Sunday, February 21, 2010

Life With My Bambinos...


This week we went sledding with some friends of ours. We went in the evening so the daddies could come too, and Anna thought it was the coolest ever that we were sledding in the dark. They took us to a new hill, which added to the excitement too. It was tons of fun, and we all got into it with even the mommies and daddies having sledding races. We decided to stop at a Tim Horton's on the way home for a donut and hot chocolate. The pictures above (don't mind Benjamin's hat hair) show how much Ben-Ben LOVED the donuts. The first picture shows him stuffing an entire donut hole into his mouth, good grief. And the second picture captures how in awe Benjamin was of the display case. He kept running over to it and pointing at everything, and saying, "Ooo, yuuum!" And isn't Ben-Ben (and Anna) just too cute in his over-all snow pants.

Okay, so Benjamin has been OBSESSED with the "pretend food" lately. He has always liked to play with it, but it wouldn't hold his attention for more than 5 - 10 minutes. Now the toy food is all he ever wants to play with, and it occupies him for hours during the day. Seriously. Until now, even his most favorite toys and activities - play-doh, toy food, coloring, Anna's dolls, cars, books, throwing balls, and blocks - wouldn't hold his attention for very long. I remember Anna having a much longer attention span at the same age, so it was a new (and yes, a bit frustrating) experience getting used to Ben-Ben moving on to new activities after a few minutes.
So, the pretend food. I don't know what it is. Maybe he is just getting older, or maybe he likes that he can name most of the food. But he will play with it for hours! He'll try to stuff all the food in the basket, which just barely fits, and takes some balancing skills. He'll name all the food over and over and over and over, and if there is one he doesn't know the name of he'll say to me, "Ah-dah-dah?," and I'll tell him the name. He'll use the spoons and pans as drums. He'll put food in the containers and stir as fast as he can, and say over and over, "Cook, cook, cook!" He just looooves it!
Speaking of all the words Ben-Ben is learning to say, here are a few of my favorite things he has said lately:
1) I saw a huge stain on one of their toys, and couldn't tell what it was, so I said, "What in the..." and Ben-Ben said, "Heck." I wasn't going to fill in the 'heck' part that time, but apparently sometimes I do. It sounded a little like the way he says yuck, so I had to investigate a bit. And yes, my one year old says heck. But, he only says it when someone says "what in the" first. hehe.
2) Whenever Ben-Ben sees any letters or words, especially when we are driving around, he will always say, "B, A, B, A, H! B, H! B, H!" And he will say it over and over, and louder and louder until you acknowledge him: "Yes, Benjamin, Do you see letters? Do you see A, B, C's?" And he will calmly respond, "Yeah." I can tell that he is so proud of himself for recognizing it, and he wants to make sure that everyone else sees it too. I just don't know why he doesn't call them A, B, C's?
3) Benjamin has been way in to coloring lately. He likes repeating the names of the colors, then he'll color a little bit and say, "Preeee!" (Pretty.) The funny thing is, whenever he uses the white crayon, which of course doesn't show up on the page, Ben-Ben will say, "Uh-oh, uh-oh. Broke!" Hehe. He then hands it to me, as if I would be able to "fix" the white crayon so it will work. It cracks me up every time.

On the same sledding adventure as mentioned above - Anna with her good friend Maddie. The first picture is the only one I got of the sledding. I thought it was cute that the girls wanted to sit at their own table at Tim Horton's. So grown up. But then, Maddie's little brother wanted to sit with them too. (I'd never been to a Tim Horton's before, and was happy with the quality and price...although it probably helped that we only ordered one hot chocolate and Ethan and I didn't get any donuts. :)

