Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Word

About 2 weeks ago, Ben said his first word. At first we thought it was a fluke, but time has proven that he understands what he is saying. The association is definitely there.

Is his first word mama? No.

Dada? No.

His first word is Dee.

Man, he loves that dog.

Here is a short clip of him saying it. Usually he belts it out enthusiastically, but of course he clammed up as soon as the camera came out. Still, he says it a few times. It works better when Dee is around, but she tends to keep clear of him when she can these days, as Ben is going through a hitting phase.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas with the Tammaros

On Christmas day, we headed to the Tammaro's for Christmas dinner and more gifts. Here are the highlights. There are not many pictures, as by this point I was barely hanging on I was so sick. Getting so sick right at Christmas really upset me, as I was so looking forward to Ben's first Christmas. But you get what you get, and (as Mike reminded me) there will be other Christmases.

After some playing and a nap, Grandma tried to give Ben dinner. He wasn't too interested in eating (still a little sick), but he sure looked cute in his new Christmas bib from Grandma.

Then we headed downstairs for presents. Ben loves to walk around tables, but the glass top on this one had mom pretty nervous.

And of course it was a matter of minutes before he was into the decorations.
Present-opening time was a little choatic. The dogs had to get in on the action, so it was a little crowded.
But there were lots of great toys, books, and clothes from Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Brad, and Aunt Denise. Brad taught Ben how to use a hammer, a good life skill.
Ben picked up another life skill while we were there, he climbed stairs! I don't have a picture, but shortly after we opened presents, he crawled over to the 5 stairs dividing the kitchen and family room and climbed right up them. I was right behind him in case he fell, but he didn't need me. He has shown zero interest in the stairs at home, so I had no idea he already knew how to climb them. Might be time for more baby gates....

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning we gathered "the kids" into the family room to open presents. Santa brought Ben his very own chair, which seems to be quite a hit!

Next it was time to see what Santa left for the kids in their stockings. Dee was very eager, so we let her go first. She got some new toys and treats, so she was a happy camper.

Dad helped Ben open his stocking, which had some books, a pacifier, and some sippy cups.

Next I opened our annual Christmas ornament. I realize I didn't get a good picture of it, but it is a cute one. Ben seemed to like it anyway.

(Sorry if I'm looking a little "rough" in these shots. I was extremely sick with what turned out to be a cold, the flu, and an ear infection all at once. Good times.)

Then Ben got down to some present opening. First, a little people toy from mom and dad.

And lots of great books from Aunt Jaimee, Uncle Jason, Lily, and JJ.

Hungry from all the present opening, Ben took a quick time out to eat a card.

Dad opened our gift from Ben (from daycare), a hand-made card and framed photo collage.

Then it was Ben's turn again. He opened his music table from Aunt Jenn, Uncle Rich, Jack, and Tucker.

Next it was on to our traditional Christmas breakfast of chorizo and egg burritos. I was too busy eating to get any pictures...

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Like every year, the Jackson clan got together at Kim's house for Christmas Eve. Right away, Riley (Kim's 3 year-old daughter) wanted to play with Baby Ben, as she calls him. They got out a Christmas toy, which Ben really liked. Unfortunately, Riley did not like that Ben's idea of "playing" is to stick the pieces in his mouth. She kept taking the pieces away from him and running to Kim to wash them because Ben was eating them. There is a little of Grandma Lou's clean-freak in that one I think.
After dinner, it was time for Santa to make his annual visit. We have some very good kids in the family, so Santa visits them personally on Christmas Eve. Here is Ben getting his first glimpse of Santa.
Santa had a few gifts for Ben, but he was not very interested. He wanted down to check out the action, as usual.
After Santa passed out gifts, the kids piled on to his lap. But Ben just wanted to pull Santa's beard, making it rough for poor Carson and Riley. Nothing says Merry Christmas like this picture.
Cheryl tried to tame the beast, but he was not having it. Notice he's already got his sock off. Ben loves nothing more than to pull off his sock and carry it around.
Once down, he found his other love -- the remote control.
He was interested in opening presents for about 2 minutes.

