Monday, April 28, 2014

June, the Photographer

June has recently taken to picking up the camera and asking if she can take our pictures. (Exploiting people's vanity for exposure to electronic gadgets....just like I raised her.)

Here is a collection of some of her attempts. They are uncropped and appear in the exact form she took them.

This was not one of her strongest shoots.

However, she did a lot better with her dad.

And her piece de resistance:


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bennett at 2 Months

Bennett is two months old today! We did our little photo shoot, and once again June wiggled her way into some of the shots.

Bennett at two months.... Well, he's a very sweet little guy. He got some vaccinations at his two month appointment on Wednesday and was a little fussy for a day or two after that. He hardly napped for longer than 30 minutes during those days, but miraculously slept 7 and 8 hour stretches those nights! Now he has continued his schedule of not really napping, but he is back to waking up a few times in the night again. So we're still figuring out the sleep situation.

We did move him to his own crib! (We had been putting this off for a few reasons. One is that his room shares a wall with June and we didn't want either of them waking the other one up. The guest bedroom - where he had been - was also slightly closer to our room for those mid-night feedings.) It's nice having him there and feeling like we can all now settle into our permanent spots, if that makes any sense.

We're doing lots of tummy time, and he's getting pretty good at holding his whole head up off the ground. He gets frustrated, though, so sometimes I trick him by putting him across my legs and he seems to forget to get mad.

He smiles a lot. Whenever he sees me, Michael or June. Whenever we smile at him. When we say his name. 

Since he's been napping less, he spends a lot of time just hanging out awake. I try to get him used to being on the ground (as opposed to in my arms or in the Moby) since he'll be going to daycare near the end of the month.

He likes to suck on his fist when he gets tired and hungry. When it's not time to nurse, I try to encourage the pacifier. I know that some people don't regard the pacifier as a good practice, but it was such a saving grace with June (to calm her in public when there was nothing else we could do) and it's definitely an easier habit to break than thumb-sucking.

Not much to note other than that. He's just my little buddy. 'The Bubby.' My little dude. We hang out and make noises and faces and do a lot of bouncing.

And lastly, a recap of the months before.

Friday, April 25, 2014

First Easter Foursome

This was our first Easter as a family of four! It was also our first Easter without any other family present...we have spent all of the recent ones in Phoenix with my parents, and my "in-loves" have even been present for the past two. 

We missed having a bigger family affair, but tried to make this one special and ended up really enjoying ourselves. 

First order of business was finding baskets. June and Bennett were so lucky because their grandparents had sent some gifts too, so they had more than one basket to look for. (Thanks Vivi, Papa, Grammy and Papaw Fred!)

As was a trend this year, June helped Bennett find his.

Then it was time for the egg hunt! We kept on the family tradition that my parents started by having one color of eggs for June and one for Bennett. I think this is nice since it ensures that the littler kid doesn't end up with no eggs.

I'm sure we'll eventually open it up to a free-for-all (including the traditional Grand Prize Egg) so June and Bennett can recreate the cut-throat years that JP and I had. We'll just wait until Bennett is, you know, mobile.

We went to one of our favorite restaurants in midtown, Zocalo. Michael saved Easter by finding my ring sling, which I've been looking for for months. I wasn't super eager to wear the big black Moby with my nice light dress.

They had their own Easter Bunny there. After the incident at the mall, I was a little worried about how June would react. At one point the Bunny noticed June staring and made his way over. I'm pretty sure my internal dialog was saying "OH GOD OH GOD HERE IT COMES" waiting for the freak out. She did originally clam up, but eventually warmed to him when he handed her an Easter egg. I think it helped that we were outside on the patio and he approached her through the big open windows of the restaurant. She even gave him a high-five!

There was also a Mariachi band! I couldn't believe all the bells and whistles Zocalo had set up! Once again, June was a little overwhelmed at first. She wanted to sit on Michael's lap and snuggle (which he LOVED, I could tell) but eventually she was dancing in the aisles.

It was such a nice holiday.

