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10/5/17 - My dad often asks why we're always going on vacations. This evening's events summed things up perfectly. Tonight, we learned that turtles were going to be released outside of our hotel at precisely 9:30pm. Ok, I thought. So, we headed there and found a crate filled with dozens and dozens of baby turtles. We got to pick them up and release them into the ocean. Words can't express how awesome that was. If that wasn't cool enough, we found another group digging up baby turtles -- and again got to help. Afterward, it was magical to look at the giant ocean and think that the little turtles are safely swimming in the sea -- because of us.

8/1/17 - It's day 6 of our trip to the NW, and I think the super active, action-filled days are catching up with the boys. Today, we went to Granville Island and Science World -- and finished our day with late night pool time on top of our fancy hotel. Afterward, we took showers and were listening to an Owl City song and BOTH kids fell asleep before the end of the song. I say, "Gnite, boys," and was met with silence. It's honestly been years since that happened. Glad they're enjoying themselves so much.

5/4/17 - Tonight, Ryan asked if he could hug me. I said, "Sure, Buddy. What's up?" His response: "I'm just so thank for what you did for me today [making his NBA quilt." Love love love this kiddo.

4/23/17 - The other day, I taught Ryan how to forward me links to sites he likes. So, he's been sending me links every other day with links to craft projects. Tonight, we made pom poms out of yarn. It was fun and I even remembered making them when I was a kid. When I was tucking Ry into bed, he said, "Mom. I'll find more crafts for us to do together." And gave me a big hug. Such a sweetie!!!

4/23/17 - For their birthdays, the boys got cold hard cash from the grandparents. They asked me to keep track of what they spent: To date, Ben has spent $20 winning frozen yogurt with his music teacher in the school's raffle -- and $7 on rocks. Ryan spent $10 on the school raffle and won a basket full of outdoor toys and a hair care package for his sweetie.

4/23/17 - For their birthdays, the boys for cold hard cash from the grandparents. They asked me to keep track of what they spent: To date, Ben has spent $20 winning frozen yogurt with his music teacher in the school's raffle -- and $7 on rocks. Ryan spent $10 on the school raffle and won a basket full of outdoor toys and a hair care package for his sweetie.

11/13/16 - Instead of getting ready for bed tonight, Ryan was playing on his phone. I was not pleased. As I was tucking him in, I kissed him good night and told him I loved him. Normally, he grabs me around the neck and gives me a bear hug. Tonight, however, he was just quiet and still. I asked him what was wrong, he said, "I can't look at you mom. You have disappointed eyes." Gotta love that I still have magic mom powers like "disappointed eyes."

10/10/16 - Today was a great day for Ryan. He made a better batch of homemade Orange Julius, beat Ben at Blurt (a board game) and then got the furthest on a family game of Evel Kinievel on Apple TV. So across the board, he beat Ben. When I was tucking him in he had this adorable smile. I asked about it and he said, "I beat Ben at everything today. I've dreamt of days like this."

8/16/16 - Tonight, Ryan and I planned a sleep over in his room. I filled up the air mattress and we were good to go - or so I thought. He had a few 'requests' for me before bedtime: I need to sleep in the same direction as him. Not only do I get one stuffed animal to sleep with, I get the whole family. We must sleep facing each other AND hold hands. This is quite possibly the sweetest sleepover in the history of sleepovers. - Good night from Ryan's room

6/26/16 - There are some experiences that I never thought I'd have a chance to cross off my bucket list. Climbing to the top of the tower of Pisa tonight definitely seemed like one of those experiences. When you walk in the bottom, you notice how worn the thick, marble stairs are - unsure of how long it will take to make it to the top. You start up the first flight and it seems easy, then the second flight gets a little tougher, then the next few flights go from uff-da steep to ridiculously easy thanks to the leaning of the tower. Finally you get to the top and all you can see is the beautiful Italian countryside. Ahh. We sat at the top for a very long time, just soaking in the wonder. Once we go to the bottom, we did a group hug and I commented to Ry, "Do you understand how wonderful it was that we did this -- together." So glad to be sharing the world with these two lucky boys and my make me constantly laugh husband.

6/24/16 - 88 Degrees in Venice is hot. Really hot. Thank goodness for our air con apartment just off the canals & dirt cheap amazing gelato from the local grocery store. Today, we should go out exploring the super busy tourist packed streets of Venice -- but instead we're sitting directly under the air con vent while watching Just for Gags (a practical joke tv show). Later today, we'll venture out to see St. Mark's.

6/18/16 - After a lovely dinner of fish n chips, we stopped by edge of the River Thames to soak in all of London, especially Big Ben. The sun hit it just right to give it this warm glow. I held the boys hands as we talked about how movies and books like "Peter Pan" were set here and I envisioned Peter flying around the clock tower. What a magical moment to spend as a family.

6/16/16 - It's 9:32pm and all of my boys (Neil included) are fast asleep in Galway. Our "family room" works prefectly for us. Ryan and I are sharing the king sized bed for cuddling and Ben/Neil each get their own space to relax. Today, we enjoyed exploring castles, visiting breathtaking cathedrals and devouring out of this world fish and chips. This part of Ireland is absolutely wonderful.

6/13/16 - Getting drenched by a geyser wasn't on my mommy bucket list of things to do in Iceland, but today we did it. We watched another person stand there and disappear in the mist and smoke, so our brave Ben was the first to enjoy the (very safe) eruption. Then, Ryan joined in - then they pleased with me to stand there. So, we all stood side by side as tremendous amounts of geyser rain drenched us in seconds! Heck yeah. That was fun. I later shared with the boys that they're the reason I'm brave enough to try these crazy ideas. These moments are what makes us who we are -- an adventurous, fun loving silly family who will try anything together.

6/10/16 - Puffin petting, volcano ruins and polar plunge. Today, we did it all.

6/8/16 - After a quick nap, we headed out to the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, one of the last impressive waterfall collections in Iceland. On our way, We got to see the small Icelandic horses and tons of baby sheep. Every time we passed some, Ryan would say, "They're so CUTE" in this super sweet voice. And they were adorable. Once we arrived at the falls, the noise of the waterfalls were simply powerful. I wondered aloud how much water they produce and the boys immediately knew the answer from their fact books. At the main waterfall, you can walk behind it - so off we went. At first it was misty, then a light rain and when they boys and I climbed right down near the pool, it was a full on downpour. And it was magnificent. Ben kept commenting that it was an opportunity of a lifetime and Ry repeatedly said that it was awesome (even to the point where he realized how much he'd said it). We also wandered down to the other falls, stopping to leaf stream and do some family hugs. Tomorrow - Vik with this black beaches, geysers and craters. For now, it's time to sleep. PS: the photo of Ben with 10 fingers showing is us at 10pm after dinner (on show how light it is here in the evenings)

6/5/16 - We're sitting in Fenway Park, waiting for the game to start. It has been raining much of the day but our covered seats behind home plate are just perfect. The history here is just awesome. I'm overwhelmed by the fact that this is the place where so many greats have played, Neil went as a kids with his dad -- and now we're here with our boys. So darn happy!

4/13/16 - For two days in a row, Ben has brought his own money into school to donate to Children's Hospital. On our walk to the bus, Ben mentioned that the class who brings in the most money gets a pizza party. He then added, "That's not why I'm doing it, Mom. I just want to help the kids." He makes me so proud at moments like this.

4/1/16 - Our house is divided around the concept of April Fool's Day. Ben and Neil love the day and try to trick others throughout the day. Ryan and I could care less (unless we're the people Ben and Neil are fooling). In that case, Ryan gets so furious. Ben's big prank on his brother was to cover up the laser on his mouse so it wouldn't work for our "song/cuddle" time. Ryan brought his laptop to Neil with this sad look in his eyes. "Dad, my mouse doesn't work." Neil held his laughter in for a moment, then Ben yelled "Boo-yeah!" Ah brotherly love. Ryan asked politely (and repeatedly) if he could go punch his brother just once. I told him no. At bedtime, Ryan asked for a piece of paper and a pen so he could remind himself in the morning to "look up revenge ideas." That kid just couldn't be mean if he tried. So adorable!

1/8/16 - Last night at basketball practice, Coach K asked all of the boys to form a circle and share what they received at Christmas. Most of the kids got technology (xBox & Nintendo DS Systems), one got no-technology and was very unhappy about that, and one got a family trip to FL. Then, it was our boys' turn to share. Ryan told the team that his favorite presents were "3 stuffed animals," and Ben shared that he got a disco ball. I adore who they are -- and what matters to them.

1/1/16 - Ahh. So relaxed. Today, I slept in until 11:15, a record for mommy, and the effect way to start my year's resolution of "more relaxing/less work." When I finally did awake, Neil was making breakfast, but not just any breakfast. This one started with Kopi Milo Dinosaur then perfectly fried eggs, cinnamon rolls and well cooked hash browns. Yum!! Then, Neil cleaned up and did dished -- and I watched House Hunters International. Now, Ben and I are off to the dog park. Pierce needs some time running around with his buddies. Tonight, Ryan and Neil are going to the mammoth game & Ben, Bre and I are going to the Denver Art Museum. Perfect!

11/11/15 - Tonight was our third day at the Pepsi Center. Monday was a Nuggets game, yesterday we got to shoot hoops on the floor, and today the boys were chosen to be in the Nuggets fan tunnel. What a rough life these two live. Love it.

8/30/15 - Today's agenda: waffle shop for breakfast, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, relaxing lunch & then smithsonian zoo. We'll be tired for sure after today!

8/30/15 - Well, this has to be the best impromptu cheap vacation we've ever taken. Washington DC is breathtaking. My favorite moments so far: eating Italian ice outside of the Lincoln memorial with the big trees providing a ton of shade, a fantastic breeze to cool us off and the sound of a family of ducks. -- seeing the tents for the White House press court. -- and loved Ben calling the Grandma & PaPa to let them know we're just sitting on the benches just outside of the White House. P.s. I was mighty surprised at how small the lawn was around the White House -- and no secret service agents to be seen. Still amazing but definitely different from what I had envisioned in my mind.

4/5/15 - Today, I had a quick call with my mom to check on how she's feelings. She ended the call with, "I love you honey bunny." She hasn't called me that in years. It just melted my heart, and made my day so much brighter.

2/26/15 - Got the "snow day" call at 5:30am, so I slept in -- until Ryan woke me up at 8am informing me that it's time to get ready. Love it! By the way, both boys were completely dressed and had made breakfast!!! I told them I was impressed. Ben told me that he learned it all from me. Heck yeah!!!

2/25/15 - I also have to mention that Ryan was so "into" his book that he forgot to get off the bus with the other kids. They had to turn the bus around and make a special stop just for our little book worm.

2/25/15 - Tonight was an important night for Ben - Yound Writers' Cenference. It's a night for him to share his writing with kids his age and meet local authors. While the sharing was hogged by one girl, the author was amazing and very engaging. Early on, the author mentioned that he wanted people in the audience to join him. At one point, he asked for a very beautiful princess to join him. All of the little girls quickly raised their hands -- and Ben's first reaction was to volunteer ME (awww). He was the only kid to think of his mom as a princess (or at least the only vocal one). The author picked up on this and called out how great that was. Ben just made my year!!

1/19/15 - So every night for the last couple of months, Ryan and I have been listening and cuddling to 'Silver Bells' at bedtime. He often wants to cuddle like an airplane where I lay on my back and he climbs on top of me. He'll ask, "Am I too heavy for you?" Every time I respond that he's perfect. I don't know if it's the tremendous amount he's been eating or if he's growing again, but this is the first time that I can foresee him becoming too big to cuddle like this. And it breaks my heart that he's almost 9 and not my little baby anymore. But he is definitely still perfect and a joy to cuddle. I think he'll be a teenager before I'll want to stop the airplane rides.

12/7/14 - We just arrived at the Georgetown Santa Train. The boys lists are made. We picked up chestnuts, had fantastic sipping chocolate, warmed up by the fire pit and are excited to hop in the train. It's chilly but the wamth of the season here warms your heart beyond what I can express in words. Love coming up here this time of year.

12/6/14 - Just finished decorating our tree. It's beautiful / filled with tons of memories and almost no store bought ornaments. Lots of pictures of the boys over the years, Oz, Scout, my giant wooden tree from wood shop, Ben at Starbucks with Santa. I looked at Neil and thanked him for the wonderful life we've made. We are so blessed. Now, we're onto paper snowflakes for Ryan & I; Ben and Daddy are making the train. "All I want for Christmas is you is playing. Perfect

12/5/14 - So proud of Ben today. He competed in the school spelling bee with 14other 4/6th graders. He was in the top 5, but got eliminated for misspelling the word jostle. We are currently at Yogurtland celebrating.

11/30/14 - Yup. The boys are almost 9 & 10 - and they're watching Curious George in "A Very Monkey Christmas." I remember that one quite well.

11/21/14 - I had a nice Great Books day yesterday. We were finishing up our reading of Mr. Poppers Penguins and I informed the kids that we wouldn't meet next week due to Thanksgiving break. One of the quieter kiddos bowed his head and said, "It won't be a great week without Great Books." Aww. Ryan's teacher also notified the kids that one of the students (who is also in Great Books) will be leaving at the end of December. After asking if she'll visit, the first question to Mrs. Beck was who will take her spot in book club. I guess it's quite the coveted group. Love it!!

11/21/14 - This week was a proud week for us: Ryan was honored with the academic achievement award, and Ben the Best Effort in Physical Education. Ben also ranked as his classes top speller and gets to compete in the upcoming school wide spelling bee - and he also started writing blogs for the school's new blogging club for gifted and talented kiddos. He wants to write a blog with book recommendations. Wow. Our kids are amazing.

11/4/14 - Two wonderful stories today: 1. Ryan was awarded the Golden Backpack award for excellent citizenship - basically being a great kid. But I already knew that! 2. Ben got a spelling test back. He had missed one word, but he was adamant that it was correct. I suggested talking to his teacher, which he actually listened to. While he was indeed wrong, he learned a valuable lesson: that you can learn more by questioning an answer than blindly accepting without understanding why.

11/4/14 - Yesterday, I started to make celery sticks with peanut butter for the boys' lunch. Ben noticed I was putting the finished product in a ziploc and didn't like the impending stickiness. So, I put the peanut butter in a ziploc and the celery sticks in another bag -- and told Ben that he had to figure it out. When he got off the bus, he was so excited to share with me his solution: he used the ziploc as a "piping bag like on FoodNetwork." I knew he would find a way. Such a proud momma. Today, both he and Ryan asked for celery and PB in separate bags. Hooray!

