Saturday, September 10, 2011

David is Born

Last pregnancy picture before the big day!

Baby's first picture

He's almost too tall for the scale!

Warming up under the lights

Mom, Dad, and David

Warming up after his traumatic sponge bath.

Wiggling out of his swaddling. He likes to be swaddled, but the blankets are almost too small for him...poor little giant!

Ben's first visit with David. Toward the end Ben just wanted to lay by Mom and David. One big happy family (with Dad taking the picture...)

David is here! Rachel had a doctor's appointment on the 8th and scheduled her induction for the 11th, but David must have heard and decided that wasn't soon enough! Contractions started on the evening of the 8th, we got to the hospital at 9 and they decided right away to keep us. David was born at 5:34 a.m. (which is not recommended; not sleeping all night and then having a newborn to look after is very tiring!) The doctor asked how big Benjamin was at birth and when we told him 7'9 the doctor said "Well this one is definately bigger!" David weighed in at 9'5 and 21 3/4 inches long. He is in the 100+ percentile for height. I honestly don't know where I was keeping that much baby, but I feel a lot better-able to maneuver now that David is born. He has dark hair and dark eyes. He is very mellow unless you get between him and his food! The hardest thing he has had to go through since being born (according to him) is a sponge bath. Never mind the shots, heel pokes for blood draws, or how cold he gets. He screamed all through his bath, kicked repeatedly while they were trying to get his footprints taken, and when they tried to measure his head circumference with a paper measuring tape he ripped the tape out of the nurse's hand and tore it in half. He is a strong little boy! He is usually content just to sit in someone's lap and look around. He all ready likes his binki and just like before he was born he gets the hiccups a lot and likes to keep his hands up by his face. He enjoys stretching out his legs, which must have been pretty cramped for the last few months. Benjamin isn't too sure about the new baby yet; every time he sees mom holding the baby Ben gets a sad look on his face and the first time he got near the baby he tried to hit him. I'm sure Ben will learn better how to deal when mom and David are back home and we get into a routine. We are SO HAPPY with David in our family and we can't wait to get to know him better as we spend more time together.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why We Love Benjamin

Benjamin is such a great little boy. He has developed such a personality and he never ceases to amaze us. He is a quick learner and is always ready to play and have fun. Here are some of his recent antics:

Ben has started to put himself down for naps. This has some...interesting results. None of these photos or poses have been manipulated by Dennis or Rachel in any way; this is exactly the way we found Ben sleeping.

Just a diaper and a bear

Sleeping on the pile of blankets we put behind the crib as storage, across the room from his bed.

Somehow he fell asleep with a duck balanced on his chest!

Ben is one cool kid! He likes to wear his sunglasses inside and when he does he walks around saying "Heyyyyyyy" like Fonzie from Happy Days. Here he is riding his trike with his shades on and no pants.

Benjamin is such a big helper; he wants to do whatever Dennis and Rachel are doing. Here he is helping Daddy assemble his new dresser.

Benjamin just started singing short songs and he would bow as Rachel clapped for him. We have no idea where he learned to bow!

We got Benjamin some soft letter blocks at the library to encourage his interest in letters. Dennis started to juggle them and Benjamin couldn't resist joining the fun!

Rachel loves to sing with Benjamin, who is picking up on the words to songs pretty fast. Here Ben is singing "I am a Child of God" with mom.

Benjamin is such a sweet boy and we can't wait to see him as a big brother to David!

Summer Fun

Summer is my favorite season and here is why:


Dennis' mom came to Utah for two weeks and we had so much fun, especially Benjamin. Grandma had way more energy than mom!


Benjamin is always excited when he hears the mixer going and he is more than willing to do quality checks on all the baking I do.

Since Rachel was so pregnant this summer we didn't go to any community pools to go swimming, but that didn't stop us from having some fun in the water!


Ok I just had to throw this one in because Dennis' sister Kami made me the cutest cake; it looks like a giant cupcake.


Benjamin LOVES animals and Dennis and I decided that as a family treat we would take Ben to the zoo. The morning we went before we left I asked Ben what animal he wanted to see and Ben said "A duck!" I suggested tigers and elephants, but Ben just shook his head and insisted "Duck". Luckily, the zoo had ducks! Ben had a good time with the other animals too.

This is the classic zoo drinking fountain shot. Pretty sure all zoos need at least one of these.

Ben riding a wooden camel, ironically not located next to the real camels.

Cool statue outside the Ape House

The zoo was having a cool temporary dinosaur exibit while we were there. Every time Benjamin sees this picture he says "Scary!"

Since it was a treat at the zoo, we decided to let Ben ride their carousel. Ben LOVED sitting on the bear and every time he sees this picture he says "A bear, a ride".

Ben's commentary: "A giraffe; it tall!"


Ben had such a fun time playing with his cousins and seeing all the family together during our reunion in Idaho Falls.

Rachel's family: From top left: Stephanie holding Taydom, Adam (Stephanie's husband) holding KaileeJo, Liz, Daniel, Dennis, Rachel (pregnant with David). Front Row: Dad holding Hadley, Mom holding Ben. We're one good looking group!

A happy family of 3 and 8/9ths

KaileeJo pulling Taydom and Benjamin in the wagon at Great Grandma Thompson's house


I'll admit it: ever since I moved here to Utah I've thought that the Bean Museum was a museum about beans and never understood why people got so excited over it. Turns out it's a taxidermy museum with TONS of animals from everywhere and it has free admission! It's on BYU campus and we had lots of fun seeing the animals.

