Saturday, December 18, 2010

Benny-isms of the week

(Last Saturday)
Benny: Bye, Dad, I'm going to the store with Mommy. And make sure she doesn't yell at me.

Me: OK, Benny, you can watch a show on my bed while I exercise.
Benny: Why do you need to exercise? So you won't be fat?

(Wednesday, doctor's office)
Benny: Is that a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge?
Me, looking closely: Um, yes, it actually IS the Golden Gate Bridge.
Benny: Remember the time we went under the bridge with Grandpa Tom and Grammy in a boat? (That was almost a year ago. His memory is incredible)

A bit later, STILL at the doctor's office:
Benny: What is the doctor going to do?
Me: Well, I have a sinus infection so my nose is kind of yucky.
Benny: Oh, you're right, you should have the doctor get all that hair out of there.

A few minutes later:
Me: Benny, we have been here a really long time and I need to get to work, so I'll give the doctor 5 more minutes and then we're leaving.
Benny: No! Mommy, you can't leave until the doctor gets all the boogers out of your nose!

(Thursday, getting ready for a nap)
Benny: Remember when Daddy showed me pictures on the grey laptop of when I was in your tummy, and your tummy was really big?
Me: Yeah, and wouldn't it be cool if there was another baby in there and my tummy got big again?
Benny: Yeah, but your tummy is already getting bigger.
Me: Oh really, where?
Benny: (Pointing) here and here.
Me: That's not a baby, it's just fat.
Benny: Oh, it's fat? I think you better work out more, Mommy.

A bit later:
Benny: Alright, you can have a baby in there but make sure your tummy doesn't break.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little boys

I always have to do a double take when I walk down the hall and encounter these:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think he is OCD. He rearranged the nativity characters into a straight line. And I still have no idea what baby Jesus is doing in the tree.

We sure enjoy this little guy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Church callings

Though I should answer since people are asking what exactly we are doing in church. No, Ben is not the Bishop; he is 2nd Counselor.
I'm in the 2nd Counselor in Primary and also choir pianist, surprise surprise. I think I have been a choir pianist for a total of about 10 years.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My bday & Thanksgiving 2010

So I had a birthday on Nov. 15th. Ben got me some lilies, I got a bunch of cards in the mail, I got tons of Facebook bday wishes, and I got flowers from work. And I got 3 cakes: one from a ward member we had over for dinner, one my sister Kimiko made (which was very cute), and one from work. Ben and I still have yet to go out and celebrate as scheduling has been kind of hard latel.
Kimiko's cake

For Thanksgiving we went to Bakersfield to see Ben's dad and stepmom before turkey day, then headed over to Lompoc to my parents' for turkey day itself. Kimiko's family was also at my parents', so our kids got to run around together and make messes. And then we left because as of this moment, my parents, a sister and a brother are all on their way to Hawaii. Stinkers. OK, we really left because Ben had to speak in church, and it also was nice he had his bigscreen at home to watch the BYU game (although the game didn't end up being worth it).
A tired and grouchy Benny after lunch with Grandpa & Grammy Middleton

On our drive home to the Bay Area, we stopped in Morro Bay for a couple hours. It was a very nice day, not too freezing or windy. We took Benny to the aquarium and he got to feed the sea lions. Way better and cheaper than Sea World! As far as the feeding goes, that is. The rest of the aquarium, not so much.

We waited for lunch for an hour, but the view was nice. Benny is deliriously tired by now

I think this was my favorite part. Benny always wants a big sucker when we go sightseeing, and we won't let him have one. This time we decided he had earned a "big, huge sucker, please, please" so he is enjoying it here above....

...and not 2 minutes later he faceplanted on the sidewalk, leaving this much of the sucker. He cried, not because he hurt himself, but because sucker bits were all over the sidewalk. I was kinda happy about the new size though since he definitely didn't need all that candy.

Once again, Benny is overly tired and in need of a nap here
The Sunday before Thanksgiving my parents came up, even though we were going to see them 3 days later. When we found out Ben would be in the Bishopric at church, we asked my dad if he would come up and ordain Ben as a High Priest. They were in Utah at the time, and are now leaving for Hawaii, but they didn't hesitate about rearranging some plans in the middle and making the last minute trip up here to support us. We really appreciate all our parents and all they do for us.

