One year ago, we were anxiously anticipating the arrival of Benjamin. I remember spending Friday night watching the clock and timing contractions. I remember a sleepless night between the bed and the couch. (I realize now that night was only preparation for the year to come.) I remember that Saturday was the hottest day in April last year. Honestly, it was 85 degrees!! And once Benjamin arrived, all of our anticipation immediately changed to love.
He has changed our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We eat at home more regularly. We have a more rigid bedtime because we know when the rooster will crow early. Because of our rooster, we’ve become morning people. (I’ve never watched Mr. Ed before but I’ve seen it many times in the last year because of our early riser.) We’ve slowed down to watch squirrels because that’s what our son is fascinated with. He has challenged us to appreciate the small things in life. But the thing I love most about Ben is his joyful spirit. He squeals and smiles at a lot of different things. He has an infectious laugh. He talks to strangers which forces us to do the same thing.
I have learned more in the last year about our heavenly Father than I have learned my whole life. In the last year, I have gained a better understanding of His patience for me. I am truly glad that He always listens. No matter how I am feeling or how many times I have whined about the same thing, my Father is always there. He never tells me, “Go to bed. I’ve already handled that.” And I’m very grateful that he never tells me that he’s “too tired to listen”. My daily prayer is that I am able to use God’s grace to be the best mother possible.
I’m sure that God has many more lessons in store for me but I am thankful for the lessons I have been able to experience because His blessing, Benjamin!! What a wonderful first year we have had.
I will post birthday party pictures in our photo gallery later this week. We had a fun weekend celebrating with family. Ben doesn’t seem interested in cake but he does like ice cream! Enjoy this video of him walking. He’s getting braver. He will go about 8 to 10 steps between people now. (I think he just wants to walk with someone else because he doesn’t want to be alone.) video of Ben walking
I gave Ben his first haircut today. (In the last month, his hair has gotten thicker, as well as longer. He even had some curls that would show up after a really solid nap.) So with all of that said, I got out the clippers today. I put him in his highchair with some Gerber puffs and water. He did very well!!! He’s watched me cut Aaron’s hair before, so the sound didn’t bother him at all. I think he was more annoyed that he could see what was happening. He sat pretty still until the snack ran out. Then he wanted to help. So, I let him look at the clippers and a comb. Thankfully today’s experience was GREAT!!!
The next tooth has arrived!!! Ben’s first top tooth has surfaced and he loves to show it off. It came through about 2 weeks ago. He now smiles a little bigger with his top lip moving back as if to say, “look up here at my new tooth”.
He’s still walking with one hand of support from a “big person”. However, his pace while walking has quickened. I’m pretty sure when he decides to let go a marathon will begin!!! Over the last month, he has enjoyed walking between 2 adults or sometimes even just the couch and an adult. Within the last week he has begun to test out his balance before starting his walk. He will stand and balance for about 10 to 15 seconds before walking. However, he still lunges towards his target after 3 or 4 steps. But time is ticking away before he sprints out of our reach.
I think we have an official first word. The second grade classroom down the hall from my room has a fish tank. He has enjoyed walking down the hallway to visit the fish/play in the fish tank on a daily basis. Recently, he walked out of my room with Jill and announced “fish” while sprinting toward the second grade classroom. He will say “fish, ish, ish” the whole way there. He is very gentle and patient at the fish tank. He will stick his hands in the top of the tank, resting them on the edge, and will wait for the fish to come up to him. When they swim by his fingers, he will just look at them as they pass by. We are all waiting for the day he decides to “go fishing” and close the hand. (can’t wait to see that reaction.) Fish are slippery . . . right, so they should just go right through??!!
He has recently started pointing at things too. He loves to point at everything. Many times he will point and smile in delight. Other times he reaches out in pointing waiting for us to point back.
We have enjoyed the spring-like weather which has given us a chance to walk the neighborhood and explore the yard as well. We even had a chance last Thursday to take the bike carriage for a fast test drive around the neighborhood. He seemed to enjoy ridding along behind Aaron, especially the bumps during which he would change his jabbering/singing as he bounced over them.
Be sure to check out the new pictures in the photo gallery of visits with friends, playing Rock Band with dad, tunneling through the living room on a rainy afternoon, and walking around in the backyard.
