And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Ladies Man

Ben started child care today. Brian and I spent a lot of time thinking about this and debating and we finally started looking for a place at the beginning of the summer. We found a place that we love that happened to have an opening and Ben began today. We love our babysitters....all three of them are wonderful and we feel totally comfortable leaving Ben under their care. The problem is that they are all students so their schedules change each semester and their availability goes down. So Ben was dropped off this morning at the child care center.

Of course he cried when I passed him off to someone else. He does this routinely though (church, babysitters etc) so I wasn't surprised or alarmed. I left the room and went to do some paperwork and by the time I came back and looked in the window, he was pushing a truck across the floor with squinchy face on. Ben is in a classroom with 5 other kids ranging from age 3 months to 1 year. They are all female. The guy/girl ratio is highly unbalanced. If Ben were 18 years older, he would think this equation rocked. But he's too young and has no idea that he's surrounded by females and will most likely be playing barbies and dress up unless some boys come in the classroom.

He did great. The people watching him said he did fantastic. 2 solid naps- one of them 2 hours long. I don't think he's ever slept that long for me. Didn't cry when going down for nap. Ate green beans. Amazing. We feel really good about the set up and we're thanking God for providing this center for us.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A few pictures

2 pictures from Michigan that Grandma and Grandpa Roelofs took for us!

This is what we like to call "Squinchy face" Combination of smushed and smiling face

Sitting on the hotel bed in the froggie jammies :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby in the Bano

Several years ago, we went on a family vacation with my family to Aspen. My niece, Makenna was about 8 months at the time, so only slightly younger than Ben is now. I clearly remember one day when the housekeeping staff came by to clean the rooms and we had to tell them not to clean the bathroom because she was in there sleeping. At the time I was somewhat disturbed that my precious niece was sleeping in the bathroom....the place where we go to shower, wash our hands know. But my sister defended her sleeping location saying it was in a separate room from them and was quiet and dark. I admit....I was skeptical. The housekeeping staff apparently thought it was a bit odd as well because one woman pointed at the bathroom door and said "Baby in the bano???"

Well......Ben slept in the bano and Emily was 100% right. The only place where Ben would sleep on our trip. As soon as we moved him out of our room and into the bano, he slept much better. We had a lovely trip and Ben was a trooper. In 8 nights, we were in 4 different locations. We logged countless hours in the car, he was constantly surrounded by new people and new places and he did really well all things considered. There were days when he got no naps at all and the idea of a "schedule" flew out the window somewhere in Western Pennsylvania. The first few nights of attempting to "co-room" with our child were somewhat of a failure. The first night he was in his pack and play only a few feet away from our bed and we woke up at 3:00 a.m. to "mamamama" and "dadadadada" from Ben who was standing up staring at us from over the rail. Second night, we hung a sheet between him and us so he wouldn't see us thinking maybe that would do the trick. No go. Third night, after he was awake 3 times within an hour of us entering the room, mom and dad surrendered and went downstairs to sleep on the pullout. Ben had the largest room in the house all to himself. The next night we got to a hotel in Grand Rapids and thought "why not give the bathroom a try?" Worked like a charm. Who knows....maybe at this point in time he was so tired from lack of nap and good night's rest and he would have slept anywhere but I'm convinced the bano had something to do with it. Dark, quiet, separated from mom and dad by drywall and studs, perfect. Baby in the bano. I will say that Ben not only slept better but enjoyed the acoustics. He could shriek and go "ah ah ah" really loudly and the bathroom amplified his little voice and gave it a nice echo quality that only spurred him on to louder calls. A combination between a crowing rooster when the sun goes up and a hilarious hotel wake up call.

We had a lovely time in Michigan seeing family and friends. We also got to witness the marriage of dear cousins/friends who we love. So happy for them! Thanks to everyone who helped make it an enjoyable week. Thanks to Nana and Pop-Pop for their help with Ben. Thanks to all those who tolerated my AWFUL golfing skills (no skill at all). Thanks again to those who lent us stuff for the drive out and the drive back. Thanks to Ben for being a trooper. I'll post pictures later of Ben in the car....priceless.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Driving and Driving and Driving

Well we made it.....we left Maryland yesterday around 2:00 p.m. and arrived in Cadillac, Michigan a few hours ago. We spent the night in Cleveland last night to break up the was still a long drive.

Ben was a super trooper. We cheated a bit and put him in the forward facing carseat for the road trip. He slept, he ate cheerios, he played with toys, he fussed, he watched Baby Mozart. We got two tips from people before we left included the temporary loaning of a portable DVD player, the other included advice of half a benadryl. No drugs. DVD player was life saving. Baby Mozart and Elmo and Friends provided hours of entertainment for baby and parents alike. New toys gifted from a sweet boy at church also made the trip much easier. Nothing like new toys to play with!

We're looking forward to a couple of wonderful, relaxing days in Michigan. More updates to come as the week goes on. For now....we are here, enjoying the cool weather, dry air and family reunions.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

4 Years

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband, best friend, father of the coolest kid in the world. Yay for 4 years of marriage and God willing, many more to come!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Water Weekend

We had an awesome weekend. Ben loves the water and he got plenty of it!

