Tuesday, November 27, 2007

6 Months Old Already!

Though Bennett actually turned 6 months last Friday (while we were in Peoria) - we are celebrating today with another routine doctor appointment. She weighed in at 16 lbs 12 ounces this morning and was 25.5 inches long....which is in the 75th percentile in weight, and 50th in length! She is really growing like a weed and exploding with personality!

I know that every mother thinks her child is the best and brightest, but I know that my little girl is! She can say one word (da da), can rollover, and sit up for a minute or two by herself. In addition, she is reaching for her bottle, and is really trying to communicate with us by imitating our sounds and concentrating on the silly faces we make. She is such a happy baby, and when she gets excited or laughs, she does so with her whole body. She kicks her legs, waves her arms, her eyes sparkle, and she smiles with her mouth wide open.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Day in Peoria!

This year we headed up to Peoria for turkey day! We try to rotate the two big holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, between our two families. Thankfully Brian and Shannon are on the same schedule, so we all headed back to Illinois with the kids and all 8 bags!! Yes, you read correctly...8 pieces of luggage for our group of six for a long weekend. Now I may be exaggerating slightly since two of the pieces were Steve and Brian's hunting gear, but the remaining 6 bags (plus carry-ons) were all for us. We were supposed to arrive Wednesday night, but when the weather shifted and freezing rain or snow was in the forecast for that night, we all shifted our flights to the first flight out that morning. That worked out quite well for us, travel-wise since all of our flights were running on schedule at that hour. In fact, we even managed to arrive a little early...shocker! Needless to say, there wasn't any freezing rain or snow (in fact, it snowed after we left on Sunday). However, we did have cold weather, so we had to dress Bennett properly....and that would be in her new white faux fur coat and hat!

After arriving at 11am on Wednesday...we had a full weekend ahead of us. My mother had the whole weekend planned, down to our meals with specific appetizers (my cousin Debbie would have been so proud). The alcoholic drinks and teasing started immediately, but I think overall...a good time was had by all. It was a wonderful opportunity for us all to be together, and for my parents to spend quality time with their grandchildren. I too thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my nephew, Christian. He is walking well now, but not really talking yet (except for saying "mama" whenever he is mad, sad, tired or actually wants his mama). He was recovering from the croup, so he was a little of all of these most of the weekend, but when he was happy....he was happy. He enjoyed dancing for us, clapping when he was proud of himself, and exploring the new house. This photo is when he is in the guest bath looking out of the window at us...which he enjoyed!

Bennett was her typical happy self most of the weekend, except for the short plane rides between Birmingham and Atlanta. She cried both times for about half of the flights. I know that I couldn't have done anything about it, but it was still embarrassing and very stressful. I was just sweating with the anxiety of it all. Brian got a big kick out of it though, looking over at me and just laughing. She otherwise traveled pretty well and adapted to her new surroundings well. She slept through the nights in her playpen, napped on anyone that would hold her, and otherwise just hung out. She especially loved Winston, my parent's dog. He couldn't have been any sweeter and patient. He let Christian sit on him and Bennett pull his hair, and still gave them both love (see the video). His only fault was the extreme jealousy that he had whenever my father showed anyone else any attention. During these times he barked incessantly (which my mother claimed that he doesn't do normally).

The two kids together were pretty entertaining. Christian has this little fake cough that he does, and one day he was doing it, and Bennett starting imitating him. They were fake coughing in response to one another and in unison (if only we had the video camera then). Though we were a little crowded, and had more toys spread across the floor than my mother could handle...
I don't think I would have changed anything. Now we are at home, and trying to finish our Christmas shopping.

Since we only have four short weeks until Christmas when my folks come to Birmingham, we will get to relive this experience all over again soon! I can definitely say that I am VERY thankful for my family, and for their unconditional love. This has been an emotional year for Steve and me, from the ups and downs of my pregnancy, to the joyous delivery of our daughter, Bennett, to the devastating loss of our beloved dog, Shelby, to these last few months of success at work and home...having our families has made it all much easier and better. We love all of them, and are blessed to have them in our lives!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Day of Firsts

Yesterday was a big day of firsts at the Mizerany household. Since we are flying up to Peoria for Thanksgiving, sadly Spencer is forced to stay behind. We secured a new dogsitter for him months ago, but after his freak out two months ago with a family member and friend watching him (a neighbor called animal control on us because of his incessant barking)...we decided that he is not comfortable with strangers. In fact, he is ONLY comfortable with our friend, Sara staying here. Unfortunately, Sara won't be able to watch him for Thanksgiving. So, we started researching kennels in town (his other alternative). That is when Brian told us about a kennel-free environment...Camp Bow Meow!

