Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not What I Was Thinking...

Ben was in his underwear, as he occasionally asks to wear now and wanted to go outside in the backyard. We told him it was too cold on this unseasonably cool night and he said "oh okay, I will get dressed". We thought he was getting his pants and coat but when we looked outside a few moments later...he has his own priorities it would seem.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Food

Ben reminds us that we forget to feed Jacob at just about every meal. We remind him that Jacob just needs milk right now and that seems to suffice...until dinner time.

Ben took matter into his own hands, and right into Jake's mouth!

I turned around to see Jacob happily munching on Ben's spinach and blueberry, flax Popsicle! ... clearly he enjoyed.

We won't be starting solids for awhile yet, so Jacob can consider this a "taste" of what's to come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bath Buddies

We bathed Ben and Jake together for the first time this week. It was a success with the exception of a floating Bumbo chair...I thought he was heavy enough to weigh it down but a note of caution...once the water hits a certain level he was floating away (Don't worry Grammie, we held onto him the whole time...put down the phone).
I look forward to being able to plop them both in for some tub time at the end of the day.

4 Short Years Ago...

4 short years ago I was waking up alone for the last time. I looked out the window of our suite in the Victorian inn we held our wedding ceremony and saw the last of the chairs being set up on the lawn.

It was 4:00 am.

By the time the sun was high in the sky my make up was on, bridesmaids were dressed, photographer had her camera snapping, the butterfly's in my stomach were subtly out of control and my tear ducts wouldn't let up.

I was terrified. I wanted the day to be perfect so badly. I was sure that the outcome of this would represent the rest.

I wasn't terrified of marrying Jon.

No. That part was easy. That part I was sure of.

The day was perfect. From the moment it began until the very last guest drove away, it was perfect.

And the rest? I'd say so.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baby Ben

Ben's favorite game of late is "Baby Ben". I use this game to my advantage and declare "nap time baby" and wrap him up on the floor usually where he will faux sleep for some time. I walked into Jacobs room the other day however and found he had added additional element of realism for "baby Ben" play...soother and all.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hi Cute Baby!

Jake...you have two teeth already!!! And your still smiling!

5 Months!

Here we go!

1- Your eyes keep getting bluer!
2- You always wake up with a smile. You are often grinning before your eyes are even open.
3- Your brother is THE funniest person in the whole world!
4- you weigh 17 pounds
5- You can say "hi". Seriously..on cue, when someone comes in the room or when prompted. You are a genius baby. I hope you are on Ellen soon!

Bonus...We are so crazy about our happy little man!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Jacob is in the awkward stage, of having an attention span of 13 seconds before he wants to move onto something else or at the very least change positions. With an insatiable curiosity and frustration at having little control over his physical capabilities but lots of ideas about what he would like to do I am glad I have done this once before and have three key pieces of baby equipment ready...The ERGO baby carrier is a wonderful tool to have him in my arms...without being in my arms so I can still do what needs done. The bumbo is perfect for baking and cooking assistance...(No grammie...I never leave him on the table when he isn't in arms reach...put down the phone) and finally...the tool of desperation- the excersaucer...it is suppose to be fun but he flips around the toys with annoyance as he sulks and humors me when I, heaven forbid need to use the washroom. I can't wait until he can crawl, Ben got significantly more satisfaction from life when he became mobile, I am hoping the same for Jacob. Granted he is a pretty happy go lucky guy but lately he does seem frustrated with his lack of ability...thus the awkward stage.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Clunker

Jon is generally easy going, soft spoken, laid back...but if you want to see him jump up and down, pump the air, shout and squeal, but him in front of a car race. If you want to see him grin from ear to ear, take him to a car show. This is a man who loves cars! New ones, old ones, fast ones, classic ones...and thrilled to his ears that his little boys are budding car enthusiasts. The first thing Ben says when he is playing with a toy car is "I need to see the engine"! Yup. This is a car loving family.

Our driveway then...well it is a sad sight.

Jon must cringe somewhere inside when he leaves in the morning as he surveys his options. There is the dented 2007 silver dodge caravan. You know the one...there is usually one on either side of you in any parking lot. The second option is a 1999 Pontiac Grand prix. It has half the door missing on the driver's side and it is in need of a new...well, everything. It does however, get him from home to work which is only about a five minute drive.

Jon lent it to someone a few days ago and they commented on its condition upon returning it.

"My car is a clunker". Jon said sadly to me.

