Tag Archives: month-by-month

Hannah is Five Months Old!

Our sweet little baby girl is five months old and has been so interactive, active and smiley. We are having so much fun with our Happy Hannah.

Hannah’s stats:

  • Weight: she was 15 pounds 10 ounces at her 4-month checkup (75th percentile)
  • Length: she was 25″ at her 4-month checkup (50th percentile!!)
  • Clothing size: 6-9 months

Hannah continues to be the sweetest baby I’ve ever met. She is always smiling and so, so happy. Her smile lights up the room.

Recently, Hannah started rolling over from her back to her tummy! She had been doing a lot of rolling onto her side for a while and then one day figured out that she could get all the way over. By the second time she rolled over it was already a graceful, swift move. Now she’s working on sitting up!

We pulled out Ben’s old high chair {he’s been in a booster seat for around 9 months now} and brought it up to the table. Hannah loves to be in the action and we thought it would be fun for her to be seated in the high chair for dinner so she can see everyone eating.

We got the green light from the pediatrician to go ahead and start trying some solid foods, so we’re planning on doing that around Christmas. I’m thinking we’ll start maybe with avocado or banana? Honestly, I haven’t given it much thought other than the fact that I’m really excited for her to start eating solid foods. I can’t wait to share my love of food with her!

Hannah has been a great sleeper since day two. She continues to sleep through the night, though this last week she woke up a couple times needing some love in the middle of the night due to a bad cold. Despite the cold and clearly feeling miserable she is still all smiles and somehow is powering right through.

There were a few weeks right around the turn from three months to four where Hannah hated being in her car seat in the car. That seems to mostly be a thing of the past at this point. I’m sure we’ll have a few more of these periods as she gets older, though now she mostly tolerates it just fine.

{I think she’d prefer to ride up front with me! – obviously she doesn’t ride in the front seat ;)}

Christmas came a few days early for Hannah – I gave her a couple of new teething toys and she absolutely LOVES them. These are probably the best teething/baby toys I’ve ever encountered, aside from or on par with the Wubbanub pacifiers.

Hannah has had the dexterity to put things into her mouth for several weeks now – maybe since 3 or 3.5 months and these new toys are so fun for her to hold onto, pass between her hands or chew on. The shape of them is perfect for her to actually be able to get into her mouth. These were recommended by my mom’s group leader who is an occupational therapist.

These days Hannah spends a lot of time playing on the floor. We’ve expanded her baby gym onto one of Ben’s quilts so that she has more space to roll over. I actually think I’m going to get rid of her official baby gym {any takers!?} because it takes up so much space.

Hannah has been so interactive lately with toys and people and is all smiles. She is smitten with her big brother and love, love, loves getting attention from him. He’ll often come over and give her a big hug or try to climb in her rock & play with her. Ben is so tolerant when Hannah grabs his hair out of excitement.

We are so excited for Hannah’s first Christmas in just a few days. We already got her out cross country skiing this week and I hope to do so again in the next few days. We have so, so much to look forward to this holiday season and new year.

Ben is 2 1/2!

Ben has been *just* two for half a year and now we can officially call him our little “two and a half year old.” There is a stark difference between two and two and a half. And let me tell you, we’re there.

Ben’s Stats:

  • Weight: 28.8 pounds as of early November {around 25%}
  • Height: 34.5″ {35-50%}
  • Number of teeth: 19 {FINALLY Ben’s canine teeth and three of his 2-year molars came in!}
  • Clothing size: mostly 2T, though there are a lot of brands of pants that are way too big on Ben. Cat & Jack pants fit the best.
  • Shoe size: size 7 toddler
  • Favorite foods: tuna, any type of cheese, crackers, mushrooms, sometimes broccoli, smoothies, chocolate, sometimes eggs, pork in any form
  • Favorite activities: listening to music, singing songs, running, watching Daniel Tiger, playing with “things that go,” spending time with dada, swimming

Some fun developmental things as of late are: Ben can spell his name out loud, he can count objects up to 10 {reliably up to 4 or 5}, he knows most shapes and he has started drawing circles instead of just lines. I’ve noticed that Ben has started more correctly saying personal pronouns {he used to say “you” instead of “me”}, which is really helpful. And singing! He can sing whole songs with multiple verses. So cool!

