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This is a post from my other blog TMAAB-memories:

"Last night Ben and I went to Brigham's again for our Wednesday night "date". He had the kid's pizza and a milk and I had a clam roll and a diet coke. We "shared" a kid's chocolate cone. We then headed over to Spy Pond in Arlington and looked for ducks and played for a solid 45 minutes on the slide. I'd pick him up to the top of it (it was the toddlers climbing thingy) and then i'd count to three and he'd push himself to get started and laugh all the way down. Then we'd say "YAY" and i'd say "again?" and he would say "nen". I take that as a new word. Mamom met us down at the park for the end of our playtime and we headed back to the car after the sun went down. It was a beautiful night."

I started this just over a week ago and my first post was about how Ben and I have started having this night out together on Wednesdays. The thought is that I'd write down (i.e. TYPE) short snippets of stories as just a list of positive and happy things.. things that I never want to forget. I mentioned it to my psychologist earlier this week and he was very impressed with me and went on for most of my hour (just kidding) about how healthy a form of self-assessment and physiological psychology it was. Basically.. by not only recognizing a moment that is special to me, but remembering it to enter it into the blog, and then getting to re-read it at later dates either when i enter other special moments or when I'm bored and just re-reading things.. it trains my brain to utilize pathways to pleasure (his terminology, not mine) instead of constantly being on the pathway to worry/anxiety.

I sat back and thought.. well, damn.. he's right. If I'm stressed and I sit down and look over old blog posts or read the weeks worth of entries that have made my new blog.. or when I pull out adobe photoshop and look at photos from my time with shiela and ben.. it ALWAYS makes me feel better. My doc's thought is that by doing this regularly.. my brain physically will tend to lean toward thinking about these types of positive thoughts rather than negative stuff.

My regular blog isn't just about positive things.. i write about everything but a few taboo topics (work, etc.).. but going over those memories.. even the tough ones like ben's seizure recap.. makes me think "god.. i made it through that and was a good mom".

Ok.. who is willing to take cash to go through my older blogs and fix the flickr links back to the correct photos? It's driving me crazy but I'd rather write new entries than go back and fix the old ones...

For those of you who think that our son is a darling angel who would NEVER throw a fit or get himself into trouble.. check out the glint in his eyes in this picture:

I don't know WHERE he could get it from:

Edited to add: FYI, these pictures were taken on two separate days in two separate states.. I was not trying to imitate ben's expression.. I was looking through my flickr photos and saw these two and had to chuckle..

I have to say.. there isn't a single female contestant that I'd be upset to see leave the show (I'm back on my American Idol commentary). This year there just wasn't anyone who grabbed my attention. I really WANT to like the irish girl.. especially after seeing that her husband is a work of art (literally).. but she just doesn't have "it". I enjoy seeing some of them perform.. but when I close my eyes.. it's rare that I hear something that would keep me from hitting the "scan" button on my car stereo if their song was on.

The guys however.. rock. I'm thinking that by the top 5, we'll be down to all guys. I still love the dreads guy and David A.. but they both have to kick things up a notch and make things their own (god, I sound like Simon).. I judge music by whether a performance captures me and triggers an emotion.. last night.. only two performances lived up to that "requirement"..

I'll start with David Cook because I think he's friggin awesome and his performance had my jaw on the ground. I missed Ryan's (we're on a first name basis now) intro where he said that it was based on a version of Billy Jean done by Chris Cornell (one of my vocal heroes... he was a cornerstone in the grunge movement but was strong and talented enough to keep it together after that "fad" faded. Anyway.. Thanks to snickollet for doing some research and for finding these clips.. saved me some time searching youtube. The first is David's version from last night. The second is a montage of photos of Chris with his acoustic version of the song in the background. I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed that the entire arrangement wasn't thought up by David.. unlike Blake's version of Shot Through The Heart last year.. but I still think he rocked it out and I would purchase the song if it was released today. I probably just wouldn't give him quite so many brownie points for being a trailblazer.

here we go:

and now Chris Cornell's version:

discuss amongst yourselves.

The other guy that I have to say is my #2 at this point is Michael Johns.. although I don't quite get where the quasi-Australian accent comes from given that he was born in Georgia. He's quite the hottie I have to say...

Now.. as a side note.. while he managed to pull off a Queen song and still give me chills.. I was still skeptical given some of his past performances. That was until I found info on some of his previous recordings and I think he's really got it. I almost hope that neither of these guys (Michael and David C.) win so that they can avoid singing the ultimate cheese song that Idol always has their winner release as their initial single.

