Thursday, May 21, 2009
We leave tomorrow for California for my brothers wedding reception and temple sealing. We have been excited for weeks. Now that the day is finally here, Ben has just brought me some pretty bad news. He just said, "Sorry, Mom. I can't come to our trip because I have to stay home and practice our song." When I probed for more information, he explained that preschool graduation was to include the kids singing two of the songs they learned this year. He doesn't know the second verse to "I Got Joy" so he will need to stay behind and learn it so he will be ready to perform it at the graduation when we return.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
...letting your daughter sit on your lap after she wakes from naps and snuggling her until she is ready to get up and play when she has a nasty, yucky, stinky diaper. Remembering she needs your love more than a clean diaper and more than you need clean air. ...wiping spit up off your nice, clean suitcoat the second you arrive at church. (I secretly smile and am impressed by any guy I see at church with spit up on his lapel. It tells me he is pulling his weight at home.) ...rocking a screaming baby so your sweetheart can walk away, breath a minute and let their eardrums recover. ...letting your wife have a night out with the girls so she can feel like a grown up again. ...folding laundry. ...folding laundry that has been in the basket for seven days without saying one word about how it should have been done a week ago. ...taking the kids on a walk so dinner can be made in peace, or rather, so it can just get made at all. Seems impossible to cook with a million distractions. ...Brian Ray-of-Sunshine Zufelt.
Jacob keeps getting himself stuck in the oddest places and can’t get out. I can’t wait until he figures out how to shift his transmission out of reverse. Here he is in the junk corner, under the easel, under the support bar of our dining room chairs, behind my Halloween sewing projects that are still in the to do pile in May.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
We went camping: Ben brought his work gloves along to make sure he was ready to help with any work we may need done. He loves to help lay out the tarps, set up the tent find firewood and put new logs on the fire to keep it going. He also made sure that we he packed his backpack…sort of. He didn’t care much what else went in it—he just needed to be sure that he had two whistles. He explained it to us by saying “Safety First, Mom.” In case we get lost in the woods he can blow the whistle and we can find him. Good plan. I don’t think it ever left the backpack, but he also wasn’t ever allowed to go off in the woods alone in the first place. Maddie spent most of her time playing with the other little girls going in and out of each others tents. They all knew the rules were no shoes in the tents, so I guess she actually spent the majority of her time taking her shoes on and off with a giant smile on her face. Jacob had recently acquired the skill of scooting. Unfortunately, he is stuck in reverse. We kept putting him down on a blanket or tarp and he would scoot himself backward until he was under the car and I’d pull him out again. He was always pleased with himself though. In order to pack up when it was time to go, we needed a safe place to keep him, so I made a makeshift highchair/exersaucer in the trunk of the car with pillows. He absolutely loved it. Soft stuff all around to grab and play with and he was high enough up that he could see us moving about. The campground is only 10 minutes from our house, so it’s easy to go anytime. Not many families were willing to sleep the night in a tent. Of the big crowd that came to socialize, only four families actually spent the night. Several people came back in the morning though to enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast. Ben was most interested in going on a hike. Brian obliged and created a “hike” of about a tenth of a mile to the playground. They thought it was perfect. All the kids had fun roaming free, enjoying the outdoors, the rocks, the sticks and roasting marshmallows on the fire even if they didn’t choose to eat any of them. Fire is just a magical thing. We can’t put our finger on exactly why, but the Soderborg tent was a favorite. We did catch our kids throwing dirt clods on top of it and I had to go clean it off and tell them to quit. Other than that, I think they had loads of fun. Brian put Ben and Maddie down for bed around 10:00pm and Ben fell right to sleep. Maddie soon emerged back to the campfire where she hung out with the adults until about midnight. Turns out the other congregation we share our church building with was also on a men’s campout that night. At 6 am we were awakened to the noises that you can expect from a dozen 12 year old boys and their leaders would make. Their fire was only about fifteen feet from our heads and for about an hour until our kids began to stir, Brian and I laid in bed listening to what was going on outside. In its own special way, it really was comical. The two adult leaders were having a normal conversation about what I can’t recall. What I do remember was that you would hear two sentences of their conversation then “Put the stick down” and their conversation would pick up as if nothing had happened. Two more sentences and “Don’t put that in the fire,” and the conversation went on. For an hour, I heard them talk with every third sentence being direction to keep the 12 year old scouts from killing themselves or injuring each other. It was a tiny little glimpse into what scout camp might be. Wow. I pity the leaders that camp with them for a week. They must be exhausted when they return home. What good leaders.
