Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Christmas Card and Letter

Here is our 2010 Christmas Card and letter that we sent out. I apologize to those that didn't get one. As funds were short this Christmas, we mostly only sent them to family. I really wanted to send them to friends too but this will have to do.

The Card is a beautiful product of Shutterfly.




This year, 2010, has been a wonderful year for our family. On January 24th, we welcomed twin boys, Patrick and Payden to our home in Covington, Washington. Since their birth we have realized how grateful we were for a good night’s rest but rose to the task of raising our two sons

In April, Christian was offered a job with Therapy Works in Lawrence, Kansas. Through time and prayer, we knew that this is where the Lord wanted us to be. We were excited about the offer of a good salary, a substantially lower cost of living and also the close proximity to Christian’s family in Lenexa. On the other hand, we were very sad about the friends that we would miss in Washington and the close distance it was to Valerie’s immediate family. In the first week of May, we made the journey to Lawrence to begin our new life together.

Patrick and Payden are now almost 11 months old and each day are learning new things. They love their pug sister, Maddie, and love to pull her tail while she licks them in order for them to release it. Patrick is full of so much energy and is always talking up a storm. If it isn’t screams and grunts, it’s Mamama and Dadada. He absolutely loves his Johnny Jump up and will just jump and jump and jump; of course screaming all the while. Payden has just learned to sit himself up unassisted from his stomach and has a silly grin on his face each time he does it. He is so close to crawling; it is only a matter of time until he is crawling all over the room. We know once he does, life will be forever changed. J He has also started saying what sounds very much like Hi and always does when Christian gets home from work.

As for our life now, it just keeps getting better and better as parents of these two little boys. We will be forever grateful for them and what a memorable year they have given us!

We love you!

Merry Christmas!

Christian, Valerie, Patrick, Payden, and Maddie Benedict

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Do you love Shutterfly?

This year, Shutterfly is offering 50 free holiday cards to bloggers, and I can't wait to upload a few of our pictures and see which card looks best with one or two of them.

Christian's sister, Lindsay takes wonderful photos and has offered to come to our home on Saturday to take some pictures of us and the boys. Christian's mom even bought the boys some Christmas overalls that will be so cute! The plan is to use those to make some Christmas cards to send out to family and friends. I am so excited for this and since we don't have the money, 50 free cards sounds absolutely wonderful to me!

Here are a couple of my favorite cards from the Shutterfly site.

Click the photo and it will take you to that card on the website...

To find out more about Shutterfly's free 50 cards to bloggers. Click here.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Belated List of Thanks

Life just moves on and on. Soon these boys will be 10 months old. Where or where has the time gone. Last year around this time, I was so very pregnant and so ready to finally meet my boys. While we are so grateful for these little lives that bring smiles to our faces, we never knew it would be so much work!


Let's not forget the many wonderful blessings that come from them as well.

21. Snuggles with boys before bedtimes.

22. Splashing and laughing at bath-time. I'm so happy it's a fun experience now. We definitely need more bath toys!! Any good suggestions?

23. Free KU tickets to the Opening game of the season and witnessing the BIGGEST smile on my husband's face. He was so happy introducing his boys to the KU Jayhawks!

24. Colder nights with more time for snuggles and also Maddie burrowing under the covers to get warm.

25. The new "games" the boys come up with. Yesterday it was, "lets pull Maddie's tail while she runs in circles and try not to fall over." They were laughing so hard.

26. Kind and thoughtful patients the Christian helps. Yesterday, he got some smoked rib tips and a whole smoked chicken that they had extra of and wanted to reward Christian for his hard work!

27. A very mobile Payden as he moves all over the floor. Patrick just watches; I'm hoping he'll get envious and start moving too.

28. A very spiritual Enrichment last week with a rousing game of volleyball afterward. Our wards have started playing volleyball and since it starts AFTER the boys are asleep, I go and thoroughly enjoy myself!

