Ben naps in his crib for the first time:
Ben just hanging out, being a big boy:
The last two weeks have been crazy, with family visiting and the holiday season beginning. Thanksgiving week, Benny met his great-grandparents, Mommy's grandparents. He also met his Great Aunt Susan, cousins Lauren and Jennifer, and his Auntie Megan. He loved all the extra attention and spent very little time in Mommy's arms while family members passed him around. Ben enjoyed Thanksgiving as evidenced by his crying during the meal (as if to say, hook me up with some turkey, Ma!) and even ventured out on Black Friday for a little window shopping downtown. He loved his Baby Bjorn and cuddling with Daddy, but got tired of it at about the same time that we did. We went home, and met friends, George and Anna for some more cuddle time. The Turner family came to town and spent time with us as well, and all of us had lots of fun playing games like "Pass the baby" and "Whose turn is it to change Benny's diaper?"
At the end of the week, my big boy turned 1 month old. It's still so surreal when I back out of the day-to-day happenings and think about my baby boy being on the other side of the tummy for a whole month. When I think of all the diapers changed and the hours of sleep lost to feeding, burping and comforting my little guy, it seems like he's been here forever, but when I think back to the day he was born, it's hard to believe November went by so fast. Either way, I wonder how I ever lived without this precious boy. He has been such a fantastic addition to our lives - I'm totally OK with the fact that 4 hours of sleep is now considered a full night and all of my clothes have spit-up stains on the shoulders. On his 1 month birthday, Mommy went out to run some errands and couldn't resist the urge to pick up Pooh Bear cupcakes to celebrate. Of course, Benny couldn't eat his, but Mommy did and enjoyed it very much. I'm sure Benny even enjoyed some later in his midnight feeding so it wasn't totally ridiculous to get my newborn a cupcake.
Over the last two weeks, Ben has been working hard on tummy time and strength training and is now holding up his head for longer periods of time. He also pushes up with his arms and hands and will use his little legs to stand when he's fully supported as if to say, "I'm outta here, I've got places to go!" It seems like he's ready to just get up and walk away, he's always so busy with movement. He has also begun imitating certain hand movements like opening and closing his fists. We play a lot on his activity mat and on the fluffy rug in his bedroom and he really enjoys this time with us. He chats and coos while we play and read books and is really becoming more interactive every day. He also smiles when he is amused, and Mommy even caught him smiling and giggling at the tray on his swing today. He studied it intently for a minute or two, and then broke out in a big Benny Boo Bear smile and laughed as if it told a joke. It was a very sweet moment.
Other notable happenings include his growth! My little guy was 8 pounds, 11 ounces at birth and measured 21.5 inches. He lost a lot of weight and dipped down to 7 pounds, 10 ounces but has since made up for lost time with his unbelievable growth. All of those hourly (yes, hourly) feedings have paid off - my little chunker weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces last Friday, and measured a very tall 23 inches. I don't know what percentile that puts him in, but I am so proud of him! This is quite unfortunate for his duckie sleeper however. He did not fit in it and I imagine he will start outgrowing all of his newborn outfits soon. He's also outgrown the newborn diapers so we're finishing up what we've got and are graduating to size 1. What a big boy!