So, I think this Thanksgiving season, I am most thankful for family. They bake you cakes. They read your blog. They answer the phone when you want to just blab. They do anything you ask them to do if you need help. They buy you 7 containers of hot chocolate and sauces you can't get in California and bring it to you. They send cards for holidays, even if they're late. They tell you things you need to hear, even if you don't want to hear them. And they always support you, even if you don't feel you deserve it.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving season and remembers to be grateful. No matter how much we have or don't have, everyone has something to be thankful for, something I continuously work on to remember.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Everybody Needs a Friend

Benny and his 3 best friends

Look at me, getting all reflective and stuff.

Several weeks ago, my sister and I went to help with a Saturday night church dinner for the women in the area. We didn't really want to help, but no one else would volunteer, so off we went. We probably didn't even help that much once we were there, and it was really hot. I hate being hot. So there we were with a bunch of old ladies filling water glasses.

We found out we wouldn't have to help the whole time and would get to enjoy the dinner, so we went to put our purses down at a table and hopefully reserve it for us and our friends. To my surprise, one of the older ladies we were working with asked where we were putting our stuff so she could put hers there too. I kind of chuckled to myself that they would want to sit with us instead of with people their age.

Once our "younger" friends showed up they came over and let us know that they were all at "The Younger Table" and were waiting for us. I smiled and said we were fine where we were, and thank you. She gave me a confused look and returned to her table.

I realized that there doesn't have to be the "young table" and the "old table." The women we sat with didn't have children at home anymore, one was widowed, and another single altogether and I am not sure of her story. They just wanted to have a fresh conversation with a friend. They just wanted to feel included, too.

And we had a great time. They are all great women. Many times we have to get out of our comfort zone because, young or old, everybody needs a friend.

Utah Trip Oct. 2010

My memory of the trip is a little foggy by now. But the 2nd weekend in October we decided to take a quick trip, the reasons being threefold: My niece was blessing her baby, and I REALLY wanted to see the tiny little girl (although not so tiny after just 2 months), my Grandma recently had a stroke and we wanted to visit with her, and we needed to get some dental work done. Bad. (My old boss made it worth our while to travel to Utah and get all the work done there than to do it at THE OFFICE I WORK AT here in Cali. That said it is a good office and a very nice dentist).

We were worried that with it being such a quick trip it would only be exhausting (leave Thurs night and be back to work 8:00 am Monday, driving 12 hours each way) and not fun, but it proved very worthwhile. Even with Benny puking all over the car on the way we made it.

We were able to stay in Provo with our friends Steve and Adrienne and their family. They made yummy food for us the whole time.

Then we went to my old office and got our dental work done. It was really nice to see everyone and even made me miss my old job. My friend Kristen met up with us and we went to Cafe Rio. Oh how I have missed thee (you too, Kristen).
All this time Benny is out with his Grandma Sue having the time of his life. Apparently they went to the mall where he got some nice professional portraits taken. Then they went to lunch. Then they went to Trafalga with the entire family on Ben's side the rest of the afternoon. I feel kind of bad we weren't in on the fun or to get any pictures with them, but Ben and I did get to spend the whole day together on our dental date and shopping:)

I have missed Winger's so much and made everyone on my side go to dinner there with us once we got up to the Brigham City area. (no, the whole trip was not about food)

My grandma's house in Brigham City

Benny and his "Grape Grandma" (great Grandma)

She is doing really well and it was good to see her and my uncle.

Benny holding his 1st baby, his 2nd cousin Alison

This one is random but I came home one night and Ben and Benny were just lying in our bed hanging out. I asked Benny why he wasn't in bed yet and he said he was going to sleep in my bed with Daddy and I could go sleep in his bed. So that is exactly what I did!

Two peas in a pod. Watching sports and eating ice cream in bed.

