Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goals for 2010

It's almost 2010. The past decade flew by. December 31, 1999 I was in a luxury suite at Madison Square Garden ringing in the New Year with Billy Joel and 20,000 of our closest friends. This year I'll be at home on my couch watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. What a change, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

This is the time of year where everyone decides to give themselves new year resolutions. They decide to diet, exercise, maybe give up soda or sweets and are really gung-ho about it...for about a month. I don't do resolutions anymore because I was the same way. I would stick by my resolutions for 2 or 3 weeks, then get bored with it.

So instead of making new year's resolutions, I decided to give myself a list of goals for 2010. It's very similar to having resolutions, but goals are measurable and obtainable items. What good is having a resolution to exercise or give up chocolate if you can't measure it and have nothing to show for it? It's no good. That's why they never last. Join me and make a list of goals for your 2010.

Some of my goals will sound silly, but I'm serious about them and I'm going to try to meet them all.
Goals for 2010
  1. Spend less time on Facebook and Twitter and more time with Ben and Allison
  2. Spend the first hour after Ben goes to sleep writing.
  3. Finish writing my book
  4. Make money off of my writing
  5. Run a 5K under 30 minutes
  6. Run a 10K in an hour
  7. Run a 15K - just finish, without stopping
  8. Run a half marathon - just finish without stopping
  9. Learn how to juggle
  10. Learn how to play Super Mario Bros theme on my keyboard
  11. Learn how to play Clocks by Coldplay on my keyboard
  12. Learn how to play NY State of Mind by Billy Joel on my keyboard
  13. Remain a size 34 for another year
  14. Create a new blog and post a picture on it everyday in 2010
  15. Teach Ben to say "Daddy" & "Awesome"
  16. Do not curse in front of Ben

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Favorites of 2009

I was going to do a photo year in review, but I've seen a bunch of that going around on Facebook, so I decided against it. Instead I'll do a brief review of the good stuff from my life in 2009 and a list of my favorite things. I'm sure I'll leave something & someone out...my apologies. If you see something that should have been on the list, leave a comment.

January:
1) We found out we were pregnant
2) Went to the circus
3)Panda Bear cupcakes for Jack's 2nd Birthday

February:
1) Saw Ben for the first time in the 8 week sonogram
2) Celebrated Valentine's day by taking Allison to see Confessions of a Shopaholic
3) Business trip to NJ - Told the first person that wasn't family that we were expecting
4) Got a new car

March:
1) Saw Ben during the 12 week sonogram. Saw his boy parts for the first time
2) Celebrated our 2 year Wedding Anniversary
2) Registered at BRU for baby stuff

April:
1) I started my blog
2)Purchased and assembled Ben's furniture
3)Went to NY to meet my nephew James for the first time
4) My favorite blog post: Going Green

May:
1)Celebrated Mother's Day with dinner at Cape May Cafe @ Disney's Beach Club Resort.
2) Saw Ben again during the 20 week sonogram.
3)Felt Ben kick for the first time
4)Went on a cruise with Allison's family
5) My favorite blog post: 20 Week Sonogram or Is there a DR in the house

June:
1)Celebrated my 33rd birthday
2)Finished decorating Ben's room
3)Went on vacation to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine
4)Michael Jackson died
5)Saw Transformers 2
6)My favorite blog post: Things I'm Looking Forward to

July:
1)Had a visit from my parents and Uncle Carlo
2)Went to see Disney 4th of July fireworks.
3)Found a pediatrician for Ben
4)Saw Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
5)Took a tour of Winnie Palmer Hospital
6)Went on vacation to Ormond Beach. Met Jen (a devoted reader) and her husband Randy
7)Started Birthing Classes
8)My favorite blog post: The Empathy Belly

August:
1)Kristin, Ellen, Stephanie and my mom threw Allison's baby shower.
2)Took a breastfeeding class
3)Work shower at Allison's job
4)Saw GI Joe and had my last night out before being a dad with Mark & Steven
5)Graduated from Birthing Class
6)Celebrated my mom's 60th birthday
7)My favorite blog post:Baby Making Music

September:
1)Saw Ben again during 36 week check up
2)8th anniversary of September 11th
3)Benjamin was born!!! (Same birthday as my father)
4)Ben had his Brit
5)Celebrated Allison's birthday
6)My favorite blog post: The Birth Story

October:
1)My parents and Uncle Carlo came to meet Ben
2)Uncle David (Allison's brother) came to meet Ben
3)I ran a 5k in 30:25
4)Ben's first Halloween
5)My favorite blog post:Bears on my PJs

November:
1)Met up with Vinny & Theresa & their kids
2)Took Ben to Downtown Disney to get his Christmas stocking and first ornament
3)Had my first evening alone with Ben
4)Celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family
5)My favorite blog post:Super Sunday

December:
1)Game night at Victoria's. Ben met a lot of our friends
2)Ben met Santa!
3)Ben celebrated his first Hanukkah
4)Ben celebrated his first Christmas
5)Ben had his first trip to Friendly's
6)My blog won Best Dad2Be blog from www.pregnancycorner.com
7)Ran my first 10K. Finished in 1:07:38 (I think)
8)My favorite blog post:Ben's Big Day Out

That was my year at a glance. A lot of other stuff happened, but those are the highlights. Allison got laid off. I think I took a trip to Dallas for a training class, but that might have been 2008. I joined a running group.


