Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You are what you (don't) eat

Despite the subject line, Ben's getting a little, tiny bit better about eating solid foods. I've figured out that he doesn't like small pieces, such as Cheerio's or puffs or any of the other thousands of baby snacks I've purchased for him. He can't pick them up very well and even when he tries to get them into his mouth, they end up in the palm of his hand and he's left chewing on fingers.

So, I've started giving him teething biscuits and he seems to like those. He drools and chomps and makes a complete mess and in the process some of it gets down his throat. Snack time in this house is closely followed by changing clothes time. He also liked playing with/eating/obliterating long pieces of string cheese.

Today I actually got him to eat some of a spaghetti meal. He liked the sauce and then when I started including bigger pieces on the spoon he didn't immediately spit them out. Of course eventually he started spitting them out, but around here that's a victory.

And yesterday my mother fulfilled some of her grandmotherly duties by feeding Ben his first frozen yogurt from Ben & Jerry's. After each bite he made a weird face, like he wasn't so sure about it, but he was quick to open up his mouth again, lest we think he didn't want more.

So we're getting there, just very, very slowly. We've almost caught up to that tortoise.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Martha Ann Phillips Borders

Last week Heath's grandmother passed away. I didn't know her very well, but she was always very sweet when I saw her. On Mother's Day she met Ben for the first time. I'm glad he got to spend some time with her. She will be missed.

A four generation photo

Monday, June 22, 2009


Things Ben Will Put Into His Mouth:

Every single book and toy he owns
My keys
My cell phone
My iPod
His wading pool
The coffee table
A folding chair
The diaper bag
Minnie's tail
The remote control
My finger
My nose
My chin
The chain on swings
The grocery cart
An ottoman
Kitchen utensils
My sunglasses
Grandma's reading glasses
The straps on his car seat/stroller/highchair

Things Ben Won't Put Into His Mouth:


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day 1.0

Happy Father's Day to the man who changed all of Ben's diapers in the hospital.

Happy Father's Day to the man who gets up in the morning so I can sleep a little longer.

Happy Father's Day to the man who tirelessly swings Ben around and throws him into the air.

Happy Father's Day to the man who tolerates the whining and crying infinitely better than I do.

Happy Father's Day to the man who sometimes comes home from work early just so he can take his son to the park.

Happy Father's Day to the man who can make Ben giggle better than anyone else.

Happy Father's Day to the man who spends hours and hours messing with Ben videos just so my grandmother can see them.

Happy Father's Day to the man who loves it when Ben falls asleep on him.

Happy Father's Day, Heath! Watching you become a father over the last 9.5 months has been one of the highlights of my life. We love you!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I love to whine... whine, whine, whine, whine

Most of the women in my moms group said that when their babies started crawling they took off and were everywhere all of a sudden. Ben - not so much. He started crawling, what? On Wednesday, and I don't think he's even crawled enough to traverse an entire room. All he'll do is move his hands and knees a couple times so he's close enough to just plop on his stomach and reach what he wants. He exerts the smallest amount of energy necessary. Which is "in," I suppose, with everyone on the Green kick, but it's not very impressive on video.

Along with crawling, he can also now go from laying on his stomach to a sitting position. However, if we're in the room he won't do it. Why exert the energy himself when he can just whine for 5 minutes straight and then someone will do it for him? Honestly, I think the boy's just lazy. Which makes sense, since his parents are lazy, but isn't the next generation supposed to be an improvement?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pool Party

Yesterday afternoon Ben attended his first pool party. We hung out with our friends from the playgroup. The babies splashed in a wading pool while the moms lounged in the shade. Ben loved it. He even did a little "swimming." The water in the pool was low enough that he could lay on his stomach and he crawled around a bit. He even put his face in the water! Hopefully this means that someday he'll make a lot of money as an Olympic gold medalist and buy us a mansion. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Just as a surly teenager would, today Ben has proven that, "You don't know me at all, Mom!" For weeks I've been saying that he'll probably walk before he crawls. But...

