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!!!