Thursday, August 30, 2018

Life With Benny: 17 months

Holy whirlwind...what a crazy month it has been. Heading back to work and saying goodbye to summer break was a tough transition...and then add to that a new job for mommy, issues with daycare and 2 ear infections and I suppose you could say the transition was less than smooth.



However, through it all our little guy has been such a trooper. Minus being a little clingy and some separation anxiety our guy has rolled with the punches this month. 

We started at a new daycare (due to my job change/location) in mid-July, and after just 2 weeks (4 total days) we decided it just wasn't the place for us. A mother's gut instinct is rarely ever wrong and I just didn't feel comfortable. We quickly found a new daycare provider and felt confident that we made the right choice...and here we are a month later and we are getting ready to start at a new place. 

All the transitions and changes have been hard on all of us (although, Benny seems to be handling it the best) and my mom guilt is at an all time high. I am just hoping and praying that this next place is the right fit for our little guy and family. 

I've been so impressed with Benny's resiliency through it all and while I do feel guilty for moving him yet again...I won't settle for less than the best care for him. As a working mom I have to be able to leave him with someone I know loves him and keeps him safe so I can focus on my job and I won't stop looking until I find that...although, I feel really confident that our new gal will be just perfect. I swear the clouds parted and the angels sang when we met with her. 


Physically our little guy just seems to age 10 years every time we get his hair cut...I mean seriously, why does this happen? He is still fitting into some of his 12 mo stuff, but is mostly wearing 12-18 mo clothes. We are hoping he can hold on through the end of these warm months until fall. His trusty summer sandals are getting a little snug and it's about time to get him some cute fall tennis shoes for fall. 

This month we saw huge growth in Benny's language. He has been talking quite a bit prior to this month, but his words seem to have doubled overnight. 

He is such a curious guy and will focus so intently as we look through books and point out different things...and then a few days later he will wow us when he points at something and identifies it. 

He has been able to tell us the sounds of most animals for quite awhile now, but now he can name them as well. He can say cow, chicken, dog, cat, duck, monkey, bird, etc. There aren't many animals he doesn't know the name of. I give credit to the animal flash cards I picked up in the Target dollar spot. He is obsessed with these things and when he comes to an animal he doesn't know he will bring it to us and say "dat?" 

He is also a master at naming his body parts. He knows his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, belly button, head, hair, shoulders, hands, fingers, feet, toes, arm, and even his elbows.

He is identify shapes and colors like crazy. He knows purple, yellow, green, blue, red, and pink. He can also identify stars, hearts, circles, and ovals. He was doing this a little bit last month, but this month he is more consistent with his answers. It used to be that everything was "wellwow" but now he says the right color 90% of the time. 

He loves singing songs and the ABC's top his list of favorites. One day he was sitting on my treadmill (a daily occurrence) and he pointed at the letters on the motor and looked at me and said "A, B, C's" and I was totally blown away. 

He also loves to count...we usually count and stop and wait for him to fill in the number. He obviously isn't very consistent but he loves to count to 3 when it comes to being tipped upside down or spun in a circle. 


This boy never stops moving these days and when he isn't running he is dancing. His favorite songs to dance to include "Who Let The Dogs Out", "Jump Jump", "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" It is so cute to see his face light up when we tell Alexa to play one of his songs. 



He nearly ate us out of house and home this month. I think it's safe to say he was going through a growth spurt. 

Breakfast has always been his favorite meal and this month was no exception. For breakfast he usually eats a banana and a waffle or pancake. This month he was eating an entire banana, a whole waffle or pancake along with whatever he could snag off my plate. Most mornings he would then turn around and eat breakfast again at daycare. 

Snacks also became a pretty big deal this month. After daycare you can often find him banging on the pantry door yelling "nacks" and "mulk" He is a big fan of an crackers, cookies, fruit, cheese, or applesauce pouches. 

His favorite foods include "boo-berries" (which is what he calls blueberries and strawberries), "cooks" (vanilla wafers), goldfish, chicken nuggets, french fries, ketchup (to "dip-dip") 

For dinner we usually give him a veggie and fruit that we know he will eat along with whatever we are eating. He is really pretty good about trying anything we put on his plate. The only thing I have noticed he will spit back out is green peppers. 

Sleeping has been wonderful...even with his ear infections he slept great. He usually goes to bed around 7-7:30 and we wake him up between 6:45-7 in the mornings. On the weekends he will sometimes sleep till 7-7:30 which is nice. He usually sleeps his latest on the mornings I get up early to go for a run...#OfCourse

He is still loving his "pi-yow" and blanket in his crib, although his blanket usually doesn't stay on him for very long. He has been sleeping in a sleep sack for as long as I can remember and we have started to wean him away from that during nap time and he has done great. 

