Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roll It, Pat It, Mark it with a B and put it in the oven for Ben and Me!

Ben loves to help me bake~! It is very messy and rarely turns out but it's lots of fun!

I Sense an Eviction Notice in the Works

In the last week I have has a significantly more difficult time bending over to pick things up, carry Ben, wash floors, walk...breath...sleep. Oh it must be the third trimester!!!

This means the countdown is on (by the minute!)8 more weeks until my "due month" which is what I have this time considering my last due date came and went with no excitement and plenty of disappointment... this time I know that sometime in January (or dare I be so fortunate...December)we will be welcoming Gabriel to our family. That seems more flexible...in theory.

It was not until I took this picture (which I suppose I could have put in a clean sweatshirt for seeing as I am posting it for the world to see...ah the pitfalls of the second baby...first gets professional photo shoot, second gets dirty sweatshirt photo op on the fly while his brother takes a bath...) that I really saw myself in all my pregnancy glory, no wonder I can't breath!!! I actually was thinking that I didn't feel that big. I retract this statement after seeing this picture. I am not sure if there is much more room in there. My ribcage seconds this statement.

My Midwife asked if I disliked being pregnant when I rolled my eyes at the length of time I had left. I was surprised at this question as I actually LOVE to be pregnant. It is truly miraculous. I am so thrilled to be a part of such an amazing experience. I am however terribly impatient when it comes to delayed gratification. I want what I want when I want it. I want to hold a new baby...yesterday! In this respect then, yes I am ready for this pregnancy to be over. On the other hand I am trying to savor this time as it does go by (in hindsight) so quickly! The little kicks and jabs of a baby who is all mine in this moment are too special to wish away even if those adorable new booties for mini toes are calling his name...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Personal Trainer

Jon has been motivated by his Kung Fu classes to stay in better shape. This includes regualar intervals of pushups. As he gets more and more fit he is finding new ways to challenge himself, like raised clapping push ups! Ben thought he would give him a little more challenge with a thirty pound weight on his back!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stay at Home Mother

I am for the first time in my life a "Stay at Home Mother". To explain, when I was doing home daycare I found it essential for my sense of self, sanity and routine to get out with the kids everyday. We participated in community programs daily and spent much of the day away from home. The children loved these playgroups and I loved that they could get really messy there and do lots of arts and crafts. They were entertained enough that I could steal some precious moments with my new baby.
This became routine after I ended my daycare and Ben and I continued to go out early each morning into the world and see what we could see. We had quite the line up and I was a playgroup junkie! We knew which ones were air conditioned in the summer and who had the best Christmas parties. Ben did preschool three mornings a week with teachers who loved him and I was able to take part in guest speaker series, mom to mom chat groups and cooking classes just up the hall. It gave me time to be me and have something of interest to tell Jon about at the end of the day. It wasn't that I disliked being at home but I felt too secluded, wondering what ELSE was going on that we could share in. I suppose in one sense I too gave into the delusion that our society perpetuates that parents aren't quite "good enough". Ben needed stimulation, socialization and experiences away from home...being home with little ol me wasn't "good enough".

This fall however after being advised by Ben's specialist to stay away from large groups of people in light of flu season prompted me to look at our activities (he did spend the majority of last year sick...there are a number of posts entitles "POOR BEN" in the winter of 2008 to show for it). Maybe limiting our outings wouldn't be such a bad thing. I would be able to catch up on lots of back burner projects, get an early start on holiday planning and not feel the mad dash of the morning as though I was a working woman, with loads of laundry stacking up in my hurry out the door.

