Friday, September 28, 2012

Talking Nemo

And now it is time to introduce you to the sixth  member of our family... Olivia calls him Talking Nemo.  I think she means Finding Nemo, but it always comes out Talking Nemo, just like the Angry Birds are always the Hungry Birds (maybe they're angry because they're hungry).  He is a two foot long lurid orange fish, and he goes with us everywhere.  Of all the adorable little stuffed animals and baby dolls she owns, this is what she drags around with her.

The story of how he came to be is actually pretty cute.  At Joe's school they have a holiday gift shop in December.  They take donations of new and gently used things, and the kids can 'buy' them for a small donation to wrap and give as gifts to their family.  Joseph was really excited about this last year, so we sent him to school with $6.00 and he came home with a small Star Wars toy for Benny and the now famous Talking Nemo for Olivia.

I know it's a little blurry, but Benny actually took this.
Like my mom says, you kind of never know what they're going to like.

I wasn't really sure how attached she was to this fish until we went to my mom's house without him a few weeks ago.  She was okay until she got sleepy on the car ride home.

"Talking Nemo?"  She'd whimper.

"He's at home.  How about Baby?"

"No, Talking Nemo."

He is a must for all naps, bedtimes, rides in the car and walks.  He can often be found playing the part of pillow or customer in her pretend restaurant.  For example, today we walked to the park, bright orange fish in tow.  And if that wasn't eye catching enough Benny insisted on bringing a small Santa hat with an Ironman toy stuffed inside.  I think he was trying to do magic tricks, but I can't be sure.

And now to leave you with a Benny quote for your amusement.

"I'm hungry, Mom."

"Benny I just fed you, not thirty minutes ago."

"I know but I just pooped all that food out!"

Can't really argue with that logic.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Just a day in the life

Benny's agenda for the day:

6:00am - pee, unroll the entire roll of toilet paper and tie in knots.

6:15am - climb the kitchen cabinets and have 2 lbs of animal crackers for breakfast, feed some to Olivia

9:00am - color on the kitchen floor

9:30am - decorate lamp with sharpie

10:00am - undress myself in the car on the way to the store.

10:45am - undress myself in the car from the store to home.

11:00am - go to the park with Olivia, scream at Mom to push me higher while she's on the phone

2:00pm - play quietly while Mom takes a short nap, Mom wakes up amazed

3:00pm - poke Olivia in the car on the way to get Joe from school, make her scream

3:40pm - make repetitive, nonsense noises in the car on the way home from picking Joe up from    
               school, make Joe scream

5:30pm - refuse to eat the dinner Mom made

7:00pm - love and hug on my great-grandmother

8:00pm - cry and scream while having my teeth brushed

8:15pm - hide Mom's crochet needle while she brushes Joe's teeth

Fall asleep.  Plans to do it all again tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Wisdom of Stripes

We took a road trip this weekend.  Just Benny, Olivia, me and about 50 kids' DVDs.  The trip did go well, and their were a few funny parts along the way, but we did not have a very auspicious start.

I usually spend the day before we leave washing, packing and cleaning, in the evening I pack snacks for the trip.  Since I had to be at work until 9pm, I did this about 4 in the afternoon and left the bag of snacks on the table.

When I came home from work, it was like a hurricane of empty plastic baggies had hit the living room.  They had eaten it all, every carrot stick, animal cracker, popcorn kernel and dried cranberry.  When questioned about it, the boys didn't deny their feeding frenzy, but Joe patiently explained they didn't know those were snacks for tomorrow.  Plus they were hungry.  Trying very hard not be angry, I agreed this was true.  I had not told them not specifically not to get in that particular bag of food.

With just Ben and Olivia in the backseat, Ben took over Joseph's usual job as DVD master.  Joseph relishes his job of switching out the DVDs when one is over and having veto authority over any movie.  Benjamin was so full of his new found power, all he did was switch out movies during the drive.  They did very little watching.  I would hear the first 10 minutes of Nemo, then Ratatoulli, VeggieTales, back to Nemo.  So when we finally stopped in Vernal, disks littered the backseat of the car.

The weekend was spent with my grandmother (who we've always called Gamby), who is 78 years old.  Benjamin is not used to being around people so advanced in years, so of course this made for some comments and questions, hilarious in their genuineness.

"Mom, that grandma can't move very fast because she is so old."

"Gamby, are you slower than a turtle?"

