July 15th: spending an afternoon by the lake in Mama's old neighborhood:
Ben is having a pretty good summer. We've made several pool trips to get him more used to the water and sunshine, and he likes the sun OK, but can do without the ice cold pool. He loves people-watching, and this can actually be an interesting experience at this particular pool. If you've ever been to a public pool (which I hadn't till now) you know what I mean.
June 2009 - Ben made a few trips to Patton Pool
The first trip: holding on for dear life:
Second trip: after the swimming experience and all dressed up. Mostly because we may have had a saturated diaper incident that resulted in Mommy and Benny getting peed on.
Ben has also made several trips here and there, namely to the mountain house. He loves getting family time because it means he gets passed around from person to person and gets to enjoy lots of different faces and games. We went to the mountains 2 weekends in a row, which exhausted us, but energized Ben. The first weekend, we just kinda hung out and entertained guests. Ben showed off his babbling skills, ability to eat new foods, and how to play with his toys.
He also learned how to play with new toys:
Ben and Aunt Nette sat in the "Booger Wagon" as it is affectionately called, and started it 50 or so times to Ben's delight. He truly believed that whatever he is grabbing onto in this photo is what started it because Aunt Nette would start the engine every time he touched it. He was quite proud of himself for "figuring it out".
Ben explored Aunt Nette's property, which is Mama and Dada's favorite place to be, and the place they got married. We played in various places with the dogs and the flowers and happened to get a lot of pretty cute pictures. My favorite set are of him sitting next to the pond, watching the birds and the fish... and Buddy jump in after lillypads.
June 28th - Ben looking fancy in his Sunday best:
The next weekend was the 4th of July, so of course we headed back for the infamous Minneapolis (NC) parade. This is the same parade we watched last year while I was 20ish weeks pregnant, overheated, overstimulated, and overweight. It was much more enjoyable this time around, and just as much of a country spectacle. We observed a white horse dyed red and blue, the mayor of the town on a 4-wheeler, every emergency vehicle in the county, and several children and babies without helmets on 4-wheelers and motorcycles. Yes, a country spectacle indeed. Ben watched the entire parade, and was not bothered by the cheering, sirens and commotion surrounding him. He kept Aunt Elizabeth company and took in the sights.
Yankee Doodle Dandy:
That night, Ben "watched" fireworks for the first time. And by "watched" I mean, fell asleep and snoozed throughout the show. Aside from all the people, chatting, and extremely loud fireworks, it was pretty much like going to bed for him, so he took the cue of the darkness and fell asleep. In retrospect, keeping Ben up until nearly 10 pm to watch fireworks wasn't the brightest idea, but luckily we escaped without incident.
We also traveled to Charlotte in July to visit Aunt Blake, Uncle Tim and the newest family member, Cousin Adam! Ben was pretty much unamused with Adam, but enjoyed the extra attention. Of course, it was a family event so everyone was there, and Ben took turns sitting in everyone's lap when Adam was otherwise occupied. Adam was born at the end of June and is technically Ben's 3rd cousin (I think). They are 8 months apart but will be thick as thieves as soon as they are able to figure each other out. And because Ben was born in November (after the cut-off date for school), he will be in Adam's grade. When they're older, they can discuss things like algebra homework and senior project. Oh yeah, and that means 2 graduations in the same year. Woohoo!
Developmentally, this summer has been sorta slow. Not much happens between 6 and 9 months apparently, but he is refining his "Mamas" and "Babas" and I believe has snuck in "Dada" although it mostly sounds like "Tha-tha". He is moving more, and is finally creeping around on the floor. The wiggling around and throwing his arms and legs out like superman was not productive and he finally realized this. Now he will creep or "army crawl" to the nearest item he desires, which is usually his binkie or someone's cell phone. This means we can't leave him on the floor to play by himself anymore, because when we come back, he is no longer there. This also means we need to babyproof the house. And a sidenote about cellphones and remote controls: they ALL belong to Ben. This is non-negotiable. If he spots either item, it is now his and is destined for the inside of his mouth. He now has a very special Sesame Street remote control with eyes that blink, lots of buttons that make different sounds, and is pretty much child-safe. He also has a Pooh Bear cell phone that does similar things. These are OK, but definitely not as cool as the real thing. The real thing is worth having a complete meltdown over.
July 14th: exaggerated crawling maneuvers:
Ben's favorite games this month are peek-a-boo and the "I'm gonna getcha" game. Peek-a-boo is self-explanatory, but "I'm gonna getcha" is a tickle game with anticipation built in, and Ben flips out when you look at him, smile and say "IIIIIIIIII'm gooooooooonna GETCHA!" followed by a full-body tickle. He laughs hysterically and buries his head in your chest like he can't even take how much fun it is. Loves it. He is also really into watching TV. This is a dangerous activity because TV rots your brain and is a bad habit to start so early. Unfortunately, his favorite show is a definite brain-rotter: Wheel of Fortune. We found this out by accident because neither of us happen to watch this, but it was on one night, and Ben was mesmerized. We noticed that he is fascinated with the colorful wheel specifically, and smiles every time he sees it. I think that, coupled with the tick-tick-tick sound of the wheel and the sound the letters make when they turn keep him captivated for the entire half hour that it's on. Since we realized this, we've hired Pat Sajak and Vanna White as our babysitters so that dinner can be prepared with minimal interruption. Ben sits in his pack-and-play with his toys and watches people win fabulous cash and prizes every night. It's great.
I mean seriously, this is hilarious:
So those are the highlights so far this summer. In a couple weeks, Ben and The Turners are going to Ocean Isle Beach for our annual summer vacation, and everyone is totally excited and ready to go. Our next update should be full of fun beach pictures and stories, and should be a lot more fun with Ben living on this side of the uterus. I anticipate a lot less swelling, waddling and chaffing. Details to come!