Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Every Mother's Wish

One afternoon this week Ben, Sam and I were sitting in the living room and Ben was regaling us with stories about his trains, while pushing them around the track. Sam was relatively happy and alert, having just been fed, and I noticed something. Whenever he could see Ben, he watched him as long as he could. Ben would walk into his sight line, pushing James along the track, and Sam would crane his neck to keep watching Ben. After a while he would get a little upset until Ben came back into view. Is it possible that the little brother adoration has already started?

That makes me very happy. Even after Heath and I are gone, Ben and Sam will have each other and it's so awesome to be watching the very beginning of that bond. Believe me, I realize that they won't always get along. Ian and I fought like hell when we were kids and if there's any karma that should come back and bite me in the ass, it's the sibling rivalry karma. But not all siblings fight incessantly. Maybe we'll be lucky!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another Christmas present!

Sam smiled at me for the first time today! Taking care of a newborn is a grind, but that's one of the rewards.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I got my Christmas present early!

Last night Sam slept from 10pm-5am.

I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.

Holy shit! He's only five weeks old! Ben didn't sleep through the night once until he was five months old, and then he didn't do it again for four more months. So you can understand why this is so amazing and perplexing to me. I'd hoped for something like this to happen, but never dreamed it actually would.

Who knows if this will be a permanent state. But seven hours of sleep IN A ROW? I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Picture round up

 So cute!

This is my new computer desktop background.

Same as last year, the best of a mediocre bunch.

I have about a million shots of them together. I can't resist!

I don't care if I'm biased, we managed to create another gorgeous boy.

From the looks on their faces you'd think we were about to 
make them eat brussel sprouts, not shower them in gifts.

You should see the cougar!

Scene: Ben noticed the long, purple stretch marks that now cover my stomach from hip to hip.

Ben: Those are claw marks!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sickness update

Ben's surgery on Monday went very well. They took him to the OR at 8:30am and by 8:45 the doctor was back telling us it went fine. We were home by 10:30! He was pretty out of it all morning, but by the afternoon he was bouncing around and back to his usual self. Hopefully this will mean a lot fewer trips to the doctor this winter.

Ben's been on ear drops, eye drops and antibiotics all week (plus some Tylenol after his surgery), but I'm happy to report that by this evening we will be DONE with all his medications. I'm not against medication by any means, but I also hate putting that much stuff in his body at once. Especially since he hated the eye drops and is only slightly less hostile toward the ear drops.

I'm also glad to say that he's been more pleasant in general this week, I assume because he's not feeling so sick. Heath's going back to work on Monday and while I'm partially terrified of how I'm going to handle a newborn and a three year old by myself all day, I think we're all eager to get back to our normal routine. I'm hoping Ben's moods will even out a little once we're out of this limbo period.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I wish I was Jewish so I could say, "Oy Vey."

Sam will be three weeks old tomorrow. In that time Ben has suffered from the following ailments:

-A rash from head to toe, which turned out to be an allergic reaction to some medication.
-A constant cough and runny nose.
-An ear infection.
-And... PINK EYE. He came home from school last Wednesday and I saw some goop in the corner of his eye. Some more seeped out within minutes and my stomach sank, because I knew what it meant. For those not in the know, pink eye is extremely contagious, so there's been some serious hand washing and hand sanitizing going on in the house. Plus, we've had to keep Ben from touching Sam, which sucks because Ben wants to hug and kiss and help feed his brother and I definitely want to encourage that. But we can't risk Sam catching anything. Luckily he's shown no signs of being sick and Ben's eye drops have his eyes looking much better.

In addition to all this, Ben is scheduled for ear tube surgery tomorrow. I feel like we're being tested. Just how much shit can we take before one of us flees to Mexico? I'm sure I'm overreacting. There's been more than one (or two... or three) crying sessions on my part in the last three weeks, and I know it's mostly due to hormonal changes and sleep deprivation. But seriously, isn't bringing home a second kid enough stress, without adding all the medical drama on top of it?

Everyone I've talked to says the surgery is no big deal. It literally takes 10-15 minutes and he can go to school the next day. It's going to be for the best, because now he shouldn't be getting ear infections every five minutes from October to March. I just wish we didn't have to do it three weeks after I gave birth. I predict more crying in my future.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm too tired to think of a witty title

When Sam was born he was 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 19.5 in. long. He had his two week check-up yesterday and here are his new stats:

Weight: 8 lbs. 4 oz. - 50th percentile
Height: 20.5 in. - 50th percentile
Head circumference: 35 cm. - 50th percentile

He grew an inch in two weeks! But he's still not as big as Ben was when he was born. I never imagined my second kid would be so much smaller than my first. Heath was a tiny kid for a long time. In fact, when we started dating in 10th grade I was taller than he was. So maybe Sam is taking after that side.

It's so interesting to see what features Sam inherited. He definitely has my nose, everyone agrees on that. His skin tone is much more like Heath's. He's not pale like Ben and me. His hair color is like mine now, although when I was born my hair was really dark, almost black. He and Ben are opposites in a lot of physical ways. Obviously Sam's still a newborn and he has to grow into his looks, but I'm not sure he and Ben are really going to look like brothers. I don't think my brothers and I look alike, either, so it doesn't bother me, but it is kind of neat when you can look at a family and really see the resemblance. Oh, well. Now instead of people making inappropriate jokes about Ben getting his hair color from the mailman, they can make inappropriate jokes about my kids' two different fathers!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


... Samuel Donald Borders, a.k.a. Sam, Sammy or Samwise. Born Monday November 14, 2011 at 12:09pm after only 4.5 hours of labor!

Things are going okay around here. I think it's a combination of Sam being a pretty good baby and us feeling more calm as "new" parents. I know that I, for one, am able to sleep a lot better during those times when he lets me sleep. With Ben I lost a ton of sleep just from being too freaked out to sleep.

Ben loves his baby brother and gives him hugs and kisses all the time. However, this is not an easy transition. Ben is very out of sorts. He's super moody and just not his usual self. It doesn't help that the day after we got home with Sam he developed a strange rash all over his body, which turned out to be an allergic reaction to some medication. And he's having ear tube surgery next week. And I had a blood pressure scare (which is currently being controlled with medication). There hasn't been one non-weekend/non-holiday day since we got home that SOMEONE hasn't been at the doctor.

So, it's been hard. I'm still hormonal, not to mention recovering physically, which makes Ben's outbursts harder to take. Though Heath is bearing the brunt of that. At least this time we know it will get better. That just seems a long time off.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Big Brother Ben

Ben is having a very similar reaction to Sam's arrival as he did to starting preschool. He's very excited, but I can tell he's getting nervous. He's fascinated with the 3D ultrasound picture I got. I put it on the refrigerator where he can reach it and sometimes he takes it down and kisses it. And he keeps talking about wanting to read to the baby. However, the bathroom accidents are starting again and they're worse. The most spectacular one was last Sunday morning. Heath was gone when Ben woke up, so when he couldn't find Daddy he stood at the top railing overlooking our foyer and peed so much that there was a huge puddle on the carpet upstairs and a bunch on the wood floor downstairs, as well. That was an awesome way to start the morning. Almost every day since then has featured at least one accident.