I love this picture because Benjamin looks so scared of the bears behind him.

"A lion!"


Keeping up with the theme of enjoying animals, we took Ben to a cute "zoo" of farm animals at Thanksgiving Point up in Lehi. Aunt Kami came with us. Ben's favorite part was the pony ride, which was adorable!

Ben and Dennis in "jail"

It could be a while before they get out on good behavior :-)

Ben dancing in the dance hall

Kami and Ben doing "Jazz Hands"

Ben and Kami on a wagon ride pulled by two draft horses around the farm

Benjamin learning about soil...sort of.

Ben refused to get off this tractor even though it didn't even move.

Ben called everything a cow. This time he was right!

Ben on his pony ride; he has some skills for a two year-old!

Ben called this a cow, but to be fair, some of the goats were black and white like cows.

This sheep let Ben pet him, probaby because he though Ben had food.

Ben and Kami kickin' it on a cow bench

A short video of Ben's pony ride. He started letting go of the saddle to wave to us so I didn't get a very long video.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Oregon Vacation

Back in June (yep, I'm THAT slow updating the blog) we went on a long vacation to Oregon to see Dennis' family. We had such a wonderful time!


We stopped at the Salt Flats in Utah since Rachel had never seen them during the day. It was like walking on really crusty snow and it was just as blindingly white. Benjamin had a great time trying to break his land speed record!

This photo inspired by Asian tourists. Kami wanted to pose for a picture and Ben just had to join in.

In Nevada we saw a WILD BURRO! Who even knew there was such a thing (besides Dennis and Kami who waited patiently in the car while Rachel hopped out to take pictures).

In Klamath Falls we visited with Dennis' Grandma Shaffer who was in a rehab center. We got to stay at her house even though she wasn't there. Benjamin enjoyed seeing his Great Grandma, but he also loved running through the halls, being noisy, and watching people play the Wii the center has. Luckily most of the other residents didn't seem to mind too much...

The last day we were in Klamath Falls we stopped by to say goodbye to Grandma while she was at physical therapy. Benjamin was very concerned we were going to leave him in that strange place with those strange people. He was NOT happy for this picture so we tried again...

Ben refused to give Grandma a goodbye hug, but he was more than happy to give her a high-five!

Benjamin had a great time at the duck pond. Most people who know him know how much Ben loves ducks! The only issue with feeding the ducks was that we tried to go around lunch time and Benjamin didn't think it was fair for the ducks to get ALL the bread; he wanted some too!

Ben and Dennis walking down toward the ducks. Benjamin was so excited he pretty much RAN.

Dennis gave Ben bread to feed the ducks and Ben would alternate between throwing the piece of bread to the ducks and popping it in his mouth. Sometimes Ben would fake us out into thinking he'd thrown his bread only to put it in his mouth after making a throwing motion. What a silly boy!

Dennis' family lives about 15 minutes away from a wild animal park! It has two parts: one where you drive your car through the park and look at the animals (really expensive) and a "petting zoo" that still has some really cool animals like a cheetah, flamingos, monkeys, and ducks (free). We only went to the petting zoo and Benjamin had a great time. We paid a little to ride a train that took us on a tour of the petting zoo and we even saw some lions and rhinos from the car-driving part of Wildlife Safari. Ben also really enjoyed feeding the goats.

Ben loved to have his picture taken and after Uncle Devin and Aunt Kami showed him how he was more than happy to pose for us!

Rachel was nervous that Ben would be intimidated by the goats, especially with feeding them. Benjamin doesn't really like people touching his hands and has a very big personal bubble with unfamiliar people/things especially in new situations. There was no need to worry though! As you can see from this video Benjamin was not at all afraid to be near the goats! He actually fed them by taking each pellet in between his finger and thumb and sort of shoving the pellet into the goats' mouths. He even felt comfortable teasing the goats!

Another cool free thing we did was to visit the fish ladder. There is a dam on the river that several species of fish use for spawning. They built a series of locks that even the smallest fish can navigate and put (thick) windows up so people can actually go down and watch the fish as they traverse the locks. It was really neat to watch all the different kinds of fish, some of which were pretty big!

The lighting was pretty weird so this was the best picture we got of our family in front of one of the windows of the fish ladder. If you look closely you can see the fish in the background.

Benjamin enjoyed watching the fish, but more than that he liked playing with the little puddles of water on the floor. Oh the joys of a two year-old.

Rachel did not participate in the hike and took a much-needed rest, but those who went had a great time. Benjamin loved throwing rocks into the water and had fun getting his picture taken as well.

Kami, Devin, Benjamin, and Dennis at the falls

Benjamin and Grandma practicing Benjamin's newest trick, which Grandma taught him,: Standing like a flamingo

What a cute boy!

Benjamin has so much fun spending time with family while we were in Oregon. We weren't able to capture everything on film, but we went to some American Legion baseball games, watched 4th of July fireworks and set off a few of our own (on July 8th...), baked cupcakes, set up a train set, played outside, helped Grandpa in the garden, and just enjoyed being together.

Benjamin loved to "help" Devin play the piano. Ben actually played pretty gently for a two year-old and after each of his performances he demanded applause from everyone in the room.

Grandpa spoiled Ben by making him a big mud puddle at the edge of the driveway. Benjamin played in it for hours and loved every minute of it.

Grandma took Ben with her to go get the mail at the end of the lane and they got side-tracked looking at bugs and bees, both words Benjamin learned that day!

Going to Oregon was a great vacation and we had so much fun.