Monday, June 29, 2009

Third Time's a Charm!

This weekend was our second June wedding...and Brock's THIRD time to be a ring bearer! I guess that's what I get for having such a CUTE kid! I have to report he did fantastic! We got off to a slightly rocky start at the rehearsal, but after practicing four times, he was ready...and although I was still skeptical, he TOTALLY ROCKED at the wedding!! I think I can give all the credit to me not using my big camera because I didn't get a decent picture of him with my small one! Tom was sitting in the front to be next to Brock when they sat in the pew (it was another long, Catholic wedding ceremony). I wanted him to have the camera to get close up shots, so I was left with the smaller one...and Aubree! Not a great combination for award winning photos! ;) hehe!

But apparently third time is a charm! These are not great photos, but here is Brock's ring bearer progression:

Hiding behind Mommy; Hiding behind Daddy; ALL BY HIMSELF!

Kristen Jane...if you're reading this...there IS HOPE!!

The wedding was beautiful, Brock was magnificent, Aubree was a handfull, and the reception was lots of fun. All in all, we had a great time.

Probably the best part of the weekend was spending time with Craig, Cathy & Avery. We don't see them nearly enough and I thoroughly enjoyed the company, but especially getting to love on my adorable little neice.

Other pictures from the weekend:

Girls gone wild! (Aubree has a SERIOUS thing for bottles of beer. SERIOUS. She'll scream if you take it out of her sight.)

Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Bubela
A slightly better picture of Brock coming back down the aisle.
The Bride & Groom rode off in the fire truck. Brock was in heaven!
Cutie Pie Cousins

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Single Working Mom - Day 2

Boy did we start today off great! I had both kids up, dressed, and all morning "stuff" done and out the door by 6:33am! Loading Brock into the car, I managed to find the lost white transformer and it was amazing how I instantly became Brock's hero! I love moments like that!
(I know the picture is pretty random, but Brock took this picture of me. He's getting pretty good!)

Kids dropped to work...and lots of work...and then something big happened. For lunch, I decided to go to the Apple store. Do we even need to proceed and let you know how this turned out? I've been saving gift cards, reward points, and more. With the impromptu bonus I got yesterday at work, it was just enough to nudge me into our iPhones! I hadn't talked to Tom yet this morning, but managed to text him to say: "Your phone will probably lose service today." And it did! So, poor Tom is phone-less until I see him tomorrow, but I'm betting this shiny new iPhone will make up for any inconvenience it may have caused.

After work we had a little adventure. I took the kids to pick up Brock's tux at Al's. Aubree decided to start us off with a REALLY MESSY diaper! Using the non-public restroom, I conquered and went onto my next mission. Getting Brock to try on his tux while trying to maneuver in a smaller than small dressing room and all while Aubree is crawling out under the door and into other stalls...WHILE THERE ARE GUYS IN THERE!! Ok, so it was quite funny! This guy comes out with her and says (to Aubree): "Does she look familiar?" They were all really nice and easy going, but if I ever wished I had 4 arms, it was today! Hey...maybe there's an app for that?? ;)

We made it through and headed home. I was stunned to witness RAIN for about 5 minutes. I haven't seen that in quite a while!

Second verse...same as the first...dinner, playtime, baths, bottles, bed. Now, mommy is playing on her iPhone, blogging, and preparing to go wash some dishes. All the while, trying to keep the house cleaner than clean for any prospective house buyers...and packing to leave by 8am tomorrow! Phew!

I joke a lot about my single mom adventures, but my heart truly goes out to those who face these challenges every day! One kid is tough. Two is quite a challenge. And I have no clue how people do this with more than 2! I especially think about all of the soldier's wives who bear all these responsibilities while also dealing with the uncertainty of their spouse's safety. May God bless them all!

Not sure I'll get a blog in here's the run-down for day 3:

8 - leave the house; get Sarge to the vet

9 - swim lessons for Brock

11 - meet Cathy, Avery & Jane in San Marcos at the outlet mall

To The Spillmann's for lunch, and playtime/swimming/wear the kids out!