OK. Onto my favorites of 2009
Favorite moment of 2009: Ben's birth. Seeing his heartbeat during 8 week sonogram. Seeing his boy parts during 12 week sonogram. Seeing the 4 chambers of his heart during the 20 week sonogram.
Favorite song: Jay-Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
Favorite CD: Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3 or Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D.
Favorite movie - Drama: The Blind Side
Favorite movie - Comedy: The Hangover
Favorite move - Action: Transformers 2
Favorite TV Episode: How I Met Your Mother - The Sexless Inn Keeper
Favorite new show: Jersey Shore or Community
Favorite lunch while at work: 5 Guys Cheese Burger + fries
Favorite home cooked meal: A stew Allison made in the crock pot
Favorite homemade Dessert:
Allison's home made ice cream cake for 4th of July
Favorite gadget:
iphone 3GS
Favorite App: HR Battle 3D or Run Keeper
Favorite Website: Facebook or Twitter
Favorite Radio Station: XL106.7
Favorite Ice Cream: Twistee Treat or Friendly's
Favorite Pizza: Winter Garden Pizza
Favorite LOL Moment: Kristin's hand when we played Uno

Come back tomorrow for my 2010 goals.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Waaaassssuuuuuppppp!!!! Ben's First Scare

I have a couple of funny stories for you today that have taken place over the past few weeks. First up I'll start with something that happened last night. Allison and I were eating dinner with Ben sitting in his high chair next to us playing with some of his toys. (When I say playing I mean he was trying to put his toys in his mouth. ) Anyway, he was smiling, laughing and talking. (baby talk, only he knows what he was saying) I would look at him and smile. Say "Hi Ben" or "What's up buddy" and he would laugh, smile and talk. It was a lot of fun.

Not leaving good enough alone, I decided to spice things up and try other sayings. I didn't have any luck until I tried the Budweiser commercial "Wassssuuuuppp" Here's a clip for those of you who don't remember it

I got a laugh the first time I did it. I though I can do it better. 2nd time, another laugh. Nice ! Daddy's killing it tonight. Ok...deep breath, let's get a really good one. "WWWAAAASSSSSSSUUUUUUUPPPPPPPPPPP"

Ben did not like that one, that's what's up. He went from smiling and laughing to fear and crying in 0.53 seconds. I stopped immediately and tried to calm him down, but he was not having it. Mommy had to swoop him up out of his high chair and hug him until he stopped. We made up about 30 seconds later...but I won't be doing wwaaasssuuuuppp anymore.

Another epic fail (I never talk like that, but this can only be described as an epic fail) is when I tried the "want to hear the most annoying sound in the word" scene from Dumb and Dumber:

I thought it would kill, but Ben went from a smiling and happy baby to a grouch. He gave me the stinkiest stink eye and I swear I heard him say "Do that again and I'll poop on you."

Allison is going to start looking for work again once the new year comes. (she's a smart cookie and a hard worker if any of you are hiring) Ben needs to be weened off of breast milk and onto formula. We're trying to give him one 4oz bottle of formula a day.
The first day: it went pretty well. He fussed for a minute or two then took 2.5 oz.
The second day: he fussed a little more. He only took 2 oz, but finished the bottle about 20 minutes later. Pretty good right? That's promising right? Bring on the third day.
The third day: we made the mistake of Allison being in the room when I tried to give him the bottle. The nurses and doctors all told us that when we started to ween him that Allison should not be around. They said Ben would be able to smell her and want her milk, not the formula. We discussed it and said, you're far enough away, this will be fine. Well, it wasn't fine. Ben didn't take any of that bottle. He got mad.

Some of you have seen me cranky because I'm hungry, if not, here's the scoop, when I am hungry, I get very cranky and basically turn into an a-hole until I get food. No joke, there was a 2 month period where Allison would carry chocolates in her pocketbook and if I was starting to get cranky, she would give me a chocolate. Well, I think Ben may have picked that up from me. I have never seen a baby so mad. His little baby nostrils were flared, his hands clenched into fists and he was screaming louder than I'd ever heard him.

We both tried to feed him the bottle, then gave up and decided to let him nurse. He was took worked up to nurse, so I tried to calm him down. I walked him around the kitchen and dining room until he calmed down. Eventually he calmed down and ate.

The fourth day
: Seeing what happened on the third day we were a little nervous about his bottle. Allison made it while I was playing with him in the family room. I took it from her, picked up Ben and took him to his room. He fussed for 2 or 3 minutes, but then started eating. While he was eating I noticed Molly (our dog) hopping around like a frog in front of Ben's door. I thought to myself, "what the hell is she doing" then I heard something. I said "what the hell is that noise?" Then I saw something. I saw Allison doing an army crawl across the floor trying to look in to see if he was eating. I said "what the hell is wrong with you"

It was pretty funny and totally something I would do. As far as the bottle goes, he took all 4 oz.
The fifth day: He fussed for 30-40 seconds then took the bottle. He drank 2 oz and I stopped to burp him. He never took the bottle again after that, but was happy. He decided it would be more fun to smile and talk to the monkeys on his wall instead of eating.
This somehow turned into a long post, so I'll wrap it up. Is it normal to laugh when your kids cry? I don't mean if they fall and get hurt or anything like that. When Ben cried yesterday when he was scared and when he had a full-scale meltdown on day 3 of his formula project, I couldn't stop laughing. His cry is so cute. I can't help it. I know what you are thinking. "Don't laugh at him! He knows your laughing at him" Don't worry, I covered it. I said to him "I'm not laughing at you Ben, I'm laughing at something that happened earlier." But seriously, is there something wrong with me? Why am I laughing at my crying baby?

He does some other stuff aside from cry that makes me laugh. After he gets his late night snack and goes down to sleep, he hums or coos or meows. I listen to him on the baby monitor for 20-30 minutes until he stops. It's very soothing and makes me smile.

