Monday, August 31, 2009

Beach Trip 2009

We made it home in one piece. For us that is always an accomplishment when it comes to the beach. We had a great relaxing week down at Gulf Shores. It was great to just get away and spend some time together! We didn't do anything really exciting. For the most part we just relaxed and enjoyed hanging out. Oh and we ate lots of great food! I have lots of great pictures from the week I want to share so hopefully you won't get too bored!

We weren't there for 5 minutes before Ben was asking to go to the pool. The boy loves the pool! He is getting so good at swimming. He can get around all by himself.

We went fishing one day. Ben helped daddy and together they caught a fish (Matt caught 5 but Ben caught one too!)
Ben's favorite thing that we did was go to the water park. He LOVED the water slides. He probably went down them 75 times! We spent 5 hours enjoying the water park!
Had to play some golf!
Ben and Daddy riding in Go Carts!
We had a great time celebrating Matt's birthday. We went out to dinner and enjoyed a yummy cake from Edgars!
We of course had to see Brad & LeeAnn so we got to eat dinner with them one night!
One of the few pictures of Ben smiling on the beach. The only way he would be happy is if he was eating Cheez Its! He is still not a big fan of the ocean or the sand.
Our friends the Thomas' from Knoxville joined us for the last couple of days. They have twin boys who are Ben's same age. The boys had a blast playing together!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday DaDa!

We are heading out to the beach tomorrow so I thought I would go ahead and post Matt's birthday wishes a little early in case I don't get a chance. My sweet wonderful husband is turning the big 30 on Sunday!!! We love birthdays around our house so we have been looking forward to this for quite a while.

I asked Ben about a month ago what he wanted to get DaDa for his birthday and he said "a hat." I thought ok we can do a hat. So I took him to Dick's sporting goods a couple of weeks ago to pick out a hat. I asked him what kind of hat and of course he said "golf hat." So off we went to the golf section where they have probably 25 hats. I pick up each hat and show it to Ben and ask if this is the hat. He says "no" over and over. Finally on hat # 23 he says "yes!" He had the hat in mind that he wanted to get his daddy! He also picked out golf balls and golf tees (a lot for that $6 he has). Of course the minute daddy got home that day he said "I bought you hat, balls and tees." So much for surprises! I also told Ben about a couple of other presents I got Matt and of course he promptly told! I knew if we wrapped the presents that Ben would bug Matt to open them so we waited until yesterday and of course the first thing he wants Matt to do when he comes home is open presents. We tried to talk him out of it but there was none of that to be had. So Matt opened the present from Ben (and was shocked!). Here are some pictures from their gift opening time.

Note the perfect hat that Ben picked out!
We are excited to be heading down to the beach to celebrate Matt's birthday. We have done this for the past 2 years. We pick up Matt's favorite cake from the best bakery in Birmingham! It will be a fun week!
Happy Birthday Matt!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Couldn't Leave Out the Cat

I just couldn't not post a picture of Ben with a cat after I posted pictures of him with a dog. This is our neighbor's cat Gary (yep Gary). Ben LOVES Gary! I think he likes cats more than he likes dogs. Gary loves to sit on our front porch and Ben will just go out and sit and pet him. He is a very nice cat (shockingly because I didn't know there were nice cats out there). Now Ben calls all cats Gary. And that cracks us up because it is my dad's name. Just had to post a cat picture!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Day of School!!

It is that time of year!! Back to school time!!! YEA!!! We have been looking forward to this day all summer. Ben has been looking forward to going back to school for weeks. Everytime we would drive anywhere near school he would ask ''school time?" He missed his friends and teachers. We went on Monday for Open House and he was so excited. He is in the 2 year old room this year which means they actually do lessons that include art and story time each day. He came home today with a beautiful painting and when I asked him about story time he said "shhhh." So they must have to be quiet during story time. He also gets to go eat in the lunch room at school which is big stuff! He has a little boy that has been in his class all 3 years so they are big buddies (Derek) and then also his good buddy Drake is in there. I am just so excited that he loves school this much. This year he will be going 2 days a week!! YEA!!!! I don't know what I am going to do with myself. I did all my cleaning today. Now what I am going to do on Friday? I am sure I will find something!

A couple of funny things. He picked out his "chomp, chomp" backpack a couple of weeks ago. Very fitting since he is very into alligators these days. Everytime we have been talking about school for the last several weeks he says "ride school bus." He thought he was going to get to ride the bus to school. I guess he sees the other kids in the neighborhood riding the bus and thought he should get to too! He woke up at 6 am and came and woke me up saying "School PLEASE!!" This morning when I put on his backpack to leave the house he waves and says "bye Mama!" I had to tell him that I was going to take him so he said "Come on Mama, Hurry!" He wanted to get to school. When we got to his class there were 3 parents with crying kids stuck to their legs outside the door. I tried to hold Ben back but he started weaving his way through the crying kids almost knocking them over to get inside. He didn't even look back or say good-bye. Did I mention he loves it! And of course when I went to pick him up he didn't want to leave.

