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, May 27, 2010


Starting this morning with a video :) I think he'll be musical...or at least like music!

Comment from my Mom....and a photo she sent to me after my post the other day

"It's true that you were almost inseparable from your lovey, Blankey. In fact, you were one of those little ones who would stand next to the washing machine then the dryer waiting for your friend. You would plead so miserably, that I'd finally let you have Blankey while still damp. Since you sucked on Blankey incessantly, he required lots of washing which led to his becoming grey and yes, almost disintegrating. However, Blankey was not thrown out, but retired with dignity, knowing he was much loved despite his appearance. I brought Blankey out of retirement and emailed you a picture to prove he is still with us. Love, Mom "

A few updates from our neck of the woods....

- Tonight we leave for New York to see Grandma and Grandpa Roelofs! We're taking off around dinner time, planning to stop and put Ben down to sleep, and we're hoping he'll sleep the rest of the ride. Looking forward to a much needed time of rest and relaxation with family!

- We've got a scooter.....Ben has discovered how to scoot around backwards. No forward movement yet but he can scoot himself backwards around the room. Goodbye immobility....hello mobility.

- Hours after my last post (sorry for the depressing nature of that post by the way), Brian called saying he had been in a car accident. Praise God he wasn't hurt- nobody was hurt....except the car :( Things like that remind me of how fragile life is...can't take it for granted.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Darn Lemons

It's been a rough last couple of days. Rough all around.....not one particular thing....just rough. This blog has kind of turned into my diary of sorts so not only do you all get to read about Ben, but you get a glimpse into the rest of our lives as well. lift my own spirits, here's my attempt at making lemonade out of the lemons I've been handed lately.

Instead of complaining about X, today I will choose to be......

- Happy that I don't have a sleep disorder where I actually got this little sleep for the rest of my life.

- Thankful for clouds because Ben will actually sit in the stroller and go for a walk if the sun isn't shining (more on that come later).

- Glad that there are foods like Top Ramen and frozen veggies that cost practically nothing...or we might not be eating.

- Grateful that I have a job...many do not

- Excited that I'm burning tons of extra calories because I have to pump around the clock to attempt to work out my totally plugged milk ducts.

- Thankful for loud radios that can drown out screaming babies when necessary

- Glad that Brian is making progress in his PhD program

- Grateful for God's promises of eternal life with him without pain or sickness

- Thankful that we actually have cars to take us where we need to go and mechanics that can fix them when they break

- Thankful that the pain in my leg is a result of a bone biopsy that was negative

Giving myself some much needed perspective. All that has been "rough" about the past few weeks can be turned into something to grateful for-so today I choose to focus on the positive.

Tomorrow I'll tell you why Ben should be the newest star in the "Twilight series....."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lovin' Lovey

When I was young, my constant companion and best friend was "blankey." Blankey was a white blanket (used to be the time my mom finally got rid of it I think it probably was more grayish than white) with red trim and little red hearts. Blankey took quite a beating and weathered the storm of my infancy and toddler years like a champ until he was finally retired- or disintegrated...not sure which happened first. I slept with blankey, I chewed on blankey, I think I remember an incident of throwing up in the barber shop and I'd put good money on the fact that blankey was there. I'm not sure how many times he survived the washing machine, being dragged around the floor and the great outdoors, but blankey was invincible.

Well.....Ben now has "lovey." Daddy had pound puppies, Mommy had blankey and Ben has his lovey. Granted, Ben isn't old enough to take lovey around with him during the day or even realize that lovey isn't there when he's downstairs playing with toys. I'm not sure he even has object permanence yet....except for lovey. Lovey is always in his crib, waiting for Ben when it's naptime and bedtime. As soon as we put Ben in the crib, he reaches for lovey. If we don't give it to him, he'll grope around in search for his "sleep associated best friend." He strokes his face with lovey, he has started to chew on/suck on lovey instead of a pacifier, he even falls asleep with lovey on his face (don't soon as he's asleep we go in and remove it from his face). Now that's he's rolling both directions and is sleeping on his stomach more, he falls asleep with his face on top of lovey. The other day I picked him up after his nap when he had been face down on lovey and there was a giant star imprint on his face from lovey's embroidered star. Lovey left his mark on Ben....