Here is a clip of Michael's performance last night:

Here is a clip of Michael singing a song called "Q" with his old band Film:

and no.. I have no idea what the chick on stage was doing...

Here is the song "Cradle" when he had long hair with his most recent band "The Rising".

Seriously.. Ben's cousin Adam is 7 years older than he is. Adam turned 8 in January and Ben turned one almost exactly a month earlier in December. I have a feeling Ben is going to be giving Adam hand-me-down clothes sooner rather than later. Is it just me, or are their heads the same size?

When Ben had his seizure, he was at daycare. When the paramedics arrived, they have a rule where in pediatric emergencies, they have 90 seconds to get an IV line going or they have to go in through the leg bone into the bone marrow. Being my child, and one seizing at that, they couldn't get the IV line quick enough, so they had to go to the leg. I've researched it and it's called Intraosseous Infusion.

According to Wikipedia, Intraosseous Infusion is defined as follows:
"Intraosseous infusion is the process of injection directly into the marrow of the bone. The needle is injected through the bone's hard cortex and into the soft marrow interior. Often the antero-medial aspect of the tibia is used as it lies just under the skin and can easily be palpated and located. Anterior aspect of the femur and the superior iliac crest are other sites that can be used.

This route of fluid and medication administration is an alternate one to the preferred IV route when the latter can't be established in a timely manner especially during pediatric emergencies. When IV access cannot be obtained in pediatric emergencies, intraosseous access is usually the next approach. It can be maintained for 24-48 hours, after which another route of access should be obtained. Intraosseous access is used less frequently in adult cases due to greater difficulty penetrating denser adult bone. "

Here is what a typical Infusion "gun" looks like:

Here is what a training "baby dummy" looks like:

Here is what a 14 month old's leg looks like a month and a half after he had it performed on him. He's got three puncture scars that are in a triangular shape.

I had assumed that the "gun" shot in three lines at once.. but from what I've read.. that's not the case.. so I guess they took three attempts to get it in the right spot. I guess the "good" news is that due to the seizure, he did not feel it and has no memory of that time. I do remember the pediatrician at the ER saying that the leg line wasn't great.. they already had it removed when I saw him and had gotten a standard IV line in each of his feet.


That's the true story of where he got his special tri-spot scar. What I've been telling people is that he was actually abducted by E.T. and they implanted a tracking chip in his leg. I like that story better. Especially since it seems that E.T. gave Ben walking lessons (he waddles and swings his arms over his head).

If I tried to explain how I know Jim Burns, I'd probably lose everyone about halfway through the convoluted story that defined my college days. The long and short of it is that I met soulmate #1 on the internet in 93. I have trouble making friends in person.. it goes along with the whole "people scare me" thing and the fact that I have a slight twinkle of agoraphobia (hense the "people scare me" thing). Bill and I dated for about a year before I was officially introduced to the rest of his college friends. They all (most of them) went to school at the University of Delaware. I went to the University of Hartford. So while I still refer to these guys (and girls) as "my college friends" we actually never attended school together.

Anyway.. I got this email from Jim this morning (one of the "Jesters".. our little posse of people who were all mostly from various stages of geekdom, band dorks and theater nuts.. we all clicked.. well.. most of the time). Jim was one of the guys that always "got" me.. he wrote a poem once (i told you that we were all geeks) that was called "veil of melancholy" and it was basically about how I hid behind my hair.. i only wish that had pushed me to get counseling for the whole agoraphobia thing a decade earlier.

anyway... I've seen Jim a half dozen times since we graduated college and everyone went their separate ways (some of us at least). Over the years, Bill has kept me up to date on who is living where and some of the basics of everyone's life.

Anyway... (have I lost you all yet? or are you all confused how my soulmate #1 was a guy.. that's for another blog).

I guess Jim and some of the guys he's working with are putting on an internet tv production called "The League". It launches on April 1 officially, but they have a little teaser out now.. so I thought I'd link to it. Jim is the guy with the short hair.

Their site is The League

(for inquiring minds.. Shiela is Soulmate #2.. the numbers indicate chronological order only of course... and she is freakishly similar in personality to Bill.. weird. They like each other too which is even stranger.)

Btw.. Jeff.. if you read this.. send me a scan of the original Jesters gathering from the pool hall.. i'll post it..

