Happy 2nd Birthday Ben!

Our little boy is officially TWO! I want to say “I can’t believe it” but really, I can. He’s totally two. And terrific. We have been celebrating his birthday for about the last week – we took a very memorable trip to Leavenworth {post coming soon!} with Ben’s grandparents and we’ve been spoiling him all week long.

It is so remarkable all that Ben has learned, discovered and done in his short little life, and even just in the last year. Alex and I have absolutely loved watching his sweet personality grow and emerge. We adore how curious and inquisitive he is {“what is that?” “did you hear that?” are some of our favorite questions he has been asking lately.}, the natural independence he’s developing and how much of an entertainer he is.

Ben continues to be extremely active and loves to run and climb. He has surprisingly impressive balance – I think he’s got a lot of natural athleticism. Also, he’s going to give me a heart attack real, real soon.

Watching Ben figure out how to walk was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. It was a slow process because he skipped walking and went straight to running. I think it’s easier to master walking first?

Ben started talking around 14 months – by his 15 month checkup he was saying about 15 words. I remember he picked up on the baby sign language really quickly and still uses signs in addition to saying words like “please” and “more” – especially if he really wants something. Today it’s impossible to estimate Ben’s vocabulary, but I think it’s somewhere between 300-500 words and growing exponentially by the day. We just love having conversations with him and listening to him sing songs. It’s adorable knowing what’s going through his mind.

One of the most mementos events of the Ben’s second year was our land acquisition out in Leavenworth. Alex and I absolutely cannot wait to be able to raise our kids having the experience of spending their weekends in the mountains. We are working so hard to make this a reality and it’s so, so fun picturing Ben and his siblings running around on our beautiful property.

We had some really fun family vacations this last year where we got to spend quality time together with Ben – our trips to Seabrook and Vancouver last summer, just before Ben started to walk, and more recently, our trip down to Arizona. Family time is so important to Alex and me and at this point, it’s our number one choice over pretty much anything else. This little boy means the world to us.

Ben has come to love and regularly request steamed milk when we go to the coffee shop. If you know me very well, we go to the coffee shop a lot. Last fall sometime I got Ben his first “steamer” and it slowly became a little thing we do. I can’t help it – it’s just so cute watching him with his special little coffee cup. He loves it, I love it. It’s adorable.

Alex and I feel so very fortunate to have such an incredible park and playground just four blocks from our house. Spending the day up at the park is one of our favorite family activities. It has been an absolute blast to watch Ben grow up at the park and go from only being able to go in the swings at this time last year to graduating to playing with trucks in the sandbox, crawling around the woodchips, practicing walking in the grass, then quickly learning to climb the toddler play structure and go down the slide with help and then one day not long after, learning how to walk up the big kid steps and go down the big slide all by himself.

While we have so much on the horizon this year for our little Benjamin {becoming a big brother, finishing construction in the mountains, starting legit Spanish-immersion preschool, potty training…} it’s so much fun to look back on our memorable year with Ben. Here are some of my favorite photos or moments/memories from Ben’s second year… {Side note: I forgot how bald he was for sooo long!}

Happy birthday, Benjamin!

Camano Island Getaway

Living in the Puget Sound area we are blessed to be a short drive away from some incredible spots, one of which is Camano Island. Some of our best friends, Carrie and Patrick, recently moved up there and invited us to come spend the day with them at their home. It’s also possible we invited ourselves up. I can’t remember. In any case, we spent the day on Camano Island on Saturday and it felt like such a getaway.

Our friends have a fantastic setup – a great open floor plan, perfect for the kids, with a sprawling and private 2+ acre backyard, plus a beautiful and sunny back deck overlooking the yard. They’ve got everything we needed for a kids play day and for the adults to kick back a little bit when we weren’t busy parenting.

