Wednesday, January 30, 2013

workin' on our fitness.

a new gym (Xperience Fitness) has opened a couple of locations that are convenient for us: one is in blaine right across from bennett's daycare, and the other is about a ten minute drive from our house.  AND it's only $20 a month, and our insurance offers a discount off of that.  soooo, i think joe and i are going to take the plunge and join.  we've been gym members before, but i can't say that we were consistent gym-goers.  i think the location is going to make a big difference.  (is it bad that i'm actually rolling my eyes as i'm writing this?  it sounds so cliche'- this time we'll stick with it!  no really!  we will!)  seriously though we are literally across the street twice a day, five days a week, dropping off and picking up ben.  if that doesn't get us to go to the gym regularly, i don't know what will.  they offer group fitness classes (which i like) and have racquetball (which joe likes).  plus they have all the gym equipment, a pool, etc.  i'm excited to start going and i'm sure this will only help in my weight loss venture.

also, i ordered a heart rate monitor.  i figured it'd be a good way to monitor (see what i did there?) the calories i'm burning.  AND, if i have all the stuff, i'll for sure go to the gym (eye roll).  i need to look legit.  i mean, they use them on the Biggest Loser, so naturally i need one too.  plus, it was half off!  the athlete in me (ha) just couldn't resist.

while i clearly sound like a fitness-cynic, i really do want to be more active.  we don't have a ton of spare time outside of working and being with bennett, but i think exercise does need to at least make an appearance on the priority list.  when it was warmer out i LOVED taking bennett for walks in the stroller or in the baby bjorn.  but considering it's, oh let me check, exactly 14 degrees out right now, that doesn't seem like a realistic option.  that's like saying i'll go to the gym for the 5:15am class that's on the schedule.  let's face it: ain't. gonna. happen.

so, i think a gym membership is the perfect solution.  it'll do all of us some good.  plus, i'll look super cool with my heart rate monitor on.  i just need a water bottle fanny pack and i'll be set.  just kidding.

as for bennett, he is still teething and doesn't have a darn tooth to show for it yet.  he's chewing on EVERYTHING, spiking fevers, and drooling everywhere.  we took him to the doctor yesterday to make sure he doesn't have an ear infection or anything, and he's all clear.  i guess it's just those teeth giving him a hard time.  poor guy.

i have the day off on friday because i covered a coworker's evening shift when she was sick.  so bennett and i may go to the children's museum with my friend/coworker, meghan, and her little guy landon, who's 17 months.  i'm *still* waiting to hear about my work schedule when my job changes, but i'm praying that i'll soon have fridays off all the time and we can make these outings with our boys a regular thing!

Monday, January 28, 2013


joe, bennett and i have been trying to get in the habit of going to church at 4pm on saturdays at eaglebrook lately.  it's the best time for us because it doesn't fall over a time bennett is napping or needing to eat.  the current sermon series is called "Losing Our Buts" and it's about getting rid of excuses.  this week's "but" was "But I Don't Have What it Takes," about feelings of inadequacy.  i think it struck close to home for both joe and i in different ways.  i know that joe struggles with worrying he doesn't have what it takes when it comes to his job.  often he feels he doesn't have the knowledge or skills to be successful and feels insecure about having less experience than others in the field.  i often feel inadequate as a mom.  i worry i'm not doing the right things, feel guilty that i'm at work all day away from bennett, and feel uncertain about how to handle different circumstances as they arise.

the biggest thing that i drew from the message this weekend was this: we have everything we need to do everything that God has called us to do.  if God has given us a role or responsibility, He has also gifted us with the tools and abilities we need to be successful in it.  if we doubt our ability and feel we don't have what it takes, we are really saying that we don't think that God has what it takes.  that was convicting for me.  God has given me the responsibility and the privilege to be bennett's mom, and has also given me the tools and ability to be the best mom i can.  when i'm feeling unsure or inadequate, i need to turn to God and thank him for the privilege of being a mom and ask him to fill me with peace and confidence that i have what it takes.

i am so thankful for friends and family members around me who have advice and guidance for me as a mom. i think that in addition to gifting me with what it takes to be bennett's mom, God has also surrounded me with a number of people who are able to encourage, support, and guide me as i navigate this course.  i am certainly not too proud to ask for help, tips, etc.!

