Monday, March 30, 2009

Gramma to the rescue!

Gramma solved Ben's footed pj/boots dilemma with matching two piece sharky pajamas!
Thanks Gramma!

He was playing too hard to stop and get a good picture!

The Sick House

Our immune systems are pretty top notch most days around here. Ben gets the odd cold now and then and one bout of RSV last winter but other then that we are healthy as sharks...until this week! I woke up feeling very ill on Tuesday morning. I couldn't get out of bed for three days and thanked my lucky stars I have a very accommodating, supportive and helpful mother in law and mother who came to help in those three days. Finally when I had kicked this nasty intruder Ben came home from Gramma's house with a fever of 102. GREAT! It is amazing though how much better Mommy feels when her baby is sick. I got a burst of energy which came in very handy when Ben was up all night. The next morning her woke up covered in vomit and diareah (of course he was running a toy car through the paths of puke he had made while quietly playing before I went in to get him...unaware of what was to greet me! The happy playing did not return for awhile after that. This was not the best time then to meet his adoring Godmother for the first time. He tried so hard to be happy and his regular funny, flirtatious self but he was really not himself at all.
This is day 6.
All poor Smooshie did today was lay on my lap, drink bottles (and one piece of toast that I begged, bribed and forced down him) and watch tv. "Mooobie" is his new favorite word. He sure loves those "moobie's". I think his television free days are over now...
I haven't brought him to the doctor yet because it is a virus, he is not dehydrated and he is eating and drinking. But he has lost a lot of weight which worries me. His little shoulder blades are sticking out, you can count every vertebrae and his arms look like noodles. If I could Ben I would definitely donate to your cause! I will take him though tomorrow if he doesn't improve. Even though I am sure all he will say is "let him rest and drink plenty of fluids" like he ALWAYS says. Meanwhile the trip there and the hysterical crying that ensues (he hates the dr's) was exhausting and he probably picked up a bonus bug on the way out of the office which is also used as a walking clinic at night for the very sick and germy.

I posted pictures against my better judgement...keep in mind I have not had a shower for three days (obviously...) when these were taken! GROSS

I want my healthy happy boy back soon!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson is writing a new book called "epiphany" which I cannot wait to read. In it he interviews a diverse group of talented (and creative) people who are living their dreams. He wants to know about the moment that brought it about or their "epiphany". I came across a video of him today on UTUBE where he told a great story. He speaks of Jillian Lynn (I think that is her name) who is a famous theatre choreographer. She was in the royal ballet and involved in some of the most famous theatrical productions in history. She is wealthy beyond her dreams, successful and living a life she thrives in and loves. He tells about her epiphany.
When she was a litte girl, about 8 she was constantly getting into trouble at school. She was fidgety, couldn't think well and her homework was not turned in. Her mother brought her to the doctor on the advice of her teacher and told him what was happening. Since, he says, ADD had not been invented yet, her teacher didn't know what to do with her. Jillian sat next to her mother while the Dr watched her squirm in her chair and finally sit on her hands to keep them still. He asked her mother to join him in the hall to speak for a moment and turned the radio on for Jillian to listen to in their absence. He stopped talking after a moment to her mother at seeing Jillian through the door unable to keep still to the music. "well" said the Dr. "look at that. She is not sick. She is a dancer! take the poor girl to dance class". It was then Jillian said that she became alive, she discovered that she needed to move in order to think. She was forever grateful to that Doctor. Robinson asks how many more creative genius are being stuffed with medication and told to calm down. Sir Robinson says in his experience (he is a professor) public education teaches from the feet up. By middle school your legs have stopped moving. By high school your hands have stopped fidgeting and by graduation you have been taught only to use your head and slightly to one side (being the left side..or the math, science part). Then your body is really only a vessel to Carry your head around...and only one side of it. What about all the Jillian Lynn's he wonders? He wants parents and educators to put more time care into letting children be who they are and not stifling what makes them great. I love Ken Robinson.

