Thursday, January 31, 2008

To Make or Buy...

I was really gung ho about making all Ben's baby food. I made organic pears, apples and peaches for his first foods. I was excited about this and bought expensive special containers to freeze them in (glorified ice cube treys with lids really). I am now counting down the days until he is 6 months...

There was a display at the grocery store yesturday with all the organic baby food. I picked up a jar of squash to look at the ingredients. I was under the impression that there were aditives, preservitives, salt and maybe even sugar in them. I looked at the ingredients- "organic squash, purified water" WHAT?!!! but that is all that's in my freezer too! Why am I busting my butt peeling, chopping, steaming and pureeing the exact food that is in these darling little jars for 80cents of convenience?

So.... what is the difference? Is making really any better than buying if I can buy organic? I have yet to make up my mind about this but convenience may win in this case if I can't find a difference. I will have to taste both!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

YEAH!...Sort of...

Jon took Bayley for his walk this morning and and when he came in told me to close my eyes and put out my hands. I opened my eyes to a big hunk of frozen metal...our CAMERA!!! The ice and snow all melted yesterday and there is was, laying on the path to the garage door...whoops! So good news is its one tough camera as it was frozen for 5 days and wet but works fine. Bad news is that the new camera was refurbished and can't be returned. Now we have two identical camera's... My mom said she may buy the new one though since they don't have one (I know! What kind of new grandparents don't have a camera!)... Ben is doing a lot better today and is in hour three of a nap he really needs, I have a new part time child starting at my daycare, I just sold Ben's old car seat (I know...he has an OLD carseat!) and stroller for $200.00! and he only woke up three times last night soooo all's well that ends well!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Big Boy Bath

Part of Ben's eczema regime is a nightly soak in the bath with oil and an oatmeal powder to help the itching. The bath opens up his pores so his various creams can be more effective. This particular bathtub is a blow up one that fits in our much larger jacuzzi which will be two big for him for quite some time. He is very cute in his mini tub though, complete with rubber ducky of course!

The Sega Continues...

"Sucks to your Asthmar!" - to Piggy, Lord of the Flies

Ben has his pediatrician appointment today. Dr. Kyale was very thorough with Ben and went over everything for about 45 minutes. She diagnosed him with Asthma unfortunately as well as bad eczema that is infected in spots. We are happy to have a diagnosis though and have a plan to get him well again. I was feeling bad about this diagnosis (and being his mother, going over every way which I MUST have caused this...)Dr. Kyale sent us over to the hospital to have a ventalin mask and in the pediatric ward there was many more much sicker babies. I felt better then- it could be so much worse. We can deal with this. Another unfortunate element is that his asthma is allergy triggered. It starts with Eczema and manifests itself then in his breathing. Now I can eat only rice, vegetables and meat until we figure out the triggers. I was very worried about this being the case with him as both my brother,Jon, his brother and myself had food allergies as children. Let me tell you this can take all the fun right out of birthday parties!
The worst allergy related story that comes to mind is one afternoon in second grade. I had just started a new school and we were sent out in the hall to get our lunches.
My meals were pretty bland and flavourless and too good for you for the most part so when I opened my lunch bag to find the lunch of my dreams I thought it was the best day ever. I didn't know what to eat first- the peanut butter sandwich on real white bread? the chocolate chip cookies? The fruit snacks I had often daydreamed about in the grocery store? No, I would eat the vanilla cupcake (when had my mom lost her mind and baked these?!) I picked it up, mouth watering and unfolded the napkin. My heart dropped, " Hi Megan- Have a great day! mom xo" Those words haunt me to this day! It was only then that I tuned into the sobs echoing the classroom. I looked across the room to see the identical lunchbox on "Megan's" desk. She was crying over it's contents. I knew without looking what it held... plain rice cakes with a natural fruit spread, lots of vegetables, a snack bag filled with puffed rice cereal and a desert of dried apricots...I felt my eyes well up at the thought of giving her back her lunch, which eventually I did...minus one cupcake!

At least Ben will never try those things to have them taken away. He won't know what he is missing and will believe that dried apricots really are treats!

On another up note...Jon got us a new camera! Pitures to come soon!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lost Memories

To top of our second awful weekend in a row I went to download some very cute pictures we took of Ben on his five month birthday today only to discover the camera gone! I had put it in the diaper bag to develop some pictures but left the grocery store early on friday without developing them since Ben didn't seem tp be doing so well. That was the last time I saw it. It must have fallen out of the diaper bag in the parking lot. It had a full memory card. I went to every store in the strip mall outside the grocery store today asking if maybe somome had returned it there.
I returned to tell Jon the bad news...I really did lose the camera. "No Jenn- you didn't lose our lost our memories..." *SOB*

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ben's Trip to the ER Sequal and Threequal...

