Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bennett at Six Months!

Bennett is 6 months today!

Maybe I'm just behind on blogging, but I feel like I was just writing up his 5 month post. 

I don't think a whole lot has changed in the past month. Bennett continues to be a truly happy baby during the daytime. He spends all his time with his hands in his mouth, or putting toys and various other objects in his mouth. Our daycare workers keep hypothesizing that he's teething, but I remember going through this same thing with June for months before she actually got a tooth. 

One of my favorite things is when he first spies a new toy in his range and sort of pauses and then does this excited pounce for the object. He's like a cat. But a lot less coordinated. 

We've heard him all-out laugh a few times this month. The first time was when June was playing with an orange balloon. It wasn't just this throaty giggle, it was a full "Hah hah hah!"It sounded like such a kid voice, and was totally adorable.

Still not sitting up on his own, but he gets a lot of practice in. He doesn't crawl but he scoots. Today I put him down in the middle of the play room rug and when I came back a minute later he was on the edge of it. That was the fastest I've ever seen him scoot, so much that I asked June if she had moved him.

Sleep for the past several nights has looked like: bedtime around 6:30 PM, wake up and nurse at 11, wake up and nurse at 3, wake up and nurse at 6:30. Sometimes more or less time between. I have a trip this weekend with a bunch of girl friends (SO excited and SO nervous to be leaving the family) and I don't know what to do... enjoy my first full night of sleep in half a year, or get up and pump twice in the middle of the night? Something tells me that the discomfort might keep me from a full restful night even if I tried.

Once again, June couldn't wait to get in on the photo shoot.

Can we get a close up, please?

This girl. I tell you.

Anyway, Bennett's doing great. We love him, June loves him, his teachers love him. He's just the sweetest little guy.

A quick glimpse back in time:

And, just for fun, a look at Bennett at 6 months compared to June at 6 months.

Happy half birthday, little guy!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunflower Harvest

This blog post has been sitting in my 'drafts' folder for a few weeks, waiting for me to finish up with an official 'after' or 'completed' photo. That didn't happen, so here we are!

On Saturday a few weeks ago, we had a little sunflower seed harvest. Or I should say I had a harvest...June was playing in the sprinkler toy and Bennett just...hung out. 

After chopping off the heads of the sunflowers, I hung them to dry for a week or so. I put brown paper bags around them to keep any birds off of them and to collect any seeds that fell off on their own.

There were just tons of seeds. 

They were pretty easy to get out by sort of rubbing my fingers over top of them.

Ever since I planted these things I looked forward to the day that I would harvest and eat my own sunflower seeds.

I think the problem was that they take so much work, especially when you have so many seeds

After soaking them, I took up every pan in our house to lay them all out to dry. There was a period of several days where Michael and I didn't know what to make for dinner because all of our pans were in use and every flat surface was taken up by black seeds. 

I'm also a little anal-retentive and every time I'd walk past the sunflower seeds, I'd stop and spend a minute or two picking out little debris or lighter-colored seeds that didn't actually have a seed inside. The amount of time that this ended up taking was...cost prohibitive.

So I ended up roasting some and ended up tossing some others simply because there was no way we were going to eat this many seeds. So now I have a huge bag of seeds and they're...I don't know? They're good. They're as good as sunflower seeds get, know what I mean? 

Sunflower seeds are good, but they are so much work to get that little kernel. So I guess what I'm saying is, it was fun, but if I ever need sunflower seeds again, I'll just be buying them.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bennett at Five Months

Our little guy turned five months while we were on our little vacation!

Bennett at five months. Well, he continues to be the smiliest baby I've ever seen. He just smiles at everyone all the time. Strangers, his daycare teachers, friends, family. He's started this thing where he kind of keeps his upper lip stiff and pokes his tongue out just a little while he smiles. 

Sleeping at night is hit and miss. We had a week where he was sleeping better, then we went on vacation and that got messed up. Some nights he'll do well and will sleep until 3 AM. Some nights he's up every two hours. The worst is when he won't got back to sleep. It's been harder and harder to get him back down when he wakes up around five, so most of the time we just end up getting up then. It's ... not fun.

But no matter how overwhelmingly exhausted I am, no matter how much I lay there and try to close my eyes for just one more minute but he keeps grunting, I always eventually open my eyes to see his little face next to mine, and his little fat hands reach out and grab my face, and I smile and kiss him and love him and coo at him as if it weren't 5 AM.

Bennett's all about playing with toys these days. He's getting so good at reaching out and grabbing things. The other day we were laying in bed in those pre-dawn hours and I was dangling his pacifier in front of him. He reached out and grabbed it and I closed my eyes for a minute. When I opened them, the pacifier was in his mouth!

It's so wonderful/funny how every new developmental step gets you some new freedom...and new challenges. He now can play with toys, so stays happy just a little longer on the floor by himself. But he also gets frustrated when things don't go his way, like if his toy got knocked just out of his reach.

He's still eating only breastmilk. We're hoping to introduce solids sometime in the next couple of weeks. I'd love to try Baby Led Weaning, which involves skipping purees and just starting out feeding the baby tiny pieces of the food we eat as a family. But it'd be hard to do that with our daycare, which is awesome and provides baby food for the kids. I'm still pumping at work. I've gone through the same ol' issues of supply, stress, finding the time, etc.

Bennett rolls both ways consistently now. He also can pull his knees under him and sort of scoot forward a bit. Because of this, some night wakings include me finding him wedged in the corner of his crib when I placed him in the center. He can't sit on his own, but we're practicing and I think he's close.

