Thursday, July 31, 2008

Made My Day!

Today, when I dropped Ben off at the daycare, the following message was heard over the loud speaker:

"Attention Teachers! The gerbils have escaped from their cages AGAIN! Please check your rooms for our furry friends."

hehehehehee.....MADE MY DAY.

To make things EVEN funnier (for me), as the lead teacher was on her knees looking under the cribs for these rodents, I jumped and "screamed" that I saw one. Of course I didn't see anything....but her face and the speed at which she jumped back to her feet was priceless.

She promised she wasn't mad at me =0)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MIA....again

If you haven’t already noticed the pattern of my posts, then let me spell it out for you:

If I don’t post for a while, it’s probably because I’m sick or Ben is sick.

I’ve been sick.

For the past 2 weeks, I have had a headache about every day. Every 3-4 days, I have had a violent migraine. Not so fun!

At first, I thought it was too much caffeine. Then I thought it was the steak or the peanut butter that I ate. But then I looked at other symptoms: mainly the moodiness and all around PMS symptoms and realized it was something else.

Stop Reading Here- if you do not want too much information about me =0)

Ben has started sleeping through the night and he’s eating 3 meals of solids each day. Because of this, naturally my milk supply must be decreasing. I think (though I’m no doctor), that my estrogen levels are dropping like crazy. I am currently on the mini-pill, a progestin-only pill. I am not able to be on the “normal” birth control pill because studies show weird things happen when nursing babies get more estrogen on top of what a nursing mom naturally produces.

History lesson- It took me 2 years to figure out that I get FAR less headaches when I am on a birth control that has estrogen in it for 4 straight weeks (versus the pills that have nothing but sugar for your last week of your cycle or progressively less estrogen each week). Now that my levels are fluctuating, since my milk supply is decreasing, I am faced with these debilitating migraines……and I thought I was past those. YUCK!

Right now, it appears that my options are 1) stop breastfeeding so I can get back on the estrogen birth control, 2) be unable to work or function when my levels drop (which I would be unable to predict) or 3) find a work around.

My doctor suggested a magnesium/Vitamin B-6 combination that we all hope will 1) make me feel like a human being again and 2) not mess with Ben (Ben has a history of not liking supplements I try to take). If this doesn’t work, the next step would be a narcotic (which I don’t feel comfortable taking) or discontinuing the whole breastfeeding thing. Praying this magnesium cocktail does the trick!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Benjamin Asher News

Since I am going to give you all the news about Ben, I thought this picture of him reading the newspaper with daddy was appropriate!
Today, I got the call from his daycare...."Ben's eye is running AGAIN." This has been an on-going issue since birth. I took him to the doctor. He has a blocked tear duct. We are hoping that it works itself out before he turns 1. Otherwise, we might need to do the surergy to un-plug it (They say it's minor....but it still is one surgery too many for that little age!)
While at the doctor's, Ben was weighed. He is now 17lbs and 7 oz. He's packing it on now!
Also, in other Ben news, he has been sleeping 10-12 hours straight for almost 2 weeks. We start his bedtime routine at 6:30 and by 7:00, he has "rocked" himself to sleep. He literally sits up in his bed and rocks back and forth until he is so tired he decides to lay down. He doesn't even fuss anymore! (I have been waiting to post this good news....because I was afraid that once I wrote it, he would start night waking again! We'll see!)
Ben is full out crawling now, too. He can get on his hands and knees and get from point A to point B rather quickly. He can even stand in his crib when he sees you and wants to get to you.
Lastly, he doesn't have any teeth, yet. And though he is on his way to walking soon, he is still very new at the whole eating thing. He likes his purees....even though I would love for him to start table food as soon as possible. Tonight, he gagged on smooshed greenbeans. He didn't choke at all, just did not like the texture of the lumpy food going down. I had to give him some of Daddy's water! hehe...it was really cute!
My friend from church told me about the mesh teethers that hold food. It makes it so that you can put anything you want into this mesh little bag....then Ben can suck and chew on it all day long and get small enough pieces to handle. He ate some ham and potatoes tonight in it and LOVED it!

