Friday, March 26, 2010

NY Vacation - Day 2

Day 2 started early. Ben woke up about 5:15AM. Allison tried to get him to go back to sleep, but he was up and not going back to sleep. she tried for an hour, then woke me up to take over. I went into the other bedroom and rocked hm for about 15 minutes. Nothing. He was just smiling and looking around the room. Smiling some more and looking around some more. I put him in the crib and I laid on the ground next to it. he just looked at me smiling, then he played with his toy.

Fast forward to 7:15. After rocking him and trying to get him to sleep for an hour, I decided to let him lay in bed with me. 5 minutes later he was asleep. I slowly creeped out of bed and stood over him. In case he decided to roll around I had to be there to keep him from rolling off the bed.

Breakfast was awesome. It's a Friday during Lent so I can't eat meat, so I went to the deli and got a buttered roll. It's probably been a year since I had one and it was great. I really would have liked the bacon, egg and cheese on a roll, but it was still awesome.

Ben's cousin James came over about 8:45 started and they started playing. They are so cute together. They are 7 months apart and the size difference is huge. I can't believe Ben will be that big in 7 months.
After breakfast, playing and nap time we met up with some old coworkers from CA and Maharam at Hooters! It was Lou's birthday and his choice. Allison had never been there before. She said the food was good and the atmosphere wasn't as bad as she'd imagined. There was no hula-hooping while we were there though. That might change her mind a little bit. Ben as always around the ladies was a huge flirt and a great big ham for the camera.
After lunch we went to the Maharam office where Allison and I first met. We saw a bunch of former co-workers and it was a lot of fun.

We went to Babies R Us and ran into Tim. What are you doing here we asked him? Buying something for your son he said! Go pick out something nice. It was pretty funny.

We went to Saviano's for dinner with Tim, Vinny and Theresa. The food was great and it was awesome seeing the guys (and Theresa) again. After dinner we spent about 2 hours at Starbucks. Ben fell asleep in his car seat, so we kept talking until he stirred. Then we took him home and put him to bed.

It was a lot like old times, but different at the same time. It was a great night. Tomorrow is another jam packed day. Stay tuned for more pix and stories.

Fun Facts (stuff):
  1. When I get together with Dmitry & Lou and Vinny & Tim, it's just like old times. I had a conversation about Idol and baseball with D&L. It was like we just picked up a conversation that stopped 4 years ago. Same with V&T
  2. I still have not blown my horn at anybody and I did not curse anyone out today either.
  3. I love buttered rolls. It's so simple yet so awesome.
  4. There was a girl in the deli asking for "salt and pepper." After she said it I said to myself "WTF did she just say?" Her accent seemed crazy to me.

NY Vacation - Day 1 - Ben's First Flight

We took Ben on his first plane trip today. It was pretty cool. He had his own boarding pass and everything. We started him out right with the most important rule in traveling: Check in early to make sure you are in Group A!

The excitement of his first flight proved to be too much. He fell asleep before takeoff. He was well behaved on the flight. He woke up, but he was happy. He fussed a little bit, but it was pretty close to lunch time. Luckily thee were no diaper incidents. He fell asleep just as we started our descent into Islip. Allison reminded me of the Jerry Seinfeld skit where he talks about pilots talking over the intercom. "just fly the plane!" and right on cue, the pilot gave us a play-by-play of the landing.
Every time we go back to NY, my NY comes back to the surface. My accent comes back. I am a little more defensive and aggressive at the same time (if that makes any sense to you.) I'll list fun facts and other bits of info during our vacation.

Ben met one set of his Aunts & Uncles today and he also met 2 of his cousins. He had a great time playing with them. They are 4.5 yrs and 1 yr old. They didn't have an epic game of Hungry Hungry Hippos, but they had fun. It's gonna be a busy week filled with friends, family, a wedding, food and possibly snow. Cmon man! Channel 7 (ABC) said possible snow flurries tomorrow night. I'm getting too old for this...

