Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'Tis the Season

 Every fall, usually in September, the seasonal flavors start hitting the stores and coffee shops.  It seems like every year pumpkin spice foods and drink become more popular.  I don't know when this started but I know Starbucks has had pumpkin spice coffee drinks for a long time (and only for a limited time!) in the fall.  I like pumpkin flavor even though  do not frequent Starbucks or any coffee shop.  This year I bought a bag of pumpkin spice M&Ms and they were OK.  But they don't compare to my favorite seasonal flavoring!  It's candy cane/holiday mint season! 

I have already consumed the whole bag of mint M&Ms and there are only three candy canes left from the pack that I bought last week.  That candy cane tea is delicious too.  The only way it would be better is if it weren't decaf!  I don't know who wants decaf green tea.  It has a minima caffeine content in the first place.  Other things I look forward to having in the next few weeks include ice cream with mint flavor, baked goods, and possibly some ice hole peppermint schnapps!  Yeaaaah!  I keep forgetting that I can have that now if I want! 
I am excited for Thanksgiving.  We thought maybe we would stay around here but after two weeks of sitting around the house in sweatpants I am ready to get out of here.  Newborns travel well anyway and Ben really needs a change of scenery so we will be visiting family for Thanksgiving.  Tessa will be able to meet our grandmothers and I will be home to help lug all the Christmas decorations out of the attic of the old house one last time!  Although that process is generally a big pain I'm sure I will feel nostalgic about it anyway. 
I was excused from contributing anything to Thanksgiving but I have had the urge to bake something holiday related.  Don't ask me why.  It doesn't hit very often!  I settled on spritz cookies since they are really easy and we had all the ingredients in the house already.  Also, they only take a few minutes to bake and don't require any rolling or messy hands so I knew I could get the batch done fast.

The spritz dispenser is seeing the light of day!  It only happens a few times each year around Christmas and Thanksgiving! 

I love these bottles!  I hope McCormick never changes them.  They have been the same my whole life and probably forever.  When watching my mom bake as a child it was fun being able to squirt in the drops.  It was really fun when we were making a snack for school and I got to pick what color it would be.  They last forever!  I have had this box of food coloring for a long time.  I don't know why I first bought it but I will probably have them for several more years. 
I tried to let Ben get in on the fun since he likes to pull up a step stool and be a helper lately.  He really enjoys throwing laundry into the washing machine.  Usually his helping makes a big mess but I hate to take away his chance to learn.  He lost interest in this project in no time and proceeded to use his stool to mess around with the dirty dishes in the sink and to throw a full pack of milk storage freezer bags around the room while my back was turned for five seconds. 

He did like the cookies!  I may have let him sort of spoil his lunch by eating three of them...
Tessa was sleeping during the baking process.  She still is.  She had a pretty good night of sleeping last night which included a four hour stretch!  Then she was up for over an hour but went back to sleep for almost three more.  I feel so much better today than I have for awhile.  I hope she continues to regulate her sleep schedule to include longer stretches at night. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

1st v. 2nd

This weekend Justin took Ben to Fargo on Saturday morning to go to the football game and today they are going hunting at Justin's cousin's farm and visiting his grandma.  I have been here alone with Tessa and I have to say that this is the most relaxing weekend I have had in a long time.  I can't believe I am saying it but compared to a toddler a newborn is...yes I'm saying it...easy.  I have been able to get things done, take leisurely showers, eat candy and chips without having to keep them hidden from Ben, eat meals on the couch and leave my computer and camera and other electronics laying around without worrying about them getting ruined.  Even with the nighttime waking it has still been a nice weekend.  I felt like getting out last night so I took her to TJ Maxx and even that seemed easy.  That car seat sure is light with a newborn in it! 

I think my hormone levels are returning to a normal level.  I still get emotional over some things out of nowhere.  Last night when I drove by my old street I started really missing the old house and cozy neighborhood.  I know very well that if we were in that house I would be annoyed by the lack of space, insane baby clutter mixed with toddler clutter, the congested kitchen entryway where the high chair was always in the way and I would be sad that there wasn't a bedroom for Tessa upstairs.  I also get stressed at the idea of Justin leaving for work early in the morning and having a whole day ahead of me with two needy children.  At least he doesn't have class tomorrow night and it is a short week because of Thanksgiving. It will help me ease into the transition.  My parents were here Thursday and Friday so I still have to face a full normal week eventually.  Yikes!

