Friday, July 31, 2009

Photographic evidence

With Great-Grandma

His first taste of ice cream

Having fun with Great-Aunt Becky

Laughing at silly Uncle Ian (at the Mall of America)

A four generation picture

*Pictures courtesy of Bekah. I was too damn busy and exhausted to take any.

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

We were on vacation in Minnesota and Wisconsin for 8 days and 7 nights. By the 7th night I could've stored all our luggage in the bags under my eyes. I don't think I'll ever again take Ben on vacation without Heath. My parents, Ian and Bekah were a huge help, but there are times when he only wants Mommy or Daddy. And when Daddy's not around, it all falls on Mommy. It didn't help that his sleep schedule got all messed up, so he never went to bed before 8:30pm and never woke up after 5:45am. All. Week. Long. Heath joined us for my cousin's wedding on the weekend, and I had never been so excited to see him, although my joy was masked by my crushing fatigue.

That being said, I'm glad we went. Ben got to spend time with his great-grandparents, his great-aunts and uncles and various other relatives. He also got to spend a lot of time with his Oma and Opa, Uncle Ian and Aunt Bekah, which is great because he'll be all the the more comfortable with them come November, when Mommy and Daddy are going to Hawaii BY THEMSELVES (can you tell I'm just a wee bit excited about that? not only about relaxing on the beach and spending time together, but just the thought of packing for a trip and NOT having to pack for a toddler makes me giddy).

I feel like Ben grew up on this trip. He's not really a baby anymore. He can't walk just yet, but he's so close it'll be any second. And his diet expanded significantly. It was like all of a sudden he couldn't get enough of solid food. He was introduced to the concept that on vacation you eat a lot of junk. He had his first tastes of ice cream, Jell-o, french fries and blueberry muffins. We also discovered that the kid is a carb freak. We did not find his threshold for eating bread. As far as we know, he'll continue eating it indefinitely. I guess he won't be going on Atkins anytime soon.

Once again, Ben proved what a tremendous traveler he is. He did spectacularly well in the car and the frequent changes in environment didn't seem to throw him too much. By the end of the week you could tell he was wiped out, so by the day of my cousin's wedding he was pretty grouchy. The people sitting in front of us got a nice recitation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar about a dozen times during the ceremony. However, the kid is a trooper. And on Sunday he found out just how wonderful it is to come home after a long trip. He was so excited to be home. He crawled around examining everything and squeaked with joy, as if to say, "I never thought I'd see you again!"

It's been nice to be home this week, but we've had trouble getting back on schedule. Ben is resisting naps and putting him to bed at night is horrible. We're back to letting him cry it out and it's been 30-60 minutes (or more) before he finally falls asleep. I think it's because Heath usually puts him to bed and after being away from him for a week Ben's afraid he'll be gone again. It's really sweet and it shows how much he loves his daddy, but it's very stressful for all of us.

Just to end on a pleasant note, I'll share my favorite memory from the week: It was Saturday morning and when I woke up Heath and Ben were lounging on the other bed. I joined them and we all just snuggled for a while, happy to be together again. It was one of those moments that makes you feel all the other crap is totally worth it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

He's so talented

I will post about our trip to Minnesota/Wisconsin, but right now I only have a few minutes between grocery shopping and laundry. I'll use that few minutes to tell you about Ben's newest skill: Unrolling all the toilet paper in the bathroom! I'm so proud.

EDITED TO ADD: He also figured out that flushing the toilet makes a really funny sound.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It just might

Sorry for the lack of posting over the last week. Ben's been teething and then we all came down with colds. Taking care of a now-mobile baby with a cold, while I have a cold is a feat unto itself, without having to worry about being entertaining.

And, unfortunately, there probably won't be too many posts until the last week of July. We're taking a road trip Up North, visiting relatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Actually, we'll be visiting a lot of the people who read this blog, who will be meeting Ben for the first time! So there will be much to report on our return, assuming the trip doesn't kill me.