10/16/14 - Today is a picture perfect autumn day here. The leaves are starting to fall but it's still warm. So after school, Ryan asked if he could sit out front in the comfy chair and read in the sun. I grabbed a blanket and joined him - and Ben was soon to follow. Now we're all reading in the front yard. No bikes, no scooters, no balls - just books! WOW!

10/16/14 - Today is a picture perfect autumn day here. The leaves are starting to fall but it's still warm. So after school, Ryan asked if he could sit out front in the comfy chair and read in the sun. I grabbed a blanket and joined him - and Ben was soon to follow. Now we're all reading in the front yard. No bikes, no scooters, no balls - just books! WOW!

10/15/14 - I adore Ben's quirkiness. Today, he rehearsed the "minuet in d" on his piano and asked to download the kindle version of great expectations. Yeah, he's fun!

10/3/14 - Ryan just stopped what he was doing at soccer practice to call me over. I asked what he needed and he blew me a kiss. Awww!

10/3/14 - Today marked the second day in a row of very cold temps. Being a good but not pushy mom, I recommended the boys wear pants and jackets. Alas, the boys left for school in shorts and t-shirts. At least Rysn wore a light long sleeve shirt. But Ben! He looked SO cold. When I asked if he wanted to change, he replied, "mom, I'm like a honey badger and honey badgers don't care." We all laughed.

10/2/14 Ben playing Hungarian Dances -

9/20/14 - Last night, we went to the fan appreciation Rockies game aka their end of season fireworks game. Unlike in years past where we had cheap seats and sat on the field for the fireworks display, this year we had great seats (club level). The game was probably the Rockies best of the season -- with Cuddyer (cuddly bear as the kids call him) even getting a grand slam!! It was an absolutely perfect time of year for this game. The weather was warm, sunset was breathtaking and we were all excited for fireworks. When the game was done, we simply relaxed and waiting for the 'show to begin.' Finally, the first rockets went off - and I just got to sit back, put my arms around each of the boys and listen to the music/ thunder of the fireworks. It's no surprise but I got tears just appreciating the moment -- although i kind of missed the smell of the grass.

8/7/14 - I wanted to take a moment to thank all of our family and friends who have been reading our blogs and following our adventures around the globe. Your emails cheering us on have meant so much to us. We can't wait to get home to tell you all about it in person (and get some hugs, of course)!

8/7/14 - Tonight, I was reading a book with the kids about a young girl who "dropped" a cookie. Ryan asked what that meant. I explained that she told her mom that she dropped it, while in reality she ate it. His response, "Well, doesn't her mom have magic powers like you, Mom." You see, I have Ryan convinced that if he lies, I will know it. Mean yes, but also effective. Anyway, my response (actually said with a straight face): "Not all mommies have magical powers like me." He replied, "Oh." If I can only keep him believing in my powers for a few more years.....

8/1/14 - One important note: the earrings pictured were a gift from Ryan. I was having a rough day with Ben and wanted Ryan to be rewarded for being such a rock star. I told Neil to take Ryan into a candy store and "buy him anything he wants." He returned with a pair of earrings for me. I instantly sobbed at his thoughtfulness. Later on, he told me how beautiful they looked on me and how he was excited to get "earrings with 4 diamonds for only 9 bucks" - I just adore that kiddo!

8/1/14 - We've had a busy week this week: saw practice ceremony for National Day (their version of July 4th), visited the water park including snorkeling, had many rainy days of monopoly / legos / paper airplanes, and visited Mt. Faber, one of our favorite spots on the island. And tomorrow, we are once again heading to Indonesia to the same destination: Bintan for more sandy beaches, playing with fish, elephant rides and bowling. As for next week, we are planning to visit the world's largest aquarium, have dinner at the top of Marina Bay Sands and spend as much time in the pool as possible - and pack. We've loved our time here and are starting to get excited about returning home too. What a wonderful opportunity!!!!

7/23/14 - After a few lazy days, we are now venturing off to Jarong Bird Park. It's amazing to me how quickly the kiddos (especially Ben) became experts at the subway system here.

7/20/14 - Today, we woke up in paradise - white sandy beaches, blue skies and palm trees everywhere. Our day began with a tremendous breakfast buffet. Our favorites were made to order omelets, the freshest pineapple and the donut tree! It was a metal tree (similar to a necklace rack) filled with different donuts on each of the arms. Yum! Once we were stuffed, we leisurely spent the day exploring the beach (with tons of fish for snorkeling minutes from our doorstep) to the fantastic pool. Around 2, we stopped for a pb&j break - plus we needed to get out of the sun for a bit. We then hopped on the shuttle to see more of our part of the island. The first stop gave us a glimpse of fantastic elephant rides, cozy beach cabins and view after view of amazing beaches. We chose to follow mommy's intuition and go check out the elephants. We were the last ones to get to ride and we each got an elephant to ride (solo ). Unlike the quick ride at the zoo, this trek took us into amazing jungle trails - but my favorite memory is seeing the boys on the elephants walking side by side on the trail. Just breathtaking. We even got to take photos and cuddle the elephants after the ride. Best experience yet! Then, quick dinner and more pool time. This is our kinda vacation. Pictures to come once we return to Singapore.

7/20/14 - Today, we woke up in paradise - white sandy beaches, blue skies and palm trees everywhere. Our day began with a tremendous breakfast buffet. Our favorites were made to order omelets, the freshest pineapple and the donut tree! It was a metal tree (similar to a necklace rack) filled with different donuts on each of the arms. Yum! Once we were stuffed, we leisurely spent the day exploring the beach (with tons of fish for snorkeling minutes from our doorstep) to the fantastic pool. Around 2, we stopped for a pb&j break - plus we needed to get out of the sun for a bit. We then hopped on the shuttle to see more of our part of the island. The first stop gave us a glimpse of fantastic elephant rides, cozy beach cabins and view after view of amazing beaches. We chose to follow mommy's intuition and go check out the elephants. We were the last ones to get to ride and we each got an elephant to ride (solo ). Unlike the quick ride at the zoo, this trek took us into amazing jungle trails - but my favorite memory is seeing the boys on the elephants walking side by side on the trail. Just breathtaking. We even got to take photos and cuddle the elephants after the ride. Best experience yet! Then, quick dinner and more pool time. This is our kinda vacation. Pictures to come once we return to Subgapore.

7/17/14 - Ok - so not all of our days here are cuddly and filled with fantastic adventures. There are many days that they drive us crazy over simple stuff like not treating the subway handles like monkey bars, fighting with your brother while getting dressed and turning off electronics on the first try. Then, there are moments like now when they are quietly playing legos while singing the theme song to the muppets - together (Ben hums and Ryan sings the words). I guess I'll keep em.

7/14/14 - The temperature at the Hawker Market tonight was 90 degrees and cloudy - which meant all of the heat was trapped at the surface. A very hot Ryan looked at us and said, "I need air con" (what they call air conditioning here)...too cute!

7/12/14 - Now, I'm in line to buy elephant ride tickets (pinch me). This place is amazing - monkeys running free everywhere, wonderful open spaces and trees so big it's hard to describe - oh, and very, very hot. Love it!

7/12/14 - So, we just got to feed ELEPHANTS at the Singapore Zoo!!! There was a huge line to get baskets of fruit to hand feed the elephants and Ben pushed ahead and got the very last one. Ryan, Ben and mommy all got to hand feed them apples, bananas and carrots. That was the best $5 I've ever spent. When we were done, Ben commented, "that was a dream come true that I never knew could happen."

7/12/14 - Today, the McCorrison luge team practiced at Sentosa Island. Ryan was definitely the daredevil, followed by fast videographer daddy, slow and steady Ben and tail gunner mom. We loved the feeling of really being in the jungle. After luge, we found the most amazing place - Mount Farber. We had lunch in what felt like the most fantastic tree house with amazing views, breeze and bathrooms. Super fun. Now, off to the pool and Hawker for dinner. Yahoo!!

7/10/14 - While playing with the boys at the pool, Ben cheered, "2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate? Mom!" They sure know how to melt my heart.

7/10/14 - Oh, and I love that housekeeping comes each day while we're at the pool. So fantastic!

7/10/14 - It's a wonderfully overcast day here - the perfect day to go exploring. So, what are we doing? Ben just conquered us in Monopoly, and now we're cuddling on the couch watching Ryan's choice of tv: "Plays of the Week." Next, picnic lunch by the pool. Did I mention how amazing our time together is here? I love relaxing and truly spending quality time together.

7/9/14 - Today, we had another morning of torrential downpour and amazing thunder/lightening show -- but this time, Mommy slept through the whole thing. I awoke at 9:15 and said let's boogie to breakfast. The rains meant another cooler day here. We spent the morning playing monopoly and researching our vacation to Bintan islands. We chose that destination because it's safe, secluded and a terry ride away from Singapore -- plus it has wonderful beaches! We joined Daddy for lunch near City Hall, had fantastic burgers/fries and wandered around a new area. We then headed back home for an afternoon of relaxing (boys) and ironing (me). It was a nice lazy day. Oh, I also made my first dinner for the boys here (6 weeks into our stay) - spaghetti with marinara sauce & buttered fresh bread. They inhaled it. I loved leaving the rinsed off dishes in the sink. Too bad there is no maid service in CO!

6/23/14 - Make sure to check out Ben's 'documentary' of our Singapore apartment. Scroll down to the videos below. Enjoy!

6/22/14 - Since we've logged many days of many miles of walking, we wanted today to be a rather quiet day. 10, 196 steps later, we checked out a really cool mid-air soccer game with acrobatics, found a great sushi place, played tennis outside, watched a "American Idol" style singing competition and found a fun nacho cheese pastry (weird, eh)? But, my favorite part of today was night swimming with Ry. Lately, he loves relaxing with me - meaning we both float on our backs and hold hands. We don't talk, just relax and look at the stars. He's such a special little guy. We then attempted to play frisbee in the almost dark. We did fairly well, I think. I told him we had just a few more minutes, as it was getting quite late. He chose 3 more frisbee throws and then more "relaxing." Cutie Pie!

6/21/14 - To the boys, Saturday morning mean hunting for our breakfast. We headed off to the mall to enjoy many pastries, searched for more origami paper and explored new shops that we didn't think existed. After we returned from breakfast, the boys joined Neil for a quick workout and pool time. I skyped Angie in Denmark. It was fun to compare notes on living in a foreign land. Later on, we joined the Julius family on a quest for the Noodle Man - a legend in these parts. He is known for pulling noodles by hand for soup. We wandered and wandered around Chinatown just to find them closed until 6pm. So, off to another market for juice, milkshakes and young coconut -- and souvenir shops -- where Ben bought his first Selfie Stick (a cell phone holder on a stick that you can use to do "selfies"). Just like daddy to need the newest gadget! Before we evaporated from the heat, it was 6:00 - time for the noodle man. We watched him make noodles and took photos with him. When the food arrived, we had an entire buffet of Asian food - dumplings, peking duck and noodles bowls, of course. Everything was amazing! And, the boys loved every bit, too. What a wonderful evening.

6/20/14 - Since we knew we were going to the Gardens by the Bay in the evening, the boys and I chose to spent anther relaxing day in the pool (4 hours in total). We started our day with another large breakfast of hard boiled eggs, yogurt and pastries. We then relaxed for a bit in our apartment and headed for the pool. We met some nice boys from Korea, Philippines and Singapore. It's nice to see the boys meet some local kids. The kids spoke very little English, but that didn't matter. They all spoke the international game of pool toys - playing with tennis balls, frisbee and other toys. I let them play together while I got to know the moms. It's amazing to me the stories everyone has - and how open they are to share them. They also seem to have a "we're in this together" mentality of being helpful. I mentioned that we were looking at fun places to take the boys. One mom said that she would drop off info at the front desk for me. The people are so very kind here. We then went to the market for stuff for dinner (our usual fare) and had a feast ready for Neil when he got home. After a leisurely dinner, we filled up our water bottles, put on bug spray and headed for the gardens. We didn't quite know how to get there so we asked a fellow subway rider for directions. Two stops and a few tunnels later, the same man kept showing us the way (even though this wasn't his destination). We arrived at the Gardens around 6:00 - just in time to enjoy the wonderful air conditioned atriums, wonderful walkways and amazing waterfall. Our night ended with a quick hawker stop and amazing light show at the super trees (the giant metal trees you see next to Marina Bay Sands. The light show complete with wonderful music reminded me of the 4th of July. The kids even watched the festivities on their backs just like they do in Arvada/Coors Field fireworks shows. FYI: This was one of my favorite moments so far.

6/19/14 - Today, we were all very tired and kids were rather grumpy. We ate a huge breakfast, played in the pool a bit and took naps. I actually put the "Do Not Disturb" sign up so we could all rest. At around 3pm, we headed to the market for some satay & roti prada (meat on a stick & bread) - and milkshakes, of course. We are really getting to know the locals here. The boys say hi to our favorite shop owners by name, and we even say hi to them in the subway.

6/18/14 - I almost could not contain my excitement today. The tv show "Amazing Race" was in Singapore today- and we had two teams walk right by us. Eeek!!! Back story: Neil called me while we were at breakfast and told me that a team and their camera crew rushed by him in downtown Singapore. He quickly began filming and one of the team members noticed him and asked if he could use his phone to google an address. Neil of course said yes - and then quickly called us so that we could visit their next destination - a temple where they do cupping massage. We grabbed a taxi and were there within minutes. We were walking up the stairs and a team walked right by us with clue in hand. We took spent a bit there and tried not to act like crazy american super fans - but I did ask the taxi driver that was waiting for the team to finish where else we should go to see more amazing race teams. He pointed out a restaurant nearby - so off we went. We also overheard the producer ask another taxi driver to take her to another destination. We arrived at the chili crab restaurant that was packed with lots of locals who had been there since 6am to stage the busy restaurant for the camera crews. We spent the next hour at the restaurant in hopes of seeing another team - but alas - all the other teams chose the massage. Neil then called to see what our plans were. We decided to meet where the producer mentioned - in Chinatown. We met there (after taking the wrong way) and tried to hunt down the teams. In the end, we didn't see the teams again or Phil - but have our own amazing race story to tell. So so so thrilling!!!!

6/17/14 - So proud of my little adventurous boys today. We went to a new area to grab lunch (after a morning of pool time and fort building). We checked out all of the shops, and I was amazed that they passed the Krispy Kreme, hot dogs and ice cream places. Instead, they decided to eat all local food: dim sum, sugar toast, kopi and these peanut pancakes. Tonight: sushi on a conveyor belt with daddy!

