Birthday boy

We’re in a tricky spot, over here at my house. It’s tricky because March is BIRTHDAY-PACKED, but Ben has a huge deadline that’s due date is actually his birthday day. So what is a Laurentino, who LOVES celebrating, supposed to do when the guy you love to celebrate with, love to celebrate, love to love is too busy to be celebrated? WRITE A MUSHY BLOG POST!

He’s turning the big 3-6, so I thought I’d give you 36 reasons why Ben is awesome:

1. He’s the best father to our kids. They squeal when he comes home, they demand his attention, they curl up and snooze with him in the mornings, and he’s working SO damn hard for them right now.

Daddy the wild ride (counterclockwise from top left: Sophie, Lillian and Isaac)

Daddy, the wild ride (counterclockwise from top left: Sophie, Lillian and Isaac)

2. He’s committed. To our marriage, to our family, to his game developer dream, to his footie passion. He’s all in. Always.

3. He’s strong. From opening stubborn, slimy sippy cups, to carrying all the laundry from all the rooms down all the stairs, he’s a tough guy…and I appreciate it with both of my carpal tunneled hands.

4. He’s a softie. No, seriously. Is there a poignant moment in the movie or TV show you’re watching? Get ready…he’ll be teary. It’s adorable.

5. He’s THERE for you. Need something? Anything? Like moving your house for the 845793rd time, or needing some groceries dropped off, or a push out a giant snowbank? He’s your guy. In a heartbeat.

6. He appreciates a good laugh. And when you’re raising ALL the CRAZIES, it’s a good thing…otherwise we’d both be crying (see #4).

7. He’s not afraid of hard work. Manual labour, thinking labour, working until the wee hours of the morning, he’s in. And he’s committed (see #2).

8. He’s the king of goofing off. I’m a little nutty…and a lot Type A personality…and my go-go-go-go can quickly kill me. He’s a perfect balance to my nonsensical need to busy all. the. time. Without him, I’d be in a corner, rocking, with so many more grey hairs.

9. He’s a family man. In every sense of the word. He’s all about keeping family okay, and family includes our five, our one in heaven, his side, my side, and the life friends we’ve picked up along the way.

10. He’s tough. Different than strong, he can take a beating, both on the field and in life, and keep moving, keep fighting. I haven’t seen him give up yet…even when all the signs were yelling at him to quit.

11. He’s handsome. ‘Nuff said.

Right?!

Right?!

12. He can smell good. Note the ‘can’. He doesn’t always. But when he does…mmmm…he smells good. 

13. He gives the best hugs. They’re big and all-encompassing and warm and when I’m in them I feel small and protected and home. And the coolest part? He’s passed this genetic gift onto Lillian, who is an all-body hugger.

14. He’s funny. Sometimes. And sometimes not. He makes me laugh sometimes. But sometimes not. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

15. He’s smart. Smarter than me in so many ways. Smart bookwise and computerwise and lifewise and lovewise. He’s a smartie pants…and our kids will benefit from that greatly when they come home with trigacalculusometry homework.

16. He works hard to find the right gift. Research, listening to what you say out loud and what you say in not so many words, then searching and trying so hard to get it right.

17. He writes the best cards. Birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, just because…Ben’s notes are the sweetest, most thought out…and it’s ridiculous because I am a writer and he out-writes me!

18. He wants to hang out with our kids. I’m not sure you’re aware, but they’re crazy. And I would fully understand that after a long day at work he’d want to hide out and not see anyone. But he doesn’t. He’s on the floor, playing with them, laughing with them, then herding them up the stairs, hogtying them into their pyjamas and reading them all the stories even when the stories are nonsense.

19. He wants to hang out with me. I’m not sure you’re aware, but I’m crazy. And I would fully understand that after a long day at work and a long night of hanging out with our crazy loin fruit, he’d want to hide out and not see anyone…but he doesn’t. He wants to watch How I Met Your Mother together and spend time together. He’s a glutton for punishment.

20. He giggles. He says he chuckles, because it’s a more manly word (his words), but I swear it – this burly man giggles.

