Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wonderful Weekend

Benjamin spent Friday afternoon w my mom because of a mild fever (due to shots the day before). DH and I arrived at my parents house to find Benjamin and my mom walking down the drive way in the beautiful sun. Back at the house we all enjoyed pizza, then my Dad and I played with Benjamin while DH and mom tried to solve a computer issue. They didn't have much luck, we did have fun though. After we got home, (Benjamin tucked in bed), we watched some Doctor Who and relaxed.

Saturday morning Benjamin slept in nice and late! (7:45am). Then DH got up with him and gave him breakfast while I took my time waking up and showering etc (a nice luxury!). After we were all up and dressed, we walked the dog together and took Benjamin down to the playground, showed him the swings and slide. He loved it! He had a big grin on his face for all of it! So adorable!

Back at the house I had breakfast (shared with Benjamin as his "second breakfast"... He thinks he is a Hobbit) and we relaxed in the sunny window seat in the living room and watched the world go by.

After breakfast, we went to the library. DH and Benjamin enjoyed the play area while I went crazy and picked up a half dozen books I had not planned to, as well as the one book club book I actually needed. Then I joined them and we watched Benjamin take full advantage of the fun toys there. On the way home we stopped and got lunch.

In the afternoon we went outside and played in the driveway while DH got his motorcycle up and running. Benjamin especially liked sweeping the garage, splashing in the puddles, and poking the (rapidly melting) snow drift with a stick. He eventually wore out though and went down for a nap, giving us a chance to chillax for a bit. He woke up just in time to be tossed in the car for a trip back to my parents house for babysitting. I left him standing looking out the dining room window there, probably neighing at the horses.

DH and I then went out to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouses, where we split a full rack of ribs, but were so stuffed with the buttery rolls they give you, we could have split a half rack. LOL. We then headed over to see a play we got free tickets for at the local university (one of the local universities...). It was called Coriolana, based on the Shakespearean play Coriolanus (mainly they switched all the gender roles). It was admittedly rather confusing (the Shakespeare part I think, not the parts they changed). But, it was still a nice night out.

Sunday morning DH went to his office to do some work, so I got up with Benjamin at the crack of 6:20am. We hung out in my bed for awhile and read a bunch of books. Eventually we made our way downstairs and enjoyed a yummy and long drawn out breakfast together. We read more books, played with blocks, colored, and played with his Tonka truck. Then I made a grocery list while he looked out the dining room window more. Then off to the store on a grand adventure.

Back home, Benjamin went down for a LONG nap and I got the kitchen cleaned up, and DH arrived home. When Benjamin awoke we had a family lunch (ribs, mashed potatoes, banana, and mac&cheese), then walked down to the playground together. There were A LOT more kids their today (probably because it was the afternoon instead of 9am..). Benjamin liked everything! He was pretty fearless on the slides and bridge. He loved watching the other kids and poking the sand with sticks. They also have steering wheels, which he loved to "drive". When he got home we read a few more books, but then Benjamin went down for his afternoon nap and we all took a NICE LONG family nap. I woke up just in time to put the roast in the oven for dinner.

Dinner was again a family affair and delicious. Afterwards, Benjamin was a bit grumpy but decided he wanted to go back outside, so we strapped on our shoes and out on the porch, where he spent a good 20 minutes just running up and down. It was lots of fun to watch him enjoy it! (and no jackets on!) Then he went down for bed.

Could we ask for a better weekend? I don't think so....

Thursday, April 25, 2013


DH and I are both under the weather. Its hard to balance us both not feeling well, there is no one to pick up the slack.

DS, in the meantime, is absolutely adorable. Tonight he just wanted to try and say EVERYTHING. He said Banana for the first time (NAna), and said many other words that I know he has said at times but won't say on prompting (like ball, bubble (baba), etc).

Last night we went to my brother's house for dinner. We have been over there once or twice with Benjamin, not to often. He was enjoying looking out their window, playing with their toys, and looking at the birds on their wall. Then he started to get tired.. and freak out. First he freaked out at a large remote-control jeep they brought down to try and amuse him. Then he freaked out at one of their dogs, then finally he just started crying for no reason, at totally random things. Obviously he was getting tired. For the first time ever, though, he is the one that asked to leave. He has never done that before! He just wanted to go home and go to bed! So we got him changed, went home, and went to bed.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Curling Up

The main thing I wanted to post tonight - is it lame if its 8:15pm and I crawl into bed?

I think not. I think its awesome.

Its my "ME" night (assuming Benjamin stays asleep). Normally I either clean the kitchen or watch bad television I don't care about, or pointlessly surf the internet. But right now, I am thinking a nice sparkling water, a good book, curling up in bed 2 hrs early, sounds just about right.

