Tag Archives: family

Hannah’s Newborn Photo Shoot

I’m so excited to share some of our favorite photos from Hannah’s newborn photo shoot. Our family photographer, Kim, came to our house when Hannah was a week and a half old and captured some sweet moments with our whole family, as well as some of just baby Hannah and a few of Alex and me with Hannah. Ben was such a trooper for the photo shoot and we got some great smiles from him, too.

Ben + Hannah: Week Three

We’re at the beginning of our third week as parents of two! We are all really adjusting to our new normal – Alex is back at work now and Ben seems to be recognizing all of the changes going on around him. I’m used to the cute little chipmunk noises that wake me up in the middle of the night with a polite request for some milk please. All in all, we’re really settling in to this new life of ours.

Everyone keeps asking how Ben is doing, so I’ll start there. Ben really couldn’t be any sweeter with Hannah – he asks to see her in the morning when he wakes up and wants to be sure to say goodnight to her before bed or nap. It is precious. He gives her hugs and kisses and loves checking in on his baby sister.

In the last few days we’ve had to up the ante on toddler discipline. I’m guessing it’s part due to toddlerhood, part due to all of the changes that have taken place recently. I have a few friends who have kids the exact same age as Ben who have mentioned that there has been a recent increase in whining and the need for more discipline and they don’t have new babies at home. Seems like Ben is just really starting to push the boundaries more and more, which is just a part of being a two-year old!

Last week Ben had another big change – we converted his crib into a toddler bed! He is so excited about the change. He loves getting into his bed and getting cozy with his stuffed animals. So far bedtimes and nap times have been totally normal – he gets into his bed and falls asleep right away. Wake ups have been a little different if he wakes up before his light turns green {signaling it’s ok to be awake}. We told him he can get out of his bed and play quietly with his toys while he waits for the light to turn green.

Smarty pants knows how to turn the light green, soooooo on Sunday morning after I had him go back in his room to wait for the light to turn green, he went back in his room and changed it to green. Naturally. He’s actually been sleeping in a little bit later so we haven’t had too many days yet where he’s woken up before the green light comes on. Stay tuned…

Ben is turning into such a big kid. His agility for a young two-year old is extremely impressive. It is so cool {and terrifying!!} to watch him climb ladders and ropes at the park. He’s been loving riding his bicycle and he’s really getting the hang of it. We have a balance bike for him in lieu of training wheels – he pushes the two-wheeled bicycle with his feet and ultimately it will help teach him how to balance on the two wheels. This is supposed to make the transition to a “two-wheeler” a bit easier. And maybe happen earlier? Not sure on that one…

We’ve been getting out a ton over the last two weeks. It was so fun having Alex home for our first two weeks and now we’re easing into having him be back at work.

{Highly anticipated trip to Bottlehouse for a glass of rose on the patio!!!}

{Alex took Jackson and Ben with him on a run over the weekend – I can’t wait to get back into running, especially after hearing how much Ben loved it!}

{Thursday evenings mean concerts in the park! We brought our own little picnic and enjoyed Ben’s first concert. He was the star of the evening and absolutely loved dancing to the live music. Ben LOVES music!}

{Baby’s first trip to a brewery! We brought Hannah out for a pseudo rehearsal dinner/social hour to celebrate our friends’ wedding.}

{Alex represented the two of us at the actual wedding and I stayed home with the kids – he had a blast catching up with our friends, literally from around the world.}

{Alex pulled the bike trailer out of storage and he and Ben biked down to the beach. This was undoubtedly a highlight of Alex’s 2 weeks off.}

{Ben loved the bike ride too!}

{Beach time!}

{Ben and I had a low-key morning together and baked a fruit crisp! It was so fun getting him involved in baking. Sometimes I forget just how capable he is and how able he is at doing things. We’ve been trying to incorporate him more and more into our daily tasks and giving him responsibilities. He loves being a helper and being involved.}

{Hannah and I have gotten out on some really nice long walks together. It is so wonderful to be able to get back into light exercise.}

So far, our experience with Hannah has been completely incomparable to our first two weeks with Ben. We didn’t have Ben home until he was four weeks old, so that’s a stark contrast. We never experienced the brand new baby things like those initial middle-of-the-night feeds, breastfeeding at all, dealing with the stinky umbilical cord stump, all of the doctors appointments in the first few weeks and just the general experience of having a super newborn baby.

