Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oh, give me a break!

Okay, I have a bone to pick with Target. It's bad enough that after Back-to-School, half of the seasonal department turns into Christmas. And of course, the other half comes after Halloween. (Hello, have we heard of Thanksgiving? Let it be a holiday! Oh, that's another post). My beef today is that now that it IS an appropriate time for Christmas stuff, I found Valentine M&Ms on an endcap. Seriously? Is someone really going to come into Target in the middle of December expecting to see pink and red M&Ms? Do people have to really plan ahead for the hugely popular holiday of Valentine's Day? I just don't get it. I'd honestly LOVE to know how many they sell before January. Crazy!
All right, I'm done.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Book Meme

This should be fun!

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why? I don't usually care. Paperback usually means cheaper. :) If it's hardcover, I do have to take the paper outside off. It bugs me.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…The Book Nook. It would be next door to The Cookie Nook. You could buy a cookie and go read a book. What could be better?

3. My favourite quote from a book (mention the title) is…From Eat, Pray, Love: "In the end, what I have come to believe about God is simple. It's like this--I used to have this really great dog. She came from the pound. She was a mixture of about ten different breeds, but seemed to have inherited the finest features of them all. She was brown. When people asked me, "What kind of a dog is that?" I would always give the same answer: "She's a brown dog." Similarly, when the question is raised, "What kind of a God do you believe in?" my answer is easy: "I believe in a magnificent God."

4. The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be ….C.S. Lewis

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…The Bible. It sounds so goody-goody of me, but it's the only thing I've re-read and enjoyed the second time as much as (or more than) the first.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that….Something that holds them open on a table. I didn't think it was a necessary gadget until I tried to type the quote above. :)

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of….My elementary school library. I used to check out a book about Christmas around the world. The book was ancient and I was one of only two people to ever check it out. I'm not sure why I loved it so much! I guess I just loved Christmas that much.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be….Anne in Anne of Green Gables.

9. The most overestimated book of all times is….Harry Potter series. I'm sure the books are good (I have read the first) but it seems like a lot of hype.

10. I hate it when a book….ends before I'm ready for it to!

Tag to whomever sees this next! Corinne or Lisa!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Meet my new best friend!

His name is Mr. Clean. I've never been a fan of his cleaning products, as I tend to go for generic store brands. However, all of that changed today. He entered my life with fairly new product called "Magic Eraser" and I promise I will always have one of these truly magic products in my house. Let me explain.

This morning, Jackson and I were doing some random chores around the house. Now, when I say we were BOTH doing chores, I really mean that I was doing things, and Jack was right on my heels, undoing everything for me. Fantastic! At one point, he discovered some stickers in our bedroom, so I let him sit there and go crazy with the stickers while I did something productive without his help. At one point, things got eerily quiet in our bedroom, so I decided to check on the sticker boy. As I entered the room, I was met by Jackson, black sharpie in hand, and this:

You've got to scroll down a little bit so that it's a surprise............... :)

I almost threw up. I must have yelled, because Jack started crying. So I held him for a while, explaining that it was my fault for leaving him alone and that his artwork was really quite good. After we both settled down, I tried to remove the marks with a variety of household products. When none of them worked, I googled "removing permanent marker from wood furniture." And voila! There were tons of sites that claimed the magic eraser was exactly what I needed. Since we needed a couple of other things at Cub, Jack and I ran a quick errand. And there, on the top shelf of aisle 15, was my new man, in all his shiny bald glory:
I grabbed it and the rest of our shopping list and skedaddled out of the store. After getting Jack in bed, I started in with the magic. (By the way, the picture only shows half of the mess. I wanted to get it close up. The dresser is double wide, and he got both sides very nicely). AND BOY WAS IT MAGIC!!!! I just about cried, it was so amazing. It hardly required any effort on my part. I don't know what the sponge is made of or what is in it, but I was absolutely amazed. Here is the SAME dresser after Mr. Clean's help:

Aren't you just amazed? Seriously, I feel like I should call the company and do a commercial! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What Jackson WON'T be wearing this holiday season

So, a couple of years ago I ordered a pair of clearanced flipflops online from J Crew. Ever since, I have been on their e-mailing list. I recently discovered that they have a kids' clothing line called Crew Cuts. I got an e-mail about some of their "holiday looks" today, and I just want to share with you a single little boy outfit.

Here is a cashmere cable knit sweater for $98.