I can't wait until I have my epiphany...I think it is close! I am becoming more of me everyday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Monacle Man

Yesterday Jon and I had a meeting at the bank. A man in front of us on the chairs was reading a newspaper and when his name was called he looked up and Jon and I almost burst out laughing when we saw he was wearing a real live monocle! outside of Mr. Peanut we have never seen such a thing. So Jon took his picture.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Whole Mom

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
--Thornton Wilder

I have been making more of an effort to really be WITH Ben when I am. After a conversation with a friend about taking for granted this time and really acknowledging how important these formative years are for our toddlers I questioned my thoughts at times. Often they are wondering. I make it priority to be with Ben but sometimes parts of me are elsewhere. I think of all the things I will do during nap time, what needs to be done now, what we will do when Jon gets home, plans for the weekend, phone calls I want to make, what I would eat if calories didn't exist, what I would spent the first million of a big lottery win on... poor Ben meanwhile is listening to me read the book (for the eighth time) half heartily while I daydream of other things in other places.

Friday marked my first "Whole Mom" experience. I committed to being in the moment with him 100% of the time. It also marked a fantastic weekend. I feel like I made conscious memories of small moments that both he and I savored and enjoyed in. He was not calling me back to the moment with a whine, or a frustrated cry for attention as he has been known to do. I didn't put him in the stroller for our walk today. Instead he held my hand beside me and we talked about everything we saw. I didn't pacify him with a bottle in the backseat as we drove in the van, I sang to him every song I know and then some I made up. I didn't read a magazine on the toilet seat as he played in the bath tonight, rather I sat on the edge of the bathtub and joined.

I feel like I was a great mom this weekend.


We had our first open house on Saturday. This was interesting and a test of our devotion to selling as our vacuum (which worked know my beloved C-vac- last week) did not work on Saturday morning. I had to hand wash 2200 square feet of very hard floor. Boy are they clean though...if someone wants floors that sparkle this is the house for them!

We had 8 of the most different families you can imagine come through. It seems our house appeals to everyone, but really we only need one!

My favorite of our visitors was an African man with a very thick accent. I showed him through the house and paused at the top floor in front of the bathroom. He pointed to the two doors leading into the bathroom from the hall and the master bedroom.

"Oh that" I said "its a cheater en suite".
His eyes got very wide and he stared at me
"Dat ez what you call dat he-ah"?!
"A cheater"? I stared him, "yup, that's what it's called".
He looked at the bathroom again then looked me over and shrugged
"Well I guess dat ez whe-ah you cheat"

OH NO he thought I said- uhhhhh well not "cheat"

I burst out laughing..." No no not Sh**ter...CHEATER!"
He still thought I was saying the same thing until I gave him a card game analogy and then he started laughing too.
"Ohhh CHEATER, not CHEATER (it still sounded exactly the same in his accent when he said it!).
We both laughed and he did not buy my house even with a "cheater" :)

Change is Always Nessasary in Order to Grow

This is what is in front of our home, now currently known as "the property". I read (whilst reading on selling your own home) that you shouldn't refer to the house as "my house" or "our home" to potential buyers as it makes them feel like it is yours and not potentially theirs... anyway that is that. Our house is for sale. The very house we lovingly decorated room by room, the house we brought our beautiful baby boy home to, the house we love to live in, create memories in, entertain in. Why, you may wonder then is that sign out in the front lawn? Because as much as I love this house and everything in it...I really love that beautiful boy more. I would like someone else to enjoy this home (I mean property) while I am enjoying my son...worry free, debt free, stress free. I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Toilet Training update

Ben seems to be a little too smart for his own good. He has continued to tell me every time he he uses his diaper but refuses to sit on the toilet now (that didn't take long). Today he came over to me, said "poo poo Mommy", opened up the diaper cupboard door, got out his wipes and a new diaper. Placed them on the couch and waited for me to change him. I guess he recognizes a good thing when he sees it! Potty training is currently on hiatus until further notice...

