Bennett Jon Schneider made his entry into this world on May 22, 2008 at 1:33 10 days past his due date. It was love at first sight and we have been in awe of him ever since. The changes that he makes on a daily basis are just amazing to watch. We thought that this website would be a good way to share Bennett's life with all of our loved ones and a great keepsake for the future.
We were married on September 23rd, 2006 at Shepherd of the Valley church. Our wedding was a great day which was celebrated by all of our family and close friends. We travelled to Tahiti for our honeymoon. We had a fabulous time continuing our celebration as husband and wife. When we returned home, we were ready to move into our new home which was finished in October. The next year of our life was filled with great times and travels. Almost one year to the day of our wedding we found out that we were going to have a baby. We were both excited and a little nervous. 10 months later Bennett came into this world and our lives are changed forever!
I was born on December 23, 1979 at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, MN. I was 3 weeks past my due date, however my mom said that she did not mind the delay. I grew up in Hudson, WI and went to school at EP Rock Elementary and then to the Middle School and High School in Hudson. During my years in school I enjoyed playing sports - hockey, tennis, softball, swimming and skiing. I was also very active in church groups, going to workcamp 3 times, was the editor of the yearbook and a class officers 2 of my 4 years. I worked at the YMCA as a lifeguard and at Mr. Movies.
After graduation, I went to UW - River Falls for my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. I enjoyed my time in college and enjoy time on my own. It was an adjustment moving out of the house and having to live with roommates, but I quickly adjusted to the idea and had great experiences. I did my student teaching in Stillwater at Rutherford Elementary and was lucky enough to work with some great teachers that I am still friends with today. During the time I spent in college, I also worked at TJ Management doing administrative duties for Kevin Vance. After graduation, Kevin offered my the opportunity to work with him full time and develop a new business.
Then it was on to my graduate degree at St. Mary's University. I was lucky enough to do my graduate work with friends that I had meet at Rutherford and we spent the next two years working together on the weekends and over the summer completing our masters. It was a fun time but very stressful since we were also in the middle of opening Educational Outfitters.
In June of 2003 Educational Outfitters opened in Maplewood. This was also when Travis and I started dating. Our first date was when he came to the store where I was working long days trying to get things in order for the opening, and took me to lunch at the Olive Garden. That was soon followed up by a dinner date the next day to the Freight House and out to a movie. At that point things moved quickly. We spent a great summer together and had a lot of fun. At the close of the summer, we took a break and spent some time doing our own things. I was able to take the trip of a lifetime to visit a friend in Paris. I travelled all around France, Monaco and Switzerland.
Then when spring came around Travis and my friendship changed into a relationship and things moved quickly from that point. We dated for about 8 months and Travis proposed in the Wisconsin Dells on my birthday. It was a great day! The next day the wedding planning started and before we knew it 18 months had passed and we were married. Our wedding was on September 23rd and it was such a fun time to be surrounded by family and friends that had come from all over to celebrate our day with us.
I flew to meet Travis in Chicago for a long weekend following a work event. We had a nice time and luckily I was feeling great.
Who knew that anyone could ever been nervous about travelling to Hawaii. While I was pregnant, I was filled with a lot of different emotions about making the trip. After we arrived in Hawaii everything was great and we had a wonderful time with Travis' family.
The winter months got to be long being pregnant. Of course Travis was busy working 80 hour weeks. Luckily my mom and dad are close by to keep my time occupied and help out with all of the baby things that had to happen before Bennett arrived.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
I was a little nervous about travelling to Puerto Rico this late in my pregnancy. Luckily, Travis was able to escape from his busy season and join me. It was a great time - I was able to spend some time relaxing even though I was there for work.
I played the waiting game with baby for 10 days. I had a great pregnancy, but the last 10 days of being overdue were very hard on my - physically and emotionally. Everyday Travis and I were on high alert just waiting for the time to come. We had one false alarm at week 37, which amount to a trip to the hospital for 3 hours only to be sent home.
Going to the hospital
May 21, 2008
We went to Famous Dave's for our "Last Supper" and then arrived at the hospital at 7:00. We spent most of the evening at the hospital talking, playing games and watching movies until 12:45... when to my surprise my water broke!
We went to Woodwinds hospital on the night of the 21st to be induced. If all went well, Dr. Reardon was planning to start pitocin in the morning and Bennett would arrive later that day. Little did we know he had his own plan. Just 5 hours after being admitted, my water broke and active labor followed only 15 minutes behind. While it was a very welcome surprise that my water broke without having to receive the pitocin, Travis and I were both counting on a good night of sleep before the exhaustion set it. We had been up until about midnight playing cards and watching a movie. Then right before we went to sleep, the nurse came in a gave me something to help me sleep, since I was a little anxious. That made me so drowsy since I was not able to sleep while I was having contractions. I labored for about 5 hours and then told them to bring in the epidural. At that point, I thought the anestieologist was the greatest person to walk this earth. That was followed up by some much needed sleep for both Travis and I. When I woke up I was dialated to 8 cm and things were well on their way. At 11:00 I was fully dialated, however Bennett decided that he was going to come down facing sideways rather than face down. We waited to see if he would turn on his own, but he was a stinker and stayed that way. I started pushing at 12:00 and he was born at 1:33 (with a large bruise on his head since he made his way down sideways).
May 22, 2008 1:33 pm
Bennett was born at 1:33 and Dr. Reardon immediately placed him on my chest and he was crying. He looked very good and had a loud cry... just what you want to hear. Travis was not quite up to cutting the cord, but watched as Dr. Reardon did it. We spent some nice time together before the nurse took Bennett over to the warmer to weigh him (at my request) I wanted to know how big he was. Then they were measuring his head 15 inches. They had to take the measurements 3 times since that was so big. After about an hour together then my parents, Kay, Bret and Sam came in to meet Bennett for the 1st time. It was so great to be able to introduce him to our family. He was awake and looking around. Later that evening Travis gave Bennett his first bath while I took a much needed nap. I was trying to get up to go over to the warmer and watch the bath, but as Travis was talking I fell right to sleep.
Bennett arrived and was crying and looked great. His apgar score was an 8 and a 9 - 10 being the best. The first couple hours of his life he was wide eyed and awake. Following his awake period he went to sleep and slept for several hours. This caused issues with feedings and he ended up in the Special Care Nursery since he was jaundice.