Well yesterday was the big day. After two surgery dates getting rescheduled due to Ben's seizure and then due to a paperwork mishap.. the big day finally arrived. Ben was due to have his surgery at about 8:30 yesterday morning. It was a bit nerve wracking and definitely tiring for all involved.. but the short version of the story is that it went well.. he did great.. and he's feeling and hearing MUCH better now.

And now for the long version of the story:

Ben has had recurrent Otitis Media (middle ear infections) since he was about 4 months old. From when he was 4 months to now (15 months) he has had 8 ear infections, most of the bilateral (both ears) and a few of them requiring several rounds of antibiotics to clear them up -- just in time to get another cold and start the cycle right back up again.

After his ear drum perforated a few months ago, we went from being on the "wait and see" list with his ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat doc) to being on the "tubes now" list. The perforation healed quickly, but we didn't want to risk further ruptures and/or scarring.

He was scheduled for his first appointment to get the tubes on the Thursday of the week that he had his seizure (a monday).. so we got bumped. Then, a month later, we got bumped again because his neurologist and ENT hadn't gotten the correct clearance paperwork clearing him for surgery given the seizure (they usually wait 6 months after a febrile seizure before putting a child under anesthesia.. but they believed that his ear infections factored into the seizure.. so there was no waiting and his neurologist was fine with this.)

True to form.. shortly after we were bumped from our March 6 surgery date, Ben came down with his 8th double ear infection. After a round of Amox (pink stuff), he started having some strange episodes (this started last weekend-ish). He would occasionally roll his eyes back. There were also a few times that he shivered when it wasn't cold or anything. We called his pediatrician and did some googling while waiting for the doctor to get back to us and he confirmed that the ocular (eye) episodes and shivering could be related to his ear infection, but that they also could be pre-seizure events. Sooooo.. we started a log of the "episodes" and also changed his antibiotic. This was Monday of this week.

On Tuesday he had somewhere around 20 episodes that we saw between daycare and him being at home.

On Wednesday he had 5. This hinted that the Augmentin (antibiotic #2) was working and indeed maybe the episodes were related to his ears.

We finally made it to the big day. A bilateral myringotomy with the insertion of tympanostomy tubes. sounds impressive. Basically it's a procedure that's performed about 20 million times a year (i'm guesstimating) and is as routine as it gets, aside from the fact that anesthesia is required, which you try to avoid with kids when possible.

6:30AM - Heading to the hospital. Ben's sleeping soundly after being awake from 3am until 5am. Moms are TIRED. We had to check in at the hospital at 7am for his 8:30 surgery time.

Filling out paperwork in the waiting room. Some of the questions are silly. "How many alcoholic beverages do you drink per week?", "Are you a recovering smoker?" Aside from his name and our names.. we didn't have much to add.

Got the gown on and some stickers and some toys. At this point we were just waiting our turn. They took Ben's temp a few times (all normal) and we talked to his ENT, who would perform the surgery, and the anesthesiologist. They were concerned about the seizure issue and decided that he would be the star patient for the day and we got extra attention both before, during and most importantly, right after the surgery. Usually they book ear tube patients out the door as soon as the child wakes up and takes a sip of apple juice since the procedure is so straightforward and unrisky. Given Ben's history, they opted to keep him hooked up to monitors for about an hour and then observed him while he came around more and had some food and apple juice. Overall we were there for about 2 to 2.5 hours after the surgery.

When it was time for Ben to go to the operating room, I went with him and was able to hold him while they put the gas mask on him to knock him out. It was difficult, but at the same time.. it was "nothing" after seeing the seizure ordeal. At least this time I knew that this was completely controlled and he would be in very capable hands. After he was asleep, they showed me back to the waiting room where Shiela was waiting for me. I had enough time to sit down, put my arm on the back of her chair, breathe, and notice the pit in my stomach from "mom-worry" and then the ENT was walking in to tell us that it was over. The whole procedure must have taken less than 5 minutes. I knew that they had already started before I was out of the OR because they wanted to keep him knocked out for as short a period of time as possible.

The ENT gave us the full rundown.. he did great.. he was fine.. he was still snoozing but would be waking up soon and they would come get us very soon but not to worry because they were taking extra precautions with him and it may take a bit longer than normal to come get us. Just as she finished saying that, a nurse came out and waved us in.. he woke up and was NOT happy with the nurses.. The nurse that was in charge of his observation handed him to me and said to shiela "wow.. he's a big and STRONG boy".

