Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two Boys, One Blog

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!

Exhibit A:

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!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The teacher becomes the student

Over the last four months, we have been pursuing Early Intervention Services for Benny.  It started with a suspicion raised after a playdate with a couple of above-average talkers.  It lead us into the world of case management, only this time, from a client's perspective.  From there, we've been linked to different therapists for evaluations.  Ultimately, he was referred for speech therapy, and after a bumpy start with a less-than-stellar professional, we've met our person.  Her name is Karen.  She is magical.  Like, rides a unicorn to work and performs miracles-type magical.  She is Ben's speech-language pathologist and over the last month, has gotten more progress out of Ben than we were able to all summer long.  Maybe it has less to do with the unicorn and more to do with the advanced degree, but nonetheless, we are keeping her.

Ben started therapy about a month ago.  It's a strange feeling to observe a session between a client and a therapist as the mother.  I don't go back to the office to type a note about it.  I don't file the claim, and I don't meet with my supervisor about it.  I observe my son, and his proverbial wheels turning as he figures out the task at hand.  I have an amazing sense of pride when I see the activity click and hear a new word come out of his mouth.  Even if it's just an approximation, it's magic.  And a much different feeling from the frustration I've carried for months now.  And I see it in Ben too.  I see the weight slowly lifting from his shoulders every time he learns something new.  And when Karen rides off into the sunset on her unicorn, he and I are communicating just a little bit easier than we did the day before.

We're probably in the 30 word vocabulary range.  Up from about 7 or 8 words in July.  Including signs.  He is willing to try most new sounds and one or two syllable words.  And since therapy started, he's even started some spontaneous conversation.  Meaning, he'll initiate by observing something in his environment and saying it out loud.  Something we completely skipped at around 12 months when he should have been pointing at things, but wasn't.  A point, at anything, whether it be a plane in the sky or a cookie he wants, counts as a "word".  The pointing thing never came together for Ben, and he seems to be skipping over it completely.  Instead, he names the item he observes.  Most notably, "Ti-ti" (any cat, squirrel, or small mammal) and "ball" which refers to anything sphere shaped.  For example, the sun is a ball, and an egg is a ball.  I'll take the overgeneralizations, we're labeling things!  Another super cute generalization he's made is toward food.  When he sees a fast food sign, or a commercial for anything food related, he says "Mmm, yum" in a very matter-of-fact way.  Today, while driving to the friendly neighborhood McDonald's, he spontaneously said "Happy!".  I'm guessing this is in reference to a Happy Meal.  Or how he felt about the situation.  Either way, it was completely awesome.  A seemingly mundane detail that makes me as proud as if he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, because I know where we started just a few months ago.

We've been working hard on the alphabet.  He digs the song.  Most of his musical toys sing it.  Not sure what the alphabet has to do with his Fisher Price barn, but whatever.  It's not a new one for him.  Coincidentally, he has lots of farm-themed toys.  So Old MacDonald is also pretty familiar.  When we run through the alphabet, letter for letter, he's pretty awesome at it.  As in, "Say A!" "Say B!" etc.  He'll go "Aaaaaaaa, Beeeeeeee" and be so proud.  And when his favorite game show, Wheel of Fortune is on, he will gladly help the contestants.  "I'll take an R, Pat!"  "Aurrrrrrrr!".  Pretty cute.  When we sing Old MacDonald had a farm, he supplies the "E-I-E-I-O" although it's more like "di-I-di-I-YO!".  But when we sing the alphabet and I give him the "A-B-C-D" and try to get him to finish, he adds the "di-I-di-I-YO!" and claps for himself.  It's adorable.  Incorrect, but adorable!

Related to that, he's been really into singing.  He's always been a dancer, but has recently added the song part to his performance.  He sings the Yo Gabba Gabba songs while he dances them, and is a major Justin Bieber fan.  Our friend Justin won several awards on the AMA's the other night, and Ben, aka, Justin's biggest fan, couldn't have been more thrilled.  While Justin approached the stage to accept award after award, they played his super annoying hit, "Baby", which prompted Ben to booty dance and go "baby baby baby OHHHH!" over and over again.  And all of this super cute behavior wasn't even on the map a month ago.