I guess its probably especially a good night for curling up with a good book because its April 18th and its blizzard again. For the third time in a week. They say 6-12 inches by tomorrow morning. I am thinking it will be on the lighter end, but I guess we will see.

Remember a month ago when I talked about Spring teasing us with warm patches followed by snow? Well.. its not teasing us anymore. It just left Winter to do its thing as long as she wants. LOL.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Ready or Not" Retrospect

I meant to post a post on Thursday or Friday last week that was titled "Ready or Not" and discussed the chaos of the sick baby recovery and how I would be taking my long-planned trip to see a friend one way or another.

As it turns out I was so NOT ready that that post didn't happen. So instead you just get to hear about the trip.

The timing turned out to be less than ideal in retrospect, due to the illness and weather and taxes. But DH handled it all like a champ while I was gone. I left Friday morning first thing to drive to Minneapolis. I was supposed to work a couple hours first, but the Blizzard conditions made me decide to give myself extra time on the road. That was a good idea. The first 60 miles or so were brutal. The snow was blowing over the road faster than the plows could clear it. But, as I went south the precipitation decreased and the roads cleared. I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. My flight plan was kinda crazy. I flew from Minneapolis to Denver to Jacksonville. For those of you without good geography skills, that is WAY out of the way. It made for a really long second leg too (Denver to Jacksonville is a LONG flight). But, it was kinda cool seeing the Rockies from the air! What a long day though! I started travelling at 8am and did not walk into my friends apartment until 1am... (16hrs when you account for time zones).

I was staying in Valdosta, GA. It's a small city. On Saturday we drove a bit north an hour or so and went to Horse Creek Winery. The winery's in this area focus on Muscovite grapes. As my friend describes them, they make a 'musty' flavor. When I tried a dry white, I could tell exactly what she meant. But the sweet and semi-sweet options were delicious, and they had wine slushies as well. We spend an idyllic hour sitting on a big front porch in the shade, 75 degrees, breeze blowing, sipping wine slushy. NICE. We eventually headed back to their apartment complex and then took a nice late-afternoon dip in the beautiful outdoor pool (it even had a waterfall). Swimming outside in April is a plus of the south... We watched the Hobbit (part I), which was decent even though it did stray a bit far from the book for my tastes.

 On Sunday it poured. Like, really poured. (I later found out it was the most rainfall in a day they have had in 8 years). With it being Sunday, and small town, there was not much indoor to to that would be open. So, we hopped into my rental car and headed out to Tallahassee for shopping and, most importantly, CHIPOTLE!! Oh how I missed thee... It was delicious, and we stumbled upon a World Market, which was also a lot of fun. I bought some sweet potato Gnocchi (have had it before, so delicious), and a chocolate soda that I later mixed with Fluffed Marshmallow vodka - it tasted like a fancy restaurant cocktail (like a chocolatini or something).

Monday - my friends had to return to work, but I decided to try and take full advantge of the morning before my late afternoon flight, so I headed to the Okeefenokee swamp! Really fun and a new biome for me. I saw several alligators, and lots of cool plants. Did you know there are 27 varieties of carnivorous plants in that swamp? I did not know there were 27 varieties of carnivorous plants in the world...

The flight back was also an adventure. I flew Jacksonville to Norfolk (where we landed but I stayed on the plane), to Chicago Midway to Minneapolis. It was cool because the first part of the flight was right up the coast with a great view of the beach and ocean, and coming in and out of Norfolk I got to see the Navy shipyards from the air. Air craft carriers are BIG.

I did make it home safe and sound. Benjamin was nice and smiley for me on Tuesday morning and I was able to work from home which eased the transition (was able to sleep in a bit and do some cleaning). Because, DH had his hands VERY FULL while I was gone. In my 85ish hr absents, he dealt with 2 blizzards, one day of closed daycare, both him and DS having a severe cough, him having pinkeye, and finalizing our taxes.... Wow. Kinda glad I missed that... 

Other random notes
- It was my first rental car! It was a little red 2013 Toyota Corolla. Nothing fancy, but nice to drive a new car :) and it got great mileage
- Okeefenokee swamp holds a special place in my heard because my mom used to mention it at random a lot when I was little, mainly I think because the weird name.
- I got Benjamin a small stuffed animal alligator, which fascinates him
- While I was gone, DH taught Benjamin to make moose antlers and my Mom taught him to make rooster noises.
- Next time I fly. I am concentrating on layovers and routes rather than on departure time alone....
- Seeing old friends is really good, but makes me miss them more.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Poor Guy

I mentioned in my Friday post that Benjamin was sick, and that I hoped he felt better Saturday.

Well, he didn't.

If you don't want the "play by play" on his current illness, then find a different blog to read for the day!

