Friday, May 29, 2009

Ben's Summer Look

If you see a naked boy running around our yard...its Ben. The sun came out, the clothes came off. He can be seen most of the day in his diaper (newly cloth I might add...I am still uindecided about my love for them so I will reserve comment, they are very cute though!) but it will be coming off soon as we begin body function boot camp. He is SO ready to use the toilet during the day I think we just have to really buckle down and get him there. Wish us luck...

Look What Jonny Did!

Isn't he awesome? He just drew a picture of it and then built it! Ben loves his sandbox and I have a feeling it is where we will be spending a large portion of the summer. Up next is a rain barrel and a club house for Ben. So much talent so little time...

In our garden we are growing spinach, lettuce, beets, corn, cucumber, tomato, carrots, herbs, uuuummmmm I forget but LOTS of things. This way it will be a surprise when they come up....right?!
We also are growing strawberries, blueberries and raspberries! I can't wait until our little garden grows!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Conversation With God.

It is difficult to imagine what life with allergies is like for those who don't live it. It is nearly impossible to imagine that a favorite cookie or topping on toast could take my son. Every bit of food that goes into his body is scrutinized. I make all his food, I read labels and then I read them again and again, I call companies, he wears his medicallert bracelet. I keep up on the latest research, he always has two epi pens with him but still there is so much worry. I worry about shopping carts, kisses, shared toys, playgrounds and church. I wonder what someone just ate, where their hands were, what is on the bottom of their shoes. I worry that their are so many things I haven't even though to worry about.

I went through a period of time where I was drowning in anxiety (which is a softer word then terror which is what I really felt). It crept up into my eyeballs. The ones that tried to stare hard enough into the pores of someones hands as they reached for my child. If I squinted just hard enough the exact particles of protein hiding among the crease of their palms would become evident and I could remember to breath again.

I forgot to breath a lot. That's what drowning feels like. You can do it in water and you can do it in fear.

I had flashes of life with him in those moments of fear. Flashes of that spacey grin and eyes that light up a room. I hear his little voice, my syllables on his lips. His vibrancy; an energy you can feel, almost touch. I had flashes of life without him, that is where the terror hides, in images of a hollow life. Then I stopped breathing. The shock of this possibility enough to stop a basic reflex.

I was drowning. Then I remembered God.

The bartering, pleading, promising, begging and bargaining of my baby's earliest days returned with great comfort and the faith that I was being heard and understood. I know God knows I cannot bear one thing.

Today at preschool, in an environment otherwise safe for him as an allergy aware facility and a nut free environment someone brought in almond cookies and sat them on the table. I came in to the room to observe mouths in the process of grinding down bits of poison. They were only reminded on seeing me, this should not be. They scattered to wash hands, throw out half eaten cookies, apologizing all the while. I struggled to keep my composure as I always do. I looked at the floor and envisioned snatching Ben out of his room and running with him. Where would I run too? Where would it end? I imagined little protein particles on the floor, sprayed invisibly out of ones mouth as they chewed. attaching to their shoes, into the preschool room, onto a toy and into Ben's mouth. No one understands this fear. No one but one.

"Please God, remember what I cannot bear".

And then I breath again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I have plans, lots of plans. Jon is a fly by the seat of his pants, take it as it comes kind of guy. I plan, I set goals, I forecast the future, down to the detail. Jon looks after the spontaneity. I plan to go back to school. I want a graduate degree is social work, in literature, in Psychology, maybe in math (just kidding).
I plan to write a book, one that millions of people will read and meet to read in their book clubs to analyze the characters more then I have. People won't recognize me but they will recognize my book when I tell them every word came from my little head- except the grammer...that would be my editor..when I get one. I plan to make lots and lots of money with it, not as a goal but as a perk so we can travel and travel and travel. I plan to go to Paris, Italy, Germany, Spain, Ireland and Costa Rica, you know for something different where I will find lots of inspiration for future works of success. I have lots of ideas swirling in my head. Mini ideas turn into blogs, big ideas get stored away...

I plan to volunteer in a hospital, a homeless shelter, a youth home, a young mother's center; because I love people (except when they drive...). I plan to go for walks in the evening and hold Jon's hand, I plan to linger over dinner and get my nails done. I plan to eat at a new restaurant each week and try Thai food...even though Jon and I think pepper is too spicy...I plan to sleep in and stay up late and go see plays at local theatres. I plan to make more and buy less, to use more and waste less.I plan to go to the gym and see my abdominal muscles again one day.
I plan to take up tenis and maybe golf, becuase Jon would like that.

