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18 Feb

At the risk of sounding completely pathetic, full time work is kicking me solid in the you-know-what. I’ve been full time for two weeks now and the boys have had dinners of almost nothing but fast food and delivery. It’s definitely an adjustment and I’m getting used to things. My goal for tomorrow is to get the house in relatively decent shape and get some meals prepped for the week to avoid the “I have no energy to cook” thing that’s been happening a lot. That being said, I’m loving the job so far and our nanny who watches Ben is FANTASTIC despite what I’ve put her through. She picked Eli up from school for the first time last week and I told her that Eli usually comes outside to meet me. I assumed she would do the same. However, she used to be a preschool teacher so she did the responsible thing and went inside to introduce herself to office staff and his teacher. It was obvious Eli knew her. It was also obvious I never added her to the pick up list. So she got held up in the office for about 45 minutes with Eli, her kid, and Ben because I ALSO forgot to tell her I don’t get cell reception at work and it was that long until a coworker called me about something and I took my phone outside to where I got reception and a ton of texts and phone calls promptly came through. So embarrassing. Needless to say, I gave her extra money that day.

I also forgot to leave Ben’s swim stuff out the next day so she couldn’t take him and had to deal with his grumpy self the rest of the day. This week has been smoother and I expect it will continue to be so. She’s fine with helping with minor meal prep so I might use her for that. We are really lucky in who we found, she and I get along great.

We got Eli’s CogAT test results back (the advanced learning test) and needless to say, he got in to the Highly Capable cohort. You have to test at a certain level to get in otherwise you get streamed in the spectrum at your own school but he tested at 99% in all three areas. This created a good deal of strife the first night (“I’m not changing schools!”) then acceptance the next day (“Maybe it will be fun, I understand why I need to go.”) and now we’ve reverted back to denial (“Hey, Mommy, guess what?” “What, Eli?” “I’m not going to Cascadia.”) Sigh. He’s been told he doesn’t have a choice. We can’t let him test that high and not switch him. He didn’t just do well, he absolutely killed the test. I can’t let him refuse to switch because of fear and not at least try it. I am telling myself that once he’s there and settled, he’ll be much happier because he’ll be with his peers. I keep telling myself that.

Ben is also gearing up for kindergarten. He’s really good at math, better than Eli was at this age, and I think some of that has to do with the fact that he hears Eli doing math so much. He’s got basic addition and subtraction down and although he hasn’t figured out reading yet, he can look at words with letters missing and know which letters are missing to complete the word. He is really, really close. I think if he liked reading as much as Eli did at this age he’d be just as proficient. He’s doing great in gymnastics and is an absolute dynamo at swimming and was telling me today he wants to take diving lessons! He told me he knows how to do a very special dive called the spider dive but he can only do it at hotels. The kid is obviously trying to work me. I imagine we will probably have Ben tested in the next year or two.

Things work-wise for Andy are going excellently, as well. He was nominated and awarded a spot in the 2017 Seattle City Light Emerging Leaders program. It’s a competitive pool and meant to really push the candidates to move up into leadership positions within the utility. It’s a big honor and justly deserved.

It’s been an exciting (and tiring!) few weeks around here. Andy is on his weekend night shifts and has two OT night shifts immediately following so he is MIA until Tuesday night. Tonight, the boys and I are renting a movie, eating popcorn, and not moving. Tomorrow, we are attacking the yard if it’s not raining. Our backyard has been sorely neglected since the end of the summer and I’m pretty sure our neighbor (whose kitchen overlooks our backyard) is tired of looking at rotting tomato plants and various toys strewn over the yard for the last few months.

We will probably rejoin the gym we used to go to when we lived in the apartment and Eli was a baby. They have childcare included in the cost of membership and they also have a crossfit gym there. I’m not working out at all, largely due to laziness and partly due to a foot injury I sustained three months ago when I fell down the stairs while carrying laundry. The injury was enough to leave the top of my foot around the ball of the big toe joint swelled to this day but nothing showed up on the x-ray two weeks ago. I have a sports medicine podiatry appt and hopefully they will be able to help. It still aches a lot and I can’t wear even the slightest heel. I am looking forward to working out again, it’s been a REALLY LONG TIME!

