A brief glimpse into the daily happenings of a 6-year-old, his new baby brother and his family.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Young Jedi

Photo note: How cool are these Star Wars Lego's? I love that someone (most likely an adult) took the time to build the "these aren't the droids you're looking for" scene, took pictures of it, and then posted it on the Internet.

Obi-Wan (Old BEN) Kenobi would be proud. The force is strong with our young Jedi. He has spent the last week trying to perfect his Jedi mind tricks. I seem to remember that those only work on the "weak"...why is he only trying them on me?

H: No more cookies.
B: You WANT to give me ONE MORE COOKIE.

H: I don't want to watch Dragon Tales.
B: You DO WANT to watch Dragon Tales.

H: Eww. You stink. Time for a bath.

B: It's NOT time for a bath. Abby stinks.

Man, I hope he's not seduced by the dark side.

P.S. When I sat down to write this entry, I wanted to make sure I spelled the Star Wars terms correctly ('cause I know some SW geeks that will read the blog and I know I'd hear about it if I spelled something wrong). Have you ever Googled "Star Wars Characters" or "Star Wars Terms"? Oh my. Then, I decided to check out my other new online obsession--- Wikipedia. Seriously, use this link to visit Wikipedia and see the VOLUMES of information on Star Wars. It's amazing how much information people can gather about a topic when they never leave their homes.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Week from "H-E-Double Hockey Sticks"

You may have noticed that I haven't posted as often this week. I will confess it's because I've been in a funk the size of Texas (or as big as Texas thinks it is). It seems that the poo has been hitting the fan at a "wear the bio-hazard suit at all times for your safety" rate this week. I realize in the grand scheme of life, things could be WAY worse, but it's been a "mas tequila" kind of week.

It all began last weekend when Ben had the crazy-poop-fungus virus that all the cool kids are sharing. Then came the freaky, horrible, call-social-services diaper rash. It was not a pretty tushie week, that's for sure. Combine that with Ben's realization that he's frankly, way too big for naps, thank you very much. That's the exact formula for CRAZY MOMMY.
Bright side? I now know the true healing value of the combination of Maalox and Aquaphor on a red behind. Plus, got to hear Ben say, "Lotion on my bottom makes it all better" at every diaper change.

Monday was smooth sailing. Ben was fine. He went back to school. I got to teach my Kindermusik classes... we were in a groove. Then the clock struck midnight and it was Tuesday.

Harper has been limping on her back leg since the ice storm a week ago. We thought she was just doing her drama queen routine and hadn't taken her to the vet. On Tuesday, I decided it might be something more than an Oscar performance, so I took her to see the vet. Long story (and lots of tears and guilt and an unmentionable amount of cash) short, she has ruptured her cruciate ligament (holds the kneecap in place) and she has to have surgery. At K-State (2 1/2 hours away). On Valentine's Day.
No, we don't have pet insurance (even if we did, it's a preexisting condition).
On the up side, I'm now on a first name basis with 2 of the orthopaedic surgeons at the K-State vet hospital and Harper will have a lovely time during her 5 day stay in the hospital and her 8-weeks of post-op restricted activity. I'm trying to convince her it's like "Extreme Makeover: Doggie Style". Not sure she's 100% convinced.

Finally, in addition to the emotional "poo" we've been dealing with this week, we've been dealing with a plumbing problem. Luckily, not of the "poo" variety, but of the slow drain, occasional toilet clog variety. The plumber was here for a couple of hours on Sunday and is returning tomorrow.
Up side to this one? My mom did our laundry this week--- it was like being in college again!

According to the "rule of 3's" (you know, all bad things happen in groups of 3), we should be out of the woods soon. I hope that is the case... otherwise my next blog entry might be from a nice facility with padded walls.

So, from the file of "laugh or you'll cry", here are a few funny Ben moments that kept us going:

While brushing his teeth at my mom's house, he was asked what his toothpaste tasted like. Response? "Tastes like chicken."

Later, he asked for a snack, but wasn't sure what he wanted. My mom suggested worms. He looked at her, scrunched his face and said, "Nah. I had those yesterday."

Wednesday, I was trying to get him to take a nap, but he wanted to watch a movie...
B: Let's watch a show!
H: It's time for a nap. You may watch a show later.
B: Uh, let's try that again. I said, "Let's watch a show." You say, "Ok, Ben. Great idea." Say it in a nice voice.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Raising a Sailor

For a couple of days, we've been getting a big laugh out of a new word in Ben's vocabulary. It seems that SOMEWHERE he's learned to say, "damn it." We've been ignoring (and laughing hysterically) as Ben has applied his new phrase in several situations:

B: Where's my dinosaur?
H: I think you left him in the car.
B: (under his breath) Damn it.

