Have a colorful new year!

Hope everyone is planning to enjoy that extra second that we get today.. I know that I, for one, have BIG plans.

I've made some changes to my blog to add some color. I need to get some more pics of Benji into the mix, but for the moment I'm just working on colors and functionality.. I'll add cuteness in later. It's a little girly for me, but I figure that some bright colors will do my readers good for the new year.. and I'm all about helping others. Totally.

I got a new camera.. I'm totally jazzed about it. Lots of my family gave me cash for Christmas this year and it totally adds up... totally. I got the point and shoot that I've been eyeing for a few months and have been taking photos of carpet fuzz and car keys and stuff. I have tomorrow off of work, so I'll hopefully get some good photos taken of Benjamin to start the new year off right.

Oh well.. my work decided not to spring for the lunch that they have always provided on New Years Eve.. so I'm lunchless and it's snowing and the wife has the minivan.. so I'm out of luck. I'm going to end 2008 with a bang and leave work early.. I know how to party like it's 1999.

Check back later.. I'm playing with blog templates...


Ready for a new year... bring it on!

Ok.. so that little video just cracks me up.

Another thing that has been cracking me up is how so many of my blogging friends (how "hip" are we?) are apologizing for being blog-slackers over the holidays.. well, duh.. it's the holidays.. if we were up on our blogs.. that would mean that our real lives sucked.

I haven't had time to blog. I haven't had time to breath. I haven't had time to pee. I've had a wonderful holiday season this year and had a great Christmas. Shiela and I were able to spend Christmas morning with BOTH of our moms at our own home at the same time.. something that probably will never happen again given that my mom now lives down in Kentucky and shiela's mom lives out in Texas (and after being snowbound out here this winter, may never visit again). Benji made it through his second birthday and all of Christmas without really getting the concept of wrapped gifts. He did enjoy all of his new toys though.. we need to build onto the house to find a place for them all!

True to form, Ben had a fever on Christmas day evening.. not high.. but warm. It turned out that he was trying out another ear infection, which makes 2 in the last month. We got him some of the good ol' pink stuff and started the motrin drip (just kidding).. and we were good to go.. albeit a bit crankier than normal.

My poor sister's house was straight out of the movie Home Alone before the entire family left for france. Total Chaos. Fun, though.. lots of fun.

I think that i can officially say that it sucks to have my family live so far away now. My mom and stepdad moved to Kentucky last winter and while we've muddled through this past year, it's always very obvious how much we are missing them and how much they are missing out on the kids growing up. Prior to having Ben, I don't think it would have hit me as hard, but now it's just really difficult. Money is tight for all of us, although thankfully we all still have our jobs.. but hopping on a plane isn't exactly cheap. Hopefully we'll manage to balance our time visiting this year a little bit better. It still sucks.

Ben is growing up so fast. Just last night, on our way home from CT.. someone cut shiela off when we were merging onto the Pike. She muttered "idiot.." and continued to merge. In the backseat.. Ben started throwing his arms around and yelling and then.. clear as day.. says "Stupid!".





He didn't learn that one from me..

Ok.. so I have big plans.. I was to freshen up my blog and fix my computers at home and get a new camera and rock out on guitar hero world tour... so much to do.. so little time!


Just like mom...

Ben had his 2 year checkup this morning.. he's such a brave and smart little dude. Our pediatrician is friggin hysterical, but that's a different story. He dropped the f-bomb like 4 times.. classic stuff. Anyway.. back to the little dude. He had to have some bloodwork done, which sucked.. more for us than for him.. I got a bit woozy. He was a total trooper. It took two sticks because his vein hid, just like mine do. He wasn't entirely pleased, but he really liked the plastic lighted aquarium and the pink lemonade lollipop and he didn't even cry. Shiela almost punched the nurse, which would have been funny if I wasn't trying not to pass out.

In other news.. the little man is now 27 lbs 13 oz (up from his birth weight of 5 lbs 13 oz) and 36.5" tall (up from 19").. crazy crazy. He's in the 47% for weight and in the 92% for height.. he does NOT get that from me! Thank you, donor dad, for the red hair, and for the tall skinny body..


I can't believe it...

Ben still fits into this shirt... it's trashed, but it fits.. This photo was taken on Christmas Eve of last year.. what a goofball!

Jingling Christmas Tree...

It's amazing how much a child changes over the first two years..

Two Years Ago:

One Year Ago:

This Year:

Now.. about that jingling christmas tree. I had the bright idea of replacing the glass balls that we normally decorate our tree with (non-toddler-friendly) with bright gold and red bells. The red bells are just for show.. no bell ringers. The gold ones are the real deal though.. jing-a-ling. It turns out that the tree makes a grand jingling sound when you throw toys at it. As a result, about 60% of the needles have fallen off of our tree making it look strikingly like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree.. of course.. ours still jingles.

Can I complain for a moment?

Ok.. sorry about the lack of blog posts recently.. my home computers have the plague and I've been working through my lunch lately.

So tis the season to be friggin jolly..

One of my faithful readers clued me in that I've officially missed out on the opportunity to snag the "tmaab" domain name for my blog. I've debated getting it for a while, but haven't felt like it for a range of reasons. Well.. turns out that two men and a brush beat me to it..




Two Men and a Brush

I have to give them props for coming up with a business name that sounds like something that should be illegal. It's a shame that their acronym is the same as mine though...


Blogging should not be tried at home without the supervision of an adult...

Some things just crack me up. Lindsay Lohan's blog is one of them. This is why she makes the big bucks man.. she's a hoot!