29. Beautiful leaves that are still changing. We have 2 trees around the town-homes that have red and yellow leaves. I love the sound of the CRUNCH!

30. Grocery store smiles - I put Payden in the Grocery Cart for the first time. He had the time of his life! We were talking and talking the whole time.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bathtime!

Here are some photos from a recent Bathtime. They are loving it so much now that they can sit in the tub and splash to their hearts content.

Note to self: A Poncho would be helpful!


Rock Chawk, Jayhawk!

Yesterday, Christian received 4 free tickets to KU basketball's opening game of the season. Why 4 tickets you ask? At the magnificent Allen Field House, they require tickets for everyone INCLUDING infants. Just last night we saw 4 tickets were advertised at $100.00. One of Christian's patients was appreciated of the wonderful work of therapy that he had did and wanted to reward him.

He couldn't have chosen a better way. We set out for the biggest adventure of our lives!

Here are the KU outfits of choice - Christian's sister bought the little jersey's. They are 12 month and fit them just fine!




I have to say the boys had a lot of fun! When we got there, their eyes were HUGE, taking it all in: the noise, the band and the bright lights. They were like that until 5 minutes into the first period and Payden fell asleep and then Patrick 10 minutes later. They each had a 20 minute nap and then woke up hungry for their bottles. Once the bottles were drunk (ie ..inhaled) they were much happier. Payden was fine until halftime when I went to get refreshments. When I came back he realized how much more fun it was to be away from all the noise. Patrick, on the other hand, relished EVERY bit of it. He is so much more of a social bug.

For the next 45 minutes or so, I was wondering Allen Field House with Payden. We saw the NCAA Trophy up close and even got to touch a few basketballs. Then there was time to explore the gift shop. I was amazed how many parents were buying whatever their kids wanted. It must be nice. About 8:30 or so, I got a text from Chrisitan saying Patrick was getting antsy. I met him up there and we walked down and began our trip to the car and then home.

Making it to the car was quite the site because of the rain. We had zipped our coats over the babies who were in Baby Bjorns so they wouldn't get wet. Then after 10 min in the car they were SOUND ASLEEP. We made a quick stop at Hyvee in order to get some of the sales and then went home to put the tired little guys to sleep.

Here are some pictures... I wish we would have had better ones of the 4 of us but oh well.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trunk or Treat

Last Saturday night, our ward had their trunk or treat. This was to be our first trunk or treat and we weren't exactly sure how it would work. I was a little nervous, not knowing how the boys would do. They ate at 2:30 and played for awhile. At about 4:30 we decided since it was still over 70 outside, we'd take them to the park and swing on the swings. Apparently this helped convince them that they didn't need that 3rd nap; or so I thought.

We fed them about 5 and then got in the car to go. Earlier in the afternoon, I had made 2 batches of Rice Krispie treats to hand out while we were there. Christian and I had been craving candy so badly, it seemed so wrong to buy a ton only to give it out to other people. :) I literally jumped at the idea (suggested by Christian's mom) to make Rice Krispies. I think I spent $3. In the end, I had about 50 so I thought I would have enough. I was so wrong.

When we arrived, we found out that this was tri-ward function for all 3 wards that attend our building. Sadly I knew that I didn't have enough treats. There was about 30 minutes of waiting (until everyone got there, cars ready and costumes situated just right). In that 30 minutes, Payden fell asleep in his costume in my arms. We decided that I would stay behind with him in my arms and hand out candy from the back of the car. Christian took Patrick and walked with another family to trick or treat. I think he was more excited than Patrick to get candy!

Christian finally returned to the car with Patrick snoozing in his arms and told me to take Payden who was now awake around trick or treating. I couldn't believe it, it was too good to be true!! I guess... double the children, double the trick or treating power and double the candy. We had a great loot and we've been eating it like crazy. I guess it tells you how long it's been since we splurged on candy!

