Friday, June 27, 2008

Chopped Liver...aka Mommy

Ben is over his dear old mum it would seem. Yesturday morning Ben cried so long, hard and pathetically when Jon was going to work Jon stayed home with him for an extra hour. Ben cannot get enough of him. He has always adored him but never overtly favored him... until now. I tried to get him out of his stroller after our walk...nope! He screamed at me and grinned at daddy. I tried to put him to bed...NOPE! Daddy Daddy Daddy. I was taken aback and to tell the truth a little hurt at first but now I think it is just pretty darn cute. I have had him for the last 19 months I would say it is Daddy's turn now!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Parenting Paradox

I win because I have best, cutest, smartest, sweetest, funniest, stongest and friendliest baby ever. On the flip side I win because I have the most difficult sleeper, cranky, grumpy, stubborn, temperamental and overly sensitive baby ever with the worst gas.

This is the Parent Paradox. We compete with who has the best AND worst babies.

Since someone pointed this out to me I have noticed this is the case in most conversations surrounding babies. If mother x were to talk about her baby's colick she may begin the unspoken competition by telling about the nightmare evening prior when her (best looking, smartest) baby screamed for 2 hours while they tried swaddling, pacifiers, blow driers, gripe water and car rides to no avail. " I am wiped!" she will declare, passing the torch onto mother y. This mother will say "Oh I know exactly how you feel because when my (best looking, smartest AND funniest ) baby y was that age he would scream for 4 hours every night for 5 months. We would walk, jiggle, sway, and cuddle him. We would drive to Timbuktu and back before he would stop crying. What finally worked for us was putting him on Soy. Mother y- three points.
1 for having the worse situation-
1 for trying more methods of solving it (thus proving herself more of a selfless marter).
1- for solving the problem.
Mother x- 0.
The conversation will turn to smiling as Mother x says the only thing that got her through the night was the fact that he flashed his first big one at her the next morning as she changed him. Mother y will look at her sympathetically "isn't your (homely and skinny) baby almost 8 weeks? I am surprised that he only just smiled now. My (perfect and extraordinary) baby grinned at me 3 minutes after his birth.

Mother y- 4 points, Mother x...0.

This is the game. Best baby ever...worst baby ever...

What I Love to Hear Anyone Say!

Today in my parents group a woman said I could be a stand in for Angelina Jolie...oh YA! Of course I would have to whole heartily DISagree however I am thrilled to know that someone out there no matter how delusional their reality is thinks that myself and the most beautiful woman on the planet are interchangeable... I wonder if Angie (I can call her that now right since we are like twins right?) has hidden tooth decay too?...

Words you Never Want to Hear from a Doctor...

I had to make an emergency dentist appointment with a new dentist last night because I thought I had chipped a tooth. I met with this young and very cute dentist last night with the expectation that he would simply shave of the chipped part, fill it and I would be on my way. It was not so simple as it turns out. He examined the tooth for a good few minutes while murmuring unsettelingly to himself. Finally he said "well I have never actually seen this..." Words I never want a Dr. to say! (My friend Robin heard the crack of forceps breaking during her delivery of Ben's bff last month...she officially wins for things you don't want to hear- this would be second). He explained to me that what I had experienced was actually internal decay of the tooth which made the tooth hollow and pushed out some enamel. He used the word "decay" about 5 times during this explanation which was making me gag. I asked him to please use a nicer term for my poor tooth, who didn't ask for a neglectful anti flossing owner. He laughed and said well its just a cavity, I have never seen one like this before!! Gross! I am now recommitted to the dental floss. In fact I am going to go do it now!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kicked out of School at 10 Months!!!

Ben's preschool teachers love him. One said they would cry and wear black the day he graduated to the next room which would have been in September. Today his head teacher came to me and said "Jenn you know how much we adore Ben, however he is too active for this room. He is so active and tears the room apart. He is also a safety risk to the babies younger then himself as he will climb on top of the excersaucer on top of the baby in it! I looked around as he poked his head up grinning at me while throwing toys off the shelf left and right. We laughed and I agreed. Ben is officially in the toddler program (even though he is a current wannabe toddler...he is going to take off any day now I suspect!)

Tuckered out...

Ben has shaved an hour off his afternoon on some days. I really enjoy the three hour nap and am trying to encourage him to keep it up! I thought maybe he was ready to cut out his morning nap then and tried this... he collapsed mid play!

Monday, June 23, 2008

10 facts for 10 months!

It's the time again! We are getting closer and closer to the big 0-1!!!

1- Ben is having tantrums. Full out kicking, screaming, thrashing, headbanging mortifying to his helpless mother tantrums. These can be caused by something as simple as shutting the fridge door.

2- Ben has a favorite book. It is a peek a boo baby book that has pictures of real babies and you can lift the flap to play peek aboo with them. In a pile of books in his room he will always get this one and cry when I want to read another one (we read it 20 times then in order to steer him as far away as possible from fact number 1!)

3- He thinks he can walk. He takes his hands off of things and then loses his balence crashing down. This imaginary ability of his unfortnatly explains the goose egg on his forehead, the fat lip and the cut on his head. Soon Ben...soon!