And my favorite, "Benny, who is older, me or Gamby?"  This is followed by a close scrutiny of our faces.
"Gamby, because she has stripes on her face."
"What about Raine?"
He stands up and peers at my mother through the window.  "She's still young, she doesn't have stripes."
Later as he sat next to my mom at dinner I caught him staring at her face."
"Raine you do have stripes, but not as much as Gamby.  You must be just a little old."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Digging out the Umbrella

It rained today.  Now all you northwest friends will roll your eyes, but think of my Colorado born babies.  Coloradans are crazy when it rains.  Give us 15 feet of snow and windchill in the negative numbers, no problem.  If it rains for 2 or more hours, we're lost.  It's like we don't know how to function.  How do I get my groceries to the car?  Do my children own rain jackets, boots, an umbrella?

So we braved the wet to go to storytime today.  It's always a little more work when we segue from summer to having to actually locate long pants, socks, shoes and coats.  Then I had to dig my only umbrella out from under several layers of stuff.  Benny was enthralled.

"What is that?"

Oh, my gosh this is bad.

"It's an umbrella."

"Oh, I remember crumbella.  Where did you get it?"

Not good at all.

Getting them in and out of the car was entertaining.  They didn't seem to want to walk in the rain.  They take baths every night, run willy-nilly in and out of every sprinkler they find.  But when water falls from the sky, it's like it turns to acid.  So the three of us scrunched under the umbrella, with an enormous bag of books and shuffled inside.

Storytime was more quiet than usual.  You see?  Rain acts as a powerful deterrent in Colorado.  It was good though, there were fewer people to see my children and their lack of manners.  It must be their up bringing.  Benny apparently had an itchy hiney and would not stop scratching.  Sitting in the back of the room you start to think.  Okay, that's the last scratch.  Okay, that's gotta be it.  Is he going to stop?  Should I get up and tell him something?  Or will that just draw attention to it?

Meanwhile, Olivia, who I'm trying to get to stop sucking her thumb, has started picking her nose instead.  I caught her eye and slowly shook my head at her from across the room.  She knew exactly what I was talking about.  She started shaking her head back and me.  I frowned at her and she finally yelled indignantly across the room, "I got booger!"

This is when Benny abandoned the one handed scratch and grabbed his rear with both hands.  I heard one of the moms next to me titter into her hand.  That's right lady, laugh it up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never assume anything

There are a few things I like about renting a house and a few things I could definitely do without.  Hot water heater goes out:  a good time to be renting.  Faulty smoke detector goes off in the middle of the night, landlord replaces it the next day.

However, I don't get to choose all of the furnishings, and my least favorite were the long curtains in the front windows.  These windows are high and wide, with a sill just two feet above the floor.  In other words, they were a great place for a small boy to climb while wearing only his underwear.  I would find Benny pressed full length against the glass, amusing the neighborhood with a little dance.  When you're already standing on a ledge in your underwear, it's only natural that you grab the handiest thing to swing yourself down.

Yesterday I could hear the kids playing in that room, Olivia would come around the corner occasionally to feed me plastic food from her play kitchen, so I assumed Benny was playing chef and Olivia waitress.  When I assume things about Benny, that is what usually gets me in trouble.  I came around the corner to find the Tarzan-want-to-be swinging in between the two curtain panels.  Feet off the floor, arching through the air to grab the other curtain and transferring his weight as the curtain rod sagged alarmingly.

It would have been an impressive display of athleticism in any other circumstance.

I screamed, Benny started and fell, and the curtain rod bounced back into place.

This is the face of a child who is constantly
up to no good.
I climbed up to check the screws holding the rod into the wall.  The very last groove in a very short screw was clinging stubbornly to the drywall. It's really only a matter of time before that thing comes crashing down on his head.  I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I have the most amazing husband in the world

Okay everyone, bear with me.  I have to do a little husband bragging on this post.

So last week, Ryan looks and me as says,  "We need to celebrate next weekend."

"Celebrate what?"

"We've been married ten years, don't tell me you don't know?"

This was followed by 10 minutes of me, staring at the calendar, wondering what important event I had spaced on September 9th.  First kiss?  No.  First date?  No.  Not our anniversary.  What?  He had sent me into a tailspin.  Finally, he ended my agony.

"It's opening day for the NFL.  Football season, baby!"

This simply earned him a slap on the arm.  Fast forward to this morning.

"I'm going to make you a five course meal tonight.


"Yep, course one, spaghetti.  Course two, sauce.  Course three, meatballs..."

Shaking my head at his weird humor, I tripped out the door for work.

