Happy Number 1, Teddy Bear!

It has already been a year since our Theodore John aka Teddy aka The Teds aka Teddy Bear aka Tedders aka Little Baby aka Ted-er-ino arrived to make our family four. First birthday posts are hard for me to write because almost everything changes about that baby in the course of a year and I get so nostalgic (and emotional) thinking about his sweet turned up nose and little newborn squeaks and grunts.

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While official weight and height stats are coming next week, I know he’s about the same as Ben was at one year at 20ish lbs and 30ish inches since they’re wearing the same clothes. If anything, Teddy is a bit shorter. He has 6 teeth with no signs of adding more anytime soon (although I’ve been mistaken before!). He is down to nursing only in the morning and eats everything we put in front of him. It’s not uncommon for him to polish off his whole plate of food and finish what Ben won’t touch. He can sign eat, milk, more, all done, and chew and doesn’t hesitate to let me know at 5:15 every night that he is ready for dinner.

UPDATE: Teddy’s 12 month checkup was today and he’s such a little peanut! He was only 18lb 9.5oz (11th %) and 29 inches tall (18th %). His head was 18.5″ (76th %) so we’re continuing the trend of large headed babies. I knew he felt smaller than Ben but that big of a difference surprised me. At 3 years, Ben is more or less average at 31 lb (42nd %) and 3 ft 1.5 inches (49th %).

Ben was so, so excited to meet Teddy at the hospital and our favorite thing has been watching the relationship of the two brothers grow along with Teddy. Ben was quick to shower attention and kisses on unsuspecting baby Theodore but now Teddy is big enough to give them right back! They don’t share toys well and have a hard time waiting for their parents’ undivided attention but play and wrestle so much more with every passing week. Opening Ben’s door in the morning and after naps (when he inevitably wakes first) is one of Teddy’s favorite times of the day.

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“Hi Baby Teddy”
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I can’t get over the fact that T looks a bit like a large mushroom with that giant helmet on his head
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Driving a Home Depot car cart is a huge hit with both the 3 and 1 year old crowds
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I’ve lost track of how many times the words “don’t squish your brother” have come out of my mouth in the last 12 months

Teddy loves his family, the kitties, his grandparents, his baabaa (burp cloth) and boppy (pacifier), eating everything ever, playing with his brother’s toys, any vehicle with wheels, wrestling, putting his hands and other small objects into Ben’s potty chair, singing songs, taking baths, reading books, trying to shove his boppy in Mommy’s mouth, giving kisses, and snuggling.

Teddy dislikes diaper changes, not being allowed to eat right this instant, green beans, thinking he has been left out of something fun, having to get naked instead of jumping in the bath with his clothes on, being denied access to the potty chair, and when Ben takes away toys he wants to play with. It was much harder to think of dislikes because The Teds is truly a naturally happy child and is content to do almost anything as long as he can be with his people.

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I love having a baby who likes being worn as much as I like wearing
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Photo cred: Meghan Mace Photography

Teddy can army crawl with an incredible amount of speed and it starting to pull himself up on anything he can reach. He’s been slower to learn new skills than Ben was because he’s just so content to sit where he was put and play with whatever he can reach. He’s caught on to the fact that there’s just so much more mischief he can get into if he can get himself from point A to B so I don’t think it will be too much longer before he starts walking.

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Hmmm, what have we here?

Happy birthday, my littlest little man!

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Teddy vs. Cake

We had a first birthday cake smash photoshoot with Teddy earlier this week. While Ben, at the same age, gingerly dipped one finger into the frosting and barely got messy, Teddy barreled across the room when he saw the cupcake on the floor and eagerly dove into it with both hands. He didn’t even let me put it down in front of him before he attacked. It was a lot of fun to watch! teddy-cake-smash-8492 teddy-cake-smash-8494 teddy-cake-smash-8495 teddy-cake-smash-8500 teddy-cake-smash-8518 teddy-cake-smash-8530 teddy-cake-smash-8531

Discipline

I’ll be the first to admit that my preferred state of activity is inactivity. I am, by nature, a lazy person. I figured if I was supposed to be active, the discipline to do so would be inherit.

I’ve come to realize after dwelling on the subject for some time that gaining discipline is like gaining patience. Not easy, usually trial-by-fire, and a lot of effort involved. I want to be a good example for my boys and to prove to myself that I can improve in this one area of my life.