LL's Blog

The internet is a beautiful thing..

Tis the season.. *cough*

Urgh.. is it flippin possible that I'm getting a cold? I have that weird tight/tickle feeling in my throat. I'm going to go gnaw on a lemon tree to get my vitamin C intake up to see if that helps.. urgh..

In other news.. two years ago at this time I was one sick puppy. I had been on bedrest for about 3 days and wasn't able to sit up for more than 2 to 3 minutes without feeling dizzy and generally like crap. My blood pressure was so high that I was also unable to sleep or even concentrate on a book or the TV. I was one grumpy camper. Little did I know that in just two days I would be meeting my little boy.


Found It!

Family History -- digging for an old photo

I remember a photo on the wall at my grandmother and grandfather's home when I was a kid. The photo stuck out to me because it was in a cool curved glass frame. It was a picture of my great grandmother and great grandfather with their children.. my grandfather (father's father) was one of them.

When my grandfather needed to move to a nursing home some 12+ years ago, the one item that my dad wanted from the house was this family photograph. Since then, it has hung in his dining room. I always make a point to check it out. My grandfather used to say that I reminded him of his mother.. and she was in the picture as well.

On Thanksgiving this year, I pointed the photo out to Shiela and said "now we know where Ben gets his cheeks".. a few of my great aunts and uncles had the same pudgy cheeks that gave ben his early nicknames of "Benny Cheeks". My sister, the oblivious one, happened to be walking by.. and said "huh? that's who's family?"

My dad heard this exchange and came in to tell us the story behind the photo. I was hooked. It turned out that my great grandmother had sent the family photo in to the Mellin's Food Company back in 1923. They framed it for them (the cool curved glass print) and also requested to use it in their ad campaign. Here are some letters that my dad still has of this exchange:

So... now I'm on a quest. I must find this add in print. Ebay hasn't turned up much, aside from one of the magazines in poor condition. I've emailed the seller to see if he could check for the Mellin's ad in that magazine and the condition. If it's reasonable, I may try to pick it up. In the meantime.. I now have something to fill the copious (not) amounts of free time that have been plaguing my days lately (not)...

Btw.. this is the same side of the family that is related to Obama (and George Bush and Lizzie Borden.. *chuckle*)


Again.. I'm easily amused...

Click on the picture below to read the note...

gorden freeman break in
View more Half-Life 2 screenshots on WeGame.

5 minutes... priceless.

The little dude and I have a pretty established morning routine. On typical days, we run like clockwork.. I get up, showered and dressed just in time for the baby to start talking in his crib. I go in his room and turn on the light, raise the curtains and turn his fan off. We discuss current events. The little dude gets a new diaper and a change of clothes and then gathers as many hotwheels cars and binks as he can carry while I pick him up and bring him into the living room.

Until the past week, Ben would sit and watch Sprout (cable channel for PBS kids shows.. odd concept, but good toddler channel) with a tippy of milk while I got his lunch together.

On challenging days (like the one I blogged about a few weeks ago), this doesn't flow so smoothly.. most days, it is a very rewarding experience.. but it always feels rushed. We have to get ourselves ready to get him to school to get me to work.. rush rush rush.

Ben has just recently gotten hooked to Finding Nemo.

This morning, instead of turning on Sprout.. I started the movie. I took my time making his lunch (i.e. putting the pasta and broccoli dinner that Shiela woke up at 6am to cook into his backpack along with some fruit and snacks) and then went and grabbed out jackets. Ben saw me with his jacket and squirmed and told me "no... nemo".

I didn't blame him.

I said.. "do you want to sit with me for a few minutes before we go to school?"

Ben grins and says "yeah..."

I sat down in the rocker and Ben climbed into my lap. I already had my jacket on, so he snuggled right on in. We watched about 5 minutes of Nemo together. I couldn't believe how wonderful it felt. Yeah.. we still had a bazillion things to get done.. but for 5 minutes we sat together and snuggled (while watching Bruce the shark chase Nemo and Dorie).

Ben turns 2 a week from tomorrow.. time is flying. I'm glad I still remember to put the brakes on now and again to enjoy 5 priceless minutes.

Btw.. fish are friends.. not food.

my blogherads friends...

just a little heads up for those of my readers who also run ads from the BlogHer network. i typically race through emails and chunk 99.9% of the bulk messages from whoever.. even places that I have memberships to.. sort of like not opening all of your paper mail that comes in.. oh, the drudgery..

anywho.. I happened to see the "Action Required" on the email from the BlogHer folks from yesterday or today and clicked on the email. If you haven't seen it, they have made some minor changes to our contracts and you need to log into your profile to accept the changes by December 19th to stay on their blog roll.

They are also moving to paperless revenue sharing.. that will come in handy for me.. a blogger who has yet to receive a single payment for the beautiful ads on my site. Giovanna.. no fair making the $25 mark before me.. I think it's because snick has a permanent link to you on her site.. either that or you're just more interesting than me. Maybe it's the twins thing.. people check your blog twice.. one for each kid.. I wonder if I should start blogging about my two cats.. they are almost like twins.. now THAT would bump my reader base up..


Ok ok ok....

I'm catching total hell for skipping a few days here in the blogosphere. Oops! It's really a long and boring story that includes me being tired/stressed/irritable and toss in some wacky weather and some PMS and I don't really think any of you would have wanted to read what I would have written over the past few days.. I've been cranky!

The good news.. just 9 more days until Benji's birthday and 15 more days until Christmas! YAY!

I have a few topics that I want to write about.. but alas.. I don't have time at the moment. Never fear.. I'll return to blogging 3 times a day!


