Sunday, September 20, 2015

bennett | five months

Oh sweet boy, as it turns out, you have made living life is much more fun than writing about living life.... :) Hence, this blog has changed dramatically over the course of the last few months, as it should, but I am really hoping that I can maintain some semblance of consistency to document all your changes and our family's shenanigans!

So, 5 months in, and I haven't really started your baby book, I haven't printed pictures for walls, daddy's office, grandparents... you didn't get a 3 month blog, 4 month pictures weren't even taken.... BUT... in the madness of these past two months, we have moved into a wonderful new home, you have learned so many new things, we have gotten dinners made, laundry done, and the floors occasionally vacuumed. Baths taken, grocery shopping conquered, clothes folded, gone on walks, and read LOTS of books. So - all in all - the important stuff. :) You are such a joy and a light, and we love doing life with you in tow.

You were 5 months old this past week, Bennett, and your daddy and I couldn't be more in love with you!

\\ you love to roll like a pill bug - knees up, feet in the air - over to your tummy you go. And usually you stay there. No huge desire to roll onto your back, so that hasn't been mastered yet.

\\ sitting in your bumbo seat or your johnny jump up are huge highlights to your day. you watch super intently as we eat when you're sitting on top of the table with us. I think some "solids" are in your very near future.

\\ 98% of the time, you are a rockstar in the nightime sleep department, sleeping 10-12 hours straight through. the 2% has been happening this week, and we aren't really sure whats up, but occasionally you'll wake up 1-2 times in the middle of the night. We're hoping we can get back to the 98% here quickly. ;)

\\ naps still rank up there with shots for you..... *insert gritting teeth emoji*.... you're not a great daytime napper, so we try to be thankful that you sleep so well at night. 

\\ you use your voice constantly! we love hearing your chatter - you tell the best stories! We can coax them out of you by interacting with you and talking back to you. You really respond to that. But your tired chatter is equally as enjoyable. A monotone, rhythmic coo, to pacify yourself. So cute - especially in the car at 6:30 in the morning on our way to drop off at Nanas! It makes me smile the whole way.

\\ You love your stroller and being outside. It's the first thing we do if you're having an off day. Get outside and your'e a happy camper! The trees, the wind, the noise... it's all good in your book!

\\ you can now grab toys with intention - you haven't had the hugest desire for toys up until now. You would much rather interact with people face to face to "play," but it's been nice to have you hold a toy now and enjoy it for a little bit. 

\\ you still love your paci - I'm sure at some point we'll have to break you of that, but right now it's a nice little tool to have in our back pocket.

\\ we haven't quite kicked your baby acne yet, although it seems like sometimes it's gone, it usually comes back a little bit here and there.

\\ your eyes have only gotten bluer. and oh, we pray that they stay. they are so beautiful.

\\ we know that you have grown a lot since last month - it seemed like you'd gotten bigger, but when some of your shorts that used to be snug were a bit baggy around the waist - we thought to measure you - and you've grown almost 4 inches in 1 month! Getting some height on you already!

\\ you're turning into a little snuggler which we love. you haven't always been this way so we are drinking it in! 

\\ you love being naked! we can't really trust you for longer than a minute though - but you're so happy when we take your diaper off that sometimes we push our luck and let you wiggle around. You haven't burned us yet - so don't make a liar out of me tomorrow! ;)

\\ you grabbed Sami's fur for the first time last week - got a good fistful and didn't let go. She did a good leap from where she was laying next to you on the floor - and was no worse for the wear - and she'll have to get used to it!

\\ you sleep half the time on your back, and half the time on your stomach. You usually end up sleeping better when you're on your tummy, but we like being able to see your face when your'e on your back. Not much we can do about it now that you're mobile, though!

\\ your favorite forms of entertainment are fake sneezes, playing "boo," when we make your lion and giraffe fake sneeze, being tickled, the butterflies on your playmat, oh, and did I mention fake sneezes? This month's smiley pictures brought to you by Jared's convincing achoos.

