Saturday, January 31, 2009

And we're walking, we're walking!

Made just a bit of progress over the past couple of weeks. And, as usual on our videos, we're just a bit excited!

PS - Ben really likes the Christmas card you made him, Kianna!

PPS - Contrary to how it appears in the video, Ben and I are not wearing matching outfits!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy birthday dear Be-en, Happy birthday to you!

What would make six adults share one bathroom, divy up household chores, and (in some cases) sleep on the couch alongside a snoring Zoe? Celebrating Ben's birthday of course!

My parents and sister and brother-in-law made the trip to Birmingham to see to it that Ben enters his second year of life with just a little bit of hoopla. It wouldn't have been the same without you guys and we really appreciate the efforts made to spend the weekend with us!

(You can speed up/slow down the slideshow at the bottom left of the screen. Captions appear when you hold the cursor over a picture. Enjoy!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

...and many more!

Ben got a special phone call after his party on Sunday from his cousins! He was certainly entertained, and understandably so - it's like getting serenaded by the Von Trapp family right through the phone.

Thanks guys - we miss you!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More fun with Austin

In all the excitement of Birthday Week, this post got left on the cutting room floor. But I thought we'd bring it back now because it really was fun to see these two little guys together after so long since our last visit.

Here they are at The Curry Pot where we met Austin's family, Jess and Michael, and Tracey and Matt for lunch upon arrival in the Noog.

"We want food! We want food!"

And, with acknowledgments to SNL's Weekend Update, this begins a little segment we like to call, "Really?! with Mommy and Daddy"

"So, Ben. You won't eat scrambled eggs, chicken nuggets or waffles. Really? You scoff at mangos, and hurl pasta onto the floor. Really."

Mommy: "But this, you'll eat? With leg-spinning fervor?! Really?! Tikka Masala and Spinach Tofu something-or-other? Stuff I wouldn't dare consume until six months ago? Really. Wow."

Thank you, thank you.

Uncle Michael giving Ben a good belly jostle after his big meal!

"I like it at your house, Austin. The windows are just the right size!"

You put your right side, you put your right side out!
You put your right side in, and you shake it all about!
(watch it with that hammer, Bud.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First year in pictures

I promise this will be the last emo-post about Ben's birthday. Wait. Haven't done the party post yet...we'll see if I can keep that promise.

Somehow I've whittled down the thousands of pictures we've taken over Ben's first year on the earth (and a couple from before) to a short - in comparison - slideshow. No captions, but just enjoy watching him grow right before your eyes!

What a year!

Friday, January 23, 2009

One year old!

Dear Ben,
My peanut, my buddy, my silly boy. I was forever changed one year ago today by your birth, when I was honored to become your mother. Me, a mother! I'd grown up looking forward to the concept, and had nine months to get used to the idea, but at 10:27 a.m., January 23rd, 2008, the concept became reality. There you were, all pink and perfect and mine.

I'll admit there were times in those first few weeks that panic set in. I remember lying in bed on several occasions thinking there was no way I could keep another human alive for an extended period of time. One of the countless warnings in my what-to-expect books was going to go unnoticed or I'd forget a simple, but vital, caretaking procedure. But here we are, a whole year later, and you've survived!

Not just survived, of course, but grown and developed from a wee, little, teeny-tiny, itty-bitty newborn to the...dare I say...toddler you are today! On Wednesday, we'll find out exact stats, but you are about 21 pounds and wearing 12 - 18 month clothes. You've made great strides in taking steps from this video on Monday, but still prefer speed-crawling, wall-scaling or car-pushing as your primary mode of transportation. Oh, and being carried around still trumps them all.

*Note how nervous you get when you think Daddy's trying to take your snack cup!

Meal time is starting to be less stressful as we are learning to turn the reins over to your grabby little hands. Who knew you could eat oatmeal with your fingers?! Feeding yourself peas, corn, chicken, cheese, pancakes, toast, or bananas usually puts you in a good enough mood for us to slip in a full jar of veggies/fruit in between handfuls.

Sippy cup goes the other way, Buddy.
(haven't quite mastered this yet)

And we're hopeful that you've turned a corner on napping at school, as this whole week we've gotten report of 1.5 - 2.5 hour naps! Yay Ben! Your bedtime ranges between 7 - 8, although one night this week, I couldn't keep you up past 6:30. Then you usually "greet" us (with whimpers and cries) before the sun by 6:30 a.m. I think you'd make it a little longer without Zoe click-clacking down the hall, but she just can't help herself!

As far as words go, there is lots of babble. Lots of babble. Strings of dadadada, yayaya, mamamama. These range in volume and pitch, depending on your enthusiasm. But there are definitely things you want to show us, because you continually point, say "dah" and turn to see what we have to say about it. And I think you said "oggie" when we saw two dogs in the parking lot at school...maybe?

You've started clapping too! So between that and "so big", you can put on a pretty good show these days. I can't wait for the dancing to start - what's cuter than that?!

All in all, it's been a fun month - requiring only ONE visit to the doctor, which in comparison to the last few months is a vast improvement. You've been to see your families in Tennessee and Canada, celebrated your first Christmas and New Year's (although you and your sleepy parents missed the festivities), and have just been pretty happy all around.

Oh, and your two top teeth came in on Christmas Eve!
You're really working that beaver grin here.

