Friday, December 24, 2010

We bring you good tidings of great joy!

Merry Christmas from the Hassells! We pray that this holiday season you will know the free gift of God's grace through his Son and will grasp how wide, long, high and deep is the love of Christ. 

(Please don't mock our Benton-sized Christmas tree. It's the best we could do with a very curious and destructive crawler around.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Future runner

A couple of weekends ago, me and Benton witnessed something crazy. Brack ran his first ultra-marathon. It was bananas.
About 150 people ran the 40-mile trail race in a state park in middle Georgia. Benton and I got to see Brack about every 4-5 miles at the aid stations. We were there waiting with more water, energy gels, fruit, chocolate and lots of cheering.
It was super cold. I tried my best to bundle up the little man and we stayed in the car between stops as long as we could. I expected him to protest: getting in and out of the car, sitting in the wind, wearing a hat. But there were no meltdowns. In fact, one man who we saw at every stop said, "That's the best baby I've ever seen." At least Benton had that guy fooled.
This REI hat is my favorite baby purchase to date.
At one stop, I unbuckled a slightly-asleep Benton from his car seat and went to get stuff out of the trunk. About 45 seconds later, I found him like this.
Benton cheered on his dad all day. Nothing like an adorable baby to keep you motivated. He made a pretty great race crew. This is the last stop, about 6 miles from the finish line. Looking good, Daddy!
Brack finished 40 miles in 8 hours and 10 minutes. We couldn't be more proud. Can't wait until Benton can run beside him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Whose kid is this?

November was a big month around these parts. We have some accomplishments to recognize.

That's right, teeth. Plural. We have two. And they are sharp. Some "toys" we thought were baby-proof now have tiny chunks missing from them.

Benton is officially crawling like a real baby. He still sneaks in an occasional army crawl, but for the most part his knees are getting put to good use now.

Was not expecting this so soon. The kid pulls himself up everywhere. His bed, the couch, the coffee table, the ottoman, the bath tub and walls. And after he stands, he lets go with one hand, just to be sure we know he has no fear. Apparently, falls are not going to keep him down. He also walks along the couch if you hold one of his hands. 

In his free time, he likes to clap, say "dada" (Pretty sure he doesn't know that's what he's saying. Not bitter.), climb one stair, eat graham crackers, not take naps, watch Handy Manny, read (and chew on) "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?", or have his ears cleaned out with baby Q-tips.

Little man had a great first Thanksgiving and was sufficiently spoiled by all. We went to Uncle Zach's house in Florida and then to Mimi and Bunk's house in Alabama. Such fun visits!

One more worthy note. Benton had his first visit to the always exciting Chuck E. Cheese. It was special. I think he's covered until he's 16 and can drive himself there.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Seven months already?

Seven months ago today, our little Bento Bean arrived. What a crazy seven months. Just in the last few weeks I feel like we are moving out of the tiny baby stage. This kid is in to everything!

He went to his first Atlanta Hawks game this week. The kid's been to almost as many professional sporting events as I have. Next stop: hockey.

His first tooth finally came through. I can't get him to sit still long enough to take a picture. You can barely see it anyway, but you sure can feel it!

Still working on getting Sharptooth to try solid foods. We may just be skipping right over baby food and going to table food. He only seems to be interested if it's something he can hold himself.

Brack and I are so in love with this little man. He has captured our hearts! And our sleep, wallets, sanity, and free time. But we wouldn't have it any other way. Happy seven months, little nugget.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...
The most adorable cheeseburger you've ever seen.

Benton had a fun first Halloween. We spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect costume without even thinking about what we were going to do with him once he was dressed up. So we decided to take the cheeseburger to the church fall festival in my hometown. It was an adventure. 

He met some Storm Troopers.

He got his first Bible. He thought it was delicious.

He trick-or-treated with his Uncle Jesse (of the Secret Service).

He met a lot of his Nana and Papa's friends and stared politely at each one of them.

I know I say this all the time, but this little guy is such a trooper. Clearly Old Navy did not expect a Halloween evening to be 70 degrees when they made an infant costume out of fleece, but Benton didn't complain once. He let us carry his snotty self all over the parking lot. I love this kid.

One last cheeseburger shot for the road.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halfway to one

I have a six month old. Hard to believe, huh? It's been a quick six months and yet I have a hard time remembering life before Benton.

We've been busy and Benton's been right in the middle of everything. Braves games, college visits, birthday parties. He even sat in on my performance evaluation at work this week. He just wanted to tell my boss how hard I've been working.

We tried solid foods this week. Benton's a lot more interested in holding the spoon and touching the food than eating it. Guess he's not in a hurry and that's fine with me. Turns out it's messy. Sweet potatoes were the only semi-successful try. 

Other things you may or may not want to know about the Bento Box:
-Trying really hard to crawl
-A tooth is almost in
-Still not sleeping through the night
-Copies noises and faces that we make
-Can give a high five upon request about 12% of the time
-Thinks it hilarious when someone throws and catches a ball
-Love watching sports in HD
-Now sporting a mustache

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not crawling

Benton is not crawling. But he can still get across the room in no time.
Just watch.
We need a bigger apartment.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy birthday, Martha

My alma mater (and employer) Berry College has a homecoming celebration each October in honor of our founder's birthday. Martha's birthday party is a good excuse to eat barbecue, march up and down a hill, and catch up with old friends. I won't try to explain all of the traditions involved, but I will say that Mountain Day 2010 was one of my favorites yet.
Not only was it Benton's first Mountain Day, but it was the first time in five years my best college friends and I were all together. There are four and a half babies between us (Baby Smith arrives March 2011). They all played well together. Benton needs to get his act together and sit up like the big kids.

Hannah (16 months)

Caedmon (13 months)

Jack (10 months)

Benton (6 months) and Erika (317 months)

Even baby Madelyn was there! (3 months)

Thanks for the party, Martha. It's always a good time on the mountain.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo tour

New favorite outfit: diaper and Georgia hat 
(Thanks, Grandma Cindi!)
Excited about college football
Braves game for Dad's birthday 

(Please take note of Lauren)
World's most accurate t-shirt
I mean, really.