4- He loves toy balls and cars.

5- He loves to play in water of any kind and will do so as long as we permit (which is until he is so prunny we have to risk number 1)

6-He loves to scream at people at then he lauphs and lauphs.

7- Ben can't eat much but what he can he LOVES. He sits with his mouth open and waits for you to shovel food into as fast as you can.

8- He likes to kiss himself in the mirror

9- He sleeps through the night for twelve hours and naps for three hours in the afternoon, making up for the torture he put us through a few months ago (I am still haunted by his hourly wakings...)

10- He is becoming so much more of himself now. We love to see the "Ben" coming out more and more each day!

I love you Ben !

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dinner...or Lack of

Ben is teething again...I realize this is a recurring theme and will likely continue to be so as all this drama and he still only has 2!!! I think he is working on more though because he has been a nightmare the last week. He has cried more this week then he has in the last 6 months!

I can't pick him, put him down, feed him, play with him or hold him. He is inconsolable. (Grandma has come and rescued me as I write this and taken him for a walk!) It is very frustrating to not know what to do to help him feel better. One more dose to an overdose is where he is tylonol wise so I am at a loss. Did I mention I hate teeth? I will puree his food for life if we can skip this all together!

Last night I put him in the snuggly (which he is WAY to heavy for now and carried him like that until my back burned to get some laundry done and dinner made. It is the only smile I have seen in days.

Pray for us...

Super Baby

Ben has a new Superman towel. I think he will wear this more as he gets older since it fits like a cape! Most little boys for some reason are drawn to the allure of a cape...I hope Ben goes through a cape stage. My memories of my younger brother growing up always have him in a cape..and rubber boots.


we brought Ben to the firehouse opening on the weekend. He was very excited to sit on the truck. Fortunately he was so excited he was smiling which in turn made his mother excited to get some great pictures to put on the wall of his firefighter themed bedroom!

In Love with Ben's Daddy

When I met Jon I was not looking for a boyfriend at that point but someone with definite marriage potential. I knew after our first date I would marry him (whether he liked it or not!) He had everything I was looking for. Despite being tall, dark and handsome he at least has the sense to pretend he is not aware of this. He is kind, genuine, funny (not many people know how funny he can be!) the smartest person I know and I knew he would be an amazing father. I was right. It is an extremely lucky little boy who has a father as devoted to and in love with him as Jon is to Ben. I love watching their relationship grow and am so proud when I see the two of them together. Ben sure adores his Daddy and so do I!

I could not find anything really appropriate to commemorate Jon's first father's day, so we went with the traditional BBQ set, cover and mat. Ben did paint him a lovely first piece of artwork with his fingers though. Touching, yes.

We spend the day with my dad who was my guide for what I was looking for in my children's father (Ben comes from a long line of great dads). He said that Ben was the best fathers day gift...but did enjoy the bag of chocolate and WWll DVD set we got him as well. Benjamin enjoyed helping with the unwrapping and played with a Crispy Crunch bar for the whole afternoon. He would not give it up for anything!

We stopped to see Jon's dad (the one who taught him all he knows about being one) as well but he had left early on a trip. Jon went out with him last night though for a belated celebration.

All in all I think Father's day l was a success!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Our friends have a new baby named Jack. Ben is exactly nine months older then him and looks like a Goliath baby in comparison. Ben loves Jack and wants to touch him...the problem with Ben's touching is that he is not gentle with anything, new baby's 1/3 his size included. Today when Jack's parents were over we heard a sleeping Jack let out a wail. We looked over to see Ben grinning while hovering over him and squeezing Jack's tiny face. Poor Ben just wants his bff to hurry up and play with him already!

Water Baby is at it Again!

Ben was crying last night because he was so hot and sticky with a bad heat rash (geez this kid gets a lot of rashes!) I put a bowl of water out on the deck with dish soap bubbles in it and he happily splashed in that for a good 20 minutes until the water was all gone. I thought since it was such a hit we would go for something better. I found a tiny plastic blow up pool at the dollar store and he splashed in that for another 20 minutes! I think this may be a summer favorite so I invested in a big plastic frog pool (it's actually a sandbox but don't tell him that...) that he can use on the grass. Did I mention I love the nothin but a soaking wet diaper look!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The books all said you couldn't spoil a baby...however I don't think this is what they meant...

Ben was fussy the other day while we were waiting for Daddy to come home. His toys in the living room were not doing the trick, so we moved to the family room, then the playroom, then outside, then to the bathtub (this made him happy...) then to his room before bed. It occured to me then that Ben pretty much has every toy available to buy at the moment. I didn't purposly want him to have every toy, but with the daycare I can justify pretty much everything I buy because more then one child will benefit from it and really he is just so darn can I say no? We are in for something when he is 2 I am afraid!

