Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The days they are a flying

Every day I think to myself, today i will post something on the blog. And every night I say to Matt, why dont you post something on the blog. And then when I finally get down to writing something I realize its been weeks since we posted. Bad parents.

Its crazy that Ben's five month old milestone is coming up so soon. On one hand it seems like such a short time but on the other hand it seems like we've had him forever, and on the other hand sometimes I wish we could just have a weekend afternoon off from having him. Yes I know I have three hands listed above, but quite honestly after becoming a mom, I realize I do have more than two hands or at least I must in order to get all that I get done with a kid in my arms!

Today Ben took his first ride in his real stroller (not the car seat and snap and go). According to Nanny Sharon he was enthralled with it. He does look like such a little niblet in it though. For some reason this picking of the stroller was such an ordeal for me. I must have read every review in the world, and test drove at least ten in the stores (Babies R Us shakes when they see me and the Nanny go down that aisle!). Thanks Aunt Ness for the gift card that we used to get the stroller.

Tonight I am writing this with hopes that there really is some truth to the 'cereal helps them sleep better myth'. Matt and I are about to embark on some tough love with Ben and letting him cry at night and not plopping him automatically in the car seat just so we can get some sleep. Currently we are on a feeding which leads to him not being able to get back to sleep in bed because he becomes the rolling maniac, and then mom saids "F it" through him in the car seat. Though the car seat keeps him quiet for a while it does not stop him from his 4 or 5 am I AM UP AND READY TO PLAY yapping session. I love my son but good god the high pitched yelling and talking is making me insane. He is in such a good mood when he wakes up and wants us to join in the fun. When Matt's not around I just put on Sprout TV, turn the car seat towards the TV and try to fall back asleep or try and fight to open my eyes. Here's to hoping that TV really does not rot the brain...

I have to laugh though. When we interviewed the Nanny we said we dont want our kid watching TV. So what do we do when she's not around, plop him with us in front of the set. In the mornings we watch the Today show, in the afternoons we cycle between 90210 (I've explained the Dylan, Brenda, Kelly love triangle to him countless times) or something on Bravo. I have to laugh when Matt is watching him downstairs and I find Ben tucked in the crook of Matt's arm, enamored with whatever Discovery show he's got on.

It really is easier to take a stand on parenting... before you have a kid.

Friday, October 23, 2009

You Cry, I Cry

Last night poor Ben woke up in a meltdown with a stuffy nose which made it hard for him to breathe. He went from 0 to 100 in a crying, coughing, fit from which he was unconsolible. Of course it didnt help that I was playing the plumber role with the aspirator as we dodged and weaved trying to get it in his nostril.

The little niblet had tears streaming down his face, which led to tears in my eyes as I tried to rock him back to sleep. Finally my singing calmed him down (see Matt dont mock my voice) and he drifted off to sleep for a few hours (in the car seat of course!). I couldnt help but think... oh boy... here starts a lifetime of colds, infections, and my own heartbreaks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

LMAO - and U Will 2.

Sorry to go all text-speak on you but, since we're in the medium, I figured it appropriate.

For those of you who may not know - LMAO = Laughing My Ass Off and that is exactly what Ben is doing below.

Prompted by the always hilarious mom-and-the-stuffed-animal routine, Big Ben provides big laughs. As you know laughter is infectious so we also started to laugh. And each time we play it, we get more and more cheerful. We hope that this spreads a laugh or two your way as well.

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pix Galore

A special note to the grandmoms who have been checking the site religiously and complaining..... the Flickr page is updated. Enjoy. Anything with a little arrow on it means its a video.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WE ARE STILL ALIVE

Good lord, we stink at updating. I can’t believe it’s been so long since we last posted. My apologies, especially to the grandparents who are complaining about no updates and no new pix. New pix are on the way, I promise by this weekend. Niblet just went to sleep and I am watching him on my monitor. I swear I don’t know how people with the audio monitors do it, I watch Ben TV all the time. I mean ALL the time.


This week is Ben’s four month Dr’s appointment. I am going to try and convince them to let me try cereal with him. He seems interested in watching us eat (who wouldn’t be) and I really want to see if there is any proof to the cereal helps them sleep better myth. Ben goes to sleep usually at 7 or 8, then wakes up around 11ish or 12 ish (usually because he’s rolled on his stomach and cant get back over), then one other time around 2:30 or 3:30 and then by 4:30 or 5:30 he is wide awake, chortling about the day ahead, yelling to stretch his vocal cords and pretty much blathering non-stop. At this point, I usually schlep him in bed with me and lay next to him while he prattles away and pulls and scratches at my face – I never knew neck skin could pull that far from my actual neck. His dagger fingers grab at my cheeks and I silently pray for him to lose interest and want to go back to sleep. Sometimes I can get him back down, and then sometimes this routine just marks the beginning of our day. Usually I can convince Matt to change the first diaper of the day, and on a good day, I can get a cup of coffee delivered to me in bed.


These days Ben is ACTIVE. All he wants to do is sit or stand. Anytime he’s laying back he tries to do ab crunches to pull himself up. He exerts so much effort and makes little grunting noises. I feel like I am back watching the guys at Golds Gym (they didn’t drool so much though – seriously this kid is a faucet, and saturate two bibs at minimum in a day). Ben can sort of pull himself up using your hands and loves standing on our legs. With Nanny Sharon pushing him along, Ben has been playing with a lot more of his toys. He loves his exersaucer, his swing, and does baby squats with his bouncy from Aunt Aimee.


Ben and I have been watching videos in the morning as we wait for Nanny Sharon to come. Some of his favorites are the Mah na mah na mah na song -- http://www.kideos.com/content/mah-na-mah-na-mah-na, the baby that dances to the Beyonce video -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikTxfIDYx6Q , Furry Happy Monsters Laughing (http://www.kideos.com/content/furry-happy-monsters-laughing# -- a take off on REM) and this weird Baby Einstein rap type video - http://www.kideos.com/content/baby-einstein-baby-break-beat . I need to find more songs that he’d like so if anyone knows where there is a big resource of muppets songs, please let me know. Yes yes, I’ll also be searching Discovery Streaming….


Ben dances along to his videos and yells out and laughs. Boy does he laugh these days. Matt and I run a gag into the ground to get him to keep laughing. I promise to add some video of him cracking up and doing other activities that can only be amusing to his parents up on Flickr this week. And I’ll post after his four month dr visit.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Roll with it Baby

I know that significant milestones should not be met with the thought of ‘oh crap’ but that was my first instinct this week when Ben rolled over for the first time. I got a good early preview of this feat the other morning when he was in his cranky I don’t want to go back to sleep even though its 5:30 and mommy wants to lull me back to sleep mode. He was half awake when I put him down swaddled. I went to pat the dog, hoping he would settle himself down. Instead the burrito was face down in the crib when I came back a minute later. Don’t worry grandparents he had his head to the side but my first thought was oh good lord, the easy days are over. The days of ‘stay here on the changing table while I go across the room to get an outfit for today’, the ‘days of wait here on the bed so I can pee’, the days of let me put you here while mommy goes to write her blog, are OVER. Later that day when down for a nap he flipped full over for the first time.

Nanny Sharon started this week and since then he’s been rolling every so often. Nanny Sharon thinks I am nuts because now that he does this I am too scared to let him sleep all night in his bed for fear that he will suffocate himself. He is after all still just a niblet and only three months old. Damn him for being advanced. Even the pediatrician I think stifled a laugh when I called them. Oh well I am a first time mom I am supposed to be paranoid… right? Needless to say the swaddle is out of our lives for good. I will miss you swaddle. Though Ben hated you, you kept him asleep for longer and you spawned the Ben Burrito song.

