Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What do you think about that?

It's been a month since our trip, but Ben is finally back to peaceful sleeping habits. He goes down for naps and bedtime without a fuss and he's waking up between 6:15 and 6:30. No more 5:30 wake up calls. I wish I could go back in time and tell my high school self that in the future I would be grateful to wake up at 6:30. The look of horror would be quite amusing.

By now I realize that peaceful sleeping isn't a "forever" thing. We go through good spells and bad spells and very, very, very bad spells. Right now I'm just trying to enjoy this good spell without spoiling it by over thinking. Not an easy task for me. If over thinking was an Olympic sport I would be a gold medalist many times over.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Defiance: Thy name is toddler

Toddler tendencies have been cropping up in Ben's behavior for a couple months now. The most infuriating one (so far) is with his sippy cup. It sits on his highchair tray during meals and he is apparently physically incapable of putting it back when he's done drinking. His DNA compels him to drop it onto the floor (I think it's the Y chromosome). At first he just dropped or threw it to see what happened, but now he knows it makes me mad. Sometimes he grabs it, doesn't even take a drink, and holds it over the side of the chair. Then he gives me this smirk like, "Give me all the cookies, or the cup gets it!" If I say no he laughs. I'm sure I have many, many parenting trials ahead of me, but him laughing when I say no strains my patience to the breaking point.

As Heath said, Ben's fortune was probably meant for us instead.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The times, they are a-changin'

Remember this post about 2 months ago, in which I lamented Ben's disinterest in food? It's amazing how quickly life changes, because now he's all about the table food. He still eats baby food, to a point, but he'd much rather be shoveling bread or cheese into his mouth. It's good in the long run, but it requires a thinking shift on my part. No longer can I just throw a couple containers in the diaper bag and have lunch for him. And since he can't have or wouldn't be able to eat certain foods yet, it can be difficult to find something for him to eat at a restaurant. However, soon he'll be able to eat almost anything, so that'll make his meals a little easier (at the 1 year appointment, most pediatricians give the go-ahead for most table food).

Ben's favorite foods:

Cottage cheese
Deli meat

Foods he's not too sure about yet:


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Picture Round Up

Wisconsin Pride

Standing all on his own

Flying high without a care

His favorite activity

Reading with Elmo (although Heath set up this shot,
because he thought it would be cute - which it is)

Rockin' only a diaper

This looks very GQ to me, with an attitude that says,
"Who cares? It's only fashion."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Those Chinese have a sense of humor

On Sunday afternoon Ben and I visited our local Borders, which is a very dangerous activity. It's near impossible for me to leave a bookstore without a purchase (or several). I managed to talk myself out of Volume 2 of Neil Gaiman's graphic novel Sandman, since my birthday is coming up soon (*cough*), but I didn't leave the store empty handed. I bought What to Expect the Toddler Years. Huh? How do I suddenly have a toddler? A year ago he was still inside me and now he's a toddler?! He's not exactly toddling around yet. I think his record is 10 steps in a row and then a plop on the butt. But he's definitely not a baby. He's starting to understand what we say and sometimes he actually obeys us. We've been working on waving and just this morning when I said, "Ben, say bye to Daddy," he held up his hand toward Heath, which is his version of a wave. Heart melting moment.

Sunday evening we all went to P.F. Chang's for dinner and at the end of the meal our server brought us fortune cookies. The funny thing is that he brought three, so I guess one was for Ben. He was probably trying to butter up the parents for a better tip. Having an adorable child I'm now well-versed in how service people use your child to get to you. Going to the car dealerships with him just made me feel dirty. Anyway, Heath and I opened our fortune cookies and then I opened Ben's. Here is what our almost-toddler's first fortune was:

"Patience is a key to joy."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I just blew my own mind

I have this habit that whenever Ben's whining or crying because I wouldn't let him do something super fun like play with the electrical outlet, I always say, "I know, your life's so hard. You have two people who wait on you hand and foot AND wipe your butt."

However, I was thinking about it this week, and the world probably is pretty hard for babies. Take waving. We wave to say hello to people, but we also perform the exact same action for the exact opposite reason, namely saying goodbye to people. That must be a difficult concept to learn, and that's pretty elementary. Think of all the complicated social norms that as adults we just take for granted. And they shift and change depending on the situation or the people involved or the time of day. (Actually that last one I'm not sure about, but it sounded good.)

