Sunday, March 28, 2010

Goofy little guy

Sadly, we didn't have the camera with us today. We went to Target and were looking in the Dollar Spot to see if there were any cute little things for Ben's Easter basket (which will be filled with a few of his favorite treats: Goldfish crackers, yogurt drops, and Gerber puffs). They had big plastic mixing bowls and we decided for $1, we'd get that for Ben so we could reclaim the nice medium-weight mixing bowl he's co-opted from our pantry for the last month. He stirs his blocks & ducks around in it on the kitchen floor.

He loved it the new bowl so much that he spent much of the Target trip sitting in the shopping cart, wearing the bowl on his head! He traded it in for a minute to try on his new Royals hat, but reached for the bowl soon after and made some passers-by giggle and say hi to him. They also commented on how cute his Curious George shirt was (thanks, Uncle Tony & Jen!).

Ben is also working "wow!" into his vocabulary. We don't think he really knows what it means yet, but it's really cute. "Uh oh" after purposely dropping his sippy cup for the 3rd time is not quite as cute. He has been quite a chatterbox the last few days and also continues to babble to himself & his stuffed animals after we put him to bed or when he's waking up.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ben at 15 months (already!)

We celebrated Ben's 15-month birthday yesterday with a trip to Great-Grandma Anne's church for their fish fry. Ben had fun eating catfish and getting fawned over by relatives & church members. Today we went to lunch & to the library and spent the rest of the day hanging around at home. Ben is still fighting with the teething but had some good play time and enjoyed banging on the dining room windows and yelling at the rain!

Ben decided blueberries made a great shampoo and facial the other night at dinner, so he got a quick trip to the tub before bedtime.

"What, this isn't the latest hairstyle trend?"

He's figured out that he can lounge in the beanbags and thinks it's pretty funny. He's still trying to climb them but hasn't quite gotten it down yet.

Reading the paper on a lazy weekend morning with Mommy.

Checking out a library book with Daddy.

Standing at the refrigerator playing with his Leapfrog talking ABC toy (an excellent $5 consignment sale purchase!) and chatting to the Christmas photo cards of our friends & family. He loves looking at all the pictures!

I think we need to get a bigger piano bench! He still tends to tip forward when he bangs on the keys, so you have to guard him from falling, but he's too big for one of us to sit behind him on the bench anymore. He got to play duets with both Mommy & Daddy today and continues to love playing with all of his instruments and having us sing to him. He started fussing in the car on the way home from the fish fry last night as he was tired, so I started singing and he quieted down. When we got home and I got out of the car, he started crying again and signing "music." He calmed down when I started singing again. That's my boy!

Our little monkey crawling around in his new super-soft King of the Monkeys cape lovingly made by Dena. (Some people might call it a blanket, Ben begs to differ.)

Ben giggled for the first 20 seconds or so of hiding under the blanket, then started fussing when he realized that it was a little harder to extricate himself than when he plays peek-a-boo with a book! He cheered up immediately when I helped him find his way out.

Other than the bracket that Dave designed to take the "Last place gets 5% of the pot" award in his co-worker's poll, Ben's bracket based on which school name he laughed at the most is now our only hope of winning March Madness. He is rooting for Duke to take it all.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ben at 14.5ish months

Okay, so I forgot this was in our drafts folder and Ben is now almost 15 months...but, hey! More pictures of the cute baby! So at 14.5ish months, Ben:

  • Has been watching March Madness with us. He chose teams on his bracket based on which name he laughed at more when we read them. Then he started getting tired, so we took any reaction as a vote, then picked the rest based on which mascot he liked better, or which team was not Xavier. He's currently doing better than a few of our other brackets.
  • Has a new car seat, as he was getting too tall for his old one. This one will stay rear-facing for now (they now recommend keeping them rear-facing beyond 1 yr.) and then will flip to forward-facing when he gets older.
  • Is still working on walking. He'll cruise along just fine on the furniture, walls, holding our hands, pushing a toy, etc., but hasn't gotten up the confidence to try walking on his own yet. The daycare teachers assure us that he's doing just fine and that taller & bigger babies are sometimes slower on their gross motor skills.

  • Loves music. He'll yell "baa" and "yah" (yes) when I sing "Baa Baa, Black Sheep." I guess I must've been doing the sign for "music" more than I thought because he picked it up and started signing it while saying "Baa!" He also likes clapping, playing his drums, yelling into his drums, playing his assorted collection of bells & shakers, and drumming on anything, including restaurant stools, the washing machine, and the TV stand.
  • Has started using other objects as phones. He'll hold anything (my slippers, his shoe, hippo bath toy, basketball) up to his ear and appear to be listening intently. He does have a few actual toy phones and has fun with those too. I called Dave from the grocery store last week & Ben started yelling because he wanted to hold/drool on the cell phone and listen to his daddy for an indefinite amount of time.
  • Loves splashing in the water. We'll have to move him from his beloved inflatable ducky tub soon because his legs now fill the whole tub. He also adores splashing his hands in the sink like his Grammie B. showed him on her last trip out here. It's a little messy, but at least I can get his hands clean after meals without a fuss! He also still loves making faces in the mirror.