At least with school I could give him a concrete start date. Obviously it's a little different with a baby. I've explained that babies come when they're ready and we don't know exactly when that is. He's at a hard age for this, because he understands that things are going to change and something big is coming, but he still can't really grasp it and deal with it. If he was younger he might just be oblivious and if he was older I might be able to explain it better. *shrug* I think once the baby's here he's going to be fine. It's just the waiting that's driving him (and me) nuts.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm sooooo ready

I'm ready to have my body back to myself. I want to eat sushi and drink alcohol and stop bumping my belly into Ben's head (which is at just the right height). I'm sick of waking up a dozen times a night to turn over, because it takes concerted effort and a crane to move my body from one side to the other. I don't want my body to hold me back anymore and it will be wonderful not to be uncomfortable 24 hours a day, no matter what I'm doing.

I'm ready to be a fun mommy again. Heath's always been the favorite parent, that's well documented. And though lately it's been getting more even (maybe 60-40 now), this pregnancy hasn't been winning me any popularity points. My lap is almost completely gone, so it's gotten pretty uncomfortable for Ben and me to snuggle up and read books, which is so frustrating because that's one of our favorite things. I can't sit on the floor and play for very long and even a trip to the playground two blocks away has become a chore. The other day after getting Ben dressed in the morning I sat on his bed and said, "Oh, I'm tired." He looked up at me and said, "Are you not going to play with me?" Cue my heart breaking into one thousand pieces.

But most of all I'm ready to get this four person family started. The coming months won't be easy, I know that. Besides all the newborn annoyingness, we're going to have to adjust routines, figure out new roles and basically re-learn how to be a family. But I'm ready for that challenge. I'm ready to hold a new baby, who the ultrasound tech said has lots of hair (fingers crossed that it's red!). I'm done with the challenge of being pregnant with a three year old. I'm ready for the challenge of being the mother to two boys.

(I think.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happiness is...

... Ben pulling up my shirt before bed, hugging my belly and saying, "Goodnight, Sam!"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Frodo" was our second choice

I realized that even though we've known for a couple months, I forgot to announce the baby's name on here. Most of you reading already know, but in six weeks or fewer we will welcome Samuel Donald into our family.

It actually has a nice symmetry to it, because Ben's full name is Benjamin Hal. Hal is my father's name and I'm the one who first suggested Benjamin. Donald is Heath's father's name and Heath is the one who first suggested Samuel. So it worked out nicely.

"Ben and Sam" has a nice ring to it. Plus, this way I can call him "Samwise" without actually being a person who names her child after a book character.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thirty-three weeks

It's been a rough couple weeks in pregnancy land. I went back to my doctor last Wednesday and I was still measuring big. Like, I'm 7.5 months pregnant and I'm as big as 8.5 months pregnant. So I went in for an ultrasound last Friday. The technician said the baby is a "normal size" at 4 lbs. 4 oz. and the reason I'm measuring big is because I have extra amniotic fluid.

Cut to this Wednesday when I saw my doctor again. The extra amniotic fluid isn't a huge worry, but it does mean we have to monitor the baby more closely. She thinks my placenta isn't working optimally, which is why there's extra fluid, so we have to make sure the baby's getting enough oxygen and growing appropriately. Which basically means I'm having weekly visits for the rest of the pregnancy and each week I have to have what's called a "non-stress test." I get to sit in a big comfy chair and they monitor the baby's heart rate and movement for 30 minutes.

Even though my doctor's not very worried about this, there aren't zero risks associated with it. Because my uterus is getting stretched so much, my chances of going into pre-term labor are greater. I also probably won't make it to my due date for the same reason, but as long as we're past 36 weeks I'm fine with that. Since there's more room in there, it'll be easier for the baby to get out of the "head down" position, which you want for delivery, and there's also a greater possibility of him getting tangled in the cord. So I guess those things also increase my risk for c-section.

So far everything's looking fine, though. My doctor said the baby looked great at Wednesday's non-stress test, and his growth and proportions are all normal according to the ultrasound. We'll continue on this course and then in a couple weeks I'll get another ultrasound to make sure he's still growing well.

Looking on the bright side, I never had an ultrasound with Ben past 20 weeks, and at that point fetuses still look sort of like aliens. So it was really neat to see the baby looking a little chubby. I got a couple pictures and you can clearly see the nose, mouth, chin, arm and hands and they look human and cute. It's amazing to think that in seven weeks or fewer he'll be here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pearly whites

Yesterday Ben had his first dentist appointment! He's always done really well at the doctor, so I figured he'd do well at the dentist, too. Plus, I'd been talking it up for a while and he was very excited about the concept of a new toothbrush. All yesterday morning he kept saying, "Are you ready to go to the dentist now?"

I took him to the dentist Heath and I use, because he's a family practice dentist and he has three (soon to be four) kids of his own. At this office they take kids back by themselves. The nurse said they usually do better that way, especially if the parent is nervous. Ben isn't shy at all, so I knew he wouldn't have a problem with that. And I was right! It's a small office, so from the waiting room I could hear him talking and answering the nurse's questions. He even laughed a couple times, I think when they were suctioning liquid out of his mouth. The dentist said he was an awesome patient, and no cavities to boot! He also said Ben's teeth are very nicely spaced, so it's unlikely he'll get cavities between his teeth. Score!

So it was a very successful first trip. I know a lot of people who are petrified of the dentist, though I've never shared that fear, so hopefully this will lay the groundwork for Ben NOT being afraid. I just won't let him watch Little Shop of Horrors anytime soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Conversations with a Preschooler

Scene: We're driving down a crowded, commercial street and we pass a Taco Bell.

Ben: That's where we buy bells!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thirty weeks and counting...

I had a doctor's appointment last week and the pregnancy is going very well. All my tests are coming back saying I'm healthy, which is reassuring. I feel like I'm more nervous about the tests this time around because I know in more detail all the things that can go wrong. I'm also more nervous about labor and delivery. Last time it was a vague, unknown fear. This time I know exactly how painful it will be. It takes a lot more bravery to get pregnant a second time.

My doctor did say I'm measuring a little big for how far along I am. For those not "in the know," at this point in pregnancy they actually use a tiny tape measure on your stomach to see how big you are. At my previous appointment I was measuring spot on, so in three weeks the baby had a growth spurt. If we're still big at my next appointment I'll go in for another ultrasound. This is a little scary to me, because I don't think I ever measured "big" with Ben and he was 8 pounds 11 ounces. How much of a behemoth am I growing this time?! I assume if they determine that the baby's big I might be having him before the projected due date. I'd really rather not have a ton of medical intervention (induction, c-section). I want to see what it's like to go into labor on my own. But I also don't want a 10 pound baby. Whose vagina just tensed up a little? I can't be the only one.