I can't sum up this year quite so easily though... Fun? Yes! Challenging? Sure. Exhausting? At times. Happy? Daily. Life-changing seems to be the most accurate, although also the least descriptive. Every facet of who am I has changed because I became your mom. Not that it's my only identity or my only joy, but because no matter what I'm doing, I'm thinking of you. As I've heard it said before, you are my heart walking around outside of my body. Part of my prayer for you every day is that you get enough sleep and enough to eat, and that Jesus keeps you healthy and safe and helps you to grow big and strong. Your daddy and I are so thankful for your health and for this blessing we've been given as parents. As we start your second year of life, I'm less apprehensive than the first, and I know that with the Lord's help we are equipped to handle the challenges and enjoy the good times that toddlerhood will bring.

Happy first birthday baby!
All my heart,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How to get ready for work with an (almost) one-year old

Option 1: Baby on hip/lap. Can prove difficult when attempting to put on pants or eyeliner. Usually ends with one person in tears and the other wishing for more coffee/sleep/hands/patience.

Note that there is obviously a 2nd adult at home in order to take this picture...he does what he can, but a rigid schedule pushes him out the door early. (And yes, my vanity table really is that messy most of the time.)

Option 2, Preferred Method: Give baby snack cup. Although not without its faults as there tends to be a Cheerio trail to follow before walking out the door. However if you've got a Zoe, or similar garbage disposal, that will solve the issue.

Overall, Option 2 allows optimal time for Mom to fix hair and makeup, get dressed, and actually eat breakfast! Is recommended for all moms having places to go and people to see!

Ben competing in his solo Cheerio-eating contest.
Personal best: 20 in mouth at once.

Option 3: Wake before baby does and get ready then...but that's just absurd.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A year ago today...

This was my belly:
... and this was my latest entry, followed by another one announcing Ben's birth! Just thought you might want to join me on this trip down Memory Lane. I've been going there so much lately, recalling our anticipation, my discomfort, our ignorance of what was about to happen to our lives, the excitement of finally meeting our little Peanut.

The calendar dates are off since his bday isn't until Friday, but Ben was born on a Wednesday, and I remember the Tuesday of MLK-day week was my last day of work, and everyone was watching me with that "she's about to pop" expression. I'd planned to take Wednesday off for some "me time" in case I was induced on Thursday...guess God and Ben had different plans for how I'd spend that day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthday field trip to the museum

Might sound kinda lame until I clarify that it was Chattanooga's Creative Discovery Museum, and dedicated to the kiddos. We'd planned to visit Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend, but didn't make it past Chattanooga. Which is always ok by us, as we got to spend time with Jess and Michael and catch up with our friends.

By this point in a baby's life, they've usually been to a museum a time or two, and probably a zoo and aquarium as well. Not little Ben though! We've been holding out on events requiring a ticket purchase until "he can really enjoy it." And seemed like his first birthday was a good milestone to see if he was ready. I'll admit I had my doubts when he spent our first 1/2 hour playing with Fisher Price toys in the baby room...we pay $30 a day for him to do that at daycare! But he just needed a little prompting. When it comes to putting on a show, the kid just does not disappoint!

Thanks for sharing in the fun times, Aunt Jess and Kirsten and Austin!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Birthday week kicks off!

Ben turns one on Friday, so we're celebrating on the blog with a festive (albeit busy)background.

Ben: "I'm so excited about my birthday! I'll be a whole year old."
Austin: "Yeah well, you don't have to brag. I've still got a few weeks to go."
Ben: "Heh, heh, heh, silly baby."
Austin:"Dude, seriously. Be cool."

More pictures coming as soon as the camera recharges. You know you've had fun when you end the weekend with a dead battery. ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tag, I'm it!

Good times. Volree tagged me for a picture post! The object of the picture tag is to:
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the same

So here's my picture.
We're waiting for our friends' Arlyn and Garren's wedding reception to start a couple of years ago, in our BB days. (Before Ben) Has to have been the shortest ceremony in history, but was also a really fun party. We are with Heather and Nathan - Tyler's roomate during college - who live in California. And I have bangs!

That's all I got. I tag Jess, Kelley, Sarah and Anca!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How big is Ben?

So big!

Here's Ben's latest trick, one that my mom has been eagerly anticipating for months...and as you'll see, we got a pretty big kick out of it. This is for you Grandma!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas in Canada

After enjoying a couple of fun days with my family, we took to the skies on Christmas afternoon to visit for a week with Tyler's family, who live outside of Toronto, Canada.

As always, it was great to spend time with family, drink Tim Horton's coffee, and see the snow. There were a few extended family events to attend, but for the most part, we just did some serious relaxing and even more serious eating.

Lengthy slideshow to follow, but it's hard to condense seven days of memories!

Good times. We miss you guys already!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ben's first Christmas

Just a quick slideshow from Christmas morning at my parent's house in Nashville. Apparently we'd underestimated Ben's potential for putting on a good gift-opening show. He was ecstatic about each and every present there was to open, and used his word, "dah" over and over to express his enthusiam over his new toys and books.

We couldn't have asked for a better first Christmas for our Ben.

(hold your cursor over the pictures to see captions)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I've got dozens of pictures to upload and tons of memories to recount from our Christmas adventures in Nashville and Canada. But after getting home last night, working today, and trying to unpack/get organized, Tyler and I are beat!

Looks like we're not the only ones...

Poor guy just couldn't handle a post-vacation grocery shopping trip without taking a little snooze.

Slept right through his first cart-riding experience!
Hope your holidays were fun and relaxing; more to come soon!