21 Month Check-In (With Months 19 and 20 mixed in)

20131022-095926.jpg

Well buddy, it looks like Daddy dropped the ball once again.  I failed to get your monthly updates written for months 19 and 20.  While I want to blame my lack of effort on the fact that it’s my busy time of year (working 2 jobs and officiating youth sports in my “free time”); or even on the fact that you have not been the most “awesome” person over the last several months (seriously, this whole living with a toddler thing is hard work); to be honest, I just messed up, and I’m sorry for that.  I can’t say I won’t mess up again, but I will try my best to be better.

Now, onto the good stuff…..

What’s New:

We’re inching closer and closer to your 2nd birthday, which blows my mind. I know I keep saying this over and over, but I can’t believe how much you’ve changed since we last checked in.  While I’m around you every day, it’s when I look back over the pictures from just a month or two prior that I really see how much you’ve grown and changed.  You’re seriously independent now.  You do most things on your own, or demand that we allow you to try.

Learning, Learning, Learning:

With Dad gone so much the last couple months we haven’t really had the opportunity to go to a lot of places.  But one trip you took last month was when Mom took you to the National Aquarium in DC.

20131022-120126.jpg

You had such a good time looking at all the fish and all the pretty colors

20131022-120551.jpgDad found it highly ironic that you of all people were playing with the Wheel of Doom.  So, I wonder where the “Benjamin” category is on that wheel, lol.

20131022-122308.jpg

We also found out you love arts and crafts time.

20131022-122331.jpg

Ok, maybe “LOVE” is a bit too strong of a word.

20131022-122319.jpg

Apparently the life of an artist is truly rough.

20131022-124401.jpg20131022-130843.jpg

It’s really awesome to watch you interact with your books.  You love story time. You now have Mommy and Daddy read you 4 different books at bedtime. Your current favorite is, “The Book of Sleep.”

20131022-124422.jpgYou’ve become pretty good at sharing too.  Just the other day when Mommy asked you to share 1 toy, we could see you trying to process the request, and eventually you gladly handed Mom all your toys you were playing with.  You’re really good about that kind of stuff…..

20131022-124411.jpg

Even if it’s after doing something you weren’t supposed to do, lol.

Your vocabulary has really exploded over the last 3 months, and your Mom and I know it’s going to grow even more in the next few months.  You still love the word “NO,” but you have a few new favorites as well.  You’ve become a huge fan of the word “MINE!”  We understand that’s normal and all, but maybe tone it down a bit bro.  We’re starting to understand you and your needs a bit easier as you regularly say “EAT, EAT” when you’re hungry, or “STEP” when you want to go downstairs and play in the basement or go outside.  And you’ve really gotten the hand of signing some words like “please, thank you, and help.”

With all the upswing of new learned skills, there is also a downside, which came in the form of your attitude that has kind of gone in the tank again.  Tantrums are in full effect right now, and unfortunately you have taken to hitting Mom and Dad when you get frustrated.  Thankfully you don’t do this to others (i.e. kids at daycare).  We know it’s normal; it’s just Mom and Dad wish we could help you better work through your frustrations.

Moments to Remember:

20131022-124956.jpg

Dad traveled for the first time on a long trip without you and Mom.  I went to visit your Uncles Mark and Andy and Aunt Sara out in San Diego, CA.  While it was great to be home and see my friends, I have to admit I really missed you guys.  But not to worry, Grammie came down from Boston to hang out with you and Mom while I was gone, and she was a big help……

20131022-130641.jpgWhen she was awake, that is…

20131022-130650.jpg

That’s alright, you quickly clued Grammie in on how things work around our house; if you’re awake, everyone is awake.

20131022-130703.jpgYour #1 fan Auntie J even spent her last free afternoon with you before heading out on her road trip to Utah.  She moved there for a job opportunity.  While we all miss her very much, we are super proud of her for going after her dreams.  She can’t wait to see you at Christmas.

20131022-130730.jpg

Grammie knew how to get right back in your good graces….ice cream

20131022-130809.jpg

Finally, we went to the grand opening of the Stamp Gallery at the National Postal Museum in DC.  We took a picture with another famous Benjamin, or if your Great-Grammie Huff were to see this picture, she would have thought it was you, me and Grammie Lombard (lol, that’s an inside joke for Mom, Dad and Auntie J).

On The Menu:

20131022-130757.jpg

You’ve become a pretty good eater.  You eat most things Mom and Dad give you.  Except on days you outright refuse to eat anything; which still happens from time to time.  You’re still a big fan of apples and pears.  We discovered just the other day that you like pizza too, as you stole Dad’s lunch and ran off with it, eating it in the process, lol, you’re lucky you’re cute.

Likes:

20131022-130744.jpgYou love spending a lot of time outside.  We try and take you to the park as much as possible.  But, you are just as happy playing out in front of the house with all the neighborhood kids too.

You really love playing with your trucks now, going TOOT TOOT.  It’s cute beyond words.

But I think your most favorite thing to do right now, is wrestle with Dad.  I’m starting to think the Jiu Jitsu gene is in your blood.  You’ve already got some decent moves kiddo:

IMG_0138

Great smash and pass to get side mount buddy.

IMG_0142 IMG_0141A little knee-on-belly to a north-south transition.

IMG_0143And there he goes for the submission, lol.

Dislikes:

Well, nothing really stands out, but then again you’re a toddler so your moods and likes/dislikes change like the wind.

Adventures:

We kept it pretty low-key recently, but we made sure to squeeze in a least a little family time too.

We closed out the summer by going to a really cool street fair where you got to climb all over some fire trucks.

IMAG0706You weren’t quite sure what to make of the whole thing.

IMAG0719But Mommy was totally into it, lol.

IMAG0704You liked exploring the fire house.

IMAG0721All in all a good time.

IMG_0114

You also had a great time at your friend Nina’s birthday party.  Well, to be honest, you cared more about the pool than you did the party, but you had fun nonetheless.

Like I said before, sorry for falling behind here buddy, I will try my very best not to let it happen again.  I can’t believe you are barely a couple months away from turning 2 years old.  It seems like yesterday we were bringing you home.  Even though it may seem like Dad is stressed out or annoyed a lot of the time, I hope you know how much I love you, and moments like below that I cherish the most.

20131022-130832.jpg

Love, Dad

P.S. – You’ve become the master of the “selfie” I swear, and you have the Blue Steel model look down to an art, lol

IMAG0026Dad’s new favorite photo of you and Mom

IMAG0886Blue Steel!!!