Friday, November 25, 2011

Slumber party

Since my sister is out of town, her family said my parents could stay at their place and have the house to themselves. When Benny found out Grandpa and Grandma were leaving our house, he decided he wanted to go with them. We let them have a couple hours to themselves and then sent him over to spend the night. We have no idea how it went and will find out in the morning I guess, but it was so cute how excited he was. He's all dressed up in his pj's with his special pillow and blanket (which he stole from me; my mom made them for me when I was little), ready to go. When did he get so grown up?
Oh yeah, I forgot to write down the latest Bennyisms:
-We were talking about Christmas and giving, and Ben said something about Benny sharing and giving someone a gift.
His response: "Why would I give them a present? I'm not Santa Claus."
Guess we need to work on the meaning of giving with him.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Let's see. We've been super busy but not with anything exciting or fun. We moved last weekend into a small apartment here in Hercules so my mom has been here helping. The poor woman came a week before the move to help clean and pack since I was 36 weeks pregnant. Then she stayed another week to help unpack and clean and watch Benny. Then at that point my dad said since Thanksgiving was just another 5 days away, she may as well stay and he'd come up to get her and spend Thanksgiving with us. She will have been here a minimum of 3 weeks when she goes home. She will probably never want to visit again! But we really appreciate all her help and we did have a nice Thanksgiving dinner today. I did none of the cooking except the gravy which was gross. Everything else turned out well, even the pumpkin pie which had 3 incorrect ingredients.
Yesterday I was too lazy to cut Benny's hair and took him to Great Clips to pay way too much for a trim. But he's always so cute when he sits in that big chair. He always has such a serious look on his face.
My birthday was last week, and we had boxes everywhere in the apartment. It was exhausting unpacking all week but I did have a good day. Ben spoiled me and got me flowers and a card to a spa for some pampering. Then we were able to go out for lunch on Saturday to my favorite restaurant, the Cheesecake Factory. So this pic is of me with a ginormous belly, as people are very eager to point out, at the end of the day on my birthday.
And, this last one is me today, Thanksgiving day, with 2 weeks left before I am due. I'm doing pretty well when my back and pelvis aren't killing me. I haven't gained much weight, and I'm not super swollen. My nose has spread a little which never looks good on anyone, but I'm still wearing normal jeans and didn't get any new stretch marks. It's been exhausting but I really can't complain. No one said pregnancy is easy, and we are very grateful to have Benny and now this little girl. Everything has gone pretty textbook with growth being spot on as well. So even though people say I'm "extremely large," I'm right where I should be. The one thing I worry about is the drama girls bring. And this one has been CRAZY from the beginning. We had to do her ultrasound 3 times to see everything we needed to see. And inside my belly has been a constant circus. They tell you to do "kick counts" during active periods during the day. I have to do the opposite and see if there are any NON-active periods during the day, or night. She is one constant ball of movement. There is hardly a time I cannot see or feel something going on in my tummy. All that said, we're just about ready. The doctor said any day at this point will be the day. I think I overdid it with all the moving and have had a lot of contractions and dilating. He said if she hasn't come by next week, 39 weeks, I can just go ahead if I want to if I am worried about size since Benny was fairly good size. We'll see. I kind of want to spend a little time with Benny before she gets here since the past couple weeks have been so crazy. So that's where we are! Still here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Benny the Angry Bird

I am shocked at how many compliments I have gotten on this costume. Thank you so much! As I said, I have been called "craft impaired, craft-tarded, and the anti-crafter." I have complained about my anxiety over walking into the store Michaels. I refuse to make things and would rather buy them.
This Halloween, however, Benny's costume started at $50. Then we saw it was sold out and was going for $200 on ebay. So what does a dad do? He tells his son that "WE" will just make it for him. Yikes. For some reason I doubted that "WE" included more than one person, and I also doubted that one person was him.

Anyway, I figured someone else had also made this costume somewhere in the world, so I googled instructions on how. I came across this blog: http://theclockblog.blogspot.c​om/2011/01/angry-birds-costume​-instructions.html

Some have asked for instructions, so here are my revisions to the above guidelines:

You will need: colored fabric of choice bird (black here), other fabric for inside of costume, thread matching bird, stuffing/batting, grey fabric for bottom of bird, flannel for face.

I used as much stuff as I could find around the house and spent $7!!!

1. First, there is no pattern, so get some butcher paper or tissue paper and trace around the person to get an accurate size. I then tied a string to a pencil to create a circle from the center of Benny's body. I measured the circle and bought fabric accordingly.

2. Fabric is actually kind of expensive I found. You will need at least a yard of colored fabric for the front and one for the back depending on how large the person is. I got away with 2 yards total for Benny and it is large on him. I didn't want to buy the expensive fabric, so even though the blog recommends flannel, I decided a twin bedsheet would probably be good enough. I went to Walmart to spend $5 on one and ran across some flannel throws for $2.88 each and bought two.