It has been so fun to go through the brand new baby phase with Hannah. She is such a dream. She is eating so well and that has been such a joy for me to experience. She bounced back up and surpassed her birth weight in about 10 days – last Thursday she was 9 ounces over her birth weight already!

Hannah loves being cozy and wrapped up in a snuggly swaddle, though she’s quick to pop her arms out; she seems to enjoy going for walks and loves being in the wrap carrier, which I’ve had her in quite a bit so far. We’ve only given her a few baths so far and she seems to really enjoy them. She’s not a big fan of getting her diaper changed or being in the car when it stops moving.

I know we’re only just over 2 weeks into Hannah’s life, so it’s a little early to tell, but so far she seems suuuuuper chill. She is becoming more and more alert and spending more time awake during the day, which has been so fun. I love seeing her little dark blue eyes open more and more each day. Her appearance has really changed since she was born too – she still has all of her dark hair and the same deep blue eyes and pink skin tone, but I think her face shape is changing and I don’t see as much resemblance to Ben as I did when she first arrived. I’m not really sure who she looks like at this point!

 

Life is definitely different now that Hannah is here. We’re so happy that she arrived when she did and we’re loving our new family dynamic.

 

Our First Week as a Foursome

Baby Hannah is officially a week old! We have been loving our time together this past week. These are the days I wish I could freeze time – or at least have a camera crew follow us around recording this special time for our new family of four.

After Hannah was born our hospital stay was very short-lived. We got discharged about 27 hours after she arrived. Our initial day in the hospital was crazy. Alex got up with the sun, ran home to take Jackson to the park and play ball and be back home before Ben woke up so they could go through Ben’s morning routine together and Alex could explain that his baby sister was born.

Then! Alex brought Ben to the hospital to meet his baby sister. Throughout my whole pregnancy, and especially near the end, what I was most excited for was seeing Ben as a big brother. He has such a sweet, loving and caring personality and I figured he’d nail it. So far, I was right. Ben knew just what to do and it completely melted my heart.

It was really emotional for me leaving Ben when I headed into the hospital because I knew that was the last time I’d see him as an only child. Then when I saw him for the first time in his “World’s Best Big Brother” t-shirt the next morning he looked like a giant. I swear he grew up overnight. He must have been preparing to become a big brother.

Hospitals are no place for super active two-year olds, so Ben’s visit was pretty short. Alex brought him back home to spend the day with Stacey, our au pair, and then came right back to the hospital, just in time for the revolving door of our room to start moving. I swear we had someone in our room every 15 minutes. It was impossible to get a nap in or have a moment to enjoy some cuddles with Hannah.

Later in the day we found out that Hannah’s and my blood types were different – I have a negative blood type and she’s positive – and that they found some of my antibodies in her cord blood. Without going into the nitty gritty of it – this can be a prime setup for jaundice, so we had to stay a couple extra hours to do some blood work and check her bilirubin levels. Poor girl had to get her heel pricked twice because the samples on the first prick clotted. We were getting so nervous that she’d have to stay in the hospital for a few extra days and do photo therapy. Thankfully, per the whole Hannah experience, her levels were totally fine and we got discharged around 9:30 that night. We were waiting on pins and needles for about 5 hours awaiting that news!

Our first night at home with Hannah was so sweet. She was awake a ton – she was cluster feeding a lot in the middle of the night for the first four nights, so we got to have a lot of sweet cuddles and bonding time. I think the cluster feeding helped my milk come in really quickly, too, which is great. Now, nine days in, she mostly eats every 2-3 hours with a good 4-hour stretch overnight.

It was the sweetest thing when we all woke up on Tuesday morning at home together as a family of four. Ben was so excited to see his baby sister at home and wanted nothing but to sit with her and give her hugs and kisses. He was so sweet with her.