We are loving having Nanny Sharon here. She is putting Ben thru his paces. They sing, read books, practice flipping, do work outs and take a lot of walks. She’s been teaching Ben to go to sleep on his own rather than mommy’s previous method of having him drink himself milk drunk and pass out. Ben is getting pretty decent at it, doesn’t really cry but does amuse himself for a while before falling asleep.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

YOWSA. Ben is three months old already. On one hand it feels like such a short time, but on the other hand it feels like he’s been with us forever. He’s transformed so much from a boring lump to quite the funny kid with his oh so serious quizzical expressions, big cheeked smiles, coo and YELLS. So far on his resume he has skills such as ‘able to keep head straight without support’, ‘able to stand a good five seconds of open mouthed kisses from max before complaining’, ‘able to sing along with mommy to old standards such as whitesnake, meatloaf and guns n’ roses’, and ‘able to bring parents out of any bad mood by standing or sitting on their laps and gurgling away.’

Ben has decided to celebrate this milestone by going thru what we think it a growth spurt so he’s waking up more at night RAVENOUS. He’s breaking out of his swaddle and sucking on his hand with such intensity that when you go in there to pick him up and break the hand suction he becomes a yelling fool. Hopefully this will only last a few days.

This is my first week back at work but the nanny doesn’t start til next week so Ben has spent some significant time in my office in his bouncy chair. He really loves holding his soft toys and of course trying to put them all in his mouth. There is also quite a bit of dancing going on. Judging by his not smooth moves, I can see he will take after daddy in that department. If only he would nap like daddy…

I am so very excited for Nanny Sharon to start next week. She seems very high energy and I am excited for Ben to get some quality one on one person time during the day and not just be vibrating away in his bouncy. I am hoping she helps us out with developing sleep habits. I tried a few times to put him down without the swaddle or while awake and it hasn’t gone well. Given that I am multitasking with kid and work I have been taking the easy way out and swaddling him then feeding him while swaddled which on a good day puts him asleep within minutes, sometimes under a minute. Would love any feedback on developing good sleep habits – whats worked for you and what hasn’t and when to start trying techniques. I’ve got some books but haven’t had the time to really sit and read them

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Wild And Crazy Time

Yesterday I'm sure we broke some sort of noise ordinance and may have turned Ben from a quiet and serious Ben into an OH-MY-GOD-I-CAN-MAKE-SOME-NOISE Ben.

It all started innocently enough. First Uncle Tim came down from NY to visit and hang out. We chilled at a Gastro Pub (Ben was with grandma and grandpa) and came home and quietly talked while Cat Stevens sung soothingly in the background.

And then the Lipshultz family came and brought the party. We had so much fun with Zack, Becca, Pete, Andy and Wendy. And boy did they bring in the noise and bring in the funk. Actually to be fair, after eating Lori's Mac-n-Cheese and chasing it with make-your-own-sundaes, I think it was me who brought in the funk.

And when the party reached one of its many dins, and Ben was down for a "nap" I heard Andy bust out his Dad voice and yell - ALRIGHT GUYS, ENOUGH, BEN IS TRYING TO SLEEP! Which worked long enough for everyone to pause, look at Andy questioningly and then resume the cacophony of bad puns, MP3 interviews and raucous renditions of the Ben Burrito Song.

We had a blast as did Ben. I liken the party to the Cat in Hat - the part where the parents are out and everything becomes a blur of sound and motion.

And although he was a little unsure at first, he certainly was a fan of the Lipshultz clan at the end. He loved interacting with Pete and being sung to and receiving zerberts from Becca and Zack.

At the end, when everyone went home and Lori and I were tucked into bed, she summed up the evening the best with a "whew...are we sure we want another?"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mom’s Random Ramblings….


For those keeping score, at his two month appt Ben was 12.1lbs, 25 inches and his noggin was 15 inches. I thought for sure they’d tell me he was way too big but apparently he’s only in the 55th percentile… My mom compared this to my baby book and I was about 13lbs. Funny enough when she looked at the baby book she saw that I was sleeping through the night at one month old, and eating solids. Ben you are behind!


Ben had his first major overtired meltdown the other day. We both had tears in our eyes, but he looked far more pathetic than mommy did. Mommy did how ever have 2 glasses of wine that night to recover. All is well now. We now go down for a nap (SWADDLED!) every two hours and I find he’s much more amenable to sleeping. Goes to sleep much quicker. I have no idea what I wasn’t swaddling him for nap time.


I wonder if I will ever be able to generate the same smiles generated by Ben staring at our ceiling fan. If I could put fan blades on my head I would do it just to get that smile….


What can Ben possibly be thinking when Max licks his face?


And what is Ben thinking about when he giggles in his sleep or when he cries out or furrows his brow?


At what age will Ben finally realize that I keep dumping him in his bouncy chair not so that I can do work, but rather so that I can catch up on TMZ for all the gossip. Does it make me a bad mom that sometimes Paula Abdul gossip trumps valuable time with my son?

Fine You Do It Then

This pretty much started the same as any other morning with Ben this month. He awoke at 3:30am to let us know that he was hungry...and hungrier...and hungrier until we lost the battle of wits and rolled sleepily out of bed to give him his bottle.

However, there were a couple of differences last night.

First, Big Ben finally slept in his own room in his own crib last night. That's not to say we didn't hear and watch his every move (well at least Lori watched). Because, in addition to a sound monitor, we also have a camera trained on Big Ben. It sends a wireless feed back to a video monitor on Lori's side of the bed. And when the lights are off that monitor fills the room with a pale blue light akin to a full moon on a fall night. I finally understand that song about wearing sunglasses at night.

Second difference - I thought I would relieve Lori from the early morning chore (she had been handling the majority of them) and go feed and change Ben.

Of course, halfway through our change, Lori came in to make sure "everything was alright" And then she went back to bed. Two minutes later she was promptly back in the room to remind me how to swaddle.

By the way - I am not a fan of the swaddle - and neither is Ben. If you don't know what a swaddle is - think straight jacket for infants or picture a burrito made of cloth with a baby filling and you pretty much got it. But mom swears by it so we do it.

So I say, yes, ok, I've got it...swaddle - go back to bed.

After Big Ben finally starts to doze off (we're at 4:15am for those keeping score back home), Lori's back in the nursery- "I just wanted to make sure you were comfortable putting the swaddle on" she says.

So much for relieving - I'm thinking.

Ben gets swaddled - Lori's back in Bed - I'm rocking Ben to sleep. It is 4:30am, I hear baby snores, Max the family dog, is dreaming of something fun, and all is right with the world.

I put Ben down in his crib. Carefully walk out of the room and gently insert myself back into bed.

Two minutes later - that right world - has gone wrong. Ben is crying and my wife is saying "you did it wrong. You are supposed to make sure he's sleeping" and here's the kicker ...

"I think you do this on purpose so that I have to get out of bed and rock him to sleep!"

WHAT????

So as we proceed to have a 5:00 am "discussion" Ben falls quiet and I feel vindicated. And just as I'm about to retort something smart...something to show off my Big Ben skills, Ben lets loose and blows my baby cred out of the water. I don't even say anything. I don't look over at Lori - I don't want to acknowledge -I just get up and try to make it right.

This time I'm in there for what feels like 15-20 minutes. He's got to be in a deep sleep now. I make it back to bed and...let's just say Lori had to take the rest of the shift.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ben's First Bar Experience

It is Friday so that means it's Date Night! This time we brought our little man. And although Big Ben didn't get to sample the local beer - we did. And while we munched on burgers and fries Big Ben nodded off - blissfully.

I was encouraged, and a little frightened, to see how comfortable Big Ben was being in a Bar. Is this an indication of our future Ben? Will Lori and I be up late at night worrying about the whereabouts of Party Ben? Lord knows he already has his belching down. He is this close to burping the alphabet.