So, I went for a run yesterday and didn’t die (although getting out of bed was a little difficult today).  

Ben is 3!

benny-3Today our Benjamin turns 3 years old. It’s cliché to say that time flies but I’m certain that this year went even faster than from 1 to 2. There is an activity floating around the internet where you ask your child the same set of questions every year to see how their answers change over time. I though this year would be a great year to start with Ben but I hadn’t counted on the fact that his attention span is similar in length to a goldfish! Over the course of a week, he’s given me enough answers (and pointed UN-answers) to fill out a post.

What is your name?
Benny! B-E-N spells me!

How old are you?
I got some sprinkles!

What is your favorite color?
I don’t know my favorite color is

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Cake! Birthday cake!

What is your favorite food?
Peanut butter and jelly

Who do you like to play with?
Emily

What is your favorite book?
*skillful evasion*

What is your favorite animal?
This! *holds out a snowman cookie cutter*

What is your favorite song?
*runs away*

What makes you laugh?
I laughed in my room. I shut the door

What do you like to do with your family?
Go for a drive and we go to the vacation house

What does Daddy do for work?
Daddy has a meeting and I have a pretend meeting

What does Mommy do for work?
Works inside

What is your favorite movie?
I don’t know. I like Toy Story!

What is your favorite show?
Um, Finding Nemo?

What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Play with Emily!

Where do you like to go on vacation?
The vacation house!

Happy birthday, my best big boy!

11 Months

Sweet Teddy boy is 11 months already! A good example of what an 11 month is like is what happened when I was nursing him before bed tonight. He was laying on my lap and pushed against the armrest of the chair to reach his pacifier on the end table. He popped the pacifier in his mouth and signed that he was all done. My tiny baby has opinions, can do things on his own, and can communicate his desires.

He figured out crawling and gets into everything now. Ben gets a little tired of defending his toys but we’re working how to give them both their own space.

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Reading with Mommy after a super short nap
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Neither boy napped so we climbed in the van, hit the road, swung through coffee drive through, and both boys passed out. Victory is mine!
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Teeth! Teddy has his two bottom middle teeth and the right middle and right canine. He’s cutely lopsided
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Playtime in the back of the van while Brian bought a tablesaw
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“Hello? Hi Grandma!”

We took a family trip to Binder Park Zoo where the biggest attraction is feeding the giraffes. Ben loved the giraffes as much as he did when we took him last summer.

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*All* of us had so much fun at the zoo
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“I wanna climb on the ant!”
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I call this “Toddler on a Tram”
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Snuggle baby
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Llama llama, wakey wake!
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WHAT IS THIS?! HE IS SNUGGLING ME!
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Teddy’s first ride on Sandy the Pony at Meijer
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He is a BIG fan of spaghetti and meatballs
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Teddy loves grabbing my face. I am not as big of a fan
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Partying hard and having dinner at the park because SUMMER!

Colorado or Bust!

At the end of July, our family took off for a nearly two week long road trip to Colorado for lots of family time and camping at Rocky Mountain National Park. Camping, even in a pop-up camper, with two small kids isn’t always fun but we enjoyed hiking in the mountains and exploring outside. It took us some time to figure out what worked for us (hiking only in the morning, must be back to the campground for naps, quick and simple meals, etc). Ben loved roasting marshmallows, climbing on rocks, and lots of time with Daddy. Teddy learned to army crawl while we were camping so I spent a lot of time trying to keep him from eating grass and rocks.

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Perfect illustration of what living with a toddler is like
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These deer traipsed through our campsite our first night there. Hello nature!
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Looking for fish in Bear Lake
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Home sweet camper
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Gorgeous, vibrant thistle
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Teddy’s first ice cream!
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Ben playing with one of his surprise toys next to his “mountain”
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We borrowed my parents’ collapsible wagon for Teddy; he loved going for rides!
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(L to R): Dad, Ben, Brian, littlest sister, Mom at Sprague Lake
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Hiking with T at Sprague Lake
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Top of the world!
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Ben had more energy (and fewer problems with the altitude) than I did
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We spent a lovely morning at Holzwarth Historic Site, a 1920s rustic resort in the mountains
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Colorado River
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Oh, my heart!

