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This kid can do it! I'm going out to Daddy's Junky Music tonight to pick Ben up a trap set... I'm SURE he can take this kid in a battle of drummers...

instead of talking about all of the updates that I keep saying "hey.. I need to blog this.."... I'll procrastinate...

Shiela and I were working on this routine over the weekend and have it ALMOST down.. I'll video tape it and post it when we get it PERFECT. FYI.. we will NOT be wearing little speedos.. instead, like true dancers.. we'll wear flannel shirts and sweatpants.. trust me.. it will be JUST as inspiring.

Shouldn't I be doing something more productive?

Ben has entered a new "phase".

He is a rocker..

a hacker..

a "gearhead"..

a builder..

Life with Benjamin definitely stays interesting. I can't say that there is ever a lull in the activity around the house when he's up and at 'em. He is interested in EVERYTHING. I have to get a photo of him playing Shiela's piano up here.. he will sit for the longest time gently playing and fidgeting with the settings.

He has a bit of a temper..

But he usually swings right from a scream into a deep chuckle. I'm not sure if that's a good thing.. *laff* The good news is that even when he's upset/frustrated/etc... he has a sense of humor that can pull a smile out of a knock on the noggin.

He LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine and is on a current kick of wanting to sit on our laps while we play Guitar Hero.. He will go get the guitar for us.. and the remote.. and then reach up to us because he wants in on the action. He will sit through several songs and will help us by pressing the orange button that seems to keep eluding us. (long story)

He has decided that he likes sleeping in our bed, which is new. He hadn't slept in our bed since he was an infant, and even then it was only for naps if we were right there. He slept between us when we'd visit my sister's house down in CT.. but even that stopped. He likes his crib. I have to say that he's the easiest kid I've ever witnessed at bedtime.. he just turns on his belly and "drives" a car or motorcycle back and forth a few times before putting his arms down and falling asleep. Last night and the night before.. he woke up several times during the night. This isn't the norm. Two nights ago, I brought him into our bed so he could drink some milk and we fell asleep before I brought him back. Shiela woke up and moved him back to his crib only to be woken up about 15 minutes later to a screaming baby. He came back in and spent the rest of the night snuggling between his moms. Well.. we knew we were in trouble. Last night the same thing happened. This morning.. he was WAY too comfortable. He woke up while Shiela was sitting next to him watching the TV on mute and rolled over so he could see the TV and chuckled. Lord help us.

We know what we're "supposed" to do.. but both of us are also of the opinion that if he needs to snuggle, then that's what he needs. I remember climbing into my mom's bed in the middle of the night quite often as a kid. Shiela wasn't allowed (I don't think) to sleep in her parents bed when she was scared and I think that might lend to why we still sleep with a light on. I just don't see the harm in it. Oh.. aside from the bruises that we both wake up with after being kicked a few dozen times and, like the first night.. having to wake each other up to move him because we're hanging off of our side of the bed. How one 26 pound child can take up a queen sized bed all by himself is beyond me. Oh wait.. he doesn't.. it's him and the two 15 pound cats! Shiela and I are going to start sleeping in his crib.. we'll have more room.

As an aside.. I'm MORTIFIED that Will got voted off of So You Think You Can Dance (am I the only one who says the name of that show in the same Aussie-English accent that Cat uses?)

In other news.. I find it HYSTERICAL that some people are so clearly clueless about how the internet works. If you're going to surf blogs.. great.. if you're going to stalk blogs.. more power to ya.. but if you're going to post a negative comment.. you should be aware that it is VERY easy and quite common for a site admin to review LOTS of information about each and every one of the site's visitors. Not to skeeve ya out.. But I can tell lots of information about where you're from, what type of operating system you're using, what IP address and ISP you're using, how often you check the site, what your bank account number is (ok.. so that one is a stretch.. I'd have to do some hacking to figure that part out.. but given the volumes of info that I CAN track on you just for a click to my blog.. I could probably figure that out too..) So the moral of the story here is: If you are going to post a negative "anonymous" comment to my blog..don't use your home computer.. especially if you've established a history of visiting my blog. I pity-da-fool! I don't keep track of my visitor history above and beyond just checking my daily hit count (how many people visited my sit in a day).. and I'm aware that as this number grows.. a public blog is just that.. public. I just wanted to remind my readers that "anonymous" really isn't all that "anonymous" in todays internet world. Run in fear and delete your cookies, cookie-monster!

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space

And when you're out there
Without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?