Anna loves pretending she is a princess. Anna got the dress and gloves for Christmas (from Gma Suse, thanks grams!), which really helps with the pretending. I helped her put those on, and then she put on some additional accessories on her own. She really gets into character too. Anna's movements get slower and more graceful, and she has a certain voice she uses when she is a princess. So cute! We let her eat in her dress one time, because the dinner wasn't messy, and she took it so seriously. She kept asking if she was being "polite and proper" like a princess. And of course, she was. Oh, and she would even daintily dab at the corners of her mouth with a napkin. Where does she learn this? Books, a movie? It makes me smile. :)
The next two pictures are part of our girl time during Ben-Ben's nap. Anna chose the color for my toes. And for herself - she has been wanting to do "rainbow colors" on her nails for a long, long time. So, we used all the colors we had and Anna loved how it turned out. She was soooo excited to go to pre-school the next day and show all her friends and teacher. How funny!
Okay, I have one final story about my sweet, beautiful Anna. She has been very curious about adoption lately. You know, what it means, who we know that is adopted (a few kids from story time), why kids are adopted, where their mommies and daddies are, etc. After one of these conversations, Anna looked a little sad. I thought it was because she felt bad for kids who are adopted. No, no. When I asked her what was wrong, she said in such a sincerely sad, and disappointed voice, "I wish I was adopted.......From China." What? Sorry your life is so disappointing, Miss Anna. At least you have a mommy and daddy that love you to pieces, even if we did not adopt you, and even if you're not Chinese. hehe.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"All You Need Is Love..."

Love, love, love. Valentine's Day was filled with love in the Rayhorn home. It feels like it's doubly special - the 'romantic love' Ethan and I celebrate, and the sweet 'family love' we celebrate with the kiddies. As a little Valentine's treat for all of you, I am including TONS of adorable pictures of my two sweeties. Hehe.

Seriously, having kids makes every holiday that much more exciting, special, and fun! The first picture above, is Anna holding the valentines she gave out to the kids in her pre-school class. (In addition to the v-day party, it was also pajama day at her school, which explains the nightgown and slippers. :) Anna was so excited to go to the store with me and pick out some valentines. She was so thoughtful when we were filling them out too. Anna really thought about what each card said, and who it best described in her class. So sweet!!! I also sent some Hershey kisses so she could give each of her classmates a sweet 'kiss' with the card. It was soooo fun doing that with Anna Ellene. Love her!

These pictures show all of our Valentine's festivities(taken after church on Sunday) - a few of the cupcakes Anna and I made together (like last year, we shared most of them with our neighbors...Anna loved that), crafts Anna and Ben-Ben have done lately, the Valentine bag filled with sweet notes and treats from Anna's friends from school, Valentine notes from me and Grandma Susie-Q, and last, but not least, a beautiful bouquet of red roses and carnations that Anna received from Grandpa Dew. That was an extremely fun surprise for her. Ethan answered the door, and the delivery person said, "I have flowers here for Anna Rayhorn." Anna was standing right there. She said, in complete awe, "I am Anna Rayhorn." Then she ran down the hall to the bathroom (where I was getting ready) screaming, "MOM!!! Guess what I got?!?!?!? I got flowers and they're just for ME!!!!" So sweet, so fun.
On Saturday, we decided to have a fun, family "adventure." Kind of just because, kind of to do something special together on Valentine's weekend, kind of because we haven't done anything out of the ordinary for forever. We drove to Ann Arbor, just an hour away, and went to a Children's Museum there. (It's part of our pass for the Flint Children's Museum, nice!) After, we drove around Ann Arbor for a bit, found a place to have dinner (yeah, we went out as a family for romantic :), and just really hyped up the exploring and adventure aspect of it. It was such a fun day! I really loved Ann Arbor, and had never been before.
Anna loved the museum, and was old enough to find most of the exhibits interesting. It was different from Flint's museum - more science oriented. (Side note - I've been trying to be good about letting Anna choose her outfits more often, which means she is wearing dresses more often. What is it with little girls and dresses? She has so many cute clothes that aren't She needs to branch out. :)
Ben-Ben found a ramp and entertained himself for a long time before moving on to something else. That boy is full of a limitless supply of energy. Consequently, it keeps me moving too, so that's good. :)
They have been featuring a "Bob The Builder" exhibit for the last few months, and Ben-Ben thought it was soooo exciting, since he knows who Bob is. (We have a few Bob books he likes to read.) The picture above is Benjamin in the little builder area, hard at work sketching plans. Anna is doing the life size bubble contraption.
The water area was something they both enjoyed. I love Anna's organization of her little aquatic family. And Benjamin spent most the time seeing how much he could splash.
Last three pictures: The foam blocks Benjamin is sitting in was part of the "Bob the Builder" exhibit. I'm pretty sure you were supposed to see what kind of cool things you could build with it. Ethan and Ben-Ben, however, would push them all into a big pile and jump in. Typical. :) There was a life size Bob that both kids were pretty apprehensive of...even though he was super friendly. Anna finally agreed to a picture, if I'd hold her hand. She isn't usually my shy one, but I have to admit, the size of Bob's head is a bit creepy. And for the final picture - our little famdango being recorded on the heat sensor video camera.
What a fun weekend. I love Valentine's Day and use it as a time to focus on all the people in my life that I love and am thankful for. I loved that I got to spend it with my three favorite Valentines. "Love Is All You Need..."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Day...

