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.