6/16/14 - I've decided that Mondays are lazy, hang out at the pool kinda days. We ate yogurt, tons of pastries and many hard boiled eggs for breakfast. The kids are becoming expert egg crackers now. Then, pool time. We played and played until almost 2pm. By that time, we were all hungry and ready to find food. We ate at "Fish & Co," where I had fish & chips and the kids enjoyed pasta served with fish nuggets on top. Ry ate every bit; Ben ate the pasta. It was a great stop for us. Right now, we're enjoying a little quiet time before daddy comes home. Then, back into the pool. I think we'll order pizza tonight and watch either the NBA finals or America's Got Talent. Life here is sure relaxed.

6/15/14 - Father's Day in Singapore was filled with homemade "tie" cards, a breakfast of smart alec pastries (kind of like a long john with custard), shelled chestnuts from the night before and coffee. After the morning festivities, we all headed to the pool. When we first hit the pool, it was just sprinkling, then raining a bit (but we still played in the pool), then harder rains (and more playing), then monsoon-like rains. We left the pool at that point. We sat there and watched the torrential downpour, then headed back to the pool for more time playing frisbee, target practice and sand shark pretending. Apparently, Neil is able to lay at the bottom of the pool for quite some time without breathing - just like a sand shark. Mommy isn't quite able to relax that much and just floats to the surface. The kids loved making fun of me for my inability to relax. Tired and hungry, we headed off in search of food. The boys found a "Toast" store that had peanut butter toast. They cut the toast up into squares that you can eat with chopsticks (which the kids are getting very good at). Neil & I loved the coffee at this food stall. It was very similar to Cafe Con Leche that we enjoyed in Miami. It's made with carnation sweetened condensed milk. YUM! It was a great way to spend the day with Daddy.

6/14/14 - One of the places we loved in NYC was a little parisian bakery called "Paris Baguette." Much to our delight, they also have one of these in Singapore of all places. We woke up rather early and headed to the mall (since that's where most of the restaurants are). Unfortunately, we got there too early for Paris Baguette. Since they were closed, we visited another bakery just across the mall that had wonderful pastries, chocolate croissants and muffins. We then headed back to our hotel for a bit to relax. Neil & Ben hit the gym; Ry and I hung out in the apartment. Finally, we were all going to hang out/play chess/etc when the maid service arrived (we love this place). Since we needed to leave so they could clean, we decided to head toward the MRT (subway) with no destination in mind. We ended up in Chinatown. It was rather quiet, filled with tons of tourist shops, amazing temples and rain. Neil & Ben also discovered a street vendor selling chestnuts (1/2 Kilo for S$6)! Oh, my! They were fantastic! At first, we didn't know how to open them. The vendor came over, reached his bare hand in our bag, and showed us very kindly how to open them. The people here are very sweet. We then spent the rest of the day with friends (Neil's coworkers) at a BBQ in one of the cabanas at our apartment complex. What a fun day of adventures!

6/13/14 - Shane & Thor (Neil's coworkers' family) invited us to join them to Little India today. Two MRT stops later, we arrived in what seemed like another world. As you first enter the market, you see fruits and vegetables that I've never seem in the US: Jackfruit the size of Texas, rambutan that a local recommended (but we aren't brave enough for), and $40 small bundles of cherries. The kids quickly learned that breathing through your mouth rather than your nose helped make these rather interesting places smell a little less funky. In addition to these fruit stands, we saw clothing stores with their own tailor on site. You can get measured for a custom outfit, have it made within 8 hours and delivered to your hotel -- all for less than $15 for a shirt/pants. We also loved the gold stores; whole stores that just sell gold: ornate necklaces, earrings and even gold bars. More up the kids' alley, we found souvenir stores where the kids bought watches for S$4 (approx $3.50 in US money). It was a nice experience and we plan to take Daddy there soon.

6/12/14 - Singapore's Botanic Gardens was our destination today. We started out after a leisurely breakfast of lots of croissants, bread and hard boiled eggs. On a side note: the kids have been spoiled by Costco's already shelled hard boiled eggs and found it "quite challenging" (Ry's words) to crack their eggs. The breakfast helpers found this rather humorous. So, off to the Gardens. We made our way from one MRT destination to another and ended up at a very hot Botanic Gardens. We loved the trellis gardens, giant leaves and bugs we saw along the way. We wandered and wandered - and got hotter and hotter. Although we brought along water, it wasn't enough - and sadly, since the gardens are free, there weren't concessions stands anywhere. We (meaning me) started to panic a bit. We finally found a nice man who pointed us toward a university cafeteria that was right down the way. We all had water and soda - a much needed retreat from the heat. Then, we made a pit stop at the kids' garden where we spent quite a while enjoying the misters that you have to crank (mock photosynthesis experience). Finally, we found a nice family who helped us navigate our way back home. Tired & happy to see the air conditioning of the MRT, we made our way back to Orchard Scotts. Next time: bring more water & leave very early in the day.

6/10/14 - Today was Tuesday, Neil's last day of "acclimating." We attempted to open a bank account, got lost many times trying to find a bread store we loved from the other day (Duke's Bakery), and met some new friends at the pool. We ended our rather relaxing day with an evening of delivery Pizza Hut pizza and America's Got Talent. In many ways, this is starting to feel very comfortable (with the exception of the mass transit). I'm writing this blog with our windows open for the first time ever, watching the storm roll in and enjoying the amazingness of a lightning storm in our new city. The boys are both happily asleep with bellies of pizza; Neil is soon off to bed and I'm ready for a night of "The Bachelorette." What a great part of life.

6/8/14 - For the most up to date photos of our Singapore adventures, visit Flickr

6/8/14 - Explored our side of the city today. We met Neil's coworker and her family and they showed us around. We started with breakfast at a bakery. The kids ate and ate pastries and hot cross buns. I guess they were hungry after not eating much at the local food stands the night before. We went to two malls (right next to one another). One was a typical mall; the other geared to kids. They even had a Nickelodeon kids event that day so we HAD to partake, minus the getting slimed booth. The kids had a great time and loved all of the bakeries. We then did our first shopping trip and were astounded by the prices ($14 for a small creamer)! Now, we are watching Netflix back at our apartment; kids are eating PB sandwiches with fry bread from Hawker's market; next is more pool time!

6/7/14 - We arrived in Singapore today. Man o man is this place clean, beautiful -- and hot! It reminds me so much of Miami. When we landed, we grabbed our 6 huge suitcases and headed to customs. It was a breeze and we for our second passport stamp. We were soon met by a man from our apartment with a sign that read "Neil McCorrison" - like they do in the movies. He loaded us up into a minivan capable of carrying our family & tons of luggage. We loved the ride to our apartment - as we got to see all of the things Neil had told us all about the city. We arrived at the apartment and wow! This place is spectacular. We quickly got settled, met our neighbors, and headed out for dinner. We went to Hawkers Market, this street vendor outside mall. It was incredibly hot and very different. The merchant hounded you to stop by their stall and Neil compared it to a haunted house where people pop out of the woodwork. We choose limeade, satay, Indian food, and naan bread and beer. My favorites were the chicken satay, naan bread and beer. The kids liked the bread (surprise) but were so exhausted. We ended our night at the pool, which felt incredible after feeling so hot. I told Neil that we'll spend every night out there. After another long day of travel, The boys feel instantly asleep - Ry eve feel asleep reading on the couch. Tomorrow- exploring the city!

6/6/14 - Our flight to Tokyo was 12 hours long and filled with many meals & drinks and lots of movie watching! We even got to see the movie 'Big' where Tom Hanks plays the piano at FAO in NYC. Once we landed, we explored the airport and its many gift shops. We bought the most amazing chocolates that came wrapped in chilled bubble wrap!! We headed to the terminal and waited & waited until finally we found out that our flight was cancelled. We exited customs and headed to our hotel for the night. The kids (and grown ups) we exhausted! We had to split into two rooms as all they have are twin beds. Nobody minded! Just happy to sleep. Kids actually fell asleep: at airport, on bus to hotel, in hotel lobby and finally in their beds with their clothes on. Today, we woke up and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of croissants, eggs and cappuccino. Now, off to airport.

3/19/14 - Nate Robinson high fived Ben and told him happy birthday!

2/23/14 - Ben high fived most of the Sacramento Kings players on their way to the court at tonight's Nuggets game.

2/10/14 - This morning, we woke up to one of the most spectacular hard frosts I've ever seen, and I'm so thankful that I have the boys to help me appreciate it. You couldn't help but notice how wonderful everything looked, but the boys pointed out the little details and a pine tree that was simply amazing. I dropped them off at the bus and thought that if I didn't have the boys, I may have overlook the joy of it all. Yeah for my boys!

2/9/14 - In baseball introductions the coach called "Ben" and instead of saying "here" Ben said "is awesome!"

2/8/14 - Ben and Ryan scored the only points again this week. 12 and 4 respectively for the WIN!

2/6/14 - Today, Ben had a "private" telephone conversation with Breanna - private being in his room with the door open (BUT talking very loudly). He was sharing with her his plans to discuss with our principal starting a new school newspaper - his idea! I have to admit I was smiling from ear to ear when I heard his plans!!!

1/30/14 - Tomorrow, Neil gets to perform at half time at the nuggets game - during a skills challenge. I am so excited and know he will crush the competition. Go daddy!!!

1/30/14 - One of the surprising mommy moments I've had include teeth. I used to be quite squeamish about loose teeth, but now I have successfully pulled two teeth out of Ryan's mouth --- eeek! The things I do for my boys.

1/30/14 - Yesterday, the boys tried out for the 9 year old youth baseball league (North Jeffco Junior baseball) - and made the team. I am looking forward to a great baseball season -- as soon as basketball is over, that is.

1/17/14 - Lately, Ryan has been sleeping in until 8am. I love that he sleeps in, but that only allows 20 minutes to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth and pack up. As a result, we've been making a mad dash to the bus every morning -- and missing our daily hug/kiss before getting on the bus. Apparently, Ryan noticed this. Today, we were running late again. Ryan started his sprint to the bus stop and stopped in front of McCain's house. I asked what was wrong. His response, "just in case," and proceeded to give me a hug and kiss -- and melt my heart. I love that little guy!!!

12/30/2014 - Ben high fived LeBron James!

12/22/13 - For the last few years, Neil has been telling the boys Amazon.com stories at bedtime. They are super creative stories that always include a shout out to the wonders of amazon as well as a moral to the story. My favorite one was about a baseball team that ran out of baseballs. They searched the world over -- including attempting to play with snowballs with snow cone syrup stitching -- that failed to work. The team finally found baseballs on a site called Amazon.com. As a result, stories like these are the reason the boys love to have daddy put them to bed (mommy is a horrible story teller). Tonight's amazon story from Daddy was about a lonely teddy bear that was looking for a friend. He found one on -- yup, Amazon.com. He hid them in the boys' room under Ryan's big dog. The boys love their new teddy bears!! Thanks, Daddy!!

12/17/13 - Daddy high-fived Kevin Durant at the Nuggets game tonight!!

11/13/13 - Each day since kindergarten, I've put notes in the boys' lunches. The other morning, I asked them if they still wanted 'lunchbox love' put in their lunch - both replied yes. Ryan even showed me that he keeps each of my notes in a zippered pouch in his lunchbox. I had no idea. It melted my heart. Just ordered another supply of notes for my darling, super sweet boys.

10/20/13 - Today marked a milestone at Elitches - we officially have a kiddo that is too big for the kiddy rides (unless you slouch, that is). I can vividly remember when we were too small for rides. Ahh.. but I do have to say that seeing Ben's face when he sneaks past security (in the slouch position) is totally worth it.

10/13/13 - Ben and Daddy are a standing at the starting line of Run the 'Rocks getting ready for the starting gun. Go!

9/21/13 - Today, the boys and I were talking about what they are going to be when they grow up. Ryan wants to be a part-time artist and his wife will stay at home and take care of the kids. I told him that he's going to have to be a very successful artist if he's only going to work part-time. He was fine with that. Ben wants to be a part-time third grade teacher and part-time architect. He also has aspirations to work at Dickie's (gotta love the BBBQ)! His wife will also stay at home with the kids. I thought it was interesting that they both want part-time jobs and stay at home wives. Guess that means we're doing something right.

9/21/13 - We took the boys to their first Avs game this week. When I told them that we were going (on a school night), Ben remarked that, "Oh no, we're not. We need to get to bed at a reasonable time." I told him to stop being a grown up. So, we did end up going to the game and one adorable thing that Ryan said regarding the player in the penalty box. He asked when he was going to get out of the "time out box" - not penalty box. So cute!

9/14/13 - We took photos of our boxes of memories today. You can see them here

7/8/13 - Kids first day of golf camp. We're at the golf course by our house and kiddos got to ride golf cart for the first time. Ryan (aka Mr. Safety) immediately asked where the seat belts are!

7/2/13 - We sold some Rockies tickets on craigslist. One of the voicemails started with "Hi, I'm Ginger". Ryan heard this and said "Ginger? What?" with a smirk. If we could all be so honest.

6/7/13 - Ben had a monster baseball game tonight. He hit a double (to the grass) on his first at bat. Then three more super strong hits, an unassisted out at first base, and two slides into home plate. One of which made him safe. P.s. His double pegged a kid in the outfield who had to come out. Zowie!

5/5/13 - Tonight was the season finale of The Amazing Race" featuring two moms from Broomfield (Mona & Beth)--one is the daughter of Ben's second grade teacher, Mrs Bandimere. The finale ended at 9pm, but the kids just couldn't wait to see who won. At the end, the moms didn't win, and Ben really started to tear up - then really cry. I asked I he was upset that they lost. His response - "No, I'm just so proud of how well they did." Then we all cried and cuddled. So happy that we've raised such wonderful boys.

4/11/13 - Today was a sappy day for mommy. I was just telling they boys how proud I am to be the mom of such amazing boys. I them starting tearing up - no surprise there! Ben's response: "mom, you're such a sissy." I laughed and laughed. He then told me he learned that word by reading Calvin & Hobbes. So fun!!

3/21/13 - Today is Ben's 8th birthday. He woke up to a room filled with balloons, cocoa with breakfast, lunch from Wendy's at school, dinner at old spaghetti factory and then a nuggets game. Pretty fun! We also have spirit week; today was dress up as what you want to be when you grow up. Ben: I want to be a teacher. Ryan: I want to be a teacher in Hawaii (complete with Hawaiian shirt) Just adorable!

