Dec 26, 2009

100th Post Extravaganza! Merry Christmas!


Message from Ben: ;’[;’[ppooLll\[[[[[[[[[[[[[[]\><:L:L\

Okay folks – we’ve got something special for you today. A little over a year ago, Patti and I came up with this idea to start a blog about the ups and downs of raising our first child. Major League Bishop (the blog) was born! And then, Benjamin Lee Bishop was born too. I hope you’ve enjoyed the stories about Ben. We’ve hit a bunch of milestones – first laugh, first crawl, first words, steps, and many, many, more…

That all started 100 blog posts ago!

So in the spirit of the end of the decade, we’ve decided to give you a top 10 blog posts to recap our first 100 posts. Click on the links to reminise with us!


10 – The neverending hospital stay: Dec. 14th – Jan 2nd 2008

9 – Trip to visit Santa: Dec 13th, 2009

8 – First Boat Ride: May 31st, 2009

7 – Overhead Baby Warning: May 17th, 2009

6 – Ben’s Agility Workout: Aug. 5th, 2009

5 – First Flight and Trip to Richmond: Apr. 25th, 2009

4 – Ben’s First Birthday: Dec. 14th, 2009 and here too!

3 – “The Laugh”: Sept. 18th, 2009

2 – Patti goes into labor: Dec. 14th, 2008

1 – Ben is born: Dec. 14th, 2008

Christmas was excellent and I’ll let Patti give you a post about the specifics. Happy Holidays everyone!

- Brian

Dec 22, 2009

I couldn't help but put this up. Ben was dead set on getting into his chair! It was so cute! He needs a little help and close supervision while in his chair. We just sat in his room and read book after book sitting at his table and chairs!

Dec 21, 2009

He's walking!

So, I have yet to really capture it, but Ben is walking. For about a week now he's been consistently doing 2-3 steps at a time, and quite steady. Yesterday and today he's walked 10+ feet, unassisted. He LOVES walking! He reaches for my hand and just wants me to walk with him up and down the hallway! He only wants to hold onto ONE hand. If you reach for his second hand, he will bat you away! He is VERY independent.

We had a great weekend. We were in Kalamazoo for Mom's show that was a great success. Maggie was Sugar Plum and I cried. I wasn't the only one! Me, Lenore, and Stephanie were all in one row and were all crying! So beautiful!

Ben stayed with a babysitter. It was actually quite cute. She had quoted me a price which briefly made me feel I should quit my job as on OT and start babysitting. I had told her Ben is SUPER easy and will likely be asleep 20minutes after we leave. Later that night when we returned back to Mom and Dad's house, I looked at her and said the amount I wished to pay her. She looked back at me and shed $5 off the price stating "You were right. He was asleep the whole time. It was pretty easy."

Ben's sleeping habits continue to please us. His bedtime has inched back a bit, but he is making it through a large percentage of the nights. On the days I'm not working he is sleeping in until 7 am! On the mornings I do work, we have to wake him quite a bit! He's such a good boy! And it's not a bad thing that his bedtime has inched back (to like 8pm) as now Brian can see him most evenings and he is sleeping in a bit (until 7am rather than 5am which I had grown to accept!).

His climbing habits continue to keep us on our toes. Tonight he was trying to climb onto the foot rest of the rocker, into the laundry basket, onto Abby, and into the bathtub (it was actually bath time). Bath time has gotten interesting due to his climbing. He wants to climb in and climb out the whole time. He is fearless. This has led to a few bumps and bruises. We had the "boo boo buddy" out tonight even.

We are looking forward to our Christmas at home. We will be in Oak Forest for Christmas Eve and Day. On Sunday we head for Kalamazoo to celebrate, then off to Virginia for almost a week!

Dec 17, 2009

One Year Check Up

Ben had his one year check up today. Went very well! Of course they said he was by far the cutest one year old they have ever seen! They wondered how I did it!

Well, here are the results of his one year check up, other than the verdict of being the cutest one year old they have ever seen! He his healthy. He is more than healthy!

Weight: 24lbs, 2oz (95%)
Height: 31.5in (75%)
Head circumference: 47cm (although this may not be an accurate measurement as by now Ben was screaming his head off and pushing the nurse away. Hey, they said he was cute, not cooperative!)

(A picture of Ben with the chair his Great Grandma Shirl painted just for him!)

He is right where he needs to be. When I gave these stats to Brian I think I heard his voice quiver, and over the phone I swear I heard a tear. You see, Brian is thinking with this new trend of actually being on the growth chart Ben may never realize Brian's dream of Ben playing in the NFL. Brian is begging me to feed him more. Have any of you out there tried to feed a one year old more than he wanted to eat? NOT POSSIBLE! I told the doctor all about our current eating trends (which mostly include Ben feeding Abby from his highchair), and she promised me it is normal and Ben couldn't be more healthy!