I sat in a reclinable wheelchair with him on my chest and he settled down and fell asleep for close to an hour. As former NICU inhabitants, it was reassuring to have him hooked to the monitors.. too bad we can't bring those home with us!

Once he woke up he had some apple juice and they moved us over to a brighter area for him to continue coming around and to have a snack and some further observation before we were discharged.

Here is a pic of him wanting to get down and explore.. while waiting for more apple juice and some Cheerios. This is pure temper.. not to be mistaken for fear/anxiety/pain/etc.

Still a bit groggy.. with bed hair

Feeling better -- eating cheerios and flirting with all the nurses just before getting to go home.

After we got home.. we gave him some lunch and he went right down for a 2+ hour nap. We both crashed as well. When he woke up.. he was incredible.. he was hearing so much better and was happier than we've seen him in lord knows how long. The relief of having his ears drained and the pressure released much have been incredible. He laughed and played and was just in an incredible mood.

I've been kicking around this idea for a while. I use my blog space as sort of a journal. It's mainly a space to share news and pictures of our family with distant family and friends. It's become an outlet for me where I can express my feelings about daily life.. at least some aspects of it. Some areas that are taboo from my blog are: talking about work, talking about anything negative that's family related, talking about some of my health issues.. that kinda thing. But when it comes to poopy diapers and updates on american idol... this is your place!

I've added another blog to my arsenal. It's as simple as they come. The only point is for me to have a place where I can leave one-liner notes of events/moments that happen each day that trigger the thought "god.. i don't want to forget this". I'm curious to see if #1.. i'll keep it up.. and #2.. just what types of moments will make the list..

There is a link to the site on the sidebar and it can also be found HERE.

Ben had a bit of a run-in with the cat (Ty, of course.. Nanook is still hiding from Ben) the other day. Ben is very gentle with the cat, but he's also very loud and persistent.. which the cat doesn't like much. We have a book called "Tails are not for Pulling".. and it's great.. but it hasn't clicked yet.. he has learned to go gentle, but hasn't learned how to tell when the kitty doesn't want to play. Check out the bandaid on his wrist and the scratch on his forehead.

After washing the scratches and putting a bandaid on his wrist, we opted for some quiet time. The following two pictures are two of my favorites that I've taken of Ben over the past 15 months. (that says a lot.. because I've taken over 5000 pictures.. Ben sees the orange focus light in his sleep now...)

Last weekend we decided that it was time for Ben to join us at the dining room table for dinners. The high chair is huge and we don't have a routine of having dinner together.. we'll feed him.. then get something for ourselves after he goes to bed. We decided to order a pizza.

Here is a pic of Ben helping to set the table. We have his travel booster seat set up on one of the dining table chairs.

As tradition calls for.. we marked this occasion with a "self-portrait"

Dinner began in a very clean and civilized manner. Benjamin eating small pieces of cut up pizza from his plate.

At some point.. the boy got his hands on the remainder of his piece of pizza.. things became less controlled...

In the end.. it was a very enjoyable and relaxing dinner. Ben had pizza from ear to ear and chin to forehead and beyond.. but we took our time and he had a peas and carrots chaser. I wish I could say that we do this every night.. but even if we just manage it once a week at this point.. I'll be happy.

Ok.. so this is a vent that shares far too much personal information about my.. well.. my person.. but I am an open book, so here goes...

I am not a small person. Well.. I'm short.. but you know what I mean. I'm "a woman of size".. a chub-chub.. whatever you wanna call it (but be nice). I've struggled with my weight forever it seems, but most dramatically since I hit puberty and it has only gotten worse as I've gotten older. Now that I'm in my 30's and actually have a clue.. I know that I can truly say.. "it's glandular" although i know that I have a sweet tooth and don't always follow the best eating habits..

I'm insulin resistant and have been since my teens. google it. It basically means my pancreas and pituitary gland aren't communicating well and as a result, If I had a carb.. my body packs it away for winter warmth even though I live in a time and place where LL Bean can provide that warmth. Insulin resistance goes right along with PCOS (google it) which was my big battle in terms of infertility. It turns out that controlling the insulin resistance, lowering my DHEA as a result of this, and leveling out my hormones along with taking a boat load of ovulation induction meds and progesterone support resulted in me being able to conceive our beautiful son. Insulin resistance has been a thorn in my side for decades. I can diet my butt off, but not lose a single pound.

