Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Water Works

I took the boys to play in the water fountain at the mall this morning.
It was enjoyable as always.

By the way, the boys went down for bed a few minutes before 8:00pm last night without a peep and didn't get up until 6:30 this morning. Between night time and naps, Reid is getting a little less sleep than normal, but not bad to have a routine down by night 3 of sharing a room.

And, thanks everyone for superhero name input. We've had a lot of laughs reading the lists. Keep the names coming.
We still haven't made a decision.

Monday, July 30, 2007

In Utero

I had another ultrasound this afternoon. I considered posting a picture, but someone else's ultrasound pictures never really mean anything to anyone else. Plus, who really wants to see a picture of the inside of my uterus anyway? The whole pregnancy thing really isn't as awesome and beautiful to me as it should be. Not that I don't think it's miraculous. I'm amazed that you can plant a seed and get a tomato, let alone a person. It's just that I think it's a little disturbing to have a little person living inside of me. I'm at the point where the baby moves all the time and every kick just reminds me that there is a human in my abdomen.

So as to not sound ungrateful, I am so blessed to have had two and 2/3 healthy pregnancies so far. I am so glad that struggling to get pregnant or carrying a child to term are not trials I've had to bear. Even though it weirds me out, it is a miracle and I love motherhood - post-pregnancy. Or maybe more like post 12 months or maybe 18. Sometimes I think I'd be willing to deliver a 32 pound baby if he came out as old as Reid...walking, sleeping, communicating, feeding himself and attending nursery. Although, my babies tend to be pretty near that big anyway. This baby weighs 1.2 pounds more than a normal baby at 31 weeks. He looks like a baby a full two weeks older than he is. You'd think that'd be good news and maybe I'll deliver early, but judging by past experience, it means nothing.

We still have no ideas for a baby name. Well I can't say no ideas. We did read over lists of names last night but before we were finished going through lists, Spencer was snoring. Not because I made him read over lists at three in the morning since I'm awake all night anyway. It was only 9:00, but it's just that boring and we just don't agree. It's been drawn to our attention that both of our boys have names of superheros secret identities. (Peter PARKER - Spiderman and REID Richards - Mr. Fantastic) So if anyone knows any good superhero names, maybe you could send them our way to keep up this theme. Otherwise, we'll have to stick with Bruce Wayne (AKA Batman).

So probably contributing to Spencer's early night last night, we put the bunk beds up and moved Reid into Parker's room this weekend. Reid has discovered a new found freedom being able to get out of bed on his own. The two of them just feed off each other. I can't tell you how many times the two of them came tearing down the hall in boisterous laughter. Reid tends to be a heavy sleeper, but Parker is quite the opposite. So when Parker got up 3:30 early Sunday morning, he flipped the lights on and made sure Reid knew he was up. And that started another hour of repeatedly returning two boys to their beds. Last night they made it through the night, but Reid, who usually sleeps until 7:30 or 8:00 was up with Parker at 6:00. I'm hoping they get over this quickly.

I don't know how it is that I have so much to write when I write a few times a week. I'm a wordy person. But I still have one more story. I think I may have spoken too soon when I said how proud I was of Parker for getting something from family scripture study. A few days ago I saw Parker going back and forth across the hall into my room with all his covers and pillows and just about ever spare blanket we own. I just let him do what he was doing. I didn't want to disrupt his creativity, plus he was entertaining himself which gave me a little break. When he seemed to be finished, I finally wandered down the hall to see what he was up to and I found a gigantic mound of all of these blankets and pillows and Parker kneeling on top saying a prayer. When he was finished, I asked him what he was doing and he replied that he had built a Rameumptom, but we're supposed to kneel down to pray which was why he was kneeling, not standing on his Rameumptom. So he's half-way got it. I'm glad he's retaining something.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sympathy for the Foolish Man

I've known the parable of the wise man who built his house upon the rock and the foolish man who built his house upon the sand since I was a small child. I thought how foolish could he really be. Who builds on a sandy foundation? But having built a standing structure myself, I now have a little more sympathy for the foolish man.

Last summer, from a large pile of wood, a couple boxes of nails, two hammers and our own four hands, Spencer and I built a shed. I suppose we did invest in a couple of power tools along the way, as well. And to give credit where credit is due, the missionaries stopped by a few times to assist us in our efforts. Our intentions certainly weren't to build on a sandy foundation. This is Ohio. There's not sand for hundreds of miles. We certainly made our efforts to prepare a sturdy foundation for our shed. But after it has sat for a whole year now, the front right corner seemed to settle a little lower than the rest of the shed. I was hoping to get a good picture of our tilted shed, but it doesn't appear too bad in the picture. (The main fault seen in the picture is the weed trim bordering the shed. Living in Ohio has brought a clear understanding of the cliche "Growing like a weed.")

