Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ben's new toy

A little video of Ben playing with his new activity table. Sometimes he stands next to it and tries to lean over with his belly on the center bowl, angling for the buttons on the opposite side. It also shows how he likes to chatter, especially when he's playing with his toys.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ben at 10 months

Ben had a busy weekend. On Friday, he and I went to a consignment sale, where we got him a winter coat, snowpants, shirt with a banjo on it, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (he already had his much-loved stuffed VH Caterpillar from Ruth & Dick, so we found him the book to match), and a few other books to replace the ones I've taken to use with clients. We also scored an activity table for $15, which helps him work on his kneeling & standing. He has been having a lot of fun with it.

On Sunday, we went with friends and their two little ones for Ben's first pumpkin patch outing. Thankfully, Angela looked at the forecast & suggested going as soon as it opened, which meant that we were finished by the time it started to sprinkle, and to lunch by the time it began to pour. Ben was still too young for most of the activities at the pumpkin patch, but he seemed to enjoy watching the people & animals.

They had a little petting farm with some sheep, llama, goats, donkey, watusi (Dave liked that it was named Greinke after the Royals' pitcher!), rabbits, and buffalo.

Ben meets the llama.

His favorite seemed to be the goat. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it at first, but then seemed fascinated.

Ben decided he needed more cowbell. Sadly, he did actually end up developing a fever later in the day, for which he needed Tylenol in addition to more cowbell, but he was feeling much better yesterday & today.

We picked out a few small pumpkins, since we decided we didn't have time to carve a big one this week. I'm going to let Ben try finger-painting one or two, and cook the third pie pumpkin for Ben. We still let him examine some of the bigger ones, but he was feeling kind of rotten by this point, and also wasn't too sure about sitting on the ground.

At ten months, Ben is very chatty, is army-crawling all over, and is doing well standing up with something to hold on to. He loves his teddy bear, blocks, and musical toys. He is doing well with finger foods & tried spaghetti for the first time yesterday. We do regular video chats with my parents and brother, and Ben is getting more interested in those and will perk up when he sees their faces. He is generally a very happy little boy and such a joy to watch grow and learn!

We are looking forward to my parents' visit this weekend and Ben wearing his Halloween costume again!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Entirely Dignified Family

One of the pictures from Ben's first trip to a pumpkin farm. Ben was really unsure as to why he had to stick his head in a wooden pumpkin cutout and did not tolerate it for very long!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting ready for Halloween!

Ben tried on his Halloween costume for the first time tonight. He will be an adorable pumpkin, courtesy of Dena's fabulous sewing skills and Dena & Jen's creativity! Dena even somehow managed to make the pumpkin leaves bendable, although I have no idea how she did it. It turned out so great, though. Thanks, ladies!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

9 Month Stats

Benjamin went to the doctor for his 9-month checkup on October 3. He is doing well keeping his height & weight in proportion and the doctor said that he should be crawling and clapping soon. We also have the okay to start him on table food and anything except milk, shellfish, fresh strawberries, peanuts, and honey. He has been doing better with finger foods this week and has tried Cheerios, puffs, bread, pancakes, crackers, and banana chunks. Daycare also started adding pureed meat (yum!) into his lunches. He's got 2 teeth each on the top & bottom and is working on another top tooth.

His 9-month stats are:
Height: 30" -95th percentile (the doc thinks maybe the last checkup's measurement was wrong)
Weight: 22.5 lbs -75th percentile
Head circumference: 46.2 cm - 75th percentile

Ben's favorite activities at 9 months are scooting, army crawling, chewing/drooling on things, babbling (often at high volumes), standing with help, watching people clap, playing the English/Spanish drum Uncle Tony got him over and over and over, and playing with his rubber ducks, blocks, books, and our watches.

In more depressing news, neither Dave nor I have a team in the MLB playoffs. Ben & I tried to cheer on the Tigers in their tiebreaker game with the Minnesota Twins, but even Ben's cute shirt was not enough of a good luck charm for the Tigers to pull off a win. Oh well, there's always hockey and basketball...

