Tuesday, March 31, 2009

She wants to be like me

After sleeping 14 hours last night (!!!!) a groggy Bennett was in her high chair awaiting breakfast. She already told Meg to "GO BED" in a grumpy voice. Some of you have asked and yes, she gets that from me. I am constantly telling our golden lab to go to her bed. She has a dog bed in our living room that we send her to about 30 times a day. I guess my voice gets louder and meaner when I say it because Bennett yells "GO BED" in a rather unpleasant voice. Talk about your kids holding up a mirror to you. Yikes.

So, anyway she was sitting in her chair waiting for her food to cool down. I cut up her english muffin and cheese into small bites and was blowing on each little bite to cool it down. Bennett had a few cheerios in front of her to nibble on while her real breakfast cooled down. She started to pick up each cheerio one by one and blow on them before she would eat them. Words cannot describe how cute it was.

Sleeping 14 hours, blowing on her food, and yelling at the dogs. That's my girl.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Out Like A Lion

Last weekend we were outside playing with Bennett's wagon. This weekend we were building snowmen. Who knew Kansas would be so fun?

Meg loved the snow. Kirby stared at it.

For all of our Alabama friends out there. A snowman "The Bear" would approve of.

Bennett didn't think he was so funny. She must have nightmares about Frosty or something because she wasn't having any of our snowman fun.

She did however love going on a walk with Dad. And I love a husband who loves Photoshop.

Friday, March 27, 2009

We're Both Learning

My daughter fascinates me. I love watching her watch the world. She is learning new things every day and it is a joy to be a part of that. Rob really works with her on doing certain tasks. She knows now that she gets to open the garage door every time we leave. It is adorable. We walk into to the garage and she holds up one tiny finger and presses the button. As the door starts to rise, she says, "Bye-Bye." Every time. And then when we come home it is her job to close the door. She loves it.

We were in her nursery the other night playing before bed and Rob and I were discussing our days. All of a sudden we noticed that Bennett was standing in the middle of the room. Just standing by herself not holding onto anything. We both got quiet and I started whispering, "Get the video camera now" and then she fell and crawled over to her toys. But she has done it several time since then and she can stand alone unassisted for a good 20 seconds. It is amazing to see her learn new things and say new words every day. Her latest two words are "chicken" and "socks."

As I am watching my little girl grow and learn I realized that I am learning some lessons as well. These past few months have been hard. I can sometimes get really down and think about everything that has gone on in the past 6 months and everything that is still going on. I think about moving from my home, leaving a job I loved, leaving a house I loved, missing my and family terribly, going from working to being a stay at home Mom, being in a new area where I don't know anybody, being pregnant, knowing I will have to move again when our lease ends when I am 9 months pregnant, my grandmother becoming very ill and my not being there, being completely exhausted all the time but still trying to have energy for Bennett, ....... does it sound like I am having a huge pity party? Well I will confess that on some days I do. I feel overwhelmed with change and I am sure my hormones aren't helping, but some days it's hard.

But then I look at my sweet Bennett and all she is learning and so I turn to the Lord and ask for wisdom. I ask Him to teach me something as well. Something that will calm my fears and give me the peace I so desperately seek. And so I remember
1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." In ALL circumstances I am to give thanks.

And then for some reason, I am so mindful of all the blessings here in Kansas. We live in a fantastic area with great schools. I see so many sweet friends struggling with not being able to have a child and I feel ridiculously blessed to have one with another on the way. I am meeting so many incredible women with kids Bennett's age and I am really enjoying having lunch with a few of them and getting to know them better. I am able to regularly attend Bible Study which is something I couldn't do in Montgomery because of my work schedule. Rob loves his job and is happier than I have seen him in a long time. There are so many things to do around here and so many opportunities for Bennett. And I get the amazing privilege of being with my daughter every day and watching her grow and learn.

I could go on and on, but as Bennett learns to stand, say new words, and push garage door openers, I want to learn as well. I want to learn to rely on the Lord, to know that my joy and contentment can only come from Him alone, and mainly to "give thanks in all circumstances."