Today I will wipe noses and bums. I will make a lunch that will be thrown across the table, wash hands just before they smear the couch with jam. I will go back to the grocery store to buy the six essential things I forgot to get last night, I will commit to definitely washing my hair tomorrow and remembering to thaw the chicken so we won't have to eat pasta again. I will find some socks that match and clean out my Tupperware cupboard for the tenth time. I will make doctors appointments and dentist appointments and try to wash the floor as I talk on the phone. I will restock the diaper bag and wonder how that many crumbs could possibly be in the bottom. I will kiss "ouchies", read the same cardoard book seven times, deliver hugs and smiles and enthusiasm and it will be genuine as I plan during nap time the excitement, culture and freedom that future plans hold. Today I will remember that these however are the best of the best of days. I wouldn't trade them and wouldn't plan them away. This is the season of life that I will forever look back on as the least glamorous and the most beautiful; I plan to enjoy every minute of it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tid Bits

Ben's default answer to everything is "apple".

"Hi little boy, what is your name?"

"How are you this morning Ben?"

"This is a picture of aaaa....?"

It is very funny.

He has graduated from saying "thank you" to "thanks"

He says "Wha happened?" is something falls or moves... again very funny.

He will not sit on his potty but he carries it from room to room just in case...

He loves to hold hands

His favorite part of meal and bedtime prayers is when he gets to yell "AAAAAAA MEN".

Darn it..there was one more! Well that will have to do for now...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Pile Of Dirt

One load of garden dirt- $24.00


One delivery charge- $65.00


one dump truck- handmedown


one kitchen spoon- from the kitchen


One little boy

= entertainment for a whole morning!


Jon has recently added toddler games to his beloved IPHONE so Ben can share the love. How wonderful...Ben pops bubbles on the screen and makes the wipers go back and forth to the tune of wheels on the bus as I can, for the first time in almost 2 years make dinner without a screeching little body clinging to my knees.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I read blogs for rejuvenation, to share in one's story, to catch up, to relax, to be entertained, to relate, to laugh, to feel good, to think. It is my hope when someone visits my humble blog, these are some of the things they may experience while they are here. I hope that someone would not notice my omission of burnt cookies or ramblings of perfect domestic bliss as a misrepresentation of my life. I keep this blog too, as a record of our family, for our family. In these memoirs I touch on the head of unsavory but for the most part want to hold the best of it close for the future. For the record I am some days bored, cranky, short tempered, supper less and unshowered. Life is not perfect every day over here at jjand b...but I would be lying if I didn't say it was pretty darn close. I am the happiest person I know, I truly love being Ben's mother and finding honor and joy in domesticity. I really really love our life. I want to share this all the while being aware that sometimes I say the "s" word and don't change the sheets that regularly and that doesn't take away from the purity of my blog and make me a bad mom (DOES IT???).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dress up, Pretend and Make Believe

Ben's play has changed. He has, for the last year or so busied himself with exploration and experimentation. This past week has found him more actively "playing" with the toys around him, specifically "pretend" play. He is playing with his little people castle, ship and bus as well as showing an interest in capes and acting out stories involving his cars (100% of these stories involve Daddy going to work). It is so entertaining to watch and in the last few weeks his vocabulary has almost doubled. I love listening to him!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some Body Loves His Mommy!

Ben Picked me flowers for the first time on our walk yesterday. He bend down and carefully chose a dandelion (the most beautiful of all the flowers...) he looked at it for a moment and then immediately thrust it forward to me "Mommy"! he beamed. I teared up like I ALWAYS do and he took that to mean pick five more...I put them in a cup where they remain today shriveled and brown stems of love.

As it is Mother's day as I write this I was feeling nostalgic enough to read a pregnancy journal I kept with Ben. One passage really conveyed my initial feelings at my introduction to Motherhood in the first few moments of awareness. I am glad I kept record of it.

" At 5:30 in the morning on Christmas eve I stumbled into the bathroom to take the test waiting on the counter. It only took a second before the second pink line formed, my hand started to shake and the world began to transform. It was in that moment that I became your mother. You need me more right now then you ever will again and I find fulfillment in this great purpose. I am happy to share whatever I have with you. You are as perfect now as you will ever be; full of potential and promise. I feel as though I am carrying a piece of heaven right here inside my body; our baby made of love and faith and hope."

From the first moments of Motherhood I connected with this title and it brought me a purpose higher than myself. I feel so blessed to have been entrusted with this divine role. Today, a little more then most I am especially grateful for the transformation it has caused in me and as alwats, the little flower toting boy who made it happen.

Mother's Day

Happy Mothers Day to me, and all the other Mother's who have done a great job in raising those I love and act as examples to me in my role as Ben's Mother. Happy Mother's day to all the woman hoping to be blessed with this title one day and to those in the early stages of selflessness, sacrifice and awe who strive to find honor and joy in such a noble calling.

