Monday, December 29, 2008

The weaning process

I have started the weaning process with Ben. I'm proud I have made it this far in the breastfeeding process and have given my little guy a great start in life.While in Omaha, we began giving Ben two bottles a day. I'm to the point I'm only pumping once a day at work.

I told myself months ago that after the Omaha trip, I'd stop breastfeeding. As my Aunt Nancy said, it has been the best way to bond with my baby. I thought I wouldn't have a problem with letting go but I am. Maybe I'm not ready for my baby to grow up? Right now, he's only nursing before bed and in the morning. The other issue I'm having is
how to bottle feed a baby. It just doesn't feel comfortable to me sometimes and sometimes I am not fast enough and Ben is screaming his
head off.

Oh the joys of breastfeeding.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy 7 months, a little late

Husker baby
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
You turned 7 months old the day before Christmas Eve. You celebrated this day in Omaha, Nebraska hanging out with your cousins, aunt, uncles, grandpas, grandmas, great grandma, great aunts and uncles. You have a big Bohemian Polish family who just loved you to pieces.

You were an angel of a baby on both days we spent traveling. Everyone on all six planes (yes, 3 planes each way) comments on your happy good nature. I am truly a lucky mother. You sat quietly on your dad's lap playing and napping. We did a lot of running around in Omaha and you were a trooper and did a lot of car seat sleeping. You were passed around and kissed and hugged and even thrown in the air by your Uncle Casey.

While you were in Omaha, you developed a cold but you wouldn't let that get you down.

In the past month, you have began really enjoying your solids. Your favorite food is pears and you go crazy or Mum Mums. You also started pulling yourself up and you're doing the Polish Crawl (going backwards). Any day, you'll be heading forward. You will sit up on your own for a while and then topple over but it is getting better each day.

We're still on "Tooth Watch 2008." Nothing yet but my guess is they are coming because you're drooling all over everything.

OH and on Christmas Day you looked right at me and said "mama." What a treat.

I love you, little buddy.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy 7 months

Today you have turned 7 months old. I can't write much because we're visiting all of your Polish relatives in the land of corn. I'm not surprised that you are doing so well with all the hauling around and visiting. Thank you for being a good spirited baby.

This photo is of you and your Grandpa Casey. He bought you that hat you're wearing to match his. His hat is actually seal and beaver while yours is leather and sheep wool.

Off to visit some more folks. A complete post about your 6th month is soon to come.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Longing for sleep

I think Benjamin's sleep time has went from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. At 7 p.m., he's wide awake playing. I lay down and nurse him but he just won't go to sleep. Then he screams when we put him in the crib so I cuddle with him until he falls asleep. We cried it out in October and I sense we'll have to do it again. He was sleeping a long time at night but now that has gone away and he fights sleep when he wakes up at 2 a.m. I'm longing for sleep once more.

His gums are bothering him. They are red but there is nothing popping through. I long for that tooth to pop through. Every morning, "where is your tooth?"

He's growing so fast yet his sleep is all over the place. I long for when I can stay awake until at least 11 p.m. and I'm not cranky at work.

But -- I love that little guy! Who wouldn't? He's so darn cute esp when he reaches out for me when his daddy has him. It just melts my heart and makes the sleepless nights bearable for another day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow angels!

Snow angels!
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Benjamin got his first taste of snow (my guess is in two years, he'll be whizzing down Mt. Bachelor). We helped him make a snow angel in our front yard. I think he was mostly annoyed that he was cold and wasn't too thrilled.

By this time last year, Brian had shoveled the driveway several times. I'm glad that our warm snap has ended because that means our local tourism economy will get the boost it needs.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What joy! What personality!

Someone told me last night at an event that 6-7 months is when you really see your child's personality. Ben is definitely aware of the world. He spends his day rolling around the floor, giggling at the dog and going crazy for solid foods. Lately, his favorite thing is the Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer his grandma bought him for Christmas or his monkey (The Dude). I thought I had this mom thing down months ago but it's easy to figure out what he wants. Lately, he wants the drops in his mouth that sooth his teeth. He'll be fussy and when I whip to bottle, he gets quiet and opens his mouth. He is not fond of sitting up. He last a whole 30 seconds and topples over.

Ben's sleep is better. It was going pretty good for a while and when he started solids and teething he started waking up every two hours it seemed. Most of the time if I snuggled with him, he'd fall asleep. Other times, he needed a diaper change but lately he's been sleeping 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. He is more than capable of falling asleep on his own. Most of the time, he goes in the crib, rolls around and then falls asleep with in a half hour. He doesn't cry and I think he secretly enjoys his time to himself.

This month, we're thinking about goals for 2009. More about that in the upcoming weeks. Until then, I will watch the snow fall and enjoy the lights from our Christmas tree and feel blessed that I have such a beautiful baby boy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Learning how to feed yourself

He sure likes prunes
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Ben is doing great on solids (the ones out of the jars, not the ones I make). When finished with his food, I clean the spoon and let him try to clean himself. Good thing this is usually before his bath! He gets pretty messy. His new thing is trying to feed himself rice husks. He goes crazy when he see me opening the package.

Who knew learning to eat was so much fun!?!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Prince Needy Pants

Sleepy needy baby
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Since Benjamin has started teething, he's been a bit of a snuggler. If I don't get him down for his nap in time, he expects to fall asleep on my shoulder or be held like a baby (yes, I know he's a baby). He still is pretty attached to his pacifier as well. On Tuesday night, Wednesday morning -- he slept 10 hours! I woke up at 3 a.m. and ran in to see if he was ok. He was and sound asleep. At 5 a.m. he woke up ate a little bit and took the rest of his sleep cycle sleeping on his belly between his dad and I. I knew better than to think this was going to be a regular occurrence as last night he woke up at 12:30 a.m. and then 2:30 a.m. and then wouldn't go back to sleep until I caved at 4:30 a.m. and brought him into bed with us. Working on 4 hours of sleep was rough but since I was really busy, the day went fast and was pretty painless. Some have suggested just feeding him rice cereal at night and just give him veggies in the morning.

I just want to say, his clinginess is quite cute and I know this stage won't last so I don't really mind sitting on the couch at 2:45 a.m. holding my baby in my arms. I tried to convince Brian of this but he kept snoring.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Go Elf Yourself!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Welcome back zoo zoo

Sporting the Santa hat
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Since Benjamin has been teething, he has his "zoo zoo" in his mouth all the time. Sometimes it is upside down, other times he chews on it. The only time it's not in his mouth is when he's hungry. I hope he pops some teeth soon.

Another fun trick he's started is not going back to bed after he wakes up at 3:30 - 4 a.m. I leave him to play in the crib and after about 20 mins when he should be sleeping, he starts screaming now. This has happened three nights in a row. Brian usually caves in and brings him into bed where he rolls to his belly smiles and falls asleep.

This stage is so much fun. I can't wait to see what's next because he always smiley (even with the zoo zoo) and happy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Five Silly Turkeys

Sporting the Santa hat
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Benjamin has been learning about Thanksgiving Turkey's for weeks. His favorite book has been "Five Silly Turkeys." The book looks like a turkey and has shiny gold crinkly feathers he likes to hold onto.

His Thanksgiving meal consisted of milk and peas. I meant to start him on sweet potatoes yesterday but I opened up the peas and then thought "oh crap! I meant to open the potatoes."

His first Thanksgiving was uneventful. He woke up at 7:45 a.m. (he slept in) and played a bit. Then he went down for his 9 a.m. nap and slept until 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., he went with Brian to visit Aunt Theresa while I took a shower and laid around the house. He ate and then took another nap around 1 p.m. When he got up, we went to the Maxwell house for a feast of awesome food. I'm grateful for such wonderful friends. He then took another nap at 5 p.m., then woke up and ate peas. See, just a normal day for this kid.