Here are some pictures from the wonderful night.

Our little bugs - Payden a Bumblebee and Patrick a Spider. We got some huge bags of clothes from a past ward member and there was a bumblebee costume in it. Then Christian's mom bought the spider one for Patrick. The temperature was just perfect. They needed a jacket and the costumes worked out perfectly!




Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Patrick and Payden are 9 months!

I know I say this every month but time just flies around here. Maybe that's why I have a hard time getting any cleaning done around the house! :)

Here are this month's stats for our two boys.

Patrick:
Weight: 19 lbs 6 oz (up from 18lbs 3 oz a month ago) - 33rd percentile
Height: 28.75 in
Head: 18.75 in

Payden:
Weight: 16 lbs 14oz (up from 15 lbs 13 oz a month ago) 4th percentile! - up from 2nd!
Height: 28.75 in
Head: 19 in

Patrick: He has recently started showing us that he has a very stubborn side whether it's taking a nap, learning to crawl or play on his tummy. When he wants something, he'll let you know.
  • Constantly taking toys away from Payden. I caught a few tug-of-wars this past week and usually Patrick wins. Payden has started fighting back and has won a handful of times.
  • has 2 bottom teeth. I keep thinking that he's getting the ones on top but no.
  • I love his new smile - with his two teeth
  • And with those two teeth, he is expertly biting off little bits of graham crackers and saltine crackers. Just beware of your fingers because boy does he love to chomp!
  • He loves to jump! One of his favorite toys is the exersaucer and the johnny jump up. He screams and laughs and jumps all at the same time.
  • When he's grumpy, it's "mum mum mum" and when he's happy... "da da da da" Hopefully this isn't a pattern of things to come!
Payden:
  • He is now (as of the first week of October) a very accomplished sitter.
  • He has been rolling in his crib but just last week we was able to roll over on the floor and now has been doing it all the time. It just took that one time and now he's all over! He loves to do it in order to get the toys on the floor. Diaper changes are quite the workout for him and mommy has you try to somehow get the diaper on a continually wiggling child. I'm sure it will only get harder as they get older.
  • Last Sunday he blew his first little raspberries with his tongue, it is the cutest thing. Usually if I blow one at him, he'll stick his tongue out too and mimic me. The therapist that comes every week said that blowing raspberries is a precursor to talking. That made me happy!
  • One little tooth on the bottom which makes breastfeeding almost impossible because he loves to chomp. The only time I can do it is when he is extremely hungry or tired.

More Pictures!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Thanks

It's been a tough night and hard morning.

My list of thanks will come from the past week in no particular order.

11. Cancellation of Ward Choir yesterday and extra time to spend with family. Usually Christian takes the boys home and feeds them and plays with them. It's nice to have a break but it's always nice to have a change in plans.

12 Primary Program yesterday. I loved it and know it will only be a matter of time until our boys are up there too.

13. Payden blowing raspberries with his tongue for the first time yesterday.

14. A wonderful dinner of Chicken and potatoes. We cooked it a different way and it turned out wonderful. I'm always nervous cooking something I've never done before.

15. Laughing as the boys have figured how to jump in the Johnny jump up and have a total blast!

16. Watching Payden roll from his back to stomach and then back again on the bed. Then today, he finally has rolled over front to back to stomach on the floor and is so proud of himself! To watch it was truly something.

17. Waking up to the babbling of baby talk at 6am. (yet confused on how to get them to sleep a little longer).

18. The thrill of going to the pumpkin patch for the first time with the boys.

19. Introducing them to their first cow (2 month old calf) and having it moo right in their face. It was priceless.

20. Enjoying free time in the evening as the boys are usually in bed between 8 and 8:30.

Friday, October 22, 2010

First Pumpkin Patch!

Did I ever tell you how much I love my Fridays!

