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Ben's First Christmas

Ben had a great first Christmas....he got to see lots of family and got tons of new toys! First we had Christmas with Grandmama and Grandaddy. I think he was having a "mall Santa" flashback here, ha!

He got a Leap Frog Learn-n-Groove music table and a Laugh and Learn Puppy from Santa. Probaby his favorite, though, was the Johnny Jump-up from the grandparents. He's still figuring it out, but every day does a little more hopping around.

Then we went to Gastonia and had lots of fun with Mimi and Pop and all the siblings.

Back home in Tennessee!


Ben Meets Santa!

Yesterday we took Ben to the mall for his first Santa visit!! I thought it went pretty well considering he's not really exposed to strangers on a regular basis. We took our own camera, too, and got some shots of him kind of smiling, but this was our favorite of the ones you could purchase. (Correction: HAD to purchase if you wanted to use your own camera, too....ha!)

Isn't that the funniest look?! I can just hear him thinking..."Who ARE you, and why are you dressed like me?!" After he got his initial surprise out of the way, he warmed up to the camera as usual, despite multiple flashes in his face and being held by the furry fat man. I'm so thankful Ben's such an easygoing baby :)

Merry Christmas!!



Tall and HANDSOME!

Everyone keeps telling me what a loooooong baby Ben is, and how tall he is, etc. Well, they were right! At his 4 month check-up, he was 26 inches tall....that's the 90th percentile!!! He weighed almost 14 pounds, which is almost the 50th percentile, where he's been for the past few months. Aside from those mean shots, it was a great check-up. He ran a low-grade fever and was fussy for about a day, but that's it.

Ben's 4th month has been very busy! We went to Chapel Hill, NC for our annual family reunion, and he did GREAT. He napped and slept in his Pack-n-Play for the first time like a champ! Luckily, Mason and Chandler were in the backseat with him to entertain him for all those hours of riding because with a baby, a 4 hour trip magically turns into a 6 or 7 hour ordeal! On the way home, we took a detour and he got to meet his Great Grandmother Brackett for the first time!

Here he is, cheering for the Tarheels!

Visiting Timberlake, NC to see Great Grandma B...

The next weekend, we were off to Gastonia, where he was the guest of honor at a "Sip-n-See"....lots of grandmother Mimi's friends came to sip a beverage and see little Ben. I was sooooo proud of him (and RELIEVED) for how well he did considering the party time went through his nap time and into his next meal time a little. Whew! Mama was glad we got through that with no tears :) In fact, everyone just couldn't believe what a sweet, happy boy he was and most of all, how HANDSOME!!!

On the way to Gastonia, we stopped in Black Mountain, NC for a night for our first "getaway" since having Ben. Again, he did really well, and we had a nice time hanging out in the mountains. Thanks Aunt Jane for letting us stay in your tree house!


Play, play, play!!!

Ben's getting really good lately at this playing "business" :) The newest addition to his toy repertiore ~ the Exersaucer!!

He likes the Bumbo more and more now that he can hold his head up a little better, BUT, has begun trying to escape! Not that he doesn't like being in it, but I think he gets so interested in what's going on other places - like the patterns in the carpet, etc...

Playing with Yurtle the Turtle ~

Reading a book with big brother Chandler. He looks so "into" it!!

Hanging out with his "girlfriend" Sophia. As one friend said, Look, Just like a boy...holding her hand, but acting like he's not. "too cool"...ha ha ha!!

Yeah, he's holding hands with Sophia, but Mama's always going to be his #1 girl, right?!

Finally, after all that playing, this baby boy's worn out! Conked out in big brother Mason's lap :)

Four Months Old!

Whoops! I was drafting a "6 Month Stats" post on what Ben's been up to when I found the one from 4 months that I never posted! So, even though this is old news, I wanted to post it anyway so when I look back I can remember what our days were like at that age :) Not too exciting, but wait! I'm hoping to post a video soon - is having technical difficulties right now, but is supposed to resolve them soon, so stay tuned!


Wow! Mark and I can't believe how much Ben has changed in just one month. He's really starting to show his little personality in ways that are so, so fun!! I am absolutely loving every single day I'm home caring for him, and feel so very blessed to have such a sweet baby boy to love :)

At four months, Ben is....