We're now moving onto his Backyardigan's Christmas book and maybe we'll go get photos with Santa tomorrow.

I'm really excited for Christmas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday traditions

This post reminded me that I wanted to write about making some holiday traditions for our new little family. When I was growing up, we spent just about every holiday with my maternal grandparents. My grandma would slave away making the meal while my mom and aunts would make the desserts for Thanksgiving. If my uncles and aunts didn't make it for the 2 p.m. meal, they showed up at 4 p.m. for leftovers. I always would help with the dishes (it seems to take us hours to do) and of course, take a nap while the uncles, cousins and my brothers watched football. This was always a time to see the out of town cousins and play "school" with my in town ones as well.

Christmas Eve our immediate family would go to mass. This day is also my younger brother's birthday (he'll he 31 this year). After mass, our family would open gifts (youngest to oldest, one gift at the time) and then load up and head to my maternal grandparents house. This would be a late night. Sometimes we wouldn't get home until after midnight. Santa always delivered our gifts early because in the morning my dad would pick us up (if you didn't know my parents divorced when I was 5) and we'd spend the day with him.

Since moving to Bend, I'm sorry to say don't really have a tradition. Most of the time, if we are in Bend on Thanksgiving we are lucky enough to be invited somewhere. I still make a small turkey breast on Friday with the fixings (so I guess these is some sort of tradition in place). Christmas has been all over the place. One year we went skiing. Last year, we went to Seventh Mnt Resort with friends. Brian and I started a tradition that we'd buy each other an ornament each year to symbolize the year and I also buy a bottle of wine to open in 10 years.

Sometimes I really miss being around my family. I told Brian that sometimes, I think that maybe it would be great for Ben to grow up near a larger group of family members. They still gather at my grandma's house on Thanksgiving though she doesn't make the meal anymore -- my aunts decided to go to a buffet last year. My grandma made a small dinner for those who wanted to gather later. They still have Christmas at her house.

Today I bought stocking to put names on and hang over the fireplace. I plan on putting little things in them this year. We usually go and cut our tree but I'm thinking of scraping that until Ben gets old and mainly because I want a smaller, more lush tree this year. We plan on buying each other and Ben an ornament. But what else? Make cookies? Go snowshoeing on Christmas? I need ideas. What do you do with your family?

Happy half birthday

Today you're six months old. I was talking to your Uncle Casey and was telling him how you are changing so much. He has three children, your cousins, and he said "that's what keeps having children so interesting." It's never boring around here with you.

This past month you took your first airplane ride. You did pretty good the whole trip until the plane ride home. It might have to do with the fact you went to bed last that evening before and woke up early.

You are grabbing and racking more and more. You grab at hair, daddy and today you discovered the dog and petted him. You love the exersaucer and playing with your toys in the Pack n Play. We have retired the swing and the bouncy seat. Your favorite this to do is lay on your belly and play with your toys.

We started eating vegetables and fruits! You've mastered rice cereal so we tested you out on green beans. You didn't like them at first but now you gobble them up. You did great with bananas but hated the carrots until I feed you carrots from the baby food jar. You now gobble those up. Next up peas, apples and pears. I think we'll stick to baby food in jars and then when you're ready for stage two, you can eat the stuff we made you.

Right now, you had your first cold for three days now and you've been handling it OK. You just need extra snuggles now and then. You had the drops and the nose aspirator but they make you feel better, I swear.

You're sleeping great. When we put you down at 7 p.m., you'll sleep anywhere from 7-9 hours straight. You like to snuggle with me from 5-7 in the morning. I will miss that someday.

You want to sit up and I think it's gonna happen any day now. You love to sit up and have us read you books. You're favorite one right now is "Five Silly Turkeys."

I love you my little turkey! I can't wait to see what next month brings.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Carrots = FAIL

Though I have video proof and I won't post it, Benjamin doesn't like vegetables. He did OK with green beans and better with bananas but when it came to carrots, he gagged and for the first time -- threw up. I think that he doesn't like my purees and I need to start with baby foods in jars or maybe he's just not ready.

Some day I'll get this parenting thing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Viva la revolution

Months ago, I posted a message on Twitter asking for cool father's day ideas for my husband. Jen suggested I get Brian a handmade mug with Ben's handprint on it from Mug Revolution. I've heard of Mug Revolution before mainly from all the COWPU people talking it up how great it was and how it was one of the best SEO websites out there. I contacted Owen the week Ben was born (remember, it was a surprise he was born three weeks early) and I never made it over to get the kit to make the hand print. I went back to work and I completely forgot about it.

Fast forward to this week. I log onto Twitter and see Mug Revolution has a Twitter handle. So, I make Owen from MR my fellow tweet and then add to my to do this "get Brian's mug made." Then out of the blue, Owen sends me a message. He sees that his new tweet contact is a blogger so he offers to make me a handprint mug.

Today, we went and met Owen to stamp Ben's hand. He's a pretty cool guy! He makes these mugs full time -- lucky for him, it's what he loves to do. So after a little tour of his studio and get to know you chit chat, we get down to the business of getting a clay stamp of Ben's hand.

1. you get the clay soft by working it with your hands.

2. you make it the shape of a pancake and set it on cardboard.

3. you sandwich the clay between two pieces of carboard to smooth it out.

4. guide the hand onto the play and press (this is a two person job and the clay is non-toxic)

and here is his print....

Owen makes these for people all over the country and even for animals. You can buy kits and do it yourself and send it to Owen and get a mug with your child's handprint on it!!!

If I would have thought of it, I would have made one with Zach's paw print before he died. Owen gave us an extra kit to try on Charlie the dog.

When the mug comes, I'll be posting it for the world to see. Stay tuned!

Giving it the ole college try

Originally uploaded by Shanlee
So Ben tried green beans today. At first he took a few bites and then he started to spit it out. This video was before he began spitting everything out. We'll give it a few more tries. Here are the rest of the photos.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It is hard to believe ...

Teething is fun
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
... that one year ago, he was the size of a bean and tomorrow he will be taking his first stab at green beans. AND he is teething. The fun has just begun and I'm loving every minute of it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I am thankful for a lot of things lately. One is my husband and I have good jobs and good health. My husband told me not to brag but I told him that expressing being thankful for the good we had in our life wasn't bragging - I am truly grateful.

That being said, I was sad to read about Jason Frieboth and what his family is going through. I used to work in the same office building as his wife Candy. She is always positive and upbeat and has two wonderful little boys. When I saw her at Costco a few weeks ago, she didn't want to talk about Jason, she wanted to hear about Ben. That's just how Candy is in real life. Below is how you can help the Frieboth family. Thanks to Missy and other bloggers for posting this. Any little bit helps and adds up.

Mark your calendar! There's a pasta dinner for a good cause this Sunday, November 16, at Aspen Hall (in Shevlin Park) from 4 until 8 pm. Tickets for a family of four are $15, kids are $4 each, and adults are $8 each - you can get tickets from the Bend Metro Parks and Recreation District. Their office is located at 200 NW Pacific Park Lane, Bend, OR 97701, and their phone number is (541) 389-7275. Tickets can also be purchased on-site at Aspen Hall if you just want to show up and pay.

All proceeds from this event will go to an account set up to help Jason Frieboth, who is fighting cancer and has to travel to Portland for treatment, and his family during this tough time. This type of treatment is very hard on a family - unless you've got a huge amount of vacation and sick leave available, or good disability insurance, paychecks can disappear - and Jason's wife Candy will be traveling with him when he gets treatments. The Frieboth family is lucky, because both sets of grandparents are able to watch the children when Jason is in treatment, but it still is not easy.