21. He remembers all the 21s. We started dating on November 21 and we got married on May 21, so 21 is kind of our number. Every month we make sure we say, Happy 21! to each other on the 21st. He remembers more often than me…and usually when we’re rushing around and I’m about ready to lose my mind, he reminds me: we had romantic moments and we have a great life. Happy 21!

22. He’s warm. As someone with zero ability to maintain any sort of normal body temperature, having someone warm sleep beside you, let you snuggle up to on the couch, or wrap you in a warming hug when you’ve just come back from a -20-something run, is GOLD. AND?! His babies are little heaters. 🙂 I WIN.

23. He likes to play. Football, board games, video games, in the sand, in the water, in the bath, in the snow, and in the sun – he likes to play and participate. It’s awesome. And lets me nap…

24. He supports napping. Ben does not believe in taking naps. He hates them. He feels like it’s a waste of time. I thrive on naps. I LOVE naps. If I could have two naps a day, I would. In a heartbeat. So the fact that Ben fully supports my love affair with naps, while himself hating them, is awesome. And so generous. Now, if he would just come home from work so I can have one…or two.

25. He believes and loves God. For non-believers or even agnostics, this might not seem like a big deal. But when you talk to God a lot, when you love God a lot, when you want to raise God-lovers and -believers, this is an incredible gift. We are a family of believers and it’s lovely.

26. He’s actively interested in stuff I’m not. This might seem like a bad thing, but it actually makes for great conversation that doesn’t get boring. I like watching football with Ben, but Ben LOVES football, so he can answer my more detailed questions about contracts, money, culture AND plays and stats. I enjoy the odd video game, but Ben can talk about the development piece, or the possible reasons a developer made the decisions they did. Not dull at all.

27. He believes in me. I want to be a writer, a crocheter, a card-maker, a baker, a runner, a good mom, a good wife, and Ben? He believes I can do all those things well, successfully, and he tells me as much. He’s my number 1 fan and I’m so lucky.

28. He’s my best friend. It wasn’t this way in the beginning. I had lots of best girl-friends. But now? He’s one of my best friends and it’s the best part of our relationship.

29. He’s a good man in a storm. I’m not too bad in a storm myself, but he’s better. And at the moment that I start to lose my shipshapeness, his kicks in to hyper drive. He helps me keep my head, and will do everything in his power to fix, stop, or make the storm palatable.

30. He trusts me. This could be a sign of insanity or poor judgement on his part, but he trusts me with our home and our babies, with their care and keeping. He trusts me to be a good mom. It’s a huge thing and I don’t take it lightly.

31. He’s trustworthy. I don’t worry about Ben. I know he’ll be there, he’ll do his best, that he’ll work hard, that he’ll take the right things seriously, and that together we’re stronger.

32. He takes pride in his athleticism. Which is an asset for me, who, although has found a love for fitness, still has a great affinity for her bed – it’s inspiring. And for our girls – because we both work out and exercise, they talk about exercising and working out. It’s keeping our family healthy.

33. He is system-oriented. He has a method for blowing his nose. A way to brush his teeth. A manner in which he makes bread. A routine for everything that can be regimented. It’s endearing…and sometimes enraging…but mostly nice and predictable. Our babies? Not predictable. He’s a nice change of pace.

34. He’s confidently Ben. He knows what he likes and what he doesn’t. And he’s not afraid to ask for these things, but in a timely and appropriate manner. He doesn’t like semi-sweet chocolate chips, but make him cookies with them and he’ll eat and appreciate them. He wears boxer-briefs and refuses to wear anything else. Buy him the wrong underwear, he will be returning it and exchanging it for the right kind. See? Appropriate responses. 😉

35. He tells me how he feels. I grew up in a family of girls, so talking about our feelings was a daily, almost hourly event. Ben…not so much. The fact that he will actually tell me how he feels is a gift I don’t take lightly. I appreciate that he shares just for me…even if it’s not the oversharing I’m used to.

