Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bennett

This post may seem a little anticlimactic after two days of picture and videos about Bennett, but today is her actual birthday. It was two years ago today that I held this little bundle all wrapped up in blankets and knew that my life had changed forever.

I could honestly write 100 pages about how much I love this girl, but I will try to be short. I will just say that she has brought more joy into our house than I ever thought possible. Rob and I will spend hours just watching her, laughing at her, and delighting in her.

My two year old Bennett loves to laugh. She loves to sing and is always asking us to sing her a song. Her favorite right now is, I've got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart. She can sing every word to Row Row Row your Boat, Twinkle Twinkle, her ABC's, and about 5 other songs. She still loves Mickey Mouse, but is content now to go a few days without watching him. She knows most of her letters and can tell you what they are and what word starts with that letter. She can count to 10 and she can tell you the name of almost every single book on her bookshelf. Of course some are her made up name for the book, but you had better believe that she knows what it is in her mind. :-)

She loves animals, books, and her pillow. She has a crazy vocabulary and can say so many words. There is no point in trying to count them. She can say so many sentences and phrases. She speaks in 4-5 word sentences and loves her family. In fact she will sit in between me and Rob and say, "My family." Rob taught her to say "climb of the century" when she was climbing on his back and so she says that every time she climbs on something and it cracks us up.

Rob and I were talking last night about our favorite memories of Bennett from this year and one that stands out is when she was younger and would tell every animal she saw to go to their bed like she always heard us telling our dog Meg to do. We were laughing about when we took her to the zoo at 13 months and she would yell at the llamas, "Go Bed, Meg!" Everyone we saw was laughing at this bald thing scolding the animals, and that still really sticks out as such a fun memory.

Bennett is quirky, funny, energetic, kind, sweet, loving, precocious, endearing, and adorable. She is my heart, my joy, and I am so thankful that the Lord chose me to be her Mom.

We prayed for this child and the Lord has granted us what we asked of Him. – I Samuel 1:27

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What a year!

Yesterday I posted a few videos of Bennett and today I wanted to post some pictures from the past year. And what a year it has been! I cannot even wrap my mind around the changes of quiet and sweet little Bennett on her first birthday to this bubbly giggly, full of life, talkative Bennett on her 2nd birthday. Is it too cliche to say that you never knew how much you could love someone until you have a child? She has my heart firmly in her grasp and I love every ounce of her. I think of all the changes she has been through as well. In her 2 years she has lived in three houses, been through two big moves, had 13 hour car rides, multiple plane rides, and added a baby brother to the mix. She's been through a lot, but kids are surprisingly resilient and I couldn't be prouder of how she has handled herself. She is a delight and a joy and I cannot wait for the next two years- just as long as they don't go by as fast as these past two.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two more days

My baby.... I mean big girl will be 2 years old in 48 hours. I cannot believe how fast two years have gone by and I have loved every second of them. I am sure there will be a gushing post to come, but for now I thought I would post a few videos of Bennett over the past 2 years. These are all ones that appeared on the blog at some point, so please don't feel like you have to watch them.

And I don't have any recent ones. Sigh.... Our camera broke a few months ago. Maybe we will borrow one so I can film her on her 2nd birthday.

Bennett at 3 weeks

Bennett at 11 months

Bennett at 17 months

Bennett at 18 months

Bennett at 22 months

Monday, February 22, 2010


Will has been saying Mama for a couple of months now. But he only says it when he is hysterically crying. Go figure. He has never said it in just a normal every day setting. Yesterday I was changing his diaper at 6 am and he looked at me and said, "!" I asked him what he had just said and he said, "Ma!" I think I died a little bit inside.

And today my cuddly, sweet, huggable, and absolutely adorable little buddy has been saying, "Mama" all day. He looks so pleased with himself every time that he says it. So am I.


I had such a wonderful week last week. It was one of those weeks that leaves you feeling so full on Monday mornings if that makes sense. I went to a girls night out movie, had a valentine's date with my husband, went to two playdates with friends, was in a skit at church so I met a lot of new people through the rehearsal and performance, had a fabulous time at the KU basketball game and then dinner out with a dear friend, and then finally went to see a touring Broadway show with Rob.