speaking of that, we had success on night number three of crying it out!  we received tons of encouragement from friends and family that we are doing the right thing and to stay strong.  we didn't hear a peep from bennett until it was time to wake up this morning!  i'm hoping he'll keep sleeping through the night now!  :)  it was tough, but will be SO worth it, i know.

besides sleep training, we had a relaxing weekend.  saturday bennett got his third haircut (how many six month olds can say that??), and i had coffee with my friend, nicole.  we went over to jake and katie's house to have birthday cake for jake's birthday on saturday night and got to spend time with missy and brent there, too.  miss is twelve weeks pregnant and we got to see her ultrasound photos!  so exciting!  we all speculated that they're going to have a girl, but we will see.  jake and katie get to find out if they're having a boy or girl in one week!  hoping for a girl for them since they already have two boys, but obviously everyone will be excited either way.  two other of my girlfriends are pregnant too- we will be having lots of new little friends around come spring/summer!  we had bennett's six month pictures yesterday with megan daas, who did our engagement and wedding pictures, and ben's newborn photos as well.  i can't wait to see them- i think we'll have some really good ones.

Here's a sneak peek :)
jake and allison got home from their honeymoon in mexico late saturday night, so i'm hoping we'll get to see them this week sometime.  other than that, we have a pretty quiet week.  then i'm looking forward to a weekend at the cabin with my girlfriends- my first time away from bennett over night!  i'll obviously miss him a lot, but am REALLY looking forward to it!  joe, bennett and george will have a great boys' weekend :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

crying it out.

night one (friday) went well. for me at least. i woke up, checked my phone and it was 5:30am. i thought, "wow, leave it to bennett to sleep through the night on his own the night we planned to let him cry."

joe was moving around so i whispered, "are you up?"

"yep," he answered.

"ben slept through the night! it's 5:30!"

"no he didn't. i heard him a few times."

I. Didn't. Hear. A. Thing. mommy guilt washed over me as i started interrogating joe about the night. how long did he cry? joe didn't know. like 2 hours or 20 minutes? joe didn't know. was he fussing or actually crying? some of both.

literally worthless.

so, i consider night one a success. kind of?

night two (saturday). not so great. for me. woke up to crying (alternating actual cries with whimpers), checked my phone: 12:38am. i tried to get back to sleep, but just tossed and turned. checked my phone again: 1:11am. still crying alternated with fussing. toss. turn. toss. turn. 1:37am. mostly fussing with a few actual cries. "joe. he has been crying for over an hour."

at this point joe takes nyquil. to be fair, he did catch the cold i had. but still...

finally, 1:44am: silence. joe got up to go to the bathroom. "should I check to see if he fell asleep?" joe asked me.

"no!" (what I wanted to say was, "you need to hold it! if the toilet flushing wakes him up i actually might kill you." but i didn't. at least i don't think so. it was 1:44am, after all.)

i vaguely remember waking up and checking my phone again: 4:11am. i don't remember, however, if ben was making noise or not. that's right, i am super mom.

at 7:53am we (as in bennett and i) were up for the day. and ben doesn't seem to hate me. so that's a success too.

love those sleepy eyes :)
bring it on, night three.

Friday, January 25, 2013

in sickness and in health.

i sure am sick of being sick. i guess that's how it goes when you have a baby in daycare... i can hardly remember a decent stretch of time when joe, bennett and i have all been completely healthy since i went back to work and ben started daycare.

since having bennett i have often thought about how challenging being a parent can be. sometimes i feel overwhelmed by how blessed i am to have an equal partner in joe, who i can depend on.  joe is there to share the burden when it feels too heavy to bear on my own.  and he is there to share the joy i feel when bennett learns something new or giggles or breathes (it doesn't take much).  how single parents do it, i do not know.  the last few days i've been sick with a cold and have been able to take nyquil and get some sleep while joe takes care of bennett when he wakes up in the night.  i've seriously needed that and am so thankful.  he doesn't make it feel like he's doing me a favor, either.  instead, he knows taking care of bennett is our equal responsibility and we both do our part.  we're both appreciative of the other's help and try not to keep score.

