Analyzed by Engineers (Ben & Andrew's Blog)
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Parent’s Corner

Today, Ben is 16 years, 1 month, 3 weeks, 1 day old. Andrew is 11 years, 6 months, 1 week, 4 days old.

Ben Clothing Size: As of November ’12, Ben is just barely is in size 5.  His 4T sweatshirt fits him snug.  He has a long torso and shorter legs – but we just roll ’em up of they’re too long.  Ben is big for his age, see here.

Andrew Clothing Size: As of May, 2016, Andrew is in 3T sizes, and getting close to outgrowing some of them!

Diaper Size: Oct ’11: Ben has not worn a diaper for months!  He has occasional nighttime accidents, but is pretty much potty trained!

What Ben is in to:

Nov 2012: Ben is playing a lot with his Thomas trains.  He enjoys watching videos like this one, and then acting out similar stories that draw elements from the video and other stories with which he is familiar.  He’s also very into “small Legos”, i.e. regular Lego bricks.

March 2013: Ben is really into Legos these days.  He has even listed a bunch of sets that he would like to have.  I made a list of them here.

May 2016: Ben’s love for baseball continues.  Ben is playing Little League this year on the Yankees.  He is loving every minute of it.  He plays pitcher and catcher, and also shortstop and 1st base.  He enjoys reading including the Ballpark Mysteries, Encyclopedia Brown, Dan Gutman books (e.g. Ted and Me), the “Who was…” biography books.  He still enjoys Legos and is also starting to play Pokemon with friends.  He’s also continuing golf lessons and piano lessons as doing quite well at both!

What Andrew is in to:

May 2016: Andrew loves to have stories read to him.  He loves to climb on things, and is now able to slide down a fireman’s pole by himself.  He is also starting to enjoy going on the swings (big kid swing, with a parent pushing).  He’s helping Mommy do gardening, and likes to dig with his spade or crush rocks into dust.  He’s also starting to try swinging a baseball bat (foam) at a teed up tennis ball!

Andrew is potty training and goes most days without an accident.  Yay!

Parents’ Diary

Nov 3, 2012: Ben’s favorite book.  We’ve read these stories constantly since he got the book a few weeks ago. We got a copy because we read a bit from one that we were getting for a friend’s birthday, and clearly he really liked it.

Oct 31, 2012: Halloween.  Jim and Cathy came over for dinner and to help with trick-or-treaters.  We went out with Ben, but it was raining, and we only went to 5 houses.  But neighbor Steve gave Ben about 25 pieces of candy, so he did all right.  Ben mostly enjoyed handing out the candy to the kids that came to the house.  Traffic was down this year (only 140 kids – last year was 250), so it was a pretty casual evening.

Oct 21, 2011:Ben had his 3.5 year well visit with Dr. Faro at Kaiser today.  This is the first well checkup that requires some amount of participation by the patient.  Ben had his hearing checked, where he had to raise his hand if he heard a sound.  He had to read from an eye chart with symbols with each eye.  Then he had to jump on his toes, stand on one (each) foot, and also comply with other requests from the doctor like bending over (scoliosis check), or holding still to look in his eyes, ears, etc.  Ben was the perfect patient, and I’m not just saying that as his Dad.  He could not have been more cooperative, helpful, and cheerful.  I was so proud of him today.

July 3, 2011: At SunRiver, Ben noticed that Avery was not wearing diapers, and he decided he was all for that.  He hasn’t worn a diaper since the first day of the SunRiver trip.  He’s really embracing the “I’m 3 and I’m a big boy now” line and applying it toward using the potty.  He’s even gone potty completely unassisted a few times since returning home – he even washes his hands when he’s done!

May 12, 2011: Ben bumped his elbow the other day, and was crying loudly.  When I told him that he had bumped his ‘funny bone’, and that it would feel better soon, he just started laughing and saying that he didn’t have a funny bone and that he had bumped his elbow (silly!).  He didn’t believe that we call our elbows ‘funny bones’. :)

Ben was also crying the other day for some reason or other, and when I asked him why, he sobbed:  Because…. I… <sniff, sniff, wail…> want…. <sniff> to!