I won't write about a 9:00pm trip to the doctor because Will had a double ear infection, my husband being sick, the speeding ticket I got, the freezing rain and snow that is making me stir crazy, or anything else that dampened the week. Why do that? I am just thankful for such a fun week that actually allowed me time away and to myself. It was so needed.

Here are a few pictures of me and Jessie and the game. I don't have pictures of anything else, but that's okay because this was by far the coolest thing I did. Even better than seeing the touring production of Young Frankenstein. Even though it did star ROGER BART!! One of my Broadway heroes. :-) I digress. Here are the lovely photos taken from my phone.

I am trying to compare my hand to that of one of the Kansas basketball players. I just don't think it's right for anyone to have hands that big.

Jessie showing me the history of Kansas basketball. Very impressive.

Me and Jessie about to enter the stadium. Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Don't ask me what that means. I've been told, but I still couldn't tell you.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Super Mom would not......

Super Mom would not let her son hang out in the same sleeper outfit for 2 days in a row. Even if they were covered in green beans.

She would have more room in her shopping cart so that her baby wasn't laying in his car seat with a value size pack of toilet paper sitting on his stomach.

She wouldn't realize at 10:00 am that her daughter had been watching Mickey Mouse for 2 hours straight.

She wouldn't take the kids out to play without watching the weather report. Super Mom would always know in advance that it was going to be 10 degrees and snowing before taking the kids to a park.

She would never take the kids to a mall by herself late one night and then lose her keys. Super Mom wouldn't dream of letting her baby cry in the parking lot while her daughter banged on the car door and yelled, "LET ME IN!" while she looked for her keys for 15 minutes.

Super Mom wouldn't let her baby cry for three days and be annoyed at him for being so fussy before it occurred to her that he might be sick. Super Mom never would have let a double ear infection go unnoticed.

Super Mom would never stare at her train wreck of a house and tell her not quite 2 year old daughter, "Mommy is going to teach you how to vacuum."

Clearly, I'm not Super Mom.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sibling Love

I asked Bennett today who she wanted to come over for her birthday. She said, "Ummmm..... baby Will." If Will is crying, Bennett says, "Mama, get Will. He cryyyyiinnng." Will's face lights up every time he sees his sister. Bennett can't stand to ride in the car without him and they love to hug and kiss. Having them this close together definitely has been challenging, but I also know that I have given them each a friend for life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I really do cook nutricious food every day- I promise!

Bennett was watching PBS kids this morning. I was yelling at a dog. A 5 second promo came on the TV with a cow parachuting. Bennett turned to me and said, "Look Mama! It's Chick-fil-A." She's not quite 2. We're having brocoli for dinner.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bennett's First Date

Bennett had about the best Valentine a girl could ever have. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Fair warning- there are a lot more than I normally post, but I think these are worth it.

We started off our day by making cookies for Bennett's date, Levi.

Bennett did a great job of stirring and helping.

We cut out the heart shapes and then put them in the oven.

While they were baking, we made Levi his special Valentine card.

Bennett got a little crazy with the sprinkles.

Will was pretty mad when he woke up and realized that he had missed the whole thing.

We went to meet Levi and his Mommy and we were so happy to find this adorable little Valentine waiting for us. Is he not to die for?

Bennett had her card and cookies ready for her date.

Quite possibly my favorite picture ever. Notice Levi's boutonniere. Already a ladies man.

Rockin' the high chair look while on a first date.

Nobody likes to get put in time out while on a date, but rules are rules. :-)

A post dinner spin on the Merry-go-Round.

I had to take a picture of the adorable third wheel.

A trip down the slide while holding hands. Woo-Hoo!

And they rode off into he sunset. In a 2 foot tall plastic car. Did my girl have an awesome Valentine's Day or what?

Things to Remember

A few days ago I got out of the shower and wrapped my hair in a towel and got dressed. I heard Bennett jumping up and down on her big girl bed and so I went to get her up. I walked in the room and she said, "Mommy! You got towel on head." I went downstairs and told Rob that I really thought she was talking more that day than the day before. It's changing so fast. New words, stringing words together, and just overall communication. I need to write a few funny things about the particular time in her life down before I forget.

