Friday, July 13, 2012

Month Ten

This was one of the most wonderful months! Let's get right to it!

     You are so becoming such a big girl now! You've been crawling, but this month was your first time crawling around outside, like on the grass! Daddy took you out for the first time on Easter and you seemed to find it weird at first, but then totally enjoyed it! Miss Jackie took you outside one day and took sequential pictures of you one the blanket, then starting to crawl off the blanket, then many feet away; you were on the move girl!

Crawling away from baby Peyton

     You have TWO teeth now! Chomp chomp!

     You had your first Family Girls Night. Both Grandmas and aunts were there. We all went to the Noodle Bar (Awesome btw, if you haven't been, DO IT!). You had a great time b/c grandmas enjoyed feeding you big girl food from their plates.

     You had your first big boo-boo. Daddy brought his Kettlebells in to work out, and left them around the living room. One night while he was at Uke club, mom was cooking dinner and you were playing in the living room, and I watched you crawl right into the kettlebell trying to make your way to me. Oh, it was pretty sad. You had a big bruise immediately!

     You also endured enjoyed your first Sunrise Easter service. I was really worried about how you'd handle it. But you seemed to handle it like a pro. It's like you know that your PK (pastor's kid) life is going to require lots of energy, stamina, and events and you're preparing yourself already. We got up super early and went to the sunrise service at 6:30am. You hung out in the little pouch on me while mommy and daddy led worship for those that came. Then we went home and prepared lunch for the potluck @ Aunt Jan's. Then we went straight to church to prepare for the first service. You were such a star throughout both services and then the potluck! This is when daddy took you outside to crawl around for the first time. And you wore such a cute little eyelet dress that mommy's friend Heather gave to you, which was perfect, b/c mommy had just gotten you an eyelet sunhat. You looked adorable!

And b/c we need a picture of you with Mommy too!

     Then we did something totally fun. You went with mommy and daddy to the Catalyst conference*  for a few days and spent the night in your first hotel room. We were a little nervous about how you might do, and you did such a great job. We were worried that since we'd be sleeping in the same room together, you might be distracted and have a hard time sleeping, but nope,  you slept wonderfully. Throughout the whole conference though, you found it a little hard. There was a lot of sitting quietly and listening to speakers and that was kinda hard for you. Mommy took you out several times to let you crawl around a bit. But, of course, everyone there was totally taken with you and thought you were just adorable! 
     On our way down south, we stopped at Downtown Disney for your first time and had some grub at the wonderful White Water cafe. You had such a great time. Hopefully some day we'll be able to take you to Disneyland for real, cause we were kinda depressed after we left, knowing that we never actually got to go inside the park. 

*I would just like to add as a side note, that I thoroughly enjoyed the gourmet lunch trucks that they brought every day. That was so super awesome. The first day we ate at a pizza place. We got some pork sliders and meat pizza. The pizza was okay, Grant thought the sliders were too fatty (I tried to warn him). We were mostly disappointed though since they were out of sweet potato fries. The second day we went to the Bacon Lovers truck... holy crap! super yum! We got some fresh crunchy fries with shredded bbq pork with beans atop. It had a topping of delicious coleslaw with spicy cream sauce and tangy bbq sauce all over it... and of course some bacon. This was so outrageous! I loved it more than Grant did. He got more of a chili cheese fries dish. 

     This month we started enjoying something new! Daddy started juicing and we tried some out on you to see how you'd like it, and you loved it! Flashback: A few weeks prior, we were walking in Target with Aunt Beeb and you wanted to hold my Bucks drink, I turned back around a second later and you were drinking through the straw! I was so shocked! You wanted that Bucks!** Flash-forward: since you had mastered drinking through a straw, we started giving you cups of the juice with a straw and you just devoured it! You slurped that stuff up like crazy!
     On that note, you are starting to eat more solid food, like, not liquid foods. You are VERY interested in mommy and daddy's food! You love to drink whatever we have, and mommy has given daddy several dirty looks for giving you a sip of soda.