Hope everyone is doing well. Have a great Sunday!

Video catch up, the understatement

18 Oct

Really, internet? A year? It’s been a year since I have uploaded videos? I just don’t even believe this but this blog tells me it’s so.

Yikes.

Early morning Ben chatting:

This was at the Tulip Festival in April

The kids and Ananda at Deception Pass for our camping trip this summer.

Ben sings his ABCs (sort of)

The Berry Patch kids at a backyard BBQ having fun in a too small pool

Ben riding the Weehoo with Andy and Eli

Recap of Great Wolf Lodge

This one has made me cry from laughing so many times. There’s a youtube guy who makes Minecraft videos and the boys watch it all the time. At the end, there’s a bit of dance music and as soon as it starts, the boys go into house dancing mode.

Watching the movie Home

Ben in the car at the Clark County Fair

Eli on the Monster Slide at the Clark County Fair

The S’s of a three year old are hard to resist.

It’s hard to blow out candles with a mouthful of candy.

Opening a birthday present from Lolly

Ben jumping on Daddy (I have a cold in this, I sound terrible)

Sneaking in on him in the tub

Wish I had a dime for every time I heard this:

Going to leave this as a video entry and will do some text shortly. ūüôā

I’m not done

26 Aug

I am not finished tweaking the blog appearance. ¬†I don’t really like how it is right now but do you know I don’t have any decent pictures of both boys (at once) since that series? ¬†Granted, I have a lot of pictures of both of them but it’s always someone making a silly face, crying, etc. I really need to have some professional shots done but good Lord, the scheduling and haircuts that would involve. ¬†Although Ben’s mullet is getting pretty ridiculous. ¬†I do like my baby with his au naturel Kentucky Waterfall.

Anyhoo, everything is great here. ¬†The zoloft withdrawals are gone and I am feeling fine. I’m still sleeping well on the lowered dose of trazedone which is awesome! ¬†I have about another three months worth of it and I’ll probably finish that out and see how it goes. It’s nice not to have to take a bunch of pills every morning! Now I just take my vitamins and that’s it.

Andy, Eli, Ben, and I went camping this weekend to the North Cascades National Park. ¬†We had a great time. ¬†Camping with kids is fun but a lot of work. ¬†Thankfully, our tent is the size of a small apartment so we were able to fit a queen size mattress, Eli’s twin size mattress, Ben’s pack n play, and a small area for our backpacks, etc inside it. Having the pack n play made things a lot easier–we were able to set up camp without having to corral Ben and also take it back down. ¬†Other than that, there weren’t many moments (other than sleeping) that he was content to be in a pen. ¬†The indignity! ¬†He was quite aware he was being put in a holding pen and he was not pleased about it.

It’s horrible to admit but we discovered he loves graham crackers so when we really needed to get a few things done (dinner, etc) we would break a few crackers in pieces and toss them in his pack and play with him to keep him quiet. ¬†I remarked to Andy that I felt like I was feeding a chicken. ¬†Several times, we just said to Hell with it and let him crawl around the campsite and get himself really, really dirty. ¬†Every time he did this he just LOVED it, thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. ¬†I tell you, this kid is going to be the wild one who breaks bones and starts fires. ¬†He’s just a nutty little kid! ¬†He is awesome.

I didn’t get to go on as many hikes as I would have liked but as Andy reminded me (A LOT), I was not the one carrying Ben in the Kelty carrier. ūüôā ¬†We did a two mile hike the evening we got there. ¬†Eli was hiking along like a trooper but parts of it were downhill–although we kept telling him to watch his feet, look at the trail, etc because it was kind of rocky and the little rock pieces would slide, he still wiped out. ¬†Pretty hard. I was about 10 feet behind him and it was one of those full-body falls where your knees hit and your face hits. ¬†His knee was skinned a little but no other cuts but lo, he was TRAUMATIZED. ¬†All “i never want to go hiking again! I just want to go home! I don’t want to go camping!” I felt horrible for him.