  • Continues to show his independence. He reaches for the spoon when we feed him non-finger food, although to him all food is finger food, even applesauce. He has been trying to brush his hair and teeth and has been fairly good about not mixing up those brushes.
  • Is going through a wicked teething phase. He's popped out at least 4 more teeth since the above picture was taken Feb. 11! Sometimes he is fine and other times he just jams his hand in his mouth and cries. It is so sad. Thankfully, Orajel, Tylenol, and his vibrating teether help some times. He isn't really interested in his chilled teethers anymore.
  • Loves to chatter & knows a few signs. He'll sign more, all done, hungry (his favorite!), and music. He tries to imitate sounds we make and the sounds of the letters in his Leapfrog fridge magnet toy.

  • Will bring us books to read to him. He hasn't quite mastered crawling into our laps yet, but crawls over with his book and tries hard to hurdle into our laps. He's been in a cuddling & reading mood the last few weeks, so we've been enjoying that. His favorites are Good Night, Gorilla, Is Your Mama A Llama?, Dr. Seuss' ABCs, and some of the Helen Oxenbury baby books. Uncle Tony also recently sent Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb to encourage our potential 4th generation drummer and we've already read it many, many, many times. We'll be getting out his Easter books soon.

In other family news, my trusty Civic recently hit 190,000 miles and is still going strong *knocking on wood.* Dave & I are looking forward to visiting Colorado in a few weeks while my parents come out to take care of Ben. I'm attending & presenting at a music therapy conference in Ft. Collins and Dave is coming with me for the weekend. I've never been to Colorado before so I'm really excited!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Decorating in progress

One of Ben's new hobbies is taking off all the books on the second shelf of his bookcase and artfully arranging them on the floor with his stuffed animal collection. Here is he showing off a piece of the mom & baby hippo puzzle he got for his birthday which usually adorns the top shelf.

We have been woefully lax in getting decorations up on Ben's walls. A few weekends ago we hung a few of the things we've gotten over the past year. I'm still planning on making a name banner to go over Ben's crib. I found this adorable Bird Band print by artist Fall Down Tree on Etsy, an incredibly addictive craft sale site. Matted with scrapbook paper, it gives Ben something fun to look at while he's getting his diaper changed. I was so excited to find a picture that included an owl playing the banjo :)

Ben's Grandma & Opa got him this lovely cross for his baptism & it is now hanging over his crib.

And finally, Ben has been producing a lot of art since moving to the Young Toddler class at daycare and we wanted a way to display some of it. He now has a hanging art gallery in his room that is easy to change out as new masterpieces are created! We just nailed in simple hangers (Ben thought the hammering was hilarious!), tied two ribbons on, and attached the papers with clothespins. I might spruce it up more later by painting the clothespins and buying some basic wood shape cutouts from a craft store to camouflage the metal hangers.

Fun at Paradise Park

We got together with friends & their preschoolers this afternoon and headed to Paradise Park, which is only one exit south of us. They have games & activities (climbing tunnels, foam cannons, go-karts) for older kids and a separate section for kids 9 and under. Ben LOVED playing in the water tables and splashed so much that he required an outfit change, even with a waterproof smock on.

He also had fun crawling around the infant/toddler room

and sitting in the bank area.

The older kids also did a little baking & art project while Ben played in the toddler room. It was still kind of chilly outside so we'll have to try out the playground later in the year. There is also a ball pit and play kitchen that Ben might like on a quiet day, but they were too crowded for him this time. Even our 2-year-old friend had to stand w/his dad and watch for a few minutes before he decided to jump in to the ball pit!

By the time Ben got done with all those explorations, he was ready for a nap, which he desperately needed and grumpily refused to take. He is going through a massive teething stage right now, so we think that is a big part of it. Thankfully, he had at least taken a good morning nap. I had gone to wake him up so we could go meet our friends and he was all cuddled up with his stuffed animals. He just looked so sweet that I had to get the camera.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our ticklish little guy

Ben generally enjoys being tickled and giggles like crazy in response. For some reason, he also sometimes finds our feet hysterical, whether they're beside his, walking toward him, or just propped up on a foot stool. Here he is with his daddy, demonstrating that tickling + feet = hilarious!

Making his voice heard

Grandpa taught Ben this trick using a drum and Ben has now generalized it to any hollow object...Tupperware, boxes, his mini-pitcher bath toy. Here he is demonstrating his vocal skills with his Easter pail from Uncle Kenny & Aunt Lynn last year.