Learning along with my girl is a good thing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We should just put people in cages

We took Bennett to the zoo today. The KC zoo is fabulous. I anticipate many outings there in the years to come. But it was kind of wasted on Bennett today. She is going through a waving faze. She waves constantly at everyone! We can't let her eat out anymore because all she does is wave at people. At the airport she was riding down the terminal waving at everyone. At church, she just waves. So at the zoo today she could not have cared less about the animals. The only thing she did was yell, "GO BED" at every animal she saw. Apparently she thinks all animals are our dog Meg. She really did yell, "GO BED!" at the birds, at the tigers, and at the monkeys. A few took her advice.

But then all she wanted to do was wave at everyone. For three hours she waved at kids in strollers, babies on the train, parents trying to ignore her constant waving. If she had seen a cage full of people that she could just wave at, it would have been the perfect day.

This bird was the first one of the day that Bennett sent to his bed.
They let sheep roam free in these parts. Bennett isn't so sure that this is a good idea.
We came home and tested out the new wagon from Aunt Laura
First birthday presents rock! Thanks, Aunt Laura.
Winding down after a long day by playing with Daddy.

Goodnight, everyone. I think I'll wave a few more times before I go to sleep.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


We just got back from church. Yes, church on a Saturday night. They have 5 services throughout the weekend at COR (Church of the Resurrection) and we really enjoy the Contemporary service which is held on Saturday and Sunday evenings. And I have to say that as I sat in the service tonight, I was so proud of my husband. The sermon was all on video and was taped in the Holy Land last week. My sweet husband was in charge of editing it and getting it ready for this Sunday. The reason I am so thankful for him is that I know what he went through to make it happen.

He arrived back in the States just 6 days ago. He was jet lagged and ready to come home, but we stayed in Montgomery three extra days to be with my grandmother who was very sick. So, ever since Monday Rob has been trying to catch up on much needed sleep, spend time with me, spend time with Bennett since he hadn't seen her in two weeks, be there for my grandmother, travel back to Kansas, and have an entire sermon edited and ready to go by Friday. And he did it all without once complaining or seeming stretched too thin. I sat there tonight and was moved by our pastor's words. I was grateful for the upcoming Easter season and for what it means to me as a Christian. And I was thankful for a sleep deprived husband that was there for his wife and her family, and yet still did such a wonderful job editing so that the whole congregation could be blessed by a message coming straight from Jerusalem.

Here is a shot of Rob and our senior pastor, Adam Hamilton, walking along a security wall in Israel.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Back Home

I am sorry that I have been such a terribly blogger lately. I have been back home in Alabama and just got back last night. We were supposed to be home on Monday, but my Grandmother became very ill over the weekend. She was in ICU all week and so Rob and I pushed back our flight a few days to be with her.

Quick updates. Rob had an amazing time in Israel. He made it back safely with tons of footage and pictures. He and his coworker Alex were filming for Adam's Easter series as well as DVD's for his upcoming book. Rob was exhausted but thankful for such a meaningful and challenging week.

I am glad to be home. Yes, home in Kansas. Isn't that crazy? I missed my bed. I missed my dogs. But I couldn't have asked for a better time at home. I hate that so much of it was spent at the hospital, but in a way I was so thankful to be there when my grandmother was so sick. I loved catching up and having lunch and coffee with so many friends. And I loved being with my family. I miss them already.

Bennett was a trooper. Every since December, her world has been changed on a weekly basis. But the baby I am bringing home is not the one I took to Alabama three weeks ago. She seems...older. A lot older. She is getting around more, talking more, and just so much more alert and less baby like every day. She talks all the time when she is not crawling everywhere. She is starting to put two words together which scares me. She now says, "Come back." She only says that because we all say it every time she crawls out of a room. She is SO active which made the plane ride home quite miserable.

