Friday, November 30, 2018

Life With Benny: 20 months

Timehop is a mama heart-breaker...

I love the memories, but they are such a cruel reminder that time is flying by and there is nothing I can do to stop it! I seriously feel like this was just yesterday...we were gearing up for Benny's first holiday season and then I blinked and here we are. 

While it is heart-breaking to be reminded that my baby isn't a baby anymore...I do have to say each stage seems to get better and better. Last year if you would have asked me, I would have told you he was at my most favorite stage and if I could keep him right there I would...but ask me today? I would tell you that our current stage is the best basically it doesn't matter how old he gets, I will likely think that he is the coolest little dude ever :) 

It's amazing to me how much this little guy changes every day. New words, phrases, and favorites emerge every single day. I'm constantly in awe of him and I probably say "He is just the best" a hundred times a day. He truly makes being his mama SO much fun! 

I'm currently knocking on wood, but as of now we haven't hit the terrible twos (although we still have 4 months to go) as of yet. He rarely ever throws fits...and when he does they are very short lived and usually include some fake crying. He definitely got his easy-going, laid back attitude from his daddy...and I sure hope it sticks around! 

We did have a brief spell where he was getting frustrated and then hitting whoever was closest to him. We have tried to be as consistent as possible with our redirection and how we address it, and it seems to have solved our issue...for now :) 

He is still talking up a storm and not only does he repeat just about anything we say, he is using his words and sentences to communicate his feelings and what he wants....and the majority of the time he is spot on. The other night we were reading one of his books and the character was crying and he said "Oh no, baby sad" 

His favorite phrases these days are a very enthusiastic "OH-KAY" , "Mama, hold you", "Where Cheez-its go?" (The obsession is real!), "______ sleeping?" (we spend at least 5 minutes before bed going through a list of people, stuffed animals, toys, and cartoon characters who are sleeping), and my personal favorite is "My mama, my mama" whenever I pick him up from daycare or come home from work. I love seeing his face light up and having him run to me for a hug <3

This boy's eagerness to learn and ability to remember every little thing blows my mind! He is now able to identify several letters (W, R, P, C, X, B, O, and U) and he will bring me a magnet, point them out in his books, and pretty much anywhere he sees letters. He will also just randomly spout off letter names when he isn't sure what they are. I have a Christmas sign in our house with all the reindeer names on it and at dinner her will point at it and shout different letter names and then look at us and say "yay!" 

He is counting all the time. If he is watching Sesame Street and they start counting he will join in or keep counting after they have stopped. He likes to count his fingers, the food on his plate, blocks, etc. He can consistently count to 10 (he no longer skips 7) and will occasionally go up to "porteen" His voice gradually gets louder and more enthusiastic the higher he's pretty much the cutest thing ever. He has recently started identifying the number zero...which can sometimes be confused with ovals, circles, and the letter O.

Naming shapes is another favorite of his. He finds shapes in books, house decor, toys, etc and will name off all the shapes. He is really consistent with stars, hearts, ovals, triangles, and tangles (rectangles)

Animal sounds continue to be his very favorite. He is always asking Alexa to make animal sounds and he will look at us and ask "Monkey says?" trying to get us to quiz him on his animal sounds. His favorite animals seem to be cows, horses, chickens, and goats....probably because he loves Deanna Rose. 

He is pretty good about playing independently, but prefers to have us sitting nearby. He will play for a long time with his blocks and build towers. I keep waiting for him to find joy in knocking them down, but our little engineer gets upset and says "OH NO!" whenever he accidentally knocks it over. 

He also loves playing with any figurines. We got him a Little Tykes Little People farm for Christmas, so I anticipate hours of fun with that. 

He also loves being outside, and unfortunately it's been rather cold and snowy these last few weeks so we haven't gotten out much. While we have a warm winter coat for him we need to invest in a full on snow suit, especially with all of the snow we have been having lately! 

