What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Textures, Puffs, Speech and Sign

I just realized that Ben is TEN months old already!  Amazing.  I should probably give you a total baby update, but I don't have all his stats.  I'll just show you some pictures.  I love looking at him.  :)

Ben loves to eat.  He especially likes green beans, but I think these pictures happened after a hearty meal of pureed squash.  He's eating stage 2 baby food, and I've tentatively started him on puffs.  He tried them a couple of months ago, but they made him gag, so I put them away. 

I don't remember if I felt this cautious with the other kids, but I definitely feel protective and careful with Ben.  Sometimes, I think I do him a disservice - maybe I'm a little too careful when I should be pushing him to do more or try more.  

Here's Ben trying a puff.  I asked Denice (our Early Intervention specialist) to watch him eat on Wednesday.  Ben's received speech therapy since he was only a couple of months old.  We do cheek exercises and tongue exercises.  I feel like my fingers are in his mouth for half the day.  :)

It was helpful to have someone else consider my questions:  Is he chewing?  Is his tongue moving food from one side of his mouth to the other?  She was super-encouraging. 

Isn't he a doll?  I want so much to give him a good start. 

Fortunately, he is willing and eager to eat.  He watches us like a hawk when we're eating dinner.  And he's got the right idea.  He can't quite manage to pick up the puffs yet in a pincer grasp, but he can use his sticky fingers to almost move them to his mouth.  He grabs at the spoon when we feed him the purees, and he usually eats a whole jar per meal.  Sometimes more.

On another speech-related note, we've been doing sign language and finger plays with him.  I *think* he's getting the idea.  He doesn't like to use his own hands to make any signs, though.  He'll grab my hands and move them together for "more" or he'll use my hands to start "Itsy Bitsy Spider." 

He will, however, throw his hands up in the air at the end of a meal.  It's possible that he's signing "all done," but it's also possible that he's just celebrating dinner.  Woo hoo!  I got to eat!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Assorted: Exercise and the Texas State Aquarium

We have been busy!  My mom came for a visit (Did I ever post any of those pictures?  Hmmm...)  and then Emmett's mom and dad came to see us this week.

Here are some moments from the week:

Sweet Ben in his borrowed jumper.

Evan playing soccer in the backyard with his dad.

They've been going out every afternoon to play.  It's been great for using up some of Evan's boundless energy.

Papa played with Corrie while Ben watched.  Look at that baby sitting!

We let Evan play hooky from school on Friday and drove up to Corpus Christi to visit the Texas State Aquarium.  We had never been before - it's a great aquarium!  Here's Corrie checking out the sea turtles.

Papa ended up on stroller duty for most of the day.

Emmett and Evan were watching something.  Possibly otters.

We saw the dolphin show, but our seats were in the sun, so Gamma and Papa entertained Ben in a shady section of the pavilion.

The rest of us sat in our sunny spot (hot!) and waited for the show to start.

And then the camera battery died ...

It's a blessing to have family who are willing and able to travel here to see us.  The kids LOVE to see their grandparents.  And so do we!  :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Clean? Not so much.

We have been looking forward to this week's visit with my in-laws.  It has taken us a few days to get ready for visitors.  And when they arrived (today!), we still weren't quite ready.  

Before I get into the long, dramatic story of our day, I figured I'd show you the kids at work.  Here's Corrie, cleaning the table.  Yes, she's wearing her Disney princess swimsuit.  Doesn't everybody wear a swimsuit for cleaning day?

Ben doesn't.  He opted for the hand-me-down train outfit from Evan while he helped me with the laundry.  I folded while he kept the basket steady (and practiced his sitting at the same time). 

After seeing all the clean laundry, Corrie decided her swimsuit was passe'.  
She put together a purple ensemble (demolishing her folded pile of clothing) and climbed into the basket to keep her brother company. 
Evan missed all the cleaning time because he was at school.  It's fortunate, because I'm not sure if the basket would hold all three of them.  I'm sure he would have tried, though!