Veggies.. then and now

Well.. who would have thunk.. the kid still likes veggies. I just stumbled across this old pic from August of 2007. He was about 9 months old.

Here he is last week at 23 months old..

Blog Detox

I apologize for the lack of interesting blog postings this week. I warned you all.. I was totally wiped from posting at least once a day for NaBloPoMo and I didn't even win a santa suit for my computer..

yeah.. see.. i'm tapped. Nothing creative left up in the noggin... So without further ado.. I've got more photos to share...

Checking out the window holiday displays at Macy's in Boston

Reading a toy catalog while waiting for dinner at the Olive Garden

Don't worry.. he's just sleeping with his eyes open. This is what you get for buying a backpack carrier for $250.. no headrest!

Helping friends trim their Christmas tree

Dipping binky in hot chocolate from Starbucks on a cold Boston afternoon...

Mommy, why is my chicken nugget green?!

Some seemingly smart mother must have once thought "wow.. if I could just make Broccoli taste like a chicken nugget..." Well.. in my opinion.. it doesn't get any worse than tricking your two year old into eating veggies...

Actually.. I'm just kidding. I re-arranged the order of the photos from dinner a few nights ago. The little dude actually LOVES his veggie bites (I stuck to the mashed potatoes, thank you VERY much...).. he snarfed down a whole box of the things by himself.. dipped in ketchup, of course.

Btw.. the "time out" photo at the very end was actually taken once he had finished his meal and decided to throw his tippy of milk and his plate across the table and then grab my glasses and wishbone them after hitting me.. doesn't he look all pitiful? Three minutes later he was giggling and climbing onto the piano..


Entering the last lap...

No.. this isn't a "SURPRISE" post.. and no, I haven't packed on any new weight.. *laff* I just stumbled over to my old blog and was surprised to see the goofball cartooned up version of my last belly-pic over two years ago. Well.. the last one that didn't have me strapped to monitors.


(I thought this was better that posting about how I measured the sound levels generated by about a hundred dead mice yesterday or how today I had a panic attack about the earth's gravitational pull changing.. those are boring.. must show old pregnancy pics!)


where NOT to leave master building keys (inside building when you are NOT)... how embarassing!

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Die Hard in 30 seconds (with bunnies).

Don't think.. just click.. it's seriously Die Hard in a 30 second re-enactment by bunnies.

Twilight overload?

Ok.. I'm not really giving away much in the way of spoilers here.. but if you haven't read all four of Stephanie Meyers Twilight books, then you might want to think about whether to keep reading or not.

I started the series about a month ago. I raced through the first book in just days, but then have taken my time (and have refused to stay up past 11pm) while chugging through the second and third book. I started the 4th book on Sunday and it seems to have grabbed me more like the first book.

The problem.

The storyline. (this is where you should stop reading if you don't want to know too much)

A recurring theme in the 4th book has been the appearance of a child. Or children, I should say... some vampire, some not. There's lots of teenage angst about protecting these children from the vampires.. stuff that's pretty fluffy and not scary, but somewhat creapy just by the nature of throwing kids into the story. Well.. I just got to the part where Bella has realized that she's pregnant (yes.. with a vampire's child). All sorts of chaos is ensuing and while the story has me flipping pages quicker than I can read them, part of me has this sinking feeling that I really don't need to put myself through this. True.. they are just characters.. blah blah. But what good can come out of any of this when the story is about vampires. The child is growing inhumanly fast (in utero) and the cleaning lady said that it was morte.. not good things.

I should be able to take the storyline changes as any teenager would.. as this is indeed, a story written for the teenage audience. I haven't seen sex scenes skimmed over like this since the last time I read a Harlequin Romance when I was like 14.

So my question to you guys (at least those of you who have read the fourth book).. should i brace myself for some unpleasantries or am i worrying about nothing? Things where pregnancy goes bad and/or children die don't sit well for this wuss who dealt with infertility, a challenging premature delivery and some post partum depression to boot. I know that I'm going to finish the book.. I'm too vested in the characters.. but I really need to know if I should start drinking heavily or smoking at the same time.. or maybe both...


red head hit"ok" button before

red head hit"ok" button before mommy was done blogging from cell. i meant to say.. now i love 54 degree sunny days in dec


End of the mother... ?? Typo?

Ok.. so I meant to type "End of the month" for the subject.. but it came out "End of the mother".. hmmm.. I think that might mean that I've had enough of November and all of the loveliness that has come with it. Bring on the snow!

December will be filled will holiday preparations and celebrations, visits from family, a certain red head's 2nd birthday, memories of that certain red head's arrival 2 years ago.. presents. It's a good thing. Hopefully work will be less stressful and Shiela will stop coughing before her mom gets here. Hopefully Ben's sleep schedule will go back to normal (he's still up... and he's been sleeping until 10am.. the stupid anti-seizure meds do a number on him.. ugh!)..

The good news for all of YOU is that NaBloPoMo is FINALLY OVER. I enjoy blogging and most of the time was ok with posting at least once a day.. but it really is tough when you don't feel like struggling with your virus-ridden home computer on a weekend. Things changed from me staying up until after midnight on 11/1 to publish my first NaBloPoMo post to last night when I realized shortly before midnight that I had forgotten all about it just in time to grab my cell phone and send in a short post... I may take a few days off!

I gave up on the thankful crap.. that whole idea that I was going to post something each day that I'm thankful for. It turns out that I'm still thankful for my family, which was my first idea... but I guess I haven't taken the time to smell the roses lately because I forgot I was supposed to be thinking about being thankful.