Of course, he'll need a shirt to go under it, so this is a classic dress shirt for $36.50 (for a limited time, it's on sale for $28.50).

And plaid pants for $185. I don't think I've ever spent that amount of money for a pair of pants for myself.

Obviously, he'll need some shoes, and what better than these loafers for a mere $88? (We'll use our own socks, since theirs are upwards of $9/pair).

If it happens to be cold, he'll also need a jacket. Here's a leather number for $350.

For a grand total of $757.50. So THIS is where the celebs shop for their kids. Heaven, help us!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Bucket List

Dan and I saw the movie "Dan in Real Life" last night. Great movie! I would highly recommend it. You won't be disappointed.

We also saw some great previews for upcoming movies, including one that looks like a sure award-winner called "Bucket List." In it, two cancer patients, played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, escape from the hospital and take a trip to cross things off their bucket list---the list you make of things you want to do before you die (or, kick the bucket). So it got me thinking about this concept of a "bucket list," and I'm wondering how many people have them. I decided to start one. Actually, I started one as a joke when we flew to Connecticut in September. You know those tacky catalogs in the seat pocket in front of you--Skymall? I decided that I wanted to order something out of that catalog before I die. It was a joke, but of course it was crazy enough to make it to the "real" list. :) So, start yours. And tell me what it includes!!!

And no, I'm not sharing mine here. You'll have to invite me to lunch and tell me to bring it with.

Erin :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Overdue pictures

I have been meaning to do this for a long time, so while I have a free moment, here I go!

This is Jackson enjoying his first juice box ever. He got the hang of the straw surprisingly quickly.

Jackson "holding" his second cousin Shane in Connecticut.

Playing his "ding" (guitar).

Jack is going to be a pumpkin for Halloween. This is the first costume test.

Lucy is enduring a smothering. What a good kitty. :)

Jammin' to some tunes!

Someone got my letter. This is Jack 2 1/2 hours into his nap on Friday. I ended up waking him up at 4:30, and he reluctantly let me take him out of his crib by about 4:45. Now, if only long naps were a little more reliable!

Enjoying his lunch. With a broom on the table. He can never be too far away from his cleaning tools.

Enjoy! Have a great week! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My little alligator!

Or crocodile. Or maybe it's a dragon. Nevertheless, it's the cute little "ticker" at the top of the page. It automatically keeps track of your child's age (or whatever else you want to keep track of, actually). I'm a regular on some bulletin boards at a website called Babycenter, and I always have my little critter on my posts, so I decided to share him here too. And if you ever wonder how old Jackson is, you can just come here and get that information to the day! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Re: Jackson

To whom it may concern,

I would like to file a complaint regarding the young male child in our care. It seems as though the boy is requiring less sleep than he has in the recent past and has consequently reduced his two naps to one. This change took place without any notice and has severely disrupted our days. A warning of a few days or a week would have been very much appreciated. I would have found some consolation in the one remaining nap becoming longer, but it has not. You must not realize how much one can accomplish during naptime. When said naptime is as much as disrupted, much of the day's chores must be delayed until bedtime, which is not an ideal time to stay up late and work.
It is inevitable that the boy will eventually give up his one and only nap. Before this happens (which, frankly, better not be for at LEAST another year--two would be better), I would very much appreciate a memo regarding the impending change. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Erin Bennett
aka "the mom"

Bethel University, here I come....again

I am officially re-enrolled in my masters program to finish this tiny little paper they call a thesis. No big deal. Just 40 or 50 pages of fabulous writing on a pertinent issue in the field of literacy education. Seriously, it's pretty much done in my head. Just gotta get it on paper. Oh, bother. Nevertheless, I am officially a graduate student once more. And hopefully for the last time. Unless I decide to become a doctor. Yeah, that sounds like me!
Wish me luck. I'm not in student mode yet. :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Oh no! She is a verb!

If you know me, you know I like the Food Network. I could sit and watch just about anything on that channel.

If you really know me, you know there is one show I actually can't sit down and watch. If this particular show is on, I absolutely have to change the channel. I'd rather watch football. The show is Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee.

Sandra Lee is just really annoying to me. And the concept of her show is rather odd. She makes meals, snacks, desserts, and cocktails with shortcuts--hence the "semi" in front of the "homemade." It seems like an interesting concept, but sometimes the long version of whatever she is making really is worth the effort. And again, she's just an annoying person. Blonde, too skinny, kind of snooty. You get the picture.

