Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Day Mark!

Saturday was a double party day for us. Tessa's little friend Mattie turned 3, and her cousin Mark turned 6. After Mattie's princess party we headed on down to North Vernon for another great Ward style bbq. The weather was so nice this weekend!

Charley's stud hat that I got at a consignment store for only a couple of bucks
This picture has totally motivated me to pick back up weight watchers cause I look pregnant. Bleck.
Tessa had all kinds of fun with her cousins. Here are her and Ashley behind the wheel.
Sliding with Bob
She had a little bit of an embarassing problem during the party. Just say no to crack! In her defense these jeans used to fit when she wore diapers and that was the first time I had put them on her with only underpants. We need to find a belt!

Charley had fun too, hanging out and eating carrots and babbling

The birthday boy Mark, 6 years old!
Charley got a hand me down helmet that was too small for Mark but well a little too big for him

Uncle Andy showing Tessa the cows up close

Can you believe that as the sun went down we actually needed jackets?? Yay for fall! Charley borrowed one of Bob's....again a little too big
Since it's a kinda long ride home we brought Tessa's Abby Caddaby nightgown...well actually it's a Halloween costume I got on sale last year. She was going through a phase of insisting on wearing it everyday until I established that is was pajamas. Now she knows she can't wear it to church (although I guess that would be cute huh?)

She was pointing at her tummy and saying "I Abby Dabby!"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just for Farmer Cindy

Today we took a field trip to Mooresville, about 20 or so min away and my old ACA stomping grounds. We went to see my friend and former coworker Cindy at the farmer's market. She had a beautiful display of peppers, blackberries, maters and more.

I need maters and zucchini like a hole in the head but we picked up some blackberries and jalapeno jelly. Tessa was shy when we were there but basically talked all day about going to get blackberries from Miss Cindy.

So we had some for dessert tonight. If only we had some vanilla ice cream around!

When I said 'show me your blackberry' this is what she did....

I know Cindy is an avid fan of the blog, probably one of our most dedicated readers (aside from the Grandparents) so we're just giving a shout out. Your berries rock and we'll come back for more!

The other great thing about taking little trips is that I get a 'break' so to speak. Everyone is strapped up, nobody cries while we are in the car. I can get a coffee, drive and listen to music. Beautiful.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So Good...

...that I couldn't help but share


Here was our first harvest of tomatoes, which was turned into marinara. I need to perfect my marinara technique cause it was way watery and after like 8 hours of cooking I broke down and added corn starch so I could call it a day. Jer said it's because I had the lid on, who knows.

The second harvest of tomatoes was like 4 times bigger so we made Ragu. Of course not the kind in a jar....I refer to ragu as 'meat slurry'...not quite a sauce, not quite a stew. Several pounds of tomatoes, 5 or so hunks of stew meat and beef shoulder, a bottle of wine, a gallon of milk and a little of everything but the kitchen sink and 8 or so hours later you have this.

In bags to freeze, each bag has about 3-4 servings. Great with pasta, rice or potatoes and a tasty easy meal! (those are left over beef bones in the bottom of the pic)

Stockpiling for Charley too (now that the blender is up and running again, yay!) Carrots, avocado, peas, yogurt, pears and bananas all in ice cube form just ready for a nuke in the microwave.

I think this weekend we are going to make several loaves of zuccini bread to freeze. Jeremy's cake I showed before was a zuccini cake by the way, we have a lot of them!

Stepping Out

Friday night Jeremy and I went on our first 'date' since our business trip to Rome last September. Last date here at home? I think maybe Father's Day of '08.

I realize that sounds horrible but it's really not. Basically Jeremy's traveling about 50% of the time and when he's home he wants to hang out with the kids. Going out by ourselves really never crosses my mind, especially since Charley has been so addicted to the sorta limits our abilities.

Well Friday night Erin watched the kiddos. Charley cried for boobs while we were gone, and Erin tried to feed him some applesauce but apparently that made him even more mad. But he gave up and fell asleep, and got to nurse as soon as we got home!