3. You also need fabric for the inside of the costume, so I cut up an old white sheet we had lying around the house.
So essentially there are 4 pieces of fabric, 2 black (or red, yellow, whatever bird this is) and then 2 of whatever color for the inside that no one will see. They are all exactly the same pattern/size cut from the butcher paper pattern you drew earlier. The pattern should include the fuse at the top of the head if doing the black bomb bird, or tufts for the red etc.

4. Sew both of the outside/black pieces to the inside/white pieces leaving a small open area at the bottom to be able to stuff it. Now there are 2 pieces, the front and back of the costume.

5. On the front piece, cut arm slats, whatever size you want and wherever you want. Cut a hole for the head but DO NOT make it too big (Benny's is waaay too big). They recommend making it smaller than you think it should be and should use a cereal bowl to trace the head circle. Also make sure not to place it too high. I was worried Benny's would be too low and cover his face, but I made it too high and it doesn't cover enough head to stay on well (this could also be because the hole is huge).

6. For the grey area on the bottom of the black bomb bird, I cut up an old Tshirt. You can also find cheap Thirts at Walmart's craft section ($2.50)or Michaels, or just buy a little fabric. I didn't have dark grey so Benny's is a little on the light side. Sew this onto the bottom portion of the front piece. Save some small scraps for the eyes.

7. Stitch up all rough edges from head hole, arms holes, etc. Sew front of costume to back of costume so now there is one piece, making sure to leave a large opening at the bottom for the wearer's body to enter.

8. I used some red, yellow and white felt pieces and cut eyes, mouth, and eyebrows. You can stitch or glue them on.

9. Stuff the costume with batting and then stitch the openings closed. I used an old pillow and took out half the stuffing for the front and the other half for the back.

10. And that's it! Hopefully this won't take you, Bethany, as long as it took me as I had no idea what I was doing!!!! Good luck

Saturday, October 8, 2011


It's official: we have completely lost our minds.

We decided to move into a small apartment to save some money for a few months. I will be 36 weeks pregnant on moving day next month.

Kill me now.

That said, we both feel good about this. We're just moving a few streets away in the same city and same ward. We'll obviously be giving up some things, but at least we will both be able to fit into the bathroom at the same time. Although I won't be working anymore so I really won't need to be in the bathroom getting ready at the same time as Ben. Oh well. We'll see how this goes! It's not forever, right?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Still here

There just hasn't been a whole lot going on here. We're busy and pooped. Let's face it, I'm plain tired. I don't do much besides work and take care of Benny.

Ben had a week break before the fall school year start dates, but we decided to stay local and save some money and energy. We went to the zoo as a family, went to the Santa Cruz boardwalk, and did some baby shopping.

Ben had crazy hair day at school. We thought we did a pretty awesome job on his cut.

Benny visits firefighters/firetrucks/firestations any chance he gets. This was at Walmart last week.

This is me at 29 weeks today.

And these are my favorite boys:)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's a...

...healthy baby! That's at least what we got the first time we tried to find out what kind of baby it was. Little stinker wasn't showing off. However, a friend who used to be in the ward and who also happens to be in ultrasound school right now heard of our predicament and offered to do another one for us. It turned out to be really, really cool, much better than the grainy images we saw at the clinic we went to (which I have to return to tomorrow to finish the scan for documentation purposes). The equipment was top notch and we got some really clear pictures and a CD with several pics and video clips, much better than the computer printer paper we got from the clinic.

Oh yeah, and it's a girl, but I think you all already knew that. We can't keep a secret.

This is a very short clip that I thought was sooo cute. We happened to catch her yawning, and then sticking that thumb right back into her mouth, just like her older brother.

The Bens

Ever since Benny was born people would say he was Ben's mini me. I just never saw it. He looked too much like himself. Then we got a photo album in the mail from Ben's stepmom for his birthday. I took one look at this pic below and realized they are the same person. I wish I could have found a better picture of Benny where he looks like his dad's twin, but I can definitely see it now. Take off the hair on both and just look at the faces:

They even do the same things:

I thought this was the funniest picture I have ever seen. Both Big Ben and Benny have a thing with sucking their thumb/fingers and holding their ear. Benny has never used his foot, though. I am impressed with Big Ben's flexibility here:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Funny little boys

I just enjoy this guy. Much more so than I ever thought I would. When we first found out he was not a girl, I wondered what the heck I was going to do. I only knew hair and Barbies and Cabbage Patch dolls. I didn't know anything about dump trucks and hot wheels. But he cracks me up. We find out Monday what we're having and I would be fine with another boy, and a girl would be fun too. So we are just excited Benny gets to be a big brother.

