Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year Has Passed (3) - 2012

Exercise #3

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before? Had a baby! Was a parent!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I will write a whole other post about this!!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A friend! Welcome Henry!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
RIP Grandma Flowers

5. What countries did you spend time in this year?
Just America.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012? A second pregnancy? More money? Job Satisfaction?00

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Benjamin's Birth0000

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Not sucking as a parent.

9. What was your biggest failure? Lack of organization, lack of health living.

10. Did you suffer any serious injury or illness? Childbirth, a nasty 5hr GI bug

11. What was the best thing you bought? A house!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? DH is an awesome father! And my family has done so much to help us since moving here.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed? Politicians, psychopaths.

14. Where did most of your money go? daycare, moving and house stuff

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The birth of our first child! Our big trip down to KS/MO for Thanksgiving. A lot of Benjamin's "firsts"

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Sexy and I Know It.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? thinner
c) richer or poorer? poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? unpacking! Kiss the baby - can never do that too much.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Worrying

20. How did you spend Christmas? With my parents. Poor DH was sick!

21. Did you fall in love in 2012? Yep, with a little man named Benjamin

22. What are the main websites you used? Gmail, Columbus Nesties message board, facebook, blogspot

23. Did you write anything worth reading this year? no

24. What was your favorite TV program? I hardly watched

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No one specific. Just the group of politicians who are refusing to negotiate. Driving me nuts!

26. What was the best book you read?Dandelion WIne

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? nothing new

28. What did you want and get? A baby! A house and job in Duluth

29. What did you want and not get? lottery win

30. What was your favorite film of this year? Les Miserables? Hunger Games?

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 28.... I am sure I spent it with family. Details are iffy...

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Winning the lottery.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? Whatever fits.

34. What kept you sane? DH, "this too shall pass"

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Hey Girl.....

36. What political issue stirred you the most? I was pissed at everyone in congress for their general lack of progress and cooperation.

37. Who did you miss? My Graduate School Friends, my ILs

38. Who was the best new person you met? a couple of work people

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012? Life is short and transient, enjoy every second!

40. What word or phrase sums up this year? Benjamin

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another Year Has Passed (2) - 2012

Exercise #2
 The instructions are simple:
Post the first lines of the first entry of each month of the past year.

My New Years Resolutions in 2011 were quite ambitious, and many of them went out of the window as soon as I got into the process of being pregnant.

Baby Benjamin is 4 weeks, 1 day old today!

I know, I have been somewhat neglecting non-baby posts. I haven't been HORRIBLE, but have not been making as many of them as I would hope. Perhaps sometime I will correct that, but not today, because today Benjamin is 8 weeks old!!

Benjamin turned three months old today! See? He says so!!

I joined an internet group for Duluth mothers on Meet Up. I am hoping to make some new friends, ideally a couple who have kids around the same age as Benjamin. After backing out twice, I finally made it to an event yesterday - May Day coffee.

There is much I could post about, but I really feel like the blog needs a quick break from "baby baby baby". So, instead I want to write a quick note about nature.

Boy do I owe you an update! To say things have been a bit crazy around here would be an understatement. Let me run you through the past week.

Today Benjamin turned 7 months old! How time flies! I feel like I just posted his six-month pictures (maybe that is because they were two weeks late). He is growing again!

Summer is over. Not officially per the weatherman, but unofficially per the date on the calendar, the long labor day weekend, the kids going back to school, and the leaves changing. Yes, the leaves are changing here.

Today when I went to pick up Benjamin, I slipped into the door without announcing myself so I could watch him play for a minute or two. .

Sometime time I get around to posting something on this blog I feel like its old news. It often has already appeared on Facebook, Google, and my message board. But, this is the only place I am sure it will "stick", that I am sure I will be able to find it if I want to go back a year from now and see what we did.

