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.