Alex is home for two weeks while we adjust to having Hannah and we decided we wanted Ben’s weekdays to be as normal as possible, so Stacey is still on with Ben mostly full-time. We are giving her a break at some point every day to have some one-on-one time with Ben while Hannah is asleep so that he knows he’s still special. I had so much fun playing in our backyard water park one day with him and Alex took him on a super fun outing to REI another day, which he won’t stop talking about!

We spent every morning last week in the doctor’s office checking in on Hannah’s {non-existent} jaundice. The doctors wanted to keep a very close eye on her skin and eye color and her weight. I keep saying I think Hannah looks like a little peach – her skin is such a beautiful pink and she’s got little baby fuzz all over still. No sign of jaundice! Hannah only lost 6% of her body weight, which is great, and by Friday of last week {five days after birth} she was back up to 6 pounds 8 ounces {her birth weight was 6 pounds 11 ounces}. She got the all-clear on Friday and we were discharged into the world! We’ll be back at the doctor at the end of this week for Hannah’s 2-week checkup.

Last week I swear Ben’s growth and maturity skyrocketed. He looks gigantic, feels super heavy and is becoming such a big kid. He started wearing underwear, singing the days of the week and he climbed out of his crib and opened the door to his room. It was a big week for him! Needless to say, a big boy bed is on its way. He’s been nailing it with potty training – a lot of people warned us about regression, but he’s actually made very noticeable progressions in the last week. We are so proud of that little boy!

Hannah is an absolute dream – she is so calm and content. It’s been fun the last few days to see her little eyes be open more and more throughout the day. Her umbilical cord stump came off over the weekend so now we can start tummy time. I think it will be really neat for Ben to be able to interact with her while she’s hanging out on her belly. Hannah is eating and sleeping really well and loves being all cozily swaddled or snuggled up in someone’s arms.

Alex and I have been commenting on an almost daily basis how different the experience with Hannah has been from our experience with Ben. The delivery was completely different {birth story coming soon!} and bringing home a one-day old baby, versus a 26-day old baby was so, so different. We missed out on the initial first few weeks with Ben and are so enjoying the experience with Hannah. The middle-of-the-night cluster feeds, frequent trips to the doctor and all of the cuddles and love have been so meaningful for us and we’re so grateful to have our sweet girl at home with us.

My recovery has been a breeze. Right after Hannah came out I instantly felt like a normal person again. No heartburn {!!!!!!!!!!!} and I just felt not pregnant. Really, it was instant. I was bed-bound for a few hours waiting for the epidural to wear off and be able to feel my legs again, but otherwise, it’s been a walk in the park, especially compared to a c-section. I’ve been choosing my chairs wisely, as it’s been uncomfortable to sit on hard chairs, but thankfully by day four that’s been really manageable. We’ve been getting out for long walks pretty much every day and it’s just the best!

So far our time as a family of four has been filled with joy and an abundance of love for our new dynamic and our new addition. Hannah has provided a calming presence and our hearts are just overflowing when we see how much Ben loves his baby sister already. We are so, so happy.

A Family of Three

My priority right now is enjoying our last days as a family of three. I have no idea how baby girl will change the dynamic of our little family, but I know she’s bound to shake things up a bit. I’m all about savoring all of the sweet moments with our only child. This last weekend’s focus was all about Ben and having fun together, just the three of us.

Even before this weekend I’ve been really trying to stop and be even more present with Ben. The dishes can wait. Picking up can wait. I’ve found myself sitting down on the floor with him much more often and pushing out bedtime a few extra minutes just to keep having fun together.

The weekend was perfect. It was everything I hoped it would be. No one was sick {hurrah!} and we didn’t really have anywhere we needed to be. We could just relax and be together, and that’s just what we did. Sometimes those are the best days.

It’s not like we did anything out of the ordinary or extra special last weekend. Alex and I were so in-the-moment and so focused on enjoying our time together, knowing this could potentially be our last weekend home just the three of us, and I think that’s what made it extra special.

