Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Gathering #1 and Christmas Eve

Our Christmas festivities began last weekend when we went to Granny Lindy and Stevie's house on Friday night.  We went to Aron and Annie's house on Saturday for a yummy Christmas lunch and gift exchange.

Snuggles on the couch

One of Benny's neatest gifts was this chair that Aron fixed up for him.

Lindy got the three grandkids jammies.  Luke and Benny's matched.

Yeah Uncle Aron, can I have this ornament?
On Christmas Eve, I had 3 services to play for at 3:00, 5:00, and 9:00.  Kevin and Benny came out to the 5:00 service.  Then we ate some dinner at Friendly's before Kevin took Benny home.  So, unfortunately I missed getting to put Benny to bed.  Daddy was instructed to make sure he didn't forget to have Benny put out cookies and milk for Santa.  Benny decided that Santa really didn't need all of the cookies or all of the milk.
Gotta make sure these cookies meet quality standards for Santa.

The milk too...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Increased Mobility + Mama's Boy + Curls

I also realized I never posted a video of Benny climbing our stairs.  I figure it must seem like Mount Everest to the little guy.

Benny's a little cruiser these days.  He does this cute super shuffle up and down our couch.  He likes to walk behind his motorcycle (a toy Grammy and Grampie got him.)  Also, his balance is getting pretty good.  Hey.  This sounds like a recipe for him walking soon.  YIKES!  Watching them gain new skills is exciting, but sometimes I long for the pre-crawling days...  It was much simpler for this mommy to keep track of him then.

Also, somebody has become a Mama's Boy.  He still likes other people to play with him.  But, if he isn't feeling well or is tired, he needs his mommy.  What can I say?  I'm awesome.

Benny has the cutest curly hair.  And, he's got lots of it---perhaps its getting a little out of control.  Daddy wants to cut it!  He says he looks like a girl.  I think he looks handsome.  If I get all that hair cut, he'll look too old.  I think we've compromised that Papa will cut it sometime after his first birthday.


Lots of hair!
Also, its fun to see how he responds to language.  If you tell him 'arms up' he puts up his arms.  If you tell him to 'dance' he rocks back and forth.  Also, more non-verbal communication has developed recently.  For example, the other day I put him in the high chair to feed him breakfast but the light was still off in the room.  He looked up at the light and then over to the light switch on the wall and did it again a couple of times.  He's like "Hey lady.  Are you going to turn on the light or make me eat in the dark?"
BTW, we had a lovely Christmas.  I'll post about it soon!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

The first weekend in December Benny, Grammy, and I went to breakfast with Santa.  It was an event sponsored by Kevin's employer.  Unfortunately, Kevin had school all weekend.  Boo.  Turns out that Benny and Santa are very good friends.

 Benny is such a sweet snuggly little guy.  Full of lots of love for everyone.  I am getting ready for a hectic busy week.  Next Sunday is our Christmas music Sunday for church, Christmas caroling, and a wedding.  Certainly more challenging to prepare for such things with Benny as my side-kick.  I'll be putting my multi-tasking skills to good use this week!
Also, Benny seems to be on a growth spurt yet again.  His size 18 month pajamas are none too big anymore.  Hard to believe he will need 24 month clothes soon.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Update on Benny's Continued Cuteness...and Thanksgiving!

Its been a little while since I updated on what's new with Benny.  Here goes....

1) He's been pulling himself up to standing for a while now.  Right when we got home from the camping weekend, he became a pro at it.

2) This week he is starting to take steps if you walk with him.

3) He loves you to read books to him.  He really has a long attention span for it.  He lets you read several books to him at a time.  Some of his favorites are Brown Bear Brown Bear, Bunny on the Beach, and I Am a Baby.

4) Sharing is caring.  When he eats crackers, he takes a bite then extends it out to you and wants you to take a bite.

5) He is learning to wave.  He waved bye-bye to Kevin when he was in the basement and we were walking upstairs and when Annie, Aron, Ella, and Luke left on Thanksgiving Day.  He waves 'hi' to me when I get him out of his crib in the morning.

6) He is doing better eating solid foods.  There is no doubt about it.  Benny has been a BIG fan of his liquid diet.  Its taken some persistence, but now he eats a decent variety.  Bananas, clementines, my beef and barley soup, raisins, lasagna, pasta, etc.  It should be noted that I gave up on him ever eating jarred baby food.  He sees a jar of baby food and he is instantly making faces and turning his head away.  Can you blame him?  Do you want to eat pureed peas?  I'm glad I didn't waste time and energy making homemade baby food.  Seems like a decent idea, but Benny does just fine eating normal food.  And, he's only got one tooth.  Nevertheless, I certainly wish he were a better eater.  He is still a fickle pickle.  Sometimes he will eat and sometimes he won't.  Very opinionated.

7) He is growing!  It seemed like during month 9 that he really didn't grow much.  Before that he seems like he kind of stretched out and got thinner.  Now he is taller and filled out again.  He is heavy!!!  My guess would be that he weighs 25 pounds by now.

