Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dinosaur Bear Claw

While we were watching the Academy Awards, Benjamin opened the hallway closet. We could hear him rummaging around in there. When he emerged, he stomped toward us dressed like this. We said, "You can't go outside right now. It is too dark.". To this he replied, "I know. I was just pretending to be Dinosaur Bear Claw.". He roared around the house and did some fearsome snapping with his mittens like a crab with pinchers. Luckily, he was too distracted to memorize the "We Saw Your Boobs" song Macfarlane was singing.
Sometimes the stuff of Ben's imagination is just too great not to share. Like the other night when I said to him, "What should I make for Daddy for dinner?" and without any hesitation at all he replied, "Malto-Meal Strawberry Cake Surprise! Is that is a good idea?".  I was dumbfounded and, honestly, quite tempted to try to make it with him. David does just love it when I try new recipes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Happens This Week?

Benjamin Jon turns three and A HALF!!! Here are some tell-tale signs...
My suggestion of "Why don't we go to the table with that?" was met with "I want to do it ALL BY MYSELF!". It is a dry erase booklet so, working on the floor was relatively harmless. We will work on posture and technique another day. I am thrilled that he wants to write his alphabet. He knows all of his letters and wants to spell things!
After viewing a friend's blog, Ben wanted to make play dough snails like Violet did. I think he's got it figured out! He is telling me how to do it, starting with "making a wormy worm to roll it".
Ben, who has always been rather stingy with his affection, turned into the "Kissing Bandit" the other day. A singing Snoopy Valentine has inspired him to "Swwwwaaaak!", into the air, all over the house. When I stubbed my toe, he came over and told me "Oh, I can make you happy" and he reached his lips out to kiss my stinky foot. Feet are stinky, is a lesson he still has to accept along with covering his mouth when he coughs. Empathy, he has figured out.
The biggest indicator of Ben's advanced age, may be that his favorite "Bear Park" has shrunk! Ben has been talking about his own strength and abilities a lot; telling me things like, "Yes. I am fast as a rocket phooshing fire!". I think he is aware of, and enjoying, the advantages of his increased size. He is a trained explorer and ready for adventure!

Blog Post About Blogging

It has occurred to me, that there are mixed reviews about blogging, in general, which are negatively impacting enjoyment of it. Some things have been brought to my attention that I would like to address, so I am going to post a few boring clarifications.

  1. If you do not wish to have your picture posted to our family blog, please let me know that. In light of recent concerns about social networking and public access to personal information, I am trying to be more sensitive to privacy concerns. This is currently a public blog and I apologize if I have inadvertently shared pictures with the world wide web without your consent. In a couple of recent instances, I have removed photos for this reason. Although all of the pictures shared were all in good taste; lovely, happy photos, I respect your desire for privacy. That being said, if you are in the other camp, and would prefer your 15 minutes of fame restored, by all means email me and I will be happy to include you in our sharing.
  2. Yes...I have tried to make the blog viewable "by invitation only", but blogger makes it too difficult for viewers to follow and comment when viewers don't have Google accounts (.... making everyone on my list "sign up" and jump through hoops, set up accounts, and other nonsense). I do not wish to exclude anyone based on their level of technological skill, so it is back to being a public blog viewable by simply clicking a link. I send the link out via email once in a while for those who have misplaced it.
  3. It has been said of blogs, "Never has so much been said, by so many, to so few". This is both, funny and true. However, this is still one of the best tools I have available for keeping in touch across the miles. Friends and family alike can check in at their leisure to see what the Burkharts are up to. They can leave it for months or look every day. Hopefully, watching little Ben grow and seeing Dylan being a young man in the world, is more than an extended baby book being kept just for me. I would love it if you all had one I could check out too.
  4. Lastly, in setting up the B-Squared page, I added a widget called a "StatCounter". Rather than post numbers on the blog, like some strange bragging exhibit, it is an invisible IP-Address counter which allows me to see if anyone is actually viewing my letters and pictures, which ones were the most popular, and how viewers find them. I love it when I see hits on the counter. Thank you to all of you who visit our blog and who make the time spent an enjoyable sharing experience. If there are improvements you would like to see, please let me know.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dreams Coming True...