During the summer he wasn't a big fan of playing by himself, but now the first thing he does every day is point at the play room and say "Pway, Pway?" and he wants to go in there and tinker around with all of his toys. I think it's because he is at daycare during the day and his toys are a little more interesting to him now that he doesn't see them all day every day. 


His favorite toys are his drum-set, puzzles, flash cards, cars, trucks, trains, and any sort of automobile. He is also a big fan of the pink ball pit handed down to him from his cousins. He loves running in and out of it and playing "boo"


He still would prefer to be "ah-side" and has been pretty obsessed with sidewalk chalk. He wants to "color, color" everything. Now that he has mastered running he is now onto climbing. He loves to climb up the slide and rock wall on our swing set. 


Water is still a favorite and we made another trip to the splash pad this summer and as we were leaving this couple that was there with their grand kids stopped me and said "he doesn't have any fear does he"and the answer to that is no...this kid has absolutely no fear of anything. He was running through the water yelling "WATER" and having the time of his life. He certainly is fun...but my nerves are shot by the end of a day! 


I tell people all the time that we truly hit the jackpot with such a good kiddo. He is happy, easy-going, and super well mannered. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he stays that way...and that any future children of ours don't make us pay for how easy we have it right now ;) 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Life With Benny: 16 months


I'm not quite sure how we got here...16 months old and the final days of our summer vacation. Time certainly flies when you are having fun...and this summer has been a whirlwind of fun! 

I will admit there have been a few days where I was more than ready to return to work...but now that we are down to our last few days I am wishing for just a few more. 

I feel so lucky to have a job that allows me to spend my summers with my little guy. Not having to rush around in the mornings, eating breakfast and lunch together everyday, and seeing him learn and experience new things was truly the best.

All parents think their kids are the smartest, cutest and coolest little kids on the planet and we are no exception. I am constantly in awe of our little guy...and the amount of times I say "he is the cutest thing ever" is alarming ;)

Walking 

Benny has completely mastered walking...or should I say running? Last month he got a lot sturdier, but this month he has really taken off. He is running, stepping up and down on little steps, stopping to bend down and pick up stuff, and he is pretty much on the move ALL THE TIME these days. This age is definitely fun...but oh so exhausting!

Talking

We have quite the talker on our hands. At his well baby check up earlier this month he was talking up a storm and the doctor laughed and said "I guess I don't need to ask if he is saying 3 words besides mama and daddy" 

 He is such a curious kid and always asking "that?" when he doesn't know what something is. When we tell them he looks at us very intently taking it all in. He blows our minds daily with the things he can remember. I couldn't even tell you how many words he can say at this point.

He can make any and all animal noises (the ones that we know at least) His "doodle-do" is still my favorite...but it's followed closely by his gorilla and bee sounds. 

Not only can he make animal noises he can identify all of those animals as well. He will point at his books and flashcards (he is obsessed with the Target Dollar Spot flashcards) and either make the animal or say the animals name. He can say dog, cat, pig, alligator, turtle, cock (peacock), bear, beebra (zebra), and beetle. The rest of the animals are just identified by their sound. 

He can point out the different parts of his body and say the name as well. Eyes, nose, "mouf", ears, teesh, tongue, head, hair, hands, and feet. He points these out on himself, his stuffed animals, dolls, and sometimes I am the unlucky recipient of a poke in the eyes.

He has started identifying colors this month. It used to be that everything was purple, but now he can identify "well-wow" and "boo" 

He is learning his shapes as well. He can say and identify a star, heart, and circle....Like I said he seriously blows our minds with what he knows. We don't specifically work with him, we just point out things and tell him the name and he remembers. It definitely makes my teacher heart happy to have a little boy who loves to learn this much. 

We are working on saying please and thank you at the appropriate times and he almost has "peas" mastered. He mostly uses it when he is eating and wants more food. "Tank You" comes out very aggressive and is usually when he is handing us something. 

Other words he uses a lot are: ah-side (outside), pway (play), books, ootz (oops), boken (broken), all gone, sop (shop), beep beep, bich (bench/bridge), park, open/closed, up/down, multz (mulch), chalk, nonut (donut), mulk (milk), water, poopy, and thanks to my dad a very enthusiastic booger. 

He calls most people by name...Mammy (my mom), Papa (my dad), Mamaw (AJ's mom), Gampaw (AJ's dad), Nona (Norah), Bandon (Brandon), and he knows the name of a couple of guys at my dad's shop. 