Ben loves to have hair long enough to merit getting out mousse and spiking it up. He is always so excited and proud of how he looks. Once during the school year, he did his spiked hair and told me everyone will laugh at me and was so excited for them to notice how silly his hair was. He cried to me afterwards and told me that “not a single guy laughed.” He was heartbroken. For a while, we had to call him "Shark Boy" and eventually, he wanted to name Jacob "Shark Boy."
Friday, May 15, 2009
At the end of the day on Mothers Day, Ben came to me and brought me some of his very precious money. He gave me $1.16. That is: one dollar, one dime, one nickel and one penny. He said he didn't have any quarters or he would have given me one of those too. I thanked him and then pulled one of his favorite lines on him... "Since you did something nice for me, I will do something nice for you." I told him I would spend the money on a big box of candy at Wal-Mart and share it with him. Today I bought Milk Duds because I knew he loves chocolate thinking it would be the best thing ever. Turns out, he doesn't like Milk Duds. Oh well. I tried. Maybe I'll spring for some Mike 'n' Ike next time I'm there and share.
I totally wish it was February again. Maybe I would have done better today if it had been No Buy Month. I went to Wal-Mart for a $4 watch battery. The lady was busy helping other people so to keep the kids busy, I walked the aisles. Checked back, she was gone. Walked a bit more. Came back, gave her my watch. Walked the aisles. Came back to get it, she was busy with another customer. Walked the aisles. In the end my $4 watch battery cost us a bit more than $4. All of it totally necessary stuff, right? No. We got Milk Duds (from Ben's Mother's Day gift of $1.16 to me), gardening gloves, two movies from the $5 bin for our upcoming airplane trip, light bulbs and "pretties" for Maddie's hair. I realized that was the first hair bow Maddie has ever had. Sad. She's over two and a half years old. Poor girl. If I had just waited instead of walking the aisles we'd be better off. Of course, I am glad we got the gardening gloves. We insist the kids help us with all types of work. Often we wear gloves when we work in the garden or do other things. They don't have any and try to wear adult gloves. It just doesn't work. In my attempts to preempt the next problem that seemed imminent, I explained that these gloves wer SUPPOSED to get dirty. It was okay and they should not freak out when it happened. They work-played in the front yard, weeding and playing with their gloves on and had a ball. When Maddie was ready to go inside I took her in. Eventually Ben finished working and cleaned up his weed bucket and shovel. He came inside and went in the bathroom to wash his hands. After a while, he came to me in the kitchen and asked, "Mom, where are we going to keep our gloves so I can put them away?" I told him he could keep his gloves in the basement with the grownup gloves if he wanted. As I was telling him that, I noticed he was holding his gloves all wadded up in his hand sort of akwardly. I reached out to touch them and sure enough, they were wet. He explained that he had washed them. Okay. So the message I delivered wasn't as complete and helpful as I thought. Mostly I was just surprised at the wet gloves, not mad. Then I took them to see just how wet they really were...moist or drippy. They had been wrung out pretty well after he rinsed the dirt off, but they felt weird. I rubbed them a bit before I figured out what was wrong. I was getting bubbles as I rubbed. He had not just rinsed the dirt off. He had washed them with soap. A totally logical thing to do. I hope I didn't make him feel too bad. I could see how my not so careful words hurt his feelings. I hadn't been mean or rebuking, but it was too late when I realized I hadn't been gentle. He looked crestfallen. He was doing everything he could to be the best kid possible. He even asked me where to put them away. What a GREAT kid!! I apologized to him, though I don't know if fixed the damage done.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I don't know how today could have been any better. It was a gift from God, I think. We woke happily and despite my reluctance to arise, the little people were persuasive and very pleasant. Maddie needed "bweakfast" and Brian obliged while I fed Little Man. Then, without any complaints, tears or whining, everyone dressed and brushed teeth. I'm sure I had a huge smile on my face. We were ready and out the door to make it to MOPS early! Ben has had freak-out tantrums the entire year that has made the drop off procedure a disaster. I bargained with him (as I usually do) that if he could go into his class without clinging to my body so he has to be physically pried off my leg for this meeting AND the next we could find a special treat for being so brave. To my total amazement, HE DID IT!!! He was still having a hard time, but he kept it together. His coping mechanism changed to zipping his jacket up so it looked like he had no head. His teachers were great and played right along. They were likely just as surprised as I was that he wasn't tantruming. The meeting was fun, all about how to vacation with kiddos from camping to