Monday, April 18, 2011

16 Months.

Time is just zipping on by! I had considered letting this go, my monthly blog updates about Ben's development. Then I got bitten by a scrapbook bug and have been busily scrapbooking the first year of Ben's life and I can't tell you how many times I referred back to my own blog to add little stories or tidbits to his scrapbook. So for my own memory problems, I plan to keep doing the monthly updates until he's at least 2 years old. After that I'm not sure how often I'll do a dedicated post just about Ben's updates. We'll see!

Anyway, this month he has really expanded his vocabulary. It seems he's adding a new word at least every day. This means I've really been making an effort to pay attention to not only what I say, but how I say it. Some common Ben phrases:
  • What's that?
  • Cat (everything is a cat: comes out more "tat")
  • Truck ("terrrrrr-uct")
  • Meme = milk
  • Bless you (sort of)
  • Thank you (some times)
  • Meow (it's funny the way he says it)
  • Socks ("sacks")
  • Shoes
  • Uh oh
  • Oh Wow (and he says it with some genuine amazement)
  • Cracker (but it comes out "tah tah" and it's always, always whispered)
  • He can do an elephant impression which is entirely too cute for words
  • He makes this little questioning noise when he wants something
I feel like I'm missing some... In any case, he can point to most features on his face. He knows head, ears, nose, mouth, eyes, he can show you his tummy & toes & knees and we're working on shoulders (he points sort of to his chest, rather than his actual shoulders).

He follows simple instructions REALLY well. I am constantly surprised by how much he understands. He wants to go outside and will bring me one shoe. So I'll say "bring me your other shoe" and he'll run off to get it. Or if he can't find it, he'll make that questioning noise and I'll say "I think it's in your room" and he'll run off to his room to look. Yesterday when I was unloading the dishwasher, I gave him two pots and asked him to put away. He did. :)

He loves to dance and dances in the car and along with the music at home. I've been trying to get a video of him dancing but every time he spots me with the camera it's like a tractor beam sucking him in. :)

He loves to be outside. I'm so excited to get our backyard finished so we can spend time out there. When we go out front, I spend more time keeping him out of the street or our neighbors yard (their kids leave their toys out and Ben wants to play... I think we should ask permission before we play with some one else's toys). He loves to play in the rocks and pick out his favorites. He picked up a little stick that he's been leaving by the front door when we come in, so it's there waiting for him when we go back out again. He thought sidewalk chalk was pretty funny. He'll stop what he's doing and point out planes or helicopters.

He's recently begun bringing me books to read. He won't always sit and listen to the story, but I can usually hold his attention for 5 minutes before he wants to run away and play again. He has some favorite songs, the Itsy Bitsy Spider being his all time favorite. I can't even tell you how many times I sing it for him during meal time. He knows all of the hand motions at the appropriate time. He also likes Old McDonald and will do the "e i e i o" part some times. He likes Bingo because there's clapping and he loves If You're Happy And You Know It, again for the clapping.

I've always left the TV on during the day, usually either turned to PBS or Sprout - mostly for background noise. Recently I've noticed him stopping to watch for a few minutes at a time and I'm not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it IS educational TV and I don't think 10 or 15 minutes through out the day of TV watching is damaging... on the other hand, I don't want to get in the habit of using the TV as a babysitter. It sure is nice, though, to have his attention focused on something else while I'm trying to load the dishwasher... or write a blog... ;)

He walks, runs, spins in circles and walks backwards. We're working on jumping - mostly he just bends his knees rapidly or stamps his feet but every once in awhile we'll get a "for real" jump out of him. We have this really fun story by Eric Carle about the different movements animals do (I'm a seal and I clap my hands - can you do it?) and he loves to play along.

We're working on his pacifier use. For a while there, he was really good at not using it so much during the day. Only for naps & at night. Then the last few months he's been super dependent on it during the day. I let is slide for awhile, things were really emotional at our house and he's getting teeth, etc. The last week or so, I've been taking them away from him at nap time and putting them up in his closet where he can't see or reach them. He's gotten really good at giving it to me when he wakes up. I'll just tap the end of it and say "can mommy have this?" and he'll take it out and give it to me. My goal is to have him completely off the bink by the time he's 2. I'm hoping for sooner, but I don't want to take away all of his comforts at once.

His sleep is still sort of sporadic. He naps really great. He usually goes down around noonish and naps until 2:00 or 3:00. Night time sleep.... not so great still. He's down for the night some where between 7:30 and 8:00 and usually sleeps until about 7:00ish. He apparently still needs at least one check in at night, where I just pick him up and give him a quick cuddle, tell him his night-night time and lay him back down. Some nights it's just the once (even some times it's not at all!) but most nights it's 3 or 4 trips. Some times he's just playing - talking in his sleep that wakes him up and some times he's full out crying. I've considered taking the plunge and turning the monitor off and letting him figure it out, but I can't make myself do it yet.