We always check on Benny before we go to bed. This one night I peeked in and noticed he was naked and asleep. In the morning I asked him why he took all his clothes off and he matter of factly said he knew he was going to pee the bed and didn't want to get his clothes all wet! Such a thinker ha ha

Benny does not share his pillows with anyone unless there is a very good reason. This night we peeked in and saw he had carefully placed his two puppies on a pillow each and everyone was asleep.

He is such a hard worker when he wants to be. There are two things he could do all day: take out the trash and weed. This was taken a few weeks ago, but he loves to go out and help his dad with the yard. Today we had a ward service project and he went to an older lady's house and helped Ben weed for 3 hours.
He also wants to take out the trash as soon as he sees there is any garbage in it. He knows there are three bins--garbage, recycle, and green waste--and puts things in accordingly. On trash day he helps roll out the garbage cans, and brings them in on his own after they're empty. We think we're going to start an allowance type thing along with his poop chart, so he'll get quarters for pooping and doing chores etc. We'll see if he's jazzed about it at all but I appreciate his willingness to help. Now if he'd only pick up his toys....

He thinks he is such a big boy, much older than his peers:

I already posted this on Facebook but he is such a typical boy. I think my sister Kimiko calls my mom several times a week to tell her the funny things he says. Very thankful for this little monkey.

Ben's bday and more travel

Wow I didn't realize how busy our summer had been until I started updating the blog. I realize a lot of this is boring for people reading, and they don't know who most of the people are, but I have to remember this is for me to remember stuff and document our goings on. I feel bad my blog is not funny or exciting, but I don't feel bad enough to do anything about that:)

Once again, Ben's birthday fell on July 4th. He is funny and said we either had to do a small family thing with just us or invite a bunch of people as he did not know who to exclude. So he requested I do a luau. Fortunately and unfortunately, many people are busy on the 4th so we only had about 20 people and a ton of leftovers. It turned out to be a fun time with people from the ward and good food.

The next week we celebrated our anniversary and went to Cheesecake Factory in Walnut Creek, my fave. We then rushed next door to watch Transformers 3 in 3D and then rushed to Oakland for a baptism.

The next week Kimiko and I took a trip down to Lompoc to our parents' house. Our good friend Tristan was able to come up from Mexico to visit. She has been down there the past 10 years due to silly U.S. laws restricting her Mexican husband from re-entering the country. This was an exciting time as he was able to obtain his Visa once again and it was the first time they were able to all come up and visit. Tristan's family, the Rhines, were the first people we met when we moved to Lompoc. They eventually moved off to Washington, and she moved to Mexico, but they have always been a special family to us. When we first moved to Lompoc, we all kind of had a hard time and didn't know anyone. A few weeks after arriving my older brother, Kenneth, suddenly passed away. Scott Rhine was Bishop then and very supportive, and his wife, Verna immediately came over with food for our freezer so we didn't have to worry about little things like that. They took us to the beach, girls' camp, and befriended two shy preteens who really didn't want to be there.

The Rhines later inherited some inlaws from church, the Heaths. I worked for the Heaths in high school as a general assistant in their dental office. They are wonderful people and helped jumpstart my career in dental hygiene.
It was great to see all these good people who left positive marks in our memories.

Utah trip June 2011

Whew! The moment the Nishimoto reunion was over, we left the next day (Father's Day) for Utah. Poor Ben spent his Father's Day in the car, and then we (I) accidentally left the laptop at the hotel in Reno.
But we made it safe and sound to Lehi where we spent time with Ben's mom, sister and her family, and brother. We barbecued at family friends and had Cafe Rio.
We also spent some time in Provo at our good friends' the Jensens and enjoyed making s'mores in the backyard. And I got to get my teeth cleaned and visit with my old dental office in Orem.
Then on to the northern part of our trip in the Brigham City area where we visited with Grandma Christensen, Benny's great grandma and saw the Brigham temple. We attended my nephew Jared's wedding. I got to see my cousin Brooke who is having a baby boy in October and my old roommate Heather. My parents and I visited my niece Amanda who had just given birth to her first little baby boy the day before. And finally we celebrated my brother-in-law Chad's 50th birthday. And then we jumped in the car and headed back to Cali. And yay, we were able to retrieve the laptop in Reno:) And then we breathed for a little bit. Just a little.

Nishimoto reunion June 2011

We finally had our 5 year reunion on my mom's side. We don't hold it very often since a lot of people have to travel from Hawaii and it gets pricey. I was disappointed we didn't actually hold it in Hawaii as originally planned and had it in the Bay Area, but it turned out to be fun for everyone.
My siblings came out a few days early and we all (minus my brother who didn't make the reunion) went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. We saw marine animals and shows and rode rides. I was sooo thankful to my nephew Connor for taking Benny on all the rides so I didn't have to.
Benny and Mayumi won matching puppies from a balloon dart game. I was impressed at Benny's skills as he won all by himself.
Day 1 of the reunion we all went to dinner and then gathered at the church for pictures, talents and family updates. Clockwise from top left: my mom's brother Sam's family, my mom's family, 1st cousins who attended, mom's sister (deceased) Yuriko's family, and middle is the 3 out of 7 surviving siblings including my mom. There is one more but she didn't make it.