Gone to Carolina

We recently took a trip to visit family & friends in North & South Carolina. We visited Em's cousins and one of her college roommates in Raleigh and spent several days in Spartanburg, SC, with Dave's extended family.

Ben did pretty well on his first plane rides, given lots of Cheerios, toys, bouncing, and repeated readings of his favorite books.

Dave probably doing the 4th of 92 readings of Is Your Mama a Llama?

On our first night of the trip, we got to have dinner with Em's cousin Christopher before he flew up to visit Em's parents in Detroit. In Raleigh, we stayed with Christopher's sister Andi, her husband Chris and their 4-yr-old daughter Phoebe. Phoebe was fascinated by Ben and wanted to know all about his pajamas, what he ate, what he liked to play with, and if he went to "baby school." They took us to experience NC barbecue and to a great steak place called The Angus Barn, which has won awards for customer service and also has a fantastic wine cellar. We toured the cellar and it was really neat. Ben and Phoebe made friends with one of the waitresses, who brought them toys (duck for Ben, sunglasses for Phoebe) and fussed over them!

Ben, Em, Phoebe, and Andi:

We also got to see Em's college roommate Robin, who is a linguistics professor at NC State. She took us on a tour of part of the campus. There are some lovely, big trees, and we also walked to a nearby rose garden. Sadly, we were not there long enough for her to start teaching Ben Swahili. Maybe next time?

We drove down to Spartanburg, SC, where Dave's grandfather grew up. We stayed with Dave's aunt Martha & her husband Joe and spent a lot of time with Dave's cousin Joy and her girls Caroline and Madison. Ben discovered the wonder of Duplo blocks that used to be Caroline's & Maddie's and played with them for at least a half-hour at a time.

Ben showed off his keyboard-banging skills to Joy, Martha & Joe, using an old laptop toy from the girls.

We went to The Beacon, a Spartanburg landmark since 1946. Ben was mad because he didn't get any of our burgers-a-plenty (hidden under a huge pile of onion rings and french fries). Also note that I ordered the small size of hushpuppies. I think there were about 10 for $1.60!

We spent Saturday afternoon at the Inman Fall Festival. Maddie and Caroline got their faces painted. Ben enjoyed people-watching and chewing on his new rain coat. Luckily, we got through most of the festival before the rain really started. Sadly, we did have to take shelter in the cars before I got my deep-fried Oreo!

We stopped by the biggest Krispy Kreme we'd ever seen to visit Dave's Aunt Dot while she was working. Ben tried on a hat and he & I were fascinated by the assembly line of doughnut machines, including the glazing waterfall. Okay, maybe I was a little more fascinated by it than Ben was. But he liked chewing on the hat and smiling at Aunt Dot.

We also got to spend a lot of time with Aunt Mary, who is Dave's great-great-aunt and therefore Ben's great-great-great-aunt. She & Ben cuddled, read books, and he did his "Let me see your teeth!" game. She was a better sport about it than Dave & I are at this point.

Aunt Mary also got to familiarize herself with the literary masterpiece That's Not My Dinosaur!

We also got to take a slight detour to the IKEA in Charlotte on our way back from Spartanburg to Raleigh. Ben had started to get fussy in the car, so we took his bottle in with us in case he kept fussing. He calmed down as soon as we got in the store, and was absolutely entranced by everything hanging from the ceilings and stacked on the shelves! He went 2 hours past his feeding time without protest because he was having such a good time staring and chattering!

We had a wonderful trip and were so glad we got the chance to introduce Ben to everyone! I hadn't met the SC crowd either, so it was a great pleasure for me to spend time with them. Thanks to everyone who took time out for us!

Benjamin on the move

Ben has been working on crawling for the last few weeks. He gets up on his knees and rocks back and forth. He has crawled like that a few moves at a time, but is also getting good at army crawling. Yesterday he became fascinated with crawling over to his exersaucer, scooting his torso halfway in to the saucer part, and repeatedly banging his toys on the saucer. Then he'd rescue the toy, crawl out, and then let the toy slide back in and repeat the whole process. Here he is heading for two of his favorite toys, the star stacker and giraffe block holder.