Then he was off to see what kind of trouble he could get into.
Dad tried to keep him occupied and out of the way of the chaos while the other kids opened their gifts and I opened Ben's. He had so many presents. It was a little insane.
After I finished opening his gifts, I tried to keep him busy. That went well. (It takes a brave women to post a photo this unflattering.)
Kenny decided to give it a try. Ben really wanted that beer bottle. He tried and tried. But Kenny wasn't giving up that beer. :-)
We decided Ben was done for the night and it was time for bed. Grandpa tried to say goodnight...
It was quite a Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Poor Baby

I got a call from Ben's daycare, Creative World, on Thursday afternoon that he was running a temperature of 102.6. I picked him up and brought him home, hoping it would be short-lived. I should have known better. I had planned to take Friday off to do Christmas shopping. Any time I try to plan a Ben-free day to get something done, he has a way of reminding me that he is my top priority. So shortly after I got him home, his eyes starting oozing yellowish gunk. Uh oh!

Friday morning I called the doctor and we went in for a visit. He is on prescription eye-drops and we've been administering tylenol and motrin, as needed.

The poor little guy can't keep down solid foods but is doing okay with the bottles. He woke up at around 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday burning up and miserable. This morning at 2 a.m. his temp was 103, the poor thing. After 2 hours, I finally got him back to sleep and, much to our relief, he woke this morning without a fever. He is still not interseted in eating solids, but he is playing more and seems more himself.

Yet through it all, he is such a trooper! Point in case:

Yesterday I put him in a laundry basket with some toys and pushed him around. (Hey, it always made us girls feel better.) He loved it. You can sort of make out the eye irritation in this picture. His eyes look like someone punched him.

He loves balls these days. Especially this basketball Grammy sent him. He throws it pretty well. I think he must take after his cousin Lily with his skills!

Poor baby!

Later that night, he was really burning up, so we left him in just his diaper. Can you say white trash baby!

Later Mike put a bib on him for dinner (although he refused to eat). Him wearing nothing but a diaper and a thanksgiving turkey bib just cracked me up for some reason. I'm sure he'll hate me for this picture one day.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snow Bunny

Saturday we awoke to our first snow of the year. We decided to bundle Ben up and let him check it out. When I say bundle, I mean bundle. The poor kid. Gloves, hat, coat, and snow pants, on top of socks and footed pajamas. He was ready!

I carried him out to the backyard. At first he didn't really react. He just quietly checked it out.

Then Mike tried to sit him down. Ben was so loaded down with clothes, he couldn't manage to sit up at first.

While it looks like he is making a snow angel, really he just fell backwards thanks to all those layers and couldn't get himself up.

As the snow fell on his face, he kept blinking his eyes and making these very confused faces.

Once he figured out how to stay sitting, he started to enjoy the snow. He just watched the snow fall for a bit.

Then he tried to get his hands in it and play with it.

Not one to be left out, Dee had to get in on the action. She perched herself right on Mike so she could keep an eye on Ben.

Ben likes to be on the move, so he quickly grew tired of just sitting. He decided to crawl around and explore.

Except between the 4 inches of snow and the snow suit, he was too bulky to move. He was NOT happy about this realization!

And that ended our adventure in the snow.

Dee Begging from Ben

That graham cracker looks pretty delicious. Let me just get up here on his chair and see if I can get a bite.

Hmm, mom and dad always repsond better when I sit like a good lady and beg. Let me try that.

This kid doesn't seem to get it. He's just taunting me, darn him. Look at that smile. He thinks this is funny. Can't he see how starved I am? I mean, I'm practically skin and bones.

I knew he'd stick his hand out far enough for me to get that cracker eventually. Sucker!

Hey kid, let go. That cracker is mine now.