Wednesday, December 17, 2008

From the mouth of a 2 year old

We were driving home from dinner last night and Noah was asking for the 100th time that day, is it Christmas yet? So we went through all of the days between now and Christmas and we got to Christmas Eve. I told him that on Christmas Eve, Aunt Sarah and Heidi are coming to visit and asked if he knew who they are bringing with them. He yelled out Baby Bodie, then he paused and said, "oh yeah, and baby Jesus too."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Who is this Santa Guy?!?

We went to Christmas in Avondale last Friday night and the boys got to meet Santa. Noah was a little hesitant but agreed to sit and tell Santa all of the toys he wants for Christmas.

But Jude was a completely different story!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Turkey Day Travels

Cousins 1

We went up to Virginia last week to enjoy Thanksgiving with family. It was Jude's first time flying and both boys were great on the flight up. Noah and Jude enjoyed their stay at Jack & Emma's house - even though most of us were plagued by a 24 hour stomach bug while we were there! Jude managed to not get sick UNTIL our turbulent flight home. First it was down mom's back and then down mom's front - UGH! Of course we had a change of clothes for Jude in the diaper bag, but not one for Mom! Overall it was a great trip and we enjoyed spending time with our family and friends.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Our Friends Tigger and Pooh

Dad got home plenty early on Halloween and we all had pizza before heading out to trick or treat!
Mom with her boys

We left a bucket of candy on the porch and loaded up in our wagon to make our rounds.
Trick or Treating: the spoiled way!

Jude dressed up as Winnie the Pooh!
Pooh aka Jude

Noah dressed up as Tigger!
Tigger aka Noah

Last year, Jude was just 2 weeks old so he didn't get to go trick or treating. Noah was an excellent big brother and showed him how it is done.
They had a great time!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Picking Pumpkins

We visited the pumpkin patch last weekend and Noah picked out a few pumpkins for us!
Noah picking our pumpkin

At first, Jude wasn't quite sure what to think of pumpkins.
What's this thing?

But after running around for a little while with Noah, he decided they were pretty cool.

Halloween Playdate

We headed over to Jacob and Kate's house this afternoon for a Halloween playdate. Their mom was nice enough to bake cookies and let the kids decorate them with icing and sprinkles. Not surprisingly, the 2 year olds were much more interested in eating the cookies than decorating them. It was fun nonetheless!

Jude and Kate had fun watching the older kids eat cookies!

Will stayed busy on the tractor!

Harriet going back for more cookies!

After eating a few too many cookies, Noah played with Jacob's trucks!

Our host Jacob was dressed up as a Florida Gator!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pure Entertainment

Here is our nightly activity these days... watching Yo Gabba Gabba and breaking it down ... Computer Science style, ya'll!

White kids dancing from Ben McDonald on Vimeo.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

12 Months

Jude: 12 Months

Jude went to the doctor yesterday for his one year check up. He weighed in at 23 pounds, 15 ounces (75%) and is 31 inches tall (90%). Everything checked out great and he got 4 shots. Noah also got a surprise flu shot while we were there. He was such a big boy and did not even cry. As a reward for being so well behaved, we stopped by the park after our doctor visit.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Judebug!

Birthday Cake

Today we celebrated Jude's first birthday! We had some of our family and friends over for a little food and fun. The day didn't look like it was going to go so well when Jude refused to take his normal afternoon nap, but he rallied and was an angel during his party- except for when Heather tried to put the birthday hat on him. Turns out Jude does not like birthday hats! But he definitely likes birthday cake!

Birthday Boy

The cake was yummy and we had a great time watching all of the kids play. Most of the kids that came were Noah's age, so there was plenty going on to distract him from all of the attention Jude was receiving. He did manage to open most of Jude's presents, but Jude didn't seem to mind. It was the first of many more great birthday parties that we'll get the pleasure of hosting for our Baby Jude!

McDonald Family

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

the life i've always wanted

My home has become a sacred place. When I come home from work, I have come to anticipate the great, great joy of hearing ...
"DADDY, You home!"
... followed by the blur of a blond haired two year old streaking to crash into my legs and wrap himself around them.

That moment is precious.

Since Noah has started pre-school another thing has started showing up that provides me constant amazement and insight into his development of cognitive skills that are manifested in his weekly crafts projects.


They are so simple, and that is what makes them so beautiful to me. I can loose myself in them, forget the stress of work, and just ground myself in the fact that the most important thing I do every day is to help shape my two little men.

In the above picture, we have our family tree (sans Bells), his owl inspired from reading Owl Babies, and his dog house from last week's Pet Week.

