Sunday, March 29, 2009

weekend fun

My mom made a veiled offer to come celebrate my birthday this weekend, which while thoughtful, held the ulterior motive of getting her Ben-fix. :) But who can blame her? Since their last visit, we think it's really started to sink in with Ben who Grandma and Grandpa are, which makes their reunions extra sweet.

"Now Grandpa, just like we practiced. And a one, and a two!"

Ben's got a great view up there!
As for the rest of us...

"Does anyone else feel a draft?"

"C'mon Grandma!"

Resting up after the trek into Aldridge Gardens

Oh the symbolism! While I'd love to slow down time with Ben to tortoise speed, it is always flying by like that wild hare.

I mean, really. How sweet is that face?!

Mr. Ben is into some serious walking these days and likes to hold hands too.
Just want to capture the moment

This one too. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ben and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Poor Ben. Tyler picked him up from school yesterday and called me from the car to report that he also picked up not one, but two incident reports! What? The first one was from 8:50 a.m. when Ben got bit during freeplay. Bit! The second one was from 2:35 p.m. when Ben bit his own tongue during snacktime. Not the first time he's bit his tongue, but this was bad enough to break skin and require a change out of his bloody shirt. (however, apparently not bad enough to call his mother...)

Now that's a bad day! But before you start feeling too sorry for Ben, we have also learned that he can certainly hold his own. When one of the other children are in his way, he will grab them by the collar and forcibly remove them from his path. The teachers say, "No fighting, Ben" to which he collapses in tears on the floor until he regains composure. Sigh.

And then I was informed this morning that my sweet and innocent baby might have had the arm bite coming as a few minutes beforehand, he was the one doing the biting! Gasp! I have to wonder what the power struggle between these two is - although the teachers won't ID the other culprit. (probably for the best as I was ready to give that one-year-old a talkin' to...until it turned out mine needed one too!) I guess it's eye for an eye in the Waddlers' Room!
battle wound

Regardless, Ben got to eat whatever he wanted at dinner last night and then hit the sack early with some Tylenol. Slept great through the night and woke up ready to take on a new day!
(wearing his tough-guy outfit to ward off any conflict)
"I've got a good feeling about today, Mom!"

So brave, buddy. So brave.
sniff sniff

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fourteen months old!

Ben really is...
...so big!

Apparently Ben decided to close out his fourteenth month with a bang. He showed off all kinds of skillz this weekend that we just didn't know he had.

Skill #1. Feeding himself with a spoon!



Ok, so he took 3 bites in a 2.09 minute video and got half of it on his face. A messy and time consuming talent, but impressive nonetheless.

By the end of the weekend, his mobile dexterity combined with his newfound love for ketchup deteriorated into this:
Does ketchup count as a vegetable?!

How about a deep-fried potato?

I think next time he sees his cousins, he'll join in on their relenting requests for "more dip please!" at the dinner table. Whatever works kiddo!

Skill #2: Using a toothbrush!


I'm embarrassed to say that while he has 4.5 teeth, this was the first time we'd attempted to clean them. In our defense, Tyler prefers that oral hygiene be a pleasant experience for Ben and not one that we force on him prematurely. I defer to the DMD in this situation...he seems pleased with the progress.

Looks like we've got a compliant patient so far!
(especially when it comes to sucking the toothpaste off the brush)

Skill #3: Doing the laundry!

His obsession with the washing machine is nothing new.
But carrying his laundry basket to me and inserting the clothes into the machine, definitely is!

After we started that load, he took it upon himself to put all the clothes (including underwear, my apologies) that were sorted in piles on the floor, back into the hamper.


So that was more backwards than helpful, but he gets the concept, right?!