this weekend we are going to let bennett cry it out.  lord, help us.  we are both total softies when it comes to ben crying and will probably have to alternate who's the strong one with who wants to cave.  bennett hasn't been eating in the night for about a month now, and is well-established on solid foods.  but, he's still waking up several times a night, just wanting comfort (it seems).  he goes to sleep on his own SO well, but can't seem to get himself back to sleep when he wakes in the night.  it's time for him to learn to get himself back to sleep.  i feel bad because i know he's teething, growing, etc., but it seems there's never a time when something isn't going on.  we can't play the game of going in, putting the nuk in his mouth, patting his back or tummy and soothing him forever...  my mommy gut is telling me it's time to let him learn :(  i guarantee it'll be harder on us than it will be on him.  all the mamas i've talked to that have done the cry it out thing have said it's hard but worth it.  the first night (they say) is the worst and it usually takes three nights.  our little man is VERY stubborn and strong-willed, but i'm praying he'll figure it out sooner than later.

we get to do bennett's 6 month pictures this weekend with megan daas, the photographer who did our engagement and wedding photos, and bennett's newborn photos.  she's amazing at what she does and a good friend of ours as well.  gotta get ben's hair cut again before the pictures- the kid has quite the head of hair.  kids hair is so great- he gets mesmerized by the cartoons on the tv and sits perfectly while they cut (and style!) his hair.

from bennett's first haircut. thanksgiving weekend 2012.
on an unrelated note, i've now lost 25 lbs. since august.  i have a ways to go before i meet my goal, but i'm feeling pretty good and it hasn't been [too] challenging.  i think continuing to bf has been a major part of the weight loss, but i suppose i shouldn't completely discredit my efforts.

we're having oven tacos for dinner tonight, yet another pinterest find.  i've been craving some good tacos, so hopefully they'll be good!

anyway, i'll keep you updated on how the crying it out goes... when you see a post from 4am that says "I JUST COULDN'T DO IT," you'll know what happened.  just kidding.  i hope.

Monday, January 21, 2013

goin' to the chapel.

we had a whirlwind weekend.  joe's younger brother, jake, got married on friday.  i had the bachelorette party for allison on wednesday night, and then it was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner thursday and the wedding friday.  i must say, i typically hate bachelorette parties.  i'm not much of a party girl and like to be home and in my jammies under a quilt on the couch at a decent hour (yep, i'm 76 years old and completely fine with it).  but, this bachelorette party was actually low-key and i had a really good time getting to know some of allison's friends.  ok, i was a little annoyed with some of them talking non-stop about "trying" to be gluten free/paleo/[insert trendy restrictive diet here]... and then one of them ordered MAC AND CHEESE for dinner.  seriously.  but, i'll spare you the rant.  overall it was a really fun night, and allison seemed like she enjoyed herself which is what matters most.

jake and allison chose to have their toasts at the rehearsal dinner, rather than the wedding reception.  joe was the best man and delivered a great best man toast.  it was equal parts funny and sentimental, of course ending with a quote from kelly clarkson.  touching.

katie and i at the rehearsal dinner
the bride and groom

joe giving his best man toast

allison was calm the day of the wedding and things went relatively smoothly, minus the fact that jake was pretty sick all morning.  fortunately, he seemed to rebound as the day went on.  while us girls got pampered at the salon, bennett was at grammy's house having a little spa day of his own!

lovin' bathtime in the sink!
we had a gorgeous day for january in minnesota- 40 degrees and sunny.  it was a little chilly taking some of the pictures outside, but it wasn't too bad and i think they'll turn out really pretty.  the photographer was great and managed our boisterous group with a smile; no small feat, i assure you.

brothers- jake, jeffrey, and joe the day of the wedding
the beautiful bride
the ceremony was very meaningful and went off without a hitch, though not without many tears (and a few shouts from bennett, who had to leave the ceremony with grammy because he was too noisy!).  we had a blast at the reception and danced the night away with our nephew martin and our niece taylor, who declared many of the songs to be "booty shakin'" songs!  martin especially liked the cha-cha slide!

joe and i couldn't be happier for jake and allison, and are so excited to be able to watch our families grow together in the coming years.  hopefully sooner than later for them ;-)

the happy couple!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


there are lots of changes headed our way in the near future.  first, joe's younger brother, jake, is getting married on friday.  jake has been one of my closest friends since sophomore year of college at bethel- hard to believe that was EIGHT years ago.  man, i'm getting old.  anyway, joe and i couldn't be happier for jake and we love allison and are excited to make her an official family member.  both of us are in the wedding, so we are gearing up for a busy but fun next couple of days!  i have allison's bachelorette party tonight, we have the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner tomorrow, and then the wedding friday.  last time i was in a wedding was my best friend katie's in june and i was a large and very uncomfortable 8.5 months pregnant.  so, i'm thinking i'll look and feel much better for this one!  i'm down a few more pounds now and feeling good!

