Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Is it February or The Zombie Apocalypse?!?


Don't look now but February is practically over. When the heck did that happen? I started Ben's 10 month post this morning and am determined to have it posted on time this month. In other news I thought I would do a short update.

Matt has settled in at his new job. He is working long hours but has found a schedule that minimizes the commute and is a good compromise between seeing the kids and getting enough sleep. I know that we were spoiled having him here all the time for the past few years but knowing that certainly doesn't make it easier to be on my own from roughly 9am until 8pm (or later). The kids are adjusting and hopefully in a few weeks things will slow down and Matt can work a little less. The long term goal is to have him work from home again, even if it is just a few days a week. Fingers crossed.

There are several pluses to having Matt out of the house more. He really appreciates being home and we really appreciate having him here, the house is always picked up!, I can eat grilled cheese sandwiches for every meal (maybe that isn't really a plus), I have stopped pumping all together, I set the schedule and this is officially "my show". Not that I wasn't primarily in charge before but now there is zero defaulting to Daddy.

I am really looking forward to spring, I hope this isn't one of those years when we have snow on the ground until April. The kids are ready to get back outside. I signed Ben up for swimming lessons this morning (side note: Lily might be so jealous that we have to cough up the cash and get her signed up too) and I am so excited to get the pool opened up this summer. Kate will be living here while she takes her CPA prep class from June to August. Having an extra set of hands and a bestie to spend the days with is going to be awesome.

It is like zombie apocalypse around the house lately. I don't know what the hell is happening. First we tried unsuccessfully to replace the microwave above the stove only to discover that the new microwave doesn't fit the opening. Yes me measured, twice. Technically is does fit I just hate the way it looks. So now we have a big ugly hole in the kitchen. We then decided to replace the upper cabinet with a smaller one only to find out that our cabinets have been discontinued. Now two different cabinet companies are in possession of our cabinet doors. Let me tell you how much I love the way it looks.

Matt bucked his brand new car (2013 Ford Focus) into the back of my car in the driveway and somehow did a thousand dollars worth of damage. The car had been in our possession for less than 24 hours.

Last Friday I moved the glider back in to the kids room because Ben is again sleeping like a newborn and I need a place to sit while I nurse him 5 times in the middle of the night. Well, while sitting in the rocker I looked up and realized that there is a large water stain on the ceiling in the kids room. Awesome. No idea how long it has been there but it obviously needs to be addressed. The skylight in the sun room is also leaking like a sieve again. Double awesome.

Then came the ants. No idea where they are coming in from but this past weekend they were everywhere. So gross. I sprayed the tiniest amount of insecticide along the baseboards, which I am not thrilled about given the two small people, two cats, and a dumb as rocks dog, we allow to live here. I wouldn't put it past any of them to lick the wall just for fun. The spray seems to have worked so hopefully I won't have to use it again.

AND then last night I spent 30 minutes trying to catch a mouse that the cats had been tormenting all afternoon. I finally succeeded in nabbing the thing by the tail and put it outside. I just couldn't kill it. (Background: I used to anesthetize dozens of rodents a day as a lab tech but this just seems different.) I am sure that by now it has found it's way back in. Whatever.

Zombie Apocalypse, I'm tellin' you. I am a little afraid of what the universe might have in store for us next!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine

When I first met my husband he was a lanky high school freshman. I was foolish enough to break his heart. He got me back and broke mine a few years later. None of that matters because now he fills my whole life with so much love.

Dingle is smart, super handsome, and irritatingly nice. It is more than likely that if I was never in a foul mood, or raised my voice, or treated him with anything less than kindness, we would never fight. That is not to say we wouldn't disagree but I am almost always the first person to lose my temper.  I am very lucky to have found such a forgiving man. As I have told my sister, if you find a man who is so sweet that you can't decide whether to kiss him or smack him...marry him.

At the foundation of our relationship is a great friendship. Even after ten years together we still just love to be together. For the past couple of years I have been a stay at home mom and Matt has worked from home at our dining room table. We have probably logged more hours together under one roof than most couples do in a life time. As of two weeks ago Matt has started a new job that requires him to be at the office, which is 45 minutes away, full time. It has been hard. Of course I miss having an extra set of hands when one kid is spitting up and the other kid is peeing on the floor, but mostly I just miss my companion. (For the record I also miss the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches...but it is mostly Dingle) In a lot of ways we are totally codependent, which I know wouldn't work for a lot of couples. It really does work for us. He is my best friend and I am his. When the kids are grown I know I will not have to worry about what comes next. Hopefully we will just continue to do what we have always done...and just love being together on the couch.

I was instantly drawn to Matt and according to him I was always the girl of his dreams. He told me he loved me the day after we made our relationship official on January 11th 2003. Even though I knew he meant it I laughed it off...and then never looked back. A little over five years later, I couldn't wait to say my vows. And now, five years and two babies later, I am still crazy in love with my Dingle.