While he was trying to get a bristle block to stand up on the couch:
stands the block up, block falls over.

B: Damn it.
stands the block up, block falls over.
B: Damn it.
stands the block up, block falls over.

B: Aww, damn it. (this time he said it louder and with more facial expression)

After a few days of ignoring it, we decided we were going to have to say something. So, last night, I decided to address the issue:
B: Damn it.

H: Ben, that's not a nice thing to say. Don't say that anymore.
B: I no say, 'damn it' anymore?
H: No. Don't say it anymore.

B: Ok, Mommy. I not saying 'damn it' anymore. I all done saying 'damn it.'

When did my child turn into a sarcastic 13-year old? I don't think we've heard the last of this.....damn it.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Photo Gallery

Have you noticed the streaming photo gallery on the left column? In addition to viewing the mini photos on the blog, you can click on the box and go to an online photo gallery to see the photos.

I'm in the process of backing up all the photos on our computer (since August of 2004) so that if we ever have a computer crash, we won't lose all our photos. It's only been on my "to do" list since September of 2004. Nice that I accomplish things in a timely manner. Anyway, as I come across great pictures, I'll add them to the gallery.

Here are few I ran across today. I must be ready for warmer weather!

This is Ben and Allyson in their Jayhawk best. He's pulling up his socks to show that even his socks are loyal to the crimson and blue. This is one of my very favorite pictures-- they both look so darn cute and so happy! (Visit Allyson's website at http://www.caringbridge.com. Choose "Visit a caringbridge site, then type in "allysonwoodbury" in the site name box. Her mom updates the site frequently.)

"Bun" and "Lala" (Ben and Lauren) at DeAnna Rose Farmstead. Proving that the most important thing about dating is having snacks.

So many of my favorite Ben pictures are swimming pool pictures. The bucket head cracks me up. This was his first baby pool and he loved it!

I swear this photo wasn't staged. He's really into smelling flowers and then dramatically sneezing, "Ahhhh-CHOOO!" This was taken at an Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by his preschool.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Baby Hailey

Let the second baby boom begin! Everyone on the planet seems to be preggers (EXCEPT ME!). Here is the first installment of new baby announcements.

Ben's cousin, Emily, welcomed a new baby sister this week. Here is Mom, Dad, and Baby Hailey. We can't wait to meet her! Congrats!

Dressed for Sick-cess

Ben is home sick today with a nasty tummy bug that seems to be going around. I've pretty much thrown all the normal rules out the window and he's had the run of the house (even more than normal). He's washed dishes in the sink (with bubbles!), played in the bathtub for almost 45 minutes, and has watched the same Harry and His Bucket of Dinosaurs 3 times...in a row.

After his long, leisurely bath, I decided he couldn't wear his applesauce caked, dish washing soap drenched pajamas anymore, so I laid out a shirt, pants, and socks on his bed. He came running into his room and said, "Ummm.. does this match?"

Yes, peanut. It's what all the toddler-sick trendsetters are wearing this season. I promise.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What's for Dinner?

Here it is. The one you've been waiting for. Yep, it's "W.T. Casserole" night. To give you a flavor reference, it's like sloppy joes with cream cheese/sour cream noodles. YUM!

Sloppy Joe Casserole (a.k.a White Trash Delight)
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup bbq sauce (and, because this is a WT casserole the sauce must be from a bottle and it must be generic. No name brands allowed.)
3/4 cup spicy ketchup (or regular ketchup and a squirt of hot chili sauce)
1 tbsp. mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions
3 cups hot cooked medium egg noodles

2 1/2 cups (10 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook ground chuck and onion in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and return to skillet.

Add BBQ sauce and next 4 ingredients to beef and onion. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring once.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream, stirring until smooth. Stir in green onions and cooked noodles.

Layer half of noodle mixture in a greased 9X13 baking dish. Top with half of beef mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining noodle mixture and remaining beef mixture. (If desired, cover and chill overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.)

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese; bake 5 more minutes.

Yield: 8 servings

Monday, January 15, 2007

Free at Last

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (and even on his "day"), I am proud to announce that we are officially free (at last) of the binky. He naps, he sleeps, he runs into and falls off of objects... all without a binky. He doesn't even talk about them anymore (except when he sees old pictures of himself. Then he says, "Look. Baby Ben. His binky not broken. See Mama? Not broken at all.").

