August 29, 2014

if i ran a Parenting School

there are many, many things that i would have in the curriculum:
Manners 101
Kindness 102
Honesty 103
How To Keep All The Things Clean 104
Communicating with Tiny Humans 101
How to Take a Deep Breath 405
Learning to Live without Naps 743
you get the gist. . . 

i was reminded of one would-be-class earlier this week. 
Prepping Class Projects 101
i am not yet sure if this should be a single class, or an entire course. 
suffice it to say, this mom could at least benefit from a workshop on "Shoebox Decorating."
because either bern or i find ourselves doing this at least twice a year. 
and each time i am reminded that, though i can wrap a lovely gift for the holidays, there are nuances to shoeboxes that i just can't conquer. 

this week, we needed to prep a box for benny's class, and i was excited to see that we actually had a few tucked away in our closets. 
(new parent? start saving these now.)
and then i was instantly saddened when i realized that ALL of them had attached lids. 
i am sure this is a huge improvement for people working in the shoe industry, as the battle to keep lids on all the boxes must be ongoing. 
however, for me, it just resulted in this: 



and some of this. 

and then negotiating the proper amount of paper to cover the whole box, not be saggy, and still not be too tight for the box to actually close. 
the answer, without fail, to each dilemma? 

apply.
more.
tape.

at long last, i managed to assemble a somewhat respectable product. 
then it was time for benny to decorate. 
he was supposed to decorate the outside of the box, without putting his name on it, so that kids in the class could guess whose it was. 
then fill it with little treasures for Show & Tell. 

these are benny's favorite things. 
as of 7:00pm on tuesday, august 26, 2014. 
pokemon.
pokemon.
those are three swords in black, green and red. (it's upside down for the top.)
and...5 ice cream cones. 
the kid really does love his ice cream. 
on the side, he drew our family. 
apparently i was having a really bad hair day. 
when i asked him if was going to draw our pup, Rocky, he sat quietly for a moment. 
then he declined. 
he thought that would be too complicated. 

so he threw in another ice cream cone for good merit. 

August 27, 2014

our house is 75 percent Buckeye

you know when you go to write a post about your first day back at school in 12 years? 
and then realize you have failed to post about your kids' first day of school? 
and then realize that you have a draft post about when one of those kids finished kindergarten? 
no?
doesn't happen to you?
well. 
oops. 

so, as it turns out, ben graduated from kindergarten. 
in may. 
there was a ceremony. 
i took photos. 
then, per usual, kept them all to myself. 
seeing as ben is actually quite excellent at sharing, i thought i would try that out as well. 

each of the kiddos had a photo board sharing bits of their year. 


here is a particularly bad photo of ben in front of said board. 
with my two favorite photos behind him. 


allow me to zoom in. 
those are Scrabble tiles spelling out "Ben: A Ninja Can Fight."
(i added the semicolon for flair.)
to the left is a picture of ben and an x-ray of his hand. 
the hand was not injured in a ninja fight, so much as a battle with the school's bathroom door. 
ben does not look particularly pleased about Show And Tell that day. 


also. 
anth.
big brother was there to show is support. 

anth will be taller than me in approximately 3 hours. 

these are "all of the boys that begin with 'B'." 
this is an important distinction in our house. 
mainly for ben. 


ben and his teacher, Leann. 


and Donna!
one of the projects the kids do during the year is sew quilt squares. 
you will note that many of these are lovely scenes depicting birds, flowers, cats, etc. 
ben's is toward the top left. 
being a man who appreciates some good white space in his art, he made the sword. 


the whole event was really cute. 
and then the musical performance portion of the event happened. . . 
there he is. 
in the middle of the whole thing. 
it started out looking promising. 


the kids were even listening to their teacher, standing to the left. 
(also? over half of the expressions in this shot are perfection.)


then. . . we got a little bored. 

then we got TOTALLY bored. 
so we decided to turn around to talk to Garrett. 


but Garrett wanted to pay attention, so. . . 
this. 

