Pre Birthday Blogging

Ben’s 2nd birthday is coming up soon, and here’s a quick update of where we stand:

  • Ben is standing on a more regular basis, though mostly we have to trick him into it.
  • Ben started speech therapy this week! Maybe we’ll get some on-purpose words soon!
  • Speech therapy also includes some feeding therapy. Maybe he’ll start eating things too.
  • Ben weighed 22lbs the last time I checked. This means that after hovering just below 20lbs for 4+ months, Ben has gained over 2lbs in 1 month (and is in the 6th percentile for his actual age). This blows my mind. We’ve been pushing the pediasure, and it’s been paying off.
  • Ben got a super cute pair of Stride Rite shoes. They’re like miniature hiking boots. So cute. Ben’s favorite hobby is trying to take them off of his feet and/or eat the velcro.

And finally, here is a poor quality, but very cute, video of Ben playing with a toy. We’ve been working on getting him to drop things he has in his hand for awhile (though he seemed to have mastered the art of “dropping” or even “throwing” at Thanksgiving when he was tossing all offerings of food and toy off of his chair, it’s never been this purposeful), so this was exciting.

Next time you hear from us, we’ll give you the 2nd birthday lowdown, complete with cute photos (including a cameo from Woods the Bear!)

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Happy Supposed-to-Birthday Benjamin!

Today is June 3rd, the first anniversary of Benjamin’s original due date, or his supposed-to-birthday. That makes him 1 year corrected today (just about 16 months actual). Ben had a fun weekend seeing both his grandmothers as well as some friends in from out-of-town. He also had his first subway ride on Friday and got to visit FAO Schwartz. Our friend Scott played the theme to Elmo’s World on the big piano (made famous in “Big”) to entertain the little ones. Ben also enjoyed watching the Queens Pride parade today – so much music and dancing!

Before we look at new pictures of the supposed-to-birthday boy, a flashback to last year at this time:

One year ago, Benjamin 4 months old on his due date

Oh what a difference a year makes! Here’s Ben today:

A Dose of Adorable

Learning to crawl, evaluators and check-ups

This boy wants to crawl so badly! He is almost there too. So far he is able to get on all fours by himself and pushes with his legs, but he forgets to move his arms or lift his head. So he doesn’t get very far very fast. The whole thing keeps him up at night. We find him in the middle of the night shouting, trying to crawl, but fast asleep. Once he can start to move, we are in a lot of trouble, because even just with rolling, he can get all over the place.

This long weekend Benjamin finally got his evaluations for both feeding/speech and occupational therapies. The evaluations were very interesting, and I’m glad I was able to be home for them. The feeding evaluation was done by a speech therapist because… speech and feeding both use tongues? That sounds right. Anyway, he got to see Ben puke after trying to eat solids and gave us hope that things could improve with help. It was weird going over Benjamin’s medical history again – had to dust off that part of our brain to remember all the scary details. Though looking at Ben while we walked the evaluators through all of that made it seem like we were talking about an entirely different baby. In the end both evaluators will be recommending services, and once they get accepted by the state we hope they will start quickly.

Now quickly is a relative term it seems and it sounds like we will need to push this along in order for it to happen in a reasonable time. Funding for early intervention has been cut over the last few years and they aren’t chomping at the bit to give out services. And this coming year it might get worse. The governor has submitted a budget that in effect cuts all State money to early intervention – making insurance companies cover the services. After dealing with insurance companies more than we ever wanted to I can tell you this will only lead to less services for everyone. If it ends up going through it will be an extremely short-sighted policy. Early intervention is meant to reduce costs in the long run by helping kids grow up to need less (or no) services as adolescents and adults. So yeah…

In other Ben news – he had his 12 month doctor’s check up and everything checked out. He is still small for his corrected age – just 14 lbs, 12 oz. but he’s growing. He also got some shots, including his synagis (It’s still RSV season). Other than that he was a happy healthy baby for the doc.