On Thursday evening in the hospital our families came to visit as well as our friends Karissa, Jason and Zander. Thursday night Travis gave Bennett his first bath (while mommy slept). Then on Friday Bennett had some tests, which he passed with flying colors. We also had lots of visitors throughout the day. The Schutz's even brought us dinner - YUM!
On Saturday morning we got up and started preparing for the journey home. We first went to a breastfeeding class and waited for the discharge from the doctors. After receiving the OK at about 1:00 Travis packed up the car and loaded Bennett in the carseat. I think that the drive home from Woodbury took us about 45 minutes. Travis never went over 50 mph. It was a whole different experience driving with your baby in the car.
When we arrived at home Mimi was there and had a surprise sitting in the house - a mustang! He is a little too young to drive it, but he will grow into it. We spent time together adjusting with Oliver and then Mimi and Poppy came over for dinner that night.
Our first night was a lot of ups and downs. It seemed like all I was doing was feeding Bennett. He would sleep for an hour and then eat for a half hour, burp, change his pants and then go back down for about an hour. Then we would start the whole routine again. Luckily, between Travis and I we were able to take shifts with the changing, burping and rocking to sleep. We were both on such a high that the tiredness had not set in at this point.
During the first week home with Bennett Travis was off work and we were able to spend lots of time together as a family. Once he went back to work, my mom was able to spend a few days with me. It was so nice to have help everyday. I never knew how much work a small little baby could be. Bennett is such a good baby and he is very happy. We are just getting to know his different cues as to what he wants. Primarily the only time that he cries is when he is hungry or over tired.
During Bennett's second month of life he was able to meet our extended family for the first time. Troy, Marita, Shelley, Allison and Isabella arrived on June 28th for Bennett's baptism. He was baptized at Shepherd of the Valley by Pastor Steve (the same church and pastor that married Travis and I). Then we spent a week with Troy and Marita and the girls. We enjoyed our time together and the girls were all great helpers! Then the girls stayed with us for another 2 weeks once Troy and Marita went home. On July 16 Bennett made his first flight with the girls, Travis and I. We flew back to Atlanta. Bennett did great on the airplane and everyone was very impressed with how well he was behaved.
This month Bennett went on his first cruise with our entire family. It was a great time spent celebrating Susie and Donnie's anniversary. During this month Bennett also rolled over from his front to his back and his back to his front. He also had rice cereal for the first time although it did not help him sleep through the night. Once we got back from our cruise (just before Bennett turned 4 months old) he started going to a friend of the families during the day. Heather is so much fun and he loves going to her home
Well tomorrow I am going to be 5 months old so I thought today would be a good day to recap what has happened in the last month. During the past month I have had lots of changes.
Well now Mommy and Daddy have started to feed me some food with a spoon. I started with just having rice cereal but then just last week I heard mommy telling daddy that I was going to be getting bananas and sweet potatoes. I still don't know what to think about the bananas but I LOVE my cereal and potatoes. I still like to drink my milk but I think that it is fun to be able to eat like a big boy!
Can you believe that I already have my two bottom front teeth? On October 15th my grandma was asking mommy about my teeth and grandma starting feeling in my mouth. Sure enough she found my 1 tooth. Then mommy starting paying more attention and saw that both bottom teeth are coming in. Everyone is very proud of me since I have been such a good boy even though my mouth is hurting.
I now think that my mommy and daddy are the two funniest people to walk the earth. They keep me entertained each day by making funny faces, singing songs and blowing on my tummy. Whenever they do that I always start laughing like crazy and then they just keep doing it - it is so much fun.
My 1st Halloween
Today was my 1st Halloween and I had a super fun day. I was able to spend over last night at my grandma and grandpa's house which is always fun. Then when my mom got home from work she got me all dressed up in this crazy striped costume and told me that she was taking me to a contest. So off we went with my grandma and my stroller. When we got to EP Rock my mom took out my stroller and it looked so much different then it normally does. She had wrapped all of this crazy bee stuff around it. On the front of the stroller it said Bennett's Bee Hive. She put me in to the stroller and we were off to meet the judges.
After we met the judges we went down on the track to do a lap and show off our costumes to all of the people that attended the parade. After the parade we were standing on the track waiting to hear the results of the contest. I was in the 0-3 years age catergory. Sure enough the first name that they called was mine. How exciting! My mommy pushed me out onto the football field to claim my money and then the local newspaper took my picture. I felt so special. Mommy said that it was extra special since she had won the contest when she was young.
It seems like my 5th month has gone by so quick and now it is already Thanksgiving! During my 5th month I took a real liking to all of the new foods that my mom and dad have been feeding me. I really like bananas, sweet potatoes, pears, peaches, carrots and squash. I am not too crazy about applesauce - it gives me a bad diaper rash. I still continue to be my smiley self and really like my new toy... a jumperoo! I love to play in my jumperoo and jump up and down all day long. I sometimes even try and jump when I am not in my jumperoo.
I still have my two bottom front teeth. My mommy thinks that more teeth are going to be coming soon.
I have been having lots of fun playing with my friends. Here are Zander and I hanging out!
Well another month has come and gone and I am getting bigger and stronger everyday! Today is my 7th month birthday and tomorrow is my mommy's 29th birthday! WOW she is OLD!
First Christmas Celebration
This past weekend I went to my grandma Kay's house and when we got there she had all of these boxes that were covered in shiny paper with my name on them. I was able to tear the paper off and inside were all kinds of neat toys that I had never seen before. My mommy and daddy keep telling me that Christmas is coming and if this is what happens during Christmas, I can't wait. I think that my mommy and daddy have taken me to see 3 different santas so I sure hope that he knows what I want for Christmas!
Well, I am now sitting up all by myself. I am still a little bit unsteady, but I can do it for a little while. It is a whole new look at the world rather then laying on the floor and looking up at everything. I really like it though I only do it for a little while and then I want to roll over and work on this thing that everyone is talking about - CRAWLING!
Last weekend I was in bed with my mommy and daddy and I got really sick and threw up all over the bed. My mommy and daddy got really scared and were not sure what was happening. Then the next couple of days I had really ucky diapers and then on Sunday night my mommy got super sick with the flu. Luckily, I was able to go to my grandma and grandpa's house to spend the night for a couple of days so that I did not get worse. While I was away both my mom and dad were really sick. It stunk! I am glad that we are all feeling better now. Just in time to get ready for our big trip to Atlanta.