I love this family portrait. (We don't have many of them.) June is modeling her bunny ears and Bennett is awake and happy (look how chubby his face looks! I love him and his cheeks).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Garden: One Month Later

It's been a month since I planted my garden and I thought I'd post some pictures of how it's doing. 

This is how it looked when it first was planted:

And this is how it looks now:

(Keep in mind the tomato plant got moved from the back left corner to the middle of the bed so it would receive more sunlight.)

One of the casualties of war was the basil plant. Snails got to it and chewed it up until it looked like swiss cheese. And those were the leaves that weren't completely chewed off.

And the red pepper plant got eaten entirely until only these two sad stalks remained. 

Both of these plants got pulled out and replaced with a cantaloupe and watermelon plant. 

I might have been suffering from newborn-sleep-deprivation, because I might have misread the label. You might imagine that my initial interpretation that these plants would only need 4-6 inches of room would set off some internal alarms, but no. They actually need 4-6 feet of space. Slight difference there.

But, good news, I read that you can grow them up onto a trellis! (But you have to make little hammocks for the melons - how hilarious is that?)

You might notice all of those pointy stakes shooting up out of the ground. I put those in to deter a neighborhood cat from using my garden as a litter box. Apparently cats don't like to have to maneuver around a lot of small, pokey obstacles, so I put them around the edible plants which he seemed to aim for. I don't really mind if he does his business down near the flowers.

I'm particularly excited about the strawberry plants, which have filled out a lot, though it might not be obvious from the pictures.



There are lots of little buds that should grow into strawberries if we're lucky! (Good luck to me in trying to keep the snails off of them...)

The one with the best growth is the tomato plant, which seems to have tripled in height. When I first bought the little support cage, I wondered if I'd even need it since I couldn't imagine the plant getting very big. Now I'm wondering if I should have gotten a bigger size cage!

It has little blossoms that will produce cherry tomatoes hopefully.

But I have to say that I take the most pride in the ones I grew from seeds. Along the back of the garden bed I planted two rows of American Giant Sunflowers and one row of marigolds.

Watching these pop out of the ground is so satisfying, especially the sunflowers which are already a foot high!

At first I planted 14 sunflower seeds and only 6 sprouted. I then went back and planted 8 more, of which 5 have come in. They might have quite the height discrepancy now, but I think once they all get going it won't matter as much.

The marigolds really came in like crazy. I have had to thin out the line twice now, so I get to play Ultimate Being and decide which ones make it through the cut. 

(There's also something growing back behind the garden bed. I've decided just to let it go and see what it becomes.)

Keep your fingers crossed for me! We're coming into hot temperatures and an increased risk of pests trying to get the literal fruits of my labor. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Egg Dying

We dyed eggs for the first time on Friday. 

We bought one of those little kits you see everywhere, but this one had glitter and sequins in it. I nearly had a heart attack the entire time since June kept grabbing the cups of dye and I had visions of everything in the near vicinity getting permanently stained. 

(Please ignore June's sweatiness. We had just finished playing outside after picking her up from daycare, where she normally gets pretty grubby.)

And Bennett was there, of course, but as usual, he was in "the Mobes" (as we call it) at the time. Poor guy, almost all of the pictures of him at this age are from him in the Moby. At least in this one you can see more than the corner of his sleeping eye.

I did have to document his outfit in another picture later since it was so cute/funny. This little tractor man outfit was a hand-me-down from a friend.

We let the eggs dry overnight and June got to see (and feel) the finished product the next day at breakfast.

After which she wanted to play with Bennett.

I thought this one was funny due to the perfect placement of the picture of the baby's face.

Today, when Bennett was crying some in this little seat, June picked up the pacifier, walked over and gently put it in his mouth. She held it there until he was able to get a good suction and hold it in himself. Sometimes when he's crying in the car, she's taken to muttering little reassuring phrases at him, ones she's heard me say. Like, "We're almost home, it's alright. You're not alone over there, Mommy's here. Junebug's here! It's okay!"

She's such a sweet big sister.