Can you tell I'm a proud Mama?  I used to reject praise when people would tell me how amazing I am for "teaching" people activities of daily living and other basic skills.  I still maintain that they were teaching me WAY more than I could ever teach them.  And here I am, years later, learning life lessons from a 2 year old.  MY 2 year old.  I'm in awe at his progress and determination, hopeful for his future, and a tiny bit more understanding of what other mamas like me have gone through.  Thanks to Ben, his support team, and a lovely lady that rides a unicorn.

Calm After the Storm

Beckett at 5 weeks: An impromptu photoshoot on a lazy fall afternoon


Can't turn down an opportunity for a good babyfeet shot:

We've survived the first 2 months!  And what's that at the end of the tunnel?  Light?  Holy cow, it is!  Those first few weeks are rough, y'all.  Either my bird brain blocked it all out from the first go-around at motherhood, or Ben came out of the womb sleeping through the night.  Can't quite remember, but it's all fresh on the brain right now.  And hopefully another memory to get fuzzier and fuzzier as Beckett settles into a proper routine.  His acid reflux seems to be calmed by his uber-doses of medicine, and he seems to finally understand the concept of sleeping at night.  We've had a few good weeks of sleeping soundly, only to wake up briefly for midnight, 2 am, 4 am and 6 am feedings.  Sometimes just a 4 am and 6 am if we're lucky.  So that's been nice.  We may have given in to his insatiable desire for tummy time, day and night, despite the whole "back to sleep" campaign.  We are co-sleepers.  I've finally convinced Jacob that this is an OK concept, so Beckett snuggles in bed with us.  On his tummy.  Right under my nose so that Mama's intuition can kick in if anything goes awry in this position.  And don't worry naysayers, it's been pediatrician approved.  I fought it at first, with tight swaddles, singing songs, white noise machines.  He wanted none of it if it meant he had to be on his back.  And if he did manage to fall asleep this way, he'd wheeze and choke all night, waking himself, and of course, us up.  Over and over.  There were a few weeks there where I was convinced we needed a Shark Steam Cleaner for all of our linens and Time Life's Sounds of the 70's box set because I watched the infomercials all night long.  But since I turned him on his tummy, I haven't seen any television programming past Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  Praise Jesus.

Ready for bed:

In our recent doctor visits, Beckett has weighed in and measured under the curve, in true Turner Baby fashion.  At his 1 month appointment, he was right at 10 pounds, 21 inches.  At 2 months, he was 12 pounds, 22.5 inches.  Officially in the 41st percentile for weight, and 15th for height.  But with deceptively chubby cheeks and thighs that makes you think otherwise.  His vertical challenge makes that 41st percentile look more like the 95th.  Sorry Beckett, you get it from your Mama!

Other happenings include adorable cooing and laughing at faces.  He is very aware of his environment and audience and knows exactly when he needs to work it for flattery and laughs.  His smile is officially intentional, and will absolutely light up a room.  He puts his whole face into it - his eyes smile and he opens his mouth to show that he's nothing but gums in there.  It's precious.  He still has his moments where he cries after all of his needs have been met, but they are very few and far between, and much shorter lived.  His brother has really started to respond to him, too.  When Beckett is crying, Ben will rush to his side and attempt to make him happy.  Today, he cried in his carseat after we returned from the park, so Ben found his blankie and draped it over him to comfort him.  He stopped crying immediately, but it was likely because Ben draped the blanket over his whole body, including his face.  But he meant well!  He even got a good petting from his big brother afterward.

The proudest big brother there is:

Hugs to the sleeping baby:

Two peas in a pod:

Beckett celebrated his first holiday, Halloween, by letting his mama dress him up like a baby cow.  Beckett and The Turners took on Downtown Hendersonville for some trick-or-treating and dancing in the street, and as expected, Beckett slept the whole time.  And came home and slept more.  And pretty much slept all through the next day, Ben's birthday party.  Turns out he was sick.  But nonetheless, an adorable baby cow.  And in related news, at 9+ weeks, Beckett is still nursing exclusively, and like a champ.  Go us!