A tilted shed isn't all that bad. The foolish mans house was completely washed away. And with all the rain we get around here, I guess it's ok that I'm still proud of our shed. It has been well used and I learned a lot of new skills last summer including the use of several power tools of which I've had to use a few times since then. There are certain aspects of building (few though they may be) I am even better at than Spencer. He couldn't have done it without me. And now that he knows that, I unfortunately have to help with more home improvement projects around the house than I would like.

So maybe the foolish man isn't quite as foolish as I once thought. Foundations can be deceiving. And besides, who passes up beach front property anyway? That doesn't sound so foolish to me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday Disruptions

Church doesn't get much worse than when you have to take a 17 month old to all your meetings. (Except maybe when you show up with two completely different shoes, but that's a story for another time.) Seriously. A 17 month old is WAY too old for sunday school. I can hardly sit still for the hour, so how can I expect my toddler to. So there is nothing like the relief and the joy of dropping your toddler off at nursery for the first time. Reid doesn't actually turn 18 months until friday, but it pays to have friends in high places. The nursery leader used to be one of my counselors in young women, so she snuck him in a month early. I didn't even ask, she just offered. And Reid has adjusted to nursery without a hitch. He's never looked back. Parker is a different story. I think Reid may be over stepping his bounds. The first day Reid attended, Parker insisted on the whole drive home that Reid was not big enough for nursery.

I have not attended sunday school without a kid in tote for three years now. Reid was born right when Parker turned 18 months. I actually kind of thought I didn't even like sunday school. But the last couple weeks, I've found I got more out of sunday school than any of my other meetings. So here's to about 10 more weeks of sunday school bliss before I have another child to bring.

While I'm on the subject of church, I've never been more proud of Parker disrupting sacrament meeting than I was a couple weeks ago. Some one was speaking and mentioned Abinadi. Parker blurts out in full volume, "Abinadi? Parker likes him. But not King Noah. He is not nice." And then in not so full volume, but loud enough for people in surrounding pews to hear, Parker proceeded to tell the story about Abinadi and King Noah and Alma who became a "prophet and a missionary." So score a point for family scripture study. Amid all the somersaults and dance moves and wwf matches, the kid actually learned something.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All About Parker

Taking the kids to get pictures is a rareity in our house. So many parents are in the studio every three months for pictures to show off their adorable kids. And with prices at places like Target and great coupons from Kiddie Kandids, why not? I have no good answer, but we tend only to get pictures of our kids on their birthdays. I wasn't even good at getting baby pictures taken. So this is Parkers third annual picture. And while I continue to think he's the cutest three year old I've ever seen, I think he looks a little like a towel boy at a yuppie country club.

I'm glad we atleast had one picture turn out well. Getting that kid to hold still for a picture is next to impossible. And when you tell my three year old to "smile," he tends to give you this over-sized cheesey grin with his eyes so squinty they're practically closed.

And since this picture doesn't include Reid, I might as well make this a post all about Parker. Lately he's decided he wants to be a Rock Star when he grows up...the singing kind of rock star he says. He walks, or rather dances, around the house (or the grocery store, or church, or where ever) singing "Party Like a Rock Star," which he says he learned from the big boys at the water fountain at the mall we take them to play in sometimes. And his other favorite song of the moment is MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This," which he learned from his Dad. And he has the most awesome dance that goes with that song, which he made up himself.

Don't worry, he says he wants to be a missionary first, and then a rock star. A logical career path. Actually, he's always said he wants to be a missionary when he grows up, no matter what else he wants to be at the moment. Parker doesn't really have a long list of what he wants to be, but the other consistent career choice is a "bone doctor." He practices cutting his animals legs off and giving them new ones all the time. In fact, bear is in the process of getting a new leg as I write.

Of all the three year olds in the world, I'm really glad that Parker is mine. He is a constant ball of fire and non-stop laughs. He's great.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Farmer Tan

No, my boys are not wearing t-shirts, they're just that pale. Having such fair skinned boys, I find it easier (and cuter) to squeeze them into rash guards rather than slathering them in sun block when we play outside in the water. So their pudgy bellies never see the light of day. On this particular evening, the sun was setting, casting shadows over Aunt Debbie's pool. So I let them go bare skinned and free. (Spencer took a different route...no that's not his farmer tan.) They turned into fish in Arizona, although Parker insists he's a jellyfish, not a regular fish. Debbie just sent me these pictures so I thought I'd post them. (Thanks Jeanine for teaching me how to collage my pictures!)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Tonka Mania

I have grand ideas when it comes to cake decorating, but I always seem to have a little problem with the carry-out, especially in the frosting department. So although it's not what I envisioned, Parker got the truck cake he asked for.

We let the monkeys out early on Parker's birthday...which explains the PJ's. We're on a bug hunt here. We caught a cricket, a roley poley (aka "holy poley") and a beetle.

Reid, also in his PJ's, is a little bike theif, enjoying a ride while Parker is on a bug hunt. And of course he's enjoying his cake in the first picture.