If I had to pick his very favorite "toy" I would say it is still his books. He will sit for hours and read books by himself and some afternoons we sit together and read on the shelf...sometimes twice! We went to the library last week and got a bunch of Christmas books...the obsession with Santa is pretty intense these days. He has read all of those books hundreds of times and even recites some of the lines. My favorite is a Sandra Boyton book filled with poems/short stories and he will request "Wake-up, Wake-up" and when we turn to the page he starts "reading" it for us. As a teacher, this kids love for books makes me SO happy! 

I'm not sure if it's a growth spurt...but this boy is eating us out of house and home lately! He can still be pretty fickle and his preferences seem to change by the day...but he does eat a pretty wide variety of foods. His favorite is still "Pac-Cheese" (Mac and Cheese) and french fries...but lately he has been really into strawberries, cuties, applesauce (he asks for this daily) and of course Cheez-its...which I can't blame him for! Lately, when he wants a snack he will look at me and say "Mama...cookies?" and when I say no he will get an ornery look on his face and say "Bananas?" 

Sleep is going wonderfully. He is still going to bed around 7:30 and not waking up until 7-7:30 in the morning. He is going to bed without a fight these days. I got him a little squishy Santa from the Dollar Spot at Target and we tell him night-night and put him on the shelf each night and then I soak up a few snuggles before laying him down in his crib and covering him up and saying "night-night, I will see you in the morning" and he falls asleep fairly quickly after that. From past experience, I know this can change in an instant, so for now I will enjoy our peaceful bedtime routine and full nights of sleep :) 

This little boy is just the sweetest little ray of sunshine, and I am so grateful that I get to be his mommy! 
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Life With Benny: 19 (ish) months

Where is the pause button? Holy smokes these last few months have flown by. It's been crazy to see how much Benny has changed in just a few short months.

I completely missed his 18 month update, and we are cruising right past month 19...I swear I just blinked and October was over and winter has hit! Fall is my very favorite time of year because it's filled with lots of fun...and that means we were so busy making memories that I forgot to document them...#OhWell

Every month seems to bring lots of changes for our sweet boy, and these last 2 months have been no exception. His verbal skills just continue to grow and amaze us every single day. He is now putting 2-3 words together and making sentences.

He had his 18 month well baby visit earlier this month and as the doctor was asking us about his milestones he pointed up to a picture on the wall (it was fish in the ocean) and he said "ocean fish" Dr. Foss laughed and said "well I guess I can mark off that he has at least 15 words" After that Benny continued to show off for her by dancing around in his diaper spouting off all of his favorite words..."moo cow" "aminals" "eat" "mulk" etc. He had us all laughing with his antics.

Size wise our little guy is following his curve just perfectly. He is in the 48% for weight, 27% for height, and 70% for gotta have a big head for that big brain right? ;)

He is still wearing a size 4 diaper...I think we made the switch back in January. They were rather large on him when we switched, but they are still fitting pretty comfortably. So while he has been growing, it's definitely slowed down quite a bit. We have had a few overnight leaks, so we are either going to have to size up to the 5s or buy some specific overnight diapers. This kid drinks a gallon of water and almost as much milk each say he is well hydrated is an understatement ;)

All of his 12 mo stuff is too small and 18 month stuff is fitting pretty well. I bought him a whole bunch of clothes just recently and they are already getting a little small..he had a growth spurt the minute I swiped the debit card to pay for his new clothes.

He is like his mama and has some trouble with his pants being either way too long or way too short, but we seemed to have found a good match with Baby Gap sizes.

This month he has gotten a little more choosy with his food.  Most of the time he will try most anything, he has been turning his nose up at more things than usual.

He is also gotten very fickle...some days he will eat anything and everything and the next day he won't eat a thing. The doctor said that it's normal so we just try to offer him whatever we are eating and if he doesn't eat we just leave it at that.