Lovey has already survived several hardships in his short life....just like blankey. I figure every stuffed animal/blanket/toy better be able to withstand some serious abuse or it will never survive. For those who don't know....lovey had surgery several months back. He came through his "rattle-ectomy" without a problem and is happily enjoying his new silenced life. He survived trauma #2 a few weeks back and I think/hope he's no worse for the wear. Lovey and Albus were getting kind of gross....they both get chewed on all the time and they were both kind of crunchy and crusty so it was time to give them both a bath. I looked at the tags....machine washable- so I threw them in with the rest of Ben's laundry. However....there should have been a surgeon general's warning tag on lovey stating "once rattle has been removed, MUST suture shut completely. Carter's company is not responsible for washing machine destruction post-op."

Yup....I went downstairs to move all the wash to the dryer later that morning and when I opened the lid, it looked like there were the dead white, wispy dandelions covering Ben's clean laundry. Lovey had NOT been stitched shut and all the stuffing came out of his head in the washing machine was was now overtaking my laundry. I'm glad Ben was not there to see lovey's remains. I managed to pick the stuffing out of the washing machine....laid it out on a paper towel to dry and then stuffed it back in lovey's head. Since I unfortunately don't sew....and probably don't even have a needle and thread anywhere in my house, lovey still has not been stitched up but at least I'll know next time to remove stuffing before washing him. He's no worse for the wear, and as we speak, Ben is happily sleeping in the crib with his pal.

And no....I don't still sleep with blankey. Yes Brian still sleeps with his pound puppy....but that pound puppy is now Brina :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Curious Ben

I thought I'd experiment with video :) Above you'll see our curious little dude who is doing everything he can to grab the camera. He's becoming more and more aware and he knows exactly what he grab everything he isn't supposed to :)

And no...that isn't all drool on his shirt. There's an ice cube in the little mesh bag on his highchair tray. Good for the gums, cold is fun, lots of wet outfits....but mommy and baby are happy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Know You're a Mother When......

Short post.....but here are a few "You Know You're a Mother When....." moments from my day today.

You know you're a mother when.....

- The first email you see in your inbox in the morning is "Baby Poop Photos: What's Normal, What's Not?"

- You try to feed your baby several different fruits in the feeding bag but he rejects them all after taking a small you throw it in a blender and make yourself a smoothie.

- You don't get a shower until after dinner and when you finally do, more of your hair ends up in the drain than what is still on your head.

- You're folding sheets and find baby socks in a pillowcase.

- It's 7:30 p.m. and your work day has just begun (had Benj all day from morning until bedtime....barely napped).

Time to work!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chaos and Calm

As I said in the last post I wrote last has been a bit stressful and chaotic lately. I'm dealing with a fair bit of stress at work right now which has been difficult and is definitely taking a toll on me spiritually, emotionally and physically. Our weekend was but crazy. Monday morning rolled around and Brian and I went stumbling downstairs in the direction of the coffee pot. He turned and said to me "Did we even have a weekend???"

Friday night we actually got to go out and have fun which was WONDERFUL. When we first moved to this area, we knew nobody and definitely didn't know anyone in the neighborhood. Now, thanks to our dog, we have lots of great friends. Dogs and kids have a way of bringing people together....a great way to make friends. Anyway- we went out to this place called the Volleyball House on Friday night with some neighborhood friends and played 3+ hours of intense volleyball. Ben was at home sound asleep with the babysitter and we got out for a night of exercise and fun. Saturday we got to see my uncle from Arizona who we never get to see! He was in town speaking and stayed the night with us. We love having family around!

