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Happy Days

I sure haven't been doing well on posting frequency the past few months.  I'm only averaging about one a month, and that's not nearly enough to cover all the fun we've been having! :)  And that's the reason the posts have been few and far between...but, I'm ok with soaking up all these sweet times with Ben and Anna ~ there will be time to post later :)

So, what have we been doing?! 

Teaching Anna how to dance!!

Transitioning Anna from two naps to one...

Ben was invited to about 10 birthday parties in the past few months ~ whew!

Haircuts at "Earl's House", as Ben calls is (he must think Earl lives at the barbershop:)...

...and PASTA Painting!!
Snuggling, even if just for a brief moment :)
This is our "Thankful Tree".  We started off with no leaves, and each night everyone would write something they were thankful for on a leaf.  We filled up the tree and it looked beautiful!  Some of my favorites from Ben were:  lightbulbs, Easter eggs, candy, smoke alarms, "my tummy doesn't hurt", Bunny, and "my Mommy".
Grocery shopping...Ben has been LOVING coming with me and pushing his own cart.  He minds so well, stays right with me, and you can really tell he feels like such a big boy!!  The cutest part is that he brings Bunny and puts him in the cart where the kids usually ride - ha ha!!
Finally, one of Ben's favorite activities - making cupcakes.  Turkey cupcakes for his class party:
Wowee!!  Super busy we've been, but it's been a blast!


Family Reunion Fun!

It's that time of year again!  Our annual family-football-game-reunion-"Sumner/Caldwell" weekend in Chapel Hill, NC!  Ben was SUPER excited to be reunited with his cousins Hank and Cody.

They had an absolute ball staying up until 9:30 both nights doing fun stuff like this bubble bath!

Anna looked adorable in her little UNC cheerleader outfit :)

She had fun with Mimi at the picnic...

The whole family!!! 

Anna ~ consoling Rammy over the Tarheel loss, haha!

One last one of my precious babies :)


Halloween Cuties :) 2012

We had a great Halloween this year!  Ben was a shark, and Anna was a cupcake.

Here is Ben making his "shark face"...

...and Anna in all her cupcake-cuteness :)

We went over to a friend's neighborhood and met up with all of their little buddies to go Trick-or-Treating.  Ben and Sophia led the way!!

Anna is, of course, too little to eat candy and just started walking.  So, she got to be chauffered in the wagon from house to house.  Sweet  little thing had on so many layers, she just sat there in the wagon with her arms sticking out like the kid from "A Christmas Story"!!

Getting some help from his big brothers!!!!
Anna, quite the trooper :)

And one more - I  just couldn't resist!  Doesn't it look like he's contemplating EATING YOU!?!


Ben and Anna this Fall

Ben and Anna have been keeping Mama super busy these days!!  We've had tons of birthday parties to go to, lots of playing outside on those warm fall days, and just growing up fast in general!

Lately, Ben is "obsessed", for lack of better word, with garage doors and smoke detectors.  He points them out everywhere we go, and can really pitch a typical toddler-fit if we forget to let him open or close the garage door...Every.Single.Time.  He's really into the Cars movies, and Mater is his favorite character.  We have Lightening McQueen and/or Mater books, vitamins, underwear, toothbrushes, Thermoses, cups, pajamas, toys, of course - you name it, we've got it, and Ben loves it!!

He's also really enjoying school, and is learning phonics sounds this year.  I really think he'll be reading in no time!  Ben loves numbers and letters, and can even write the whole alphabet (with sidewalk chalk in the driveway is his favorite).

A first for Ben this month was riding a pony!!  His friend Emery had a pony-themed birthday party, and Ben got to go for a ride on "Patches". 

Anna is really on the move these days...she still has that precious little wobble when she walks, and I could just follow her around all day, admiring how cute she is (of course, her Mama's not biased - Ha!)  Here she is, practicing that walking!!

