Monday, November 23, 2009


Ben lost his first tooth last night:

Ben left his tooth and a note for the tooth fairy last night, and she left him a note in return as well as a crisp $1 bill (she explained in the note that it was a little bit more money than usual because it was his first tooth to come out). Anyway, now he looks like a true big boy! I looked at him in the rearview mirror on the way to school this morning, and it was like looking at a completely different child. While I'm thrilled that he's growing up, part of me is a little sad about it too.

My Imaginative Child

Here are some of the things that my imaginative child has claimed and/or said lately:

* we have 45 rabbits (reality: a guy who does some work around the house rescues rabbits and has around that many)
* his favorite sport is golf (reality: I don't think he's ever actually seen a game of golf)
* he is an expert skateboarder (reality: I don't think he's ever seen an actual skateboard in person)
* he speaks and writes Japanese (reality: what do YOU think?)
* he has a pet goldfish that he bought at Petsmart (reality: no, he doesn't)
* he has a pet tarantula (or tyrantula as he says it) in his room (reality: what do YOU think?)
* he has an entire aquarium of pet fish in his room (reality: no, he doesn't)
* he knows karate (reality: no, he doesn't)
* he is a ninja master (reality: what do YOU think?)
* he is mean (reality: okay, that one's sort of true sometimes)

There are many other imaginative things that come out of his mouth on a regular basis. These are just the most recent ones. It's always interesting to hear what comes out of his mouth!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our "Otherwise Known As" Week So Far

Here's a rundown of our week so far:

Monday is now otherwise known as Meltdown Monday. Ben had a SERIOUS meltdown after waking up from a late nap after school and lots of tension and stress filled the air. It was a lousy night, but we both survived it. Enough said.

Tuesday was better so it's now otherwise known as Terrific Tuesday. After school we ran by the payroll company then headed out to shop for birthday presents for upcoming birthday parties and some grocery shopping. We headed home after that and had a quiet, calmer night until I realized that I had to run to Walgreens to pick up prescriptions that I had to have that night. Ben wore his new Mario jammies and looked very cute!

Wednesday - otherwise known as Today - has been quiet so far. Today was Late Start Day at school (otherwise known as The Most Wonderful Day of the Week!) so it was already destined to be a better day. And today was the Pokemon Dojo/Club/Thing that Mr. Ives arranged for the kids so Ben stayed until 4:15. He loves it although I don't know if he knows about Pokemon other than what he's seen on the cartoon on TV (and I have a feeling it's pretty different). I don't understand it at all so hopefully Mr. Ives does. After all, that's all that counts, right? Either way, Ben LOVES that he's with some big kids in the club (it's for SKers - 2nd graders according to the flyer), and he really loves Mr. Ives so it's a double bonus for him to take part in this.

Friday is the Big Day this week at school. Everyone in Beasley (Lower School at MICDS) dresses up and parades down to the MAC (the gigantic gymnasium) where the kids sing a bunch of Halloween songs before they parade through the Upper School for the big kids to see them in their costumes. It was so incredibly cute last year! I'm really looking forward to it, and I know that Ben is too. He's only asked me about 30 times if I'm going to be there, and each time I tell him that I wouldn't miss it. The teachers do a great job getting the kids prepared. Ben has been singing cute Halloween songs around the house for awhile now (taught to him by, coincidentally, Mr. Ives).

And everyone knows what Saturday of the biggest days of them all for kids...Halloween (otherwise known as The Day It's Okay to Ask Strangers for Candy and/or The Day It's Okay to Take Candy From Strangers)!! Pictures will definitely be posted.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Last Weekend

Not much happened this last weekend. We took it very easy since Ben seems to constantly be on the verge of a potential cold and with the weather as wet and cold and back and forth as it's been, I'd rather not have him get sick. Besides, a three day cold for him turns into a two or three week ordeal for me.

Friday night Ben spent the evening with Grammy Eleanor while I attended the MICDS 150th Gala at the Ritz Carlton. It was very nice. More than 800 people were there so it was a bit of a madhouse (particularly during cocktails), but I had a good table so it was fine (Alex's mom, Harrison's parents, Jack and Paige's parents and Jack M's parents - it's all about who your kid is at this stage of life). Ben really enjoyed the special time alone with Grammy, something he never gets. She was dog/housesitting for her sister and brother-in-law so Ben got to spend some time with Hattie, their standard poodle, and he particularly enjoyed that.