  • still wearing size 2 diapers

  • wearing size 3-6 months clothes

  • trying SO hard to sit the carseat, the bouncy seat, when he's eating, etc...!

  • sleeping from 8:30 or 9 o'clock until around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., with the 11:30 "dreamfeed" of about 3 oz of formula (Daddy's job!)

  • still sleeping swaddled. I've tried a few naps with one arm out, but they end up being much shorter, so I guess we're not ready to drop the swaddle yet.

  • still nursing about five times a day! I can't believe we've made it this far...but still hanging in there week by week.

Here's how our typical day goes:

  • 5:30 - wake up, Mama gives Ben a paci several times to get him through to breakfast time.

  • 7:00 - nurse, hang out and watch Mama eat cereal, play a bit

  • 8:30 or 9:00 - nap until 10:30 or 11:00

  • 11:00 - nurse while watching The Price is Right, hang out and watch Mama eat a sandwich and/or get a shower. Time for Ben to get dressed before his nap.

  • 12:30 - nap about 45 minutes or an hour

  • 2:00 - nurse again

  • 2:30 - play, maybe a stroller ride, read a book, etc.

  • 3:30 - nap again, hopefully until 5:00

  • 5:00 - nurse, eagerly await Daddy to get home! Possibly nap before bath.

  • 7:45 - Bathtime ~ Ben's favorite part of the day!

  • 8 or 8:30 - nurse again, then to bed around 8:30 or 9:00

  • 11:30 - "dream"feed


Happy Halloween!

Ben had a great First Halloween ~ a bit uneventful due to the rain, but that was OK with him (and Mama and Daddy, too!) All along, he was to be a skeleton..."Bad to the Bone" is what his little cap said. But then I found a cute monkey costume at Old Navy for $2 on Friday, so he had a costume change mid-day.

First we went to the mall to do some errands as B.T.T.B. Everyone thought he was just adorable, and of course, I agreed!! :)
Then to go trick-or-treating (i.e. go visit the 3 neighbors we're friends with - ha!), we put on the monkey suit.

He did OK with it for the most part, but when we got back to the house, he told us in his own way that he was not ~BANANAS~ about this hot costume business!!

Starting off all smiles....

"Hmmm....not so sure about this."

"Ok, take a hint. I'm getting tired..."
"WAHHHHHH. I don't want to be a MONKEY anymore!!!!!"

Tee hee hee!! Only a mommy could think this face was cute! :)


My Lil' Pumpkin!

Ben has two Halloween "outfits"- his costume, and this:
So, of course, since he won't be wearing it anymore after Saturday, we've been sporting it out and about a lot!!



...from "weeks" to Months!! Ben's reached the big 3 month mark...soooooooo old (ha!), apparently the thing is to refer to how many months he is instead of weeks now. So, at 3 months, things have changed so much I don't know where to start.

Let's see...
*He moved up into Size 2 diapers just last week.

*He's wearing mostly size 3 month clothes now, with few 6 months thrown in.

*Still sleeping swaddled...I don't know HOW we're ever going to drop that thing - I had to go buy a bigger one because he outgrew the size Small!

*Speaking of sleeping, we've started getting in a extra "dreamfeed" at night (around 11:00-ish), meaning we wake him up before we go to bed so he can eat one more time. This has helped him start sleeping through the night more consistently. He still has a pesky habit of popping awake at 3:30 some nights, but goes back to sleep easily as soon as he gets a paci. I would love for him to sleep until 7:00 each morning, but most of the time he wakes up between 5:30 and 7:00, especially if he's slept through the 3:30 Mommy Call.

*More about sleep...we made the move to his crib!! I was prepared for the worst...several long, sleepless nights and lots of crying, but he did GREAT. The first night, I put his bassinet in the crib, and he continued to sleep in the bassinet. It was a "normal" night, so the next night, it was just Ben and the crib (oh, and the sleep positioner - but that only lasted a night or two...see the next bullet as to why!)

*Somehow, he does laps around that crib at night. I have no idea how, since he's wrapped up like a mummy in the SwaddleMe blanket, but he is completely turned around and on the opposite end of the crib some mornings (or nights!) when I go in there. We recently got a video monitor for his crib, so I'm looking forward to catching him in the act to see just how he accomplishes that!

