Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's a Simple Life

It's been pretty quiet around here, and for the most part we have just been hangin at home, solidifying a routine and trying to get into the habit of being active every day. So, I am working on a Top Three for July, but in the meantime, I thought I would update you on our latest photos and happenings:

I've been a little obsessed with these rise overnight TJ's croissants, don't they look yummy? I couldn't wait, I ate one before I even grabbed the camera.
I love these faces he makes, they are just hysterical!

On a beautiful morning last week, Ben just didn't want to say goodbye to Daddy. When he walked away from his crib that morning, he cried out for him! When Scott left for work, I opened up the front door so that he could watch him pull away.
And then he waved goodbye! So sweet. I wish Scott could have seen it.

We got Ben a new highchair awhile back. It's just like the restaurant highchairs, except that it's stain is dark and it matches our dining set. It was only forty bucks at Target and the height is perfect. He pulls right up to our table and he loves that. We have family dinners together at about six every night and we try to give him what we are having, plus a bit of baby food to fill him up, he's quite an eater.

This last weekend we headed up to the Bay Area for a wedding and Ben stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for the evening. We had a wonderful time out together and I know those three had a ball, too. Ben has gotten to the age where I would bet that he even recognizes the smell of his grandparents' house. When we bring him in from the car and transfer him into the playard, he just rolls over and goes right to sleep until morning. I think he knows exactly where he is and if he wakes during the night he isn't afraid. He is all smiles when he sees his grandparents and immediately lets them take over.

 We had a great time at Mike and Renee's wedding. It was beautiful, and fun, and the food was delicious. I even got Scott out on the dance floor! So we have been having a wonderful couple of weeks.

This week, Ben is extremely fussy even as he is making huge leaps and bounds learning how to crawl. No matter if he has a clean diaper and a full tummy, he is just fussing the whole time he is playing. His teeth are all in, so who knows what's going on with him. He must be having some growing pains. Mama is having some growing pains, too, now. He is so darn cute, though, I think we will get through it. Hope all of you are enjoying your summer!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Night Rider

I love to travel. That being said, I am not a seasoned world traveller by any stretch of the imagination. I've been to Europe twice in my life, and loved it each time, but that's it. I can't even claim to have seen more than a handful of states in this country. But California? I know California.

image from here

Among other routes, I used to drive I-5 from the central coast to Chico, over and over for a couple of months. This was about ten years ago. My car didn't have air conditioning. I would buy a gallon of water and put it behind the passenger seat. Every twenty minutes or so I would grab it by the handle and slosh it over my head, drenching my hair and the entire front of my body, plus the cloth seat. In the dry heat of Sacramento traffic, everything would be dry in about fifteen minutes. However, with all the windows rolled down, you had fifteen minutes of homemade air conditioning!

Understandably, now my favorite time to drive long distances is at night. Despite the fact that I now have air conditioning. I love the community of drivers on the road in the evening. They are mostly long distance drivers, they aren't late for work, and they are more generous than daytime traffic. I love the colors of the evening, my favorite time of day. The silvery metallic blue of the flat freeway, sparkling like a mirage where it meets the glowing horizon. The Salinas river, carving out the landscape like a bright mirror laying in the dark. The headlights sparkle like Christmas lights as the stars start to emerge and the moon rises. Long distance driving is one of the activities that seems to force me to live in the moment. I do my best thinking on the road at night.

image from here

One of the best things I learned from Al-Anon, a support group I belong to, is the metaphor of the rear view mirror. Examining your past is good, and looking to the future is good, but only in short glances. Staring into it for too long is as dangerous as never looking at all. A few glances every so often is just right. I always think of this when I'm driving, for obvious reasons, and I take that opportunity to think about my past, my future, and if my present life is everything I want it to be.

Life for me right now is both peaceful and exciting. I have never felt so aware, empowered and blessed ever in my life. With my husband tapping away on his laptop, my baby fast asleep in the backseat, it feels great to sink into that cozy feeling of fulfillment. Or is that just my seat warmer?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Date to Play

Ben and Matti playing together is so fun. Basically they try to hug slash bite slash grab each other constantly. It's kind of been like that since the beginning. Here they are doing their normal thing. We are pretending that Matti just wants to give out some kisses. We are all on board with that version of things. They are good friends. What's wrong with a little grab or a nibble between friends? Especially if you're nine months old.

This was our first of a string of summer playdates with our Super Baby Squad (as we fondly dubbed our Facebook group). Four of us started hanging out when the babies were really little, and then our crew expanded three times over when we started a Mommy and Me class. We have a great group and since we kind of dropped out of class for the summer (lots of mobile babies, a small space that seemed to be getting smaller) we started up a weekly get together on Thursdays.

Taking turns grabbing the same toy. Just to have it. Because the other kid had it. The baby equivalent of tweeting. Or online shopping. Maybe a combination.

