Tuesday, January 30, 2007

2 teeth

[posted by bkmarcus]
Now that Benjamin has 2 (count 'em: 2!) teeth, Nathalie has given him a toothbrush:


[posted by bkmarcus]
Nathalie lined up all of Benjamin's stuffed moose and hid Benjamin among them. Can you spot him? (Hint: she's put him in the big moose's vest!)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Benjamin's First Snow

[posted by bkmarcus]


Saturday, January 13, 2007

sixième moisniversaire!

[posted by Nat]
Mon cher petit Benjamin,

I have already broken one New Year's resolution, which was to post your monthly letter on time. Oh well.

You are half a year old. I can't believe that six months ago you were a puffy-faced newborn who could barely see 8 inches from his own face. Now you are an all-seeing six-month-old who observes everything we do with great attention and who seems to have incredible hearing (when I hide noise-making toys, you immediately turn in the direction of the hiding place, and when you hear your papa coming from another part of the house, you turn towards the door to see him come in). Six months ago you had wavy dark brown hair and now you have straight golden brown hair. You still have blue eyes, though.

You are now quite the pro at sitting. When you are tired you still topple backwards easily, but now you know how to grab my hand when I offer it and pull yourself up. You also do amazing yoga-like stretches to get what you want. The other day your shoe box of Legos was a foot or so away, and you leaned forward, a little to the side, all the way down (your stomach was touching your legs), grabbed the box with a couple of fingers, and pulled it towards you. It was amazing to watch. You, of course, had no idea how amazing it was and proceeded to empty out the box and suck on some Lego bricks.

Your Legos were a Christmas present. You didn't really understand what all these packages under the tree were about, but you certainly liked ripping wrapping paper off gifts and we had to keep ribbons out of your hands because you would have loved to chew on them. You got lots of neat presents -- soft blocks, a Latin version of The Cat in the Hat, a Peruvian drum, a wooden puzzle, a numbers book with works of art from around the world, a nice soft blanket to sit on (and later to wrap yourself in when reading a good book), a white bear (that I've named Blanche-Neige), a kitty, and a puppy (plush toys, of course!), a musical shape sorter, just to name a few. You have gotten very good at playing by yourself for maybe 10 minutes at a time, though sometimes this playtime is interrupted by you falling backwards (less and less though).

One of my favorite sounds these days is your laugh. You love to play "coucou" (French version of a peek-a-boo) and laugh and laugh and laugh as your parents pop out of different hiding places or when we put a small blanket over your head and lift it up so that you can hide too. We also have a tickle game that often results in lots of giggling. I give you raspberries around your ears and you giggle and squirm and grab my hair. You also love puppets -- a blue goat named Monsieur Emissaire, a moose in a sleeping bag (Monsieur Elan ), and a washcloth duck. Wish I could capture the sound of that bubbly giggle because it really makes my day.

The big news, of course, is that you began to babble just before your moisniversaire. Well, sort of. One evening you were on our bed chewing a toy and a torrent of phonemes poured out of your mouth all of a sudden. This continued a while later in your bath. But since then you have limited the phonemes mostly to "ma ma ma," "ba ba ba," an occasional "la la la," some throaty noises and a few squeals. An article at BabyCenter.com suggested that we answer your babbles, but every time we try to strike up a conversation, you become quiet and stare at our mouths with wide-eyed interest. (Which reminds me: one of the best ways to calm you when you are fussy is to go through the alphabet making the sounds of each letter -- ah-ah-ah, buh-buh-buh, k-k-k, etc. -- en français, bien sûr!).

(or download)

You went to the pediatrician's on your moisniversaire -- I made the appointment without thinking that it would mean you would get more nasty shots on the day you turned six-months-old. You are now 27 inches long (still 90th percentile) and you officially weigh as much as or perhaps even more than Lutèce at 16 pounds and 10 ounces, a weight that keeps you in the 50th percentile. I have to admit that I was sure you weighed more -- which is not to say gaining 2 pounds in 2 months is bad. You aren't a thin baby, just lanky. The pediatrician said your growth would probably slow down now.