I was thinking this morning about the indications that you have your second (or third, etc.) child.  A few things I have noticed:

-Like I said, a constantly sleeping newborn seems easy.

-When leaving the hospital they just sent you out the door without instruction about baby care, nursing, or anything else.  They basically checked the car seat and said "call if you feel like you need a lactation consultant!" and sent us on our way. 

-Using a pump is not scary.

-I was filling out the baby book yesterday.  I bought it a few weeks ago and was happy to see that they had the pink "girl" version of the same one we were given as a gift for Ben.  There are many pages that just are not applicable for a second baby.  For example, there is a page for my thoughts on "assembling the layette".  Haha.  Assembling the layette consisted of our moms showing up at the hospital with shopping bags full of outfits and me shopping the 80% off racks at Kohls this fall for summer outfits.  So, even though Tessa doesn't have a layette she does already have a 9 month sized summer outfit for the 4th of July!  It cost $2.80!  Also, there was a page for "decorating the nursery" with a section with a pretty large space where you could reflect on "choosing the crib" and "selecting the nursery furniture".  I stopped myself from simply writing "refer to Ben's baby book" and said something about how we gave Ben Justin's old childhood furniture so Tessa could have the nursery furniture.  I do remember a lot of angst over choosing the wood finish of the crib.  Now it is covered in teeth marks from Ben and that conundrum seems like not a big deal AT ALL!  Then there was the pages for baby shower guest lists and gifts and themes.  I could have just wrote a large "N/A" on those pages. 

Ah, the life of a second born.  As the oldest in my family I wouldn't know much about that.  My baby book is thoroughly filled out.  My mom used these calendars with stickers where you wrote about what went on every day in the baby's life.  Of course, not every day is filled in but it is a pretty good record of my doctors appointments, visitors, and outings and also includes trips to visit relatives and my dad's vacation schedule.  My sister and brother also have these calendars and my sister's is pretty well done and is a glimpse into our life when she was a baby.  I just looked at it recently because it was discovered while cleaning out a closet.  My brother's, however, is sparsely done.  At least we have it better than our grandparents.  My grandma Dorothy, the sixth child of seven, has no photographic evidence of her life before she had her first school photo taken in first grade. 

There are a few updates from previous posts in case you are interested.  You should be!  First, we found my jeans and other pants!  I tried a favorite pair on aaaaand...they don't fit...I will try again in a week.  Also, we never heard from the hospital regarding Tessa's pink NDSU hat.  Justin bought her a new one.  Here she is all dressed for the game yesterday.  She slept through most of it. 

That is a 3-6 month shirt.  It was huge on her.  The crotch snaps hung to her knees! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

First Days Home

If you've been waiting the last few days for a post that hasn't come the reason is that I am delirious.  Little Tessa has decided she likes to stay up for several hours at a time in the middle of the night and early morning hours.  The first nights home were pretty standard newborn nights with waking every few hours to eat and then going right back to sleep.  Tiring but not unexpected.  Then all of a sudden two nights ago she wanted to be wide awake at 10:30 when I was ready to pass out and didn't go to sleep until 2 a.m.  Then she woke up every few hours after that and before I new it 7:00 a.m. had arrived and Ben was in his room talking and ready to start the day.  Tessa quickly passed out for the entire morning as I watched Justin return to work and leave me for the first day home alone with the two under two.  It was not an easy day.  I was optimistic about last night and was awaked every 45 minutes at 11:45, 12:30, 2:00 a.m. by Ben fussing in his sleep and then at 3:00 a.m. and ended up sitting up with a wide awake baby until after 5 a.m. just in time to hear Justin's alarm go off as he headed out of town for work not to be returning until late tonight. 

I know this is common newborn behavior that will hopefully regulate itself and it is nice to have her sleep a lot during the day so I can get the bare minimum done and pay attention to Ben but sleep would be nice.  It is a bad feeling to lay down to sleep knowing you will be up very soon and will not be rested for a long time.  You are supposed to try to change the cycle by carrying on during the day while the baby sleeps and keep rooms bright and loud with TV or music on, talking, and regular household background noise continuously going on.  I am doing that so hopefully this changes soon.  I was ready to be up at night but not for hours at a time resulting in almost no sleep.  I can function for quite awhile on four or five hours a night but three or less is trouble. 

I am constantly so relieved that I didn't have a C-section.  I notice a huge difference in my recovery an energy level compared to when I had Ben.  Just being able to easily get out of bed at night makes getting up much easier.  Also, I am not in a fog of narcotic pain medication which has never agreed with me. 

