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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Soundtrack

Riley joined Ben and I for a trip to Wonderscope (children's museum) today. On the way there, they began singing Christmas songs. I wish I would have had a way to record it-- they put their own special trademark on "Jingle Bells"... I sure hope they put on a similar show at their preschool Christmas program in a couple of weeks.

B: Let's sing "Jingle Bells"

R: Yeah!
They began singing together....
R: DINGLE bells
B: Jingle BALLS.

Yep, that's right..the song I heard was: DINGLE BALLS.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We Are.... so proud.

Yesterday, while watching the Virginia Tech/ Virginia football game, Ben reached an important developmental milestone… his first appropriate use of sarcasm.

After watching the commercial, he turned to me, totally serious, and said, “Wait. Who are they?”

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I know what I'm getting EVERYONE for Christmas

Take a moment and think about the advertising agency responsible for this ad.

Can't you hear the team lead.. "Honey. It was a great day. I landed the Farting Teddy Bear account."

Or, the ad team coming up with slogans: "Here's a winner--- So cute, so cuddly... so surprising." Really? Surprising? That's the adjective they chose?

I really applaud the design team's choice of photo inset. I mean, those people are clearly successful and having a charming dinner party. Check out that blonde-- she's charmed and enchanted by the mysterious bear ripping one on that lovely sofa. And that hand model with the remote--- I hope that hand is well insured.

Because you can't read the yellow box, I've copied it below--- but beware, you're going to want to order one of these bears... "People just can't keep their hands off our cute little Teddy Bear! But they are in for a surprise! Because when they cuddle him, you press a button on a remote and he breaks wind! Guaranteed laughs for everyone! Your friends will be so charmed they'll want to hug him again! Adorable 17 inch, plush bear uses 2 AA batteries (not included). Remote comes with a cell battery."

Discussion Questions:
1) Who says "breaks wind"?
2) What is the social protocol for this? Is it for dinner parties? Casual gatherings? Holidays? What is the situation where you have people over and say, "Look at my sweet new teddy bear" and then have people rushing over to hug it?

3) Who are their friends that will be "so charmed they'll want to hug him again"?
4) Really? He just can't help himself? Where have I heard that before?

Best of all--- order one bear for the low, low price of $14.95 +S.H. -or- order 2 or more Farting Teddy Bears for only $12.95 each+ S.H.)

**The Farting Teddy Bear is the first installment of a new feature: "Buying Guide" in which I'm going to try to feature all the wonderful things you can't live without. Remember the Deluxe Fish Pen (pen-sized fishing pole)?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bad Case of the WHIM WHAMS

It's time for another installment of "Ben Says."

B: Mom, come see my 'subtraction.'

H: Okay... (I follow as he leads me to his room where he has his Power Ranger motorcycles all lined up on his bed.)
B: See? What do you think of my 'subtraction.'
H: I like it. It's really a nice 'subtraction.' (as I thought.. "hmmm.. I'm not a math person, but how is this 'subtraction.')
B: Ask me what my 'subtraction' is called.
B: Well, it's called a pie-ya-er. (you know, the noun form of "pie ya" which is what ninjas say.)

History Lesson
(2 weeks ago was letter "i" week at school, so Ben's class learned about the Ind... ah, Native Americans. This week, they learned about the first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims, the Indi---, I mean, Native Americans, and their "friendship".)
H: Who did you talk about at school today?
B: Friends. It's friendship week. We stay in our "hula hoop" space and we don't touch anyone in their hula hoop space. (Did I mention that Ben has a hard time keeping his hands to himself--- it's tough being a ninja in preschool.)
H: Oh. That's great and you're right...it's very important to keep you hands to yourself at school. But, did you learn about the First Thanksgiving?
B: Yes.
H: Who was there?
B: Riley.
H: No, Love. I don't think Riley was there. Try to remember, what did Miss Becky teach you? Do you remember who was at the first Thanksgiving?
B: Ummmm.... I bre-member. The "Childrens" and the "Aliens."
H: What?
B: Mommy. The "Childrens" and the "Aliens." You know... The "childrens" made a turkey and invited the "Aliens" and their boss, the Chief for dinner. I like to be the chief alien, Mommy.
H: That's good, Buddy.

B: Mom, sometimes I cough because I'm cold.
H: You mean, sometimes you cough because you HAVE a cold.
B: How do I have a cold-- I can only BE cold. Mommy, I'm sick like you. I cough because I'm just a little cold.

Still awaiting a cure...
B: Whew! I have a bad case of the 'whim whams.'
H: Oh. That sounds serious. Does your tummy hurt? (thinking that the whim whams might be related to something "gaseous" in nature and trying really hard not to laugh)
B: No, Mommy. It's just the 'WHIM WHAMS'.
H: Can you tell me about them?
B: You know. Like when you ride a hang glider? You get a bad case of the 'whim whams.' Sometimes my 'subtraction' gives me them.
H: What else can give you the 'whim whams'?
B: When you drive the blue van.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Other Baby Linus

On Wednesdays, Ben and I have the privilege of sharing our day with "Baby Linus" (Amanda and Jeremy's son). Every Wednesday, he waits by the front door beginning around 8:15AM and gives me 30-45 second updates, "Not here yet, Mom." "No Baby Linus in our driveway." "Maybe they'll be here REALLY soon, Mom."

