Friday, July 30, 2010

Bye, Bye Pink

Last weekend we painted our living room. This is a VERY good thing as the walls were previously pink. Dave was a big help and we got the whole room done in one day. I took Benjamin and Anna to see Toy Story 3 at the movie theater on Sunday and when we came home this is how we found Collin and Dave....

There were some spots on the ceiling that needed another coat, so Dave just stripped Collin down to his diaper and they rolled together!

We waited a few days to load the room back up with furniture (b/c the carpets were cleaned) and the kids had a great time having a big open room. One day I made a huge obstacle course for them and they had a grand time. This day they just ran around and acted like their silly selves for my enjoyment. Collin is wearing a shirt that Benjamin wore a lot as a baby. Dave always hated it, but I couldn't help but love it. I was excited when I found a similar one for Benjamin to wear.

I can never get them all to look and smile at the camera at the same time, so sometimes I just enjoy pictures where they all look like they are at least happy.

My beautiful girl!

Anna has been showing affection in a very sweet way lately. When she sees me, sometimes she will excitedly run to me declaring, "Mommy!" When she gets to me, she hugs me tightly and presses her little cheek to mine. As she sweetly hugs me, she smiles and lovingly says, "Mommy" over and over again. These moments don't last long, but they are so very precious!

Showing me their muscles!

Pretending to be statues!

And of course, wrestling!

This was loving wrestling that both were enjoying. However, that's not always the case. They were hugging back and forth while playing in their basement play room when Anna decided she was finished with the love fest. Benjamin was upset that she didn't want anymore hugs. I stepped in when Anna began desperately screaming, "No!!" as Benjamin was chasing her for another hug. Me: "Benjamin, you have to respect her choice if she doesn't want a hug anymore and listen when she says no." Benjamin: "I don't want to respect her choice! I want her to respect my choice!"

They just ran and ran and ran for days in this room!

I'm thoroughly enjoying (and appreciating) how much they play with one another now. The other day, they were playing and I hear Benjamin telling Anna, "Anna, soon after your birthday you're gonna be three, then after that you'll be four like me!" Anna: "Yay!!!" Benjamin: "And then you're gonna have more and more birthdays and then you're gonna become a nice Momma." Anna: "Oh, okay."

Benjamin used to wake up so hungry and would eat breakfast as soon as he woke up. Now he waits (sometimes over an hour) to eat breakfast b/c he wants to eat with Anna. :)

Collin keeps a close eye on his crazy brother and sister!

I deserve to have him wear an I heart Mom shirt b/c he has "the moms" bad. I can't take two steps away from him without upsetting him these days.

Collin has begun to really recognize some words. He now shakes his head no when he hears the word no, when we shake our head with him, or just on his own. He also understands the word no when he's doing something he's not supposed to: when I tell him no, he stops what he's doing and looks at me, then he gives me a smile and gibbers and coos at me as if he's trying to talk me out of telling him no. :) He also recognizes the word clap and will clap his hands and sometimes he recognizes the word bye and will wave when you say it.

I know her hair is in her face, but I just love this picture of Anna.

There, that's better!

Benjamin being silly taking his clothes off.

Benjamin told me one day, "I love my whole family with all my heart!" Then later he was taking all of Collin's toys out of the toy box and placing them next to Collin. He didn't stop until every last one was on the floor for Collin to reach. When he was finished he told me, "I gave Collin all his toys because he deserves them because he's a special baby and I love my baby with all my heart!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2010 Vacation

We've never gone on a trip with my family since Dave and I have been married, but last week we met up with my parents in Columbus, OH. They found this great hotel that had three bedrooms and two living rooms with pull-out beds, so all the kids had plenty of room to spread out and all did great sleeping there. Benjamin and Anna were so excited for days and days before our trip and would make up songs about it. They were so excited to get to sleep in a hotel and of course that their grandparents would be there!

Our first evening there, the kids stayed with my parents and had pizza and a movie in the hotel while Dave and I got to go out to dinner just the two of us. The next day we had a great time at Jack Hanna's zoo. It's a huge place and a wonderful zoo! They have a new polar bear exhibit that is so awesome. The polar bears were right next to us and were so fun to watch. They were really playing with each other and wrestling in the water!