At the moment, I'm thankful for good friends, a sleeping baby, and ice cream.. OH.. and Ben's binky. We're entering the final stretch.. stay tuned for posts from a frantic mom (or moms) trying to break the binky habit! yikes! I think I'm looking forward to potty training more than this!



What year is it?

I swear.. my internal calendar is all out of wack. I have a seriously hard time believing that Thanksgiving is over and we're in the home stretch toward Ben's birthday and Christmas.

The days leading up to Thanksgiving were less than fun. The baby was sicker than he's ever been (well.. I joke about it.. but it was definitely the highest his fever ever got and then you throw in the anti-seizure meds which make him walk around like a 34" tall drunk.. it's a rockin' time.). The little dude is better now.. *whew* We're recovering.. *whew*

We stayed at home for turkey this year.. it was actually incredibly enjoyable. We slept in.. didn't drive ANYWHERE.. enjoyed the Macy's parade on TV (ben liked the marching bands).. had a great turkey dinner (the turkey was from a local farm and was bleepin' delicious.. crazy good.. i didn't know turkey could be that good..).. we capped it off with a nice walk around the neighborhood with Ben all bundled up in the quilt that his great-grandmother made for him. Benji went to bed and Shiela and I busted out the pumpkin and blueberry pies.. awesome.

Oh.. and Benjamin absolutely LOVES egg nog!

ok.. the little dude has learned that Thomas the Train also lives on the computer.. so I have hit my limit of "mom only on the computer" time.



A note from the other mother..

This chain of emails was sent between my wife and my sister prior to last Thanksgiving. They were trying to plan.

11/19/07 (Shiela)


between the guitar hero marathon and hauling things out of your mom's house, we never got a chance to discuss the meal like we'd planned. so without further adieu ...

your mom was reading saturday's paper and it had some recipes in it that were interesting - one in particular that i'd like to try if you think it would be ok. it's for corn pudding baked in a pumpkin shell. it reminds me of the corn stuff that Chi-Chi's used to serve .. even jen liked that. what do you think? if no one eats it, maybe it will serve as visual interest .. :)

i'm game to cook whatever ... i believe all the deserts have been planned .. i.e., i heard your mom ask ash & jen what pies they want and gathered that she'll bring a blueberry cream cheese and pumpkin and ash said she's making an apple.

we can do things as traditional or un-traditional as you'd like. i like to mix things up a little (see note above re: corn pudding in a pumpkin).. but that's my adventurous personality peeking through *laff* ... me ... adventurous ... *LAFF*

i mentioned making butternut squash soup and your mom almost fell out of her chair exclaiming "Yes!" .. but i believe she & I were the only ones to touch it when i served dinner at our place a couple years ago. It's super yummy, but only if you like squash.

oh, btw, i have a tendency to try and feed armies during holiday meals so you can rein me in at Any time here ...

and don't let your mom tell you that i have no idea how to make mashed potatoes ... i'm a texan, it's a staple where i'm from ... along with the gravy ... but for some reason, after the spinach ball appetizers, homemade cranberry dipping sauce, orange-glazed turkey and butternut squash soup ... i, #1 used BABY red potatoes (which are like baby rattlesnakes who are more poisonous than their parents, in that they contain a TON of starch - ever mix flour and water??) and, #2 i forgot the damn things AFTER i drained the water from them and ended up making a wonderful, stretchy glue. however, if you feel that after suggesting baked corn in a pumpkin, that i may be a little too whacked to handle the potatoes, i will understand.

so .. jen and i plan to drive down on wednesday night so i will be available to help start this thang as early as you'd like (jen informed me that we weren't allowed to have the meal for anything but lunch ... something about your mom getting pissed off at the illicks or something ... for serving at 4 .. *shrug*) anyway, i'll be there!

i was hoping that maybe we could do something fun, too ... like crafty stuff ... maybe make stuff with the kids ... fingerpaint with ben ... well .. not WITH ben but let him fingerpaint, too ... i realize we'll have to compete with guitar hero .. but maybe?

okeedokee ... your turn


11/19/07 (Beck)

You absolutely kill me…

Ok- so this is what I have on deck- turkey-lovely 14 pounder- hope I don't %^&* it up- mashed potatos (no prob- I got those covered)-corn/green beans stuffing (w/sausage)- rolls.

Anything else you wanna do is perfectly fine with me. Mom is doing the pie- ash wants to do an apple pie- I've never done one myself- so that should be a treat (make the crust from scratch????? She said something about buying yeast that doesn't have to rise for 24 hours before- she's gonna have to come with me to the store LOL).

You are so funny…

And we should f with them all and have dinner at 9am….


BTW- I will have bud lites waiting for Wednesday night…. That will be EVEN more FUN- half %^&*-faced. Ha ha ha ha ha ha hah ahahhah

I'm all for the craft thing- I will threaten adam that he has to do it and have fun or he can't play x-box 360.
You kill me…. I just read your email again.

Back atcha-babe- make me laugh again. LOL

11/20/07 (Shiela)


bud lites sound simply ambrosial .. especially after working all week, trying to get in a couple loads of laundry so our jeans aren't standing up in the corner, packing the car so i can fit a WAGON in it when we return, and attempting to keep the boy strapped in his carseat for 2 hours (hopefully it will only be 2 hours - damn holiday traffic).

