Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Playing Pretend a Little Too Well...

A funny conversation from lunch today:

The boys and I were sitting at the table eating our lunch, when I noticed that Ben has devoured his veggie corn dog, but has not touched his sweet potato fries - something he loves and usually gobbles up.

So I say, "Ben, do you want to eat your french fries?"

And he says, "No. He's sad" holding up the littlest fry on his plate.

So, I reply, "Oh no. Why's he sad?"

Ben: "Want Daddy."

Me: "The french fry is sad because he wants his Daddy?"

Ben: "Yes" as he scoots the little fry to sit next to the longest french fry on his plate. "Dis Daddy. Dis Brother." (this is Daddy, this is brother) as he scoots another little fry over to the two.

So I say "What about Mommy? Where's she?"

Ben: "No see her." (I don't see her)

Drew - ready to be a part of the conversation too - looks right at Ben and says very matter of factly, "Mommy a Car-get." (Mommy's at Target).

Possibly I should go one week without visiting our home away from home.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Holly Jolly Christmas

This past weekend we were able to celebrate Christmas with Michael's side of the family. MawMaw and PawPaw braved the terrible Midwest weather and came to see us...although it was warm here until they came, so we think they must've brought the cold winter weather with them. ;) We took them to see the lights at the Opryland Hotel; something we like to do every year. We missed going last year, though, so this was the first time the boys really enjoyed it. Here are our little guys in front of the HUGE christmas tree of lights....or as Drew and Ben kept saying "the BIG wock-et". Try as we might, we couldn't convince them that it was a Christmas tree. It was definitely a rocket to them. The Grandparents and the boys behind one of the waterfalls.
Here is our best attempt to get a family picture. Unfortunately for me they were much more interested in running as fast as they could all over the place than posing for a photo-op.
And then we capped off the evening with cookies while looking at the twinkle lights. Of course, they each just had to pick out their own cookie, and no one was surprised that they each picked out a sugar cookie topped with a huge snow-ball sized mound of icing, complete with red and green "pwink-uls" on top. Needless to say the sugar rush that ensued was more than us four grown-ups could handle in a place that big.
We decided that since it was rainy and cold on Saturday that we'd just have our own version of Christmas morning. I made us all breakfast and we all exchanged presents. Ben had a great time opening everyone's presents, while Drew really enjoyed playing with whatever had just been opened.
Here they are playing with two of the new games that Dressie, Aunt Chelle and Uncle Dan gave them: Lucky Ducks and Splish Splash Fish. Both are cute little games that they have had a ball playing with.
But for sure the biggest hit of all was a choo-choo train that MawMaw and PawPaw gave them. They both love choo-choos, and have played with it almost non-stop. I wouldn've put a few more pictures of them tearing into all the boxes and paper, but somehow I ended up in all of the pictures the boys are in. And let's just be honest, there's no need for the whole world to see me in my pj's with no make-up and bed-head. We'll try to do better when we do Christmas again next weekend.
It was a great weekend, and my buddies are taking looong naps to recover from all the fun. The only thing that was missing was Dressie, Aunt Chelle and Uncle Dan who weren't able to come this year. We sure did miss you!!!
That's about all we have going on for now. Thanks for checking in on us....more Christmas pics to come soon!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Better Not Pout, Better Not Cry?

We officially kicked off our holiday season this weekend with our church's annual Breakfast with Santa. We always look forward to such a special event - the team that puts this on ALWAYS does an amazing job - and this year didn't disappoint.

We began with a time of worship in the sanctuary, followed by breakfast, then stood in line to get our picture made with the Big Guy, and then should have made Christmas pillow cases as the craft. But we had to skip out on the Christmas craft this year since we had so much else going on and nap time was well upon us. Here's Michael entertaining Drew as we stood in line to wait:
The boys seemed to be excited about getting to see Santa since we've been talking about him, and we had told them that they would get to sit on his lap and tell him one thing they'd like to have for Christmas (as if they don't have any toys to play with, and need more). They were fine while we waited in line. They were fine as we stood ready to go next. They were fine when we sat them on his lap. And then......
...This is what happened when Ben saw me walk away from him. Never mind that I was still in eyesight and standing less than 4 feet in front of him, he still didn't like Santa.
Drew, on the other hand, did great and was really interested in his beard. I'm telling you, that kid never meets a stranger. But Ben? Well, all the coaxing and bribing in the world wasn't going to get that sweet boy to calm down for a good picture. What worked, you ask?
Sitting on Mommy's lap while very politely telling Santa that he'd like to have more cars, "pwease". If you look closely, you can almost see the half smile that Ben finally gave him. Almost.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

We Really ARE Thankful....