Anyway, I was feeling pretty good about the house - I still had plenty to do, but I was able to cross several items off my list: recycling, dusting, laundry, etc.

That was all a day or two ago.

This morning, I got the kids up, fed them breakfast, played a bit, and then it was time for Ben's nap.  I decided to give him another bottle before naptime (the boy needs to gain some weight!), so he and I cozied up on the couch while Corrie played pbskids.org.  I figured I'd have time to vacuum and make the guest bed while Ben was taking his nap and Corrie played her game.

That's when it happened.  My poor baby spit up.  Uh oh.  I caught some of it with a clean sock that happened to be on the couch.  Ben caught most of it all over himself.  And then he shared more with me.  He emptied his stomach of everything I put in it this morning.  I rushed to the kitchen, so he could finish vomiting over the tile floor instead of the carpet.  Ew.

Since Corrie was happily playing on the computer, I just stripped off all my vomit-covered clothing and left in on the kitchen floor and took Ben upstairs.  He got a bath.  I took a shower.  We ran a load of icky laundry and mopped the kitchen floor.

And then life just kept happening - errands, swimming lessons, until Emmett stopped by on his way to the airport.  He took Corrie with him to pick up his parents.  The boys and I stayed home so I could finish pumping - planning to meet them in a little bit for dinner.

Emmett called only a few minutes after he left to say that there had been an accident.  It was just a small thing - a fender bender in the truest sense of the word - but oh man, my heart was in my throat.  Since Ben was born, I find that my mind often goes to the worst case scenario.  Whenever we're driving separately, I imagine driving past an accident scene involving my husband and kids.

I reminded myself to breathe.  Stopped pumping, grabbed Ben, a bottle, Evan, etc.  Loaded them all into the car and headed out to find Emmett and Corrie.  And they were fine.  Fine, fine, fine!

Evan and I prayed and thanked God for his protection for Emmett, Corrie and the driver of the other car.  We picked up my in-laws at the airport and had a yummy dinner at Rudy's BBQ. 

I finally made up the guest bed right before bedtime.  And the vacuuming will wait till tomorrow.  Or later.  :) 

For now, I'm just thankful that my family is together.  And I'm appreciating that so much of life happens in the interruptions.  Today didn't happen like I expected it to, but it ended well.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nine Months!

Benjamin is 9 months old today.  (I started writing this on Monday.  He's 9 months and 4 days old now).

What is our little guy up to?  Well ...

He plays peek a boo - either using his arms or any fabric prop.  Blankets and bibs are his favorites.

He gives a great high five.

He loves - and is fascinated by - his brother and sister.  Family members get a pretty spectacular greeting from Ben when we greet him.  We call him "a coiled spring of delight."  He bunches himself up into a ball, then throws his arms and legs out super-wide and beams an enormous grin. 

These fancy purple pants are his Hip Helpers.  He's incredibly flexible, so he needs to learn how to keep his legs together for crawling and walking.  The Hip Helpers encourage that.  The pants are purple because we borrowed them from a little girl who had outgrown them.

Ben is little.  He had his check up today, and he weighed in at 13 pounds, 6 ounces.  He's 26 inches long.

He can roll over, front to back and back to front.  He can get himself around the living room, but he doesn't always move with purpose.  Sometimes ... he gets stuck under the couch.  :)

He can sit up for short periods.  Yay!

He eats stage 2 purees.  Ben shows a distinct preference for fruits instead of veggies.  In an effort to help him grow, we fortify his breastmilk with coconut oil.  We still don't really do cereals at all.  He has tried - and successfully eaten - puffs.  He can't pick them up on his own though.

He sleeps in a pack & play in our closet.  (Third child.  Evan got a painted nursery and matching bedding, but he's the only one).  We hope to move the boys in together this summer.  Right now Ben goes to bed around 8/8:30, and wakes up around 7 a.m.

Isn't he beautiful?