Maybe someday I will be sad to leave him but I am just happy he is happy!

Fall 2007 - First Day 5 months old
Fall 2008 - First Day 17 months

Fall 2009 - First Day 2 1/2 years old
Yes I am aware that every year I have put him in a blue outfit with boats on it. I didn't know that until I was looking at the pictures today.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why We Don't Have a Pet

We at the Eckley house are going to be permanently stuck in a delima over pets. I am a cat person and Matt is a dog person. He hates cats and I hate dogs. I don't think we will ever be able to come to a stalemate in order to determine what pet we should get. So the poor kids will just have to suffer through life with no pets. Although last week I was very thankful and understood why we don't have pets. We were watching our neighbor's dog. Of course it was pouring down rain and he needed to be fed. I waited as long as possible but then knew he was probably starving so Ben and I put on raincoats and tromped over in the rain to feed Shiloh. Ben loves Shiloh and thought it was great fun to be in the rain feeding a dog. I on the other hand was reinforced in my hatred for dogs. At least with cats they are inside and you don't have to go in the rain to feed them! Just thought I would share some thoughts on pets!

Here is Ben feeding Shiloh! And here is my cutie in his raincoat!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Checklist

Any of you that know me know that I am a list person and I love to check things off my list as I get them done!! I am actually quite obsessed with it. So of course I made a checklist of things that need to get done before the baby arrives. There is a long one for me but there was only a short one for Ben.

1. Move into big boy bed - DONE! That was easy. He took to his new bed right away with no problems. So our list was looking good.

2. Potty Training - NOT DONE! So we have read all the books and decided we were going to try "potty training in a day." It is supposed to be full proof. The deal is you load the kid up with juice and then they have to pee all day. Then you put them in underwear and let them go. It did not work for Ben. He is a stubborn little boy and wants to do things his own way so that is not the way he wanted to learn to use the potty. We had 14 accidents in 5 hours (yep 14). So we gave up on that. The new goal is to let him do it on his own. He will go potty when other people are at our house or when one of his friends goes potty so he can do it he is just being stubborn. I am hoping with school starting he will feel the pressure. And I will get it done!!!

3. Getting rid of "my" (his paci) - DONE!!!!!! This is the one we were dreading. The plan was to do it last so that he could get through all the other stuff first but it happened over the weekend. We were down to 1 paci and I swore I wouldn't get any more. We left his one and only at a restaurant on Friday night. We realized it on the way home so I stopped an picked up another one but we thought we would try telling him it was gone. When he laid down to go to bed he asked for it and Matt told him it was gone. You should have heard the wail. It was the most pitiful, mournful wail I have ever heard. Both Matt and I were crying. But Ben did ok. He cried for about 1 minute and then just settled in and went to sleep. He woke up asking for it in the morning and we reminded him it was gone. And he has done great!!!! 5 days now and he doesn't ask for it. He is sleeping great at night. He is not napping as well but we are working on that! I thought this one would be the worst on the list but it didn't turn out to bad. We are so proud of him and what a big boy he is

So 2 out of 3 down on Ben's checklist. Not bad at all for a 2 year old!! : )

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nashville Trip

We decided to take a short day trip to Nashville on Saturday for fun. We went to the Nashville Zoo. It was a lot of fun. Ben was very excited to see the animals. On the way up he was talking about seeing the "chomp chomps" which is what he calls alligators. I am so glad that they had alligators! We enjoyed walking around the zoo and having lunch. We also LOVED the playground they had there. It is the best playground! Ben had a blast playing. We even had our celebrity encounter at the playground. Ben played with Paula Deen's grandson, Jack. Yep that is right they played together. We were sitting while Ben was playing and we look over and see Jaime and Bobby Deen with Jaime's wife Brooke and son Jack. So Ben and Jack start jumping together and playing. They played for about 10 minutes. We talked to Jaime during this time but not about anything exciting just about kids and how they were playing. It was funny and very random.

After the zoo we went to a mall to check on some bedding for Baby Girl's room (don't ask about a name - we don't have one!). Then we went to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. Ben loved seeing all the stuff there as well! And guess who we saw eating dinner. Yep our new friends the Deens!

It was a great fun day!
Here is Ben at the Rainforest Cafe! I dropped the camera and broke it like 30 minutes into the zoo trip so we had to use the iPhone for pictures so there aren't very many and they aren't the best quality!

Here is Ben on the playground. They had this awesome area with just squishy mats for kids to jump on. And since jumping is Ben's favorite thing to do he could have done it for hours. This is where he met Jack Deen. We didn't take a picture of them together which I hate!

Riding the carousel

Ben's favorite animal!

Checking out the leopards. They were playing with a ball and that is all Ben talked about on the way home. The leopards playing ball!

More alligators!