Can you see my green mustache?
**BTW, best Bucks drink ever: Passion tea Lemonade with Raspberry flavor!

You ate your first cookie, had a few lemons, and also checked the table out
     Drum roll please!!!!!!
     You are sleeping through the night now! Here's the story:
     Mommy was starting to get uber frustrated getting up every 3 hours in the middle of the night. I was no longer feeding you at these times, but rather going in and trying to calm you. I'd lay you back down and give you your paci.  Or I'd try and rock you back to sleep, but of course, the second I laid you down, you'd wake back up and scream hysterically. I just didn't know what to do. If I didn't get up quick enough, your daddy would get up and try his turn at it. I just didn't see any end in site!
     I started researching and asking other moms for advice. The general consensus? Let her cry.*** Now, I was totally fine with this. I had done this a few times during the day a few months before and you cried for less than 30 minutes and then fell asleep. I just knew it would work. Your daddy on the other hand, not so convinced about this method. Every time I tried to talk to him about it, he was just nervous because we had always been told that if you were crying, something was wrong. However, you were NOT a baby anymore. You were 9 months old, and we needed a change. Daddy suggested that we get you on a schedule, but I tried explaining that you already were on a schedule, and this method was our last shot. Finally, he caved.
     I knew it would be really hard for your daddy, and it was. The next few days were not fun for him. Every time we put you down and you cried, he was just cringing and very restless. It was especially hard in the middle of the night. We were obviously woken up when you cried, and wanted to go back to sleep, and the easiest thing to do would have been to go sooth  you, but we knew that that would hinder the method. Those few days saw me sleeping with a pillow over my head.
     But, there was light at the end of the tunnel. It only took about 3 days and you were sleeping through the night! Every once in a while you would wake up and cry in the middle of the night, but within minutes you were fast asleep again. And your parents were eternally grateful for solid rest! And you got better rest at night as well.
     This had wonderful benefits! Not only were you sleeping roughly ten hours a night, but you were also taking longer naps. No more 30 minute naps, but rather 90 min. to 2 hour naps! It was so great! You were so much happier when you woke up in the morning, and from naps! And mommy had much more energy to play with you during the day! Thank you Lord!
     Oh, and when all was said and done, your daddy came and acknowledged that I was right. Which, to any women, is some of the best news to hear!

***I would just like to note that I know that the method of Letting-them-cry-it-out is VERY controversy. I understand that. But at nine months, I had tried everything that I'd researched, and every bit of advice I'd been given by others and nothing was working. This was my last hope. I know that this method doesn't and won't necessarily work for every infant, but for us, it worked like a charm. I would never do this at one or two months just to train them, but nine months is definitely past time for them to be sleeping through the night.

Month Nine

     Well, this was one eventful month, that's for sure! Let's see, where to start?

     For one, we had a bit of a scare right at the start of the month. You were on the table sleeping in your car seat while the rest of us were decorating the church fellowship hall for our fun dinner. You apparently woke up, and no one noticed, so you decided to climb out of the car seat on your own, and you fell off the table, face first onto the floor. I ran to you and was so thankful to hear your screaming! That was very scary. While checking to make sure you were okay, I discovered that you were cutting your first tooth! Such a big girl!

You can kinda see if there on the bottom
     You have begun climbing... on everything. Jackie sent me a picture of you at daycare, you had climbed up onto the children's picnic table! You are fearless child! One day we were cooking in the kitchen and I guess the refrigerator was left open for a second and you squeezed your way in and climbed up into the fridge. Needless to say, I was pretty shocked! Any chance you can get to climb into the fridge you take!

You like to stand up in your bouncer and jump and make it bounce yourself!
Here you are climbing onto the Cornhole platform
     This month you also stayed with a babysitter for the first time! You've been to daycare before, and stayed with family and close friends for a few hours, but this was the first actual babysitter we had over to watch you while mommy and daddy went out to see The Hunger Games with friends. Miss Sam, from the high school, came over to watch you, and you had a blast! You were so good. I don't remember if you cried or not, and if you did, it didn't last very long. You were too busy checking Sam out. 