Language development has always been something Ben has excelled at. He is speaking in full sentences now. In the last 2 months or so we’ve noticed another significant leap in his verbal skills. He is inquisitive and strings together very complete sentences – often starting with “mom” or “dad” and ending with a question {sometimes an unprompted “please” gets thrown in there too!}.

It’s so fun to see him string together a whole thought or a very accurate sentence. I love hearing him ask questions – it’s so neat to hear that he just *gets* who/what/where/when/why and the difference and he knows when someone is asking him a question. Watching a kid develop is so darn neat.

A few new phrases or sentences he has been saying include:

  • “Dad, can you not help please?”
  • “Sure!”
  • “No way Jose!”
  • “I don’t want you to go.” {my least favorite thing he’s started saying when either parent has to go to work.}
  • “Mom, can you just go use the potty?” {this is usually when he’s up to no good and wants the adult to leave him alone.}

Potty training has been going on now since just after Ben turned two. It was slow and steady with limited noticeable progress for quite some time, partly due to all of the changes going on for Ben and I think partly due to his young age/lack of readiness. In the last month we’ve rounded the corner and are making great strides and by goodness I think he is almost considered potty trained during the day! He’s having significantly more “dry” days than not and has been resistant to diapers at nap/bedtime and we recently decided to eliminate diapers from naps.

About a month ago Ben started showing more signs of independence while using the potty – he’d initiate on his own and at home he can do everything by himself. This was a huge win for him. We started offering rewards if he could make it a certain amount of time without having an accident and that seemed to help pull everything together.

Benjamin is about as sweet as they come. He’s affectionate and caring and shows a lot of empathy. It has been so endearing watching his adoration for his baby sister. The moments when he comes up to her unprompted and says hi or starts rocking her or he’ll just stick his face in her face and then tickle her tummy. Sometimes when she’s crying he’ll tell me to feed “baby sister” or he’ll put her pacifier in her mouth. He got Hannah to giggle for the first time!

He has started really identifying emotions lately, as well. It’s been a fascinating learning experience for all of us to name emotions that Hannah is likely feeling and then next time she starts crying Ben will repeat back one of the possible emotions she might be feeling. We’ve been noticing how much emotional support and language he’s picked up from his new preschool and from Daniel Tiger. Sometimes he’ll go give Hannah a pacifier or rock her in her little seat. He’ll often go over and hug her and sing “rock-a-by-baby” to her too.

Lately Ben has been getting even more advanced physical moves. He has a natural athletic ability and has been working on his balance. climbing and jumping. He’s taken to climbing on top of a big box and jumping off of it, or, his new trick is climbing onto the coffee table and launching himself into the chair or onto the couch. Gymnastics is soon coming! And so is skiing!!

One of the very biggest changes for Ben in the last quarter has been the introduction of a drop-off preschool. Ben began the start of the year attending a Spanish-immersion preschool. Within about 3 weeks of starting school we determined it wasn’t the right fit for him. Shortly thereafter we pieced together a drop-off preschool two days a week in combination with the same co-op preschool he attended last year, which includes one drop-off per week.

Ben adores his teachers at both schools. He very quickly bonded with Teacher Emiko at his new drop-off school and she has been unbelievably supportive of him during his time there. He eased into the drop-off routine very quickly. He still gets a little sad at drop-off, especially when I’m the one bringing him, but I always get a positive report that he’s becoming more and more comfortable.

He is very comfortable at the co-op, which made the transition to dropping him off there very easy. It’s no big deal for me to leave. He love, love, loves Teacher Shannon and is familiar with the space and the toys. In fact, he is so comfortable that he’s started to be rather mischievous at co-op!

Interestingly, Teacher Emiko says Ben is most himself when he’s painting and doing sensory play. Ben has always been very into different arts – he absolutely loves music and he’s been a natural dancer. He really enjoys coloring and playing with play dough. I hadn’t painted with him very often at home {sometimes we’ll do it at co-op} but it looks like I’m going to have to now!

It’s been fun to watch his artwork change recently too. He definitely has a style. He loves to color in circles, mix paint to see how the different colors create new colors and he likes to use as much color as possible to “make it colorful.”

