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Ben's Very FIRST School Play!

This Christmas, Ben had his first of many school performance :) It was the Christmas program for preschool, and even though they're only two, his age group got to participate!

As with all "firsts", we didn't know what he'd think about being up on stage in front of crowd, but he didn't bat an eye!! Well, OK, actually, when he saw Mark come close to take pictures, Ms. Nita (his teacher) said he got a little whiney for Daddy, but she reminded him of their song they needed to sing in order to go back to the classroom to get some candy. That apparently did the trick ASAP, ha!!!

Singing songs, doing the sign language...

 Having fun!!  I was SO PROUD (and SO relieved he wasn't scared!)

 Lots of kids...the two year olds came on stage with the entire rest of the preschool at the end of the performace for their part.  You can see his teacher Ms. Nita keeping everyone going...I don't know how she does it!
 Ughhh....getting boring.  How much longer do we have to sing before I get that candy??

 Boredom = picking at the hairbow in front of you.  Apparently the candy trick didn't work for the little girl next to Ben!  He didn't even notice her the whole time, LOL!

Here's a little 1-minute video of the performance :) (Remember these videos won't work from the email; you must click through and actually go to the blog webpage!)

Here's another 2-minute clip that's pretty funny...Ben has a hard time keeping his hands to himself, and the nose-picker beside him (from the first video) becomes a screaming banshee!!

Lastly, all the children worked on some very special art for the school fundraiser that Mommy and Daddy could purchase (tee hee!)'s Ben's ~ worth every penny!!!


Santa Baby!!

Last week, Anna got to meet Santa! Of course, big brother Ben was there to show her the ropes :) We really weren't sure how Ben would act now that he's old enough to have a real opinion about sitting on a strange-looking stranger's lap! I had a feeling he'd do OK, though, given we had the following exchange earlier this month when we waved at the mall Santa as we passed by:

Me: Ben, that man you waved at is named Santa Claus. He brings you presents!! We're going to come back when Daddy's with us and sit on his lap and tell him what you want for Christmas.

Ben: **blank stare**

Me: You know, presents, like a puzzle, or books, or a school bus toy...

Ben: (leans forward in the stroller) "GET ME TO HIM!!"

Bahahahahaha!!!! How funny!! School buses are his favorite thing to see and talk about right now, so I knew that would be enticing!

So, we sat Anna on Santa's lap first in case Ben freaked out, we'd at least have a good picture of her. Here she is ~ Anna's first Christmas!

Ben did great, though, and seemed to have fun talking to Santa. Of course, he's been asked a million times, "What do you want Santa to bring you?" and he has consistently said the following:

1. a present (always the first response)
2. a pink present
3. elephant
4. tiger
5. a vitamin
6. alligator

We'll see how Santa does with that list ;)

And here they are sweet!

Well, it's Christmas Eve and gifts are assembled and wrapped, and Santa's come to see us! Time for Mama and Daddy to (finally) go to bed and rest up for the big day tomorrow...I can't wait to see Ben's face in the morning since this year, he really "gets" the Santa thing! Merry Christmas and Good night!


Anna ~ 3 Months

Our sweet little girl is three months old!!  She is really becoming so much more "person"-like...smiling at us, even laughing sometimes :)  She loves Mommy's ponytail when it bops around as I'm looking down while changing her diaper or clothes and just beams when I talk to her, even waking up from naps with huge grins!!

Anna has moved into size 3 Month clothes and is still in size 1 diapers.  At night, she usually goes to bed around 9 or 9:30 and wakes up once during the night around 3-ish.  Then it's up around 7 or 7:30 to start the day....but not for long, because she always wants to nap again around 8:30.  A handful of times, she has slept all night (well, at least until 5 or 6:00), but as of now, that's the exception and not the rule.  Maybe soon, though!! 

Everywhere I go, everyone says what a SWEET baby she is...and it's really true.  She's very content and hardly ever cries unless she's super hungry or tired.  And then, just picking her up and holding her (and a paci, of course!) will comfort her. 

Anna's listening to big brother Ben read her a story.

By this time in Ben's life, his eyes had started to show little flecks of brown and green that went on to increase until his eyes were completely hazel.  Anna's are still quite blue, though, and are actually a bit lighter blue close to her pupil than they were at birth.  Maybe she'll keep those gorgeous blue eyes she got from her daddy!!  


November 2011

Well, I'm a little behind on posting here lately, but we had a fun November and I wanted to post some pictures.  Ben is still doing GREAT at school!!  He adores his teacher Ms. Nita and runs into her class every excited to be there!!  I am so thankful he has a teacher that loves and cares for him so much :)  Here's his very first "school picture"....I know he's got many more to go in the coming years, but it's going to be hard to top this one!  I think they did a wonderful job, but of course, Mommy might be a little biased ;)

We attended our annual family reunion "Sumner/Caldwell" football was Anna's first one!  It was so cold, Anna, Ben, and Mommy stayed in the car for the picnic part.  Thank goodness both kiddos were asleep.  Then we went to the mall and strolled around while the older boys went to the game.  It was great seeing family and everyone just loved meeting little Anna.

