Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Neeb Family Production

Music to my ears...

***Click on the triangle on the screen twice to view

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Kindness of Strangers

I bought groceries this morning which I will never do again on the Saturday before New Years. In my rush to get out I forgot to do up the zipper my walled was in. I didn't realize this until I went BACK to this store again a few hours later after rethinking a snowsuit on clearance for Ben next year. I went to the check out (after waiting in a very long line up) only to discover my wallet missing. I frantically ran around the store and cut in front of people in line at the customer service department in search of the wallet to no avail. I panicked because my whole life is in there. I had my social insurance card, birth certificate, drivers licence, my health card as well as Ben's, credit cards, bank cards, blank cheques, my address, phone numbers, pictures of our family and lots of gift cards. I was sick at losing it. After a few hours went by with no one calling about it I feared it had gotten into the wrong hands. How easy it would be for my identity to be stolen?! Even the security questions I had to answer for MasterCard to suspend my card could be found out by someone to reactivate it just by the information found in my wallet!
This evening this nice woman left 3 messages on my answering machine while we were at my parents house for dinner. She had picked it up outside the grocery store in the parking lot and took out my drivers license. She told me how she and her son walked around the very busy grocery store with my picture out trying to find me. She said after a little while though everyone started to look like me so they gave up and she took it home to find my phone number through my address. I was so grateful to her I wanted to thank her in some way for her thoughtfulness and for going out of her way so much for me. I tried to give her a Tim Horten's gift card (only in Canada is this an appropriate way of thanking someone!) but she refused it, telling me to just let her help someone with no strings attached, it made her day. We'll "Fran" we need more people like you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Christmas Miracle

For the last year a house close to Jon's parents has been for sale. His parents live in a very nice neighbourhood however, this particular house is not representative of this. It is the worst house on the block and they were basing their listing price on what another much nicer home in the area would sell for. It was, as a result so overpriced and ugly that no one would ever buy it... and no one did all year. Every time Jon and I would pass it on the way to his parents house we would say ..."oh still for sale, surprise surprise!" Well yesterday I opened my mouth but instead shouted "Oh... A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!" The ugly overpriced house finally had a SOLD sign... its sad in a way, the end of an era.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Ben's take...

I think Ben is a fan of Christmas. I try to imagine things through his eyes and these last few days his look of confusion pretty much summed him up. He is not very materialistic, we found as he did not show much interest in opening gifts. he certainly enjoyed the extra smiles and attention that came his way from doting extended family members (his mom and dad enjoy opening his presents, of which were in no short supply)! Some of the gifts that he particularly enjoyed was a dancing stuffed tree that sings and lights up. Lots of beautiful new clothes (okay those were mostly for his mom, Ben really prefers to be naked!) a firetruck toy, teethers, books and lots of stuffed animals.

$40.00 limit?....

Around October J and I decided to only spend a maximum of $40.00 on each of us for Christmas. We really don't need or want much and we don't want to make Christmas about the presents in our family. We decided that we will start a tradition with Ben to give 3 gifts like the wise men gave baby Jesus... if that was good enough for Jesus that is good enough for Ben right?! Well it seams we are a little more materialistic than we care to admit and don't follow rules very well at all. I got a beautiful new laptop computer from J and B... J got an X box 360 (that is the newest game console that he wanted soooo badly and was about 1o times the agreed upon cost..whoops!) and B got a Jumperoo ( a jumping apparatus and a must have for the under 6 month crowd...also no where close to $40.00!) Regardless of gifts however (that we are all thrilled with of course!) we are mostly blessed to all be healthy, loved and happy! (that makes me sound a lot less materialistic right!!!)

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

One Year Later

Dear Ben,

It was a year ago today that we found out about you. What a year it has been from those first two lines on a stick that instantly changed our lives. I anticipated the hardest thing I could do would be to give birth to you. Now that you are here however I know that was nothing compared to the emotional strength I need to watch you grow up. I look at you watching me with big trusting eyes. You are still so innocent, I wish I did not know of the struggles that may be in store for you. I wish I could protect you from all these things. Since I cannot I will put my efforts into teaching you; compassion, Charity, resilience, determination and confidence. These are the tools you will need to navigate through this world successfully. It is my job as your mother to give them to you and sometimes I feel I am drowning in the amount of responsibility I have. I want so much to be a perfect mother to you. I fear I never will be, especially since you are my first little boy and I still have so much to learn. Know though, that although I may not be perfect my love for you always will be.

