LITTLE THINGS THIS WEEK.

1. this tree-scape advent calendar…img_4327because it’s loved just as much this year as last.

2. this sheep refrigerator art…img_4391and the tiny hands who made it at school this week.

3. this collection of things found in my pocket…img_4335when self care, lunch duty, and babies collide.

4. this mason jar…img_4406and the vast expanse of water it has helped me drink this week.

5. this play nativity…img_4341for day 5 of the advent calendar, and for the full hour of entertainment it provided yesterday.

in other news:

this was one of those glorious weeks that passed by so quickly, it’s almost as if it didn’t happen at all. i keep asking myself, was there school on monday? am i sure? there was, it flew, and the week is behind us already.

this weekend, the rest of the christmas decorations are going to be pulled out of the giant chest they live in. it’s our first year in our new house, and i’m itching to decide where things should go. the christmas tree has been a discussion – the playroom, or the living room – and we haven’t quite settled on it, but one of us is going to reason their way into success.

it was a good, easy week at school. the excitement about our christmas tree in the corner, the book tree in the hallway, twinkle lights on every surface and the wrapped boxes underneath have been highlights in my chats with my students. thanksgiving memories of turkey and stuffing are far behind us. i’m reading the grinch with my kindergarten and first graders, and mike reads it nightly with charlie (‘gwinch! gwinch! ‘lou who!’) and i swear i have it memorized.

it’s the best time of year, friends, i hope you’re soaking up every little moment.

“staring down from his cave with a sour, grinchy frown at the warm lighted windows below in their town. for he knew every who down in who-ville beneath was busy now, hanging a mistletoe wreath.” –how the grinch stole christmas! by dr. seuss.

CHARLIE (2 YEARS) AND BEN’S (8 MONTHS) FAVORITE FOODS.

img_3282Dinner time is a messy, chaotic affair these days, which on weeknights I can only get together by putting on a show (Daniel Tiger!) for Charlie and letting Ben eat puffs off of the ground while I run around getting things together before Mike gets home. Mike and I both feel really strongly about having family dinner together at the table. It’s something that we both grew up having, and it’s always been something we’ve said has to be one of our family traditions. Do we all eat the same thing? Not always.img_3366Charlie is getting to the point at two years old that he has an opinion about things. He doesn’t just eat whatever is put in front of him like he used to. For dinner, he generally has at least a little bit of what we’re eating, but I always try to make sure that he has a fruit, a veggie, a protein, a carb and some kind of cheese on his plate. Some of that might be in our meal, and some I might put on his plate separately. There are some meals that he won’t eat, so for right now, I try to plan things that I’m pretty sure he’ll like and that we will too.img_3355Ben on the other hand, is still (generally reluctantly) eating purees, and is getting into more and more finger foods. He prefers to feed himself from his tray than spoon feeding. I’m starting to give him little bites off of my plate if it’s soft enough. He’ll be sharing our meals before we know it though!

Ben loves:

  • canned carrots
  • applesauce
  • yogurt squeezys
  • puffs! puffs and more puffs!
  • graham crackers
  • puffs
  • white bread
  • canned peas
  • pears
  • shredded cheese
  • did I mention puffs?

Charlie loves (in no particular order):

  • lasagna
  • tacos
  • hot dogs
  • meatloaf
  • rice
  • bananas
  • frozen waffles with butter
  • cereal
  • blackberries
  • clementines
  • yogurt
  • cheese of all kinds – goat cheese, colby, cheddar, sticks, shredded, etc
  • ketchup
  • butter
  • sweets, obviously – cookies, cake, muffins. love.
  • anything Ben is eating (brother jealousy is becoming a thing! “mine. charlie’s. mine.)
  • anything in a pouch – applesauce, yogurt, baby food puree, literally anything in a squeezy pouch

Here are a few of our favorite products for baby and toddler feeding!

1__

For Charlie

1// OXO Grippy plate for kids who throw their plates 

2// Fork and spoon for a kiddo learning to use silverware

3// A sippy cup for milk at meals for a boy who uses an open cup for water at school, but is definitely not there yet for milk at home. 

4// A sippy cup on the go for car rides, dragging around the house and taking outside. We recently left ours behind somewhere, but it’s my favorite for Charlie.

5// Little containers for snacks, fruit, and storing mini sized leftovers.

For Ben:

1// A seat that has kept both boys contained and happy for little munching meals.

2// The best spoons for feeding drippy purees to wandering mouths

3// Forever our favorite bottles.

4// Puffs, because puffs make the baby world go round.

8 MONTHS WITH BEN

I can’t believe that this little red headed pumpkin pie is 8 months old. After a rough, tear filled first few months with Ben, he has transformed into the happiest baby. I have no idea what switched, but I’m not complaining. At this point, Charlie cries more than Ben does. No joke.I think the most important update this month is that Ben is sleeping! through! the! night! Just a few weeks after we moved into our new house, he dropped his last night feeding (watch him start waking up again after typing this down). He goes to bed early (6:30 usually), but is up and at it early too (like 5:30am early). I’m okay with the schedule because we have to get up so early for school anyway. In other big 8 month old baby news, he’s crawling! It’s a herky-jerky stiff little beginner crawl and for a couple weeks he went backwards instead of forward, but now the kid has it down. He can get what he wants! He’s trying to pull up on everything, but isn’t quite there yet. He can stand for a while if we put him up against something, but his hunky little body doesn’t let him stay up for long. Ben loves to watch his big brother terrorize the house, he loves to eat (with his two teeth!) white bread, puffs, graham crackers, loves his binky, jumping (with help), and the bottle. He’s a fantastic napper in the morning, but consistently struggles to go down in the afternoon. He’s become an acrobat during diaper changes, bending and twisting in ways I didn’t know a baby could move. He loves playing with crinkly containers of wipes, and loves playing with everything around the house that isn’t a toy. He’s still into his baby swing, but also likes to just sit on the floor in the kitchen with the colander or a rubber spatula while I’m cooking. He does not like sitting in the playroom if he can see us far away in the kitchen. Separation anxiety is definitely setting in.

He babbles loudly all day and says “mamamamama” and “dadadadada” with no real intention of saying mama or dada, but it still warms our hearts. His cry sounds so much like Charlie’s that sometimes I have to look at the monitor to see if it’s him or Charlie who is up. I thought Ben would hate the car for the rest of his life, but he’s the best little car rider now. He often falls asleep on the way home from daycare which is such a godsend. The echoes of his cries will ring on forever in my mind from his first 3 months of life though. I think I’m recovering from the PTSD of that phase.I have no idea how much he weighs, but he’s wearing 9 and some 12 month baby clothes now, and we’ve started moving things that Charlie is outgrowing directly into Ben’s drawers, so Ben is definitely catching up to his big brother!

He’s just the best little (big) guy and we love him so very much!