Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dance Machine!

Ben has dicovered a new love... Dancing! Whenever there is a funky beat, you will see little Ben bobbing his head and groving to the music. We are so excited and amused by this. Baby dance is a new thing for us. Joshua wasn't at all interested in dancing at this age. Much too serious a fellow for that tomfoolery! Ben seems to be a little more happy go lucky, loving to cut loose!

Ben's favorite thing to dance to is Hokey Pokey Elmo. Ben loves this Elmo. As soon as he sees it, he will start dancing... even before the music begins. Then when the music starts, his whole face lights up with a huge open mouth smile. I am trying so hard to get a good video of this, but as usual, once the camera is present, all activity ceases (or he just goes for the camera... darned mobility!). But I will continue to try and as soon as I get one, I will share. It's just too cute not to!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The End of an Era

Today was quite the ceremonious day for me. It was my last day of pumping at work... and probably of pumping ever. YAY!!!! I am so excited to be done with pumping. It has been well worth the inconvenience. I can proudly say that Ben has never, and will never, have a drop of formula. With the milk I pumped today, he has enough to make it through the week. Then starting Monday, we'll have his daycare teachers give him a little whole milk in his cup. I figure starting on a little cow's milk a week early won't hurt him. I've given him a little once or twice, and he seems to dig it, and hasn't had any adverse reaction, so we should be in the clear. I plan to continue nursing for a little while longer, but probably not too much. I'm ready to have my body back.

Although it is a little bittersweet for me to think that nursing is coming to an end. In a way I feel that has defined me over the last year. Nursing has been my thing... my soapbox, if you will. I'm certainly not shy to talk about it. I feel such a sense of accomplishment (only 17% exclusively nurse - as in no formula - for the first year). I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to pump at work without a problem, because I know not everyone has that opportunity. My employers have been exceptionally supportive of it. But it is a relief to know that I can now carry my cute SMALL purse to work, instead of the ginormous backpack. Plus, I get my lunch hour back!

So long my friend Ameda Purely Yours. We've had some good times, but I'm glad to be done with you!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tornado Ben

Here is a great demonstration on how Ben likes to occupy himself. He must know how much I love to step on magnets with my bare feet. Thanks Buddy!
video

What a Weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Will Do To You


Josh spent the night with Grandma and Grandpa B last night. Usually it's Josh wearing them out, but apparently this weekend the tables were turned! Josh fell asleep at the dinner table tonight. And when I say asleep, I mean ASLEEP. We could not rouse this kid. It must have been the 3 juice boxes he said he had (BUSTED Grandma!!!). =)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big Faker!

We're on to you, Ben. You can't fool us with your "I need to hold onto something to stand." We've seen you when you think we're not looking, standing unassisted. Then when you notice us watching, slowly sitting down. Let's stop the charade!

Okay, well maybe he's not a professional stander yet. But we have caught him on several occasions letting go of whatever he was holding onto while standing, only to remain on his feet for a few seconds. When he realizes what he's doing, he squats down in a very slow and controlled manner. Usually it is in the bathtub - Why is it always the bathtub? Josh did the same thing when he was little... Whatever works for the little dude, I guess. It's just a reminder for us to enjoy our little Baby Ben while he's still doing baby things, like crawling. We're pretty confident that those first steps will be taken at some point well after the big birthday, and that's a-okay with us. But as much as we are in no hurry to get to that next phase, it is still exciting to see him take that next step into big-boydum.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Case of the Missing Library Card: SOLVED

As you may have read about in a previous post, Andrew took Josh for his first visit to the public library a week or so ago, getting Josh his very own library card. When they got home, Joshua was so excited to show me his new card. He ran in the house and shoved it in my face so I could see it. I'm glad I got a good look at it because none of us ever saw it again. It was the strangest thing. We knew he was the last one to have it, and we know that he loves to stick things places... places that probably make sense to a 3 year old. So when we discovered that it was missing, we asked Josh where he put it because he usually knows exactly where he puts things. Like I said, it makes sense to him. But even he couldn't remember. So we determined that it was either in the pantry or got thrown in the garbage. After scowering the pantry, we decided it had to have been thrown away, in which case it's gone forever. So I gave up, totally defeated by a library card we had for all of 10 minutes.

THEN this morning, Josh and I were making lunches, and I asked him to get a cookie for Daddy's lunch. He went to the pantry and was very sad to find the cookie box was empty. So I went over to get the box to throw it away and, ta-da! The library card was safely tucked away inside. Of course it would be in the cookie box! How silly of me. That's where we keep everything important! I have never been so excited to see a piece of plastic! Case closed!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What a Pain in the Neck!

