Too Busy Having Fun!

Well it’s been about two weeks since I posted an update about how Ben is doing and I can’t believe how fast that time has gone by! We have been so busy having fun that I’ve neglected writing an update. I’ll just let the pictures from the last couple weeks speak for themselves…

{Jackson is still in heaven and completely obsessed with Ben. He has started distancing himself a little bit and going to take his own naps, but whenever Ben is awake Jackson can hardly leave his side.}

{Jackson is still in heaven and completely obsessed with Ben. He has started distancing himself a little bit and going to take his own naps, but whenever Ben is awake Jackson can hardly leave his side.}

{Meanwhile, Henry couldn't care less!}

{Meanwhile, Henry couldn’t care less!}

{We're getting into a little bit of a routine, though it has changed several times. During our "coffee hour" in the living room, Ben now hangs out with us either in our laps or in his little seat. He has started getting more and more alert and has been staying awake a little longer which has been really fun!}

{We’re getting into a little bit of a routine, though it has changed several times. During our “coffee hour” in the living room, Ben now hangs out with us either in our laps or in his little seat. He has started getting more and more alert and has been staying awake a little longer which has been really fun!}

{In the last couple weeks Ben has had some exciting milestones. The biggest one is that he's doubled his weight since birth! His birth weight was 3 pounds 3 ounces and as of last Thursday he was 8 pounds 9 ounces!}

{In the last couple weeks Ben has had some exciting milestones. The biggest one is that he’s doubled his weight since birth! His birth weight was 3 pounds 3 ounces and as of last Thursday he was 6 pounds 9 ounces! He is also officially out of preemie clothes and is in newborn clothes. Ben’s doctor uses a preemie growth chart for him and he’s in the 10th percentile for weight, but 50th percentile for length and head size, compared to other preemies. When compared to full-term babies, though, he’s still below the first percentile.}

{As a result of his weight gain, Ben's doctor said we can stop fortifying his breastmilk. We were adding a small amount of formula to each of his bottles of breastmilk to increase the calorie count, but now he's on straight breastmilk.}

{As a result of his weight gain, Ben’s doctor said we can stop fortifying his breastmilk. We were adding a small amount of formula to each of his bottles of breastmilk to increase the calorie count, but now he’s on straight breastmilk.}

{Because Ben was born so early and so tiny, his mouth is teeny tiny and his stamina is limited and this has made breastfeeding really challenging. Since Ben was already getting breastmilk by bottle anyway, I decided to discontinue trying to push breastfeeding. It was completely my decision, which Alex supports, and I'm really happy with it. It would have been really nice to have been able to breastfeed, but there are definitely some advantages to pumping/bottle feeding, too.}

{Because Ben was born so early and so tiny, his mouth is teeny tiny and his stamina is limited and this has made breastfeeding really challenging. He gets the concept but doesn’t have the stamina to feed for as long as he’d need to in order to get a full meal. Since Ben was already getting breastmilk by bottle anyway, I decided to discontinue trying to push breastfeeding. It was completely my decision, which Alex supports, and I’m really happy with it. It would have been really nice to have been able to breastfeed, but there are definitely some advantages to pumping/bottle feeding, too. The biggest advantage is that Alex can feed Ben now and that is one of Alex’s favorite things to do with him – it allows for some really great bonding time.}

{Alex has coined the burp cloth as the "milk scarf" - can't believe I've never heard that one before!}

{Alex has coined the burp cloth as the “milk scarf” – can’t believe I’ve never heard that one before!}

{We've been working on tummy time with Ben! He's got this fantastic little playmat that is perfect for extended tummy time. Usually we do tummy time on his crib for a few minutes after each diaper change, but the playmat is nice for longer stretches. Ben is starting to be able to hold his head up while on his tummy and he can rotate it to the left and right, as well. He's becoming more and more solid when we pick him up, too, thus requiring less head support.}

{We’ve been working on tummy time with Ben! He’s got this fantastic little playmat that is perfect for extended tummy time. Usually we do tummy time on his crib for a few minutes after each diaper change, but the playmat is nice for longer stretches. Ben is starting to be able to hold his head up while on his tummy and he can rotate it to the left and right, as well. He’s becoming more and more solid when we pick him up, too, thus requiring less head support.}

{A week ago today Ben turned 6 weeks old! That means he's 7 weeks old now :) }

{A week ago today Ben turned 6 weeks old! That means he’s 7 weeks old now 🙂 }

{Another exciting milestone for Ben was that he smiled for the first time last week! We're hoping to see many more smiles from his sweet face!}

{Another exciting milestone for Ben was that he smiled for the first time last week! We’re hoping to see many more smiles from his sweet face!}

{Just today Ben started holding on to his "wubbie" which we sometimes give him if he's having a meltdown. Usually his meltdowns happen while on the changing table before eating - he's just like his mama and he sometimes gets a little hangry! One thing we learned very early is that if Ben is screaming his head off it's for a reason - really, one of two reasons: dirty diaper or hungry. Thankfully he very, very rarely screams. He is quite noisy though - I often ask which barnyard animal he's going to be today. He grunts a lot and coos and generally makes a lot of really weird noises that I attribute to goats, sheep and bird sounds.}

{Just today Ben started holding on to his “wubbie” which we sometimes give him if he’s having a meltdown. Usually his meltdowns happen while on the changing table before eating – he’s just like his mama and he sometimes gets a little hangry! One thing we learned very early is that if Ben is screaming his head off it’s for a reason – really, one of two reasons: dirty diaper or hungry. Thankfully he very, very rarely screams – his changing table performance is really just him whining. He is quite noisy though – I often ask which barnyard animal he’s going to be today. He grunts a lot and coos and generally makes a lot of really weird noises that I attribute to goat, sheep and bird sounds.}

{After realizing Ben's sleeping preferences and challenges over the last several days we're re-evaluating his "routine" and changing things up a bit. It's our hope for him to sleep from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and then to 6:30 a.m., which he has done several times before. The last week or so he has made it to 2:30 a few times but hasn't really made it past 5 or 5:30 a.m. We're taking our cues from him and trying to come up with a better system for feeding and sleeping times.}

{After realizing Ben’s sleeping preferences and challenges over the last several days we’re re-evaluating his “routine” and changing things up a bit. It’s our hope for him to sleep from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and then to 6:30 a.m., which he has done several times before. The last week or so he has made it to 2:30 a few times but hasn’t really made it past 5 or 5:30 a.m. We’re taking our cues from him and trying to come up with a better system for feeding and sleeping times.}

{Cuddle time! Last week I got to go on a little shopping trip, as I had no pants or workout clothes, besides my worn out leggings, that fit me. I found a great pair of jeans, a fun skirt and some new cropped leggings for Pilates/lounging, and a couple tops and a swimming suit that fits and am hoping for success in at least one dress I ordered. While I'm almost back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, things have reeeeallyyy changed! Hopefully with Pilates and running I'll be able to shape up relatively quickly.}

{Cuddle time! Last week I got to go on a little shopping trip, as I had no pants or workout clothes, besides my worn out leggings, that fit me. I found a great pair of jeans, a fun skirt and some new cropped leggings for Pilates/lounging, and a couple tops and a swimming suit that fits and am hoping for success in at least one dress I ordered. While I’m almost back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, things have reeeeallyyy changed and aren’t quite as toned as they used to be. Hopefully with Pilates and running I’ll be able to shape up relatively quickly.}

{It's too bad that sleeping on your tummy is now frowned upon because I think that would be Ben's preferred sleeping position!}

{It’s too bad that sleeping on your tummy is now frowned upon because I think that would be Ben’s preferred sleeping position!}

{I've been loving story time with Ben! It has been fun to re-read some books from my childhood, but also to read some newer books too.}

{I’ve been loving story time with Ben! It has been fun to re-read some books from my childhood, but also to read some newer books too.}

{It seems like all of our friends just had babies! It has been SO much fun going through pregnancy and the first few weeks of having a baby with so many friends. We recently went over to some friends' house for brunch and we all now have babies. It was really fun to see that transition. Ben is in the blue/white stripes, baby Roslyn {Carrie & Patrick's daughter - 4 weeks older than Ben} is to Ben's left and twins Oliver and August are on the right side - they are 7.5 months old and are Ryan and Mary's babies.}

{It seems like all of our friends just had babies! It has been SO much fun going through pregnancy and the first few weeks of having a baby with so many friends. We recently went over to some friends’ house for brunch and we all now have babies. It was really fun to see that transition. Ben is in the blue/white stripes, baby Roslyn {Carrie & Patrick’s daughter – 4 weeks older than Ben} is to Ben’s left and twins Oliver and August are on the right side – they are 7.5 months old and are Ryan and Mary’s babies.}

{Roslyn and Ben hanging out in their little seats! Roslyn also had IUGR and was a teeny tiny peanut when she was born - though she was over 4 pounds at birth.}

{Roslyn and Ben hanging out in their little seats! Roslyn also had IUGR, the same thing I had, and was a teeny tiny peanut when she was born – she was a little over 4 pounds when she was born, and now at almost 3 months she’s just passed the 9 pound mark.}

{Carrie, Mary and I took our babies out for lunch and wine yesterday afternoon in Woodinville. It was Ben's second trip to Woodinville, as a matter of fact! The girls and I were outnumbered by our babies, though, sadly, baby Oliver got cut off of the bottom of this picture - he was sharing the stroller with his brother.}

{Carrie, Mary and I took our babies out for lunch and wine yesterday afternoon in Woodinville. It was Ben’s second trip to Woodinville, as a matter of fact! The girls and I were outnumbered by our babies, though, and sadly, baby Oliver got cut off of the bottom of this picture – he was sharing the stroller with his brother.}