So that's it. We'll probably go back again sometime:)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween 2010

I'm not even going to bother to put them in order.
Thursday the 28th we had a moms and kids party at a friend's house during the day. Saturday we did Trunk or Treat and games at the church and the kids trick or treated in all the classrooms. Sunday my sister Kimiko had a few of us over for dinner instead of trick or treating. Benny has definitely gotten use of his costume and still wears his hat everday.

Benny and Mayumi at our house after church Trunk or Treat.

Benny and me at Trunk or Treat taking a "time out" (for me. I wanted to punch all the older crazy, rude kids)

My sis Kimiko, Dan and Mayumi

Benny and his best friends from church. He was thrilled they both got to be fire fighters.

Another friend from church. Notice the funny look on his face as they hold hands. She is hilarious.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I am really frustrated with blogger and how they've changed the templates. My blog is such a mess and it's driving me crazy. I have spent HOURS trying to fix this and I don't know how. Grrrr! I know if you look at it it probably doesn't look that bad, but it's the fact it is not doing what I want it to do that is really peeving me.
I think I'm going to just leave it alone and focus on the actual posting from now on instead of trying to make it look cute. Blah

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lessons from a 2 year old

I cannot tell you how stressful this past month has been. Maybe it has just seemed worse since being hopped up on hormones makes everything worse for everyone. But it has been a hard month, at least for me.

Sometimes I feel like I run around spreading myself too thin and wish there was just ONE thing I was doing really well instead of a lot of things I wasn't doing well. One thing I often wish I was better at was mothering. I feel guilty being gone so much lately between work and doctor's appointments, especially as we want a little brother or sister for Benny and I want to be there for them, not shuttling them off to sitters all the time. But at the same time we need the job and medical treatments to be able to HAVE a baby, so it's kind of a catch 22.

The other day I was so frustrated and feeling bad, so I asked Benny if I was a bad mom. He looked at me wide eyed and adamantly said, "No, you're a good mommy!" And gave me a hug. I don't usually ask for praise or reassurance (also not why I am writing this post), but that day I needed it. What a sweet boy.

Then yesterday I was driving home with Benny and he asked his usual, "What am I going to see after my nap?" Meaning, "who am I going to see and what am I going to do tomorrow morning after I wake up." He always has to have a plan.
Me: You're going to Auntie Kimiko's house to play with Mayumi.
Benny: Oh. Where are you going?
Me: I'm going to work.
Benny: Who are you going to help?
Me: I'm going to clean some people's teeth.

He assumed that since he was going to a sitter again, we would be off helping someone. I often wonder if we are doing things right, if we are doing all the things we need to. At that moment I realized that yes, maybe we're doing ok. My 2 year old has not once complained about the amount of time Ben and I have been gone lately, he has only noticed that we have been out "helping people." There have been many moves and service projects, and I am so glad that that is where we have been spending our time instead of other frivolous ways.
Benny is definitely a typical two year old with two year old antics, but also typical in how pure and innocent they are. I felt humbled.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This little chef needs to learn some I guess.

Saturday we were at the store when Benny asked "what are those?" I answered they were yucky drinks (liquor bottles) and then realized he probably meant the Little People passing by. I quickly moved on, but on the way back out of the store Benny asked, "Where are my friends? I want to say hi." And there they were, a couple about Benny's size. So we chatted for no more than 2 seconds and then I rushed him out, mortified we singled these poor people out. Thankfully they were very kind, and I'm sure they get all sorts of comments and stares, but I didn't want to the be one to give them any unwanted attention.

Not even two days later we were at another store when Benny asked, very loudly, "What does that girl in blue have on her?" I looked up to see a woman in blue scrubs with light patches of skin RIGHT NEXT to us, so no time to hide or talk to him about it. I apologized to the woman, but she also was very nice and explained to him that she had "Michael Jackson Syndrome."

Thankfully the people in both these situations were very nice and knew just how to handle things, but it must be hard to be "different" and have to deal with those awkward situations all the time.