There are a lot of life skills Ben is learning right now. At co-op, he’s responsible for clearing his plate, cup and place mat and putting the plate and cup in the dishwasher {after dumping the water out of the cup and cleaning off any remaining food from the plate!}. I was shocked to see him do it all on his own the first time. Since seeing that, he’s been my helper setting the table at dinnertime.

Ben is a very independent kid. He loves to do things on his own and thrives on practicing new skills over and over again until he’s mastered them. He is very proud of himself that he can climb into his chair at the dinner table and buckle himself in all on his own {and we’re pretty proud of him too!}. He has been practicing using utensils and really has nailed the use of a spoon. He loves eating cereal with milk and practicing using a spoon. Very recently he’s wanted to be in charge of putting toothpaste on his toothbrush or picking a clean pair of underwear or deciding which jammies to wear. He loves being helpful and I can usually get his assistance in setting the table or taking the silverware out of the dishwasher when it needs to be emptied.

One of my favorite recent milestones has been pretend play. Ben has started to play by himself and act out different scenes, if you will. This just came out of the blue and happened completely naturally and it has been so, so very fun to see. He loves to give his cars and trucks baths/showers at night and he has been playing pretend with his baby doll.

Over the last several months Ben has developed an affinity for “things that go” and has accumulated quite a few toy trucks and trains. Garbage day is very exciting in our house – Ben has a step stool in front of the window so he can watch the garbage truck collect our trash. It’s always a special day when we get to see a firetruck or a digger or a big dump truck out on the street. Ben likes very small cars/trucks/trains – ones he can hold in his hand. While some kids have teddy bears or lovies as their security blanket, Ben has a digger or a toy train.

It has been really fun seeing the progression from two to two-and-a-half. I’m not sure what’s ahead but I bet it will be exciting! One thing I’m most looking forward to is getting Ben started skiing! Introducing him to winter sports will be a major highlight in parenting so far. Stay tuned…

Hannah is Four Months Old!

Happy Thanksgiving! Our sweet baby girl is growing, growing, growing and is now four months old! I’ve gotten to the point where I gush about how teeny tiny brand new babies are because Hannah is just getting so darn big. I can’t believe how quickly you forget how little they start out.

We don’t have Hannah’s four-month check-up for another week so I won’t get updated measurements until then. I’m guessing she’s around 16++ pounds {last I knew she was in the 75%}. No clue on her length, probably still short. She’s still in 3-6m clothing. She’s short, so I’m hoping she’ll fit into it for a little longer…

 

 

Hannah truly is the sweetest, happiest baby I’ve ever met. She is SO smiley – I just can’t stop staring at her because she gets so happy and excited to look at me.

Lately Hannah has been really interested in holding things. She will always hold onto my shirt or her blanket and loves to have a toy in her hand. She can already put her pacifier back in her mouth. She’s been chomping on her own hand, too – we are wondering if she’s starting the teething process.

Also! Hannah has started sucking her thumb! She loves her pacifier too – she has a really cute lamb and duck pacifier {or “wubbie” as we call them in our house} that bring her a lot of joy.

Just last week Hannah rolled from her back to her tummy! It’s not a skill she’s mastered – definitely still practicing – but it was really fun to hear that she did that.

Since she has been spending so much one-on-one time in the mornings with Stacey while Ben is at school she’s been getting a ton of tummy time and play time down on the ground. It’s so fun for me to walk in and see her playing on the floor because when I’m down there with her it’s such a different vantage point. I love getting to walk in and see how strong she’s getting during her playtime.

Since I went back to work I’ve been able to work out my schedule so I can continue to attend my Tuesday morning PEPS group with Hannah. It’s a group of mamas and their second babies {most mamas have toddlers too}. I have really enjoyed my experience and the connections and relationships I’m building with the other mamas.

Hannah isn’t on any kind of a parent-led routine by any means. She has put herself on a routine, though, as I’ve mentioned before. Daylight savings time actually helped her get into a great nighttime routine – she’s now going to sleep at about 7:30 p.m. and sleeps until anywhere between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. – usually depending on the 2-year old noise level in the house. During the day she naps at random points throughout the day – more catnaps than anything else. She is so good at going with the flow, thankfully.

