July 25, 2012

Bye blogger; Hello Wordpress

Dear blog readers (meaning Shannon, Joseph, and our moms),

I've decided to switch my blog from blogger to wordpress.  It has a new URL: AliciaBen.com. I'm still working on it but I've started posting there so I figure I should go ahead and announce.

I have one other project I've been working on.  For SEO purposes I have to post the link.  Check out That's A Pretty Picture.  I'm not sure I'm ready but I love photography and there is only one way to get better - practice.  Here goes nothing :)

Hope your day is spectacular,


July 16, 2012

A little of our life

Wednesday of last week we went to the story time at the library. Don't ask me why I go.  The kids don't really like it all that much and barely participate. They love going to the library but just don't really care for story time. But, I think it's fun and it's good for them to be in a classroom-like setting - so we go sometimes.

Library story time

Thursday we had a playdate with Andrew and Addison. Super fun!


Friday we went to see Sarah, Ethan, and Charlie in the morning.  Her brother's family just adopted a puppy so we went to visit the little furry ball of cuteness.  Sadie loved it, Jax hated it, McKay was indifferent. 

McKay didn't like it when the puppy used him as a chew toy.
It didn't hurt because he barely has teeth but I think it scared him.
He wanted to be held after that.

That afternoon we played around here.

He's trying to do a somersault.

Saturday we had the birthday party which took up most of the day and we relaxed in the evening. See this post


Sunday was wonderful.  I must admit that I'm really enjoying church so much more now that I have Ben's help.  It's also nice to have a lesson to prepare and share each week.  I feel like I'm in a much happier place then I was back at Easter.  I feel guilty for those feelings I had.  

Isn't he so funny?  Do you love his underpants and tennis racket?
Remember when we was potty trained?  He's not anymore.
He was accident free for 3 weeks and then when I went to Utah he started having accidents.
I guess it's time to potty train him again. 

Sadie took the following picture.  She's loves photography as much if not more than I do.  It's a constant battle to keep the cameras out of her hands.


Today started off pretty good.  The kids stole my glasses so we ended up doing a mini-photo shoot.  Always fun for me!  I haven't been using my big camera as much lately.  I love my point and shoot and it's so small and convenient that I use that for most things.  But it's so much fun to get out the dSLR and play around.

Raise the roof!

This afternoon things took a turn for the worse.  Jax has been constipated the past few days and was miserable this afternoon.  I feel like I've been tending a birthing woman all day.  He still hasn't had any success :(  McKay was woken up early from both his naps so he was in a bad mood, too.  It was a long afternoon.  I have so much parental guilt when multiple children need me at the same time and I can't see to all their needs/wants.  Sadie was super difficult this afternoon and I think she was just jealous of all the attention her brothers were getting.  I wasn't as patient with her as I should have been.  Parental guilt....it's awful!

I set Jax down on the sofa while I was making lunch.  I turned around from the stove and found him in this position:

Meanwhile, McKay was either at my feet crying to be held or getting into mischief.

He dumped these sesame seeds all over the kitchen.

My dishwasher still doesn't work.  How long has it been?  Six months?
I should really get that fixed.  We use it as our drying rack now.

I put McKay in his highchair and let him make a mess feeding himself.  That kept him happy for a few minutes.

So it was a stressful, tear-filled afternoon but we all survived.  We always do.

We also received sad news this evening about my dearest brother, Michael.  He was in a car accident with an 18 wheeler but thankfully is just fine.  He walked away without a scratch and there was very little impact. He said it was a very gentle collision. I don't know how you can have a gentle crash with a semi-truck while going 45 mph but he says he's fine.  So grateful he's okay!  Love you Michael :)


I'm 28 now.

28 wasn't such a hard birthday for me.  I've had worse.  I guess I'm getting more comfortable with aging.  Perhaps I just don't have time to even worry about such silly things anymore.  There are diapers to change, meals to prepare, laundry to be washed, errands to run, kids to entertain, messes to be cleaned, fun to be had, and memories to make.  No time for a mid-twenties crisis this year.