{Grass for days! Ben LOVED pushing and riding in Roslyn’s little coupe.}

We loved spending the day up on the island and it was so fun to have Dave, Trish and little Liam up there, too. Liam, Roslyn and Ben were all born within 3.5 months of each other, so now, as 2-year olds {or almost 2!} they’re all moving at pretty much the same pace. I mean, except for Ben because he never slows down, but you get what I mean… The three tots played really well together and it was so fun to see how different their personalities and interests are.

{Liam turned 2 in February.}

{Roslyn just turned two at the end of April. She and Ben are almost exactly a month apart in age.}

{The youngest in the pack…. little Ben turns 2 in 10 days!}

Most of the day was spent at the house; however most of my photos were taken down at the beach, a 15 minute walk from their house. It’s a very rocky beach lined with driftwood and cooooold water with a nice view of Whidbey Island.

{“Dada take my picture!”}

We had such a nice day – wonderful company, a beautiful landscape, delicious food and so many memories! We can’t wait to invite ourselves/be invited back 😉

Hello Third Trimester!

Well that went by fast! I cannot believe I only have 12 weeks until my August 8th due date. {Alex, did you realize that!?} That really snuck up on me, and we’re so very happy to be starting the third trimester of my pregnancy.

So far the third trimester has come in like a lion. Does that mean it’s going to go out like a lamb with a super easy delivery!? I hope so!

Now that we’ve hit the last trimester I’ll be spending a lot more time at the doctor – my visits are up to biweekly. I have my next growth ultrasound in 2 weeks and that will help dictate the frequency from there on out.

I had an ultrasound two weeks ago, at 26 weeks, and all is well. Our doctor even went as far as saying the ultrasound was “perfect” – I looked at her like she was crazy. I’m just not used to having such short, boring, drama-free appointments! Alex and I were both waiting for the “but…….” and then it never happened.

So far in this pregnancy I’ve had 6 ultrasounds plus an echo cardiogram. Alex and I counted a while ago and by the end of my pregnancy with Ben I had more than 30 ultrasounds! Unbelievable. Here’s hoping that we’ve only got a handful more and that they’re all normal.

It was fun to read back on the start of my third trimester with my pregnancy with Ben. At that point we hadn’t quite found out yet about my complication and I was physically feeling really well. In both pregnancies by this time I’d begun to tire very easily. It’s a little different chasing around an almost 2-year old though! The biggest differences right now with this pregnancy are general discomfort and the fact that this baby is on the opposite end of the size spectrum. I’ll take the discomfort over the lengthy stay in antepartum and preemie baby!

In my most recent doctor’s appointment I learned that my due date is essentially the latest I would go in this pregnancy. If I don’t spontaneously go into labor or have an unforeseen complication earlier on they would schedule a c-section between weeks 39-40. Everyone is hoping for a VBAC though! Since I had a c-section previously, induction is not an option, they’d jump right to c-section if the time comes and she doesn’t arrive on her own. It’s nice to have an end point, though, and know that they won’t let it go much past my due date.

At this point we’re really trying to wrap our heads around what’s on the horizon. It cracks me up how different prep for baby #1 and baby #2 is. Until last week I had yet to buy a single thing for this little girl. I’m not sure what inspired me, but last week I ordered a ton of clothes for her. It’s fun to envision a style for a little girl and get excited for a girl. I’m definitely into pink but not at all into frilly anything. It’s fun to think back on the first few months with Ben and what we did and how we dressed him to try and imagine how those first few months will look like with our little girl. I’m definitely in favor of pink! 🙂

{I had fun opening this box from Burt’s Bees Baby and the one that followed it from Baby Gap. I hadn’t realized how sweet it is shopping for your baby girl. Alex got excited to see all the pink, too!}

I know now, too, not to take all of the tags off and wash everything right away because I have no idea how big she’ll be. Same with diapers – I’m not stocking up on one brand right away because who knows if she’ll fit into that brand well. Babies sizes are so all over the place you just never know!

Thankfully we barely need anything for this little girl, so we’re working on going through Ben’s old stuff and coming up with a good list. A lot is different this time around!