Another good and frivolous aspect of having a typical delivery is that I am losing weight much faster.  After the C-section I made the mistake of getting on the scale the day I left the hospital, expecting to have lost at least 10 lbs based on Ben's weight and the placenta and other lost fluids.  I had only lost two pounds and a week later had still lost less than ten.  This time I weighed myself the day after returning home and had lost 15 lbs. already.  As of today I have lost twenty.  It is such a relief not to have the swelling an bloating from surgery.  One problem though...when we put our house on the market this summer I de-cluttered my old closet and packed up all but one pair of jeans and a few pairs of shorts because they didn't fit me anyway.  I filled a whole Rubbermaid container with jeans and all my other pants that have a button and zipper.  Then we lost the container when we moved.  We can't find that container anywhere.  I don't think I'm quite ready for jeans but I would like to try some by Thanksgiving and also it would be financially unrealistic to replace years worth of jeans.  Sigh...I think about that container several times a day and think hard about where it could be.  There is no way it got left behind.  And even if it did, the new owner is about six inches shorter than me and weighs probably forty pounds less than I do so she couldn't do much with them!  But there is no way we would have left a whole tub of clothes! Oh, where are my pants?

Aside from the sleeping issue, Tessa is a sweet baby.  She loves to be held and also enjoys sitting in the various baby holding apparatus that we have which is essential since I have to be able to put her down to play with and take care of Ben.  She likes having her hair washed under the faucet during bath time.

We gave her a bath our first night home.  With Ben, they did a bath demonstration before we left the hospital along with many other little first time parent lessons on diaper changing and cord stump care.  This time they pretty much  shooed us out the door with a basket of fruit and cheese and some non alcoholic champagne and a folder full of brochures. 

Tessa and Ben with Dada.  I feel kind of bad using all the boy oriented swaddling blankets we have but it's not really worth buying new newborn sized items like this since their use is short lived.  It looks like Ben got a brother in this picture!

Speaking of Ben the brother...
He has been doing pretty good with the transition of having a baby in the house.  He is interested in her and likes to get up in her business like this.  We'll say he is trying to kiss her but it's more like a face rub/head butt type of thing.  He can be over zealous sometimes and I feel bad pulling him away from her.  He tries to lift her into his arms regularly and I don't know if it is because he wants to hold her or if he just wants her away from me so he can have his spot back.  I try to make room for him to sit with me and look at books with her.  He's being a pretty good boy.  I feel bad having him stuck around the house all day and look forward to being able to go back to our usual routine of going to play at the library or the Y or shopping in the mornings.  This morning he brought his shoes over to me saying "bye bye".  Poor guy.  I don't like sitting around the house all day every day either.  The thought of taking them both out is overwhelming right now but I will have to figure it out!  I took a shower this morning when I was home alone this morning so I could feel slightly normal since I am not a "stay in pajamas all day" type of person and it went fine!  I used the bathroom by the living room instead of the master bathroom and I could hear Ben roaming around and running up and down the hall but when I got out he was happily watching Sesame Street.  Success!
Here are a few assorted pictures in no particular order. 

I love these pictures!  She looks so skeptical!

Big boy Ben.

Ben trying to play trucks with his sister. 

This afternoon I finally put her in a real outfit instead of a sleeper to try to take some pictures during Ben's nap.  I have already noticed I am following the typical parenting pattern of taking fewer pictures of the younger child.  Mostly this is happening because I can't trust Ben around my camera so it has to be put away when not in use which causes me to miss a lot of spontaneous moments.  At least my phone is always nearby .

I intend to get her picture taken by a real photographer but I wanted to get our Christmas card/birth announcement combo out in November so people could have our new address and most photographers require a few weeks for editing and everything and then it takes about a week for the cards to arrive unless we get them from Walmart one hour photo.  Even cheap-o JC Penney took two weeks to get me my digital CD when I had Ben's picture taken there last spring.  I don't know if anything I did today is worthy but I have to come up with something soon regardless of who takes the pictures.   She still looks a bit jaundiced so maybe it is too soon for professional photos. 
Well, I hope that was somewhat coherent.  I probably should have used the time to sleep but the computer has been calling me name for a few days and I have been wanting to upload pictures. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Welcome Baby...Tessa Margaret!

This is the story of how we went from laying around the house napping at 3:00 p.m. to having a new baby at 8:19 p.m. on Friday.  Like I mentioned before, we had an induction scheduled on Friday and were told that we should call Labor and Delivery at 6:00 a.m. to check in before reporting there at 7:00 a.m. to get started.  We knew that there was a chance that our induction could be delayed if the floor got to busy but I thought we were good to go because I called on Thursday afternoon to check the status at the time since Justin's mom was coming to watch Ben. 