Sunday was busier than normal and came on the tail end of an awful night with Ben. I'm starting to think that maybe the kid just isn't ready for solid food even though he's 6 and a half months old. He liked the soup but really doesn't like anything else. I gave him blueberry baby yogurt which he seemed to really like but it must have bothered his stomach because he didn't sleep well at all. Granted he woke up once for an awful dirty diaper and once because he was cold but I think it was the yogurt. It's a catch 22 because I don't think he can go longer than 3-4 hours without eating when he's not taking in any solid food so we're up more at night. But it's waaayyy too much work to get him to eat anything....not worth it. I'm actually starting to worry I'll be the mother who is breastfeeding her 5 year old because he simply won't eat solid food. It's like how the websites say that preschoolers must be potty trained.....does that mean they have to weaned too? Sorry school for you.

Yes...Saturday night was awful and Sunday was really really busy. We got to see good friends who were in town just for the weekend which was awesome. We feel like we got jipped when they moved because we just had started hanging out and realizing how much we liked them....then they moved. We had breakfast Sunday morning with them then headed to church. We were at church until 2:30 because of a BBQ after the service. It took us almost 2 hours to get home from church because of awful traffic- so all in all we were gone from home for over 8 hours. The last two hours were spent holding a fussy Ben in the backseat of the car while we inched our way down 95. I know you're not supposed to take your kid out of the carseat while driving but when he is screaming and banging his head against the side of the carseat and the car is moving slower than I would be if I was walking, I figured it was fine. We got home....I crashed. The stress and chaos of my life came pouring down on me and I just crashed. I lost my temper with Brian...lost my cool with Ben....yelled at the dog for simply being the dog. It wasn't pretty.

That night/morning when I went in to feed Ben I held him in my arms rocking him looking down at the little (kind of little) bundle in my arms who was happily eating, eyes closed, looking content and peaceful. I found myself talking to him quietly- apologizing for my attitude about parenting, apologizing for getting so frustrated with him earlier, apologizing for letting myself get so stressed out that he was starting to be affected. We sat there together and rocked for quite a while. After whispering "I'm sorry Benj......Mummy loves you" about a hundred times I was ready to put him down in his crib and let him continue in sleep. I was just about to stand up and he reached his little chubby hand out and touched my face. It was as if he was saying "It's ok...I forgive you." That one act brought immediate calm and tranquility to my soul. Regardless of the storms around me, I know I've got it good in my wonderful little family.

We had a great day together yesterday, Benj and me. Then we welcomed Daddy home with a nice family dinner. And yes....Brina got extra pets as well :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Caption contest 3

And the winner from caption contest picture number 2: "In this interesting example of dual mesmerization the movement of the objects has simultaneously hypnotized the father and his child." I'm going with the home-cooking and my Dad wins! Amy - very creative with the Family Guy reference, but one fatal flaw - Ben does not sleep, so the ZZZZZZZ at the end does not fit :-). Dan - good effort but you just won, so you don't get another just yet. Irene, I think you captured the look on his face well, but the caption is a bit too short, and Aunt Sue, yours is a bit too long. Also, I hope that he will like his studying and exams.... And Katie, I'm afraid you aren't going to win for the same reason I'm not going to - it just wouldn't be fair, even if yours is funny. Hopefully Ben won't be throwing the animals out of the crib anytime soon though.

Alright - thanks for the increased participation and excellent display of creativity. Hopefully we can get up to 10 captions for the next one. Here is your subject matter people (with my primer as always):

"This mobile thing is cooler than I thought... at least cooler than my conehead mother"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Food Snob

Benjamin is on his way to becoming either a food critic or a chef. Call him Alton Brown, call him Wolfgang Puck.....but Benjamin Roelofs apparently does have a sophisticated palate already at his young age.