February 21, 2011: M&D have started potty training with a bit more incentive for the last week or so.  Today, Ben did his first poop on the potty!  And he got an M&M for pooping, a mini mint melt-away for the pee pee, two stickers for his chart, and a gummy bear for washing his hands afterward!

September 3, 2010: In response to my question about whether he like the salmon I barbecued, he said “It’s not bad.”  I wasn’t expecting that.

May 15, 2010: Ben went to his first parade today – and he was in it!  He did a great job of braving the crowd and watching all the trucks that he possibly could!

May 1, 2010: At 23 months, Ben got his first haircut today.

March 19, 2010: Ben is having what appears to be a pretty severe allergic reaction to something – we’re thinking it is the amoxicillin he’s on for ear infection.  He’s got rash-like welts on his upper body and inner thighs.  He saw the doctor today and got a new antibiotic and he’s on Benedryl.  Hopefully he’ll be feeling (and looking) better tomorrow.

February 13, 2010: Ben tumbled on the big slide at the local elementary school (Daddy’s fault), and split the inside of his lower lip pretty badly.  Lots of blood.  But he had  a snack and going down for his nap right on schedule.  What a trooper!

February 12, 2010: I’ve been meaning to note that for a couple months now, Ben has be demonstrating understanding of conditional logic, such as: “if you eat your broccoli, you can have a cornbread muffin”, or “if you sit in your carset, you can have a strawberry”.  Very cool.  And useful. :-)

February 6, 2010:First ER visit.

January 18, 2010: Ben read a book to us tonight!  After the usual round of me (Daddy) reading several books to Ben before bed, he stole off with “I’ll Teach My Dog a Lot of Words” and sat in the corner.  He proceeded to turn pages, and sign words for many of the actions occurring on the pages, including signs such as we’ve already seen such as ‘dog’, ‘book’, ‘bird’, and ‘cat’.  What’s more interesting is that he mimicked some “signs” (such as dragging his hand up and down his legs where I would be “walking” or “running” my fingers, or covering his eyes for ‘dark’) while “reading” the book.  It seemed that he had some kind of meaningful gesture for most of the pages.  That was truly very entertaining.  Well done, Ben!

January 1, 2010: Ben enjoyed a trip to So Cal for the Christmas holiday.  He enjoyed seeing family and opening presents (and playing with new toys!).  Ben is starting to say more words (and babble quite a bit), or first syllables of words.  During waffle and egg breakfast at Grandpa and Nana’s, Ben managed to say both “waffle” and “egg”!  His sign vocabulary is still around 30 words.  We’re starting to de-emphasize the pacifier now to help him with his verbal speech.  We keep it out of sight in the daytime, and unless he specifically asks for it and we can’t distract him, we don’t give it to him.  He doesn’t seem to be missing it too much.  (He still wants/needs it to sleep.)

Ben is eating mostly cheese, pasta, fruit (apples,pears,strawberries,etc.), veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini), and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and dinner, plus whatever is on our plates.  He likes BBQ’d pork chops, lasagna, and bread (with butter, please).

Sleep-wise, Ben has been waking in the middle of the night recently about 50% of the time, and he needs help getting back to sleep, usually taking 30-60 minutes.  We hope this phase ends ASAP!

September 27, 2009: Ben’s sign language vocabulary is coming along.  In the last couple weeks, he’s added: bear, truck.

September 6, 2009:Ben has been learning more sign language words lately.  His current vocabulary consists of: cracker, ball, watch/clock, all done, dog, cat, bird, milk, more, baby, fan, and banana.  His verbal vocabulary is spotty.  He can do ‘Da Da’ pretty reliably, and he’s hit and miss on the following: cat, bear, ‘quack quack’.

