Long overdue, I know.
I can't believe that you've already been with us for half a year. It seems like such a short time, and yet our family would not be complete without you.
At the start of this month I had to spend an entire week away from you every day. It was hard for me to leave you each morning, but you seemed to flourish, and it allowed me to see that when I wasn't dragging you all over town to run errands everyday that you had a schedule for eating and napping that suited you just fine. Unfortunately it means that you want to nap everytime Claire is awake, and be awake when she naps. Not so helpful for me getting anything done that requires leaving the house.
We celebrated the fourth of July surrounded by family. Papa, Grandma Laurel, Uncle Dave, Uncle Calvin, and Uncle Nigel all came up to visit, and we had a really fun weekend spending time with them. You were very popular, as usual. We spent one day down at the lake relaxing and swimming, and on the fourth enjoyed a cookout at Kathy and Karl's and all of the illegal fireworks that Papa had brought north with him. Claire loved the fireworks, wasn't scared a bit, and the whole ride home kept asking for "more stars!"
We had a big party the next weekend to celebrate all of the July birthdays - Cousin Ryan, Aunt Cindy, Grandpa, and Uncle Adam. We went to the Reston Petting Zoo first, and then had everyone back to the house for yummy food and a really cool Bob the Builder cake.
Mommy and Daddy celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary, and managed to go out to dinner at the Melting Pot, as usual. Grandma came up to babysit which is always fun for you and Claire.
We had another visit from family at the end of this month. Papa Jim and Grandma Norma flew all the way from Texas to come and see us. They loved holding you and talking to Claire. It was a nice few days for us, and I know it was a special time for them.
While they were here you tried your very first solid food - baby oatmeal. It was quite an event because Claire decided she needed to help and grabbed a spoon that she would stick in your mouth whenever she had the chance. Despite that you seemed to enjoy the oatmeal, and you managed to swallow quite a bit of it.
This month you discovered your tongue, and you love to stick it out of your mouth and smile at us. It makes us smile everytime you do that. We're having so much fun with you, Ben, and we love you very very much.