Disney to roadtrips. Then we made super cute flip-flops and they cleaned out their closet and I scored a new plastic bin to store the toys in and organize the basement! When I picked Ben up from class, I was able to announce that we didn't have any other meetings at the "MOPS church" building since the last meeting would be a picnic at the park. He was super excited! I loaded up the troops after MOPS and called dad. He agreed to meet us for a lunch at Baja Fresh. We waited for his arrival on the lush green lawn in the warm sunshine. I taught Ben a fun game. He picked a number and then we counted cars to see what he would drive when he grew up. He never got anything super cool, but Maddie will be driving one of those trash trucks that empty dumpsters. The mexican food at Baja Fresh was plentiful and tasty, the company was delightful. All the kids ate really well. They were happy the entire time and Jacob was cute as a button playing with daddy. Brian and I were stuffed. Then Daddy headed back to work and I took the kids home for a nice afternoon. Naps for Maddie were a bit of a fight, but nothing wild or too frustrating. Jacob wasn't interested in his afternoon nap either, so I finally laid down with him after calming him the twentieth time. I got to rest on my bed cuddling my Little Man. Ben watched his favorite show, Zula Patrol, on the bed next to us while we lounged. Jacob finally dropped into a deeper sleep as Brian arrived home from work so I could go down to Ben's restaurant in the living room. The weather was perfect! After Maddie woke up, Ben headed out to the front yard to play with Jacob the neighbor and to "learn how to climb trees". They had fun together and found some water balloons in the pantry closet. Brian and I helped launch them across the field with the slingshot. The kids were almost as anxious to clean up the balloon pieces as to launch them. Then we heard a siren approaching nearby and could hear the engines running. I took Ben and Maddie on a walk to follow the sounds and investigate. Someone fell down in the ravine one street over. We checked out the ambulance and fire engines and watched them bring someone up on a backboard. Still can't figure out how they fell. There is a guard rail and honestly, nothing down in the ravine to attract attention. In any case, while the rescue workers did their job, we went on a caterpillar hunt. We found six caterpillars, lots of ants, one weird black bug with red marks on the back and one orange-red frog. We "played" with the frog. Sure we enjoyed it more than he did. Took all six caterpillars back home to show dad. At almost 7 pm we finally went inside to get dinner before the kids turned into monsters and ruined the day. We nuked some leftovers. Still mostly full from our great lunch feast. Maddie asked to say the blessing on the food. She wanted to pray for the guy who fell in the ravine. Her prayers are always the same. She says, "Father Thank you for the food. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." It was a huge thing that she wanted to pray for someone else without any prompting. Of course, she said "thank you" for the guy rather than asking a blessing for him, but it was cute and I know God got the intended pure message from a sincere little two year old. When we were almost done with dinner, Brian abruptly told us to look out the window. Two beautiful deer were wandering through the field outside our window. It was just too cool! I saw one of them the other day driving a few blocks away, but here they were at MY HOUSE!! We have the best location. Right near the woods. No parking lot or roadway views for us. Brian grabbed the zoom lens and I took some pictures. Then we watched. And watched. When we couldn't see them anymore, I quietly went outside to get a view again. They even went up on their hind legs and fought for a minute over who got to eat the leaves on a particular tree. They were gorgeous and so close to us! Finally, the left the grassy field and went back into the woods. The whole family walked out to try to find them in the woods, only to see our fox running out of his home. Ben and I found deer tracks and fox tracks in the dirt since we knew exactly where to look. Then we finished dinner, everyone got pajamas on, happily. Ben asked to see the fox tracks online, but couldn't mentally picture how they made that shape with their feet, so we walked over to Katie's house and borrowed her dogs and let the kids feel the soft pads on the bottom of their paws. I think it all made sense to him after the visual. Then, everyone climbed in bed, exhausted. As usual, Ben was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Maddie read books for 30 minutes and was out without a single complaint. Today was just a little piece of heaven. I'm glad it was neatly packaged and delivered to my doorstep today. I am a happy woman as I lay down tonight. What blessings I've been given. Three great kids, one amazing husband and father, a steady job to provide for our family, a home perfectly situated to allow such outdoor happiness and fun just steps out the front door. We love Virginia and all the happiness we've found in our lives here. Spring is wonderful and I'm enjoying the fresh air and the happy kids.