So imagine my surprise when I came home from work and there was a five course dinner.  Here is the menu:

Course 1:  Endive stuffed with smoke salmon, goat cheese, sweet red onion, nectarine and chives
Course 2:  Ginger carrot soup with creme fraiche
Course 3:  Butter lettuce salad with poached egg and raspberry vinaigrette (let me just note, he has never poached an egg before, and it was perfect)
Course 4:  Orange rosemary pan seared lamb chop with caramelized pearl onions.
Course 5: Tiramisu

Everything tasted phenomenal.  The lamb had this amazing crust on it and it was just pink in the center.  He had put goat cheese in the endive and it was this perfect creamy, crunch combination.  The entire thing was incredible.

Admit it, your a little jealous.

How am I ever going to cook dinner for him again?  It makes my chicken pot pie look very sad.  He's set the bar impossibly high.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Never trust the motion sensors

The Benny adventures continue.  Today we were at the Golden Spoon, a small local yogurt place.  We had just enough money left on a gift card (thank you Nathaniel Buyarski) for two tiny yogurts.  The place was deserted, being 60 degrees outside and 11am in the morning.  This did not dissuade my children.  All bets are off when it comes to ice cream.

All was going well until Benny had to go to the bathroom.  Now normally, I would never send him by himself, but the only other person in the building was making yogurt in the back, and it was one of those single bathrooms with no stalls, and I could see the door from where I was sitting.  So off he went, only to scream out the door moments later, "Mom! Come wipe me!"

Yeah for me.

So Olivia and I trooped into the bathroom to wipe a hiney.  It is important to note at this point that the bathroom had no windows and was equipped with one of those motion sensor lights.  So, Benny is pant less with his underwear around his ankles when Olivia does something to the light and it goes out.  They both start screaming and I'm trying to feel my way to the light with poop on my hands.  I turn it on, and it flicks back off.  I try it again, same thing.  So at this point I have to wedge my foot in the door so we can see, while simultaneously washing two sets of hands and helping Benny back on with his pants and trying to calm everyone down.

The only thing that would have made it better is if the place would have been packed.  As it was I'm sure I've convinced one more stranger that I am completely crazy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Dawdler vs. the Runner

A few Bennyisms from the last few days.

While playing hide and seek at the park.  "Ready or not, here my come!"

Singing along with the See 'n Say.  "The farmer in the jail, the farmer in the jail, hi, ho the dairy oh, the farmer in the jail!"  Apparently, the farmer took a king's gold. (What?)


With only two kids in tow these days I have discovered I have a piddling child, and a runner.  Olivia is the worst dawdler I have ever seen.  She drags her feet, she gets distracted.  I know her legs are short, but so are Benny's.  She doesn't want to hold my hand and when we get too far ahead, she runs after us screaming at the top of her lungs.  "Wait!"  Anywhere we go, she. is. so. slow.

This might not be terrible if the other child walked at a normal pace.  But he doesn't.  He runs, everywhere.  So whether its the library or grocery store or dry cleaners, I'm trying to stay where I can see both of them and repeating constantly, "Hurry up!  Slow down!  Come on Olivia!  Wait Benjamin!"  All the while feeling like I'm watching a tennis match.

Benny made his own lunch today, PB&J, carrots
and goldfish.  Good boy!

In case you can't tell, Benny is a knight.
Notice the helmet, sheild and 'sword.'

My kids have never been allowed to eat anywhere in the house except the kitchen.  That being said, I usually find apple cores in the boys bedroom, goldfish under the couch and currently am working on two red Gatorade stains on my carpet.  They have gotten so terrible lately I've really started cracking down.  Anyone caught with food anywhere in the kitchen gets severely punished.

Joe and Olivia seem to be towing the line now, but Benny... instead of making him more thoughtful and obedient, my crack down seems to have made him more sneaky.  This morning, the only sign he was eating on the couch was his jaw working up and down.  He had found several hiding places to keep his food out of sight and still be able to reach it.  Not only that, he's learn to palm his food, so I can't see him holding it.  The grape he was eating came from a bag stashed inside his toy castle.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Take the quiz, win a prize

I thought we'd run this blog post a little differently this time.  Time for a little quiz.  Multiple choice, one question only.

Over the long weekend did Benjamin:

A) Dump and entire bottle of Hershey's syrup into an entire gallon of milk to make his own chocolate milk?
B) Eat approximately 12 oz of gummy bear vitamins in one sitting?
C) Eat the mojito cupcakes I had made for an adult party that contained trace amounts of rum in the icing?
D) All of the above, and then passed out on the couch for a nap?

If you read this blog regularly, it should be a no-brainer.

Notice Olivia's 'tiger stripes,' curtesy Benny.
The winner will receive and all expense paid trip to Denver, CO; where they can meet Benjamin in person and have his autograph.  Warning, he'll probably want to write on your stomach with a magic marker and give you tiger stripes to boot.