And now I will leave you with a cute photo of a boy and his dog:

Sleepy baby, sleepy pup

Sleepy baby, sleepy pup

How did 11 months pass already?

Eleven months! One-One! That’s 31 days until 1 year!

Things have been good in Benjaminland. He has now hit 14 pounds at his last doctor appointment, which is great, but he’s still very small even for his adjusted age. Feeding has been on and off difficult, but one of Ben’s therapists is making a recommendation for a feeding therapist.  If gets approved it could really help, especially as we increase the solids – which right now just makes him puke.

Ben is getting really good at pushing himself up and seems much more interested in moving around. He’s getting to be a strong little guy. We are also hoping to start occupational therapy too. What sort of occupation could Benjamin have, you ask? Well right now his occupation (as listed on the census) is “baby”. So that’s what he’d work on – baby stuff. Though at this rate we’ll have to put in a waiting room at our apartment for all the therapists coming and going.

So lots of 11-month cuteness for you, including a giggle video (and yes – that’s a Steelers shirt from uncle Jamie… no one tell Benjamin about today’s game ok?):

Giving Thanks and an update

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This morning as I was explaining today’s holiday to Benjamin (“…and then the pilgrims and the native Americans enjoyed a feast together and everyone was happy… except that probably didn’t happen and the story actually ends pretty badly for the indigenous people… but anyway they had turkey”) I made sure to tell him all of the things we are grateful for. One of the things we are most grateful for, of course, is that we have him in our lives. To that he said “GA!” and grabbed my finger. I’m not sure if that translates to “right back atcha dad” or “you are super cheesy.”

Benjamin has been doing so well lately – turning over like a champ and doing so great with his therapies. Tonya, his vision therapist, was here yesterday and said that she thought he was doing fantastic, especially with social interactions. He is just so giggly lately. He really wants people to talk to him and tickle him and bite his cheeks. And he’s babbling up a storm – mostly “Ba! Eee! Ga! Iii!”and the like – but he has a lot to say.

He also went to the eye surgeon recently and got an update. The doctor said he still doesn’t think he’s ready for additional surgery, but he was very happy with how his eyes were looking. He thought they grew more than he expected and was happy there was some retinal activity. The doctor actually said that he had expected Ben’s eyes to be shriveled by this visit but that they were doing well. That was information I wish we had. I think we might have panicked if his eyes really did begin to shrivel.

Ben also visited his pediatrician who thought he was doing great, but wants us to keep an eye on his weight. Ben hasn’t been growing very fast lately – mostly because he wasn’t eating all that great (he is a very difficult child to feed). But Benjamin must have heard that because since that visit, he’s been eating so well! Hopefully next visit he will jump up a few percentiles (he’s in the 2nd for his adjusted age now I think).

So lots to be thankful for! We hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful, no one argues politics, everyone has just the right amount of wine, and your yams don’t fight with your sweet potatoes.

Come back for photos of Benjamin and family later!

Front to Back

This afternoon I saw my parents and brother (Benjamin had to stay at home with Joe), and they all asked me how Benjamin was and what he was doing. Benjamin has been gaining a lot of strength and is super cute, but he hasn’t done anything particularly noteworthy since Joe allegedly saw him roll over on the couch. The rest of Ben’s very ardent attempts at rolling over have looked something like this:

Despite some champion leg flinging, as you can tell (and I so helpfully illuminate in the video) he has trouble tucking his arm underneath so that he can roll over it.

After I got home, Joe went out to walk the dog and Benjamin got some tummy time as I folded laundry. Then I noticed something weird. Benjamin was on his back when I checked on him over the stack of burp cloths, even though I distinctly remembered putting him on his belly. So, naturally I grabbed the video camera (proof!) and flipped Benjamin onto his belly. Almost immediately he was on his back. He did this one more time- three rolls total- before that darn arm got in the way again.

We have faith that he’ll figure it out again though- hopefully while both of us are in the room at the same time!