Another month is in the books, and we have really been trying to drink in each moment with you. The wonderful ones and the trying ones. And goodness gracious there are both! We pray daily for you, squish! We love you so much!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

a weekend in chicago

I'm only about a month late to the party, but punctuality is no longer the name of the game around here. :) Jared and I had an absolutely fabulous time celebrating our FIVE YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY this past month... (can it really be?!) with a weekend in Chicago. We left Bennett back home with Nana & Papa and (although we did miss him) it was so great to do something that Jared and I love again, just the two of us... travel and explore. 

Keeping in our usual fashion, we logged 30 miles on foot in the two full days we were there. It's slightly exhausting, but we just love exploring the city that way. I had been on a quick trip to Chicago years ago for a volleyball tournament, and Jared on a family vacation, but both of us saw new things, remembered some things, and made some awesome new memories of our own. 

We did so many typical touristy things - Millennium park, Willis tower, Giordano's pizza, a sunset river cruise, Navy pier... but we were also excited that some things like the Taste of Chicago were around that we could enjoy. And when you walk that much around the city there are always off the beaten track things to find... (like awesome donut shoppes). ;)

Our first taste of fried rattlesnake at Taste of Chicago .... could have fooled me for spicy sausage!

I made it about 30 seconds on this thing. Nailed it.

A favorite memory was the evening we spent on a sunset river cruise, finishing up on lake Michigan as the sun was setting. The view of the city was absolutely spectacular, and both Jared and I really enjoyed learning about all the architecture along the way, also.

I'm super thankful for this guy. 

When we travel he takes the time and effort to research all our options - whether it's sights, routes, public transit, or where I can get my Starbucks. :) He is my favorite travel buddy, and every time we take a trip - whether its to Hawaii or to the midwest - I am reminded time and time again how blessed I am to have such a loving companion to do life with. 

And being that we were celebrating our 5 year anniversary - we did not shy away from our favorite treats...

When in Chicago.... remember this name.... Glazed and infused. You'll thank me later.

One of our last stops was the Lincoln Park zoo. It was free (bonus!) and they had some pretty fun animals that you can't see every day here at our zoos. Kangaroos, rhinos... and way better habitats for the lions, giraffes, and zebras that can be kind of hard to spot here. My two favorites of this little trip.... they were just stunning to look at up close.

I am so super thankful that Jared and I were able to take a little getaway - 5 years is something to celebrate, and it really felt like we did. I love you, babe! Thanks for a very memorable, fun, busy, tasty, and joy-filled trip! To many more...



*photo courtesy Fishtale photography

Monday, June 22, 2015

bennett | two months

Our sweet little bug is two months old this week! No longer a newborn, but all baby, he has rolls all over his thighs, arms, tummy, and ankles. A nod to how much he loves to eat! On that note, this month he weighs in at 11lbs 14oz, and is almost 23 inches long. 50th percentile for weight, and about 40th percentile for length.  We thought he seemed longer, and he has such long toes, feet, and fingers, that we are thinking he will make a pretty big growth spurt at some point. 

We tease him that he has a Grandpa haircut (although neither of HIS Grandpas do)... but he lost the hair on the top of his head, and kept all the hair around the sides and the bottom. Haha! We're slowly starting to see regrowth on the top, and it's coming in VERY light. We might have a blondie on our hands? Both Jared and I were quite blonde as kids so we'll see.

Well, Bennett, you have learned many new things this month, buddy... you have found your voice and although you still coo a lot, you have now discovered the squeal and you are getting quite good at it. Sucking on any available body part you can find is fun too - your own hands and fingers, or someone elses shoulder/forearm/face.... 

You still love your pacifier - although we are glad its not something you're dependent on yet. You only take it at bedtime occasionally, it's more of a daytime occurrence as you're getting closer to eating and farther and farther away from a nap. :) But more often than not, you are so content to just coo and observe everything going on around you without it. And if you don't want it when we offer, you are mastering the spit-out. You've even almost shot it off your carseat before!

