Saturday, March 21, 2009

5 months old

This is the only 5 month "couch" photo I have of Benjamin. I snapped it quickly before he had a meltdown and didn't get back to taking more photos later after he had calmed down. I don't recall why - perhaps Jasper woke up from his nap and then Benjamin had to go back down. It's a three ring circus nap schedule around here.

This photo is a little more personal ... definitely more "up close and personal."

Ok, had I actually started this post a couple of weeks ago as I had planned, I would be telling you that Benjamin is doing all sorts of fun things:

he's found his feet,

likes his jumpy seat,

Spontaneous dance parties erupt in the presence of a 2-year-old, despite how much Drew detests that sort of thing in musicals.

And, it appears both boys are looking to their father for dance moves. hmmm ...

Benjamin loves watching his brother do just about anything.

I don't recall what exactly was going on here. Jasper went through this phase where he was excited (over the moon so!) about Benjamin's feet. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it crescendoed into "... and Benjamin SMILE!" He was doing that here,
... and then he looks all demure, doesn't he?

Ah, such is life with a two-year-old.

I have no photos of this item, but Benjamin is rotating himself in bed. In the beginning, it's just 90 degrees.

He sits in his bumbo seat or exersaucer a fair amount, especially when there are not extra hands for holding him. What amazing inventions!

And he is always full of smiles

... and drool! Oh man is the faucet turned on! And beware ... everything goes in his mouth these days.

... everything goes in his mouth!

So, now that it's close to the end of the month and weeks are like lightyears of time in infancy development, I must inform you that Benjamin has not only found his feet but fallen in love with them,

He can spend so much time trying to eat his toes that his actual lunch, 2nd breakfast or 2nd lunch can get squeezed out of him. Spit-up happens, but he keeps smiling through it.

He rolls around on the floor with complete purpose. He has not yet found a good reason to roll onto his tummy, but he gets the job done without having to go that far.

He still finds watching Jasper to be the most fulfilling form of entertainment.

This has major benefits. As long as I can trust Jasper not to smother his brother when I leave them alone temporarily (which sometimes is an issue; he loves Benjamin so!), Benjamin is more likely than not to be satisfied just sitting/lying watching Jasper. He does not tire of this activity like he does of being in the jumpy seat or the exersaucer. The one drawback is at bedtime. When I need Benjamin to be winding down, and Jasper is still going strong, having them in close proximity has negative side effects. I cannot then get Benjamin settled down for sleep. I can't get him to fall into the "going to bed" routine. He's just too distracted.

I got him out of bed in the middle of the night this week (yes, we still have nighttime feedings) only to find him rotated 180 degrees from his initial position. It's always unsettling when I come upon a helpless infant and find him in a different position than where I left him. I have a moment of panic and think "how did you get there???"

Apart from the nighttime feedings and having not gone to bed well tonight, Benjamin is napping like a champ. Weissbluth is our friend. I'm sure I might trash talk him later at a weaker moment, but for right now we're flying high on consistently long naps (1.5-2hrs) and no crying when he goes down. I don't know what the "switch" was, but every week day last week his naps were "perfect." That is sort of ridiculous when I consider how much work was involved before.

I started this sleep training hoping for (1) sleeping through the night, (2) consistent bedtimes and awakenings and finally (3) ease and consistency of naps. Funny, but it appears to be working out in the reverse order. So much for my scientific plan. :)

Speaking of sleep, I need to get some myself. This kid wins me over every day with how lovable, happy and cute he is (not to mention chunkalicious). But sleep is good.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Playing in Utah

Utah here we are! Can you tell we're sooooooo excited?
How about now?
I bought Jasper a sticker book for Valentine's day. It had over 700 stickers in it. They are from the Cars movie, of which Jasper is a HUGE fan. This photo is from the first day in Utah. Jasper and Azalea covered themselves in stickers just about every day, and we still never ran out of stickers. That book paid for itself on this trip ten times over. It was awesome!
As a sidenote, Jasper is really methodical about the stickers. He only put each sticker on the right page. So, for instance, he put Mater stickers on pages in the book that have drawings of Mater. It's an activity book with stickers and pages to color.

Stacy and Joel kindly rented baby gear for all the kids while we were there, but Benjamin and Ryker still spent time on the floor.

Ryker can feed himself his own bottle!

Mornings with the kids are fun! Here Stacy and Mark are hanging out around the exersaucer. I heard there was a dance party around the exersaucer the last day we were there. Jasper and Azalea took turns playing music. Jasper's favorite is the duck and Azalea's is the lion. I don't know exactly what tunes they are - but they're both Mozart.

Gideon gets his own music started.

Here are Joel and Gideon. You might assume it's morning from the fact that Gideon is in his PJs, however Gideon was on vacation and more than one day spent the majority of his day in his PJs. Is there any better way to spend the day?

Forget gender specific toys! Both Jasper and Gideon enjoyed playing with Azalea's pink Polly Pocket cars.

This little corner of the ski in/ski out condo could be considered the laptop couch.

Jasper did not like it when Drew left to ski the first day, so the second day I set him up with a Clifford DVD as a diversion. There were no tears the second day. :)

Here are the bundled boys. Ryker is 5-6 weeks older than Benjamin. Unbundled, both boys can roll around, but once they're bundled like this they really can't move. However, both boys enjoyed being outside. Benjamin would quickly fall asleep in the ergo and Ryker was just super chill in the baby toboggan.

While we were there, Jasper learned how to make snow angels.

Miss Sarah helped teach him, and he was a huge fan of Sarah. He was sad when he had to say goodbye to Sarah, and as he came to bed after saying goodbye he told Drew: "that was nice of Miss Sarah."

The weather was not cold while we were in Utah, so spending time outside was a total pleasure. Jasper loved being out, so we explored while Drew was skiing.

We decided to do some equal-opportunity skiing/parenting. The dads went out in the morning, and the moms went out in the afternoon. Here Sarah's taken a photo of Stacy, me and Ame before we went down one of our favorite runs at Brighton: Lone Star. How appropriate?

And here are the dads with the babies. Ryan is holding Ryker and Drew has Benjamin.

One afternoon Drew took Jasper down to the Brighton resort to check out the snow machines.

The location of our condo was such that we would see groomers go up the mountain in the late afternoons, and Drew had pointed them out and told Jasper what they were. When they were down at the resort, they saw groomers up close, and Jasper thought it was awesome!

And here we are all together.