With my vacation dwindling (we will likely start for home tomorrow night and arrive sometime Monday afternoon/evening), my brain is starting to look forward to what I need to accomplish in December and even into January. The list is daunting and there are some upcoming parenting challenges.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Another Year Has Passed (#1) - 2012

Before I forget to tell you, this is my 600th post since coming to this site! How time flies....

Anyways, its that time of year where I stop and reflect on what has happened in the past year.  I have three memes I have been doing every year for ages, so I will do those over the next couple of days, and do a recap of how I am doing at my resolutions and goals.

Here is the first!!

1 minute ago... I was scratching Grim's nose and reading name blogs
1 hour ago... I was celebrating my SILs birthday with my siblings and a bunch of her friends
1 day ago... I was playing Borderlands 2 with DH and wishing Benjamin would stay asleep
1 month ago... I was visiting Aaron's family in Kansas and Missouri
1 year ago... I was sitting in Columbus, wishing Baby would make their appearance (I did not know at that point that the baby was Benjamin!)
1 decade ago... I was a Freshman in college. Home on Christmas break. Probably writing a love letter to Aaron that waved poetic.
1 lifetime ago... I think I was in revolutionary in Russia

5 minutes ago... I was Putting a sleeping Benjamin in his crib
5 hours ago... I was dropping Benjamin off at my parents to be babysat for the evening
5 days ago... I was celebrating Christmas eve with my family and I read Benjamin "The Night Before Christmas" for the first time.
5 monthes ago... I was really struggling with balancing my new job, home ownership, and Benjamin's lousy sleep.
5 years ago... I was celebrating Christmas here in Duluth. I had built the holiday up in my head SO MUCH, I was worried the reality could not live up to it, but it did. I know this because I just went and looked it up on my old blog, which is still in existence. Here is what I was doing about a year ago: Lost in Europe - Christmas 2007

Friday, December 28, 2012

First Christmas!

I hope everyone had a good Christmas! It was, of course, Benjamin's first, so I thought I would try to record what went on a bit.

A week before Christmas we went to Bentleyville, a large display of lights here in Duluth. Benjamin loved it! Despite the cold, he was pointing and fascinated by everything! (as expected really).

Christmas eve my family came to our house. We carried on the tradition that started when my siblings and I were children, that everyone gets to eat what they want. When we were little it was very special because we did not get to choose "whats for dinner" very often, and we rarely agreed. I believe it started as a tradition because my parents wanted "adult" food, like Shrimp or something, and decided to give us Pizza Rolls. Then one of us probably said "But I would rather have XYZ" and so it began. Of course, now we are all adults, and we eat what we want all the time. Despite this, it still feels special. It feels special to pile into a kitchen and all cook different things together. My mom always has shrimp. My dad always has Reuben. The rest of us have varied our choices over the years, but recently I usually have Reuben's with my dad. This year, my brother has mac&cheese, and cocktail weenies. My SIL had Thai Taquitas. My little sister made a stromboli in advance, and DH picked up some Chinese food. We all crowded into my kitchen and the merrymaking began. It was a really fun night! Benjamin of course ate everything. He liked my brothers mac&cheese a lot. After dinner we sat around and talked awhile and people started taking their leave. Then I read Benjamin The Night Before Christmas. I was unsure he would sit for the whole thing! I mean, sometimes he will sit through a whole book, but its one of his choosing. The edition we read was Jan Brett (a really cool illustrator). My older sister got it for Benjamin as a gift. It was perfect! While he squirmed once or twice, he actually sat through the whole thing and looked at the detailed illustrations! (Pointing at cats and teddy bears and other things he now likes to point at in books).