my job change will be happening in the next 4-6 weeks.  it's looking like 4 days a week will be a reality, it is just a matter of working out the details.  i'm not sure that i'll be able to get PTO when i switch because i won't be working 40 hours any longer.  that's definitely a bummer, but at least i got a raise which will help somewhat compensate for the reduction of hours and loss of PTO.  hopefully i'll have fridays off, which would be the day i'd take off most often anyway.  i'm trying to be patient to hear back about all these details, but i hate waiting.  a lot.

joe's job is getting busier each week as he builds business and takes on more and more surgical cases.  this is certainly good for him, and for us financially, but it means a lot of long days, late nights and less time with bennett and me than he would like.  we're all trying to adjust to that and [i'm trying to] be flexible- many times the cases pop up last minute or get started late, so we aren't often able to plan for or anticipate when the late nights will be.  it can make things difficult to plan, but i guess it comes with the territory.

bennett is still working on trying solid foods.  he really hasn't liked many of them, though it depends on his mood mostly.  i think sweet potatoes have been his favorite so far. 

he's getting there with bananas, though he doesn't like it when i give him mashed up bananas.  he likes the gerber bananas better- i think the texture is smoother than i can make at home.  gerber puffs are a hit with him too!  we're discovering more and more each day how strong-willed and independent our little man is.  he is very clear what he wants and doesn't want, what he likes and doesn't like.  he likes to do things on his own, so we try to give him some freedom to explore that.  feeding himself is one of his favorite things, but he usually needs a bath afterwards! 

sleeping at night has been a challenge- he's been waking up multiple times a night wanting his nuk.  we go in, pop it in his mouth, and he goes right back to sleep.  it's nice that he's not up for long, but it does make for a restless and disjointed night's sleep for us.

loves to fall asleep after putting his lovie on his head :)
we're going to try what many have suggested and put like 8 nuks in his crib all around him and see if he'll be able to find one in the night on his own and get himself back to sleep.  we'll see what happens!

on a completely different topic: my brother, ryan, was in the hospital yesterday in the ICU.  he has type 1 diabetes (diagnosed at age 4) and addison's disease (diagnosed 3 years ago).  he got the flu on monday, which threw his whole system into a tailspin causing what they call an "addison's crisis."  when you have addison's disease, your body essentially can't keep up with the stress of illness.  his body doesn't make cortisol, which is a stress hormone your body [typically] makes naturally.  it regulates all of your electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium, etc.).  since he had the flu and couldn't keep anything down, his body got dangerously low on electrolytes and didn't have cortisol in his system to help combat it.  he was acting lethargic and confused on monday night, so his wife, jeanie, brought him to the hospital.  he had dangerously low sodium levels and needed to be put on high doses of steroids, an insulin drip to control his blood sugars, and lots of electrolytes to replenish his body.  he's doing much better now and go to go home this morning.  scary stuff, and it unfortunately happens semi-regularly since he has both illnesses and therefore a weak immune system.  i'm grateful he's doing much better and VERY thankful that his wife is a doctor!  she takes good care of him and knows how to handle these health situations.

i'm counting my blessings today.  and looking forward to positive changes to come.

Friday, January 11, 2013

mole hills.

some people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest.  for us, that wasn't the case.  we've been married for over three years, and i would say that the first year with a baby is the hardest.  easily.  don't get me wrong, joe and i have a great relationship and we both absolutely LOVE being parents and get insane amounts of joy from each day with our little guy.  but having a baby adds stress, plain and simple.  on top of the stress that comes from a constant feeling of "what do we do when [fill in the blank]," you're also sleep-deprived, and have less time for yourself and for each other than you once had.  i truly don't know how people who had a rocky relationship before kids make it through when they have a newborn.

communication is key.  joe and i have to relearn that lesson every day, i think.  one of my not-so-great qualities (the other being how i'm too good at everything- ha) is that i tend to "make mountains out of mole hills."  i can't be 100% sure i know what a mole hill is, but it's smaller than a mountain, and that's the point.  anyway, this is especially true in my relationship with my husband.  an exchange of a few snippy comments, to me, is a fight.  a string of a few days with a few "fights," is a rough patch.  sometimes i'll say to joe, "i'm sick of fighting."  his response is typically "we're fighting?"  to be fair, joe and i are on completely opposite ends of the spectrum on this one (and pretty much everything else, if we're being honest).  he would barely call a screaming match a fight.  well, we've never actually had a screaming match.  but if we did, i am certain it would be a minor disagreement in his [rose-colored] eyes.