We up followed our camping adventure with 4 nights in the lovely area of Breckenridge, CO. We stayed in a house where there was enough space for all of us to have our own space to sleep, a washer and dryer for me to get laundry done, and internet so Brian could work a bit. It was great to get back to something close to our normal routine for a few days before driving home again. We even had a chance to meet up with the Crowd Favorite staff in Denver for lunch.

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Art installation in Breckenridge
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We played on lots of playgrounds all over Colorado
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Even the big boys got to play!
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Playground around the corner from the Crowd Favorite office in Denver
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Road trip buddy

10 Months

At his 9 month check up only a few weeks ago, Teddy was 18 lbs (18th %), 28 inches (24th %), and had an 18 inch head (65th %). He’s both lighter and shorter than Ben was at this age, which is weird to all of us because T is so much stockier than Ben has ever been. He’s really comfortable, with plenty of growing room, in 9 month clothes so he’ll probably be wearing them until or even past his birthday. He got one shot at his appointment but barely squawked.

Teddy is sitting, army-crawling, and rolling everywhere. Ben continues to struggle with sharing toys and Teddy is really good at testing Ben’s limits. They make each other cry on occasion but most problems can still be solved with hugs and kisses.

Theodore eats almost everything I give him so, with a few substitutions, he pretty much eats with the rest of the family now. Three cheers for only cooking one meal!

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Teddy’s first beach trip was a little cold so he was happy to hang with me in the shade

We’re starting to see the boys playing together a lot more often and I can’t get enough!

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Stole his brother’s sippy cup. Guess it’s time for him to have his own!
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Ice cream and baby toes
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Teddy had peanut butter for the first time and his squeals of excitement nearly deafened me
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My helper boy making banana bread
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HOME DEPOT! AAAAAH!
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Cupcakes should always be eaten from the top down
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Scrambled eggs were one of the last few foods we needed watch for an allergic reaction. Safe and went over well!
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We met some insanely competitive ducks at the park
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Dinosaur riding
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Playing with the big boy toys while the bigger boy napped

 

Happy Independence Day 

 

Benny and Brian at the parade
  
Teddy and me at the parade
  
Teddy’s first time in a swing. He was all smiles!
  
Ben discovered my silicone cupcake cups this morning and carried them around all day
  
M’ boys
  
“Sup?”
 

9 Months

How has it been 9 months already? I know Teddy is getting big and all but 9 months seems like it should feel a lot longer ago than it does.

Teddy is round, happy, hungry, loving, learning, and almost too cute for words. He has learned so much in the last month! He gives kisses on request now so every night at bed time after I read him a book, I have to find Brian and Ben so Teddy can give kisses. I think he enjoys it as much as we do. Teddy loves playing peek-a-boo and does so whenever the mood strikes: while nursing, getting dressed, playing on the floor, sitting in the car… He hides his face with his baabaa (the much-loved burp cloth) or his hands and smiles from ear to ear when he uncovers his eyes. He loves touch-and-feel books and giggles to himself whenever he pets something fuzzy. His babbling is starting to sound more intentional, especially the sounds he makes when he sees Brian (dadadada), me (mumumum), the cat (kkkkkkk), and puffs (fffff).

Teddy isn’t crawling yet but I have a feeling that will happen in the next month. He ninja rolls everywhere and is good at correcting the direction so he can reach what he set out for but there are times where he gets angry that the toy he wants is just beyond his reach. I’ve seen him push forward with his toes and lift his belly off the floor so it’s bound to happen sooner rather than later. He might not be crawling but he sits like a champ now. His favorite activity, just like Ben, is to sit in front of a basket of toys and slowly, methodically empty it out onto the floor. It’s simple but it keeps him amused for at least 30 minutes so it’s a win!

The Tedders is always hungry, no joke. He reaches for anything we are eating so we’ve gone full-tilt into finger food. We worked on using his fingers to pinch for a few days and he caught on fast. He loves cheese, black beans, bits of fruit, cheerios, puffs, green beans, chicken, pasta, peas, and blueberries.  He’s still nursing 3 times a day and it doesn’t seem like he wants to give that up anytime soon. I’ve started giving him a cup of water and he thinks it’s about the funniest thing he’s ever done; he giggles constantly as he tries to drink.

He has had a healthy month, thank God! The week after his 8 month milestone he cut his front bottom teeth (while Ben and I were sick and Brian was out of town). He was a pretty good teether, as they go. He was extra clingy so I wore him more often and did less housework so we could snuggle while he played.