suffice it to say, the photos from the event just kind of went downhill from here. 
picture a bunch of kids singing. 
and benny doing more of this. 
for two full songs. 
bless his sweet heart. 

we officially have a kindergarten graduate (who is also now technically a 1st grader. ahem.) on our hands! 
here's to all the Ohio State students that i am joining today in our "first day of school."
may our degrees be just around the corner. :) 


August 15, 2014

our little beasts in the wilds

oh. 
hey. 
so, apparently, i have a blog. 
i seem to have forgotten that. 
the good news is, i start classes next week, so we should really be on the up and up for the next few years...

anyway. 
it seems as though i went in here a month or so ago and uploaded some photos. 
and then never looked back. 
so, here are some old photos. . . 

in July, we took a little "staycation" and had some fun in the Columbus area. 
early in the week, we also went out to The Wilds and did an open-air tour. 
it was a really great time and the boys had a blast!

look at that mug. 

The Wilds is a conservation center in Ohio, and the tour started out looking a lot like this. 

and this. 

and, when we came upon our first animals. . . this. 

fortunately, the rest of them that day turned to face in our direction. 



there were occasional stops where we were able to get out and explore. 


and even feed the animals. :) 
and, at one point, ben made this face. 
i'm not sure what this particular face is. 
angry? debonair? 
but here you have it. 

me, my grey hair, and the boys. 
ben still looks uncertain about everything. 
perhaps it was the tiger behind us. 


again. 
ben. 
oh, ben.
also: important life updates. . . 
ben, formerly known has benny, has asked to be called ben moving forward. 


that's better. 
this is the smile we usually see. 

too. much. 
love them. 

this was benny's favorite stop. :)
ok. 
for real. 
i just typed "benny." 
ugh. 
this is going to take a while. 

i love some sassy signage. 

they gave us a little guide to keep track of all the animals we saw. 
clearly, anth took the wheel on this one. 

this gem came UP to the bus. 
and started pecking (do ostriches peck?) at the bolts on the outside of the bus. 
neat. 




the giraffe wasn't cooperating. 

while we were off having our family adventure, rocky was off having. . . his own. 
so we picked up our very sleepy, and slightly high, puppy on the way home. 

more summer antics to come. . .
in, like, november. 

June 15, 2014

home run!

all season, i have been meaning to bring my "nice" camera to one of the boys' baseball games. 
all season, i have not brought my "nice camera" to a game. 
this is one of those occasions where meaning well doesn't really help much at the end of the day. 

last week, i finally remembered my camera for anth's last pre-tournament game of the season. 
but first, we had to make a stop for both boys' swimming lessons before the game. . . 

note: this photo is NOT actually from the same day. 
it's just a visual. 
in case you have a hard time. . .
picturing children. . . 
in pools. . . 
?

anyway. 
swim lessons and the game overlapped a bit, so we got there a bit late. 

this was fine with benny. 
because, CheezIts.



i thought, i'm here. 
with my good camera. 
might as well get up and get a shot of anth at bat now and sit back and enjoy the rest of the game. 


quite frankly, there isn't usually much to take a shot of.
here he is.
standing. 
holding a bat. 

more bat. 
different angle. 

 concentration. . . 

swing. . . 

and, hooray!
he got a hit!
off to first. 

and second.
and then i stopped shooting for a minute, because he didn't stop running. 
and maybe he should have. . .

check out that look on his coach's face in the background. 
and the ball coming in next to him. 
but most importantly, his grinning mug. 

the kid made an ill-advised dash to home. 
and made it. 

love that semi-toothed grin. :) 
  
and he didn't stop smiling all night. 

i, of course, took advantage of this. 
and just kept shooting. :) 

but, let's not be too proud of myself. 
i still haven't managed to bring the good camera to one of ben's games. 
oops. 
so, here's ben. . . 
standing in the park. 
after a game. 

homerun, mom! 

and, of course, some love for the man who is teaching them how to play. . . 
happy father's day, bernie john!