Hannah has two birthmarks – one is just above her right eye {you can see in the photo above} and one is at the nape of her neck. The one on her neck is more red/purple and is mostly covered by her hair so once her hair grows in you’ll never know it’s there. The birthmark on her forehead is more noticeable in photos than in person

We are so wild about this sweet baby girl and I can’t wait to see these next few months unfold. Her little personality is just starting to come out. We have so much to look forward to – sitting up, the introduction of solid food, baby giggles, and the list goes on!

 

Hannah is Three Months Old!

And just like that our baby girl is a quarter of a year old! Hannah is growing and changing at a rapid pace and it’s hard to keep up with all of her new developments. While I’ve thought Hannah was fun and sweet from day one, I remember Ben starting to really be more fun and engaging around four months, so I have a feeling our sweet girl is only going to get sweeter and more interactive as the days go on.

As a three month old, Hannah weighs 13 pounds 9 ounces and is in the 68th percentile for her weight. We’ll get an updated length at her four month check up.

The biggest update in the last month is that Hannah started sleeping through the night! I think this happened around 10 weeks or so. It’s kept up for a while so we’re hoping it’s a sign of good sleep to come.

A lot of people {mostly strangers!} ask how she sleeps during the day if she sleep through the night already. Usually she takes a short morning nap and is awake and interactive most of the morning, then around 1:00 she typically takes a longer afternoon nap, usually about 2 hours or so, and is awake most of the evening with a cat nap somewhere along the line.

Hannah loves to eat! Usually she grazes {or non-stop eats} from about 6-9 p.m., which seems to fill up her little belly with enough calories to keep her going through the night.

While I haven’t ever taken the time to get Hannah on any sort of a routine, she decided to take matters into her own hands and get herself on one. She really is fairly consistent day-to-day and it has absolutely nothing to do with my intentions or plans. I really wanted her to be flexible – her big brother rules the roost, after all. Hannah is proving she is quite adaptable and happy to give her mama the wonderful gift of sleep.

Typically Hannah falls asleep around 9 in the evening – usually while eating – and sleeps until 6:30 or 7 a.m. I’m sure someday soon we’ll try to get her to have a real bedtime and an evening routine, but for now it’s working so I don’t really want to rock the boat.

Hannah loves to read and look at pictures. She gets so happy and engaged when we look at books together. Her favorite toy {let’s be real – the only toy she has any interest in} is her crinkle paper. She responds really well to a pacifier, which is nice. She doesn’t *have* to have it but she’ll very happily take it if she’s upset or needing comfort.

Developmentally, Hannah is still rolling from tummy to back {I think just one way} and is able to prop herself up more and more each day, it seems. She loves laying on her back on her play mat and batting the toys above her. She has been cooing so so much lately and sometimes I swear she’s actually talking to me.

Hannah continues to be such a dream baby. We are so over the moon with our baby girl!

Hannah is Two Months Old!

Time is moving at warp speed, these days. Sometimes it feels like Hannah has been here forever and other times it feels like she was just born yesterday. In any case, she’s two months old now.

We had her two-month checkup recently and she weighs 12 pounds 8 ounces {75th percentile} and is 21.75 inches long {10th percentile}. She got her first round of a whole mess of vaccines, which makes me happy since Ben is now in school with a bunch of other germy kids. Hannah is still in 0-3 month clothing but is ready to jump up into 3-6 any day now, which is great, because I only bought summer 0-3 month stuff and she’s been living in her jammies for a few weeks now!

Hannah continues to be an absolute delight. She is such a good cuddler – I love when she falls asleep, her tummy to mine, and her arms and legs stretched around my torso. It’s the sweetest. She still makes little chipmunk noises, but her newborn noises are already starting to disappear. In the last few weeks she has started smiling. I guess that rivals the sweetest thing, too.

We’ve been working on tummy time and Hannah’s neck strength is really improving. She has started to roll over from her tummy to her back already!

