Benjamin David 12 Months Old

First things first, I changed some things around this here blog, like it?

Second things second, our tiny little peanut is now a one year old little boy and I am bursting with love, pride, and sentiment.

ben 12 months (4)

Benji 12 months old

12 month Collage

I managed to squeeze him in the basket one last time.
The bottom right is a little blurry, but I love that I captured his little crinkle-nose face.
Also, could he look any more like his daddy??

I don’t even know how to summarize the past month, this kid just seems to grow by leaps and bounds every day. He has such a fun and mischievous personality. This kid. Let’s just use getting into the dog food as an example. This is not a new issue for us, we’ve been training him that the dog’s food and water dishes are off limits since he started crawling. Now he’s gotten to the point that he KNOWS it’s naughty and so he sneaks over there and grabs the dog food/splashes in the water. When he hears some one coming he bolts away as quickly as possible so that maybe he won’t get caught and will get to keep the dog food that he still has stashed away in his little death grip. Sometimes he listens when we tell him to come here away from it and sometimes he laughs at us and runs over to it. He can be redirected time and time again or carried to the other end of the house, but the kid is determined to get into trouble. I feel like this won’t be the last that we see of his strong will.

He has definitely gotten to the point where he walks more than he crawls now. In fact, I get a little surprised when I see him crawling since his go-to is now walking or RUNNING. He is such a physical little man and he is getting fast on those little feet and chubby legs. He is also a climber, so he really has started to keep me on his toes. I have found him on top of tables and chairs and beds and he is just so proud of himself when he figures out how to get on top of new things. He loves to throw himself around on the couch, but of course he also tries to throw himself OFF of the couch sometimes too. I am trying to figure out the balance between letting him explore/learn lessons the hard way/get some bumps and bruises and keeping him from getting hurt. He is just such a wild man.

He is a sweetie though, too. He loves to laugh and make us laugh—especially Ellery. They are still interacting fairly well together, even with Ben’s increased ability to reach all the things and follow after her and knock over everything. He still has a little separation anxiety when I put him in the nursery, but most of the time he is a HUGE fan of people. Seriously, you give him an audience and he will ham it up.

He has six teeth now that the four on top have officially come in. He still loves to put things in his mouth and likes to bite things (like my knees..even though he knows that’s naughty too), but I am VERY thankful that he’s never tried to bite while nursing. Speaking of nursing, WE MADE IT TO A YEAR! There were times I didn’t know if we would, but I am so thankful that we did. Considering I was never really able to nurse Ellery, this feels like a miracle. Once he started consistently sleeping all the way through the night (around 11 months) he was still nursing around 5 or 6 times a day. Now we are down to 3 or 4 times a day. He seems to be less and less interested (probably because he is still eating everything all of the time) and I don’t know how much longer we will last. Although, I kind of feel like it is best case scenario if he decides to be done on his own.

He FINALLY said “mama”, but he is very selective of when he actually uses it. Usually it’s when he’s really sad and a little “mama” whimper will sneak out. I love it though. He seems to be babbling a lot, but most of what comes out of his mouth is “daddad dada da ddadadad”.

We had a fun birthday party for him last weekend with some friend and family. It was a little chilly that day, but I  think everyone still had a good time. That kid LOVED his cake and loved that we thought it was a good idea to give him an entire cake. He smashed it. I think he would have enjoyed it more if he wasn’t cold and he didn’t keep shoving green frosting up his nose. We had a nice, fun day at home on his actual birthday with birthday pancakes and balloons and presents.

The night before his birthday, (aka the early morning hours of his birthday) he had a really rough night of sleeping. I’m not sure if he was so excited for the big day or if he was having flash backs of where he was a year ago (hah!), but I heard little cries quite a bit. Every time I checked him he was still lying down and it appeared as if he was sleeping, but he just seemed to be struggling to settle. So after a while I went down and just rocked him for a while so he could settle in asleep on my chest. He hasn’t slept on me for months and months (he hardly holds still long enough for a cuddle) and I got to hold him as he changed from a baby to a toddler. That was the sweetest gift he could have given me.

first year Collage

(I will update his stats after we have his one year check-up next week.)

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Benjamin 11 Months

Benji Doodle aka Doodles

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11 months old
Notice how it’s pretty much just his torso that fits in the basket now?

11 month Collage

This kid. If you haven’t met him, let me just tell you that he’s hilarious and a delight. He has his share of off moments/days, but most of the time he is just so much fun to be around. There is so much personality packed into this little peanut. He loves to have fun and make other people laugh. He is developing his own little laugh that is a chuckle with lots of space in between each little noise.