So why am I venting about this now? Well.. I went in to see my boob oncologist on Monday for my final once-over. I've been given the "all clear" sign that I guess it's normal for one boob to double in size over a month or so.. whatever.. all the tests came back normal.. there's nothing for her to lop off.

BUT... before she let me take off that stupid pink half-shirt of a paper gown.. she says.......

"I'm worried about you having Type 2 Diabetes at your age.. I highly recommend that you talk to your PCP about surgical options". Blankly.. i said "um.. surgical options to diabetes?" .. last i heard, there was no cure and removing one's pancreas doesn't work. she smiles politely and says "no dear.. weight loss surgery".

Keep in mind that this woman probably weighs about the same amount that I do except she's about 4 feet tall and looks like the old lady in Poltergeist.

I was BLOWN AWAY. You're mentioning weight loss SURGERY to me? Two things... I've lost 60 lbs since October when I was diagnosed with Type 2 and actually went on meds to help control it (and to deal with my PCOS issues). Second.. I have friggin ulcerative colitis.. just how much of my digestive system do you want to lop off? what happens if my colon goes on me down the road.. do we just want to just connect my mouth up to my @ss (some might argue that the connection is already in place)?

wtf? (mom.. ask beck what that one means.. it's like "lol" but different.)

So.. being an engineer.. I decided to think back to some of my major milestones where I can remember my weight.. like when Shiela moved here, at different points during my infertility treatments, when ben was conceived, when ben was born, and then of course.. this last 6 months since the Type 2 hit, which has been my biggest fluctuation to date. Here's a graph:

I'm mortified STILL that she would recommend this surgery to someone who is down to 186 lbs from over 250 (i stopped getting on the scale, but at one point i was gaining a pound a day) in less than six months. I haven't been in the 180's since I was in college! I'm officially out of the "morbidly obese" range and have been for a while.. and I'm one BMI point from being out of the "obese" range.. give me a week and I'll just be "overweight".

I have two HUGE things weighing (hahaha) on me for this.. #1.. i want to be able to keep up and play with my son and do all of the things that I want to do with him.. like go on rides at Disney World and coach his t-ball team (or mentor his chess club.. depending on his personality.. :) and #2.. we'd like to at least attempt to give Ben a little brother or sister.. and after the trainwreck that was my first pregnancy.. I refuse to even start treatment until my BMI is in the "normal" range.. so I've got 30 pounds to go.

Friggin "surgical options" my butt.

I'm not embarrassed to admit that I look forward to Tuesday nights with a level of anticipation that is hard to explain without sounding like a pre-teen. Tonight is Beatles night.. take 2. Last week sorta sucked.. but I'm hoping that this week is better. The first chick just sang and she scares me so I don't even know her name.. I usually like the rocker girls.. but not this time around. She doesn't scare me as much as Hillary, but it's a close call. (but that's for a different blog).

I have a few other stories/updates to blog about.. our first family dinner at the dinner table a few days ago.. complete with photos..

Ok.. no typing... idol is back on. cowgirl chick is on.. so I need to sip my diet coke to brace for this. as an aside.. i can't believe these people are so young/naive to be able to honestly say "i heard this song for the first time today..".. WHAT? it's the friggin beatles! ok.. i thought it had a shot because the arrangement was good.. but lord she was boring.

YAY.. it's my boy. David A. The Long and Winding Road.. good song. *hope* good job.. no chills, but he's back and he's here for the long run. i just wish he'd do whatever it is that gave me chills when he sang Imagine a few weeks ago.

Ryan Seacrest is such a geek.. I sorta like his hair. I told shiela that i was going to get a fauxhawk or go drastic with my hair and she expressed her opinion that she thought I'd have a nervous breakdown if I were to take away my security blanket (my hair).

Ok.. it's back on.. Michael Johns singing A day in the Life. .. already good.. this guy is going to go far.. i didn't like him much at first but he's growing on me like a chia pet.

It's 8:45 and Ben is still awake.

