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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ben

4 years ago today, Benjamin Charles Mayfield made his grand (albeit SLOW) entrance into the world. He's still cute, still charming, and still doing most everything on his own terms. In honor of what a big boy he is now, I thought I'd randomly select a few pictures from to share.

Ben in his bouncy seat at about 4 months old. I don't think either of us would have survived without it!

First "real" food.. baby cereal. He looked at us like, "THIS is what you're going to feed me? How about some buffalo wings or M&M's? And don't think I don't see you drinking that Diet Coke."

Ah, scary clowns. Can you believe that I let him have his picture taken next to Gymbo the clown? Although he looks happy about it then, at a recent Gymboree birthday party, he informed me that clowns "freak him out." Good boy.

First pool party at Mimi's house.

First job. Not really, it was the first time we visited Paradise Park. He loved playing in the pretend grocery store. Look at how long the child-sized apron was!

I added this one because of the battered child quality. Look at his forehead and his knee. I don't remember exactly how he got either of those. He's sitting on top of his water table, which he still loves playing with.

While I can't even begin to predict what the next 4 years may bring, it's clear that his future's so bright, he's gotta wear shades.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Birthday Fun

As promised, here is the video where Nate and Don turn into Mr. Science and give the kids a hands-on (or bodies flying) lesson on Newton's Laws of Motion. I dare you not to giggle.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bouncin' Birthday Bash

Yesterday was Ben's birthday party at Pump it Up. I'm not sure who had more fun--- the kids or the adults. I definitely know who was more tired at the end of the night (hint: not the 4-year-olds). Here are a few pictures from the party. Tomorrow, I'll upload the video I took of Nate and Don entertaining the kids with their amazing use Newton's Law of Motion to entertain the kids...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ready for Taiwan

Now that he's almost 4, Ben is ready to try some new classes and activities. This summer, he started yoga and loved it. He will continue taking Yoga classes (for preschoolers) in the fall. After Labor Day, he'll begin taking Spanish classes once a week. But, I think he's most excited about his Tae Kwon Do classes (or "Taiwan" as he called it for awhile). Today, we went to register and to pick up his Tae Kwon Do uniform.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Almost-4 Ben Says

Concerning his "head trauma" at Silver Dollar City:
B: Do you know what happened on my bay-cation?
Riley: What?
B: Well. My daddy "fro-ed" my head into a ceiling fan. Do you know what a ceiling fan is? (lots of gesturing and flailing)
R: Yeah. A ceiling fan is a fan on a ceiling.
B: Yeah. Well, my daddy froed may head into one and it went SCHWOOP and SMACK and SPLAT (even more gesturing and flailing)
R: Woah.
B: And there was blood everywhere. And I got new shirt, and Daddy got a new shirt, and we all got ice cream.

Last night as I was making dinner:
H (to Don): (discussing people who run while pregnant--I AM NOT PREGNANT) I don't know if I could run. Remember when I was pregnant with Ben I had all that sciatic nerve pain.
B: I didn't give you certain nerve pain. It wasn't me.
H: No, not today. Before you were born.
B: Huh?
H: When you were in Mommy's tummy.
B: (pauses) How did I get out of your tummy.
H: (pauses--- looks at Don who is terribly amused by the question) Well. When it's time for babies to be born, mommies go to the hospital and have a baby.
B: But how?
H: The babies come out at the hospital.
B: But MOMMY, how? How do they come out?
H: (LONG pause) The mommies go to the hospital and a special doctor helps. WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FRUIT SNACKS OR A JUICE BOX?

This morning as I was folding laundry:
B: Oh no! (holds up a bra) Mommy! Why are your boobs on the floor?
H: Honey, that's not "boobs" that's a bra.
B: What's a bra?
H: It's where you put your boobs during the day. (I'm sure THAT one won't come back to haunt me)

This afternoon while he was waiting to get his haircut, Ben played with some other children who were also waiting for a haircut. One little girl was pushing and shoving other kids out of her way. As she approached Ben:
B: (puts his hand out to stop her from getting any closer) Settle down there, Polly Pushes-a-Lot!

