Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ummm Ben, That's Not The Pool...

People it is my world and you are just living in it.

A Dizzying Experience

Ever since, Benjamin took a ride on the Dizzy Dragons in Point Pleasant he has been obsessed with taking another spin on the nausea inducing ride. I took the first journey with him and I thought it would be best if his Dad had a turn. After the ride, I'm not sure how many more spins on the Dragon this family will take, Ben included.
(The video is sideways to help you experience the sickening feeling)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Af"fair" To Remember

If you ever happen to meet my Mom, you might want to ask her about her experience at the Pennsylvania County Fair. She'll probably tell you how we stayed with her sister-in-law's sister and that there was pig slop in the corner of the kitchen and how fly strips hung from random spots on the ceiling. She might even tell you how she got to witness a demolition derby. But the thing she will definitely mention, after telling you her tales of horror, is that the only reason she did and survived her personal hell was because she loved her kids - much of the same reason I do certain things today.

In order to fully take on this parenting role, Wally and I decided to take Benjamin to the Sussex County Fair, not the official "state" fair but after experiencing it first hand I am petitioning for it to be. The day started with a ride on the Busy Bee then onto the Super Slide. Next Benjamin spotted the Dizzy Dragon, which Wally bravely ventured with him on (more about that in a separate post).

Feeling a little dizzy, we next went to watch the goat and sheep judging. There were some fine specimens to choose from that day and Benjamin chose our "Best in Shows". Next we headed to the Holstein tent then on to bunnies and chickens. The smell of food got the group hungry and we started off with some fried pierogies then on to chicken strips (I know weird after seeing live chickens) and french fries. After our grease filled lunch, we headed to what else but the tractor trailer pulling contest!
Not knowing how we could top that, we checked out the equestrian venue then ShopRite's "Little Farm" for kids where I got a sweet tattoo of my favorite client and Ben got to ride a mini-tractor. Finally, we checked out some butterflies, hopped on a real tractor, watched cows being milked, played some games, drove a few Nascars (of course) and finished the day off right with some mini-doughnuts.

Maybe it was the fact that I didn't have to stay on farm, but as opposed to my Mom, I think The Kamienski family will be headed back to the fair next year.

This Way To The Gun Show

For The Birds

A few months into my relationship with Wally, we headed down to Atlantic City. The next day happened to be gorgeous so we decided to hit the beach for a little bit before we returned home. During that time, Wally learned of my fear of feathered creatures. As he attempted to feed the seagulls, I got downright angry with him and told him that if he continued to feed the birds I would be leaving the beach.
Flash forward 12 years and now my son is a card carrying member of the Audubon Society. Because I love my son and would do anything for him, I have allowed a bird to build a nest on my front porch and birth a few new birds that might come and peck your eyes out one day. Don't believe me about bird attacks? Google it and you will see for yourself that there is a rise in bird attacks all over the world. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You Are The Reason Why...

Ever wonder why I blog? Wonder no more. Read my latest post from NJ Moms Blog:

Will Ben Ever Learn Beach Etiquette?

With summer coming to a close (wah!), I wanted to share my latest posting on NJ Moms Blog about trying to teach Benjamin beach etiquette. Find out how successful I was below:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chronicling Benjamin's Birth Day

Since I began blogging more than a year after my son was born, I never thought of chronicling his birth until I was given the opportunity to participate in the SV Moms Book Club. This month, we read a book by Mark Sloan, M.D. titled Birth Day, a book which "explores the wonder of childbirth". So what better time than now to explore the wonder of my son's birth and what a wonder it was...

A day I thought would never arrive did on a snowy Monday morning in February. I was at that point when you are just OVER being pregnant. At an appointment earlier the week before, I had explained this "feeling" to my obstetrician, Dr. Yeum, and she suggested I meet with her partner Dr. Pittman, also fondly known as "Pitocin Fingers." Note: I would not think of her fondly during my exam. That Monday morning, as the snow continued to fall, my husband Wally and I took separate cars to the doctor's office to see if we could "get things going." The plan was to have Wally there for moral support and a hand to squeeze really hard if the exam got too intense, then for us to go our separate ways off to work. Well, that was the plan.

I won't get into the gory details of the exam. Needless to say, when the exam was over my belly was visibly contracting and Dr. Pittman had earned her nickname. I was then put on a monitor for about 10 minutes. When Dr. Pittman returned, she said, "okay this is it. I will see you at the hospital." She might as well said to my husband and I, "okay this is it. I will see you at the planet Mars." We couldn't process "this was it." My next response, after we picked our jaws up off the floor, was, "so, we'll go home and wait, right?" It was then her turn to look at us like we were speaking in foreign tongues, "no you need to go the hospital." It was now my husband, Wally's turn, "ok so we will get our bags and wait for the contractions to get intense and get to the hospital - probably later today, right?" The frustration started to build on Dr. Pittman's face, "no, guys you need to go to the hospital now." Me, "can we at least get our bags?" Dr. Pittman, "how far are you guys away?" Me, "only Morristown." Dr. Pittman knowing I can't fathom going to the hospital at this very moment says very kindly, "go home and then go directly to the hospital - no waiting around - get there as soon as possible."