8) He continues to be a social butterfly.  He seems to readily enjoy all the attention he gets whenever we are out and about such as at the grocery store.  Random people playing peek-a-boo with you?  The best fun ever!  However, I've noticed that, while he loves the attention of others, he doesn't want me  to leave him with unfamiliar people anymore.  For example, I was at church this Monday for a meeting and to have some rehearsals with people.  I was going to leave him with someone for a minute to get something from another room.  He definitely didn't want to be left behind without me!

9) He can climb stairs.  He climbed stairs for the first time at Adam's house because they were carpeted.  Now he can climb our wooden ones at home.

Last weekend, we had tons of fun going four-wheeling at Adam's house.  Benny loved it!  Adam held Benny while he drove him through their woods and trails.  I had a good time too.  Fact:  I am not very good at driving the four-wheeler.

This week was Benny's first Thanksgiving.  I talked to Ella on Monday to wish her a happy birthday.  She told me she was excited for Thanksgiving because she is going to give me a make-over.  My Thanksgiving make-over included the following:

-eyeshadow (she has lots of different colors)
-glitter dust eyeshadow
-hot pink fingernails with silver glitter french tips

After my Thanksgiving Day make-over, Kevin was thankful for his really hot wife :)

Our Thanksgiving table with Lindy's yummy pies.  Apple, pumpkin, and pecan.
Fun with Granny.

Stories with Granny Lindy.

These two cuties are ready for the Thanksgiving feast!
Part of the Thanksgiving gang.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Camping 2012

Last Thursday, we headed off to Chain O Lakes Indiana for the 2012 Camping Extravaganza!  Those in attendance were as follows: Grammie, Grampie, Chris, Angie, Faith, Callie, Craig, Beth, Caleb, Katie, Eric, Kevin, Benny, and I.  Also known as the Fabulous 14.  We are all scattered about across the USA, so we don't often get to be together.  Also, we are a group of a lot of church workers.  Eric is a pastor.  Craig is a youth director.  I'm an organist.  Chris and Angie and Grammie and Grampie volunteer a lot at their churches.  SOOOOO....holidays are a bit difficult to get together.  We thought a Camping Extravaganza would be a good way to celebrate!

We headed out first thing Thursday morning and returned Sunday evening.  Time flew by too quickly but we had a great time.  What did we do?  Hike, play football, swinging, playing on the playground, roasted marshmallows by our cabin fires, talked, and ate a lot of really good food.  Grammie and Grampie were kind enough to supply our cabins and most of the food for our Christmas gifts this year.

Another highlight...Benny and Caleb are 'birthday buddies.'  Both born on 1-2-12.  This was only the 2nd time they got to hang out together.

Here are some of the best pics :)

Go Bucks!
Enjoying the porch swing.

Hey that's my birthday buddy Caleb!

One of my favorite new pictures.
Yet another cute family pic.
My two sweet blueberries :)
Benny LOVED riding on Daddy's back.
And Aunt Katie!
Playing on the steps in your jammies is FUN!

All the grandkids.
Leaf fight!

Snuggles with Aunt Angie.

Happy Hikers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Makin' History

Yesterday Benny's first tooth emerged!  (Bottom right.)  Bring on the steak! {Oh yes.  And Obama was re-elected as President.}  A monumental day for history making all around.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Halloween!

My brother and sister-in-law had their annual Halloween party this year.  This year's was entitled the SOUP-er Halloween Party.  Everyone brings a crock pot of their favorite soup to share.  We eat outside with a toasty bonfire, lit jack-o-lanterns, and of course the football game projected onto the back of their barn.  All around, a fabulous fall fun celebration!  And, who doesn't want to dress up their baby as a pumpkin!?

Mama and her little pumpkin.

We did go to a few houses to collect candy---to give Benny his first trick-or-treating experience.
Luke--the Ninja

Ella--the Vampire Girl.  Benny liked her vampire teeth.
Setting up for the party!
The cutest little pumpkin.

With an apple!
Hanging out with Granny Lindy.

Grandpa Stevie.  (At this visit, Benny discovered Stevie's mustache.  Very fun.)

Mommy and Daddy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

What's New?

Its been awhile since I've made a post.  Why?  Benny is on the go and getting into lots of trouble.  Why is having Benny kind of like having a puppy?  They both like to dig in the dirt and chew on things they aren't supposed to.  We have this bigger plant (a hibiscus) in the dining room.  He LOVES to dig in the dirt.  That and attempt to chew on electrical cords.  Both are bad ideas.  I try to have the house babyproofed.  But, you can't put a gate around everything and you can't unplug all electrical devices.  Truth be told, I'm finding this phase of Benny to be a difficult.  Just feel like I cannot do anything.  He loves to play with this toys and read books if I am down on the floor playing with him.  But, left on his own---he's into trouble.  If you parent folks out there have suggestions, feel free to let me know!  (Disclaimer:  Benny really is a very good and sweet baby.  I just with it weren't so difficult to make dinner, brush my own teeth, practice for church, or send an email.)