I’m not sure if it’s too early to “call” her personality, but so far, she’s very happy and very calm and patient. Since we have a two year old, that is very much appreciated! There were a couple of days when I had Ben and Hannah on my own all day and they were very trying days with Ben, and Hannah just hung out so patiently and calmly while I put Ben’s needs first.

Hannah’s eating is inconsistent throughout the day, but consistent day-to-day. She starts the day with a meal around 3 or 4 a.m., then wakes up again for a super quick snack sometime between 5-7 a.m. and then sort of cluster feeds for a lot of the morning, hangs out awake mostly all morning, eats lunch and then snoozes all afternoon. Dinnertime is a little tricky – I’ve been preparing dinner in the middle of the afternoon while Hannah sleeps, whenever I’m able to, because come 5:00, Hannah has a 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 hour feeding frenzy. This is a-ok, though, {mostly} because she’s been sleeping 7 or 8 hour stretches at night.

This last month Hannah got to meet 3 of her 4 grandparents and she’ll meet Grandpa Fred next week. She also got to meet her Great Uncle Dave and Aunt Katie, too!

We absolutely adore our sweet Hannah Maxine. She brings our whole family so much joy!

Hannah is One Month Old!

Well that went fast! I can not believe Hannah is already a month old. She is such a dream of a baby and we absolutely adore her.

Hannah 9 pounds 8 ounces {50th percentile!} and at her two-week checkup she was 19.5 inches tall. She won’t have another well-child checkup until two months {apparently second-time parents don’t need the one-month checkup!}.

She already burst out of newborn size clothes and is comfortably in 0-3 month now. I’m trying to get as much wear out of the adorable 0-3 month summer stuff I overbought for her. It is SO FUN having a little girl to dress.

At this point I’m in love with most things pink {especially light pink} and really not feeling much/any frill or super girly stuff. I’m more into the low-key casual baby girl clothes for my little girl, especially since she spends so much time either swaddled or wrapped up in the carrier. Dresses are just too bulky for my taste right now. Who knew!? I’ve been loving cute little low-profile soft headbands for her when we go out and about, too. {And just for the record, I have discovered the absolute best baby/swaddle blankets: Bestaroo!}

Our days right now are filled with lots and lots of eating, lots and lots of sleeping, some tummy time, tons of snuggles, walks {mainly to the coffee shop!}, hugs and kisses from big brother Ben and lots of time in the carrier. She is starting to be awake a lot more and is really alert. I’m so impressed how quickly she’s building up neck strength and head control.

Hannah is eating every 2-4 hours right now, depending on the time of day. She’s been able to really regulate her overnight meals quite nicely lately and does a meal around 10 p.m., 2 a.m. and then 5 or 6 a.m.. During the day she’s eating more like every 2-3 hours. It’s nice that she’s getting to be a bit more predictable and consistent with her meal times. Alex started giving her a bottle most nights last week which has been really nice for him to feel more involved with her {and for me to get a little more sleep!}.

Next up is getting on a good routine with naps and bedtime so that we can really build some consistency for us all. That said, I think flexibility will be super important with our baby #2 since our toddler rules the roost.

As a one-month old, Hannah loves being swaddled or cozied up in the baby carrier {we have the Cuddle Bug wrap}. We just introduced her to the pacifier and it was love at first sight, as we had expected. She is starting to want to be included more and loves being carried around or just sitting in the rock & play. Luckily, she also loves taking walks and seems to enjoy the bassinet on our stroller. She’s not really a fan of being in the car seat {can’t blame her there!}.

It’s going to be so fun to see what Hannah starts doing in her second month. We’ve got a lot to look forward to with this sweet girl!

 

 

Ben is 24 Months Old!

We celebrated Ben’s second birthday last week with a big family trip over the mountains to Leavenworth, followed by mini celebrations all week long to honor the sweet little life of our boy. It seems like he’s grown up and changed so much in the last week – he really turned two. We’ve had a lot of firsts and are so excited to see what the “terrific twos” are all about.

Ben’s 24-month stats:

  • Weight: 25 pounds, 2 ounces {15-25th percentile}
  • Height: 33 3/4 inches {25th-40th percentile}
  • Number of teeth: 12
  • Clothing size: no change here – all over the board – very, very brand dependent!  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: size 6 toddler!
  • Favorite foods: cottage cheese, smoothies, Grandpa Fred’s burgers, broccoli & rice casserole
  • Favorite activities: singing “Wheels on the Bus”, doing things himself, watching videos of diggers, pushing toys, playing with Jackson, reading books, dancing, running, climbing, being silly with dada.

