And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ode to Hormones/ Paradox- Part II

My last post about parental paradoxes dealt with the excitement and yearning for your child to grow up, yet at the same time the sentiment and nostalgia involved when remembering what it was like to have a newborn. It's the "please grow up and get out of this difficult stage.....but OH....remember when they did this? I don't want them to grow up so fast and change so quickly."

There is another paradox that comes with parenting....this paradox is thanks to hormones. Wikipedia says "A hormone (from Greek ὁρμή - "impetus") is a chemical released by a cell in one part of the body, that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism." A new mother's definition would be the following "Hormones are what get all out of whack when you get pregnant and have the potential to destroy you once your child is born. They have the ability to make you sob one minute and be laughing hysterically the next and not think anything of it. One minute- best friend, next minute- mortal enemy. One minute- yes, next minute- NO."

I am lucky that I didn't have to deal to severely with post-partum depression or anxiety. I know I went through the typical "Mommy-blues" but it definitely wasn't anything too unbearable. But I do still find myself in quandaries similar to the definition above and am not sure if I can safely blame hormones now that I'm 6 months postpartum or if I just chock it up to a bad day/good day.

Example: Yesterday I had a wonderful night. Brian came home, we loaded Ben up in the car and drove a few miles to Baskin Robbins for .31 cent ice cream scoop night. We met up with several good friends from the neighborhood who we're starting to get to know well and really enjoy their company. Great company and cheap ice cream.....doesn't get much better than that. Then I took a walk with Brina dog. It was a cool, crisp spring evening and a really pleasant walk. I turned on my iPod to my hymns playlist and listened to "This is My Father's World and Be Thou My Vision." It was worshipful...meditative. I got to thinking about my life and how wonderful it is. I thought back to all the things in my past that could have drastically changed the course of my life but how all the events led up to where I am right now. Brian and I are blessed with wonderful family- the family that raised up...the family that we are raising. I went home feeling refreshed and overjoyed.

Then.....this morning came. Nothing bad about the night last night. Ben again only really woke up twice. He started making noise and fussing at 6:00 a.m. which is earlier than normal but still...not a bad night. But as soon as I got out of bed, it all seemed to go downhill. Ben was fussy from the moment I got him out of his crib until....oh's 2:45 in the afternoon and he's still pretty miserable today. He was not happy doing anything this morning and just was content to fuss and fuss some more. The dog was super clingy- no reason why, just clingy. I would turn around and she'd be underfoot so I'd trip on her. She wanted out, then in, then upstairs, then downstairs. I got a bad update on my dear friend who is terribly sick with cancer (definitely put my problems in perspective). I made bad coffee. I really wanted Honey Bunches of Oats but all we had was Cheerios. You get it....not a good morning at all. Brian got up a little while later and sent me out of the house on a run. He took Ben and I again set out on the exact same course with the dog that I had been on the night before. This time......started with some Linkin Park, Zeppelin, Bon Jovi. I ran and ran really hard. Ran out my frustration while mentally sorting through my bad attitude.

It still has been a tough day with a cranky baby, an underfoot dog and another bad pot of coffee. But here's my comfort in my last 24 hour yo-yo moodswing......I know that God is big enough and has enough grace to deal with my every mood. He's given me his Word that contains beautiful words that help me praise and thank Him, and also words that let me lament and beg for help. There are words of comfort and healing for the times I feel like I just can't do it anymore. His love is not isn't contingent on my mood. I see daily reminders of his grace in my life regardless of circumstance.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

First Words

Yes...I know Ben is only 6 months old and not old enough to talk yet. But I'm going to claim my name as his first words. His newest thing is going "mamamamamama." Yesterday right after he got his shots he started babbling that and clung to my shoulder for dear life. So to follow up on yesterday's post- he has Brian's genes and will probably look more like him, but his first words were "mama." Heck....after 41 weeks of pregnancy and almost 24 hours of labor, he BETTER say "mama" as his first words....closely followed by "I'm sorry...I love you!"
By the way- improvement!! Ben was only awake twice between 10:30 and 6:30!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