August 24, 2009: Ben has been learning to stall at bedtime.  When he can sense that bedtime is coming, he always seems to want to read another book (or read the same one again), or have a drink of water or something.  It is kind of fun watching him figure this out and try to put one over on us, and then just putting him to bed anyway. :-)

August 23, 2009: Ben had an astonishing amount of dinner today: 1/2 chicken breast, ~1/4 cup each of steamed zucchini and cheese cubes, 1 graham cracker, 20 or so large grapes, 1/2 a raisin-bran muffin.  Oh, and for breakfast, he had about 3/4 cup shredded wheat cereal + and entire peach (cut up). Wow.  And he had time to work in lunch and two snacks today!

In other news, Ben enjoyed Daddy helping him do some somersaults today.  Ben queues up putting his head/hands on the floor in front of him and then Daddy helps him tumble over from there.  Good fun!

August 15, 2009: Ben has been doing a lot of new things in the last month or so.  He’s learning to flip light switches (when he can reach them).  He’s starting to drive toy cars with his hand, and make car noises with his voice while doing so.  He’s learned to climb up on the back of the couch… and then throw himself off onto the cushions.  Yee Ha!!  When reading picture books with Ben, he will point to things and have you read to him what they are, back and forth, over and over.  I get the sense that I’m programming his brain while we’re doing this.  He loves playing with water (like a hose in the backyard).  For a couple months now, Ben wants to eat what is on Mommy and Daddy’s plate, though he’ll still eat cheese and some fruit that’s just for him.  He get cereal (e.g. Shredded Wheat and/or oatmeal) in the morning with some fruit.  His favorite snack food is Graham Crackers.

July 23-August 1, 2009: We took Ben down to Southern California to visit his grandparents.  We stopped at the Scherba cabin on the way down, where we overnighted with Uncle John, Aunt Heather, and cousin Avery.  Then it was on to Fallbrook to see Grandma Janet and Jay, and where we also got to meet Great Aunt Carol and Uncle Phil, and Great Aunt Jean.  After that was a visit to Grandpa & Nana Stark, followed by Ma and Pa Scherba in Palos Verdes.  Ben had a busy but fun time at all the new place seeing all the “new” people!

May 31, 2009: Ben has had a whole weekend of 1st birthday celebration.  His Grandpa Don and friend David Alton are here to visit (and race Grandpa’s race car).  His Grandma and Grandpa Scherba are here to visit as well.  You can see all 8 of Ben’s front teeth, though the last one of the eight has just started in.  Ben’s favorite food is (by far) cheese.  He gets a lot of chedder with his meals.

May 17, 2009: Ben just today has started walking extended distances, such as around the kitchen island an arbitrary number of times.  He is extremely pleased with himself!

May 16, 2009: Ben is able to place all of the shapes into his tupperware “shape ball” as long as he has help being shown the right hole for the shape he is holding.

May 15, 2009: Ben is becoming a much pickier eater as of late.  He’s dropped eating most veggies, and he seems to only like bread and cheese related finger foods, such as his (veggie) pancakes, graham crackers, bagels, PB sandwich, Puffs, Cheerios, etc.  He also likes peanut butter and bananas.

May 11, 2009: Ben is getting adjusted to Linda looking after him now that Jen is back to work part time.  He doesn’t seem to be missing his parents yet!

May 3, 2009: Ben is now walking. He does a pretty good job on going 5-10 steps between chairs, walls, and other furniture, though he still often prefers a parent escort!

May 1, 2009: Ben is just about walking.  When he’s not paying attention to his walking (he’s distracted by something else), he is often walking several steps between handholds.  Any day now…

April 21, 2009: Ben has been busy the last month.  He’s doing very well walking with his walker, but he’s only just starting to get the hang of turning it.  Ben’s new nap schedule seems to be holding for now, resulting in a very cranky and irritable Ben by the time dinner and bedtime roll around.  We hope he figures out this napping thing soon!  Ben is starting to grab the spoon and meal time and gets the bowl of the spoon in his mouth.