And, in other acts of freedom, we all got out of the house today. Ah, the return to civilization.

Happy MLK Day!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


The weather here has been yucky since Friday. The long term effects of hibernation are beginning to show. It started with the dogs--- they've been crazy since Friday when the ice started flying. 200+ viewings of "Harry and His Bucket of Dinosaurs" and "Ultimate Silly Song Countdown" (Veggie Tales) later, we're like a bunch of caged animals.

This morning, I completely flipped out over the unacceptable manner in which our vacuum cleaner was cleaning. I mean flipped out. Got out the power screwdriver and took the blinking thing apart, swore awhile, put it back together, and went to my parents' house (in the weather!) to borrow theirs. Good thing that Dyson guy doesn't make house calls-- we'd have a $500 new vacuum.

Ben has been finding new and exciting ways to trash his room instead of taking a nap. Seriously, the kid is like a rock star in a hotel. I don't even know where he's finding some of the stuff he piles on his bed. He's tried to use up some of his energy by climbing the walls.....almost literally. He's climbed on the chairs in the office (and fallen onto the wooden floor), the coffee table, the couches (or are they trampolines?), and into his booster seat at the table to demand food.

Don is hanging in there. I'm sure he never thought he'd wish he had to work tomorrow (Sprint gets MLK day off). He's had plenty of time to watch ESPN in between helping fix the vacuum and chasing Ben around the house. I'm pretty sure he wonders what really goes on all day while he's at work.

We did manage to get out for a little while today (we had to pick up a vacuum, you know). We took Ben to a McDonald's playland in hopes of wearing him out. Before I continue, you need a little background: the boy is terrified of slides. He cries, screams, and refuses to entertain the idea that it might be fun. We've all tried to encourage him--- "Mommy will go with you." "See, it's fun!" A few weeks ago, an older lady he was interested in (she was at least 4) told him she'd hold his hand. He went all the way to the top of the slide and then cried for his mommy. I sure hope that's not a sign of his dating future.

Today, I was relaying the slide phobia to Don as we sat in the grown-up hell known as McDonald's Playland. Just about the time I was saying, "Just watch. In a few minutes, I'll have to wedge myself in that plastic tube and rescue him...", down came Ben. From the BIG, RED, TWISTY SLIDE. He was laughing hysterically and when his little feet touched the ground he shouted, "YEEAAAHHH! Clap for Ben! I did it!"

Two little girls proudly patted him on the head (they were WAY older girls-- like 6 and 8). Seems he had suckered them into playing with him by pretending to be helpless and shouting, "Help! Save me!" until they played with him. After he got the two girls to play, pretty soon Ben had all the kids (all older kids) paying attention to and playing with him. He followed them up to the slide and they got him to slide down. Not once, but twice. After the second time, Ben said, "I all done. No more slide." Second time must NOT be the charm.

So, what have we learned from our time in captivity?
* If you call Pizza Hut on a snowy night, it will take at least an hour and a half for your pizza to be delivered.
* Cleaning your house is stressful and therefore should only be done once in awhile.
* Remember when that guy goes crazy from cabin fever in the movie, "The Shining"? Let's just say that I think I saw those twins in the living room and "Tony" and I have had some great chats.
* Ben's future career will be one of the following: politician, actor, or cult leader.

Friday, January 12, 2007

W.T. Dessert

How do I pass the day when the ice is pinging the windows and it's too cold to go outside? I bake. Today, it was chocolate chip cookies, Tippin's cornbread, and peach butter pecan cobbler. Yep, I'm a regular Martha Stewart when the weather keeps me from the mall. Ok, I used a cookie mix for the chocolate chip cookies, but I think it still counts.

The recipe below is from my Aunt Nancy (hands down, the best chef I know). She found it in a small town Nebraska newspaper. I'm not sure why I've decided it's W.T. (white trash), it's probably more "Country" (maybe in the way that Britney Spears is "country" and doesn't see the need for carseats). Be it W.T. or Country... it's wonderful. It really is as simple as the directions imply. Serve it warm with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

Note: Save the recipe. It's excellent served as dessert with W.T. casserole (next week's What's for Dinner entry). Yep, Tina, it's almost time for sloppy joe casserole.