I'm definitely in the third trimester now, meaning I'm starting to get really uncomfortable. Sleeping has been a problem lately and my back is not my friend. Also, the baby has settled into a comfy little position on my bladder, which basically means I feel like I have to pee all the time. Every time I tell someone I'm due around Thanksgiving they say, "Oh, that's soon!" But 2+ months is NOT soon to a pregnant woman. Especially the LAST 2+ months.

I'm also getting to that point where I'm DONE. I still have 10 weeks to go, but I'm completely over being pregnant. Poor Heath, the next 10 weeks aren't going to be fun for him, either, because I'm going to be a grouchy, complaining blob. Then again, he gets the exact same outcome as I do (a new son) without all the physical labor, so I don't feel too bad for him. (And right now he's thinking to himself, "Yeah, I know.")

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another year, another party

Since Ben's birthday is right around Labor Day (his actual birth day was the day after Labor Day, which was a little disappointing) his birthday parties will probably always be before or after the real day. So on Sunday we had his party at one of his favorite places - the train store. It was wonderful. We had the max number of kids they allow - 16 - but it went so smoothly. They have a person dedicated to running your party, so even with a bunch of 2-5 year olds hitting a pinata it never felt out of control. Of course, I think most of the kids were a little perplexed at getting to hit something with a bat indoors.

The candy rush

They even set up and cleaned up all the plates, cups, juice and cupcakes, even though we provided them. It was awesome, and exactly what I wanted at six and a half months pregnant - to do as little work as possible!

Enjoying delicious cupcakes which I painstakingly bought at a bakery
L-R: Amelia, Logan, Ben, Elena, Luke and Colin

The kids had a blast playing at the ginormous train table they have for parties.

And Ben got to add his hand print to the hundreds already up on the wall.

It was great and I know Ben had a good time. We probably won't do another blow out party like that again for a while. Between taking him to Chuck E. Cheese on his actual birthday and the party, we spent quite a bit of money this year... But I see it as the last hurrah for him as an only child. And it's really fun to make your kid so happy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Doctor visit

We took Ben to the doctor for his three year check up on Tuesday. I was excited, because now the only times we see his doctor are at his yearly check ups and when he's sick. We love his doctor because he's a laid back guy who makes us feel secure in our parenting and he genuinely seems to love interacting with Ben and with us. So I'm excited that in a few months we're going to start seeing him a lot more again, and he seemed excited about our impending baby. He even said we seemed like a family that needed a lot of boys. Not exactly sure why, but whatever. And he's on call on Thanksgiving, so we don't have to worry about him being out of town when the baby's born!

Ben's doing very well and he didn't even need any shots! I'm always amazed by what a good patient he is. He sits up there and lets the doctor examine him without a fuss. It's awesome. It gives me hope that his first dentist appointment in a month will go well. He's growing at a consistent rate, which means he's still in the 90th percentile for height and weight. He's just a big guy. Currently he's 37 pounds and 39 inches, which means by next summer he may be tall enough (42 inches) to go on some amusement park rides. He won't even be four! That blows my mind.

I feel very lucky that we have a healthy little boy and am hoping for the same with the next one.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'll be a millionaire!

So, I've written about how Ben's being a bit of a brat lately. However, he was wonderful on his birthday. Apparently all you have to do to have a happy three year old all day is give him treats, take him to his favorite places and shower him with attention and gifts. How come nobody's figured this out? I think I'm going to write a parenting book!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Three years and counting...

Dear Ben,

Today you turn three! I've actually been thinking of you as three for a while, because your communication skills have blossomed this year. Your speech is becoming clearer and it's no longer rote memorization and parroting. You're coming up with ideas all on your own. Just recently you've started telling little stories. They usually start from something that really happened, or an idea we were discussing, but then they meander and grow into strange and wonderful places. I love listening to your stories and look forward to many more.

 One year old

This was a big year for milestones. Over the winter we put away your crib and now you're in a big boy bed. I had no idea what to expect from that transition, but you took to the bed like you'd been sleeping in it your entire life. It didn't phase you at all and it has made traveling infinitely easier. No more dragging around the annoying pack 'n play. It also makes it a lot easier for you to stall at bed time, but you're slowly getting better about that.

In the spring we tackled potty training. This one hasn't gone quite as smoothly as sleeping in a big boy bed, but we've left the diapers behind with no looking back. We still have occasional accidents, but it's not as big a deal as I feared it would be.

Of course, just recently you had a huge milestone and that's starting preschool. You're such a social, curious, active boy I knew you'd love school, and I was right. You talked about it for months beforehand and even though I could tell you were a little nervous to actually begin, you haven't had a sad day since you started. I hope this lays the foundation for a great school career and fosters a love of learning.

 Two years old

The biggest milestone, though, was started this year but won't end until next year. Right now I'm six months pregnant with your little brother. So far you're a great big brother. You hug and kiss my stomach and sometimes sing to your baby brother. It's so sweet to watch. You talk about the baby in your belly and the baby in Daddy's belly and how they'll all come to live in our house. Obviously you don't know the realities of having a baby around 24/7, but almost all your friends have gotten siblings in the last year, so you've seen babies in all stages of development. I'm so excited for you to have a brother, Ben. At first it won't be very exciting for you, but I'm sure after a while you'll realize how he can be used to your advantage. You definitely got that trait from your Daddy. Adding another person to our family is very nerve wracking, but in the past you've done a whole lot better with big transitions than I have. Hopefully that trend will continue. But no matter what, you're the person who made me into a mother and that's a specialness that will never change.

So far every year of your life has been better than the last and the third year was no exception. However, I'm nervous about the upcoming year. You're showing signs of three year old independence, which is good when you want to do things yourself like clean up or get into the car, but not so good when you put your stubborn foot down and won't move, figuratively and literally. Between that and the transition into a four person family, I'm bracing myself for a difficult year ahead. Even if it is hard, I know there will be bright spots and hopefully I can treasure those as they happen (and remember them amidst the screaming). Just this morning when you asked for waffles I told you there were only two left, so you could have both. But you insisted on sharing, so we both had one waffle. It was so generous of you and it gives me hope that we'll get through the fourth year intact. I love you, my sweet boy.

 Three years old


Friday, August 26, 2011

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Ben

I've been warned by friends with older kids that the "terrible twos" are really nothing compared to three year olds. And only one week away from Ben's third birthday we are experiencing that reality for ourselves. Heath described it rather succinctly: When they're two they do bad things, but they don't realize those things are bad. But when they're three they do bad things they know are bad. So it's all about the intent.