Benny and I had a talk about how we are all different, and we don't need to stare or point out these differences, but he is 2 and I would be surprised if something like this didn't happen again. I hate feeling like a terrible mom. I promise we do try to teach Benny how to be polite.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fireman Ben

I know it's not Halloween yet, but I about died when I saw how cute Benny was in his costume (no, he will not be wearing crocs). The cutest part is how excited he has been. Last Halloween he was not a fan of dressing up, but this year he has been planning his costume ever since the catalogs came in the mail. He carries the catalogs around the house and sits down time and again on the couch, thumbing through the pictures and always landing on the firefigher page. He is very into firetrucks and firefighters at the moment.

Auntie Kimiko made this for him one day when she was babysitting.

He still likes to streak and ran into his room after his bath, immediately donning his helmet, and only his helmet.

He even asked if he could wear his costume to sleep tonight.
Thank you, Grandma Sue, for making this little boy so happy! I think this costume will be more than just for Halloween.

And some other random stuff--I still get a kick out of how much fun Benny and Mayumi have together. She copies everything he does, and he loves having a little "doll" to take around.

And he is getting big. He is potty training and has a big boy bed. I am not sure why we bought him the bed though as this was pretty much the only time he slept in it. He usually makes a "nest" on the floor out of his blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. It is fun for me to hear all the funny things he says but we are definitely saying so long to his baby days.

He's doing great with his counting and ABC's and learning letter and number recognition. He knows how to use an ipod better than I do. And he wants to pretty much know the mysteries of the universe. I get weird looks at the grocery store when I am explaining things in depth to my 2 year old sitting in the cart, but the more you explain something to him, the better. He's very detail oriented and very reasonable and I pretty much just converse with him like I would an adult. He of course still has his fits and normal two year old moments, but he grew up way too fast for this mom. I guess they all do.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Moving far away is hard. It's lonely. It can be boring.

But it sure is nice when your sister moves in!

I know our older siblings think we're worse than twins, but I see it as a huge blessing that my sister and her family were able to come out here. Of all the places and jobs in the world, they ended up 5 miles from us! What are the chances? We are even in the same ward at church.

We don't know how long this will last, but we will enjoy it while we can. Benny and Mayumi have sure been enjoying their get togethers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

San Diego vacation

The first time in a very long time we have taken a "vacation" and not just a "trip" to see family etc. While we did see family, it was still a lot of fun. We stopped in Bakersfield on the way down and visited with Ben's dad and stepmom. We had fun in the pool as the weather there is HOT.
Then we went to San Diego and hit the beach, Sea World, Zoo, Old Town including the Mormon Battalion museum. We even took an accidental exit and ended up going over the bridge to Coronao Island, which I thought was cool. On the way home we stopped in Lompoc to see my parents and had lunch in Pismo Beach where it was very windy, so our lunch kits were very crunchy (beach sand).
We definitely need to do vacation again.

He is going to kill me if he grows up and sees this post, but can you guess what he's doing in the pic above, bottom right corner? I laugh everytime I see this one.


Feeling a bit frustrated at the moment that as a dental health employee, I get no dental benefits. I've never run into this before. Ben just broke a tooth (that has been fixed before, mind you) and I know it is going to cost over $1000 to fix.
I guess this is what everyone else feels like when it comes to dental fees :(

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Claw

How this kid always wins something, I don't know.

Whenever we go to a store that has a claw machine, Benny wants to play. Several of the machines let you go a second round and win a piece of candy if you don't win an animal the first time. Somehow Benny has won animals several times. We've definitely gotten our money's worth from "The Claw."
The funniest is this last time, he said "Can I do the claw and get some candy?" So after our shopping I forked over my 50 cents. I was so excited when the claw actually grabbed a stuffed puppy and dropped it into the shoot. Benny excitedly reached in and pulled out his new puppy.
Then he turned to me and said, "So can I do the claw and get my candy?"

Nevermind the puppy. Yeah, I paid another 50 cents so he could get a smartie.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Every morning we wake up to slug tracks in the living room. I have a hunch it is the enormous slug we saw by the front door several weeks ago. We never saw it again, but we sure see its aftermath in the morning. Every morning. Across the floor, shoes, any bags that might be sitting by the front door, even the ceiling. How that little slug gets around so quickly, thoroughly and mysteriously, and then where it hides all day is beyond me.
The other night at bedtime Ben came giggling in to the bedroom announcing he had set a trap. Since I had not bought any snail bait, he made his own slug trap made of salt...sprinkled generously all over the floor. (I'm not sure who he thought was going to clean it up)

But guess what. We saw some fizzy tracks through the salt yesterday morning, and that was it. No more slug. Where it melted and died I do not know, and I feel kind of bad. But the glee in Ben's laugh and the light on his face at his cleverness was maybe worth the torture of the poor little slimer.