April 19, 2009: Ben gave up one of his naps today.  He pushed his morning nap to 11:30, and skipped the afternoon one altogether!

March 26, 2009: Ben is starting to climb up stairs.  He can do it by himself, but is a little hesitant.

March 21, 2009: Ben’s three teeth are definitely broken through, and it appears he may be starting on the fourth one (upper left/center).  Ben’s favorite activities lately include pulling himself up (on everything he can manage), and walking all over the place while holding onto Mommy or Daddy’s finger.  He has also started putting some toys in a small paper bag with handles, and carrying that around.

March 13, 2009: For the last 10 days or so, Ben has been working on three upper front teeth.  Sleeping through the night has been tough, to say the least.  Mom or Dad is up with him once or twice a night.  Today, you can see that the three teeth have pretty much broken through!  There’s definite white color, but they’re not past the gumline yet.

March 3, 2009: Ben is still having a heck of a time teething, but it look like 2 or 3 top front teeth might be making their appearance soon.  Hopefully they will, and Ben will go back to being his normal happy self!

March 2, 2009: Ben had a whopper of a night last night.  He appears to be working on his two upper front teeth.  He cried inconsolably from 7pm until about 11:15pm when he finally collapsed from exhaustion.

February 25, 2009: Ben pulled himself up to a standing position in his crib for the first time.  Good thing we had already moved the mattress to the lowest level.  Apparently he wasn’t quite ready to go to bed!  Daddy came in to find him yanking back and forth on the bars like a little prisoner!

February 25, 2009: Well, it’s official.  Ben has been suffering from his first cold for the past few days.  He’s stuffed up and coughing.  He has more trouble sleeping as his nose gets plugged and he has to “choose” between breathing and sucking on his pacifier.  We’re rootin’ for the little guy to pull through!

February 24, 2009: Ben has been eating a lot of “Puffs” (small Cheerio like pastries) after his meals.  He’s getting the hang of feeding himself – in fact his pinch grip is getting pretty decent now.  Daddy can hand him a Puff and he can put it in his mouth.

February 16, 2009: Ben pulled himself up on his toy basket today (a couple times), then “walked” to the adjacent couch while holding on.  This marks the start of the pulling-up phase!

February 15, 2009: These days, Ben seems to be eating about 9 oz. of solid food plus two tablespoons of cereal at a sitting!  He’s still eating only 2 solid food meals a day, but will be getting a 3rd soon.

February 14, 2009: Ben is now enjoying his new carset, which was installed today.

February 10, 2009: Ben is officially crawling now – not very fast or confidently – but he can move.  See him here.

February 3, 2009: Ben has started clapping along with us when we clap our hands!

January 21, 2009: Ben has drunk through a straw (and swallowed) for the first time!

January 20, 2009: Ben seems to be getting the idea about turning pages on his books during bedtime reading.  Of course, he tends to close the whole book if you haven’t separated out the page to turn (so he can grab it cleanly), but he reaches out and turns the pages right to left.  Now if we could just get him to give us a little extra time to read the page!

January 15, 2009: Ben has getting good at saying “Da Da Da Da Da” or maybe “Du Du Du Du Du”.  He’s got that ‘D’ sound down!

January 7, 2009: For a while now Ben has really insisted on bending down to pick up a nearby toy while he is practicing standing (while holding your hands).  This required some assistance on the part of the hand-holder and was often unsuccessful.  Recently, Jen said something like, “Ben if you were one of those sky crane toys at the arcade, I’d put a quarter in you now” in reference to his improved ability to quickly and fairly reliably snag an item off the floor.  High praise, indeed!

January 1, 2009: Ben had a great trip down to So. Cal for the Christmas holiday.  He did wonderfully with the car travel and the busy holiday get-togethers.  He didn’t seem to mind getting handed from relative to relative, and sleeping in an unfamiliar house and pack-n-play.  The worst of it was the teething that he had going on, which he handled like a champ (with a little Motrin and Baby Ambesol!).