Some of the things Ben is eating include lots of fruit which is good. He could eat any kind of fruit all day long. I haven't found one yet that he won't eat. Veggies....well, he'll eat a carrot or two. He loves cheese and bread. He's starting to warm up to pasta. And today the doctor said we can start whole milk and eggs. I think he'll like that. He's been taking a sippy cup really well. I haven't found a meat he'll eat yet. Things like chicken nuggets he just puts in his mouth and sucks on it for a second then spits it out. The doctor did say that his feeding will slow down now, as will his growth. She said it's best if he eats 6 small meals, each only need to be a matter of tablespoons worth of food (I'm writing this mainly for Brian who continues to want me to force feed our child!).

Can't believe it's one more week until Christmas. We're off to Kalamazoo this weekend to see Mom's Nutcracker. Our niece Lianna is a party child, and my sister Maggie is the guest performer for these shows (not to mention my Mom being the Artistic Director). This weekend they are performing with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra. I always cry during the pas de deax and I'm sure this year is no exception, especially when it's my baby sister dancing it!

Check them out:

Or become a Ballet Arts Ensemble Facebook Fan!

(Another picture of Ben watching himself on the news Monday morning!)

Dec 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Ben!!!

I know I posted a bunch of cute stuff yesterday (so look down to check it out), but I couldn't help myself this morning!

Happy Birthday Benjamin Lee Bishop!

Ben 12/14/2008

Ben 12/14/2009

Dec 13, 2009

11months, 3 weeks, and 6 days old!

A very nice day today! Ben is finally in bed and we're sitting here uploading videos and putting together new toys! We celebrated Ben's first birthday today (since Brian has to work tomorrow, I got the day off).

It was a day of firsts! First, Ben woke up and got his first waffle! He LOVED it! Just gobbled it up. After breakfast we made a cake and cubcakes, as you can see from the video (other than the fact that I'm still in my sweats and I made him a boxed cake) Ben helped a ton! He loved stirring his "cake mix."

(Ben facing forward!)

Following a nice nap we drove to the mall with his car seat FACING FORWARD! Now, luckily nothing happened because "they say" not to turn a child around until they are one year old and Ben was only 11month, 3 weeks and 6 days old (don't tell anyone). He didn't really know what to think of it! He just sort of giggled at us. He really seemed to like it.

At the mall, Ben got to meet Santa for the first time! The mall was packed! It was worse than I prepared myself for! We got up to the Santa display and there was a very little line! We were amazed! Then we learned it's because Santa was getting ready to go on break! He'd be back 45 minutes after seeing his last child! CRAP! So, we shopped for about 20minutes then realized there was a line forming for when Santa returns. We thought we should get in line.

(Video of Ben with Santa!)

We took turns staying in line and the other would go run an errand. Ben did great! He got a little ansie, but overall I was impressed. The video captures the rest pretty well. We actually got a really nice picture from them, they captured those 3.5seconds Ben wasn't crying out pretty well!

We had planned on going out to eat, but after all that thought we'd better come home. Ben opened all his presents from us and the ones sent from all our amazing family! As you can see, true to one year old form he was more interested in the boxes and tearing paper, but I'm sure he appreciates the new loot as much as we do!

After a little dinner we thought we'd do singing and cake. Now, I don't know if it's our singing, or that Ben knew that he is not yet one year old, but he wasn't having the cake. This is why we only have one picture of Ben with his cake. Also playing a factor may be that we waited too long and he was pretty tired. So, he cried....a lot...

We got some pj's on and thought we'd play with some new toys before bed. Brian had assembled his rocking horse from Grandma and Grandpa Bishop. So far, Ben is a little skeptical. Again, may be due to his fatigue from the day's events, but it was pretty funny.

He's such a good kid! We all had so much fun today just the four of us (Abby loved helping Ben open his presents)! We will try the cake again tomorrow when he is ACTUALLY one year old. He'll get it down before long. I mean, he is our child! He has plenty of cake and presents coming his way, so he's just getting warmed up!!

(Ben opening presents with the help of Abby!)

Thanks for hanging in there with us for 11months, 3weeks, and 6 days! Our adventures shall continue!

Dec 11, 2009

A trip down memory lane! This was my post from one year ago today! Look below for fun new update!

Link to Original Dec. 11th Post

Yes, that's me right now. A ticking time bomb! As you can imagine, no baby yet. Everything is fine, I'm healthy, baby is healthy. I've had several instances of contractions that can be quite bad. They go on for 12 hours or so, but never get any closer than 8minutes or so and then just stop again. So, my "body is preparing." Well, gotta be honest, I'm getting a little sick of preparing. Let's just go! I know, it's best for him, so I'll deal. I have started going back to work. I worked part days, then now I'm on full days again. I'm pretty worn out by the end of the day but work has been great. I just don't want to use up too much of my time off before baby is born. I think that's it. We'll keep you updated when ever there is an update. Brian's dying to put up an updated picture of my belly and I'm trying hard to stop him, but I think I will ultimately lose this battle. I know it will be probably be fun to look back at how huge I got some day. Right now...not so fun!