Well at least, for the moment, we can take solace in the fact that we don't necessarily have to pawn Big Ben off on the parents when we want to get out of the house for a quick bite.

I can't wait to see what next Friday brings - hold the mayo.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stealing Some ZZZ's

If you didn't know me you would think I was a narcoleptic.

I now find that, whenever possible, I am trying to get a quick nap in. If I am on a plane my eyelids feel like two sandbags even before I have buckled myself in. If I'm at home I find refuge in the bathroom. If I'm in a cab, I don't mind if they take the long way to my destination.

I now understand what my mom meant when she said "I am not sleeping, I am just resting my eyes." Case in point - I recently got excited to be in an elevator so that I could close my eyes for a quick ten second dream.

At home I find my mind is aways doing bed math before I have to get up forwork. Here are some calculations:

  • Am I too stubbly? Maybe if I don't shave today I can squeeze out ten minutes extra sleep
  • If I take a ten minute shower, I can get 15 more minutes of quality pillow time.

These calculations sound good but,unfortunately; never pan out.

And why is it that I always find the most comfortable sleeping position minutes before my alarm goes off?

Even as I am creating this post I am debating just closing my eyes and ddhdhudejkdjnddfk

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ode to a Two Month Old

Big Ben some day I hope that you'll look back upon these postings, see how your first year of life was chronicled and that it brings you a smile and a laugh.

Along that vein I thought I would write you a little poem.

Ode to a Two Month Old

A little over two months ago you were still in your mom's belly.

No one, at least not your Mom or your Dad, thought you would produce things so smelly.

We never anticipated the joy that your smile would bring us
Or the way our heats jump when you sing us your chorus.

In the two months that you have been on earth our world has been rearranged

Sleep patterns, eating patterns, and even leaving the house has all
changed.

And in the wee hours of the night when all is dark and quiet - save for the
sound of your breathing.

Your mom and I ponder the wonder of you and enjoy the stillness - at least
before you start teething.

And maybe some day we will be in adding a sister or a brother mode.

But that, my son, is for a different ode.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What a long strange trip it's been

I really am thanking my lucky stars to be raising a child in this, the 21st Century.

Forget all of this digital native vs immigrant jargon - let's give a virtual shout out/high five to the digital dads and megabyte moms out there.

Work has me back out on the road preaching about the merits of a flat and technology-driven world. And what a truly cool world it is

Here are some neat things that I have taken advantage of:

Skype.com
A free voice and video service that is delivered over the web. Skype gives me the ability to communicate over the web - for free. I can Skype with Big Ben and his mom and SEE and TALK with them. I was in the Philly airport the other day and got to see Big Ben coo, churtle, and sing - in real time. I can only imagine what that conversation must have sounded like on the other side of my monitor screen.

Segue to Granparents 2.0
I live twenty minutes from my parents yet, once they found out about Skype, my mom now asks me if we can get on a skype call together...even though we could easily do it face to face. And we Skype with Lori's parents too- only we have to call them on the analog phone first, wait until their computer boots up, and then open a call via Skype and proceed through a series of "ok can you see me now?"and "hang up your phone now...no your phone...yes I can hear you.." Still it is a really cool tool.

Blogging
I also love posting and reading your comments on this blog.
It has really been comforting to know that what we experience with Ben is not unique but has been experienced by the collective. Building our personal network has been a neat experience and I can't wait to see what Ben will contribute when he lends his voice and words to this blog.

Flickr.com
This has been a great place for us to store and share our pictures and video. We do pay a small yearly fee but it is well worth it. When people ask me if I have pictures of Ben it as simple as pulling up our family Flickr page. You can also convert your photos to a bound book, make posters, with your images and more with this site.

Facebook.com
Ok I admit it. I resisted Facebook for a while. In fact I didn't get into it until Ben came along. I still pretty much just post things about him there - it is more like my Ben book. But I do enjoy reading about friends and connecting with people from my past. I am also really addicted to Mafia Wars and Poker- damn it :) Mom and Dad you are welcome to be my Facebook friend - and with all of your travel I think your posts will prove to be more interesting - just no "I love you so much from mummy" on my Wall.

Manbabies.com.
Truly weird, disturbing and oh so funny.

Other things I am looking forward to using with my friends and family include

Animoto.com Take still images and video and give them an MTV spin

Glogster.com I have seen my friend Traci B do amazing things with this site. Basically you can make digital animated posters with this tool and I am looking forward to seeing how I can use this with friends and fam. I'm thinking Holiday Card 2.0?

Voicethread.com This site lets you upload images and video that other people an then comment on and share. How much fun would it be to collaborate on a friend/family message?

Blabberize.com One my absolute favorite sites. Upload a picture and make it talk with this free and fun tool. I mean where else could you do something like this?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Top Five Things Uttered This Month

1. "Maybe he's going through a growth spurt?"

The kid is always eating. Big Ben's appetite has really ratched up a notch. During these spurts we down up to 5 oz's per bottle (up from the usual 3-4) and seemingly every hour.

2. "Oh my God - was that you?"
Big Ben's farts and/or diapors have, well let's just say a certain ripeness

3. "Here take it"
Offered with outstretched arms and tiredly uttered when Dad comes home from work and Mom has been with Ben for the full day(s).

4. "I just want to get out of the house and go somewhere...by myself"
Also pronounced by a weary and sometimes harried mom.

5. "yayyyyy"
This sound, along with the Benjamin Burrito song, elicits instant smile and thus is often said in the Mezoff-Monjan household.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blog Baby Blog

Ok it may have been a while since the last posting...the one in which my wife was driven to drink.

But can you blame her - I mean she used the word "poop-a-palooza" in it - and that has pretty much been the story here in month two.

We have seen things that only babies in horror stories are supposed to do. Why just before I set finger to keyboard Big Ben turned his head 360 degrees and spewed forth what can only be described as the Niagra Falls of formula, Niagra Formula if you will, upon me. I mean it must have come from his tiny toes. I was left without words (unless ewwww is a word) and amazed at the Rorschach formula/spit-up stain that my shirt had become.

But it hasn't been all mega movements and bodily fluids. We had a lot of really cool things happen this month too. If you didn't see it on my Facebook page, we are now the proud (yes proud) owners of a Siena Minivan. This thing is decked to the nines. We're talking back-up camera, navigation system, DVD System and this red blinkie button which, although we're not sure, think it may be a direct link to NASA mission control.

Big Ben has also become smiley Ben. Especially when he's naked. Yes, sigh, my son is an exhibitionist. He is most expressive when he's on his back, legs in the air, as mom and dad proceed to de-poopify him. He also loves to sing on his playmat and bouncy chair. Thank YOU Aunt Lisa! Ben's new found love is the bouncy chair and the toys that hook into it - one of which is a mirror. So I guess that means, so far, that I'm raising vain exhibitionist who likes to sing after pooping.

God only knows what month three will bring. I can only tell you that I wouldn't change it for the world...and that's no crap.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

And this is why I drink

I cant even count how many times I have said the expression GOOD GOD today to Ben. Maybe its because every single diaper change has been a poopapaloza. I mean its been EVERYWHERE. Also he managed to pee straight up the front of his onsie, soaking his entire front.

And then a half hour ago, he produced what I can only describe as a firehose projectile formula extravaganza. From his perch in the crook of my left elbow, he was able to shoot it out and hit my right knee and leg. The stream of milk was like an inch wide. It was so spectacular that I forgot to be immediately grossed out.

Needless to say, it was time for me to give him my first solo bath without help from Matt or my mom. All went well until I came to the rinse off phase and took the plug out of the tub so that I could pour water on him and then forgot that I had done that and moved the tub, not realizing it until it drained all over the floor.

I need a drink.

Onsies...