-After she was in time out one day and had told me sorry she said, "I tell Mickey Mouse sorry." I told her that she hadn't done anything to offend mickey Mouse, but she insisted. So I carried her over to the TV and she kissed the screen and said, "I so sorry, Mickey."

-When I put her to bed at night we always read 3-4 books, sing a song of her choosing, and then say prayers. We always start the prayer- Dear Jesus, thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Bennett, Will...... and then I let her finish and say whatever she is thinking of. Sometimes she says her dogs, sometimes it's a certain rodent from Disney with big ears, but usually it's another family member. That night I started the prayer and then paused for Bennett. She stopped, thought about it, and then yelled at the top of her lungs, "AND TANK YOOO FOR PEE PEE IN DA POTTY!" (She hasn't by the way. We just talk about it a lot.)

-She talks to herself constantly and she is always repeating things that she hears us say. She is always saying things like, "Careful, Bennett. Oh, no Bennett. Sit down, Bennett. That's yucky. Need help, Bennett."

-If she knows that she did something wrong and I shoot her a certain look, she runs and puts herself in time out without me ever having to say a word.

-One morning there was a neighborhood dog barking extremely early and we heard Bennett stirring through the monitor so we walked in her room and she was standing on the bed, looking out her window, and saying, "No, Meg. No! Go to your bed, Meg!" (Meg is our golden lab who was sleeping peacefully in the hallway and not barking at 5:00am.)

-She loves to clean up. I made up a little song about cleaning up that we have always sung to her and now she has to clean up herself and she sings the song. I told her that dinner was ready last night and she said, "Oh, no! Clean up, Mommy." And then she sang the song herself while picking up her toys. Sometimes she pours out all of her toys just so she can clean them up again.

-She loves loves loves her brother. We took her to see "Elmo Live" two weeks ago and we left Will at our friend Mary's house. We realized that Bennett never goes anywhere without Will because when we got back in the car she started crying, "What happened to Will? OH, NO! Where did Will go?" She said that repeatedly and then just sat in the backseat and sniffed, "Oh, no, Will. Will. Oh, Will."

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats. For the second time in history, this is a blogjack.

This blog, normally written by the beautiful, witty, and talented Lauren Webster, has been taken over (i.e. BLOGJACKED!) by her husband: The beautiful, witty, and talented Rob Webster.

Let's all behave ourselves and we should get through this just fine.

What could possibly warrant a blogjack on this fine Thursday evening? The children lie tucked warmly in their beds. A fabulous season premier of Survivor has danced before the TV screen, delighting us and untold billions. We are fed. We are happy. We are warm.

And yet, while we wallow in our middle class comfort, danger looms for many. The twittersphere and the facebooksphere (which doesn't roll off the tongue quite so naturally as twittersphere) are abuzz. People are on edge, excited and frightened simultaneously, not unlike me on my wedding day.

Here is the news from yonder lands, directly from the source, the National Weather Service:


This is a warning from the Emergency Blogjack System. This is not a test. This kicks in when the NWS uses phrases no one would use in real conversation, such as "a dominant precipitation type of snow."

This is Citizen Rob in action. Think of this as not just a dire warning, but also, a public service announcement. You see, I've learned much in recent months. Fourteen months ago I left those rolling hills of south-central Alabama and moved to the wint'ry plains of Kansas, where the bitter cold spills over the Canadian border unhinderered by obstacles such as mountains or Bryant-Denny Stadium. My first month here, temperatures plunged to single digits. And though cold, if one dresses properly, it can be tolerable. What is intolerable (and I plan on speaking to the governor about this when I get a chance) is the wind. A bitter, bone chilling wind.

"Oh, it's never like this," the locals told me. "This is unique. My stars, what a unique winter this is."

And then this winter happened. And the locals continue to try to fool the Southern yokels by swearing, "Oh, yeah, totally freak weather. It's never like this normally." Riiight. Except for, um, last winter. Fool me once, shame on you...