Re: the crust-from-scratch thing .. Ash is talking about quick rising yeast ... kinda like 1 minute oatmeal ... but yeast (it'll be on the baking aisle). A little secret: put a couple Pillsbury readymade pie crusts in your basket without her seeing so if things get ugly (and believe me, crust can get Very ugly), you'll be the ultimate hero when you whip out the Pillsbury. The best part is, no one has to be the wiser.

btw, the readymade stuff is in the freezer aisle in a box ... easily hidden by the stoffer's family-size turkey dinner in a box. (just a contingency plan)

i will try and think of some cool crafty stuff .. i'm just feeling creative lately and haven't had a chance to sit down and do anything about it. jen has been trying to make a box thingy to cover the radiator in the livingroom and i've been moving her plywood all over the apartment ... it's fun to watch her drag it back out again ... *grin*

i'm going to attempt the corn pudding thing and bring a salad. and i will help with the turkey if you'd like. did you want to do anything special with it?




I have big plans for

I have big plans for my turkeyday post. Given that the week has sucked so... all I've got for you today is a quick hello.



The big guy is currently thinking about taking a nap. He's in his crib, with a truck.. he doesn't look tired at all. He's going to rest because Mommy needs to rest.. hopefully he'll actually sleep for a bit.

Did I mention that the truck is a Builder Bob toy that talks.. it actually whines.. because THAT is what every parent needs.. a whining toy truck.

Anyway.. things are going better today.. the light of day will do that. Ben slept well last night and his temp didn't climb back up too high with the Motrin and Tylenol. No seizures! This morning, he slept until almost 10am.. if I had been able to sleep at all, that would have been nice. He did just fine... I had nightmares about work and hospitals and vampires (I really need to finish the Twilight series)..

Did I mention that I changed the battery in my keyboard and it is STILL not working right? UGH. I have one of those old-fashioned keyboards that actually has a cord.. I wonder where that wound up?

OK.. So Ben and I went to see his pediatrician, Dr Pangburn, a bit before noon today. Keep in mind that the ER sent him home last night with a relatively clean bill of health.. clean chest xray, no ear infection, no infection at all really, and just a high temp that was probably a virus. Yeah.

So Dr Pangburn, who I will refer to as House for the remainder of his post because Pangburn is too hard to type on a broken keyboard, came in and looked Ben over. Ben is a total pro at going to the doctors. He knows how all of the equipment works and he even will talk to the doctor. Crazy for a kid who isn't two yet.

It turns out that he, in fact, DOES have an ear infection. He also still has an eye infection and his sinuses are spewing out a colorful array of snot. Somehow the ER doctor missed this. *roll eyes*

In the end, we have a name for it. It's hippo-something-fluenza. Well.. that's what it sounds like anyway.

I have to go do a binky search and rescue.. brb.

Little dude just isn't going to sleep.. he's playing my little backpack guitar.. that requires adult supervision. We've got some superduper antibiotics and he'll hopefully be back to himself in a day or so. If we can get through this evening without a seizure, we should be in the clear.. *cross fingers*


That was the high point for his temp (hopefully forever). We just got back from the ER. Ben's temp jumped over 105 degrees around 9pm. We took him in by ambulance. It sucked, but he was a trooper. Chest xrays and bloodwork came back ok.. so we know he isn't brewing an infection. Damned viruses. We are "happy" to report that we dodged this one without a seizure. Hope that trend continues. His temp was down to 100.9 when he was discharged about a half hour ago. He's singing right now. Not exactly how we hoped to spend our Sunday night.. but I'm glad that his temp is down at least for now. *cross fingers* The alarm is set for 3am, when he's due for his next tylenol and anti-seizure meds. I'll be crashing on the twin bed in his room tonight. Party in Ben's room.. 2am!



Yep.. that's i degrees Fahrenheit. Mr. Benjamin is a little toaster oven tonight. When he woke up from his nap this afternoon, he had one pink cheek. That's never good. We were down at my sister's house in CT. The original plan was to get the kids' pictures taken this afternoon, but that plan bit the dust when Ben started looking .. well.. pink... and snotty.

After a hit of Motrin.. he was back on his game and we had a nice day playing with his cousins before heading back home. We almost made it.

We go to Natick on the Mass Pike before seeing that Ben's fever was jumping up. We got to the rest stop and got him his next hit of Motrin and his seizure meds before continuing on our way home. The 103.4 temp is an hour AFTER the Motrin.. that doesn't bode well for tonight.

That's all you're going to get from me tonight because my wireless keyboard's battery is low and it skips every other letter that I type..

This is wat t would look ike it I didn't edit absolutely every line of what I type.

Anywho.. Shiela is sick too.. so wish us luck!


They can't all be winners...

Blogging on the weekend is challenging...


Loyal Readers

One of my loyal readers is thinking about naming his future blog in the same refreshing approach that I used to name this blog...


I won't tell you what that stands for, but it starts with "A" and ends with "Two Moms And A Baby Blog"!

This is for you, Moo!

Hey Moo... We totally have to find a way to get our kids together to play. The more I learn about Grayson, the more similarities I see between him and Ben. The drum thing is over the top! Shiela and I have been talking about getting Ben a drum set. Losely talking about it, given that 1. we can't afford it and 2. it's a drum set for a 2 year old.. seriously. Seriously! It's hard not to when he gets such a kick out of it (and he's SO good)!

This is our current trap set...

It's called Finger Drums and I've had it for about a year on my desk at work. Ben saw it last Friday when he and Shiela came to pick me up and he hasn't put it down since. I have to get take a video to share! I think we may be visiting the local Pottery Barn Kids too! (we'll be sure to bring our own sticks!)

