DSC03269DSC03278 Yes, at the ripe old age of 3 months old, Ben went to visit his Great Grandmom in Arizona!  We  were pretty nervous about flying with the little guy but he was great during our flights.  Although on the way home, as I carried him onto the plane in the Baby Bjorn he spit up all over my chest.  Thanks!  Then when we got settled on the plane I was holding him and he spit up all over my lap!  He got me twice in 10 minutes!!  Anyway, the trip was great and Ben and his Great Grandmom had a fantastic time.  He also got to meet his Great Aunt Naomi and Great Uncle Mark.  I think they all had fun.  Ben’s “firsts” for the trip include flying, sleeping in a hotel, swimming in a pool, and more.  He even went to his first Zoo.  Of course, he could care less about the animals at his age. 

 

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DSC03373In addition Ben has been working at improving some of his skills.  These days he love to play with his feet and he’s starting to use his fingers more.  He’s sitting up well (with a little help) and he’s trying to roll over.  He’s hasn’t mastered it yet, but he’s getting there.  The first time he did it no one saw.  He was playing on his “play gym” and Rebecca turned to him and noticed that he had flipped from his back to his front!  He’s done it a few other times but each with a bit of a nudge!  He loves to sleep on his side now.  When you lay him down on his back, he just flips himself right onto his side to sleep, it is really cute.  The down side is that due to all of his new abilities, Ben is no longer allowed to be swaddled in the blanket for sleeping.  He still sleeps pretty well but he tends to wake up more at night.

 

Here’s some more great pictures:

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Last week I had a chance to spend a whole day with Ben.  Unfortunately, my wife’s grandfather passed away (more on that in a future post).  The funeral was in Arizona and since several of the family members out there had some kind of virus, we were advised not to bring Ben.  So the only option was for Rebecca to fly out and back without us.  Rebecca left at around 5 am on Tuesday and took the red-eye back that night, getting home at 9 am Wednesday morning!  I had never spent that much time alone with Ben.  As a matter of fact, neither had Rebecca.  She’s alone with him a lot while I am at work but I’m there at night to help out.  Well Ben and I made it through the day but we were sure glad to see mom when she got back!


I spent the entire day in the 3 hour feeding cycle.  This kid eats all the time!  But we had an eventful day as I was determined to not be stuck at the house all day.  We ran a few errands, went for a long walk and generally had fun.  Ben’s really cool these days because he loves to smile and “play around”.  Now if I stick my tongue out at him, he’ll stick his back at me.  That has got to be the greatest thing I have ever seen.  Of course, he does have his moments when he is irritable.  Usually a burp or a diaper change does the trick.  But sometimes he is just cranky which, I admit, can make me cranky too.  Sometimes he’ll just cry or grunt or kick his legs around and slam them down onto the bed, crib, floor, or whatever he is lying on.  That got me thinking about what goes through his head.  I was wondering, what happens when a baby has an itch?  You know how it is when you have an itch, you just have to scratch it.  But he’s only 10 weeks old, he can’t scratch an itch (or do anything else for that matter).  So maybe that is why he is crying? Maybe that is why he kicks his legs around?  I mean, at his age, an itch might feel like something on his leg and he’s trying to shake it off. Anyway, that is just one example of the kind of stuff I think about. 


I have a heightened respect for my wife who stays home with Ben.  I say “heightened” as opposed to “new” because I always knew it was a tough, sometimes stressful or irritating job to be with a baby all day long.  Of course it is fun too.  But she seems to get a lot of stuff done in addition to taking great care of little Benny.  I had a hard time getting out the door and back in time to feed him.  I guess you get better at it when you do it all the time.  I was pretty tired that night, but I still had a few feedings to go and I had never done the 3 am feeding at all.  Plus, I don’t have breasts ready to go when Ben is hungry.  I’ve got to have bottles ready just when he wants them. 


In the end it was a tiring but fun day and I was glad that I got to have the experience of taking care of my boy for that long a period.  I think a lot of dads don’t get that experience because breast feeding mom can’t usually be away that long.  By the way, we were lucky we followed the advice of experts and kept a supply of milk around for emergencies!