Anyway, that's all for now! (I know it's a lot to take in and write down....hehe) I'll leave you with this picture of Ben. This is the look I get in the mornings when I don't have to take him to play school. It's SO hard to go to work every morning!

Monday, July 21, 2008

This was the Video I meant to Upload! (But the next one is cute, too!)

video

PEACHES! (With Daddy!)

video

WE LOVE PLAYGROUPS!

On Friday, Ben and I went to a playgroup with all the moms and babies from my Bradley Method delivery class. We had a lot of fun. It was so good to see how all the other babies have grown SO much. Next month, we're all going to the pool together.....FUN TIMES!The above picture is one of my new favorite pics.

He's working on getting up on those toes!

We liked the slide! Check out my new haircut!

Ben doesn't seem too excited about the "going down" part of the slide. But, I promise he laughed after we stopped =0) He thought my hair was funny because it was sticking up!!

All the Moms!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Blog

My husband has started a new blog. Check it out:


Our hope is for it to be an honest account of the steps we are taking to prepare to go overseas. We could use your prayers and support in the weeks/months/years to come.
Caleb's father put it best- "Some pray, some give and some go".

I hope you'll take the time to read it....

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Cousin-In-Law's Exhibition!

Opening Night Reception with Julia & Suzanne:July 26th, 2008, 6-10pm
Exhibition Dates:July 26th—August 2nd10am—8pm (by appt.)
Englishtown, NJ


Suzanne's website is on my links list. She is absolutely amazing! My favorite part of her website is the section devoted to pictures of the nursery she hand painted for her son!

This is a BIG deal! (If you don't know or care about Drum Corps, don't read this!)

'Crown' jewels sparkle in Sunshine State

Sunday, July 13, 2008 - 12:32 AM Florida in all of its heat and humidity didn’t deter thousands of drum corps fans from descending on the Citrus Bowl Saturday night, to witness 10 top Open and World Class corps compete during the DCI Orlando Premier Event. Turning a page in the history books, Carolina Crown surpassed the Cadets for the first time ever, taking the gold medal with a score of 85.625 and notching a victory unlike any other in their 18-year history.
Carolina Crown drum majors Mark Whitfield (L) and Evan VanDoren receive the gold medal at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.

Carolina Crown executive director Kevin Smith could be found after the show by the corps’ buses, giving hugs and high-fives to a long line of corps members. Crown members were jubilant tonight, and supporters passing by leant their own calls of congratulation to the atmosphere. Smith beamed as he said, “This is a pretty big night for us. To win a big weekend show like this and to do it over a great corps like the Cadets with all of their history is just amazing.”
The audience has continued to feed the energy of Carolina Crown all season, and Smith said, “We’ve been getting great reactions from the start. The guys on the design team did a tremendous job putting this show together after a really great program last year. You never know whether you’re going to be able to top the one from before, but it’s really going great. The crowds are loving it and that’s what we care about.”

The Cadets certainly kept the contest close, and with their score of 85.125 were exactly half a point behind Crown, earning their share of top placements from the judges. The Bluecoats, bronze medalists with a score of 82.550, took first in the percussion caption as the corps unveiled numerous changes to the way their program, “The Knockout,” is staged.

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL??? Campbell Style!


Go Camels! Look Out! We Spit!

Campbell University has a football team. I thought the stoplight in Buies Creek was a BIG deal….so you can imagine the surprise when we got wind of this information.

The first game is scheduled for August 30th and the Homecoming game is scheduled for November 1st. You better believe that Caleb, Ben and I will be in attendance….sporting the one shirt we each own from the old-school Campbell Crazies Days (Ben will be wearing something a little more “with the times” since I didn’t buy a onesie for him while attending college.)

I promise that this will be the biggest comedy show in the South. You really don’t want to miss it! The tickets are just $15 a person (not bad, really….unless they do as badly as everyone predicts.)

Anyway, if you want in on all the fun or need a place to crash if you’re coming in from out of town, just call! We plan to hit up the grand ol’ Oasis (you wouldn’t recognize it if you haven’t been there in the last 3 years) and then maybe Cooley’s for wings, $5 sauces for your wings and CRAB DIP and Diet Coke…..ahhhh….the good times. Don’t quite miss it, yet….but I do miss the people!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Visit With MeeMom and PopPop!

