Every fall for the last seven years, Grand Rapids, MI, the next-door, big sister city to our little hometown, holds a city-wide art competition called ArtPrize. Paintings, sculptures, photos, and live installations are exhibited on the sides of buildings, on street corners, in the museums, and in parking lots. We’ve made it a point to check it out at least once every year, even when we had a 3 day old Ben and overdue with Teddy.
I didn’t get any photos of the art but we did get some of our family!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
Today 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?
What is your favorite book?
What is your favorite animal?
This! *holds out a snowman cookie cutter*
What is your favorite song?
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We’re starting to see the boys playing together a lot more often and I can’t get enough!
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.