Dec 10, 2009

11months, 3weeks, 4days old.

It's a big week here! Come Monday, Ben will be one year old! Can't believe it. We will surely try to blog as the weekend goes on. Sunday will be the big day. We're thinking a trip to Santa, going out for lunch, home for cake and presents!

Ben is doing great. He continues to be more and more adventurous. Today we had a little incident where he tried to take more than his normal 2-3steps away from something and fell and bit his tongue. It bled a little, he cried a little and then it didn't seem to bother him at all. It was a scary moment, but he's fine.

He's learning more and more everyday! He is now trying to blow kisses which is what the video was trying to capture (even though he's messy after dinner). He's also doing some high fives, he'll run a toy car along and make the noise, all sorts of fun stuff. He's just turning into a little boy! He's really taking an interest into Abby. He wants to pet her and scratch her belly. Abby even seems to somewhat enjoy it which is nice. She doesn't think of him as such a nuisance anymore.

The top picture I just sent to the news here to be put on their morning newscast on Monday. Ben loves watching the 1st Birthdays segment and we hope he makes it on there. So, anyone in the Chicago area, tune in to the morning news for NBC5 on Monday morning to hopefully get a glimpse of Ben!

We're looking forward to seeing just about ALL of our families over the next couple of weeks!

Dec 6, 2009

11months 3weeks old! Enjoy some pictures and THREE videos!

A few things going on here. We got our tree this weekend. We thought we'd try to have a good old fashioned family event where you go and cut your tree down yourself, get it all fresh. I looked up a place, we packed up the car and drove out there and there was NO ONE there. So, with Ben's patience cutting thin, we thought we'd hit a nursery we saw on the way out there. When we got there, we saw several lovely trees, but they were $80 a piece. So, I thought, let's just head to Home Depot. So, as folk lore states, the family went to HOME DEPOT for our Christmas tree. They were nice, and less than half the price. Not exactly the family cutting the tree from the soil experience I had wanted, but Ben will never remember.

That was Saturday, Sunday we set it up to decorate. Ben had little interest in it. I have to say, that is a VERY good thing. I was a bit concerned about constantly pulling him off it. As you can see from the pictures, he was again more interested in the camera. He just wants to grab any camera from my hands. Maybe we have a photographer in the making?

We have learned a few things that he doesn't like. For some reason, Ben hates the song "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas." He looks terrified every time it plays. I even tried other Christmas carols and that is the only one that he hates. He just cries and cries. It's so sad.

Other news this week. Ben loves to crawl on things. It's like he suddenly realized that he could. There is a kiddy table and a chair in his room, I watched as he pushed the teddy bear sitting in the chair aside, climbed on the chair and up on the table. Then I thought I would add the picture of Ben while helping me unload the dishwasher. He used to just pull and push the drawers in and out, now he wants to crawl onto the door like this. He's getting a bit adventurous! I love it and hate it all at the same time.

Still taking one to three steps at a time. If any more are needed to get to his destination, he crawls. He is so proud of himself when he takes those steps, though! He just laughs and laughs every time!

We have at least one more tooth now and I think more are well on the way! He has a solid 8 teeth. A bit cranky the last day or two and real finicky so I'm blaming the teeth. That or the fact that he keeps hearing "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas."

I can't believe he's 11months and 3 weeks old. It's like I just blinked and all this happened. In one week my baby will be one year old!

Nov 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone -

I just wanted to upload a video of Ben's first Thanksgiving for you all to take a gander at. Yes, even though I live in Chicago, I use words like "gander".

Aunt Maggie came by on Wednesday and stayed through Friday. The three adults cooked up a storm while Ben played/napped. We had the traditional thanksgiving fare: Turkey (brined and stuffed), mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, cranberries, rolls and the uber-traditional asparagus casserole. Just writing that list made me a little hungry.

Ben's favorite? Pumpkin pie... just check out the video is you're not convinced.

We're packing up to head out to the cottage for Thanksgiving 2: the Turkey Strikes Back. Wish us (and our stomachs) luck.

- Brian

PS - For you're viewing pleasure: Ben's new favorite game!

Nov 22, 2009


The reason I titled it this way is because EVERYTHING is "Hi" right now! He enters a room its "Hi!" You enter the room, he says "Hi!" Abby walks in, the tv turns on, Ben says "Hi!" Pretty cute actually. He also continues to say touchdown every time he throws a ball, or anything for that matter. Getting video of all this is getting trickier and trickier. I included the one video of Ben having a little bit of a fit because every time the video camera comes out he stops what he's doing, crawls over to the person holding the camera and screams out! He just wants the camera. So there is my excuse for having fewer video these days. All I get is Ben crawling to me then crying out. I try turning it on the other room and sneaking up on him, but his hearing is so keen that he can hear that thing jingle on from anywhere!

He continues to try to walk all the time. He still hasn't gotten more than two steps from anything, but he's trying so hard! You can tell that he is so proud of himself everytime. He just smiles and smiles! Again, hard to get it on camera because as soon as the camera comes out he just wants to get to it as fast as possible and that is by crawling. We'll continue to work on it.

