Saturday, October 31, 2009

a halloween classic...

on this night, 2 years ago. classic.

back to thoughts on our trip...

okay...we got a little sidetracked with the cuteness of the matching sleeper and blanket and the craziness of poor understanding of numbers BUT...back to ontario. in "s. him-ee" fashion, i have been collecting my highlights and lowlights of the trip in order to summarise the fantastic-ness of our trip out east. though i'd like to preface these highlights with the obvious: the biggest highlight of course is that we got to see our extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents and introduce them to ben. so awesome.

highlights: 1. excessive desserts. 2. never getting lost thanks to jmac's gps. 3. (tim's) witnessing the maple leaf's worst start in franchise history while in toronto. 4. a time's up battle of champions. 5. watching not one but two impersonations of busta rhymes from amy. 6. 2 - 3 hour breakfast chats at the matuskas. 7. (tim's) jogging around port stanley. 8. imagining the possibilities of buying a shop in port stanley and turning it into a bookstore/coffee shop. 9. (tim's) a high-speed tour of the wardsville golf course with jonny hanging on for dear life. 10. paul's nicknames...for everything. 11. picking up abi at school for lunch then picking up rachel at school for a second lunch. 12. a colossal serving of apple crisp. 13. (tim's) managing to fit in two canuck games. 14. ben's fear of uncle brad's laugh (i guess this shouldn't be a highlight but it sure was funny). 15. the generosity of our family. 16. cheesecake with caramel and chopped up toblerone at the wards. 17. trying out the wii fit. 18. meeting molly green. 19. actually seeing the CN tower while in toronto. 20. donuts for breakfast. 21. a game of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader with made-up rules. 22. anticipating a fight at the car rental place only to have none because there was no sketchiness to the car drop off. 23. staying in only two places while in ontario...fantastic spaces of our own while away from home. 24. lots and lots of photo albums that lead to lots of stories. 25. hershey black cherry and almond chocolate bars. 26. spaghetti sauce.

lowlights: > not getting an empty seat beside us on the plane on the way there. > getting a smaller rental car than i had thought i had reserved. > choosing "shortest route" and ending up on gravel roads on the way to kitchener. > (tim's) our 2009 corolla. > discovering 5 oclock naps are not possible. > (tim's) losing the ski jump game to 10 year old kamrin. > ben's screams before take off on the way home. > excessive desserts.

Friday, October 30, 2009

a ben series: stripes

price is wrong

okay...this seems silly to post BUT it was too unbelievable.

today on the price is right, at the final showcase, the first woman had two within-US trips AND a trip to london, england. she bid $4200. i was like, "whaaat? oh well, she must not know what trips cost." because you know, sometimes the trip-showcases are quite low...umm...but not that low.

anyways...the next showcase (always the better of the two) was an HD home theatre, movies, ipod, and a car. the guy's like..."hmm...42...hundred dollars." drew was staring at him, "42 HUNDRED dollars?" the guy nods, "4 thousand 2 hundred dollars."

at this point, i'm screaming at the tv, "WHAAAT?!?!" and ben is staring at me. so these two idiots both bid $4200 on their showcases. after the commercial break, both of them looked like they'd figured out their mistake. the trip showcase was $19,ooo. the car showcase? $44,000. so the trip woman won. that guy is never going to live it down.

yes. this was my morning so far.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ben visits ontario...were his parents there?

the miracle of flight

whenever my dad returns from a flight, he can't help but say how amazing it is that just a few hours ago, he was on the other side of the country (or wherever he was). i feel the same way - it's crazy, really. on saturday morning at 4:30am, we woke up and made our way, bleary-eyed, to YVR for our early morning flight. a few hours later, we were in ontario having snacks with my dad's sisters and family. unreal.

but as for the flight...i was crying before the plane took off. oh - how did ben do? very very good. i was sure he wasn't going to be able to nap which would lead to excessive crying (which lead to my own crying) but instead he just cried a little each time he needed to sleep. which was three 20 - 30min naps in tim's arms.

