Monthly Photos

23 Jul

I didn’t post Ben’s 12-month photos with his letter because I hadn’t taken them yet (poor second child…).  But, we wrapped up the series yesterday and I’m happy to share.

12MonthsFinal

And, here’s the whole series (click to see larger).

Ben12Months

Here’s the monthly details on Mr. Ben.

12 Months Details

It’s certainly far from our best picture.  These particular shots got increasingly difficult after he figured out how to roll, crawl, stand and walk.  We had approximately .5 second to get the picture after placing him on the blanket before he was off to the races. If we persisted, he turned on the faucet. This was the only usable shot from this week. The other ones looked more like this….

Sad12MonthShot

As I was with Lucas, I’m grateful to have these photos.  It was rarely easy to find time to take them, but I know I’ll treasure them for always.

12Monthly Photos - Ben

Gallery

Birthday Bash

22 Jul

One Year Old!

21 Jul

Dear Benjamin-

I whispered in your ear last night while you drank your bottle, and told you that one year ago, we were one.  One year ago, we were taking Lucas to the playground, pregnancy waddle in full force.  One year ago, you were kicking inside and I was merely wondering what the next days, weeks, months would hold.  Today, you are one.  We are twelve months apart as two individuals. I’m not feeling your little nudges on the inside; I’m watching you walk around, almost run.  You are one year old, and I’m so thankful for you.

At one, you are a bundle of emotion – raw emotion personified, I’d daresay. You swing from happy to sad; laughing to crying – there’s little rhyme or reason to it at this point.  You are completely frustrated that you can’t talk. I imagine you’d love to scream at us and tell us exactly what you want.  Instead, you point and urge, you collapse in half and cry, you hold your breath till you are blue.  And for all the intense drama, there is an awesome side of laughter, hugs, open mouthed baby kisses, arms raised up in the air signaling your need to be held.

I’ve never met such a passionate, determined spitfire.  You are persistent to the core. The typical “distract them with shiny things” method of baby control has no impact on you.  You toss the shiny aside and walk as quickly as possible to your heart’s desire — usually the dog’s bowls, the toilet, or the dishwasher.

You love to laugh with Lucas. Even if you are hysterically crying, his laughter makes you smile.  You guys are trouble in the car already — egging one another on in games of shrieking, laughing and more. I often glance in the rear view mirror to see you two holding hands.  I’m in love with your love for each other. Of course, that love isn’t always laughter and hand holding.  You’re boys, after all.  It’s often wrestling, pulling hair, diving onto one another’s unexpecting body.  There are often tears and lots of crying –the misguided affection of one brother onto the other can be painful, but it always starts from a place of love.

You’ve got this walking thing under control.  You can stand up by yourself without pulling on furniture or steadying yourself on the wall.  Your walk is starting to more closely resemble a run these days, especially when you are zooming towards danger.  You’re busy. All the time busy.  Keeping us on our toes chasing behind. It’s probably time to get you some shoes…. poor second child doesn’t have any. In thirty years when you complain about this fact, I’ll remind you that I never made you wear Crocs and plastic bags on your feet.  See, I love you and your brother the same! Regardless, I promise we will make shoes happen this month.

benjamin2-01

You love pushing toy cars, rolling (usually throwing) balls and shaking maracas and other musical toys.  You dance whenever you hear music – it’s an amazing little head bob, body shake bop.  You are still a stinker in the sleep department – we have middle-of-the-night visits more often than not.  Sometimes they are quick and easy — but others you shout and carry on until you get to come into our bed.  Your brother never liked to sleep with us, but you love it.

Eating has been hit or miss lately. I think it’s just part of your passionate personality. There are times you love certain foods and can’t get enough – and others you’d rather throw it all off your highchair tray and cry because Mommy is the meanest for giving it to you.  You are always happy to get fruit, crunchy snacks or veggie purees. You are less interested in meat, pasta and pick up veggies.

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Benjamin, my sweet Benny boy, I’m stunned you are one.  Wasn’t it yesterday that we had Lucas at the playground while I was still pregnant?  What a year it was – you are our determined and persistent, sweet and snuggly, funny little man.  I adore you!

I love you everyday!
Your Mama

Daily Luke

16 Jul

We had fun last night taking pictures while jumping … the result, some very odd, levitating photos that show a very happy Lucas striking a pose mid-jump.