So, wow. That was a huge wall of text update. I think I'll scroll back up and add some pictures (which I suck at taking, by the way. I went to add an April album to my Facebook and I had like 4 pictures to add. oops) to break it up. I'm sure I'm forgetting something....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


It's the 12th. So here are 12 random things about today.

  1. It looks beautiful outside. I think park play is in Ben's future ;)
  2. I'm working like every spare minute on my scrapbook project. I don't know where this sudden motivation came from, but I heart it.
  3. Speaking of that scrapbook, apparently I bought a book in a random size. I wanted something smaller and less intimidating (at the time - now I want a big one but I've already started so I'll finish this one and do year 2 of his life in a big one) and inserts were slightly tricky to find.
  4. I went to visit my mom today.
  5. I have a dentist appointment today. Yaaaaaaaaaay
  6. So excited for Easter this year. I have so many plans for Ben.
  7. Speaking of Easter... I'm curious about how Ben will do with the Easter Bunny this year. I have a feeling I'm going to have similar pictures to the Christmas ones :-D
  8. Nick's graduation is RIGHT around the corner and I'm soooooo excited for him to be done.
  9. I have lots of plans that are finally getting worked on. Few things in progress: finish the bedroom, finish outside (I've asked Nick to pretty please have that done by Easter weekend so the Easter Bunny can leave eggs for Ben to find back there) and then we're gonna make our front living room into a craft room/office
  10. I love our new coffee pot.
  11. Still living without a functioning dryer, but that's okay. It's way better than when our washer didn't work.
  12. I wore flip flops today but my toes are kind of cold. I think I might have to go put socks on!
So there are my 12 random things for today. word.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This is a subject that's been weighing on my mind for awhile and something I've been thinking about posting about... I'm struggling with the concept of friendship right now. More specifically, how one makes and keeps friends. This is something I've struggled with really all my life, but I've never felt it more than I have since we moved to Idaho.

As a kid, we moved often so I was constantly making new friends - you'd think I'd be an expert in the subject... the difference was in the military & overseas, you're going to school with kids that have all been "the new kid" at some point. They all know what you're going through and they're far more accepting. At least they were at the grade school level. There was ALWAYS some body to play with. Then we moved back to the states and we moved to small town Idaho where all the kids there had been friends since they were in the womb and they weren't as accepting. They weren't as welcoming. They didn't understand or tolerate different. I adjusted. I found friends and I still talk to several of them to this day.

As an adult, I've found I made friends mostly at work or through Nick's co-workers. I made some really fabulous friends at my job in Washington and even though Ashley and I don't talk much any more, I know if I were to pick up the phone and call her right now, it would be like we just saw each other on Friday at work. I chat with Crystal on FB fairly often and we're actually much better friends now than we were when we worked together (oh my how we clashed...).

Then I moved again - back to small time Idaho. I got a job for an extremely small office and the making of friends became so much harder. We found a few friendships through Nick's work but most of those didn't seem to last very long. I'm not sure what happened - not enough common ground when jobs changed, a difference in personality - I don't know, but we all sort of drifted a part.

I thought for sure once I had a kid, that this world of friendships would open up to me. I'd be surrounded by other moms and sort of let in to the club. As it turns out, I only feel more isolated than I did before. I have almost zero adult interaction other than Nick and I struggle to find a place for myself in a town that's again, all been friends since the womb and/or very entrenched in church life. We aren't church-goers and it seems that those in the popular church here aren't interested unless you belong & it's hard to wedge yourself in to a group of women that have all known each other for ages and ages.

I'm not desperate for friends and I'm not going to force myself in to friendships that feel fake or where I just don't feel welcomed. I'm not looking to be included in things for the sake of being included - I want to develop friendships that are real and meaningful. I'd like a group of girlfriends. I'd like to have a "girls day" and go shopping or get pedicures or go see a movie. Sadly for me (and MAN is this a whopper of a pity party right now or what...), I'd have to travel to see my girlfriends for a girl day.

I'm not trying to post this is a "cry for help" or anything like that - I'm just well, rambling I guess. Gettin' it off my chest. I've asked a few other friends how they make friends and they both gave me pretty much the same answer. They don't know either. Work, they agreed. Seems like most of their friends are through work.

Oh well. The problem most likely lies within my self. I'm not very assertive (I can be when I need to be but I'd rather not be if I don't have to be ha ha). I'm quiet and I stand back and get a lay of the land and I've been told that I come off as bitchy or cold (which, again, I suppose I can be but I hope I'm not like that most of the time!). Is it because I'm overweight? Because I have straggly hair? I don't dress in the coolest of fashions or carry a trendy bag (anymore)? Because I have a really loud laugh? Because I'm kind of opinionated?

Geez, I guess this came off more whiny and tantrum-y than I meant. I really didn't intend this to be a "woe is me" post - I'm honestly just curious about how you make friends. Any advice? Can't promise I'll take it, but I'd love to hear how every one else does it!