If you can't make it to Aspen Hall this Sunday, there are other ways to help the Frieboth family:

- Thursday, November 20th will be Jason Freiboth Day at Tony's Deli. A percentage of all sales that day will be donated to the Freiboth Family. Tony's Deli is located at 320 SW Century Drive, Suite 410. Their hours are 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. Stop by or call (647-1653) to get lunch or dinner. They offer a variety of hot entrees, wraps, grinders, sandwiches, salads and soups. They also have "Take 'n Bake" and catering platters. Enjoy some good food and support Jason at the same time!

- Make a donation in the Freiboths' name to Bend Take-Out. Their phone number is 382-8844. You can call them between 10:30am – 2:00pm or 4:30 – 9:00pm and tell them you want to make a contribution to the Jason Freiboth account. They take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. You can also send a check. This allows the family to order food that they enjoy, in quantities that are right for them, and get it when they need it.

- Make a donation directly to the Freiboth account at US Bank. A special account has been set up so that Candy can access it to help with the many bills they are dealing with around Jason’s treatment and keeping the family going.

Jason and Candy will be leaving on Sunday for Portland for his first round of treatments. Keep them in your thoughts. Also, a blog has been started so those interested can keep track of progress:

I think the Bend Take Out account is a really good idea. In fact, I'm gonna call them up tomorrow and make a donation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mr. Googly Eye

Today, we took Ben for his second eye appointment with Dr. Desmond at BMC (disclaimer: if you didn't know, I work at BMC). Ya see, I swear that Ben's eyes are not aligning right and he is often cross-eyed. So when my pediatrician (who also works at BMC), Dr. Vaughan, said if I was seeing something, we should have it checked out, he referred us to Dr. Desmond.

A few weeks ago, we had a visit and did a quick check which then turned into a follow up appoint where Ben's eyes had to be dilated. Fun times. All he could see was that he had a little droop in the left eye but it wasn't impairing his vision so we'd watch it. Dr. Desmond was great with our little guy and Ben was his happy self.

After finding out that we went to the wrong location (the appointment was at the westside location and we were at the eastside location) the receptionist called and let them know we were running late. My guess is that I did make the appointment at that location and forgot. An hour later, Dr. Desmond did a few checks in which he was very gentle with Ben and Ben was his sweet little self. For now, his vision is good and his eyes are aligning correctly but just to be safe, we're going back in a few months to get checked.

We're all breathing a sigh of relief tonight. This is one time I'm glad my mother's intuition was wrong.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Miracle cleaner

As Lil B lies face planted in his crib fast asleep this afternoon, I'm going to write about a great product I've been using to clean his room, toys and just about everything he touches.

I made the decision before our little wee one joined our family that I would start either making my own cleaning products or buying non-toxic ones (along with that, I promised to try to eat healthy and organic -- doing ok with that one). It wasn't until I went back to work that I found Better Life Cleaning Products. I love and have been know to buy from them now and then. When I saw they were selling a nursery product, I pulled out my credit card and ordered a starter kit of their products. The description reads:
The nursery cleaner that works when you’re pooped. And your baby already has. Perfect for the three P’s (poop, pee and puke), 2am Miracle™ takes on everything your wee one (pun intended) dishes out. Any–surface safe (cribs, changing tables, etc.), with essential oils for natural cleansing and aromatherapy properties. A safe nursery cleaner made for cribs, changing tables, changing pads, car seats, highchairs, diaper pails, toys, walls, doors, floors, and mattresses. 32oz.

The other good thing is that you can use it as a spot treatment on baby clothes too!

I've been using it and I.LOVE.IT. So, if you're looking for something non-toxic to clean your home with -- give the Better Life Cleaning Products a try.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Starting veggies

Lil B has been eating rice cereal since Oct 1. I started off by giving him 1/2 a tablespoon. At first he really didn't get it but now when he goes into the high chair, he knows he's getting rice cereal and he's now eating over 2 tablespoons. He opens wide and gets really really excited. He loves the stuff though it tastes like sweet cardboard to me.

This is a sign he's ready for green beans -- the first vegetable he's gonna get from me. I bought two cans of no salt added, preservative free green beans and I'm ready to puree and freeze them, in preparation of solids.

So why am I holding back? Well, I like to get official go ahead from Lil B's pediatrician. Some have told me go ahead and just feed him the beans, others are mortified he's eating rice cereal before 6 months. My baby book has given me step by step directions on feeding solids so I could go ahead but I'm hesitating. Maybe I will call the doctor next week and just ask if I can start.

Oh, to be a new parent!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The new "mom" haircut

I have been kidding myself for years -- I don't look good with long hair. I would look really good with long hair if I dropped 50 lbs but that's a whole other post. I feeding a kid people! It's not time for weight loss yet. The only time I looked good was when I was pregnant and my hair got thicker and shinier.

So my hair is baby fine. Yes, fine as a newborn baby's hairs on it's head. My child has thicker hair than I have. Plus, I was losing it in clumpfuls due to the lack of pregnancy hormones.

So I call up my hair stylist, Laura Belle Hansen. I told her "find me a haircut that is 1) easy to fix 2)short 3) doesn't make me look like a mom.

I had an idea of what I wanted. I was going to copy my co-worker Starla's hair do. Lucky for me, Starla goes to my hair dresser so I didn't have much explaining to do.

So this is what I ended up with:

This haircut is easy. Add product, brush forward and dry. Done in minutes! And, it's super cute to boot! So, if you live in Bend and need an awesome stylist -- Laura Belle is your gal!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


No, I'm not going to talk about how excited I am that Barack Obama is going to be our new president. Just wanted to point out the fact I changed my blog name. No longer knocked up in Bend sounded dumb to me and my goal is to be the next (isn't it every bloggers goal to be that popular?) so I needed to step up the title. Hopefully, it isn't taken.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Being organized

With Lil B now being over 5 months old, it's time to integrate being a mom with organization. I know it sounds hard but now with my growing boy going to bed around 7 p.m., that gives me three hours a night to relax, spend time with Brian and get things done. I stumbled upon while I was pregnant, I thought it was a great idea with wonderful motivating tips. The idea is to spend only 15 mins a day cleaning a room and it gives you a different room each day! The other day, there was something posted about meal planning. I used to do this before Lil B came into my life so it is fairly simple today. I am starting to shop on Thursday nights so I have more time with the baby on the weekend which means I need to meal plan before that. This week we'll be having meatloaf, Thai coconut chicken, pasta and Italian sausage with marinara and Mediterranean stuff peppers. Why only five? Because we always have leftover and I allow us for one night of take out (usually Kona Mix Plate). I also stocked up on frozen veggies so I can pull them out of the freezer and give them a whirl in the microwave about 10 mins before our meal is done.

I'm also going to make a list of winter projects that need to be done like painting our bedroom (it's half painted), starting the hallway painting, cleaning out my drawers and closets and putting the stuff Lil B is done with in storage above the garage if we have baby #2).

Next time, I plan on talking about making baby food as we are trying to go preservative free in our household. Before you know it, Ben will be eating his first veggies and fruits! I can't believe he's growing so fast!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Ben as Charlie Brown
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
At five months old, Halloween is only exciting for the parents so we didn't want to go all out on a costume. Instead, some good friends of ours made Lil B a Charlie Brown shirt and boy was it a hit! He only hit up one house but boy was it cute!

I can't wait until next year when he's walking. More photos are located here. Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

"What!?! You're not supposed to eat it this way?"