Watch our World - I'm Crawling
Well tonight my mommy and mimi put some toys on the floor that I really wanted to up I went and took off crawling. I finally got the hang of using both my arms and legs together and I am able to move really well. It was a lot of work but I was able to move across the bonus room two times. It is so much fun to be able to look and something, want it and then crawl over to it. Oh the places I will go!!
Well this past month I have mastered the skill of crawling and am quickly finding all of the things around the house that mommy and daddy don't want me to find. I have realized how to open drawers and cabinets, found the door stoppers which make a really funny noise, learned how to swing the doors and love playing with cords and outlets. So overall all of the things that I love are not allowed by mommy and daddy. For some reason my toys just don't seem as exciting as the real world things.
This month I have been having some trouble sleeping through the night. Though I have never been a good sleeper now I am getting up several times a night to eat quickly and then I go right back to sleep. A couple of nights I was up four times. Then one night I got up at 3:00 am and I wanted to play with mommy and daddy. They took me into their bed and I played until 5:30. Then I finally feel back to sleep sprawled out in their bed while they were awake with daddy getting ready for work. Both of them looked very tired - I just focused on going back to sleep :) Maybe this month I will try sleeping better.
I have really become quite the comedian (I guess I take after Daddy) and I enjoy watching everyone laugh at me. But I also really like it when other people make me laugh. I am getting to be attached to certain people. Mommy tends to be my favorite, but Daddy, Mimi and Poppy are not far behind. I also love Heather - she is so sweet and nice to me. I love all of the kids that I am able to play with at Heather's and it seems like we are always doing fun things at her house. Last week was Cress' birthday celebration. I gave him a set of golf clubs that he really likes.
Mommy and I
Well during my 8th month Mommy and I took our first trip together (just the two of us). I was really good for her on the airplane and I enjoyed just having some time together with her. It was only short lived since soon we were in Atlanta and I was bombarded by all of my cousins. We had so much fun playing together. I love having so many people to play with an keep me entertained. I was even able to go with Tia Marita to the girls school to have lunch with them. I was so very well behaved and everyone thought that Tia Marita had another baby! I guess that my skin did not give it away:)
A new trick
While we were in Atlanta mommy was trying desperately to teach me how to wave bye bye. Well, after lots of looking on I finally decided that I would surprise her and wave... oh boy she went crazy. It is so much fun to see all of the crazy reactions that I get from people when I wave bye bye. To me it does not seem like that big of a deal. But I guess that I will just keep showing off!!
Moving on to solid foods
I always enjoy my meal times and now I am eating lots of cheerios, banana puffs and have started to have some toast. I really like it when mommy cuts it up into small pieces for me and I get to smash it in my hands before I eat it. I also love to drink ice cold water - YUMMY!!
I am getting to be such a big boy - that is what my mommy says to me every day. I just love all of the new things that I am getting to do, to eat and to play with. A couple of the highlights from the past month...
- A trip to the Como Zoo with my mom and dad
- A trip to the Children's Museum (so much fun)
- A trip to Phoenix with my mom
- New Foods: Yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream (just a little), bread, noodles, ravioli, pizza - YUMMY I love it all!!
- My new toy is a walk behind rolling ball which I love to hit all over the room and then chase it everywhere. It is so much fun to crawl, but I think that I am going to like walking even better.
Well, I am almost off to the races. I am getting so close to being able to walk on my own. For right now I am walking laps throughout the house with my different walkers. Mimi and Poppy have bought 3 of them for me. I love them all by the train is my favorite. Did my mom tell you that I am going to have a train birthday party. I am getting so big and my 1st birthday is just around the corner. Now, I am not quite sure what to expect for a birthday, but my mommy and daddy have been telling me about all of the fun things that we are going to do and that I am going to get new presents to celebrate. Mommy also told me that I am going to be able to eat cake. I have never had it before, but when I have been at my friends birthday party's it sure looks good!! I can't wait. I am going to celebrate on my actual birthday with all of my family in Atlanta and then all of my friends are going to come to my party at the railroad the end of June. It is going to be so much fun!!
Well, you can see that I have been so busy I have not even had time to write in my journal! I am now cruising all over the house on any given day and I love all of the new things that I have discovered. I think that I keep my mommy and daddy busy following me around the house in circles. The best thing about being able to walk is that I am able to play with all of my friends. I love to be able to play ball, chase them and just watch what they are doing. I have a hard time keeping up with them sometimes, but I know that soon enough I will be running right along with them. The other thing that I love it putting things in and out of things. My play room is full of toys and I love to take all of the things out of the buckets and then I put them all back together. It is so much fun except when I forget where I hid something and then I can't find it. Normally I hide them in the trunks of my cars so now I know that I look there first! My first birthday was so much fun! I love the yummy cake that I got to eat and I got really shy when I everyone sings to me - but I don't mind since I know that I will get cake after that! Mommy told me that I feel asleep at my train birthday party, so I guess that we will have to go back another time so that I can pay more attention and enjoy my ride on the train.
What an experience
Finding out we are having a baby
As mom states in her journal, it was pretty amazing to see the pregnancy test come back positive around 1 A.M. I decided that I was too tired to talk about it and decided to go to sleep on the couch. Mom did not like that idea one bit and wanted to talk about the outcome. I was a little scared but my most overwelming feeling was excitement. It was very exciting to think that we were going to be able to share our lives and be apart of a child's lives. Especially our own. We decided not to share the news with any of our friends or family until after we visited the doctor, but I couldn't hold it in and told most of my friends on the first opportunity that came around.
Finding out if the baby was a boy or girl
It was a very exciting trip to the doctor's office to see our twenty week ultrasound to see if we could see if the baby would be a boy or a girl. We arrived to the ultrasound appointment and to my surprise, the technician was a girl that I graduated high school with, Tina Linehan. During this process I was pretty comfortable with having the news be either a boy or a girl. I just thought that I would be able to connect more with a boy. After Tina shared the news that the baby is a boy, only 97.3% of course, it was very emotional to both me and mom. Week by week and even day by day, we become more and more attached.
