Coffee and Dada

John’s job has been quite busy lately; I think he has set a world record for coffee consumption in the past four weeks! Needless to say, we are looking forward to more family time soon. He has been down in Richmond this week for oral arguments, and we can’t wait for him to come home tonight.

So in the spirit of coffee and Daddy, here are some videos for John:

This one is from a few months ago:

And this one is from just last week:

We love you Daddy!

P.S.  Fun fact: The stomach flu swept through the entire Meixner household. Saturday I vomited 8 times, like clockwork every hour and a half, and then Sunday John got it.  Luckily, it was only a 24-hour bug, but I think those might have been the most miserable 24-hours ever. On Saturday, John had to keep working on his bench memo to meet his Monday deadline. So I literally laid on the floor all day long, next to Ben. Luckily he was a trooper and played independently almost all day long, like a little angel. On Sunday, even when John was sick he had to keep working on that damn memo. Poor guy!

Thank you, daycare. You are the best!

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My Favorite Feet








I seriously hope none of you guys are those foot-phobes who gag when they see feet. If that is the case, I apologize for this post.

But I have to be honest. I really don’t see how it is possible to not want to literally EAT up Benjamin’s stubby little jelly roll feet in all their delicious chubby bunny cuteness.  (John’s?  …I’m not so sure.)


Warning: This following images might cause you to fall into a rabbit hole for the next 20 minutes googling images of baby bunnies. You might as well just go ahead an put a bookmark on the google search.  It will Never. Fail. To. Make. You. Smile.






Yay Projectile Vomit!

We woke up at 2:45am this morning to Benjamin sobbing. He was soaked in his own vomit! Since then we’ve had two more lovely projectile vomit episodes. I guess I didn’t knock hard enough on wood last week when I wrote about the bugs from daycare he was picking up.

Ben’s second barf-session happened right before John left for work this morning.

“John come here NOW!” I yelled just before he walked out the door. Now picture me holding Ben in an awkward position between my elbows as he continues to spew vomit. My right hand is cupped as a ladle holding a portion of the contents of Ben’s stomach precariously over the couch. The other hand holds a gastric-juice covered Brown Bear (his favorite book), trying to find a place to set it down so my other vomit-ladle hand can take its turn.

Now you can fool me once, son. But don’t even think for a second, Mr. Benjamin, that you can fool me twice. (Or something like that? Have I ever mentioned my horrible inability to remember common idioms? I’m almost as bad as this guy).

Anyway, after the morning puke debacle, I went about setting up eight Tupperware containers in strategic locations. I knew the next episode would happen soon after his next feeding. An hour after he ate, I could send him getting agitated and wanting to cuddle even closer, and he had a wicked case of hiccups so I knew it was coming soon. Watch out amateurs, this Momma was ready!

But the thing about projectile vomiting (I have since learned) is that you can never, ever beat it. We were in the rocking chair just waiting, I was watching him like a hawk, and I had my hand ON the damn Tupperware, I kid you not. But I still managed to miss the first puke-missile. And was so thrown off by my utter failure and the sheer quantity of liquid that could come out of a baby’s mouth, that I missed the second and third as well. Please note in the picture that I did catch some vomit in the plastic receptacle at the very end.

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Glass half full:  We are lucky to have Toby around to help clean up when Daddy is away. (Gag!)

Glass half empty: I discovered the glider cushion cover is NOT removable/washable.  I guess I might be forced into that DIY project after all.

The poor little peanut is not fussy at all, as if it would be too much work to cry. Just wants nothing but cuddles.

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He is currently on his second very long nap (I guess he needs the sleep). It’s hard to see him so beat down, so I am posting these pictures from last week when he was nice and healthy to remind me that he’ll be just fine. The shirt is covered in drool, not vomit, FYI.


I had to make this next one BIG, because you can see Ben’s two new bottom teeth, finally!


With those brand new itty bitty pearly whites, and all this puking going on around here, we might bust out the baby toothbrush! We have this one, but I’m pretty sure that in his mind it will quickly become just another toy to chew on.

Ok, back to the 87th load of pukey, poopy laundry.   You know your kid is sick when the insanely loud washing machine buzzer (conveniently located in your infant’s bedroom), doesn’t wake him from a nap. Prior to now, it has never failed to scare the bejesus out of him. It even makes my ears bleed a little. Hmmm, I better go make sure he’s alive in there.


Benjamin Finds True Love

Our great friends Jenna and Paul (and their adorable one-year-old) came to visit us in Baltimore this past weekend.

But the weekend was really all about Benjamin and Aivry. Here is their story:

Ben & Aivry

In other news, Jenna and I discovered that we had a mutual hatred for using a Boppy pillow to nurse. Neither of us ever used it because it is so uncomfortable, and just downright unhelpful. (Sorry all you Boppy lovers out there!) To be fair, John and I did use it to help Ben with his sitting for awhile, but he no longer needs the extra support.