Benjamin had his 6 month appointment this morning. Praise the Lord he is healthy and thriving and was given a clean bill of health. I feel like every time I go to the doctor with him, I'm surprised how much he's grown. Today he was 27 3/4 inches long and 20 pounds 6 oz. The nurse that weighed him and measured him and was saying something about being in the upper 90% percentile for height. She turned and looked at me, sized me up and said "how big is daddy?" I told her that Brian is 6'6 and she smiled and tickled Benjamin and said "like father, like son." I loved hearing that. I love knowing that Benj is growing, developing and starting to take on after his dad. Yay for my man and my little man!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Our adventure started on Friday morning. I drove to Target to meet up with my friend who has a 2 month old boy. We both had some things to buy and figured it would be a good excuse to shop and hang out. I parked the car and went to get Ben out of his carseat and load him up in the stroller. FYI Ben now weighs over 20 pounds and really doesn't fit in his infant carseat anymore. He's too long and his feet stick out the end of the thing and I now hear a rhythmic "thump thump thump" on the backseat of my car whenever we are driving around. Also- picking him up in the carseat and hauling him around is near impossible unless you're superman. It's carrying about 50 pounds of dead weight around....not fun. Even less fun when I was running with him in the carseat in the jogger...pushing 70 pounds uphill has given me man-quads that really aren't that attractive and don't fit well in jeans. Anyway- now I'm starting to leave the carseat in the car and just pick Ben up and transfer him to the stroller and push that around. Much more manageable. Anyway- picked Ben up and was about to move him to the stroller when I noticed my hand was damp and smelly. Let's just say after that there was a frantic call to my friend inside Target to come help and bring some plastic bags. Poor Ben was stripped down in the trunk of my car in the Target parking lot before we proceeded with our shopping trip.

I was on a mission that morning to buy a specific product from Target that I'd heard about from several friends. 2 of my neighbors raved about it and all the reviews on Babies R'Us and Amazon were great. I guess I'm susceptible to signage and reviews so I set out on my mission to buy said product. After much laughter and mocking from my friend and the voice inside my head, I purchased it, and took it home.

If you google "Munchkin Duck Tub" this is what you'll pull up. It's a 3-4 foot long inflatable bathtub in the shape of a duck. It's supposed to be a "transitional" tub for 6-12 months when your kid can sit up and can't really fit in the infant tub but you don't want to put them in the normal bathtub. It's a giant, bright yellow inflatable duck and actually quacks when you squeeze the beak. No joke...the thing quacks. I took this thing out of the packaging thinking how hideous it would look in my newly remodeled bathroom. I proceeded to blow the thing up and almost passed out and had to lay on my bed next to the giant duck for about 10 minutes before I had enough oxygen in my brain to sit up without being lightheaded.

After all this work....Ben was ambivalent to the tub. The quacking sort of got his attention but for the most part, he didn't even seem to notice the change in bathing apparatus. So in that regard it was a failure. It also was a failure in that it is already almost too small for him. He barely fits in the thing and definitely can't lay down in it. He'll have outgrown it already next week.

The duck has been good for lots of laughs....especially with Brina the dog. Brina was not ambivalent to the thing. Poor dog was completely petrified by it and when we made it quack she just about lost it. She darted around the bedroom running away from it and hiding and then came running at it full speed howling and barking like a wild animal. For those of you who have met Brina, she's just about the calmest dog in the world. Dogs walk by, squirrels walk by, strange looking people walk by and she doesn't flinch. No nothing. But this bright yellow duck was just too much for her.

So for now, the duck lives in our bathroom, hidden from the view of the chicken dog who can't wrap her mind around a giant inflatable duck. Maybe Ben will come to appreciate it as time goes on but for now, I deem it a complete failure. Good thing it only cost $12.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

There are some days that I look at Benjamin and think "wow...he looks a lot like Brian." Other days, I think I see myself in him. Most of the time though, I agree with what most people say when they look at him- he's definitely a combination of both of us. I'll let all you readers form
your own opinions.....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Same Old, Same Old

One important lesson you learn when parenting an infant....never underestimate the power of a good routine. Parenting books and baby websites stress the importance of establishing good routines: have a set in stone bedtime routine, have a nap time routine, set a schedule for your typical day and follow it closely. We originally started with an elaborate bedtime routine for Benj that included bath, baby massage, jammies, Goodnight Moon, bottle, num nummers, sleep (at least we hoped). Since then, we have abandoned the baby massage and Goodnight Moon because he gets too fussy once he's in pj's and won't last through "goodnight socks, goodnight clocks, goodnight bowl full of mush."