     You went on your first hike this month! We went with Tim and Marsha Lassen and their big poodle dog, Charlie. You enjoyed it when Charlie would come sniff you out. He is the biggest poodle ever, but you weren't phased by him in the least. This was our first time really getting some use out of the special jogging stroller. You seemed to have a great time. At one point, you even fell asleep, even though the trail was very bumpy at times due to the serious rocks in the way. We brought of sippy cup for you, but it fell along the way, so we let you drink from our water bottles, and you loved it! You don't like wasting time with those sippy cups at all! Afterwards, we went to Cheryl's for breakfast, and you enjoyed your first orange!

Ps. the dog in the first pic is not Charlie, it's another dog we met on the hike

     You LOVE listening to daddy practicing his Uke. You take notice right away and start bouncing up and down to the music. It's pretty cute to watch! Daddy's favorite song to sing you is Five Foot Two, except we change it to Two Foot Two since we're singing for you little munchkin! We also enjoy singing you Hello Dolly, but as you can probably guess, we change the lyrics to Hello Abby! 

Here's daddy singing/whistling you Don't Worry, Be Happy!
     You pretty much like to put everything in your mouth at this stage. Now that you've begun eating big girl food and not just oatmeal anymore, you are ready to explore the world of food! The low of this month was when I decided to start giving you some nakey time. You loved it! You occasionally pee... right after I take the diaper off of course. But, you were getting used to nakey time and so you're not so used to knowing that when you don't have a diaper, you don't go to the bathroom... like poop. which you did. several times. and picked it up. and put it in your mouth. CRAP! You also found Anya's food. You kinda made a face at it, so I'm hoping that deters you from it in the future. Of course, I'm sure it won't.
     I decided to just post pictures of all the things that you've put in your mouth this month. One of the pictures, you have this glob of dark stuff on your chin. You were crawling around and came up to me and I freaked out when I saw your face! Then I realized that it was just car hair. Since you've been teething, you've super slobbering from drooling, and then you put your face everywhere when you crawl, and apparently you found a patch of Anya hair and... I guess tried to eat it? 

     Your sleeping habits still stink! You still wake up every 3 hours. Eesh! But, here's a really cute picture of you falling asleep on your daddy's shoulder!
I just love that squished little face!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Month Eight

    Last month you were a scootin' machine, and now this month, you started crawling for real! Everyone thought that your scooting should be classified as crawling, but I refused to believe it to be a crawl. I would consider you crawling when you were on your knees for several crawls rather than just one crawl and then scoots. You had to stay on your knees for a while. And you started doing that this month! Right at the beginning of the month you started takin' off! You were crawling everywhere. You were so happy to be free and started checking out your surroundings. You were so happy that your legs were taking you faster than your arms could carry you. Sometimes your crawl would consist of you keeping your legs kinda straight with your butt in the air and walk/crawling on your hands and feet. You were like a walking tent.
     You stood up on your own for the first time this month! On a box...

We tried making a barricade by the door so that you couldn't crawl onto the tile and pick up all the little rocks, that had been trailed in by our shoes, and eat them. You quickly showed us that our measly barricade of a box, and a bag of toilet paper rolls was no match for you! Big girl!

     When we went to the doctor for our checkup, you had fun playing on the paper, and you made quite a little mess too!

     You tried several new foods out this month! Some were:

Yummy Butternut Squash

Bananas were super tasty!
We even started incorporating yogurt to make our food creamier and more filling. You really like it!

     A couple days I tried letting you cry, one day, when you got quiet all if the sudden....

I went into your room...
and his is how I found you taking a nap!
And the next day...
Sleeping still isn't that great. We're still waking up every few hours. Not much more to say about that, we all know how I feel about it! :)

Some other fun things that happened this month:
You love to bounce around while daddy plays his Uke for you!
You discovered the water bottle, and you LOVE to drink from it! And you get soaked too!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Month Seven


     So much for trying to get these posts done on time. Golly gracious! I wish I could just get them done on time and then I could post every few days about fun little things that happen throughout the month, rather than trying to shove it all into one month post. But, when Abby finally lays her head down for a nap, I'm too exhausted to think about blogging and would rather veg out in front of the t.v. or read my book.