So I've got the Food Network on right now (Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals--another annoying person, but her recipes are worth the pain--it's really a whole other post...). Just before Rachael appeared, I saw a new commercial. A woman had made an impressive-looking meal and one of her guests says, "You didn't have to go to so much trouble!" and the host says, "Oh, I didn't--I Sandra Leed it!" Oh my gosh, you can't just say a name and make it into a verb! I have to say, if I were in the "biz," that would be a sure sign of my demise. So keep your ears open and please let me know if you hear of anything being "Erin Bennetted." Thank you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eighteen months

My dear Jackson boy,

Today you are one and a half! I used to write these letters once a month. I'm not sure where I ever found the time for that! I haven't written since your first birthday. I decided that I would write again at eighteen months and then just every birthday after that.

I can't believe it's already been six months since your first birthday. On March 19, 2007, we celebrated your first year of life. Time goes so quickly and I know that before we know it, you'll be going off to kindergarten or college or getting married. Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. But really, I need to be prepared for how quickly your childhood is going to go. If the first year and a half have gone this fast, then watch out! We're in for a wild ride. :)

You had already been walking for a little over a month when you turned one. But you continued to get more comfortable with the action and eventually started running and climbing more as the spring went on. You loved stairs, and you are still entirely too confident on them. (In fact, you just took a trip down an entire flight of stairs the other day and have the rug burn on the nose to prove it!).

Now, this is a topic that you could probably do without chatting about (especially if you actually read these later in life), but I'm going there anyway. About a month after your first birthday, I weaned you from nursing. Now, we were definitely getting to that place, but I had no idea it was actually going to happen when it did. It was Easter weekend and we were down to two feedings a day. On Easter morning, it just worked out that we missed the feeding after your nap. So I figured we would just move to one feeding a day. Well, with our schedule on Easter, it just worked out that we missed the second one too. And just like that, you were weaned. Again, not something you needed to know about, but still worth mentioning. On a serious note, the one thing I regret is having nursed you for the last time without realizing it was going to be the last time. :(

You got more and more active and loved to be outside. It was good timing, too, because by the time summer came and we could be outside all the time, we had so much fun! We spent a few summer days at the Maple Grove pool. You love the water and it was a nice chance for me to cool off too. :) We also had a small pool on the deck which you loved to play in. But I think your favorite "new" toy of the summer was your slide! It's a plastic slide from Mimi and Poppa's next door neighbor, and we put it in the lower level. Dad is pretty sure you could go up and down that slide for a half hour without getting bored of it. And you are so excited about it the whole time! You happy kid.

In the middle of the summer, we took a trip to Door County, WI with Mimi, Poppa, and Sean. We had a fun time, but the 6+ hour long drive was a little too much for you to handle. We promise not to do that to you ever again! We did have fun meeting and feeding farm animals and playing at the beach. And given all circumstances, you were quite a trooper! And it was nice to get away from home for a little while. If anything, it made us more thankful for our home and predictable routine.

Also over the summer, we got in the habit of going to the club every morning. It didn't take you long to get used to the childcare center. After a few mornings of clinging me with tears in your eyes, you started to love being there. Sometimes you don't even want to come with me when I come to pick you up! Silly goose.

One of your good friends is Eli. And since Corinne went back to work last month, I have been taking care of him a few days a week. You LOVE when he comes in the morning and always want to hold him. You are good at playing with Eli and making him smile. You even put his toys in his hand when he drops them. I'm sure you'll be a fabulous big brother someday and you'll love having a baby in the house. Just not yet. :)

Last week you took your second plane ride. Our family took a trip to Connecticut to visit some family. Mimi grew up in Connecticut, and her Mom (MY Mimi!) still lives there, along with five of her siblings. You had so much fun with all of your little cousins. They just loved you! You were the star of the weekend. We could have done without the flights, but you were such a good boy. On the day we left, we had to get you out of bed at 3:30 in the morning. Poppa took us to the airport and our plane took off at 5:30. We had a layover in Philadelphia and then took a plane to Hartford. We got so many compliments on both plane rides. People were so impressed with how well-behaved you were! On the way home, we had a layover in Chicago. It ended up being a little longer than it was supposed to because the weather in Minnesota wasn't good enough to land. Then it was delayed more and more. We didn't land until after 10:30 and you didn't go to bed until midnight! It was definitely the latest I've ever put you to bed.