Here are some pictures from Ben's visit with MeeMom and PopPop while Caleb and I were in the mountains. Ben's favorite part of the trip was visiting the museums...especially the Butterfly Garden....where about 75-100 butterflies flew all around him! Fun Times!






Rewarding Myself- I don't do this often!

I am not one to buy things for myself. I tend to put others needs before my own, almost to the point to it being unhealthy. When I take off of work, I feel guilty most times and I always feel bad to ask and take alone/girl time.

That being said, I have decided to reward myself.

When breastfeeding, namely pumping, turned out to be so difficult from the beginning, I committed to keep on until Ben was 6 months. That was my goal. I am so happy to say that Ben is now 6 ½ months and we are going strong and hope to continue it until at least our trip to Disney World in September!

Ben has now started eating “meals” 3 times a day. Because of this, we have gotten to a point where he only needs to nurse every 3-4 hours (This is down from every 2 which is WONDERFUL). When he was eating every two hours, he ended up going through about 4 bottles at playschool- two breast milk and two formula. Now, he is only taking about 2 ½ bottles at playschool- one breast milk and one formula (We’ve got to keep the formula in there because without at least one bottle of it, the child does not poop….hehe! He’s a little backwards with that one!)

All that to say, I have FINALLY reached a point where I can drop a pumping session at work. YAY! For MONTHS I have been envious of all those moms with an oversupply that were able to pump for like a minute and be able to feed all the starving kids in the world age 0-5! Finally, I will be able to have a lunch again (all glorious 30 minutes of it!). What ever will I do with the time?

I still plan to nurse at 6:30, pump at 10:30, pump at 2:30, nurse at 6:30 then nurse/pump at 10:30! Hopefully with this schedule, the timing of Ben’s solids will be right along with our meals: 8:30, 12:30, 5:30!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vote Here!

There is a new bar opening up in downtown Raleigh and I would like for it to be Non-Smoking! If you feel the same way, please vote here:
Thanks!!

Baby Led Feeding Attempt- Failure (for now!)

If you know me and read my last post about Baby Led Weaning (BLW), you were probably laughing hysterically because you KNEW I could never go through with it. (No comments, Crystal!!)

Here goes:

Last night, I was really excited about trying Ben on some broccoli. I also decided to give him a little rice cereal mush and half a banana for him to play with and attempt to suck on.

Caleb started cooking the broccoli while I gave Ben the banana….thinking he would really enjoy licking it and sucking on it. Nope! He attacked it and took one big bite! A big chunk of banana was in his mouth. Scary as hell! I kept telling myself, “Don’t freak out! Don’t freak out! If he can’t gum it, he can’t swallow it.” Sure enough, out spits the banana chunk….Phew!

Let’s move onto something else! =0) hehe…..so I handed him a cool mushy piece of broccoli, large enough for him to hold. Into the mouth it goes! Another huge chunk! Off comes all the little pieces. The face Ben made was priceless. Ben is NOT a fan of broccoli…. coupled with the fact that he is not a fan of little foreign pieces of food in his mouth, either. He started gagging a little bit….but it seemed SO much worse at the time. I think he coughed about 3 times, but it felt continuous!

Oh! I forgot to mention that he did spit out the broccoli, too. It was kind of like watching one of those yard sprinklers shoot out little bits of water…..Ben the automatic broccoli sprinkler.

To make matters EVEN worse, Caleb (my wonderful husband) decided he was going to leave me alone in this endeavor. He was making a broccoli salad in the kitchen. While I was trying to watch Ben “eat”, he joined us at the table with a bowl of his own broccoli creation. Wouldn’t you know….he starts gagging!! I glared at him and told his to get out! He looked at me with this pitiful face that read, “But what about me, I’m choking!” In retrospect it was really funny and really ironic. Caleb was able to cough up the broccoli on his own, too!