2/13/13 - This morning Ben said, "I personally don't think Cupid will shoot me with his arrow this year." I asked what happens if he does. He said, "you fall in love."

2/1/13 - Day 2 of San Fran trip with kids: started with quick breakfast of mini donuts & breakfast burritos, bay tour, lunch at in n out, Macworld, visit to Keith's hotel, Chinatown adventures, trolley rides and back to hotel to watch nba game. Everyone was beat but a fun time was had by all Favorite parts of the day: Ryan - "uncle Keith's hotel - going see the city from the top floor of the sir Frances drake hotel. And looking over the edge and dropping my gum on the ground below. Ben - liked it all Neil - boat trip because it was relaxing and seeing area in a new way. Jill - boat trip because it was a sitting back and just relaxing time holding ben's hand and enjoying the view.

11/30/12 - In the tradition of one of our favorite books about Little Nutbrown Hare, Ryan today hold me, "Mommy. I love you more than school." Guess he really loves me :)

11/12/12 - Tonight Ryan didn't like something Daddy had done, so he said "I'm going to tell Mommy". And the he said, "Actually, I'm going to text her."

10/21/12 - Tonight, the boys wanted to watch the ending of the movie, "cool running." It's about a bobsled team from Jamica that goes to the Olympics. The boys got on their pjs, and Neil and I got the popcorn ready. Neil and I were cuddling on the small couch; the boys were lounging on the big couch. We were all cozy but Pierce didn't have a spot. Ben noticed this and moved all of the pillows so that Pierce could sit next to him. Ben said, "Up, boy," and proceeded to hug Pierce. I looked over and realized that my life is so much better than I could have imagined 12 years ago--what a wonderful way to spend our anniversary. I love you, boys! -mom

9/12/12 - Today is our first cold Fall morning. It's rainy and the high today is 55 degrees. I suggested that the boys wear pants and jackets. They had another thought -- wearing shorts and short sleeve t-shirts. I told them that they're old enough to decide what to wear. I did require that they bring their jackets with them. I however, decided to wear pants and a jacket. When we headed out the door, Neil mentioned that if either of the boys complaines about being cold they owe him a dollar. When we were waiting for the bus, Ben commented that "it's mmmm outside." He looked at me and I knew exactly what he meant --he then gave me a Ben - aren't I cute smile. Gotta love em!

8/20/12 - Today marks the first day back at school. Ryan in Mrs. Destree's class; Ben in Mrs. Bandimere's. They were so excited about starting school that they suggested going to bed an extra half hour early (whose kids are these?). Last night, the boys watched a little bit of spiderman with daddy and when 7:00 hit, they were off to bed - no arguements. We read one book and sang one song and they were practically asleep. This morning, Ben woke up bright and early & got dressed before coming downstairs. So cute! He wore a daddy shirt (polo style) and Ryan wanted to wear the opposite (Tye dye). Drop of for school went amazing. Ryan wanted me to hang out with him for a while & held my hand so tightly. Ben just said bye and headed off to class. I checked on him later and he was already at work in the class. Today, I'm relaxing & pampering myself. Hooray for school!

6/23/12 - We're watching Spiderman the movie and during the scene where he's climbing up the building I asked "wouldn't you like to be able to do that?" Ben responded, "yeah. All you need to do is get bit by a super spider. "

5/23/12 - It's a rainy, lazy day at our house today. I cleaned the guest bedroom so the boys could play there over the summer. Ryan decided to play the piano - the prerecorded songs - and chooses 'Ode To Joy.' He says, 'Mom. It's the church song.' We listened to it several times. Guess he IS paying attention at church and not just playing with the toys in Grandma's bag. So cute.

5/12/12 - Today is the day before Mother's Day. The boys had a game this morning and played amazing - even though we lost the game. They each got three hits and Ryan had some great outs. After the game, we asked what they'd like to do to celebrate. They wanted a day of cozy pants and lazy times at home. It surely was a lazy, rainy day. Tonight, we watched part of Hop and loved it. Then it was bedtime and the boys insisted on mommy cuddle time in bed. I sang you are my sunshine to Ryan and goodnight sweetheart to Ben. They told me reasons why the loved me: Ryan said that I'm sweet - that's it. Ben said that I do so much for them and that I'm great at cuddling while watching tv. Lobed every moment of bedtime tonight. Now, time to watch Nuggets beat lakers in game 7 of playoffs!

2/11/12 - Last night, we took the boys to a girls basketball game at Stanley Lake HS. Our favorite part of the game is when Ryan's girlfriend, Stella, was one of the cheerleaders at half time. Ryan turned a couple of shades of red but couldn't keep his eyes off of her. On the way home I mentioned how fun it was to watch a friend and Ryan said that she's not just a friend :) We then talked about us teasing him about her - if it bothered him - and he said no but asked what he should do if friends at school tease him about how much he likes her. I told him there's nothing wrong with really liking someone. My little sweetheart!

1/7/12 - Ben lost his first tooth yesterday! It popped out at school. This morning the Tooth Fairy had left him 5 gold dollar coins and a new Spider-man toothbrush. What a surprise for such a big boy.

12/19/11 - Tonight for bedtime we read the Christmas Alphabet Book that has a popup page for each letter. It has things like Angel, Carolers, Present... The boys were trying to guess the next page before the other. When we got to F, Ryan yelled out "Fortress". Nope, Ryan, it's not fortress :)

12/3/11 - Tonight we went to the City of Westminster's holiday lighting celebration. Ben wanted to go because the Mayor (of Westminster) had been to his class a few days ago and mentioned it. Just as Santa pulled up in a fire truck, Ben noticed the Mayor was nearby and started talking to her. Before we knew it Santa had gone by and was entering the building. We missed him!

11/30/11 - Tonight, we were reading a book about the gifts, parties and cookies surrounding Christmas. I asked the kids if that's what Christmas is all about. Ben answered yes. We talked about the fact that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birthday. Ryan then asked why Jesus was born on Christmas. Ben followed that with a question of whether his birthday (march 21) is a holiday. Help!

11/12/11 - Today Daddy created an email account for Ryan so he can start sending stuff. His response was "So I can finally send email now?". Yes, he's still 5 years old.

9/20/11 - Ah, Ben. Why do you always get weird viruses? Today, we had a flex day. Ben went to school in the morning and Ryan went in the afternoon. I had a great time with both kids. But then I was pooped and asked Neil for the night off. I went to see the new Sarah Jessica Parker movie about a working mom and left the theater feeling on top of the world - the movie reminded me that how busy my life was, that I am still there for every little moment, the quiet times after school and ALL of their events. Happy as a lark, I came home and watched the new tv shows and tackled some laundry so Neil would have basketball clothes for the start of his season. Then it happened. I was about to brush my teeth and call it a night when Ben awoke - gasping for breath and making these awful sounds. After a while of throwing up, feeling weak and a phone call to Children's ask a nurse hotline later, Ben and I were off to the ER. Thankfully, the waiting room was empty and we got in & out in less than 30 minutes. Ben had croup. He took a dose of steroids and Motrin and that's it! We came home around 2:30 and both headed to bed. Ben was most upset (actually sobbing) that he wouldn't be allowed to go to school today. Good thing - we just slept the day away and played games. Now, picking up Ryan and Jamba for dinner. I may not have a full time job, but mine sure can be crazy sometimes, too. But I still love it!

9/18/11 - "Winner, Winner. Chicken Dinner" Neil and I were watching a movie about blackjack yesterday. Ben asked what we were watching, so Neil explained it to him. Ben was super excited, so we installed a blackjack app on his iPhone. He caught on right away (surprise) and just loved it! We installed it on our other devices and even took turns playing dealer with a real deck of cards. Ben is such a little card shark. Maybe we foud a way to pay for medical school?

9/18/11 - Right now, Both boys are sleeping in Ben's bed. Ryan crawled into Ben's bed shortly after bedtime. At first, we thought he was just confused but that's where he wants to be. I should also mention that they're wearing matching flannel PJs. Super cute!

9/18/11 - Yesterday, Ben had a request for this year's Halloween agenda. Typically, we trick or treat first and then come home to hand out candy. This year, he has requested that we do handing out candy first because he really loves that. Getting candy is definitely second place for both boys. Neil and I agreed to their request, then I looked at Neil and quietly said that they aren't my kids (wink). I love candy way too much to think like that!

9/13/11 - Ben was working on his homework yesterday. They were to write about their family traditions. Ben chose to write about going to Super Target with Grandma and PaPa to play hide and seek and bingo. While writing, Ben noticed that the word he started (Grandma) would not fit on the line. He asked what he was supposed to do. I asked him what he thought. He came back with a hyphen. I told him that that was a great solution and wanted to know where he learned about hyphens. He said he noticed them in his Jack and Annie books (aka Magic Tree House). WOW!

8/1/11 - Jill is playing string games with Beb right now before bed. Yep, the kind where you make "cats cradle" and such. What a blast from the past.

7/30/11 - Today I told the boys "look, I trimmed the bushes today". Ben said, "cool. What did you make out of them?"

5/29/11 - Ryan asked, "what are shapes?" Ben answered, "you know, like rhombus or cylinder." I simply laughed and asked Ben, "how old are you? You are so interesting."

5/23/11 - Tonight, Ben was sharing his fun plans fior the summer with us. "you're going to love this. What if we do centers, just like at school." I don't know if that surprised me more, Ben wanting school so much that we need to do our version at home during summer vacation or the fact that Ryan was equally excited about Ben's plan. Gotta love our school!!!

3/18/11 - So we're in trouble... Tonight Ben had his first school dance. He wouldn't get on the dance floor until his best friend, Breanna, arrived. As soon as she did, they immediately headed to go dance. Though he gave her a couple songs, he also danced with lots of other girls. At one point he was dancing with 4 girls - many of which were much older (like 6th graders). Yep, we're in trouble.

3/18/11 - Today was Ryan's first day of T-ball. His coach was getting to know the kids, and asked each kid what their favorite animal was. Several of the kids said "tiger", "dinosaurs" and other scary animals. Ryan's response: "Panda Bear". The coach used the animal names throughout practice to call the kids. It was cute and appropriate hearing him call Ryan Panda Bear.

2/17/11 - When Ben's substitute teacher was meeting all of the students, she asked which name they prefer to go by. She got to Ben and said, "Benjamin, what name do you prefer?" I'm sure she was thinking Ben - but no. Ben's answer: "You can call me Dr. Love."

2/16/11 - I don't know what's cuter: The boys' newfound love of Jeopardy OR The way Ben asked me today, "where did the Wright brother live?" I told him that I didn't know but could check wikipedia. He said he already knew the answer -- Kitty Hawk, NC. What are they teaching in kindergarten?

2/13/11 - Tonight, Ryan hugged me really tightly before going to bed. I told him how great he was and that I loved him all the way to the moon and back. His response, "Mom, I love you all the way to the end of your bed and back." I think that was a compliment, but in either case it made me smile.

10/31/10 - Pumpkins Video

10/29/10 - Attention Grandparents. Check out this new movie trailer Click Here

9/8/10 - Too Cool for School Today, Ryan and I walked Ben to the bus stop. While waiting in line to board the bus, Ben jumped out of line to give me a hug and kiss. How sweet. However, when Ryan and I surprised Ben by visiting him at lunch with all of his friends, he asked me to go (actually, he said, "Mommy, Go!"). Boo!

8/6/10 - Today Ben was showing off his new kids meal toy and said it came with "Stickerations" (his new word for sticker decorations)

8/6/10 - This morning I (Dad) woke up to Ben reading a story to Ryan at the top of the stairs. Picture below.

7/13/10 - I just picked Ben and Ryan up from child watch at the gym. Ben was running around in a full body Winnie the Pooh suit. Apparently he was in it since just after I dropped them off, so just under 2 hours. Sorry, he wouldn't allow a picture.

4/24/10 - Today daddy and Ryan were going over a page of "Which one is different?". One of the pictures was of three markers, where one had the cap off. Ryan said "that one is different because it's missing the cap, and that's wasteful."

4/9/10 - Tonight we were playing out back and decided on ordering pizza for dinner. While selecting toppings, I asked the boys what they thought of tomatoes as a topping. Ben's reply was "are they juicy tomatoes?". After hearing that they were, his reply was "oh yeah!". Domino's online ordering now shows you the status of the pizza - each step until the delivery is complete. Both Ben and Ryan would stop playing outside to check on our pizza. They just gazed at the screen waiting for the step to change. The best was when it was "in delivery" and their anticipation of when the web site would update, as opposed to the delivery guy actually showing up.

4/6/10 - OK- So, we were watching "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," when I declared that it was time to stop and get ready for bed - in particular brushing teeth. Ben said that he was too tired to brush his teeth. I asked if we should invent something that would brush his teeth for him. Ben said, "Yeah -- Daddy." And we all laughed a bunch.

3/26/10 - Today, Ryan wanted to watch "Trip to the San Diego Zoo" all by himself. He actually kicked me out of the room. A little while later, he ran excitedly to me saying in his high pitched voice, "Mommy, did you know that hippos can swim underwater?" We talked about that for a while then he returned to his movie. Shortly again, he ran to me asking, "Did you know panda bears can slide down trees?" So cute and so excited about things.

2/24/10 - We're still fighting with naps again. Today, Ben had a melt down at McDonalds and was in the worst mood when we got in the car. A short while later, he apologized to me for being "having a bad day" and that when he was done with his nap we could be "best friends." It's amazing how his words melt my heart.

2/24/10 - This morning, Ryan was IMPOSSIBLE to wake up. We figured the memory foam mattress + cozy flannel sheets + late night bedtime = very tired Ryan. It took all 3 of us to wake him. Just kept pulling the sheets back over his head. I guess there's a little of daddy in him after all.

2/22/10 - Today marked a new era for us - allowance (Ben gets it for now, Ryan in a bit). It also marked the first day Ben got to use his very own wallet. We went to the bank and got $5 in ones. Ben quickly put them in his wallet. He also had a coupon for $0.50 off a treat from Target's cafe and some change. He immediately wanted to go spend his money. He chose an Icee and popcorn. He thoroughly enjoyed both. Then, on to shopping with Mommy. He quickly realized how much the things he wanted were. The first thing he asked to buy was an automatic toothpaste dispenser (silly kiddo). It cost $20. I told him that he could save all of his money for 4 weeks and then he could buy it. He quickly moved on. He then asked to buy a ball. Since we didn't need another ball in our house, I talked him out of that. Finally, we decided upon Mommy buying a watering can for both boys - my treat. Filling/emptying a watering can is a great exercise for Ben's arm. When we approached the checkout, Ben asked if he could buy his own watering can. I told him that it was Mommy's treat, but he insisted. We agreed to split the cost. When we left Target, Ben counted the money in his wallet and begged to have $5 again. I told him that he could have $5 next week. This allowance thing is sure fun. I love seeing what he wants to spend his money on. Oh, one more item: Ben and Ryan wanted waters at Starbucks (and I think the money was burning a hole in his pocket) so Ben ordered them and asked how much he owed the barista. He was pleased that water didn't cost money.

