Monday, November 29, 2010


As a reward for reading about Thanksgiving and puking in the same post:

Happy Pukesgiving!

Our Thanksgiving was lovely. Wednesday night we ate a wonderful vegetarian dinner at Heath's parents' house with them, his brother Todd and Todd's girlfriend Sarah. Some family friends came over afterward for dessert, as is tradition. Ben was completely enamored with the plastic train/car set Nancy bought for him and spent most of the evening playing with that (it ranked above eating mac & cheese, which is really saying something). I even got to share my deviled eggs with the family for the first time, since I found mayonnaise made with free-range chicken eggs, which are the only kind Don will eat. It was a good time.

Then on Thursday we headed to my parents' house. We ate all the traditional things, including my favorite - wild rice stuffing. Yummy. After Ben went to bed Heath and I introduced my family to Shadows Over Camelot which is a complex, but really fun board game. After getting the hang of the rules I think everyone had fun. I went to bed around 11pm full and happy. Little did I know...

At 1am I heard Ben wake up. Then I heard the undeniable sound of vomiting. I jumped out of bed and sure enough, there was Ben's Thanksgiving dinner all over his pack-n-play. I patted myself on the back for bringing the sheet for it, otherwise it would've been a lot worse. Ben was actually very calm about the whole thing. He just kept talking about how he "spit." Luckily he hadn't really gotten any on his pajamas, so I cleaned him up, gave him a drink of water and brushed his teeth. Then he climbed into bed with Heath (which was a feat, since we were sleeping in two twin beds).

For the rest of the night Ben threw up about once an hour. I called the nurse line and she said there's a stomach virus going around right now, so I guess he picked it up somewhere. Obviously it wasn't a restful night for anyone. We spent the rest of the weekend sitting on the couch watching Dinosaur Train and Thomas and Friends. He's fine now.

The thing that amazes me about parenthood is how much instinct is involved. When Ben was throwing up all night I wasn't thinking about how disgusting it was or how much I wanted to be sleeping. I just did what had to be done. I cleaned up, I comforted my son. In between I dozed. Simple.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

At least he's self-aware

Yesterday morning Ben took a massive poop and it was super smelly. One of the worst in recent memory. So when I said, "Ok, let's go change your diaper," Ben replied, "Ben stinky!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No door is closed to you

My wonderful husband has taught our son to open doors with knobs. Heath says he'd rather have Ben know how to do something and tell him not to, than not have him know how. That's easy to say when he's not the one in the house all day telling Ben not to do it.

It backfired deliciously, though. Last Friday Heath stayed home from work sick. While I was in the shower Ben took it upon himself to open our bedroom door and wake up Daddy! I must admit I felt some schadenfreude at that.

So far Ben has been very responsible with the knowledge. He's only opened the back door when we're leaving. But it worries me. We live on a fairly busy street and now it would be very easy for him to get outside and run down the driveway. Given his personality it seems unlikely he would do that, at least right now. He still has separation anxiety, obviously from Heath but from me, too, when I'm the only parent available. Even in the house he doesn't like to be in different rooms for too long. So I don't see him running outside by himself for a while, but still... The possibility is there.

The one decent point Heath had was that if I ever lock myself out of the house while Ben's still inside, he could let me back in. That has the potential to come in handy. As well as this morning when I had to wake up Heath for work. I sent Ben upstairs to wake him while I cleaned up the remains of breakfast. That was nice. But the second I find Ben outside by himself I'll be cursing Heath's name. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Babies vs. Toddlers

I hear a lot of mothers say in wistful, sentimental voices that they wish their kids were still babies. To that I say: Are you crazy?! (Obviously I say that in my head, or on my blog, because it'd be pretty rude to say to someone's face.) To me, having a toddler is leaps and bounds better than having a baby. Honestly, babies kind of suck. Sure, when it's someone else's baby they're totally cute and fun to hold. But the day to day upkeep of a baby, especially an older infant who's starting to become mobile but still has no sense in their head, is no fun at all.

Yes, toddlers have their moments of terror (for example, waking up at 5AM this morning). But there are so many advantages to having an older kid. He can tell me what he wants, for the most part. He can climb stairs, so I don't have to follow him around all the time. He can entertain himself while I take a shower. Plus, all the fun stuff like being able to run and play and sing and say funny, weird things that make me laugh. The older Ben gets, the more I enjoy him.

Heath and I want at least one more kid and I always thought that by now I'd have another one, or another one on the way. Having cancer is just so darn inconvenient, because the farther away I get from pregnancy and babyhood, the less I want to return. The sleepless nights, the crying, the non-communication. Not to mention 9+ months of being uncomfortable, labor and delivery. It's like this gauntlet I have to survive to get the family I want. And now I know what I'm getting myself into. That first time you think you know, but you're actually clueless. Having a second baby really takes courage.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Parenting: Not for the Squeamish

Earlier this morning Ben told me he had to use the potty. I get excited when he actually tells me (yes, that's something that excites me these days *sigh*), so we rushed into the bathroom. We took off his pants and when I stripped his diaper off I noticed that there were some poop stains on it. I figured he'd just started pooping and maybe we could get some in the potty. Excitement #2 (ha, ha, #2)! However, then I noticed the fist-sized glob of poop that had fallen on the floor.

"Poop on the floor," Ben said, pointing helpfully.

Yes, yes there is.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall Fun!

Daddy and Ben at Eckert's

Apple picking

Playing on the fort

A rare family portrait

In the maze at the pumpkin patch

Ben's new favorite place: the hay tunnel
(He seriously spent about 20 minutes in there)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grab bag

We've been fighting colds for about a week and a half now in the Borders household. I think Ben has it worst of all. Heath and I don't feel too well upon waking, but we're making it through the days okay. Ben, however, has been a snot faucet and coughing at night wakes him up. The good news is that he's finally getting the idea about blowing his nose! No more battles over the aspirator. Snot bubbles are copious, but maybe we won't end up in Ear Infection Land quite so often. One can dream.

The other interesting thing that's been happening relates to an earlier post about manipulation. Though Ben's speech is becoming increasingly more understandable and complex, there are still those moments when we just don't get it. So it's become a habit that even when we do understand what he's saying, we repeat it, to make sure we really did understand. Ben uses this to his advantage. So if he says, "Have snack?" and I say, "You want to have a snack?" he says, "Ok," and his inflection is such that it seems like it was my idea all along and he's just agreeing to it. "Oh a snack, Mother? I hadn't even thought of that, but now that you bring it up - Ok." It's both hilarious and worrying.

Another cool thing is that he's starting to memorize songs and sing them. That just started a few weeks ago. We sing the "Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" song and he chimes in at the end with, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!" He and Heath sing songs from Dinosaur Train. And yesterday morning I could tell he was singing a song, but I couldn't tell what it was. Finally that afternoon I realized it was "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," which I've been singing to him before naps and bed since he was born. Every day he's more and more like a kid and it's so fun to watch.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Trick-or-Treat

Ben isn't into smiling for pictures any more. 
This pumpkin ended up with about 8 more eyes.

Thomas trick-or-treating

Trick-or-treating with five toddlers is a cluster-f*ck.

But it was really fun!