Ben is the other subject I need to blog about. He gets his ear tubes in two days.. and we see his neurologist next Thursday for our follow-up consult. The new info on the subject is that he's been flipping his eyes back and occasionally shivering. We talked to his pedi about it last night and we're now logging it and have daycare logging each "episode". Since last night at about 7 when we talked to his pedi, he has done it 14 times that we've seen. Shiela found some medical studies that link severe middle ear infections with ocular events (the eyes rolling) and even the shivering and freakishly.. events that mimic seizures and have even been labeled "complex partial seizure" which is what he had in February. There's no doubt in my mind that he had a full blown seizure in Feb.. but I'm hoping that these current episodes are related to his mega double ear infection that he's now on his second round of antibiotics for (just like what happened before his seizure). His surgery for his tubes is Thursday.

ok... back to idol. it's hippy chick. i like her.. i'm not sure if i like it .. maybe it's because i'm getting udgy.

Simon just said that the song was "wet".. huh?

David Cook is next.. he's one of my favs now.. i just need to get near his head with a set of clippers..

Ben is laughing in his room instead of sleeping.

ok.. david cook pulled out the talk box.. he gets extra points for potentially rattling his teeth out of his head... *clap* *clap* again.. you can't fault a guy with a les paul.

god i'm tired.. you hit 9pm and i'm useless. hey snick.. i may bring my jammies when we watch the show together next week. i promise i won't bring my laptop.

ok... i'm signing out.. i'll finish my editorial of the show tomorrow when I get to work.. like I'm supposed to. :)


For some reason Flickr, where I store my photos, has backfired and some of the links to my photos are messed up. It's random.. I have no idea why. But now I have to fix it.


This is freaky.. it's just an optical illusion.. the "rice" isn't really moving in the picture.

Today.. for the first time in the 50 weeks since Ben started daycare (not that I'm counting.. $$$$... *grin*... he cried when I left. I had gotten there early and had some alone time with the provider and Ben and played for a bit.. but as time tends to do.. it went by quickly and I soon needed to leave if I was going to have any chance of being to work on time. Ben had been playing with the toys and walking around laughing, but as soon as I stood up he raced over to me and wanted me to pick him up. I did.. gave him a big hug and kiss.. but then had to let Ruth try to redirect him so that I could get out the door. When I closed the door, I could see him looking over her shoulder with big alligator tears running down his cheeks. I could also hear him then throwing a tantrum as I was on my way to the car in the driveway.

I know from experience that kids do this.. my mom's daycare gave me insight to how this whole shindig works and I know that seconds after the parent is out the door, the child settles right back in and is just fine.

Knowing this and having it happen to you.. especially on a Thursday when there's nothing you'd RATHER do than take the day and spend it with your child instead of sitting in an office.

He had never really gotten upset before when I'd leave him at daycare.. I occationally joked that "it would be nice" if he'd not want me to leave.. but usually he's launching right into playtime or breakfast and barely glances at me when I leave. That's much easier to deal with. I have to be careful what I wish for..

Ben went to bed at about 8:45pm tonight. He was quiet. He wasn't asleep. We let him talk to his stuffed animals with the hope that he'd settle himself down. This rarely happens once he's up and talking because he tends to throw his Binky out of the crib, which he knows will get us in there once he starts crying because he can't get it back.

Tonite, at about 9:15, Shiela went in to check on him.. he was just starting to fuss. She went to find his Binky. Having trouble.. she turned on the overhead light and ended up pulling his crib away from the wall. This is what she found:


We have an official Binky addict on our hands. We probably own over 20 Binkys and have purchased easily over 50 during the 14 months that Ben has been in our lives. He likes one particular brand (Playtex Binky). There have been times where we haven't been able to find any and have had to make an emergency run to Walgreens at 9pm to get a new pack of Binks.

It was like finding gold. Ben saw all the binks and immediately burst into tears when Shiela left to go into the bathroom to wash them off.


When she came back.. she had all of the binks.. all nice and clean.. and held them out for him to choose. he thought this was the funniest thing ever and laughed and laughed and made all sorts of funny faces:





He finally settled on one... two.. and then a third. His Aunti Becky had 2 binks on hand all of the time when she was little... I think he may have her beat...



We may need to stage an intervention at some point...

To my recollection.. there was no real reason behind this meltdown. There just comes a time each night (and occasionally during the day or at a nice restaurant) when our content, thoughtful, quiet son who can keep himself busy for an hour playing with two megablox turns into this raging red-headed monster who wings hotwheels cars at the cats, bites his moms, and generally has his "i'm so pissed off you're lucky i don't know any of those words that you guys say under your breath when the cats are bad".

This first picture shows the internal build-up.. he's thinking about what he's upset about. Given that the cat is right there.. THAT may have something to do with it.. but chances are it's just a random "i'm mad" moment.