What a breath of fresh air it has been to be HOME. I had no idea! I get up and make breakfast (not consisting of a toasted product and fruit I mean a REAL breakfast). Ben sleeps in as he loves to do, and then lingers in his bed while I get his clothes ready. After he gets dressed he picks out his "morning books" that he wants me to read him- usually between 8-12 so this can take us into 9:00. We go down for Ben to have breakfast and then he will play with cars while I unload the dishwasher, throw in a load of laundry...or not. Often we will have a friend over by now or go outside for a walk. When we come in Ben is ready to sing some songs while we color or paint at the table and then he is off to do his thing while I make us some lunch. Lately we have been drinking smoothies...yes they are cold for this time of year but oh so delicious- We like blueberry, grape, orange, apple, spinach and hemp protein smoothies with a splash of agave to sweeten. Ben will eat/drink these all day if I let him. Usually at this point he has worn me down where the television is concerned and I will let him watch a show (or 2...) before his nap. This is something that we will be cutting out just as soon as the transition to new baby is over. Ben, the sleeper, will sleep from 1-4:30 which leaves me with a lot of time. I get so pressured to fill in the best way possible that I often dwindle it away planning what I should do and before I know it, Ben is bellowing his arise.

Ben plays while I get dinner ready and the table set and before we know it daddy is home for the real fun to begin! I have enjoyed immensely the quiet relaxation and peace that the rhythm of simple days brings. There is no pressure, no ridged schedule, no commitments. Our trips out are simple now- the grocery store, the library, the park. I love spending my days with this little boy who is growing more and more into himself everyday. I am so blessed to watch this happen in front of me. It is a joy to be, home.

(and I don't despise play dough as much as I once did...the joyful anticipation in Ben's eyes of mommy making her 10 000th snowman is worth it).

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Mistah Beebs has 2 new friends... a bear named "Nez" and a giant elephant named "Eflant". Each morning Ben puts on a show for them after bellowing their wake up "WAKE UP MISTAH BEEBS"! (and mommy and Daddy...) For the next 20-35 minutes I listen from my pillow the morning's entertainment. It is a good chance for me to hear all the songs and nursery rhymes he knows as he will sing words softly with me but prefers to have me sing his favorites to him. This morning I was pleased to hear he knows Head and Shoulders, ring around the rosie, ABC's, Popcorn Popping and Sleeping Bunnies in their entirety. When he completed his performance he could be heard saying " now say Yaaaaa Ben, Eflant"! You have been told.

When I went in and asked him what he would like for breakfast (expecting to get the standard "cereal with milk, toast and apple butter") he said;

"a nice cup of tea". ????? !

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Ton of Bricks

I talked to someone quite special to me on Monday afternoon.
She was quietly diagnosed with a terminal illness on Thursday.
By Sunday she was gone.

In trying to absorb this shock I can't help but feel a perspective shift. In assimilating to the reality that frighteningly enough this happens outside of prime time television dramas; this can happen to happy people, normal people, healthy people. In a moment.

In dealing with this sadness I feel inspired-desperate to make the most of mine. What I have, here and now and left. We simply don't know how long that is. There is no control over this, but we have control over ourselves, over our choices. I choose to make every moment as my children's mother count. I choose to savor every minute of being the loved wife of my cherished husband. I choose to make it count, worthwhile and honorable. I choose to hope for more time.

In feeling this loss I am grasping for gratitude, for knowing her and for others in my life that may not be a week from now.

It is all so precious, fleeting and too often taken for granted.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Apple Orchard

Isn't it incredible that before today Ben didn't know that apples grew on trees. We went to pick apples, assuming that he would enjoy himself. Little did we realize he would run around laughing and throwing apples like a wild farrel child. He was ecstatic to be surrounded by thousands of apples of all colours and sizes. It didn't occur to him that we could EAT these apples until he saw Jon pick one and take a bite, he stared in awe and Jon picked him up to get his own fresh from the tree snack (sampling was encouraged at this particular orchard...). These is something so refreshing about being so close to your food- from tree to mouth. It was a perfect morning; cool, sunny and full of Red Delicious apples!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

One of our favorite ways to mark the beginning of the fall season is to pick our pumpkin from the local pumpkin patch. This year Ben was much more engaged. I was looking forward to some photo opportunity's since I got such good ones last year when he was just barely toddling. This year I got many of the back of his head and many that were blurred because he was running everywhere!