 

Mother’s Day Weekend

Everything lined up to make for a darn nice Mother’s Day weekend in our little house. The weather was absolutely perfect – the icing on the cake!

Ben and I kicked off the weekend with a day just the two of us on Friday. We had a date at the garden store and he alternated between riding in the wagon, running around the store and being slightly helpful {the most helpful was when he was riding in the wagon}.

He was adorable, though, and we picked out some cherry tomato plants, strawberry plants and some herbs. I managed to grab some blooming flowers when he was confined to the wagon. Needless to say, a second trip to the garden store was in order! Since the weather forecast was calling to be perfect Alex and I had grand plans of spending some quality time in our yard over the weekend.

One of my proudest moments as a parent soon followed our trip to the garden store. We went to the Arboretum park and were sitting on the sidewalk having a snack and a little girl took a very big tumble. I think Ben might have seen it happen {my attention was focused elsewhere} and then when she started crying Ben said “go give her a hug!” and got up and started walking towards her. Alex shared he had a similar encounter last weekend when he got a scratch on his arm and Ben kissed it, told him “it’s okay!” and rubbed his back. My heart melted. I’m not sure how he’s already learned empathy – we sure are trying! – and above anything and everything else, I want him to be empathetic and a nice kid. Smarts only get you so far, but being nice and empathizing with others, that’s the makings of a good person.

Alex had a similar moment on Sunday when we returned to the garden store. It had nothing to do with empathy, more just a proud parent moment. He and Ben were sitting down together and Alex took a moment to explain the importance of listening and following directions and holding mama and dada’s hand instead of running off. Immediately after their conversation Ben calmed down and held onto Alex’s hand and responded so sweetly to the directions. Moments like this validate that we’re doing something right!

In addition to the sweet moments, we had some downright adorable moments and firsts on Saturday at our neighborhood block party. The neighborhood association puts on this huge festival and parade, primarily for the kids, and it was so much fun to go to with Ben.

We bumped into other kids in our neighborhood, some of Ben’s classmates, one of the babies from the PEPS group I led and some random friends and acquaintances. It’s moments like these that remind us just how much we love our darling neighborhood – we feel so, so fortunate to live here.

Ben got to see his first parade, which was led by a firetruck {!}, he got to ride a pony, see a reptile show and read some books from the library. We all enjoyed a treat from the coffee shop – “warm milk” is apparently the best thing ever. We’ve spoiled him by getting him a little “steamer” {lightly steamed milk} when we go to the coffee shop now. It’s too cute and he loves it too much to stop!

Somehow we managed to sprinkle in some time with friends into the weekend – we had a really nice dinner over at Ryan and Anne’s on Saturday night, then my cousin, Chris, and his wife and their two kids came over for a backyard barbecue on Sunday evening.

It was a very lovely, special Mother’s Day weekend, indeed. I adored the time I got to spend with the two guys who made me a mama. We had lots of cuddles and giggles and enjoyed our time together.

Girls Weekend!

For the first time since Ben was born {let’s be real, I think it was since Sarah’s bachelorette party FIVE years ago!} I took off for a girls trip. I met my girlfriends from high school back in Minnesota for a weekend up north to catch up and enjoy some girl time.

My weekend away was super quick and entailed not much more than a weekend – I was in super late on Thursday and left on Sunday evening. The time in between was primarily spent up north at my friend Sarah’s parents cabin near Brainard. I managed to squeeze in a very fast morning split between my dad, mom and brother before the girls weekend kicked off.

I’ve been friends with this group of girls since middle school and some of them have been friends since very early elementary school. It is so remarkable that we’ve managed to stay connected through the ups and downs of life; going to college at different schools across several different states; going through various stages of life – marriage, life after college, having kids {I’m working on baby #10 for our group!}, the loss of a parent, divorce, starting our careers, all while living in different areas. All of the other girls still live in Minnesota but are pretty spread out across the Twin Cities.

