Friday, December 21, 2012

Big muscles

Here he is showing off his big muscles.

This guy is so funny! Grandma Cox has a Mexican man named Chumel that helps her with the yard work. He is often outside when I am loading and unloading the kids from the car. Since he only speaks Spanish, whenever we see him we say to the kids, "Say 'hola' Chumel".

A few days ago when I was loading the kids into the car, Chumel was not around. Benson looked at me and said, "Where Hola"?

Apparently Benson thinks Chumel's name is Hola. Haha! Love this little guy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rice Crispy Houses

Do you see this look of pure delight? That's the result of the annual Cox Family Rice Crispy Treat House Extravaganza. You've never seen so much candy, frosting, and hyper children... guaranteed. Well, except for the annual Cox New Years Eve Auction...but that's another story.

Last night all the Cox cousins got together in Grandma's basement and decorated their own crispy house. The tradition started with Gingerbread Houses but they were such a nightmare to keep together that we eventually moved to Rice Crispy Houses and everyone seemed perfectly content with that.

Benson and McKay decorated their own houses with no help at all. Benson's featured a Candy Cane sticking out of the roof and McKay's an M&M garden. They did a great job and had lots of fun. I think we even managed to keep the sugar intake to a minimum and a good time was had by all.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Little Girl

I love, love, love this baby girl. Yet, I haven't said too much about my darling Lily thus far. It's not because I haven't been enjoying her. In fact, it is just the opposite. Mothering Lily has been perhaps the most blessed experience of my life. 

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my boys. With each of their births I knew why I existed--to be their mother. With their births I knew what love was. However, both of their births were surrounded with complications that made it difficult for me to really enjoy the moments. 

With McKay, I was just plain scared to death to be a mother. I didn't know what on EARTH I was doing and I was painfully aware of my ignorance. I didn't know how to breast-feed, how to bath a baby, what to do if he cried or how to manage a house and a newborn. I just really had no idea and it terrified me. Plus, McKay was born with some health problems that required him to stay in the NICU for several days. And he was born with a clubbed foot. So, after a week of life he began to have to wear a giant plaster cast on his leg and foot. At a month old he had surgery, then wore more casts and then metal braces on his legs. He cried a lot, mainly from discomfort, and it broke my heart every day.

Benson's birth was joyful and much less frightening but during the epidural the doctor punctured my spinal column (a wet-tap it's called) and I fell into that lucky 1% of people who get a month-long migraine as a result. It was the most horrible pain I have ever experienced...for a month. So, I don't really remember much of Benson's early life. On top of the spinal headache, Benson and I got thrush and battled it for 3 months They were excruciating, bloody months until we reached the breaking point. I was bleeding and crying at every feeding. It was awful. My toes still curl when I think about it.

So, with both McKay and Benson those early months, while sweet, were very difficult.

Lily's first three months have been magic. I never knew a newborn could be like this. She took to nursing easily and though there was pain in the beginning, we managed well. Lily began sleeping through the night at 2 months and rarely ever cries. She fell naturally into a napping/sleeping schedule and is so cheerful and sweet.

Lily is also a mamma's girl. I didn't know that infants could have such strong preferences but Lily has. It's pretty funny, actually. In our house BJ has always been the "Baby Whisperer". Kids really like him and gravitate to him. Both of our boys definitely preferred him and would calm down for him and fuss for me. Lily, on the other hand, loves her Mamma best. In the beginning she would actually cry whenever BJ would pick her up. It got to be so apparent that it really gave BJ a complex for a while. I just had to laugh to myself. 

Now she loves her daddy and they have a very sweet relationship. She laughs at him a lot which he loves and only he can sing her to sleep. However, when I hold her in my arms, I feel her relax and I know she finds peace in my presence. It is a sweet and sacred trust. 

I don't know how to describe it but there is a depth and a strength to our relationship --as if I've known Lily my entire life. In her presence I feel stronger, happier, and more at peace. I love her so deeply and feel so grateful for her pleasant persona that it makes every day with her a delight. 

Lily put down her harp, hung up her wings, and gently, sweetly entered our family. I know I don't deserve her but I am so grateful for her. She is a balm to me and an angel to us all. I couldn't love anything more.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Benson at church

This little Benson is such a funny character. He is just sweet, even as a two-year-old. In fact, I often forget he's a two-year-old at all, except that he does try and test his boundaries. The thing is, his "fits" are all just an act. It's a bit like watching a play with bad actors, actors so bad that you feel they're reading you the script verbatim  That's Benson. He tries to get angry when he doesn't get his way. He stomps his foot and puts his hands on his hips. He will even shout, "No", "Can't do it", or "Nevo, evo, evo" (Never ever ever)--all statements that speak defiance. Recently he actually shouted, "I ate yo" (which we think was "I hate you" and don't worry, he got in big trouble for saying that) but underneath his frown is always a smile.