Saturday we hung out at home during the day. For lunch we made homemade crinkle cut oven fries, and Ben got to crinkle cut the potatoes. He LOVED doing that! That night we had dinner at Michael's with Adam. Sunday we hung out at home until it was time to go to soccer where Ben actually kicked the ball a few times! Afterwards he hung out with Adam for a couple of hours then we all grabbed a quick dinner at Wonton King where Ben actually tried a couple of new things, one with a bribe of a quarter (which he forgot about so it's still in my possession) and the other completely on his own.

Halloween is what we're concentrating on now. Ben is going to be Luigi of the Super Mario Brothers, and I'm evidently going to be Mario (at least I'll be wearing Mario's hat - Ben's child size 4-6 costume won't fit me). We were even talking like Mario and Luigi this morning on the way to school, and I got several thumbs up from Ben so I must be doing a good job. Pictures will definitely be posted.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

La Di Da...

Life is meandering right along. Ben has been busy with school and battling as usual. Yes, I said battling. It's all about battling around here. If we're not battling with Gormiti (which I don't know how to do yet am constantly forced to do) then we're battling with light sabres and swords. I'm evidently not so good at that either.

There was no school last Friday so a bunch of SK parents took the kids to India Palace for lunch since the kids are studying India. It was fun, and no, Ben didn't eat a single thing (even though he claims that he did, but I know the truth). Afterwards we went to the pumpkin patch with everyone, and the kids all ran around and had a great time for awhile. Wow, was it cold and gross out! When we left there we went to K-Mart for some more Halloween decorations (we'd been to Wal-Mart earlier in the week) then headed home to decorate. Ben was so excited to do that!

Sunday we went to Sweet Tomatoes for their brunch buffet. Since Ben wore his pajamas he got in for free (the whole reason we went...). Afterwards we headed to the Kirkwood Farmers Market for our annual pre-Halloween visit there to purchase pumpkins (because the 9 - yes, 9 - we'd bought on Friday at the pumpkin patch weren't enough). We bought a small gourd, three miniature pumpkins and a big one to carve that almost killed me as I carried it all the way to the car. I stupidly turned down the nice man's offer to help me carry the stuff to the car when I paid. Obviously I won't be doing that again.

This week Ben's class took a field trip to The Green Center, and he took part one afternoon in a Pokemon club/thing after school. He feels like a really big boy because he does that. Parent Teacher Conferences are in two weeks, and I'm extremely curious to hear what his teacher has to say about him. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

These Days...

These days there's not a lot going on yet somehow we're always busy. Ben's busy being a big SKer at school this year. He's on a soccer team with his friends, but so far we've only had one game (one weekend with no game scheduled then a rainout last weekend). Other than hanging out, reading a lot of books together, playing some computer games and celebrating the Jewish holidays, things have been pretty low key.

Last Friday I went to MICDS and talked to the entire SK about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I had some very interesting comments and questions. My favorite part of the whole things was when it turned into a big conversation about what everyone calls their grandparents (I love the minds of 5 and 6 year olds!). The kids devoured the apples and honey that I brought for them to enjoy for a sweet New Year. Ben and I also went to Children's Services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this year. The jury is still out as far as Ben is concerned. At the time of the services he claimed he was bored and hated going to Temple, but he told other people that he really liked it all and had a good time. I will say that the puppets at services definitely didn't hurt! When we were leaving Yom Kippur services yesterday he wasn't at all happy with the idea that he will go to High Holy Day Services every single year for the rest of his life.

Here's a picture of Ben rollerskating at school during PE:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Summer of 2009 in Pictures

Ben with his good friend Audrey (from MICDS) after we went to see Dora the Explorer Live:
Ben at Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Jasper, Indiana:Ben with Santa Claus at Holiday World:Ben doing pretty much the only thing he truly enjoyed while we were at Holiday World this year:Ben at The Muny:

Ben hanging out at Ga's pool in the Central West End (during his pre-swimming days):Ben at Camp Pegasus: Ben blowing out the candles on his cupcake at his spy training birthday party:The whole gang at Ben's spy training birthday party: Ben IS Spiderman:Ben on his actual 5th birthday:
Ben with a certificate from camp in Florida for making the Silliest Hat:Ben with Ga in Florida:Ben cruising on an 85 foot yacht in Miami:Ben on his way to pick strawberries until we realized that there were no strawberries to pick:SWIMMING! VICTORY!:Ben and Ga hanging out in the pool:Ben with Miss Missy - aka The Miracle Worker (his AMAZING swimming teacher and camp director in Florida):Ben on his first day of Senior Kindergarten at MICDS:Ben with his SK teacher Miss Neary:Ben at the entrance to Beasley (the Lower School at MICDS):Ben wearing his Rams jersey for Homecoming week:

Ben's Baaaaack!

Ben's back, and he's bigger and better than ever! After all, Ben is 5 years old now and in Senior Kindergarten (SK) at MICDS.

Here's a quick recap of the summer:

Ben spent a few mornings at Little Gym camp as well as a week at Stages Camp (acting camp) which culminated in a performance the last day which was totally adorable. The next week we went to Indiana to Holiday World for what was supposed to be a two day visit to the park. Very long story short, the trip was shortened to a single day at the park that ended quite a bit differently than last year. Let's just say that *I* was way more excited to be there than he was.

The next week Ben started four weeks at Camp Pegasus at MICDS. He had a great time there, but the real fun came when we headed to Florida for a few weeks. Ben went to camp there for three and a half weeks and absolutely LOVED it! He also...drumroll please...learned how to swim! And he LOVES to swim! Ben has turned into a total fish (he prefers that I call him a shark). I have a hard time getting him out of the water once he goes in which I totally love. He has done a complete 180 when it comes to the pool. After just 6 lessons with Miss Missy (aka The Miracle Worker), the kid was not only going underwater and swimming, he was voluntarily swimming between my legs underwater over and over and over again.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this Ben turned 5. He had a fabulous spy training birthday party with a ton of his friends as well as a small family birthday dinner. The actual night of his birthday we went to Dewey's for pizza, one of Ben's very favorite places. He got a lot of fabulous presents, but the most successful one seems to be his MP3 player. Next time you see Ben ask him to sing along to Pink's "Get the Party Started" or Soft Cell's "Tainted Love". He can also sing along with a ton of the other songs I loaded for him. As he puts it, he likes "rocky" music with a good beat.

The last two weeks we were in Florida, Ga arrived from Europe to be with us. We reluctantly headed back to St. Louis the Friday night before school started just in time for the Back to School party the next afternoon. Ben was so excited to see all of his friends again, and I was happy to see them too. That Monday there was a quick orientation at school then the real deal started on Wednesday. The first week of school was half days to get the littlest kids used to everything. By the time he started full days, it was time for me to head back to Florida again for my annual girls' only trip to my dad's house. We had a great 5 days together, and I already can't wait to go back again next year!

Now school is in full swing as is soccer. Ben's team is wearing red this year, and they've named themselves the Red Dragons. The kids are all so cute out there in their uniforms as they hustle after the ball. Some of them (unfortunately not Ben) have gotten much more into soccer this year so it's fun to watch the game. The only drawback is that we are playing until the middle of November which is pretty much forever and a day. We're on a pretty fun team though (meaning that the parents are fun to hang out with) so it makes it better. A few of Ben's favorite kids are on our team so that helps entice him to g0. Last weekend was his first game as well as Homecoming at the school so we had a fun Saturday at the Homecoming carnival then at soccer.

Ben's teachers in SK this year are Miss Neary and Miss Kristen. They are both incredibly sweet, and I think that Ben will really enjoy being in their class. He's not with a few of his closest buddies from class last year (they're in SKA, Ben's in SKB), but he seems to be making friends with some of the new boys as well as getting closer with a couple of the boys from his class last year. So far Ben isn't totally loving SK because it's not as much fun as last year. In other words, they don't get to play with the toys as much as they did in JK, and he's not too happy about that. Poor guy doesn't realize that SK is more like real school. They still seem to get plenty of fun time, but I guess it just isn't enough for my Ben.