Ok, here's the last thing I have for you. I learned some tricks when putting Benjamin down for a nap. I don't want to start a bad habit, so I only do this if it's taking him too long to fall asleep. If I let Ben hold my fingers or if I rub his hands, it puts him to sleep. The other night his hands were together on his chest, like he was praying or like he was a squirrel spinning around an acorn. His eyes went from fully open to half way to closed. His grip on my fingers loosened, then suddenly as if they were spring loaded, his arms flew to his sides. I had to bite my finger on that one to keep from laughing and waking him up. It was awesome. Stay tuned for more adventures.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ben's First Christmas

Hey everybody. I hope you all had a great Christmas, Hanukkah or anything else you celebrate. I had a wonderful Christmas. Aside from all the dishes that had to be washed, I loved everything about Christmas this year. I think a Christmas Eve pizza sounds good next year. There's a lot less dishes to do and a lot less prep work. It's getting my vote, I'll tell you that right now.
Everyone told me that Ben's first Christmas would be something special. I played it off, I honestly didn't think this Christmas would be different from any other Christmas because Ben is only 3.5 months old. He isn't able to open his gifts, he doesn't know who Santa is and it would just be any other day. I was wrong. It was an awesome day.
I'll try to describe how I felt, but I won't do it justice. I had a happy and warm feeling inside my chest and top of my stomach all morning. It was a little bit like butterflies, but different. All I know is that I'd never felt better. It was an incredible feeling. I felt great when he opened his gifts. When he smiled at Glow worm, that was awesome and it made me feel even better. Then he was able to play with some of the animals from the Zoo toy he received. That was awesome too.
Here's a question, a little off topic but anyway, why is it that everything Ben picks up he puts immediately into his mouth, but when his pacifier falls out while he is falling asleep he screams bloody murder? Pick it up and put it back in your mouth buddy. We'll work on that.
My in-laws spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with us. Uncle Steven, Aunt Stephanie and cousin Jack came over for Christmas. We all had a fun time until Ben got cranky and started screaming then Jack got sick. It went downhill very fast, but it was great up until that point. It was our first holiday interrupted by poop and puke, and I'm willing to bet it wont be the last. Kids yell, kids puke, kids poop. That's our new reality. No use fighting it, just gotta accept it and move on.
I spent a lot of time with Ben this weekend. It was great but exhausting. I'm not used to entertaining a 3 month old. If this is how tired I get after 2 days with a stationary baby, what's gonna happen to me once he's mobile? I just gotta keep up my running training, take my vitamins and cross my fingers.
That's all I have for now. Stay tuned for my 2009 year in review, time capsule update and list of goals for 2010. They are not resolutions, but goals to work towards.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I'm very excited about Ben's first Christmas. I know he won't know what's going on, but I'm just excited to spend 3 days home with him and Allison. And to take tons of Christmas pix. He's starting to show symptoms of teething. I may be looking forward to going back to work on Monday, but I doubt it. He's awesome.

December really went quickly. I wanted to do a few more posts about my favorite Christmas things, but I'll have to cut it short. Tonight will be the last installment. Tonight's list, my favorite Christmas movies.

You have to live under a rock to not know this movie. A Christmas Story. I think this will be the 13th year of 24 Hours of a Christmas Story. I usually watch it 2 or 3 times. There are so many funny things in this movie. I'm not sure if it's as funny for women as it is for men, but I love this movie.
Here are some of my favorite scenes:
  1. The "Oh Fudge" Scene
  2. Ralphie's Fight Scene - I used to get into a lot of fights as a kid...it reminds me of my youth as a bruiser. Also immediately after the fight "Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie"
  3. The I triple dog dare ya! scene
  4. Whoooopie a Zeppelin
  5. Aunt Clara thinks Ralphie is 4 yrs old and also a girl. "He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny. He looks like a pink nightmare"
  6. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra Chinese Christmas Dinner
  7. The Santa Scene - Ralphie fights his way back up the slide tells santa about the Red Rider BB Gun and makes that crazy smile...then gets kicked down the slide.
  8. He gets his BB gun...and proceeds to shoot his eye out.
  9. "Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.."
  10. "Show mommy how the piggies eat"
Next up are two movies people sometimes forget about or forget that they are Christmas movies. Die Hard and Jingle All the Way. Die Hard is just an awesome movie. Tons of action and a tag line I should not have been repeating in the 8th grade.

Jingle All the Way had Arnold and Sinbad in it. It was an OK movie but what really made me get into the movie was the bit Conan O'Brien did when he was the host of Late Night. He did this bit for about 10 years. I think it's funny.


Elf and Christmas Vacation are two more of my favorite movies. I watch these 2 movies as often as I can. The DVDs have been in the player since the night after Thanksgiving and they will stay there for 3 more days. Tomorrow night we'll probably watch them both again.
Some Elf scenes:
  1. A guy is hailing a cab, Buddy goes into the street and waves to him and keeps saying "Hi"
  2. There's no singing at the North Pole
  3. Worlds Best cup of Coffee. Funny story. I was in Victoria's Secret a while back and they had a sign that said World's most comfortable bra. So I said to the sales lady "Congratulations, you did it! World's most comfortable bra! Great job!" She gave me a funny look and backed away.
  4. Does syrup have sugar in it? Then YES!
  5. I like to whisper too.


Christmas Vacation:
  1. "Can't see the line can you Russ?"
  2. "Lot of sap. Looks great! Little full, lot of sap"
  3. "Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah"
I could go on all night, but I have to stop. Big day tomorrow and It'll get tricky to watch both of those movies, plus we also have to have time for Home Alone, A Christmas Story and my all-time favorite movie...It's a Wonderful Life.
I hope I don't ruin the end for you...but this is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.