 Mama cow and her baby calf, post milking:

Obligatory smooshy baby face:

November has brought us the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.  Things are starting to fall into place, Mama's hormones are slowly regulating, and baby is beginning to find his place in the Turner family.  We're on borrowed time, weather wise, seeing how it is late November and we're still enjoying mild temperatures most days.  Mama and her ducklings have traveled to the park nearly every day for a walk and some fresh air, which is nature's antidepressant.  It's really helped keep me out of a rubber room, and tuckers the babies out so that they are both nap-ready when we get home.  Double awesome.  That combined with a lot of extra sleep every night has given me a brand new outlook on life as a mom to two very little ones.  And hopefully that extra 20 pounds that wasn't Beckett, a placenta, or water weight will fall off in the process of pushing a double stroller.  But if the winter is as cold as the summer was hot, we might just put that plan on hold until spring.

Mama and Baby share a moment:

November Leaves.  Happy Beckett.

It doesn't get any better than this:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two years and counting...

Two years ago today, I met Ben.  I'm not gonna lie, I was really drugged up.  But the one memory that stands out from that day was the overwhelming feeling of love I had for that beautiful baby boy.  8 pounds and 11 ounces of pure perfection.  In some ways I feel like I blinked and was teleported to his 2nd birthday party, and in other ways, I feel like he's always been here.  He's my little buddy, and I can't believe he's two!

To back up, the last 6 weeks have been lots of fun, and full of transitions.  Ben welcomed his baby brother, Beckett into the family, and has changed his mind on how he feels about him a few times.  I think he's finally settled into the idea of having a baby brother, and has even been sweet with him a time or two.  Though these moments are short lived, I'm happy to witness the beginnings of a hopefully awesome relationship.  Ben has been so sweet and wonderful through the transition.  He continues to amaze me every day with his unbelievable patience and independence.  For being so young, he has done such an awesome job at handling the fact that Mama's attention is suddenly split between two babies.  And sometimes one demands more than the other.  I've been incredibly lucky in that respect.

Ben admires his little brother in a wagon:

Exhausted, but sticking it out:

Minutes later, calm and cool:

Giving hugs to an unsuspecting napper:

We haven't done too much in the last few weeks.  Having a newborn in the house makes travel, even to the grocery store, nearly impossible.  We've done a lot of cartoon watching, playing with toys, and keeping Beckett quiet and happy.  He's benefited from tons of visits from Grammie and Grandpa over the weeks, and has even visited with Auntie M a couple times.  This has been a real treat, and he's always sad to see them go.  He's developed a habit of blocking the door from his visitors leaving if he really disagrees with their departures.  But will always see his guests out and will say goodbye properly with either the traditional "buh-bye" or his newest send-off, "Bahhhh!".  He picked that one up from his more southern family members. We traveled to the mountain house for a weekend in early October to celebrate Aunt Nette's birthday and to share Beckett with family.  Ben enjoyed playing with his Mimi and aunties, and was happy to get back up there after being away for a couple months.  

He also got the surprise of his life and traveled to Charlotte to see Yo Gabba Gabba live and schmooze with the cast members after the show!  He was in such shock, he couldn't even smile through the show.  He just stood there, wide-eyed and with his mouth half open.  Afterward, he sat in a small circle, just a few feet away from DJ Lance Rock as he read them a story, and got to meet all the Gabbas including his favorite, Foofa.  She blew him a kiss and he smiled from ear to ear.  It was awesome!   

The magical moment:

Close to home, he's enjoyed a few trips to the local parks and even went on a hike with Mama and Daddy a couple weekends ago.  He rode in his carrier for the first time in months, and seemed to enjoy hitching a hands-free ride through the forest.  