Also, I feel content with where I am.  Everything I've ever wanted I have (except grandkids).  I have a loving, loyal, attentive, gentle, hardworking husband.  We have three healthy, beautiful, smart children.  We live in a beautiful place close to lots of family.  I have my education.  We have a home.  We have our health.  What more could I ask for?  Life can be hectic but I wouldn't change one aspect about our lives - well, now that I think about it, I wouldn't mind having a home with one more bedroom in Feather Sound :)  But, overall, I'm perfectly content with where I am and what I've done with my 28 years.  I've been very blessed.

Those are my birthday thoughts.

I set birthday goals instead of New Years goals.  Usually I don't achieve the goals, though.  Should I set them anyways?  I won't call them 'Goals', just dreams.  Truly that's what these are, anyways.

It would be my dream come true to own a Nikon D800, be photographing two weddings a month, and have my student loan paid off by my next birthday.  That would be a dream come true!

Now, these are the birthday events:

On my birthday day my mom was kind enough to come up and watch the kids so I could nap.  Oh thank you Mom!!!!  That night she watched the kids so Ben and I could go out.  We ate at Chipotle and then went shopping.  It was a perfectly peaceful and simple day.

On Saturday we had a combined birthday party for Mike, my dad, and I at the clubhouse pool.  It was great fun!  The kids always look forward to seeing their uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents.  They're getting old enough that they can play together and enjoy each other.  It's great!

We had a cookie sampler dessert instead of cake and ice cream.
The birthday people.  Mike's face cracks me up!

Here's to hopin' and prayin' for another good year!

The Relationship of Sadie and Jax

Sadie and Jax.

They're good little friends....most of the time.

They love to play with each other....except when they don't.

They're so cute together...just not when they attack each other.

They really love one another...I think?

Lately, Sadie and Jax have started fighting with each other.  It all began during Jax's hitting phase back around 18 months.  Sadie was patient with him for months.  But I guess she finally decided she had had enough because now she's starting to fight back. Usually they fight over a toy, Jax hits (not very hard), Sadie cries, sometimes she hits him back, and then Jax cries.

That scenario or some variation of it plays over and over again all day.  Well, that's not true.  They can play for hours together perfectly but then they get in foul moods when the fighting becomes a problem.

These are the things I tell myself as I try to calm myself before walking into their room to deal with a fight:
- At least they're playing with each other.  I'd rather than play together and occasionally fight then not play at all.
- At least they're healthy, strong, smart kids and not chronically ill and laying in a hospital bed.
- This is normal - all siblings fight.  I fought with my siblings and we're best friends now.
- They're learning conflict management.  They're going to need that in today's world.

These are my other thoughts:
- Please, God, please give me patience!
- What in the world am I doing wrong?  I'm think I'm consistent, firm yet kind, we discuss what went wrong (and each person has to take ownership of what they did to contribute to the problem), we talk about what we should have done, each person has to say sorry, and the other person has to say, "I forgive you." Oh, and if the fight is about a toy, the toy gets taken away.
- WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING DIFFERENTLY???  Just stay out of it?  Be more mean?  Spank? (Which I'm against, I thought) Ignore it?  Do long timeouts? Not let them play together?  What?  I use to think fighting was in fact signs of deeper issues - not getting enough parental attention, hungry, bored, tired, etc?  Those things are triggers but they fight even when everything should be blissful.

Deep down they really do love each other.  They play together every moment of every day.  Maybe that's the problem - too much of a good thing?  I can't even keep them separate, though.  They always want to be together even when they're driving each other nuts. Jax follows Sadie around like a little lost puppy and imitates everything she does.  In return, Sadie loves to mother Jax and so enjoys the attention he gives her.  Except during the contentious times.  Those aren't so pretty and joyful.

I just want them to love each other. When they're grown and gone I want them to call each other to chat, talk to each other about problems, laugh together on holidays - genuinely enjoying each other's company, and eventually look after each other when we're gone.  Is that so much to ask for?

One thing I have discovered about kids is it's all about phases.  So, hopefully this is a phase that we'll work through and it will soon pass. Hopefully.

Here's my walk down memory lane and reminder that they do love each other.  Because they really, really, really do love each other!

Sadie stacking coins on Jax's head.  Fun game, right?

Sadie decorated Jax with stickers one day.  He loved the attention.  

Washing hands together.  I think they flooded the bathroom shortly after this pic was taken. 


Waiting for daddy to come home.