"Hello Bedford Falls! Merry Christmas Movie House!" Sorry this post is all over the place tonight...I guess I'm a little more excited about Christmas than I thought. I won't be posting again until after Christmas, so I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas. Come back in a few days for pix of Ben's first Christmas and my list of goals for 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Making Benjamin Smile

Yesterday we went to game night at Victoria's house (Thanks for having us.) We needed to stop for gas on the way. I got out to pump and decided to check up on Ben who was sitting snug in his car seat.

I started making faces at him. We've all seen people making funny faces at babies, but how often to we see ourselves making funny faces at babies? I don't think it's very often or we'd stop doing it. I could see my reflection in the tinted windows of our car and I looked like an idiot. Completely ridiculous. I looked like a mix between Fire Marshall Bill, Pee-Wee Herman and Mr. Bean.

Somehow I figured out that the word Superman makes Ben laugh. Especially if I stretch out the S in the beginning. "SSSSssssssuperMan." He loves it, but I recently heard myself saying it on camera and I sound like an idiot when I say it. Thankfully I don't embarrass easily. I can count the times I was really embarrassed on one hand so I have no plans to stop. I just think it's funny how we will make ourselves look and sound so stupid for the amusement of our kids.

5 days til Christmas. Woo-Hooo

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Cookies, The Burn Victim and My Fav Christmas Specials

Last night Allison baked Christmas cookies. She used my Grandmothers recipe for Snickerdoodles and Walnut Balls. The Snickerdoodles came out great. I haven't tried the Walnut Balls yet. She also made Ginger Snaps and Italian Rainbow Cookies. It's shocking to me that most Floridians have never heard of Rainbow Cookies. The NY transplants know what they are, but most native Floridians have no clue. Potato Knishes too. C'mon Florida! Wake up. You guys are missing out.

While she was baking cookies, she burned her fingers. I felt bad for her, but not too bad because it was her own fault. Before you attack me and say "that's your wife, the mother of your son, you better feel bad for her" hear me out. She burns herself almost every time she bakes. Instead of putting the oven mitts on her hands, she holds them from the outside and grabs the cookie sheet with the oven mitt folder over the side.

Every time she does this I tell her "you're gonna burn yourself, put your hands in the mitts." She tells me I'm crazy and carries on her way. Well last night she burnt 4 of her fingers using her method. It wasn't a bad burn, there is only a mark on one of her fingers this morning, but I don't get it. I'll put on the oven mitts if a plate in the microwave gets too hot. She's sticking her hands unprotected into a 350 degree oven. What's up with that? It's like using a power saw and wearing the safety glasses on top of your head.

I said to her last night "I'm very torn right now. I want to feel bad for you because you hurt yourself, but I also want to say I told you so." We laughed about it and I told her if she promises to put her hands inside the mitts I'd get her some new heavyweight oven mitts. She's thinking it over.

I have really been enjoying the Christmas specials and movies that have been on this month. I've given up my front that I am only watching them for Ben. Most of the time he is in bed while I'm watching them. I love Christmas specials. I can't wait for Ben to be old enough to watch them with me.

Here are some of my favorites:
  1. Twas the Night Before Christmas - The one with the clock tower and the mice. Kerplunk? Kerplouwie. Maybe I have something for clock tower. Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies and that has a clock tower in it too.
  2. Yogi's First Christmas - This is a great cartoon too. It has all the Yogi characters in it. I haven't seen it on TV in a few Christmases. It might be time for a letter to ABC Family.
  3. Christmas on Sesame Street - It starts out with the gang ice skating. They sing a bunch of awesome songs. What's the deal with Big Bird. He used to be the face of the franchise, but now it's all about Elmo and Abby Cadabby. When we were watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, there was an Abby Cadabby float. I said "what the heck is an Abby Cadabby?"
  4. A Charlie Brown Christmas - How can a dog win a Christmas decorations outfit? I like when Linus does his speech and Charlie Brown's tree.
  5. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer- She thinks I'm cuuuuute.
  6. Frost the Snowman - Happy Birthday! I like the sounds when the rabbit jumps around too.
  7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas - It's awesome when he dresses up Max as a reindeer and when his heart grows 3 sizes and breaks the heart measuring device. I was pissed when they didn't do it in the Jim Carey version.
  8. Emit Otter's Jug Band Christmas - This is another Jim Henson creation. I used to watch it all the time as a kid. I haven't seen it in a few years. There were some great songs like "Ain't no hole in the washtub" and "Riverbottom Nightmare Band"
  9. John Denver & The Muppets Christmas - I don't remember much about this show, but I remember being very young and in the hospital for either a bloody nose or a problem with my ear. The jerk hole next to me had the remote and wanted to watch basketball. I saw this special but missed whatever was on next.
Stay tuned for some of my favorite holiday movies, but I'll leave you with this tonight. I think it's one of the funniest holiday bits ever done. From SNL it's Pete Schweddy Balls

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I WON. 2009 Dad2Be Champion of the World.

Thanks to all of you who voted for me, for telling your friends to vote for me and for putting up with 2 weeks of my asking you to vote for me. It paid off. I won Pregnancy Corner's Dad2Be Blog contest.

The prize was a $50 Baby Gap gift card and bragging rights. I can now say "I think I know what I'm talking about. After all, I am an award winning blogger!" How many times do you think I can say that before Allison smacks me? I'm thinking 3...I'll use them wisely.

The 2nd place winner was Shane, a guy from Canada. He went by the name CalgaryDaddy . On Twitter I tried to use patriotism to win some votes. I said things like "USA #1 - Vote for Anthony" and "Vote American" Silly stuff like that. I don't think that had anything to do with the win, but I thought it was pretty funny. To celebrate let's all sing along to the following:


Luckily the contest ended before I got into Rocky 4 references. The 3rd place winner was Kenny at http://www.smonkyou.com/ Kenny had a very funny post about a delivery scare. It reminded me a lot of our delivery night. Check out both of their blogs if you have the time.