It's actually kind of mezmerizing. Plus you have to watch with one eye anyway, in case your kid tries to pull an ear off of somebody.

Check out those eyelashes! Why do boys always get the great eyelashes? My sister and I complain of this often.

Meanwhile Ben is fixated on Jess's buttons. I swear we are having meaningful adult interaction while all this is going on. I won't lie and tell you we were discussing politics and current events, but there was food! I know, trust me, you wish you were there. Enchiladas and sour cream, guacamole and brownies... it was heaven. I should have photographed the food.

But I was pretty taken with the cute babies crawling everywhere.

Ben reeeeeally wants to crawl like the other kids. He is so close.

Elana, such a smiley, happy girl!
So here is where Cindy put us over into the Playdate Olympics. She brought scrapbooking papers and tools and inkpads to do hand/footprints for Father's Day!

Incredible foresight was not possible just months ago. We are evolving into the kind of moms we only once dreamed about being. The kind who can wrestle fat hands and feet with ink all over them in the name of tearjerking, priceless memories! It was super freaking cool to bring home frameable, giftable prints. So cool.
I did his feet, too, but haven't gotten a photo of that yet. They came out beautifully.

Yes, my mom friends are all kind of lovely. Makes a girl want to brush her teeth and get her hair cut once in awhile!

Cutie pie Rollin!
This is one of my favorite things about Ben. If he wants a nap, he will fall asleep in a tornado. I love that. The babies are just starting to really enjoy playing together, and thats great. But pretty much these dates are for the mommies. It makes me feel sane to listen to everyone else having the same worries, struggles and joys. I can't wait for the next one- beach day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lazy Weekends

Brace yourself for a wild and exciting peek into our lives! My favorite type of weekend is the one with no plans. Or maybe one barbeque planned for Saturday, but the rest is just ad lib. These are the weekends we are most likely to jump in the car and drive around. I love running errands with my boys on the weekend. It's just as relaxed as being at home, but we get to explore and get things done. Ben calls Grandpa from the back seat, Scott holds my hand, I smacktalk about other drivers even when I'm not driving.

This is Scott after admitting he was going the wrong way. Hates being wrong. I told him to make his best "I'm lost" face and he wouldn't do it. He didn't want to be caught on the blog in front of you nice people. I caught him pulling this move a bit down the road. "Gotcha!"

We usually get some good catching up done in the car, on the weekends. We talk about why Ben has been waking up the last few nights, whether we should buy a new carseat, hire a realtor, and are we spending too much on groceries? During this trip, besides returning a dress to Old Navy (and ahem, buying more stuff...) we drove around listening to a parenting CD my mommy group had given me and comparing notes. Pretty much I trapped Scott in the car. Captive audience. But still, he listened and made comments. Awesome guy that he is.

Scott killed the last keg of beer in our kegerator last week, so we were off to get some brewing ingredients from Doc's.

Ben loved trying to open those lids with his fat little hands. Super cute. So after our fun little stint around SLO (with a detour or two for no reason- still fun) we came home and lounged around the house, just the way we like it. This is one of my favorite pictures of all time below- for some reason the mundane, everyday, constantness of this subject matter cracks me up. Smell for poopies. What a life.

How cute are his little kicky legs? Please excuse my husband's weekend wear. I prefer him this way, but you know. I love him. So this weekend is Father's Day, Scott's very first. He's got a tee time (but of course) on Saturday and then Sunday I figure I'll just wait on him hand and foot, that should work, right?

Pretty glad there's a holiday about him. He's hot.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baptism Day!

It was a beautiful day, and went by like a blur. So many wonderful friends and family came out and showed their support, I wish I had an hour to talk to each of them. We got to catch up with a few that we hadn't seen in awhile, like Mike and Renee, so that was special, and we even ran into Deauna at church before the service! {all photos by Kerry Ko}

Ben loved it, no problems with the water, he seemed relaxed. Immediately afterward he took a nap. He loved seeing everyone smiling back at him from the pews behind ours.

A big thank you to everyone, there are a couple straggling thank you notes (address issues) but they are coming!

All our love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dear Ben

Dear Ben,

   Saturday night we left you with a babysitter for the first time. When we got home she said you had some trouble going down to sleep. You woke up to the sound of the garage door and I went running up to get you. I love spending time with your Daddy but I missed singing to you and tucking you in. It was wonderful to feel you melt against me and relax to the sound of my voice. You went instantly to sleep and stayed peacefully quiet in your bed until morning.

  You laugh little hiccup laughs when Daddy lets you touch his hair. He shakes his head around and you think this is so funny. When you two nap together your straight wispy hair goes all different ways for the rest of the day, like the spokes on a bicycle wheel. You say Da-Da-Da all day long and forget how to say Mama.

