This little ray of sunshine started walking! This past month she has hit quite a few big milestones and I’m enjoying every second with her. Although she can walk she still mostly chooses to crawl and will only walk when we’re encouraging it or if it’s a very short distance. I think she still needs to gain some confidence. Where she lacks confidence in walking she makes up for in climbing. If you aren’t watching her closely, the next think you know she’s on top of the coffee table, or standing on the backrest of the couch looking out the window. If there is ever an option to go vertical she will take it. She also learned to stand up all on her own and it is the cutest thing to see because she absolutely beams with pride whenever she does it.
Bennett LOVES climbing up and down the stairs and I must say she has gotten pretty good at it, but she fall down half a flight this month. It was a mix up of communication. I assumed Raf had his eye on her and he thought I had it covered and the next thing we knew…boom,boom,boom,boom,boom,WAIL. My heart nearly stopped in my chest. But thankfully she wasn’t hurt at all, just pretty scared. I wish I got off so lucky whenever I fall down the stairs (a frequent occurrence).
We went and visited Raf’s side of the family in Texas this month and not surprisingly, Bennett was a huge hit. It became clear while in Texas that Miss B has some very strong separation anxiety when it comes to me, which I both love and find inconvenient.
Bennett is extremely attached to me. She likes to know where I am at all times and wants to be able to see me. Even when she’s playing, she’ll come up to me periodically to check in and get a quick snuggle before going about her business. I am savoring every tiny moment of this time because I know that my days of being her favorite person on the planet are numbered.
Her rolls are melting away as she becomes increasingly more mobile and I hate it. She did get RSV this month so I’m sure that didn’t help. Both kids had to use a nebulizer every 4 hours and Bennett HATED it and pretty much screamed the entire time. Speaking of screaming, she also got to experience snow for the first time this month and let me tell you, she was not pleased. She must take after her Mama after all. Asher on the other hand must be half abominable snow man. That kid can and does spend hours out in the snow and still has to be dragged inside. He is so lucky to have such an accommodating father.
Bennett’s naps have fallen to pieces this month. She takes two naps a day and really only sleeps 20-30 minutes both times. For the morning nap I don’t really mind because we’re usually have a lot of things going on in the morning. The afternoon nap on the other hand is when both kids are down at the same time and that’s my recharge time. She will nap longer if she’s napping next to me in a dark room only because I’m able to get her to fall back asleep after she wakes up 20 minutes in. But I’ve found that I then fall asleep and it really messes with my sleep pattern (we’ve been making huge efforts to get to bed early). I know what I need to do to get her to sleep longer but I’m not super motivated to do them. Her mood isn’t suffering and she’s content for the time being to play quietly in the same room as me. I may hold off and see if things change on their own once she drops her morning nap before making any concerted effort to extend her afternoon nap.
I can’t believe I only have one more of these monthly updates for Bennett! She’ll be 1 year old next month, a whole trip around the sun! Just thinking about it makes every fiber of my being ache. My sweet baby is just growing up before my very eyes.
As I lay in bed with a baby nestled against me, cheek pressed to my chest,
I write poems in my head, that will never be read.
While rocking a baby in the quiet dark of night, who refuses to be lulled into slumber,
I write poems in my head, that will never be read.
In the moments I take to savor the sweet ache in my muscles, from holding a baby for hours on end,
I write poems in my head, that will never be read.
Of love and joy and pain and light. The trials and triumphs of motherhood.
I write poems in my head, that will never be read,
for this one.
Raf’s Mom makes this dish for us nearly every time we visit, but this was the first time she made it with Zucchini (she normally makes it with bell peppers or tomatoes) and it was by far my favorite. This is a dish that Raf’s maternal grandmother used to make and she passed the recipe along to her daughter who in turn has passed it along to me. The original recipe called for white rice and ground Lamb, but Raf’s mom modified it into a much healthier but equally as delicious vegan dish. She normally eyeballs most of her recipes, so there is a lot of room to play around with amounts to satisfy your particular tastes. If you have any left over filling after stuffing the zucchini, and you probably will, you can just cook it for 10 mins and eat it separately, or use it to stuff a pepper or tomato if you have any.
