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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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 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.

OBX: A week in photos

Benjamin went on his first trip last week! For Spring Break we try to get to the Outer Banks in North Carolina every year with some of our friends. This year we had seven kids with us! This is in addition to the 12 adults and 1 dog. I know – a house with seven little boys sounds like a terrible idea, but it was a lot of fun.

We’ll do an update soon on seizures (improved but not completely gone), feeding (he ate like a champ on our trip!) and other stuff – but for now here’s some photos of Ben enjoying the trip:

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.

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?):

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