He finally lets it go.. the situation escalates exponentially as I take pictures instead of going to soothe him (while ducking from little metal devices of torture - hotwheels cars).


I once threatened to throw my mother into a trashcan. It was the worst thing I could think of at the time. I imagine that my face looked a bit like this:


Ok kids...

I know of several people who regularly check my blog for updates on my family. So why is it that NO ONE has picked up on (or has commented on) my stupid typo. I'm going to leave it as-is for a day before I fix it. In the intro-blurb at the top of the page.. it says that our lives changed on "December 19, 2007".. well.. i'm sure it did.. but it wasn't due to Ben's birth. He was born in 2006. Come on people!! I'm loopy.. I need help with these types of things sometimes...

While I was out partying like it was 1999 with my sister on Friday night.. Shiela was home enjoying some quiet time with our boy. His new "thing" is to mimic us and to pretend. Here is a video clip that shiel took on her cell phone and sent to me while I was at the Bon Jovi concert. It's ben using a hotwheels car as a phone. The awesomely funny part of this is that he TOTALLY looks like me while I'm talking to my mother on the phone... check the laughs.. the head bobs.. the eyes rolling and looking up (hi mom).. Both shiela and I spend very little time on the phone aside from texting beck and talking to our moms... I have to start watching myself around this little one!

Ok.. first off.. I'm thankful for YouTube and all of the people that post clips from idol performances when they aren't supposed to. I'm sure iTunes will have that stopped by the end of the season and see that some clips have already been pulled.. but that didn't stop me from being able to see what I missed last night when we got home at 8:20!!!

Ok.. first of all.. David Archuleta is still my favorite.. he just is. There's something about this kid and while I wasn't particularly overjoyed with his performance last night.. it was still great. Here is a picture of the cutie.

Now.. I have to say that without a question in my mind.. Jason Castro was the best of the night. I've liked him from the start.. I think his personality is honestly humble and he's got a great voice. I'm glad he stepped away from his guitar this week to prove that he's really got what it takes. He sang Hallelujah, which was covered by Jeff Buckley in the early 90's (Jeff Buckley, btw, died of a freak drowning accident when he went swimming in the Mississippi River in 97 fully clothed.. it supposedly wasn't suicide.. but sheesh.. what a way to go.. at least plane crashes are more consistent with the demise of other folk/rock legends.) Anyway.. here is a clip.. at least until YouTube pulls it from their site:

Ok.. now while I can't stand David Cook.. I have to say that he was my #2 man last night. I just wish he'd buzz his hair.. it's such a dorky look to have it all pulled into his face like that.. but maybe I'm just getting old. I am, remember, going to a Bon Jovi (and Chris Daughtry!) concert on Friday... and I'd take Jon Bon in his spandex and long floofy hair any day over the kids these days.. *grin* Anyway.. back to David Cook. He did Hello by Lionel Richie and I think really pulled it off and I agreed with the judges that it would be a hit if it were on the radio right now. I also like his guitar.. it's hard to hate a guy with a les paul.

After a 2.5 hour nap, Ben was acting like himself. For his afternoon snack, I gave him some green beans and a few slices of avocado. I've had hints dropped from daycare that he covets the avocados that his friends maddie and riley have sometimes.

a few slices soon turned into an ENTIRE avocado. I didn't help.. I don't like avocado plain... he just chowed! Soon we were left with just the shell and the seed.

It took a while, but Ben finally realized that it was all gone.. he signed "more" for quite a while (between eating green beans) while also pointing at the empty avocado shells.

Needless to say.. we made a mess.. but I'd take a mushed up avocado face with bright blue eyes over tired eyes anyday!

Today was a long day. It's now 9pm and Ben is sound asleep and Shiela and I are close behind (but not after watching a cheesy horror movie). Today Ben had his EEG at Children's Hospital in Boston. This was the follow-up to the seizure he had on Feb 4 and the day we spent at Children's after that. They wanted to give his brain a chance to recoup so they could measure his normal brain waves. Soooo... that was today.

It was a sleep deprived EEG, which meant that we had to wake him up ultra-early this morning and keep him awake until we got to the hospital and they got him all rigged up to the monitors.

I'll detail things out later, but for now I just wanted to say that he was a trooper and while he was terrified, he didn't put up much of a battle for the two wonderful techs that were running the test. It was hard hearing him and seeing him be so upset and not be able to pick him up, but he definitely was calmer to have us both right up close to him.