On the solid food front, Ben has so far tried (in order) rice cereal, apple sauce, zucchini, banana, sweet potato, pears, prunes, and broccoli.  He seems to like it all but bananas, though the jury is still out on the bananas.  Next up are potato, butternut squash, and peaches.

November 20, 2008: Ben is becoming more adept at reaching out and grabbing objects, like toys or his pacifier.  He can pretty reliably take something from you that you hand to him.  If it is his pacifier, he’ll pop it in his mouth (sometimes after a couple tries going in the wrong way.)  He is also sitting up on his own pretty well now.  He still requires some supervision as he’ll topple over if he’s tired or just trying to reach too far for something.  He has started giving “kisses to Mommy and Daddy”, which is something of an open-mouthed slobber to the cheek, but good for smiles and giggles all around.

October 14, 2008: Our efforts to get Ben to sleep through the night seem to be paying off – for the moment at least.  He’s sleeping from ~7:30pm to ~5am, with the occasional wake-up that needs a “re-binking”.

October 11, 2008: We started just helping Ben back to sleep at night for what has normally been his first mid-night feeding in effort to get him to start sleeping through the night.

October 8, 2008: Ben’s 4 month checkup was today.  He’s still in the 90+ percentile for weight and up there in height and head circumference.  He got another round of vaccinations today, too.

October 5, 2008: Ben is starting to more distinctly reach for and grab things in front of him. If he’s interested, he’ll grab it, though it is not always totally coordinated looking.

September 24, 2008: Ben had his first trip to the dentist today (only accompanying Mommy, thank goodness). At the dentist’s office, he was just about giggling when one of the employees there played peek-a-boo with him. He had a great time.

September 7, 2008: Ben rolled over onto his back from his front a couple of times today during tummy time. He also did it once during the photo session we had today – and nearly rolled off the ottoman!

August 1, 2008: Ben had his 2 month checkup today, and came in at 15lbs 2oz, 24 inches. He’s over 95th percentile in weight, about 85th in height, and about 50th in head circumference. He got several vaccinations today, including 3 shots to the thighs. He cried, but seems to have gotten over it pretty quickly.

July 30, 2008: For a few days now, we’ve started getting smiles out of Ben a few times a day.  Cool!

July 21, 2008: Ben’s first trip to the grocery store. Mom & Ben went to Oliver’s market today!

July 13, 2008: Ben’s first time away from both parents. Linda watched him for an almost two hour lunch date for Wil & Jen today!

July 12, 2008: Ben’s first evening out to a friend’s house. We had dessert with the Thomassons at their house!

Week 5: Ben is starting to suck on his hand when he’s hungry. He’s also starting to notice his surroundings more, such as toys near his changing table, etc.

Ben’s Height/Weight:

Date Age (weeks) Height Weight Official Measurement?
June 1 0 20 inches 7 lb. 15 oz. Y
June 16 2 21.25 in 9 lb. 7.5 oz. Y
June 25 3.3 ~11 lb.
July 2 4.3 ~12 lb. 2 oz.
July 9 5.3 ~12 lb. 11 oz.
July 30 8.3 ~14 lb. 14 oz.
August 1 8.6 24 in 15 lb. 2 oz. Y
August 6 9.3 ~15 lb. 10 oz.
August 20 11.3 ~16 lb. 5 oz.
August 27 12.3 ~16 lb. 12 oz.
September 10 14.3 ~17 lb. 3 oz.
September 24 16.3 ~17 lb. 12 oz.
October 1 17.3 ~17 lb. 13 oz.
October 8 18.3 26 in 17 lb. 3 oz. Y
October 15 19.3 18 lb.
October 29 21.3 18 lb.
November 5 22.3 19 lb. 5oz.
November 12 23.3 19 lb. 2oz.
December 5 26.8 27.7 in 18 lb. 14oz. Y
March 18, 2009 29.5 in 21 lb. 2oz. Y
June 1, 2009 52 ~31 in ~26 lb.
August 21, 2009 59 33 in
(96th %-ile)
27 lb. 14oz
(89th %-ile)
Sept 20, 2009 ~34 in
Jan 1, 2010 ~35.25 in ~31 lbs.
Jan 18, 2010 ~36 in
Jan 15, 2011 ~39.5 in 36 lbs.
July 4, 2011 ~40.25 in 38 lbs.
October 21, 2011 41.5 in 39.5 lbs. Y
June 1, 2012 43.25 in 45 lbs.
Oct 10, 2012 43.5 in
March 5, 2013 44.5 in
May 13, 2013 44.75 in
Oct 14, 2013 46.25 in 50.4 lbs. Y
Feb 15, 2014 47 in