Funny story: When I took Ben to school this morning he was showing me something in his classroom, and I saw that each of the kids had colored a picture of a trophy and had written on them what they were best at. Ben's trophy boasted that Ben was the best at skateboarding. Very interesting. I don't think Ben has ever actually seen skateboarding let alone actually touched a skateboard. Miss Neary said that Ben said he goes to skateparks all the time. I asked him who takes him, and he says his grandpa does. She also said that Ben said he'll teach her how to skateboard, and I said that maybe he can teach me, too.

Have I mentioned that Ben has quite an imagination?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Already?

It's hard to believe that it's already June!

The first day of June was spent having some fun. Ben and I had a playdate at Stacey Park with the Banasheks - Cheryl, Brandon and Max. The kids played, the moms talked, we had lunch at a picnic table in the shade. What more do you need in life? After lunch Ben and I headed to the bank then home for a bit of rest before Ben started the summer session at the Little Gym. After the Little Gym we headed to Noodles and Co. in Des Peres where Ben saw one of his favorite "Noodle Girls" - Jessica (others were there too, but she's a particular favorite of his). Several months ago Ben and I started going to that particular Noodles and Co. on Monday nights after Little Gym, and a couple of the employees there really took to Ben (they talk to him, totally make over him, give him free cookies and Rice Krispie treats) so we made it our regular Monday night thing. We hadn't been in several weeks, but we've restarted our Monday night tradition with a free Rice Krispie treat, a couple of Noodles and Co. tattoos and a fish picture to color.

The second day of June was a little quieter but equally fun. Ben had Little Gym Camp this morning - three hours of gym stuff, playing, snack and arts and crafts. Today's theme was the Wild West. Ben will be back for three more hours of fun on Thursday. After Little Gym Camp we headed to La Salsa for lunch where we met Jennifer and Alex Gutierrez. Again, the boys played, the moms talked and we all ate. After lunch Ben and I had been planning to go swimming at Ga's apartment, but it started to look really nasty outside so we decided to head home. Just a couple of moments after we got there it totally POURED! It rained and rained and rained for a bit. It was a lot worse in some other areas so we were pretty lucky. The power only popped off once for a couple of seconds. We then spent quite a bit of time on the Wii (a birthday present from Ben, one he'll NEVER let me forget that he gave me) kicking each other's butts all over the place. In case anyone wonders, I am currently highly addicted to Laser Hockey on Wii Play. We also found a way to download Nintendo DS demo games directly to the Nintendo DS from the Wii without actually hooking anything up to anything else. It's SO COOL and SO WEIRD at the same time!! I have NO CLUE how the technology works, but it's totally awesome. There's also evidently a way to play with other people on their Wiis so if anyone knows how to do that, PLEASE let me know.

In case you wondered, Ben is actually a pretty good loser until he decides he's done being a good loser then he quickly becomes a pretty sore, pouty loser as well as the sort of winner who likes to shout "Booyah!" and shake his butt in my face.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

This Weekend

This weekend was a pretty fun one for Ben. I had a sinus infection for the last half of the last week and spent a lot of time resting. Ben was so great about all of it so I really appreciate it. He's such a sweet boy!

Friday afternoon we headed to The Magic House for Tatum's birthday party. Tatum was in the other JK class at MICDS and is one of the cutest, sweetest girls ever! The kids all had a great time creating works of art - including their cupcakes - then Ben played for about 45 minutes before we headed to Dewey's in Kirkwood for pizza with Diane (aka Fifi) and Brian Wittling. Sadly, there was no carrot cake, but Ben tried their chocolate cake thing and declared it a thumbs up.

Saturday was Ben's last T-Ball game of the season. He told me the day before that he "had been saving it all up for tomorrow" so I was expecting a lot. He didn't disappoint! Other than a few sit-downs near second base, he did a great job! He even got a trophy that he was extremely proud to have. After the game we went with some of his teammates to Ben & Jerry's for a celebratory ice cream. After a few hours of resting at home, we headed for dinner at Lee's Famous Fried Chicken where Ben downed a biscuit, a chicken leg and an order and a half of mashed potatoes (a LOT of food for him!). When we got home it was Wii all the way!