The most frustrating thing is that sometimes Ben's his old, sweet self. He'll cooperate, he'll do what I ask, he won't stall for insane amounts of time. Then all of a sudden a switch goes off in his head and he's whining and stomping around and willfully disobeying me. And this happens every day. Our day isn't complete until he's thrown himself on the ground in anguish over something. Or made me drag him along the sidewalk because he won't stand up. Or run away while I'm yelling at him to STOP.

Is this like mini-boot camp for the teenage years? I suppose I should be grateful that at least right now I can physically overpower him. That advantage is going to go away all too soon. He'll probably be taller than I am by the time he's 10. But this SUCKS. I know it's not just me, but it's making me feel like a terrible parent because I pretty much want to strangle him on a daily basis. And I don't want to be screaming at him in Target or at restaurants.

I guess he started preschool just in time. We both need our space.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The first day

Leaving on the first day

As I expected, Ben had a great first day of preschool. No tears, he had a lot of fun. According to him he played with trains, they read a story about two boys laughing and they heard music. Oh and they went to the playground. I also know he played with sand, because he had some in his hair.

The weird thing about all of this is that now Ben has a life beyond me. And I suppose that's some (or all) of what the tears were about. It's the first big step we've taken to him having his own life. I feel like now he's on this conveyor belt that will eventually take him away from me. Which is how it should ultimately be, it's just hard to swallow when he's not even quite three.

I admit, though, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow while he's at school and it's going to be so nice to go and not have to deal with him. I think yesterday is the only day there will be tears. At least until kindergarten.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Preschool Blues

Today is Ben's first day of preschool. As I type this my cheeks are still stained with tears from leaving him. Don't worry, I managed to get out of the classroom before I started crying. Ben was none the wiser (until he's 12, finds this blog and dies from embarrassment).

He's been excited about school for months, but as the actual day approached I could tell he was somewhat apprehensive. He stopped talking about it this week and he's been having bathroom accidents. Then last night he came into our room at 3:15am and asked to sleep in our bed. He's never asked that before. I took him back to his own room, but I did lie with him until he fell asleep.

This morning went like clockwork. He woke up just before 7:00am, had breakfast, brushed his teeth, got dressed and then we played until it was time to leave. He didn't seem nervous, though his excitement was tempered. Heath decided he wanted to video tape Ben's entire walk into school, so I'll post a link to a video that's mostly Ben's and my butts walking down the sidewalk.

We dropped him off in his classroom, gave quick hugs and then his teacher whisked him off to wash his hands. I've been crying ever since.

I can't wait to hear about his first day of school. I hope he loved it. As for me, I know I'll come to love this time off, but it's 9:07am right now, I have over two hours before I need to pick him up and I have no idea what to do.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Adventures

Swimming with Mommy and his aunts

 Navigating the Lake of the Ozarks with Daddy
(I love that they both have the same look on their faces)

 Fourth of July carnival

 Even Picasso had to start somewhere, right?

 He's ready for winter

 Swimming with Avery


 Rubbing elbows with the famous
(He sings songs on PBS Kids)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm going to have two sons. Two sons. That just sounds bizarre.

My pregnancy is progressing normally and overall I'm feeling okay. Sometimes. I'm right on the verge of my third trimester, so it's all downhill from here, until the horrible, horrible pain of labor and delivery will actually become preferable to my daily aches, pains and exhaustion. It seems hard to believe, but every pregnant woman I've talked to has reached that point.

My mental state regarding this second child thing is a little more precarious. I'm starting to freak out about having two children. I keep coming back to this thought of, "What have I done?" We're at a point where things with Ben are manageable and routine and we don't need to cart around a bunch of shit to take him places and he can talk well and tell us what he wants... And now we're just going to add in another crying, pooping blob who can't communicate and won't sleep. It's like, hey, we're getting pretty good at juggling these watermelons. Why don't we add in a chainsaw? Who's dumb idea was that?

And the idea of being able to love another child as much as I love Ben... especially another boy... seems unfathomable. I know this baby is a part of our family, because when I look into my future I see more than one child sitting around the dining room table. I want Ben to have a brother. But standing on the precipice of a four-person family and this time KNOWING how much work a newborn is going to be is terrifying.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

He so is

Tuesday, since it wasn't 1,000 degrees outside, we had playgroup in someone's backyard and the kids played in the pool. There were various pool toys around, including three watering cans. Ben had one and Alyssa had two and they were both dumping water into the pool and into the grass. After a while Ben looked at Alyssa, pointed to her watering cans and said, "Those are mine." He didn't try to take them, he just stated that they were his. Well, being three years old, this PISSED ALYSSA OFF. You would've thought Ben insulted Dora the Explorer. So she started whining and yelled, "No, they're mine!" Apparently Ben enjoyed that reaction because he said it again, "Those are mine." Then he started giggling, because Alyssa exploded again. This went on several more times, Alyssa getting mad and Ben giggling at her reaction.

Upon hearing this story Heath said, "Ben, you are so my son."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I have no idea where he learned that phrase

Saturday night we had our friends Sharon and David over for dinner and planned to play a board game after Ben went to bed. Well, lately Ben's bedtime routine has included three to five incidents of getting out of bed claiming he has to go to the bathroom, or he needs his covers or his Elmo slippers. But Saturday night he was in rare form. I think he was mad we were downstairs playing with friends and he wasn't included. He got out of bed at least seven times, for every imaginable reason. Heath put him to bed around 8pm, but he didn't go to sleep until almost 10. The highlight of the evening, though, was when he came out of his room and yelled down the stairs, "I'M TRYING TO SLEEP! KEEP IT DOWN!"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Conversations with a Toddler - Part 10

Me: Let's have apple slices for a snack.

Ben: I don't like apple slices.

Me: Even with peanut butter?

Ben: I want apple slices.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One month and counting

Ben starts preschool in a month. One measly month! I cannot believe it. We got a big packet of information and forms to fill out and it's all becoming so real. We're going to be parents of a kid in school. That means we have to contend with teachers and a schedule and (horror of horrors) other parents. It's bizarre. But I know we've done the right thing because Ben is so excited. Granted, he doesn't exactly know what he's getting into, but he's been talking about it since the beginning of summer. And he carries his little Buzz Lightyear backpack everywhere. It's so cute.

Thinking about it makes me want to cry, but at the same time I'm already daydreaming about what I can do with my nine free hours a week (minus pick up and drop off time). Doctors appointments and errands will become stress free. Work outs won't include five minutes of prying Ben away from whatever toy he's obsessed with in the playroom. It'll be like a fairy wonderland where things are... easy. For three months. And then that second one comes out and I'll barely be coherent enough to drive Ben to preschool and back, let alone navigate the grocery store. *sigh* It will have been nice while it lasted...