So Ben has really been putting us through the parenting wringer this week! He caught a cold (probably from his first trip to the ER last weekend) that got progressively worse. It was affecting his breathing a little bit but nothing to be too concerned about until Thursday. I went to check on him while he was having a longer then normal nap to find him gasping for air. Paranoid first time mother or not I couldn't talk myself down out of this one. I took him to St. Mary's hospital which is fortunately only about a 5 minute drive from us. In a city the size of ours we are fortunate to have two large hospitals. St. Mary's is for respiratory problems and so that is where I took him (J would later meet us there). They made such a fuss over Ben the moment I took him in and rushed us right into a room. I thought something must be very wrong as so many nurses kept poking their heads in to see him. I later found out that pediatrics is at Grand River (the other bigger hospital about 15 min away) and so they never see babies at St. Mary's. I think Ben (who wouldn't stop grinning at everyone!) made a lot of people's day's as a result! He had a ventalin mask, was sent home with some puffers and cream for his eczema and a much more relaxed mother. We were in for a tough night however since the ventalin increases heart rate and makes it difficult to sleep. He didn't... he was up every 45 minutes to play all night long. Fortunately Jing Jing came to the rescue the next morning and looked after my day care kids while I had a quick nap. I thought all was well until later last night when I see Ben struggling to catch his breath again, right after a puffer that was not effective. So in the car we go again- this time regretfully to Grand River. Ben screamed the whole way there, which I was sort of glad for so I knew he was still breathing. We had to park in the parking garage which is a huge fear of mine (I don't understand them, like them or trust them!) but since I didn't really have a choice we found a spot finally as I was on the verge of hyperventilating. I should have walked right out the door to St. Mary's when I saw the huge waiting room full to capacity. Grand River is also the hospital where ambulances go and being a Friday night...well that's self explanatory. We settled in for a long wait. Ben was assessed and although his oxygen was low again, not as low as it was the previous night and not low enough to get rushed in.
What an emergency room on a Friday night is good for is entertainment. Ben and I enjoyed the mosaic of people that were coming in and out. Some on crutches, some in wheelchairs, some with designer bags, some with police escorts. The emergency room is the great equalizer. I was mostly keeping track of "Hermione M" who kept telling the triage nurses she was leaving every few minutes only to sit back down. Then there was Peter who was a homeless regular. They got a stretcher out for him, tied his ankle to it and put him in a corner with a cup of water (he splashed that all over himself). Every nurse that walked by him greeted him with "Hi Peter, let me know when you are ready for your sandwich." I think "Peter" is a nightly occurrence.
Then there was Mary Lou who was "belligerent and rude" enough to have the police called when she wouldn't leave the triage examination room. They asked her what the problem was and she told them that since her purse was stolen she had no money for a cab and no one to call. The officer asked if they brought her home would she hurt herself? "Hurt myself!? I am a Christian woman, I would never F-ing kill myself!"
Another young couple was in the children's waiting room and I asked the mother who was probably 16 about their baby. It seems 2 month old "Quintin" was constipated. I didn't want to burst their bubble by telling them that it was just about guaranteed that every single person that came through the door was going to have a more serious problem then poor backed up Quintin. I just acted concerned for the little guy instead since there was probably more entertainment in the ER room then there was on T.V back at their apartment anyways.
We waited 4 hours in the main waiting room. Finally J joined us with some Tim Hortens. Periodically a nurse would come out of a room off the waiting area with a big "NO ADMITANCE" sign on the door and call back a few people. When our name was finally called to go to this room, I knew what it would feel like to win the lottery. Other people looked on enviously as I packed up our things pretending not to notice. Finally Ben would be seen and this night could be over! Myself and the other lucky soon to be patients followed the nurse back through the doors into ... ANOTHER WAITING ROOM!!!! We had been waiting for a waiting room!? There was about 20 people in this waiting room, most of whom were sleeping in their chairs and quite boring. This was also the time when Ben decided he did not want to sleep any longer and wished to be entertained (at 12:30am...). Finally 7 hours into our hospital trip we were taken into room PED 1... complete with Hippo bed and a tv for our viewing pleasure while we waited another 40 min for the Dr. (the only one in the city I'm sure!) Ben got another mask and instructions to continue giving the puffer as many times as needed. We could then go home to another baby who couldn't sleep and a few more hours of rocking. Tonight it is 8:30 and so far so good. I have a feeling Saturdays in the ER are worse then Fridays so I hope we are spared tonight!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bad Weekend