Other tricks I really regret not catching on camera yet include:
  • blowing kisses
  • signing "more", "please", "eat", "all done"
  • dancing
  • saying "uh ohhhhhh"
  • making the cow, doggie AND lion noise of "oooo" and "fruuu" for cars (voom voom, I believe)
So it's been an action packed month of development! He's been waking up during the night for a couple weeks now, so we assume he's either working on some new teeth or hitting a growth spurt? Speaking of growth spurt, here are the foods that he will eat - shorter list than what he won't - but when he sets his mind to it, he can throw down some grub!
  • black bean burgers
  • bananas
  • yogurt
  • Cheerios/crackers/bread
  • peanut butter
  • jars of sweet potatoes and carrots, any fruit
  • pizza
  • fries and ketchup
  • pears
  • waffles
He's wearing 12 - 18 month clothes, size 5 shoes, and still size 3 diapers. He's doing really well with his sippy cup now, but when he first wakes up and points to the kitchen, I know it's a bottle of milk he's after and no sippy cup will do. So he usually gears up for the day laying in his chair with his bottle and the Mickey Mouse clubhouse (shudder) while we run around getting ready.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, but he's growing and changing so fast, it's hard to keep up! We've had a really fun month with the warm weather and are so looking foward to Spring and Summer with this little boy!
"How you doin'?"

Friday, March 20, 2009

park playdate

Got let off the hook early at work today, so I scooped up Ben from school and met Kelley and Carter at Homewood Park!
Ben enjoying snack time in motion

Ever tried to get two one-year olds to sit and look at the camera at the same time?
On a playground?

Cutie Carter on his slide debut

Ben now slides unassisted, backwards, on his belly - no belly burn so far!

"Mom, we're all packed up. Seen my sippy?"

Hello?!

Ben always "answers" his play phones with a real sense of urgency - snatches it up, shouts "heh?!" and squeezes it in between his shoulder/ear while pacing around. But this face was just too much!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We went to the beach!

We just spent a quick, but action-packed weekend at Seacrest Beach with our friends Nick and Susan, and Scott and Kelley (plus Kaitlyn and Carter, respectively). We had a lot of fun, and despite foreboding weather reports, no rain and even a perfectly timed burst of sunlight so we could catch some rays while the babies caught some z's! I'll spare you the details (and you know how I like details) but have instead prepared a multi-media presentation for your enjoyment.



"So I just stick my finger right in it, Dad? Cool."

Family shot - Ben likes sitting directly in the sand more than I do.
Sigh, I'm the mom of a sandy, sweaty, dirty little boy. But I love it!



My handsome fellas

Ben needed a little help learning how to walk again on this wet, smushy and unleveled terrain.

But he soon got the hang of it!



Sand-glazed Ben conked out the moment he sat in his stroller.


Thanks for inviting us guys, we can't wait to do it again!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lovefest 2009...

How have I let such a great weekend go undocumented for so long?! Oh yeah, because this blog is about Ben and he wasn't there! Actually he was there, at home, with Grandma and Grandpa, while Tyler and I snuck out for an early anniversary weekend back at the end of February.

Lovefest 2009 (as it was dubbed by my sister) began on Friday night with the kick-off of the marriage conference at our church that ran through the day on Saturday. Probably doesn't sound like the most exciting way to celebrate, but we kind of felt like the best way to honor the commitment we made to each other five years ago would be to learn how to make the next five, ten, twenty, fifty years together even better. Actually that was one of the key points too - that successful marriages are all about managing the decisions made early on. It's so easy to let circumstances and feelings dictate how we live, but love is not a feeling, it's a choice - one that you have to make over and over again throughout your marriage. Oh man, now I got myself started...let me get my notes. Feel free to skip to the pictures since that's why you came, but if you're married (or would like to be someday), please consider this list of Six Essentials of a Healthy Marriage:
  1. Trust God. Make Him the center of your home.
  2. Hurry home. Make your time together a priority.
  3. Intentionally cultivate communication. go deeper than "how was your day?", really make an effort to hear each other ...that's what I took away, I didn't write notes on this one
  4. Nourish romance. ...or this one...guess we've got those two figured out - ha!
  5. Celebrate differences. Work together to meet in the middle
  6. Finish together. Mean what you said in your vows, "til death parts us". There is peace in knowing that whatever disagreement, conflict, pain you are in...nobody's going anywhere.

I guess the bottom line of what I walked away with is don't wait until something's broken in your marriage to try to fix it - do "preventative maintainence" now! And in between all the serious stuff, we laughed at illustrations we could relate to, ate a lot of good food, drank a ton of coffee, chatted with our friends and really had lots of fun!

