Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fun with Nana and Papa

This past weekend, we had special visitors: Tyler's mom and dad! In true Prentice fashion, they decided on Friday to come, left Toronto at 5 p.m. that evening, and pulled into our driveway at 2 p.m. on Saturday. If I've learned anything from being in this family for 4.5 years, it's that when they put their minds to it, nothing (like sleep) is going to stand in their way!

We were so glad to see them, and excited to show them how much Ben has grown since our trip to Cape Hatteras in July.

"Well, maybe you look're the people from the beach, right?"

They look alike, they talk alike, sometimes they even dress alike!

Sunday night pool party!

When we bought this lounge this summer, this is exactly who/what we had in mind!

Cooking up some mean burgers on his grill.

"Those burgers smell so good, I could eat this tupperware!"

Dining al fresco

Monday morning, it was back to the grind for Tyler and me, so we begrudgingly left our houseguests home alone. :( Well, not completely alone...they had kindly offered to keep Ben, so the three of them got to hang out on Monday and Tuesday. Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Faye had also come for a visit, so most of their days were spent cooped up in our little house. But Prentices are a resourceful people, and they definitely made the most of their one-on-one time with grandchild #9!
Shaving with Papa

"That looks tricky. Should I be taking notes?"

"I see you, Nana!"

Since they wouldn't be around for Tyler's actual birthday (Sunday), his mom whipped up a fantastic summer meal on Tuesday and capped it off with a yummy lemon birthday cake.

"You can have the cake, Dad. But those candles sure look like fun!"

During their stay, as all four of us stood at the side of the tub to watch Ben's bathtime show, he let us know, in no uncertain terms, that he had outgrown his infant tub and developed a profound hatred for everything it stands for. Two nights in a row of that hysteria, and it was off to BabiesRUs I went in search for a new tub.

"An inflatable tub just for me? Sweet!"

Thanks for coming to see me, Nana and Papa! We don't get a lot of time, just the three of us, so it was very special to stay with you during the day. I did miss my aunts, uncles and cousins though - see you guys at Christmas!
I love you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Seven months old!

Dear Ben,
Here we'd just gotten used to you being six-months old and you had to go on and keep growing! I guess we'll forgive you though, because it's just so fun to watch! You continue to entertain us with your contagious laughter, gurgly growls and expanding vocabulary, which now includes varieties of "da ya ya" and "appfah".

We asked you here if you liked hanging in the tub, and without skipping a beat, you replied, "yep!".

This month you've been content to sit and play with your toys, but are very excited to have someone join you so that your blanket becomes a jungle gym! And just today, Daddy saw you go from sitting to a crawling position...and did not call me into the room to see...

You're eating two solid meals a day now that sometimes include strange combinations, your favorite being oatmeal and peas!

You've been a real trooper this month, starting daycare and enduring your first ear infection. And through daily carseat commutes, no-nap afternoons and multitasking parents, you continue to be a happy baby boy. And we couldn't ask for anything more. We love you!


Mommy and Daddy

In a one-bathroom house, the sink sometimes pulls double-duty as a tub.

Happy seven months, Peanut!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grubby daycare kids...

Got my baby sick, they did. After one week rolling around the ball pit together and slobbering on community toys, Ben developed a cough and runny nose. That's to be expected, I guess.

What was not expected was a sleepless night on Sunday due to Ben's inconsolable cries. After deciding that it was a reaction to something he ate, off to school he went at 10 Monday morning. At 1:30 I was on my way to just check in on him, when I received a call from his teacher saying that he had a fever of 101! We were at the dr's office an hour later. Dr. Simpson had to use a special tool to clear out the wax in Ben's ear so he could get a good look. After that, the ear-infection diagnosis was really no surprise!

So we got hooked up with antibiotics and ear drops and have been amazed at how quickly they helped little man out. We've all slept through the nights this week, and if it weren't for the hacking cough and dripping nose, you wouldn't even know he was sick!