Theodore is a bit of a chunk but only because he’s proportionally shorter than he is heavy. He’s our short and wide boy! He doesn’t go to the pediatrician for another few weeks but when I weighed him a few weeks back he was just over 18 lbs but 6 month clothes still fit pretty well for length. He gets his shortness from his mama! He is wearing 9 month clothes for the width and since its warm enough most days to go pantsless, leg length isn’t an issue. His girth is almost too much for babylegs but we make it work.

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Beefy baby arms!
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The boy napped so hard he left a handprint on his face!
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WHOA TEDDY!
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Cheeseface!
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My dinner helper
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Important moment: Teddy’s first french fry
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Attack of the slobbery baby kisses!
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Baths are suddenly way more fun now that he can sit and splash
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Family photo at the playground on Father’s Day. It’s a bit of a miracle that everyone is looking in the same direction
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Ben had a sleepover at Grammy and Papa’s so we played hooky and took off to the beach with the baby. Teddy ate a huge dinner and passed out on the walk back to the car
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Playtime with Mr. T
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Strike a pose!
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Hi there, Chunk-chunk!
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Teddy ADORES spending time with his Daddy and Ben

8 Months

8 months seems really old but our Theodore really is getting big!

The month started with Brian leaving for a trip to Las Vegas for Loopconf. A short stop at my parents’ house after bringing Brian to the airport turned into an impromptu sleepover for Benny. Teddy and I spent our time together going for a walk, running errands, and hanging photos in Ben’s room. It was kind of relaxing to have only one child for a day. The boys and I had lots of fun while Daddy was away but were thrilled that he came home in time for Mother’s Day and his birthday.

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Drive-in theater in the living room
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Outside!
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This kid!
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Tummy time outside
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Snuggles with Mommy on Mother’s Day

Teddy rolls like he was born doing it now. He’s also figured out that rolling can get him to places previously out of reach like Ben’s toys. He is particularly fond of the vintage Little People garage, sucking on the Little People’s heads, and hitting things with a toy golf club.

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Play kitchens: Great for imaginative toddlers AND curious babies
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Golf club!

We’re working on sitting now too. Learning to sit unassisted is such a gradual process and it’s not like first roll or first steps where there is a moment you can point to as the beginning. He loves sitting in front of his walker toy and attempt to manipulate all the slides, shapes, balls, and noisemakers but will tip himself over on purpose if he doesn’t want to sit anymore.

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Sitting pretty (also, that hair!!!)
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Playing together

Teddy loves his people and “his people” encompasses pretty much everyone he meets. His daddy, brother, and grandparents all have special places in his heart. He gives glorious, slobbery, open-mouth kisses when you ask.

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Grammy!
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A sneak peek of what happens in our house between 5 and 7 pm

Sleep training has been going really well; I’ve even gotten to “sleep through the night” a few times in the last 30 days. We’ve completely dropped Teddy’s 5-6 AM feeding and if he wakes up, he can put himself back to sleep with minimal intervention from me. With Brian working crazy, odd hours lately, it’s good that I’m getting (reliably) better quality sleep.

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Turns out, Teddy is a tummy sleeper

We spent Memorial Day weekend at a Civil War reenactment at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI. This was Teddy’s first event and the kickoff to the summer reenacting season in Michigan. The weather was perfect, the boys were fabulously behaved, and we had more stress-free fun over the weekend than we’ve had in our two previous summers of reenacting with kids. Staying at a hotel instead of tent camping made all the difference in the world!

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Playing outside
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Chowing down on bread and totally happy
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Our family! Photo courtesy of Ken Giorlando

Teddy eats like a champ and will put everything in his mouth, given the opportunity. I’ve been working with Ben on keeping paper books, flash cards, and pieces of cereal off the floor and out of Teddy’s reach. Ben is struggling with suddenly being expected to share toys so it’s rare that I have to remind him to move his toys away from his brother.

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The first roadblock to Teddy’s love of all food: Green beans. His face says it all!

We heard over and over again at our reenactment last week that Teddy is the best behaved, most relaxed, happiest, smiliest, most content baby ever. So far, that’s proven to be true! He had one more short-lived ear infection this month (less than 12 hours of fussiness) but even that didn’t bring our boy down for long.

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We bought an exersaucer to keep outside for Teddy. He loves it!