We're back from our first airplane ride with Lil B. The plane ride down to Arizona went better than expected and of course, everyone loved him. He didn't take the best naps but he did really good at sleeping at night. He isn't a big fan of being passed around and was really overstimulated on Saturday night but Sunday he was back to normal though the grandparents and us kept him up an hour late and then had to wake him up an hour early to head to the airport. The plane ride home was a different story as he was really fussy and had to be nursed to sleep during take off and landing. Photos from the trip can be seen here.

Ben just loves his feet. Every opportunity he gets, he is sticking them in his feet. We also think he's teething but I'm sure they won't pop up right away.

On a non-related baby note, our 13 year old cat Zach was put down today. He had been sick for a while and there was nothing we could do about. When we got home, he wasn't moving but breathing. He eyes were open so we laid him in the sun until Brian took him to the Central Oregon Humane Society to be put to sleep and cremated.

RIP Zackers. We will miss you sitting in the sun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Five months

Dear Benjamin,

Tomorrow, you will be 5 months old. Wasn't it just yesterday we just brought you home from the hospital? First off, you met your Grandpa Casey. Your grandpa never thought the day would come he'd be holding you and it stirred up a lot of memories for him of when I was a baby like you.

Over the past month, you've developed your own personality. You love the Old MacDonald puppet book and you've graduated from the bouncy chair to the bumbo chair. You're favorite toy is froggy with the mirror and you love the sassy mirror though we have to take it out of the crib at night because you'd keep yourself up playing with it. We have started to let you play in the exersaucer and the jumper too. I think we're going to need a storage unit for all of your toys.

I'm happy to say, you've mastered sleeping. It was a rough week and mommy and daddy but we toughed it out and BAM, you can fall asleep on your own. You're favorite position to sleep is on your side with your hands on your face. Sometimes we'll find your on your belly but that's OK, you've mastered rolling. We'll put you in one position in the crib and find you in the complete opposite. On a good night, you'll sleep 9 hours straight but mostly it's 7-8 hours, then back in the crib until 5 or 6 a.m. and then you snuggle in bed with me. That is my favorite time of day.

You love to kick your legs too. I'm gonna have to take a video to properly explain what I mean by this but you love to kick.

Dr. V gave the go ahead for us to start feeding you rice cereal. At first, you didn't seem to care about it but then something clicked and you love going in the high chair for breakfast and dinner. I think it's helping you sleep too.

Benjamin, you have discovered your surroundings. You're reaching and grabbing. This past week you realized that we have a dog named Charlie and you reached out with amazement and petted him.

You have nicknames too! Benji is what they call you at day care. Daddy penned you Lil B on twitter and I mostly call you Ben, Benjamin or Benjamin Boo Boo Bear. Janette calls you Bennyhanapoopoo. Hopefully, you won't be confused in a few months.

Month five will bring more challenges but if we can get through transitioning from sleeping in the swimg to the crib, we can tackle anything. (I hope)


Monday, October 20, 2008

Letting go

I am going to admit -- I wasn't going to breastfeed. I was a little weirded out by the whole thing and no one in my family really had done it or talk about it. It seemed taboo to me. Then my friends started having kids and they breast fed their kids. I starting reading up on it and since it's the best thing for the baby, why the heck would I not breastfeed? So, I gave myself a time limit -- my goal was I'd breastfeed until I went back to work. I've surpassed that goal and my new goal is six months.

Somewhere around 4 months, your milk supply naturally dips. I can only pump 12 oz at work and our daycare provider figured out that Lil B really needs around 15 oz to get him through the day so she started supplementing with one 4 ounce bottle a day. I have meet this choice with criticism from some. I feel in my heart OK with this decision. I have about 8 cans of formula samples so I haven't had to buy anything yet. Ben's weight is on the small side and if he's hungry and really needs the extra 4 oz I'm not producing then so be it.

Ben has started eating 2 tablespoons of rice cereal a day. One feeding before we head to daycare and the other after he eats when he gets home from daycare. We have started to notice he sleeps longer at night with rice cereal in his tummy. Then last week I went out and Brian put Ben to bed. Brian quite enjoyed feeding him and putting him to bed so then we started a habit of Brian bottle feeding him.

I have started to feel sad about dropping this one feeding but on the flipside, Brian can't breastfeed and he really feels connected to Benjamin during the bedtime routine now. Our compromise, we're going to switch off feeding the baby each night. That way, I don't feel so sad and Brian gets to connect to him.

I can already tell letting go of breastfeeding is going to be hard for me. I never knew I'd enjoy it this much.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Look at our Lil Jumper

Jumper video
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Benjamin got his jumper today .... watch him testing it out!

Oh the things we will see!

Pumpkin Patch 2008
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Yesterday we took Ben to the pumpkin patch in Terrebonne to see what it was about. We also took our dog Charlie who has been neglected due to the baby. We were going to walk the corn maze but we opted to get a funnel cake, caramel apple and steamed corn on the cob.

The pumpkin patch was more fun for us, I guess. I know that in a year things will change and I can hardly wait to see how this kid turns out. But I must remember to enjoy this stage cuz before I know it, he will be off to college!

Friday, October 17, 2008

In the Bulletin

photo courtesy of Pete and The Bulletin

Today, Ben and I were in the Bulletin. It was a really really good article and I had so many ppl at work complimenting me and giving me pats on the back. At first, when I admitted I was having a hard time, I felt weak but it made me stronger, voicing my opinion. My husband is correct in thinking that I thought that I wasn't doing a good job at anything -- being a mom, work, my marriage, my home and friends. Knowing that I have support in all facets of my life keeps me going.

Thanks to everyone for your support! My co-workers! The Bloggers! The Tweets! And my family.

I don't talk about my mom much and honestly, I guess I have been so wrapped up in Lil B that sometimes I think he occupies my world when I'm not at work but I know my mom is proud of me and she's there every step of the way in spirit.

Clumps o hair

My full, luxurious pregnancy hair is now dull, flat and falling out in clumps. I'm thinking it's time for a new do. That's what I'm thinking about at 3 a.m. as I wait for Lil B to fall back to sleep.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Talking Ben

This is how our little guy communicates with us


Brian reading to Ben
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
So, we started doing the Ferber Method to teach Benjamin how to sleep and lo and behold, it worked! Tonight there was no crying! Last night just 10 mins. We have started a consistent bedtime routine including a massage, putting on pjs and sleep sack (shown here), book reading and then nursing. Ben is usually awake when we put him in the crib and tonight, it was like her knew what to do. The last two nights he's slept 7-8 hours straight. We think he's sleeping longer because he's eating rice cereal at 6 p.m. Some say it's a myth, other says it helps him sleep longer. Either way, something is working because I was well rested today.

I will say, this method is tough at first. Brian had a harder time than I probably because I been doing the research and he's been going along with it. We argued a lot that first night but as the past few days have gone on, he has warmed up to the idea and is a believer.

Now Ben is sleeping in the crib. We have a rain sound machine. When he wakes up, I feed him and he falls asleep until about 5 a.m. Then I bring him into bed and we snuggle. I will definitely miss it when he totally sleeps through the night.

Hoping by posting this, I'm not jinxing myself!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What Benjamin is getting for Christmas!

I saw this on TV and I want it for Benjamin so I decided this is what he's getting from us for Christmas.

Other ideas I've thought about are a red flyer wagon (maybe for his birthday, I'm thinking). I think the wagon will come in handy for all the Bend events Ben will be going to next year!

Happy Halloweenn -- early

Happy Halloween!
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
I bought that hat last year at the Bend Park and Rec Pumpkin Festival when I first found out I was pregnant with Ben. To get my money's worth, I've had him in that halloween outfit with that hat several times this month. Isn't he darling?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Can I pay someone to Ferberize my baby?

