Friday, November 29, 2013

What We Learned: 37 Months

I nearly quit this blog series two years ago, but you folks encouraged me to forge ahead. It's a good thing I did because this blog would probably have about 1/3 less content if it weren't for these little updates. A third birthday felt like a good place to close this chapter, but Bennett continues to enlighten and delight us. My failure to produce a legitimate baby book is guilt trip enough to continue on with these entries. These entries are safe for another year.

Bennett learned to crack peanut shells, peel a banana and pop pomegranate seeds.

We learned that while he might not like spaghetti or cheerios, his palate is beginning to expand.

Bennett learned that wearing masks and mastering "trick or treat" is worth it.

We learned that our kid is surprisingly a surprisingly generous sharer.

Bennett learned that sharing and vegetables are a good compromise for taffy, chocolate and lollipops.

We learned that sometimes he likes his privacy.

Bennett learned that starting your sentences with "When I was a baby," gets your mommy's attention.

We learned that he has quite the imagination and quite the memory.

Bennett learned that riding ferris wheels, staying up late and eating doughnuts every day isn't half bad.

We learned that he still misses us, even when distracted and spoiled.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I hate how trite and contrived blog posts like this can seem, but this year more than ever I think I need to remind myself just how grateful I should be.

I am thankful for parents and grandparents who fill in and help out like back-up quarterback, ready, eager and grateful.

I am thankful that my husband is in a career and a job in which he excels and enjoys.

I am thankful for facebook, instagram, twitter and text for helping me feel like friends aren't too far away.

I am thankful for our neighborhood supper club to help us find our place.

I am thankful for each day we get closer to closing the chapter on 2013. 

I am thankful for waterproof mattress pads, M&Ms and Lightning McQueen.

I am thankful for my healthy, talkative, silly little boy.

I am thankful for his hugs, kisses and stories.

I am thankful for a calendar beginning to fill with concerts, weddings and trips.

I am thankful for heated seats, that sweet spot when your windshield wipers perfectly match the pace of the rain, and when a song from high school surprises you on the radio.

Despite the struggles and the challenges this year has brought, I know how lucky I am to have faith, hope and support. I am also so very grateful for this outlet and for the friends and connections this little space has brought. May you and yours have a lovely Thanksgiving!

And Bennett would like to add, he's thankful for race cars!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Viva Las Vegas

Two weeks ago, Rocky's boss invited him to take his place at a conference in Vegas. It seemed like the answer to a prayer we hadn't even said. He happily agreed to go, got his mother to volunteer to take the barnacle, and bought me a plane ticket to join him. He was giddy and I was game. While Sin City isn't exactly my destination of choice, it was high time we took a break.

The weather was beautiful, our lodgings divine, and an expense account made the rest of the trip possible.

We didn't stay at the Encore.
Or the Wynn.
Or the Bellagio. 
Our digs weren't too shabby though. We loved the Cosmopolitan.
After a couple of  rounds of playing black jack at the machines, we came down with a little routine and walked away ahead every time. We're no Rounders, but our drinks were paid for our and we didn't feel too guilty when we dined with the Tom, Danny and Jose.

I'm quite the burger connoisseur, and this Buffalo Burger was delish. Too bad Rocky couldn't say the same for his fish and chips. That and the atmosphere left me thinking this place may not survive until our next trip to town.
We might have waited ages for a fountain-side table, but our second night with Tom English was better than the first.
While Rocky worked to pay for my supper, I was busy eating my supper. By the end of the trip, I got quite good at dining alone sans book or phone.  Fried brussel sprouts will do that to a girl. 

Jose Andres's China Poblano concept seemed like a Vegas version of Minneapolis' decade old Chino Latino. It's good the tacos were fresher than the concept.
While my pictures might make it appear otherwise, I did more than eat. I also spent an afternoon at the pool and a night at a show. Did you know in Vegas they don't print playbills? I'm not quite sure how they expect a blogger to review a show where photography isn't allowed and you don't have a playbill as proof you were even there. Anyhoover (which I still haven't seen), I would have to say that Jersey Boys was a winner, especially when you're thirty years younger than the rest of the patrons and the tipsy seniors sing along the entire time. 

All in all, it was a lovely trip. Even if this is the only proof I was there and not just my camera.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

That's What B Said

A: Hey Bennett, I'm going upstairs to change my clothes.

B: Ok, don't pee on your pants!

I was headed out to a meeting, hugged Bennett and started to leave. Bennett chased after me.

B: "No mommy, boys need two hugs!"

While we were trick or treating, we came upon a crumbled retaining wall.

B: "No worries. I can fix it. I'm a super hero!"

After wandering around Rocky's office, B discovered something was missing.

B: There's no toys around here. Can you believe it?

Typical bedtime shenanigans, typical bedtime toot.

B: I didn't toot, it was my engine.
A: Your engine?
B: Yeah, it's broken.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween With A Toddler

It was Bennett's fourth Halloween. For his first, he was only two days old and I was worried I would break him or something if I put him in his little pumpkin shirt. For his second, he cooperated and wore the sweetest little cow costume a mommy could find. Then last year, he had an epic meltdown when I tried to clothe him like the Cat in the Hat. Giant Failure of Epic Proportions.

I figured I had one last year to play up the adorable card before he wanted to accessorize with weapons or imitate an obnoxious video game character or some such nonsense. I selected not one, not two, but three costumes that were greeted with horror, stomping and the squealing of "NONONONONO!" But mommy really wants you to be a little lion, or a gentle bat. A pirate? 

Then one day a couple weeks ago, a friend brought Spider Man cupcakes to celebrate his birthday at school. My not quite three year old had decided. I ordered a fourth costume and a book about super hero to hopefully coax him into the costume. It might not have been my choice, but I did not want to have the one kid who refused to cooperate at the pumpkin party.

The package arrived and he wouldn't let me open it. Halloween arrived and he wouldn't let me try it on. When I told him kids who wore costumes got candy, he insisted he didn't want candy. Walking into his class he told me to take it out of his backpack and throw it away. But then, he saw two other spidermen and a Super Man. He wanted that thing on and he wanted it on "NOWNOWNOW!" He even wore the mask. I could hardly believe it.

There was severe weather here last night, so we get Halloween take II tonight. I am hoping for a few more smiling, less blurry pictures for the occasion. At least when he wears a mask he will smile for the camera!