In other news.. do you have Tub Drums? This is one of Ben's all time favorite tub toys. The drums also double as good buckets to dump water over his head to wash soap off. :)

How to get a toddler to wear a jacket in the winter...

Well.. it may be a long winter. Or a cold one.. for a certain red headed toddler that I know and love. We've never had trouble with jackets in the past.. last year was a breeze. This year.. we HATE wearing our jacket! I can't blame him.. it is bulky and somewhat irritating. I felt a bit hypocritical last night when I was fighting him to get him into his jacket while mine was bunched up on the floor boards in the car.

Anyway.. I digress..

I've been trying to figure out a way to make wearing a winter jacket a bit more appealing. He doesn't have to like it.. but it would be nice if we could avoid an all out temper tantrum when he just SEES the jacket.

Attempt #1

We are going to pick up a Thomas the Train embroidered patch to sew or iron-on his jacket. It may be wishful thinking.. but maybe, just maybe, this will do the trick. I'll let you all know!


OMG.. Cow Abductions!

Click for more..

Lack of interest..

So.. I've about had it with this NaBloPoMo thing.. I just like saying the word. I'm irritated at the idea of "having" to post when I just don't feel like posting. When I blog, it makes me think of the camera that I don't have.

On that note.. I'm selling a brand new Nikon S550 digital camera complete with original packing, manual, cables, software, etc. It's "plum" (i.e. the color). It's a great camera that would be perfect for 99.9% of the population.. but I'm a snob and the processor just isn't what I was hoping for. I'm back to using my old Canon, which has its issues (like how the lens cover gets stuck half open).. digital processing capabilities of this old 2 megapixel camera still serve me well. The new Nikon is a 10 megapixel with all of the bells and whistles and I'm selling it for $175. If you're interested.. leave a comment with your contact info or send me an email or something.. I'm desperately trying to sell it so that I'll have a little extra Christmas money this year. I used it about 5 times and took about a few dozen photos.. I'll have to see if I can find some to link to..

anywho... that's as exciting as things get for me today. I need fish tacos from Ixtapa.. it's the sauce man...


23 Months

I wonder if a time will come where I don't celebrate Ben's monthly "birthday". The big guy is 23 months old today. I can't believe that in just a month, he'll be TWO. Crazy!

This was taken last November (07):


A Barrel of Monkeys

What could be better than sitting in a Rubbermaid tub full of Thomas and Friends engines and trucks..

Plastic hippos

This morning was one for the record books. It could have been much worse if I was a single parent.. but thankfully, Shiela and I can tag-team it once in a while.

Ben woke up at about 4am. He did this yesterday too, but he went right back to sleep after a quick hug. Today.. he was up. Shiela got up with him (THANK GOD). I can't say that I slept well from 4am - 7am.. but I did nod off a few times. At 7, Shiela called in from the other room saying that she had to start getting ready. I took the pillow off of my head and mumbled something about "bring him in here".

Her response? "He won't stay.." I grumbled something like "I know".. ::grumble::

Surprisingly, Ben snuggled right in. He had his bink, we put Thomas on, and he was asleep before the end of the episode. Snoring.

Around 7:45, I dragged myself out of bed.. actually.. I vaulted and did a kung-fu move trying to get to the alarm clock before it woke up Ben. He didn't budge.. binky half-hanging out of his mouth. Snoring.

I took a shower and got ready for work.. then packed up my things and packed a lunch for Ben.. it was now 8:15 and he was still out cold. Snoring.

I decided to put his pink eye meds on his eyes while he was sleeping instead of having to battle him when he was awake. I smeared some of the cream on each eye.. he rolled over.. put his bink back in his mouth.. and kept sleeping. Snoring.

It was a tough debate.. I was very tempted to grab the next Twilight book (i finished book 2 last night) and read a few chapters while letting him wake up on his own. The responsible adult in me made the decision, knowing that I had a stack of things waiting for me at work along with a meeting downtown today.

I woke him up.


Bad move.

Stupid Mommy.

Ben proceeded to SCREAM his little red head off for the next 20 minutes. Not just scream. He screamed and thrashed and gagged and hit and... well, you get the idea. It wasn't pretty. My peaceful little angel of a child.. yeah. not.

So I quietly sang the ABC song while changing his diaper.. trying to hold his lanky little body so I could put his new diaper on.. easier said than done. The whole time he was shrieking and yanking at whatever I was trying to do. If I was trying to take off a shirt.. he was trying to pull it on. If I was trying to put on a shirt.. he was trying to pull it off.

A B C D E F Geeee....

I managed to get him completely dressed. Quite thankful that I had already packed up his lunch and that all of our things were stacked by the door. I picked up the puddle of a child, who proceeded to wipe snot and tears all over my sweater, and tried to carry him into the living room without either knocking his noggin against a doorframe by accident or tripping.

H I J K Elemenohpeeee...

I put his jacket on. It was about 24 degrees outside. I put his hat on. He hit the ceiling. The hat. He went nuts. I told him he didn't have to wear the hat, but he had to wear the jacket. He was still going nuts. I took the hat off of him.. he yelled and tried to put it back on. I tried to help him put it back on.. he yelled and threw it.

Q R S....

I put my laptop bag over one shoulder and his diaper bag over the other shoulder (after putting on my own jacket and making a big show out of not screaming when MY jacket was put on me.. yeah.. like that helped). I threw him over my shoulder picked him up and grabbed his backpack and stumbled to the door. As I was trying to get the two of us out of the door without dropping anything, the cat made his move.. there is nothing that an indoor cat loves more than the brief escape into the stairwell.. it's almost like getting all the way outside, but not as scary.