Jon and I came down with the stomach flu on Saturday. It is awful! Poor Ben started having diarrhea that night and by 5:30 Sunday morning we thought maybe a trip to the ER was in order to make sure he wasn't dehydrated. Since I wasn't making enough milk, he wouldn't take a bottle and was having very watery, frequent diapers this could be a possibility. Jing Jing made a comeback to help out since we were both too weak to even pick him up! Ben was seen pretty quickly which was a good thing since Jon and I weren't going to last too long ( Jon was even sick in the parking garage...gross!). Ben was okay, the nurse told us to just give him some pedialite and come back if he stopped eating completely or got a fever. On a positive note he did decide to roll over for the first time on the hospital bed and has been doing it like a champ ever since- 2 days before he turns five months old!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Here to Stay

Ben's eyes were the steel blue colour typically found in newborns when we first saw them. They have faded over time into a light grey blue with flecks of darker blue. They are really quite beautiful They are not the same colour exactly as mine but they are sure closer then J's chocolate brown. Jon has only now reluctantly given up hope of Ben's baby blues darkening so there would be something obviously contributed to him genetically(I pointed out that their ears are identical-this didn't exactly thrill him!). Now he is officially 100% my mini me...
What Ben lacks on the outside from Jon he really makes up for on the inside where all of the similarities come out. I can see through his sweetness, patience, thoughtfulness, intelligence and sense of humour that he is his fathers son. I must say this is a winning combination!

Baby Kisses

Ben has a new trick... This is the sweetest, melt your heart kind of trick ever. He cups my face with both of his hands and comes at my cheek with his mouth open. He touches his mouth down and leaves a drool souvenir. The first time he did it I laughed but then I noticed that when I kiss his cheek he grabs my face to do it back to me. When I made the connection that he is trying to give kisses I showed Jon- I said "give Daddy kisses" and he did! We thought this was a fluke but he continues to do it on comand. Ah never cease to amaze us!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Big Boy Chair

Ben can sit up in his high chair now. He has until now been sitting ON the table in his bumbo in front of us while we eat dinner. He used to be entertained by us eating our dinner but now he wants to actively participate and tries to grab our food. When we don't give him the chicken/spaghetti/chicken pot pie he wants he cries and arches his back to get out of his bumbo (he has almost succeeded in doing this a few times which shows us why Bumbo's are quickly becoming famous for skull fractures...). We put him in his high chair last night to see if he could sit up in it and he was quite proud to be there. Unfortunately for him it did not mean he would be joining us for dinner. He has been diagnosed with a milk allergy that causes him eczema, gas and mucus problems. It means that I don't eat dairy and we will delay solids until he is 7-8 months old with limited variety until he is 12 months to reduce his risks of developing more allergies. Because Jon and I both had allergies as children he is at a heightened risk. Sometime when he really starts to cry I will feed him a bowl of hypoallergenic (very expensive) formula with a spoon to pacify him- this works occasionally...
I was feeling bad for withholding solids from him (not that rice cereal is really anything to write home about...) while all his baby friends are busy chowing down on sweet potato already. After doing some research however, I have discovered that solids before 9-12 months is not really necessary. Breast milk should meet all an infants nutritional needs for the first year, including iron. Babies do not necessarily need to be supplemented with iron after their 6 month stores are depleted because the small amount in breast milk is absorbed at a higher rate then cereal or formula. The enzymes needed to digest carbohydrates and protein are not fully developed until the end of the first year and the presence of teeth, the ability to self feed, and sit unassisted generally indicates readiness for food.Really it's just Gerber that has done a great job in making consumers believe that the 4-6 month old baby needs more then milk. The fact that Ben grabs at our food and cries out in frustration does not necessarily mean that he is ready for food but just evidence of his general curiosity for everything...and he puts everything in his mouth, not because he wants to eat but because the needs to explore. At least Ben is happy in his highchair for now with his Linkadoos and the odd spoonful of overpriced formula- I really can't wait to give him "real" food though!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bayley's Haircut

