Monday, October 26, 2009

Benjamin is 1 year old!

IMG_6764Yes, everyone says this, and it must be because everyone thinks this: where did the past year go?  Benjamin turned 1 year old on October 6th.  He is a bundle of joy and a very busy boy at one year old.  It’s amazing to consider how he came into this world and how it doesn’t seem like it was a full year ago.  Here’s a walk down memory lane.

  6 days old … the closest thing we have to a “couch shot” at that point.  Check out that dark hair!IMG_3350

2 months old: already a smiley baby


4 months old: look at those rolls!  This is the pre laughing-turned-spit-up shot. :)


6 months old: much more engaged, sitting up by himself but looking very much like a chunky baby. 


1 year old: yes, he’s still got the chunky thing going on, but he’s got much more and cuter curly hair now, too!  He’s hefty to say the least (25lbs 10oz, 30” long, 47.8cm head circumference), and he’s still a smiley and happy baby … unless you try to leave him in the nursery.  I’ve heard it said a few too many times for my liking “he’s a momma’s boy, isn’t he?”  (sigh)

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Benjamin is not burning up the charts in length.  (I wonder if Asher is already longer than he is?)   But he’s still so much bigger than when he first came into the world. 

5 days old


1 year old!  The giraffe is pretty small in comparison now. 


An interesting thing to note as Benjamin is 1 year old: while he used to eat absolutely everything we put in front of him, the two things that he summarily rejects are rice and cheese.  I was feeding him cheese at breakfast one day, and he picked up the small pieces, held them to his tongue, licked them and then took them away from his mouth and over the side of the table where he then proceeded to drop them on the floor.  We had a cheese garden at the end of breakfast.  Little rice mounds get spit out of his mouth with a very displeased view on his face.  It’s pretty hysterical that Jasper’s all time favorite thing (cheesy rice) is Benjamin’s reject pile.  What a very vivid example of how these boys are separate beings. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

San Antonio Zoo

While all four grandparents were still in town together (G&G Gant stayed on after G&G Jasper left), Drew took a vacation day and we all headed to the San Antonio zoo.  We had not been to San Antonio with the boys before, and with all the rain we got over the weekend we opted not to do a muddy pumpkin patch.  The grandmas were quick to get into the spirit of the day.IMG_6735

Knowing only that it is a good zoo (nationally), we were pleased with our trip.  Once the Africa exhibit is totally done, that should be awesome.  As it is, we saw lots of pretty birds, including flamingos.  IMG_6739

The animal habitats are surrounded by native plants that are fabulous!  It makes the setting so lovely and lush.  Jasper isn’t into the bears. IMG_6740

But monkeys make him climb up on the fence!  This momma had a baby monkey she was carrying around with her.   IMG_6746   DSC_4053 DSC_4055DSC_4061

Jasper also liked pushing the stroller.  Generally he’s good, but he honestly cannot see ahead unless he’s looking around the stroller which generally means he’s pushing it in one direction or the other.  It’s sometimes dangerous, but there weren’t many people at the zoo this day – so we let him blow off some steam for a little bit.  Of course, once he hit a point where he was wildly upset if you even tried to redirect him, we realized we had pushed him way beyond hunger and beyond lunchtime and had to find a place to sit down and eat quickly.  Once we did, he was a much happier camper.  phew! 

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Jasper loved finding a Nemo fish in the aquarium, and I heard about it all the way outside where I was keeping watch over the stroller.  I don’t know who won the staring contest here, the frog or Jasper. 

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Outside the zoo is a little train.  Jasper caught wind of this as soon as we arrived, so of course we had to plan time into our trip so we could ride the train before we left.  It was a fairly pleasant ride (with a cooling breeze) that I do not feel compelled repeat.  Jasper was interested for maybe the first half of the trip and then was saying, “I’m done, dad.”  Oh well. 



Family Time

The fact that the boys’ dedication overlapped with Benjamin’s birthday was a huge bonus for us.  It meant that the grandparents were able to participate in Benjamin’s birthday – which will certainly not always be the case.  Both boys benefitted from having family here for the special time we shared. 