Anyway, our first attempt was much harder to watch than I realized. BLW sounds really good on paper, but I don’t think we are there yet. Since Ben spit the majority of the food out, I am going to try a little bit of food here and there until he really learns to gum it! In the meantime, we’re going to work on his pincer grasp (I read WAY too much about baby development!)!

Forver Home for Riley!

We were VERY picky about who we let meet Riley as a possible forever owner. We are very happy with the family he went to live with.

The lady who fell in love with Riley is married to a truck driver who is on the road a lot. She has two Jack Russell terriers and her big dog of 18 years just passed away. She was looking for another big dog to fill that gap.

Enter Riley!

They live in Clayton and have a lot of land. She called us after he got home with her and told us that he loved chasing all the bunnies, and he was just about to jump into the pool for a quick dip. She even told us that she would send us Christmas cards with his pictures until we told her to stop!

We’re very happy to have found a good home for him.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jar Baby Foods for Baby Led Weaning???

That is the new question for me!

I have been reading all sorts of information about it on-line. I really like this idea of letting Ben “play” with his food and discover how to feed himself. I kind of feel like foods/mealtimes should be more about discovering new textures and tastes, than to pack him full of food so he will sleep =0) If he’s hungry, he’ll nurse! Since Ben is still deriving over 75% of his daily nutrition from my milk or formula, learning to eat can be more about discovery for him! (And this little guy LOVES to discover new things!)

I like how one author put it:

“This approach to weaning offers a baby the opportunity to discover what other foods have to offer as part of finding out about the world around him. It utilizes his desire to explore and experiment, and to mimic the activities of others. Allowing the baby to set the pace of each meal, and maintaining an emphasis on play and exploration rather than on eating, enables the transition to solid foods to take place as naturally as possible. This is because it would appear that what motivates babies to make this transition is curiosity, not hunger.”

Here is another quote I like:

“It appears that a baby’s general development keeps pace with the development of his ability to manage food in his mouth, and to digest it. A baby who is struggling to get food into his mouth is probably not quite ready to eat it. It is important to resist the temptation to ‘help’ the baby in these circumstances since his own developmental abilities are what ensure that weaning takes place at the right pace for him. This process is also what keeps him safe from choking on small pieces of food, since, if he is not yet able to pick up small objects using his finger and thumb, he will not be able to get, for example, a pea or a raisin into his mouth. Once he is able to do this, he will have developed the necessary oral skills to deal with it.”

Anyway, I still have A LOT of reading and experimenting to do. Please don’t take anything I just wrote as an “I’m Right and You’re Wrong” lecture. I am just interested in trying something like this….and, I’m hoping to find more information about it before I do.
Meanwhile, I am actually really excited about buying broccoli tonight so that I can give him the cooked stalk to discover. Chances are he won’t eat much of it! Chances are this will probably be one big Benjamin mess! But, come on! The child reaches for EVERYTHING we eat….and, he seems much more interested in putting the spoon to his own mouth than to have it fed to him. I am curious to see what happens!

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Thank You- From Ben!

Dear MeeMom and PopPop-

Thank you for watching me while my Mommy and Daddy were in the mountains.

I had a really good time! I loved going to the museums with you. I liked the butterfly garden the best and hope to go again with you really soon! I also liked how you fed me my bottles. You did a really good job! I’m sorry I get a little mad when I’m starving! I’m working on that.

Thank you for introducing me to pears. They were GOOD! I like the extra rice cereal you threw in there. I like eating!

Thank you for taking the time to work on new ways to go to sleep. Thanks for putting batteries in my mobile and for leaving it on so that I could play with it during the night. Thank you thinking up the idea of including two pacifiers in my crib with me. I really like one for each hand.

Thank you for singing “Rock-a-bye Benjamin” and “Jesus Loves the Little Benjamins”! That made me really happy!

PopPop Paul- Thank you for blowing up my pool and for playing with me in it! That was really cool! Thank you, also, for cleaning the house for Mommy and Daddy. They told me that was really nice to come home to. It let them have more time to play with me.

Can’t wait until Disney World! See you soon!

Luv,

BEN

P.S.- Kirk says thanks for not losing him!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Lazy Bear Lodge

Happy 4th of July!