Birth of Bennett
Crazy, crazy and even more crazy 20 hours. We arrived on Wednesday, May 21 around 7-8 PM and began the waiting process. Mom gets all setup with the necessary drugs to slowly move along the process. At 1:00 A.M. you decided that it was time to break the sac of fluid. So Mom and I only were able to muster up an hour or two of sleep. Then started the excitement. Mom was in a lot of pain and I didn't really know what to do. We, as a team, battled through it doing everything that we had learned in the baby class until it was time to cut off all feeling from the waist down. The labor progressed very well and around 12 noon on Thursday May 22 we started to push. in approximately 1.5 hours we had all eight pounds and twelve ounces of Bennett in our arms. It was the most emotional process that I have ever been involved in with seeing our new baby and also watching mom do such a great job throughout the process.
Bennett at .5 year of age
It has been a very amazing experience seeing Bennett grow from a fragile china doll to a muscular boy. He has so much personality and loves to smile. He loves to smile at the woman more than the men, which he gets from me. He loves to have all of the attention, like his dad as well. Watching him progress makes me feel that mom and I must be doing something right to have such a loving, happy and healthly little boy. In about another 6 months, I will introduce the golf clubs.
Starting to stand at .75
Bennett, you are once again amazing me as everyday passes. You are starting to use the coffee table and the couches to stand on your own. This means are you going to start to walk in the coming months as well. You make me so proud and are such a loving little boy who loves to give mommy and daddy bigs hugs and lots of open mouth kisses. You are such a blessing and make mommy and daddy more and more proud with every day that passes. Summer is approaching which will be so much fun to be able to do outdoor events with you.
Sick with a very caring Mom, Mimi & Poppy
A very sick son and father
Your eighth month of outside life brought your first valentine's card from your grandparents - Schneider and Sinnett, your father's 29th birthday, you Uncle Bret's birthday, a double ear infection and a very nasty cough for you - which is your first real sickness other than colds, and your father's rupturing of his appendix which required him to have his very first CAT scan, IV, Surgery and hosiptal stay. What a very busy month. Your mommy was such a busy and loving mommy and wife taking care of two important people in her life. And she couldn't have done it all without all of the help and love that you Mimi and Poppy were able to provide by staying over at our house and helping with the nightly Bennett duties. And believe me Bennett if your name wasn't Bennett, and you didn't look like a little boy, and I let you mom and mini dress you in what they wanted all of the time, I would mistaken you for a girl. You are a very high maintenance boy that knows what he can get away with, which is everything. We all love you very much and continue to love the new chapter in our lives that was opened on May 22, 2008.
We're having a baby!
The night we found out...
Travis and I were at dinner discussing different things and we started talking about having a baby. I guess that it must have been the mothers intuition setting in because we got home and I took a pregnancy test and sure enough, it came back positive. I immediately made Travis drive me to Wal-Mart (since it was after midnight it was the only store open) and buy another test. This one said the word pregnant if it was positive. Sure enough 2 positive tests.
That week I went in to the doctor and they confirmed that I was indeed pregnant - approximately 5 weeks and 4 days. The doctor visit was followed by an ultra sound where we were only able to see a tiny blob, but they confirmed the due date of May 12th.
Telling Family & Friends
We decided that we would wait to share the good news until the pregnancy was further along. Of course we shared the news with our families before that. We took my parents to the Twins baseball game on Friday night. Travis kept asking me when I was going to tell them and I kept delaying. We finally got back home from the game and Travis asked my mom "So what do you think of the name...?" She immediately knew that we were having a baby. It took my dad a little while to catch on.
Let the shopping begin
The next day started the beginning of a 9 month baby shopping spree. We went to Babies R Us just to look and ended up coming home with a bouncer and high chair. Now the employees at Babies R Us are on a first name basis with my mom. She jokes that she has all of the items in each aisle memorized - that is how often she shops at the store.
I felt good through the entire course of my first trimester. I would sometimes feel a bit tired and like I was not able to keep up my energy throughout the course of the day. Luckily no real sickness though.
We had big plans for our first anniversary - visiting the St. Paul hotel, dinner at WA Frost and just general fun downtown St. Paul. On Friday I was not feeling the greatest and then things went downhill on Saturday. The entire weekend I did not get out of bed. Our anniversary meal consisted of a Subway sandwich. It was kind of a disappointing time to get sick, but we are planning to have a great celebration for our 2nd anniversary.
During my second trimester I was working a lot since the store was going to be sold as of the end of the year. We had lots of work to do and I was constantly on the move. I was feeling great and starting to show, which was very exciting. It seemed like little tasks were getting harder as my waistline expanded. Little did I know what was to come...
We also traveled to Hawaii over Thanksgiving which was a great way to spend the holiday and allowed for some much needed rest.
In December we traveled to Atlanta which was great since we were able to share our excitement with my family. All of the little girls are so excited to meet the baby. It was a lot of fun.
My 3rd trimester was great - I was still feeling great and even though I was getting bigger I was still able to keep up with my normal pace. Then at my 36 week checkup my blood pressure spiked and my swelling was incredible. I was told by my doctor that I needed to decrease my activity level greatly or risk being put on bed rest. I took her orders and by week 38 my blood pressure was back in the normal range. Towards the end of the pregnancy it seemed like all I was doing was visiting the doctor. The last 4 weeks, I was there once a week. Once I reached my due date, then I was at the doctor every couple of days. I was very happy once she informed me that I would be induced on the 21st. Anytime you go beyond 42 weeks of gestation you are putting the baby at risk so we had no choice by to be induced.
Going to the Hospital
It was a very emotional 2 days waiting to be induced. We kept the news to ourselves which was very hard to do, but we did not want everyone to know in case the induction did not work or the hospital was not able to get me in on that day. Luckily on Wednesday I was very busy at work trying to tie up all of the loose ends. The time flew by that day and before I knew it I was at home waiting for Travis to arrive to take me to the hospital. We loaded up our things and headed off to dinner at 5:30. We ate at Famous Dave's (one of my favorites) and then arrived at the hospital at 7:00. It was a very emotional experience knowing that in just a matter of hours we were going to be able to meet this baby boy that had been growing and developing inside of me for the past months.