We should hear back from his neurologist after they receive the test report.. we hope to talk with them tomorrow. There was a lot more to the story, but I just wanted to let the friends and family that check up on us through here to have the initial update. I'll post more after we hear from the doctors tomorrow.

This is still a PERFECTLY good T-Shirt.

One would think.. I live in Boston.. I can pick up another Boston Hard Rock T anytime.. but it's not the same. This one is "broken in". It's not like a wear it in public or anything and it covers all my important parts.

Since I've lived in Boston for about 8 years.. I could tell you that the shirt was bought during that time. It would be a lie though -- I actually bought it when I was in High School during a Jazz Band trip to Berklee... so that would be somewhere between 1988 and 1992. Maybe it's time for a lunch at the Hard Rock...

OMG.. Ty just ate a goldfish cracker that Ben dropped on the floor (as you can see.. I'm blogging while Ben is sleeping and Shiela is grocery shopping.. what I SHOULD be doing is picking up the goldfish crackers on the floor.. yeah.. why do that when he'll just eat them later.. :)

In other news.. the stupid cat just woke the baby up... URGH! So much for a 2 hour nap...

Last night, the three of us hit the mall with our tax return in our pocket. Actually.. we were very controlled. We picked up a backpack carrier for both of us to be able to carry Ben as the weather gets warmer. I was so proud of Shiela.. when she moved here she would have pushed me to go to Target to get whatever the $39.99 backpack carrier was. Instead, we ended up at Wild Child, which is a yuppy clothing children's store in Arlington and while Ben and I stayed in the car, Shiela was supposed to go in and get the carrier that was one step above the one we had tried on a few weeks ago. She came out with a grin and said that I'd be so proud.. she got the one that was TWO steps above.. she said it was incredibly comfortable and very adjustable, so we'd both be able to use it and it would grow with Ben (although if he keeps growing the way he is.. soon he'll be carrying us.)

Soooo... after this endeavor, we went to Brigham's for dinner and then browsed the Burlington Mall for a while. We wound up at Stride Rite at some point. Ben has been wearing his Robeez for as long as he has been in "shoes" (the Robeez have a soft leather sole). Since he's just starting to walk, we figured it was time to transfer from the "pre-walker" shoes to a pair of the ultra-flexible sole "just-walking" shoes. Given that the kid has my feet.. we can't buy shoes at places like Target or Sears.. nope.. gotta go for the stores that sell the extra WIDE...

He was a trooper.. he stood on the little foot measurer do-hickey and it turns out that his right foot is a size 5WW and his left foot is a size 6WW... just like Mommy. My left foot has always been at least a half size larger than my right.

Benjaraptor is sleeping right now.. so I'll have to get a pic of him wearing his shoes later on.. but for now.. here's a comparison to my shoes... too funny.. My guess is that someday the ratio of shoe sizes will be reversed.

Here is a picture of Ben walking into the salon.. it's not like we go there that often, but they all know us and he makes himself right at home.


The little guy wasn't so sure what we were doing when we sat in the chair in front of the big mirror and was less sure when Cassie put a cape around his neck. We hadn't gotten the stamp of approval on this activity yet -- you can tell by the look on his face!

To make the experience stranger, Cassie then wet Ben's hair down using a spray bottle. Unlike my mother, we only use these for getting the cats to stop scratching the furniture.. the water was warm through.. and it felt sorta good. Ben wasn't afraid of the water.. but he was keeping a close eye on Cassie.

Once the haircut started, Ben was SUCH a good boy. Cassie was able to trim his hair and aside from him occasionally trying to turn around to watch her and one time when she almost snipped her finger instead of his hair.. it was a fairly painless experience!

We brought a ziplock baggie and probably managed to save about 80% of his beautiful red curls that were snipped. We were worried that his curl would go away, but he's got so much wave still and his hair is just as bright short as it was when it was longer.

Once we were finished, Benjamin was finally able to talk to Cassie and even got to brush her hair.

Here is a pic of Ben and Mommy.. too bad we were standing in front of the window.. you can't really get a good view of his hair. My grey hair stands out nice and bright though.. wonderful.

Here are two pictures we took back at home showing Benjamin's first haircut. We didn't go with a short buzz cut.. just a nice short clean cut.. it looks great and he looks so grown up! We celebrated by also buying him his first pair of real shoes at stride rite.. i'll blog about THAT tomorrow!