But, anyway, we're here and I will catch up with blogging after I put away all of the suitcases. Lots of pictures to come and I want to thank everyone who called and e-mailed me for praying for my grandmother. You'll never know how much that meant to me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

When you just don't know what to do...

I just got back from a few days in Birmingham with my sister and her three adorable daughters. Bennett LOVES her cousins. More on that later. I got to sleep in the bedroom of my oldest niece and Bennett was in the pack and play at the foot of the bed. Bennett was a champ and put up with the umpteenth change in her environment really well. Until last night.

At 1:30 am I feel someone banging on my foot. I am pretty sure that it's not time for the Easter Bunny yet and since I haven't lost a tooth in over 20 years, I don't think there's a fairy in there looking for a pillow either. I sleepily deduce that my sleeping baby isn't, well, sleeping. I tell her to lay down and she does which surprises me because I didn't think she knew that word. 20 seconds later my ankle is now being used as a drum kit. Since all members of my sister's family are asleep within a 100 foot radius of me, I keep hissing at her to lay down and go "night night." She will say night night back at me, drop, wait the appropriate 20 seconds and then bang on me again happily calling out, "Gum!!"

Here is the rest of my night

1:45 Pray she will sleep
1:50 Wrap my ankle in socks to avoid the bruises 18 lbs of baby can cause
2:00 Decide she's hungry
2:02 Creep past sleeping nieces, grandmom, aunt, and uncle to make a bottle
2:20 That worked. She's asleep
2:45 She's now crawling the length of her pack and play muttering something about "Dada." I am muttering something about him too. Especially b/c he's not there to help me.
3:00 She's now crying. Full on. They don't have a chapter in "What to Expect" about this. I am writing the editor as soon as I finish this blog.
3:15 She's asleep, but still crying. Do they do that? Obviously they do.
3:45 My ankle is now throbbing and she is banging on it again. I tried moving it, but she finds it. In the dark.
4:15 She's asleep again and having nightmares. What did the baby sitter feed her for dinner?
4:45 I am holding her and she is pushing my face away and yelling, "Night Night." Ummm... does she not realize that is what I am trying to do?
5:00 She's asleep. Thank goodness.
5:02 She's up. I'm delirious.
5:10 She's crying again. Surely someone in this house will tell me tomorrow that this has all been a horrible nightmare and I will wake up refreshed.
5:30 She finally falls asleep (for good) in my arms. I lay her beside me in the bed while she is still holding my finger. We sleep curled up next to each other for a few hours. When I wake up, I look at her peaceful body and think I would do it again every night if that's what it meant to be her Mom.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pretty Pics

My sweet friend Lori met us out at Shakespeare on Friday to take some one year shots of Bennett. Lori was AWESOME!! She came prepared with bubbles, a little chair, toys, and a feather duster to tickle Bennett and make her laugh. Who knew? Unfortunately Bennett didn't feel like laughing. Due to her shots the day before and her cold that I wasn't aware of at the time, she was pretty grumpy. Lori still managed to get some beautiful shots despite my cranky daughter who only wanted to be held. Here are a few sneak peek shots and I will post a few more later. Is she really one already?

Friday, March 6, 2009

One Year Stats

You know how people say that they are at their wits end? I think yesterday I figured what exactly would cause me to be at the end of my wit. It was sitting in a tiny 8x12 waiting room in a doctors office for THREE hours! It was little B's one year check-up and I will die 5 years before I am supposed to because of yesterday afternoon. I will not go into details, but all I can say is I am so very thankful for the rolls of sanitary paper on the table where they exam the babies. That killed about 20 minutes for us. The faucet on the sink killed another 12, the knob on the window sill knocked off a good 8, and so on and so forth. By the time they finally stuck the vaccination needle in her, I was crying as loud as she was.

Anyway, she now weighs 18 lbs and 13 oz. which puts her in the 15% for weight and her height measures out at 29 1/4 which puts her in the 55% for length.

