Sunday, August 24, 2014

10 Months and an Ocean

Late getting my memories jotted down this month because the day after Ben turned 10 months old we shuttled our little family off to the beach for a much needed vacation!  Chincoteague, Va was perfect!  Not too crowded, not built up like Ocean City, small and isolated.  We rented a 2 bedroom townhouse not far from the national park entrance.  Indoor heated pool, 2 bathrooms, and just enough room for us to sleep comfortably and have play room for the kids.  We didn't get to see any ponies close up, but we did see a herd or two grazing in the marshes far from the road.  I love that the boys got to experience seeing the ocean for the first time together.  They're too young to have any understanding of what an ocean is or how special it is to share an experience like that with your sibling, but some day they will.  Plus, at long last, I got to bury my toes in warm sand again.  I'm so glad we went!

Ben fell asleep in the pool!

Buried his butt in the sand and his toes wiggled free!

Our rental didn't have a bath tub.

Touch pool at Tom's Cove Visitors Center.

Wallops Island NASA Launch Site

This vacation was much needed, but also an experiment to see how well the kids would handle a trip like this.  They handle the trips we take to Cleveland to visit my friend just fine, but this is different.  Eating out every night, multiple things planned every day, some naps skipped, sleeping in a strange place where screaming all night would be not appreciated by those staying in the townhouse next to ours.  Thank goodness we lucked out with an end unit!  In the end, they did really well.  The first night was rough for both kids.  But after that we figured out a better sleeping arrangement and everyone slept through the night every night.  At times Sam's patience was stretched to the limit when in restaurants, but we pushed through and found ways to keep him entertained.  And so now we know that trips like this are a possibility for our young kids!  Next year there will be no question of if we should take a family vacation.  We're outta here.

Also, Ben is 10 months old now!  Time, please slow down.  I guess I better start planning his birthday party.

My 10 Monther:
~ Is ready to start tying table food.  So far he loves cheese and baked things like muffins and pancakes.
~ Can not only get up an all fours lightning quick, but has also started taking some shaky crawling steps.  Every day he gets a little better at it.  I predict by the end of the week he will be crawling more than army crawling.
~ Sleeps though the night almost every night!  And even if he does wake up he usually self settles and never takes a middle of the night feeding anymore.
~ Prior to our trip a week ago to Cowan's Gap and our vacation to Chincoteague Ben didn't like the water at all.  Turns out he loves the pool as long as it's heated.  And after a little encouragement he adores time at the beach!  He likes to splash in the tiny waves coming up to the shore and dig in the sand with his clumsy little toes and fingers.  There really is nothing cuter than a baby at the beach.
~ I think he keeps trying to say "kitty".  He crawls towards Lincoln and makes a "Kiiiii" sound.
~ At long last Sam has started calling the baby by name.  Finally.  That name is Bob, but at least it starts with the right letter.

Won't you take me to,
                                     SKUNKY TIME!

And thus ends a very picture heavy post.  Or, actually no it doesn't.  Here are some more.

Donkeys at Erin's family farm.

A very brave tiny Sam.

McGuyver sun shade for my gingersnap.

Cowan's Gap

Birthday party at Little Gym.

Growing too fast.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

9 Months

Active.  That best describes Ben at this point in time.  All he wants, all day long, is to be on the floor army crawling and rolling from toy to toy.  You try to hold him for cuddles and tickles and he twists and flails till you put him right back where he was.  He's on a mission.  A mission to get all Sam's things and to figure out how to do a "real" crawl.  In fact he's so focused on this crawling mission that he sometimes has trouble sleeping.  He will roll over in his crib onto his tummy, push that butt up in the air, and try to do push ups with his arms to get himself up on all fours.  All the while with his sleepy eyes squeezed shut and crying because he wants to sleep, just can't relax enough to do it.  Consequently, he has spent a few nights in the past week or so sleeping in his swing. (Yes, we moved the swing to the nursery.)

Ben really is a one baby brute squad.  Compared to other babies right around his age he seems like a tiny giant.  Which makes it all the more interesting to see just how each baby in our playdate group develops differently.  Julie can sit up on her own with no need for supervision.  Casey and Angelina are both starting solid table foods with little interest in baby food purees anymore.  Ben is a display of brute strength, but can't do either of those things yet.