Well, I woke up on Friday morning at 5:45 and called and learned that several laboring women had arrived during the night and they didn't have a spot for us and we should call back at 10:00 a.m. if we hadn't heard anything.  It was a huge buzzkill but I still felt optimistic that it would be happening on Friday.  10:00 came and I called apprehensively, having a feeling that we would have heard from them first if they were ready.  And they weren't ready.  We ate lunch and then Justin decided to go buy a cover for our grill to distract himself and it was Ben's nap time and Nana Mary was doing some work and I decided to take a nap so I wouldn't be staring at my phone and so I would be rested since it looked like, if we went at all, labor would go into the night. 

Right before 3:00 p.m. the phone rang and it was Labor and Delivery!  They said to come in!  We were already packed and were in our room and took note of the time...3:23.  We were so ready to go!  The doctor confirmed one last time that the baby was had down with an ultrasound, my water was broken, and I walked the halls for awhile.  Then the Pitocin started around 6:00.  I had the "clear liquid" dinner of a lemon slush as the contractions started getting regular.  Then everything got crazy fast, the contractions intensified and I said I was ready for my epidural any time I could have it.  The nurse checked my dilation and I was at six centimeters so she went to call the anesthesiologist.  Then I really started having pain and contractions and started getting pretty impatient for that guy to get up there!  I was starting to lose it and he finally came and then he was really pokey and couldn't get the drawers opened on his rolling tool cart for some reason and then he didn't have the right needle and meanwhile I was having uncontrollable urges to push.  He finally was ready to go and the nurses stopped him, saying that they better check first since I was unable to stop myself from pushing during contractions and to my terror they said it was too late, I was completely dilated and...aaaaahhhhhh!  I was in a panic and then the doctor came in and said there would be a baby born by 8:30 and the digital clock on the wall said 8:09.  The room was full of nurses and I remember, in all the craziness, seeing the poor anesthesiologist standing in the back as everyone coached me through the pushing and suddenly a nurse asked if I wanted the baby on my stomach and then there was a baby blanket draped over me and someone said the head was out and then there was a baby! 

So, after planning an epidural free birth with Ben and having my plans change I ended up doing just that without even meaning to this time.  I think I can say that I am glad it happened that way but probably only because it went so fast and the pushing lasted about ten or fifteen minutes.  It was a very intense experience and quite empowering.  Also, she was "sunny side up" and came out facing up instead of down which contributes to a more difficult labor. 

As I was holding the baby after they cleaned her off and weighed her and did the initial screenings it became apparent that all was not well because (this might be gross to some...proceed with caution...) the placenta was not delivering.  Justin was taking pictures from waist up while I was still in a compromising position.  This picture, while not he prettiest, really captures the moment as the doctor tried to deliver it in the thirty minute time frame that I learned is the window they give before getting concerned. 

So, in the satisfaction and calm after the birth I ended up being briefly sedated with propofol so it could be removed in the operating room and I got to talk to my friend the anesthesiologist who was very apologetic about missing the window.  I was not mad at him anymore so we had a laugh.  This placenta complication can have some serious results such as needing a hysterectomy but mine was easily removed and I was awake and back in my room in thirty minutes. 

Oh...and now about what you all really are interested in...the baby!  We named her Tessa Margaret.  We hadn't committed to a name before she was born and had a few contenders and even were debating before I finally just said, "I think it's Tessa!" and we took the plunge.  She weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz.  and was twenty one inches long.  She seems smaller than Ben as a newborn from what I remember although with him I was really a week overdue and my due date was the 16th so she was right on time.  Her hair looked dark right away but as the days pass it is lighter and I imagine it will be the same color as Ben's eventually.  She has the usual dark greyish blue eyes that most newborns have.  She is just so cute and tiny.  Her little forehead was bruised from the face up delivery but otherwise she was perfect!

Justin stayed on the "dad futon" that night and went home to shower the next morning and returned with his mom and Ben.  He was confused to see me in the hospital bed and seemed a bit uncomfortable with everything.  Nana taught him to say "Tessa" and he is already really good at it!  He calls her Tessa or "babeeeee". 

He was mildly interested but was more interested in pushing all the buttons on the hospital bed exploring the room. 
After he went home to have lunch and take a nap we spent the afternoon watching the NDSU game and getting to know Tessa. 