Well, we let Ben cry it out last night. We did his normal routine .. bath, lotion, getting dressed, sleep sack, book, nurse and he went down for a whole 10 mins before waking up. The crying began and Brian and I took turns going in and checking. After 45 mins, he was sound asleep at 7:30 p.m. We both thought "that was way too easy." Then he woke up at 10:30 p.m. He usually wakes at this time but wouldn't nurse so Brian fed him a bottle. He went down in the crib and cried for 10 mins. When I checked on him, he was sucking his thumb, fast asleep. He awoke again at 3 a.m. Again, this is normal so I tried to feed him and he wouldn't nurse. That was very frustrating for me but Brian told me to keep trying. Finally, he calmed down and ate and was back to sleep until 5:30 a.m. where I brought him into bed and cuddled with him. Since I don't get to see him during the day, I like cuddling with him before I get ready for work but I know someday we'll have to break this habit.

It will be interesting to see how tonight goes. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's getting better, really

Now that I'm about six weeks back to work, I feel I have to give an update on being a working mom. I was feeling alot of pressure -- be a good employee, a mom, wife, friend. I'm feeling less anxious about everything. Lately, I haven't been getting the greatest sleep at night but overall, I come home and just not worry about things anymore. I focus on Ben. Now, I'm not cooking dinner or cleaning or going to the gym because I'm pooped but I guess I decided that Ben is the focus and I need to leave work at work. I do check my blackberry for emails and might answer a few but Ben is the focus after 5 p.m.

Some day my house will get clean and I'll be back to gourmet dinners but now it's listening to Ben coo and shriek and smile and giggle.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Guess I'm not an ice queen

After countless nights of not getting any sleep, we decided to let Ben cry it out tonight. I thought "I'll have no problem just letting him cry in his crib. I can handle it." I remember the pediatrician saying that after about 5 mins, we'll start to doubt our self and just keep on checking in every so often. Well, the whole crying it out lasted a whole 30 mins and I rescued the kiddo and snuggled in bed with him where he instantly falls asleep. I guess I can endure a few more nights of him sleeping next to me until this Friday when we will try again.

I guess I'm not an ice queen after all. Too bad you can't pay someone to Ferberize you kid.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Proof that I think Ben looks like me

Here is a photo of Ben at 4 months:

My brother Casey at 4 months

Me at 4 months

Can you see the resemblance?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

One year ago today ..

Eating rice cereal
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
... I found out I was having a baby. I never thought a year from now I'd be watching my happy giggly baby try to eat rice cereal.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grandpa and Ben

Grandpa and Ben
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
My dad came to visit this week and I wasn't sure what to suspect. What I was most excited about was someone on my side of the family meeting Ben. When my dad walked into the RDM airport, there I was waiting with Ben wearing the Prudoe Bay t-shirt my dad sent from where he works. I held back tears and so did my dad. Ben, of course, was all smiles.

Having my dad visit made me realize that Ben does look more and more like me than I realize. I can't see it when I look at him but in pictures, I totally see it. Poor kid!

We had a good visit from my dad. We did alot of eating, shopping and just general chatting. My dad had to bring up the fact that all I would complain about was how there were no baby photos of me because I AM the middle child.

Today my dad was playing with Ben and it reminded me of when I was little. It brought a tear to my eye.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A post that has nothing to do with Ben

Someone sent me the blog of Jeff Tweedy's 13 year old son who has posted a link to a free download of Wilco/Fleet Foxes “I Shall Be Released” which was recorded in Bend, Oregon.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Traveling with baby

Now that the cat is out of the bag (meaning Ben's AZ grandma has found out we're visiting) I can talk about gearing up for air travel with Ben at the end of October. This scares the crap out of me and it's only a short 2.5 hour flight. We're lucky that my SIL has a child one year older than Ben so we'll be borrowing items like a car seat and pack n play. My anxiety is more of breaking his routine which we're trying to set right now.

At our well baby check up today we talked about our concerns. I think his eyes are funny but I'm the only one he thinks this (including the day care provider) but instead of dismissing it, our pediatrician is going to calm my fears and have it looked at by a local ophthalmologist. Ben's lopsided head is better and he now weighs 12.5 lbs. I swear he should be bigger but everyone says it's normal. We talked about starting rice cereal soon (I think we'll do this in two weeks) and crying it out (which we won't do for a few more weeks). He is consistently averaging in the 10th percentile so he's a little small. Our pediatrician commented on how Ben is really strong so I'm really going to focus on putting Ben more on his tummy while at home.

The lack of sleep is getting to me. My husband has decided to start feeding Ben around 11 p.m. at night to see if he'll sleep longer and not wake us up. We've debated about supplementing with formula but only until we have to. I just feel guilty about work and being a mom. I feel I'm not doing the greatest job at both so after expressing this, he wants to step in and help. Thanks, Brian!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

4 months

Dear Benjamin,
Today you are four months old. I can hardly believe it (I think I say that every month). So much has happened in the past month, I don't know where to begin.

For starters, you're rolling. We put you in the crib on your back and when we check on you, you're on your tummy the opposite end of the crib. You're giggling too! You'll just be looking at my face and then you start giggling. You love to mimic what ever we're doing. If we talk to you, you try to talk. If I blow raspberries, you blow raspberries. If I curl my lip, you try! It's amazing.

You have also discovered your hands though I wish you'd use this to help yourself fall asleep. We often tell ppl you're eating your hand sandwich. You think your thumb tastes pretty good too. You're also grasping and holding stuff too!

Sleeping has been a challenge. I think we're going to have to cry it out but once you're asleep in the swing, you're down for a while esp if you have your fuzzy blue blanket. You're waking up two times a night which is better than three I guess. Often when you wake up, we hear you chattering over the baby monitor and then you fall back asleep. You're a smart guy so I know you'll have this thing called sleep mastered pretty soon.

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is take a nap with you. You have no problem falling asleep when you're next to me, btw.

We look forward to what the next month brings (hopefully more sleeping in the crib).


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Giggly baby!

Our lazy Sunday included a walk up the butte, (Ben's) three hour nap, comfort food, Mad Men and a lot of giggling ...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Enjoying the stages

I've been frustrated with Benjamin's new habit of only sleeping in the swing. It started last week and now he refuses the crib and will only nap in the swing or the bed. We have gone so far to move the swing into the bedroom in order to not sleep on the couch. I was complaining about this when someone brought up a good point -- enjoy the stage because he's growing so fast. So I've been embracing it. Instead of trying to set him in the crib, he goes right in the swing and gets a good night sleep (along with us). We do stop the swing after he's asleep.

We have started a night routine -- bath, lotion, dress, eat, relax and read, swing. Eventually, we'll add crib after swing.

I've noticed that Ben won't fall asleep on my shoulder anymore. When we got home, he was a little tired so we laid in bed and fell asleep. I will miss that stage when it passes.

I can't believe he'll be four months next week!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MMMM, Mirror Pond

MMMM, Mirror Pond
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Ben smells his first Mirror Pond Ale! The kid knows a good beer when he sees one. Thanks Jen

Playing on his tummy

This is a proud photo for me as I've been working with Ben on being able to play on his tummy. He's finally mastered this but gets tired after 10 mins. As long as I put toys out, he's occupied. We put the Gymni away because we thought it was time for other toys but come to find out this is the best time for the Gynmi. He lays in it and pulls all the animals and talks. He's occupied for at least an hour.

