meet ben.

The past two weeks have passed in an absolute blur with this new little one at home. Each day has been full of newborn and extra toddler snuggles. Benjamin Lewis arrived on March 1st weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces (though he’s already up to 10). His birth story is beautiful and I want to get it all down in writing before the details start drifting away from me (they already are!), but today I’m just checking in with the news that’s he’s here, he’s here!

Charlie is handling things pretty well with just some minor jealousy that mainly involves handing out sweet hugs like candy and trying out every item of Ben’s baby gear.

Ben is more alert and sweeter by the day. We love him despite his evening witching hour and his habit of waking up the moment we set him down. Today is the beginning of what I’m considering phase four of maternity leave (phase one: waiting. Phase two: arrival of Ben with my parents here. Phase three: Mike’s paternity leave. Phase four: just me and Ben) We’re sending Charlie in to daycare until summer break, so I can get to know and love on this little mush. I’m not quite ready to have a 15 month old and a two week old all to myself just yet. We’ll get there though. I’m holding the little man as I type this. He’s snoring away, one arm flung above his head and I’m thinking about joining him in a little mid afternoon nap before the big one gets home and demands dinner.

charlie turns one!

I just can’t even believe it’s already been a year (and a day) since this little ragamuffin came into the world! In some ways I feel like he was born just yesterday, but in others it’s like he’s been in our lives forever. He has brought us so much joy, and it’s been so crazy fun to see him grow. They go through so many changes in the first year! He’s just such a real little kid now. I can see him starting to lose his baby-hood which makes me sad, but it’s a. He runs everywhere, always wants to be outside, loves Wendy and ,

We celebrated the little man with a small batch of cupcakes, a birthday crown, some presents, and lots of reminiscing about this day a year ago. I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures here from his first year.

charlie crawls.

I posted a couple weeks ago that Charlie had started scooting around the house like a little zombie. This last week though, at 6 month plus a week or two, he’s up on his knees and crawling for real! He’s into everything now; pulling things off the shelves, hunting for cords, trying to eat Wendy’s bone. 2b3efb20-c8ab-47da-bbcb-ff291d412271

I looked away for two minutes this weekend, and he had crawled over to Wendy’s food and dumped her whole water bowl all over the living room and himself. Naughty boy! He’s started to pull up to stand on us and here and there around the house too. This boy is going to be walking before we know it!! Here’s a little video 🙂



charlie scoots.

09420d6f-9c90-4076-b0a5-d7e1da2369faa7c22ab1-0774-429f-afe3-a79204583ddcI just had to document this silly little phase. Charlie started scooting around on his belly on Tuesday and it’s hilarious. He moves like a little fish! He pushes off with his right leg and pulls himself along with his arms. So funny. Mike told me that yesterday morning he was crawling around on his knees and up on his hands like a real crawler, but I haven’t seen it yet!


And, of course, the first thing he went for? Wendy’s food and water bowl. I had to snap a couple pictures before firmly telling him “NO!” (which he laughed at) and redirecting him elsewhere. We’re going to have to keep a really close eye on this kid now. And we may have to start doing some more baby proofing around the house. We have tons of danger hot spots!

Click here to watch a video of our quick little scooter!

six months with charlie.


IMG_9156.JPGOur little guy is starting to seem not so little anymore. We have glimpses every day of the kid he’s going to grow up to be, and it’s a combination of heart-wrenching that it truly does go by this fast, and so fun to have his little personality shining through. At six months Charlie has been eating solids here and there for about a month. The last few weeks we’ve been on a pretty consistent two-meal schedule with nursing every three hours. We’ve even started having family dinners every night at the table, complete with prayer at the beginning which he smiles so big for. He has a newfound love of baths (every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday – when we remember), and for Wendy who he smiles for all the time. She, on the other hand, is fairly indifferent about him which makes it all the funnier to us.

Is Charlie sleeping through the night? Last week I would have told you that it was happening more and more often, but then for the last 4 or 5 days, we’ve had our nightly meetings back again. Maybe Charlie could tell I was feeling a little blue about the end of our night nursing? I’ll need to let him know that he can feel free to just wake up every once in a while instead of every night. He’s off and on for naps – some days it’s two, some days it’s three, but he’s still napping pretty horribly at school. Oh well though, he doesn’t seem too much worse for it.

He’s sitting up on his own for a surprisingly long time, not crying even when he falls over. He even sat himself up on his own from his belly the other day which, I will just tell you, was shocking. No crawling is happening yet, just lots of time spent on all fours trying to figure it out. It’s happening soon! I can feel it! Although, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t mind delaying it for a while longer. Also – we’re still toothless over here, which is totally fine with me because we’re still going strong with nursing.