We were thinking you might have rolled over by now - you get so so close, but can't quite close that last gap yet. I'm thinking it will happen very soon! Tummy time still takes the cake as one of your least favorite things.... second only to getting your eyes and face wiped off. But your neck is so strong! When we burp you it is almost constantly balanced straight up, and only occasionally will you do the "newborn plummet" into our chest. 

Although the max you've slept during the night is 6 hour increments (and that's inconsistently) you are an amazing little guy when it comes to going to bed and going back down effortlessly after your overnight feeding. Usually you're headed to bed before 9, do one overnight feeding somewhere in there, and then back to sleep until the mid morning. Sleeping anywhere between 9 and 12 hours each night. We are making due quite well, and both mom and dad have had to accept that you are your own kid, and despite some patterns we thought we'd see happening by now, you're going to do things your own way and that's ok. We are doing our best to train you though!

Your favorite place to be (ironically) is on your changing pad. We put it on the floor so you can just lay there and look around. Most often you're happiest in just your diaper. Sometimes you're content for 45 minutes there just drinking in your surroundings. We think it's adorable, and that you also might have some introverted tendencies coming out. That's usually our first try if you're fussy and we're holding you. Sometimes (not always) it calms you right down! On the flip side, you also love being wrapped up in your lamby blanket (your absolute favorite - thanks Auntie Al!) and bouncing on the exercise ball. Mom and dad get a little dizzy, but you mellow out and go to sleep like a dream. Thats usually whipped out when you're overdue and boycotting a nap. 

Another fun development is how alert and aware you are of what's going on around you. You don't sleep a ton anymore during the day, which sometimes makes it hard to get stuff done :) but also makes bedtimes easier. You really focus in on your toys now, anything bright and with a pattern and you can stare and follow it! You really like your playmat and hanging toys, and also when we hang your swaddle over the banister and you can look at it while laying on your changing pad. The swaddle usually gets a laugh or two from you also! It has been such a treat seeing you stare at our faces and follow our voices. You definitely know when we are around! 

And laughing. Oh... your smiles. How we love your half smirks that turn into open mouth grins. With the occasional coo/squeal included. You give those out liberally to mom and dad and we absolutely love it!!

We are enjoying watching you change, sweet boy. This month really turned you into a growing developing baby, and I can only imagine how the next months are going to go! We love you so so much!

Friday, May 15, 2015

bennett | one month

Hi, guys! We can hardly believe that today is Bennett's one month birthday! He has taken us on such a roller coaster of experiences these past 4 weeks... but I think I can confidently say that we are out of the "cloud" and feeling more human these days. :) 

He has brought us so much joy, and every day that he gets bigger we are learning new things about him and his personality. So... here we are. One month in and SO many fun things to report and remember! We are overjoyed by you Bennett David. We love watching you grow!

{bennett at one month}

... I wake up every three hours to eat. Almost to the minute! And I might have a small patience problem when I realize it's time to eat that mom and dad say we might have to work on when I get bigger....

... I love to stare out the window. Especially when I should be concentrating on burping or eating.

... I really like my swing. It makes it easier when mom has to scarf down lunch in between my feedings!

... I'm kind of a lazy eater. My doctor says it's because I was born early and didn't know how yet, and that I wasn't strong enough to do it well. Mom and dad worked really hard with me this month to help me learn, and some parts of it worked and some didn't. I still get really impatient when mom feeds me (but we still do it anyways!) so then I get a bottle of mom's milk after I nurse which I LOVE. I don't love when it's gone, or when mom makes me slow down to burp. Then I get to sit in my swing while mom pumps. She tells me it's kind of a long process but I don't mind. I get a full tummy out of the deal!

... Just last week I used up the rest of my preemie diapers and made the jump to the "big boy" newborn diapers! Yahoo! Although I am tiny, I am really gaining weight well, and mom (and the scale) say I'm getting heavier! I'm still wearing newborn clothes, but my arms and legs are long, so it might be sooner than later that I can start to wear some of my bigger stuff!