I am enjoying watching you share more of yourself. I can see your sense of humour now, your sweet nature, your curiosity and your hint of mischievousness( Your great grandmother Mary says these types of qualities need a little bending, not breaking!)I can't wait to see the little boy you grow into and the man you will become.

I have so many hopes and dreams for you. I hope you will seek out things that are uplifting, beautiful and bring you delight; sunsets, mud puddles, ice cream, puppies, fresh fallen snow and bear hugs. I hope you find people of good character that inspire, teach and make you laugh. Keep people like this close to you. I hope you will love freely even if sometimes it hurts. And one day I hope that you will meet a woman that will love you almost as much as your mother does and you too can experience the fear, amazement and joy that comes from 2 lines on a stick. I hope above all that you have the courage to be authentically you. That you find what is genuine about yourself and follow it, be true to you.

I am finding this parenting roller coaster exciting and terrifying. I am looking forward to seeing what this next year brings!

I love every second of being your mother and every inch of you!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ben's Twin

They say everyone has a twin, we just weren't expecting Ben's to be black! This darker version of Ben was in Oprah's audience last week... I taped the show later so I could take a picture!

New Trick

Ben wants so badly to be able to stick his tongue out and make the vibrating "ththth" noise (more commonly and impolitely described as a "farting noise"- such a boy!). He has now mastered sticking his tongue out (with great effort) and wiggles it around trying to make the noise. When we in turn do it to him he collapses in fits of laughter, we can do this 20 times with the same wonderful reaction!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Letter

I know people make fun of the annual Christmas letter that accompanies cards each year but do others like me secretly enjoy them? They are my favorite part of the Christmas card! How can you not appreciate the word art that goes into making these wonderful blurbs. Christmas letters are written in a language all there own, dripping with glowing phrases such as "Billie excelled in recess this year". In reality this means little Billie failed fifth grade. You would never taint a Christmas letter with this however. To save everyone from reading between the lines, I will give it to you straight...

Neeb Family Christmas Letter 2007

Dear family and friends,

2007 began with the exciting news of our baby bump. We were eager to share our Joy and were so pleased with all the support we received in this happy time.

(Read between the lines- Jenn was pretty convinced she was dying for the first 12 weeks and didn't care if she ever saw 2007, she also hates the term "baby bump"!)

This year also marked our first year of marriage. We are enjoying married life and the joy it brings.

(Read between the lines- The first year of marriage is when your classy fiance turns into the husband who passes gas in bed and holds your head under the blanket, leaves the toilet seat up so you can see where he's peed all over it and by "joy" I mean twin beds may be in our future if he keeps this up!)

In the spring we found out we were expecting a son, we could not have been more thrilled.

(Read between the lines- ... after spending a few hundred dollars on girls clothes for the daughter Jenn was sure she was having we were thrilled!)

In April we decided to leave behind the house we build last year in search of a bigger one for Jenn to start a home daycare in. We found our dream home and are busy working away at it. We have painted most of the home and hope to put in hardwood next year. We have a lovely lot that backs conservation and walking trails and we love listening to the bull frogs and geese in the summer evenings.

(Read between the lines- Jenn called a real estate agent and set up the viewing for this house (that no previous discussion had taken place over) before Jon knew a thing. After a pregnancy hormone induced tantrum Jon then agreed to view said house... Fortunately Jon loved the house as well. Unfortunately Jon loved it in its "as is" condition whereas Jenn loved the image of the house she had after Jon did all the upgrading she wanted on it) In addition to the bullfrogs and geese there are little mice who have decided to make the trek from the cold woods to spend the winter in our basement...)