And here we are today, and you are one and a half. You're a big boy! It's such an amazing thing to watch you grow and learn new things. You have such a wonderful smile and laugh and personality. And it develops more and more every day. It's awesome! I'm sure we'll have trials more than enough times down the road, but I can't help but think that this parenting thing is only going to get more fun and more incredible. You are a joy to parent. Thanks for being such a fantastic little boy. We love you so much and thank God for letting us take care of you on earth.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm a tropical depression

Although it may be a sad declaration, I have to tell you that I've always dreamed of having a hurricane named for me. Of course when they get really bad, then it's not cool. I mean, imagine introducing yourself as "Katrina" two years ago. Anyway, I'm not cool enough to be a hurricane this year, but I was a tropical storm and today I have been downgraded to a tropical depression. I'll take it. I'm writing it down. August of 2007--I shared my name with a really bad storm in Texas. Yeah, that sounds pretty sad.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Something that made me laugh today

Last week's People magazine had a short interview with Kevin Nealon. He is in the show Weeds, which is now on DVD. A couple of excerpts:

A celebrity I'd get stoned with in real life: Brad Pitt. We'd talk about what it's like being with Angelina Jolie and, like, do you still check out other women? Then maybe we'd compare notes on being a sex symbol.

Having a 6-month-old son with wife Susan Yeagley: We're hands-on parents. It's us and only us that drop him off at daycare and choose the nanny.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007


So, I still owe a few things before I can get on to our Door County vacation report.

1) Our week with Marissa, our friends' 2-year-old. Our friends Brant and Nicole went on a rafting trip to the Grand Canyon and left their daughter with us for the week. It was so much fun. We got a chance to try out the "two child" thing, and I think we did pretty well! Both Marissa and Jackson are such easy kids, and they played together quite well.
2) A picture of Jackson pointing to his belly button. Still working on this one. I'll get it soon. I'm very sorry, Mike and Jenny. :)

Now, on with the Door County news. On Saturday, July 14th, we packed up my dad's SUV and embarked on a drive across the entire state of Wisconsin to the peninsula of Door County. Poor Jack didn't know what we were doing to him. Of course we tried to leave around a naptime in hopes that he would sleep well in the car, but that didn't exactly happen. Once he would fall asleep, his head would begin to drop and he would startle awake. But we eventually got to our destination, a lovely little cabin on Clark Lake, an inland lake on the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula. We came to learn that the location wasn't very child-friendly, so it was a bit of a challenge keeping Jackson safe and entertained, but we had enough other things going on to make the time fun. The poor boy also didn't sleep very well the whole trip. The three of us had an unfinished attic for the week, and he was just so out of his comfort zone. He never actually napped in his crib, and nights were a little trying. But again, we survived! Our days were spent at a couple different beaches, a couple different petting farms, lots of fun shops and restaurants, and a winery. Here are some photos from our adventure. Enjoy! :)

Kayaking with Poppa. Notice his cute little life jacket--that's his favorite part!

Blowing bubbles with Mimi.

Kissing a bear. What a nice boy.

Bottle-feeding a baby goat at a farm.

A day at the beach!

Just relaxing.

Asleep with Mimi---this is how most naps happened all week.

Gotta love it! A diaper and sneakers. Classy. :)

Driving a tractor all by himself.

Working on the farm.

Feeding friendly goats.

Feeding friendly horses with Uncle Sean.

Dan and me on our 5th anniversary.

One of the happier moments in the car, watching Little Einstein on the DVD player.

Yay! I've been meaning to get this done all week and now I'm done!
Have a great day! :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Get out of town!

That's what we are doing. Getting out of town. Tomorrow morning, we will be on our way to Door County, WI for a week with my parents and brother. A much-needed break and we are so excited! It will also be nice to have a week off from making cookies.

Coming next week:
  • Tales of our week with Marissa. Our friends went away for a week and left their 2-year-old with us. It was fabulous, but we're glad we only have one child right now. :)
  • A picture of Jackson pointing to his belly button (requested by Mike and Jenny). It's really cuter than it sounds.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hidden risks of vaccinations

Jackson had his 15-month appointment today. I didn't think he would have any shots, but it turns out that he was scheduled for two. Poor boy! Anyway, vaccinations can be a pretty controversial topic in the parenting world. In fact, many parents choose not to vaccinate their children because they believe the risks outweigh the benefits. When you take your son to his well-child visit, you must sign consent forms for each vaccination being administered and answer a few routine questions.