And now there are frogs. In my bedroom closet. We caught one jumping around the bedroom 2 weeks ago and Ben let it go outside. Last night I heard some croaking but figured it was under the house. And today there they were, 2 froggies hiding behind some pictures I wanted to hang up. After much screaming, running around, and some help from Benny, I caught them. I made Ben release them further from the house this time.

Don't even ask me how many spiders live here.
Hopefully the skink in the front yard doesn't make its way in next.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I completely skipped part of spring and the trip from Ben's dad and stepmom. This is in part due to my search for the pics we took. Alas, they are nowhere to be found. But we did have a nice visit and Benny still talks about the boat ride in the Bay.

Then, in May I went to Utah with Benny. Ben must have really missed us because when we got back, he said he was taking me to:

It was every bit as good as I've heard. Ben even liked it so much he is not opposed to seeing another Broadway show one day.

Ben's mom visited (and babysat while we saw "Wicked") and we used our passes to Six Flags Marine World/Discovery Kingdom, whatever it's called now.

Ben had time off work and took Benny to the SF Zoo:

We celebrated Big Ben's birthday by having some ward members over and then watching fireworks along the Hercules Bay front. Benny was not impressed and turned his back to the fireworks and kept asking "Can we go home now?"

We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary:

My parents and sister's family were here at the same time which made for some fun barbecuing and crazy trips into the city. Another brother in law was here working for a week but we didn't get to see him. Traffic is torture. And of course I didn't take one single picture. Benny sure loved all the company and is hoping someone else will come visit soon.

So, nothing exciting to report but we sure have been keeping busy and enjoying our summer. Life has not been boring since we moved here and we are just fine with that. We are enjoying the house and feel very blessed for all that we have and the people we know.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Moving day

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us move yesterday. We've never had anyone help us and I can't believe how nice it was to have so many bodies carrying boxes and loading items, and even providing an extra truck. To top it off it was 96 degrees here on the coast. What a day.

We just moved to the next little neighboring town into a home with a little bit more space and yard for a growing 2 year old.

My parents hate attention, but I especially want to say thank you for all of their help. They drove the 4.5 hours up and helped move a bunch of stuff, babysat, mowed the lawn, ran errands, and cleaned. My mom is going to stay all week to help me clean and babysit. And to top it off then my dad is going to make a second trip up to pick up my mom. I think this is a very, very nice thing for them to do, especially as this is not a fun trip for things like sight-seeing or relaxing.

Thanks again! Benny is sure happy to have had you come.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Benny and I went to Utah for a family reunion and my cousin's wedding. It blizzarded in Idaho and dumped snow in Provo. Then it was sunny the rest of the time. Well, kind of. CRAZY weather.
We also celebrated my mom's bday. We went to the Cheesecake Factory (yum!). We drove A LOT. Can we say I can't remember when I have been so exhausted. And grouchy (sorry Mom).

When we got back I started a new job. I have been off the past 9 months except for a few days subbing here and there. It's about 16 hours a week and Benny is going to friends' homes to be babysat and play. So far it's working out Benny enjoys the friend time.
And then this week we are moving to the next town to get into a house with a bit more room. Right now I am supposed to be packing while Benny naps but I am too tired:)

Little Farm in Berkeley for a friend's bday. You can feed your own lettuce and celery to the animals. And it's free to go there. The kids loved it and we'll have to go again:

He LOVES these sunglasses, but even more, he loves wearing them upside down:

I bribed him into wearing them correctly. Big Ben thinks he looks like Bono. He does love music...

The biggest marshmallow I have ever seen. You only need one to make a full size s'mores.

He actually did a pretty good job watering my parents' plants in Lompoc and only got a little wet:

I just want to kiss that sweet face: