Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I've was saying to Lori last week that while I was surprised (though pretty much not concerned) that Ben wasn't yet speaking, I was sure that all the sudden he'd be speaking in complete sentences and I would have somehow missed that transition.

With that in mind, I've been trying to keep a keen ear open for words he might use beyond "dada" and "mama" (though mostly "dada").  While not consistent (some days he refuses to use his words), he is saying some words:

Geh Deh (get down)
All Duh (all done)
No or Nuh (no)
Meh (medicine)

And he obviously recognizes far more words that we use.  

So it's fun to actually see the transformation in progress.

Just Overheard

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my nunchuk away."

Ah, the influence of the Wii.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The End of Nursing

I'm thinking nursing is coming to an end soon. Between 12 and 13 months, Rachel basically weaned herself, showing less and less interest in nursing and just nursing for a few minutes once or twice a day until she was just done completely.

Ben is 12 1/2 months now, and I've been seeing him losing some interest, but not all. Still, we're down to just one time of nursing in the morning most days. Sometimes I nurse him again in the afternoon or before bed if he needs calming, but we're getting into a pattern of just the morning feeding and he's doing fine. He's drinking whole milk from a cup or sippy cup, too, and doing fairly well with that. No digestive problems with it, thank the Lord.

Ben also started biting while nursing about a month ago. At that point, I wasn't even sure we were going to continue for more than a few days, since he bit me so hard one time that he broke the skin. But he thankfully hasn't bitten that hard again. I think it helped that I was ending the nursing sessions when he'd bite.

The end of nursing is bittersweet. On the one hand, it will be good to have my body back and, hopefully, be back to my normal size. And it will be nice not to have to wear nursing bras. But I'll miss the physical closeness, the ability to quickly calm Ben (usually), and the times when he stops and coos and looks at me. Nursing can be a pain, no doubt about it, but it's also a wonderful gift for moms.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Factually speaking

Miss Rachel started talking early, and profusely. She's always had a wide vocabulary and surprises me even now with how precisely she speaks, often with big words.

Today she told me she got to be the line leader at school, and Hosanna was the caboose. Hannah was the napkin helper (at snack time), and no one did the weather. I asked who did the calendar, and she said "Isabel. Isabel did the calendar, as a matter of fact."

It just makes me laugh to hear a 4-year-old (I know, she's almost 5) speak like that. "As a matter of fact" is a phrase she's been using for a while now, and usually in the correct way. She also likes to change the consonants of a phrase or sentence to all be the same, to play with the language. Sometimes it results in...interesting changes. "Missy pants" (a nickname my mom has used with her) all of a sudden becomes "Pissy pants," and it's all we can do not to laugh over that, thereby having to explain and bring about repeat performances.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Little Man

One year ago, we were marveling at a new little person who had entered our lives, wondering what he'd be like. We know already that he's got a great sense of humor and a BIG sense of mischief. He loves his sister and parents, as well as his other relatives and our second family of friends. He notices a lot and is curious, adventurous and not afraid to tell you when he needs something. He delights in playing and loves when someone gets down on the floor and rolls around with him.

Ben, you are a sweet, sweet boy who is a joy to know, and we're so thankful that God put you in our lives. Daddy & Mommy are blessed to have you. We love you!

A celebratory lunch at Red Robin:

He wasn't too sure about the birthday serenade, but just gave one "Uh!" at the end - no crying:
He thought the balloon was cool, though:
And here he is, getting all nice and clean and ready for bed later in the evening:
That's a cut on his nose that he got while snagging a can of soup from a grocery bag, carrying it away, then falling forward and banging his nose on it hard enough to cut it and to scrape the skin off the end. Cans are now being put out of reach if I can't put them away right away.

Today was just a mellow day with lunch out for the four of us and not much else planned. We'll celebrate his birthday with an actual party on Saturday and are looking forward to a fun time with family and friends!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

This morning started out with Ben sticking his sleeper-clad foot in my cereal bowl while I was nursing him. I kept eating the cereal because James was upstairs showering and couldn't get me a new bowl. Then he had a nasty diaper, and inconveniently, James wasn't done getting ready yet, so I changed it. I thought briefly about letting it wait until James could do it, but it didn't seem right to let poor Ben sit in that.

And while changing Ben's diaper, I hear Rachel from the kitchen saying "Emergency! Emergency!" She didn't sound too alarmed, so I finished up with Ben and came downstairs to find her standing in the middle of the kitchen floor in just her socks and panties, with her pajamas in a heap on the floor, peach applesauce all over them. Thus started my Mother's Day.

Today is my 4th "official" Mother's Day, 5th if you count the year I was hugely pregnant with Rachel - which I do :) At the time I remember thinking "Hey, I've been giving this baby a home for the past 8 months, dealing with gestational diabetes, major indigestion, sciatica, contractions, gagging and throwing up - I think I've earned my stripes to consider myself a mom."

Yesterday Rachel and I took my mom out to lunch near her apartment. We went to Applebee's, and while that's not hugely expensive, it still adds up. Plus Ben didn't nap this morning, and I knew he would be tired and getting fussy. So I was reluctant to spend money eating out a sit-down restaurant but felt like I should be served food other people had cooked. I ended up ordering two meals to go from Azteca Mexican Restaurant, and we shared some of our meals with Rachel. (I didn't think Ben really needed rice and beans and Mexican food - he's a gassy enough boy without that kind of fuel.) It was a yummy meal, even if it felt a bit harried feeding Ben and trying to keep him happy. It's easier now that he eats a lot of solid foods, but when he's tired, he often just wants to be spoon-fed baby food, or wants that in between bites of other food that he'll feed himself.

I was able to take a nice long nap afterward (briefly interrupted by Rachel coming in to show me something she'd made out of her Dora lego pieces), and had a mellow time with Ben and Rachel after that.

Nothing major today, but it was a nice day of celebration, with church, a gift from the kids, a card and lots of love and appreciation.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mean Girl and Danger Boy

Rachel is at the stage where she's saying things like "I don't care." and "No, I won't.". And the only thing that seems to work is to take away whatever she's playing with at the time.

Which tonight was all the non-cushion pillows from the living room.

So I begin removing them and she starts in with her very loud very fake crying. I ignored it, I've heard it too many times. I know what it is.

So I go over top of the baby gate with the pillows and up the stairs to our room. As I'm coming back down, Ben is at the gate looking at me. I see Rachel coming from the living room, walks right up next to Ben, still crying.

I can tell she knows exactly what she's doing. She moves in close. Ben finally stops looking at me and realizes she's there. And because he just adores her, if she's upset, he's upset and he justs crying. Only his is real.

I'm watching this unfold incredulously. Like a car wreck in slow motion. I knew it was coming, I was powerless to stop it and my options to deal with it even more limited. That was just a stone cold move.

I did the only thing I could, I scooped him up, completely ignoring her. In my arms, he stopped crying immediately. Knowing she was foiled and no one was paying attention, he crying quickly came to a stop as well.

In other news, Ben had his first unplanned visit to the doctor after grabbing an unopened can of vegetables, trying to walk off with it, dropping it, falling onto it and causing what turned out to be a surface cut and scrape that didn't want to stop bleeding on the bridge and tip of his nose, respectively. I arrived home after they all got back from the hospital and hung out with him while Lori was at choir.

He seemed completely unfazed by it, not once doing anything to indicate he was aware of anything amiss or that he was experiencing any pain. Just our happy little laughing baby. Who will sadly have a really scraped and red nose for his first birthday party.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

For Your "Listening" Pleasure

"Skinny and tall or fat and short,
Skinny and tall or fat and short,
It's okaaaaay.....
If you're skinny and tall or fat and short!"

Rachel was singing this little ditty today. I asked if she'd heard it somewhere or made it up, and she said she made it up. Nice to know she's being all-inclusive in her songwriting.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Our Budding Auteur

Today Rachel turned the dining room chairs so that they faced the living room, also asking if she could use some of the kitchen table's chairs for her "movie theater." She put stuffed animals in the chairs and had a coaster on the table at each spot, presumably for the patrons' imaginary refreshments.

A little while later, I needed to move the chairs back to the kitchen. As I disrupted her theater, Rachel told me that "They didn't even like the movie. They walked out halfway through and turned the lights out."

I guess it's true that everyone's a critic. Even Piglet and The Brain.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Thank Goodness It's Digital

To set this up... Ben is sleeping in Rachel's room because his room is being painted.  But, he doesn't like it in there and is taking forever to go to sleep.  So tonight, Lori's painting another coat on his wall and Rachel's starting out in our room right next door, to be moved later.  Rachel discovered the new digital camera (I won it recently and it's much smaller than our other one) on Lori's nightstand and proceeded to take some photos.

When she asked for socks, Lori went in to get her some socks and she admitted playing with the camera.  We took the camera out of the room and started looking through the photos she had taken.  Her feet, her toys, the room.  It kept going and going.  The floor.  The ceiling.  The closet.  The dresser.  The nighstands.  The girl, quiet as a mouse, took seventy photos.

If only the Eye-Fi had been on and someone had been at this computer.  Would have been funny to see photos just start popping up in the corner.