A hike through Bent Creek Experimental Forest:

We've seen lots of new development from Ben over the last few months.  Physically, he's hit a growth spurt and put on a pound and an inch or two.  He's still wearing most of the clothes he wore this time last year (bonus for us, we get to reuse his winter clothes!), but we've added some bigger sizes with the hope that he'll grow into them before the season is through.  He's also really blossomed socially.  He is definitely more eager to play with others, and has ditched parallel play for more interactive fun.  Levi has been over a time or two, and they've met in various places for playtime which has been so good for Ben.  Not only does he love to see his best friend, but he learns a lot when they are together.  And Levi is so patient and sweet with Ben.  They truly have a special relationship.  Ben's verbal communication is really taking off.  His vocabulary is now more like 20 or 30 words, and he is usually willing to try new words.  Sometimes he'll even try a two-word sequence, which is brand new and really impressive!  And his Mimi worked hard on teaching him gesturing.  This is a developmental milestone that he pretty much skipped a year ago, and is apparently an important one.  So we've really encouraged him to point out things like body parts, pictures in books, etc.  And he does this very willingly now.  We still haven't started with speech therapy, but this should be coming together in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, we're working hard at home, and watching his expressive communication blossom.

So back to his birthday celebrations.  Ben's birthday weekend fell on Halloween again.  So being half thrifty and half lazy, we decided to throw another Halloween-themed birthday party for him.  The night before his party, we all went to downtown Hendersonville for a bit of trick-or-treating and a dance party.   We even coached him on saying "trick or treat", which he rehearsed pretty well, but forgot to say every time he presented his bag for some candy.  Ben dressed up as his hero, DJ Lance Rock.

Ben as DJ Lance and Beckett as a little calf - downtown Hendersonville:

The next afternoon, we had a very small celebration at our house attended by just family and our besties.  It was small but fun, and Ben ended up with lots of cool presents and a nice stash to put away for his college fund.  He partied hard, ate way too much candy and junk food, and squirmed at cake time again.  He did, however, eat a slice of cake with icing.

Ben and a little help from his friends:

Today was his actual birthday.  We hung out around the house and detoxed from the weekend's festivities.  He played with the toys he scored yesterday, watched his new DVDs, and hung out with Grammie and Grandpa for most of the afternoon.  Tonight, we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner and Ben had a big birthday pancake.  He didn't even melt down at the restaurant like he's been known to do. We came home and ate more birthday cake, icing and all, and had a really nice day.  For me, it's been a day of reflection over the last two years.  It didn't hit me when Ben turned 1 that he wasn't a baby anymore.  It's hit me hard tonight.  Maybe because I have a newborn in the house, and can look at him and clearly remember Ben at that age like it was yesterday.  He is such an amazing little guy, and we've had so much fun over the last two years.  Looking forward to many, many more!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life with a Newborn

Beckett tries to focus - 4 weeks:

Trying to grab the camera:

5 weeks and all's well!  Busy, but well.  It's not been that long since a newborn has been in this house, but bringing home Beckett made us realize how much we'd forgotten about the early weeks.  The sleeplessness, the spit up, the neverending poopy diapers.  The memories we have of our first attempt at parenthood are fuzzy, and laced with nothing but the good parts.  Beckett is full of those too.  I'm enjoying the warm, cuddly baby naps on my chest and the late night nursing sessions where everything is quiet and still but me and my baby boy.  It's been wonderful.  Fuzzy, due to the lack of sleep, but wonderful.  Beckett is a sweet boy and is settling quite well in the Turner household.