I know that everyone says that the love that you have for your children is like nothing that you can describe and they are correct. When Bennett was born and Dr. Reardon placed him on my chest I had so many emotions running through my mind. I was thrilled to be through with labor and delivery, I was exhausted, I was hungry and I was happy all at the same time. I looked at Bennett and just feel more in love with him that I ever thought possible. It was amazing that one minute he was inside of me and the next I was holding him in my arms.
The First Months...
Bring Bennett home from the hospital was such a great experience. It was exciting, nerve wracking and emotional all at the same time. It was the most amazing thing to be driving home with a new little baby in the car. Of course we had a minor glitch on the way home and needed to stop at Target to pick up a headrest for Bennett's car seat. His little head just kept tipping from side to side in the car seat since it had no support.
The first couple of days at home were a real adjustment. No only were we adjusting to the new baby, but we had to adjust to a new schedule, lack of sleep (we were still tired from our hospital stay) and the many calls and visitors. The first day home my parents came over, Travis made dinner and they helped out greatly with Bennett. Travis was home with us for a week and then my mom was able to stay with us for a couple of days after he went back to work. Having the extra help was very appreciated.
Once we had been home for about 2 weeks we were getting into our groove of things and were all becoming better adjusted. Both Travis and I felt very lucky that we had such a GOOD baby boy. He very rarely cried when you would not know what he needed. He would cry when he was hungry or tired. He only had a couple of crying fits - thankfully they were short lived.
The one big issue that we did have to deal with was the sleeping arrangement. Bennett did not like his bassinet that we had in our bedroom. He would wake up immediately when you would try and put him down in it. Finally we resorted to moving the swing into our bedroom and he slept in the swing until July 22nd. We would put him in the swing swaddled, turn it on full speed and set the music up and he would be out for a couple of hours.
After Bennett's baptism in June, the Larson's were here for a couple of weeks to spend time with us and Bennett. We had a lot of fun going to the Water Park of America, the Dells, the Heritage Greens 4th of July party, picnics at the park and just hanging out together.
On July 10th I had to go to Omaha, NE for a work convention so my mom, Bennett, Shelley and I packed in the car and drove to Omaha together. It was Bennett's first trip through Iowa and into Nebraska. Our convention was that evening and then the next morning we packed up and headed back home. By the time we got home, Bennett was ready to be done with his car seat :-)
Following the trip to Omaha, we headed to GA and then drove to Destin for a nice weekend away. It was Bennett's first time to the Ocean and also the first time that he was able to meet the Villalobos family. He did great on the flight to Atlanta (plus we had all the help of the girls) but on the flight home, we were on the plane for about 45 minutes before the pilot came on to tell us that the flight was going to be cancelled since the airplane was having some techinical difficulties. Bennett was a trooper during the whole experience.
It was great to go away and introduce Bennett to everyone but it was also great to be home and back to our normal schedule. When we came home, we decided to put Bennett in his crib (that had been waiting for him since New Years Eve) and he was able to get a good nights sleep in it.
What a Happy Baby
Now that Travis, Bennett and I are adjusting to our new family life things are great. We are getting a little bit more sleep each night at the Schneider household and appreciate every minute. Bennett has been sleeping for at least 6 hours each night and then will wake for a feeding and go right back down. Sometimes he even sleeps for 9 hours at a time. Those are the nights that you wake up in a panic and go check on him since he has not made a peep all night :)
As we are out and about with Bennett all that people say to us is what a cute and happy baby he is. When he is sucking on his pacifier and someone looks at him he gives them a huge smile and the pacifier drops out of his mouth - it is one of the cutest things I have seen.
My Baby Bumble Bee
Bennett's first halloween kind of snuck up on us and we were not really prepared. The night before Halloween my mom was discussing his bumble bee costume that I had bought for him. She said it would be really cute to turn his stroller into a bee hive. So Travis and I were off at 11:30 at night to Wal-Mart to purchase the supplies to make a bee hive. It was worth the trip since Bennett was one of the winner's in the rotary costume contest in Hudson on Halloween. It was so much fun to be able to show off his cute costume to everyone and he slept through the whole thing!
Bennett is 5 months old...
Growing like a little weed
It is hard to believe that almost 6 months have passed since Bennett's birth. He is growing like a little weed and we are enjoying every moment. He is getting to be very independent. We are working on starting to try crawling. He will take one movement forward and then two backwards. It is so much fun to watch. He is drooling like crazy. It seems like it is a constant water fountain coming from his mouth. We keep watching everyday for more teeth to come in, but nothing yet.
He has started to be much more vocal and is constantly babbling, humming and just making any kind of noise that he can. Sometimes he is so loud - like when we are at church!
We had a group of friends that were all having our pictures taken in November for nice holiday pictures. That day turned out to be very cold (30 degrees) and windy. We were in Stillwater by the river and at Pioneer Park. We were able to get some good pictures, but at the end of the day Bennett was so cold. You can see it in his eyes :( We decided that next year we will do the pictures a little earlier in the year.
Today Bennett is 7 months old and both Travis and I find ourselves wondering where the time has gone. The past 7 months seem to have flown by and already the sleepless nights seem to have escaped my mind. Amazing how quickly you can forget somethings.
I know that this journal is for and about Bennett, but I do need to update that Travis has passed his CPA exam and should be receiving his license within the next month. This is a huge accomplishment and we are so very proud of him!
Bennett has been busy over the past month. A couple of the new things that he is working on right now...
Eating a cracker
Scooting at a more rapid pace
We will be travelling on Christmas Eve to Atlanta to spend time with my family for the holiday and are anxious to see how Bennett will enjoy flying now that he is a bit more mobile then the last time that we flew. We plan on bringing plenty of toys to occupy his time!
Bennett's 1st Christmas
Each year for Christmas we head to Atlanta to spend Christmas with my family. This year we left on the morning of Christmas eve. Bennett is becoming an old pro on the airplane. He did great the entire flight! It is such a relief when we land since we don't want to be those parents with the baby that keeps crying :) Once we arrived in Atlanta the chaos began. We headed to Bertha and Teo's house for the Christmas eve celebration. The Peruvian tradition is to eat at 11 pm and then open presents at midnight. The suspense is always high as the kids can not wait for midnight to arrive. Bennett did great waiting to open his presents and he participated well in tearing the wrapping paper off the presents. It is so cute to watch him open the presents and see the look on his face as he admires his new toys.
