Archive for January, 2007

January 30, 2007

Plans for Ben’s birthday are coming along nicely, it’s good to hear that so many people are coming. We are thinking of the best way to keep Ben healthy and un-overwhelmed at the gathering….seems like the smartest way to do this is to prevent Ben-passing. So I hope you all understand if we parents and Ben’s grandparents hog all the snuggle and holding time. It is easier on him all the way around, with cold and flu season being as it is. We got a great gift from a family friend…a “first birthday” outfit for Ben to wear. I can’t wait to see him in it.

We went up north this weekend to Grandma and Grandpa Corliss’ river house. Ben traveled well and had a great time. Scott and I did a little walking around, some with my mom and a little without. It felt good to be outside. The snow was beautiful and deep up north, pretty and fun to walk in. Ben did great in the car. We expected him to nap all the way home (we left at nap time, thinking that would be a good strategy) but for the first two hours home he sang and laughed at himself in the back seat. He is so much more animated lately…grabbing for things, laughing more freely, using his voice all the time. It is so much fun to see and hear. We met another family in the area whose daughter has Down Syndrome and Ben and I went for a playdate yesterday at thier house. Ben and his little friend A had a good conversation and she happily shared her toys with him. So much fun.

I have trouble getting Ben bundled for the outdoors. The first problem is that he sweats like crazy, so putting him in too many layers makes him miserable. I generally put a thick hat on him along with a cozy playsuit, then pile two blankets on him in the carseat. I can remove these in the car or throw them over the carseat when we go in the outdoors. Yesterday I tried this carseat cover that my mom gave us. We used it a couple times last year…it has fleece on the underside and a windproof nylon on the outside. There is a flap that covers Ben’s face so I can lift it and see him when we are inside. It works great, but he is so tall now that it hits the top of his head and bothers him. So here I am walking into Costco and Ben flips the cover up and sings at me, getting a draft of cold air inside the carseat. I flip it down and immediately see a tiny finger protrude and stroke the outside nylon. I shove that back inside too, and both hands come out waving trying to “see” what’s outside. I think that we should just stick with blankets and not going out on the bitter days for now.

A few pictures

Bits and Pieces

January 18, 2007

It has been a crazy busy week, Ben and I have been all over seeing and doing. He has rolled again a few times each day. He tends to get half way, then hang out wondering if it’s worth going all the way over. He can roll best from his tummy to his back, although he regularly hangs out on his side when put onto his back now. It makes diaper changes a challenge….nothing that any other mom hasn’t experienced, I”m sure. 🙂 He has been so happy lately. We went out for lunch yesterday and he waved and flirted with more people than was absolutley necessary. 🙂 Love it.
Got confirmation that both Purlewe and Hunterholstien are coming in for Ben’s birthday week. It promises to be a fantastic time. For those of you who don’t know, we all met when we were sixteen on a Girl Scout trip to Germany, and we’re still in touch. I can’t wait to see them.
Stay warm everyone!!!

WOW!!!

January 14, 2007

So I”m on the computer, and as I’m typing, Scott is playing with Ben. I am talking to Scott and after about ten minutes of me talking to him, he says to me “oh, by the way, Ben just rolled over”…AND I MISSED IT. But I saw it happen again afterward. That’s right, folks, Ben has rolled. 🙂 How exciting.

On to the news that has our house in a buzz…We are having a HUGE party for Ben’s first birthday…or as I am saying, we’re keeping the details simple (coffee and cake) and the guest list long. All of Ben’s admirers are invited. If you would like to come, please email us (randallkc@gmail.com) and we’ll happily give you details. We are not posting the details here for obvious reasons (the internet is not as anonymous as we would all like to think), but we are going against the rules of etiquette here and hoping word travels a little by word of mouth.

More later….

the noisy lump of fur

January 9, 2007

Last night Scott and I witnessed our first “meeting of the minds”…that is, the first prolonged period where Ben and the cat (Tas) were in close contact. Ben has, lately, been quite enamored of the cat. He loves to watch him walk and cry for attention…you can see Ben’s brain trying to figure out how to get over and check out that big lump of fur. Tas crawled up in my lap last night, and Ben was in Scott’s lap. We could see Ben look at Scott, then at me, and he got all excited…smiled and giggled. We inched the two closer together. Pretty soon Ben was petting, grabbing, patting and alternately smiling like crazy and Scott and I…”Look you guys, I got it!”. Tas was amazingly mellow and put up with a lot from Ben. We had a good two or three minutes of contact. Seems like it is true that pets will put up with way more from a kid than they will from an adult. Too bad we don’t have any pictures….but there was no one to take them!

