Monday, October 26, 2009


Last week, during our spell of amazing fall weather, Ben and I spent an enjoyable afternoon experiencing nature (i.e. trying to put all sorts of flora in our mouths--and by "we" I mean Ben!) in front of our house.
Let's hope we can eek in a few more of these wonderful days before winter hits.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'll never...

Before I was a parent, I had notions of what I would and wouldn't do when I had my own child.
Of course, now that I am a proud parent, I laugh at many of the "I'll never" statements that slipped out of my mouth. I predict that this will be an ongoing blog entry, since new examples of this come to me (too) frequently.

I'll never:
Let my baby sleep in the bed with us.
Sure, I'll never let Ben sleep in the bed with us, if I don't intend on getting any amount of decent sleep, ever! When he was a newborn, I would tuck him in right in the crook of my arm and he was much more likely to get a few solid hours in. This was a lifesaver during our first few weeks. This was also when I learned that he has a very hot head! I would never dream of doing this now, as Ben would surely worm himself off the edge of the bed in seconds.
Feed my child formula.
Ah, the best laid plans...I never thought I would have trouble with breastfeeding and while I didn't have terrible feelings about giving him formula, I certainly never thought we were going to have to. Sigh. We did have terrible trouble nursing and although I pumped for 5 months and had a frozen supply to last another month, Young Master Rivera has been formula-fed ever since. Funny story: I never really understood why we couldn't get breastfeeding to work but knew that Ben really didn't ever open his mouth wide enough to get a good latch. I was recently holding a 6 week old baby to whom I was trying to feed a bottle and boy, she opened her mouth so wide I could have put my whole hand in there! No wonder breastfeeding never worked--Ben would hardly open that stinking mouth! Sheesh!
Let my child hang out with a boogery nose.
Sometimes the amount of screaming that comes from this child when I try to wipe his nose just isn't something I want to hear. So, he is occasionally crusty. Surely I will wipe any actual running I can catch but the crusties will sometimes just have to live there until he gets a good face wiping after a meal. He hates that, too, by the way.
Eat with dirty hands.
See above. Ditto on the screaming while the hands are being wiped.

So, that's the first installment. I will (sheepishly) be adding to this, I'm sure!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10 Months

Dear Ben,

You are now ten months old. We shall not speak of how quickly this time has been passing. No we shall not. But if you could slow things down just a tiny bit, it would be greatly appreciated.

I think this month should be called The Month of Games. Your little brain (or big brain if your head size is any indication) has matured enough to understand the concept of purposeful play and you have created several games.

For posterity:

Up down up down: this game is played standing up (you, not me). You will squat down or bend your legs and look at me expectantly and I’ll say, “down.” Then you straighten up and I say, “up.” This continues until you grow bored or fall over, whichever comes first. You get a huge kick out of this game.
Hit mommy in the face with a piece of foam: The play room floor is lined with foam alphabet tiles and each of the outside tiles has a border piece that you love to pull off and carry around. Occasionally you will try to bop me on the head with the piece that you are carrying and I will faux-scream, “No no no!” while moving my head and hands back and forth. You will stop and smile and laugh at me and then start again. I hope this doesn’t mean that you like to beat other people up. I guess I’ll let this game continue until you get bigger and stronger than I. Then I might really be yelling for you to stop.
Pull the cloth diaper off of your face: this is a simple, but still very fun game. One of us throws a cloth diaper over your head and you grab it off. Whichever adult has initiated this yells, “Where’s Ben? There he is!” Up until about 2 weeks ago you couldn’t figure out how to get the diaper off of your face. This concerned me on many levels. Fortunately, you seem to have figured it all out. Good boy.
Dance dance dance: a simple game and the newest in your repertoire. Even if there is no music, I will say “dance dance dance” and occasionally you will gently bounce up and down. Adorable.

You also have started saying a few basic sort-of-words including: more (which sounds like mma, mma), kitty (which sounds like tee tee—often said in a whisper), and hi (sounds more like haaaaaaai, and I don’t think this is purposeful but we’ll still count it).

Your top teeth have mercifully broken through, bringing your grand teeth total to four. I am not looking forward to the rest of them coming in and I bet you aren’t either.

This month you developed croup, and while it was never extremely serious, you were sick enough to be quite grumpy. We were all very sad when there was not much we could do to make you feel better.

We went to our first story-time, put on by a wonderful neighborhood woman at a local coffee house. You were entranced by her for about 3 minutes, then spent an additional 2 minutes looking at the many children around you before you squirmed out of Daddy’s lap and tried to steal a banana from an unsuspecting mother. Suffice it to say that you have developed clear desires and an even clearer disdain for whatever we are asking you to do, if it is anything other than what you had in mind. It will be, shall we say, interesting to see if this pattern continues as you get older. If you’re anything like your mother, I predict some challenging times ahead.

You had your last days in child care during this month and now we are home together, every day. I am so lucky to be able to spend this time with you, and I especially enjoy going into your room after your nap so see you standing in your crib, shaking the bars, cheeks rosy, with an enormous smile on your face. That is all the fuel I ever need to keep me doing the best I can for you, every day.

So, another busy month draws to a close. Every day is an adventure, even when it looks just like the day before and the day after. These are times to be treasured, even the mundane and I often remind myself of this in the deep, dark hours of the night when I’m trying to rock you back to sleep. I hope that we trust and adore each other this much for our entire lives.

I love you my good boy.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hellooooo? Is this thing on?

Yes, I have been an errant blogger, of late. You'd think since I quit my job I'd actually have more time to devote to maintaining this record of my child's life but, alas, it seems that I am too busy chasing to stop and update this old thing.

We have been enjoying our fall, watching leaves change colors as gradually as Ben's top teeth slowly progress down their slobbery path.

We celebrated both Rosh Hashanah and watched as Ben ate his way to the New Year. Missed Yom Kippur because the Begoun celebration started too late. He would have liked to eat his way through that one, too!

We welcomed a visit from friends Katie and Matt Dunlap and suffered through the family version of a stomach virus, also titled "The Family that Prays to the Porcelain God together..." you get the gist.

We are currently in the throes of a bummer of a sleep regression. The wise Internet tells me that this is very typical, and I know it won't be this way forever, but it's hard to remember that when it's as if we are having a party for several hours in the middle of the night--funny...Ben and I seem to be the only ones who got our invitations...and most of the guests seem to be crying...
So, that's where we've been. In a week Ben will be 10 months old and I will properly document this last month.
For the time being, here is our story's protagonist, doing what he does best.