*drum roll*

Ben just crawled! I was in the shower and we have clear, fiberglass shower walls so I could see him. He was playing with some toys and ended up on his stomach. At first he was sort of lunging for things, as he has been for a while. Then he got up on his hands and knees and actually moved them together to get to a toy. It was amazing. Once I got out of the shower I put his binky out of reach and he did it again! Each time was only a few "steps," but he was really doing it. Now we need to baby-proof for real!

I had noticed that he was in a better mood this morning than the last two weeks. He sat and played with toys while I ate breakfast and then he was pretty cooperative during his breakfast. A minimum of whining. Maybe he had a breakthrough during the night and that knowledge gave him peace this morning. Who knows. Who cares. It's just exciting!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The 10th Month: You can take it

Last week Heath's (and Ben's!) cousin Kathe was visiting and we got to spend Saturday with her. We had a lovely day at hurling and evening at Heath's parents' house. During dinner Kathe mentioned that a friend of hers really loved when her babies were 9 months old, as Ben is, because that's when their personalities started showing through. Ben's got personality alright, but I have to say, I'm not loving 9 months old. Along with that personality came a will of his own and everything has gotten much harder. Almost every meal is a battle. Suddenly he hates having his diaper changed. None of his toys are the LEAST bit interesting and he detests being confined in his highchair or stroller. I'm not saying I blame him for all of these things. Some of them are quite understandable. But he whines all day long. And again, that's one of his only ways of communicating, so I understand, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. I haven't yet told my 9.5 month old son to shut up, but it's seriously crossed my mind.

So right now I'm just holding on until he has a breakthrough. I'm laying all of my hopes on the fact that he'll become more pleasant once he's walking. I think I'll be able to deal with the mess better than with the whining.

I hope.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

There's a first time for everything

Ben's had several firsts this week. A couple nights ago Heath was putting him to bed. He put Ben in the crib and then went to the bookshelf to pick that night's story. When he turned back to the crib Ben was sitting up. Heath said his first thought was, "Wait, who sat him up?" Then, of course, he realized Ben had sat himself up. Each of our reactions to the news sort of illustrates the differences in perspective. Heath's reaction was to be proud of Ben. However, being the person who stays home with him all day, my reaction was to think of all the trouble it will cause. Of course I'm happy he's reaching these milestones, but if he falls out of his crib, I'll probably be the one who has to deal with it. Ben hasn't done it since, though, in his crib or out. I'd be ecstatic if he would sit up on the floor.

Then Friday morning he pulled himself all the way up to standing. I cheered for him and he looked so proud. He's also beginning to realize if he holds onto furniture and moves his feet he can get something on the other end of the table. We've done some baby-proofing, but we really need to do it in earnest now. Soon nothing will be safe.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The many adventures of Ben

Greeting visitors, pantsless.

Modeling on our new rug.

Drinking all on his own.

Discovering the wonders of kitchen utensils.

Watching a bird eat nectar on Jeff's arm.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goin' mobile

Ben is on the verge of a mobility breakthrough. He is so close to walking or crawling and it's a race to see which one wins. He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth. I even saw him moving his knees the other day, but his hands were stationary so he didn't actually move. However, he's always hated being on his stomach for too long, so I think walking has an edge. Plus, now his super duper most favoritest thing in the WORLD is walking along holding onto someone's hands for support. He cannot get enough. He doesn't yet have the balance to do it on his own, but he's very vigorous in his walking. When standing against something his balance is really good and he's just beginning to realize he can walk along holding onto furniture. The world is opening up.

While it's mind boggling to imagine the logistics of having an unsteady, naturally destructive creature with little sense of what will topple over and crush him, crawling, walking and running around the house, I hope it gets here soon. He's been so frustrated lately because he can't get places himself. The whining is reaching epic proportions. The sleeping is regressing.