As for me, I hate to report that I haven't been doing my best in trying to eat/exercise. My excuse is I'm too tired or I have no time. I told my husband tonight that I just need to make time no matter how tired I am so on Monday/Thursday/Saturday I'm hitting the gym for an hour. I have it marked in my calendar to head out at 7:30 p.m. Ben has been going to sleep around 7 p.m. and my husband is more than capable to helping out for an hour a night. I'll report back next Sunday. Let's hope the report is I actually went!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sound asleep in the swing

Sound asleep in the swing
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Sleep -- I'm obsessed with Ben getting to sleep at night. Brian has been cheating and having the swing rock him to sleep. Last night, as Brian headed to open mic, I told him Ben wasn't going in the swing. Instead, Ben headed to bed with me to watch tv. Ben will fall fast asleep in his sleep sack (BEST INVENTION EVER) right next to me. When Brian came home, we were fast asleep. Ya see, Brian isn't for Ben sleeping with us except in the morning so he moved him to the crib.

Brian asked "so when can we cry it out in the crib." Good question. Most books don't recommend CIO until 4 months but I'm all for at least trying to teach the guy how to fall asleep so I'm going to try and avoid it if I can. He is smart and I know if given the chance he'll fall asleep if we set a routine.

But he's so cute clutching that blanket, isn't he?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Benjamin rolling over

I finally got it on video! Enjoy!

Monday, September 8, 2008

What they don't tell you

By they, I am referring to your family and friend. What I'm referring to? How it's hard to be a working mother. This is now my fourth week back to work and though it has gotten easier to get out of the house without spit up and all the things baby and I need, the emotions of surviving on a little sleep and being productive has been a challenge. What is gone? My enthusiasm. It has nothing to do with my new co-workers, the company I work for or anyone I work with. My enthusiasm is gone because of the pressure I feel under each day (and being deprived of sleep too). The pressure of doing an awesome job at work and being creative and then coming home and taking care of Ben, the laundry, dinner and day to day stuff. My poor dog needs to be groomed. My house is filthy. I don't think the mail has been picked up since Saturday. Oh and being a good wife too. The pressure is getting to me and sometimes I have no idea how to handle it except cry.

One would think since my baby goes to bed at 7:30 p.m., I'd get plenty done but I'm so tired by then, I usually crash.

I know it will get better and I just have to stay positive.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Testing out the high chair

Testing out the high chair
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
We put together the high chair because we want Ben to get used to dinner time BUT he's also been thrusting his tongue out a lot which is a sign he's getting ready for solids!!!! I even tested this theory out by putting a spoon in his mouth. He didn't seem to mind and knew what to do. We'll see what Dr. V says when we go soon.

He liked the high chair but we sorta overstimulated him with toys, as you can see.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sleepin' in

I've started the bad habit of bringing Ben into bed when he wakes up around 5:30 a.m. I started doing this to have more time with him and get some sleep. The past three days, we've both slept in until 8:30 a.m. It's been nice but is making me realize why he's so crabby on the days I go to work. The little guy wants to sleep near momma.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Big boy beds

I know, it's too soon to be thinking this but I LOVE this from Pottery Barn Kids .. the bed and bedding:

Brian thinks he can make the platform instead of spending $900. What do you think? Cute or yuck?

It just takes a little PVC pipe ...

Originally uploaded by Shanlee
... to make your kid a new toy. We can't 'take the credit for this. Some parent that goes to our daycare made something similar and well, it's Ben's favorite thing to look at while there. As Brian calls it "hours of fun!" Well, maybe not hours. My comment was that it might be over the top.

Anyways, Ben loves it.

Ben's new bad habit is sleeping in the swing. He won't take naps in the crib and usually at night he won't go in the crib until he's been in the swing for an hour or two. I'm sure this phase will pass but at least he's sleeping. People keep asking if he's sleeping through the night and no, not yet. He doesn't go more than 4 or 5 hours but today he slept in past 8 a.m. in bed with us.

Last night I put away his 0-3 clothes and put out the 3-6 months stuff. Some of the 3-6 is still big but most of the 0-3 was too small. And for anyone out there wanting to buy Ben clothes -- don't. He has enough clothes to last him until he's 2. Our friend Starla and Georell handed down boxes of really cute stuff.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Product: LilyPadz

For the working mom, LilyPadz are a godsend. The alternative to nursing pads, these sticky pads go on your nipples and prevent leaking. They last about two months but are worth it because it doesn't make it look like you're nursing (disposable nursing pads look bulky under your shirts, fyi) and you're not throwing away pads each day. They are easy to clean and are well worth the $20 I spent!

Time flies

I can't believe it's already Thursday? Can you believe it? The week has flown by and my little boy is getting cuter and cuter and changing. He can roll over (though I have yet to see this feat -- I've just been told) and today I caught him looking at his hands in amazement. I'm counting down the hours until the weekend because we will have three days off!

Going back to work is KILLING me. I didn't think it would be this bad. Work is OK but missing my baby -- it's bad. The thing that makes it bad is Ben is officially falling asleep at 6:30 p.m. This is good and bad, I guess. Good because I have me time. Bad because I find myself staring at him to wake up.

My dad is visiting at the end of September. He is giving me a day at the spa (well, not just me but his wife and himself too). I'm so excited for him to meet Ben too.

I have tips and products to update so keep checking!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Amercican Cancer Society Fight Back Bus

Fight Back Bus
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
In honor of his grandma, Benjamin signed the ACS Fight Back Bus. To learn more about the bus go here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Babies at concerts?

What is your stance when it comes to babies at concerts? I'm on the fence on this one. There were a ton of babies at the Wilco show last night. Kiddos anywhere from 3 months - 12 months. I'm all for a night out with my husband but it would be cool to expose our child to music we like.

Fit Sunday #1

So how did I do? I promised myself I wouldn't get on a scale until I started working out so this month I'm working on my eating habits. I find that going back to work keeps me on track of eating healthy. By Friday, my wedding ring finally was back to fitting. I haven't worn it since we went to Baker City back at the beginning of April.

Then the weekend came and the horrible eating habits began at Chow with biscuits and gravy. I completely skipped lunch because Ben was being really fussy. As I was sharing a bottle of wine with my husband I realized I hadn't eaten so I grabbed a sausage wrap from the local Greek place. Today was a latte and a slice of blueberry cake. Brian is on his way home with a pizza.

So I must start working on my weekend eating. Less eating out. More eating healthy. But at least my wedding ring is fitting again!

Happy 3 months (again)

Dear Benjamin,

Yesterday you were three months old. It just seems like yesterday we brought you home and were just figuring things out. People were right. Babies are always changing and you’re no exception. You used to sleep all the time and even fall asleep on your own. Now, you won’t take naps or go to sleep and always want to be held except when you’re at day care and you tend to fall asleep in the bouncy seat. Why won’t you do that at home? As the Wilco song goes, "please be patient with me," so I will be patient and hope this changes happens quickly.

Yes, you started day care and I am back at work. As far as I can tell, you love it as your smile instantly at the lady who takes care of you. You eat well from a bottle (though I want you to eat more) and seem to enjoy the other kids while you’re there. I miss you while I’m at work but I have plenty of photos of you to look at and think about you often. I have cried everyday this week because I miss you so badly.

I’m no longer clipping your nails and have started filing them while you nurse or am distracted. I cut you twice and won’t do that ever again, I swear. I feel really guilty about that.

You are smiling more and laughing. Your laugh is hilarious and I almost cry each time because it’s so cute. You really want to roll over. You’re so close we know it will happen any day now. You’re also holding your head up too though it bobs now and then. Your favorite position is to look over my shoulder and explore the world. When you get mad, you make fishlips just like I did when I was a kid. I wish I had a picture of me to show you.

You have discovered your hands. When you are tired, you stick your fists in your mouth.