He also gave the OK (again) for solids. You have been eating cereal since Thanksgiving and we've also introduced carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, and bananas (perhaps a little early...). You seem to like these fruits and vegetables and are particularly fond of a banana and pear purée I make for you (since banana is "binding" and pear is the opposite). This week we are going to try squash and apples (not at the same time, of course). I have frozen cubes of purées for you, though I'm a little reluctant to give you the carrot purée I made because though the carrots are organic, there is a slight (very slight) risk of nitrate poisoning and I forgot to ask your doctor's advice on that. Yesterday you tasted Gerber's organic pear purée and ... you didn't like it very much. We'll see how some of the other Gerber fruits and veggies are, but I have a feeling that the homemade stuff is tastier.

You did amazingly well with your shots -- 3 this time. You screamed and cried during the second and third shots, but calmed down very quickly. You were not as excited about being at the pediatrician's this time around -- you cried a little when the nurse weighed you (sitting up!!! -- perhaps the scale was too cold for your naked bottom?) and seemed concerned every time she came in. She was, of course, the one who gave you the shots at the end of the appointment).

Unfortunately, the shots made for an unhappy weekend since you had a fever for a couple days and obviously did not feel well. You even refused to eat oatmeal and I really had to coax you to eat banana-pear purée. In fact, as you tightened your lips and even turned them inwards when I tried to feed you oatmeal I became very aware that this was your first major "NO!" communication. Well, maybe the second because a couple months ago you would turn away and struggle when I tried to breastfeed you (glad you got over that!).

Last month I mentioned that your smile in the morning when I get out of bed might eventually make me into a morning person. Now I'd like to add that I really enjoy lying in bed and listening to you babble in your crib. It's also fun to come into your room and see what position you are in the crib because you are constantly rotating yourself around there -- which also means, unfortunately, that you sometimes get your feet stuck between the bars.

You are a pretty good sleeper. You often fall asleep within 5 or 10 minutes of being put in your crib, sometimes you cry a little, but it doesn't last long. For a few weeks this month you would wake after 40 or more minutes and cry until I fed you. I'm not sure what that was about, but I suspect you were having trouble shifting from one stage of sleep to another (I really recommend Ferber's chapter on sleep for better understanding the stages of sleep and how a baby's sleep patterns develop). You still eat one or two times during the night -- usually around midnight (if you don't wake, I feed you anyway so that I can get more uninterrupted sleep!) and sometimes around 4 or 5 a.m. A few times you've been able to sleep from your late night feed until at least 7:20 and I am guessing (and hoping) that that will happen more and more.

You are still not the greatest napper. You go to sleep OK, but you usually wake up after about 30 minutes (though as I write you are taking your morning nap and you've been asleep for an hour! I wonder if the oatmeal for breakfast is helping you sleep more). I've shifted you to a 2-nap schedule, but you still take a short afternoon nap. Maybe that's the trade-off for sleeping 11 or so hours at night.

Since it has taken me a week to write this post, I'll add that during week one of month six you have started lunging forward from the sitting position, often ending up on your tummy which you enjoy until you realize that you can't flip over (I keep thinking that you are the opposite of a beetle that has fallen on its back and lies there waving its legs in the air). These lunges are bringing you ever closer to crawling. You do love to stand and to have us walk you around, but I suspect that when you can crawl you'll be more interested in exploring what's under the furniture and chasing the cats. You are so interested in the world around you these days that sometimes it even distracts you from eating. You want to touch -- and taste -- everything. I love to watch you grab things with you little sea anemone hands, those graceful little fingers waving gently before becoming little crab pincers.

Bisous mon petit amour,


Monday, January 01, 2007

what a difference a year makes

[posted by bkmarcus]

we're so trendy

[posted by bkmarcus]
Girl Names
Boy Names

I find it interesting that in the top 25 boy's names for 2006, you find Aiden, Caden, Jayden, and Brayden ...

If Benjamin had been a girl, her name would have been Sophie, which is #63 for girls in 2006 -- still in the top 100. (But Sophie would have been short for Philosophie, which I'll be isn't even in the top 1,000 names!)

You can read the rest of the list here.

- papa