Before having Ben, my life was far from "same old, same old." I'm first to admit that my crazy, type-A self often takes on way too much and I end up flying around all over creation attempting to cross things off my growing to-do list. No day was ever the same....the only consistencies were food (that I ate it), sleep (sometimes did that), work (always did that....but tasks and locations varied). Each day contained something new and different from the last so I didn't necessarily know what to expect. One day might have consisted of spending the bulk of my waking hours pouring over Greek and Systematic Theology, another consisted of returning email and hanging banners in the sanctuary, another day started before dawn running 17 miles. No routine...very little consistency. has become much more settled and ordinary. Again I will be first to admit...this is a healthy and somewhat welcomed change. Yes I miss having time to do things for myself but I don't miss the chaos. Last night I found myself thinking about this as I stood over the kitchen sink, over my little white plastic dish tub and washed bottles, toys, sippy cups and num nummers for the umpteenth time. Yes I still go to work, yes I run occasionally....but I have settled into a routine...Ben's routine. I know each day will consist of washing bottles and toys at least once, opening the fridge and assembling a small bowl of baby food, setting the coffee pot for the next morning secretly hoping I won't need that extra cup, and most importantly, getting my share of cuddle time with the coolest kid around.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Family Fascination

It seems like Ben discovers something new each day. We've watched as he has discovered his hands and feet- they are indeed attached to his body, yes they move and their proximity to the mouth is ideal for sucking and chewing. We've watched as he has learned what his toys can do- they make noise if you hit/pull them, they light up, yes mommy will pick it up over and over again if it is thrown off the high chair. We've watched as he discovered solid foods- he's learned to successfully eat from a spoon instead of having 90% of the food come down his chin and maybe %10 make it in his mouth. He's learned that blowing bubbles and making raspberries like "PLHHHHHHH" when he has a mouth full of food leads to pears/prunes/etc flying in every direction.

Well....Ben has made a new discovery- and one that has been quite amusing to watch. Ben has discovered Brina the dog. Up until now, he has been either indifferent to her presence in the house or simply wasn't aware that she existed. Brina has always known Ben was around...but not vice versa.

When we came home from the hospital, poor Brin Dog's world was turned upside down by this loud, stinky little object that took all of our time and energy and led to less walks, less attention and less pets. She would sniff his bassinet and we let her smell him to get used to his scent and it seems like she got used to having him around. She is a really good dog and we've never had any trouble with her and Ben. I know people say not to leave your dog and baby in the same room alone but we've broken that rule many many times because we know we can trust Brina. If you've met her, I know you'll agree.

Now Ben is becoming much more aware of his surroundings and that includes the presence of the 50 pound lab mix that spends most of her day asleep on the towel on the couch. He tracks her with his eyes and watches her walk around. He laughs when Brian and I make her bark and howl. He reaches for her and tries to touch her. Funny story- the other day I was sitting on the couch feeding Ben and Brina was sitting next to us. Normally Ben is a really good nurser...look at the kid....clearly not mal-nourished. He normally goes to town and chows down but he kept smiling and laughing and I had no idea what was going on. FYI- it's hard to breastfeed a laughing child. I finally looked at his little feet which were tucked under my other arm and saw Brina licking his bare toes. I guess he has ticklish feet- I guess they taste good.

Quick sleeping update from this weekend- if sleep was a subject in school, he would be repeating a grade. Ok...maybe he'd never make it out of Kindergarten. Not a good weekend as far as sleep. In his defense, we had him out most of the day on Saturday and Sunday which probably threw him off. He was the only male allowed at the women's tea party at church. was actually a tea party. had nothing to do with health care and no Sarah Palin was not there.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Fun-day

Here is a picture of Benjamin in his new t-shirt from my friend, Amy. Thanks to her for buying him amazingly fun things like this shirt....and the pee pee teepees that sit on his changing table to protect us from getting drenched. Love this shirt.