In the last month Ben has turned into “Bossy Ben” which, for now, is hilarious. I love hearing his very strong opinion about certain things – for example, that it’s not okay for anyone but dada to sit in dada’s spot at the dining room table. Ben is very good at expressing his opinion and preference. He very freely says “no way” and we’re starting to work on that becoming “no thank you” though it’s still pretty funny hearing him say “no way” all the time.

The big themes we’ve been seeing for the last 6-8 months have been around communication and that’s no different right now. We’re working on pronouns {btw – I’m done referring to myself in third person – once I mostly stopped that I realized how ridiculous it is. I think all it does is confuse him!} and complete sentences that include please and thank you. Ben has been asking “did you hear that?” or “what is that?” alllllll the time, which is so fun to start to get a closer glimpse of what’s going on in his mind.

Definitely along with the bossiness and communication comes manipulation, ignoring us and tantrums. Ben’s doctor told us that with his vocabulary and communication abilities he’d start to try to manipulate us earlier than most kids – yeah, we’re already there. It’s really funny. Tantrums are mostly avoidable at this point but of course depending on the circumstances there’s no way around them. Ben is very strong-willed and stubborn and has clear preferences, so talking him through things in difficult-for-him situations is critical. Alex is really good about diffusing the tough moments – mostly through humor or doing something to annoy Ben {not sure how that works but it does!}. Naturally, as a toddler, Ben feels feelings very strongly, though it’s also very mood/sleep/hunger dependent.

Finally it seems like learning colors is starting to click with Ben! That’s been really fun – up until about the last week or so I didn’t think he had any understanding of what different colors were, but now it’s clear that he’s getting it. I’ve been really working on it, so it’s nice to see the concept sinking in.

We just ordered a little glider board for our stroller because Ben wants to be an independent walker and not always a rider. The glider board goes under the parent push handle and is like a little spot for him to stand and hold on, rather than sit in his chair. He frequently requests to to get out and walk, so this is sort of a happy medium if we are out on a longer walk and he needs a ride but doesn’t want to sit.

 

Over the weekend we went for our first family walk without the stroller. We took Jackson up to the park on Sunday morning and per Ben’s request, left the stroller at home. Ben was a stellar listener and stayed with us and asked to hold hands when we crossed the street. It was wayyyyy less exhausting and chaotic than I expected!

For the last month or so we have been sloooooowlyyyy pulling off the bandaid of providing way too much support to Ben when he goes to sleep at night. Last weekend we ripped that bandaid right off and Ben is officially putting himself to sleep unsupported. I was 100% the barrier and finally when he turned two I became ready to put him in his crib, say goodnight and then walk out and close the door. We had a lot of conversations with him about the change and he handled it so much better than I expected! When we left the room he just laid down, cuddled up with his stuffed animals and fell asleep. There was absolutely no issue whatsoever. I guess he’s been ready for a while!

We are approaching the end of diapers! Alex and I are pulling the plug and starting potty training this weekend. I’m pretty excited to see how it goes and how he grasps the concept. It is so fun to watch him learn a new skill and see how proud of himself he is. We’ll do a two-phase approach where wake-times are diaper-free effective immediately and forever, then sleep-time will still be with a diaper for the time being since Ben still sleeps in a crib. Wish us luck!

Our little mover has become quite the climber! Ben is so agile and athletic – I continue to be amazed by him at the playground. He’s getting stronger and able to climb and pull himself up on things, hang from bars and be more sturdy all the time. He tested out the “big kid” swing for the first time when we were in Leavenworth and while we’re not ready to push him very high, he’s totally got it.

I can’t believe all of the “big kid” things that Ben is doing now. He really, really turned into a two-year old.

I think this will probably be my last month-by-month update about Ben. Having this blog as a way to keep track of our family, watch Ben grow and help our family stay on top of what’s going on with us has been so wonderful. I sometimes use it as a journal, tracking things for myself, and other times use it as a way to spread the word about what’s going on in our little lives. Thank you for reading!

