Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pictures from June 2008

I am WAY behind on adding any pictures, so I thought I would just do several different posts over the next few days and try to get some of this summer's pics added. Here are a few from June. There are 2 cute pics of Molly and Daddy together...this was when she was REALLY teething and was working on getting her 2 bottom teeth in. There are a couple of cute pics of Ben in the yard. He never liked slides until this summer. And he has really developed a love of digging in the dirt and exploring outdoors. I love it! It has been a great summer for walking outside and spending time checking out plants, bugs, dirt, walnuts, mud, alleys, cracks on the sidewalks, etc. And the last one is just a cute one of the 2 kids.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mama...do you got me?

Ben has been so sweet lately!

We have spent A LOT of time together recently. Aaron has been working crazy hours because his hospital is going paperless...all the doctors will be doing their documentation on computer directly, and he has been working 12-hour shifts during this transition. So Aaron hasn't had a day off in 9 days, and is working another 12-hour shift tomorrow. Due to this, Ben and I have had been spending lots of time together, and he has been really sweet with me.

Here is one of my favorite stories.
He has been trying all sorts of new things lately...like going down the BIG twisty slide at the park. He has always been drawn to the slide, but never confident enough to go down. Well, we went to the park with Aaron a few weeks ago, and Ben and Daddy did the big slide together, and that was just the confidence booster that Ben needed. So today he decided that he would try it, but he needed me to go up to the top with him and stand right behind him as he started down. As he sat there, and geared up his courage to head down, he reached back and grabbed my leg and asked, "Do you got me, Mommy?" I said, "Yep, buddy, I'm right here. Go on ahead." He then scooted his little rear end right off the edge and onto that gigantic slide. It was SO precious!!

*He has asked me this for a lot of "brave" moments lately. He doesn't really need me, he just needs to know that I am there. Talk about melting my heart!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Molly's First Meal

*I learned an important lesson this month. Not all babies are ready to eat at 6 mos. of age.

Now, I know this may not seem like rocket science to everyone, but I will admit that, given the fact that so many people start their kids on food as early as 4 mos, even despite the APA recommendation of waiting until 6 mos., and given the fact that Ben INHALED his first meal of solids at 6 mos, without missing a single drop, I have always secretly thought in the back of my mind that waiting till 6 mos was the "right thing to do" but that kids were often generally ready before this time.

I started having a few doubts about this a while back when Maria started baby Anna on solids. They waited the full 6 mos to give her some oatmeal, geared up for the big "first meal", and then proceeded to video Anna absolutely hating and gagging on almost every bite of that "glorious" first meal. At the time, I thought that it was just a consistency thing...maybe they had made the oatmeal too thick. But over the next few weeks, as they tried other foods, it still took Anna a little while to seem like she was actually enjoying eating. So, it started to seem possible that maybe she just wasn't quite there those first few weeks.

But I still figured that Molly was going to LOVE eating. She had just about every sign of readiness: sitting independently, pincer grasp, 6 mos old, etc. And she had been watching us closely during meals, and grabbing for food when she was near it. Plus, she has been watching big brother Ben eat, so I figured that she had so much in her favor, that she was going to take to eating just as easily as Ben had.

Um...boy was I wrong.

Our video of Molly's first meal doesn't look like Anna's in terms of the gagging, but in terms of the baby quickly making it clear that she is not interesting in having anything put on her nice chew-toy spoon, it's pretty much identical. Of the 1 ounce of food we gave her, maybe 95% of it came right back out. And by the end, she was completely uninterested. I was shocked!

Since then, she has continued to turn her head from, spit out, or otherwise dislike: oatmeal, sweet potato, peas, and applesauce. So I'm starting to think that it's not a taste thing here!

After the first 3 days of trying, she became so sick of the "eating" game, that we gave it up for a while. She even stopped reaching for food at meals. If I handed her a toy, she would grab it, but if I handed her a spoon with food on it to just play with, she would drop it right away, or not take it at all!! We started just offering her an empty spoon again to let her play, and the first time she took it again, she pushed it too far back in her mouth and gagged herself:( Pretty much bad all around.