Justin bought her this hat while he was out shopping on Friday afternoon and it got misplaced in the nursery!  The nursery laundry workers have a note to watch for it but these might be some of the few pictures of her in it. 

My mom and sister arrived that evening with Justin's step dad and they brought Ben this tractor set to entertain him at the hospital.  It really worked wonders for him to have a special new toy. 

The two babies!

We came home yesterday and so far it has been fine.  Tonight Justin has class so I will have a few hours alone with the two of him as a preview of what is to come as our guests leave and Justin returns to work.  It is rather terrifying! 

Here are a few extra pictures from my phone. 

On the way home!

Oh, and here is her birth announcement on the hospital website:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Here We Go!

Before I start, I have to say that I was reading over my post from yesterday and I left out a word in a sentence that made it sound like "at least I let Ben" watch SpongeBob on TV.  I meant to say at least I DON'T play that show for him since it is obviously meant for older kids and I don't even know what channel it is on.  Haha.  I prefer the docile, dull PBS for our kids programming needs. 
Well anyway, yesterday feels like a world away after my appointment this afternoon.  The doctor confirmed that the baby is head down and engaged in the pelvis and I have dilated 3 cm and am quite effaced.  (If you are a man or have no idea what I am talking about you can look it up.  I won't go into the dirty details.  Talking about this stuff is second nature after three years spent pregnant or nursing, minus that fabulous four month break I had between November and February of last year!)  The doctor feels as though I am on the brink of labor and based on how fast I progressed during my induction with Ben she gave me the option to have the baby this weekend.  So, unless the labor and delivery floor gets too busy I will bet induced on Friday!  She also did a quick procedure that can start labor in women who are already close to labor and said "maybe I'll see you tomorrow!" but who knows...it didn't work when I had it done with my last pregnancy but I wasn't as dilated either so who knows. 
I am ready for this.  I am so sore and stiff in my back and pelvis and I hardly sleep at night.  I know the sleeping situation will not be improving but at least I will be able to pass out when I get the chance instead of rolling back and forth like a whale and having to pee every time I move. 
As this has started to sink in I have been feeling emotional about saying goodbye to Ben before going to the hospital and worrying about the transition for him.  As much as we have been annoying each other the last few weeks he seems extra precious all of a sudden.  I just spent a few minutes looking back at old pictures of him.  Here is one of my favorites.  Justin sent it to me when I went to Vegas when he was four months old with the caption, "Are you coming home soon Mommy?" and I just melted.

I think I looked at it every hour for the rest of the trip!

Lately he loves to throw all the pillows he can find on the floor and then roughhouse in them endlessly.  He loves being buried in pillows and also loves dragging his stuffed animals into it. 

Sometimes he drags his quilts from his bed out and makes little pillow nests with his animals. 

And he is so cute when he takes naps or goes to bed for the night.  He likes to take "reading material" such as a book or tractor magazine and before we know it he is sleeping!  Such a good boy...I know he will be a good brother but it's still kind of sad to see his days as our only baby end. 
Allan says, "Oh big deal...no one worried about me when I became a brother!"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sanctimommies' Worst Nightmare

Most people reading this might not be familiar with the term "sanctimommy".  It is a word used in the world of parenting articles, blogs, etc. to refer to parents, generally mothers, who are really judgmental and high and mighty about other people's parenting choices.  When I think about it, I don't personally have anyone like this in my life.  Not that everyone does everything the same way I do but most people are too busy worrying about managing their own kids to worry about the decisions of other people.  For example,  know three people off the top of my head who are currently using cloth diapers.  They might be doing it to save money or because of the environment.  I don't know because they don't impose their beliefs about it on me or make comments about how they disapprove of people using disposable diapers because I don't think they care.  They are just doing what they want.  I don't impose my beliefs about how disposable diapers are better (and I don't know anyway since I have never tried cloth!) because I don't care what they do either 

I saw good example of this sort of snide commentary on the November birth club on babycenter this morning.  A woman who had her baby last week was annoyed because her daughter was born at 37 weeks and weighs in the 5 lb. range and she is annoyed and hurt because people keep making comments about how tiny the baby is, is she feeding her properly, didn't she eat when she was pregnant, etc.  She wanted advice on how to handle comments like this.  Most people who replied said reassuring things about ignoring them since she knew the baby was healthy, only worrying about the doctor's opinion, etc.  Then there was this gem...

Well I don't take my small newborn out. And we only allow limited visitors in the first 30 days for his safety. So that's how.