He is definitely developing his own opinions and preferences and he works hard at letting you know them. He always active and squirmy, but especially whenever someone is trying to put clothes on him so I’m pretty sure he would just prefer to be naked all the time. Once he starts working towards a milestone, he does not stop practicing until he’s quickly mastered it and then he moves on to the next. He started taking steps last month and now he is walking so much! He can almost stand up by himself without pulling up on anything and he chooses to walk quite often, even without a destination in sight. He can walk long distances ESPECIALLY if his sister is in his line of sight. Ellery will call out to him to come here and he will happily toddle over to her, and then he grabs her and they both fall to the floor giggling. He certainly seems like he will be running before we know it.

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At the beginning of the month he was working on getting his 2nd tooth (both on the bottom) and once that popped through we discovered that he had also cut a tooth on the top (one of his canines). Currently I’m pretty sure that he is working on cutting THREE teeth on top—his two front teeth and the other canine. I can’t imagine that it feels very nice, and he has been a little more clingy/needy/whiny at times, but who can blame him? Even when he doesn’t feel 100%, he still loves to play and have a good time.

He is still eating like a teenage boy (aka so much and all of the time). He nurses 4 or 5 times a day still and eats anything and everything we give him. Mike thinks he is just in a perpetual state of growing. He got back into the habit of waking at night to eat (AGAIN!), but I think we mostly broke the habit now (AGAIN!!) and he seems to just be waking once around 3 a.m., needing some reassurance that we are still there, and then he goes right back down. (With the exception of last night where he was up screaming at us for an hour, but whatevs. Maybe it was teeth. I think it was stubbornness. hah)

Ben is becoming quite the daddy’s boy as he gets SO excited when Mike gets home and definitely seems to prefer him at times. He still loves his mama, I have no doubt of that, but he has a special admiration for his daddy. Which brings me such joy. He has started to have some separation anxiety, especially at the church nursery, but we are working through it. It breaks my heart to see him so sad when I leave him, but I know that he calms down very quickly. Other than that, he is a big fan of people and would let a stranger pick him up. He still won’t SAY ‘mama’, but has started to repeat the few words he does have on command. He will say ‘dada,’ ‘baba,’ ‘ah ah’ (like a monkey), and ‘eeeee’ (which is either his word for Ellery and “whee” on the swing). He is still very expressive vocally.

He loves music and as soon as a song with a beat comes on he starts dancing. He bounces whether he’s standing or sitting in a seat or whatever. Soon after he started taking steps, he also started being able to climb stairs and he mastered that very quickly. Thankfully we don’t have any stairs that he can get to with a gate in front of one set and a door in front of the other, but he is getting scary good at climbing. He climbs stairs outside and he climbs up our step stool and he climbs anything he can. I foresee this boy giving his mama some anxiety and probably getting his fair share of bumps and bruises. He is definitely very boyish in that way.

His favorite thing right now seems to be crawling into laundry baskets. He walks over or pulls himself up to one, throws his body in head first, and tumbles inside. He enjoys sitting in them for quite some time and is even fairly successful at getting himself out.

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I cannot believe that our sweet baby is almost one and that I have to start thinking about a birthday party. We are looking forward to a fun summer with these two.  

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Benjamin 10 Months

Man, this month flew by, I can’t believe it’s (past) time for another update already.

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Benji 10 months old

10 month Collage

Little buddy was in a smiley mood for this month’s photo shoot which was extra delightful. He is sporting 12 month clothes these days, some of which are still a little big on him. He is still a peanut, but he is barely fitting into this basket anymore as evidenced by his legs sticking out the end and his little toes curled over the side.

A little after Ben turned 9 months his sleep did start improving (yay!) and now he (usually) only nurses once during the night. That is a huge improvement for us! Coincidentally, at the same time we were finally able to take away his third, early evening nap. Although once that happened then he stopped taking his morning nap, so he went from three naps a day to one.

He is still eating like a mini teenager/bottomless pit. He nurses several times a day, eats three meals a day, and snacks all the time. We think he is on a perpetual growth spurt. He has tried lots of different foods and seems to favor breakfast food pretty strongly. He is a little scavenger finding bits of food whenever possible and will get upset if you try to eat any food in front of him. He has done very well with a sippy cup, especially when he is given the same kind as what big sister uses. He gets very proud of himself when he is able to hold it and drink out of it.