Thought of the morning.... Onsies arent so 'one'derful when your son poops three inches up beyond his back diaper line. Trying to navigate getting the outfit off while not dousing your son in a puddle of poop is quite a feat. Two diaper cloths (for preventing wall waterfalls), more than 6 wipes, and a diaper pad later we are clean...

Good god if this is how its going to be I may never let my child eat solids.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Big Ben and His Singing Career

Finally we have a happy baby! Don't get me wrong, we still get grumpus among us every once and a while. But when we do it is just a matter of changing him out of his cranky pants and into a his Mr. Happy onesie and all is right with the world.

So by and large (and we mean large as Ben is over 11lbs in 7 weeks), Big Ben is a pretty happy baby now.

He loves when mom kisses his neck and gives him zerberts (or, as my Grandma would always say, "Patakisses")

He's a big fan of the wall...any wall. The wall, and the pictures on them, seem to mesmerize him. It seems crazy but we (mom and dad) get a little jealous of these inanimate objects as they, initially, got more smiles then mom and dad. Weird - but maybe he'll be an artist!

And Big Ben loves his play mat. This is where he's most vocal and smiley. Take a gander and see for yourself!



Ok, I may have done a little editing at the end, but still that was one hundred percent Ben on the Mic. Just wait until we get Rock Band that's right Babe, I'm still lobbying for the WII. Help me out Blogosphere - tell her I (we) need one for Ben's development or something like that!

So today we start our 8th week in this crazy adventure full of smiles and songs. I can't wait until his word "goo" turn into actual words - especially if its something like "Dad let's play another game on the WII"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things I've been wondering

Do other parents obsess with getting boogers out of their kids nose? When I see something in there its all I can think about. Even though he screams bloody hell when I try to fish it out, I still torture him because I keep thinking his nose is so small and its the only way he breathes.. I must get it out....

Will I ever learn not to poke my child in the middle of the night to see if he is breathing. Inevitably it leads to an awake child. Last night he went down around 10ish and by 4am I hadnt heard a peep. So of course i poked him which started his whimpering intermitentally. And then although the slept til around 5, I was up from 4 on, waiting for him to wake.

Am I the only one estimating on dates when I fill out my kid's baby book? Are there wonderfully organized people that when they see the first smile, they run to record it. Or are they like me and randomly pick a date of the week that they believe it started. Five years or even five weeks from now, will anyone really know.

Does everyone park their kid on the playmat just to get some time out? I know I should be playing there but really he is amusing himself just fine. I cant imagine that me not saying here is your hand, hit the kitty kat, or ba ba ba ba will have long lasting developmental effects. He's there right now in fact (sporting a very tempting booger I might add but alas its too far back for me to get).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our first day

Well its been seven weeks since Ben was born and I just now had my first day alone with him. I am happy to report we survived. There was only one major meltdown (his not mine) in the car ride home from the chiropractor. I tried reasoning with him that mommy was driving and couldnt do anything to calm him but it didnt help. So I blasted some Aerosmith to drown him out. I dont know if it was the magic of Steven Tyler or sheer exhaustion but he finally fell asleep. Off to wash bottles.. such a glamorous life....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What is in a Name?


Today Big Ben received his Jewish name and blessings with his family. Mom and Dad felt truly blessed to be surrounded by family and feel the love in the room. Ben, for the most part, pretty much slept.

But it was a great day filled with food, ceremony, and many, many, many of Zack's jokes. A few of them I may have to steal including the one about the Jewish man who made coffee - He-brew.

Zack if you are reading this, you truly are your father's son and made me a proud godfather with all of your puns. You made me laugh a lot today and I really enjoyed hearing your laugh too. And your chocolate chip cookies were really yummy too.

During the naming ceremony Jan the cantor asked that the family bestow blessings upon Ben. Most of the blessings included humor and laughter. Ben, if you turn out anything like your family and friends I think you'll have that in the bag.

We also have finally begun to see your smile, your true smile, not the smile that comes from passing gas (although that still makes your dad smile).

You've also begun to laugh - even if it is at hours when your dad and mom may not feel like laughing. Like take 3am this morning when your dad turned his head for one second as you peed on the wall behind you...again. YOU thought that was hilarious. Your dad still has yet to get in on the joke.

So, Benjamin, my wish for you is that you, some day, will look back upon your life and know that it was filled with people who love you and love to laugh with you - even if it means peeing on the wall behind you.

Check out the link on the right to see updated pix from today's ceremony as well as the past month.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Night to Remember

There are many nights in my past that I will remember. Prom night. Graduation night (whoo hoo wine coolers), my first date with Matt in Baltimore (whoo hoo many beers), our wedding night (whoo hoo ;) ), our first night with Maxy the dog (not so much a whoo hoo more of a whoops there goes our extra space in the bed), etc. But for right now the night that brings me the most happiness was last night... Ben slept from 10:40-4:40 and then from 5:30 to 8:45. Glorious! My mom thought he and I must have died from carbon monoxide poisoning when she didnt hear us stiring until then. Oh sweet slumber!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A two-fer

Ben graced us with another five hours last night. His witching hour seems to be from 4:30 on...

Our life seems to be about numbers these days. What time did we last feed him, how many ounces did he take, how long did he sleep and so far the most interesting number has been 13. When we last emptied the diaper genie it contained 13 lbs of used diapers. Yes I made Matt stand on the scale to weigh it. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brought to you by the number 5

11-4 last night. That's five hours of sleep people. Rejoice with me. On the flip side, he did another wall pee. This kid keeps us on our toes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

THE PAYOFF!

This week has been a big change for Ben. No he is still terrorizing us by waking every few hours, and whimpering and crying while still asleep. However we are finally seeing smiles. Real smiles, not the I am currently pooping while you hold me and am so bloated that a smile is coming out but really don’t get your hopes up mom it’s just gas smiles. We’ve got smiles, we’ve got coos, we have a happy boy! I am going to try and get Matt to tape him this weekend so that we can post a video of it. It’s pretty darn cute. And he’s finally staring at us with the same adoration that he gave to the blank walls last week. He’s so much more interactive and quite frankly much more like a baby then the lump we’ve been taking care of for the past few weeks.

Ben spent his first night in his own room last night. I wouldn’t call it an extremely successful experiment as he got up a lot and fussed quite loudly when he was sleeping. We’ve got the mack daddy video monitor so I was able to keep watch over him from my bedside. Unfortunately even the lowest setting perfectly broadcasts every sound that he makes, so really it was like he was in the room with us. Here’s to hoping for a much quieter night tonight….

Monday, July 20, 2009

Week in Review

Ok so maybe posting every day was a little ambitious. The days keep flying by and Lori and I keep turning to each other each night and say something like...we really should post today.

So here, dear readers (and future Ben) is the week in review.

Zeide, (aka the big-chest-where-you-nap-throughout-the-day-so-that-you're-awake-all-night) came back from the Boston this week and was reunited with Baubie on Sunday the 12th.

You made your first trip to Grandma and Grandpa's for your first cookout on Friday, July 17. Your dad showed off that he can balance you on his knee while eating one handed - a new thing for him.

On Saturday, July 21 you met your Aunt Sheri and Uncle Seth for the first time. On Sunday, July 22 your Aunt Sheri lost the diaper roulette game thus had to change her first poopy diaper of yours. Hopefully we haven't scared her off and she'll agree to do it again - it was a doozy of a doodie.

You pretty much slept on Zeide, Baubie, Grandma or Grandpa all day yesterday which made for a very active night last night.

Note to self - more play time during day. We can't have another look-at-me-I'm-such-a-cute-angel-when-I'm-sleeping-all day charade.

Note to mom - Ben sleeps in his crib...in HIS room tonight.