Then on Christmas morning we woke up to see all the presents that Santa brought for the girls and Bennett. Bennett got a fire engine (that you can ride on) and Shelley got a laptop. Allison got Mario Kart and a docking station for her IPOD and Isabella got an IPOD and a docking station so it was a happy time for everyone! We spent the early part of the afternoon hanging out and playing with the new toys. Then we headed to Ana and Sam's for dinner and then to Karen and Chris' for desserts.
Well time just keeps flying by and Bennett is getting to be such a big boy! He is doing so many fun things and keeps us very entertained. He has now mastered crawling and is always on the move. We now realize that we miss the days of setting him down and coming back to find him in the same spot. This past weekend we had to lower his crib mattress to the 2nd to lowest setting. I had been telling Travis that we needed to do it and then he was crying in his crib and I told Travis I bet he is up on his knees holding the rail. Sure enough he was actually standing up and holding on to the rail. We pulled him out of the crib and Travis immediately lowered the crib.
He has become quite the talker and just loves to hear himself make any kind of noise. He always enjoys playing with his bumbo chair (no longer sitting in it) but pushing it around in the room and trying to walk or stand behind it. He has also started to antgonize Oliver which Oliver is not to happy about. We knew it was coming but it was just a matter of when. I think that they will grow up to be good friends.
Next week we are heading to Atlanta for Ines and Danny's wedding. Bennett and I are going together on Wednesday and then Travis, Mimi and Poppy are going to come in later. The wedding is on Saturday and we are so excited for them. It is going to be a great day and we can't wait to celebrate the beginning of their life together. It seems like it was just yesterday that the whole Villalobos family flew in to Minneapolis to celebrate our wedding day and now here we are 2 and a half years later with Bennett and going to celebrate Ines' wedding.
Ines & Danny's Wedding
Traveling to Atlanta
On Wednesday Bennett and I headed to Atlanta to begin the wedding festivities for Ines and Danny. That included many family and friends arriving in Atlanta to help them celebrate. This was the first time that I was flying alone with Bennett. I was having a lot of anxiety about the issues that I might encounter being alone at the airport. I was able to manuever through security, with the help of my dad, got to the gate on time and was helped down the jetway by many friendly flyers. Once we were seated, I was feeling relief. The flight went well and Bennett slept some of the way. The other time was spent playing and talking with the other passengers. We were able to make it through the Atlanta airport with out issue and then loaded into the shuttle bus to get our rental car. The lady working at the car rental company was nice enough to upgrade us to a mini van which proved to be very handy the entire weekend.
On Thursday, we spent the whole day helping Ines prepare for the wedding and put the finishing touches on there new condo. It was a very busy day and then at night we had her personal shower at Caryn's house. To end the night, Bennett and I went to the airport to pick up my parents.
Friday was a day filled with all of the pampering that a bride should have the day before her wedding. Ines and I had a great day (Bennett spent the day with Mimi and Poppy). Then at 630 was the start of the rehearsal. In true Peruvian style the rehearsal started about 45 minutes late (keep in mind it was an hour rehearsal). That was followed by a great dinner back and Ines and Danny's condo. Then Bennett and I were off to the airport once again to pick up Daddy.
The wedding day had finally arrived and I was off getting ready for the big celebration. At 12:00 we were all ready and headed to the church. My parents kept Bennett during the ceremony - I was a bridesmaid and Travis an Usher. The wedding was absolutely beautiful!! Ines looked gorgeous and Danny was so handsome. Everything went off without a hitch (it started 1/2 hour late, again true Peruvian style). The reception was lots of fun, Bennett was one of the stars of the show. At the end of the night the three of us took Ines and Danny home (they spent their first night in the condo). We finally arrived back to Troy and Marita's at 4:30. Some might say that we are crazy parents :) Luckily Bennett is so easy going - he just goes with our flow!!
Sunday was a gorgeous day in Atlanta. We took my parents and Travis back to the airport for their 1:30 flight home and then we headed to Bertha's for a BBQ. Bennett and I took a nice nap together by the pool and relaxed all afternoon. What a great ending to the perfect weekend.
Well, I am a few days late in updating Bennett's site due to an unexpected surgery... with Travis! On Monday night he was having some pain in his lwer abdomen. Then the pain was much worse on Tuesday and finally we went to the clinic on Wednesday morning. After a couple of hours of tests and a CT scan Travis was wheeled off to surgery. He did great in surgery and it turns out that his appendix had ruptured. He was in fairly rough shape and is doing much better now. As I right this I am sitting in the hospital with him and my mom is at home with Bennett.
This afternoon, when we picked Bennett up from Heather's she said that his cough was worse then the previous day and he was not eating like normal. So we decided to take him in and have him checked out for the cough. His lungs sounded good but he did have a double ear infection :( He was given some medicine for that and the doctor also gave us steroids to help that cough. Hopefully he will have a speedy recovery.
We had his 9 month pictures with Laura on 2/21 and they were awesome. Bennett was such a good model and I can not wait to see them. Just seeing what Laura was capturing on film was awesome.
9 month milestones consisted of mastering crawling. It seems like everyday he gets faster and faster. He is also able to stand on his own now. He can let go of the furniture that he is holding for a moment before he falls. It is so much fun to see him advancing in so many ways. He is also starting to say gaga and always blowing bubbles. He is also SOOOO busy. He does not want to be held much any more. He prefers to be on the move... just a sign of things to come.
Well, I am a bit behind in our 10 month journal as 10 months cam around the same time that we were getting ready to head to Phoenix - so the house was craziness! Bennett has had a great month and is continuing to learn and loves to play. He is just so much fun - he keeps all of us laughing at everything that he does. He is now a master when it comes to crawling and you can tell that he is getting impatient and wants to start walking. He is moving around all of the furniture, then he will let go, stand for a minute and then fall down on his bottom. Very Cute!! We thinking that walking is just around the corner. He is also waving bye bye and says BABA when he is waving to you. Just last week he was able to do so big for the first time. And not only does he do so big, but he does it with a huge smirk/smile on his face waiting for your reaction. SO CUTE!!