As I left the clinic and began to drive home, I had all of this information running through my head. However, as I glanced back at Jackson sitting in his carseat and chewing on one of his new bandaids, it became clear to me that the most underrated risk of childhood vaccinations is the obvious choking hazard.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lucy's new friend

As I walked by the stairs this morning, I glanced down at the door and saw this:

This is Lucy. It isn't unusual to find her sitting or lying on this landing. There are often birds, squirrels, or other cats that get her attention. This morning it was the adorable little chipmunk you can see on the step outside. Lucy was so fixated on this little guy. And the chipmunk was obviously aware of Lucy, because he was totally frozen.

So, cute picture, cute story. But it doesn't end there.

A few minutes later, I was walking down those stairs to go for a walk with Jackson. Lucy remained fixated on the chipmunk, but the chipmunk could obviously sense my presence and was aware that I was larger than a house cat and could probably inflict more harm than said house cat. So the chipmunk scampered, and at that point I noticed that there were actually two chipmunks on the steps. They were both really frantic and Lucy was just going crazy. If she could have formed words, I'm sure it would have been something to the effect of, "I know you don't EVER let me outside, but PLEASE! Can't you see these perfect little playmates just WAITING for me to join them?! Come ON!" But I didn't listen. I proceeded to the garage, where the stroller is. As I opened the garage door, I noticed that both of the chipmunks had made it to the bottom of the stairs and onto the sidewalk. And they kept going, I imagine trying to get away from Lucy, who, consequently was still safely behind the window and very much indoors. I, on the other hand, was now within a few feet of them. This fact FREAKED them out. I would have thought that chipmunks, especially pairs of chipmunks, would have a game plan to implement when they are faced with impending danger. Well, one had a plan. He scampered back across the sidewalk and under a bush. The other one? Not so much. He decided to run INTO the garage and UNDER the car. I screamed. (It was one of those moments that you forget you are a million times bigger than bugs and rodents and you wonder why they make you scream). Jack was just confused. I grabbed the stroller, put him in it, closed the garage door, and left for our walk. When I returned from the walk, I opened the garage door, put the stroller away, closed the door and went inside. Once again trapping our little friend in his new home.

So, we are now the proud owners of a garage rodent. Hurray! His poor little buddy is probably wondering where the heck he is. :) (Actually, we have a big hole in the seam of cement/asphalt where our garage door comes down, and there is definitely enough room for him to escape. Whether HE has figured out that fact yet remains to be seen).

In other non-related Bennett news:
  • On this day in 1980, I entered the world for the first time. That actually makes it sound like I have entered the world again since then. I haven't. It just sounded like a more interesting way to say that it's my 27th birthday. Yay!
  • Last night was the second week of the Maple Grove Farmers' Market. I was sold out by about 6:30. Yay again!
  • Jackson's new "words" are "uh oh" and "Mmmmm." He tested out the latter after he stole a cookie off the cooling rack the other day. I was doing something in the kitchen and heard from the dining room, "Mmmmmm." I turned around to see him holding a cookie and chewing like crazy. There were two adorable little bites out of it. Oh, too cute. I couldn't be mad. :)
That's all for now. I hope the first full day of summer is finding you enjoying the sun, now that it has officially made an appearance!

Thursday, June 14, 2007 many cookies!

It's 11:37 and I am staring at cooling racks full of warm chocolate chip cookies. That can only mean one thing. I had a heck of a craving tonight.

Or--tomorrow is the first day of the Maple Grove Farmers' Market and I'm selling cookies at the Cookie Nook! Yeah, that's more like it. :)

I hope you can all come out if you are in the area. The Market happens every Thursday (rain or shine!) from 3:00 to 7:00 through October 25th. It takes place in the Maple Grove Community Center parking lot. There are tons of vendors selling lots of fun stuff. (Beware--there is another cookie seller. Ignore CC Cookie Company and keep walking toward the Cookie Nook!)

We also have a website in case you are desiring yummy cookies and can't make it to the Market. I do special orders! Just go to It's a little under construction, but keep checking back!

All right, just one more pan to get out of the oven and it's off to bed. 23 more dozen tomorrow and we are good to go!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sleeping babies and new hair

Here's a cute shot of Jackson sleeping yesterday. I had to wake him up in the morning. What a sweetie!

The next two are of my new haircut. I have wanted to chop it off for a while, and finally had the guts last night.
There you have it. Off to work! Four more days! :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fun with Mimi and Poppa!

At the request of my mother, here are a couple of cute pictures of our boy. The wallpaper on her computer at work has a picture of Jack in his snowsuit. She says it's cute, but it makes her cold. Oh, fine. Here is something new!