Momma didn't get to meet Wilco. It's a long story but at least she got a night out with Daddy. We were pretty much 10 feet from the stage. The show was amazing. The band was way more interactive and the open act was killer. So killer, I think I'm buying the mp3s today. It would make great bedtime music for you.

I can't wait to see what next month brings!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy 3 months

Sure am puzzled
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
I will post a letter to Benjamin later but I am pooped and tired and exhausted. This kid won't sleep unless he's in a front carrier or car seat or swing. What is going on?

Anyway, I know this will pass but to get through this, momma is going to see her favorite band tonight and is supposed to get back stage. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Baby product: The Ultimate Baby Wrap

Right now, I'm "wearing" Benjamin down for the evening in my Ultimate Baby Wrap. It's awesome if you need your hands free and he always seems to go right to sleep when I wear it. At first, it's sorta hard to figure out but it comes with a video and after about a half a dozen times of using it, putting it on becomes second nature.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to work

My first day back on Monday was hard. Mainly because Ben decided he didn't want to go to sleep the night before until midnight. If that wasn't bad, he did a repeat of that on Monday. Luckily, he went to sleep last night at 10 p.m. I won't jinx tonight so I'm not going to mention it.

Going back was hard. I had four hours of sleep and first thing had a staff meeting to attend. I will say, it is nice having co-workers as my two person marketing department is now four ppl.

Pumping is going good. I seem to be producing enough and our nursing room is a nice calm place to escape and milk away. There are two of us using the room and next week there will be another returning to work.

This is the first moment I've had to myself since returning home from work at 5:30 p.m. I wasn't quite thinking I'd be spending all evening getting a kid to sleep but until he's sleep trained, that how it goes, I guess.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tip for expectant mothers #1

If you're heading back to work and need a pump, check with your health insurance provider as they might pay for a hospital grade breast pump (as mine did). Be sure your OB/GYN codes the prescription correctly so you won't be billed either.

My new Medela pump is awesome! It's working like a charm. I've also starting taking more Fenugreek and have been eating oatmeal once a day as well.

I'm nervous for tomorrow as my day starts with a 2 hour staff meeting. Ran into the CEO of our company at breakfast and he's happy I'm coming back. That made me feel really good!

Fit Sunday

As I posted the other day, I need to do something about my weight because I just don't feel good about myself so I plan on each Sunday letting you know how my progress is going. Since going back to work is already a huge change and since when you start to try to change your lifestyle, you shouldn't do too many things at once -- tomorrow I'm going to start to eat healthy since I will have a little more control. I've packed my food for the day -- oatmeal to help stimulate my milk, a bag of sliced apples, a Lean Cuisine and some carrots and hummas.

I promise I'll check back in next Sunday and let you know how I'm doing!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Baby blood bath

I did something this morning which I'm hearing is a right of passage for a new mom. I cut my kiddo with the baby nail clippers. Boy, was it a blood bath and tearfest as I sat on the floor of his room and held him and cried along with him. I feel horrible for doing this and it's bad but I guess I could do a lot worse to him.

Next time, I will file the nail. The clippers are thrown away so I never do such a horrible thing again.

New section! Baby products

It seem that everyone is having babies right now and is looking for recommendations on stuff to get. Each week, I'll try to carve out some time to talk about some items I absolutely LOVE. Today, it's the Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle.

When it's time to go to bed and sleep training, experts say set a sleep routine. Ben's sleep routine includes bath, slideline nursing and sleeping in his Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle. He has two: one cotton and one mircofleece. This signals him that it's time to hit the sack and grab some zzzzs.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I swear he's laughing, not crying

Last day of maternity leave

I knew this day would come faster than I would imagine but I'm going back to work on Monday. I'm going back to staffing and role changes which is a good thing. I'm exited to be back to work and as I was putting my new office together yesterday, everyone was happy to see me back which was comforting.

Benjamin is asleep but we have errands to run. I found out my insurance will pay for a hospital grade pump so I'm going to pick on up.

I can't believe my little guy was born 12 weeks today. Before you know it, he'll be off to kindergarten.

Benjamin has started sleeping 6 hours straight! Just in time for me to go back to work.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I hate seeing this face

Benjamin is hardly fussy so when he is cranky -- this is his usually grumpy, I'm tired or bored face. He is also beginning to recognize games me play like "daddy's little space rocket" and "paddy cake." He is so cute, isn't he?

Tricks about expressing milk?

Does anyone have any tips on getting your milk to "let down" when you pumped when you went back to work full time? I'm pumping three times a day when Ben is at daycare and I'm hardly getting anything. My best pumping time ... 3 am after he's slept a long stretch. I'm about to call the doctor to get a prescription of nasal oxytocin but am seeking advice! Let me know!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The real deal on being a mother part deux

I would like to preface that I LOVE my son but I feel the need to write this post so please bear with me

Here I go again with another one of "those" posts. Maybe I should write a memoir? Oh wait, I'd have to spell correctly and actually proofread (which you may have noticed I HATE to do).

What is bothering me so much? I'm depressed. I don't have actual postpartum depression but I am depressed -- about my weight, that is. And here in lies photographic evidence:

At the end of my pregnancy, I had gained over 50 pounds, most of which was water weight. Right now, I'm 10 lbs away from pre-pregnancy weight but my wedding ring doesn't fit. My shirts are TOO tight (my chest area, HUGE) and my mid-section is a little stretched and doughy. I don't feel sexy. Work clothes shopping was a drag. The issue is I have no time to work out and I can't diet because I'm breastfeeding. The good news is I'm one size away from where I started but even THAT wasn't a good weight. I must face the fact -- I have let myself go and well, that's sad.

So how do I get back to where I want to be? Simple -- exercise and eating right. That means I make time to exercise. Yes, that will take time away from Ben but will had time onto my life. I must eat better. Though I can am supposed to eat an extra 500 calories, that doesn't mean I can eat nila wafers and frosting or a bowl of ice cream with marionberries and chocolate.

So, what's the plan? I have a few options. First, maybe I should post something each Sunday -- I mean, not just say I'm going to but really post something about what I did the week before. As for exercise, I really like the Body Pump classes at my local gym and I also have two pairs of roller derby skates in my closet. I could join the recreational derby league of the Renegades of Oregon again and skate twice a week for cardio (Body Pump is cardio and weights combined). The schedule works for me since Ben goes to bed about the time practice starts.

That is as far as I have gotten. I CANNOT JOIN STROLLER STRIDES. Please don't post that in my comments as I will be working starting next week. If you have any ideas, let me know. I'm almost going to go as far as maybe posting my weight and inches measurements.

I'm hoping that by losing some weight, I'm going to feel better about myself. I am so in love with my baby though. I don't regret having him because I know I have the keys to my health and I need to stop making excuses and JUST DO IT ALREADY!

Now is your cute photo of Ben for the day via my new Blackberry Pearl...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Holding his head up!

Holding his head up!
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Ben is getting better and better with holding his head up! He mostly bobs up and down but it's better! Check out this video on

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bath time!

Bath time!
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Benjamin graduated to the bath tub because he was too big for the netting. Now he gets to "swim" in the deep end of the tub. I have never given Benjamin a bath because Brian loves bathtime so my duty is to dry him off, give him a massage and get on his jammies (lately this has been a onsie and swaddle). I saw a GroBag today and I think Benjamin would really like one though we'd need a 2.5 tog and 0.5 tog. HINT HINT Grandparents. The cool thing is that the temperature gauge tells you what to dress your baby in depending on the temperature.