Fun Facts:
  1. We ran into an old co-worker from Maharam on the flight. Good to see you Joyce
  2. First dirty look I gave: At the baggage claim to an old lady in a wheelchair: I took my bag off the carousel and she started getting up in arms that I took her bag. I shot her a look and said "This is not your bag, this is my bag." I then turned my back on her. I know she was in a wheelchair and she was old, but I do not discriminate. I am an equal opportunity offender.
  3. First car horn I heard: 15.2 miles into the trip on Carleton Ave. I have not blown the horn yet or given anyone the finger, but I have shouted a few expletives at people.
  4. I still remember the phone number for my favorite Chinese take-out. Yan Min Kitchen 631.277.5666
  5. My mouth is already watering for either a fresh bagel from Bagel Boss or a buttered roll from the deli. Both will be had this week.
  6. I forgot to pack pajamas.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Last night Allison had to work late so I was in charge of Ben. No biggie. I've been alone with him before and I get the job done. Well he didn't nap well and was a little cranky. Not good for me, but still I did a good job.

I was feeding him his 6:00 meal (rice cereal mixed with formula) when Allison called. She said what are you doing? I said "poop eating" she said "WHAT!?!?!" then she realize I meant Ben was pooping and eating at the same time and not eating his own poop.

He ate his food and he was done pooping so I decided to change him. I lay him on the changing table and I can already smell it, not good. Ben did his 3 days of carrots and now he's on day 2 of sweet potatoes. I take his pants off, unbutton his onesie and WHOA! ORANGE POOP EVERYWHERE.

The poop escaped out of his diaper and over his belly button. His belly button actually looked like the middle of a scale or a see-saw with a line of poop going across his whole tummy. Poop was all over his onesie, so I didn't know exactly how to undress him. I got poop all over my hand and arm, but got the onesie off of him without spreading the mess on Ben.

I started to clean him up, but I was making it worse. There was a pile of poop gooped onto his but and peeps area and the poop that was on his tummy, was now spread up to his nipples. He needed a bath stat. I picked him up and carried him to the tub. Shit! How do I turn on the water and get the shower head down? He's covered in poop. I worked it out and he got clean. Never a dull moment, but I felt good giving him bath time all by myself.

Fast forward to tonight's bath time. I got home from running and Ben was already in the bath. I washed up and went to visit. Ben was playing with his toys and splashing around. Allison and I were talking about his day, nap time troubles, eating schedule and stuff like that. I guess we stopped paying attention to him for a second. He reached out for a bath toy and went head over heels. I immediately picked him up from the water, but he bumped his head on the bottom of the tub and went under. He was fine, but he got scared. He cried a little bit, but was happy again after 30-40 seconds.

Sorry little buddy, didn't mean to let you down like that. You can bet all future baths will be spent with all eyes on Ben.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Half Birthday

Ben is six months old. During his six month checkup, he got two shots one in each leg. He didn't like that very much, but he did really well. He's 18Lbs 0.5 Oz - 27 1/4 inches long. The doctor said he looks like a 9 month old. She also said he could start solid foods.

What does Ben and a rabbit have in common? They both like carrots. We gave him carrots first, sweet potatoes are on the menu for tomorrow. Check out Ben's first taste of carrots.

The carrots gave him an orange beard, orange fingers and orange poop.

We also started giving him baths in big boy tub. That's just the regular bath tub to you and me. He loves it. He spends the first few minutes splashing around. Then a few more minutes trying to catch his bath toys. When we finally wash him, he's exhausted.

Lastly, I have told everyone who's asked how much I love being a dad. I love everything about it. Well, that's not exactly true. I found something I hate doing. I hate, two things more than anything in the world. 1) I hate changing crib sheets in the middle of the night 2) I hate washing bottles.

That's all for now. Make sure to leave some comments and stay tuned for updates on Ben's first plane trip, coming soon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's a Nightmare!!!!

Last night just before 9:00 Ben started screaming bloody murder for no apparent reason. He was sound asleep then !BAM! screaming at the top of his lungs. He has never done this before so I bolted from the office into his room.

When I got there he was in serious crying position, on his back, fists clenched over his head. Tears were streaming down his face, but here's the odd part...his eyes were closed. I immediately tried to comfort him. I put my hand on his chest and gently rocked him while putting his pacifier back in his mouth. No dice.

I turned off the baby monitor and picked him up. He was still screaming. Allison had come upstairs to see what was going on. I handed him off, but still he wouldn't wake up and he wouldn't stop screaming. We though "maybe he's teething, give him some Baby Orajel." He woke up when we did that and stopped crying for the moment.

He was awake for about a minute. He was doing the breathing after crying's so cute. After we baby orajeled him, we tried to get him right back to sleep. Bad idea. He closed his eyes again and immediately he went right back to crying and screaming. Maybe it's not his teeth. Maybe like in Vanilla Sky...
It's a nightmare!!!!

