December 05, 2009

I love you - I love you, too

Ben has started talking for his baby sister. Yesterday he asked her if
he could play with her toy (after he originally grabbed it and his
mama made him return it). He then grabbed her head and nodded it while
saying, "uh huh!"

And tonight it's this...

Sibling love

December 03, 2009

Guess what I'm doing?

Today in the car Ben busted out with a little rhyme I have never heard him say before.

(I had to step away just now to get a ladybug out of Olivia's mouth.)

As I was saying, Ben was reciting a little rhyme in the car today and it didn't soud like the usual ones like his current favorites, Humpty Dumpty and Three Little Kittens. I asked him to say it again because

(Sorry, I had to step away again because Olivia was headed into the bathroom. She has this thing for the toilet bowl...well, you proably don't want to know any more.)

Anyway, I asked Ben to say the little rhyme again and then again because I thought I was starting to recognize what it was he was saying, but I wasn't

(Again, I had to step away to chase the heaving cat into the garage so he wouldn't spew on the carpet. Still wondering why I hardly ever update this blog any more?)

I wasn't entirely sure I knew what he was saying until he added the little bit at the end - "Amen."

When I got home there was an email waiting for me from his preschool teacher with the photo above attached. She explained it was a picture of Ben praying before snack. Here's the rhyme -

God is great. God is Good.
Let us thank him for our food.

How stinking cute is that?! (That previous bit was NOT part of the rhyme, by the way.) Boy do I love his preschool! Speaking of which, his teachers are now walking him in and out to our car so I don't have to get Olivia out. I cannot tell you how that changes my day!!!
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November 23, 2009

Silver spoon

Dear Grandma Linda & Granddad,

Thanks for the silver utensils with my name engraved on them. I love
them! Now I must get back to my peas.


November 22, 2009

Be Quiet

"Mama, be quiet."

That's what Ben told me during dinner the other night.  We had spent the day trying out potty training and I'll admit I felt like my mouth had been running non-stop all day...

"Do you feel like you need go?"
"Are your underpants dry?"
"Tell mommy if you have to go."
"Wait, you have to wash hands first."
"Are you dry?"
"What about now?  Do you have to go?"
"Great job using the potty!"
"Are you dry?  Great!  Special treat time!"
"Do you need to go?"
"Did you flush?"
"Are you dry?"
"Way to go!"
"Do you need to go?"

Well, you get the picture.  I can't recall exactly what it was I was saying at the time, but I think it was something about how it would be nice if he said "please" when demanding his dad get him some milk and I guess he had just had enough.  He said it twice, actually.

"Mama, be quiet!"

My mouth dropped open.  And then...

"Baba, I want mama BE quiet!"

His dad's mouth dropped open and we looked at each other and he said, "No way am I replying to this one!"

Hrmmmmm.  Okay, enough said.  Since it seem to unanimous that I be quiet (Olivia, being nonverbal, isn't qualified to vote yet), I'll just have to be noisy with my fingers for a bit and update the blog.

I have to say, we are in such a different place than I ever imagined we could be in back when Ben was a baby.  Back in those days we hung on to the hope in the words told to us by the other VACTERL parents - "The first few years are the hardest."  And now we are there.  It happened suddenly, yet quietly and without notice.  It happened so quietly, in fact, that we might not have noticed if it weren't for recent events. 

Ben was sick a few weeks ago.  Fever and tired and congested.  Guess what?  We didn't go to the emergency room!  In fact, we didn't even go to the doctor.  We just rode it out.  After a week he still wasn't acting himself and started using a phrase we'd never heard him say before.

"I'm too tired."

And with those words the old panic crept back in.  Is it his kidneys?  His lungs?  His heart?  Some yet-undiagnosed problem?  So, we got his blood drawn and hounded the pediatrician for the lab report.  In the meantime, though, instead of getting each other worked up about the horrible possibilities we lamented in something new...that Ben has missed so much pre-school. 

Yes, pre-school!  Ben has been in pre-school at St. Paul's since the fall and absolutely loves it.  It's the only time we have left him in the care of someone other than one of his grandparents or a nurse.  Ever.  Seriously. He loves it so much - and we love it it so much - that we actually feel bad when he's not there. 