Here he is, being Superman with my dad. The pajamas are a replica of something Dan used to wear day and night as a child. There is a cape and everything! He's such a little superhero. :)

This is Jackson sporting his new bike helmet with my mom. My parents got a child carrier for their bike, and Jack wasn't crazy about it. But he looks darn cute in the safety gear!

That's all for now. There are many more pictures that need to get onto the computer. Once I find the time for that, I'll let you know. :)

Happy long weekend!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

blogging, burgers, birthdays, and brooms

So I have been neglecting my blog lately. I'm sorry. It could be worse. Jeff hasn't posted since Christmas. (Yuletide Musings anyone?) Don't even get me started on Joel. But I digress. I'm back, and I have some mindless things to say.

I had a really good hamburger today. Do you ever see a commercial for something and the advertising does its job so well that you run out and get/eat whatever it was, only to be sorely disappointed? Well, I have seen this particular Ruby Tuesday commercial for their Triple Prime burger, and we finally got there today (to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday) and I got it. I was not one bit disappointed. I think it was one of the best hamburgers I have ever eaten. I'm still reveling in the scrumptiousness of it!

Jackson is the coolest kid ever. He is almost 14 months, and he is running around and babbling like crazy. Someone pointed out that I didn't write him a letter for 13 months (which was April 19th) and asked if I am done with that now that he is 1. Here's the thing. I'm not done, because it's one of my favorite things to do. But there really isn't something new to report every month these days. So my plan is to do it at 18 months, and then maybe every year. Also, the prospect of doing it every month once we have four kids is a little daunting. :) The woman whose blog I got the idea from only has one child, a daughter, who is now 3. She still writes her newsletter every month. They're on month 38!

One thing that I would have written in Jack's 13-month letter is about his new fascination with brooms. It is absolutely hilarious! He spotted a big push broom on our deck a few weeks ago and hasn't forgotten it. He stands at the sliding door and babbles at it. ("Come on! Let me play with you!"). He got his hands on one at the house I do daycare in, and proceeded to carry it around all day. It got to the point where he screamed when I had to take it away to put him down for his nap. What a kid! Well, since we are Swiffer people, we did not have a broom to offer our son. What awful parents we are. We quickly remedied the situation at Target a couple weeks ago. $1.39. I guarantee that's the cheapest toy I ever buy him. And probably the one that will give him the greatest enjoyment!

That's all from our neck of the woods. I hope you are all enjoying this unseasonably warm weather. It makes me long for summer!

Monday, April 09, 2007

baby humor

In an effort to find some information on weaning, I found this funny list on Enjoy!

If Men Got Pregnant

Maternity leave would last two years... with full pay.

There would be a cure for stretch marks.

Natural childbirth would become obsolete.

Morning sickness would rank as the nation's #1 health problem.

All methods of birth control would be 100% effective.

Children would be kept in the hospital until toilet trained.

Men would be eager to talk about commitment.

They wouldn't think twins were so cute.

Sons would have to be home from dates by 10:00 PM.

Briefcases would be used as diaper bags.

Paternity suits would be a fashion line of clothes.

They'd stay in bed during the entire pregnancy.

Restaurants would include ice cream and pickles as main entrees.

Women would rule the world.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

24-hour bug takes a 24-hour break

So, I woke up at 1:00 in the morning on Sunday night/Monday morning VIOLENTLY ill. I spent an hour or so in the bathroom, and somehow made it back to bed. I made Dan stay home from work because I couldn't fathom taking care of Jack in my condition. Other than the occasional visit back to the restroom, I stayed in bed all day. I ate a few bites of soup for dinner. I sprawled on the couch to watch the Twins season opener and 24. I thought I was feeling better, but I actually still felt pretty crappy going to bed at 9:30. Well, then Jack woke up at 3:00, and on my way to his room, I thought, "Wow, I am totally back to normal!" Not a bit of the "yuck" feeling left in me! Yesterday was great. I felt 200% better. I got lots done around the house to make up for Monday. I went to bed. I woke up at 4:00 this morning and thought, "Are you kidding me? You weren't done with me yet?" Again, I spent some time on the bathroom floor and eventually made it back to bed, just in time for Jack to wake up and refuse to fall asleep again without nursing. I dozed off and on until 6:45, but it was really nothing substantial, and before I knew it, Jack was up for good and Dan was leaving for the day. Now I'm wondering just how long this is sticking around this time. I have to say that I don't feel AS awful as I did on Monday, but it's still a chore to keep up with Jack when all I want to do is stay in bed all day, sipping Sprite. :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

One Year

Dear Jackson,

Who would have thought that the feeling I had looking at a positive pregnancy test on July 7, 2005 would turn into the feeling I have today, celebrating your first year of life? It's amazing to think that you have been blessing us with your presence for a whole year!