We woke him up again and let him calm down. It took a good 5 - 10 minutes. Finally he regained his composure and fell asleep in my arms. I put him down and tip-toed out of the room. I was nervous for the next hour or so, wondering if it would happen again. He was good for the rest of the night. I fed him a late night bottle at 11:30. He was happy and took 4 ounces.

I guess he had night terrors or a nightmare. That sucks. Poor little guy. I felt so bad for him. I wanted to cry for him. It was so unsettling to see him that upset with nothing I could do to help him and not knowing what caused it.

I thought to myself, how can a baby have a nightmare? What could a baby see that could scare him? It's not like we let him watch Nightmare on Elm Street. You have to be at least 3 yrs old to watch that one. ;) The more I thought about it, the more I could see it. The more I think about the animals in his books and the characters on TV, it's a wonder he gets any sleep at all. Some of these characters are scary looking.

First up: I'll Eat you up!
The monsters in Where the Wild Things Are have faces only a mother could love. And they say "Don't go, I'll eat you up" Yes, they say it in a loving way, but it CAN be heard as "DON'T GO!!! I'll EAT YOU UP!!!! AAARRRRGGGG" And not that he's seen the movie yet, but one of the monsters is played by Tony Soprano. AHHHHH The horror.
Next up: Those damn dirty apes.
Ben's room is covered with monkeys and he has multiple stuffed animal monkeys. How would you like it if this is what was watching you sleep?
Exhibit C : I'm from the streets yo!
He did watch Sesame for the first time last week and suddenly this happens...hmmmm

Having a bad trip? Don't watch this show. Maybe Ben thinks he was going to be a guest for the party in Brobee's tummy. Look at the DJ...never trust someone that smiles that much!
Last up because I have to get back to work. I could honestly do this all day...and if I got into altering pix in Paint I could do this all week. But the last one is a fashion nightmare. What if Ben was dreaming about this! Sandals with socks! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

How do you like being a dad?

I get asked this question a lot. I think it's kind of a dumb question (sorry to those who have asked me) but it's true. It ranks up there with:
  1. Hot enough for ya?
  2. Cold enough for ya?
  3. Why you going to the airport, flying somewhere?
Being a dad is the best thing I've ever done. It's the best job I've ever had. I'm 5 months in and I think I'm pretty good at it. Yes it's true, I've made him cry a few times. (6 times to be exact) But I've stopped him from crying many more times than that (more than 6, but not really too many times...he is such a happy baby)

If you just want to hear good, great, amazing (or my default answer) awesome, ask "how do you like being a dad." If you want more than a one word answer, ask "What does it feel like to be a dad?" Even if you already have kids and know what it feels like, I think it's a better question, that will prompt different answers from everyone you ask.

I came up with the question and I'm not even sure how to answer it. Do I talk about how it felt the first day, the first month or how it feels now, 5 months in. I could talk about it all day. I can't remember what Allison told me is for dinner tonight, but I can tell you all about giving Ben his bottle last Thursday night. I can go into Navin R Johnson detail with it:

"I know we've only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days. The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days. And the fifth day you went to see your mother and that seemed just like a day, and then you came back and later on the sixth day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days. And the sixth day seemed like a week and a half. I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it."
Sorry, back to being a dad. I'm trying to describe what having a kid is like. Combine your favorite toy with your favorite pet and multiply it by 5, that's what it's like. I can be angry one minute, I look at him and I'm smiling again. He's awesome. Look at him, how can you be mad about anything when he smiles at you like that?
He's sitting up on his own like a champ and playing with his toys. I think he'll be crawling by next week. He can get up on his hands and he can get up on his knees, but he can't do them both at the same time. He's been close a few times. It's time to start baby proofing the house and get some baby gates.
There have been some funny parenting moments. We've taken his diaper off before he was finished going #1 and #2. Another time, somehow, his overalls got put on backwards. (I didn't do it)
We fixed it, but it was pretty funny. I'm not sure how funny he'll think it was when he hears about it and sees the pictures when he gets older, but for's funny.
He's also decided that even when he's not in his bouncer, it's time to bounce. We'll hold him on our laps and he'll just start bouncing away. We'll feed him his late night bottle and instead of eating it, he'll just sit there smiling at us. He eventually eats, but not until he's smiled for a few.

He likes to show off for his parents. When I pick him up from my in-laws house he is really happy to see me. Last Tuesday he was in his Fisher-Price Jumperoo. When I got there he started jumping like crazy. If I stopped looking at him to talk with my mother-in-law, he would start making noise until I looked at him again...then he would resume jumping like crazy.