when i start to think about the things that might not be going perfectly and i start to compare our relationship to the relationships that others [appear to] have, that's when the mountains pop up.  big, scary, daunting mountains.  but it just dawned on me yesterday as i was thinking about our latest "sick of fighting" conversation: these mountains were created out of false and selfish ideas of what relationships should look like.  where it's all about ME.  I'M not getting what I want.  I'm not getting MY needs met.  joe's not doing enough for ME.  i think the mole hills are every day stressors, common conflict, normal tension.  the mountains are I, ME, MINE.  thankfully, i think i've discovered a way to combat the mountains.  and that is, focusing outside of myself and putting joe first.  at our wedding, the pastor said [something to the effect of] "marriage is about giving your spouse the bigger, or even the last, slice of your favorite pie."  when i think about it, all too often, i keep that bigger slice for myself.  i really do love pie, and i really just wish she'd used a different example.  like, giving your spouse the last dill pickle.  i hate pickles.  easy.  done.  but then it wouldn't be hard.  and it wouldn't be about the other person at all.  so, the real solution when i don't think i'm getting what i want or deserve in my marriage is to give what i think i want or deserve to joe.  and i bet the return will be ten-fold.

another recipe. i made salad for dinner. not typically joe's favorite thing (see, already demonstrating my selflessness...), but he seemed to like it! i used a rotisserie chicken so it was super easy and quick. if you want the recipe, here it is: chinese chicken salads with sesame dressing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

the next shaquille o'neil. or not.

we had ben's six month well visit yesterday.  can i just say that watching your baby get shots is maybe the worst thing ever?  so, so sad.  bennett took it like a champ though.  he screamed right after he got them, but within five minutes he was smiling again.  he's tougher than his mom.  i am still whining today about my sore arm from the flu shot i got yesterday.  overall his checkup went really well- he's in the 35th percentile for weight and the 25th percentile for height.  our pediatrician said at around six months is when the child's genetics start to really show.  naturally, joe was offended.  i looked at him like, "you're 5'7", bennett's not going to be shaq.  get over it."  anyway, one cool thing was that our doctor's office is participating in a program called "Reach Out and Read."  at every well visit from six months to five years, they give each child a developmentally-appropriate book.  the whole point is to encourage kids to read from an early age.  such a cool program!  ben loves his soft book "fuzzy bee and friends" so much that i couldn't even read it to him because it was immediately shoved into his mouth. oh, teething!

also, apparently ben has a carrot-intolerance.  yep, seriously.  who is allergic to carrots??  well, apparently our six month old.  he hates avocado (gags like crazy) and has a carrot intolerance.  so, solids are going super well for us so far.  we'll try carrots again in a few months (children's benadryl on hand) and see if he can handle them then.  he had peas today and didn't seem to gag or break out in a rash, so we're already getting somewhere.  by the looks of it, though, i doubt he'll ever be caught saying "no thanks, i don't want your extra snack pack.  i have peas." at the lunch table in school in a few years.

seriously?  this is what you're giving me?
still all smiles between bites!
can i just say, really quickly, how much i love our daycare?  it's a bit of a drive for us, but it is SO worth it.  these pictures were texted to me today from his teacher.  she sends pictures and updates during the day almost every day.  i could not be more thankful for New Creations!

on a completely unrelated note, last night for dinner i made oven fajitas using a recipe i found on pinterest.  it literally took less than ten minutes to throw together and then all you need are tortillas, cheese, sour cream, etc. (whatever toppings you like).  joe and i both loved them!  and the leftovers were really good for lunch at work today.  these will definitely be a weeknight regular for us.  just thought i'd share!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

6 months.

we spent the weekend at my parents' lake house in wisconsin.  it was a low-key, relaxing weekend, which i know i certainly needed.  for christmas my parents got bennett a little sled, so we popped him in his adorable snowsuit from granny and gramps wienke and strapped him in.  i'll admit he wasn't all that amused, but he tolerated it and even cracked a few smiles (though i had to work fairly hard for them).

