Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pick-Yer-Own Berries!

Note to self: do not take toddlers berry picking.  Wait until children are old enough to understand the concept of not squeezing the life out of the berry to get it off its stem.

On this glorious Saturday morning we decided to go berry picking at Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville.  We learned a lot about berry picking, mainly that toddlers and berry picking don’t really mix.  Ben spent most of his time picking berries to his heart’s content, most of them unripe, and stuffing them in his mouth as fast as he could.  I counted it lucky when he would actually pick them off the stem, but there were some unlucky occurrences when he picked up discarded berries from the dirt...yuck!

Tommy, bless his heart, was an earnest berry picker, but his technique was really lacking.  He would grab the strawberry and yank with all his might, only to make toddler-sized finger holes in the berry.  No amount of “Look, darling, pinch the stem like this and pull gently....see?”

would change his method.  We didn’t even want to tempt fate by picking the very delicate olallieberries with the boys. [An olallieberry is a cross between a loganberry and a young berry, each of which are crosses between blackberries and other, very squishy and juicy.]   We decided to just buy a few pints of olallieberries and call it a day.

After our adventure of berry picking, we ate a picnic lunch at a peaceful site on the farm.  They had an old tractor and haystack that the kids enjoyed playing on.  After we ate the food we brought, we indulged in some of the goodies the farm had to offer:  an apple cider slush, a slice of lemon meringue pie, and a slice of olallieberry pie.  A good time was had by all.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Monday with Daddy

Mark is taking off from work Monday through Wednesday so we can have a stay-cation.  Today was our first day of stay-cation and we had a lot fun this morning.  We ate a donut breakfast at our Cal-Train station and watched the big machines move dirt around.  Tommy and Ben were fascinated watching the excavators, wheel loaders, backhoes, and bulldozers all buzzing around.  I think we’ll be having a lot more weekend breakfasts here over the next few months to watch construction.  

After the boys got their fill of  watching the big machines, we went to the playground to burn off all the sugar they’d just ingested (to be honest, Ben just had a bagel with butter & honey, but it looked enough like the donuts big brother was having that he didn’t protest.)  Both kids ran around the playground climbing, jumping, swinging, sliding, and see-sawing until Daddy said “Time to go to the car wash!”    So off to the car wash we went. 

It’s really so much fun to go through a car wash and watch the kids’ faces as they look at the arms, brushes, and water working on the car. They’re interested, but also a bit unnerved by what is going on just a few inches away from their faces on the other side of their glass.  Despite their slight discomfort, Tommy is always so excited to go through the car wash and this made his morning.  

The boys have loved having Daddy all to themselves today...and I can’t wait to have Daddy all to myself the next two days!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bunk Beds

This is what we heard Saturday morning, around 6:15am: shuffle.... shuffle... THUMP.... shuffle.... shuffle....WAAAAHHHH!!!  These were the sounds of Ben climbing out of his crib, and then climbing into Tommy’s bed to wake him up.  Ben provided the THUMP, Tommy gave the scream.  Since we had nothing better planned for the day, we thought it was a good time to go get the boys a bunk bed and introduce Ben to the idea of staying in bed.  Ha!

Our trip to Ikea was pretty much what you’d think it would be with two toddlers...exhausting.  Tommy was in a sour mood all day because of the abrupt way he woke up, so he was incredibly whiney, clingy, and not fun to be around.  “Mommy, I want up!”.... “No, Mommy, I want to walk!”... “Waaaaah!”  Ben was a perfect angel.  

We set up the bed later in the afternoon after naps and the boys even helped Daddy put it together.  With their little toy hammers, they banged every square inch of wood they could find, and then some, and put screws in holes for Daddy.  We put Tommy in the top bunk for night time (we were too exhausted to handle bed training this night).  He loved it! 

On Sunday afternoon we took Ben’s crib apart and rearranged the boys’ room.  We put Ben in the bottom bunk for night time and began the training process.  After an hour of constantly popping him back in bed, he finally stayed put and fell asleep.  He only fell out of bed once during the night.  

I’m a bit sad that the crib part of Ben’s life was over so quickly and suddenly, but I have to remember that he’s a quick learner and a quick grower...he’s ready for this new step and he’s taken to his new bed quite well. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Benji is 16 Months

Benji turned 16 months old today.  At his latest well-child exam two weeks ago, he weighed 25 lbs and was 31.5” tall, both around the 55th %ile.  For the sake of comparison, at the same age Tommy was 29lbs and 35”, over 100% for both height/weight.  He’s totally healthy and is on or ahead of schedule for developmental milestones.

His favorite books are Peek-a-Who?, Moo, Baa, La La La!, and Where’s Baby’s Bellybutton?.  It was last month that he started to bring me books and want to sit in my lap to read them and I’m loving it!  

He says cup (“bup”),  light (“ice”), peekaboo (“pi-boo”), hello (“ra-row”), apple (“appoh”),  up, and mama.  It seems like he really wants to talk but just can’t figure out how to form the words.

He’s using a fork with ease and is just learning how to use a spoon.  He understand how a spoon works, but isn’t quite able to keep the food on it and get it to his mouth, which makes for some messy yogurt and oatmeal sessions!  

Ben loves playing with his big brother and is always mimicking him.  The boys play well together and often go off into their room and play together for up to 30 minutes.  I can hear Tommy saying things like “Ben, want to play in my room?  Want to do cars, Benji?” and off they go.  It’s heartwarming to hear my eldest be so caring with his little brother.