It is time to be AWESOME! We are all re-dedicating ourselves to our New Year resolutions. We can be whoever we want to be!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Post #3: Fun & Games

The SOCKS! Santa filled our socks!
Santa brought Dylan some questionable items, though. These psychedelic sunglasses, for example. "Snoozing in class? Not me prof!"
Benjamin will need a full year to enjoy all of the nice toys he received!
Just like his Daddy, Ben is starting to do fake smiles for the camera. He isn't very good at it yet.
It was nice to have Daddy home from work for so long. We all had a lot of nice snuggle time.
Ben has been properly introduced to STAR WARS, thanks to his Uncle Ed. The little Jedi was so excited, it was hard to get a picture that wasn't blurry.
Space ships!
Legos! Dinosaur! Chomp, chomp, chomp!
Dylan is becoming quite the cook. Now that he is living on his own without roommates, he has some good kitchen gear to use.
We all had a royal spoiling!
We had a lot of fun playing the new game Dylan brought. David is getting way too good at it.
Ben loves getting mail! He loves his new subscription to Nat Geo for Little Kids. It may also ease his withdrawal from the daily barrage of Christmas cards and gifts being delivered for the past few weeks.
Family movie night is even better when they are Christmas movies!
Awesome Man is poised and ready to make "Thank You Notes"!
Dylan is on his way back at his apartment in Missoula now. We sure enjoyed having him home for the holidays! He brought his little brother the most thoughtful gifts, including this sweet bedtime story book.
Santa brought us everything we asked for; even the "Pizza Planet Space Station with the claw hanger". I hope we can all get on Santa's "Good List" again in 2013!