3ish - Head out to El Campo. Cathy and I will brave the 2 1/2 hour drive with THREE kids! Unfortunately, Aubree is not an easy car-rider, so it could be pretty interesting!

7 - wedding rehearsal

8 - rehearsal dinner

Check back after the weekend for the next wedding update!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Single Working Mom - Day 1

Tom left for Houston today. He's meeting his brother and thier long-time friend at the coast for some fishing. I'm single-working-mom-ing it for the remainder of the week, and here is my story! (And for full disclosure, I must confess Tom set me up pretty good! He completely cleaned the house, did the laundry and helped make this week as easy on me as possible!)

Woke Up.
Get Ready: Tom, Lori, Brock, Aubree
Get "Stuff" ready: Wednesday Lunch for Brock (which le LOVES!); swim lesson stuff; bottles; Tom's luggage; dog let out.
Dropped off: kids at school; Tom at airport; me at work
Work, work, work, spot bonus (YAY!), work, work, Phone Call from DAYCARE! Of course! Murphy's Law, right? Husband leaves town; kids get sick.
Aubree is extremely fussy & tugging on her ears so we go to the Doctor at 3. Diagnosis: Healthy Baby! Great news for Aubree. Not so great news for Mommy! I don't get any miracle drugs to cure fussiness!

We pick up Brock and head home in the 105 degree heat! Good grief! It may not have been that hot, but that's what my car said...and that's what it felt like!

Get Home, feed the kids, feed me, start a small load of laundry needed for packing.
Bath time; Bottle time; Book time; Bed time!
Now, it's time for a blog, dishes, shower and bed for this momma! Wish me luck on day 2!

As a sidenote: besides being fussy, Miss Aubree has a new talent! She has learned how to clap! I don't have a great video just yet, but this one gets the point across! She thinks she's pretty hot stuff when she does clap! It's pretty funny. She was hamming it up for the Doctor today. I'm sure he really believed me that she had been acting "sick". I'm proud of her...but I REALLY don't want her to grow up any more!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Husband, Father, and So Much More

I dedicate today's post to Tom. He is an amazing father. I dare to say he's one of the very best dad's I've ever known. Before our kids even came into the world, I knew he would be a great dad. I remember going to HEB once and a small child was in line ahead of us. For whatever reason, Tom started singing the Blues Clues song to him. At the time, I hardly knew who "Blue" was! When our children came into the world, he was a natural. He knows how to work with children of all ages. Not just the age where they get fun and start to play with dad, but from day one Tom knew exactly how to hold them to calm thier cries. He knew exactly how to make them smile. He willingly took any night shift, diaper duty, bath time or play time. He can decipher most baby babble and generally always knows what it is they need or want. Granted, Miss Aubree is giving Tom (and me) a challenge, but it's a challenge he will rise above!

The kids love Tom so much. They love him for being here. They love him for comforting them. They love him for everything he is. And I love him for all the same reasons and more.

Tom, I appreciate the wonderful dad you are today and every day. The kids are genuinely lucky to have a father like you. I'm genuinely lucky to have a husband like you! I can hardly remember the last time I went grocery shopping. I am not sure I can recall the last time I washed bottles (and that happens EVERY night!). I am blessed to parent these children along side with you and hope that we can shape them into the people who will make their spouse just as lucky one day.

I found this and thought it couldn't be more accurate! I think about my dad today and how many times, even in the past year, he has been right there for me. Holding my hand when it needed to be held. Listening when I needed to talk. And always answering the phone for an out-of-the-blue..."What would daddy do?" request!