*When swaddled, he can roll over from back to tummy. But then, he's STUCK. Last night, for example, he cried out at around 2:30, which was unusual. His cry sounded unusual, too, so I turned on the video monitor (have to keep it off at night b/c my eyelids are so thin...hee hee hee...I'd never get to sleep it's so bright!), and he was on his tummy, head up like a turtle and couldn't get back over. Normally, that would be super cute....not at 2:30 a.m. though!

*He's getting stronger in the tummy, and can sit in the Bumbo now!! I think it's a hit! He likes to practice sitting up. Sometimes when he's in the swing or bouncy chair, he'll curl up like he's trying doing an ab "crunch" and fuss until someone helps him sit :)

We're still doing the nursing thing, and he's finally seeming to catch on. You wouldn't think it would take 3 months!! I really hope I'm passing on some antibodies from my seasonal flu and H1N1 (when I get it) flu shots, since he's too young to get the vaccination himself. That's SO scary to me how vulnerable he's really going around from what I hear and can be very dangerous to a baby his age. We've been praying so hard for good health this winter!

Ben loooooooves Daddy-time at the end of the work day each day. He definitely smiles for Mama, but when Daddy gets's grins left and right (from both of them)!!!

One of Ben's favorite new things to do is check out his feet. He's just realized they belong to him, but I think he's still perplexed about how they do all that wiggling!! :) He spends lots of time trying to reach for them, but still hasn't mastered the arm movements yet ~ SOOOOOO cute!


Unwilling Subject ;)

So, if you haven't guessed it by now, I LOVE taking pictures. Now that I have a captive subject that I'm crazy about (my baby, of course), the floodgates have opened...ha!! The other day I was playing around and tried this cute hat on him that my late grandmother made for my brother Ernest. Mom brought it and a matching sweater up on her last visit. Ben was sleeping nicely....

when I put on the hat (couldn't resist stringing out the little bobbers!!)....and apparently this is what he thought about THAT:

(HINT: look at the hands!) Hee hee hee!!! Yes, that's "the bird". Hope you got a good laugh for the day ~ I did when I looked back at the pics!


He's Going to Kill Me One Day!!!!

First I posted all his ultrasound pics verifying that, indeed, he was A Boy! Now, check out his precious little booty in this photo I took last week ~ soooooooo cute I can hardly stand it!! Yes, he's going to kill me one day!! ;)

Here's another I took on a rug he got as a gift from our pastor...I have to give credit for the photo op idea from my friend's birth announcement for her little girl ~ they apparently have the exact same rug, so when I saw how cute Ensley looked on hers, I had to do a "photo shoot" with Ben! He thoroughly enjoyed it, as you can see by the grin, probably because (unbeknownst to me until I SAT in it!) he peed everywhere once I took his diaper off!

Other than looking adorable, Ben's had several outings in his 8th and 9th the doctor for his 2 month check-up, and the dreaded shots :( He did OK, though, only running a low-grade fever that night, but still managing to smile for us a few times. We also went to the Dragonboat Festival on Saturday, and he grinned the whole time riding in his "big boy" stroller.

He's even been laughing out loud, too!! That's such fun for Mark and me to see :) His newest "skill" is chewing his hands. He used to just do this when he was hungry, but it seems like he's finally discovered those two hands attached to his arms and he's really exploring them these days...grabbing onto everything like fingers and blankets and SQUEEZING! He's also getting better and better at clasping them together - soon he'll be clapping for us...I can't wait!!


2 Months...10 lbs 9oz...6 hours of sleep...Happy MOM!!!

Wow! It's hard to believe Ben's 8 weeks old....he has changed so much lately. His face is getting rounder, his cute little chin is getting more prominent, and best of all, he's started cooing and "talking" to us with lots more smiling!! I've honestly never seen anything cuter in my life - not even kittens or puppies ;)

At two months old, here's an idea of what else he's been up to lately...

*He very much dislikes tummy time (on the floor; Dad's chest is pretty fun!), but can roll over from tummy to back.

*He can say "Ah-goo" and "Gggggrrr"

*He just started squealing in delight at his mobile or when someone's talking to him

*He's still nursing, but getting more and more impatient and favoring the bottle. We're going to try to make it through Mama's seasonal flu and H1N1 flu vaccine shots so he can get some antibodies before weaning :(

*He's wearing 3 months clothes and even a few little pieces that are 3/6 month.

*Still wearing Size 1 diapers and going through TONS!!!