He started waving (with his whole arm) and now does it at appropriate times (and all times) and it is adorable. On Sunday when I picked him up from the nursery he saw me and broke into a huge smile and began waving vigorously. Sometimes he even makes a funny little face when he does it too. During the past few weeks he has started standing on his own—first without realizing it—and now he has been intentionally practicing and doing it for longer and longer. He has a lot of strength in his legs and controls his squatting from standing to sitting. I don’t want to say he will be walking soon, but I’m pretty sure it’s not that far down the road for us. Personally, I don’t think it changes that much right away anyway since he can already pull up on things and get into mischief easily. It might make things a little more interesting for Ellery since he will be able to follow her around a little more easily.

They are still enamored with each other, but Ellery is started to get to a stage of imaginative play where she likes things just the way she likes them. Of course, Benji just comes over and knocks everything down so we are starting to teach her how to achieve personal space when she wants it. One of his favorite things to do is knock down towers and he tries to do so as QUICKLY as he sees one constructed.

He has not added to his vocabulary of “da da” and “ba ba,” and still only one tooth, but I know those things will come in time. He is proving to be such a BOY and loves wrestling and moving all. the. time. If there is a pillow or blanket on the floor, he loves to crawl over to it, lay his head down, smile at you, and then pop right back up. Sometimes he does this over and over. It’s never that he’s tired, he just loves playing this game—I think he knows he looks cute. It is super hard to capture though, since he only lays down for about a second.

10 month old ben (8)

More and more we are able to see his fun-loving, sweet, crazy personality shine through and we love it! He loves his family and loves people. And we love him.

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Benjamin 9 months

I have been calling Benji “almost 9 months” for the past few weeks, so would think that it would be less of a surprise for me when he actually became 9 months old. Nope. Still surprising.

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It just sounds too old.

9 month Collage

As you can probably tell, he did not sit still for very long and we had an interruption visitor that was a bit of a distraction.

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I am seriously considering giving Ben a new middle name because lately Benjamin Trouble seems more appropriate. This little guy is EVERYWHERE and he is into EVERYTHING. Especially the dog’s food and water dishes. We do our very best to keep little things off of the floor, but if there’s anything there, he will find it and put it in his mouth—paper, dog hair, stickers, dog food, leftover food, the dog, etc. He does a great job at crawling through and under things and we often find him in some little corner very proud of himself.

He has one tooth on the bottom and he is possibly working on more currently because he has been drooling all of the time. Since we started giving “baby led weaning” a try and letting him feed himself, he has gone from eating very little solids to eating anything you put in front of him ravenously three times a day! I think his favorite is mashed potatoes.

We are still working on words but we think we have heard a “dada” from him a time or two. He also says “baba” which we all know is the precursor to mama. Don’t let his lack of vocabulary fool you, he is very vocal. He loves to yell and growl and make all sorts of noises. UPDATE: A few days after I first wrote this, Ben has started saying Dada pretty much non-stop. He babbles it, he says it when he’s angry or trying to get our attention, etc. While I am still working on “mama” I think it is the most adorable thing to hear him jabbering on and I love that this gives us a clue into what his little voice will sounds like when he starts talking.

Benji continues to be more and more mobile. He is able to pull up on tables, couches, and chairs. He can navigate from one to another. He has even started holding on with only one hand or just resting on something with an elbow. He had a short time were he would be “stuck” holding on to something, but he quickly figured out how to bend down and sit and he has been practicing. Standing my himself seems to be not far off and we will see what happens after that. I’m not wishing for an early walker, but I’m not strongly against it either. He is already so independent and he gets so proud of himself whenever he develops a new skill.

He has still been having trouble sleeping. I won’t get into it much, but sometimes it feels like he’s a newborn again. And sometimes it’s not that bad. I try to remind myself (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) that this is just a season that will “pass” and someday he will stop waking at night and he will stop doing a thousand other baby things and maybe just maybe I will miss this, sleep deprivation and all. Maybe I’ll write more on that another time. For now I will enjoy my two sweet little loves that get big all too quickly and make life beautiful and hard and wonderful.

We had a good appointment with the Dr. for his well child appt. After the nurse took his measurements she checked where he was on the growth chart and declared, “Well, he’s tiny!” hah. He weighs 17.9 lbs (15th percentile) and is 27 inches long (5th percentile). We know he is a little peanut, but we know (and the dr. affirms) that he is growing and thriving. He is just such an active little man and still has so many delightful rolls, so we are very reassured that he is doing just fine.