Day 2 of reunion we met at Tilden Park in Berkelely for lunch, chatting and activities. My sister Janice made awesome shirts which Benny is modeling. He is also showing off his slug friend in one of the pictures. It was all exhausting but a lot of fun.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Spring break April 2011

It's been so long it's getting kind of blurry. But we took a coastal trip and went down to visit my parents and Ben's dad.
We went to the mission in Lompoc:

And then to Surf Beach to look for sand dollars. Ben illegally grabbed one from the restricted bird preserve just for me. It was so freezing and windy at the beach that Benny started crying so my mom took him to the car. Definitely not a beach to go lay out or swim


Then on to Cambria to visit Ben's dad. His stepmom stayed home in Bakersfield as she prepped for surgery a few days later.
The seals swam right by us.
Benny pretty much stayed this way forever poking anemones and picking up crabs.

More fun at the tide pools:

View from Grandpa Tom's beach house. I could get used to life at the beach:)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pure joy (part 2)

We appreciate so much all the people who have prayed for us over the years. Miracles don't happen without faith, and we have definitely seen them in our lives. We have had so many interesting growth experiences and feel humbled and extremely grateful.

Pure joy (part 1)

It's been a great week. After being partially potty trained for almost a year, he finally decided he would go #2! We had tried everything. We bribed him with everything imaginable, and nothing was worth pooping on the potty to him. Until last Sunday. When we saw he was really going to do this, we came up with a reward system. He could go to the $ store the next day and pick out a bunch of things as a reward each time he went. Then we made a chart that would fill up maybe a month or so of successes, and each time he earned 7 he could earn a big prize. We knew he had been ready for a long time and was being stubborn and hoped this would finally work.
Well, it sure did. That little turkey decided he really could do this and wanted all the big prizes as fast as possible and has gone more times than I could fathom. But I guess when you refuse to use the potty and hold it inside that long it all has to go somewhere.

And here is the proud owner of some new fire boots. Big prize #1 was new fire gear. He earned it so quickly the rest of it hasn't even arrived yet.
Everyone said it would click one day, but he was being so incredibly stubborn we couldn't see it happening. Well it clicked, and he's a pro now, and life is good.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I know this needs to be updated, badly. I'll really try in the next few days.
For now, here are the latest Benny-isms:


Ben: Benny, today was Mother's Day, a special day for moms when we tell them how much we appreciate them. Is there anything you'd like to say to mommy?
Benny: No.


Benny: Mommy, can you get me some soy milk?
Kari: Yeah, it's on the counter where I already told you it was.
Benny: Oh, can you bring it in here to me?
Ben: You can go get it yourself. Mommy is not your personal slave.
Benny: Yes, she is.

Oh this boy

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bunch of stuffs

I said "stuffs" cuz that is the way my mom has always said it. Stuffs is plural for stuff. Oh, wait.

Anyway, I am too tired to organize this post or write much about it.

Oakland zoo. It was nice Daddy was able to have MLK Day off work to spend time with us.

Tech Museum in San Jose last week. This is a small submarine.

Awesome slippers Big Ben brought home from work for Benny. They are always getting rid of cool stuff that is not "age appropriate" for the students there

Chillin' with dad's ipod. Ben is nice to share since he owns at least 3. I, sadly, have none.

All the rescue vehicles are parked backward in the station so they can rush out to help somebody when it's time.

My 2nd non-rectangular cake. We celebrated my dad's bday on Superbowl Sunday, so even though he doesn't watch football, he got a football cupcake cake

I just want you to check out my mom's legs. Pretty buff for a _____ year-old.

I can't remember why but Ben watched Benny all day one day. They read books, practiced letters and numbers, played, and did crafts. I was very impressed. I still say he should be stay-at-home dad. He's much better at it than I am. (No, Benny did not write his name by himself).

Trying to call Grandpa Tom & Grammy on my "special phone."

They play so well together (most of the time). It's really fun.

And, most importantly, Benny's trip to the firestation! I've been meaning to take him for several months now and have been trying to find a day to fit in several things together to make it worth a special trip to Cordelia (Fairfield). They were so nice and actually seemed excited to have us there. They invited us back anytime. They were even nice enough to tell Benny that real firefighters use the potty, not pullups or diapers (or their underwear! Grrr), so he said he would start using the potty all the time (have yet to see this happen, but we'll see.) It was so cute to see how excited he was, even if he got all shy once we were there. I even thought it was pretty cool. To all my firefighting friends, thank you for all you do! My son sure thinks you are heroes