Sunday, March 29, 2009

Four Ben Stories

The series is back....
*When Ben is on the changing table and I need to get something, I tell him, "don't move a muscle I will be right back!" Yesterday, when we were playing outside he said to me, "Mommy don't move a muscle I will be right back!"
*I went to pick up sushi while Ben and Wally waited outside. While they were waiting, Wally went into the liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine. During that time, Ben struck up a conversation with a woman. Telling her how he wanted chips and how he went to the park that day. Apparently, he chatted her up quite a bit. When I came back down with the food, they were still in conversation. It ends up the woman is a speech pathologist at Morristown Memorial in the peds department. Unprompted (I swear), she told us he was very advanced for his age -- the fact that he was putting more than three words together (let alone two) in a sentence and had the ability to "recall" was incredible. So...I didn't say my son was brilliant the "expert" did.
*I had a bridal shower to attend on Saturday. Wally took Ben to the park. They hung out at the
playground for about an hour or so. Then they decided to check out the pond where the ducks and geese hang out. When they got there, they couldn't find any. Wally said, "I don't see any Ben." Ben said, "let me look Daddy." Ben got close to the water's edge and looked around. He then said somewhat defeated, "no ducks, no geese...let's go home Daddy." Damn you water fowl for upsetting my kid.
*As most children Ben's age, he has watched the movie Cars about 100 or more times. The other day, while with his Grandmother, he was playing with Mack and pushing him along the floor. She thought she heard him say something when she got closer she realized he was singing...."Life is a highway. I want to ride it all night long..." Now we make him do it all the time because it is so darn cute!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why Business Calls and Two Year Olds Don't Mix

I got two calls from my office yesterday while I was at home with Ben. Here's how they went:
Conversation #1
Me: Hi Chris, Do you think you could check out CheapTweet for me. I think they might be a good source for...oh, wait a second Chris.
Ben: Mommy my hands are sticky.
Me: Of course, your hands are sticky. You don't use your fork like Mommy told you to do.
(Chris patiently waiting for the exchange to be over)
Ben: I'm sorry Mommy for not using my fork.
Me: I'm sorry Chris for this I just....
Chris: Well, Jenn at least Ben has good manners.
Me: At least (I smile)...Ok where was I...Oh yes, can you look into that blah blah blah and get the address for XYZ client for me.
(Ben is now yelling and splashing in the background as I attempt to wash his hands)
Me: Sorry Chris I got to go can you just look into that and send me the email thanks.
Chris: No problem Jenn (in his mind I'm sure thinking that kid is a handful and you are the one that called me lady)
Conversation #2
Joyce: Hi Jenn, sorry to bother you but Tim wanted me to have you look at XYZ client's plan for approval
Me: Ok, Joyce you are going to have to give me a minute I was just about to walk out the door
Ben: Mommy get your coat on.
Me: Give Mommy one second
(Ben notices his toothbrush on the bathroom counter and wants it - I give it to him in hopes he will be quiet)
Joyce and I make changes to the plan.
Ben: Bruin I love you.
I turn around to look and see Ben brushing Bruin's fur with his toothbrush.
Me: Joyce you are going to have to hold on a second
Me: No, no, no Ben - you can't use a toothbrush to brush Bruin.
Ben: No Mommy!
Me: Please Ben, Please?!? Mommy needs to finish this call and we will go to the store and get you a gift now give me the toothbrush.
Reluctantly, Ben hands me the toothbrush and I hide it until I can throw out.
Joyce and I finish the plan with both glad to be off the phone.
Moral of the story: Ben and business just don't mix.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Apple Juice or I Like to Party with Stacy Becker...

Not only do his parents like to have themselves a good time on St. Patty's Day but apparently their kid does too...
The Kamienski Family was invited by friend and colleague, Stacy Becker, to her annual St. Patty's Day Parade Party and party Ben did. As soon as Ben entered the room, he was handing Stacy a rose, high fiving a few guys in the room, and eventually, grabbing and distributing shot glasses to the crowd. Next, we found him doing shots of Apple Juice from a straw (he heard you get a better buzz that way) and picking a fight with Stacy's brother. We had to break that up and tell him to lay off the hard stuff for now -- the day had just started. Finally, I had enough when I saw him sitting on strange girls' laps and going in for kisses. It was time to leave the party. As he stumbled out of the Stacy's apartment yelling, "bye girls," I knew this wouldn't be the last of his partying days.

Lumpy The Snowman

During the snowstorm, Wally, Ben and I made a valiant attempt at creating a snowman but the snow just wasn't right -- it was fluffier than it appeared. So the result was Lumpy the Snowman. The picture to the left is Lumpy on his final day. When we entered the yard the very next day and all was left was a hat, Benjamin asked me, "oh, no...what happened?" I told him, "Lumpy returned to the North Pole. Don't you cry he'll be back again some day. Thumpty, Thump, Thump..."

Zing, Zang, Puke! (f/k/a A fair assessment of the circus)

As most of our weekends start out, Saturday morning of March 7th began with "Well, have we decided what are we doing today?" For some reason, my thoughts turned towards taking Benjamin to the circus as I recalled from being subject to highway advertising on my commute to work on RT78 with colorful billboards screaming "Zing, Zang, Zoom" promoting the 'new' theme of Ringling Bros. I went online and within 10 minutes purchased three $27 seats (the ones for $40 and $75 were also available, but no takers here, thankfully.) As an added twist, the event was at 'the Rock', new home to the NJ Devils in resplendent downtown Newark. We had heard good things about the arena and were looking forward to checking it out as well.

In what turned out to be a beautiful day with temps in the low 70s, we easily parked at a lot adjacent to the sparkling new arena ($20 bucks cash and I didn't even tailgate one beer) and trekked in past the one block radius of police issued barricades and SWAT vans. No kidding. After all, we were in New Jersey's largest city at 11am on a Saturday!

Benjamin seemed excited as we entered and made our way around what is a beautiful facility surrounded by hockey jerseys from local high schools and vending as far as the eye can see. Now in our seats on about the '40 yard line and 20 rows up on the aisle' we were locked in and all ready for what Zing, Zang, Zoom had to offer. It began as one would have hoped with a dozen or so large elephants making their way out from the curtain and zebras and horses running in circles all to the music and lights ol' Barnum could plug in. From there, it went steadily downhill with increasing speed.

What followed the animal 'act' was roughly 50 minutes of Mexican trapeze artists (announcer thanked the flying Lopez family when they were done), Chinese gymnasts, and Russian acrobats during assortment of tumbling and unicycle riding that left our 2 year old yearning for the exits and me wondering about outsourcing. To placate him during this hour long 'extravaganza', we walked him up to the top of the stairs, played extensively in our seats and waited for the real circus to begin. Ben pushed aside the apple juice (relatively unheard of) but was receptive to a Banana nut muffin I picked up earlier that morning waiting for Jenn to get ready (no comment). Ben was seemingly transfixed eating the muffin and watching the goings on when suddenly let out a choking sound, audibly coughing a few times and just in time for his Mommy's hand to get in front of his face, vomited the contents of one very chewed and somewhat digested muffin. His jacket was covered in it, his monkey pack (adorably pictured below) was puked on, shoes were coated in it, and our splattered seats never to be returned to again! As I ran him up to the men's room (which when the arena closes black felt during show time is as hard to find as getting the fat Lopez brother through as a flaming hoop!), all I could say to myself was Zing, Zang, Puke! (expletive deleted).

After Jenn, Ben and I effectively removed all traces of upchucked nuts and muffin and settled down to laugh about it, we can up with our best idea of the day. Get Ben a present and get the hell out of Newark. Animal-lover that he is, Ben selected a toy elephant with logo included ($15 cash) and made the best-sounding elephant trumpet noise I have ever heard. We then hit the exit with a whole new perspective on Zing Zang Zoom.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Moral Dilemma

My latest posting on NJ Moms Blog:
Are you facing a moral struggle on the issue of embryonic stem cell research? If so, please feel free to share your moral dilemma.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Have A Bone To Pick With You Kai-lan

In the past week, Benjamin has picked up a very nasty habit. Whenever he is playing with something, he yells, "mine all mine!" My otherwise very generous boy has started to become a bit selfish. Troubling to both my husband and I, we tried to determine where he might have picked up this not-so-flattering, in fact quite bratty vernacular. As we thought about it, we couldn't come up with a definite source to this new found behavior. As the problem seemed to be getting worse, we chalked it up to turning two. Until, as I was making dinner the other night, Wally called to me, "I know where 'mine all mine' came from Jenn." As I walked into the living room, Kai-lan with her big innocent doe eyes were looking back at me.
To be fair Kai-lan really isn't the problem - it's her buddy Rintoo that I have the problem with and his incessant yelling and carrying on like a spoiled child. As I watched the episode, Rintoo got more and more obnoxious. He repeated the "mine all mine" phrase several times during the episode. In the end, a lesson was learned and Rintoo seemed to be sorry until the next episode when he turned into a bad boy again.
Seeing Rintoo's behavior, I thought he might not have many friends left if he kept this up. I do know he has one less. As of yesterday, no more Kai-lan in this house until Rintoo cleans up his act. Sorry Kai-lan and Ho ho and the rest of the gang, you might want to have a serious talk with your buddy before your left with very few viewers.

Party Animal

How do you celebrate the second birthday of your son? Well, you get about 60 friends and family together to party at the Turtle Back Zoo. And party, we did! With a tight itinerary and lots of help from family and friends, the day went off without a hitch. Feeding time started about 1:15 with everyone enjoying two 4 foot sub sandwiches, potato salad, tuna pasta salad and Cole slaw. And for the little ones the perennial staple, chicken nuggets. After lunch was served, we headed out to explore the zoo. From peacocks to a leopard to a GIANT pig, the expedition party got to see many animals that day. Benjamin even got to see a bobcat and porcupine two animals that weren't out the last time he was at the zoo that he has been consistently asking for all week.

After we visited the wolves and Ben did a dance by the black bear exhibit, we all headed to the carousel. Ben rode, what else, but the Okapi. The merry-go-round was a good time for the kids but the older folks (me included) got a little vertigo from the ride. In our defense, this was one of the fastest carousels I have ever been on in my life.

From the ride, we marched back for Birthday cupcakes where we were greeted by Yertle the Turtle Back Turtle.

Yertle joined everyone in singing "Happy Birthday" but soon had to head back to the Reptile House for another party later that day. With the goody bags given out and our final goodbyes said, we packed up the car and headed back home exhausted but completely happy!