Peach Butter Pecan Cobbler

1 29 oz. can sliced peaches (it's the BIG can of peaches-- n heavy syrup)
1 butter pecan cake mix
1/2 c. margarine melted
1 c. chopped pecans (or more)

In a 9×13 inch pan, pour peaches with juice. Evenly shake the dry cake mix over peaches. Drizzle margarine over cake mix. Top with pecans. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes until done.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Diary from De-tox

Binky Detox Diary: Day 4

I'll admit it (that's the first step, right?). I didn't think giving up the binkies was going to be this hard. At least not on Don and me. OH MY GOODNESS.

Monday, the addict ended up getting a binky at school during nap time. Evidently, it's just like other hard core drugs (read: meth, heroin). One little hit throws you right off the wagon. When he was with my mom later in the afternoon, he found the stash of binkies I'd hidden and was happily slurping away when I came home. (Mom hadn't read the blog and didn't know we were in rehab. Don't they call those people "enablers"?)

Monday night, I found out who the weak parent is. Hint: Not me. I feel ALL the guilt (the kind you only feel from listening to your child sob and say, "I don't want to be a big boy. I need to be a baby") but it only strengthens my resolve. Reluctant to give in completely, we found a compromise (think of it as the binky "patch"). I cut the ends off all the binkies and let him choose which one he wanted.

These new, "broken" binkies seem to be working out better than the cold turkey method. At first, he cried and said, "fix it." When we explained that they were all broken, I half expected him to ask to go to Target. So far, he hasn't thought of that one.

Tuesday, he didn't nap at all and had a rough bedtime (I didn't know I could actually sleep in a toddler bed... with a toddler....and a stuffed dinosaur....and "baby Lala"... and 2 blankets.... and, of course, 2 broken binkies.). But, by midnight, he was asleep.

Today has been the breakthrough day. At naptime, I suggested that since the binkies weren't "working", maybe he'd just like to hold one in his hand. Guess what? It worked. When I went to check on him awhile later, he had pushed the two binkies under his closed bedroom door into the hall. Quite a powerful statement of protest, I'd say. There lay the reject binkies, abandoned in the hall as if to say, "Those? I don't even want them around anymore." Best of all, he took a nap. WITHOUT A BINKY. The child SLEPT.

Bedtime has been pretty smooth. Don put him down before I was home without too much fuss. When I came home, I went in and tucked him in (of course he was wide awake), but no crying.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

What's for Dinner?

When I started the blog, I mentioned to a couple of people that a couple times a month, I'd post recipes that we enjoy for dinner. So, here is the first installment of "What's for Dinner." If nothing else, it's proof that occasionally I do manage to put together a dinner that doesn't involve a telephone and pizza boxes.

Last night, we had one of my favorite dinners-- homemade spaghetti Bolognese (see recipe below), Caesar salad, and garlic bread. It's a really easy sauce to put together and everyone seems to like it. Instead of spaghetti, I use ziti because it's easier for Ben to eat.

Ben decided to get in the act and help me cook... here are few pictures of "Little Emeril" in action.

First, he put together a nice Caesar salad

Then, he got the garlic bread ready to go in the oven (notice the careful placement of bread)

The chef samples his creation (and he approved!)

Here's the recipe. It's from
Everyday Italian by Giada DeLaurentiis (who I love in spite of the fact that nobody THAT skinny actually eats the stuff she makes.)

Simple Bolognese
yield: about 1 quart
servings: 4 (over 1 lb. of pasta)

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 c. freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
**If you like a little heat, add some red pepper flakes with the tomatoes.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium flame. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is very tender, about 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and saute 5 mintes. Increase the heat to high, add the ground beef, and saute until the meat is no longer pink, breaking up any large lumps, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, and 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cheese, then season with more salt and pepper to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)


Sunday, January 7, 2007

Cold Turkey

Today's the day. As of 2:08 PM CST, we are saying farewell to binkies. I'm not going to lie, it won't be easy. Ben and his binky have been like "peas and carrots" for a long time. I've been saying we were going to start "Binky Detox" for months but something always seemed to come up (like my intense fear of hours of crying and sleepless nights---and that would just be me!). But, recently Ben's lady friend went cold turkey and her parents lived to tell the tale. I was inspired.

Since there are no in-patient treatment facilities, Don and I were forced to do an intervention ourselves. It started about a week ago when I ruled that binkies were only for bed. With a few exceptions, that has been pretty easy. This afternoon at naptime, I just "forgot" to give him his binky. I left the room and shut the door. For a few minutes, he stood at the door saying, "MMMOOOOOMMMMMYYYYY... I need a binky. I NEEEEEEED it. I NEEEEED a BINNNNKKKYYYYYYY." Now, I'm happy to report that there are no sounds coming from his room and I think my forgetfulness has paid off.