#1. it's Friday and I get to spend the next 2 whole days (the weekend) with my husband who I miss so much during the week

#2 My mother in law comes on Friday to help out. Our goal is usually to get out of the house which I love. Also, our church gets together on Fridays with other young mothers. We have a singing group where we sing actions songs and get to visit.

Today they were headed to the pumpkin patch. We never saw them but oh well.. we got there a little late.

We left the house about 10:45 and stopped first to see Christian and his coworkers. They hadn't seen the boys for awhile. Then we left for the patch. Still negotiating and getting to the patch took awhile. Plus I was driving and it had been forever since I drove...

Some highlights...
  • getting out of the house and loving every minute of it!!
  • A newborn calf (2 months) mooed right in our faces. We have 3 books that shows how a cow says moo and now they get to see it up close and personal. I loved showing it to them
  • buying Fresh Peach salsa as a present for Christian
  • Seeing a pig that was huge at only 7 months. It did some perfect snorting for us too!
  • Taking pictures on the pumpkin and then taking pictures with the boys.
  • riding the hail ride out to the pumpkin patch and seeing all the different varieties of pumpkins.
And now pictures!






Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Patrick and Payden - at play

Lately I have been having trouble keeping Payden and Patrick both entertained at the same time. I had Payden in the exersaucer which is getting to be one of his favorites but Patrick was getting bored of toys on the floor. I brought them upstairs and put Patrick in the Johnny jump up. I wasn't prepared for the amount of fun that they would have. (I also brought up the exersaucer so they could play together.). While Patrick was having tons of fun, I found the camera for a video. Sorry for the poor quality and lack of skill on my part...

Enjoy!


video

Monday, October 18, 2010

Countings Blessings

One of my blogging friends, Melissa from Bumblebee Grace started doing something on her blog awhile ago. Every Monday she gives thanks to the things that she receives.

I thought it was an incredible idea and a way/outlet for me to show thanks to my Heavenly Father for all he has given me. I know that as I do this, I will become more and more aware of the little moments that happen each day.

Without delay...

1.. Beautiful fall colors

2. Baby boys that are getting used to sleeping thru the night. Only 1 relapse due to teething in 1 week.

3. Getting more quality sleep =Better milk supply. The past week, the boys have got 2 full feedings of breastmilk when they usually only get one full bottle and then 1/2 and 1/2 through the rest of the day.

4. Cuddles and songs with Mom before nap time

5. Cooler temperatures - high of 74 and cool night.

6. Boys in bed by 8pm - wondered what to do with myself until bedtime.

7. Christian taking the boys home from church for a good nap and letting me have a rare uninterrupted day of Relief Society.

8. Yummy fried rice for dinner - thanks to our neighbor who supplied the soy sauce since we realized late into the game that we didn't have any.

9. Leftover fried Rice for lunch

10. Lots of plums, apples and apricots to puree for my little boys.

Cuddle-bugs

In the last week, Patrick and Payden have all of a sudden turned into cuddle-bugs. It makes me wonder if they have always been this way and I haven't taken advantage of it before...

Typically, I would bring them up to our bedroom where we would lay and read books and then sing a couple songs. This last week, I have started something new which I think I will do as long as I can hold both at once! We come up to the room where I sit in the rocking chair with them and sing to them before their nap. It is the cutest thing! They both lay tummy down on each side of my chest. Sometimes they'll even hold hands while they lay there.

Here are their nap-time and bedtime songs... I usually pick one or two from list. They are all primary songs that I have memorized. It helps that there are multiple verses to each one. :)

My Heavenly Father Loves me
I am a child of God
Love is Spoken Here
Give said the Little Stream

Then, I lay them down in their cribs. Also last week, they have started liking their blankets more and more. Both of them will hug their blankets to their sides or chest as they sleep. It's the cutest thing! Payden has recently gotten to be a super expert at rolling over to his tummy in his crib. It's his preferred way to sleep now which is funny because he never rolls over when he's playing during the day. I figure one of these days he will.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

First Graham Cracker!

