Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bennyisms and Pics

This afternoon, Ben was pretending to roast a "marshmallow" (large plastic bead) on a stick (drumstick) over a "fire" (red plastic jar lid).  He carefully blew on it to cool it, then pretended to take a bite.  He looked thoughtful and said, "Hmmmm.  That's pretty good, but it's not my favorite kind."  I asked, "What's your favorite kind?"  "Real."

This evening Ben was having a cookie for dessert.  Neil:  "You know what goes really well with a cookie?  Milk!"  [pushes the milk cup suggestively toward him]  Ben:  "You know what goes really well with a cookie?  Another cookie!"

The marigold that ate western New York -- Ben grew it from a seed.

Ben's first portrait of us.  I think it's quite flattering.

There used to be a family room under there.

Jam session -- Neil on electric guitar, Ben on drums.  Clifford is the groupie.

Monday, November 7, 2011

October Photo Gallery

On a hayride

A Clifford birthday

Electric guitar -- thanks to Aunt Kathy!

New scooter

More Clifford

A party guest wearing a homemade Clifford hat

Ben writes a new book; Neil takes dictation.

Still going strong at the piano

Grading some calculus quizzes

The cutest sponge on the block

Didja miss me?

It's been a long time since I've posted.  October was one crazy month, all right.  Scratch that -- October was about three crazy months rolled into one.  Thirty pounds of crazy in a ten pound bag.  Here's a super quick update and a promise that I'll check in more often.  (I'm also woefully behind on reading other people's blogs!)

The Big Event was of course Ben's fourth birthday, which was on a Wednesday this year.  My mother and Neil's parents were here for the week.  Everything went very well and much fun was had by all, but it was a totally exhausting week -- I was sick and completely lost my voice, but we still had two birthday parties to prepare for, plus Neil gave a public lecture as part of a research award he'd won, and, oh yeah, my day job.  On Monday I cancelled my classes, but for the rest of the week I just had to keep squeaking at my students, and then go home and squeak at everyone there.

Then there was Halloween.  Ben had been on a costume strike the last two years, so this year I managed to extract a promise from him that he would wear a costume and go trick-or-treating.  (There was a small element of bribery involved.)  Ben complied, in a minimal sort of way.  He wore most of the cheap Spongebob costume that he'd reluctantly picked out (although he refused to wear the leggings), and he resignedly marched up to exactly five houses, carefully avoiding any which he suspected might contain dogs, and dutifully extracted some candy.  He was much more enthusiastic about carving a pumpkin.  Of course, we got his pumpkin too early, and shortly before Halloween we discovered that it had rotted out (and all over our kitchen rug -- yech).  Turns out it's remarkably hard to get another carving pumpkin the day before Halloween, so we ended up with a largish pie pumpkin instead.  We managed to carve a pretty good jack-o-lantern, whom Ben named Cleo (he named all his various pumpkins, real and plastic, after characters from the Clifford books), and a couple of days later Ben eagerly watched me dissect Cleo into pieces and bake her in the oven.  I thought this might be a traumatic experience, but Ben was delighted with the spectacle.  We baked about a third of Cleo into a pie yesterday (delicious!!!), and the other two thirds went into the freezer.  We'll be offering up more Cleo at Thanksgiving....

That's pretty long for a super-quick update.  I'll put some pictures up later when I have access to Photoshop.