Other Ben news: He's working on tooth #8, and tooth #9 right now. You can see them bursting through the seams on the bottom. He's a little crankier but overall handling these better than any of the others. He has also discovered how to turn the tv on and off. This is a lot of fun for everyone in the room. I try to find him something else that clicks when you push on it, but the tv is the most fun. He has really started working with his toys. He prefers things that can be stacked, things that can be opened and have other toys put within it, things like that. He's so serious about it. Very mechanical about everything. And, as you'll see from the videos, everything is a phone. Absolutely everything gets put up to his ear and he talks in it starting with "Hi." Unless of course there is actually someone on the phone, then he just stares at it and generally ends up hanging up on them.

I think that's it for now. We're just getting ready for Thanksgiving. I went out and did all my shopping today. We're having Maggie here on Thursday, then leaving Friday for the cottage to be with my parents, Grandpa, Uncle Rick, Julie, and my sister Lenore and her family. Stephanie and crew can't make it this year as my bother-in-law is having yet another back surgery on Monday (prayers please). We're hoping third time's a charm for his low back.

I also decided to finally put the final pictures of our new front door (notice there are no holes in it!)! I think we're done painting and Brian did the grout last weekend and this weekend. We decided to keep the actual door white, as well as the inside trim white. It really brightens up the inside of the entry way. Then went brown outside but kept the door white which really stands out. It's so nice not to feel a breeze come through your closed front door anymore! Not that I'm asking for colder weather but it does figure that last winter we were sub zero from like November through March. So far this year, we've been 20 degrees above average! It's been beautiful, 61degrees today! Does not feel like Thanksgiving time at all! Well, I went and jinxed it! Sorry midwest, my fault!

Nov 15, 2009

I climbed the Willis Tower!

I did it! After weeks of fear and hydrating I climbed the steps of the Willis Tower this morning. It was 103 floors, and they say 2,109 steps (although I would dispute that, but not be the one to go back and count it). I finished with what I considered to be an AMAZING time of 32 minutes and 20 seconds. Here's a little rundown of how the climb went for me:

Floor 1: "I can do this."
Floor 5: My legs burn a little and fear sets in.
Floor 10: My legs really burn and I want to quit.
Floor 20: Never mind! I can no longer feel my legs so I keep going!
Floor 35: I feel a little dizzy. I'm a bit disoriented and start yelling random obscenities to the volunteers.
Floor 52: A euphoria sets in as I realize I am more than half way there!
Floor 70: I start to hurt a little and begin to blame various volunteers for "getting me into this mess!"
Floor 75: I start singing Stairway to Heaven. Another climber tells me to pull it together and I forge on.
Floor 80: I feel pretty good! I'm excited to have only 20 more floors. Then the **censored** volunteer yells "Only 23 more floors to go!!!" I want to punch her but instead take the water from her hand, hold back from throwing it into her face and continue up.
Floor 87: I ask the volunteer where the elevators are. He laughed at me. I again wanted to smack him, but instead keep climbing.
Floor 90: For the next 12 floors I get sick of hearing "You're almost there!!" They just kept saying that!! No, it was nice to hear. I felt like I was climbing up in sand at this point!
Floor 100: I hear the cheering crowd at the top!
Floor 103: I MADE IT! 32:20 they tell me!

I enjoyed the view from the top for a while. I stepped out onto the ledge which didn't seem that high anymore considering I just walked up to it. Brian and Ben made the trip with me and waited down in the lobby. It was fun to call Brian and pretend like I was quitting. He thought I was serious at first thinking there was no way I finished that quickly! I did keep a nice steady pace, just a quick walk, no running, never really needing to stop, just a pause here and there. There were those that ran past me in the first 40 floors. Those were the people I was passing at around floor 70! It was truly a case of the Tortoise and the Hare!

I came back down to meet my family. The three of us walked around a bit. Went and got a bite to eat and then home to recuperate. Once home, Ben was in such a good mood! He was laughing and playing and that's when the next miracle happened! I believe I saw Ben's first 2 steps! He was holding onto the bouncy chair thinking about going over to the window sill. He let go, took 2 small steps and grabbed onto the window sill! It was amazing to see! He's putting it all together so quick! Next year, he'll be climbing the Willis Tower with me!

Enjoy the pictures. Some of them are a bit rough, but I'd like to see how you all looked while climbing the tallest building in the country! But seriously, I really feel good. Very proud of myself. It's something I would like to do again and I know Brian wants to do with me. Thanks again to everyone who supported me and helped raise money and awareness for this great cause! I'm going to go stretch now!

Nov 14, 2009

Just going to climb a few stairs.

