Friday, October 29, 2010

This week's pictures

Ben asked to play outside the other day after daycare so we ran around and kicked a ball in the backyard before dinner time. 

Ben is still incredibly drooly from cutting his molars and his poor stuffed animals have been ruthlessly used as chew toys.

He's continuing to play with his new rocking horse and manages to rock it far enough back to make us a little nervous!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

22 Months Old


Ben turned 22 months old yesterday. He continues to talk up a storm and loves music and reading. He likes pointing out letters, numbers, and every random thing he sees. We went out to a restaurant a few weeks ago and the shop address was above the door. He pointed to it in the middle of dinner and yelled, "1-2-3! 1-2-3!" (his generic term for any numbers). Mr. Eric (a Mizzou fan) will be crushed to hear that Ben also loves pointing out the "birdy" (Kansas Jayhawk) when we are at the grocery store.

His new favorite word is "yeah" and it is the answer to most questions, including those requiring a choice. He will answer "yeah" when asked if we live in a house, but also when asked if we live in a space ship. He continues to like to go for walks after he gets home from daycare, probably because we were trapped inside for so much of the sweltering summer. 

His little table is a nice place for him to color or play with his mixing bowl.

I think we have several recent photos of him with this expression. I think he was either yelling or singing when we took the picture.

He was trying to drink out of the cup he puts his crayons in. I have a feeling he probably nibbled on a few random crayon shavings as well. Ick! Well, at least he looked cute in his The Cat In The Hat "Thing 1" shirt from Tony & Jen. 

Ben was in a cuddly mood yesterday evening and we played for quite a while with his airplane. We've also checked several airplane books out of the library to try to prepare him for riding on an airplane up to Michigan next month.  I am kind of frustrated that none of the children's books we've found really give you a good walk-through of the steps you now take to get on a flight. There are a few okay ones, but they're kind of old (e.g., "Then the stewardesses bring you your food!") and poorly organized.

He has a few new toys. Cousin Ruth brought him some little trucks which have already run many races across the dining room floor, and a set of flutes for the bathtub which will hopefully deter him from stealing my recorders out of my work bag! You can tune these flutes by putting in a certain amount of water and when he's older he can use the set to play songs with the color-coded music. Ben blew out a few notes, then quickly discovered he could just drink the water straight out of them...

and then looked like he was trying to use it as a blow dart gun like in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

He saw them on the counter the next morning and was not happy when I told him he couldn't bring them to school.

Ben was also given 2 handmade rocking horses from the longtime neighbor of his grandparents. He'd made them several years ago but his grandkids are grown now and he is moving, so he sweetly gave them to Ben. Ben also has a cricket bank that Mr. D. made just for him.

After Ben rode the rocking horse repeatedly, he decided Harry the stuffed dog should try it. I guess Harry wasn't listening to directions because Ben kept telling him in a very stern voice, "Sit down!" Tonight he rode with his baby doll.


 I was cracking an ice tray the other day and Ben was curious, so I gave him an ice cube in his bowl. He carried it around for a few minutes just watching it melt.

Dave & I were at the breakfast table the other day and Ben was sitting so quietly by the stairs, just playing with his Megabloks.

Ben just has a pumpkin shirt for Halloween. We figured he is too little to care about trick-or-treating and he's in a phase of hating to have any shirt put on, so might not even tolerate a costume if we got one. Plus, he already has tons of energy and does not need extra sugar!! He has liked seeing all the pumpkins and Halloween decorations and has a mini pumpkin in his room.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day at the park

On Sunday we met friends at Harris Memorial Park and the kids played for an hour or so before we headed off for lunch at the always good Waldo Pizza. Ben had a blast running around and climbing up and down. He was not too sure about the swings or the slides.  We liked that they had separate playground equipment for the little kids & big kids, though Ben liked walking around (with close and nervous parental supervision!) on the big kids' playground too.

The big kids' play area is a giant castle and Ben liked looking out of the "windows."  He looks like he's imprisoned in this pic, though!

There is an old lion-shaped water fountain that Ben liked. He is also obsessed with the water fountain at school, which usually leads to water all down his shirt, so I wasn't too sad that this one no longer works!