The rest of the hike sucked, frankly. It took about 20 minutes to get him to recover (a good 10 minutes of this was us dragging him on the trail) and once he got into it and became a happy hiker again, he slipped AGAIN.  Barely fell to his knee before I yanked him up (we had been holding hands) but he just lost it.  Did I mention this was the day we got there and he had gotten about 4 hours less sleep the night before than he usually does?  And instead of taking a 2-3 hour nap like he usually does he had only slept in the car for 45 minutes?  Why did we think a two mile hike was a good idea?  Ugh.

The next morning once everyone was rested, we went on a 4 mile hike on the Thunder Knob Trail . I was a little apprehensive but Eli did great. It was mostly uphill on the way to the top and although there was a fair amount of “I’M RUNNING OUT OF FUEL, I CAN’T MOVE MY LEGS ANYMORE”, he really did awesome. We got back to camp and drove to Winthrop, WA and he was rewarded with a vanilla waffle cone for his efforts (the kid always wants a waffle cone but doesn’t actually like the cone part so he gives it to me–I like the cone but not really ice cream, we are a perfect pair).

The rest of the trip was great. I am so happy we went. I wish Will could have gone but his work seems to need him more on weekends than during the week. We are going to try to fit in another camping trip the wknd of Oct 4th so hopefully he can go then.

Ben is balancing all by himself the last few days. He will pull himself up on you and then just lightly push off and stand there by himself. He looks THRILLED when he does this. I know he’s going to be walking soon and I’m excited for it but my, the time just flies.

Happy almost birthday, Zap!

31 Jul

The wedding was fabulous, amazing, a fantastic time. ¬†It was pretty much everything this girl-who-never-wanted-a-wedding could have wanted. ¬†With the exception of the drive there (we were late and things Got Tense), it was all really super. ¬†Tons of family and friends there, they didn’t give us a hassle about having more than the allowed number of people in the room, and the judge said lovely things.

In all honesty–does anyone who was there remember what he said? ¬†The whole situation was so surreal to me that I kept zoning in and out between “Wow! We are really Getting Married! ¬†This is so awesome!” and “Wow! ¬†The judge is still talking. ¬†Oh, that right there that he said was very sweet. ¬†I agree with that.” ¬†and “Wow! I am getting married! ¬†Crazy!” ¬†and back and forth to the point that I really don’t remember anything other than meeting Andy’s eyes a few times while I said my vows and thinking that he looked to be about the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. ¬†

So there was that. ¬†The dinner was fun (although Ray’s, I Do Not Like You anymore, even if some of the dishes were excellent) and Andy and I had a great mix of alone time and hanging out with dear friends we never get to see (Wendy and Terence happened to be staying at the same hotel in Bellevue!) on the wedding night. ¬†The picnic that Saturday was great and pretty much all scheduled 40 people came (except three!) so we weren’t left with TOO much BBQ leftovers. ¬†Between the picnic and the subsequent brisket sandwich lunch the next day, we only had to freeze about 2 lbs of chicken thigh meat and I’d say that’s pretty stinking awesome. ¬†

Do I start signing things Erin Smith now? ¬†Do I have to wait until I legally change everything? ¬†I am confused about this. ¬†I was writing thank you cards and I wasn’t sure how to write the return address. ¬†I went ahead and wrote Smith because I knew my friends would get a kick out of it but I wonder. ¬†I sent in the paperwork to file the marriage certificate and I guess now I have to send in to have the certified copies sent to me so I can go to all the places for the change. ¬†Also, I seem to have the option of obliterating my middle name (Erin Massey Smith) or keeping it (Erin Elizabeth Smith). ¬†Do I get an option to keep all of it (Erin Elizabeth Massey Smith)? ¬†I don’t like the idea of wiping out one little part of me. ¬†I think I’m selfish that way, I know a lot of ladies are excited about losing their last name or whatever. ¬†I’ve had mine for nigh on 40 years, I’m kind of attached to it. ¬†

Ben turns one tomorrow. ¬†I don’t really know what to say about it because the idea of it is so wonderful and terrible to me, all at the same time. ¬†Because of the insomnia and PPD, I feel like I missed the first three months of it but at the same time it definitely feels like it’s been a year. ¬†I just am having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that my baby is one. ¬†My last baby, my sweet wild little Benjamin, is one tomorrow. He’s been such an amazing addition to this family. ¬†