All of this brings me to the point of the blogjack. And what probably would have been a better title:


1. Don't bother shoveling if it's going to melt the next day. Or even that day. (See previous blogpost.)

2. Snow, it turns out, is actually crystallized water. I know, I slept through that college physics class, too, but I swear it's true. Turns out, when snow melts, it makes water. This mixes with the dirt in your back yard. This dirt becomes mud. Your dogs will track this in your house.

3. If you're going to intentionally do doughnuts in the snow, a) do it away from the police, and b) do not try drinking hot chocolate while you do it.

4. No, your leaf blower will not work as a snow blower. But it was worth a try.

5. That's not a dead turtle in your driveway. Wait, I haven't blogged that story yet. Well, just stay tuned...

6. This is actually a lesson from my childhood in West Virginia, but: If you're getting a little bored with the traditional snowball fight, adding a firecracker to a snowball and shouting "Hand grenade!" can liven things up a bit.

7. If you have Diet Dr. Pepper in cans and you leave them in the back of your minivan overnight, and the van is not in a warm garage but instead is in your driveway, the Diet Dr. Pepper does not stay in the cans. Again, must be a physics class I slept through.

8. Ladies, I learned this from my wife. Snow fashion is very important. Learn how to rock the scarf look. Practice tonight, look fierce tomorrow. Lessons here. Lauren recommends technique 3.

9. Have a friend down the street who owns a snowblower. This is what saved us last month. And if you don't have that in Alabama, then you may want to consider moving to my street. Just so you can have a friend with a snowblower.

10. Have fun! We're so jealous! Even though we've had lots of snow here, we haven't experienced it with friends who only get to see it once every 20 years! We're already getting jaded to it, but y'all have reminded us, it is a big deal! Have a blast, take lots of pictures, don't really make homemade hand grenades, and enjoy!

Blogjack over.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm about to throw myself off a big girl bed

So, we made the official switch to a big girl bed. I have been meaning to blog about this for awhile, but I haven't because her big girl bed has become my big fat nightmare.

Let me back up by saying that we have not bought Bennett a bed of her own. We were waiting for Uncle Sam to give us a nice tax check to buy her bed. But two things occurred in our period of waiting-

1. She kept asking for a big girl bed. I have been talking about one for awhile now to get her ready and she has slept in them a few times while on vacations and she was sooo ready to get in one.

2. She was climbing out of her crib. Not good.

Rob and I decided to put her in our guest room bed and add rails. That way she could make the transition and we would wait and buy her bed after April 15th. But something funny happened on the way to the guest room. Bennett became OBSESSED with her new big girl bed.

Now I can't get my child to sleep. This is my dream child who since she was 3 months old has slept 13 hour nights and taken 3 hour naps. Now she is too happy to sleep. She sits in her bed for hours and plays. We hear her at 10:00 still "reading books." The guest room bed is near a window. Now we hear her at 5:00 am yelling, "Hi Truck!" as she looks out the window. She won't come downstairs anymore. She just wants to sit in her bed and read. She sits there like a princess surrounded by dolls and books and just asks, "More books, please."

The lack of sleep has made for a very cranky Bennett. I picked her up from our church nursery today and the first thing she said was, "Big girl bed," and then proceeded to have a come apart to top all come aparts and she lay in the middle of the nursery hallway and screamed and gasped for breath while screaming, "BIG GIRL BED" as all the other Moms and their normal children hurried by. I think she's asleep now, but I am sure I will hear her in a few minutes looking through the window and yelling at the snowflakes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have never had a blog header in all caps before. I have never needed to shout before. But now I do. Because NOBODY IN KC HAS EVER HEARD OF CHEESE STRAWS! I am beyond flabbergasted. I feel as if my whole world has been rocked. For the past year I have patiently explained what smocked dresses were and I have endured people calling ski caps some funny word called a toboggan, but this is the last straw. No pun intended.

I went to a Super Bowl get together at my friend Jessie's house. I volunteered to bring cheese straws. Of course. That's what you bring to sporting events. She asked me if I was going to bring marinara. I didn't understand. Then I thought she must have confused cheese straws with mozzarella sticks. I took them anyway. Her husband had never had them either. I decided to enlighten rather than judge.

