Monday, June 20, 2011

All About Benson

Photo Courtesy of the amazing Michelle Wade
  • Since day 1, Benson has slept at night. Of course, he wakes up to eat, but he has only been fussy once in the middle of the night. And that was only for 30 minutes. (Please don't throw anything at me out of anger or jealousy.)
  • Benson is a spitter. I do laundry every other day (or more often) because he goes through so many burp cloths. And we have a lot of burp cloths. The good news: 1. He doesn't get upset when he spits up, so it's not causing him any pain. 2. He's gaining plenty of weight, so he must not be spitting up everything he eats. 3. Whenever any of our clothes get dirty, I know I won't have to wait long until they're clean again, since I do laundry so often.
  • When Benson poops, it is almost always epic. (Read: blowout) It's like he saves it all up until it's just enough to leak out of a diaper. Little stinker.
  • Benson smiles and laughs a lot. If he is in the right mood, all it takes is eye contact and a smile to make him happy. He has a contagious little giggle that we get to hear several times a day. It is so rewarding to have a happy baby!
  • He loves his pacifier. And his fist. And basically anything else he can get in his mouth.
  • When he is awake, Benson loves to be up and looking around. He's not a big fan of lying on his back or stomach, although we're working on it. When he's tired, a good swaddle will put him right to sleep. We're going to have to find some really light-weight blankets for the summer so he doesn't roast every night!
(I have a great video of Benson smiling and giggling, but I can't get blogger to post it. I'll put it here when I figure it out. Any suggestions?)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthdays! Part Two: Cassie

On to Cassie's big day! We celebrated with a few of her friends and their families by going to the rec center again. Cassie got a little life jacket for her birthday and it made swimming so much more fun for her!
The following are the best pictures I could get while holding a baby:

Cake, ice cream, and a little gift opening afterwards:

We celebrated both of our birthdays with a Sunday dinner at my parents' house. Here we are blowing out our candles:

Cassie loved opening presents, and was so excited about all her gifts this year. I want to record her gifts:
Life jacket and "Tangled" from Mom and Dad. (We've already watched it at least 4 times.)
Bathroom furniture for her dollhouse and a laminated book of family pictures from Gma and Gpa Kinghorn. The bathroom furniture was a brilliant idea. Cassie loves 'bathing' her dolls.
A balloon, stickers, and $5 from Gma and Gpa Hawkes. She spent the $5 at the dollar section of Target and bought a "Toy Story" white board with marker, a Lightning McQueen bowl, a Hello Kitty purse, and some candy.
Memory game from Uncle Vaughn and Aunt Christie. This came in the mail and she was so excited! She loves making matches.
A thermos with her name on it from her friend Caden. She insisted on drinking everything from it for a few days.
A "Color Wonder" book and markers from her friend Andrew. Hooray for markers that only work on the magic paper!

I also want to record a little about Cassie's personality:
Cassie is a very sweet, thoughtful, smart, and funny girl. She is almost always willing to share. She offers to share her birthday candy with Trevor and me every day, for example. She is empathetic when she see another child crying, and I have often seen her offer a toy or put her arm around a sad friend. She will play on her own, but she really loves to play with another person. If there are no other children at the park or playground, she would often rather sit with me on a bench than play alone on the equipment. However, if a child her age is around, she often befriends them, then runs and climbs and squeals and giggles while they play together. She still has a shy streak, though, mostly with adults or in large crowds. We get a lot of comments about how well Cassie talks. She has been speaking in full sentences for over a year now, and her speech is very clear and fairly easy to understand. She has a good sized vocabulary, too. The other day she asked, "Mom, what does automatically mean?" Sometimes I laugh because it's funny to hear long, complicated words in her little voice. She knows all of her letters and most of the sounds they make, and she can count to 30 on her own. She can make us genuinely laugh with some of the funny ideas she comes up with or the silly words and noises she makes. She is sometimes a little drama queen and cries over little things or whines when she wants something. We are working on asking nicely and calmly instead of freaking out. Cassie has a bad habit of putting non-food items in her mouth (especially paper/books and hair elastics). I remind her several times a day, "If it's not food, don't put it in your mouth." It makes me so sad to look at all of her books; she has ruined many of them by chewing on them. I really hope she kicks this habit soon! Of course, despite the frustrating things she does, we still love her so much. She brings a lot of joy and energy to our home.

Happy Birthdays! Part One: Emily

Cassie and I both had great birthdays this year that weren't overshadowed by an upcoming move (last year- It's crazy to think we've lived here for a year!) or by the fact the Trevor was on the other side of the globe (two years ago- Trevor was on a study abroad in China).

No pictures of my birthday, but let me tell you how awesome it was. Wait...first, let me tell you how lame I am. Because we are house hunting and I am VERY anxious to get into a house, and because we've had some large, unexpected expenses come up, I really didn't want Trevor to spend money buying me a gift. Actually, all I wanted was a clean, tidy house. (It's hard when your stuff won't reasonably fit into a two-bedroom apartment. Did I mention I'm house hungry?) I had arranged to have my friend Shea babysit our kids so that Trevor and I could spend 3 hours tidying and cleaning our apartment when he came home from work. Awesome birthday plans, right? Well, on the morning of my birthday, I woke up a little later than usual and realized I needed to shower right away if I wanted to be out before Trevor left for work. I rushed into the bathroom and immediately noticed two things: 1. Trevor hadn't showered yet (the shower wasn't wet), and 2. It smelled like breakfast was cooking. My sweet husband was making me breakfast and it was going to make him late for work! Or so I thought. I was right about the breakfast part- I found Trev in the kitchen making muffins and eggs. Yum! But the late-for-work part? Trevor gave me the best birthday present ever: he stayed home! Basically, he gave me an extra Saturday for my birthday. :) The kids even slept in while we ate breakfast. It was a glorious day. We got all the cleaning and tidying done early and went out to eat in the evening while the kids were at Shea's. After the kids were in bed, I watched a chick flick and sent Trevor off to play basketball with his Elder's Quorum buddies. Because really, I'm happier when Trevor is happy, and he's definitely happier after a good game of basketball than he is after a good rom-com. Besides that, sometimes you want to just give into the silly romantic-ness of a chick flick without having your husband roll his eyes at you. :) It was an awesome birthday.

Benson's Blessing

Benson was blessed on May 1st. Trevor did a beautiful job, and listening to the words of the blessing got me excited about Benson's future and the great boy and man he will become. I was so happy to have both of our families together for the day, although we missed our siblings who are far away. We fit 14 adults and 4 kids into our little apartment for a delicious lunch after church. We actually had fun and didn't feel too squashed! At the end of the day Trevor and I felt so grateful that we come from wonderful families and that we all get along so well.

Trevor's younger brother Rialey and his wife Kim. Aren't they a cute couple?

Trevor with my "little" brother, Robert. Happy Birthday, Bubba! We had cake and sang to him.

My mom and my brother Vaughn with his wife Christie and their adorable little girl, Lexi.

Trevor's older brother Glayd and his wife Maggie with their new little guy, Quincy

Let's eat!

Grandpa and Grandma Hawkes with the guest of honor. Watch out, G-pa knows how to use that binky.

Cassie with her cousin Aubrey. They have so much fun together! Cassie is devastated whenever she and Aubrey have to part. She asks me sometimes if we can go to Aubrey's house. Too bad they live 4 hours away.

"In Grandma Heaven!" as my mom would say.

Blondies! Cassie adores her Aunt Kim and Aunt Taja. Really.

Benson and the Gramps (another of Cassie's one-syllable alterations)