We spent the summer enjoying our new home and waiting for our son. Finally on August 22ND Benjamin Alexander arrived with a quick delivery. He was definitely worth the wait!

(After six hours of drug free torture 2 weeks late he was definitely worth the wait!)

We were proud to show off Ben at a welcome Ben shower thrown in his honour by his loving Grandmothers. Jon and Ben dressed up for Halloween as a hot dog and ketchup, they even went trick or treating down the street. Daddy enjoyed Ben's candy this year of course! Thanksgiving was also made all the more special with a new member of the family to enjoy it with.

(Read between the lines... we imagine this to all be true but on 4-5 hours of sleep on a good night its a blur really...)

At four months Ben has proven to be a wonderfully happy baby and his smiles light up the room.

(Read between the lines- All the sleepless nights, hours of endless crying and multiple experiences with pee in the face can be undone instantly with one belly laugh from our favorite boy!)

We hope as much laughter, excitement and memories are coming our way and yours in 2008!

(Read between the lines... this is pretty accurate!)

Love and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas,

Jonathan, Jennifer, Benjamin and Bayley!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Kris Kindal Market

Ben was a hit at the German Christmas market this weekend. Jon was carrying him in the Bjorn carrier and must have felt pretty popular with all the smiles he was getting. It was actually his adorable son who was sleeping through the whole thing that was getting all the attention. We are watching in the local paper for a picture since a reporter snapped a shot as well.


Poor Ben scratches his dry head whenever he gets the opportunity (not often since I keep socks on his hands). He doesn't have control over how hard he scratches though and I am not even sure he knows he is the one doing it. He looks at me and cries as if I did it to him. This was the worst one so far and I don't like going in public with him because EVERYONE can't help but say "oh he has a scratch on his face..." one of these times I am going to explode with "I KNOW THAT!!!! I felt bad enough as it was thank you that my perfect child has an injury and your tone has an undercurrent of blame so while we are at it, no I did not give my 3 month old a razor blade to play with and yes I do cut his nails and moisturize his skin daily and it makes no difference!"

Belly Laughs

Ben's laugh that has just recently evolved from happy cooing to full out belly laugh is the most beautiful- melt- your- heart noise I have ever heard. It starts out as a giggle and then gets louder and harder until he is smiling so big and so hard that his whole body shakes with happiness. Thank God for Babies.

My Boys

Remember Bayley? He has, in the last 3 months, been demoted from king of the universe (or our house anyway) to lowly canine who gets a scrap of food now and then (well this is what he would tell you if you asked him). He has thankfully just recently come out of his funk and has accepted Ben as part of the pack. He now comes to get me when "his" baby cries and lays by him when he sleeps. He used to lay on the floor because he probably knew how anxious I got when he got to close to him. My anxiety must have decreased some because now he sleeps next to him when given the chance. Very cute.

Snow Day

Last weekend we got quite a bit of snow. While Jon was busy shovelling our driveway I got Ben dressed up in his snowsuit for the first time to see how he liked it. He didn't. He cried from the moment we went out (with a brief pause for this picture) until we went back in. I don't blame him...typical Canadian.

Introducing.... Santa

We went to a Christmas party at our church on Friday night and of course the big guy himself was there. Ben looked puzzled for most of the short visit but remained calm when we put him in his lap. We couldn't get a smile out of Ben but we did get a giant Hershey bar and a candy cane.


We knew about the giant Hershey bar because a friends daughter came out with one. It was only then that we used our innocent baby who could care less about Santa... it was delicious no matter how ill gotten it was! It was also a good photo opportunity of course.