Ben's last 'at bat' of the season:
Ben with Harrison Brown, Thomas Niedringhaus, Sarah Stockman, Jack Niedringhaus and Greysen Brown:
Today we headed to the Tour de Fun at the J. Ben had a great time going through inflatable obstacle courses, getting his arms painted, watching Babaloo, petting animals, riding the little train and getting fitted for a brand new bicycle helmet. After that we headed to Grammy's house where he played with Jake and Sam Finer for awhile.
Ben getting his arm painted:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday, Wednesday

Today was a pretty good day for Ben. Before his "meeting" at 1 I took him to McDonald's for some lunch, and he got 2 Happy Meal toys (or Toddler Toys as he calls them) - his AND mine. After his "meeting" we spontaneously went to the movies. We saw the new "Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonians" movie. I enjoyed it. He was a little bored at the beginning, but when there was a battle towards the end, he was in hog heaven! He later asked me if I knew what battle meant. When I told him I didn't to see what he would say (my usual trick with him when he asks me if I know something), he told me it was a fight with a lot of people in it. I'm not so sure why he likes fighting so much. It must be a boy thing.

By the way, if you want to know about boys, just ask Ben. He's an expert on boys. He'll be happy to tell you all about them. For example, did you know that boys never need to say "Excuse me" when they burp or fart but girls do? I know! News to me too! Boys also stink and are gross (Ben's words - not mine - but I tend to agree), and they hate girls and always chase them. I've been informed that there's a lot more to know about boys so if you're curious feel free to give Ben a call and ask away. I'm sure he'd be more than happy to share his wealth of knowledge.

As I type this Ben is sitting next to me dipping his fingers into the icing that came with the CinnaStix from Domino's (Mommy doesn't feel good so Domino's delivered). I'm pretending not to see it because I just give up. This is after he's licked the cinnamon and sugar off of most of the CinnaStix. Incidentally, he's eating them this late because they brought the wrong type of breadsticks with our order, and he went absolutely nutsy (big shock considering that he tells me that all of his teeth are his sweet tooth). I called Domino's, and they redelivered the right kind within about 20 minutes. Good service, but I sort of wish they'd said too bad (they were free anyway with the right coupon code).

Tomorrow will probably be a quiet day since I feel lousy. I have a feeling that this kid is going to watch a lot of TV and play a lot of Nintendo DS this week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

School's Out!

School is officially out! Friday was the last day, and the kids seemed to have a lot of fun. There was an ice cream sundae party and music blaring on the playground at the end of the day before a countdown to 3 pm. What more does a 4 year old need in life? Anyway, he is officially a Senior Kindergartener at MICDS, and I couldn't be more proud!

Here's Ben with some of his teachers from the last year:

Ben and Mr. Wuertz (JK teacher):

Ben and Mrs. Schneider (JK teacher):Ben and Mr. Ives (music and art):Ben and Mrs. McMillion (Head of the Lower School):Ben and his best friend Harrison:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WOW...A Post! A Post!

I know, I actual post. A real shocker, isn't it? Life has been pretty busy these days (my usual excuse but not an excuse - an actual reason!). Here's a quick rundown to catch you all up...

Tomorrow is the last day of school. It's hard to believe that Junior Kindergarten is over, but it is - and I'm so sad! Ben is excited to move on to Senior Kindergarten (SK), and I'm excited for him but there's a small part of me that is a little sad that my baby is growing up so quickly. I just can't believe that his first year at MICDS is already over! Ben has had a great year in JK B with Mr. Wuertz and Mrs. Schneider. I am grateful for the experiences he has had and the friends that he has made. I'm also grateful for the friends that I've made at MICDS. I really like the parents and the teachers there and truly believe that MICDS was a great choice for Ben.

Spring activities at school have been a lot of fun. Ben took part in Reading, Writing and Running Day at MICDS which was super adorable (part field day type activities, part reading us the books that they've written) and Art Gallery Night (every child in the Lower School had a number of pieces of their artwork displayed in the cafeteria and hallways).

T-Ball is going just fine. We still have two more games. Ben seems to enjoy it, and the whole team seems to be getting more into it which makes it a lot more fun to watch. The games are only about 45 minutes long then there's a drink and a snack so how bad could it possibly be?

Ben also just finished the winter session at Little Gym in Creve Coeur. I've signed him up for a couple of mornings of camp and for the summer session. He enjoys going there, and frankly, he could use the outlet for his never ending energy!

