Benjamin's Update

by Kristi Van Dyk in

Hello friends,It's been so long since I've sat down and made the time to blog. My dear children are keeping me so busy (what with two full battles with the flu already on top of Kayleigh's Birthday, Thanksgiving, Daddy's Birthday and Christmas ... which for our family begins tomorrow, I don't know how we even have time to sleep!). BUT, as I was talking to Benjamin today, yes, talking to him, that's what we do now, I realized how very long it's been since I've updated my blogger friends on my little man. His 18 month birthday slipped on by with his sister's 3rd birthday and Daddy's 31st birthday and all of that other great stuff ...

So ... a little update: Physically: Ben is 34 1/4" tall and a whopping 31 1/4 lbs. He is still over the 95th percentile in both height and weight. So, even though to us, he looks as if he's shrinking and he's finally leveling off in the clothing sizes (2T-3T depending on the brand), he is not "normal" sized just yet. :) He is VERY good at walking on his two feet and only falls when he's "Nunning" (running) to keep up with his sister. He also LOVES climbing on EVERYTHING. At least 3-4 times a day he drags the kitchenette chairs over to the sink, climbs up on it and starts "hopping" (helping) me with "ceenin'" (cleaning). There is NOTHING this kid won't try. He sleeps very well in his toddler bed (although he can climb out, I've seen him do it repeatedly) and doesn't leave the bed until we open the door and say "Good Morning." Once, after a nap, Steve found him getting his "Tati" (Paci) out from behind the bed. He crawled out of bed, MOVED HIS BED away from the wall, grabbed his pacifier and was about to put the bed back ... He's not short on strength :).  Ben takes one nap (mostly because that's what we need to do to keep up with sister's pre-K schedule) that is between 2.5 - 3 hours long. I think he'd be happy to take 2 naps (and sometimes I still make him on Wednesdays when we are at church late), but when he takes one it is SO MUCH nicer because it's so very long :).

Emotionally: This little boy is the most hilarious thing. He LOVES making people laugh or smile. I ADORE his giggle - which we hear often. Today, for example, he fell over and tripped. I said "Ba BOOM!" And he  went into about 15 minutes of straight belly laughter. He couldn't even stand up he was laughing so hard. Each time he'd catch his breath Kayleigh or I would yell "Ba BOOM!" and it'd start all over again. When he's laughing neither of us can keep a straight face and we're laughing too. Benner LOVES to dance. Any song, any type - although he has shown a preference to country. He and Kayleigh dance around the room to "Jingle Bell Rock" at least 3 times a day. He uses music as a language teacher and I've seen him respond to the lyrics of songs ... Kayleigh has this "exercise song" and Ben will do ALL of the motions, even when she's not modeling it for him. So, he is paying VERY close attention to words.

"Benny-isms:" 1. Boo Boo still loves to eat, everything. His favorite things: pretzels, CHEERIOS, veggie straws, APPLES, bananas, macaroni "'roni", hot cocoa (thanks to sister's obsession with it), juice, toast (he'll eat 3-4 pieces in one sitting), COOKIES, CAKE (he had two birthdays in a row to eat cake and now asks for it after his naps .. it's hilarious). 2. Ben loves everything with wheels: cars, trucks, trains, bikes etc but there is noTHING in this world he loves more than his Lightning McQueen car. He loves watching the Car movies, he loves playing with his driveable car, he loves playing with little model cars, he just ADORES cars. He can't get enough. I think he'd watch the Cars movie every day, all day if I'd let him (which I don't, not even once a week!) 3. He also adores Mickey Mouse. He walks over to the TV and asks for "Mouse" often. He also really loves playing with Kayleigh's Mickey "dolls." I'm sure that going to Disney is going to be about the most amazing thing he has ever thought of in his life. He just can't get enough of Mickey Mouse. 4. Sleeping - I love how my little boy LOVES his sleep. He goes to bed well, he wakes up happy, and he LOVES his little bed. His bears are still his favorite thing about sleeping. Each night he asks for "pink" and "bear." They are his best little buddies - I don't know that we're going to separate him from those guys for a VERY long time. 5. SCHOOL - Benjamin adores school. He loves picking Kayleigh up; he loves "talking" to Maestra Gonzales - and getting stickers from her each day. He wants SO desperately to be like Kayleigh that he just cries some days when we leave her. And he simply can't WAIT to race back and pick her up. I love how much he loves her - and how much he wants to learn/be at school with the big kids. Today he got in, quite unabashedly, to the kindergarten line headed out to recess. I had "lost" him for a minute in the shuffle and that's where he was ... with the bigger kids. 6. Benjamin is the most affectionate little thing. He loves kisses, hugs, snuggles, and any affection he can get or give. When you tell him to say goodbye instead of waving he blows kisses. So, he's almost constantly blowing kisses. Today at school there were two 4th or 5th grade girls in the office one hurt and one supporting her friend. I told him to say good bye to the girls and he blew two kisses. He has a way of making people smile from ear to ear. HE got that from another Van Dyk man I know really well :). It would seem that our same gender children inherited the personality of their same gender parent. Kayleigh is my carbon copy (on steroids) and Benjamin is his Daddy (amped up about 10 degrees).

Goals for Benner: Potty training - he's shown an interest in replicating everything Kayleigh does. Plus, he lets me know everytime he's going to have a dirty. He screams "POOP" and runs into a corner. So far I haven't gotten a chance to get him to try that on the Lightning McQueen potty we bought. BUT, it can't be TOO far off :). I'm going to take my time with it, but I know he's getting closer :).

NO MORE PACI - he absolutely loves his pacifier, not as much as his bears, but I think it's getting closer to time to break it. I have a feeling it's going to get ugly, but I know we need to have the battle soon.

In short, we adore our funny, happy, adorable little man. And, in case you haven't noticed, he's got a host of nicknames: Benner, Benny Boo, Boo-Boo, Boo-Boo-Benjamin (that's Kayleigh's), Bo, Little B, Bb, Benjer, AND (my personal favorite for when he's being mischevious) Benjamin Steven William Van Dyk the 14th ... (don't ask. Daddy used it once and Kayleigh picked it up, so it stuck). His own name for himself is "NEEEEEE." I think it stems from "Benny," and since he leaves off all of the initial consonant sounds in all of his words, it makes sense. :) So, our little NEEEE ... is a constant joy and a blessing. We can't IMAGINE our lives without his Joyful presence.