Saturday, January 31, 2015

6 months of Ben

Dear Benjamin,

My how time has flown by! It's hard for me to believe you're already six months old (two months ago--sorry I'm late), and yet here you are: rolling over, eating your feet, belly laughing, and popping out of 6 month sleepers.

As hard as it is to believe how long you've been here, it's equally hard to remember how we ever got along without you. You are a complete delight, and it is hard to say who coos over you more between your dad, your brother, or I.

You are such a happy baby--the happiest I've ever met or known of. You smile in the morning when you wake up, you smile when someone new comes into a room, you smile when you play on the floor by yourself, and you smile when someone comes to pick you up.

But you save your best smiles for your big brother and your mommy, which makes us feel pretty special. Your dad and I love to watch your face as Jon somersaults and flies airplanes around the front room.  You have an expression of total admiration and awe. We can almost hear you say, "do that again! You are so cool." And I think your greatest frustration in life is that you haven't figured out how to follow him yet. Who knows what you two will accomplish together when you are both mobile!

The admiration is mutual. Rather than be jealous, Jon adores you. He wakes up in the morning and asks about you and where you are. Sometimes he finds you before me and I hear from the other room, "Ben! Wake up! It's bright outside! Time to play!" And after some tears over the initial shock of being woken up so suddenly, you are thrilled to see your brother standing over you, and by the time I get there you are kicking and cooing with delight. Because you are awesome, and you two are buddies.

You have an amazing soul--I can't find quite the right words to explain your good nature. People describe you as sweet, happy, delightful, easy, content, calm,  even "tranquilo". You just have a peaceful soul--you don't get worked up about much, and when you do you are easily comforted.  At your 6 month shots, as soon as I picked you up you turned and smiled at the nurse who'd administered them. At the store, you look around, taking it all in as I walk through the aisles, never complaining; just happy to be there. Even when you're sick you don't really complain. But more than anything, you have a striking goodness in your eyes, even beyond the inherent goodness of babies in general. You are just perfectly wonderful.

You are curious: always wanting to be in on any and all action. You have figured out how to roll to where you want to be, even if it's eight feet away. You have the movement of crawling perfected, and now it's just a matter of waiting until you have the muscle strength to hold yourself up. In the meantime you roll to the Christmas tree to pull the ribbons off the presents, you roll right past your toys to play with Jon's, and you roll to Dap's feet to get him to pick you up.

You aren't really into food--you eat because you're hungry, but will stop and push your bottle away if you hear Jon playing or someone talking. You haven't been excited about solids, either, and not for want of trying. There are just more fun things to do and see in this world, I suppose.

You are a beautiful baby. People actually stop me at the store or at Jon's swimming lessons and marvel at how good looking you are. You have perfect olive skin, dark brown eyes, brown-black hair, and long, long dark eyelashes. Combined with your smile (which you almost always wear), your bright expressive eyes, and your tranquil nature, you are a heart-breaker.

We cannot imagine life without you, little Ben-Ben. Thank you for coming to our family, we are all immeasurably better off for knowing you. We love you so very, very much!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Giving Thanks

We didn't get to spend it with family, but great friends and one more little turkey to be grateful for, made this Thanksgiving extra special anyway!

A week before, in a rare moment of "mom craftiness" we made turkeys out of Oreos and candy corn. Jon loved making them, and insisted on making one for literally every person in his life: the neighbors, his sports coach, swimming teachers, the entire staff at the gym daycare, his primary teachers, the receipt-checker at Costco (Dex)... everyone. I drew the line at mailing them to the people far away, and we still went through three packages of Oreos and two trips to the grocery store to replenish supplies! I love this guy and his giving little heart.

For Thanksgiving weekend, we drove to Chicago. We stayed in a hotel one night where we swam, hit up the breakfast buffet, and visited the Christkindle market for the first time--where we ate gingerbread that Fabio is still talking about. It was seriously so! good!

Clearly the boys had an amazing time at the market--
more gingerbread for mommy and daddy, though!

And then it was time for the true attraction of Chicago: the Flemings.

the man behind the man
Thanks, Adam!

Adam and Lindsay are responsible for Fabio graduating from BYU, convincing him to retire the Sponge Bob sweatpants in favor of  "big boy clothes," and challenging his height requirement for dating. They are basically the reason he is a functional, married, adult. And they were visiting Lindsay's parents just outside the Windy City for Thanksgiving.

And because her parents are awesome, they invited us (complete strangers) to join them for the day and then to spend the night--thus forging a second generation of awesome friendship as J spent 36 hours shooting aliens, putting out fires, watching football, and catching bad guys with their twin 6-year-old boys. (They also have two beautiful daughters whom he'll probably appreciate more at a later visit; but for now, no guns, no fun.)

The boys had Jon at "Dusty Crophopper."

 The adults got to talk, and laugh, and cook, and eat. Ben got to people watch. Basically, we had a perfect weekend and the boys have never slept deeper. And as a fitting close to our Thanksgiving season, Jon gave our generous hostess, Miss Julie, the very last turkey cookie!