The voting ended at 1PM Eastern today. I had multiple people ask their friends to vote for my blog. The list includes My father-in-law, mother, sister and a few past and current co-workers. I picked up a lot of readers during the contest. I hit a record high for both visits and page views. I was very excited about that.

I started keeping track of the voting closely around 11:30 today. There was nothing I could do. I was out of people to ask to vote for me, but I wanted to see how the voting was going. The closer it got to 1:00 the more I started hearing the Mortal Kombat theme and the words "Finish Him" I guess that's just the competitive part of me.


The winners in the other categories were Mom2Be Blogger - Natalie and Adoptive Mom2Be Blogger - Jackie

OK, you can tell I'm pretty excited, but back to regular blogging. Tonight is the 5th night of Hanukkah. Allison's Aunt Donna and Cousin Erica are in town. We are having a great time and eating a ton of food. They enjoyed meeting Benjamin for the first time. They said how cute and well behaved he was and they love his eye lashes.

On the 3rd night on Hanukkah we went to Allison's parents house. We exchanged gifts and they gave me some items to put in the time capsule along with a 5 page letter. It was quite an emotional night. I'm already looking forward to opening up the time capsule on Ben's 18th birthday, but I know better than to wish his life away. I hear he will grow up really fast and I plan to enjoy each stage for as long as I can.

He's already grown out of the newborn stage. He doesn't look like a little boy yet, but he doesn't have that newborn look anymore. He looks like a baby now. I guess you can say an infant, but if you catch him at the right angle in the right outfit, he looks old...he could pass for 1 . (LOL, what's wrong with me?)

The girls took Benjamin to Downtown Disney today and they just got home so I need to finish this up. Thanks again for the support and keep reading.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa & Hanukkah

We aren't going out of town for Christmas and nobody is coming from out of town to visit us, so there was no need for me to take any time off Christmas week. Instead I took off today.

Let's start at the beginning. I slept in until 7:00, took Molly out then went back to bed until 8:45. Normally I"m at work by 7:30, so this was a wonderful start to my day. Next we went out to breakfast. A trip to Friendly's. Benjamin's first trip to Friendly's. Hmmmm What should I get?
The breakfast food was good, but I prefer a Big Beef Cheeseburger with a 5 scoop m&m sundae. I think Ben enjoyed his first visit. He passed out about halfway through.
(If you are wondering, NO, Ben did not have coffee or pancakes)

Next stop on our busy day Disney's Marketplace to visit with Santa. (see 31 seconds)


There was about a 30 minute wait. That's not bad for any Disney attraction. Rumor has it that this was the real Santa. Disney spares no expense. They flew him in from the North pole. That's what we told Ben anyway. He was very excited while we waited online.
He finally made it through the line. He sat on Santa's lap and told him what he wanted. I couldn't really hear them, but I imagine it went something like this:




After Santa, we decided to see some of the Christmas decorations in the Disney Hotels. We went to the BoardWalk, Yacht Club and Beach Club. The decorations were made out of chocolate and gingerbread. They all smelled delicious. Disney as always thought of everything and put up a sign.
Lastly, tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Ben's 1st Hanukkah.
I made Allison a traditional Jewish/Hanukkah dish. I whipped up a pretty mean Chicken Souvlaki. LOL (for those who don't know, chicken souvlaki is not a Jewish dish)
Allison said the prayer and lit the menorah. It's going to be interesting when Ben gets older to celebrate both holidays and explain the differences in the religious beliefs, but for now all we need to worry about is presents. We didn't get Ben a present for each night. We'll probably give him the same gift for the next 7 nights.
He looks pretty excited. What could it be?
It's a phone! What do you guys think is a good nickname for him? Baby Phoneguy or Phonebaby? It's a cool toy and to be honest, I think I had more fun with it than he did. I was pretty proud of him tonight. It's for children 6months+, but he was pressing buttons and having fun.



That's all I have for now. Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ben's High Chair

Ben is not on solid foods yet, but we were in the area, we had some coupons, so we decided to pick up his highchair. We originally registered for the Chicco high chair, but we changed our mind and purchased the Graco Blossom 4 in 1 high chair. (Six sold separately)
Most of you know I used to work at Babies R Us in the baby gear department. I was part of the dream team. With the help of Danny, Joe and Alliana, we ran things in Baby Gear. I was an expert in all things baby gear. I would tell people why this was a good high chair and that was a bad high chair. I knew it all.
Well, now that I have a kid, I realize I didn't know what the heck I was talking about. It's so much easier spending someone else's money. Even easier than that, is putting someone else's child in a product. I don't want any kids to get hurt because of my recommendation, but you think twice, maybe more than twice when it's your kid. I was giving the guy a hard time. "Look how skinny these straps are. Are they gonna hold him in place? I'll come back here and find you if he falls out cuz. Is this a safe high chair? What's up with that new Graco convertable car seat? What happened to the Comfort Sport?" Car seats are a topic for another day, back to the high chairs.

Ben likes his new high chair. Like I said earlier, he hasn't used it for eating yet, but we have put him in it a few times to get him used to it and for him to play a little bit. Doesn't he look like he's up to something? I know that look. That's my 'Look how cute I am. I don't know who broke the window' look. What could he possibly be up to?
Pooping on the new high chair not 10 minutes out of the box. Good work Ben. I see the apple didn't fall far from the tree, remember The Bathroom Incident?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Benjamin's Big Day Out

Yesterday Allison took Benjamin out to lunch to meet up with Deirdre and Victoria, a former co-worker and a friend, who is the wife of another former coworker. They went to Tijuana Flats. Allison, Deirdre and Victoria enjoyed delicious Mexican food, while I ate a bagel at my desk. No queso, no chips, no bueno!!!

