Benjamin 6 and 7 months


Better late than never?

Benji 6 months (2)

This is my absolute favorite way to have Benji—on the changing table in just his diaper. I cannot resist his pudge and his rolls and the way he grabs his feet and sucks on them. I squish him and kiss him and tickle him and we both LOVE it.

Benji 6 months (13)

Benji 6 months old

Yes, that’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit, and yes, it has a half-shell cape.

6 month Collage

Since I’m writing this late I’m going to do my best to remember all he was doing a month ago, but some of the details are a bit fuzzy so give me some grace.

Right around the 6 month mark, we tried giving Benji some food. I mashed up some banana and fed it to him (Ellery even helped!) and for a couple days in a row he LOVED it. Then, the next day he gave the most disgusted faces and would just spit it right back out. We have tried lots of baby food (homemade and store bought) and he is still not a fan AT. ALL. So, we will keep trying, but not pushing it. Some kids skip the baby food stage, so maybe that’ll be Ben, too.

Since he started rolling over he was also occasionally rolling onto his tummy while sleeping. Now, it is all the time. He rolls on his tummy and cuddles his little elephant and it is the cutest thing. He started pushing up a lot more on his arms while on his tummy and reaching for toys.

He started being able to sit by himself for short periods of time. And we think that we have heard an occasional “dada” in some babbling, but it is few and far between. He is very vocal, but it is mostly yelling and not sounds.

He’s really starting to gain on his stuffed dog.

7 months Ben (9)

Can you handle more cuteness?

7 month Collage

Benji 7 months old

Well, he is not far from crawling! We went to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving (which was wonderful) and spent a lot of time with their almost one year old cousins. They were crawling all around the whole time. When we got there all he could do was push up on his arms, but then he started pushing up on his toes and planking. Then he got up on his knees and started rocking. Now, he is doing all those things and starting to move his legs and arms. He is capable of all of the steps of crawling, but hasn’t been able to put them all together yet. Still, he can get a lot of places already just be rotating himself around on the ground which means he is already getting into a lot of things. Which means he is going to be into EVERTHING as soon as he figures it all out. He is also able to support himself on one arm and reach for things with the other—like the low hanging Christmas ornaments that Ellery grouped on the tree for him.

He is a champ at sitting up by himself now. He can also get himself down on his tummy from sitting most of the time in a very controlled way. He sits and rocks himself and then reaches with both hands to try to snatch things up. He is definitely doing all he can to try and keep up with his big sister. I’m pretty sure that Ellery is his favorite person and he loves to watch her. Unfortunately he also grabs for her at every chance he gets, which usually means he has a fistful of hair. And it’s not just Ellery’s hair, but mommy’s hair and daddy’s beard hair, too.

He still usually takes 3 naps a day. I have tried phasing out the evening one, but he just gets too tired and so I figure he’ll let me know when he doesn’t need it anymore. He also still gets up at least 2 or 3 times a night to nurse. We have tried a lot of things to try to help him sleep for longer periods at night, but I’m trying to accept that this might just be what he needs right now. (My theory is that maybe if he slept less during the day he’d sleep more at night, but again, he’s kind of set in the schedule he’s in right now.)

He’s still not interested in eating any kind of solid food, but he also has no sign of teeth yet. He has been blowing raspberries which he thinks is super amusing (we do too).

So this is a little blurry, but too funny not to share. Ellery always wants to get in on the fun. I’m sure that each picture could have it’s own caption contest, and they really capture their personalities right now.

ellie and benji Collage

Benjamin 5 Months


A little late, but here are Benji’s monthly pictures.

ben 5 months (2)

Ben 5 months old

5 month Collage

Our little porkchop is over 15 pounds now and is still as sweet as ever. He is such a friendly little guy and loves people. He certainly has started recognizing faces (even those that he doesn’t get to see very often) and LOVES hearing his name. He gives especially big smiles when you tell him that he’s handsome, which he hears a lot, because, come on, look at that face.