The Love Affair continues

Ben came upon quite a predicament today with his footed pajamas. He stared long and hard at the beloved boots and then at his own padded feet, even he could see they were too wide to fit inside. He came over to me for a solution but alas I could not help him out. A tough lesson learned was boots and pajamas do not go together. He took it in stride though. I imagine he will ask for them as soon as he gets socks on in the morning.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ben's BFF

Ben's best Friend is a little boy that comes over to play Monday through Wednesday. He was in my daycare last year and since November I have been watching him part time until his new baby sister arrives in a couple of months. He is a great little boy and Ben and I alike love having him around. Parker is a great influence on Ben and they play together like real buddies. I am having so much fun watching this friendship grow as Ben gets older. Parker includes Ben in everything. While I am doing menial household tasks while keeping one eye on them I always smile when I hear "You can do it Benny!" "Come play with Parky, Benny boy" and "Two good boys, right Jenn?" Ben is getting increasingly vocal with intelligible words and even a few sentences. "Ba ber" (Parker) emerged last week and now Ben babels his name constantly. Thursdays are not fun mornings in our home now after three mornings of welcoming his friend he does not arrive. Ben stands by the door whining "Ba ber, Ba ber!" It is quite pathetic really. I may have to rent him for the rest of the week!

***In the picture you can see how they both love wearing their boots. Parker got crocodile ones first and informed me that Ben also needed reptile boots "Two boots for two boys, Jenn" He always thinks of Ben. Unfortunately we went to the store to buy them to their excitement and they were all out. "No Boots like Parky for Benny Boy" Parker said sadly to Ben while patting his shoulder after he heard the sales lady tell me they wouldn't be getting any more in". He was very happy for Ben then on Monday when he looked down to find Ben's feet appropriately animal clad for spring puddles. Whew!

A Blog of Thier Own

The boots over the last few days have taken on a life of their own! They have become like another family member for the amount that Ben adores them. He cries when he has to take them off to sleep and as soon as I come in the room he says "Oots, oots"! He is forever showing them off to anyone who will entertain him for a moment. The grocery store is his most successful venue as he will kick them up in random people's faces grinning and pointing at the various boot shark's facial features in the produce isles.

Today he was sporting a superman towel that he likes to wear occasionally with said boots, fortunately the camera was within arms reach. With his cape, his boots and his increasingly crazy hair do I am feeling more and more like the mother of a little boy!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this kid!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Pee Pee on the Potteeeey!"

"A Pee Pee on the Potteeeeey" is what Jon and I foolishly dance around the bathroom singing in order to reassure Ben that the bathroom is a fun place to be and the potty is his friend (or more accuratly the toilet seat cover that sits on the toilet so his mini tushy doesn't fall in...I think potty's are gross). I am an advocate of waiting to toilet train...especially for boys. The closer they are to two and half the faster it goes, the less frustrating it is and fewer accidents occur. At least this had been my experience in toilet training so far (while I was in university I was a Nanny so the headache of toilet training is not new to me). Then Ben at eighteen months peed over the side of his high chair and I was forced to re examine my stance. Then today in church Ben said "poo poo, Mommy". I checked his diaper and told him he was fine. A minute later he was right. Great. We came home and officially decided that potty training is a go. We don't want this initial enthusiasm on his part to pass without our encouragement so he goes in the bathroom, mommy and daddy do a dance. He produces, he gets a chocolate chip. We'll see how simple it really is!

Pray for us.

***Sidenote... The shark boots are a gift from Grammie. Ben is obsessed with them and cried when we wouldn't let him wear them to church today. They are very adorable! So is he!

Antique Toys

Here is Ben finding amusment in old technology. He looked at me for reassurance as I let him take the tape out of the plastic. I felt very old.

A New Do

I got my hair cut on Saturday. I mean I got it CUT! I had to make a verbal contract with the sylist that I would not be mad or cry when it was done. 2009 is the year of unmet goals. Jon and I are commited to getting today to the things we have previously left to tommorow. I have always wanted to try out short hair so I agreed to her terms. At that she chopped about 6-8 inches of hair off the back and dropped it in my lap. "No turning back now!" Fortunatly for her I love it! It's interesting how wrapped up my self image was in long hair. I have never in my life had short hair. The closest being to my shoulders. This is a big change then and makes me wonder who "short hair Jenn" will be!

