Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to the hills. . . .

Braden, Mason and I made a weekend trip to Mountain Home. Blake drove us to Springfield, where we met Becki and Brandon for lunch. Becki drove us back to Mountain Home, while Blake headed over to St. Louis for some guy time! On Friday night Braden, Becki and I ran to Wal-Mart. Ann & Kenneth of course sent Braden with a little spending money. He immediately found a transformer toy, Bumble Bee, that he wanted, but wouldn't budge until we got Optimus Prime for Blake to play with. He thought Blake really needed a toy, too, even though he wasn't with us. So Becki bought Blake a toy, too, and told Braden he could take it home. Braden insisted it was Blake's. . . but amazingly when it came time for us to take it home, Braden agreed!

On Saturday, Braden and I joined Leslie, her kiddos Hunter & Katelyn, and Donnell for lunch, while Ann, Becki & Blake G. took Mason to lunch. Since Mason didn't join us, Donnell stopped by after lunch so she could meet him.

Saturday night, Becki's leadership class was hosting movie night in the park, so Ann kept Mason, while Braden, Blake G. and I went to the movie. Blake helped Braden climb this giant inflatable wall until it got dark enough to play the movie, which was one of our faves, Ratatouille.

Sorry this video is sideways. . . .

Sunday we all headed back to Springield, where we met Brandon for lunch at Olive Garden and Daddy picked us up! It was a great trip and made me realize that if there was ever a time I would like to live close to family. . .it is now! It was really nice to know that Mason was in good hands while Braden and I got some time together!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


On most nights I get Mason down and while he's taking his sweet time falling asleep, I sit in the living room and listen to Blake reading Braden his bedtime stories. I smile to myself at all of the fun voices Blake puts with the characters and all of Braden's endless questions. As they wrap up the last book, I brace myself for what is coming next. . . .either the sound of light sabers or swords smacking against each other or, like last night, amateur wrestling night in Braden's room. I keep waiting to hear the bed crash to the floor, and am anxiously awaiting the day we get to buy a new one. Poor Mason has no idea what he's in for. Blake better keep in such great shape, so that he can soon take both of them on! Two younger brothers prepared him for this!

You also get to hear Braden say "Don't let the bed bugs biiiiiite" just like his Nanna said to him, while she was here. He loves to say it "just like her."

Monday, August 18, 2008

In the neighborhood

We were thrilled to have company on Saturday. Etta & Derek just happened to be in the neighborhood (on their way home from a concert in KC) and came by for a few hours to meet Mason and be entertained by Braden! We had a great visit and lunch before they had to head back to Fayetteville.

Another great day in the Benson backyard. Will came over for a few hours, while Blake grilled and finished painting our new deck addition. I don't know what we've done to this boy, but he LOVES to pose for the camera.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Time flies...

Uncle Tyler is cleaning off his computer and emailed me the last 3 years of Braden's pictures that I had sent him. Looking back on some of these really tugs on the memory strings, and how Braden has grown and changed so much. It also peaks my interest as to how Mason is going to look at these stages. I couldn't resist posting a few of these oldies of Braden.

You're thinking chocolate, right? Try dirt stuck to the drool on his face.

Braden at 18 months. The funniest thing about this costume is Braden recently spotted it in the closet and has now added it to his Spiderman ensemble where he's either this spider or Spiderman.

Cardinal fan. . .surely not!

Christmas morning 2005. He still LOVES this batting helmet!

Almost 1

About 14 months old, posing with the flags on Melrose Avenue in his patriotic swim trunks

I'm not letting go of this cracker, just to smile!

Daddy taking Braden to his first birthday party, for his friend, Jabe.

What are you looking at? Swimming in Fayetteville. This is also the day 4 adults were watching braden and he still fell into the pool. Tyler swam over to get him as Blake jumped in and landed on Tyler's head. Braden was not phased in the least, but he did come up sputtering.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Splish Splash...

Mason loves bath time, and is quickly outgrowing his "baby bath tub" but isn't quite big enough to join Big Brother in the big tub! Although Braden did offer last night, as long as Mason didn't pee in the water! No promises there.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday Smiles

A typical Sunday afternoon at the Benson house. Mason giving us some smiles and talking to the birdies on his swing, while Braden and his buddy Will covered every inch of the back yard.

Fight Club: I'm not going to lie, this did end in tears, but not because of pain, but exhaustion from all day playing and hurt feelings. They were well aware that I was taping them and watching their every move! The mother in me wanted to stop them several times, but as the camera operator I was loving the footage! I hope Will's parents appreciate my director's vision when they see this! Will has just seen Kung Fu Panda, so he was practicing his Kung Fu moves, all Braden knows is the the wrestling/Star Wars moves his daddy teaches him before bedtime! He's quite good with a Light Saber, but no weapons were allowed in this round!

Blake took on Braden and his buddy, Will, for the afternoon. He let them run themselves ragged in the back yard! Mason and I joined them in between cat naps and feedings. He loved hanging out in the stroller and watching all of the action.

Mason taking a mid-morning snooze. . .in one of his favorite positions, on Mom's chest! All that smiling wore him out!

Big Brother is GREAT at getting all of Mason's smiles! This is Sunday morning, "guy time" while Mom got a little extra beauty sleep, Blake got some great laughs out of our boys.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Old Video of Braden - May 2007

This is a little long, but I had to post it. It is AMAZING for me to watch this and remember how Braden was just a little over a year ago! This is footage from the "guy trip" to St. Louis and after he got home. The dance is to "move it, move it" from the movie Madagascar (thank you Leslie), which in our house has always been "Marty."

Sword Fight

Blake (aka Daddy) arrived home on Sunday, after a week away, in Pittsburgh, PA. He of course came home bearing gifts, one of which was a giant foam sword for Braden. As you can see Braden had no problems initiating a sword fight!

Cheap Entertainment

Braden and Will love to play "dress up" with a variety of super hero/King Arthur/rock & roll items that Braden now owns. The Spiderman outfit was a gift, the Batman mask was purchased with birthday money from Grandma Benson, and the cape is part of last year's King Arthur costume!

Mason has found a love for his bouncy seat (thank you Margo) and loves to kick his legs and make the toys move. He's right on track with his interaction, and will talk with us and get excited when we talk to him.

Our newest purchase from Wal-Mart is the diver mask and snorkel. It's made it to the pool twice but sees more action in the bath tub. Braden will actually go under water with it on! In this particular pose he is demonstrating for his Daddy what happens when he "sucks in" with his nose. Blake was laughing so hard, I'm surprised he was able to take a focused picture.