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I figured I ought to offer an update on the blog, since I was threatened with an intervention this Sunday in the mother's nursing room at church. Cori and Heather had been reading my blog and they were planning one to make me let Jacob cry it out. He is five months after all. It is time. We've been doing some sleep training around here the last week and a half or so (pre-threat, mind you). Jacob has learned how to sleep without swaddling, put the binkie back into his own mouth (if he can find it), started "solid" foods like rice cereal and settles himself again after he wakes and cries a little bit. All big steps in growing up. We're getting a consistent 5 hours of sleep at a minimum, usually more. The bad news is that those 5 hours begin about 9 pm and I can't find the will power to make my 5 hours start then. Still, he eats quickly and goes right back to sleep until 5 or 6 am, eats again and sleeps another hour. Loads better than what we were doing just two weeks ago when I wasn't sleeping at all. So, ladies, no intervention needed. We're cool after our rough sleep training nights and naps. Of course, as I think about it, how the heck are you going to do an intervention? One of you has an eight week old and the other, what, a ten DAY old?!?! You ladies have your own problems. I'm getting LOADS more sleep than you will for a while. But then again, maybe that's how you can manage an intervention. Heck, you're up anyway, why not come over at 2 am? Love you guys! You make me smile. Here's hoping you read this post at 3 pm, not 3 am. :)
I don't know that I will ever understand why I cry. I cry at everything. Today I was teaching preschool and we were talking about what the kids should do if they ever get separated from their parents and are lost. I told them to look for a grown up to ask for help. Then we played the song from the Safety Kids Series that says, "Look for a grandma or mother with children." I was tearing up and had a huge lump in my throat. I hate being such a baby. I cry at everything. It's totally embarrassing. I avoid reading "The Friend" magazine because all the stories make me cry. They touch my heart because the kids in the stories ask for God's help or do a secret kind deed or whatever and I cry. My kids don't get it and honestly, neither do I. I have a hard time telling people I love them. It just hits too close to my heart and I can't take it. What good is a tender heart if it is that sensitive? Some days I just wish I was tough.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I'm reviewing Jason and Alex's wedding video again for final details of cropping, transitions, and the works. Maddie was watching and saw Aunt Alex. I asked if she knew who it was. She answered correctly. Then she pointed to Jason and said, "And that's Tio Jota." (our nickname for Jason). "His name is Jason." Then she asked, "Den wat is Aunt Kwistie's name?" I told her it was just Kristie. She is not to be convinced. Aunt Kristie must have another name. On a side note, apparently I have chosen Jacob's nickname. I have noticed myself calling him "Little Man" consistantly for weeks now.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Jacob has had a rough time sleeping for a bit now. I was getting really rundown and not sleeping much at all for days and days. Nap time wasn't going well. I would give explicit instructions that Ben was to watch his movie/build blocks/play computer and NOT wake me up because I hadn't slept at night. He couldn't seem to do that. Three days of trial and total failure. So, no naps for me and the sleep deprivation continued to build up. Thursday night Brian, a very bright and perceptive man, offered to take the night shift so I could finally sleep. Great plan! About midnight, Jacob was settled in for the night, in Brian's arms. They came in at 2am to eat and at 6am. Only getting up twice in a night? That was a fantastic night!! Even Brian didn't have to get up much, but he didn't know that going into the night. He gets full credit for being such a great guy. It could have be a rotten night and he was so willing to help me. Last night, Friday, Brian helped again. The night was so much better for me (and Brian). I think maybe, just maybe, Jacob is learning to sleep better. He is too big and too strong to stay in his swaddle anymore and gets so upset when he frees himself. Now he can get the binkie back into his mouth by himself and that is huge. He was only up once in the middle of the night and once really early. We no longer swaddle him and he's learning the ropes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Last night we had things to do and had to put Jacob down, despite strong objections that he loudly voiced. He flipped himself onto his stomach immediately and cried. After a few minutes, he had calmed himself by sucking on his arm. He totally went to town on it and when we picked him up ten minutes later, it was BRIGHT red. A half hour later, we saw the damage he had done. He had a huge hickey. His wrist was bruised so deeply that it was bright, bright redish purple in the chubby crack. The bruise goes half way up his arm and is still very visable this morning. It makes me smile everytime I see it.