Here was our little pumpkin last year!

It's Here

Ahhhh...the crisp air, the crunchy leaves, the pumpkin..everything...It's my season!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ready For Gabriel

At 27 weeks I realize this is premature however I like to be prepared and without pressure when the time comes so...with 13 weeks to spare we are ready (yes I also have all our Christmas shopping done and half the gifts on my list made...but that is another OCD topic all together...).

One of my favorite things about preparing for a new baby (other then clothes shopping...but I suppose the bulging closet pictures are self explanatory on that note) is bedroom decorating. I looked at the bedroom "sets" available at toys R US when we were expecting Ben. They came in 10 000 piece sets with bumper pads, quilts, pillow cases, curtains, crib skirts change pad covers, diaper holders valences and coordinating mobiles. Whew. I couldn't decide on any of these sets, they seemed overwhelming and excessive. I liked the idea of a children's room that carried on the same decor tone as the rest of the home and was a room he could grow into. One vintage firetruck model was all it took for my inspiration to be born. I had so much fun finding co ordinating firefighter pieces to accent his space.

Gramma (bamma as she is better known as) made him a gingham quilt and curtains to complete his room. I thought his hand picked room added a little character. Each aspect was lovingly selected and represented the anticipation of his arrival. Now he has moved into his new room that was part of our renovation this summer and was to be a "big boy room". But he opted to keep his beloved crib. Now we have two matching cribs then that will eventually be two matching toddler beds when "the boys" share this room. Some of my favorite pieces were the matching sheets to the curtains I found at a yard sale, the firetruck sheets compliments of a Bamma Target trip, His "binky" which is the impossibly soft blanket Grammie made. I love his firetruck lamp with the nightlight...the bulletin board that he proudly hangs his art and pictures of favorite people on and his toybox pillows. I love the small framed scrap of wall paper from Jon's childhood bedroom, it to was adorned in vintage firetrucks (although at the time they were not vintage...)Favorite of all is the hand hooked firetruck mat his great Grammie made him- it is perfect.

Mr Beebs also shares this room at the moment. Ben doesn't like him IN the bed with him but is happy to have him sleep in his own bed beside him...yes Mommy made him his own "binky" (he is one of the family now...). We know Ben is awake when he yells "WAKE UP MISTAH BEEBS!"

I am looking forward to the day both boys share this room, I fear though that it will come all too soon!

Gabriel's Baby room, Ben's old room is more gender neutral as it will be for which ever gender comes along next when he and Ben are nicely settled in their room and their is a nursery vacancy. I love the furniture, it is IKEA which I love as much as Jon hates (as I don't put it together...). The change table turns into a regular book shelf and the wardrobe is already full of mini sleepers and hats (January babies need hats...)You may notice my affinity for "Wall Words"- they are everywhere in my home, children's room's no exception. The newest one reads "All Because Too People Fell In Love". Awwww.
*** Newborn clothes, washed and in drawers...check!

Gabriel is going to be working his way through the hand me downs, clothes, toys equipment and furniture wise, true to second child-same gender protocol but I did sneak some new outfits into the closet for him...

Awoke my Thirteen year old...

This morning Ben was kicking his legs as I put on a new diaper.
"Please don't kick Ben, that hurts Mommy".

"So! Put on a band aid."

so this is where we are headed huh?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This is Ben's Brain

This is Ben; happy, imaginative, funny, charismatic and energetic.

This is Ben with the television on; passionless, disengaged and zoned out.

This is a close up of Ben's brain roting.

When I tell Ben that it's time to turn off the television (and the firetruck/train/digger movie he has watched 10 000 times) and play with his toys...

THIS is what he looks like...

The begging, pleading, sobbing and bargaining begins...

One hour a day...it's all he gets. I thought that was reasonable. I was wrong. Boy was I wrong. There will be an intervention happening in the near future (or after the baby is born...I can't decide yet...)Heaven help us.
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