36. He lets me celebrate him. Ben didn’t grow up with giant birthday displays, so the fact that he lets me gush on him, spoil him, and force him to participate in fantastic organized birthday events is awesome. I love birthday-ing the people that I love…and since he is THE love of my LIFE, it’s incredibly generous that he lets me birthday him the way see fit.

Happy happy happy birthday, Ben!! I love you!

~ Julia

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Future fatherhood fever

This week being the week before Father’s Day, the sisters are writing about fatherhood, and much like my Mother’s Day post, I am looking to the future!

In previous conversations with some of my girlfriends, the discussion of children comes up, and for those of us who do not have them, the obvious question is, “Well…do you want them?”

One statement was made more than once – “I want them, but ‘Bob’ isn’t sure he will make a good dad… So I don’t know….” (Names have been changed). This is a very truthful statement, and I am sure that every man who decides to enter into fatherhood has this doubt.

Since the beginning of the saga that is Cody and Jacqui, Cody was never shy to tell me he wanted kids. I think this may have attracted me to him more than I already was. I am so close with my sisters that I want to recreate this bond. I have always wanted kids!

Holding Isaac

When Julia first announced Sophie, my oldest niece, Cody refused to hold her… He did the same with Lillian. But with Isaac, he had already been around babies and he became more comfortable. Every time I see him with my nieces, my uterus skips a beat and I get excited for our future babies to come.

Uncle Cody

 

The duties never end

Cody was lucky enough to grow up with two dads.

Vic who is the sweetest man, willing to give the shirt of his back to anyone, never asking for anything in return. If you are lucky enough to know him, then you know what I mean! The first time I met him, I immediately was one of his own, taken under his wing, so much so that I was told to call him Dad. He made me breakfast in bed and made it known that when I was at his house, I was not to lift a finger. To this day, as soon as we get to his house, I sleep – I may not be tired, but it’s like a sanctuary from our regular hustle and bustle. Dad helped us buy our house, is always quick to the rescue when we need it and not a day goes by that Cody doesn’t talk to him.

Best friends

Now, Cody’s step dad Paul and I have not always seen eye to eye on things. But I have said to him before and I say it to him again…if it wasn’t for him, we would still be living in their basement. Whenever there is a problem with the house, we call Paul and he drops everything to help. This is why last year when he broke his foot in Florida, there was no doubt in my mind that I would help. I took him to the hospital and stayed with him until he was done – I even snuck him food after the surgery. Cody and I would go over during last summer to help around the house where it needed it, because Paul would do this for us. He is quick with advice, and quick to help whenever and where ever he can.

Paul and his Momma

Because of these two men, I have no doubt in my mind of the amazing man and father Cody will be.

Cody’s father Vic on the right and his late Grandpa on the left. Forever Cody’s biggest influences.

~ Jacqui

 

Mr. Right

Smart.

First boyfriend to have a licence AND a car. Dreamy

First boyfriend to have a licence AND a car. Dreamy.

Good father.

Dressing our first for the first time.

Dressing our first.

Funny.

145

Power struggle.

296

Hottie even when he’s silly.

120

Nice hat.

Ben Hat

And again…nice hat.

Good father.

Daddy and his girls.

Daddy and his girls.

Strong.

136

Sophie sitting on the ceiling.

267

Jungle-gym Daddy

322

Lillian flying high.

551

Unimpressed Christmas angel.

Ben Strong

Pipes.

Good father.

Father and son.

Father and son.

Handsome.

Smokin'.

Smokin’.

Good father.

Sophie hated water. Brave Daddy made it okay.

Sophie hated water. Brave Daddy made it okay.

 

Snow angels for Sophie.

Snow angels for Sophie.

 

Best snuggler. Ever.

Best snuggler. Ever.

 

Best bed. Ever.

Best bed. Ever.

 

Best heater. Ever.

Best heater. Ever.

 

Best lunch date. Ever.

Best lunch date. Ever.

Mr. Right for all the right reasons.

Seriously. Luckiest gal. Ever.

Seriously. Luckiest gal. Ever.

Happy Father’s Day to the best thing that’s ever happened to our family. You are awesome. Incredible. Amazing. And we’re so blessed you’re ours.

~ Julia