Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Today is Ben's first Halloween. He is all decked out in his Halloween gear. We didn't get him a costume. There isn't as big a selection for 6 week olds as you think there would be. He still looks cute. Don't take my word for it though, judge for yourself.
There haven't been any trick or treaters yet, but it's still early and it's about 90 degrees in Central Florida today. I can't blame kids for staying in until it cools down.

I had to go to Ft. Lauderdale for work this week. It was my first time away from Allison and Benjamin since he was born. I have to say I really missed them. Allison hooked me up and sent me 2 videos, but it wasn't quite the same as being there.

I thought about them a lot, but there were a few times that scents reminded me of Benjamin and made me smile. The first, GermX hand sanitizer. I can no longer smell GermX without being reminded of him. The second was the diaper aisle of CVS. Clean diapers are now one of my favorite smells. It hasn't quite passed bacon, but it's quickly climbing the charts.

The last thing I'll talk about is the Angel Care Baby monitor. It monitors sound like every other baby monitor, but it also has a sensor to detect if Benjamin is breathing. If 5 seconds go by, it chirps once. If 5 more seconds go by without sensing movement, it alarms. Over the past 2 weeks, it has alarmed 3 different nights.

Each time we rushed into the nursery and Benjamin was fine. He has started moving around his crib. We put him down to bed int he middle, by morning or feeding time, he has been moving to different corners or sides of the crib. We originally thought that he was just moving too far from the sensor, but the last time it alarmed, he was very close to center.

Last night we decided if it alarms again, to see if he is breathing before touching him or moving him back to center. We need to figure out if they are false alarms, if the sensitivity needs to be adjusted or if Ben is in fact not breathing during the night. It alarmed twice last night. Both times he moved from center and when Allison checked on him, he was breathing just fine. After the second alarm, I decided to stay up and sit in his room. I stayed in there from about 2:45 - 4:05. In that time, he moved from center, but the alarm never went off. He never stopped breathing. I listened and watched him for over an hour and he was fine.

I think tonight I may pull an all nighter and stay in his room. If the system alarms again, I need to know why. I'm sure he is fine, but I'm not willing to take the chance. If I can lose sleep to play video games, go to a club or study for a test, I can lose a night of sleep to make sure my child is breathing. I'll keep you posted.

Have a happy and safe Halloween.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

5K, Benjamin Smiles and other assorted stuff

I have a lot to cover in this post, but i think it's worth the read.

This morning I ran the Community in Pink 5K in Winter Garden. I have been training since early September and I felt really good about this race. It started at 7:30AM. I got there around 7 and did some people watching. I ran into some friends from the running group I train with and also a former co-worker. It was good to see friendly faces that early on a Saturday.

I was pumped and ready to go. I had a plan for the race. Nice and easy for the first mile, pick it up at the second mile and pick it up even more on the 3rd mile. The only problem with my strategy, there were no mile markers. No clocks at the non-existing mile markers or at the finish line and since I didn't have a running watch, I was basically running blind.

I saw 2 people I knew ahead of me. They were going at a good pace, so I made sure I kept close to them. There was also a girl in black shorts & a tank top and another girl in a blue/green tennis outfit. I made sure to keep them in my sites with the goal of passing them towards the end. They had a good pace going and looked like runners so I figured they'd have a timing device on them.

I estimate my time to be 30:25 seconds. I started the race 15-20 seconds after it started. I wanted to go right away, but it was crowded and after being bumped twice, I decided to pull over and let some fools pass. I kept a good pace and turned it on once we hit the path next to the water. I was passing people easily once I hit that next gear. I caught up with the girls I mentioned earlier and DRAT no timing devices. Oh well, I gotta finish strong anyway.

At the finish line, there was no sign that said FINISH and still no clock. So people in front of me kept running strong to the start line. So I followed suite. Must be a Start/Finish line. I am guessing it took 10-15 seconds.

The MC said the time was about 31:04 when I hit the start line. Do you have a stopwatch? Is it 31:04 or is it about 31:04? Either way, it was a nice morning and it was for a good cause.