Nana and Papa Jasper were the first to arrive.  They were here all day Friday before the rest of the crew flew in, and they helped me a ton in the yard.  My parents are always a great help in the yard, trimming bushes, raking leaves, spreading dirt, etc.  This time dad transplanted 8 plants in our front bed.  It’s always looked crazy with the placement of some bushes, and then all the ferns have been buried under our big sago palm, so they had to be moved out to see the light of day.  The boys loved playing outside while we worked.  Jasper showed off how adept he is on the bike.     IMG_6515

Benjamin showed off how he is awesome at playing by himself.IMG_6528

Benjamin also showed off some mad crawling skills by retrieving the soccer ball which had been kicked by Jasper down into Dean and Dell’s yard.  Benjamin crawled to it, then pushed it as he crawled back into our yard.  It was impressive.  There is no stopping this kid now! IMG_6532

Jasper got Papa to do some time trial runs down to Dean’s mailbox and back.  He thought it was great!   IMG_6533

It was a gorgeous day (Oct 2), and the boys thoroughly had fun playing with Papa and Nana. IMG_6534

Over the course of the weekend, and until they left on the following Tuesday, the boys got some nice quality time in with Papa and Nana.  Reading books, playing with toys and puzzles, entertaining the crowd playing the guitar, swinging at the park, playing horsy, etc.  IMG_6548 IMG_6717 IMG_6724 IMG_6726


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Such a cute photo: Jasper, Nana, Papa and BenjaminDSC_4078 DSC_4090

Oh – some good cuddle time!













Before they left, Benjamin was able to walk between Nana and Papa.  He’s got that hands raised thing going well.  DSC_4091IMG_6765

  As mentioned previously, Miss Kate is Jasper’s new crush.  Very shortly after they arrived from the airport after picking up Grandma and Grandpa, Jasper was asking Miss Kate to come and read him a book.  This is how they started on the couch.  IMG_6630  Soon Jasper moved closer and was enrapt telling Kate about all the Mega Trucks.IMG_2542

At lunch Jasper was quick to ask Miss Kate to sit right next to him.  It was adorable!  She got primo seating at both lunch and dinner.  Speaking of eating, Drew and I decided to make it a truly Texas food weekend.  Saturday was Tex-Mex with Chicken Tortilla Soup that fed our entire family on a very cool and wet afternoon.  Dinner was fajitas from BerryHill.  Yum!  Sunday we got BBQ from … Rudy’s, of course!  We ate like kings and queens.  And the boys LOVE brisket. 

Jasper’s getting in some good chillaxin’ time with Grandpa and Uncle Jon – practicing for Thanksgiving.  I think they were watching the Ohio State football game.DSC_4025IMG_6696

     This photo makes me chuckle a little – dual grandmas and grandsons.  Both boys look so intent on what they’re doing.    IMG_6759 

Grandpa and Grandma Gant found this cute little tent at a garage sale this summer. They thought it would be the perfect size for Jasper to play in – perhaps on the deck.  Of course, we’ve had a lot of rain lately … so it’s still in our living room.  Sometimes Drew reads bedtime stories to Jasper in the tent.   IMG_6769

It’s the perfect size for kids.  More than a bit snug for adults. IMG_6771

Jasper had fun going on walks with Grandpa and Grandma Gant, lying on the steps at the end of the street and looking up through the trees. 


And going to the park, of course!  One day they were there for at least a couple of hours, and when they got back G&G said that Jasper was in the swing (I think the baby one) for over an hour … constant.  He’s crazy about swinging.  I don’t know when he’ll learn how to swing on the big swing by himself.  But for now, this is how he likes to ride it.


We discovered while we were playing outside one afternoon that Benjamin likes the Jeep.  Grandpa and I took turns giving the boys rides around the yard.  We convinced Jasper to lower the tailgate and ride in the back.  He thought it was pretty fun …


but once Benjamin got out (not quite Dukes of Hazzard style, but close) …


Jasper happily resumed the wheel. 


And then he figured out he could stand on the window cut-out in the back of the cab.  He looks so proud of himself here, doesn’t he?


What a fun shot of the boys with Grandpa and Grandma Gant!


To be sure, there were plenty of new books that came with Grandpa and Grandma Gant, lots of little cars emerged from Grandpa’s pockets, and the boys got squeaky clean from bedtime washings.  Here is Benjamin.


They also got some good snuggle time themselves. 


Grandma was able to take advantage of just how cuddly Benjamin still is after naps.  It’s a treasure!IMG_2612