Friday, July 15, 2011

He'll never live down this story

On Tuesday we had playgroup at a children's resale shop near our house. They have a big play area and couches for the parents. They're also very lenient about kids running around the store, so I wasn't worried when I didn't see Ben for a few minutes. Eventually I did go looking for him and found him sitting on a potty they had for sale. I thought he was just sitting on it for fun, to make his friend laugh, but then I noticed his pants around his ankles. And THEN, through his legs I noticed a very LARGE pile of poop in the potty. The boy who asks me to turn my back when we're in a public restroom stall had pooped right there in the middle of the store.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Most of you who read this blog already know, from phone calls and Facebook, but we're having another boy! I will admit to being a little disappointed I don't get to buy cute girls' clothes, but this way we don't have to buy any new clothes and the kids can share a room (which means a sweet Leave-Mommy-Alone room for me, eventually)!

The name discussion has begun, but there are no clear front runners yet. Heath vetoed my favorite name (Finn), but I'm not giving up the fight yet. I'll start whispering it into his ear as he sleeps, so it burrows into his subconscious. Then one day he'll wake up and say those words which he's almost physically incapable of uttering, "Katie, you were right." I'll keep you posted on my progress.

I never imagined I'd be the mother of two boys. I always pictured myself with a daughter. But life throws us curve balls and having Ben has been wonderful, so I know having As-Yet-Unnamed-Boy-2 will be wonderful, as well. And I still haven't ruled out a third child, so you never know. But if Heath's right about that one, too, I'm not sure my sanity will hold.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pregnancy V. 2.0

Sorry, most of my posts lately have involved bathroom talk. Unfortunately, it's sort of the focus of my life right now. When and where Ben will use the bathroom is pretty much constantly on my mind. When I'm not thinking about that I'm usually sleeping.

Though this second pregnancy is very similar to my first in physical symptoms, the mental and emotional aspects are completely different. Last time I was totally focused on the pregnancy. That was constantly on my mind. With this one I just don't have the time to think about it all that much. I'm almost 19 weeks along, so it's getting harder and harder to "ignore" it. I'm starting to feel the pains of pregnancy such as swollen feet, achy hips and even less pleasant things which I will save for Heath's lucky ears.

The other thing I realized is that with a first pregnancy there are all these milestones: Registering for baby stuff. Going to a childbirth class. Having a baby shower. With a second pregnancy it's like old news. It's just 40 long weeks of waiting. We'll need a couple things for the baby's room, but I think we're either going to borrow them or get them at garage sales. Rather anti-climactic.

However, I've been feeling little pokes and kicks for a few weeks now and they're getting stronger. Even the second time around that's really exciting. It makes me feel much more connected to the baby.

You only have one week left to place your bets on the sex! You're either on Team Heath (boy) or Team Everyone Else (girl). I honestly would be happy with either one, but I do keep having girl thoughts and dreams. Whether that's wishful thinking, influence from everyone else or an actual connection to my child we'll find out on July 1.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oh, the irony

Considering how creative and prolific a cusser Heath is, I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner... But this morning as I was cutting up an apple for a snack, Ben, out of nowhere started saying, "Oh, damn it. Oh, damn it. Oh, damn it."

The stupid thing is, I think he might have actually gotten that one from me. I know I've said it at least once in his presence in the recent past. How is it that Heath spouts off stuff like, "Fuckers from Hell" and yet somehow Ben's first cuss words come from me?!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Conversations with a Toddler - Part 9

Scene: Ben and I were walking down the stairs and he started hopping.

Me: Please don't hop on the stairs. You need to walk.

Ben: (Continues hopping)

Me: (More sternly) Stop hopping on the stairs. You need to walk down.

Ben: (Screams) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: (Walks away, because often that's a very effective way to make Ben behave. He does not like to be alone. Ever.)

Ben: (Walks down the rest of the stairs, comes to me and gives me a hug) I'm sorry I yelled at you, Mom.

Me: (Heart melts)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Poop Dance

One of my very first blog posts was about how Ben always pooped while I was in the shower. Well, it's over two years later and yet somehow I find myself once again in that same position. The very act of me turning on the water seems to get his bowels moving. But it can't be easy. No, it has to be a drawn-out back and forth with several fake outs (intentional or not I'm unsure), that may or may not result in him actually pooping. Multiple times in the past several weeks I've had to jump out mid-shower and assist him. Let me tell you, it's an absolute treat to wipe someone's butt while you're naked and dripping wet.

Ben's still not totally comfortable pooping on the potty. We haven't had an actual accident in a week, but it's always this exhausting dance. And if he doesn't poop in the morning then all day I feel like he's a time bomb waiting to go off. Where will the explosion happen? The playground? Target? It's like a disgusting game of Russian Roulette.

Luckily he seems to have mastered pulling down his shorts and underwear. Pulling them back up is a different story, but getting onto the potty by himself is all I care about right now. At least then I can finish my shower.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

That cooler will never be the same again

Some terrible storms have been crossing Missouri lately. On Wednesday we had the worst one so far to hit St. Louis. Not too long after Ben woke up from his nap the tornado sirens started blaring. So we grabbed some snacks, the cats and my laptop (for radar monitoring and possible show watching if Ben got bored) and headed downstairs.

Ben almost never gets to go in the basement, so he's always excited when he does. He was having a good time exploring and stalking the cats in a closed environment. After checking the radar and assuring myself we still had a little time before we were all blown away, my mind wandered to other things, mainly what was I going to do if Ben needed the bathroom. My eyes darted around the basement and first landed on the kitty litter box. It would be an appropriate place, but then I imagined him falling in and decided against it. Then I saw the coolers. Specifically the little cooler without wheels that would be a little taller than he's used to, but still an acceptable height. And it was decided.

Eventually he did have to pee, so I explained that we couldn't go upstairs and he had to use the cooler. It worked out great and thanks to our Sam's membership, we had a plethora of Kleenex and toilet paper downstairs. Perfect. We were in the basement for 1.5 hours, so he peed a few times.

Eventually the storm started picking up, so I was paying more attention to the radar than to Ben. And just when it was getting really bad outside (rain, wind, hail), Ben pooped in his pants. The boy has timing, I'll give him that. So I sprinted upstairs to the diaper bag and grabbed an extra pair of underwear. And as the storm raged outside, I was in the basement hoping I wouldn't die with a pair of poopy underwear in my hands.

To make matters worse, when I finally finished that unpleasant task I went to check the radar again and knocked my laptop off its perch. The battery popped out and a piece broke off, so we were left in the dark. Except for my smartphone and my iPod Touch. It was like the 1800's down there!

In the end everything was fine. None of our tree branches even fell down and usually they fall at the slightest breeze. Since I couldn't face the trauma again, Heath cleaned out the cooler. He said it was one of the worst things he'd ever smelled. Yeah, just imagine being there, buddy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Conversations with a Toddler - Part 8

Scene: Ben was having a rough morning and he was rolling around on the floor whining.

Me: Are you angry?

Ben: Yeah.

Me: What made you angry?