I thought I would quickly put up my final post. You see, tomorrow morning, just about eight hours from now, I will be climbing the stairs of the Sear's (I mean Willis) Tower. I'm hoping to survive, but preparing for the worst. I had a nice last full day on earth. Brian got up with Ben so I slept in a little. Then got up, had my coffee, did some housework (I'd hate to leave my house in shambles, how embarrassing when people come to pack my stuff up). Then played with Ben. All of us went for a walk on this lovely day. We went to the park and threw the ball for Abby, Ben took his first ride in the swing and first solo trip down the slide! He loved it! Took a little getting used to but he's pretty adventurous!

Can you believe that Ben is 11months old today! He's getting so funny! He's mimicking everything we do. The best part is that everything is phone. He holds everything up to his ear and acts like he's talking into it. He's even said "hello" into the phone! Not 100% clear, but close.

Other words he's trying hard to get out include Abby, and Touchdown! It sounds sort of like "aye yown" but we can tell that's what he's saying. He holds his arms up over his head and everything. We've tried to get it on tape but not with much luck.

He's REALLY thinking about walking. He's getting very daring and letting go of things while standing. Today he let go of Brian and looked and me (I was about a foot away), he acted like he was going to take a step then just flung himself forward to me. Brian and I looked at each other like "Oh crap!" That was so close to his first step.

So, here's some cute video of Ben trying to say touchdown and then walking behind his car! Hope you enjoy. WISH ME LUCK TOMORROW! I've been sort of praying for a minor injury all day to get me out of it. Like a sprained ankle, or a minor broken leg, something like that. Don't worry, I'll let you know how it goes!

Nov 8, 2009

Halloween (FINALLY) and New Door

Ok, here's some video, finally! Sorry it's been a while! We are finally settling down here. Dad is still here and we just finished our work for the weekend. We have been SO productive! The front door is basically finished which includes all the painting. We just have to re grout the inside a little bit next weekend and it's a done deal! I can't believe we did it. We could not have done it without Dad! We'd be paying someone big bucks for the amount of work he put in this weekend. He just asked for a place to relax sometimes and to be fed. So, I fed him and he relaxed in the evening (sometimes). Other times we played lots of games and had a great time! He also helped with fixing our stupid garage door and cleaning our yard. We had perfect weather for all this. It was nearly 70 degrees the last couple of days. It was very nice considering we have had to keep the front door open throughout the day for painting, installing the storm door (oh yeah, Dad did that too with Brian's help), and other various projects. I can't believe we finished it all.

Ben's doing ok. He has a little tummy bug (thanks Daycare). He has felt ok other than his first diaper rash that he got as a consequence of the repeated diapers. He's handled it well. He has been very curious of all the construction going on and it barely seemed to slow him down.

Ok, Ben update time! He is REALLY mimicking everything we do. He's trying to use his own spoon and holds the phone up to his ear just to name a couple. I am including some cute video of Ben using the phone. About 30seconds in he does it really well (and that's my Dad's dog Madie in the back, Abby's off sleeping on the bed more than likely). He loves going through the mail with me. He has also gotten in the habit of taking a toy out of his box and then puts it back. He will carry a pale around and gather other toys into it, and loves putting his basketball into any bucket! He's crawling faster and faster. He's cruising along furniture and has let go from time to time holding himself up like a champ. Yesterday, he even let go and tried to take a step. It wasn't successfull but I'm sure that's right around the corner.

We're holding steady at 7 teeth but he's acting like another one is well on the way. He's sleeping ok, too. We're having about one bad night a week where he wakes up once and needs some TLC. Other than that he's still sleeping about 10 hours a night. Those hours are just from like 7pm to 5am which makes for an interesting morning! I can't complain, I know people who have it way worse.

I'm finally getting around to posting Halloween video! He LOVED riding around in that wagon with Jackson! Again, he was Woody from Toy Story. Such a good cowboy! We were in Detroit for Jackson's Baptism and took the boys over to Jen's parents house for a while (which is within walking distance). The whole ride there and back he just talked to Jackson and laughed out loud (which I never really caught on tape). Note Max the dog in his Superdog costume in the back!

Jackson's baptism went really well. Yes, you can call me Godmother! Ben did great in church. The service lasted almost 2 hours so I was a little nervous. But with all the singing and music he just clapped and danced. We were sitting in front and at one point the pastor's were laughing and pointing at him during one hymn because he was so into it! It was great!

So, hopefully I'm making up for neglecting the blog over the past couple of weeks with several cute videos.

Next weekend we will be home getting some rest. And by that I mean me climbing the steps of the Willis (Sear's) Tower Sunday morning! Everyone pray for me! You can still support me in donations to research and developement through Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at

Of you can just search it out through, click on the Tower Up Chicago Link, then on the left click on Sponsor a Participant and enter my name. All proceeds go the the Rehab Institute of Chicago (my employer) for their amazing work in research and developement in rehabilitative medicine. I may only bug you one more time. I have until Thursday!

Enjoy the videos!
Love ya'll!

Nov 6, 2009

The other reason I'm not blogging!

Real quick! Things here are a little chaotic! As you can see we had a hole in the front of our house yesterday! It was fun. I was nervous, but the new one fit in real well and today we're setting up to paint it.