... I have some baby acne that everyone tells me is normal. Mom was sad about it at first but she got over it pretty quickly. I'm pretty sure the rest of my skin is super super soft though - otherwise I'm not sure why mom and dad touch it so much. 

... I can sleep through anything during the day. I love noise around me... sometimes the busier the environment the better. Mom vacuums, and runs the Vitamix when I'm sleeping in the dining room next to her and the dog goes crazy at (who knows what) outside and I can "zzzz" right through it. 

... Car rides are one of my favorite things! It's a super comfy spot to nap - and mom and dad seem so happy when I do!

... I love love love my hands and arms. Flailing around, by my face, in my mouth, holding my ears... waving my arms in the air... I think I might follow in my Grandma Johnson's footsteps, go into music, and become a conductor. 

... Mom and dad call me lots of names: Benny-bear, Bubba, Benster... and my favorite: Squeaks. That one's pretty self-explanatory.

... I'm doing pretty good in the sleeping at night department. I decided to stop playing around and cut mom and dad a break in between feedings and go to sleep. I kind of got the message when they moved me out of their room when I was 2.5 weeks old. 

... I love being held and talked to. I'm awake a good amount during the day, and staring at eyes and mom and dads face and following voices is a favorite pastime of mine. 

... I can smirk! Both mom and dad saw it on mothers day, and they ooh-ed and ahh-ed over me for so long I just kept 'em coming. Gotta give the people what they want! 

... I don't love being swaddled. Nobody can tame my crazy arms. 

... I do love being in just my diaper.

... I don't love laying on my back.

... I do love the occasional pacifier.

... and who can forget sleeping? I do love my naps. 

Happy one month birthday, sweet Bennett! We love you oh so much!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

meeting bennett.

A sweet, snuggly, baby boy joined our family last week and we are eternally grateful.

Meet our little snugglebug.

Bennett David Johnson
April 15, 2015
6 lbs 11 oz. | 19 3/4 inches long
born at 5:42 pm

Bennett decided that he would like to meet us earlier than normal (3 weeks, actually) and we are so thankful that he is healthy, and did not need any of the medial aid sometimes necessary to babies born before full term. This little guy in the 1 week of life outside the womb has won. us. over. In our arms is his favorite place to be and we wouldn't have it any other way.

This "newborn-ness" is so fleeting, and I never ever want to forget his wrinkly knees, flappy arm creases, pink little feet, and the soft fuzz around his ears. His unexplainably soft skin, his pointy upper lip, his teeny tiny ankles, or the vice grip of those little fingers. 

As we've been drinking in his little life this week, amidst the (expected) shaking of our world, sleep, routine, and fatigue, we would appreciate prayers for Bennett's eating habits and growth. Because of his early arrival, it is very common for babies of his gestational age to struggle with some of the basic skills for life outside of mom right now - like eating. 

This week has been building more patience, trust, and endurance in us than any experience in our whole life. Jared and I have been having to work at things with Bennett to get him the proper nutrients above and beyond just the normal hard work of a newborn, and we are pressing forward one hour at a time. We would appreciate prayers that Bennett gains weight, and gains more of a desire to eat. 

Jared and I have been clinging to MANY scripture passages this last week, and specifically, our tunnel vision over this stage of where Bennett is at with his growth and feeding has been on Colossians 1:9-12. We are asking God to give us complete knowledge of his will, to give us spiritual wisdom and understanding over Bennett's care. We are praying that we are being strengthened with God's glorious power so that we have all the endurance and patience we need to tackle each feeding, night, and day. And ultimately, that we are being filled with JOY, ALWAYS remembering to thank the Father.

It has been quite easy through this first week to see all the things that we have to manage, worry about, be anxious about in regards to Bennett's health and not being able to "control" how he wants to eat. But ultimately, our God has brought us this far, and He is not leaving anytime soon! So we continue to take one day at a time, and meditate on every single way the Lord has had his hand over Bennett's life the last 9 months. 

And at the end of the day, we have a perfect, blessed, snuggly, sweet, clear eyed little boy.

And we love him so much.