But the best part was the vandal who channeled Admiral Ackbar:

Ben sounded excited at first about the swings, but did not like the toddler swings and was very cautious about swinging with either of us on the big swings. He was not too happy when he saw the bigger kids swinging by themselves but was told he couldn't.

Ben slid down the slides a few times by himself (feet-first on his belly, which we thought would hurt but he didn't blink!) and let us help him slide down while sitting a few times.

Didn't want to go down this slide, but loved looking down it and yelling "Tunnel!"

We will definitely come back to this park again and also plan to take Ben to Summit Waves, the water park next door, next year.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Congratulations to Tony & Jen!

My brother Tony and Jen were married today, 10/10/10 at 10:00 a.m. on beautiful St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We wish we could have been there but are sending all our love and prayers for a beautiful day! We will be flying back to Michigan next month for their reception and are counting the days until that.

Ben was quiet during most of our video chat with them last night, but of course 5 minutes afterward, it was, "Yay, Tony! Yay, Jen!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

21 Months Old


Ben is in a really fun period of development right now. He is learning so much and talking almost all the time (except when we have webchats or try to get him to talk on the phone). At 21 months (plus a little...), Ben:

  • Dances and stomps around joyfully and sometimes sings.
  • Likes books about trains and has rediscovered the lovely picture book Dimity Duck. He particularly likes the "Surprise!" scene where the frog & duck play peek-a-boo. It's one of my favorite children's books too.
  • Is going through a wicked period of teething. I got him a new teether advertised as "for back teeth" in desperate hope that he will chew on that and leave his poor stuffed animals alone. They have been chewed and slobbered on so much, they're disgusting! We have been washing them frequently & also have a backup Teddy (thanks, Mom!). We also finally got a look at his incisors which came in last month and they are SO sharp-looking! I'm not sure if those are still descending or his molars are coming in, but those must've really hurt coming in. As you can see from the picture below, his chin breaks out from all the drooling.

  • Identifies several favorite songs in the first few phrases and will yell out his name for the song. It's really kind of crazy. Maybe this tells you a little about how many times we've listened to Kermit and Jimmy Buffett sing "Caribbean Amphibian" ("FWOG!"), "Do-Re-Mi" (or "re-mi-do" as Ben insists on calling it), and "Rubber Duckie" ("Ewnie!"). We've added some new songs onto his iPod playlists so hopefully we won't go nuts!
  • Loves trying to jump but hasn't quite grasped the concept that feet have to leave the ground...
  • Loves animals, especially puppies, whether in person, in books, or on TV. He was distraught on our walk the other day when he saw a tiny puppy, got distracted for a minute, and looked back to find out the puppy's owner had taken it back inside their house. He stood on their driveway asking, "Puppy? Puppy?"
  • Likes the new kid-sized table and chairs we got for him a few weeks ago.
  • Still loves Giada. He wanted to run up and down the block again this afternoon and was fighting going back to the garage after a short walk. I reminded him we'd get to see Giada's pictures in her section at Target and he was more compliant. When we got to the store, he immediately started asking, "Gida? Gida?"

  • Still eats like he's got 2 hollow legs.
  • Thinks the most random things are hilarious. Today it was a cartoon of Peanuts characters bowling. He was freaking out and yelling with delight every time they tossed the ball!
  • Doesn't like the sound of the vacuum.
  • Must announce whenever he hears an airplane. Also frequently points out motorcycles, trucks, cars, and birds. Sometimes we can hear them too.
  • Is talking like crazy and most things are understandable to us. We've taught him to say thank you and it's so sweet when he spontaneously says, "Tank you, Mommy" or "Tank you, Daddy." He often says something that sounds like, "More hem" at bedtime and seems to be pointing toward the bathroom. We are baffled as to what that means.
  • Has been taking a while to get to sleep each night. He fusses for a few minutes, then we hear him randomly talking to himself. Sometimes he counts, says letters, or people's names ("Yay, Tony!" "Opa!")
  • Likes to hear people talking to him on the phone and is getting a little better at actually saying hi but rarely says much else.
  • Almost always asks to go for a walk when we get home in the evenings. Sometimes he gets mad when we finish the walk and tell him it's time to go inside, even with the promise of dinner.