New pictures posted tonight after Lori gets a Flicker.com tutorial!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Surviving... barely

(Mom's Point of View)

Yesterday as we took Ben for a walk, one of our neighbors stopped to ask us how it was going. We replied it was going good but damn if we can’t wait to get out of this up all hours of the night phase. She told us, as has everyone else, that it goes by quickly and she almost can’t remember that phase anymore (she has a 16 month or so).

Currently living in the phase of waking up every few hours right now, I can’t imagine forgetting what the reality of this first month is like. So for my own sake, and the sake of my future self who will read this when we start thinking about baby number 2, I want to just capture a few of phrases and moments that seem to drive my day.

1. GOOD GOD. A phrase usually uttered when Ben does a fountain type spit up, a fart or burp that are heard a room over- rivaling any frat boy in college, or after a monumental poop that covers him from front to back (usually happens when we are down to one baby wipe left in the container).

2. YOU ARE KILILNG ME. A phrase held mostly for the 2am or 4am wake ups. Ben does a half hour long preamble to waking up that is punctuated with cries and whimpers that repeatedly get us out of bed to check on him but when we do he is laying serenely with his eyes closed… until we get back into bed and he starts up again.

His soft fussing then becomes a wail that shoots one parent out of bed in a frantic dash to make formula which is spilled Jackson Pollock like all over the table each night and magically cleaned up by Baubie the next day.

We hoist the kid over our shoulder and shuttle him into the other room for a feeding without waking the other parent and Baubie. As his head bobs wildly we try to get the bottle into his mouth without taking out one of his eyes. He frantically sucks on it and then within seconds falls asleep. It is now that the first YOU ARE KILLING ME is uttered. Lovingly but it’s said all the same.

We try to tickle him, undress him, bounce him around, anything in an attempt to fill his belly so that the next feeding will be prolonged for a few hours so we can sleep. It’s a long process, filled with much parental cajoling and much resisting from the milk drunk baby but we persevere until we have him as filled as we can (as proven by a well directed spit up in our direction).

We then re-swaddle and put him in what we deem to be the most comfortable position and then start rocking. Or butt taping. Or back rubbing. Or jiggling up and down. And yes I have even put on the womb sounds CD. But this child who, moments before was sound asleep during feeding, is now wide awake, squirmy and not wanting to cooperate. Sure he’ll fool us by closing his eyes for a bit, or doing his trademarked one eye open one eye closed routine. But then right after you hit the three or four minute mark of when you think you might be in the clear, he cries out, eyes fly open and you utter your second YOU ARE KILLING ME.

A ten minute feeding can stretch to an hour long dance of trying to get Ben back to bed. Once he’s finally in deep breathing mode, you hoist yourself out of the chair, walk a few steps and wait. Sometimes he’ll wake right back up but on a good night you creep back into the other room, slowly lower him to the crib, pray, pull the blanket quietly over you (I never thought this process could be loud but when you are desperately trying not to wake your kid, you even think cotton is loud) and then put your head down, still praying for him to stay asleep. If he wakes, it’s back to YOU ARE KILLING ME.

3. The Right Spot. To get Ben comfortably settled on your chest for a little snooze is a like a full blown Olympic event for him. He is like an angry inchworm, crawling across your body, throwing his head against your chest, collarbone (an unfortunate target for him that usually results in an outraged cry), head, etc. He’ll hurl himself from side to side just looking for his ‘spot’. It’s a wonder that the grandmas, Matt and I are not bruised from his excursions across our body. But once he finds that spot, he settles in and puts on his most adorable “I am an angel sleeping face” and then does not want to be moved. Ever. God forbid you change positions to get a bit more comfortable. The beast gets awoken and you quickly shift back to anything he wants just to keep him in slumber.

4. Baby Elbow. At 2am I thought there is such thing as tennis elbow but could I be getting baby elbow from the constant swaying, rocking and vibrating of young Ben? I know I am old but my limbs feel like they are falling apart, and yeesh he’s only 10lbs 7oz! I am in trouble.

5. Who will break first? It’s not been said but I know there is a silent game of who will break first when hearing Ben cry and will get up to comfort him. I usually lose this game of wills. You know it’s true Matt.

6. Driven to drink. Coffee and Wine -- So glad my boy is a formula boy.

7. Whoever smelt it dealt it. We now have someone else to blame instead of the dog. Sorry Ben.

The monster is calling… must go.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Celebrating One Month - Already!

When I first started the blog I thought I would be posting every night. My goal was to have, at the end of the year, a unique chronicle of our first year together. I mean how hard could it be? All I had to do was post a unique thought or capture the day's activity.

I didn't take into account the following:
  1. Daddy likes to sleep. Ben does not.
  2. That thing called work
  3. Time seems to be accelerated - measured not in minutes but by three key elements - feeding, changing diapers, and holding/swaying.

    Often those three things are preceded by questions like:

    • What is that smell? Can you change him this time?
    • You want me to get this one? (often said between 2-3am)
    • Can he still be hungry?
    • Can you hold him now - I can't feel my left arm anymore
  4. Refer to point number one.
When you combine all of the above we were well into the next day and then the next. But its not for lack of desire. I mean we did WANT to blog. It's just if it came down to blogging or getting in 5 minutes of zzz's - well the z's won.

So where does that leave us today? Well for those keeping score at home, I think it's Baby 1 - Parents 0. But like the Carpenters "we've only just begun."

And we're onto you Big Ben.

We can now decipher your 'I'm-just-whimpering-because-I'm-a baby-and-that's-what-I -do' from 'HOLY-COW-I'M-HUNGRY-FEED-ME-NOW' and your 'hey guys I'm a bit uncomfortable' from your 'uh guys - I've got poop in my diapers again.'

We now know that somehow Big Ben came equipped with some kind of baby alarm/sensor. For example, Ben can be rocked to sleep and be in baby bliss in your arms but the second you lay him down in his crib he's all up in arms - literally!

It's amazing - and kind of funny to watch during the wee hours of the night. Because, on the nights when we evade the sensor, the parent putting Ben down does a slow motion creep back to bed, silently moving backwards and praying not to trip the baby alarm -picture Elmer Fudd hunting for Bugs Bunny.

We also know that, when all else fails, Big Ben likes to snooze in his car seat.

Finally, I can now change diapers and not be too grossed out by the bio hazard that sometimes fills the cracks and crevices of the places I didn't think poop could go.

So at the time of this posting, Big Ben has grown even bigger. He now weighs over 10 lbs - up a pound since his last visit to the pediatrician - two weeks ago.

He's in the 75th percentile for height - c'mon Big Ben grow - Daddy would love to see you in a Terps' bball uniform in 18 years.

Big Ben has encouraged his mother to take him on car rides farther and farther away from home - and that is huge as Mom's not a big fan of driving.

I do know that we're excited to have one month under our collective belts. I am excited to see what lies ahead in month two. At least, as my dad likes to remind me on his way out the door, "...just wait until he starts teething."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My two sons


Yet another weekend has come to a close here at the Mezoff-Monjan household. It was a family filled weekend with Baubie still here (THANK GOD), the Monjan family on the 4th and then the Lipshultz clan today. Of course Ben was the star attaction but Maxy our first and furry son also got love from everyone.

Over the last few weeks, we've discovered a lot of simularities between our Ben and Maxy - his brother from another mother.

First, an expression that I've been saying lately, is that babies are like puppies, they are cute so you don't kill them. I remember Maxy's puppy days, waking up in the middle of the night to take him out to do his business, trying anything we could do to make him not whimper at night (which quickly led us to sharing our bed), learning his signals, oohing over him while he curled up and slept and of course many discussions about his peeing and pooping schedule. Maybe its true that dogs really do prep you for babies.