Here’s a link for a video Amanda took of Ben walking while we were visiting with them. Ben walking at the Wallace’s
So Ohio’s winter has allowed Ben and I some extra time at home. So far, we’ve been at school for 8 1/2 days this month. (We were scheduled for 14 days so far.) Once the roads were cleared this past week, we returned to school for only 1 day before sickness struck. Another round of the “yuckies” attacked Ben. So his routine quickly mimicked last month . . . lots of diaper changes in a short period of time. At the beginning of the illness, he didn’t seem to be too affected. But today was a different story. He didn’t want anything to do with independent play or for that matter . . . he didn’t even want to be put down for very long. By the end of the day he seemed to be back to normal.
The additional days at home have allowed Ben to work on some skills (walking and talking) and they have allowed me to take more pictures, work on scrapbooking, and get some classwork done. Of course my creativity was challenged as well when boredom hit. (You’ll have to check out the pictures with priority mail boxes. Let’s just say I saved money on building blocks!!) While I’ve tried to appreciate the additional time at home, cabin fever reminds me that I am ready for a return to routine.
I’ve posted some new pictures in our photo gallery and a couple of videos. Hope you enjoy them!!!!
Video of us reading a book
Recently our household has been anything but quiet!!! No matter what is happening, Ben talks about it at the top of his lungs!!! Sometimes I think he’s loud enough to guide a ship in from sea. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still moments of silence in our house. He still has times of silent, independent play and so far, he doesn’t talk too much in his sleep. But it always seems like he has something to say. Ben has developed many sounds and words that range from “da, da, da, da” to “ge,ge,ga” to “good, ga, ga, ga” to “I ga, ga” to “e,e,e,e,e” to “m,m,m,m”. We can’t forget the random noises either that are usually outbursts like aaaahhh, mmmmmmm, or eieiei. (Can’t get him to add the “o” to “eiei” yet but I’m sure that’s coming soon. haha) Of course the crazy part is trying to figure out what he wants/needs when he’s staring at you making the noise. Hopefully, he will start to use sign language to express some of his needs. But until then . . . . the guessing continues.
Even though his noises are loud, his silence is not always great either. He is usually silent while he is concentrating. But recently his silence usually means “I’m into something” like climbing into the toy box or wiggling his way under the table to get to a plug. But one things for sure, the adventure never stops.
Speaking of adventure, he has started to gain confidence in walking and will occasionally let go of whatever he’s using for support. He has successfully taken 2 to 4 steps between people over the last couple of days. So, it won’t be long before we are chasing our little “fog horn” around the house.
So our new daily ritual after dinner is laughter. Aaron and I try crazy stuff to get Ben laughing. Of course it always makes us laugh, sometimes even bringing tears. (You know, the uncontrollable laugh that ends in tears and ab pains.) Here’s a video of Ben laughing. He is definitely a great reminder to enjoy life, one moment at a time.
Ben will be 9 months old tomorrow!!! Wow, how time flies. He’s always on the move and enjoys anyone who will help him walk. Here’s a video of him walking one-handed. He has made progress since this video a couple of weeks ago. He’s gained a lot more control over his leg motion; which means less falling!!! I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s running all over the place.
So along with snow in January, the winter bug has found our house. It hit Aaron and I earlier this week. And now Ben has it. His attitude doesn’t seem too out of character. So, I think he’s handling it pretty well. The extra time off work was unexpected. However, I’ve had an opportunity today to clean the house and catch up on the blog.
Ben’s walking confidently with the assistance of only one hand. He really enjoys exploring the world this way. But he is very frustrated when all hands on deck are busy and no one can help him walk. He enjoys playing with his new toys and pushing boxes around the room. He’s also figured out how to hold his bottle and pick up a sippy cup. Sometimes, his confidence is scary, as he uses both hands for his cups while standing next to the coffee table.
Three inches of snow was a perfect time to get the sled out!
is my two front teeth. Benjamin’s two front teeth have finally made their debut!!!! The bottom two teeth broke through the gum about a week ago. He has been continuing to chew on everything since their arrival.
We’ve been enjoying some days home together as a family since we are all on Christmas break. Ben’s continuing his quest to figure everything out. So our days together have been filled with adventure and humor. Here’s a video of Ben enjoying his first Christmas card.Ben enjoying his Christmas card We will post pictures of Christmas later but we will leave you with another video . . . Ben opening his present at home. (Be forewarned, the video is about 4 minutes long. He was the typical infant and was more interested in the box).
Ben has been crawling for three weeks now. Within a week of crawling, he began pulling himself up on everything. He quickly figured out that things like table legs and chair legs had NO support. He has also begun to cruise furniture. Here’s a link to a video of him from the weekend. Cruising the couch (I have a more successful video from earlier in the week but I had my camera turned sideways for the video. So the original cruising video is sideways. OOPS) I’ve also posted some new pictures in the December folder in our photo gallery.