He decided that not having teeth was for losers so he chose to get a lot more over the weekend. ¬†Many family were on hand to witness what was the saddest I’ve ever seen him–he would just cry for periods and nothing much would console him. ¬†He ran a fever for three days straight (a low one) and mostly on Sunday, just cried. ¬†Frequent motrin doses and teething tablets helped but now that the worst is over, he’s got three new teeth! ¬†That’s pretty cruel, three teeth at once. ¬†I’m fairly certain there’s a fourth and fifth that are still giving him a bit of trouble but I can’t feel those yet. ¬†

Although I was secretly happy to have all the extra backup during a period when he was super fussy, I was a little dismayed that the small amount of time the family has was spent like this. ¬†Once I chewed on it some more I decided that the timing was good–they had all seen him as he normally is, a very happy, mellow baby and now they all had the chance to provide snuggles and comfort once he was feeling poorly. ¬†They got to see the contrast and now they know what I mean when I say that’s he’s usually a pretty mellow guy–and the opposite as well! ¬†He is feeling quite a lot better now and back to his silly flinging about self.

Eli is just a reading maniac. ¬†I don’t know how it happened–it was literally as if one day he could read two or three letter words here and there–then all of the sudden he could read books. ¬†I think he could read things for a while but was waiting until he felt confident to show us what he could do. ¬†Even now, if he gets a few words wrong in a book, he will insist that you read it to him and refuse to read it. ¬†I’m trying to work on him enjoying the idea of reading for itself rather than the “did you get every word right” aspect of it. ¬†We talk about how you don’t need every word correct to imagine a whole story and characters in your head and how that’s the most important part of reading, your interpretation of it and the world you build in your head. ¬†He has plenty of time to get the nuts and bolts down, I just want him to enjoy it for it’s sake right now. ¬†I think it’s working–he asks to have books next to his carseat so he can read while we drive! ¬†Also, we signed him up for the reading program and he’s already halfway to the goal of 10 books for the summer–in just three weeks (yes, he read them on his own)! ¬†I am so impressed with my boy and his growing love of reading. ¬†Few things make me prouder. ¬†

Goodness, it is time for dinner.  Once we have pictures from the wedding (our friend Matt took some and he is coming over tomorrow), I will post them.  Thank you to everyone who came and Gran and Papa, we will see you soon!  We are very much looking forward to your visit.  

 

 

Birthdays, trips, and WMD disguised as a cute baby boy

7 Jul

And hello! ¬†Time to catch up on all that has happened between here and Father’s Day.

The ER job – I got it. ¬†The hours are a little wonky and it’ll take a good bit of wrangling with childcare and also having someone else available once or twice a month to pick up and sit with the boys until Andy or I get home but it will be worth it. ¬†Every other week I will work two swings, 3-11:30. ¬†At first I was pretty upset about this but the more I thought about it, I think it might work out. ¬†After all, the boys will go to school those days which will allow me some quiet time. ¬†It will also give Andy and the boys some regular one-on-one time and I think that will help A LOT…both boys are particularly centered on me right now. ¬†It’s driving me a little crazy.

Teeth- ¬†Ben’s got ’em! ¬†He finally had the top two peek through yesterday. ¬†I find his timing amusing–he got the first bottom two the ONE weekend Andy went to Reno and now he’s getting these two when Andy can’t help out at all. ¬†It’s really fine since he doesn’t seem to be a super cranky teether (much like his big brother, hallelujah). ¬†Mostly he just wanted to be held and glued to my hip until the Motrin kicked in and then he was back to his mellow self.

Illnesses – Eli got over his terrible bug and has been fine since. ¬†Ben had a very mild naggy croupy cough for about a week and then got the mildest case of pink eye. ¬†I took him to the ped so they could check everything out and he got drops, no problem. ¬†It was gone by the next day (yes, we are still doing the full course of drops). ¬†I took Ben on Tuesday to the doc although we noticed it Monday. ¬†On Tuesday, Andy worked an OT shift and he texted me during it to tell me he caught the pink eye. ¬†He came home and his eye was red and we figured hey, you can just use Ben’s drops as well! ¬†We all know what happened next. ¬†Wednesday, his eye was really red and starting to swell so he went to his GP and got a prescription for Cipro drops and oral Amoxicillin.