"I know, honey. But why would we spend money that we don't have right now on a new car for you when it would only be used a total of ten minutes a day"?

"Because it would make me feel incredible".

Here- yet another sacrifice our amazing Daddy has made. He works so hard for us every day and takes himself, the car loving super dad, to work each day in a rusting heap of metal so that we can drive in safety and comfort in the newer vehicle that is still far from his dream car.

So if anyone wanted to get our little ol Daddy a father's day gift that would make him feel incredible...let me know (here is a hint...a 2010 dodge challenger would make him faint)- he deserves it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Fun

Last year I was thrilled to have a certifiable park and splash pad loving toddler to tote around to our local amusements...THIS year however is a whole new experience. He can run faster, climb higher, and make friends easier. Last week he approached a little girl and said "Hi, my name is Ben. Want to play a game of running?"
And they did.
I love that I don't have to follow him up the play structure or wade around behind him in the water this year... I can lounge on the blanket in the shade with Jakey and vicariously live through the rough and tough little boy that Jake watches to memorize everything he aspires to be...next year little buddy, next year.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And Another One...

We had a hellish experience at the grocery store last night, the details of which I can't quite bare to relive just yet...let me summarize with it's inclusion of a small boy who hit his baby, pinched his mother, spit on the cart, screamed at passing customers, tore candy bars of the shelf and so on...like I said, don`t make me relive it.
You know when you are doing groceries to the accompaniment of wailing children and you wonder ``sheesh! who is that kid! Well...last night, it was mine!

On the way home, trying my best to stay calm and collected I explained to him that when we got home (he had received 1000 warnings in the store that this would happen should he not be obedient) I would put him in his pajamas and put him right to bed. There was no show, story, song or snack tonight because he had made bad choices and was hurting us so it wasn`t safe for us to be around him.

``Ben, do you understand``

``But Mommy...(in his falsetto sweet voice) just think of all the good times!``


It didn`t save him from his bed but did make me laugh (in my head...)

Oh That Kid...

I am changing Ben's diaper yestuday and he picks up a small framed picture of Jesus that is on the change table.

"I know who that is Mommy!"
"Who is it Ben?"
"It is NOT Santa!"
"You're right, it's not".
"It is JESUS! But I will call him Mr. Sunshine".

Huh? Okay...I will indulge...

"Oh okay Ben. But why would you call him that?"
"Because he makes me happy when skies are grey".

This boy is, the only person who has the capacity to render me speachless!

"kinda Nice."

A friend was nursing her son the same age as Jacob pool side last week when she was asked by a lifeguard after a complaint to cover up or go to a change room. She refused, informing the lifeguard of the law in this province that anywhere a woman is legally permitted to be, so too can she breastfeed a baby. The lifeguard hissed "there are CHILDREN watching you".
And here I thought we were living in an educated, modern and health conscious city in 2010. People know better right...RIGHT???

Maybe not.
My friend did not turn red and hide in a change room. Rather she called the city, the news, the Le Leche League, and was featured on the front page of the local paper.
I thought this whole breastfeeding thing was kind of accepted now, I mean God okayed it right?...actually designed it himself so it can't be that bad? Well according to the letters to the editor I have been reading for days now the Le leche league, God and me may be in the minority.

I breastfeed. It is not easy for me. It is something I work very hard at, take prescription medication for, have spent hours with lactation consultants over, expended hundreds of dollars trying different breast pumps and continue to produce such a low supply that I have to feed my babies every 2 hours at least, 24 hours a day. I am the only one who can feed Jacob and I can't leave him for more than an hour and it is exhausting. I value this relationship and bond however and happily do it without complaint but to imply that a breastfeeding mother on any level is "selfish" then, as one reader accused was the final straw for me. THIS (http://www.promom.org/101/) is why I continue to breastfeed despite the difficulty. I would take great offence than for someone to tell me that after all I am already doing I am to take extra measures to ensure everyone else's COMFORT on top of that? Nuh uh. If you don't like it then you can go sit in the bathroom till I'm done.

I wrote the editor a rebuttal letter after one two many ignorant comments were printed that likely won't run due to length...what? me, opinionated and long winded? Shocking, yes?

So here it is.

