Thursday, December 29, 2011

Benjamin in a big boy bed!

I didn't get a chance to take a picture... but tonight is Benjamin's first night in his big boy bed!  It was not really my dream to have both boys in toddler beds before the age of 2, but what can you do when they can both climb out but not back in?

Benjamin learned to get out of the crib at Eric's parents' house, and has been able to translate his skills to his home crib.  Last night we heard crying, and Eric went up to investigate and found Benjamin sitting next to Asher in Asher's bed, crying because he couldn't get back to his own bed.

Tonight my parents came by and Eric and my dad quickly and efficiently took off the front of Benjamin's crib.  We then went up as a family to show Benjamin his new bed.  His face lit up!  He was grinning from ear to ear and jumped right up and then lay down like he was ready to go to sleep.  You could see he was so happy to have a bed like Asher does.

I dreaded putting him down to bed, worrying that it would be like the transition with Asher.  I worried for nothing- Benjamin lay down and snuggled up with his blankets, and I didn't hear a peep.  Asher, on the other hand, leapt out of his bed and was banging at the door before I could even get to the top of the stairs (4 feet away).  You would think it was Asher's first night in the bed, not Benjamin!

I am proud of Benjamin for making the transition so easily.  He used to have a lot of trouble falling asleep at night, but he is now an easy sleeper and will sleep straight through without a peep til 7 am.  What a sweet boy!
My sweet Benjamin.  Who on earth could he be imitating?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

Today we celebrated Christmas with Eric's family in Maine.  We really started celebrating on the 23rd with a party with Eric's mom's side of the family, though.  We went to Eric's brother's house and ate lots of dessert while the kids enjoyed themselves.  The boys took a bath with their cousin Kiptyn.  I think Kiptyn was kind of surprised, since he usually gets to take baths alone.  Their bath time ended when Benjamin caught sight of a toy shark and flipped out.  Asher promptly picked the shark up and gave it kisses on the mouth!
Three cousins in the tub
Christmas Eve we had another party, this one at Eric's grandparents, with Eric's dad's side of the family.  The boys got to see Santa, which was not really a big hit.  Despite the fact that it was their second night up past bedtime, their moods were good and they had fun with their cousins.
The tree on Christmas Eve
My Christmas gift from Eric was to sleep in.  I slept past 8, and then we got started on opening our stockings and the gifts from Eric's grandparents.  Benjamin got the idea of "stocking" and started putting it on like a sock!
Forget the gifts, I have a sock!

The boys in their Christmas pajamas with their Christmas sippies
opening their stockings with daddy
Later in the day their cousins came over for dinner and to open the rest of their gifts.  The boys seemed kind of overwhelmed about what to open and play with, so we got a little of this:
"That's my box!"
The boys got a ton of nice gifts, and more toys than we know what to do with.  Eric and I also got numerous nice things, including two cookbooks I have wanted for a while, new sheets and towels, and new pajamas for me!

Benjamin's favorite new toy
The boys definitely seemed hyped up by playing with their cousins.  Sleep took a turn for the worse, and Asher was up past 10 crying, and then Benjamin was up at 11:30, crying.  Then Benjamin woke for the day at 6:30.  Eric and I are a little tired!  We go home tomorrow, with a stop in Cambridge to see my grandparents and pick up my sister.  It will be nice to be back in our own house, but it will feel quiet and lonely after all the time celebrating with family.

I started this blog entry last night, but the internet decided it was done for the night before I was.  So today is also Benjamin and Asher's 21 month birthday.  Only 3 months until my angels are 2... I can't believe it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Hanukkah!

Last night we had Hanukkah with my parents, and Aunt Jane and Uncle Ed.  The boys stayed up until I was home from work to light the menorah with us, but I don't think that worked so well for them.
Cutest zombie ever
Bear in his bear-jamas on Grandpa Nick's shoulders
Aunt Jane lighting the menorah
Playing with the little people Hanukkah set
The boys got a set of wooden blocks for the first night.  I got a big gift- a new laptop!  I am writing this on my brand new MacBook Air.  It is wonderful!  My old laptop was running out of memory, the case was broken all over, and the boys had relieved it of the shift key, so it was time to let it go.  I love my new computer!

Did you know the cozy coupe was double-decker?
I have gifts for the boys for every night of the holiday (and more), as well as gifts from my parents.  Tomorrow we leave for Maine and of course they will probably be spoiled rotten there, too.  I am excited for the holiday, and to get time with all 3 of my guys.  Work has been kind of crazy the past few weeks-- for the two weeks prior to this I had many no-shows and cancellations, and then this week I can't even seem to cram everyone in.  Maybe they are worried about what they'll do without me for two weeks?

In any case, we are enjoying celebrating, giving gifts, cooking and eating, and seeing family and friends.  On Saturday we hosted a big brunch for our friends and had a completely packed house.  I love hosting, and it was great to have our friends and their children over.