The world is a very complicated place and it's daunting to think about having to learn it all. Good thing babies don't know any better.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meet the Designer

Remember my post about Baby Chic? Here's the designer at work:

Surveying the top shelf of the changing table and contemplating his next move.

Interesting choice to knock over the diaper can, but who can question a master?

A nice touch to pull clothes out of the hamper.

Patiently ruminating on the perfect placement of dirty shorts.

Moving on to the book shelf.

Obviously those stuffed animals are much too high.

The Most Funnest Game

Though Ben took his first steps last week, as with all his physical accomplishments it's slow to catch on. However, I can tell he wants to move around in an upright way. His newest obsession is crawling under the dining room table, pulling up on one of the chairs and then pushing it around like a walker. So it's now a common occurrence in our house to see chairs moving around seemingly on their own. Could be Ben, could be that pesky poltergeist again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Last Thursday my moms group met at Crestwood Court, which is an almost-defunct mall, but has a wonderful play area that is usually deserted. At the other malls with play areas there are lots of bigger kids and you expect that at any moment your baby will be flattened by a waterfall of eight year olds.

So we met there and it was a reunion of sorts, as many of us had been on vacation at the end of July and hadn't hung out in several weeks. Alyssa, who is the oldest of the group (by one day), is pretty affectionate with the other kids, so once everyone was re-acquainted she started handing out hugs. She hugged Ben several times in a row, which was a little awkward, as she's taller than he is and was sort of squishing his head. But it was very cute and of course all of us moms were sitting there going, "Awwww." Then the final hug was so forceful it ended up with both of them on the floor. I expected Ben to start screaming, even though he wasn't really hurt. However, he just seemed surprised that he could induce such passion. Like parents, like son. I think Heath and I are both surprised someone of the opposite sex likes us. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover: Infant Edition

I've recently learned about a new design aesthetic. It's called Baby Chic. It seems simple in its application, but there are many nuances not obvious to the average person. The main concept is that shelves, tables, really any flat surface should be as bare as possible. The floor is where things belong. Coasters, diapers, rags, Cheerios, cups, shoes, Kleenex, books, etc. Nothing belongs up high where it can't be reached. Should one make the mistake of trying to rearrange things back onto the shelves, a Baby Chic enthusiast will scold that person for her "in the box" thinking and energetically return them to their rightful place on the floor. As for things already on the floor - lamps, hat racks, laundry baskets - they cannot remain upright. They must be tipped over and dumped out.

It is possible to give your house a Baby Chic makeover yourself, but to really experience the joy of it you need a trained professional. However, getting a full-time trained professional is a costly, time consuming and painful process, so you're probably better off just borrowing one for the weekend. You can borrow ours! We'll go to a movie.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Well, here we go!

Ben took his first step yesterday! He was standing in the middle of the dining room, not holding onto anything, and Heath, Bekah and I were all cheering him on. He moved his little foot forward and we all gasped. Then he promptly fell on his butt. He did it, though, and he took another step this morning. Amazing!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm so emo

After our Northern Adventures Ben was having trouble sleeping. Whenever we go through bouts of this, I freak out. I think his first few months scarred me for life. I'm soooo protective of my sleep now. So when he has trouble sleeping I get all dramatic and think, "He's never going to sleep well EVER AGAIN and thus I won't sleep well ever again. Oh woe is me."

However, I'm happy to report that we seem to have made it through the bad sleep tunnel. Last night he went to bed with very little fuss and as of right now he's been napping for an hour without waking up.

Next time this happens someone please remind me that it always gets back to normal with time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

11 Months Old

One month from today will be the anniversary of the most painful experience of my life. Is that really something I want to celebrate every single year? With cake?

Regardless, my baby boy is almost one. I remember last fall taking walks around the neighborhood with this tiny person and not believing I would make it this far. Surely the exhaustion would kill me. Everyone assured me it would get better, but all I wanted was my future self to come back in time and tell me it was true. So just in case time isn't linear, I'm sending good thoughts to my past self, to let her know that it does get easier. It's still really hard, but in different ways, and you get used to it. Sort of. I guess that's the way it'll be for his whole life. We finally get a handle on one thing and then he'll throw something new at us.

So we'll be throwing our very first kid's birthday party in a few weeks. It's pretty amazing to think about. We survived a whole year!