Go Heels!
  Anna and Mommy both had colds this month.  Again.  Poor little baby has already had two in her life and she had started sleeping through the night a little, but then reverted back to her newborn ways waking up every few hours because she couldn't breathe.  I even heard her sneeze herself awake once!

 Ohhhhh, the leaves.  And more leaves.  Ben has had a great time this fall thanks to the leaves.  Mark has not, ha ha!!  He was so tired of blowing leaves by the time it was all done, I thought we might lose a tree or two!
 Ben went to school to eat lunch for Chandler's birthday this year (at Chandler's request, too)!  All the kids just go crazy over Ben and think he's so cute and fun.  They want him to say their name or sit beside him and things like that, so Ben loves it, too.

 Anna....starting to hold her head up a little!!!

Last but not least, we had a great time celebrating Thanksgiving.  We ate at Grandmamma and Grandaddy's house this year.  Ben wore his turkey headband from school, and we made place cards in the form of pilgrims and Indians (oh, and a turkey!) for everyone.  It was hard to decide who was the biggest turkey in the family (ha!) but in the end, the honor went to Uncle Tom.  After all, his name is "Tom"!!


Anna's Swanky Photoshoot

I finally got the images from Anna's newborn session from the photographer, so here, three months later, are some of her at just four days seems like just yesterday!  Swanky5Studios took the pictures, and I just love ALL of them :)


~ Halloween 2011 ~

This year Halloween was super fun because it was Ben's first "real" Halloween that he understood the concept of dressing up and getting candy.  His first bag of loot came from school, where they had a candy parade though the church halls.  He was to dress up as a Biblical character, so Mama made him a king costume from a bathrobe and (spray painted) Burger King crown ~ he loved it and was so proud!!

King Ben
Here he is at school with his friend Riley. His teacher says they are two peas-in-a-pod because they are the "talkers" in the class...ha ha!!

For the actual trick-or-treating on Halloween, Ben dressed up as a golfer.  I really can't believe he wore the whole costume, including the hat, the whole time, but we kept saying how he was "just like Daddy", so I think he felt really cool :)

We had pictures made as part of a charity event, and both of them were super cute!  Anna wasn't any particular costume....just a cutie pie!!

On Halloween night, we went to a friend's neighborhood to gather with all of Ben's little buddies. 

Ben and Sophia

Anna in her Happy Halloween tutu and Candy Corn socks!
We might be mean parents, but after the night was over, we just hid Ben's candy bag and never mentioned it again....whew!  We had our taste of sugar highs and crashes from the school candy and didn't want to repeat it!  Ben has quite a big sweet tooth and once he got a taste of it, he constantly pestered us for candy for DAYS!!
Ben, Liam, Sophia, and Clara

Anna must have seen a ghost...ha ha!!

 But then it was all smiles!!  She did so great riding in the stroller, even though it was FREEZING outside!!

Fun times and great memories for our family!!


Anna ~ 2 Months

Another month has flown by, and Anna's two months old.  At her check-up this month, she weighed 10 pounds, 7 ounces ~ wow!!  I'm thrilled because she's gained about an ounce per day since her last check-up and that's GREAT :)  She's all grown out of size Newborn clothes and diapers!

Anna - Just over a month old

She still sleeps quite a bit, and we're not really on a schedule yet, but that will come soon, I'm sure.  She does eat around 9:30 each night and has recently started sleeping from about 10:30 to at least 5 a.m. or later!!  That is, until she got ANOTHER cold this week, and so has been waking up more frequently by sneezing herself awake, or being too stuffed up to breathe.  I feel so sorry for her!  I'd take the cold for her if I could, but I have it, too, ha ha!!

Anna got to meet her Great-Grandmother Brackett this month!

She also got to meet her cousin Hank - he was practicing for his new brother due in January.  I'm not sure WHAT he thought of little Anna!

Besides sleeping and eating, what much else does a baby do?  Not much!  Anna did start cooing at us about a week or two ago, and it's absolutely adorable.  She likes to say Ah-goo and Uga, uga :)  I could listen to her perfect little voice all day long!


Fender's Farm

It seems like just yesterday, we were taking little Ben to Fender's Farm LAST we are again, and he's so big!!  Mason and Chandler got to go with us this year, and it was so fun to see them all play together and have such fun. 

Growing here for the same pose from last year!!  He's all the way up the the "3" now!!
 Fun times on the bouncy jumper and go-cart track with Mason...

 ...and getting lost (literally - we had a moment of terror when Ben got lost once!) with Chandler.
 Boy Stuff:  finding bugs with Daddy, and feeding!

 More fun on the playground!

 Mama and Anna....this is usually what everyone sees of her (which I like because strangers aren't poking their fingers in her face since she's hidden!!)
 Here she is!!