bennett slept through the night on friday night!  he's doing this more and more these days, but it just hasn't been consistent.  i'm guessing we're going to have to let him cry it out one of these nights, but our pediatrician said that it's common for little ones to not sleep through the night until they're eating solids.  speaking of solids, we gave bennett carrots on saturday.  he definitely seemed to like them more than avocado.  unfortunately, i'm not sure they're sitting well with him.  he's been fussy and it seems like his tummy hurts.  then tonight when i gave him his bath, i noticed little red bumps on his tummy.  so, that's awesome.  it seems weird, though- i've never heard of anyone having an allergy to carrots.  his teeth seem to have been bothering him and look like they're about to break through any day now, so that could be the culprit (teething causes all kinds of things- diaper rash, other rashes, fever, loss of appetite, etc.).  hard to say.  thank goodness we're going to the doctor tomorrow for bennett's 6 month well visit.  i always look forward to these appointments because i typically have a bunch of questions saved up and could just fire them at her one after another.  this one is no different- what solids should we give him?  how much?  how much milk do we give him in addition to the baby food?  when is it safe to say he doesn't need to eat in the night?  man, it's a good thing joe will be there to reign me in (and provide moral support since watching bennett get shots is the worst thing ever...).  i don't think there's anything that makes you feel more clueless than being a first-time mom.  every time i feel like i have something figured out, something else new pops up that i don't know what to do about. from what i hear this doesn't really change the longer you're a mom, so i guess i better get used to it!

the packers beat the vikings in the wild card game last night! it was fun to watch the game with my parents in what my dad calls gods country. it was an exciting first half and then was pretty quiet after that. i prefer it that way :).

happy 6 months to my little babe. you're such a big boy and i love watching you grow and learn everyday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

new. new. new.

we had a big day yesterday in our family.  i found out (officially) that i'm going to be in a new role at my job.  effective immediately, i get a rai$e.  in the next month or so, i'll be moving to a cubicle (that's right, get jealous) from the front desk and doing provider credentialing and community outreach full time.  i'm looking forward it; i feel like it will be more of a challenge, which i'm up for.  and we're in discussion about me possibly working 4 days a week.  i'd L.O.V.E. the time with bennett.  praying, praying, praying.

we also bought a new car yesterday.  kind of an impromtu car purchase, which typically aren't the best kind, but i think this one was a good deal.  joe's mom sells cars for barnett in white bear lake, and has been nudging us in the direction of a new car for a while now.  joe's car had 120,000 miles on it and he drives constantly for work.  *bonus* we just found out it needed new brakes and rotors.  who even knows what rotors are?  they don't sound that important.  anyway, now we don't have to buy them, since i assume our new car comes with them.  just kidding, i know it does.  (right?)  we got a black chrysler 200.  it's really nice- heated seats, remote start, and a little bigger than the 'rolla (as joe called it), which will be nice for the carseat in the back.  but it still gets good gas mileage and our payment was actually lowered by 2.5 starbucks a month... err, i mean $10 month.

new year, new job, new car.  i'd say 2013 is lookin' good so far.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

baby proof. baby food.

bennett turns 6 months on sunday- so hard to believe!  this half year has absolutely FLOWN by!  my friend kelsey has told me so many times that it flies by and to enjoy the stages, both good and bad, because neither last long.  how right she is!  literally over the last week i feel like bennett has turned from a baby into a little boy!  i mean, obviously he's a baby still, but all of a sudden he's so active and strong-willed (good luck to us in the coming months/years!).  he's so close to crawling and you can just see it in his eyes that he knows what he wants and is determined to get it.  while this is an admirable trait he picked up from both of his parents (ha), it isn't the best quality when what he wants is to eat the leaves of the poinsettia we had near his highchair.  thankfully we got the leaves out of his mouth and hands before he really had a chance to eat them!  just call me "mom of the year"- poinsettias are poisonous (who knew?).  we haven't quite gotten a hand on baby-proofing.  obviously we need to get on that.  add it to the list.

today bennett had his first real food (he's been doing rice cereal since 4 months)- we started with avocado.  :)  it didn't make nearly the mess i thought it would, but it didn't seem like he could decide if he liked it or not.  we'll keep trying!  i am planning to make a bunch of baby food this weekend when we go up to my parents' lake house in chetek.  i think i'll do pears, apples, carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes.  i must admit, i'm not one to push "natural" or "organic," but considering that it will be much cheaper than buying jars and probably quite a bit better for him, i think making ben's food myself will be worth my time.
so excited!
not so sure how i feel about this...
do i have something on my face?
maybe i want some more! (see what i mean about his determination?)