~ My 9 monther army crawls like it's his full time job.
~ Within the past week has started doing the "planking" motion of getting his belly completely off the ground, just can't quite seem to figure out how to get his knees up under him when his front half is already raised.
~ Is on stage 2 baby foods and puffs (broken into 3 pieces).  Will gnaw on whatever I am eating, but have to be careful he doesn't actually break off a piece or he gags on it.
~ Has officially captured Sam's full attention.  Now that Ben is mobile Sam spends most of his day crawling along side Ben and imitating whatever Ben is doing.  It's a game to them.  Just have to watch Sam for when he grabs Ben by the ankles and tries to drag him around the living room floor.
~ Is wearing mostly 12 month clothes.  But even some of those are snug since the latest growth spurt.  In his arsenal of outfits he even has a few 24 month rompers I've been putting on him.
~ Can't make up his mind if he wants to sleep through the night or not.  He'll go 4 or 5 nights sleeping like a champ, then for the next week be up 2 or 3 times a night.  It's kind of exhausting because your body just doesn't know what to expect and so can't get used to one routine.  Part of the problem is we tend to hurry to Ben when he's crying overnight so he doesn't wake Sam up.  But we just might have to do a week of putting up with Sam night waking so we can get this overnight situation resolved.  In the end everyone will be better for it.
~ CAN FEED HIMSELF A BOTTLE!  You guys, seriously.  This is something Sam refused to do and so I am beside myself with hysteric joy that Ben FEEDS HIMSELF.  You just put him on the floor and hand him a bottle.  That's it.  My life is suddenly so much easier!
~ So far this summer Ben has yet to enjoy water play.  No sprinkler or baby pool action for him.  He's not interested.  Not even a toe dip is tolerated.  Hopefully he doesn't flip out when we go on our beach vacation in August.
~ Is on the verge of outgrowing the infant car seat.  We might stretch this a little longer than we should because vacation will be easier with a car seat we can carry a sleeping baby around in.  But after that it's time to spend a few hundred dollars on yet another car seat.

Dr Stats:
          Height - 30.75 inches, above 99%
          Weight - 21 pounds 7 ounces, 79%
          Head Size - above 99%

Skunky Time!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Quick 8 Months

And I thought Sam's first year went by fast!  Until Morgan mentioned this morning that Ben only has 4 more months till we can stop buying formula, I had not stopped to think about just how quickly these first 8 months have flashed by.  Wow.

My Beloved 8 Monther:
~ Takes 2 naps a day and has a pretty fixed schedule. Which of course means everything is about to change.
~ Since having a nasty cold that lasted a few days has slept from 8:30-7:45 every night.  EVERY NIGHT!  Please let this stick!
~ Army crawls in a lurky, slow manner.  But whatever, it means he's mobile.
~ Has learned how to complain.  Does so with increasing frequency.  Still the happiest baby ever!
~ I can finally remove my hands from his sides while he's sitting up.  I can't stray far, but he is less of a supported sitter than he was just a couple short weeks ago.
~ Would like to still be a swingaholic, but his brother won't leave him alone while he's in the swing.  So he doesn't get much swing time anymore.  Debating if we should move the swing into the nursery, but really what's the point in that?
~ Protests often against the cuddles.  He wants to be on the floor where he can explore and try to steal Sam's toys.
~ Wants to explore everything with his feet.


Yeah, someone was more than a little jealous he wasn't a part of the photos.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Month 7

He's so big.  A friend of mine gave birth to her little girl 2 weeks ago.  To sit Ben next to this tiny pink baby girl is like putting a watermelon next to a potato.  I can't believe that he was ever that small.  Given, she is slightly smaller than Ben was at birth, but still.  Time flies by and he just keeps getting bigger!

And there's the gruesome twosome.  Sam's been getting excited about being able to play with his brother as Ben slowly becomes more and more mobile/sturdy.  It's great, except that he doesn't understand why he can't shake Ben.  Yeah, that's not so great.  But with lots of supervision they smile and laugh till their little faces hurt.  

What the 7 monther does:
~ Eats 5.5 - 6 oz bottles roughly every 3 hours.
~ Is sleeping in the crib in the nursery!  Now that Sam is sleeping every night in his big boy bed we had the crib available for Ben.  He took to it right away and even started sleeping through the night. The sleeping all night long only lasted 4 days, but those were some good nights of sleep!
~ Says "Mama" and "Dada"!  Without a doubt it is words he's saying, not just babbling.  And he said "Mama" first!  
~ Still a supported sitter, but much stronger and confident than he was a month ago.
~ Is trying with all his might to army crawl.  Sam never did this, so it's new!
~ Is VERY opinionated and will make a variety of cries/squeals to let you know how displeased he is with you and your lack of CONSTANT attention.
~ Has done all of the stage 1 foods.  Just like Sam, prunes were his favorite.
~ Likes to throw his weight around.  As in he will full body lunge at something he wants or the direction he wants to go in.  You really gotta keep a strong hold on this kid.
~ No teeth yet.  Correction.  Two hours after I wrote this he cut his first tooth!
~ Loves trucks, cars, and trains.  Of all the toys he scoots/rolls/wiggles himself towards that belong to Sam, those are the ones he's the happiest to snatch up!
~ Smiles all the time.  Always.  Except for when he's not.  Which is usually as soon as I walk away.


And finally, as much as I hate to end these posts on a sad note, I do want to make note that right after Easter our pet tortoise Chloe passed away.  I had her for 15 years and who knows how old she was when I purchased her.  It's sad, but Sam's to young to understand why the turtle is gone and Ben was never formally introduced to the living rock.  So yeah.  That happened.