Unfortunately- we had a massive "code brown" situation about 5 minutes after this picture was taken. Good thing he was in a onesie under the t-shirt. The t-shirt can be salvaged....the onesie was pitched.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Down a Notch

I've blogged before about how parenting is a very sanctifying thing. In that process of sanctification, there are definitely a lot of events that are humbling and will take you down off of any imaginary pedestal you've been on and bring you down a notch or two....or ten. Moral of the story- if you think you have it all together and you're content being on top of the world or on top of your game, don't become a parent. Wonderful....but humbling. A few recent examples

- I always smell. Not like my DKNY Apple perfume like I used to, not like the Dove cucumber soap in my shower...I smell like spit up, baby poop and Dreft laundry detergent. No matter how hard I scrub or how many times I shower, several times throughout the day, I can smell myself and recognize at least one of the above scents wafting off of me. I think it's permanently embedded into my skin...the scent of motherhood.

- My house will forever be in shambles. I have babysitters and visitors coming and going who must think I'm an awful mother. I am first to admit, I've never been one for having a clean and spotless house, but since Benjamin was born, any efforts at good housekeeping have gone out the window. I do clean when I have time- but between work, baby, husband, dog, laundy, trying to feed us all, and sleep....there's just not enough time in the day to get it all done. Ben's stuff has taken over our house and is EVERYWHERE. There is not enough space to put it all away and it seems as though every time I put it away...we need to pull it out again. Someday I will have a clean house again- but not now. I was proud of myself for cleaning the kitchen yesterday....actually cleaning/scrubbing/disinfecting the whole kitchen, the floor and Brina's food and water dishes. I consider that a victory for the day.

-When you have a child that doesn't sleep, somehow it feels like it's all your fault and you are an awful parent. My friend, Val, recently discovered a way to get her daughter to sleep without screaming...just rubbing her back. So simple. I feel like there is a secret that I am not privy to as to why Benjamin doesn't sleep. It's like he's taunting me- "Mommy....if you just did X, I would sleep through the night." Humbling to think maybe he just needs something that I'm not smart enough to figure out. Last night we had a party in Ben's crib at 3:00 a.m. He was awake for 2 hours wanting to play. I tried everything to get him back to sleep but the kid just didn't want to do it. Instead he turned all my efforts into a game or something to laugh at. The mobile which normally puts him to sleep turned into a disco ball. The cribsheet which has sports balls on it (basketball, baseball, football) turned into a fascinating game of mock pick up sticks. Nursing was an excellent opportunity to chew and relieve the pain in the gums. Diaper changing was a prime time to re-paint the walls a light yellowish tone. Last night was a disaster and very very humbling.

- Sleep deprivation leads one to do stupid things. Had I been in my right frame of mind I wouldn't have ruined 7 pounds of brisket meat the other night. And I would have remembered that I had cornbread in the oven instead of letting it bake until it burned and my house reeked of burned bread.

- If all of that wasn't enough....the ultimate humiliation comes in the form of a purse sized bag sitting in my family room that plugs into the wall. Breast pumps=humbling. Breastfeeding is wonderful and a great time of bonding etc. but pumps make you feel like a dairy cow. Moooo. Nothing in the world more embarrassing.....oh wait.....except when the mailman is delivering your mail and sees you using it through your glass front door. Awesome. In my defense, the door was closed far enough that he wouldn't have been able to see, but Brina got excited when he was walking up the steps and nudged it open to sit and watch the daily ritual of the mail delivery and there I was....about 5 feet away, hooked up to the contraption pumping away. Poor mailman.

To end on a positive's all worth it. Don't let this post scare you away from being a parent because it's totally worth it. And it's good....reality, humility, sanctifying.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Steadfast Love

"The Steadfast Love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end- they are new every morning, new every morning; great is your faithfulness, O Lord!"

Those are the words we sang in church this past Sunday. In an email from my friend, I was reminded of how these words ring so true in my life and how that steadfast love has guided me to where I am now. She also reminded me that even though Ben is not yet aware of this steadfast love of God, he is a direct result of it.

I think back on my life, especially since moving to Maryland 4 years ago and am overwhelmed by God's faithfulness to Brian and I. Had circumstances been slightly different, we never would have met, fell in love and gotten married. I wouldn't be able to wake up next to him each morning and go to bed with him at night. I wouldn't be challenged by him to be a better person- to be content with my circumstances and to give unconditional love to those around me. I thank God for Brian and for our marriage.