On April 3rd, 2010 I fell in love with my husband in a whole new way. I was legitimately concerned that because Matt knew so little about babies that he would just thrust this tiny newborn into my arms and close the door behind him on his way out. He did exactly the opposite. My husband is great at almost everything (yes, it is super annoying) but he is exceptional at being a daddy. Our kids are so very lucky to have him.
Love at first sight 2010
Same shirt, new baby, all love.  2012

The kids are crazy about their daddy too. Who else would play games like whatever this is!?!?

Happy 11th Valentine's Day!
I love you Dingle, always have. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Snowy Days

Life with a toddler and a baby during the winter can be a little well, boring. Turns out Lily is not a huge fan of being cold and really puts up a stink about wearing her winter coat. It could be that her snow clothes are from last year and are a little too snug. In any case she would rather play inside than out these days. Ben doesn't mind his snowsuit but is just a little too mobile to be held and not mobile enough to get around on the ground. The days were starting to blend together. What we really needed was a good snow storm!

Up until this past weekend we have only had a few inches of snow here and there. That all changed when Nemo (when did we start naming winter storms??) dropped a staggering amount of snow on us all at once Friday night. There was a lot of drifting so it is hard to say just how much we got, but I would guess it was around 24 inches. In some places the snow was at least 3-4 ft. deep!

While Matt and I dug out Lily and Colby had a great time playing. Lily thought it was hilarious that the snow was over her head. She ran up and down the sidewalk channel we had dug squealing about being in a tunnel. She is more than a little interested in eating the snow and we had to have that all important talk about "yellow snow"! 

She was not at all unhappy to learn that for being such a happy camper outside there was hot chocolate waiting for her when she came in :) 

On Sunday morning the sun was shinning and the wind had finally died down. We took full advantage of the snow covered street in front of the house. Matt and I took turns pulling the sled while Lily screamed with delight. After several trips down and back I was exhausted! It is not easy to run in boots and snow pants. 

Side note: At some point my expensive LLBean snow boots were stolen off the front porch. I hope that whoever took them did so because they needed them and not because they were too lazy to work for them like I had. *sigh* (UPDATE: For the sole purpose of making a liar out of me the boots have appeared in the hall closet. I checked there no less than ten times but in any case I have a renewed gratitude for them. So glad I didn't publicly announce that they had been stolen, that would be awkward...) 

We did not lose power which made this storm all fun and no stress. I like to shovel, and everything just looks more beautiful all covered in fresh snow. Winter just isn't winter without a few big storms. Bring it on Mother Nature we are ready for more! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

9 months!


He is growing up way too fast. I am sure many of you have heard the expression, "you can't spoil an infant." Well boys and girls Ben is no longer and infant and he is SO spoiled.

I used to sort of scoff at the idea that birth order really played a role in shaping a person's identity. Now that I have two kids I can definitely see differences in the way I take care of the kids in the day to day. With Lily it was just she and I with very few distractions. Translation, I was in her grill 24/7. I had time to over think, research, and follow through with every decision I made. Poor kid! With Ben I am just too tired to fuss over every little thing. What's more, I find myself doing things for him that I never would have done for Lily. I am at his beckon call. Not because I love him so much that I can't stand to see him cry, ha!. No, honestly I just don't think to not go to him. When he cries or fusses I am usually distracted doing something else and without even thinking about it, the next thing I know I am carrying him around with me...again. It certainly doesn't help that this kid is literally obsessed with me and there is nothing in the world better than being picked up. He isn't clingy or shy per se, he just really likes to be held, a lot. In ten years I know I will not regret a single minute of all the toting, unless of course he still expects me to...that would be weird.

Eyes closed makes this picture even better
It came as no surprise at Ben's 9 month appointment that he is still on the (very) small side. What was surprising? When he projectile vomited down the front of my shirt! The room was really hot and Ben had been bouncing and climbing all over me for a long time so I really wasn't worried that he was "sick". Well his little stunt was enough to get him out of his vaccines and now we have to go back this week. The highlight of the appointment however was when the nurse did the finger stick for Ben's iron test. He went completely ballistic and screamed louder than I have ever heard him. It must have startled the nurse too because she let go of his finger. Blood started streaming down his hand, which he was waving around manically, effectively spraying it all over the room. He ruined his new outfit, my (already vomit stained) white shirt, and no doubt scarred several other small patients for the rest of their lives.

The stats. 
Height: 27.50 in (17%)
Weight: 18lbs 14oz (37%)

For those of you keeping track he is up a little from 6 months. He was only in the 15th and 33rd percentiles for height and weight at last check. 

Playing on the dog in fleece pjs - Mommy's favorite. 
Likes: Mommy, Lily, Blankie!, Lily's favorite Elmo figurine, being held, playing on the dog bed (oh, how I wish this wasn't a thing) taking baths, eating endless piles of Cheerios, cords/wires/electronics/outlets, splashing in the dog's water bowl. 

Dislikes: Being put down (although he gets over it pretty quickly), being fed any slower than the speed of light, being told no. 

Nicknames: Benja and Tater seem to have the most staying power. I have started calling both kids Bubba, which Lily thinks is hilarious. 

