Friday, December 17, 2010

Everyone needs a crying with Santa picture

...and Ben got his today.

We did get a calmer one.

That green elf over on the side looks kind of evil, though. I think he's plotting something.

Ben was just having a moody morning and started being more clingy as we got toward the front of the line.  God bless the sweet Santa at Bass Pro; he was really good with Ben and all of the other kids! Plus, the pictures are free! Ben did like getting to see the model train set and the duck pond after the pictures. For some reason, although he liked the giant fish tank before seeing Santa, he started crying when we brought him back afterward.

Tony & Jen arrived last night and they got to witness Ben's Santa meltdown and his subsequent refusal to take good naps for the rest of the day.  However, Ben did turn on the charm when we went to the pediatrician this afternoon for his 2-year-old well checkup. Other than a little eczema, everything is looking good and his developmental skills are where they should be.

His current stats are:
Height: 36 1/4" (92nd %ile- the height of the average 2.75 year old!)
Weight: 32 lbs (89th %ile)
Head circumference: 19.75 cm (86th %ile)

The doctor said all of his measurements are in line with each other and following the same growth curve they have been. Other than some eczema & chapped cheeks, everything was fine! Ben really liked the stethoscope and was impatient for the doc to listen to his heart. He'd spent a good portion of Cookie Baking Day last weekend running around trying to use Grandma's stethoscope to listen to his heart go "bah-buh."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gingerbread Lady's visit

Our cousin Phoebe from Raleigh enlisted our help for a school project. She and her kindergarten classmates were supposed to color a gingerbread person & send it off to someone who lives outside of North Carolina. That person was supposed to take photos of interesting places in town and send them back to the class so they could learn about different parts of the country. It's similar to the Flat Stanley project.

Ben thought the Gingerbread Lady was pretty cool and immediately wanted to give her high fives and fist bumps

We have to send the Gingerbread Lady & her pictures back next week, so we didn't have time to go to all of the neat places in KC, but we got some pretty good pictures over the last two days. We also picked up some brochures of attractions we weren't able to see.

At the Liberty Memorial & National WWI Museum yesterday. Note the lack of wind and our lightweight coats.

Skyline picture with the under-construction Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on the left with all the cranes (there were several workers on the top of the roofline when we drove past - yikes!), Union Station in the foreground, Sprint Center in the middle and the neat Western Auto sign to the right.

At Union Station - it was a challenge to get a decent picture between the lighting and chasing a runaway Ben who thought the deserted balcony was the perfect track.

Poor Gingerbread Lady, being from North Carolina, probably hadn't had any proper barbecue in her life, so we brought her to Arthur Bryant's for lunch!

Today we took a quick trip to Independence Square for some pictures with the Harry Truman statue and also to the Sports Complex. Note that we are now all bundled up in warm coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and blankets...and were still cold. It is incredibly windy! Ben had a great time, though, and was excited to see several stores with Christmas lights on their awnings.

We had a lot of fun with this project and the photos might make a neat Kansas City photo book for Ben.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Playing around

We are gradually recovering from the random throat ailment that Ben & Dave had and my strep throat. Ben was a pretty sad little guy Wednesday and part of Thursday and still is kind of sensitive and easily teary. But things are on the upswing and we have had some fun this week!

Ben sat in the living room chair and read to himself. This is Freight Train, a favorite picture book.

Playing around with his cat puppet. He also has inherited the koala and alligator puppets I had as a kid. He thinks it's hilarious when someone else has the puppet and says, "Hi Ben!" through the puppet.

Decided to try on Daddy's shoes...for some reason, he kept putting one on backwards & one on forwards. I was amazed at how far he managed to walk that way without falling!

Getting Big Sleepies to chase off the germs, curled up with his stuffed animals and blanket. We really don't know how he can comfortably sleep in some of the positions he does...he sometimes flops down on top of several stuffed animals or has the blanket bunched up under his belly while his head and neck are contorted into all sorts of crazy positions.