In fact, he's been back at school since Tuesday afternoon, when the administrator said that since the fever was due to an ear infection and not virus induced, all he needed was a doctor's note to come back. So that's where he is now...returning grubby gifts of snot and slime to his little classmates. Ah, it's a vicious cycle.

What we thought was a precious discovery of his thumb on Sunday afternoon, proved to be an early warning sign of the doom and gloom about to befall our household that night. All week, he's found comfort in his thumb, which is fine by me, because (unlike me) it's always within arm's reach!

On the upside, I was able to get a picture of Ben playing with his beloved tissue paper on the doctor's exam table! Aside from the rosey cheeks, you can't even tell he's a sickey here. That's how much he loves that paper!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Week of School!

After nine weeks with wonderful, sweet, answer-to-prayers Mrs. Patsy, Ben's first day at the UAB Child Development Center was this Monday. Because we'd been on that waiting list since before Ben was even a zygote, we were very excited that a spot finally opened for him. But transitions are hard (for me), so there were lots of tears (mine) on Ben's last day with Mrs. Patsy and even more (mine again) as we left him in his new school.

Mrs. Patsy:
Ben's Birmingham grandmother will always be special to us.

"I'm ready for school!"

Fortunately, my car was in the shop getting a new transmission while we were going through the transition. "Fortunately" because Tyler and I were carpooling and got to do Ben's last day and his first day together, which was nice because there were lots of instructions and procedures to learn at his new school, and as I mentioned, I was a bit overwhelmed with it all. And I had a driver when I needed a comfort vanilla latte after the drop off. :)

Ben and Daddy bringing in his supplies.
Yep, I'm that Mom. I took pictures every step of the way. Not as embarrassing now as it would be if it were his first time to ride the school bus as a third grader...not that I would know or anything.

See his cubby? He has his own coat hook and crib too. So sweet. This is Ben's new, scrunched-nose smile...and Tyler's didn't-get-enough-sleep eyes.

Ms. Nikki and Ms. Susie: Waddlers Room teachers

So far things are going OK. Taking after his mom, Ben is quite the sensitive napper. Since his Sleep Sheep sound machine has been replaced by a roomful of busy babies, naps have been hard to come by during the day. He's been surprisingly chipper in the evenings however, and we're looking forward to his transformation into "sleep anywhere" baby. We are already enjoying our drastically reduced commute. And Ben is so close to my office that it's quicker for me to walk there than drive...which has come in handy for my two pop-ins this week!

"School is cool!"

Doesn't he look grown up and so mature? Aside from enrolling in school, this may have something to do with another first he recently experienced: first haircut! Yes, he's only 6 months old, but after one too many Ben Trump jokes in reference to his comb-over, we decided our shaggy baby needed a trim. Well that's what I decided anyway. Tyler apparently decided he needed a military cut. (Sigh) It will grow out soon!

Ben's first time at the Prentice Barber Shop.
This is also where Daddy gets his hair cut (minus the Bumbo).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Two 1/2 Candians = One Good Time!

While in Chattanooga a few weekends ago, we invited ourselves over to Francis and Kirsten's for taco night...where they've redefined the art of taco making by sealing a hard shell to a soft tortilla with a refried bean layer. You expect this when grabbing a Fourth Meal at TB, but right in your own, non-sketchy kitchen? Culinary genius!

While we chowed down, Ben got reacquainted with Austin, who is 4 weeks his junior. Tyler and Francis stomped the same frosted grounds growing up in Canada, so we're always excited to get the second generation together when we can!

Monday, August 11, 2008

SAHM again for a day!

Last week, Mrs. Patsy had outpatient surgery, so Ben and I got to hang out for the day! Just like old times, we spent the morning talking in bed, playing in his nursery, catching up on some reading, and taking lots of pictures!

"If I move real slow, maybe she won't see my little hand coming."
(taken .2 seconds before he reached for her and she fled.
Poor Ben gets no Zoe-lovin.)

"What? Just checking in on the Brangelina clan. Don't judge me!"

