Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Christmas in KC

Kansas City was hit with what one local meteorologist labeled "Winter Storm Banjo" on Christmas Eve/Day with some snow continuing through the weekend. Above was our front yard on Christmas morning. (You can also see the house's nice new paint job we had done this fall!)

Due to the high winds, we got drifts up to a few feet high in some areas, and visible grass in others, as you can see in our backyard. Our deck also had no snow the first day as all of it blew off into the yard below. We are guessing that we had an average of 10-12".

Leaving the house through the front door isn't really an option at this point!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Getting ready for Christmas

We have been busy getting ready for Christmas, Ben's first birthday, and my parents' visit to KC around New Year's. Ben still isn't quite sure what to make of the tree, but has been getting more adventurous and gently pets the branches. I think he's kind of confused as to how some big glowing thing sprouted up in the living room while he was asleep.

Ben got to spend last Saturday night over at Grandma & Opa's while we were in Lawrence for a friend's birthday party. Opa lit the menorah for the second day of Hanukkah and he and Ben read a baby's Hanukkah picture book we found at Barnes & Noble. He had a ball over there, slept very well and tried to eat them out of house & home. We think he may be in a growth spurt, as he has been a hungry little boy these past 2 weeks!

Yesterday we were back at Grandma & Opa's for Ben's first of many annual family cookie baking marathons. Great-grandma Anne showed him how to use the sprinkles to decorate a few cookies, and he tried his first cookie. He also tried getting his hands in the giant mixing bowl with the cookie dough, but was fended off by an alert crew of bakers used to guarding the cookies from the dog.

Dave took last Friday off and we took Ben to see Santa at the Bass Pro Shops near our house. We got there at the perfect time in the afternoon, as Santa had just arrived and we only had to wait behind one other little boy. Ben didn't quite know what to make of Santa or the store in general, and the photographer was desperately trying to get him to look toward the camera instead of staring up at all the fish & geese hanging from the ceiling! Still, we were able to get a pretty good picture. Ben also got to see the giant catfish in the aquarium and some ducks swimming in a pond. He loves his rubber ducks and seemed pretty interested in the real thing.

We tried in vain to get Ben to sit still in front of the tree long enough to get a happy, smiling photo, and he immediately destroyed the "Merry Christmas" blocks we'd set out as a prop. We did get a few cute ones of him playing with the blocks the next night.

Finally deciding he'd had enough:

Today he posed in his "Ho Ho Ho" onesie, blinking reindeer socks (which are still blinking even though Janice gave them to us a year ago! I wish the batteries in the rest of his toys lasted that long!), and Santa hat.

Happy holidays to all of our friends and family. Safe travels to those who will be on the road or in the air this holiday season!

Meals are more fun when they're messy!

Ben has been enjoying most of his food lately. He's still not sold on non-pureed green beans and vacillates on macaroni & cheese and pasta, but he loves grilled cheese sandwiches, Cheerios, apple slices, meat, and blueberry applesauce.

He likes bananas, but sometimes they're a little too slippery to be finger food. Our solution has been to coat them in crushed Cheerios so he can get a grip on them, which works well but also leaves a total mess!

Below is the result of eating his beloved blueberry applesauce. I'd made a large batch of homemade applesauce a few weeks ago and cooked a few portions of that with some frozen blueberries one morning. I'm not sure if Ben had eaten blueberries prior to that, but he sure likes them a lot! He keeps signing "more" even after he's polished off a good-sized bowl!

Friday morning I'd just cooked up a new batch of blueberry applesauce but it needed to cool down before Ben could eat it. We gave him some oat crackers with soy butter (looks like peanut butter but okay for babies) to start on, then fed him the applesauce with oatmeal when it was cool. He had a blast feeding himself the sticky cracker pieces and ended up absolutely filthy, necessitating an immediate trip to the bathtub after breakfast!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Warning: Extreme Close-up!!!

Ben shows off his crawling skills and tries to lay claim to the video camera.