This summer Ben will spend a couple of mornings at Little Gym Camp, a week of mornings at Stages Camp (acting camp since he enjoyed his COCA class so much this year at school) and four weeks of full days of camp at Camp Pegasus at MICDS. He and I will also be heading to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, for a few days in mid-June with our babysitter Amanda. When Pegasus is over we plan to head to Florida where Ben will attend another day camp down there and hopefully make some new Florida friends to play with whenever we head down to visit Ga.

Speaking of Ga (aka my dad Jack), he has been in town since the end of April and will be here until the middle of next week then he heads to Israel and Paris for a couple of months so Ben's hung out with him a little bit too.

In May we celebrated my birthday and Mother's Day and attended the South Broadway Reunion with Ga. Ben is always ready for a good time, especially if there's the chance of cake and/or snacks.

I promise *yet again* to try to be better about the updates (Lynne - this is for you!), but I apologize in advance if I'm not good enough at keeping the updates coming. If you ever want to know what's going on, feel free to drop me an e-mail or give me a call! We love hearing from friends and family!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Passover 2009

Ben and I spent the last two nights at Passover seders. The first night of Passover was spent with a tableful of cousins. Ben had a great time with a couple of younger cousins, and I enjoyed getting to talk to the adults. As usual, the food was good (Passover food is ALWAYS good and so ridiculously filling). The second night of Passover was spent with some family friends who don't traditionally hold a seder the second night. Instead there is usually some sort of Passover trivia game. Last night it was one side of the table versus the other side. When I knew the answer I was ordered (by Ben) to whisper the answer to Ben so that he could raise his hand and give the answer to the moderator. He got several of the questions right, and he was VERY excited! He also loved being the only kid to get to look for the afikomen. The best part of the night for him though was that it was at Kara's house (our friend as well as his former swimming teacher). He adores Kara, and he loved getting to hang out with Kara and her friends (she's a junior at Mizzou).

Tomorrow morning is the first T-ball game of the season. It should be nice and muddy and disgusting considering how much it's been raining the past couple of days. One of us is totally not looking foward to this. Any guesses which one of us that is?! After T-ball Ben's got a birthday party to go to at the Magic House which should be a lot of fun (not to mention dry and hopefully mud-free). Sunday is Easter, and Ben LOVES the Easter Bunny! Last year the Easter Bunny brought him lots of plastic eggs to find filled with candy and money as well as some nice Easter basket goodies. I'm sure that he'll get just as lucky again this year.

Good Pesach and Happy Easter to all!

Monday, April 6, 2009

What Ben's Been Up To's been a LONG time since I've updated Ben's blog! So sorry to those of you who actually check this. Life has been busy as usual. It's always something around here!

Since my last post, we've been to Michigan and to Florida. We've seen Playhouse Disney Live! at the St. Charles Family Arena. Ben also took part in his first play at school through an afterschool COCA class that he took. He's also had several playdates, attended a few birthday parties, spent Fridays swimming at school between January and March (and loved it!), had a dental appointment and has even had a couple of haircuts.

We had a great time in Michigan visiting our good friends Lisa, Jason and Brooke Ruttenberg. We hung out with them in Detroit and even took a drive up to Frankenmuth to see the world's largest Christmas store (Bronner's) and to partake in a famous chicken dinner at Zehnder's (Ben LOVED seeing the big Zehnder's chicken walking around). And yes, it snowed while we were there! After all, it *is* the tundra as far as we're concerned. We also got a chance to see our cousins the Wolfs and the Litvins which was really nice.

Pompano Beach, Florida, for Spring Break was very nice. It rained a few days and nights, but other than that, the weather was beautiful. (Grammy) Eleanor Rosenbaum and her grandson Jake came down the afternoon after we got there. Jake's parents and brother Sam joined us a few days later. My brother Andy even came down for a few days. We had a full house most of the time we were there. We even got to see our friends the Starkeys from Virginia a couple of times. They were down for their annual Spring Training trip. Ben also really enjoyed spending time with the cute 9 year old granddaughter of the next door neighbors who was down visiting with her family from far northern New York.