We have truly seen God's hand and his love for us in the way he has gently led us through several major heath scares since we got married. Our health insurance really only allowed us to receive treatment from Johns Hopkins where Brian is currently a PhD student which meant we received some of the best treatment in the entire country that people fly from all over to receive. Praise God that Brian has been seizure free for over 2 years. Praise God that my bone tumors were benign and my heart irregularities were a misdiagnosis. Each day is a gift....and not one goes by where I don't thank Him for it.

We have seen God's love and faithfulness demonstrated time and time again by members of our family- especially our parents who still continue to be a source of encouragement and aid. They've graciously accepted that even though we aren't living under their roof, we still need parenting.....we still need them. We praise God for our other family- our church family who has been incredibly supportive.

And of course, Ruth was right- Ben doesn't have any concept of God's steadfast love but he is a direct product of it. Ben was not necessarily "planned" but God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave us this amazing gift. Right now, Ben only has a concept of who mommy and daddy are, that he has feet that he can put in his mouth, and that he can drop toys off his highchair and they will be picked up and put back on the tray if he stares at them long enough and starts to cry. But in the vows we made on his baptism day, we promised as his parents to teach him about this love and faithfulness and we will, God helping us :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


We had quite the weekend....tons of fun but super super busy. We were out to dinner on Thursday evening with friends in the neighborhood, at church from 10 a.m. to 5 on Saturday then at friends for dinner that night until 8 then back to church again on Sunday morning. Benjamin (and Brina the dog) were away from home most of the weekend but he was a TROOPER. Brian and I were commenting that he is much more portable now...either he's more portable or we're just getting better at learning how to take him around with us without as much stress. It used to be such an ordeal to get him all packed up, loaded up and take him out, keeping a wary eye on the clock to make sure we got him home before we had "meltdown baby." It still is a lot of work....maybe we're just getting better at it.

Ben was a trooper by day and a terror at night but we kind of expected that since he was out of his routine and bedtime was often later and in a new location. No sleep for the Roelofs' house this weekend. It's amazing though how each night/early morning when I'm so frustrated and so tired trying to get Benj to go back to sleep, I feel like giving up, but then each morning I wake up to this......... and it's all worth it.

Some highlights and funny moments from the past few days...

- Babies, babies, babies. Our friends around the corner welcomed a beautiful baby girl named Claire! Other friends found out they are expecting!

- At church work day (where we were all day Saturday), Ben took a 3 hour long nap in Pastor Norm's office. Ben never sleeps this long...not even at night. This allowed for lots of productive work to get done!

- I heard the best sermon on the book of Revelation that I've ever heard. Blessing.

- To end on a funny a a text message from Brian last night saying "Code brown in the Bumbo." Yup....4 day build up to massive explosion. Outfit ruined, baby in the bath, daddy traumatized.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Slippers and Sleep

First of all- here are the promised pictures of the ADORABLE slippers that my friend, Ruth, knit for Benj. Brian and I have a pair and now so does he!

Sleeping update- not much has changed. We've kind of gone back to our "normal." Normal for us somewhere between 3-6 times up each night. Anything less than that would be a first...and a miracle. We've had many nights up more than that and those are the nights that lead to cranky mornings and exhausting afternoons. We've settled back into normal though and we've learned how to handle and manage normal.

Brian's mom bought us a mobile and that thing has bought us several extra hours of sleep. It has 4 little stuffed animals that turn in a slow circle and lights the create this odd glow on the animal's faces. He loves it. It also plays music. I often find myself wondering what Bach, Beethoven and Mozart would say if they knew that some of their most famous compositions have been turned into lullabies and whimsical songs for children. Almost all of Ben's toys, CD's etc play something classical that has been re-done to suit a much younger audience. The best feature of the mobile- the remote control. Often times when it's 4:00 a.m. and Ben is awake cooing in the crib, we can sneak to the door and pick up the strategically placed remote, hit the button and not even have to go in the nursery. If he saw us, he would want to play, or be picked up, or fed. Now we hit the button and the lights go on, the animals start their circuitous march, the music starts playing and Benjamin is mesmerized. Thanks to Mom Roelofs for buying us some extra sleep.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

CRC Baby

Not too much to say today except to show you pictures of Ben digesting this month's Banner.

He says

"no more Goodnight Moon.....bring on the Banner!"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ode to Grand Rapids

There are several times a year I find myself thinking about and missing Grand Rapids.