Next up Benjamin had a visit from his Uncle David. He was visiting from NY. He said the only other baby he remembers holding was his cousin Jonathan or Erica...and that was a long time ago, I think Erica just turned 22. Well he was a natural, Ben looks pretty happy if you ask me. He gave Benjamin his first Mets cap and a huge Mets blanket as well. Can't wait to put him in them and watch next season. Next year is our year! Uncle David also made a donation to the time capsule. Awesome, Thanks David.

Allison made Benjamin laugh yesterday. She asked Molly if she "wanted to go potty" Ben smiled the biggest gummiest (gummy cause he has no teeth yet) smile. So I said, hmmm let's test this. I repeated "Potty" again, huge smile. "Potty" again, another huge smile. Then Potty stopped working. I then tried "poop" Well poop worked 3 or 4 times too. Then he got cranky and needed to eat. I hope another word aside from potty and poop make him laugh, but he's a boy and his dad still laughs at potty humor.

Next up, I told you there was a lot to cover, out of the blue this afternoon a neighbor that I don't remember meeting before brought us a gift and a meal! The meal included salad, salad dressing, stuffed shells and cookies! I can't wait to chow down on this meal. She has a 5 month old, so that might be another new mom that Allison can bond with.

It's so crazy how NY and FL are different. In NY I don't think 1) a neighbor I didn't know would ever bring a gift or a meal and 2) I would NEVER accept food from that stranger. FL is awesome. I'm not sure if she'll read this, but thank you very much. I can't wait to chow down on the stuffed shells.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Return of the Green Goop

Don't try to jump ahead here, you won't guess where this is going. Green goop is not referring to something I found in Benjamin's diaper. It's not something I found on my body. It's not the Jets weak defense or their 5 interception throwing QB and it's not the Rachel Ray mess Allison made back in the day.

This green goop is the potato, broccoli and cheese soup Allison made for an appetizer tonight...and it was GOOOD. She also made a chicken dish and rice pilaf. What a great dinner. I could get used to this. I came home to a clean house and a home cooked meal. I need to make some more money so she can be a stay at home wife/mom. I need to write a book or invent something or win the lotto.

Anyway, back to the green goop. I'm so glad this meal came out good. Last week Allison made eggplant parm and I didn't exactly enjoy it. I felt really bad because she was so excited about the meal, she worked hard on it all day while she was taking care of Ben. Well, I'll never request eggplant parm, but she can make the new and improved green goop anytime.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy 1 Month, Benjamin

Last night was garbage night. I don’t mean it was a bad night, I mean it was the night I bring the garbage out. After work I ate, took Benjamin for a walk with Allison, went for a run, showered, gave Benjamin a bath, then held him on the couch until his last feed before bed at 10:30. I gathered up the garbage, emptied the Diaper Genie and took it down to the street, then I took Molly out for her last potty of the night. I was heading up to bed, when I saw one last bag of garbage that needed to go into the pail. Quickly I grab it and head to the front door.

I unlocked it then paused. “Did I arm the alarm on?” Upstairs there is a fed, changed and sleeping 1 month old and a tired, cranky and close to sleeping wife. Do I risk opening the door, setting off the alarm and waking them up? That would, no doubt, wake up the beast. Well, I’ve got one question for myself. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? Short answer, NO. I punked out and check the alarm. It was not armed yet, but like I always say, safety first.

I’m sure that’s not what you were expecting to read on the day Benjamin turns one month old, but I’m not finished yet, chill. He made out very well at his doctor appointment today. He got his second Hepatitis shot, he cried hard for a few minutes, then he was good. He weighs 10 Lbs 5 oz and is 22 inches long. Good news: he was given approval to take a full bath. Up until now we have been giving him sponge baths. He loved his first real bath. We didn't bust out the bath toys, maybe next time. Gotta start out slow.

The bad news: the doctor didn't yell, but said we aren't giving him enough tummy time. We give him tummy time everyday, but the doctor recommends tummy time 3 times a day. Whoops, noted. He'll be doing push-ups by 2 months. She also said he should be going to bed earlier. We are trying that out tonight. He's in bed right now. Let's see if he stays there.