yes, the stewardess offered to take this photo. i did not ask. we unfourtunately did not have a free seat in our row despite the 30 free seats on the plane. boo.
on the way home, we had an 8:50pm flight. so we ate our time horton's sandwiches around 6ish and then i washed ben's face and hands, put him in his sleeper, gave him a bottle and laid him in his stroller. he seemed to know it was bedtime so settled with no crying. unfortunately, many, many, very loud announcements get made in an airport about flights. at every announcement, the stroller would shake but not a cry was heard. unbelieveable. i was beginning to have high hopes for this flight home.
and then we got on the plane.
ben was awake and unhappy to be so. he let the entire plane know by wailing in way that you might think i was pinching him as you walked by my seat on the way to your seat. and you would have been thankful that you were in row 22 since we were in row 5. but again, despite a non-full plane, a guy comes along to sit in our row. "noooo!" i yell. (just kidding) actually, he was so nice and he's like, "i'll ask if there's another seat i can have so you guys can have a spare for the baby." (or maybe he was thinking, "i got to get out of here!" but either way, i was happy) and off he went. ben proceeded to scream but after 10 days of letting him cry when he went down for his naps, i was a little more up for it...and no tears for me. despite ben being awake for over half of the 4.5 hour flight, there was only that initial 20 minutes of wailing. the rest of the time was smooth though sleepless.

i actually had thought of a plethora of witty things to post about airports and such while we were waiting to board but now, they're forgotten. and all i can remember is this: with all the amazing technology that we have out there, why does the "live map" that tells you where you are on westjet flights, have SUCH a big airplane icon? it is no help. in this photo, depending on where you are seated in the plane, you could be over the ocean, vancouver, the okanagan, or almost even in alberta. thanks westjet - but why am i not home yet?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

time zones

i had a brilliant idea about ben's bedtime in ontario. i thought, since his sleep schedule is about 6 to 6 every night, why not keep it on BC time while out east...which would be 9 to 9. stay up late in the evenings to visit and sleep in in the mornings. brilliant.

the first night, he did 8 to 8. then 7 to 7 for a night or two. and then, as much as we tried to push him, 6 to 6. how did he know? thankfully, he's been sleeping his normal 12 hours despite all the bedtimes at different houses only to be woken up and brought back to our home base.

time zones - babies can tell when you're in a different one.

Friday, October 16, 2009


tim's parents bought this jumparoo for ben. he spent an hour in it and still didn't really want to get out...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

mirror, mirror, on the backseat...

when i was pregnant, i thought, "i should buy a mirror for the backseat so i can see him in his carseat". then i saw that they were about $20 so i decided i'd wait and see if i really wanted one when he was actually born.

a few weeks into ben's life, i went to walmart for a hopefully cheaper version of the mirror i'd seen earlier. no such luck. $20. for some reason, i felt this was too steep.

and months have gone by. and i've held mirrors in my hand while i walked around the store only to leave them behind. why i thought this was so expensive...i don't know. i drop $20 on other things without a blink.

finally, at 3 1/2 months, i bought a mirror at sears. i put it in my car and THIS IS THE BEST THINGS EVER! when he's quiet, i can tell if he's sleeping or just looking out the window. when i hear little squeaks, i can see if it's happy squeaks or on the verge of crying squeaks. WHY did i wait?

if you're a mom without a mirror...hold off no longer. it's worth every penny.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ben's facebook status

Ben Shulba is glad he had a new sweater with which to charm the ladies at wendy's today.

HeartWorks Jewelry...check it

so remember when i posted about the jewelry that my friend and i had bought from gail nesimiuk? gail has moved back to thailand for the next 6 months but i've been entrusted with a ton of her jewelry and i've created a place online that you can go and have a look!

right now, HeartWorks Jewelry is limited to a facebook fan page but maybe in the future, it will become something more. all net proceeds from every piece of jewelry goes to Loaves and Fishes - gail's ministry helping kids in crisis in burma. she has designed many, many of the pieces and also has collected beautiful pieces from thailand and burma.

there's a button on the facebook page to become a fan. why should you become a fan? there will be updates of new jewelry, sales, and updates about gail. if you're a fan, you'll be privy to these updates and the first on the list to get the latest and greatest pieces.

how's it work? well let's's been up and running for exactly one day. but the idea was that gail needed a place online for people to see what she has for sale. now we have that! maybe you will see a piece that you love - then you click on my link (my name) below that photo and send me a message and we work out how to get that piece to you. (meet up, mail, through someone we both know...whatever works.) or maybe you like the flower designs but would like to see them in real life - again, just click on my link and we can set something up. it may sound a little rough but we'll work it out.

please check it out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a friend who knits is a friend indeed...

is this not the CUTEST little man sweater you've ever seen?

on her way home from kamloops, alyssa stopped in bring ben this gift. and despite his chubbiness, it fits just right for winter! thank you alyssa!