Today I asked Ben if he had brushed his teeth yet. He said he wasn't sure, so I asked him to go ahead and brush, just to be safe. As he headed up the stairs, he said, "Yeah. I'm going to brush again just to be extra careful, 'cause I don't want to be strapped down in that chair again to fix my cavities." The other day I was in the nursery with Jacob and overheard Brian in the bathroom with Maddie attempting to brush her teeth. He commented that they needed to brush her teeth so that she wouldn't get cavities. Ben also overheard from his bedroom and yelled out to Brian, "I hope that Maddie gets cavities." Brian yelled out to ask if he heard what he thought he heard. Ben confirmed, yes he does want Maddie to get cavities. When we asked him why, he said that if Maddie got cavities, Brian would have to take her to the dentist and then he would get to stay home with mom and have alone time so he could play with his toys and she couldn't ruin things.
Friday, May 8, 2009
We have been working on putting together a wedding video for my brother and his wife for their upcoming reception at the end of the month. (By "We" I mean Brian is doing the hard work. I just make the phone calls and relay information.) I came across this picture and I love it everytime I see it. I think it's a fantastic shot of my brother Jason and sister Kristie at the beach in Galveston. I want to look like Kristie some day. Considering she's always looked that good and I've always been me, it isn't likely. But my sister-in-law Juli has done some amazing things too. I know I can. The question just remains, do I have the will?
Today we went to Pope's Head Park with all our friends for Playgroup. Everyone knows this is one of the best parks, but it doesn't have a bathroom, so I made sure Ben went before we left the house. About an hour later, he had to go again. No big thing. I sent him off in the woods a way to take care of his business. When I looked to check on him a minute later, he wasn't exactly doing what I expected. He had decided that since he had flip flops on, that he didn't want to walk out far amongst the pine needles and had come back to the very outer edge of the trees, right next to the picnic table. He was also facing us, I asked him to turn around and look the other way. Showing some general understanding of why I might make that request, he told me, "But Mom, it's going to come out the back this time, so I was looking this way at you so you don't see it come." Blushing, I handed Jacob to a friend and decided that Ben might need a little more help than I had originally thought. Baby wipes and empty white trash bag in hand, I headed with him to the woods. I was quickly reminded why I love that I don't have to be involved in the process with him anymore. He told me all about the progress he was making, blow by blow. How one particular poop "might actually be too big for the hole" and how he wasn't sure "it will fit out" and genuine pride when he had the situation worked out. Many other lovely things were shared that I will leave a mystery. I wonder when kids develop that social conscience that tells them, no, it isn't appropriate to discuss your bathroom situations with others. Potty training with Maddie starts in a few short weeks. I am not looking forward to the same upcoming discussions with her for the next 12 months. The life of a stay at home mom is surely one filled with glory and prestige.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Mostly I'm just tired. You know how you have the baby and run on adrenaline. Then about two months in exhausting hits because you haven't slept more than 90 minutes for weeks. Then one day about that time you start to get a three or four hour stretch and feel AMAZING! Then time goes on and you hit five months. You haven't slept more than 3 or 4 hours in five months. I just have hit the wall. I'm so incredibly tired. I look and feel it every second of the day. Last night I just gave up and slept in Jacob's room because I get less angry getting up to help him three feet away than all the way in my room. Maybe it's that agreeing to sleep on the couch in his room is admitting I won't get a good night sleep. If I go back to my room, it is under the false pretense that I will be getting quality sleep. In either case, he was up 7 times between 1 am and 8 am. That my friends, is one crappy night. The situation is compounded by the fact that he is generally up at least six times in the night every night. Time for some sleep training I think. It's happened with all our kids. When they get too big and too strong to be contained by the swaddling blankets, they break out and upset themselves. He just has to learn that he doesn't have to be swaddled to sleep. He also is gaining more control of his hands and reaching and grabbing for things now. This translates into pulling the binkie out of his mouth and not having quite the right coordination to get it back in successfully. Probably in a month he'll be a pro at it, but for now, he screams. Naps have gone by the wayside for me lately too. Ben has just looked so sad and neglected when I would nap with Jacob and Maddie in the afternoon. He never really let me sleep anyway, always had a question to ask in the middle of my twenty minute nap. So I gave them up to spend quality time with him. I have really enjoyed the special time we spent together. We read books, had piano lessons, played all sorts of games (fun games, math games and letter games), practiced spelling and did special big kid crafts. Of course, sometimes he just wanted me awake and around but not involved with him. He wouldn't play with me because Tom & Jerry on YouTube was more appealing. Sort of hurts a girls self-esteem when your kid would rather watch a silly old show instead of have special time, but some days it was a relief to be able to check my email. So my life has been a more difficult than usual juggling act lately. Just another phase in life. This too shall pass, and I will get to sleep someday soon. Just hoping and praying it is sooner than later.