How do I like being a dad? I love it. I don't feel like I've done very many "dad" things. No playing catch, no slot car races, but we have watch a Jets game together and they actually won! At this point, I'm just helping him survive. The parenting and "dad" feelings will come later on once he's older. But I still love it. He's a good boy and he's so cute when he's asleep. He lays on my chest and he's just the cutest kid you've ever seen. I know I'm not exactly an impartial 3rd party here, but seriously, he's a beautiful boy.

Next month he should start smiling and take more notice of his surroundings. I can't wait for that. I'm also looking forward to getting back into a schedule and spending time with Allison again. There have been days where we see each other, but don't talk at all. It's weird.

Anyway, I'll wrap it up by saying it's been a great month and also mention that today, was so much less stressful than day 1.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Visit From Grandma & Papa

On October 2nd, my parents and Uncle Carlo came down for a visit. It was the first time they'd be meeting Benjamin. I gave them instructions before they came.
  1. Don't get sick! Drink some OJ, take some eukanuba, but don't be sick or you can't hold the baby.
  2. No smoking then holding the baby. Either change your clothes or wear a Hugh Hefner smoking jacket. If you stink like smoke, then you can't hold the baby.
  3. Please bring doughnuts.
I picked them up at the airport after work and we headed to the house, great news! They brought doughnuts and bagels! HAHA it would have been great to see them even if they hadn't brought doughnuts and bagels.

They met Benjamin and they all thought he looked like me when I was a baby. It was strange calling my parents Grandma and Papa. Instead of saying "Benjamin, this is your grandma and papa" I kept saying, "Ben, this is my mom and dad" I'm sure as time goes by that will get easier, but it was weird.

It's always too short when visitors come, but the silver lining is, when they leave, you are already closer to the next visit. To all family and friends, you are all welcome to visit anytime. We have plenty of room, just give me a call to set something up.

This wasn't Ben's first experiece with NY. If you remember, he has already been up to NY and had pix with doughnuts, bagels & NY Pizza. & Now NY was visiting him and we all had a great time.

Benjamin in his I Love NY gear. I bet he'll be the only one in kindergarten that can sing We Didn't Start the Fire, NY NY and Empire State of Mind, the clean version ofcourse.

The best doughnuts in the world come from Greenpoint Brooklyn. Peter Pan Bakery on Manhattan Ave. If you have a better doughnut, bring it here to me and I will judge it. If you are ever in the area, do yourself a favor and get a few. One way to do this, run the NYC marathon. The course goes right down Manhattan Ave and it might be a good pick me up for you, but don't hold me to that. It might also make you puke and breakdown in a bad part of Brooklyn.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'll Just Call in Sick

I have a lot of sick time, not a ton of time, but enough that I can blow a day or two just to chill and hang out with the family. I've wanted to use a day for the past month and a half, even before Benjamin was born, but I held off until today.

I woke up this morning, 6:00AM and called in sick. I have been planning this day in my mind for the past month and a half and it was going to be awesome. However, in my plan I hadn't counted on actually being sick, so today wasn't all I hoped it would be.

Allison was sick Friday night, so I got rid of my Magic tix and took over feeding/taking care of Benjamin. I only get a few hours with him a night, so it was really great to take care of him on my own for a night. I slept on the couch with the baby monitor. I usually sleep right through his cries and screams, so I needed to keep the monitor close to make sure I got up.

I promised Benjamin that if he slept through the night I would buy him a car. My friend Don reminded me that one day I'll be buying him a car anyway. I know that, you know that, but Ben didn't know that yet, so there was hope. Anyway, it's irrelevant, he woke up around 2:AM and 5:30AM to eat and be changed. I can't complain about that though. Each time I was able to put him back down and get him to sleep in under an hour.

Allison's temp broke Saturday afternoon and she was able to take care of Ben again by Saturday evening. Just in time for my head to start hurting and my temp to rise. Great! I skipped running Sunday morning and slept in, hoping that would do the trick. Nope, Sunday came and went and I still felt crummy.