I would like to address Peter Baynon’s and Andrea Thornton’s comments on public breast feeding.
Peter suggests Kristin, who was asked to leave a public pool for nursing an infant pool side, could simply have brought a bottle to feed her son in public. I am questioning the suggestion that a nursing baby should have to compromise in public. Why would Kristin bring an artificial breast and spend time pumping when she has a full working set right there on her chest? Why would it be expected that her baby struggle to suck on plastic so that others would not witness him nursing? This seems unfair and a testament to the writer’s breastfeeding ignorance as according to Dr. Jack Newman; Canadian Breast feeding specialist, many breastfeeding babies cannot take an occasional bottle if they are not practiced with it. Should they become accustomed to this less skilled method of eating they will reject the breast sooner then they otherwise might have.
In respect to Mr. Baynon’s comments on not painting his house an unusual color because of the respect and consideration he has for his neighbours. I am not sure what parallel personal color tastes have with breastfeeding but it would seem he is implying that breastfeeding is offensive and disrespectful to those around the mother and baby. This is simply not fair. There is nothing sexual, crude, shameful, immodest or gross about providing a human infant with human milk that provides him greater health benefits than alternative sources. Should this discomfort remain the case for some perhaps this is an opportunity to examine your attitude surrounding breast feeding? Do you feel awkward or avert your eyes when you see a calf nursing at its Mother’s utter? Are you outraged at the farmer for not covering or removing lactating animals from view during the spring months? Of course not, this would be ridiculous. We too are mammals. This is how we too are meant to feed babies.
Breastfeeding for many is a truly selfless pursuit full of self sacrifice. To be justifiably called selfish, Kristin would have to have obtained some personal pay off for breastfeeding her son. To the contrary she was standing up for his right to superior nutrition and his right to a life sustaining need met when and where he required it. I would consider it selfish of those around her to embarrass her or cause a hungry baby to wait, leave or have his head covered because of their attitude about a situation that, frankly is none of their business. It ceases to affect you as quickly as you can avert your eyes if you don’t wish to watch.
To Ms. Thornton I question the relevance of comparing the nurturing method of feeding at the breast to crows eating road kill. The later is not a controversial aspect of nature, but obviously disgusting and something humans don’t relate to. A more comparable argument would be to someone finding offence to an aspect in nature obviously representing something beautiful. If someone chose to be “horrified” by a rainbow I can’t imagine they should garner much sympathy.
As the mother of boys I would ask when a nursing mother is present why NOT make an opportunity for discussion. Trying to raise young men in our hyper sexualized culture I welcome opportunities to teach about respecting woman’s bodies and that breasts hold greater purpose then MTV would have one believe. On that note I can’t imagine that Kristen was exposing more of her body while her baby was nursing than a woman in a bikini would be. The only difference is who received a complaint.

The end.

I do nurse with a cover because my friend (www.snelldogs.blogspot.com) made me a beautiful and functional one that I get lots of compliments on. It is also how I feel comfortable. It has nothing to do with my consideration of anyone else's comfort. In doing that I would be agreeing that there is something shameful about the act that needs to be hidden. There isn't and it does not.

As a disclaimer I had to formula feed Ben from a week old and switched over completely at 8 months when I could not longer physically breastfeed after a nursing strike that dried up the bar. I don't believe it is bad to formula feed a baby, but it is second best, this is fact. I am not attacking formula feeding mothers or bottles (Ben STILL has a bottle...we love them around here...) and I certainly acknowledge there are many reasons why woman don't breastfeed out of ability or choice but to have that choice influenced by other's old fashioned opinions and attitudes of misogynistic ignorance should not be an issue.

There were some themes I notice to the controversy. The first being comparing breastfeeding to body functions that are traditionally accepted as being private. I don't think it is fair to compare breastfeeding to defecation, vomiting or urination. It is simply not an accurate parallel. Breastfeeding by nature involves another person thereby making it not private and is something that needs to be done at regular intervals to insure the health, comfort and welbeing of this baby, therefore requiring there to be, at times, an audience. Potentially a metaphor for this to look at perspective could be my detest of needless. I did at one point very much want to be a physician...but I truly can't stand needles...so I opted out of the whole profession. I hate getting them and I hate watching them. It would make me terribly uncomfortable if a woman next to me needed to test her diabetic child's blood sugar and inject her with insulin. I would look away with the same pull that a train wreck has on people and still feel pulled in the direction of that which I can't watch is happening in. THIS I realize is how some feel when I am breastfeeding in front of them. Because the welbeing, health and and comfort of this child is being positively effected by this act I would not feel it my prerogative to ask her to cover herself up, or feel resentful or annoyed at her inconsideration of me. She is simply concentrated on meeting her child's need in that moment and my discomfort at what that entails is quite irrelevant. I would be the first to say this is my issue and no problem of theirs. Is this a fair comparison?