It's amazing to me that regardless of how crappy I feel, Ben always has a way of making me feel better. Yes....sometimes he is difficult and cranky and that leads to me feeling crappy but he always has a way of salvaging the day by doing something that either makes me crack up or at least be able to take a step back and get some perspective. It has been a really hard week.....very trying and exhausting and I'm glad it's almost done. Yesterday was the hardest day of an already difficult week. I was totally stressed out, Ben was simply not happy doing anything yesterday and demanded all the attention I could muster up and the dog was irritating me to no end. I went on a pleasant walk with a friend which was a wonderful break from the chaos but the day on the whole was not a good one.

I was trying to feed Ben solids in the late afternoon. I've been super frustrated with this lately as well. Yes he does better with the more manageable spoons but he really only eats rice cereal plain and maybe prunes on a good day. He won't even eat the bananas that he devoured so rapidly a few months ago. I've tried just about every fruit and vegetable that baby food companies make. I've tried several brands of commercial food as well as homemade. I've tried baby yogurt. NOTHING. He makes faces and gags and then looks at me like a wounded puppy. So I'd given up and was only giving him rice cereal and occasionally baby oatmeal. I tried several fruit/veggie combos yesterday and he was doing his blech/gag routine so I was about to throw in the towel. I left him in his highchair and decided to eat myself while he was contentedly chewing on his sippy cup. I pulled out a carton of Trader Joe's Butternut Squash soup (you all know exactly where this is going). I heated some on the stove, threw in some fresh spinach and veggies and had quite the tasty lunch. Ben kept staring at me eating and was actually moving his mouth like he was chewing while I was eating. I looked at the ingredients on the carton- butternut squash puree, water, garlic powder, onion, etc. I figured "what the heck......worth a shot." I cooled a bit and put it on the baby spoon and shoved it in his bird like open mouth. LOVED IT. He started bouncing excitedly in his high chair squealing. I gave him more and got the same reaction. So Ben ate a small bowl of butternut squash soup.

This made my day and put a smile on my face. I again realized an important life application lesson from my son- no matter how hard you try, you can't change a just have to adapt to how they function and learn to appreciate them for who they are. Maybe this lesson is a bit profound considering I was dealing with pureed fruits and vegetables, but there is a grain of truth- Ben has his own personality and is going to be who God has created him to be regardless of how hard I try and get him to do it my way. Lesson of the week that is applicable to parenting and my life in general right now. Thank you Benjamin.

Oh.....I do have to say that if he keeps up this diet of rice and butternut squash soup for the rest of his life, he'll never get rid of these legs :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I would like to think that I was just a perfect and well behaved child growing up who naturally did not disobey her parents and naturally was inclined to do good. Of course that's a lie. John Calvin and other theologians have written entire books about how depraved I am, as well as the entire human race. When I was young, my good behavior was the result of my strong desire to avoid being disciplined. I was never spanked as a child but would get my shoulder pinched and would have to go in time out. The shoulder pinching hurt like crazy and the time outs were boring and under stimulating for a very social child. When I got older, time outs turned into groundings and having things taken away. As a high schooler, the very idea of my driving freedom being taken away or not being able to talk on AOL instant messenger was usually enough to motivate me to behave. I'm sure my parents are reading this right now and cringing at the many times that the threat of discipline was not enough to keep my sinful self from getting into trouble.

Well Mom and Dad.....and all other moms and dads out there.......justice comes in the form of procreation. Your naughty children give birth to naughty children and you can watch as they struggle and go through the same challenges you did when you were parenting.

Ben is only 6 and a half months so clearly he can't be getting into any serious kind of trouble yet. He doesn't understand the concept of right and wrong and has very little control over anything in his life. It's interesting though because as he's developing and becoming slightly more independent, the act of discipline is beginning. When we take something away from him or don't do what he wants, he's starting to cry. I am starting to really understand what my parents meant when they said "we're doing this because we love you....we don't like doing it, but we are doing it because we love you." I never totally understood that but I'm getting the feeling I will soon enough. Ben, no, no! don't eat's not good for you. Ben, no, no! Don't bite mommy. People won't like you later in life if you bite them. It's not nice to hurt other people. Ben, we are going to let you fuss in your crib because you need to sleep and it's bed time. Ben, no no! Don't fling yourself out of your bumbo seat! It will hurt!

