Not sneaking birthday cake: Thanksgiving/Auntie M's birthday
A rare camera-captured smile:
Finally united! Now that their stories overlap, they get to share something else: their blog. I'm all for efficiency in 2011, and this is the first step. I'm also hoping to keep up with their stories more often, to avoid the mega-blogs I've been posting for two years. We'll see how that goes.
The holidays are wrapping up which means we are really close to getting back to our routines. After 2 months of hanging different decorations, taking said decorations down, holiday shopping, holiday eating (and overeating) and being jolly, we're all pretty much over it. But we've had lots of fun in the meantime. Thanksgiving was with Grammie, Grandpa and our birthday girl, Aunt Megan. It was nice and quiet, the way all holidays should be, and included birthday cake this year. Ben has become such a picky eater that he completely refused the same holiday meal that he ate his body weight in last year, but was totally into the cake. He and Grandpa sat at the table and literally ate a hole into the side of the cake before we even got candles on it. Happy Birthday, Auntie M, half your cake is missing! Beckett did what Beckett does and hung out in his cradle for most of the festivities. At 2 months old, there wasn't much else to do. Christmas was also nice, quiet and for the first time since 1981, white! We've had snow on the ground for past Christmases. There was a cool 8 inches in the yard last year. But this year, it started snowing on Christmas morning and didn't stop until the next night. Hendersonville got nearly a foot of snow. It was really pretty but quickly became a situation. We hurried over to Grammie and Grandpa's house after our Turner Family Christmas Extravaganza and prepared to be snowed in until the next day. We had lots of fun lounging around in our jammies, playing with our new toys, and eating (or not eating) a big holiday meal. It was perfect!
Beckett Claus: Christmas Eve - on his way to see the real Santa
The boys on Christmas Morning: Ben was so excited he could barely contain himself
Happiness is a little boy on Christmas Morning:
Pink Seahorse elicits infant happiness:
Ben and Beckett were obviously really good boys this year, because Santa lost his mind and brought way too much to Grammie and Grandpa's and Turner Place. We're currently working out a better storage system for both older and lesser-played-with but still relevant toys in the house. This place gets smaller and smaller every day. The good news for the boys is that Christmas isn't over for them. We're going to Mimi and Poo's tomorrow and staying through the new year. And something tells me my car isn't big enough to haul all of the new loot home!
Boxing Day: Beckett wore his jammies all day long
And Ben drove his Cozy Coupe indoors to avoid winter conditions (and 4 foot drifts) outside:
We've had lots of playdates and other happenings, aside from the holidays, which has kept us busy nearly every day. Between playdates, therapy sessions, and visits from family, we're always doing something fun. Ben got to visit with his BFF Jack, who brought his Mama, Danielle here from Wisconsin for a couple days of fun. Jack taught Ben how to take ornaments off the Christmas tree, that Aristocats is the coolest DVD ever, and the two of them ran around, squealing and having the time of their lives. They even got together with their other BFF, Levi for the much-anticipated triple playdate one night. Everyone involved had to take a Tylenol PM afterward, but the kids could not have had more fun.
Jack and Ben: bros eating Goldfish and watching Aristocats
Levi and Ben: practicing wrestling moves
Jack and Ben: not jumping on furniture
Ben's sweet girlfriend, Madison came for a visit later in the month for a less aggressive, but still fun playdate. Madison's Mama, Felicia and I have been trying to get together for months now, and finally got the opportunity. Madison was quiet at first, but quickly warmed up to Ben when she realized he would do anything she asked him to. 30 minutes in and he was playing "follow the leader" with her and obeying her every command. We took a few pictures and I didn't realize it until I uploaded them, but he was giving her the sweetest, most flirtatious looks I've ever seen him give anyone. In every picture. Ben's first love interest? Possibly!
And sweet Madison had such a rough month last month, probably due to us. Coincidentally, our really pregnant friend, Monique did too. Beckett was sick with spots on Halloween. They cropped up two days before, and started to look really irritated right before Ben's party. We took him to Urgent Care, who redirected us to the ER because apparently Urgent Care doesn't deal with infants. Who knew? The ER told us he had a generic rash and sent us home, giving us the green light for Ben's party. Ben's super fun Halloween/2 year old birthday party ended up being a Chicken Pox party. Remember those? We threw an unintentional one. Madison got spots nearly 2 weeks later. Sleep-deprived, completely oblivious me didn't see the link. A week after that, Monique came down with a nasty "poison ivy" reaction. I still didn't see it. Until she called a few days later to say she was completely broken out in the pox, was treated like a leper at the doctor's office and sent home to deal with them. At 38 weeks pregnant. Not the best time to catch the pox. Luckily, everyone had a minor case and lived to tell the tale.