noise nazi

it's a tough job...but someone's got to do it.

when it comes to my fickle napper, ben, i get a little overexcited about the amount of noise nearby. if you've spent any time with me while ben is napping, i've probably asked you to talk softer, to pause unloading the dishwasher, or to turn the tv down. i cringe at a loud noise. i look at you with daggers if you shout in excitement at the game. i am horrified when you walk in the door with a shout, "we're here!"

but i want you to know - i never pictured myself as being this mother. and i wish i could just relax. but i can't. and i am this mother. hopefully my baby sleeps better because of it...otherwise, i will just be losing friends and family for nothing. ;)

Friday, October 09, 2009

the evolution of aunties and uncles...

when i was a kid, the only aunts and uncles i had were blood relatives. except for my auntie gail and uncle ric who were not but were close family friends. in thinking back, i'm remembering calling my parents' friends, mr. and mrs. whoever. definitely not auntie or uncle.

these days, every one of my friends has been referred to as auntie or uncle. but does this undermine the importance of the "real" aunts and uncles in our family? (well...i guess there are only 3 of them) should they have a different name that implies a difference?

so did you also not use auntie and uncle for your parents' friends when you were a kid and the terms are just evolving? or was it just my formal family? i'm quite interested to hear your thoughts...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

a ben series: movement

ben is a mover. he likes to swing his arms around quickly. he loves to bat at his toys. he has discovered how easy it is to grab onto his soother and pull it out but has only once successfully gotten the soother back into his mouth. he is much more interested in his toys and if he can grasp it, it goes in the mouth. poor henry (that's the monkey on the right) - he was covered in drool today. ben's always been a wiggler but now the camera can't keep up. go dog go.

the sleep saga: day 8

if you're behind: part 1 & part 2 are here.

i just went to the calendar to see what day we're on and am in disbelief that it's only "day 8". it seems like i've been obsessed with ben's sleep forEVER. [insert head shaking here]

so after day 2, i figured out that my child can sleep in his crip for naps if we get him in there when he's drowsy. no problem...if you spend everyday all day at home. because after his 30 - 40 minute naps (yes, i have white noise and a darkened room and yes, i leave him in his crib for an inordinate amount of time when he wakes up for hopes that he'll go back to sleep), there's still awhile to go before his next bottle. and if we were going by the 1 - 2 hours of wakefulness window, ben would need a second nap between bottles. which of course doesn't happen. so crib naps. great. ben can handle it. the question is, are they THAT much better? i understand that swinging and driving aren't the best way to help your child have a restful sleep but at least when he's swinging, he'll nap for an hour or more sometimes.

after day 3, i was like, this is ridiculous. and ben went back to his swing for a nap. he had a nap in the car. and he got in a couple naps in his crib. sounds pretty good. but ben is tricky. he can stay in a good mood despite not having enough sleep and he tricks everyone around him into thinking his mother is crazy for saying he needs a nap. but i'm not crazy! now i admit it, i started to think i was crazy and said to myself, "self, maybe your baby just doesn't need to nap so often. you're working awfully hard to get him to sleep 4 - 5 times a day. it seems a little ridiculous." so on sunday when he didn't sleep in his stroller when i went for a walk and only slept for 20 - 30 minutes twice in the swing, i thought, "meh. look how squealy and smiley he is." and then at 5:18pm, ben thought he should let us all know that he's been faking it. he screamed and screamed like he was in severe pain. by 5:25pm, i thought, well, we're putting you to bed. so i ran a bath and popped him - our usual surefire plan for tired screams. didn't work. he screamed and screamed. it was terrible. his one leg was red and warm so i wondered if something was happening to him. the screaming continued for almost an hour with no breaks. by that time i was sure we were going to have to take him to emergency. but as we (my mom and i) took turns rocking and shushing him, he'd fall asleep for a moment only to awake with a scream. anyways, eventually he got to sleep. and i felt like a fool. i'd been tricked by a baby. he DOES need 4 - 5 naps. and now i know what it looks like when he's truly overtired.

after such a terrible episode, i've put ben to bed way early the last two nights. i've started getting him ready for bed at 5:30ish instead of having another catnap at 5pm and he's in bed and asleep by 6. unfourtunately, we've also had 4 am wake-ups (which he eventually goes back to sleep for at least an hour). i'm assuming these two things are related so maybe tonight we'll go back to a little later bedtime.

and so the obsession with naps returns full-fold. this morning, two naps in the crib but i've got to get out of the house so i have plans for lunch and a walk. hopefully somewhere in there he'll grab a few minutes. fingers crossed.