Last Sunday our family was visiting my parents church where BJ and I were singing a musical number. My parents congregation consists entirely of older families and empty-nesters, so when our family visits we are SO disruptive. Benson does not understand the concept of whispering at all, so every statement of his is at full volume. That, combined with the clamor of toys and snacks makes for, I'm afraid, a rather disturbing din.

So, there we were, making our usual clamor amid an otherwise silent sacrament service. At the appointed time BJ and I performed our number and then headed back to sit with the boys and my parents. As we sat back down next to Benson, he looked up at us and shouted in the silent meeting, "Oh no, not YOU gain!" Guess he was relieved to finally be rid of us and was quite disappointed when we returned.

On that note, McKay had a similar incident the other day. We were visiting my parents and McKay and Papa were deep in a game of Legos when BJ walked over to see what they were playing. When McKay saw BJ approach he said, "Go away, Dad!"
BJ replied: "It hurts my feelings when you say that to me, McKay."
McKay reflected momentarily then said, "Please go away Dad".

Problem solved.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blitzen Boogie

Every year, BJ's mom tries to get the whole family to do a singing and dancing program. Rarely does it come to fruition. So, for this year, we decided to put it together for her and surprise her. This is the number with all the grandkids. Our kids are the ones dancing to their own beat. McKay is on the far left in green, and Benson is on the far right in red. Enjoy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful Family Home Evening

Tonight for Family Home Evening, we had a little lesson about being thankful. McKay remembered that being thankful means, "something that you love" or something you love that Heavenly Father has given you. So, tonight for FHE we traced our hands and made the pictures into turkeys. Then, on each feather we wrote things that we were thankful for.

Mckay's list included the following:
Halloween Decorations

Benson's list was a little more concise:

Papa was also here for dinner and FHE. His list was nice. It was:
Zuppa Toscana (the dinner I made tonight)
Our roses

After we made the turkeys the boys colored them with markers (a big thrill around here) and then we played Charades. Both the boys LOVE to play and are getting pretty good at it. Benson was so funny though. I would give him a word, for example, "turtle" and as he's bending over to make a turtle he would say, "turtle, turtle, turtle" until we'd guess "turtle"? Then he'd do a victory lap around the family room, laughing we glee that we managed to guess.

Sure love these boys.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween! I don't know if it was all the treats I may or may not have had today (you know you borrow a few of your kids candies on Halloween, so don't deny it) but I have been on a Halloween High all evening. Halloween is such a fun holiday with little kiddos! McKay the Ninja, Benson the dinosaur, and Lily the pink elephant had pizza with the Cox cousins then went Trick-or-Treating in Nana and Papa's neighborhood. Their neighborhood goes all out! Many people handing out candy had dressed up, several gave out full-sized candy bars, and one house decorated for Christmas and had Santa and Misses Claus handing out ice cream cones. It was great! Also, it was an unseasonably warm night so we weren't even cold! No frozen toes or runny noses. It was a really fun evening. 

  Though he looks like a Ninja Turtle, he's actually a dinosaur. He was trying to tear off his costume until I told him that he wouldn't get any candy unless he wore it. After he realized he'd be getting treats, he was all smiles.

 Though he looks like a Ninja Turtle, he's actually a dinosaur. Benson loved the Halloween decorations this year. At each house we visited he would get some candy and then go from decoration to decoration looking at each He was really fascinated. One house had a skeleton that moved and sang when you pushed a button. He LOVED that house. In fact, he took a seat next to the owners (whom he'd never met) and would have been content to say there pushing the button all night if we hadn't dragged him away.
 If you look closely you can see the awesome fangs BJ carved. Once he put them on the boys wouldn't go near him...that's why he's the only one in the picture. The boys are standing just outside the frame...crying.