Some of his favorite foods include strawberries, bananas, carrots, cucumbers, cheese, Go-gurt, waffles, pancakes, turkey sausage, goldfish, cheetos, cheez-its, veggie straws, french fries, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, pouches (any and all kinds), and his newest obsession "mute snacks" He had his very first taste of fruit snacks while waiting in line to check out at Target and he was rather impressed. My parents then brought him some for his trick or treat basket on Halloween and again he was rather impressed. We took several bags of fruit snacks on the plane with us when we flew to Ohio and he may or may not have eaten them all. Since our flight he has asked for "mute snacks" pretty much at all hours of the day.

Like I mentioned he will try and eat most anything (depending on the day) but green, red, and yellow peppers are an absolute no-go for him. He will pick around them and if he accidentally eats one he will spit it out.

Breakfast is probably his favorite meal of the day. He wakes up in the morning asking for breakfast and will tell us exactly what he would like to have. Most mornings it's waffles, pancakes, bananas, or sausage...but a couple of mornings lately he has insisted on eggs. He never seemed to be a huge fan of them before, but the couple of mornings he asked for them he gobbled them right up.

His favorite place to eat out is Red Robin hands-down. A basket full of french fries and creamy mac and cheese? Right up this boys alley!

Sleep has kind of been all over the place this month. While he is still sleeping 11-12 hour straight at night (Praise Jesus) he had several weeks there where he was having a really hard time falling asleep. We would lay him down and he would take forever to finally get comfortable and fall asleep. He wasn't crying so we just let him be. We finally retired the sleep sack and this issue seemed to resolve itself pretty quickly after part of me wonders if he was uncomfortable?

We also got rid of his sound machine last month. I was so worried about taking it away...but he didn't skip a beat, per usual. I was afraid that without it he would hear more noises and wake up easier...but when this kid is tired...he is tired and nothing will wake him up!

Our bedtime routine is pretty much my favorite thing ever. We ask him if he wants to put on his jammies  and brush his teeth and most nights he will head right upstairs for the bathroom (except on bath nights when we are already there) We brush his teeth with "Daniel" his toothbrush with Daniel Tiger on it and he is pretty cooperative. We switched to a toothpaste with fluoride at the suggestion of our pediatrician and dentist and he is doing really well with it.

After brushing his teeth we head into his room to change into his pajamas. About 75% of the time he is pretty cooperative during this...and the other times we all end up a little bit sweaty from the wrestling match that took place in order to get his pajamas on...he is very strong.

After jammies we let him pick out 3 books (not sure how or why we settled on 3?) and he is pretty opinionated when it comes to this. His favorite book has been "Bader" which is a Star Wars book. He loves this book and can name almost all of the characters....Jar Jar Binks, Boba Fett, Chewy, Luke/Leia, Yoda, and of course Bader. After books we have a quick snuggle while he either lists off all the names of characters from a book or a show or he will ask me a million questions..."Where dada go?" "Papa John go night night?" "Uh-oh, where lovie?" It takes everything in my power not to laugh at his stalling techniques and stay in there all night listening to him babble on.

Most of the time when I lay him down he is just fine, but we have had a few nights where he lets out this pathetic cry and all I want to do is scoop him up and make it all better. Instead, I drag myself out the door and he has calmed down before I even have the door shut.

Naps have been pretty much the same. He sleeps anywhere from an hour and a half to 2 hours at daycare and at home on the weekends.

Speaking of daycare...we started with a new gal at the beginning of September and we couldn't be happier. I was so anxious starting somewhere new yet again, but we seem to have found our just right place. Diane (or "Di-Di") is the PERFECT person to love on our boy while we are at work all day. Just a few days after starting there Benny was reaching for her the minute we would walk in the door and promptly closing the door in our faces. Now all he does is talk about "Di-Di" and all of his friends at her house. After vacation and not going to Dianes for almost a week, AJ dropped him off and he said his face lit up with excitement when he spotted Diane. I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. It's not easy to leave your child while you go to work every day...but knowing he is with someone he loves (and who loves him) makes it so much easier. We definitely hit the jack-pot with Diane!