She is talking way too much. Of course she is. Look at her Mom. I was the one that got straight A's in 2nd grade except for conduct. I got a C. I talked too much. Her vocab is typical for an 18 month old according to Dr. Simon. She can say over 20 words and repeat almost any sound you say to her. In fact when our dear doctor was talking to us nonchalantly over her sobs, she kept looking at him and would yell, "Night night! Night night! Night night!" He didn't get the fact that we were 2 hours past her nap time. He kept talking. He will never know how narrowly he escaped having a stuffed Elmo flung at his head.

So, I am proud of my "verbally advanced" (his words not mine) and cranky 12 month old. Now, she can't use utensils or walk yet. Maybe I should work on her motor skills instead of talking to her so much. But she's the only one who'll listen without talking back, so I guess she'll have the vocab of a 12 year old before she can drink from a sippy cup. Oh, well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A girl after my own heart

Bennett and I are sleeping in the same room in 'Bama so I have been exposed to some rather strange nocturnal habits that I wasn't aware my daughter possessed. She likes to crawl, sit up, talk, and babble in her sleep. Who knew? The crawling cracks me up. I will sit up in bed and just look at her crawling up and down the length of her crib at 3 am still sound asleep. She must take after Rob on that one. But a few nights ago she sat straight up in the middle of the night and said as plain as day, "Cake!" and fell right back over asleep. This girl needs another birthday party soon.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Why old friends are the best friends

Last night some friends invited us over for dinner. It was a chance to catch up with them and with another couple we have missed dearly since moving to Kansas. I have already blogged about trying to find clothes to fit a body that became pregnant 7 months after giving birth and is already another 6 months pregnant. It is not fun nor is it pretty. Interestingly enough, it makes getting ready easier since I only have about three things that I can wear. I feel just like Laura Ingalls when she could only choose between her calico print and her Sunday dress, except mine aren't made from sack cloths. That's just what I look like in them.

We were running late and so I was rushing to get dressed in the guest room in my parents house. It also is where Bennett's crib is and since she was napping, I got dressed in the dark. Can you see where I am going with this? We get to their house and I am chatting with 5 other extremely put together adults and I see one of their daughters whisper something to her Mom. I don't think anything about it. Then we all go to the kitchen where my completely unobservant husband whispers to me, "Um... honey? I think your shirt is on inside out." For my husband to notice something like that is slightly miraculous, so I know I must have looked like a sack cloth but just turned inside out.

So now I have two options. I either

a. Slink to the bathroom with my back against the wall as quickly as possible to correct the problem they all probably already noticed.

b. completely ignore this disturbing fact and pretend that it is the newest look for the spring according to Vogue

or c. just go ahead and announce that I am a walking fashion disaster and laugh at myself.

I chose c of course. They already knew. Of course that is what the 8 year old had been whispering about. If we had been in Kansas, I would have been mortified and regressed back socially about 5 years, but these were dear friends who knew me and laughed with me (not at me, I think) and didn't think a thing about it.

I did decide however that from now on, Bennett's naps will not hinder my getting dressed. If I must wake her to make sure I am dressed properly, then so be it because my fashion sense must not be denied.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Party Girl

We made it to Alabama and are so incredibly happy to be here. We survived the plane ride with the world's most active baby and got here in time to get ready for her party. I really don't have many pictures to post from her big shin dig. That's because we barely took any. We were too happy to see our old friends and watch Bennett enjoy her day, that we forgot the camera. Oh, well. All I can say is that we had an absolutely wonderful afternoon. Not only was it so good to see friends that we have missed so very much, but it was such a wonderful feeling to have Bennett surrounded with people who knew her and loved her during the first year of her life. It was a very special day for all of us and maybe if any friends reading this took pictures, they will send some my way. Until then, here are a few that somehow made their way on to my camera.

Our birthday girl

Bennett seeing her cake for the first time. Notice the smile on her face. And my sister taught her the word "cake" and now all she says is "ca, ca, cake."

Hey Mom, this sugar stuff is great. Why haven't I had any of this before?

Playing in her new playhouse after everyone had left