He loves laying on his back and holding his toes. He loves watching June bounce around and sing. He loves it when we kiss his tummy and neck and nibble on his fingers.

Time's going by so quickly. I read once about parenthood that 'the days go by slowly and the years go by fast.' That feels about right, though I guess it's only been months. I get excited about future days and phases, ones where he can sleep a little better or keep himself a little more entertained. And then I remind myself to appreciate these days as they are. As Michael said the other day, this is the smallest he'll ever be. 

And with that, I'm off to bed!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

June's Third Year Video

I'm finally getting around to publishing the video I made documenting June's third year of life. If you've got about 4 minutes to spare, take a look!

As I wrote in the video description, I can't believe how much June has changed in the past year. Michael and I were just saying that it's been almost a year since we moved to Sacramento and thinking about June's developmental change since then is so crazy!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Kid x2

I'm experiencing some serious sleep deprivation, so I can't recall exactly when Judy gave me a little blue sweatsuit that Michael wore when he was a baby. Was it when we found out we were having a boy? Was it right after he was born?

But I kept it in Bennett's closet where it waited until I was packing for the Disney trip and saw it. I had a panicked moment wondering if Bennett had already outgrown it, but thankfully it looked just his size.
I packed it in the suitcase hoping to provide Judy with a little surprise once we were all together. (When I saw Judy I asked her if she remembered what size it was since it didn't have tags. She remembered that it was 6 months! She's obviously NOT in sleep deprivation mode!) 

Judy was kind enough to go scavenging for pictures of Michael in his 'The Kid' outfit and they do not disappoint. I'm in love with both of these babies!

Oh Em Gee.

Monday, August 4, 2014

California Adventure

We debated whether or not to go to California Adventure at all - it's the park that is a stone's throw from Disneyland. I had never been so I didn't have an emotional attachment to it, but the Character Breakfast we signed up for took place in that park. Because of this, we needed to use our tickets to get in, so the question was whether we'd pay more money to buy a 'park hopper' ticket that would let us leave and go into Disney once breakfast was over. I looked into the attractions in the second park and decided to just stay in California Adventure for the day. 

One thing I (and June!) loved about California Adventure was that they put special emphasis on Ariel. Most of the park is dedicated to Pixar movies (Bugs Life, Cars, etc.), but it's like they wanted to include one Princess to also attract that crowd. If they could have picked one Princess to cater to June, they picked the right one. 

There was a restaurant devoted to her (Ariel's Grotto - where we went for breakfast, and how we came to hear June say over and over, "Is that Ariel's....Gwotto?"), one ride and one carousel featuring her. We crammed in these rides before our 9:00 AM breakfast, all fitting together in Ariel's ride, which we took for a second spin after seeing there was no line.

June loves her carousels.

Then we rode an interactive ride that simulated midway games (ring toss, throwing darts) with the Toy Story characters, complete with 3D glasses.

And then it was time for the Character Breakfast! June was so excited to be greeted by Ariel.

Then, after we were seated, new princesses were announced every few minutes to tour the room and visit each table. We lucked out and were the second table on the 'route,' so June didn't have to wait very long to meet each princess after she was announced.

(It's exactly after this picture that my camera died. I swear it had two-thirds battery the night before, so I didn't bother charging it. Rookie mistake. So now all the pictures are iPhone ones.)

This was the life , y'all. We got to eat (a very good breakfast, by the way) and drink coffee while the princesses came to us. No waiting in long lines in the heat of the day. 

June was starting to get hyperactive due to all the excitement, so we headed on back to the park.

I'm not sure if it's just the things that we went to, which might be aimed at younger audiences, but I really loved that California Adventure seemed to have more indoor attractions. Less worry about sunburn, air was just nice.

Like Turtle Talk with Crush, which now has June laughing about the word "Duuuuuuude!"

And this huge indoor waiting area for different attractions, which had gigantic screens showing clips and animation processes for the different movies. I saw a lot of people taking a break from the sun here, relaxing and enjoying the scenery. 

June, however, wanted to do the opposite of relax and instead had a one-person dance party.

We also went to a Disney Junior show. Everyone had to sit on the ground and we were pinned in, so I was worried about what we'd do if Bennett got fussy. 

He was fine... he sat on my lap, then I moved him over to Michael when he got a little fussy and June wanted to sit there.

When it was time to leave, we took one last ride on Ariel's ride and then headed out of the park. I couldn't believe that June didn't throw a fit, but she seemed to understand the whole 'last ride' concept, and was happy to get to choose it.

(She was NOT as happy when we woke her from her stroller nap and made her take off her princess dress to get in her car seat to head to the airport.)

My two goals of the trip were:

1. No one gets a sun burn
2. Relax, enjoy it, don't over-plan, let June set the pace for the trip

I'd say we did pretty good. No one got a sun burn (it's a miracle)!

And I think I did okay at keeping it chill. What I didn't want to happen is have this list of things I needed to cram into the day and be stressed about it. I wanted to have the mentality that, if June wanted to ride certain things over and over again, and if we never made it to certain things, that would be okay...great, even. 

That part went well, especially in Disney.  Less so in California Adventure, where I wasn't familiar with anything, so felt a little stressed trying to figure out what all would be fun or appropriate for June. 

Anyway, it was a wonderful trip and such a fun vacation. I'm already thinking about how great another trip to Disney will be...and June's already asking about it too!