Monday, October 05, 2009

i heart the library

i've posted about loving the library before but now that i have a kid, i cannot wait to take him to the library and sign up for different programs etc, etc. i grabbed a "programs for kids" flyer the other day when i was there and discovered a program called "Baby Time". it's 20 minutes long for 4 fridays in october. you bring your child (aged newborn to 23 mo.) and there are songs and poems, and literature. yes...for babies. 20 minutes? it doesn't matter if it's supposed to be naptime - i'm sure ben can handle 20 minutes.

it said in the flyer that we had to call to sign up before october 2. i called on october 1st. apparently, the class is full and i was the last one to get in. woohoo! so i was totally pumped. the woman on the phone said that it doesn't matter if our babies cry or sleep or whatever - it's mostly a class for the parents to learn some rhymes and songs for their children. sounds good.

when i went to bed on thursday night, i figured out that if ben does his usual 7am wake up, then nap from about 8:30 - 9:30, then a 10:30 class should work out fine. but friday morning, ben woke up at 5am instead. i put him in my bed thinking maybe he'd sleep a little longer (because he's done so before) but no. he was ready to get up. shoot. the whole schedule is off.

so the morning drags on when we have somewhere to go because i'm just watching the clock. of course, ben needed a nap right when we needed to go so i put him down around 9:30 hoping for a 30 - 40 minute catnap. instead, it takes him until 10am to fall asleep. now i'm going to have to wake him up to get out of the house at 10:20 in order to be at the library by 10:30. so i'm pacing around. i had his clothes ready by the swing (umm...because that's where he was sleeping...more on the sleep saga another day) and the carseat was right there too, ready for the transfer. i had the diaper bag packed. at 10:15, was just standing in the dining room staring off into space. i picked up my waller off the table and found that library flyer underneath. i looked at the little info paragraph again. "beginning october 9th".

whaaat? after all the panic, i was a whole week early. thank goodness i didn't wake ben up only to take him to the kid's department of the library, asking for the baby time class, and be told that "it's next week, miss." oh man.

and ben slept until 11am.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

my little clothes horse

thank goodness ben is not a girl...because i'm having some difficulty resisting buying little boy clothes and there are 3x the amount of girl's clothes out there.

today, what with the rain, i spent some time at the mall. and then i was at superstore. the results? two plaid shirts, jeans, a hat, a sweater, a shirt and tie, three long sleeved shirts and some boots. yikes. let's back up a bit...

yesterday, i was dressing my baby and discovering that i don't really have anything warm for him to wear. he has two hoodies. and that's it. and sometimes he doesn't seem to be a fan of the hood up or behind his neck when he's in his carseat.
lounging in his slippers

so my intentions for shopping were two-fold: 1. buy something to warm up the boy. 2. buy something for ben to wear to his baby dedication. buying baby clothes is just like buying adult clothes in that different stores size differently and all babies are different shapes. benjamin has a big tummy and short legs. pants that say 3 - 6 mo. seem to be too long but also too tight around his stomach. poor guy. and you're not going to tailor baby clothes. (or am i?) two-fold plan developed into a little more than expected. here are a few items...
i love the plaid shirts that are out there! they're a warmer option with no hood. cute. but this one looks a little big yet. ben was a good sport and let me dress him up in this outfit.
but he looks a little awkward. it could be the positioning...and the fact that the cardboard is still in the collar...he got sick of the clothing changes quickly and this was the only one i got on him.

now, in true rebecca fashion, i need to decide what to return. because i can't possibly have spent this much money on a 3 and 1/2 month old's clothing today. the jeans definitely need to go back if i can find a replacement on the facebook abbotsford clothing swap page. what else...maybe the long sleeved shirts (not pictured here). we'll see. but let me tell for ben's clothes? just as awesome as shopping for myself. don't tell tim.


it doesn't matter that i'm now a baby nail cutting fiend - i cut this kid's nails daily and he still wakes up with scratches on his face! so yesterday morning it was a big one. (can you see it on the right?) i checked his nails and realized that i'd missed one the previous day because he'd started screeching. sorry ben boy.

when i started cutting his nails, he latched onto my arm with his mouth (his latest thing is putting everything in his mouth) so i told tim to come take a photo. of course, when the camera comes out, ben is all eyes on the camera. but it made it easier to cut those nails.