Christmas morning, DS actually did let us sleep in a bit, he got up around 7:30. Unfortunately DH woke up sick with the same stomach bug that kept me in bed on Friday. We all went downstairs to find out what Santa brought. The Christmas tree is in the kitchen, so I dragged a bunch of snugly blankets down to all sit on/in. DS was adorable! As soon as we came in the room he saw his stocking on the floor and went over to it and pointed "daaaa?". So cute! We sat and helped Benjamin unwrap some books, puzzles, and a sleepy time sea horse. In his stocking he got Crayon's and paper. He is fascinated by things that make marks, like Crayons and pens etc, but you have to watch him carefully because he tries to eat them eventually. We also wrapped some great presents from my ILs, who got us all things we very much need and want! Including snow pants for Benjamin, we want to take him ice skating soon! Unfortunately it was clear that DH was getting more ill every minute, so he watched Benjamin while I loaded up the car (quite full), and then we parted ways. Poor DH had to stay home along sick on Christmas while Benjamin and I went to my parents :(

I arrived at my parents around 9am. I thought I would be the first one there, with Benjamin getting us up early. It was quite the opposite! I arrived there last, very shortly after my little sister. My little sister had brought a miniature Dachshund she was petsitting. It was zipping around the house when we got there and set Ben down. He was totally enthralled by it. He has never been around such a small dog before and he thought it was very interesting. Shortly after we arrived breakfast was ready - the traditional sausages my Dad made (w my Grandfather's recipe). After that, to the presents!! Benjamin was not entirely into opening gifts, but he was willing to participate. With some persuasion we could get him to grab and rip the paper. If one or two rips revealed part of the present he would be interested, but if there was a box or the first couple rips were not big, then he would lose interest. He also enjoyed climbing ON to the bigger boxes. We unwrapped for awhile, but then he was getting tired, and my Mom wanted to make lunch, so we stopped and I put him down for a nap. While he slept, we pulled out a Jig Saw Puzzle and worked on it.

Lunch was homemade Au Gratin soup. It was hilarious feeding it to Ben! He wanted to eat it with his hands, but it was too thin to grab. That did not stop him from trying! I am not sure what percentage of the soup got into his mouth and what ended up elsewhere, but it was fun and he did get enough to eat between the soup, cheese, and bread. After lunch was divided and conquered - naps, prepping for Christmas dinner, and a few people off to a Christmas open house of a friend. I mostly hung out and watched/played with Benjamin. I also squeezed in a little reading. When everyone was back/awake again, we finished opening presents. The highlight of the gifts for Benjamin was a handmade rocking horse from my BIL. It is really cool! Benjamin cannot ride it yet, but it will be in the family a long time! After that, more downtime, a second (but too short) nap for DS, more reading and playing.

Christmas dinner! Oh yum! We had all sorts of goodies. My favorite though, and what I really just want a big heap of, is the Sauerbraten, Mashed Potatoes, and Sour Cream Gravy!! Benjamin loved the mint carrots and the cranberries (and of course, the olives! That boy lives for olives).

After dinner the party began to wind down. I packed up as Benjamin got some last minute playtime in, and headed home about an hour after his normal bedtime (so we left at 8pm). I brought the sleeping Benjamin home to a husband who was feeling a lot better, though not 100 percent.

On the day after Christmas, DH and I took the day off. We still got up when Benjamin did (6:45am) and took him to daycare. Then, we just spent the day together. In the morning we hung out. In the afternoon we went to see a movie - Les Miserables - that DH was very excited to see. It was really good, and despite my general dislike of Anne Hathaway, I have to say she did an amazing job with her part (as did all the actors). After the movie we ran some errands, finally got a Christmas ornament (a tradition we had failed up to that point), and got Benjamin a dump truck ornament. Rumor has it that he is getting a Dump Truck from Santa for his Birthday.... Santa just wanted it to be perfect so it ended up a little late....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Its All About Perspective

The message board I frequent does a "high and low of your weekend" post every Monday. For quite sometime, the high of my weekends have all been spending time with family, whether it be my ILs when we got to travel, DH and Benjamin on our own, or my siblings and parents here.