Ben and I started the weekend with our weekly trip down to our neighborhood Farmers Market on Friday afternoon. It’s often a highlight of my week, or at least something I look forward to all week. The produce is really starting to get good now that we’re into the middle of July! If only I could get Ben to enjoy fruit in its natural form. Oh well.

The rest of the weekend was a nice combo of strolling the neighborhood, playing at the park, going to the zoo and turning our backyard into a water park.

Alex and I have been making it a point to get out for dinner just the two of us pretty much every week for about the last month and we opted to try somewhere different this week and finished off the evening with a stop at Molly Moon’s ice cream shop.

We were able to get a few things accomplished over the weekend too, so that made it feel extra good and productive. More on that in another post.

At the end of the day on Sunday both Alex and I felt like the weekend was so long in the best possible way. We so enjoyed our family time, and if it happens to be the last weekend we’re a family of three, I’m so, so happy with how our time was spent together.

It was perfect.

Building the Lodge: Framing Update

While we were camping over the weekend we made a couple trips over to The Lodge to check out how the framing progress was coming. It turns out they’re almost done with framing and it looks absolutely fantastic! It looks like a house, complete with a roof!

It is so cool to see the building process and watch the house come together, literally from nothing. Now that the shell is there and the rooms inside are all framed out we can really start to picture it. I think once they start building the deck it will really give a full picture of what the finished house will look like.

We have been so pleased with our builder and he is moving so fast we can hardly keep up. Thankfully our designer is taking away a lot of the stress of the decision making process. She has been so helpful for us to narrow down our options which saves an enormous amount of time. The style of the house is a mountain/modern feel, which is so contrary to the style I typically gravitate towards. I absolutely love how we’re pulling in unique materials and colors to incorporate both rustic and modern touches.

So far we’ve been focused mostly on exterior decisions – siding, windows, doors, roof, the fireplace and decking. We’re just starting to move inside now and we’re looking at interior window and trim finishes, kitchen cabinet design and layout, plumbing fixtures, doors and electrical. I expected that process to be completely overwhelming and stressful, but so far I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s so fun to see the house come together.

We cannot get over how stunning some of the beams are – like this ridge beam at the roof line. Alex and I will be making another trip out in about a week and a half. I can’t wait to see how much it has changed in that amount of time!

Our First Family Camping Trip

I’m not sure if we were crazy or just really optimistic when we booked our camping trip six months ago. In any case, we gave it a shot!

We’ve been to Lake Wenatchee State Park several times and camped here once before. It’s a very family-friendly campground and we chose it in part because of the flushable toilets, running water, showers, proximity to a beach and playground and a few other fun amenities. So, it’s car camping at its finest…

Not long after we got our tent set up the sky opened up and it started to rain. We were not the slightest bit prepared for rain, since there was zero chance of it in the forecast. We quickly huddled under the little overhang of the tent to stay dry and get attacked by mosquitoes! Thankfully the rain didn’t last long and we were able to get a fire and some s’mores going.

Mid-storm my brother and his girlfriend, Becky, arrived! Ben hasn’t seen Uncle John or Becky in nearly a year but seemed to remember them right away and made several requests for Uncle John to pick him up. He really enjoyed spending time with Uncle John and Becky. They were great sports to have spent 24 hours with a toddler.

It turns out it can be rather difficult to get a 2-year old to settle down and go to sleep when there are kids running around, car alarms going off, it’s extremely light out, adults are partying and talking loudly and really when you’re in a new setting. So! Ben fell asleep at about 10:00 p.m., despite our best efforts to get him to cuddle up with us in front of the fire and fall asleep. Once he fell asleep, though, he passed out until 7:15 in the morning, so that was great!

Despite Ben sleeping well {once he fell asleep} neither Alex or I got much sleep. I forgot how uncomfortable air mattresses can be, and it turns out it wasn’t just the preggo who was miserable – Alex had similar complaints. Given the lack of sleep we decided we’d head home a night early. Needless to say, the coffee tasted extra, extra good on Saturday morning.