On Friday, his eye was so bad (and it also spread to the other eye on this day), that we called an opthamologist and asked them to work us in. ¬†I thought for sure that he had some sort of horrible infection that was worse than pink eye and he would definitely need IV antibiotics. ¬†His lymph nodes on the left side were like knots, he was running 103 degree fever, and he wasn’t really moving or talking much at all. ¬†The doc gave him a thorough check and it’s just pink eye. ¬†I won’t go on for more because y’all pretty much know the rest. ¬†I will say that today he didn’t run a fever at all and that’s progress in the right direction. ¬†His eyes are very annoying and uncomfortable but he’s starting to be a little social and also get his sense of humor back so we are having all sorts of zombie related jokes going on:

Since his viral conjunctivitis is very contagious, I’ve mostly been busy with the running/maintenance of the house. ¬†We’re trying to avoid him touching a lot of stuff–we have purell in most rooms and he also has been lysoling most of what he touches. ¬†He’s felt bad enough so far that it was largely only contained to our room and the recliner but today he’s been a bit more mobile. ¬†I have been washing my hands constantly and harrassing Eli to wash his and purell-ing both of the boys regularly. ¬†Of course, my eyes itch pretty much all the time but I think it’s just neurotic itching and not anything significant. ¬†(Talk about bedbugs for 10 minutes and you’ll start itching, too)

Eli is making out like a bandit since Andy is sick. ¬†Since I’m trying to stay out of the house, he’s gotten to go to two different wading pools, the zoo, two playgrounds and a few playdates. ¬†He threw a bit of a fit when he got up from his nap this afternoon and I said we were just staying home! ¬†Mama’s tired, y’all!

I have a trip to Utah planned for Wednesday and I hope he continues to get better so I can go and not feel like I am deserting them. ¬†If he gets worse, I won’t go. ¬†It’s just not really a trip I can just change dates–I’ll be working, Mike will have gotten all the way to New Orleans and then unable to travel, Andy will be working, etc. ¬†We will see what happens.

My birthday was really great. ¬†Andy planned a nice dinner out and my friend Ananda made me a cake and got me a label machine! ¬†I wanted a label machine (NERD). ¬†I haven’t used it yet but oh, the labeling that is going to happen! ¬†Andy got me a gift certificate to [a href=http://www.olympusspa.net] Olympus Spa[/a] and I hear that place is really awesome so I am looking forward to it.

Ben turns one in less than a month. ¬†I have no idea how that happened. ¬†I am happy but it’s a little bittersweet. ¬†He is all over the place these days and Eli is starting to play with him more although for the most part he just annoys Eli. ¬†Ben loves being flipped upside down–it’s his favorite thing ever! ¬†He also loves the bath just as much as Eli did at this age. ¬†If he hears the bath/shower start, he will crawl to the bathroom so he can splash in it. ¬†If the door is closed, he will sit and cry until whomever is in there finishes and comes out. ¬†We have to keep the door closed because he can already reach the cold water handle and if left unsupervised, he will go in there and stand at the bathtub with the water on so he can splash it around as it comes out of the faucet!

He also likes to do some coloring at the easel in the kitchen.  Is it me or does this seem pretty advanced?  Clearly, he is a genius.

Eli is reading now! ¬†For real! ¬†He can read pretty much all of the Dr. Seuss books. ¬†He tries to “read” it from memory a lot and will miss words but when you ask him to slow down and look at the words, he can get them. ¬†He can also read things he hasn’t read 1000 times before. ¬†It’s really amazing to watch him learn to read. ¬†He still prefers for us to read to him but now he will usually agree to read about half himself first and then you read the rest to him. ¬†His face just lights up when he reads something new! ¬†It is so awesome. ¬†We are going to the library after my Utah trip to sign up for the summer reading program.

I will be gone from Wednesday-Sunday camping in Utah (Moab, Canyonlands, etc) ¬†I haven’t been away from the boys this long since…well, Andy and I went to Kauai a while back but I haven’t been away from all of them at once more than two days, ever. ¬†I am going to relish the downtime as much as possible but I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss them like crazy.