I meant to post this a long time ago, but below is Noah's first project. He did it with Sherry back in May at the Jacksonville Public Library, I hope it at least makes you smile :)

Noah's 1st Art Project

Note: While proofing this post before I published it, I felt like I was bragging and I don't want that to be the perception. I use this blog as a place holder (a pensive if you Harry Potter fans will allow me) for the great things about each day as I know there will be tougher ones ahead. Having posts like this available for me to go back to will someday be invaluable.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Evening at the Beach

We went out to the beach yesterday to have dinner with Daddy John and Noushin. The weather was perfect so we got to enjoy a little time on the beach. Noah had a blast climbing and jumping off of a sand dune. Jude just likes to eat the sand! It was all fun and games until we went to leave and found out our car had been towed! Noah was a little upset that our car was not there and said: "Maybe the moon knows where our car went?"

Jumping Noah

Having fun

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall is on the way

It has finally started to cool down so we have been spending afternoons at the park and in our backyard. Hopefully the weather will continue to cool down so that we can enjoy the outdoors! Now that Jude can walk, he is happy to chase Noah around the park. He is proving to be more and more like his big brother with his love of the outdoors.

Noah still loves to slide!
Ready to Slide

Jude doesn't mind crawling in the grass!
Crawling Around

They are getting so big, so fast!

Jude: 11 Months

Serious Noah

Monday, September 22, 2008

Family Gaming

Friday night we decided to check out Ollie Koala's for the first time. Noah and Jude loved it! We ate dinner there and then spent an hour or so playing around. Luckily Dad had his phone so that he could take pictures of all the fun!

Noah Driving

Noah drove his own bumper car!
Bumper cars

Noah played his first game!
Noah Swinging

Jude even showed off his Dance Dance Revolution skills!
Jude Dancing

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Video: Jude Walking

Here is a visual update on Jude's ability to walk.

If you can't see the video, remember to click through to the website.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

To Sum It Up

Today was Noah's second day at preschool. He was in a great mood until we walked into his room and there were 2 other children completely losing it. One was on the floor screaming for his Mommy and one was being held by the teacher while sobbing uncontrollably. Noah immediately started crying and said "stay with me Mom". I told him I would be back in a little while and he stomped his foot and screamed NO. I told him to put his lunchbox away and he screamed NO. I quickly realized nothing I would say or do would make it better, so I just turned around and left.

I returned to pick him up and decided to try out the car pool line. His teacher brought him out and buckled him in the car. As we were driving home, I asked him if he had fun. He quickly responded: Yes, I calmed down.

So I guess we'll go back next Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Look Out!

Jude is on the move!

Walking Jude

He started taking steps this weekend and can go about 8 steps before he sits down. He still prefers crawling, but he is getting better every day! We'll catch it on video soon.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

End of First Day

I went in to pick up Noah from his first day. I am still not ready for that carpool line- maybe next week! All of the kids were lined up waiting for their parents and Noah was crying. Mrs. Willis assured me that he had just started crying when they made him stop playing and get in line. Overall she said he had a great first day and even used the potty! She said that he had a little trouble transitioning from one activity to the other, particularly coming back inside after outdoor playtime. She also told me that there are a number of children with severe peanut allergies so the entire school is going to be nut free! Noah will have to find a way to survive without his beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We both survived the first day and when asked, Noah said he would like to go back again and play.

Totally Unexpected

This morning I dropped Noah off for his first day of preschool. We had two options, I could go through the carpool line and his teacher would get him out of the car or I could walk him inside. I explained the options to him and he asked me to come inside with him. As we were walking to his classroom he was saying "hi" to all of the people we passed and telling them about his new lunchbox (totally out of character for Noah to speak to strangers). We entered his classroom and he walked up to his teacher and said "this is my lunchbox, I have raisins and juice". She said hello and told him to put his lunchbox in his cubby. Then he turned to me and said "Bye Mom". I just stood there.... and stood there... and finally the teacher said- "you can go now, he'll be just fine". I turned and walked out absolutely stunned. Noah does not typically do very well when we leave him places. In fact, we get paged almost every Sunday from the church nursery because they can't get him to calm down. I had imagined this morning would be similar to that. I thought he would cry. I thought he would ask me to stay. But instead he just looked at me with a smile and said "bye". It broke my heart but it also made me so proud! I can't wait to pick him up in 3 hours and hear all about his first day!

Noah's First Day of School

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ready, Set, Go!

Noah went to his preschool orientation this morning. He was really excited to meet his teachers, but even more excited to check out the toys there! I think he understands that he will be going to school, I just don't think he understands that he will be staying there by himself! Tomorrow should be interesting!