We all breathed a huge sigh of relief when Monique's pox went away just in time for her sweet baby, Avery Belle's arrival. And by just in time, I mean like, a week. Her little princess came a day early, is as healthy as could be, and melted my heart when I met her. As a mama of two boys, I was pretty excited to hold a little pink bundle for a change. There is definitely something very sweet about a baby girl, and we're so happy to have another one to join the boys. I hope Avery and Beckett grow up loving each other the way their Mamas did years and years ago. And I look forward to going shopping with Avery while Monique and the boys watch football someday.
In other news, Ben's therapy continues to go really, really well. He is now reciting the alphabet, counting to ten (or sometimes twelve!), identifying colors, sounds different animals make, and is signaling when he wants something, is done with an activity, or wants more. Progress with Karen has been amazing. She told us at her last visit that working with Ben is so satisfying because she feels very effective when she returns and he's made a ton of progress. He is getting better at taking turns, playing with new toys, and following directions and game rules. When we began, he was challenged in all of those categories. He's also improving with his imaginative play techniques and playing with toys for their intended purposes. We're seeing less arranging and throwing things in his truck to push around, and more stacking of blocks, driving his cars in his toy parking garage, and reading his books. The other night while we were in a power struggle to get him to finish dinner, we were constantly redirecting to his plate of chicken. And he'd eat a bite, get up from the table, and play with toys. On the 8th or so reminder to eat his food, he got up, got his toy cat, and brought it back to the table. He proceeded to put the cat's face in his dish and say "yum yum yum!". He fed his cat the chicken he didn't want. The chicken never got finished by Ben, but Jacob and I considered dinner to be a huge success because he fed his cat. It was both funny and progress.
Beckett has been getting big and learning new things too, right under my nose. I feel like I just gave birth to him, but here he is, at a chunky 16 pounds and 100 or so days old, smiling, laughing, and exploring his world.
3 months old: So big!
Chillin' in Pooh Corner, y'all:
Earlier this month, I started cloth diapering his chunky little butt. It's something I always wanted to do with Ben, but life got in the way and disposables seemed so much easier. I'm finding out now that while they may be convenient, they aren't that much easier than cloth. And I'm really feeling good about reducing Beckett's carbon footprint. But my motivations were actually financial and for Beckett's persistent diaper rash. He always had red rings around his belly and legs after taking off certain brands of diapers. The only ones that didn't offend his skin leaked like crazy. And cloth just seems like the cheaper option. Living on one income, cheap is good. So Beckett now sports a fluffy bum. And we both love it! I tried converting Ben, but he hated the extra bulk. So instead, I bought him a potty chair! Joke's on him. But definitely enjoying the cloth addiction. And to non-cloth diapering Mamas, yes, it turns into an addiction. You've gotta build your "stash", and do so with the cutest colors and materials they offer.
Beckett's first fluffy bum:
I did not typo, the child really is closing in on 16 pounds. He is quite chunky. And happy. He smiles and laughs a lot, and it's contagious. His little grin lights up any room. And he is very flirtatious. He may be trouble later on in that arena. He's just beginning to push down when you put his feet on a surface, and wants to do it all the time. Which isn't really practical but he sort of doesn't care. He still has a mean temper and will lose it if you put him down before he's through with you. And he's rarely through with you. As independent as Ben is, Beckett is equally as co-dependent. But I'll take a few extra baby snuggles while he's giving them out. His sleep patterns seem to have a routine to them - he'll sleep for a 5 hour stretch in the beginning of the night, and then wake every 2 hours from then on to nurse. And during the day, he's still an hour and a half to two hours between sessions. Hence, the 16 pounds. I can't really blame him, I look forward to meals all day too. He's been really sweet recently where he'll pretend he's hungry, I'll prepare to nurse him, and he'll act like he's about to latch and then flash the biggest, cheesiest smile at me. Then he'll hide his little face, go in for the latch, and do it all over again. I want to be annoyed by it, but it's just too sweet to be mad about. But sort of awkward if I'm trying to nurse him in mixed company and he's trying to expose me instead.
Being adorable, as always:
So that's what The Turners have been up to for the last month or so. Lots of activity, lots of fun, and lots of getting big around here. We're about to bring in the new year with more Turners, restart therapy after an off week, and establish some new year's resolutions that we'll hopefully maintain. One of them being better blog maintenance. The only thing more exhausting than reading a mega-blog is writing one! Happy New Year, y'all!