Literally. For the past week I have been going through physical therapy for the injuries caused by my car accident a few weeks ago. My pain is mostly in my neck and between my shoulder blades. So far, I haven't really seen any improvement, but I know I am just getting started and shouldn't expect too much at this point. I am just not used to this. I am not a doctor person, and avoid going to the doctor at all costs. Now to be going 3 times per week is like torture for me. As most mommies, especially those who also work outside the home, I do not have an over-abundance of time to be spending 3 hours per week at the doctor. Plus, its really hard to recover from a neck injury when I've got two little ones at home that want Mommy to play with them and pick them up. But I suppose life goes on, despite car accidents and neck pain.

But in all this, I've got to really hand it to my husband. He has really stepped it up (not that he was slacking to begin with). He ends up making dinner most nights since I'm not home from therapy until after 6:00, all while keeping the kiddos entertained. It makes it so much easier on me to know that he is here, with a servant's heart, willing and able to pick up my slack. You're awesome, my love!

I'm hoping to start seeing more improvement in my pain level over the next week or two. I'm really hoping to be done with therapy after my 4 week prescription is up. We'll see what happens. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for my recovery. Hopefully I'll have good news to report soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not So Sweet Potato




To the casual observer, the above picture appears to be a small piece of au gratin potato, placed upon the end of an everyday fork. But to certain 3 year olds, this is much much more. This is a foreign object, unknown in origin. A substance that may cause great pain upon the taste buds and digestive system. An enemy so great that it should be avoided at all costs, even if that means spending 45 minutes at the table and forsaking bath toys and bedtime stories. So my friends, beware the au gratin potato. It may look tasty to you and I, but unknown evils must lurk within.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gotta Love the Classics

With all of the new fangled technology and the all of the overstimulating TV shows of today, it's nice to be able to introduce our kids to some of the simpler classics that we grew up with. Here are two of Josh's all time favorites that we also loved as kids (you just gotta love YouTube!)



Going on a Cruise!

Where are we going, you might ask. The Bahamas? Nope, much too moist. Alaska? Far too cold. No, the cruise we are going on is a little closer to home.... it's from one end of the couch to the other! Okay, maybe this cruise is specific just to Ben. He finally decided today to give those little feet a try, and started cruising along the couch. He's also taken a few steps using a push walker. He's been pulling himself up for quite some time now, but once he's up, he pretty much grows roots and has not really even tried to move his feet. If there was something that he wanted that was out of his reach, he would sit down, crawl over and stand up again. But I guess today it occurred to him to try things a new way. On one hand, we hope that this new found skill will put some ideas in his head and get him walking around his birthday (we're not holding our collective breaths, but I suppose it could happen). On the other hand, it makes us sad to see how close walking is, and how there is NO TURNING BACK once that door opens. Whenever he decides he is ready to walk is fine with us. We are just enjoying each stage and milestone as it is reached at his own time.

On a teething side note, Ben officially has 2 teeth, his bottom left that sprouted last week, and top left front tooth that finally decided to break through yesterday. We've been watching this little sucker trying to come in for about 3 weeks now, seeing a large hard bulge in Ben's top gum. We were so glad to finally get a look at it. And I'm sure Ben was happy it wasn't poking him anymore. We're pretty sure the right side is soon to follow, and then hopefully he'll get a little break, poor little guy!

Bookworm

Even though Josh LOVES books, we have somehow never gone to the library during the first 3 years of his life. Today we finally went down and got him a library card, and Josh loved it. I think he wanted to take half the books home with him! We read a few books while we were there, and eventually picked out 5 good ones, including one called "Food Fight" that I think Mommy and Daddy like almost as much as Josh. In any case, I think that we will be spending a lot more time there in the future.




Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pictures

I really wasn't digging the layout and some of the features of Shutterfly, so I am now in the process of moving the pictures over to Picasa/Google. The link has been updated, so feel free to check it out. We now have captions on some of the pictures, and I believe it is easier to comment on individual pics. I'll get most of the old albums moved over... eventually.

Where'd Benny Go?

Ben has become quite proficient at the game of peek-a-boo. See for yourself!
video

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Barbara Who?

Speech to a 3 year old can be a tricky thing. You know what you're trying to say, but can't get it quite right, and hilarity ensues. One of our recent favorites was last weekend when Andrew made some ribs for dinner. We put some in front of Josh, and he pushed it away and said "I don't like Barbara Screw Off" What? After a little guessing game, we figured out he was talking about barbecue sauce. Andrew, can you please pass the Barbara Screw Off?

