Monday, May 31, 2010

Car seat struggles day 2

The Graco My Ride 65 wasn't gonna work out. They said some movement is OK, but it was too much movement for my liking.

After spending the morning having breakfast and swimming in the pool with The Powells we headed to Babies R Us. Matt helped us. He reminded me of a heavier version of Lee Dewyze. He didn't sing, so I can't tell you if there were any other similarities.

We had to choose between a Britax Roundabout w/cow print or a Evenflow Symphony 65. We went with the Evenflow, but I'm still not sure if we did the right thing. I installed one in my in-laws car in the BRU parking lot. If I didn't like this one or couldn't get it to work, I wasn't driving the 40 minutes across town again.

So the install went well. It rained a little bit. I needed it. It was refreshing. I installed the car seat and when the "level line" was level, I could move the seat. When I installed it tight enough where the seat didn't move at all, the "level line" was off. The seat was too upright.

So what's better, or should I say what's worse? A seat that moves a little bit or a seat that is at the wrong angle?

Also, I'm not sure about the seat itself. Instead of having a harness that feeds through the back of the seat, it has a new "Slide Harness." I'm a little nervous about that. Does it really work? will it work 2 years from now? Ben's safety is on the line...I don't want some fandangled, gimmick harness holding him in. The reviews I've seen have been mostly positive. I'll spend a lot of time the next few days reading more.

Does anyone have any experience with these seats? Let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It was a good day and a bad day

This morning Allison made a test batch of homemade buttermilk pancakes. They were really good. Not sure if they were that much better than the "just add water" box pancakes or if it was worth the trouble, but they were good.

We gave Ben some pancake. He liked it. He ate about a 1/4 pancake. I decided this was the day to let Ben eat off of his monkey plate.
He really didn't need it and he barely used it, but I enjoyed watching him play with it.

Now to the bad part of my day. I'll start with a little background. I used to work at Babies R Us. I worked in the Baby Gear department (car seats, high chairs, pack-n-plays) and I was employee of the month. I install my own car seats and have done it for family and friends.

This afternoon I tried to install a Graco My Ride 65 car seat in a Hyundai Tucson. It kicked my ass. I was out there for over 2.5 hours. I tried latch in the center seat. Seat belt in the center seat. Latch in the passenger seat, seat belt in the passenger seat. NOTHING WORKED. The seat moved all over the place (2 to 4 inches) and that's just not gonna work.

Graco - what's up with you? What is this piece? Why do I need to use this lock thing with the seat belt? Time to rework that idea.
I had to give up. Tomorrow is another day. At one point I threw my hat onto the ground. Later on I kicked it clear across the garage. When I was starting my father-in-law asked if I needed help. I said "I got this, thanks. But if I'm not inside in 20 minutes, start bringing me beers." I was only kidding, but I think beer could have helped. It definitely wouldn't have hurt.

I'm going to test it out in my car tomorrow. Maybe the combination of car seat and car I'm working with just isn't going to work. Stay tuned for tomorrow's update, I'll let you know how the install went.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Survival Swimming. Are you a fan?

Picture taken before 1st dunk
I think I've mentioned this already, but I know I haven't gone into it with this much detail, so here it is again. Ben started Survival Swimming 2 weeks ago. Some people say it's torture, but some people swear by it.

I personally know a woman whose 18 month son fell into a pool and was able to turn onto his back and float until his parents fished him out. He took SS and the woman swears it saved her son's life. When I used to work at Babies R Us, I helped a woman whose son suffered brain damage after falling into a pool and almost drowning. He was in an electric wheelchair with a tube and his mother said he would probably be like that for the rest of his life.

It was hard to help them. Not because of the kid, but because of the mother. She was beating herself up and it was brutal. She opened up with, "Hi, I need a car seat for my son, he drowned because of me. It was totally my fault and now I need a car seat for him." Back then I thought "wow, the guilt she must feel if she is beating herself up like that in front of me" but now that I have a kid, I can't even begin to imagine the amount of guilt and pain she was going through. I never want to go through that.

If Ben has to cry a little bit now to avoid something like that happening, then sorry buddy, you're gonna cry. I'm a big talker. I haven't been there for one of his classes. Allison, Ellen and Hy have all taken him and from what I hear it's really tough to watch. I've seen about 2 minutes of video from class, but that's completely different.

When I'm watching the video, Ben is home, safe and sound. I just gave him a kiss and I'm watching him play with his toys. I know that he survived whatever I'm about to see on that video, so it's no biggie. That might change on Friday though, when I actually sit in on a class. Wish me luck. If there are no posts after Friday it's because I decided to pop the teacher and dunk her underwater to see how she likes it!

Do you have any survival swimming stories? Let's hear them. Happier posts and cute pix to follow in the next few days. Sorry my first post back is a downer, but I had to get that out of my system. I tried to type other stuff, but kept coming back to this.

PS: This has nothing to do with Survival Swimming, but when I ran spell check, it said "no misspellings found!" YEAH! What up Merriam-Webster Dictionary? You want some of this, Oxford American Dictionary? WHAT!

I'm Back Baby!

I know I've said it before, but this time I mean it. I started this blog in April 2009. I averaged 11 posts a month. Pretty good. Not too many that I'm annoying to readers, but enough to keep them coming back.

Do you know what my monthly average is for 2010? It's less than 5!! Less than 5! Are you kidding me? Basically what that says to me is something of worth only happens about once a week. That's ridiculous. I can post daily about the things Ben does or my thoughts about raising him. I have just been lazy and preoccupied with other stuff. Well not anymore. The quality of my writing has suffered and I think I'm down to 2 readers. (My father-in-law and Twistedxtian.) I appreciate you guys, thanks for reading, but I'd like to be able to count my readers on 2 hands (and hopefully someday soon on my feet.)