Ben had a lot of firsts on this trip - his first time fishing (he caught 5 puffer fish off the dock next door), his first time on a jet ski (he looked just like a Power Ranger in case anyone wondered), his first time in the Everglades and on an airboat, his first time seeing a live alligator in the Everglades, his first time holding a live alligator, his first time walking on the bottom of the Florida pool, his first time hanging out in the hot tub with the bubbles on full blast, his first time picking strawberries. I've put up a small album of photos on Facebook. Here's a link to it:

I've also posted a few photos here. If you want to see more pictures, just let me know. I have a ton!
With a puffer fish he caught:
Holding an alligator:On the airboat in the Everglades:Picking strawberries:Chilling out in the hot tub:
This morning it snowed here in St. Louis, but it's like it never even happened now. Passover starts this week, and we're going to seders the first two nights. Easter is next Sunday, and Ben is extremely excited about the Easter Bunny coming and leaving him candy and money (inside the plastic eggs). It's all about candy and money with this kid! He's also started T-ball, and the first game is this coming weekend. He's continuing with his Little Gym class, and he's got a couple of birthday parties coming up. Before we know it, school will be over, and the summer will begin. It's hard to believe how quickly time has flown by!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Quick Update

Here's Ben's life in a quick, neat little nutshell:

We had two snow days a week and a half ago (but you already know that if you've read the blog before now). During that time Ben worked on his cup stacking skills, his baking skills, his Nintendo DS Lite skills and his TV watching skills (he's REALLY good at the last two things in case anyone wondered). We were also in the midst of closing Arts of Asia and moving the office (and some of the leftovers) to my house. Now Ben and I share an office at home. The last couple of weekends have been busy with all of that. Next weekend we'll be in Michigan for a few days visiting friends and relatives. We're really looking forward to that. Hopefully it's not a HUGE mistake to visit the Frozen North in February. Keep your fingers crossed for us! Oh yeah, Ben has a double ear infection right now, too. Luckily the kid is a real trooper and hasn't complained at all.

Some sad news to report...Richard Rosenbaum, a very close family friend who was Ben's surrogate grandfather, passed away on Friday morning. He was a wonderful, kind, gentle man, and we will miss him very much. His wife Eleanor was my mom's best friend and is extremely close with the whole family (She's Grammy Eleanor to Ben. He was and always will be Papa Richard.). Richard was always so great with Ben (and all kids), and Ben really adored him.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Catching Up

Ben and I spent two weeks in Florida over his winter break from MICDS. We had a great time in the sunshine doing pretty much nothing. Some highlights from while we were there: Ben's Uncle Andy and Aunt Melinda came to visit for a few days from New York, Santa visited with tons of presents, Chanukah candles were lit many nights, Ben assisted the magician in an awesome magic show, we had a Christmas night party, Ben played with his cousins Spencer and Carson from Michigan, Ben played with his friend Tucker from Pompano Beach, we hung out with some of Ga's friends, Ben played a lot of computer, Nintendo and Leapster games, Ben watched a lot of TV, Ben spent every single night in a room with Ga (except for one night with me), Ben went swimming at night in his clothes with Aunt Melinda (that was a big highlight for him), Ben went swimming during the day in his swimming suit, Ben saw Santa's tushie a LOT, Ben spent New Year's Eve frolicking on the beach and in and out of the ocean after dinner at a great Cuban restaurant, Ben had his first dinner at Benihana with his friend Tucker and his mom and grandmother. Basically, we had a great time, and I've got the pictures to prove it! If you're interested in seeing them, please e-mail me.

Since we got back to town Ben's been busy with school. He's taking a COCA class after school one day a week for 8 weeks, and he really seems to be enjoying it. He had a playdate with his best buddy Harrison, and right before we went to Florida he had a playdate with his other best buddy Bjorn. Today's a snow day (see the last post), and it's still coming down out there so who knows what tomorrow might bring!

"It Needs More Salt"

Today is a Snow Day - NO SCHOOL! When we got the automated call from school last night, Ben went NUTS! He did an intense happy dance on my bed. He couldn't wait to get outside today. There wasn't a ton of snow, but it's been lightly snowing for a lot of the day so we'll see. The "It Needs More Salt" comment comes from when he tasted the snow on his glove and then said that. It was so funny! After we came inside I got a cup stacking demonstration. Evidently that's what they've been doing in PE at MICDS. He's actually pretty good and taught me how to do it. Here are some pictures:

I pulled him around the driveway on the sled. He's modeling one of the hats that I knit in the first picture then he switched to his Spiderman hat:

Getting ready to attack me with a snowball:Catching snowflakes on his tongue:Stacking cups: