Thursday, August 30, 2007

Update, finally

Hello blog-o-sphere!!!

The Benson's are alive and kicking...each other, the walls, the furniture, whatever gets in our way!

Okay, that's a bit melodramatic. But everyone is doing great around here. M is quickly approaching two and pushing the limits every time she opens her mouth, moves her feet, wiggles in her thinking chair...basically, all day long every single day. We love going to gymnastics together. We've been four times and each time she amazes me because she remembers so much from the time before. She is really attracted to one particular friend there--it's so sweet to watch her watch this little girl who is several months older. M is having a huge language explosion. Everything is "No, mine!" or "That's mine!" or "My car, truck, book, TV." When she's not proclaiming her possession, she's quite delightful to be around. She's working so hard on her manners--saying ma'am and sir, please, thank you. She's got quite a funny personality. She loves to play tricks like hiding and jumping out or saying "boo!" to try to scare you.

H and I went to my first appt for Baby Butterbean, who is REALLY a tiny, tiny butterbean. We thought I was almost 9 weeks along, but I'm barely 7. Baby Butterbean is due April 16th, yeah!!! I'll have another ultrasound in early October to make sure that due date is accurate. If that date is accurate, I'll miss the last 5 weeks of school, which is a-okay with me. As I was looking at my calendar, I realized this pregnancy is timed so well: I get a week to rest at Thanksgiving (thanks OB and Nona for always hosting the big family dinner!), two weeks at Christmas, and my whole spring break before this little bundle of joy will arrive. I'm feeling great. Some nausea that is fleeting and lots of exhaustion. The one frustrating thing about only being 7 weeks is that I still have 5 weeks of exhaustion instead of only 3!

So, that's what we've been up to lately. I can't wait to take a minute to read all of your updates. I miss Nadia and Zoe, Melody's three boys, those great toddlers over at the Land of K.A, life in Australia, the journey of raising the Tars. I promise I'll be by soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alive and well

I can't believe I haven't posted since Saturday! Wow...

I'm alive and well and so is everyone in my family.

I have so much to post about, including a super sweet blogger award by my blogbestfriend Melody and a meme from my other blogfriend Colleen, but I'm very much past tired, so I must go to bed. I REALLY will post and update this weekend sometime.

Have I mentioned that I have the BEST class ever????

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Life with M, lately

This is what a 22 month old looks like when she doesn't want to get out of the bathtub. Clean hair. Clean body. Clean teeth. Face down in a very recently drained tub.
Me: Ready to get out?
M: Nope.
Me: (two minutes later) It's time to get out.
M: Nope
Me: (about 1.5 minutes later) I'm getting you out now. You've got lots of chill bumps. It's time for you to put baby to bed. (The doll she found in her closet)
M: Nope. (Tears of misery as I pluck her from the tub)

M: Mommy! Get me!

Time: 8:15 on a Saturday morning. Thank you, sweet girl, for sleeping late. And making me smile when I came to get you. This was such a sweet thing to see first thing in the morning.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Heart Strings

I thought I wanted another daughter so M would have a sister to share her life secrets and giggles late into the night.

Today I saw my friend's beautiful, healthy, miracle son. I saw the ache for her daughter, but the complete joy in her son. The love of a mother for her children--one no longer here and one ever so present.

He is so perfect. 10 fingers, 10 toes, a little button nose, the sweetest little cry you've EVER heard. A sound that was so rare of their daughter.

And I realized that I would love a son as completely as I love M. As much as my friend loves her daughter and her son. A mother's love.

Praise God.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Safe arrival


My friend delivered a tiny baby boy this afternoon. All seems to be well. We got the news less than two hours after his arrival, so preliminary tests had not been run yet. I hope to see this little miracle tomorrow after school. Please continue to pray for the family.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

1:00 PM Thursday

Blog friends, I need your prayers...badly. I have a friend who lost a baby when I was pregnant with M. She had a great pregnancy with a few complications that became more severe as the pregnancy progressed. When she delivered her daughter three weeks early, everything looked good for a few hours, then the precious baby flat lined. Her doctors would get her stabilized and then she would flat line again. After 36 torturous hours at our local hospital, the mother and baby were transferred to a medical school training hospital a few hours away from here. 18 days later that precious little girl took her angel wings and went Home.

Well, that same friend is scheduled for a C-section tomorrow at 1:00 PM. Everything looks great with this baby, but the parents are, of course, filled with so many emotions. My friend's doctor has already told her that there will be tons of extra support in the delivery room for the mother and the baby. He doesn't want her to panic, but to understand that everyone is there to help her and support the baby, if the need arises. One of the doctors (neonate, I'd suppose) has already scheduled an echo cardiogram to make sure this baby doesn't have the same condition as his/her sister.

Friends, PLEASE, PLEASE help me pray for this friend. My biggest prayer is that the parents can live in the joy of the moment with this baby. I know they miss their daughter so much. I pray that they can enjoy every single thing about this baby without memories haunting them. Please pray for peace for the parents tomorrow and a beautiful, healthy baby.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The cutest pictures (in the leotard) are from Toddler and Mommy Gymnastics today. We're having so much fun together. M has to follow directions and do things like walk on the balance beam with a ball over her head, jump on the trampoline, and crawl through obstacle courses.
She loves balls so much that she holds the ball tight against her chest instead of holding it over her head.
She usually won't let go of my hands during trampoline time, but she was doing "safe hands" so she had to let go for a second. What you don't see is me about .007 inches from her hands. She only let go for a nanosecond.
She does love to crawl through the tunnels and bridges and sliding, so she'll let go of me during those 3.2 seconds.
Before we go into the big gym, we meet in the purple room and do our stretches--that includes the mommies. It's so funny to see all of us moms chasing our toddlers and trying to stretch with them.
The other funny part is to see us modeling some of the activities the kids are supposed to do: donkey kicks, mini-cartwheels.
So, each Tuesday evening you'll find us at Gymnastics class.

Monday, August 13, 2007

No picture this week...

Actually, I have lots of pictures from last week, but the camera is in the van and, frankly my dear, I'm just too tired to go outside and get it.

Stacy asked how far apart M and the baby will be: my estimate is exactly 2.5 years apart. I have a dr's appt scheduled for 8/30 to find out the details. One of my biggest goals to accomplish before the arrival of the baby is to have M potty trained. She loves to sit on the big potty, but hasn't done anything in it yet. I'm going to buy a potty this week and start practicing on it.

It is so strange to say "the baby" and "pregnant" and "due date." We were definitely trying to have another baby, so it's not a huge surprise--although we are SO thankful we didn't have any difficulty. M was very expensive and long-in-waiting. I don't feel any different today than I did last Monday, when I didn't know I was pregnant.

We found out about M on Valentine's Day two years ago and I started feeling pregnant before we even knew, although I didn't know I was feeling pregnant. I was dizzy and weak and so very, very tired. I swear, on February 15th, my symptoms quadrupled. I was in materinty clothes one month later because my boobs wouldn't fit into any of my regular clothes. Last time, I did the protective mother hand thing all the time.

This time, I just feel normal. (Okay, except for the boob thing, but I wasn't going to mention that.) Maybe because I know some of the things to come, I realize that nothing has really changed yet. I am super, super tired. Yet, I'm having trouble sleeping through the night. I'll sleep so hard for several hours, wake up to use the bathroom and then watch TV or read for more than an hour before I'm tired again.

Enough about me. This WILL NOT become a pregnancy blog. M and I started Mommy and Me gymnastics last week. I have some cute pictures from that. I'll try to post those tomorrow.

Friday, August 10, 2007

M wants to tell you something...

I'm going to be a big sister!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mommy guilt

I should be posting about leaving my baby and letting someone else raise her...that's my normal mommy guilt.

But not today. Today I am guilty of something else.

I apologize. Too much.

I bump into someone--apology.
I interrupt someone--apology.
I move something someone might need--apology.
Get the picture?

There are times I apologize when no apology is needed. Sometimes I don't even mean it--the words just flow forth before I even think about them. I go in cycles when I apologize more and then become aware of the habit and work hard to break it. Inevitably, the words sneak back into my vocabulary.

Unfortunately, I've passed the apology curse along to my daughter. Don't get me wrong. I WANT M to apologize...when she's done something wrong or hurt some one's feelings or caused a problem. I want her to apologize when it's warranted. Not every time she opens her mouth.

Tonight we were eating a hurried dinner. She was GENTLY kicking her feet and kicked my leg by mistake. I said, "M, keep your feet still. You kicked Mommy." She got out of her chair, hugged my leg, and said, "Mommy, I sorry."

Sunday afternoon we were shopping at a department store. M was holding some of the items we were going to buy. She dropped them. What did she say? "I sorry."

M dropped her bowl of crackers as she carried them to her table. What did she say? You got it: "I sorry, Mommy."

It's so very sweet and tender, but UNNECESSARY. Of course I make her apologize when she kicks Noah. I want her to apologize when she is disrespectful. I want her to apologize when she's done something wrong.

How in the world do I help her understand when to apologize and when not to apologize? Tonight when she GOT OUT OF HER CHAIR AND HUGGED MY LEG, I picked her up and told her how much I loved her. I also told her that she didn't have to say "I sorry, Mommy." I just wanted her to stop kicking her feet. Do I apologize too much in front of her? How do I teach her? I definitely do not want this to become a habit. I want her apologies to be genuine. I want MY apologies to be genuine.

Monday, August 6, 2007

First Day

It was amazing. I have such a GREAT class. I have two little guys that will give me a run for my money, but they are manageable. My kids are so kind and so helpful. They obeyed and followed directions. Only two made a complete mess of their first project, but they didn't ruin it or have to start over.

The excitement of the day was the class mouse that would streak across the room every few hours. BUT my kids didn't lose control. They would just say, "There's the mouse again." My room has more sticky strips than any other classroom. Hopefully that little guy will find one tonight and someone can let him go tomorrow morning.

Ahhh...I'm really feeling good about this year.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

School *sigh*

Tomorrow 19 children will show up in our classroom.
Along with the mouse that doesn't want to be caught.
Along with a teacher who is already tired and in need of one more vacation day.

Am I ready?

As ready as I'll ever be. I wish we were already two weeks into the year and everyone was already used to the new schedule. The first two weeks of school are the hardest for me as the teacher. I like order and structure. Those two words don't exist in my vocabulary until the middle or end of August.

Tomorrow I'll say a thousand times: This is our procedure for going to the bathroom, walking in the hall, sharpening our pencil, raising our hand, etc., etc., etc. Are you doing what I asked of you? Remember, this is our procedure...

I have the cutest parents this year. They are all smiles and happiness. I got more hugs today from parents than I ever have before. Several of my moms are tiny and round and have the biggest grins. I've been teaching long enough that I'm teaching brothers and sisters and cousins of previous students. That's a fun feeling.

Several of last year's students came by today. One of my started-off-as-my-least-favorite-but-ended-up-as-one-of-my-favorite students came by. I just happen to have his picture hanging up by my desk. He was a pouter at the beginning of the year. One of my favorite pictures is him holding a gigantic glass jar of candy with an even more gigantic grin on his face. It makes me laugh every time I look at it. He and his mother were so thrilled to see that hanging up near my desk. I wish I'd had my camera to capture that full-faced grin he gave me.

Every now and then you realize you might have made a difference in a child's life.
I felt that today.
That's why I teach.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Good-bye mullet, hello son

Here is the wispy mullet being chopped off

Here is another image of the hair being cut

Please meet my hairdresser and MY SON

On a whim today, I asked my hairdresser to trim M's hair. It's been sort of wispy for a while and in need of a trim. I just thought he'd cut off some of the mullet. INSTEAD, I NOW HAVE A SON! I'm going to have to put pink bows in her hair every single day so people will know she's a little girl!!! I thought M would have something that looked sort of a like a little bob, but she's got a little boy haircut. I love my hairdresser...I really do. BUT I HAVE A DAUGHTER!!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

For you non-educators out there

Just so you know, this is how teachers survive the first two weeks of work:

1.) DO NOT sit down until you are ready to go to sleep because you can doze off anywhere, anytime, without any warning at all.

2.) Keep working. Do NOT think about the to do list or how long it is. Just keep plugging along.

3.) Eat when you can. Lunch might be at 1:00 one day and 10:45 the next. Just eat.

4.) Sleep like a log and take up as much of the bed as you can.

5.) Shop early for school supplies so you spend as little time in the store as possible. The longer you it takes you in Wal-Mart, or Target or Kohl's or any other store for that matter, the higher the risk of running into students, past, present or those you don't even know. The more students you run into, the more talking you have to do, thus wasting valuable time with your toddler or in your classroom.

6.) Wear the most comfortable shoes you own, even if they don't match.

7.) Make your lists during meetings. Chances are you've heard it all before. If not, you'll perk up when your brain registers new information.

I think that's about it for now. But it IS 10:30 and I did wake up at 5:30 this morning. I'm going to bed now.