About 15 minutes ago I got a "friend" request from a girl who I met when I was hospitalized at McLean Hospital back in March of 2007. I was hospitalized after tripping over a rock (i.e. Post Partum Depression). There is a movie with Wynonna Ryder and Angelina Jolie called Girl Interupted -- it was based on a book that was written about one woman's experience at McLean. I still really can't watch that movie.. even though it isn't even remotely like my experience there (i was an outpatient.. i did my real "time" over at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, where I was locked up prior to my stay at McLean.. but that's another story.) Anyway.. when I met S.. I had just learned that the movie, Girl Interupted, was based on a McLean thing. She immediately reminded me of Angelina Jolie's character. I was fascinated and interested in this person.. someone who was a LOT younger than me but who I think has had more "life experience" than I have.. for whatever that's worth. We hung out a bit while I was there.. passed notes during group therapy.. classic stuff. I felt like I was hanging out with "the cool kids". Wait.. I was in a mental hospital. It doesn't jive. Regardless.. she made an impression and I have wished the best for her and have often been curious about where she wound up.. how she was doing.. whether life had started moving in a safer direction for her. Facebook is a crazy thing.

Shiela just sent this message to my phone...

She and Ben are at "the res" (local reservoir).. they sounded like they were having a blast when I last spoke with them.. Ben was "swimming" (i.e. floating around on his belly and trying to drink the entire lake). Mom-days with Ben are the best.

Meanwhile I'm slaving away and didn't even know who got voted off of SYTYCD until just minutes ago when Snickollet reminded me.. sheesh! I have to get my priorities in order!

I'm happy to report that Ben's appointment with his ENT (Ear Nose Throat Doc) went great. Both of his ear tubes ARE out. They typically last for 6 months to 2 years and his doctor said that it is very rare for them to pop out this soon (he has had them for about 4 months), but that it does happen and it could be because of a rapid growth spurt or something like that. His ear drums have healed -- so there is no perforation in them at this point and we do not have to worry about him getting his ears wet for the near future (YAY.. no ear plugs!!!). He has no infection at this time and no fluid in his middle ear. The doctor said that he saw no reason to jump right into replacing the tubes. We will wait and see how the coming months go, especially as "cold season" starts (isn't it ALWAYS "cold season" at daycare?) in the fall. If his infections start back up again.. he will probably go in for a second surgery to insert a new round of tubes. We're going to cross our fingers that he has out grown the problem!

Both tubes are currently still stuck in his ear canal and the doctor didn't want to put Ben through the discomfort of going after them (that area of the ear canal is very sensitive). They will fall out by themselves at some point.

So this has nothing to do with us.. but OMG.. Will and Katee's performance on SYTYCD last night was unbelievable! I'm not a dancer (obviously to anyone who knows me.. I won't even do the chicken dance).. and I don't know anything about dancing.. but I know that this truly inspired and moved me. As an aside.. OMG.. could Will's body BE any more perfect? He is a reminder that the human form can be a work of art. Plus he seems nice.

Almost as inspiring is this performance of Piano Man by a 7 year old at a talent show. His parents must be so proud! I LOVE his accent! What a cutie.

And I'm sure most of you have seen this little one before.. no words can describe how perfect her little voice is. Again.. proud parents!

ben has been "off" a bit this past week.. slightly elevated temp in the evenings (99.5-99.9).. cranky.. trouble sleeping.. fingers in the ears. wait.. fingers in the ears? that hasn't happened since before... oh damn!

yep.. that was my train of thought crashing into the station on the island of sodor (thomas "fans" will get the reference)..

we brought the big guy in to the pedi last night after work and found out that both of his ear tubes have popped out. they are meant to pop out on their own.. but usually they will hold for between 6 mos and 2 years. the pedi on call asked how long he had his in and for some reason i rattled off "9 mos". I have no clue where that came from.. he's had them in for almost exactly 4 months. they were both in at his 18 month checkup, less than a month ago.

the good news is that he doesn't have an ear infection. he's probably digging at his ears because the tubes are still in the canals right near his ear drum, which is sensitive (not sure why they can't go in with tweezers and pull them out). she suggested having him do the back float in the tub to get some water in his ears which may help flush them out. his temp/crankiness is most likely a virus that has been going around.. but the good news is that he looks like he's nearing the end of it and we got through the low grade temps with no seizures.. another good sign. the longer he goes without a seizure at this point, the greater the chance that he's out grown them. *cross fingers*

the pedi on call's take was that it would probably be best to just leave him and watch to see how he does without the tubes and whether the infections start up again. that's fine by me, but i want to get the official word from his ENT. ironically, we have an appointment with his audiologist on friday to get new ear plugs (he out grew the old ones).. so now we probably don't need those, but need someone to confirm that and to confirm that the perforations have healed (which is what the pedi said looked like had happened..which is good). We have to watch out for infections given that he has (or hopefully had) a crack in the bone that separates his middle ear from his brain, which they think was causing his neuro issues. god.. that feels like years ago.. i guess that's why i said 9 months..

anywho.. he's doing fine today and slept through the night last night (of course.. as soon as you go to the doc to be told "it's a virus".. they suddenly get better).. this morning both shiela and i took him to school and while he cried at first, it was very interesting and moving to watch his daycare provider calm him down. she had him in his high chair for breakfast and he was screaming and she knelt down and started talking to him in a sing-songy voice while stroking his chin. he did the cutest thing. he quieted down and made a few cute faces and squinted his eyes a few times and calmed right down. shiela and i ducked out of the room while he had his eyes closed and was listening to her. two seconds later as we were signing him in, he was laughing.