Ben's rash started out as cradle cap. This is common enough and so I wasn't too concerned. Then Ben got a rash on his chin from drooling so much. I saw this one coming so got out the Vaseline. Theeeen Ben got patches of dry skin all over his body and started clawing at himself because he was so itchy, then it turned red and spread fast enough that he went to the Dr. today over that one... eczema AND another one on his forehead that consists of little red bumps that I hadn't even noticed in between worrying about all his other rashes. His bum is still soft as, you guessed it, a babies bottom so I am just waiting for the diaper rash to come and then he will be one big rash! I am taking him to the natural path Dr. next week to see if she can be of more help. Poor Ben is itchy but still a happy boy.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

"Itchie, Bitchie Tiger"

Jon and I have a date night once a week now while Jon's parents look after Ben. I think this is really nice especially for Jon's dad who was gone a lot with work when his boys were babies. Grampa was saying that he didn't know any songs to sing to him and Gramma said "sing the insy winsy spider. My mother in law left grampa playing with Ben while she went to get our laundry (I know I am lucky to have such great in laws!) and heard "The Itchy Bitchy Tiger went up the water spout..." coming down the vent! HA well its' the effort that counts, and I'll know who to blame when Ben gets expelled from preschool!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Growth Spurt

Ben is officially gigantic. I just put him in the swing and I think he is going to break it. It is creaking and groaning like only a 16 IBS/ 3 month old baby could do to a swing with a 15 IBS weight/8 month limit...I like this growing he is doing now though because we are in to a new set of clothes... YAAAA

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Night Out

Jon and I went on our first babyless date last night. I wrote 2 pages of "paranoid mother notes" to his grandparents who were more then capable of caring for him with only one page I'm sure. We went to Jack Astors, Jon had the steak and I had Fajitas, it was good because I didn't have to make it... I would have eaten rocks for dinner for that very reason alone! We went to Homescence after dinner to get some Christmas gifts and a new Mirror for the bathroom. Jon's gift to me this year is a mini bathroom reno. It was painted last week and this week I am picking out the fixtures. I conjured up some semi interesting, clever topics of conversation not relating to babies and or toddler growth and development. For a couple of hours I was remembering who I was again and not only "Ben's mom". Then around the time Ben would need fed and we decided to get groceries before going home (Ben had a bottle at home for him of course..) I started to get the baby brain back. I forgot who Jenn was and became "mommy" again. All I could hear in my head was "feed the baby- feed the baby-feed the baby..." A little more distantly I could hear Jon's voice getting louder and louder. "What?" I said - "DO YOU WANT THESE NUTS!" I got the impression that was not the first time he had asked me. I had been standing there in the baking isle looking at an endless variety of nuts for my fudge but couldn't make sense of any of them. "Feed the baby- feed the baby- feed the baby!!!!" I gave up on the nuts as my shirt started to get wetter and wetter. We got some milk and went home.

As first dates go I would still say it went well. I was glad to have some uninterupted time with Jon and not have to worry (too much) about Ben (who had a wonderful time with his grandparents by the way). Jon did ask when my brain would come back... I said maybe by date 7 but really I fear it never will!


Ben is a drooly baby. He has soaked multiple bibs a day for some time now. Usually I don't mind as its an excuse to change outfits when you can ring out the one he's wearing. Two weeks ago however his drooling got ridiculas! I had to buy a plastic backed bib as I couldn't keep up with the laundry changing outfits four times a day demands! Someone suggested he is teething. Of course he is not teething- he's 2 months old! I disrigarded this comment until last week when he would not stop crying. This was a painful cry, a wail interupted with sobs and gasps complete with fat tears rolling down his bright red cheeks. This was a break your mother's heart kind of cry, and one that I had not ever heard before. I stripped off all his clothes to look at every inch of him. I could not find a thing wrong with him until he tilted his head back in order to get out the highest pitch he could. It was then I saw "chomper"! "JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!! IS THIS WHAT I THINK IT IS?!" It was, he agreed Ben's first tooth. We have personified this premature tooth by giving it a name so we have "someone" to blame for the nightmare that has been our first teething experiance. Ben is too young to have enouph co ordination to put his fingers in his mouth, reach and mouth a teething ring or suck on a cold wash cloth. None of the tried and true remedies apply to him sadly and so he cries and cries and his dad and I curse Chomper! Secretly when the crying ends and Ben is happy again we will remain proud at his first early achievment. For now though we dread the next 17 to come.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Jon and I started making ginger bread houses together the first Christmas we were together.Usually we have a competition to see whose is the best.. I usually vote for mine and he usually votes for his so generally we tie, being such fans of ourselves. One year I sabotaged his icing so that is was too runny. His roof kept falling off and he has not to this day forgiven me for it! It has, nevertheless become a Christmas tradition that we look forward to and were happy to share with Ben this year. We were maybe a little too excited and made one a little early but we will make more before the season is over!