And while I am grateful for all the material goods, I am reminded that I have something that money can't buy- my family.  This time of year, I think often of December 2009, when I was placed on bed rest.  I can still remember the anxiety I felt around the possibility of pre-term labor and losing my boys.  When I look at them now, so big and healthy, I know I didn't even imagine it being this good.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

sweet moments

Benjamin and mommy

Benjamin seems to be getting ahead of the curve on the "Terrible Twos."  He is nowhere near terrible, but he is beginning to exercise his independence and there are certain things that he insists he do by himself.  He has to buckle the booster for himself, and put the tray on; he likes to open and close the gate on the stairs; and put his food on his tray when he eats.  If he doesn't get to do things for himself, he has a tantrum.  They're usually not so bad.  He just lowers himself to the floor, cries, and kicks his legs up and down at the same time.  I deal with them by saying "night night!" and walking away, which usually puts an end to it.

Today after nap, he would not stop crying (yes, he needed more nap but no luck there).  Asher was on my lap, and Eric brought Benjamin over next to us on the couch.  Benjamin buried his face in the couch and cried.  Eric asked Asher how to make Benjamin feel better, and Asher leaned over, gave him a hug and kiss, and patted his back and head.  It was so unbelievably sweet to see him care for his brother like that, and wonderful to know that my boys already have some empathy.
Big Bear
Benjamin and his bear

Benjamin has also started to take care of a toy bear.  He hugs it, feeds it milk, and sometimes feeds it food.  They don't have any dolls yet, but I think they're getting one for Hanukkah. I am glad that these little monkeys also have a sensitive side.

Monday, December 12, 2011

weekend without daddy

This past weekend, Eric went to Maine to visit his parents, and I was home with the boys for 3 full days and 3 full nights.  For the most part, we had a wonderful weekend, and had our time filled with play dates and new experiences.  The only tough part has been lack of sleep- Asher's not doing so well, and neither am I!

On Friday afternoon we went to a "family fun center" to meet a friend.  There was a huge climbing structure, with tunnels and slides all kinds of fun things, but the boys quickly lost interest in it.  Instead, they wanted to "play" arcade games:

No doubt that my boys are boys- anything that resembles a car or a scooter gets their attention.

Saturday morning we went to the Please Touch Museum.  The museum was great, and we only saw some of it!  Now we're thinking about getting our own membership, since it is so close to us and will provide hours and hours of indoor entertainment this winter.  The boys had their first carousel ride:
Serious Asher
Brave Benjamin
Benjamin loved the carousel so much that he cried when it was over.  Then he threw a fit when I took him off his horse.  All the people waiting to ride definitely thought that was interesting.

Saturday afternoon the boys decided it was time for a nap boycott.  I was so tired that I texted Eric, "time to come home now!"  But we all pulled it together and went to our friend Hannah's birthday party at Little Gym.

The boys do Gymboree and love the playing and climbing, but the Little Gym had much more gymnastic-type equipment, and they went nuts for it!  Asher was interested in hanging from the uneven bars and lifting his legs up.  He is such a beast!  We might do Little Gym when our Gymboree membership runs out since they both seem to like the physical challenge.  The party was a great time, and ended with pizza (which they wouldn't eat) and cake (which they did).
Benjamin on the bars with his friend Maddie
Icing-faced Asher
By the time the boys were in bed, all I wanted for dinner was a glass of wine.  And cake, and ice cream.

Sunday we had fewer plans, which was good.  We did some grocery shopping, and then were headed to Latkepalooza when our friends called to say it was sold out.  We ended up going to the playground and getting frozen yogurt instead.  The boys' spoon skills are much better with frozen yogurt than they are with oatmeal!

By dinner, the boys were pretty much exhausted.  Asher didn't want to eat- I offered him brisket and noodles- until I brought out the broccoli.  He and Benjamin put away the broccoli like it was going out of style!  We finished dinner and I rushed the boys off to bed, and they were asleep long before their daddy got home.

I am so happy to have Eric home again.  I think we all missed him, and I'm glad we have the holidays coming up, where we can all be together.

Friday, December 2, 2011

let the shopping begin!

Today the boys went with me on my annual spend-too-much-at-Target trip.  Unfortunately, they were not in their best moods, and ended up getting pretty crabby before I managed to look for everything I needed.  I guess they were helpful in preventing me from overspending!  Similarly, they were helpful in preventing me from overeating on Thanksgiving (or at any meal I have with them).

Anyway, the trip started out as a good time.  Here are the boys with gift bags on their heads as hats.
While we were doing this and laughing, two little boys came up to say hello to them, and told me I have cool babies.  I thought that was sweet.  Then they asked if they could get in the cart with them, and I had to tell them no, but I'm glad we look like a fun family to be a part of!

The trip pretty much went downhill from there, and ended with my carrying Benjamin so that he could push the cart, and Asher busting out of the straps.  I then had to chase both boys down to get Asher back in the cart (in the basket part, not the part with the seat belts, but it's better than him getting run over in the parking lot), and carry Benjamin out in my arms.  I had been planning to stop for food for dinner on our way home, but decided no way I was going to wrestle them out and back in their car seats again.

I am very thankful for online shopping, and especially for sites that offer free shipping.  If I had to take the boys on all my trips, no one would get anything!  I am hoping for a good night's sleep tonight and better moods tomorrow.