Ben: A squirrel.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Potty Training

I've been struggling to write about this topic in a way that is both not gross and not boring. It's hard because our progress is very exciting to me and I could talk about Ben's bathroom habits for an extended period of time... But I'm guessing Heath is about the only other person on Earth who's as interested as I am.

So basically what we did is holed up in the house for three days straight. We took our nice Persian rug out of the living room and steeled ourselves to clean up a lot of bodily waste. The method we used to potty train Ben focuses on having the child learn his body's signals as to when he needs to use the bathroom. Basically that entails giving him a lot to drink and feeding him high fiber foods, so he has plenty of "learning opportunities." :)

The first day was pretty much what I expected. Ben was super excited to put on his new underwear because we'd been talking it up for weeks. Not two minutes after he did, he had his first accident. The morning was pretty much a waterfall of pee. Luckily we have hardwood and linoleum on the first floor, so there wasn't too much carpet damage. We spent a lot of time playing in the kitchen, right next to the bathroom.

Day 1 - 15 accidents
Day 2 - 3 accidents
Day 3 - 2 accidents (and we take the blame for one of those)

I'm so proud of how well he's doing. It really started to click for him by the end of the first day and today, five days later, we haven't had a single accident. Yesterday we went to the grocery store without incident and today we were at the playground for almost two hours.

The only thing that's a little annoying is that he's not verbally telling us he needs to go. We've caught onto his signals (grabbing his butt or his crotch), but that means I need to keep a pretty close eye on him at all times. I'll be glad when he starts using words to tell me, but it's a start. At least he's noticing when his bladder is full.

I'm surprised at how fast I'm starting to trust him and how after only two outings sans diapers I'm not really nervous about it. It's not as big of a deal as I thought. I'm very pleased with how this has turned out.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wish us luck (and clean floors)

One of the requirements for Ben to start preschool is that he be potty trained. Eek! Potty training is something I've been dreading since he was born. But, it coincides nicely with him outgrowing the LARGEST DIAPERS ON THE MARKET*, so this weekend we're biting the bullet. Heath took today off and we're implementing a Three Day Potty Training Method. Supposedly by Sunday Ben will be fully potty trained day and night. One of my friends from playgroup just recently used this method and it worked great for them, so I have high hopes. Ben's ready for this and I've really been pushing the peer pressure angle (which I know will bite me in the ass later): "Isaac doesn't wear diapers. Lily doesn't wear diapers. Amelia doesn't wear diapers."

Last night we took a trip to Target and bought supplies: lots of underwear, several new sets of sheets, M&M's for rewards.We're ready. Bring on the pee!

*If this doesn't work soon we'll have to put him in adult diapers.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Such a polite boy

I honestly think that manners are one of the hallmarks of good parenting. If a kid says "please" and "thank you" and shares pretty well, you can probably assume that the parents are getting other things right, too. Which is why it pleases me so much that after millions of repetitions, Ben's manners are starting to kick in. He still has a problem remembering to say "please" when asking for something. Usually it's more like, "I want some juice," or the more desperate, "I need some juice." Obviously juice is crucial to the continuation of his life. "My juice levels are critically low, Mommy. I don't have time for social niceties!" However, when I tell him to ask politely he always quickly supplies the "please."

He is rockin' the "thank you," though. He thanks me when I get him food, when I help him get dressed, when I agree to take him to the playground. This morning he even thanked me after I cut his fingernails. "Thank you for cutting my fingernails, Mommy." Oh my god, how cute is that?!

He's even started saying, "no, thank you," when I offer him something he doesn't want. He has no idea yet, but the sting of him not eating broccoli is definitely lessened when he refuses it politely. It gives me a little jolt of "I'm a good mom!" even if all he's eaten that day is bagels, mac & cheese and Popsicles.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

3 x 3 x 3

I put Ben on the waiting list for pre-school last fall, on the advice of other local parents. It felt somewhat silly doing it an entire year in advance, but it's a popular school and siblings of current students get priority. It paid off, though, because we found out Ben got in! It's exciting because part of me honestly didn't think he'd get in*... But when I opened the letter my first emotion was sadness. He's so social and curious I know he's ready to be in an environment like that... But he's my baby! It's hard to believe he's ready to do something "on his own."

Over the past two and a half years I've come to learn that every transition for the kid is a transition for the parents, as well. Ben deals amazingly well with big transitions and I hope that continues for the rest of his life. It is a gift. I, on the other hand, am absolutely abysmal when it comes to transitions. (For reference see: my college years, when for the last four semesters I literally made myself sick with worry over what I'd do afterward.) Most of the time young kids lean on their parents for support. That's what parents are for. But as the kid gets older, he can take more weight and I think on this one Ben might have to support me a little. The crazy thing is, I think he can handle that.

Okay, time for a step back into the light of reality. It's the power of threes: He'll be three when he starts and he'll go to preschool three days a week for three hours. Not really a huge deal. See how I can inflate things in my mind? I know once he starts I'll love it. It means time to myself and running errands without him. By that time I'll be getting big from the pregnancy, so a break will be wonderful. And once the baby comes it'll mean time alone to get to know the new baby. Plus, time for him to get away from the new baby, if he wants. We can do this. As I, at the age of five, once told my mother, who was comforting me during scary parts of the Wizard of Oz, "It's only a movie," I'm sure Ben will say to me, "It's only preschool."

*This is all based purely on them having space for students. Ben didn't have to take tests or go through an interview or anything crazy like that.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

To the women who raised us and put up with our shit (that's more for Heath's mom):

Thank you. We love you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's raining, it's pouring...

It's been raining a lot in St. Louis lately, which means a lot of time spent indoors. With a very active toddler. In a way it's been okay, because the first trimester of pregnancy wipes you out, so I don't think I would've had the energy to run to the playground all the time, anyway. And though the low physical impact of playing trains is good, the low mental impact is DRIVING ME CRAZY. Ben's been watching a wee bit more TV than usual lately. And the rumors of me falling asleep during an episode of Dinosaur Train are greatly exaggerated. (No they're not.)

There's some hope on the horizon, though. I'm nearing the 12 week mark of my pregnancy, which means hopefully sometime in the next few weeks my energy level will start to creep back up and we can dive into summer fun. And only four of the next ten days show rain on weather.com!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Little brat

Ben's starting to understand the concept of stalling for time. Usually he goes down for a nap easily, but last Saturday for whatever reason he didn't want to sleep. So after I left the room he almost immediately started yelling for me. "Mommy, Mommy, go see Ben!"

I went back in and told him to lay down, but he countered with, "I have to throw up." Now, I knew he was lying. He hadn't been acting sick and still wasn't. But, on the off chance I was wrong I took him into the bathroom. I opened the toilet lid, he leaned over and blew a raspberry into it. Then he grinned at me.