He can sit by himself for a pretty decent amount of time before toppling over these days. In fact, he sat in the laundry basket for his photo shoot for quite some time. He certainly loves these advances in independence. I think he is going to love it when he learns to crawl and is able to get himself to all the things that he sees and wants. Although I’m hoping we still have a while before he gets quite to that stage. He can definitely scoot though, especially on our hardwood floors. He just pushes his little self backwards further and further. He is SUCH  mover and always rolls to his belly when laid down and loves kicking and jumping and standing (with help of course). We have started putting him in his jumper and he really enjoys bouncing and swinging.

He loves his big sister and watches her a lot more to see what she’s doing throughout the day. I definitely think he’s going to do whatever he can to keep up with her as quickly as he can. He is also very sensitive to her and there have been a few times where he as seen her throw and fit and then he starts crying uncontrollably. Ellery is very much still learning how to share and take turns and we know it won’t be too long before he starts taking her toys and the like. At this point though she is still Ben’s biggest fan and loves lying next to him and talking to him.

I hear a lot of mamas talk about how their nursing babies stare into their eyes lovingly as they nurse them. Well, Ben doesn’t usually do this, but instead will lie back when he is all done and smile and giggle at me and it is adorable. It is amazing to me how much nursing seems to help him. He can go from being so upset to being absolutely calm and happy. It’s pretty awesome. I am still so thankful that I was able to pump for Ellery, but I am SO thankful that Ben and I have had such a different journey with breastfeeding.

He has discovered his feet and loves grabbing them while lying on the changing table, between that and the rolling he can make it quite a challenge. He has also started to discover his voice and does a lot of babbling and yelling these days. I am stunned by the sheer volume that this tiny little person can come up with. He has gone back to nursing several times a night especially since he was sick for about a week and a half with a cold. It is so hard to watch your kid be sick especially when they are so little and you feel helpless to make them feel better. He seems to be feeling better now so we are praying that we can stay healthy for a little while.

ben 5 months (4)

I just love those cheeks. He’s kind of a little guy, but he just has the most adorable rolls. He still loves being tickled and getting/giving kisses and getting raspberries on his tummy. You’ve just gotta watch out for him grabbing your hair or face—that boy can pinch! We love him anyway.

Also, he’s got his daddy’s eyes, and I love that. :)

Beach Bathroom Update


I have a goal to give a virtual tour of our house room-by-room showing updates and letting some people see our house that never have.

Let’s start with the bathroom! I originally showed it here, but have added a few things to make it more beachy or coastal.

Welcome to our little bathroom!

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There are no windows, so it’s going to look like the walls are different colors without the natural light, but I promise they are all a teal/aqua color. The mirror on the side used to be in our dining room, but got an update with some white paint.

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These hooks are from IKEA and not only add some fun pops of color, but work really well for hanging towels at kid’s height. That way, in the future, our kids can hang up their own towels. It’ll happen, right? And we’ve discovered they also work really well for hanging a potty seat when not in use. Just saying.

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This little nook got all of sorts of DIY updates.

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Mike built the top crate for me out of pallet wood and the bottom crate I found at a barn sale. The sand and shells in jars are from various beaches that I have been to. I still don’t have sand from Mexico though (where we went on our honeymoon and didn’t bring any back).

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He also built the mason jar tooth brush holder. Yay! I have wanted one of these for quite some time. There is an old faucet head on the bottom to hang a hand towel on. I was tired of having to reach my wet hands over the toilet to dry them and dripping on the seat. This is a perfect solution for a tight space. I made the simple “beach” sign with some driftwood from one of our NC vacations.

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This is my latest watercolor creation. I love experimenting with the paint and what I can do with it. I free handed the anchor and used watercolor pencils for the words. I also used some fabric to create my own matte. This painting is on the wall now that we added something to hang it on.

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Our pedestal sink is still here! Also makes good use of a tight space. Hubby built the step stool so that Ellery can reach the faucet.

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This is a clock that I redid by adding all of the sections with different scrapbook paper and used gold, glitter numbers.

bathroom current (1)

So, there you have it. It doesn’t stay this clean for long (the rug was in the wash—ha!) and it is usually pretty cluttered with kid’s toys and paraphernalia. But I love the little things that we added to make it fun and our own.

Fall Mantle for Free


Happy Fall!

First of all, is it “mantel” or “mantle”? I went back and forth with which one to use for the title, but it was mostly just eenie meenie miney moe.