 This weekend I did get to spend a lot of time with DH and Benjamin, as always, but it was not as quality of time as I would like because I felt so rotten. Even after my stomach stopped twirling, I was (actually still am) weak and easily fatigued, achy, headachey. Not fun. And my milk supply is suffering greatly. I hope it returns soon as I re-hydrate the 10 pounds of (presumably mostly) hydration I lost in my illness. DH was awesome and picked up so much slack, playing nurse and single dad on Friday night, then doing more than his fair share the rest of the weekend as I bounced around being pathetic. I think we will manage to pull of Christmas despite ourselves.
I wanted to take a moment to record a bit about what Benjamin is up to. Its amazing how fast Benjamin is changing and I would not want to miss it. Benjamin is a confident walker now and has been for a few days. I believe that he thinks his walking is more normal than we do, as we still are caught by surprise when he just gets up and walks away from us (or to us, or just around). It blows our mind! He is walking! How is this so!? He even occasionally tries to run, though he can't quite keep his balance for it yet.

For quite sometime he has hated diaper changes, but lately, I think because he is so much more confident at standing, he has taken to trying to stand up, and wanting to hug us the entire time. Its really hard to get through a diaper change when you are getting little hugs. I just want to hug him forever.

DH wants to get Benjamin a job at the movie store because Benjamin is fascinated with taking DVDs off the shelf, trying to get them open, and trying to get the DVDs out. Luckily he is not very good at getting them open. Yet.

Benjamin likes to have you start reading books, and then stop you or walk away when you are 1-2 pages in, so that he can go find another book for you to read. There are a couple books he lets you get farther into. Mainly "Panda Bear Panda Bear What Do You See" and "Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See". He also seems to like his Christmas book "Bear Stays up for Christmas". Continuing with the bear theme, Benjamin has recently figured out the word Teddy Bear. No, he does not say it, not even close (pretty much all words are "DA" to him.  But he understands that the picture of the teddy bear in the book is the same as the teddy bear we show him outside the book, and knows the word when we say it. I have been teaching him to hug his teddy bears and rub their soft fur on his face. Its pretty much adorable.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mayan's Revenge

We made it through the alleged end of the world! (In case you live under a rock. people were flipping out because they thought the Mayan calendar ended yesterday and thought it might mean the end of the world).

The world did not end. But if you had asked me around 7pm, I would have told you I thought it was ending. In between moans and gasps. I had a very severe stomach bug. It was definitely the most severe stomach bug I have ever had. My husband thought I was in labor again I was making so much noise. From about 4pm - 10pm I was in total misery. I was trying to figure out if I should be going to the ER. I was so fatigued, I could hardly stand up, and even when I was laying down my inside was doing back flips. Then, it eased up. Then it was over. Bad but brief.

My mom seems to think it was a Norovirus. After reading up on it, she could be right. I think Benjamin had it earlier this week (poor kid).

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I want to post about Sandy Hook, how I feel about it, and some thoughts on it. But, its so complicated, and I am not sure what I want to say, and But I do not have time. Its already 10pm.

I also want to post about Christmas cookies and the baking adventures with my mom. But I do not have time, its already 10pm.

We had so much we were supposed to get done this weekend. Virtually none of it happened. But, we spent a lot of time with family and a lot of time together. We baked cookies with my family. DH went out and played laser tag with three of my siblings (we count ILs as siblings in this family). I went out with my sisters to see Twilight again. DH and I played a lot of a video game Borderlands (the first one, not the newer one)

I want to say more. But its already 10pm.  I need to get to bed and get ready for another week. There is only 16 days until Christmas, so much to do!!

Good night!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

11 Months

Last Wednesday, Benjamin turned 11 months old. One month until the big #1!

I have kept you pretty up to date on his development. He seems to grow and change so fast recently. I think I put on facebook, but forgot to put here, that last week he said his first word. It was Moo. HAHAH! yeah. My kid moo-ed as the first time that he associated a sound with something external without prompting.