When I made the dish, I had some left over white rice that I used in place of the brown and I only had dried parsley on hand so I used a couple tablespoons of that (if you have fresh, definitely use that, it makes a big difference, but it’s still yummy either way).
6 to 8 zucchinis
1 cup uncooked Quinoa or Brown rice (I used 1/2 cup of each)
1/2 cup split peas or use a cup of crumbled tofu
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 can 8 oz tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 tsp garlic chili sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp dried or chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp dried Dill
2 tbsp dried chives
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 can 16 oz tomato sauce
3 tbsp lemon juice
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning (spaghetti or pizza seasoning also work)
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
The easiest way to prepare the zucchini is to cut them in half and scoop out the center of each half and set aside (but if you want to get fancy and do it the way Raf’s mom does it, you can cut the stem end off and scoop out the inner flesh using a zucchini corer). Cook the rice and quinoa separately. Cook the spilt peas with a little bit of salt. Drain the water, set aside.
Sauté the onions and garlic for two mins, add garlic chili sauce and the scooped out zucchini flesh and sauté for another min. If you are using tofu you can add it to the onion mixture and fry them for few more mins. Add your herbs and the rest of the ingredients, mix them well and turn off the heat.
Spoon stuffing into the center of zucchini halves.
Mix together all the sauce ingredients and pour them into a 9×13 baking dish to cover the bottom of the dish. Place the zucchini halves in the baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for an hour or until the zucchini is tender. You may need to add some water to your sauce while baking.
There haven’t been too many new developments this month. Bennett has become quite fond of the slide and even insists on sliding down the big slides at the play ground all on her own. She loves it so much that when you lift her off to put her back at the top she thinks you might be taking her away from the slide and begins kicking and squawking in protest only to discover 1 second later that you are in fact just allowing her to slide down again. It doesn’t matter how many times this goes on, she will always protest once you lift her off the slide.
Rosebud is eager to walk. She has been cruising around and has been practicing her free standing a lot lately, but I think she’s still quite cautious about taking any steps. In any case, she probably needs to work on her balance a bit more anyway, which suites me just fine. She has taken to going down the steps on her bottom. Despite my numerous efforts on having to descend the steps backwards she insists on facing forwards and it’s a very teetery (not sure that’s a real word, but it works anyway) affair. We are currently living in a state of denial about the need to install baby gates, which certainly keeps us on our toes.
This month Bennett has become quite the picky eater. If you serve her something she isn’t fond of no amount of coaxing will do. She’ll just sit there and stare at you silently, not complaining. If you then give her something she likes she’ll scarf it down, clearly having been hungry. She really loves fingering feeding food into other people’s mouths, especially if said food is not deemed fit for her own consumption.
I taught her to drink from a straw this month and have subsequently begun the process of cutting down the amount of times she nurses during the day. She drinks water and green smoothies and seems quite fond of both.
Ben Bucket is as cuddly as ever and as always is completely enamored with her older brother. They have begun playing and interacting more and it is just about the sweetest thing ever. That is until, Asher takes her toys away or smashes her face into the floor. Got to love the sibling relationship.
This past year has been one of a lot of changes for Asher. We moved into a house, he became a big brother, he became potty trained, and he developed an extensive vocabulary. He is loving, active, strong willed, friendly, shy, gentle, artistic, joyous, volatile, sweet, stubborn, smart, affectionate, capable, persistent, curious and outgoing. He is so much, and he becomes more and more the person that he is every day. I love being able to experience all the chaos and joy that is being his mother.
For his birthday we had some of his little friends over and basically just let them run around. Everyone got along surprisingly well.
The weather was unseasonably warm for these parts so we were able to take the party out doors, which was so fun! I made a carrot cake and Raf broke out the bubble wand. Bennett even had her own little cohort of tinies, that was exceptionally adorable.