It all started simply enough. Well, as simple as nine (ten) months of pregnancy can be! But after the pregnancy and 30+ hours of labor, we had a baby. Just like that, we went from a childless couple to the parents of an infant. Talk about scary! But you were pretty easy on us. :)

I got seven weeks off of work to spend with you, my new little bundle of joy. It was nice to be able to take our time getting used to each other and settling into this whole new experience. I learned very quickly that I had made the right decision about not returning back to work in the fall. How could I leave you all day? :)

Unfortunately, I did have to go back to work and finish out the last five weeks of the school year. But you had fun everyday with Mimi, Grandma, Kathleen, and Mandie. In May I got to celebrate my first Mother's Day. What a wonderful feeling!

Before long, it was summer and we had all the time in the world again. Your personality certainly started to show through! You very quickly proved yourself to be an extremely delightful kid. As it got warmer outside, you got to discover more of the world around you. We all discovered that you preferred the baby carrier to the stroller, as evidenced by your screaming the entire second half of a walk!

As your personality developed, so did your recognition of and appreciation for the people around you: Mimi, Poppa, and Uncle Sean, Grandma and Uncle John, and lots of friends.

In August, you took your first plane ride--to Seattle for Shauna's wedding. You did great on the plane and loved all of the fun stuff we did in the city. Soon after we returned, school started and we started daycare together.

September also brought cooler weather, a runny nose, and your first taste of solid food. Yum!

Six months was a big milestone. Not so much at the time, but looking back, the first six months of your life went really slowly and the last six months have just flown! Not to mention that you don't even look like a baby anymore. You're a little man!

For Halloween, you were a dragon. And a scary one!

For Thanksgiving, you had a cold. And a bad one!

For Christmas, you were just the best little kid celebrating your first Christmas. You got lots of presents and got to be a part of lots of traditions.

January brought the new year and a new big milestone for you--you FINALLY slept through the night! And what a difference it made for all of us! Luckily, you have kept it up!

We also got to experience some of Minnesota's finest snow--you loved it! You also started walking all over the place. Yikes!

All of this has brought us to where we are now--one year old. It's incredible to watch you grow and learn new things and figure out how stuff works. You're a smart little kid! We've enjoyed every moment of this first year, and we're so excited for many more!

Love you, dear boy

Mom :)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

One year ago (again)