I know that I keep saying Ben is eating like mad, but the truth is…he eats exactly what he wants to. He has gotten a bit pickier than we like lately. If he could eat fruit and yogurt for every meal, we’d be fine, but of course that is not going to happen. He loves peas, too, so those are always good. Every other veggie is touch and go… sometimes he’ll eat it, sometimes he will turn his head and refuse to even take a bite. Right now we are in the stage where we offer him his dinner (always veggies for dinner), and if he eats it, fine. If not, then we move right on to his bottle and don’t offer him another option. Even things that he used to love (like squash) are now a no go. I figure we’ll do a couple days of peas, then reintroduce some other things. I don’t want to get in the habit of “traveling” from food to food if he refuses something at a meal. At this point, I”m more worried about myself learning to give in than I am in Ben learning that he can get what he wants. I figure this is good practice for me learning how to be a good parent. haha. Sometimes Ben will eat some chicken…if I mix it in with some peaches. We are working on decreasing the amount of peaches and increasing the amount of chicken. It’s a problem because of the texture as well as the stronger taste. Yesterday Ben ate some shreds of cheese, and really enjoyed it. We just keep working on this food thing. I figure that the more variety we offer Ben, he will develop good food habits from that. I hope anyway!!!

We have a big week this week….but only one “appointment” each day. The thing is, if I want Ben to be “on” or to be tolerant and happy when we go to an appointment (especially physical therapy), we have to be careful not to over schedule. We spend our tuesdays laying low in the morning so that he has lots of energy for therapy….if we do too much, even run errands in the morning, then he’s all tired when we get to school. It’s hard to remember sometimes how easily he will tire out, because Ben is so mellow all the time. The problem is, when he is done, it’s over and you won’t get any more out of him…Ben will cry and nap and that’s it. I really try not to be fiendish about his schedule, but for Ben, it is very important that he gets his naps every day. If he does, then we can do a lot more things..and he has a lot more energy. Lots of this is just normal baby stuff, but lots is also just Ben stuff. As he gets older, I really hope we strike that balance between him getting enough time to be a kid and realizing when he needs to rest. I don’t want to shelter Ben or make him believe that he can’t do what all kids do. It’s hard!

Ben had another haircut this weekend…well, half of one….I need to finish up some of the trimming, but he got cranky and fed up with me. We’ll do that soon.

I forgot to post that Ben had an adventure over the holidays…he spent a couple hours with Aunt Karen and her friend when Scott and I went to a wedding….it was all good until the diaper incident….I’ll let you figure that out…but it did involve a particularly foul nappie that was a complete surprise to Karen and Jackie. Lucky for Ben, Scott and I arrived to pick him up at that moment, and were able to save the day. I have pictures…but I think I would pay dearly for posting them here. I can Email them privately though……… hahahahahaha.

Long Awaited?

January 5, 2007

It has been a long time since posting a real post here, I apologize. After the holidays we all kind of just laid back for a few days, Ben included. But things are back to normal now with Scott back to work and Ben and I hanging out at home. Next week will be a crazy week, we have two pediatrician appointments…it’s a long story, but we had to schedule two different times on two different days instead of doing everything on one day…as well as Physical Therapy starting again, so Ben and I will be on the go. Scott and I are looking at new Carseats for Ben, since his height has outgrown the infant seat he has. We are looking a lot harder at these carseats and being more picky than we were with the infant seat…we want to strike the delicate balance between price, safety and “other”…the “other” mainly being how easy it is to use the straps and get Ben in and out. We also are concerned with how much padding and support there is for him, so that his noodle body is supported. I also want to get an umbrella stroller at the same time, because it is a little more lightweight for the store and mall when we go out than the big ol stroller we have now. I think that everyone should have to rent a child for a month or so before they register for baby gifts…because you learn what you really need versus what everyone else says they loved….