We went to Barcelona's Tapas in downtown Indy. If you haven't had tapas, it's alot of fun. It's Spanish food and everything comes in appetizer portion so you order a bunch of different things. We had bread with goat cheese and tomatoes, fried artichokes, garlic shrimp, cauliflower with pine nuts and spinach and these empanadas that were sent from heaven.

Since it was Jer's birthday celebration they also gave us some free bread pudding, yum!

It is a very strange feeling for me to sit somewhere and converse with someone without the kids climbing all over me, basically because it never happens. I felt a little disoriented. But it was nice though. Now that Charley is eating more food, maybe we can do this more often!

Check out Barcelona's delicious menu:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Charley's First Sickies

The poor babe has his first fever. This morning when he first woke up it was 102.5, then he threw up after nursing twice. So off to the docs we went! I was sure they were going to tell me he has an ear infection but apparently his ears are perfect. The doc says it's just a virus.

So baby tylenol and cuddling is the cure. Big sister has been especially 'two' today, maybe because Charley is getting extra attention. But at least she did well in the doctor's office with me. She put on latex gloves and told the doc she was a 'princess doctor'.

He just woke up in the other room, so I've got to run. Popcorn, Mad Men and baby cuddling is on the docket for this evening.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Day Daddy!

Untitled from Laura Sargent Bennington on Vimeo.


I'm waiting until the bathroom is actually done and put together to post 'before and after' pictures...but I'll offer you this preview. Tessa helping Jeremy scrub up the new tile on the floors in our closet.

Jeremy's been working on this for several weeks now. Like most project it was just supposed to take 'a couple of days', but with his busy travel schedule it had to be taken a chunk at a time. What was once nasty old carpet in the master bath and closet is now beautiful tile, and the mint green walls are now a warm butterscotch. Our friend Patrick, the tiling expert, came down for a couple of days and taught Jeremy everything about tiling.

I can't believe it's actually done! We've been talking about doing it since we moved in in 2005. Right now we just need to put the baseboards back on and clean up...everything is coated in 1 inch of mortar dust.

Last weekend was the brunt of the work. Patrick came for a couple of days and Jeremy also employed our friends Ron and Rafe and it was apparently a hardworking, backbreaking, male bonding weekend...then Jer hopped on a plane on Sunday night. Wanting to get out of the way, the kids and I hightailed it to North Vernon!

A little late but here are a couple of pics.

Tessa's (2nd) cousin Ashley was staying the weekend with Mamaw so they got to enjoy each other's company. Below is me trying to help Tess play hide and seek. She liked playing but obviously didn't understand the rules. She just ran around the house yelling 'I find you!'

Charley trying out Ashley's doll bed, and hanging with his great- Mamaw

Of course we ate well and Tessa tried velcro curlers. After using Mamaw's, I bought her some cause they stay so well. Too bad the curl only lasts like one hour.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alive in the Trenches

People tell me all the time how funny and lively they think the blog is. Thank you! I don't want to bring things down with this post, just keep it real. My intent with this blog was never to portray our life as sunshine and rainbows...because that wouldn't be true. It is what it is, life. And lately it's not been easy, so I thought I'd share.

Last year one of our speakers at MOPs said that being a Mom of babies and toddlers (or both at the same time) was like being in the trenches of parenthood. It's hard and dirty and dangerous. But her wise words were to 'hang in there' will get better. I thought of her while writing this.

I'm alive in the trenches
with a 6 month old and a 2 year old, and two obnoxious dogs
my husband not only travels but has been gone all summer
He has logged 100K airline miles since March
I'm not a single parent
but at the moment I feel like it

My toddler is experimenting with tantrums
my baby is experimenting with biting me
both have schemed to never nap at the same time
the dogs are experimenting with peeing inside instead of outside

Sometimes we eat at Mcdonalds, sometimes we eat homemade meals
Sometimes we dance around our kitchen in joy
Sometimes I pray just to make it to bedtime

I'm fat and not budging
too tired, too overwhelmed
too hungry

I wonder if the toddler is getting enough education
enough stimulation and socialization
I wonder if my husband is missing too much
I know he feels like he is

I know God is good
I know He hears me all the time, even when I don't know what to say
I know we will get through this time
I know we have lots of friends and family who love us and will take care of us
and worry about this post

