Saturday, March 29, 2014

June's Fairy Garden

When Grammy was in town, June got to open an early birthday gift! She was so pleasantly surprised to finally have someone validate her birthday feelings.

See, she's been telling us that her birthday is almost here since Christmas. And ever since my birthday when I started receiving cards in the mail, she's been checking our old-fashioned mail slot saying, "Maybe there is birthday mail for me for my birthday" every day.

So anyway, the impatient girl got to have some early birthday love.

Grammy got June the items to make her own fairy garden! This worked out perfectly since we had just put in the "big garden" and now June had her own little spot to play with.

In addition to little furniture for the fairy garden, Grammy bought some tiny flowers in June's favorite color (purple - but also white, which was a direct request from June) to plant.

I love this one of the two of them:

The finished product:

June's favorite thing to do so far is to water her flowers with her little watering can and to fill up the bird bath.

What a lucky girl!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bennett is One Month!

With June we took monthly photos and were planning on doing the same with Bennett. I bought another set of month stickers, but this time I also got a little teddy bear to pose in the photo with Bennett to show the perspective of how much he grows. 

However, due to June being home sick from school yesterday, she was also around for the photo shoot. June was being so adorable, and I felt so bad after the first couple of "Can I be in a picture too?" that she ended up in most of them. 

And I only convinced her to let me take some of just Bennett by also taking some of just her. 

So, our Benny Boy.

He's one month old and is such a sweet little boy.

He spends a lot of time sleeping but we also love his awake and alert time. He follows things with his eyes and smiles when he first sees Michael. He coos and gurgles and makes adorable little sounds. He also has a strong little neck and is able to lift his head from the ground.

At this point, he eats about every 3 hours during the day...and unfortunately every 2-3 hours at night. 

He already seems so much bigger than he looked just one month ago! Check it out!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Garden Beginning

The other day, this:

Became this:

That's right, we finally put something in the awesome raised bed that lives nestled in the back of our yard. We've had visions of an awesome garden back there, but we wanted to wait until there was no more chance of frost to put a new crop in. That and, you know, the whole having a baby thing.

Speaking of, I have to give a huge shout-out to my mother-in-law, without whom I wouldn't have been able to get this done. She went with me to Home Depot to pick up supplies (and the plants) and watched/held Bennett while I worked outside in the yard.

The supervisory crew:

The garden currently has: strawberries, red bell pepper, cherry tomato, basil, thyme, sage and parsley. I also put in a couple of Gerber daisies, a generic daisy plant (which was purple, specifically for June) and some sunflowers and marigolds from seeds. (Those are planted in that seemingly empty section toward the back.) (Which looks a little funny now. It'll look even funnier later since I sort of bought the mammoth sunflowers that grow up to 16 feet high, and I sort of wasn't really considering just how high 16 feet really is.)

Actually, update: The red bell pepper plant is the first victim of pests. Two days after the plants went in, I noticed a couple of healthy leaves had fallen off the plant, one of which had been munched by guess is a slug. The next day, the entire top part of the plant had fallen off...something had eaten straight through the stem/stalk. So now we just have a sad green stalk sticking up out of the ground.

RIP, Red Bell Pepper:

It takes a baby very secure in his masculinity to recline in a pink pumpkin seat. That or no awareness of gender norms. And zero control of where he gets set down.

I actually saved the planting of the purple flowers until June got home. She helped plant it and then helped water it.

Then the next day I looked through some Pinterest pins and decided to make some little garden labels. I think they're pretty cute.

 And so did June, apparently.

So now we see if we can keep any of these things alive (or whether I can even get some of these seeds to sprout) all while simultaneously trying to adjust to having little Ben around with no grandmas to help!

Wish us luck! (And wish some luck to those slugs too, as they have it coming.)

Monday, March 24, 2014

St. Paddy's

Happy belated St. Patrick's Day from us!

June with her homemade green pancakes and green syrup:

Bennett with his St. Paddy's Day bib, courtesy of his Grammy:

It was a great one!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

One Last Date Night

I came across some pictures from before Bennett arrived ... back when we only had one outside baby and the idea of me handling the kid(s) alone on a night that Michael worked late seemed like a manageable task.

While my mom was in town, when I was already past my due date, she offered to watch June so we could go out on one last date night.

I wasn't having real contractions yet, but I also wasn't super comfortable. Michael had to slow down his walk to stay with me whenever I got that internal feeling that things might not all stay in place.

We ate at a really cool restaurant downtown called Cafeteria 15L. It's right off the capitol mall/park area. Afterward we went to Rick's Dessert Diner, which serves only cakes and pies...but about a million different kinds of them. I had to sit sideways to fit in the only tiny booth that was free.