Since I wasn't there, I can only report back what was reported to me. Victoria was kind enough to take photographs. She is an awesome photographer. You might remember the work she did at Allison's Baby Shower, well the pix she took yesterday, in my opinion, were even better. You can see more of Victoria's work at her Flickr site. http://www.flickr.com/victoriapictures

If you've never been to a Tijuana Flats, let me try to describe the place to you. It's like a 128 pack of crayola crayons, magic markers and 10 gallons of assorted paint were mixed up and splattered on every inch of the walls and ceiling. It's enough to mesmerize anybody. There was so much there for Ben to look at. I'm told he loved it.
Take a look at Benjamin and Deirdre. The wall behind them is a good sampling of the decor.
I told you guys that I spoke to Ben while he was in the womb. I spoke to him about movies, music, sports and girls. I gave him some tips on how to pick up girls, a few smooth moves like the sneak kiss and a few other tips. Well, it appears that he was listening.

I told him, "If you have a good smile, you don't need a good line" Picking up girls is a lot like a business negotiation or a court trial. It's not only knowing what to say, it's also knowing what not to say. If you don't have a good pick up line, but you have a good smile, just smile and say, Hi, I'm Benjamin.

Ben can't speak yet, but that didn't stop him from trying to pick up the ladies. Look at the big smile he gave to Deirdre. Sorry buddy, she has a boyfriend and she's a little too old for you, but I like your style. Keep up the good work little man.
Ben was exhausted by the end of lunch, he got cranky for a few minutes then fell asleep. The girls all said how cute and well behaved he was. I can't argue with them. He really has been a wonderful baby.

I think I need to be more careful when I listen to Eminem and the hand gestures I make while driving. He may have seen me do this a few times, but I'm going to try to place the blame on his mother.
I hope everyone has a good weekend, less than 3 weeks til Christmas and a only a week until Hanukkah, better finish up your shopping. Oh, for those in the Orlando Area Magic 107.7 is playing Christmas Music 24/7 from now through Christmas Day. And if anybody is looking for a place to donate toys for charity this year, check out XL106.7 Baby DJ Toy Drive.

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30th, 25 Days til Christmas

It's November 30th. The last day of November, the last day of hurricane season and the last day before my Christmas spirit kicks in. Well, that's if things follow as they have in years past. Since Ben has been born, I've changed so much, I have no idea how I'll react.

We put up the tree and decorated the house this weekend. I had fun doing the tree and the inside of the house, but I had no interest or desire to do the lights outside. Even walking around on the roof didn't make it fun for me. It's crazy because last year I was so excited about it. What's changed since last year?

Another change I've noticed is that I no longer have patience for Molly's shenanigans. She was mad about being left alone at my in-laws house for Thanksgiving and has been pooping in the house every day since. In the past I would be ok with it. I'd say "It's ok, she's still mad at us." But now, I'm over it. The 2nd time she pooped I asked Allison if we could sell her or donate her to the Ronald McDonald house. She's still a good girl and I'll never get rid of her, but ever since Ben arrived, she's definately dropped way down on my list. If I was to make a list of my favorite's in my house, It would go something like this. 1) Ben & Allison (a tie for first) 2) Ben 3) Allison 4, 5, 6) Ben 7) Molly. She's dropped from 2nd to 7th. That hurts. Good thing she can't read.

Anyway, back to a more cheeeful subject. Christmas! Over the next few weeks, I'll list out my favorite Christmas movies, cartoons, Christmas moments and Christmas songs.Here is a list of my favorite Christmas songs.

  • The Happiest Christmas Tree - Nat King Cole. I first head it when I was 18 and working at Kids R Us. It's awesome. It's sung by the tree.
  • Baby Please Come Home - U2 - How often do you get to rock out to Christmas Carols?
  • Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC - How often can you rap along with christmas Carols?
  • I Wish it was Christmas Today - SNL - Something about Tracy Morgan that is hilarious in this video.
  • Home for the Holidays - The Carpenters - Another R Us classic. Can't you just see me dancing around the store like an idiot to this one? Sorry about the first 30 seconds of the video.

  • Merry F**king Christmas - Mr. Garrison - VERY OFFENSIVE...NOT SAFE FOR LITTLE EARS, but hillarious. I can't show the video here...but it you want to hear it...click the link. Mr Garrison - Merry F**king Christmas
  • The Christmas Shoes - Newsong - A touching song. It almost makes me cry every Christmas.

  • It Must Have Been Ol Santa Claus - Harry Connick Jr - Another R Us favorite that was drilled into my head during my retail days.
  • Happy Christmas - John Lennon - This is just a great song. If you disagree with me, I will fight you.

  • Dominick The Donkey - Lou Monte - Great song. I found a really awesome video for it.


Ok, I could go on all day doing this. Here is the last one for today...
  • All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey - Great song, I've never seen the video before, it's not bad.



This is why you have to buy the DVD. It's not as funny on TBS without full scenes like this.


OK OK...NOW I'm done. Stay tuned for more Christmas posts.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

It's been a while since I posted anything. I'm having a hard time getting my schedule in order. When I get home from work I have at most 2 hours with Benjamin before he goes to sleep, usually less. If I go running, I only have 20 minutes with him. He is usually in bed when I get back from my run. I would like to post more, but I'd much rather spend that time with Ben while he's awake. Once he goes to bed, I have to get done all the things I wasn't doing while I was hanging out with him. Which is leaving me with very little time to write.