After the conference, we checked into the Ross Bridge resort for a mini-anniversary trip (look at us working on number 4 already - quite the overachievers).


Dinner at Bonefish grill was amazing, and we thought we'd really lucked out by getting seated right away. Until we looked at the clock when we left, realizing it was only 7:10 and the Saturday dinner rush had only just begun! (Can take the parents away from their baby, but can't the baby's schedule away from his parents!)

me and my hottie honey at dinner...daaang

We decided to forgoe dessert at the restaurant and instead picked it up on the way home. Words just can't describe the glee I felt lounging around with a glass of wine, watching a movie and eating chocolate cake out of the box with spoons. Heaven!

The next morning, I got a text that said "the snow at Ross Bridge must be beautiful!" Huh? Of course, snow had been predicted but that's just not something we take very seriously here in Birmingham. However, we scrambled to open the curtains to find a winter wonderland outside our patio!



I know how it looks, but I promise I didn't photoshop myself into this picture! I was there, standing in the snow with no coat on - trust me, I remember.

After enjoying a scrumptious breakfast, we headed home, from one castle,
to another. :)
As for Ben, he had an awesome time with G&G - pretty sure they enjoyed themselves* too. See some of their antics here. Thanks for coming Mom and Dad; our weekend wouldn't have been possible without your help!

*I've been assured that Tooltime with Grandpa and Ben was closely surpervised.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

swiffer, slides, scissors and suds

Normally I would agree that those things don't belong together (especially the middle two), however this weekend was different. Started out with some chores around the house and Ben taking over the Swiffer. At first he was just playing with it, but then I decided I might as well put him to work so I stuck a pad on the bottom and let him go to town!



All that work deserved some play, so off to the playground we went! After a couple hours of spoiling his fun by redirecting his paths from splashing in the carwash soap, toddling down the driveway towards the street and stumbling into the bushes, it was nice to let him have free reign of a fenced-in safe zone.


And after much dragging of feet (mine), it was high time to give this boy a haircut. Not sure why I chose to do so when I happened to be home alone (probably out of fear of Tyler giving Ben his second army cut), but with the help of his sippy cup, snack cup and the good old Bumbo that he amazingly still fits into, we made it work!

Shaggy lil mutt

How did I let him out of the house like this?!
(the front to back bibs are supposed to keep hair off his clothes...didn't work so well)

Voila! The finished product.

So it's not totally perfect, but it is much improved.

It's a salon and a saloon - bottom's up!
(notice both snack and sippy cups are in one hand)

Next we broke out the bubbles! For a while, he just watched them fly away in amazement, but then he discovered how much fun it is to chase and pop them too!


More video to come...and hopefully more good weather too!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Five years together!

March 7, 2004
3:00 p.m.
Wightman Chapel
Nashville, Tennessee
Nowhere else I'd rather be...
happy five years to my husband, friend, sounding board, rock
the same is true today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mr. Popper No Pants

Ben gets the biggest kick out of the popper he got for Christmas! This is from the other night when he spotted it across the room as I was trying to get him ready for bed. So without further adieu, I give you Pantless Ben and his Popper*.



*subtle shout-out to my dad,
who also likes to sport black socks with bare legs...
but at least he wears shorts!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sugar high!

Somehow I forgot my camera when I went to Ben's "Friendship Party" in February (when did "Valentine's Day" become un-PC?!). So I asked a more-prepared mom to take a few pictures of Ben for me, which she forwarded this week.

At Ben's birthday party, he merely poked at his cupcake and ate a few tiny morsels. Not so at this party!
Wonder if any of that pink frosting made it in his mouth?
(No, this is not a typical snack at his school. And no the teachers didn't want to keep him after the buzz wore off! )

Adrienne and Michael: "Uh Ben? You've got a little something on your face."
Ben: "Lay off, I'm starving!"

Ben did happen to find true love this Valentine's Day. Her name is Cheese Puff. But at this point, it's a forbidden love, for his own protection. But they did have that one magical day together!

Get this boy a wet wipe (and a haircut) pronto!

That picture was probably taken while the other kiddos had finished picking at their snacks and had moved to the dancefloor - booties a'bouncing, tamborines a'shaking, Ben just sat back and watched, cheeks a'munching. Uh-oh.