Bennett is Five Months


Bennett is Five Months!

This is our first month with a video baby monitor. I have NO idea what I was thinking when I thought I just wanted an audio one. Seriously, get a video monitor. It is the best thing ever!

On a more baby focused note, our little man is getting more personality every day. He’s working on sitting up (supported), he loves moving CONSTANTLY, he also loves to roll over onto his belly but then he gets stuck and starts crying.

I’m not quite sure why we’re still calling him “little man.” This baby is not that little. In fact, he outgrew his infant car seat for height this month. (Full disclosure, he had a tiny bit of room to go but I didn’t want him to outgrew it while we were at the beach).

Graco Milestone convertible car seat
Was not emotionally ready for him to outgrow the infant car seat. Slow down!

This month we took him to the beach for the first time! My parents met me off I-95 so my mom could drive my car and I could be in the back with B. I was so thankful for the help on the 9 hour (usually 8 hour) drive. B did great, although he did not sleep much. My parents also brought their folding crib so that made sleeping at the beach a much easier transition.

B loved the sand! He loved kicking it and playing. He was brave about the ocean, especially when Jimmy held him in the water. We only went down to the beach for about an hour in the evenings – the sun/crowds were intense and he naps so often. But, we did get plenty of balcony sitting. B sat in his new “Frog Chair” Gigi got. We called it his “throne.” We sat him on the table and he just looked out over the ocean and the beach. B, my parents, and I stayed a week. Jimmy flew in for four days so he didn’t have to miss as much work.

Bennett also got to meet more people. He got to meet my good friend Sherry and her twins. I found out that B loves watching kids, so I will definitely be taking him to the playground more. Finally, B was able to meet his great aunt Shelia and two of his first cousins once removed, Jackson & Jeremy. We’re slowly getting him to meet his whole family.

Typical Day:

6:30 am wake up & bottle

9 am nap for Ingrid & Bennett in their own rooms

10 am – 6 pm bottles on demand, naps every 1.5 – two hours

5:30 pm bath

7 pm put Bennett down

7 pm dinner & Ingrid & Jimmy hang out time

B wakes up once a night for a bottle – Ingrid gives him and then sleeps until 6:30 am

Monthly Questionnaire

Age: 5 months

Weight: 17.2 lbs

Length: 27″

Size: 9 months

Eyes: blue

Hair: light brown

Sleeping:  he slept the first half of the month in his crib in his “spacesuit” (Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit) in his room solo and then we “swaddle weaned” and he now sleeps in footie PJs

Eating: formula bottles: 6 oz each feeding

Milestones: first beach trip, rolled over for the first time, outgrew his infant car seat

Memorable outings: first beach trip

Likes: sand, eating, sleeping, MOVING

Dislikes: baths, staying still

Words/sounds: “a” “ahh” “ohhh” “mmhm”

Nicknames: “Little Man,” “Benny,” “B”

Interesting Facts: B moves constantly all the time, even when sleeping. He also likes talking all the time.

Funny moments: when B first saw the ocean, he made a face like “this is the biggest bath I’ve ever seen”

Looking forward to: next year’s beach trip when he can swim and play more

Photos from Bennett’s Fifth Month:

Beach Vacation and Jimmy’s Celebration

For Memorial Day, Jimmy & I joined our friends Ted & Lauren for our annual beach trip. It was a week of mimosas, bocce ball, sand, ocean, good food, and relaxing. It was perfect. We were there for a whole week: Thursday through Thursday.

Surfside Beach toast
Starting vacation with a toast

I secretly had two bottles of champagne in the cooler for the drive down so we could toast the start of our vacation (and Jimmy’s promotion) as soon as we got there. Doesn’t it look like we’re on a boat with the beautiful blue ocean in the background? We’re not, just on our balcony on the 11th floor.

As always, I did not take enough pictures. I really need to work on that.

surfside beach SC
beers and cigars
Chilling on the beach with beers and cigars
After a wonderful dinner out
surfside beach wedding
We got to see a beach wedding from our balcony

This year was a lot harder to leave the beach than last year was. Maybe it was because Ted & Lauren now live far away. Maybe it was because we stayed a full week. Not sure, but the fact that vacations have to end makes me sad. However, it did help knowing we had a small celebration planned for Jimmy’s promotion and the Vintage Virginia wine festival to look forward (the next days).

The Friday after we got back, we decided to have a small get-together to celebrate Jimmy’s promotion. He is now (starting July 6) a Geotechnical Department Manager. Yay Jimmy! So we had his parents, my parents, Kurt, Kate, Katie (Jimmy’s sister) and a few dogs over for dinner, cake, and champagne. In my family we have a tradition of having a “Face Cake” when big life events happen. These are cakes with photos printed on them in frosting. (I am well aware we are the only people who call them Face Cakes). Somehow Jimmy had never had one. So clearly he needed one for this party 🙂

Jimmy got a Face Cake!
Congratulations Jimmy!
Eating his face haha

The next day we had the Vintage Virginia wine festival where I took 0 pictures (#fail). This was our 5th year going and every year we’ve had a wonderful time. This year we went with a big group of friends so that made it lots of fun. There seemed to be less vineyards and more food trucks but we all still had a blast.