Noah_Preschool 2

Noah_Preschool 1

Friday, August 15, 2008

Waiting Room

This is the best video I (Ben) have made in my life. I made it after waiting for 12 hours in the waiting room for my sister's son to be born. Please share with as many people as you can! I want an internet star to be born.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I want Ice Cream!!

I have promised Noah the last two days that if he goes the whole day and pees and poops only on the pottie we can go out as a family and get Ice Cream.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I got the report from Sherry and everything was looking good. But while I was sitting down eating my dinner, I forgot to call out to him during a period of 2 minutes, and the next thing I knew he was coming out of his bedroom saying, "I pooped, Mom."

Needless to say, Sherry and I were immediately upset because we knew what was going to happen once he started asking for Ice Cream, we were going to have to explain why he couldn't have any. It is hard being a parent sometimes, but there is no way I am going to reward him for pooping on the his bedroom floor. We broke it to him gently but it still resulting in a deluge of tears.

Today started out with an incident so there will be no question about tonight's outcome... Stay tuned to see when Noah gets his Ice Cream.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A new baby!

We are so excited to welcome Noah and Jude's cousin Bodie to the world! He arrived late last night and is doing great (his mom is doing great too). We can't wait to meet him in person!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Adventures in Potty Training

I think we have bought our last pack of diapers for Noah! He has been using the potty since Wednesday and is doing great. We stayed at home for 3 days and did nothing but potty and he seems to understand the concept. We finally ventured out of the house yesterday and Noah used the restroom at three different places without any problem. I think this purchase may have helped with our initial success:

Jude, on the other hand, is not happy about our newest activity. Every time Noah says he needs to go potty and we run out of the room, Jude starts screaming and crawls all around the house hunting for us. He is experiencing serious separation anxiety and potty training Noah seems to be making it worse!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

9 months!

Jude had his 9 month well visit with the doctor this morning. He weighed in at 21 pounds, 12 ounces (75%) and is 30 1/4 inches (95%). He got a few shots but recovered pretty quickly. The doctor said that everything looks great and was impressed with his standing and cruising abilities. He also said that Jude's annoying habit of grinding his teeth is normal and hopefully he'll outgrow that habit quickly! Overall he is a happy, healthy 9 month old.

Noah went to play at his friend Emsley's house while I took Jude to the doctor. I had hoped that maybe he would get inspired to start using the potty since Emsley is working on being potty trained, but no such luck. I think we'll wait a little longer before we take on that challenge.

Captaining the Pirate Ship

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fountain Fun

We decided to try out the new Jacksonville trolley system this week and caught a ride down to the Landing with Noah and Jude's friends Jackson and Kirby (and their mom's)! The boys thought the trolley was pretty cool and thought that running around in the big fountain at the Landing was even cooler.

Noah decided he didn't want to wear any clothes. I did manage to convince him to leave his diaper on.

Fountain Fun
I think Noah and Kirby could have spent hours chasing each other around in the water.

Jackson was a little unsure about splashing in the big fountain, but he did have fun running around with Noah and Kirby. We had a picnic afterwards and then jumped back on the air conditioned trolley for a relaxing ride home. It was a great adventure that we plan to do again soon!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

We had a great 4th of July! Noah and Mom made a flag cake this morning to take to a cookout we went to this evening.
Flag Cake

There were 18 children under 5 (and only 3 boys!) at the cookout and most everyone was on their best behavior. The pool, dock, dogs, pinata and sparklers definitely helped entertain them. Thanks CeCe and Spencer for having us over for the 4th! We had a great time!

Can I Come Outside?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Who looks like who?

It is always fascinating to hear who people think our kids look like. EVERYONE has a different opinion. Mom thinks they both look like her, Dad thinks they both look like him. Obviously they both got Dad's hair. Everyone used to say that Noah looked just like Dad, but now more people think he looks like Mom. There has never been much agreement about Jude, everyone has a different opinion about who he resembles most. So what do you all think? And if you need to, you can look at more pictures to help develop your opinion. Be sure to leave a comment (not e-mail)- we're curious to hear our readers' thoughts on who Noah and Jude resemble most!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Beach Day

What are you looking at?


To spice things up, we spent a day out at Daddy John & Noushin's beach condo last week (thanks!). Nicole and Jackson joined us for a morning play date on the beach. Jackson, Noah and Jude had a blast running (and crawling) around in the sand and dodging waves. Ben brought us lunch and then Daddy John came home early with George to play in the afternoon. Noushin and Ben were back in time for dinner. We had a great day and hope to do it again soon!