I really enjoyed getting caught back up with the girls – normally when I’m in town for a visit, our get togethers are only a couple hours long and typically include husbands and/or children, which makes it a little harder for us to dive deep into conversation. We can easily pick back up where we left off though and we never run out of things to talk about.

Our weekend was super low-key and very enjoyable. We mixed in going out for meals with cooking back at the cabin, we did some shopping and played a couple games. Most of all, we relaxed and chatted. I thoroughly enjoyed flying by myself and was so very happy to return to my little family!

Ben is 23 Months Old!

That means he’s one month away from his second birthday! It’s crazy that Alex and I have started responding to the question of his age with “he’s almost two!” Man time flies!!

Ben’s 23-month stats:

  • Weight: 24 pounds, 6 ounces {10th percentile}
  • Number of teeth: 12
  • Clothing size: no change here – all over the board! Anything new I’m sizing up to 2T for tops. Bottoms are so funny – he’s still in 12-18m at the very largest, but still fits into some 9-12m bottoms. He’s very difficult to buy clothes for!
  • Shoe size: just moved up to size 6 toddler!
  • Favorite foods: cottage cheese, smoothies, crackers, any kind of pork, broccoli, chickpeas

Favorite activities:

  • Pushing anything – dump trucks, shopping carts, his stroller, things that don’t have wheels
  • Singing the ABCs in English and Spanish {!!!}
  • Going down the slide
  • Running
  • Anything to do with a digger {watching digger videos, looking at diggers in person or in pictures}
  • Climbing
  • Singing songs {The Wheels on the Bus, “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!” and the ABCs are favorites right now}
  • Cuddling his stuffed animals {“Lamby” and “puppy” are favorites right now}
  • Practicing new skills
  • Making people laugh

Our favorite phrases Ben says:

  • “Have a good day!”
  • “How was your day?”
  • “Good morning mama!”
  • “What is that?”
  • This will always, always be the favorite: “Love you mama!” (or dada!)
  • “I need some help!”
  • “Ready to go!”

Big milestones:

  • Learning how to count to 10! {In English and Spanish!}
  • Actually understanding what counting is – he’s starting to count actual items, not just say “1, 2, 3…”
  • Switching to a booster seat instead of a high chair
  • Practicing putting boots and shoes on
  • Using the potty

This last month has been one where we have noticed some of the more significant developmental changes in Ben. Aside from pretty much mastering the ABCs and counting to 12 in English and 10 in Spanish, the biggest thing we’ve noticed is how he has started truly stringing sentences together. He’s figuring out pronouns and how sentences are constructed. It is so remarkable watching him learn.

Ben started a new art class mid-month. He’s always shown a little interest in art and I figured it would be handy to have super messy art projects take place outside of our home where I am not responsible for 100% of the mess. So far so good – he seems pretty into it. If nothing else, it’s something to do and he’s exposed to new things.

Additionally, once a week, Ben goes to music class, and has since the beginning of January. He loves it and I can’t get enough of him coming home singing the songs from his class. He is very much into music – Ben loves dancing and singing.

We’re entering our last month of Ben’s co-op preschool – he has been going twice a week for the whole school year. It has been a really positive experience overall, aside from the initial overwhelmsion. Ben is exposed to other kids, different toys and activities, a bit of structure and some new snack ideas. Alex and I benefit tremendously from the parent educator who supports the class. Her tips are invaluable. We’ll be sad to be done with co-op at the end of May.

The weather has been SO NICE the last week or two – we hit {or almost hit} 80 degrees last week and we brought some toys out into the backyard for Ben to play. He’s been loving his slide, playing with Jackson, pushing the dump truck or lawn mower {off, obviously} and just running around. Alex and I can’t help but sit back and imagine our future when we have opportunities like that. It’s so fun to picture what our life will be like sitting out on the deck of our mountain house watching our kids run around with Jackson.