Even if nobody reads my blog, there are some things I just need to document so I can look back when my memories are replaced with new ones. Ben changes fast. Everything he does amazes me and every time he does something new it gets cuter and cuter.

For a while there I was getting paid to do some ghost writing, but that has slowed down a bit. No excuse there. I was watching the Devils and the Magic in the playoffs. They are both out now. No Excuse there. The Mets...well, do I even need to go further than just saying The Mets? No excuse there. With the exception of SYTYCD, most of my TV shows are off for the summer. No excuse there. I'm gonna write more, no excuses.

I'm an award winning blogger! I need to show it. If I'm going to turn the pre-Ben blog into a book one day, I need to write. I need to grow my followers back to the level they used to be and keep them by keeping them entertained. Sounds easy right?

With the help of the blog contest on and the help of Twitter I've found tons of other dad blogs and parent blogs. Some I like, some I love and some I can't stand. If they can write everyday or 3 times a week, so can I.

Sorry about the rant. Sometimes I just need to complain and publicly call myself out. So stay tuned for Ben related blog posts.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's Pool Time, Maybe.

I've heard about having an office Baby Pool. You know, the one where you guess the baby's sex, weight and length. Well I just thought of another pool idea and I'm pretty excited about it. I don't know what the prize will be, but I have time to figure that out.

You know I put together a time capsule for Benjamin to open on his 18th birthday. What do you think of having a pool to guess his height, weight and shoe size when he is 18?

I know it could turn out horribly wrong. If we all say 5'10" or taller and he only grows to be 5'5" (not that there's anything wrong with that) it could upset him. If he is "big boned" and we all say he'll only be 150lbs, that could upset him too and ruin his 18th birthday, something that should be a really fun day.

I can have guests at his 1st birthday party fill out their guesses and I can put them in the time capsule. Let me know what you think. Pool or No Pool?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Poop, poop, poop

We've all heard of the book "everybody poops" and it's true, everybody poops. There is nothing more disgusting or funny than poop & poop jokes.

Exhibit A - Hilarious.

Anyway, recently Ben decided it would be fun to poop in the bathtub. He's pooped in the tub 2 out of his last 3 baths. The first time, he was just sitting in the tub, playing with his toys and I heard a grunt. His face turned red and we knew poop was coming. Allison picked him up and we were able to keep the poop out of his little tub, but it landed in the big tub. We were cleaning up a little bit and moving the poop aside, when Ben decided to pee! It went in the tub, off the wall, onto his leg. That was a fun bath time, but we survived it.

The next time we weren't so lucky. Ben was in the tub and he got us with a sneak attack. I picked him up, but 4 or 5 milk dud sized poops popped out and landed in his tub. We ended up washing him by holding him over the tub. And just like last time he peed again and it got all over the wall and the floor.

Exhibit B - funny and funnier

He doesn't just poop in the bathtub, he also poops in swimming pools too! We were at a 1st birthday party for one of Ben's friends. I got into the pool with him and we floated, splashed and played for about an hour. I brought him to the side of the pool and Allison was like "uh-oh I smell something."

His diaper was full with poop! The swimmy diaper and his bathing suit kept the poop in, we had a fun time changing him...and I had to make the announcement to everyone that "the water is really cold today guys. Ben wants me to tell you the water is really cold!" (Shrinkage....Seinfeld....anybody??) I didn't have to make the statement, but it was pretty funny.

Exhibit C - pool poop

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A first??

Something crazy happened last night. I think for the first time ever, I was the first person to see Ben do something for the first time! Usually I'll tell Allison "I saw Ben do this today" and she'll say "I know. He did that the other day." Or she'll say "I know, he did that at my mom's house on Monday."

Well last night Allison was out and I was home alone with Ben. We were playing in his playroom. I was laying on the couch watching him play with his blocks and a monkey car, then something interested him and he had to investigate it. He did his Army crawl over to the couch, lifted himself up and tried to grab my feet.

I had on black socks with gold toes. He was trying hard to grab them, but since I had those socks on for about 13 hours, I wasn't going to let him grab them. He then tried to reach for them with his mouth too. I thought "Buddy, you don't even know how gross that is"

I needed to stop the attack on my feet, so I made his Fisher Price Play Table make noise. He started to do a dance, then slowly (very slowly - 3-5 minutes) he shuffled his way along the couch over to the table. He was so proud of himself. He celebrated by mashing the buttons on his table and screeching with delight when it made music.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

PSA - The More You Know

Remember those PSAs when we were growing up. NBC had "the more you know" (I think they still do them) and there was this one that still sticks out in my mind today.

It's the one where the kids gets caught doing drugs...the father said "Who taught you to do this stuff???" "YOU ALRIGHT!!!! I learned it by watching you!" Remember that one?

Well it's true. Even from a very young age, kids learn from watching us. I had a cold about a month and a half ago. Towards the end of the cold, allergy season kicked in HARD and I got a bad cough. I had this cough for about 3 weeks.

Well, my cough is gone, but now Ben has a cough. The little bugger copied my cough! It's the cutest thing. He coughs, then looks around at us, smiles and coughs some more. How do you even fix that? I guess he'll stop eventually when he doesn't hear us coughing...but holy crap. This little guy is like a sponge.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yummy Plane 1 & 2

This is how I feed Ben when I'm home alone.


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