I'm just letting you know that I'm here
it's not all sunshine and rainbows at our house
We're alive
in the trenches

I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Charley- "waaaah waaahh"
Tessa- "baby's cwying!"
Mommy- "I know"
Tessa- "baby's okay?"
Mommy- "yes baby's okay"
Tessa- "baby's mouf hurt, his teef hurt"
Mommy- "probably yes, his teeth hurt'
Tessa- "it's okay baby, Daddy's finger hurt"
Charley- "waaaaaah"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Charley's Other New Trick

Aside from having two teeth sprout through and getting up on his knees, Charley can (mostly) sit up! Do they always have to go through so many changes at once? sheesh!

I think it's GREAT that he can sit up now, cause he hates laying on the floor but sometimes gets tossed there when I got to jump up and take care of something (like a crazy toddler). Now he can sit up and look around!

The other bonus? He can sit up in the tub with his sister! We still use the sink for both kiddos alot and occasionally the garden tub (with a parent). Due to the bathroom renovations though the garden tub is unusable so I threw them both in the guest room tub. How nice to be able to easily bathe them at once with no baby tub thingy!

(don't worry Mom, nobody's bits are showing)

State Fair

Today we joined my friend Traci and her two kids (who you've seen on the blog before) at the Indiana State Fair! It was a really great day to go. With school back in session here it wasn't very crowded at all (note to self for future years). It was, however, very hot and humid. We got in a couple hours of good fun before little people started to melt.

Watching the cloggers, the girls were apparently not impressed

We visited animals in two different petting areas. Tessa went nuts for all the cows, sheep and goats. She got to feed some goats and was squealing and laughing like a madwoman.
Mattie and Tessa checking out the lambs
Bryce fed some goats too

The babies were so cute! I wonder, would it be against our homeowners agreement to have pigmey goats? I love them!

Tessa had her first corn dog. She ate a few bites and wasn't all that impressed. Mostly she spilled ketchup all over her white shirt. Silly Mommy dressing her in white for the fair.

Eventhough it's not my kid, I think I might have to call this the cutest picture ever.

The girls also rode ponies. They asked if she would be scared and need me to walk around with her, and of course she wasn't. I saw her gabbing at the horse lady all around the track and could only imagine she was saying something like 'I riding horsey, big horsey, I ride!!'....that's my guess.

Charley was there too but didn't do anything too interesting. Mostly he was hot and fussy and slept.

We do, however, want to give props to the Indiana Milk Bank for the 4 'lactation stations' they had setup. They were enclosed tents with rocking chairs, big fans and ice water specifically for moms who needed to nurse. Rock on! If only ever event or attraction we went to had a lactation station...much easier than a hot park bench or car.

The ride home....ketchup stained shirt, scraped knee and sweaty hat hair. Signs of a good time in Indiana.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Crazy ABC's

Today was a momentous day! Not only did both kids nap at the same time (and so did I on our new comforter) which never happens, it's 9pm and Charley is already asleep. Woo-hoo! He's not a super night owl or anything but it's usually more like 10-10:30.

I'm tempted to stay up late surfing the web and catching up on blogging stuff, but have convinced myself to instead take a snack, a glass of the house wine, and camp myself upstairs on our new bedding to watch a rerun of House.

I will leave you with one other thing that made my day, however. I love the Barenaked Ladies, love them. If you asked me to name my favorite band that would be my automatic answer. We saw them in concert a couple of years ago and it was awesome....their music is melodic with great lyrics, they are funny onstage and most importantly they are Canadian! In case you're not familiar, no their music has nothing to do with nudity.

So I was SOO happy when they put out a children's album and it' doesn't disappoint. "Snacktime" has some really great singable stuff and of course it's funny.

I had a hard time choosing my favorite song lyrics to share...but I really have to go with 'crazy abc's'. Don't try to figure out the tune cause it's half singing half talking. I love it!

Hey Steve!
Hey Ed, that sounds nice, what is it?
Thank you, it’s an alphabet song I’m working on
Oh great, a whole new alphabet,
I just learned the old one.