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to draw. She sketched and sketched, and sketched some more. Her teachers told her that she had artistic talent and that she should always continue to develop that talent. She even earned a Congressional Award.
She grew up and went to art school. She loved art school and smiled and hummed as she practiced night and day. However, along came a terrible dragon who swooped down from a cumulonimbus cloud in the sky! It gobbled up her school house in just one gulp! She ran away and hid for many years.
Then along came a prince in a white lab coat. He scooped up the girl and took her, far away, to live in his castle. Determined to make all of her dreams come true, the prince gave her all the art supplies she needed to make colorful, joyful art. He cut, sanded, varnished and re-sanded boards that she could use to stretch watercolor paper and paint on.
He pulled a rainbow out of the sky and placed it in a box just for her.
She unpacked her art supplies, arranged them happily about her and smiled brightly. She began to water the colors in the box and they began to blossom into a grand garden full of flowers, birds and butterflies. The garden was alive with happy sounds. She imagined a billion things that she would paint. There would always be color in their home and they would always live happily ever after; making one-another's dreams come true.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Happy Valentine's Day number 6,  to my sweetheart! I am so in love with you and we have so much to celebrate! We have a delicious dinner of Dungeoness Crab planned. Yum! I can't wait!
In efforts to make David's workday fun, I baked these geeky, science conversation heart cookies for him to take. "YOU ELECTROLYTE UP MY LIFE" honey!
Ben was not very interested in baking cookies. So we mixed up a play dough creation that was more his speed; a volcano! Destruction is always up his alley these days.
He was, however, more than willing to EAT cookies. After sending all of my cookies to the lab, we received a fun package from Grammie and Papa Cuddy. Let the sugar-high commence! Although, I don't have pictures of all of the sweet notes and things we received this week, THANK YOU to everyone who sent sweet loving our way! We love you too!
We took a surprise package to Dylan's apartment. He is loving his classes, working hard in the lab and thinking "CATIONIC" thoughts.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Busy Bee Has A Babysitter!

We had a date at 2nd Street Sushi! One of David's coworkers has a daughter who recently took the Red Cross Babysitting class. She came to hang out with Benjamin and relieve us of duty for a total of four hours. We had a great time. It was wonderful to have a calm meal together and uninterrupted conversation. Of course, one of the things we had a great time talking about was Dylan, and about what Ben might be doing while we were gone.

"I'm pretending to be a pumpkin, Mama."
"I'm right here, Mama. Shhh, I'm hiding."
"I'm watering the colors, Mama".
"I'm drilling the drill for the super claw".
Ben had a great time with his new babysitter. It was evident that he wore her out, but they had fun together. She did a great job and we will be going out again soon! I am sure that, if we do this more often, we might even stop talking about our boys for a little while.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Drumming Up Some Fun

If you have a coffee can, a lanyard, and a set of disposable chopsticks, then you're ready for a parade!
Even considering the 90-piece pick-up game which follows, magnet-stacking is the least messy art project Ben has done this week. The "skin sticker" (as Ben calls it) on the back of his hand came from a mini pizza-chef kit from Papa Murphy's Pizza. Apparently, they want children to believe that all pizza chefs all have tattoos. When you buy the child's pizza-chef kit, it comes with dough to roll, sauce to spread, cheese and pepperoni to decorate with and what Ben calls a "Pizza Chef Man" temporary tattoo.
I always thought that children did this sort of thing when a parent placed a basket on their heads. Ben, however, does this sort of thing to himself. He is a basket-on-his-head kind of kid. There is never a dull moment at our house.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

He's Lost His Marbles!

 This is a marble run. If you connect the pieces just right, then a marble placed at the top of the run will make it down each hurdle and into one of the trays at the base. This fun little contraption was a $2 garage sale find back when our little Ben bean was still incubating. Now he can create a marble run taller than himself by building two sections and then placing one on top of the other. I actually had to lift him up so he could put the marble into the top of the chute he created. He knows how to do it!
He does NOT know how to do this. Here, Benjamin could use some pointers from his Brother and his Grandma Connie.  You will notice the cat is leaving simply because Benjamin picked up the guitar. The 'strumming' (I use that word loosely) has begun. The tongue is out, indicating some level of concentration.  The eye is squinted with hefty attitude. However, he prefers to strum the neck of the guitar and hold the bottom. No amount of instruction has corrected this posture issue. He strums like a crazy monkey and then picks the guitar up by the bottom and tries to bang it on the floor like its a jackhammer. Instrument time doesn't last too long at our house.
We have turned to other creative outlets. Here, you will see, Benjamin is filling his pants belt loop with chalk and a crayon. This, he tells me, is so he can be ready, at a moments notice, to jot down a "clue" in his "handy dandy ... notebook". The notebook (not pictured here) is a ten cent spiral-bound pad we picked up at the drug store at his request. If you have seen "Blue's Clues", then you know exactly why.  This photo reminds me of an event his father's childhood when, I am told, he filled his pockets with live slugs.