4 years: My Daddy can do anything!
7 years: My Dad knows a lot…a whole lot.
8 years: My father does not know quite everything.
12 years: Oh well, naturally Father does not know that either.
14 years: Oh, Father? He is hopelessly old-fashioned.
21 years: Oh, that man-he is out of date!
25 years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
30 years: I must find out what Dad thinks about it.
35 years: Before we decide, we will get Dad's idea first.
50 years: What would Dad have thought about that?
60 years: My Dad knew literally everything!
65 years: I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.

I Love you Tom! And, I Love you Dad! Wishing you both a very happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The First June Wedding

We made it through the first June wedding! It was definitely a full weekend of family, fun, and of course, craziness, but let’s see if I can condense it enough so you don’t fall asleep reading! Friday afternoon we arrived in Taiton 5 minutes before the rehearsal began. Due to many reasons, I’m not going to disclose ALL the events of the car trip as I probably would NOT have won the mother-of-the-year award!!!!! All I can say is it was TOTAL CHAOS! I think Aubree in particular was saying: "Mom and Dad…I absolutely refuse to take ANOTHER trip. This is getting ridiculous!" Well, since we know that at age 10 months (wow!!! 10 months!!!!), she can only actually say "dada, mama, babababa", and screetch/scream/cry loudly…I’ll let you decide which she chose to serenade us with for 2 ½ hours! The rehearsal went well. Brock did GREAT! He went up and down the aisle like a pro and even held the cute little flower girl’s hand! It was precious! The rehearsal dinner was great! Brock was thrilled to get a box of transformers as a gift for being such a great ring bearer. The day leading up to the wedding flew by quickly. We were there for pictures by 12:15. Brock was as photogenic as always and I was really lucky to get some great shots right along side the photographer. The bride was beautiful…just beautiful! The groom couldn’t have looked happier! I’m so happy for Scott & Susan and I’m so happy to have Susan as an official member of the extended Dornak family! The wedding begins and guess who freaks out in front of the crowd? You guessed it! The ring bearer!! The flower girl left him behind and Tom had to eventually walk him down the aisle. He hung in with the groomsmen for a while, but eventually made his way back to mommy and our precious little boy even got escorted out of church twice for his behavior! It was one of those moments as a parent you just want to crawl away and hide! And to think...we get to do this again in TWO WEEKS...with $140 tux!! I'm still in sticker shock over that one! He's FOUR!

The Dornak Cousins: Allison, Meredith, Lisa, Lori, Tom, Susan, Scott, Jeffrey, Rebecca, Estella, Bret (Missing: Dede, Kristen, Casey, Megan, Christopher & Ashley)

Anyhoo, the reception was wonderful! We all had a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with my cousins, aunts and uncles!
For anyone who wants to see the "Lori's gone crazy with her new camera" can get to them through this link:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ten Months!

Little Aubree Paige turned 10 months old on Friday! We can't believe how big she is getting!

Some exciting things this month:

* She's just now cutting two teeth on top!
* She crawls like a PRO!

* She pulls up on everything!

* She can't get enough FRUIT PUFFS! They're the best!!

* She stood all by herself for about a second and a half (until she realized what she was doing)

* She started saying "mamama" (Something her brother didn't do until he was nearly 13 months old!)

* She LOVES her big brother! He is not nearly as fascinated by her, but she just gets so excited when he runs up and down the house. She tries to follow as fast as she can.

* She has enough hair now for me to put a very small alligator clip in! That's a big step for my bald baby!

* And she EATS EVERYTHING!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Date

We've been having a rather hard time with Brock accepting swimming lessons. He loves the water, but hates getting his head/eyes wet. We bought him goggles hoping they would do the trick. They help, but we're still a long way from classifying ourselves in the fish category. Tom and I decided we are not above bribery. Each swim session is two weeks long. Since the debates/frustrations/tears have been quite excessive this week, we figured after each 5-day stretch, we'd give a REALLY BIG SURPRISE! Ok, so big to a 4-year old!
Brock has asked me to come watch him several times this week. Parents aren't encouraged to attend lessons except for Fridays to keep the distractions to a minimum. Since I was taking Friday off in preparations of the wedding weekend, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to go watch. With this opportunity, there was an even larger opportunity to have a few hours of just Mommy and Brock! Something that is pretty rare these days!
Here are the details of our day, or should I :)

First Stop: Swim Lessons at school. (Very convenient to drop Aubree off while I watch Brock, then we get to head out for more fun!)
Brock did ok. I was just very proud of him for trying each activity. If you notice in the picture below, Brock has a death grip on Ms. Molly during the back float!