2/22/10 - Gotta love kid logic. Today, Ryan was blocking Ben from going up the stairs. I told Ryan, "No blocking in this house." Ryan responded with, "We're allowed to block just like in basketball." I didn't have a response for that.

2/21/10 - Take a look at the most recent pictures before reading the post below.

2/21/10 - BRAG ALERT! Ok, so you all must know how interestingly smart Ben is. Well, today he proved it once again. In the mornings, he'll write notes for over an hour. We rifled through them and were amazed at what we found. PS> Neil and I are still in bed when Ben's doing these, so it's all Ben. Note #1: 10+10=20 2+2=4 30+1=31 4+2=6 80+2=82 2+1=3 Note #2: 12+25=37 4+5=9 2+3=5 1+0=1 1+1=2 2+2=4 3+2=5 o + -> = POP (Ben translation: bubble + arrow = pop) OOO + triangle = ice cream cone Note #3: Ben loves to vote on things and take tallies. He asks everyone around him and then jots their answers down. He usually asks us, Oz, Dora, Boots, etc. Q: Do you have a car? Yes / No

2/17/10 - Reason #1 we cannot rent Adam Sandler DVDs yet. Ben and Ryan watch a preview for a new Adam Sandler DVD entitled, Bedtime Stories." On it, they mention, "Kicking your butt." In true little kid style, they heard that and laughed uncontrollably and wanted to hear it over again. Me, in true Mommy fashion, said no. Oh, little boys!

2/17/10 - Last night, Ben and Mommy had a buddy date - outdoor mini golf and go karts. Oh, did I mention it was 32 degrees - and that we had an absolute blast. On our drive to Boondocks (Ben's new favorite hang out), Ben mentioned wanting to be a grown up. I asked him what things he wanted to do when he gets older. On his list: driving, pumping gas and pushing the shopping cart by himself. Ah, to be 5 and want things like that. I actually have vivid memories of my dad letting me pump gas and wash the windshield and how cool I thought that was. I told Ben all about it. Back to golf: Ben beat me on almost every hole and when it took me more shots than him he'd say, "Six shots over par, Mommy." When he would say that, we'd look at each other and I'd give him a death stare and then we'd both laugh. When we moved onto the go karts, it was freezing. Our go kart was one of the faster ones, and we cruised along, laughing and crying because the cold air hurt my eyes so much. Halfway through our turn, we passed another car. Ben told me that I was a better / faster driver than Daddy because we passed people. Ben was recalling our last trip to Boondocks and his race car drive with Daddy. Don't tell Ben but Mommy's cart simply went faster than Daddy's! What a fun buddy night.

7/22/09 - Ben just finished dinner and said "Mommy, I'm going to go wash my hands and face. When I'm done we are going downstairs to cuddle and watch the President." Ryan said, with a mouthful of roll, "I don't want to watch the President"

7/21/09 - One more cute thing: notice on the pictures of them waiting in line - take a peek at where their feet are. They will only put their feet on the duck feet. Adorable, eh?

7/21/09 - Brotherly love - it's why we had the boys so close - and it's finally getting to a place where they are thinking of each other as friends. Last night, we took the boys to Elitch Gardens for an evening of rides. At first, Ben would do the scary ones and Ryan the tame. After a bit, they started to do the rides together and if they didn't sit together, big brother Ben would make sure to rectify that. One great moment was when the boys were waiting in line by themselves to ride the swings - Ben reached over to Ryan and put his arm around him and kissed him on the head. Neil and I weren't anywhere near them but close enough to see it happen. Gotta love those moments!

7/19/09 - Today, as a 'punishment', Ben and I (by default) weren't allowed to go to CiCi's Pizza -- where Neil and Ryan went. It turned out to be one of the nicest evenings yet for me as a mom. Ben and I took Oz for a walk to the park, talked all the way there, played with some new friends and headed back home when the rain started to fall. When we got home, Ben wanted to sit and watch the rain clouds roll in & 'watch' the thunder. I tried to explain that you listen for thunder and watch lightning, but he wouldn't have any of it. We sat there for a long time just looking at the clouds. When it then started to get really windy, Ben grabbed my shoes and headed inside. We then made dinner of his choice (white bread with butter, pistachios and milk) and watched "Harold and the Purple Crayon." I kept looking over at him, thinking - yeah, this is the good stuff. Off to get ready for bed. Love you, Ben!

7/12/09 - One more thing I wanted to mention: the campgrounds also offered a animal farm complete with baby cows, pigs, ducks, rabbits, donkey and horse. After the ice cream social, we all headed toward the petting zoo area. Ben wanted to pet the horse so he held his hand out. He immediately yelled, "He bit me." Neil and I both thought, "Oh, Ben's being dramatic again," so we told him to try again. Again, he said that the horse bit him. Next, Neil held out his hand alas and the horse did bite him. It was only later that we noticed the sign that read that the horse bites and to not put your hand near him. Grin....

7/12/09 - This weekend marked our first camping experience with the boys. We met Sophia, Tim, Ella and Sam at the Winding River Resort in Grand Lake, CO. It was so fun seeing the kids light up when the tent was completed, have their first s'mores, and listen to Ben's silly sings around the campfire. It rained in the late afternoon but at least our camps were set up. We made dinner in the rain and then headed out for a ice cream social hosted by the campground staff. The kids loved the HUGE portions of ice cream. Probably a bit of sugar overload with Poppycock, s'mores and ice cream, but this was a special occasion. Camping with kids was challenging but really more heart warming than anything. I will forever remember Ben sitting like a big boy across from me at the fire pit. I look forward to future camping outings as they grow up -- looking at the stars and just talking into the wee hours of the night. I also loved it when Ryan needed to climb into our sleeping bag to cuddle for most of the night. We don't get much of a chance to do that, so it was a treat. Thankfully, he was so tired that he was pretty much passed out and didn't wake at all that night. Amazingly, the kids and I slept in until 7:30 am -- despite the cold evening, rain, snoring neighbors, loud birds and unhappy Sam. When we woke, it was pancake breakfast. The campgrounds offered all you can eat pancakes and sausage for $6/person. They were amazing. The kids ordered buttermilk pancakes with M&Ms, chocolate chips and bananas. Neil ordered pecan with bananas. I had blueberry with pecans. They were the size of TX and absolutely yummy. The best part was simply waking up down the dirt road with our friends to just enjoy the experience. Next, the kids were ready for pony rides (actually horses). All 4 kiddos make the trek around the campgrounds. It was a great time - one that we plan to repeat really soon.

6/22/09 - A few cute things from today: The boys were playing doctor and Ryan asked to wear the Dr. name tag because he wanted to be "Dr. Ben." The boys were plying in Ryan's room, and Ben suggested that they play America's Funniest Home Videos - he told Ryan to either get hit by the ball or fall down on the ground. Such fun!

6/3/09 - The boys just love NBA basketball. After their naps yesterday, they both asked if they could watch "the game." They don't care who is playing or how old the game is, they just want basketball. Little Ryan asked where Kmart was, and Ben yelled (and properly pronounced), "Go, Ilgauskas." He was, of course, referring to Ilgauskas Zydrunas - the 7'3" center for the Cavaliers.

6/3/09 - Today, Ben and I were talking about what he wants to be when he grows up. He was debating between a doctor or a fire fighter. He finally decided on the fire fighter because he gets to slide down the pole. If that wasn't cute enough, I then asked Ryan what he wants to be. His response after a lengthy pause, "A good boy." My mommy heart just melted. One other interesting item. The kids are learning that if they spill water it's ok because it will dry. Neil and I cringe though when the kids ask if ice cream and other non-water substances will dry. The hunt for the spilled ice cream, etc. begins then. Hope to email more over the summer. Keep posted.

6/3/09 - Today, Ben and I were talking about what he wants to be when he grows up. He was debating between a doctor or a fire fighter. He finally decided on the fire fighter because he gets to slide down the pole. If that wasn't cute enough, I then asked Ryan what he wants to be. His response after a lengthy pause, "A good boy." My mommy heart just melted. One other interesting item. The kids are learning that if they spill water it's ok because it will dry. Neil and I cringe though when the kids ask if ice cream and other non-water substances will dry. The hunt for the spilled ice cream, etc. begins then. Hope to email more over the summer. Keep posted.

3/21/09 - Today, Ben turned 4. When I was tucking him into bed, I asked if he liked being 4. He said he liked the party, bowling, cupcakes and his friends. But moreso, he was looking foward to the perks of being four: chewing gum and playing on the rocket ship at the park. It's amazing what he retains for later. We had a great birthday with friends and family. After the party, the kids were off for naps. When they were recharged, we played with toys and went out for ice cream in Dad's BIG Jeep and a wonderful dinner. We ended the day with a little Madagascar. I couldn't have asked for a nicer day.

2/7/09 - Ryan - Pee Update #2 Last night Ryan pee'd in the potty all by himself! Daddy ran downstairs to get PJs, and when he got back, Ryan was already flushing the toilet. Go Ryan!

1/30/09 - Get out your credit cards: Ben just told me that he wanted an accordion for his 4th birthday present. Kinda quirky but very cute.

1/28/09 - RYAN PEED IN THE POTTY! Tonight was the first time that Ryan went pee in the potty. I knew that he could do it on demand because he and Ben always 'aim' for the drain in the shower. So, tonight I told Ryan that he had to pee in the potty before he could play with Ben in the shower. At first, he said no. Then, I reaffirmed my demand. He sat on his cute little Diego potty ring and not more than a few seconds went by - and PEE! You would think we had won the lottery. Neil and I yelled, gave high fives and just carried on. Ryan got lots of candy much to Ben's dismay. I told Ben that he'll be receiving candy for helping Ryan pee. He seemed ok with that. Ben also reminded Ryan that he'll get chocolate chips at Grandma and Grandpa's house as a potty reward. Later on, I asked Ryan if he'd like to try to pee in the potty again and he said Yes! The end of diapers is now in sight. Halleluiah (sung like the lead actor in Rock Star)!

1/21/09 - So, today I outsmarted Ben. He's under the impression that he's getting too big for naps. I'm still of the belief that I like to be sane most of the time. Since these two things don't work together, I had to outsmart the little bugger. He really wanted to play Monkey Ball. I told him that he could only play after a nap. He tried to nap but "wasn't tired" even though he would sit there rubbing his eyes and yawning. Finally, I'd exhausted all of my ideas/bribes and told him, "Fine. Then let's just get up, but we aren't playing Monkey Ball." I turned on the lights and walked out of his room. He then proceeded to turn off the lights, tuck himself into bed and fell right asleep. I guess he was tired after all. Mommy Wins!

1/21/09 - Poop - Diarrhea - Throw Up My day in a nutshell. Off to enjoy a few minutes of free time before more of the same occurs again.

1/15/09 - I was just reading "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to Ryan and their is an illustration on the last page with a star hugging the bear from the story. I asked him what that was (thinking he'd say star) and he told me it was a Mommy Star. I asked him why that was a Mommy Star and not a Daddy Star. His answer, "because the star is hugging the bear and mommies hug." It was really sweet.

1/12/09 - Ryan needed a backpack for preschool to put a change of clothes and his snack in. Ben thought he needed one, too. So, we headed off to Pottery Barn Kids. We looked for the exact one that Ryan had but they had sold out of them. We looked at other ones and finally settled on a small kids backpack (complete with pocket / cell phone holder). Don't ask me why a preschool aged kid needs a cell phone pocket, just know it's super cute. Once we bought it, Ben HAD to wear it out of the store. He then asked if we could go to the Apple store (coincidentally right next door to PBK) to pick up a iPhone for him. I told him that iPhones cost a bunch of money. He said that we should go home and get "a bunch of money" so that he could have a iPhone for his backback, too. I thought this was just so adorable. In the end, he agreed to put his fake Disney cell phone in the pocket. Dad also tried to put his real iPhone in the pocket and it didn't fit. That seemed ok to Ben.

1/8/09 - There are many days where I simply feel like a babysitter that gets really crappy wages, little time off and lots of unpleasant tasks to complete. There are a handful of days that I actually feel like a mom. I guess I know they're mine, it just doesn't seem like I'm that grown up most days. My mom is a mom, not me. Tonight, for some reason, when I said good night to Ryan, I really felt like "Mom." It's such a good feeling.

1/3/09 - We ventured out to the Denver Art Museum today with both boys. They weren't too impressed. Most of the day, Ben would ask can we go to the next place, please. Ben also saw one exhibit and said, "Look, Mom - Poop." When Ben pointed it out to me again, Neil overheard him and thought it ironic because that was exactly what he thought. They didn't get the modern art exhibit, but loved the make your own paper art (out of paper bags). Ben used the hole punch over and over. Ryan simply wanted to cut the yarn into itty bitty pieces. Daddy made a cool hand puppet and a flame. Mommy also loved the hole punch and wove a bag together. We then made our way to the Denver Diner for lunch. To pass the time until our order arrived, the boys played paper hockey (blowing a small piece of paper from one side of the table to the other). Ben was much more skilled while Ryan included more spit - hasn't really gotten the hang of blowing. Now, they're all napping and I'm off to snuggle with my new Rachel Ray magazine in our warm waterbed. A few more notes: Ben has really been into two interesting things: calling us by our names (Jill v. Mommy). He gets such a kick out of it. Also, he loves to write complete sentences. The other day in the car he wrote, "Benjamin will poop in the potty at home." He needs help with some of the words but knows exactly what he wants to say/write. Ryan is also being cute these days by saying "Gooey fish" and "Holy Moley." Gooey fish is just their silly code between Ben/Ryan and Holy Moley out Ryan's mouth is just adorable.