One of the polar bears was so fun to watch b/c he kept climbing up on this rock and would jump into the water.

Here's Anna giving me her best bear growl!

Benjamin and Dave watching the bear (in the picture above) playing with a big frozen block of watermelon slices.

As we were walking into the zoo, the lady taking our tickets said to me and Dave, "Don't let him walk around without shoes b/c there's stuff from the animals that could make him sick." I confusingly looked down at Benjamin (who was in the stroller with Anna) to make sure his shoes were still on. They were and that's when I realized she was referring to my 9 month old baby who apparently looks more like a toddler that would be walking around.

Poor Collin had a stomach bug during the trip. He was pretty somber most of the time, but super sweet and didn't act like he felt bad other than being quiet and cuddly.

Lunch time!

Benjamin excitedly pointing out a rhinoceros (he said the whole word without difficulty). It was cool that they had this big indoor enclosure for some rhinos and elephants.

Me, Mom, and Collin in the Asian wing of the zoo. My poor baby spent most of the day with his head on our shoulders like this. I was sad that he didn't feel good, but I did enjoy the extra cuddles.

Benjamin and Anna watching this sweet mom/baby elephant pair.

They were so cute walking around together, just the two of them. :) I love it when babies watch things like animals. So fun to see their curiosity!

It was unbelievable how close we were to this tiger. He was pacing back and forth and Benjamin and Anna were so amazed by him!

Anna really likes tigers (and elephants and polar bears). She was very excited about the tiger in the picture above and this statue. Grandma had them pick out something from the gift shop after our zoo day and she happily picked out a sweet stuffed tiger. :)

Benjamin's favorites are always lions (and cheetahs and meerkats). Here he is pointing out his lions....

The male lion really tickled me. He was sleeping right up on the gate (with two females) and had his paws over his face like this.

Then he rolled a little and was sleeping with his tongue out. It was funny b/c the female above him was irritating him and kept whacking him in his face w/ her tail.

The zoo was made up with lots of neat pathways like this.....

It was really nice for Dave and I to have the extra hands at the zoo for once!

We watched a little show where they brought out different animals and told the kids about them. Benjamin got called on and won a bookmark and an owl CD!

His question was about this sloth (like Sid from Ice Age).

Our hotel was pretty close to the zoo and they said we could re-enter their parking lot and the zoo, so we took the kids back to the hotel for naps and then came back afterwards. It worked out really well and we definitely needed the extra time b/c the zoo was so huge!!! Here they are petting neat animals in the aquarium area....

Collin checking out fish with Grandpa.

Checking out a pretty turtle that was in a big tank with a bunch of manatees.

Collin and I enjoying watching an absolutely adorable koala bear (who was actually awake and moving around).

Benjamin is really into snakes right now. He wants to know what kind they are and if they are dangerous.

The next day we spent the morning at a cave that Indians used to live in. While we waited for our tour, the kids got to play on a playground that had a sheep and goat next to it. We also got to mine for gems. I thought Benjamin would probably have fun with this and I was right, they both had so much fun!!! The bags of dirt were really generous too and had lots of fun finds in them! They were really good at it.

I picked out a bag that had arrowheads in it for Benjamin....

and as you can tell, he was overjoyed to find them! :)

There was enough dirt for them to each do it 3-4 times and they really had so much fun!

Anna's bag just had gems in it....

but her bag had a fun surprise in it too.....

a big purple gem...

she really loves finding purple and pink things.....

and was very pleased to find this one!

Benjamin proudly showing off his arrowhead finds!

Don't think we left Collin out. I found this cute little drum for him to shake!

Then it was time to go down into the cool cave!

Benjamin with a cool bench that formed into the shape of a fish.

Anna stuck close to Grandma during our caving.

After naps, we went swimming in the hotel pool and then headed to Dublin's cute little town. We walked around and found a nice restaraunt that we got to eat dinner outside at. Then my favorite, we had ice cream at this super cool place. They had these really unique flavors and the ice cream was really yummy. I got salty caramel ice cream in a root beer float and it was really something! :) The best part for me though was Anna got to have her first ice cream cone. She did really great with it and was so happy!

She's getting so stinkin' big!

He wears chocolate well.

I'm very blessed by these happy faces!

They're just a little silly too.

It was a great trip and I'm very thankful for the fun times we had!