Sometimes I think it wouldn't be the worst thing if he was:
1) Shy
2) Quiet
3) Less Intelligible

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

That's why I like me, too

Kindermusik classes are in full swing. Last night was the first night for my Tuesday night classes. On their way to class, one little girl said the following to her mom:

"I really like Miss Heather. She has balls."

Yes. Yes I do.

I'm pretty sure she meant the Gertie balls the children play with at the beginning of class, but the kid is pretty bright.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

12 Mile Update

Yesterday, I completed my first 12 mile run. It was not pretty, but I made it. Since I had to teach Kindermusik yesterday morning and "the group" was running WAY out in Olathe, I ran solo with some great new tunes on my iPod for company. Because I didn't have the benefit of water stations, I mapped a course from our house where I'd run in one direction for a few miles, then back home for a break before heading out in a different direction.

Just as I was heading in for my second water stop at mile 6.9, I felt something in my knee "shift" (it wasn't a "pop" exactly..) and the next thing I knew I couldn't straighten or bend it. This made running a bit tricky. I hobbled into the house for an ice pack and contemplated stopping for the day. But, the fact that I hadn't even completed last week's distance bothered me, so (against the advice of Don), I headed back out and promised to run slower and stop if I felt the "shift" again.

So, my last 5.1 miles were spent reminding myself of the following:
* Lance Armstrong had chemo and one nut and still got on that bike and won races.
* Michael Phelps swims 5+ miles everyday. At Olympic speed.
* Worst case scenario: I'll blow out my knee and get to have a Rascal scooter for awhile. Sweet.

I have to admit, I've been infected with the running bug. This is the first time I've ever actively trained for anything and it is awesome to see the results. Plus, the gear is great. In addition to the great shoes and running specific apparel, the world of technology has found the runners. I have a nifty running watch by Nike that keeps track of my pace, distance, and calories as I run. The watch is a band with a USB that uploads to Nike's website and tracks each run, allows me to set goals, and has challenges with people all over the world. Currently, I'm in a 1/2 marathon challenge and a Super Bowl Challenge where participants run 500 miles between September 1st and the day of the Super Bowl. It's really neat to have a connection to runners all over the world. In the 1/2 marathon challenge, I am one of only 3 people in the U.S. Pretty cool. Click here to see the NIKE+ version of me.

The other essential running tool is my iPod. The right song at the right point in a workout can make all the difference. iTunes has all these mixes designed for runners training for a variety of mileage, speed, etc. My current favorite is called "Running to Covers". It's a funky mix of 80's and 90's schmaltzy pop songs set to a punk or techno beat. John Mayer and Fall Out Boy singing "Beat It" (originally by Michael Jackson), a great version of Manic Monday, Time After Time, Straight Up (by everyone's favorite train wreck-- Paula Abdul), the theme from the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood, etc. Best of all, a version of the horrible theme from Titanic "My Hear Will Go On" by New Found Glory (originally sung my the creepy and awful Celine Dion-- ew. I threw up in my mouth a little just typing her name.). This punk-ish version is so great, I actually sang along.

This week, I'll run 18 miles during the week and then repeat my 12 mile run next Saturday. We've lined up a couple of short races (Nike Human Race 10K on Ben's birthday, Labor Day 5K on the 1st) to compliment my training and to give Don a chance to run with me. I should be in great shape for the Kansas City Half Marathon on October 18th. I haven't decided if I'm running "to finish/ not to die" or if I'm going to set a goal time.

If you live in the Kansas City area, watch out. Now that I have the running bug, I'm looking for my next victim to infect. Next thing you know, you'll get sucked in and you'll be up at 5AM on a Saturday running 10+ miles for FUN.

Monday, August 4, 2008

...and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

Today, we went to Silver Dollar City in the 100+ degree heat. As we walked around on the asphalt (hot, black, tar asphalt), I realized that a lot of the rides at SDC are like cheap knock-off versions of a theme park populated with a certain mouse. I mean, flying elephants? spinning tea cups? Evidently, those rides are the formula for success because they were two of Ben's favorite rides.