....I just forgot to post about our Thanksgiving fun at MawMaw and PawPaw's house. And honestly, I didn't really take that many pictures either. I know, I'm falling down on the job altogether. But I'm back in the swing of things [sort of] and I figure I'd better get caught up in my posts since this is such a busy time of year. I'm sure there'll be plenty to take pictures of in the coming weeks.

Basically we've been going non-stop around here. Last night Michael and I got back from a quick little trip to New York, where he had some work to do, and I tagged along with him to keep him company. We had fun, and I had never seen the city during the holidays, but we are so glad to be home with our buddies.

Coincidentally, our good friends Jeff and Laurie were in the city at the same time. So we had dinner with them one night, and then went for brunch and ice skating in Rockefeller Plaza the next morning. Lots of fun to be with the one you love AND some good friends there during Christmas.

Here are a few pictures.

There are plenty more pictures, but I figured I'd leave it at these since - after all - this blog is supposed to be about Drew and Ben. ;)

We are sooo in the Christmas Spirit around here. The boys are excited about getting some "pwe-sents" from Santa, but we're trying really hard to reinforce that giving the presents to others and remembering the birth of Jesus is really what it's all about....But let's just face it: they're two and really only understand that there are pwesents under the tree. Oh well...here's hoping for next year.

Thanks for checking in on us. Hope everything is merry and bright for you too!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A 24-Hour Getaway

One thing that I love about my husband is that as much as he loves being a daddy and spending time with his boys, he also loves spending one-on-one time with me. Somehow he has always understood that when our relationship is great, it is then that we are the best parents we can be to Ben and Drew.

So, after Michael got off work Friday, he and I headed over to Knoxville to spend the night and go the the UT v. Vandy game with my cousin David and his wife Lindsey. We had a great time just hanging out, playing with their "children" (two dogs, Walker and Molly), and catching up. We had a blast, and here are a few pictures of our mini-vacation:

With Smokey...or as Drew says "Mo-pey"
And after the game. It was a little too close for comfort for both David and Michael, but we all managed to have a great time.
Many thanks to Aunt BeBe and Mimi who took care of the buddies for us while we were away. We sure do love and appreciate yall!

We hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoying time with the ones you love and thanking God for all He's done. We have so much to be thankful for! More pictures when we get back.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Simple Life

Last week while Michael was in Europe for work, Drew and Ben and I headed to Southern Georgia to a little town called Waycross to visit my Nana and Papa. We stopped first in Montgomery to pick up my parents, who were both able to take some vacation time and enjoy the visit with us.

It was such a treat! The last time we were able to go was last year at Thanksgiving, and even though they had a great time playing on the farm last year, it was nothing like this year! They played outside running all over the place from the time they finished breakfast till the time we dragged them inside to take a nap. What kid wouldn't love having [almost] full reign over 6 and a half acres of farm land, trees to play in, goats to "talk" to and a golf cart to "drive"? They both were obsessed with the golf cart, saying "No, I dwive it, Mommy." So we really had to keep an eye on them for fear that they actually would try.

It just worked out that we were there to celebrate my Papa's 88th birthday. He may have been celebrating 88 years, but he only had two candles on his cake...one for each of the boys to blow out. Every year he has all 35 - 40 or so of his pecan trees shaken to get all the pecans off. So, when he found out that we were coming, he waited until we were there to have it done so that the boys could see the big tractors "hug" the trees and shake them. Ben really liked watching it all, but poor Drew missed out because he was taking such long naps due to playing so hard. So in addition to all of the other fun things to do on the farm, we also got to pick up buckets and buckets of pecans. Luckily for my Nana and Papa, the little helpers love having a job to do, and they really enjoyed getting out there with all the grownups to "help."

We actually did take some really great pictures, but blogger isn't cooperating. Sorry to disappoint since I know that the pictures of the boys are the only real reason people check this thing anyways! ;)

Happy Fall, Yall!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Can You Guess Who We Are?

Here are the clues..... 1) We used our favorite word when we were told to bow down and worship.
2) We were the original firefighters, but we didn't have these fancy jackets or water hoses.
3) We'd love to tell you our names, but we're only 2, and they are really hard to pronounce.
We're Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego!

This past Halloween night, we participated in our 2nd year of the annual Parade of Bible Characters at our church. Last year we had a great time with all of our good buddies from our lifegroup being the Seven Days of Creation. These are the clues that Mr. Brandon read out to the audience, and they guessed who we were right away....probably because Mommy and Miss Darci were so clever in coming up with our costumes.

Brax really enjoyed being onstage, but we were a little less excited about being the center of attention....especially when we looked out and saw Daddy taking pictures and waving to us! We would rather be with him, hands down.