Still not understanding the full magnitude of what was happening, we go out to the parking lot and realize, "oh shit, we have two cars." Wally turns to me and says, "do you think you can drive?" Keep in mind my contractions are 7 minutes apart and there is snow falling pretty heavily on the ground, my response, "sure." Wally assures me he will stay on the phone with me and will follow close behind. Yes, I am the woman who drives during labor, during a snowstorm! I think I need to get a medal or something for surviving that feat. No medal yet.

We make it home safely and I decide there is no need to rush. I take another shower. Wally takes another shower. I do my hair and makeup. I check to make sure I have everything. Of course, I have about four armfuls of things we are bringing with us to the hospital. We make a few phone calls. We kiss our pooch goodbye and head back to the hospital. We don't arrive until after 12 pm. If Dr. Pittman was at home with us she would have only allowed us to grab our bags and leave but I thought, "I've had worse cramps than this. This baby is not ready to make an entrance just yet."

We arrive and check into the PET unit where I get hooked up yet again. At around 2 pm, I get a message from Dr. Yeum saying they are ready to check me into the L&D and that they are going to start a small Potocin drip. To be honest, I thought I was going to be sent home as a "false alarm," but it seemed this was REALLY happening.

Then the crowds started to arrive, first my parents then my best friend and her husband, my mother-in-law then finally my brother (with a life-size giraffe for his new niece or nephew). All were gathered at the hospital before 5 pm that day. What I remember most from their visits in and out of the room was my Dad's sheer amazement of how good I was doing. He commented to my Mom several times that day, "I can't believe how great Jennifer is doing. She doesn't seem to be in any pain." To be honest Dad, you and me both. I too was amazed and not sure why, but I really wasn't in a lot of pain. Me, the girl who faints at the thought of pain was actually being tough as nails. By 6 pm still no epidural and only dilated about 2 cms my nurse convinced me to get the epidural. While she knew I wasn't in any horrible pain, she explained that it would relax me and hopefully get this show on the road.

Up until this point, things are going pretty smoothly. Enter the anesthesiologist's PA. I am handed a bunch of legal mumbo, jumbo to review and sign. Having to prepare to receive the biggest needle of my life (did I mention I have a needle phobia), I hand the papers to my husband who proceeds to look over. He asks the PA, very nicely I might add, why he cannot be present in the room during the epidural. Her answer, "germs." Wally, "germs? really? that doesn't seem to be a good enough reason considering people have been in and out of this room all day doing God only knows what to my wife." She then quips, "what are you a lawyer?" Not sure what happened after that I just know that my husband was trying to remain as calm as possible for me. Wally then decides to take up this argument with the doctor. The doctor tells him that we need to focus on the patient that this is a very delicate procedure, blah, blah, blah. Now, I appreciate the valiant efforts of my husband knowing how afraid I am of this GIANT needle, however, the doctor has now refused to do the procedure unless my husband and mother leave the room. I look at Wally and I say to him very calmly, "I appreciate what you are trying to do here but get out of the room now so I can get this thing over with." He then tells the PA, doctor and nurse that he is only going to stand right outside the door that if something happens he is coming back in. Everyone is fine with this and I get my epidural. To get the bitch PA back for her rude comment to my husband, I squeeze her with all my might during the procedure hoping she gets some nice black-and-blues on her arms.

Things start to really move now! They break my water (some random dude - still hoping he was a legit doctor) and I go from 2 to 8 in record time. Dr. Yeum is called and the nurse starts preparing the room for the arrival of Baby Kamienski. But instead of pushing out my child at 8 or 9 that night, I stall. At 11 pm, Dr. Yeum comes in and says I am going to give you another 15 minutes but that's it somethign about swelling and the position of the baby. With fingers crossed, I get one last exam and then the OR is booked. No pushing for me. I cry to Wally and my Mom who tell me how proud they are of me. My Mom tells me who cares how this baby comes into the world? I did, but in the end it doesn't really matter now does it? Before I head into the OR, I ask my Mom and best friend for a brush and mirror. They indulge me knowing full well that I am going to be putting a cap on to cover all my hair but they don't say a word. As I am wheeled into the OR, I get last words of love and praise from my parents, mother-in-law, brother and best friend and husband.

As I am being prepped, my friendly PA returns looking right over my head. Then it happens, "ummm, Wally I feel that?' Friendly PA, "you don't feel anything." Me, "ummm, I do feel something." Dr Yeum now peers over the curtain to look at me, "what's wrong? what is it?" Me, "Dr. Yeum I felt it when you started to cut me." The PA is about to talk back to me when Dr. Yeum shoots her a look and tells her boss to turn it up NOW. Dr. Yeum waits a little while and then proceeds. If we are being honest here, it sucked. I hated the feeling of being awake under the knife and to say "you are going to feel some minor tugging" is putting it mildly.