I have always loved graham crackers. Maybe because I was snacking on them today, made me think I needed to do a post about this.

This afternoon... I was getting dinner ready and also trying to make cookies but had the 2 little men under foot. Payden was happily playing in the exersaucer and Patrick wanted to be in the kitchen with me. They have been very whiny today, due to some new teeth I found yesterday that are just barely making their entrance. I gave Patrick a graham cracker and he absolultely LOVED it. It was completely gone and his hand went right to the package where I got the first one from. After some time, Payden realized that he was missing out on the fun and wanted some. I gave him one and he was content to just look at it and play with it. About 5 minutes later he decided to nibble on it and finish it off.

Here are some pictures to remember the event: I'm still trying to get pictures of the first teeth.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Day at the Park

After all the stresses of sleep training last night and today, this was a great escape for our little guys.

We and the little men went to a park pretty close to our house. We had SO much fun. Evidently they aren't too little for the swings there. I thought they might be. Next time I need to remember to bring a blanket so we can just sit and play.






Friday, October 1, 2010

8 months old

I can't believe the boys are 8 months old. Isn't it crazy how fast time flies. I find myself wishing for the older days when I wasn't so worried about them. It seems like I'm always worried if I am doing enough with them to promote them crawling, enough time on their tummies and helping Payden to gain more weight.

Here's a little bit about each of my two boys.

Let's do Payden first this time!

Payden:
We weighed him on 9/22 and he was a whopping 15 lbs 13 oz. That's 18 oz in one month!
  • almost sitting by himself. Every so often he'll arch his back or fall over sideways. He does love playing while sitting up though
  • absolutely loves Maddie. If Maddie is anywhere near him while he eats, he won't eat because he just wants to grab her fur or her collar.
  • pivots now on his tummy. It's usually when he is playing with a toy and he drops it and can't reach it. He will turn and maneuver himself around to finally get the toy.
  • almost flipping over from his back to his stomach. I've been working with him all week because he has been waking up in the night on his back and wants back to his stomach. After a few days of this, I have found him in the morning asleep on his back. We've realized he needs proper motivation to flip over to his tummy. Usually that motivation is Maddie!
  • He is finally waking up as a happy boy. Usually one nap a day he wakes grouchy but the other times he is woken up by Patrick's talking and then he just rolls over to his back and lays and plays with his binky and takes both of his socks off. When I go into get him he is usually sucking on his feet, his socks or playing with his pacifier.
  • We've started feeding them in our room at 6 am because they'll go back to sleep. He will drink his entire 6 oz bottle and then still want more. Usually I'll breastfeed him until he is full. It's the cutest thing because he usually grabs my shirt or my nose and I know what he wants.
  • absolutely LOVES LOVES LOVES his Mum Mum rice crackers. He can down one of those things is no time but boy are they messy.
  • On Saturday night, Christian's parents took us out to eat before the men went to the Priesthood session of conference. I brought some Gerber puffs with me to see if they would entertain them. Thus far, I haven't been able to get Payden to eat anything solid like this. He absolutely loved them!! I would hold one in front of him and he would open his mouth so I could put it in. He is also reaching for them and picking them up off his high chair.
Patrick
We weighed him on 9/22 along with Payden and he is 18 lbs 3 oz.
  • has his very FIRST tooth! It's made him quite the little grouch (and the King of drool) at times but it is finally in. Now the current question is: Is there another one?
  • sitting up now unassisted. There are still a few times when he gets excited and over he goes to his back.
  • getting closer to mastering the pincher grasp. He can grab things off his high chair tray but doesn't yet know how to open his hand to put it in his mouth. He has done it twice now and acts pretty proud with himself.
  • eating rice krispies with ease and also diced peaches.
  • loves to be in the exersaucer and to jump up and down. He also loves the Johnny Jump up. Oh I wish we could move it downstairs; there just isn't a place to put it. It would make our lives so much easier in the evenings!!
  • Also loves Maddie. He will giggle and giggle as Maddie plays with her toys; usually when I'm playing with them on a blanket. When it's getting close to nap time and he's a bit cranky, the best thing to do is to start playing with Maddie and he'll cheer right up!