Both Max and Ben have the great ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat and also go from a dead sleep to wide awake in a heart beat. Both display devil-eyes with their eyes rolling back in their head and make great facial expressions and body twitches when they dream. Both seem to enjoy having their bellies rubbed, though Maxy seems much more appreciative whereas Ben will sometimes just say thank you by issuing a stinky formula burp in your direction. Both will practically take off your hand when it comes to getting something good to eat. Both can bring Matt and I to levels of laughter and horror as we tend to their poop disposal. And of course both have wriggled their way into our hearts and have us bragging all the time about their exploits.

The two brothers get along quite well. Maxy will check Ben out every once and a while and give him some big kisses right on the head and on the mouth - lord knows what Ben thinks is going on when this happens. Maxy also likes to come in Ben's bedroom on the 2am feeding and sack out behind the rocking chair or in his new dog bed by the foot of the rocker. He usually stays there for hours -- I think he's figured out he'll get more sleep there than in our room with Ben. I see a great future between these two.

I think Maxy is hopeful that with the new addition, he will not have to be the star of our holiday cards and yet again have to don antlers or pose for Cheerios in front of a menorah.

And while the two brothers, one furry one squirly, may look different when posed for the family holiday card, they I'm sure they will be similar in their love for Cheerios.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Place Where Sleep and Awake Intersect


Recently, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon play out. Since Big Ben loves to wake up and be fed during the wee hours of the night and early hours of the morning, sleep has taken a back seat to wake. But sleep deprivation really can play some funny tricks on you. One such trick is the merging of my sleep and wake worlds.

Here's how it plays out in conversation:

Lori: What was in his diaper and how much did he eat?

Matt: Well he had a full diaper and strawberry ice cream - two scoops please

Lori: Matt your dreaming about ice cream again

Matt: mmmmm strawberrries...

Or did I just dream that conversation?

But its not just in strange conversations with my wife - it happens in email too! I re-read everything before I send it out. Since Ben and I hang out for an hour before I put him back in his crib I sometimes try to knock out a few emails while I'm up. I haven't sent out any messages about strawberry ice cream but let's just say the subject lines have been interesting.

And then there are those five second dreams. You know the ones where you're just going to rest your eyes for a few seconds because you're so comfortable and then jerk awake - but it takes you a second to figure out if you're awake or not? Yeah I get those alot. Kind of like my own personal movie trailers.

I can say, as I sit here and post tonight that this weekend has been awesome. Ben met his Aunt Vanessa (that's Ness up in the top + we've posted new picks here) on Friday and my parents, Lori's mom and my sister had a 3rd of July bbq - keeping Big Ben up for most of it. Big Ben only woke up twice last night and I got to sleep until 11am!!! It was wonderful.

We're going to try the same thing tonight. Wish us luck...and strawberry ice cream - two scoops please.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"It Gets Better..."

Said my mom to me the other day. "All babies cry and wake up at the wee hours of the night."

"It gets better" my friends assured me after hearing my response to their question "so did you sleep any last night?"

Recently I was presenting in our booth at a national education technology conference (NECC) and people who have read this blog from around the country came up to me, tapped me on my shoulder, and said, "It gets better...next month...you'll see."

That actually was really pretty cool but NEXT MONTH?!?

I have fallen behind in the daily blog posting this past week because I have been consumed with work and Ben. For some reason Ben (as my Lori noted below) has taken to waking every hour with a cry/wail that is a cross between a hurricane/tornado warning siren and 100 female cats calling out to perspective suitors - all at the same time.

Max, the only smart one in the family, has decided that when the lights go off it's time to leave the room and go seek a quieter corner of the house to curl up and sleep - that dog is brilliant.

I've also noticed that Ben's terms of endearment have taken a slight change in direction over the past week.

For example, when he first came home he was Benjamin, then Ben the burrito then a few other affectionate names. Sometime last week he became "your child." And, most recently, at 3:20 am, he was just "it" as in - "Babe it is your turn to change/feed/console it."

But maybe things are getting better. We've just passed the three week mark and last night Ben (not the Ben the beast, your child, or it) slept in two shifts 4 hours at a time.

And we're also coming up on a holiday weekend with lots of parents and stimuli that should make for a happy and, fingers crossed, sleepy baby.

When all is said and done, he is a great kid. His expressions, snuggle time, coos and good sounds (including snorts and farts) make me smile every time - plus he is a pretty damn cute child (said with paternal pride).

Once again thank you for all of the love, kind words, thoughts and support. I think things are already getting better.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We’ve been slacking on the blog but Ben’s sleeping schedule or lack thereof has made for some unmotivated parents. So unmotivated that Matt didn’t even go to soccer on Sunday which is SHOCKING (when we dated Matt would leave Hoboken NJ at 4am to drive home to Maryland in time to make his morning soccer games). Ben must be going thru some kind of growth spurt because he is fussy as all heck and wants to eat all the time (he is truly our kid) which means every hour or two hours throughout the night. Matt and I have been trading shifts during the night but we are both pretty exhausted. Thank god for Baubie who watched him for a few hours on Sunday so both of us could nap.


It got so bad last night that at 4:44am Matt turned to me and said, I’m fine with one, lets not have any more kids.


It’s funny, a few weeks ago my friend Tom called and left me a voicemail saying he was home with the Beast and to call him back. I couldn’t believe he would refer to his son Ben (or Original Ben as Tom calls him since he beat our Ben out of the gate by a few weeks – our Ben is referred to as Subsequent Ben or Ben version 2) as a beast. Now beast is one of the tamer things I call our Ben. Beast, Demon child, and Satan are just a few of the endearments I utter as I am rocking him for 30 minutes trying to cajole him to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ben, its just that at 2:30 sometimes I don’t like him very much.


Ben has found his hands, in a big way. He is constantly trying to gauge out his eyes or grab at the bottle. He’s even found his thumb to suck for a brief moment, though he much prefers his pacifier. Once his pacifier is in his mouth, good luck getting it out. The kid has Superglue like strength where you feel as if you might just lift his whole body up via his pacifier because it’s suctioned in there so good.


During out blogging lapse, Ben went to the pediatrician for his two week check up. Everything is looking good. He has regained his weight to his birth weight and now weighs around 9lbs 4oz. They took some blood from his heel which he did NOT like one bit. Did one of his mouth open, silent cries where his body is crying but no sound comes out. So very sad. In other big news, his umbilical cord finally fell out this week after having it cauterized by the pediatrician. It was pretty gross. I just can’t fathom how people save it or do things with it. Sentimental, I am not, it went right into the Diaper Genie along with a poopy diaper.


Now that the umbilical cord is gone we can give Ben more baths. I am starting to get the hang of giving Ben baths but haven’t quite mastered holding a wet baby in order to wash his backside. He’s a very slippery worm. He’s surprisingly calm during the bath process, I expected meltdowns but he’s pretty mellow. However he did get me back by peeing in his drying blanket after the bath. That’ll show mommy. I hope Maxy doesn’t learn that trick.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What they say and What they really mean

Over the past two weeks, I've gotten pretty good at figuring out what Big Ben needs and wants when he his crying. But I've also recently discovered that there is a whole other non-spoken language uttered by friends and family when it comes to their needs and wants.

For example:

If it is 2am, Big Ben is crying, and my wife nudges me and tiredly says, "You want me to take this one?" she really means, "Hey get up slacker and go feed and/or change our kid. I had him all day."

Any sentence that starts with the words "Your son" means that the rest of the sentence will be bad news.

Contrarily, any sentence that starts with words "Our son" as in "You'll never guess what our son did today" is pretty much going to be good news - usually to my wife's credit somehow.

Loud crying followed by snorting, followed by head thrashing against chest means "feed me now dad or mom!"

As much as I'm dying to take credit for it, I know that any smiles that Ben offers at this point is due to gas - specifically the release of gas. On the other hand, I have to admit that also makes me smile.

