Ben’s 3rd birthday

Yesterday was Ben’s 3rd birthday. Let’s re-cap his awesome day: what he said he wanted, he got. We started the day with reading the Tickle Monster book:


Then Ben wanted to paint. This was a particularly creative painting session, with pieces he called “Alien from Space,” “A Little Tickle Monster looking for a big tickle monster,” and more:

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Then Ben picked out his clothes for the day:


Then Ben’s favorite breakfast of pancakes and blueberries:

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Then off to Chuck E. Cheese. First we had lunch:

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Then we played games:

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In the middle of games, we had birthday cake:

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He had a love affair with his fork while eating his cake:

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Then we opened presents:

Then we went to Toys R Us because Ben is a member of the birthday club:

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Then we had dinner at Moe’s:


Then, after a wardrobe change, Ben picked out ice cream at Cold Stone: chocolate with M&Ms and gummy bears:

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Then we went home. Jenna came over and brought Ben some gifts of clothes (very nice stuff!). Ben opened two birthday cards that came in the mail: one from his great uncle Sean and one from his GGMa and GGPa Shafer. Thank you all for help to make his day special! All in all, we think he had a fun day. Now we look forward to what this year will bring for Ben and our little family.

Ben flosses for the first time

Today Ben and I read “Dora Goes to the Dentist” on his Kindle. In the book, the dentist flosses Dora’s teeth and encourages Dora’s mom to help Dora floss at home. The first-time parent in me came out: I’m suppose to help him floss? Of course I am! So tonight before bed, I flossed his teeth for the first time. I anticipated a bloody battle (since it was the first time flossing). But he was very well behaved and no blood, which I think is a sign of healthy gums. He then brushed his teeth like a champ. We’re getting to the point of needing to start using floride toothpaste…

Planning for Ben’s birthday

We do celebrate birthdays and this year we will be taking Ben to Chuck E. Cheese’s. The past two years we had a small party at our house but now that Ben is getting to a point where he can be actively involved in the celebration, we wanted to have something fun for him. Which cake should we get for Ben’s 3rd birthday? Considering it’ll only be the three of us celebrating at Chuck E. Cheese… We were going to get the one with Dora and Diego in their cars but it costs $60 and feeds 40 people. Um, no.

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Halloween 2013

We aren’t teaching Ben to make a big deal out of most holidays, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take him on some benign trick-or-treating at Publix on Halloween. The employees were very sweet and patient with this novice candy solicitor.

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Along the Halloween theme, his grandpa Jay made Ben these orange-o-lanterns:

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Mommy gripes: reminiscing and writing

The Bucks

I was adding some new photos to the blog today and began to reminisce. I looked at posts from my pregnancy leading up to the first few posts after Ben’s birth, and I came to a conclusion: I had a lot more time to write back then! With my promotion a few month’s after Ben’s birth, the new job of being a working mother, the added responsibilities of maintaining a house, attempting to be a good wife, and the recent diagnosis of thyroid failure, I’ve been a little tired. I know for a few years now, it’s been by miracle that posts have even made it onto the site, let alone posts with more than a few sentences describing the photos. So for those who still visit the site, thanks for you support and encouragement. And I hope to change the content and frequency of posts.

Ben is coming up on 3 years old.

Being a mom isn’t easy, but it gets easier as we go. Looking back at the first posts, we were so worried about everything – he’s not eating, the organic diapers don’t work, he didn’t start to talk in line with the developmental milestones, yadda yadda yadda.

Now, I worry about the crashing sound I hear in the other room. I worry that he’s going to be a brat child because he is insubordinate to me. I worry that he misses me since he turns into a different person when I get home – one that is barely recognizable to Blake who is home with him all the time.  I worry that he’s going to be lonely because he’s an only child and because we don’t know anyone with young kids (although the Y helps with this worry because he meets kids while I exercise). I worry that he’s going to be a crappy eater because mom and daddy eat garbage, which then makes be worry that he will struggle with his weight like both mom and dad.

So many worries. And I tend to suppress them all. With all the responsibilities at this point in my life, I can’t be the neurotic mom I originally planned to be. Good, bad, or otherwise, I will be a different parent than originally intended.

But I think it will be ok. Somehow we’ve kept Ben alive for almost 3 years! With only one ER visit (see this post). Sure, he is spoiled with so many more toys than I ever intended. Yeah, he still co-sleeps with me and I admit I like it. But we’re doing ok. Ben is super smart, happy, sweet most of the time, adorable, and addicted to chocolate. I’m ok with all that, and I’m excited to see Ben continue to grow into an improved version of his parents.