The next day I gave the rest of the batch to Rob to take to his co-workers. He came home and told me that not one person there had ever heard of a cheese straw. WHAT? And to add insult to injury one of them said that it really tasted like a baked Cheese-It. My head exploded.

THESE ARE CHEESE STRAWS, people!! My grandmother made them every single time I came to her house. They are at every grocery store in Alabama. Right up front with the produce. Mrs. Rolena makes them at every single event at my former church. Heck, my Mom had them served at her wedding reception. They are a national treasure.

Not so, my husband has informed me. He went to college in Kentucky and spent six years in North Carolina. Apparently he had never heard of them either until he moved to Alabama. I have discovered within the past 48 hours that they are only a deep south thing. I had no idea. And I spent my teenage years in the DC area and spent a lot of time in the Pacific Northwest and in New York. I still had no idea. I am reeling with the fact that most of the country has never heard of a cheese straw.

And now to know that they just taste like a cheese-it- well, it's just sad. It is a fine art to make a cheese straw. I practiced for years to make them like my Grandmom and now I realize that I can just go to Piggly-Wiggly and grab a box of Cheese-its. This is just like when I went on and on about a frozen hot chocolate from a restaurant called Serendipity in New York only to take my husband and be told that it was just like a Wendy's frosty. Except a frosty doesn't cost 7 bucks.

What's next, I ask? Clowns? Ponies? Apple Pie? Is nothing sacred?

Monday, February 8, 2010

In honor of Valentine's

I would like to start Valentines week by introducing you to Bennett's first Valentine. His name is Levi and at first he and Bennett were frienimies. They pushed, they hit, they yelled, and sometimes they would play.

After awhile, they began to hug it out. And then Bennett would begin to ask for, "Livey." She began to pray for him at night. And now she loves him. We still have the occasional hit and push, but she woke up this morning saying, "Where did Livey go?" She loves her first Valentine, but only when they aren't trying to read the same book at the same time. Because when they are, the love is gone.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Still Praying

I just wanted to write a quick post to say that I am still praying for the nation of Haiti. In a way it's hard to move on and write funny posts about my kids when my heart is still so heavy. We are volunteering at our church to send relief kits, we have donated money, prayed countless prayers, and are hoping to go to Haiti when we are able to join in the rebuilding efforts. I am posting two songs below that I have listened to repeatedly this month and are the ones that challenge me to continue to pray. Check them out if you get a chance. The first one is Bennett's new favorite song.

Nation on our Knees- tobyMac

God of Justice- Tim Hughes

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lost and Found

Bennett is forever losing and finding things. Well, not really, but she thinks she is. Whenever she sees something in our house, even if it has been in plain sight all day, she will proclaim, "I FOUND THE PILLOW!" I don't bother to tell her that she has been inches from the pillow for about an hour. She is also losing things or wondering where they went. If you spend any time at my house you will hear-

-What happened to Daddy? (He's at work, honey)
-OH, NO! Where did Will go? (Will is night night, Bennett)
-OH, NO! What happened to Elmo? (I turned off the TV before I was declared insane)
- I FOUND ELMO! (I cave and the TV is back on)
-I FOUND Will! (Will woke up form his nap due to the screaming)

And so on and so forth. So today I took a trip to Babies R Us. I couldn't help but notice that all of the other kids Bennett's age were quiet in the shopping carts. They were looking around, talking to their Mom, eating cheerios, maybe crying over a toy... normal things. Not Bennett. She was screaming. You could hear her all over the store yelling-

-I FOUND ELMO! (She saw a box of pampers)
-I FOUND A PICTURE OF WILL! (Every baby on any box in the store was Will)
-OH, NO!! Where did potty go? (We went to another aisle)
-OH, NO!! What happened to stroller?
-OH, NO! Where did shoes go?
-I FOUND WILL! (Another picture)

Why was she the only one screaming? Why did this continue when we got home? And why haven't I taken any ibuprofen yet?

I am sure she is yelling in this picture, "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WIND?"

Side Note- As I type this Bennett is sitting on our piano bench, banging on the piano and singing, "Party in the USA." She is singing, "Hands up, playing my song, butterflies fly away. Nodding head- yeah. Hips. Yeah." Will is staring at her in disbelief. So am I.