Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nana's Visit

Ben and daddy hanging out after dinner
Ben with Jaime Lee
Benjamin brushing the giant teeth on the 2nd floor of the Children's Museum
Ben showing daddy how the fire hydrant works

Benjamin dressed up as a fireman
Ben and his Nana playing with boats in the water exhibit

This weekend, my mom (Ben's Nana) came to LC to visit..she hadn't seen Benjamin walk yet. Friday night we had the Lee's over for dinner (Jared, Jaime, Aunt Mary and Uncle Tommy); mom came just as they were about to leave. Both Aunt Mary and mom were easily suckered into reading story after story at bedtime (Benjamin is very smart) - every time they would put one book down and begin to rock Ben to sleep, he would cry and point at another book...and then it would happen again...and again...etc...
I went to Sylvia's to see a bluegrass band on Friday night (and met some friends from work) and had a very nice time. Sometimes I forget how fun it is just to relax and have fun with my girlfriends...I get so caught up in the daily mommy life. On Saturday we brought Benjamin to the Children's Museum. I haven't been to the Children's Museum in over ten years - I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was! It was good to get to spend time with mom - I know Benjamin enjoys it when she visits. Tomorrow we are off to Alexandria to see Ben's Paw-Paw Tony and Grandma Betty. Emily and the kids are coming to meet us - I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let the temper tantrums begin!

Today was Benjamin's very first all out tantrum...I mean, he's one --> isn't it a little early for that?! I was a very "busy" child and Seth was very mischievous, so we figured at some point our children would be too (it's only fair, right?)...but it hasn't happened with Ben yet. He is basically an angel - we have had no real problems or issues with him at all (table manners are even improving a bit!). Even his tantrum today (which was very dramatic and I still haven't figured out the root cause) was over in a matter of minutes. After it happened, I called my sister to make sure that I had handled it well; I know I need a game plan and I need to be consistent. Sooo, all the moms (or dads) out there reading this who are dealing with (or have dealt with) temper tantrums..let me know how you are handling them. Here is a pic of Ben at dinner tonight - we let him feed himself sweet potatoes and yogurt and he was happy as a clam (and very sticky).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Who Dat!!

Geaux Saints!! We had a few friends over for the game last night...and what a game it turned out to be! I just realized today (thanks to the news) that this will be the Saints very first SuperBowl ever --> Wow!
Benjamin loved watching the game -- he had pizza, cheetos, blueberries and cookies (not so great mom, I know!) -- He and Ella chased his balls around the house -- he barely sat down (or crawled)...maybe we need to get Ella over more often!
Here is another clip of Ben walking for his nana...
video

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Choose Life

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me! Psalm 139:13

Yesterday was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade (January 22, 1973). Pro-life advocates all over the country gathered on their local courthouse steps (while over 200,000 gathered in Washington D.C.) to "March for Life". Seth, Benjamin and I were proud to join many others last night here in Lake Charles to rally and pray for an end to abortion. I have always felt very passionately about protecting unborn lives, but this passion takes on a whole new dimension now that I have Benjamin. Last year, when Benjamin was just a few weeks old, his very first outing (besides the doctor check-ups) was the March for Life prayer service. He was soo little, and he slept peacefully in my sling the entire time. I cried the entire time (hormones, I am sure).

Life is so precious. New life is a miracle from God that should be protected and cherished. I cannot imagine a world without Benjamin - he brings our family constant joy. He is our gift from God.
Benjamin really enjoyed himself this year -- he had a balloon, and he sang and bopped to the band that was playing. Thank you to everyone who planned the March for Life this year. It was encouraging to see others who feel as strongly about life as you do; and to hear insight from our community leaders about how we can respect life in our daily family life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rock Star

Tonight we had Jason, Jennifer and Jack over for dinner. After dinner, the boys were playing in the living room when Jack discovered Benjamin's drum - He LOVED it! He must have played with the drum by himself for 10-15 minutes. Here is a small clip of Jack, Ben and Jason playing the drum and tambourine together. Later we got out Ben's harmonica...Jack (aka Rock Star) went crazy for it too...check it out! He even had on a tee with a guitar on it -- perfect!
video video

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Walking video

I have been trying to get Ben walking for the last day or so...but every time I take out the video camera, he plops down and crawls frantically towards me so that he can take it. Crawling is still his fastest and most trusted form of transportation for him. He was a little upset with me at the beginning of the clip, because I was basically using the camera as bait; but at least you can see a few seconds of him walking.
video

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Chorus Line in Texas

Ben and I traveled to Houston this weekend to spend some time with Crystal Reiser, while Seth was hunting with Robert and a few friends in West Texas. I finally let go a bit and got a baby sitter (first non-family member to take care of Benjamin) so that Crystal and I could have a girl's night. Crystal's cousin (so it WAS a family member, just not mine!) came around 5 pm and politely listened to instructions re Benjamin's bedtime, pacifier, lovie, etc...Finally, around 6 pm we set out for downtown Houston (we were staying in Kingwood). After a wonderful dinner at Crave Sushi (excellent!) and a yummy pomegranate martini, Crystal and I set out to find the Hobby Center (no small task since we are both super directionally challenged). We had come prepared with a mapquest printout of everywhere we were headed, and managed to fumble our way through the one-ways, construction, and city transit to make it there in time for the show. A Chorus Line was great!! It has been so long since I saw the movie (which I have always LOVED), but I remembered most of the songs and themes...and did not even realize two and a half hours had passed when they finished the grand finale (One...Singular Sensation). We had a few scary minutes when we got very lost trying to get back on 59 N; bad neighborhood, lots of cars and people looking at us like we were NOT allowed there.
When we got back to Crystal's house, Ben was fast asleep...he had done well (cried when we left and cried when she out him down - all of which I expected b/c of being with a stranger in a strange place). Today we just relaxed in Kingwood until the boys got home...Seth was so excited to see Benjmain, while Ben was excited to show his daddy the puppy dogs (The Reiser's have 4 dogs, and Ben was in heaven all weekend).
Ben was so funny about the "stuffed" animals in the house - he would point to the ducks and geese ("duh" - he would say and clap)...and the sailfish that was high up above a window (very large) he didn't notice until today. He would say "shhh" (I can only assume he is saying fish) and hold his hand out to "call" the fish!! --- back story on that --> his nana taught him to "call" the kitty cat by holding his hand out and rubbing his fingers together, while saying, "Here kitty, kitty". So when he reached his hand out and "called" the fish the way he calls the kitty cats, I was so surprised...and I knew his nana would be proud!!