Cost of two Red Sox tickets in the Grandstands along the third base line - $0
Cost of parking at train station - $5
Cost of subway fare to and from Fenway Park for one adult - $4
Cost of two Fenway Franks - $7.25
Cost of two Diet Cokes - $7.25
Cost of one tiny bottle of water - $4.25
Cost of personal cheese pizza - $6

Not too bad for a Tuesday night out for a family of three! Ben did great. We managed to sit through about 5 innings.. which isn't too shabby for a night game. We opted to take off mid-game after Ben had thrown his binky about 12 times, had more than a full hot dog by himself and more than half a pizza by himself on top of half of a bottle of diet coke (which he isn't usually allowed to have.. sorta like pizza and hot dogs.. but it was Fenway man.. ya gotta break the rules sometimes!!). He exchanged high-fives and "knuckles" with the slightly inebriated college-aged men who were sitting in front of us and cheered loudly while clapping excitedly when the crowd went nuts.

One of these days we'll be able to last until they sing Sweet Caroline.. but in the meantime, we're more than happy to take any unused tickets off of our friends/coworkers hands in exchange for a fairly cheap night out with Red Sox Nation!

I just don't get it (yes I do)... I skip blogging for a day here and there and my hit count (mom.. that means "number of readers") drops to a really embarassing level. You'd think that you guys want new information/stories/pictures all the time.. what about all of those old posts.. there's some funny crap that is archived away on this blog. I'm serious.. I'm sure if you take five minutes, you'll find something that will make you nose your milk.

(btw.. thanks Barb, for teaching me that phrase... I often nose a variety of drinks while re-reading my own blog!)

You've GOT to be kidding! If you told me a month ago that I'd have a completely stress-free Sunday and an enjoyable Monday.. I would have laughed at you while heading to grab a pint of ice cream.

Today was the first day of my new schedule at work. I was home today with Ben and will be working Tuesday through Friday for my normal hours. Today has been great. Ben is currently playing with his home depot tools, so I have a few minutes to share our day with you all.

This morning started off pretty low key and laid back. Ben woke up at 8:30. We both got up and had breakfast and played for a bit. We then picked up the toys and I put Sprout on while I went to do some dishes. Ben climbed onto the couch "by self" and watched a bit of Elmo before proceeding to pull out all of the toys that we had just put away. I finished up with the dishes and we played "climb under mommy" and "jump on top of mommy".. which was much more fun for the 18-month old, i think.... but I got a few good hugs out of the deal.. so no complaints here (but maybe a bruise or two!). We then picked up his toys again and had a quick snack before he trucked off to bed for his morning nap.

I logged onto the computer to do random things like update my Facebook status and check my email. Then it was off to drink a glass of Diet Coke and watch the second half of Maury after bringing out the trash. By the time Maury ended, Ben was starting to wake back up.

We had lunch and then headed out to do some errands and to visit Mamom at work. After that, we hit not one.. not two.. but THREE parks in Belmont. The first one sucked.. everything was in the sun and the slides were HOT.. i quickly learned why it was so quiet there. We then headed to a park with some more shade but got pretty sweaty, so we packed up and headed over to another park that has a sprinkler setup. Ben had his first push-up pop. I was a bit of a loser-mom and forgot his crocs and his water shoes (i hadn't planned on going someplace with water).. so he went barefoot for a while until i was worrying too much about the heat of the areas that weren't wet.. so he was the poor little kid on the playground with the mother who made him wear a tshirt with his swim diaper AND sneakers into the water play area. Not only that.. but I had a spray bottle of sunblock that I kept chasing him down with. I think I actually did embarrass him.. or I just annoyed him after I sprayed it on his head for the 5th time because he sternly said "ma ma" while clapping his hands at me. and not in a good way.

At about 4:30, we headed back to the car.. Ben was asleep before Jill (the lady in my GPS) had the chance to link up with the satellites to tell me that I had missed my turn to head home... so we took the long way and Ben slept. He was sleeping so well that I was able to get home.. get him up to his room.. change him out of his swim stuff into dry clothes and still take a bit of a nap! yay!

It's now almost 7pm.. we've had a bath (well.. ben has.. i will have one after he goes to bed).. it took three washes to get all the sunblock out of his hair.. whoops! he's now playing in his little tent in the middle of the living room.. and I've had the time to update my blog. We're very mellow this evening.. my guess is because we had a long day playing! We miss mamom, who isn't home quite yet.. but we'll see her soon and then tomorrow night we get to go to a Red Sox game after work/school! yay!

and so ends my first day as a "stay at home mom".. tomorrow I morph back into a "working mom" but I get the chance to do this all over again next week.