The second trend I see is the confusion between breastfeeding and immodesty. The attitudes of discomfort may be stemming from this. Is breastfeeding immodest? I don't believe it is. Being discreet does not mean wearing a blanket necessarily as I have witnessed many woman covertly raise their shirts with a baby in front of them. Once latched the same shirt can be pulled down the child and not a single bit of skin can be seen. For this reason I have to wonder if it is the actual act of breastfeeding that is uncomfortable for people. I admit I did feel this way before I breastfed because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. look directly at them, look away, give them privacy, act like nothing was happening? My uncertainty caused discomfort. When I became a breastfeeding mother, with many problems i might add since I had never in my life witnessed a friend or family member up close breast feed, I realized that there was nothing weird or private about it. I didn't want or need privacy and wondered what all the fuss was about. Yes, we must accept that breasts also serve a sexual purpose however this is secondary...this is for off call breasts, If I may. The primary roll of infant nourishment takes precedence and the sexual nature cannot be used fairly as an argument. Sulky men or not...this is the case.

Leading me of course to the third observation I have...how powerful Gerber's marketing has been. We are not uncomfortable with seeing babies drink out of plastic breasts with huge nipples on the end because we have been bombarded with images of smiling, adorable babies with bottles for generations. We don't see the grinning face of a baby at a breast, milk dribbling down their double chin because they are in bathrooms or under blankets. Marketing works...take the cow for instance. We think nothing of drinking milk from a species who is very different from our own. despite much of the population suffering ill effects from cows milk we continue to down the dairy because the hundreds of millions in marketing money has normalized it. Monkey milk? Rat milk? Pig Milk? All more like human milk than cow BUT doesn't have catchy posters with celebrities in mustaches to sway us. Really...we can be sold on anything if enough sources tell us so. Imagine a baby feeding isle at the grocery store with posters of happily nursing babies, burp clothes, nursing bras, breast pumps, nipple shields, breast feeding pillows, milk storage bags and a small shelf at the bottom with a few bottles and formula. Imagine pro breastfeeding posters on buses and commercials reminding us of the endless benefits. Think of benches in public places reserved for nursing mothers. What if all labor and delivery nurses were also lactation consultants? What if Facebook didn't delete pictures of breastfeeding woman and banned fan pages of cleavage shots instead? What if seeing children over 6 months of age at the breast was not an unusual and startling site and baby dolls didn't come with bottles? What if we saw more celebrities breastfeeding, witnessed it more on television and movies and picture books? Would we think it was weird, would it make you uncomfortable?...or would it finally be normal?

Challenging ideas can change them. Maybe this is an opportunity to examine your feelings on the topic and re evaluate the legitimacy of them. After confronting the initial discomfort I had on the topic I realized it was unfounded only because it was something unfamiliar to me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Cake

Ben has never had chocolate cake. What a first! Of course we tortured him with a lesson in patience as we waited for the cake to cool before we could ice it. He did well and gave us the reaction we hoped for. Daddy found the recipe for the dairy and egg free cake and baked it himself...he always bakes a treat on Sunday...and makes dinner; a tradition I highly suggest for all husbands out there. A wife with a "day off" is a happy wife and as Jon always says; "Happy wife...happy life". How true.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Plaid Shorts

My favorite look on little boys is plaid shorts and a polo...Jon is not spared either. They are in no short supply and if they match (accidental I am sure...) all the better!

He's Catching Up!

Jacob is too big for Ben to hold now...but just the right size to hang out with.

At 16 pounds, Jacob is exactly half the size of his big brother weighing in at 32 pounds.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"But I Am A Goat"

We went to a local park that has some animals to look at. Ben loves animals and we expected him to be entertained by this bonus attraction that most public parks don't offer. We should know by now of course to never try to predict a reaction from him as it is usually what we don't expect. Sure enough he wanted to sit on the rocks rather than play on the playground or watch the animals he can't find in his backyard and watch the baby ducks.

Likely his interest lapsed because the park did not offer goats. He has been interested in goats lately...as much as one can be "into" such a barnyard animal I suppose... usually it is funny when he munches paper (it started when Jon told him goats eat everything and he fed them grass at the market a few weeks ago) and the side of the table. It was not cute however earlier today when I felt a sharp bite on my backside while I was making dinner. I screamed and whipped around to quickly pick up the offending owner of the mouth that bit me.