A is for aisle
B is for bdelliums
C is for czar
And if you see him, would you mind telling him-

Okay, hang on a second, yeah aisle?
Yeah, aisle like a, like a theatre.
Alright, okay, and bdelliums?
Bdelliums, it’s a gum like tree resin, it starts with a silent B
And then czar?
Yeah, it’s uh- like a Russian czar.
You know, everyone knows apple ball and cat,
I wanted to get into some you know,
some stranger words.
Right, I see what you’re doing.

D is for djinn
E for Euphrates
F is for fohn, but not like when I call the ladies

I thought phone started with a “p” a “ph”
No its f-o-h-n, it’s a kind of wind
Yeah, I know what you mean by wind

G for Gnarly,
I for irk
H is for hour
J for jalapeƱos
Good in either corn or flour (tortillas…)
Nice rhyme
K is for knick-knack
L is for llama
[Crazy ABC's Lyrics on ]

Pramma, llama, ding - what’s so strange about llama?
Llama, its starts with two L’s
What’s the second one for?
No idea.
I know, loser.

N for neumonic
M is for mdomo
O is for ouija board
P for pneumonia pterodactyl and psychosis
Q is for qat

Okay, Q - qat? What?
Yeah it’s uh...q-a-t,
It’s an evergreen shrub
It’s a perfect scrabble word because it’s a q with no u,
There’s not many of those
You have too much time on your hands.

R is for R-gyle
No, it isn’t

Okay, you’re right; I couldn’t find a good “r” word

S is for Saar, a lovely German river
T for tsunami, a wave that makes me quiver
U is for urn, but not like earning money
V for vraisemblance from French,
And therefore kind of funny
W for wren, wrinkly, and who.
X is for Xian, an ancient Chinese city, true!

Ancient Chinese city, huh?
My guitar player, some hotshot.

Y is for yperite, a very nasty gas.
And zed’s the final letter
And by final, I mean last.

Okay, when you say zed,
For the benefit of our American friends
You really mean Z, right?
No I mean Zed, like, like Zed Zed Top.
Zed Zed Top?
Yeah, you know the guys with the big long beards
Well, except the guy whose name is Beard,
he has a mustache
I always thought that was interesting
You done with the alphabet?
No extra letters I haven’t heard of?
I think so.
Well this was a great help, I think, you know,
the contribution you made to world literacy
Well, I’m just saying, kids
I’m just saying
Think outside the box a little bit
Box with an “r”
Yeah, well, no, box with a b-a-l-k-s, like a pitcher.
Ahh, as opposed to b-a-c-h-s,
Right, think outside the “balks”

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Charley's new trick

Hey's not crawling but thinking about it. You can see here how he gets on his knees and rocks...sometimes in his sleep which is pretty cute even if it wakes him up.

Charley getting up on his knees from Laura Sargent Bennington on Vimeo.

His other new trick is biting me with his one tooth while he's nursing. We're working on that...pulling him off and saying 'no' and if it's really bad, offering him a teething tablet. Ouch!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Own Viral Video

You may have seen that viral video of the wedding couple dancing down the aisle. They've been in People, on the Today show and everyone is posting it on facebook. I LOVE that video. It just makes me happy. If you're ever having a bad day just pop this sucker on and dance along (also who knew wife beater Chris Brown had such a catchy tune?)

We decided we should try to have a viral video that's even cuter. So here's the original in case you haven't seen it:

And here's our version of Charley jamming to the original:

Charley's Viral Video from Laura Sargent Bennington on Vimeo.

Boo Hoo (aka Dangit I just did my makeup!)

Loving Two

I walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?

Then she is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as youve never shared me before.

I hear you telling me in your own way, Please love only me. And I hear myself telling you in mine, I cant, knowing, in fact, that I never can again.

You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again.

But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. Im afraid to let you see me enjoying her as though I am betraying you.

But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.

More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.

But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two. There are new times only now, we are three. I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.

I watch how she adores you as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of her new accomplishments. And I begin to realize that I havent taken something from you, Ive given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you. I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong. And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you only differently.

And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know youll never share my love. There is enough of that for both of you .you each have your own supply.