This week Benjamin started paying attention to things. He's always looked around and seemed curious about things, but now he is now reaching out for the toys on his bouncer and holding his soft farm animal book in his hands. He smiles at me after 30-45 seconds when I get home from work and will follow our faces and his toys from side to side. He also has responded really well to the nickname Capt. Handsome.

Since it's Thanksgiving, it's a good time to post a list of things I'm most thankful for.
  • I'm thankful for Allison and Benjamin for more than I can list here.
  • I'm thankful to Erica the delivery nurse and Dr Thatcher for the excellent job they did during Ben's delivery.
  • I'm thankful to Dr. Snow and his staff for their help while Allison was pregnant.
  • I'm thankful for my family and friends.
  • I'm thankful for the new friends I've made in FL who have quickly become family to me.
  • I'm thankful that I have a job.
  • I'm thankful for my house
  • I'm thankful for the holiday season & Allison's baking
There's a lot more that I'm thankful for, but I don't want to bore you. There will be more posts soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From Die-Hard fan to Ho-hum fan

I heard a joke about 5 years ago. I don't remember exactly how it went, but it was about an upset boyfriend and his girlfriend trying to figure out what was wrong. She asked if she needed to clean more, cook better, spice things up in the bedroom. The boyfriend said no, all that stuff is fine. The girlfriend asked, "then what's wrong? Why have you been so down & upset with me today?" The boyfriend replies "The Yankees lost"

It's funny cause it's true. When your team loses, depending on the importance of the game and the way they lost, it will upset you for hours or days. I'm sorry to say being a Jets, Mets, Devils & Magic fan, I know more than I wish to know about my teams losing.

Before Benjamin was born I would get so upset when my team lost. I would mope or be in a bad mood for days. Now...eh. It sucks that they lost, but I have more important things going on. Having said that, there are some grudges I have, that I will probably never let go of.

  • I will still 'Boo' Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran both for striking out looking to end game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. (More Floyd than Beltran, try something man. Arguing with the ump after you strike out looking does not cut it)
  • I would not help St├ęphane Matteau out of a ditch.
  • Timo Perez, if you ever make it back to the MLB, RUN. RUN TIMO RUN.
  • Roger Clemens throws half a bat at Mike Piazza in a steroid rage, no disciplinary action??

I don't think I will add any more sports grudges.I still want my teams to win, but I have so many more important things going on I really don't get upset anymore if they lose. The Devils had a 3-2 lead with 1:20 left in game 7 of the 1/4 finals. They gave up 2 goals and lost 4-3 and were eliminated from the playoffs. In years past, I would be on suicide watch, but instead I was writing blog posts about the Bathroom Incident and trying to hear Baby C with a cup and toilet paper roll. It just doesn't get to me anymore.


I've gone from a die-hard fan to a ho-hum fan. I think the reason I'm OK with that has a lot to do with the players. Players are now on Facebook and Twitter and we get an insight to what they go through before and after games. The night before the Buffalo game Mark Sanchez tweets "Wat movie should I watch in the hotel? Hangover, angels and demons, terminator, funny ppl, public enemies, star trek???" The next day he throws 5 interceptions and the Jets lose in OT. Maybe what movie to watch should not have been his top priority.

In the week leading up the the Jets vs Jags game, Dustin Keller and David Clowney were Tweeting about playing Connect 4. After the loss, David Clowny tweets about going to Times Square with his father. Maybe instead of playing games, you should throw the ball around. Work with Braylon Edwards on his drops. Somehow show that you are upset about the loss. Players should take the loss worst than their fans.

I goof off at my job from time to time and players should be given the same leniency, but I don't do my job in front of 78 thousand people, with millions more watching from home. If they aren't preparing for a game or upset about a loss, why should I be? You go play connect 4, watch your movies and hang out in the city after you have probably been eliminated from the playoffs in November. I'll hang out with my boy & wife.

The most telling sign in my change from die-hard sports fan to ho-hum sports fan is this: I cheered for the Yankees in the World Series. I am a changed man. Before we found out Allison was pregnant, I would never, NEVER cheer for the Yankees to win the World Series. Now, good for them. I don't even care if my son becomes a Yankees fan anymore. At least he'll have something to cheer about in 10 years when they are spending 400 million on salary and winning while the Mets spend 350 million and finish with 90 losses. I almost want him to pick different teams. While it's true cheering for a losing team builds character, I want him to enjoy winning. Thank God for the 1986 Mets, and the 1995, 2000 & 2003 Devils. Without them I'd have nothing to cheer for.
To the Jets, Mets, Devils and Magic, if you are reading this...do it for Ben! Thanks.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My First Night Alone with Benjamin

Tonight Allison met up with a few former coworkers in Winter Park for Happy Hour. She didn't go to drink, she just went to have a night out. Which means, I had a night in. Just me, Molly and Benjamin.

Now, I've been alone with Benjamin before. Allison got her nails done one weekend and went to the supermarket another time leaving me home both times for about an hour. Well tonight it was going to be longer than an hour. If I called her in a panic, it would take her close to an hour just to get home (maybe longer fighting Magic traffic), but I was ready for the challenge. Here we go:

Allison left just before 5. Ben should have been waking up any minute for a snack. I went in to check on him and found that his diaper leaked and there was poop all over his back and the crib sheets. Just how I wanted to start the evening. Oh well, It's just a little poop. Been there done that. I cleaned him up, put him in a new outfit and got to the feeding.