We ended the month with a big bump on Ben’s head. Poor kiddo. He was so excited to be running over to his friend Maya at the park, tripped and fell and banged his head on the sidewalk. He’s become very resilient and was quick to settle down. It’s always amazing to me that the regular, routine stuff he does is what ends up resulting in an accident – it’s almost never the wild adventurous stuff, like climbing up a ladder, using the rock wall or trying to run down the slide. This kid is going to give me a heart attack.

We’ve got potty training on the horizon! Our intention is to start in June. He seems pretty ready so now Alex and I need to get ready {he’s always ready for things before we are!}. We got a little potty and a couple of “potty” books and Ben successfully used the potty three times the first day! We’ve since done some more research and are removing the potties until we’re really ready to dive in. I guess this “casual” approach of sometimes using the potty, sometimes not, is very hard for them to understand when the time comes to actually potty train and can prolong the process. Sooooo we’ll pick it back up in June!

Ben has become so independent and communicates very clearly when he wants or prefers something. Another thing we have on the horizon is working on Ben putting himself to sleep. We’ve been coddling him a little too much at bedtime and he’s been telling us he’s ready to do it on his own. Like with the potty training and so much else, he’s ready long before we are! Alex and I adore the pre-bedtime cuddles and the calm time when our boy sits still. We can still have that as we work towards Ben being a little more independent as he falls asleep.

I can hardly believe we’re entering Ben’s last month as a one-year old. He has really been looking and acting like a little boy lately. I hope he stays this sweet forever and ever.

Spring is Here!

Spring is really in the air here in Seattle. The cherry blossoms already peaked, the daffodils have come and mostly gone and now it’s tulip time! The weather is showing signs that it’s starting to turn into “spring” – which means still chilly temperatures and a lot of rain with a few nice days interspersed throughout the week. I’ve been loving watching the buds quickly turn into leaves and less so the weeds starting to multiply on our gravel driveway. Time to get out my gardening gloves, I guess!

In any case, it is truly spring here. Ben celebrated his first Easter {I don’t think we even acknowledged it last year?!} this year. It was fun to use Easter as an opportunity to welcome spring, eat some ham and freshen up some of his toys.

{No candy in this Easter basket! A cuddly lamb, some books, dot markers and sidewalk chalk for our tot this year.}

We’ve gotten the spring cleaning bug in more of an organizational and out with the old in with the new kind of a way this season.

{Traded in my “Let it Snow” mug for this one! And then we tossed out our sub-par coffee maker and traded it in for a less fancy, better quality producing Bonativa coffee maker.}

I did a major pantry overhaul and completely re-arranged the shelving in our black hole closet under the stairs. It’s amazing how making a few tiny adjustments can go so far! I also re-arranged just one shelf in my baking cabinet and it has made it so much more organized and easy to find things {I already had the containers on the bottom two shelves}. Now we just need to re-design Ben’s closet to make room for his sister. It’s so overwhelming even contemplating how we’re going to hold another child’s wardrobe in our little house!

Some of my favorite organizational things have been little clear organizational bins for food {you can see them sort of up on the third shelf above}, along with adding baskets and a big canned organizational system. My absolute favorite change, though, was being able to stand up my baking sheets vertically instead of stacking them on top of each other. These changes have made a world of a difference in our house!

There’s always a never-ending list of things to do, especially as the seasons change, and we are happy to welcome the warmer weather, birds chirping and the thought of sunshine. Oh, and thank goodness the window washers come this week!

{Even when it rains, though, it’s ok… we’ve got rain boots and raincoats to keep us dry as we go out to count the worms….}

The Hole

In the midst of a crazy week last week we got some unexpected news from our builder that he was breaking ground on our lot out in the mountains! We knew it was bound to happen sometime in the next month or two and were anxiously awaiting the news – it still caught us off guard and seemed to happen really fast!

In any case – Alex and I drove out to our property just outside the town of Leavenworth, about two hours east of Seattle, over the weekend to check out the “hole” in the ground and make sure the excavator put it in the right spot.

It is darn perfect. The house will be nestled in the evergreens, facing out on a bluff atop a river overlooking the valley. I’m not sure how it all came together so smoothly but seeing that hole made it feel all the more real to me. If everything comes together as expected we should be in the house before Christmas, which was what we were really hoping for.