Bayley has not has a professional haircut in almost a year. Shameful I know- but before you think we are neglectful dog owners understand why...
We brought Bayley to Petcetra, a large petstore chain for his grooming appointment after we got him. We dropped off a friendly, happy go lucky black furball and got back a shaved, sullen, withdrawn and depressed dog who would not come near us, go outside or eat for about 3 days. I had thought they had given us the wrong dog as he was totally unrecognizable and didn't even seem to know who we were. He spent most of his time licking his "little boy parts" where we noticed they had cut him with the razor. It looked like it was getting infected so we put some antibacterial cream on it and.... a diaper! I know I know this was crual to add to his torment but it was the only way to keep him from licking. We never laughed as hard, but not when he was watching of course!
This time we decided to take him to an independently run groomers that came recomended. Bayley had the works after I gave them my disclaimer about why I was bringing him in the state he was. He seems much happier as he lost half his body weight in hair and smells so nice I don't mind him on the couch. He isn't sulky or withdrawn and best of all...doesn't have to wear a diaper this time!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Overrated skills

I subscribe to an Internet site that sends you an email once a week about where your baby should be developmentally week by week. This is not a good thing as it turns out. These expectations that average out billions of babies cause mothers to start doubting the developmental health of their otherwise healthy baby when they don't in fact find their toes at 3.7 months of age. According to this site (that I am still receiving emails from....) Ben "should" have started rolling over about 2-3 weeks ago. Unfortunately I have a little mommy's boy (which I admit is encouraged...) who does not like to be put down very often. Occasionally when I am feeling guilty about his "delayed development" I will put out a colourful blanket and lots of motivating toys and try to encourage rolling. This usually ends in him laying on his back screaming at me to pick him up. If he does roll in one of these sessions it will be purely accidental as a result of his thrashing. He is certainly strong enough to roll, he simply lacks interest. I think he may walk before he rolls because his legs are very strong and if he's not in someones arms he wants to be in a standing position. I am not that worried about the rolling. I am happy to have him immobile for now. He will do all these things in his own time I'm sure. Who really needs "rolling" anyway?! I don't remember the last time I needed to roll! It's really not that handy of a skill at all...sort of like long division, I knew I wouldn't use that either (see Mrs. Campbell...I told you I wouldn't)! What Ben HAS mastered is his great big smile that gets him just about whatever he wants. He can grab things and bring them to his mouth, he has a great laugh that I am addicted to (please see Daddy and Ben video for a sample)and can almost sit on his own. Go Ben!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Finally some sleep!

Ben is not a good night sleeper. The hours between 8pm and 8am are not his best hours, he is up 6 times a night to eat. I don't think he is actually hungry as much as he needs comforted back to sleep. This is not good for him or me, however its easier for me to just feed him until he is sleeping so I can hurry back to bed for another couple hours. I was surviving this until last week when he decided that after I finished nursing him and he had dozed off he did not want me to put him back in his bed but rather hold him all night. I would put him down and the moment the first hair on his head touched the mattress he would cry. I pick him back up and rock him back to sleep only to repeat the same ordeal. 5 times I did this two nights ago he just kept waking up and crying every time I put him down.

I wish I could hold him all night, I really do but this is not a reasonable expectation for him to have of me! I was feeling guilty but decided that this is just one of the many lessons he has to learn that is hard but good for him. We had no choice but to let him cry.

2 nights ago marked the first night. We had to follow through once we committed to this method because he would be confused as to why sometimes I would pick him up and other times not. The hardest thing I have done as his mother so far is change him, put pajamas on, read to him, nurse him, put him in bed and then ...let him cry himself to sleep. 40 long minutes later he was asleep and I almost went in to wake him up and make sure he didn't hate me! 2 hours later he was up again and I went, changed him, nursed him and put him back into bed and once again let him cry for another 40 minutes. 3 hours later we went through this again but he only cried for 15 min and he didn't wake up again!

Last night we put him to bed and let him cry for only 10 minutes and 2 hours later he didn't cry at all...and slept till morning!!!! SUCCESS! I feel like a different person this morning, my brain cells have stopped committing suicide and I can think clearly! I am also pretty positive Ben doesn't hate me or feel abandoned or traumatized. In fact he seems a lot happier this morning as well!

Happy New Year!

We had some friends over last night to ring in the new year...okay not quite. We specified beforehand that New Years at the Neebs happens at 10:30 because then we are going to bed...

It looks like January will be as snowy as December was from the looks of it outside today. it's hard to be to upset with it though when it does such nice things to our backyard!

Ben's new Toy

Ben has a new crib toy. It's the Fischer Price aquarium that attaches to the side. Ben is absolutely fascinated with the little fish, lights and bubbles that it produces with music. He was sitting up almost on his own last night watching it for a good ten minutes!
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