I warmed up the breast milk by running it under some hot water and splashed it on my hand to gauge the temp. Since it was on my hand and it was gonna go to waste, I decided I may as well taste it. Huh...that's very sweet. It's like milk with 10 sugar packets in it. Could that be right? Taste #2. Same. Not good, but I can see why Ben likes it. 1) it's all he knows. 2) kids like sugar and sweet things.

Feeding went well. Burps went well. Now we hang out until bath time and I change his dirty poop covered sheets. After some quality time, I put him in the bouncer and went upstairs. I saw Ben's eyes follow me to the stairs, then he started to cry, so I came back down. Two more times, 2 more cries. The third time he didn't cry, so I ran up to change the sheets. It took 4 more trips up and down before I got the sheets changed and got his crib bed ready. When I told Allison the story, she said "why didn't you just bring him upstairs in the bouncer?" I said "man! that's a much better idea!"

Bath time was a piece of cake. It wasn't my first time. Play, wash, rinse, dry, lotion, pajamas. Now off to his last feeding then bed. Feeding went well, but he did not want to be burped. I tried after each ounce, but he would just cry again until I fed him. After he finished his bottle, he burped twice and I thought I'd put him down and walk away like Mommy does.

Well I thought wrong. He screamed bloody murder for 20-30 minutes. Finally he took his pacifier and went to sleep. He is still sleeping now. I got this dad stuff down! Having said that, I don't want Allison make this going out stuff a regular thing, she's much better at it than I am.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Funny Being a Dad

Like the title says, it's funny being a dad. I've only just begun and I'm looking forward to a lot more funny moments, but here are a few that have happened in the first 8 weeks. I'm sure they are funnier if you were there, but I'll try to do them justice.

Let's start with today. How about a poll of the audience, by a show of hands did the following happen to you today?
  • Did you get pooped on?
  • Did you get peed on?
Nobody? Wow, 2 for 2. This was a pretty good day. One more question.
  • Did you have a baby puke on you today? Puke so bad that you had to change your shirt and also, some of it went into your mouth? If so, just go ahead and raise your hand.
Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. It wasn't me, Allison was the lucky one. She was carrying Ben down the stairs when he unloaded on her. From what she told me it went all over her shirt and a little bit went into her mouth. She laughed about it which is good because I laughed really hard when she told me the story.

I don't want it to happen to me, but he isn't on solid food yet, so there couldn't have been any chunks. And, since she willingly eats and enjoys cottage cheese, it wasn't even the most disgusting thing she had in her mouth today. Still sucks though, sorry honey.

A few weeks ago there was a partial reenactment of 3 Men and a Baby. Do you remember the scene where Tom Selleck's character is reading about a boxing match from Sports Illustrated to the baby and when questioned about it he says something like "it doesn't matter what I say as long as I use this silly sing-song voice"? Well I had a conversation with Allison doing that.

I was reading Goodnight Moon to Ben and it was not putting him to sleep. I read it 3 times and he was still fussing and crying. Allison was standing at the door and in my best Tom Selleck I said "Can you give me another book, this one isn't working. What do you mean read it again? Give me the Grover book. He isn't feeling it tonight, just give me the damn Grover book. You're being a jerk face. Help or get out. WAIT! I thought you would pick help...you can stay. What's that Ben? He told me he wants you to hold him...and he wants me to eat candy. No? I thought that would work."

The last thing I have for you tonight is the endless stream of That's What She Said jokes, that started in the delivery room. No joke, I think Allison was in mid push and busted out a That's What She Said. The doctor and nurse must have thought we were crazy, but I was so proud. I wish I could remember what it was about, but I can't.

There are so many, we can't do them all (that's what she said) but we can't. We've already done too many to keep track of them all(that's what she said) Here are a few I remember:
  • At doctor's office He's getting so big (that's what she said)
  • Newborn clothes: He doesn't fit in this anymore (that's what she said)
  • Bouncer: He used to be so tiny in there, now he fills up almost the whole thing (that's what she said)
  • Diaper bag: Where should I stick it? In the front or in the back?(that's what she said)
  • Formula/milk: Put it on your finger in to see if it's hot. (that's what she said)
  • Bath time: I made a mess. Just keep going and clean it up later. (that's what she said)
  • Diaper Genie: It's really packed in there. You can't get any more in there (that's what she said)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Super Sunday

Yesterday was a good day. A super day you could say. It started early, Molly woke me up to go potty at 5:30. 5:30 on my day off. Thanks Molly. I guess that is payback for forgetting to feed her until 9:30PM the other night. Now we're even.

Next I went to my running group. Our running coach Sara, who based on her running times I think is a fembot, was away in Vegas so we were on our own. We decided take advantage and run at 7AM instead of 6. We were supposed to run for 75 minutes. I only did 73 minutes. But that's a good thing, it means I was 2 minutes faster on the way back. I did 6 miles. It was great. I was very proud of myself, Kim and Patti (my running buddies)

When I got home Benjamin was just waking up. Allison and I watched him in his crib for a while. We made him smile a lot. I turned on the mobile, he stared at it and smiled. He followed the monkey, the parrot and the monkey all around. I said "Screw football, I can watch this all day" I only said it because the Jets had a bye, but still, it was really fun to watch. I wonder if it was someone elses kid if it would be as awesome?
I also had some time to read Benjamin a book. I haven't read him anything in a while, so he got 2 books. Up first, my favorite book as a kid, The Monster at the end of this Book. It may not have been the best book to read him to get him to fall asleep, but I really enjoyed it.
The second book was Corduroy. I had never read it before. Actually I had never even heard of it before. It's a good book. I won't tell you what happens, but it's about a bear named Corduroy who lives in a toy store.


That's all I have for now. It was a fun day until I got tired. 6 miles makes me tired and really cranky.

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