We bought a small inflatable pool for our backyard and Ben (and Brian)enjoyed a swim on Saturday afternoon.

Then on Sunday after church we went over to our friend's house, the Dykstras, from our church. They have been so awesome to us since we moved to Maryland. This was yet another example of their kindness and friendship to us. We had a nice lunch together then went out on their boat. They live on an inlet of the Chesapeake Bay so we set off in the late afternoon on a beautiful ride. Ben loved the boat! He seemed a bit confused by the wind blowing his face and hair but he got used to it and enjoyed the surroundings. Brian and two of their sons jumped off the boat and took a swim and all was well until they got back on and we were going to head for home. Turned the luck. Turned the key again....still no luck. Dead battery. Luckily we weren't too far from home so the boys jumped back in the water, grabbed rope and tied it to them and started swimming us home. Nothing like a good workout for the day! All of a sudden Brian felt a stinging sensation and thought he was swimming through seaweed. Next thing we know we hear the communal cry of "JELLYFISH" and all three boys make a mad dash for the boat. Unfortunately, they forgot they were still tied to the front of the boat so there was some scrambling to set them free and get them on board safely. No permanent damage done....a few red marks and a towing to shore and all was well (hoping we can say the same for the battery???)

It was a wonderful water-filled weekend! Ben was exhausted....loved it all.....but was exhausted.

Friday, August 6, 2010


It really is too bad he's about to exceed the weight limit on this thing. It has provided hours of fun and laughs as you can tell :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Ben has quotas- once they're filled....they're filled. He's like a gas tank with the warnings...once your tank is full, don't try to top off or you might overflow. Maybe every baby is like this. Maybe mine is just special. But Ben's life has quotas.

Sleep quota- Ben must have some kind of internal clock that gauges exactly how much sleep he needs per day. When he has had that amount of sleep....he's done. No more. So now that he's sleeping more or less through the night and getting more in the p.m., bye bye naps. For the last couple of days, it's literally been bye bye naps. Maybe 15 minutes here or there but not a good hour or two hour long nap yet this week. Nice to sleep at night, not nice to have a cranky, sleepless child during the day.

Food quota- Mid-chew, Ben decided his food quota for the day was done and promptly spit out the mouthful of tomato puff and yogurt yesterday. Done. No more food. Tank is full. Quota met.

Carseat quota- Ben has decided he hates his carseat. No kid probably really likes riding in the car, but Ben has decided no more carseat. He does fine for about 15 minutes then BAM- meltdown mode. This will make our 12 hour car ride to Michigan in a week really interesting.

Cruising Quota- Ben has thinned out...but he's still a bit chubby. He can only support his own weight on his arms and legs for so long before he just collapses like a little beached whale. Then he'll rally and out he goes again. I can actually see his arms and legs (crawling) or just legs (standing/cruising) start to shake.....BAM. Down he goes. Lay there. Breathe. Inhale. And out we go again.

Anyway- there's an update on development from our neck of the woods. Fascinating and busy time of life for us!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Calm After the Storm

Well the week of total chaos has come to a close and life is returning to normal- normal is still busy but nothing like last week. The SERVE project went well in many ways- no serious injuries, everyone made it home in one piece, we maintained power after a huge thunderstorm that took power from everywhere around us, the teens and leaders seemed to enjoy it and get something out of it. All in all I'd say success. Wow was it exhausting. Even with Ben's new found ability to sleep more or less through the night it was totally draining. Thanks to Brian's mom who came for the week and was a huge help.

Ben has proved that he is able to sleep through the night. I'd say he's about 3 for 7....slept almost straight through 3 nights of the last 7. 3 of those he woke up maybe once or twice, 1 of those was a marathon night for mommy and baby alike. When he does sleep longer stretches, I'm finally starting to adjust to it and unfortunately get used to it :) I'm not waking up every few hours thinking I should go in and check on him.

We aren't sure why there was such a sudden switch in Ben's sleeping patterns......I'm not going to question it, not going to wonder....just be THANKFUL! A few theories....

- ACTIVITY. For those of you who have parented a 9 month old, or babysat a 9 month old, you'll know the feeling of sounding like a broken record "," the ache in the back from picking up 20 + pound children and holding their hands in the air while they "walk." Ben does not sit still. Not for a second. He is on the go. Go Go Go Go. He's probably exhausted at the end of the day from all the movement.

- Solid foods. Brian's mom did a wonderful job getting Ben to eat all kinds of new foods. He ate everything from potatoes, to fruit, to glorified expensive Gerber tomato puffs that look like cheetos. Something he really liked strangely enough...pesto. I gave him some pasta with pesto on it and he actually liked it. The kid who wouldn't eat any baby food likes pesto. Go figure. Refined taste buds. Maybe the solids are filling him up more so he can go longer at night?

- Answered prayer? On Sunday our pastor was talking about praying for dumb things. I don't think this qualifies. I have prayed many times that Ben would sleep more at night. For his sake- he needs rest. For our sake- we need rest. Him not sleeping was definitely a lesson in patience and waiting on the Lord.