Thursday, September 21, 2017

Midwest Minute

We traveled to Kentucky for a visit to Michael's parents last week. It was such a fun week being all together, being back in the Midwest, and playing with Michael's mom and dad. Michael took the week off and came with us, and I was grateful to not fly with two kids by myself. We ended up boarding three different planes in Dallas on the way back because of electrical issues with planes, and I kept thinking how grateful I was to have him with us. 

Maddie and Michael:
Michael and I went to the Louisville temple during our trip and it felt amazing to be back there. I have so many sweet memories of traveling to that temple during our dental school time in Indianapolis. I turned 29 while we were there, and Westin was a good helper with all those candles. I have some before-30 items I need to finish up... and that kind of blows my mind. I still feel 17.

Westin was so happy to be with Grammy and Papa, and did a great job sleeping in a big boy bed while we were there. When we got home we told him he could keep sleeping in his big boy bed at home now, and he said, "No, not until I'm bigger. I sleep in a crib." So funny to me. He is loving preschool at home with me each day and always wakes up from his nap asking if we can do school again.

Bennett was a great sleeper on our trip, did almost completely great on our plane rides (time stuck on the tarmac on the way back was kind of a struggle but it was the plane's fault and not Bennett's...), and is just so fun to be around. He climbed up the stairs at Michael's parents house, which really surprised me. He still army crawls instead of crawls, so pulling himself up onto things seemed like a big new step. Today he stood up holding onto our kitchen chairs for the first time and I could tell he felt big.

It was a fun-filled two weeks so the pics and captions will take care of the rest!

Tractor ride! Bennett fell asleep, sweet boy.

Growing boy! HIs thighs. They've been in a growth spurt since birth.

He has loved that hat for so long, and doesn't care at all when I tell him it's too small now.
We mixed colors for school one day and he was really into it. Those little hands pouring made him look so old to me.

Westin wakes up at 6:00 every day and I think it's because he has trained himself to not miss daddy in the morning. He loves to see Michael before he goes to work. Then lately he's been coming in bed with me and watching a show while we wait for Bennett to wake up. Not the best way to start our day, but... 6:00, you guys. 

He made this fruit loop necklace for school and wore it long enough for a picture, but then he wanted it off and on me. He said, "You wear it. Good, looks good... Go to church."

Bennett's favorite past time is unpacking anything and everything.
I think my diaper bag ranks highest on his list of messes he likes to make.

Those Trader Joe's carts, Westin is a fan.

Thank you, stickers. Your attention-grabbing ways are invaluable.

Such a happy boy even after some long travel troubles. We got a couple of miles bonuses because of all the issues, so that was nice.

These huge click-together crayons were so great. Target's dollar spot is my travel friend.

The best part of this splash park in Louisville was when Westin stood right over that particular spot with water shooting straight up his pants. His face will be in my mind forever. 
Bennett preferred a fountain foot massage the whole time and was so content.

We went to a little family zoo spot, like a petting zoo (without petting) and Westin was pretty intrigued by the Emus. He calls them Emos and I love it.

He could live in a swing all day.

Temple Date with my forever love.

My birthday cake helper. We didn't quite make it in one go. I don't know if I want 30 candles on the cake next year.... 

We saw 7 bucks down below a bridge during our walk and watched them for a while. We also saw a red fox, a raccoon, TONS of deer, and a couple turtles on our trip. I've never seen a red fox in person before, I loved it. 

Birthday bike ride! I'm so happy on a bike.

A stop at the candy store.

Halloween sneak peek! Plus a practice round of trick-or-treating at Grandma's house. He was into it.

We spent a day on the lake and Westin was super into Jet Ski rides.

Um, Bennett was born for a La-Z-Boy life. He was so content the second we put him in this and it was hilarious.

Tractor time with grandpa. He was actually afraid to drive it for a while, which was surprising... this kid and his cautious attitude is kind of unpredictable. But then he warmed up to it and could have driven it the rest of the day.

Westin's handprint in Daddy's handprint from when they made the water spout on the land.

Michael and Brighton.

Bennett wasn't too into riding Sequoia.

I felt so many emotions when I saw this sign on our way to Stake Conference in Evansville. I miss Indiana fiercely.

