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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How much wood would a Benjamin chuck?

It’s been a while since we’ve done a real update post. Benjamin is doing well these days and continues to be the most cheerful, giggly baby in existence. It’s downright maddening trying to feed him a bottle and he’ll decide it’s funny and just laugh and laugh without drinking anything. And he’s just be too cute to be annoyed at though.

But his feedings are actually pretty good, even if the doctors are not thrilled with his weight gain yet. We’ve begun adding olive oil to his solids now too to add extra calories – maybe that will help.

The exciting news lately is the other night we found Ben standing up in his crib (yelling) – which is a big step since he hadn’t pulled himself up yet. But then we noticed blood just spilling from his mouth all over the place! He was gnawing on the crib rail and cut his gum a little – we stopped it pretty quick but it was scary seeing all that blood. Plus you should have seen the teeth marks he left on the rail! We have since lowered the mattress and added a gummy rail protector.

This all comes as he’s getting three new teeth all at once, too!

He is standing so much better and getting the hand of walking with a push cart. It definitely seems that he’s going to skip right over crawling as predicted.

In other news, Benjamin is loving Music Together classes he started last week with his momma.

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:

Dapper Baby

This memorial day weekend we whisked up to picturesque Connecticut to see our friends Brianna and Geoff get married. We also had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with some old college friends- and some of their new additions!

The bride and groom held a pre-wedding barbecue where Benjamin got his first (successful) opportunity to try out the swings. He had so much fun that he would forget to hold on!

Benjamin got all dressed up for the wedding, including a bow tie (courtesy of Maria K!) which subsequently got eaten up. His parents looked pretty nice too, if I do say so myself. He then got to go on his first train ride- the Essex Steam Train- where he got lots of snuggles from Uncle Seth. During the reception Ben had fun dancing with his mom, and ate well too! He only got a nibble of the official dinner- some of the mashed potatoes- but gobbled up his bottles, and some puffs too!

We’re now in the hospital again- planned this time- getting a follow up EEG which will let us know how well the Sabril is working to control Ben’s seizures. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!

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.

The whole tooth and nothing but…

It finally happened! A tooth surfaced! In fact, two teeth! Benjamin is very proud of himself. But remember those 7 months in the NICU? The months on TPN? The jaundice? Well that stuff is still following Benjamin around. You can see it in those two little teeth poking out. They are unfortunately discolored from all that stuff. So our little boy will have some brownish baby teeth – but the adult teeth will be normal color. We don’t care- because he finally got teeth! They could be purple for all we care.

Ben is also still sniffly from his cold. Amy took him to the doctor who said his lungs were clear and we should to “wait it out.” This is was a new experience for us- a doctor not recommending the most extreme treatment when something is wrong. “Wait it out?” Maybe Ben is a normal baby now!

Ben loves his momma

Ben loves his momma

In exciting news, Ben won a braille book from one of our favorite baby blogs “Thomas Marshall Does it All” – a wonderful blog about another little boy who is visually impaired and doing amazingly. Thomas and his family are real inspirations to us and we learn a lot from them. Jessica, Thomas’ mother, celebrated the anniversary of her blog with a contest. Thanks, Jessica!

Ben went to OBX and all he got was this lousy cold


So while last week was a lot of fun with all kids- there is one things kids do better than anyone else: spread germs. By the end of the week every little boy in the house, including Benjamin, were snot monsters. Boogers flowing freely like… well… gross viscous rivers. Ever see Ghostbusters 2? Like that.

For those keeping score this is Benjamin’s first cold. To make it this long it has taken gallons of purell (not to mention a few months of living in a plexiglas box).

So far it hasn’t been so bad – he’s pretty stuffy and a little bit cranky, but no fever and only a little coughing. The doctor didn’t even want to see him. This is quite a change of pace from when he used to get put on 3 antibiotics and have a full blood work up if someone said “cold” near him back when he was in the hospital.

That said, we hope the cold goes away soon. Being sick is no fun (and he’s been sleeping  poorly through all this).

As promised other updates:

Ben’s spasms have really been improved by the vigabatrin. Only a few days after he started taking it the spasms are virtually gone. The only lingering weirdness is at night. We have caught him a few times with spasm-like movements in his sleep. Nothing like he used to have, but it is still not great. Anyhow – we’re hoping that goes away or maybe following his next EEG they adjust the dosing and make him 100% spasm-free.

As for eating – can you believe the boy who would only eat if you were sitting in his glider, with the lights off, the sound machine on and if he were 85-90% asleep, had his best feeding week ever while we were in OBX? Incredible! He even finished full bottles in rest stops! All this eating had him gain a half a pound so – making him now over 15 and a half pounds! Where does that put him on the chart? Well – not quite on it yet. Maybe if he keeps eating we can get him up to 1%.

And lastly – he is completely sitting up on his own now. You lay him down on the ground, turn round, and there he is sitting up! How did he do that?

Benjamin Sitting