*He weighs 10 pounds, 9 oz and is in the 50th percentile for weight (up from the 25th the last two appointments!). We go next Thursday for his 2 month shots...Mama's sure dreading that one!

Ben's starting to get the hang of the sleeping thing a little more...sometimes he sleeps as much as 4 hours at a time during the night. He can go up to 6 hours without eating if sleep is involved! He's still sleeping in the bassinet beside our bed, but we are starting to think about moving him out (sorry little guy!) because he's such a NOISY sleeper! Daddy doesn't miss a wink of sleep, but Mama hears every little peep :)

Ben's big outing last Chick-Fil-A on Labor Day to get free chicken if you were wearing your favorite team logo!! Here we are ~ Go Heels!!!

Then to Winged Deer park afterwards for some fun in the shade with Mama while the boys played'll be right there with them soon, Ben!

Here's he is riding in the "big boy" part of his stroller - it has several "attachments"...the bassinet for infancy (which he hated to ride in because he was laying down flat), the car seat that he likes just OK if the straps aren't too tight, and the real stroller part that he'll ride in up until he reaches 35 or 40 pounds. We tried it out last week and he loves it!! WHEW!


Ben's Photos are Online...WoW!

I am CRAZY about Ben's newborn photos!! Of course, my baby is gorgeous ;) , but I really like the girls at Picsee Studios and the pictures they took blew me away! We went last week to view them, and it brought tears to my eyes how they captured his sweetness. He was so tiny ~ already so much bigger and more grown-up. Time flies.......

Click on "Clients" (all the way on the right), and the password is babyben.

How in the world am I going to choose?!?!


Who Does He Look Like?

When Ben was born, Mark and I both agreed: He didn't look like either one of us!!! BUT, as soon as we got our own baby pictures out, we changed our minds...looks like Ben's a little bit of both :)

These 3 photos are Ben, Julia, then Ben: This next pair is Mark, then Ben:

And I have been wanting to compare Ben's 30-week 3-D ultrasound to his "real" self since he was born ~ that's him alright!! It's amazing how close they are...


Ben Turns One (Month!)

Well, we made it a whole month!! Time has REALLY flown by....I haven't done a thing except feed Ben, sleep, and change diapers but the days have gone by so quickly. He had a great 4 week check-up, weighing in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces. Thank goodness I'm not starving my baby boy! I just about croaked, though, when the nurse put him on the scale and it came out 6 pounds 12 oz....Mama started crying right there on the spot!! Mark and I knew that couldn't be right, because he's feeling heavier and looking a little chubby in the legs :) So, she did it again, and apparently had pushed the wrong button on the scale ~ whew!!

Ben, in the past month, we've taken several rides in the stroller, and tried out the bouncy seat but you didn't like it AT ALL.

"Ummm...does this bouncy seat make me look like an old man?"

You also went to your first Lake Day!! Here you are in your girlfriend Sophia's pink boppy - don't tell Daddy ;)

"OMG, my first Lake Day, and I don't know how to swim!!"

At one month, you are still nursing and eat about every 2 hours during the day, and every 3 at night. Sometimes at night, you do sleep for up to 4 hours, but usually it's about 3 and then you're hungry again :) Daddy and I love to watch you waving your arms all around ~ you're still trying to get control of them and it's so cute! We pretend you're waving "Hello!" at us. In the past week, you've started having more and more awake and peaceful moments....just sitting in the swing, looking around. Also, for the first time this week, you enjoyed looking at the mobile in your Pack-n-Play for a whole 5 minutes! (Yay! Mama got to brush her teeth!!)

The big event for Week 3 was your first didn't hate it, but didn't love it either. You were DEFINITELY cute, though!!

The newest development that Mama is most excited about is your first ride in the Mei Tai. We borrowed this from your Aunt Anne ~ she said your cousin Hank really liked it. So, Daddy and I watched a Youtube video on how to work this thing, and put you in and you LOVED it!! That next day, I carried you all around the house, and you were happier and so was I since I could load the dishwasher, make a sandwich, and just have both hands free for once ~ WOW!! This thing is GREAT! Here you are....riding in the Mei Tai. I'm already thinking about getting another one in black (you know, so it will match more of my outfits - ha ha!)

Baby Ben, we're so glad you're here and we can't wait to see what next month holds!!