  Benson was particularly entertaining during Trick or Treating. He would sit in the wagon with his treat bucket as we went from one house to the next. At each house he would climb out of the wagon by himself and walk up to the door. If there were other kids in front of him, he would try to push them aside saying, "Excuse me guys. Excuse me. Benson turn." Sometimes he would grab McKay's arm and start pulling him along saying, "Come on, 'Kay!" Benson walked much more than McKay and when McKay was crashed in the wagon begging to go home, Benson was still heading up the pack, dragging his heavy candy bucket along saying, "Come on, guys"!
Once during the night a group of teenage boys walked past Benson, talking loudly. Benson stopped in his tracks and started shouting and pointing at himself saying, "Me! No shout at me, Boys! For a little guy he sure isn't afraid to speak up.
 With Nana on the Trick-or-Treat trail.
 It's a lot to take in for a tiny pink elephant! Lily spent a good deal of the night snoozing.
 But here she is awake. She looks so cute!

Nana made chocolate covered Halloween pretzels. Benson's was a mummy and McKay chose a vampire. (He's a little obsessed with vampires lately.) It was so great to be able to celebrate this holiday with our family. I'm so glad both of our families are close by to share these special times with us.

It was a wonderful evening. I walked back in the house feeling so grateful to be a mother of such darling little ones. As I rocked Lily to sleep tonight I couldn't help but thank Heavenly Father for sending such precious, sweet, fun, and delightful little ones into our lives. They make holidays meaningful and every day a joy. It was a Happy Halloween indeed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Funny Benson

My mom called last night to relate the following incident from earlier in the day.

Benson likes to play on Nana's coffee table which holds decorative books and a porcelain figure of Christ. He was beginning to play on the table so Nana said, "I'd better move Jesus for you".
Benson said, "No Nana, I move Jesus Christ, Amen".

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

This year on my mother's birthday, I'm feeling a little tongue-tied.

We moved back home this summer, literally back into my parents home, and we've spent our lives here for the last 6 months. During the end of my pregnancy when I was so sick, she was here with me, caring for my boys and me too. We had a baby and there she was, at my side, cheering me on. All during this haze that is having a newborn, she has been here making meals, staying up with the baby when BJ and I were exhausted, shopping, doing laundry, and playing with McKay and Benson, helping them adjust to a new sister.

Before we lived here she would travel to visit us. At great personal expense she would come to Kentucky to spend time with us. I'm pretty sure that most of her work money went toward those trips. She knows that children's memories are short and she wanted a relationship with her grandchildren...and to help her daughter who was struggling to raise two boys far away from home.

In all the years before, she spent minutes, hours, days, and years of her life on me and my siblings. Becoming a mother has given me a deep, abiding and sacred respect for this woman who bore me. I know now that being a mother means giving your life for someone else. Mothering takes everything you have: your physical body, your energy, you plans, your time, your tears, and your heart--every bit of it.

So, saying "happy birthday" seems too trite. But I mean it. And, thank you for making happy birthdays and happy days for me and my siblings for 30 years.

Heavenly Father has taught me about love by giving me you, Mom.

I love you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Prayer time

At the dinner table tonight, Benson was doing so good when we were preparing to pray. He had his arms folded and his eyes closed. However, when the prayer began to wax a little lengthy, he piped up, "Guys? Wake up! " Try keeping a straight face after that one!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lily's Baby Shower

This is a little late in coming, seeing as how we had the shower before Lily was born's the documentation anyway. It was too cute to miss.
My sisters-in-law threw a baby shower for me since this was my first girl. It was so much fun!Thanks to everyone, friends and family, who attended or who graciously dropped off or even mailed gifts. Everyone was so kind!

Shower "She" favors made with Hersey's Candy.

A darling diaper cake made by my sister-in-law Katasha.

The Food. Mmmm

Gayle "Mama" Workman and Carol Terry. Two of my favorite ladies.

Madelynn and Caroline

Trina, Sammi, and Me (mid-sentence)

Kyla and Mom Cox

Kim and Addy, acting as scribe for the gifts.

Jan and Amelia

One of my favorite things about this shower was the activity. During the shower my sisters-in-law handed out  little cards with fill-in-the-blank sections. I loved the responses people gave and want to document them here so that years from now, Lily will know how much she is loved.
The initial card said:
Dear Baby Girl,
I hope you learn to ______. I hope you aren't afraid of _______. I hope you love _____. I hope you get _____. I hope you laugh ______. I hope you never forget ______. I hope you ignore _____. I hope you grow _____. I hope you respect ______. I hope you become _______.