Side note: how cool are these coffee mugs?! They were a favor at a beautiful wedding we attended last fall.

Milk + camp chair + campfire + super cool Patagonia fleece = happy Ben!

Ben seemed to love all of the time we spent outside on our camping trip. He is such a little explorer and entertainer. We had fun playing in the tent, walking down to the water and playing at the playground. I think we have ourselves a beach baby!

By mid-afternoon on Saturday our campsite was packed up and Ben was snoozing in my lap by the fire {at least we had one success with getting him to fall asleep!}. We decided to run into “town” and grab some coffee from Plain Hardware then go and have a little picnic at our house before going into Leavenworth to show John and Becky around.

Ben was mostly over the idea of sitting still by the time we got out of the car when we arrived in Leavenworth. We managed to have a little time to sit at Cured, our favorite sausage haus, to enjoy a pretzel, bratwurst and beer before we appeased the toddler and went swimming!

Swimming with Ben, in particular at this perfect-for-tots pool, was one of the highlights of my weekend. The pool had a zero-depth entry and a huge section that was 2 feet deep or less. It had a little toddler water slide that was made just for Ben. Ben was wading around in the pool, paddling his arms and jumping up and down – I think he was watching other people swim and trying to figure out how to do it himself! It was so fun to watch.

Before we made the drive home we stopped at the Heidlberger Drive In for some great cheeseburgers and fries. Alex and I love a good diner and this one didn’t disappoint.

All in all, we had a wonderful time on our camping trip. We’re not going to be in a hurry to sleep in a tent again for a few years, I don’t think, but it was such a fun experience to provide for Ben. We are very, very glad we came home after one night, for a number of reasons, but most importantly, Ben ended up coming down with a nasty case of croup on Saturday night/Sunday and we spent the afternoon in urgent care. Poor kiddo was miserable! Hopefully we’re done with the summer illnesses after this one.

The Start of Summer

Here in Seattle we had a nice summery tease back in May. June usually is one of the more annoying months to live in Seattle, though, because the temperature drops back down and the gray skies and drear come back. We usually say that summer in Seattle starts on July 5th, and unsurprisingly, looking at the forecast it looks like that’s going to be the case this year.

Nevertheless, it’s still technically summer! My coffees are iced, I’m sort of in the habit of watering my plants, Ben is stocked up on outdoor toys and shorts, I overbought on sunscreen, our windows are clean, and we’ve got a beach bag constantly packed and ready to go.

We really weren’t sure what this summer would look like, as I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant, so we didn’t want to make too many plans. Normally summer weekends would be filled with regional trips, hiking and lounging at the beach.

We’ve got a bit of that sprinkled into our summer agenda, but let’s just say it’s a good thing we have a great backyard setup for Ben right now.

Ben has been loving touring different playgrounds nearby, having picnics, playing in his “house” in the backyard, swimming in his little pool or splash pad, visiting the zoo and the Bellevue Children’s Museum, and chasing Jackson or dada around the yard.

We are looking forward to our upcoming camping trip, hopefully going to the beach if it ever warms back up, exploring some of the splash parks around the area and taking family bike rides down by the lake.

One of my favorite pastimes during the summer months is sitting on our porch or patio with a nice glass of rose. Wellllll that’s not happening for a while for me. My new drink of choice is a cherry Italian soda! It’s no rose, but it’ll do the trick for now.

Happy summer!!

34 Weeks and Counting!

Since I only made it to 33 weeks and 2 days during my pregnancy with Ben it feels a little surreal to have actually made it to 34 weeks with baby girl. We’re officially in uncharted territory!

{33w3d – one day farther than I got with Ben!}

Last weekend Alex and I took a one-day labor and delivery class since we never made it to that point with Ben and ultimately knew it would end with a c-section. This time around I’m hoping I’ll be able to spontaneously go into labor and avoid a repeat cesarean. Fingers crossed!