Friday, March 6, 2009

What Happened to Ben???

Ben is generally a happy go lucky boy. He has intense moments but is quick to laugh and easily distracted. This week Ben went missing. In his place was a tantrum throwing, screaming, pinching, biting, hitting and self injuring look a like. Monday evening Ben threw a tantrum for three hours. This is not a typo. From 4pm to 7pm Ben thrashed and screamed. He threw himself on the floor and hit his head purposely on the coffee table and walls. He was completely out of control and when he would let me hold him it would only last a moment before he started biting and grabbing my face and hair. I had to hold him back while also not allowing him to bang his head off anything. Jon and I just stared at each other. We remembered that same look from over a year ago when our sweet baby once honed in on his inner wild animal and put as much energy into his evening colic. That same newborn it seems had taken on toddler form and we were at a loss. We went through all our old tricks and finally strapping him in the car three hours later did the trick. He thrashed around only briefly until he gave into exhaustion and it ended abruptly leaving his parents more traumatized then he. The rest of the week has not progressed much better. Fortunately we haven't seen anything like that since however he will not transition, accept "no", eat, go to bed, play kindly with other children and on and on. These were all things he was fully capable of doing with a smile on his face a little over a week ago. I want my son back!!! Jon and I talked about what could be going on with him last night and realized his behaviour changes began around the same time we allowed wheat and dairy back into his diet. He used to get eczema and asthma from eating these things previously but after his allergist suggested we try them again at seventeen months we did so "successfully" with none of the previous symptoms. I know however that sensitivities can affect children in different ways and thought perhaps this was now being manifested in his behaviour.I did some reaserch like I tend to do and found and intersting article.

"As many as one in five adults and children, and probably one in three with behavioural problems, react allergically to common foods such as milk, wheat, yeast and eggs. The knowledge that allergy to foods and chemicals can adversely affect moods and behaviour in children has been known, and ignored, for a very long time. Early reports back in the 1980's, confirmed by recent double-blind controlled trials, have found that allergies can affect any system of the body, including the central nervous system. They can cause a diverse range of symptoms including fatigue, slowed thought processes, irritability, agitation, aggressive behaviour, nervousness, anxiety and depression"

We put Ben went back to soy and rice today and bingo my boy is back! WHEW!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And We Are Back in the Game!

In lui of my post yesterday I re evaluated my stance on fore fitting in the battle of wills with my toddler. I decided I was not ready to throw in the towel quite yet.Peg Perago (my favorite Italian baby equipment company...I don't have more then one favorite Italian company...just my favorite in general) makes a high chair with all the things ours was missing. and since as they say "he who has the money makes the rules..." I changed things up a bit and simply bought this high chair with a 5 point harness. Viola! For the first time in many months we had a battle free lunch today as Ben sat (with diaper fully intact) in his new high chair.

Currant score stands at

Mommy- 1
Ben -0

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Interesting Advancement...

Ben eats standing up in his highchair. We do not like this, it is not safe and we have tried to tie him down with all sorts of things...belts and neckties included. He broke us with his perseverance and now he wins...generally with everything as his parents have half a back bone between them. Actually we choose to save our real battles for things like running with scissors, and crack...standing up in the high chair, whatev.

Anyway Ben is doing his thing standing in his chair eating his his diaper (since he won't wear a bib and is heavily into food smearing these days). Suddenly he turns to the side of his high chair, unflaps the side of his diaper and pees over the side, all over the kitchen floor. In my shock I uttered a b list swear and then quickly apologized to Ben for my potty mouth. Ben was too busy doing his own diaper back up and finishing his lunch to notice. Is this a sign for toilet training readiness? I don't remember reading of such an example in any book!

I also fear 2009 is not the year I will be receiving my Mother of the Year award...
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