It's a good thing the instinct to keep your kids unharmed is so strong.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Never leave a man behind... unless he's covered in someone else's urine

Ben's interest in trains has suddenly sky rocketed. It had been waning for a while, which made me regret his Christmas present - a huge train table that takes up half our living room. But all of a sudden last week he decided that the only thing he wants to do (besides eat mac & cheese and ride his tricycle to the park) is play trains. Fine with me. Most of the time he doesn't want me to participate so I can sometimes slip away and read or do dishes for a few minutes before he notices I'm gone. Then he comes looking for me saying, "Mommy, come play trains with me." But what that really means is, "Mommy, come sit on the couch and watch me play trains. No, you can't check Twitter on your phone or even put your feet up on the couch. Just sit and watch."

This means that various trains have been accompanying us around town. Well, last week we went to McDonald's and I had to change Ben's diaper before we ate. The changing table was in the handicapped stall and the previous occupant had decided against flushing the toilet. Why waste the energy, right? While I got ready, Ben wandered over to the toilet and before I could stop him, he threw Thomas in. I have no idea what would possess him to do that, but I grabbed Henry out of his other hand, before he fell victim to the same fate.

When we're at the playground with the trains I keep a close eye on them. Those suckers are expensive and we've already lost a couple. However, I could not bring myself to stick my hand into an un-flushed public toilet to rescue Thomas. Not happening.

On the bright side, Ben didn't even seem to care much that we left the train. We did have two other Thomases at home. It must've been fairly confusing for the next person in the bathroom, though.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A mind of his own

As I say frequently on this blog, it's amazingly fun watching who Ben becomes. Well, in the past couple months I feel like he's taken a leap forward in that journey. Until recently pretty much everything he's said is something he heard someone else say. He might add or subtract a few words, or put his own spin on it, but he was mostly parroting ideas from other people. But now... he's starting to get his own ideas. He's making connections that, as far as I know, he's never heard verbalized. After years of him not speaking and then barely speaking and then only parroting, to hear him spew forth his own opinions is weird. It's awesome and amazing, but it's hard to wrap my mind around at first. I guess we'll now be moving into that phase where he says all kinds of bizarre things. As Heath said, "He's getting delightfully weird."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mr. Happy

Despite my previous post about his aggressive behavior, Ben is actually a very friendly person. He's much friendlier than I am. He takes after Heath in that way. If we arrive at the playground and there are no other people there, he doesn't want to play. However, when there are other kids he says, "There's my friends!" Even if we've never met them. To Ben, everyone is a friend. He says hello to everybody and can usually get a smile out of even the surliest teenage boy. And as far as older people go... Sheesh, they're putty in his hands.

As much as I don't relish the thought of being the only introvert in the house, I'm glad Ben is so outgoing. Ever since I was very young that's always what I've wanted to change about myself, because it makes life so much easier to be an extrovert. Ben is cheerful and charismatic and affectionate. He's forever doling out hugs at the end of playgroup (which is so freaking adorable) and sharing his snacks with his friends. I think he's going to be one of those annoying people who everyone likes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

In which news is shared

There will soon be one more Borders in the world (on or around November 20)!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trying times

This moment in Ben's development is what people usually refer to as a "phase." I think they say that to give you hope that your life will one day be good again. The phase we're navigating right now is an aggressive phase. The hitting, kicking, throwing and pushing are ever present. Taking him around other kids is becoming a chore. Even playgroup friends he's known his entire life aren't immune. Some of it isn't malicious. His favorite game is Chase, so if he can't verbally convince someone to play with him he'll push them, trying to start them off running. Eventually that results in pushing them down, and sometimes, tears.

Other times it is malicious and it's so frustrating because there's not all that much I can do. I take him aside, tell him not to hit, make him apologize, give him a time-out... But so far it's not very effective. I guess I'm going to have to start leaving wherever we are, but that sucks because it's punishment for me, too.

I know this mainly stems from lack of impulse control and empathy. Everyone has times when they just want to smack someone else, but they've learned to control that urge and just passive aggressively write about it on Facebook. As one of his parents, it's my job to teach him that skill. But damn it's difficult and tedious. I've probably said, "We don't hit," 5,000 times in the last year and a half and I probably have 10,000 more ahead of me.

When he was first learning to walk I pretty much followed after him everywhere we went, to make sure he didn't crack his head open. It was so nice when he became steady enough that I didn't have to mirror his every move. I could chat with my friends or just sit down for once. Now I feel like I have to revive my shadow role so he quits hitting everyone. Where did my sweet boy go?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pix or it didn't happen!

Ben had a blast in the sand

The first of hopefully many family portraits on Anna Maria

The water was cold, but he didn't seem to notice

Me as a mermaid

I thought this was a nice action shot

At the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota

Grandpa coaxing Ben into the water

So relaxing...

Sunday, March 20, 2011


For the past week Heath, Ben and I have been in Florida with Heath's parents. We went to Anna Maria Island, which is on the Gulf side, near Sarasota. Heath went there at least once a year from ages 2-15. I now know why they kept going back. It was wonderful. The weather was absolutely perfect. The island isn't very commercialized and no building is over 6 stories. The beach was white sand with calm waves and though I didn't think it was very crowded at all, they assured me it was about as crowded as it ever gets. We had an awesome time.

Ben loved the beach, as I knew he would. The water was a little cold, so we didn't do much more than play at the shore, but he had a blast with the sand. We never got very far with our sandcastles, because he would storm into them, wreaking havoc. He also loved getting to hang out with Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa for seven days straight. Plus, ice cream every night. So he was pretty much in toddler heaven. As an added bonus, he was great on the plane rides. On the way there he slept the whole time and on the way back he was pretty amused by his iPod and playing with the window shades.

So, it was a good vacation. We'll definitely be going back.

Friday, March 11, 2011

21st Century Kid

Heath has been talking about getting a new iPod for a while, so I took Valentine's Day as an opportunity to buy it for him (coincidentally I also wanted something - The Sims 3 - which is why I haven't been posting very much lately... my sims need me!). His old one still worked perfectly fine, so I'm somewhat conflicted, but... Ben now has his own iPod.

It's not like we went out and bought Ben his own brand new iPod, but it still somehow seems wrong for a two and a half year old to have a personal computing device. I know I'll be running up against this problem for Ben's entire childhood. We'll have to make that decision on when he gets his own cell phone, which again seems ridiculous to me since I didn't have one until I was in college and even then I barely used it. I suppose I'm sounding like a parent. You kids today have it so great... In my day we didn't have cell phones and iPods. If we wanted to call someone we had to find a pay phone. What's a pay phone? Oh, go play Angry Birds some more.

And get off my lawn!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A rose by any other name

Lately I've been working on all our names with Ben. He has his own down, so if I ask him what his name is he says, "Ben Borders." He says my first name if I ask, though he doesn't always remember my last name. He can't remember Heath's name, though. So when I asked him this morning what Daddy's name was, Ben replied, "Ben Borders' Daddy."

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Easy Button

Last Wednesday we took apart Ben's crib.