Some fun stuff we have done since I last posted.  We went to Max & Melissa's wedding.  Very fun wedding.  First wedding I've been to that had a photo booth and a 'candy bar.'  Kevin and I ran our 5K!  We finished in 31 minutes.  Not bad for not too much prep.  Also, Kevin took off last Monday from work.  We did some work around the house and then took a walk along the bike path and grilled burgers on our deck.  A welcome relief from being home by myself with Benny for a day.  On Tuesday, I got to tour where Kevin works with Grampie and Papa.  Very interesting!  Speaking of Papa---Nana and Papa flew to Belgium yesterday to visit John/Marian and their kids.  They will fly from Belgium to Florida and then back to Ohio at the beginning of December.  We are going to miss them!

And, how could I forget, I donated 12 inches of hair to locks of love!  Here are the before and after pics:

Lots of hair!

My new hairdo.  I like it.
Benny approved!

Here are some pics of Benny at Granny Lindy's house.  Honestly, he wasn't that impressed by the picture taking experience.  These are the best we got.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Date Weekend!

Last weekend, Kevin took off Friday from work.  It was so nice!  Grammy watched Benny for us on Friday afternoon.  We took a hike at a nearby park and then went to a local market.  The market was fun!  I told Kevin that I felt like I was in the movie Aladdin.  Lots of fresh produce, bakery, meats, etc.  Among the tasty things we tried included a German cheese pretzel, an apple fritter, homemade pita and hummus, and an empanada.  Afterward, we went to a brewery we hadn't been to before and tried out some delicious beers.  I had a Fall Porter and Kevin had their IPA.  So good.  It is so nice to spend time together.  Kevin has been working 9 hours a day at work (a welcome relief from the 12 hour days he consistently worked all summer.)  However, his MBA program is in full swing.  It takes up A LOT of time.  {I remember the good old days when Kevin didn't care about school or working.  Now, he is a work-aholic.}  I must admit.  I am proud of him.  I recall when I thought he would never graduate with his undergraduate.  He successfully did that and now is on to the next.  We are looking forward to another 3 day weekend Oct. 20, Oct. 21, and Oct. 22.  We are going to run a 5K race together on Oct. 20.  I must admit, I'm not the runner I once was pre-Benny.  I just don't get a chance to run as often.  But, we are going to give it a try!

While on our Friday date last week, Benny had a good time with Grammy.  This included taking a bath in her sink.  I'll have to try and upload the video.  It was a splish-splashing good time!  Here are some pics:

Benny is super cute.  No doubt, he is getting into a lot more trouble these days.  Among his favorite activities are....
1) digging in our hibicus plant dirt
2) hanging onto our living room curtains
4) racing as fast as he can toward the refrigerator door every time we open it
5) the carbon monoxide detector
Practicing for church is getting interesting.  Practice a measure.  Get Benny out of trouble.  Practice a measure.  Get Benny out of trouble.  Ah!  Multi-tasking.
Developmental milestones:
1) He feeds himself.  He's done this for a while--at least bigger things like crackers.  More recently, he has perfected feeding himself smaller things, like the Gerber puffs.
2) He turns the pages in board books.  His favorite book seems to be "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See."  He listens to the story very intently and turns the pages as we go.
3) He pulls himself up to his knees.  Ex. While I'm practicing the piano, his little chin will rest on the edge of the bench.  He seems a little too nervous to pull himself up to his feet still.  I'm sure, he will figure that out sooner than later!
4) He is sleeping MUCH better again at night.  For a while, he was getting up several times a night.  But, he is back on track--hopefully for good!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nine Months Old!

Say its not so!!!!!  My baby turns nine months old today.  He is definitely looking more and more like a little boy and not a baby.  I'm not sure I like it.  What's Benny up to at nine months?

1) Crawling all over the place.  He doesn't want his toys much anymore.  He wants things he is not supposed to have.  His favorite thing----cords.  Cord to the computer, cell phone charger cord, heater cord, etc., etc.  I believe I spend 80% of my time dragging him away from cords.

2) He now will sometimes notice when you leave a room and crawl after you.

3) Pulling my hair!  He loves my hair.  Thus, I always keep it pulled up in a ponytail/messy bun thing.  However, he has discovered that he can reach around behind my head and pull it down.  He winds up with fists full of hair that he pulls out.  Don't know what to do about that....

4) Teething???  Still no visible teeth, but he has been biting so hard the last few days.  We shall see.  When I pick him up he likes to bite on my chin.

5) Last Thursday we had a doctor's apt.  He weighed 23 pounds 6 ounces and was 30 inches long.  That is 90th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for length.  100%  healthy :)

***An aside from #4 and #5, we had a few nights of horrible sleep.  I saw every hour of the night for a few days.  Maybe it was just the vaccinations he got because he did a lot better last night.  Hopefully.

Two weekends ago, Aunt Martha from Texas came to visit.  We had dinner at Grammy's, and there happened to be a birthday cake for me :) 
With candles....

Benny liked the frosting!
Benny getting into mischief.  He loves to get into cupboards and drawers.  I allow him to play with the lids to our pots and pans.