Michael loved this shot he got of Sequoia. 

Window seat is the best seat. Bennett would get so angry when we'd move him away from the window.

I forgot how tiring the stage is when almost all meals require a bath after...

"A is for Apple" is solidified in Westin's mind. No doubt about it.

I drew an A and gave him stickers and he did a great job tracing it. But we've tried the same activity a few times since and it's kind of a fiasco so, not sure why he had that stroke of genius our first time. He loves stickers so much.

So grateful I bought a little preschool curriculum because some of the activities leave me like, "Um, what?" But then Westin LOVES them, so... good thing I've got some direction here. The toddler mind is a difficult thing for me to understand. :)

So proud of his garden's zucchini! Westin helps me water each day and he's pretty into it. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

All the Dogs

Kept us busy with dog watching gigs over here this week. We had a Golden Doodle for a couple days and then an Australian Shepherd mix after that. The boys love it and it's fun for us at this stage since we're not ready for a full time dog, but we do love having one around. Kitty on the other hand, goes into hiding the whole time they are here. Bonus: she doesn't wake us up in the night to be let outside, and dogs and Bennett did a great job sleeping through the night. Those hours of sleep are way better compensation than our sitting fee. Michael also harvested grapes at our church's vineyard on Saturday morning. They'll be turned into raisins for humanitarian donations. He watched "Gifted" with me Saturday night for an at-home date night and we both liked it.

Functions at about 60% capacity when I'm overheated, so this week was a struggle with our temps around 110. I've got no patience for that nonsense once September hits. We cleaned the church together on Friday night and I had Bennett on my back in his carrier while cleaning windows. He just laid his head on me and I could practically hear him saying "dang mom, it's hot." We had Jamba Juice for dinner both Friday and Saturday because our bodies just don't want anything else by that point. I also played a ridiculous amount of Taylor Swift videos this week because I'm just a sucker for a contest and I just love her despite all you haters, so, that's full disclosure for you. 

Enjoyed playschool this week, particularly calendar time and painting. He's got letters and colors down for sure but shapes and numbers need some more focus. He didn't love the constant love from the Golden Doodle puppy this week but he's really enjoyed the high energy Australian Shepherd. We've never seen a dog so good at frisbee. Westin thrives on routine. Which means I also thrive on routine right now because happy toddler, happy life, you know it's true. My favorite things he said this week:
"I've got a problem here." (Every time he had to walk around something on our walks.)
"I'm glad daddy doesn't work on Neighbor Day!" (I may make this interpretation the new way we celebrate Labor Day, such potential there.)
"His name isn't Bennett, it's Baby Bennett." (Correcting well-meaning church grandma.)

Loved the dogs and the dogs loved him. He'd let that Golden Doodle love on him all day but I could only stand for so much, someone's gotta advocate for the (fairly) immobile little guy. He seemed a little fussy one day while working on teeth 7 and 8, but teething has never been more than one hard day for him. And while we're on the topic of teeth 7 and 8, I'm ready to be done nursing over here. He's 11 months and big and happy and I'm ready to start that process. His scooty little army crawl warms my heart and motivates my vacuuming/sweeping/mopping game. He's waking up around 4:30 or 5:00 and sleeping until 6:30 after that. He's pure sweetness and I love this stage. 

Westin walked a mile with us without the stroller and I just feel like he's getting so big.

I love, love this legitimate laugh while watching Little Einstein's. I just laughed while he laughed.

He grabbed my comb and mirror and started doing his own new do.

Preschool artwork

Sometimes Bennett looks so much like a happy little E.T. and I just love it. I hope he phones home often.

I asked him to be my baby forever during this little cuddle and I think he almost would if he could, he's that sweet. 

Turning numbers into concepts instead of memorization.

Color concentration.

Sammie the Golden Doodle. These two are the exact same age.

My cousin sent me this picture of our kids from my reunion a couple weeks back and it melts my heart. She really wanted to "hold the baby!" and the sizing here is just really great.

My dad draws the best doodles and Westin loves them. This one is of Westin chasing Little Blue Truck down the driveway. He takes it everywhere.

The extent I have babyproofed my house: moved this picture up a shelf.
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