We're a little late wishing you a Happy Independence Day because we spent the long week-end in Valle Crucis, NC (aka The NC Mountains!). This was our first week-end away from Ben (It was about time! We love him dearly, but I've heard a trip is necessary within the first 3-6 months!) MeeMom and PopPop came in from Maryland and watched Ben while we were away. We have over a hundred pictures from their visit with him, so we thought it would be best to share our pictures first.

We LOVED the entire trip. If you are ever looking for a B&B to stay in the mountains...this is it! The location was great (6 miles from Boone, NC). Here's the site:

http://www.lazy-bear-lodge.com/



The massage room!

Our Bedroom!

The dining area!

The View!


Caleb had flowers waiting for me in the room! (Nice Touch!)

A picture with Ethel and BoBo!

On Saturday, Caleb and I went on a Fly Fishing float trip down the Watauga River (in Tennessee!) I know, you either think I am the coolest wife on the planet or a complete idiot! I have to admit, it was GREAT! We had a really good guide through Elf Creek Outfitters (http://www.ecoflyfishing.com/). He was very patient. He demonstrated how to cast and was there to fix all the knots in my line. I even hooked Caleb a few times =0)

The river was absolutely beautiful. This was BY FAR the best way to travel it! There was a mist/fog sitting over the water which made you feel like you were completely alone on the river.
For lunch, our guide parked us right up on the bank and cooked up a crab cake lunch to die for!
We got stuck in rain for about 20-30 minutes....but that's when I caught my biggest fish, so it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would! By the way, rainbow trout are beautiful.
Again, this trip was a much needed retreat, and we made many new "just us" memories!
Here are some of the highlights we actually had the camera around to capture:

I'm pretty sure that's a smile on my face!

This was my little fish that I caught! I caught another bigger one while it was raining and had about 12 "she got away" stories! Caleb's fish were all bigger than mine!
Like a pro!
(Caleb thought I was going to be miserable the entire trip....but I surprised him!)

It was so peaceful!

My new hat for the trip! Hey! If I was going fly fishing for a whole day, you better believe I bought a new outfit for it!

More misty pictures!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Teething?

Ben looks so happy in his new umbrella stroller, you'd never know this little monster was TEETHING! We are PRAYING really HARD for the tooth to poke through soon. These past few nights have been really challenging! But, a picture likes this makes every sleepless night worth it! He is still just such a good baby....who just happens to be in a lot of pain!


Beach Baby Boy!

Here are some pictures from Ben's first experience actually IN the Ocean!

He liked water, but the sound of the waves was still a little scary!
Doesn't he look so cute in that LOUD little bathing suit with matching beach hat! I could just eat him up!
The pictures below are from our Emerald Isle trip- when Ben and I got to visit with our famliy!


This is one of my new favorite pictures!

6 Month "Party"

Ben turned 6 months old on Saturday! We celebrated with Grandad, Grammy, Aunt Juju, Uncle Frank, Uncle Ron, Uncle Philip and Uncle Scott at the Beach House in Emerald Isle. It was A LOT of fun! I made half a cake for Ben and he even tried some of the icing!
He ended up putting his hands and whole foot IN the cake by accident.


It was a great time to relax, enjoy the beach and catch up with family.

Ben love his Grandad!
And eating books!

Speaking of eating books, we went to the doctor for Ben's 6-month check up (and shots!). The doc seems to think that Ben is teething. He said that the bottom left gums look inflamed and seems to think that the right bottom tooth will follow soon after the left. Tylenol doesn't seem to help. He does like his mesh teether.....we put ice cubes in it (learned this trick from Baby Bridget!) But, the nights have been VERY long lately. He is SO uncomfortable....and it is really wearing on all of us.

He's now 16 lbs 8 ounces and is in the 50 percentile for weight, length and head circumference. Ben has been eating every 2 hours at daycare, so we are working on spacing that out to every 3-4 hours with a meal of rice cereal and fruit/veggie twice a day! Soon we will be adding the third meal.

Little man is growin up so fast.....time for another....hehe! Just kidding!