Next Stop: Target! I bought this big boy a new swimsuit...which HE picked out. Another attempt at making the mornings go just a little more smoothly! By the way, have I mentioned before how GOOFY he is???
Last Stop: Movie theater to see the movie, "UP"! Brock was absolutely THRILLED to see the cardboard set up for the new Transformers movie! I think he would have been happy if we had stopped our day right there! Perhaps a trip to the new movie is in his future if swim lessons continue to progress. (And if we deem the movie suitable for his young eyes!)Brock and I split a bag of popcorn, cuddled up together and enjoyed the movie. It was good. It was a little sad. It was funny. It wasn't my favorite Pixar movie, but I'm still very happy for the quality time I was able to spend with Brock! Thank goodness for days off!

AND, in the midst of all this fun, Daddy was interviewing for an Assistant Principal position. We wish him luck and pray that God leads him where he needs to go!

The rest of the day was spent packing, driving and rehearsing! However, I'm just pooped! Off to bed for me and I'll try to put the wedding recap out here sometime this week.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Living out of a Suitcase

Most people delight over an upcoming weekend! I'm TRYING to delight! It's Thursday night and I already have the kids' clothes, accessories and necessities laid out and ready to PACK AGAIN! It's been a streak of out-of-town traveling for the Benich family lately. Two weeks ago it was Spring Show/Grad mass/Confirmation, last weekend it was Cuero Graduation, this weekend my cousin Scott is GETTING MARRIED! I'm so excited for him and we're going to have TONS of fun, but I really wish I could just beam us there and back! Since my beaming skills haven't become a reality, we're heading off to Taiton tomorrow around 3 to get to the rehearsal. Brock is on his second stint of handsome ring bearer, with a third coming up in two more weeks! Not to mention, his royal cuteness will be exhibited once more in January. I should start renting him out!! :)

We have big day tomorrow as I have a very special mid-day date planned that you will have to check back later to find out all the juicy details!

As for now, it's off to bed. Lots of out of town weekends, plus lots of working 40+ hour weeks, plus all the other little "mommy-to-do's" leaves this mommy of two very, very, very tired! Thank GOODNESS I have a husband who is such a big help!!

Wish the Benich family luck on this weekend's adventure. I'll be posting pics just as soon as I can get back to a computer! (Maybe sneak one in before we leave tomorrow.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Too Fast