JumpingLucas

 

JumpingLucas1

Summer Soccer

14 Jul

With the tiniest goalie…

SoccerGoalie

Daily Luke

11 Jul

A double dip of daily Lucas…

First up, his muscles (you may call them elbows, he calls them muscles… poh-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe).

MrMusclesAnd just a very happy boy…

HappyLucas

Watching them play

10 Jul

Watching these boys play is one of my greatest joys right now.

IMG_8357I never really expected it.  I’m not sure I ever thought much about it, to be honest.  I remember hoping and praying that they’d get along and become friends.  I certainly still hope and pray that, but the day-to-day playtime just didn’t enter my mind much.

IMG_8361I’m really just starting to get a taste of it now.  No one makes Benjamin smile like Lucas does.  No one.  Ben is certain that the sun shines right out of Lucas’ body and he basks in it’s glow.

IMG_8365Of course, there is plenty of not playing nicely together.  Of Lucas playing rough…. Of Benjamin taking toys…. Of hair pulling, unwanted tackling, you name it.

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IMG_8370But the moments when it’s good, it’s just so very good.

Ben of the Day

9 Jul

HappyBenThat was a lot of excitement all wound up in this little guy’s body over that small plastic football that someone gave Lucas at Chick-fil-A.

4th of July

8 Jul

We had a cool, rainy 4th of July morning.  It didn’t stop Lucas and Tim from heading out at 10am for the local parade that started at 11am…. whooops.  In their defense, the website had the time wrong.  Thankfully, the 70 minute wait was nothing that a blueberry muffin and blue balloon could not cure. And the time mishap was enough that Ben and I were able to join them post-morning nap.

4thJulyParadeThere were fire engines — loud ones, as evidenced by Luke’s pre-school buddy’s hand-on-the-ears approach to parade viewing.

4thJulyParade1Ben took the parade in from the comfort of his stroller while sipping away at his morning bottle.  Lucas frantically gathered the tossed candy (sidenote: why is the tossed candy always completely inappropriate for children?? Who is giving their three year old double bubble and gobstoppers?), and waved furiously at the passing boy scouts, bike riders and parade marchers.  Approximately eight minutes later, the parade was over and we had to trudge back through the rain to the car.  70 minute wait for 8 minute parade…. as long as there was candy, friends and balloons, we’ll mark it a win.

We spent the afternoon at Sesame Place.  It was such an unseasonably cool July afternoon – there were minimal crowds, not many lines and lots of fun to be had.SesameSwings

SesameRollercoasterI love taking pictures of Lucas on the roller coaster.  He just makes the age cutoff and is too short to ride without an accompanying adult.  He’s so short, in fact, that you can’t even spot him in the roller coaster car as it zips up the track.  He looks utterly terrified throughout the ride but jumps off with lots of excitement and regularly proclaims it his favorite ride of the day.  He’s bravery personified.

SesameRide

BenSesameCarouselBenny got into the act this trip – taking a spin on his first ride, the Sunny Day Carousel.  He seems rather unimpressed in this picture and looked much the same throughout the ride. No tears though… perhaps he’s only a season or two away from joining his brother on the carousel.

And, the true mark of a successful fourth — an utterly passed out passenger on our ride home from Sesame.  I don’t think he’s fallen asleep in the car in months, but no nap + parade + Sesame was just too much for him.  He zonked out, slept the whole way home and needed to be carried upstairs. He woke up enough to ask for a TV show but didn’t even finish his sentence before falling back asleep.  His brother conked out and didn’t even wake up on the transfer to crib.

SesameSleepiness

An Afternoon Outside

7 Jul

BoysWaterTable

These guys love the water table.  It’s an open excuse for rowdy behavior, wild splashing and loud shrieking — a boys’ paradise.

BenWaterTableCheeks MaGee, in particular, is a huge fan.  Very little holds his attention for more than a moment or two, but he can spend a solid thirty minutes splashing and shouting alongside this table.

BenWalks

BenDaddy

Lucas enjoys the water table, but is more fascinated by the hose these days.  I find him emptying water out of the table so that he can make excuses to use the hose to fill it up — inevitably “accidentally” pointing it at us in the process.

LucasHose

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