Milestones: Waving bye bye on request, standing momentarily while moving from the couch to the table. Playing solo in the playroom!
(A new hippo-sized top tooth has broken through in the last 24 hours but this post is late so technically this should go in his ten month post)
Mom?? Did you know I was in here alone?? 

Feeding: Same as last month breast feeding is still going strong. Matt has started a new job with new hours so I have stopped pumping in the morning. While this is freaking fantastic it does mean that I have to get up with Ben every day. No more cat naps in the morning while Matt does a bottle. I am still pumping at night before bed so that Ben can have a 5oz bottle before bed and so that I have some milk to mix with his meals. 

Solids are going awesome. Ben is a great eater and will pretty much devour whatever I put on his tray. He does a great job feeding himself but prefers to be spoon fed when I am willing and able. So far I haven't noticed any allergies or aversions. Just like with Lily I make some of his food and give him some store bought Gerber. I usually make all of his veggies in the steamer and buy the fruit baby foods since nothing is in season around here during the winter. I was making applesauce but did the math and it is actually cheaper to just buy the huge jar of (no sugar added) Motts. Both of my kids eat it by the bucket-full. Some other favorites: Scrambled egg, cheddar cheese, puff puffs, banana, and butternut squash. 

In other news the irritation with being in the high chair has passed and we never did figure out what was causing it in the first place. 

Sleeping: Things in the sleep department have improved. I would not say that he sleeps soundly through the night, but his waking/fussing never lasts too long and he is able to soothe himself back to sleep. I can't believe I haven't really mentioned this until now...the boy is a blankie fiend. Lily has a blankie (as do I of course) but she didn't really become attached to hers until she was a year old. Ben REALLY loves his blankie. I can't remember the last time we went in to check on him in the crib and he didn't have it tucked up under him. He drags it all over the house and I will catch him having a random snuggle at least a few times a day. It is a thin bankie and I am worried it will not stand the test of time. Fear not, I am already in search of duplicates. He is also a fan of the Dr Brown's pacis and I bought him a few of the next size up. He really only uses it at bed but that might be more of a mommy imposed limitation. 

I went back and reread the sleeping section of last months post...GOD, I am so thankful that we are not in that place anymore. In summary, things have been a lot better recently and I am keeping everything crossed that we are finally on the road to restful nights. I have said it before but every time I go back and read these posts it sinks in a little deeper, sleep deprivation is cruel. There have been times in the last 9 months when I literally thought I was losing my mind. There were nights when all I could do was cry. There were days when I thought I would never be happy again and I felt so hopeless. More than once I thought that I might need to seek out professional help but was really resistant to taking medication. For me a good night's sleep was always the fix. And wouldn't you know it, when I started to string a few good nights together, I started to feel like myself again. Honestly, I chuckled a little reading about how tired I was in the first few weeks after Ben was born. I didn't want to write about it out of fear that I would tarnish my memories. Ha. At this point I am just grateful to have survived it and should our next baby be a terrible sleeper I will ask for help a lot sooner. (Yes, I am praying that there be at least one more baby in our future. Crazy huh?!?!) 

Odds and Ends: I know I say this every month too but Ben is a seriously happy guy. Yes he prefers his Mama, but he will happily go to anyone with outstretched arms. He laughs and smiles all day long and I can count the number of times on one hand that he has ever really just cried for more than a few minutes. He is laid back and seems to be pretty content to let Lily have her way 99% of the time. (Lily of course takes full advantage of this and I often wonder just how long he will tolerate her bossy ways) The two of them spend a lot of time in the playroom together these days. It amazes me that at such young ages they have a sense of envy, always preferring the toy that the other one has. The behavioral scientist in me is intrigued  The mom in me is slightly annoyed.

While I certainly wouldn't say Ben is independent, he is stubborn and will go after the same naughty thing a million times - totally one track minded. As I mentioned under his likes one of Ben's most favorite activities is splashing in the dog's water bowl. He never misses an opportunity. Ever.

As I mentioned last month Ben's motor skills are incredible  After having a daughter it is unreal how much faster boys seem to develop. Maybe it isn't a gender thing, maybe it is a my kid thing but I would be shocked if Ben wasn't walking by his first birthday. One thing that the kids do have in common, they are tough cookies. Anyone who has spent five minutes with Lily has seen her fall down, yet she hardly ever cries about it. Every time he takes a tumble Lily jokes that Ben should wear a helmet. It probably isn't a bad idea. He did suffer his first real boo boo this month in the form of a big ol' fat lip. He was in the crib during afternoon nap time and I heard "the scream". Other moms will know what I mean, it is just such a different cry when a kid gets hurt. I bolted up the stairs to find Ben shrieking with blood coming from is mouth. I was afraid he had put his tooth through his lip but all in all it turned out to be just a nasty bump.  I cleaned him up and just like that, he was over it.

It is just me or does he smile with his entire body!?! OMG - LOVE

Up next: Love bugs, long winter days, and maybe a few new tricks.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Pointing to each of us.

Lily: "You are April. You are Matt. Ben is Benjamin Daniel!"
Me: "Who are you?"
Lily: "I am Lily Victoria get in time out!"

This kid, she kills me.