We replaced it with a twin mattress on the floor.

He was excited through the entire process. He was jumping all over the place, on and off the mattress.

I'm not usually the type who's all, "My baby's growing up" *sniff sniff* but I was getting sad as we took apart the crib. He really is growing up. Look at that picture up there. He almost fills up the entire crib mattress.

It seems like these transitions are often much harder on me than on Ben because his first night in the big boy bed was perfect. It was like any other night. And it's been that way ever since. Naps, bedtimes, it's like nothing has changed. Plus, we have the added bonus that sometimes when he wakes up he'll play for a little while before calling to us. Extra sleep, FTW!

So much of parenting can be a fight or a hassle, it's wonderful when something is just easy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Future mountain climber?

Most of Ben's playgroup friends sleep in toddler beds or mattresses on the floor. Of those over 2, Ben is the lone hold out still in his crib. We figured, why mess with a good thing? Having him in a crib is much easier than having him in a bed and he's never shown any interest in or inclination to climb out of his crib.

Until Monday.

He was very opposed to a nap Monday afternoon because he'd fallen asleep in the car for all of 15 minutes. I was on my computer, listening to him yell about not wanting to nap, when all of a sudden I heard a THUMP and a scream. By the time I got to his room he was standing at the door crying, so I have no idea how he landed, but he was fine, aside from biting his tongue.

Our friends' son Colin climbed out of his crib exactly once. Apparently he fell like Ben and it scared him, so he never attempted it again. I was hoping Ben would be the same way, because he's a strange combination of daredevil and cautious. But the daredevil side won out. Yesterday morning he greeted Heath at his bedroom door. Heath asked Ben to demonstrate how he climbed out and according to Heath, "He was like a ninja."

So, it's time for a big boy bed, which will take the form of a twin mattress on the floor for now. I'm planning to take Ben to Target to pick out some sheets this afternoon, so hopefully it'll feel like an adventure. I'm worried about how he's going to sleep (and thus how we will sleep)... But in the past when we've had big transitions like this (giving up the bottle, taking the pacifier away during the day) he's barely registered them, so I'm hoping this is the same way. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Don't worry, we didn't!

Last Wednesday our friends Anne and Michael welcomed their son Felix into the world. On Saturday we brought them lunch in exchange for getting to hold their baby. Ben has calmed down a lot when I hold babies. He doesn't seem to mind too much, but he's still not crazy about Heath holding other kids. So when Heath was holding Felix Ben kept saying, "Give Felix to Mommy." Well, that wasn't working so eventually he tried a different tactic and said, "Put Felix in the microwave."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fashionista he's not

Ben has never been interested in his clothes. I offer him choices of what to wear and rarely will he look up from his toys to even look. He just doesn't care. And that includes putting them on and taking them off. Most of his friends like to strip off their clothes and diapers. I wasn't broken up about him not removing his diaper, but the fact that he never wanted to take his clothes off was beginning to worry me a bit. It's like part of the mother contract that you have to pick something stupid to worry about every quarter. They probably make you sign something at the hospital when you're totally out of it after giving birth.

I was beginning to think that he'd never learn to dress and un-dress himself and 30 years from now I'd have to drive to his house every morning and help him put on his pants. Well, I may be saved from that fate. Wednesday morning Ben did something sufficiently bad to warrant time in the corner (he probably hit me, since that's mostly what we put him in time-out for). I was in the kitchen, out of sight, and when I re-entered the hallway to retrieve him he had his pajamas halfway off. No wonder he was so quiet. Normally he yells and cries through his time-outs. I have no idea what inspired him to use that moment to disrobe, but at least now I know he can.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The pronoun game

Ben's speech is becoming more sophisticated all the time. He's speaking in sentences now and even gets a lot of diction and grammar correct. However, we're stuck in Pronoun Limbo. He says the following things a lot:

"Pick you up" (pick me up)
"Take your shoes off" (take my shoes off)

It makes sense, since I say those things to him but don't often say them about myself. When a kid is first learning to talk, books encourage you to refer to yourself in the third person, so he knows who you are. Well, Ben has "Mommy" and "Daddy" down pat, so now I'm having to get back into the habit of saying "me," "I," and "my" instead of "Mommy's."

These things come so naturally to us as adults, it's easy to forget that we've had decades of practice. This seems ridiculously obvious to type, but language is incredibly complicated and it's interesting to watch someone learn it from scratch.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fun in the snow

We've had an unusual amount of snow here in St. Louis this winter, so Ben's had plenty of chances to play outside.

He didn't like sledding...

or snow angels.

But he did like eating snow,

playing with Uncle Chad,

and throwing snowballs!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blargh part 2

So, I've had this cold 11 days now and it hasn't been getting much better. Friday I got the added bonus of fluid in my left ear, so this morning I went to the doctor. I have an ear infection! It's not too bad, but she did say it could've gotten worse if I hadn't come in. I used to get them constantly as a kid, but I don't think I've had one since before high school. Ben comes by his ear problems honestly.

Antibiotics are on their way and man I hope they work quickly. I am sick of being sick. The house is a mess, I'm missing time with friends and I just want to be able to breath normally again. On the upside, Ben's medicine seems to be working. Though he didn't sleep well last night, his cough isn't so bad anymore and his nose isn't too runny.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So far 2011 has not been kind. It's not its fault, really. How can an arbitrary block of time be blamed for germs infecting our systems? Still, shaking my fist at something helps my mood a tiny bit. But it doesn't help me breath at night. *sigh*

Ben and I have had a cold almost all year, which has led to some bad, bad sleep. And we all know how well I do with bad sleep. Really, Ben's had a cold(s) for about a month and this morning he woke up with a fever so Heath took him to the doctor. She thought he might have weak bronchitis, based on his coughing, so they came home with antibiotics in tow. I feel so bad when he's coughing because there's just nothing I can do to help.

On top of this, he's also getting his two year molars which has made him a joy to be around. At least this time we know it's teething for sure, because he told us his teeth hurt without any prompting. And that is why toddlers kick babies' asses all the way.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

In your dreams

Lately when we retrieve Ben in the morning or after a nap he tells us wild stories about dinosaurs jumping in mud and random scraps that somewhat resemble our real life. And I've come to realize that he's telling us his dreams. How crazy is that?!

This also coincides with him commenting more on darkness and occasionally using the word "scary." I suppose it's inevitable that we're in for some nightmares. At least now he can somewhat describe them.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

To start the year off...

I feel like I should write a Christmas post, but nothing too earth shattering happened. We ate. We drank. We brought home a metric ton of presents for Ben. One exciting thing: In May 2012 Ben will be getting a new aunt! Heath's brother Todd proposed to his girlfriend Sarah (and she accepted). Sarah is really sweet and she'll be a wonderful addition to our family. Plus, she's studying to be a nurse, so from now on I'll have someone to show any strange warts or boils that crop up! Sweet!

Happy 2011!