I know this is only the beginning of saying no to him. I know this is only the beginning of disciplining him because we love him and want what is best for him. One more important lesson that parenting is teaching me day by day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Warning: This blog may contain content unsuitable for the immature. This is a PG post for my normally G rated blog. Read at your own risk.

Lint rollers....they are good for many things. They clean up the dog hair that is perpetually on my couch, chairs, me. They get crumbs off the dining room table cloth. They're great for the times I accidentally put a nicer article of clothing in with the fluffy white towels and said clothing comes out "fluffed." I found a new use for my little blue lint roller that I will forever be grateful for: unblocking clogged milk ducts.

Oh the things we mothers go through for our children.....if you have ever breastfed a baby, you'll know the pain and agony of having a clogged duct. If you are male, consider yourself very lucky you will never have to experience this. It's hard to lift your arm....hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. I lost more sleep to this darn duct on Sunday night than I did to my insomniac child. I woke up Monday in quite a bit of pain and was really worried the duct was infected which is then called "Mastitis." If the duct is infected, you have to go in to the doctor and go on antibiotics and can lead to a whole host of problems including being forced to wean your child earlier than one might have planned. I woke up feeling awful but had no temperature which was a good sign. I called the doctor and they said to try really hard to unclog and call immediately if I spiked a fever. The ways to unclog a blocked milk duct: heat (hot shower, heating pad, etc), rest (this would happen on the busiest, most stressful work week I've had in a while), pressure/massage (OUCH).

So I spent most of yesterday obsessing about my clogged duct trying everything in my power to work out the clot. I got home from work and was determined to set it free. I applied a warm washcloth and was going to get in the shower after attempting to massage the thing out. My hands were sore and I wasn't getting anywhere except for more and more pain when I had a thought- ROLLING it out. Initially I thought of the rolling pin housed under my stove in the kitchen. That was far too big and bulky since we registered for the mother of all rolling pins for our wedding and received it as a gift. That inspired the thought of the lint roller- GENIUS. So note to self and all other mothers out there- when ducts are clogged, turn to the lint roller which is to be used while standing in a burning hot shower.

So needless to say, I am lump and lint free :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday!

This year I got to buy 6 cards- 4 grandmothers, 1 mother in law, 1 mom. All of them have profoundly influenced my life, Brian's life and now Benjamin's life as well. So thank you to each of you for the amazing examples you have set for us and for the wonderful upbringing and instruction in the faith. What a blessing you have been- we praise God for you!

Our little family had a nice day together yesterday. It seems like we very rarely get to actually spend much time together with the 3 of us. It's ironic because Brian and I spend a lot more time together now than before Benjamin was born. Our lives have calmed down and we spend most evenings together. But yesterday we had a lovely day. It was nice to celebrate Mother's Day at church with our friends and family there, then we spent a bit of time together at the National Zoo before I headed off to play piano for an evening service. In all reality we were only at the zoo for about 35-40 minutes because that's how long Ben lasted before going into meltdown mode. He was totally ambivalent about the zoo and the animals, but at least it was nice for the parents to get out. We got to see several animals and exhibits before booking it out of the zoo and down Connecticut Ave to our car with a screaming baby thrashing around in the jogger and people staring at us like "what is wrong with that poor child????"

Having a child can be somewhat isolating at's hard to take a baby to a group setting where there are no other children around. I feel bad when Ben starts shrieking or when we have a massive "code brown" situation that needs tending to in somebody's living room. Ben is not a great addition to adult social engagements....that's why the zoo was a perfect outing. I don't think I've ever seen that many strollers in such a small area of land. Everyone is shrieking, pointing, crying and yelling.

So we had a nice Mother's Day. Thanks to a wonderful husband who made a nice breakfast, bought me awesome new running clothes and spent the day hanging out with us despite the presentation he had to work on for today. Hope you all had a wonderful day too!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

1st Winner and 2nd Picture...