Then Miss Janet and Miss Melanie let all of us kids come up on stage and sing some songs together. Which would have been really fun, but instead we chose to run up and down the stage ramp rather than sing...so we had to sit in the audience with Mommy and Daddy. Then they read all of us kids a book about being scared of monsters, but not to worry since God is always with us. We liked this part the best, and all in all, it was a really great night.

We hope your Halloween night was as fun as ours was!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trunk Or Treat

If two posts last week impressed you, then hold onto your hats, blog readers: two more posts in the same night!!! What can I say, it was a busy weekend, and we had lots of pictures to share. So, keep scrolling down, there's another post after this one.

Tonight was our annual Trunk or Treat at church. It is always so much fun, and so good to see so many friends. This year the boys were Chinese Emperors. When they were born we were given these authentic costumes by one of Michael's business friends, who lives in China. We loved them because they were such a beautiful gift, but never thought the sizes would work out for them to ever wear the costumes at Halloween. So, they've sat in the top of the boys' closet for two years. But one night not long ago, we remembered them, tried them on, and were pumped that they fit. So, not only did the boys get to wear some really cool original costumes. But they also had some pretty cool meaning behind them too.

Just to show you what a difference a year makes, here is last year's picture of the boys at Trunk or Treat. They were barely walking then, and had never had candy before. This year, they knew exactly what to do! Drew was so funny walking from car to car holding out his bucket for more.One of the best parts about this fun day is seeing every one's costumes. Here are our friends the Normans. And here are our babysitters from our beach trip Miss Wynn and Miss MelissaThe four of us:Drew hamming it up for meBen thinking very seriously about which piece of candy to eat next...and let me tell you, he ate more than his fair share. Most of that --I'm sorry to say-- was my fault because I kept bribing him with candy to keep his hat on and look at the camera for pictures. I know, I'm terrible. But last year I hardly got any pictures at all, and I'm pretty sure that one day of a sugar rush won't kill them.Here are the boys with most of their best buddies. Shown are Paisley and Brax in front with Xander, Jay, Drew and Ben in back. We sure did miss the rest of our gang: Avery, Eli, Parker and Fenley.And just for old times' sake, I included this picture from last year of most of the same buddies: Eli, Brax, Jay and the twins. (On a side note, we REALLY miss the Millers...especially this time of year, when Sallie always throws the BEST Halloween parties! We're thinking of yall!) I'll tell you the truth: afternoons like this are lots of fun. But looking back at the day and remembering that our boys are forming bonds with so many great friends is really what makes things like this special. We really love our friends, and we are so blessed to be raising our boys with so many people who love them, both near and far.

Happy Halloween, all!!!

Fun Fall Weekend

Like all other families that we know, we ALWAYS look forward to the weekends because we have such a great time playing with Daddy. And usually that fun is had by playing outside. But because we've had a week straight of hard rain -- and don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining -- our backyard was nothing but mud puddles.

That left me with three boys and a dog who desperately needed some playtime. So, what's a resourceful mommy to do? She brings the outside in! I moved the cars out and pulled the slide that Mimi and Pop gave the boys for their birthday, the wagon, the tunnel, some balls, some cars, a tricycle, and the bubble machine into the garage for a makeshift playground. Let me tell you, it was a HIT! The boys threw the balls for Reagan, played with all the toys, and even got to help Daddy use his tools for some garage projects he's been wanting to get done. They played so hard that they both took naps for over 3 hours! Here are a few pictures of the indoor fun.

After the boys woke up, the sun was out and it was a perfectly crisp fall afternoon. So we headed into downtown Franklin for the annual Pumpkin Festival. Look at the size of that pumpkin...and yes, it's real!
Here the boys and Daddy had to stop for some home-made Kettle Korn, one of Michael's favorites.
Michael had been smoking some ribs all day long, and after a fun day of playing the boys had worked up an appetite. Ben and Drew demonstrate the right way to eat fall-off-the-bone ribs:

And after all of that plus full bellies, what could be better than ending the day cuddling with BeBe while watching Dora the Explorer?! Even Reagan thought it was the perfect way to wind down.....much to Britt's dismay. ;

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gone Fishin'

I had just gone downstairs to finish cleaning up the breakfast mess after I had gotten the boys ready for the day, when I hear Drew say "shish, Beh! shish!" (fish, Ben! fish!). I then hear four feet running as hard as they can to the playroom, where I guess they got their new fishing poles that Aunt Chelle, Uncle Dan and Dressie gave them.

It was too quiet, so I headed upstairs, and this is what I saw as I was coming up: Two little feet and two fishing rods hanging over the bannister at the top of the stairs. Who taught them to do that?! It was so funny to me that I ran back downstairs to grab the camera. I just knew that my Daddy and their Uncle Dan would be so proud to see the little fishermen already in action....since they have both been itching to take the boys fishing for some time now.