T U V...

I was making up my own curse words at this point. Ben was still screaming and gagging. I had closed the door trying to block the cat in and the little crap bag made it out just before I closed it. Unfortunately, my keys were buried in my jacket pocket under the boy and behind a laptop bag. I had to put all of our bags down (and a screaming baby.. who proceeded to lay on his back on the floor and kick at me) so I could dig out my keys and open the front door. At this point, the cat was worried about the screaming child, so he actually came back up the stairs by himself. I threw him inside.

W X...

Before closing the door again, I remembered that I hadn't grabbed my cell phone. I scooped up the baby, went inside.. put him down on the couch, where he proceeded to reach for anything he could grab and throw across the room while kicking his feet.. and ran around looking for my cell phone. No dice. I gave up.. to hell with the phone.. it's never charged anyway!

Y Zeeeeee.....

I scooped the baby back up.. ducked before being hit by a flying remote control.. and headed back for the door. I had the boy hanging from one arm.. flailing... and our bags dragging behind us as I stumbled down the stairs and around the house to the car. There was ice on the driveway. Lovely.

In the car.. I put El Jarabe Tapatio on "repeat" (mexican hat dance) and started to sing "I love you.. you love me.. " from Barney... The screaming kicked up a notch.. as did the gagging and heaving and coughing. Just a half hour earlier I was sitting on the edge of the bed watching this peaceful baby sleep. and snore.

We got to daycare and stumbled in. All three of the women come rushing over. Ruth said something in spanish in a sing-songy voice and Ben reached for her. He gave her a big hug and then proceeded to give me the silent treatment. I explained the morning asking her to call me if he doesn't settle down and also filled her in on the pink eye thing (turns out another kid had it too.. go figure).. and then headed out the door.

I sat in the car.. it was silent. I turned the key.. turned off the stereo.. and slowly backed out of their driveway. All of a sudden there is this roar from the back seat.. it's followed by "I know I'm every hippos dream" in a raspy electronic voice.

It repeated every time we hit a bump.. all the way to work. A little plastic hippo from a McDonald's happy meal saying "I know I'm every hippos dream" over and over again.

I need a nap.

A note from my sister...

Here is an update from my sister, Becky.



I digress….


So- ok- because my teeth are ground to dust right now- and I really am trying to take a breath and not blow a blood vessel….I put them up yesterday. Ok, Ok…for those of you keeping track- it’s been more than a month and a half of the known mouse issue.

So let’s fast forward to tonight. I’ve just been Christmas shopping. It’s 9pm- I’m tired- I am 12/16ths of the way through the final book of the twilight series (coincidentally I began reading on October 1). I was hoping to keep my eyes open long enough to read a chapter since I have been passing out early each night lately.

So I walk through the door- the cat (my fearless hunter) is meowing- crap I forgot dry food. SORRY ZEKIE. He looks a bit odd- but I figured he was pissed about the food. Meow Meow Meow.

For those faint at heart- please stop reading.

I get changed- cozy in my jams- come out and see something strange that immediately catches my attention on the floor.

I think my heart actually might have stopped as I processed what I saw. I didn’t fully understand of course. Because I had to call Jen Alt for that to happen.

On the floor….upSIDE down was a glue trap.

Now, please understand. I did not put these in my kitchen cabinets (where I previously kept the other traps). I put these in the basement- up along the studs that run along the ceiling.


So I am on the phone with Jen processing why it could be there (a) and how it fell so that the cat could get it (b) and how the HELL he didn’t have any of it on him (c).

When she says- well there can’t be one on there- it would be partially lifted off the floor- it wouldn’t be flat.

Good point……

So carefully….i reach over…

And lift it

Actually you can’t really even call it lifting it- I TIPPED it so that I could see under it.






Honestly zeke- did you have to???? So he finished his WET cat food- licking his chops and I kicked him outside.

I SUPPOSE it could have been worse……(it could have been on my bed).



Kitchen table forts

There is nothing better for an almost-23-month-old than to make a fort by throwing an old bed sheet over the kitchen table. Actually.. it's pretty fun for a 34 year old too..


Not a real blog post

Ok.. so I'm only blogging to keep up with my NaBloMoPo requirements for posting once a day in November.. I'm all proud of myself for making it this far (even though my friends are now picking on me for posting 3+ times a day.. oh well!)

i have no time to blog tonight.. i must read.. i'm almost finished with book 2 of the Twilight series.. good times man.. good times.

i had a raucous time with snickollet and gio last night.. we partied like it was 1999. actually.. we partied like 3 mothers of very young children.. we had trouble staying awake until midnight. Oops!

in other news.. ben has pink eye. *SCREAM* the good news is that after just one application of his antibiotic eye ointment, his eyes look SO much better.. whew! now if i can just avoid getting it myself.. the last time this happened, i landed in the hospital in isolation getting a spinal tap and an mri.. good times.. good times...


Jingle Bell Rock

Last night, we met up with our friends Barb and her daughter, Anna, to attend a little holiday shindig at a local mall. We really had a blast. The time we got to spend with our friends was wonderful. The little show the mall put on was cute.. although it reminded me a bit of this:

I have some absolutely wonderful pictures of Benjamin and Anna playing together. These two have been friends "forever". They are finally getting old enough to really play with one another. It was great. Of course.. the card reader on my laptop is crapping out, so I'll have to upload those pictures the hard way tomorrow. I promise to share!

On the subject of trucks...

Ok.. so we weren't talking about trucks. After the rally, I took Shiela over to see my newest infatuation...

I pink puffy heart this truck...