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.

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.

Ben is 21 Months Old!

We’ve reached the end of another month and this time it means that Ben is 21 months old! We’ve begun preparing for his second birthday already and this little boy is a full-fledged toddler on the move. I just can’t believe it.

Ben’s 21-month stats:

  • Weight: 23 pounds 11 ounces {10th percentile}
  • Number of teeth: 12 {he has finally been catching up and getting more teeth! I think there are two more on their way in.}
  • Clothing size: all over the board – he officially broke out of 18-24m pajamas, and anything new I’m sizing up to 2T for tops. Bottoms are so funny – he’s still in 12-18m at the very largest. I bought him 9-12m shorts for our upcoming trip. He’s very difficult to buy clothes for!
  • Shoe size: 5 {toddler size}
  • Favorite foods: cheese, cottage cheese, oatmeal {a new favorite}, crackers, getting a “steamer” {steamed milk from the coffee shop}, pork in any form. He still likes broccoli but is back to being “over” bananas and virtually all other types of fruit, though he can’t get enough smoothies or applesauce.
  • Favorite activities: running, climbing, singing songs, reading, making coffee with his new {toy} coffee maker, playing with his toy train, digging through his backpack to find snacks, dumping things out, jumping in puddles.

Over the last few months Ben has been practicing using a fork and a spoon to eat with. I think he’s officially gotten to the point where he prefers utensils instead of his hands. His dexterity is getting quite impressive the more he practices. He has been proving that he’s really ready for major eating independence on things like applesauce, yogurt and cottage cheese – all things we at one time spoon fed him. It’s been fun to see the progression and how proud of himself he is.

{Homemade toddler pizzas were a hit one night when mom & dad went out for dinner.}

Ben’s morning wake-ups have been a little funny for a few weeks. Most days he’s been waking up quiiiiite early. We use a fantastic tot clock so he knows that he has to wait for the light to turn green before we’ll come in. Recently he started singing to himself in the mornings as he awaits our arrival. It is the sweetest thing listening to him in his room singing songs. I love that he’s actually starting to sing songs – he will occasionally request some of his favorites or just start singing the words.

“Getting cozy” is one of Ben’s favorite morning activities. We put him up on our bed, pull my big cozy blanket up over us and read stories while Ben drinks his milk. Sometimes he’ll get cozy in his chair in his room all by himself. He’s also figured out how to get Alex or me out of his chair if he wants to sit there by himself – he’ll put his hand out and say “walk” and then take a couple steps forward with us, let go and then go climb into the chair and take it over. Clever boy…

In keeping up with common developmental themes over the last few months I think language skills is again the biggest area where Ben has grown this last month. He’s putting together phrases and stringing together more dual/multi-word sentences and making noticeable connections. It is so fun to watch this take shape.

His communication skills are becoming more and more fun and helpful. He can point out an “ouchie” now, which of course is very helpful. He has begun to ask for more of something specific. He’s answering more questions and following more instructions. Very occasionally without prompting, he will say please or thank you. He has started to say “it’s okay!” to himself if he is scared of something. This is precious – seeing him connect emotions and how to deal with them all on his own is remarkable.

Some of his new {and adorable} phrases include:

  • “Come up Jackson!” {telling Jackson to come up on the bed}
  • “No way!” {has replaced plain old “no”}
  • “What is that?” {when he doesn’t know what something is}
  • “Come on!” {when he wants you to come with him}
  • “Want some”

Ben is definitely getting more and more into the toddler phase of testing boundaries as of the last couple weeks. It’s pretty amusing to see that as a parent. We approach it with a sense of humor and a whole lot of patience, as well as acknowledging that he’s trying to figure things out. It’s just really funny, though, watching him test, test, test the boundaries and hearing me tell him not to do something several times and watching the look in his eyes when he decides to do it again and again to figure out what he can get away with. We’re learning more and more about the toddler years and how quickly things change.

Some of my favorite moments of the last month have been snuggling with my sweet boy, hearing him say “love you” and “good night” and “morning” and getting more kisses. This little boy just melts my heart and his dada’s too.