Birthdays are always fun to the max at our house and we just got to celebrate Parkers this weekend. He turned three and it shows. I think he's grown up quite a bit lately. I've noticed him catch himself before throwing a tantrum and deciding otherwise. I've even caught him being nice to Reid out of his own free will. I think he's getting old enough to occasionally recognize that there are consequences for his actions. And he's spent a lot less time on "time-out" lately. I don't know what it is about being two that makes it so terrible. But it's not just one of those catchy phrases with great alliteration. Parker really hit terrible two's just before his second birthday and grew out of them just before his third. Now I can't wait to see what my three year old has to offer.

Parker was quite insistant on having a "Truck Party" so we truck-partied from dusk til dawn and we all had the time of our lives. To stick with the theme, all he wanted for his birthday were trucks...and hot rods. And thanks to a Tonka Truck sale at K-Mart, thats exactly what he got. Plus a bug collecting kit from Grandma Benson and a tricycle because I feel every three year old needs one. It's so easy for me to shop for Parker. He gets excited about everything. So, naturally, I want him to have just that...but at the same time remembering how much I hate toys in my house. That's my one link to reality in the toy store. It's the only thing that keeps him from getting one of everything. Plus, with him being the oldest, we don't "already have one." We had no Tonka trucks before this weekend. But when Reid turns 3, we'll already have some. Plus a tricycle and all the other important three year old toys. It's a lot easier to over shop for Parker. I feel bad for Reid, but even worse for Smith Boy #3 (which is what we've decided on for his name by the way). I suppose we can just re-wrap the Tonka trucks every time a kid turns three around here.

It's been one of those days where Parker, while going down, or fighting to go down, for a nap woke Reid up 45 minutes into his nap. And in turn, Reid woke Parker up about 45 minutes into his nap by trying to get into his room. (Now that Reid is upright, it's opened up a whole new world of trouble making...including doorknobs.) So my boys both had short naps that didn't over lap and it's high time I get off the computer and end the WWF match going on in my family room.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Grand Canyon State

"The Grand Canyon State" is not much of a state nickname for a place where temperatures flirt with 120 degrees daily. After spending a week there I'd call it the "Hotter than Hades State." Or the "Hotter than Three Rats in a Wool Sock State." "The Grand Canyon State" makes Arizona sound like a nice place to visit. Give us a little warning!

Besides the heat, our trip really was pleasant. Topping the trips highlights...Reid learned to walk. Watching a toddler walk with a plastic leg is quite entertaining. He learned to walk so differently than Parker did at nine months and different than any other two legged kid learning to walk. He clomps around with both arms facing forward and his back leaning backwards in sort of a Frankenstein manor. It is really amazing how well he's doing. He seems to be quite pleased with himself.

Also nearing the top of the trips highlights was Parker's discovery of Mountains. We don't have mountains in Ohio. He was fascinated by mountains last year in Utah, too. And we've talked about mountains since then. I don't know if he forgot what mountains actually looked like or if Arizona mountains are just different. Driving on the freeway to Great Grandma Bensons house Parker asked in reference to the mountains...What is that big dirt?

Being the only two grandkids on my side of the family, Parker and Reid got a lot of attention from everyone, but especially spoiled by Grandma Benson. Mom took them the circus, the science museum, out to lunch and swimming everyday. Not to mention baking cookies, playing with toys, giving them toys, giving them an endless supply of Fruit Loops, fruit snacks, Goldfish, and popsicles, and pushing them around on her computer chair with wheels. Thank You, Thank You Grandma Benson! Parker has been reinacting the circus all week. He'll stand on anything he can find to represent a stage and announce "Ladies and Gentlemen..." Only it's more like "Lamies and Gentlemen." I know he knows how to say ladies so I'm not quite sure how to take that.

We celebrated mom's 50th birthday. Mike and Jeff and I figured zero has no value anyway so we gave her a 5 year old birthday party complete with streamers, balloons, party hats, and a trip to Makutu's Island...the most awesome indoor playground ever. The best part is adults can climb on the equipment, too. So my husband and my super tall brothers chased Parker around for an hour and a half on three stories worth of ladders, slides, zip lines, rope bridges and tunnels. Thanks Guys! It was so fun to have our whole family together. Those times are few and far between. I forget what I'm missing. It was really great have that time. Mom visits often, but my kids don't know my brothers at all. I was glad they got to know them and vice versa. Thanks Mike and Jeff for entertaining them.

This is the fam at Makutu's Island. Don't worry, the pink purse that looks like it belongs to Jeff is not his...it's Mikes. He had no where else to set it. (ok it's mom's) I anticipated having lots of pictures to post, but I didn't get my camera out once the entire week. All I have are a few random pictures my mom took mostly just hanging out at her house. So that's all I've got.

I enjoyed visits with so many family members and friends. Even though I didn't grow up in Arizona, It was good to be home. Thanks Everyone!