OK, here are some recent pics of Benny…


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OK life has officially changed.  Today Rebecca and I went shopping at BJ’s, a “Big Box” store near us.  Ben was great through the whole thing.  Maybe that wasn’t such a good thing.  Had he cried, we might have left in a hurry and I’d have been able to keep my shirt.  Instead, we took our time and I spent $350!  Ouch.  I have a feeling we saved a lot of money though, some of the deals seemed pretty good.  What’s next, a mini-van?

For the first few weeks of Ben’s life, we swaddled him at bed time.  He seemed to enjoy it (most of the time).  If you aren’t familiar with the term, swaddling is pretty much wrapping the baby in a special blanket so they feel safe and secure.  Anyway when Ben was younger (now he is old, 7 weeks!) he started fussing and usually found a way to wiggle his arms out of the swaddle.  Then we swaddled him with his arms out.  But eventually we gave up because the whole thing seemed to stress him out.

The other day a friend suggested we try it again since her baby seemed to love it.  My sister is a big fan of it too.  So we gave it a try.  At bed time we bundled the little guy up and put him into his basinet.  Well much to our surprise, this kid slept for 5 hours! For the past few weeks the best we got was 3 – 3.5 hours at a time.  That is a pretty big difference!  At one point, when Ben had been asleep for about 4 hours Rebecca woke me up.  “Do you think Ben is OK?  He hasn’t woken up yet.”  Keep in mind, Ben sleeps 2 feet from Rebecca’s side of the bed, so it was clear that he was OK.  So she basically woke me up to tell me that Ben was still asleep.  In the morning, my wife was still worried that he didn’t like it, she felt bad wrapping him up.  I said, “he slept for 5 hours and didn’t make a peep – no crying or anything!”  I’m no baby expert, but to me it sounds like he enjoyed being swaddled.  Plus, Ben is not the shy and silent type.  If he were unhappy, he would have let us know.  Last night was the second night in a row that we tried it.  He actually sleep for almost 6 hours!  Do you think we’ll try it again tonight?

While I am here, I might was well include a few recent pictures…

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This Saturday, Ben will be six weeks old.  Time really flies and I haven’t posted the amount of pictures that I had planned.  Oh well.


So what’s going on these days?  Well today our little champ weighed in at 8 lbs, 13 oz!  Since last week he gained almost 1 pound!  This guy is eating up a storm and gaining weight.  Don’t worry though, as much as he has grown, he is still in the 10th percentile for his age!  He may be small, but he’s trying. 


I stayed home for about a week and a half with Rebecca and Ben so I’ve been back at work for a while now.  The first few weeks were pretty tough, especially for Rebecca since the doctors advised us to keep Ben away from crowds during flu season.  The two of them were pretty cooped up at home.  Luckily it was a mild winter and Rebecca was able to go for walks with Ben.  Ben started out sleeping pretty well but that deteriorated a bit.  These days he tends to sleep for a few hours, then wake, eat, and sleep again.  All in all, I hear we are pretty lucky – some babies are up all night!  Since he was small, we had him eating every 2 hours which is very demanding on Rebecca.  We’re trying to get to a 3 hour schedule now but Ben is used to eating often and really likes it.


About a week ago I noticed a pretty big change in Ben.  All of a sudden, he seems to be able to entertain himself for periods of time.  Now he loves to lay under the play gym and watch his animals.  He even smacks them with his arm sometimes, but that might be a complete accident, I am not sure yet.  Also, he really looks around a lot and follows us with his eyes.  He’s becoming so much more alert and I can see things getting more fun.  Let’s face it (don’t get mad at me) but for the first few weeks, these babies aren’t so exciting. They are cute and all, but they don’t do much.  It looks like we’ll be interacting with Ben more and more from now on!!!


note – you can click on the images to view a larger version!















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Here’s me and Ben, his first week home!
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Ben’s getting ready to go out with his mom.
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This was Ben’s first bath!
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He’s so little at 2 weeks.
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Sound asleep at 3 weeks.
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He sure loves his mommy!
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5 weeks.  He’s getting bigger.
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He’s “playing” in the gym.