     This was a pretty big month for you little girl! Let's get right to it!

     This month little girl, pretty much the beginning of your seventh month, you started the beginnings of a crawl! First you bend your knees and do one little crawl and then you'd straighten out your legs again and kinda scoot for a bit. You'd repeat that for a while until you got where you wanted to go.

You can't keep me on that blanket anymore, I'm free!

     You are definitely making razz sounds all the time! And letting spit fly everywhere.
     You have been able to put weight on your legs when held up for several months now, I guess you were ahead on that bit, as well as reaching for a toy out of reach. Except now you can go get it!
     You can pass objects between your hands, again, you've already been doing that.
     You turn when we say your name, or start talking, or singing, or whenever there is any noise.
     You have started to say little noises like "ba" and towards the end of the month, the long awaited "da." You string it all together so you're saying "da-da-da-da-da-da," so you're not really saying it referring to your dad, but obviously getting closer! No "ma" in sight of course.
     We play peekaboo and you love it. You dad likes to put a blanket over your head or his head and then throw it up and you giggle so hard. You are entertained with that for quite a long time.
     We also got you a sippy cup this month, and you've been enjoying trying to figure out how that works. You tend to just turn it around in your hands and suck/gnaw on every part of it besides the spout. Aw, well, you'll learn!

Big girl sippy cup!

     You are definitely a healthy eater! I breastfeed you every 3-4 hours still, and then I try to feed you oatmeal twice a day. But this month, we got to start eating actual food. So, of course, I was super excited to start making food for you myself. We started out with...

Green Beans, which weren't your favorite. I had to mix them with oatmeal.

Then Pears, which you enjoyed much more! They were so sweet!

Then, Sweet Potatoes, which you learned to like...eventually!

Then, Apples, which you also enjoyed!

     Well, all the wonderful strides we made last month in your sleeping habits have gone down the drain this month. You're back to your awful sleeping habits. Waking up every 3 hours or so to feed. Every once in a while you go 4 hours, which is really nice. But usually you're getting up every 3 hours. I'm not getting much sleep. I feel super exhausted most of the time. It's really hard waking up in the morning with you. You're so chipper and I'm just trying not to hit a wall while carrying you out to the living room. We hope this gets better! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tsunami 2011

     Tsunami! One of the great, fun, youth events that I used to look forward to each year! Great bands, great worship, great speakers, great friends... great fun! What's even better is that this year I lead a group of my own kids to the conference, and share with them one of the fun events from my past that has helped shape me. Last year, Grant and I took two girls with us and joined with our brother Dave's group from Bakersfield. This year, Grant said it would be a bit much for him, so I decided to take the girls on my own. But, I mentioned it to a friend, and she and her daughter were interested in going as well; the other girls started inviting some of their friends; and one of the new girls at church came with her friend as well. End the end we had nine people going... plus Abby!

     I was a little concerned taking Abby with me, but things worked out just fine. Because we ended up taking a few more students at the last minute, it allowed me to take my own car and we were able to fit all of Abby's things in the car; Her stroller takes up so much room. We joined up with Dave's group once we got there once again, and had such a great time throughout the whole conference.
     I was introduced to a new artist, Shonlock, a pop-rap artist. He had a LOT of energy and some great lyrics and beats; he even did a little break dancing on stage for everyone. We also saw Superchick, and they were great. Their lyrics are so honest and beautiful. The vocalist also announced that she was pregnant and expecting a baby girl. The speakers this year were really great. Jeff Wallace and Billy Beacham prepared sermons that were funny, interactive, and very relate-able. I was very impressed; it was like I was 15 again! Both speakers really challenged the students there to really step up and live for God.

