Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Lovely Little Weekend

I still feel like I am living in hazy weekend land, and I realized it's already Tuesday! This is good news because it means tomorrow we are already halfway through the week and well on our way to another weekend! :) I often wish my husband didn't work the conventional schedule, but I'm thankful we squeeze the most out of his days off. This past weekend was dreamy, and definitely one I wanted to document here.

| Friday |
My hubs works 5, 9 hour days followed by a week of 4, and a Friday off. Essentially, every other weekend is a three day weekend. My dad came into town on Thursday night and all day Friday was spent building this new play set for Ben! It's an early birthday gift from his Papa Rick and is so special to us. Ben was so excited we had to move the slide against a set of stairs so he could start using it before they were done building. He had a blast climbing up the ladder and going down the slide over and over again. Or instructing one of us to slide or swing with him (um, weight limit anyone?). It's such an incredible structure that Ben will be able to grow into as it has a "fort" area, too. I definitely don't see any of us tiring of it for quite a few years. Also, my son was born into a family of intelligent, handy men...my dad used rubber chips and made a border around the edges. He really goes above and beyond.
| Saturday |
Since the play set was finished in a day, we took Saturday and went out exploring. We decided to leave Ben with his grandma since it was going to be a long day in the car. We drove out to the north coast of Washington and walked a couple of miles down Rialto Beach (near La Push/Forks where the Twilight trilogy was set). We had a picnic at Hole-In-The-Wall, but the tide was in so we didn't get to actually walk through the rock structure. Following our picnic in the sun we drove back through the Olympics and up to an area called Hurricane Ridge. The ridge offers a delightful view of the mountains, the San Juan islands, and Canada. There were also a lot of bucks, does, and fawns prancing around. Washington continues to amaze me with it's beauty...there aren't very many places in the world you can drive from mountains to rainforest to sea within such a short time frame.
 | Sunday |
On Sunday we caught the ferry and headed north of Seattle to the Chateau St Michelle winery to take a tour, do some tastings, and see a concert in the evening. Unfortunately, we missed the tour times, so we camped out on the lawn in our chairs until it was time to go into the concert venue. We saw Chris Isaak (his hit song Wicked Game came out when I was 5 years old...). It was a really great time and we had such fun being together.
| Monday |
Since Justin and I got home so late from the concert on Sunday, we didn't get Ben until Monday. It was the first time in almost two years I've woken up in our house alone. Not only did I get to sleep in a little bit, I also listened to my favorite jams and deep cleaned the house, got all the laundry done, washed the car, and bought groceries for the week. Later in the afternoon I spent time bottling my first batch of home-brewed kombucha (a fermented tea full of good probiotics and bacteria). I'm constantly reminded how blessed we are to have such a loving and supportive family. Being a parent is hard work, and it's nice to have someone in our corner who is helping and looking out for us as well. I only hope when Ben is a grown man that Justin and I can continue to offer love and support to him and his family. It takes a village to raise these babies, and I am so aware of how fortunate we are to have such wonderful parents in our life.
| Tuesday |
Okay, so technically we are past the weekend, but like I said, I'm still living it... :) This morning Ben slept in a bit and woke up with the cutest bed head. We drove over to our friend Lena's house to play and took a walk to pick blackberries. We continue to be blessed (not sure if that's the right word) hot weather, so outdoor time has been a must! Us Western Washingtonians need to soak up the Vitamin D while we can get it! Ben is taking a nice afternoon nap while I catch up on some bills, reading, and recipe marking (my mom just bought me the book Against All Grain and I am loving it). When Benji wakes up we are heading out to play in the pool and climb on the play set before Justin gets home from work.
The only things we really have control over in life are how we choose to respond and face situations that are less than ideal. We currently have some major sadnesses that I have chosen to not share publicly, but in the midst of it all I'm continually pushing myself to find the joy and beauty in every precious moment we get on this earth.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

22 Months of Love

I've started thinking about Ben's 2 year Birthday. That's just crazy. Here's what we've been up to this month.
Sleeping: BW continues to bestow blessings on our life. :) Ha, seriously though...Ben sleeps 11-12 hours a night and takes consistent 2 to 2.5 hour naps a day. The only trouble we've been having is that it takes him at least 30 to 45 minutes to fall asleep at night. He doesn't cry and he's super happy...just lying in his crib quietly jibber jabbering away to his stinky blue guy. If we didn't have a video monitor I would probably assume he was sleeping.

