21 April 2010


Benny has gone through so many phases in his short life. The newborn phase, the baby phase, the toddler phase. Within each BIG phase are a succession of smaller phases: mobility, teething, independent eating, sleeping in a cradle, then crib, then bed. And in each of those phases are even smaller phases - some lasting as long as a month, and some passing so quickly I don't have the time to mourn them until much, much later. Some phases are good phases. Some are not so pleasant.

Since Benny turned two and a quarter, he's been going through the cliched "terrible twos" phase. I would agree with most parents that this is the most fun, yet most frustrating phase yet. He's an independent boy: He wants to do nearly everything himself - from getting into the car, to picking out his clothes. And in so many ways, he's still such a little boy. He still needs a kiss from me when he hurts himself, he still gets incredibly frustrated if something doesn't go his way. And so, the tantrums continue. They aren't nearly as bad as they once were, but they pop up from time to time.

So, last night when Benny got upset because we wouldn't put his pants back on after sitting on the potty (we were going to get him dressed for bed soon anyway), he threw a massive fit. I'm talking screaming at the top of his lungs during his time out, nearly passing out from crying so hard. When the time out was over, we talked about how to react to something when he's frustrated. It's not appropriate to cry, but it is appropriate to talk about it. When I asked him what he was planning to do the next time he was frustrated he said: "Say 'Doggonit!' I'm frustrated!'"

It's at times like these, I am so glad for the phases and the sheer entertainment they bring to my life.

13 April 2010


I'm not much of a God person, but I am screaming "Halleluja!" tonight. The cabinets are painted. Yessirree! Those cabinets have the final coat of paint. I never, ever thought I would see this day. Granted, we have to let the paint cure so we can't move in for another week or so, but the end is in sight. I'm going to start hauling all of our kitchen items up from the basement and wash them this week. I can't wait!

It's been five months - FIVE MONTHS - since we started this project. It's far from over, but at least we don't have to store our dishes, spices, food, cookware, etc. in the living room any more. And I can be thankful for the small things.

10 April 2010

Um, Er, Well... What the Hell?

It's not often that I'm struck speechless twice in the same week. I like to think of myself as a fairly open person. Sure, I have my moments of making snap judgments of people, but I really try to be welcoming and nice.

Well, in this blog installment, allow me to explain why I'm trying to figure out how to stop being quite so welcoming and a little more mean. And it involves a new fence.

Yes, it's true, I cursed that fence just a few days ago. I wasn't sure it was entirely necessary to tackle this summer - particularly because the kitchen is not yet finished. Sure, Benny can both run out into the alley and into the front yard freely. And he can run fast. But, if we keep an eye on him, it's not such a problem.

Today I have been convinced that we need a fence as soon as possible. The convincing had nothing to do with Nate's persuasive power or Benny's speed. It had to do with our neighbor's complete and utter lack of boundaries.

The neighbor in question is sweet. A nice lady who talks to us (a lot) from over the chain link fence. She has violated the boundaries of neighborliness before. All me to provide some examples:
  1. Hitting one of our friend's car that was parked in front of our house. If you've been to my house, you know that there aren't a whole lot of cars parked on the street. There were at least two car spaces between the neighbor's car and the friend's car. This was the neighbor's fourth accident in about six months. She was slightly worried about her insurance. You think?
  2. Crashing a dinner party. Last summer a different friend was visiting and we were sitting outside, enjoying the lovely Colorado summer. Said neighbor walked around our house, sat herself down at the patio table and proceeded to talk to us and ignore the fact that we were entertaining. Nate went inside for a beer. She chirped up and said: "Yes, I'd love a beer."
These are just two of many examples. I'm trying to establish a pattern here. We don't want to be mean, so we allow this behavior. Today, however, today, the neighbor did something truly strange. Benny and I had been playing in the front yard while Nate worked in the backyard. Benny and I made our way to the backyard to see how Nate was doing and we see the neighbor walking into our yard, decked out in her crocs, her sun hat, and a huge, flat dish thing. She came over to root through our newly dug dirt piles for marbles. That's right: marbles. I was dumbstruck. I didn't know what to say. Nate was inside and said that she had talked to him about it. He was too dumbstruck to say what the hell, so he said OK. If we had a fence, this sort of thing would not happen. So, I say, bring on the privacy fence. Make it big, make it tall, and make it impenetrable by the snoopy neighbor. I am fully supportive of this yard project!

09 April 2010

Um, Er, Well...

I'm speechless. Truly speechless. I have no updates on the kitchen because there are none. There's a rumor that the painter is coming on Monday to finish up the cabinets. I'm not necessarily holding my breath. And even if he does come, I don't think he'll be able to finish by Monday evening. So, we're still cooking in the dining room/living room. Nate seems to have warmed to the idea. I, however, am becoming increasingly impatient.

And then, and then, and then. Nate has decided to put in a fence in the backyard. I do not agree with this decision, but I've been out ruled. Long story short, some men are outside right now ripping up our sidewalk and the cement for the carport. They've also dug all sorts of holes and trenches because we need to put in drains to direct water away from our foundation. We have officially disturbed the huge hornet's nest that is the mess of our back yard.

To top it all off, an electrician is coming over next week to re-pull all of our wires. He'll be hanging new lights too.

Might I remind you that we haven't even finished the kitchen. I have learned something about my husband in this process. He gets just about finished with a project and then moves on to the next one. I really want to believe him when he says that by the end of May, the kitchen will be completed, the yard will be on the mend, and all the electrical will be updated. More updates (I really hope we have updates) as they are available.

06 April 2010


Benny sat at the table a few weeks back and declared, "I don't like vegetables." We deduced this dislike some time ago. He never eats vegetables, save for sweet corn and cleverly disguised avocado.

And yet, this kid will eat mounds of broccoli. He refuses carrots, squash, cucumbers - anything green, red, or yellow that contains seeds. And by refuse, I mean throw off his plate. But he will eat broccoli. Tonight we made homemade mac cheese with broccoli. He didn't eat any mac, but ate all of the broccoli and requested more. Can't aruge with that.

01 April 2010

Chew Toy

This is one of my favorite pictures of Benny. When he was teething, he was a pretty good guy. I never noticed a major change in mood or behavior. He didn't seem to want chew toys either. Nate and I felt really, really lucky.

And then we visited my aunt and uncle in California. They both have grown children. My aunt mentioned that her kids' cribs were lined with teeth marks because they had gnawed on the edges when they were teething. What a funny story. Then, when Benny was about eight months old, I went in his room after his nap to pick him up. The sun was hitting his crib just right. And I noticed a bunch of little teeth marks lining the crib. His very own chew toy! One day, I caught him in the act.

Big. Like, Really BIG!

The other day a co-worker mentioned that she saw a pregnant lady who looked like she was ready to burst. I said, "You ain't seen nothing yet!" and proceeded to find a picture of myself when I was uber preggers with Benny. Here's the picture:

Her response: "Wow!" Laugh laugh. Ha ha. And then I had a moment of clarity, "I'm going to get THAT BIG again." No more laughing. Sigh. The thing is, I wasn't even full term in that picture. That was probably taken around 36 weeks. And I'm well on my way. I can still wear some of my normal pants (only because my bump is setting up high this time), but I'm already in maternity shirts. I had hoped to wait until at least five months to fully transition into maternity gear. Now it's looking more like four months. Yikes! It's a good thing babies are so freaking cute!