So last Friday the 27th Bennett and I flew to Arizona for a convention for my work. It was he and I once again alone on the plane. He was a great flyer and I was feeling great about travelling with him. We made it to the hotel, sat by the pool, relaxed and then picked up a rental car and headed back to the airport to pick up my mom who flew in at 7:00. The two of them spent the next couple of days together and I was with them most of the time - but had to work on and off for a couple of days. We had a great time! The weather was warm, Bennett enjoyed the pool, the sunshine, watching all of the kids play and just all around had a great time. Then Tuesday night rolled around and we were once again back on the airplane to fly home. I have probably flown a few hundred times and I will tell you that the plane that we were on had to be the smallest plane that I had ever been on. It had no overhead space and I could not even sit in my seat without my knees hitting the seat in front of me. That made for tons of fun holding Bennett and not being able to move. He was off to a great start sleeping and happy. Then on the second leg of the flight he got cranky and it was all downhill from there. He was not a happy camper and made sure that everyone on the plane knew it. Nevertheless after the flight was over I joked with the other passengers about it and they all seemed to be understanding and laughed about it.
I think that we are going to hold off on any more trips with just the two of us for the time being - it is a lot of work!!
Well, here I sit writing an 11 month entry. Who knew how quickly this time would have gone by. Right now I am reminiscing every week about where I was last year at this time. This was the week that my blood pressure spiked and Dr. Reardon threatened to put me on bed rest if I did not slow things down. I am much happier to be where I am at today. But also sad that very soon Bennett is going to be hitting that milestone of 1 year old. He is getting to be such a big, independent boy!
Over the past month we have had lots of great things happen. He has just taken off walking with a walker. That is all that he does all day and all night. He walks back and forth in the bonus room and pushing one toy, then moves to another and another. He has a walker, a train and McQueen (the car from Cars). He loves them all and now all Travis and I do is recite the little saying that each of them make to each other - some what comical!!
Bennett has also made the decision that he is done with baby food and turns his head and cries when you try and feed it to him. He only likes to eat regular food and let me tell you, he loves everything. Pizza, pasta, ravoli, hot dish, veggies, ice cream... you name it, he eats it!
We are excited for the walking to begin but also sad because it means that he is a toddler and no longer our little baby! The time has passed so quickly and while we celebrate all of his wonderful accomplishments sometimes I just wish that I could stop time to just enjoy things for a little bit longer!
The 1st Birthday
Party, Party, Party...
You see, Bennett is having a three part birthday celebration! He had his daycare birthday party with Heather, then we went to Atlanta to celebrate with my family over Memorial day and then he is having his friend party at the end of June.
Day Care Party
Bennett is taking part in one of the very first celebration for his birthday today. He is having pizza and cake along with all of his other friends at Heather's. Then tomorrow night we are flying to Atlanta to celebrate with all of our family and cousins. Bennett is in for a real treat with all of the attention that is to come. It was one year ago tonight that Travis and I went to Woodwinds to be induced and finally meet Bennett. What an exciting and emotional day it was. Now fast forward one year and we have so many wonderful experiences and memories with Bennett to be thankful for. It has been an awesome journey so far!
We flew to Atlanta over Memorial day to celebrate Bennett's birthday with everyone in Atlanta. Bennett had such a great time celebrating with all 13 of his cousins. It was a bit overwhelming when everyone sang Happy Birthday and then the cake was the melting point, but other then that he was a great traveler once again!
On Friday night, which was his actual birthday, Troy and Marita hosted everyone for the birthday party. We enjoyed pizzas and cake. About 35 people were there and having a great time watching Bennett react to all of the new experiences. He realized for the first time what a balloon was. That was soooo cute to see. Then he also had his first taste of cake. He was just warming up to the idea when one of his cousins decided he was not moving fast enough and proceeded to slam his whole arm into the cake. That was the end of the night for this little guy. Travis and I proceeded to carry him up to the tub and he got a whole body scrub down - cake was everywhere!!
The rest of our time in Atlanta was spent relaxing and enjoying the weather and company. Bennett is such a great baby - he just goes with the flow right along with the craziness that his mommy and daddy bring him into!
The train birthday party was a huge success! All of the kids loved riding the trains, except Bennett. He and I sat down after a long wait in line and within 2 minutes he was fast asleep in my arms. Needless to say, he missed the whole train ride and all of the excitement that occured. We were on a train with the conductor, myself and Bennett, Travis, my mom and one other grandpa and his grandson. After going for a little while on the tracks we came to a brige. After crossing over the bridge the man at the back of the train yelled, "Derailment". The conductor, myself and Travis all jumped off. My mom had tipped over on her side and the man and grandson were headed feet first down a big hill. Travis grabbed onto his ankles and secured him and then picked up the grandson. It was quite the excitement and funny to look back on now that everyone is OK! We had Taco John's cater the food for the day with tacos and nachos. We also had a delicious cake from Dorothy Ann's - it was soooo cute! Then we gave all of Bennett's friends little train goody bags with a sucker, whistle and a soap crayon. We had lots of friends there: Chase Broderson, Maddie Nelson, Natalie Koehnen, Lauryn and Tyler Schutz, Sam and Morgan Barr and Selby and Grady Olson. They all came with their parents along with my parents, Matt and Ember and Travis and I. It was a great day!
Bennett is truly a toddler now! It is so fun to watch him interact with other children and whenever he sees other little ones playing he immediately wants out of his stroller so that he can join in the fun. He thinks that the older kids are just the greatest thing - he loves watching the older boys play and goof around. I think that it probably from all the time that he spends with Talen at daycare - he is 12 years old and they just adore each other! Bennett really enjoys his independence and now wants to do everything on his own. Eating is the big challenge right now - he wants to use the fork or spoon on his own, however not much food would actually make it into his mouth if we let him. He also despises having his diaper changed at the moment. Anything that stops him from moving around is not a good thing! Another interesting relationship that is forming is with Bennett and Oliver. Sometimes we leave the leash on Oliver and Bennett immediately picks it up and starts tugging on him to try and take him for a walk. Then when we do go for a walk as a family, Bennett must be holding the leash. We have also seen a few temper tantrums already, which gave us quite the look at what is in store! He was screaming so loud at Wal-Mart when we took the balloon away that you could hear him at the back of the store :( We are working on trying to reason with him and make him understand things. He is talking a little but you can tell that he is understanding a lot!