Busy! Let's see in the last 48hours we have:
1. Dad arrived, tried to fix garage door,
2. Dad get's hand caught and requires 10stitches.
3. You know my Dad, he fixed garage door anyway.
4. Tore hole in my house.
5. Put new door in.
6. Raked entire yard.
7. Gave 2 dogs 2 bathes due to rolling in ca ca.
8.Walked bad dogs.
9. Been to Home Depot twice and Menards once (Dad's at Ace Hardware right now).
10. Yelled at the neighbors for blowing their leaves into our yard.
11.Slept a little

Oh yeah, there's also that little issue of caring for Ben in all that! He's done great. Intrigued with all the goings on! Now that he's napping I'm heading out to finish the leaves.

I'll hopefully get some video up soon.

Nov 4, 2009

We're back online!

We have not forgotten about our blogging duties! We just have not had internet since last week. But Brian got us back on late last night and we're ready to roll. Real quick (since it's 6am), here are a couple of taste tests of Ben on Halloween. He was Woody from Toy Story! So cute! I also have some video of Ben and Jackson "Trick or Treating." And by that I mean riding around in a wagon for a while in costume.

Off to work. Full story to follow!

Oct 26, 2009

We're home! We're exhausted! We spent the last couple of days at the cottage and had such a nice time. Ben did great! He loved playing with Jackson and Blake. For some reason Ben loved tackling Jackson. He thought this was very funny! We caught the end of one tackle. Maybe he will play football after all!

Ben was very adventurous. Brian and I quickly established a hand off system. One of us had a complete set of eyes on Ben at all times that he was not in the playpen. The only time he was in the playpen was when he was sleeping. He slept great, too, which was nice. We were stuck inside most of Saturday with lots of wind and HUGE waves! Of course it cleared up on Sunday and we were able to get out and go for a walk. I was surprised that Ben did so well in the backpack. He wasn't so sure about it last time I tried it, but this time just loved watching Abby chase the ball and his cousins play around him. Brian carried him in the pack and Ben just pointed at everything and jabbered away in his ear. So cute!

Tonight we had another first. I fed Ben his first Spaghettios! He LOVED them! He also took the reigns and wanted to feed himself with the spoon! I was able to catch it on camera. He's taken food off the spoon and off the tray to feed himself very well, but tonight he was actually going through the motions of feeding himself with the spoon! He was determined to do this! Right after I turned the camera off he flung a big spoonful right into his eye and thought that was hysterical! We got a little messy and badly needed a bath following dinner tonight!

Oct 23, 2009

Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Yup, Ben got his first pair of shoes. He wasn't cooperating for the camera, but you can sort of see them. He doesn't seem to mind them. He doesn't try to take them off or play with them, he was too interested in the box. For the first several hours he was acting like they were inhibiting him any use of his legs! It was so funny, his legs were just limp and he was dragging them everywhere!

I figure he better have some good shoes since we are leaving for the brisk north of Michigan in just a few short hours! I'm hoping to do some walks of the lovely fall colors up there! We are leaving for a couple nights with my sister, her 3 kids, and my best friend, her hubby and their 11month old Jackson. With all these kids around I'm not expecting much relaxation time! Count them, that's 5 kids under the age of 6! We're crazy. Brian and I have also been training so we're prepared for chasing our little Ben all over the place. You know how he likes to explore and the cottage is NOT child proof. So we're limbered up and ready!

Ben is doing great! We're holding steady at 7 teeth. He has gotten very quick in his crawling moves. He has slept through the night for the last three nights IN A ROW! He is LOVING cuddle time with Abby and I have to catch it on video. This morning he just crawled up to her and buried his face in her fur and laughed and laughed!

We're good but continue to be very busy with all these travels and visitors. I think things may slow down sometime in February!

Hope to get some cute pictures and videos this weekend of all those kiddos!

Oct 12, 2009

Lots of Grandparents!

10 Months Old ALREADY!

As usual, we have had a busy couple of weeks. Two weekends ago we spent the night at my parents house. We had such a nice visit. Other than Ben is starting to have a real problem sleeping at a different place. And by "have trouble" I mean he screamed all night long. In general, he's still a good sleeper. He does wake up every couple nights or so, usually just once, and it gets worse depending on what kind of tooth he has coming. But this was just an all out scream of terror. Likely because he had no idea where he was. Luckily my parents get all the movie channels and I ended up just sitting in the living room watching Armageddon.

I'm attaching a video of my niece Lianna and her first duet with my Grandfather. As you may remember, my Grandpa is quite the piano player. He played for our first dance at our wedding. Now he's helping Lianna learn the art. It was so precious, I couldn't help but add it.

We got back Sunday. Work work work. Then Wednesday night the Bishops arrived. We jumped right in and had a great time. I don't think they are used to having a baby around! The old saying "Sleep when the baby sleeps!" They needed to practice that a bit throughout the weekend. When Ben napped, the Bishops napped. We needed the rest, though! We did quite a bit of shopping, including a trip to Ikea (way to hang in there Barry!), the mall.