They are starting to play together–you can see Eli is totally letting him crawl on him and even after the hair pulling Eli is sort of amused but trying to act mad:

Hopefully I will be back with lots of great camping pictures soon!

Father’s Day 2013

16 Jun

We had a great day today.¬† I got to go for a 4 mile run this morning while Andy looked after the boys.¬† I asked if he didn’t want me to stay home so he could have some time off on Father’s Day and he remarked, “Why?¬† You need to run.¬† I’ll spend Father’s Day being a father.” Oh, so awesome!¬† I got home and they had had a fun morning in pjs and watching cartoons.¬† During afternoon naptime, I packed up the car and coolers and we went to Carkeek Park for a picnic.¬† Even Will went!

We took the little gas grill and good thing since the place was packed.¬† We found a nice open spot on the lawn and camped out.¬† Eli lasted about 10 minutes at the spot before he wanted to go play at the playground and the salmon slide.¬† We could see most of it from our spot and we let him go on his own.¬† He ended up meeting a nice 6 year old girl and they played together for the afternoon.¬† He was getting really too hard to watch–I would have had to follow them constantly since the salmon slide is on the other side of the bathrooms and they are blocked from our view so Andy and I decided to give him a little free reign.

He and the little girl had wandered off uphill into the woods at one point but I saw them and told them in no way, shape, or form is Eli to go into the woods (there are drop offs and lots of different trails to get lost on).¬† Eli and the girl agreed, we set a boundary, and let them go on their own.¬† I did sneak up a few times to see where they were and they were always within the area we set for them.¬† Eli and I have had a lot of talks about strangers and how to stay safe so we thought it would be good to give him a little freedom (although I did sneak up a few times, he’s still FOUR).¬† He did really well with it.¬† I feel like four is too young for a lot of stuff but he is a pretty responsible four and I felt like it was okay to let him out of my sight for a little bit at a time.¬† It made me nervous but I didn’t want him to think I needed to watch him like a hawk.¬† So good.¬† I feel like I did well today in the “teaching your kid to be independent” department.

I was uploading pictures from today and found a few pictures from Decemberish from my phone I never uploaded as well as a few videos.  So I put those up so the flickr will be a bit out of sync with everything else.

Everybody is doing well.¬† It seems Will likely has a job at a specialty popcorn store in Ballard so he will be PT there and taking 3 classes in school.¬† HOPEFULLY I will get a job so we will actually be able to pay for Ben’s childcare since he’s supposed to start in August.

The main thing going on right now is the wedding planning.¬† I AM REALLY HOPING ANDY TOLD YOU, SUE AND ROBERT.¬† It’s not going to be much of anything, I emailed the JOP and asked for Thursday, July 25th so they should call me in the next few days to schedule it.¬† We were going to have a small reception here the next day but I’m wondering how well that will work with how many people might come.¬† We can do 15-20 in the house, no problem.¬† Any more than that and well, problem.¬† Our main goal is to keep it small since things are tight and really, we have two kids now so it’s not like this is a big surprise.¬† We’ve felt married for years now.¬† I’m still EXCITED to actually get married but I’m just not really a wedding sort of gal.¬† We’ve thrown about ideas for what kind of party to have, we were thinking a Hawaiian themed party (because if I had a lot of money we’d get married in Kauai) and we could dig a big pit and roast a pig.¬† Guests would have to bring Hawaiian themed sides/drinks/desserts and I think it would be a lot of fun.

So it’s getting worked out.¬† We have to get married before August 7th since that’s when our license expires (and we lose our $64, ahhh, romance is not dead) so as long as the judge okays the 25th, I’ll be sending out invitations for the party shortly.¬† We are saying that anyone who wants to come to the courthouse is of course welcome but really we want people there for the party.¬† I have so much planning and pinteresting to do!

Ok, it’s pretty late for the night and I am dead tired.¬† Stick a fork in me, I’m done.¬† Those videos are taking forever to upload so I will try to get them up tomorrow.