I rarely yell at Ben (unless I get an unexpected chunk taken out of my butt... and forget self control of course...) so he quickly sobbed and clung to me. He was crying too hard for me to make out what he was saying. I was feeling sufficiently guilty for snapping at him no matter how justifiably when I felt that much worse when I caught his little hiccupy voice,

"I was just *hiccup* being a little goat...*hiccup*"

mmmm. For the sake of Mommy's rear end we may lay off the petting zoo's this summer.

The Snail

A snail somehow got into our house. Evidently there are a series of steps one may go through having discovered something so extraordinarily fascinating and exciting. First there is disbelief.

"Mommy is it a WEAL snail?"

Second comes fascination, as demonstrated by the 15 minutes he crouched on the steps watching the snail slowly make it's way to the door (leaving a trail of slime...I forgot they did that but restrained my urge to toss it out the door).

The third step is acceptance followed by encouragement.

"You can do it "wittle snail, keep crawling. See Mommy Him's DOING it"!

finally the bond is formed.

"Mommy I fink he woves me".

We kept him for a few days until Jon convinced him he would be happier in the garden. I have a feeling this summer will introduce more members to this family.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mr. Roboto

Ben is FINALLY into doing crafts. We put together an impressive and tempting craft cupboard over the weekend with markers, glue, stickers, paper, canvas board, cardboard boxes, paint, brushes and various other art materials. It is a smorgasbord of supplies and for this reason I am happy this cupboard has a lock on it (thank you IKEA for thinking of the overzealous child and his mother who loves his art anywhere but her walls and providing me with a key).

This was Daddy and Ben's latest creation... he makes a darn cute robot/spaceman.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

All Growed Up

I am not good at this growing up stuff. I am really not. Besides my higher than average degree of Mother worry I think it is my downfall of mothering. I hate to see them grow up. And yet,
I love it.

Little signs have been coming more regularly these days. I will notice Ben hop up and examine a skinned knee with pride before he gets his legs moving again without another thought. Wait...he needs me to kiss it!

"MOOOOOM" I hear from upstairs. Huh? whose that? I am Mommy.

The stroller is met with resistance now as a little boy would prefer to run up just ahead, with his baseball hat cocked to the side.

"I'll be outside, okay?" I was informed yesterday evening as I was making dinner.
And he was. I peeked out the back window to watch him take the lid off his sandbox and engage in some very independent dump truck play. But aren't I suppose to be beside you, in my chair, reading a magazine and listening to your incessant babble...because you can't do anything without me...right???

I felt a little hand drop out of mine on our walk the other day and was informed that "I only hold hands on the ROAD". Oh.

"Can Ben come over and play?" The five year old next door asked. Jon and I looked at each other in the backyard...um no. He is two...he goes on parent accompanied play dates and gets his toast cut in 6 small pieces. He is a BABY! We scurried into the house and realized we are entering into previously untapped parenting territory, with friends, and bikes and whole apples with the skin on... our baby isn't a baby. The neighbour had to tell us.

My baby is a boy.

I love seeing this bit of him, his fierce independence and confidence. His nature maturing and personality blooming. Fortunately for my Mommy heart he still has fears and insecurities and a hungry tummy sometimes that only a "Mom" can remedy. Maybe he always will? Regardless of his natural progression in a direction that is opposite of the one I am in I still have bits to cling to for now that I know need to be stored away to savor when they are gone. I look forward to the body melt hugs when he collapses into me with no hesitation, no awkwardness and rests as though it is the most comfortable place in the world. It is.

Sometimes I see him looking at me, in just a way that no one else ever has. I can SEE how much he loves me. There is something about it that stops me in my tracks, makes me acknowledge who I am to him, reminds me to be deserving of that look. I hope he sees the same when I look at him. Because that will never change.

Excuse me while I go squeeze some dimpled fat 4 month old thighs... I need a baby fix...and a pause button.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

If They Are So Great...

Grammie was over for a visit and while watching an episode of Ben's favorite show; Little Bear, when a pullups commercial came on. Ben had adamantly refused to have anything to do with toileting in any capacity and will politely request a diaper change instead at regular intervals during the day. He seems to have is own ideas and timeline for most things so this, like the bath strike is not something we are choosing to make issue with. Grammie thought she may use this commercial opportunity however to approach the topic with him. As she treaded on this delicate subject she said,
"oh Ben, do you know what those are"?
"They are pull up diapers you can put on yourself. Would you like some?"
"They are really nice..."
"Than YOU wear them".

The end.
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