Ben’s food preference chart through age 1 or so:

Didn’t Like It Jury’s Out Liked It Ugggmmmm Ugggmmm!!!!
Rice Cereal* X
Apple Sauce X
Zucchini X
Banana X
Sweet Potato X
Pears* X
Prunes* X
Broccoli X
Potato X
Peaches X
Oatmeal* X
Butternut Squash X
Peas* X XX
Carrots* X
Apple+Blueberry* X
Oat+Spelt+Barley Cereal* X
Pear+Raspberry* X
Butternut Squash+Carrot+Turnip X
Baby Guoc** X
Black Beans X
Mangos X
Spinach-Mango-Pear* X
Spinach-Green Bean-Pea-Brown Rice* X
Plum-Banana-Brown Rice* X
Apple-Apricot* X
Plum-Banana-Brown Rice* X
Sweet Potato & Chicken Dinner* X
Summer Vegetable Mix* X
Yogurt (plain, Greek style)* X
Banana slices (finger food) X
Mango slices (finger food) X
Blueberries (finger food) X
Vegetable Turkey Dinner* X
Split Pea Soup X
Chicken Tomato Pastina* X
Beef, Carrots, Corn* X

X = first try, XX = second try, etc…
*Store bought baby food or cereal.
** Ingredients: Avocados

Ben has been enjoying these finger foods: Bananas, Zucchini, Broccoli, Cheese, Sweet Potato, Apples, Pears, Tofu, Papaya, Black Beans, Veggie Pancakes, Turkey Meatloaf, Puffs, Cheerios, Toast, Grilled Cheese sandwich, peanut butter, graham crackers, fresh cherries, Noah’s Bagels, Rotisserie Chicken (from Cafe Citti – Ben’s first restaurant food!).

Ben does not seem to like Cauliflower at all. Update for Dec ’09: Ben now eats steamed cauliflower with no trouble. :)


Andrew’s Data

Date Age (weeks) Height Weight Official Measurement?
Jan 12, 2013 0 19 1/4 inches 6 lb. 6 oz.(3rd %-ile) Y
Jan 23 1 6 lb. 4.5 oz.(5th %-ile) Y
Jan 30 2 6 lb. 14.5 oz.(7th %-ile) Y
Feb 6 3.6 7 lb. 14 oz. (12th %-ile) N
Feb 7 3.7 8 lb. 0.7 oz. (14th %-ile) N
Feb 13 4.7 8 lb. 12 oz. (20th %-ile) N
Mar 14 9 12 lb. 3 oz. (63rd %-ile) N
Apr 25 14 ~15 lb. 14 oz. (86th %-ile) N
May 11 17 ~16 lb. 10 oz. (84th %-ile) N
May 14 17 24.5 16 lb. 3.1 oz. (76th %-ile) Y
June 9 22 17 lb. 7 oz. (76th %-ile) N
July 15 26 26 18 lb. 7 oz. (67th %-ile) N
Oct 14 39 27.5 20 lb 0.8oz. (41st %-ile) Y
Nov 14, 2014 95.7 34.7 30 lb 12.1oz. (86th %-ile) Y
Apr 15, 2016 169.9 39 38.4 lb (95th %-ile) Y