Here are some of the responses:

Dear Lily,
I hope you learn about many different people and places. I hope you aren't afraid of doing hard things. I hope you love everyone. I hope you get caught doing kind acts. I hope you laugh when things don't go as planned. I hope you never forget who you are. I hope you ignore when you could take offense. I hope you grow to love the scriptures. I hope you respect others. I hope you become all you want to be.
Aunt Trina

Dear Lily,
I hope you learn to dance and sing. I hope you aren't afraid of trying new things. I hope you love everyone for their differences. I hope you get to be best friends with your family. I hope you laugh at yourself sometimes. I hope you never forget that Heavenly Father loves you. I hope you ignore the negative and embrace the positive. I hope you grow to love learning. I hope you respect your parents and adults in general. I hope you become a wife and mother.

Dear Baby Sister,
I hope you learn to catch a fish. I hope you aren't afraid of fishing rods. I hope you love me. I hope you get a doll for your birthday. I hope you laugh at funny things. I hope you never forget your toys. I hope you ignore your mom and dad sometimes. I hope you grow good. I hope you respect the truth. I hope you become Batgirl.
McKay A.K.A Batman

Dear Lily,
I hope you learn Spanish. I hope you aren't afraid of boys. I hope you love chocolate. I hope you get your parents musical talent. I hope you laugh often. I hope you never forget to pray. I hope you ignore 7th grade boys. I hope you grow in wisdom. I hope you respect the value of education. I hope you become like your mom and grandma.
Grandma Gayle Workman

Dear Lily,
I hope you learn the gospel. I hope you  aren't afraid of standing up for the truth. I hope you love your mother. I hope you get a sister. I hope you laugh a lot. I hope you never forget you are loved. I hope you ignore negative comments. I hope you grow to be like your mother. I hope you respect your parents. I hope you become an angel.
Amelia Brailsford

Dear Lily,
I hope you learn to sing. I hope you aren't afraid of challenges. I hope you love life. I hope you have a lifetime of joy. I hope you laugh all the time. I hope you never forget that I love you. I hope you ignore disappointments. I hope you grow in wisdom, knowledge, and joy. I hope you respect yourself and others. I hope you become the Queen you are destined to be. 
Love Always,


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy birthday, David!

Happy Birthday Uncle Dave! The boys made this poster for Uncle Dave. It reads:

Dear Uncle Dave,
We JUNIOR MINTS would like to say that of all the uncles in the PATCH we would CHEWS you every time. Be-TWIX you and us, we love you to PIECES. Love, Benson and McKay
P.S. We hope you don't SNICKER at our beautiful poster

These boys love you a lot, Dave. Thanks for all the hours you've devoted to helping and playing with them. They love to play legos and chase with you. They look up to you and I'm so grateful we live close enough for them to know you and enjoy your company every day.

You are an awesome uncle, brother and friend!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Becky and Todd's Wedding

On the evening of September 2nd we had a family dinner and reception to celebrate the marriage of my sister Becky Robertson to Todd Wiese. They were married in Washington DC on August 9th, so they now share an anniversary with BJ and me!
It was a beautiful evening and everything went so well. The dinner was held in the front yard of BJ's mom's house at dusk. The food was delicious and during the meal the immediate family members shared memories and about Becky and Todd. After dinner we went into the backyard, with views overlooking the pond and gazebo, to have dancing and dessert. It was a wonderful night and we are so happy for Becky and Todd!

Benson, all dressed up for the wedding.

McKay at the dinner, sporting his new tie, made by Nana.

Becky and Todd, the happy couple, with McKay.

BJ and I with Lily.

Becky and Mom at the head table.

Chuck, Angie, Dan, Dave, and Trisha all enjoying dinner

The handsome Father of the Bride.

Todd, Becky, and McKay enjoying dinner.

Benson and Uncle Dave or, "Uncle Goggee", as Benson loving calls him.

Father-Daughter Dance under the twinkling lights.

Dave and Trisha

Wahoo! Caught ya!

Dad and Becky, cutting a rug.

Mom and Daniel doing the swing
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Becky's Bridal Shower

On Friday morning we celebrated Becky's wedding with a little Breakfast Bridal Shower. We went to The Egg and I and celebrated with Becky over delicious breakfast. Here are Becky and her new sister-in-law, Katie.

Aunt Vickie and Cousin Mary came all the way from Vermont and Maine! They visited for a week, along with Benjamin, Mary's handsome little boy.

Mom and Grammy Baird

Becky opening presents!

Benjamin LOVES balloons. Here he is playing with his red balloon.

Angie and I, Becky's sisters. 

Grammy holding little Lily. We had four generations at the shower. Grammy Baird, my mom- Theresa Roberson, me, and Lily Elizabeth.

Grammy, Mom, and Lily

Four Generations: Lily, Sylvia Baird, Rachel Cox, and Theresa Robertson
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