- Today I miss Grand Rapids because of the weather. Yes...I can only say that for a few months of the year but today, it's true. I would never say I miss Michigan weather from about October- April. But- I loved Michigan summers. They were warm and green but cool enough to enjoy being outside at the beach or at a park. Maryland summers are too hot and humid. This week we seemed to skip spring and head straight to summer with temps in the upper 80s. During Maryland summers I step into the shower and start washing my hair that is still slightly damp from the day before. I've seriously considered a pageboy haircut just to get the hair up and off my neck. If I put it up while it's wet- it never dries. Neither does my towel- perpetually damp. That never happened in Michigan.

- Today I miss Grand Rapids because of the wonderful people I got to know while living there. My pastor and his wife stayed with us yesterday and we had a wonderful time catching up with them. Ruth is a fantastic knitter and knit Brian and I Calvin slippers before we moved to Maryland. She arrived yesterday with a matching tiny pair for Benjamin (will post pictures tomorrow) I miss having family members so close. I miss my church community at West Leonard CRC.

- I miss living in a smaller city. I used to think that the drive across town (15-20 minutes) from work to school was a long drive. Now I have to drive that far to get to the grocery store and drive almost an hour each way to get to church. Our closest church family lives 20 minutes away. It was nice to have that close sense of community around us. I miss Dutch bingo- the phenomenon of getting yourself in a conversation with another dutch person and finding out that you're either related or know the same people. Never fails.
- I miss the Bagel Beanery on 28th St. I miss breakfast with friends at Real Food Cafe and Wolfgangs. I miss Arnies :)

Anyway- a few musings and things that were running through my head this morning. Ben got a B last night....up about every two hours but went back to sleep quickly. With the warm weather it's hard to find things to do to keep us occupied inside. We tried to go on a walk yesterday but Ben was sweaty and crying, the dog was sweaty and panting and I was just sweaty. Yay for AC.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Benjamin's Workout Regimen

I was standing in line to check out at the grocery store yesterday and noticed that the front of many of the magazines read like this: Fit for summer! Blast belly fat for swimsuit season! and so on so forth. I hated looking at those things before and despise them even more now postpartum with my stretch marks and the dark line down my stomach that I can't seem to get rid of. Benjamin however took these tabloids seriously and has decided it's time to get rid of his thunder thighs in preparation for Maryland summer.

His new workout routine- crunches.
Not sit ups like 6th grade gym class with a partner holding your feet while you sit up with your arms butterflied behind your head....crunches. He grabs his feet and lifts his head as high as he can. Flop. Then up again. Then flop. He gets his ab workout just about anywhere- on the changing table, on the floor in his playgym, in the crib, on your lap... Ben is serious about swimsuit season.
Quick summary of last night... our dear friends from Grand Rapids, Neil and Ruth Jaspserse were in town staying with us. I was praying that he wouldn't be up screaming all night and keep them awake. Ben went down around 7:30 and slept until 10:30. Miracle. He ate and went back to sleep quickly and slept until 2:15! Another miracle. Then he was up at 4- for good......we just can't win.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! I have a love-hate relationship with this time of year. Love it obviously because of the significance and awesomeness of the resurrection. It never gets old to sing about and celebrate Christ's great sacrifice for us and our redemption. I hate how much work there is.....Christmas and Easter are awesome but the busiest time of year for those who work in the church. I love it because it comes in the spring and things are blooming all around, and there are signs of new life. Spring is great.....allergies are not.

I have a love-hate relationship with this weekend for other reasons as well. The weather was beautiful. We had family in town. We got a lot done around the house.

Benjamin.....didn't make for an easy weekend. He is MISERABLE. Poor little dude. First of all, he was constipated for the first part of the weekend. He hadn't pooped in almost 5 days and I could tell he was really uncomfortable. I fed him an entire jar of baby prunes on Friday then immediately went to Costco to buy the next size up diapers in preparation for what I thought would be a massive blowout. Nothing. No poops. He finally cleared the system yesterday (several times) and seems to be ok now.