Mom and I also went out to lunch one afternoon two days before Bennett was born. We took a picture of what we knew to be my not-long-for-this-world baby belly afterward. Once Bennett made his arrival, we decided to take another shot, this time with him on the outside. Check it out:

February 25, 2014                                               March 5, 2014

What a difference a week makes, eh?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Two Week Check Up

We've reached the point where I feel weird trying to post pictures because 99% of the pictures I'm taking are extreme closeups of Bennett's face from the extreme angle of the breastfeed hold. Like so:

Can't delete a single one! They're all so different! 

Every once in a while I'll sneak a selfie to document that I exist.

Bennett had his two week appointment the other day... it went really well. He weighed 10 lbs, 3 oz, which means he gained about 1.5 lbs since he was born. Such a bizarre difference from June's two week appointment, when we'd been through so much trouble trying to breastfeed. It was only because I assured my pediatrician that we'd found an amazing lactation consultant and things were turning around that my pediatrician didn't insist we start June on formula. (She soon started gaining about a pound a week.)

The pediatrician put Bennett through all the normal examination components and pronounced him perfectly healthy. The 85th percentile for weight. We were also able to ask her about her thoughts on Bennett's birth and the difficulties that arose. She said that, based on the medical notes from the birth, our account of what happened and Bennett's development, she didn't see any cause for concern that there were any effects of his minute of being "shock-y."

So breastfeeding is going well (and nipple pain is almost entirely gone, hey-oh!). Sleep is still newborn sleep. I am thankful that Bennett normally goes back to sleep after waking for a feeding, but am still anxiously awaiting the day that he is not waking every 2-3 hours.

Bennett gurgles and makes little noises now and then. My favorite is when he sneezes 3 or 4 times and then lets out a little exasperated "guuuurrrrl!"He's also got a strong little neck that holds his head up when we have him laying against our chests.

He has his soft dark brown hair, and his eyes are currently a very dark shade of blue.

We love these two so much!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bennett's First Real Bath

He'd had a few sponge baths - one at the hospital and a couple at home. But Bennett's umbilical cord finally fell off and then it was time for the first real bath.

June was a little confused since she has used his whale bathtub as a "boat" in which to go to "China" for the last few months...ever since we unpacked it and placed it in Bennett's nursery, where she commandeered it. But once we told her that she could help with the bath, she was not as disappointed that she wasn't allowed to "go to China" at that moment.

It went pretty well, I'd say. There was some fussing but he was generally happy. We tried to keep him warm by placing a warm wash cloth on his belly and saving his head for last to wash.

June wanted to help, and did help. She's so sweet with her little brother!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vivi's Visit

My mom came out to visit on February 16th. Since my due date was the 19th, I was a little nervous that the baby might make an arrival before she did. Of course, my silly worry/optimism was unfounded and the baby came late, which meant that Mom was here for over a week before Bennett came on the 27th. 

In the meantime, Mom hung out with me at home during the day while I worked. She helped make meals, took June to and from daycare and helped with cleaning around the house.

Of course, don't think that it was all work and no play. I think Mom might have had as much fun at the playground with June as June did. 

Mom and I also took June to dance class and out to lunch afterward.

We also filled up a weekend with activities, like going to the zoo and riding on the carousel. 

On the night/morning that the baby arrived, Mom was home with June. She also helped give June some personal attention once the baby was here. One of my greatest worries was how June would adjust to having the baby around - mostly because of how much time and attention he would pull from her. I remembered the hours spent nursing her on the couch when she was first born and knew I wouldn't be able to devote as much time to her as I had before Bennett arrived.

(Shout out to my dad ['Papa'] for being "the heater" on which Bennett took several naps and who was the griller extraordinaire for dinner one night.)

For example, Michael and I used to split bedtime routines. We'd divvy up who did teeth brushing and getting into jammies. Then the other person would usually read a couple of books and snuggle for a bit before finally saying goodnight. In the first week after Bennett arrived, I wasn't able to take any of those responsibilities and Michael or my mom did them all.

My mom left on March 7th - in time to celebrate my birthday on the 3rd - and we were so sad to see her go!

 We had a weekend and a couple of weekdays on our own before Michael's parents arrived on the 12th. We were so glad to have some reinforcements on the way! (Stay tuned for the tales and some pictures from their visit!)

A huge 'THANK YOU' to my mom for the help she gave all of us before, during and after Bennett arrived! We love you and loved getting to spend time with Vivi!