Ben the Bookworm

When I was pregnant, I was afraid of many things: My water breaking on the carpet at work, strangers touching my stomach, that the baby would turn out to be a football player... But honestly one of my biggest fears was that he wouldn't like to read. Well, that fear is firmly put to bed.

I don't know if he had a natural inclination from the start or it's the fact that we've been reading to him since he was born, but Ben loves books. Up in his room we have most of his board books scattered on the floor in front of the bookshelf and 8 times out of 10 he chooses books over toys. He crawls right for them and entertains himself for a long time just flipping through all the pages.

He's also started doing the very "kid" thing of wanting to read the same book over and over and over. You can't truly appreciate the complexities of Little Quack's Bedtime until that sixth reading.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

That'll come in handy

It took a few weeks, but Ben's finally crawling like a normal child. I think he had to do a cost-benefit analysis before he really took off. "Crawling takes a lot of energy, but it does allow me to get to those drawers, open them up and pull out all the video games."

So this morning when I was using the Swiffer, Ben decided it was very interesting and started crawling after it. He followed the Swiffer through three rooms before it got boring. I think this is an interest I'll encourage. My friend Irene likes to tell about her son Isaac and his love of the Swiffer. He pushes it around the house and eventually she decided to put a dusting cloth on the bottom. Hey, if he's having fun what's the harm if a little cleaning happens along the way? People used to have children so they'd have more fieldhands. Quibbles about child labor be damned! Once Ben's old enough, he'll join the Swiffer army. It's not like I'm asking him to pick crops.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Post-4th of July

Ben attended his first fireworks show last night. I wasn't too worried about him freaking out, because loud noises don't seem to bother him. People have been shooting off fireworks in the neighborhood all week and he hasn't noticed. He was pretty tired by the time they started, but he paid attention. He wasn't scared, but he wasn't overjoyed by them, either. It was more like academic study, to figure out this new phenomenon. Then, the second the fireworks stopped it started pouring down rain and I mourned a little, because I knew the stroller would get the clean, new carpet in the trunk of my SUV all dirty. *sigh*

For me, the most exciting thing about the 4th wasn't the fireworks. It was the fact that Ben is eating more food! He ate some lettuce and some noodles from the pasta salad. He promptly threw them back up (while I was filming him, incidentally), but at least it's something!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


For the past month or so Ben has been a champion at the YMCA. I'd drop him off in the child care room and he'd be happy as a clam to have new toys to play with, instead of all the old, boring toys at our house. Plus, there were BIG KIDS to watch and nothing is more fun than that!

For some reason, though, this week has been tough and this morning was terrible. Immediately when we walked in the room he started clinging to me for dear life, because he knew I was going to leave. He started bawling when I put him down and then the worst thing - he started crawling after me. So here's this crying child crawling to me and I can just hear, "Mommy, don't leave me!" I tried to get him interested in some of his favorite toys, but he wasn't having any of it and eventually I had to leave him there, crying. By the time I came back he was playing happily, but I don't know if I'll ever forget that image of him crawling after me, bawling his eyes out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Things... they are a-changin'

Ben is slowly becoming a toddler. For example:

-He's crawling around more. He still prefers walking with our help, but he's starting to realize that if he crawls he can get things. Things that, until now, have been tantalizingly out of reach. The other morning Heath put him down near the coffee table and when I came back in a few minutes later he was clear across the room, opening drawers on our TV stand and pulling out video games.

-He can now sometimes stand on his own, without holding onto anything, for up to 5 seconds. I know it doesn't seem like a long time, but in the almost-10-months world that's an eternity.

-Ben can also now sit and stand up in his crib. I've walked in several times today to find him standing and bouncing up and down. We lowered the mattress just in time!

-Saturday morning when Heath went in to get Ben he was babbling, "mamamamamama," but when he saw Heath he started saying, "dadadadadada." Maybe a coincidence, maybe not.

-For the past couple days I've been asking, "Ben, where's mama?" Sometimes he reaches for me and sometimes he just gives me this look, as if to say, "I am not your monkey."

-He's cruising around on furniture like crazy. This week he's perfecting going from one piece to another. It's not going to be long now and the boy will be walking. Crazy.