They thankfully had availability, so we headed out to visit and check out the digs. It is owned and operated by a couple who bought a house and renovated it with the intention of only dogs living there. They removed all of the doors and put up 5 foot gates in the door frames instead. They also have a deck, screened-in porch and a huge fenced in yard. They sparsely furnished it with old sofas, futons and doggie beds...a palace for most dogs! Anyway, Spence was anxious to check out the new place, but he never went further than a few feet from his mama. Steve has always teased me about having such a whimpy dog, and he proved that on Monday. He wouldn't go to either of the owners and then whined when I left him.

They told me that I had to bring him back for doggie daycare before we could leave him so they could build rapport with him. We kept our fingers crossed, and dropped him off Friday morning for this new adventure. You see, I have NEVER kenneled Spencer before! He has always been fortunate enough to stay at home with someone he felt comfortable with when we left. So, this was a little scary for him, and me.

He started off poorly. In fact, as I was walking out the door, Russell (one of the owners) grabbed Spence by the collar to hold onto him. All four of his legs were going so he could follow me, but Russell had a good hold, so he just stayed in place and "treaded." It was pretty pathetic. However, after some time went by, he adjusted and even played with a new friend. Jake, the owner's pitbull, hangs out there during the day so they played together in the yard. I called to check on him and got the thumb's up, so I returned to get him. He was tuckered out from the excitement, but he got the go ahead for Thanksgiving weekend, so we are relieved!

The other big first today was Bennett eating rice cereal. Her pediatrician tried to get her started two months ago, but I insisted that she was happy and satisfied with her bottle. Since then, Steve has been asking if I was ready to introduce the cereal. I finally caved in today (since her 6th month birthday is right around the corner). See the video below to see how she did.

As you can see, she grew very impatient with me. Since she couldn't figure out how to eat from a spoon yet, she didn't like the concept of waiting in between bites. She expected it to be as quick and satisying as her bottle, so when I took a couple of seconds between bites, she got very upset. We'll try again tomorrow, and I am hopeful that she'll adapt.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Who's Your Doggie?

Bennett is already 5.5 months old, and has quite the personality. We have already seen signs of a temper (and I don't understand where she gets that from). Although most of the time, she is a happy baby...laughing at her doggie, Spencer.

It is amazing how she is just perks up when he enters the room. Since he likes to show his affection by licking, we try to control that some towards Bennett. We don't mind it when he licks her feet though, and neither does she!

Spencer has always been a little timid, and he wasn't quite sure of Bennett when she first arrived. However, over the past few months, he has really started to warm up to her. In fact, he even let her sit on his back, as seen in this photo. It really is quite sweet the way she giggles at him, and he comes up and sniffs her whenever she makes a noise.

Her noises are getting more defined too...she recently started saying (gulp) "dada." I know she doesn't know what she is saying, but it is still cute nonetheless! However, this small milestone has made me even more determined to teach her "mama" and Myra is practicing "mimi" with her. Though Steve won the contest of her saying his name first, let's see who wins the contest of her really understanding what she says when she sees us! The game is on!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sweet 16

Can you believe that our little 5 lb 13 oz daughter is already tipping the scales at 16 lbs 2 oz? Well if you could see the rolls on her little thighs and on her wrists, you would believe us! Yesterday Bennett went to the doctor to get two of her six vaccinations that she was supposed to get at her four month check-up. Since she has had a cold for the past two weeks, we delayed the process some. While at the office we took some other measurements: at 5 1/2 months, she is on track with her weight and length. She is in the 65th percentile for weight and 73rd percentile for height.

In fact, she just recently reached another milestone, and started rolling over on a regular basis from her back to her belly. There have been many times over the past several weeks where she accidentally rolled over, but now she has mastered it. She can even get her arm out from underneath herself...most of the time. She is so proud of her new accomplishment, as we are.