     Travis Ryan was the worship leader again, and everyone went pretty crazy over him. His wife and I became friends at the Ministers' Wives Retreat last May and I ran into her while at the conference as dozens of girls were flocking to Travis trying to get his autograph and take pictures with him. I asked her if all this was weird or not, and she said, "Yeah, to me, he's just normal, but here, he's like this celebrity." It's so true, all the little girls were going ga-ga over him. It was pretty cute. Most important, I really enjoyed the songs that he and his band led us in this year. We did the fun songs like Happy Day again, but he introduced us to a couple new songs that were so encouraging like Fearless! My favorite song though, was Most High. Hearing it again this year reminded me of how much I loved that song when he taught it to me last year. The words are so powerful and really speak to me. I'm hoping I can find the song and teach to the congregation at my church.

Most High

With each rising sun
We're reminded of Your love
How You reach Your hands to save
And You pull us from the grave

With each starry night
We're reminded of Your light
How You lead us safely home
Never leave us here alone

You are the Lord Most High
You are the Lord Most High
Strength of our salvation
You will never fail us
You are the Lord Most High

You have set us free
We have found our liberty
There is no life outside of You
There is nothing You can't do

You are the Lord Most High
You are the Lord Most High
Strength of our salvation
You will never fail us
You are the Lord Most High

All our hope is in You
You are worthy of it all
All our lives are for You
You are worthy of it all
With all the breathe in our lungs
We will shout for who You are
Lord Most High

You are the Lord Most High
You are the Lord Most High

You will run to rescue
Nothing here can stop You
You are the Lord Most High

Enjoy the students clapping offbeat at the beginning of the song, it's quite hilarious! The guy on keyboard had to help everyone get back on beat every time we sang the song. I just loved how enthusiastic everyone was.

     Here is a video of our trip! Enjoy!

2012 Bennett Family Reunion/Crazy Family Get-together!

     I'm not like most people.... or maybe I am, but I LOVE my family, not only that, but I LOVE my in-laws! I love spending time with my family! Especially when we all get together as one big group! The fact that you never know what might happen when we're all together is just one of the reasons I love being with my family. This holiday season we got to so many family members, it was so great! Even better, many of them ended up surprising us, which made things even more fun!

Christmas Eve
     My aunt and uncle came up from Riverside and surprised us in Kernville for our Christmas Eve service. My mom and step-dad also came up to join them. I sorta figured this one out a few hours before though, which was okay,  since I was able to prepare by throwing something together in the crock-pot, and clean the house. They had never really heard me sing before, let alone lead the church, nor had they heard Grant preach before, so it was really neat that they were able to come up. After the service we all came back to our house for some beef stew. We talked, laughed, and watched Abby/Nomi open Abby's first presents!

Christmas Day
     The day had finally come for Abby to wear her Christmas dress. I bought this dress before she was even born. I saw it on sale, and I thought, I better get it now while on sale than wait and try to find something later. Grant totally didn't understand, men! But I'm sure he appreciated not having to buy a dress for her at Christmas time though! Abby was not in the best mood when we got home. 

Christmas with our Family
     On Monday we were able to go down and spend some time with Grant's family at the big reunion party. We were not expecting any cousins to be able to come at all, but, unexpectedly, they were all able to come at the last minute and we so enjoyed spending time with them all! Abby of course was such a hit, everyone played with her and held her to her hearts content! 
     The party was something that we had been planning for some months. We had a gingerbread house contest which turned out to be such a hit! Everyone had much fun planning their houses out ahead of time, and then finally executing them with each other. The grandma's got together and presented prizes to each house; we had cute little cottage houses, hobbit houses, and so much more. It was definitely a sight to see and watch. 

     Then we had a delicious lunch/dinner of tri-tip that our friends, the Harkleroad's, catered for us. The rest of us were to each bring a side dish, apparently we all got the same memo... potatoes. Everyone brought some type of potato dish. What are the odds? It was pretty hilarious. Potatoes four-ways. They were all delicious, and gave us quite a laugh.
     We also spent some time opening the rest of everyone's Christmas presents, so Abby got another chance to work on her present-opening skills!

    We had such a wonderful time with all of our family, and we are very grateful that we were able to see all the aunts, uncles, and cousins that we were surprised by! Thank you for making our Christmas season so wonderful! We love you all!

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