Sunday we headed to the pumpkin patch. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but man was it fun! We picked one based on the fact that it had pig races. Brian really wanted to see the pig races. There was a huge crowd and they needed to pick a person from the crowd to represent each pig. Who was the third person picked? Well Grandma Karen, of course! Her pig's name was Oprah. Hence you can hear her scream "Go Oprah" throughout the video. Oprah came in second, but she was first in our hearts.

Ben did great. He seemed a little sleepy at first and I was worried we wouldn't make it. He rested in the stroller for the first bit then warmed up. Which was hard since it was our coldest day yet. He clapped at the pig races, climbed all over the pumpkins, and was mesmerized by all the displays. He was a trooper.

Other accomplishments? He now knows how to make the football touchdown gesture! It's so cute. He's getting really good at it. He now waves hello and goodbye. And we swear he's saying bye bye appropriately more and more. He's also working on tooth #7, walking like a champ up and down furniture. He also reaches out between pieces which sometimes ends up sort of messy. We're getting more and more bumps and bruises.

Enjoy these videos and pictures. We've had a lot of fun. I'm going to bed now!

Oct 2, 2009

Ben is busy!

Ben has been very busy lately. He is discovering his environment more and more. One thing I don't understand, though. He can have any toy he wants, yet the only interests he has are in cords, this computer (we're taking to doing our business on the internet during nap time), and the dog bowls. Poor Abby! You can see in this video her spirit is broken even more. The majority of day light hours her water bowl is at counter level. Meal time hasn't been affected because as anyone who knows Abby is aware of, she can eat all her meal in 25seconds flat!

Ben has also taken a particular interest in opening and closing cupboards. We are in the process of installing child proof latches. I think I'll leave the tupperware cupboard alone because it is too cute to watch him empty that thing out.

Updates: Ben is now crawling on hands and knees 100% of the time. I didn't think he would, but here we go. It's so cute! He's standing with more and more confidence and is even trying to reach outside his base of support and take a step between objects. We have had a predicament with sitting up in bed. He gets himself sitting up in the corner of his crib and is so tired he gets stuck there. He's still a wild child when he sleeps, he's just all over the place, and before we know it, he's stuck in the corner again. Aside from that he's still a good sleeper. Unless a tooth is breaking through he's still going about 10hours at night and one to two good naps a day. Can't complain, really!

Teeth: he's working on his 2nd front tooth right now. It's blanching under the surface nicely, so any day now. This will be tooth #7 that we can see.

Meal time: Ben's eating more and more solid food. He prefers feeding himself! He's still addicted to Puffs! We're also trying banana's and other soft fruit. He will eat cereal and fruit but any vegetable is becoming a challenge. Unless there's squash or sweet potatoes mixed in there I can forget it! He LOVES drinking from his sippy cups. Very independent!

Family: Ben and I spent last weekend re doing my sister's kitchen. We are quite the do-it-yourselfers! We also did this with four children at our heals most of the weekend! I'm pretty proud of us.

We are leaving either tonight or tomorrow morning for Kalamazoo. Brian is actually going on this one so we'll leave when he's available. My mother hasn't seen Ben in quite a while (Dad was here for the zoo trip) and is about to be very busy with all her performances so we're going to give her a baby fix!

We're back on Sunday, then on Wednesday Ben will get to see his other Grandparents! Karen and Barry are on their way for the following weekend to get their baby fix!

So, lot's of family which is just how we like it!

Hope all is well!

Sep 27, 2009


Just got back from 4 hour drive. Very tired. Ben did VERY well! One sort of break down, other than that rode right along, napped on and off. We (me and Ben) were in Cadillac, MI helping my sister do some home projects. Went very well. I painted her entire kitchen and she installed a back splash. Very nice.

Here's some cute video of Ben tonight to hold you over. He's so freaking cute! I don't think anything could compare to the video of him laughing last week, but I'll sure keep trying to catch something. I'm going to talk to my husband.

Sep 18, 2009

Ben Laughing

I know I just blogged (see below for his 9 month check up stats and other videos), but this was just too good. He loves peak a boo through the rail and he got laughing out of control and I FINALLY caught it on tape!


9-month Check Up

I can't believe it but yes, Ben is 9 months old! He had his 9 month check up yesterday. He is very healthy! He is 30inches putting him off the charts for length (still), and 21.6 pounds which puts him in the 75% for weight. Yes, he's sort of tall and skinny right now. The doctor says this is perfectly normal, he's going through a growth spurt and his weight is fine. Of course, Brian is freaking out that we're not feeding him enough and we need to bulk him up if he's going to be in the NFL.

He's working on teeth numbers 5 and 6 which are one of his top front teeth and one lower tooth. Both of which have broken through in the last couple of days.