Ben is also getting ready to move up to the two-year-old classroom on Monday! He has spent time in there over the last few weeks and reportedly done well. I'm sure he will miss Miss Tierney & Miss April in the older toddler class - they have been wonderful teachers this year and he talks about them all the time at home! He even sang "Happy Birthday" to them last week when he was on a singing spree in his crib instead of being asleep!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Playing catch-up

So we've been a little delinquent with the has been a busy few months in between trips, work, broken dishwashers, and various plagues.  Here are some pictures to catch you up.

We flew to Michigan in mid-November for my brother's & sister-in-law's at-home wedding reception. Ben did fairly well on the flights, though he freaked out on the jetway when we were boarding the first flight. Once we were settled in our seats and he was given snacks, he calmed down and was very good for the rest of the flight.  On our layover in Chicago Ben discovered the magical moving walkways and his Elmo slippers (bought to make taking shoes off through security a little easier) were a huge hit with airport crews and fellow passengers. He even got a compliment in Detroit from a nun! He wasn't quite sure what to make of the group of about 8-10 fully habited nuns walking through the terminal.

While we were in Michigan, my parents & Dave took Ben to the park one day while I was getting a much-needed haircut. He had a good time, although reportedly the geese thought he looked like a yummy snack.

We also took Ben for his first cider mill experience at Yates Cider Mill, founded in 1863, and one of my favorite places to be in the fall. Ben loved the water wheel ("round & around!") and got to try their wonderful cider & doughnuts.

Tony & Jen had their reception at Dave & Buster's. The food was really good and the cupcake tower had too many tempting choices! My Uncle Bill & cousin Bradley drove up and we got to catch up with them, which was wonderful. We didn't play any games because it was already past Ben's naptime when we got done eating and visiting and Ben was a little cranky & overwhelmed by the noise and lights in the gaming area, so we went home instead.

Niru "Nani" took a turn chasing Ben around the private dining room after dinner and managed to catch him. He looked really cute in his striped button-down shirt!

My dad brought my grandma up from Toledo and we had a nice day together. We had been prepping him for the trip by telling him who he was going to see, and on the plane rides, he would frequently ask, "See Great-Grandma?" Ben colored some Christmas ornaments while she watched & had fun repeatedly saying hi to her.

Four generations of our family:

Tony, Grandma & Jen:

Ben wearing his blanket as a cape:

We also had a nice amount of down time during the trip. Ben enjoyed playing with toys & reading books. Mom found a drum that Niru & Neilam had brought me from India during high school and Ben thought that was great!

Playing with the rocking chair that was my Grandma's (I think? I'm sure Mom will correct me if I'm wrong). Tony & I had this chair & another when we were kids.

One night we drove to my favorite pizza place, Buddy's Pizza, and then went back to Tony's & Jen's house. Tony has taken an interest in pinball games and has a couple that he's restored beautifully, along with an old game console that's got an emulator to play hundreds of old electronic arcade games. I could've played down there all night!

Ben was really unsure of the drum set at first, which was surprising, but eventually warmed up and decided it was the coolest thing ever!

Our flights back to KC were fine, although Ben started the first one by saying "All done airplane?" He got his own seat on the second flight and was happy as a clam with the sandwich & fruit we'd packed for his dinner. He turns two in about two more weeks (!!!) so those were the last free flights he gets! Once he turns two, we have to start buying him a seat.

We had Thanksgiving dinner over at Dave's parents' house. Ben liked the attention and LOVED the food. He was asking for Grandma's rolls & sweet potatoes for several days afterward.

We are expecting a new dishwasher to be delivered this Friday, as ours started leaking the day before Thanksgiving and the appliance repairman/plumber said Saturday morning it couldn't be fixed. Luckily, we were able to get one of the Black Friday sales that was still in effect Saturday night and got a great deal on a Whirlpool.  We're especially glad that it has a lock-out feature so Ben can't repeatedly start the wash cycle or play with the settings as he's enjoyed doing with the old dishwasher!