Why are there so many songs about rainbows?

The weather could have been better this morning. We woke up to a steady rain. It's always a bit of a debate whether to brave the elements with Ben. By lunchtime, the rain had slowed to a sporadic sprinkle. After a failed attempt at a nap for Benjamin, we packed up and headed out. We drove downtown instead of taking the train. I can only take so much humanity.

When we came out of the parking garage, the rain picked up. Ben thought it was hysterical. Of course.. he was on my back in his carrier with shiela holding our umbrella over him while she and i were getting soaked. Ben thought this was great fun! We took cover in the McDonald's down near Quincy Market.. along with half the city. Again with the humanity.

At 1:30, we decided to chance the weather (or start heading to the car). When we got outside, we found that the rain had stopped. The clouds were still threatening, but for the moment, we were dry. We headed across the street to City Hall.

As we walked up the hundred or so stairs to the side of the building, I reminded Shiela how we "got domestic partnered" there several years ago. I needed to go on Shiela's medical insurance at the time and so we "tied the knot". It wasn't the most romantic event of our lives. We met at City Hall.. filled out some paperwork and wrote a check for about $60. We swore under oath that we were who we were and that we were a couple. Whatever. We got a piece of paper and it was enough to add me to Shiela's insurance (we won't talk about how we get penalized during tax time because of the "extra income").

A lot of people think that as long as same-sex couples are given the same legal rights as heterosexual couples, that this is equal and fair. I honestly used to be one of them. Prior to MA becoming the first state to legally allow gay couples to wed, I remember hoping for civil unions to be allowed in other states besides Vermont. I honestly hadn't really thought about it.

When the Supreme Court of MA ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional, things changed. Shiela and I talked about the option of getting married at this point and decided that we didn't want to "jump on the bandwagon" and that we'd rather wait until the legal issues were a little more stable and understandable.

There came a point, shortly after we started trying to conceive Ben, that we changed our minds. It was during a trip to Connecticut to visit my family. We often have our best conversations during the 2 hour drive to and from CT. We got onto the subject of marriage and before you knew it, we were coming up with ideas for the celebration.

Neither of us are ones to like to have attention drawn to us. I've long thought that a wedding was a horrible way to spend 40 grand. What is worse than getting into uncomfortable clothing and making nice with relatives and friends who you barely know.. blah blah blah. Of course.. this all changed once I got into the swing of it all. We planned a day that was fitting for us. Our ceremony was at the Meeting House of Storrowton Village, at the Big E fairgrounds. Our reception was at my parent's house in Windsor Locks. I even wore a dress. It was a hoot.

Let me tell you. The experience that day was a wedding and we got married. Those words are how I feel about the day and the commitment. I didn't realize until that day just how important the word "marriage" was for us. I can tell you.. the emotions that we felt on the day we were married were quite different from those that we felt when we got "domestic partnershipped".

Today, there was a National Protest against Proposition 8. The law that California just voted on which makes gay marriage illegal again in California. The difference between this and all of the other states who have passed similar laws is that there are already thousands of couples who are married. What happens to them? The Attorney General of California has said that he would not support any action to negate existing marriages. The Terminator Governor Schwarzenegger has also spoken out in support of gay marriage. Who knows how this will all play out.

We went to the Boston rally against Prop 8 this afternoon. It was an inspiring atmosphere. There were thousands of people of all backgrounds coming together in support of gay marriage. There were families, like ours, who were able to participate in such an event while feeling 100% safe. This is a luxury that we often taken for granted. I'm sure that in some areas of the country, there were rallies that had more than the 3 or four anti-gay-marriage protesters.

We had a good day. Ben thought that it was great fun to cheer along with the crowd.


The next vehicle

First of all.. we're not in the market for a new car. I never am. Really.


Let's forget about the time that I impulse-bought a pickup.

I'm in Love.. capital "L" Love.. I saw a truck on Monday when Ben and I were out at the park (NOT the garbage truck) and I've been dreaming about it ever since. I need to go find out more about it.

In the meantime.. I stumbled across this little vehicle that I thought Shiela might go for:

It's a Knight XV.

[for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of being around Shiela lately.. she has turned into a ranting maniac who stops at intersections and points at passing vehicles while muttering about *&$% &(*&% SUV's... it seems that more SUVs are back on the road now that the next depression has hit gas prices have dropped.. it's making her twitch.. purchasing a truck will be a hard sell even though we're floating on monday right now.. OH YEAH.. that's not us...]

Recap of the week...

You'd have to pay VERY close attention to have any clue what I've been up to this week. I've been a horrible blogger.. which you all have obviously seen. I just haven't felt like it. I also have been quite busy both at work and at home.

Well.. busy isn't the right word. I've been reading the Twilight series. I finished the first book in a whirlwind 3 days where i just threw breadcrumbs at ben and hoped for a good rain to give him a nice shower. I took a night off and then started in on the second book. I've been much more disciplined this time around.. I let myself read in the car while we're waiting for Shiela's train, or in the evening after Ben goes to bed.. and during my lunch at work. I also am refusing to stay up until 1am each night. As a result, this book is slower going.. I'm only about halfway through and I feel a bit more sane.

Since I haven't felt like blogging, above and beyond leaving enough of a post to qualify for meeting my NaBloPoMo requirements.. there have been a number of cute things that Ben has done that I haven't blogged about.

The theme is "Almost 2"


An afternoon in the City..

On Saturday, Shiela and I will attend a rally in City Hall Plaza in downtown Boston to join in the national protest against Prop 8.

National Protest Against Prop 8