8/23/08 - Tonight I really learned how special our boys are. I wanted to take them to a nice dinner, but with Jill out of town we needed to go somewhere familiar that I knew they would enjoy. After a longer than expected wait, we finally got seated. Ryan and Ben completely filled their kids menu with crayon, put down an impressive amount of chips, and Ben asked once in a while "Where's our quesadilla?" After a long, long wait, our food finally came. The first few bites were superb, but then Ben abruptly shouted "I need to go pee". The three of us raced off to the restroom and Ben pee'd like a champ. What we saw when we got back to our table was unimaginable - our food was taken away. They plates were virtually full, but somehow the busboy thought we were done?!?!
After a "friendly" talk with the general manager, Ben said "Is that guy finding our quesadilla". When our replacement food came, Ben proceeded to eat 3/4 of the quesadilla. Ryan stuck with the chips and pico de gallo and rice and beans.
We were at the restaurant for almost 2 hours. In that time neither Ben or Ryan were anything but sweet little boys. We stopped at Marble Slab for strawberry and Twix ice cream. Ben was so full of quesadilla that he couldn't finish his. In all we had a great time and it was an absolute blast hanging out with them the last two days. Here's to tomorrow for a trip to Apex Center to burn off the ice cream and then a round of Adventure Golf.

8/23/08 - Our Saturday so far:
Ben and daddy went down to wake Ryan up at 7:00 am. Ben immediately wanted to read a book with Ryan, so he had me grab one as he hopped into bed.
Grandma Angela and us went to the American Presidential Experience in Denver and got to walk though an Air Force One replica and Oval Office. The tour didn't last too long, so we decided to double up and take the kids to Elitch's. Unfortunately it was closed for some reason. Luckily Daddy had remembered a new jumpy castle place had opened up in Arvada. Free play was 2 hours away, so we took a long lunch and perused a video game store. We still arrived a half hour early, but that doesn't matter when their floor is built from a random colored checker pattern (video coming soon). They let us inside 15 minutes early and we had a blast (another video coming soon).

Honorable mention: While we were in the APE Ben said he needed to pee. There wasn't a restroom in sight so I put a pull-up on him. I told him he could have two lollie-pops if he could hold it, but admittedly my faith wasn't strong. It must have been 30 minutes later when we got out of the building. Ben said he still needed to pee. There were port-o-potties outside, but they were all locked. We high-tailed it to the corner of the parking lot and Ben did his thing. He hadn't pee'd in the pull up at all. He got one sucker and I still owe him one.

8/21/08 - Ok - So, I know I'm really sappy but I think this memory is my favorite to date. Today, Ben woke from his nap and found me watching a cry-baby movie (my eyes filled with tears) and he just walked to me. I looked at him and said, "Buddy, can I have a hug?" His reply was, "I can't fit." - meaning that he couldn't get close enough. What he does is wiggle until he's as close as possible to me and then just hugs away. He has done this from time to time but never when I was the one who needed the hug. It was wonderful.

8/18/08 - Today, we searched for yo-yos and finally found one at Toys R Us. It's an orange Duncan yo-yo that Ben just loves. He received it after filling up his "I Peed In The Potty" sticker book. I told him that he could have any toy he wants and he chose a yo-yo. As soon as we bought it, we had to open it and fit it for a 3 year old (make the string about 1/2 as long). Then, I tried to explain how the string fits around your finger. He finally understood when I told him to give me his 'tall man' finger. For a while he simply made it go down and spin around, and then he started to get that it was more fun to pull it back up so you don't have to wind it up every time. It surprised me how well and patient he was about winding it back up. I know I hated that as a child. Ben was very proud of his yo-yo and that he got it for going potty -- and everyone we saw knew about it because he would yell, "I bought my yo-yo at Toys R Us for going pee in the potty!" I'd just smile at them and Ben. We finished our morning with Ben falling asleep cuddled up to his yo-yo. It was one of the sweetest things.

8/2/08 - Ryan counted to 14 today.

7/22/08 - So, I think I finally figured out how to get Ben to go potty only in the toilet. I take the money he earns away if he poops or pees in his pull up or big boy underwear. One quarter taken away for pee; two for poop. I tried it twice today and he wasn't happy with me but totally got it. When he pooped and I took his money away, the first thing he wanted to do was pee (even though he just did) to earn it back. I'll keep you posted on how this arrangement goes. Also, he told me that he wanted to go to Target when he wakes from his nap to go shopping with his money. I asked what he wanted to buy - a green car as big as his hand - and it has to be one HE picks out himself (his rules, not mine).

7/21/08 - Our mom is the best. Today she took us to the Denver Aquarium and we had a blast. She started an allowance for every time I pee by myself. I made enough money today to by some polished rocks at the gift shop (I'm getting really good). Thanks Mom! - Ben

7/19/08 - Lately Ben has been giving us "Safety Violations" when we step into the street without looking or do other unsafe things. Ryan is also getting really good at stopping, looking both ways for moving cars and saying "It's safe."

7/5/08 - Last night, we joined Grandma Angela in celebration the nation's birthday, complete with a birthday cake (Boston Cream - YUM) with all of the fixings - candles and the birthday song to USA. It followed a great outdoor picnic dinner of fruit and chicken salad. We then headed off to fireworks in Arvada. We found a great place to put our blankets and then opened up the packages of glow sticks, a big kid favorite at our house. We waited and waited, ate pistachios, looked at the moon many times, and then finally the lights turned off and the fireworks began. It's always surprising to see how the boys will react from year to year. This year, Ben just sat there just in love with them. He wouldn't even answer you. He just looked up into the sky with this look of awe. About halfway through, we finally got a word out of him, "I love them." Ryan also loved this year's fireworks. He switched between cuddling Daddy and Grandma, but the cute part of the evening is when Ryan would repeatedly say before each firework went off, "1-2-3-BOOM 1-2-3-BOOM." It was just adorable. He also loved counting the fireworks as they went off. I heard him count at least to 12. It was a great night - one of those memorable ones where you realize that your little boys are really now little boys, not babies anymore. Usually, we have to plan for if they get scared or tired with our magic bag of parental goodies but this year, we just played and talked and laughed. It was a great 4th of July.

6/29/08 - Today was a big day for the boys. We sold Ryan's crib, which was surprisingly emotional. We also bought Benjamin his first real bike with training wheels!

6/19/08 - Tonight we went out for Sushi and Ryan happily tried some. He also ate more than half of our order of edamame (soy beans in the pod with salt)

6/15/08 - Today Ben fell and said "I fell down and went boom". We're not sure where he picked that up, but both of us grew up with the phrase.

5/12/08 - I just went into Ryan's room (his first time waking up in his new bed) and discovered ALL of his balls were neatly placed in his bed. He was so proud of himself. It's interesting what mischief they get into when left alone.

5/12/08 - I also wanted to mention how Mother's Day went. We woke up a headed to Panera, picked up Grandma Angela, and the made our way to the Botanic Gardens. Unlike yesterday, it was an absolutely beautiful day. The moms/daughters there were all wearing their cute new summer dresses, the butterflies were beginning to come out and the lilacs were in full bloom. Neither kid wanted to sit in the stroller, so we just wandered, explored and had a really nice time. We found a great picnic area in the shade and enjoyed yummy sandwiches and burgers. The boys attempted to eat PB&J but really just wanted to play with rocks and look around. Around 3, we headed home with two very tired kids who headed straight for naps. I took a much needed afternoon off at Barnes & Noble / Starbucks. I drank a Frappuccino and read the entire Sunday paper. When I returned home, we had BLT sandwiches for dinner followed with assembly of Ryan's bed ready. We ended the day with a 'Super Surprise' for mommy - a under the cabinet CD player/radio and a card from each of the boys and daddy! They were great, very personalized and of course made me cry. I also opened my gift that Ben made at school. It was a really cute picture and frame that I'll treasure. What a nice day....

5/12/08 - Well, it's official - Ryan's now a big boy. He slept all through the night last night and took his first nap in his big boy bed. Last night was easy because he was exhausted, but nap time proved more challenging. He was really tired after playing at Jack's house, but I think the lure of a bright red bed was just too much for him. I cuddled him until he was really close to falling asleep again, and then laid him down. He started waking immediately - playing with everything, singing, giggling. I tried all of my tricks that I remember from when Ben made the transition, but alas nothing worked. He's proving to be harder and more stubborn at most things than Ben, plus he has this little devilish laugh when I'm trying to enforce the 'lay down and be quiet' rule. Finally, I had to do mommy smack down where I simply pin him down and hum. That worked after about 40 minutes. On the plus side, it's now after 5 p.m. and he's still sleeping...yeah for small things.

5/10/08 - We celebrated Ryan's second birthday at the Denver Zoo with family, neighbors and friends. It was a REALLY cold day in mid-May with rain, hail and temperatures that we all weren't expecting. We saw a few animals, enjoyed a nice outdoor lunch and spent a really nice day together including a few rides on the carousel in which almost all of the kids wanted to ride with Grandma and Grandpa in the (adult considered) really lame peacock. After the party, immediate family wanted to warm up and open presents, so off to Starbucks we went. The kids enjoyed hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream along with yummy animal crackers. Ben loved 'helping' Ryan open the gifts and Ryan loved the cards (that's all he wanted to play with). Soon, all of the kids and adults were exhausted and it was time to head off for naps. It was such a nice day, but a little hard on mommy as it seems that her little baby is growing up too quickly - I really can't believe that Ryan is 2. Tonight, when I was putting him to bed in his crib for the last time (since he's getting his big boy bed tomorrow), I couldn't help but cuddle him for a few extra minutes as the tears rolled down my face. I'll blog tomorrow to let you know how the transition and Mother's Day at the Botanic Gardens went.

5/1/08 - Benjamin, my little stinker -- Today, he was supposed to be taking a nap when I heard him playing with toys. I wandered upstairs and heard him dive into bed and scamper under the covers. I, being sly myself, just straightened his covers out and cuddled him as he "slept." He was trying so hard to pretend he was asleep - with the biggest grin on his face!!! Finally, I kissed him good night and closed the door behind me; he hasn't make a peep since.

4/25/08 - Today Ryan is Two!

4/12/08 - Pictures are posted from Ben's latest photo shoot.

4/8/08 - Tonight Ben learned how to blow his nose!

3/19/08 - Tonight Ryan and Daddy saw a bunch of cows and calfs on the way to the gym to go swimming (us, not the cows!). We stopped to say "Hi" and Ryan said "moo" a whole bunch.

3/16/08 - Ben was running through Sweet Tomatoes tonight and almost ran into a lady who was crossing her path. He said "Excuse Me" as he ran by.

2/26/08 - Today Ryan said "Bye, Daddy" as I left for work.

2/18/08 - Today Ben was playing on the computer and Daddy said "It's time to go to bed now." Ben moved the mouse and clicked the X to close the browser window. He then pressed "S", which he's seen Mommy do to shut off the computer. He's getting too smart.

2/13/08 - Grandma made the coolest thing for Ben. It's a sewn replication of his original "Guy" artwork and is proudly displayed next to his bedroom door.

2/10/08 - Today during bedtime with Daddy. Ryan counted to ten.

2/9/08 - today on the way home Ryan was getting sleepy. Ben said "Ryan tired, bed. Ben watch Caillou with chocolate milk. Ok, dad? Deal?"

2/4/08 - This week was a big one for Ryan. On Sunday he counted from 1 to 4 all by himself. He can also pronounce most letters. On Monday he was running around the house shouting "UP" and "DOWN" while moving his arms up and down.

2/1/08 - Yesterday, Mom bribed Ben into wearing his pull-ups (one chocolate chip was all he needed), plus Mom told him that we were all out of diapers. Once he got them on, he was so proud. He yelled repeatedly for dad until he found him. He then lifted up his shirt and showed Dad his pull-ups. Later on, he also showed Ryan. Ryan's news for the day is that his forth front tooth (bottom) is finally coming in. I'll miss his toothy little grin, but it is time for all of them to come in.

1/5/08 - Today on the way to Fort Morgan to visit Papa and Grandma, Ben said he needed to pee. We pulled over, pee'd, and were back on the road in a matter of minutes. Go Ben!

12/6/07 - Yesterday, mommy and the boys headed up to Longmont to pick up a Rokenbok toy for daddy. On the drive, Ben was playing with his drawing toy and working on the alphabet. From Longmont back home, he wrote EVERY letter in the alphabet. He did need a little help with the letter K and X but otherwise, he knew how to draw all of them. For K and X, I showed him how to write them and he then erased them and did his own version. When he was done, he exclaimed, "I did it. I did the alphabet. More alphabet." It was then that he decided to write his name (picture coming soon). I couldn't believe it!

12/2/07 - While driving today Ben said "guy", and then showed us a drawing he made. It looked very much like a guy, and he did several more renditions, adding ears, hair, and naming them members of the family.

11/22/07 - We had a great Thanksgiving with the family. We ate a traditional, amazing, dinner while Ben slept, and Ryan ran around the house with power tools (they were kids ones, jeez). For dessert, Ben ate a bunch of pumpkin pie, apple pie, and egg nog ice cream, and we sang 5 Little Monkeys and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star... several times. See the video below.

11/17/07 - This morning Ryan gave Daddy a "pat hug". He also said "shoe" over and over while I was putting them on.

11/16/07 - Tonight Mommy sneezed and Benjamin said "Bless You". :)

11/11/07 - Yesterday, Ben spoke his first real sentence. We were eating dinner, and Ben had requested a glass of milk. When Neil brought it to Ben (and nothing for Ryan), Ben didn't think that was quite fair. So, he said, "Dad - Ryan milk." What a good big brother!

11/7/07 - Last night Ryan learned what sound a cat and dog make. Today he started saying "apple". Luckily, he says it the same way as Ben - "bapple"

11/4/07 - Ryan is the cutest kid (that lives in the bottom floor of our house) when it comes to going to bed. Tonight, we washed up and he ran to get his teeth brushed. Then, mommy took him downstairs for stories and songs. He kept saying more books and when those were done, it was singing time. Normally, he just sits there but tonight, he wanted to hold my hand and have it kissed repeatedly. He kept moving his hand up to my mouth and making the kissy noise. He did that right up until he fell asleep with the biggest smile on his face. I just sat there thinking that he must really know how much he's loved.

10/31/07 - Ben had his first soccer practice today. He did great. He followed the coaches' instructions: kicking hard, stopping on command, dribbling the ball from one goal to the next. He really liked one of his coaches, Lori, who will hopefully continue to coach him. Practice started with the kids all sitting in a circle while sitting on their soccer ball. They then called roll. When Ben heard his name, he yelled, "Yeah," and threw both arms up in the air. Pretty stinking cute! As practice progressed, he seemed really happy and would glance over to Ryan and mommy often with a huge smile. His favorite part was learning to stop the ball with your various body parts - foot, elbow, knee and tummy. We they were stopping with your tummy, Ben had lost track of his ball so he just belly flopped onto the ground. It was so adorable. Practice ended with a speech from his coach stating that he doesn't care about how many goals you make, how fast you run -- just have fun. Then, they all put their hands into a circle and yelled, "We love soccer." It was a really nice first practice.