Month of Travels

May has been a lot of traveling for us. Which is so fun and adventurous, but also exhausting.

May 2-4 : Boston

Our month started with us heading North to Boston to see Ted & Lauren (the Ted & Lauren from last year’s beach trip and soon to be this year’s beach trip). This trip was an adventure to say the least. Also, that Friday when we left, just was not my day.

Friday morning we got up at 6:15, finished packing, loaded my car and headed towards the airport. We parked at my work and got on the metro to Reagan. It was then I noticed I did not have my cell phone. Insert panic attack. My phone had their address, the rental car confirmation, and also, my phone is kind of my life – sad, but true. After about 30 minutes and finally accepting I was going to go a full weekend without it, I moved on. I moved on to going through security, lifting up my beautiful red Ralph Lauren suitcase (that has gone everywhere with me since high school) and discovered the handle broke. 🙁

Then we went to get breakfast at Gordon Biersch – the one restaurant near our gate. Food comes out, Jimmy starts eating, I find I have no fork. And there happens to be no waitresses around. How’s a girl supposed to eat her eggs? When the waitress does come around about 10 minutes later, I ask for a fork and a beer. Now we’re finally boarding the plane. I get on, walk to the back to my seat and have the wonderful conversation of “we’re going to have to check your bag.” Just great. The flight wasn’t bad, other than I couldn’t sleep. We land, I get my bag, go to put in my contacts and discover my left eye has a bright red spot, and wonder, how has no one asked what was wrong with my eye all day? At this point I want to throw in the towel but that’s not an option, so contacts go in, I force a smile, and walk out to Jimmy. We figure out how to get to the rental car and start our journey to see his grandma.

IMG_0318 IMG_0320 Jimmy’s grandma lives in a beautiful area about 45 minutes south of Boston. It’s right on the water. Jimmy loves going here and I love hearing all the stories of his summers here as a kid.

After walking around, we stopped for lunch. I can’t remember the name of the place, but it had amazing food. I had the fluffiest most wonderful sweet potato fries and great chicken Cesar wrap. Jimmy & his grandma had a seafood gumbo. After lunch, we went to grandma’s house to visit for a bit. It was so great to see her. She is so fun and caring. Then it was time to start our next adventure of the day: Boston traffic to get to Ted & Lauren.

Living in the DC area my entire life, I thought I knew about traffic. Then I got to Boston. It was miserable. We ended up being an hour late to return the car (which apparently was no big deal because we actually had the car until 11pm not 7pm). We returned the car, hopped in a cab, and headed to Cambridge, MA. That night we took it easy and just caught up.

IMG_0335IMG_0338IMG_0340On Saturday, we made breakfast, relaxed a bit and then went on a duck tour – so fun! We got to hear a lot of the history of Boston and see some great sites. Jimmy, being the good Geotech that he is, loved hearing every detail of the “Big Dig,” even though he already knew most of it.

Boston is quite beautiful. Although, I often feared for my life walking around. From my experience, the term “yield to pedestrians” doesn’t mean much there.

After the duck tour, the boys played some video games while Lauren and I got ready for dinner. We went to the North Side (the Italian area of Boston) for dinner. It was quite fun. Jimmy pointed out that his grandpa was born and grew up about 10 minutes away. We went to the best Italian restaurant. Jimmy had a veal dish and I had rigatoni. We both ate every bite. We all split a couple bottles of a Ciante and had a relaxing meal. After dinner, Lauren and I headed to PinkBerry while the boys went to get some famous Cannoli. Since we were all pretty tired we headed back for desert and to watch a movie.

All in all, our trip to Boston was great! We got to see family and friends. Explored the city a bit. Learned some. Had some fun.


May 9-11 : Blacksburg

Meridith and Me at the vineyard
Blacksburg vineyard

The following weekend (2nd weekend of May), I headed to Blacksburg to see Meridith. She is in Medical School there and will be leaving for her rotation year so I wanted one last visit. The drive down was pretty bad. First, I ran into major traffic on I-66. When I finally got on I-81, there was more traffic because of an overturned tractor-trailer. Then, the rain started. Pouring. down. rain. It ended up taking me 5.5 hours instead of 4 but it was totally worth it. We headed to one of my favs, Cabo Fish Taco for dinner. Yum! Then went back to her place because I was exhausted.

The next day we wanted a girls day so we headed to Starbucks, got pedicures, found a chocolate festival DT Blacksburg (so perfect), went to a new vineyard that’s 20 minutes from Blacksburg – Beliveau Estate, watched Frozen, and went downtown that night. It was the perfect trip. I feel like I’m coming home every time I head to Tech so that was wonderful. And it was way too long since I had seen Meridith.