Eating: This month he tried pistachios and loves them "ash-os", raisins, popcorn, frozen yogurt "ice-keeeeem, mmm, good!" and hot sauce. Yes, hot sauce. My husband is a hot sauce man and Ben really wanted to try it, and he LOVED it. He drinks a lot of water, and gets either plain organic almond or cow's milk once a day. Benji also loves munching in the garden with me, which is so awesome. I love that he wants to eat fresh peas, carrots, and blueberries straight from the earth. Yum!
Learning: He loves to "count" and will sit down and find a bunch of objects and then say, "one, two, thee, nine, nine, nine, ten, nine, nine...WOW!" and then clap for himself. When we are out, say at the grocery store, he will identify letters everywhere, so he will say, "O, P, E, N,"...so cute. I just love it.

This month brought on a ton of new verbal skills. He tries to say everything and his vocabulary grows by the day. At night Justin brings him out from bath to say goodnight to me and he says "NIGHT! Wuv u mama!" and gives me big kisses. Which, oh my gosh melts me into a huge puddle. If one of us leaves the room and he can't find us, he will say "Dada, go? Mama, go?" with a very inquisitive look on his face.

Connections are booming. If he sees a picture of a wrench, he'll say, "tool, daddy," and then hop down and run over to Justin's tool bag. He is also such a listener! In the car the other day when Justin was driving I turned around and was looking at his beautiful face and told him I loved his big brown eyes, just like his daddy. Two minutes later he's in the back saying, "dada, bown, eyes" over and over again. In the mornings he will run out to the couch and say, "Mama. Sit. Read."

His general attention getting noise is to proclaim rather loudly "GAGA!" At first we thought this meant 'grandma', but alas it does not. He uses it toward everything and everyone. We don't respond to it because he knows the right names he should be using. So at dinner if he wants more carrots he will often just yell "GAGA!" We tell him gaga isn't a word and then the conversation usually goes like this:

Me: Ben, gaga isn't a word. Say, mama.
Ben: Mama
Me: More
Ben: Mo
Me: Carrots
Ben: Caro
Me: Please
Ben: Pease

Then he gets more carrots. And 20 seconds later we hear "GAGA!" and this same conversation repeats itself. Ah, toddlers.
Other/Behavior: Ben has entered a new phase of whining. Incessantly. So, that's annoying. Other than that his behavior has been pretty decent other than the occasional toddler tantrum over wanting more ice in his water or being able to turn the lights on and off 100 times. Like I've mentioned before, first time obedience is really important to us. If I ask or tell Ben to do something and he says 'no' or ignores me, I go to him, have him look me in the eyes and tell him he needs to obey and ask him to say 'yes mom', and then I take him to do whatever I asked, even if he is screaming and flapping. We try and keep it short and sweet, as I think he's too young for long and drawn out logical explanations of things.

Ben has become more assertive with our dog this month (as opposed to crying if our dog licked his face or knocked him over), telling him firmly to "GO, or STAY!" We really like this because while our dog is a loving labrador, he has a really in your face attitude with no boundaries on personal space.

So much of his personality is shining through more and more. I can tell he will be a very particular child, and he likes everything just in its place (gee, kind of like his mom). If we are walking down a path and there is one rock in the middle, he will stop to pick it up and move it to the side where the other rocks are. He's really good at putting his toys away, often unprompted. He also likes everyone to sit in just the same places and he sure can be bossy (or he tries to be!) :)

I can hardly believe how much he is changing. I'm thankful every single day for this wonderful son.

What are your kids up to this month!?

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Home Sweet Home

It's hard to believe, but we've almost lived in our new home for two months! I didn't have much to show for it in the beginning, but I feel like we are really bringing our home together now. I've had a lot of fun incorporating new pieces, and going through boxes and re-discovering favorite photos, frames, and other decorative items that really start to make a house feel more personal. I hope to share some of my favorite places in our home sometime in the coming month.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Long Road Trips With A Toddler

I think it's high time I got around to writing this post. Seeing as how we live in the best, most glorious state in the nation, we tend to take long trips driving in, out, and around it. One of our longest trips we take most regularly in the car is to North Central Washington, near the Canadian border in the cascade mountains. On average, it takes anywhere between 5.5 and 7 hours of travel time, and we've gotten pretty good at figuring out what works and what doesn't work with a baby or toddler in the car (measured in tears, of course).

Monday, July 7, 2014

Moving With a Toddler

Forgive my absent-ness on the blog as of late. I just haven't found the time to devote to writing on this space like I was a few months ago. Right now I'm either unpacking (yes, still), decorating, working outside, taking care of my husband or son, or sleeping. Seriously. I've been a horrible blog reader, and writer and I do apologize. Thankfully we all know how these seasons of life go and I know the friends I've made here won't leave me for good.

With that being said, I thought it would be fun to write up a quick post with some moving tips.

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