Ben has picked up a few new tricks…he is eating like mad and increasing the amount of solid food he eats. He has also learned to wave (which he does when and only when he wants to) and tonight when we were reading his bedtime story, he clapped his hands. The clapping is a very very very big deal since one of the goals that it is important for him to reach is “midline control” where he keeps limbs in the center of his body rather than flopped out at the side. He is getting much better about clapping and banging things together when held in opposite hands. I also noticed today he is starting to push with his feet a little, which is good because he has, in the past done very little with his feet and legs.

Ben has a nasty rash on his front and back….the front is all on his chest and the back is down along his diaper line. I think this is due to how much Ben sweats…he sweats like, ten times what a normal person does. It’s a heart thing, I’ve been told. The front one must be because he sleeps on his tummy and there is a rubber sheet (or “leak catcher”) on his crib. I do not think this is a latex alergy because there are other areas of his body in contact with latex on his diaper that have not broken out. I think the areas of him that sweat and cannot evaporate cause this rash. All the more reason to get moving on that sitting process!!!

Scott, Ben and I want to welcome to the world little Luke Larson. You can check him out at his blog at lukelarson.blogspot.com. Cutie patootie!!!!

pffffft

January 3, 2007

Well, Scott is back at work, so it’s back to Ben and me. Maybe this will help me regain a little sanity..but I doubt it. I like having Scott home with me, it definately helps to be bi-parental most of the time, but I also like setting my own schedule and having Ben hang out with me as we make our way through the day. We have a nice routine that works for us.

Two days without crying in the shower must mean things are better, right? Hopefully. I have a doc appointment today…another blood screen to monitor my thyroid levels. Somehow I don’t think that’s what’s wrong, since they’ve already upped the dose of my medicine once, I have a feeling that I”m just blue because I’m blue. I need to bundle myself and Ben up and go outside for a walk, because I think the fresh air would be good for both of us.

I had an experience this weekend that really has been happening more frequently. We were at a wedding for some friends. We were at a table with a family we knew (parents and two grown children, we are quite close with this family…one of the grown children is Scott’s best friend from forever) and another couple we did not know. The woman of the couple we did not know (I’ll refer to her from now on as Ms. A) asks if Scott and I have any kids. I say yes, and explain we have a 10-month old son and that I’ve brought pictures. She asks his name and I tell her and she says “oh, is this the Ben I’ve heard so much about” (this happens all the time to us) I say yes, and we start talking about Ben. After a conversation about prgnosis, personality and the like she says to me (this is the pay attention part) “I’m sure Ben is difficult, but will you have more children? Because I’d really like to see you do that”. Let’s dissect this statement, shall we?

“I’m sure Ben is difficult”…what you think my kid is the spawn of the devil? Actually, he is not difficult, dealing with other people’s issues about him is difficult.

“Will you have more children”…Okay, so you saw this as a polite inquiry. I see it as you not knowing when to mind your own damn business. I JUST MET YOU. You have no right to ask me that. My mom doesn’t ask me that. And after a miscarriage and a Ben, I don’t feel like discussing it. But my good upbringing allowed me to dismiss this question with “Oh, eventually”…

“I’d really like to see you do that”…Oh you would, would you? Who the fuck are you? And why do you think I need to try to breed a little more? Because Ben is such a difficult child that you would like to see me have something normal in my life? Because you want me to know that I can have a normal child? Because Ben needs a brother or sister? Because you like to see babies? What does this statement mean?

I know, I know, there is a teensy bit of my reaction to this that is over reacting….but I think the principle of my argument here is perfectly okay. It is no one’s business if I have more kids or not, and I cannot help but think that when people ask me this it is 99% “everyone needs more kids, they are great” and 1% “oh, you have a disabled child, wouldn’t you like a normal one?” Don’t believe me? I know people ask this question all the time, but it is rarely phrased the way I get it…which includes “Are you scared to have more kids?”, “Are you scared you’ll have more disabled kids?”, “Are you even going to try again”….and this is from people who are, for all intents and purposes COMPLETE STRANGERS!

I do not, and have never, minded questions about Ben. Lots of people ask me (tenatively at first) about his health, and what is going on, and what kind of care he requires for his DS, and I don’ mind talking about that at all. But that, to me, does not seem so personal or offensive.

The rational part of my brain tells me that people say things like this because they don’t realize that it’s offensive and that I need to just back off a little. The larger part of my brain wishes people would shut the hell up and mind their own damn business…which does NOT include my uterus.

so tell me, am I overreacting here?