P.S. Who's impressed with me for having two posts in the same week?! ;)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Birthday Weekend

Well, I really wish that I had lots of cute birthday pictures to post for you all. I wish that we 'd had the fun birthday party that we'd had planned for the boys. I wish I could report that the 2nd birthday party with our friends came off without a hitch. But since I can't say any of those things actually came to pass, I'll tell you what did happen.

Wednesday afternoon Drew woke up from his nap with a scalding hot fever. At that point he wouldn't let me take his temp, but it was pretty high. So we began the motrin/tylenol cocktail rotation, the cool washcloths, ice chips, juice, water, and every other thing I could think of to help my little man feel better. Even a trip to Dr. Leeper's office to make sure it wasn't ears (he acted GREAT, by the way, while we were there. Like he wasn't sick at all! Why do they do that?) All to no avail through the night, and all through the next day. He was pitiful. He would only lay on me in the rocking chair. All. Day. Long. And a looong day it was. So, now on top of being exhausted, I'm now getting very very worried about my sick little boy.

So, at a steady temp of 104.1 for over 2 hours, the on-call nurse said we needed to head to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. I'm trying to keep my crying baby calm, navigate through rush hour traffic, thinking of all the serious things that could be wrong. Fears of MRSA, flu or strep in my head. It was so bad. He screamed even louder and even longer while they ran all the tests, and my heart just broke for him.

All that to say, it was just a really bad virus that is just now coming to an end (thank goodness!). So, we had to cancel the birthday party, and had a small family party here at our house Friday night instead. Honestly, it was PERFECT! It was just what the boys needed, and they enjoyed being with all the grandparents, aunts and uncle, and their cousin more than I can even describe. We all had a great time just being all together. The only bad part was that it made us all wish we all lived closer. I love that our families get along so well, and can all enjoy each others' company. It is really such a blessing to have such a loving family to raise our boys in.

So, the boys really did have a great birthday, despite not feeling quite as good as usual. Hopefully we can meet up with our good buddies in the park one day this week to play and celebrate. We didn't get too many pictures, but here are a few that we snapped.

The only three things that made Drew feel any better (after the fever started coming down) were his paci, coloring and birthday cake. Here he is showing me the picture we made. But look at his little eyes.

Aunt Chelle showing the boys their cake.

Everybody singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles. We've been working really hard at showing two fingers when someone asks how old they are.
Once we uncovered the cake Ben, Drew and Dresden all had to have theirs right then. So here they are, eating their dessert first.

Dressie helping Drew down the slide. They just adore her and kept running around saying "Come on, Dres! Swide (slide), Dres!".

They're getting so big, and growing so much every day. It's hard to believe two years have already flown by. They are most definitely the best things that have ever happened to Michael and I, and we feel so blessed that God chose us to be their Mommy and Daddy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My New Adventure

After Darci's last post about finishing Brody's nursery, I had several of you sweet friends email me, wanting to see more of the painted canvases that I've done, and basically just encouraging me. And let me tell you, that was not only surprising, but also a huge blessing to me since I've been a little shy (I know, not typical of me at all) about telling anyone about this. And that's really silly since it's pretty hard to have a "little business" if no one knows anything about it.

But after the support I got from some good friends (you know who you are!) I figured that maybe now might be a good time to post a few pictures of some of the canvases I've done so far in the hopes that someone else will want me to help put the finishing touches on their little pumpkins' room. I'm not sure if you can see it, but on the sides of the canvases, each one has a different shape around it. The "one" has the deep red circles, "two" has cream triangels, "three" has light blue squares and "four" has dark brown stars.

This is the one that started it all. It hangs in Ben and Drew's nursery, and I started toying with the idea of making these to sell when my amazing husband gushed about how good it was and encouraged me to give it a shot.

This is just a sample I made to hang in one of the consignment stores here in Spring Hill.

This one is another sample, and these are Ben's feet. If you order this one either for yourself, or for a gift, it will come with extra paint for you to have footprints of the special little one.
And another sample, inspired by my good friend Carrie's nursery for her little boy Colt. The flash did funny things to the color of the background, but it's really a brick red, with dark brown lettering.

I've done a few others for some friends that I don't have pictures of, but these are some general ideas.

I'm working on some dump trucks, airplanes and cars for the boys' playroom right now. All this to say, I'd love to do something for you too! Just email me the color scheme of the room, the theme you have, and any other ideas you have about what you want. I'll be more than happy to add a personalized and special touch to the place that your little one calls home. You can get me at piddlespaints@aol.com. Happy Hobbying, everyone!