Benjamin survived his first week of day care though Brian scared me a bit yesterday. He came home and said Benjamin only drank 3 oz of milk because he doesn't like the temperature. I went into panic mode but Benjamin wasn't hungry. I asked Brian "Are you sure because he isn't hungry." He was sure. So all night I obsessed about this and when I dropped him off this morning, Grandma C (that is what I'll call her though she isn't his grandma) clarified -- he is eating 3 oz per bottle. Whew! Someone tell Brian to wipe out his ears!

Ben has been going to bed all week at 8 p.m. but he wakes up at 9 p.m. and then he's usually out until 1 or 2 a.m. which is good. He will then fall back asleep until 4 or 5 a.m. and then won't sleep in the crib so I listen to him whimper on the monitor and then go grab him and bring him in bed where he instantly fall asleep. How does he know the difference? Oh yea, because he's smart!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


More fishlips
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
I think it's amazing and I have no idea if all babies do this but Ben is doing the "fishlips" look a lot lately. He's also trying really hard to get his hand in his mouth to help him fall asleep. When he finally learns this, nap/bed time will be SO SO SO much easier.

Last night he went to bed at 5 p.m. and tonight he finally fell asleep at 9 p.m. He's still all over the board. I told Brian, let's not even do the night ritual until 8 p.m. for now on. He started rubbing his eyes at 6 p.m. so I fed him and he fell asleep and then woke up. He repeated this until 9 p.m. Sigh. Someday, it will get all easier.

He's back to day care tomorrow as I am getting a pedicure, having lunch with Lady Di and then getting a much needed brow wax and hair cut!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

We ( I mean "I") survived

I knew that dropping Ben off to day care would be hard but as I watched him sleep in bed this morning, I cried at the thought of someone else besides me spending the day with him. I even cried while he was eating this morning. I cried as I drove off after dropping him off.

As advised by my good friend Alissa, I made myself busy today. I cleaned most of the house. I went through Ben's clothes to resell to Stone Soup and send off to Keely. I shopped for work clothes, which was not fun and ruined my self-esteem, but hey, I will work the weight off. May take a while but I will! I even went to Bambini to scoop out BPA free bottles because mine are not BPA free (no clue why I'm freaked about this NOW! and not ya know a while back).

In the end, we survived. When I walked in, he was about to fall asleep in the bouncy chair. When he heard my voice he instantly smiled which melted my heart.

When I got home, I held him close. Boy, I missed him. You'd think a whole day away getting things done would be great, which it was but I can't describe how much I missed him. Did I tell you I missed him?

He was hungry. He's not fond of the bottle though he did drink 2 oz every two hours. After 45 mins, he was fast asleep for his afternoon nap, in fact, he's still asleep, two hours later. I hope he's not out for the night!

In two weeks, I'll be back to work. It was fun while it lasted. Now, back to finish my list of yard work, bathroom cleanings, oil changes and window cleaning.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The joys of second hand

Yes, I'm going to admit -- I'm a cheapskate. I hardly had to buy anything for Ben because my friends and family wiped out my registry and gave me gift cards. I'm so thankful for this but now Ben is growing out of his 0-3 month clothes and I started flipping out that an outfit (pants, onsie and shirt) at Fred Meyer cost $24!!! Then my husband reminded me that we had a used baby/kid store called Stone Soup and so I went and checked it out on Friday and I'm glad I did! I can get good quality, used whole outfits for Ben for $6 and I stocked up. I even found him a snowsuit for when we snowshoethis winter using our new Kelty Kid Carrier.

I also started a Stone Soup bin of things I'm going to exchange for store credit.

So I guess I better stop stressing because I found the perfect solution to my cheapskateness!

Yesterday we introduced Ben to Cascade Lakes Highway and Elk Lake. We usually spend a lot of time up there in July and August but since he's little, we are taking baby steps into introducing him to the Central Oregon Lifestyle. Our first baby step was just taking him for a ride and a quick hike around Elk Lake. Brian even had him dressed up in his tie dye onsie (for Jerry Garcia week - not my idea) and camping hat. Ben slept most of the time though and on the way home, cried in the car seat. I think his ears were popping because the second he started sucking on a pacifier he stopped and fell asleep.

Brian wants to head to the coast in the next two weeks. I'm a little nervous about going esp the car ride with a baby who doesn't like the car seat. We'll see if it happens. I'd rather wait a few months.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy times!

Originally uploaded by Shanlee
My good friend Jen came over and took some really cute photos of Benjamin! They are SO cute -- they will make your heart melt!

Thank you

I want to thank everyone for the comments of encouragement and help. Instead of writing everyone back (like I have time) this is your thank you. The old me would sent everyone hoops and yo yo thanks e-cards but I just don't have the time or energy. I had a baby who slept from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. and then decided he wanted to stay up (he didn't sleep the whole time -- he woke up at 9 p.m. and midnight). Luckily, Brian figured out he was still hungry and he was back to sleep until 6 a.m. I wish he wouldn't have figured it out 90mins later.

You offers of help are noted and I will take everyone up on it soon. I have a babysitter for the most important event of the year (besides Ben's birth) -- THE WILCO SHOW and Beck too. Momma's not gonna miss Jeff Tweedy rocking Bend. When I need a night out with my husband, I'll hit the rest of you up too.

I am glad that it's normal to have those feelings and I'm glad I shared them. Internet readers, you're the best.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The real deal on being a mother

I would like to preface that I LOVE my son but I feel the need to write this post so please bear with me

I knew being a mother was hard but what I didn't know was that it is a lot harder than I thought. At 10 weeks, I feel like I have a handle on Benjamin but in the back of my mind, I know he will change. Before I had him, I talked about all the walking we'd do along the river (we did this once), all the lunches we'd go on (we did this once), all the napping I'd do when he naps (hardly ever), how clean my house would be (I cleaned it 8 weeks ago and it's a total mess right now), how we'd go to the Farmer's Market each week (went twice). I had no idea how hard it would be to get a baby to sleep (thank you sleep books!). The things that have been easy have been those I thought would be hard ... diaper changing and breastfeeding.

Point being, I thought I'd be able to do a lot of stuff in which I haven't. I was going to start the South Beach Diet but since I'm breastfeeding, I have this hardy appitite and there is no point in dieting just eating healthy (fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole wheat). I can't make it to the gym because I can't go during the day and by the time Ben is in bed, it's 9 p.m.

The reason why I'm writing this is that I had a total meltdown on my husband last night. Yesterday was exhausting. I had some friends over and Ben didn't want to sleep but at the same time he did want to sleep. I finally got him down for a nap around 3 p.m. only for the dog to wake him up 15 mins later (is it a cruel to want to buy a bark collar?). On Wednesdays, my husband has a standing thing. He only missed his standing thing once in the past 10 weeks but yesterday after Ben wouldn't go to sleep last night, I asked him to stay home because I was exhausted! My husband was a little upset about this and sorta pouted about it and then I had my meltdown. My hobby right now is Ben. He eats 8 hours a day! That is what I signed up for and I haven't been able to fix my hair (good thing I have a haircut that looks good without fixing) or put make up on in 10 weeks. I am one size away from fitting into clothes and well, I don't have anytime for myself or alone time with my husband. Of course, my husband felt really bad about the pouting and let me go to bed early.

Today I canceled coffee with a friend so Ben wouldn't miss his nap (he naps at 9 a.m., noonish and 3 p.m.ish). As much as I need human interaction right now, that kid needs his naps so he isn't overtired. I learned my lesson yesterday. Small sacrifice for my child.

Yes, I love Ben. He is truly a wonderful gift. I am grateful that I have a very involved husband too who steps in and helps because I know alot of men that don't help their wives with the baby. I am grateful for my friends who always want to help out too.

The one thing I know about motherhood -- it's ever changing and that when this little guy smiles at you at 3 a.m. when he's hungry -- it melts your heart.