May 18 : Loudoun Lyme 5K

This weekend we spent at home, but we were busy. We ran in our 2nd 5K together. I chose the Loudoun Lyme 5K because I had Lyme disease a few years ago and our dog Kai has had Lyme. This year it was in Ashburn so we had to get up at 6:15 to get to the race on time. Jimmy beat me. But, we both had PRs, so it was a good race for a good cause. And we got to go visit my friend Sherry and her family who live in Ashburn so that was lovely.


May 23-30 : Beach Vacation

Separate post to come.

The Happiest Place on Earth

We just got back from our first vacation with the Racine family. Jimmy’s Dad planned the best vacation. We started the trip by leaving at 8:45am Christmas morning (a little rough, thank goodness we limited ourselves to one glass of eggnog Christmas eve). Then it was off to sunny CA. Seriously it was sunny at around 80 every single day. I could get used to that.

We hopped off the plane at LAX (haha), headed to the hotel, then straight to Disneyland.

view from our hotel
View from the hotel
Sleeping Beauty's Castle
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

The first day we rode quite a few rides and explored.  First up was Pirates of the Caribbean. We did a shooting game at Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Jimmy won #typical. Jenny was pretty amazing too. Me, not so much. We went on Winne the Pooh, so cute. Our last ride of the night was Splash Mountain where I was told we would maybe get a little damp. With Jimmy in the front and me right behind him, we were soaked. Luckily this was at the end of the night so we just went back to the hotel for some pizza and a glass of wine.

The next day we went to California Adventure in our matching shirts and Mickey/Minnie ears. Everyone at the park was welcoming the Racine Family on our vacation and throwing out complements. I was so proud. It also made for some great photos – coming soon. Including one with Stitch. We went on Goofy’s Fly School, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Monster’s Inc, Soarin’ over California, and Tower of Terror.

Sisters J&I J & K

The next day was our last Disney day. We were lucky enough to have a Christmas Time in Disney tour in the afternoon so we hit up some rides in the morning: fast pass to Indiana Jones, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Star Tours. Our Christmas tour was three hours of walking around hearing the history of Christmas at Disneyland. It was great to hear all the facts. We also got some treats – a chocolate and caramel covered marshmallow yum, then front of line access to three rides: It’s a Small World (Christmas version), the Jingle Cruise (Jungle Cruise normally), and a tour of the Haunted Mansion. The Jingle Cruise was so funny. The Haunted Mansion was not my favorite since it was basically The Nightmare before Christmas and I am not a fan of that movie so I spent the ride with my eyes closed #i’mawhimp. It’s a Small World was beautiful, they went all out with decorations. Then we had front row VIP seats for the Christmas parade (inside the roped off street so close I could touch the performers close). It was amazing. We also got hot chocolate and a gingerbread man. Definitely felt like a celebrity.

Christmas lights
Christmas lights on It’s a Small World
Pluto & Goofy in the parade
Pluto & Goofy in the parade
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

The next day we headed to Universal for more rides, a tour of the back lot and soundstages (so cool). After a half day at the park, we met up with Jimmy’s uncle and aunt and their two young kids who live in CA for dinner. It was great seeing them, we hadn’t seen them since our wedding.

After dinner we headed to our hotel to call it a night; our flight was at 7 the next morning. The flight back was amazing – Jimmy’s dad upgraded us to business class (I’d never ridden business class before) the seats folded down into beds and we got unlimited drinks and a great breakfast. It was the coolest thing ever, I feel so spoiled now.

All in all the vacation was incredible. Sharing Disney as a family was a fantastic experience. The rides were great, the shows were even better, and we got to have some quality family time. I’m feeling very thankful, happy and still in a bit of disbelief we just had that amazing vacation.

Let’s go to the Beach

We finally got to go the the Penthouse on vacation when it’s warm out. And we got to go with two of our best friends – Ted & Lauren. We took a road trip from Falls Church to Surfside Beach, SC. It was amazing!

Every day we made breakfast with mimosas and ate out on the balcony. Then we headed down the stairs (ok elevator) to the beach. Where Lauren & I tanned, swam, chatted, and relaxed. Jimmy decided he couldn’t sit still ever so we had to buy a bocce ball set to keep him occupied – thank you Ted for always playing. The water was warm enough for me to go in so that was great.

Then we’d head back up make dinner or go out to dinner. Thank you Lauren for your amazing meals. Then we’d relax in the hot tub overlooking the beach with some beers & wine. This is the life.

Unfortunately I spent most of the trip getting all sentimental because Ted & Lauren were about to depart on a new adventure by moving to Boston so this was our last hurrah so to speak. Nonetheless it was an amazing trip and I didn’t take nearly enough pictures.

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