Ain’t Eight Months Great

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I think this story needs no words. It tells itself.

Benji has just in the last few days figured out how to awkwardly scoot forward using an exaggerated rapid right-left grabbing motion. It’s quite ridiculous looking, but works for him.

He’s also on a pacifier kick all of a sudden. Previously, he didn’t care about pacifiers in particular; now, he sucks one almost every moment he’s not eating. I’m sure this has to do with his first tooth, which is slowly making its appearance.

Benji at 6 Months

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This is how I put Benji down for his nap.

He had a short nap, and I left him alone in his crib for about 30 minutes after he woke up (showering occasionally is advisable).

Here’s what I found when I came in.

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I’m guessing that all the thumping I heard may have played a role. This is the only time I wish we had a video monitor – I wish I could have seen him moving!

Yesterday he rolled over back to front for the first time. Our days of staying put are clearly numbered.

Benji’s visual acuity seems better, too: he stares at shadows and has started trying to pull the printing off our shirts.

Oh, and he’s babbling lots. Ma and ba, with all sorts of squeals, mutters, and sighs thrown in. So darn cute.

Still Alive, Don’t Worry

It’s just been a busy few days. Last week it seemed like the days filled up so fast, I couldn’t catch up. There was work, bike training, and Benji — my life feels full.

I’m enjoying the bits I’m learning about the finance stuff for my job. It’s very reminiscent of my time with Charles River, in that both industries are heavily federally regulated and involve lots of paperwork. Apparently that appeals to me, because as I’ve started to do a bit of work for Laurie, it’s felt like coming back to a career I’m suited for. I’m interested and excited to learn more.

The big exciting thing for me was that on Saturday the 23rd I did my first-ever bike race, although it was really dipping my toes into racing. What I did was the Frostbite Time Trial, a 12.5-mile, perfectly flat course between Carnation and Fall City. The idea of a time trial is that you ride all by yourself as hard as you can go, racing the clock. There’s nobody around you and if you crash, it’s because of your own stupidity. I didn’t crash or do anything stupid, and I both started and finished. This was my icebreaker into racing, and I feel ever so much better having done it. Now I’m ready to do a race that plays to my strengths — wheelsucking, hills, and longer distances.

For the record, I placed 14th out of 35 Cat 4 women with a time of 36:25, for an average of 20.5 mph. Apparently I should be pleased; that’s good… “for a climber.” Hah. I’ll do better next race. But now I know I can ride that hard for that long, which I didn’t know before. Good data.

Meanwhile, Benji seems to be on a bit of a 6-month crazy baby kick. He normally has a very predictable sleep schedule, eats well, plays happily, and is generally my favorite baby ever. The last week, though, he’s waking up a couple times a night; spends the day grumbling; refuses to nap; refuses the bottle; and generally acts grumpy. But he’s also started deliberately trying to make sounds: “ma” and “ba.” He gets this look of intense concentration on his face and you can see his lips moving into the shape. Sometimes a noise comes out, sometimes not. It’s fun.

He has also figured out how to use the Johnny Jump-Up, and now jumps like crazy in there. This may also be what has helped him figure out that he can use his legs, because when we hold him, he’s starting to straighten his legs and put weight on them a bit. Even so, he’s still not rolled over back to front, and he doesn’t really move around when we put him down — for which I’m profoundly grateful. I know those days are numbered.

More details soon. I’m off to yet another team activity. Like I said, busy life these days.

Wait, What?

Benji is a strange child.

We’ve offered him smooshed-up avocado with milk and apple sauce liberally cut with milk, with zero interest. We’re not expecting him to get any nutrition from “solid” food yet, so come isn’t a big deal… But most of the time we offer anything, Benji makes it abundantly clear he’d prefer milk, thank you very much.

He did seem to show a little interest in the raw carrot when I gave him that, but it was a reserved and cautious “this may not be 100% terrible” response.

Today, though, Benji showed his strongest positive response to any solid food yet. I gave him a piece and, after some careful exploratory licking yielded positive results, he went at it with increasing gusto. He figured out a good hold and soon we heard vigorous sucking noises, accompanied by fairly enthusiastic chewing (as much as a toothless baby can be said to chew; “gnaw” might more accurately reflect reality, although that also implies dentition).

And what is this miracle food?

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Why, cold steamed broccoli, of course. Naturally.

Budding Genius, I’m Sure

Today was final exam day in Mom’s chemistry class. Mom had to make the answer key, and Benji helped out when she got stumped.

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Granted, his answer to everything was “milk,” but that’s not so different from the correct answer always being “c.”

Also today Benji received his first-ever international package: a French kids book from my Uncle Gerard. After a quick sample, Benji confirmed that the book was indeed to his taste.

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A strong overtone of sparkles with a hint of cardboard, followed by an exotic splash of foreign spices. Thank you to Uncle Gerard for expanding our horizons.