Thursday and Friday morning I noticed Benjamin was a bit stuffed up, but nothing to be concerned about. Friday afternoon I got a call from daycare stating that he had a very goopy eye. They were not requiring I pick him up, but wanted me to know in case I wanted to call the doctor. I thought it was associated with his stuffed-upness so I did not call. When I went and picked him up at 5pm, the care giver had just taken his temperature and he had a temp of 101. He fell asleep in the car and, as scheduled, we headed out to my parents house as scheduled (if he was going to have a fussy evening I needed the extra hands even more!). He ate a decent dinner, played a little, had some tylenol and crashed. I moved him to his crib when I got home no problem, and DH arrived home a couple hours later.

Overnight Friday to Saturday he spiked a temperature of 103.6 (after the Tylenol wore off). He would not really settle back in, even with Ibprofuen aboard, so he slept in our room. Its been awhile since we resorted to that. In the morning he was still not very happy. More Tylenol. Goopy eyes on both sides now, lots and lots of snot, occasional productive sounding cough. He was extremely fussy when he was not medicated, then the meds would kick in and he would act a bit more like himself for awhile, though never full energy of course. He spent a lot of time sleeping/resting on one of our chests. At lunch, we fed him like normal, and halfway through he threw up a bit. We are pretty confident that this was due to phlegm/mucous/coughing, not to a stomach ache. He did continue to drink and took in lots of fluids throughout the day, and took an occasional nibble of cracker.

As we got into the evening he got fussier and worse. His temp was up again, meds again, but they did not seem to help as much. His eyes started to look more red and swollen. We ended up going to bed early with him between us again, as this is the only way he would stay asleep at all. The night was rough. I took his temp a couple times through out the night, never so high as to warrant another dose, but he was restless and obviously uncomfortable. This morning his eyes were so crusty/goopy/swollen and his temp was back up over 102. He was coughing more. We decided to head to urgent care when it opened at 8am. We were the first patients their and got in in no time. They diagnosed him with pinkeye, croup, and sinus infection, and gave us oral antibiotics, creme for his eye, and administered a one time dose of steroids to bring the swelling down in his airways. Poor guy! We hit the grocery, pharmacy, and McDs (for the adult types) on the way home. He DID NOT want to take the oral antibiotic. I don't really know how much of his dose actually made it down the gullet. We smeared the ointment on his eyes, and sat down. He was fussy for a bit. We turned on the TV, might be the second time ever that we actually TRIED to get him to watch TV or turned on something with him in mind. We put on Wreck-It Ralph. He watched it a bit, then maybe the meds kicked in, but he was happy for awhile, and then he passed out on the floor with DH for quite a while.

He woke up very fussy again but feeling cooler than he had all weekend. After trying to no avail to figure out what he wanted for 20-30 minutes, he finally asked to be put in his high chair, and he ate a decent lunch.

With the infection and just starting meds this mid-day, we are already planning for him to be out of daycare tomorrow (very inconveniently), maybe Tuesday too, but I am optimistic, we will see.

Friday, April 5, 2013

15 Months Old

Benjamin is 15 Months Old today!

The last month flew by.

The biggest developments for Benjamin this month are gestural. Is that even a word? He has learned gestures. He nods and shakes his head (mostly) appropriately. He waves consistently when we tell him to say "Bye!". He gives kisses - this is the most adorable development ever. He did at one point give those open mouth things some people call kisses... and I called using your face to teeth. LOL. But now - nice lips puckered little smacks of kisses. So cute!

The ability for him to answer yes/no questions by shake of his head is a huge leap forward in our ability to communicate with him. We can ask him what he wants now! I love the look on his face when we figure it out. While he does understand yes and no, he does not necessarily understand every question we pose. I think he just guesses in those cases, or its based on his mood! This morning he farted when I was putting his coat on and I asked if he pooped. I do not think he understood, because he said yes, but when I looked, nothing. Oh well, he will catch on! Even prior to being able to ask yes/no questions (which really just picked up in the last 10 days or so), we had started giving him choices. I would put out two t-shirts each morning and ask which he wanted, for example. Its a really cool change in the whole dynamic. I am sure soon he will start saying no when he shouldn't. LOL.

Benjamin continues to love books. We read to him a lot and he is getting better about sitting through books (just a little). He does not usually damage books, but did tear apart another part of one of his "moving parts' book - he was absolutely convinced he needed to see what was inside the cover, so he tore it in two. But mostly he is good about just looking at them. He loves pointing out animals in books, pictures, and real life. He has eyes like a hawk for it! If there is the tiniest dog in the very back of an illustration, he sees it (and start panting). If there is a duck decoration on the top of a shelf across the room, he will see it (and start quacking)! His duck quack is by far his most impressive animal noise. It is like Donald Duck rather than any sort of phonetic equivalent to "quack." Because of this, I made sure to include a duck in his Easter Basket (pictured below).