He happily yells a battlecry all the time, and says “buh buh buh buh” on repeat. He loves trying to drink water out of my glass which is hilarious – the cup a big ring around his face as it spills down his front. He sits up like a big boy in his stroller, and joins us for family runs a few times a week, quietly taking in the scenery. We try to take a daily walk which I’m convinced helps him sleep better at night. The ladies at school love him (we can tell) which makes it easier to drop him off there every day. He wakes up happy, sleeps on his belly (knees tucked under, butt in the air), and still loves his penguin wubbanub best. He grabs everything within reach, thinks beer bottles are his, and has figured out that peekaboo is not a magic trick making it less funny than it used to be. But the most random things are funny to him and it’s always the best to get a big belly laugh. He hugs us, stands up with help, is so ticklish, and he just brings us so much joy every day.

charlie sits.

And just like that Charlie has figured out the fine art of sitting. It makes me laugh to see him sitting up like such a little human. I’m so used to seeing him laying on his back or laying on his tummy with his little head popped up. He’s still a little wobbly, so believe-you-me my hand is right there juuuuuust out of sight, ready to catch him if (and when) he topples over.

Tonight I sat with him between my legs after dinner. He had a whole pile of toys in his lap, and he proceeded to dig through the mess to get to his pacifier and put it right in his mouth. Basically an adult! No hysterics about toes tonight though. But hey, there’s always tomorrow!

a (first) trip to the library.

I’m embarrassed to admit (as a librarian) that it’s taken five months for me to get Charlie to a library. I’m even more embarrassed to admit that this trip wasn’t even an intentional “Charlie needs to visit the library” visit. It was a trip for my own selfish purposes!

I’m knee deep in library lesson planning. While yes, I’m a school librarian, for the past three years I have had the luxury of being on a flexible schedule during the school day. This means I’m not a “Special.” Teachers can arrange weekly times to visit the library for their students to get books, but not every teacher has chosen to take advantage of the opportunity. This has left me ample time to do book ordering, teacher requests for books, clubs, random administrative tasks, etc. Well, all that has come to a screeching halt. I’ve become very “Special” in the afternoon. Meaning I’ve been in furious flurry of lesson planning and scrambling to get things together for classes beginning in the library this week. Long story short – I needed some books for my storytime that the school library didn’t have. So off we went to the public library this past weekend, dragging Charlie (and Mike) with me. And on the way there, as Mike was saying he would wait in the car with Charlie while I ran in. We realized – it was Charlie’s first library visit! Ack! So out came Charlie into the library to visit the Children’s section and to read a few books with his papa while I hunted down my books for storytime. Only one librarian made him cry – and it wasn’t me!

So there you have it. Charlie’s sweet first visit to the public library. Just the first of many!

three months with charlie.


I know everyone says it, but when you have a child DON’T BLINK! I swear, just yesterday we brought Charlie home from the hospital, and today he’s doing big boy things like holding his head up on his own and moving up to size 2 diapers! Does he even need me anymore? Charlie is just the sweetest baby you guys. He has the happiest little personality. A couple weeks ago, he started laughing these great big belly laughs and he has a crooked, squinty-eye smile just like his mama. I feel like it’s my mission in life to get a laugh out of him every day now. I’ve found his tickle spot in his little armpits, and Mike has this chomping move that gets him every time.

He seems like such an aware, wise little person lately. I keep pulling out our box of baby toys to see if he’s interested yet, and I swear he looks at me like, “Why are you trying to make me play with these baby toys? So beneath me. Read me a book instead, Mom.” He’s just really soaking everything in like a sponge right now. Our next project is rolling over, and *fingers and toes crossed* sleeping through the night.

It’s not all sunshine and roses, of course. I’ve become a working mom this month, and it’s so tough you guys. I’m back at school full time doing my Elementary School Librarian thing though my heart isn’t quite in it. I have total mommy guilt at leaving Charlie at daycare every day. I just know that he would be getting the absolute best care if I were home with him, but like so many people, both of us working is the best option for us right now. Mike has to talk me down every night while we’re getting dinner ready. Classic first-time mom here – worrying about everything!

It’s not that the daycare is bad. Charlie’s getting what he needs – food, sleep, diapers. We get to check in on him on video from work (I watch while I’m pumping, hehe), and Charlie is a happy little dude when I pick him up after school. They tell me what a good baby he is every day. But I think as a parent you just want your baby to be loved on as much as you would love on him, and of course that just doesn’t happen and you can’t really expect it at daycare. With a bunch of other kids running around, he’s not getting a ton of extras – especially because he’s not much of a crier and not moving around yet like the other kids.

Just the nature of being separated from your tiny baby who you love more than anything for 8 hours every day is so tough. It just means that we make sure to love on him that much more when we get home from work every day. We just keep telling each other that it’s going to be so much better once he’s more mobile. The socialization, routine and activity of daycare will be a really good thing for him then. And those days are going to be here before we know it! This parenting thing though – so not straightforward, and I admit, no one said it would be easy. But! Spring break is coming! And Summer! Ah, the life of a teacher. Always having a break to look forward to is such a luxury!

He’s just the best little guy though. Happy 3 months, Charlie!  You are so loved!