I’ve noticed that quite a few times lately, I’ve had the chance to look or think about my kids and I realize this: It’s going by too fast. There are so many times when I find myself wanting to rush through things, and essentially, life.
  • Would he PLEASE hurry up and learn to use the potty?
  • Will she PLEASE just get to this magical “three-month” age they say that colic might disappear?
  • Would she PLEASE start walking so my arm doesn’t get sore carrying her everywhere?
  • Will he PLEASE turn 5 so I can get him into public school and stop paying for daycare?
  • Can this weekend PLEASE be over because we have 4 major events, out of town travel and more to squeeze into just two days?
  • Can it be July already since we have out-of-town commitments 4 out of 5 weekends coming up?
Instead, I need to remind myself what I just said…it’s passing too quickly and I need to slow down and enjoy it!
My mom very recently pointed out that she thinks I’m not ready for this to be over. Could there be a “third” in my future? I assured her, and you, that Lori’s plan is OVER. I’ve said it before, and my friend Sara will most likely laugh again, but we’re only going for 3 if God says so!
But here is my answer to her. No, I’m DEFINITELY not ready for all the moments to be over. But we ARE done! I love my favorite boy and my favorite girl so dearly! I think though, that from watching Brock, I realize all too well how fast this whole thing flies by. I don’t want it to be over. I truly wish I could keep them in this stage for another year without letting them grow up any. I could even handle a year long extension on getting potty-trained if it meant I could keep Aubree at 9 months for another year! It’s not fair how fast they grow. I guess God makes up for that by giving you new adventures, new “favorite stages”, new blessings. But I don’t know…sometimes when I sit back and truly think about my blessings (and try to look past all the chaos of our weeks), I wonder if it gets any better than this? Flashes of Brock snuggling with me in church, giving that contagious-make-you-smile belly laugh, cracking you up with a random "where did THAT come from?"…Aubree giving her "HA" (you just aren't that funny mom) laugh, watching her focus so hard on any spec of dirt/rock/string on the floor that just MUST go into her mouth, and Aubree just being Aubree (those of you who know Aubree well might chuckle at that…she is quite the unique and extremely Funny child!)…I love it!
And one final note…I think there might already be a petition going around (signed by personal friends, work friends, family, my HUSBAND) to NOT allow pregnant-Lori to ever surface again…by any means necessary.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Favorites

As a lot of you know, I got a fancy new DLSR for my birthday. I ended up with a Nikon D60 and have two lenses (so far). I don't have a clue what I'm doing, and I can't spell ISO yet, but I'm learning. I have a few pictures so far that I think are great! Of course, for all you more seasoned photographers, I welcome any critiques, tips, or general education on the digital world of photography!

Pointers on this one? I love the picture, but there's definitely a shadow.

My first experience with big time flashes...these pics were taken back to back, but the lighting is definitely different.

Just LOVE This one...I got lucky!! :)

Love this one too. My outdoor pics definitely turn out better.

And this one!
For those of you wondering: Who is that kid??? That's my pseudo-niece Chelsea. She's my sister-in-law (Cathy)'s neice. Also known as Carol's daughter. Carol lives here in San Antonio and coaches Brock's soccer team. We can't have Cathy in Texas, but we do enjoy her family!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Graduate

Jeffrey Alan Dornak

Cuero High School

Class of 2009!

My "Little" brother graduated Friday! We're very proud of him!

I'm pretty amused when I think back to how my little bro looked when I graduated! Back in 1997!! It's amazing how much he's grown since then! Yes, we ALL grow, but he didn't really know where to STOP! ;)

And for everyone's enjoyment, a few more pics of the family...
Congratulations Jeffrey! We love you and wish you luck on your next steps to Victoria College!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our Little Champ

After a wild and crazy first season of YMCA soccer, we celebrated with a party for the kids last Thursday. As team mom, I had my own duties as well. I must confess I stressed out a little. Too much to do...too much at work...too much at home. At times, I feel I should stop taking on so many things, but it's the things for my kids that I enjoy the most!

Brock was thrilled to receive both a medal and trophy! Tom and I both had an overwhelming feeling of awe as we watched him and his teammates. Our little boy has his first trophy! I'm sure it's only the beginning, but it was another big step in our journey of parenthood.

The kids had a great time in the pool. I didn't intend on putting Aubree in the pool that evening, so I didn't bring her swimsuit. However, she had other plans! She did NOT think it was fair to watch all those big kids have fun in the water while she sat on the side eating fruit puffs!

Coming completely unprepared, we let her play around in the beach entrance and boy did she love it! At 9 1/2 months, she naturally has NO FEAR! Tom had to literally reel in at times.

And for a total "had-to-be-there" note: You should have SEEN the expression on Brock's face when he noticed that we put his shirt on his sister after her swimming experience. It was one of total horror! How dare us???

It was a great end, to a great season! We are so proud of Brock and we are also very thankful for our three wonderful coaches who volunteered their time and talents this season to help our kids grow in mind, body and spirit! GO SHOOTING STARS!!!