My mom said to me about a month ago - "How are you going to explain to Ben that you quit taking pictures of him and stopped blogging when he turned 1 year old?" Ben, I have no acceptable explanation. I have been a terrible family historian this year. I have lots of excuses - like my iMac (where my pictures are stored) has been in an uncomfortable location, or my head was in a toilet for a couple months, but it's not acceptable. Sorry Ben. Mama's gonna try to do better. The adventures have continued, however, unrecorded until now.
So back to my head in the toilet thing. Ben found out in mid-January that he'll have a roommate this fall! Benjamin is about to be a big brother! And I have to brag on him lots here - he has been a dream toddler throughout the gestation process thus far. It's like the child has a 6th sense about my new condition because he has truly given me a break while I battle the various stages of pregnancy. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a much different process when you have a 1 year old running around. The conception of this baby and Ben's walking happened in the same week. I kid you not. So step aside, morning sickness, Ben sees a cabinet with bleach and bug killer he can get into and he's headed right for it. But mostly, he's been great. I still benefit from 2 long naptimes from him per day, at roughly 2 hours a piece. AND he still sleeps till 10 am most mornings if I let him do it. Naps have been my biggest benefit of his generosity. I love sleep. I crave it. Especially when I am growing a child. Apparently my son celebrates them as much as I do. So when Mama needs to recharge, playtime is over and Ben gets serenaded by a musical seahorse until he finds himself recharging. Perfect. The walking thing was initially a little stressful, considering the timing, but ended up fine. Ben rarely gets into anything dangerous, especially now that we have childproof locks on all the cabinets. But another unintentionally terrible behavior also coincided with my first trimester that I could have lived without, considering I was on medication to reduce the head-in-the-toilet phenomenon: sharing food. No baby, Mama doesn't want to eat an Xtreme Cheddar Blast Goldfish with you. But thank you for thinking of me. Luckily, all of that is behind me. Well, the nausea part anyway.
Ben is getting a little brother in late September/early October. We are so excited that we get to raise two boys, two years apart and dream about the buddies they'll become, the trouble they'll get into, and the fun we'll all have. I explain all of this to Ben on a regular basis but it's not really clicking yet. You know, because he's 1.
So back to the adventures. We kicked off spring as quickly as possible - which for us started in mid-March when the snow finally melted. Still not enjoying spring temperatures, but the white stuff was tucked away under trees and in the shade and easily avoidable at that point. We did a lot of park trips in March.
Early March in our backyard - no grilling anytime soon!
Later in March - upset because we have to play on the playground in 40 degrees
The last weekend in March, Ben and I traveled to Hartsville, South Carolina for the annual Carolina Cup weekend. Jacob and I have been going to this event since we started dating - our first cup was in 2004. In 2010, we traveled Jacob-less, because he had to work, but it was the first year Benny actually got to see the races! Last year he was ready to go with his little outfit and everything, but we were rained out. So Ben had a blast, naturally. He walked around the in-field with various family members, mostly Mimi and Aunt Nette, and crashed frat boy and fancy southerners' parties with his charm and good looks. He also enjoyed watching the horsies clip-clop by him (there were horses at this thing?!) and he even won a race he may have bet on. $14.00 richer, right into his piggy bank!
The outfit - half the fun: March 2010
Proud to call these fancy dressers my Aunties:
We all headed to Aunt Nette's farm the next day to have fun in the sun and to throw Aunt Elizabeth and Aunt Lauren a baby shower and wedding shower, respectively. This was the first not-cold day on record in 2010, so was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Ben was pretty tuckered out by then, as was Mommy, because both of our nap schedules were pretty screwed up by this point, but sunshine and family were bonuses. Ben played with his aunts, uncles and cousins, and even got to play with his cousin, baby Adam a little. An overall successful trip!
Cousins and Aunts at the farm:
The next month brought more sniffles, as Ben changed schools and became Episcopalian. He had to leave our favorite school, Mud Creek for better hours, so began attending the St. James School for Little Folks. And germs. So April was sort of a bummer, filled with doctor visits and more prescription medication. But in the middle of all that, the sickness left long enough for Ben to have a decent Easter weekend. He celebrated with his first Easter Egg Hunt at the Arrowood's home. He played with his buddy Levi and future girlfriend, Madison, but eventually got fed up and threw the tantrum of 2010 for all the party-goers to see. Ben is capable of some serious attitude when he feels like it, and pretty much came out of the womb that way, but can usually shake it off pretty easily. He's like his Mama - Hurricane Lindsay. Meltdowns are fierce and angry for a pretty short period of time, and then calm sets in and order is restored fairly easily. But no, this was not on the schedule today. Ben's epic meltdown didn't end until 20 minutes after we GOT HOME. And The Arrowoods don't live around the corner. But moments leading up to that were pretty pleasant.