He's also in pain from his teeth. Benjamin is happy. During the day he never really cries unless he is really hungry or really tired but this weekend, Ben was screaming....and screaming.....and screaming. It was obvious what was wrong and it was obvious he was in a lot of pain. Each night this weekend got progressively worse and worse. Last night, I think I was awake more than I was asleep. Longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep last night was about 90 minutes. Longest stretch this whole weekend- less than 2 hours. I know most of my postings are positive saying that being a parent is fantastic...and it is.... but I won't blow sunshine up your you know whats and pretend that it's all fun and games all the time. Parenting is hard. Right's very hard. We're feeling quite defeated in our house right now. Defeated because of lack of sleep, defeated because poor Benjamin is in pain and we have exhausted all options trying to help him. Hoping that Ben returns to his happy, screeching self soon.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Precious Moments

First of all- sorry to everyone who either fell for the April Fools joke or who choked/sputtered before realizing it was a prank :) No we are not pregnant we are not planning to get pregnant anytime in the near future. Ben will get an Anneke someday (what we would have named him if he was a girl) but we told him he has to sleep through the night and be potty-trained first. That's good motivation for him :)
Our church had our Maundy Thursday service last night. We don't have a service on Good Friday, just on M.Thursday. I got home late and was quite exhausted after a crazy day. Despite being ready to collapse on the floor with exhaustion, I found myself in a somewhat wound up state. Have you ever experienced that? You're so tired you're overly energetic? Cleaning the house or organizing closets like a sleep crazed zombie? That was me. Ben started squawking around 10:30 and since it wasn't time to eat yet, Brian went in to settle him down, give him his num-nummers (pacifier), rest Albus on his shoulder and Lovey in the crook of his arm and shhhh him back to sleep. I walked over to the nursery door and watched the nightly, sometimes hourly ritual when Brian motioned for me to come in. We moved the rocking chair right near the crib so at least we can sit down and not have to bend over the crib constantly. He got up and let me sit down and gently placed my hand on Ben's chest. CALM. Here was this incredibly warm little body rhythmically moving up and down, breathing steadily and peacefully. Precious moment. All was right with the world and was just as it should be. This perfect little person contentedly deep in sleep. I will miss this. I'll miss watching his little body in his animal jammies sleeping in a crib that is still to big for him with his arms in the "touchdown" position. can't halt progress. It's exciting to see Ben grow but still....sad to think that there won't be moments exactly like this forever. There will be plenty of precious moments, but not this moment.
And on that note...nap time is officially over. I hear cooing and thumping coming from the crib upstairs. Have a wonderful Easter weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

5 Months Old!

Ben is veeeery excited today! Today we can officially announce the impending arrival of his sibling later this year!!!!!

Yeeeeah.....check your calendars today people :) Happy April 1st :)

Yesterday Benjamin hit the 5 month mark! Several times throughout the day I found myself thinking "5 months ago I was doing this....." and reliving his birth. Of course since I was in labor forever (or what seemed like forever), most of the day I was remembering labor, labor, still more labor, botched epidural, more labor, push, push, push, BEN!!! I was looking at his feet and legs as he jumped in his jumper remembering the feeling of him kicking me and kicking me so hard that my water broke. Now he jumps and kicks so hard he can almost break daddy's water when he's on his lap :)

It's hard to believe he's already 5 months old. I can't remember what life was like without him around. It's hard to believe how much he's changed in 5 months. It's hard to believe I haven't slept a full night in 5 months.

Speaking of changes....a new one has developed that we're not too fond of in our household. The "Adios Tigers" incident last week seems to be a new skill that Ben is honing. Today we are on what Brian and I have now labeled "Poop Watch." Turns out it wasn't just the bananas....Ben is just no longer clearing his system it's every 3 days. Too bad he's gone through probably an entire box of wipes, two outfits and a changing table pad in the process of discovering this. So today is day 3...and we are on poop watch. Half joking around, I considered fashioning him an outfit out of a plastic bag that he'll wear until the deed is done. It didn't work because he was too fascinated with the crinkling sound and was trying to eat the bag. My dear friend is coming over to watch him for a few hours today.....and I'm PRAYING that she doesn't have to deal with the mess. She's 39 weeks pregnant and I fear that would send her into labor.

So anyway- we had a sleepless night last night with lots of teething pain. Today we're on poop watch. Today is Maundy Thursday and starts a crazy weekend for me. Unfortunately I found out at the doctor yesterday that I have a sinus infection that has caused an ear infection as well. Crazy in our house right now. More to come!