In 5 weeks, we've had a few doctor visits and an ER visit to monitor his jaundice and his acid reflux problems.  Beckett is a yellow vomit machine.  Yellow initially because he was born early.  This is apparently very common with babies born prior to 38 weeks.  He continues to be yellow, the doctor says, because of something in my breastmilk that makes him that way.  It's not harmful, but he'll continue to have a little bilirubin in his system for a few months.  And maybe even longer, because he comes from a long line of yellow people.  His Mama and Grandpa both have a genetic disorder that make them a little yellow too.  Time will tell.  The acid reflux has been an adventure in spit up and expensive prescriptions.  We were quick to diagnose him at home, remembering his big brother's symptoms of retching, arching his back, and screaming in pain after burps.  So two weeks after birth, we were sitting in the doctor's office, begging for a script.  And again a week later to ask for the good stuff.  We seem to have taken the edge off, as evidenced by longer sleeping patterns and less screaming, but the spit up is still plentiful and staining good shirts by the hour.
Reflux hurts:

The sleepless nights come and go.  A good night of sleep with a breastfed newborn means you'll be up about every 2 hours to nurse, burp, change and repeat.  Pretty easy when your baby agrees with the schedule.  Not so much when your newborn thinks it's party time after every meal.  And by "party time" I mean "scream at the top of your lungs" time.  So we'll have nights like that, followed by nights where he'll give us a break.  We don't consider what we do to be sleeping in the early stages anyway.  We'd like to think of our sleep patterns as "a series of short naps" for weeks on end.  The first month is the hardest.  After that, it's not necessarily that you're getting more sleep, you're just getting used to the deprivation.  Oh, and that cute advice that EVERY seasoned mother likes to share "sleep when the baby sleeps"?  All moms know what I'm talking about.  Not only is it crap, but it doesn't apply to moms with a toddler in the house too.  So I'm embracing the dark circles under my eyes and constant confusion because I don't have a choice.  All for a good cause though.

Beckett is adorable.  His newborn hair is starting to thin out (on his head AND his back) and his eyes are starting to change colors.  To what, I don't know yet, but he's slowly changing from newborn scrunchy-face Beckett to baby boy Beckett.  I feel like I blinked and he changed.  An ongoing curse of motherhood - your babies grow up faster than you are comfortable with.  But he is just as scrumpy as could be.  His development over the last 5 weeks has been amazing.  He's started making eye contact, reaching for things, noticing things in his environment and even smiling intentionally!  He also coos (when he's not screaming) which is super cute.  He seems to be a mama's boy and will almost always soothe as soon as he's in my arms, so we're like peas and carrots for 23 hours every day.  We've been co-sleeping for everyone's sanity, mostly because the only place he'll actually sleep is with his cheek pressed up against my skin, but I'm secretly loving every minute of it.  Snuggling with my tiniest one is a pretty special thing. 

"I wish you could put your ear up to my heart and hear how much I love you"

He hasn't really noticed Ben, unless he's staring him in the face, presenting the threat of either dumping him onto the floor or petting him nicely.  I can almost see him tense up with anticipation for what's next when Ben is close to him.  He's learned from past experiences (unfortunately) that Ben is capable of being sweet, and not so sweet as he gets used to "The Interloper".  This is getting better every day though.  And speaking of Ben, Beckett is like a younger, darker version of his big brother.  Check out the resemblance:

Ben at 1 month:

Beckett at 1 month:

Bros pose on a warm September day:

In addition to immediate family snuggles, Beckett has enjoyed tons of grandma, grandpa and auntie love in his 5 weeks here.  We've had a few Turner visits, both here and in the mountains, where Beckett has loved on his Mimi and Poo, his Aunt Nette and Uncle Johnny, and his Auntie Lala and Madi.  And they are all very serious about Beckett time.  They will arm wrestle over who is next.  This kid is loved.  And when he's returned to his mama, his hair smells like a mix of everyone's perfumes.  Something to remember them by.  Beckett's Grammie, Grandpa and Aunt Megan have also made regular visits for snuggle time.  Gram has practically made it a daily routine to cuddle with Beckett in the rocking chair, mostly because he's awesome, but a little bit because Mama needs a break sometimes.  It's been very nice.

So the party of 4 has survived the first month!  Experience tells us that it only gets easier from here.  The bittersweet journey of simultaneously wishing for new milestones (like the sleep through the night one!) and wishing the clock would slow down begins.  We're savoring all the sweet baby moments with our little man because we know how fast they go.