Big Boy Food!

I am so tired of buying baby food. They overtake my pantry, they're expensive and now that Ben is eating Stage 3's, there is very little selection. So I am now a woman on a mission. My mission, and I have chosen to accept it, is to have Ben totally off of baby food by his 1st birthday in 5 weeks. So far, we're doing really well. I think I have only fed him about 3 jars of baby food in the last week. He's still eating it at school, but our options there are limited, so we'll work on that one later. But at home, he's loving his new menu. I've decided that I'm going to just start giving him whatever we're eating. The first 2 nights, he had meatloaf and au gratin potatoes. He was in heaven, eating the whole thing! He's also eating grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, cut up fruit, crackers, he even got to enjoy his first hot dog on the 4th of July. I hope to be able to introduce a wide array of foods to him and try to bypass some of the pickiness I (unbeknown to me at the time) helped to create in Joshua. Ben seems to be all about food (he gets that from his Mama) so I think we're looking good!

4th of July

What a big wonderful weekend we've had! We really decided to celebrate Independence Day in style this year. It's so nice when a holiday falls on a Friday giving us a long weekend to relax and spend time with friends and family. Our original plan was to go see the fireworks at Tumbleweed Park, who holds Chandler's official display. But my car accident and the resulting neck and backache put an end to those plans as spending hours in a park with no comfortable place to sit did not sound appealing to me or my back. Instead, we got together with some good friends from church who have 2 boys just about the same age as ours and did an impromptu barbecue and swimming party. Josh and his little buddy Nathaniel had a blast together, and it was nice to hang out with Jennifer and Brandon again. After leaving there, we met up with some other church friends and were able to watch the Tumbleweed fireworks from their neighborhood park, and totally avoid the crowds and traffic. Of course neither of the kids really wanted to nap that day, which is always the case when you really want them to nap, but they both were such troopers. Josh fell asleep on Andrew's shoulder shortly after getting to the park, but woke up in a great mood when the fireworks started. Ben was not at all interested in sleeping unless he was in his car seat, but was such a mellow happy boy and just sat on my lap watching everything around him. We got home at almost 11 pm. I think that's the latest we have ever kept our kids out. But it was so much fun!

Then on Saturday, Auntie Kerri and Uncle Jonathon finally had a chance to come from Las Vegas for a visit. They hadn't even been able to meet Ben yet! So we piled in the car and headed out to Avondale for a family barbecue. It is always so much fun to get the whole family together. There is no comparison to a house filled of 5 little kids ranging from 3 years to 1 month, and everyone getting along and having fun. The kids splashed in the kiddie pool in the backyard, everyone ate way too much good food and genuinely enjoyed being together. What a joy filled day! The gathering was even more joyous, because we found out that there will be a new addition to our family come March. Auntie Kerri and Uncle Jonathon are expecting their first baby! We have had such an awesome weekend. Here's a slide show of all we have done. Enjoy!

Tour de Chicago Street

Josh got a great Radio Flyer tricycle for his 2nd birthday. But he has always had trouble with the peddles, and so we would always have to push him. He hasn't had much of a chance to try lately since it has been so unbearably hot outside. But on Friday morning, he woke up super early (someone needs to explain the concept of sleeping in on holidays!), so after breakfast I took him outside to enjoy his swing set and other backyard toys that haven't gotten played with since May. After playing for a bit, I took a small break to get some water (even though it's not 110+ at 7:00 am, it's still less than cool), and when I came back, Josh was riding around the backyard on his trike, as if to say I've been doing this since the day I was born! We were so excited, we took him out to the front and let him ride up and down the sidewalk. He did such a great job steering and peddling. He helped Daddy give the bike a tune-up, and when we were done, we washed our bike in the driveway. Do we have the next Lance Armstrong? Maybe, maybe not, but we're pretty darn proud of him either way! video

Choppers!

Just when we thought Ben was destined for a life of applesauce and pureed meats, he FINALLY sprouted his first tooth this weekend! This kiddo always keeps us guessing. For the last week or so, we have been able to see his top teeth through his gums. I mean, these things are bulging out, just not having broken through yet. So we were sure that he was going to get his top two teeth first, even though that is a very strange order to get teeth. We were joking that he was going to look like a bunny rabbit, living up to his nickname of Benny Bunny. Then on the 4th of July, I stuck my finger in his mouth and felt something hard and rigid on the bottom gum! It's just barely broken through, and you can't even really see it yet, but you can sure feel it. I've never been so excited about teeth! I suspect that the next few will pop out in rapid succession, but like I said, he always keeps us guessing!