So as you can see we have quite the chatterbox on our hands. I have been trying to take as much video of him talking as possible these days because I want to remember his sweet little voice and mispronounciations forever...but he doesn't always cooperate when my phone comes out. 

EAT 

Lil' man must be going through a growth spurt because he has quite the appetite these days. 

Breakfast hasn't changed, he still eats a "nana" and "waffle" for breakfast every morning. Some days he only eats half of each, but most days he eats an entire waffle and banana and even some of my breakfast. One day he ate an entire banana, waffle, a turkey sausage link, some of my English muffin, and hard boiled eggs. 

Lunch varies but he eats a lot of "am" (ham) and "gobble gobble" (turkey), cheese, beets, carrots, booberries (which is what he calls blueberries and strawberries) Occasionally we have peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese. 

Dinner is mostly whatever we are eating and occasionally chicken nuggets if we end up cooking dinner after he goes to bed. He is still a big fan of any Italian or Mexican food...definitely our kid.

His favorite snacks are "booberries", cheese, veggie straws, goldfish, and most especially "cooks" (Vanilla wafers) If we accidentally leave the pantry open he tends to help himself to the cooks and crackers....told you he is a piggy!

SLEEP

Minus one VERY long night he has been sleeping and napping like a champ. He is officially down to one nap and usually goes down between 12:30 and 12:45. He usually sleeps at least 2 hours. He has had the occasional hour and a half nap...but then also he has had a few 3 hour naps. Consistency has never been his strong suit ;) 

He goes to bed at night around 7:30 and wakes up around 7-7:30AM and he has even slept until 8:00 a few times. It has been so nice not having to wake him up for school in the mornings. It's going to be a rude awakening for sure! 

The biggest change in his sleeping this month is we have given him a "wi-wow" and he is obsessed. He has always gone down pretty easy for nap and bed, but now with the pillow it's like I can't put him in his crib fast enough.

He doesn't usually fall asleep right away, he lays in bed singing, talking to himself, and playing with this stuffed animals. 

PLAY

Summer break has given us the opportunity to have lots and lots of fun! 

Despite the heat, we made it to the park a couple of times...


As always we made a stop at his favorite bench







Benny and his favorite person "Nona"

We spent some time in/at the pool...







This little water baby just couldn't get enough! 

Our little firecracker LOVED the 4th of July




We spent the afternoon out at my parents setting off kid fireworks with the cousins. 


We weren't really sure how he would like the loud noises, but he was obsessed. Poppers quickly became his favorite part of the afternoon.


 Every time he would get one to pop he would yell "Hey!"



These 3 had the best time setting off fireworks with their papa. 



He had to enjoy a little pre-fireworks show bomb pop to get ready. There is not question about it...this guy is a popsicle fiend! 


I tried to get him to take a selfie with me, but he couldn't be bothered to sit still...


That is until papa started shooting off the big fireworks...


I was a little worried with keeping up past his bedtime and the loud booms that he would be a mess...


Turns out he is a fireworks guy like his papa. He sat and watched so intently and each time one would go off he would clap his hands and say "whoa!"

Most definitely my favorite 4th of July yet! 

Jenni and Evan were in town so we hit up the aquarium...








Benny had the best time and ran through the place yelling "FISH" and making his dolphin sound. It was hilarious...and maybe a bit embarrassing ;) 

We headed down to Grandma and Grandpas lot for some family pictures and even more fireworks. 


Getting this kid to look at the camera isn't easy...in the other picture AJ has his eyes closed, so I think it's genetic. I figured this one was best because Benny has an excuse...he's a toddler ;) 






Benny enjoyed relaxing on the deck with his favorite book.


Singing songs and playing with Aunt Jenni


He "patiently" waited for Uncle Evan to set off the fireworks...


He loved getting to spend some time with his Auntie Joyce


He played a little pants free frisbee


We went to Matt Ross for their "Toddle Time"






 Benny had the best time running around playing with ALL the toys. It was really great for the extra short attention span he has these days :) 

Daddy bought him a soccer ball..






they are both obsessed ;) 

We checked out "Touch A Truck"












 Benny seemed to enjoy himself, but we weren't too crazy about how busy it was and the LONG lines. 

We spent hours upon hours just hanging out and playing the backyard. His water table and sensory table got lots and lots of use this month. He would seriously live outside if we would let him.










 This summer has just been SO.MUCH.FUN and I know we both hate to see it end. I have loved having this extra time to love on my boy. We had so many fun adventures and I got to see him experience things for the first time. I feel like I will never quit saying "this is my favorite age" because let's face it...there is something so special and so fun about each and every stage.