He's also been busy exploring his surroundings. The floor plants are now in the guest bedroom, we can no longer have tv trays as side tables, and I'm afraid Abby's water dish may need to come up during Ben waking hours. He just goes right to it! I caught him elbow deep in that thing twice yesterday!

Hope you enjoy these videos. We got some cute ones this week. He loves playing peak-a-boo. I'm having trouble catching it on video because as soon as the camera comes out he's intrigued by the camera. But he is very good at pulling the blanket up over his head and back to play the game. I also thought I would include one to try to grasp his fascination with opening and closing doors. A very determined boy!

Sep 11, 2009

More teething terror!

We had an interesting week here. I don't know what happened to our precious Ben, but I want him back! He's screaming at night, not eating his food, and getting in fights at school. Let me break this down a little. I think he's cutting more teeth and continues to not handle it well. I suppose if sharp objects were stabbing through my gums I'd be a terror, too. He's waking up at night more and more and just screaming. A little Infant Tylenol and Baby Orajel continues to do ok, but the other night was tough. We got maybe 3 hours of sleep.

I also don't know if it's the teething, but he's starting to get a little finicky when it comes to meal time. He doesn't want any of his fruits or vegetables. He just wants Puffs! We can't even show him the tin or he'll just scream until we give him Puffs! If he doesn't see the Puffs, we can usually manage to get half a container or so down of his other food. He's very determined to do everything himself. Feed himself, use his sippy cup, everything. Yesterday, I tried to cut up pears for the first time. I figure that way he can do it himself. He wasn't sure of those. Maybe it was the texture, but those didn't fly, either, just Puffs! We'll keep trying. He's still nursing fine at least.

And yes, he got in his first fight at school. I should say, he was the victim of a random act of violence. Brian saw the whole thing. Basically, as soon as Ben was dropped off at daycare yesterday, he was sitting on the floor, and another toddler came up and just wacked him on top of the head with a toy. To the point that Ben has a bruise and everything. The teachers say after he settled down he acted fine the rest of the day, just had a bump on the head. He's ok. Kids will be kids! But that kid better not touch my kid again!!!

Enjoy the new videos. He's loving pulling himself up on things. He's not very graceful, yet, and I prefer having a hand on him, but he's again, very determined. He has become very good at going from crawling to pushing himself to a sitting position. Something that took a while and I am very pleased about! As you may remember, we don't want him on his back. Until now, he would crawl to a toy, grab it and roll onto his back to play with it. Now he can sit up and play with it!

There are also a couple pictures of us at Buckingham Fountain. All this time living in Chicago and last weekend was our first time actually standing next to it! We've seen it from the car many times.

Sep 5, 2009

Turning 30 is Pretty Cool!

I know I've been saying this a lot lately, but what a busy two weeks! But in such a fun way. Last weekend we had our visitors which came in to surprise Brian for his 30th birthday. It was a little idea I had way back in March and asked if some ole NC folks could come up for some Chicago Pizza and Cubs games. Jeff, Diddy, and Dagan took me up on it! Brian had no idea and was very surprised. We hung out at the house Friday night and played cards until the wee hours. Saturday the men took off for their bonding time in the city and I didn't see him again until Sunday night. Not a bad 30th bash!

We quickly recovered from that, wiped the house down a bit, and Wednesday night, right after work we welcomed my Dad, sister Stephanie, niece Lianna, and nephew Devin. Thursday morning we got up, made some breakfast and took off for Lincoln Park Zoo. We didn't know what to expect for a free zoo, but it blew us away! So nice! As you can see, Lianna realized her lifelong dream of seeing a polar bear in person! He was so cool! This was also Ben's first trip to the zoo. He loved looking around at all the people and animals. It really wore him out as you can see. He behaved very well.

Before the zoo we also discovered the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It was right next to Lincoln Park Zoo, also free. It was so pretty! My dad got some good landscaping ideas, and I just got jealous because I can't keep a fern alive! I really think both these places are worth visiting again and we have decided to make this an annual thing as long as we are in Chicago! Heck, we can do this whenever, really!Friday we spent the day around Oak Forest. We took the kids to the playground, went for a walk on the trails (Abby was glad to get some lovin), and then the kids wanted to bake a cake for Uncle Brian. They worked hard on baking and decorating it. Steph and the kids then watched Ben so that Brian and I could go out to dinner and a movie to celebrate Brian's actual birthday. It was our first time out without the baby! It was also our first movie in almost a year. It was so nice!!! We held actual conversations! We should have a date night more than just once a year probably.So, today we are catching up on housework and rest! I think we actually have a weekend at home next week. A quiet weekend! We are just so lucky and blessed to have so many good friends and family!

We'll work on some cute videos this weekend. Ben is getting quite the personality. He's really showing preferences to certain toys and going for what he wants. Still army crawling. He rocks on his hands and knees a bit but still makes it around too well the other way. I wish he would figure out how to crawl on his hands and knees because his little elbows get all bruised! But then I guess his little knees would be bruised, huh? Still sprouting teeth left and right! Things are just really good!

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