Happy New Year – Where’s Ben been?

It has been forever since we’ve posted last. And look! it’s a new year – Christmas has come and gone, and Benjamin is quickly approaching his second birthday. What has Ben been up to? Let’s see:

  • Ben got better at eating (but still a pain in the ass)

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  • Ben visited some old friends at CHONY (but slept through the whole thing… sorry Dany, Amy and Leora!)

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  • Ben got to meet Santa (but was more interested in feeling the candy bag)

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  • Ben got way too many Christmas presents

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  • Ben hung out with family

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  • And friends

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  • And had a lot of fun

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  • And Ben finally hit 20 pounds! (just today actually)

Anyway, happy new year – and I hope to post more frequently in the coming weeks.

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Happy Father’s Day 2012

As the clock digitally clicks towards midnight, I want to slip in a post to wish Joseph a happy father’s day. Yesterday Joe got his present- a day on the Brooklyn waterfront with good friends drinking craft beer- and today we got to visit our fathers (and see some wonderful old friends in the process). Joe is an amazing father and partner (and does the heavy lifting on this blog!), and I’m so glad I get to share this adventure with him!

 

Take me out to the Beep Baseball game…

Yesterday Amy and I took Benjamin into Central Park to watch a Beep Baseball game. Beep Baseball is a modified version of traditional baseball played by visually impaired and blind athletes. The baseball itself beeps, so the player can hear it and when a batter hits the ball he or she must run to a “base” which is one of two padded posts (randomly chosen) 100 feet out from home base. The base buzzes and the player has to reach it before the fielders find the ball (still beeping) and hold it up. (You can also read a great article the 2009 Beep World Series here)

The teams playing yesterday were the Long Island Bombers against a team from the radio station WFAN. The Bombers team are “a dedicated group of baseball enthusiasts from the Long Island and Tri-state area. They just happen to be blind and visually impaired.” While they play their regular season games against other visually impaired teams, most games are against teams, like WFAN, who have sighted players, using blindfolds.

LI Bombers at bat

Imagine hitting a ball based only on sound

The Bombers played a great game and showed some real athleticism, beating WFAN 9-1. Maybe one day Ben will play on a beep baseball team. Even if he doesn’t we are glad to know there are teams like the Bombers educating people about blindness and overcoming obstacles.

LI Bombers

LI Bombers pose after beating WFAN 9-1

Best of all it was a beautiful day to be in the park. Ben enjoyed the grass and got in a nice long nap during the game (takes after his dad who has napped through his share of televised Mets games).

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The boys enjoying the game

In other news, Benjamin will go back to the hospital at the end of the month for a follow-up EEG to see if the anti-seizure medicine is working. He will stay a couple of nights there. But as far as we can tell, the vigabatrin is really helping with his infantile spasms. We haven’t seen one in over a month. Fingers crossed his EEG comes back normal too.

Happy Mother’s Day 2012

Benjamin has been in an amazing mood lately – all giggles and smiles. He just cracks us up.

Ben is all smiles

Ben is all smiles

Occupational Therapy finally started and the therapist and Ben are just getting to know each other now. She is going to help Ben with feeding skills as well fine motor and life skills. I might ask him to take note – I could totally brush up on some life skills.

But most importantly – today is Mother’s Day! Happy mother’s day to all the moms out there. Ben got to spend the day with his momma, Gram and Grandma today and got lots of kisses. I personally want to wish Amy a happy mother’s day too. She is an amazing mom and I could never do this with anyone else.

Happy First Birthday Benjamin!

One year ago… We had just come back to New York after spending a few days with Carol and things seemed stable enough to go home. That next day was a Monday and I had hardly gotten through my morning emails when Carol called to say they were bringing her to delivery for an emergency c-section. Amy got in the car, picked me up and we headed to Pennsylvania as fast as we could. It was very hard to imagine this ending well. The doctor called us when we were just outside of Lancaster. Our baby was born just after 1pm. He was critical but stable. The doctor urged us to get there quickly.

We named him when we saw him for the first time in the NICU. A tiny little nothing hooked up to a million machines. The doctors looked pretty glum and everything they said was an “if” and a “we don’t know”.

When he was first born, some people didn’t know what to say to us. They didn’t know if they should say “I’m sorry” or congratulate us – because they didn’t know what the next day would bring. But Amy and I knew that no matter what we had something to celebrate. Every extra hour we had with him, even in the little plexiglas box was an hour more than we thought we had.

And all the “ifs” became “whens” and Benjamin surprised the doctors at every turn.

And now a year later. There were a lot of days we didn’t think we’d be here. Benjamin home, healthy, growing. A little laughing silly guy. A one year old!

It was an amazing year and we both look forward to another year of getting to know our little guy. He’s going to keep on surprising everyone, just you wait.

A full weekend!

We have had a fun weekend with Benjamin getting to see lots of family. First Carol and family visited and her kids got to meet Ben for the first time. It was really nice to have everyone together. We played some games and ate some NYC pizza and Benjamin had some stories read to him and showed off all his new tricks.

And the next day we celebrated Amy’s brother Kevin’s birthday. Ben’s Gram got him some Giants gear and since the Steelers are out Ben thought it was ok to root for the Giants with his uncle and the rest of Amy’s family. Turns out he’s a good luck charm and the Giants won.

All this visiting does a number on Benjamin though – it really screws up his eating for some reason. The smallest change in schedule and level of stuff going on throws him for a loop and then the next few days he makes it so hard to feed him. Hopefully this will get better but right now it is super frustrating.

The best/worst year ever

Over the past day I’ve been watching people post to Facebook and Twitter how hard 2011 was and how they are glad it’s over. Part of me definitely agrees with that. It was a rough year, almost from the get-go. I thought about how it contained days worse than any I could remember. Months where my heart would stop every time the phone rang.

But I cannot look back at any day and wish it away –  Amy and I would go through every one of those days again because it brought us here. It brought us the happiest days we have ever had. It brought us a little boy who in spite of it all laughs easily and snuggles often.

This coming year will be sure to have challenges too – but as long as the rewards are as great as this past year, 2012 can bring it.

Ben joined us (before he passed out in true rock-star style) to celebrate New Year’s Eve last night:

Ben meets Franca

Franca and Ben plan a trip to Italy

Ben at NYE

"I've been told there's champagne on new years..."

Cristina and Ben

Aunt Cristina gives Ben the giggles