10/30/07 - It was absolutely amazing outside today, so when Neil got home we loaded up the kids and dogs for a walk - but Ben didn't want to sit in the wagon or ride his trike. He wanted to walk Oz. We let him. He did a great job and told him to heel and sit many times. It was strange to see him acting like such a big boy. Once we got to the park, Ben said, "Oooh, park." (his first time saying that). The kids/dogs had a great time at the park. At one point, Ryan took off walking to the playground equipment without any of us; he's becoming such an independent young man. Soon, we were all playing on the slide. Ben went down the slide. Then it was Ryan's turn. In true big brother style, Ben stayed at the bottom of the slide to catch his little brother. They are really growing up fast. Tomorrow -- Ben's first soccer practice.

10/25/07 - Today Daddy took a half day so we could go back to the pumpkin patch. We played with goats, jumped hay bales, ran through a hay bale maze, and bounced forever in a jumpy castle. Check out the pictures and a video of Ryan navigating the maze. Ryan is also 18 months old today!

10/20/07 - Today we took Daddy's Jeep to a pumpkin patch. On the way there, Ben and Ryan decided it would be good time to act cute and hold hands. They didn't let go for minutes, and seemed to really enjoy the companionship. On the way home we all danced to some R&B. Ben did the hand wave and Ryan did the head bob. Ben also learned how to spell "tired."

10/14/07 - Today Ben tried goat cheese for the first time - and he actually liked it! Ryan has been walking like crazy. He can now turn in mid stride and was even taking a few backwards steps yesterday. We went to the Children's Museum and it was so much fun walking with both boys at the same time.

10/8/07 - Mommy decided to blow off laundry this morning, so we headed out to the pumpkin patch. We played looked at the animals - Ryan did his really excited noise; Ben tried to climb in with them. We wandered around the kid maze and found the most amazing place for pictures. We'll have to take Daddy back there later on. Once we were done at the maze, we made our way to the entrance/store for a picnic. I brought lunch, but Ben wouldn't have any of it so I bought a piece of pumpkin bread and he ate the whole thing! The boys then picked out their mini pumpkins, and mommy bought one for oven roasting. We left around noon, and Ben fell asleep before we hit home. Now, it's laundry time.

10/7/07 - The Race for the Cure was today. We met Grandma Angela at the start of the family 1 mile walk on a very cold morning. The one mile walk seemed very short and before we knew it, we were finished and Ben had walked the entire thing. We wandered around the vendor area and especially loved the spinning wheel from White Fence Farm, the steak from Safeway and the cup o' Starbuck's whipped cream. It was noon before we parted ways with Grandma - we all had a great time. We began our long trek to where the car was parked (Children's Museum - approx 5K from the race start). We stopped at the Pepsi Center to play with the colored rocks just outside the entrance. We then made it to the Aquarium for lots of bubbles and exploring (Ben loved the rocks that played music - really neat looking speakers; Ryan just loved stretching out his legs and having newfound freedom that comes with walking). Around 1:30, we finally loaded back into the car with two very tired kids and two very tired parents. It was a day of naps at our home. The perfect Race for the Cure day.

10/6/07 - We attempted to do our first family outing to the movies in a long time tonight. We went to the cheap theater ($3 for the entire family) to see Simpsons - The Movie. We came prepared with lots of goodies, but Ryan was just too excited to sit in his seat regardless of the sugar-laded treats we had. We made it through 45 minutes of the movie before calling it quits. We didn't really expect to stay for the whole thing anyway. On the way home, we decided to make it movie night at our house instead. When we got home, we put the kids in the pjs and filled up the air mattress in the living room. We watched Finding Nemo for quite a while. Ben loved it and just cuddled with Mommy; Ryan played and played and probably sat still for 5 minutes of the movie. We had a blast!

9/30/07 - Today, we visited the Denver Zoo with friends from Wall Street (Meredith, Matt and Tyler). It was possibly the perfect weather for wandering around the animals. We met there around 10 so all of the animals were also enjoying the 80-something day. It was our first day out with the wagon and NO stroller. Ben could get in / out as he needed to look at the animals and Ryan loved being such a big boy. Tyler is only a few weeks older than Ryan so we think Ryan figured out that now would be a good time to really walk. We were going from one monkey exhibit to another and they boys were all collecting rocks, sticks, etc. Ryan wanted to join in. He got out of the wagon and picked up a stick and just went, and went and went. Neil and I just kept looking at each other in disbelief. He was so happy and so proud. After that moment, he hasn't been interested in crawling and is just cruising along. Now, we have two monkeys to chase after! There is a new video of his first memorable walking. Enjoy!

9/12/07 - Yesterday, we spent most of the morning at the mall. I did a little end of the summer shopping for the boys while they spent the morning picking on each other in the side-by-side double stroller. We won't be taking that stroller anywhere again! Yesterday also marked our first family golf outing (mini-golf that is). Ben loved everything except the last hole which spit water at him; Ryan was unfazed by it but seemed to like the scenery. Today, Ben (being a good boy again) got to open his care package from PaPa (Grandpa Iverson). It was filled with soap (oooh from Ben), clothes (just got flung) and a oreo cookie jar (kee-kee from Ben) with 10 pennies, some oreos and stickers in it. He loved it. We ate the cookies right away. Later on in the day, as nap time approached, I was teaching Ben how to spell STAR from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star - he picked it up immediately. So, I thought, "What other 4 letter words should I teach Ben?" How about PaPa! So, in a few moments, Ben also could spell PaPa. He was so proud when he called PaPa at home to tell him the news. What a nice phone call to make! Currently, Ben's vocabulary consists of: dog, cat, mom, dad, hot, Ben, PaPa and star. He can write hot. We are very proud of him. Ryan is doing great and walking more every day. He seems to get the most use of his new ability when dancing in our living room. He just loves to dance. Dad has a great video of them jammin' to some tunes. You'll see what I mean when he posts it. Enjoy!

7/22/07 -
Preview the new photo album layout and functionality

5/26/07 - We have two fun stories about today - our first family trip to Estes Park. The first story is about Bop! We got into Estes shortly after 1pm so we headed off to a local burger joint. While we were waiting for our food, Ben was enjoying his typical cheese and cracker sticks. When he opens the package, he takes each stick and sticks it permanently into the cheese while saying, "Bop!" Ryan quickly picked up on this and soon both kids were yelling Bop! throughout the restaurant and the rest of the day. When we were arriving home, Ryan woke from his nap rather grumpy and started saying Bop to himself and then laughing - and repeating this several times. We were just cracking up at him. Our other story that we need to share is of what a little ham Ben is becoming with the camera. We were taking pictures in the riverwalk / park area and Neil was going to put the camera away and Ben told him to take more pictures of him. Neil would say, "Strike a pose," and Ben would turn around to face you and get this goofy grin on his face. I told Neil that I hope these memories stick in my head because this was one of the most meaningful times we've had as a family (all of us). I'm sure we'll go back often - and try all of the ice cream places and the burger place with the onion rings that smelled so good another time - but this one really meant something to me.

5/14/07 - Today was Mother's Day, and we celebrated with a day of mommy's choices. We went to breakfast at Panera, shopped at Costco, stopped by Grandma Angela's house and then more shopping at Colorado Mills Mall. The boys bought mom lots of nice new clothes including many cute summery dresses. We ended the day with mom putting both kids to bed (her choice) and dinner alone with Daddy. Mom also received cards from both boys. Ben's was entitled, "To Mum," because that's how he says it now - at least it's a definite improvement from being called Bob. Ben colored all over the card. Ryan's card was entitled, "Ma Ma" because that's what he calls me. There was no coloring as Ryan was asleep when cards were signed. It was a really nice day!

Update! New pictures uploaded for3/28 to 4/6

4/25/07 - We celebrated Ryan's birthday today with a nice relaxing day and atrip to the Lafayette Children's Museum. Daddy took the day off and joined in the activities.

3/23/07 - Ben got a new bubble maker today. Pictures and a video are below.

3/21/07 - Happy Birthday to Ben! 2 Years Old!

3/17/07 - Ryan used a straw for his first time.

3/11/07 - Today, we enjoyed our backyard for the first time this year. Ben loved collecting rocks in his dump truck and trike.

3/7/07 - Ryan waved goodbye to Daddy this morning for the first time

3/4/07 - Today, we played at the sensory park and refilled our stock of glow bracelets. The disproportioned ratio of Ryan to Ben pictures is because Ben is becoming too fast and his pictures are all blurry. The kids also had morning bath time because French toast goes everywhere.

2/14/07 - Ryan climbed a couple of stairs today.

2/10/07 - Ryan's second tooth is starting to come in. No more one-tooth!

2/5/07 - Benjamin is becoming a pro with a basketball. He can now shoot from a few feet away.

1/30/07 - Who would have thought that playing hide and seek with an Old Navy tag for over 30 minutes would be fun? Today, Ben found an old tag with a neon clearance sticker on it. I thought that he may want to play hide and seek. So, he would turn his back to me and close his eyes (sometimes) and then I'd tell him to go look for it. I'd hide it in very obvious spots but he still thought he needed to search under the couch, behind a heavy wooden bear, etc. Once he learned where I hid the tag, he would always look in those spots first (very cute). Then, it was my turn to do the seeking. Ben would hide it and then when I started to look, he'd run right over to it and yell, "There!" Such fun!

1/10/07 - Today is yet another eventful day for Ryan - he started to really crawl. Daddy will take a video tonight to capture everything on film.

1/10/07 - I was looking into Ryan's mouth today and discovered his first tooth (middle on the bottom). I can't believe that it's here already. He spent the rest of the day chewing on a carrot.

1/7/07 - We were all playing in the boys' room today when Ryan started to crawl for the first time. He would get on all fours and rock back and forth for a while. Then, he lunge forward. He was really excited to be actually able to get Ben's shiny new train.

12/14/06 - Tonight Ryan and Daddy went to the Apex Center (we just joined). Within minutes of playing in the deep end, Ryan started splashing with his hands. He did it so much that he almost immediately picked up the correlation between daddy saying "splash, splash, splash." The rest of the time there I could say splash and he would start splashing. We had a great time.

12/9/06 - Santa - Round2 - Today we went to the Coors Credit Union's holiday party to meet Santa again.

12/5/06 - Santa - Round1 - Tonight we went to Starbucks for their annual holiday party with Santa. Ben read a book with Santa and Ryan tried his first candy cane. (He couldn't resist after being to Hammond's earlier in the week.)

12/2/06 - We visited Hammond's Candies today and watched them make candy canes.

12/1/06 - Benjamin ate his first chocolate covered gummie bear today. He really liked it and signed more immediately after eating it. He also rode the escalator at the mall about 6 times. There is video below to view this. Also, today marked the first day of Benjamin's new DVD player for the car. It is our effort to keep him entertained on long drives and to ensure that he likes getting into his carseat (which is most definitely not the case up until the DVD player). Once he saw "George" playing, he just smiled from ear to ear. It was really cute to see him so happy in the back seat. He occasionally even laughed at the movie which was adorable. What a great investment into mommy and daddy sanity.

11/29/06 - Benjamin and Ryan took a bath together tonight. Ryan got the duck, and Ben got the rest of the tub.

11/21/06 - "Goats and Hair Cuts" - Today we went to the Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy in Niwot. Benjamin got to play with the goats, and Ryan discovered that he was deathly afraid of them. Ryan had his first haircut courtesy of Mom and Pop's Clipper Shop (in the Garage). Ben had one, too. Now, they are both ready for a stylish Thanksgiving.

11/18/06 - We went to the Children's Museum today and had an amazing time. We are now members (including Grandma Angela), so we can go anytime we want. Ben came up with some new basketball plays for Daddy and Ryan got to enjoy the little kids area with Mommy. Later on we walked to REI and picked up some snow mits for Benjamin.

11/15/06 - Without a doubt, Ben is the cutest little kid ever. After swimming today, we went into the locker room to change. When we got to our locker, there was another little kid there who was hiding inside the locker in hopes of scaring his mom. Ben saw this and thought there were little kids in all of the lockers so he wandered from locker to locker opening them up and screaming. After a while he figured out that there weren't any other kids in the lockers so he thought he should go inside. We played "Where is Ben" for quite a while before we had to go pick up Ryan from the daycare.

11/15/06 - Today is the first day of swimming lessons for Ben and mommy. The kids have been growing up really quickly lately - Ryan is getting close to crawling (really wants to) and Ben is adding new words to his vocabulary daily. Yesterday, he learned book - no suprise there since he loves books so much but it was neat to see him not using his sign. He is also saying "George" for Curious George. This means he wants to watch George on TV. Ben can also point to George in the books. I'll write later on how swimming went.

11/09/06 - So, we added 72 photos tonight. Have fun!

11/06/06 - For those of you who check out our site regularly, we will be updating pictures tomorrow night. There will be a ton of them so pop some popcorn and kick up your feet. There are some really great ones including pictures from the petting zoo, our back yard and most importantly from Halloween. Here's a sneak peek. Ben was playing in the back yard and decided that the fence looked like a good place to sit - adorable, huh?10/5/06 - So many times lately I've pinched myself because life is so good. I just looked in on Ryan sleeping - he's just like an angel sometimes. Ben is upstairs watching tv and just being adorable. And our fence is being built this morning. This is monumental as we will finally get to use our back yard as it was inteded, for playing with the kids and dogs. I have a wonderful family and home and I wouldn't change a thing.

10/2/06 - The weather was absolutely wonderful today, so we headed off to enjoy it at the park. When we got there, the park was completely empty and Ben played on whatever he wanted. We played on the slides and climbed on the bars that scare mommy. Shortly after we arrived, three teenaged boys showed up to 'shoot some hoops.' All Ben wanted to do was watch them - so we sat down on the edge of the court and cheered them on. Ben clapped when they made the baskets and also laughed when they missed. It was such an interesting moment to watch. We enjoyed our pretzels (zzz as he calls them) and juice (really water) as we watched. What a nice day. P.S. Ryan slept through almost all of this. What a kiddo.

9/26/06 - Today marked the first bath without crying for Ryan. He also ate the most rice cereal to date - 2 bowls full. We met daddy in Boulder for a family picnic at Chatauqua Park. The leaves were in full autumn bloom and the crisp air felt amazing - what a wonderful day to spend playing at the park.