We discovered that a much better use for a Boppy is as a FRIEND PILLOW! Two heads easily fit on it and the hard cushion provides a perfect angle so that you can can still keep an eye on the wee littles. Thank goodness, because Benjamin was prone to spills (so distracted by his new lady friend) and Aivry was a master at finding all the dog fur/human hair balls that I somehow missed while cleaning.


We hung around inside for most of the weekend, keeping warm and toasty on the 21st floor. We indulged in all the great things that good friends should routinely share:  Brunch.  Coffee.  Play.  Bark.  Wine.  Board games.  Beating Pandemic (finally!).  Takeout.  Laughter.  Naps.

JPKJ with Ben & Aivry in Baltimore

This was our weekend.  Looking forward to many more when we are in Ann Arbor!  xoxoxo.

Daycare Days


Toby and his best friend, the lion, are the only gentlemen keeping me company today. The other little man is at daycare.

Ben has been going to daycare once a week for the past month. We wanted him to have this experience mainly for the socialization and to ease him into the transition to full time day care coming in the fall. But so far, the weekly daycare time has brought a megadose of kiddie germs into our world. Luckily, Ben has seemed to be tougher than the illnesses he is picking up. He fought off a minor cold and a was a trooper while he had a stomach bug which caused diarrhea for several days, but didn’t seem to break his happy spirit.

I am actually not sure if there are any studies supporting the idea that common childhood illnesses acquired in daycare environments in early life have any short- or long-term benefit, but my general philosophy is very pro-exposure. Weird for someone going into med school? Perhaps. We never used hand sanitizer with Ben or limited his exposure to any people in his first few weeks of life. In fact, he was pretty much on a non-stop parade to see all our friends and family before we moved away from Chicago when he was 2 months old. I think he has a pretty decent immune system so far (knock on wood!), and I’m sure the breastfeeding and constant Toby-licks in the face probably help too.

I should get back to work. I miss Benjamin so much on these days we’re apart because it’s not quite frequent enough for me to ever really get used to it.  So the only way I can justify the time away and money spent is to work incredibly hard while he is not here. The awesome thing about my work gig this year (curriculum writing) is that it’s the most flexible job in the entire world. But the downside is that I didn’t work nearly enough in the last four months, so now it will be pretty much a full time job until June. Since it’s rare to get more than a few hours of work done during the day when Ben is home, that means evenings and weekends aren’t going to be very eventful around here for awhile.

That’s just life, I guess. Regardless, I’m still ridiculously thankful that I get to spend this year at home.

I think Toby is even more thankful. 🙂


Help us settle a dispute…

At 10:04 this morning, Benjamin may have uttered his first word!  Key words: MAY HAVE

He was waking up from morning nap babbling to himself quietly. Usually he cries a little when he wakes up, so I was excited to see him in such a happy post-nap mood. He quieted down when he heard me coming. (Sidenote: lately he has developed an ridiculously accurate, almost creepy, sense of when John and I are about to come in the room. I think he may have super-human hearing capabilities.)  Back to the story…. so I walked in and he immediately and articulately proclaimed…


I almost fainted!

And then I started squealing, “Yes!! Yes!! I’m MAMA! GOOD JOB BENJAMIN!” over, and over, until he probably forgot what all the fuss was about.

Although it caught me off guard I can’t say I was completely surprised. In the past few days, he has increasingly used his semi-upset “Mmmmmmmm” sound (almost like a form of quiet, controlled crying) when he needs me for various reasons.  I even mentioned to John a few days ago that I think Ben is starting to call me “Mmmmm.”

Can’t reach a toy? Mmmmmm. Tired of playing? Mmmmmm. Want to be held? Mmmmmm. Hungry? Mmmmmm. So, so sleepy? Mmmmmm.

I am hesitant to call this his first word because I am still suspicious. Here is why:
1) I’ve been working with him on making different sounds (trying to keep it fair: dada, mama, gaga, baba, lala), but let’s be honest I probably do use the “mama” one more than the others in these practice sessions.
2) He’s done mama in random strings of lala, blabla, etc. a few times. So maybe he just picked mama randomly.
3) IF (and it’s a big if) he was using mama intentionally, he may very well think that it means any of the following: a) I want to be picked up. b) I’m hungry. c) Person. d) I’m happy.

Why am I over-analyzing this? Well, like probably every set of new parents from here to kingdom come, John and I have an unspoken competition for which word is pronounced first (Mama or Dada).

So, here is where I need your help, friends and family. And strangers? (Not sure if anyone else reads this blog)….   Please add a comment on this blog post with your vote. 

Does this count as his first word? 

1) Yes, definitely.

This means I would win, his first word would be “Mama” (awww!), and he spoke it at 7 months and 9 days old. (Is that even possible?)  —just to be clear for the recordbook.


2) No way!

If it does not count, I need to know what criteria is required to pass the first word test. Does it have to be repeated 5 times? Does it have to be used only when said object or person is present? We could get really scientific about this.

John is not home from work yet, but my guess is that the competition is going to get really heated from now on. I am picturing John waking Benjamin up in the middle of the night for “dada” practice sessions. Or else he will make white noise recordings that will play “dadadadadadadadada” to him over and over in his sleep.


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