He is definitely walking now! I picked him up from daycare on Thursday and they said "he is walking!!" and I said "we have seen him take a lot of steps but I don't know at what point that becomes walking" and she said "he is definitely walking! And now its obvious. Now, he will walk to get from point A to point B, not just because he is trying to walk or show off. He can walk pretty much as far as he wants/needs to if he is concentrating - which he does not do often, and once he falls down once he goes to crawling. I have yet to see him go from on the ground to sitting without the assistance of something (at least a few inches off the ground), though I hear reports he can do it from others.

Today at lunch for the first time he successfully managed to get a spoon to his mouth with food on it. This is really two feats - getting the food on the spoon, and keeping it there until it gets to his mouth. He did it once with sour cream (which was quite easy), and then once with taco meat (a bit more challenging!).

He is outgrowing some 12m stuff, but his 12m pants are still too long. I think he might be long-torsoed like his grandpa K. I need to take inventory of the 18m wardrobe we received from a friend to see what items he needs stocked up, and also we need to get him shoes! He has little winter boots Grandma Y got him, which are great for keeping his toes warm!

 I might add here later if I think of anything else, but for now that is it!! 

He is refusing bottles at daycare left and right, some days he only takes 3-5 ounces now there. He has yet to eat off of me today. He is

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Today was the wedding of one of our best college buds! It was a lot of fun and I am so happy for them! But I know that is not what the readers of this particular blog want - you want pictures of my adorable son in his little suit, right?

And, because I could not resist  - SOMEONE enjoyed themselves a bit too much... LOL

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Looking Ahead

With my vacation dwindling (we will likely start for home tomorrow night and arrive sometime Monday afternoon/evening), my brain is starting to look forward to what I need to accomplish in December and even into January. The list is daunting and there are some upcoming parenting challenges.

I will arrive home Dec 3rd. Between then and Christmas I plan to get a Christmas tree, decorate the house for Christmas, make a Christmas felt tree for Benjamin, make a "baby's first xmas" ornament with Ben w/a paint hand print on it, finish Christmas shopping, get a decent picture taken and Christmas cards printed, send Christmas cards, make Christmas cookies with my mom, go to Singing in the Rain with my mom, get more Christmas picture books and read them to Ben, and of course, just enjoy the Christmas season and Baby's First Christmas!!

Also, we really need to finish winterizing the house ASAP when we get back. Its been cold and snowy while we have been gone and we were not ready for that. Poor DHs motorcycle got snowed on! We need to get rid of the futon frame that is taking up the garage space and get that moved inside, put up storm windows, and possible also put the plastic seals on the windows. My MIL made me drapes for one of our big old windows, but I need to hem them to the proper length and get them hung. We also should buy drapes for the windows in the kitchen. 

Then, January 5th, Benjamin turns one year old. I need to plan his party, send invites, buy presents... I am not planning to go over the top and I believe it will be relatively small (just family, so maybe 20 people), and really only 1-2 other kids. I think the theme is going to be ABCs. I want to do an Alphabet Block Cake for him. Also, because ALL FOUR of his Grandparents will be there, which I am thrilled about, we also need to get the guest room ready for my ILs! I am so glad they are making the trip!!

Oh, and because he is turning one, its time to finally move him out of our room and into his own nursery! So, we need to get his nursery put together (yeah, still not done). The nursery in Columbus just needed some art hung. The one here in Duluth was painted by my Mom (Thank you!!), but still needs unpacked, organized, and bookshelves need assembled etc. Not to mention he does not have a dresser in his nursery because the one we bought for him in Columbus is too big for his Duluth room. I have been looking for a smaller dresser on Craigslist, but no luck as of yet (and of course I did not even look while I was out of town, it would have been too annoying to find something I could not go get!)

Once he does get moved into his own room, then the real challenge begins: Sleep Training. Its time. He is old enough he can manipulate us. He is old enough now that I can tell if he is crying because he needs something or just because he does not want to go to sleep. Tied into sleep training is his pacifier, and night weaning, and since he is hitting a year old, we will start day weaning as well. It is all tied together and I am not sure exactly what order to conquer it in.

So, its going to be a busy two months! But when isn't it?