My special day held all the things I love...a new Willow Tree figuring (the only collection I have, if you can even call four of something a collection...), Jube Jubes, which always give me stomach ache (because I always eat the whole bag at once...) but so worth it. A container of the most heavenly ice cream on earth, which usually also contains 300 calories and 20 grams of fat per half cup serving but for my special day Jon so kindly removed that for me. I enjoyed my favorite dessert of strawberry shortcake (yes I like it all mushed up like that while Jon gags as I eat it- but please note the perfect amount of mushed and heart shaped whipped cream it was presented to me with)I Also received some lovely testaments of love cutesy of Halmark and the artistic endeavours of one twenty month old and a lovely bouquet of flowers, but don't ask what kind they are;

Jenn- "Ohhhh beautiful, are they tulips?"
Jon-" Nope! Better?"
Jenn- "What?! Better then Tulips? What are they then?"
Jon- "uhhhh they are...better!"

conclusion- We remain unclear as to which variety of pretty flowers but not quite tulips grace my counter top...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Blog Love

I have quickly fallen for the Blog movement. From my third post I was hooked. I blog for many reasons, namely 5; for myself as creative expression and an archived journey of finding joy and honor in homemaking, for my son as a documentary of his childhood, for my husband to get a different perspective of our life, for my family who lives far away from us to keep up with us and anyone else who is interested in how and why we do things in a honest glimpse of our happy and rich life.

Lately though I have not only begun to love writing my own but I have also awakened the voyeur in me and have a few that I follow religiously. I feel like I know these people on an intimate level and think this is a beautiful thing since much of our world over the same medium has become very impersonal. This is a way to become more personal then we have ever been before. I enjoy learning new perspectives from my blog "friends" as they give me something to think about. Over the course of their blogs I have also built up a respect for what they have to say so I enjoy hearing their opinions and general suggestions on things as well as examples they set.

One thing that the author of said in a recent post was how her blog was really a glimpse. It was a reflection of what she chose to document and remember and most of it is positive. This is not to say it is ALL positive ALL the time. (I agree) She talked about when her daughter is having "one of those days" and thus Mommy is having "one of those days" and she says this prayer;

"Lord, give me a gentle spirit and the heart of a me to walk at "his" pace and see the world through "his" eyes. Thank you for the gift of motherhood."

- Beautiful. I tried this all week when Ben was having a meltdown, being cranky, not listening and all the other things normally expected from a sick toddler. Gosh Alrighty (another saying I borrow from a blog...) It worked! This fills me with patience, love and gratitude. My voice whispers, my heart softens and my perspective shifts.

What a great support network of positive ideas, examples and support (and great pictures)! I love blogs!!!

Celebrating Her

When I think of Her, small moments come to mind; these are the moments that define relationships. I can see the new outfit on a freshly made bed waiting for me after school, the feel of her embrace after a bad day, her arms outstretched before I even finished entering the door. The look of concern, pride, compassion, love on her face. I can see her stomping out to the backyard to dump green soup and burnt muffins down ground hog holes hollering "Whoever said woman need to cook anyway?! I can smell the mint gum she chewed every Sunday on the way to church, the soft voice she sang in my ear as I drifted off to sleep. The way I watched her put on her lipstick, a million times. The way I watched her do her hair, put on her earrings, paint her nails...always watching her, trying to become her- all the while pretending I wasn't. I remember as a preteen when I refused to walk beside her in the mall. More vividly I remember how badly I wished I could have taken it back when I saw her stifle the hurt and rejection I had caused her.

I am confident in her support and was certain as she was reprimanding me for my smart mouth, poor attitude or failing grade that she had in fact already forgiven me. She had unwavering confidence in my success, so much so there was no other choice. I was listening when she thought I wasn't. I think of her cringing and gasping at suspenseful movies and cursing at snakes. A hint of endearing innocence amongst strength. The same eyes that roll in annoyance at my father flicker again with love in the next moment. She taught me in this way how to love someone deeply in faith fullness so when have you been together longer then you have been apart you forget how to be without the other.

I remember sitting in her bedroom the month I turned ten gagging in horror when she explained about babies. I remember her holding my newborn son the month before I turned 25 and holding in tears. I remember the look of intensity in her eyes each time she told me from the time I was very small that I could do hard things, and I have; only because she told me I could.

Her example of devotion, strength and generosity is unparalleled. Her intelligence and insight enviable and her beauty obvious.

Yesterday she turned 29. Again. I thought of her often, hoping her day was a little more special then usual, hoping her year brings the happiness she is so deserving of. As I celebrate her again this weekend I think how very blessed I am to call this remarkable woman "Mother."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our Geese are Back!