9/24/06 - Ben turned 18 months old a few days ago. Ryan will be 5 months old tomorrow. It's amazing how quickly they both are growing up.

8/12/06 - Today we went to the Children's Museum and celebrated Jill's birthday. Ben got to play with the biggest Brio set ever and also enjoyed his first game of hoops. He got so excited, we picked up a Little Tikes basket ball hoop for him. Pictures are here

8/10/06 - Ben is really starting to like Ryan. Today, Ryan was sitting in the big chair in their room and Ben climbed up there to sit next to him. Once they were sitting side by side, Ben leaned over and put his head on Ryan's lap to cuddle/hug him. It was such a sweet moment. Later on in the day, Ben also decided to help Ryan undress. He pulled his socks off and then put them back on his feet (basically laying them by his feet) - that's the best he can do right now. After doing so, he looked at me rather proud of himself and I clapped for him. To repeat things, this time Ryan was sitting up and Ben pulled his socks and him halfway down the couch, making Ryan rather mad. Ah, the joys of having two little ones!8/4/06 - Pictures from our weekend in Vail are up - click here

7/27/06 - Ben fell asleep in his big boy bed all by himself today.

7/23/06 - Today, all of us and Grandma Angela went to the Apex Center's pool. Ryan did really well and went everywhere we did. Ben worked on his paddling and is getting even better. Daddy even got to show off his monkey skills on the rope crossing.

7/14/06 - Today, we took Ben swimming with his new foam vest and he started paddling with his hands. Ok, well it's more like a synchronized splashing, but he knows it makes him move in the water. Ryan enjoyed the view from dry land.

7/4/06 - Today, Ryan enjoyed his first fireworks show. He didn't make a peep or close his eyes the entire time. We think he liked it. Ben also enjoyed the show, but you could tell it was past his bed time. Click for Pictures and Video from today.

6/28/06 - It's all about perspective. Yesterday, Neil said to me, "I don't ever want you to feel trapped." - meaning that there are days where all I do is change diapers, pick up after Benjamin, hear Ryan crying to the millionth time. I want him to know that, for me, I never feel trapped. I get to sleep in (somedays). I get to have no concept of time except for 5:45 when daddy comes home. I get to read books to Benjamin every day. I get to see his cute little waking up face. Today, I learned that Benjamin loves to balance waffles on the top of his sippy cup and clap for himself. I also learned that Ryan really is beginning to like his warm baths. We spent probably 15 minutes just playing and singing in the bath. While Ben was taking his nap, Ryan and I just sat on the back porch and watched the clouds go by and laughed at Scout rolling around in the grass. I definitely didn't feel trapped today. Sure, there are days where I don't leave the house or when I'm going out of my mind (haywire), but it's all about perspective - and today, I feel lucky.

6/27/06 - I don't know how he does it. I can spend weeks trying to teach Ben the sign for juice and he just doesn't get it. On the other hand, Neil can spend 30 minutes with Ben in Home Depot and can teach him to point to himself when asked, "Who is cute?" Special daddy powers, I guess.

6/26/06 - Today is all about time to me:
3:33 to 5:47 - the times I was awake from
with Ryan
8:37 - the time we all woke up this morning
11:18 - the time we all went back to sleep
12:49 - the time we all woke from naps
1:45 - Ryan's 2-month check up
1:58 - the time we showed up
2:30 - our rescheduled appt. time
5:45 - playtime with daddy. Today, Ben gets to try out his new trike.
I'm sure pictures will follow.

6/14/06 - Ryan is really making progress these days. Last night, he woke up once at 4 a.m. and slept the rest of the night. He is also really getting a personality by smiling, holding his head up tons, moving his arms/legs around and showing interest in his toys (especially his swing). Ben is also showing interest in Ryan's swing. Today, Ryan was just swinging away and Ben apparently thought Ryan needed some music. So, Ben walked over to his swing and turned the music on for him. He did this twice so it wasn't a fluke. Otherwise, things are going better and I'm really starting to enjoy being a mom of two. Tomorrow may be another story, but for now, it's nice.

6/13/06 - Since it was such a hot day here, we thought a family night in the pool sounded nice. We packed up the kids and dinner and headed off to Grandma Angela's pool. Both Ben and Ryan loved the extremely warm water. Ben stayed in the pool and played with Daddy until his toes looked like prunes. Ryan stayed in the pool until he was hungry. It was a very nice evening.

6/12/06 - Ben and Mommy have been working on eating with a spoon. He does amazingly well. I'll fill up the spoon and hand it to Ben. Here's what happens next:
Step 1: Ben puts the spoon in his mouth
Step 2: We now suck off half of the contents of the spoon
Step 3: Ben's index finger from his other hand (one not holding spoon) scoops up the rest of the contents of the spoon and proceeds to put it in his mouth.
Step 4: Ben then plays with the spoon ie. banging it on the high chair, putting it on his nose
Step 5: Ben gives Mom the spoon back to be refilled with yummy stuff.
We then repeat steps 1-5 over and over until Ben is covered with yogurt, applesauce, etc. and is a pain to clean up.

6/10/06 - Benjamin went to his first Rockies game today courtesy of Neil's company. We had a picnic at the stadium right before the game so all of Neil's co-workers got to meet Ben. We had a great time. Ben even got to meet Dinger but we aren't sure what he thought of the big, purple dinosaur. You have to look at the recent pictures to see what we mean. So, where was Ryan? Grandma Angela watched him and got to know him better (although we think she really missed hanging out with Benjamin, too).

6/2/06 - OPERATION PECAN BUTTER: Today, Ben had his first pecan butter sandwich - still scared of peanut butter for allergy reasons so we agreed upon pecan butter. I thought it would be a nice, easy lunch with minimal cleanup. Boy, was I wrong. He took the sandwich, pulled it apart and proceeded to make the biggest mess yet to date. There was pecan butter all over his face, head, and even in his ears. He also thought that the butter made great finger paints and that the dogs loved it. It will definitely be a while until we add jelly to the mix.

6/1/06 - Pictures of our Philadelphia trip are up - click here

5/31/06 - Both kids are growing in such interesting ways: Ryan is getting great at holding up his head during tummy time. He's even started to roll over although he gets really mad doing it. Benjamin is turning into such a little person. Today, he kept telling me more but I couldn't figure out what he wanted more of. Finally, we determined that he wanted to play with Neil's pull up bar. He likes to hang from it. So, today that's what he wanted (over and over) was to hang from the bar. His record was 3 seconds and he was also enjoying doing pull ups. He puts his feet on my shoulders and straightens out his legs until his head is above the bar. Pretty neat!

5/20/06 - Benjamin starting standing up by himself today. He's now in full control!

4/29/06 - Ryan is doing great. He's now 4 days old and his cheeks are filling in nicely.

4/29/06 - Ben is getting a lot better at walking. He can change direction in mid stride. Now the the only time he crawls is to get to the next spot to stand up from or when he is in his "wild baby crawl" to the open door.

4/25/06 - Jill gave birth to our second child today. It's a Boy! His name is Ryan and he is 7 pounds 6 ounces and 20 ¾ inches long. We are all doing great and will have more video up soon. Pictures are here | Ryan and Jill | Ryan's First Bath | Ben meeting Ryan

4/23/06 - Benjamin got his first haircut today. He did really well and is a very stylish toddler.

3/18/06 - Today, we celebrated Ben's first birthday with a party at our house with friends and family. It was such a nice time; Benjamin couldn't have asked for a nicer birthday. The theme was Curious George, so the house, food and Benjamin's attire were all George. It's crazy to think that one year ago we brought this little guy home with us, and now he's this amazing little person. I knew that having a child would be a new experience, but I never would have guessed how magical it is. To see this little man growing, learning and becoming the fun kid he is, I couldn't have asked for more. Parenthood is just wonderful.

3/12/06 - Benjamin starting taking steps today. At the moment, he takes three big steps from mommy to daddy. Of course, it is also followed by a big fall into mom/dad's arms. He also added milk to his list of signs that he uses!

3/9/06 - Benjamin's site logs showed someone searched for "baby yells loud". Guess who's site was first on the list of matches?

3/8/06 - Benjamin went to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time today. He was joined by our current neighbors, Ella and Sophia, and former neighbors, Simon and Becca. They all had a very good time, made made a huge mess with the food and played lots. Ben is getting the hang of using his sign for more now. When we were playing on the slide, he'd go down by himself and I'd pick him up at the bottom. When he was done, he would sign more because he wanted to do it again and again and again. Now, all are ready for naps. It was a really nice way to spend a cold, snowy day in Colorado.

3/1/06 - Ben enjoyed his second Nuggets game tonight. He did a lot better than the first, although the intro still freaked him out. Mommy also had fun making a video.

2/27/06 - Ben loves petting his dogs - Oz and Scout. He especially loves climbing up their necks and grabbing their collars. Oz seems to really like his time with Ben; Scout tolerates most of it.

2/26/06 - Today, Ben added another word to his vocabulary, "Oz." We are still working on mama and dada.

2/25/06 - Ben had two more milestones over the weekend. First, he learned how to sign "more" so he can tell us if he wants more food, more books, more anything. We just need to figure out what he wants more of. Second, he really started using the word light which comes out sounding like "ite". It's the first thing he wants to do in the mornings. You'll pick him up out of his crib and he'll whip around and point at the light switch and yell, "ite, ite." So, we wander over to the light switch and he spends a few minutes turning the lights on and off. Quite an impressive weekend.

2/19/06 - Benjamin went to his first big-screen movie today - Curious George. He did awesome and watched the entire movie.

2/19/06 - Benjamin's second tooth is coming in. It's directly above his first tooth.

1/31/06 - Today, my Mommy and Daddy have known each other 9 years!

1/31/06 - Benjamin got his first tooth today. It came in on the lower right hand side. Yippee!

1/29/06 - Although he is better at making messes than cleaning them up, Benjamin learned how to put some toys away today. He has a Fisher Price block set complete with a bucket to hold them in. The other day, mom was playing with the blocks and putting them into the bucket. Ben thought this was fun, too. Now, you can ask Ben to put the toys away and he'll take one of his blocks and put it into the bucket. It is so cute.

1/23/06 - Daddy tought Ben how to sign number one tonight. Now, when you ask Ben who is number one, his response is to take his pointer finger and point it upward - and then he smiles really big!!

1/21/06 - We took Benjamin to a sports bar (non-smoking) to watch the Broncos' playoff game. He was a little hesitent at first, but not long into the 1st quarter he was having a good time. He amazingly slept through almost the entire 2nd quarter. Our favorite part of the day is when the whole crowd yelled, so did Ben (in his really cute baby yell - the one where he clinches his fists and yells as loud as he possibly can). This was also appreciated by those around us. When they were done cheering, Ben would still be yelling away. It was really adorable.

1/2/06 - Since Ben was now 9 months old, we thought now would be a good time to attend his first professional basketball game. Last night, we all headed out to a Nuggets v. Celtics game. Once we got there, we first thought we made a big mistake. Anytime the crowd roared or the announcer came over the extremely loud sound system, Ben freaked out and let out a little yell - just like he does when he's excited except this time his face had this really worried look. So, we sat in a row all by ourselves and tried to comfort him. After a short while, he calmed down and liked to watch the men shoot the ball. Dad helped explain how the game worked for Ben. It turned out to be a really nice evening but next time we may leave Ben with Grandma Angela!

12/27/05 - Today, Ben waved bye for the first time as dad was leaving for work.

12/26/05 - Benjamin had a very nice first Christmas. He spent Christmas Eve in Fort Morgan with Mom, Dad, Uncle Russell and Grandma and Grandpa Iverson. We went to an early church service then came home to a great meal of Swedish meatballs and lefse. Then, we finally got to open all of the presents (much to Ben's and Neil's excitement). On Sunday, we woke up early and ate mom's caramel rolls and headed to Denver. Once we got home, Ben found his Grandma Angela's present - a shiny new wagon. We then went to brunch with Grandma Angela at the Boulderado Hotel in Boulder followed by a leisurely walk down Pearl Street Mall. It was 66 degrees that day - so much for a white Christmas! It was an amazing weekend that we all enjoyed very much.

12/14/05 - Ben sat up by himself for the first time this morning.

12/8/05 - Ben is now able to stand up by himself in his crib and is mastering Patty Cake. He has also upgraded to the next car seat. New baby update: We have another crib ordered and it is on its way!

11/24/05 - Thanksgiving photos are up! Benjamin is also starting to take baby steps if you hold his hands.

11/11/05 - Jill had her 16-week appointment today. Benjamin joined mom again but this time he played with all of the nurses while Jill was in the doctor's room doing the exam. Everyone commented on how cute and fun he was. He even got sad for the first time today when one of the nurses tried to give him back to the midwife. He really liked playing with her and gave her a big hug when they returned him to the same nurse. It was so adorable seeing him attached to someone like that - even if it wasn't mom. The baby is doing well and his/her heartbeat is great. We have scheduled the next ultrasound for December 22 so we'll have pictures to share with the family at Christmas!

11/08/05 - Ben started to crawl tonight. Jill was doing dishes and Neil and Ben were playing in Ben's room. Once Jill started dished, not more than 5 minutes had passed and Ben was crawling. Neil yelled down to Jill, "I think he's crawling." The only thing seems worthy of the effort of crawling is a remote control truck. Neil gets it just out of his reach and then he crawls. Once he gets closer, Neil moves it a little further away. Eventually, Neil lets him catch the truck and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Ben grabs the truck, flips on his back and sticks the wheels of the truck in his mouth. CUTE!!

10/25/05 - Ben helped carve pumpkins tonight. He just happened to fit in the biggest one. Pictures

10/12/05 - Jill had her 11-week check up today. Benjamin went with and even helped the midwife listen to the new baby's heartbeat. Benjamin got his hands all sticky with the jelly they put on Jill's tummy. Good news! The heartbeat was very strong and healthy.

10/01/05 - We picked some pumpkins and went to a petting zoo. Pictures and Video

9/26/05 - Benjamin and mom didn't get much done around the house today, but we did find two new giggle spots. Video here .

9/20/05 - Benjamin had his first big-boy bath tonight. Pictures here .

9/17/05 - Benjamin is sitting up by himself now. He is also rolling over tons.

9/4/05 - Benjamin went swimming outside for the first time.

Benjamin is going to be a big brother! We are due on May 1st, which will make them 14 months apart. (and no, we aren't going to find out)