Sunday, July 8, 2012

Jack: 5 Months

Our happy Jack...looking quite dapper I might add!
My interpretation of this look: "I'm really trying to look happy, Mom, but you do realize that this bow-tie is NOT comfy, right? "
There's my boy.  That's more like it.  He loves to be a part of the action, watching the big kids play.
 He also puts everything in his mouth these days: his hands, my hands, or anything that he can grasp!
Jack loves to MOVE! As of today, he's practically crawling, but not the expert way yet.  Basically he moves all over the place when he's put on his tummy on a blanket to play with his toys.  He lifts up his torso and scoots forward using his forearms and legs to propel himself forward.  I call it baby planks when he lifts his torso to move.  He is pretty strong and pretty determined.  Hmmmm... I have no idea where those traits come from.... He twists and turns from back to front and the reverse SO quickly. 
I'm not supposed to admit that I caught him mid-air, with a baseball-style slide across the womans restroom at church to save him from falling off the counter to the tile floor.  Now that I've admitted, I have to paint the picture.  I walked about 4 steps to the trash his dirty diaper, knowing he can roll, but thinking he'd be okay for 5 seconds.  Boy was I wrong!  This is what the two lucky women got to hear from their stalls.... a quick inhale of breath from me and a quick "oh-my-gosh-oh-my-gosh!" then shiny black pumps sliding across the floor just before I landed with one leg in front of me and one bent underneath my rear. My two arms extended straight in front of me and the baby -phew- landed safely in them.  What a stinkin' miracle, literally!  I had to laugh at myself to keep the tears from falling!  Okay, it was really one of those laugh/cry at the same time moments.   Never again!
 Other things about Jack:  He's eating baby foods now.  This is a huge landmark for me as now I can try to plump him up a bit.  I basically feed him baby food (rice cereal, baby oatmeal, and pureed fruits and veggies) as often as I can between my continued regular nursing every three hours round the clock, except night time.  He usually wakes once or twice still at night with no end in sight.  I tell myself that if he had his own bedroom or if I could tune him out and actually sleep myself, I could ween him off at least the midnight feeding that occasionally still happens.  At any rate, I can't complain...he's practically perfect in every other way! 
I think he may be a bit of a flirt.  He smiles at most people, but especially girls.  Again, should I be surprised of this?
Did I mention he likes to move?  Yes?  Well, let me just say it again:  When he's happy he kick kick KICKS! his feet like crazy!  When he smiles he kicks and does the arms up and down thing too.  When he nurses, he can't even hold still long enough for me to hold his hand.  He has to move it.  Up and down, kick, kick, arm kicks, move, move, move. 
Also, he no longer falls asleep often when we're on the go.  This is tricky.  I love to go on outings with the older two to keep from feeling cooped up inside.  However, this guy does not want to miss one second of the fun, so he will stay asleep and usually be happy and smiling all the while, even though I know he is beyond tired.  There are times when we go out that he doesn't get but one solid, real nap during the day, even though at this age he still should be averaging about 3.
What can I say?  We love this guy.  He is a handful, but we just can't fault him for anything!

Strawberry picking
 I have pictures of me doing the same thing with Ian in the baby carrier three years ago.
 Now he's running around in rows of mud stuffing his face with delicious fresh  berries like the best of 'em.
 Here's Jack smiling during a diaper change in the back of the Volvo wagon, obviously right next to the stroller.  Brooklyn's hands are tickling him.
 This trip to the strawberry fields I reflected on how interesting it is that we do this activity for fun and entertainment, though it is definitely not an economical way to buy strawberries.  Because I consider myself pretty thrifty, I have to repeat to myself, "This is for the EXPERIENCE and for the freshness," throughout the entire 20 minute drive up to the field.  I also have to remind myself how very lucky or BLESSED we are to live in a place that has such a wonderful climate that strawberries go crazy here and they are sort of a "snob" of a fruit, only preferring ideal weather conditions....maybe I have become a strawberry living here too! 
The real point of this editorial however, is that I feel that something is very weird about people like us paying exorbitant amounts of money to pick strawberries ourselves for "fun" while the workers on the other side of the tape do this back-breaking labor for hours, days, and weeks at a time and make, I'm guessing/hoping minimum wage, at MOST.  I watched them working while I nursed Jack in the car and the kids downed as many sweet red treats in the back seats of the car.  I felt kinda bad for them and hoped that they at least had loving families to come home to at night.  I had Brooklyn take a quick picture of them with my camera too.  Thank you strawberry pickers!  I really do appreciate your work! 
 This is our typical Ian...SO cooperative ;) Love ya buddy.

Slip 'n' Slide!

 No summer visit to the Benwood house is complete without it!  Thanks for the fun summer-kickoff slip 'n' slide cousin party hosted by Calvin and Carol.  I know I'm sorta partial, but I couldn't be prouder of my big bro.  He is such a sweetheart to my little family whenever we visit.  He always thinks of creative things to do when we hang out.  He and Carol were putting up their new swing set in the background while the kids played.  What's not pictured is the EZ-up shade that he also purchased to accommodate the lounging mothers (like me) and of course he's got fun music playing in the boombox in the background to complete the mood!  At the end of playtime, we all shared sticky messy yummy popsicles.  Love ya to pieces, Big C!

School Ends and Summer Begins!

 Brooklyn has officially graduated kindergarten!  Wahoo!  Here she is on the big day!  Thank you, Mom, for coming down with Caden and Caleb for the graduation!
 Brooklyn and classmates wear their red construction paper graduation caps.
 Ian, Caleb, and Caden play on the tire swing at the park adjacent to the school after the "commencement."
 Danielle and Brooklyn
 After the last day of school, me and the kids headed straight for L.A. to visit my mom and siblings and have some serious "chill time."  I love the greys in this couch shot of Pip and Ian.
 After a few days of visiting the McKendricks, we headed back down to San Diego with a stop first in Oceanside where we met up with a friend of mine from BYU and her three cute kids.  Tiffany, another friend from BYU/back home also hung out with her four kids.  Here are some of the pic's of the kids at the AWESOME beach house owned by Chandler's husband's family.
 The beach "cottage" was right on the beach and so family-friendly.  I actually let Jack sleep in one of the rooms of the house with the screen door shut while I hung out down at the beach with the kids for a bit.  I kept checking back on him every so often, but he slept soundly for at least a couple hours.  It must have been the white noise of the water and waves at the beach.  Talk about awesome!
 Tiffany's youngest two are twins Cali (the redhead) and Rylie.
 Cali, the bathing beauty!
 Ian protecting me from the waves while Brooklyn pretends to surf on them with her new pal Blakeslie, my friend Chandler's daughter.
 Ian made a sand angel.
 There you can see the beach-front cottages like the one we were visiting for the day.  Thanks Chandler for inviting us!  We'd love to come again!  (Hint, hint!)

 Brooklyn had way too much fun.  I wish I had one with her eyes open though.  This girl is fearless in the ocean!
 A fun little outdoor shower right next to the beach and a sand volleyball court and playground.
 The sleeping angel
 Inside the cottage.  Forgive me, Chandler, for acting so touristy with all the photos, but I was loving this place!  I felt like I was caught somewhere between the pages of sunset magazine and a Pottery Barn showroom!  This was the real deal though!

Here are some shots of the kids @ the playground

 Brooklyn and Tyler (Tiffany's 2nd oldest boy)