Eventually, we got out of our pj's and met Tyler for lunch before we headed into the office for the afternoon. Ben had a short 40-minute power snooze before he was ready to "help" me work. We signed new members up for the gym, took people on tours and answered some emails and phone calls. He's my secret weapon if I ever have to talk with an unhappy patron - you just can't be mad about your gym locker not opening when Ben's giving you a gummy grin. :)

"Working hard or hardly working, Mom?"

We capped off the day with a new treat - a biter biscuit! I've been advised to strip him down and have plenty of wipes and towels handy. Here he is, just trying to figure it out.

What a day!
falling asleep saying bedtime prayers...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Day!

This blog is, of course, primarily about Ben, but I have to depart from my regular MO to report on last weekend as I was honored to be the Matron of Honor at Tracey and Matt's wedding in Nashville. I've known Tracey since freshmen year in high school, and we were roommates throughout college and beyond - traveling the world, living it up, and entering adulthood together. So helping her kick off her new life with Matt was very exciting;
as was having most of our close friends from "back in the day" there to celebrate!
Since then, we've added a few new members to the crew. This is Lisa and Amyas (What a fighter! It was so wonderful to meet him.), Jenny and Ethan, and me and Ben.
It was a squirmy bunch, so this is the best shot I got!
As anyone who's been in this position can attest to, being the spouse of a member of the wedding party is not the best weekend-job description one can have. But I have to say that Tyler, who did airport pickups, multiple-camera photography sessions, and chauffeuring duties for a gaggle of girls all weekend, was a trooper! And I do believe he managed to have some fun along the way too! Here we are at the rehearsal dinner - what a view!
So what was Ben doing as we gallivanted about town, you may ask? He was living it up at Grandma and Grandpa's house; eating rice cereal and prunes, trying on new outfits, and basically being spoiled rotten.
A whole weekend of Ben duty = one happy Grandma!

So it was a great weekend that flew by way too fast. Beautiful wedding, fun reunion, little sleep and good times. Love to you all, miss those who couldn't be there and congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Andersen! Welcome to the club!

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's still new to me!

"Let's go, Mom! You're so cool!"
(Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what he was thinking.)

Have I mentioned that Ben is six-months old?! :) So when I talked to my sister on Ben's half-birthday, she cheerfully commented, "Wow! You're like just a mom with a baby now - it's not new anymore!" Meant to be an observation of an achieved milestone, she had unintentionally fallen into the hot mess of my am-I-not-a-New-Mom-anymore-? crisis. (Very similar to the are-we-still-newlyweds-? crisis of '05, to which I decided the answer was "yes" until three years. Now the answer is "no. old marrieds.")

So I proceed to whine about how it seemed much more cool to be a New Mom than A Mom with Kid/s. New Moms are young, hip, balancing family, social and sometimes work lives. They still hang with their non-kid friends, just with a little baby in tow. (If you're insulted b/c your baby is older than mine, just know that I am making these assumptions based on watching your example!) The scariest part is that Moms make a mistake and are labeled as "careless" and not "hands-on." Nobody ever says this about a New Mom! New Moms can write off parental misgivings as "still learning the ropes" and are comforted with "it happens to everybody!"

What I decided though, and Jess backed me up (probably b/c she sensed my emo-instability), is that because Ben is always going to be entering a new phase, I will always be a New Mom! I will be a New Mom of a kindergartener, a New Mom of a teenager who just started driving, a New Mom whose son's wife just had a baby, etc. Sure, that might be a stretch, but it made me feel better at the time. I just hope that, even in the hard days or years, Ben always seems "new" to me and I can remember to be thankful for who he is and the happiness I feel just being near him.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Have you seen this?!

It's been circulating for a few days now, but I just watched it. Turn up your speaker and get the tissues ready. (in a good way) It's embarrassing to cry in the office, but your co-workers will understand if they watch it too.

I don't know how to upload a utube video just yet, but this link should work.

So amazing!