And we're off! I'd like to thank the three brave initial participants. It was hard to judge between the three. Alan, yours is getting thrown out right away though because you wrote about scoring with my Mom technically. Can't go for it, I'm sorry. Mel, I hope you'll forgive me, but I'm going with Dan's because Ben does chew on his fingers all the time - I never thought of him trying to convince me that they tasted good though.... So, good job Dan!

I'm having a hard time choosing a second photo because there are so many to pick from. I'm going to put DSC_0391 down here even though it's not the greatest quality and my facial expression is not too flattering - I'm doing this because surely it can bring out some excellent creative comedic value. I'll start with something simple: "Dad, you're a terrible handyman... but thanks for putting together the mobile anyway."

Friday, May 7, 2010

Let the Captions Come

Hello All,

While I have been sitting back like the rest of you and enjoying Katie's excellent writing and creativity in narrating her experiences with our little boy, I thought I would try to contribute something to our blog at last. It dawned on me as I was looking at some of our pictures of Ben that most of them still say something like DSC_0089 or something silly like that. I thought it was time for that to change. I may try to contribute more to the blog later on, but for now, let's start with a captions contest... every day or every other day we're going to put a picture on here and you guys can try to come up with the best caption for it. I'll add that to my picture collection on the computer instead of the old DSC_0098 label we've got currently...

So, Day 1 of the captions contest. Formerly DSC_00789, renamed Grandma and Ben 6 for the time being, this photo desperately needs some help. I submit the following, "Help! I've got a Grandma stuck on my face!":

Let us know what you think now that you can all comment!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Feeding Fumbles

My friend, Val, wrote a beautiful blog about how too many mothers say "oh I'm an awful parent because I let my child do such and such." Or, "I'm an awful parent because X." She encouraged her readers to "stop the rampant negative self image problems and start trusting and loving ourselves in front of our kids." Beautiful. I agree 150%. Many mothers are negative and I know I'm guilty of it more than most. I often times feel like I'm a bad mom because of things that happen that are out of my control or because I don't spend enough time with Ben. Her blog encouraged me to change my attitude and start dwelling on the fact that I'm a good mother to Benjamin.

I am a good mother to him- but I am clearly a first time mother who does make mistakes. Instead of thinking I'm an awful parent, I'll turn those mistakes first into learning experiences and second....humor. So here's a humorous story from our house the past few days about a poor baby and his flummoxed mother. If Ben and I were to have a conversation, this is how it would have gone.....

Mom: Ben, why do you not like solid foods? They are delicious? Mommy has been trying to get you to eat them consistently for 2 months but you just aren't such a big fan. Sometimes you'll eat a whole bowl, but most days it's pulling teeth (or getting teeth in your world) to get you to eat one spoonful. What can mommy do to help?

Ben: Well Mother....the reason I won't eat solids is twofold: 1- when you bought my baby spoons, you failed to read the packaging before throwing them in your shopping cart. If you would have taken a few more minutes to carefully look, you would have seen that the spoons you bought me are for 10+ months and are CLEARLY too big for my mouth. 2- Vegetables are gross (except butternut squash). Fruit is gross (except prunes). All I wanted was baby oatmeal or rice cereal with milk. My immature digestive system is just not capable of handling such things.

Mom: So if I try those things, you'll eat solids?

Ben: Affirmative.

Mom: Wow.....ok thanks for filling me in. Now....what about getting you to sleep through the night????

Ben: Mwahahahahahahaha

Not kidding.....I bought ginormous spoons and have been trying to feed Ben with them for 2 months. It's like shoving a ladle in your mouth. Poor kid. And my pediatrician said to go ahead and try veggies, fruits, yogurt etc. So I did....perhaps I was a bit zealous in my concoctions and he was about as big a fan of those as the city of Boston is of Johnny Damon. I tried plain cereal the other day and he chowed down. 3 days in a row now....eating cereal like a champ.