In honor of the bink's departure, here are a couple of my favorite binky pictures..

In the early days--- Ben and the bink at Gymboree class:

Studly pool side pics (the combination of the physique, sunglasses and binky really make the man)

Here's hoping bedtime goes as smoothly and that Ben will soon be able to counsel other toddlers with binky addictions. No doubt they'll be inspired by his story of binky recovery and sobriety. At the very least, now maybe he'll only have to wear braces for 2 years instead of braces with headgear for 5 years. If he has a tough night, I'm sure the promise of a bright orthodontic future will be all he needs.

Saturday, January 6, 2007


I've had a few people tell me that they would like to post comments, but they can't figure out how.

To post a comment:
Below each post, there is a listing of the number of comments ( 0 comments). Click on that listing.

It will create a pop up window where you can post a comment. After you've typed your comment, follow the steps for word verification (you'll type a code that blogger provies into a box).

Finally, it will ask you to choose an identity. If you have a google ID or blogger ID, you can use those. If not, select Other, the box below will then give you a place to type your name (and a web address, if you have one).

Once you've completed those steps, click on the "Publish Your Comment" box and the comment will post to the blog entry.

To read comments:
Below each post, click on the listing of comments (1 comment). The comments for that entry will appear in the left column and give you the opportunity to post your own comment in the right column.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Spanish Eyes?

Having a firm grasp of English, Ben is now going to pad his preschool application by listing "Speaks multiple languages." The first is "mime" (freaky, I know), the second (and slightly more useful) is Spanish.

Tuesday night, we were reading one of our dinosaur bedtime stories. Ben's new favorite thing is to direct our conversations by saying, "Can you say..." then expecting us to repeat him. Here's what happened:
Me: Does he mope, does he pout, does h.....

Ben: Can you say, 'BUMMER.'?
Ben: (puts his hand dramatically on my arm) No, Mommy. Can you say it with your eyes? (gets this dreamy look on his face)
Me: (laughing) Uhhhhhh, hmmmmm.
Ben: Like this (bows his head forward as he closes his eyes, then sits back up).

Wednesday, the babysitter and I had the following conversation:
Kerry: Does Ben speak Spanish?
Me: Uhhhhhhh

Kerry: When we were playing today, he'd pretend to be stuck somewhere and then he'd yell, 'Ayudame!"
Me: God bless Dora the Explorer.
Kerry: When I didn't answer him right away he said, 'Ayudame! That means: help me!"
Me: That will be $25 for a Spanish tutoring session.

It must be so frustrating to be surrounded by such foolish, incompetent grown ups who only speak English.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Just waiting for the "P.U." Man

With my lips pressed firmly against the front window, I'll be waiting with anticipation tomorrow for the UPS man (or the "P.U. Man" according to a Kindermusik student) to deliver one of my Christmas presents from Don..... a new digital camera. And, let me tell you, once that thing arrives (and I charge it and figure out how to use it), I'll be a photo snapping fool.

Then YOU can wait with your lips pressed firmly against your computer screen for blog updates complete with photos of the charming Mr. Ben. You know you're trembling with anticipation.

And, if you're like my mother, and wondering why I haven't posted all the pictures I've already taken... I ran into a glitch with the photo host I use to post pictures to a blog. I'm hoping tech support will have a solution for me soon.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Blogging Mama

Happy 2007!
With the new year, I'm finally getting around to launching a personal blog. Since I've been less than consistent sending pictures of Ben via email, I hope this blog will be an easy way for you to check in for "just a little minute" and see what we're up to.

In the spirit of other "mom blogs" I'm also going to use this blog as a baby book or diary to keep track of the funny, sweet, and crazy things that happen in our house.

The title of the blog "Just a Little Minute" is a multi-purpose phrase Ben learned from his buddy, Riley. Lately, it means any of the following...

If Ben says it:
* "Gee, Mom. I'll follow your most recent demand when I'm good and ready."

* "I'm not quite ready for a nap/bedtime. I'll continue doing whatever I want."
* "I know we've played 'Hungry, Hungry Hippos a million times. Let's play again."

If Heather says it:
* "For the love of Christmas, please take a nap....for just a little minute!" (which hopefully translates to at least 2 hours)
* "I'm checking my email right now and you're watching a perfectly good show."

* "PLEASE let me finish taking a shower. Then we can play 'Hungry, Hungry Hippos again."

I hope you'll enjoy the little minutes of our days!