We’re a lot more prepared with the labor and delivery basics, as well as what happens after a low-risk delivery. I was surprised to find myself getting emotional thinking about how differently Ben arrived from how the arrival of a new baby was portrayed in the class. Our experience with his arrival was a stark contrast to a “regular” delivery. We missed out on so much and are hoping to have a very different delivery this time around. In any case, though, we know it’s completely out of our hands.

Another preparation we’re working on right now is hiring a birth and postpartum doula to support us through the labor and delivery process, as well as offer lactation and postpartum support once we are home with baby girl.

{32w6d}

We still have a few basic things to do to get ready for her arrival – we’ve got to pull out the infant car seat, wash bottles and pumping parts, buy and set up the pack & play in our room {closet?}, do some freezer cooking/meal prep and finish the “kids” closet in Ben’s room. There’s probably a thousand other little things we’ll realize we forgot we need to do this time around…

Otherwise, all is well here with preggo me and growing baby girl. She’s getting big, therefore I am too! I’m shocked to report that I’m still feeling really, really well these last few weeks – better than the first 30 weeks of my pregnancy. I could do without the heartburn and middle-of-the-night leg cramps, but I’d happily take that over the back pain I had earlier on. In all honesty, all that matters is this baby girl stays healthy and content on the inside for several more weeks and continues to grow and develop. We’re very, very excited to meet her and introduce her to her older brother, but we’re happy to hold off for a little while longer.

Ben’s Second Birthday Celebration

For the second year in a row we headed out to Leavenworth for Memorial Day weekend with Ben’s grandparents to celebrate his birthday. It was such a special weekend for us and we’re so grateful that his grandparents were able to join us this year.

The whole weekend was all about Ben! We had a blast celebrating him and enjoying Ben-themed activities.

Just down the block from our house is the fire station and they were hosting a Memorial Day family open house again this year. Ben loved seeing the fire trucks and ambulances and even got to watch a medical helicopter land. Grammy dressed up as a fire fighter and Ben got to sit up in the fire truck.

We had a wonderful time exploring the beach at Lake Wenatchee State Park and shared a picnic and some time walking the beach and playing on the playground. Lake Wenatchee is absolutely stunning!

When we arrived to our rental house, which is conveniently located next door to our property, we couldn’t wait to run over to our lot to check on the construction progress. Framing has begun – they had just finished up framing the basement and were working on the first wall on the main floor. It was so special to see the house being built and get to share that with Ben. Grandpa Fred brought some sunflower seeds for us to plant over on the lot, so we found the perfect spot and will be excited to see them grow this summer.

There were a couple of times we went into town for a change of pace – we had some sausage and pretzels, took a stroll through Leavenworth and got to savor some mid-afternoon treats at the coffee shop.

We opted to celebrate Ben’s birthday on Sunday after Ben’s nap. He opened some really fun presents and we had birthday cake. For dinner, my dad made his famous burgers and potato salad again this year. I ordered the same Bavarian black forest cake for Ben again this year and thankfully he loved and devoured it. He hadn’t really experienced cake last year before his birthday but this year he was a pro.

Ben is very close to outgrowing the pack & play travel crib and made it clear that he was not happy to be sleeping in it while we were traveling. Similarly to when we were in Arizona a couple months ago, Ben woke up in the middle of the night {extremely unusual for him} each night and requested to come in bed with Alex and me. We happily cozied up with him and savored these rare middle-of-the-night cuddles.

Unsurprisingly, the sleeping change resulted in veeerrryyyyy early wakeups in the morning. Holy cow. Alex was nice enough to let me sleep in a bit later while he played with Ben and Jackson. Nap time was all over the place, given the early wake-ups and new environment. After the second day of no naps I decided to lay down and snooze with Ben with the hope that it would result in a longer nap for him. Thankfully it did!

There were so many sweet moments throughout the weekend. One of my favorites was seeing Ben recognize that there was a special celebration just for him – he sang “Happy Birthday to Ben” all weekend long.

Alex and I had the best time exploring the area we’ll soon be calling our second home and seeing Ben experience life out there. We’re so grateful that Ben has grandparents who adore him so much and who he can bond with, despite the distance. It was a very special weekend for us.

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.