Finally, at 9:30, Linus arrives. Ben always assures Jeremy or Amanda that "We'll take GOOOOOD care of him," then shoos them out the door so he can get his hands on Linus. I'm not kidding. It is quite possible that the kid is even more baby crazy than I am.

Ben spends the day educating Linus on the finer points of boyhood--- dinosaurs, Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Scooby Dooby Doo. He also loves to play under that "baby gym"... ironically the one he despised when he was a baby. His favorite thing to do is to sit next to Linus (Linus in a bouncy seat, Ben in the purple "fur" Dora chair) and read Linus books. Ok, so he doesn't so much read TO him as he puts a book in Linus's lap, then he reads a book (LOUDLY) next to him.

Having Linus at our house has opened a whole new world to Ben. He goes around the house talking about the "baby in his tummy" (which is usually a matchbox car rolled up in his shirt), he spends time comparing and contrasting what babies and big boys do-- one important distinction--- Babies have to drink "regular" milk, Big Boys get chocolate milk. Another one: Babies "don't talk so much.. they go "waaa" "waaa". Big Boys? They talk LOTS.

Today, I reminded Ben that Linus is coming on Friday this week instead of Wednesday. The next thing I knew, he had pulled out his "boy doll" from his toy box and was asking me to take out the baby gym, bouncy seat, and baby swing.

I asked what he was doing and he said, "I need some time with the Other Baby Linus." He carried "OBL" from swing to bouncy seat, to baby gym yammering away as if the REAL Linus were here. After about 10 minutes, he announced that "OBL" needed a bottle and that he (Ben) needed a snack. Almost 15 minutes later, he let me know that "OBL" wanted to watch a Baby Einstein and "bree-lax" (relax). When Ben was ready to move on, he said, "Mom, I need you to watch Other Baby Linus. I have some big boy things to do."

The REAL Baby Linus (playing with the "play gym")

The OTHER Baby Linus (OBL) also under the "play gym"... coincidence?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's NOT the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

At some point, I will have the energy to explain the hours and hours of time I spent working on the auction for Ben's preschool--- time I could have spent blogging, or, I don't know, sleeping... but the event was last night and I'm still not ready to talk about it. The good news is that it's over and I should have time to have a life (and update the blog) on a regular basis.

The week of Halloween, Ben suddenly became obsessed with the idea of making a pumpkin pie. A few things you should know:

1) I HATE pumpkin. (Yes, word police, I said, "HATE".)
2) While I love to cook, I'm not a huge pie baker.
3) If you don't have kids, you might not know that when you have kids, you'll do crazy things for them--- pick their noses and wipe it on your jeans, smell their butts in public to see if they've pooped, and even bake a pumpkin pie.

Here's how it happened:
B: What we do with those punt-kins, Mama?
H: They're for Halloween. We'll make jack-o-lanterns.
B: (horrified look) NO! We can't cut them. The best thing to do with a punt-kin is make punt-kin pie.
H: But we get to make cool faces on the pumpkins for the trick-or-treaters.
B: NO! We can't. It will hurt them. We need to make a punt-kin pie.
H: Honey, I don't even know how to make a pumpkin pie.
B: You don't? Daddy does. I do, too.
H: Really? How do you do it?
B: (with lots of flailing and hand gestures) First you take a punt-kin and scoop out all the yucky stuff. Then you bake it in the hot, hot oven. Then you mix the punt-kin with other stuff and put it in the pie. Then it's punt-kin pie.
H: Well, maybe I can find a recipe for pumpkin pie and we can make one.

While he was away from me over the next two days, he asked everyone he knew if they knew how to make pumpkin pie. Then he'd ask them to give his poor, stupid mother a recipe since she clearly didn't know what she was doing.

Finally, after endless badgering and punt-kin pie discussion, last Friday, I gave in. For 3+ hours we messed around with crust, blind-baking crust, mixing the pumpkin junk, and getting everything ready. We baked it, we cooled it, and all the while had a never-ending dialogue about punt-kin pie.

After dinner, it was finally time. We could eat our punt-kin pie. He was so excited he could hardly stand it. We carefully cut a piece of pie, added the requisite amount of whipped topping, and it was finally, FINALLY time to eat.

What happened next was one of those "crossroads" moments. You know, where you arrive at a fork in the road (in the pie, maybe) and you can choose to go one way or the other. Ben took a bite
of the pie...

and said, "Ewwwwwww. Yuck." He spit the bite on his plate, ate the Cool Whip and said, "I don't like punt-kin pie. It's gross."
That crossroads moment? It was more mine than his and it was two-fold. My first thought was, "You've got to be kidding. We just spent a whole afternoon doing this and now you don't like it?" My second thought... "Sweet. This kid DID get at least a few of my genes after all."

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Not a "fighter", a FI-ghter. But not that either.

We hope you had a wonderful Halloween. Our little goblin ('cause that's what he is everyday) was a "fighter." No, not a "fighter", a "FI-ghter." No. Let me try this again... stretch your arms out in front of you, now wiggle your fingers. Say it with me, "FI-ghter." You still don't get it, do you? Maybe this slide show will help.

Ben's Spooky Halloween
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