Oh how times have changed!  And the proof is in the pudding because wouldn't you know it those labs came back looking better than they ever have.  Ever.  Seriously!

That little stinker just figured out how the little phrase - "I'm too tired" - could get him out of doing whatever he didn't want to do.  Clever, no?  Heh heh heh.

Somehow we have reached a place where we've let our guard down and are having less of a knee-jerk reaction to every illness and injury.  Boy is it a welcome change.  It's nice being quiet.

November 17, 2009


Ben got a stamp in his HappyMeal...let's just say his mama isn't so
happy with it this morning.

November 05, 2009

The time two years ago...

Two years ago today ended what was hopefully (knock on wood and everything else lucky) the most stressful month of our lives.  October was the month Ben spent with 5 holes in his body where there should normally be 2, had no need for diapers, was on 4 different medications being dosed around the clock, was recovering from major surgery, suffering from bladder spasms and good grief how are we not alcoholics?!  The last two Octobers have gone off without a hitch, yet it seems like the month is still anxiety-ridden. 

When the end of October will happen without a sign of relief?

I also wonder when these little "anniversaries" will stop happening.  Another mom who had gone through her own child-medical drama once told me that these memories are like documents you don't yet have files for or don't know which filing cabinet to store them in.  They sit there in some odd place waiting for you to label the folder and store them away in the appropriate place.  I wonder if we will keep stumbling over them until we file them. 

It's not just the calendar that triggers these memories.  It's things, too.  Mostly toys and clothes associated with past medical drama.  This toy Ben got when he was admitted for that infection, and this book he got in the waiting room before that appointment that changed our lives, and this was the shirt I wore when he was in that surgery, and this was the toy we bought him for that other surgery but he was too drugged to open his eyes and see it.  A part of me says to put these things in the circular file, but another part holds on to them because they are part of his past - our past - and some sort of evidence of how much we've gone through or how far we've come.  It's comforting somehow to look them now as relics of a distant past now that the medical drama seems to be behind us (knock on wood).  Maybe it's superstition, too, that keeps these memories with us.  Like forgetting them or not honoring them would be asking for more to replace them in the future.  Or maybe they just need dusting off once in a while. 

So, that is the sort of thing November 5th does...a little reminder to dust and perhaps this year we'll get a label on these things and file them. 

November 02, 2009

Miss Olivia's 6-month stats

We totally forgot to update with Olivia's 6-month stats...

On October 13th, 2009 she was...

16 pounds 13 ounces (50th percentile)
24.75 inches long (95th percentile!!!!!)
42.2 cm head circumference (25th percentile)

Can you believe how long this girl is???  She is comfortably wearing 9-month size clothes now, but her mama insists on squeezing her into her 6-month clothes just so she has a chance to wear them all.  Ha!  She's quite the lovely little girl. 

October 13, 2009

High chair

Olivia had her first try at the high chair this morning. She loved it.
Ben didn't!

"It's Ben's chair!!"

October 09, 2009


Ben tried out rollerskates in physical therapy this week. Heehee!

September 25, 2009

Cincinnati again

We made a little trip to Cincinnati Children's and Ben acted like he
owned the place.

Swinging with granddad


Girl with wings

Pawpaw boy

No trip to southeast Ohio is complete without a taste of the local
delicacy - pawpaw!

Pretty girl

OU fan club president

Sibling love

Helping daddy at work

Handsome boy

Johnny jumping Olivia

Rebecca Batey Fradin Sent from my iPhone

Diaper cake

I made a diaper cake for my cousin's baby...go me!

Running in circles

Just to prove that when you call and ask what I'm doing and I tell you
we are watching Ben run in circles, I'm serious.


Finally figured out how to blog photos from my phone again. Now for
something much overdue...


Ben is in preschool now! Can you believe it? He really is such a big boy now. He absolutely loves preschool and talks about it non-stop...sings songs, tells us about stories they read, shows of his art projects. As you can see, he takes it very seriously...hahaha.

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