All parents seem to think their kids are the smartest, greatest little people in the world...and let me tell you...we are no exception. I swear AJ and I both say "he is so smart" at least 10 times per day. He is constantly shocking us with what he knows.

I can already tell he is one of those kids who wants to learn and is excited to know EVERYTHING. When we talk to him or explain something to him he will look at us very intently as if he is taking in everything we say.

His memory is insane...he will talk about things that we did weeks ago and once we tell him what something is (a color, shape, letter, animal, etc) he for the most part remembers it.

Right now he is able to independently count to "porteen" (14) and only occasionally leaves out the number 7.  He is counting anything and everything that he can. He isn't accurate when counting a group of things because he gets so excited and loves to keep going. When we ask him to count or how many of something there is he  knows immediately to start counting.

He is very close to saying his ABC's all the way through. He will say "A, B, C, D, E, F, G!" yell "YAY" clap his hands and start over again. However, if we say "H, I, J" for him he will continue by saying "eleminto-P" Q-R-S are still a work in progress, so once we say that for him he will finish off with "T, U, V, W ( a very punctuated W) X, Y, Z!" He absolutely loves when we sing the ABC's to him and his favorite show "Super Why" sings them every single it's only a matter of time before he has these mastered.

He has been pretty close to having his shapes and colors mastered for the last several months, but I would say lately he is almost 100% accurate. He sometimes gets red/orange and blue/purple confused...but usually if I say "no, what color is this?" he will correct himself immediately. With shapes he is not only identifying his shapes on his puzzle, but he will find these shapes around the house and point them out. He was in bed last month and pointed at his sheets saying "triangle, oval, triangle, oval" over and over again...I swear this kid just likes to hear himself talk!

In the last week or so we have noticed that he is now starting to identify some of his letters and numbers. When we were in Ohio my little cousin Lacy was sitting in the backseat with him and she was wearing a sweatshirt with "CW" on it and he pointed at the W and said "W" We all just kind of looked at each other and I assumed it was just a fluke...but since then he has pointed out the W in his foam bath letters, magnets, and on his Star Wars fork. He sometimes knows what an X is...but not consistently and when we ask him "What letter is this?" and hold up a random letter he doesn't get it right, but he will say the name of a letter so he knows what we are asking him. Seriously...this kid blows me away!

He also is very excited about the number zero these days. He brought me his zero magnet the other day and my jaw dropped when he handed it to me and said "zero" He also points it out on anything and everything he sees these days.

Like I mentioned he blows us away with what he knows/learns every day...and while we talk to him and will tell him what things are when we are playing we don't specifically sit down and work with him (I mean...who can get a 19 month old to sit still?) but he is so observant and curious his little brain is just constantly soaking it all in. He loves being quizzed and asked questions...several times a day he will look at me and say "Monkey says?" (or any other random animal) and wait for me to ask him what that animal says so he can answer me.

He is also VERY obsessed with asking "Exa" to play "aminal sounds" and songs for him. He will yell "EXA! aminals!" or "EXA! Chicken dance!" She doesn't listen to him...yet...but I have a feeling we will be in trouble when she does.

The amount of talking this kid does is insane...I swear it never stops (I wonder where he gets that from?) Most of the time he gets to talking so fast he is just babbling and I can only understand a word here or there, but he will look at me so intently when he is talking and wait for a response. If I am not looking he will lean in to me until I make eye contact with him...this kid wants to be heard :)

We have been blessed with such a happy kid. He is one of those people who can have fun doing just about anything. His reaction to new things is usually "WOW" or "WHOA" and he has started saying to me "Mama, SO FUN!" which just melts my heart right on the spot.

He is such an easy going little guy that he makes it super easy to take him places. He loves the grocery store and talking to anyone who will listen to him, he lights up when he realizes we are at Target, and he is thrilled when we go out to eat. He just loves life and he makes it pretty easy to enjoy life right along with him.

Some of his favorite things include...