This month he has also had an increased interest in coloring. He loves to color. The books where he can color with water work especially well, though we also have crayons for him. He is bringing home beautiful paintings from daycare with more colors and mixture than previously (yeah I look at them like only a parent could!!)

We have figured out in the last month that phrases like "don't ___" or "stop ___ " or "no ____" do not work for this age. You say 'don't eat the crayon" and he hears "crayon which he knows, and "eat" which he knows, and puts the crayon in his mouth. We have been focusing on saying what we do want him to do instead. "COLOR w the crayon" and showing it to him again and again.

Benjamin likes going outside. We have taken him out with us on the dog walk a few times now that the weather has been nicer (I say as a snow storm is due any minute), and he just runs down the sidewalk, and then stops to stare at something or look for the source of a noise (birds for example). He likes to splash in mud puddles and recently acquired puddle boots, though they might be too big. We have not had a chance to test them out.

Some other memories made in the last month and not recorded - We took him to a horse expo at a local mall my sis was presenting at. He spent most of the time standing between the two displays - a real live miniature horse, and a real life full grown horse, and making neighing noises (ah-hahahah). At the beginning he would stay 4-5 feet away from the enclosures, but by the end he was trying to climb through the miniature horses fence!

He has re-adjusted to swim lessons and is enjoying them again. He still does not like putting his ears under water, but he loves climbing in and out of the pool, splashing, and blowing bubbles!

 He is wearing size 4 shoes, 18m clothing. He will have a doctors appt with official stats in a couple weeks, but we were slow to schedule.  I took 15m pictures tonight at my parents, but its on my Dad's camera, and not available for immediate upload. 

That is all I can think of. Unfortunately, he is celebrating his 15m birthday with his first illness in quite some time. He is feverish and has a runny nose and cough. I hope he feels better tomorrow!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lake Superior (and lots of dinners)

I am playing single mom again.

But, given my mood, taking advantage of invitations and supports even more than last time.

Monday night I went to my sister's ILs house for dinner (along with my sister and her husband and another friend). Benjamin LOVED it. They have a little dog, which he chased around panting for the first half hour. He loved running loops around their circular floor plan (something that is not a feature of the places he normally spends time). He loved climbing their stairs and playing with their dishwasher buttons. He loved climbing the stairs. He loved the old fashioned high chair he could slide down in (no crotch bar). He loved the food. He loved the porch w the couch he could stand on and look out all the windows. He loved being the center of attention!!

The last two nights, Tuesday and Wednesday, we went out to my parents house and had dinner with my Dad (Mom was working evenings). My parents live 15 minutes "up the shore" from my house (the shore being Lake Superior's northern shore). The fastest way to get there is to hop on the 4-lane freeway that runs 1/4-1/2 mile inland from the shore. The "Scenic Highway" runs right along the shore but is slower. The last two nights I have taken it home, right around sunset. The slightly longer drive is more conducive to Benjamin falling asleep anyways.

Both nights it was beautiful, but two very different kinds of beautiful.

On Tuesday, the lake was glassy calm, silver and reflective, picking up the pink and orange hues from the sky. Very serene. I couldn't resist snapping a picture and sending it to DH.

On Wednesday, it was very windy out. The lake was stormy - steel blue and slate, spitting and snarling, occasional waves crashing against the ice-packed shore. I could not resist stopping at Brighten Beach to take a closer look and listen. Sometimes I have the urge to touch the lake. I don't know why, I have always been like that (my mother can attest to the occasional totally random request to stop and touch the lake...). Unfortunately today I could not actually touch it, because the ice pack on the shore made that unsafe. You really can't tell where the shore ends and the ice begins.... also the drive home wasn't quite long enough for Benjamin to be asleep, so I kept driving. I drove into the city and up the hill (Piedmont), then back across Skyline. Its not a part of town I get to often. When I came up, the view took my breath away. This is not something I say often! I was surprised by how much the view suprised me! LOL. So wide open. I should go up there more often.

Got home and put Benjamin to bed. He has been sleeping ever since.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


On Sunday we had our normal family holiday - lots of food and good company.

Before we headed to my parents, we did an Easter Egg hunt. Benjamin did not really get it. He did not keep looking for eggs even after he figured out they had good things in them (chocolate chip, butterscotch chips, craisins, or stickers). Even when we pointed them out he was not that interested. But, it was still fun, and he WAS interested int he finger puppets and water coloring book the Easter Bunny left in his basket (and yes his basket is made out of a stuffed animal).

Then we headed to my parents. We ate A LOT. DS liked it. He especially liked the Jelly Beans. DS kind of did not want to nap at my parents and that caused some problems, as he spent most of the late afternoon quite exhausted. But, it was a lot of fun. I want to post some family pics we took (Argyle!!), but they are on someone else's camera, so we will have to wait!!