{Last week we packed up our car and headed over the mountains for our first day trip with Benjamin.}

{Last week we packed up our car and headed over the mountains for our first day trip with Benjamin.}

{A few hours into our road trip we found ourselves in Zillah, Washington, which is in the Yakima Valley wine region.}

{A few hours into our road trip we found ourselves in Zillah, Washington, which is in the Yakima Valley wine region.}

{Our first wine stop was at Dineen Vineyards, which is one of our long-time favorites.}

{Our first wine stop was at Dineen Vineyards, which is one of our long-time favorites.}

{Dineen Vineyards has one of the best views of all the wineries. Their property is incredible. Oh, and their wine is absolutely fantastic!}

{Dineen Vineyards has one of the best views of all the wineries. Their property is incredible. Oh, and their wine is absolutely fantastic!}

{We had some wine to pick up from Cultura, so we stopped there for a tasting and then headed back home. Ben did awesome during the trip! We fed him at one of the wineries and then when we were getting gas on the way home we fed him again in the car.}

{We had some wine to pick up from Cultura, so we stopped there for a tasting and then headed back home. Ben did awesome during the trip! We fed him at one of the wineries and then when we were getting gas on the way home we fed him again in the car. On the way out to wine country we stopped at a cute restaurant for lunch and fed Ben there, too. It was a great no-stress first trip with Ben.}

{One of the things that kept us going while Ben was in the hospital was imagining all of the fun things we would do together this summer. It became our goal when he got home to get out of the house every day and do something fun, even if it was just going for a walk in our neighborhood. We have a great list of things to do this summer and are working our way through it. This weekend we also went out for brunch at one of our neighborhood restaurants, Vendemmia. We had been there for dinner, but not brunch, and boy had we been missing out - it was SO good!}

{One of the things that kept us going while Ben was in the hospital was imagining all of the fun things we would do together this summer. It became our goal when he got home to get out of the house every day and do something fun, even if it was just going for a walk in our neighborhood. We have a great list of things to do this summer and are working our way through it. This weekend we went out for brunch at one of our neighborhood restaurants, Vendemmia. We had been there for dinner, but not brunch, and boy had we been missing out – it was SO good!}

{Ben is such an easy-going little guy. It has been so great to take him out and about with us. He's really adaptable and seems to go with the flow really well.}

{Ben is such an easy-going little guy. It has been so great to take him out and about with us. He’s really adaptable and seems to go with the flow really well. Also, I’ll take this as an opportunity to say that we are loving all of our baby gear, especially the car seat and stroller. We feel like Ben is extremely safe and supported in his amazing car seat {the Chicco Key Fit 30} and absolutely love it.}

{Ben has a couple pairs of jammies that I just can't get over - I'll be sad when the whale jammies no longer fit him!}

{Ben has a couple pairs of jammies that I just can’t get over the cuteness of – I’ll be sad when the whale jammies no longer fit him!}

{I think he looks like an old man here with these gigantic, tall socks! These socks are size 0-3 months and the feet part fit him, but the legs make them like knee-highs!}

{I think he looks like an old man here with these gigantic, tall socks! These socks are size 0-3 months and the feet part fit him, but the legs make them like knee-highs!}

{After having about 4 overnights with a leaky diaper, thus resulting in an earlier-than-supposed-to wake up from Benjamin we did a diaper experiment and tried 5 or 6 different diapers to pick our favorite one. It turns out that Honest Company diapers are the best bet for Ben! I signed up for their awesome bundle program on their website and got a really great deal on diapers and wipes.}

{After having about 4 consecutive overnights with a leaky diaper, thus resulting in an earlier-than-supposed-to wake up from Benjamin we did a diaper experiment and tried 5 or 6 different diapers to pick our favorite one. It turns out that Honest Company diapers are the best bet for Ben! And, bonus!, they’re so stinking cute!! I signed up for their awesome bundle program on their website and got a really great deal on a recurring subscription of diapers and wipes.}

{After my six week postpartum check-up with my doctor she cleared me for exercise! Wahoo! After being cooped up in the hospital before having Ben and then restricted from working out afterwards I was chomping at the bit to go on a run. I was really surprised how easy it was to get back into running and Pilates - I guess I was in better shape than I thought!}

{After my six week postpartum check-up with my doctor she cleared me for exercise! Wahoo! After being cooped up in the hospital before having Ben and then restricted from working out afterwards I was chomping at the bit to go on a run. I was really surprised how easy it was to get back into running and Pilates – I guess I was in better shape than I thought!}

{Now that he's 7 weeks old and has been home for 3 weeks, he's really not that new here anymore!}

{Now that he’s 7 weeks old and has been home for 3 weeks, he’s really not that new here anymore! Stay tuned for more updates on Ben, and hopefully pictures from his newborn photo shoot will be coming later this week.}