He is currently obsessed with the Food Network magazine. He loves to flip through the pages pointing at food and saying "YUM!" and the other day out of nowhere he pointed at something and said "Yuck!" he had us cracking up!

And while he has always been a pretty voracious reader, lately he has been REALLY into his books. He loves looking the pages and pointing out things and naming them. He has even reciting parts of the books as we read. He loves "Giraffes Can't Dance" and there is this part where it says "I'm Dancing, yes I'm dancing, I'm dancing Gerald cried" and every single time he will say "I dancing, I dancing, cried!"

Climbing, climbing and MORE climbing...

This month he also figured out how to climb on the couch and ottoman, and he thinks it's quite funny to "fall off" Mommy doesn't feel the same way and I fear what we have in store for us as he gets older!

 French fries and ketchup...

The only food groups in this guys' opinion! His favorite fries are from Red Robin, but he isn't all that picky ;) 

Carnival Rides...

 He was able to ride his first carnival ride this year, and he was a BIG fan! He rode it 3x and was not a happy camper when we finally walked away!

Fair food and rides were a hit with this guy, so we spent 2 nights up at Old Settlers this year...and I think he would have gone back again if he had any say in it.


He love, love, loves to swing on his tummy. He did take a few tumbles (ass over end) but picked himself right back up and did it again ;)

Deanna Rose...

 We had SO much fun at the farm this fall! Our little animal lover just couldn't get enough! Chickens, cows, feeding the goats, and of course visiting the roosters!

His Papa John <3

This kid has always been a fan of his great-grandpa and that love just seems to grow each time we go for a visit. All of the grand-kids and great-grand-kids have been a little leery of Grandpa John...but not Benny! We went for a visit a few weeks ago and he hasn't stopped talking about his "Papa John since"

"Tour de Parks"...

This kid has always been a fan of running with mama...but since we introduced "Tour de Parks" he has been an even bigger fan! We are so lucky to live by a trail that goes by 3 different parks within a 6 mile range. 

and this month we got him a bike trailer so daddy can join the fun...and mommy doesn't have to push the stroller, which just seems to get heavier and heavier!


This kid LOVES balloons! We grab a coveted red Red Robin balloon every time we go out to eat and luckily these things last for weeks! He loves to throw them, rub them on our heads, and chase them around the living room.

"Cudders" (Colors) and sidewalk chalk...



 Boy oh boy does this little guy LOVE to "cudder" He is obssessed with crayons, his color wonder markers, and especially his sidewalk chalk. He is pretty good at keeping it on the paper...but we have to remind him that colors stay on the easel a few times.

His cousins...

This boy is smitten with his big cousins. He love, love, loves big kids and these 4 are his absolute favorites! We are so blessed to have family and cousins that live nearby...and love him almost as much as he does them!

His best friend "Jacob" aka Caleb...

Benny is a big fan of his best friend Caleb...and for the life of him he can't say his name correctly, lol! We have practiced and practiced a 100 times. He now calls him "ka-ka-Jacob" #OhDear

We love our adventures (as Caleb calls them) with our best friends and I can't wait to see the friendship between these boys grow.

Speaking of friends...Benny is also pretty fond of his "girl" friend Emma :)

We met Emma's parents at our birthing classes and these 2 wild babies have quickly become friends...which is good because we kind of like her parents ;)


but for real...who needs toys?

The list goes on and on for the things this kid I said he is just filled with joy (most of the time) and can have fun doing just about anything. 

However, he does have a few things he isn't a big fan of...

For example...the snow. I have high hopes for our next outing. This particular experience was fueled by mommy taking away his Cheez-its. He couldn't be bothered to enjoy the snow when he knew his bag of Cheez-its was waiting inside for him ;) 

Honestly though, there isn't much that this kid doesn't like. He isn't a big fan of bell peppers but other than that he is pretty easy going. Now, don't get me wrong...he has his moments where he has thrown some fits...we are talking laying on the floor of Master Wok because I took him away from the fish...but for the most part our happy go lucky guy makes life with a toddler pretty fun.