Did you know that my AH-MAZING hubby built me a mantle/mantel/shelf for my birthday? Cuz he did and is one of my favorite things in our house. I went back and forth (indecisive much?) with painting it or staining it and decided on a dark stain and I am SO glad I did. Dark wood tones have really been growing on me as of late.

I didn’t really have a season or holiday to decorate for so I first just put some things on it to fill the space.

Oh, and p.s. there is an air vent on the wall right next to him. I’m trying to decide if this will bother be forever or if I’m okay with it. What do you think? There were a limited number of walls where we could put the shelf and both of them had an air vent. Should I paint it to blend in with the wall? Does it distract too much? Did you not really notice it until I pointed it out? Help me.

mantle (1)

You see how amazing it is, now don’t you? Wanna know a fun secret? The front is also a drawer that we keep our remotes in. LOVE it. Beauty and function.

Anyway, now autumn is upon us and I knew it was the perfect time to inaugurate that beautiful mantle with some decorating. Oh, and it was all for free.

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The books are Goodwill finds (from our wedding) that are wrapped in brown paper and turned around for the texture of the pages.

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The yellow lanterns I found at a barn sale a little while ago and this is the first time I have used them.

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The felt leaf garland I made last year by just cutting out several leaf shapes in autumnal colors and strung them together with some yellow yarn.

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I am especially fond of this wreath. It is made of pom poms! I was inspired by this wreath and spent a little time recently making all the pom poms, hot glued them to circle frame leftover from a clock, and hung it on an old frame with some Indian corn ribbon. I love how it kind of looks like a wreath of mums from farther away.

fall mantel (1)

I finished it off with some fake leaves I got from Michael’s several years ago. It’s amazing what you can pull together from stuff you already have.

fall mantel

Here is is on the wall with our two windows that I painted and distressed.

How are you decorating for fall?
What should I do about that vent?

Thanks for reading.

Benjamin 4 months


4 months old Benji (2)

4 months old

This has been a BIG month for our little guy.

4 month Collage

Most notable would probably have to be the start of rolling over. He did it from tummy to back and we were so amazed, but then a week later he did it from back to tummy and now he hasn’t stopped. Seriously ever time we put him down on his back he flips right over. He can flip again, but he usually forgets and gets mad after a while that he’s stuck on his tummy—especially at night so that’s fun. Still, we’re very proud of our little mover. Sometimes he can be quite content if he just manages to roll to his side and stay there. He is still taking around 3 naps a day and sleeping well through the night. I pretty much always make a trip(or two or three) to his room at night to either give him back his pacifier, flip him over, or feed him, but he always goes back down fairly quickly so that helps. It’s funny how your body just seems to adjust to the sleep it’s gunna get. He has also gone back and forth with wanting to be swaddled. Sometimes it’s the missing piece of the puzzle to get him to relax and fall asleep. Sometimes he WILL break out of it no matter what and doesn’t seem to want to be contained.

He has really started to discover his hands (or whatever he can find to bring up to his mouth). He likes to fold his hands and put the bottoms of his feet together. His grasp has really improved and he is grabbing toys all the time. Sometimes Ellery brings him toys (awwhhh) and sometimes she takes them from him (we’re working on it). He has also started to grab hair so I have to be ever watchful when she is near him so that he doesn’t take a chunk out. Of course when he grabs my hair it seems to always be the little ones on the back of my neck—eeek!

He will sometimes wake up happy and lay in his crib and coo and talk and slam his legs down on his mattress. He will then start to smile as soon as he hears your voice talking to him, even before he sees a face. Ellery still loves getting in his crib with him and “bouncing”. He is very ticklish and I have gotten REAL LAUGHS when I have tickled him. He also loves giving and receiving kisses and squeels with delight when thrown up in the air.

He is an expert and holding his head up and has started to sit supported. I likes sitting in a bumbo chair or even the high chair so that he can see what is going on. He’s very social and likes to be around everyone.

He did get a little cold a few weeks ago (SO hard to see your baby sick because you just feel so helpless), but he got over it quickly. He just had his 4 month dr. appointment and he is doing so well! He is 14 lbs 9 oz (28th percentile) and 25 1/4 inches (50th percentile), so he is kind of a littler guy. That kind of surprised me since he is in 6 month clothes and 9 month sleepers, but as long as he is healthy and thriving it doesn’t really matter what any of the numbers are.