Anytime a friend or family member asks "are you getting any sleep" they really are thinking "I know they aren't getting any sleep because I wasn't at this stage - I just want to hear another person say it out loud so I can laugh inside - sucker"

When grandma calls and asks how we're doing it really is just filler until she feels enough words have been spoken and she can safely ask to come over and play/hold Ben.

And these are just a few that I've learned so far. I welcome all of your thoughts and suggestions to help me build out my "what is not being said" vocabulary. Please provide them in the comment section below.

Oh wait - I have one more:

When my wife says "For the love of God put down that f@&%n computer and stop blogging" well, she really means that...good night!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Me and My DEN Family

Written by Big Ben

Today I got to meet my DEN Family and boy did they spoil me! First of all Uncle Brad walks in the room and I went from crying to ahhhh 'that's the spot' immediately - it's like I was always an angel and never ever anything else... ever. Uncle Justin said so. I totally had these guys snowed.

The crew also brought dinner for my mom and dad which they munched on while I was gulping down my own formula. Of course I was the only one to poop and burp after my dinner - I have no shame - hey I'm only two weeks old.

If that wasn't enough my DEN family brought my parents and me the best gifts! They were so creative and appropriate. Dad's still laughing at the Buttpaste - yeah that's right I said buttpaste - made you laugh too right? I was told I'm not allowed to eat it like the paste my dad ate in school. But that, my friends, is for a different posting. I also scored the coolest socks, gift cards, clothes, binkies, burp cloths, tylenol and rattle. And my mom and dad also got tylenol, dinner from Austin Grill, and earplugs - dad has those in right now because mom's snoring.

Oh yeah you should know that when the ladies came in and it was time to make poppa proud. Ahhh yeah (bow now chicka dow now). I got primo snuggle time with Aunties Jen,Shannon and Jannita and, let me tell you, I was the MAN. I even copped my first feel. I was smooth too. I pretended to yawn and went for the boob - you know the move. Dad told me that's how I came to be but I'm not sure what that means.

All of my cool stuff plus more cool pix are in the cooliris collage to the right and below - just scroll to the right. You can also click on the picture link under the recommended link section on the right.

Thanks again DEN Family you guys are the bestest!

Mom and Dad told me that you can come back for a sleep over too - I'll even share my dad's earplugs.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My First Father's Day

Wow kind of weird to say, but kind of cool too! Even though I didn't get to sleep in (Big Ben was up at 3, 4 and 5 am), I did get to play a full 90 minutes of soccer, get great gifts and cards from my wife and family, eat a burger and dog for dinner and celebrate with my parents and in-laws over ice cream cake. Really...does it get any better than that?

This weekend was also great because Big Ben got to meet his Uncles Dave and Rusty as well as his Aunt Debbie. And he hung with his Uncle Andy and Aunt Wendy in the hospital so he's already making the rounds!

For those who have requested more pix - you got 'em! We added more to the ever expanding Flickr file - see CoolIris app to the lower right-hand. We've also added a direct link to the Flickr page over on the right-hand side under the recommended links. This link will always default to the newest pictures first.

To download any of the images simply follow these steps:
  1. Click on any image.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the image you will see a tiny box, click on this box
  3. This will take you to the Flickr page and image
  4. Right-click on the image and choose Save Image As
  5. Rename the file (it will originally be a bunch of letters and numbers)
  6. Save it on your computer (desktop, my docs, etc)
  7. Once it is on your computer you can print the picture.
There you go Zeidie - instructions as promised :)

Other lessons learned this week. One - Never, ever, and I mean ever, change formulas mid-stream. Boy was that a mistake. Two - tell your wife you love her often - I still need to be better with this one - baby (not the two week one...the 30 something one) if you're reading this - I love you.

Next week is a big week for Big Ben because he gets to meet his DEN family. We are looking forward to this.

Ok one more thing - I think this may be my favorite image of the weekend:

Keep coming back to share in this crazy adventure we call family. As always your comments, thoughts and love are most appreciated!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thank God for Baubie, Zeidie, and the Grandparents


It’s Saturday morning at 6:50 and we haven’t posted in days. I feel like I went to school without doing my homework or something. As I type, Ben is in his port-a-crib deciding whether he wants to fuss or not and the dog is outside sleeping (probably thinking “man this is the only place I don’t get woken by that loud new toy my parents brought home about a week ago”).

About a half an hour ago I really impressed the heck out of myself by managing to simultaneously burp Ben and give Maxy a belly rub at the same time. It’s not so easy, believe me. But I am getting used to this one arm world where I have to complete normal everyday activities with Ben in arm. I am sure things will get easier once the upgrade parts for Ben (the non wobbly neck feature) come about. Kid is like a damn bobblehead.

We learned a very important baby lesson this week. Under no circumstances should one ever change a baby’s formula. We had gotten free samples of Similac, Enfamil, etc in the mail and had finished up the Similiac so we started using the Enfamil. That’s when demon child reared his ugly head for about 24 hours. Apparently it doesn’t agree with him and he made that KNOWN. Thank god Baubie (my mom) pointed out that his crankiness started along with the new formula. Needless to say we booked it to Babies R Us and bought the Similac immediately so demon is now angel again. Or as much of an angel as an almost two week old baby can be. Last night he slept in three hour sets which was great. I think it was because of my pleas to him yesterday afternoon.

Matt was taking me out for a Birthday Mulligan (a golf term meaning do over I believe because my birthday was hijacked by cranky kid the day before – see Enfamil issue) for Sushi and cocktails ( WHOO HOOO AFTER NINE MONTHS OF ABSTAINING).

This week Ben got to meet his Baubie (Yiddish for Grandmother) and Zeide (Yiddish for Grandfather) since my parents drove down from Boston. He won them over immediately just like he did his Grandma and Grandpa who are here in Columbia MD. Our little hot water bottle man has spent significant time in the crook or on the chest of all his grandparents. And the grandfathers pay special attention to Maxy to make sure he’s getting his quota of love and belly rubs. Both our furry and non furry kid are very lucky to have such great grandparents and I am sure that Matt and I will be taking full advantage of their willingness to watch over our little monsters.

I think Ben found his hands over the last few days and its like wrestling an octopus to try and give him his bottle without him either getting his hand in the way, or using his hands to claw out his own eyes. Plus he’s like The Incredible Hulk bursting his way out of his swaddles. As much as I think I’ve got him wrapped up, a few hours later there is a hand poking out. Future magician/escape artist in the making… maybe.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Week In....

(Mom's Point of View)
Ben has obviously heard me talking smack about him over the last few days where he provided us with a few nights of all night entertainment in the form of his refusal to go to sleep unless it was on our chests. Matt and I took turns at the fun game of ‘calm the demon’ and ‘be the mattress for Ben’, with one parent in our room and the other one passed out gratefully in the guest bed room. Well Ben heard our pleas and for the last two nights has been the true example of ‘fat babies sleep better.’ Last night he begrudgingly went down at 10:40 in his Ben Burrito outfit (see Flickr for a really cute Burrito Pix that Matt uploaded this morn), and then didn’t wake up until 3 for his feeding. In an effort to feed the beast we started increasing how much formula we’ve been giving him and this milk coma thing seems to be working in our favor. The night before he only woke us up twice. GO BEN GO. Though I am sure he’s just messing with us, trying to throw us off our game.

I can’t believe it’s been a week since Ben was born. In one way it seems like it’s been a long time but on the other hand I can’t believe it’s been only a week since we’ve had him, given how he’s taken over our lives (I mean that in a good way, mostly, okay at 3am not so good but when he’s passed out on you and you are at peace good way.). It’s been fun to observe all his little baby quirks. Like his piglet snorts and his head bounces on your chest when he wants food NOW. Or his little “Boston Pop’s’ move where all of a sudden his little hands throw themselves up in the air on their own, like he’s conducting the 1812 Overture with gusto. Or just those bizarre faces that he makes at you when you talk to him or start making up songs to sing to him (he especially liked the Burps and Farts song I serenaded him with the other day). He also seems to be fond of my ‘put a plug or a cork in it little man’ song that I sing to him as he starts fussing when I change his diaper as I plop the pacifier in his mouth.