Every spring (okay this is only our second spring here...but I imagine they do it every year). Canada geese (and ducks, fish, bullfrogs, birds and bunnies) return to their summer resting spot and raise their little babies right here in our backyard ponds. The little geese babies (shamefully I have to read up more on my goose history and appropriate terminology...for now they will be called "goose babies")waddles around obediently after their mother and father (they seem to have two doting and active parents) until they learn to swim well on their own and then the proud parents let them play in the ponds alone while they watch close by. By the end of the summer we too are so proud of how far they have come and how much they have grown. I am sure this year we will be sad to see the families fly out as the cool air blows in. We walk around the ponds in the evening with Ben who is obsessed with "his" ducks and bunnies ("MIIIINE" he shrieks at them). We have to be careful not to approach too closely as they are very protective of their babies and can be violent if scared (this we learned without a book...). I felt when we were walking around on the weekend that we were in a Beatrix Potter book as the friendly wildlife was jumping out at us from everywhere.

I am so glad we get to stay here in this house that we love. Oh did I forget to mention? We no longer need to sell our home for me to be a full time mother! With a little refinancing and an insanely low mortgage rate we are good to go...or stay:)

Watch Out!

In Jon's Kung Foo class his tough as nails instructor doesn't GIVE out the white belt for nothing. It, like the rest has to be earned. After 8 weeks Jon was able to do the 25 chest to floor push ups, 25 jump rope skips and the white belt sequence of martial art moves.

Ya Jon! On your way to black!

Sicky Benny

Ben has been sick A LOT lately. I don't want his childhood spotted with an over abundance of virus's and infections that keep him from doing the things he should be doing; playing, running, exploring. Certainly not laying on the couch for days! Poor Ben got another cold on Saturday and started running a fever on Sunday. By Monday morning it was gone but then he cried through preschool which has never happened before so we left early and he came home to bed. When he woke up his fever was back in full force and he was struggling to catch his breath. Off the emergency we go for our least favorite form of nightly entertainment. Fortunately (un...) his oxygen levels were low enough and his fever high enough that we got in immediately- an unheard of phenomenon that those in a public health care system only ever hear rumors of. Poor Ben was hysterical through all the tests. 2 masks, 2 rounds of steroids, urine analysis, blood work, chest x rays and 5 LONG hours later the Dr. finally came back with a diagnosis of what he suspected to be Pneumonia. He sent us home with antibiotics, inhalers and steroids. Ben reacted to the antibiotics with hives and diareah so back we went for a new prescription last night...Doctors on site will throw Ben into a fit of panicked hysterics now, or anyone in scrubs with or without a stethoscope as it turns out judging from his reaction to the orderly...

I am so committed to making Ben well. We saw our homeopathic Dr. today for some remedies of a different sort to aid in prevention so this NEVER happens again. It is miserable to watch a child suffer, worse still when it is your own and you are helpless to stop it.

I am looking forward to the day when a large majority of our day doesn't consist of my chasing him down with a Kleenex!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Don't Leave Me Alone!

I thrive on change, If my life isn't constantly moving forward; growing and evolving I feel stuck and stagnant. I like to keep things in a perpetual forward motion. In this moment I am feeling like we have stopped moving. Granted the last 5 years have held lots of big things for us and I have grown accustomed to expecting radical changes to feel satisfied. We can't have a graduation, wedding and new house every year though so I am going to have to find a new level of acceptance.

I find Fridays to be a restless day because Jon never knows how late he will be home on those days from work. Some weeks it is 10 pm and others it is as early as 6. I find I spend the whole evening hoping for his imminent arrival and as the minutes tick by I can never find anything to occupy myself.

Tonight I cured both predicaments with one swift motion...of my scissors. I always swear after the fact that I will never cut my own hair again. This time though I am surprisingly satisfied with my new look and I can style and restyle my great new bangs until Jon comes home...whenever that will be!

Got Bias?

Okay I REALLY want to know if others mothers believe their children to be the most incredible living organisms on the planet to the degree that I do? I marvel at this child daily, I wonder at him, gaze at him, adore him. Such a beautiful little person, and definitely the most incredible living organism on the planet...

It would be less then honest to say that I didn't sort of think this attitude of his pedestal perception would have died down a little by now seeing as he screams randomly now, throws things, hits, bites, tantrums and refuses to do pretty much whatever is asked of him. It doesn't seem to matter in the iron tight bias of a mother's heart though as the redemption comes in the form of wet kisses, bear hugs, his little sweaty hand in mine, the relief when he does occasionally comply, his enthusiasm, laugh, curly hair, energy, determination, a personality all his own and his ability to draw out a degree of unconditional love otherwise unknown.

Mommy's Boy

Mommy and Ben doing our thing...

Where Did Ben Go?

When Ben is lost he can usually be found here...with a snack.
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