Another month passes and Bennett's growth never seems to amaze us. He is walking all over the place. Starting to speak a couple of words and getting better everyday at conveying what he wants. Now you can ask him if he wants a certain food and he will shake his head yes or no. You can also ask him to bring you a toy or the phone - he will walk right over to you and hand it over. Just amazing how his little mind is spinning everyday. July has been busy with lots of events with friends all over the place. We have kept on the go visiting with lots of Bennett's friends, going to the County Fair, Booster Days and swimming at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Bennett loved playing in the sand though he was not sure about the water. Once he warmed up to the idea he had a lot of fun. I would have to say that is one of the biggest changes that we have seen in Bennett over the past month. He has become even more of a momma's boy and is now weary of everything. He clings to me and never wants me to set him down if he has concerns. We tried to take him for a ride on the carosel which ended in Bennett crying while I tried to calm him for the remainder of the ride.
Well, to say that I have been slacking in my journaling duties is an understatement. We have been so business enjoying all the great times with Bennett. He is soooo much fun and entertaining. So, where should I begin? Let's start with all of the new things that Bennett is doing. He loves to talk and has a handful of words that he uses everyday. Book, milk, mama, dada, poppa, juice, bow wow, bye, button and a couple others that are still hard to understand in his language! Walking (and now running) is another thing that he mastered pretty easily. He loves to run from place to place and plays with all of his toys. He also loves to play with Oliver. Oliver is very understanding and enjoys all of the attention that Bennett gives to him.
Bennett spent the first year of his life not wanting to be a very good sleeper, but he has spent the past six months as a dream sleeper! We are able to enjoy late mornings with Bennett - he normally never wakes until almost 10:00. He goes down around 10 at night and makes it so easy on us. You tell him - Bennett, it is time to go night night. He gives Travis and I a kiss and walks into his room. You lay him down and he is out within minutes!
Bennett loves his food... he has always been a great eater which you can see by looking at him. He has continued those good eating habits as he gets older. He loves fruits and veggies. He also loves crackers, nutri grain bars, juice and pancakes, though milk is his all time favorite. He would drink milk all day and night if you would let him. At the moment he is very determined to eat on his own with his big boy spoon and fork. It is so cute to watch him eat a variety of foods with his fork - crackers, granola bars and cookies.
Travis and I feel so very fortunate to be able to enjoy every special moment that we have with Bennett. We have so many blessings in our life with our health, loving family and friends, beautiful baby boy and each other. We are so amazed each day by watching Bennett and all of the new skills and tasks that he is able to accomplish each day. We look forward to the next adventures that we are able to share together as a family. This week we will be going to the caribbean with Travis' family and hope to spend the holidays in Atlanta. We want Bennett to have a great holiday surrounded by all of his cousins who will help to make Christmas even more special.
May 22, 2008 21 inches 8 lbs 11 oz
May 27, 2008 21 3/4 inches 8 lbs 14 oz
July 28, 2008 23 3/4 inches 14 lbs 2 oz
Aug 18, 2008 15 lbs 8 oz
Aug 25, 2008 15 lbs 13 oz
Sept 26, 2008 25 3/4 inches 17 lbs 2 oz
Oct 29, 2008 18 lbs 7 oz
Dec 3, 2008 27 inches 19 lbs 1 oz
Dec 22, 2008 19 lbs 0 oz
May 28, 2009 30 1/2 inches 23 lbs 15 oz
Nov 20, 2009 33 inches 29 lbs 6 oz
First time home: May 24, 2008
First Flight: July 16, 2008
First time to the Ocean: July 17, 2008
First Shots: July 28, 2008
First time eating solids: August 19, 2008
Bennett had his first rice cereal before bedtime on the 19th. He enjoyed it as you can see in the pictures.
First time rolling over: August 24, 2008
Bennett rolled over for the first time with both mommy and daddy watching him. He went 1 time from his front to his back. We tried to get him to do it again, but once was all he was ready for!
First Cruise: August 30, 2008
Bennett's Great Aunt and Uncle took us all on a family cruise to the caribbean to celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary. Bennett already loves cruising!
First time tickling: October 10, 2008
Bennett was on his changing table and we were tickling him on his tummy. He started to giggle like crazy - it was so cute.
First visit to the pumpkin patch: October 11, 2008
Bennett finds his feet: October 12, 2008
First tooth: October 13, 2008
Bennett's first tooth came in on the lwer left hand side. He was never fussy and we did not realize that it was coming in until it was all the way through!
First Boat ride: October 18, 2008
First visit to Santa: November 14, 2008
We took Bennett to see Santa at the Mall of America. We were not sure what his reaction would be but he did great. The people working were awesome and you can see by the picture that Bennett was happy as usual!
First time Sitting Up: December 17, 2008
First two top teeth: December 25, 2008
We woke up on Christmas morning to find out that Bennett's top two teeth had popped through - ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH!!!
First time crawling: January 8, 2009
Bennett was attempting to crawl for the past couple of weeks. Last night he was really doing well using his arms to move himself. Tonight when I got home from work we set a toy out in front of him and it just all clicked and off he went. It was so cute to see his exagerated hand movements.
Let the baby proofing begin!!!
First time kneeling: January 19, 2009
First time pulling to standing; January 21, 2009
First time going from tummy to standing: January 28, 2009
First time eating cherrios on his own: January 28, 2009
First time waving bye-bye: February 13, 2009
I had been working with Bennett for the past week on trying to wave bye-bye. Sure enough on Friday morning he finally did it on his own. It is one of the cutest things that I have ever seen :)
First ear infection: February 25, 2009
Bennett was diagnosed with a double ear infection the day after Travis had his emergency appendoctomy.
First time doing so big: March 26, 2009
First trip to the ER: April 5, 2009
Bennett had woken up not himself in the morning and we put him down for a nap right after he ate. He woke up and seemed to be back to himself. We watched him throughout the day and he seemed to be very calm and quite lethargic. We took his temp - 101, gave him som tylenol and watched him closely. Then we noticed that he was breathing quick, short breaths and his temp was rising.
At about 7:00 we headed to Children's Hospital. By the time we arrived he had a 104.1 fever! They ran a whole battery of tests and everything came back looking good. He had a slightly higher then normal white blood count, so the virus has caused his temp which affected him in several ways. We learned some good lessons that night from the doctors and nurses. Motrin is our new best friend :-)