Raf bought a GoPro camera for our trip to Yap and he finally finished editing and uploading the footage (totally making up for our lack of good quality pictures). I LOVE how it turned out! I can’t help but grin while watching it and I’m always sad when it comes to the end because I just keep wanting more. It was a learning process so there are definitely some things we will do differently in the future, but overall we’re pretty happy with it and are even thinking about making yearly family videos.
Enjoy this glimpse into the silly crazy goofiness that is our family!
This girl is on the move and getting into everything. There was definitely an incident involving Bennett splashing in Asher’s pee filled potty while my mom and I sat a few feet away…yea mommy fail. She’s crawling at light speed. She has successfully learned to climb up the stairs, but has no clue how to go down, so we’re working on that.
B is forming strong opinions and she does NOT like when A rough houses with her. She is not a rough a tumble girl, or at least not yet. She loves playing with her big brother and he constantly makes her laugh however he is finding it challenging sharing with her, so that’s something we need to work on.
Her hair is coming in, little by little. I’m so tempted to put a teeny tiny bowl in the wisps of hair on the top of her head. She still has light colored eyes, that are a cream of wheat color around the pupil and then a bluish green grey. They are quite striking and I’m guessing they’ll probably settle into a hazel color, but lighter than Asher’s.
Ben Bucket has been cruising around on furniture and likes help walking around. She’s eager to walk and keep with with Asher, so much so that her poor head and face are covered in bruises. She doesn’t quite have the balance or coordination yet, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens with that this month.
She continues to be very laid back and easy – she is an absolute delight!
Rafaan and I love a good DIY costume. In fact we’ve never done anything else. This year these lucky kids got to wear two different costumes. I originally asked Raf’s mom if she wouldn’t mind making their costumes this year but then after she agreed and had nearly completed them Raf decided he really wanted to make them Doc Brown and Marty McFly costumes. So we put together these Back to the Future costumes and totally geeked out while doing it. I made Bennett’s wig using a feather boa, hot glue and her new born hospital hat. I then made her lab coat out of a white t-shirt, hot glue and fabric markers. Raf made Asher’s hover board using a template that he found online and printed out, poster board, foam, construction paper and felt. They were a huge hit!
The costumes that Mamani made them were these adorable firefighter and dalmatian costumes. They wore them to their preschool co-op halloween parade and it was pretty gosh darn cute. Unlike the ones we made, these costumes are so well made that I’m sure the kids will get a lot of use out of them playing dress up. YAY!
Here’s a look at Asher’s halloween 2014 jedi knight costume that we threw together the day of Halloween. He was so little!
Month 7 was a busy one indeed! Bennett started crawling, first in army style and later on her hands and knees, she sits up on by herself and I’ve even found her standing in her crib. Speaking of which, I now have to literally hold her down occasionally to get her to go to sleep, because she just sits upright and keeps herself awake. So I place my hand on her back and a minute later she’s out, but she struggling to get up nearly the whole time, hopefully this passes quickly.
Unbeknownst to me her first tooth arrived only for me to discover it already poking through her gum. However within a week she was getting her top two front teeth and we we’re so lucky. The poor girl was miserable, she wasn’t sleeping well and was barely eating, but she’s since returned to her usual habits.
Bennett’s days are filled with exploration and trying to gain new achievements. Literally as I’m typing this she was able to pull herself up enough to get a toy off of the coffee table. No where is safe anymore! She is a busy girl and does not like sitting still, which is evident in this month’s photo shoot. She did NOT want to be laying down!
We drove up to NJ this weekend, and we all got to meet sweet baby Parker! Bennett looked giant next to him because of course he was only 6 weeks old, but I have a feeling he’ll catch up quickly since he’s already weighing in at around 14 pounds or so.
We also drove up to Shenandoah one day and took B of her first hike. Raf wore her in the carrier for the first time as we hiked up the mountain while I had the pleasure of giving Asher a piggy back ride most of the way (someone did NOT want to walk), which was only fitting since the last time we were there I was around 7 months pregnant with him.
Bennett’s favorite pass time is still watching everything Asher does. She really loves him and he in turn enthusiastically adores her and she has the bruises to prove it.
I guess I better start baby proofing.