Now that she is just about 7 mos, we have discovered that she will chew on a biter biscuit for quite a while, and she will eat a little bit of pears, and now applesause too if Aaron gives it to her. But, generally, she is still exculsively nursing.

I know this will not be the case in a very short time, so it's not a problem at all. In fact, we just saw Anna last weekend, and she ate all kinds of food like a champ! So we are purposefully backing off and letting her go at her own pace.

And it has been good for me to be humbled a bit. Sometimes I feel like I read so much and have so much experience with little kids that I think I know all the answers. A little bit of humble pie never hurt anyone!! Thanks for teaching me, Molly!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Here are a couple of random Ben stories that I have been meaning to record!

*His language is SO strong for his age, but I still love it when he gets something a little mixed up. One of my favorites lately has been an issues with pronouns. Instead of "her/him/me" he tends to use "she/he/I". He will point to Molly and say, "Hey Mama, look at she!" Or "look at I!" Its so cute!

*When I am putting Ben to bed at night (It's ALWAYS me lately because he chooses me every night! I know it will be Aaron again soon, so I am loving it!) we start with saying our prayers. And he isn't quite sure about the whole "talking to someone we can't see" thing, so I just started simple and we start every night by just talking about things for which we are thankful/things that have made us happy. This week, the first the he said when I asked him what had made him happy today was, "YOU!" Talk about melting my heart! He has also recently prayed in thanksgiving for dress-up play clothes, his froggy boots, his trains, all his family, his imaginary friends Monis and Budis, and flowers. Thanks God!

*One night, a few months ago, I put him to bed and turned out the light, and he kind of freaked out a little bit, worried about the bugs flying all around the room. Well, there were no bugs in the room, of course, so I just comforted him, and kind of forgot all about it. Just this week though, he was standing with me as I turned off the lights, and he looked up at me and then waved his had around in the air in front of his face and asked, "Mommy, why are there little black bugs in the air?" It took me a moment, but then I realized that he was noticing that, when you go from light to dark, and your eyes adjust from using mostly cones to using mostly rods, sometimes it can look like there are black dots/spots everywhere until your eyes adjust. I couldn't believe that he has gotten so observant and was able to notice this, and do his best to explain it to me! Fascinating stuff...watching a little person grow!

*He has been really into the idea of family lately. When we are all 4 together on the bed or at the table or something, Ben will point out, "Look, it's the whole family together!" It's really sweet to see him identifying with us as a family, as starting to make more sense of his place in our lives and in the world.

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's a GREAT time to be an American voter!!

When I was a little girl, my mom and dad told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be when I grew up. But, I can (honestly!) remember looking at all the white, male faces of all the past presidents and thinking, "yeah right...I can be a lot of things, but there are some things that I could never be."

Well, now that I am a mother myself, I am in the same position that my parents were in...trying to be both honest with my children, but also optimistic and encouraging of high aspirations and confidence. So, with that in mind...I have to say it is an AWESOME time to be an American right now.

Ben has been mildly aware of the political landscape around us these days. He has caught me reading stories or watching a news program of the presidential and vice presidental candidates. And since I almost never watch t.v. around him, he has been observant and asking lots of questions. And I have been JOYFULLY answering. It gives me unspeakable pleasure (and pride in this often crazy American society) to realize that his very first introduction into American politics...his very, absolutely, FIRST impression of the office of the President and Vice President...will include two white men, a BLACK man, and a WOMAN!!!!! Amazing!

He knows the names Barack Obama, John McCain, and Sarah Palin now, and has named one of his cars John McCain (ironically, it was an old-looking fire truck!) He thinks that he would vote for John McCain, but that I should vote for Barack Obama, and he would like to race Barack Obama some day! (I think he is still trying to figure out "race for the presidency" versus "running a race" :)

Anyway, whatever your political views are, I encourage you to stay positive about this year's election. No matter who wins, a 232-year-old barrier will have been broken, and, I believe, that we, as a country, will be the better for it!!!!