Monday morning comes and I still feel sick. I still have a temp. So I call in sick. Instead of today being the fun day off to hang with Benjamin and Allison, I spent the day laying in bed, sweating through the sheets, coughing and having trouble breathing. I had to stay away from both of them all day. Not even close to the day I had planned.

It still ended up being a decent day. Allison cleaned out some of our CDs, DVDs and pictures. It's sickening to see how much money we've spent on CDs and DVDs. I had over 500 CDs and 100DVDs alone. If I had that money back, it would be a pretty nice vacation or a down payment on a fence. Oh well, it is what it is. We had a few good laughs at some of the CDs we had and the doubles that we had. Does anybody remember Shai? Another Bad Creation? Perfect Gentleman? What was wrong with us?

It was fun looking through the old photo albums too. It's crazy to think about how different our lives are now then they were 4 years ago. We have a baby, a house, a condo (which if you are in the market, I'll give you a great deal), new cars, a Disney Wedding, and we live in Florida. That's a lot of change.

Anyway, I'm off to take my temp again. Hopefully I'll feel better in the morning and be able to go to work and run tomorrow.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bears on my PJs

There are only a few people who have ever heard me sing. If you are not one of them, consider yourself lucky. I love music, I have over 3400 songs on my Ipod, but I am a horrible singer. Below is a list of people who can confirm this:
  1. Mrs. Duck. Elementary music teacher & choir leader. She recommended the band or orchestra after my audition.
  2. Some of the track team when I was a freshman in high school. We sang Boyz II Mens songs on the bus rides home.
  3. The people who went to see Bag of Doughnuts with me at HOB or Razzoos in New Orleans
  4. Anyone who's been to a Bon Jovi/Billy Joel concert with me.
Well since Ben has been born, I've really been busting out the tunes. I sing to him to try to keep him awake and entertained, so hopefully he'll sleep through the night. I tried TV show themes, The Golden Girls, Diff'rent Strokes, Fraggle Rock, but they are not as entertaining you'd think. So I decided to make up some songs.

I make up a new song nightly based on what pajamas Ben is wearing. The first song, that was remixed tonight was 'Bears on my PJs.' If you can't figure it out, there were bears on his PJs.
I don't just sing the song nicely, I sing it in a crazy voice. I can't really describe it, and you will not see a video posted here, but think Will Ferrell in Elf "I'm in a store and I'm SINGING!" or the video below. It's pretty close to what I do, including the dancing, I call it contemporary.

The lyrics to Bears on my PJs? I thought you'd never ask.

I got bears on my pjs.
I got bears on my feet.
There's a bear on my pocket.
On my blue striped pajamas.
(the I make Ben go)
I thought I told you that we won't stop, I thought I told you that we won't stop
(back to the song)
Bears on my pjs.
They're nice and warm for me
When dad changed my diaper
Sometimes I like to Pee
Not on my blue striped pajamas
But only on my dad
What's on my pocket?
There's a bear on my pocket.
I got a monkey on my bib.
There's a monkey and a tiger.
Wait, that's a lion
It's a monkey and a lion.

Well, that was tonight's song. It kept Ben awake for a good 10 minutes. It made me crack up and it may have made Allison rethink some of the choices she's made in her life. It's only a matter of time before I get into an Eminem like freestyle.

Quick, give me a word
Bananas? Is that what you said?
Bananas for the monkey on my bid,
Let's eat them in my crib.
Banana split, hack-to spit,
If you don't want me to pee on you,
you should really cover it.
I need another word,
Terd? let's keep it clean
I'm only 2, weeks old
I want an egg roll
I got no teeth to eat it
I never tweeted
I'm only 2, weeks old...

Ok I gotta stop now, I don't know what's gotten into me tonight, but I feel it would be best for everybody if it came to an end. In serious news, Benjamin is going to meet his other set of grandparents and one of his uncles this weekend. Looking forward to it.


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