Thanks Grandpa

On a recent vacation Jon's parents went to Hooters. Grampa thought he would pick Ben up souvinear...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Water Baby

Ben went swimming at his grandparents house for the first time on the weekend. He LOVED it. We were not surprised by this considering how excited he gets at bathtime. He splashed around and was happy when Madeleine (his canine aunt) jumped in unexpectedly for a swim with him.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Helping Himself

Ben has discovered the fridge. He waits by it while I make a meal and gets so excited when I open the door. He crawls as fast as he can to get in and then looks at all the new things in it. I turned my back for a moment and when I looked back he had picked up an apple and was trying to eat it whole.

When I finally coax him out of the fridge we likes me to hold him while I continue to make the meal. I realize that this is interesting for him to watch but holding this 20 plus pound baby in one arm while trying to cook with the other is next to imposable. He follows me around then, whinning at me and trying to crawl up my legs. When I don't pick him up he has taken to biting my foot.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Earning My Stripes the Hard Way

We have known about Ben's allergies for months now. We are not sure of the extent of them but know since the bad experience with peas that they lean more towards the serious side. We are seeing a specialist at Mac Master university hospital next month and so we were just being cautious until then, when we would hopefully get some answers.

My parents have been looking for an older Old English Sheepdog since Buster died two years ago. To find a 2-3 year old purebred dog in this rare breed locally has been next to impossible so when we did on Sunday I wanted to jump on it. I was hoping that perhaps we could keep her...either was one of us wanted her.

Jon and I quickly got in the car with Ben and set out for a 3 hour road trip to the middle of nowhere to pick up Millie. Ben was great all the way there and we were anxious to see how the dog would act with Ben. She LOVED him. Millie couldn't get enough of him. Ben was grabbing her hair and laughing and she would lick him up asking for more. Her tongue was as big as his face and he was overjoyed at this big beautiful teddy bear slobbering all over him. It was settled and we couldn't wait to get Millie home.

Millie was very excited in the van and plunked herself down in the passenger seat up front. We thought this would be fine since I should probably protect Ben from too many kisses and it may make the drive more enjoyable the more comfortable she was.
I have never in Ben's life sat in the back with him. This was the first time I had ever done this as it is usually not possible since there is another car seat next to him during the week.

About 5 minutes down the road I noticed a few hives on Ben's face. He had not eaten anything abnormal that day so I let it go. a few minutes later I saw them spreading and welts starting to form. I told Jon to turn off the next exit to get benedryl at the drugstore ( I always carry it with me however I had switched purses that day to hold more toys for the long drive and didn't put it in my new bag). In front of my eyes Ben's left eye started to swell up. He had hives all over him now and was bright red. I could see hives forming under his eyelids and he was now hysterical. I told Jon to drive faster and looked over to see Ben screaming. He raised his head back and I will never forget this moment. Under his chin were hives on top of hives and he was blood red. I could see his lower jaw start to swell and his neck puffing out. This was the moment of my nightmares. A defining moment in my life that I have lived and relived countless times since.

Anaphalaxis was something I had read about since we heard about his higher then average risk. I knew that all it took was 1/4 teaspoon of the allergen to trigger a reaction and once the anaphalactic reaction has begun you have between 3-5 minutes to act before it can be fatal. We were in the middle of nowhere. There was not another car or piece of civilization in sight. My baby is about to stop breathing.

I screamed and saw my cell phone (sitting in the car charger, not dead in the bottom of my purse as usual). I grabbed it and called 911. Miraculously (one of many miracles that day) there was an abandoned OPP station right at the exit we were coming up too and an ambulance dispatch about 30 seconds from there. Jon was able to stay calm enough to safely get us there ( I would have driven right off the road...) In hindsight this was another miracle. There was NOTHING for miles. Just us and 2 amazing paramedics that looked like angels to me. They grabbed Ben and took his clothes off, strapped him down and hooked him up to some equipment. He was covered in wires and absolutely terrified. His reaction began to calm down almost immediately we suspect from his own adrenaline. He needed only oxygen in the ambulance and otherwise was fine by the time we got to the nearest hospital 40 minutes away.
The paramedics were so kind, they even gave us their cell number in case we got lost trying to get home when it was time ( I felt bad that Ben was wearing firefighter pajamas at the time...)One told me that we did everything right but we were very very lucky! The Doctor wanted Ben to stay to be monitored for a while and then sent us home with epi pens.

The problem was we could not take Ben home because the dog was still in the van. we suspect that Ben was allergic to something about the dog more then the dog herself such as what she had been bathed in. We could not put the 2 of them together so we had to call Jon's parents who were closest to come pick up Ben and take him home while Jon and I drove back to the breeder to bring Millie (who was a wonderful dog and laid for 4 hours in the van) back. We drove an hour back to the breeder and then another 3 hours home.
We initially thought it was the worst day of our lives but then realized that in fact it was the best. I cannot imagine terror to the degree that I felt that day. I would do anything for this child and in that moment I could do absolutely nothing. We are exceedingly grateful for the outcome and we have learned a lot. We will always be prepared now and we know the severity of what can happen to Ben if we are not careful. We will be better advocates for him and make sure that those around him really understand how important it is to be vigilant about what he is exposed to and how to use his EPI pen in a moments notice.
Ben is our world and we thank God that he is still meant to be in it.
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