Last Saturday began Jonapalooza... 4 days of celebrating Jon's Birthday. It started with the Mandarin with my family where we ate far too much of course but it was very delicious! Sunday night I slaved all day trying to make the perfect cake... I used tiered cakes pans and bought a fancy platter- my cake however was a disaster as it cooked tilted in the oven and was lopsided. My second attempt was a fool proof Betty crocker in circular pans that I have made dozens of times. This time however I was a little sleep deprived and could not follow the simple instructions. What turned out was a crumbly, stuck to the pan mess. I displayed my pathetic efforts at Jon's "friends" birthday party that night as exhibit A and B of why we have an ice cream cake. I enjoyed most of that PCP (pop-chip-parent) party however feel asleep upstairs a couple hours into it and woke up to an empty house! Oh well, our friends understand. Monday night we went to Jon's parents for his traditional Mac and cheese, ham birthday dinner complete with his Mother's Score bar cake that as always turned out perfectly and Martha Stewart herself would envy. Today is Jon's REAL birthday....and the worse one- he and I are both home sick with the flu and a baby who is on a sleep strike. Not that much fun at all really, I don't think I will bake another cake...

Benbo in his Bumbo

A bumbo chair is a miraculous invention and the key recently to my sanity. It is a foam chair with a sunken base and high support back that hugs a baby who is no where near ready to sit up him own but only wants to sit upright. Ben will sit in his "Bumbo" very contentedly when every other contraption just will not do!- To the makers of Bumbo whoever and wherever you are... a very heartfelt THANK YOU!!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Adventures in Poop

Ben has had a bowel movement only every 4-7 days since birth. The Dr. assures me that this is fine while he is breast fed. It may be fine but there is not a diaper made that can hold a whole weeks worth. When I know he's due I make sure to pack an extra outfit and a whole new package of wipes in his bag. Two days ago Ben beat his own record for most poop ever when he exploded out of his diaper, up his back into his hair and down his legs touching his ankles. I put down a paper change table cover and after surveying the mess (the diaper shirt was a write off...straight into the garbage!) decided to move the clean up to the bathroom where he definitely needed a bath. I have not given Ben a bath for quite some time now. Jon just brings him in the shower in the morning and its a lot easier then hauling out his bathtub- which I quickly found out was too small for him now as all the water was pushed out as I laid him the tub. Now I am kneeling in poopy water covering the bathroom floor and as I look up from the towels I have thrown down my sweet little boy is peeing...up and over the tub onto my already filthy, flooded bathroom floor! I pick him up (still coated with poop!) and lay him (on a towel) on our bed. I look at him he looks at me "I don't know what to do!" I finally say. He stares hard at me for a moment and then begins to laugh . Ah, nothing like perspective from an eleven week old- so we lauphed and then we had a shower!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sad Little Cough

Ben's cough is the most pathetic thing I have ever heard. It is very congested sounding and it worries his mother a great deal! I had to call Telahealth since as a new mother it is required I call over every little tiny detail of his health. I need to hear a medical professional say "there there frantic- paranoid -first- time- Mother- who- has- no -idea- what- she- is- doing, you are doing everything right." "Lisa" the Telahealth nurse did tell me just this and left me with her wise medical advise of "encourage him to cough the mucus up". Here I was thinking my baby was right on track and if anything a little advanced but so far I have yet to encourage him to do anything he responds to... How exactly am I suppose to encourage this coughing? Hang him upside down and pat his back? Clap? give him a cookie??! He's two months old for crying out loud! I am beginning to question weather or not the telehealth nurses are REAL nurses or are they just reading the computer prompts of the same sites I just Googled? But even if they are just random literate people being paid minimum wage to talk down frantic parents from taking there kids into the already over crowded emergency room over a splinter- sometimes it is just nice to hear someone say "your doing a good job."