He also really enjoyed the kiddie rides he could ride without a grown up. The butterfly (much like the flying elephant, but smaller), the frogs (they "hopped"), and some really lame ladybugs (all they did was go around and around... I'm pretty sure I jog faster than they moved) were all in his top 5. Of the grown up rides, he like the Flooded Mine ride (ride in a boat and shoot bad guys with guns).

Things were going well, sweaty, but well. We had some lunch and decided it was time for some water rides. As we arrived at the river ride, the guide asked Don to take Ben off his shoulders to check Ben's height. And then it happened. Neither of us realized that there was a ceiling fan just above Don's head and in the second that Don raised Ben up, Ben's head came into contact with the fan. At first, I thought he had just bumped his head, but then I saw the blood oozing down behind his ear and down his neck.

After a mildly panicked moment, we dashed to the first aid station. By this time, Ben had stopped crying, but his head was still bleeding all over his shirt and Don's shirt. I can not say enough nice things about the nurses and staff in the first aid station. They were quick to make Ben feel calm and did a great job getting all the important information without scaring anyone. What we thought was a sliced ear turned out to be a gash on his head just above his ear. The nurse chatted with Ben about Batman, Spiderman, and Power Rangers as she cleaned the area and took a closer look. Another staff member went into action to get Ben and Don new t-shirts to replace the bloody ones. Still another staff member promised Ben ice cream for being so brave and filled out a coupon for all of us to have free ice cream at the homemade ice cream store.

The nurse had told us that she had a little boy who was 3 1/2. When she got the cut cleaned up, she had me look at it and told me it was "borderline" for stitches. I asked what she would do if it were her son and she said she wouldn't put him through the trauma of stitches. Whew. So, she put some hydrogen peroxide spray (how cool is that?) and some neosporin on his noggin. Because the fan hit Ben's head, they asked Ben some questions and checked his responses to some tests for a head trauma. All the while he was chatting up a storm and charming the pants off the whole office. Our nurse asked (with a huge grin) if we thought he was responding "normally". When we confirmed that, yes, that's our boy, we set. The boys changed shirts, they bagged the others, and we were on our way. And, would you believe that we didn't have to pay a single dime? Not even for the t-shirts. As much as everything else at SDC costs, I was sure we had run up quite a bill. Nope. Just a "have a nice day."

So, we will put our plans to visit White Water (water park) on hold until Wednesday or Thursday to give Ben's noggin time to heal. Ben wanted us to take pictures of his head and can't wait to wear his SDC t-shirt (which is camouflage and says "Wild Thing"... how perfect is that?) and tell Riley the tale of his visit. (Not sure why it was Riley he was dying to tell, but he mentioned it almost as soon as he stopped crying and has reminded me several times since.) I know those are photos you can't wait for me to post.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Is this vacation?

Here we are in day 3 of our vacation. A quick run down of the stats (so far):

* 1, 132: the number of times Ben has asked, "Guys? When will we be at vacation?"

* 99-100: actual high temperature (not counting the heat index) every day. With the heat index? I don't know. What is temperature on the surface of the sun?

* 8: number of slices of bacon Ben ate at breakfast yesterday (that's 3 side orders in case you're wondering).

*10.2: number of miles Heather ran on the extremely hilly roads around the resort beginning at 5:00AM on Saturday morning.

* $3.39: price for a gallon of gas (cheap!)

* 0: number of Target stores in Branson. (Ben is so sad. Only Wal-Marts. Bummer.)

*1: number of Starbuck's in Branson. (It's WAAAY down the main strip and would take about 45 minutes to get there with average traffic. Needless to say, we haven't been there. But, I did see it. Ah, the little signs of civilization.)

*256: number of wet stairs in the Talking Rocks Cave on which Don carried Ben when we visited the cave earlier today.

*50+: number of times Don has said, "Shoji Tabuchi" and then giggled. If he doesn't stop soon, I'm buying him a "Soji" t-shirt and making him wear it. To get in on the joke, visit the Soji website.