I love you-both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Major Meijer Meltdown

We made a quick trip to Meijer today to pick up some WW bagels and hummus (my breakfast fixation of the moment) and a hand mixer to replace the stand up mixer I broke last week. So it was quick trip.

I spied a long sleeve fall dress that was super cute and snatched it up for Tessa (don't worry Jer it was only $11.99!). She was very excited and insisted on putting it on right there in the cart. She started to whine that she wanted to take her shirt off and put her new dress on and eventually her whining turning into crying and hollering...."Mommy shirt OFF...HELP...DRESS Mommy!"

Tessa hasn't been one prone to tantrums so I haven't been put in the situation too many times, but the gears in my Mommy brain were cranking. I reminded myself toddler is not in charge, Mommy is, and she was not going to wear the unpaid dress around the store. I simply want her to have self control and know that sometimes you have to be patient, right?

She sqealed, whined and started to cry loudly all while trying to get the dress on. I asked her to stop many times and finally grabbed both of her hands firmly and said "You may NOT wear your dress while we are in the store, if you continue to cry I will take the dress away" (all while thinking to myself...where exactly in the frozen foods section would I ditch this dress?). She completely understood what I said and hugged her dress quietly saying 'my dress, my dress' the rest of the way.

Well I thought we were going to get out of there unscathed until she said she had to potty. Now we have a deal at Meijer. She potties there, she rides the horse. This is the same every week and every week she usually potties.

I put her on the potty and she didn't go and jumped down. I asked her about 17 times, are you SURE you don't have to potty because that mean you CAN'T ride the horse. Nope, and there was no forcing her on the pot.

As we exited the bathroom I took a breath and braced myself, I knew exactly what was going to happen. Major meltdown hell broke lose as we walked past Sandy the motorized horse. Ears were pierced, people turned, the walls were shaking as we walked directly to the car and left. I think people in the parking lot thought a kid had gotten hit by a car or something as they all turned to see what would be making such a horrible scream.

Once she had collected her breath (at least 10 min later), I reminded her what had happened and why she could not ride Sandy. By the time we hit our subdivision she was dancing along to the radio.

And of course when we got home I found that she had wet her pants in the car.

Okay Mommies, how'd I do?

No Selling Out

I was going to come on here and write about how much I love my new Pledge multi-surface and Tushies (gel free) disposable diapers but then I saw this article and decided not to sell out!

I'll have you know, faithful readers, that while I have never been offered free stuff, after about 2 years of blogging Google let me know that I had enough traffic to have advertisements that would pay me per hundred hits. And I said NO! We are for fun, family and pictures and no other motives than that!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cuteness Caught on Tape

Not anything overly exciting, just a normal day around here, caught on tape.

Untitled from Laura Sargent Bennington on Vimeo.

Excuse the small flash of Tessa nudity on here. Yes she sometimes goes commando under her dress, because it's just easier for pottying! (pulling down your underpants is an advanced skill).

On this one you can see a little bit of Charley's favorite transportation mode, bucking and scooting on his back. I should get a better video of him doing this. He can get on his hands and knees for brief periods but it really makes him mad. He prefers to scoot across the room on his back like this, despite the rug burns on the back of his head.

**this video has been pulled until Jer is home and can edit, due to valid concerns expressed about Tessa's online nudity**

Daddy's Finger

Jeremy cut his finger the other day (while putting down the backboard for our bathroom tile project) and had to get a big deal really.

Well he left for CA yesterday and I'm pretty sure Tessa believes he has gone to the doctor for his finger. She keeps talking about it and saying "Daddy's finger hurts" even though he is not here.

At naptime she slept for two hours and then started crying when she woke up. That's not anything strange, sometime she cries when she wakes up sometimes she sings, you never know. By the time I got up to her she was crying pretty hard and calling for Daddy. When I went in she was gasping for breath and saying "Daddy?"..."Daddy's finger?"...."Daddy's finger HURTS, it HURTS". Maybe she was having a bad dream about it?

We called Jer so he could explain that his finger was fine and she's forgotten about it for the moment. Best I can figure she remembers when she had a bandaid on her foot when she lost her toenail and seeing his bandaid brought in some serious empathy. Crazy kid.

Saturday, August 08, 2009