4 months old Benji (4)

He’s just so darn cute and I can’t imagine him ever not being in our family.


Ellery Two Years Old


So I am finally ready to post Ellery’s two year update. I have been mentally preparing myself for a month… That’s not true, I’ve been putting it off until I had her stats from her two yr. appointment which I then LEFT at the doctor and had to get them when I went back for Ben’s 4 month appt. In my defense she was borderline hysterical the whole time (no shots, they just did terrible things like weigh her and listen to her heart) and I had a baby in tow, so we left pretty quickly as soon as we were able. Oh, and she was potty training and going commando so I didn’t really want her making a mess all over the floor.

ellery 2 years old photo

I wanted her standing next to the chalk board, but she wasn’t thrilled about that. Oh well.

It’s hard to believe that my little baby girl is a full fledged toddler, but it’s very true. I do think that I was a little more prepared since I had been saying “she’s almost two” for several months. So when she did actually turn 2 it seemed like it was about time. As far as her official stats go, she weighs 28.6 lbs and is 2 ft. 11.5 inches tall. This puts her at about average for weight and above average for height—she’s a tall girl! This might explain her ever-growing feet. She started the summer in size 4 shoes and now that it is (almost) fall she needs a size 7. Whaat?


(this is her “smile”)

If you know Ellery at all, then you know that she has very verbal for a long time now. One of the really fun things has been seeing her correct her own words. It’s amazing and yet a little sad because “nana” is so cute, but “banana” is correct. I did try to keep track of some of the cuter versions of words like: La luuve (love you), henyay (elephant), ducks (stuck), shashage (sausage), mucas or mooscik (music), nilk (milk), Nika (Mika our dog), marshananan (marshmallow), and lemonanan (lemonade).

outside fun in pool and slide (7)

She is now, of course, also speaking in phrases and sentences, which is amazing and also a little scary because she repeats SO MUCH of what we say. She says things like, “No barking Nika, iz jus a bunny” and “Tank you using your words” and “Listen to mommy. Listen to trees”.  One of my very favorite phrases that she strung together was “Mommy, kiss, mouth”—I don’t mind if I do. She is also kind of tricky because she knows that we usually repeat what she says to make sure we are understanding her and she will use that to her advantage. Like when we repeat when she says, “Do you want a popsicle?” and she says “okayyy”. She has also learned that if she doesn’t get what she wants the first time she asks, the second time she adds “please” haha. Actually she is pretty good at using her manners all the time and is very sweet (most of the time). She is a two year old, after all, so there is also a lot of whining and tantrums and even some hitting. I just wanna keep it real in case you thought everything was perfect over here. ; )


I am amazed at how many independent thoughts that she is now having and watching her imagination grow. She loves having tea parties and creating masterpieces with paint, markers, and crayons. She loves singing songs and listening to music. She loves putting puzzles together and is getting quite good at it, too. She has a chair that spins in her room and she would seriously sit and be spun all day if we would only push her all day. She will sometimes say “Ellery tired” and grab her blanket and some of stuffed animals and lie down in a bed or on the couch or in a laundry basket. Never to actually sleep, mind you, just pretend.

pb girl3

She is still the sweetest big sister to Benji and asks to hold him more and more. Of course she doesn’t want help, but of course she pushes him away the second she feels like she is done, so there is a lot of supervision happening. We did start potty training a few weeks after she turned two and after one of the hardest weeks of parenting so far, I think it’s safe to say she “gets” it. There will of course be accidents and maybe even regression in the future, but she has been a champ and once we got rid of diapers that first day we haven’t gone back. (I’d love to share more details if you’re interested, but I know not everyone wants to hear them).


(a little blurry, but a lot adorable)

I’m sure there’s a lot that I’m forgetting since she learns something new every day, but we are just so proud of our girl and thankful that we get to be her mommy and daddy. She loves people, loves learning, and is such a good helper. She has even started helping me make dinner. Recently there was a lot of talk of kids going back to school and I didn’t sweat it because I knew I still have a couple years. But then she went to Sunday School for the first time this past Sunday and was such a big girl and this mama heart could barely handle it.

We love you, Elle. We’re so proud of you!