More Pictures!



Monday, September 6, 2010

My Handsome Boys

When the boys were born in January, my older sister sent me two outfits that she made. (complete with shoes!) They were 6 months and I thought it would be forever until they were wrong. Little did I know how fast time would fly and I would be seeing my two boys in these clothes.

After dressing them for church, I almost cried. My two little boys looked so grown up! I couldn't believe it all fit right down to the shoes! We received many complements on them and I was only too happy to tell people that my sister made them for us.

Without further adieu...




Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Belated 7 month Post!!

Now it's time for the belated 7 month post... I can't let a month go by without one...

Here's what both of the boys are up to.
  • Much more vocal and they seem to be always talking. There is a lot of Ahh and then looking at us as if to say, "Your Turn."
  • Still having bottles about 6x a day. Whenever it is 5 they don't seem to do very well.
  • Giggle and smile when they see Maddie coming to if she licks them.
  • Now big enough to sit in the stroller without car seats!
Patrick
  • If it's too quiet he'll talk and talk and wait for someone to talk back. Christian likes to call him an attention grabber because he always has to be in the center of it.
  • On the way to the doctor I asked if they were doing okay. Of course I got a response from Patrick; one of his little Ahh and I knew he was okay.
  • Saw a sliver of white on his gum line only to have it disappear.
Payden
  • Weighed him last week and he was 14 lbs 10 oz with the dietitian. That's one pound in less than a month!
  • I've started giving him pure breast milk to help with his constipation and it seems to be helping. Or else he's realized how to do it on his own better.
  • Becoming more irritable at night; we're chalking it up to teething. More on that later.
  • More tolerant on his tummy.
  • Therapist at Tiny-K say that he is improving and is getting better. He is starting to roll to a side to pick something he wants.
  • Hates when his brother takes things away from him. And it's only the beginning.

Last - here are some pictures from the last month. .

Payden posing for the camera..


Patrick bathing in the sink. We know he's a little big but it's easier than the tub.

Payden - master of the sippy cup. Yesterday he got water out of it.


Patrick - favorite toys are kitchen utensils..


Patrick - Yummy feet!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Walking, Walking, and more Walking

Sometime in the last month, Christian and I have done a lot more walking at night. I think it has something to do with the fact that the boys have stopped taking their last nap before bed time. They are taking 4 naps a day so I'm still pretty happy about that. Because they stopped taking that last nap they really get cranky and we found that the stroller is wonderful. If they are really tired and NEED a nap than the stroller is there and they can sleep for a few minutes or so.

So we loaded them up in the stroller (w/o the car seats). As we were about 1/2 way, Maddie (thrilled to be out on a sniff, poop, and pee adventure such as this) stops and looks up at us. Then she is laying down and playing in the grass but not budging one inch. Now it's very clear, either we carry her or see if she'll ride in the bottom of the stroller. We decided to put her in the bottom of the stroller and she absolutely loves it! Typically she just sits there and pants and by the time we walk in the door, she's sound asleep and snoring. Ah the long hard life of a pug!!

I love that the walking gives Christian and I time to unwind from both of our days. Him at work and me with the babies all day. Plus it's exercise... have I mentioned that due to the walking and not going out to eat so much Christian has lost 20 lbs? He's pumped and I am too! I love it when he feels good about himself.

Patrick zonked after one of our walks.


Christian and Payden having a bit of cuddle-time after one of our walks


Maddie - below the stroller as she was too tired to continue.


Family picture - getting home from a walk


Another piece of good news, as we walk more Maddie starting to walk further and further. We'll get this lazy pug in shape yet!!