 You know just what to do with each of your toys, but you never seem to get tired of them anymore. The ring stacker is for chewing, the rings are for drumming your drum, and the shape shorter is for launching little plastic squares and triangles under the couches where Mama can't reach them. When I pick one up and tell you it's purple, you look joyous and flap your little arms.

 You still love it when I sing to you and you immediately look around to find my eyes with yours. Your face is complete fascination and seriousness. And you want to take my lips off, but you're getting better about that.

  You talk to us all day long. I wish I could memorize all the funny sounds you make and the sound of your sweet baby voice. We have short, one-syllable conversations. I try to pretend you are actually speaking English.

 I know you are supposed to be learning things like cruising and scooting, but it still looks like the seventh world wonder when you start doing something new. It always feels so sudden.

 I wish I could explain how excited you get about grown-up food. When we let you have bites from our plate, or make you your own plate, you just go absolutely crazy with enthusiasm. Burritos are your favorite. When you take a bite you almost close your eyes in ecstasy. I can't help but let out a laugh every time. Your looks of deep appreciation are enjoyable, too.

 I hope that heaven will be a place where I can come back and visit these moments of your life when I want to, forever. To be warm cheek to super-soft cheek with my baby boy, feel your head roll heavy on my shoulder and hear your baby breaths whenever I choose.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Iranian Reader

 I was kidding around about who could possibly be reading from Iran, because I figured that it was some kind of wide web search engine mess up and somehow they got here without realizing it. I reasoned that no one from Iran would want to read the musings of a random American stay at home mom anyway and probably didn't look twice at it.

I was wrong.

Remember how obsessed I am with my stats page?

So just to clarify, I am really happy that you are still reading, you are probably a truly regular, interesting person, and my joking was done with the knowledge that I actually know very little about Iran in reality, and even less about who has access to international blogs like this one. That was the longest sentence ever. Wow.

So welcome, Iranian reader! And please, please tell me who you are! I am insane with curiosity.



PS. The same goes for my readers in Malaysia, Germany, France, Ukraine, Canada, Italy, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Colombia, the Bahamas, and Denmark. Comment! Tell me who you are! I am so thrilled to have you, you have no idea.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Top Three

Possibilities For The Next Thing Ben Masters:

1. Crawling
 He is doing that rocking thing, and is flailing around on his tummy and kicking his feet.

2. Pulling Up
He just needs me for balance now, he really almost has it.
3. Flying

If he would just flap his arms a little faster, or maybe he just needs to lift his head a bit more.

Signs That Scott is Still Pretty OCD:

1. There are rules for loading the dishwasher.
He should probably make a laminated layout so that we can attach it to the front for guests.
It would look something like this:

2. Even hobbies should be quanitifiable.  What makes a hobby even more fun? Oh, ya. Spreadsheets and graphs. Don't you think? His latest is BrewPal, the app for my iTouch:
image from here

Looks fun, right? Well, maybe to some of you it does. Looks more like a buzzkill than a hobby to the wife.

3. Once something belongs somewhere, it needs to stay there.
Gargantuan clock

He has decided it is illegal to re-arrange. Specifically, the two things I have ever moved are: the paper towel roll and one of the three clocks we have in the living room. Three, people. Three. One of them is gargantuan and hangs over the fireplace. You can figure out the time from anywhere in here. But, still, both of us check the new picture frame for the time before we leave.

Frustrating Baby Things:

1. Baby wipes
They don't wipe anything, more often it just looks like I'm trying to paper mache Ben's little baby butt.
2. Formula
DIS. GUSS. TANG. Lumpy, sticks to everything from the microwave to the floor but avoids water or the inside of the bottle. Smells horrid. On the up side, Ben seems to like it.
3. Bottles.
Making them, and cleaning them, specifically. I have nothing more witty to say on the subject other than this is CONSTANT and BOOBS ARE WAY EASIER!

Random Bonus Funniness:

Scott wrote me a program to title my pictures with the time and date. He named it Autosave. Recently I found a bug that prevents it from working with more than 100 items at a time. Worse, it will randomly choose those items, which makes the result confusing. To make a living, he works on a huge launch program for the Air Force. Thats a simplified way to explain what he does. So, when I came to him with my fix-it needs, he told me I should fill out a bug report. This is how it looked when I was through with it:

what happened: it gave me crap.
what should have happened: it shouldn't have given me crap.
what computer were you using: your mom.
steps to reproduce the problem: try to use it.
recommended severity: threat to national security. code purple.
impact: I got really pissed off.
in short- it will only autosave a limit of 100 items. so I have to split up the photos/videos into two folders and do it twice. I didn't really get pissed off. that part was a lie. And also, the computer I was using had nothing to do with your mom. That was also a lie.
-------I'm nothing if not honest.
Scott is obsessed with Tiger Woods Golf lately and he says the game cheats. I don't understand why that comes as a surprise to him. It is Tiger's game, after all.

We either have mice, or I need to stop handing things to Ben at the grocery store.