Benjamin 8 Months

 

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8 months old

8 month Collage
This past month has arguably been the biggest month so far for our little Benji. A few days after he turned 7 months he started crawling and he has been becoming more and more adventurous ever since. At first he would crawl a step or two and then immediately stop to sit and he didn’t quite grasp the concept that crawling could get him to the things he wanted. Hence he would be fussing a few steps away from me but wouldn’t crawl over to me. Now, he SPEED crawls whenever he sees anything/anyone he wants. If I am on the floor for any reason he is going to crawl over to me and pull himself up on me. Which brings me to my next point, he’s pulling up on things. Slow down Benji boy!!! In the first picture you can see how he pulled himself up on the laundry basket I had him sitting in. He’s way too adventurous for his own good and has gotten himself stuck underneath tables and chairs or standing holding on to things he can’t get himself down from. But he learns so much every day and is able to do so much. It makes me very thankful that we already lowered his crib to the lowest setting, because otherwise he would be trying to topple out of it.

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He seems to be a very physical little dude despite his small size (“though he be but little, he is fierce”) and as soon as he achieves a milestone he perfects it as soon as possible. He is able to go from his back to his front to sitting to crawling to his tummy, etc. It seemed like as soon as he started to be able to sit on his own that he immediately did it all the time. In fact, I forgot to mention this last month, but he started taking big boy baths sitting up in the tub by himself. Which also means he gets to take them with his big sister—which automatically makes it the best thing ever. They both have always loved taking baths and now they BOTH love taking them together. Benji does a lot of splashing and Ellery loves washing his hair and having him in there with her.

Of course, we celebrated Ben’s first Christmas this past month also. We were able to celebrate many times with a lot of family and we were just SO loved on and SO blessed. Ben’s response to the Christmas tree was pretty much the same that Ellery’s had been in previous years. Kind of fun to look at and mess with, but not a huge attraction. He pulled down plenty of ornaments of course (of the twenty or so that Ellery placed on one branch), but he even left the presents alone. I do have to add that the highlight of Ellery’s season was “the happy snowman” as she calls him. One of our neighbors down the street has a big, round, inflatable snowman that has different faces that flash with lights. It has brought her so much joy! It is “sleeping” (deflated) during the day and when it inflates in the afternoon she yells “the happy snowman is awake!” and runs and tells everyone around. She even remembers him if we are somewhere else when it starts to get dark. Thankfully, he did not get taken down when Christmas was over and he is still bringing our house happiness.

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Before Christmas Eve had been doing a lot with hands and slapping things in front of him, but then his Great Grandma Gerry showed him how he could clap them together and he has been happily clapping ever since. He also did this thing for a while where he would quickly sniff in and out of his nose. I think he was just being silly, but I remembered that Ellery had a stage of that also and I thought that was kind of fun.

Unfortunately this past month also brought our first ever trip to the ER for little man—he’s okay now though! He had been sick around Christmas and had these really rough coughing fits. There was one night where his breathing seemed really bad and I was afraid to lay him back down to sleep after nursing him. So we called on some amazing family to come over and stay at the house with Ellery at 1 a.m. and drove over to the hospital. All in all it took much less time than I expected and he was a champ. He was diagnosed with RSV and we were able to give him breathing treatments to get better over the next week or so. We have been battling one sickness or another since Thanksgiving with one or both kids, but we are hoping to all be well soon. We’re mostly there right now.

After Ben got better, he started teething! (If it’s not one thing it’s another) But, I am super excited for the new level of cuteness that comes with little baby teeth peeking out of chubby little mouths. He is getting one of his lower front teeth, and it has made him a little grumpier than usual. He is still not a huge fan of eating solids, but does pretty well if you let him hold the spoon each time or give him puffs or something he can grab with his hands. Little dude seems to be pretty independent already.

His absolute best friend in the whole wide world is his big sister. He adores her and loves to crawl after her and laugh at her and be around her as much as possible. I expected this from the younger sibling, but what I didn’t necessarily expect is how much she adores him right back. Every day Ellery asks for him to come to her tea parties and usually doesn’t even bat an eye when he crashes into all of her plates and things that she has set up. She asks for him if he is napping and insists that he needs to play with her. The other day while she was listing off things that she wanted before naptime (she is a hoarder, I don’t know how she sleeps with all the books, animals, and toys that she has in that toddler bed with her) and she asked for Benji to sleep with. Today they were just sitting in her room making each other laugh by making faces and noises. MELT MY HEART! I really really hope that their relationship only gets stronger over the years. I know that they will fight and probably not like each other a lot of the time, but I really hope that they are forever friends. They are adorable together. Ellery will even help feed him and honestly, he eats better for her.

I can’t believe our little man is 8 months old already (which seems dangerously close to being close to a year old) and what a delightful, silly personality he has. Seriously, he just makes faces and does so many little things that make us fall in love with all over. He is currently giving me a run for my money by nursing every 3 hours (at least) around the clock and I am dearly missing my sleep. But, I wouldn’t trade a year of restful nights for my Benjamin.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