Levi and Ben: Easter bros
May and June have been fun filled with lots of local activities. Ben helped me garden nearly every weekend to make our yard look more like people live here and less like an abandoned home. He's become very fond of playing in the yard, by himself or with his doggies, and helps me water the plants every afternoon. Ben and I traveled to the mountain house one weekend for more Turner family fun. He's made lots of visits to see Grammie and Grandpa and has become especially fond of his Grandpa. He loves to sit in his lap and hear him tell stories and encourage him to pet his "feathers" (beard). Ben thinks this is hilarious and will mimic him by petting himself on the head, since his beard still hasn't come in. He visited Hendersonville's Garden Jubilee festival just long enough to throw 80 pieces of gum in the street and scream loud enough to make other visitors uncomfortable (Hurricane Benjamin). He visited the Nature Center with Lena and Levi and hung out at their house some for a quiet play date.
Bending it like Beckham with Levi:
Being comforted after a fall:
Getting Grandpa time at Mommy's birthday party:
Today, Ben got to visit Patton Pool in Hendersonville for the first time all season. Ben is not a fan of pool water. He will splash and play in the bathtub as long as you'll let him, but good luck dragging him into a pool. The pool's temperature was 86 degrees today, because it has been at least 300 degrees every day for the last 3 weeks (did I mention we missed spring and jumped right into summer?). So the pool felt very much like a bathtub today. But it took about an hour and a lot of singing, dancing and being generally ridiculous in public to get Ben to smile. But he eventually liked it. Hopefully more visits are in our future, because unlike Ben, I very much enjoy floating in a pool. When your belly is so big it deserves its own zip code, weightlessness in a pool, urine-filled or not, is a very pleasurable experience.
Ben and Dad on Father's Day: about to enjoy (or not enjoy) a day at the pool
Milestones are fast and furious at this stage. My little hamster is 19 months old, which means he is almost 2, and I'm having a hard time digesting that. In the last few months, Ben has become mobile, and the whole world has opened up to him. He's gone from wanting to be carried to having an intense need to do it himself. This is the cause of Hurricane Benjamin most of the time. He would like to walk to his destination, but oftentimes his destination is different than Mom and Dad's. He likes to wander, and hates holding hands and being guided. I broke down recently and did the unthinkable - I bought him a monkey backpack equipped with a leash. I used to judge parents who put their kids on leashes to go into Target. Now I consider them geniuses. We haven't used it in public yet, but he loves wearing his monkey backpack around the house. Speaking of monkeys, Ben has decided he is one. Unfortunately, his falling and landing on his feet skills are not as superior as his climbing skills. So he's fantastic at getting on top of dangerous places, like the coffee table, but stinks at getting back down. You've never seen cat-like reflexes out of a huge pregnant woman until you've seen me fly off the couch when Ben lifts his leg to climb a table. It's just a matter of time before he's swan diving out of his crib. I don't even want to think about it.
Ben is slow to talk. Real words, that is. He's a great communicator. Hurricane Benjamin gets the point across quite well. Throwing a box of Xtreme Cheddar Goldfish into my lap and taking two steps back is heard loud and clear. But words aren't coming so easy. He babbles a lot. I call it his Esperanto. It's a cool sounding made-up language with sentence structure and everything, but I don't speak it. He does refer to me as Mum, Jacob as Dad or Daddy, and the cat as Ti-ti. His name is Toby, and we call him Kiki, so I guess that's Ben's way of bringing the two together. We refer to the dogs as the doggies, but Ben calls them Ah-dees. He's reversed the syllables and dropped the "g". Who needs the "g" anyway? So at around 5:00 every evening, Ben starts flapping his arms and running for the door yelling, Ah-dee, Ah-dee, because he knows it's time to feed them. Another one of his favorite activities. While the dogs eat, Ben sits on the floor between them and watches. Luckily, they don't mind. But back to the language thing - Ben feels like expressing himself in ways other than spoken word. A conversation yet to be had between us and the doctor, but halfway anticipating a referral to a speech therapist. Other things seem to be coming together well, however, so we're not sweating it too much. Ben has his own schedule for getting things done, and has taught us in the past to just be patient.
So that's the last 4 months, in a nutshell. My little guy is having a blast, enjoying summer, and has no idea that his world is about to change. 4 months from now, he'll be a big brother, and we're pretty sure he's going to love it.