I think he's very smart. I make funny sounds to make him laugh. When I do it I make crazy eyes and take a deep breath. Now when I make crazy eyes and take a deep breath, he already starts to giggle. I stop and say "I didn't even do anything yet! don't laugh yet" but then I make the sounds and he laughs.

I feel like this is all over the place, but at least it's a post. I had to bang it out on my lunch break (and maybe a little over it) It feels good writing again. I'll keep it up. Ben's first baseball game is this week. We're taking him to see the Braves at Disney. It's pretty cool because this is my first spring training game too. I'll have pix and a post on that by the end of the week.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

5 month review

I've only posted four times in 2010. That's horrible. I'm a little let down with myself but I've been pretty busy. Allison has gone back to work part time, so our income is down. I started doing some freelance writing to make some extra money. I've gotten a lot of work and it's been keeping me busy. While I enjoy writing this blog, I enjoy eating and having a roof over our heads more. So unfortunately the writing that doesn't make me any money got pushed to the back burner.

The bad thing about that is I'm missing out on lots of documentation of Ben's life. We have plenty of pictures, but 5 - 10 - 15 years from now when I'm looking at the pictures will I remember the sounds I made that made Ben smile and laugh like that? I need to get back into it and here is my first attempt. I've cut out A LOT of television to free up some time and I just decided that I have to give up some internet time on my lunch break to do some writing either freelance or blog.

When Ben was first born it was easy to find time to write. He slept most of the time. When he wasn't sleeping, he was eating. Since he was breastfed, there wasn't much I could do for him. So I might as well go watch TV or write a blog post. Well now that Ben is older, he's more active. He jumps around in his jumper. He plays with his toys, we play peek-a-boo, flying baby and baby in the mirror and he smiles when he sees me. Sorry blog readers, I'm just not able to walk away from that to write a blog post.

He can sit up for minutes at a time now and he's showing lots of personality. He's gonna be a funny kid. It seems like he has our sense of humor and he has a great laugh. I could listen to it all day. He's starting to try to communicate with us. I have no idea what he's saying, but I think he tries to tell us when he's hungry and he tries to say hello. My goal is still to get him to say "awesome" but I'm not sure that it will be his first word.
No teeth yet, but he's drooling like a faucet. His shirts look like hyper color t-shirts or like he just had a really hard workout. Sometimes his shirt gets wet from his collar almost down to his belly button.

I thought for sure before he was born I'd call him Benjamin. Well in the 5+ months he's been with us, I've probably called him Benjamin 5-10 times. I've been calling him Ben or Buddy mostly. There have been some other variations thrown in there like Benny, Benerooskie, Beneroni and cheese, Bennyhana, Benedryl, little buddy, muffin man, guy smiley and smiley mcgee. I'm sure there have been others but I cant remember them at the moment.
Allison discovered last weekend that sending me out alone with Ben is very dangerous...for our bank account. It was my first time out alone with him. I took him to Target to get an air foot pump and then to the super market. I told Allison that guys day our either starts or finishes with ice cream. Since Ben can't have ice cream yet and it was really cold this weekend, we skipped it, but while we were in Target I decided it couldn't hurt to walk around the toy department. Well I spotted a pinwheel. I picked it up and started blowing on it to make it spin. Ben loved it. He followed it from left to right, up and down. Every time I blew on it, he laughed. So I walked around the store with it for the next 5-10 minutes and ended up buying it for him.

Let's review here. One trip to the store. One item purchased. The scary part about it, I talked myself into buying it for him. He can't even talk yet. He can't take something off the shelf and beg me to get it for him yet and I'm already buying him stuff. I better toughen up, but ice cream is still on the table.

Let me finish up by saying I love being a dad. I knew I would, but now that it's here and I'm in it, I'm really enjoying it. The best part of my day is coming home from work and having him smile at me and make his screeching happy sound. It's nice to see you too Allison. ;)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Once again, it's been a long time.

I have been really busy taking care of Ben and working that I hardly have time to update the blog anymore. I really miss it and I'm taking steps to free up my time. I've cut out more than half of the TV shows I watch and I'm gonna try to post at least once a week.

Ben is doing lots of new things now. Tonight during bath time he put his whole foot in his mouth. It was hilarious. I took pix a video of it, but I haven't had time to get it onto the compute yet.

I promise once a week, a good post, with pix.


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