So yes, I am a good mother to Ben. I love him, and take care of him the best I can....but clearly my mothering is depraved. At least I'm still very new at it. He's no worse for the wear I'm sure and I'll be able to laugh and share these stories with him later.

By the way, several people alerted me that they couldn't post comments on this blog....we changed out privacy settings and now you can! Post away!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Firsts- they are so exciting, they are so terrifying, they definitely are an adventure. Think back if you can to the first time you drove a car, or the first time you tried a new kind of food, your first kiss....all part of the adventure.

Today I'm jealous again. After two posts in a row about being jealous, I'm starting to wonder if I should look in the mirror to make sure I don't have green eyes yet. Today I am jealous of several of my friends who are expecting children for the first time either through natural birth or adoption. I know this sounds totally crazy because after all, I JUST had one and have been blogging about him almost daily for the past few months. Why be jealous when I have a wonderful child right in front of me? I am jealous that they get to go through the "first time parent" thing. Those are firsts I know I will never get back again and never get to do again and they were amazing. That first realization of knowing that we were going to be parents, the first sonogram, getting to tell your family and friends your good news, buying your first maternity clothes that are still wayyy too big and you think/hope/pray you'll never be big enough to fit into them. There's the first time you feel the baby kicking, the first baby gifts you buy/receive, setting up the nursery in anticipation for the baby's arrival. There is the first contraction (makes you think you'll never do this ever again), the first time you hear the wonderful sound of a tiny cry, the first time your child grabs your finger. Yes I know I'll get to do many of these things again when/if we have another child, but there's something so special and so magical about the first time.

I know I'll get many more "firsts" with Benjamin- first steps, first day of school....hopefully a first night where he actually sleeps through the night :) So amidst my jealousy, I'm excited for what is to come with Benjamin and will fondly look back on that wonderful experience. For all you out there who have yet to experience them....when you do- ENJOY THEM :)

By the way- Mom left today....and I am jealous of the neighbors again :(

Monday, May 3, 2010

It Takes a Village....

At the end of this month, it will be 3 years ago that we move into our house. We are in this quiet little pocket of homes in the Baltimore/Washington corridor that actually almost reminds me of Midwest suburbia. There are lots of trees and well kept yards, lots of children running around and riding bikes up and down the street and local stores right around the corner. It's lovely and we've really enjoyed living here. We have strange neighbors....on all sides. The 86 year old man next door takes too much pride in being naked, the nice couple next door to us actually were the ones who sold us our house, the man across the street to the right is some kind of FBI agent. Then there's the "fun house." Brian and I have spent years trying to figure out who actually lives there, and who is visiting. It's not a huge house, but it seems like 20 people live in there. We see people of all ages coming and going all the time and it's really hard to determine who belongs with who. We did recently find out that there are several generations living in that house and six kids ranging in age from college to 3 years old.

While it seems a bit odd to have that many people under one roof, there are many days I find myself looking across the street, envious of what they have going. Lots of kids....lots of parents and grandparents to help raise them. There's something very beautiful about having the whole family under one roof and something that seems very wrong about how far flung most families are today. It is so common, especially in the DC area it seems, to be far away from family. Parents have to fly all the way across the country to see their kids and grand kids.....doesn't make much sense. I know I'm not one to talk since Brian and I are living out here in Baltimore with one set of parents who are a 6 hour car ride away and the other set a 4 hour flight. It makes me sad that we're so far apart and I really do envy those who family close by....maybe not as close by as the house across the street, but you get the point.

It's been wonderful having my parents in town. My dad actually left yesterday but my mom is here until Wednesday. Ben has had a wonderful time with "Grammy and Grampy" and will be VERY sad to see them go. There are so many things that Ben does that I can't describe in writing, tell them over the phone or even show them on Skype...they just have to be here to witness and experience it. It's been wonderful and I'm not looking forward to being jealous of the family across the street again.