The one constant over the last week has been Matt and my constant gratitude for our friends and family. We could not ask for a better network for us or for Ben. Our friends have been far better friends than we ever were when they became parents. I apologize for that. I SO DIDN’T UNDERSTAND UNTIL NOW. Thank god we have had everyone to turn to with our questions, with our concerns (can you vibrate your kid in the bouncy seat too much), and for just letting us babble on about how cute our kid is. Everyone’s generosity is just too much. We really appreciate it!

Life Imitating Art

(Dad's Point of View)

There is a famous landmark in Brussels. It is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain's basin.

How does this apply to our storyline thus far?

Well yesterday dad learned a valuable lesson - don"t forget to put on the pee pee tee pee while changing Big Ben"s diapers.

I turned my head for one second to get a wipe and all of a sudden I had my own little peeing fountain going off in the house. And I couldn't do anything but sit back in amazement and marvel at the height and volume produced by my little guy - I'm talking ceiling height!

Now, and forever more, that thing is getting covered.

More pix, as always, are posted in the slide show to the right (just not of Big Ben performing his work of art)

Note: I'm playing with a new image browser called CoolIris. To scroll through the images please hold your left mouse button down (you'll see the white hand close) and then move your mouse left and right. Click once on an image to expand the picture. Click on the little square in the upper right-hand part of image to go to Flickr page.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Getting Back on Track.


I know, I know we missed a post yesterday. I actually didn't open up my computer yesterday but I can tell you that it was pretty much the same routine: Cry (during night), sleep (during day), poop, eat, repeat.

However, I can tell you that we are loving the bouncy chair. Thank you so much Auntie-Aimee! This is the miracle chair. It puts Big Ben to sleep. An hour in the chair yesterday seemed to help him sleep through the night last night! Or maybe we just got lucky.

Either way - we had a much less frazzled night last night. One of the things we did do, with trepidation, was wake Big Ben for an evening eating session. And even though we love when he's sleeping, I can honestly say, we love watching him wake up better.

Watch to the end to see why he's his father's child.

Don't forget to fill out the Big Ben's Playlist Survey. Four questions to help me build out Big Ben's audio and literary library. You can find a link to the survey in the previous post below or on the right-hand side of your screen under Help us Create Big Ben's Playlist.

Thanks!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We're Home!

We got home around 2pm yesterday afternoon and, all of a sudden, it was real.

My parents came over with dinner, pizza, and Max. If Max was interested in his new brother you could have fooled me. But that's ok he hung with Daddy, at least when he wasn't trying to grab a piece of pizza from Grandma and Grandpa.

Ben woke up this morning in a brand new environment and started his first day at home. I learned that Ben is a big fan of sleeping on mom or dad's chest and not such a big fan of sleeping in his Pack-N-Play.

A special shout out to Debbie Blackburn for her advice to stick a pinky finger in Ben's mouth when he starts fussing. This has saved our sanity as well as well as our marriage ;)

So Lori and I tag-teamed Ben duty last night and in between late night feedings, changings, and pleadings to sleep, Ben and I watched a lot of YouTube videos on my iTouch - he's a big fan of D*in a Box (Does that make me a bad dad?)

When it came time to switch off sleeping shifts Lori and I would hand baby over and head to another room for a quick cat nap. Now I could be delirious, but I think there was one moment where I think we actually slapped each other five to tag out.

Who knows what tonight will bring - but at least we have four nights under our belt and I'm told that there is light at the end of the tunnel - or 10 days (24o hours) from now (which will be 2 weeks since Ben came into our lives).

Now for the Parent 2.0 piece. I've been putting together Big Ben's play and book lists. I have already created one list but would love to tap into your thoughts to help me make it even bigger and better.

So I've created a SURVEY (click here) using PollDaddy.com (a free website that let's you embedd surveys, polls, and ratings into your blogs, wikis, and websites).

Note you can also access this link on the left-hand side of the screen under Big Ben's Playlist (go ahead move your mouse over there and take a gander)

I'm dying to see your responses - there is no wrong answer!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thank God It's Friday!


This week has been a whirlwind of firsts (going to rent a breast pump so powerful it can "Tune in Tokyo"- thank you for that term Jannita) and a tidal-wave of emotions (changing Ben after his circumcision yesterday - I literally felt my heart break).

However, (insert weather cliche here) today we finally get to go home! The hospital and its staff have been super - we really couldn't have asked for a better experience.

But, I think, we're both ready to have the bedroom door stay closed for longer than 10 minutes. Plus we both really miss Max! Too bad this hospital isn't dog-friendly :)

Besides all of that, and I don't want to brag here, but I think we're ready. You see yesterday I received the #1 Dad cookie from my parents during their visit and you know they don't just hand those things out.

Now notes from Mamma Bear (aka Lori):
I wanted to steal a little space on the blog that has overtaken my husband's waking moments when he's not taking care of Ben and me. This has been a week like no other. I have to say the c-section experience was not as bad as I thought. It was very surreal to go through it but I have to say the scardy cat part of me was quite happy to be fileted rather than go through undetermined hours of labor.

Matt has been awesome with Ben. Believe it or not I have yet to change a diaper while in the hospital as he and the nurses have changed every one. I am not so silly as to think I can get away with this forever but I sure as hell am going to play the 'c-section card' as long as I can to continue this full service. And these diapers have been gross. I have never seen Matt so horrified yet willing to do it. This from the man I need to beg to do carry the laundry for me.

I have also been pleasantly surprised at how un-type A I have been. I actually feel relaxed with this whole new mom thing. And thats while off the Percoset! I even had one nurse fooled that I wasn't a first time mom. Me... relaxed about something?? I am sure this will change once I get home.

A few more thoughts
  1. I never thought I could care less about how many people I flash in a day. If this hospital were New Orleans I'd have bags of beads by now.
  2. And on the same note. I never thought I'd have to try to hard to get a man (young as he is) interested in my breasts. Come on little man!
  3. Mesh underwear. Moms you know what I mean. Enough said.
  4. I find many of my nicknames for Maxy (Boo, Boo Bear, Poopy Head) all work for Ben as well.
  5. Yes I have checked my blackberry while Ben slept on me. And no I don't feel guilty.
  6. I never thought I would place so much importance on passing gas. Matt and Ben had no problems showing off this ability while I struggled to do so in order to eat solid foods. Finally victory. Fun for me, not so much for others in the room.
  7. I know all moms say this but seriously isn't Ben one of the cutest kids you've ever seen?
My little Ben Burrito (he is swaddled so well) is starting to squirm so I'll sign off for now.

That ends the note from Lori it also reminds me to lock my computer next time I leave the room (just kidding my love!)

We have really enjoyed everyone's support, visits, comments, phone calls and letters. So much so I've incorporated your comments into a word cloud and posted it below.

I used TagCrowd.com to create the word cloud because Wordle.net seemed to be giving me some issues. But both sites are free and Wordle has a more options for background and color.

In case you are curious, a Word Cloud is a graphic representation of the words you enter into the program. Therefore, the more often a word is used, the bigger it appears on the screen.

Both programs are super easy to use. In fact, all you have to do is drag, drop and submit. I plan to print the graphic below, frame it and place it in Ben's room. Now your words will continue to spread cheer for a very long time!

We'll continue to add pix of Ben, family and friends. They'll populate to the left as well as live in that URL I posted a few days ago.

And of course we'll continue to continue this blog - only this time from the comfort of home as a complete family, Mom, Dad, Ben and Max.
created at TagCrowd.com