Oh, well excuse me Ms. Internet Stranger...good for you for living in a quarantine for a month with your baby!  Did this person ever consider that maybe the original poster has other kids that have to go to pre-school, elementary school, activities, etc?  Or maybe she doesn't have help around the house and might have to run to the store by herself during the day?  Geez chill out.  The tone of that reply just makes me cringe. 

The main things really judgmental moms seem to get worked up over is TV and dietary choices.  There is a recommendation that children under two should not see any screens (TV, ipad, ect.).  Also, eating junky food is a big problem.

This tray might as well be poison.  I cannot believe how much flack McDonalds gets.  Yes, it is crap.  But McDonalds should not be blamed for parents who cannot resist going there on a weekly basis or more to buy their kids food.  I counted and Ben has had probably five fast food kids meals in his life.  And I hope I have that option forever.
Also, juice is a loathed dietary aspect.  A few years ago, before  had a kid, a person I didn't know at a picnic told me "we don't drink juice at our house" when I pointed her elementary school age kid toward a cooler with some juice boxes.  I don't worry about this with Ben because whenever anyone tries to give him juice he doesn't really want it anyway so I guess "we don't drink juice" in this house either.  Oh wait, I do.  I love orange juice and always have.  The problem for little kids and juice is, I guess, the sugar content and the fact that it fills them up leaving less room for nutritious food.  Which really is a concern but would little cup a day be that harmful?  Some people also see it as a...this is terrifying...gateway to drinking soda!!!! NOOOO!!!  I don't believe this actually because I apparently drank juice constantly as a toddler (no one cared about this in the 80s I guess) and I didn't really start drinking pop regularly until college when I realized I needed it as a chaser and mixer with the liquor my roommate and I kept in our dorm room.  Then when I was hanging out in the hot, non-air conditioned room I realized how good it tasted on its own.  Also, it was readily available at every meal from my beloved dining center!  Blame the juice, that gateway beverage! 
This all relates to me because I have been disappointing myself these last few exhausted, pregnant weeks by falling into some quite slackerish ways that would have a sanctimommy on my case in no time.  For a long time I never played any kids shows on TV and just watched what I wanted.  I tried Sesame Street out of desperation back before Ben turned one when I had a lot to do and really needed to pack for a weekend away without him under foot but he had no interest so I didn't try again for a long time.  Since we moved here I have been letting him watch Sesame Street most mornings.  He is more focused but still usually doesn't watch the whole episode.  Well, now I have added "Bob the Builder" and "Thomas the Tank Engine" to the approved list.  I feel bad but I just don't feel like playing all the time.  By the end of the day there is a mountain of books and toys surrounding the couch where I sit most of the time.  At least I show him this...
From what I have heard, sanctimommies haaaaaate SpongeBob.  I think it is funny and my brother and I used to watch it we were teenagers.  I don't think it does much of anything for a one year old though.  Although I think I would show him this before that dullard dinosaur Barney.  I have been making sure we get to the Y whenever I don't have morning appointments so he can spend time with fun people who can actually play with him and don't have to be hauled off the couch with a car jack.  And as far as the dietary issues, there is a lot of hot dog and frozen pizza eating going on.  However, Ben has started eating fruit!  After going weeks without eating more than a bite here and there of any fruit or vegetable he now eats two good servings a day.  Maybe it should be more but I will take what I get.  He likes peas, peaches, grapes, oranges and pineapple.  So I tell myself that this counteracts the regular consumption of chicken nuggets.  And...prepare yourself...this weekend I took him out on Saturday morning to get a haircut and he behave so well that I decided to get us both a McDonalds meal for lunch.  And of course he devoured the fries but hardly touched the apples that they started including to get everyone off their case about not having healthy food.  I don't like this lifestyle either.  I am more bothered by the lack of activity on my part than the food.  I miss being able to run around outside and pay ball and that sort of thing.  Soon enough I will be back to normal. 
I kind of miss the glory days of Happy Meals...it was pretty fun when the toy corresponded with the latest Disney movie or was a miniature of a favorite toy like Barbie and you never knew what you would get.  We didn't have Happy Meals all the time...maybe once a month.  Then in first grade we moved to a country without McDonalds (yes they do exist, or at least they did in 1990) and then to a town with 800 people where the nearest was 35 miles away so it definitely was never a go-to meal.  It was an indulgence and a fun one at that! 

Here Ben is with his beloved fries.  I don't blame you buddy, they are delicious!