Ben tried out for the Cinderella ballet and got a part! He was the Prince’s Page…which means he carries the shoe on the pillow in about 6 scenes and dances in between running from here to there.
He had a blast! The bottom left picture is Ben watching rehearsal after his scene. The bottom right picture is Ben almost 5 years ago at his first ballet, Snow White.
We are so lucky to have so many friends and family attend his Civic Center Stage debut!
Over the past month, each kid has had a friend spend the night. I have to admit, Billy nudged me to make these sleepovers happen. I think he was big on making it happen because his 2017 New Year’s prediction was that we would have more sleepovers…and we didn’t. We had some, but mostly if parents were out of town and we were helping out. OR we all rent a house in MN for NYE. OR we stay at a friend’s cabin. BUT these three were firsts for all different reasons:
-Josie’s friend attended her hockey game first, then came over for the sleepover.
-Will’s friend was the first time we managed type one diabetes through the night (well sort of, thanks to technology his parents were really keeping track of everything)
-Ben’s friend was the first time he had a sleepover and the first time Ben had a sleepover!
One night after having a few friends over, Ben’s belly broke out in hives. The only time he’s done this before, is when he’s had peanuts accidentally. I wracked my brain to figure out what on earth he ate. Did someone eat something before coming over and touch him?
I gave him a dose of benedryl and a shower as I tried to determine next steps. I assumed we would be heading to the ER after a quick dose of Epi-Pen. Thankfully, the hives disappeared! I was still nervous, so he slept with me that night and I checked on him every few hours, praying nothing bad would happen.
Over the next few days, the hives would come back, mostly on his belly. We’d give benedryl and he would be fine. He’d get them at school too. I thought maybe it was the fabric softener a friend made for us, but it was all natural. After changing that, no help. I reviewed our food. I did a deep cleaning. AND then all of a sudden a friend said, did you wash the boys new weighted blankets? I had not washed them because they have these metal beads. While they can be washed, I figured I’d wait till they “needed” it. The person that made the weighted blankets has large dogs. Ben is allergic to dogs! The light bulb went off. I washed them immediately and guess what?! NO more hives since. Poor buddy was literally sleeping with the enemy (the pet dander on the blankets!)
Also… the weighted blankets have helped the boys. The last thunder storm, only Will came into our room. From October to January, we had one boy in our room a few times a week! It was so frustrating. Since getting the blankets, they’ve slept much better.
There’s no snow on the ground, there hasn’t been any at all yet this winter! It feels so strange to be a week away from Christmas and no snow!
We’ve had a busy December and it’s been a lot of fun too. I feel like every age we say this is the best year yet, and as this year comes to a close…I’m feeling like our kids are at the best age and this is the best year yet! Here’s some of the fun we’ve done this month so far:
- I took Josie and Ben to Katy Perry with some friends. It was Ben’s first big concert. He was nervous for the loud noises. Especially since Josie told him that at Paul McCartney, there were fireworks. The usher saw he had his ears plugged on the way to the bathroom, so she gave us earplugs. By the end of the show, he didn’t need them in. We danced, sang, and rocked out. It was great. (Billy and Will did an indoor golf simulator with friends. Livi was on a date with her boyfriend).
- Ben was in his first performance of The Nutcracker. I say first, because it won’t be his last. The kid was beaming. He’s feet never touched the ground, Ben was on cloud 9. He was in the Infantry. His part was very small, but he has a ball. We had two full rows of friends and family that came to support him. My heart felt full the whole day, we are lucky to have so many special people in our lives.
- The kids had their piano recital at school last week. They did fantastic.
- I had a birthday!
- Livi turned 16 two days ago. We currently have a house full of teenagers. It’s our first time with a teen birthday party. I think we pulled it off pretty good. They are all nice kids, but we hid the alcohol just to be safe. 🙂
We have one week left of school then holiday break begins. Ready or not, here we come!
Will, Ben, and Josie.
This year marks 6 years of doing our month of give thanks. Here are some of the highlights:
- We donated to the school library for the first time. We gave over 100 books so students could enjoy them.
- Josie and I wrapped presents for Amanda the Panda (They support families that are grieving the loss of a loved one)
- We wrote thank you cards to farmers to show them a little love.
- We donated a buddy bench to the school in memory of our neighbor and buddy we lost earlier this year.
This year was also the first year we let the kids select a charity to donate to. They researched and we made the donation. Josie selected Children’s Cancer Connection in memory of Aunt Meredith’s mom, Lynn. Will selected JDRF for his buddy Luke. Ben wanted to donated to research, originally he said wikipedia. But thanks to a good friend we were connected with the Drake Library and got a behind the scenes tour of the archives. It was really cool!
The boys turned 8 in Orlando at Universal Studios….It was so fun! We tackled the Harry Potter stuff and they were on cloud 9 (or platform 9 3/4). The boys got to go to the wand store and because it was their birthday, they had a private ceremony of the wand picking them. I think that was their BEST memory. They loved the train ride between the parks. It felt like you were a part of the movie. They were a little nervous about the simulator rides…well to be honest more like a LOT nervous. Ben also didn’t care for the fire breathing dragon. It may have been a little too real for him.
We didn’t tell the kids we were going till the night before we left. It was such a fun surprise.