At 12:19 am on February 27, a shout rang out in the operating room announcing, "It's a boy!" Up until this point, I had no idea of the gender of this life growing inside of me nor did I know how awe-inspiring he would turn out to be nor did I even know his name just yet, all I knew at that very moment is that my miracle had finally arrived. After trying for almost 4 years and waiting another 9 months for Baby Kamienski, all our dreams had come true in in the middle of the night. The wonder of it all...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our Adventure At Sea (I Mean Lake)

Saturday happened to be one of the best days of summer. We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and do something we haven't done since I was pregnant with Benjamin. Wally and I both agreed it was time to dust off the ole' kayak and take Benjamin for his maiden voyage.
A little apprehensive, for fear of the entire crew falling in the lake, we set out on our journey but not before a life vest for Ben was purchased and picture-perfect picnic was packed. We headed to Split Rock Reservoir , a dream of a lake right smack in the middle of Boonton Township. Not easy to find, there are absolutely no signs pointing the way to the destination which I believe is done on purpose like a well-kept secret. However, we happen to know one of Jersey's finest fishermen, my father-in-law, and he was able to point us in the right direction.
The lot was near capacity when we arrived (it is also the only parking lot/boat launch on the reservoir). We decided it would be best to dump all the gear near the path to the lake and then park the car. Of course, I got a little spastic and somehow injured my shoulder before the paddling even started but I swore to myself that I was going to be a trooper.
Now before we get to the kayaking part, let me paint of picture of what needed to be accomplished to get into the lake. We had to lug a 100 and something pound two-person, I mean three-person now, kayak down a rocky hill with a picnic basket, cooler, paddles, life jackets and two-year old in tow. I have to say Benjamin listened to every word we said that day and was extremely well-behaved (thank you God). Ben held onto his Daddy's hand as we navigated down the incline. When we got the bottom of the hill, we asked Benjamin to stand to the side and "not move a muscle." He agreed, "Mommy I won't move a muscle." Once again another thank God - this time for the kindness of strangers. As we scratched our heads trying to figure out how we were going to get everyone in the kayak without tipping it over before we even started, a nice man helped us steady the boat as we loaded in. And off we went...
Benjamin was thrilled to be in the boat. Well, at least that's what Wally said, since I was in the front and the two boys were in the back and I wasn't turning around for fear of tipping. I could hear him though as he started pointing out all the various sights.
We paddled around the lake looking for an uninhabited, smooth spot to dock and have our picnic lunch. Heading straight across the lake, we found a lovely cove to picnic. Upon exiting the boat, I almost stepped on a frog which Ben still thinks is funny. In fact, he placed a plastic frog between my toes the other day to amuse himself. Once we were all safely out of the boat, I unpacked the lunch and spread out the tablecloth on a smooth rock. Not sure how Benjamin would be with a sandwich, shockingly he hasn't really had many, he ate his hummus and cheese like a sandwich eating pro. He also enjoyed some chips and other snacks. As a treat for my newly promoted husband (yipee Wally!), I made him a special snack of deviled eggs which got a little tossed around but were still delicious nonetheless. While eating, I threw bread in the water to show Ben the fishes who came close to the surface to grab their own lunch.
After picnicking with the dragonflies and a run in with a spider, we headed into the water. Wally first took Benjamin out into the water but he pleaded with his Dad to go by me since I was in a more shallow area and closer to shore. Together Benjamin and I sat on a rock in the water and watched Wally swim. Daddy even swam under water for us which thrilled Ben to no end, "do it again Daddy!" After getting over his initial fear, Ben got brave enough to swim between his Dad and me! Go Ben!
Before heading back, we paddled some more checking out a few other spots on the water. Not realizing how far we had actually went, we came a bit confused as to where the boat launch was located (again no signs). We eventually found our way back and proud to say without a tipping incident. As we sat in the car, exhausted, sweaty, sore and wet, I knew this would be a memory we could all treasure forever.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Will It Get This Bad?

As Wally held Benjamin's hand down the stairs of our deck headed to our car, Ben heard the church bells ringing and said, "I'm not going to church." Wally failed to tell me this until after the service was over. When we pulled up to church, from the backseat we heard, "I'm not getting out!" He started banging on the car window and repeating the mantra, "I'm not going to church." We finally got him into church where he was good for the most part except when he told me I wasn't his mother and that he didn't want to see me. Apparently, I am the bad guy.

When I saw the following report on the news, at first, I was comforted thinking "not my kid" which quickly turned into fear as thoughts turned to, "will it get this bad?":
Is this what we have to look forward to?