Video

Learning to talk

7 Apr

Practicing our words and sounds:

One day I will tell him the story of Narcissus:

Making the most with what we have:

What’s going on lately:

After many months of no teeth, Ben got the bottom two on March 16th. ¬†Andy was conveniently out of town for the weekend fencing so the teething fun was all mine! ¬†Luckily Ben didn’t really have any problems that a dose of motrin couldn’t fix. ¬† He is sleeping on his belly in the bed most of the time lately although he seems to have completely lost the ability to roll front to back. ¬†He’s getting better at rolling back to front but then he’s just stuck like a bug on it’s back. ¬†He’ll figure it out again sooner or later.

We are giving him more solid foods. ¬†He’s very different from Eli in that Eli would gobble up pretty much anything you put in front of him and would often try to grab the spoon in order to feed himself faster. ¬†Sharron (the woman who used to watch Eli) came over last week to sit Ben so I could go to a training. ¬†She fed him some solid food for lunch and her description is pretty apt: ¬†“It’s like watching grass grow”. ¬†He’s a sloooooow eater, easily distracted, and just doesn’t really seem to crazy about foods in general. ¬†The only ones he really seems to like so far are oatmeal with fruit, green beans, and prunes. ¬†If I am patient and wait wait wait for him to get about halfway through a jar, then he seems to perk up and will usually finish the rest at normal speed. ¬†It’s probably about a 30 minute ordeal for one jar.

We went to Vancouver, WA this weekend (it’s sort of like Bossier for Shreveport–right across the Columbia River) to stay with June and Kristen since they were having a party for Jordan who turned one. ¬†Andy stayed here to get some handyman stuff done around the house without having to worry about noise and naptimes and interruptions from a 4 year old who really wants to “help”. ¬†I took the boys for the first road trip in the van and it went great. ¬†Both boys were absolute champs in the car. ¬†We had to stop once on the way down to give Ben a bottle and a change at a rest stop but the rest was super easy. ¬†We had a very fun weekend and it was fun to see them again. ¬†It was funny to see that Ben at 8 months is taller than Jordan (12 months) and Nicholas (17 months). ¬†I really am beginning to thing he’s going to be taller than Eli.

It’s going to be a while before any crawling. ¬†He’s now doing that big pushup with straight arms–once he figures out how to get his knees under him at the same time then it won’t be long at all. ¬†If he’s like Eli, he’ll take his time. ¬†His head is looking a LOT better. ¬†It’s veeeery hard to see the flat spot now because it is so much smaller and even the front of his head has rounded out a lot which I hadn’t really noticed before. ¬†He’s got quite an attractive nogging now. ¬†He goes in for a check up in two weeks so hopefully they will give us some idea of how much longer. ¬†Hopefully they will let him not wear it during the day but only for naps and overnight. ¬†It’s so funny when we take it off–we forget what he looks like without it. ¬†He’s a cute kid!

He continues to be one mellow guy, content to sit back and observe everything, very much like his brother as a baby. ¬†When he’s upset he will general crab talk at you and only really cries when he is hurt or he’s really hungry. ¬†Even then usually Eli can sing to him and he’ll forget his pain/hunger in order to laugh at big brother. ¬†Eli is showing more interest in Ben but not yet at the point where he allows Ben to touch his toys (“He’ll drool on them and give me his germs” says the kid who licks walls in stores because he knows it makes me mad). ¬†However, if Ben is hurt or really upset, he is there in a flash and will hug, kiss, and sing to him until he calms down. ¬†Heart. Exploding. ¬†Gah.

He sleeps great which I love. ¬†He usually sleeps 7-7:30 until 6:30 then he gets a bottle and he’ll go back down for another hour or two. ¬†I put Eli’s breakfast and milk in the fridge the night before. ¬†When he wakes up he gets himself dressed then will come wake me up to show me he’s all dressed. ¬†Then he gets his LeapPad and sits in the recliner playing games on it while he eats his breakfast. ¬†I get to sleep in another 45 minutes or so! ¬†Hurray! ¬†I know it’s not going to last long–I doubt I’ll be able to get that extra hour or two from Ben for much longer but it is nice for now. ¬†Also, Eli likes feeling like a big boy since he gets himself up and ready.