Last Wednesday we had a snow day! It was sooooo exciting. The best part was that the University was closed too, so we had Ethan to ourselves all day (besides a few hours of studying in the afternoon. :) But what a treat.

We haven't had real snow on the ground since the middle of January, I believe. So this was exciting. I had almost given up on getting more sledding weather. We, of course, bundled up and spent a lot of the day outdoors. I love the picture of the kiddies above, all puffy, hot and waiting to go outside. We put the extra layer of socks on Ben-Ben because he can not stand to get any snow on him at all...even if just a tiny bit touches his wrist or's over. hehe.
In less than a day of snowing, the ground was covered with tons of fresh, clean, fluffy flakes. Beautiful.
We decided to go to our city's park, which is just a few blocks away, because we can sled there AND play on the equipment. Fun, fun. In the pictures above, poor, little Benjamin is getting cleaned off after a face plant. Anna is making a snow angel. And then the kiddies are following daddy to the merry-go-round. "Wait for me!" Anna and Ben had such a good work out that day...the snow was up to their waist in a few spots. (It was a good work out for Ethan and I too - pulling kids on sleds, running around, snow ball fight, etc. :)
And finally, two more pictures of our sweets playing. What a simple, yet joyful day! Loved it.
(We had a fun Valentine's too, but I'll get to that in a bit.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Photo Update...

My last entry did not contain a single photo, so I thought I'd make up for it with all of these:

Anna wanted me to make a video of her in her current favorite outfit. I snuck some snap shots in too. The one above is right after they gave each other a little hug and kiss. SO SWEET! (Ben-Ben has been big into giving each family member kisses lately...I just couldn't quite catch theirs at the right second.)

Benjamin doing some cheering...and it was pretty manly cheering. hehe. And Anna let Ben-Ben borrow her hat again for some horsey ridin'. It is quite the favorite accessory these days.

We had a little family "party" for the Super Bowl. We all wore blue and white, did some cheering, had some snacks, tossed a ball, and watched the pre-game stuff and kick off. Then the kiddies went to bed, and we could watch the game in peace. Colts lost. Boo! (Ben-Ben wouldn't keep his blue jacket on, but his onesie had footballs on it, so we're good. :)

Me and my sweetest little pea, Anna Bean. Me and my silliest little man, Ben-Ben.
1) Anna doing some 'yee-haw'ing. 2) Anna was feeling too tired to do any more cheering...this was after her 'cheer off' with daddy. And last picture, 3) Anna and I had school with her stuffed animals this week. Here she is 'reading' her animals a story.
1) This first picture just kills me! When did Benjamin get so big that he fills up his crib?!?!?! 2) Reading to himself. "Look! Giraffe!" 3) I tried to get a shot of Ben's adorable curls, but you can't see them very well in this picture. Take my word for it, they're cute! Benjamin turns two in just two months, and he's never had a hair I've had to wait a long time to start seeing this hair growth. hehe.
I think that's all for now...just a 'short' one for this week. Buenas noches!