To Cloth or not to Cloth...

I NEVER though I would want to use cloth diapers. I had visions of folding and pins and plastic pants and bow legged babies with leaky diapers until I noticed a little boy at the playgroup we go to being changed. What an adorable blue bum... these cloth diapers were alot nicer then Ben's chemical soup diapers (as the advocates for the cloth affectionately refer to the environmental outrage that is the disposable). They were like a regular diaper with velcro and all one soft colour of blue with the vinyl outside acting as an attractive leak guard. I asked this little boys mother how she liked them and was introduced over the course of the next hour to the cloth diaper and all they many colours and sizes they come in. She would never go back to disposables and I didn't see her eating granola or hug even one tree all morning! I can do this too! I was very excited about being and "earth mother" all week until Friday when I went down to the laundry room to switch over the wash to discover water all over the floor.... and a broken washing machine. That is the one thing cloth diapers do require. My earth mother excitement ends at going down to the pond to beat cloth diapers on the rocks with some biodegradable bar soap. I will revisit the issue when we get another washing machine and until then do my part in killing the planet one stinky diaper at a time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

If I Were an Oscer Meyer Weiner Everyone Would be in Love With Meeeeee!

Halloween Update...

So of course Ben and Jon were adorable trick or treating. They went up our street and got a good bag of candy (thanks Ben!) I had to stay and hand out candy as there are a TON of children in our neighbourhood...we were warned so we had a reserve stash of candy that we had to use for our 140 little trick or treaters!!!

They Grow up so Fast...

We had to buy a new camera on Saturday as our old one (really not that old at all and a Sony so we are not impressed!) died. This is certainly NOT the time to be without a camera so we got ourselves an early Christmas present and Jon spent the weekend snapping away!

In looking at the newest pictures of Ben I can see how much older he looks at 2.5 months then he did even a few short weeks ago. I think this is my favorite age though. He's still so tiny and cuddly but not so small I feel like I am going to break him and those smiles?...well those speak for themselves!

Happy Halloween

We realize that Ben is only 2 months old and has no idea what Halloween is but it sure has been fun for his Mom and Dad to rediscover this fun tradition!

We have some pictures of Ben and Jon in their costumes a little early because we trick or treated at G & G Neeb's house already on Monday- Gramma was of course prepared with halloween cookies!
Ben is a Hotdog and his adorable father is ...ketchup! He was a great help (by "help" I mean he did not cry through the whole thing) carving pumpkins and I had fun taking him to the Early Years Center today in his pumpkin outfit (he can thank Gramma Neeb for his matching socks, she always looks after his sock co ordination needs!)

We can't wait for Christmas!

A Day Off

Saturday evening both Jon and I started to feel a little under the weather. I think it was a combination of two months of sleep deprivation and cold and flu season approaching. We decided to call in sick on Sunday as we also realized that since Ben was born we have yet to spend a day just the three of us! We took the opportunity on Sunday to relax, fight off whatever illness had snuck it's way into our home and spend some quality time together. We stayed in our pajamas all day, baked cookies, watched movies and played with Ben who very much enjoyed having Mommy and Daddy to himself all day. Even Bayley who normally wants nothing to do with Ben (although he always comes to get me when he cries) sat on the couch all day beside him.

I think this was a well deserved day off and we topped it off with a Jacuzzi ( a feature we were excited about when we bought the house but had yet to try out!). This was the first Monday I have felt very refreshed and ready to start a new week. Perhaps we will have to do this every Sunday!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Big Ben

I was worried about Ben not eating as much as he once was since he has starting sleeping for 7 consecutive hours each night. I was wondering if perhaps he can't go that long without eating at this point. Well I found a growth chart and apparently he is in the 97th percentile for both height and weight. I had to look up what "percentile" meant exactly- it means he is bigger then 97% of the other babies his age! Wow go Ben! He is very proportionate though so rather then being just chubby (despite the pot belly he has going on...) he is the size of an average six month old. I guess skipping a few meals won't hurt him! So I will now sleep guilt free!
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