Friday, March 17, 2006. Normal day of school. I wore green. I drove straight from school to my doctor's office for my 40-week appointment. She regrettably informed me that although I was continuing to efface (cervix thinning out), I still was not dilating at all. Bummer. I left mentally prepared to be pregnant for at least another week. Three hours later, I was sitting in bed watching "Reba." It's something I hadn't watched before and haven't watched since. I think I was reading too. I remember feeling like I was getting the flu. Not stomach, but I was achy and feverish and just felt yucky. Then I had some odd cramps. "Surely not contractions," I thought. "I'm going to be pregnant for at least another week!" But they kept coming with some consistency. Weird. So I went to bed (Dan the snorer was sleeping downstairs--I didn't want to disturb his sleep with this possibility of news--one of us should be sleeping!). I was able to sleep with minimal cramp disturbance until about 3:00 am Saturday. I still didn't bother Dan until about 5:00 am, when I thought I had lost my "plug." (Fastforward to just before my water broke--I definitely had NOT lost my plug that morning. Yuck.) Anyway, he got up with me and started timing contractions. We called the hospital and they said to come when the contractions were a certain length and a certain distance apart. They weren't yet. So we called my doula, who came and waited out the day at our house. I remember going for a very short walk outside. I remember eating grapes. I remember Dan getting the video camera out and knowing that I'd regret him making an account of my blown up body. (I did). I remember making the decision to go to the hospital at 3:00 pm. In hindsight, I would have known that the contractions I'd been having for a few hours were nothing compared to what I would feel later on. I would have waited longer at home. I will next time. I remember Dan driving like a maniac to the hospital and our doula trying to follow him without breaking the law. We got to the hospital safely. I was wheeled into the labor and deliver triage area. They checked me. 2-3 centimeters. Crap! I should have waited! I will next time. So we walked around the LD floor. And we walked. And we walked. And we finally got a room. I was hooked up to an IV and all sorts of monitors. I changed into my own clothes. Something needed to feel familiar. Even if it was a nightshirt I'd bought at Kohl's only a week prior, it wasn't a hospital gown, and that's all that mattered. At some point, I remember getting into the bathtub. It didn't feel as good as I'd hoped. They decided to check me again at about 8:00 pm. Still 2-3 centimeters. Seriously? If contractions this bad aren't doing anything, I don't even want to know what kind are in my future! Since I hadn't slept since 3:00 am, I was given an antihistamine to help me relax and maybe even sleep between contractions. They also gave me a shot of morphine. I wish I hadn't gotten any of it. I won't next time. Although it was nice to sleep between contractions, it was quite the rude awakening when one came on. And the morphine just made me throw up and did nothing for the pain. After a few hours, the antihistamine wore off and I was completely coherent again. And things were starting to get serious. They checked me at 11:00 pm and I was about 8 cm. Yay! Something actually worked! Well, then all hell broke loose. For two hours, I was in what they call "transition." It's a really nice name for something that makes you feel like you want to grab the nearest sharp object and cut the baby out yourself because you're not sure how much longer you can deal with the contractions. For at least an hour of it, I had the urge to push with each contraction, but I couldn't because I wasn't fully dilated. Unless you've been through it, you have no idea how hard it is to stop your body from pushing. It's the craziest thing I've ever felt. FINALLY at a little after 1:00 am (30 HOURS since the first contraction), I was allowed to start pushing. My first push broke my water. After only a few more pushes (when it's still just the nurse coaching you through what to do), the nurse had to go get the doctor because this kid finally meant business and was coming very quickly. (I've heard first-time moms push for an average of 2 hours). The doctor came in and I continued to push. I really don't remember much of the pushing, actually. It lasted about 25 minutes, but I really only remember the very end of it. The doctor told me to give her a really hard push to get the head out. I gave her a really hard push and the whole baby came out! I guess I meant business too. At 1:36 am, Jackson Reed Bennett came into this world in all of his 9-1/2 pounds of glory. They put him up on my belly and all I remember thinking (after he lifted his own head up to look at me--no lie) was that this was a big baby. The next thing I remember thinking was how hungry and tired I was. Once I was stitched up and cleaned off and had my little bundled up babe, I was allowed to eat. It was the best hospital boxed lunch I've ever had. :) As for the sleeping, that didn't really happen until Sunday night. It was way too many hours to be awake at one time. But God gives something amazing to pregnant women and new mothers. It's an energy that is completely unexplained. I knew I was exhausted, but I knew I wasn't going to die. I would make it. I had this new life to take care of. I had to make it.
Reflecting on all of this a year later makes me remember how hard it all was. But there is something in me that can't wait to do it all again.

For those of you who stuck with this until the end, thank you. It was really more for me. And I realize that not all of this was one year ago today, but I thought it would be silly to split it up into three days. :) Plus, Monday (his actual birthday) will be his monthly letter from me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One year ago...

...was my due date! I remember anticipating that date for nine (ten) months. I remember the feeling of seeing that date come and go and wondering when on earth this baby would come meet us. My, how the year has flown.

More to come in the following days!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Snow day!

The title doesn't actually go with the pictures below, although it seems that way. The title refers to the fact that most of the state is closed due to snow today. And that's a great thing for someone who does daycare for teachers! Although, it took Osseo forever to actually call it last night. Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Anoka-Hennepin were all closed for today by 9:00 last night (along with other big metro districts). But Osseo made us sweat it out until about 10:00. But nevertheless, we have a snow day, and it's awesome. It's even more awesome that it's Friday and we have a three-day weekend! Anyway, getting on with the pictures, last Sunday, we ventured outside with the Jack man and had some fun in the snow (you know, from the storm before this one we just had?). We got him a sled for Christmas, and this was the first time he was able to experience it. And he loved it so much! It was adorable! Here's proof. :)
(And thanks to Liam for the use of the awesome snowsuit!!)

Getting ready with Dad.

Here we go!

Oh, so fun!

Slow down, Mom!

Whoa, I think I'm done now.

I love my boy!

We set him down in the snow to get a picture of him just sitting there surrounded by white. He immediately rolled over and got stuck. Well, it's the thought....