Eli is the friendliest kid ever. ¬†He makes friends wherever he goes. ¬†We were in the dig pit at the Portland Children’s Museum this morning and in 5 minutes he had several playmates. ¬†He says hello to everyone on the street when we walk to and from school and is interested in everything. ¬†The new task before him is learning to tie his shoes. ¬†He’s excited to have new soccer shoes but gets frustrated trying to tie them. ¬†We’re taking it slow. ¬†He wants a Power Ranger action figure and it costs about $10. ¬†So for the last three weeks he has been emptying the silverware, putting up his laundry, and dusting all the furniture for an allowance. ¬†Occasionally he will suggest extra chores he can do for extra money. ¬†He’s got $7.64 saved up now. ¬†He’s learning about money and he’s (hopefully) learning that you have to earn it and not just expect it to be handed to you. ¬†I offered to pay the rest once he saved up $6 but he declined and said he wanted to pay for all of it himself.

I’m doing well. ¬†My back continues to be an issue but I’m going to PT for it. ¬†They don’t want to do a MRI unless it’s still hurting in a month and frankly, I’d rather not do a MRI at all. ¬†If something is messed up, I don’t want to know. ¬†It’s not as if they can really fix it. ¬†I’ll be fine sticking with PT. I did the Big Climb a few weeks ago (1,311 stairs, tallest building in Seattle) and it was fine. ¬†I didn’t really train at all and my time was 18 minutes and change. ¬†I have Beat the Bridge in May (5 miles) and I’m trying to find other stuff to do although I’m supposed to be cutting down on running because it makes my back achy and also causes sciatica which I HATE. ¬†I ran three miles the other day and it was a lot less painful than usual so I think the PT is helping.

When did I become 90?  When did I start talking about my aching back and sciatica?  Goodness.

We’ve gone gluten free and I LOVE it. ¬†No heartburn, I sleep well. ¬†Andy says since we’ve gone gluten free he noticed a big improvement in his ADD symptoms even when he’s not on meds. ¬†We are switching Eli too and he’s loved everything we’ve given him so far except I wish they’d make a gluten free Goldfish or Cheddar Bunny. ¬†There’s a company that makes EXCELLENT gf breads, muffins, cookies, waffles, bagels, pasta, etc. ¬†so you really don’t miss out on anything. ¬†Eli’s not showing any ADD signs but since his dad has it, I decided I’d rather go ahead and do what I can do with his diet. ¬†It’s fine if he gets it, I’m not being judgy or anything, I just don’t want him to have to experience the negative attention first and THEN I make changes in his diet to improve things. ¬†I don’t want him to think there’s something wrong with him. ¬†I’d rather be able to do behaviorally what I can and if he ends up showing symptoms anyway, we’re not starting from ground zero of how to address it (I prefer medication only as a last last LAST resort). ¬†Again, who knows if he’ll have it but gluten free is a pretty easy thing to do up here so what’s it going to hurt?

Andy is doing well. ¬†He’s fencing a lot more. ¬†He’s growing a mustache ¬†and looks like a throwback from the 70s. ¬†He won’t shave it off until he wins a fencing medal. ¬†Needless to say, I’m letting him go twice a week now. ¬†Next to Eli, Andy is about Ben’s favorite person ever. ¬†I really hope Ben turns out to be a Daddy’s boy. ¬†Of course Eli loves Andy but he’s much more attached to me, probably because he’s with me most of the time. ¬†I really hope Ben is a total Daddy’s kid and worships him. ¬†He would love that.

Will is doing okay. ¬†As usual, we don’t know much. ¬†He’s in school and says his grades are good. ¬†He is also continuing to make and post a lot of fanfiction and music on the Brony websites. ¬†He quit his job the other day with no notice to us. ¬†Just got fed up with his boss and quit. ¬†So it’s been a little rough here this week but any other details will have to come from Andy or Will.

Wow, sorry to end on a bit of a downer. ¬†I’m about to put up some more pictures on flickr so check that out, okay? ¬†As always, I will try to post more often on this but TWO KIDS + COMPUTER DOWNSTAIRS = MOM TOO TIRED TO WALK ALL THAT WAY AFTER THEY GO TO SLEEP.