{The view from our future deck – even on a rainy spring day it sure is nice to look at!}

This mountain home will be life changing for us and our little, growing family as well as our extended family and we are so grateful that things are coming together as well as they are. We can’t wait for Ben and his little sister to be able to grow up spending so much time in the mountains.

Baby #2 Update

Like many pregnancies, this one has been filled with ups and downs. I officially reached and passed the “halfway” point and am currently 22 weeks {or 5 months} pregnant.

So far, there have been a lot of similarities with my pregnancy with Ben and some definite differences. Neither pregnancy has involved food cravings, oddly enough. Both were filled with food aversions, particularly in the first trimester, some nausea and a whole lot of heartburn. This one includes some significant lower back pain {darn!!!!} and so far, especially in the second trimester, a “normal” amount of energy.

I remember loving the second trimester in my pregnancy with Ben. I felt almost normal, and that’s sort of the case with this one, aside from the back pain. I’ve been sleeping really well almost my whole pregnancy so far and surprisingly have had less sheer exhaustion than I remember having with Ben. I’m staying up until a reasonable adult time in the evenings and waking up feeling well-rested, which is a joyous feeling, especially since I know what’s coming once this baby girl arrives.

This pregnancy, though, is a little different. I’m more experienced and less naive. While I realized quickly in my first pregnancy that once you see that “yes” on the pregnancy test, you’re never “out of the woods” so to speak, on anything, forever, in the rest of your life.

Experiencing a serious pregnancy complication, as I did with Ben, and living through a month in the NICU is enough to change anyone’s perception of future pregnancies. My worries with the second pregnancy have nothing to do with the color of the walls, whether the theme for our nursery will be woodland creatures or airplanes, nor finding the best “organic, all-natural crib mattress” on the market.

My concerns with my second pregnancy include the hope of a healthy baby at the end of a full-term pregnancy, wondering what labor is like {I never labored before delivering Ben via c-section}, how we’ll adjust to life with two, whether I’ll still get my morning and evening cuddles with Ben, if I’ll be able to breastfeed this time, and hope hope hoping this baby will adjust to napping on-the-go so I can keep up with my toddler. And let’s be real, baby #2 is probably sleeping in a pack & play in our closet.

{19 weeks pregnant}

During the first half of the pregnancy my doctor’s appointments were fairly regular, though because it’s a high-risk pregnancy they included additional ultrasounds. In my mid-point ultrasound this week we got a big scare. The doctor told us after the ultrasound that the baby had a heart defect, which in it of itself could be just fine, but it could be an indicator of something more serious. Fast-forward two nail-biting days to our echocardiogram where the pediatric cardiologist tells us there is absolutely nothing wrong with our girl’s heart and that it’s perfectly normal. It seems as though the ultrasound was mis-read.

In any case, our babe’s little heart is not the only thing developing normally – she is too! We got a confirmation that she is indeed a she {a little doubt in the last ultrasound} – and she’s huge! According to the ultrasound she is in the 85th percentile for size {so that means if she was compared against 100 babies, she’d be bigger than 85 of them!}. Wowza! Our fingers are crossed that she keeps on growing normally and that we get to meet her in late July or early August.

~

Looking back on my pregnancy with Ben:

  • 20-week post
  • 24-week post {and for the record, I don’t think you’re technically 6 months pregnant until 26 weeks. Oopsies! First time mama mistake!}

Ben is 22 Months Old!

We are rounding the corner towards age 2! It’s sort of funny – for about the first time ever, people are accurately guessing Ben’s age. Parents at the park or random strangers will say “oh, is he almost two?” Typically when someone guesses how old Ben is they are wildly off, but lately it seems like he’s started “looking his age” I guess!?