We also went to the doctor for our 12 month visit this week:
24 pounds, 7 ounces (60th percentile)
31 3/4 inches tall (95+ percentile)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Walking!!

Benjamin just stood up today and started walking across the living room toward me. I held my breath. When he got close to me, he leaped (literally) forward and crashed into my chest. I hugged and congratulated him, and he has been practicing ever since. I knew he had the ability over a month ago, when he started to stand alone for extended periods of time while throwing his balls or drinking his sippy cup; or when he pushed his car or truck around the house and sometimes forgot to hold on; or when he would take a few steps then immediately sit down (teasing me!) -- but he would not really do it for whatever reason. So I waited...patiently...and sure enough, my sweet baby boy walked for his mommy!!! Way to go Ben! Video soon to follow...

Simplify

My morning routine with Benjamin is pretty nice...wake up, diaper change, breakfast for Ben, coffee for mommy, play together and read books until it is time for his morning nap. Then, once he is down, I race about trying to clean (always unload the dishwasher and tidy up the kitchen from the breakfast clutter) and get ready for the day. I am very good at getting "ready" in a little amount of time, it is the cleaning and chores that usually get me.
I read two blogs this morning (I got off track) about cleaning, simplifying, etc... your home and your life. I admit I battle with this enormous task daily - I have always dreaded housework in general (cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, etc...) and have found it very hard to find joy in these chores. I do, however, like a tidy and clean house...and when things are not, it makes me anxious. Before I had Benjamin, when Seth and I were both working like crazy (60+ hours a week), we had help with the clean house stuff...and boy was it nice to come home on Tuesdays and breathe in the wonderful smell of CLEAN. Now that I am a stay at home mom, my duties have changed...no more cleaning up after managers, directors, etc... and training them in workplace issues --> onto cleaning up my house and training (and loving) my son.
I will pray every morning for God to give me resolve and patience to do my chores and tidy my house with JOY and PURPOSE in my heart. I know this is my new job; and it involves making our home the best environment for Benjamin (clutter-free, clean, organized, stimulating and comfortable environment) to grow up and thrive. If I am to be the best mommy I can be...I also need to focus on these (dreaded) aspects of being a stay at home mom.
God has always led me when I have been lost; He has worked miracles in my life. He has blessed me with a beautiful son and an excellent husband. I need to honor Him with this role I am now in. I firmly believe that He can/will help me change my heart and have me humming "Wheels On the Bus" while folding clothes in no time!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Big Easy with the boys

This weekend I went to New Orleans to spend time with Emily and Owen (Jason took Virginia to LC with him and Seth stayed home)...so it was just the mommies and their baby boys. We had such a nice time! We went to the aquarium today (Saturday) - Benjamin LOVED it!! He has been to the aquarium before in Galveston, but he may have been a little too young to "get it". This time, he definitely got it! He was pointing and talking and kicking his legs (finally got him back in a stroller - last time was over 3 months ago!) He stared and stared at the sharks -- and I am sure he said, "Sha"...which is short for shark, of course. We had ice cream during a little break, then headed for Emily's house to meet Nana for dinner. Then, Emily and I got to go to a movie while Mom babysat. We saw Up In the Air...and I am still not sure if I liked it. George Clooney is super good-looking (never really saw the major appeal before)...but the movie overall was sad, and when we left we both felt yucky. I don't recommend going...maybe put it on your Netflix. Tomorrow I am headed back home...stopping in Baton Rouge to visit Adele's new baby girl, Emma Claire!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ready to get my baby back

After a fun, family-filled Christmas, Benjamin and I both got sick. Yuck. I was hit hard - the achy, feeling bad all over with a stuffy nose, sore throat, cough and headache kinda sick....Ben, unfortunately, followed a day or two after with the same symptoms. Now, 7 days later (I celebrated New Year's by going to bed by 10 pm and waking up every hour or so with a crying, sick baby) I am beginning to feel better, even normal (with a small cough and slightly stuffy nose). Benjamin is also doing better, although he has become very clingy and a has been napping much less. We have both been to the doctor, pronounced not contagious, and were told we would probably get better in a few days. I am ready for my baby back...the happy, bouncing, smiling, giggling baby I was talking/bragging about just a few weeks ago. I caught glimpses of him today...maybe tomorrow he will stay! It sounds crazy, but I am ready to begin battling him again about his table etiquette (or lack thereof)....Maybe tomorrow he will start launching his breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner (along with his milk and water sippy cups) off his highchair tray again...and then I will definitely know my sweet baby boy is back!