She looks up to Ben so much already, and is constantly following him around, and copying everything he does.  And I mean everything.  It took me a few days to realize what was going on at first, but I kept noticing she was walking over to this one particular corner in the kitchen and shrieking, then toddling around on her way.  Then it dawned on me that she was putting herself in timeout!!  The screeching is what tipped me off, because everytime Ben has to go to time out, he does this certain screech (that he knows I can't stand) in protest.  So, sweet little Anna will just randomly throughout the day go to the timeout corner and start squawking...ha ha ha!!!

Self-imposed Time Out!!
The falling leaves have been a good source of entertainment for both of them.  At first, Ben was in awe, and wanted to save every single leaf he found.  Well, then "Fall" really got here and we were overtaken by leaves, so that didn't last long (thank goodness!).  Anna had a ball playing last weekend as we raked and blew the little Pumpkin that I ADORE!!!


Baby Steps

Anna can walk!!  A few weeks after her first birthday, Miss Anna started standing up all by herself, and then one day, she just took a few steps right before our eyes!!  Her little cautious toddle is SO precious...she gets her feet set really wide for extra balance and bee bops around so cute.  Just yesterday, she started turning while walking, too.  Ben gets really excited when she walks, and almost every time shouts, "ANNA'S WALKING!!!"  So sweet!  Here's a video of some of her first steps :)


Our Little Lady Bug

For Anna's first birthday, we celebrated our sweet girl with a Lady Bug birthday party :)  Here's the birthday girl in her lady bug dress...there was a lady bug hair bow, too, but the longest it stayed in was about 20 seconds!!

Here is the invitation ~ Ben helped me make these by punching out the black dots and he was SO very proud of himself!

My favorite part was the month-by-month progression of Anna pictures, showing how she grew and changed over her first year.  It's still hanging up because we love looking at all those precious moments :)

Lots of family and friends came to see Miss Anna on her big day.  Grandmama and Grandaddy Morin, Grandpa and Sue Williams, Nana and Uncle Tom from home came, as well as Meme and Pop, and her GREAT Grandfather Dunn and Mrs. Alice came from Gastonia!!

She loved her black and red high chair tutu, but not so much the birthday hat Mama made for her :( 

"Happy Birthday to You!"
Her cake was a ladybug, of course!

Anna was curious, but not too crazy about this cake smashing business...

She even decided to share some with big brother Ben!

We also had cupcakes for our friends, and cute little lady bug pretzels.

Our poor little Lady Bug...enough of this being MESSY business.  "Clean me up now, please!!"

Anna had lots of fun opening gifts (and got lots of "help" from her eager brother Ben!).  She got several baby dolls, a tea set, a baby stroller that she loves pushing around, and dinosaur rider/walker that she imitates and says, "ROAR!" cute!!  Outfits, hairbows, books, and stuffed animals, gifts for little Anna!

Favors for our friends in thanks for coming..."Lady Bug Food" black and red M&Ms.

Happy Girl ~ ~ ~ "I'm One!"


Back to School, But Not for Long!

The end of summer brings us "Back to School"!!  Ben was excited to see all his friends he'd missed over the summer, and Mama was excited to be getting back into a routine :)  Here's Ben on his first day of school in the 3 Year Old Class with Mrs. Linda.

Before he could even get settled in, though, we took and end-of-summer trip to the beach ~ just Mom and Ben!!  We went with a big group of gals, young and old(er), so Ben was the Man of the House.  I think he LOVED it!

Fun times with his best buddy Sophia.

We had such a great time together, just the two of us...Ben was super good in the car both going and coming home, playing with just two toys the whole ride!  We only stopped once for a special treat :)

Lovin' the sunshine, and having Mommy all to himself!!

Bubbles on the beach!

A highlight of the trip for Ben was the bike ride to town for ice cream.  Little Man was so fast on that bike we had to stop and wait for everyone to catch up :)

My Sweetpea and me :)