Ben’s 22-month stats:

  • Weight: 24 pounds + some ounces {~ 10th percentile}
  • Number of teeth: 12
  • Clothing size: all over the board – anything new I’m sizing up to 2T for tops. Bottoms are so funny – he’s still in 12-18m at the very largest, but still fits into some 9-12m bottoms. He’s very difficult to buy clothes for!
  • Shoe size: 5 {toddler size}
  • Favorite foods: cottage cheese, smoothies, crackers, any kind of pork, broccoli
  • Favorite activities: dancing, climbing, singing songs, cuddling his stuffed animals, reading, watching ABCs in Espanol {Elmo video}, going to the playground, running, going to school.

I feel like the theme of Ben’s last month has been fun and talking, talking, talking. Maybe talking will be the theme for all of toddlerhood!? Boundary testing is most definitely another theme lately. We’ve employed the “ok I’m going to count to 5 and then we’re going to be all done with xyz” which has been surprisingly effective so far.

During the last month Ben spent the better part of a week on vacation with Alex and me – we had such a fantastic time just the three of us. Ben has been a dada’s boy a lot more in the last couple of months – it’s been so sweet to see. I just love watching those two together. There are few things more endearing than seeing a dad and his kid having fun and living in the moment. It melts my heart.

We signed Ben up for swimming lessons, so he’s been able to be a little fish a ton in the last month. He loves jumping in the pool and is working on blowing bubbles, kicking his feet and scooping his hands. Aside from when he’s jumping in the pool he is suuuuper calm in the water. It’s so funny to see that part of his personality come out since he’s basically never calm or sitting still. I think he loves swimming lessons and will regularly talk about “swimming in water” throughout the week. I only wish the water and locker rooms were a tad bit warmer! Brrrrrrr.

Ben was an early talker, for sure, and in the last month we’ve seen another major leap in his vocabulary, speech and general language development. He’s more forward in talking to strangers and he is stringing together much longer sentences and his overall vocabulary and understanding has exploded. He’s asking questions now, which is basically the coolest thing ever! I can’t get enough of hearing him talk. Some of my favorite things he has started saying are:

  • What is that?
  • Good morning!
  • What are you doing?
  • Pee-yew! {while plugging his nose}
  • Ouchie! Mama kiss it.

Additionally, Ben has started singing songs – multiple verses, too. He sings the Wheels on the Bus, parts of pat-a-cake, parts of Old McDonald. He loooooves music. He’s starting to string together the Spanish ABCs and he’s working on counting to 10 in Spanish {and English, though his Spanish counting is oddly better!}. Colors are basically a lost cause for now.

In addition to singing, Ben has become quite the dancer. He’s been a little entertainer for quite a while now, but his new show includes dancing. The other day we were at Starbucks and there was some upbeat music playing and he went over to some girls, said hi and then started dancing for them. It was hysterical! He is such a flirt and really loves to be the center of attention.

I love watching the associations he makes with things. We were talking about an alligator recently and he “snapped” his arms like an alligator and associated that with a song he sings at school. It’s been interesting seeing him make the association from his three caregivers – we can tell he’s connected some type of parallel between them.

We’re preparing to say “bye bye” to Ben’s high chair. He is protesting it like none other. So far in his 22 months he’s been receptive to our rule that he needs to remain in his chair until everyone is finished eating {trying to instill good manners!}, soooo… we’re working on coming up with some new ideas, likely including a booster or a cool kids chair of some sort.

Another thing we are working on is re-setting Ben’s naps. The last three months Ben has been a terribly inconsistent napper. Two hours is an ideal naptime for Ben – lately, he’s been waking up very upset, clearly not ready to be awake, after exactly an hour. We’re establishing some new naptime habits and using our handy dandy Hatch light to help Ben to know when it’s okay to wake up from his nap {hint: the light turns green!}. So far the first week is going well and he’s been much more calm when he wakes up.

We are so excited about the recent change we’ve made to our childcare situation – we are feeling very positive about Ben’s new au pair and the care he is receiving throughout the day. We’re hoping Ben will continue to make leaps and bounds as we move closer and closer to his second birthday.