Having a toddler is going to put a whole new spin on life. I never realized how much the changes in a child's life affect the parents' lives, as well. Even seemingly small changes like going from three naps to two, or instituting three meals a day, throw everything out of wack until I get used to them. Less time to get things done around the house, more opportunities to have pea stained clothing.

It's going to be interesting to experience my reactions to Ben's changing life. In some ways it must be like watching your own childhood. Both of my parents have said they've had strong emotional reactions to times in my life when something significant happened in their own lives. This is gonna be craaaaaaazy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's about perseverance

Cheerio's: 0
Cheese: 0
Noodles: 0
Ben: 3

As you can see, Project Feed Ben Real Food isn't going so well. It's a big jump from pureed veggies to hard Cheerio's. He opens his mouth for everything, but then he spits it right back out. We had a little more success letting him feed himself noodles. I think he ate 2 little bits from his own hand, but he would not eat it if we tried to feed him. I'm going to buy bananas and cook some carrots for him and see if we can make a mushy bridge from pureed foods to Cheerio's and cheese.

Unfortunately, we're starting to see hints of a toddler personality emerging at mealtimes. Saturday afternoon I was feeding him green beans for lunch. He's not too fond of green beans, so I was ecstatic when he gobbled up the first half of the container. Then the whining began. And the spitting, which was perfect since I WANTED green polka dots on my white shirt. I told him to stop in a stern voice and it worked for about 2 seconds. He whined through the entire rest of the container, but I didn't relent. I knew he was only whining because he didn't want to eat green beans, but I made him eat it (aside from the globs that were spit onto the highchair and me). Of course he shut up and was all sweetness when I fed him bananas. "Oh, mother. Bananas are ever so tasty. Can't I just eat those for lunch?"

Ugh. I'm not ready for this toddler tantrum crap. He's right on the verge of crawling and/or walking. I'm not sure which is going to come first, but I think he's getting frustrated with his lack of mobility. I'm hoping that's what's been causing the crankiness as of late, because it seems like he's been whining non-stop for a week.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Doctor Visit

Yesterday we took Ben for his 9 month check-up. Here are his new stats:

Weight: 26 lbs. - 97th percentile
Height: 29 in. - 75th percentile
Head circumference: 48.5 cm - 97th percentile

His weight and head are holding steady, but his height dropped off a little. The doctor said he looks good and he gave us a whole list of new foods Ben can try. Cheerios, yogurt, cooked veggies, noodles, even ground meat and deli meat in a few weeks. It seems like a big jump to go from pureed foods to actual solid foods but I guess he has to do it at some point. He tried his first Cheerios last night and wasn't too sure about them. It'll probably take some practice.

He only got two shots yesterday and he didn't even cry! The first one startled him and we thought he was going to start bawling, but he didn't. Then this morning he ripped off his Band-Aid while I was changing his diaper. The boy is hard core!

And just because I like telling people, yesterday while at lunch a woman told us Ben was the cutest baby she'd ever seen. If I was a different kind of mother, I might consider putting him in commercials.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We'll eat a lot of broccoli and drink a lot of beer!

Today is Heath's 28th birthday and Ben's 9 month birthday. Standard wisdom is that now Ben's been out of me as long as he was in me, but I was pregnant 40 weeks and 3 days and he won't be that old until next week. Regardless, it's still a big day!

Happy birthday to a wonderful husband and father. You enrich our lives everyday and I couldn't do this without you!

Monday, June 1, 2009

He's really, really, ridiculously good looking

When I was pregnant one of my fears was having a baby that was ugly or weird looking, but not noticing it. I was afraid my motherly love would blind me to anything strange.

Well, 9 months (tomorrow) have passed and I think it's safe to say we have a really cute baby. Literally any time we take Ben somewhere he gets compliments. Yesterday we went to First Watch for lunch and there were a lot of people waiting for tables. When we walked in we were greeted with a chorus of, "Aaahhh!" "What a cute baby!" "Love the red hair!" "He's adorable!"

Can you blame them?