I'm sure it is all just inferred knowledge, but I remember being SUPER cautious with matches growing up. When we would light candles on birthday cakes, we would have to place the burned match on the back of the sink and keep it there until it cooled off. Knowing how hot fire was, I had no desire to touch the match for fear of being burned. I somehow got it in my head, that it would be hot for a long, long time. Stands to reason, since the campfires in the mountains we made were still warmish the next morning. I remember the matches staying in their safe place on the sink back until the next morning and still being hesitant to pick them up and throw them away in case they were still too hot to throw in the trash. I was very scared that I would light the trash can on fire. I still think of that every time I light a match. I quench it in the sink and toss it out seconds later. I feel irresponsible, even though I feel the match ever time to make sure it is totally cool. It just makes me so nervous. Residual effects of my skewed childhood views. Makes me smile now.
Monday, May 4, 2009
We've had some amazing days lately. Today rained all day though. It was a cozy, cool kind of rain. I liked it. We also had NOTHING on the calendar today. We just finished going around to all the ward conferences, firesides are over for the year, auxillary training went well and I finished ALL my rotations for teaching preschool. I'm feeling free in so many ways and overwhelmed in others. Now all the "must dos" are taken care of, I must move on and get my home back in order again. The dining table is once again piled high with left over junk from various projects, the kids clothes need to be rotated into the summer selection before they roast and my bathroom floor is in bad need of a broom and so many other little things like that lurk in my mind. Back to real life. At least the garden is planted. That is a relief. Now it's almost on autopilot (sprinklers on the timer).
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I cooked a turkey and mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. It was yummy. Ben realized that it was a bird in the oven and asked for "the chicken's drumstick." I told him I'd give it it to him, but show him first because it would be so big. He decided he could definatly eat that much, so I cut it off and put the entire thing on his plate. Then he changed his mind. He had me clean it mostly off, then give it back to him. Then he said it was "too slippery to eat." Finally, I took it back, gave him two tiny bites worth and MADE him eat it because every step of the way I'd told he he didn't want it and I was too busy with my hands too full to help him. Jacob cried the whole way through dinner because I was too busy handeling the "drumstick" problem. Now, an hour later, he comes to me and says he has "a chicken ache." He informs me that it's because he ate chicken off the bone tonight. I have no idea what that means. I mentioned that we didn't even eat chicken tonight. He said it was "ham ache" then thought and corrected himself telling me it was "turkey ache." He pointed at his teeth. Maybe he needs to floss. We'll have to check it out when we get ready for bed tonight. Update: I had him make sure to floss extra well tonight and he came right back to report to me the hurt was all gone. He swallowed it. Huh? Oh well. At least he feels better now and the "turkey ache" is gone.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Tonight Ben and Brian have been playing a spelling game. Brian names a word and Ben spells it. They have really been enjoying it and have been playing for an hour. It's 9:30 and they just finished up with the last few words, Maddie and Angie. Brian had to help a lot with our names. When he finished my name, he said, "Someon should tell Mom she doesn't follow the spelling rules and she should. That's because then no one will know how to spell her name since she never follows the rules at all."
The picture is Ben's best attempt at spelling my name with the bathtub foam letters that stick to the wall. (ANJE with the J backwards)